It was a normal night in early 1992, Brian had been in Melbourne for the day and I had been offered a role on the National Board.
Brian and I had dinner in town, the conversation had been full of plans for where we could take the company.
It wasn’t until I was in the car and driving home that the enormity of what I had been offered and happily accepted, hit me.
My sexuality was still a secret to many people, Brian among them. I was aware there were rumors circulating within the group and I was aware that in taking on this National role, my life would be under even greater scrutiny.
Was it fair to Brian to accept this role without telling him I was gay?
There were no role models of successful, openly gay men in business, but the secret haunted me and I decided I could not take this role under false pretenses.
I rang you around 10.00 pm and asked if you were still up and ready for a visitor. There must have been something in my voice because you assured me you were, even though, when I got to Spring Street I found both you and Sue, in your pajamas.
You and your daughter had become so important in my life and this night, you were the people I turned to with my dilemma.
It is marvelous, how a bottle of red, a cup of tea and good friends can make the biggest issues seem so simple.
Nobody could have been happier for me, when I told you both about the directorship and my new title of General Manager for Australia.
You both looked at me as if I was mad, when I expressed doubts because Brian did not know I was gay.
“Well just tell him, he will be fine”
Sometimes, we fear ourselves, more than we fear anything external and this was one of those times. It took your wise counsel to steer me through the next few hours.
“I will tell him for you” was your retort when I tried to explain my fears. You moved to pick up the phone.
“I don’t want to be here when you do it, will be harder for everyone if I am in the room”
Sue and I decamped to the verandah with the dregs of the red while you spoke to Brian, I still don’t know how your conversation went, but it didn’t take long.
“Bruce, go home now, Brian is going to call you and I told him you had just left, he is fine with everything”
It wasn’t far from Spring Street to Armadale but this night, the journey seemed to take forever.
I was just walking into Armadale when the phone rang.
“Bruce, it is Brian here, I have just been talking to Myf and I want you to know that you being gay does not affect my offer in any way”
“I admire you for wanting to tell me, but it does not change anything”
We joked about you being the only person in the world that Brian could not say no to, then we hung up and I went to bed.
This was the second time you had saved me from myself in the Ray White Group.
If only I could have ever believed in myself, as much as you believed in me.
Thanks, Myffy thanks for everything.