Calum McSwiggan

Posts Tagged ‘homophobia’

Drawing Blood

In Gay, Love on December 9, 2012 at 10:11 am

Blood Donation

‘Of all that is written, I love only what a person has written with his own blood.’

 – Friedrich Nietzsche

We’re not having sex for a year, I said to my boyfriend as I read about the changes to the law preventing gay men from donating blood. It now allowed gay men to donate providing they hadn’t had penetrative sex with another man for a full 365 days. I was clearly joking, there was no way I was going to sacrifice a full year of intimacy with my partner in exchange for the right to donate blood, no matter how passionately I felt about it.

It was the principle of it all, I’d adamantly fought against this law in my own small way since I first discovered the ban. I’d always been told that gay men weren’t allowed to donate blood but always shrugged it off as a rumour that couldn’t possibly be true. So when I was rejected as a donor in my first year of University, my blood began to boil at the mere fact that it wasn’t wanted. My best friend kindly offered to donate on my behalf but it wasn’t enough to satiate this growing desire. I wasn’t prepared to let this quietly slip by, I had to speak out.

I got into heated debates with the National Blood Service; I publicly spat angry spoken word about the injustice; and was nominated an award for an article that challenged the controversial law. And because of all of this, this victory seems somewhat bitter-sweet. It’s a step in the right direction but this new law is just as discriminatory as the last. Sex is one of the most basic vices of human nature and giving somebody the right to donate in exchange for the right to have sex is a bit like giving somebody the right to wear jeans providing they don’t eat. The outcome is simple: nobody’s going to be wearing jeans.

When the law was originally put in place, I agree that it was the right thing to do, the AIDS virus broke out into the gay community and until we learned more about it putting precautions in place was the responsible thing to do. However, a few years down the line when we began to learn more about it, the law should have been repealed and not stayed stagnant for all this time. This new law has been designed to satiate both the homosexuals and the homophobes, but that isn’t what a law should be about. A law should never be about trying to please two opposing parties, it should be about affording everybody equal rights regardless of whether that upsets closed-minded-Bob who just can’t stand it when people wear jeans.

However, it just so happens that as of December 1st, for the first time in my life, I am legally allowed to donate blood. I didn’t realise at the time but when I told my partner that we wouldn’t be having sex for a year, I was speaking fortuitously. We broke up a few weeks later leaving me involuntarily celibate for the months that followed, but amongst all of the emotional baggage that comes along with the end of a relationship, it never really occurred to me that this might be my opportunity to abstain for a year, it just sort of happened.

A strong believer of the three date rule, I fooled around with Americans, Germans and Irishmen, but never staying in one place long enough to go on three dates, I didn’t do anything that would result in resetting my one year ban. And so I’ve wound up here, one year down the line, legally allowed to donate blood. It’s like I’ve suddenly been released from prison on probation, one slip up and it’s right back to square one. Suddenly temptation is overwhelming, I always want what I can’t have, and it would be so easy to pick up the proverbial baseball bat and steal the proverbial Mercedes.

If this law doesn’t take another step forward this could be the only opportunity I ever have to legally donate blood and that isn’t something I should discard just because Claus invites me for a game of swing ball. It would be a waste to throw away this opportunity and so I’m actively abstaining from sex until I have donated that pint of blood I’ve so badly wanted to give.

Donating could be tricky, though, although my sexuality won’t affect my chances to donate blood, my nationality will. Due to the risk of mad cow disease, UK nationals aren’t allowed to donate here in Spain, and so it will be a costly flight back to England to afford myself this luxury.

So why go to all this effort? Why abstain from sex, why spend money, why kick up all this fuss? The answer is simple. I know that when that blood finally leaves my veins that it’s going to be the most incredible high of my life, and knowing that I’ve finally been afforded the right to give life will be better than any sexual encounter could ever be.

These Scars of Mine

In Gay, Love on November 14, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Gay Teenage Love

‘Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.’

