It has been a long struggle for me to come to a place of self-acceptance. Finally, in my last quarter of life, I’m able to accept I am a gay man who until I was in my 50s was unable to establish a loving relationship with another man. Though society in general has moved forward to some extent from the rigid attitudes of the 1950s, there is greater acceptance of those of us who have chosen to live an alternative life style. There are still many people and organizations today who continue to express harsh judgement and rejection of those of us who don’t fit some rigid and narrow profile of the expected behaviors for a boy, man, girl, or woman in society.
My life is proof that growth and change, in our own perceptions, can be achieved. Though all of us experience feelings of hurt, rejection, and disrespect, it’s how we learn to deal with them and the choices we make in our efforts to try to live an authentic life which makes all the difference in our being happy. Friendship and love in our lives are what we all strive to achieve. We can’t determine ahead of time how long that may take to achieve in anyone’s life.