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I am 62 years old and I have known I was bisexual since the age of 14. In my early teens, in the late 1960’s, anyone who was openly gay or bisexual were called all sorts of names and ridiculed beyond belief, my father used to use the phrases ‘woolly’ for ‘woolly woofter’ and, if he wanted to be really cruel he would call anyone who was gay ‘uphill gardeners’.
Even now, since coming out, my family have all turned their back on me, except for my two brothers, and one lifelong friend. Whilst my elder brother is fine with my sexuality, his wife most certainly is not, and I am not allowed to visit them as she thinks I am a deviant. My brother, to his credit, visits me once a week, but he is the only visitor that I have.
The person I call my other brother is, in fact, my nephew, he was brought up by my mother so he is more of a brother than a nephew. He has no qualms at all about my sexuality; he is not married and has no children, so he is quite lonely too. My lifelong friend was the one I was worried about; we have known each other since we were babies, and he is very old fashioned in his thinking, but I needn’t have worried as, when I told him, he just said “I don’t care if you’re gay, straight or bi, you’ll always be my friend.” I felt bad for doubting him really.
My second ex wife has barred me from her place, and my two children to her, 31 and 29 have not contacted me since I came out as bisexual. My first ex wife has also become hostile towards me and my three children with her, 37, 35 and 34 are also hostile towards me. I have Grandchildren from both of my ‘ex families’ but I have never seen them.
Though I am glad that I did come out, I must admit the loneliness can sometimes be quite overwhelming. I counteract this by going to an over 50’s gay group in Manchester once a week and also to the streetwise opera on the same day also in Manchester. Loneliness is a big issue for me and anybody who is LGBTQ and who is over 50. Two of my friends have committed suicide, both were over 50 and both were cast out from their families. At one of the funerals, myself and two more gay friends, were asked to sit at the back of the chapel so as not to offend.
When I first came out, about five years ago, I was so lonely that I contemplated suicide.
It was in fact a botched attempt at suicide that brought me to my senses, and, although I am taking antidepressants, it is something which I would never now imagine doing.
I do sometimes wonder in which direction my life is going, I am currently unemployed, though I am confident of finding work, I wonder if I will be as honest about my sexuality to any new people I may encounter.
I marched in this year’s ‘Bury Pride’ it was the first official one in the town, and, for the most part, it went off quite well, but there were a few Neanderthals in the pub afterwards, but in the main all was well. I also was a volunteer in this year’s ‘Manchester Pride’. I got really involved and was at the front of the parade, I met lots of new friends and we have been out together a few times since the festival finished.
I suppose that we make our own destiny, I decided not to linger in the past, thinking ‘what might have been’ I decided to make a go of my own future, and though seeing my children would be nice, it isn’t the end of life. My life must go on and the only one who can ensure it does is me.