#NationalComingOutDay – My Story

coming-out-day-oct-11In the now-distant past, the notion of coming out as gay was so terrifying, I waited twenty-eight years, endured a nine year marriage, fathered a son, and tried everything (short of conversion therapy) to convince myself that my attraction to men was “just a phase.” But to my consternation, those feelings would not go away. I was miserable, living a life I knew was not authentic, not true to who I was as a human.

And so I did what had to be done. But even the process of coming out was done reluctantly, slowly, in jumps and starts. I came out to my wife (she sorta kinda already knew), and we divorced due to “irreconcilable differences.”  I came out to my family next, with the most common reaction being, “It’s about time!” Shortly after that, I met my partner, Larry, and we’ve been together ever since. That was twenty-six years ago.

It wasn’t as easy coming out in the 1980s as it is today. The acceptance of sexual orientation (both inwardly and publicly) has grown year by year. But there are still obstacles to overcome when coming out. Even with marriage equality being the law of the land, it is still legal in 31 states to be fired for being gay. And there is no Federal protection status for LGBTs. But the progress has been remarkable for us, for ALL of us.

So, on the 27th anniversary of National Coming Out Day, to those who are afraid, or reluctant, or are just waiting for the right time, I say to you, “Come on out, the weather’s fine!” And know this: you will always have a great big, world-wide family that welcomes you, cares about you, and loves you just the way you are.

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Let Your Gay Kids Be Gay – They Were Born That Way

Homo young

I can say now that I knew I was gay when I was around six, although I didn’t know what I felt was called “homosexuality.” At that time (in the late sixties and early seventies) there were no gay role models, no support from peers or adults, no one to talk to about what I was feeling. I most assuredly could not talk to parents about it. Most of the information I could find about homosexuality was outdated and negative, and the name-calling from kids at school was devastating. I fought against my feelings and desires as hard as I could for over 20 years. I even got married to a woman at 19, and we had a son five years later. It was three years after that when I could no longer live in denial of who I was – and had been since birth – GAY! I was finally ready to accept what I had been hiding (and hiding from) for so long.
No child should have to suffer or hide – like I did – in their growing-up years. My advice to parents is this: Kids KNOW when they KNOW, regardless of age. Please be supportive and loving. Celebrate and encourage your child to discover the greatness that is within them. Your gay child needs you to be there for them. And you’ll all be better for it.