Jeremy Norman, a successful gay businessman who founded the iconic London nightclub Heaven, was a friend of former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath.
In his autobiography No Make Up published last year, he devoted an entire chapter to Heath.
Here he gives us his view on the current discussion of his old friend’s sexuality.
My assertion always has been that what you do sexually does not determine your sexuality – if that were the case then the Pope would not be heterosexual – celibates still have a sexuality.
Sexuality is a core part of a someone’s personality, even their soul – if such exists.
Your sexuality is determined by your innermost thoughts; your true desires.
It is well known that many people deny their sexuality when it is inconvenient or illegal; such I believe was the case with Ted Heath.
As I state in my book, No Make-Up, I believe Ted took a conscious decision to sublimate his sexuality into his politics and personal ambition.
He knew only to well that a sex life and high office were incompatible.
He foresaw the trouble that would come from an active gay sex life.
He was not going to ruin his career like Jeremy Thorpe and many other after him were to do.
I am not surprised by the revelations of an early life of casual sex with men.
I knew Ted Heath well, sat down to lunch with him and had what, for him, amounted to intimate conversations.
He was guarded about his own sexuality, and I was too polite to ask directly.
We often discussed gay issues such as the age of consent.
I had no doubt that his inclination was to seek out friendship with Derek and I primarily because we are a gay couple.
Like many closeted men, he was seldom brave enough to vote for what in his heart he believed.
When I asked him why he had not voted in favour of an equal age of consent his reply was typical: “Of course I believed it was right but at that time the rank and file of the party would never had stood for it.”
Ever the politician.
I had huge sympathy for his predicament, and I maintain that it is outrageous of any country to effectively deny a man a sex life because he wishes to serve his country.
I think that now, within limits, it would no longer be the case.
But I wonder how the public would react if it were the case that one of the Princes was gay?
Thanks to Torsten Højer and 3Sixty magazine