Connect with us

Out October: “At 50 miles-per-hour I took my seat belt off and veered into a telephone pole.”



Today’s Out October Project story comes from a man who fought so hard to be someone he wasn’t, he denied himself the right to believe the truth about himself. In the end, it almost cost him his life. Here’s a great story of courage and hope, that teaches us that it does, indeed, get better, when you believe in and become yourself.

Catch up on all the other stories of hope, truth, and courage here.

I guess these stories all start out the same, I always knew something was different. Somewhere in my early teens was where I became more in tune with what was going on, but I was absolutely convinced that possibly being gay was something I could control and if I was going to admit anything to myself, it was that I was maybe bisexual.

During high school I had a steady girlfriend, we had a lot of friends and times were good. My high school girlfriend and I broke up the summer after graduation. I went to a community college for the first two years and became best friends with a girl. We eventually started dating. I then transferred to a university. The long distance relationship was easy for a reason. Eventually we both finished school, and after five years of being together I asked her to marry me. We had been living together for two years at this point and it seemed like the next logical step. Around this time I became very anxious, and I wasn’t sleeping well at all. I went to the doctor and he prescribed me some anti-anxiety medication.

Looking back at this exact moment in my life has always been tough for me. I was in such denial, I didn’t want to be gay, I didn’t want to be bisexual, but allowing myself to think that being bisexual meant that I could choose, and since I didn’t want to be gay, that must mean that I’m straight. So life went on, and so did the medication. My doctor, without really asking any questions continued to prescribe a cocktail of medications to conquer my anxiety and to help me sleep. I continued to get through each day, with my best friend, my fiancé. We were engaged for three years before we finally married, and yes I was still medicated, to control my anxiety. We both had great jobs and we got along just fine as any two best friends would. Then she became pregnant. I was twenty-seven years old.

Five months into the pregnancy my anxiety became increasingly worse, panic attacks were more frequent. I really started to emotionally unravel. I was by this time getting through each day, but medicated, I could still not feel anything, I had no emotions, it had been years since I truly felt anything. I became depressed. My head was so clouded with guilt, I was finally allowing myself to admit that yes, maybe I was gay. My thoughts were repetitious, “God what have I done?”

The guilt was so intense, words cannot truly express to power of the guilt. I was driving to work one day, and I made the worst decision of my life, I took my seat belt off, and veered off the road into a telephone pole at fifty miles-per-hour. The rationalization seemed perfect. I can check out without embarrassing my wife, my daughter, my friends, and my family. The life insurance would take care of them. The pain of losing me would certainly be less to them than me coming out.

Somehow I survived the accident. I kept my secret. I was more scared than ever.

We had a healthy baby girl the following spring. Life went along, my medication continued. I went through each day never really feeling anything; the medication took care of any and all feelings.

Then later that summer the governor of New Jersey came out as a gay American. He was married had kids, and was talking publicly about this. I really started to emotionally unravel. I was by this time barely emotionally getting through each day; I became depressed.

Here I was with a house, two cars, a little girl, and I was married to my best friend. One morning I woke up and had one of the worst panic attacks. I wouldn’t have wished it on anyone, and I thought I was going to die. I slowly realized that I couldn’t handle, what I thought I could control, my sexuality, I wasn’t bisexual, I was gay. I didn’t want to be gay.

Then one night in the spring I sat my best friend, my wife, down and told her. It wasn’t planned, it just happened. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do. We cried together for hours, there was no yelling, no screaming, just sadness. I moved out a month later. It was surreal.

The next six months were the worst. I stopped all medication, I was feeling again, but all I was feeling was tremendous guilt and embarrassment and it was crushing. It was hard, but it slowly got better. For the most part, my entire family, my friends, and my estranged wife’s family — believe it or not — were supportive. Slowly things were easier, very slowly.

A little over a year after my wife and I split up I met a man who had just come out to his family. We were the same age, twenty-nine, and we instantly connected. The panic and stress about being gay subsided and I slowly began to feel again, to be happy, and to really be in love with someone.