– Cormac McCarthy

Beneath the darkness of some slasher flick I found his hand in the darkness, and as the blood of some helpless teen spattered against the cinema screen, I entwined it with mine. I’d pursued him for almost a year, sending him valentines, sketches, and piano recordings of his favourite songs, and finally, when we both found ourselves on British soil, we endeavoured to go on our first date.

The moon hung gingerly in the sky as I stood on the open platform waiting to catch the last train home; we were both out of breath from running through the underground, and as the train noisily pulled up behind me, I stared at his perfect lips, and dreamed about kissing them. I didn’t want to get on the train without first sharing a goodnight kiss, I’d made that mistake before, but as I stood there staring into his innocent brown eyes, I let my scars remind me that I couldn’t.

I wear every one of my scars with pride, each one tells its own story, each teaches its own lesson. The cigarette burns on my arm remind me not to trust Italian teenagers, the scar on my eyelid reminds me not to stand behind golfers before they take a swing, and the scar on my forearm reminds me that my best friend’s mother was probably right- he really shouldn’t play with knives. All of these scars remind me of the mistakes I’ve made and the pain I’ve witnessed, but it is the scar on my bottom lip that truly reminds me of the frightening reality of the world we live in.

I was sixteen and hadn’t long come out of the closet when it happened. My friend and I were laughing so hard that we hadn’t realised we were being followed as we walked home, and it wasn’t until after I hugged him goodbye that I found the three boys stood in my path. I recognised them, they were the boys who malevolently assaulted my friends in school, the ones who had always backed down when someone stood up to them, the ones who I thought were in my past.

My body recoiled as they spouted off a colourful array of insults about my newly realised sexuality; I tried to ignore them and push past, but when I heard the word faggot caught on a whisper of the wind, I couldn’t help myself. The word grabbed me, asked me if I was going to take that, spun me around, and marched me back towards them.

I don’t know where such stupidity came from but before I knew it I was standing inches away from the ringleader’s face, grinding my teeth and attempting to stare him down- it’d always made him stand down in the past but this time there was no fear in his eyes, only hatred. Somehow the realisation that I was gay had diminished any ideas of my being a threat. He wasn’t scared of me anymore.

The other boys seized an arm each and held them behind my back, and as he raised his fist, the black stud in his ring glistened in the sunlight, temporarily blinding me, before it lodged itself beneath my eye, in the side of my head, in the crook of my nose, and finally in my bottom lip. It buried itself in the flesh, shattering three of my teeth, and when he yanked it free, he took a small chunk of my face, my heart, and my strength, with it.

Managing to wrestle my arms free and seize both of his fists, I spat blood and shards of broken tooth into his face before turning on my heel and making a swift get away. Blood poured freely from my face, and when I tried to stop the flow with my hands, the blood only seeped through my fingers and dripped down onto my clothes. The look on my mother’s face when she answered the front door is lodged within my memory, it truly resonates, and I can only imagine the pain in the eyes of the families who answer the door to find that their children aren’t coming home at all.

For we all bear these scars of mine, they don’t just tell my story, they tell the story of every gay and lesbian individual out there- just a few weeks ago a friend of mine returned from a nightclub bruised and bloodied from a routine gay-bashing, but both he and I were lucky, some don’t return with just scars, some don’t return at all.

It’s for this reason that I’m proud of every gay couple I see sharing their affection out in the open, because that takes real courage. I’d love to one day be like the beautiful boys I saw kissing in Budapest, but until we live in a more tolerant world, with every public kiss we’re risking abuse, and where I’m willing to accept that risk unto myself, I’m not willing to subject any one of my partners to that torment.

I can only remain hopeful that one day we can openly share a kiss on that platform without harbouring even a spark of fear of persecution- but until then, I’ll continue to let those beautiful brown eyes slip away from me, and will never feel those soft delicate lips pressed tenderly against mine.

The Pest in Budapest

In Eat, Gay on September 13, 2012 at 8:18 am

Budapest By Night

‘If you surround yourself with negative people, you’ll never feel settled in or become an equal.’

