Friday, 24 December 2010

Raise Your Glass

Today, Christmas Eve, at Midday I awoke on the kitchen floor with an open bottle of red wine beside me. It took me quite a few moments to figure out exactly how this had happened and despite the temptation to jump to the conclusion that I had a heavy evening the night before what in fact happened wasn't quite so debaucherous.


Whilst cooking our festive ham Lee and I treated ourselves to half a glass of the expensive wine my parents gave to us for Christmas, we then left it on top of the oven to 'let it breathe'. This morning whilst on all fours scrubbing the oven to get it spotless for Christmas day I found myself taking a blow to the head...

Luckily we only lost a splash of the wine, we'll be raising a glass of that wine to our friends, our family, and of course all of my readers and the bruise on my forehead tomorrow over Christmas dinner. What injuries will you be raising a glass to this Christmas?



Merry Christmas.
Love Cal. x

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Being Naked for Christmas

With Christmas fast approaching I’ve considered the possibilities of going naked for Christmas- and no, sadly, I don’t mean taking all of my clothes off and sitting by the Christmas tree. As fun as that might be I think it might be disrespectful to the spirit of the festivities.



I’m talking stripping down the costs of Christmas and indulging in the holiday spirit without spending a penny. Over the years, perhaps even long before my time Christmas has become increasingly more and more consumerist. The Christmas presents, wrapping paper, cards, food… the list goes on. Although it is nice to spend that little bit extra to make Christmas extra special sometimes we can be a little frivolous around the holiday season. The tag line for Christmas shopping has always been guilt free shopping, I don’t always feel that though, when spending money I don’t necessarily have to spare on loved ones I still have a niggling feeling of guilt lodged in the back of my mind.

I adore Christmas, and I even love all those consumerist bits and bobs that go along with it, but I’m pretty sure I could strip it all away and still have an enjoyable Christmas. My parents came over to visit from Spain recently and as we sat around watching T.V we shook our heads in disbelief as we watched a middle aged couple complaining about the economic climate; complaining that this year they wouldn’t be celebrating Christmas at all due to money issues. They went on to show how upset the couple were about the whole thing, showing the empty wall where the Christmas d├ęcor would usually hang. I found the whole thing absurd.

I understand the financial difficulties we have in this country at the minute, I even suffer them myself, however I don’t think that is a reason to completely write off Christmas. The aforementioned couple had a large house with expensive looking furniture and trinkets: I couldn’t understand why they needed to not celebrate Christmas to get by. They could still hang their Christmas decorations; they wouldn’t even have to turn on the Christmas lights if they wanted to save on electricity. They could play a board game or watch some Christmas T.V. Spending under £5 they could each buy each other a bar of chocolate or similar, wrap it, put it under the Christmas tree and have a mince pie. It just takes a little imagination.

I think it’s shocking that Christmas has become so much about money that people in difficult money situations believe they can’t celebrate it. Are people forgetting the nativity story entirely? I’m pretty sure Mary and Joseph weren’t rolling around in fifty pound notes.

Splashing out is always nice during the festive season, as long as we remember it’s not a necessity. Often when we have less money we are a lot more thoughtful with our present buying since we can’t spend a fortune on extravagant gifts and wrapping. It’s something worth bearing in mind while you’re doing your last minute Christmas shop.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Truly Madly Deeply

If you never got a chance to see me and Lee in Attitude Magazine, then look no further!



Saturday, 18 December 2010

One Rule

Everything is fair game between my friend LJW and I, she texts me inappropriate things and I reciprocate, she compares me to Liza Minnelli and I compare her to Dawn French. It's a two way street.

There is however, one situation where things get SERIOUS.

That is when a glass of coke and a laptop is involved. "I've got one rule!" I bellowed as she set her glass of coke down next to my new laptop. "No drinks near the computer!" she moved her drink to a safe spot before laughing at me and proceeded to mock my one rule with a serious voice for the following few weeks.

On one Saturday night, as she set down her mug of tea next to my laptop, I shot her a dirty look and said "One rule LJW! One rule!" I lifted up my laptop and set it aside away from the mug of tea.

While she proceeded to mock me she reached for her tea and knocked it half way across the room, hot tea spilling everywhere.

"And that is why I have one rule," I told her as I began cleaning the tea up from the carpet, the t.v, the sofa, the table and both of my legs.

In case you hadn't noticed, LJW and I have a podcast: Having a Trauma. Pop over to the Audio page to have a listen or listen to our latest podcast below.



Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Christmas Tradition

It’s been a while since I last posted, what with it being the X Factor final and all, I found my schedule a little full. – It’s the most important event on the calendar people- what I’m going to do with my Saturday and Sunday nights from now on is anyone’s guess. I don’t think everybody quite understands the passion my dear friend LJW and I have for X Factor: as we watch X Factor, then the Xtra Factor and then stay up all night googling Aiden Grimshaw, Wagner and One Direction while everyone else is pleading to go to bed, we remain fascinated.

All that business aside, I’ve realised as of late how detailed different people’s Christmases are. The traditional things drilled into us year after year by our families make us incredibly unique. Our American friend didn’t know what a mince pie was, to which I shouted at her- oops. Mince pies to me were quintessentially Christmassy, without them I don’t know what I’d do: eat a chocolate Yule log, probably.

There are many things that make my Christmas complete, from the Coca-Cola advert on the tele and burning down the advent candle. A stocking on Christmas day and some sort of family film in the evening. Without these things Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas.

What I do find interesting though, is how my own Christmas traditions clash with Lee’s Christmas traditions. We were questioned just the other day at why we didn’t have a star or an angel atop the Christmas tree. We explained that I had to have a star and Lee had to have an angel so as to not start an argument we had neither.


Then there’s our Christmas dinner, I have to have ham and turkey where Lee has to have sausage meat, I have to have croquettes and Lee has to have parsnips. It’s a trauma, but I indulge in it, the more diverse our Christmas is the more exciting it becomes.

Embracing all of these Christmas traditions, introduced to us by family, friends and partners make our Christmases that extra bit special, and I for one welcome any new additions.

Then again, do you remember that advert with The Spice Girls the other year? Lobster for Christmas dinner... I threw my shoe at the T.V.

Have your shoe at the ready.



