To the man in the white Holden Ute
Dear whatever is your name
I was fairly new to Canberra when we met.
I had left Wagga in early 1971 to commence work with the Commonwealth Public Service in your city.
My sexuality was not clear, maybe to others, but certainly not to me.
Of course; there had been furtive assignations with kids at school but these were excused in my mind; as simply the product of a host of testosterone laden boys locked up together in a remote location.
There had been one encounter whilst I was at Mrs. Fullers; an old school friend stayed with me for a weekend when my roommate was away. It had been a big night and when we got home, we briefly relived past glories. It was never spoken of again and both of us saw it as the last hurrah of our school days.
There was no road map for a teenager to explore or to even comprehend; what it was to be Homosexual (the word; gay meant something totally different then).
There were seedy Ads in dirty newspapers, there were dirty magazines with seedy pictures hidden at the back of the newsagents and there was the occasional reference to homosexuals in the major papers.
This was usually when a miscreant had been charged with indecent exposure in some toilet in the City.
There was certainly nothing positive for a young man, searching for his sexuality; to find.
To the outside world: being a “poofter” meant being a pedophile.
I don’t know how or why, but I knew I was not a Pedophile.
I was attracted to young men around the same age as myself, It was total anathema that someone would even want to have sex with a child.
Homosexuality was against the law, driving people to sordid meeting places, where; undoubtedly; sordid things happened.
One of the great truisms of life, is that when you criminalize any activity, you make criminals of people whether deserved or not.
This happened on all sides of the law.
The perpetrators became criminals for simply having consensual sex with their peers.
Criminal gangs roamed gay beats looking for an easy bashing or occasionally a killing.
Some Police were complicit in this; treating reports of gay bashing as: “just some poofter getting his just deserts”.
I was confused, nothing made sense; my desires had nothing to do with the perception of homosexuals portrayed in the media.
It was seemingly impossible to be a “normal” homosexual man
To my knowledge, there was nowhere I could go to meet other “normal” people who were looking for the same thing as I.
I was not even sure these people existed!
I began to see myself as some sort of unique freak, racked by self-hate and continually building extra walls to protect myself.
I acted my way through life.
We were having lunch one day at work; when somebody casually mentioned, there had been a spate of “Poofter Bashings” in Civic Centre. The general tone of this lunchtime conversation was that these people had got what they deserved.
I was even more totally ashamed of who and what I was; I could not wait to get away from lunch in case someone associated me with the evil that had been discussed.
I had made good friends in Canberra, but there was no way I could share my filthy secret with them, they were people with girlfriends and they were most definitely rampantly heterosexual!
Sorry; I have just realized I have written a long letter to someone whose name I don’t even know and with whom I had the most fleeting of encounters; so let me get back to the point.
It was all this baggage I brought with me, the night we met.
I was living at Reid House just minutes from Civic and the thought of there actually being some sort of “poofters gathering”, just across the road, had been gnawing at me since that lunchtime conversation.
I set out, one cold, Canberra, winters night to explore this supposed den of evil, I had no idea of what to expect.
There were at the time; huge, open carparks surrounding Civic and as I walked, I wondered at the number of cars parked close to Garema Place. It was after 9.00 pm and, for all Canberra’s good points at that time; nightlife was not one of its attractions!
It was dark and freezing, but I walked towards the cars and saw people talking in small groups, I circled the groups and saw they were all men of various ages.
They seemed to be “normal”, laughing and joking but occasionally I would see a couple pair off and wander back to their cars, to sit in the warmth or drive off.
You, split off from the group you were talking with and headed towards your Ute, our eyes met and I uttered a shy and sheepish hello before you stopped to talk with me.
After a short conversation, you asked whether I would like to get into the warmth of your car, I agreed and we walked to your car.
There was not much conversation in the car, you reached for my belt and tugged my trousers to my knees before touching me where no stranger had ever been before.
Pent up spoof exploded within seconds!
I had no idea whether this was normal, but; from the look on your face I gathered it wasn’t; you offered me some tissues and then pulled your own trousers down.
Seeing your erect cock and being embarrassed about what had just happened, was too much for me; I opened the car door and sprinted back to Reid House, leaving you sitting there, probably quite bemused by what had just happened.
I showered as soon as I got home, went to bed for five minutes and then showered again, this sequence repeated itself several times before I finally fell asleep, haunted by evil and disgust.
I could not wash away the guilt!
The fire and brimstone sermons from my childhood haunted me, I had just committed an unforgivable act of pure evil; I knew any attempt at seeking forgiveness from God was doomed to fail.
I could only hope that in time, I would forgive myself.
You were probably a nice guy. In another life and at another time, you may have been someone I could have grown to know and like.
Just not in this life or that time.
I am sorry.