Let it be said: no, we do not turn to men because it is “easier” or because women are, on the contrary, too “complicated”. It’s not exactly a choice. Richard*, in his sixties, has a lot to say on the subject.

He wrote to us last summer, in reaction to the story of a certain Vincent*, who said he was “this type of man”. “No attraction to men, but ultimately he fucks guys because it’s easier? Really? What shocks me? This is because it suggests that gay men are sorcerers with the power to deviate “good people” onto the path of abomination. By far the best argument to fuel the worst homophobia! »

We ended up setting up a meeting this fall, in a pretty retro café on Ontario Street, to explore this strong reaction. It must be said that Richard has experienced some serious transformations, and he knows it. Born at a time when homosexuality was still considered criminal, he entered into his active sexual life in the midst of the AIDS crisis. “It makes you want to live your life, that! he wrote. So the stories of guys being “dragged” into this bother me. A lot. Because I don’t believe it for a moment. We don’t get trained. We are. Point. The choice we have is to take responsibility or not. »

For his part, he always knew that he was attracted to men, he begins, looking us straight in the eye, with his large clear eyes which will often fill with water during the interview. And it took him a while to “resume” himself. From early childhood, he was called a “faggot”. “I was effeminate! » Raised in a family of girls, with a father who was rarely present, Richard quickly said to himself: “Here’s the explanation! […] In my head, I became like that. So we just have to undo that. It’s that simple ! »

“At the time, there was no Pride, no gay characters in soap operas,” recalls our interlocutor. “The only reference we have is Michel Girouard and everyone laughs at him in Quebec. This guy had real courage and I salute him, he explains, but you don’t like everyone laughing at you. »

Especially when, in secret, you have fun in your basement as a teenager with a loved one, “games” that will lead to complete penetration, around 16 years old. “I experienced it as a parenthesis,” he remembers, “something that was going to fade away…”

At the same time, and in broad daylight, Richard makes a girlfriend, and there, finally “everything is fine”. “You’re part of the group. »

It was once he arrived at CEGEP that he met the mother of his children. She’s a very beautiful girl, the “perfect” scenario. “And it took two years before anything happened,” he laughs softly, hindsight helping. And it was she who took the first steps. […] Poor girl, it must have been very boring, very mechanical…”

For his part, Richard sees the act as something “pleasurable”, nothing more or less “an interesting experience”. It must be said that in his head, he is jubilant: “I had an erection, an ejaculation, so I am on the road to recovery! […] But deep down, I knew there would be no cure…”

But he persists, and for 20 years at that, because everything else is “perfect”: he has a perfect wife, a beautiful house, and quickly, children he adores are added to the equation .

In his head, he’s not going to waste everything for theoretically an average of two hours of sexual activity per week. “It doesn’t work, mathematically! », he convinces himself. A thought that doesn’t really hold up in practice. “Because you’re obsessed with it 24 hours a day…”

The first time he goes elsewhere, he still remembers it. He calls his wife crying right after: “I’m a f—ing faggot.” Everything is collapsing. The next day, he changes his mind, erases everything and starts again: “I’m an imbecile, I was wrong, that’s not it. » They never talked about it again.

Then, so-called “motorcycle” escapades multiply. “I came back at 4 a.m.…” To do what, concretely? “I would go to a gay bar, have sex, and come home. ” How often ? “Too much,” he says, laughing, always looking back.

At the same time, with his wife, on this side, it’s “very quiet”: “I don’t think there was a year where we did this more than four times.”

But illnesses obsess him, he is terrified of bringing anything home, which adds another layer to his growing guilt. So much so that one day when his wife had a migraine, Richard was convinced: he had infected her. This is not the case at all, but the damage is done: he crushes dark thoughts, thinks about suicide and ends up hospitalized. The house of cards collapses. 40 years ago.

Richard gets emotional here. He sees himself coming home, making love to his wife one last time. “We still love each other, I’ll always love you,” he told her, “but not like a guy should love you. » At the time, they cried in unison. It’s been 20 years. His eyes are still reddening as he tells this story.

We spare you the rest of the events, his separation (difficult, but in good harmony, towards “parental friendship”), then the few years of Richard’s celibacy. Freed, you say? Let’s say he finally “takes responsibility” for himself. “I call it my second adolescence,” he says, smiling again. He lives “to the fullest”, an “unbridled” and “short-lived” sexuality. But it has had its day. “Sexually it’s okay, but emotionally it’s something else. »

Still, our man ends up meeting his current partner one evening in a bar. It’s been almost 20 years. Do you know what? His happiness has not diminished since. “I never thought that one day I would be monogamous. I thought I couldn’t do it! he concludes. I have taken too many detours in my life. […] The worst homophobia I suffered, I used on myself. »