– Jessie J 

I was meandering through the city park, watching the young couples frolicking in the midsummer heat, when I caught glimpse of a pair of teenage boys exchanging a kiss beneath the boughs of an overhanging fruit tree. Outside of the safety of gay pride it’s such a rarity to see a gay couple openly kissing in broad daylight, and yet there they were, lay out in the middle of the park, not caring what anybody would think.

Watching them made my heart soar with pride and filled my blood with a fiery passion, they reminded me of everything I believe in, everything I want to be, and everything I am. It was those boys that stuck in my mind as the sun began to drop from the sky and I sunk into the warm inviting waters of the grand Turkish bath. I slowly breathed in my palatial surroundings, took effortless sips from my Pina Colada and watched the evening sun ripple over the bronze skin of the lifeguard as I reminisced about romances gone by. I was truly at peace.

And then a loud splash drenched me, completely interrupting my relaxation as an obese man hurled his child into the centre of the hot tub. He slapped his grotesque stomach, laughed obnoxiously, fished his spluttering son from the water, and then did it again.

With every splash he further diluted my delicious cocktail until I was drinking nothing but warm bath water. I eyed the other hot-tub-goers and in silent unison we declared our hatred for him. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and tried to ignore his presence, but the harrowing shrieks of his child demanded my attention as he was hurled over the wall and into the fast flowing rapids pool below.

I watched in horror for a moment as the child’s cries were replaced with an inaudible spluttering as he was tumbled around helplessly like a rag-doll in a wash cycle; I looked around for the lifeguard but he was nowhere in sight, I looked at the father who was still cackling menacingly and unwilling to help, and then I looked back to the child as he became nothing more than a writhing figure thrashing beneath the waves.

I couldn’t take it any more, my inner teacher, my inner father, my inner humanitarian kicked in- I shot the father a look of disgust and then leapt over the wall after the small child, pulling him screaming and terrified from the waters. He wrapped his tiny arms around my shoulders and sobbed and sobbed and sobbed, and just as I safely rested him down at the edge of the pool I took the abuse from his father head on.

Paedophile. Faggot. Pervert.

As a gay teacher the words stung like hot acid- perhaps it’s true that we have an obsession with youth, I even faced the challenge of having a crush on one of my eighteen year old students, but wrongly accusing us of paedophilia is what prevents us teaching across the globe.

The moment I heard that word, all I could see was red. I thought of the boys exchanging an innocent kiss in the park, and if anything what followed was for them. Uncharacteristically inappropriate remarks flew from my lips and I spat profanity like a truck driver. I wasn’t proud of it, especially not with the young child in proximity of my vulgar mouth, but when those around me came to my rescue, chiming in with biting comments of their own, I felt overwhelmed with appreciation.

And then a sharp whistle blew and I spun around to see the Adonis of a lifeguard coming to my rescue. A small ripple of applause sounded across the courtyard as he left the still spluttering child in the safety of his mother’s arms and removed the man from the premises.

Nobody knew my sexuality, yet still to have them come to my aid in the face of homophobia filled me with a warm feeling of acceptance. I suddenly felt the courage to be as open and free as the boys in the park, and had the lifeguard not had a preference for women, I would have almost definitely invited him to come for a walk on the green.

The Gay Chameleon

In Eat, Gay on June 8, 2012 at 8:08 am

‘It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but rather the one most adaptable to change’

– Leon C. Megginson

As I sit writing this in a coffee shop in Portugal, one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world, I can’t help but think about the way I adapt my personality to suit my environment. I happily mince around the accepting countries of the world like Spain, England, and Holland, but when it comes to countries with homophobic beliefs, I cover up my sexuality like it’s something I’m ashamed of.

Whilst teaching in Italy last year, I stayed with several different host families, and although they were all friendly, loving, and generous, my employer had warned me not to mention the gay thing. Despite my conflicting ideals, I heeded this advice and routinely slipped my engagement ring into my pocket before every breakfast, lunch and dinner, hoping to avoid any unwanted questions.

