Shawn and Butch, Louisville, Kentucky

Shawn and Butch, photo by Kevin Truong
Shawn and Butch, photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
Shawn and Butch, photo by Kevin Truong
Shawn and Butch, photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
Shawn and Butch, photo by Kevin Truong
Shawn and Butch, photo by Kevin Truong

Shawn, in his own words: “For me being gay has defined freedom. It is totally enlightening to not feel like a “poser” or a pretender. Being gay has also given me strength! I am generally a lover, not a fighter, but you learn really quickly how to hold your own when you are “out of the norm” from others.

Challenges- there have been very few challenges involving being gay. I have really had an easy time with my homosexuality. I’ve never been beaten up or denied a job & I have a VERY supportive family. Of course as a young person I was called a faggot as early as the 3rd grade but if it makes you tougher…

Successes- I’m not sure that I can attribute any success to being gay, other than that because I came out so young, I had a head start on learning to love & accept myself. So perhaps any successes come through that &, again, an wonderful support system of family & friends & Butch.

I feel like Louisville has a very diverse gay community, but like any group of gays anywhere, we are just people. Some of us are partiers, some of us homebodies, some of us are sweet, some of us are nasty bitches. People are people. Overall Louisville has a very committed & supportive gay scene.

I came out to my friends when I was 15 & my family when I was 16. Much to my surprise my parents had the opposite reactions than I expected. My dad didn’t panic at all, he hugged me and told me that he loved me. In hindsight I think I remember seeing relief in his eyes when I told him. My mom on the other hand was upset & cried and only after a few days did she explain to me why she was so distraught. She was concerned that I would have a hard life & suffer some sort of indignities because I was gay. After the dust settled & she saw that nothing was any different, it was all okay.

I would tell a younger me to “pump the breaks” just wait because it will be sooooooo much better,”

Butch, in his own words: “The gay community has changed in Louisville in the years I have been here- this used to be the city a lot of gays would
come to in the weekend to go out and have fun- bars, dancing, etc. cause closing time here isn’t until 4am. But now- many people don’t feel the necessity to go to a “gay” bar to go out, since it is much more accepting openly now.

My (coming out) story is a lucky one because my family was and is very accepting. I did have friends that were thrown out by family after coming out- so I know how fortunate it is to have loving family members

(Advice I would give my younger self) Be yourself and be happy with who you are….. We could all be kinder to ourselves.”

4 comments

  1. David Bartley

    Shawn & Butch, Thanks for sharing your stories. They will help young people who are thinking of coming out.
    David & Curtis

  2. Kathie Valdes

    Sean & Butch,You are both great guys and genuine people. I’m glad I met you and am proud to include you both as my friends. Your stories should help and inspire young kids to love themselves and be proud of who they are! And cudos to both your families for their love and support!

  3. Katie reece

    Love you both so much. Together we can change perceptions, change opinions, change the lives for future generations. Butch, you are and have been for many years one of my greatest inspirations… For life, for work, for success. Thank you both on behalf of the many that will read this for your courage. – katie reece

Leave a Reply