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Laurie Hernandez and More Celebs Share What Pride Means to Them

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Laurie Hernandez, Colton Underwood, and Ben Platt.
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It’s officially Pride Month, and while the month of June can feel like one long rainbow-filled parade, it is also a time for reflection and community.

Just like Us, many celebs are reflecting on what Pride Month means to them, and how the celebration has evolved over time.

“I grew up in a very Christian, conservative household and I remember being like, ‘Well, there’s not a straight month,’” country singer and American Idol alum Brooke Eden told Us Weekly at CMA Fest in Nashville. “I was that person until I was, like, 14 and met my first gay friend and was like, ‘Oh, you have to go through so much to have pride in who you are and I understand it so much more now.’”

Despite fearing for her career in country music because of her sexuality, Eden, 35, eventually came out herself and is now happily married to her wife, Hilary Hoover.

“My wife and I stayed in the closet for five years,” Eden added. “So for me, Pride Month is so important to explain to straight people why it’s important to have pride in who you are. … There’s a whole journey that you have to go through in order to love yourself and accept yourself. And when you get there, there’s a lot of pride that comes with that.”

Keep scrolling to hear more from Eden and celebrities like Laurie Hernandez, Colton Underwood and Ben Platt about the importance of Pride Month:

David Archuletta

After coming out as queer in 2021, David Archuletta left the Mormon church — to which he belonged for the majority of his life — and reclaimed his identity. Now, the American Idol season 7 alum is sharing his pride and speaking his truth with songs like “Hell Together” and “Afraid to Love.”

Archuletta told Us at iHeartRadio and P&G’s Can’t Cancel Pride event that since LGBTQIA+ issues are still polarizing the nation, it is all the more important “to be proud to be queer and to show ourselves and to be visible, especially for those who come from conservative communities.”

Archuletta continued, speaking broadly to the LGBTQIA+ community: “We’re here and we’re here to support you. We’re here to help you feel seen. And we’ll keep doing what we’re doing to help you feel like you have a safe future and a celebratory future. … There’s so much more in store to look forward to.”

Laurie Hernandez

Laurie Hernandez Celebs Share What Pride Means to Them
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“Pride Month is something that I used to watch happen on social media as a teenager and feel a lot of FOMO for,” author and former gymnast Hernandez told Us. “It was like, none of you know, but I don’t know how to bridge that gap. I was scared. I hadn’t told anyone when I was young. I was like, ‘I don’t know how I fit into this.’”

Hernandez continued: “It always warmed my heart to see those Pride posts that were like, ‘For those who haven’t said anything yet: This is still your party.’ I remember my heart melting over that.”

The two-time Olympic gold medalist publicly came out in December 2022 when she shared an Instagram post celebrating her two-year anniversary with her partner, Charlotte Drury, who is also an Olympic gymnast.

“Just being able to enjoy things with friends and family and knowing that you’re loved and surrounding yourself with people who love and support you, I think, is the best way to celebrate (Pride),” Hernandez added.

Rebel Wilson

“Honestly, even before I was in a same-sex relationship, I was an ally,” Rebel Wilson told Us while promoting her new memoir, Rebel Rising, and her partnership with Zevo. “I did not have one negative reaction to coming out in a same-sex relationship. And I think that’s not the case for some people.”

Wilson continued: “It’s such a different time now and it’s just been a hugely positive thing. It’s great to see all the Pride things going on.”

Yvie Oddly

Drag queen Yvie Oddly may be planning to celebrate Pride by seeing friends and “making out with strangers,” but the RuPaul’s Drag Race champion also acknowledges the political power of Pride Month.

“My favorite thing about Pride is it is literally a celebration of your existence,” Oddly told Us while promoting her new book, All About Yvie: Into the Oddity. “(It can be) used as an act of protest. So I’m excited to go around and exist very clearly with all these other queers and try and protest the things that we would like to see change in the world.”

Brooke Eden

In addition to sharing her journey with Pride and her sexuality, Eden also touched on the importance of inclusivity in the country music genre.

“For me, country music is about the truth,” she told Us. “For so long, we haven’t been able to tell our truth and there’s so many people that haven’t felt represented here. So to be able to tell our truth in country music and to just have that inclusivity, that’s what it’s all about for me.”