Thursday, 9 December 2010

Shafted by a Redhead

The streets being covered in ice, although a little annoying (Oo, hypocrite), does provide a picturesque and eventful walk to and from university. Yesterday, as I made my way up an incredibly icy slope, I found myself staring at an incredibly attractive boy walking ahead of me. I noticed that his shoe laces were untied and although my mother taught me to never cavort with boys with untied shoe laces, his biceps were impossible to resist. He looked like one of The Wanted boys, but better…

You read correctly. Better than this.

I watched intently as I waddled along the ice, trying to keep up, watching his shoe laces flick upwards as he skidded about on the ice. Inevitably he eventually tripped over his laces, skidded around for a few moments and then collided with the floor with an almighty heavy thud.

I noticed a beautiful red-headed girl walking towards us, she had seen him slip too; we were thinking the exact same thing. I looked at her, she looked at me. It was a race to help the good looking man up off of the ice. Breaking into a slight run I glared at her menacingly, I slipped and skidded, my legs went in opposite directions, but I didn’t slow down. I must have resembled a rabid Bambi as I approached the terrified looking boy lying on his side on the ice.

“Alright mate?” I said in my best straight man voice and offered him my hand. I was slightly out of breath. He grimaced and batted my hand away, trying to help himself up. He got to his feet and toppled straight back down onto his firm buttocks – yes, I had noticed- I offered him my hand again, reluctantly he took it, mumbling something beneath his breathe.

The red headed girl looked at me annoyed. I pursed my lips at her. As I passed her she smirked at me and I swear to god slipped on the ice on purpose: I didn’t help her up.

Surely enough the boy with the large biceps ran to her aid and helped her up. They both laughed about it and obviously formed an instant intimate bond. As I looked at the sunlight shining over the houses I literally, and bitterly, watched them walk off into the sunset.

“Bitch,” I mumbled under my breathe- and that is why I owe my apologies to the red head. Who am I to interfere with your rom-com moment? Lindsay Lohan will be there to play you in due course. I’ll be played by Stanley Tucci. And the boy? Ashton Kutcher or similar no doubt. I’d like to name the film ‘Shafted by a Redhead’ – Sounds a little pornographic, but I think it fits. Don’t you?

Just remember next time you take a tumble on the ice, stay possitive. A muscle bound boy, or a sassy beautiful redhead may be on their way to help you up.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Advent

Lighting our advent candle every evening and watching it burn does get me wondering why we are forever counting away our days.


It seems there’s always something to count down to, whether it’s Christmas, a Birthday or a holiday. Don’t get me wrong I do get filled with excitement during the build up to these things, I just wonder why we are so frivolous in doing what is essentially counting away precious days of our lives.

I realise I’m only twenty years old and I’m not exactly short on time, I have a long life ahead of me and I’m not about to start clinging onto every day because it might be my last, I am going to try a little harder to enjoy each and every day though.

Who’s to say all these days in December that we count away by burning candles or opening cardboard doors won’t be just as good as Christmas day itself, or even better?

Don’t call me Scrooge; just remember that Christmas day is just another day. It’s only special because we make it special, and whereas Christmas wouldn’t be as wonderful as it is if we celebrated in the same manner everyday, doing something a little extra each day up to Christmas may make your count down more enjoyable.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Life Lessons

It’s taken quite some thought to figure out the best way to articulate what I’m about to tell you. I had to take some time before I attempted writing this to let the negative emotions die away. Otherwise I would have ended up blindly scathing those who wronged me rather than taking the positive approach to these situations that I like to pride myself upon. My mantra has always been that optimism will get you everywhere and negativity will leave you with nothing. Although in no way do I dispute this, I think it’s also important for me personally to understand and acknowledge that the reality in which we live is not always as perfect as we might hope.


After being at my new job only two weeks, I was treated in a manner I can only deem disgraceful. As with everything I do, big or small, I put my all into it. I have never been one of those people to just do a satisfactory job, I want to do a great job, whether I’m rewarded for it or not. The company refused to pay me for 12 hours of the work I had done, I found it outrageous and standing up for myself left me not only jobless but hurt by the discrimination directed towards me.

I’ve always believed, and a large part of me still does, that if one stands up for themselves the right way then one will prevail. Whether in the short run or the long run I believe justice will be met.

The whole situation reminded me of a story my father once shared with me, I’m sure he won’t mind me sharing it, even if I don’t get it entirely right…

Long before I was born, as a young man, one of the jobs he partook in was being a waiter for a hotel. As he worked there for a while he got to know some of the regulars and had a very friendly relationship with them. On one day, as he went into the kitchen to collect some food he saw the chef drop some of the food onto the floor, put it back onto the plate and demand that it be taken out. When he refused, the manager was called. In a tight position, the manager had to decide whether to lose his chef or a member of his waiting staff. I don’t think I need to tell you who lost their job.

These things happen, I guess, and enduring them is just another part of life. I’m not going to roll over and play dead, I will fight for the money I earned and will fight against homophobia anywhere, particularly in a work environment, however I won’t dwell upon these injustices: The world is still the optimistic land of possibilities I have always believed it to be.

Despite the many obstacles to overcome, the many people who will try to push us around and the many environments that will attempt to conquer us, believing in ourselves and believing we are doing what is right is worth much more than anything else. I’ll remember what happened for a very long time, but rather than it being another reason to lose faith in humanity, I see it as a lesson learned and a further boost to push me onto finding the environment that I will thrive within.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Tonsil Tennis

As I was walking along the brook, admiring the snow I noticed two boys romantically kissing on the bridge, I considered going around as to not disturb them but it was already too late, they instantly parted and awkwardly walked in different directions without so much as a goodbye. Whoa, whoa, whoa, I thought. Don't stop on my account boys, by all means, please, carry on.



I gave one of them a friendly smile as he passed me, he looked down at his feet nervously. He must have assumed I was a homophobic gay basher, that's the natural assumption, I guess. It was nice to see a display of affection between two men in public; it's very rare that it occurs. I just felt sad that it was broken up by my presence.

The instinct is to not show affection with other men in public, it's kind of been drilled into us. Whereas I'm a lot more open to the idea I know the majority of gay men just aren't. I wonder if it's fear or something else.

For me, I find it quite rude to play tonsil tennis with another man in the presence of others, yet holding hands would be just fine. As long as I felt like I was in a safe environment. In other words, not walking through a grotty drug-dealer filled subway.

I wonder how much of those worries are present in heterosexual couples. I can't count the amount of times I have been made a complete gooseberry while a friend sticks her tongue down her boyfriend's throat. I know I wouldn't do that, it's just not pleasant. I think it's a very teenage way to act, teenagers want to show off their partner and want to show that they can 'make out' whenever they so chose. It's pretty unnecessary. For a romantic moment, a hello, or a goodbye; fair enough, but otherwise: just spare me the awkwardness.

