Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Artistic Director Of Winnipeg Comedy Festival Comes Out As A Proud Gay Man

Al Rae
[Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada] After a twenty-three year heterosexual marriage, Al Rae was ready to come out. The comedian, writer and artistic director of Winnipeg Comedy Festival has spent years creating innovative and inclusive programming, all while struggling with the truth of his own sexuality. Looking back at his life, Rae said he knew all along. Though he was immersed politically and intellectually in queer life, he was too anxious to face it sexually. Rae’s coming out process occurred in stages. Rae eventually met someone and felt the love he truly desired. “I needed to be held, to love and give love to a man,” Rae bluntly stated. “I knew with courage and authenticity I could live the life I was already dreaming of.” Rae believes it is a blessing that this has finally happened, as his spiritual core, which never lost its growth potential, now freshly buds. “It’s a bit weird being a minority, for the first time in my white, male, Englishspeaking, privileged life,” he joked. “For once, I am accountable for my outsider status – I am out. So yes, I hear the mildly-homophobic comments meant to be jokes in a different way. My partner Damien teases me, saying that as a comic, I now have less material and yes, there are some things I no longer go along with comically, because they are too mean, too smug.”

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