Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Day I Came Out To My Best Friend - 1963




My 3rd grade elementary school class photo - 1951

Mylongtime friend (since 3rd grade - 1951) Lar 


My friend Lar standing in front of our third grade teacher, Miss Ezra

blog post today is a recounting of the day I came out to him and his wife.  I thought my regular readers would be interested in a different perspective of this event change in my life's course.


Me, with the big mop of hair and my hand to my mouth standing behind my friend Stuart

A brief synopsis to bring you up to date, and no apologies to those few readers who are bored when I repeat myself.  Just a gentle reminder to those (very few readers) who chastise me via comments, it IS my blog and I don't subscribe to your rules.  If you're that bored, just move on, there are literally MILLIONS of blogs out there. Granted, they're not as interesting as mine but hey, no one is forcing you to read my blog. That said, here we go for one of my earlier rebellions against convention:


My good friends Larry, Stuart and me - 1957

I was born gay.  How to I know?  My earliest memory (when I was four years old) was that I was "different."  How "different"?  I knew I had that "special feeling" when I was around my uncles and other men who smiled or winked at me.  Oh no, I was never sexually abused, never even close.  In fact at four years old in the Forties, I wasn't even aware of sex as I am.  But I did know I was "different" and I should tell anyone. 


Me 1948 - when I knew I was "different"

All during my school years I had my crushes.  After school I joined the Army and had many more crushes.  In fact when I joined the Army I thought I was "the only One."  The only "homosexual" (as gays were known they, also "queers").  But I knew I was different because I thought homosexuals or queers were dirty old men who hung around public rest rooms, trying to sneak "a look" at men using the urinals.  I knew I wasn't One Of Them so what was I?


Me, Miss Ezra (our third grade teacher who is 101 in this photo) and Larry for a reunion at the assisted living home where she was living in 2005 - Wow I thought she was old when she was our reach in 1951

Well, eventually a sexual experience with one of my straight Army buddies (he let me "play around with him" during the weekends he spent at my home which I would often go on a weekend pass).  I KNEW then I was One of Them.  Still not a Public Restroom Observer but I knew what I liked after having tried several experiments with girlfriends on dates while I was in the Army. Oh those "experiments", I may write about THOSE experiences in the future, I may not.  Maybe I already wrote about them.  I'm sure one or more of my more critical followers will let me know.


Me in the barracks at Ft. Meade (notice the cigarette in my mouth) 1962

While I was in the Army, I was given a top secret security clearance during my tour of duty at the National Security Agency at Fort George G. Meade in Maryland.  I did not ask for that clearance.  At that time, 1960, our country was in the height of their fear of homosexuals spilling all the country's secrets and thus anyone even suspected of being a homosexual was discharged from the Army with a less than honorable discharge.  Ah yes folks, I lived through that period of Inquisition.  One only had to be accused of being gay and you were out.  I witnessed many of my fellow soldiers who had their lives ruined by this undemocratic policy. 


Larry and me at my parent's home during a weekend pass - 1962

Somehow I survived that reign of terror.  Maybe it was because the only time I "indulged" was those few weekends my Army buddy went home with me and let me play around with him.  That was the extent of my gay activity.  I never did anything on base. Maybe snuck a peek a few times in the shower but never anything physical. I did have gay friends but we never did anything either, they were just friends. 


My Army buddy (far left with arms on railing (who will remain unnamed because he is still alive) and other friends at an outing in Chesapeake City, Maryland during a weekend pass from the Army

After I got out of the Army, I decided I would no longer live under that yoke of oppression that was living in the closet.  I came out to all my friends. I came out to my family.  I came out to everybody.


Me, far right with "Ginny" and Larry - before I joined the Army and when Larry fixed me up with Ginny.  I liked Ginny but just no fireworks.


Larry with his date "Pam" and me on a another double date during my "confused" period


Oh sure, my Mother freaked out ("What did I do wrong? I tried to raise you right!")  I came out to my friends and promptly lost most of them.  I was a pariah.  I came out to Lar and his wife Lois.  He thought I was sick and retreated to his medical books to find the "cure" for my malady. 

So with this as a preface here is Lar's blog posting of today:

DRINKING OF ELDER MEN: An Error in Ignorance

Me and Larry today

8 comments:

  1. My original comment disappeared! It was rather lengthy too. Good Post!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. grouchy,
      Isn't that frustrating!? I've lost whole blog postings that way.
      Ron

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  2. Great pix as usual, Ron.

    I think you and your buddies were more likely at Chesapeake Beach, rather than Chesapeake City (which is on the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal) but I could be wrong...

    Quite a shame how the Bay has become polluted and over-developed in the last 50 years or so...I am glad that I, too, was able to enjoy the Bay with *my* Army buddies back in the mid-70s.

    :-)

    -Andy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andy,
      I think it was at Chesapeake City. By the way, sine I came out as gay I am no longer welcome there. People are still afraid of an openly gay person. Some things never change.
      Ron

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  3. Another great post with fantastic photos. And screw anybody who doesn't like it. As I always say - let them go read a boring blog.
    Wow, it's amazing that Miss Ezra was still around at 101. She looked wonderful. I haven't yet read Larry's post but I will.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank Jon. I like doing these blogs although I know they bore some people. As I say, "it's my blog and I'll cry if I want to!"
      Ron

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  4. Photos from 1962 make me chuckle for that was the year I was born.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or to put it another way "I came out before you came OUT." (chuckle)

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