Sunday, 15 November 2015

Out

Years ago, I briefly moved into a boyfrriend's apartment when I was "in  between"  houses. It was only for two weeks and it was a surprise favour.
The whole situation proved to be the beginning of the end for that relationship for the day I moved in, I was told that his phone number had been changed. 
My boyfriend was deeply in the closet and the number change was a practical step to keep one life from dovetailing into the other.
At the time ,,I accepted such behaviour, though instinctively I knew it to be wrong. To be made to feel like,a second class citizen by the person who you think you have a wonderful relationship with is a no no....for you AND for them. 
I can understand it ( well I could,then) but it kind of set the relationship's  bar, incredibly low , if you see what I mean.
I finally finished that relationship after being denied publicly by the same boyfriend a year or so later and I Walked away, upset, but with my head held high. 
It sounds melodramatic now, but I remember thinking then that no other person or situation would ever make me feel ashamed of what I was again ( yes a true Scarlett O'Hara moment)....
And they never did .
Of course, I have had to face the odd homophobic situation, one from someone quite close to me, but with a bit of patience and fairly good humour , that resolved itself with time. 
People DO change with the times
and the times are a changing.....as the song goes.
The Prof and I were lucky....we came out just as it was more  socially acceptable  to do so, but  has to be said that our path to acceptance has not always been a smooth one..
Oh for the day that comes when no eyebrows are raised when a partner is brought home
I'm an optimist
It's not far away

Hey ho x



77 comments:

  1. A friend is going through that now, his existence being denied to his partner's family, including his children. Not sure where it will go. That both of you in a small Welsh village married and lead an open life is quite significant.

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    1. No complications of children here andrew

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  2. When I first moved to France in 1972 my next door neighbours were a pair of ex-Parisian lesbians. I'm pleased to say that no-one lifted even the tiniest eyebrow. They were totally charming.

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  3. You're very reflective today John. Time to think whilst recuperating?

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    1. Just listened to a popular sunday romancing radio show... Nice to hear so many gay relationship hellis on it..hence the blog entry

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  4. You are right John. Attitudes are changing. In my local pub, two gay men are regulars. Nobody bats an eyelid because it simply does not matter...but go back twenty five years and they would have been hiding who they really are.

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    1. You are near psalter lane YP very cosmo!

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  5. Amen to that...x

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  6. Yes times are a changing but our son still has friends who have been told by their parents not to tell anyone they are gay and some have even been thrown out of their homes. I was talking to my son and his partner about this yesterday, they have opened their home to many young people who cannot be themselves anywhere else. They give them a place where they feel accepted. They have taken them in, helped them sort out benefits etc. and helped them move on to new lives.

    It is so sad when parents are more concerned about what other people think, see it as a reflection on themselves than accepting their children for who they are.

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  7. Hi John, my nephew J came out as gay when he was 18. He's in Denmark so potentially slightly easier there. None of us could give a damn because we love him even if he was green with red stripes. My sister decided that we should tell my then nearly-90-year-old mom, so preparing herself she said "Mom, I just thought that you should know but J is gay". To which my mom replied "Oh, I thought it was T"! To say T was not well pleased was an understatement.

    On a similar note, I lived for 5 years with a Muslim whose family was originally from Algeria, but born in France. His mother totally accepted me but his father who had been imprisoned for fighting for the Algerians hated me. As far as he was concerned if I wasn't an North African muslim I must be an American Jew! Go figure, I am neither. My then boyfriend asked me to marry him but I knew it wasn't right (not because of religion) and said no. I'm pleased to say that 35 years later we are still good friends. He did indeed marry a muslim woman (and his dad hated her too .... for many years until he softened).

    Again, on another note, my gran had a large house in Betws-y-Coed and during the war had American soldiers billeted on her. She hated the Americans because "they ave far too much money", but then she hated the English (my dad) - I think she just hated everyone. Prejudice eh!