It would be nice if we lived in a world where everyone felt free to romantically express themselves, but I guess that won't be a reality for a very long time. I think positively though, I'm sure there was a time when a black man kissing a white woman would have been thought outrageous. Feelings will change with time, at least i hope.

My message to all those heterosexual couples: Please, express yourselves; appreciate the freedom you have to do so. Just don't shove it down your friend's throat, it's rather unpleasant.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

I'm Dreaming of a Dry Christmas

I sat down opposite one of my dearest friends and the first thing I could bring myself to say was, “I wish people would stop complaining about the god damn snow.” She looked at me oddly for a moment and that gazed back out of the window at the snow. “I know, it’s well pretty,” she agreed.


We don’t get snow in Derby very much, when the rest of Britain is covered in blankets of pretty white magic Derby is bone dry. Last year the town five minutes down the road, literally five minutes, was covered in snow and we didn’t see a single snowflake. When it does snow, I like to appreciate it.

All day long, as I’m walking along the street, waiting at the bus stop, making small talk with the man who owns the corner shop, all I hear is complaint after complaint about the snow. The radio or the news playing ambiently in the background spouts repetitive nonsense about how the snow is going to devastate all of our lives.

Am I the only person alive who absolutely adores the snow? The moment I see small white flakes falling from the sky I know that Christmas is on its way and I’m filled with an uncontrollable sense of well being. So much so that Lee and I erected the Christmas tree early last night.

I know that a lot of injuries are caused by the snow, I know a lot of people can’t get to work and I know we can’t all afford to turn up the heating, but it’s going to snow so why not just enjoy it? Hundreds of injuries are caused by rain, wet leaves, even the sun (skin cancer) so why do we blame the snow for so much?

I was meant to be riding horses in the peak district today, but that’s not going to happen. I don’t feel the need to complain though, I’ll just build a snowman or start a snowball fight instead- that’s not childish; it’s just knowing how to have fun.

After all didn’t the song go I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas? If it was written in 2010 I’m pretty sure the lyrics would have been I’m Dreaming of a Dry Christmas…

Get out and enjoy the snow: It’ll probably have melted tomorrow.

Monday, 29 November 2010

The Girl Next Door

One of my favourite things to do is to track down an old movie I’ve not seen for years. I like to watch these films not only for the cinematic value but for the memories that are often unearthed. Memories of what was happening around the time when I originally watched the film. Something is unlocked in the sub-conscious that evokes incredibly provocative emotions.

The other night whilst waiting for Lee to come home from work, I lay awake watching The Girl Next Door, an absolutely atrocious film. When I watched it when I was fourteen I distinctly remember enjoying it greatly, if I had watched it for the first time the other night I would have probably switched over. The storyline was nothing special and the acting was rather dismal, though sat there watching it was one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had in a long time. This was purely down to the not so distant memories it unlocked. It’s rather amazing how film, music and art can do that.


Why this ever appealed to me is beyond me.
The Boy Next Door - Now that would have been appealing.

Each and every one of us is reminiscent of our past, whether it’s those happy childhood years, those lustful teenage years, those ambitious young adult years, or those hectic middle aged years: there is always something we’re looking back to.

I know I do, in my third year of university I think back to my first year: leaving home, setting up my very own living space, sitting on the window sill with the smell of freshly cut grass creeping in whilst I watched the topless muscular gardener… Hearing the opening few bars of Jump in the Pool instantly sends me back there.

It is only now as I reminisce I realise that although it is an important part of life to look back and remember fondly, it’s also important to appreciate the here and now. In a couple of years I know I will be looking back fondly to my third year of university and remembering how good things were, I won’t forget that. Appreciate each day, make memories; they’ll stick with you forever. After all memories shape who we are. What would we be without them?

Friday, 26 November 2010

Wait a Minute Mr Postman...

Bright eyed and bushy tailed I approached my new job as a postman: I considered the thought of wandering through towns and villages delivering post long before I applied for the job and decided I couldn’t think of a better part time job. It would be a few notches above the retail work I’d previously done, that was for sure. I was convinced the job would go a little something like this...



“Those delivery offices are nasty places, though” a friend advised me cautiously. “They are?” I sort of side-stepped the advice and put it to the back of my mind.
It’d be fine.

In a small corridor I was surrounded by skin-headed, pierced, tattooed and furious looking men. I’m a tall person, and the truth of the matter is I’m probably a lot taller than most of the men there, but I find it difficult to describe how small they made me feel. I was Alice in Wonderland reaching for the bottle labelled “Drink Me” and downing the contents.



I was shrinking faster and faster, I would be able to fit through the tiny door at the end of the hallway that was the exit. I’d go through and never come back. I became a speck of dirt to those men. They spoke crudely to one another, and to me, making anti-Semitist, racist, homophobic and offensive remarks. No matter how loud I sang ‘Wait A Minute Mister Postman’ in my head it wouldn’t drown out their intolerance. These men were all working class, white and heterosexual. They knew nothing else. Tolerance and diversity were left at the door.

I felt like a child in there, it’s terrifying. I usually deal with a potentially depressing situation by exuding optimism, being bubbly and friendly to everyone, but here, it didn’t take a genius to realise that would only make matters worse. “Morning,” I said smiling. I got some grunts and a few dirty looks.

At this point I really did feel like Alice down that strange rabbit hole. I was in a strange and unfamiliar place, I felt like I could drown in my own tears- can you imagine the repercussions of that?

I’m not usually one who reacts badly to homophobia. I write and preach against it because I think it’s wrong; I’m rarely ever hurt by it. This was different. This was a whole different ball game. I was hiding who I was, hiding my sexuality. It became a secret again. I hadn’t treated it as a secret since I was 15. I got flashbacks to my teenage years and was reminded why I found it so difficult to come out. With this realisation I really feel for those who haven’t yet come out. After you have come out it’s easy to forget the hardships you had during that transition.

I feel terrified and threatened to be around these people even in a work environment. I feel this really sets the precedent for how homophobia really can hurt. If these remarks and attitudes make me feel like heading straight for the door and leaving a job I otherwise really like, there is obviously something terribly wrong.

I decided to send a message out to the Universe telling it how much I disliked working alongside these men and how low it made me feel. I hid behind a mask, I didn’t change who I was. I was merely acting.

