Dec. 6, 2022

Dan Babineau creates a peaceful and content life after losing everything

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Dan Babineau had a wife, a daughter, and a life that was completely centered around evangelical religion.  When he came out at age 48, his family, his friends, and his church turned their back on him, leaving him isolated and alone.  In the darkest time of his life, he had to figure out a way to start over, from completely nothing.  While Dan speaks of how hard this was, he says, "if I can do it, anyone can do it."  Now, 10 years later, Dan lives a peaceful and content life, surrounded by friends who love and support him.  He doesn't have any regrets and doesn't wish he had done it any differently.  If you ever second guess yourself, this episode is for you.

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Coach Maddox  0:03  
Hello Dan Babineau and welcome to The Authentic Gay Man Podcast.

Dan Babineau  0:08  
Thank you, Paul. I'm so happy to be here. 

Coach Maddox  0:10  
Oh, I'm Maddox. I'm Maddox.

Dan Babineau  0:14  
Okay, so I'm sorry, Maddox

Coach Maddox  0:16  
That's okay. That's okay. No problem. I've been called worse. So let's get a chuckle out of it. And just keep going. It's all good. So I'm excited to have you here today, just to let the listeners know, the way you found your way to me was the two time guest, Grant Miller, who has helped me multiple times by referring and recommending varying different people in his life to become a guest. And so that's how Dan has come here. And here we are.

Dan Babineau  0:51  
Yes. Good friend of mine, Grant. I've watched his, uh, your your interview with him and several others. And I thought they were all very, very well done. So I thought I'd I jump in and tell my story.

Coach Maddox  1:07  
Yeah. And grant is an amazing man. So it's something we have in common. He's an amazing, amazing friend. So preliminary question, Dan. What does it mean to you to be an authentic gay man?

Dan Babineau  1:27  
Wow. For me, I lived an authentic life for many years, I only came out approximately 10 years ago. And so I played the straight life. I was married, I have a daughter in university. So I thought, I really did think I could control every little part of my life. And I told myself at 16, 17, 18 years old, I don't know exactly when, but no, I'm not going to be gay, I'm going to be straight. And, and I played that role till I was 47, 48 years old, until it all kind of unraveled

Coach Maddox  2:19  
and so it's been your, your journey to find that authentic self.

Dan Babineau  2:27  
The journey was difficult. I was married to a lovely lady. Of course, we had our issues, like any, any, any married couple would have. But slowly, slowly, before, before we had kids, I just immersed myself into my work. And I thought I'd find happiness out of that. Well, I didn't. And then, as time progressed, I really felt more of a depression, more of a heaviness. I was just not me, and, and I really thought I could sail through that, but I couldn't, to a point where it was, it was killing me, it was killing me to be the person I wasn't. So I had some really tough choices to make at that point. And that was, by far, I mean, that was the worst period of my life. But, you know, here I am now and 10 years later, and, and openly gay. And so. So it's been a journey.

Coach Maddox  3:43  
Awesome. So you kind of related that you really had you talked about anything but authenticity in that period of your life? That's right. Yeah. And you've been out for 10 years now. Now, looking back. Now in the present, how would you define an authentic gay man?

Dan Babineau  4:05  
An authentic gay man, to me is someone who, who is himself or himself, and who is not afraid to be who they are. I in the past 10 years, it's been building block by building block to have I won't, confidence is a is a is a strong word, but I'm building up to that confidence of being you know who I am and I'm very happy with with where my life is. And so someone who who can take the peel the onion and to the core, you know who they are. That's who I want to be at this point.

Coach Maddox  4:57  
I love that definition. Awesome. Yeah, that's beautiful. Peel the onion. So our question for the day, what is the most challenging thing that you've been through in this lifetime or perhaps are continuing to go through

Dan Babineau  5:14  
guilt would be the, the, the worst. I, I didn't have this, this is going to be hard. I had when I left home, I had a four year old daughter at home. We were very attached to the church, very evangelical Baptist Church. And I see things so differently now. But the guilt is what really ate me up through having all of our friends were church friends. Close my daughter's friends, we're all church base. So at that point, they, the environment that I was in, or that I was leaving, really, really made me feel like, shit, they, they wanted to send me to conversion therapy, they all, there was so much, so much.

