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Safe Spaces

The Freds


Seventy-five years I have been gay. Not all of them ‘out’. I was gay when it was illegal, when it was unsafe, when hiding was the better part of valor. My own journey was through the LGBT Purge, ‘coming out’, gay marriage; just trying to be me. Wanting a community of freedom and safety; we’re not yet there.
I was attracted to men from an early age. I wanted male companionship. When I was growing up it was not accepted, actually forbidden; if not actually a crime, then immoral. I remember my grandmother innocently giving a pink corduroy shirt to my brother, my military father was outraged. How could she have
given that gift to a boy? Didn’t she know what it implied. Of course being young I knew nothing of his meaning, only that pink or any shade thereof needed to be avoided. What do I do with the knowledge?
By and large ignore it, or more particularly deny it. Denial is a very powerful psychological protection.
It saved me through many encounters that may have ended badly; but it also trapped me in a marriage and a life that ate my soul and left me anxious to be who I was. But more, frightened and scared about really looking in that mirror that is one’s self. Looking in the mirror and accepting the reality."

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