I wish my parents would ask me questions about my life.
Based in Philadelphia, and visiting D.C. at the time of the interview, this opera singer shares his experience with coming out, being religious and gay, his career as an opera singer, and his parents acceptance of him.
I knew that I was gay in 5th or 6th grade.
I was always attracted to the male characters in video games and I was attracted my male action figures. Even if i didn’t specifically think “oh, I’m gay,” I knew I was attracted to men at that time.
I was raised very Christian and I really believed in Christianity.
I started having doubts about my faith in Christianity toward the end of High School. It didn’t make sense to me. I read the entire bible, I knew scripture, and was very religious. Even though I went to church every Sunday, i just didn’t believe in it, it didn’t make sense to me.
Homosexuality never came up in church, it was just always assumed to be bad. Sometimes when the family watched TV, dad would make a comment about a gay actor. He made it clear that he wasn’t a fan of gays.
I came out in Grad school when I was 23 years old.
Before then, I dated and had sex with girls. I tried really hard not to be gay, but that doesn’t work.
My roommate in college was a confident gay man and a devout Catholic. i admired that because I never thought religion and being gay went together. My other friend was having doubts about her own sexuality, and she told me about it during one of our drives to church. I immediately told her I felt the same way and had been doubting my sexuality as well.
She and I opened OKcupid accounts together at the same time looking for same sex dates.
I found my first boyfriend because of OKcupid and had my first every experience with him.
A few summers later I decided to be openly gay to everyone I met. As hard as it can be to come out, it is far worse to be in the closet…that is not living.
Just this past summer my parents found out I was gay.
My mother suspected it, so she asked my sister. My sister told my mom I was gay. One day, I called home togive updates on my summer and my mom was said “WE KNOW!”
My parents didn’t handle it well, but they didn’t cut me out of their lives. My dad had a particularly difficult time, and still is having a hard time.
The first few phone calls after they found out was filled with them preaching at me. I barely got a word in. They didn’t address it when I went to visit later on, but my dad agreed to chat with me once I made it really clear that I wanted to talk.
I can be very out with my career as an opera singer.
It is very acceptable and the business is run by a lot of gay people. iI general, it is very acceptable to be gay in the arts in my experience. The arts are about every aspect of life. It is not art if you choose to ignore certain groups or certain cultures. Art embraces everything.
I’ve been with my boyfriend now almost four and a half years. I’ve grown so much as a gay man since I first started dating. I’ve allowed myself to be myself a little more. I’m not putting on so much of an act, and I like hanging out with gay people more.