By Olivia Young
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ARVADA, Colo. (KCNC) — Coming out is different for everyone. And for a man from Arvada, it was something that carried him into his 90s. But today he told me it was the best decision he ever made.
“It’s never too late to come out,” says Kenneth Felts. Born into a religious family in Kansas in 1930, Felts never planned on telling anyone he was gay.
“I knew I was gay when I was 12,” Felts says.
But in her twenties, love found a way. Felts dated and lived with a man named Philip for a short time… Before shame pushed him back into the closet
“I sat there in the closet like it was all these years,” Felts says.
Felts then married a woman, had a daughter, and then divorced. After surviving cancer in 2019, he started writing a memoir.
“I stood up to Philip, it hit me so hard, here’s this great love affair I had, and I walked away,” Felts says.
It was then that at age 90, Felts finally decided to come out. First tell her daughter, then post it on Facebook, soon the whole world knew.
“Very soon I was doing interviews in Tokyo, Berlin, Paris, and everywhere I wanted an interview with this old man who decided to come out of the closet and be a real person,” Felts says.
After coming out, Felts received hundreds of messages.
A stranger from New Jersey helped track down Philip, whom Felts had searched for earlier in his life but never found. They succeeded, but unfortunately Philip had died two years earlier. However, Felts was grateful to finally have photos of his long-lost love.
Another stranger asked Felts on a blind date, and at 90, he gave love another chance.
“Johnny and I have been together for two years now this Sunday,” Felts says of his partner, who he lives with, “it’s the result of our coming out. Coming out of the closet and finding the world is so welcoming and very warm and got a lot of love there and I found a lot of love in Johnny.
After his release, Felts became active in “The Center on Colfax”, an LGBTQ safe space. He made art there. Some of his pieces are currently on display at the Denver Art Museum in their Queer Creativity exhibit.
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