Beautiful Men

Five years ago, a few weeks after I had told my wife of 25 years that I was gay, and just before Christmas, I was walking down a busy street in a nearby city, when I overheard someone say to her friend “he looks gay”

I wrote a post about the impact which her comments had on me at the time, which essentially had an inner liberating effect on me, because I was able for the first time, to say to myself, “yes I am gay, and thank you for noticing”

In the intervening years, I have been supported by my coach on my journey to know and love self, including the previously exiled parts of me, which being fundamental to my identity, I had previously neglected and worse still, rejected.

In recent times, having developed a much fuller understanding and acceptance of self, I have looked for ways in which to find expression for my sexuality whilst remaining faithful to the vows I made to my wife, which I dearly want to keep.

It became clear to me, that I needed to find some way of connecting myself to the community to which I rightfully belong, but to do so in a safe space which would not compromise my integrity within my marriage.

Late last month, my coach arranged for me to travel to London to meet a young gay married couple in London.

My aspiration was to be seen, not in a casual and perhaps unkind way, as had been the case in my local city five years ago, but in an intellectual exchange which would enable me to express to representatives of the gay community, that I was a part of them, and that I sensed a need to be seen and acknowledged by them as gay.

To experience direct eye contact with gay men, who knew that I was gay, was a deeply profound and liberating experience for me, the magic of which will work within me, perhaps for the rest of my life.

The openness to discussion of my history, their histories and our respective journeys as members of the gay community  was enlightening and life-affirming to my searching soul.

It is my express wish to stay faithful to my wife whom I love, but the encounter with these beautiful men, has provoked within me, and within my marriage a dialogue, which I hope will develop and grow so that my gay sexuality is normalized within my heterosexual marriage.

The last sentence above seems ludicrous, but for me, it is an achievable and desirable aspiration so long as we are happy and fulfilled in as many ways as we can be which gives honour to our love and our commitment to each other and make each other happy.

I have sensed a shift, since my meeting with these beautiful men, for the difficult work of opening up to the reality of my gay sexuality, and how it can be expressed within my marriage through discussion; acknowledgement; humour; literature; filmography and my writing, so that my sense of isolation and my wife’s fear of what she perhaps misunderstands can be overcome.

There is a growing sense within me, since my meeting with these beautiful men of what I think of, as the possibilities of my situation, and these are very wide ranging and may mean that ultimately my life may have to take a different path, to the one on which I am currently embarked.

I sense within me a need to be open to the possibilities, to be open to the challenges, to be open to the truth, which the act of being seen by these beautiful, generous men has brought to my life.

My next blog will be: God’s Own Country

William Defoe


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