Great-grandfather comes out as gay at 95: 'I want the world to know'

Holocaust survivor Roman Blank has two children, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild

Jon Sharman
Sunday 05 March 2017 10:09
Roman Blank
Roman Blank

A great-grandfather has come out as gay at the age of 95, saying there are "certain things I want the world to know".

American Holocaust survivor Roman Blank has two children, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild, but last year finally gave up the secret he had been holding for decades.

Now he is the subject of the documentary On My Way Out, directed by his grandson Brandon Gross. In a YouTube interview Mr Blank described the moment.

He told the vlogger Davey Wavey: "I just told them plain, that I was born, and was all my life, gay. And I told them the whole tragedy of my life, and they understood what happened to me. Can you imagine, 90 years, to be in the closet?"

Mr Blank and his wife Ruth have been together for some 60 years and the vlogger said that while "they undoubtedly loved each other in a deep way", "you also feel for" Mrs Blank. According to Mr Gross, she learned of her husband's secret after giving birth to their second child, the director's mother.

Davey asked whether Mr Blank now wanted to find a companion, and what his type was.

He said: "I don't look at the face, I look at the heart. Somebody to lean against, somebody who feels the heart ticking, and nobody can do that unless you let them.

"I'll be very honest about it. I really don't need any either physical or mental connections. But I want to. I want to go to sleep, have somebody close to me, not for any other reason, but to be sure that someone cares.

"For you, it's easy to find. For me, I'm too old already. Who needs an old junk?"

And he asked his interlocutor: "What do you think of me? Do I have the right to come out at that age?"

Davey replied: "It's your life, and I don't know all of your experiences, but it seems to me that it's never too late to be your true self."

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