I'm from Driftwood | I'm Gay | Nathan Manske

When Dean Ostrum's Family Gently Led Him From The Closet: VIDEO


"I'm From Driftwood," the archivist project devoted to collecting the stories of LGBT folk from absolutely everywhere (and spearheaded by Nathan Manske, who's written for Towleroad), has just put this lovely story on the web. It's about the day Dean Ostrum's wife and kids realized he was gay, and everything that came after. Watch AFTER THE JUMP ...


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  1. so the gay man is a cheater .

    Posted by: Malaysian Ho | Jul 14, 2012 1:12:19 PM

  2. very poignant story. ROCK ON, Nathan Manske. This project is freakin' wonderful.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jul 14, 2012 1:30:09 PM

  3. Way to miss the forest for the trees, MH.

    Posted by: Geovincent | Jul 14, 2012 1:34:09 PM

  4. Very sweet. Glad he shared his story.

    Posted by: Derek Pearce | Jul 14, 2012 1:52:27 PM

  5. But what about the wife? Did she find love?

    Posted by: Allan | Jul 14, 2012 2:11:39 PM

  6. Gay stories are so beautiful! They need to be shared more often. Our stories are far more interesting, fascinating and evolving than the generic life story of any hetero I know. We should be proud to share our tale

    Posted by: USC Trojan Fan | Jul 14, 2012 3:13:39 PM

  7. Beautiful. Beautiful man and I'm glad he finally reached a point to not live his life for straight society but himself.

    Posted by: Gim | Jul 14, 2012 3:14:16 PM

  8. it was not then what it is now .... to come out ... i'm glad his kids helped him and i'm happy for him !! a wonderful story !

    @MALAYSIAN HO your perspective on life sucks

    Posted by: xael | Jul 14, 2012 3:41:27 PM

  9. I once had a conversation with an older gay gentlemen who was in his 70s. He teared up and I was bawling at the end of the conversation. It was at an LGBT center for an event I almost did not attend, and am so glad I did.

    We have no idea how hard it was for people up until the 90s to be openly gay. It was a kiss of death. People were so closed to it that you had no choice but to either be completely closeted, or were constantly told to marry the opposite sex.

    Posted by: Nice Guy | Jul 14, 2012 3:45:05 PM

  10. I do not blame the older generation for marrying the same sex. They weren't lying or cheating SOCIETY WAS CHEATING OUR COMMUNITY. Society demanded our community change who we inherently are to live our lives for heterosexuals comfort. Society made millions of lesbians and gay men sell out their soul.

    Shame this happens to this day. Communities, families and churches FORCING- yes...forcing...their gay youth to marry into a straight relationship. This vicious cycle promoted by heterosexuals needs to end.

    Posted by: Scott Johansen | Jul 14, 2012 3:47:04 PM

  11. Malaysian ho,

    anytime someones initial response to a gay related story on here is to blame the gay, without examining the story, HISTORICAL FACTS on LGBT struggles, and be an indepth thinker...they are homophobic, and you need to do some soul searching and go inward and ask yourself why when you read this touching coming of age story about a man finally accepting who he was meant to be, instead of seeing the anecdote for what it was, you decided to spin it into a homophobic 'blame the gay' spin. That's on you. We can't help you with that.

    Bt I'm proud to be part of an LGBT commmunity that , for a large part, supports their own. and prides ourselves in encouraging each other to come out, be out, be open, and true to who you were meant to be. Even if it's a struggling journey.

    Posted by: Cali-Greg | Jul 14, 2012 3:50:40 PM

  12. Life is complicated. For our gay elders it was extremely complicated, since being out and honest about who they were wasn't something many could deal with, for good reason. There was zero societal encouragement to have an honest and open gay family life.