Surely enough the next day, without me speaking a word I was moved to a section full of happy, respectable men and women. I have many more problems to iron out, but I have faith that the Universe will guide me through any rough patches and I’ll come out stronger on the other side.

Positive thinking can get you a long way; thinking negatively will never resolve a problem and will only make matters worse. Whatever trials you are facing at the moment just remember to keep your chin up and you’ll get by.


Just remember some things are impassable but nothing's impossible. ^^

Monday, 22 November 2010

No Unauthorised Access

Have you ever wondered, like I have, what lies beyond all those "No Unauthorised access" doors scattered around here, there and everywhere?

Well I have.

Yesterday, whilst desperately stumbling from University campus to University campus looking for somewhere to print I happened to stumble through a set of those doors. Searching darkened deserted hallways I managed to find a room with a light on. I approached slowly and peered inside.


CCTV in operation. No Unauthorised Access. Inside I noticed a lone computer and printer, the red standby light blinking slowly. I looked back down the dark corridor from where I had just come from and back into the CCTV protected room.

I gently pushed the door open and made for the computer at the opposite side of the room. As I did, I noticed there was somebody else in the room. Somebody who had previously been out of my eye-line. It was a woman. A woman looking at pornography on her computer. "OH HI!" she said noticing me standing behind her, minimising the pornography and fumbling in her chair nervously. "Sorry," I said walking backwards back out of the room.

And that is why you shouldn't go through doors that read "No Unauthorised Access", it's just jargon for "I'm Watching Porn."

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Thou Shalt Not Steal and Other Delusions.

Religion. It’s a delicate subject and one must advocate a strict and considered approach before blindly slandering it for all its merit. For that reason I would like to say that every point I make is my own opinion and I wouldn’t like to offend anyone.



Religion brings about a vast quantity of good to the world, in no way am I denying that but considering the amount of bad it brings to the world I often think why isn’t all religion abolished? We all have our own beliefs and faith, I personally don’t know how I would go from one day to another without faith. Believing in something is enough for me, I don’t need rules and regulations to abide by and I don’t necessarily know what it is I’m believing in: I’m just happy to feel that there is something watching over us, protecting us and guiding us through everyday life troubles.

You may be sat there thinking, what good does religion bring? So I’d like to clarify a few points.

- Religion brings people together within a community; it makes them feel like they belong to something.
- Religion is more often than not charitable, helping those less fortunate than ourselves.
- Religion often puts suffering into a wider acceptable context.

And the bad points?

- Religion causes arguments, unlawful disputes and even wars.
- Religion often forces non-believers to believe and be a part of it.
- In many places across the world religion is deemed fact and not opinion.

Religion gets away with a lot; many religions openly slander sects of people, (particularly gays) blindly without any real evidence. From my opinion the bible condones homosexuality, though read from a different perspective it slanders it.
Therefore homosexuality is wrong: fact – What? No.

Religion seems to take ancient texts, interpret them how they want to and then deem that fact. It's ludicrous if you ask me. The commandments for instance, there weren't ten commandments at all, there were actually around 252. I guess the top ten favourites were chosen and the rest discarded. So, if the commandments are God's words and we respect and praise him so much, why are we ignoring 242 of his commandments? The option to repent when you sin seems like a bit of a cop out to me. Don't do any of these things or you will not get into heaven - Well, if you kill somebody and apologise that's all good...

Again these commandments leave no room for loop-holes. I'm starving to death and a man with incredible riches choses to burn food in front of me for fun. I'm not allowed to steal any? - Okay, I'm being facetious but I hope you see my point.

The persecution of non-believers, gays and even women across the world due to religion is ridiculously disproportionate to the kind of societies we should be living in. In any other context this would not be overlooked and it would be stopped. In my opinion religion seems to have its own right to vigilante justice, violence and even segregation. These things are all outlawed in most parts of the world, yet when religion comes into it the law turns a blind eye. I personally think it is an outrage.

Hypocrisy within religion I find often proves the point I’m trying to make. Where there is hypocrisy there is usually something not right. How the Catholic Church and the pope can discriminate so widely against homosexuals and not be persecuted for it is beyond me. Particularly after harbouring and sheltering paedophiles. This is a risky topic and without extensive research into the matter I don’t feel I have the right to talk about it, so I’ve made my brief point and I’m going to move on.


I see no reason why religion needs to be organised, I see no reason why religion needs rules, if you believe, you believe, why force those beliefs onto everyone else?

Okay, I do realise I’m being a bit of a hypocrite here, this argument is a bit one sided and in a written context it’s difficult for you to argue back so in a way I am forcing my beliefs onto you. I apologise and would welcome any discussion on religion. If you are strongly apposed to what I’m saying, please leave a comment.

My entire argument essentially boils down to the fact that religion is widely associated with positivity; it isn’t that often that the negative side of religion is openly discussed. Religions are based on spiritual traditions and I don’t understand why they can’t be just that. The bible stories a lot of us are read as young children are positive and teach us morale values, why can’t Christianity be just that?

I personally don’t believe that religion should be passed onto future generations; I believe children should be encouraged to have faith and be given a wide span of religions to chose from should they wish to. Children are often raised into religious families and adopt that religion as their own without being shown the spectrum of religion and where they feel they best fit in. I know little of Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism or any other faith. I was taught Christianity in school, we touched upon the other religions in secondary school but never went in depth.

Does this not strike anyone as absurd? You wouldn’t show a child the colour red and no other colours and then ask them to select their favourite, so why would you show them one religion and then ask them to choose their faith?

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Perspective

It’s very easy to go about our lives and forget about the tragedies happening in the world. Every day hundreds, thousands, millions of people suffer. Whether they’re starving with nothing to eat, a victim of a natural disaster, or simply can’t afford to feed their children. These things are on-going and as much as it hurts me to say, probably always will be. We cannot control a lot of these things, though we can offer our help and support.

Feeling sorry for ourselves is a part of our nature as human beings, but it often helps put things in perspective when you compare your life to those that are suffering. There is always someone worse off than you. Perhaps the boy you’re in love with doesn’t love you back, it’s sad: I’m not arguing that it isn’t, but just think of all the great things you have going on in your life.

The majority of us have a supporting friendship group and family base, the majority of us have food on our plates every day, the majority of us have a roof over our heads. The majority of us laugh on a daily basis.

Just remember those less fortunate than yourself next time you’re feeling like your life is over, remember how good you actually have it.

