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The Lie: A Memoir of Two Marriages, Catfishing & Coming Out

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A candid memoir of denial, stolen identities, betrayal, faking it, and coming out. Do you know me?, the email began, sparking tremors of fear that turned into a full quake of panic when William Dameron discovered that his selfie had been stolen by strangers. On social networks and dating sites, his image and identity—a forty-year-old straight white male—had been used to A candid memoir of denial, stolen identities, betrayal, faking it, and coming out. Do you know me?, the email began, sparking tremors of fear that turned into a full quake of panic when William Dameron discovered that his selfie had been stolen by strangers. On social networks and dating sites, his image and identity—a forty-year-old straight white male—had been used to hook countless women into believing in lies of love and romance. Was it all an ironic cosmic joke? Almost a decade prior, William himself had been living a lie that had lasted for more than twenty years. His secret? He was a gay man, a fact he hid from his wife and two daughters for almost as long as he had hidden it from himself.In this emotional and unflinchingly honest memoir of coming out of the closet late in life, owning up to the past, and facing the future, William Dameron confronts steroid addiction, the shame and homophobia of his childhood, the sledgehammer of secrets that slowly tore his marriage apart, and his love for a gay father of three that would once again challenge the boundaries of trust. At the true heart of The Lie is a universal story about turning self-doubt into self-acceptance and about pain, anger, and the long journey of both seeking and giving forgiveness.


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A candid memoir of denial, stolen identities, betrayal, faking it, and coming out. Do you know me?, the email began, sparking tremors of fear that turned into a full quake of panic when William Dameron discovered that his selfie had been stolen by strangers. On social networks and dating sites, his image and identity—a forty-year-old straight white male—had been used to A candid memoir of denial, stolen identities, betrayal, faking it, and coming out. Do you know me?, the email began, sparking tremors of fear that turned into a full quake of panic when William Dameron discovered that his selfie had been stolen by strangers. On social networks and dating sites, his image and identity—a forty-year-old straight white male—had been used to hook countless women into believing in lies of love and romance. Was it all an ironic cosmic joke? Almost a decade prior, William himself had been living a lie that had lasted for more than twenty years. His secret? He was a gay man, a fact he hid from his wife and two daughters for almost as long as he had hidden it from himself.In this emotional and unflinchingly honest memoir of coming out of the closet late in life, owning up to the past, and facing the future, William Dameron confronts steroid addiction, the shame and homophobia of his childhood, the sledgehammer of secrets that slowly tore his marriage apart, and his love for a gay father of three that would once again challenge the boundaries of trust. At the true heart of The Lie is a universal story about turning self-doubt into self-acceptance and about pain, anger, and the long journey of both seeking and giving forgiveness.