I don't know what to call it. Instability, I guess I'll call it in those, I'd say three or four years, I didn't think I'd come out of it. And so that's basically in a nutshell, the, the guilt of, of becoming myself, I don't feel guilty about it anymore. I am who I am. And, and my ex wife is happy in her life now. And, and so little by little things, you know, came into place, but it was a it was a major, major struggle for me.

Coach Maddox  7:23  
Well, and in those those people, the people that wanted to send you to conversion therapy, and all the church, folks, did you have a sense that well, it was probably on a continuum, some of them meant well, or did it feel really, really judgmental, and

Dan Babineau  7:40  
they just I wish I, I wish I could say they really cared about me, but they really didn't. I see. I've, I've had to, to, to analyze this more and, and I see organized religion more, almost like a cult, if I don't want to offend anyone. But to me, that was my experience. I am very spiritual, and I'll always be very spiritual. I, you know, I, I I have deep beliefs. But I don't feel that I need to go to the church every week. And that's, that's not what being a spiritual person is. So yeah, it they really didn't care about me. They actually, they actually tried. I guess. They sent it like it was they send me all of my friends. My my best friend, who we were like, brothers, we were so close. And even him like he couldn't he couldn't see a way forward with me anymore. So I had to start with a blank a, it was a blank slate. I was alone in life. My daughter at the time, was being told, you know, homosexuality is is a sin. It's evil. It's this and it's that so. So even myself. It was bad enough for me, but my daughter really had to figure out, you know, this whole gay thing. And we'll hopefully we'll talk a little bit about that. Some more, but yeah, it was tough. It was really tough.

Coach Maddox  9:51  
How did you navigate that? That you talked about losing everything having to start with a clean slate? No. No friends completable aloneness, how did you navigate that

Dan Babineau  10:09  
I probably navigated it the worst way that I could have, I wish I could tell you that I navigated it by, you know, living my own life and figuring myself out, I didn't do that, I immediately I was faithful to my marriage. And, and I'm proud of that. However, not long after the separation, I did, you know, start talking to two men and, and immediately got into a relationship. And at that point, I think I was portraying who I felt I was, I was, even though I was a, what I'm told a great businessman and a, you know, very, very competent in my work inside, I was just a shy little, still just a shy little boy, and no self confidence in myself in my personal life. So, what you portray, you get that, so I ended up having a four or five year relationship that was not healthy for me or for or for my daughter at that point. So it took, it took that four or five years to figure out what I wanted. And the worst part about that is what I had been being told by the church and my ex wife, and, and people who spoke to me is this lifestyle, lifestyle, which I hate that word, this lifestyle is just going to lead you to, to your demise, it's going to be it's going to it's going to be awful. And so I live that I live that in my first my first relationships, so I became very depressed after I ended up leaving the relationship, and I didn't think I ever meet anybody again, I had lost trust in everyone. I still, I, I didn't make time in those four years to make my own friends. It was all about him and his family. Again, four years later, I fell into nothingness I had my daughter, thankfully, but but she was all I had. And at that point, finally that at that point, I, I thought, No, I, you got to figure out who you are, you got to you got to you got to heal. And that's what I've been doing ever since it's been, I don't know, five, six years since I've left that that relationship. And a lot of a lot of therapy, a lot of a lot of reading, a lot of meditating. And I'm pretty proud now that I live alone in it and I enjoy my I was gonna say I enjoy my company. I wouldn't put it that far but I'm comfortable in my own skin. And I don't need a ton of people around me had the most wonderful friends I have friends who we can we can talk about we shoot the shit about anything. And it really really is healing and I think for me you know having these friends who you know you don't have to talk to them every day you know you just pick up where you left off when when you when you see them. That has been you know the psychotherapy and the then the the building up my life has been what saved me. I am sure I keep telling my friends. I'm shocked that I'm even alive at this point. But I'm living a life now that I enjoy and you know, are you happy? Now? I don't really know. This may sound weird or stupid, but I really don't know what happiness is. I rather say I'm content And and I'm very contented my life right now. So so there's no no more I could ask for? Well, you,

Coach Maddox  15:13  
you speak about the, you know, the journey starting from scratch, and doing the work, and I want to acknowledge you and applaud you for the work that you're doing. And thank you, you know, one of the things that I say all the time is, if we're ever going to have the life that we desire, we have to take responsibility for our own life in her own experiences.

