David moved to London from West Wales at the age of 19, and is still engaged in an ongoing love affair with the city. He appreciates connecting with nature, and runs a small garden design company. He enjoys story telling, and re-framing perspectives on his past, and opening to brighter possibilities for the future. He wants to own a place by the sea, preferably, the Mediterranean.
Why did you share your story in ‘Love Me As I Am‘?
I have really strong memories of believing that suicide was my only option as a teenager who was hiding the fact that he was gay. That was a really hard, lonely and shame-filled place to be in.
I hid parts of myself away so thoroughly, so completely, not just my sexuality, but things like creativity, sensitivity, self-expression, integrity, things that are actually essential for a well-rounded, healthy life.
My early self-censorship meant that many parts of my self have not been available to me. I hid them far and deep. A book like this would have been a real gift to me when I went through these tough times as a youngster. It would have made a huge difference. I hope my contribution to the book will offer some support to teenagers who have to cope with similar fears and shame.
How did sharing your story impact your life?
Writing the letter was a really lovely thing to do. The connection to my teenage years was vivid and strong, very bright and alive. It felt like a real conversation rather than a make-believe event. It uncovered a big piece of anger, regret and loneliness, and helped me to integrate some of those isolated parts of myself.
A major part of the process for me was to write a letter from my 16-year-old, to me as an adult. That was really interesting. It gave him the chance to express some of what was hidden and pent-up. All of this stuff still exists on the inside, and it’s been great to access it and to set it free. It has been a really constructive process.