Loyal

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[00:00:01] Two things. She said, first one was that the marriage could not go on. And I respected her decision there. I wasn't going to continue to live a sham. The second thing was that was by way of empathy from her was that, my God, you must have been going through sheer hell. [00:00:29] I'm a very logical person. [00:00:32] I'm one of those annoying people who always just have one piece of paper on the desk. everything for me, is filed away in little filing cabinets. And it only comes out when I need to use it. So I guess my my life and my way of working are very similar. So within the marriage, when I was when I was at home with a family, I was there I was there Father, I was, you know, the, the the doting parent and all that sort of thing. But when I was in a situation where I could be myself, then I was. So yeah, I'm very good at compartmentalizing things, I can put things into slots and leave them there, and they don't overflow from one to the other. [00:01:17] In [00:01:17] the early 70s, when side graduated from university, I knew full well, that I was a homosexual, I did not know how to express myself, I didn't know what that was, I was attracted, quite openly to other mean, but I did not know how to communicate that attractiveness, for fear of making the wrong sort of contact, or becoming rejected. Even if the person wasn't straight. I found myself associating with people, other guys who I assumed okay, because we only ever assume this of each other, it was never sort of spoken about as it would be these days, and eventually found myself being propositioned by someone at the age of 23, I was still actually, for intents and purposes, a virgin, so I hadn't been with either a woman or a man. And I had got sick of it by the stage and thinking right, I'm going to do something about it. So I did. But the price that I paid is that I didn't enjoy it. There was no violence. But the relationship was totally one sided. And just thinking that this is not for me, I made up with a woman whom I had met two years previously. And we actually became very close friends to the extent that month later, we announced our engagement. And I suppose what it was for what it was for me was that I had been so put off by this other thing that I didn't like, what I had experienced. To the extent that I wasn't I wasn't, didn't feel confident about going out and finding the same thing with somebody else. [00:03:10] But the fact that [00:03:12] God came along the woman I was going to marry, I suppose my friendship with her grew so strong that in a way, I was replacing my true self with some with something else that had just come along. Now, I was aware of the decision I was making. [00:03:37] To the extent that I went through with it. [00:03:41] To the extent that we had two children, [00:03:46] I guess I first knew I was gay when I was 15. That was when I was living in the UK, before we came to New Zealand, then I came to New Zealand when I was 16. And it was in the days of the be racing and beer mentality. So I sort of suppressed it quite a lot. Although I did have the, the very first love of my life, if you guess when I was about 18. [00:04:10] And then [00:04:13] I went back to the UK for the, you know, the usual holiday that people have. And I had another couple of things over there, nothing very serious. But came back to New Zealand when I was 24. Again, to the same sort of mentality, living Indonesian, which is in those days, I guess, a very unsophisticated time. And I decided that there was only one thing that I could do, and it was to actually get married and to conform. [00:04:45] So I did, I met a wonderful woman, [00:04:48] I didn't find out that she was actually abused as a child, not sexually. But I guess she appreciated the female side and me, felt comfortable with me. Whereas she wasn't comfortable with other men necessarily. We were married for 30 years, and have three sons, the eldest is now 30. The youngest is 25. [00:05:17] Well, I think that because I knew that I was different. And part of it a big part of that was my sexuality, I was attracted to a woman who was from a different cultural background. And that made for a very interesting relationship. I also hoped, I guess, in retrospect, that that would mean that there was room for some exploration of my homosexual side. And as it transpired, and as kids started to come along, that turned out not to be the case. But I think at the back of my mind always was the hope that I would be able to find a stable relationship, but one, where there was the possibility that my homosexual side will not have to be shut out completely. As it turned out, that was not a practical option. And my understanding is that that is not an unusual situation. And that bisexual men often look to a single female partner with whom they have kids, but they have also hope to be able to have relationships with me. And I think that creates an extraordinarily difficult situation. Certainly, it didn't work in my case. But having said that, I have three marvelous children as a result of that relationship. And we have a very positive relationship with both my former partner, the mother of my kids and my children. [00:06:50] I just began to feel that I was living a lie. I couldn't explain it as such, but I mean, I was I was going art, my wife was out a lot. I was at a lot. So we were fairly independent types, but, and I was going to gay venues, gay parties, meeting up with gay people, and decided that if this was going to be found out, I would rather it came from me telling them, then from somebody else telling them, I felt that, to be blunt, to come out, say it straight, be honest, was the only way I don't like to look [00:07:31] upon it as a lie was something that I committed myself to. [00:07:39] I suppose that [00:07:43] it was more of a sham and an