“Dean…your boys want to know if Richard’s your lover.”

i'm from russell, ks. by dean ostrum

Dean Ostrum was married to a woman and had four kids when he met the man he would fall in love with and later marry. Dean explains:

There was no secret about [Richard] being a very close friend I met in New York. His telephone number, how he could be reached, was on the little slip of paper in our New Jersey farm home so that my wife or children, if they needed me, they could get in touch with him, too.

It soon became apparent, though, that Dean and Richard were more than just good friends.

One night my wife had been in New York with me … and this particular night she said, “Dean, your boys want to know if Richard’s your lover.” Boy…I thought all along I’d been very careful not to reveal what was really going on in my life as a gay man.

Continue Reading to hear Dean’s reaction to his wife and to find out how his family reacts to his sexuality.

TRANSCRIPT:
My name is Dean Ostrum and I was born in Russel, Kansas. A very small town on the prairie. When I graduated high school I went to the University of Kansas and by that time I had at least been pinned to my future wife. When we ended up coming to New York. I had an apartment in New York City and we had a farm in New Jersey and I commute only on the weekend. Well, that’s how I met Richard. On the roof when it was sunny there would be crowds of people up there. The day I met him I took my towel and moved over to the other part of the roof and I said do you care if I spread my towel out here? No that’s ok he said. I told him I was married, very proud of my four kids, and he said why don’t you come up and have a nightcap? I said fine. That’s how it happened, that’s how we met. We began to see more of each other and there was no secret about him being a very close friend I met in New York. In fact, his telephone number, how he could be reached, was on the little slip of paper in our New Jersey farm home so that my wife or children if they needed me could get in touch with him too. So one night, my wife had been in New York with him, she’d come in and then on the weekend after the weekend was over she would drive back to the farm. This particular night she said Dean, your boys want to know if Richard is your lover. Boy I thought all along I had been very careful not to reveal what was really going on in my life as a gay man. This, it was amazing. I lied, I said no. Fortunately, one of the children had written a letter from Ohio State, and he and his oldest brother had worked together to bring me out. He said I love you, I respect you, it doesn’t matter one bit whether you’re gay or straight, but you and mom need to resolve this situation because it’s going to destroy both of you if you don’t. I called him when I got the letter the next day I called him and assured him that I really appreciated that. All the children are not only happy we’re a family again, we get together as a family every Thanksgiving. When Richard and I got married last October we sent an email to all of our children saying surprise we’re now married. And everyone 100% not only the children, the sibling, but the grandchildren many of them are old enough that they all have gay friends now. They all were thrilled that we’re married. It’s not easy to resolve a difference like this, but it’s the best way in the world. Be honest with yourself. And there we are. We’re all happy now.

4 Comments:

  1. A touching experience.

  2. I have had the immense privilege and pleasure of being a fellow member of Dean’s church, St. Luke in the Fields in NYC (Episcopal), for more than 20 years. Dean has been an incredible blessing in my life.
    Mary O’Shaughnessy
    Convener, Integrity/NYC-Metro
    http://www.integritynycmetro.org

  3. absolutely LOVELY!!!!

  4. Richard & Dean are neighbors of mine… when Dean saw me he always asked “How are the cats?”. His memorial is Dec 13th at St Luke’s on Hudson Street.

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