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Book 7

Page history last edited by Sara Burnett 8 years, 9 months ago

Ryan, 36 years old


Live in Sioux Falls, SD


Own a House




Gay, I'd say I've known since puberty


I kept it secret from my family until I was 23.


First came out to friends and my co-worker at the time.


In a relationship since March 1st, 2014

Negative experiences because being gay:

Yes, many people think if its not in their family they can say they are accepting of it and ok with it, but if it happens to them and is in their family it’s a different thing.  My mother was so concerned about all the women I tried to date, and my response was that was me trying to be the son I knew you wanted.  It wasn’t until after I sobered up and stopped using drugs and alcohol (September 9th, 2005) that she had a reason to think that it just wasn’t a phase I was going thru.


I have one sibling that has chosen because of religious (strict southern baptist) and political (worships Ronald Regan and Fox News gag puke republicans) that has chosen to love me but never accept me. As a result I have wished him a good life.

Ryan's response after being asked, "Are you currently employed?  If yes, does your employer know and do you feel you are treated differently?":

I’ve never had the ability to be one person with these people and another person with these people. As a result I’m me all the time. I’ve also always casually thrown it out there in a way sort of a defense mechanism.  I’d rather have people not accept me to my face and know right away than have them stab me in the back.

A previous employer had the opportunity to get rid of me because of it.  I was up for a big promotion that others had wanted.  Some news came out of the woodwork from an anonymous individual that I had once hit on them.  I told my then boss that we live in a state that my rights as a gay man aren’t protected.  While my actions at the time which was probably years before was inappropriate, I am fit for the job.  I let him know that if he chose to pass me up for the promotion that I know that I was the right person for the job and that I am a good person, and that because of the laws in our state that he could fire me for this, but he would have to sleep at night with the decision that he made, not me, because I know I’m a good human being.  He said that was why he chose me for the job and I went on to be one of the best managers that they had for several years.  I also had from time to time coworkers (who were young) say things like “that’s so gay”, or other missuses of the word gay.  I would take them aside and ask them why they didn’t say “that’s so Jew” or “that’s so Nigger”?  I’d let them know that by using the word gay they are insinuating that gay people in general were dumb or less important and dispensable which is what history has also done to several minorities including Africans and Jewish individuals.  Over time they would change their thinking.


I’ve also had one of the best compliments in my life as a result of hate.  I go to a GLBT AA group and friends of mine let me know that they were in a conversation with someone and let that person know that they were going to the Rainbow AA group that night.  The person said to them “that’s a gay group and I don’t know why you’d want to go there”.  My friend that later told me about the story said to me that he told the man, “I have a feeling that if you met my friend, Ryan, you’d change your mind.”  That was a huge moment in my life because I’ve always wanted to make things better for the next person and at that moment I knew I was accomplishing one of my life goals.


I went to all public education in Sioux Falls, SD graduating from Roosevelt High School in 1997.  I also did what I like to say to everyone that explains it quickly: I went to Saint Cloud State University for 3 years majoring in alcohol research.

Ryan's response after being asked "Have you had any battles with depression, addiction, etc., because of any biases towards you?":

When I sobered up on September 9th, 2005 one thought that went thru my mind constantly was “I’m gay and single and don’t drink or do drugs, there is no hope for me!”  I’m glad to say that I was wrong.  When I sobered up in 2005 things that were important to me were having a relationship with my family again, have a couple friends, and maybe some money in the bank.  If I would have settled for those three things I would have sold myself significantly short, I could have never of imagined a life so full and purposeful.


My mom comes from a Catholic family of 15 children and my dad comes from a Catholic family of 5 children.  My parents had 6 children 2 of which died shortly after birth because of a premature delivery.  I have 2 brothers and a sister.  Jim that’s 10 years older than me, Dan 8 years older than me, and Julie that is 7 years older than me.  The twins would have been 9 years older than me.  I was a whoops I guess, but my parents have always said that I was the only planned one.


Today I like to refer to my religion as a recovering Catholic and my partner and I go to Spirit of Peace it’s a United Church of Christ denomination


Tim and I would love children.  But lack of being able to have a immaculate conception prohibits us from doing so.  We have been trying for the last 2 years to be foster parents with Children’s Home Society.  We would like to eventually adopt.


A lot of my friends and family refer to me as MacGyver there isn’t anything that I can’t fix.  I love working on construction projects around the house, fixing the car, and anything that’s broke I love to fix things!


I love God, I enjoy helping others, and I’m grateful for everything that has happened in my life to get me to TODAY!  Today is a gift that’s why it’s called the present!

If you could only tell people 5 words for them to get to know who you are, what would those 5 words be?

I like making people smile.


5 Words that describe me: Partner, Son, Caring, Laughing, Sober


Do you see me differently now?

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