Things that are worse than being gay

I spent most of my 30s dreading telling friends and family that I was in fact gay. I tortured myself about it for years, terrified of the response and the repercussions to me and my family. I find this almost hard to believe now – only six years later. I bordering on wondering whether I was paranoid about it all, that I made up the fear. I have to remind myself that this is still a struggle for so many – of course I know it is – but sometimes I can forget because really it was so easy, for me, in the end. I know that it isn’t like that for everyone. However I do think that mostly that the fear from within is far worse than the reality of ‘coming out’.

I have only ever been targeted twice for being gay and actually they were both at the girls I was rather than me. You ‘fucking dyke’ was used in both, hardly original.

I’m not minimising ‘coming out’, it’s the most frightening experience of my life and I am ever thankful to friends and family who made it this easy for me (though why should it be any other way you may think?!) However, this did get me thinking about what has been worse than being gay in my life, that is what hassles have I had MORE for than being gay. These are the top 5 things worse than being gay (for me)…

  1. Curly hair – Crystal Tips (google her pic if you don’t remember her) was my nickname in school . I have been called far more names because of my hair than for being gay. This makes me laugh! Who’d have thought? My hair is really curly and really thick but now we have stuff like frizz ease which eases my emotional pain J. Those days my mum put an afro comb through it and green clipped the sticky out fringe to one side. Classy. Once, my aunt took me out and cut my hair without my mum knowing. I have absolutely no idea why but the hairdresser only cut the sides. I looked like Elvis but instead of a large smooth quiff, I had a frizzy quiff. Life at school was hard for a few months that year!!
  2. Feminism – oh have I had shit for being a feminist, from man hater to butch dyke (and that was before I even knew I was haha), what do you wear – Dr Martens? Haha. Hilarious! A woman with an opinion and a woman who wants equality, women either love you or hate you for it and men are usually scared or patronise you. By the way on the news today – it said that a woman jockey may win the Grand National for the first time – wouldn’t it be great if that wasn’t news at all??
  3. Woman – just that really – being a woman, brings all kinds of hassles and discrimination just for having the privilege of being born without the extra bit. Just the other day some bloke at work apologised if he was ‘baffling’ me while we were discussing some figures and the same week another bloke felt that he could put his arm around my waist and then also made ‘tit’ actions with his hands to someone else. I admit that I threatened to put my fist in my face which is very much against my normal zero tolerance policy, honest judge, I couldn’t help it.
  4. Vegetarian – yep I’m also a vegetarian. You are reading this right- I tick almost every minority group going! Gay, female, feminist, vegetarian – haha – sometimes I wonder how I’ve got any friends! Weirdly just today I went for afternoon tea and I stated I was a veggi when ordering and what do I get – a bloody salmon sandwich. Really – a salmon is a fish and it breathes and has eyes (well it did). When I said – I’m a vegetarian, she just rolled her eyes like I was an idiot. So yes – being vegetarian brings with it quite a lot of hassle. Once an old boss left half a pig on my desk where I worked, that was a really funny day. Not.
  5. Welsh – I love being Welsh , absolutely SOO proud of it. However, we do get a lot of shit – from sheep shagging to our accents to accusations of being backward and being second class to people taking the piss out of our weather, constantly. I remember being asked in Bali, where in England was Wales, near Liverpool? You have to laugh it off – we don’t want to tell everyone how great it is to be in Wales or to be Welsh, it’s our secret J

So you see – I spent and maybe you are spending – all that time, all those years worrying about coming out and the reaction you might get. The fact is, for me, I get and have got much more hassles for other things that I am. Do I care – nope, it makes me who I am.

My friend asked me last night over a glass of wine – ‘what is your philosophy in life?’ (I love having friends who ask random stuff like this!). First thing that came to my mind was a cliché but I believe it to be absolutely vital – be true to yourself. However having a bit of help from some smoothing serum for those curls is also allowed! So be true to yourself, with smooth looking hair J

x

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Too young to be a mum?

Someone in response to me (yet again) standing up for my anti Daily Mail view, on Facebook, not only was almost pro the whole welfare thing could be to blame for our ‘vile product of the welfare system’ but also went on to comment how ‘they’ (assume government) are also putting money into ‘young mothers’ and then quoted……”shouldn’t they educate *these* people into not *flippin* getting pregnant in the first place?”.

Cue a red rag to the proverbial bull.

Why do people feel they can judge other people so freely? Who says that you can tell me or anyone else when or when is not the right time to have a child? I’m not going to pretend here that I want my daughter to come home at 16 ‘with child’! I want what most parents want for their children because we think that’s the best for them, to live their life freely and ‘make the most of it’. That is natural. However to criticise and judge that young parents can’t be successful is outrageous and short sighted and …..everywhere.

I’m 41 and my mum is 58. We have often joked that we’ll both collect our pension together at the same time (we thought I’d be 60 and she’d be 77 – how that has changed!). I can’t think of one negative thing about my my mum being a young parent of me. She was and is a fabulous parent. I haven’t asked if she’s ok with me writing this but I know she will be, she brought me up to be strong and to be fair and to be respectful.

