I think I always knew, for as long back as I can remember. I was the gentle one, the artistic one, the imaginative one the one who could entertain himself all alone. I liked to be different.
My family was very average, Mom Dad, and a couple of older brothers. Everyone in my family loved sports; hockey was the big thing. I was never attracted to any sport, and so I would go to my room and draw. I was a creative kid and loved art, musical theatre dance, but growing up in a small prairie town my exposure was limited. I felt alone with no one that I could relate to, and it seemed like no one could relate to me either.
I was the Black Sheep in my own family, and the best was to deal with me was isolation.I knew something was different; I just had absolutely no idea what it was. I had lots of girlfriends, but that’s because I liked dancing
When I was a teen, I had a crush on the most handsome guy in the school. We had a lot in common and soon became best friends. We kissed and hugged and it felt so good. I didn’t feel all alone anymore
I now realized I was attracted to boys and that wasn’t ”normal” back then So what I did was deny any side of me that had that attraction to guys, and ignore those feelings
I went to Art school, and that became my passion, and I was able to have a creative outlet and be around creative people.I was passionate about art, and it became a distraction. My best female friend and I got married.
We were both artistic and loved to have long talks and enjoyed dancing and just having out with each other No pressure to have sex, with was fine by me. We talked about what we wanted, i.e., a family and a normal life.
We were married, and soon had a couple of kids. Somehow I always felt like I was letting her down, and letting myself down. I became very unhappy, and eventually, things had to change. I loved being a father but being married felt wrong. I finally talked about what I felt that I was going through and we decided to divorce. We have a better friendship than we had a marriage. Through my art and work, I was finally able to let my family know me. I was going, to be honest. It was a slow process, with counseling, reading and learning about homosexuality. Learning that I wasn’t alone and that I didn’t have to be ashamed of who I was, was life changing!
What lay ahead of me, I had no idea. I knew I wanted to meet a man fall in love and have a relationship. Have him meet my kids and get to know them, and become a family. I finally felt like a happy life was a possibility for me.
It feels wonderful, to be honest; it feels fabulous to be able to be me… Hart Downey