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Ten Years Out: Stories from My Queer Community

Ten Years Out: Stories from My Queer Community

Author: Sam Fagan

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Join Sam Fagan as she celebrates her 10th anniversary out of the closet and dives into the transformative experiences and collective wisdom shared by herself and her queer friends since coming out.

In each episode, Sam guides heartfelt conversations and personal storytelling, exploring the profound lessons, challenges, and triumphs encountered in the queer experience. Through intimate reflections and candid dialogue, Sam and her guests delve into topics such as self-discovery, relationships, love, and the ongoing pursuit of living life authentically.
13 Episodes
Ep 13: Queer Me

Ep 13: Queer Me


In this special final episode of "10 Years Out: Stories from My Queer Community," the tables are turned as I take a step back from my usual role as host and become the guest. My close friend and fellow advocate, Kimberly Culbertson, sits down for an intimate interview, delving deep into my transformative journey since coming out. As the conversation unfolds, I opens up about my experiences growing up in an evangelical community and the pivotal moment when I decided to embrace my true identity at the age of 29. Sharing my personal story, I reflect on the continuous nature of coming out, revealing that the process never truly ends. I highlight the challenges and triumphs that have shaped my path, as well as the surprising ways in which my life has unfolded. I candidly discuss the ways in which my foundations were shaken and how navigating through uncharted territories proved to be both difficult and rewarding. Through my story, I explore the profound lessons I've learned, emphasizing the importance of empathy and shedding judgment. My journey has allowed me to intimately understand what it means to be "the Other," ultimately transforming me into a stronger advocate for equality and inclusivity. Join Kimberly Culbertson as she guides this heartfelt conversation, allowing me to reflect on my growth, resilience, and the vibrant, colorful place I now call home. Tune in to the final episode of "10 Years Out: Stories from My Queer Community" to hear my powerful narrative, and discover how my journey has inspired me to become a beacon of hope and understanding within the queer community and beyond. Sam’s Instagram: ⁠⁠⁠⁠ Ten Years Out Website:
In this heartfelt episode of "10 Years Out: Stories from My Queer Community," I welcome a very special guest: my mother, Diane Fagan. Join me and my mom as we delve into an inspiring conversation about acceptance, growth, and the ever-evolving journey of understanding. As a straight woman, Diane opens up about her own experiences and the valuable lessons she has learned throughout her life. She candidly shares how, regardless of age, she continues to discover new perspectives, challenge preconceived notions, and embrace the beauty of learning. Diane's story serves as a beacon of hope and encouragement for parents and individuals alike, demonstrating that it is never too late to evolve and grow. Listeners will gain valuable insights into the power of empathy, communication, and unconditional love in fostering a harmonious relationship between parents and their LGBTQ+ children. Diane's story is a testament to the transformative nature of genuine connection and a reminder that acceptance is an ongoing process for everyone involved. Tune in to Episode 12 of "10 Years Out: Stories from My Queer Community" as we share a poignant conversation that will touch the hearts of parents, allies, and individuals seeking encouragement on their own paths of acceptance. PFLAG: Sam’s Instagram: ⁠⁠⁠⁠ Ten Years Out Website:
In the eleventh episode of "10 Years Out: Stories from My Queer Community," host Sam Fagan welcomes Nancy Shadlock, a queer woman. Join Sam and Nancy as they delve into the multifaceted aspects of Nancy's life, from growing up as a missionary kid to finding her true identity later in life. Nancy opens up about her experience of coming out at the age of 33, a pivotal moment that led her to embrace her authentic self. As a spiritual director, she realized that in order to help others, she needed to live her truth unapologetically. Through her podcast, the "Coming Out Chronicles," Nancy aims to foster empathy and understanding by sharing diverse coming out stories, recognizing that the process of coming out extends beyond the LGBTQ+ community and resonates with various life changes. Together, Sam and Nancy explore the concept of coming out as a universal process of growth, encompassing everything from personal transformations to major life decisions. They discuss how living authentically allows individuals to challenge societal norms and embrace alternative ways of being, thinking, and loving. Nancy shares her vision of a commune, a place where chosen family ("framily") can come together and support one another in a queer-friendly environment, breaking away from the confines of heteronormativity. The conversation delves into the unique dynamics and intricacies of queer relationships, highlighting the ways they differ from traditional societal expectations. By defying norms and embracing their own truths, Sam and Nancy exemplify the power of living authentically and inspire listeners to embark on their own journeys of self-discovery. Nancy's Podcast: Nancy's Coaching: Nancy's LinkedIn: Nancy's Insta: Sam’s Instagram: ⁠⁠⁠⁠
