Oceanside Man's Coming Out Story Highlighted On PBS' 'We'll Meet Again'
When Tom DiCioccio told his high school friend Marla Epstein he was gay in 1969, he was nervous she and others from his small Connecticut town would reject him.
“Back then, you simply did not talk about it to anyone,” he said. “Marla was just matter of fact about it. ‘So what?’”
Epstein’s acceptance and love helped DiCioccio avoid electroshock conversion therapy. But DiCioccio quickly lost touch with Epstein and only saw her once again the last 50 years.
DiCioccio, who now lives in Oceanside, is one of the subjects of the latest episode of the PBS’ documentary series “We’ll Meet Again.” The show, hosted by Ann Curry, reconnects people who had brief but powerful interactions early in their lives. DiCioccio said he wanted to find Epstein again and tell her how much of his success he owed to her friendship.
“I don’t want this to be another tragic homosexual story. I have a great life,” DiCioccio said. “That’s why I wanted to get ahold of Marla. That was the turnaround. That was the start of my life.”
“We’ll Meet Again” airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. on KPBS-TV. DiCioccio joins KPBS Midday Edition with more on what it was like to search for and eventually meet Epstein again.