I know I try, and it helps.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

As Years Go By...

It was today, the 17th November last year when I first started this blog: a black background and a brief four line post about Christmas. How things have changed.

Happy 1st Birthday The (Not So) Fabulous Life of Cal!


That’s not the only thing that has changed in such a retrospectively short period of time. This time last year I hadn’t a single thing published: now I have a long list. Having a Trauma wasn’t in any kind of existence, plans are set in motion for moving to New York and overall I think it would be fair to say I’ve grown up considerably too.

As I think of my own future, as a person, as a writer, I wonder how things will have changed in another year’s time. I wonder how my blog will have changed in a year- I do so hope I’m still writing it.

It’s been a delight to hear your feedback, messages from every last one of you. Messages from Germany, American, Spain, Austria, New Zealand all blow my mind. The few messages I have received saying that I reached out and helped somebody have made me feel an overwhelming amount of pride. I adore writing my blog but what I love even more-so is knowing that somebody has enjoyed it. I thank each and every one of you for reading. I invite you to leave a comment below telling me your favourite post over the last year: hopefully with enough feedback the top five will go into “The Best of” section I’m planning to implement at the top of the page.

I’m sure as time passes I will have countless more stories to share and I do hope you stick around to hear them. Who knows what the future will hold? I know what I want for my future and I’m putting all of myself into assuring everything I want to happen does.

Thinking to the future positively will always spur you on to making those things happen; think forward; think positive. Where do you see yourself in a year’s time, and where do you want to be? Wherever and whatever that might be, I’m 100% behind you.

Go for it, believe in yourself, and things will happen.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Blondes, Brunettes and Gingers.

“I don’t have a type,” a friend told me recently. Puzzled, I thought for a moment, what is my type? What do I look for in a man? Okay, I’ve already got a boyfriend but I can still have a type, can’t I?

Between the age of 18 and 24, tall, smart, funny…

We all tend to list off the same characteristics but when push comes to shove more often than not the people we fall for aren’t in those defining categories.


(For those of you that can't read it it says: Brave, Intelligent, gentle, polite, energetic, non-alcoholic, industrious, self-organized.)

So why do we insist on putting a label on our interests? Why can’t we just say anybody who takes our fancy? I know I’ve found 5’6 men and 6’5 men attractive; blondes, brunettes, even gingers; skinny and muscley; intelligent and yes… not so intelligent too. Putting labels on the men we chase after can be detrimental to our future love-lives too. You never know, your friend might stumble upon somebody just right for you but she doesn’t pass his number on because he has brown eyes not blue.

I’m going round in circles a little here, but I think you see what I’m saying.

Men and women, don’t box in possibly lovers, take a chance on him; who cares if his hair is completely the wrong colour, that’s what they made hair dye for.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Learning to Laugh

Sometimes we need to learn to laugh at ourselves in life, adopting a serious nature when somebody playfully shoots an inappropriate joke our way can often be the easier option. Embracing a joke however can often leave to better relationships and better well being for yourself. I could get all high and mighty about every gay joke I see, for instance, but I don’t.



That doesn’t mean if somebody made a completely offensive out of line joke that I wouldn’t defend myself – I would.

All of us seem to fit into some type of stereotype, whether it’s your nationality, your skin colour, the colour of your hair, your intellect or your sexual preference, nobody is immune to mockery. I come across gay jokes on a day to day basis and for the most part I find them genuinely funny. Programmes like South Park and Family Guy continue to ridicule gay men: I don’t see it as an attack though, I see it as satire. I personally believe that these jokes are actually mocking homophobes and not gay people at all.

A lot of people cast off programmes like these, considering them low art, unintelligent and offensive but I believe if we look underneath the surface they have a level of intellectual depth. I entirely sympathise with those people who are genuinely offended, I just feel that perhaps sometimes we may act offended because we feel we should be, not because we actually are.

Laughing at ourselves is important, falling over in the street can be tremendously embarrassing, you only make things worse if you act angry about it though; just relax and embrace the joke. You’ll feel better for it. It’s inevitable.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Speak Up, Speak Now

I am highly aware that I have a large student readership, for this reason I would like to draw your attention to Speak Up, Speak Now. A new project founded by Kristina Proffitt. This project intends to get the voices of thousands of students heard within a single web-blog. The project aims to tackle the government cuts for Universities head on. I will be adding my contribution to the list and I encourage any of my student readers to visit the blog and write down their own thoughts and opinions too.

Visit Speak Up, Speak Now or contact me and I will pass your details along to Kristina myself.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Gay Representation

Gay representations have always been present in media throughout my lifetime; though sometimes they have not become as obvious until later years. Family programmes like The Simpsons have always had some aspect of gay portrayal, though as the years have passed they have become more evident and prominent. Camp characters, both real (Elton John) and fictitious (Dumbledore – From Harry Potter) have always been present but perhaps not always realised.


Men kissing in the media has slowly been developing over the past few years, it is not particularly uncommon to see men kissing in soaps, music videos, comedies, reality T.V or most areas of the media anymore, though it is still a rare occurrence if compared to the amount of heterosexual kissing shown to us on a day to day basis.

Music videos have always been prominent in representing gay culture; from Christina Aguilera’s groundbreaking video back in 2002 to the more recent videos featuring homosexual romance such as, Katy Perry’s Firework and Pink’s Raise Your Glass both currently in the charts.



The question that lingers within my mind is when we see gay men kissing, what do we see beyond? I have a suspicion that the majority of people may connect it with sex rather than love. Typing gay love or men kissing or something of that nature into a search engine somewhat proves this. Instead of romantic images we are bombarded with degrading images of gay porn. How accepting of gay men are you, truly? It’s okay to see straight couples kissing, it’s even okay to see straight children kissing– as long as it’s not in a sexual nature of course.

Billy Elliot is a prime example of a widely respected film where there is a gay kiss between two male children; however it isn’t in the romantic sense as such. It is a touchy area however I strongly believe if children and teenagers are to become more open about the concept of homosexuality then homosexuality in children needs to be represented within the media as well. – Homosexuality in the companionship sense, homosexuality in the innocent attraction to a member of the same sex.



The following music video, as well as being brilliant, haunting and heartbreaking even made me question my own beliefs on gay love.



I’d like to know your opinions – even I was taken aback at first, though I did appreciate the beauty of the piece and was touched by it, I did find some of it a little too much, possibly even disturbing. (You will know the part I mean). How did you feel watching this?

