Gale's parents on their wedding day
The novelist Patrick Gale talked about his father in a recent interview. His father, a prison Governor always slept in a separate bedroom from his mother and when he was in his early twenties Gale found out the reason for this was the fact his mother found out that her husband had embarked on a love affair with another man before her marriage.
The secret was never talked about, and two lives were shattered because of it. A wife bitter and lonely and feeling second best to her husband's best man who lived a lie as most gay men did in the middle years of the twentieth century!
A tv drama based on the story of Gale's parents, Man in an Orange Shirt airs tonight as part of the BBC's Gay Britannia season
I came out when I was in a relationship with a closseted man.
It was a terribly conflicted time for me as I was torn between kind of respecting his " need" to be hidden and private with the overwhelming feeling of not wanting to be some way ashamed ( albeit by proxy) by being publicly gay.
The relationship was shit anyway, so it wasn't hard for me to eventually walk away from it, but I still look back with incredible sadness on the fact that my boyfriend then found it necessary to wear a wedding ring at work in order to look straight in front of a boss who was a virtual stranger when I wanted to hold my head up and look at everyone in the eye
When I eventually came out, I did so to everyone I knew with the only exception of my mother. I spared myself that experience, not because I was in anyway ashamed or worried; I just could not be bothered going through the drama , guilt trips and subsequent angst that would have ensued from an elderly lady with massive psychological problems all of her own.
With everyone else, I simply shared the truth.
And although, it was, at times, somewhat stressful.
I never had a problem with any of them.