I am writing to you as I have reached the age of 40 and I still haven't managed to have a meaningful relationship. I have been trying to get a boyfriend for nearly fifteen years and done all the things, gone to bars, discos, answered and placed ads in In Dublin and Hot Press but to no avail. I consider myself very plain and too thin - exercise and body building haven't helped, and although I try to maintain a happy and friendly manner I have remained unloved.
I have had lots of one night stands and formed 'friendships' with some of the guys I have seen several times. The two times I thought I was getting somewhere the guys turned out to be married and I was just their bit on the side. I think with AIDS around we have to just settle down or give up being homosexual altogether.
I heard on an English radio programme about a sex therapist who apparently can turn homosexuals into real people. I would be glad if you could let me know if this can be done and if it is expensive or whether it is covered by the VHI.
You are obviously at a very low point in your life but you must begin to realise that all this unhappiness and self-pity makes you see everything in a very jaded light. Because of this you are making a very unfair assessment of your life and reaching some very wrong conclusions.
From your letter you sound very depressed and your self-esteem is very low. You believe that because you are forty you are 'over the hill'; you believe that you are plain and unloved and that you have failed in what must be (in your view) everyone's goal in life - to find a meaningful relationship with a significant other. Now AIDS has frightened you and things have got so bad you want to be 'straight'.
I'm sorry Brian but you have got it all wrong!
No therapy exists to turn gay people into 'real' people because they are already real people. Nor can therapy make you 'straight'. What you need is a talk with someone who can make you see that you are already a real person.
It is because you are depressed that you see yourself as unattractive to others. No one is that ugly or unloveable - but beauty comes from within and until this happens you will not be able to present a truly 'happy and friendly manner'. You must learn to like yourself again before you can expect other people to like you too.
Your first step should be to talk out your feelings and fears with another gay person. I suggest you give Tel-A-Friend (TAF) at Dublin 777847 or 719379 a ring and have a chat with one of the volunteers. Please let me know how you get on.
I am becoming a big fan of yours and would love to ask you out -1 think! Who or what are you? Are you male, female or a transsexual? Are you lesbian or a gay man? Are you a transvestite? I'm sure you are gay as you seem to understand us so well. What age are you? I hope that you are not too old and that all that wisdom has been acquired through long years of personal experience.
Why don’t you get a proper picture published instead of those silly drawings and let me get a good look at you? If you answer all of the above correctly and I like what I see you could find yourself having a great night out.
Are you male or female? In either case you sound like a silly shit and not someone I would choose to spend an evening with - returning overdue library books would be more fun.
I also happen to like those 'Silly little drawings' and I hate labels gay, straight or otherwise.
For the present I will remain a mystery Aunt; I would not like to think that someone would not write to me because I didn't fit into the correct pigeon-hole.
With best wishes all the same,