Happy, confused, disturbed, gratified, disgusted, overwhelmed?

What do I see when I see men kissing? I see love. I see what I see when I look deep into my boyfriend’s eyes. I feel butterflies inside of me and have an overwhelming sense of purpose and faith in humanity. I personally see no emotional difference between a gay couple kissing to a straight couple.


Do you see a difference?

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Childish Things

When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up. - C.S Lewis

We're all too quick to shout out "Stop being childish" "Grow up." "Act your age" when somebody does something offensive that we consider 'childish' but let's not forget about embracing our inner child and having some fun.

Sometimes the most important thing we can do in life is to take a step back and act downright childish, how much fun is a cardboard box when you're four? Exactly. The world is a much more exciting place as a young child, we forget our worries and just embrace every day for the fun filled adventure it is bound to be.

Consider being childish and stay headstrong and pick up that train set, navigate it around your bedroom or through the kitchen, pick up that lego set and build a two foot phallus, buy sweets from the shop and get incredibly sticky, after all we always wished and dreamed for the day when we wouldn't have parents telling us what not to do - look around.

What do I choose to do? Have a frank and open discussion about politics with my bear. I've had him since I was born. He knows more about this world than I do, and it's often more than easy to forget the importance of his opinion.



Just be careful what you ask him, he's honest and might just tell you what you didn't want to hear.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Young Love (In the 21st Century...)

We stood in line at the cinema watching the two teenage couples, linking arms and whispering into each other's ears. Shirts and jeans - that's smart for 14 year olds. It was a sight that made you believe in young lovers and romance; in risk of sounding incredibly patronising it was adorable.



That was until...

I was reminded that we were living in the 21st century, the boys had their jeans around their knees and the girls were caked in orange make-up, they swore at each other and anybody who came within one hundred yards of them.
"Am I paying then, or what?" one of the girls said to one of the boys.
"... Obviously." he rolled his eyes at her and she looked at him like a love-sick puppy.

They reached the front of the queue.

"Hi guys, sorry, this film is a 15… I'm going to need to see some I.D"
"I don't even need to show ID coz I look well old." the girl said slamming down her money. "I'm only 14," the boy said. Honest, I thought. Then he followed it up with.
"But I’m taller than you, so give me the tickets, you get me?"

My bubble burst. Those ideas of puppy love and romance went straight down the drain. I guess that kind of young romance only still happens in films -
- Too bad they’re not old enough to see those films, they might have learned something.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Tonight, I'm Cleaning Out My Closet.

A lot of us have the tendency to hoard oogles and oogles of 'stuff'. I think it's rather inherent that I got this tendency from my mother; when I was twelve she asked me to help her clear out the cupboard underneath the stairs.

I found four thousand handbags.

All these things we save away are a burden on our lives. Often, the less you have the more free you feel. When you go away on a trip or on holiday, what do you bring?
That's probably everything you need.

With my journey to New York impending faster and faster, ten months *gulp*, assuming all goes to plan I realise I need to condense my belongings down to a finite amount of necessities. Thinking to myself, I look around and think how much of this do I really need?

My laptop, my phone, my box of published work. That's all I really need.
My DVDs and photos are the only things I really want.

A few odds and ends here and there are worth saving but looking around I have so many things I don't need and probably don't use.

My musical instruments and furniture are too big to take with me but I will find a home for them here until I get back.

Even if you're not going anywhere for a very long time it's worth thinking about, how much of what you own do you actually need? How much do you actually want? And how much is just taking up space?

If you can’t motivate yourself to clear out all the rubbish you’ve gathered, there’s always the added bonus that you might stumble upon something you’d forgotten about but truly do love; something that really is worth saving. Just look what I found when clearing out my closet...



Don't rush for your closets too fast ladies, I can't guarantee there will be a man in there. We can always hope though, eh'?

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

A Dog is For Life, Not Just for Christmas.

Okay, it’s rather an obscure thing to write about, given, but hear me out.

I’ve wanted a husky since as long as I can remember; I even have a name picked out readily for when the day comes when I am ready to take on that responsibility. I’ve always said I would raise it from a tiny puppy right into its old age. It would be female and unsurprisingly would be named Kylie. – Not just because I’m a raving gay and want to name my dog after Kylie Minogue but also because I think it would be the perfect name for a husky.



So, other than the fact that my landlord doesn’t allow dogs, why don’t I already have one?

It’s something I’ve thought long and hard about. I’ve always grown up with dogs and although I have seen the love and attention they give to my parents and how they infinitely must increase their quality of life, I know that it is not the right time for me. I have seen my parents routed down, seen them fork out hundreds of pounds for vet fees and untold obscene amounts of money to take them away to Spain with them when they moved.

I want to travel, especially while I’m young. As some of you may already know I’m currently setting the foundations for my plan to spend the next two years in New York. If I had a husky you can only imagine the additional complications thrown in, probably resulting in me having to give the dog up, pay ridiculous amounts of money I don’t have to take it with me or have to be away from it for two years. None of those things bear thinking about.

That’s not my only reason though; I can barely afford my own rent and food, I wouldn’t be able to support a child so why should I be able to support a dog? The expenses associated with having a dog are endless. At first we may think of the price of buying the dog, then we think of the food, then the upkeep, then vets bills. Before we know it we need thousands of pounds very few people my age have.

I want a big garden, I want the free time to walk and pay attention to my dog, I want the money to support it through life, through the good, through the bad and through any medical condition. I once saw a family suffer great emotional stress when there family pet was severely injured yet they hadn’t got pet insurance or the money to pay for the operation. It was heartbreaking; I never want to be in that situation.

And that is why I don’t have a Husky. My husky’s grandparents are probably out there frolicking right now, one day, when I’m in my thirties, I will take up Kylie; my husky puppy and I will know I am ready to be a proud dog owner.



A dog is for life not just for Christmas. – True dat.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

My Likeness to Robert Pattinson

"Wait, don't tell me!" a stranger said stumbling in her high heels as she approached me. "You're meant to be Robert Pattinson, aren't you?"

Why do people keep asking me that, I thought.

"Yeah. Sure. Why not."
"I'd ask you out but I'm too old for you," she told me, convinced I would be disapointed.
"I'd accept but i'm afraid I'm too gay for you," I answered back.

And I was right. I was too gay for Graham Norton at this point.


