For those who must encounter it, the "coming out" conversation has got to be so anxiety-provoking.
Whether someone is telling their parents, siblings, extended family, or close friends they're gay, it must feel so scary to share such a massive, yet often unaccepted, piece of their identity.
So it also must be wildly refreshing when the other person responds with humor and levity. All of a sudden, total acceptance and an inclusive tone are conveyed.
Redditor RedditorYT asked:
"Gay people of Reddit, what was the best reaction you received to coming out?"
Many people talked about the times they discovered their sexual orientation was already old news by the time they mustered up the courage to come out.
For these folks, it was comforting to know they'd already apparently been accepted for months or even years.
The *Second* Talk
"Told my mom I was bisexual. Her reaction: 'Honey, you told me you were dating a guy months ago.' "
"Completely forgot I did that."
"nervously: I'm gay"
"mom: girl, you came out of a closet with no door"
"Best story: Me to grandma: gramma, you should probably hear from me first before blabbermouth aunt says it for me... I'm gay. Gramma: Yeah, I figured, but I wanted you to tell me rather than ask... just like that interesting 'vase' you keep on your patio which I know obviously isn't a 'vase.' (It was a bong and I lied.) Gramma was the best... I miss you gramma.)"
Making Plans Early
"I don't remember a specific coming out moment with my family, but I remember talking to my brother and dad about liking girls when I was a teenager."
"And my brother asking if I remembered being like 9 years old and telling everyone I wanted to marry my friend Mia. That's when I realised my closet door had pretty much been wide open all along."
Others were surprised when the person they told took the news with a completely casual and accepting demeanor. These people instantly felt silly for being so worked up.
One Less Thing to Worry About
"Dad was just like 'welp at least you won't get pregnant' lmao" -- SkepticalSpiderboi
"Two of my daughters are gay. It's an absolute bonus knowing that teen pregnancy is one less thing for me to worry about! If they have kids, it will be because they really want and plan for it." -- Someonetobetoday
Affirmation Like No Other
"I nervously sent my sister a meme about being bisexual. Her response was 'same' Funniest waste of adrenaline ever, ngl."
Window Cleaners Share The Best Things They've Ever Seen | George Takei’s Oh Myyy
"My friend laughed because he 'thought I was gonna confess something serious, like I'd murdered somebody, proceeding to essentially say that he doesn't care/it doesn't matter if I'm gay lol. This was the reaction of all my friends, basically. I'm lucky to have such good friends"
"Best: my dad didn't say much, but his neutral acceptance coincidentally broke down a lot of walls we had when I was growing up. We got to know one another a lot more once I felt free of my secret. Love him times a million."
In Good Company
"Best was when I told a group of friends in school and two others turned around and said 'oh me too!' then we went back to planning our weekend outing"
"Best- told my best friend. Cried. She stayed the night, we had pizza, drinks and watched a film. She slept in my bed, just like she did before. Nothing changed ❤️"
And some were comforted when the person they told was all set up with a killer one-liner. The humor shifted the mood from anxious to warm in an instant.
"Not gay, but trans here. Well, gay too, but it was when I was coming out as trans."
"I came out to my little bro towards the end of the year. His response was: 'Are you sure you're not taking the whole "new year, new me" thing a bit far?' "
"My dad's 'I also like women' has to be my favourite." -- FreyaAthena
"Your dad is offically your wingman lol" -- MachuPichu10
"Mad respect for your dad honestly" -- UwU_was_ist_das
A Sliver of Hope
"I've come out twice, which complicates things, and not in a 'normal' way"
I originally came out as gay and then again as bi, so yeah a bit strange. But my mum takes the cake with the classic 'Maybe I'll get some grandkids yet' "
"My sister: Yay, I always wanted a gay brother!"
"Me: You realize that you always had one, right? I'm not suddenly going to change my personality and enjoy shopping with you."
During Pride Month, when we celebrate the identities of so many who've had to fight to be accepted, it's nice to hear some stories from those who were accepted--at least by one person--right away.