Dan Babineau  15:38  
That's funny, because when I came out, I was on the other other side of the pendulum, it was everybody else's fault, it was my parents fault, it was my ex wife's fault. And, and it really, it took a lot of work to figure it out. It was all it was all in here, it was it, you know, only I can make myself happy or, or whatever in life that that I want to, you know, want to be. And that was, I think, the most freeing moment for me that, because I always lived a very, as a child, I was very, very, very artistic. Very musical, I thought I get into the music field. And at 1314 15 years old, I was teased and bullied because of my love for for for the arts for music. So I decided that that I didn't want to be that way. So I became extremely controlled in my life, analytical to the nth degree. It served me well, in my career. I can't say that I'm sorry that I went that way. But, but I lost a lot of my identity. And that's what I'm trying to rebuild now. I, I did study piano a lot, I and I totally dropped it. I didn't ever want to see piano again. And now I'm kind of thinking of starting that out and, and turning back to my artistic side because, and it excites me because it's something that I, I, I, I should never have gotten rid of, but I am here where I am. And I just want to start, you know, continue, I shouldn't say start but continue where where I dropped off.

Coach Maddox  17:48  
I think you may be amazed at what happens for you, when you pick those childhood things that you loved backup. I think you may be amazed what that contributes to your life. You spoke about playing the victim card, everybody else's fault. And then realizing that you know that you were responsible? Can you define what it was that enabled you to make that shift from victimhood to, I'm going to take responsibility for my life

Dan Babineau  18:31  
the main the main thing, I think was therapy. I went through years of, of therapy with a really good psychologist. And she she, she did it really well. She let me be the victim. As long as I wanted to be the victim, I was the victim. And, and we we kind of gradually got to the point of what the what the hell's going on here. You know, what, you know? If I'm a victim, I played into it. And so it developed that way where I I complained about being the victim so much with her that she she led me to it. I didn't know at the time, but she led me to to the place where no it's it's all about me. It's it's I let these things happen. One thing I will say because I don't want to forget saying it is I have no regrets in my life because I'm here today speaking to you. Based on all the decisions I made the good, the bad, the ugly. And if I had done anything differently if I had Um, know this gay, you know, normal age, you know, when you're, you're, you're in your late teens or 20s, I wouldn't have a daughter who I love so much. And I wouldn't have I had to not know, I didn't have to go through it. But I went through things that were heard. But it's made me who I am today. So I am grateful that I'm alive today. Because, at some one point, I didn't even think that would be possible. So, so I know I have gravitated to somewhere else. But that that's really you know, what I feel about getting to the point of, of Self Realization, and taking responsibility for my own actions and, and that sort of thing.

Coach Maddox  20:57  
And as you take responsibility for your life and your actions, what, what's the result of that? What has been your personal result,

Dan Babineau  21:10  
my personal result, has been opening myself up, once, once I knew who I was, I became more more trusting of people. So I've developed a new network of friends who I love, I have been able to be open with my daughter who is is very, very supportive of me. And, and I guess I projected why what I wanted to get back, and I got it back, which was which is amazing. I

Coach Maddox  21:57  
unpack that for me a little bit. Dan, you you you have acquired this group of close friends. And you just said I projected I am I understanding that, you know, you you put out into the universe what you wanted to have come back to you. That's right. And what was that? What are the things that you put out into the universe?

Dan Babineau  22:21  
Well, I see the word authentic above you and really it is about TriCity I, I do have some a whole realm of friends who I some that I wouldn't talk to about things in detail and some that I do. But I wanted I wanted to have a relationship or relationships based on really being myself and talking about everything that that comes up in my mind because I I think about a lot of things and and so I have a few friends grant being one of them that I should have just lost my sorry. I can just be myself and and that feels good. That you don't you don't have prior to that. You know, I always had in my mind. Okay, I have to remember who I'm supposed to be. So that I wouldn't let any big secrets out or anything like that. So now I don't have any of that. I live I live my life fairly simply. And and I don't have to remember all those little lies that I had to tell when when I was straight.