In this episode of "10 Years Out: Stories from My Queer Community," host Sam Fagan welcomes Jonathan Bay, a trans man who began his medical transition 16 years ago. Jonathan shares his journey of navigating limited access to trans healthcare and the challenges he faced during that time. Reflecting on his own experience, he encourages listeners to embrace who they want to be without fixating on the destination of their transition. The discussion delves into the societal pressure of traditional gender roles, touching on Sam's decision to challenge expectations by embracing her leg hair. Jonathan shares the impact of testosterone on his head hair and explores the freedom that comes with being trans, where individuals have the power to determine their own presentation and roles. The evolving language within the queer community is explored, with Jonathan contemplating how his transition might be different today given the expanding spectrum of gender identification. The episode also highlights the concept of Queer Joy and the transformative power it holds. Addressing the current challenges faced by the trans community, Jonathan sheds light on the rise of anti-trans bills across the US. He discusses the distressing practice of forced de-transitioning in Missouri and Florida, advocating for sanctuary states that prioritize and protect trans rights. The episode concludes with an emphasis on the importance of a supportive community for the survival and well-being of queer individuals. Listeners are encouraged to join the ongoing journey towards equality, understanding, and acceptance. Erin Reed ACLU trans rights donation page Trans Equality page TRANSport - seeking asylum outside of the US Sam’s Instagram: ⁠⁠⁠⁠
In the ninth episode of "10 Years Out: Stories from My Queer Community," host Sam Fagan welcomes the incredibly talented John-Allison Weiss, a trans-masc, queer musician, for an inspiring conversation about their ongoing process of self-discovery. As a successful indie musician, John-Allison has found solace and empowerment through their music, but their journey of self-acceptance and coming out hasn't always been a straightforward one. Join Sam and Johnny as they delve into the multifaceted layers of their personal narrative, exploring the intersections of their queer identity and the evolving understanding of their gender. Discover how Johnny first came out as gay, only to later realize their true trans identity. Together, they highlight the significance of finding one's own unique path and how coming out is a continuous process of growth and self-exploration. As they navigate the complexities of their own experiences, they emphasize that there is no singular right way to come out or define oneself within the queer community. Throughout the episode, Sam and John-Allison celebrate the diverse and vibrant world of queer music, discussing the rise of remarkable LGBTQ+ bands and artists. They showcase the power of music as a medium for self-expression, healing, and connecting with others who share similar journeys. Johnny's Insta: Johnny's Music: Sam’s Instagram: ⁠⁠⁠⁠
In the eighth installment of "10 Years Out: Stories from My Queer Community," your host Sam Fagan welcomes Ruoyun Killian, a cisgender, bisexual woman of Asian American heritage. Join Sam and Ruoyun as they delve into her unique perspective on queerness and the absence of religious baggage surrounding her bisexuality. Ruoyun shares her personal journey and highlights the gradual yet undeniable changes she has witnessed within the queer community over the years. With her diverse background and experiences, Ruoyun sheds light on the evolving dynamics and the importance of embracing change within the LGBTQ+ community. Drawing from her work expertise, Ruoyun takes a thought-provoking dive into the Target Pride scandal. She discusses the significance of finding belonging within the queer community and how the incident affected those seeking validation and acceptance. Through this conversation, listeners gain insight into the complexities surrounding representation, allyship, and corporate responsibility. Tune in to this enlightening episode of "10 Years Out: Stories from My Queer Community" as Sam and Ruoyun engage in a heartfelt conversation, exploring the power of change, the yearning for belonging, and the importance of allyship within the queer community. Ruoyun's Instagram: Sam’s Instagram: ⁠⁠⁠⁠
