Adam Chandler graduated from Yale Law School, a place so gay-friendly it’s known as the “gay Ivy.” The former Rhodes Scholar never came out of the closet, though.
Chandler, 28, didn’t even tell his closest friends he was gay until May 6, nearly two years after he finished law school. And he came out to them all by writing a New York Times op-ed.
Chandler acknowledges there were a lot of gays at Yale Law and says the students there would have totally accepted him if he had come out.
“It’s just like a little cocoon of a bunch of entrepreneurial spirits with a lot of warm support,” Chander tells us. But, he says, “It was still too early for me. Everyone’s different.”
Chandler, who’s a lawyer for the Justice Department, spent his 20s thinking he’d come out after he started his next big project. He ran out of excuses after he started working for Justice and realised he’d be in Washington, D.C. for a while. Then he read a study about closeted people who sounded a lot like him. They overcompensated for being repressed by overachieving academically.
Chandler wrote an opinion piece that mentioned the study and also revealed he was gay. The Times accepted it. There was no turning back.
“Actually coming out was long overdue, and I recognised that it needed to happen,” Chandler tells us. “I knew I was going to need to force my hand to pull the trigger.”
After he pulled the trigger, Chandler heard from four old law professors, Yale law students, and people he’d never met. He was invited to join DOJ Pride.
“It’s just been like one giant group hug,” Chandler told us.
He also got invited to join a lot of gay sports groups in D.C. “I had no idea there were … gay kickball leagues,” Chandler told us.
The positive reception Chandler received shows just how much progress gays have made in America. That progress has sparked a backlash against gays — particularly gay men. Click here to read about the “desperate anger” driving anti-gay hatred.
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