Revealing whether you are gay or gay is an important milestone in your life. Thanks to the recognition of society, people can live as soon as possible. Among the gay men surveyed in 2013, more than 40% of lesbians and nearly 40% said that they met with friends and family before the age of 20.
However, this decision is not easy for everyone. Stigma and discrimination still exist. It is estimated that some of the 3 million LGBTQ Americans over 50 years old waited for years to come out. No others yet.
Met two people over 50 years old and they shared why they waited and how travel changed their lives.
Christopher Adams: I finally stopped lying to myself and others
I am a 52-year-old gay, and last year was the year when I finally chose to be open to who I am. I regret that I didn’t do it so early. I spent decades fighting with myself, but it did nothing but prevent me from reaching my full potential. Lying to myself is worse than lying to my loved ones, and I have been doing it for a long time. I have spent nearly 30 years of my life, knowing that I have always locked a part of myself in it.
I always have a valid excuse for why I cannot publicly know who I am. I have been working hard to improve myself and my career, including establishing my company ModestFish. I think my sexual orientation might make me shrink.
Last year, I tested positive for COVID-19. Fortunately, I have fully recovered from it, but the fear of nearly a month from the damn virus is all I need. The first person I told was my 29-year-old daughter. I was in the hospital at the time, so the revelation felt more like a confession of death than a true knowledge of myself. But she insisted that my appearance had no negative impact.
My daughter and I have always been very close, and she supports me more than anyone else. Her appreciation of me as a person made me achieve that feeling again. She showed me the feeling of someone who really takes care of me. I thought if I could get this recognition from her, I would like to take this opportunity and get it from the rest of the world. A small group of my friends are also very supportive. They said they would be by my side anyway. What I said did not change their view of me.
Before last year, I rarely maintained serious relationships because I kept secrets. Once I stopped being afraid of being myself, I met someone.I’m appointment Again, be open and proud. I have seen the best people for more than 4 months.
If you are considering coming out, please take the smallest measures as this may have the greatest impact. No one asks you to speak out who you are, but you should at least speak out to people you trust. Once you have shown your power to them, getting out will be easier than you think. I wasted nearly 30 years, which made me understand that keeping myself inside is not worth it. Not in 30 years. Not even 30 days.
Paulette Thomas: I let go of my fears and secrets and embraced who I am
I know I was attracted to women when I was 7 years old, but I don’t know what it is. The person I coach is my mother.I thought she wouldn’t Love If she knows that I am attracted to girls, I am me. My secret began when I was young, and the secret grew with more secrets.
My intention in life is to never get married, but I do want to have children. My understanding at the time was that the only way to have a baby was to have sex with a man. It’s safer not to come out. I thought that once I had a child, no one would know my secret.
I just keep going that way. I raised my children and grew up my family. But I felt very dissatisfied and was locked inside. My emotions are so heavy. I have seen women before and I will be attracted to them. This did not cause confusion, it was just a question of denial.
As I grew older, I knew that I had to make a plan. I can no longer live with a married person. The plan was formulated for 6 years. After our divorce, I came out.
This process is more difficult than I expected. When everyone around me is talking about their husband or wife, I can’t share anything. It’s like behind a fence, almost invisible. I cannot share part of me because I am worried that people will judge me.
One of the hardest things is dealing with my beliefs. I grew up as a Catholic, but then became a Baptist. It is difficult to go to church and tell them that something is wrong with you.
My three children love me no matter what, but they have different reactions to my appearance. One of my daughters is also a lesbian, but another daughter of mine is not very good at handling news. She is gay. I told my children, “This is my life, but I am your mother and you will always be with me.”
My sister also reacted badly, but it was only because I lied to her. When I tried to pluck up the courage to tell her, we were talking on the phone for a few hours. She pressured me and said, “Tell me. I have already been told.” I didn’t know what to say, so I told her that I was going to be blind. She was very worried, and finally I admitted: “No, I really want to tell you that I am gay.” She said, “What? I already know! Why is blindness lying to me?” We haven’t talked for a year.
It’s very pleasant to finally be able to tell the truth about me. Now I can live in my own body in a healthy way and have real and open conversations with people. My greatest joy is to find my wife. Five years ago, we met on LGBT Advocacy and Services for the Elderly (SAGE). I told her to go out and dance, and we did it. We have been married for three years.
If you are thinking about it, do it. I have heard many stories about people who didn’t come out until the 1980s or didn’t come out at all. Not only will you lose the life of a good life with the people you care about, but you will also deprive them of their identity.
The people God has placed here for you will always be by your side. Give them room to adapt to this idea, but at least give them a chance.