Alex

This can only be a snippet of that life as I have lived it now for 65 years this month – though age is, as I’ve said elsewhere, a set of figures defined by prejudice!Santa-Monica-Beach-father-and-child

I am married to my wife (4o yrs July 2002) with 3 grown up kids, and 5 grandkids with another on the way! All know my sexuality – and seek to accept me and allow me to exercise it in a discrete way!

Of course this hasn’t been reached easily – in fact 14 years ago everyone would have said I was hetro; but wife discovers gay mags, shit hits fan, but we are able to deal with that by my agreeing, at her request I must be Bi, and if so, I must be able to swing either way!!

However, two strong and passionate relationships on – and a confession to my wife I loved the guys, made it plain I had strong feelings which had to bear the label gay. And having established that, and told the family, I have lived with the result, which is a growing respect for the women who has travelled this journey with me for so long, and who deserves better, and yet because she loves me, seeks to give me certain freedoms to be gay, which allows me to breath the “air” God (I am a clergyman) created me to breathe, and stay with those who are my children as a father and a friend! That’s my story so far…… and there will be more. for life is never static. However, I have been nourished and nurtured by friends who also appear on this site – and feel certain that will continue as long as we stay open towards one another, and honest to ourselves!

Paul

Just quickly then….. I guess I always found men more attractive than women, but I never thought this made me any different from anyone else.?????

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.

Chris

From an early age l knew l fancied boys rather than girls.  My childhood, like so many others was rough due to divorcing parents and being split from my two brother’s etc and attending approx. 7 different schools in my life.  In fact life with a ‘step-Mother’ was complete hell and with her two daughters it made hell even a hotter place.

????????I was a lonely person in my own little world, very confused about the crushes l had on the same sex, and there was certainly a few.  Again like so many young people there was no one to talk to.  It’s a sad fact that, l found comfort in talking, shouting and screaming to an electricity pylon along the main road to Braintree.  Each time l ran away to my Mothers l would expel my feelings and anger to this pylon, that replied in its own ‘buzzing,crackling way’, even now when l drive past it, l quietly thank it for listening.

To cut it short, l was placed in care at the age of 14yrs old, mainly due to no one being able to except that this human being was going though hell because he needed help regarding his sexuality, and because there had been a homosexual episode in my life.

So there l was placed in this residential unit, with this Doctor putting me on Valium and sleeping tablets, and at each session with him he would try to get me to admit that being gay was wrong, sick and evil.  Only one adult in my life at that time would give the time to talk about my feeling, and would listen and make valid comments without being judgmental, that guy was a social worker who l owe so much to.  When l told him l had a massive crush on this lad called Ian at the unit, he went out of his way to see if Ian had the same feeling. Alas he didn’t but Ian became a good friend, even though he knew l loved him.  These are two people in my life who l would love to meet again and shake them by the hand.

I was placed in Foster Care, and during that time l had a couple of the usual experimental experiences with lads of my age, but these led to nothing.  The Foster Carers was the sort only fostering for the money, so there was no talk about my history of sexual confusion, gayness, what ever you would like to call it.

My life was to change at about 16yrs old when l met this guy, and a relationship developed.  Suddenly l was getting the love, attention that l craved for. It was a learning curve that l enjoyed in my life, however it had its complications for both of us, such as it had to remain a secret (so we thought) and at times it was hard. The relationship lasted about two years before we parted and went our own separate ways.

To this day l treasure that time we had together and l thank that guy for the love he showed me.

What happened to me? Well l done the usual thing and got married to provide a smoke screen about my sexuality.  I didn’t have the confidence to live the gay life, in fact l never knew any other gay guys, so there l was getting married and setting up home.  Hating the heterosexual sex life it felt disgusting and wrong.

So here l am married with two children aged Six and Two years old, we have been together for 16 years and married for 11 of them years.  Do l love my wife?, if a strange way l do, I feel its more like a Brother & Sister relationship, we both agree that our relationship is a strange one, but we are both happy.

From the beginning Heterosexual sex to me was dirty, and pretty much non-existent on my side of things, much to the frustration of my wife, in fact my wife was the first female l had sex with, and l was 18yrs old when we met.  It must be said at this stage, my wife was not aware of my sexuality and past, well so l thought!

Life for us them years ago was pretty much had its ups and down’s, mainly as l feel that not only did we live together in a run-down bed-sit, but we also worked together.  This lead to us splitting up on many occasions, this was before we was married l must add.

It was after my Daughter was born six years ago, that my sexuality came into question by my wife, this was during the regular heart to heart chats that we still have today.

I can’t remember how it come up, but my wife suddenly mentioned that during a time that she stayed with a friend of ours on one of the many occasion’s that we spilt up, this friend had told her about the two year relationship l had with this guy!  I can still remember the feeling that went through my body at that time, it felt that every internal organ and blood had left my body.

With this l felt that l couldn’t lie to her, and l admitted that yes l did have a relationship with a guy, and went on to tell her that l am gay.  As you can imagine I was waiting for her to explode in a fit of rage and tell me to pack my stuff and go, but imagine my shock that she didn’t do this.

We spent all night talking about this, with her asking questions upon questions, we must have gone through about 40 cigarettes each, good job we don’t drink, otherwise we would have been smashed as well.

The short of it was that my wife was willing to except my sexuality, and she even went further to say that she would support me with regard to this.  She thanked me for being truthful, and expressed that now she was aware why our sex life was so poor.

I was able to explain that l need to express my sexuality, as keeping it hidden for so long was draining emotionally.  Nowadays I no longer have to hide the videos or the magazines etc. in fact going shopping together is a laugh as she would point the guys that l would find cute.  My wife has also enjoyed the educational side of this issue, i.e.. Learning more about homosexuality than she did before.