Sooner or later the truth would surface, though, and they’d ask about my fiancé. I’d fumble nervously and make up spur of the moment lies about the girl I was engaged to, and when they asked to see pictures, I showed them drunken photographs of me and my best friend kissing- it was proof enough, and the subject wouldn’t be brought up again.

One family, though, were relentlessly homophobic- they treated me with such generosity and kindness, yet, because of their Catholic background, were against everything I stood for. They made outrageously inappropriate jokes over dinner and one evening the father even told me that gay people disgust him.

I felt like I was having dinner with the Berlusconis; you can imagine my discomfort when they later told me that I’d have to share a bed with their seventeen year old son. I could hardly explain to them why this was massively inappropriate, and if I complained I would have seemed ungrateful, so, later that evening, I reluctantly climbed into bed with the homophobes’ son.

Despite being tired from spending the whole day playing Olly Olly Octopus with energetic ten year olds, I couldn’t catch a wink of sleep. I had to keep reminding myself where I was and who was in the bed beside me, terrified that in my half-asleep state I would try to give him a reach-around.

I never thought I’d say this, but spending the night with a semi-naked seventeen year old Italian, was, without a doubt, the worst night of my life.

I’m flying back to Italy this evening, and I’m preparing myself to once again pretend to be a straight man. My hard-drive is readied with pictures of my ‘girlfriend’, my gay pride flag and Little Box of Big Gay Love are hidden away in the recesses of my back-pack, and luckily I no longer have to worry about wearing that troublesome engagement band.

Although I hate not being true to myself, I look forward to playing this game of pretend. Gay men are like chameleons, we’re incredibly talented at adapting to our surroundings; through growing up we learn to disguise our sexuality in the face of adversity, and in a world where we can’t be true to who we are, wherever we are, it’s a tool that serves us well.

Now, I must dash, I think Ronaldo’s house is near here and I’m going to go see if I can blend into his bed-sheets.

Mincing in Morocco

In Eat, Gay on June 5, 2012 at 8:25 am

Mincing in Morocco

‘A lot of people like to downgrade Morocco and Africa like it’s all jungles and lions and shit. The actual truth is a lot of stuff is going on out there’

– French Montana

For the first time in my twenty two years of living, I stepped outside of the safe haven of Europe. I left behind the countries where gay men are protected by the law, and aimed straight for Morocco, a country where homosexual conduct can result in three years in prison.

As I took my first steps into Africa, I was more than slightly apprehensive about what to expect. I’d heard about a group of men who were sentenced to ten months in jail just for attending a gay wedding, and about a gay porn company that were shut down and given a combined sentence of thirty years imprisonment- it goes without saying that I left my gay pride flag behind.

Military vehicles and scores of army militia patrolled the streets, every time they passed me I felt like I had to adjust my walk, not wanting to give away my sexuality by mincing around, terrified that they might seize me and bang me up in some god awful Moroccan jail. To make matters worse, some of the army men kept jogging around with their tops off, wearing nothing but teeny tiny commando shorts-  it was near impossible to keep averting my gaze.

After a few hours, though, I began to recognize that something was amiss. The place wasn’t anywhere near as homophobic as I’d imagined- a man with blonde highlights was mincing around with a Chihuahua, another pair of men were giving out high pitched giggles and slapping each other playfully, even the army men who had previously intimidated me seemed a bit overly handsy with one another.

It was only whilst tucking into some pinchitos that the ball really dropped. I had been watching a group of hot male sunbathers, they kept making jokes and then playfully touching each other, wrestling and getting extremely cosy beneathe their parasol. Then one lay on his friend’s chest and the other began stroking his arm- they may as well have been tossing each other off. I wasn’t in homophobic Africa, I was in sodding San Francisco. The more I looked around, the more I noticed it, I was right in the middle of a raving gay hullapalooza, and at this point I wouldn’t have been surprised if an entourage of rainbow flags and drag queens paraded down the street.

