In News by Oluwaseun Samuel on the 12th, August, 2020

90-Yr-Previous Grandfather Comes Out As Homosexual Throughout COVID-19 Pandemic After Many years Of Masking Up

90-Year-Old Grandfather Comes Out As Gay During COVID-19 Pandemic After Decades Of Covering Up

Kenneth Felts

Kenneth Felts

Caught at house through the pandemic with not a lot to do, Kenneth Felts started to put in writing a memoir, chronicling the previous 90 years of his life.

However as Felts wrote, he shortly got here to appreciate that his story would by no means be full with out revealing a secret he had saved hidden his complete life: His true sexuality.

Felts, who now lives in Arvada, Colorado, instructed CNN that he is identified he was homosexual since he was 12-years-old. However he mentioned he made the selection to hide his sexuality, as a result of he grew up throughout a time when homosexuality was each frowned upon and unlawful.

A lot has modified over the previous few a long time, together with the Supreme Courtroom’s monumental determination in 2015 to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide.

Felts mentioned his memoir could not go on with out writing about his one real love, Phillip. So at age 90, he lastly got here out to his daughter after which to the remainder of his family and friends via a Fb put up.

“I’m homosexual, I’m out, and I’m free,” Felts mentioned he wrote in his put up.

A secret he was planning to take to the grave

A sleepover with a classmate helped Felts come to the revelation that he was homosexual, he mentioned. However he was taught in his religious Christian household that homosexuality was a sin.

Kenneth Felts within the US Navy when he was deployed to Korea through the Korean Struggle.

“I simply knew that if I had been to come back out as homosexual, I might in all probability go to hell,” Felts instructed CNN. “I used to be going to the grave with (my secret).”

So all through his younger grownup years, together with his deployment to Korea with the US Navy through the Korean Struggle, and his following years in school, Felts lived as a straight man.

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Within the late 1950s, he moved to Lengthy Seashore, California, to work at a retail credit score firm. And it was there he met Phillip Jones.

“After I met him, I used to be nonetheless straight and so I had not anticipated opening up,” Felts mentioned. “He is the one which threw me out and made me notice that we had potential collectively.”

Dates began out at espresso outlets, however quickly, Felts was spending extra time at Jones’ condo than his personal, and ultimately moved in. For over a yr, they lived as a cheerful, albeit secret, homosexual couple.

“After I was dwelling with Phillip in California, homosexuality itself was unlawful,” Felts mentioned. “It was a felony, we could not maintain fingers or something like that. You’d be arrested on exhibition of such conduct. When you go to courtroom, your info is unfold throughout city and also you lose your mates, your loved ones.”

California’s sodomy regulation wasn’t repealed till 1975.

Finally, the burden of being homosexual in a society the place it was thought of a criminal offense grew to become an excessive amount of for Felts, and he determined to interrupt it off with Jones.

“I resigned my job, packed up my stuff and went again house,” Felts mentioned. “Phillip wrote me two or three letters after that. Within the final letter, he mentioned, ‘For those who do not reply to this letter, I will not hassle you anymore.'”

“I did not reply as I hadn’t responded to any of his letters,” he recalled. “Massive mistake.”

After Felts left Jones, he as soon as once more hid his sexuality. However this time, he created an alter ego named “Larry” to create a extra outlined separation between his two lives.

“Larry was my homosexual aspect and I, Ken, was the conventional, straight individual,” Felts mentioned.

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Holding Larry hidden, Felts met a girl at his church’s youth group. They acquired married and had a daughter, however they divorced in 1980. Even then he did not dare to come back out as he was scared he may lose custody of his daughter.

He would discreetly head to the library, nevertheless, the place he flipped via the phone books looking for one identify.

“I known as each Phillip J in there and was by no means in a position to find him,” Felts mentioned. “I’ll die all the time regretting having left Phillip however hopefully he forgave me.”

Kenneth Felts together with his daughter, Rebecca Mayes, on the 2020 Denver Satisfaction Digital 5K.

Popping out on the age of 90

Rising up, Rebecca Mayes, now 48, knew that her father had some regrets in life. She had all the time thought that they had been associated to her mom, however she lastly realized in Might through the pandemic the supply of her father’s ache.

“We had been on the telephone and he instructed me that he missed out on the one real love of his life,” Mayes instructed CNN. “He did not say male or feminine.”

Later that day, Felts revealed to Mayes in an electronic mail that his one real love was certainly Phillip Jones, a person.

Mayes mentioned she was shocked to listen to that her father was homosexual, contemplating the truth that he reacted to her popping out as lesbian 25 years in the past in dismay.

“He instructed me the connection would not final,” Mayes remembered. However she mentioned her father shortly got here round and have become her and her now-wife’s largest supporter.

“I feel he had the identical fears for me that he had himself about what a tricky life it might be, the whole lot from not having the ability to have youngsters to societal points,” mentioned Mayes, who now has two youngsters.

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After popping out to his daughter, Felts quickly revealed his reality to the remainder of the world in a Fb put up that was met with overwhelming assist and love, he mentioned. He even shared the story about Phillip Jones in hopes that somebody may assist discover him.

A girl in New Jersey who helps discover the organic mother and father of adopted youngsters reached out to Felts to assist discover his lengthy misplaced love. However sadly, what she introduced was unhappy information. Jones had died in 2013.

“I beloved him until the tip and I am doing this all for him,” Felts mentioned.

Now, as a proud homosexual man, Felts mentioned Larry has taken over. He has blue and pink streaks in his hair. He is sporting the rainbow delight flag and he even participated on this yr’s Denver Satisfaction Digital 5K on his walker.

However most significantly, Mayes mentioned her father is extra outgoing and assured than ever.

“I do not see how I couldn’t be pleased for the remainder of my life,” Felts mentioned.

It may need taken him 90 years to come back out as homosexual, however he mentioned he hopes his story will give others the braveness to embrace their sexuality as effectively.

“There’s an entire world on the market that can settle for you and love you for who you might be,”
he mentioned.


Supply: CNN

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