Category Archives: Testimony


About 20 months ago when my life began to collapse! Just to recap, I was married with 3 sons, now all in their 20’s. I was also a Vicar! Father_and_Son

Looking back I recognise that I must have been gay from before puberty, although I didn’t know what it was in those days. It was the boys I went to school with that I fancied, not the girls who went to the next door school!

But that was in the 1960’s and whilst, for many, it was an era of tolerance and liberty, it certainly didn’t stretch to those of questionable heterosexuality. I sought advice and was told it was a phase I was passing through: get married, have kids, be happy and never tell your wife!

I was married at 22. I loved her and, in so many ways, still do. I did what was required in the bedroom but have to admit that it wasn’t really for me. We had three wonderful sons and I didn’t look at a man for the first 20 years of our marriage. But our Silver Wedding Anniversary was a milestone. I stood there at the party in our garden to celebrate and thought to myself “can I never be me? Have I got to go on pretending for another 25 years?”

It was then that the urge took hold to become the man God created me to be.

A year or so later, I met a guy and experienced a love I never knew existed. I was blissfully happy in his presence – and miserable and as guilty as hell when out of it. I was a married man! How could I do this! Warmth and affection had never been part of my wife’s make-up, but I cannot complain, she was like that when I proposed to her. But I needed warmth and affection, to be loved, cuddled, held etc. The marriage began to crumble around the edges and I started the long slip into depression.

I had lost 6 stones in weight and had made 2 attempts on my life before my wife insisted I tell her what was wrong. I had always vowed that I would never tell her I was gay but if she asked, I would not lie. That day, she asked. I told.

To begin with, she forgave, but forgiving meant ignoring the problem, not addressing it. She insisted I was not gay and that I must never have any gay contact, either in person or on the internet. Her concept of homosexuality is buggery, wearing women’s clothing and little boys. She would never talk about it if I tried to broach the subject. Six months later of trying to go on pretending that I was a happily-married, straight man, I made another attempt on my life. The doctor took over at that stage.

My wife refused to accept that I was gay and insisted that if I did not deny it then we would have to separate. Sadly, that is what we did. The night I gathered my sons together to tell them their parents were separating after 27 years of marriage was the same night I told them I was gay. The next day I rang my parents and gave them the same news. Tough for all of them but if I was going to be honest with myself, the rest of my life started there.

My sons and parents accepted and have been wonderfully supportive. I had already told the man who I had met that I was married and there was no way we could have a relationship so that had ended months before.

So there I was, in a large Vicarage, all by myself but at last being me. Soon after, I was promoted to a significant parish in London and (I hoped) a new life would begin.

After my wife had left me, I had met a guy on in December 1999. We met 3 or 4 times and I thought initially he was a really nice guy but things did not turn out as we would like and I felt it only right to be honest with him. Unfortunately he would not take “no” for an answer and made my life hell for months: silent phone calls at all hours of the night, threatening letters, emails to my sons etc. It all culminated when he started sending anonymous faxes to my Parish Office. Someone in the parish went to the press and the rest is history.

I received no support from the Church in general although the Bishop himself was wonderful. Several members of the parish wanted me to stay but the big guns were out and, after being pursued by the Press for months, I eventually had to resign after spending some time in hospital following a major breakdown. It was a rough time. For a while I had no where to go, the homes of my parents and sons were besieged by the Press and I found myself sleeping in the back of my car in some woods somewhere in order to get some peace. There is a lighter side. One night I felt I had to have a decent night’s sleep and a good clean-up. I checked into a Post House – only for a fire to begin at midnight. So I spent the next four hours shivering in the car park while the Fire Brigade did their thing!

It’s not nice seeing your picture plastered across the dailies and Sundays day after day but, as someone said to me, if you have to have your picture on the front page of a newspaper, what better than The Times! The Mail on Sunday was the worst. They pursued my friends and me at the Family Court, the hospital, etc posing as Customs and Excise, distressed family, Parcel Force deliveries and so on. All this of course delighted the guy in question, for the Church and the Press were achieving what he had sought all along. All for being gay! “The love that dare not speak its name”.

Needless to say, when I resigned, I not only lost my job but my home so for a time I was unemployed and homeless. A friend took me in and he has been marvellous. I was staggered about the size of the mailbag I eventually received. Must have been over 500 letters of support! But it was too late, the damage had been done and my mental health was harmed. The Metropolitan Police were wonderful in all their support at the time. Grossly understaffed, the unit dealing with the harassment and fraud (oh yes, £5,500 was stolen from my credit cards as well!) continue to give me support. In fact, I went on the Gay Police Canal Cruise in September – well more like a booze cruise – but it was great!

