J.E., Moohead, Minnestota
Gay life here in northern Minnesota was not good when I first came out. Due to that and my family, I didn’t come out until I was in my forties. I had married and fathered a son by that time, and it was hard living two lives. When my wife figured it out, she threw me out, but after a few weeks she asked me to come back. We talked it out and decided to stay married. My wife had two children when we married, and we sat all three kids down and told them that I was gay. At first my son had a hard time with it, but as he got older he came around. He and his girlfriend have been to gay bars with me, and he’s met all my lovers. He’s a people person like his father. I have always had long-term relationships—one-night stands are not my thing. A few of the men I’ve been with have spent time at my home, and we all get along well. My wife sleeps on the second floor and I stay on the first. We all eat together, go to shows, shop and all of that; my family stands behind me. Life is funny at times. I never thought things would work out this way, but all it takes is the truth and long talks. It was damn hard telling friends I was gay, and I did lose a few when I came out, but I guess they weren’t really friends to start with. I would not undo one thing about my life.