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Every person, no matter what age has that Oprah "Ah-ha" moment when it comes to the realization about sexual identity. Yes, nowadays, thankfully, it's a more accepting, inclusive world, at least more accepting than it used to be but progress has been made. But before one comes out to the world one must have a self reckoning. And those experiences can often be the most surprising. There is always a moment you can point to and say... "that was when I knew." And those moments can be chill or chuck full of drama.Redditor u/UnsettlingAura wanted to see who would be willing to admit and discuss the moment they realized.... maybe it's time to explore some alternate ideas by asking.... What was your "oh crap I might not be straight" moment?
That Dudesexy boy GIFGiphy
When I said to my friend "This dude is cool, I wouldn't ask him out, but if he asked me I wouldn't refuse" turns out I'm gay and shy.
My therapist was doing a series of quick questions and asked "you like boys?" and I was like "yeah" "and you like girls?" and I said "...no? I don't know?" and he "well, straight people normally answer that one waaay differently"
Then it hit me, at 23, that I'm not straight (might be bi) and finding that actress pretty, fantasizing about a girl 2 years my senior wasn't me "being so ok with being straight that I was ok with having experiences with women" I actually kinda like them so yeah, I was that oblivious.
I used to have this thought to myself in high school about my friend! I really didn't want to be gay. but I had to confront the thought that if she wanted to be my girlfriend, I would have wanted that too.
She didn't, and also I didn't tell anyone haha.
When I was little and whenever I read books about a straight couple in love, and the woman was this fiery goddess, I never wanted to be the gorgeous woman in the book, I was curious about how it felt to fall for one. I loved the idea of it. Then, I started to develop intense crushes on girls.
Met a girl via Twitter through a tag, started talking, then moved to video calls. Every time a notification came up on my phone from her, I got that warm faced, fuzzy chest feeling. "we're just good friends" I said to myself (like a liar). "She's just really sweet and I like talking to her." Four months of this and one day she mentions Philip. I ask her who that is, as I'd never heard the name from her before.
"Oh, that's my boyfriend."
"Oh. Okay. Recent boyfriend?"
"No, we've been together seven years."
Around minute five of crying is when I realized... Crying about that and feeling like I'd gotten my heart broken wasn't normal.
One time in high school, I knew a girl who was really attached to me. I had low self esteem and she would always be happy with me and she would say things like "You look cute today" and "That skirt matches your eyes". I never thought she liked me because I would just think, nobody can like me or I would just think I was lucky to have someone so nice. It was by valentines day she made me chocolate in a little pink lock and lock as she confessed her love to me. I almost fainted as I coughed in shock. Wrong reaction.
She was confused but we talked it out. That year we went to prom together, she was my 1st best kiss that grade, and we were one of the most famous lesbian couples in our school. We later broke up because she was going to her dream college in California and we both agreed a long distance relationship wouldn't be good. Ever since, I knew I was gay af.
I Heart Hermione
Very first clue that I was bi was rewatching Harry Potter when I was 11 and wanting to make out with Hermione super bad. Then when I was 13 me and my friends were all at a sleepover and, since we were horny teens, we played spin the bottle. I got my best friend and it was like the best thing ever.
Lol yes Emma/Hermione was definitely my first celebrity crush.
I did that gay people thing where I was like "I'm obsessed with her because I just want to BE her". It got harder to do that once I starting having crushes on my real life girl friends.
Can't Change the Channel
The day when I was 16 and had just realized that the only porn that i had been watching up to that point for the last 5 years was the gay kind.
You, 5 years later: still watching gay porn
Wait a second...
"We" Love Lucie
When my best friend came out as a lesbian and my brain went automatically "YES WE HAVE A CHANCE WITH HER....... wait" so turns out I'm bi.
Edit: by "we"I mean me (a dummy) and whatever runs my emotions, and no I did not say I had a chance with her out loud
Second edit: For clarification, no, we never got together.
Turns out she was experimenting more than anything else and told me she didn't like women before I could even get the courage to tell her. We stopped being friends shortly after (for different reasons) and I have no way to contact her anymore. She never knew and probably never will. Lucie if you're out there, I don't think about you anymore (except for this moment of my life that, in the end, is more about me than about you) but I once fancied the way you would smile at me a bit too much.
A Girl CrushLove You Smile GIF by The SwoonGiphy
When I was 13/14 I was at a sleepover. We discussed our "boys we fancied list" then our "girl crush list".