    That Dean not only found love with a man, but received the blessing of his extended family, speaks to how far we've come. And speaks of the love his family must have for him to be supportive despite the hurt his closetedness must have caused. And Dean isn't alone: I know of quite a few families who've embraced the belated coming out of their wives/husbands/fathers/mothers. Kind of what families, at their best, are all about.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jul 14, 2012 4:13:52 PM

  13. When he got married, he didn't invite his family? He did it, then told them in an email? Weird.

    Posted by: Demian | Jul 14, 2012 4:59:59 PM

  14. Dean is gay. He is not "LGBT folk." There is no such thing as "LGBT folk."

    Posted by: Dave | Jul 14, 2012 7:34:20 PM

  15. Dave,

    We're an LGBT community. Always have been always will be.
    And millions of us pride ourselves in not being gay individuals but part of a bigger community.

    Posted by: Santiago | Jul 14, 2012 7:52:03 PM

  16. @ Dave

    Dean actually mentioned in another article he is now happy to be part of the LGBT people. His exact words. You don't get to dictate how or what others view themselves as.

    Posted by: ReaderStreeter | Jul 14, 2012 7:53:54 PM

  17. What a lovely story of a lovely man.

    If only todays generation of apologist gays hiding in a dark closet had his courage. Instead, they cowardly live their lives for their hetero neighbors.

    Posted by: CTurtle | Jul 14, 2012 7:55:28 PM

  18. Do not feed the antigay Christian trolls who come here to hate. They seem to not understand that God created gays and straights equally and said that all men were created equally. Then God said love one another. We gay Christians pray that some day the antigay Christian will learn the true meaning of Gods words, where he said all men are created equally and to love on another.

    Posted by: Mike | Jul 14, 2012 11:56:23 PM

  19. Ill admit it, I have tears in my eyes. What a beautiful story. I also think his wife, children and grandchildren as well as Dean and Richard are great people.

    Posted by: andrew | Jul 15, 2012 3:14:57 AM

  20. lol@ cali-greg

    the man is a cheat. Call it blame the gay if you want. A gay man who is married to a man and having an affair with another woman ; that is also a cheat. Call it blame the straight if you want.

    Posted by: Malaysian Ho | Jul 15, 2012 3:43:47 AM

  21. It is a beautiful story. All seem like wonderful people: Dean and Richard, Dean's former wife and his children and grandchildren. I hope they get together for a large and happy Thanksgiving Feast.

    Posted by: andrew | Jul 15, 2012 5:07:17 AM

  22. Well, yes, like a lot of men of his generation, he was an adulterer. Looking back, many find it hard to excuse. I've long gotten my nose out of joint over men who lived a lie and defrauded a woman into giving her life to them.

    But did she do all that poorly? It's hard to tell. She had a marriage to a man who must have felt something for her, even if it was not the complete and right thing in the end. We can assume she had a reasonably acceptable life to her. And she got babies! 4 of them! By the account, they have not done too poorly. Did she wind up without a husband. Well, yes, many women do. The universe works out its own plans, and our intentions and expectations in the end often have very little sway over how things go.

    They probably both did better than they might have otherwise. I am moving beyond judging too harshly.

    Posted by: Doug | Jul 15, 2012 10:07:43 AM

  23. @ MALAYSIAN HO - Glad that you're stuck in a hell hole like Malaysia, walking the streets as hos do. And when you apply for a visa at the US Consulate, I will be smiling when the official gladly stamps 'REJECTED' on your passport! Hope the fellow Muslims who are your clients, treat you like the sack of poop that you are...

    Posted by: DrMikey | Jul 15, 2012 11:47:01 AM

  24. Dave above is right on. There is no such thing as LGBT. It makes no sense. This man is not a transgender. And gay people are not in any kind of one community with transgenders. Maybe the whole world is one big community, but I am no more in any kind of special relationship with transgenders than I am with people in the Rose Bowl parade.

    Posted by: Lawrence | Jul 15, 2012 12:07:48 PM

  25. That's too bad, Lawrence. I stand in solidarity with our trans brothers and sisters. You don't. What a brave man you're not :)

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jul 15, 2012 12:20:36 PM

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