True love is something I never had experienced. I never felt it was something I deserved. I guess on some level it’s something I still sometimes have a hard time accepting. We are still together almost five years later. He is my soul mate.

It has taken years for me to begin to forgive myself for what felt I should have worked out much sooner, it’s still something I struggle with.

My ex-wife was unbelievably supportive. Her family was there for me, my family rallied around me, my friends rallied around me, and things got better. I knew I had a little girl who was calling me daddy, which I needed to live for.

Lessons I’ve learned? Where to start… Be who you are always, don’t wait. Masking feelings is not healthy, it made things worse. Humans are meant to feel things, your body is talking to you, listen. Regrets? Yes I have many, many of which are obvious.

If you ever get to the point where things seem to be so dismal that you can’t imagine anything ever being right again, stop. Breath. Realize there are people in your life you love you, no matter what, it’s a hell of a leap of faith, I know, but things will get better. I promise that people you never thought would support you, will surprise you and possibly be your biggest support. The world deserves you, whoever you are.

Be happy, you owe it to yourself. I never thought I would be here, now, writing this, but with this anti-gay surge which is ever-more present, I needed to share my story.  I wish I had someone to tell me this story on that morning on my way to work, that things will get better, you can do this, and you will survive this.  I can’t change my past but hopefully my story can get through to one gay person who is struggling.

So listen up, you will be alright, you will be happy. Believe me. I’m living proof.

Remember, there are always options.
The Trevor Project: a 24-hour hotline for gay and questioning youth: 866-4-U-TREVOR (488-7386)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255)

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.


‘I’m Broke’: One Day Before Shutdown and With No Plan McCarthy Says He Has ‘Nothing’ in His ‘Back Pocket’



Just 30 hours before his own Republican conference likely will have succeeded in shutting down the federal government of the United States, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy candidly admitted to reporters he’s run out of ideas.

Earlier Friday in an “embarrassing failure,” 21 House Republicans killed legislation from their own party, a short-term continuing resolution, that would have kept the federal government open.

Later on Friday afternoon, swarmed by reporters, McCarthy was asked if he was going to tell them what his plans are. He sarcastically replied, “No, I’m going to keep it all a secret.”

When pressed, he said he would “keep working, and make sure we solve this problem.”

“What’s in your back pocket, Speaker?” another reporter asked, pressing him for an answer.

“Nothing right now. I’m broke,” he admitted, apparently referring to options and ideas to avoid a shutdown.

READ MORE: ‘Bad News’ for Sidney Powell as First Trump Co-Defendant in Georgia RICO Case Takes Plea Deal: Legal Expert

But another reporter asked Speaker McCarthy the main question: Would he partner with House Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries to put the Senate’s bill before the House.

He refused to answer.

Just before 5 PM CNN’s Manu Raju reported on the ongoing House Republicans’ closed-door meeting with the Speaker, a meeting where the 21 Republicans who will likely be effectively responsible for the shutdown reportedly did not attend.

“McCarthy is telling [Republicans] now there aren’t many options to avoid a shutdown, according to sources in room. He says they can approve GOP’s stop-gap plan that failed, accept Senate plan, put a ‘clean’ stop-gap on floor to dare Democrats to block it — or shut down the government.”

READ MORE: Will McConnell and Senate Republicans Use Feinstein’s Passing to Grind Biden’s Judicial Confirmations to a Halt?

He adds, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) largely responsible for the impending likely shutdown and the impending possible ouster of McCarthy said: “We will not pass a continuing resolution on terms that continue America’s decline.”

At midnight Saturday Republicans will likely have succeeded in furloughing 3.5 million million federal workers – two million of them service members in the U.S. Armed Forces – and countless contractors, while financially harming untold thousands of businesses that rely on income from all those workers to keep running – unless Speaker McCarthy puts a bipartisan continuing resolution approved by at least 75 U.S. Senators on the floor, legislation every House Democrat is likely to vote for.

