Hello Project, my name is Laurence and I live in a small town in the North East, we ought to be almost the same age. The idea of this email came to me because Andrew, a young guy who changed my life, told me about your forum and I went to read it with a huge curiosity. There is a section on older gays and it is not abandoned! In short, reading I had the impression that your way of seeing things is not very far from mine, that among gays is not so easy to find.
I am 57 years old, Andrew is 31, but I have to say right away, we are two gays but there has never been sex between us, such a thing can have passed through my mind, ok, it is a fact, as it has also passed through his mind, but it never happened, because the fear of destroying what was consolidated between us held us back. I met Andrew when he was 16 and I 42. I have been always an undeclared gay and I didn’t even have gay friends. There was no internet, and if it had been there it would not have been my passion.
Professionally at 42 I had achieved my professional accomplishment. I was a lawyer and I was dealing with divorces. One day in February 1993 a gentleman introduces himself to me with the typical way of doing of people of rather high social class and tells me that he intends to separate himself from his wife, but what strikes me is not the attitude of that gentleman towards his wife but his insistence that his wife had had in an extramarital relationship for many years and that their son or their alleged son would actually be the son of his wife’s lover. I asked him how old was the boy and he told me 16.
I accepted the cause of separation “because of the lady” telling my client that the custody of the son, especially in a condition like the one he declared, would have been granted anyway to his mother, because he actually had denied paternity but my client didn’t seem upset at all and on the contrary seemed almost happy.
A few days later I called the lady to understand her reasons and after a couple of days she showed up at my studio with her son, that is with Andrew. He was already a beautiful guy, he shook my hand without any hesitation. The lady was sure that the son was son of her husband because at the time she didn’t even know her friend, but she didn’t intend to resist the possible disavowal of the paternity. All this was quite unusual, but one thing bothered me more than all the rest: the lady, also certainly wealthy, was not in the least disturbed by the fact that the husband wanted to separate from her by blaming her, but seemed worried by the idea of having to keep her son in the house where she lived with her partner, who certainly wouldn’t have liked cohabitating with the son of the lady.
I asked the lady to talk separately with her son. The lady was a bit perplexed but finally said yes. When I found myself alone with Andrew, face to face, I asked him why neither his father nor his mother wanted to cohabit with him, and the answer baffled me: “They don’t want me because I’m gay and so I’m not even a son for them”. I smiled as if to say: “But is it possible?” He smiled too. Then he made a strange gesture, for a guy of his age, he took from my desk a business card of the studio and told me: “Later I’ll explain, now let mom in, otherwise she worries.” I called his mother and we said hello.
I don’t deny that what had just happened had disturbed me and not a little, the behavior of Andrew was absolutely free and spontaneous, after the exchange of smiles he was no longer afraid of me. I thought, however, that the thing would have had no following, if not on a professional level, but it was not so.
The same evening, very late, after midnight, Andrew called me on the cell phone and always calling me by name, he kept talking with me for a long time. I’m wary by nature, so I spoke in a formal way, because I was afraid of being registered, but here and there I let go out a few words of encouragement. We talked almost two hours. In the following days almost the same thing happened almost every day. I canceled all my commitments in the evening because I knew that Andrew would call me. It was nice to talk to him, step by step we came to talk about everything.
I did not know whether to tell him that I was gay too, it could be a very dangerous thing, but then I told him, he replied that he understood it from the beginning and that for this he had taken my business card. Slowly I too put aside all my perplexities. Andrew talked about everything, even about sex and in a very serious way and, what could seem incredible, I did the same with him, I talked about me, my desires, my dreams and he answered me as one who knows exactly what to say and how to say it.
The legal proceeding came to define the separation of the parents and Andrew has been entrusted to mother and he was yet 17 and a half years old and basically we were on the phone every night. The thing was absolutely normal, his mother didn’t know it and when she saw him on the phone she thought he was talking to another guy. One day in March of 94 (I don’t say the day), Andrew turns 18, I wish him well. I had told him I would have a little party at my house. He shows up at six in the evening with two huge suitcases and tells me: “What is my room?” I look at him puzzled and he says: “I don’t want to stay at my mother’s house a minute longer!” We prepare his room. Needless to say, I was happy.
