A Personal Note

by Grace Bonney

Over the years, Design*Sponge has grown and changed along with the people reading and writing this site. I’ve felt so fortunate to share in the news of weddings, births, new jobs and businesses, moves and other life events that have taken part in our community. And I am deeply aware that it is both an honor and privilege to share updates of my own here as well. Today I wanted to take a brief moment to share something that is very personal, but very much about the strength and goodness of the people who make up our online community.

Yesterday I turned 32 and had the honor of spending the afternoon with my closest friends (that’s us, above) learning the dance routines to songs by two of my favorite singers, Robyn and Beyonce. As incredible of a birthday surprise it was, after I came home I was overcome with an even greater feeling of love and appreciation. My friends have stood by me through some truly turbulent times and I feel endlessly grateful to have people in my life who not only understand and accept me for who I am, but love me for it. That feeling is so special and meaningful to me because it is one I haven’t felt, or allowed myself to feel, for a long time.

Two years ago I went through the process of coming out to my friends and family. It was, at times, painful and scary. Coming out is different for every person, but for me, it was very much about learning to slowly accept and then love myself just the way I am. Despite my worst fears of losing the people I loved most, I have been incredibly fortunate to find the support of not just my friends and family, but members of the design community as well. In my heart of hearts, I never expected to hear from people I’d never met, offering words of support, guidance and love. But it was those words and that support that got me to where I am today.

Since the first day I started this site, I’ve done my best to be as open and honest myself as I can. But for a long time I’ve struggled with holding a part of myself back. And that’s made me feel disconnected and not as close to the community of people I love and admire as I would like. So today I wanted to take a moment to proudly share with you the full story of who I am. I’m the daughter of loving parents, Chris and Elaine, I’m a blogger, a Southerner, a hopeless lover of animals, patterns and anything shiny- and I’m also gay. That fact may make no difference to some of you reading, but being able to be 100% myself here means the world to me. This website is my home. And the people who write and read here are my family. And I want to be as close and connected to my family as I can. Thank you for being an incredible community of people who make me feel safe and supported enough to be myself. Love, Grace

Suggested For You


  • Congratulations on such a brave post, I can only imagine that it must have been very difficult to write. It rarely occurs to me to think about the sexual orientation of the my favourite bloggers and so it makes no difference to me. You feeling happy and comfortable and open is enormously important, as it is for everyone so I’m glad that you can now feel more you in this space.

  • Grace- this post can’t have been easy but the important things aren’t usually the easy ones are they? Happy Birthday and big hugs , girl!

  • Thank you! As always, I am amazed by you, and so happy to see you surrounded by love from friends and family.

  • Congratulations! Having gone through a similar experience in leaving a long-term relationship with a guy 2 years ago, know you’re not alone. I have never been happier and feel that life only gets better and more rewarding as we’re able to live full, honest lives. Good for you Grace.

  • Sending you LOVE Grace…thank you for being so genuine and true, and allowing US the privilege of following you on your journey. xo

  • Hey there sweet Grace-

    First of all, what a lovely writer you are, that was beautiful to read.

    I first found your work and Design*Sponge when I heard you on The JV Club podcast and I remember feeling like I could really relate to you. Then I came on here and bookmarked about a thousand DIY projects and I’ve been reading Design*Sponge ever since.

    When I first came out to my close friends and family, all I wanted to hear was that I am loved just how I am. And, one day, when I come out to the larger community of people in my life, I want them to say that they don’t think any differently of me. So Grace, I, for one, definitely love you just as you are and I don’t think any differently of you. As a young person, seeing someone that I respect and admire be honest with themselves and the world is very inspiring and gives me a lot of hope.

  • I am happy for you that you have finally embraced yourself with unconditional love internally and publicly. All the best to your and your most inspiring blog! Design*sponge is a constant feed for soul!

  • A lovely post from a lovely person. Happy birthday to you! May the year ahead bring you much love and happiness.

  • Good for you, Grace!! I think that your openness and the love you have for both yourself and those around you are the best birthday presents you could give to yourself! :) It looks like you guys had a blast on your birthday… even if I am just a little jealous that your friends threw you such an awesome surprise dance party!! :P I wish you a wonderful new year full of love, laughter, and lots more adventures! xx Emily

  • You are awesome about sharing and honestly it makes me love you even more. Shine like you’ve never shined before… being true to yourself and with others is only the tip of true happiness. <3

  • Grace,
    it is wonderful that you know who and what you are, and even more wonderful that you are proud and love yourself exactly as you are. Sometimes the things that scare us turn out to be the sources of much strength and happiness. I hope that the reaction from your readers in return for your openness will be one of those things.
    Happy birthday!

  • This was a great personal honest post, you are brave! I’m so happy to read that you have been through that process and you fel better now. I’ve been there, my wife’s been there ;) and we know how hard, unfair, complicated and just ackward that could be. So welcome to your new happier life!!! Oh, and happy happy happy birthday!
    PS: I’m going to tell everyone know about your present. Let’s see if next year I get dance lessons for my birthday!!! So cool!!!

  • Grace not only am I inspired by Design Sponge but I am also inspired by your strength and determination to live an authentic life. Huzzah!

  • Happy Birthday Grace! I deeply admire how you have built such a wonderful online community. Thank you for sharing so openly and continuing to inspire many. Know that you are supported!

  • My heartfelt congratulations on becoming closer to yourself in this way, in not only your personal but now public life. And all the best to you for your birthday!

  • Beautiful – I have tears in my eyes! I’m so glad you’ve found a space here with people that you can feel comfortable opening up to. I am so inspired by you. And happy birthday! :)

  • You’re a wonderful person and a pioneer in our design blogging world. Thanks for sharing these intimate thoughts, it touches everyone differently but most definitely in a positive way. Happy Birthday!

  • Grace, you have a lot of courage, I am glad you are true to yourself. Happy Birthday to ya! :) Shine on in your upcoming year!

  • Kudos to you for being who you are and openly sharing it with the world. You have just made the universe a better place.

  • Belated happy birthday Grace! Thank you for being such a strong, inspiring and authentic voice. I usually don’t comment, but am compelled to let you know how the D*S platform has changed our approach to work. Please know that we’re always 100% behind the wonderful work you do and the amazing person you are! Lots of love from Kerala, India.

  • GRACE! You are the best, the bravest, always. This post is amazing. We, your readers and your fellow bloggers love you and respect you just as you are, we always have, we always will. Congratulations on what must have been a very difficult post to write… I don’t know how you do it, you are an inspiration. Happy Birthday lady. Big love to you from Melbourne. Come visit us already! Lucy xxx

  • It takes a lot of guts to be who you want to be and to do what you want to do. I have been through the journey with a number of close friends who have come out and i have experienced first hand their fear of losing loved ones but also their immense bravery and wanting nothing more than to be true to themselves. It’s amazing. Hope you had a fab birthday.

  • Thank you so much for trusting your readers with such personal details of your life. You are you and you are AWESOME! :) happiest birthday!

  • First and foremost, happy birthday! How cool is it to feel so comfortable with your readership to share such a private part of your life. May your abundant blessings continue for a long, long time.

    Love and Soul Always, Kay Wooten

  • Grace. You continue to be an inspiration. Not only in the daily content of your blog, but also in the intelligence, sensitivity and thoughtfulness of how you share yourself with your readers. Congratulations and a belated happy birthday!

  • Dear Grace,

    I have been an ardent follower of Design Sponge since its earliest incarnations, but have stopped commenting over the past few years. However, I feel like I have gotten to know you over the years as you grew this space to the beautiful community it is now. You never cease to be inspiring, and I have always applauded the courageous steps you took to be as authentic as possible to your readers. This consideration means so much, and I wanted to thank you for that. Happy birthday — and no, it makes absolutely no difference to me that you are gay — you have never tried to be anyone else but your beautiful self. x

  • Hello Grace! Happy birthday!! I’ve tuned in here for years and continue to love stopping by. Thankyou for your courage, honesty and inspiration x

  • Grace, everything about you is beautiful and inspiring! I’m sure your truth will even further inspire someone today:) Happy birthday!!

  • Grace- Happy & Proud is who you are! Your space is always an inspirational treat! Keep the magic happening & enjoy your special month! You deserve the BEST! Thank you for sharing such a personal and heartfelt post!

  • Happy birthday! That was such a brave and wonderful post. Thank you for being you and sharing that with all of us every day.

  • Happy birthday, Grace. I was crying as I read this and I NEVER cry. Honestly. I know that in life and online everyone always wants good news, great inspirational story, happy, delightful and shiny. When you are on the way there, you are alone, only supported by total strangers. I do not know why it is this way. I know what you are talking about when you give and give, and keep on giving to your readers. Then a small comment of gratefulness keeps you coming back and produce work, and it goes on and on if you are strong. To start from scratch on a personal level adds to the struggle. I am glad you are the winner. I am happy for you.

  • Grace, you are truly an inspiration and i commend you for always being authentic with the community you’ve built here. you’re not afraid to be who you are and that’s something that many of us can learn from. thank you for providing a wonderful source of inspiration as well as being a role model i truly look up to.

  • Happy Birthday…you have given yourself an amazing gift of living a true and genuine life. Good for you! I do wish, that someday, being gay or straight does not “require” coming out, or making announcements, and is viewed no differently than being right or left handed, or blonde or brunette. I guess we’re not there yet. Have a wonderful life.

  • All the way from Jerusalem – thank you. For your honesty and for this little internet home you’ve built for us to escape to, especially in times like you described. This is by far my favorite mood-changer online.

  • So glad you are secure in the knowledge of who you are…not just your sexuality. You are many things and they are each inspiring to the people you meet and to ones like me whom you don’t. You are deeply loved! Happy Birthday

  • So beautiful and exciting! You’re such a strong and inspiring lady, I hope you find a big warehouse with laser lights to dance the night away now that you know that Robyn routine! So happy that you won’t be holding yourself back any longer and living your life authentically, and now with the support from all of us too. So happy for you Grace!

  • Grace, your courage and openness are tremendously inspiring. I’m so happy you’re surrounded by the love and support of your family and friends. Count me among your online pals that also love and appreciate you for all that you are, which is one incredible woman. Happy 32nd year! xoxo

  • Good on you–I waited until I was 40. How wonderful it is to be your true self privately and publicly. Coming out never stops being a process, but it gets easier and easier. Happy birthday!

  • Thank you for your sincerity and honesty. I’m so glad that you seem so happy. I can only imagine things will get even better. I also turned 32 this year and have been going through some major life changes. Here’s to a killer year!!

  • Happy Birthday & Congratulations! What an amazing way to start your 32nd year! I love design*sponge and you are an inspiration.

  • “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” I just had to quote Dr. Seuss as he’s right. Happy birthday Grace! I love your blog xox

  • happy birthday, and happy being out completely. may your strength be a beacon to others.