Coach Maddox  24:04  
It is exhausting. Is it nice to keep track of the masks and the facades that we build? It's absolutely exhausting.

Dan Babineau  24:15  
It is it is and the toughness and, and really, you know, that's not that's not me. And and now I'm you know, I don't have to be you know, this tough guy. And it just, I am who I am.

Coach Maddox  24:31  
Well, and I can look back in my own life when I was doing similar to what you're describing. And that never attracted the kind of people to me that I really wanted.

Dan Babineau  24:42  
That is true. That is That is so true. You're right. Yeah,

Coach Maddox  24:47  
it attracted absolutely the opposite of what I really wanted to have in my life.

Dan Babineau  24:53  
And that's my experience as well. Yeah. Yeah. So so it goes back Add to putting out there. Last you said in the universe what what I want to get back. And I got it back in spades. So I'm really happy about that. Well, and

Coach Maddox  25:16  
you know, for the listener, because some of these things that we're talking about have a certain abstract quality in them. Can you share? What we're specifically some of the things that you put out there qualities that you exhibited and shared with those in front of you, in hopes that that would be reciprocated? Is my question making sense?

Dan Babineau  25:42  
After I came out, you're saying you're asking?

Coach Maddox  25:45  
Yeah, yeah, you know, you you said you, you put things out there, in order to get that similar back, what were those those things, more authenticity, but I'm looking for symptom drill down something more concrete,

Dan Babineau  26:00  
I'd have a comparison I think I can make is, before I was very closed, very, I wouldn't accept people in my life. openly. So it's the exact opposite of that. Now, I am open. If I'm at a get together, I'll go and I'll introduce myself to people and, and so trying to show warmth, and, and interest in them. And it's funny, because when you do that, only people who feel the same way will will return it. And, and so I've made I had I have many friends, but I, I do have a core group that, that I think, you know, you let out a little bit of your life and, and then they, they let you in a little bit in their errors. And, and it grows organically that way. I think.

Coach Maddox  27:06  
I think one of the things I agree completely, one of the things that I love about authenticity and vulnerability are they are both polarizers. Yeah, when you show up in a public setting, or on a one on one, it doesn't matter when you show up and interact with other people. If you show up authentically, or vulnerably, the people that aren't authentic and vulnerable, it will repel them. And the people that are more authentic and vulnerable, it will draw them in. You know, I always say you know, vulnerability is the biggest polarizer because it's more of an intense thing to me than authenticity vulnerabilities. When we get like, down in the, you know, the muck the, the real heart stuff. And I always say that It either makes people scream and run in the opposite direction, or it makes them want to come and sit right next to me.

Dan Babineau  28:07  
I never really thought about it in that that that way, but you're you're so right. It is it's it's it's an amazing, amazing feeling when when you do find that reciprocal kind of relationship that you can you can do that with it. And you're right, some people run away and I've had that happen to me as well. So it's just

Coach Maddox  28:34  
I've learned to be grateful for those people that run away. Oh

Dan Babineau  28:36  
my goodness, I always tell them and some of them are uncomfortable with this but I always say I love you and and when when you when you know where that love is coming from some people don't know some people. What do you mean? It's not a neurotic love it's not it's a true gratefulness to know you tie

Coach Maddox  29:10  
it's it's a you know, human being and we are all one at the core of things. And because we are all one, you are part of me, so I love you. Yeah, a lot of people don't get that.

