In terms of then and now one must also take into consideration the where in order to get a true picture. Being raised in Northern British Columbia, Canada, as a young gay teen, one was definitely in the closet or you were ganged up and if you were lucky just beaten badly and if not so luckily you could easily end up dead It wasn't an issue you could talk to your parents about or anyone for that matter. So many young teens ended up in psych facilities so they could be cured or end up in a juvenile centre for as long as it took to cure you of this horrible sickness (there words.. not mine). At the age of 15 1/2 I ran away from home to Alberta because the age to be considered an adult there was 16 and I hoped I could hide out from my family. If I had only known that Alberta was more homophobic than where I came from. Still in the closet I tried to live my life under the radar of the homophobic community and fortunately for me made some friends in the underground gay community who taught me how to live my life and the things I needed to do to keep out of the homophobic eye.Unfortunately all the hiding did was sent me into confusion and I worked so hard to fit into the straight crowd that I ended up married. Fortunately for me my wife became my best friend and our life wasn't bad.... just not the life I would have chosen if being gay was more accepted. We had 3 children and I stayed faithful to my marriage vows for 29 years until one day I just knew that I couldn't continue to live a lie and asked for a divorce. As I said, my wife was also my best friend and worked with me to bring our children, our friends and relatives up to date. Some people were pissed that I had lied to them all that time, but most understood that I was also lying to myself. I wish I could say they all remained friends, but that was not the case. Most did, but these were people who I just knew would support me in my coming out and others that didn't want anything to do with me again. My kids were surprised but supportive with my son constantly bugging me to get a boyfriend. That's when my life began for true, at 50yrs old, basically starting all over. I ended up selling my business and moving to Montreal. The gay pride flag hangs from my balcony 365 days a year and all my neighbors are great people and slowly becoming great friends as well. I live an openly gay lifestyle now and love my life.Not sure if this is what you are looking for, hope it helps. If I had to do it all over again I must admit that with all the bad came my 3 kids, worth every minute of the hassle and would do it the same all over IN THOSE TIMES. If it was today I would move forward in live as a gay man knowing I can have children and a loving partner and be true to myself.
Great post, Bluesurfer!I spent the 80's and 90's in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and France. Urban areas of Canada were less threatening than Bluesurfer described, but still in Ottawa in the 80's it was definitely something I had to keep hidden from my employers. But the downtown core areas of Toronto, Ottawa and especially Montreal were pretty tolerant outside of the office. Had a few issues in France, but outside of the usual haunts. Back in the Marais district of Paris people were pretty open and accepting. You just didn't have to move too far out of there to find lots that weren't.In the late 90's, my partner and I left France and moved to Toronto, and within a year my new employer voluntarily introduced same-sex benefits and signed up my partner for full coverage. After that, our attitudes changed to "people are just going to have to deal with us". My job was secure, our benefits were secure, and now HR had our back. Again, this is in downtown Toronto, and things were certainly different in other regions of Canada. And clearly Canada as a whole was a bit ahead of most of the world at the time, save northern Europe.
Gay life in the 1980's could've been great, I'm sure it was for so many, but for me it was very hard because in a time when I should've been running wild thru the sweat peas and kicking up my heels, we all had to worry about what was safe, and not safe, and what was true/false information, and you had to sift thru it all on our own, because our government abandoned us.Holy smokes can you young guys imagine, going out to a gay bar, and the whole time standing there wondering who had the ticking time bomb inside them, and was this your night to catch it, and then possibly pass it on to others? No one knew because there was no test to see who had it, you could be full blown with no T cell count and look like a million dollars, and then in a week laying in a hospital bed, sheets soaked with sweat, tubes hanging out of your arms and one stuck down your throat, and oxygen mask on your face.Sorry for not giving you guys a nice hot story about how wild the sex was (it was), and how hot them men were (the hottest), but sadly most of them are dead, and the ones that made it thru we know how lucky we are. We remember how awful it was being gay in the 80's with a nation that mostly thought we brought this on ourselves, and then turned their backs on us.
The first time I've ever been to a gay bar, my heart jumped out of my chest. I was so nervous and awkward.
My main surprise is how similar so much is and that we do not seem to learn. The youth focus as an obsession. Chasing any fame at any cost. People are claiming fame because they are an Instagramer. Looking pretty has become excessive. Respect for people is replaced with cock size and how good your body is. One of the main things I learnt is that there is limited hours in the day and anything you do to excess means that the same time is not available for something else. In my youth the excessively pretty / hunky ones were pretty vacuous as they devoted all their time and energies to their looks and not to other parts of their character. I would suggest that if it isn't far worse now, the social media platforms give so much more visibility worldwide to those who want to promote this side of themselves.