Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Personal feelings

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.


James said...

Brian, I relate so much to your post. Most of it was like reading about me. The difference was/is, that I turned a genetic predisposition to obesity into an art form. I couldn't have sex so I over ate, and no hot guy would want a fat mate, so that was my salvation -- that and an unhealthy obscession with religion. The funny thing is/was, I found out from a high school friend that everyone knew my secret. I didn't learn that until about five years ago.

Now I'm an old man (51) and life is so diffrent for same-gender attracted people. But for me, it's too late -- no one wants a formrly fat old man.

Thanks for your post, my brother.

Brian R said...

Thanks James for your comment. Firstly from my point of view you are not yet old :-) and it is not yet too late. I have recently been finding men in their 40's attractive. I have always been attracted to younger, possibly due to being surrounded by older teenagers in my work. Weight has only become a problem for me in the last 10 years but I probably became a workaholic to compensate for sex.

Fran said...

Oh Brian- I am sitting here weeping.

What a story you tell here- of your own pain and suffering and how you have come to know yourself.

And how you have come to understand that you are the same beautiful child of God - these crazed sexual matters hurt so many people very deeply.

That you waltzed around your home to South Pacific as an antedote made me smile broadly through my tears.

You are brilliant and what a true gift it is to know you, pray with you, blog with you, be in community with you.

Brian R said...

Thanks Fran, It is a real pleasure to know you as well, the miracles of the net. Sorry I made you weep but glad you also smiled. If you had actually seen me, you probably would have ROFL. A reason for me not to invest in webcam.

Leonard said...

Curtains up, light the lights, you've got nowhere to hit but the heights...starting here, starting now...everythings, coming up ROSES for you and for me!

Afterall, where would one start if they didn't start by waltzing around their living room?

Recently I had a nasty type poster at my blog...he wasn't really as vile as he intended to be (obviously a closet queen and not trained in the fronts)...anyway, he accused ME, little ol' me, of prancing around, rather "mincing" around to show tunes...if he only knew that a little "mincing" might do wonders for bitterness, fear and hate! I laughed and laughed while remembering me leaping through my living room thinking I ought be a Ballet Dancer at about age 7...even then I knew I best to by Ballet Dancing alone and in secret...why "mince around" when I could LEAP THROUGH THE AIR! BTW, I think you fellows, including dear James, are wildly off base about the audience that is out there...really, the world may be much different than you THINK (do you remember the straights used to talk about there is "someone for everyone?"...they ARE right and I don't think they meant to include us older Gay gents)!

Love to all and thanks for the lovely sharing,

Brian R said...

Thanks for the visit and the hopeful comments Leonardo. Have seen your comments on other blogs but not visited yours. Have now added it to my list and hope to learn more.

Davis said...

We're simply not going to let this happen. Now we will march in the streets.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

James, If someone can't see the beauty of your heart they are too shallow to have the kind of relationship you deserve.

There is someone for you. 51 is not "an old man". No where near it.

It's never too late to have a happy childhood.

Brian, thanks so much for this beautiful post. You have said what many, many of a certain generation have. Yours is a deeply profound voice of truth which desperately needs to speak.

Thank you.

Brian R said...

Thanks again, Elizabeth. You posted this comment while I was reading the lovely Sermon preached for the Celebration of the Life of
Betty Black Williams. Your parishioners are so lucky. I have sent it to my sister to read.


Leonard said...

Dear Brian,

You are soooo nice and hospitable and thank you for your blog...I always find it soothing and refreshing...Elizabeth is right, you're NOT a "old man" and even if you were edging up (I just turned 65) there is a WHOLE world to view, investigate and embrace.

Giant hugs from Central America,


Göran Koch-Swahne said...

This is indeed a most moving film to a most moving post! And we have come a long way, from the days when it was deemed de rigeur to kill ourselves... Thank you for your blog! and what the others said ;=)