By: Karissa Ketter, News Writer
SFU student Sabrina Bailey posted a TikTok of her coming out to her family for Pride Month. The TikTok has now reached over 9 million views and has been described by some viewers as “the kind of wholesome content [we] need to see.”
The viral TikTok features Bailey slicing a multicoloured cake to reveal the lesbian flag represented within the layers as her parents stand around her for a slice. Bailey can be heard saying to her parents that her cake “is supposed to look like the lesbian flag as part of my coming out to tell you guys that I’m gay.”
Her mom, Rita Bailey, quickly replies, “Awesome, good job honey.” Her dad, Steven Bailey, wraps her in a hug after enjoying a quick bite of her cake.
“I was lucky enough to have such a positive experience with my parents [ . . . ] I wanted to share that with other people because I wanted to show people that it’s not always this scary and bad situation,” said Bailey in an interview with The Peak.
Bailey also noted that she’s seen many people come out who have had “a really rough experience,” which made her worry about how her own coming out experience would be.
“I wish we didn’t have to have coming outs,” commented Bailey. However, she was grateful to take the opportunity to show people in the LGBTQIA2S+ community that it doesn’t have to be a negative experience, as is often portrayed in the media.
Bailey noted that 98% of the viewers on TikTok had a positive and welcoming reaction to her coming out story. One viewer commented, “It’s so wonderful to see your parents so loving and accepting.” Influencer Brittany Broski added, “I just started sobbing my eyes out, this love is so special.”
However, “it’s that 2% [of negative reactions] that you remember a lot,” said Bailey. The hateful comments online made Bailey feel insecure at first. “I would think ‘why am I sharing this, it’s something so personal to me — should I have even shared this?’” she continued. That doubt was quickly erased as others posted comments like “this gives me hope.”
“I didn’t film it with the intention to ever put it on the internet, but now that it’s there, I think that the reaction of people who are positive, and [who] it’s been able to help, or who have been encouraged by it, or felt strong enough to come out to their own parents — I think that makes all the hate go away,” said Bailey.
She has noticed a very strong community of LGBTQIA2S+ individuals on TikTok that have welcomed her into the community. “It feels like a hug — a warm hug [ . . . ] I can’t not smile when I think about that!”
This moving video inspired others to take action this Pride Month. Bailey recalled a young man reaching out to tell her that her video inspired him to come out to his mom. “I was crying. I was not expecting to be so emotional about someone else’s experience.
“It was a really wholesome, and completely unexpected, but beautiful moment,” said Bailey.
The experience has “been completely overwhelming” for Bailey, who posted the video before going to bed one night. She describes waking up to over 10,000 views and watching the video slowly climb to almost 3 million views by that evening.
“Not having to hide or keep this secret to myself is so emotionally freeing,” said Bailey.