She was 28 when I started high school and I just remember thinking how fab that was. My friends adored her and still do, we could talk about anything. The worst bit was that boys slightly older than me thought she was ‘fit’. We had tough times, she had tough times and she worked through them, she worked bloody hard, and I’m so proud of what she has achieved – working for the best part of the last 25 years with vulnerable families. I’m SO proud. Ironically she also became an ‘old mum’ too to my half brother, now 21. She does a fab job of that too. She isn’t perfect (sorry mum) but neither am I who became a parent at 27, neither is my friends mum who is 83. That’s the point isn’t it, good and bad and imperfect parents come from all ages and backgrounds.

So stop judging, stop expecting people to live by your morals and values and concentrate on your own *flippin* life. I didn’t turn out so bad.

Dear George….

George Osbourne today is set to say: “For too long, we’ve had a system where people who did the right thing – who get up in the morning and work hard – felt penalised for it, while people who did the wrong thing got rewarded for it. That’s wrong. So this month we’re going to put things right” (according to the BBC news)

Apart from the fact I think the statement about benefits is stereotypical nonsense. I am looking forward to getting my reward as a working person for the last 25 yrs. So far this year I’ve been rewarded with higher gas and electric bills, an increase in council tax, a never ending increase in fuel costs, almost no chance of selling my house if I wanted to, an increase in car insurance, an increase in mortgage payments and you guessed it a decrease in my disposable income. George, bring on the rewards. I’m waiting.

Some times life can be a bit crappy, sometimes it isn’t….

I try more and more to air on the side of positivity these days.  Writing really helps, even if it is just a few lines and mostly I go by the theory that life is pretty good, we just forget that sometimes.

I was making a list today of things that have made me happy or made me smile during the last couple of weeks, and in no particular order I thought I’d share them.

1.  I won at Monopoly, winning isn’t everything, but to be honest it is (I had 26 houses by the way – in one hour).  I get a terrible sense of achievement from having to watch my opponents (err family) having to mortgage most of their properties. Shame on me.

2.  I won at bowling.  Don’t worry there is no theme here and it is pure coincidence that both appear at the top of my list. It is.  Not only did I win but I find myself comparing my score with that of others playing next to me. People I don’t know.  As my son often says, I’m embarrassing.

3. My nephew.  He’s pretty smart. I hid all the eggs during the Easter egg hunt at my mum’s house in the garden, still covered in over a foot of snow.  After spending a quite decent amount of time ‘hiding’ them.  He happily told me, I know where they all are, I’ll just follow your foot prints.  Smarty pants.

4.  Running around the snow like a loon trying to cover the said footprints.

5. Listening to an old skool dance tune on the ipad – I feel love by CRW. Amazing.

6.  Making an Easter chocolate cake while dancing to above said tune. Yum.

7.  Trying to decide on an a theme for our next party and getting confused when my friend text and said Cowboys & Indians and Hawaiian.  I thought she meant all three and couldn’t see where the pineapple would fit in to be honest.  I later learnt, it was a choice. Personally I’m still sticking with Grease and I am Rizzo. OK.

8.  Using my new orange picnic backpack with my new flask and metal cups – WITH HANDLES on the top of the Llandegla forest, hiking through 4ft of snow. Bliss.

9.  Being thanked by a colleague for being ‘so supportive’ who then kissed me on my cheek and had tears in her eyes! Awww.  That was so sweet.

10.  Being told that someone had got a new job from an advert on my facebook site.  That was sooooooooo cool!

11.  Watching the boat race on the BBC  and hearing the cox swear, that made me really laugh. Childish!

12.  It made me smile trying to teach my grandad to use his new iphone that he had bought himself on e-bay. He kept telling me how clever I was and I kept thinking how fabulous he was, that he wanted to buy himself an iphone at 83. Brilliant.

13.  My mum’s scones with jam. One word. Lush.

14.  That I found my toasted sandwich machine and made myself a *new* sandwich, pesto, avocado and mozzarella.  Oh my. Scrummy.

15. That I bothered to get up and join in the village car boot sale this morning, earning myself £32 which I then spent on wine, coal and diet-coke.  All lifes essentials.

16.  The biggest smile came from not being in work, being at home, staying in bed, reading, writing, spending time with the fam. 

When you look close, there’s always something to smile about 🙂Image

 

 

 

Not a very pink Bulgaria…..

I forgot this bit which I have to say was rather weird, being in Bulgaria with my girlfriend and feeling like we couldn’t show affection.  Now, before and if for some absurd reason any Bulgarians are reading this – I’m not saying we were exposed to homophobia at all.  However I did a little research before going and it clearly stated that being gay was ok as long as it was behind closed doors.  This may or may not have been true.  However when you are in a new country and when you arrive at that new country and one of the first things you see in large letters of blue and red graffiti is ‘fuck off you gays’, you can forgive us perhaps for being a little cautious.  And the country is literally full of blokes.  Blokes driving taxis, blokes driving buses, blokes running bars, blokes giving lessons, blokes blokes blokes.  We sat outside a bar and because we had no ‘bloke’ – we got shouted at. Where are the boys, he said. What boys, I said.  Oh you’re single, he said.  No I’m a lesbian, I said.

In my head.

Of course.

And I think that is what has made me a little cross with myself!