Thanks so much Chip, for your long and generous response. And thank you also for your words of welcome. There are small but encouraging signs: two of my kids dropped round briefly the other day, and I've spoken to a few other family members (mother and brother - they're both fine), and an old friend. I don't know whether my wife has been complicit as you say though - even given there being two sides to every issue. I know she has tried (and I've certainly made it difficult enough for her) to be at all times supporting, loving, nurturing, helpful, and fair. If she bad-mouths me to the children it's not out of malice, but frustration. Curiously she has asked me once or twice: "Are you gay?" to which I've always answered No. There's no dissembling here: I simply didn't like the label. Yes, I may be attracted to men, but that's me; "gay" is what other people are. I've spent far too much time exploring labels: gay, bisexual, pansexual, queer, questioning, and the rest. I wasn't happy with any of them. The world being what it is, coming out in public as gay is still a political statement. In fact, when I registered for this forum a week ago, I decided - for the first time ever - to label myself as gay and see what happens. I'll wear that label and see if it fits. I simply don't like being pigeonholed. I also ordered a second hand copy of the Joe Kort book you mentioned, which will arrive "between 5 - 40 business days". And truly people here have been lovely and generous. I could do with a hug, though!