Dan Collier Gay Caucasian Male (58)
How out are you? Completely
Where did you come out? U.S.A.
What’s your story like?
I didn’t come out until I was in my mid-forties. Throughout my twenties, I dated women, had no thought of men, in any particular. However, I was an utter failure with women in bed, a disaster.
As I entered my thirties, I was increasingly staying clear of women, because I knew there’d be little passion from me and I would be embarrassed and humiliated in bed.
It wasn’t until I was 35 and at a Knicks game with a couple of guys that i had my first homosexual awakening. I never followed sports (only pretended) and didn’t really understand basketball, all this tearing up and down the court, I was at a loss. However, I happened to become aware of a player for the Knicks — tall, muscular (God, was he muscular!), black, with gorgeous African features. I followed him up and down the court, mesmerized.
That night, in bed, I found myself imagining hanging out with this player, then having dinner at my apartment, we kidding around, wrestling, which turned into embracing and, finally, kissing, and then …
The next morning, I was appalled and frightened and utterly disgusted. I got drunk early and stayed drunk for two days. And at the end of the two days, this beautiful man was still front-and-center in my thoughts. I was horrified at myself and my fantasies. But they wouldn’t go away. No matter what I did for the next year, this man and then, other men, became sexual objects for me. Women no longer were on my radar.
I drank, I denied my feelings, I was miserable. Genuinely tortured. Drinking, drinking, drinking, living like a recluse. Until, finally, one bleary, hung-over morning, I gazed at my sorry self in the mirror and managed to mumble, barely audible: “Dan Collier, you’re a homosexual. You’re gay.”
But it was another six months before I gathered the courage to go to a gay bar and hang out. And it was another several months before I actually kissed a man for the first time.
And loved it.
I started living a secret life, with friends and co-workers, I was the same het guy (admittedly, a rather effeminate het guy!). But at night and weekends, I was living a gay life. At gay bars, gay events, gay parties.
This closeted gay existence continued for eight strange, unhappy years, until I finally came out to friends and co-workers in my mid forties.
What a wonderful moment, a great weight suddenly and forever lifted from my shoulders.
My private and public self had become one. What is especially fascinating to me is that people seem to know, from a block away, that I am gay. Obviously, my somewhat effete demeanor has always been a part of me, it didn’t just come to the fore when I outed myself. So, from way back when, wonder how many people were nailing me as a homosexual man long before I knew it?
But now I am Gay, Out and Proud.
Approximately what year did you come out? 1996
Posted: July 2010