Friday, May 12, 2006

Gay Banker interviewed by PJ

Last December, I was interviewed by Sage, and following the rules of The Official Interview Game I went on to interview various other guys including PJ. But I never gave PJ the chance to reciprocate and interview me, until I left a comment on one of his postings last week.

So thanks for a nice set of varied questions PJ :-)). Here are my answers:

Question 1. Just how do you manage to not tell the boyfriend everything? I'm about as good at keeping a secret from the boyfriend as he is at getting up and out of the house in the morning without waking me and the cat up (ie it just never happens!). Do you never get confused about what things you've told him and what you haven't?

Actually I don't think I've ever had a problem in this respect. Right from the start I knew that boyfriend number 1 was very keen on monogamous relationships, so after my first encounter with another guy I decided that boyfriend number 1 didn't need to know. In fact I resolved to keep it secret from absolutely everyone I knew. Even if I told some of my oldest and closest friends, I knew that I couldn’t be certain that the secret wouldn’t leak out to him, so I told absolutely no one. Sometimes the truth can be unnecessarily painful, so I decided not to subject the one I love to the pain I knew that he’d feel. I was still committed to him of course, and it all worked well for ten years.

Perhaps one of the unusual aspects of my personality is that I'm capable of making resolutions and sticking to them over very long periods of time. How many people resolve to go to the gym, and give up after a few months? Or start a blog, and get bored after a few weeks? I resolved to start going to the gym in 1996, and I'm still going. Similarly I resolved to start a blog in early 2005, and here it is, still going. Keeping my activities secret from everyone fell into the same category.

One of the important things when I first resolved to keep everything secret was realising that I would have to lie shamelessly! I couldn't simply be evasive if a direct question came up, that would give the game away. No point trying to give clever answers to difficult questions in an effort to try and tell the smallest lie. Deny everything without thinking about it.

In some ways, it’s like being able to speak more than one language. When people can speak two or more languages, they don’t mix them up. Instead of languages of course I’m talking about identities. I don’t mix up my different identities. I guess I’ve got a cruising identity, which is part of my Gay Banker identity, which is completely separate from my home/work identity.

Now that I have told boyfriend number 1 that I’m not the monogamous person he thought I was, it’s still simple to keep the identities separate because I know that I’ve only told him the outline with no details. Unfortunately it’s still not clear whether our relationship will survive this trauma or not.

Anyway, surely everyone can keep some secrets, such as the present that we've bought our loved ones for Christmas?

Question 2. Are you a reader? If so, what three books should I read and why? And if you're not, what do you keep on your shelves??

I am an occasional reader of novels, and since I'm only an occasional reader I decided years ago that there's no point reading only average or even good novels. There are more than enough truly great novels to last my lifetime, so I always focus on books which have won prizes, or classics which have stood the test of time.

If you haven't read it, you should definitely read my favourite classic, which is Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Written at a time when tumultuous events were occurring throughout Europe as Napoleon ravaged the continent, a clergyman's daughter called Jane Austen wrote a quiet little book where the main events are that a man changes his manners and a woman changes her mind. But it's a stunning masterpiece. In fact I'd thoroughly recommend all her other novels, apart perhaps from Northanger Abbey which has a very different feel to it from the other five. In some ways they're all the same, they're all love stories with happy endings where the women eventually ends up with the man. But the beauty is in the telling.

My other favourite book was written less than 50 years ago. It's To Kill a Mocking Bird, by Harper Lee, and it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1961. I can remember when reading it that there were some passages that made me cry - it's a very moving and powerful story.

For years I've always felt well prepared for the "what's your favourite book?" question because I've had two - but you've asked for three! So I've racked my brain to try and remember other books which I've loved and finally I remembered a book which I read when I was at university which I couldn't put down. J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. I guess we've all seen the recent movies, but the original book is a cracking read!

Question 3. You got my 'coming out' tale (or as much of it as there has yet been: the family are still awaiting their invitation to the party!). So what's yours??

Fair question. Actually I have said a few things occasionally on this subject, but it's true that I've never told the story properly.

I reached university without ever having had a girlfriend. Very very deep down I guess I knew the truth, but it was completely suppressed. My father would occasionally make anti-gay remarks, and coupled with standard schoolboy homophobia which I experienced at school there was simply no way that I could be gay.

