Barra O Donnabhain Growing Up Gay in Ireland 1960s / 1970s

Barra O Donnabhain's article Open discusses his experiences growing up in Ireland in the 1960s and 1970s and his growing fear that he might be 'one of those', his awareness of the hostility towards and ridicule of gay people and the pressure to hide who you were.  "Your options were stark: hide and conform or become a pariah and object of ridicule, derision and hate. Not surprisingly, many chose to check out of our society. Tragically, for many that meant self-destruction in its various forms."

 
He describes finding a social scene and a community in Dublin:  "To realise after your entire life that you are not alone is a very powerful experience, and I felt that I had a lot of catching up to do in terms of growing up and being emotionally involved with another person. After a lifetime of hiding and denial, it was great fun with this new group of friends to spend 90 per cent of our time together commenting on guys. Much of the rest of our conversation was spent talking about who knows, who doesn’t know and who will never know."
 
Barra's story Open is part of a collection of stories My Son, My Daughter, Myself.  
Barra O Donnabhain Growing Up Gay in Ireland 1960s / 1970s