Well I’ve known for a long time that I like men. I’m definitely a ‘men’ person but I had a weird experience two months ago with a girl… I could have gone there if I wanted to but it was bizarre. For 36 years I thought I was gay and then to be confronted with this girl, and physically there was a possibility of being able to do it, was a bit of a shock. I’m definitely gay, but there must be a swinging side on me that I wasn’t aware of.
I think I first knew when I was in primary school, when I was about 8 years of age. I came out when I was about 23, when my parents asked me if I was gay or not. My mum was balling and carrying on like it was all her fault and my father, who is a butcher and painter was very cool, calm, and very supportive. When I first come out he wanted me to do a self-defense course. Initially all the family rang me, all seven of them, and they said, “As long as you’re happy; we’re happy.” As time has passed, they’ve got more and more supportive. My mother says to me now, “You need someone in your life; you can’t be single.”
It took me a long time to be able to deal with it. It took me until I was 23 to be able to come out and that was when my parents asked me. I hated it. I was in denial for all of those years and I thought “Why is God doing this to me?” When I was a young child I wet the bed and when I got to an older age I thought, “He not only made me wet the bed but He’s making me gay and like boys and that’s all wrong, wrong, wrong” because of my Catholic upbringing. I was 23 when I accepted it and now I’m not fazed by it. Being a country boy, it was very difficult because I was in denial for a lot of years.
I’m out at work. I don’t have any problem because it’s a gay environment anyway. We sell a lot of gay paraphernalia. I think a lot of the staff members and customers are gay too. Even when I worked for the public service, I never had any problems. The only time there’s been a problem at work was when I was a hairdresser in the country, because I was in the closet. I didn’t want to come out, so no one knew at that stage.
I don’t get a reaction now when I tell people; they probably already know, or it doesn’t get mentioned. I don’t hide it and if it comes up in conversation, I don’t really get a reaction for anyone any more… not to my face, anyway.
I can honestly say I felt Catholic until I was in grade 4. I definitely believe in some sort of god and I believe in the spiritual world. I don’t believe in the way that religions want people to be and choose the way that they act. The spiritual belief for me is whatever you are, whoever you are, as long as you’re not hurting anyone. As long as you’re true to yourself without hurting others, sexuality isn’t a problem and it should never be a problem.
I see myself as just an everyday kind of guy, pretty easy going and I hope that people see that. I do have my other side where I can get a bit serious when I need to be. I don’t like that side too much but in the past six weeks I’ve had some serious things going on.