David Bruce: Homosexuals Anecdotes

Gareth

Rugby legend Gareth Thomas is 6-foot-3 and 16 stone of muscle, and in 2005 he captained Wales to its first Grand Slam victory since 1978. Also, he’s gay. For a long time, he tried to live his life as if he were straight, but he was not able to. Eventually, he told his wife, Jemma, that he was gay, and they split up. On November 4, 2006, after a rugby game, he started crying in the locker room, and coach Scott Johnson asked him, “What’s up?” Mr. Thomas replied, “Me and Jemma have split.” Mr. Johnson then said, “Oh no, what’s happened?” Then he said, “I know what’s happened — I know what it is.” He had guessed that Mr. Thomas is gay. They went into another room, and Mr. Thomas confessed that he was gay. Mr. Thomas says, “After keeping it secret for so long, I felt a huge rush of relief.” Mr. Johnson then told him, “Right, I’ve got to speak now to three or four players in the Welsh team because you need the boys to surround you and support you. You can’t cope with this on your own.” Mr. Thomas sat in a bar, waiting for some of his teammates to show up and wondering what they would tell him. His teammates Stephen Jones and Martyn Williams showed up, patted him on his back, and said, “We don’t care. Why didn’t you tell us before?” Mr. Thomas says, “Two of my best mates in rugby didn’t even blink an eyelid. Martyn said he never had a clue, would never have thought it. I felt everyone was protecting me and closing in tight around me. No one distanced themselves from me, not one single person.”

World-famous makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin was a very out gay man. In interviews, he would mention his boyfriend and he would also talk about the problems that gay teens faced. Sean Byrnes, the stylist for covers of Cosmopolitan, was impressed by exactly how out Kevyn was in public: “He would take the subway to the studio wearing a long hot-pink coat! I told him he was going to get killed, but he didn’t care.” Instead, Kevyn simply said, “I’m gay and I’m proud of it.” Sean adds, “What he did for gay rights and gay youth was extraordinary.” By the way, gay youth do need help. Kevyn grew up in a homophobic area in which he heard the local Catholic priest rail about the evil of homosexuality. Young Kevyn was afraid that he would grow up to be either a rapist or a child molester. Instead, he grew up to be a good-deed doer, donating his make-up skills to celebrities who were raising money for good causes. By the way, Kevyn once gave a pair of fancy Chinese pajamas to a gay friend who was dying of AIDS. The hospital nurses helped the friend walk the hallways so he could show the Chinese pajamas to everyone. Of course, we should note that other people helped Kevyn. When he first moved to New York City to find success, he was severely impoverished and severely hungry. Kevyn was trying to be successful as a make-up artist, and some of his friends at Ford Models who knew of his plight used to take him out for expense-account lunches.

A drag queen named Ron remembers the 1960s when the police raided gay clubs in New York. Whenever a police raid occurred, an employee of the club would turn on a light to alert the patrons, who would stop dancing and start pretending to be straight. He says that you would throw your wig behind a chair and rip off your eyelashes, adding, “You would grab a diesel dyke and pretend she was your girlfriend.” At one raid at Greene’s Dance Studio in Brooklyn, other people ran, but Ron was wearing a very tight dress that made it impossible for him to run, leading to his arrest. He was dressed as Jane Russell at the time, and a photograph appeared in a newspaper with this headline: “Jane Russell is a Man.” Years later, he told the story to the real Jane Russell, who sent him a photograph with the inscription “To us Janes, God bless us.”

Singer/songwriter Levi Kreis is gay and religious, and he went through a long period of praying to be “cured” of his gayness before finally accepting it. When he had just arrived in Los Angeles, he went to see Del Shores’ play Southern Baptist Sissies, which is about four gay boys growing up in a Baptist community. At the intermission, he was crying because, he says, “I didn’t realize that my story was the story of other people. I was floored.” Sitting behind him was a man who asked him if he was OK. Mr. Kreis replied, “I don’t know who wrote this play, but it’s just tearing me apart!” The man then said, “I wrote it. Hi. I’m Del Shores.” Mr. Shores also said, “You can come back and see this play as many times as it takes you to put your past behind you.” Mr. Kreis says, “I think I went to see the play 36 times!”

In Great Britain, a radio show titled Writing the Century is based on the diaries and letters of real people from the fairly recent past. One episode focused on Steven, who in the late 1970s was an 18-year-old gay man whose best friends dressed like girls and used the names Chrissy and Gloria. One day, Chrissy and Gloria visited a jobs centre, and the interviewer asked whether they really thought that they would get jobs dressed “like that.” Chrissy and Gloria asked, “Like what?” The interviewer replied, “High heels and red plastic trousers.”

Financial guru Suze Orman is an out lesbian — now. When she was about 12 years old, the very first rumor that she was a lesbian surfaced. She denied it. Years later, in her first year of college, she knew she was a lesbian, so she went to the person who had spread the rumor and said, “Laurie, remember that rumor you started about me years ago? Well, that was true.”

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Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

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