90-Year-Old Colo. Man Says He Came Out Late in Life Because of Coronavirus

Friday June 19, 2020

A 90-year-old man from Colorado is coming out as gay, saying he decided to share his truth thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking with The Denver Post's The Know, Kenneth Felt opened up about his decision to live as an out and proud gay man in his 90s. Having recently told his friends and family, Felts is ready to finally be himself.

"I've been in the closet all my life — deep in the closet, behind rows and rows of clothing. I'm way back there," he said. "Opening that door at the front, I had great trepidation as to what people would say. I was very concerned because I needed people and I couldn't stand the thought of losing them just because I decided to finally be who I really was."

Felts, who worked as a consular and supervisor in the state for 30 years, explained he planned to keep his sexuality a secret until the day he died but when he was in quarantine during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, he began working on his autobiography, making him reflect on his past and his one true love — a man named Phillip. Felts told the newspaper he fell in love with him in California the late 50s but that he gave up the relationship in order to live a closeted life as a straight man.

He went on to say that he was speaking with his daughter Rebecca Mayes and he mentioned Phillip to her; the first time he admitted to being gay to her. Mayes has been incredibly supportive of her father as she came out as gay to him nearly two decades ago.

"He's just so brave and he doesn't even realize that he is, but it's extraordinary," she told The Know.

Felts said he knew he was gay since he was 12 years old but was often bullied.

"Coming out in the '50s, '60s and '70s was horrendous," he said. "That was part of the reason I didn't ever consider coming out (before). There was no gay community, there really weren't gay organizations or anything.

"People who came out came out on their own, without support. And I guess I didn't have the courage to face society at that time, so I just went ahead and buried it," he added.

Click here to read The Know's full profile on Felts.

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