Running and Coming Out for Equality
By Sarah Ford on June 17, 2014
Source: Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
My reason for running the Marine Corps Marathon as an Athlete for Equality to benefit the Human Rights Campaign is really more of a coming out story, a mixture of motivations. I am 56 and just now coming out, a process less than a year old. At this time last year I had come out to only a single friend.
I realized I was gay in my early twenties. I was clueless in high school, questioning in college and pretty sure by grad school. My concept of being gay encompassed all the bad stereotypes of the times. I had a religious based education through high school. The Internet did not exist back then and all I heard about gay people were negative and scary things.
Sexual orientation exists on a spectrum. I had just enough attraction to women to delude myself into thinking I could suppress my gay side. I spent 30 years fighting being gay. I had an added incentive being in the Navy for over ten years. At first I tried to encourage my attraction to women (yep, we all know how well that worked), then I tried to just suppress my attraction to men (yep, we know how well that worked too). It was for all the usual reasons: fear, loathing, misinformation etc..