The GOP Son

Will Portman Opens Up About Coming Out

Will--Rob-Portman-jpg(Photo: WTAE)

Will Portman, the son of GOP Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, opens up about his coming out story. His father recently changed his position on marriage equality, citing Will as one of the reason for the shift. In the essay he wrote for the Daily Yale News, Will talks about his father’s position as well as his own reluctance to make his personal life public.

One thing Will knew for sure was that he needed to come out to his parents.

“In February of freshman year, I decided to write a letter to my parents. I’d tried to come out to them in person over winter break but hadn’t been able to. So I found a cubicle in Bass Library one day and went to work. Once I had something I was satisfied with, I overnighted it to my parents and awaited a response.

“They called as soon as they got the letter. They were surprised to learn I was gay, and full of questions, but absolutely rock-solid supportive. That was the beginning of the end of feeling ashamed about who I was.”

After clearing the first major hurdle, Will began coming out to his friends and family – finding more confidence along the way. “I got serious about coming out,” he wrote. “If anything, coming out seemed to strengthen my friendships and family relationships.”

As for his father, he talks about the conversations they had leading up to Sen. Portman’s announcement.

“We had decided that my dad would talk about having a gay son if he were to change his position on marriage equality. It would be the only honest way to explain his change of heart. Besides, the fact that I was gay would probably become public anyway. I had encouraged my dad all along to change his position, but it gave me pause to think that the one thing that nobody had known about me for so many years would suddenly become the one thing that everybody knew about me.”

Read the full story here.