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    1. That reads lke your more than average page turner

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    2. Well as someone else said, haters gotta hate - and I really believe it is because they feel somehow inadequate that it's easier to hate than to change. Cheers. Anna

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    3. I enjoyed your comment, Treaders because I have been thinking on this subject for quite a long time now. I agree that the haters do feel inadequate, but more than that I think they are afraid. I think that some people are afraid of being painted with the same brush if they are tolerant - and that possibililty of being rejected by their peers is one of their greatest fears. I think also, some people feel a lack of control (I am thinking of a couple of specific individuals in my life) because society, or the world, is not caring about the "right" way to do things - and what is worse, no one cares about their disapproval. They are realizing that they are essentially powerless to make things go their own way. This lack of their control (or their inadequacy, as you state) is frightening to them. These are all just my own observations - I'm no kind of expert or anything.

      Annette

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    4. I enjoyed your comment, Treaders because I have been thinking on this subject for quite a long time now. I agree that the haters do feel inadequate, but more than that I think they are afraid. I think that some people are afraid of being painted with the same brush if they are tolerant - and that possibililty of being rejected by their peers is one of their greatest fears. I think also, some people feel a lack of control (I am thinking of a couple of specific individuals in my life) because society, or the world, is not caring about the "right" way to do things - and what is worse, no one cares about their disapproval. They are realizing that they are essentially powerless to make things go their own way. This lack of their control (or their inadequacy, as you state) is frightening to them. These are all just my own observations - I'm no kind of expert or anything.

      Annette

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  8. It is sad when anyone has to conceal an honest aspect of their being.
    also self destructive.

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    1. There is no real positive about any of it x

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  9. There is a song lyric, "Haters gonna hate". the more I think about it, it is so true. Some people just have to have someone or some group(s) to hate. The more I think about the haters in my life, the more I realize what sad people they are and usually hate something about themselves. Not to get all psychological but I think the term is transference.

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  10. I am a good deal older than you and can remember the fear of being found out at work. I was always out to my friends. The one time I lived with someone (also a prof. and it would have been the end of his job to have been outed) we had a two bedroom apt. and kept up the pretense that our den was Roberts bedroom.
    Now I just assume everyone knows and doesn't care It is a much better time.
    Petet

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    1. Yes.....even a few years can change the entire climate of gay out or gay/ in so to speak.....

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  11. it's going to take several generations for the h8 to die out over here, I'm afraid. h8 against black people, gay people, hispanic people is pushed constantly by the right-wing religious crazies (mostly white). whatever happened to "love your neighbor as yourself"?

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    1. Am
      Things changed quickly in the UK...HOPEFULLY you yanks will follow our example eh? X

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    2. I don't see things changing for another 50 years, until all the baby boomers die out.

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  12. I was so lucky to be brought up in a lovely hard working, working class family who taught us all that there are 'nice people' and 'people who are not so nice' and that had nothing whatever to do with peoples' nationality, skin colour or sexuality. My father's family had been immigrants in the mid 19th century who came to England looking for a better life and fleeing persecution. My mother's family had been here forever (well as far back as the early 1500's in any event as we have the records). Both parents taught us to treat people as individuals and judge them on their own merits. I'm happy that this appreciation of 'good people' has continued in our family to the following generations. Live and let live and vive la difference!

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    1. And your parents left you more riches than jewelry VC X

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  13. Hello John!
    Nothing to do with today's post, but Radio Four's Food Programme have dedicated the entire programme to........ THE SCOTCH EGG!!!

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  14. Getting married was the ultimate form or self outing. When my sister told my middle brother she was coming to our wedding, he said, "I wondered if David was gay." 23 years and he was still wondering?

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    1. Did he acknowledge your wedding david?

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  15. it is happening and about time to. my niece is a raging dyke but my sister still describes her as being athletic.

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    1. Or as we say in the uk
      " Bonney"

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  16. Before I lived in NYC , I lived in SF. My friends were varied and in my opinion, fabulous .. straight and gay. Then I moved to NYC. I met my husband. I met his friends. Sy, the most beautiful drag queen I ever met .. Richard, or as my children grew to know him as Auntie Richard .. and the rest of the crew.
    Those men were the best godmothers my children could ask for, the kindest people I ever met, the funniest and most sympathetic.
    In those days .. all of my friends were gay .. . Lucky me ..
    They were the first people my children knew as they became "people" and thanks to them ( and their dad and I) both of my children have totally open minds to everyone.

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    1. Ysounds like a fabulous episode of Tales of the city!