In this powerful episode of “10 Years Out: Stories from My Queer Community,” host Sam Fagan invites Kevin Garcia, a non-binary queer individual, to share their extraordinary journey. Kevin’s upbringing within the evangelical community led them to navigate the challenging landscape of the ex-gay movement for several years. As Sam and Kevin delve into their personal experiences, they reveal the profound impact of embracing their authentic identities. Sam opens up about her own transformative journey, recounting the reactions she received after shaving her head last summer. Together, they reflect on the importance of living openly and unapologetically. Through their candid conversation, Sam and Kevin discuss the various ways in which society responds to those who dare to be different. They explore the idea of serving as role models to younger generations by embodying their true selves, encouraging listeners to embrace their uniqueness and authentic expression. Amidst the heartwarming anecdotes and heartfelt discussions, Sam and Kevin emphasize the value of giving others the opportunity to embrace their own truths. They remind us that it’s never too late to embark on a new chapter, empowering listeners to embrace the ongoing process of self-discovery and personal growth. Join Sam and Kevin in this inspiring episode as they celebrate queerness and remind us all that being true to ourselves is a cause for joyous celebration. Tune in to “10 Years Out: Stories from My Queer Community” and discover the power of becoming who you truly are. Check out Kevin’s links:  Sam’s Instagram: ⁠⁠⁠
In the sixth episode of "10 Years Out: Stories from My Queer Community," your host Sam Fagan welcomes Janan, a queer cis woman, to share her inspiring journey of self-discovery and transformation. Born into a strict Muslim family in Texas, Janan defied societal expectations to forge her own path towards personal freedom and enlightenment. Join Sam and Janan as they delve into the profound impact that finding peace in the yoga world had on Janan's life. Through the practice of yoga, she discovered the power of personal responsibility, learning to take ownership of her story and embrace her authentic self. Janan's resilience shines through as she navigates the complex intersection of her queer identity and her religious and cultural upbringing. In this episode, Janan guides us through her transformative experiences, emphasizing the importance of radical acceptance and radical forgiveness. She shares her insights on how these practices have enabled her to create a sense of Heaven on Earth, despite the challenges she has faced. Listeners will be inspired by Janan's courage, strength, and unwavering determination to live her truth. Tune in to this captivating episode of "10 Years Out" as Sam and her guest Janan illuminate the power of embracing radical acceptance and forgiveness, providing invaluable guidance for anyone seeking to create their own Heaven on Earth, no matter their background or circumstances. Janan's IG: Janan's TikTok Janan's Podcast: Where Janan teaches & coaches: @bigpoweryoga and @lightyearleadership 10 Years Out Website: Sam’s Instagram: ⁠⁠⁠⁠
Join host Sam Fagan, as she delves into the inspiring and heartfelt story of Lisa Lang, a remarkable woman from small-town Arkansas. In this episode of "10 Years Out: Stories from My Queer Community," Sam and Lisa embark on a candid conversation about Lisa's journey of self-discovery, coming out as an adult, and the transformative power of self-acceptance. Growing up in a conservative environment, Lisa realized her queerness at a young age. However, the fear of judgment and rejection forced her to conceal her true identity. As she pursued higher education, Lisa found solace within the church and eventually married a pastor. Together, they started a family and built a life rooted in tradition and faith. With sincerity and vulnerability, Lisa shares the pivotal moment when she decided to come out, despite the challenges that lay ahead. As she unravels her experiences, listeners gain insight into the complex emotions and internalized homophobia she grappled with along the way. Lisa's journey is a testament to the courage required to embrace authenticity, even in the face of potential upheaval. In this episode, Sam and Lisa also explore the profound impact that self-acceptance has had on her parenting. They discuss the joys and challenges of raising children while navigating their evolving understanding of identity and acceptance. Through their conversation, listeners are invited to reflect on the power of love, growth, and understanding within the queer community. Ten Years Out Website: Sam’s Instagram:
