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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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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. Not only in redefining his life, but by undertaking this book and allowing others to share in his knowledge and experience...so that they may also benefit and prosper.
Men need to know they are not always held to the stereotypical standards that society has earmarked for them. You can be tough as nails and still be gay. You can be athletic and butch as hell and still be gay. You can be whatever you like...but more than anything you have a right to be happy and you have a right to love someone with your full being...and if that someone happens to be another man who is the object of your desire, then this book is proof positive that you can do just that.
This book is a real gem in that it is sincere, genuine and certainly non-judgemental (even to those who cast a derisive eye to the gay community). It is one man's story of how Loren has made his way in the world. Those who know him personally or those who have read his work here are lucky that he chose this forum to share his story. Prepare to learn about a tremendous man and prepare to learn about yourself...or those around you who may have embarked on a similar journey.
It helps the reader understand how a man can go through 40 years not realizing he is gay until something causes him to open his eyes. Then he realizes that he is responding to the world differently and suddenly it's blindingly obvious that he is gay and has been all along.
It also has very accurate descriptions of the processes and feelings that a man might have as he discovers his true nature.