First person

95-year-old comes out as gay in powerful must-see video


Roman’s story is very complex. On one hand, it’s the triumphant story of a 95 year old man coming out of the closet – and shedding the weight of a nine-decade secret. That is certainly something worth celebrating!

On the other hand, Roman’s story is also deeply emotional and, at times, quite difficult. At some level, it’s the story of lost opportunities. You can’t help but wonder, had the circumstances been different, how Roman’s story could have ended differently. And you also feel for Roman’s wife. While they undoubtedly loved each other in a deep way, both Roman and his wife deserve passion and sexual intimacy. Did they have that despite Roman being gay? I don’t know.

But despite the story’s complexity, Roman’s desire to feel the heartbeat of someone who loves him is fundamentally human. It’s a simple yearning that drives all of us. In it, we see Roman’s humanity. And we see ourselves.

I think there’s a lot to take from this video.

There’s a sense of history in understanding how far we’ve come, and the struggles that this man must have experienced.

There’s gratitude for the LGBT people who marched and rallied and bleed and sweat so that today’s world is different – and that fewer people feel compelled to live in the shadows or closets.

But there’s also raw humanity. Whether you are queer or not, listening to Roman stirs something in all of us. And at a time when the world often feels divisive and divided, it’s good to be reminded of our common humanity.

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9 Comments

  • larrylee

    Roman, I love your courage, I love your spunk, I love your heart. I’m 78 and still trying to work up the courage to “come out.” Your interview is such an inspiration. Who knows? Maybe… Just maybe…

    • JerseyMike

      Are you happy? That’s all that matters.

  • Sluggo2007

    95 years old and he decides to come out? Why bother?

    • Mama Zebra

      The obvious reason this wonderful man came out was to clear his Conscience before he leaves this World.

    • dwainlee

      Why? Because one of the keys to life is to be true to yourself and unapologetically honest about yourself to others. That’s as true for someone who’s 95 as it is for someone who’s 25 – or in my case, 54, the age I was when I came out not quite three years ago. Virtually every LGBTQ person who has ever come out has had the same experience of feeling like a huge weight had been lifted from their shoulders. I speak from experience when I tell you that weight increases every year that it remains there. God bless you, Roman, and God bless your family as well. You aren’t “junk,” as you described yourself in the video. I hope that you find your special someone; you deserve it.

    • Sluggo2007

      Sorry, Mama Zebra and Dwayne Lee, but I never felt the need to clear my conscience or be unapologetically honest about myself to others for being gay. I was always comfortable in my own skin and if you didn’t like it, I didn’t care.

    • dwainlee

      Well Sluggo, I don’t diminish your personal experience – and for your sake, I’m glad that, in fact, it has been thus for you; you’ve apparently been blessed – but unfortunately, it is far from being typical. This is true even now in our much more enlightened times, and it was far more the case in the times when Roman grew up, and many significantly younger than him.

      Dwain

  • Kieran

    Where there’s life there’s hope. Who knows how many younger gay men Roman may help stop wasting valuable time and make the rational choice of accepting themselves the way God made them.

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