  • Grace, that was beautiful. <3 Happy Birthday, and thank you for this wonderful, wonderful blog.

  • Happy belated birthday, Grace! I’ve been a D*S reader since 2005 and have absolutely loved following along with the site changes, tastes changes, trend changes, and watching you grow into who you are today. Everything you do has been such an inspiration, and now being able to fully express who you are is no exception. Congratulations, Grace. You make the design world, and the entire world, a better place for being who you are.


  • Thank you, Grace. I want very badly for my kid to live in a world in which no one has to struggle for acceptance and everyone is celebrated. And I think that every time someone finds a way to live openly and honestly, we’re all brought a little closer to that better world.

    So, thanks! Thanks for sharing with us, thanks for making a better future for yourself and the rest of us.

  • Grace you truly are a constant inspiration and are one of the main reasons I started my blog and business. You’re courageous, honest and authentic. These are all the reasons that have made you a success. Don’t ever change girl! xo

  • You are an amazing woman and have been so supportive of our company since the beginning. Happy for you to be living your life as you desire! May your next 32, 64 years be happy and amazing. Love you!

  • As someone who follows and loves this blog, I’m honored that you felt you could share with us. Someday coming out won’t even be a thing, but until then it will be a rite of passage that requires self-awareness, strength and bravery in your bones – and it demands admiration and respect from those of us who will never know how it feels. Happy Birthday, and continue, as ever, to be awesome.

  • Happy, happy birthday!
    I’m so thrilled to see more and more people feel comfortable enough in this changing world (still ain’t perfect, but so much more accepting) to be able to share themselves in the honest way that they want to. It makes no difference to me what anyone is, as long as they are trying to be as true to themselves and others as they can at any given moment.
    Dance on, girl!

  • One of these days, hopefully sooner than later, I hope to never have to read another post like this… because it wont matter. People wont have to explain themselves or justify who they love. There wont be any big declarations because people simply wont have to make them. It will be a given that all people are different and unique and special.

    Happy birthday Grace!

  • After following along forever, this post has prompted me to leave my first-ever D*S comment. Even with a loving, supportive family coming out is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Thanks for being out, thanks for sharing, and happy birthday!

  • You have absolutely shocked me with this one- I had NO IDEA you were 32! Happy Birthday, and oh yeah, that other thing, good for you!

  • Happy birthday and thank you for sharing your life and news. I look back fondly on my ‘outings’ over the years, we are lucky to keep, reliving these moments as more people come into our lives.

  • I almost never comment on things, but your post brought tears to my eyes. Congratulations to you…your site has brought me so much happiness over the years, I’m glad to hear that you’re happy too. Wishing you many more happy and healthy birthdays to come!

  • Happy Birthday and thank you for sharing this post with us!
    You’re right, for a lot of us, knowing that you are gay make no difference in the sense that it’s just one more thing about you, like your preference in teas, but for some, what you have written up there might change the way they see things, either about themselves or others.
    It’s so wonderful that you have such a great group of friends! It’s so important to have a circle of “your own”, people that you can rely on to accept and to love you for who you are. I think it’s an under-appreciated quality – to always know that someone cares about you – that not everyone is fortunate enough to have.

  • This! I’ve been a reader for a few years it seems now. Love D*S! Such a thoughtful and lovely blog, which must only be a reflection of the host. Grace, you’ve fostered an amazing community! Much success, love and happiness to you.

  • Grace, love your design sense, but love your honesty, integrity and the way you present your very genuine self here even more. Good for you, and many happy returns!

  • To have friends and to love is the best feeling in the world :-) May everyone celebrate love then the world will be a better place :-) To top that you are successful, independent and honest. I am a mother of two and I hope that when my children are adults they will be successful, independent, loved and in love. Couldn’t be happier.

  • Happy Birthday to you. You’ll never know me personally I’m afraid, but you are a part of my daily life. Each morning I settle down with my Hot coffee and read your site along with CNN, Facebook and Pinterest. You’re that wonderful! I’ve discovered so many beautiful things because of you (currently absorbed in Flower Arranging 101 class online due to one of your posts awhile back) Keep up the great posts. Enjoy life always!

  • Grace,

    Congratulations! You are an inspiration, it’s been a joy to listen to the podcast, read D*S, and see updates on instagram this past year and see the journey that the D*S team has been taking. You have created such a thoughtful and inspirational space for so many of us and it’s so exciting that you feel comfortable to share your news with us.

    Happy Birthday and may many years of happiness and joy follow!

  • What a great way to spend your birthday! I need to figure out how to do this with my friends sometime soon. And also, kudos for your bravery and honesty! Wishing you an awesome 32nd year! xx

  • <3 I have always loved you for who you are. Grace Bonney. I'm proud to be your friend and proud to say this brought tears to my eyes, tears of happiness, for you.

  • Happy Birthday Grace!
    A very brave post and I’m so happy to hear that you are feeling loved and supported by your friends and family. You’re an amazing person!

  • As always, a beautiful and honest post. I’ve been reading DesignSponge for years now and it’s so nice to think that you feel comfortable enough to share something so personal with your audience. Good for you! And Happy 32nd Birthday! I celebrate mine tomorrow – nice to know I almost shared my 32nd birthday with such an amazingly inspiring woman.

  • Grace,
    I love your Design Sponge website, I look forward to opening it, when I see it in my InBox. We are all proud of you for your wonderful style and the person that you are. Thank you for sharing with us! eileen

  • Grace,
    I love your Design Sponge website, I look forward to opening it, when I see it in my InBox. We are all proud of you for your wonderful style and the person that you are. Thank you for sharing with us! eileen

  • This was so moving and lovely to start the day with. A very happy 32 to you. You are one awesome lady!

  • You are so inspirational. Congrats on all that you’ve accomplished; you deserve every single wonderful thing that comes your way. Happy Birthday!

  • Happy birthday! De-lurking just to send you lots of love & happy thoughts. Congrats on your brave announcement. <3

  • Grace, as a queer woman who reads D*S pretty religiously, I’m SO glad to see “someone like me” represented in the authorship. And I know how incredibly difficult it is to come out to yourself, to your family & friends, and to the world every single day. It takes a huge amount of courage to be honest with yourself and others. Congratulations – you truly are a brave woman and someone to look up to. I hope other queer young women reading the site will look up to you – not because of your age, but because of your bravery. :)

  • Thanks so much for writing this, it makes me happy and I’m sure it’ll help to inspire others to be honest and comfortable with themselves. I’ve been a loyal reader for so many years, I really feel proud of you for sharing, and honored to be included (along with all your readers) in an important piece of your life. And Happy Birthday! :)

  • you’re a sweetheart, grace. it’s amazing that with the tremendous success of design*sponge, you still manage to be so genuine and open with your readers. you’ve been a huge influence on a lot of us and we’re still here all of these years later because we believe in you and what you represent.

    on a side note, it was a joy to meet you and hope on saturday. you were truly gracious in person.

    all the best to you. you’re living the dream.

  • This has sort of made me all teared up-be assured I think the world of you , and I think I am honoured to feel you think we as readers deserve to know all about you.
    You are much loved and respected and I am proud you took this step.
    Lots of love from a grey and overcast UK.
    Happy , Happy Birthday.

  • Tears in my eyes thinking of the struggles you must have had over the last few years. So happy for you that you feel ready to take this step, lots of love to you!

  • Ah. You’re wonderful. So glad you did this. I saw you speak at CM Summit and you seemed like the happiest, most radiant person on stage. :) it was wonderful to see. And thanks for sharing. I have no doubt that this will only lead to good things and good connections between you and your adoring community. Love, Mara. p.s. it would be amazing to hear more of your story if you ever felt inclined.

  • Happy happy birthday, sweet girl ! Wishing you the very best of what this Life has to offer.

    Reading your blog every day helps me through some horrendous times that I am currently experiencing – thank you

  • Happy Birthday Grace!
    I intend to forward this link to a young friend of mine who came out in junior high. I love to give her examples of successful strong women who happen to be lesbian. Much like an earlier poster, I hope one day that gay folks won’t have to declare themselves—they can just be who they are from the get-go; like heteros who never had to declare anything ;-) But until that day I will celebrate each and every person who has the courage to step forward. You have my admiration.

  • You are such an inspiration to SO many people… gay or straight, designers, blog enthusiasts, black or white. Keep doing what you do! Congrats on all your successes!

  • Kudos, Grace for expressing yourself so eloquently. Side note…my cousin (a fellow alum of William & Mary) would be perfect for you :)

  • Dear Grace – like many on this thread, I have been a longtime reader, yet rarely comment, and I wanted to wish you a wonderful (continued!) birthday celebration. I teach and mentor college-age students coming out, and I know our journeys are all so different, but I’m so glad you finally felt comfortable sharing this piece of your life with D*S I hope 32 is full of love, design, and more Robyn!

  • Grace,
    I feel honored you would share and namaste to you! We all have our divine spark and so glad you carry yours so proudly. All the best to you.

  • happy birthday Grace! I am so happy you are able to be your true self! Love, one design loving gay southern woman to another.

  • i mostly come on here to ogle pretty things, but for a long time, that was in part because i didn’t see myself reflected in blogs like yours. the home/family blog scene seems to be dominated by straight, white, married-with-children types, and i’m kind of over here thinking, “wow, that’s so beautiful, i hope my family looks like that someday- oh, wait. it’s not legal for me to get married in my state. bummer.”

    i hope you don’t take this the wrong way – i would read your blog regardless, because it’s gorgeous and lovely and gorgeous and lovely things sometimes can soothe the sting of the harsh reality we live in – but knowing that at least one more person understands me as a gay woman? well, grace, that means more than i can say.

    you certainly have something to be proud of, friend, and though i may be cheering quietly, i will still be cheering for you. let your pride flag fly, girl!

  • There is nothing more important in this lifetime but to be loved and love who you want. Sending lots of love, support and happy birthday wishes your way!

  • At 32, I was trapped in a marriage that should never have been because I was afraid to be who I was. Today, at 50 (in two months), I am happily married to my second husband, but I didn’t start to find out who I was until I was 4o. Bravo to you for doing the hard work now. I may not always share the print love, but I will continue to be inspired by your courage. Happy birthday, happiness always.

  • You are a wonderful writer, Grace, rooted in your own truth.
    My wishes for a potpourri of pleasures as your birthday celebration continues!

  • welcome! to the world of being whole, brave, and true to yourself, whatever monikers that carries. happy birthday!

  • Being queer is normal and fine, but your (ex?) husband must be hurting a lot to lose that vision of the future the two of you made together. I hope you have been kind to each other.

  • Thank you so much for being a beacon of strength and a great leader. I admire you so much for your courage and honesty. It is inspiring, and helps me feel the need to push myself further to let myself be you I really am as well. Thank you again. -Audrey

  • Thanks for this, Grace – your words are eloquent and inspiring as always. Design*sponge has meant so much to me over the years.

