It’s hard to believe that I’ve been single for a year since the breakdown of my marriage. Time does fly, but, the wounds and separation of any long-term relationship often take that much longer to heal. I’m glad, though, I’m on the mend.
I was out and about in London recently with my dear American friend Alice, when we met a guy who was visiting the capital for the Christmas period. He was everything you see in all those glossy magazines: handsome, smart and a body to match.
The three of us sat having a drink, when it became obvious to us all that ‘something’ was strange.
The next thing, Alice makes a light-hearted comment under her breath that ‘she’s off’ as she felt like the “third wheel”. As well as being beautiful, she is highly intelligent. She realised before I had time to click that the handsome straight guy was more interested in me than her – and that (I think I quote rightly), “there were sparks everywhere”.
I just assumed I was a man, who is attractive to other men, appreciating a man. I was a bit wrong.
The guy, who only Alice knows his identity of, told me he was heterosexual but there was something about me he liked. He said I was beautiful. I was like, where’s Julia Roberts when you need her?
We talked for some time, and it was clear there was a connection between him and me.
Something I last experienced a long time ago. To me, he was straight in every sense of the word. With those girls we saw around him flustered, admiring his model looks.
Anyway, he asked me what I thought about ‘Open Relationships”. I know of many in them, but for me personally, they are not my thing. I say this because the guy was clear he “liked’ me and that for him, too, it was strange – me, being a guy. The point being, he still wanted to see girls.
After a deep and meaningful conversation, he told me that he probably is bisexual.
After speaking, I was catching up with Alice and told her what the guy had said to me and in particular “what would you do?” … if say, a woman wanted to be with her, but didn’t want to give up men. She was her usual wise self, in her advice to me.
But, what did stick in my head was this.
A gay guy accepting the fact that a man might still like women is one thing, but, hiding that guy (say, me) through still keeping up appearances is another. You have to be a strong person to accept this.
I’m old enough and wise enough myself to know what Alice said made sense and was what I knew to be the right in my gut. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you are, no one wants to be hidden – as if to be some dirty secret. Despite, how sexy he or she may be. Unless of course, you’re okay with this.
I guess, I know I’m too old now to be repeating some of the experiences I have had in the past.
In two of the three long-term and serious relationships I’ve had, I was already “out” as a gay man, whilst two of the partners I was with “came out” to their family and friends whilst with me.
I, too, dated a guy at university when I was “coming out”, who wanted to keep up the appearance of being straight whilst dealing with his own sexuality. This, too, is okay of course, but it hurt me seeing him with girls during it.
Since the beginning of this year, I’ve met a few guys through mutual friends and so forth, who overall have been younger than me (I’m old now) and have questioned their sexuality. I’ve come to realise that, because in the main I would say I’m a laid-back sort of person who is comfortable with his own skin and sexuality, this probably projects onto others.
Some have made it known to me that they would feel “safe” coming out whilst with me. I guess, we all have different qualities. One of mine appears to be helping guys to come out.
Of course I am happy to help any person discover his or her true self whoever this may be. But, I have to make sure that I don’t hurt myself during the process. It would be so easy for me to like the straight guy and see how it goes, but, sometimes you just have to follow your gut and listen to the warning signs: that it’ll just end in tears.
One day, I want to meet a guy who is comfortable with who and what he is and wouldn’t feel the need to “hide” me so that others do not judge him. It doesn’t help, too, that he is in the public arena. Even in these modern times, it could be the death of his career.
In the advocate work I do with regards to equality, I strive not to make my challenge for social justice personal. I sued Scotland Yard in the courts because it was breaching my privacy to The Sun newspaper,.
In my writing and other work, I am striving for institutions to change for the better, not necessarily the people.
Despite the many Metropolitan Police Officers who have been found guilty by the courts whilst I served as a Police Detective for being racist and/or homophobic towards me, nowhere in my blog or elsewhere do I name these people or attack them.
I’m challenging the Commissioner of the Police because he leads the institution.
Leadership as I often say, is top down, not bottom up.
I believe people can learn from the examples their seniors set. The seniors like the Police Commissioner will only change things for the better, when he (in my cases) is forced to do so by the courts.
2013 has been one of those “annus horribilis” for me, but, I’ve learned another year of things about myself I didn’t know a year ago. These, no doubt, will keep me in good stead, making me a stronger and wiser man as I continue to learn and develop as a person.
Here’s to a peaceful and happy 2014.