OurStory Scotland

Becoming Visible

Exhibition of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender history in Scotland

Ian Passmore - One of Us

Photograph of Exhibit

"Is he one of us?" asked Ian. I'd been telling him about Colin and I having a bit of fun in the bath after the hockey match. I had no idea what he was talking about. "Is he one of us?" he asked again with a bit more urgency in his voice as his bus was drawing up to the stop. I still hadn't a clue what he was about. I was racking my brains but the only thing I could think of was that he was asking me whether Colin was Catholic or Protestant. I knew it couldn't be that as it was something neither of us bothered about in the slightest. His bus had now stopped and this time he looked at me as if I was daft and said "Is he one of us — a poof." He didn't notice that I'd staggered

Bus stop in front of Argos

against the shop window. I spluttered out the first word I could think of which was "yes", he said "Good, I really fancy him" and jumped on the bus. He left me completely devastated repeating to myself "I'm not a poof, I can't be." It seems incredible but even though I'd been having sex of some sort or another with mates from school, the club and even at work it had never even crossed my mind that I might be queer. In my mind it was just a bit of fun. The fact that here were no gay magazines, no chat lines, no free sheets, no help lines may have had something to do with it. The only "gay" I knew was Danny La Rue and he said he wasn't. So for the next eighteen months I suffered badly. I cried my self to sleep. I was suicidal, I had been nasty and short tempered and gave my parents a terrible time of it. Then I met Ian at the club and it was love at first sight — for both of us. We helped each other come to terms with it. I can still remember my mother saying "I don't know what it is, but I'm glad you're back to normal again."

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