ally. Because I was I was deceiving myself. But I don't think I was lying to anyone had been never became an issue. If I was asked, and certainly when I was married, there was a lots of suggestion that he's gay, is your husband gay? My ex wife was able to say at the time, of course, he's not. I gather that was based on what sexual experiences we had, and that they were regular and meanie. And as far as I'm concerned, for me, it wasn't a true expression of me. And I suppose you could look upon it as a law. I made my bed and I had to lie on it. I thought quite secure in the way I was living, until such time as I began to mix with different people. [00:08:56] So I called everybody home for dinner party. [00:09:00] And tell them over coffee. The most difficult words, I think, that I've ever spoken in my life. I just simply said, I am gay. And I was watching with the boys and the wife. The boys I suspect knew. But my wife didn't. She was absolutely devastated. And having spoken the words, I couldn't pay them back. And actually didn't know what to do. Anyway, [00:09:38] we continued living together for a while, but separate rooms. [00:09:42] And [00:09:45] eventually, she just said she couldn't take it anymore. She couldn't cope. Strangely enough, the [00:09:51] when she was, as she was telling everybody, [00:09:54] they, a lot of them came back and said, Oh, we knew that. We just assumed that you and Peter had come to an arrangement, which of course was even worse for her. To think that, you know, everybody around us knew and she was the one who didn't, [00:10:12] was always a great one for being depressed. And opting out of life. Basically, not going to work, not doing anything. It was my way of just withdrawing for into myself for comfort, it had become a predominant behavior. To the extent that it was suggested that I seek professional help, there was a lot of emotional drain, I did not want to give up the security that I had, and the love that I had for nothing. At the same time, there was the irresistible pool of wanting to do something or be something that you had never had the opportunity to do to before, which was the essential self saying, putting its handing up hand up and saying hi. [00:11:08] navely, I thought when I told them, that things will just carry on the way they always had been. That they would accept it, that my wife would simply say, Oh, okay. And we would just carry on being the way we always had been, except that I wouldn't have this fear of being found out. In retrospect, I Oh, that was a stupid thing. It was extremely naive of me to think that could happen. Although it does happen in some marriages, I have a number of friends who are openly gay, and they're still living with their their wife. [00:11:45] That didn't happen in my case. [00:11:49] My wife is a very strong, independent person. [00:11:53] And I guess she felt that I had let her down rather than been living a lie. Perhaps I hadn't been completely honest with her, which I hadn't, of course, because I hadn't told her that I was gay. But the the interaction between us for all those years of marriage, really, to me, I wasn't I didn't, I wasn't forcing myself to do this, it was just something that I wanted to do. [00:12:21] I feel that my sexuality like so much in my life, and I suspect and others as well, however, I came back to work for myself, has been about starting off with some fairly grand ideals and mine were to do in terms of sexuality with the ability to express my sexuality, basically, when I felt like it. And the whole process of maturation and growing older is about it would seem constraining one's instincts and one's natural feelings to an order to a functional life. And that's really what married life turned out to be for me. And I'm not sure how long I could have gone on suppressing the homosexual part of myself. But it created, obviously, huge inner tensions when one personal relationship namely me wanted to be more experiential, with regard to sexuality, and the other person wanted to have a committed relationship. And obviously, that's a very difficult recipe to [00:13:36] maintain. [00:13:39] I didn't think it took a lot of courage at the time, because it was just something that I had to do. But since talking to all of new friends that I have, ever, they all say, oh, gosh, you were really, really brave, very courageous to do that sort of thing. At your age, after being married for all that length of time. But courage was something that I really didn't about. It was just something that I had to do, for my own sense of well being for I thought, I guess navely, the well being of the family as well, and that if they knew what the situation was, then they couldn't be surprised or hurt. Not really thinking that [00:14:24] I would be hurting them when I came out with a statement. [00:14:28] I think that people would say, yes, there was a deception, there was a lie. It was a convenient sham. But at the same time, I don't think I had any other choice. When I reflect back. so selfish years, and so far as that look, I had to leave a marriage with two children. And as, as a libel parents, I think that I'm doing penance for my, for my newfound sexuality, because I had to have had to pay liable parent contribution. [00:15:11] At the same time, if people might have thought about it as being selfish. [00:15:17] My ex wife and two daughters have been utterly accepting of my of my decision. Not necessarily immediately, the top the children were far too young to understand they were preschoolers. But in later life, yes, there is a complete acceptance from them and their mother, about their father. To the extent that I'm even welcome in their home anytime. [00:15:46] Well, I think that if I were totally honest about it, I have always wanted kids, because I think part of coming to terms with my sexuality was a broad questioning of, of the whole purpose