  • How lovely it is to see people come into their own. Life is just beginning for you…all of 32 years! Happy Birthday.

  • Happy Birthday! Wow, thank you for being so open and honest. You are truly an inspiration both as a person and as a business woman. Of course it doesn’t make a difference to this blog because this blog is an amazing inspiration (as are you) to us all. <3

  • Reading this has made my morning. I love, love, love the honesty, gratitude, and love you express and that you share with us on a daily (even hourly) basis. Thank you for inspiring all of us to continue to strive to be our best (and most truthful) selves. Blessings!

  • Grace, you were well named. May all your birthdays be so lovely. Congratulations on being true to yourself, and thanks you for sharing your thoughts on life, as well as design, with us.

  • Happy birthday! I’m always inspired by this blog, in design-y and craft-y ways, and now you’ve found yet another way to inspire everyone here. Stay strong and true to who you are and you will continue to inspire (you’d think as a lit person I’d be able to find another word, but I’m too choked up to care) those around you.

  • It is indeed generous of you to continually share yourself with the big internet world. Thanks for being a strong and confident role model – and for creating such a fun and awesome website!

    Whatever boxes you check or traits you have, 100% of you is talented. All the best from your loyal readers :-)

  • Grace, heart-felt congratulations on all that you have achieved, and on your strength at fully accepting yourself just as you are. Coming out, especially later in life, can be such a minefield of emotion, and you’ve obviously handled it brilliantly. Sending you tons of support and looking forward to continuing to read Design*Sponge for years to come :)

  • Wow!!! Congratulations Grace! I can’t wait to see how much better Design*Sponge gets (if that’s even possible) now that you can finally be your true self 100% of the time ;)

  • Oh Grace, you’ve made me cry too.

    Please know that I am so grateful that you are able to be honest and open about who you are. I am certain that you have many gay or bisexual readers who are frightened and who have not yet said these things out loud. I hope that your post lights their path to accepting and loving themselves, and beginning to allow others to love them for who they really are.

    With many congratulations from a long-time (gay) reader x

  • D*S is one of my favorite blogs. I’ve always considered you to have my dream job. I admire you so much for creating a career and community around the things you are passionate about. Now the pedestal I have you on just got higher because of your courage. You’re an inspiration! Best wishes!

  • I have never commented either, but thrilled to hear you feel comfortable sharing your entire self Grace. As a young gay woman myself, I know how powerful it is when you can finally say who you are with pride. Congrats! And thanks for a wonderful blog.

  • I’ve got to hop on the train here to add my support. It’s a brave thing to do. I think every time a person commits to being open about their sexuality it brings us closer to a time when “that fact may make no difference to [99.9%] of you reading. Soon I hope.

    Happiest, happy birthday to you.

  • Grace, happy birthday and lots of love to you – this site is one that I’ve been coming to the longest out of all my daily reads, and it’s so heartening to read that you’re happy enough in your own skin to share such a part of yourself with us. <3

  • My twin brother came out at the age of 27 and I was devastated that he had kept such a painful secret inside himself all these years. Reading your story reminds me of that suffering (his and mine) and I’m so happy for you that you are able to share your true self with your loved ones and the readers of this blog. I guarantee that it will only make us love you more xxx

  • What a wonderful and heartfelt post; thanks for sharing. Hope you had the happiest of birthdays, and wishing you all the best in the coming year!

  • Happy Birthday Grace! Love this post and so glad you’ve shared this part of yourself with us! Feeling seen, heard and accepted is everything.

  • Grace,

    Happy Birthday and congratulations on finding yourself. I have been reading your blog for a long time, and that certainly won’t change!

  • I’m so impressed by so many things you’ve said and done over the years, Grace. I hope it’s okay that my favorite part is how beautifully you communicate in everything you do. We are all very lucky that you are in the world and in our lives.

  • Following you through the blog and various social circles, you struck me as someone who does everything 100%. I am so happy that you are applying that mentality to all facets of your life. Be 100% true and reap the rewards because you deserve them …..

  • Happy Birthday to such a strong and inspirational woman! In case you couldn’t tell by all of the comments, your readers think the world of you. Grace, you are incredible. Wishing you so much happiness ♥

  • Happy Birthday Grace! I have always loved your site. Now I feel like I know you and it makes me love your site even more.

  • Happy birthday, Grace! As always, you found a beautiful way to share your story with us. That’s what keeps me coming back to D*S–how open and honest you and the team are about your passions, lives, and bringing us in as readers into the discussion. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself over the years. Wishing you so much love and happiness!

  • Congrats Grace! I know I haven’t always agreed with everything on the blog but I have always thought you were an inspiration and I have enjoyed being a part of DS. I believe everyone should be able to be themselves without discrimination or made to feel less than human and I’m glad you’ve accepted yourself for the great person you always were. I hope that at somepoint in the near future the USA will join us in Canada in accepting gay marriage and gay rights so that you and your current partner or future partners can live in a community who doesn’t separate people into categories of gay, straight, black or white etc. Congrats again!

  • Doesn’t make any difference in how great this blog and you are, but I’m sure it makes a big difference for many people. You’re awesome just the way you are. Happy birthday!

  • Happy Birthday, Grace! It was my also birthday yesterday, but I am thirty years older than you are. what a positive and joyful personal note you shared today – and, as previous writers have also said, some day it will no longer be necessary to do so… and each time someone comes forward and stands up for who they are, we get one step closer to that day. so thank you and bless you. I wish you all the best!!!

  • Happy birthday Grace! You’ve created such a wonderful home with Design*Sponge, one I enjoy visiting often. If there is just one place to be 100% yourself, it’s here at home. Thank you for all you do and inviting all your readers into your beautiful and inspiring home!

    So… you all learned a dance and we don’t get a video!? ;)

  • Happy birthday! I love your site and love you as much as a mostly anonymous reader and commenter can!

  • grace-and gracious..loved reading that post this morning. so important to be who you are and when you know all of the support is there for you, even better! no doubt it hasn’t been easy especially when you structured a certain life-but understanding who you are is the key to contentment in life-something sadly most people do not or cannot aspire to.
    happy birthday and looking forward to all that’s ahead for you!

  • Your as always an amazing, inspiring strong woman! Thank you for sharing with all of us <3

  • one reason I love your site so much is because it feels 100% AUTHENTIC and this post is just a reflection of that fact. congratulations and happy birthday!!!

  • “That fact may make no difference to some of you reading, but being able to be 100% myself here means the world to me.” You’re right — makes absolutely no difference to me, but I’m so happy you feel you can be 100% you. Happy Birthday, Grace, and thanks for inspiring so many of us.

  • Grace, thanks for sharing, you are so courageous. Happy birthday!! and hope the upcoming year is the best one yet. :)

  • Grace, I love and admire you (as much as a we’ve-never-actually-met person can) as much today as I did when I discovered your site five years ago. Thank you for being you, and for sharing all of yourself. Today, and always. Happy, happy, HAPPY belated birthday!

  • Happy Birthday. I know that as Southerners, our coming out takes a little more self-work than it does for our friends raised in more inclusive cultures, so good work! Here’s to being our full, good, radical selves! And, here’s to all of us, of every background and identity, being positive role models of self-acceptance, self-love and self-pride!

  • As a long LONG time reader of the blog (blogspot dots, hee hee!) I’m so glad you feel like you can be 100% yourself here now. I’m not sure if you’ve thought of it this way or not, but by coming out, you are acting as even MORE of an inspiration to people..gay or not. As a person who’s also in the public eye online I too struggle with the whole “what to share, what not to share” thing, and every time a person I look up to shows their vulnerability, their heart and their soul, it makes me feel like it IS possible to balance the public and private online, even though it can be terrifying. Everything difficult makes us stronger, and everything worth having is difficult, right? You did it Grace, be proud! xxoo

  • Happy Birthday, Grace! I have enjoyed getting to know you from afar through your blog, and it is so wonderful to see you grow more comfortable sharing with this community you have created. Warm wishes for a fabulous birthday and beyond!

  • congratulations to you – and a sincere, heartfelt thanks for being an inspiration in so many ways!

  • Love you and Design Sponge a whole heap. I hope today is a big sigh of relief and that you are carried up on the wave of love your readers have for you. Kat x

  • I’m glad you can now feel comfortable to be who you are freely. It means we as a society must be making progress. I think you’re fantastic! Happy Birthday,

  • Wow, what an honest and courageous post Grace. It’s your birthday yet you are the one giving. You’ve shown us what it truly means to be empowered and self-actualized. All the best to you!

  • CONGRATULATIONS on your birthday & even bigger congratulations on such an amazing, gracious and truly heart-warming post. It doesn’t make any difference to me, as you say, but I’m so happy for you to feel free.

    I hope this comment and all of the comments above give you an extra happy boost too!

    very best wishes,
    Louisa x

  • Happy Birthday and happy, happy to you…

    for being true and authentic, and happy to you
    as you continue to find genuine love and real beauty in this life…

    and for sharing beauty and light with all those you touch…

  • Grace – you are the first blog I ever read and the standard to which I hope to someday achieve myself. You are the one who told me about “I Am Me” from Willow Smith and it is a favorite of mine and my two young daughters. It is so beautiful to see you share yourself this way and with such “grace”. Thank you for being a role model. Happy birthday and I wish you much love in your life. Clearly from the comments you have already found it here.

  • Happy Birthday Grace! Thanks for sharing something so personal, you deserve all the love and happiness you give to us readers every day!

  • Happiest of birthdays to you Grace. Living a whole- hearted conscious life can be the hardest thing, but best gift you can give yourself. The work you do is phenomenal and a daily requirement for my day!

  • The strength is takes to share oneself with the world is something to be admired. I have admired you and your work for so long and now, even more so. Bravo Grace, for being you! Have a truly wonderful birthday!

  • So beautiful, Grace. As hundreds of us have said–you inspire us with your generosity, your eloquence, and your courage. Happy, happy day. xoxo

  • I rarely comment but this time I feel like I have to let you know how much I admire you for this. You are always so inspiring. Happy birthday, Grace, Design Sponge is wonderful and so are you.

  • Happy birthday!! And thank you for braving to be personal and staying true to yourself. Many of the comments have said it, but you ARE an inspiration. So a huge thank you for that. love

  • Probably already said better but I admire and appreciate your honesty, it takes courage and strength to be true to yourself. Happy belated Birthday too!

  • Happy Birthday! What a beautiful message and I admire you for sharing your true self. It’s hard to do in this world and I applaud you! BRAVA! Your true self only adds to this site that many of us turn to for a feeling of “home” throughout the day.

