It is now about 6 months since Ted took up residence in his retirement housing and he loves it – everyone is really friendly and there are lots of organised activities to get involved in, he is making lots of new friends and generally finding his feet.
Despite all this, Ted still hasn’t told anyone he is gay – he has come pretty close when people ask him about ‘his wife’ (he is very good at those deflective comments that are not quite lies) or his life (he can talk about work quite happily). He wants people to know because then he can talk about his whole life, or at least not be careful about what he is saying all the time – and he can stop thinking about it! His plan is to wait until people know him and like him – he is not quite sure when that time will arrive really – how do you decide? Then does it become that big announcement which he is really trying to avoid?
Tale 4 – the deep breath: One of Ted’s neighbours has a grandchild who has just told her family that she is lesbian. Her grandparents are very upset, they have told Ted that this is because they were hoping for great grandchildren which won’t happen now. Ted suspects it is more complicated than that – that they have lots of different feelings going on but he is worried about being too knowledgeable and so he hasn’t said much.
Tale 5 – the impossible statistics: When Ted applied for his housing he was open and honest about his sexuality on the forms he had to complete and so the housing provider knows he is gay. When he told his gay friends about this they all warned him against it and said that they would not declare in this way, that it would make them (feel) vulnerable. It has made Ted wonder about the figures when he reads about the numbers of LGBT people accessing supported housing – no wonder they are low!
Tale 6 – the invisible others: Ted doesn’t know anyone else living near him who is gay – is it anybody else’s secret too?
Missed the first of Ted’s Tales? Check them out here: Ted 1