I have noticed recently how popular it is for men to wear bracelets and bangles and ties and braids on their wrists and forearms.

When I was about 15 years old I bought myself a bracelet, most likely on a trip to the seaside.

It was a silver plated chain with a plate on which I had my name engraved and I wore it loose at the bottom of my wrist with the name-plate resting on my hand.

I was too scared to wear it at school, I would have stood out and brought upon myself unwanted attention of the bullying kind, but I wore it at home knowing that my father thought it was the sign of a “sissy” to wear it.

I think that bracelet was my own little rebellion, my own attempt to communicate to the world feelings which, at that time, I did not understand.

I suspect that my mother told my father to remain silent on the issue and that it was a phase which I would grow out of.

A year or two later, I met a girl and I stopped wearing my bracelet, not because I wanted to suppress my own truth, but because I suppose I had no need to act rebelliously as I moved into manhood.

My slow awakening to the fullness of my sexual identity has its origins in the period in which I wore that bracelet.

I recognise that I was trying to communicate something – not because the wearing of a bracelet makes you gay, of course it doesn’t, but because of the emotional intent which I felt in wearing it.

I was trying to communicate a truth which would take me over fifteen years to understand and thirty years to put into words to those whom I love.

It is my deep-held hope that my blog will reach one person in the world who like me has suppressed their truth for too long, in the hope that they will be inspired to find the courage to choose freedom over fear, to choose community over isolation, to choose a life lived in the present.

My next blog will be: Being Grounded

William Defoe




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