Last Saturday I blogged about South Pacific. I began to think about the times I was in the Musical Society. I felt very nostalgic. Besides loving being on the stage and the high I was on for the two to three weeks of the production, it was great to have a group of friends away from work, most younger than me. There were the practice nights which were difficult because they often went late and I use to catch the 5.30am train to work in those days. Sometimes I had to drop out when it got too much for me. As the show dates came close, at least one day of each weekend was involved in organising scenery. I am not much good at practical things like that but I could carry the timber or hold the tools. I enjoyed the cameraderie.
I dropped out of the society in the mid 90's and lost contact except for an occasional meeting in the street. I tried to return about 5 years later but knew very few and was much older than the rest of the cast so did not stay. After writing the blog I was regretting the loss of those times and feeling a bit down.
Then I received a monthly email from Pink Mountains (I live in the Blue Mountains - get it.) I have never stirred myself to go to any of the activities advertised, I am 64 and the gay world is so ageist. However they had a link to this movie.
After watching I burst into tears of regret.
When I was at High school, in the late 50's, I did not even know what a homosexual was. I did not find out until I studied psychology at university and learnt to my horror that my inner feelings were a sin, needing psychological treatment.
When I was at school I would befriend some of the handsome guys thinking I wanted to "win them for Christ" but not understanding the goose bumps I had if they put their arm around me. I occasionally dated girls but there were no special feelings. I really did not want to kiss them goodnight. Again I put it down to living a virtuous Christian life.
How much better my life would have been, if I could have understood and acted on my adolescent feelings in a normal way.
When I did begin to act on these feelings, having found the psychological treatment a failure, I went to a newsagent away from where I lived or worked, bought magazines, sent letters to a post box (and established one of my own). Then you met a guy and would have sex straight away and usually never met again. Is it any wonder so many of us are so f...ked up sexually.
Things in schools are better today but nowhere near perfect. This film is not the norm but I have seen students in school where I worked who were not afraid to be 'out'. Very occasionally I have seen two boys holding hands in the main street. At least young people can meet in more normal surroundings and the topic is discussed in magazines, newspapers and on TV. I have heard teenagers talking in the train about who at school is gay and not obviously in any derogatory sense. Young gay men today may still be bullied but they usually know where to get help. Possibly it is more difficult in rural areas.
Anyway after having a good cry, I went and put my CD of South Pacific on and was soon waltzing around the lounge room. (Perhaps it is just as well I live alone). The next day at church the sermon was about the labourers in the field and the preacher at one stage said we should not hold regrets about the past. I am often amazed at how God speaks to me.
I get depressed but from observation of friends who suffer from depression, I know I do not. None of them would find a cure by playing a Broadway musical CD.
And this is the reason I become so angry with the fundamentalists today who would turn us back to those times of repression.