Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Paul Talbot tells a familiar tale to many a gay man in this month’s issue of Instinct Magazine:
“As a teenager, I remember looking at pictures of guys many times but telling myself there was no way I could possibly be gay. It wasn’t until I was in my forties that I was able to admit it to myself,” Paul says. “The way I dealt with it was complete isolation from the gay world: no gay bars, no gay friends. The really sad part is that it worked.”
Like millions of other gay men and women throughout history, Paul made great professional strides while submerging his own true nature, believing that success with one came at the expense of the other. After completing medical school and his residencies, Paul set up shop as a plastic surgeon in the small city of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. What came next was not an easy decision, but it was a step that many other closeted people have made, with thousands of reasons and justifications, fears and hopes and, above all, the fervent desire—a prayer, almost—that everything will be okay, somehow. At 35, Paul married a woman, Julie.
“I remember standing up there in front of everyone at our wedding, all our friends and family, and telling myself, You are getting married,” Paul remembers. “You are pulling someone else into this. You can’t come out now. Not ever.”
This is why greater acceptance of gay people is a good thing. Hiding hurts more than just the closeted. With more acceptance, hurt can be avoided.
Read more of Paul’s story and read the full story in the latest issue