I met Terry in 2012 in Vancouver. We used to work together for almost one year. He is such a warm-hearted and sweet person!
His journey began a long time ago- wandering between the heterosexual and homosexual world but always being gay! Some parts of his story made me sad to hear about. But he also spread his sparkling smile when he was talking about his fiancé Matthew and that made me smile too 🙂
Be inspired by Terry’s quite emotional ‘world wanderer’ story and reminds us to be more open minded about accepting everyone for who they are and what lifestyle they have chosen.
“I knew that I was gay but I didn’t know what I was supposed to do.”
I was born in a very small village on the North Side of Shuswap Lake in Central British Columbia. A very remote area. A logging community which meant that if you are living in a logging community in such a remote place you don’t talk about your sexuality. Especially if you are gay. You end up at the bottom of the lake with Smith’s shoes. This is not a joke because 60 years ago people were very homophobic because they didn’t understand anything.
I wasn’t dreaming that I was in danger when I was a kid. I knew that I was in danger. You wouldn’t want to be the feminine gay in the community that I was living in. I had affairs with other men or boys. I knew that I was gay but I didn’t know what I was supposed to do.
I had to keep it to myself. Where I was born I had a really good friend I grew up with. She had some really redneck brothers. Her brothers and I were really close when we were younger. When I came out of the closet, my friend and I went for dinner and she said to me ‘You know, if you would have come out of the closet when you were a kid, you wouldn’t be here today’.
I came to Vancouver in 1969 and was trying to be as straight as possible. I didn’t mix in with the (gay) community, I had a lot of straight friends; I met this girl and we fell in love and married in ’73. So after 28 years of marriage in the straight world we separated. But we didn’t separate because I was gay. I never thought about coming out of the closet until I was separated from my wife. She had no idea until 6 years after we had split up.
First thing people were thinking ‘Oh you’re bisexual!’ and I said ‘Well, no, I am gay. I just managed to hide it very well’. A lot of people probably thought that I was a little bit scared to come out. But it wasn’t that. It was the fact that I had a really good relationship with my wife and we had a really good life. We ended up having two children, two daughters. I was very devoted to my family.
I came out to both my daughters first. I decided that I was not going to do anything until my kids were older. I didn’t want to come out of the closet and my kids were only 5 years old and they would remember what an asshole their Daddy was. So when I told them they were 18 and 25. They took it very well. In fact my ex-wife took it very well, she had no suspicions whatsoever in my past life.
She said to me one day ‘Boy, when you come out of the closet you sure the hell come out of the closet’. I never shaved my head when I was with my wife. I had a gay mustache. Maybe to be looking a younger person. Young is a big thing in the gay community, at least trying to be young.