Coming Out! Part 1

27 Aug

It’s Manchester Pride Big Weekend!

It’s that time of year to stand up and be proud!  But how did we get here?   What challenges did we face to become comfortable and open with who we are?

The next few posts will be some coming out stories…

David Gibbs- New York, NY

Back in February of  2005 when I was 21, I was going to school at the University of Arizona. One night I got a phone call that one of my good friends from high school in New Jersey had passed away in a freak accident. This got me thinking about my life and if I was really happy living the way I was living. My original plan was to come out after my grandparents past away, but this accident made me realize that I have to live life to the fullest.

The next day while sitting through a boring history class with a friend, I decided I needed to come out. After class I told her and all my other close friends that I was gay. Their response was “it’s about time you came out.” No problems there.

Two weeks later I flew back to New Jersey on an overnight flight to tell my parents and family. They had no idea I was coming home. I got to New York around 5:30 in the morning and had my best friend pick me up. I told him and he could care less. Around 7:30am he dropped me off at my moms house. I walked in the door and she freaked out and screamed. She came to my room and asked what I was doing in New Jersey. I told her I had to tell her something. She just listened. When I told her, she said, “Is that all?” I was a little surprised by her response. She apparently thought I came home to tell her I was dropping out of school. We went to breakfast and discussed some gay issues such as HIV and how much that scares her and also that she doesn’t care that I’m gay but that she doesn’t believe in gay marriage. The latter has since changed.

Next it was off to my dad’s to tell my brother. It was around 10:30am at this point and he was still sleeping. My mom and I went to his room and woke him up to tell him. His response, “You woke me up to tell me that?! I already knew.” When my mom left the room I asked him how he knew. Apparently I left some porn open on the family computer the summer prior.

Last person to tell was my dad. He came home from work around 3pm and I’m sitting in his living room with my mom and brother. He walks in and asks if someone had died and why was I home and everyone at his place. I told him that I came home from Arizona to tell everyone that I’m gay he responded with “let me ask you, are you happy?” When I said yes, he said “that’s all I care about.”

Over time I slowly told the rest of my family. Everyone was extremely supportive and very happy for me. The only person who had any sort of problem was my uncle who thinks that I am going through a phase and still does. I even told my grandma and she told me it was about time that I came out and that she will support anything and everything I do. That was the shocker to me.

I am very fortunate to have such a supportive and loving family. Unfortunately I have friends who were not as fortunate to have the support that I had and have.

Cheers for your contribution David!  We hope to see you sometime soon!

If you would like to share your story feel free to get in touch.  There will be a little “thank you” gift for contributors.

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Objects of our affection: Senti-mental?

24 Aug

House is being decorated…everywhere smells of paint which is pleasant at first but now the novelty has worn off.  The boys have bought new bedroom furniture which has resulted in less storage space (I’m not entirely sure why bedside tables costing ten times the old ones could have about a quarter of the space).

Traumatic for Mykie, not really an issue for Simon…

So, I’ve got gadgets and gizmos a-plenty. I’ve got whozits and whatzits galore…what am I going to do?  I’m not being contrary for the drama of it all, I’m just one of those people who gets attached to things and struggles to de-clutter.  The 8 ball from my old Uni flat (akin to keeping the obligatory student traffic cone/sign I know); I don’t require it to function on a daily basis, but, it reminds me off my student days.  The now tatty, plaid trousers I wore on my first date with Simon, I don’t wear them any more but the thought of discarding them fills me with sadness.  I could go on and on but suffice it to say that I have piles of things that do not serve any use and are taking up room.  I could put things in a memory box perhaps?  Been there, done that, memory boxes updated every year and filled to bursting.  I had to take the plunge and get ruthless.  Out went “The Endless” models, out went the empty Westwood and Tiffany & co. boxes, out went the tie I wore when I interviewed for my job, out went the never worn clothes picked up on holidays.

I found this extremely difficult and a little upsetting.  Simon on the other hand saw it as a great opportunity to de-clutter;  He doesn’t seem to get attached to clothes and inanimate objects as I do.  Simon’s wardrobe operates on a strict “one in, one out” policy, and not many things are above the “clutter cull” (the notable exceptions being the random trinkets, crochet, origami and other knick-knacks I give him as little gifts…nice, as I bet he’s itching to chuck them all).

Is it a negative trait to keep items for nostalgias sake?  Should memories be enough without the need for a trinket to attach them to?  Should we all learn to let go?

I find it strange how some people get attached to things.  I’ll happily chase anything if it’s woolly and moves about.

I think it’s about time Mykie got around to reading Bruce Hood’s Supersense.

Evolution Bakery: gone to the dogs.

23 Aug

It was Elmer J. Fudd’s birthday over the weekend and he was having a party.  The bakery elves made him a cake…

It was a chocolate sponge with a double layer of chocolate, cream cheese icing.  It was iced in choclate fondant and decorated with marzipan, fondant and piped royal icing…

The party was a marvellous affair with party games, jambalaya, crispy duck, dog friendly treats and mimosas…we all left with a party bag!

He is a very spoilt doggy!

The first wool based meeting…better name required.

22 Aug

So last week after months of not so intense planning, Mykie got his arse into gear and ran a “Stitch ‘n’ Bitch”.

Crochet packs assembled, tutorials made, everyone confirmed…check, check, check.  Chez Chadong tidy…no check.  Decorator started today so it looks like someone has picked the house up and shook it…bollocks.

Slightly nerve-racking, the idea of teaching people a skill that I myself learned through the magic of Youtube…would it all end in disaster (I’m not the most patient of people)?  Surely it can’t end as badly as when I called the naughty kids “a bunch of retards” when I was a trampoline coach (it was the “special needs session”).

