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Straight Talking
About Me

From::Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
I'm an avid dreamer. I have big ideas, and I'll probably take them somewhere. Watch this space. I want to present what I think - and not with words minced up into an acceptable platter. Some things need to be told straight - particularly gay rights. Particularly life in the closet, it's very nature means no one hears it. If they do it's usually tinted with nostalgia. I'm confident, I know what I like and what I don't. Please don't confuse this for arrogance. I'm probably more insecure then you imagine.
View my complete profile

Straight Talker is a poor student now.

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Recent Posts

Coming Out of the Woodwork
Clean Air Prevails
You Big Pansy
Pink Pounds… Lots of Them
Gordon Doesn't Like Us
On The Move
Beware Gay Music
Safe Sex For Dummies
London Baby Yeah
Closet Case


August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007

Post Script

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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Tie of Birth

It’s shocking whenever you have to face the things you’ve tried your best not to face. Not necessarily fears or phobias, although they are difficult in their own way. No, I mean rediscovering that 3 years after you pledged to stand up to your parents, you still find yourself nodding and agreeing and skulking up to the attic.

Not only can I simply not face them. I can’t not not face them. I can’t bring myself to simply walk away.

My parents are avid questioners, ‘Am I right?’ ‘What do you say to that?’ and ‘Don’t you?’ I am never a person to be unable to field an answer. I will not and do not tolerate taking untruths meekly. That is, until it’s an angry mother on the accusing side.

Three years on I was even more shocked to find my feelings afterwards are the same. I punch myself a few times, scream (quietly, lest they should hear, smell blood and come back for more) and generally look a mess. I would take a picture to show you how exactly they make me feel, but take my word for it. It ain’t pretty.

I can vividly remember writing down on one of the counsellor’s pointless sheets under ‘things in my life that I want to change’, ‘stop being walked over – by my parents’. I am an assertive person – few would tell you otherwise.

But it seems the tie of birth can still drag me down.


Sunday, February 26, 2006

Guesthouse Nightmares

Nothing can ever be simple. Particularly when you’re gay. Even going away for a weekend isn’t easy for a gay couple. Many singletons may have little pity for those sickly lovebirds who spend long weekends in B&Bs, but that would be unfair. Not their fault eh?

A London based gay couple had planned to stay at the White Hart Hotel in Overton, near Basingstoke, but they found their booking for a double room did not meet the manager, aptly named Bush's approval. Bush, 60, suggested a twin room might be more suitable.

Scottish B&B owner, Tom Forrest, says he would rather go to jail than allow gay and lesbian couples to sleep together in his guesthouse:

"I object to homosexuality on the grounds that it is totally unnatural and is against the principles and beliefs I was brought up with. I find it totally disgusting."

Obviously he is one business owner not familiar with the ‘pink pound’.
It’s amazing how some people can take such great objection to people sharing the same bed. To be entirely blunt, it’s not like homosexuals hop into each hotel bed to hump. Some may, but most wouldn’t.

Even locally have I watched a B&B owner jump to a similar conclusions. I brought the other half who was over for a weekend to her door where she asked for a double room. We were assured she meant a twin room.

I was in fact almost sure she would refuse us any room under her roof, until I intervened to say I wasn’t staying the night. Apparently breakfast was a tad awkward the following morning.

I personally think ‘gay only’ resorts are a bit OTT. But then, desperate times?


Thursday, February 23, 2006

Political Correctness Evolving as a Reaction to the Right

Political Correctness is all the rage at the moment. There is no shortage of people combining to rant against it. Yet, is political correctness not the invention of its own opposition?

We were not told to be politically correct, it came with acceptance of a growing and diverse community made up of many races and sexualities. It makes sense then that in this community we don’t use derogatory names for our neighbours. It is only polite, and makes sense.

But then we have those who are so engrained in their views that they have to find some way to win us back 15 years of progress. Lets make acceptance ‘politically correct’, let’s make political correctness unfashionable. Lets actively incite the hatred, which was actually beginning to fade into acceptance.

I am a fan of freedom of speech and freedom of expression, but why should we allow our expressions to help reverse the many gains made. The anti-everything lobby try to convince us that political correctness is eroding our rights, but really it is that lobby which is seeking to erode the rights.

In many ways ‘PC’ has gone mad, I won’t deny that. Call me a conspiracy theorist (if that is politically correct), but in some ways it’s actually the right wing that has sent it mad.

Acceptance was maturing nicely in our society, as you should expect it to – until they begin to preach against it, calling it political correctness and demonising it. So people think they should be politically correct.

Insert Control Spiral Here.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Stranger Still

Strangers I can handle. I like to get into a conversation with a stranger (although not creepy strangers). I love the way I can really tell them anything about myself, my frustrations and my loves without really having to take much care over their reaction. I also like the way I can tell them the most pithy little things, like that my hair goes frizzy in wet weather. They might think I’m weird, but sometimes I really just couldn’t care less about that.

