Saturday, October 19, 2013

Why I Came Out

 Bill (my spouse) sent me this video, "It Could Happen To You".  This video is a perfect example of why I came out in 1963 and continue to live openly as a gay man.  The story on this video is why I fight and challenge and refused to be bullied, cowed and apologize for who I am, who I love and my existence on this earth.  


Me and Bill - Philadelphia - 1970

Some may think it is "safe" to stay in the closet and I realize I have no right to tell someone how to live their lives.  We all have to decide our own journey through life.  But I knew this would probably happen in my life should a tragedy occur and that is why I took steps to assure I didn't leave my loved on in this situation.  


Me and Bill at my parents' house Downingtown, PA - 1978

Most parents are well meaning but some parents, when it comes to discovering that their child is gay are more concerned with "what will the neighbors think?" than they are with the welfare and happiness of their own child.  I had such parents.  Fortunately for me I have had a long and happy life, with only a few minor speed bumps in my life's journey.  Oh sure, occasionally I encounter a member of the family who is so threatened by my existence that they threaten me with physical harm should I "show up on their doorstep" (which happened this last summer during a visit to relatives in the mountains of western North Carolina).  


Me and Bill in the North Carolina mountains this past spring where my father was born.  This day I was to introduce my cousin and his wife to our second cousin.  However, the day before I was warned by the son of the cousin that because of my "gay lifestyle" I would have to "deal with him" if I stepped foot on his parents' property.  Instead we visited a local graveyard and I took photos for my Find a Grave volunteer account.

But remember my gay brothers and sisters, when you choose to live in the closet because you think that is the "safest" way to live and to spare your family and friends the "embarrassment" of having a homosexual in the family, look at this film and think "This could happen to me."  Never forget,  the Declaration of Independence says "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed y their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."  


Me and Bill in Milton, DE - 2009 - why is the fact that we're so happy causes so much unhappiness with homphobes?


The choice is yours my gay brothers and sisters but remember, should an unforeseen tragedy enter into you life as happened with this wonderful couple, who were so happy, this to could happen to you.  



July 1st, 2013 - Georgetown, DE - the day we got our marriage license

17 comments:

  1. Not that this has anything to do with your post today but Hubs and I will be driving down the "Dreaded Death Trap of Rte. 1" tomorrow by you on our way down to Ocean City. Any ideas on a good place to stop for lunch near Rehoboth?

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    1. slugmama,

      Tomorrow shouldn't be too bad on Route 1 because it is the off season. There are several fine restaurants on the right side of Route 1. There are the chain restaurants like Cracker Barrel and Perkins but I would suggest stopping at Touch of Italy or Root Gourmet. They are right before you turn left into Rehoboth. In fact, just about any of the restaurants are a good choice, even the chain restaurants but since you're in the area I would try a local restaurant.

      Ron

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    2. Thanks for the suggestions. Would you and Bill be around so we can treat you to lunch then?

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    3. Thanks for the invitation. I can meet you for lunch. Bill doesn't like to go out to restaurants. You can call me and I could meet you there.

      Ron

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    4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. "why is the fact that we're so happy causes so much unhappiness with homphobes?" - cause their lives are shallow and miserable; bullies cannot stand to see someone happy, so they figure that gotta "tear down" the happy couple.

    screw the bullies; live free and love all! :)

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    1. Anne Marie,
      It always amazes me how unhappy the homophobes are that gay people are happy. Even the term "gay" drives them nuts.

      Ron

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  3. Great post, Ron. Makes so much sense. I love the pictures of you and Bill. SOOO HAPPY!!!!
    But having a wonderful life like you have isn't a direct result of coming out. That's a whole other thing, mostly personality. Of course, being out greatly increases your chances of finding your own "Bill".

    Peace <3
    Jay

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    1. Jay,
      You make some good points!
      Ron

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  4. Everybody should watch the Lifetime movie "Tears for Bobby" with Sigourney Weaver. You probably can get it on Netflix.
    The most important in life, gay, straight... is to be happy and you and Bill fit that definition. Forget people who are always judging others.

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    1. Nadege,

      Not that there hasn't been a few "speed bumps" along the road in the last 49 years, but Bill and I have been blessed with much happiness. And you are so right in that the most important thing in life, gay or straight is to be happy. For some that is raising a family, for others a career that they love, and for some like me and Bill that is to bring happiness to each other and others who are willing to accept that happiness without judging us. One thing that has always puzzled me is that some people automatically reject that happiness when they discover where it is coming from. Their loss. We live our lives by our own rules and no one else's and I think that has contributed greatly to our longevity and happiness.
      Ron

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  5. Exactly right - so many parents of gay offspring are more concerned about what others think about THEM than their showing any support for their own children. They put themselves first, in just the same way that an impoverished and drinking parent might rather buy alcohol for her/himself than to use the little money to feed their child.

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    1. Ray,

      One would like to think all parents are altruistic and think of their children first but sadly that is not the reality many times. I feel sadness for those who have parents who are more concerned with "what the neighbors would think" than their own child's welfare. Maybe it's time for the child to disown the parents rather than the other way around.

      Ron

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    2. I am corresponding with a 17 year old young man in Louisiana who is dealing with this exact issue. Besides a very conservative, traditional Catholic family (with an dysfunctional alcoholic father), his mother is far more worried about what others in their small town will think if they were to find out that one of their children were gay. It seems NOT to bother her that her husband is a total drunk who has cops after him, and is pretty much the talk of the town. She went thru her son's computer the other night when he forgot to call home on time, and of course, discovered all the things she didn't want to know. She hasn't spoken to him since. Needless to say, I'd like to slap her silly. Thank God he'll be starting college away from home in January.
      Peace <3
      Jay

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    3. Jay,
      I feel so sorry for young kids today. One would think life would be easier for them coming out as gay but many times it is not. Things really haven't changed that much since when I came out way back in 1963. I just hope this young kid won't have any bad repercussions from his Mother finding out that he is gay.
      Ron

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  6. Ron

    I never had the courage when I was young to come our. I believe it was partly due to my religious upbringing, and insecurity and self esteem issues I was dealing with due to some severe dysfunction in the family. I do consider myself out now but without the proclamation. I have no problem in a situation that demands it to say I am gay. I know my family and friends are quite aware of my orientation. I can never say I achieved the freedom that you experienced in your earlier days - and I still don't have that sense of being fully who you are that you have as you took the leap. I aspire to that - you are my mentor in this regard. And I thank you deeply for it.

    Pat

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    1. Pat,

      We all have to find our own path to completing our Journey. I respect everyone's right to find their path. I think you're doing just fine considering your circumstances. I am flattered that you would consider me your mentor. I want nothing but the best for you Pat.

      Ron

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