The law may state that homosexuality is illegal in Morocco but from what I’ve witnessed the opinion of the state does not match that of the people. Assuming that the homophobia must be rooted in the poverty stricken areas in the south, I did some quick research and, to my surprise, discovered that all of Morocco is seen as a gay hot-spot by the majority of North Africa.

The gay underground culture is thriving, gay nightclubs are immerging in Marrakesh, hammams are commonly used as hot-spots for gay orgies, and they even operate under a series of gay codes and language.

The hugely positive thing about this is that it brings in an enormous amount of money for the Moroccan economy, and even though the government are strongly opposed to it, they are forced to turn a blind eye. Furthermore, the huge congregations of gay people mean that gay rights groups are beginning to band together and the government are under a lot of pressure to buckle to equal rights.

I feel privileged to have had my eyes opened to this, what I’ve witnessed truly gives me hope for the progression of the gay rights movement in other deeply religious countries of the world. In light of everything I’ve seen, I now have an even stronger belief that world-wide equality can be, and will be, some day achieved.

God Save The Queens

In Eat, Gay on June 3, 2012 at 2:48 pm

 ‘Don’t be a drag, just be a queen’

– Lady Gaga 

Despite being several hundred miles from my home country, through the power of the internet I can feel the nation springing to life in passionate celebration for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Though I don’t consider myself to be patriotic, only pledging my allegiance to a country until I find one that has better looking men, there is one thing about my home country that makes me proud to be British- and that is our Queen: a woman of great power, a thriving feminist icon, a symbol of honour and virtue, and even at the grand old age of 86 she’s still quite handy with a machine gun.

We don’t all share these positive opinions of her though. I’ve heard her denounced on countless occasions, and until recent years I wasn’t entirely keen on the monarchy myself. It was only through realising that she’d literally given up her entire life in order to serve her country that I began to gain both respect and admiration for her.

 Newspapers are forever running articles complaining about the annual cost of The Queen, listing the things we could buy instead for the 69p she costs us per person- a packet of crisps, a chocolate bar, half a litre of fuel- but taking into account the sacrifices she has made, I’d take Queenie over a Kit-Kat any day.

What I didn’t come to expect, though, was the recent accusations of homophobia coming from the gay community. As a man who fervently seeks world-wide equality, I’d like to shoot down such accusations before they do any real harm. The Queen isn’t the enemy here; such accusations should be redirected to the Ron Pauls and Anita Bryants of the world.

It is believed that The Queen is homophobic because she has never outwardly shown any support for any gay cause, whereas I would love to see her openly show her acceptance of LGBT individuals, I understand that the omission isn’t down to any kind of bigotry.

The Queen is bound to a duty of silence, she is unable to comment or openly discuss her opinions, particularly when the subject matter is stooped in political conflict. Her free speech is massively limited yet she has still been criticised over not commenting on the current battle for equal marriage; she was hardly going to upload an Out4Marriage video to YouTube, was she?

The Queen Mother, however, never remained quite so schtum. When a Conservative Minister advised her not to employ homosexuals in the 1970s, she was outraged and wittily remarked we’d have to go self service. I would be enormously surprised if she hadn’t imparted those same values onto her daughter.

Despite the fact that The Queen has never voiced her support, we’ve witnessed her making silent appreciative gestures towards the gay community- I sincerely doubt she was thinking ‘cock-sucking faggot’ as she knighted Sir Elton John or Sir Ian McKellan. The Queen does not have to publically voice her support for homosexuals to make her opinions known, her actions speak louder than words.

Given the opportunity I think the Queen would quite happily stand up in one of her enormous flamboyant hats and proudly sing her own rendition of God Save The Queens- and for that I salute her.

Happy Diamond Jubilee, Ma’am.

I Like Your Man Areas

In Gay on May 25, 2012 at 7:34 am

Hot guys

‘I like that dirty daddy cuz his chest be kinda hairy, but I also like them chickens cuz those dudes is finger lickin’

– Johnny McGovern

I gawped at the topless twenty-something jogger as he ran along by the side of the road, his tight joggers clinging to his body leaving nothing to the imagination, and his muscles glistening in the blistering sun. Obscene thoughts ran through my mind but as soon as he noticed my staring, he quickly grabbed his t-shirt and pulled it back over his body.

