Cat Cora gained more fame after becoming the first female Iron Chef and first female to be recognized in the Culinary Hall of Fame. She's recently shared her coming out story and what it was like to do at 19 in Mississippi.
Cat opened up about coming out, saying she didn’t care what people thought of her and Patrick Kelleher from PinkNews recaps the story told to Huff Post...
The Iron Chef star came out as gay at the age of 19, but hasn’t experienced significant discrimination due to her sexual orientation.
“I’ve always been really strong in who I am and confident in who I am as a lesbian,” Cora told Huff Post.
“For me personally, I have experienced more harassment and discrimination as a woman than I have as a lesbian.”
She added: “It is very interesting and I think one of the reasons for that is that I don’t really care what people think about me.”
“I grew up in a place, in Mississippi, that wasn’t easy to grow up in. I was out to my family at the age of 19 and once they knew, I really didn’t care what anybody else thought.”
“There are times when I had to be more cautious but that’s changed, we are a much more accepting society – although not always,” she added.
Cora noted that this is “not everybody’s story” and said the LGBT+ community must keep fighting for equality.
“We just had a major victory for LGBT+ employees around the United States and I think it’s important for us to speak out, because the youth doesn’t have our story [necessarily].”
She referenced the shocking number of LGBT+ people who die by suicide, and said: “That is tragic and we can’t let that happen.”
Cora also reflected on the progress made in LGBT+ rights in recent years.
“Look at where we are with gay marriage,” she said.
“We look back right now and say, ‘Wow, I can’t believe gay marriage wasn’t legal.’ I think it’s about never giving up and finding a mentor, a positive influence in your life, whoever that might be.
“Because it only takes one person to believe in you.”