In the fourth episode of "10 Years Out: Stories from My Queer Community," join your host, Sam Fagan (she/her), as she engages in a powerful conversation with Dr. Megan Gandy, a lesbian cis woman and passionate advocate for trans and gender-diverse people's healthcare. Together, they explore Megan's personal journey, from her upbringing in a fundamentalist, evangelical family to her transformative work as a social worker and vocal champion for marginalized communities. From a young age, Megan knew she was gay, but her conservative upbringing presented formidable challenges. Her story serves as an inspiration for individuals who may be navigating similar experiences. Sam and Megan delve into the pivotal role that social work played in Megan's life. Through her involvement in the field, Megan witnessed the significant barriers faced by trans and gender-diverse individuals when seeking healthcare. She recognized the urgent need for advocacy and became a vocal proponent for improved access, inclusivity, and compassionate care. Ten Years Out Website: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠ Sam's Instagram: ⁠⁠⁠⁠
In the third episode of "10 Years Out: Stories from My Queer Community," your host Sam Fagan welcomes Stacey Chomiak, a queer woman. Together, they delve into the personal journeys that led them to trust themselves and embrace the goodness in their identities. Sam and Stacey open up about their experiences within the evangelical church, discussing the challenges they faced while navigating the expectations and pressures placed upon them by a rigid religious environment. As they recount their respective paths to self-acceptance, they explore the importance of finding belief in their own inherent goodness. During the conversation, Stacey reflects on her transformative journey as an author, sharing insights from her book, "Still Stace." She discusses how writing became a powerful tool for her to hear and trust her own voice, ultimately leading her to a place of authenticity and self-assurance. Stacey's story serves as an inspiration for others who are seeking their own voices and discovering the strength to overcome the limitations imposed by external influences. Join Sam and Stacey as they navigate the complex intersection of faith, sexuality, and personal growth. Through their candid and heartfelt conversation, listeners will gain valuable insights into the importance of embracing one's own truth, learning to trust oneself, and finding solace within a supportive community. Learn More: Stacey's book, Still Stace: Website: Art Portfolio: Instagram: @chomiaks  |  @staceychomiakart Twitter: @stacerchomiak TikTok: @staceychomiak Etsy: Ten Years Out Website: ⁠⁠ Sam's Instagram: ⁠⁠
In the second episode of "10 Years Out: Stories from My Queer Community," host Sam engages in a compelling conversation with Myles Markham, an extraordinary guest with a unique journey in the LGBTQ+ community. Myles, a queer, trans-masculine, non-binary, Māhū individual, shares their inspiring story of personal transformation and sheds light on important topics that shape their identity and advocacy. Before finding their true path, Myles was deeply immersed in the ex-gay, reparative therapy movement, a chapter of their life that profoundly impacted their perspective on LGBTQ+ issues. Together, they explore the crucial themes of direct communication and establishing boundaries, highlighting their significance in building healthier relationships. Navigating the complexities of being trans in the year 2023, Myles provides valuable insights into the challenges faced by transgender individuals today. They delve into the importance of labels in asserting identity and the role they play in visibility. Additionally, the conversation takes an unexpected turn towards the politics of hair, as Myles and Sam share their personal experiences and reflections on the profound significance that hair can hold. Learn More: Myles' Instagram: Myles' Current Work: Ten Years Out Website: ⁠⁠ Sam's Instagram: ⁠⁠
Join Sam, your host, in the debut episode of "10 Years Out: Stories from My Queer Community," as she sits down with her guest, Matt Overturf. Matt, a gay man going through the ordination process in the Episcopal church, and Sam, both having grown up in the Evangelical church, engage in a candid conversation about their faith journeys since coming out. In this heartfelt episode, Matt reminds Sam—and all listeners—that we are beloved. They reflect on the challenges and victories of reconciling their sexual orientation with their religious upbringing, sharing personal experiences that shed light on the complexities of faith and queerness. Through their stories, they highlight the resilience and strength within the queer community, offering hope and understanding to listeners. Join Sam and Matt in this inaugural episode of "10 Years Out: Stories from My Queer Community" for an intimate and casual conversation about embracing our belovedness in faith and beyond. Learn More: Julian of Norwich Revelations of Divine Love (Oxford World's Classics) - The Episcopal Church and LGBTQ+ People - Ten Years Out Website: Sam's Instagram:
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