Meet Geoffrey

Geoffrey hails from Eastern Ontario, born in the town of Picton in 1961, but growing up lived in many places, including the United States in 1965 and in the United Kingdom from 1968-1970. His formative years were spent in the Ottawa Valley out in the countryside. His adolescence was awkward as he struggled with his emerging sexual orientation. He remembers having a massive crush on a friend’s older brother. While serving in the Canadian Forces Primary Reserve as a gunner in the artillery, he had strong feelings for a fellow gunner, which horrified him. He and his friend listened to Beatles albums at his friend’s home. As they sat together on the floor, Geoffrey wanted so much to have and hold his friend, but to do so would have been disastrous. In the 1970s, homosexuality was not accepted, so he kept his feelings to himself.¬† Though he was not bullied, at least not excessively, he was teased for his love of classical music and theatre and lack of interest in girls and sports such as ice hockey and football.

Geoffrey’s maternal grandmother worked as a volunteer with the Ottawa Distress Centre in the late 1960s through the 1970s, counselling many gay men, offering support and understanding. She was the first person to whom Geoffrey came out. She was genuinely concerned for his welfare and happiness, warning him that there was a great deal of prejudice and discrimination based on sexual orientation, that he would be better off continuing to conceal the truth.

Upon graduation from high school, Geoffrey enrolled at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. During his studies at Queen’s, he found his attraction to men to become ever more pronounced. Interestingly enough, he found support in the last place one would expect. A Russian Orthodox priest on the Department of Religious Studies faculty, Father Basil, became his confessor and assured him there was nothing wrong in having these feelings. Despite this, Geoffrey continued to struggle with his sexual orientation. He tried from time to time to suppress his emotions, making friends with heterosexual men only to fall in love with them. Geoffrey experienced his first gay love affairs while at Queen’s, and with the encouragement and blessing of Father, Basil eventually accepted he is gay.

Following graduation from Queen’s University, where he completed studies for a B.A. in sociology in 1986. He continued his university studies, enrolling at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, in 1990 and graduating with a Master of Library and Information Science degree in 1993.

Geoffrey settled in Ottawa to seek his fortune and, following a series of contracts and short terms of employment in various libraries in and around Ottawa, secured a full-time position in 2000.

Geoffrey met Mika in an online chat room, Gay Ottawa. They got acquainted with one another in a series of chats over many weeks. Geoffrey finally found the courage to ask Mika to meet in person. Mika is twelve years younger than Geoffrey, and he feared he would be brushed off, but to his joy, Mika accepted the invitation. Geoffrey and Mika met at a local Second Cup on a Sunday afternoon in August 1998 and have been seeing one another ever since.