of life. And I think for many people, of course, children, family, those traditional kinds of constructs give meaning to their lives, I guess. Subconsciously, I must have been aware that were right to lead a gay lifestyle at some stage, and to live in a same sex relationship as I now do that, that the kids would give a foundation and a meaning which I might otherwise lack. And that is certainly turned out to be the case. And I would say that the kids are probably the most important thing in my life, and I pride myself on being a very good father to them. [00:16:34] The first public announcement, I guess, if that's what you want to say, [00:16:40] is at a huge gay dinner, which was put on by gap, which is the game professional association here in Wellington. And I was enjoying myself as I nobody was do when I'm out. And the Compare suddenly came up and said, I know we have pizza, he has just come out and told his family and each of them microphone under my nose, being used to being up on stage and talking and running seminars and courses. It still fazed me a little. But I then just went ahead and told the whole congregation over the whole group rather than a congregation that makes it sound like a church, the atoll, the whole group, and the reaction I got from people afterwards was that they came up and they sort of, you know, give me a hug or touch me on the shoulder and said, Hey, that was really brilliant. You know, [00:17:32] I've often thought about this, but I would actually never get married again, to a man or a woman. I've been on a relationship now, over eight years, and I have no wish to marry my partner. I don't believe that we need a piece of paper, to signify that we need to stay together as a couple for the rest of our lives. What we need to stay together as a couple well for the rest of our lives, is their devotion and love for each other, and the declaration of it on a constant and regular basis. And we certainly do do that. Marriage to me is irrelevant, in the sense of the communication of love. And the expression of that I was married once. The relationship side of things in terms of living and being and sharing it with somebody else, is probably not too dissimilar. In terms of legal rights, however, I suppose if gay people were given the opportunity to, to declare themselves in a relationship, which had some legal recognition, and it doesn't necessarily involve a marriage as such, then that would provide certain safeguards, particularly for the continuity of a relationship and the recognition of that relationship by other people in the community. [00:19:04] I should have been much more honest with the family very much earlier on. However, that's also offset by the fact that had I have done it like 20 years ago, when the family were very young, it would have been very difficult for my children. And I'm not saying that I was a martyr to carry on within the situation. That's not at all. But I do know of a lot of families where the parents have split up. And that is very, very hard on the children. And I didn't want to put that on to my sons. Now that they're older, they weren't living at home anyway, they were independent. I felt that it was time that my time had come if you like, I was no longer it was no longer necessary for me to be the parent. As such, I would much rather be in the situation that I currently am with myself. In that last I am and always will be dad, we're actually friends. [00:20:06] Well, I think the main thing that I have got out of this experience is that if I'd stayed in a marriage, I wouldn't ever have had to learn the skills that I've had to learn in terms of looking after kids on my own. And I am now a far better father. Because I look after the kids on my own, I'm a far better cook, I actually have to spend devoted time with the kids in a way which frankly, being in a marriage was quite easy to escape from because there was always someone else did look after the kids. And of course, when the kids are young, they do tend to gravitate, gravitate towards the mother anyway. So for me, I have to say it's been incredibly fulfilling, I would actually say I'm a very good father. And I feel that if anything ever happened, for example, to my, to the mother of my kids, I'd be able to bring up the kids quite competently on my own. And I feel the for far more rounded human being as a result of the experiences I have hit. Since leaving that marriage, [00:21:04] the path that I took to become me [00:21:09] was fraught with. [00:21:13] Well, it certainly wasn't a straight road to bliss. And nobody says whether they be gay or straight. But [00:21:21] when I look back, [00:21:23] I can think I can see that Yeah, maybe I should have done it sooner. But I chose not to. [00:21:31] There was always a fear, [00:21:35] to to be sprung, I suppose. [00:21:40] And it just didn't feel comfortable. Once I had come out, there was just this humongous relief, a sense of relaxation and comfort with oneself that was just [00:21:54] override any over really anything else. [00:21:59] Maybe I was a bit later and finding it than others. But [00:22:05] I'm happy [00:22:06] with my development as me. I don't regret what happened. The other thing is, is that I have two wonderful daughters whom I adore and I adore may and this there's no blame on their part toward me about the decision that I had to make. It has been accepted the reality of it. They don't live in close association with me. But when we are together, we have an amazing time, as I consider myself can only ever be a friend to them, although they insist on calling me dead

This page features computer generated text of the source audio - it is not a transcript. The Artificial Intelligence Text is provided to help users when searching for keywords or phrases. The text has not been manually checked for accuracy against the original audio and will contain many errors.