Finally Out: Letting Go of Living Straight (A review)

By | October 6, 2012

“All of life’s important decisions are made without enough information, and coming out is no exception. We make our decisions based upon predictions about how our lives will be affected by the possible outcomes.” Olson p. 67

In Dr. Olson’s wonderful examination of the coming out challenges of older men, he gives us insight and a keen awareness of what it takes to come out later in life an the enormous challenges this presents.

While many people simply dismiss old timers and those that come to the party later in life as being closeted and selfish, this clear examination offers a take on why certain decisions get made and when.

In no way justifying behavior and the reality that there are men who deliberately deceive, Dr.Olson shares several examples (many from his own life) wherein choices were made to survive not to deceive, lie or cause grief.

Clinical in nature with several doses of pop culture referencing this book is fascinating, thought provoking and paradigm shifting.

With its powerful understanding and exorbitant knowledge and understanding of men, sexuality and relationships, it is also a gift to any one attempting to understand gay male culture and the coming out process regardless of age.

Reading this provided me with a great deal of insight regarding the process of anyone coming out in their fourth decade or beyond.

Many times people, myself included, assign people roles and timelines for what is perceived to be life choices and personal benchmarks.

This is nobody’s business.

According to Finally Out, what is most important in our community (support for making choices that invite change, innovation and love) is often pushed aside in favor of exploitative behavior that only allows and encourages promiscuity, acting out and the myriad ways we have of being emotionally stunted.

2 thoughts on “Finally Out: Letting Go of Living Straight (A review)

  1. Dan Collier

    Great that you’re bringing Loren Olson to your readers, Anthony. Loren is a remarkable man. Finally Out is a beautiful book, moving and wrenching and ultimately full of great hope.

    I first became aware of Loren a couple of years ago, when he requested permission to reprint on a Psychology website something I’d written on being gay and out later in life. It was a general site, not focused on the LGBT arena. I agreed and the resulting response from the professional psychology community was terrific. Was fun and stimulating going back-and-forth.

    Loren’s book is well worth anyone’s time — gay or straight.


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