When Swindon man, Dave White, decided to announce his homosexuality, he did it in a big way – by hanging a 6ft banner across a roundabout on the bypass, proclaiming ‘I’m a big gay and so’s my boyfriend, signed Dave White.’
But Dave, a scaffolder, 44, reckoned without the effect his announcement would have on his sixteen-year-old daughter, to whom the revelation came as a complete shock.
‘Of course I noticed Dad had been using conditioner on his hair and had taken to wearing a snood but I never thought it was because he was on the turn. I almost fell off my bike when I read the banner. I wouldn’t have minded as much if it hadn’t been so close to the school. All my friends saw it and were dead impressed that my dad was so ‘out there’. So I had to pretend to be cool with it, even though I’m not. I mean, who wants a dad who takes more time in the bathroom than I do?’
Dave admits that he could have handled the situation more sensitively. ‘In retrospect, I should have broken the news more gently and in a less public place. It can’t have been nice for her, seeing all those leering lorry drivers and hairy white van men making obscene gestures as they drove past my banner. I see now it was a mistake but at the time I thought I was doing it for the best, you know being open and honest with her. What could be more open and honest than proclaiming my sexuality in two-foot high, day-glo letters?’
According to his now estranged wife, Erica, Dave has a history for breaking dramatic news inappropriately.
‘He proposed to me by going down on one knee in the feminine hygiene department at Tesco’s,’ she remembers. ‘And I’ll never forget the day Dave’s mum died. He told his father at half-time at a Charlton Athletic game – over the loudspeaker.’