Paul, 59 years old, identifies as gay male. In a 13 year relationship (of which 5 years married) with his partner who identifies as gay male.  

This is actually just a photograph I took of me, with my hands clasped really. So it’s me holding my hand. And I think it’s about getting some sort of resilience within yourself, and being strong within yourself really, in order to be confident outside in a public area displaying affection. You have to have a certain amount of self-confidence and self-acceptance of love to be able to do that. And I think that’s something that I’ve kind of learned and developed over time, through the support of others – friends, family. I came out very late. I’d previously been married to a woman, and so that’s a big decision, and telling my parents everything. But then my family have been really supportive since then. My husband obviously very supportive as well. And I have two grown up children as well, who also now we have a good relationship. And so, I think getting that positive feedback from other people, helps to improve your own confidence and perception. To me, that’s the important thing about the whole marriage thing, and maybe for my age, public displays of affection, maybe we don’t spontaneously so much need to or want to engage in those as a way maybe when we’re younger or if you’re in your 20s or late teens. So, we don’t particularly feel a huge need to hold hands all the time. I will sometimes put my arm through my husband’s arm, or vice versa. Or will put an arm around him.

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