I think its interesting to read or hear about people's coming out stories. I thought I'd write about mine. Parts of it are still a little painful even after so many years. You'll see why...
In 1984 I lived In Henderson, NV just outside of Las Vegas. I went out one night and met a handsome man. Ken was in Vegas for a convention from Oklahoma City. I visited him a couple of times in Oklahoma and we fell in love. I got a job in OK City and then flew back to Nevada to give my notice and pack up my belongings. I got a frantic call from Ken a few days later, he told me that he went to his doctor for a bruise on his leg that wouldn’t go away. They diagnosed it to be Kaposi’s sarcoma! AIDS! I was 25 years old and scared to death but moved to Oklahoma anyway.
In February 1985 we went to Utah for my youngest sister’s wedding. My family was used to me bringing college roommates home for a visit so they weren’t surprised when I showed up with this 'roommate' from Oklahoma. While we were there he got pneumonia. Ken was in an experimental drug treatment program at City of Faith Hospital in Tulsa (yes Oral Robert's University). When we went for his next treatment after we returned from Utah they saw how sick he was and immediately put him in the hospital. He was extremely sick for over four weeks.
One morning after I had been awake with him all night my mom called to see how he was. I said "He's doing better today but the doctors still don't give him much chance of surviving this." She said; “From just the pneumonia?” I said , "with the AIDS...." Then realized what I said and I just quit talking.
After a pause that felt like an eternity she asked if he got it from a blood transfusion; I told her no. There was another long pause. She asked if he was gay: I told her yes. Another long pause. Then she asked if I was gay and did I have it; “Yes I am and no I am negative”. After an even longer pause all I heard was sobbing. That was quite a lot for mom to take. She found out that her son was gay, had a lover and the lover was sick with AIDS. She was very reassured that I was not sick, but couldn’t believe that I had brought him around her family!
I wasn't disowned by the family, but the preaching and the rhetoric started. What hurt me the most was after he passed away about six months later. Their response was something like "We're sorry, but now you can come back to your senses, come back home and back to the truth of the church." My eventual response was to accept a job a few months later in Baltimore, MD because it was further away from Utah and the family.
It took years, but I finally made peace with them.