I decided to send you this email to ask you what you think of gay life as a couple. In principle, I believe that the legal equality of gay civil unions with heterosexual marriage is something entirely justified. It comes to relationships of love and solidarity in which there is certainly a sex-related component but in the end the relationship that is created in a stable gay couple is far more complex. I’m 50, I cohabited for many years with my partner, he’s 52 (let’s call him Danny). When we first met we were pretty young and there was a mutual strong sexual attraction between us. I thought several times that both me and him could meet other guys and our relationship would be over. At that time I did not think I was a nice guy and I had many psychological problems related to my physical appearance. We never made promises to each other of eternal love because no one knows the future and therefore no one can hypothecate it, but instead we tried not to give too much meaning to our relationship in terms of mutual obligations. He often told me that I should feel free and he would have loved me even if I was not his boyfriend. He repeated that to love each other it’s not necessary to live in an exclusive relationship as a couple. We had not planned to live together, each of us had his friends and continued to attend them, but we have always been the benchmark for each other. The first few months, for us, sex was something very common in practice daily or almost daily, then the frequency of sexual intercourse began to thin out, but not because I or he should go to seek sex with other people, simply because we didn’t feel the need, we talked less in chat, but when we talked the talk was real and serious. Together we were still good, I did not know whether or not to consider him my boyfriend but in fact his presence was very important for me. Then, in a night of torrential rain, when I was 28, I had a bad car accident and was in an induced coma for ten days, when I started to wake up and realize that something serious had happened that would change my life, I immediately thought of Danny and he was there, next to me and spoke to me. I was very confused and not yet able to understand what he was saying. I was hospitalized for six months and Danny was always close to me, more than my father and my mother. He was already working at that time, but his time off from work was dedicated entirely to me. In the hospital they thought he was my brother. One day the doctor gave me a new radio and told me that “my brother” had asked him to give it to me. I explained to the doctor that he was not my brother but my boyfriend, and he asked me surprised? “Really?” I said yes and he told me: “You’re lucky! That guy really loves you! “But I did not know what would happen next, because I was alive, of course, but I was already physically compromised and I would never be the old strong Bob again. One evening, when we were alone, he looks me in the eyes and says, “I need to tell you something important.” I expected him to tell me that he would go on his way, and I might have to accept it, and instead he said: “How willing are you to live with me?” I tried to take some time and asked him to leave me a couple of days to think about, because it is a very important thing. I didn’t want to condemn Danny to help me, I loved him too and especially I didn’t want him to be close to me because he felt sorry for me. At the end I told him that I did not want to live with him. He did not insist, and just said: “Ok, we will have to reconsider it best!” After a few days he was back again on the subject, told me that he had talked with my parents and also with his and my parents would agree. Danny actually has always had a great relationship with my father. In my opinion, my father accepted my homosexuality easily because he had met Denny and knew that Danny always loved me. I tried to make him understand that I was no longer the guy I was before the accident and that I would not ever again, he could have had more easily an happier life without me than with me. He replied: “Bob, if I wanted to leave I would have already done and I will make you some proposals.” I told him I did not want a guy who felt compelled to be near me. He pulled an envelope out of his pocket, took my hand and slipped a wedding ring on my finger, just like the ones that are blessed in the church, then he slipped the other ring on his own finger and said: “I slipped you this wedding ring, if at any time will be a problem for you to be with me, just remove the ring and I’ll understand without much talking but I will continue to love you the same. “Since that day we have never removed our rings. I left the hospital and went to live with him in a tiny apartment in the city, near the place where he works. The early months were tough, I had several surgeries, then the neurologist said that he thought a re-education could bring considerable benefits. We do not have enough money to be able to afford a real physical therapist, and Danny so tried to be my therapist. Through the lessons online and with the help of a physiotherapist friend who occasionally came to see me, Danny was able to bring me back to the use of my legs. The neurologist could not believe his eyes. After a year I was able to move unaided in the house. When I turned 30 I was now completely independent, I could leave the house alone and also go up and down the stairs. Just to go up and get off the buses I needed help. Then Danny began to think that I could even get my license using a car with minor changes in the controls and in the end we have been able to do that too. The day that I got the license we went out of town together and I drove the car! In recent years there have been moments of misunderstanding but we never considered the possibility of cutting off our relationship. When we have our moments of intimacy I feel happy, not because of the sex itself but because it is a way to communicate with each other and to tell we are still in love. Sex has its importance, but my relationship with Danny, now more than ever, is not based on sex. We are not yet old men but the first signs of age are nearby. Danny not only allowed me to live a somehow normal life at the physical level despite the accident but for me he is my future. I am unable to think of myself as single, now we are inevitably part of a couple. There is a thought that scares me, it’s the idea of losing Danny. Sooner or later one of us will go and the other one will be terribly lonely. for the one who will survive life will be irreparably broken. We are gay and unfortunately for an old gay man age is synonymous with loneliness, but it is not a loneliness like that experienced by young people, when you are still self-sufficient. Age for a gay old man means loneliness when you are no longer self-sufficient. However, now we are here and we do not want to think about bad things and I hope to spend with my Denny many, many years. I just wanted to say that the couple’s life lived with love makes you understand to a higher level what does the word solidarity mean.
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=34.