They named celebrities, I named like... Holly from Drama Class, one of our female teachers, a girl in the year above. And was yeah "yeah she's pretty and she's so cute when she ...."
I was then informed a girl crush is when you want to BE this person, or be like them.. not be ON THEM or kissing them and holding their hand while you walk round a Christmas market.
And that's how I found out that being attracted to girls wasn't a straight person thing.
EDIT: so turns out a lot of people didn't understand girl crush as this and now I think we should all create a support group and discuss ladies we want to take on a Christmas market date....
I wrote a very long diary entry in late middle school about how beautiful my best friend looked as she slept at a sleepover. I wrote in detail about her fluttering eyelashes, her smooth skin, her parted lips, her deep breathing, etc. I closed it out by saying that I'm not homosexual and I never would be, I just thought my best friend was a beautiful soul.
We started dating a couple months later.
He's a "10!"Reaction GIF by moodmanGiphy
Realizing that a male friend was objectively more attractive than my girlfriend. Took me another 20 years to admit to myself that I was bi, though!
Was year 10 uk (maybe 15). on a school trip to the US, shared a 2 double bed room with 3 upper 6th (17-18) guys, this would be back in 2007ish, when skinny indie kids with greasy hair were the thing. One of them was this guy, who was 18 and I thought he was so mature and grown up, he wore a proper thick woolen trenchcoat and told stories about girls giving bjs under it, which felt like I was talking to some sort of wizard. He had very pale gray blue eyes, but with dark skin and messy curly dark hair so they really stood out.
Anyhoo, they decided that being squeamish around other boys was kinda uncool, so this guy decided after his shower to walk across the room stark bollock naked to get dressed. And he was really thin, but muscular with it, and that was the first time I'd really looked at a penis before, because he stood there toweling off with a bit of a smirk, as if he was trying to make me uncomfortable. I was not uncomfortable.
Megara from Hercules (and Hercules).
Chel from Road to El Dorado.
Jessica Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
Lola Bunny in Space Jam.
(And quite recently reignited my passion for men too) Zagreus from Hades.
Sitting there googling "am I a lesbian" quizzes lol
Well the first sign probably should've been lil 4th grade me, after learning of the existence of gay people, laying there at night thinking, "aww man, gay girls are so lucky. Wish I could date a girl! Oh well, guess I'll marry a man."
Or the countless times groups of girls would be obsessing over how cute some dude was and I'd be standing there like ???
Or maybe the fantasies I had in 6th grade about me dating a girl I was friends with.
But for some reason I didn't even begin to consider the possibility of not being straight until I got the most intense crush of my life (the kind that physically hurts because you want the other person so badly) on a friend of mine who was a girl. Hence the googling lol. Took me another two or three years to really accept it.
Even now I have a girlfriend and occasionally doubt myself but I know that's just my dumbass brain overthinking everything.
the sex is in the heel....high heels wall GIFGiphy
When I saw a woman dressed in a business suit, but with a skirt. She had on heels and tights with a black line going up the back of her legs. That sight with the click of her heels... I didn't just like boys!
I was reading a blog and it said bisexuality was imagining yourself married to either gender and being happy with it. It's probably not an accurate statement but I figured yeah, I'd be totally fine with either.
Later on I thought about the sex part, was completely repulsed and learned the term 'asexual'.
I really liked the dude and he really liked me to, we were both to shy to say but you could tell from a mile away due to happenings like these, I changed HS on third year and the beautiful love story came to an end, we did meet afterwards and I swear we could have had sex then and there but neither made a move, I'm still in love with that dude and have been in for 9 years since I met him, and I'm afraid next year I'm letting it go, I have to live my life.
Proof at the Louvre....
I don't think I'm gay since in relationship dynamics I much more prefer the company of women. However since the first time I went to the Louvre at 13, I was really fascinated with all those statues and paintings of naked men. So yeah, I'd say a beautiful body is a beautiful body, no matter the sex.
After the ShowerJohn Cusack Film GIFGiphy
i was over my friends house and he took a shower and came back to his room naked and started playing Fortnite naked i was way too interested in looking at him that i knew i wasn't straight.
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LGBTQ+ People Explain Which Things They Deal With On A Regular Basis That Straight People May Not Realize
In 2020 when we discuss acceptance of the LGBTQIA+ community, we have to acknowledge and rejoice that we have come so far. We really have. But somedays it feel like there are still miles to run to get to the finish line.
