12/6/10: Comment left on my blog post about coming out to my older teenage daughter.
"What you just went through - coming out to your wife and to your daughter, but mostly coming out to yourself and becoming okay with the fact you're gay - should be met with the utmost level of self-respect, love and acceptance you can muster for yourself.
"You've spent years and untold energy on trying to be someone else because of what you believed was the right course of action for you. And you learned, regardless of how hard you try, you are the man you were created to be and that man insists on being acknowledged and loved. He deserves to be happy, to feel transcendent love and to have a life that's integrated, not compartmentalized; that's actualized, not just pining away in another situation, wishing it were different ...
"My ex-wife and I were married 19 years ... When we decided to separate, it was after a conversation that should've ended the marriage five years earlier, but "for the kids' sake" we hung in there, only to find our friendship disintegrate and a horrible "DADT" [Don't Ask, Don't Tell] policy implemented. Staying together after that conversation became really toxic for us. Thank heavens for a therapist who walked me through my "next steps" and helped me understand that the most loving, compassionate course of action was to divorce.
"I can tell you that giving up my marriage and, quite honestly, leaving Mormonism took a lot of thought and courage, and not without some sense of loss, too.
"The life I live now is so much better and infinitely more honest and happier than what I had before. There isn't a day when I don't think how glad I am I made this decision and that I would never, ever go back to hiding, attending a church that doesn't allow me to be open about who I am and that I now have a church where I am not only accepted, but loved for exactly who I am."
(I began the process of coming out in October 2010. I'm working on writing a memoir about the year following that coming out, and in order to help me stay on task, I've decided to publish this ongoing series of posts based primarily on the blog - entitled "Invictus Pilgrim" - that I kept during that year.)