With a fresh outlook on life at the age of (almost) 50, Ed found confidence in honesty and love.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m 49, from Ohio, partnered for 10 years, and a nurse by profession.
What can you tell us about confidence?
When I met my current partner and came out as a gay man to my friends and family, something seemed to have changed in me. I became liberated in ways I never even thought I could be liberated, and that included how I dressed myself, even down to my underwear.
What was it specifically that made you more aware of what you wore?
I would have to say it was finally noticing the same old, tired clothes in my closet. Looking and dressing like everyone else. Not really exploring and asserting who I really was on the inside, and that was a proud gay man who deserved the chance, like every other gay person, to not live in secrecy.
What prompted you to come out to family and friends?
It was encouragement from my partner. It was also the fact that I knew that my friends and other loved ones already were aware of the fact that I was gay, that I always had been, and not even being married for ten years to a woman would ever change that.
Why weren’t you able to come out before?
There wasn’t a good reason why I hadn’t come out long before I did. It was one thing and one thing only: my own fear of facing who I really was. I wasn’t afraid of losing the love of my friends and family by coming out as a gay man. It was admitting to myself that I needed to live in MY truth, not the truth of others. It was the fear of learning how to live my life as a proud gay man. It was the fear of standing up and being counted as worthy.
Assuming coming out offered you a new-found confidence, where did you find confidence before?
I didn’t find it before coming out. I didn’t know I had confidence inside of me until I came out. At least, I never believed I had any confidence to begin with.
Ten years later, what gives you confidence now?
Several things. Turning 50 this year and knowing I have lived half a century and experienced so much of this life that hasn’t always been easy or fun, but somehow I have managed to stay alive. My wonderful and amazing partner Richard who has kept me grounded. Going back to college after twenty years to finally finish my RN degree. THAT takes a huge amount of confidence, believing that no matter how old you are, education is something everyone can and should pursue. You are never too old to learn!
Anything else you would like to share?
Yes. A favorite quote of mine: “We do not live in this world alone, but in a thousand other worlds”. This has always resounded with me. It says so much to me as a human being, and particularly as a gay man.