As well as being disappointed at the fact that the peep show was now over, I was initially offended that he would cover himself up just because a gay man was appreciating the view- if a woman were watching it would have been a different story. But then I imagined a woman running down the street in a bikini, and imagined a group of men eyeing her up and making her uncomfortable, and realised that perhaps it was me that was in the wrong- if he wants to cover himself up he has the right, I am not entitled to look at his body.

We’re all guilty of objectifying men and women to some degree, but where do we draw the line? What is appropriate and what is inappropriate? We already have an alarmingly high number of rapes happening every year due to men believing they have entitlement over women.

In pop culture, straight men constantly objectify women, sometimes to an extent that is completely inappropriate- Tip Drill is a prime example of this, both the lyrics of the song and the music itself are massively degrading towards women- be warned before clicking the link, though, although it’s not pornographic it’s pretty x-rated. 

50 Cent, famed for rapping about blowjobs and having scantily clad women gyrating around him, recently declared that he was in support of gay marriage as long as he doesn’t get objectified himself- he’s worried that gay men will grab his buns in an elevator. Although this worry is both absurd and massively homophobic, it would greatly help prove that homosexuality is about love and not sex if men weren’t seen as objects by the gay communities.

I’m not being a prude, my tumblr page is riddled with topless male models and I spend half my life drooling over the Call Me Maybe Guy, but when gay versions of videos like Tip Drill begin to immerge, things have been taken a little bit too far. I stumbled upon this sordid gem a while ago, and despite the fact that it has semi-naked men dancing around in it, it makes me feel sick to the stomach- it’s so seedy and repugnant that I first assumed it must be a parody, but apparantly not.

Although I am partial to a semi-naked man running past me in the street, I do think that the extreme objectification of both men and women is wrong- we have to draw the line somewhere, and if women continue to be seen as sexual objects by the media then it won’t be long until men are too. So, to all those guys out there who talk about pussy instead of women, if you can’t take it then you shouldn’t dish it out- next time you slap a girl on the behind and call her sweet-cheeks, just imagine a 6’5 drag queen doing the same right back to you.

The Mailman Always Delivers

In Gay, Love on May 17, 2012 at 2:20 pm

International Day Against Homophobia

‘Please Mr. Postman, look and see, is there a letter in your bag for me?’

The Marvelettes

In recent years, I was made to hate my job at one of the world’s largest mail companies due to the amount of homophobia on the factory floor- after making a formal complaint I was deemed a bitchy little queer, had my uniform literally ripped from my back, and was escorted off the premises and told not to return. Ever since, I’ve been pretty negative about the postal service, I grimace every time one of their vans pass me in the street, and dread the day one of my ex-colleagues delivers my mail.

That was until I met the courier boy.

He’s visited a couple of times now, picking up boxes of old things I’ve been selling off in preparation of my impending move, all the while being cheeky and flirtatious and brightening up my day. This morning, as the doorbell rang, I hurriedly threw on some joggers, picked up the parcel I had waiting by the door, and ran downstairs intentionally topless to greet him.

Alright mate, he winked, taking the box off me and handing me something to sign- I began undressing him with my eyes as I squiggled down my name, wishing I were a dog just so I’d have an excuse to bite him. I’ll see you soon, yeah? he grinned and swaggered off back towards his van.

Maybe he’s gay, I thought to myself as I waved and shut the door, but in reality I knew that he was just being friendly. There are so many straight guys out there who genuinely possess no homophobic beliefs and are 100% comfortable around gay people- even those attracted to them- and I think it’s a shame that they are always the ones first accused of being gay- even Barack Obama was widely accused of being gay after openly backing marriage equality.

