Bernárd’s Story: From Ennis to New York To London Pride 2021

For Pride month, we asked some of our members if they would like to tell their story and why they are proud. If you would like to contribute, please email londonirishlgbtnetwork@gmail.com 

Here’s another story for you but first, grab yourself a cuppa!

From Ennis to New York To London Pride 2021

By Bernárd Lynch

After over forty years of activism in the LGBTQI+ community I look back and see that as a gay man the trouble with a secret life is that it is very frequently a secret from the person who lives it and not at all a secret for the people he encounters. He encounters because he must encounter the people who see his secrecy before anything else. They drag his secrets out of him with often dire consequences. The aim of the dreamer, after all, is to go on dreaming and not to be molested by the world. But the aims of life are antithetical to those of the dreamer, and the teeth of the world are sharp.

At school in Ennis C.B.S. the boy I was best pals with I fell in love with. He may have loved me as his pal, but I was in love with him. And although I didn’t know it at the time, I felt it with every bone in the soul of my body. This was the prevenient and perineal truth of my tortured adolescence.

Girls were interesting, but not in the way they were to the other boys with the dawning and awakening of pubescent desire. They were more like exotic flowers with whom I felt an affinity with their beautiful femininity. But it was the boy I wanted to kiss and hold hands with, knowing that I dare not without risk of losing him as a friend and causing myself to be labelled as a freak, a queer and a sissy and run out of the Church confessional condemned as child to Hell’s eternal tortures. Therefore I, like thousands of LGBTQI+ people left the land of my birth. One lies about the body, but the body does not lie about itself; it cannot lie about the force which drives it.

Not one of us saw our future coming: we lived ourselves into our present, unimaginable states, until, abruptly, without ever having achieved a future, we were trying to decipher our past. Which is alright too, I guess, on condition that one does not consider the past a matter for tears, recriminations, regrets. We are what we are & have become. I wouldn’t do it over if I could, and, if I could, if I had to do it over, I wouldn’t know how. The very idea causes the spirit within me to grow faint with fatigue. No. Thank you: I do not forget that fire burns, that water overwhelms, rolls, & drags you under wondering is this your last breath or will you survive again. Always of course pure madness awaits in the valley, the mirror, and on the mountain top. I have no regrets. No complaints: furthermore, I know there is no complaints department.

Bernárd Lynch (right) and his hisband
Bernárd (right) with his husband, Billy.

Ultimately, we stand alone in life as in death. I will carry on from here, thank you. My hand is on the plough & I’m not turning back. I wouldn’t take anything for the journey now except the yes, I said to freedom without knowing what it meant long ago. This unknowing YES, together with my friends! Yes, my friends. Is there anything more important in life than friends? At Hudson River Park near Bank Street New York, in memory of those gone before us to AIDS there is written: ‘I can sail without wind; I can row without oars. But I cannot part from my friends without tears.’

Thank you for befriending me by reading this. Happy Pride.

One thought on “Bernárd’s Story: From Ennis to New York To London Pride 2021

  1. I want to say, “Happy Gay Pride,” Bernard. Bob Muldoon here! Hope that things are going well for you and your husband, Billy. I haven’t been in touch with Dignity New York since I walked out on Gay Pride Sunday in the mid-90’s. Old wounds lie deep. I worked so hard with and for Dignity, but then was insulted on the new president’s first day in office, and I left and never returned. I was in love with a beautiful guy named Scott from Dignity SF. We met at the Dignity Convention in Miami in the 1980’s. We attempted a long-distance relationship, but we separated after the SF Dignity Convention, still deeply in love with one another. I hope to attend Gay Pride liturgy at St. John’s, and want to find out if anyone knows him or his where about’s. My partner and I have been together for 33 years, and intend finally to get married. Happy Gay Pride, Bernard/ Love, Bob

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