A man has has come out as gay after his ex-wife and son both came out before him — and he celebrated by embracing his sexuality for the third year in a row at the New York City Pride Parade.
Bruce Downe from Connecticut decided to come out as gay after 23 years of marriage with his ex-wife. Embracing his true self was celebrated when attending the parade with his son, who also previously came out as gay, on Sunday.
‘I finally was strong enough to say I don’t want to live this life anymore, I don’t want to continue to live a lie,’ the 53-year-old told the New York Post.
Bruce now lives in New York City and works as a registered nurse.
‘I wanted to live my true life,’ he told the publication.
The man divorced his wife, Joanne Hamilton, in 2017, and she revealed quickly after that she was actually a lesbian.
Bruce’s wife is now engaged to another woman following their divorce.
‘I didn’t know she was gay and she didn’t know I was gay and we were married for 23 years,’ Bruce explained.
The Pride Parade on Sunday was Bruce’s third year experiencing the festivities for himself.
He wore a homemade crown on his head and rainbow-colored shoes to celebrate the inclusive event in NYC alongside his son.
But it was actually Bruce’s son Tyler who first came out as gay before his father confessed his true sexuality.
‘I sort of knew before he told me,’ Tyler said. ‘It was easy to talk to him because I knew he would understand.’
However, Bruce’s son admitted that he doesn’t always see eye-to-eye with his father, adding that the process of coming out at the same time can be ‘stressful’ at times, because he feels as though his dad is always ‘critiquing’ him.
The father-son duo experienced the Pride Parade together, both clad with tiaras on their heads in celebration.
This year’s parade was Tyler’s first time attending, and he got to take in the momentous occasion with his father, as their sexual identities were both out of the closet.
Bruce’s eldest son, who is 24, is the only person in their immediate family who is straight.
Though the father’s ex-wife has since moved on from their marriage to find a relationship that fit her sexuality, Bruce is still looking for someone for himself.
‘I am now very happy. I love the person I am, no self-hatred,’ he said. ‘Today, I’m celebrating with my community. It makes me feel so proud.’
An estimated 150,000 people attended the Pride Parade on Sunday, which took place for most of the Sunday with people marching through the streets of Manhattan.
Celebrities in attendance at the star-studded, and colorful, parade included Andy Cohen, Pete Davidson, Billy Porter, Wendy Williams, Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys and Neil Patrick Harris.