National Coming Out Day

National Coming Out Day

out of closet

It’s National Coming Out Day.

Coming out for me was unique. Since I was 25 years old all the significant people in my life have known about my sexual orientation. For over two decades they knew me to be ExGay. This took the pressure out of being gay because most people didn’t feel threatened by my sexuality. In their minds, I wasn’t gay; I was a man who had same sex attractions that was married to a woman. I guess that meant I wasn’t gay. I didn’t consider myself as gay either. The denial and suppression in my life was painful and unhealthy.


So, coming out again a few years ago was almost more challenging than it was when I came out in my twenties. I wasn’t saying anything that wasn’t known, I was now admitting that being ExGay was inauthentic and in many ways it was dishonest.


I admitted that I was gay for the second time without planning to do so. When I was on a discussion panel at a Gay Christian Network conference I just blurted out, “Well, I am gay!”. My announcement came in a  very public way, so what else is new, right? This panel discussion went viral on the Internet for other reasons than me admitting I was gay, but nonetheless many, many people viewed it.


People really struggled with this not so new information. Some were very kind, others were silent, and there were a few that were disappointed, angry, and detached from me. But I had to make the decision to be honest even in the midst of other’s reactions.


So, on this National Coming Out Day, I’ve been “out” again for a couple of years. Today, being gay is virtually a non issue for me in my life. I fortunately live in a community and social circles where my being gay and being in a relationship with Larry McQueen is something that is really not anything that is a problem. Everywhere I go in this small rural Northeast Texas community, I am known for being gay and yet I don’t sense the least bit of discomfort or hesitation anywhere. It is what it is and no one really cares one way or the other.


I am thankful for coming out and finally being honest first with myself, and with all others. I have less anxiety, lower stress levels and feel more relaxed than I ever have. The tension in my physical body has decreased dramatically. Being out of the ExGay world has also decreased the drama that I lived in for so many years. Some of which I brought on as one of the ways I distracted myself from the ongoing confusion and pain.


Being with Larry is the most natural and comfortable relationship I have ever had. I am shocked when I realize how much energy I put into self-protection in intimate relationships and the intense denial I lived in before I came out again. I was completely worn out and almost emotionally bankrupt before I came out. I now feel rested and at ease, finally. It’s been a long haul.


I am myself in every way. I’m discovering things about myself that I had forgotten were part of being me. Some things go all the way back to when I was a child but I had suppressed from being ridiculed and bullied by my own mother. Being gay is not who I am, but it is certainly a big part of my life experience and tied heavily to my soul. I’ve discovered that stuffing being gay was followed by stuffing so many other wonderful and amazing things about me.


I’ve taught that there is freedom in Christ. I really never knew what that meant until today. I am now freer than I’ve ever been!



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2 Responses to “National Coming Out Day”

  1. Brian Hager says:

    John, in one month [November 12] it will be 4 years since I made a final effort to bust out of my Closet. In the first two years after I finally admitted that, I began to change in ways that my Sister-in-law and two of my best friends have since marveled at how much I have changed. My conversion, the Gift of my (F)aith, preceded that by 10 years. Today I have a “real” Relationship with the God of my Understanding and no one can take it away from me.

  2. Mark Lawrence says:

    Today is 12 years for me. One day after NCOD in 2002, I sat down with my wife and had the conversation we’d both dreaded for 27 years.

    This bit rings out for me – I find accord with it: ” I am shocked when I realize how much energy I put into self-protection in intimate relationships and the intense denial I lived in before I came out again. I was completely worn out and almost emotionally bankrupt before I came out. I now feel rested and at ease, finally. It’s been a long haul.”

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