  • Happy birthday, Grace! This was a wonderful post and I’m so excited that you shared this with us! Thanks for everything that you do here. You’re an inspiration :)

  • grace, thank you so much for sharing. i’ve loved this blog for as long as i can remember, and i might love it even more now. xoxox

  • Happy birthday Grace! You’ve created a community with this website that brightens the days of all of us – not many have achieved so much by 32! Have a great day, xx from Budapest!

  • Grace, I’m not sure if you remember me, but I did your make-up in Savannah once a few years back. I just want to say how much I’ve enjoyed reading your blog since you told me about it that day and what a wonderful, genuine person I think you are. I am so happy for you. It was a pleasure meeting you in Savannah. I hope our paths cross again. :) And happy birthday!

  • I love your site and look foward to my daily design dose. Hope you gad a great day. And as for the rest… well, go Grace! Your courage and honesty is inspiring

  • I’m so happy for you that you could reach a place in your life where you could accept and love yourself and share it with others. You are beautiful and your site is amazing. Best wishes to you always!

  • Happy happy birthday! I am so thankful for all of the design and personal inspiration that I have received from you and this site. I appreciate your candor in sharing your personal journey on the site. I am inspired.

  • Best wishes for your birthday! You are a lovely person and I find your posts to be like sunshine on a cloudy day…. thank you for sharing with all of these people you have never met (including me).

  • Happy birthday Grace! Not much I can add to all these wonderful comments except to second the sentiments expressed here and wish you all the best. And by the way, thanks for nurturing a love of design in me that has grown and grown over the years that I’ve been reading your blog.

  • I ♥ this! I never thought I could love your blog more than I already did! What an inspiring read :)

  • I know you’re going to get inundated with comments on this post, Grace, but had to just tell you how proud I am of you and to wish you a belated “Happy Birthday!” What a wonderful gift to give yourself.

    I never read or hear about someone’s ‘coming out’ story that I don’t deeply recall those feelings: the shortness of breath, the heavy heart, the fear, the racing heart, etc. What I also recall are the feelings of enormous relief and heart swells as the rush of people accepting and loving you as you are comes ashore. You are inspiring. You are loved. Congratulations and well done.

    BIG HUGS! ~ UB

  • Thank you so much for sharing another part your authentic self with us. You are such a badass woman – building an amazing site, book, and community that I and so many others really admire and learn a lot from. It’s also so wonderful to read the comments of everyone here and to see some awesome personal and communal values like kindness, respect, enthusiastic support, feminism, and equality on full display.

  • Of course it doesn’t make a difference–except that now you can feel completely at home in this beautiful space you’ve created. And that’s no small thing! Much love!

  • The truth can be so scary!! Good job on being YOU! I love your blog, it’s the first one I ever read…and still read and will continue to do so. Happy Birthday! Here’s to your new adventure through life being true to who you are. I look forward to what you have in store for us!

  • Looking forward to the day when it isn’t so hard to celebrate love. Happy day, happy love and happy life to you always.

  • Wow, what a surprise. Congratulations, Grace!

    Best wishes on your birthday and a future life living who you want to be. I, for one, will continue to follow you & Design Sponge all the way.

  • You’re perfect at being exactly yourself. I am a happy reader of Design*Sponge and who you choose to love makes no difference, as long as you always love yourself. Thanks for opening up – I always feel more connected to a blog when their is some personal commentary now and then. xoxox

  • dear grace, just wanted to let you know that you are the same smart, fun and talented person who has been a great source of online inspiration for me and will always be. have faith and keep going! (and a belated happy birthday to you!)

  • First, Happy Birthday to you, Grace, and second, congrats on this milestone in your life. Few of us ever get to come out in such a big way! Thanks for sharing!

  • I’ve been following your blog since you were on blogger and I think this post is just outstandingly brave and wonderful! Stay true to yourself, and all that is meant to be will be! Happy birthday indeed. Greatest year yet perhaps? All the best to you :)

  • Happy Birthday! Mine was last week as well, you have accomplished so much! You are a huge inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing and for everything you do!

  • A Birthday, brutal honesty, and Beyonce….the only thing that could have made this post any better is legwarmers. Keep up the awesome!

    This is weird to say, but I am proud of you. Not that I had anything to do with anything, but as a reader, and considering this is Pride month, I’ll say it, I feel PROUD. You go!

  • you go girl! thanks for being so open and honest.. this planet needs more of that!
    hugs to you!

  • Congratulations on your bravery and your honesty. We only have one life to live – wishing you all the luck and love to lead yours.

  • Grace, I love what you do and nothing about who you are could ever change that. Thanks for being so open and honest with all of us. Happy Birthday!!!

  • I’ve loved Design*Sponge for a while, and I knew we had loving adorable patterns in common, but did not know we had being gay in common as well. :-)

    Well done, and congrats! It might be a little scary now, but I know it will eventually be a great weight off your shoulders.

  • Grace, I have followed your blog and career for many years now — you were an inspiration to me as I was finishing my graduate degree at SCAD and entering the design industry as a junior designer, and you continue to inspire me to grow and evolve in my creative career. You’ve shared a bit of yourself today in the same way you have your content and design inspiration over the years — with Grace. I’d expect nothing less.

    Happiest birthday, and congratulations to you on this latest step on your journey!

  • Happiest of birthdays to you – I don’t know you but wanted to say I’m proud of you! Courage is a beautiful thing… and the support of wonderful friends is as well.

  • Grace, Design*Sponge is a daily treat for me. Ever since I have started reading and listening to your radio show you have become such a great role model for me as well. Thank you for being such a sincere person and working to bringing beauty to this world! Happy belated birthday and all the best!

  • You are just the best, Grace! I’m one of the folks you’ve never met, but, like the others you are that daily bright beam of light and goodness that radiates from my inbox. Love you bunches…no if’s, and’s or but’s.

  • Grace, You are brave and beautiful and inspiring. Also, you are loved by this amazing community that you’ve created. Kudos & happy birthday!

  • Grace, so brave, you give so much to your readers, wishing you much happiness and love in the years to come from both your readers and real live people!

  • Thanks for sharing your courage to be vulnerable and real with us, Grace. Authenticity rules!

  • Yay yay yay!! Happy birthday and cheers to you, Grace. So inspired by your courage and strength. My heart is overjoyed that you were able to allow yourself to feel all of the love and care that your family and community has for you. :) All the very, very best to you! xx

  • Thank you for sharing this part of who you are. It took strength, courage, and a lot of faith in your readers to do this; I’m impressed. Happy birthday:)

  • Grace, I felt you in this text. I really could hear your voice talking to me. I don’t know if it’s yours, but was an echo of the incredible love you wrote down on these words. I just couldn’t take my eyes of the reading, the same way I could not stop listen – if you were talking to me in person. It is really an inspiration. And I’m very happy to be part of it, you know? Because, from the moment you decide to show a little of you to us, WE become part of you and you a part of US. Thanks!

  • Being completely yourself is easy for very few people. But announcing that you have struggled to be fully open, and then announcing that you are open, is a brave act and an act that can only encourage and inspire others to join you in living an honest and open, and therefore hopefully a more loving, more fulfilling, and happier life. Thank you for sharing yourself with us. You’ve been an inspiration for year, and now even more so.

  • Congratulations on coming out publicly, Grace! As a queer reader of your blog, I appreciate your willingness to open up and make yourself visible. It takes a lot of courage and bravery to do what you did.

  • Thanks for showing the world in such a beautiful way that one’s sexuality does not define them or their style. And happy birthday!

  • Sometimes the best birthday presents are the ones that we not receive, but instead give to ourselves and others. Go forth to live and love your life as only you can! Happy, snappy birthday!

  • Happy Birthday and Congratulations to you, Grace. Thanks for sharing that you are being all that you you can be ! Hope your day and life is FULL of the happiness and joy that you
    extend to your readers.
    YOU GO GRACE!!!!!

  • Hola Grace,
    I am proud of you for having the courage to say who you are in here, well done!!. Love is love regardless who you decide to be with, it is noone business who your partner is or who you decide to share your life with. I can see why it is so important for you to make a note about it here, and just to say that it doesn’t make any difference to the Grace I have been hearing and reading for years. Enjoy your Birthday and continue to be an inspiration. Saludos from Spain where I am on Holidays! marga

  • Grace,
    Thank you for the courage to share your story. You are truly inspiring, and embody both style and substance. Heres to many more happy meaningful birthdays!

  • Such wonderful news! We are often under tremendous pressure (from ourselves and others) to keep this part of our lives private. However, once you open up, you find out who your real friends and family are, and it becomes a (mostly) wonderful experience. Congrats to you and best wishes on this journey. And happy birthday!

    Amy, fellow design-loving lesbian

  • Grace, I wish you the very best. I hope the wonderful messages of love and support I see in this comments section will be a comfort to you that who you are is welcomed and accepted here and in the greater world.

  • You go girl! I, for one, am happy to know you on a more personal level and wish you all the best. Happy Birthday too!

  • Whether your gay or straight, being honest and open about your true self is one of the hardest things to do. I admire you and respect you tremendously for who you are and what you’ve accomplished. Even though we’ve never met, I’ve always felt you are an extremely kind and compassionate woman. Who could want more from a friend or family member? XO to you and DS.

  • so glad you finally shared this with us! it was the right call. you can’t build a puzzle without all the pieces – please don’t hesistate to show us all the puzzle pieces that make you “you” in the future. happy birthday and best wishes for a bright new year!

  • I turned 30 this year and have just begun the coming-out process. Reading about this post on Autostraddle, one of my other favorite websites besides this one, was touching and inspiring. Thank you for opening up to your readers!

  • Oh, thank God you are gay!!! As a lesbian myself, I have bemoaned a lack of lesbians involved with interior design and I am beyond excited to learn that my favorite design blogger is in fact a lesbian! How cool is that!? I am so happy for you that I have hugged you about 100 times in spirit. Thank you so much for sharing this aspect of your personal life with us. I didn’t think it was possible but with this information, I love Design Sponge even more! Happy Pride Month, Grace!

  • Grace,

    I am so jealous of you right now. That sounds like the *perfect* birthday present!

    We all love you and the site. I couldn’t be happier for you nor happier for DesignSponge.


  • I was just thinking the other day how blatantly heteronormative the blogging community can be… it is all weddings, gifts for your man, date night outfits (for your man), blah blah blah. Not that I don’t like those things but glad to see someone with a ton of clout being open and hopefully making this a more inclusive community!

  • I don’t often comment on blogs even the ones I love the most (DS being one of my faves, and homepage). However, I’ve been listing to your podcasts lately and you’ve said a couple of times that you thrive on hearing feedback in the form of comments. For what it’s worth, this makes me proud and happy for you. As someone I’ve never met and probably never will, I value what you’ve said here and hope that it brings you more and more peace and courage in your life! Congratulations and Happy Birthday!

  • You should be very proud of yourself. Everyone reading this is proud of, and happy for, you. Congratulations and happy birthday!

