My name is Gill, I’m From Palm Springs, I’m a middle-aged guy, I came out 15 years ago so I’m still an adolescent as far as my gay life down here. That being said, I’m partnered very happily and that’s after coming out of a long-term straight marriage of 28 years. Going back 15 years ago I thought I was happy having the big house and the car and the vacations and the perfect relationship and social life, but something was missing. And I had something of a catharsis when I finally reached the fact that I knew I was different, that I was attracted to men but never acted on it. And I remember being in therapy and discussing those desires and my therapist said, “Until you take that step across that line and act upon it, it’s just a concept.” And it came to me as taking that step 15 years ago, going to a fundraiser in the city with a very good friend from the office and I knew he was gay. And we kind of chatted, he came out to me, which I had known, and I remember driving back across the Bay Bridge, I was living in the East Bay at the time, and thinking, Wow, this is a pivotal point, it’s a point where the paradigm can certainly shift. And I remember going home and then kind of coming out to him which was my kind of story down there. Well then of course everything has consequences. That eventually led to the demise of my marriage. It was the complete deconstruction of my life, I describe as. I had to rebuild emotionally, familialy, financially, had to build all over again. But it wasn’t just my story, it was my wife’s story and her reaction to it. She knew something was going on because I was going to these meetings of a gay group of married men. And when I told her, I used the term back then that I was bisexual, that was an easier transition for me. And I remember her reaction was that she was devastated. She was devastated. Because if it was another woman she might have been able to fight for that, but the fact that I was attracted to men she couldn’t compete for that. After I discussed it with my wife, we had the children over and I wrote each of them a letter. And I gave them the letter, that was my daughter, her husband, and my son, they were all adults at that point. And I went into the bedroom and they came in afterwards. My daughter put her arm around me and said, “Dad, we were so afraid you were going to tell us you had cancer.” And in that light, being gay was okay.
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