Dan Babineau  29:23  
Yeah. No, but it's, I, I use that to, to educate, you know, if, if I get the eyes and I say don't worry, you know, I don't want to jump in the sack with you. I just, I just really appreciate who you are and what what you bring to my life and I'm okay yeah, okay, I get that. But yeah, it's it's it's sometimes you know, I laugh inside when I see the, the the reaction but yeah, I beat I'm open and being vulnerable to that degree. Yes, it I don't find it scary anymore I did when I first started, it was, it was extremely uncomfortable for me. And I probably didn't look authentic when I said it. But now it's just, it's just who I am. And, and I'm letting that

having been so controlled and so I'm letting that vulnerability take over more. And, and those are really, you know, the, the ways that I made the most strides in my life, friendship wise, self esteem wise, all of it,

Coach Maddox  30:50  
all of it. And as you lean more into that vulnerability, what? What is the biggest benefit or value to you? When you do that? What what is it that it that it brings back to you?

Dan Babineau  31:13  
For me, it's, it's simpleness in a way, I mean, what I mean by that is, again, to the onion, I know, peeling the onion is overused as an analogy, but I don't have to act. I'm not an actor anymore. I am, who I am. And, and so my mind has been cleared from so many lies and, and stories and what have you that I've all been able to let that go. So like when I'm with with you, and when I'm with my friends, I'm there. I'm 100% there, I'm not, you know, trying to think of the next next step, and I just am at the moment. So that that would be what what I'm most I wouldn't say proud, but it's just, for me, it goes back to simplicity. It's a simple life. And that's it's an easy life easier, like then than what I had for much, much, much easier.

Coach Maddox  32:35  
Well, yeah, because you don't have to keep track of anything. You don't have to remember the the very different stories that you told to hide.

Dan Babineau  32:48  
And when you say that, I had a feeling of yeah, this is important because I I can bring back that that grief because I had a moment of grief when you when you said that. And, and I guess for me, it it it works in a way that if I didn't go back to that, every once in a while, I think I would be less grateful and be less it's for me the root, my roots are very important. And, and I never want. I had a horrible, horrible, horrible life in, in a stage in my life. And I don't mind going back there and not reliving it, but remembering. You know where I was, and be thankful for where I am today. It just gives you a little bit of

Coach Maddox  34:02  
perspective. It gives you perspective

Dan Babineau  34:05  
back to perspective for sure. But, hey, I did it. You know, for me, I never thought I'd come up come out of it. where I am today. I thought my life was over. I thought I thought people were going to hate me for the rest of my life. I did lose. I lost a lot. But I gained a lot. So and I'm more you know, to have family that you have to act around. To have friends you have to act around. They're not really family and friends. They're there they'll drop you. You know if if they don't agree with your lifestyle, again, word I hate but I've used it twice now. But you How are you? I'm so grateful I have a heart full of gratefulness for where I am. So

Coach Maddox  35:10  
I'd like for you to maybe tell me a little bit about your relationship with your daughter now.

Dan Babineau  35:18  
My daughter, I'll call her by name Chloe. She She came to us through international adoption. So when she was a baby, you know, we always talked about you were chosen and you know, what one part of our life was, was the church and we were very active in the church. And so Chloe once once they found out my deep dark secret Chloe was brought into it where, and I thought I'm at the time I thought I might lose her because of all the stories and all the the innuendo and all that religious shit that that that happened. And the awakening moment for me, was when her grade 434 Or five, either one, I forget now, but she called me and she said, I have something to tell you. And I thought, Oh my God, what did Chloe do? And she she was always very good in school. i Oh, my goodness, what's coming up. So I want you to know that Chloe has started a an LGBT. While at the time it would have been LGBT at the time little club for welcome welcoming kids who, who felt that they might be different. And I cried, because I thought, wow, you know, her mind, they, they didn't let her mother No, because her mother would have put a stop to it. Again, religion, I think would have would have played played a part in that her mother is very different now, I must say, but at the time, it was very closed minded. So that was the first moment that I felt accepted by by my daughter. So it'll always be I guess, it was kind of like a rebirth. Because before it was very awkward and, and, you know, just a lot lot of shit happened around that time. So now she, she's in university, what she, what she tells me is that I'm so glad you're retired, because she has her plan her her life all planned out. And so, you know, at 26 I'll have a baby and 28 I'll have another baby and I don't have the heart to tell her. You know, life doesn't work that way. But, and I know she won't be listening to this. So I'm a little bit more open. But she she said, when when I want you to be looking after my kids. And so I feel like yeah, she gets me and and she accepts me and and so I just love her love her the pieces and she's brought so much joy in my life when I was really unhappy. And like any kid

