I realised or perhaps finally admitted to myself that I was in fact searching for love with a woman and not a man when I was 36.
I was watching Sugar Rush and the scene where Kim (the main character) after finding true love then nearly blows it all over a misunderstanding. She accidentally takes a horse tranquiliser tablet and then is in a sorry state on Brighton sea front. She calls Saint, her true love and gets little joy until Saint realises that she is not sounding very coherent. She says that she is in a state of despair and Saint runs down the beach to where the burnt out West Pier is to find her. She calls an ambulance and so on. It was when Saint ran down the beach that I suddenly realised that I wanted to be saved and I too wanted it to be by a woman.
Then, what do you do, you are 36 and have no idea where to start. You are not very sure about what it means to be a lover of women. You do not want to suddenly start dating women. There are the internet sites, dating and putting up your profile. It all seemed too daunting for me. I told a couple of friends who asked other friends and suggested I get Diva magazine. I gingerly set off to Borders and tried to casually lift one from behind Gay Times. Then tried to look confident at the counter without thinking too much, i.e. “the assistant knows I am a lesbian, what will he think, etc”.
The one I bought was a special L-Word edition. I could also subscribe to the magazine and it would arrive in a grey plastic cover. I got the L-Word (online). So I was safe in my little lonely world of I am gay and I love watching the L-Word. Alice is my favourite.
Then I thought to myself “What do I do now?” I found out about a group called Voila. They met in Watford and I worked in Watford. I e-mailed the woman who ran it. All very safe so far. I put off going along, I was a wimp. I was being the usual me of not taking any risks. Eventually I met the woman who ran the group and well after a few months I ended up being with her. She is now my partner and we have been happily together for 18 months.
I am the happiest I have ever been in my life. Although I enjoyed seeing friends and spending time with my family, I always had an underlying loneliness inside. I could never have a long-term relationship with any man, it just never worked out. I always thought I would remain alone. I feel very lucky to have found such love and support.
My parents cannot accept who I am, although they tried to for a while. I do not know if they will ever really want to have contact properly with me again. I think that many people have problems with their families and can be estranged from them. I do hope that maybe people will be more accepting of differences in sexuality in the future. I have met many people who are very positive but we are wary about being too open in public as it is difficult to gauge how people will react.
I hope that our future together is bright and despite the fact that I have lost a close relationship with my parents I am still glad that I finally worked out who I really am. I think I am a better person for being honest to myself and living a life full of love and commitment.