The SonRise Projectcreator, Kelli Richardson Lawson introduces Emil Wilbekin. Emil is the founder ofNative Sona platform created to inspire and empower Black gay men. Emil is also a multi-media executive, content creator, cultural critic and human rights activist. He is the former editor-in-chief ofGiantand Editor-at-Large atEssence. He was the first openly gay Black man to run a major publication when he was appointed editor-in-chief ofVibe Magazinein 1998. In this episode, Emil shares withSonRiselisteners his personal journey including the difficulties he experienced coming out to his parents. He describes the event as one of the darkest days of his life and initially did not feel seen, heard nor accepted. Nevertheless, Emil says after a lot of therapy and family negotiations, he found the confidence to be his authentic self and his parents learned to love and accept him as he is. Emil shares with SonRiselisteners the importance of parents relating to their children with unconditional love and compassion. He also urges parents to learn to respect their children and indeed all people regardless of what their journey might look like.