(The resemblance is uncanny, isn't it..? - Okay, it's probably a compliment to be compared to Robert Pattinson, but personally I think the man is fugly)

The idea behind my costume was to be the personification of glitter, I don't think many people understood it though; I'm pretty sure most people thought my gay was just leaking out. "Fucking Faggot," one party goer shouted into my face, just because I was covered head to toe in glitter - or maybe I touched his bum...

Laura GaGa said I looked like a Norweigan Popstar, she was right on the money. Purple (temporary) hair dye, pink leg warmers, Kanye shutter shades and drenched in glitter. It was only a matter of time til I burst out into my own rendition of Dragostea Din Tei.



We all got horrifically drunk, so much so that the only way me and my photographer friend knew that we crossed paths was because we had pictures to prove it.



Lee didn't get the memo that Halloween was no longer about looking scary but all about looking slutty - he still looks rather dashing though; don't you think?



And as for pumpkin carving. What do you think we carved in it? If you know me and Lee at all you will already know that we carved a penis.



Happy Halloween (for two days ago)
Love Cal! x

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Hold Me Closer Tiny Dancer

Yesterday, I overdid it a little and exhausted myself. Whilst nursing the beginnings of a headache I decided it was time to give my mind a rest and have a well earned break.

I put some of my favourite food in the oven, ran myself a bath and went to choose a film to watch on my laptop. As I was searching through film ratings an advert popped up at the side of my screen. Instead of scrolling straight past it, as I usually would, I was captivated by it; A tiny silhouette of a spinning dancer.

“Which way is the dancer spinning?” the flashing text beneath it questioned me. Clockwise or Anticlockwise? Clockwise, I thought, obviously. I clicked clockwise and I got redirected to a McDonalds’ website. I closed it and carried on looking through film ratings. The dancer lingered in the back of my mind and before I knew it I was Googling her. I received hundreds of results.

Photobucket

The dancer may be something you’re familiar with, but she was entirely new to me. Apparently if you see the dancer turning clockwise you have a more imaginative and creative mind, if you see the dancer turning anti-clockwise you have a more logistical and straight forward mind.

I tried to perceive the dancer turning anti-clockwise but I simply couldn’t. I stared long and hard at the dancer, looking at it from different angles but it still turned clockwise. Bewildered and puzzled I minimised the page and went to check on my food. When I returned I found her spinning anti-clockwise. I began staring at her, my mind boggling, trying to perceive her to be spinning clockwise again but it seemed impossible. I strained my mind, looked at her upside down, closed my eyes and opened them. Nothing worked, she was now continuously spinning anti-clockwise.

It aggravated me; an hour later I was still watching the god damn dancer spin, my food burnt, my bath cold, the idea of watching a film forgotten and replaced with a pounding headache. I eventually collapsed exasperated.

A button at the bottom left of the screen read in capital letters “SOLUTION.” Intrigued, I clicked it.

It turns out she’s not spinning at all.

Brother pucking internet, go puck yourself, I thought.

Which way do you see her spinning?

Friday, 29 October 2010

When Nobody Is Looking

Somebody once said “You are who you are when nobody is looking.” I’m sat here, alone, looking around our flat and wondering who it is I am. I think I have a well-established sense of who I am, for now anyway. I strongly believe, although there is a lot of truth in this, when you have been with somebody a long time, the person you are when nobody is looking, becomes the person you are when you are alone with the one you love.



Statistically our opinions, thoughts and personality supposedly are completely different after an interval of seven years. If I think back to who I was when I was thirteen (seven years ago) I don’t think I’m that different. I have the same aspirations in life, the same personality, the same feelings; I’ve just become a little more mature. I understand things that I didn’t then, it doesn’t mean I’m not the same thirteen year old that I was.

Nobody is watching me right now, so it would be fair to say this is who I am. I always write in solitude so I guess you can find out who a person really is simply by looking into their talents and passions. A musician is the person we hear, a writer is the person we read and an actor is the character they portray. We are what we want, and what we want is what we are, our personality is built upon those inner emotions and how they react to the ever changing world. It isn’t the person that has changed over seven years; it is the environment in which they live.

Embrace your talents, your passions and who it is that you are when nobody else is around. Today, let that person shine out, let those around you know who you really are, you’ll find that those closest to you already know.

Be free. Be happy. Be you.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Cheap

Alright, I thought to myself, after Lee handed me my 18th drink of the night, he's up to something. Maybe he was trying to get me drunk to take advantage of me. After four years of a relationship it seems a little futile though, doesn't it?

Lets be honest now, though; after 18 drinks my thoughts weren't this concise and I was probably thinking more about how my hair looked than whether I should drink another drink. I downed it in one.

We parked ourselves right beside the wall ENTIRELY MADE OF GLITTER
(Surprise, surprise - Yes, thank you Cilla) and began checking out the bar-men.

It would seem that when you go to a city that isn't Derby there are in fact attractive gay men, it's a shock to the system, the only problem is they all work behind the bar. A stunning looking twenty-something man danced around the club carrying half a dozen shots trying to entice fellow-gay-bar-goers into a tipple. Nobody was half as interested in the shots as they were him.

I could hear Lee having a heart-attack out of excitement and telling me exactly how gorgeous he thought this man was. I already had other things on my mind... and... well... Mitch Hewer can sum the rest up for me.



I ripped a crisp five pound note from my wallet and called him over - I'm cheap - "Hiya!" he said still dancing waving the shots around in front of us.
"I'll buy five if you give my boyfriend a kiss!" I yelled over the teardrops dance-remix. He looked at Lee, smiled widely, and to Lee's utter confusion leaned in to kiss him. I then handed him the five pound note as if paying for some sordid prostitution and he handed over the five shots. One of which I handed back to him.
He downed it. I looked at Lee wickedly then pointed at my own lips. He leaned in and kissed me, laughing.

Please see above image for my sincerest apologies.

Thanks!
Love, Cal.

In Case You Hadn't Noticed...

Laura and I have been spamming all of your facebook walls recently with our new radio show Having A Trauma. If you haven't yet heard it's on every Thursday between 11am and 1pm. If you want to catch up on the best bits of last weeks show, look no further!


To tune in to listen to me and Laura having a trauma go to www.udsu.co.uk/drs every Thursday 11:00-13:00

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Why I Want to go to America

I keep getting asked why I want to go to America to study and when I ask myself I'm not quite sure. The media obviously plays a part in all of this, so much of the television we watch is made in America or based in America; to the extent that I even find it hard to differentiate an American accent from an English one - unless it is blatant.

