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[Now That I'm Out Cover]

An Interview with Brian McNaught

Author of Now That I'm Out, What Do I Do

Q: Who did you write this book for?

A: I wrote it for myself and for any other gay, lesbian, or bisexual person who has ever felt lonely or out of place in the gay community. I wrote it because I wanted to assure myself and to give witness to others that there are many ways to express one's difference in the world.

It makes me sad, and sometimes angry, to think that we gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people have had to manage our survival and growth as human beings so much on our own. Many of us have truly experienced spiritual homelessness. On the other hand, I'm thrilled to see in myself, and in those I encounter, a wisdom not easily found in the world. These are the fruits of lives lived deliberately. That is the exciting journey I wanted to document.

Q: Your book is very personal. Are you nervous about exposing yourself?

A: I sometimes get a little nervous about being so honest about myself when my "wounded child" is in control. He warns me loud and clear that some people will take advantage of my self-disclosure and will try to hurt me. But then the "wise child" speaks up and reminds me that the most effective means of connecting with another human being is through the vulnerability that comes with honesty. It also reminds me that I like myself and my writing most when I am telling the truth about my feelings, insecurities and all. I like myself and my writing less when I am "preachy," or when the "expert" comes out. I am always more comfortable with people who aren't invested in maintaining an image and I find that people relate best to me when I am just Brian, a recovering "perfect person."

Q: Where to from here?

A: Ray and I are on a spiritual pilgrimage. We're both hungry for experiences that nurture our souls. We're looking for people with whom we can build community on that search.

I plan to continue my work as an educator about gay issues in the corporate environment. I also want to write a book about my experiences over the last twenty years at the incredible Annual Workshop on Sexuality at Thornfield. True magic happens in that intensive training. People's lives are deeply impacted by their encounters with others on the road to sexual health. That story needs to be told.

Copyright © l997, Brian McNaught.

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