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Better late than never

Hi all,

Recently I read an article about a 96 year old Polish man who finally came out as being gay to his whole family. It made me think about his life, what he has been through and the struggles he must have faced knowing he was gay throughout his life. This man has lived through world wars, poverty in his country, the rise of new powers and the trials and tribulations of everyday family life. All knowing that he couldn't come out as gay as his society would shun and reject him, his country wasn't open to homosexual relationships and religious views were against him entirely.

This resonates with me in many ways. Whilst I have said before I am lucky enough to live in the UK, where gay relationships are legal, and people can enter marriages with same sex partners, I have other trials that are similar to this mans. I too will face rejection from my family for being gay, I too have a religious belief that does not coincide with homosexuality and I too have a society, albeit a cultural one, that will shun and outcast me for being gay. However I live in an age where more and more people are being accepting towards gay people. The media is now showing more gay characters in films, tv and books. People are more likely to explore their sexuality and don't define themselves so rigidly on the Kinsey scale. These were factors that did help me to come out to select friends and my sister. However, if I didn't feel that I could safely do so, I too would have remained in the closet. So I understand the plight of this man, how he must have felt and the courage, even at 96, to come out and be true to himself.

When I was reading the article on the train, I saw many people just glance over it, but two people were discussing it. The general consensus was 'what's the point? He left it too late.' Whilst there is some truth to this, he did come out very late in his life, the point is he wanted to be truthful to himself. Live out the rest of his life knowing he has no regret, that he can finally be who he really is. That feeling, when you accept yourself is like no other feeling in this world. You get so much comfort when you realise this is who you are, who you were meant to be. It's the same feeling I felt when I came out, I was scared, but I now see the other side; the side where I no longer have to keep so many secrets and where I can express myself how I really would like to without fear of judgement.

So to this man, I congratulate you for being able to go through this journey. I can only imagine how hard it must have been to live your whole life with this looming over you. But also commend you for the family that you helped bring into this world. The one that accepted you and still loves you for who you are.

Someday I hope to achieve the same.



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