Friday, October 10, 2014

October 11th is National Coming Out Day

Coming out is a description of an LGBT person telling others or being open about being LGBT. I doubt that it will come as a surprise to anyone reading this that I am gay.  This is something I figured out when I was a teenager, but denied and hid from for many years. For me probably the toughest was self acceptance.  It took me years to do so. I can still remember the first time I attended the LGBT group at Rollins College, it was the first time in a social setting that I felt comfortable in my own skin. For the most part I have avoided dramatic scenes when coming out. Early on a wise person told me to live my life honestly and openly and friends and family would figure it out. I decided by the time I brought the same man home for Easter the second or third year, family would figure it out, and they did, my family has been very welcoming for the two of us.  Jay and I are coming up on 22 years together. Every time I meet someone, I have to make the decision on how I describe my personal life. Most of the time, I tell it like it is; other times if the relationship is not important it is easier use gender neutral terms and ignore Jay being spoken of as she, I am not into confrontation.  I have only run into hostility a handful of times, usually a result of someone’s prejudice or insecurity.  I have learned to be out with employers, I was outed to a boss by a coworker and lost a job that I really needed a couple of years before I left Orlando in the mid 90’s.  From the time I moved to Lexington in 1995, every employer has known up front.  It has paid some nice dividends. I have had a chance to do some rewarding research, published several articles on LGBT aging (I am finishing two book chapters on LGBT aging) and spoken at the National LGBT Bar Associations’ Lavender Law Conference three times. I am happy and comfortable with my life.  

Come out- come out wherever you are!


  1. spouse and I will do #22 this coming friday; you and your cute man have been together as long as we have!

    rollins college - that's where mister rogers went to school! I still miss that man and his gentle ways.

    "I am happy and comfortable with my life." - and THAT is all that matters; you love yourself for who you are.

  2. David,

    I agree 100%! Come out wherever you are. Like you I lost a job (two actually) because I had the temerity to not deny who I was just for the sake of keeping my job. If I had it to do all over again I would do exactly what I did because my self-respect is more important than any job. The only time I stayed in the closet was when I was in the Army and was assigned to the NSA, where a top security clearance was necessary. I didn't want to lose my job and get a Section 8 discharge from the Army which would affect the rest of my life (I used VA benefits to this day). As soon as I got out and got that yoke of oppression off of my shoulders I came out. Everyone should come out. If you lose some friends or relatives so what? They weren't your friends anyway and the relatives? They have to deal with it, it's their problem not mine. Good for you David by coming out and urging others to do the same.