Dan J. Bradley, outgoing president of the Legal Services Corp., completed 2 1/2 tumultuous years on the job yesterday with an unusual disclosure: he has told friends and colleagues that he is a homosexual.

Bradley, 42, was en route to California and unavailable for comment yesterday, but friends confirmed the substance of an interview he gave The New York Times in which he described the ordeal of being a closet homosexual while serving on various public payrolls for the past 15 years.

They also confirmed that in the past week they had received letters from Bradley containing the revelation.

"Until I finally came to grips with my sexuality about a year ago, and made up my mind to come out of the closet when I left this job, I lived almost every day in sheer, unmitigated fear," Bradley said in the interview. "The fear that you're going to be discovered is always there, gnawing inside you, every time you enter a gay bar or slip off to another city for a gay party."

Bradley said he has homosexual friends among members of Congress, White House and congressional aides and bureaucrats throughout the federal government. Although federal law provides broad protections for homosexuals in the job force except some in the military and intelligence fields, Bradley said that many homosexuals he knows choose the "terrible agony" of leading a double life.