Like many gay and bisexual people, I didn't have an easy time coming to terms with my sexual orientation. Indeed, that process has been a source of multiple difficulties, false steps, and emotional turmoil over the past couple decades or so. And while I count myself fortunate in that my experiences forced me to dig deep within myself and find a strength I originally didn't know I possessed, I also find myself thinking that there must be an easier road to take. And if there is an easier road to take, I would like to help those who come after me to find it. After all, if even one person can benefit from my own struggles, then it makes my own experiences all that much more worthwhile.

I think that one of the great contributors to my own struggles was the fact that I lacked the chance to gain insight from the experience of those gay men and women older than me. As a result, I didn't really know if I was going through the same things others have gone through or if I was forging new territory. This lack of knowledge left me feeling terribly alone and isolated. My only choice seemed to be to try to work through things on my own, dealing with whatever mess my lack of experience and wisdom caused. This created a rather frightening environment, something not entirely conducive to the self-discovery process.

This realization has caused me to open the story of my life to others in hopes that those who might find themselves in that same position have an opportunity I didn't. I hope that they might read my experiences, find enough similarity to their own to know that they really aren't alone, and find encouragement and confidence through it.

I should point out to me that this is not just another coming out story, at least not of the sort that I've personally seen myself. Of the few books I've read on coming out - and the online discussions I've seen on the topic of coming out - they all focus on accepting that you're gay or bisexual and learning to reveal that information with people. My own experiences have taught me that this is not always enough to truly come to terms with one's sexuality. The self-discovery process goes much deeper, and included learning to express that sexuality. It also often means dealing with the results of consequences our true selves for too long. In short, coming out is not just about self-acceptance, but about healing ourselves in a much broader sense. I do not feel that this is a topic that has yet been adequately covered by the gay community as a whole. And I hope that in writing my story, I can contribute to correcting that inadequacy.

Originally, when I came up with this project, I had planned on releasing it as a published book. However, events in my life and further reflection have convinced me that this project is better suited to Web publication. Web publication offers the opportunity for me to share my story as a work in progress. This means that rather than waiting until everything is written and edited, I can start reaching out to people immediately.

Also, as I considered the people that I hoped to be able to reach with this project, I realized that many of them probably would not be in a position to purchase a book. Many may well be in a position where possessing such a book could create problems for them. Or perhaps they may simply be afraid that possessing such a book would do so. To me, sharing my story on the web offers those people a chance to gain access to it. After all, I remember what a great resource the Internet was when I was first coming to terms with my sexual orientation.

I should note that this book (and despite being published on the web, I will sill think of it as a book) will not present my experiences in chronological order. My mind does not work that way. To me, it makes far more sense for me to share my experiences in a structured fashion that more closely represents how they seem to interconnect with me in my own mind. It is my hope to create a chronological timeline with links to individual experiences as an appendix, just as I feel some sense of chronology is also important. But the experiences themselves are more important than the order in which they happen.