30 review for The Lie: A Memoir of Two Marriages, Catfishing & Coming Out

  1. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    William Dameron Fortysomething William Dameron (Bill) had been married to his wife Katherine for twenty years when she confronted him in a Walmart parking lot. "Just park the car now Bill," she said. "I have to ask you this, or I'm afraid I never will. Are you gay?" "I don't want to be", Bill replied. And his deeply held secret was finally out in the open. In this memoir, Dameron shares the experience of coming out as a married father of two, a man who was devoted to his family, but unable to go o William Dameron Fortysomething William Dameron (Bill) had been married to his wife Katherine for twenty years when she confronted him in a Walmart parking lot. "Just park the car now Bill," she said. "I have to ask you this, or I'm afraid I never will. Are you gay?" "I don't want to be", Bill replied. And his deeply held secret was finally out in the open. In this memoir, Dameron shares the experience of coming out as a married father of two, a man who was devoted to his family, but unable to go on living a lie. ***** Katherine probably 'had a feeling' Bill was gay for years. During a rocky time in their relationship, when the couple went to a marriage counselor, Katherine mentioned, "Sex has been a semiannual event for years, Bill. You know I need you to initiate it." In response, Bill said "Remember that night, two weeks ago when I asked you", though Bill knew he had purposely chosen a night when Katherine was too tired. Bill's sexual preference became more obvious shortly before he came out, when he developed a 'man crush' on a handsome, heterosexual, married co-worker named Enzo. Bill recalls that he and Enzo would go out for drinks and tell jokes and "Enzo offered up his friendship readily, in a way I had never experienced with a man before." When Bill made one too many comments about Enzo to Katherine, she shrewdly observed, "Another story about Enzo. You're so infatuated with him." The couple's daughters, Sophie and Marisa, may have sensed something as well. Bill was trying on shirt after shirt for a boys night out with Enzo, when Marisa noted, "Aw, Dad's got a bromance going on".....an observation Bill hotly denied. After becoming friends with Enzo Bill also became a gym rat, adding muscles and pounds to his previously slim frame - in hopes his pal would notice. To assist his bulking up Bill used illegal steroids, secretly injecting himself in the basement. Katherine's discovery of Bill's hidden stash of drugs led to an ugly scene in which Katherine, Sophie, and Marisa ALL confronted him, horrified and disappointed. All this may have led to Katherine's 'gay' question in the Walmart parking lot, and Bill's admission - after which the couple separated and divorced. This was hard on Bill, who felt ashamed about the fraud he'd perpetrated on his family, especially Katherine - who was unmoored and deeply hurt. ***** Bill knew he was gay from an early age, but growing up in conservative North Carolina - with a Catholic mother who disdained homosexuals - made him deny his essential self. Bill's mother sensed his leanings, and would say things like, "Don't put your hands on your hips like that. It look effeminate; Those flip-flops make you look effeminate." Eventually, when Bill's mom feared her teenage son might come out as gay, she said: "It's disgusting is what it is. There is nothing natural about it. Let's pray." And Bill's mother repeated this sort of thing on a regular basis. Bill as a young man Bill was well and truly scared. He writes: "Fear of eternal damnation, the fear of ridicule, the fear of being labeled a faggot and being beaten to a bloody pulp as I had seen happen to classmates....had created a fear and internal homophobia so great that it eclipsed all others." Seeing his brothers happy with their girlfriends, Bill saw redemption, a way forward. So, after a few aborted experiences with boys, Bill started seeing Katherine, and when Bill was 23 and Katherine was 22 they married. The union wasn't always easy, however, in part because Katherine had issues of her own: she was an adoptee, and fretted about being given up by her birth mother; she couldn't bear Bill coming home a few minutes late, let alone going away for a business trip or training; she thought their house was haunted by spirits; she developed a mysterious illness - with pains in her joints and shortness of breath - that required a hospital stay; and more. Was any of this related to a subconscious inkling of Bill's secret? Who knows. But Katherine's referring to a gay male nurse as a faggot may have been a hint. When Bill and Katherine separated, Katherine moved to Virginia with Sophie and Marisa, and Bill remained in Massachusetts, where the family had been living. Bill's coming out was a step by step process. He came out to family and friends; made new gay friends; went for counseling; got professional therapy; attended support groups; began dating; etc. Bill rented a basement apartment in this house from two lesbians, Linda and Debra, who became his very good friends. Bill feared he'd never find love, and had some hiccups on the way to this hoped for goal. At length Bill met a dreamboat named Paul, and their courtship was touching and a bit fraught....like a teenage romance. 😊 Bill (right) and Paul Meanwhile, Bill felt guilty about the suffering he'd inflicted on Katherine. He admits, "I took what was not mine. Katherine's love, trust, and hope were her most valuable assets, and I squandered them." This is perhaps the most unfair thing about a 'beard marriage', the damage it inflicts on the unknowing partner. Though the marriage was over, Bill wanted to remain close to Sophie and Marisa. Thus he traveled south for holidays and flew down once or twice a month to spend time with the girls. He remembers, "I tried to cram hundreds of hours into a precious forty-eight-hour window." Bill with his daughters, Marisa (left) and Sophie Bill writes a great deal about his family: his philandering father who ran off with another woman; his affection for Katherine, and their troubled marriage; raising his daughters Marisa and Sophie through the years; the family's beloved dog Maggie; his three brothers - one of whom never came to terms with Bill's homosexuality; his mother's eventual acceptance of his sexual preference; and more. In the end, Bill's mother told him: "I was wrong. Being gay is normal, a part of your genetic legacy. Bill, can you ever forgive me?" Bill takes this opportunity to discuss forgiveness, and how his entire family "was learning to walk the long, rocky road of forgiveness." Though much has changed for gay people over the years, Bill acknowledges that he still sometimes lies, "to strangers, acquaintances, and people I've just met, because the world is a brutal place for queer people. There are times when safety trumps honesty." This is an inspirational story with a happily ever after. Still, Bill pleads, "We are not the first generation of queer people who have found themselves trapped in a straight marriage, but please God, let us be the last." Fingers crossed. Bill (left) and Paul All people - both LGBTQ and straight - can learn something from Bill's story. Thanks to Netgalley, the author (William Dameron), and the publisher (Little A) for a copy of the book. You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....