I also like people who know me well enough to work me out. The people that recognise my silences and know what I really mean by them. And the people that realise how very tiring being a 24 hour actress with no pay really is. There are a few people that know me so well they can tell what I’m thinking just by looking at the direction I look in reaction to something. Some of these people are too far from me.

The people that annoy me most are the people who talk to you and seem to very interested in you, but the next time you meet them you realise how entirely switched off they were. I don’t expect people to relive my conversations with them, but I do think remembering my name isn’t much to ask really. There are detached people I can understand that I just flit past their life, but there are others who I feel genuinely hurt that they forget me so carelessly.

So yes, a counsellor I used to be sent to was one of the above people. School reckoned I was being guarded and that’s why I was gaining nothing from her. The real reason was because every week she called me the wrong name, and every week she couldn’t remember what we’d talked about the week before. The fourth time going through my life story, I told her it wasn’t working. We went our separate ways soon after.

Of course the other reason for me dumping my counsellor was her general uselessness. Forgetting my name was one thing, but relating every single problem in my life to me being gay may have helped her fill in an evaluation sheet, but even I knew that was certainly not the case.

Perhaps the counsellor did me some good – so I totally lost faith in the support network in my school. But sorting myself out myself certainly made more sense in the long term.


Sunday, February 19, 2006

Velcro, Trust and a Climbing Harness

My rear looks big in a climbing harness that is the only conclusion I can draw from years of trying to look cool in one. Not only does it really do nothing for my sauntering style, but it also puffs out my trousers in all the wrong places. Granted, I hear it’s much worse for men.

If you wear a climbing harness with a Velcro bit at the front, as you lean over the edge you will hear the distinct rip of that Velcro coming apart. Given the situation I think that is a little unfair, or maybe it’s just a strange lesson in trust. The Velcro isn’t really what is holding you, you are apparently totally safe.

Trust exercises teach us to simply fall back and our friend will scoop us up from peril. I refuse to take part in these games. I claim I do not need a physical action to demonstrate trust. Secretly it is because once in school I was dropped and had a nasty bump on the back of the head for several days following. No excuse really, I’m quite light.

So did this one action and the resulting bruises mean I can never trust again? No. So this weekend I allowed the Velcro of the climbing harness to rip, and I allowed myself to be caught once more, and am still entirely bruise less.

It may take time allow bruised trust and bruised ego to heal, but if you never give it a go again, you can only say you’ve never been proved wrong.


Thursday, February 16, 2006

Summers of Early Teens

There are some stupid things I’ve done in the past. Things that looking back were really, really stupid. I don’t regret them for a moment. So maybe abseiling 165ft off a quarry wall when they thought I’d done it before wasn’t the smartest thing, but I’m still here.

Those are the things I look back and smirk at. All the crazy stuff like being chased down the road by a taxi at midnight when I was 13, and playing ‘hedge jumping’ (basically jumping through a hedge). Or the time my friend and I found a sick pigeon and took it home. Such innocent fun.

And then there’s the other stupid stuff that I pretend I don’t remember. The stupid stuff that I wasn’t smiling at then or now. Not just embarrassing things, I can live with embarrassment.

In many ways I hope I haven’t changed that much from my early teens. My friends are different, and in many ways my outlook is different. There are still times when I do things and think ‘this is totally stupid’. I like to think I won’t stop then.

Sure I can be cultured and mature and intelligent. But what will I remember then?


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine's Day E-Cards

It’s Valentine’s Day. I might be out smooching over wine and candles. I’m not. Go figure 1. What I love most about Valentine’s Day is not the flowers, gifts or cards. Nor is it the ‘anti valentine’s’ who balk at it all, it’s the e cards.

I’m all in favour of e cards. They’re cheap, easy and it doesn’t matter if you leave it to the last minute. Besides, why look like you went to too much effort by buying a ridiculously overpriced card (because you can’t send a cheap one – that would be stingy). Plus, if you happen to be a serial player you can send up to 20 e cards at once. Although this is not necessarily recommended.

I can kind of see where they are coming from when they say ‘romance is dead’. Who needs romance when you can click and send?

The only problem I find with sending an e card is finding one that isn’t totally putrid. One with a midi file attached that wouldn’t make Bach turn in his grace, or an animation that doesn’t that makes your eyeballs want to fall out and roll away to the fluff under the bed.

So if you are loved up/single/bitter/lonely or any of the above, here is my most considered e card for the day 3.

1. I’m not actually single 1.1.
1.1 Although all offers may still be considered ;)
3. E card only available for 30 days.


Sunday, February 12, 2006

LGBT History Month

I couldn’t let February pass without mentioning ‘LGBT History Month’, now into its second year. Aside from really annoying the fundamentalists, this is a great chance to point out that gay people aren’t a result of 21st century T.V., that in fact we’ve been around for a long time. Lesbians outdate even the mullet believe it or not.

