Meet Don Clark
Don Clark
I've been introduced exactly this way so many times in the past few decades that it sometimes feels as if the book title attached to my name is my full name. Loving Someone Gay, in its several forms has had a life of its own and has its own story to tell.

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My own life began in 1930 at the start of the Great Depression. Growing up in a large family in small town poverty taught me invaluable lessons that only such a life can teach. I was eleven years old when the U. S. entered World War II and it was those war years that shaped my adolescence and added more lessons.

Though college was an unlikely possibility for someone from my background, I found my way to the work-study program at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio following my graduation from high school and was thoroughly inspired there by the legacy of the school's founder, Horace Mann, who charged students with the challenge to "Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity." I earned a B.A. in Psychology and came of age there.

That was followed by an obligatory two years as a Private in the United States Army Medical Corps, Scientific and Professional Personnel. It was the time of the war in Korea, euphemistically called a Police Action then, as if the word spin might make human carnage more acceptable.

While in the Army I took a chance and applied to doctoral programs in clinical psychology. I chose the program at Adelphi in Garden City, Long Island finally because, similar to the five year undergraduate program at Antioch, it offered twenty hours a week of supervised professional work in the field during the academic years plus a full year of required supervised full-time internship.

That internship year took me first to the Brooklyn V. A. Hospital in New York City for two months and then on to the San Francisco Bay area to the very active teaching hospital of the V. A. in Menlo Park, California. At the end of the internship year I transferred to the V. A. Outpatient Clinic in downtown San Francisco for a half year of postdoctoral training.

Next came a tour of duty in the very real mental hospital world of the Philadelphia State Hospital with its seven thousand patients and a much too small professional staff. I helped to administer a Federally funded clinical rehabilitation study there for a year and a half before moving on to Hunter College in New York City where I taught, worked in the clinic and acted as school psychologist for the Hunter Elementary School for gifted children. I stayed at Hunter for ten years, moving to its Bronx campus after the first five years to become the Director of the Educational Clinic there when the campus separated into the Herbert H. Lehman College of the City University of New York.

Near the end of those years I took an overdue sabbatical and, with an invitation from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, traveled the nation studying, observing and participating in the varied groups and other experiences emerging as parts of the new Human Potential Movement, publishing a report of that adventure in five languages.

Though secure in my advanced academic rank and tenure at the university and happily married with two children, the Human Potential Movement added fire to my personal curiosity and my urge to work for equal human rights for all. I had been an advocate and supporter of demands for Black civil rights and women's rights as well as an antiwar protester. I sensed that we were on the brink of a new movement to demand full civil rights for gay men and lesbians too and I knew that I needed to be a part of that, to finally know and show the truth about my own gay identity.

Gay students had begun to find their way to me at the college and asked me to work with them in individual and group psychotherapy outside the university as private practice patients. My license and my contractual agreement with the university permitted such work but the two jobs in addition to my responsibilities at home took more time than I had. Soon after Stonewall I advised the college that I would be leaving. I returned to the San Francisco Bay area with my family, establishing a clinical private practice in Menlo Park and San Francisco. I made it clear to all that it was my intention to specialize in work with gay men, lesbians, their families and friends.

I have been a writer all of my life, starting in Elementary School, publishing fiction, magazine articles, advice columns and textbooks. Five years into the new private practice I saw that there was still a frustrating dominance of professional and popular misinformation and prejudice about gay people circulating in print. I had learned a lot about myself and other gay people by then. Two inevitabilities were clear. My marriage was not going to survive this change in the course of my life and I would have to write and publish a book telling the truth about gay men and lesbians.

I had been skating on thin ice professionally. Strange as it now seems, I had known through those years that my license as a psychologist in New York and California was in danger because homosexual or gay was equated with the serious charge of moral turpitude. But I also had learned along the way that the best defense is a good offense. I wrote the book and I also wrote articles, spoke at conventions, spoke to civic leaders, marched and, sadly, separated and then divorced.

There have been hurts and scars along the way but no real regrets. At its peak, the devastating AIDS epidemic robbed me of most of my closest dearly loved friends, my gay family. It has changed our world and my world forever. But it has also made us strong.

I continue to write, continue a part-time private practice in my office in San Francisco offering psychotherapy and consultation there as well as by telephone with people elsewhere. I am finishing up work on a book of short stories, half way through writing a book of memoirs, will be writing a quarterly essay in response to e-mails sent to me at this site and am starting to outline a new gay-oriented nonfiction book.

I continue to enjoy close relationships with my daughter and my son. My former wife and I are friends. My domestic partner/ husband of nearly two decades and I share a home in San Francisco. We also share a wish for full civil rights for all people in a more sane and peaceful world. We fully appreciate our life together and we look forward to our tomorrows.

I am a gay man and a fortunate person.



CURRICULUM VITAE

For an overview of my professional credentials, you may view my curriculum vitae by clicking below on HTML (for online viewing only) or PDF (for a printable format). In order to view the PDF version, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader software installed on your computer. To download this free software, click on the Adobe Reader link below.