  • Happy Birthday, Grace! It is wonderful that you are sharing your whole self with the readers, fans and lovers of DS. I like you and accept you for you just as much as I did 1 minute ago. No more, no less. And that was A LOT!

  • This made me so sad to think of all the painful times you must have gone through. You seem like such a warm, genuine person and I hope from now on things will continue to brighten for you, Grace. Thank you so much for creating this wonderful blog! I look forward to looking at it every morning.

  • 100% support from this longtime reader and infrequent commenter. So glad you are being yourself here too – THAT is truly inspiring.

  • Happy Birthday! What an amazing post! Your blog is awesome and from what I have gleamed via your blog you seem awesome as well!

  • What a kick ass birthday party. I love this idea. Awesome friends!

    I’m sorry that there has been pain in your journey (but as humans, what other way is there?) but am so happy to hear when anyone can be supported through exposing who they truly are. I love your site and am happy that you are going to keep on keeping on (I was afraid with Friday’s hint that you might be leaving D*S). Whew!

  • Grace,
    Your name really fits! Thanks for blogging so fabulously & faithfully about design. Thanks for sharing a bit of your life. I wish you much, much happiness!

  • Grace, every adjective that describes you is simply one facet of the many-sided gem of your unique self. Congrats to you for the confidence to be fully yourself in a public way. And a very happy birthday to you from a several-decades-older fan. :) There will always be haters; love, and open minds and hearts, are what matter in one’s daily experience, and they abound.

  • I’m at work, tearing up. That was beautifully written and I’m so happy for you. Happy birthday!

  • Beautiful. Congratulations on 32 years of everyone else knowing how wonderful you are. Here’s to many, many more of YOU knowing how wonderful you are.

  • it is always positive when someone comes to terms with who they are and what they want to be. more importantly, could we have a little bit more diversity and color mixed in with the black and white all over homes? p.s. happy b day.

  • Woot woot! Happy Birthday and happy coming out! (and as it’s June, I would encourage you to go to a Pride event if you’ve never been, just seeing the mass of gay humanity in one place at one time is pretty awesome)

  • I love this post–it’s not easy to be open and allow yourself to be vulnerable, and that makes your honesty even more special. Thank you for sharing your life with your loyal, loving readers! xoxo

  • What a beautiful, lovely, post Grace. I have always admired and loved what you have done on design*sponge— and as a fellow blogger I’ve been so inspired as I’ve watched your blog grow into the majestic thing it is today. But I have to say my admiration for you has just increased ten fold. I know you are always very private and keep this space all about the design, but the woman behind the site is someone we all love and admire and seeing the grace with which you handled this special news has been wonderful. While the road may have been a little tricky, you look SO HAPPY in all the photos I see of you lately (Lisa & Clay’s wedding in particular, you looked beautiful and just so filled with joy!). HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRACE! I can’t wait to see where this journey takes you next. xoxo

  • Grace,

    Happy Birthday! Reading your blog is always a highlight of my day, and knowing that you can now feel more comfortable in the beautiful space that you’ve created for so many people to enjoy makes me incredibly happy.

    After watching my best friend go through a terribly difficult divorce, supporting her coming out, and then attending her lovely, queer, perfect wedding last August, I am happy to say I’ve never seen her more content than she is today.

    I wish you all the joy in the world this year, and every year to come!

  • You, your friends & writers, and your website have always provided endless inspiration for me, and your openness with your readers just reinforces that emotion! Happy Birthday, Grace, and congratulations!

  • next time i have one of those days when i feel like i’m losing faith in humanity i’m going to come back here and read all these amazing comments. SO MUCH LOVE! xo you grace!

  • Happy Birthday! A dance routine party sounds like an amazing time. A great way to celebrate another year of life!

  • Happy birthday and congrats on embracing ALL of you! So many people spend their lives disconnected from various aspects of their being, which I find so sad. How lucky you are to have the support system that you do, and what a gift you’ve given yourself to be true to you.

  • I rarely comment but your post (and the resounding love in the comments) is just wonderful.

    Thank you for all your inspiration. x

  • Happy Birthday Grace!! I always find it a little sad that people have to make a declaration about their sexuality, because it shouldn’t matter to anyone else but you. We are all people, deserving to be loved, no matter what. And so, I don’t care if you are purple and have a thing for dinosaurs, I think you are pretty fabulous being exactly who you are :)

  • I finally made it to the end of the comments (wait, are there more below!?) and reading all of them make me even more proud than I already am of you, Grace. Talk about a community full of support, admiration, and love! I’ve watched you bloom into an amazing, strong, and confident woman these past two years that we’ve been friends, and I am so happy to be here to witness your open honesty…and the love and support that follows it. It truly brings me a lot of joy. Love you Grace!

  • Happy Birthday, Grace!! Wishing you much love, health & happiness this year & always!
    You are truly an inspiration and I couldn’t be more excited to hear you speak at Alt!! Thanks for sharing all that you do.

  • I am in tears reading this beautiful post, thank you for being so honest and letting me as a reader know you for all of you! Being real and authentic is infections. I feel now I know you better, feel more connected to you. You are not just this perfectly awesome design blogger, you are a human being like all of us. I thank you for this moment of beauty and I accept and love you with open arms, love is love no matter man or woman you choose.

  • I’ve been reading D*S* for years and this post makes me happy. Thank you for being yourself. Lots of love from Paris!! ^^

  • I have so much admiration for you, Grace. What a courageous way to celebrate another year of your life… I think it’s going to be a great one, and i’m looking forward to seeing how both you and the site grow over the coming years!

  • Hurray for you, incredible girl. The only thing this changes is that now we all know not only how talented and fun and smart you are, but how brave and true. You are 100% extraordinary. I hope coming out here changes your life for the better in ways you never imagined. We are, as ever, your loyal community.

  • Well done you, being brave enough to be honest – it’s not always an easy option. But now you’ve taken the leap & look at the response! Be proud.

  • You’re awesome, Grace. Thank you for sharing something very personal – what I love about this site is that it has always felt that way. I hope you can look forward with only happiness and love around you. I am also super jealous of your birthday present; your friends are amazing. Happy birthday and thank you, Grace!

  • Grace, I’m so happy that you were able to write this post. Hope the next year will be as awesome as your birthday party!! Xx

  • You are amazing! Wishing you many more happy birthdays (and more joyful moments to dance)!

  • Happy B-day. Happy life. You have a lovely blog that I so look forward to reading/seeing. Makes no dif to me (or to anyone I know) who you love. Just be happy and know the work you do is appreciated.

  • WOO HOO!!!!! Grace! You are amazing. Thanks always for sharing your passions, your inspiration, and your person.

  • Happy birthday, Grace! It makes no difference to me what any person’s sexual orientation, race, religion, etc. is, but I know it took a lot of courage and strength to be that open. My daughter came out a year ago (when she was 17), and I know she was really scared at the time. And we are super liberal parents! If you’re like my daughter, then I know you have just lifted an enormous weight from your shoulders. Hugs to you! And thanks for sharing something so deeply personal.

  • This makes me CRAZYHAPPY. I’ve always been appreciative of the way design*sponge evolves organically as if it were a person; a friend. To know that you’ve liberated yourself to fully connect with it (and us) with no reservations is beyond exciting. This is the model for small businesses and the future of our economy. Businesses operating as family communities, with trust, honesty, and humanity. Off to a great pride-month!

  • Happy birthday, Grace! You should know that you are helping so many people today, just by the example of your honesty. Someone out there is feeling less alone with the knowledge of your journey. Thank you for giving us the gift of you!

  • I am so very proud to be your aunt, Grace. You are truly an amazing young woman! Your words were from the heart and will serve as an inspiration to all who read them.

  • As someone who has joined the blogging party very late. March 2013 to be exact I can honestly say that Design Sponge is without a doubt my favourite. The diversity and range of topics and items it covers is second to none. Diversity should be celebrated in all parts of our lives and your birthday post reflects this most eloquently.

    Happy birthday it looks like you had a great celebration. X

  • Grace, YOU ARE AMAZING. Thank you for sharing this piece of yourself online with your fans…. so brave and poised, AS USUAL. “Grace” is frankly the perfect name for you. You’re such a fabulous role model… so many of us look up to you and it means a lot that you feel comfortable sharing this part of yourself. Love who you love! And be loved by those who love you! BRAVA! And a very happy birthday to you!

  • Nothing but love! Warms my heart. I deeply hope this inspires others. Not just to encourage them to come out but also for everyone to be comfortable in their own skin. It’s admirable and invigorating.

  • Keep on rocking, girlfriend! If 32 is as beautiful and confident as you make it look, I’m counting down the days. Happy Birthday!!

  • Definitely haven’t lost a fan/reader in me! I got chills reading your post & then I got warm fuzzies. Congrats for putting yourself out there. This is awesome :)

  • I’m always struck by how intimate the internet can be, despite the reality that most of us are avatars-of-sorts to each other — only known by what we choose to show. From this perspective, I’d have to say your parents picked the perfect name for you. Congratulations, happy birthday!

  • Grace, I admire you so much! I’ve loved DS for ages, of course. And thanks so much for sharing this part of your personal life. It means so much to me. I am approaching 33 myself and am in an (often pretty darn painful) period of questioning my sexuality. Wherever my path leads me, I can only hope I have a fraction of your courage, honesty, awesomeness, and grace!! Thank you!

  • So wonderful Grace! I love reading Design Sponge and it’s so nice to hear how special it is to you, and how important it is for you to connect with your community. Lovely indeed, thank you. I hope you’ll be sharing some of those dance moves!!!! ;)

  • Grace, thank you so much for your bravery and sincerity in writing this post! I have been a reader of this site for a long time, and am always inspired. A few years ago I also struggled with coming out, and it was around the same time that I started my blog. I don’t often blog about personal matters, and this may sound crazy, but it’s amazing to learn that there are other gay bloggers out there! I often feel that I should hide that part of myself, but the positive responses to this post are just amazing :) I hope you have your best year yet!

  • Happy Birthday, as a faithful reader since 2005 you and your site are forever getting awesomer! Wishing you all the BEST!!!!

  • Happy birthday, Grace! And congrats on sharing yourself. I’m sending you a big virtual hug :)

  • Happy birthday! Glad to see a little more of the true you on the site. Your positive influence on this world will be a great inspiration to others to be open and to honor themselves the way you’ve done here.

  • Thank you for being open and honest with your readers – in this and in past posts. Even if you hadn’t have chosen to share this, it’s very meaningful to us that you were able to. It’s the personal connections that keep us coming back. I hope you continue to find love and acceptance on the rest of your journey. All the best to you!

  • I just subscribed to your daily e-newsletter and the capcha code was ‘proud’ – kinda apt. Happy birthday.

  • Rock on, girl. You are a beautiful inspiration & no doubt this post has lifted up so many others who have faced their own unique challenges and struggles to embrace who they are. Keep up the awesome work :)

  • Happy birthday and thank you for being you!! You’re truly an inspiration in every sense of the word! Keep on rocking!

