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Finally Out: Letting Go of Living Straight, a Psychiatrist's Own Story
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Finally Out: Letting Go of Living Straight, a Psychiatrist's Own Story

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  46 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Dr. Loren A. Olson has frequently been asked two questions: How could you not know that you were gay until the age of forty? Wasn't your marriage just a sham to protect yourself at your wife's expense? In Finally Out, Dr. Olson vigorously answers both questions by telling the inspiring story of his evolving sexuality, into which he intelligently weaves psychological concep ...more
Paperback, 247 pages
Published March 10th 2011 by inGroup Press (first published January 31st 2011)
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May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Part memoir, “Finally Out: Letting Go of Living Straight” is a valuable authoritative guide written by Loren A. Olsen MD, a practicing psychiatrist who has counseled and worked with individuals and families for decades. The highly controversial and complex ways many gay-straight men relate to family, friends, and the community around them is fully explored: it is necessary to understand “the culture of secrecy” that keeps so many men closeted in guilt, fear, and shame.

When Dr. Olson came out as
Apr 01, 2015 added it
Shelves: glbt
This is an uneven book, and would have been better served with a tighter editorial hand. There is no discernable logical progression of the topics discussed, and even within individual chapters, there are often no cohesive themes. As other reviewers have indicated, the title and jacket copy lead one to believe that it will be largely autobigraphical, with other bits woven in. In fact, the poor editiing makes the biographical information very non-linear, and almost intrusive upon the ohter portio ...more
Tim Rymel
Jan 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
As a writer and researcher, I bought the book as a resource on men who come out later in life. I absolutely LOVED all of the data wrapped around the story. I got way more out of the book than I anticipated, both personally and professionally. I am recommending this book to the many men I know who tried reparative therapy and who got married on a religious promise of change. The devastation to them and their families caused them to face up to reality later than sooner. The questions this book ans ...more
Jun 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
I was very excited to read this book. As someone who went "back into the closet" in her early 20s after identifying as a lesbian in high school and then finally coming out again in her early 30s, I wondered if Dr. Olsen would touch on some of the same feelings and issues I struggled with.

It was a very well-written book. I had expected a memoir-type book, but large quantities of the book is written from a psychosocial perspective. As a social work nerd, I enjoyed this style of writing, but for pe
Stewart Horn
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it

This is an interesting and thought-provoking book.

The author (a psychiatrist) was married to a woman for a long time and only came out in middle age. It's a familiar enough story and similar enough to my own life that I hoped it would be personally relevant. But Doctor Olson claims he didn't know he was gay until he met the man with whom he began his first same-sex relationship.

I was sceptical, especially as he talks later in the book about being attracted to men from when he was an
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Recommendation: If you are interested in gerontology and/or LGBT individuals this is the book for you. Olson and those he interviews have interesting stories to tell and add an important perspective to the rapidly evolving and expanding LGBT+ collective narrative. It could've been stronger when it came to Queer Theory and even sharing his experiences, but overall this is a solid and interesting read.

My Response: I'm nearing the end of my galley/ARC backlog. With this one finished I only have
4.5 stars
With an effective interweaving of psychology, gay history, and Dr. Olson's own story, this could be a reassuring and helpful book for those men who might be awakening to their innate same-sex attraction at midlife or after. It's also an informative read for those who don't understand why a man might be intimate with other men but not choose to label himself as gay.
William Hackman
There are certainly valuable insights and reflections here, but the book seems about 30 years out of date. Much time is spent reassuring gay men that that are not sick and rehashing debates with Christian conservatives. I suppose that there are parts of the country where such arguments are important. but they leave me cold.
Mary Thompson
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful book that is well researched and warmly balanced with personal experiences. A good primer as well about the history of the LGBTQ experience. Highly recommend!
Jan 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Becky Sidney
Jun 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
I think this is an excellent and thought-provoking book which is easy to read. As a 61 y.o. heterosexual female, I was appreciative of the insite into the emotional processes of aging. Also, as a primary care dr, I found the perspective of a middle-age gay male very helpful and enlightening. Thanks, Dr Olson.
Shay Leszinske
Apr 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
A well thought out and researched book. As a gay women it was interesting to see the similarities and difference of our male counterparts. But on the whole we all seem to go through the same struggles. I would definately recommend this book to someone who is struggling to come out.
Steve Woods
Well there was a lot in this, the book provided insights that I had never considered. It also provides some history of GLBT experience in the US and is an easy read.
May 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
throughly enjoyed this book!! worth reading again.
Feb 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book of a man's voyage though life as a gay man and his struggles. This a a must read book!
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Dr. Loren A. Olson was born in Nebraska in 1943, and as former Nebraska senator Bob Kerry said, “Do you think anyone in his right mind would choose to be gay in Nebraska?” He struggled to be straight but eventually lost that fight when he was forty years old, when he left his wife and kids to declare somewhat quietly at first that he is gay.

Dr. Olson counseled his friends for years before realizin
More about Loren A. Olson...

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“some men expressed the view that it can be easier to come out as gay in their communities of faith than to come out as religiously oriented in the gay community. . . To suggest that people must choose between their sexual orientation or their religious beliefs can only prolong their internal dissonance.” 0 likes
“When reason and passion battle, passion often wins.” 0 likes
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