Barbara Bryce - A Matter of Time
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Barbara Bryce

“I would have lost my job if I had been found out as a lesbian. It was more of a fear of the unknown, because I wasn’t sure of the ramifications. I could lose my job, and then not get another one because my employer would tell the next prospective employer that I was a lesbian. I didn’t know what would be the outcome. I was working in a bank. It was a fairly conservative kind of atmosphere back then and a lot of people knew that I had been dating men too, and I thought that would confuse them. There were lots of fears going through my head. I didn’t know who I had to put on the straight face for. I didn’t know who I was comfortable and safe with in letting my guard down. That interfered in a lot of relationships and it caused me a lot of stress in my life.

It was very secretive and it was quite scary back then because gay people I knew were getting bashed – men and women. Gay men I knew were getting bashed often. A girlfriend of mine got bashed waiting for a bus at one of the Fortitude Valley bus stops. It was scary times, but it was a wonderful thing to finally discover my identity. I needed that. I needed that to be able to be me. To want to live really, because that was a life that I didn’t think I would ever have before that. I didn’t see how I was going to relate authentically to the world. ”

 

To purchase the book North of the Border: Stories from the A Matter of Time Project, click here.