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This comes from a long year of one thing after another smacking me in the face and not being able to control or forsee events which I would normally. I didn't want this to be a blog, but a general essay based on observations I have made over the past two year about gay life, its attitudes, other attitudes and just how selfishness can override all other aspects of our lives.

We see and hear alot about men who get divorced or who leave their families because of coming 'out'. In fact I once had a conversation with my all female colleagues when I worked in London, asking them if they could ever forgive their spouses for such an event. The resounding answer was 'no'. When asked why the most popular response at first was 'why get married in the first place?'. I looked at these independent intelligent people and realised that depite it now being a possibility in everyones lives so very little thought is given to it. Do we have to wait for an avant-garde comedienne to do a sketch on it?

From my liberal stance I weighed up the moral equation of this event, surely this would be better than a spouse cheating, or doing something more destructive to their families and spouses by becoming an alcoholic with a liking of saunas?!!

Their response hurt me more than I thought, it wasn't till I got home that I felt almost isolated by it. I was accepted by my colleagues because I was considered 'safe'. I was in a long term relationship, we lived together, we were both professionals and we had a cat! but when things started going wrong their whole attitude towards me changed, all of a susden I was a threat of some kind that would disturb their black and white world. I realised that this is not only for gay men but the same is done to single women. For straight men you get all the usual jokes, not so strange.

It was about this time that I became over-sensitive to everything, even online Debate I would get wound up and do a pretty good job of winding others up, and so this endless cycle of a battle of words took hold that only now I feel able to get a grip on. (Sorry for the navel gazing).

Now before I was in my relationship, I had never really been out on the 'scene'. Going clubbing and drinking at bars, more out of confidence that I might get beaten up outside if I was on my own more than anything. Then moving to Bournemouth was like a wake up call. Oh my God!! I can be myself and nobody actually gives a hoot!! I relaised that leaving the big city, rather than decreasing my freedom had expanded it. London is a paradox, the centre of the most liberal democracy on earth, culturally and politically, and the one place gay men and women have to scurry along in hope that there isn't a group of youths about to attack them.

You see there is very little unity if you belong to the gay and lesbian community. At least not here, you get pockets centred around one bar or club where the staff and their friends and regular patrons all look out for each other but no-one else, a bit like the Cove without Jessica Fletcher (but with almost the same number of attacks).

I finally understood why you see older gay men in groups, or deciding just to live together, because until you reach thirty five on the 'scene' youth is eternal and so is your string of partners. Then you hit that end which says 'you shall be alone and so will whoever decides to turn up to your funeral'.

The order of the day is promiscuity, and the addage 'just because you have sex with other people doesn't mean you don't love your partner'. WHAT???!!!!! This goes against everything and I am being told to accept it because the majority does!! Where did this begin? Are all men so pathetic they are unable to commit to one person?

Then I realised, it goes deeper and further than I could have possibly imagined before. It goes back to our upbringing, the first time we realised the attraction to men, the walls put up to stop you from doing anything other than what eveyone else does, the feelings of isolation, desperation and unattachment that stay with you for as long as you breathe.

So there is the inability to attach, reach out, accept another. In a community which exports the notions of acceptance, tolerance and reaching out, there is a severe lack of all three within itself.

And there is the long slide down, you realise freedom means isolation from the very things it is supposed to provide. A paradox? No, not really, the gay community has taken liberty and humanism in there purest forms. Liberty being the right to practice sexual acts and behaviour without legal intervention. Humanism as being the notion that even when you are with someone you can still act as an individual in every sense.

So is the gay and lesbian community free? No, because we still manifold our members to conformity in its own shape.

Ask not what you can do to poetry, but what poetry can do to you.

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The following comments are for "The Long Slide Down"
by londongrey

Lucie on love.......
Lucie you don't know how much I have missed reading your words over the past year (it must be longer but everything has massed in a big clump).

Thank you for your insights, womens insecurities when it happens is something I forgot, I wish in a way that love wasn't, in its own way, so selfish. It is like we love purely for ourselves in so many ways. Does that make sense? I certainly don't believe love is selfless.

You have given me so much to chew on thank you.

Alex xxx

( Posted by: londongrey [Member] On: October 2, 2006 )

I endorse
Very well put. One can't help hoping though : if only many many more men and women would come out .That , coupled with precipitously falling birth rates -to say nothing of contraception ,should ensure that little is left of the aryan stock within the next 5O -odd years.So much for Hitler, Himmmler and dear old Sir Oswald Moseley.

( Posted by: Gorakekalloo [Member] On: October 3, 2006 )

No Frikkin Way
"Of the lesbians I know, most were once married to men. The men left behind in this are always fine when they say "my (first) wife left me for a woman" because it, in no way, threatens their continued virility as heterosexual men. They will walk away convinced they are too much man for that woman."

Wow. As someone who's been through this himself, and knows others who've also been through this, I can tell you that's 100% false. This is just another tired old male stereotype. But I love ya anyway, Lucie. ;)

( Posted by: viper9 [Member] On: October 3, 2006 )

I'm 100% alive after all!

So far . .


( Posted by: viper9 [Member] On: October 3, 2006 )

I'm sold.

So maybe, since this is my third comment on this thread, I should actually say something about the essay, eh? Yeah.

Well-done, man. It's a good essay, an explosion of pent up emotions and reflections. It's intelligent, too. This is a good re-introduction to you.

One minor quibble: I think you've mixed individualism up with humanism. Sometimes they're part fo the same package, sometimes not. Individualism as a doctrine, of course, has its roots in the Reformation, pre-humanism.

( Posted by: viper9 [Member] On: October 3, 2006 )

I don't mind at all, if nothing I say ever spark a conversation I would be even more morose than I already am.

Lucie that is the firt time I have seen you swear!!! A moment I always feel requires a celebration! Hehe, thank you hon xx.

Viper I always get mixed up, it is because from studying psychology the term humanism is used in the same concept, I always forget the broader meaning. Thank you.

And thank you Gorak for stopping by and commenting. This is the kind of conversation I have missed for such a long time.

( Posted by: londongrey [Member] On: October 4, 2006 )

You're welcome
I have to say your graciousness was most disarming. You see ,I 'd been raring to make the point that : going by all that has happened ,it was extremely likely that ,the future could well see society becoming more tolerant of abhorrences like paedophilia .

Instead ,I shall simply say that all love - if it be heartfelt and genuine - is to be celebrated rather than censured.

( Posted by: RJKT [Member] On: October 5, 2006 )

slide to isolation
I'm not sure I follow all of this correctly, but I'm glad to see you back in THIS community.

As far as one's spouse coming out, it must be shocking indeed. If the spouse came to realize their true sexual identity sometime during the course of the marriage, it's certainly preferable to be honest rather than cheating or drinking away your troubles and hanging in saunas or locker rooms or what have you. If you truly love this person honesty must be preferable to deception; and if they truly love you they must, at some point after overcoming the shock (eventually), forgive and accept. However, if the self-outing spouse realized their true sexual identity from the start, one would wonder "Why? Did you use me to cover up your true nature?" It's inherently dishonest and difficult to forgive. Either way, I'm not sure that one can prepare for the possibility.

If promiscuity is the norm in gay society, the monogomous gay man is indeed the odd duck in both gay and straight society. I suppose the flip side of the individual's desire to fit in is the group's tendency to expect the individual to conform. If one expected more freedom in the gay community but instead found only the same pressure to conform, albeit to an alternate norm, disappointment and disillusionment must surely result. The unfortunate price of freedom from conformity remains isolation. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on things I never thought to think about.

( Posted by: drsoos [Member] On: October 14, 2006 )

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