  2. 4 out of 5

    Megan Collins

    This book explores William Dameron’s struggle to come out as gay—both to himself and his wife and children—and his attempt to wade through the wreckage created by his decades-long lie and find a clear path forward as a father, son, and husband once again. There are so many words I could use to describe this memoir (exquisite, heartbreaking, heartwarming, funny, inspiring, gorgeous, riveting), but none of them do it justice. Even if you can’t identify with Dameron’s exact struggle, his story is d This book explores William Dameron’s struggle to come out as gay—both to himself and his wife and children—and his attempt to wade through the wreckage created by his decades-long lie and find a clear path forward as a father, son, and husband once again. There are so many words I could use to describe this memoir (exquisite, heartbreaking, heartwarming, funny, inspiring, gorgeous, riveting), but none of them do it justice. Even if you can’t identify with Dameron’s exact struggle, his story is deeply human, and I felt it deep in my bones. It’s a story of love and heartbreak, betrayal and forgiveness, deception and truth, self-hatred and self-acceptance—and it’s a story that will resonate, on some level, with every person who reads it. There were so many stunning passages, but this is one of my favorites: “We are not the first generation of queer people who have found ourselves trapped in a straight marriage, but please God, let us be the last. In a world filled with hate and lies propagated by the Trump administration, living the truth is a form of resistance and persistence.” In sharing his truth with us, a truth he fought so hard with himself to bring into the light, William Dameron has given us all an immensely beautiful gift.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Julia Phillips

    A beautiful, compassionate, and achingly honest memoir about coming out later in life. Just gorgeous.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lisa G.

    Incredible! It's always hard for me to choose between the monthly Kindle 'first read' pre-release book selections. It's my monthly "gift" from prime, so I carefully peruse each description, weigh the number of pages (I do love a long book), and try to guess which one I should read. This despite the fact that I get multiple free books every day and have an unread Kindle "stack" in the tens of thousands...but I digress. Anyway! Rarely does a book just jump out and make the choice for me- but this m Incredible! It's always hard for me to choose between the monthly Kindle 'first read' pre-release book selections. It's my monthly "gift" from prime, so I carefully peruse each description, weigh the number of pages (I do love a long book), and try to guess which one I should read. This despite the fact that I get multiple free books every day and have an unread Kindle "stack" in the tens of thousands...but I digress. Anyway! Rarely does a book just jump out and make the choice for me- but this month, that's exactly what happened. I got to the 6th offering, "The Lie", and knew immediately I needed to read this book (despite its "slim" 266 pages, haha). I got it- and yesterday, I read it. This book is so incredibly moving. William Dameron tells the story of his life as a father and husband with a heavy, personal world destroying secret: he's gay. Somewhere inside he's always known, but societal and family pressure (along with that soul-eating inner fear of possibly not being loved and accepted for who he really is) conspire to steal his real life from him. As his story unfolds, events transpire that pull his true identity out into the open- and it's beautifully, messily painful (as life always is). At times I cried because he judged himself so harshly. I wanted to reach out and tell him to be kinder to himself, but as his story continued, I saw that his redemption was exactly as it needed to be. He needed that honesty, he needed to strip himself bare and begin his new life with no lies to himself or others. He needed to speak- and live- his truth. Reading his memoir and being able to watch and feel alongside him as he vanquished the lie that had ruled his life was an incredible journey. People are rarely this introspective, let alone this honest. I felt so honored to be able to see so deeply into someone's story...and his detailing of raw emotional loss, interwoven with his uncensored joy once he began living his real, true life?? Well, that's why you need to read this book. His (southernsoftbutbrutal) honesty makes you think about what's important, and why. It encourages self awareness, makes you take stock of your life and do that quick soul inventory, to think about whether you're living honestly. It might make you cry, but for me it was good, cleansing happy tears. I was so proud of this man I've never even met. Even if introspection isn't your usual game, in honor of Pride Month, I encourage you to read this absolutely extraordinary memoir. You won't be sorry!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lyn❤Loves❤Listening #AUDIOBOOKADDICT

