'I am free, I am gay and I am out': 90-year-old father-of-one comes out in an emotional Facebook post revealing he hid his sexuality for 80 YEARS - while sharing his heartache at walking away from 'his greatest love' in the 1950s

A 90-year-old man has come out as gay in a viral Facebook post while recalling his one true love after spending nearly eight decades in the closet. 
Kenneth Felts, who lives outside of Denver, Colorado, has known he was gay since he was 12 years old, but he pretended to be straight his entire life. It wasn't until he started writing his memoir to pass the time amid the pandemic that memories resurfaced of the man he had loved when he was young. 
After coming out to his daughter, Rebecca Mayes, he sent out emails and posted a message on Facebook at the start of Pride Month, writing: 'I am free, I am gay and I am out.'  
Out and proud: Kenneth Felts, who lives outside of Denver, Colorado, publicly came out as gay in a Facebook post in June during Price Month at the age of 90
Out and proud: Kenneth Felts, who lives outside of Denver, Colorado, publicly came out as gay in a Facebook post in June during Price Month at the age of 90
Living a lie: Felts, pictured on the USS Swallow in North Korea in 1951, has known he was gay since he was 12 years old, but he pretended to be straight his entire life
Living a lie: Felts, pictured on the USS Swallow in North Korea in 1951, has known he was gay since he was 12 years old, but he pretended to be straight his entire life
Felts grew up in a religious Christian family and had always felt he had two dueling identities: Ken, the straight man he pretended to be, and Larry, the gay man he kept hidden. 
'For a long time, the truth was buried deep down in my soul and I adopted a straight persona because I did not think I had another choice,' he said.  
'I would’ve had to contend with all the scorn from society, be labeled a pervert or deviant. But people are much more accepting today and I felt I had to find the courage.'
Felts met his 'first and greatest love', Phillip, in California in the late 1950s, but decided to live life as a straight man. 
He married a woman and had his daughter before getting divorced. He spent 30 years working as a counselor and supervisor at the Colorado Division of Rehabilitation — all while hiding his truth. 
He never forgot Phillip, however. Even though he had yet to come out, he spent decades searching for his lost love since he and his wife split 40 years ago. 

Honest: Felt told his daughter, Rebecca Mayes, pictured, that he was gay in late May while opening about his one true love, Phillip. She had come out to him as a lesbian 20 years prior
Honest: Felt told his daughter, Rebecca Mayes, pictured, that he was gay in late May while opening about his one true love, Phillip. She had come out to him as a lesbian 20 years prior 
Heartbreak: The father revealed the regret he has over leaving his first love Phillip, pictured, whom he'd fallen for in the 1950s. After coming out, he learned Phillip had died two years ago
Heartbreak: The father revealed the regret he has over leaving his first love Phillip, pictured, whom he'd fallen for in the 1950s. After coming out, he learned Phillip had died two years ago
Secret pain: Before he came out, Felts spent decades searching for his lost love since he and his wife divorced 40 years ago
Secret pain: Before he came out, Felts spent decades searching for his lost love since he and his wife divorced 40 years ago
'I called every Phillip in the California phone book,' he told the Washington Post.   
Writing about his great love in his autobiography led him to tell his daughter in late May that he regretted leaving Phillip all those years ago. It was the first time he revealed he was gay to his only child, who came out as a lesbian 20 years prior. 
Mayes, 48, explained to The Post that her father 'was not pleased' when she first came out, but in hindsight, she realized he was just trying to protect her from the rejection and mistreatment he had feared his entire life. 
Felts eventually came around to accepting his only child's sexuality, and they have become close over the years. 
The father said his daughter's opinion of him when he came out was the only one that mattered, but he was showered with positivity and support when he came out to the world.  
'I have had so much support and love,' he told The Post. 'I didn’t realize how much this secret ruled my life until I finally came out.' 
Living his life: Felts has vowed to embrace his sexuality for the rest of his life in Phillip's honor
Living his life: Felts has vowed to embrace his sexuality for the rest of his life in Phillip's honor
Supporting his community: Felts has purchased a rainbow Pride flag and a rainbow hoodie, which he spends most days wearing. He has also started organizing for LGBTQ+ causes
Supporting his community: Felts has purchased a rainbow Pride flag and a rainbow hoodie, which he spends most days wearing. He has also started organizing for LGBTQ+ causes
Opening up: 'I never realized how trapped I was until I made the decision to free myself. I can now truly say "I am free,"' he wrote in his latest Facebook post
Opening up: 'I never realized how trapped I was until I made the decision to free myself. I can now truly say "I am free,"' he wrote in his latest Facebook post 
After publicly sharing his story, he learned that Phillip had died two years ago. 
'Phillip Allen Jones was the love of my life. I have a very sad and lonely heart today. My first and greatest love has passed away,' Felts wrote in a heart-wrenching Facebook post. 'He lived a full and happy life I am told by his niece. His partner of many years passed just a few years ago and Phillip remained alone for the rest of his life. 
'I feel I shared with him the best years of his youth and he certainly made mine memorable and I will always remember and appreciate that. I loved him in my heart so much over the years and now he is gone,' he continued. 
'It is so terribly frustrating to be so close to and yet not reach my lost love and horribly painful to not be able to say good-bye. But the whole world now knows what a loving man he was with me and to me while we were together. My heart has turned to stone and I need my tears to wash away my sorrow. Rest in Peace Phillip.'  
Felts is now out and proud, dedicated to embracing his sexuality in Phillip's memory. He has purchased a rainbow Pride flag and a rainbow hoodie, which he spends most days wearing. He has also started organizing for LGBTQ+ causes.  
'I have always been able to come to the defense of the gay community, but as an outsider, a sympathizer,' he wrote in his latest Facebook post. 
'Now the real me can speak out in defense of MY community. I never realized how trapped I was until I made the decision to free myself. I can now truly say "I am free.'" 
'I am free, I am gay and I am out': 90-year-old father-of-one comes out in an emotional Facebook post revealing he hid his sexuality for 80 YEARS - while sharing his heartache at walking away from 'his greatest love' in the 1950s 'I am free, I am gay and I am out': 90-year-old father-of-one comes out in an emotional Facebook post revealing he hid his sexuality for 80 YEARS - while sharing his heartache at walking away from 'his greatest love' in the 1950s Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 01:42 Rating: 5

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