Troy Fitzgerald was raised in a fundamentalist Christian cult as the son of a pastor, yet left the church in his late 20′s, became an agnostic atheist and secular humanist, and eventually came out as gay — after being married to a woman and having started a family. Cults and Closets is a book he wrote to share his coming out story. Since its publication he has founded the charity Secular Safe House which aims to support people who are emerging out of cults and coming out as gay in unsupportive and perhaps dangerous environments. He has a wide and ever-growing collection of coming-out stories recorded as podcasts. We speak with Troy about what inspired him to do what he does, the challenges of a startup charity, and the unique strengths and scars that those who emerge out of cults or closets have.
Troy’s determination to provide a lifeline to those emerging from the chaos he himself emerged out of is inspiring, encouraging, and full of poetic beauty.
Out of the pain of Troy’s life experience, he has created a win-win philosophy that says of everyone, ‘Who you are and who you were born to be is okay.’ He has a grand vision to assemble a network of volunteers to create a safe, unbiased, non-religious, non-judgmental space for everyone to take their own path and be who they are.
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