Gay Man's Grandfather Came Out to Him at 90 Years Old

By: Jase Peeples
3.11.2014

Multimedia queer artist Grant Rehnberg buried his grandfather James Burton Rehnberg one month ago, but five months before James died, he came out to his grandson as a gay man at the age of 90.

In memory of his grandfather, Rehnberg has planned to create a memorial art installation titled The Family Connection and has begun a fundraising campaign via IndieGoGo to make his vision a reality.

“Sitting over photos of my husband Bradford and I at our wedding, my 90-year-old grandfather proudly celebrated 'the balls it takes' to live openly,” Rehnberg says in a video detailing his plans for The Family Connection. “He told me about the love of his life, Warren Johnson, a boy he played music with at church. He told me God loves every part of us. He told me he would trade places with me if he could. He told me he loved me.”

He adds, “In order to mourn Grandpa Jim, I will create a memorial installation, a eulogy that directly links our paralleled experiences as gay men and members of the Rehnberg family. It seeks to answer the following questions: How do I process my feelings toward a man whose legacy of religious shame, sexual repression, and fear of one’s true self shaped my own path? How do I reconcile my experience as a young, privileged, openly gay man with his?”

Watch Rehnberg’s detailed explaination of the project in the video below and help support The Family Connection at IndieGoGo.com.

Tags: COMING OUT
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