From Bullied To Bold
Mine is the story of a 60 year old, gay man.
For the first 30 years of my life I was a conformist in denial about my homosexuality. I even married a woman to try to prove I was not gay.
As part of this denial I ended up hurting both her and myself.
As a railroad freight train repairman I endured the hurtful ways my male co-workers made me feel inside through their words and actions that were anti-gay.
At age thirty I met the love of my life: who I am now legally married to.
After being fired from the railroad for being gay, in 1990 in the midst of the AIDS pandemic I decided to go to nursing school and help our community, fight for their lives.
I am now a decorated, published, retired “AIDS Nurse” dedicating myself to the LGBTQ community through my own personal history.
Being raised in the Roman Catholic tradition, being gay was simply not accepted which nailed the closet door shut for me at a very young age. As an adolescent I was sexually abused which suppressed my inner feelings about loving men. All of this nearly destroyed my own life. When I finally accepted my true self, I was then able to help others.
My remaining life goal is to help younger members of the LGBTQ community in their coming out process through my own experiences.
If I had been able to come out in high school like some are able to today, with supportive programs my life would be quite different.
Given the AIDS era I cannot say whether or not this would have been for the better. The fact that I survived the impact of conformity, homophobia in America, and the AIDS crisis has had a tremendous impact on my life and hopefully I have been able to contribute to society as a whole.
What I Learnt
- Loneliness and paranoia no longer need to be an alternative to conformity.
- Younger and older members of the community, standing together for the purpose of learning from one another, is a key to the success of our future liberties.
- Being chastised, punished, threatened, and living in fear is no longer acceptable to any human being for any reason.
In closing I would like to add that homophobia is a social disease that needs to be treated in it’s earliest stages so that our community can live their lives with the same liberty and freedom under the same laws as heterosexuals. Silence equals death, stand up become active in the fight for your rights.
Be a voice for those who can’t find their voice yet.
About Dominick Varsalone
As a child Dominick Varsalone was determined not to be gay. In his denial he even married a woman.
When he finally came out, it was in the midst of the GRID/AIDS pandemic.
His Christian upbringing led him to believe he was being punished for being gay.
As a nurse he tried desperately to help his gay friends and his patients, but discrimination and homophobia was a constant force in all their lives.
Even today racists, homophobes and Christian Fundamentalists perpetuate stigma and hate but Dominick continues to believe that love has a wide reach and sharing it is never wrong.
Get In Touch With Dominick
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About Gina Battye
Described as “The Best of Louise Hay and Ellen DeGeneres”, Gina Battye is one of the world’s hottest rising stars.
Gina re-connects individuals to their Authentic and True Self.
Gina is a highly regarded LGBT consultant, working with companies around the world on LGBT Inclusion Strategy.
Through her work as a regular columnist for leading LGBT magazines worldwide, TV show host, The Soul Work Meet Ups nationwide AND as a best-selling author, Gina is advising, mentoring and transforming the lives of thousands of LGBT individuals around the world.