  • Happy Birthday! Nothing has changed from yesterday or any other day you have blogged, you are just perfectly you… X

  • Happy birthday, Grace! I mostly lurk here (commented once or twice), but very rarely a day is spent without a visit to DesignSponge. Thanks for opening up to us, even though you really don’t need to. But it is an honor for me. Stay fabulous.

  • Congratulations, Grace! Your website is always a place of comfort and inspiration. Keep doing what you do!

  • Happy birthday, Grace, and thank you for sharing this news with us! I know this post–and getting to a place where you felt you could share it–can’t have been easy, but I think I speak for everyone when I say that we love you and support you and are so grateful for this community you’ve created.

    And reading all these amazingly supportive comments makes my heart happy. Hooray for love!

  • Go Grace! And Happy Birthday!

    Looking at Design*Sponge is one of my favorite parts of the day, every single day. I look forward to it so much. Thank you.

  • Bravo I say to you Grace. Bravo. It is hard to recognize the person you truly are when you’ve been imagining yourself as someone else for your entire life. Happy Birthday, and I hope you continue to have an amazing life as you discover more and more about yourself and become increasingly comfortable both with who you are and sharing that person with others.

  • Dear Grace, Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being so brave to share your true self with us. I am a mother of young children, and I hope that when my kids are old enough to have girlfriends or boyfriends, being gay does not feel like something that has to be kept a secret. I am so thankful for your honesty and openness, along with many of your readers who have shared bits of their stories in the comments. Love to you all! You are changing the world and making it a better place by living in your truth. Thank you for being YOU. ❤

  • Grace, when I had the pleasure of working with you when you spoke at Target several years ago, I thought you were an incredibly intelligent, warm, and inspiring person, and this post really confirms for me everything I perceived about you. This post was incredibly brave and moving. It’s a sad fact that not everyone might not accept who you are, but know that the vast majority of us are very supportive (as evidenced from this post), and are grateful that you’re as open as you are.

  • sending you lots of love and support, and wishes for a very happy birthday (and year to come). xoxox

  • Happy Birthday, Grace. What a wonderful beginning to your real life. For the rest of us, it really doesn’t matter at all because we love who you are and what you do.

    Does it matter to you that I’m 74 years old and might be your grandmother?

  • I love you Grace! It was so much fun and an honor spending time with you on your birthday. You are and inspiration and my dearest ladybug. xxx

  • Admiring your honesty and your courage. Wishing you a happy belated birthday, and many wonderful years ahead really being you.

  • happy belated birthday to you, Grace.
    And even though I dont “know” you I feel so proud of you for wanting to share all of yourself here on your blog, with us. So thank you.

  • Happy to add yet one more voice to the virtual throng today and, at risk of sounding kind of Hallmark-card-esque – Grace, you’re an inspiration in so many ways. Thanks and happy birthday!

  • You bring so much joy and interest into people’s lives, and you give more of yourself to we readers than many “real life” people we see in the flesh most days.

    That is who you are.

  • You are an inspiration, both design-wise and life-wise. What a brave and empowering thing to do. You have all my admiration and applause. I’ve always read this blog because it is the best design blog on the web, and because you bring such a marvellously warm, caring presence to its design and content. Bravo.

  • Happy Birthday! My husband I are were so honored to be featured here on your website because we truly love what you do! I’m so happy that you can share your story with all of us who support you and think you’re awesome just the way you are!

  • i am just now seeing this and i am so proud to have you as a friend. you’ve been the most supportive person to me over the years, and i’m just so very glad that you can be exactly who you are for everyone to see and i’m mostly just so happy for how that must make you feel inside. lots of love and a very happy (belated) birthday – what a great present for you! xo, v.

  • Thanks for opening your heart to us in such a beautiful, inspiring, and yes, grace-ful way! Lots of love to you —

  • What a beautiful thing it is to love exactly who you are, right where you are in your journey through this life. Happy Birthday…it only gets better from here!

  • Happy birthday, Grace!! And congratulations!!
    This made me a bit weepy in the best way possible. Your friends and family are keepers :)

  • Ps the dance lesson sounds like so much fun!! I’m going to listen to Queen Bey now:)

  • What a wonderful way to start a new year! Happy birthday, and thanks for sharing your journey – you continue to be an inspiring force in the world! xo

  • I love your blog and have been an avid reader for years. Thanks for sharing more of yourself with us. I am of the mindset that I wouldn’t have cared if you said you were a llama, but it means so much that you are willing to be open and vulnerable with a bunch of strangers on the internet who share your love for a well-designed leash.

    Okay, if you had said you were a llama, I would have cared a little bit.

  • I deeply wish we lived in a more tolerant society! Have a wonderful birthday Grace . Congratulations on being an example to follow , and a wonderful person to support.

  • Happy Birthday, Grace! Beautiful post & I hope you can feel the love tonight. Please note, then while typing the latter half of the previous sentence, it was completely, totally, and utterly written with The Lion King in mind. :)

  • A million hugs and kisses for you in your bday. You are such a such a stellar human. Just so excited for you and your true happy life.

  • Congratulations on being the wonderful, graceful, lovely you. You have a great year ahead of you.

  • Thank you for all your inspiration both personally and design wise. Love my designsponge fix! I am amazed at how many people can be better than you expect when you give them the chance and for those that aren’t, I love to challenge their belief system. More power to you and best wishes!

  • Grace, you live only one life– so it better be yours :) May the acceptance and love you feel from your family and design community now, continue always. Thank you for your openness, I’m sure it will serve as an inspiration to many…and thank you for your wonderful blog.

  • Like scores of others here, I’ve been a loyal reader for years but rarely ever comment here. Had the pleasure of meeting you last year at Anthropologie in Seattle for crafts/wax seal making, and you are such a sincere, open, and kind person. I am so, so very happy for you today and rallying behind you. Happy birthday, fellow Gemini and Tribe alum!! Much love from the West Coast.

  • Wishing you a very happy birthday, Grace.
    Being what you are and sharing it with the world, makes you a more strong.

  • I’ve been reading D*S for years and this may very well be my favorite post. Happy birthday to you indeed! xo

  • Grace, Happy Birthday to a talented woman. You are perfect just the way you are. Now that your wings are fully open, I look forward to watching you soar. Best of everything to you dear Grace.

  • Happy Birthday to you!! Congrats on being so open about being gay. My brother came out in his mid 20’s so I know how difficult but liberating it is to be true to yourself. I love Design Sponge and will continue to stalk your blog-don’t worry: we all still are here supporting you!

  • Another long time reader but ‘non-commentor’ compelled to comment…..moving post, congrats on being yourself xxx

  • Happy birthday from Ireland! Looks like its going to be a memorable one :)
    Lovely to see such positive comments, what a lovely group of readers you have.

  • Happy birthday from the Balearic Islands in Spain, I am a total fan of your blog! Sometimes being who you are, where you are and where you want to go all at once is difficult but totally worth it! Keep up the good work!

  • Wow, thanks for you beautiful and honest words, you rock Grace! Happy birthday week from Sydney Australia x

  • Happy birthday! And congrats on coming out too, it’s sad it has to be a big deal but yay for the brave people who do it so publically and make it a little easier for the next person.

    p.s. I might have been slightly concerned if you’d turned out to be a llama, luckily your news wasn’t that challenging.

  • Good on you Grace! I think you have a superb life, but I only ‘see’ you here; a kind of storybook character in one of my fav reads, plus. :-P I see you as energetic, honest, intelligent, talented, and loved and many more good things. Thanks for sharing YOU with the rest of us…I count it as a privilege. <3


  • everyone said it before, but I wanted to reassure it with my comment… Happy Birthday and so so glad you can be 100% who you are.

  • I’ve followed this blog from the beginning and have never commented – even though I’m obsessed with it – until today. Happy Birthday to a lovely lady who constantly inspires my life! Thanks for sharing so much of your life with us.

  • Happy birthday, Grace! You are an inspiration in so many ways. I’ve been following your blog for a long time, and it never fails to make my emotions stir – either in cooing over some beautiful design, or marvelling at artwork, or laughing at more whimisical posts.
    But today, you made me feel in awe – of your courage and your commitment to your authenticity, firstly, and that you reminded me of how much the internet can change lives in the way it can build a community of likeminded people and make us all feel at home, wherever and whomever we are.
    Here’s to a great year!
    Kind wishes to you and your team.

  • Happy Birthday and thank you for sharing your bravery with us readers. I’ve loved your site for years, and love it even more now!

  • Happy Birthday from me also.
    Thirty-three years have passed since I was 32 and a starting “design business” entrepreneur. You prove AND show that (many, many!) things are continually getting better —despite my peer group’s pessimism.

    Best wishes and carry on!

  • Grace, I am so happy for you! I can’t imagine what it took to get to this post, but I hope you feel great about it. You are an inspiration for SO MANY people in so many ways, and your courage is only one part of that. Thanks for being you. – Amy

  • Rock it, girl! Having just recently come out on my blog (whose readership is probably 2), I can only begin to imagine how hard this decision was for you. Thanks for adding your voice to the awesome gay girl corner of the blogosphere–we need more beautiful, brave, talented ladies like you!

  • Although I already left you a message on Instagram – I wanted to congratulate you again for your bday, your courage and for being honest to your beautiful soul! Also thank you for introducing me to the world of design and for giving me a creative refuge in your blog when life is tough.

  • Congratulations. You are one courageous woman. The world needs more like you. Best wishes for the rest of your life!

  • You are an amazing bright spark. I am in awe and inspired to try to live my life and joyfully and honestly. Thank you for the continued inspiration and happy birthday.

  • I love reading DS daily.In support I wanted to comment and had to scroll down sooo far brought me to tears. I am encouraged hoping that everyone will be free to live as they are without fear of rejection.Keep up the wonderful Blog.

  • You kick booty, Grace. Congratulations on taking another leap of faith big as a stagedive – the reward is feeling great to do something meaningful to you and also feeling so many hands hold you up. Happy birthday!

  • From a fellow southerner, animal lover, and gay woman, all the best and happy birthday! The best is yet to come!

  • Happy Birthday, Grace!! I had tears running down my face as I read your post. Congratulations on being you. May this be your happiest year yet!

  • Happy birthday, bravey braveheart! I do love this site and your ability to put your whole self out there. Way to honor your journey and inspire others, not just today, but everyday.

  • Grace. Good for you for not hiding a very important part of yourself that makes you the special person that you are. I agree with another commenter, I’m looking forward to the day that we don’t have to make a statement about our sexual orientation, but just let everyone be who they are and love who they want to. Giving and receiving love is all that matters. I love your blog! It makes my day. It’s the first thing I look at when I wake up because it gives me a jolt of creativity. Thank you for all that you do.