    Audio and Story 5+++++ Stars

  6. 5 out of 5

    Paul M

    This book was so well written, so compelling that I read it in a single reading on a cross country flight. The writing is so clear and beautiful that I never had to stop and re-read or try to figure out what the author was trying to say. The struggle is heartbreaking and the love that the author feels for his family comes shining through. This is a book for anyone who wants to know if it is ever too late to become your true self, if the risk is worth the pain. At least in this author’s case, it This book was so well written, so compelling that I read it in a single reading on a cross country flight. The writing is so clear and beautiful that I never had to stop and re-read or try to figure out what the author was trying to say. The struggle is heartbreaking and the love that the author feels for his family comes shining through. This is a book for anyone who wants to know if it is ever too late to become your true self, if the risk is worth the pain. At least in this author’s case, it was, and he also gave us this stunning debut.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    I loved everything about this memoir. A story about the author coming out in later life after a very long marriage and two teenage daughters. You shift back in forth throughout different time periods in his life, but I never felt lost or confused. I was completely enthralled throughout the entire book. Even though it's a topic I don't know very much about, it felt so real. Just like a great memoir should be! William Dameron definitely knows how to write well and has a knack for details. **Book w I loved everything about this memoir. A story about the author coming out in later life after a very long marriage and two teenage daughters. You shift back in forth throughout different time periods in his life, but I never felt lost or confused. I was completely enthralled throughout the entire book. Even though it's a topic I don't know very much about, it felt so real. Just like a great memoir should be! William Dameron definitely knows how to write well and has a knack for details. **Book won in a Goodreads Giveaway**

  8. 4 out of 5

    Glenda Ricord

    This was a beautifully written book. I felt very close to all the characters and could feel their emotions. Bill Dameron is a middle-aged man, who finally comes “out of the closet”. He has a wife and 2 beautiful children which he adores. Try as he might, he cannot suppress his true feelings. This book takes us on Bill’s journey to finally face his true self and then the revelation of the truth to his family and friends. Bill knew at a young age that he was gay, but society was not accepting of This was a beautifully written book. I felt very close to all the characters and could feel their emotions. Bill Dameron is a middle-aged man, who finally comes “out of the closet”. He has a wife and 2 beautiful children which he adores. Try as he might, he cannot suppress his true feelings. This book takes us on Bill’s journey to finally face his true self and then the revelation of the truth to his family and friends. Bill knew at a young age that he was gay, but society was not accepting of alternate lifestyles. He marries, has children and tries to suppress his true character. I felt much emotion as I traveled with Bill and felt the pressure and the pain he felt, as well as, the sadness that his wife experienced. The children were equally affected when their father revealed what he had been hiding for all these years. Many emotions were portrayed before Bill finally found his peace. The prose in this book is stunning. In conclusion, no matter what your stance is on or alternate lifestyles, this book is just beautiful. I cried and felt the pain of everyone involved. Thanks, NetGalley for providing this book in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions are my own. You may view my reviews at https://travelreadlove.org/. I'm a beginner and it is under construction. Any suggestions are welcomed.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Stacy

    Beautifully heartbreaking I generally hate any type of memoir, or really anything other than fiction. I chose this book because I am a divorce attorney and have been involved in cases much like Mr. Dameron’s divorce, where one spouse came out years into a marriage. I have always thought it was selfish of the spouse - not the divorce so much but that they married the other person in the first place, then went on to have children. He had to have known! Why “use” the other person in this way? Mr. D Beautifully heartbreaking I generally hate any type of memoir, or really anything other than fiction. I chose this book because I am a divorce attorney and have been involved in cases much like Mr. Dameron’s divorce, where one spouse came out years into a marriage. I have always thought it was selfish of the spouse - not the divorce so much but that they married the other person in the first place, then went on to have children. He had to have known! Why “use” the other person in this way? Mr. Dameron’s book did just what I hoped it would - it gave me a different perspective on those questions. Mr. Dameron’s honesty is evident and he does not gloss over the pain he caused, but he explains how a thousand tiny steps sometimes leads us to a place we just aren’t meant to be. Thank you for helping me grow, Mr. Dameron.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cinda

    A beautifully-written memoir offering searing honesty and a clear-eyed look at the cost to himself and those around him when he pretended to be someone he was not. Highly recommended for those who believe that people "choose a gay lifestyle" or that things were fine back when you didn't think you knew any gay people. Mr Dameron is a self-reflective and gifted writer. A beautifully-written memoir offering searing honesty and a clear-eyed look at the cost to himself and those around him when he pretended to be someone he was not. Highly recommended for those who believe that people "choose a gay lifestyle" or that things were fine back when you didn't think you knew any gay people. Mr Dameron is a self-reflective and gifted writer.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kat Brownell

