story“The Clandestine Years” (1/5). Forty years after the repeal of the “offense of homosexuality”, “Le Monde” returns, in a sequence of articles, to a time when gays had been handled as pariahs. One of many victims of this repression, Bernard Bousset, remembers his ordeal, earlier than 1982.
On the bell, two letters: « BB ». You must pay attention rigorously to Bernard Bousset unfolding his life ” very busy “ to grasp the very private snub contained within the alternative of those two initials. Easy, heat, the previous bar proprietor sits on the backside of one of many sofas in his condominium on rue des Archives, in Paris, simply above the homosexual bar he has owned since 1996. “After I inform younger those that I went to court docket solely as a result of I slept, at 23, with a boy who was 18, they take a look at me as if I had been a dinosaur, he says with out fuss. They inform me: “But it surely’s not doable, are you 100?” » No, Bernard Bousset is just 80, however he grew up removed from Paris, “at a time when…” He adjusts his spherical glasses and smoothes his grey hair: « You have got time ? I’ll let you know about my queer life. »
He was born initially of the warfare, in Dax, to a lodge supervisor father from Landes and a Basque mom, whom he misplaced on the age of 12. Of her, he remembers his bicycle, his cork platform sneakers (this wartime materials), the high-pitched coiffure of the elegant ladies of the time… She worries about his fragility, spoils him and pampers him. “She discovered me slightly pale, and I do not forget that she put pink on my cheeks earlier than going to the cinema. » Mourning for his mom. Countless sorrow.
His father travels an excessive amount of to maintain him and his older brother, who has simply entered the seminary. Bernard can’t reside alone in Villa Solitude, the household residence near the sub-prefecture. The Franciscans of the Jeanne-d’Arc faculty in Dax agreed to welcome him outdoors of sophistication hours and regardless of the absence of a boarding faculty: “Out of Christian charity, and since my father wrote checks. » The kid follows mass with the clergymen at daybreak, dines with them, spends the weekends alone of their firm.
“And that is the place someday, properly, as we are saying at present, I used to be raped. When my father got here to choose me up for the vacations, I stated to him: “Dad, there’s a priest, he involves my cell at evening, he touches me, he fiddles with me, within the mouth and all the pieces.…“I did not know what it was, I solely understood that it was unnatural. In response, vlan, vlan, I acquired two slaps. » Double bother. “I used to be essentially a liar, or perhaps a wrongdoer. I by no means forgave him. I did not go to his funeral. »
“We weren’t speaking about that”
Bernard Bousset enters adolescence within the mid-1950s, these of the Gaullist yoke, the place morality tries to place a lid on the extravagance of mores. “I did not know what homosexuality was, and even sexuality, for that matter. I did not understand how kids had been made. The primary time I noticed tv was for the coronation of the Queen of England in 1953, however anyway, we weren’t speaking about that. I used to be conscious of being totally different, however I didn’t perceive. I could not speak in confidence to anybody, since even my father had slapped me. Individuals like me had been let free among the many beasts. It was the beginning of an ordeal that lasted till I used to be 21. »
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