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About Me

I’m David Paine, a 61-year-old, sort of dorky, 12th generation WASP with deep roots in South Georgia. I possess a totally right-lobed brain and an ever-so-slight flair for the dramatic. I am gay. Though this wasn’t clear to me for a long time, now it is. And I like it this way.

I grew up in Atlanta. I’ve lived in Nashville, aka Music City, aka Nashvegas, since July 4, 1976, our nations’ 200th birthday. By academic training I’m an architectural historian. By dint of needing to make a living, I’m a marketer – branding, ads, PR, etc. Been doing that for 25 years.

I’ve been married twice, and I have two grown-up boys.

I came out – first to myself, then to those close to me and then to the rest of the world – when I was 56. The story of how I got here is epic-length, so it will have to wait for the book. This is only the blog.

The high points are these: Though there were earlier rumblings, the process really began for me on June 18, 2005 in Atlanta at the funeral of a childhood buddy. At that sobering event, I reconnected with another old friend from childhood who’s an Episcopal priest. He led me to God (that’s what I happen to call the infinite presence, but as far as I’m concerned, you can call it anything you want), and that led to therapy. And all of that together led me home to myself.

I’m a lucky man. I have two wonderful sons. I have great friends. I have a genius therapist. I was married – the second time around, at least – to an absolutely wonderful woman who is still my friend. All along, I’ve been able to see the ridiculous in most situations and laugh. I can often make other people laugh, too.

I haven’t always made the smartest choices along the path of my life, nor have I always been as kind, or generous, or diligent as I could have been. As we all do, I have to work to atone for my failings. But, as I look back at 60 years of living, I have no regrets whatsoever.

Regrets are for suckers.

Life is a gas!

27 Comments leave one →
  1. Marcia Kurzawa permalink
    06/10/2010 4:13 AM

    Hey David,

    The tears started streaming down my face when I read how your process began. I just know your childhood buddy is thrilled to have played such a huge role in your journey! For YEARS many of us thought you’d be a terrific gay man….so glad you realized it too!


    • 06/10/2010 8:32 AM

      Glad you’re glad. So am I. Trying to be terrific when and where ever I was, of course, but I think I’ll do better this time. One does the best one can, and hopes not to totally screw it up.

  2. 06/11/2010 11:54 AM

    Hi, David!! Marcia’s right you know. Do you remember the wild shirt you bought when you went off to UGA, and you came home and told your parents you wanted to be a hairdresser? We laughed SO hard. As one of the few fortunate people who have known you all of your life, I am not the least bit surprised you waited. And that’s not such a bad thing. After all, you DO LOVE women and you have two beautiful sons to prove it. I’d say that’s purt near perfect.


    • 06/13/2010 5:06 PM

      Which wild shirt? There were lots of them.

      BTW, by the time I was in college the career aspirations had moved on to studio art. The hairdresser stuff was way earlier – like when I was maybe 6 or 7. Should have been a clue I guess – but I got distracted by girls along the way. As you say, not such a bad thing as these things go.

      Glad you’re out there. Dial up any time.

  3. 06/25/2010 5:58 PM

    Can I call you a Baby Bloomer then?

    • 06/25/2010 6:27 PM

      You may, indeed! Nice line. I may call myself that, too. (But I’ll always credit you.)

  4. Kirin Proctor permalink
    07/13/2010 3:42 PM

    Daivd, I enjoyed reading about your journey.

    Btw, I have wonderful memories of you joining me & Randy for dinner at 905 Boscobel St. as you transitioned out of Historic Edgefield. One Valentines Day evening, we grilled filet and had a fabulous dinner, the 3 of us. Jamie was a young baby, (7 months old?) so must have Feb 14, 1994. I always enjoy running in to you, although it is too infrequent 🙂

  5. permalink
    07/27/2011 9:33 AM

    So glad I stumbled upon your blog. I look forward to future posts!


    • 07/27/2011 9:41 AM

      I’m glad you did, too. More coming. Every 2 weeks or so.

  6. Elizabeth Cannon permalink
    12/18/2011 8:53 PM

    Hi, David. I went at Dykes with you. We were on the annual staff together. At least I remember going out and taking pictures for the annual with you.

    It sounds like you’re doing well!

    • 12/20/2011 9:39 AM

      Of course I remember – both you and those ad section photos. With Stratton Leedy(?) right? That was a hoot.

      I am doing well, yes, and I hope you are too. Life’s been interesting, but that beats the hell outa dull.

      Glad you found me, and glad to reconnect. A question: How did you find the blog? I’m always curious about that. I’m about to launch another one – which may or may not replace this one – focused on personal branding for late bloomers like me. Always thinking about how to build audience.