    I did not think thos book was particularly well written nor ground breaking. If you are going to write your life story, you had better make sure you are an excellent story teller. Oh, and having someone explain the difference between coordinate and cumulative adjectives, and which ones need commas and which don't, would also help. However, I thought Katherine's story was incredibly poignant. People who still believe (or ever believed) that being gay is a choice should hear stories about spouses w I did not think thos book was particularly well written nor ground breaking. If you are going to write your life story, you had better make sure you are an excellent story teller. Oh, and having someone explain the difference between coordinate and cumulative adjectives, and which ones need commas and which don't, would also help. However, I thought Katherine's story was incredibly poignant. People who still believe (or ever believed) that being gay is a choice should hear stories about spouses who have been collateral damage in that lie. The people who spent their entire young adulthood in a marriage based on lies, and who have to pick themselves up and start all over in their 40s. Somehow the conservative right never thinks about the actual consequences to their platitudes.

  12. 4 out of 5

    SpareTheBS

    Took me FOREVER to finish this book! Don't you hate when life gets in the way of things that are most important to you. Loved this book!! Not a fan of books that make me cry and this book made me cry TWICE. Might have to look into other books I've passed up in lieu of a stuffy nose. If you haven't come out yet or know someone who hasn't, read or recommend this book. If you have come out and are having difficulties adjusting especially when you have children, read this book. Took me FOREVER to finish this book! Don't you hate when life gets in the way of things that are most important to you. Loved this book!! Not a fan of books that make me cry and this book made me cry TWICE. Might have to look into other books I've passed up in lieu of a stuffy nose. If you haven't come out yet or know someone who hasn't, read or recommend this book. If you have come out and are having difficulties adjusting especially when you have children, read this book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Pavellit

    I stayed up until 4 am to read this book and instead of feeling exhausted when I finished, I wanted more.....This memoir was so touching, sincere, compassionate and uplifting. And even humorous in spots. I can just imagine how hard it had to be to come out as a gay man, to your wife and children, the world, but also to yourself after you've been living a lie for so long. The writing is wonderful, and while some of the inner sentimental thoughts go on too long, and become a bit heavy handed, it's I stayed up until 4 am to read this book and instead of feeling exhausted when I finished, I wanted more.....This memoir was so touching, sincere, compassionate and uplifting. And even humorous in spots. I can just imagine how hard it had to be to come out as a gay man, to your wife and children, the world, but also to yourself after you've been living a lie for so long. The writing is wonderful, and while some of the inner sentimental thoughts go on too long, and become a bit heavy handed, it's still a great read. I would have enjoyed it more with less sentimentality and more intimacy and sex. Especially after all those years in which he was „an indiscriminate slut in his fantasies, and a gay virgin in his real life”- “What the fuck have I been missing all these years?” Lol! I needed more shared moments with Paul, who lighted dark spaces!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Steve Moskowitz

    Excellent writing and a compelling story.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Goth Gone Grey

    The lie begets the truth and the light. What a beautiful, emotional book. The author unpacked his soul, his experiences, and those of his family and lays the cards frankly down in front of the reader. It's written eloquently, whether in the darkness or light. While sharing the experiences of his family and loved ones, he's honest to the point of pain, but respectful. He knows enough to say when he can't imagine what they're thinking or going through, which places needed limits on what he shares The lie begets the truth and the light. What a beautiful, emotional book. The author unpacked his soul, his experiences, and those of his family and lays the cards frankly down in front of the reader. It's written eloquently, whether in the darkness or light. While sharing the experiences of his family and loved ones, he's honest to the point of pain, but respectful. He knows enough to say when he can't imagine what they're thinking or going through, which places needed limits on what he shares about them. The tale, to some degree, is sadly too common. Forbidden longing due to society and religion and family, hidden under attempting 'normalcy,' whatever that may truly be. As the author says, I'm grateful that this is becoming less normal, and people can live their truths. The catfishing and stolen identity is a different, though interwoven, tale less common. The similarities are well established, though. The book unfolds like a story told to friends - or a therapy group. Time frames are loose, dancing back and forth among years to weave pieces of his life together beautifully. An example of the writing, which is eloquent and compelling: "Boxes. The garage was still filled with so many unpacked boxes from our move back to New England six months ago. We didn’t leave anything behind. We packed it all up and brought it with us, including my insecurity in bubble wrap, and unpacked as soon as we reached our new home. Like Maggie, my insecurity twitched and scampered about the house, begging for attention and nipping at my ankles. Katherine had gathered up her bottles of medications and brought those along too, her mental state a constant companion, the two of us locked in a fatal embrace." I wish the author and his family peace. Thank you for sharing your story.