Should he do so, many believe he will have also signed his own pink slip.

But whether or not the government shuts down, and whether or not McCarthy puts the Senate’s CR on the floor, according to The Washington Post the far right extremists in his party are already moving to oust him “as early as next week.”

The Biden campaign is making certain Americans realize the blame for the impending shutdown sits at McCarthy’s feet.

At 6:23 PM Friday evening, Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman wrote on social media: “HOUSE REPUBLICANS HAVE NO PLAN TO KEEP GOVERNMENT OPEN.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

Continue Reading


‘Bad News’ for Sidney Powell as First Trump Co-Defendant in Georgia RICO Case Takes Plea Deal: Legal Expert



The first of 19 co-defendants in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ RICO and election interference case against Donald Trump has pleaded guilty in what is being described as a “plea deal.”

“Under the terms of an agreement with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s office, Hall pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit election fraud, conspiracy to commit computer theft, conspiracy to commit computer trespass, conspiracy to commit computer invasion of privacy, and conspiracy to defraud the state,” NBC News reports. “Under the terms of the deal, he’s being sentenced to five years probation.”

CNN previously reported “Hall, a bail bondsman and pro-Trump poll-watcher in Atlanta, spent hours inside a restricted area of the Coffee County elections office when voting systems were breached in January 2021. The breach was connected to efforts by pro-Trump conspiracy theorists to find voter fraud. Hall was captured on surveillance video at the office, on the day of the breach. He testified before the grand jury in Fulton County case and acknowledged that he gained access to a voting machine.”

READ MORE: Will McConnell and Senate Republicans Use Feinstein’s Passing to Grind Biden’s Judicial Confirmations to a Halt?

Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, a professor of law and frequent MSNBC contributor, says Hall “was in the thick of things with Sidney Powell on Jan 7 for the Coffee County scheme involving voting machines. If he’s cooperating, it’s a bad sign for her.”

Hall’s plea deal “spells bad news for, among others, Sidney Powell,” says former Dept. of Defense Special Counsel Ryan Goodman, an NYU Law professor of law. Goodman posted a graphic showing the overlap in charges against Hall and Powell, which he called “alleged joint actions.”

See the graphic above or at this link.


Continue Reading


Far-Right Republicans Kill GOP Bill to Keep Government Running in ‘Embarrassing Failure’ for McCarthy: Report



With a shutdown less than 36 hours away, far-right Republicans in the House of Representatives Friday afternoon voted against their party’s own legislation to kept the federal government running. Democrats opposed the content of the bill and voted against it. Just 21 far-right members of the GOP conference were able to effectively force what appears to be an all but inevitable shutdown at midnight on Saturday.

“HARDLINE HOUSE RS take down stopgap funding bill. 21 GOP no votes. 232-198,” reported Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman just before 2 PM Friday.

NBC News reported that a “band of conservative rebels on Friday revolted and blocked House Republicans’ short-term funding bill to keep the government open, delivering a political blow to Speaker Kevin McCarthy and likely cementing the chances of a painful government shutdown that is less than 48 hours away.”

READ MORE: Will McConnell and Senate Republicans Use Feinstein’s Passing to Grind Biden’s Judicial Confirmations to a Halt?

“Twenty-one rebels, led by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., a conservative bomb-thrower and a top Donald Trump ally, voted Friday afternoon to scuttle the 30-day funding bill, known as a continuing resolution or CR, leaving Republicans without a game plan to avert a shutdown. The vote failed,” NBC added. “The embarrassing failure of the GOP measure once again highlights the dilemma for McCarthy as his hard-liners strongly oppose a short-term bill even if it includes conservative priorities. It leaves Congress on a path to a shutdown, with no apparent offramp to avoiding it — or to quickly reopen the government.”

A bipartisan group of at least 75 U.S. Senators has passed two bills this week that would keep the government running. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy has refused to allow it to come to the floor for a vote.




Continue Reading


Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.