Cover Image for Affliction

Although Ralph Hall came out to his grandmother in 1937 at the age of 19, when he felt being gay was an aberration, an affliction, and again to his daughter Laura in his fifties, he only came out publicly in his eighties, when he was finally able to be his authentic, gay self.


Growing Up With a Closeted Gay Dad

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"It will touch the heart of anyone who has dealt with coming out in a family setting."
―Mark Segal, Founder of the Philadelphia Gay News

In 1937, at the age of nineteen, Ralph Hall, suicidal, revealed his sexual orientation to his grandmother, knowing she would comfort him. Out for three years afterwards, an indiscretion then sent him back into the closet. At twenty-four, while in the army, he met and married Irene. The couple made their home on the San Francisco Peninsula and had four children. Ralph was an attentive husband and father – albeit with an intense interest in interior design, flower arranging, and fine objects - and a diligent worker who rose to payroll accountant at Standard Oil.

It wasn’t until 1975 that Ralph came out to his middle daughter, Laura, telling her that he had once considered his sexuality an aberration, an affliction. She was shocked, as the possibility had never crossed her mind. Irene knew Ralph’s secret for eighteen years, but the two remained married until she died. It was only then, by now in his eighties, that this charismatic man and devoted father could freely express his authentic, gay self.

Here, Laura paints a vivid and honest portrait of her beloved father and the effect his secret had on her own life.

Estimated Ship Date for Winners: June 15th, 2021


Laura Hall

Laura Hall was born and raised in a small city on the San Francisco Peninsula. After receiving her BA (summa cum laude) and MA in Landscape Architecture at University of California, Berkeley, she went on to teach for the school’s Extension program and build an urban design professional practice where her projects included community facilitation in northern California communities and rebuilding plans for Mississippi Gulf Coast towns after Hurricane Katrina.

Book Details

Publisher She Writes Press
Genre Nonfiction
Publication Date Jul 13 2021
ISBN 9781647421243


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