So the second instalment of my ‘stop talking shite for just one moment please’ has been bugging me for a while as I try to think what is important… and what I actually give a shit about! Sometimes I know I shouldn’t be so personal and litter my rambles with my own experiences. There is a time and place… but if I don’t care about what I’m writing, then I struggle writing it at all. At school I loathed text book generic answers and I hated that how I felt was omitted from the answers I would have to give in order to pass the class. Questions such as "what do you think the author was trying to say here?" of which I wanted to write "he just wanted to shoehorn in another word that described the colour blue, because the sentence had very little impact on me as a reader." However I had to answer using buzz words like ‘pathos’ and ‘irony’. I have lots of feelings damn it! So let me tell you and I dare you to tell me I’m wrong.
I officially came out to my mother when I was about 24. I say officially because I would have thought that anyone with eyes could see that penis’ made me recoil in a very dramatic fashion. I did it over the phone which in hindsight was ridiculous and unfair to my mum, but at the time I just didn’t want to deal with the fall out face to face. So from the immunity of my flat in London, I half arsed told her I liked girls and she seemed to be fine with it. The conversation lasted for about 10 minutes, we both said goodnight and I was relieved and content. That was until the next day when she called me at work in tears with a million questions and blaming herself for my homosexual tendencies. Shit had now been introduced to the fan and in all honesty, ever since we have neatly brushed my personal life under MANY carpets. However although the subject is a little taboo within my family, my parents still love my big gay face!
Oddly enough I am not a fan of going into huge detail about my sexuality even though I am very open and write on a blog that is accessible to the public. I’m a walking contradiction! Being gay is a subject I will try to glaze over or poke fun at and will only reference myself in a satirical way. Yes I get pissed off at homophobic attitudes but not enough to make a banner because I’m so angry kind of way. It took me bloody ages to get my head around who I am and what I liked and I’m still learning at the age of 30. So for those much younger than myself struggling with this huge weight (partly created by society and partly created by your own head going nuts!) of whether you wanna kiss boys or girls or both, I feel for you. Now don’t get me wrong, some of you who identify as being gay, lesbian or bisexual may not find the coming out process a problem at all... as you burst onto the scene in a fabulous outfit dancing provocatively in a confetti shower of glitter! I salute you… but it’s not you confident self-assured gays I’m addressing. It’s those who are petrified of simply being themselves.
There is light at the end of tunnel… no wait. This phrase nearly always annoys me because it sounds fake and made up by people who want to shut you up with bullshit imagery. SO… instead… let me break it down for you. Yes I can guarantee you will be confused, maybe scared, maybe angry, maybe self-harming emotionally and physically… and you will certainly have insanely shitty days trying to deal with the noise in your head. However you do not have to go through this crap on your own. Find spirit and comfort in the fact that there are heaps of ways to calm yourself down and embrace whatever you’re feeling. Hit up the internet! You’re already on it so check out organisations, groups and forums for people who you can relate to. Try The Lesbian & Gay Foundation or simply type in ‘gay help’… (stuck down a well) into Google and you’re away! I don’t want to hear “but there is no support for the LGBT community!”… because there is if you just get your shit together. And if for whatever reason you are unable to reach out to the many channels on the inter-web… then stay strictly old skool and grab a friend and tell them exactly how you feel. I never did this. I kept it a ‘secret’ for years and it wrecked my head. Don't be a dickhead like me.
If you are struggling have a little patience and faith that it will most definitely get better…. Because let’s face it… it can’t get much worse right now! I was at a wedding recently where I was the only Black person there sporting a very subtle blonde fro-hawk. I totes fitted in! When the band started playing one of my friends held my hand, walked me to the dance floor and proceeded to slow dance with me amongst a dancing arena of heterosexual couples. I instantly panicked and said “are you sure you want to do this? I don’t want you to feel awkward or for people to think you’re having an illicit affair with the exotic looking lesbian!” Her response… “Shem, I couldn’t give a shit what people think.” It was the ultimate “get a fucking grip!” slap in the face that I needed. The world is ever changing and inclusive of so many people who are considered different, that being gay is hardly worth sweating over. And even if you are surrounded by small minded idiots, then go find some friends who have no problems with who you are… and quite frankly don’t care and would really like you to stop trying to make it all about you and your hot gay self! Jeez.