We were about to find out…

Miss Kimmers, Mr Adam and Ms Shepherd all arrived (we sent the men folk out for curry and beer) we poured the wine, nibbled the cakes and got started!

We started by learning how to get the wool on the hook (very important) then we chain stitched and worked a few rows of single crochet so they got the hang of the basics.

They were all marvellous and picked things up really quickly;  There were few traumas, Claire had a very tight, little hole and Kimmers lost her “V”.

We moved on to crocheting in the round…the aim off the club is to eventually make amigurumi so unless you plan to make road-kill you have to master 3D shapes.  Whilst they were all very good, Mr Adam was the clearly the most proficient, the crochet star, the wool master… he completed a stuffed lavender ball!

Claire made what we decided was a beret for a gnome or a fascinator for a regular sized person;  Kimmers made a… erm… well, she made a “fish” and a “seahorse”

We all had a lot of fun and we will be running things regularly.  All that remains now it to come up with a new name for our club…

New people are more than welcome so get in-touch if you are around the South-Manchester area!

FJW: We have a new logo!

21 Aug

Thanks to the Bamboo Pad Fun we have a new logo!

Evolution Bakery: Jack Daniels Fudge Cookies

18 Aug

Making double the amount you need as you know you’ll eat half the dough isn’t good Mykie…shame on you!

I instructed the bakery elves to make some baked goods for tomorrow.  As usual, spare egg yolks in the fridge from macaroon frenzy that could be put to good use.

  • 255g soft, unsalted butter
  • 255g caster suger
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 225g plain flour
  • seeds of a vanilla pod
  • 110g rolled oats
  • 120g Jack Daniels fudge cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • tsp bicarbonate of soda

Pre-heat the oven to 170°C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Beat the butter and sugar with an electric whisk (or wooden spoon if you want to work off some of the cookies that will be devoured).  Whisk in the vanilla and yolks, throw everything else in and mix together.  Pinch off  pieces of the sticky, sweet dough and roll into balls (testicle sized works), space on the baking sheet leaving room for them to spread.

Bake for about 15 minutes until golden, but still soft.  Leave to cool before taking off the baking tray or eating (if you can).

These are divine!  The oats give a nice crunch yet the cookie still has a slight chew to the middle.  The chunks of JD fudge take them from “nice with a hot drink” to “holy Jebuddallah! Sitting in a wardrobe with a plate full, cramming them into your mouth until you can’t breathe whilst furiously masturbating”.

Cookie success!  Let’s see if any remain tomorrow.

Changing times…even snails can travel miles given enough time.

17 Aug

I’m two years old…those bastard boys I live with only remembered the week after my birthday.  Slightly better than my first birthday when we had a party a month late.  Bitterness aside, my point is I’m only young;  The world hasn’t changed much since I’ve been in it.  Maybe it has, maybe I’ve just not noticed…

I was around at Noo Noo’s new house the other day to admire how far he had progressed with decorating (bravo to him for tackling it himself, we wimped out and got men in).  He had been ripping up some old flooring and underneath was some yellowing, local newspaper from 1958!  We found the front page (amongst sheets filled with ads for hair curlers and push-along vacuum cleaners); the cover story of the day was:

” “COUPLE HAVE BLACK BABY”  When [generic man name] comes up from the pit, his face is black and his hands are black.  After a quick wash he is white again, unlike his new son…”

We were shocked,  how was this ever headline news (or news at all)?  It got me thinking, when did this stop being news?  Was there a cut off point in history when suddenly adopting a child of a different race from yourself didn’t require a picture, full-page article and interviews with your neighbours (Angelina, Madonna, Sandra Bullock-you’re all excused)?  Of course not, like a glacier, cultural and social norms move imperceptibly slowly.  Who knows, in fifty years or so there may even be a black president of the USA!

Being 28, I’ve never really been exposed to this sort of crazy race-carnival-show mentality.  Even growing up in a small, mainly white town with only four families of differing race in the my whole school (the Cronins’ and Nizar Sudani were the black contingent, the Hadads’ covered the Arabic sector and my family were the oriental representatives), the white kid with the bald head and medical crash helmet got the brunt of school-yard teasing (I got the odd “chink” and “ching chong” kids can be so… creative).

My life as a present day gay is generally a pleasant hassle-free life.  Maybe it’s the people I socialise with, the places I go, the place I live…no problems at all.  Had a big, gay wedding (well, civil partnership), shacked up with the hubby (OK, civil partner), all is rosy; It seems not everyone is as lucky.  The Prop 8 issues in America highlights that we are in a time of transition.  It was only 2004 when same-sex civil partnerships were legalised in the UK, we still can’t actually marry.  I remember when I bought my first house my Moogie said to me (after her and the Old Man generously gave me a pile of pennies) “well we won’t have to shell out on a wedding”.

It’s 2010 and the tabloids, blogs, podcasts, TV shows are full of “such a Z-lister is gay!” and “Mr fat-old-politician is fucking rent boys!”.  Gay is news, gay makes the news, gay requires a picture, full-page article and interviews with your neighbours.  What the LGBT is fighting for is to not be news.

*2060*

I was around at Robo-Noo Noo’s new house the other day to admire how far he had progressed with decorating (bravo to him for tackling it himself, we wimped out and got decorating cyborgs in).  He had been ripping up some old flooring and underneath was some yellowing, local newspaper from 2010!  We found the front page (amongst sheets filled with ads for breast augmentation and Roombas); the cover story of the day was:

“MIXED REACTION TO RICKY MARTIN’S GAY REVELATION” Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin’s announcement that he is gay has prompted a host of reactions from fans and pundits, ranging from support to indifference. In a statement posted in English and Spanish on his website, Martin said he was “very blessed” to be “a fortunate homosexual man “. “

It’s 2010, we’re getting there.