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Coming Out Stories Gallery - Anthony

I am a single father(with custody!)of an 8-yr.old son, in my twenties, and have been out for 2 years. My story is not as bold, maybe, as others, but was very liberating and a refreshing start for me. I knew of my orientation since I was very young, maybe 6, 7, or 8, but did not have a word for it then. I just *knew* I was attracted to other boys and curious about them rather than girls. However, as I was raised in a Christian home, I was taught that gays/lesbians were perverts, deviants, etc, so as I grew I was very, very secretive of my identity. I secretly admired my male friends, while maintaining a safe image with a girlfriend and dates and all of that. My first crush was on my best friend in 6th grade. I haven't seen him in over 8 years, but I know he has never married and has not had a girl friend since HS, and I have a feeling he might be gay as well. Who knows. I graduated HS, married my girl friend of 2 years, though we never were intimate, but were very clo! se friends. She knew at that time that there was something missing from our relationship and in hindsight has often said "no wonder!". We were married for 6 years while I was in the Navy, (and had my first gay encounter when I was 18), but divorced in 1994 after she found someone else(no big surprise). I was granted custody of my son, and she agrees it is best, and we remain close friends to this day. My coming out story starts 2 years ago when I was living in Tennessee and running a small business. I moved my exwife up to Tennessee in the hopes that we could reconcile our differences and *remarry* for my sons sake. She was all to thrilled. However, after I moved her in, I began to panic, as all the stressful memories of our marriage and my struggle with trying to keep up the image came flooding back. I thought I was backed into a corner and could not change my mind, seeing I had moved her in, etc. I had gone through so much stress and pain, trying to *condition* myself to be attracted to women while I was married, and obviously was unsuccessful. I could not go through that again. I could not force my self to be intimate with her again. I loved her, but not that way. So, while she was away visiting her mother who was sick, I went to a friend I knew in a local mall, who also ran a business and was a lesbian(she looks exactly like KD Lang! No kidding!hehe) and told her my "se! cret". She was SO supportive and happy for me. I felt this tremendous burden lift, as I had never before even acknowledged verbally, my secret. I even denied it to myself. NOW I was FREE and felt like telling EVERYBODY!

To make a long story short(too late!!) I called my exwife and revealed it to her, and she was not surprised, as she felt something was wrong when we were together. The only *bad* thing that came of my story, was the fact that my parents found out through her parents, before I could tell them. I was SO angry. My mom was hurt that they knew before she did. The closest I've come to a bad reaction was when my mom told me, when she found out and called, "you know you'll need to surpress those feelings" LOL. I said "if I was going to do that, WHY WOULD I HAVE TOLD ANYONE??"

Anyway, I have a wonderful relationship with my parents and they are very supportive in their own way.

I went to a candle light vigil for Matthew Shepard not long after coming out, and felt like I was a part of something so important. I felt like I belonged and felt so good being with others like me, as I was not hiding anymore. I am so glad to be FREE.

I now live in a small town and am focusing on raising my son. I don't date much and have no relationships, so don't think that being gay only means doing gay things(whatever that is). I am happy with my life, and my son supports my identity and is learning so much about issues, tolerance, and acceptance. He is truly wonderful. I am so glad to be able to share my story and I hope it gives someone a little courage to do the "unthinkable". It is worth it!

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