Gay cable channel Logo recently debuted Coming Out Stories, a reality series which chronicles queer men and women coming out to someone significant in their lives on-camera. In their first episode, they profiled Karen, a 27-year-old single mother who was out to everyone in her life except her sister and her mother, who has a fatal brain disease. Karen came out to both on camera, with emotional and uplifting results.
Since the episode aired, Karen's life has changed in many ways. She talks to us about her experiences making the episode, coming out to her family, and coming out to the world on national television.
AfterEllen.com: So, how did you get involved with this television series?
AE: And then how long after that did you actually film this?
AE: Before you saw that ad you must’ve thought about coming out to your mom and sister, but is this what sparked you to say, It’s high time, now I’m really going to do it?
The twist of my story, if you want to call it a twist, is that my mom is sick. She has an incurable brain disease and she only has a few years left, if that. We’re hoping for two more. So, it was a big decision to make. Why would you want to upset someone who’s dying? You left it alone, so you might as well keep it that way. Why cause her any shock? Hey, Mom, guess what?
I really struggled with it, but the show gave me an opportunity to bring us closer. And why wouldn’t I take an opportunity to get closer to my mom while she only has a few years left? So, I was really torn apart on what to do.
AE: Did you actually have people telling you you shouldn’t do this to her, why upset her, or was that your conscience telling you?
AE: Can you say why you think you might not have done it sooner with your mom if you guys are very close? Was it a fear of how she would react?