Becoming One

Coming Out At Work

Today I am an out and proud gay man. I am out in every facet of my life. But this has not always been the case. I began dating a woman in 1990, who I fell in love with, and we married two years later. We have a 19 year old son together. While I had know about my attraction to men since I was fourteen, and told my wife when we first started dating, I only began to come out fully about five years ago, and subsequently moved out of my marriage almost three years ago.

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My Sexy Beard

I have never grown a beard before. Oh, I had some feeble attempts to grow beards in my 20’s and 30’s that were very short lived, but I have never had the courage to wear a beard to work. I remember in my late-twenties growing a beard when I lived in New York City. My mother was visiting me and we were in a cab together. She turned to me as we headed down Broadway, just passing Union Square, and let me know that she did not like the beard. I do not remember exactly what words she used, but her comments confirmed all my self doubt that the beard made me look silly. When I got home I shaved off the beard. I do not remember growing a beard for more than a few vacation days since that cab ride with my mother over thirty years ago.

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Attracted to Men

In the 1970’s, when I was a teenager, my father worked very hard on a large multi-year project that had a high risk of failure. He worked long hours, was under a lot of stress, and came home tired and irritable. My father was a man of sharp edges. There was always something hard charging about him. He was not one to cross.

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The Trauma of Growing up Gay, Part II

I wrote recently about the trauma of growing up gay in the early 1970’s. The largest single thing that influenced my perspective on homosexuality as a naive fourteen years old was the book, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) by U.S. physician David Reuben. The book was published in 1969.

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Sharp Edges and Rough Spots

For me, Philadelphia, the city I grew up in, was a weight around my neck when I was in high school. I felt I could not be my true self in Philadelphia. When I went back to Philadelphia for graduate school and worked for my father’s company part time, I began see what living in Philadelphia would be like. My parents had a wide network of friends. My father served on multiple boards, had business and political connections across the city. My parents traveled in certain circles that, had I stayed, I would have been expected to travel in too. I hated it. Continue reading