The day Jim told Dina the truth, he also stopped lying to himself. "Part of the hell of being in the closet is you're denying your own existence," he says. "You try to maintain this public existence of a husband ... then you're also in the closet saying, 'This is my authentic self.'"
As a politician, Jim struggled to keep his secret both personally and professionally. Once as governor, Jim addressed a gay rights organization while holding his daughter to make people think he wasn't gay.
"I remember saying 'How sick is this?' ... I want to be authentic," Jim says. "I thought to myself that I belong there with these people because this happens to be my tribe, and I'm up here pretending to be something I'm not."
On the day of his infamous resignation speech—August 12, 2004—Jim says he took prayer cards into the bathroom and prayed to his grandmother. "I said to her, 'This is it. This is who I am. It's sort of crazy to be doing this at 47 years of age, but damn it, it's here, it's now, and I'm doing it,'" he says.
Since coming out of the closet, Jim's goals have shifted away from politics and turned inward. "I want to be who it is that God wants me to be," he says.