A gay indie boy living in suburban South West London recounts his trials and tribulations dealing with sex, sexuality, growing up and getting older

Saturday, July 28, 2007

If I Could Have Logged Into Blogger, I Would Have...

Well, my blogger account has been refusing to let me log in.

Anyway, it's been an interesting number of weeks, all culminating in the past couple of days. Have you ever heard of "The Secret"? Basically it's about positive thinking and cosmic ordering et cetera, so to change my fortunes, I decided to think positively.

It started off well; I got a job interview for one of my dream jobs (to be a music journalist) that went horrendously well. I thought I was a shoe in for a second interview. So I waited for them to call...

And I waited...

And waited...

And then my flat flooded.

So after fishing out my vintage shirts and brooches, and making sure nothing was damaged beyond repair, I took the night off work and went out drinking. Then I have a gap in my memory and woke up on my sofa. Then I went to Bristol the next day for a friend's birthday and started drinking again.

Return to London. Give up on job as it's now been 10 days when I finally receive an e-mail saying they wouldn't like to pursue it any further (thanks, guys). Resign myself to my mediocre and less than challenging job. Day off comes; I go for a drink with someone who's been hassling me from (hacking cough) Gaydar and, in light of the week's horribleness, I throw myself on him. I wake up and realise I have to go to work the next day in platforms and flares. I am ridiculed by work mates whilst still half drunk. Gaydar bloke texts me to say how wonderful I am; blood drains out of face when I realise I'm not *that* interested in him.

Another friend calls me to say she's broken up with her boyfriend, while I go out for work drinks and end up punching one of my work colleagues in the face. I run away to another bar for a whisky and coke to calm my nerves and bump into a random lesbian who invites me out. I go, and end up at said gay indie bar that I said I wasn't going to go to (you'll see that in a previous blog). End up spending the night with a music journalist from Manchester in an expensive hotel room.

Gaydar Bloke texts again the next day to see if I want to go out later. I agree until break up friend turns up and wants to cry on my shoulder. I tell him and he texts "So now two hearts are broken" and think to myself "Oh, shit. He *really* likes me. How do I let him down gently?" as I try to wipe the snot off my paisley shirt from crying friend.

Girl who's been escorted to Wolverhampton calls. Repeatedly. I stupidly ignore calls to avoid telling her she can't stay at my place if she runs away.

And for the third night in a row, I get blinding drunk whilst giving the "I hate men" speech to upset friend.

Wake up. Look around at the world and decide not to get up. Go to sleep. Wake up again and watch Kindergarten Cop and try not to consider how three days of drinking continuously has left a big pile of existential poo to deal with.

Go to work. Thank God I work nights and can have a night off from drinking.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Letting things lie....

I don't know about you, but I am absolutely terrible at letting things lie, especially when there are loose ends to be tied up. At first, out of foolish pride, I will ignore the situation, but it eats away at me until it becomes a compulsion. However, one of the major lessons in life I should learn is that sometimes things need to be left to lie.

So, cue the text to the famous "It's raining" guy... Well, I thought there was some genuine chemistry there and I will now admit out of foolish pride I rejected him. It has played on my mind since then whether or not I did the right thing. So I texted him again and said "Okay, I'll take a chance... If I'm not so stubborn this time perhaps we can go on that date?"

No answer.

Turns out I did do the right thing. However, I wouldn't have known for certain until that text was sent, so this is my only saving grace here.

Lately, I have fallen victim to Facebook. And I found someone's profile on their who I had a casual relationship with once; the kind where you end up more enamoured with them than they do with you. It ended quite acrimoniously, so I sent him a message saying "hey, nice to see you... It's been 3 years! Blah, blah, blah..."

It turns out that some people are not so welcoming or forgiving as myself.

Men, eh? You can't live with them, and you can't kill them.

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First Date Etiquette

Recently, a friend of mine met a guy at a party. He said, in that sickeningly coy manner, "What would you say if I hypothetically asked you out for a drink?"

"Hypothetically I would say yes," he replied. (I know, I know... Try and keep your dinner down for now. It gets better)

So they talked and arranged to meet that Wednesday. Wednesday came and he hadn't heard anything, so he texted him and said "Hey.. So tonight, when and where?"

And nothing.

Then he tortured himself over and over by asking whether he should phone him or not... Would he look like a stalker? Wouldn't he? Would this guy go out on a date?

The simple answer is call him.

If he's being a wanker for not letting you know either way, then call. If he doesn't pick up, fine; make other plans. If he picks up and says no, that's even better; at least you know you can make other plans. I really resent the fact that we've all been reduced to being concerned about how keen we are. The fact is no-one is that desperate- that's the truth. I think anyone with the tiniest ounce of respect for you will let you get on with your life.

