I am a son, a brother, a husband, a father and I am gay. It took over 56 years for me to be able to say all of that; some came sooner than others, but all describe me at present. I always knew in one form or another that I was gay, even before I knew what “gay” was. My first real feelings came at age 11 or 12 and involved a boy crush on a teacher. How do you respond to sexual feelings for someone of the same gender when all around people are telling you that it is wrong, deviant or even sinful? Back then, you usually just dealt with it by suppressing it and telling yourself that you were a bad person. You’d try to “overcome” this flaw by dating women and even marrying one. You may have gone so far as to have children to prove that you are a normal man.
This is where I was and what I did. Eventually I met a man that helped me become comfortable with the person that I really was. We did it by talking and sharing intimacies of the heart. It still took two more years before I could actually stand before my wife and children and tell them that I was gay.
I am now completely out and living life in the truth. I have attended my first Pride in San Francisco and was even accompanied by my youngest daughter. I participated in my first AIDS Walk in San Francisco last weekend. While there was still a great deal of pain caused to my family, we are in the process of healing and building a stronger connection, even with my former wife who is an exemplary human being. It will take a while to heal the wounds that I caused her in my years of being closeted, but she too is better now for the fact that we are living the truth. The truth really does set you free.