Andrew then attended the second classic (the twelfth class). I felt like I was coming down in a new role, that of Dad. He looks at me and says: “Why don’t you adopt me?”. I quickly took stock of the situation. I no longer had parents and I have no siblings, so something like that would not have undermined anyone. I answer him: “Yes we can, yes!” He hugs me and messes up my hair, then crouches down on the couch cross-legged and tells me: “It would be not so bad! But in the meantime you have to start to assume such a role properly.”
The next day there were talks with the teachers, he urged me to go with him to the talks. I asked him if the professors knew his parents, but he said that neither his father nor his mother had ever gone to speak with the teachers. The night before he tells me about the school, the teachers, about what I had to say. The next afternoon I make my debut as a dad. Andrew was good at school, indeed very good, and I tried to do my part well. The professor. of Mathematics told me that it was a pleasure to meet me and that I had be proud of having a son like Andrew! I cannot deny that I felt in seventh heaven!
Over time, the relationship with Andrew has become very strong. When he had a boy I saw him happy and he talked to me about it. This, although it may seem strange, has never created any problem. Andrew was so moderate: he never drank alcohol, he never smoked, he didn’t like going to parties. I already loved him then with all my soul. Sometimes with the guys he had bad experiences, that is, he deluded himself a lot, when the disappointment came, he sat in an armchair and said to me: “What are you doing when you’re sad?” And we kept talking for hours.
In April of 98, our life changed. Andrew met Peter, a very good guy, also 21 years old. At the beginning it seemed like one of Andrew’s usual stories, important but relative, then he told me that he wanted to try to live alone with Peter. That was the most difficult time for me. I was afraid of losing Andrew but not only I haven’t lose him but I also found Peter. I had a studio, a kind of attic with a single room but very large. We furnished it and Andrew and Peter went to live there, on the fifth floor, I lived on the second, at the beginning they were a little on their own, then slowly they started coming to lunch every day at my house, then even at dinner, at the end, in practice they lived in my house and went to the fifth floor just to sleep.
We’ve been living like this for 10 years now. Now both Andrew and Peter work and they could very well buy a little house to live on their own, but they don’t leave. We spend 15 days together in the summer all the three of us and we go around Europe. Even Peter is a very good guy, even he is an unwanted child. They treat me like a dad, for me it’s a wonderful thing, when they leave on their own they call me twice a day so as not to worry me. By now they are no longer two boys but they are two adult men. I have a little fear of old age because I could create problems for them, but they pamper me in an incredible way.
There is only one thing, stupid perhaps, that I miss a little, they always call me Laurence while I would like them to call me dad, but perhaps they didn’t even think about it. Now we are basically a strange family: a man of 57 and two of thirty-one. If I look back to my past, my gay dream was another, I also wanted to live the couple life like Andrew and Peter, I wanted to have a sexual life, which I only had between 30 and 35 years old and with a person who has always told me a lot of lies and who then suddenly disappeared without even saying hello. As a young man I wanted a world like Andrew’s and Peter’s but I didn’t have it, but in old age things have changed for me and I think I can say I have lived a full-blown fatherhood. I feel like a daddy, they treat me like a dad, so lovingly. There are people who say that the family is the so-called normal formed by a straight couple and children, that is a family of blood, ok, it’s a fact, but mine, that of Andrew and Peter, why should it not be considered a family? I don’t say of myself, for heaven’s sake, but these two guys, why don’t they have any protection in the name of the protection of marriage? What’s that got to do with it? They love each other and love me. But is it possible that all this doesn’t have to count for anything? When they will need someone it will not be the family of origin to remember them, but they will have to help each other. If I didn’t have these two guys I would be just an old man who would end up being looked after by a caregiver or some institution, if I have a future it’s because they are there and because they love me, but all of this on a social level counts for nothing!
Now, Project, publish this story so that someone reads it because it is not a fantasy but it is a testimony to the truth, that truth that so many people don’t want to hear, is a testimony to the seriousness of gay guys and to the things they are capable of, if only they find people willing to love them.
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-love-in-a-gay-family