“Fun Fact: I’m gay.”

Comedy star Stacey Harkey has come out publicly in a powerful statement to his followers, laying down his mission to be a positive role model for LGBTQ youth.

The star – who is a part of the comedy group Studio C – is a practising Mormon and made the decision to come out because of high suicide rates among LGBTQ youth in his home US state of Utah.

“No this isn’t a joke/prank and yes I am telling the world,” he wrote on Instagram, after telling his followers that he is a gay man. “You might be wondering why I need to announce this? Why do I need to reveal this to a community that could potentially respond in a hostile or critical way? Why do I need to make something private sooo public?

“Did you know LGBT youth are almost five times as likely to have attempted suicide compared to heterosexual youth? I spent a large portion of my life trying to ‘fix’ myself. I put so much energy into trying to mend what I thought was a ‘broken me’. Those years were very hard for me and I can’t say I always loved/liked myself during that time.

View this post on Instagram

Fun Fact: I’m gay. No this isn’t a joke/prank and yes I am telling the world. You might be wondering why I need to announce this? Why do I need to reveal this to a community that could potentially respond in a hostile or critical way? Why do I need to make something private sooo public? Did you know LGBT youth are almost five times as likely to have attempted suicide compared to heterosexual youth? I spent a large portion of my life trying to “fix” myself. I put so much energy into trying to mend what I thought was a “broken me”. Those years were very hard for me and I can’t say I always loved/liked myself during that time. In the recent past, I found myself on my knees praying and begging to know how to move forward… and that beautiful experience helped me realize that I’m not broken. I’m exactly who I need to be. I really didn’t have to come out publicly and I’m sorry if this bothers you, but it is more important to me that people going through the same thing understand that they’re not broken. I know this opens me up to judgment, ridicule and criticism, but if it helps one person avoid suicide or just feel better about themself, then that’s enough for me. Please, feel free to reach out, ask me questions, and share your insights. I’m not ashamed of who I am and I welcome the chance to connect and chat about this. If you want/need to talk to someone, I’m here for you. Call me, text me, DM me and I swear I’ll keep your info private and between us. You’re not alone in this. I’m so sorry if you wanted to hear this from me in person and if that’s the case please call me/message me and let’s chat. Guys, in all honesty, I’m happy. This isn’t a sad thing or something to lament. I’m stoked and excited about what the future holds.

A post shared by Stacey Harkey – JK! Studios (@staceyharkey) on

“In the recent past, I found myself on my knees praying and begging to know how to move forward… and that beautiful experience helped me realize that I’m not broken. I’m exactly who I need to be.”

Stacey added: “I really didn’t have to come out publicly and I’m sorry if this bothers you, but it is more important to me that people going through the same thing understand that they’re not broken.

“I know this opens me up to judgment, ridicule and criticism, but if it helps one person avoid suicide or just feel better about themself, then that’s enough for me.

“Please, feel free to reach out, ask me questions, and share your insights. I’m not ashamed of who I am and I welcome the chance to connect and chat about this.

“If you want/need to talk to someone, I’m here for you. Call me, text me, DM me and I swear I’ll keep your info private and between us. You’re not alone in this. I’m so sorry if you wanted to hear this from me in person and if that’s the case please call me/message me and let’s chat.

“Guys, in all honesty, I’m happy. This isn’t a sad thing or something to lament. I’m stoked and excited about what the future holds.”

Congratulations Stacey! Well said.