Loren A. Olson M.D.
Loren A. Olson MD, is a gay father, a board-certified psychiatrist, a popular public speaker and the author of Finally Out: Letting Go of Living Straight, now in its second edition, which recently won the Gold Award from the Independent Book Publishers Association in the category of "Best LGBT non-fiction." His life’s mission has been to help people find ways to prevent life’s pains from becoming needless suffering.
Dr. Olson was born in Nebraska in 1943, and as former Nebraska senator Bob Kerry said, “Do you think anyone in his right mind would choose to be gay in Nebraska?” He struggled to be straight but eventually lost that fight when he was forty years old, and with great difficulty, he left his wife and kids to declare--somewhat quietly at first--that he is gay.
Dr. Olson counseled his friends for years before realizing that it was possible to do it for a living. Although he sought to maintain a low profile as a psychiatrist, his colleagues made him a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, the National Alliance for Mental Illness named him an Exemplary Psychiatrist, and he inexplicably has received awards for his writing.
After developing bags under his eyes and skin that resembled bread mold--and blowing out his knee having sex--he began to explore the idea that aging might have some advantages denied to him in his youth. He then chose more and more to write and speak to groups to avoid having to clean house and take out the garbage.
Dr. Olson’s former wife, Lynn, and his husband, Doug, have been known to cook Thanksgiving dinner for their re-imagined family. When asked why they have two grandmothers and three grandfathers, their grandkids just shrug their shoulders and say, “One of our grandpas is a bonus.”
Until recently moving to Des Moines, Iowa, Dr. Olson and Doug lived in a 1900-era farmhouse near the Bridges of Madison County. They moved the home fifteen miles to their farm, and after living in the barn for two years, they moved into a house that they’d completely renovated—which is why, at age seventy-four, Dr. Olson still works as a psychiatrist.
Until recently, Dr. Olson and Doug, his partner of thirty years, raised Belted Galloway cattle on their farm in Iowa. They raised the cattle on grass rather the corn that is overproduced on neighboring farms. Their neighbors were more troubled by this than their being a gay couple in a town of 400 Republicans. Dr. Olson was featured on RFD-TV, a national cable TV channel, on raising grass-fed beef. To his amazement, he also has been featured on ABC-TV’s "Good Morning America."
Dr. Olson has been interviewed numerous times by local and regional radio and television stations and print journalists. He blogs for Huffington Post and Psychology Today, as well as his website. Dr. Olson is a popular speaker who has spoken around the United States and Canada on a variety of topics to any group that promises to laugh at his jokes. His most recent focus is on "The Opportunities of Aging."
If you've suffered through this this far, he invites you to sign up for his tip sheet on "Male Sexuality across the Lifespan."