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How I Came Out Of The Closet On National TV

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man microphone suit and tie
The heat is on.
... and why I've been coming out of the closet for my entire life.

However, before entering into the arms of matrimony, I did drop a little hint of my past to my then fiancé, but I did it in a way that wasn't a true confession. It was more like a a little FYI about my past sexual exploration. Kind of a "coming out" of sorts. Yet still not a complete coming out.

Roll forward, 2001 and the big one! The actual "coming out" to my wife. My life flip-flopped and the journey of "coming out" reached a plateau, or so I thought.

More from YourTango: Coming Out: Five Biggest Regrets After Escaping The Closet

I was out. Out to my wife, my kids in a way they could comprehend at 5- and 2-years-old, to my parents, my brother, friends and co-workers. "Okay, wipe our hands of that. This is how you come out and it's done!" Oh, no, no, no! Who was I kidding? You never stop coming out!

To say that I've kept track of how many people I've come out to would be an outright lie. However, as I think over my life since I said, "Frankly my dear, I'm gay," I would estimate I have probably come out to at least 900 people and that's just my Facebook friends. Then there are co-workers along the way, other parents at my daughters schools, neighbors, new friends, friends of friends, doctors, dentists ... the list goes on. My best guess would be, close to 5000 people know I'm gay!

You see, I'm like an open book. I don't hide that I'm gay, nor do I wear a rainbow flag on my head and shout it from the rooftops. I'm simply gay and if it comes up in conversation, I work it in or answer the questions. Never really thought of it as a big deal and don't usually try to make an issue of my sexuality. However, not to long ago, the queen of Hairspray caused me to really "come out."

On Oct. 17, 2012 I was invited to be the "Coming Out Expert" on The Ricki Lake Show, for a segment entitled "When Gay People Lead Straight Lives." Excited, thrilled, in awe, were just a few of the feelings I was experiencing. Nothing weird was going on, until I was brought onto the set and realized in less than one minute, I was about to "come out" on national TV.

Yes, the thought had drifted through my gray matter a couple of times leading up to this moment and pushed aside. Now it was real. Like Wylie Coyote running off the cliff — there I was — suspended in air, knowing there was no turning back. However, then the reality hit, this "coming out" was only in front of the 200 plus crew and audience members that were watching the taping. Whew!

Yet, there still was no turning back. The show would eventually air. And, air it did! Nov. 2, 2012 — the day that hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions, found out I was gay! However, the journey doesn't end there! Not only are bits and pieces of the show archived on the internet and in the vaults of filmdom, now, once again, Thurs. January 24th, the show will re-air and I'm once again "coming out!"

More from YourTango: Terms Of Engagement: Navigating An Open Relationship

If someone were to ask me, "How do you come out?," this wouldn't be the way I would advise them. Yet there is wisdom that bursts forth when you have the chance to sit on the same couch as the person that made Tracy Turnblad, a household name. Keep reading ...

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Rick Clemons

Author

Rick Clemons, The Gay Man's Life Coach & The Coming Out Coach

Rick is a straight-forward, compassionate, insightful, challenging, mentor, guide, and Certified Professional Coach who's been featured on The Ricki Lake Show, and is a highly sought after radio show personality, blogger, author, and faculty member of Sex Coach U. His loving, challenging, gentle, and inspiring approach ignites a fire in clients, helping them get through the darkest moments of life and come out the other side, kicking butt, and being authentically themselves.

Rick thrives, working with individuals, and those in their inner circle, as they embark on the journey out of the closet and beyond. He specializes in helping people build confidence, uncover their deepest passions, and live their life's purpose. Authenticity isn't just a word he throws around lightly. It's the backbone of his practice and the manner in which he personnally strives to live each and every day of his own life.

Join Rick's Monthly "Guyz Like Us" Free Coaching Call For Gay Men!

Sign-up for Ricks' Free Video Series, "Coming Out Without Coming Unglued!"

Connect with Rick through his Coming Out & Life Coaching Newsletter.

Schedule A Discovery Session - Click Here

Twitter - @rickclemons & @ComingOutCoach
Facebook -The Gay Man's Life Coach & Rick The Coming Out Coach
You Tube Channel -The Gay Man's Life Coach & Coming Out Coach

Location: Riverside, CA
Credentials: ACC, CPC
Specialties: LGBT Issues (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender), Men's Issues, Sexuality
Other Articles/News by Rick Clemons:

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The only thing certain in gay marriage is death and screwed up taxes. Ah yes. As sure as the moon rises and the sun sets, April showers and tax season arrive each year. And this year is no different, unless you're gay and got married in one of the 17 states or District of Columbia where same-sex marriage is legal. If so, then welcome to your tax-filing ... Read more

Coming Out: Five Biggest Regrets After Escaping The Closet

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It’s been almost 14 years since I came out of the closet. I’ve now been with my partner, almost as long as I was married. And, I’ve almost spent a third of my life on the other side of the closet door, being authentically who I am – a gay man. So what does that all add up to? A lot of joy, heartache, peace, and regrets. Today I want to ... Read more

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