[WATCH] 90-Year Old Colorado Man Finally Comes Out As Gay
Congratulations are in order to Kenneth Felts of Arvada, Colorado. The 90-year old spent quarantine writing his memoir but soon realized that it wouldn't be complete without disclosing the love of his life, Phillip Jones.
Felts took to Facebook writing, “I am gay, I am out, and I am free".
I can't imagine what that must have felt like for a man who lived through so much homophobic hate and has witnessed every cultural season on the subject. Especially since Felts was raised in a devout Christian family and has known he was gay since the age of 12, he told CNN.
The supreme court legalized same sex marriage in 2015 but Felts remembers the 1950's when being gay was a felony offense.
When Felts fell in love with Phillip, the two lived together and had a secret relationship until the lie and fear of losing his friends and family became too much for him.
The pressures of being gay in society led Felts to resign from his job and move away.
Felts said that Philip wrote him letters with the last one stating ‘If you don’t respond to this letter, I won’t bother you anymore.'” This love story is straight out of The Notebook and I am so here for it. Although, Felts and Phillip didn't have their happily ever after.
“I didn’t respond as I hadn’t responded to any of his letters,” he recalled. “Big mistake.”
Felts told CNN's Anderson Cooper that years later he would discreetly head to the library and search Philip's name.
“I called every Phillip J in there and was never able to locate him,” Felts said. “I will die always regretting having left Phillip but hopefully he forgave me.”
Facebook helped Felts discover that his beloved Philip passed away in 2013.
Felts' daughter Rebecca Mayes, now 48, is married to a woman and has two children but only recently learned just how much she and her father have in common.
Mayes came out 25 years ago so imagine her surprise in discovering that her 90-year old father has been keeping this secret.
“He told me the relationship wouldn’t last,” Mayes remembered. However, she said he quickly came around to become her and her wife's biggest supporter, according to CNN.
“I think he had the same fears for me that he had himself about what a tough life it could be, everything from not being able to have children to societal issues,” said Mayes.
Felts participated in this year's Denver Pride Virtual 5K on his walker.
In the words of Kenneth Felts, “there’s a whole world out there that will accept you and love you for who you are".