Community Connections Asheville


Loren A. Olson, MD, is a well-respected, Iowa-based, board-certified psychiatrist.
 He is also a gay man who came out at age 40 and a nationally recognized expert
 on mature gay men. He has appeared on ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America,” has
 spoken to groups across the country, and has given numerous national, local, and
 regional television, radio, and print interviews. He is a regular blogger for and Psychology Today. 

His latest book, FINALLY OUT: Letting Go of Living Straight, will be published in April 2017. The focus of the book includes challenging stereotypes of what it means to be old and gay and a new chapter on the opportunities of aging. Dr. Olson wants older gay/bisexual/questioning men to feel that there is life yet to be lived as an older gay man both in terms of finding meaning and also the possibility of finding new relationships.

“Coming out late in life has its own special challenges, and Dr. Olson’s book, part memoir and part self-help, addresses many of them… Highly accessible and greatly appreciated.”
—Jack Drescher, MD, Emeritus Editor, Journal of Gay and Lesbian Mental Health, from his Foreword to FINALLY OUT.

“Finally Out is an intensely courageous personal story of one man's sexual journey and an engaging scientific explanation of human sexuality. Olson is a first-rate story-teller, a trait we don't usually find among scholars and scientists. I highly recommend it. 
—James A. Autry, Author of The Servant Leader, speaker and an LGBT ally 

The world for gay men and women has changed radically in the few years since Loren A. Olson, MD, first wrote his groundbreaking book for older gay men and others struggling to sort out their sexual identity. Now, in the revised and expanded second edition of FINALLY OUT: Letting Go of Living Straight (Oak Lane Press; April 2017), Dr. Olson explores current issues facing the LGBTQ community and delves further into why many men who have sex with men reject defining themselves as gay. “Human sexuality,” Dr. Olson attests, “is far more complex and fluid than labels.”  

Sharing the story of his own evolving sexuality and excerpts from his interviews with a socially and culturally diverse group of men—middle-aged, older, and younger; Christian and Muslim; white, black, and brown; blue and white collar; single and married (to women) with kids—who regularly engage in sex with men, Dr. Olson sheds light on deeply entrenched and wide-ranging conflicted feelings about being gay. Along with candid reflections, he offers insights into same-sex attraction and stereotypes of gay men from history, politics, religion, literature, neuroscience, sex research, and psychiatry. Among compelling topics, Dr. Olson can discuss:  

* The honest answers to the two questions he is most frequently—sometimes quite angrily—asked: “How could you not know you were gay until you were 40 years old?” and “Wasn’t your first marriage just a sham to protect yourself at your wife’s expense?”  

* Why many men who have sex with men—mature men, rural men, working class men, men from certain ethnic backgrounds, men with conservative lifestyles, and men who think that matters of sex should be private—do not see themselves as members of the gay community, which is largely represented by young, outspoken, sometimes hedonistic and flamboyant men.  

* His controversial views on what it means to be “bisexual” and why same-sex experimentation with sex is healthy and commonly practiced among young men.  

* The ongoing tension between gays and organized religion, from the threat of discrimination against gay couples under the rubric of religious freedom to the hope for inclusiveness offered by Pope Francis to a defense of sex between men as sacred from a devout Muslim.  

* The shocking backlash against President Obama’s decree to allow transgender individuals to use public bathrooms that match their gender identity and the horror of the June 2016 nightclub shooting in Orlando, marking the deadliest attack ever on a gay target. “When ignorance becomes a weapon,” notes Dr. Olson, “violence tragically and inevitably follows.” 

* The personal toll of denying same-sex attraction, including depression; the fate of the landmark Marriage Equality Act under the Trump Administration…and much more. 

Praised as “informative and compassionate” (Library Journal), “engaging, and helpful in illuminating the coming-out processes” (Publishers Weekly), and “rife with abundant introspection and analysis” (Foreword Reviews), FINALLY OUT is a book for anyone grappling with sexual identity and for everyone who wants to foster an understanding of these issues.

Dr. Olson lives in Iowa with his partner of thirty years, Doug, who became his husband in 2009 after the Iowa Supreme Court sanctioned same-sex marriage. He was previously married to his wife, Lynn, and is the proud father of two daughters and a grandfather of six. After reading Finally Out, Lynn wrote this:

“I just finished the last page, feeling almost regret that there wasn’t more. As you can imagine, many parts were emotional for me. And no doubt by design, much of what you wrote is applicable to all of us as we grow older, regardless of our sexual orientation. You did an excellent job of weaving personal anecdotes with science. Just the right touch. I hope you never stop writing. You have a gift.”
—Lynn, ex-wife and attorney.
Author Comes To Asheville To Speak
Monday, April 24, 2017

Asheville Prime Timers will host  FINALLY OUT 
with Dr. Loren Olson speaking about his experiences and his latest book "Finally Out-Letting Go of Living Straight."

Place:   First Congregational United Church of Christ 20 Oak St. Downtown Asheville. Downstairs Social Hall.  
Time: 6:30 PM. 
reception and book signing to follow