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Secrets of the Closet

It’s no secret that many people in the LGBTQ community have felt they had to keep their sexual orientation and gender identity hidden for years, partly because of discrimination, and partly because of internalized shame. Dive deep into three stories to understand the true cost of those secrets, psychologically, personally, societally — and the relief when they are revealed.

Margo Anderson in New York.
Megan Arina
Margo Anderson in New York.

We meet:

Margo Anderson, a transgender woman and science writer in western Massachusetts who transitioned in her early 50s, after keeping her identity a secret even from herself.

Bill Hudson, a gay man who grew up Catholic and later led a religious school in Minnesota, while hiding his same-sex relationship and children for years — until it all exploded in public.

Dr. Abbie Goldberg, a psychology professor at Clark University who grew up in the 1980s with a single mom who was gay but never talked about it. She now researches secrets among LGBTQ and adoptive families.

Tanisha Arena and Nicole Young Martin, two queer Black women and community leaders who talk about confronting society’s prejudices and refusing to live in secrecy — albeit at a cost.

The Secrets We Keep is written/produced/hosted by Karen Brown, edited by Sam Hudzik, with music by Katie Semro.

Karen Brown is a radio and print journalist who focuses on health care, mental health, children’s issues, and other topics about the human condition. She has been a full-time radio reporter for NEPM since 1998.