Coach Maddox  38:45  
Oh yes, absolutely. Are the two of you able to sit and discuss your life? Like you would if you had been heterosexual Is it open like that where it's

Dan Babineau  38:58  
no not yet. I had decided that I would wait till she would be 1819 20 years old because there are some things that she I'm sure she believes that that reality so I want her to know kind of what what the lay of the land is. But I want it to come from her that you know we are now digging a little bit deeper and and I let her take take take the lead because I don't want to bombard she's in universities very busy. I don't want to bombard her with with with stuff until she she usually will come to me and give me a little nugget. And then then we can talk a little bit but in detail no we you know she she had a very unfortunately my my pet relationship with a man my first relationship that I had after I left my marriage. She felt very abused by this person. So she has very, very she, I know she prefers to see me unattached, but introducing the right person in her life, she she would be, she would be great. But she just went through, she went through a lot as well, like we not, it's not only about me, it's about, you know, me and my, my family at the time. And, and so yeah, that's, unfortunately not somewhere where I've, I've been able to be she knows I'm gay. She knows I day, you know, and she knows a lot of my gay friends and, and she accepts all of that. But more well, really, there's a lot of it that she doesn't need to know ever. But some, some some things that would have been very confusing for her. Mostly based on religion. And what happened at the church after I left? I would like to be able to to unpack that with her.

Coach Maddox  41:19  
Well, have you considered perhaps just offering that up? Just saying if you'd ever like to have this conversation? I'd be open to that. And then just leaving it up to her?

Dan Babineau  41:31  
Yeah, yeah. That's, that's, that's a good, good point. Yeah.

Coach Maddox  41:35  
Well, because she may be sitting over there doing the same thing, the same thing.

Dan Babineau  41:38  
Yeah. And she is very much like me, she's very analytical and introverted. So, so yeah, she may be having a hard time with it. It might

Coach Maddox  41:51  
be as simple as saying, if you'd ever like to be more involved or know more about my life. I'd be open to that. And then just see where it goes. Yeah, exactly. Just plant a seed. That's a good point. You know, sometimes we fail to communicate, because we're afraid of the, the reaction or the impact. Sometimes we have lots of missed opportunities, because we don't take the risk. And that's the blood vulnerability is about it's about taking emotional risks.

Dan Babineau  42:29  
Yeah. And you've helped, you've helped me realize this, right. At this moment, that Yeah, I mean, I couldn't be more authentic with with my, with my daughter. For sure. Yeah. I'm gonna have to really think about that one and see where where that goes. But

Coach Maddox  42:48  
well, and Dan, when you show up a little bit more authentically with her, then you give her permission to do the same thing with you where she's going to be more likely to come back and share her experiences in her life with you. And that's how closeness that's, that's emotional intimacy. You know, we hear the word intimate and we immediately think romance. But intimacy is in every relationship. The way we get that intimacy is being vulnerable. I doesn't matter whether it's your boss or a parent or a child or a co worker, or a friend. It doesn't matter who it is. That's, that's true. Yeah. Sometimes we can be vulnerable with a complete stranger and opens up a doorway that would have otherwise been closed,

Dan Babineau  43:37  
for sure that that is true. Yeah. Yeah.

Coach Maddox  43:42  
Well, it sounds like you have a lovely, a lovely situation with her, though. And that's, you know, coming from not so long ago, when, you know, everybody was filling her mind with all kinds of scary and negative stuff. You've come a long way in a short period of time she

Dan Babineau  44:06  
and I give her credit. She was able to navigate it. I coming from me, it just it was me against them. And but she was so confused, but she figured it out. And I'm so proud of her for doing that.

Coach Maddox  44:22  
Yeah. Well, you know, perhaps that says a lot about the way you raised her.

Dan Babineau  44:29  
Well, hopefully, yes. Yeah, maybe. Yeah.

