He took me seriously for who I was

In 1986, Dirkjan was a 36 year old Dutch gay actor, writer, singer and songwriter who wrote about his homosexuality, friendships, desires and sadness. He told the interviewer Jan Hopman about his relationship with an adult man named Gerard as a 13-year-old boy.

Taken from the collection Positive Memories, compiled by T. Rivas.

Source: Jan Hopman. Jeugdervaring van Dirkjan. O.K., 1, May 1986, pp. 35-37.

In 1986, Dirkjan, 36, was a Dutch homosexual actor, writer, singer, and songwriter who wrote about his homosexuality, friendships, desires, and sadness. He told interviewer Jan Hopman about his relationship as a 13-year-old boy with an adult male, named Gerard.

“I thought he was really old. He was around 36, the same age I am now. He was from a village nearby and he was involved in the community center I used to frequent, because we had dance nights and live bands. He was called Gerard and we became friends. I also befriended his wife, a very artistic person, who was painting things and all that. This was also something that drew me to them. […] It was real fun. I was kind of their eldest son. They had several children, who were under 10, and I was the oldest of the club.

With Gerard I ended up getting an ever-better contact that centered on talking. I started talking about an ever-growing range of topics.”

One of the subjects covered by their conversations concerned Dirkjan’s blossoming homosexual feelings.

“I got really confused by my feelings, because until that moment I had been convinced that I would get married and get kids.

Then I told Gerard. He said that he’d had similar experiences himself.”

Dirkjan was surprised because he thought he was the only boy with such feelings.

“I could talk to Gerard about all of my issues. When I was really preoccupied by something, I would tell him: ‘I really need to talk to you.’ We would get into his car and drive to the beach. It was really romantic. We were holding hands. He was also the only person whom I allowed to read my poems. Never before had there been anyone who took me seriously for who I was. Well, that was really such a revelation for me. It made me very happy.

I still remember very well what it was like when we first had sex. I really was the one who provoked it. I told him: ‘At school they keep talking about condoms and I don’t know what it is all about.’ Gerard replied: ‘Well, I’ll just give you one.’ I asked him: ‘How do you use it?’ and he showed me how, even though I perfectly knew what you had to do.

That was the first time we made love. I liked it so much that I tried to make it happen more and more. That was when I went to see them every day and I sometimes spent the weekend at their place.”

Later on, Dirkjan understood that his behavior had been a bit confusing for Gerard and that it made him a bit less outgoing. Gerard also told him that he was the only boy he had sex with. Dirkjan would not have minded if his adult friend was also seeing other boys, as long as Gerard wanted to have sex with him on a regular basis.

“It was really important for me that there was someone who wanted that particular thing from me.”

Dirkjan thinks that Dutch society is usually denying children’s sexuality.

“I have the feeling I lived through my puberty a whole lot better thanks to my encounters with Gerard.

If I ’d had to deal with all those questions and feelings and frustrations all by myself, I’m sure I would have found some kind of solution anyway, but not as harmoniously as I did now.”

The relationship was ended rather abruptly.

“Gerard’s wife started getting terribly jealous. […] Gerard was being excluded from everything that was going on in their family. My friend could not deal with this and he got a nervous breakdown. Eventually he was admitted at the psychiatric unit of a hospital.”

Gerard was given a lot of medication and they tried to make him confess that he’d had sex with Dirkjan.

“I could not talk [about important issues] to anyone anymore. I suddenly lost my best friend.

We continued to see each other in secret, but they were shadowing us. His wife’s aunts and people from the neighborhood were following us. Everybody knew about our relationship now. They believed they needed to do something about it.”

Dirkjan closes the interview by sharing some of his views about ‘pedophile’ relationships.

“People are still so afraid of the subject of children and sex. Besides, they approach it as if it were a criminal phenomenon. As if it never happened within a context of love. […] If I ever get children of my own, I would give them the freedom to engage in a relationship with an adult.”