The closeting of so many gay and lesbian people back in the day meant that there was nobody around to talk to when I was growing up gay. Therefore, like many before me, I grew up believing I was the only one in the whole wide world, despite there being hundreds of millions of us, as we now know for a fact. Back in those days, the occasional gays outed in the media seemed remote and alien, unfathomable, unreal even, impossible to imagine. Meanwhile, the environment at school, where anybody who was gay kept quiet about it, meant no boyfriends and no real friends, no one that could understand me or what made me tick. There were some people I suspected probably were gay, but they were just as confused and uncertain as I was, if not more so.
The one best friend I had in middle school betrayed me in high school, becoming an enemy after he calculated it would serve his interests better. Due to his paranoid, unhappy mother, he belonged to a small church that was crazy and right-wing, and he wanted to please his mother, so he believed it was wrong to smile and good to frown, and all he did served that end. I never recall his mother smiling in all the days I knew her, so she had picked her church well. Now I smile to think that he lives on Queen St.
I used to want to write an autobiography because I thought that the people from my past and myself were important, but over the years, I decided that the opposite was true. I am not important, first of all. There is little from the past I want to remember, and many of the people from my past, that is to say friends and associates in school, were not particularly pleasant, to put it mildly. I am a loyal friend, one who tends to remember and repay good deeds, like a social accountant, and so in my writing, I used to feel obliged to express this loyal, sentimental fondness for old friends, even ones that betrayed me, due to random kindnesses I remembered, and I have a long memory, but like an infatuated lover, I had glossed over their faults, forgiven their sins, only remembering later in bits and pieces that puzzled me at first until I grasped the meaning. They are best left to oblivion. I even have trouble recalling some of their names. Drink deep of Lethe.
What is important is now. Now is the only thing relevant. Now I am out. There is no big deal about being gay. That is an old thing, an established thing, and is no longer important, no more than other physical or intellectual traits. Now I have a husband. Now I have a happy and stable life and hope for the future. Now I have ordered my life in a reasonable facsimile of the way I think things ought to be. Now is fuel for writing, for creativity energized by positive good, rather than drawing upon the powers of darkness.