Posts Tagged ‘North Carolina Council of Churches’

8 Lessons in my Journey as an Out Gay Man

A more personal blog as we near the end of LGBT Pride Month, June, 2014. See last’s month’s blog about being an ally that also includes links to half a dozen other LGBT Pride blogs.

Blog author Stan Kimer (on the left) with his partner of 23 years Rich Roark on a recent vacation in Morocco.

Blog author Stan Kimer (on the left) with his partner of 23 years Rich Roark on a recent vacation in Morocco.


In April, I was invited by our local PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) to share my life journey as an out gay man. Made up of parents, families, friends, and straight allies united with people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT), PFLAG is committed to advancing equality and societal acceptance of LGBT people through its threefold mission of support, education and advocacy. PFLAG now has over 350 chapters and 200,000 members and supporters crossing multiple generations of American families in major urban centers, small cities and rural areas in all 50 states.

As I prepared my presentation, I ended up coming up with 8 key lessons to share during my almost 25 year journey as an out gay man:

1. It is great to be true to myself, and others will respect that. Life has been so much better living fully and honestly into who I really am!

2. Being super nice works a lot better than being super nasty. When my father was initially cool to the idea of me being gay and having a boyfriend, my boyfriend won him over by going over and doing my parent’s yard work after my father broke his ankle.

A later newspaper article in the Durham Herald Sun about out LGBT employees in the work place featured blog author Stan Kimer while at IBM.

A later newspaper article in the Durham Herald Sun about out LGBT employees in the work place featured blog author Stan Kimer while at IBM.


3. Sometimes the optimal time to come out simply appears. Grab it and run! I had not initially planned to publicly come out when I did, but an opportunity to participate in a newspaper story when IBM announced domestic partner benefits provided an excellent platform for me to share some of my story.

4. You never know who is watching and what good may come of it. After coming out, I spoke on a number of diversity panels at IBM as an out gay employee, not realizing that IBM’s VP of Diversity Ted Childs was listening. He liked what he heard and offered me the position of IBM’s global corporate LGBT Diversity Manager, which was the most fun job I ever had!

5. Building allies and not having a “single issue focus” is important. I served many years on the Governing Board of the North Carolina Council of Churches advocating for racial justice, education improvements, economic justice, health issues, etc., and even as an out gay man was elected President.

6. As a visible gay man in a leadership role (President of the NC Council of Churches), I knew I had the added responsibility of being a good representative of the LGBT community.

7. Take the hate with a grain of salt and chuckle at the absurdness of it all. When I was elected President of the NC Council of Churches, 98% of the publicity was positive (example – link to Associated Press story), but one over-the-top negative article asserted that my hidden agenda was to visit junior high Sunday School classes to seduce young boys. How ridiculous!

8. It’s now time to enjoy my remaining years! As I approach 60 years old, I am going to do the things I like the most and walk away from any aggravating or demeaning environments.

I really enjoyed sharing my journey and these lessons at that April PFLAG meeting, and am very open to speaking or sharing at similar venues – you can email me at Stan@TotalEngagementConsulting.com

Meet Stan Kimer: Diversity Specialist, Business Owner, and Faith Community Leader

A week and a half ago, I issued a press release (link to the press release) to announce that I received my certification as an LGBT Business Enterprise from the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. This certification is key to my growth as a new business as it will give me access to many major corporate partners of the NGLCC that now include LGBT-owned businesses in their diversity metrics.

I am now very grateful to the NGLCC that in publicizing their upcoming annual “Out for Business” conference to be held in Las Vegas August 2-5, that they have published an interview with me as one of the attendees at this conference. I was quoted as saying, “I can only do one event this year and I chose this conference. It is the most pertinent to my business. As a supplier, this will give me the most direct access and give me the best return on my time and my money moving forward with my business.”

In addition to the quote they published an earlier interview and distributed it as an e-news item titled, “Meet Stan Kimer: Diversity Specialist, Business Owner, and Faith Community Leader.” Link here for the full interview.

The interview includes:
• The newsworthiness of my election as the new President of the North Carolina Council of Churches as an out gay man.
• An overview of my business and my three service offering areas.
• Details on my diverse job experience at IBM, including as IBM’s Global GLBT Diversity Program Manager, and IBM as an overall general and GLBT diversity leader in the business world. Link to IBM Diversity Page.
• Why being certified by the NGLCC is important to me.

Thank you for taking the time to read the interview and I hope I see some of you in Las Vegas in August!

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