The Gay Stuff -Pt 5- People
October 16, 2013 § 1 Comment
So fast approaching 800 readers and thrilled to say that I’ve had some great responses from people telling me about their own experiences. Just a note to clarify from my last post… I received direct permission from those mentioned to include names and talk about them in my experiences! I’d also like to clarify that I LOVE ‘busy bodies’. In fact I love them so much that they very much inspired me to sit and write the next part!
I was sat yesterday evening watching Stephen Frys’ ‘Out There’ on BBC 2 and it was sensational. I had to sit and watch Stephen Fry looking nervous around militant homophobes and ignorant people. It reminds me all the more why I started writing this blog in the first place. In this life, people are very quick to judge and cast opinions over others. Even if it doesn’t affect them! I find myself making quick assumptions about others, and then I have to sit back and think, did I really just do that? It’s a horrible feeling when someone makes a judgement without all the facts. I’ve been called a few things: A know it all, a ponce, a posh boy, arrogant, self obsessive, selfish, well-to-do. ‘I think I’m better than everyone else’. A poof, a fag and a queer. You think you know a person, and in reality you will only ever ‘think‘ you know a person.
There was this bully. He was truly vile and made people around him feel like dirt, myself included. Underneath all of the bravado he was a coward. He couldn’t face up to his own problems so instead vented his inner most thoughts on others. A few years later when the school had long since finished, he contacted me and wanted some advice, on being gay. I immediately thought, ‘Hah! No way on this earth am I helping you!’ But then after a few hours consideration I thought about the opportunity. This was a chance to try and give this guy advice, some advice I felt he was long overdue! I sent him some web links to some news stories about teens who hung themselves and committed suicide because of bullies. I told him that this is how he made me feel, and who knows how many others. After a day or so he did get in contact again and apologized, he said that he was immature, and that he didn’t think about the consequences. He also told me that he too had thought about taking his own life because he didn’t know how to come to terms with his own feelings. I wonder how many others are out there who did what this one guy did. Or maybe they are still doing it? If you are sat here now reading this, Think about how many people have given you a glare of judgment or just had to get ‘their’ opinion through the door. Then despite experiencing this, how many times have you subsequently still assumed things and judged others. Maybe you are judging me now or perhaps you walked down the corridor this morning judging someone else. But maybe what you didn’t know is that he or she, has had the morning from hell. I know for one, that I am guilty of this, and I’m making the effort to stop the assumptions.
Sometimes you find that you are trapped in a bubble of self obsession. Not the arrogant kind. The kind that makes you ever more weary of the people around you. I know for certain that the image I portrayed to people growing up was a lie. I was so worried and cautious to come across in the right way, and even then, you can’t control every aspect of how someone perceives you. It sounds ridiculous but for my first few months in sixth form I would never wear pink! I was paranoid it would weaken my image. I’d only ever wear blues and whites with a black jumper over the top. I rarely talked about myself, or the events that were happening in my life at that point. I most certainly wouldn’t even dare talk about the gay stuff. Do you remember the awkward times when your straight friends would walk down a street with you and say things like ‘wow she’s fit’ or ‘I’d bang her’. Well towards the end of my school life I am privileged to say that I developed a relationship with my friends that allowed me to be who I was and be truly confident with my inner thoughts. In the first year I copied my image from a civil partnered lesbian couple who I very much respect and admire. They are very reserved and astute with how they present themselves in the professional work environment. I thought to myself, ‘this is exactly how I want to be’. I never wanted my sexuality to define me. A few of my now close friends, at the very beginning of sixth form, were detached from me. They knew about who I was but I always felt nervous around them because I could feel they were uncomfortable with it. This is where the fake image played its part. I was able to be a laid back but blend in like a chameleon. Not forgetting that my closest friends knew I was ‘bisexual’ not gay so I could play up to their own interests to make them feel more comfortable. So every time I was shown a picture of a woman and asked if I thought she was fit. I would enthusiastically reply! ‘yeah’
It was my own perception of what being gay meant that forced me to believe that being associated with gays would weaken my image. I would feel comfortable with being surrounded by my straight friends. I could pretend I was the same as them. There was a few in the social group like me, one who was gay but was very secluded about it. And another who firmly ascertained he was into girls but as time went on he ended up admitting he liked boys. It was clear to see why they kept it away from the social group for so long. They too had associated being gay with the image of inferiority. On reflection I look back and feel like I’ve let some of my peers down. I knew of several gays younger then myself who were fighting their own battles. I was in a position to support them and for the first year I didn’t. I could have helped my younger brother, who was also finding his feet with the gay stuff. I remember taking him to meet my then boyfriend. We went to get his Nan a toy cat for her birthday. He just seemed like the perfect person to get the approval of back then. My younger brother was the first person to meet my boyfriend. This was before I came out to my mum or dad. I just needed someone who wouldn’t cast a judgment and who would relate to the position I was in. Also someone I wouldn’t have to do any explaining too. The problem I have found growing up is that you find you end up having to explain yourself to ‘people’ who it doesn’t remotely effect. It’s kind of what makes me laugh sometimes. Why ‘people’ should have any opinion on what I choose to do with my penis behind a closed door is beyond me! But nonetheless I’m sure there will come a point again in my life where someone just has to tell me why they think its wrong.
I could argue that now I’m confident enough to say that I don’t have to answer to anyone. But the truth is, I want to be the one to answer to these ‘people’. I want to demonstrate to all of those younger then me, who I have come across struggling with accepting they are gay, that they have nothing to be ashamed of. And they certainly don’t have to answer to anyone for who they are! If you are reading this and need someone to talk to, go into your school and speak to a mentor type figure. They will certainly be able to help you with an array of issues you may have felt growing up. You may have had to answer to ‘people’ in the past, but know that the world is full of many types of people. And in this post I’m talking about a very specific type.
Thanks again for reading this post please keep sharing and adding yourselves to the mailing list. See you next time! x
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