‘I had a roommate who was an actor, and I was a designer, at Queens College in New York. And he was on the phone one night with his parents, and it was clear what the conversation was about. He was telling them that he was gay. And he came into the room with me, and he said, ‘Well, I guess you heard the conversation.’ Because it was a small apartment, and I said, ‘Well, yeah.’ And he said, ‘So, uh, I’m gay.’ And I looked at him and for the first time I ever said it to anybody, I said, ‘So am I.’ ... I came out to my friend, and my girlfriend, and I started telling people because I was so excited and I assumed everyone would be just so excited for me because I was so excited, and indeed a lot of people were. It came as no surprise to a lot of people. It came as a tremendous shock to my mother. Because. Because. Because, because, because. She wanted everything to be normal, and I just didn’t fit into it. But she loved me because she’s a Jewish mother, and she really did love me and my sisters, though it was hard for her. It was really hard for her I think. But I was just so happy and selfish, and excited really to finally feel some sense of being okay. And I realized I could have felt that way my entire life, but I just didn’t have the information. And it wasn’t just about being gay. It was about being honest. ... I’ve learned so much about life and about myself. And it all started when I came out. And not just because of the gay stuff. It was a waterfall of everything. It was me starting to see that life could be what I wanted it to be, not what somebody else wanted it to be.”
— Cliff Simon