Being a Boy in JLRRA
SEX AND DRUGS AND TESTOSTERONE — THE HARDEST ONE I HAVE HAD TO WRITE
You all knew this was coming.
Here we go.
When I joined JLRRA at age sixteen years, one and a half months, I was a virgin. The only sex I’d ever had was of the singular variety.
If you get my drift.
I have been avoiding this, but it does need to be said.
Lying In my bed at night, I heard lots of kids boasting about their sexual exploits. They were astounding! I could hardly believe my ears. According to them, every school in the land was full of young, cute, female nymphomaniacs, desperately looking for young, hunky Junior Leaders for a bit of energetic sexual release.
I didn’t join in with any of this.
There were a couple of pressing reasons.
- I was paranoid, repressed and terminally anxious about all this
- I was/am gay.
There you go.
I think a lot of you probably already knew it, but it had to be said.
And now I have articulated it, it does put a lot of my previous blogs into a new focus.
When I say I am gay, I don’t mean I am gay in a ‘Larry-Grayson’ way. I don’t mean I am gay in a ‘sexual-predator’ way. I don’t mean I am gay in a ‘boy-hungry nut-case’ way.
I am gay in a ‘quiet, panic-stricken, terrified, repressed’ kind of way.
When I was at school, there was any amount of speculation. They all knew and made my life hell. I nearly killed myself.
Joining JLRRA was the only way for me to get away. I could get away from school and I could get away from my family. I could be anonymous.
And I was.
In Nigsville, a couple of the more canny lads knew immediately. Thank Christ they were generous-spirited kids and let me be.
You lads know who you are. You have my eternal gratitude.
My Section Sergeant knew. How do I know this? He had a private chat with me and told me to be very, very careful. He would support me just so long as I wasn’t stupid and didn’t do anything that forced him to act. That was enough.
Remember. In in those days, in HM Armed Forces, it was a crime. I could be charged with Gross-Indecency and sent to the Military Corrective Training Centre at Colchester before receiving a dishonourable discharge.
My life would be destroyed.
And it wasn’t as if I would have had to have done anything. Any kind of vague evidence would be enough. Some other kid planting a false rumour. That would be enough to do it. It would destroy me.
Here’s the thing. I wanted to be a soldier. I wanted to have the ‘Right-Stuff’. I wanted to serve in HM Armed forces and support my comrades in the field.
My sexuality had nothing to do with it.
I wanted to be a professional soldier and do the best I could. I would be a credit to the Royal Artillery. I would make them proud and make them realise how much I wanted this. I would support and protect my fellow soldiers.
Which is why it was always so horrible for me when I was predated upon in that kind of way.
And it happened a lot.
I learned to keep my head down and not be noticed. I stayed away from the billet. I made sure I showered alone. Or not at all.
If I felt threatened I would report sick and go through all that humiliation. It was better than the alternative.
So, while other lads went to the camp disco and made relationships with some of the local girls, while other lads looked forward to leave so they could see their girlfriends, while other lads boasted about all the energetic sex they were getting, I kept my mouth shut, I kept my head down and tried to be as invisible as possible.
When I mustered and went to 94 Regiment, the same thing applied.
It’s no fun being a horny teenager and not being able to do anything about it.
It all went wrong for me in the end.