  16. 4 out of 5

    stephanie magid

    So well written. Loved the author's honesty and depth of understanding about how difficult his life and coming out was and is. Thank you William Dameron for sharing your story and your life. There are many other people who will learn how to be their true selves because of you. So well written. Loved the author's honesty and depth of understanding about how difficult his life and coming out was and is. Thank you William Dameron for sharing your story and your life. There are many other people who will learn how to be their true selves because of you.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Vicky D.

    The Author waited to long to pull in the prologue to the story, after all it's part of the title. I realize this is a personal story and some privacy has to be respected, but if you are putting it out there, I would have liked to heard more about the daughters coming to accept their father's coming out. They were mentioned 2 maybe 3 times after he came out. You may consider this big spoilers.....but really "coming out" is in the title. The Author waited to long to pull in the prologue to the story, after all it's part of the title. I realize this is a personal story and some privacy has to be respected, but if you are putting it out there, I would have liked to heard more about the daughters coming to accept their father's coming out. They were mentioned 2 maybe 3 times after he came out. You may consider this big spoilers.....but really "coming out" is in the title.

  18. 4 out of 5

    BookChampions

    For as much as I read (and queer lit especially), it has been curiously difficult to find stories about individuals who come out later in life. Maybe it isn't curious since there are layers of shame--both age-old and newly birthed--such individuals must contend with. I know even years after coming out myself, I still reckon almost daily with Imposter Syndrome. A thread (s)nags at me: What right do I have to tell my story if it took me this long to write myself fully into the world? William Damero For as much as I read (and queer lit especially), it has been curiously difficult to find stories about individuals who come out later in life. Maybe it isn't curious since there are layers of shame--both age-old and newly birthed--such individuals must contend with. I know even years after coming out myself, I still reckon almost daily with Imposter Syndrome. A thread (s)nags at me: What right do I have to tell my story if it took me this long to write myself fully into the world? William Dameron, writer of the memoir, *The Lie*, came out to his wife and children into a twenty year marriage. It is powerful truth-telling made more powerful by the fact such storytelling is rare. Life in the closet is rarely rendered with this much clarity, and the trauma is balanced with plenty of light. Dameron's thoughts on forgiveness will barrel right through you. In an article earlier this year, for Oprah Magazine, Dameron wrote a short companion piece, and two sentences boil down the residual shame I still carry for coming out bisexual late in life, even as I boldly commit to finding my place in the queer community: "I still struggle with the stigma and shame of having lied about my identity for so many years. I am a white male, and these two things grant me an undue privilege, which makes me feel like I am attached to the queer community by the slimmest of tethers." I feel like everyone would benefit from reading this compassionate narrative of people who often stay in the shadows; I especially hope young people who are closeted or maybe don't even realize anymore that they are closeted, will read this. I would also encourage you to pair this with Hannah Gadsby's *Nanette* on Netflix, a powerful meditation on using narrative as a way to resist shame. I did not plan on "reading" these two texts together but an interesting conversation formed between them, and I'm grateful for them both.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    An honest, life-affirming book Bill's book is an honest portrayal of the power of living who we are and who we are meant to be. A healthy tale of love, life, family, forgiveness and love. Powerful! It is a great read. An honest, life-affirming book Bill's book is an honest portrayal of the power of living who we are and who we are meant to be. A healthy tale of love, life, family, forgiveness and love. Powerful! It is a great read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sasha

    This is the one you should pick! Beautiful writing, important and engaging memoir that helps me understand a situation that always baffled me. Couldn't out it down. This is the one you should pick! Beautiful writing, important and engaging memoir that helps me understand a situation that always baffled me. Couldn't out it down.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie L Marincek

