Rep. Barney Frank, May 1987
"Reaction to my coming-out helped me grasp two important points. First, most Americans aren't homophobic; they just think they're supposed to be. Second, concealing our sexual orientation helps keep straight people ignorant of the personal and social costs of homophobia.
"As word began to circulate early in 1987 that I was thinking about finally telling people the truth about my sexuality, many of the most liberal members of Congress tried to dissuade me. They were convinced that it would diminish my effectiveness. I did not disagree, but I explained that I could no longer live the semicrazed, semisecret life of the closet.
"Fortunately, that pessimism was wrong. Neither my colleagues nor my constituents cared much more about my sexuality than I did about theirs.
"Two and a half years after I voluntarily acknowledged being gay, a hustler with whom I had been involved tried to become rich, not only by publicizing our relationship but by luridly fictionalizing it. I was able to deal with the fictional parts by refuting them in front of the House Ethics Committee. As to what I had done wrong--paying him for sex--I noted that trying to live a closeted life while being publicly prominent proved to be emotionally, physically, and in every other way more difficult than I had anticipated, resulting in extreme emotional stupidity.
"To my pleasant surprise, this not only led people to be more forgiving, it helped them understand why I felt the need to come out."
Michael Huffington, 1999
"He's not really gay, Michael says as he sits in the quiet living room in Georgetown...Gay means so much more, carries so much cultural baggage, and he's not that. The word gay just doesn't describe him. It really doesn't.
"But he is homosexual. It wasn't a choice; it can't be changed. Lord knows, he tried.
"One day in 1977, Mike, who was raised a Presbyterian and did not consider himself to be especially religious, picked up a book called 'The Three Most Important Steps to Your Better Health and Miracle Living', by Oral Roberts. He read the Sinner's Prayer: Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner. Lord, I believe. Mike now thought he could eliminate his attraction to men through prayer. He felt that God had wiped everything clean.
"But the impulse couldn't be shaken. He was still drawn to men.
"At age thirty-three, Mike Huffington made a resolution: I am straight. I will get married. I will have children. I will never sleep with another man again.
"'I now know that my sexuality is part of who I am,' says Michael Huffington. 'I've been through a long process of finding out the truth about me.'"
From Beliefnet, July 2003
"Fourteen years ago when my partner moved here to be with me and my girls, it's hard to remember what a different time it was and how dangerous it was to come out and what an act of courage it was for my bishop to hire me as his right-hand person."