In fact, it seems gays really did make history, with people claiming that Shakespeare and Isaac Newtown were really as gay as Oscar Wilde. Indeed, even if you leave out the more disputed of the list, there are an awful lot of history makers that were our way inclined.

History month isn’t just about history makers who were gay, but about the important events in gay history. The Stonewall riots, decriminalisation and even Civil Partnerships all form the timeline, and that’s only in recent history.

There is time to remember, and it is really about time the LGBT community had time to remember.

Of course that isn’t to say more shouldn’t done to stop the discrimination and bring about more equal rights.

In researching this I came across a real gem - Paul Hartnett Photography - Vintage Collection


Thursday, February 09, 2006

Leading in a Cheer

I like to think of myself as decisive. When at the start of the year I expressed my total opposition to a cheerleading competition in school, I said I would take nothing to do with the preparation of the competition. Aside from finding the whole idea of girls prancing around in skirts, shouting and wiggling their large hips for no apparent reason, I found the whole idea quite degrading. Of course, there is also the small matter that they retired the ever-faithful literary competition in favour of this sham.

So yes – I remember saying ‘Have the competition for all I care. I won’t take anything to do with it, but I will support you, just in a grumbling way’.

I’m currently downloading cheerleading mixes from the internet and wondering how exactly I’m going to demonstrate the dance moves to the younger girls without losing all (any) credibility I possess. I’m also using my literary talents which helped me win the literary competition (RIP) every year to write a ridiculous rhyming chant for them to scream at me. I also found myself googling ‘basic cheerleading’.

(Before you all think I’m actually interested in this, I am second in command and since my ‘Captain’ is suffering from some minor ailment, I am being left to organise 20 15 year olds to dance in a smutty, degrading, pointless and generally vaguely disturbing way.)

Perhaps I’m too nice to be decisive.

Now, I just need to make the green pom-poms. All suggestions welcome.


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Straight Stalkers

I think about homosexuality. I think about the issues involved in me being gay, and the issues involved in ensuring no one discovers I’m gay before I want them to. I think about gay news stories. I think about lesbians in the media, lesbian singers, and lesbian actresses. But then, I’m allowed to – I’m gay.

Some people think I may be mildly obsessed with my sexuality, it’s a part of me, lets not forget that. And it’s a part I have struggled to understand, and which I am proud of.

But when others are totally obsessed with homosexuality, I pause. Call me selfish (I’m sure other people do), but surely when you are in a long term relationship with someone of the opposite sex, you are bound to be able to think of something more exciting to talk about, something more relevant to your life than homosexuals.

It is nothing short of fascination, and it’s a little scary. I am all for acceptance and integration, but what seems to be to be obsession isn’t really the answer. I wouldn’t mind if I didn’t think they were scorning differences. But to be honest they don’t really make themselves entirely clear.

I can see where the celebrities are coming from. Not that being gay makes you a list, but having people probe your personal life and habits is greatly unnerving.
Can I file for a restraining order on heterosexuals?


Sunday, February 05, 2006

Photo Calls and Holiday Snaps

Maybe it’s a Sunday evening, or maybe I’m just getting old. I’ve just spent some time looking through my photos I have stored on my computer, and they fill me with regret and happiness. Regret that I’m not back there now, and happy that I had such a great time.

The best photos are those, which aren’t posed. The ones I didn’t know where being taken. Not that some of the posed ones aren’t great, but the ones people sent me after the events are more special.

In some ways I want my life to be unposed, spontaneous, and something I can look back on with a smile on my face and a lump in my throat. I want to stop trying to come up with something to remember my actions by.

Sometimes we need photos to prompt memories, photos with bluer skies and bigger smiles. Other ones are the non-photographed ones that we think of while brushing our teeth. I like them too, maybe even more.

People make the memories, and sharing of experiences make the memories brighter. Sure there are people I’ve lost touch with, but I still have memories, and they’re only a phone call away.


Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Commercial Break

I find advertising hypnotising. I like to imagine that I’m above being fooled into buying something by a glitzy advertising campaign, but I am totally addicted to watching how adverts play off people to convince us their product is the best. Some of them are utter genius; I think there are some advertising people that deserve more recognition for clever public manipulation. Of course there are those crap adverts too – with a voice over telling you about a sale. But we won’t go into them.

Another reason I like some adverts now is because of the way so many of them use homosexuality in a purely sneaky way. I won’t let them fool me – I know their game. While fundamentalists everywhere are fuming about gay relationships in soaps, the gay undertones are passing happily across their little eyes during the commercial breaks.

It seems people hate to see gay packaged as ‘gay’. If you put it in a different context it doesn’t always dawn on them that it is gay, and is therefore OK. Two men wandering around half naked advertising underwear isn’t gay… is it?

I found an interesting website called ‘The Commercial Closet’ which lists loads of ‘gay vague’ and blatant gay advertising. It also lists the negative portrayals and generally makes for interesting reading.