I’m Andre Khan and I’m from Queens, New York.
I was 32, married to a woman and had a five-year-old daughter. I used to travel a lot back then in work and through those travels, I met several gay people. It sparked something in me for which I started to have internal reflections and thoughts about.
I started to go visit my therapist who helped me to understand kind of the feelings that I was having at that moment. My feelings were sort of percolating and all of a sudden there was this explosion around my self-identity and my sexuality, and I needed to really dive into that and understand what was happening there. And so she helped me to process that and work through what it is to sort of look in the mirror and tell yourself that, Oh my God, I’m gay.
The next thing I had to do was come out to my family. I remember that week very vividly in October. It was a Monday. I drove to my parents’ house and we sat in their living room and I started to cry. I told them that I was gay. The first thing my dad asked me was, Are you sure? And I said yes. And they both hugged me and showed me love.
We talked and, you know, they said, “Well, are you going to tell your wife? When are you going to tell her?” And I said, I need to tell her immediately.
Drove home for an hour, waited till that evening, put my daughter to sleep upstairs, came down to the living room and the TV was on and I said to my wife, “We need to talk.”
Then I told her that I was gay and she said,”What? Are you sure?”
I said, “Yeah. And I’m really sorry.” And she started to cry and I hugged her. There were so many emotions that we experienced during that hour or two of the conversations that we had. She got mad. We cried. We laughed. We decided that I would stay in the house for about another month before we started to make changes to our family structure.
I started attending Thursday afternoon coming out sessions at the Compass LGBT Center in West Palm Beach. I got a chance to interact with other gay men who had similar situations like I did, but they were much older in life. And for me, I was in my thirties and I was coming out, and I felt such a relief, sort of knowing that I had a long – I had my whole life ahead of me.
The hardest day for me was when I had to sit down and tell my daughter that I was leaving. She looked at me and said, “Daddy, why are you leaving?” And I just hugged her and I cried.
And I said, “Don’t worry, I’ll be here. I’ll see you every day.” I left that house. My dad – my parents were there to help me transport a futon, a TV, a mattress and a folding table, which were the four items that I moved into this two bedroom apartment with. I looked around this empty apartment, missing my daughter, missing my wife, missing my family, missing the beautiful home that we had built.
With that, I also felt a sense of relief and I felt a sense of just, Wow, I can breathe. It took me several months to sort of build up my strength and my courage and my self-confidence to sort of be able to just accept this new person that I… that I was.
I started to go out to the gayborhoods and make new friends and meet new people. And that was really helpful. Came out to my daughter when she was eight. I remember I was living with my boyfriend at the time and I – we were driving home after I picked her up from school and I looked over at her and I said, “There’s something that I need to tell you.” And I said, Daddy’s gay. And Mike is living with us because he’s Daddy’s boyfriend.”
And she was like, “Oh, okay.” And that was it. It was very easy.
My relationship with my ex wife has changed quite a bit from 10, 12 years ago. We’re actually friends now. We get along. We co-parent. We get along really well. You know, we’re supportive of each other. Our primary goal is our daughter and we co-parent really, really well.
I’ve also since then found the love of my life. And I am married to my husband who – his name is Mike as well. We’ve been together for about four years. The running joke within my family is that there’s Mike #1 and then there’s Mike #2. And so that’s an easy – and my dad’s name is Mike, so everybody’s name is Mike.
We got married last year during the pandemic. We eloped in Asheville, North Carolina. And now, you know, I have this modern family. I have a husband, I have my daughter now who’s 14. We have a dog, Chloe and a cat, Oliver. And so we have a very modern family/