We fight and demand tolerance from people and try to stamp out homophobia, yet we sexually pounce on those that aren’t behaving intolerantly. We often naturally jump to the conclusion that a person must be gay just because they’re being nice to us, and we’re then adamant that we can fulfil the gay man’s fantasy of turning a straight guy.

Today is The International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO), and while the rest of the world is rightly doing their part by speaking out against homophobia, I’d like to take advantage of this opportunity to show my appreciation for the courier boy and all the other hetero-men out there who support homosexuality (even when we do answer the door topless in a transparent and pathetic attempt to get your phone number)

Maybe next time I’ll answer wearing nothing but a smile.

Trouble Maker

In Gay, Love on May 10, 2012 at 10:46 am

Out4Marriage

‘When I marry my partner I would like our celebration of love and commitment to mean the same as every other couple in the UK. No more, no less, because I believe we’re all equal.’

– Mike Buonaiuto

Yesterday, I commented on one of the Out4Marriage videosa new video project in support of equal marriage- in order to show my support; I was called an embarrassment and a homosexual trouble-maker, in response.

I wasn’t offended, though, the commenter was a member of a Neo-Nazi organisation and is renowned for causing trouble wherever he has the opportunity. *begins to sing Alanis Morisette’s Ironic.* In all honesty I was quite proud to be called a homosexual trouble-maker, I’m pretty sure Harvey Milk was probably called that back in his day, too.

Spurred on by the Out4Marriage campaign, I went on to draw further inspiration from videos such as the heartbreaking It Could Happen To You story, and a video of a young gentleman taking the mature approach to a break-up by giving away the holiday he’d bought for his ex-girlfriend.

I haven’t written about my break-up since it happened, most probably because it would just be a page of abuse and swear words, so I took this opportunity to openly discuss my failed relationship whilst advocating the battle for equal marriage rights.

I wanted to see how much trouble I could really cause and so I made a video where I take my clothes off in support of equal marriage.

And i’ll keep on causing trouble until equality is witnessed not only in the UK, but right across the world.

 I’m Out4Marriage, are you?

Hug a Homophobe

In Gay on May 2, 2012 at 4:42 pm

‘Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?’

Ernest Gaines

Recent research has delivered results that suggest a surprisingly high number of males with homophobic beliefs are likely to have gay tendencies themselves. I’m not entirely convinced by the methods in these tests but they do make an interesting point.

I don’t think many people would be at all surprised if this hypothesis came to be true, people who grow up in highly repressed backgrounds are bound to follow their parents and peers in their homophobic crusade, and what better a way to convince people that you’re straight than openly stating your hatred for gay people?

I think the majority of us are probably guilty of this to some degree, before I came out of the closet I made gay jokes and accused some of my friends of being gay, it helped keep those accusations off of me.

The New York Times suggests that we should take a compassionate approach to homophobia because ‘the costs are great not only for the targets of anti-gay efforts but also often for the perpetrators.’

I’m in two minds about this, I whole-heartedly agree that some homophobes may be suffering themselves and acting out aggressively as an attempt to compensate. Another study showed that homophobic men were aroused more by gay porn than they were straight porn, for these people to witness most of the western world flaunting their sexuality, but being trapped in a world where they aren’t able to open up themselves, must be unbelievable frustrating- I can understand why they would campaign so fervently against us.

However, despite this I believe that homophobia is still an unforgivable offence due to the damaging impact it can have on people’s lives. Just four days ago another teenage boy, seventeen year old Jack Reese, took his life as a result of homophobic bullying. It’s extremely easy to forget the pain that can be caused by this abuse and I think it’s important to remind ourselves of this. When I was in school the one person who was brave enough to be open about his sexuality was savagely beaten-up on a daily basis and I know that this will continue to happen until homophobia comes to a stop.

There’s no way to know whether a homophobe is over-compensating for their own homosexuality, or whether they just have deeply bigoted beliefs, whilst there is no excuse for behaving in a life-destroying manner, we should take caution before damning these individuals as heartless and petty creatures- they have their own demons and may be suffering far more than we know.