That can't be the main reason though; surely. I don't watch nearly enough T.V for that to be the case. I've bombarded my readers recently with It Gets Better videos and I think the following may perhaps sum up one of the reasons I want to go to America.



If that didn't do it for you, read about Harvey Milk or even watch the film adaptation of his life 'Milk'

I'm waiting for the David Cameron/Nick Cleg It Gets Better video: but I don't think it's going to come. - Okay, the problem is adressing the suicide of gay teenagers in America but still: I made one and I'm not American.

Am I?

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Home Sweet Home

It was all very glamorous: looking out over the city, drinking cocktails and watching the pretentious people milling around in their D&G boots and A&F boxer shorts and wishing I were them; ordering room service and complaining that the blue cheese dressing was spread too thin; and spending vicarious amounts of money on things that we just didn’t need. I sat on the train home contemplating how grateful I was that going away to do an exam turned into such an enjoyable trip.

I was day dreaming of those thoughts and flicking through Attitude magazine, turning my head this way and that, examining the each and every nook and cranny of the abs on the 6’5 male models when it occurred to me: I had been paying no attention to the time or where we were.



I looked out of the window. “Lee…” I said slowly examining the empty train and our whereabouts. “Where exactly are we?” The train slowed, we were approaching some unfamiliar desolate landscape; undesirables with shaven heads and cans of cider idled around seemless amounts of broken glass and upside down shopping trolleys. “I think we missed our stop. Look at this place, where the hell are we?” I said under my voice, not wanting to alert any passengers that I was in the first stages of panic. “We’ll just get off and go back in the other direction; at the next stop.” I noticed a questionable looking thong lying on the train tracks. “Jesus. Seriously, where are we?” I craned my neck, stretching, trying to read the blue and white sign in the distance.
Oh, I thought, Derby. Home sweet home, I guess.

Friday, 22 October 2010

It Gets Continuously Better

Around two weeks ago I created my It Gets Better video in support of the campaign against the suicides of gay teenagers in America. I then went on to post Joe Burns’ It Gets Better video, a truly inspirational politician; within that post I tried to encourage my readers to branch out and share their experiences.

A reader and old friend of mine did just that, it’s brutally honest and perfectly executed. I hope this helps to get the ball rolling even more, get inspired and make your own It Gets Better video.



He even managed to coerce his housemate into making one too, though he’s not yet posted it on YouTube.

If you’re on board with the project throw in your support and make a video.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Group Work

Today I had an interview to be a postman, I’m sure if I get the job it’ll give me an interesting story or two, it went well, I think, apart from one thing.

“How are you at working in groups?”
“Erm, urr, erm, errr.”

My mind recoiled as I instantly envisaged myself at secondary school again. Spotty, dressed in black, greasy hair and most importantly not yet out of the closet. I would be perfectly happy going about my work when the teacher would suddenly decide it would be a fantastic idea to do group work. Group work: the bane of my secondary school years. I’m not saying I’m not a team player and that I can’t work in a group but the teacher would always separate me from my friends and put me with the worst possible group of people. I still don’t understand why they would do that.

My name would be called, followed by the hot boy who beat me up, the girl who shouted abuse at me and a pair of blondes who couldn’t spell apple if their lives depended on it. I would sigh and go and join them. We’d be given some various task in which everyone would look at me expectantly and I would get to work on the project that was supposed to be done by five people but instead entirely done by me.

Why? Why? Why? If group work is to be forced upon secondary school children then they should be allowed to work with whomever they chose. I’m highly aware that the thuggish types would gather together, do nothing and fail; I’m highly aware that the giggling girls would gather and talk about boys (I wish I was in their group) and fail; and I’m highly aware that the geeky types would gather and get an A; but that’s fair, isn’t it?

I think this pie chart sums up what I’m trying to say in its entirety.



Maybe if I showed the interviewer lady this pie chart then she might have given me the job…

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Well That Lasted Long...

Okay, so a while back I committed myself to writing a blog post everyday, though I enjoyed doing it sometimes it's been hard to find something to write about and with my hectic schedule it has been hard to keep on top of everything.

In risk of writing about anything for the sake of it, I've decided to cut back a little for a while. Pop back every now and then, I'll probably post every 2-3 days.

When I have more free time and more things to write about I'll probably go back to writing one post a day. Until then, I’ll leave you with this TERRIFYING thought.



Thanks for reading.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Fascination

My second video blog; I talk about optimism, with a surprise at the end. 10 points if you guess what that surprise is. I’m sitting really far back for a reason.

Enjoy!



I’m sorry we look so miserable throughout, (me in particular) it kind of contradicted the point of being happy and optimistic. I hope you enjoyed it, I cringe a little when I shout “The word is on your lips,” but hey.

This wasn’t a serious recording, it was just for fun, if you want to hear some of Lee’s own songs, performed and recorded properly, visit his MySpace at www.myspace.com/leeo39dowd

Friday, 15 October 2010

It Gets Even Better

Last week I made my video for the It Gets Better project, it is something I feel incredibly passionate about, my blood runs hot at the thought of any harm coming to any man or woman because of his or her sexual preference; I want to put my all into supporting this project in whatever way I can. I am a tiny individual within this vast planet and I only have a readership of between 25-75 people a day, though I still feel if I can make a difference to at least one person then my efforts have not been wasted. Spread the word. Spread the love. It gets better. If my words can’t convince you then perhaps the words of Joel Burns can. This is the most heartbreaking thing I have seen in quite some time; it’s a bit long but don’t be put off. You might want to take a minute to find some tissues before you hit play; you will get teary.



I want to encourage all of my gay readers to make your own It Gets Better video. Upload it to YouTube in the It Gets Better channel and I’ll post it here too. Somebody, somewhere, will see it and it will make a difference.

After uploading my It Gets Better video I received an email from a fifteen year old boy in Germany.

“Thank you for sharing your story. You made my day a lot better and I love your accent. My heart still hurts when I hear about such tragedies. I am looking forward to reading all you can write. Thank you!”

This for me made the whole thing worthwhile, the sentiment of gratitude made me feel incredibly fulfilled. Not only that, saying he loved my accent made me feel a little more confident about my voice, which is something I am incredibly self-conscious about.

I also encourage any readers who aren’t gay to upload any helpful words or sentiments; or tell a story about how a gay person helped change your life; or how you witnessed things get better for another gay man or woman. Send them to me and I’ll post them here.