How often do we hear about the boyfriends/girlfriends, fiancés, spouses, or even the one-night stands of our straight friends and co-workers? Yet as soon as LGBT people enter into the discussion, love and sexuality become a matter of a person's "private life"? Give me a break.
Cooper's silence sent a loud if unintentional message to the straight people who still think gays are different and threatening, and to the gay kids who still don't have enough public examples of successful, happy people who happen to be gay. I was that kind of gay kid.
I'm proud to be able to point to a man as brave, eloquent, professional, and honorable as Anderson Cooper and say, honestly and with no hesitation, "I want to be like him someday." We gained a real hero yesterday.
So why am I leaving Ireland? I'm leaving to find a place where I can be myself. Sex. It's a huge factor with me. I never read about anybody leaving for sexual reasons. I want to go where I can breathe. I want to breathe. I want to be.
It was a brave step, I thought, for my mom. She didn't know how it would turn out. It was a chance she was willing to take. She knew she didn't have it wrong. She had always known. She had been happy to let me come out in my own time, but something encouraged her to make the first move.
I decided to interview my ex-boyfriend for his perspective on my coming out. We always hear what it's like for the gay person, but there are countless ex-girlfriends, ex-boyfriends, ex-spouses, and ex-lovers who are left reeling from the shock of the lies. This is his side of the story.
My father asked me not to divulge parts of what I am about to tell you. However, at some point, I realized that my own feelings were not being respected in that process, and that I might be disrespecting your feelings. There are many things you should know.
Coming out is not a singular event. We need to do it over and over again in casual conversations, despite the associated risks, and in more important conversations like job interviews. The more we do it, the more we can teach and influence others.
I said, "But what if you felt all those things, everything you've just described, but you felt it for someone of the same sex?" My sister's smile fell. She replied, gravely, "The world has fallen, and Satan has turned you."
Personal identity is probably the biggest asset any of us has, and when this powerful piece of the equation is anchored, no matter whether you're starting a new business, seeking funding for a project, or being a kick-ass rocker, everything else seems to fall into place a little easier.
As scared as I was to come out to my family, it was not nearly as daunting as coming out to my Bible Study. I'd been a member of this particular small group for several months before I moved in with my girlfriend, Jenny.
At brunch last Sunday one of my closest friends was gushing over a guy he met out. His suitor is smart, handsome, employed, rents to own, and has a shared penchant for pizza at 3 a.m. But there's one problem: Prince Charming came out only a few months ago, at 28.
Fraud is harmful, even if no link to a specific victim can be established. In a way, the closet is like tax evasion. Tax evaders balance the negative impact to themselves (paying taxes) with the legal requirement to contribute to society. The man or woman in the closet does the same.
Telling a few loved ones that I'm gay has been interesting, but most people who know me are learning this for the first time as they read this piece. Aug. 31, 2010 was a first step. On that day I received the craziest response: acceptance. That's the response I'd feared.
I chose to come out to myself, my wife, my teenage children and my parents and siblings. But in coming out, I also needed to end a 20-year marriage. This was the beginning of a painful but blissful journey of self-awareness.
Why did it take turning 33 and getting cast in a Broadway show about hippies fighting against the establishment and singing for love and freedom to find the courage to totally accept myself and find my own "gay voice"?