The exceptional Russell T Davies series It’s a sin, has brought back many old memories of the gay world from the 1980s.
I wasn’t officially gay then .
No, the hatred and misinformed ideas of gay plagues and gay lifestyles shamed me into the closet so deep that not even my emotional intelligence could reach it.
This was the story of many young gay men of my generation .
We would be destined to come out later when the 1980s gave way to a more enlightened 1990s.
There was no internet then, no phones no apps ......if you were confident and ‘serious’ in having a relationship you met another man in a gay bar or from adds in the newspapers. If you weren’t you trolled around the same gay bars or else ambled around the parks after dusk.
I met my first proper boyfriend through the Sheffield Star.
He was closeted and angry and was generous and exciting and the relationship was a real abuse disaster waiting to happen.
The abuse did happen and a couple of years I walked away with my head kind of held high and my mind firmly fixed about what I would and would not accept from a relationship with a man.
I would never again accept that it was alright to be denied, to be hidden away, to be lied about.
I deserved better than that.
Before I met my husband, I dated a guy from chesterfield . He was a lovely, big teddy bear of a man, a broad country speaking animal feed wholesaler who worked through the Pennines and for several months we were happy with me visiting him , mainly at weekends or visa versa. One week day he unexpectedly found himself working in Sheffield and we met up for coffee and before we sat down I saw the wedding ring on his finger.
It wasn’t one of those he’s married kind of scenarios at all
But it was a case of him wearing a wedding ring to pretend he was straight in the eyes of his colleagues and his customers.
I reluctantly walked away from the relationship and didn’t look back
Shame has no place in being gay
Shame has no place in being anything