One Equal World

It’s Never Too Late for Love

Posted on: September 6, 2013

ashamed old woman

Coming out after an entire closeted life could be painful for some.
Image: Shutterstock

While there has been so much progress in the fight for marriage equality and equal rights for gays and lesbians, many older gays just wish it had happened sooner.  There are many who feel left out after living their whole lives in closeted isolation, plagued with feelings of self-loathing and fear.

With the striking down of the Defense of Marriage Act, overturning of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the adoption of marriage equality in many U.S. states, some older gay men and women feel a little like they missed the boat.

One man told his story about how hard it was to stay closeted.  He was raised in the 1940s, when just talking about being gay or lesbian was completely taboo.  He said you were supposed to ignore it and pretend to be as straight as you possibly could so you wouldn’t attract any negative attention.

He was religious to boot.  The church told everyone it was a sin and that gay people, if they mentioned them at all, were going straight to hell.  There were no shades of gray.  The entire country seemed to agree.  He really thought he was the only one.

Now, with everything changing, there is no reason for a gay man or woman to hide.  People have become much more supportive.  There are organizations advocating for gay rights, endorsing open-minded candidates and educating the public that this is not a choice.

The dialog has been started, and the world is taking notice.  Countries like Russia are being picketed and boycotted due to their anti-gay stances.  Vladmir Putin is being shunned for his abusive policies.

So, where does that leave people in their 70s or 80s that have lived their whole lives in the closet?  Frankly, it may be hard to come to terms with allowing that part of their life to be freer.  When you have built up a whole façade around the idea that you have to hide, it can be almost painful to divulge the truth to your loved ones.  However, if you try, you may find more love than you ever thought possible.

Celebrate the successes of the younger gay generation, but try to find your voice too.  It’s never too late to find love.

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