Who Is Darren Stehle?

Darren and Christiaan
With my partner, Christiaan (he’s the tall one).

Being gay is not all that I am, but for most of my life I’ve struggled to different degrees with being a fully out, completely self-accepting gay man.

The closet is a powerful container.

Why is that? I was trapped inside the closet until I was 18 and came out to my closest friends after high school.

But we never stop coming out.

No matter how far out I am, I seem to always carry a bit of the closet around with me. I may not realize that I’m actually standing within the doorway, albeit with the door fully open. It may be that I say something in such a way that’s generic or gender neutral. Being complicit and purposefully vague provide shadows.

Our language forms our reality.

Our language lives in the closet to the advantage of those who are not gay.

When I say, “This is my boyfriend, Christiaan,” it sound like we’re in high school. As of 2017 I’ve been with my “partner,” Christiaan for six years. But the word, partner, is neutral. It could mean, “business partner” or “life partner.” It can be used by a straight couple as easily as a gay, lesbian, or trans couple. I could say my “same-sex partner” or I guess I could say, “My partner, Christiaan.” The later at least is clear and honours him by his name and my respect for myself as an “out” gay man.

But why do I have to be in or out? Why do we need this dichotomy? These are rhetorical questions which may, hopefully, be observed by historians as a dark time when not everyone was allowed to fully express their true nature and authenticity.

Do you know how to get to where you want to go?

As we move through life we change, the people around us change, and the world changes. These things can throw us off course.

If you want to change but you don’t have a map or a plan for how to get there, what then?

It’s like driving a car without GPS navigation. Reading a map while driving is difficult (and dangerous). So you ask your copilot to read the map and offer direction. They become your guide, even though you are still the one in the driver’s seat.

I know how much of a struggle it can be to become who you want be.

To live fully out, to do work you love, to be healthy, and to know what you want in life.

You can chose to be whoever you want to be, but sometimes it’s really fucking hard to get there on your own.

This is what I’m here for and this is what I love about coaching–it helps you move toward what you want to accomplish more quickly that what you might accomplish on your own.

If this resonates with you and you’d like to learn more about working with me, sign up for my Unbox Your Greatness 7-day video course, below.

Unbox Your Greatness Video Course


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