Yes, I hid in the closet through 13 years of marriage. I brought two young girls into the world only to turn their universe upside-down and inside-out by putting them through divorce and admitting I'm gay.
Go ahead. Sling the mud, call me a jerk and tell me this article is trash. Feel better? Good, because that's all about you, not me. And yes, when I came out of the closet, it did save my daughters lives.
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It didn't save them from broken hearts; it didn't save them from shuffling between two households; it didn't save them from having to answer awkward questions. However, I believe based on my experience and feedback from my daughters, that my decision to come out did all of the following: banished all possibilities of them growing up with a narrow-minded perspective of life; rescued them from a false sense of self, based on "living to please others"; taught them the power of "love is love"; validated that there are no mistakes, only opportunities to grow; and mirrored for them that trusting yourself to be yourself takes courage but is also a gift that only you can give yourself.
Of course, at 5 years and 18 months old, they didn't spout these feelings from their innocent mouths. It's taken years of holding them, continuing to keep the focus on their growth, development and well being and daily talking to them and making sure they know they are loved.
Without staying that course and maintaining that focus, I would be just another "low-life, divorced parent, who decided to live for himself, saying screw everyone else." How do I know that? Because I've have those accusations flung at me almost as many times as the Kardashians have been called names.
In those embittered moments where those who must judge judged me, I turned to the text book lessons of my life and stumbled through, knowing that no matter what we would thrive — my daughters, my ex-wife and I — knowing those who yielded the swords of judgment were also those who lacked the aptitude to know what was best for my daughters, my ex-wife or myself.
It's a human condition to claim to understand what's best for someone else. Yet, unless you're asked to intervene, it might be best to steer clear. In the midst of these catastrophic life transitions — divorce, job loss, death, coming out — no one understands better what's needed, desired and necessary to heal than the individuals caught in the vortex of the tornado.
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