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Stephen



First Love

A well-endowed priest with links to the RAF. What more could a young gay man want?

My first love. Glasgow, 1974.

Me- good looking (or so I was told - no confidence), student, playing at being radical. Pride marches, holding hands in public (!), gay politics and of course lots of sex! Slowly developing a gay identity for myself.

Then all of a sudden along came LOVE. Everything fell apart, I fell apart. Pulled in all directions by an obsessive need for this man. Waiting endlessly by the telephone, overjoyed when he phoned, devastated when he didn’t. Waiting for that letter that took weeks to come. Putting up with so little in retrospect. I deserved more! Easy to say now. Then, he was the centre of my world. I hung on his every word and couldn’t wait for our next meeting.
I don’t remember much about the sex except that on one occasion, he wanted me to go down on him and I felt shy and uncomfortable. It felt too reminiscent of other casual encounters and I wanted this to be different. Our relationship was on a higher plane and I wanted the sex to reflect this!

I can’t say how long the love affair lasted. I say “love affair”, I’m still unsure where he was in all this. (I suspect it was all a bit one-sided!) It seemed to last an eternity but I imagine it dragged on for about 6 months although in terms of actual contact it could have been condensed into a week, I’m sure.

I’ve no idea about how it ended or when it ended but he was my first love and I don’t feel I’ve experienced anything quite the same since (I met him by accident about 10 years later. I felt nothing and he didn’t seem to recognise me!).

Despite being “out” and part of the scene, I don’t have any recollection of talking to anyone at the time about how I felt. My gay friendships were superficial apart from one friend who I think had a crush on me so it didn’t seem right to talk to him. On the whole this love affair was an intense, private and closed world. Things were difficult for me afterwards with anxiety attacks, leaving college and entering the wonderful world of psychiatry (“Do you have any nervous habits?” What the f… did that mean?). It felt like that gay identity I had been forging had come crumbling down. Luckily this did not last too long although like the love affair itself seemed to go on for much longer. I remember the turning point being travelling through Europe with a straight friend. Then returning to Glasgow, completing my degree but feeling a lesser person somehow, less confident and I suspect “closed down”.

Writing this I’m aware of how little context there is when describing the affair. I did have a life apart from being with him. I studied, met friends, saw films, ate, and drank. But in one sense the account is accurate. I was in love for the first time and he was my world and nothing else mattered.







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