David Fair - 1976

I was barely out to myself let alone to the world. I had been happily married to Sonia for 4 years, having had my first sexual experience with a man less than a month after we got married. That one experience, in a men's room at Penn, was incredibly depressing. I could not imagine that a life of being gay was going to be anything but. So I decided I could ignore my feelings. 

I almost convinced myself. I simply denied that I was attracted to men I saw in the street, or pictures I saw in magazines. The sex with Sonia was good and satisfying and my limited experience with men was sad and dirty. I loved her, so I couldn't allow myself to be gay. 

Despite convincing myself I wasn't doing it, I was always cruising when I was out on the street. I never acted because it was too scary. But that didn't stop me from exchanging a glance here and there or following a cute man I came across in the street. I was doing the latter on South Street in early 1976 when I saw him enter what looked like an abandoned building on Kater Street. Normally I would keep walking but for some reason this time I walked in. 

The entranceway was not particularly inviting and had something of the feel of an abandoned warehouse about it. There was no one there. All I remember is that there was a big wall with posters in it. The guy I was following was no where around. 

I looked at the posters and was amazed that there were so many things going on among gay people I had no idea were happening. Seemingly normal things. Sports activities, political discussions, social and support groups. And one poster stood out - a support group for gay and bisexual married men.

For the first time in my 24 years, I suddenly was not alone. And once I got up the courage to actually attend the group, I suddenly became free. 

And the guy I had followed into Kater Street turned out to be there too.