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“I am 60 and have never come out” How to work through the shame and embarrassment

Dear Dr. Frankie,

I am 60 and I have never come out, I have never had a relationship with a woman…I am a lesbian, but have been holding myself back. How do I meet a woman who will understand and help me. I am embarrassed to even tell people this about me. Help please.

Dear Embarrassed,

I would suggest beginning your journey by finding a queer-friendly coach or therapist to help guide you. A coach or therapist will support you but will also challenge your thinking if fear starts creeping in and hindering your progress (which is a normal part of evolution). You’ll also need to work through the shame and embarrassment that you feel. I also suggest reading a book or two in the area of coming out later in life. You may also find it helpful to talk to other lesbians with similar coming out experiences. Visit the Lesbian Life Forum (http://forums.about.com/ab-lesbianlife). They may also be a good group to get book recommendations from. Once you feel more accepting of yourself I suggest you try and step out of your comfort zone, visit meetup.com or craigslist.com in your area to see if there are any women’s groups that get together on a regular basis. They often convene around a certain activity or subject. For example you may find a 60+ Lesbian Walking Group in your area (it also depends on where you live of course). I admire your courage and wish you the best of luck!Dear Embarrassed,
Kudos to you for reaching out, that’s a bold step! Take heart, it’s never too late to live your most honest and authentic life. No matter how scary, overwhelming or embarrassing you think it is, you owe it to yourself. Here is a universal piece of advice that applies to almost anyone under almost any circumstance…remember that most of what we fear almost never becomes reality. There are certainly women out there that will admire your courage for coming out later in life. Remember, the LGBT community has made enormous strides but a great deal of the societal acceptance has been within the past 10-15 years. You were raised in an era where being gay was much more stigmatized than it is today. There are many, many men and women in your exact situation today. Coming out can be a difficult process, let alone coming out later in life.
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