In this time of culture war and grand renaissance we're all learning. And hetero/cisgender people still need to understand a few things. The best route to understanding is empathy. If you don't know, then ask me. Ask me about my fears, my goals and my triumphs as it all pertains to my struggle as a gay man. You'll be surprised about our similarities and about what the community still must endure while you believed the struggle was over. Just don't be inappropriate.... unless you're asking me out.
Redditor u/Eat-the-Poor was hoping the LGBTQ community members would be willing to share some truths that need to be heard by asking.... Homosexuals of Reddit, what is something about being gay that a straight person would never guess is a thing you have to deal with on a regular basis?
TMIUmmm GIF by memecandyGiphy
People asking how you have sex. I've had neighbors, a former boss, and family members ask me immediately after I told them I have a serious girlfriend. Its like, you wouldn't ask a straight person that.
Like, "hey, so, I'm gay. I've been dating my gf for four years. Sorry I've been telling you otherwise."
Them: "so like...lol...how do you have sex? Who gives and who receives? Do you use toys? Lol I heard lesbians use a lot of toys. Cause you don't have anything down there, you know? Do you just lay next to each other? How does it happen, lol!"
And I'm like, "uhhhh..." As if it weren't awkward enough to tell your foolish self I'm gay already?!
Having some sort of conception of the future.
Since gay marriage is a relatively recent thing (and it came suddenly and unexpectedly) you never grew up assuming that you would ever get married, have kids, or build a home. The question of "what do I want to do with my life" really was never addressed in your younger years because you assumed there was no future for you.
If you managed not to die from AIDS or by your own hands then you were not going to have a real love life, real friendships, a family that supports you, etc. all of that was dependent upon you making the world believe that you were straight, a facade that you might be able to keep up with for a while, but not forever. Eventually the mask would slip, people would find out, and your life would slowly unravel from there.
Unlike other kids who were excited to live their dream as a doctor, a cop, a vet, or whatever else, the whole idea of the future was something to avoid for me, because I was always so certain that if I would even be alive to experience it, it would be lonely and pointless.
But thankfully none of that happened. I'm still here corporeally but that's about it. It's just that since there was never any thought put into my long term future now I'm bearing the consequences of it as an adult.
Do No Harm
People just don't understand what it's like. And there's no ill intentions in many cases!
I live in a very liberal, gay friendly area. I recently had to get tested for an uncommon urinary bacterial infection (which ultimately just turned out to just be problems induced from sitting more due to COVID WFH). The doctor saw my ring and started to go on about if it came back positive my wife would need to be tested as well, risks to women, etc.
It was strange, I actually felt bad for how she was going to feel when I had to politely interrupt her and say I was married to a man. She was absolutely mortified by her assumption and kept apologizing.
No harm. No negativity intended. But it was a reminder that in all aspects of social interaction it's just one more hurdle I need to overcome.
Always Outgay pride rainbow GIF by Capital Pride | Have Pride 365!Giphy
Once you come out you never truly stop coming out.
Every time you fly, cross a border, get stopped by a cop etc. Same question and how do the two of you know each other? I am always tempted to say "We have been sleeping with each other for 35 yrs." But I never will.
My next door neighbor that I spend a lot of time with was raised extremely religious to the point where she wasn't exposed to pretty much anything. (No Harry Potter, no news). When I told her I was bi, she had a lot of questions, but it was kind of refreshing to be able to answer honest questions without dealing with preconceptions. She was very sweet and kind about it. She just wanted to understand what she's never been exposed to before.
Never One and Done
The mini internal debate you have every time you tell a story about your SO. Do I say friend or girlfriend? Have I come out to this person yet? Is there someone in the vicinity who I don't want knowing I'm gay? If I do say gf, will the person think I'm getting political/over sharing even though they wouldn't think that if I said boyfriend instead of girlfriend? Coming out is not a one-and-done deal. You have to make that snap judgement a thousand times and every time it's scary.
Convo with Dad
The first thing that comes to mind is a few years back I was talking to my dad, and he mentioned when he met my mother, she was having serious family issues with her own father. They didn't get along, at all, and my dad helped solve the issue because the way he was raised... family was the most important thing, and he "couldn't date a woman who didn't get along with her family."
