Lonely Soldier

I am 35 and a homosexual – a fact I have accepted.

My problem is that, except for two occasions, I have been non-practising, but due to increasing loneliness and frustration I wish to become active.

This self-repression has manifested itself in several ways. I find it very difficult to communicate, especially on a social level, and I’m very nervous.

This shows up by a bad hand tremor, so that a simple thing like drinking a cup of tea becomes impossible. It is not as bad though, if I am in the company of people I know. The only way I can become at ease and communicate freely, is through drink. This in itself is becoming a problem that I am just managing to keep under control.

The reason why I’ve kept my feelings suppressed is because I am a serviceman. In six years’ time I will be leaving the forces after 22 years, with a substantial gratuity and pension. If I became an active homosexual and this was found out by my superiors I would lose everything.

So what to do? Become active before it is too late (if it’s not too late already), or try to live out the next six years as best I can, with the certain knowledge that my chances of finding some sort of sexual fulfilment will be even more remote than they are now?

J. K.

There seem to be two main problems here — inherent shyness together with suppressed homosexuality and your dilemma as to whether or not to leave the forces. Do you think that life would be any less difficult for you if you did leave the services earlier than you planned? I doubt it, because you will not have solved the first problem.

As I see it, i have to disagree with you that your choice is between sexual satisfaction and financial security in the form of a gratuity and pension. Surely it is not unreasonable to have both?

It’s certainly not impossible, but perhaps very difficult. There must be many servicemen who are able to achieve them providing their private life is kept very discreet and at a safe distance from both their camp and base.

As for finding homosexual contacts, why don’t you write to the Campaign for Homosexual Equality, an organisation which has throughout the country, a number of responsibly run homosexual social groups? Perhaps through their help you would be able to socialise and so overcome your shyness.

Also, do try your best to control the drinking, it isn’t any answer to your problems and it can easily make them loom larger.

This letter, and the advice given, is reprinted from FORUM Magazine, Vol. 5, No. 8

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