Ninety-year-old Hector Black was recently interviewed by Radiolab and StoryCorps where he related how he has forgiven the man who murdered his daughter. But Black also talked about his long struggle with his sexuality. He knew he was gay since he was young, but he went on marrying and having a daughter whom he loved so much.
During his college years, in 1940’s when he realized he liked men, homosexuality was not something people would talk about.
“The word gay was never even mentioned, or even homosexual. It was whispered if it was used at all.”
His first gay experience was something strange even for him.
“I thought this is not me. This cannot be me. And I was just horrified. And then, you know, after a few months, I started thinking about it and then I realized that I’d wanted to experience this again. And – and so we became lovers.”
Black had to join the military during WWII, but he did not want to be part of that so he moved to a commune in Paraguay where homosexuality was totally unacceptable so he undergone a treatment with estrogen to “cure” his homosexuality. He started to believe that the treatment worked and he married, but soon after he found himself looking at men again.
But what made Hector Black come out 20 years ago? It was his beloved daughter who had come out before him.
“We both loved her just as much as ever – more even because I knew how much she had been through, how much she suffered because of who she was. And I just said this is it – that I can’t – how can I love her and hate myself for what I am?”
Hector was asked if he regretted the decisions he made and he confessed that for him it all was a life and love experience.
“I don’t really because I think a lot of that – it’s a weird thing to say, but I really think that suffering can be – it certainly isn’t always by any means – but it certainly can be a way of understanding other people, opening.” Hector concluded.