Well, there is no secret now that I am gay that’s for sure!

My two youngest sons coped well and, more recently, my eldest son has come back to me. It is wonderful being a Dad again. And they accept that I am gay. My wife (we are still not divorced although she has had a field day with the financial division) keeps the occasional contact. It will be 2 years come 18 December since she left. I have to say I am a lot happier now. OK, so I can have a gin when I want to and go on holiday to where I want to now. The being “home alone” still takes a bit of getting used to but I’m coping.

I miss the Church but still find it difficult to understand the institutionalised homophobia and how some behaved given that quite a few of its clergy are gay.

I’m actually writing a book about my experiences of being a gay priest and church homophobia. Sounds deadly dull but I promise you there are many light moments in it. I’m not going to give everything away; you’ll have to buy it! In the meantime, I am preparing a series of articles for the Gay Times together with the Metropolitan Police Lesbian and Gay Group on homophobia in the Police and Church.

I live alone now. I’d like there to be a man in my life but there isn’t. But I no longer have to pretend and I can be ME for the first time in my life.

I’m 51 and feeling new born!!

Brian’s Story

dad-shoes-and-childI am currently living with my partner. I am  54 and he is 34. We met through “Outintheuk’ over three years ago.

I have known that I was gay from the age of 15.  The next 35 years saw me seeking to satisfy my sexual needs through fantasising, self abuse and visiting pornographic web-sites.  With a Christian background and a “born again” experience in 1972 I felt I had to repress acknowledging my sexual identity and did so for a long time although the sight of good looking males constantly reminded me of where my longings lay.

The Church’s approach to me was that if I was willing to change then I could be helped. Change to me was just going back to repressing what appeared to be my real identity. As a result of my Christian experiences, I am left with a number of issues to resolve relating to eternity but do not feel that I can go back to suppressing my physical and emotional needs as the church has expected me to do.

There was a good deal of pressure from the church for me, a single man, to marry a divorcee with a young child. When I married my ex wife in the early 80’s, I hoped that it would prove that I was not really homosexual but it failed to do that and, as I got older, my need for younger male companionship increased. My ex wife and I had 2 children – A girl and a boy. While the children were young, I had much to focus on but as they moved into teenage-hood and became distant, the “distraction” was no longer there.

“Coming out” to people in the Church, my family and in the office in late 2000 after meeting a guy for a “massage” was a turning point. I spent more and more time on the internet in gay chat rooms and seeking friendships through gay web sites. Following one or two disappointments, I met up with my partner in London on at the end of the millennium. At that first meeting we clicked and I decided there and then that I wanted to embark on a relationship with him. We quickly discovered that we had much in common.

Despite the inevitable breakdown of the marriage, I was keen to minimise the hurt to my ex wife and the children and have sought to be as supportive as I could throughout. We agreed that divorce was the only way as it would leave her free to make a new life if she wanted to. It eventually became impractical for me to stay in the family home in and I moved out to live with my now partner at the end of less than a year after first meeting him.

I am very happy now that I am no longer having to struggle with suppressing my sexuality. I am living with someone who I love very much and who loves me unconditionally in return. We share in a very happy and loving relationship. At last, I feel accepted for who I am.

Over the time since I moved in with my partner, although getting less and less now especially as my family have settled into their new life, I found myself in an emotional turmoil. Whilst I was overwhelmingly in love with him, I still felt in love with my ex wife. Consequently, the last thing I wanted was to cause unnecessary hurt. Had I done the right thing? To get through these times I had to remind myself of the facts that led to my decision even though sometimes the balance between the pros and cons seemed a little blurred.

The loss of friends, uncertainty about the future for two gay men living together with 20 years between them and spiritual issues on top of having a family have all contributed to the confusion.

A financial settlement was agreed and the Decree Absolute arrived on last year.  My ex wife and the children moved the previous year and bought a flat on the proceeds of the sale of the family home. They seem settled there.

I still care for my ex wife and the children. This is why I have been prepared to leave myself with very little financially to ensure they have a home and are provided for. As time has passed, perhaps because of the support I have given, both financial and materially (helping with practical jobs in their new home), our relationship seems to have improved.

