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Dr. Alan Downs is a psychologist and author of The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man's World! He knows firsthand about being an outsider—he lived a closeted life for years and even married a beauty queen!

"I grew up in a very religious household," he says. "I thought if I met the right woman and married her, [I] would change. ... The Velvet Rage is about the anger that develops when you have something inside yourself that you have to hide."

Even though Alan suspected from a young age that he was gay, he didn't come to terms with it until after his divorce. "I was very close to my ex-wife," he says. "She was my best friend. I just confused that with 'This is going to make me straight.'"
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FROM: When I Knew I Was Gay
Published on November 17, 2005

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