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Coming out of the closet as an older adult? Need help?

 I have been gay for as long as I can remember.  Sadly, I have chosen to, however, live a life that pleases others. As a young Black man, I was deathly afraid of disappointing my immediate God-fearing family by coming out, so instead, I played the convincing role of womanizing hetero, and I did this so convincingly.

Now, as a 62-year-old man, the game I’ve been playing is getting really old, but getting up the courage to out myself would only fracture lifelong relationships. I’ve known people who have come out but regretted doing so because of the stigma and discrimination attached to it. 

I am emotionally drained, so tired of living this double life I’ve carved out so masterfully for myself. I am so tired of going about my life cloaking myself in what society deems appropriate, moving about undetected, and as many would say, safe. I pray that I will somehow find the strength to break out of this self-imprisonment, this identity-denying malaise, and no longer live my life in shame.




For many in the LGBTQ community, the coming out process was extremely difficult, but for an older adult, the decision to do so can be twice as hard. Because many older adults in the community have spent a majority of their lives “in the closet” or masking their sexual orientation, their authentic lives have remained largely silenced. In the Black community, homosexuality finds less tolerance particularly, when it comes to religion. So instead of fulfilling a desire to live free, many in the LGBTQ community continue to victimize themselves through self-oppression.

Coming out as an older adult to yourself, your friends, and your family is a HUGE part of the journey towards coming to grips with your sexual orientation and  FINALLY living your truth. If you need to find your footing in the coming out process, here are some helpful tips. Keep in mind… A closet is a lonely prison of the soul. Self-love will set you free.


Need help? There are groups or message boards where you can safely share your feelings. Organizations like COLAGE and PFLAG also offer online and in-person resources for LGBTQ individuals and their loved ones, including adult children.

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