Coming Out: It’s a Journey
Coming Out: An Interview with Rick Clemons
Here are some things I learned from Rick Clemons during our Family Matters interview Nov. 10, 2015. Coming out as a gay person is a journey, not a one time event. It starts with recognizing and accepting what is true about yourself. Then you tell the relative(s) and friend(s) you can most easily talk with or must inform. For some, those you must inform include your spouse who thought you were heterosexual, as you tried to be. Later you may tell people you work with, people you work with in the next job you take, and perhaps people with whom you have a conversation on an airplane, if they are interested.
A man who was married and had children before recognizing that he is actually gay may face painful dilemmas. Wives usually feel betrayed, hurt, and angry. It is important to give them plenty of room to breathe as they adjust to a new understanding of who you are. Sometimes they are initially very rejecting. Some who have not learned much about HIV and AIDS worry (unnecessarily) that your hanging around with gay men may have put your children’s health at risk. As a coming out coach, Rick guides clients and those closest to them through the closet doors with a heart-centered approach that invites as much peace and mutual understanding as possible for all involved.
Rick knows how hard it is to come out of the closet and be true to yourself. He was 38 years old with a wife and two young daughters when he came out as a gay man. Initially his wife felt more hurt about his infidelity than about his being gay. Given enough time, he and she developed a cooperative co-parenting relationship. Understanding himself better led Rick to live a healthier lifestyle, lose 100 pounds, change careers, and eventually become a speaker and a coming out coach with a proven talent for guiding people, regardless of sexuality, out of hiding and into their own brilliant differentness.
To hear the full interview with Rick Clemons, go to http://bit.ly/coming-out-journey.
Professional family mediators facilitate constructive communication when relatives are having difficulty discussing something important. For a free consultation about whether mediation would be helpful for your family, contact Dr. Virginia Colin at mediatorQ@gmail.com or 703.864.2101.