Howard Stern’s Closet Shove
By Michael Morales
The Advocate published:
“For the last 20 years, I’ve been lying to myself, my friends, my family … it’s time for me to come out of the closet and admit I’m gay.” I said it, but I didn’t really believe I had said it. I didn’t have time to comprehend it. I was on the air with Howard, with staffers reacting, listeners calling in, and my own mind trying to second-guess where it was all going. Howard immediately said, “Well, I admire you for that. I’m very proud of you.”
Hearing someone I looked up to for so long — not for his comedy, but for his unwavering support of free speech — be so supportive was a huge relief. But I knew he would be supportive. We had spoken on the phone days earlier, and Howard urged me to tell my family before doing anything on air — advice I followed. Announcing my sexuality for the first time publicly, I wasn’t as nervous as I should have been, because my mother wasn’t going to find out on the air. I couldn’t do that to her. I came out to her earlier over the phone, again crying uncontrollably. She went through a myriad of emotions — shock (to learn her only son was gay), hurt (that I waited so long to tell her), fear (of how people may react). But after minutes of an awkward mix between silence and sobbing, she said, “I just want you to be happy. I love you more than life itself.” That was all I needed. It was then I knew nothing would stop me as long as I had my mother’s acceptance.
"That was all I needed. It was then I knew nothing would stop me as long as I had my mother’s acceptance". That was all I needed as well. I know it’s cheesy (and probably tacky for saying it’s cheesy) but having a similar experience (of having my mom’s support, not leaving and lying for over 20 years, I’m barely 20) of not just having my family’s support but also having coming out in a very public way (thanks Youtube) I sympathize with Michael Morales: It’s crucial to have your priorities in order.
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