Colton Underwood

Colton Underwood Celebs Share What Pride Means to Them
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Underwood shocked the world when he came out as gay in April 2021. Now, over three years later, the former Bachelor star is happily married to husband Jordan C. Brown, and the pair are expecting their first child together via surrogate.

“It’s taken me a few years to really put the work in, like, learn and advocate and fight next to our community and understand where I fit in all of that,” Underwood told Us while promoting his partnership with Pressed Juicery ahead of the West Hollywood Pride Parade. “We’re all part of the same community. We have each other’s backs and nobody can get in between us.”

Ben Platt

Ben Platt Celebs Share What Pride Means to Them
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“Strangely, Pride feels even more intense than usual, given everything that’s going down,” Platt told Us at ​​iHeartRadio and P&G’s Can’t Cancel Pride event. “Obviously, it’s important to talk about a lot of the oppression and difficulty that we’re facing as a community, but we also deserve the time to just enjoy the fact that we’re queer and also lean into the fact that it makes us cool and special and interesting and compelling.”

Later this year, Platt is marrying his partner of four years, Noah Galvin, and the Pitch Perfect actor shared his gratitude for their right to wed with Us.

“The most exciting thing to me is that we have the option to do anything we want to do and that all of the paths are on the table as they should be for any human being,” he said.

Billy Porter

Billy Porter Celebs Share What Pride Means to Them
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Billy Porter is celebrating his 35th Pride this year since coming out at age 19, and the LGBTQIA+ legend has learned a lot along the way.

“This space is a moment for us to remind ourselves that there is power in numbers,” he told Us at iHeartRadio and P&G’s Can’t Cancel Pride event. “There’s power in us all coming together and working toward a common goal. And that common goal is equality. For everybody.”

Girl in Red

girl in red Celebs Share What Pride Means to Them
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“Be gay!” Girl in Red emphatically told Us while promoting her new album, I’m Doing it Again Baby! “Be safe and be with your other gay friends (during Pride Month). Surround yourself with other people that make you feel comfortable and safe. Support other queer artists, just like, surround yourself with queerness.”

George Takei

George Takei Celebs Share What Pride Means to Them
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Star Trek legend George Takei publicly came out as gay in 2005, and he had already been in a relationship with his now-husband, Brad Takei, for 18 years at the time. Nearly 20 years since coming out, George is reflecting on how things have changed for the LGBTQIA+ community.

“(When we got together) laws were against us. Society was against us,” George told Us at the Critics’ Choice Association’s LGBTQ+ Celebration. “We love children. So instead (of having our own), my surrogate children were my niece and nephew.”

George continued: “We’re raised children, but not our own, and we’re so happy and proud that our gay friends are now having surrogates produce children for them and have their happy families.”

Mxmtoon

Maia, who performs under the moniker mxmtoon, opened up to Us about how music has helped her develop confidence in her sexuality.

“Pride Month is really special to me just because I grew up not feeling like I necessarily could fit in and could be accepted for my identity,” Maia told Us. “Now to be an adult that gets to embrace it every single year is really special.”

Maia shared that she will be spending Pride Month touring, which is exactly where she would like to be, since “touring has always felt like this weird space where I get to actually accept my queerness in the fullest capacity.”

Orville Peck

Orville Peck Celebs Share What Pride Means to Them
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“It’s really difficult to see the rhetoric and the stigma that’s surrounding our community at the moment and to see people trying to politically profit off of that and off of real lives and real humans is disgusting to watch,” Orville Peck told Us at iHeartRadio and P&G’s Can’t Cancel Pride event. “It’s a reminder for all of our community to be just that, a community, and to be even tighter-knit and even more supportive of one another and to take care of one another.”

Melissa Etheridge

“Visibility means everything,” Melissa Etheridge — who came out publicly in 1993 during the Triangle Ball, an LGBTQ+ event celebrating the inauguration of then-President Bill Clinton — told Us at iHeartRadio and P&G’s Can’t Cancel Pride event. “Coming out means everything and it’s just a totally different world now, and it is so nice.”

iHeartRadio and P&G’s Can’t Cancel Pride event is streaming on Hulu throughout Pride Month.

With reporting by Jeremy Parsons, Eliza Thompson, Dan Trainor and Kevin Zelman

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