Coach Maddox  44:40  
Well, based on your story, what you've shared where you came from the experiences that you had of coming out late and all that that caused all the cost that came along with that. If you were going to drop a wisdom bomb On the listeners,

Dan Babineau  45:02  
what would that be? For me, at this point in my life, I really, I, people in our generation, the newer generation, maybe not as much, I don't know, but I, I do know, of a lot of men who, who, you know, are living a life like I lived, you know, over 10 years ago, and I really feel empathetic for them, because, you, you see the emptiness and in the, the, you know, sadness maybe. And that leads to two things, you know, mental health wise, addiction wise, that sort of thing. So I really have an empathetic view of these people who don't come out because I understand. I don't understand their story, but I understand mine, and how, you know, what it did to me. So, I would never try to coach someone to come out, or that's not, that's not my thing. But I do. I do like to share that, you know, what if I've been able to navigate this, because I saw myself as the most insecure person, the most least risk taker. person that I knew. And if I was able to do it, and if, you know, if they are considering, you know, making that step, one thing I actually have had an online friend who I've never met, and we talk and talk and talk to talk about this, and, and, excuse me. Unfortunately, he'd never had, you know, was able to do it, but I just wanted him to know. Yeah, you're gonna go through some, some bad shit, you know, it's not gonna, it's not gonna be easy. But if I, if I knew back then what I know now. Again, contentment, I'm more, you know, I'm not, I'm not the person I was 10 years ago. So that's, excuse me, sorry. That's what I would want to push forward is, you know, your decision, your life, that's your life. However, just know that if, if you if you do, you know, jump on the other side, that life can be just as fulfilling and more so. So, maybe in that way, I like to be an example. Because, like, I like Italia, if, if I can do it, anybody can do it, because I was most. And I'm repeating myself, but I was very, very, very shy and very introverted. And, and, and, and, and I was able to do it.

Coach Maddox  48:34  
Yeah, you're, you're suggesting taking a bold step?

Dan Babineau  48:40  
If that's what they,

Coach Maddox  48:42  
that's what you what you did, you took off, but

Dan Babineau  48:46  
I did take a bold step. I didn't know it at the time. But it was it was, you know, a complete 180 Nothing in my license is the same. Pretty much everything is better. So you know, there is a light at the end of the end of the tunnel.

Coach Maddox  49:06  
Well, and then maybe that's the wisdom bomb, right there is pretty much everything is better, because I took that bold move. Not that you didn't go through hell to get there. But, you know, we've all heard the saying that, you know, the better, better. best things in life don't come easy. No, no, you know, the best things in life generally are the things that we have to struggle and strive. You gotta work. You gotta want to work, you know. And, I don't know, a long time ago, I decided that the work will I was going to view the work as being something that was fulfilling. And at times it is really, really hard. But there was a point where I realized that the work wasn't something I was doing anymore. The work was something I was yes, yeah, everything shifted when I stopped looking viewing it as some thing I was doing. And it's something that I became, there was a massive shift, I became the work, the work became me, and you can't separate us, I'll be doing the work till my last breath,

Dan Babineau  50:13  
you're right, and take it or leave it, you know, I'm not for everyone. And, and I, you know, you realize that and, and so it's easy to let your guards down when it's not about, it's not about you, it's about me and I don't you know, a person's not going to make me happy or sad, I have to make do that work within myself is what I meant. And I've been using the word and this is a poorly defined word, but I use the word selfishness more now, I want to be in I told myself, I want to be more selfish. And And another really bad analogy is, you know, in the airplane and the, the the masks come down, put the mask on first. I never did that. I always put the other people's masks on, everybody was looked after. By me. So selfishness, to me is not a bad word. It just mean, you know, Dan, Okay, it's time to do a little bit of self care here. Because, you know, you're trying to do too much. And so. So I guess word that I'm meditating on is that some people would say, that's, that's odd, you know, why would you want to be more selfish? But for someone who hoo isn't? There is there is, there is meaning to that. So

Coach Maddox  51:58  
there's definitely meaning to that. I'm an advocate of putting ourselves first because that enables us to take better care of those around us. Yeah. Yeah, I'm brainstorming, you know how I would word that if I if I wasn't going to use the word selfish, because it has so many negative connotations with it. I don't know, I kind of liked the word, very self care oriented read, it's very self care oriented. Or, you know, I've learned to put my own needs first. Because that enables not in a selfish way, not in a, but in a way that enables me to give more to those around me. We're operating from a full tank, we can always give more to those around us than if we're operating from an empty tank.

