An Australian father of four has spoken publicly about the time he came out to his family about his sexuality and started constructing a new life for himself after keeping his orientation a secret for almost 25 years of marriage.
Shaun Williams, a man from Victoria who is now 53 years old and was married in the late 1990s when he was 27 years old, but he struggled with the ‘guilt and shame’ of knowing that he was gay all along.
Mr. Williams claimed that he had always been aware of his sexual orientation but that he had never “come out” to anyone.
“Despite the fact that he had ‘always known’ he was gay, Shaun Williams did not come out as gay until after almost 25 years of marriage and children.
Mr. Williams endured his struggles in quiet for close to 25 years, but he eventually came to the realisation that he was on the verge of breaking down and needed to confront the truth.
‘I was struggling with depression and anxiety, I wasn’t being honest with myself,’ he said.
‘My oldest daughter came out at 16, and two of my other children have come out as queer since.
Williams stated that the realisation presented him with a decision that was nearly impossible to make given the state of his mental condition, which continued to deteriorate.
‘I had to decide between coming out, losing my family and my amazing wife or ending it all to get away from the pain I knew I was going to cause everyone,’ he said.
Mr. Williams told the psychologist he had been seeing for more than a year that he was gay for the first time in December of 2019, and he described the admission as being a significant sense of release.
Mr. Williams claims that his decision to keep his sexual orientation a secret was influenced by the so-called “gay bashing” that occurred in the 1980s, particularly the iconic commercials for Grim Reaper.
“There’s something you’re not telling me and it’s why you’re still struggling,” he told me one day, and I told him I was gay, Mr. Williams said. ”
“‘He was incredibly supportive.
Once I came out to him it was like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
‘I knew then that I had to be honest with my family and friends.
‘The following day, Mr. Williams made his way home to his family, first to his wife and then to his children.
He described the period as “an extremely difficult time.
“I felt incredibly conflicted since I had no idea how my family would respond,” the speaker said.
‘It was tough because I didn’t know where to turn, I felt very alone, and because it was just before Christmas that made it especially challenging.
‘Mr.Williams stated that when he first moved out of his family’s house, he experienced feelings of ‘isolation,’ but he eventually developed a support network with other gay fathers.
It was challenging for me because I didn’t know where to turn, I felt extremely alone, and it was right before Christmas, which made it even more difficult.
Mr. Williams eventually met a man online who was also a father and who had revealed his sexual orientation to his family ten years prior after browsing the internet for other people who were in a similar circumstance.
After that, Mr. Williams was able to meet additional fathers who had revealed their sexual orientation to their children and develop a tiny support network prior to the start of the Covid lockdowns.
“Mr. Williams established his club in October of 2020, and it has since grown to include over 600 members from all over the world who encourage one another and share their stories.
The aforementioned Mr. Williams is of the opinion that he has a “wonderful life,” and that coming out has enabled him to become a better father.
‘Since coming out “what feels like a lifetime ago,” Mr. Williams has moved into a new apartment with his new partner of two years.