I had to tell him if that's an expectation he has for my future spouse, he better get over it before I meet her. Cause when you're gay, there's a very real chance your SO will not have a family to bring you into.
It hadn't occurred to him before then that my future wife might not get along with her family, and that our family will have to become her's instead. It's something I accepted a long time ago, but my dad really struggled with the idea for a long time.
DangerMeaning Excuse Me GIF by 1091Giphy
Knowing that there are some people who really hate gays even though everyone today pretends they are totally cool with them, and there's always a chance decisions will be made at work that result in you not getting the promotion or straight-up getting fired.
The "It" Approval
People being overly loving of my sexuality, sometimes it feels really forced. I appreciate the support, but I feel like it's trendy to support gay people.
It's something to be celebrated. But for example, it's like acting like someone's 28th birthday is just as meaningful and a milestone as age 30.
I grew up Catholic, and my parents and friends were super against gay people. Now that it's trendy I feel like it's easier to support.
I DoEpisode 12 Showtime GIF by ShamelessGiphy
Planning my wedding was a pain.
"Are you going to wear a dress? Are you going to have bridesmaids or groomsmen? Where do we sit? Are you allowed to do it in a church"
YES. Our wedding party consisted of myself, my husband, the minister, and my baby SIL as the flower girl. My husband and I walked each other down the aisle. The minister read a Walt Whitman poem. We exchanged rings and vows and had a nice buffet set out for us. No dancing, no silly games, just marriage and fake Italian food. It was great.
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Last year, a poll of 7,000 LGBTQ tech employees in Silicon Valley asked if they'd experienced homophobic harassment at work. 40% said yes.
But while that number is disheartening, the report made no mention of what the makeup of that percentile was.
Leanne Pittsford has an idea on how to address that.
After getting her master's in equity and social justice, Pittsford wanted to continue her work in LGBTQ activism. She began that work with Equality California. While there, she helped overturn the same-sex marriage ban in California but saw the win as bittersweet:
"I was managing the data in the campaign. I had a front-row to the sexism and the inequality that was even happening in the LGBTQ space everywhere I went. I worked in the Castro every day and I saw very few women. We did events and we tried to get women to be a part of the campaign. And not to say there weren't some incredible women, but every time you'd go to an event, every time we hosted our event, it would be somewhere between 80 and 90% male."
The LGBTQ tech industry's preferential treatment of gay men motivated Pittsford to organize. She founded Lesbians Who Tech, "a community of LGBTQ women, nonbinary, and trans individuals in and around tech (and the people who support them)."
"I felt like queer women specifically, and nonbinary folks were missing from the conversation."
A Common Theme
Andrea Breanna—wife, mother, and transgender lesbian—feels the same way.
Breanna is the founder and CEO of RebelMouse, "a creative agency with the best [content management system] in the world." RebelMouse arms its users with the tools it takes to grow and publicize online content.
"We're really excited about how we help media companies and brands that are genuine about their content really grow organic reach," Breanna says of her system.
Genuineness is the lynchpin of Breanna and RebelMouse's success story.
In 2017, Breanna began coming out as trans to her family and, a year later, her employees and clients.
"It's really hard to do," Breanna says. "But it's been really beautiful. I've thought about trying to understand how I could be helpful [for] people who want to come out and how it could go well."
She decided the best way was by setting an example in being her authentic self.
"Trans people need hope right now more than ever. They need to know that they can be successful if they're very good at their job. They need to know that people will follow a trans leader, sign deals with them, and allow them to grow their businesses," Breanna says.
A Common Hope
Pittsford agrees. And both see hope in numbers. Lesbians Who Tech now has over 50,000 members and dozens of chapters worldwide. RebelMouse has over 55 employees across 26 countries.
"I'd love to see us get to 100,000 people," Pittsford says. "I'd love to see us have more presence in some of the countries that need us the most. And I'd love to see, you know, more CTOs or CEOs who are LGBTQ women."
Breanna acknowledges her unique story. "I very much hope that the story of RebelMouse will not just be about how we helped the open web build a better product, but also about how we showed a different way to build an organization that cares about itself. What if Google and Facebook realized that three in 50 of its employees were trans?"
We're all still waiting on that answer.
