I've been reading about Saki (the Edwardian writer H H Munro) in the Literary Review. I loved his short stories when I was young. The review describes how, 'there is disturbing aggression at work only just below the surface of his mannered prose," and speculates whether this is a distinctively gay theme.
Hard to believe I didn't know he was gay: yet in a way I did because he reminded me of Ernest, my best friend at the time. Ernest was not my boyfriend, it was strictly platonic. This was the nineteen-fifties when homosexuality did not officially exist. We went to London theatres together and he advised me on style ('You're not wearing that, it looks terrible!!').
To some our friendship seemed strange; I was such a bushy-tailed, do-gooding, girl-guide type who never said an unkind word. That was why I needed him - the 'disturbing aggression just below the surface.' He voiced the thoughts I pretended not to have. In the end I believe he felt used and our relationship fell apart. Maybe in a time like the present things could have been out in the open and not beyond repair.
I suppose it gives me an insight into how apparently well-meaning people can live in a society or under a regime where unacceptable things are going on; they claim 'not to know'- about the disappeared, the wrongfully imprisoned, the unjustly treated. Like me at that time they do lnow but not at a fully conscious level.