      Hope you have a swell holiday.

  7. Elizabeth Cannon permalink
    12/20/2011 10:00 PM

    I’m not surprised that you followed your artistic bent or that you’re gay. I went from being a total flake to being a scientist. As I recall I got a note from my mother to keep me from having to dissect a frog.

    Two of my children are rightbrained (one is a graphic designer at Leo Burnett; the other teaches art history at an online university); my other two are still in college. Your sons are adorable, by the way.

    I saw something you posted on facebook which led me to your blog. We have a couple of mutual facebook friends.

    Life is very strange but never boring.

  8. John Derych permalink
    06/19/2012 10:04 PM

    Hi- A friend of mine gave me your blog link and I just quickly scanned through your blog. I can’t wait til tomorrow with more time to begin reading. I am so thankful for your blog- I am 59 and came out when I was 57. A feel like a lost puppy trying to catch up. Looking forward to receiving your blog. Thanks- John D

    • 06/20/2012 4:08 AM

      I’m glad it’s here for you. Looking forward to hearing from you again.


    • Karen permalink
      08/09/2014 9:55 PM

      If one drops their long time friends, they aren’t really coming out, they are hiding it while going in a different direction. Coming out is coming out and letting friends accept you for who you are. Not giving friends that choice is not really coming out.

      • 08/10/2014 9:42 AM


  9. 03/03/2013 10:13 PM

    I just found this at the end of a day when I have been in deep despair. Coming out at 60 was a risk I took but so far it has been a lonely road. thanks for starting this.

    • 03/04/2013 8:58 AM

      Thanks for telling me this has been valuable to you and thanks for reading. Sometimes it seems like no one out there reads what I’m writing and then a great comment like yours comes in. It keeps me going.

  10. 04/14/2013 11:30 PM

    architectural historian,huh? sounds good 🙂

  11. ryan lundvall permalink
    01/30/2014 10:29 PM

    Hi David I have found your site informative and interesting. I have a 7 year old daughter. I have been with woman and used to enjoy them. I guess I have at least always been bi. I remember stealing gay mag’s because I was too ashamed to buy them. The strange thing is my attraction to woman seems to have dissipated over the last five years or so. It has been over four years since I have been with a woman. I had a man less than a month ago. I remember in high school always checking out the woman. Now I wont even bother to masturbate to anything but men, has anyone had this experience of just changing sexual preference? The last time I was with a woman it seemed like I just wanted to get it over as soon as possible. yet with men I want to keep taking it farther. I am 35 in my youth I loved everything about woman now they just kind of bore me.. With men I used to just perform oral sex then move on. Now I find myself wanting to kiss and cuddle and have romance with them. What is happing to me???

    • 01/31/2014 11:42 AM

      Sounds like your sexuality is evolving. I beleive this happens to lots of people. It happened to me.

  12. David permalink
    02/11/2014 1:07 PM

    I have always been bi like I said. I guess this whole thing has put me through a loop. I would say 10 years ago I was maybe 10% gay 90% straight I would then mess around with guys but there was no real attachment it was fun but I never accossiated it with love or any real connection. Now that connection with another man grows stronger and stronger. Being in a real relationship with a man seems to be was I am seeking. I just never pictured it this way, it feels like I am split in two (the old me and the new me) In a way I miss the old me who loved woman. It just seems like there are few cases of changing sexuality. It was always there to an extent, now I really do not think of woman sexually or rarely but the level of excitement is very low. What made it change for you? How old were you? Have you heard of people transitioning back to straight again? It just seems strange for these feelings to evolve so late.
    Thanks for your response, I am lost here.

    • 02/11/2014 1:43 PM

      I think sexuality is very fluid. I always knew I was attracted to males sexually, but the craving for a close relationship with a man (as opposed to mere sex) is what tipped the scales. This happened when I was in my 50s. It can happen any time. And I have no idea why. It just happened, and I went with it. All that said, I finally feel whole and integrated. The need to be with a woman – except as friends – simply doesn’t exist any more. I feel like one whole person rather than somewhat divided as I always had before.

  13. ryan permalink
    02/11/2014 7:04 PM

    So the solution is go gay all the way I Suppose. Fact is there is little choice in the matter woman no longer sexually or more importantly emotionally attract me. So I a. live a lie or B. come out. It is such a hard transition. what a curve ball!

    • 02/12/2014 1:33 PM

      Curve ball or no, your best policy is honesty. It will allow you to live in peace.

  14. ryan permalink
    02/11/2014 7:06 PM

    for you David you really were attracted to woman? How did it feel for you?

    • 02/12/2014 1:34 PM

      Yes, I was. Especially as an adolescent. But it faded – fairly slowly – to the point I am now.

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