People who engage with more than one gender have a really unique experience.
Those of us who fall squarely into heterosexual or homosexual know the emotional and sexual patterns of the genders we are attracted to, for the most part. We know what to expect on a first date or in a long term relationship.
We don't have to keep track of too much information. Bisexual folks on the other hand? They have their work cut out for them.
Here were some of their answers.
As a bisexual man, it's awesome to be little spoon and actually fit. I know that's probably not what you're looking for, but it's the first thing that came to mind.
In my experience, relationships with men move a lot slower than relationships with women.
In a relationship with a man, we talk for several weeks, then we date for a month before we even discuss defining the relationship. With women, you go on two dates, and then she has a drawer at your place.
I'm a woman in my late 20s. I've had 4 girlfriends and 3 boyfriends since I was 15. Edited again: Thanks for the gold!
Homophobia: Alive And Well
I'm a bi woman and to be honest the biggest difference for me is other people's perception of my relationship.
When I date men I don't get the same 21 questions from strangers and family members as to why I've made the choice to date that person.
Also once when I was dating a woman my step-grandma asked me not to hold her hand or kiss her at Thanksgiving dinner so that it wouldn't "confuse the children"... They've never asked me to withhold public affection from male partners. I think I've dated more men than women long term because it was the path of least resistance.
It's Called Not The Bare Minimum
As a man, men who've only dated women before are really easy to impress. I bought my ex dinner a few times and he just about lost his mind because no one had done that for him before. I've heard lesbians say the same thing about women, so I think it's more of a societal expectation thing than anything else.
From my experience at least, wlw relationships tend to move faster? I can't explain it like when I was with my ex we were so ride or die since day one, saying i love you after less than a month together, very intense overall. Also unfortunately, sometimes you get to realize how much bias and prejudice your "friends" and family might secretly hold.
With men, I never had something like that. There were a lot more downtime I guess? Also no fear about having to go out while holding hands, or introducing to the family.
Although, aside from a few things, I think it's very different overall because people are different, ya know? Like my ex was very extroverted and my bf is very introverted, so the dynamic changes because of that too.
Again, Not The Bare Minimum
With most of the women I dated, gift/acts of kindness were an every day thing. Like, I'd make an extra stop for something they liked and it wouldn't be a big deal to them.
Every. Single. Guy. I have dated has lost their minds over the little things. When my husband and I first started dating, I stopped and got him a slushie while I got gas, not even an extra stop. I just set it in front of him at his apartment and you'd have thought it was the Holy Grail.
Let's Gender Dumb Things!
With a hetero relationship, there a lot of gender based assumptions. The dude drive and kills the bugs. The woman remembers that they're out of milk and arranges social things. It's not always true, but even then it feels like you're breaking the norm and "different". With gays there is much less expectations. Chores tend to be distributed evenly. Who kills the bugs is sometimes both or neither.
I'm a small human, and when I date women they're mostly my size, but men are usually at least 6" taller and have 50 pounds on me. There are a lot of physical differences with cuddling and sex with partners of different sizes. I love that men can pick me up (when I want them to) and that I get to feel tiny and safe with men I trust. With women, it's more equal, so we switch back and forth between being the cuddler and the cuddlee. Also with women, we usually take turns (getting attention) during sex whereas with men it's more likely to be just one effort.
That Homophobia Will Getcha Every Time
I've dated more women than men, but both of the guys were way easier and more direct than any of the women were. Sex with a guy is easier to get started; literally you can be playing video games on the couch and suddenly you're both horny and going for it. Women need more prep time, generally, it's almost never 0-100 in a flash. It's slower to get started and longer to reach the finish, but in my opinion it is more satisfying when you both get there.
Culturally it is easier to date women as it isn't immediately seen as taboo by most people. Almost nobody will bat an eye if you kiss as hetero in public, but you'll get a look or two if you're the same gender.
These have been my experiences and in no way do I think it is universal, just the folks that have been nice enough to date me.
As a guy I found I get more excited for Christmas when I date guys rather than girls because it's a mutual want and desire (you get to share most things, clothes and video games). Woman are sweeter and love little gestures more than guys. Like when I do the dishes or make supper or clean the house they get super appreciative. Guys just brush it off or don't notice those kind of efforts.