I was 50 and just out of a long-term gay relationship and about to enter into a long legal battle with my ex to retain my home and finances. Yes my house was very important to me as I knew I could leave it to my sons once I had passed on, a sort of legacy that would help them in the future.
Not only did I have all the legal stuff on my mind, my ex also launched a war of nerves on me. Phone calls in the middle of the night with music playing at the other end, voiceless messages on my answering machine, mail missing from my letter box, oil spilt on my door step, clods of dirt thrown onto the driveway, it was relentless, it was a bad time in my life.
But there was one more thing that I was frightened of losing and that was my sons. You see, I hadn’t told them I was gay. I had come out to my mum and dad 18 years before, which was the biggest mistake; they didn’t take the news very well at all, so I was afraid to tell my sons in case I got the same reaction from them as I did my parents. I had kept so much of my life from them. Would they understand?
The legal battle went on for 2 years and with 2 court cases drawing closer, I had decided that I must tell my sons I was gay. At the time, my sons were 23 and 21 and were living their own lives, they were good kids. I rang them and asked them over for dinner, I had got in all their favourite foods.
The day arrived; I was in the kitchen cooking up a storm. When they came in, my stomach was turning over, I felt sick, I remember the confusion in my mind, should I tell them or should I just not bother and continue to hide my sexuality from them. I gave them each a hug and asked them to sit down as I had something important to tell them, they replied “what’s wrong” so I took a deep breath and just told them.
The court day finally arrived. There I was in court ready to fight the final battle with my ex and my sons were standing proud beside me in support. My ex lost, with me retaining my house, and the courts awarding me costs.
That was 4 years ago. One of my sons is married and the other is engaged. I am very much a part of their lives as they are of mine.
I had agonised for so long about telling them.