So where am I regarding gay relationships? Nowhere is the answer, that side of it is difficult, mainly its down to my lack of confidence, the not going to places to meet other gay guys etc.  Also it’s a case of me being scared that a guy would not be able to cope with a relationship of which l have to keep it hidden, as there are concerns from my wife that the family is not to no about my sexuality.  It must be said that most of the family, both sides are Homophobic.

My wife’s only other request is that if l was to meet a guy, and she is encouraging me to do so, is that she would not want to meet that guy.  I find her requests reasonable, seeing as l am being able to be myself a lot more by being open to my wife.  Of course it does go through my mind that her attitude may change if l was to find a relationship, but that is something that we will have to wait and see what happens.

Having not had a gay relationship for so many years, a feel scared, unsure if a guy would be interested in me, especially as l am more interested in guys younger than myself.  How l just long to feel that contact with a another guy, I feel its not just sex, its about the cuddles the chat, and that someone care for me.  I think the best way l can explain it really, is how l explained it about my first relationship many years ago. I just long for a guy to caress me, as you can imagine my fantasises are wild at times.

Just to explain something else…………I am unable to be myself at work sexually, as l am a Social Worker and some of  my client group are young people of who’s culture is totally not accepting of Homosexuality in any form, in fact in their home country people are killed for being gay.  You may be thinking that what has my sexuality got to do with these young people, and how would they know.  If you are not aware, when you work with children in care as their social worker, nothing is secret and this can be down to those homophobic two-faced colleagues of whom are only to happy to cause trouble for you.

As for me l do the job so that l can assist that young person through this stage of their sometimes very difficult life, l would hate to think that a young person would not accept my help just because lm gay.

Well that’s about it, lm off to seek help now, as reading through this l realised that l perhaps need it? In fact l wasn’t going to upload this, but l would be interested if there are another guys who can relate to any part of it.

Thanks for taking the time to read this long story

William

I’ve just turned 38.
I live in West London/Middlesexfather_child

This is how I became to be a gay father:

In the Summer of 1985 I was in the USA at a Quaker gathering (I am a Quaker- a member of the Religious Society of Friends), when I realised that I was gay. I wrote to a close friend, asking her to pray for me, whilst not telling her of what I was realising about myself. I came back to Britain, came out to her and then within a week we were going out.

This means that as a chat up line “Hello, I’m gay” has worked very well for me on women 😉 . We got married in 1988, and came to a crunch point in 1991, when it was clear that I wasn’t coping with suppressing my gay-self. This was a very difficult time for us both. Fortunately, we found many compassionate Friends who were able to help each of us through some very dark times and helped us to discover what we have in common. We did not want to split up, and can both imagine being old together (Although I am finding this harder to imagine at the moment). We had to re-evaluate our wedding promises. We found this re-evaluation hard going. Yet we were able to see that to be faithful to each other we had to let each other go, by doing this we discovered the depth of our love and friendship for each other.

We released each other to find additional partners if that was what we wanted or needed, and it was important to us that we were both free to be able to do so. We agreed that I could explore my gay side so long as she was as free to find a male lover should she so wish. (She has done so – and has a relationship with someone who had been an “old flame”.)

I went to some gay groups in London in 1991 I found them quite hard going. Many men there were quite clearly surprised or nonplussed by my situation, particularly when I said that we were not planning to separate. Happily no one was hostile.

After a couple of months I was talking to someone at a Quaker event, who upon learning of my situation told me that there was a friend of hers, whom I just HAD to meet. I did, and discovered that he lived just a mile away from me and was in a similar situation, living with his long-term female partner. He and I found that we understood where the other was coming from, hit it off, and started, cautiously at first, to forge a relationship. Just over ten years later we are still together, still living with our respective “other-thirds”, and I am a father.

We recognise that if any of the relationships is under pressure, all of them may suffer.

Unfortunately for me, in the Summer of 1999 my wife found an extra man, and had a relationship with him – which has since finished. This led to many difficulties for me and has really upset the equilibrium that she and I had. This extra relationship showed just how many of our friends when it came to the crunch, were not willing to offer me the support I needed. (None of our mutual friends to whom my wife told her news came up to me to acknowledge that they knew about her extra relationship). I went through a very bad and difficult time in the Autumn of 1999, and had stress pains for just under a year because of this, and even now, two years on I find that I often feel stress pains. I now find that I am much more confident in my sexuality, but find that I distrust many mutual friends in whom I used to confide. I am finding that our relationship is far more tenuous than it used to be, and I am far more likely to become angry – our daughter is suffering because of this.

My wife and I had a daughter in 1993. We three live together, but two months ago my wife and I moved into separate bedrooms – our house is big enough that we both have decent sized bedrooms. I have yet to formally come out to our daughter, although she knows and likes both her parent’s “other-thirds”. She has seen both my wife and I in bed with our partners, so she knows that we sleep with them, it just seems that she hasn’t had the word “gay” put into her mind in respect to me.

There was a plan for me to come out to my daughter in Autumn 1999, but then my father-in-law visited us, and told us that he was going to start living as a women. Rachael took that very well, but we felt that she needed some time getting used to a transgendered grandparent before being given a gay father to get used to too! My parents-in-law separated just before I got to know them, and I have now come out to both of them. Both have been very accepting, although I have not had the courage to come out to my own family.

I have received much support from other Quakers – mainly, but not just, ones who are lesbian, gay or bisexual. Happily unlike some of the other stories I’ve read I have no theological problems with being gay.

There is of course a lot I have not said about myself – such as I have a sense of humour which is shared by some (and despaired of by others), and do normally try to look on the bright side of life: that has been challenged by events over the past two years.