    Such an inspirational insight..... What a beautiful, poignant memoir! Bill's story was one of love, heartbreak, deception and challenge as to the man he was and the true man he finally allows to come forth through years of soul searching . I highly recommend this book! Such an inspirational insight..... What a beautiful, poignant memoir! Bill's story was one of love, heartbreak, deception and challenge as to the man he was and the true man he finally allows to come forth through years of soul searching . I highly recommend this book!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Pat & Dave Brandt

    Wow! I really didn't expect to love this book, but I had bronchitis and had nothing else to do. This is a raw, clear thinking, emotionally honest book about living with a secret so suppressed that the author's whole life was in many ways a lie. Or was it? Bill loved his wife and adored his girls. That much is absolutely true, but he had sacrificed his true self while building a life that was essentially a lie. The author's willingness to be totally honest about the pain he caused in ending his l Wow! I really didn't expect to love this book, but I had bronchitis and had nothing else to do. This is a raw, clear thinking, emotionally honest book about living with a secret so suppressed that the author's whole life was in many ways a lie. Or was it? Bill loved his wife and adored his girls. That much is absolutely true, but he had sacrificed his true self while building a life that was essentially a lie. The author's willingness to be totally honest about the pain he caused in ending his lie is only surpassed by the love and charity he is willing to give to those he loves and his ability to finally accept love from another. Read this book!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Acquired through Kindle First Reads. Interesting to learn about the struggles of coming out late in life & accepting who you are. Also, the difficulty & hardship on a family coming to terms with a big change in their lives as well. The author, along with family, all have to learn to love and trust again. The key takeaway is to be truthful with yourself and others. It's a lot easier to start with trust than rebuild a foundation based on lies. Author: Why did you feel the need to take a shot at Trump Acquired through Kindle First Reads. Interesting to learn about the struggles of coming out late in life & accepting who you are. Also, the difficulty & hardship on a family coming to terms with a big change in their lives as well. The author, along with family, all have to learn to love and trust again. The key takeaway is to be truthful with yourself and others. It's a lot easier to start with trust than rebuild a foundation based on lies. Author: Why did you feel the need to take a shot at Trump, near the end of the book, on page 259? It served no purpose to the overall story & detracts from the learning to love message. Virtue signaling, maybe? You can be better.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tabitha

    "People often ask why I waited so long to come out. What they’re really asking is how I lied for so long. How I survived." I chose this book as part of Amazons First Reads program and what I discovered was a beautiful story about forgiveness and honesty. There are times when I listen to the uneducated diatribes of homophobic people and marvel at how much hate there still is in the world against people who cannot change their sexuality any more than we can change the color of our skin. William Dam "People often ask why I waited so long to come out. What they’re really asking is how I lied for so long. How I survived." I chose this book as part of Amazons First Reads program and what I discovered was a beautiful story about forgiveness and honesty. There are times when I listen to the uneducated diatribes of homophobic people and marvel at how much hate there still is in the world against people who cannot change their sexuality any more than we can change the color of our skin. William Dameron recounted his life story in such a way that made it possible for a 22 year old, straight female to connect and understand every word written. In honor of Pride Month, the release of this book is a definite celebration on the courage it takes to accept who you are and embrace it in such a way that encourages others to tell their own truths. Dameron's story of self-hate and loathing and his transformation into love for himself was beautifully told and inspiring. As someone who is not much of a non-fiction reader, I am very glad I decided to give this book a chance. Even if you think you cannot relate to Dameron's story in any way - like myself - you will surely find parts that will resonate in everyone. The lies we tell, especially to ourselves, are often difficult truths we are struggling to accept and this book does a great job of relating the happiness and fulfillment that comes along when you decide to start telling the truth.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    So many layers to unpack in this searing and emotional read. Dameron tells the story of a marriage and family based on the lie that he'd been living--that he was straight when, in truth, he'd known since adolescence that he was gay. I was so moved by the way he was able to tell his story--ultimately of how he betrayed himself and his family--with such compassion and honesty. It's easy to imagine how a person could lay blame at the feet of others or take on a crushing burden of guilt. But somehow So many layers to unpack in this searing and emotional read. Dameron tells the story of a marriage and family based on the lie that he'd been living--that he was straight when, in truth, he'd known since adolescence that he was gay. I was so moved by the way he was able to tell his story--ultimately of how he betrayed himself and his family--with such compassion and honesty. It's easy to imagine how a person could lay blame at the feet of others or take on a crushing burden of guilt. But somehow, Dameron draws readers into this story with tremendous care and openness, exposing the very human truth that we all tell lies to protect others, to protect ourselves. A very moving and universal exploration of marriage and love because love is love is love.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Marc

