Updated: May 26
This blog may well be slightly controversial for those who take offence at different sexual orientations and persuasions. Basically if you are against homosexuality, this IS NOT A READ FOR YOU, (OR perhaps it is), however no hate or abuse will be tolerated.
So now that I have put my disclaimer, I can begin…
I have known I liked boys from an early age, memories from primary school where I was "friend zoning" the girls, but more interested in the boys for kissing, was a rather large give away. At that sweet innocent age you haven't yet been fully exposed to adults explaining that liking the same sex is maybe not "the norm".
Although, you kind of pick up that there is something not quite right about your feelings when you notice the boys would be off playing sports, running around like maniacs throwing their balls around (get your mind out the gutter), whilst the girls would be sat making daisy chains, playing with dolls and talking about boys. Also I had a mummy and a daddy. All these different things you witness growing up, subliminally feeding us what was "the norm".
Thankfully I was exceedingly fortune to have very open, understanding and diverse parents who never would say playing with dolls was wrong, nor that dressing up in a brides maids dress and prancing around under the blossom tree in the front garden wasn't the thing to do either; they just let me be.
When reaching secondary school, with the hormones beginning to kick in, I tried to "FIT IN", but apparently trying to do so was the deciding factor in understanding that Girls were NOT for me. I had three girlfriends through secondary school, (separately may I add, I wasn't a hussy). The first one got some flowers and a kiss, then I broke it off because I didn't like it. Another girl was in the same year and class as me; that didn't work out but we became friends and later she turned to Vagina, (clearly we did wonders for each other). And then there was the last one. Honestly, I was terrified of her, so just went along with it until I had enough and may have muttered something like "YOU'VE TURNED ME GAY" ( not the best thing to say to a girl who could have probably tackled me to the floor and smothered me) but she got over it. We also became friends and later I kind of became her wing man, (not that we went out underage at all).
It was at that point I came out as gay to my friends at school. It was also around then that I discovered the Joys of pornography, and good old websites like "GAYDAR", "MYSPACE" and chat rooms. I might add this was in the earlier days before dial a dick aka GRINDR etc became a thing. I had to use the only computer in the house (as again, mobiles, laptops blah blah blah, were not glued to every individual in the house hold. Christ my first mobile was a battle to get and there were no picture sending facilities on that brick, or even colour.)
Discovering and using these websites had to be done in stealthy manner and, with the computer being situated in a main walk through area from the living room to the kitchen, you were always on high alert. Ready to click off at any second, or making excuses for why you needed to stay up late to use the computer.
This opened my world to chatting to other gay men, seeing men’s naked bodies ( I think you can get the picture here). Like a lactose intolerant kid in a sweet shop, where all the sweets were finally edible just for me, BOY did I want to eat the whole fucking shop.
Whilst friends were in the loop about my sexuality, my parents were not, despite the fact they were highly supportive in everything and exceedingly open minded. Telling my parents “I’M GAY” was a terrifying prospect, reading horror stories of children disowned, thrown out etc. Even reading stories of guys who’s families sounded just like mine turning them away, scared me from telling them. Fortunately I dodged telling them, when I was outed by them after they had found some “suggestive” emails and “web-browsing” on the family computer (whoops).
Understandably they were a little upset, but they were more upset that I hadn’t told them
myself. They have supported me so much over the years in so many ways, never once judging or attempting to stifle who I am as a person. This is something many people don’t get when it comes to their sexuality and family life, so I fully understand how lucky I am.
My mum is like my best friend, and in some ways she enjoyed having someone to appreciate the handsome chaps that would be in tv programs or we would encounter if out together, but equally she was disappointed thinking there was no possibility of grandchildren.
Exploring sexuality, came hand in hand with exploring myself, my style and my interests. I have mentioned in previous blogs about my interests in art and design, as well as my experience of growing up, so I won’t repeat myself going over it again, (as you will be sat here for hours).
Noticing guys ranged from overtly feminine to masculine, caused curiosity and made me question my own masculinity/femininity. When I was younger I would have always wanted to have been seen as masculine, as from everything I had been exposed to “masculinity” was strength and sexy. However, I would be completely kidding myself, as I firmly sit in the middle of the spectrum, with moments that can tip me either way.
For example, when I get over excited over something like seeing a product I really like in a shop makes me go a completely giddy, whereas when pushed into difficult aggressive situations I flip into the ruddy HULK and need calming down.
Throughout my sexuality journey I wasn’t massively exposed to things such as the LGBT community, or the etiquette, the terms used or even history of the LGBT community. These were things I discovered as I got further into my teens and into my 20’s.
There were certainly stereotypical gay men, effeminate, well groomed, well presented and just generally nice popular outgoing chaps, which was what I often saw portrayed in tv & film. But when you got to experience the community first hand, you began to see there was so much more exciting diversity out there. Terms like “what tribe” do you belong to can be confusing when you don’t feel you fit in any of them, and still don’t.
Fast forward past lots of bad decisions, exhilarating sexual encounters, (and some that will be left the depths of my darkest memories never to be relived), I have pieced together my own views on being a proud gay man. Admittedly I am not one to yield the rainbow flag and take to the streets declaring my pride amongst the throngs of others, as there are elements of the community, like in any other community, that I don’t feel pride in or like. However, I am proud of me owning my sexuality, not being ashamed of it or of who I am and who I Love.
This is something I have always known, and always will. I will always like men, I will always be open about my sexuality and relations with my partner to others and I will ALWAYS speak of it with conviction and in a manner that it is no different to other sexualities, persuasions and beliefs. I don’t feel the need to use the rainbow to show my pride. The ability to hold my man’s hand in public, kiss him, tell him I love him and be treated like anyone else for loving the one they love whilst being undeniably myself is where my pride in my sexuality comes.
Everyone deserves to be loved and love who they want, Everyone deserves to be who
they want to be without question. Everyone deserves to express themselves how they wish, so long as it is without hate or hurt.
Images taken throughout this post were taken by the gorgeous and talented Emma Ryan Photography- https://www.emmaryanphotography.co.uk
Your's Truly, Master Dandy