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    2. Complete with music .. they always invited us to their drag shows on Fire Island lol

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  17. It's sad to be denied for who you are...it's sadder to deny yourself.

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  18. I do so hope you are right John - if only for my Grand-daughter/son's sake.
    I have gay friends and they told me that they have never experienced any form of prejudice - mind you they did live in Brighton for many years, but they now lively happily in the Lake District.

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  19. Several dear people in my life are gay. One of them says I have gaydar. One day, appropos of nothing, he said he was gay.I said "I know." I recieved the best hug of my life! The point is, people are. That simple, everyone "is," just get on with living.

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    1. Jo " gaydar" noragon
      A star

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  20. I think it's happening here in the states. When reading about politicks here, you might see 'red and blue'. Depending on where you live of course, it's more accepting or less. Here, we use the term "red states" and "blue states" for political leanings, with Red-Republican, Blue-Democrat. So generally speaking red is conservative and blue is liberal. Things are indeed changing, it will take more of us showing that it's nothing out of the ordinary. We still have a way to go. There's a great book out called "It's Not Over" and it talks about even though we have marriage equality, there is still much left to do.

    In a majority of the country, Gay people can now get married on Saturday and fired from their jobs because of it on Monday.

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    1. RAMEN, bro! this is why we need out guvmint to pass ENDA (employment non-discrimination act) nationwide.

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    2. Thats why i love the UK
      Fire someone because they got married and big shi hits the fan

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  21. I have no idea why but I have never felt in my core as if there were anything at all wrong with homosexuality. I remember one of my best friends in high school coming out to me and I already knew he was gay. "I'm in love with Doug!" he told me. "Oh honey," I said. "We're all in love with Doug." But could I have imagined in my lifetime that it would be legal for a man to marry a man, a woman a woman? Probably not. But here we are and people like you and your husband are helping to make it be as normal as cake.

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    1. And it IS normal as cake xx

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  22. Ms Moon, your parents must have had something to do with that. Young children get so many "clues" from their parents.
    Mine were exposed to Aunt Richard and Auntie Sy when they were babies .. my daughter wanted to wear a crown like Sy did ( Sy was an actor) .. start them young .. keep their little minds open.

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  23. It's hard for me to word this ...
    I hate labels.
    How long will it take for a wife to tell her husband about being invited over to the new neighbor's for dinner. "I met the new guy next door, he has invited us to dinner. His husband is an electrician, maybe he can give you a little help with that light switch?"
    No 'gay' there, acceptance.

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    1. I knew I wasn't saying it right - bleep!
      A day when we don't have to use the word gay to identify ...

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    2. I totally get it. Why is "gay" even a thing? It just is. Like "straight " is.

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  24. I grew up in a family where anyone who wasn't white/Protestant/Scottish or Irish/straight, was not to be tolerated. My earliest memories are of hearing raging against the Catholics next door and the "Homo Baker" from the market. What did that teach me? To love ALL people that much more. Sadly wishing my siblings had got the message.

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    1. I was lucky. My mom was 16 when she had me. We lived in California. When she remarried and we moved to the South USA .. she had a hard time adjusting. She said yes m'am to the lady that cleaned our house .. her in laws were shocked by that.
      She treated everyone the same .. she was never treated the same.

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    2. Am loving these different perspectives

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  25. My twin brother came out in the 70's and I think my parents were relieved more than anything. I had known for years and finally at my urging he introduced his friend as his partner at a family gathering. They were together for 37 years married for ten until his husband Tony passed. My father paid for the entire funeral and he is interned just above my wife and my future “hole in the wall.” They fell in love when they met in Paris so my son engraved the Eiffel Tower along with a favorite poem on the stone.

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    1. What a wonderful story doc..brought a tear to my eye

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  26. I believe times are changing, too, but that they have changed more quickly in some places than others and that some peoples' attitudes are easier to change than others. I also think that religion is a huge barrier to change. Pah! In an ironic slant, I wish *I* were God for a day! I would be smiting left and right :)

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    1. And, on quick reflection, that is not the most tolerant of attitudes from me, either, is it ...

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    2. jennie, it was absolutely tolerant ..

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  27. My husband's best friend came out about two years ago. They've been buddies for over 20 years. When he made his big announcement my hubby smiled and responded, "What made you think we didn't know? You are the only one who thought you were not 'out'!" They both laughed and continued their conversation about all the Ipad hacks they've discovered.

