Eye Contact

One of the most remarkable aspects of my development in recent years has been in respect of my ability to tolerate what other people think of me.

For very many years, I inwardly resisted any external inference that people made to me to suggest that I was gay.

Nowadays, I feel liberated, I don’t really care too much of what other people think of me, because their inference is not reciprocated by me with a confirmation of that fact, unless I decide it to be so.

I have been recalling in my current phase of development, an occurrence which took place approximately twenty years ago, when whilst seated with my wife in a pub I looked up and across to my left and a young man was looking directly into my eyes.

I was embarrassed at the eye contact and I looked away, only to be humiliated a few moments later when as I looked over again, his gaze had been joined on me by his friend too, and as I made eye contact, they shook their heads and laughed.

I felt desolate because they had secured from me the truth that I was gay, and in my suppressed state, and at that time my wife was not in my confidence as she is now, I felt extremely fearful and vulnerable.

In all the years since that eye contact with another gay man, I have never experienced such a connection and it strikes me as sad that my perception of the moment remains one which I experienced as a cruel and cold-hearted moment.

I think this retained feeling is due in part to my recollection of how I felt about myself at that time, because should that scenario occur today, I would not care a jot. I might even gain some enjoyment of it, or at least a sense that my truth had been seen and acknowledged.

I have come to understand that the worst thing I can do, in my circumstances is to suppress my truth within myself.

My acceptance of how I feel has enabled me to function in my chosen lifestyle whilst giving attention to my inner most yearnings in ways which no longer rejects aspects of what it is that makes me the person I was born to be.

William Defoe