Reluctant Nomad interviewed by Gay Banker
It seems that Gay Banker did a great job rising to the challenge and he even managed to dredge up a very unflattering picture of me from Troubled Diva's archives. In the interests of vanity and healthy, balanced perspective, I’m posting a couple of recent pictures of myself so that people don’t think that I look like that all the time! Apart from the pictures from my past and my 'magazine portrait', this is the first time I’ve posted pictures of myself on my blog. It appears that this interview technique has the potential of producing some revealing results!
Without further ado, here are the answers to Gay Banker's interview questions:
What was it like growing up gay in apartheid South Africa?
This is a very good question but to get a decent, comprehensive answer to it, I’m not the best person to ask as I suppressed my gay side for most of that period so am unable to give you the answers that you’d get from someone who lived a ‘gay life’ during that period, whether in the closet or not. Homosexuality wasn’t illegal at that time but sodomy was. Gay bars existed in the cities but were in dark alleys out of the sight of prying eyes. The police regularly raided cruising grounds and people would get charged with committing indecent acts. Medical authorities in the army often subjected gays to drug, shock and hormonal treatments without the informed consent of their ‘patients’. So, there is a lot to write about that period and a lot of it has been written by those who were there but none of this really affected me. However, I can give you my experiences of being gay during that period.
At boarding school, I indulged in various ‘homosexual fumblings’ which ultimately led me to realise I was gay with me admitting to myself (and a friend) that I was gay when I was 16. But it was only when I went to university a year later that I started mixing with people who regarded themselves as gay, some of whom were quite happy to be known as gay even though they were surrounded by a lot of homophobic students. I continued with my ‘homosexual fumblings’ but even though I was close friends with a number of gay friends and even went to one of Cape Town’s gay bars (Wings) several times, none of my friends knew that I was (am) gay. Had I not met my wife when I was 19 and fallen in love with her I’d definitely have been part of the South African gay scene at the time. For the four years I lived with her before getting married and for a couple of years afterwards, I’d still indulge in my ‘homosexual fumblings’ but then I stopped for close on 10 years until I ‘re-confessed’ to her that I was gay. Very hard to believe when you read how promiscuous I am these days! So, gay life largely passed me by during that period. I only became fully part of it in the mid nineties by which time South Africa was the first (and only) country to have gay rights enshrined it the constitution.
You've promised a coming out posting sometime but for now, how did you wife react when you confessed (and re-confessed) to her that you're gay?
To answer this question, I’m going to have to give you part of the coming out posting which has yet to be posted. I’ll eventually get to posting that one of these days.
I met my wife when I was 19 and she had just returned from three years overseas which had culminated in her doing the ‘hippy trail’ across Asia to Nepal. She was (is) very bright, articulate, witty and interesting and I fell head over heels in love with her despite my knowing I was gay. I moved in with her a few weeks after having met her and we lived together for four years before she suggested we get married. In those early days we had a very healthy, active sex life but from very early on (maybe right from the start?) sex with her involved fantasising about men. We were going through a bit of a difficult patch when she suggested we get married and things seem to get worse after that for a period of about 6 months during which I was trying to pluck up the courage to tell her that it was a bad idea as I was gay. I had rehearsed how I was going to do it for months and had even written down a short speech that I was going to deliver her. She found the note and confronted me with it. Obviously, it led to a very traumatic conversation where we were both very upset and in tears. By the end of that conversation, we’d convinced ourselves that I was bi and things carried on as before and we got married a few months later.
As I said above, my fumblings continued for a couple of years after getting married but then I completely suppressed all that for close on 10 years by which time our sex life was non-existent and I was feeling increasingly depressed, claustrophobic and isolated. I was hardly talking to her at the time and that was causing huge tensions at home and she suggested meeting me at lunchtime one day to discuss our relationship. It was on my daughter’s first day at school. We met up and she started the conversation by saying, ‘What’s wrong, why are you being so non-communicative?’ I said, outright, ‘You know what the problem is, I’m gay.’
Although she probably expected the answer subconsciously, it shocked her. During that conversation she asked why I now referred to myself as gay rather than bi. I said, ‘To put it simplistically, if I walk down the street and see a beautiful woman, my mind registers ‘beautiful woman’ but I won’t give her a second thought but if I see a beautiful man, my mind dwells and dwells on him.’ I also told her that as hurtful as it may sound I didn’t find her at all sexually attractive but that was all to do with me and had nothing to do with her.
By that time, we’d lived together for almost 20 years and we'd had two children so my re-confession was even more traumatic than the original one. For a time we went through a really bad patch where we both saw therapists and went to marriage counselling but although she thought of leaving me, she chose not to so we are still together even though I live a very separate life in addition to my married life.
What is the least favourite city that your nomadic lifestyle has taken you to, and why?
This is a no-brainer – Southampton!
I spent 8 weeks there at the end of 2004 working for IBM at a large life assurance company. Staying in a hotel all that time didn’t help but the city is ugly and soulless despite being a major port and being near beautiful countryside. It was very badly bombed during the war so the city centre was largely rebuilt in the fifties and sixties so the architecture is unsympathetic and brutalist. At night, the city centre is largely devoid of people as the pubs, restaurants and bars are on the periphery and often situated far apart from each other.
Long term, do you expect to find a boyfriend to settle down with, or do you think you'll end up back with your wife in Cape Town?
Although there may be some inner issue that closes me to the idea of a long-term boyfriend, the real reason for not seeking one while I’m being ‘nomadic’ is that if I were to find one it would make my return to Cape Town very difficult. I’ve had several boyfriends in the past few years but they haven’t lasted because I eventually tired of the men concerned. But, having said that, my mind isn’t completely closed to the idea. I suspect, however, that when I return to Cape Town, I’ll probably get back with my ex of 7 years. There is a ‘fatal attraction’ between us that creates a very strong bond between us. Whenever I’m in Cape Town, I see a lot of him and even when he has had boyfriends we continue to have sex with each other. This has caused problems for him before as the boyfriends don’t like it (even though they don’t know we’re having sex) and they get very threatened by it.
When I'm in Cape Town, I live at my house with my wife and kids and I sleep in the same bed as hers so on returning, I’ll definitely land up with her again. How long that will continue for, I really have no idea. It will probably continue until I get together with a boyfriend whom I view as a long-term partner.
Finally, who's your favourite porn star (or if you don't have a favourite porn star, your favourite actor who you wish was a porn star)?
I don’t really have a favourite porn star although I’m rather fond of Colby Taylor (Warning: very explicit content) amongst others. I do, however, have two favourite actors that I wish did porn.
I find the Australian actor, Hugh Jackman, incredibly sexy and loved his portrayal of Wolverine in the X-Men films even though I’d have made him get rid of all that hair had he got into bed with me at the time. Not only is he the best sort of eye candy but he is a damn fine actor!
The other actor who gives him a run for his money but doesn’t quite pip him to the post is Edward Norton. Again, not only great eye candy but a damn fine actor! Unlike most others who perved over Brad Pitt in Fight Club my eyes were on him all the time.
Gaybanker, thanks for those probing questions. In answering them I’ve probably answered a few questions that other readers may have wanted to ask. It was quite fun even if it took a bit of time to answer some of them.
For those of you who may want to be interviewed in this fashion, here are the Official Interview Games Rules:
- If you want to participate, leave a comment below saying, "interview me".
- I will respond by asking you five questions - each persons will be different.
- You will update your journal/blog with the answers to the questions.
- You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
- When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.