This June, we have A LOT to celebrate! In honor of Pride month, we’ve asked our founder, Enrico Frezza, to share his journey with us. Here, he’s opening up about coming out and everything that led him to become the founder of Peace Out––an inclusive and safe space for the LGBTQIA+ community. See what he had to say:
How was your experience coming out to your friends and family? Were you nervous? Excited?
Coming out was a scary moment for me. I had no idea what was going to happen, but at the same time, I had the support of my two older brothers who basically just told me to not worry and that they had my back. That made it much easier, but it still was terrifying.
What was your inspiration behind creating not only an acne-inclusive skincare brand, but a brand where the LGTBQIA+ community felt welcome?
I know how hard it can be to a part of the gay community when you are younger and just coming out, learning who you are, especially gay men. When I was a young gay man, I was constantly bombarded with all this imagery of the ‘perfect male’––being told this is what I must look like to be loved or accepted. That caused me so much anxiety, plus, having severe acne made life at times horrible mentally for me.
When I started Peace Out, I knew that I needed to create a space for all LGBTQIA+ to feel safe, skin positive, inclusive and understood. Peace Out, above all, is an open-arms brand––we are made for everyone, welcome everyone and support everyone.
How does it feel to be able to partner with non-profits like The Trevor Project and local SF-based LGBTQIA+ organizations not only during pride month, but all year long?
It is so very important for me to give back and to support my LGBTQIA+ community. Giving back to these incredible organizations like The Trevor Project only helps to elevate, protect and provide resources that enable our community to grow and thrive.
What is your message to members of the LGBTQIA+ community who don’t feel safe coming out to their friends and family? Any advice?
If you have a friend or family member that can be your champion on this journey and stand by you when you want to come out, then bring them with you to give you support. Having my brothers support me with my family and friends made a huge difference––it gave me courage even though I was still filled with anxiety, panicked and scared.
If you don't have that, find a safe space to connect with people that can provide you the tools, help, guidance and support you will need to come out. Coming out is a moment in your life that is very important, it is that step outside into that vital journey in becoming your true self.