Here I am, an elderly retired Caucasian man recovered from serious illness, now I'm in excellent health and still active in most respects. After a lonely , often brutal childhood, I've been lucky enough to enjoy a productive life. Yet all along I remained inwardly alone. Six years ago, I entered a new world, when a gay Chinese doctor suggested I join a gay dating website. Since then I have tasted for the first time not only gay sex, but to my amazement, deep and loving intimacy with another person! The latter has given extra energy and joy to my existing relationships and to my lifelong involvements in faith, politics, community work and music, and has inspired greater respect for people who struggle to live honestly, whether in the mainstream or at the edge of society.
At puberty, I realised I was gay, and though often puzzled have never doubted that my orientation was God's gift. But I had no idea how to build an acceptable, open and responsible relationship with a guy. So, I made other life commitments, some sensible, some not. It's taken me this long to discover my true self! Not that there's been instant fulfilment! I sometimes smile, sometimes shudder, at the juvenile impulses that still fight it out with the more adult and mature 'me'.
My journey has been blessed by many close friendships with men and women, young and old. And of course, I've also known what it is to be attracted to particular guys wherever I've been: in Australia, UK, and particularly Southeast and East Asia. Some have responded well to hintsof this more intense affection: others have turned hostile.
Retirement has taken me away from 15 years in an inner area of Melbourne, which required a full-on daily encounter with the passionate, tender and destructive capacities of human beings, gay or straight. I learnt quite a lot about human nature and myself, and became even more convinced that in God's eyes, we're bigger and more colourful than any limited two-dimensional definition of us. So I still prefer not to be 'out'. This is also one of the reasons why I don't put my pictures on gay dating website. I want to encourage people who seek a better life. And I'm not keen for them or others to focus on my sexual label, as if that was all I was, rather than someone who tried to be there for them. Besides, I have always preferred small-scale interaction with others, a non-drugs loner. I have absolutely no interest in any public gay 'scene'.
I admire people who think deeply about their purpose in life and want loving relationships, including when they are not sure how to express their sexuality, other than to suppress or bury it deep down in their heart. Surely, we can find a better way forward provided both parties treat each other in an open and respectful way.
I realise my hopes are full of contradictions: I am an old man, yet I feel young and want a genuine two-way equal friendship with other guys where age difference is not really important. I'm a single pensioner with limited resources, now unable and never willing to be a sugar daddy! Can the Real Thing happen? Some say my quest is naive, selfish and hopeless. Yet in these last 6+ years, I've found gay men ranging in age from the 20s through to my vintage who are companionable, if not in bed, at least in the frankness and humour of our conversation!
Unexpectedly, in 2010, I met a wonderful man who lit a blazing fire of longing and contentment in me, now a more subdued but constant conviction: 'I have found my true love'. But, though I would dearly like to explore LTR with him, he's made it very clear 'no!'. At best, just 'friends'. So, I am trying to deal with this new reality, life-changing for me if not for him, and to trust God for an outcome that is right for both of us... Meantime, I try to be a more caring and less needy old (gay) man.