  • What an awesome and inspiring post! They say that when you come out your gay age is 15. Coming out, myself, at age 28 was really tough. There’s not a lot of material out there about coming out in your late 20’s or early 30’s – so just know, you’re not alone :)

    6 years later, I’m happy to say my gay age is 22. So Happy 17th Birthday Gemini and Happy Pride!

  • I’ve been reading DesignSponge for years now and I never expected you to make me cry! What a powerful and truly inspiring post- I am so very very pleased for you and so proud of this community for responding with love, compassion, and enthusiasm for you to live your truth. Happy Birthday, Grace- and many many more to come (and your hair looks great!).

  • I wish peace and contentment for you and Aaron in your travels through life. May you have honesty and kindness always.

  • Grace!

    I know it makes a huge difference to you, but it makes no difference to us! We love you and support the work and inspiration you share with us everyday just the same! Congratulations on finally being completely FREE!

    x Bianca

  • Thank you. Thank you for sharing this and thank you for the blog.

    To Amy, thank you for expressing exactly how I feel: “When I first came out to my close friends and family, all I wanted to hear was that I am loved just how I am. And, one day, when I come out to the larger community of people in my life, I want them to say that they don’t think any differently of me.”

  • Happy birthday and congratulations on taking this next big step of sharing even more of yourself. It takes an amazing amount of courage (of course we all wish it wasn’t that way, but still!). Hugs!

  • Grace-
    flippin’ fantastic!
    If you felt you were living a dream already…you have now truly begun the life you deserve. Enjoy the journey.

  • Grace, everything about you speaks worlds about your name. This beautifully done website, your (and your team’s) amazing talent, the way you open up a way for new talent to be seen and heard, and now, you show the world that wonderful people are—–simply that!–wonderful people.
    Thank you for making such a big difference in the world. Truly, as Joseph Campbell said: “When you follow your bliss…, doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors; and where there wouldn’t be a door for anyone else”.
    Thank you for being such an inspiration in all ways!
    Happy Birthday!

  • A person is so much more than their sexual orientation or anything else that some try to use to define them. Everything you are, love and have experienced as a human being has brought you to this place and all the rich success that you greatly deserve. Sweet birthday wishes to you!

  • happy birthday grace! your post made my eyes fill with tears, so beautiful and so happy for you.

  • Grace – you’re not only a design inspiration and a blogger inspiration, you are a LIFE inspiration and role model! Thank you for sharing this and all with us – happiest of birthdays!!

  • You are ever-talented and your insights are often the best part of my morning. Thank you for feeling comfortable with all us readers – we’d be lost without you!

  • I definitely had a dream Saturday night that you were gay and dating Amy (not all parts of a dream can be true, I guess!) and woke up confused. Sounds weird, I know, and I don’t usually dream about people I’ve never met. But here you are and it’s true. Makes me want to go into the psychic business. :) Thanks for sharing your story and love your blog! You inspire me (and a million other people, as evidenced above) every day!

  • I am very proud and happy for you. I have f0und that total honesty is the most freeing feeling I have ever had! I am new to it, too, and it has been great!! My “secret” is different than yours, but we are all one under the skin. Thank you for the example you are setting!

  • So happy that you’ve shared! Your blog brightens my day and so I wanted to give back by letting you know that I think it is great that you are sharing another part of yourself. Congrats and happy birthday!

  • Nothing worthwhile is ever easy. Doing the right thing is, well the right thing. Always glad to be a supporter of yours.

  • Happy birthday!! So very happy for you and inspired by all you’ve accomplished! I’m sure you are just getting warmed up. But, ummm… where are the dance videos? I thought for sure when I started reading that post, it was going to lead to some dance videos! Hee. Thanks for sharing and doing all you do.

  • So touched that you shared something so personal with the rest of us. Though difficult at first, my friends and family who have come out are always happier once their inner and outer selves mirror one another. Happy Birthday, and I wish you inner peace and happiness.

  • There are 516 positive comments above mine…Now that’s LOVE! And you’ve even managed to be even MORE awesome than you were last week! LOL Happy Birthday!

  • Grace,
    Your blog is the first and last thing I see when I turn my computer on! I am so glad that you are moved to share with your readers. We love you -just the way you are!!!! You rock!!!

  • Happy birthday, congratulations, and three cheers to feeling confident in and happy with who you are and knowing you are loved by so many! Life is good.

    So…which Beyonce and Robyn songs?! Also, I contend with everyone else saying how cute your hair is.

    Basically, you’re winning the internets today.

  • You are a strong, beautiful, and inspirational woman! You deserve all the love and support you have surrounding you. Happy birthday!!

  • I concur with all the above
    a) happiest of birthdays
    b) I think you rock
    c) where’s the dancing video?

    • Hi Everyone,

      It’s impossible for me to truly express how grateful and appreciative I am for all of your heartfelt responses. All I can say is from the bottom of my heart, Thank you. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

      And yes, the video is coming ;)


  • I have been reading this blog FOREVER and I don’t think I’ve ever liked a post more. You’re amazing, Grace.

  • Hi Grace,

    I was just relaying to my boyfriend that I have been following your blog daily since you’ve been married, divorced, and now have come out as gay. Immediately he said, “You should write her!” So here I am. I’ve always loved your thoughtfulness and your amazing ideas. I am also a transplant from Virginia Beach to the NY metro area. It’s nice to know there’s a similar mind out there.


  • Hey,
    I just wanted to say that after reading your lovely update I won’t think any different of you ( in the sense that I will continue to love your blog for the your excellent taste and inspiration) but I will think differently in the sense that I will now think of you as a courageous person with the strength to figure yourself out and make bold choices to be honest with the world- which is all to say I will think even more highly of you!

  • I wish you peace in your heart, and light and love in your life! So happy for you.

    Happy Birthday and thank you for all you do.

  • Happy birthday! Coming out at 32, after having a wedding featured in Martha Stewart, cannot be easy. I’ve been reading Design Sponge since it was on blogger, and I’m not going anywhere. Big hugs for having the courage to come out.

    I can’t even imagine how much turmoil all of this must have been. Huge huge hugs. BTW, Tel Aviv has possible the best Pride Party in the world – good excuse to come visit.

  • Happy Birthday Grace. A beautifully written note. Just wishing you happiness, joy and love. Love thyself and be thyself. Love your blog! Keep up the good work.

  • you are so loved. thanks for sourcing the strength to be courageous enough to share this publicly and liberate so many people in ways you can’t begin to imagine. happy birthday. <3

  • Best. Post. Ever.

    Reading this makes me feel like today is a holiday.

    Best wishes to you, Grace.

  • Grace,

    I have wanted to write to you for some time to tell you what an inspiration you are to me. When someone suggested I started writing a blog, my first question was “what’s a blog?” – he showed me design*sponge and I have been hooked ever since!

    There are many things I respect about you, but I have always been in awe of your honesty and your ability to stay true to yourself whilst respecting the positions of others. You always handle yourself with such grace (excuse the pun!).

    The only thing that shocked me about this post is how young you are! I’m 34 and I can only begin aspire to the level of maturity and self-acceptance that you have already achieved.

    But I do know from my own journey of the past few years, that the more true I am to myself, the happier I am – and I’m constantly surprised by those who support me in that.

    As Brené Brown said, the real meaning of courage is telling the story of who you are with you whole heart.

    Happy birthday!

    Katie x

  • Hooray! You do excellent work here, in the book, the podcast, and clearly in your life and personal journey!

    Thank you for being an inspiration!

  • I am a new follower, and love the blog. Gay or straight is immaterial to me. Strong enough to tell the world? FABULOUS.

  • I’m also one of the people that has read your blog from the beginning and rarely commented, but always appreciated the work you put into it. Thank you so much for sharing — I’m so happy for you — happy birthday and an even happier life ahead!

  • You have a unique opportunity to be an inspiration to many on so many different levels and different avenues of life. Congratulations on being open and honest with yourself a birthday gift like no other. Your audience continues to applaud your professional and personal growths.

  • Happy 32! Thankyou for a wonderful blog! Its such a shame that in this day and age that you have to even write this post. Its a reminder of how far we still have to come in this world. I thank you so much for your honesty, and am glad that you felt safe enough to share, and so you should! Congratulations on both fronts. :)

  • Dearest Grace.. I never do anything like this – this time I felt the need to respond – because to not do so would be an injustice. I have followed your blog now for so long I can’t remember when I started. I check in and get my design fix – smile, have an opinion, use your blog when I travel as I guide, cook, get an idea.
    I am 55 now and teach, and sell my art – before kids I was a Graphic Designer and am proud to say my childhood friend and others that I graduated Pratt with lived in Dumbo in the 80’s. I now live 75 miles away – love the design community Brooklyn has become, and miss being there. You bring it to me in bits and pieces.
    I am so so proud of you and thankful. You give me that little inspiration everyday that I could have lost – you have become a good friend through your blog. I cannot thank you enough for the work you do and your insight.
    This message to me is personnal and goes far beyond anything you have to share. My heart is full for you. You are wonderful, I am so grateful for who you are.
    Wishing you happiness always

  • Good for you! So glad that you are surrounded by family and friends who love for exactly who you are and who support you. I’m happy that you wanted to share this with your readers. We can all use more examples of bravery in everyday life. And, um, examples of good design. Keep up the good work!

  • What a fabulous birthday you had! Good for you being brave and allowing yourself to be seen as you are.

  • Two things –
    1) Happy birthday – what a wonderful present to give yourself – the gift of freedom and acceptance. Bravo.

    2) Most awesome birthday day ever – my best friend and I are slightly obsessed with Beyonce (in a way that’s kinda sorta not normal for women in their 30s), and I think I need to do this for her birthday next year!

    Lots of love to you! (Tanya @ the-wonderist.com)

  • Such a well-written post! Kudos for opening up and sharing this with the world, I bet it was not easy! Good for you, girl!!

  • I wanted to wish you a happy birthday as well. While I personally believe the choice to identify as gay is unnatural, I’ve always enjoyed Design*Sponge, and you are a lovely and talented person. Wishing you joy and happiness, and, as your name says, grace.

  • Congratulations on being who you are and sharing that with the rest of us. You are right. To many of us (and someday to all of us) it makes no difference. We are happy that you are able to be more open and authentic. and connected Fantastic. I admire you so much and wish you all the best in your life!

  • Wishing you all the absolute best in the years to come. Thanks for the beautiful, open, and truly inspirational place you’ve created here! Love right back to you!

  • OH MY GODDESS THIS IS AMAZING! I am so late to see this obviously, but I love this site even more now, hoorray hoorah! I came out publicly on my birthday as well- seems fitting, doesn’t it? If you visit Richmond anytime soon, come on by and we’ll fix you a celebratory drink.

  • Happy birthday! You are awesome. Thanks for everything you do, I appreciate the daily bits of beauty you bring into my world, and this post is just pure loveliness.

