Beauty 

Why My Love for Mascara Made Me Come Out of the Closet

In honor of Pride Month, our beauty editor shares his coming out story.

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When you think of Pride Month and the LGBTQ+ community, does the simple tool of mascara ever cross your mind? For myself, mascara was one of the reasons that I released myself from the “closet” and began my journey down a road paved with bronzer and glitter.

Mascara use is very personal and if you have a conversation with beauty enthusiasts, they’ll have many different relationships with the lash enhancer. My love for it all started when I was just a little boy. As a child, when going to church, my mom would always wear this specific burgundy lipstick, a bit of blush and a few wand sweeps of mascara. I would secretly play with my mom’s makeup products when she wasn’t home and rush to wipe everything off before she got back. I was fascinated by this thing that seemed to transform the shape of your eyes as it didn’t wash off as blush and lipstick did. However, I didn’t know how to take it off — and one time, my mom caught me with the residue of her favorite mascara on my eyes, and in that moment it was clear to her and me that I would eventually come out of my well-dressed closet with beauty, grace and Pride. Even as a boy, I was able to realize that makeup seemed to change my facial features — that was enthralling to me. I have long eyelashes, but the visual of seeing them curl even more excited me.

Years later, when I became a young adult and started experimenting with different makeup looks, the concept of taking out a finishing powder compact from MAC and checking to see if my lashes were still popping from the many coats of mascara I’d applied before leaving out, would bring me so much joy. Even to this day, you’ll never catch me outside without my chest out, my head up, and those lashes lifted.

In the words of Jazmine Sullivan, “I keep mascara in my pocket if I’m running to the market because you never know who’s watching you.”

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