Well, I guess that I should more or less at the beginning – I was born and a few days later Hitler committed suicide – so I imagine that I was the final straw! Yes, it was 1945, so no prizes for working out my age.
I was brought up in the West Country and went to boarding school, in Dorset. At the age of 12 or thereabouts, I used to play around (innocently) with my friends (as they did) but there was a big difference. I realised that I fancied another boy. I don’t think that I knew how I fancied him, but he appeared in my dreams, and it felt wonderful. Paradoxically though, I did not do a lot and even in my mid to late teens, with another boy, I only had very limited homosexual experience. Legally it was wrong to do such things and anyway, I had been taught that homosexuality tendencies were a temporary thing, most people growing out of them with time!
I did share a flat with a guy, with whom I had some experience – talking to him many years later, he admitted to me that he was straight but hadn’t realised it until he had discovered women! I suspect that I loved him in a way but his remoteness during our time together discouraged me from getting too close. From the age 22 until my early 50s I never had another homosexual experience, but the feelings were always with me.
During my 20s, I used to date girls – it was important to be seen as “normal” and I suppose that I was always hoping that I would turn “straight”. I met a girl when I was about 29 and got engaged to her – she was my first sexual experience with a woman, and I remember going home afterwards thrilled that I was now “normal”. But all the time and in later years, the memories of my few homosexual experiences and the yearning to repeat them never went away.
I met my wife when I was 31 and we married a year later. She is and always was a wonderful woman and is still my best friend. We have two sons of whom I am very very proud, even though on occasions they have been a trial to us, as children always are. But to see them growing up in a normal home with fairly relaxed parents as we are has been very rewarding.
But by the time I was 51, a number of things happened. My mother died. My brother died. I was nearly made redundant and was spending a lot of time away from home.
I believe that these were the triggers to my reverting to homosexuality. It had always been there, but the events of the past year or two had made me realise that my life was for real, not just a dress rehearsal. I decided that I should at least look out some gay pictures, stories etc on the internet. I was “gay curious”. One thing led to another and about 4 years ago, I had my first gay date, strangely enough with a couple of guys in partnership (who were in the process of breaking up). This was my first true homosexual experience and it was wonderful. I realised that although I felt guilty towards my wife and family (who knew nothing of this), it was something that I needed to make a complete person. I never looked back, and just like a small child in a sweet shop who had been told that he could have as much as he liked, that is just what I did. In the first year, I must have met 30 or 40 guys. I am not proud of this.
As this happened, although I had always played it safe, I realised that I was putting my wife at risk. So I made an appointment to go to a GUM clinic anonymously and get tested for all STDs. I was clean and made up my mind that I must talk with my wife.
I won’t go into the details here, but suffice it to say, it was earth shattering for her, and like a weight off my shoulders for me. But we had a long way to go as our marriage was virtually on the rocks, only our deep routed friendship keeping it together.
At about the same time, I met my first true boyfriend, in Birmingham. And I fell in love with him, deeply. He was Mr Wonderful, warts and all. We had a relationship for 6 months before it broke up but I still have a love for him, even though he has been out of my life for three years. The feelings I had for him have never really gone away.
My wife was aware of this and we had to get things sorted. I did not want to leave home or to break up the family, and I think, although it was an intense period on the “roller coaster”, when my boyfriend broke up with me, that was what saved our marriage.
Subsequently while in Manchester I met my current boyfriend who is a really lovely, patient guy. My wife knows about him too but somehow he is less of a threat to our marriage. I have always worried about him as being in a relationship with a married guy is no good really, but he seems to live with it (for the time being anyway).
Meanwhile, my children have grown up, one has been through university and the other is just starting. We enjoy not too bad a family life and the intent is to keep the marriage going as long as we can. I can’t imagine not being with my wife and she with me.
I am always happy to chat about things with anyone who wants to talk, compare notes.