I fell in love with my ex when I was 19 and she was just turned 17, we went out for a few years, got engaged, moved into a flat together…then onto her parents, by that time we knew we wanted a baby, and had my daughter in 1991. Incidentally, the doctor confirmed the pregnancy on my 21st birthday, and my daughter was born at 21.21 hours. Then we got our own house…..It all happened very quickly after that, we were very very broke, the house and bills cost us our combined income with about £10-15 per week spare. I worked days, She worked evenings, and we saw less and less of each other.
Whilst walking the dog one day, I found that I lived very close to a gay cruising area (I had no idea that these places existed), and started to walk the dog there quite regularly. At that point, I still had no idea that I was gay, I just thought it was handy!
To cut a long (and painful) story short, I met my boyfriend and had to leave my home, and went to live with him. That was about 7 years ago now and we are still very much in love with each other. I get on OK (ish) with my ex, mainly because I hardly see her now, only when I have to…we have grown very much apart since we had first met, and I wonder what I ever saw in her now. I see my daughter (aged 9) whenever I want to, which means every weekend from Friday afternoon ’til Sunday evening, and as we are only 20 mins. drive away from each other its no big problem…. apart from me being constantly working or having my daughter, which can leave me with no time for myself, sometimes it gets a bit hard for her too, as she is at school all week, then here away from her friends and stuff when she has any proper time to do what she wants. So every now and again it does us good to have a break for a weekend, then catch up again the week after. Having said that, I still do get quite upset when I take her back home.
My ex and I bring her up in completely different ways and… well that’s another story, but one that loads of single fathers have no doubt. My daughter knows I am gay, she knows most of my friends too are gay, and she knows that I live with my boyfriend and that we sleep together all the time, not just when she is here, and is ok with it all. I bring her up to see loads of different lifestyles and viewpoints, and the gay one is just one out of any number that I point out and explain at any time. I’d love to have her live here full time, don’t know how it would al come about, but its coming together slowly, she has clothes here and toys and belongings, she isn’t living out of a suitcase any more. Maybe when she goes to secondary school, in between her mum and here, it would then be more realistic to think about that, and she would be old enough to decide for herself . I’m trying to make things easy for that day, if it ever comes. She goes most places with me and has a full social life to say the least when we go off to visit my friends, either here in Chester or in London .
I guess my life is rather easy at the moment, and I do appreciate that, it has not always been so, quite the opposite, and I feel that now I have the chance to give whatever help I can to others who may be having a hard time, I know I would have welcomed it if I had known about all this stuff when I was going through hell.