Living in fear is no longer an option; We are at the time when everyone should feel comfortable being us. No more pleasing others and keeping our true selves in the closet. It is not easy, of course, but we come to life only once and fearing what others say or think is not the reason for being in this world. We began to reflect on this because of the story of Shaun Williams, a 53-year-old Australian man who, after being married for 25 years, decided to be honest with him and his family.
Shaun grew up in the 1980s, when there was a lot of discrimination and attacks on gay people. In addition to this, he began to spread and misinform himself about the AIDS disease, which made his fear increase. In the late 1990s, at the age of 27, he got married. Although he felt “guilt and shame” for his preferences, he decided to pretend to be something he was not and to silence his voice.
Shaun knows that all this time hiding his true preference has hurt many people, including himself. Keeping this secret for so long caused him depression and anxiety, and somehow his body and mind were crying out for him to tell the truth.
The first person to find out was his psychologist, to whom he confessed after a year of being in therapy. When he did, Shaun felt a huge weight lift from his shoulders. The next day he talked about it with his wife and after that, he talked about it with his children.
The man declared that out of respect he left the family home and although he did not know where to go, he managed to find support and help in a man who had gone through the same thing, but ten years before him. As a result of that, he began to meet people in his same situation. In addition, he created a Facebook group, which today has more than 600 million members around the world and where everyone shares their experiences and acts as a support network.
I was really surprised that there were so many of us around. There is a world full of men who have been through the same as me. It is the shame and guilt that we go through.
Shaun rebuilt his life and although it was not easy at first, today he lives happily. He even moved into an apartment next to his partner, with whom he has been in a relationship for two years. He states that his life now is amazing and that he is a better father. Even though he still feels guilty, he mentions that he can get over it. Well said!