“Getting Up” From a Life of Hiding and Deception

The joy of “getting up” to live an honest and authentic life clearly shows in Jim Manchester’s brilliant smile.

This is now my seventh monthly “Get Up” blog based on US Figure Skating’s popular “Get Up” campaign which shares the message that life, like the ice, is hard, and we can certainly fall on it. But the more times we get up and persevere, the stronger we become.

So often we can fall down in our lives by living in a web of hiding and deception where we are not totally honest with ourselves and others. Getting up and moving into a life of integrity and honesty can be so empowering and fulfilling. I would like to share the story of a close friend, Jim Manchester, who actually created and maintains my business website.

Jim shares, “After trying to live 45 years of my life pretending to be a straight married man for 15+ years and making huge mistakes along the way, that double life simply caught up with me in a disastrous way. I had been afraid that I would lose my 4 close friends if they knew I was gay. In fact, I did lose 3 of them and the other one moved away.

“But after much therapy and recovery counseling, I started living a fully-integrated life and found appropriate role models in the gay community – one of whom was Stan Kimer. They all became close friends and confidants. I intentionally changed my old decision-making habits and undertook a new journey in life. They helped me realize that my purpose in life was to help build and encourage close LGBTQA communities that would allow others like me to thrive. I redirected my business efforts – along with everything else I do in life – toward that model.

“One very important step was taking full responsibility for my past actions and decisions and realizing that I need to take the steps to change my direction. So now at almost age 65, I have so much business in my web design, social media promotion, and smartphone app development business (IYI Creative – link) that I must schedule new clients into my available time. And instead of just 4 close friends, I now have hundreds of them.

Jim delivering a toast at a wedding among several dozen friends he made while rebuilding his life.

“In addition, I offer my professional services to many Community organizations who supported me in my new journey such as the LGBT Center of Raleigh, St. John’s Metropolitan Community Church, the Alliance of AIDS Services – Carolina, Crape Myrtle Festival, and the Raleigh Business and Professional Network – Raleigh’s LGBT Chamber of Commerce.

“I owe all of that to the hard work it took to change old patterns of secrecy and deception, and to the people who helped guide me through my own process of ‘Getting Up.’”

* * * * *

To read my 6 other “Get Up” blogs, link to my figure skating blog page.

Comments are closed.

Tags
Find Us on Facebook