Running and Coming Out for Equality

Human Rights Campaign

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..

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