Once Upon A Time……


…..I was homophobic. Yes, shocking isn’t it, and shameful. I say homophobic but really, I went through a phase of disliking anything gay and avoiding anyone who appeared to be, or I knew to be gay. Thankfully, it didn’t last long. 

Let me explain. In 2001 I started an Access Course at a local college and there I met a young man, lets call him Adam (not his real name), who was severel years younger than me and separated. We started seeing each other and for a while it was nice and I fell for him big time. 

However, over time, Adam began acting very strangely and being very distant, until one evening after a dinner date he told me he wanted to end the relationship. I was stunned and heartbroken of course but eventually I accepted it and moved on. 

In 2002 I went to university and Adam got in touch and we started our relationship again….and a few weeks later, he finished it again. His moods were increasingly erratic and he would shout and scream for little or no reason. I was a wreck and felt as though I was for ever walking on egg shells. Consequently, my studies suffered and I was increasingly depressed. 

The on/off pattern of the relationship lasted until April 2003 when we finished finally and for good. Later, a mutual friend phoned me and gave me some news which stunned me…..Adam had ‘come out’ as gay. I will never forget how I felt that day. Sick and angry…at him. Why had he done this to me, why? 

That night, I shut myself in my room on campus and sobbed and sobbed and drank and drank. And, to my everlasting shame, I broke and ruined every gift he’d ever given me. Worse, I wrote a letter to him in which I called him every horrible name I could. I won’t say what I called him…but you can imagine. I didn’t send the letter of course. 

Consequently, I hated anything gay. Magazines, people, films, books. I was bloody angry and bitter that part of my life had been ruined by him and what he was. Why, I thought couldn’t he have been honest with me (and his ex wife) Didn’t he realise what he’d done with his deceit and lies. He’d ruined my life and possibly hers as well; I was so horribly bitter and filled with so much anger and, looking back, I hate how I was then. 

But then, why did Adam feel he had to deceive people and why had he lived a lie for so many years. The answer of course, is simple….he was terrified of how others would react. Frightened that his family and friends would reject him and scorn him for who he really was. In short…..Homophobia. 

It wasn’t really Adam who had ‘ruined’ my life or that of his ex wife; it was societies intolerance of GBLTQ people. He lived a lie for so long and I know it caused him great emotional and mental trauma. And I also know that, while he was married he had twice attempted suicide. His wife had been less than sympathetic. 

I haven’t seen Adam since that April day in 2003 when we finished for good; but I heard that he had settled down with another young man and they were talking about marriage. I am truly happy for him and I hope he found the peace and  happiness that had been denied him for so many years. He has a daughter (from his marriage) and I hope she is happy for him and has accepted who he is because she was the one person in his life who, I believe he truly loved. I hope that, knowing who her father is and that he is still her loving dad as taught her, not merely tolerance but acceptance. 

Homophobia, then doesn’t just hurt one person; the effects of it can and do impact on many lives. It is horrible to think, in this day and age that many men and women still feel the need to live a lie, to conform to what many people still see as the ‘norm’.  But, until society is truly accepting of the diversity of human sexuality and stops believing that Man/Woman relationships are the only ‘normal’ kind then we will see more stories like mine and Adam’s and more lives ruined because of the terrible scourge of Homophobia. 

This piece has been written for the Hop Against Homophobia & Transphobia which was created last year to spread awareness of homophobia and transphobia, and to stand together as a writing community against discrimination of our works.

To visit the site and to read other HAHAT posts, click here or on the Rainbow Badge on the right and enjoy. 

To celebrate the the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia and the HAHAT blog, I shall be giving a donation to The Albert Kennedy Trust in one commenters name. 

 

 

22 thoughts on “Once Upon A Time……

  1. jessielansdel Post author

    Thank you hun. I did have to give it some thought before publishing and I truly hope people won’t dislike me for it. But I did it to illustrate how homophobia can affect a person like ‘Adam’ and how it impacts on others. And how ghastly it must be to feel you must conform and live a lie.

  2. jessielansdel Post author

    Thank you, Charlie. It was a horrible time and I hope at least to try and make it so people do not feel they have to live a lie and be terribly unhappy like ‘Adam’ was.

  3. JadeCrystal

    So many people focus on how homophobia affects LGBT people who suffer from the resulting discrimination and bullying. Not many people seem to realize that everyone around each of those people suffers along with them. Thank you for sharing this story. Anyone has the potential of being affected, which is reason enough to end homophobia.

  4. Urbanista

    Thanks for sharing your intense, deeply personal story of homophobia. It is said of that “Racism hurts everyone.” You have revealed–dramatically–how far reaching homophobia’s harm is. Thanks again.

  5. ciarandwynvil

    Thank you for sharing your experience, Jessie. It was a brave thing to write about it so openly. It is most unfortunate that the pressure of society forces many people to live a lie and eventually hurt not only themselves but also people around them who fell for the mask.

  6. Norma Nielsen

    That was a brilliant post and I admit in my younger days (about 20 years ago) I dated a young man and I think I realised before he did that he was gay. I loved him enough to walk away – yet I had to find him a boyfriend first – funny thing is last I heard they were still together… though mind you I haven’t seen them in over ten years or more… But I am happy for them.

  7. Löni

    Any form of prejudice always affects more than just one person … thanks for your story!

  8. Elin Gregory

    Oh sweetheart, that was a very brave thing to do. How dreadful to feel you have to conform at all costs. Poor Adam, and poor you too.

  9. StormyMonday

    Thank you for sharing your very personal story! That must have been very hard for both of you at the time. Hopefully society’s views will become more accepting of different lifestyles and GLBTQ people will no longer feel the need to conform to other people’s expectations.

  10. Shirley Ann Speakman

    Thank you for your post I know it wasn’t easy to write but you changed for the better and that’s what we can all wish for.

  11. Pingback: What is a Homophobic? How do I deal with one? | BiWifeLife and BiWivesClub

  12. chickie434

    Thank you for your wonderful post. People assume that if they’re not gay, then homophobia doesn’t affect them. But you’re right, hate like that has a ripple effect, it affects hundreds more people than just people who are gay. Thanks so much for sharing and participating!

    tiger-chick-1(at)hotmail(dot)com

  13. Penumbra

    Thanks for participating in this great hop!

    penumbrareads(at)gmail(dot)com

  14. roughseasinthemed

    Gosh! I thought this was going to be another story. I still can’t believe that was you. It reads like a different person. I had a few gay friends at university. Or bi. Or something. There were a few snide digs behind their backs, but nothing worse than I hear nowadays. Problem is, few of them would admit they were gay/bi, although there was tacit acknowledgement they were. This was the late 70s btw.

    These days we don’t know anyone (socially) outwardly gay. Think one person we know is gay but it’s not relevant, he’s just Davy (not real name of course!).

    We did work for a couple of gay clients. Pretty obvious when two men sleep together in the same bedroom with their pyjamas neatly laid out on the bed. At least they didn’t mess around feeling they had to hide it from us.

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