  • Happy birthday. Been enjoying Design*Sponge from the beginning. Thank you!
    So glad you came out. Beyond your own gained freedom, I hope this will inspire others to enjoy life, free of chains.
    Wish you happiness and love!

  • Grace ~ happy birthday, wonderful lady. You are such an inspiration and your courage and honesty is in turns sweet and awe-inspiringly strong. We all admire you and love you exactly as you are. Wishing you a wonderful year ahead!

  • Happy Birthday!
    Congratulations for having the courage to be so honest! I have been reading this blog for three years now and had no idea. Apart from Lisa Congdon’s blog, I have not yet found any blogs that I have wanted to keep reading that has been written by a fellow gay woman! So nice to know that I was reading one all along! Having come out as a thirteen year old, I have so much respect for those women who come out as adults, I can’t even imagine how hard it would be. Thankyou for starting such an amazing blog and being so inspirational!

  • I’m glad you are feeling more comfortable about who you are, I am still working on that myself (not in terms of sexual orientation but everyone has their own things). Mostly I just don’t think people should have to define themselves as “gay.” Why is that necessary? I don’t go around thinking of myself as straight. I guess I really don’t think who you love should come along with a label. Of course it’s easier to say such a thing when you aren’t part of that “different.” I have my own “differents” though and such so I’m glad you are receiving loving support! It can make all the difference in the world. Sometimes people are as ignorant and hateful as you expect and sometimes they are unbelieving amazing, wonderful, and sweet.

  • Love you all the more for your courage, Grace!

    Thank you for sharing your triumph with us. Though we are strangers to you, you are like an old friend to us long-time readers. Thanks for allowing us to support you, even with just our comments!!! Look at all the love you have here.

  • Happy Birthday!!! What a great bday idea wow. Read your wonderful blog everyday and this bit of sharing makes you and your blog even more wonderful xx

  • Grace, thank you so much for this. Your bravery means the world. I also came out after being in a (very) long term relationship with a man and remember how scared I was. Your courage (especially in such public space) is inspiring. Y0u are making this world a better, more accepting place. Much love!

  • Happy Birthday! My 16 year old and I were just today talking about things that are different from teens today then they were in my day, LOL. I told her the very BEST thing that has come with passing age is to be able to witness changing perception and understanding of differing sexual orientation. Congrats.

  • Ditto to every supportive, loving, beautiful comment here. I applaud your authenticity and courage!!!

  • I care about you being gay as much as you care about me being straight. I love your blog, you do great work, is inspiring and lovely. Thank you very much.
    Eva Puga

  • i’ve never had to scroll through so many great comments to leave one myself! i don’t care if you’re black, white, polka dot, lesbian, transgender, hetero…i love your blog and your birthday personal comment was gently inspiring, just like the spaces and object you present. thanks, and happy birthday.

  • You are fabulous, inside and out, just as you are. Happy birthday! :) Here’s to a year full of all the best, and the wonderful ripples that come with sharing…you never know who you’ll impact.

  • I’ve never met you, but i am proud of you….and i am guessing you are one heck of a standup human being to boot. Happy Birthday from Toulouse, France

  • Dear Grace, the first thing I thought of when I read your post was the strong example you are showing to others, especially young people, that it’s okay to be who you are. Every time someone like you courageously comes out publicly is one more blow to the prejudice and hatred around us. And one day there will no longer be teenagers who commit suicide because of that.

    Forty plus years ago when I came out, lesbians and gay men married each other so they wouldn’t lose their jobs or get thrown in jail or get beat up. Today is vastly different, but the fear in coming out is still there. Good for you—and what a wonderful birthday present you have given yourself.

  • A brave and beautifully expressed post. I feel half-inclined to write ‘you go girl!’, but that would be weird, right? Yeah, I thought so.

    Happy Birthday!

  • I have been a reader here for a long, long time. This moving and gracious personal post is a great pretext to post a first comment.

    Many things I see on this site inspire me and touch me deeply, some even change my life in very real ways—but none have moved me to tears until now. Thank you, Grace, for creating this entertaining, educational and energizing network of people and ideas—and for keeping it so personal and intimate despite the odds. It’s a real privilege to be getting to know you.

  • Happy birthday, Grace! Your site was one of the first I followed when I got into design, and the one that inspired me to start blogging my own projects. I’m so happy to hear that your journey to love and accept yourself has come to this point, and I commend you for telling your story so publicly. You and the entire D*S team are an inspiration. Thanks for being so awesome!

  • You are loved and so brave. Gay, straight, polka dotted, purple….you are who you are and you are appreciated. Happy late Birthday to you! Hope that this post lifted some weight from you. As a reader I am only more encouraged to read DS knowing the authenticity and courage of the person behind it all. Some friends and I met you in Denver at a signing and thought/still think you were/are just the sweetest. Keep being your most beautiful self. xo

  • Go Grace! Thank you so much for sharing. I don’t know you, but I’m excited for you. Keep it up; we’re all together on our separate journeys, like boats in a fleet. Cast a rope across the water and another boat will catch it. Looks like there’s a lot of us pulling with you on this one!

    Best, Roxanne

  • Grace – I commend you for making this huge and important step, sounds like it wasn’t easy, but you did it anyway!! And isn’t life amazingly colourful and warm, once you step into your own skin and realise you’re still you and your friends still love you? Best step I ever took anyway… :D

  • Love to you, Grace!

    D*S is one of the best things on the internet. You are amazing and such an inspiration.

    It’s a privilege to learn more about you, and your openness makes me love you even more.

    Wishing you all the best!


  • Love that you have the strength and courage to share your story, thank you! (And Happy Birthday!)

  • Happy belated birthday, Grace, and wishing ever so many blessings to you as you continue to express your true self surrounded by ever so many supportive and loving souls. <3

  • The happiest of happy birthdays to you! I think the best part about growing older (besides people telling you “Get out! I thought you were in your 20s!” is that you know more who you are. I am happy for you that you are comfortable enough in who you are to let us, your devoted readers, in on a personal area of your life. While it is no one’s business but your own, I (and I am sure that many readers) appreciate you sharing these insights into your life with us. You are the reason we all started reading this blog, and have come to see you as an “internet friend” and I couldn’t be happier for any real-life friend who made the same revelation and I hope that you are met with all the acceptance and love that you deserve. Oh, and I am totally jealous of that dance class – I may have to boogie to “Dancing On My Own” in my living room

  • I know I am comment #600&somethin’ but I wanted to share how happy I am to hear how happy you are! I saw you speak at altNYC and you were absolutely fabulous. Not only was your speech flawless you radiated with confidence and happiness to be able to share what you love, your blog and the things you have learned along the way. Thanks for sharing such a personal story with us and for speaking at alt! You were one of my favorites.

    p.s. I hope your pup liked the carrot toy from Iowa ;)

  • We love you, not in spite of who you are, but because of who you are. Thank you for your bravery, honestly, and the passions that you share with us every day.

  • Thank you, Grace. The LGBT world needs more strong, influential women such as yourself to look up to.

  • I have been reading your site for years and have really enjoyed ‘After the Jump’ over the past year, but somehow I missed this post last month. I’m so glad I stumbled across it now.

    First off, a belated happy birthday. It sounds like it was a fun one.

    Secondly, well done for being so generous in sharing your experiences with so many and for being proud of who you are. This post is just another example of your beautiful talent for being open and honest. I think your willingness to share lends others the courage to do the same. Thank you.

  • You and Design Sponge are a constant source of inspiration and joy on a near daily basis. I admire you for so many reasons and now for the courage to fully embrace your uniqueness and share that with your DS family. Thank you… and happy birthday!

  • Grace, you have done so much to inspire me to live a good and happy life. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself. Hugs…. all the way from Manila.

  • Dear Grace thank you for your honesty, you are one of the first bloggers I followed, you are an inspiration to so many people, I wish you all the best.

    Love from Puerto Rico

  • Grace, I cannot express how much this post means to me. It really meant so much to me! I have read your blog for years and have always felt like kindred spirits. This just makes it even more clear… From one southern gay woman to another… Thank you for being true to yourself and inspiring the world with your extraordinary talent,

  • Totally missed this post. I’m very happy to hear you’re on your way again though! Must have been awkward at least, to come out later in life. Here’s to never feel awkward again in big matters! Honesty to yourself is so important and it’s nevertheless so hard to be objective about anything when it comes to oneself. D*S is the best and it can only have been made by someone special. Is that cheesy? whatevs!

  • As a long-time reader and lover of your blog, I can’t believe I’m so late to the party! Thank you for sharing all that you do on this blog, including this personal story. Kudos to you for living in the light, and sharing your passions and strength and love and blood, sweat, and tears with those you love and all of us out here in the virtual world. And as a member of the community as well, I thank you for doing all of this beautifully and honestly. We are stronger because of people like you, AND our families, AND our allies, for speaking up and saying our truth. Of course that’s not possible for everyone, but I do believe it helps make it easier for them as well. Big old hugs to you, keep smiling, and carry on. :)

  • Grace! I have been following you for very long and I missed this! All my love and hugs. This is so brave, and I know your example will hep so many young women and men. You are a star. Loads of love!

  • Super late to this party (catching up on d*s), but sending love and respect for your openness! You are an inspiration as always.

  • I’m a little late, but this post made me so happy. You’re an inspiration in every way Grace.

  • Grace, I only found this post today, and I’m so glad I did. Please never take it down. You continue to be so inspiring, a force to be reckoned with. Wishing you every happiness.

  • I agree with every positive thing that is written above, and too want to thank you for being so brave and being such an inspiration.
    Thank you!

  • Thanks for sharing this! I only found this post after listening to the Design Matters interview. Someone mentioned that your coming out is a model for young women and men. I agree, however, you’re a model for middle-aged and old women and men too! ; )

    • Thanks, HK.

      I don’t know about being a model for anything, but I’m so glad if anyone can find any form of help in my coming out publicly (or anyone else!) :)


  • Hi Grace,

    I just watched a video of your interview on MarieTV (from 2015?). I felt you were really authentic and you really love your life and your work. It was inspiring for me – someone who’s still looking for her true calling in life. Congrats on coming out! I’m still looking for courage to do the same and finally be myself. Wishing you happiness and good health from Singapore! :)

  • I’m in this process of comming out to my family after I did it with all my friends. They all took it so well and made me feel so loved when I couldn’t think that there were people like them in my life. All of them care about me and that is something that as a man living in Guatemala, never thought I could have back when I was 17. Now I’m 25, and my family is next. I couldn’t be more anxious but prepared also to just let go this insecurity about hurting my loved ones for who I actually am. I found these post after listening to Grace at Design Matters with Debbie Millman and it reminded me how I’m able to build my own story and feel secure in my own environment. Whatever happens, I’m gonna be okay. Thank you.