Joe Fryer is a correspondent for NBC in the United States and recently shared his coming out story.
Fryer opened the piece wondering how his family would react to him coming out.
‘Those question marks haunted me for years. And the answers seemed impossible to find. My crystal ball was foggier than a summer morning in San Francisco. The anxiety and fear surrounding these unanswered questions were stifling, leading to depression and feelings of loneliness during my freshman year of college,’ he wrote.
But he needn’t have worried because him mom simply said: ‘I know’.
‘Words cannot express the relief I felt in that moment,’ he wrote.
‘No anger. No disappointment. And apparently, no surprise. Her assumption first took root when I was skipping around the soccer field in fourth grade. The perm I got in sixth grade probably added to the narrative as well.’
View this post on Instagram
Coming out over and over again
Fryer went on to say that he didn’t just have to come out to his mom. But he has to come out over again, even 22 year later.
‘It happens, for example, when someone sees the ring on my left hand and makes a comment about my “wife.” Most of the time I politely correct them and tell them I have a partner. On occasion, I just choose to let it go,’ he wrote.
Fryer explained that he has not really experienced much negativity in his life because of his sexuality. And that’s why he decided to share his story.
‘Visibility is vital. Time and time again, young people have told me about the positive impact of seeing an LGBTQ celebrity or public figure,’ he wrote.
‘Or even just seeing someone in their community, like a teacher or neighbor. It gives them hope and courage.’
View this post on Instagram
I feel free
Fryer recounted a recent story he did on Nathan Ivie, a Utah County commissioner. The Mormon, Republican lives in one of the most conservative parts of Utah.
At age 40 he came after marrying a woman and having two children.
‘I asked him how it feels. “Free”, he said. ‘”If I could use any word to describe it, it would be free”.’
Fryer has been in a relationship with his partner, Peter, for 11 years. He also described how his father was looking for a new church and would only ‘consider congregations that embrace the LGBTQ community’.
‘As a Christian myself, that meant the world to me,’ Fryer wrote.
To summarize his piece, Fryer mad it clear it was not a ‘coming out’ story.
‘In my personal life, I walked out of that dark closet long ago,’ he wrote.
‘But most of our viewers probably don’t know my story. And if sharing my journey can make it a little easier for just one person to come out, or help just one parent accept their LGBTQ child, then it’s well worth it.
‘Because, what I know, is that this world could use a lot more love.’