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Early Gay Feelings in the 1960s


Norman remembers realising he was homosexual at the age of 13, and how it made him feel. (In the 1960s. the term ‘gay’ meant bright and happy, the usual term for a gay man was ‘homosexual.’ )

“My mother had a medical directory and it had an article about homosexuality. I’d heard the kids say ‘homo’ at school but never knew what it meant. I read the medical directory and it explained all about it, that they are attracted to the same sex. It suddenly dawned on me that was how I felt. I was just horrified, I said ‘No that’s not me, I won’t do that’. The way it described it was as if it was an illness. I was 13.

“I tried to suppress my feelings for a long time, I was always looking and attracted to other boys but no one knew I was gay, everyone thought it did not exist.”

When Norman was 19-24 years old he suffered from depression, he felt lonely and isolated. “You thought you were the only gay man in the world, gradually I got to realise I wasn’t.”

Contributed by: Norman, 58

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