Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-09-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES                DOWNLOAD PDF ISSUE

BOOKS Psychiatrist talks about 'Letting Go of Living Straight'
by Liz Baudler
2017-04-05

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Psychiatrist Loren Olson has said that he had no idea he was gay until age 40.

Despite some early experiences with men and doubts about his masculinity, Olson had married and had children. Influenced by his own journey, Olson, who now lives as an out and proud gay man, focuses his work on the population of men who have sex with men ( MSM ) but don't necessarily identify as gay or bisexual.

His book, Finally Out: Letting Go of Living Straight, addresses those who are disconnected from the larger LGBTQ community for some reason, whether it be age or background, and those who struggle to understand the pressures that influenced their decision.

Windy City Times: Who is your book's target audience?

Loren Olson: My intent was to talk to those men, who, like myself, were struggling with the decision to come out and were sort of in their midlife. The more I worked on it, the more I realized that that it was information that needs to be known throughout the entire LGBTQ community. Some of the strongest criticisms I've had about coming out late have been from members of the gay community, who say I was just hiding behind my wife. For those who have known they were gay early on, I think it's hard for them to remember how somebody could be as blind to some of the clues as I was, and that was kind of my own question about myself when I started writing the book, how could I not know?

WCT: How do people learn to accept those for whom it took longer to come out?

LO: A lot of it has to do with going back and looking at what our history was really like, and the only way that's going to come out is through older people telling our stories. The LGBTQ community perhaps can take a lesson from what's going on right now politically. It's very much parallel to McCarthy era in many ways. It's a bit frightening to me because of that.

Many of us who are older have withdrawn from the LGBTQ community, and aren't really telling our stories. The older people have to take some responsibility for that too. Older people who have been out and proud for a long time are kind of burnt out from the political activism. And older people tend to isolate ourselves too much. As far as how to engage, any way there is for us to get together and begin to listen to each other. Not just for our old people to tell their stories, but to hear what the younger people have to say as well.

WCT: What are some common ways that MSM might identify themselves?

LO: A lot of times it's just, "I'm looking for a blow job, and my wife's not going to do that." Some might begin to consider that they may be bisexual, they're having sex with women and men, but a lot of them aren't at that point either: even the label bisexual is threatening. They just don't want to let go of the idea that they're anything but straight. For me, it was "I'm heterosexual with a little quirk." When I first came out, I did not think I was at all on my way to adopting a gay self-identity.

WCT: Do MSM want to be helped? Are they comfortable where they are?

LO: There are those who are satisfied to just go out and have a one-off kind of a sexual experience, and then go on with their heterosexual lives. There are some for whom the label of gay is just way too threatening; it has to do with the incorporation of the stereotypes for what it means to be gay. And then there's some who are just afraid of losing everything. They're established living a heterosexual life and the advantages that go along with that.

Probably the biggest issue for many of them is their relationship with their children. Most of them who have been married to women and have children are very committed fathers, and for me personally, that was a big issue. Even though the marriage was sort of deteriorating before I came out, my biggest concern was, am I breaking this commitment I had to be the kind of father I wanted to be?

WCT: What is helpful for others to know about MSM?

LO: There's not any way of generalizing about them. They're a very diverse population—a lot of their resistance comes from religion, culture, social expectations, there's a whole lot of things that control that. Part of it is recognizing that all of these things impact our decisions, and it's not just one thing that makes us decide not to come out, but all of these things that feed into the value system we have as adults, and that's a complex picture that comes from our own experiences growing up.

WCT: Why did you want to study this population?

LO: I realized there were a lot of parallels with my experience. As a psychiatrist my commitment is to dealing with people in emotional pain, and I know how much pain so many of these people are in, and that was kind of the driving force behind it. And to recognize that there were a lot of commonalities in those people as well as well as lot of differences.

Even though I wanted to get rid of the pain that I was feeling, it did not seem fair to me to try and impose that pain on other people. If we look at the statistics are around suicide, the rate of suicide for [these] men is about three times that of the regular population, and a lot of has to do with the time of coming out and making these decisions.

WCT: What is the most important bit of knowledge you've gained from working with these men?

LO: One of the things that's affected me is to see some advantages in growing older. We can come to a different reassessment of our value system as we get older, and we don't have to live the life that was dictated to us. I think that's probably the most transformational thing that I've experienced.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

NATIONAL Lambda Litfest, #BiWeek, whistleblower, Equality Awards, Blade 2020-09-21
Out Illinois State coach dives into new position 2020-09-16
MOMBIAN True stories, trans tales and more in new picture books 2020-09-16
Gerber/Hart reveals future plans 2020-09-16
Submissions sought for Lambda Literary Awards 2020-09-10
Joseph Baar Topinka preserves legacy of mother: Pro-gay Republican Judy 2020-09-02
NATIONAL Marsha P. Johnson, Anchorage, electoral items, gay author dies 2020-09-02
E. Patrick Johnson's 'Sweet Tea' book released 2020-08-25
New psychology handbook focuses on sexual, gender minority mental health 2020-08-23
Nigerian LGBTQ+ refugee-turned-activist on importance of compassion 2020-08-19
Trans advocate Jamison Green talks about increasing visibility 2020-08-19
DANK Haus hosts 'Gay Berlin' forum with author 2020-08-19
Ally opens Diverse Little Free Library in Norridge 2020-08-19
'Making Sweet Tea': Out NU dean talks about new documentary 2020-08-18
BOOK REVIEW Butch Cassidy: The True Story of an American Outlaw 2020-08-18
'One Poem: A Protest Reading in Support of Black Lives' Aug. 18 2020-08-13
Gerber/Hart fall benefit Sept. 12-13 2020-08-08
Asha Ransby-Sporn talks building on the anti-racism movement's legacy 2020-08-05
Local lesbian couple celebrate 50 years together 2020-08-05
NATIONAL Anti-trans killings, surveys, 'Trans Care' book, gay-bar news 2020-08-05
BOOKS Yvonne Zipter: Looking at Chicagoan's life, poetry collection 2020-08-05
BOOKS In fashion: Jay Manuel dishes on 'The Wig, The Bitch & The Meltdown' 2020-08-04
Teen LGBTQ+ activist aims to inspire with Be You Tiful Initiative 2020-07-31
Wizard World postponed until June 24-27, 2021 2020-07-29
Cicero student finds his voice 2020-07-29
NUNN ON ONE TV: Ashley Romans bites into juicy role on AMC series 'NOS4A2' 2020-07-26
Five Worth Finding: Bill T. Jones book, Music Box thriller and more 2020-07-22
VIEWPOINTS 'All Boys Aren't Blue' is the audacious memoir of a Black queer man 2020-07-22
BOOK REVIEW Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man 2020-07-21
BOOKS Local activist Wanda B. tells her life story in 'Leader by Fault' 2020-07-17
Chicago man takes face masks into luxury 2020-07-10
NUNN ON ONE PHOTOGRAPHY Peter Bussian focuses on New York's trans community 2020-07-08
E. Patrick Johnson, a man of firsts 2020-07-08
BOOKS Joey Skladany entertains, instructs in 'Basic Bitchen' 2020-06-28
Printers Row Lit Fest officially cancelled 2020-06-25
Library board president leaves post over anti-LGBTQ statements 2020-06-24
BOOKS Skokie native writes about creating an LGBTQ family 2020-06-24
BOOKS Photographer focuses on 'The People of the Pride Parade' 2020-06-23
Library board president criticized for anti-LGBTQ speech 2020-06-17
Gerber/Hart celebrates Hot Wire: The Journal of Women's Music and Culture 2020-06-10
 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Submit an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.