At university I didn't have girlfriends either. Eventually I forced myself to have one date with a woman which was a disaster. We tried kissing at the end and I felt repulsed, it wasn't for me! Throughout my university career, looking back I can see that I kept on falling in love with my closest male friends. But at the time all I knew was that I wasn't gay, I just couldn't be!

After university I moved to London to start my first investment banking job, and I rented a room from one of my close friends from university who had bought a house. I still had a crush on him. The thing about this friend though was that once, when we were still at university together, there was an occasion when we were both drunk and he had made a pass at me! At the time I sobered up immediately and ran away, but I never forgot. This friend is definitely mostly heterosexual, but clearly with a slight bi-sexual tendency.

Eventually, without even really knowing what I was doing, I made a pass at this friend. It was unsuccessful. But the result was that over the course of the next couple of days he helped me realise that I was gay. Finally I had started coming out.

But I found the concept that I was gay very very difficult, so I made myself go to group counselling at London Friend. It was there that I made friends with a guy who was in a similar situation to me, and eventually we spent a night together. We weren't really compatible and I didn't see much of him after that night, but I guess that was the beginning of my gay life.

Gradually I came out to various friends, and within a couple of years I'd met boyfriend number 1 and had come out to my family too. All in all it wasn't an easy coming out. It proved to me that being honest with oneself can be the hardest thing to do.

Question 4. What/who do I look like? see, even with just five questions I can't resist bringing it back to me, me, me! total attention seeker: the nomad was right all along! ;-)

Actually I reckon this is the most interesting question. Working out what someone looks like from their blog! I noted in the pre-amble to my interview questions for PJ that he'd posted a couple (1/2) of unrevealing photos on this blog, so there's not much hard evidence to go on.

But the truth is, whenever I think of PJ, one image always springs to mind. Because he's got such a strong interest in nature and the environment, I always picture him as the BBC survival presenter Ray Mears. The only image I could find of Ray Mears to post here is a very old one. The image I have of PJ corresponds more to the slightly cuddlier Ray Mears that's been on BBC television over the last few years. So PJ, perhaps you should put the record straight and show us what you really look like?

Question 5. And finally, my standard one-size-fits-all family favourite: What are you listening to at the moment?

At last an easy one. The only thing filling my ears at the moment is the sound of boyfriend number 1 in the shower. And the thought of a moist, pert, naked man's body always gets my juices going. Music to my ears!

Want to play? The Official Interview Game Rules:

  • If you want to participate, leave a comment below saying, "interview me".

  • I will respond by asking you five questions - each persons will be different.

  • You will update your journal/blog with the answers to the questions.

  • You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.

  • When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.


Anonymous said...

Super questions, brilliant answers! I would have asked GB as well: what he considers to be the most recent romantic thing he did for/to BF#1?? Obviously, no need to answer, since I'm not the designated interviewer :-))

Anonymous said...

What a great idea! Do me, do me! Well, when I say "do" I mean ... interview me, not "DO" me, well, unless you asked nicely! :o) GB(D)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like fun, Interview me please GB x

PS - I love Mocking Bird too. Ever read Catcher in the Rye ?

GB said...

Actually Legal-ize-IT I think I'm about to be interview by Reluctant Nomad, so if you want that question answered you could try lobbying him to ask me :-)

OK gayboydiary, saddle-up. I'll do gayboydiary first 'cos he asked first, but it might take several weeks due to various other committments in my life at the moment!

GB xxx

Anonymous said...

Pj came up trumps I see! Good questions and good answers so it seems I may have to do a bit of homework even if you have TOLD me NOT to be too wordy in my questions!

They'll be manufactured in the next few days or so.

Incidentally, you are right about PD and LGD. The other one occupying my mind a bit at the moment is EAD

Anonymous said...

interview me

Anonymous said...

what a wkd blog - very entertaining

Anonymous said...

Interview Me

GB said...

OK bullchef, you can be after saddle-up, and you ljkelley can be after that :-)

I reckon I can do one interview every two weeks or so, so it'll be June at the earliest, hope that's OK.

Luv+kisses, GB xxx

PS: it's not compulsory of course, but it's definitely nice if interviewees put their interviewer in their blogroll?

Anonymous said...

They are queuing up! Tell them to get on their knees! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one already on my knees then?

Snoskred said...

Is this what coming out of the closet feels like? ;) I read this probably 3 months ago back when I first found your blog, and I've stopped myself from saying "interview me" all this time, but now I think I'm ready.. so if you have the time would you please interview me? ;)