Dan Babineau  52:48  
That's right. Yeah. Yeah. Beautiful.

Coach Maddox  52:52  
Well, wonderful. I loved hearing your story. And I'm sure the listeners have to. And I think that part of your story that I loved the most was as you towards the end there where you talked about your daughter was very heartwarming, and I'm very glad to hear that. She did figure it out. And guys have the relationship that you do.

Dan Babineau  53:19  
Yeah, no, I'm very grateful for that.

Coach Maddox  53:22  
Yeah. Beautiful. Well, how about some rapid fire questions? Dan?

Dan Babineau  53:28  
Let's go.

Coach Maddox  53:29  
Are you ready? Yeah. If you could go back in time and say anything to the younger you? What age would you stop at what age would you go back to? And what would you tell him?

Dan Babineau  53:49  
I would go back to probably 1212 or 13. And I think I would tell tell myself a couple of things.

I would tell myself, everything will be okay. And I would tell myself how can I put it do so well do self care? Because I did part of my story of course. You know, your your break. When you come out? I grew up

with things that happen then, and so yeah, I, I I felt responsibility towards my my, my parents and so I didn't permit myself to be who I was because of of that environment. So yeah, you know, self care, self love and and and just trust that trust your heart. Beautiful.

Coach Maddox  55:06  
What are you most afraid of?

Dan Babineau  55:13  
Oh, that's a tough question i right now in my life, I'm 57 and my friends you know are in that room, you know that area. Some people are not as healthy as I am. I worry a lot about about them and their health. And that's really what's been on my heart lately is, is the well being of of, you know, the ones I love? Probably what? I don't think it really is. If I honest on a selfish perspective, what am I afraid of?

I don't I don't know. I I, I guess you know? Okay, I finally found it. I'm, I'm probably most afraid of how can I say trusting in a relationship? is probably the the thing that you know, jumping back in, all in into a relationship is probably the most scary part part for myself. Sorry, for the longest dissertation but no, it took me a minute to get to it. It's it's all

Coach Maddox  56:56  
good. It's all good. And final question. What is your superpower? It makes

Dan Babineau  57:12  
me laugh just to just to say it because it's so it's such an oxymoron for me because I wasn't for the longest time but it's tough confidence I not to be you know. You know, it's just that I trust myself and and and I let my heart lead me where where it needs to go. So that that would be probably my superpower.

Coach Maddox  57:47  
Sounds like a superpower to me. Absolutely. That was great. Well, Dan, it's been a complete honor and a privilege to have you as a guest on the podcast. Thank you so much for sharing your story and your experiences and what you've learned with me and the listeners.

Dan Babineau  58:06  
Oh, thank you. I must say that. It was a lot easier than than I thought it was a little bit nervous about it. But it it was an enjoyable our for me.

Coach Maddox  58:19  
Good. Good. I'm glad and I want to leave you with that. That in my eyes. I definitely see you as an authentic gay man.

Dan Babineau  58:27  
Oh, well. Thank you. Thank you. So yes,

Coach Maddox  58:32  
thank you so much. Thank you. All right.

Transcribed by

Dan BabineauProfile Photo

Dan Babineau

Chief Information Officer (retired)

It has been a struggle for Dan to find his authentic self due to family and religious influences throughout his life.
From Eastern Canada, this 57 year old man has identified as being gay for a little over 10 years. After leaving an 18 year marriage Dan had to rebuild his life from scratch. Spirituality, friendships, self esteem, family relationships were all very different as a gay man.
This journey for Dan began by loathing himself for who he was inside. Storming-norming-conforming is a term that Dan identifies with first hand. It took years to rebuild his life to what it is today. It was not easy but was necessary to begin accepting himself for who he was.
Lastly, but most importantly, Dan is a proud father of a daughter who is currently attending university.