Book updated – “Finally Out: Letting Go of Living Straight”
by Rob Howard
“Human sexuality is far more complex and fluid than labels,” says Dr. Loren Olson, the author of Finally Out: Letting Go of Living Straight.
Dr. Olson is an openly gay, board certified psychiatrist and a nationally recognized expert on mature gay men. His groundbreaking book for older gay men and others struggling to sort out their sexual identity was first published in 2011. Now Dr. Olson has updated the book.
“I revised Finally Out largely because so much had changed in the time since I wrote the original book. Marriage equality is, of course, the big one.” He cites the changes in laws expanding rights for LGBTQ people. “It’s looking like it may be less favorable,” he says, pointing to the election of Donald Trump.
In the new edition, being published this month, Dr. Olson explores current issues facing the LGBTQ community and delves further into why many men who have sex with men reject defining themselves as gay.
Dr. Olson, who came out at 40, thinks coming out is still difficult for men 40 and older. “I think there are some barriers that don’t present as much when you are young. At least many of these men have been heterosexually married. When you have kids, it is more difficult to walk away from your marriage.
“Many have a firm idea of what roles they have. It happens a lot where there is emphasis on family. In conservative states, in my experience, most people who have kids are very committed parents and that’s one of their highest values. Reneging on that violates their core values and delays their decision to come out.”
Early in the book, he addresses men who have sex with men, or MSM as the Centers for Disease Control calls them. Many MSM do not consider themselves to be gay. Dr. Olson told The Gayly, “In so many cultures there is such an emphasis on being a man instead of being a woman. That internalized idea about what a man is – winning and competition, being a risk taker is built up as positive images. Anything where emotion is exposed creates a feeling of weakness.”
That poses a problem when we consider the risk of exposure to HIV. MSM, particularly in rural areas are, “Outside of the education that informs us about risky sex and being prepared for times they might have sex,” says the doctor. “It’s a hidden population and it’s difficult to reach them.”
Dr. Olson concluded saying, “For those people who are still living in their situation of torment, they need to know that they don’t have to continue to live that way. They need to find someone to talk with who has successfully come out. They don’t have to suffer in silence.”
“Finally Out: Letting Go of Living Straight” can be purchased at LorenAOlson.com, online at Amazon.com and other booksellers and in major bookstores. Additional information about male sexuality is available on finallyouttips.com.
Copyright 2017 The Gayly – April 28, 2017 @ 9:55 a.m.