“Sometimes I wish I hadn’t come out of the closet”
After I was separated from my wife and was out of the closet there was no invitation to birthday parties, graduation. When my youngest daughter got married and I wasn’t invited to walk her down the aisle.
I was totally cut out although they said they were ok with the fact that I was gay and had a partner. But they didn’t want to flaunt it in front of their friends. So therefore, I actually didn’t come to the wedding of my youngest daughter.
My daughters never really became close to me again. They both had husbands or boyfriends that didn’t really tolerate me being gay.
The only one who wouldn’t want have anything to do with my ex-boyfriend and I together was my brother. He was embarrassed that his younger brother turned out to be gay, which is very common. I was expecting that knowing my brother. He is a rancher, bit of a redneck. He just didn’t want any of my gay friends around me when I came to visit him.
He said he was fine with the fact that I was gay, he got over that. But he wasn’t ready to accept me having a relationship. To me it was upsetting because I really love my brother. So that kind of pushed us apart a bit.
Sometimes I wish I hadn’t come out of the closet.
People are very vindictive in the gay community. Jealousy is a major problem. It is very noticeable. And most men that are in my situation that are with a younger man, they notice it too. We (Terry and his partner Matthew) have had problems with four friends because of how jealous they would be. And those were men that were probably the age older than 50 who were asking ‘How the hell did you get him?’ Because of the fact that they’re about 65 years old and they haven’t been able to find someone they are really in love with in the gay community who is younger than them.
A lot of them are like when you are older you are looking for younger; when you are younger you are looking for older. A lot of the relationships with young people don’t last very long because they don’t have that devotion to one another.
I have never really experienced any violence within the gay community. I was once shoved off the sidewalk but to me that is nothing. I knew it was out there. I knew you always have to watch yourself although you are in the gay community. You have to be aware – even in Vancouver. You don’t just walk around holding hands in any part of Vancouver because you are marked. In the Westend – no problem.
But there is been a lot of violence on Davie Street, too. The city is gay-friendly but unfortunately you have people coming from out of the area to do the gay bashing. I lost a friend. He was beaten up in a bar on Davie Street and he ended up as a vegetable and I went for his head. He ended up with serious brain damage. He died just a year ago.