Connecticut Man, His Ex-Wife of 23 Years, and Their Son Came out as Gay

A Connecticut man joined his son and ex-wife in coming out as gay. The couple was together for 23 years before they made the revelations

Bruce Downer,53, of Middletown joined his son Tyler, 23 for the Pride parade on Sunday wearing a homemade tiara, a green polo shirt, and rainbow-colored sneakers.

It was his son's first time at the event, but for Bruce, this was the third year he chose to celebrate coming out as gay after two decades in marriage to his ex-wife. 

According to the New York Post, he said

“I was married to a woman for 23 years, but that’s all gone. I finally was strong enough to say I don’t want to live this life anymore, I don’t want to continue to live a lie. I wanted to live my true life.”

Bruce, who works as a registered nurse, divorced from his wife in 2017, reported the outlet. Soon after, she revealed that she is a lesbian and is now engaged to another woman. "I didn't know she was gay," Bruce said. 

He continued, "and she didn't know I was gay and we were married for 23 years." The pair's gay son Tyler said he "sort of knew" about his father's sexuality before he was told. 

"It was easy to talk to him because I knew he would understand," he said. Tyler has an older brother, 24, who is the only straight individual in the family. 

He explained that he and his father are so similar in their personalities that they sometimes butt heads. Although he learns a lot from his dad, he said a lot of criticism comes from Bruce's side sometimes. 

Bruce, however, is happy overall and finally has self-love and "no self-hatred." He added, "Today, I'm celebrating with my community. It makes me feel so proud." 

The story is reminiscent of a popular YouTuber who shared a small part of his coming out experience by posting a video of him telling his little brother he is gay.

Oliver Potter recorded the sweet video that showed as his five-year-old brother Alfie reacted to him being gay. "How would it make you feel if I married a man?" Potter asked him.

The little boy responded: 

“If you marry a man it’s going to be so cool… I saw in one movie a man was in love with another man and everyone was saying ‘cool’ in that video. Cool, cool, cool, cool!”

At one point he looked into the camera and said, "Love is love. Love is love." For pride month this year, another well-known man actor came out as gay via a lengthy Instagram post.

View this post on Instagram

I knew I was gay when I was thirteen, but I hid it for years. I folded it and slipped it under the rest of my emotional clutter. Not worth the hassle. No one will care anyway. If I can just keep making it smaller, smaller, smaller.... My shame took the form of a shrug, but it was shame. I’m a white, cis man from an upper-middle class liberal family. Acceptance was never a question. But still, suspended in all this privilege, I balked. It took me years. It’s ongoing. I’m saying this now because I have conspicuously not said it before. I’ve been out for years in my private life, but never quite publicly. I’ve played that tedious game. Most painfully, I’ve talked about the gay characters I’ve played from a neutral, almost anthropological distance, as if they were separate from me. These evasions are bizarre and embarrassing to me now, but at the time they were natural. Discretion was default, and it seemed benign. It would be presumptuous to assume anyone would care, yeah? And anyway, why should I have to say anything? What right do strangers have to the intimate details of my life? These and other background whispers––new, softer forms of the same voices from when I was thirteen, fourteen, fifteen.... Shame can come heavy and loud, but it can come quiet too; it can take cover behind comfort and convenience. But it’s always violent. For me, this discretion has become airless. I don’t want to censor––consciously or not––the ways I talk, sit, laugh, or dress, the stories I tell, the jokes I make, my points of reference and connection. I don’t want to be complicit, even peripherally, in the idea that being gay is a problem to be solved or hushed. I’m grateful to be gay. Queerness is a solution. It’s a promise against cliche and solipsism and blandness; it’s a tilted head and an open window. I value more everyday the people, movies, books, and music that open me to it. If you’re gay, bi, trans, two-spirit or questioning, if you’re confused, if you’re in pain or you feel you’re alone, if you aren’t or you don’t: You make the world more surprising and bearable. To all the queers, deviants, misfits, and lovers in my life: I love you. I love you. Happy Pride!

A post shared by Connor Jessup (@connorwjessup) on

"American Crime's" Connor Jessup shared his challenge of coming out, saying he knew he was gay since becoming a teen but "hid it for years." The post ended with a word of love to various persons in his life and he finished by wishing everyone. "Happy Pride!"

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