    This is a powerful and moving memoir about coming out. Highly recommended.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

    Painfully honest This is an extraordinarily well-written memoir of the struggles and angst of a gay man coming out later in life. It is not a story I would have any inkling about were it not for this gutsy book. Part of my head kept protesting “Stay in the marriage for your kids’ sake until they are older!!” But everyone’s priorities and choices are different and I learned a lot from this authentic journey. However, I couldn’t help but be relieved when he disclosed that his former wife had found Painfully honest This is an extraordinarily well-written memoir of the struggles and angst of a gay man coming out later in life. It is not a story I would have any inkling about were it not for this gutsy book. Part of my head kept protesting “Stay in the marriage for your kids’ sake until they are older!!” But everyone’s priorities and choices are different and I learned a lot from this authentic journey. However, I couldn’t help but be relieved when he disclosed that his former wife had found a new love in her life. And I had to remind myself that decisions like Bill’s can’t always result in happily-ever-after lives for one and all. And while I applaud those that do, I pray for those that don’t.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Schibley

    Loved this book. Bill, a long time married man comes out after several years in a traditional marriage. In doing so, he hurt a lot of people including his wife and kids. He wrote this book with the hope that in the future as the gay community gains more rights and acceptance they will not have to hide in the shadows and can live their true lives. He's from North Carolina and says it is the most homophobic state and that growing up he witnessed a lot of gay bashing including murder. Loved this book. Bill, a long time married man comes out after several years in a traditional marriage. In doing so, he hurt a lot of people including his wife and kids. He wrote this book with the hope that in the future as the gay community gains more rights and acceptance they will not have to hide in the shadows and can live their true lives. He's from North Carolina and says it is the most homophobic state and that growing up he witnessed a lot of gay bashing including murder.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Maureen O'Hare

    I loved this book. It is honest, heartfelt and touching. The love the author has for his family is at the heart of the story. His journey to become the man he is meant to be while not wanting to hurt the ones he loves the most is heart-wrenching. I highly recommend this book to anyone that has struggled with the choices we make to become our authentic self.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Eric Mochnacz

    This book came recommended to me by a friend as an unofficial entry in our unofficial Gay Book Club. Of course, I'd also seen it come across my feed before and it had been recommended by a number of other websites. And as much as I am not a fan of non-fiction, especially auto-biographies, I decided I would give this one a chance. I think it's important for me to read queer literature, and there is value in hearing other's experience as it relates to coming out. First and foremost, I'm curious as This book came recommended to me by a friend as an unofficial entry in our unofficial Gay Book Club. Of course, I'd also seen it come across my feed before and it had been recommended by a number of other websites. And as much as I am not a fan of non-fiction, especially auto-biographies, I decided I would give this one a chance. I think it's important for me to read queer literature, and there is value in hearing other's experience as it relates to coming out. First and foremost, I'm curious as to why he was chosen to write this book? It seems like it was motivated by individuals using his pictures to Catfish a number of women. Was this publicized? Had he become an overnight internet viral "star"? If not, I'm not necessarily sure why it warranted him to write his own book. Especially since the cat fishing incident almost seems like a footnote - and its a tenuous connection to his coming out story. He attempts to somehow relate this incident to his life of living in the closet - but I don't see the connection. And that's the thing - as a gay man - coming out is BRAVE and is DIFFICULT, and I can only imagine mores when you have a wife and kids. But, I still am not sure what makes his story so unique and special that 1) it warranted a novel and 2) it's receiving all the rave reviews. Do I feel the depth of emotions as he struggles with his identity crisis - yes. And, was my heart warmed by the acceptance he eventually found from his lesbian landlords - and the love he eventually found...yes. But the writing or story isn't spectacular. In terms of the writing, the story is told out of order and non-linear, and isn't handled deftly. It can be a bit jarring and confusing as he jumps among different locales and times of his life. Some his analogies and similes and metaphor are heavy-handed and don't demonstrate a skill as a writer. He also doesn't even outright say he is gay until chapter 3 or 4 - which is fine, but it almost seems like he was trying to build suspense, but if you read the title and the book jacket - it isn't a surprise. So, skirting around the issue for the first few chapters is a weird decision by the author and is utterly frustrating. I am not going to begrudge someone and their coming out story, I'm just not sure this one warranted an entire novel.

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