On the 14th of May 1992 the most amazing thing happened.
I’d given up on the gay scene and was dating through Classified ads. Without internet, cellphones, instant hookups, what to else could one do?
Try Teletext, a friend suggested. Teletext?
Most of you have probably never heard of it, and the rest of you have forgotten. It’s one of those technologies left behind by time, like 78 rpm singles, audio cassettes, 8-track and Betamax. As the name suggests, hidden text, on your television. Press the TXT button on your remote.
Mostly used for news, stock prices, horoscopes and… classified personal ads. Including, for a time, gay ones.
I figured I might meet a more interesting type of person through teletext. They could hardly be less interesting that the guys I met through the ads. “Prince-free frog-kissing”, I called it.
And so it came to pass, dear reader, that on a chilly spring evening I was seated at a table on the Thames at Windsor, outside a pub called The Donkey House, waiting for a blind date.
“How will I know you?” I asked.
“Oh, you will know me”, said the gentle American voice.
“I’m Japanese, Chinese, Hawaiian, American. In Texas they think I’m Mexican. In Alaska they assume I’m Inuit. You’ll know me.”
And it was true. He strolled in from the car park, unmistakable, and utterly American: aviator shades, pressed Levi 501s, “Top Gun” pilot jacket with fur-lined collar, Weejun deck shoes and – the clincher – sockless. He has been my rock ever since, and I love him. And he loves me.
25 years later and the leftie out gay journo from Burnley, Lancashire and the very private and discreet Republican-voting CFO from Pearl City, Hawaii, are still together.
Today, 14th May 2017, we will celebrate those 25 years with family and friends in Waikiki, Honolulu.
And tomorrow, 15th May 2017, with those same family and friends, we will step out onto a quiet little beach below Diamond Head, and begin the next chapter of our journey together.