My son still lives with his mother and seems distant from me while being very much a “Mummy’s boy”. When I visit, they never mention my partner and I don’t press the point although I hope that one day he will be accepted as part of my life now. My Ex wife thinks of him as the cause of the marriage breakdown even though it was I that made the decision.

My Daughter has left from living with her mother and is living with a boyfriend 20 years older than she. The big thrill for me now is that she has come to accept my partner and I and she and her boyfriend will be meeting him for the first time on her 21st birthday on next month! This is made easier as my partner is happy for me to maintain contact with my children.

I regret the effect of my decisions on my family and wouldn’t have put them through this for the world. Whilst it would have been better for me never to have married, I do not regret having two children who gave me much fulfilment.

My Best Wishes to each of you in your various circumstances.


When I was 13, it was clear that I was attracted to the boys and not the girls. DSCF0013However, there was this one girl that I felt so connected to. It was so deep but didn’t really seem sexual–not like the feelings I had for my buddies. Maybe it could be, though. I couldn’t be gay. The only examples of “gay” were Richard Simmons and Liberace. I wasn’t either. I wanted children. In the 70’s gay men didn’t have children. I hid my sexual feelings, secretly wanting someone just to ask, “are you gay.” They never did– until I was 31, married, and had 2 children, was a successful architect/construction manager, active in church. I had the white picket fence I always wanted. What a weight lifted from my shoulder by that one question, though, and at the same time my life crumbled around me. I spent the next 15 years figuring out how to wade through that reality and what it meant to my life. With 16 years of marriage and some difficult years with feelings of betrayal and bitterness, we divorced.  Once separated, it didn’t take long for us to heal and enjoy once again raising our children and enjoying the love we have for each other. Today, I am a certified life coach reaching out to other teens wading through sexual identification and with men who are hit by their sexual reality daily and can’t quite see through the clutter.

My sexuality has become the blessing intended.


Hi Guys Just a little something about me….. I am 39 and live with my partner (of 2.5 years) here in Chester.Father_w_child_cropped

I first new I was gay or at least very interested in boys when I was about 13yo and regularly experimented with a close friend until we were both about 16. Then my partner moved and that was the end of that. At that time I was scared to experiment further and tried to conform with my mates and chase girls. I had a few relationships, but found something missing. I love female company and my partners over the years were more of a soul mate rather than a lover. Despite my fantasies, I didn’t have another relationship with a guy until about 1992 – when I realised what I was missing, and had a few short-term relationships/encounters.

In 1994 I met my wife, who had two young children 2.5yo and 4yo and was going through a horrendous separation. We fell in love and moved in together. I longed for kids and this situation suited me fine and as time went by, the kids regarded me as their Dad (partly because their mother had alienated them against their natural father, to a frightening extent – another story!). At about that time I realised that I was getting in too deep, i.e. the kids were so attached to me and myself to them, my father (who also adored my wife) had becoming critically ill and I decided to marry my wife in haste, whilst he was still alive.

My dad had always longed to see me wed. I knew it was wrong, even on the day, because in my heart I knew I was gay. But to see my fathers face made it all worth while. I realised it was totally selfish of me, but I did it and just hope things would work out with my wife. I continued with the marriage for 4 years, but met a few guys along the way. In early 1999 I met my partner whilst working overseas, and we fell in love. It was the first time in my life I really felt complete. After continuing the relationship for 6 months (and accumulating an awful lot of air miles), he decided to come to live with me in the UK. I then left my wife and kids and set-up home with my partner.

I haven’t come out to my wife or anyone else for that matter, although she obviously suspects it. Living in the same small town in North Wales proved difficult – rumours, small talk, etc., so to make things easier for my partner, I decided to move to Chester a year ago. The kids love and miss me dearly (as I miss them), especially my youngest (now 9). They come and stay with me every fortnight and try to see them in between as I still work close to them in N. Wales. I have never differentiated between been a step-dad or if I was their natural father. They firmly regard me as their dad and that all that matters to me. Now I have come to that difficult crossroads; do I come out now or delay things further? How do I prepare the kids? What about work? Can I cope with the pressure at the moment? There are so many questions, concerns and fears. Not only for me, but for the kids too. To make matters worse, my wife’s only family – her brother, lost his wife to another woman 3 years ago. His kids, my kids cousins don’t know their mums gay either (they are a similar age). It’s almost comical, movie stuff. So I am concerned how the impact of it all will effect them in time. Anyway, that’s a little bit about me.