In this episode, you'll hear the personal coming out stories from Dale and co-host, Aiyana, and the difficulties they faced when making the decision to share their honesty. Dale grew up going to a conversion therapist as their birth family suspected they were gay after being molested from the ages of 3-15. They discusses the difficulty that came from moving in with a local pastor's family and the religious trauma attached to their sexuality.
Dale ended up marrying their high school sweetheart and had two children before coming out as gay at the age of 27. They discuss having a victim mindset because they were so focused on what they "lost" vs what they had in front of them. They had a positive support system that came into their life around the time they were struggling with coming out; but focused on the negative, leading them down a path of homelessness for 9 months. They then admitted themself into a rehab facility to hopefully undo the childhood and religious trauma attached to their sexuality.
After leaving the program, they attached themself to a man and got engaged after two weeks. They admit they struggled with looking for people to "save" them vs. learning to save themself. Aiyana shares the most important relationship in life is the one with yourself. She also expressed the importance of allowing people to come back into your life if they didn't accept you the first time. We should have grace for those that might not "get it" after initially sharing your truth but learn to walk away if the behavior continues.
Dale speaks about their adopted family and how their father, the local pastor, called their ex wife after speaking their truth, and encouraged her to get tested for AIDS, HIV, and other STD's. After letting them back into their life-several times-their father shared that he was unable to attend their renewal of vows with their ex husband. Their father said that didn't mean he didn't love him unconditionally and Dale should be respectful of his father's position in the church. Dale stated that the fact that he couldn't attend ABSOLUTELY meant there were conditions to his love and finally chose to walk away for good. In that moment, Dale chose themself in hopes of living an honest and authentic life while choosing to surround themself with people that actually cared for them unconditionally.
We should always choose to love ourselves first. If we don't, how can we truly show love to others? They end the episode with a "polished perspective" in hopes that people, regardless of being gay or straight, can allow others to walk in truth. We don't know what our neighbor is going through, so learn not to judge just because they seem "different." Just because you don't understand, doesn't mean you can't learn something from that person. Be open! Be love! Be light!
This episode has a shit ton of funny stories attached to Dale and Aiyana's coming out experiences. They highlight the importance of being able to reflect on growth and find laughter in the trauma, otherwise you end up crying and developing a victim mindset. We have a long way to go and are grateful for how far we have come in allowing people to be true to themselves. We hope you enjoy!
"Polishing My Turd" Producer/Music Producer - Andres Castillo
Instagram - @andresthevenezuelan
Band Instagram - @crushcomusic
Dale Edward Sullivan-Driver-Keifer-Perrault
Instagram - @polishingmyturd
Twitter - @polishingmyturd