Wednesday, 7 August 2013

The Pride: When I Look Back Upon My Life...

Because when I look back on my life, what I remember most is a sense of being told who I was by voices who knew nothing about me. I also learnt to cover up my true identity. At school in Greece in the Eighties, I was quick to learn that to be gay meant to be mocked and ridiculed. Later, in my teens, when I became obsessed with the cinema, I watched an endless parade of negative gay stereotypes who either ended up dead or doomed to a miserable existence (a history, beautifully chronicled in the 1995 documentary The Celluloid Closet). When, with a frightened, beating heart I came across the first gay sexual encounter I had found in a novel – it was a horror book that someone had left lying around in a rented holiday house – two men make love in guilt and shame, and are devoured by rats. As a 13-year-old, trying to come to terms with my emotions and my sexuality, the signs were clear: what you are is bad and you will, at best, live an unhappy, loveless life.

Alexi Kaye Campbell gets a free ad writes about his play, The Pride, on how gay identities have changed since the '50s, in The Independent.
Contains now obligatory mention of Russian homophobia.

1 comment:

  1. I remember watching The Generation Game in about 1979 when I was 13 or so and my father was watching it with me. Larry Grayson was the host and my dad said : " You know he's not really ' like that ', that's just his act. " I seriously wondered if anybody was really gay and that I was some kind of freak. No wonder I stayed as deep in the closet as I possibly could.