It all started with a crazy idea – what would it be like to be a “mature” man who has been married for a long time to discover that he is gay or maybe always has been and just didn’t accept the reality?
The germ of the idea led to a few tentative episodes of a story that I called “Going Gay.” Its lead character was named Tim Hobson. He was a recent widower, having been happily married to Julia for 50 years. His best friend suggests that Tim take some time after his wife’s death to figure out what’s next in his life. After a year, Tim decides to sell his mansion outside Denver and go find himself. He first travels to Las Vegas, where he and Julia had honeymooned, but the place has changed too much to be comfortable for Tim. He then heads to San Diego, where he meets some men in a similar circumstance and is introduced to a gay porn model named Beau. Tim and Beau begin a steamy romance that leads them both to new understandings of who they are and what they seek in life.
After finishing the “Tim” story, which went to more than 75,000 words, I sent it off to a gay romance publisher. I haven’t heard back from them yet – they say it takes at least 90 days to get a response, but I decided to keep writing, even if what I’m writing isn’t worth publishing. So, I started on the second installment of the trilogy. It’s a prequel to Tim’s story, and its protagonist is Tim’s son, Bruce. The third part will be about Tim’s grandson, Kieran.
Here’s the key: Tim goes through most of his life living as a straight man (which he had no reason to think he wasn’t). Bruce realizes that he is gay in high school, but is living in an era (the mid-70s) when it is just beginning to be safe to be openly gay. Bruce leaves Denver for college in California, where he is free to explore his sexuality and live openly as a gay man, although still not out to his family and friends back in Denver. Bruce’s story continues up to the present and culminates at the same moment as Tim’s. Kieran is the son of Bruce’s daughter and is living in the present. He is out to everyone and is finding his way in a world that is foreign to his uncle and grandfather. Three generations of gay men in the same family give insights into the various modes and experiences of going and being gay over the past half-century.