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Finally Out: Letting Go of Living Straight, A Psychiatrist's Own Story Paperback – April 8, 2011

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About the Author

Loren A. Olson, M.D. is a gay psychiatrist who came out at forty. A father and grandfather, he is also a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a recipient of the "Exemplary Psychiatrist Award" from the National Alliance on Mental Illness. He has presented findings from his research on mature gay men at the World Congress of Psychiatry in Prague. In 2009, Dr. Olson legally married Doug Mortimer, his partner of twenty-four years. They live on a farm in Iowa where they produce grass-fed beef from their herd of Belted Galloway cattle.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: inGroup Press (April 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935725033
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935725039
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #426,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Loren A. Olson, MD, DLFAPA is Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and was recognized by the American Psychiatric Association with the peer-nominated award of Distinguished Life Fellow. After having been nominated by his patients, he received the "Exemplary Psychiatrist" award from the National Alliance for Mental Illness.

Dr. Olson's professional career has been spent treating and advocating for people who experience thought and mood disorders. For many years he served as a medical executive for two of the largest hospitals in Iowa, working to improve the quality of care in their psychiatric programs. He has also taught psychiatry to psychiatric residents, medical students, physician assistant students and a variety of other allied health professionals. Prior to his psychiatric training, he served as a Flight Surgeon in the United States Navy.

Dr. Olson has received awards from the American Psychiatric Association for his writing and editing. He has conducted independent research on a non-clinical population of mature men who have sex with men. He was inspired to write about the subject because of general lack of professional and lay information on the subject of coming out of the closet at mid-life or later.

Dr. Olson has served as a psychiatric consultant to re reporters on a variety of psychiatric subjects. He has contributed to articles on physician attitudes about health care reform, how same-sex marriage may effect life expectancy, drug abuse and drug diversion, "sexting" for seniors, and mature male sexuality.

He has been a contributor to a variety of blogs and has written essays on telling his grandchildren about his gay marriage, coming out of the closet, the effect of tolerance of same-sex relationships on rates of HIV, health care reform, and assisting his mother in her decisions about how to die. He has been interview many times for newspapers, radio and TV.

Dr. Olson was married previously and is the proud father of two daughters and the grandfather of six children. His experience as a father has given him a very personal exposure to the centrality of children in the lives of gay men who are dealing with a decision about whether or not to come out of the closet. He has found that there are very few LGBT resources available for seniors.

After the Iowa Supreme Court found, in a unanimous decision, that the Iowa statute limiting civil marriage to a union between a man and a woman violates the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution, Dr. Olson and his partner of over 20 years were married at Plymouth Church in Des Moines, Iowa, on September 26, 2009, an occasion celebrated with 300 of their friends.

Dr. Olson and his husband, Doug Mortimer, live on a farm in Madison County Iowa -- near one of the Bridges of Madison County -- where they raise Belted Galloway cattle. They are very involved in sustainable agriculture and the production of grass-fed beef. Dr. Olson was featured on the subject of raising grass-fed cattle on a program on the national cable TV channel RFD-TV.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By S. Georgescu on August 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dr. Olson has given us a template for the times in his book "Finally Out". Given the large numbers of men who have come to the realization that they are indeed matter what their age when they discover it...this book can be utilized as a reinforcement of the feelings that come flooding out of nowhere when the discovery of their true self is revealed.

Using his background of experience and expertise, Dr. Olson melds these two areas, along with factual and accurate studies done on the subject of homosexuality into a well rounded arrangement. Since this book is part personal and part professional, the two aspects jell into a cohesive combination that can help the men who the book is aimed at, while teaching others who are puzzled and perplexed as to why such a lifestyle change can happen so "late" in life. The real key here is not that it can happen at age 40 (and be considered late), but that it can also happen in successive decades on into ages 80 and over.

Another critical component of this book that shows the human side of life is how Dr. Olson bares his soul multiple times when he describes some of the real life situations he faced while discerning his real place in the world as a gay man. The fact that his ex-wife and daughters (and grandkids) are all solidly in the corner of he and his partner Doug, is an indication that despite his turmoil inside that he may not have always been doing the right thing, it has somehow worked out just fine. Relationships are hard work, and no matter if it is with your partner, or your extended family...not to mention former social friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc., the rewards are out there to be had if you continue to forge on and follow your heart and soul. This is what Dr. Olson has done.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Douglas Bremner on August 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
Psychiatrist and author Loren Olson writes an honest and unique story of what it is like to come out as gay at the age of 40. One of the strengths of this book is that not only is it empowering for people who have suffered similar identity and lack of self esteem issues related to coming to grips with their sexuality when it deviates from mainstream views about family and sexuality to see a psychiatrist tell a story that matches theirs, it is also very useful to have a medical and mental health expert offer a cogent and readable summary of the scientific literature and facts related to what he calls the MLM or men loving men. He uses this term to highlight the fact that many men who have sex with men, even exclusively so, do not identify themselves as "gay". They often live in conventional marriages with women and have families. They may say they "love" their wives but are not sexually attracted to them. MLM men see being openly gay as some sort of political statement that they don't agree with, i.e. they want to be seen as mainstream or conventional. But as Dr. Olson points out this can lead to a kind of schizophrenic existence, where certain "limits" are put on their sexual encounters, like no kissing, which serve to depersonalize the experience and detach it from loving connections with other human beings. The world of men living in this shadow world was something I hadn't thought of before, since as a straight heterosexual I didn't know much about it, and it is interesting as a student of behavior and mental health. But something I find equally interesting was Dr. Olson's experience of losing his father at the age of 9 and some of the conundrums he experienced as a result of that, like not knowing how to start a lawn mower.Read more ›
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie Kaye on May 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
For the past 26 years, I have been counseling straight women and gay men who find themselves in marriages that are not meant to be. It is difficult to find information as relevant and enlightening as this book to help women and their gay husbands to understand the reasons of why gay men marry. Dr. Olson has a wonderful way of explaining this so that everyone can get an inside look into these marriages and how they happen. This book is excellent as a resource for all parties involved including the children and extended families of gay men who marry. Hopefully this book will help gay married men who need to come to terms with the sexually into furthering their journey to those ends. Thank you, Dr. Olson, for sharing your story with honesty and sensitivity. People don't realize that this "isolating" situation affects millions of people in the United States and millions more throughout the world. Your book sheds light not only on the fact that it happens, but explains so clearly why it happens. I recommend this book to everyone who truly wants to understand this situation in his or her quest for healing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Glen Moore on January 20, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dr Olson has written a fine honest book about his coming out and to terms with his sexuality. I applaud his honesty and commitment to giving the reader an insight to all aspects of both his former and post heterosexual life, good and bad. He manages to combine a narrative story of his personal life with scientific data (both from his own research and others) without making the book too clinical. I was so interested in his progress as a gay man and how it affected his wife, family and partners that I almost wish they had books too. Dr Olson gives us a very real look not only of how coming out later in life can be a achieved, but also give the reader an idea of the issues older gay men must face as they head into their senior years. This is not just about the coming out process but also about health issues, sexual practices, filial obligations, intergenerational relationships and so much more I would recommend this book not only for GLBT people dealing with coming out, but also friends and families of men who have made this transformation.
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