I became not merely a self-confessed homosexual but a self-evident one. That is to say I put my case not only before the people who knew me but also before strangers. This was not difficult to do. I wore makeup at a time when even on women eye-shadow was sinful. Many a young girl in those days had to leave home and go on the streets simply in order to wear nail-varnish.
As soon as I put my uniform on, the rest of my life solidified around me like a plaster cast. From that moment on, my friends were anyone who could put up with the disgrace; my occupation, any job from which I was not given the sack; my playground, any cafe or restaurant from which I was not barred or any street corner from which the police did not move me on. An additional restricting circumstance was that the year in which I first pointed my toes towards the outer world was 1931. The tidal wave, started by the fall of Wall Street, had by this time reached London. The sky was dark with millionaires throwing themselves out of windows.
So black was the way ahead that my progress consisted of long periods of inert despondency punctuated by spasmodic lurches forward towards any small chink of light that I thought I saw. In major issues I never had any choice and therefore the word 'regret' had in my life no application.
As the years went by, it did not get lighter but I became more accustomed to the dark. Consequently I was able to move with a little more of that freedom which T.S. Eliot says is a different kind of pain from prison. These crippling disadvantages gave my life an interest that it would otherwise never have had. To survive at all was an adventure; to reach old age was a miracle. In one respect it was a blessing. In an expanding universe, time is on the side of the outcast. Those who once inhabited the suburbs of human contempt find that without changing their address they eventually live in the metropolis. In my case this took a very long time."