I am sorry to have never attended a Pride march as yet
Next year will be my year.
I don't really blog about what it is like to be gay.
I just am gay…….the fact is incidental and probably the least interesting thing about me
Am I proud to be gay?
hummmmmmm…….I am proud of being associated with all those men and woman that battled for equal rights at the 1969 Stonewall Riots.
I am proud to be living in a country that is enlightened enough to pass a law stating gay men and women can marry legally
and I am proud enough, tough enough and ugly enough to be able to hold my head up high and say I am a gay man in company that may not accept the fact with alacrity
Having said this, apart from some low level homophobic remarks thrown out by two Neanderthal British Gas workers at a Christmas do many years ago, I have never really been on the receiving end of any bigoted behaviour.
This fact, I know, is a rarity.
Once many years ago now I found out that I was subject to some gossip at work where the staff of an adjacent ward were over heard discussing my "sexual" life by a patient. The patient, as it turned out was a bit of a psychopath and promptly wheeled his wheelchair to my office in order to "taunt me" with the information he had just heard.
Buoyed up with indignation and supported by my sister's uniform I cornered all of the staff as they were giving handover and asked them to their faces if there was anything they wanted to know about me.
Of course heads were hung and denials given but the following warning shot of the prospect of official disciplinary action had its effect.
No one ever troubled me again where the subject of my sexuality was concerned.
I will leave you with the story of my very first meeting with Auntie Gladys.
She was in her mid eighties back then and was selling her Flower Show raffle tickets around the village and its surrounds.
The Jungle telegraph had alerted to most that there was a new Gay couple in the village
I bought a strip off her
" Does your friend want any tickets too?" she asked , her eyes twinkling and I was half amused by the term "friend" a word which was often bandied around by people too shy or too uncomfortable to call a spade a spade
Only Gladys was not uncomfortable, she was just searching for the right word to use
"He is my partner and not a friend and yes he will have some tickets from you" I told her kindly
"I was going to call him your boyfriend " she said "but you are both far too old to be called that!!!"
At 96, on the day of our marriage, the old girl walked all the way down from her house on High Street to present me with a wedding gift over the kitchen wall and when I remarked that I never thought I would see the day that two men would be allowed to Marry each other
she clapped her frail hands together and laughed her musical Welsh laugh
"How marvellous" she cried
yes....how bloody marvellous!