Dr. Loren A. Olson has frequently been asked two questions: How could you not know that you were gay until the age of forty? Wasn't your marriage just a sham to protect yourself at your wife's expense? In Finally Out
, Dr. Olson vigorously answers both questions by telling the inspiring story of his evolving sexuality, into which he intelligently weaves psychological concepts and gay history. This book is a powerful exploration of human sexuality, particularly the sexuality of mature men who, like Dr. Olson, lived a large part of their lives as straight men - sometimes long after becoming aware of their same-sex attractions.
Olson, a psychiatrist and father of two who came out at 40, begins his first effort by answering a question: "How could you not know you were gay until you were 40?" He relates years of feeling like an outsider, and not quite masculine enough, and explores the cultural and personal barriers that kept him from self-discovery.
Less a handbook for coming out late in life than one man's story of doing so, Olson's always-compassionate voice asserts the importance of being true to oneself. The complexity of applying the label "gay" is a central thread, and the focus is on older men, though not exclusively--this could be of use to men of any age struggling with sexual identity.
Bolstered by his expertise as a psychiatrist, Olson capably explores issues of self-image, identity, self-esteem, and depression, as well as history, culture, morality, law, and religion in relation to homosexuality. Olson's own story is compelling, but as a writer he better handles the less-personal material. But ultimately Olson's book is engaging, and helpful in illuminating the coming-out processes.
National Alliance on Mental Illness
Going beyond simply retelling the coming out story of a middle-aged, married man, Olson s thoughtful and provoking memoir details the difficulty in not only gaining acceptance in society, but learning to accept one s self.
For those who have struggled with coming out, Olson's expert combination of private struggle and professional reflection will prove invaluable. His down-to-earth, conversational tone makes the work even more accessible.
Olson's journey is a captivating tale rife with abundant introspection and analysis.
Part memoir, part psychology book for the lay reader, Finally Out is informative and compassionate. Olson succeeds in offering himself as a sort of role model and in providing vital information to older gay men. Inspirational.
LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program:
This book will be valuable for any person who finds homosexual acts to be sinful. Finally Out should be on reading lists for all queer/gender/sexuality studies.
Dr. Bernard J. Brommel, co-author of Family Communication: Cohesion and Change:
Finally Out represents a carefully reasoned book about all human sexuality. Lay readers, both gay and straight, will relate his ideas to their own lives, and professionals in social work, religion, psychology, and sociology will find this book invaluable.
Amity P. Buxton, author of The Other Side of the Closet: The Coming-Out Crisis for Straight Spouses and Families and founder of the Straight Spouse Network:
Finally Out is a much needed book that fills out our picture of how gay men come to terms with the apparent dichotomy between their rational assumptions about the two sexes and their own set of sexual attractions that do not fit that norm. An insightful read.