Family Connections

15 Years After Coming Out, I Met The Gay Uncle I Never Knew

Having a gay relative has got to be every young gay guy’s dream, although I had no clue that I had gay uncle that has been living in San Francisco since 1988. Which is a bummer; I can only imagine how great it would have been to know that I had a queer uncle in the gayest city in the world.

Complicated family dynamics prevented me from even knowing of his existence until five years ago, and this New Yorker wasn’t able to make the cross-country trek to meet him… until now.

After completing my media studies at Columbia University this year, I was selected to participate in the National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association’s Student Connect Program in San Francisco. I decided to use the opportunity to produce a video that would document the meeting.

I approached the day with trepidation.

This is what happened.


Rob Smith is a multimedia journalist and author of Closets, Combat and Coming Out: Coming of Age as a Gay Man in the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Army.  He lives in New York City.

This piece was produced with the support and guidance of the NLGJA Connect Program. For more information and to see samples of other work produced during the convention, visit the website.


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