How wrong could I have been.


I have lived here at Hamilton Hall in Bournemouth for 21 years. In that time I have not gone out of my way to befriend the neighbours as running a gay establishment, I have kept to myself and not involved myself too much in local stuff. I have not been to a gay bar in Bournemouth or the gay beach in over a decade ( as I do not ike the gay scene anywhere ) and do not mix outside of Hammy Hall - as I am actually - and some may find this amusing, I am actually quite shy.


I hear many regular guests taking a big inbreath at that comment and tons of ... 'WTF is he talking about - him - shy ??? @


Living an extremly active social life within Hammy Hall is more than most people get in a lifetime and weekly can be an amazing pary here with laughter and fun all day.


Having said that - after being on telly 12 times and on the front page of the local paper 4 times, it is no surprise that we are a gay venue for all to know and see, and in all the years, we have never experienced any form of homophobia except through e mail and always from gay men.


Homophobia comes from closented fearful gay men and not straight men, as if a straight man is secure in his sexuality he has no fear of gay men. Men who are - however - NOT so secure in their sexuality - will fear gay men as they are fearful that they are homosexual themselves, or even just slightly attracted - and out of fear will abuse in return the very men, the very community that they resent / envy - ONLY because they have chosen to live a lie and many resent having to live that lie and having to continue living the lie and all because they chose it in the first place and were not brave enough - or foolish enough - to come out as gay / bi in the first place, . Period.


Anyway:

I have always been aware of this tall handsome man in hismid 40's when I moved in here, who I assume lives locally as I see him occasionally walking down our road and sometimes walking a dog. He is often around and he is rather handsome and my type and I have always felt somewhat intimidated by him - maybe foolishly - but I was. Not a word was shared for 2 decades.

Back during the first lot of lockdowns - while walking my dog - I saw him out in my local park sitting alone and for the first time I spoke and I asked where his dog was, and we chatted easily about how he shared the dog with a friend and he was delightful. Not intimidating at all and in fact, a slight nervousness on his part as he has a mild case of asbergers - and here I was all this time a wee bit nervous of him as I can be quite shy ( some will find that hard to believe... me - shy ... ) when the truth is - he was a delight, but shy at coming forward.


On my own shyness - I had misjudged him.


Then today, another man I have seen for over 20 years who walks past Hamilton Hall 3 or 4 times a day, is another older man in his 60's who is severly scared in the face and I have noticed him for years but never spoken, and today as I walked the dog - the perfect occasion came into being and I simply said how lovely the plants were in a certain house garden he was standing outside of, and he was lovely in chatting about the neighbour whose garden it was and how hard she works on it, and once again, someone I have seen but never spoken to in all this time, is wonderful, friendly and sweet.


A

gain, not what I thought at all.


Sometimes, these older people who you see alone all the time, a



Years ago just after the TV programme staring Hamilton Hall, I was out and about - again walking the dog, and 3 skinheads were along my path through the park and I have to admit to avpiding them the first time round the park as I didn't want any problems, but on the second time round, they called over telling m how they had seen me on the telly in the 3 In A Bed and how they liked how I spoke back to the homophobe, and I stopped and chatted and they were an absolute delight. My fears - based on how they looked - skinheads - was to avopid but in reality, they were lovely guys, friendly, sincere and thoughtful. We chatted for 15 - 20 minutes and had a laugh.


It jst goes to show that sometimes we get it wrong.


We mistake what someone means. What they stand for. Who they are and even what their aims are - and we can get lost in our own incorrect data and act accordingly, when with a little more input, we learn a completely different story to the one we assume it to be.


Looks can be deceiving.


Our own mind can grab an idea and completely run in the wrong direction with it and until shown otherwise, we can absolutely run ourselves into trouble by simply not knowing all the facts. Chatting to this older man today - I noticed he is very badly scared on the face, like a lot of birns I had not seen / noticed before - and anyone who has gone through that is to be greatly admired, and I shall make a point of chatting some more in future.


Sometimes those we see alone all the time are quite lonely and dying to chat - as they have no one else to chat with and so shop daily just to be able to see someone else, a living person, and someone to talk with even if just to buy a pint of milk.


So never be afraid to speak to people as many want to chat but are shy at coming forward. I learned how sweet these two guys were and had spent years feeling - embarrassed or something - and until i spoke up,m things were never to change and now, we chat often.


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