The truth is men like that are cowards.

So next time you find yourself in that dilemma, do not focus on the negatives; remember that if they're wasting your time now, imagine what it would be like 3 months down the line. And if they don't want to see you, they're missing out on being with a really rewarding person.

Move over, Oprah; I'm after your job!

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Friday, July 06, 2007

Your culture over my nature

Recently, a very sad thing happened to a friend of mine. After she finished university her parents forced her, against her will, to go back to Wolverhampton. They told her her life in London was over, and that they would expect her to go through with her arranged marriage in the coming years.

Being brought up in the West, she thinks of herself as a Westerner and she doesn't want this to happen. In fact, she has a boyfriend who is white, and it would be frowned upon. I empathise with her plight; I know how tough this is.

Of late, my patience has started wearing thin with her. First she tells me she will stay there for 3 months to "sort things out". Okay. Fine. Then she starts calling me everyday telling me how miserable she is back home, so I said "Well, if you've decided you're going to stay there for 3 months, you may as well make the most of it. Why not take a trip to Birmingham? Go for a walk?"

Can't apparently "just because".

Then she tells me that her boyfriend is telling her to make the decision to come back to London for herself because he might not be there one day (which kind of gives me the hint that someone's getting ready to jump ship). So I said "Yes, you two may not be together forever so you have to do it for yourself"

And she said "Yeah, whatever."

So I said "Don't be naive; you could split up and you've made a decision you made for him, and then you'd really be up shit creek"

Now she's pissed off with me.

Why is my patience starting to wear thin? Well, this really isn't a dilemma that quite a few gay men have not gone through, including myself. When I was seeing my first boyfriend, the sheer guilt at having to face my parents and lie about where I had been or who I was with was horrendous. And then every day you would think "Should I tell them? Should I tell them? Should I tell them?"

And then you imagine telling them.

And then you imagine them going mad and your dad beating you up and telling you to get out of the house. So you try and plan carefully where you would go, who you would ask to stay with... Where would you live without your parents? Would you really choose your lifestyle over the care and security of your parents?

For me, the answer was yes.

I did make plans, and I asked my best friend when I was 17 if I could stay at her place if anything went wrong. She said yes, and she even asked her mother if it was okay. I decided to tell my mum first, thinking that she would be okay with it.

She wasn't. She cried for 3 days. She made me feel awful. I'd come downstairs from bed and she would start crying and saying "What did I do wrong?"

And I said, "Being gay isn't a personality flaw"

And she said "No; it's a developmental one"

And that's when I lost patience with my mother. I said, "You can cry all you want; things are the way they are and that's it."

She told me it had to be a dark secret, that no-one could know. She tried to make me feel even more ashamed even though I knew there was nothing wrong with it.

She didn't chuck me out, but it did change my opinion of my her.

So when my friend harps on about the "shame" she would bring to her family because she's Asian and could never date a white guy or live alone, I start to lose my temper. I know what it is to bear the brunt of family "shame", but I still confronted it head on, and I was prepared to do without their love and care. I was prepared to be tossed out into the streets, but I still faced it.

Coincidentally, I defied my mother and told my dad some 3 months later who was perfectly okay with it. To this day, my mother will still not discuss my love life, my boyfriends, my gay friends or confront anything about my sexuality. In fact, I think she partially hopes that if I don't find a girl that I will be a batchelor forever.

Aside from my family, I have had bricks thrown at me, I have been punched in the face and bled and I have still walked with my head high because I am me, and if people don't like what I am then they can deal with it.

I will always be ardently myself at whatever cost.

So you may think I'm harsh, but you can't tell me that you will suffer shame and anguish because of your culture because me and every other gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered person out there has also suffered shame and anguish for their cause; for love. And my Asian friend is right; she cannot choose who she falls in love with, but neither can we, and we have fought for our love and will continue to do so

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Worst Case Scenario

They're probably three words that strike fear into a lot of people's hearts, but when you think about it, shouldn't we welcome the worst case scenario?

I don't know about you, but I constantly live in fear of losing my job. This is a completely false paranoia, and it doesn't matter if I'm doing particularly well or not, I always have it. When my boss does pick up on something bad, I feel like it's the end of the world. But what would be the worst case scenario? What if I did lose my job?

Well, I'd probably still wake up tomorrow, which can only be a good thing. I'd probably have to sign on for a few weeks or months but, again, this is probably not a bad thing; at least the support is there. And, of course, I'd have to look for a new job. But the weird thing is, in a sense, I'd feel relieved. Relieved because there's nothing worse that could happen. Once you are living the worst case scenario, it can't get any worse.

Right now I think I'd welcome that particular scenario; I need some time off, and my boss is breathing down my neck!

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