Helping others end their fear

‘LOVE IS LOVE’: Former Devonport woman Alice Hansen with her book designed to help others struggling with hiding their sexuality. Picture: Libby Bingham.FORMER Devonport author Alice Hansen’s latest book is aimed at helping others hiding being gay, which is what she did for decades.
HangZhou Night Net

When she finally told family and friends she was a lesbian, the sky didn’t fall in.

“I feared what people would think, which is why I waited so long to say anything,” Ms Hansen, of Hobart, said.

“I knew in primary school I liked girls.”

Her book Labels are Gay … Love is for All is aimed at giving a positive message to others in the same situation.

“I didn’t want the book to have a political slant; I wanted it to offer the message that love is love no matter who it is between.”

Ms Hansen spent 29 years hiding her own sexuality.

“I was a Catholic schoolgirl brought up in conservative Devonport,” she said.

Through the years she battled bulimia, depression and alcoholism.

Now 31, she invested $20,000 in the book she hopes will ensure others do not struggle but instead find a sense of pride and self-acceptance in their own journey – particularly young Australians.

“I actually thought that my news would shock people and that people wouldn’t want to be friends with me, which was not the case,” Ms Hansen said.

“I never intended to tell Mum and Dad. I thought I would just continue on and I had accepted I would lead my life alone.

“I think that’s where the alcohol and bulimia issues I’ve had came from – because I accepted I would have to suppress that part of me. But that only works for so long.

“I think when I did come out and told my family that in some ways they were relieved because they felt all the trouble was over.

“Their reaction was `is that all – you’re gay’.

“So why did I spend all this time beating myself up? I should have told them a decade ago.”

Ms Hansen went out with men to hide her sexuality and pretended to have a boyfriend to put male suitors off.

“Now I just want to get a positive message out (in my book) because I have had such love and support and I know not everybody gets that.

“That’s all the book is about: the message is simple – love is love.”

Ms Hansen believes Labels are Gay … Love is for All is the first book of its kind in Australia. It gained 800 website hits within the first hour online.

Visit www.labelaregay杭州夜网.au. Facebook: http:/ /www.facebook杭州夜网/pages/Labels- are-Gay/230042170415118.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

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