Colonel Edward Ryan, 85, Makes Headlines by Coming Out as Gay in Viral Obituary

Colonel Edward Thomas Ryan, a decorated veteran and retired firefighter, died in Rensselaer, New York. His obituary, published by the Albany Times Union on June 8, 2024, revealed a personal secret he had kept for decades.

The Revelation

Colonel Ryan revealed he was gay his whole life. This included his military service and retirement. He met a man in North Greenbush, New York, who was his partner for 25 years. However, he kept his sexuality a secret.

Love and Loss

Colonel Ryan shared that his partner tragically passed away in 1994 due to complications from a medical procedure. He expressed his wish to be buried beside him, symbolizing their enduring bond even in death.

Reasons for Secrecy

In his obituary, Ryan honestly shared that fear of rejection and ostracization kept him from coming out as gay. He regretted not being brave enough to share his truth earlier. This was because he worried about his family, friends, and colleagues’ reactions.

Response and Support

After his obituary was published, 150 people sent condolences. Many admired Ryan’s bravery in sharing his truth after death. They also sent heartfelt sympathy messages to honor his legacy of service and love.

Legacy and Reflection

Colonel Edward Thomas Ryan’s obituary is a powerful reminder of the challenges LGBTQ+ individuals face. His story is a testament to resilience and the quest for acceptance and love.


Colonel Edward Thomas Ryan’s obituary highlights his bravery in living authentically against societal barriers. His legacy will inspire compassion, understanding, and acceptance for generations.

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