LGBTQIA/Mental Health/Relationships

The Fear of Sacrificing Everything to Come Out

The most significant challenges are often telling the people we love the most

Published in
8 min readOct 27, 2020


Mixed media representation of very depressed young man.
stevanovicigor/63461617/DepositPhoto licensed to author

A few years ago, I gave a talk about men who come out gay later in life to a group of about sixty mostly grey-haired gay men at an LGBTQ community center.

A man I’ll call “David” sat near the back of the room. David appeared to be in his mid-fifties. Nothing about him gave any inkling that he was a gay man. He was large and powerful, a very masculine man with the calloused hands of a tradesman. His jeans, t-shirt, and work boots lent further support to that impression. His hair was thick, and his attempt to control it was only partially successful. His shadow beard seemed more a statement of rebellion than of style. He had a reserved and notably shy manner. He scrutinized every word I said and clutched on to it.

My remarks engaged the group and led to an active discussion. As the comments wound down, David hesitated and then raised his hand. When I acknowledged him, he stood to speak.

His voice quivered as he began. “I want to tell you guys something that I’ve never talked about before. Even my friends here don’t know about this.” He looked around the room as if to get their…



Gay father; Psychiatrist; Award-winning author FINALLY OUT. Chapter excerpt here: Top writer on Medium. Not medical advice.