    It's hard for all of us to be completely authentic but harder still to not present our genuine self because of fear. We can't fear the haters, just love the lovers.

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    1. Very similar to my own experience with my own straight best mate.
      Lovely story ( yours and mine )

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  28. So many thoughtful comments. Times are indeed changing, and about bloody time. And in some pockets they are not changing fast enough.

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  29. My problem is a little different. I live in the US and am a dedicated. confirmed straight woman. The local Southern Baptist church told me not to ever come back. Finally, the influential doctor who made this decision told me, "We won't support your lifestyle."

    You see, I am 69 and drove a 29-yr-old woman around and to the church. She has autism. But, he assumed we were lesbians! This infuriated me. The reason--if I sat with a man at a dinner or talked to him, everyone assumed we were sleeping together. So, now I am seen with a woman more than once and I must be sleeping with her!

    This is a small Southern town and I have been divorced since 1981, so you know I must be a lesbian or sleeping with men, obviously just not what is approved of--married.

    I have no problems with gay people. I am certainly not homophobic. In a university town I was invited to a church that was honoring all the straight people who supported the gay community.

    The women in this town who know I have been around gay people and gone to their parties when invited, are suspicious. As I told them, I do not invite lesbians home for sleepovers, but getting a hug from one is not a problem.

    This drives me nuts, even when they assume I must be sleeping with a guy. Who really cares who is sleeping with whom?

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    1. I grew up in North Carolina. I totally understand.
      My mother got a lecture from a neighbor for showing respect to a black lady.

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    2. I wa going to type something about small towns
      But hey, i live in one!

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  30. I've wondered this before but never asked you ...Do you still think of the "before coming out John" as the same person we know today ? I would imagine there is a significant difference in the two ?

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    1. My guess .... happier, more relaxed, more free.

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    2. He was a very different character jace,
      But then , the past is always " another country" for all of us

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  31. A bit different topic but in generality - I once read a comment somewhere (I can't recall at the mo) about how when you (read female) is pregnant and you don't care whether its a boy or a girl as long as its healthy so why should it matter now. - I live by that motto. Love is love. I don't care, just be happy!

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    1. So true, mrsduncanmahogany !!

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  32. On a slightly different note, do you remember in Mrs Brown's Boys when Rory tries to tell his mom he is gay. (Some slight paraphrasing follows)

    Rory - mammy, did you never wonder why I never played in Mark's football team, did you never ask yourself why

    Mammy - I know love, I've always known and it makes not the slightest difference to me

    Rory - (delighted) oh mammy, that's wonderful, so when did you find out

    Mammy - I've always known son, you were always shite at football.

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    1. Funny but the Rory character was a little too painful

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  33. Unfortunately there are many religious fanatics in Northern Ireland who still don't accept homosexuality. The Deputy Mayor of Derry and Strabane no less has just trotted out the old claptrap of a "gay cure", which according to him can be achieved through prayer. He should have been disciplined by his party but no, everyone turned a blind eye as usual.

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    1. Shame on everyone who turned a blind eye

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  34. I notice things changing here, though there is still plenty of fear and discrimination. (Ask black Americans how that whole civil rights thing has worked out for them over the past half century.) My mother was terrified that family members would find out when I told her I was gay (at the ripe old age of 53), but now she says she doesn't care who knows what. I think part of that is that as other members of the family have learned -- my brother, his adult children, an aunt and cousin -- my mother has discovered that other people don't get excited. It has calmed her fears significantly.

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  35. I'm glad you walked away. I guess that man was too embarrassed or afraid of what might happen if he came out. I don't have very happy relationships. They start out fine, but then, somehow, I always seem to be a burden no matter what I do. I'm tired of it.

    Love,
    Janie

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  36. Agreed. It is not far away!

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  37. I don't think it is far away .... thank goodness.

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  38. Early in relationships, I think everyone wonders whether their significant other is hiding them - even a little bit - but with lesbians, at least, this reaches paranoid levels.

    I've had it happen once, and my paranoia turned out to be warranted.

    Now I address the issue up front. There's no excuse for me to waste time on someone who is only halfway to being comfortable with who they are.

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