There is a little thing called curtesy, tact, and being upfront & open.

Don’t string someone along for your own selfish gratification, and when you notice they’ve taken steps to try and heal; don’t drag them back in by questioning their actions, only to continue acting in the same selfish way.

There are several forms of mental and emotional manipulation, and this is one of them. Subconsciously lead another person into a false sense of security regarding situations and feelings, to have them question every little detail by your lack of interaction, to then be made to feel guilty and wrong when you realise and don’t like that they are making an attempt to move on.

It’s not cute. It’s not clever. And the world would be a much happier place if people would just be open, honest and upfront with each other.

Cut out the bullsh*t.

Peace out. 

I am disheartened, upset, and down right angry that these type of acts are still capable within the human psyche in this day and age.
We all know the issue with all homophobia surrounds the notion of SEX, but what issue is that to an outsider not involved in such a private matter.

Eastern Europe, Africa, and MANY other countries need to have a severe wake up all, join us in the 21st Century and understand us in the LGBT+ community bring no more or less to society than our heterosexual counterparts. 

We wish to live our lives without persecution and have the freedom to love who our hearts fall for.

In the meantime, I hope to whatever deity you believe in; that the more “accepting” western society is able to aid those who are being persecuted for just being who they are.

https://www.thegailygrind.com/2017/04/02/chechen-authorities-rounding-hundreds-gay-men-killing-anti-gay-purge/

We all have in our heads a general idea of what we want from life – some people want to raise a family, others want to be successful in their chosen careers; whilst some are quite happy journeying through and making decisions as they go along. Each “path” is completely valid, and no one choice is superior to another. However, we do happen across obstacles that make us question our choices – and these obstacles can come in varying forms: individuals and their actions, situations that force us to change our priorities, and even events taking place that cause us to naturally change our opinions and mindsets to that which is the complete opposite of what we originally believed in.

Sometimes we have to take a step back and try to understand why we are put in these positions – whether that is to learn something about ourselves, relate to others, or simply experience it so that we can gage similar situations we find ourselves in later on in life.

One thing you must always keep in mind when going through such ‘ordeals’ as this, is that you should never lose yourself, your values, your beliefs. By all means adapt and take on differing stances from what you are used to, but at your core, never lose yourself.
This in itself is exceptionally easy to say out loud, but not quite so easy to implement in your day to day activities; for example, if we truly like a person, we (well, I know I do) naturally start altering things about ourselves in a way we feel that person would prefer – even if we always muse the “I will not change anything about myself for a person, they either like me for me, or they can take a hike!” It is a subconscious act that we are shyly aware of, yet cannot help but allow to happen, as we cannot help what our hearts desire.

Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is always a difficult task to implement, but once you understand yourself, you can quite acutely look at situations and other people and know how to approach them in a way that has the most opportune outcome.
Take me for instance, I have recently come to the conclusion that alcohol brings out the worst in me (of course, alcohol, in any large quantity, brings out a side in people that we would sooner not have to deal with), but to the extent it may seriously start damaging my character, my own mental wellbeing and my relationships; therefore I am taking the steps to no longer indulge in such behaviour, as I am very aware that my mental health is severely compromised under the influence of alcohol – my outlook on various things is blurred beyond reason and I make stupid decisions.
A clear mind is forever the best way to fully understand your choices in life.

But whilst it is relatively easy to make a poor decision, realise, dwell and question EVERYTHING surrounding that decision – why you did it, how you did it, how it will affect those around you as well as yourself – you also have to understand that it happened.
There is a saying:

“Live life with no regrets.”

And whilst that is all well and good in theory, there are so many things we do in life that we regret and wish we had never done – the way to move forward is acceptance. It happened, you can only make further choices to either make amends if you feel it is necessary, or acknowledge it happened and allow that experience to make your character stronger.
The worst thing you can do in that situation is to continually worry about what has happened and bring it up with those involved – it will only add stress to yourself and potentially push those you are trying to win over away.
Accept.

Naturally, we want the best for ourselves and those around us, but that is not so easily come by without hard work and patience.
[Insert Oprah analogy here]

Just know in yourself who you are as a person, what you wish from life, and to, ultimately, understand not everything is what it seems.

’til next time.

A couple of weeks ago, Stuart Milk (Harvey Milk’s nephew, and founder of the Harvey Milk Foundation) opened a series of talks in my city of Liverpool, and I got the opportunity to have a little chat with him for TheGuideLiverpool.com.

I was incredibly nervous.
I was incredibly excited.

But I think I did okay…

Take a look!

My stomach has just twisted reading and watching this – and it is not the first of its kind to circulate online.

I really can’t fathom the thought processes that people believe justifies them this self made authority to decide how a person should live their life, and if they don’t like it, they are fodder for others to implement their desire to hurt, maim and kill.

Humanity has some disgustingly dark areas – and i still think it will take decades, maybe hundreds of years still, for society to grow up and see its failings to its fellow “man”.

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/03/07/trans-woman-pleads-for-her-life-before-being-beaten-to-death/

Emma Miller-McCaffrey (formerly Baldry) is a pinnacle within the LGBT+ community, largely within Liverpool and the North West, but also nationally through her many contacts, workshops, and projects. I had a little chat about a few of said projects, such as her work with Greater Manchester Police!

Subscribe on iTunes.

For the past 4 years, my friend Calum McSwiggan and the Terence Higgins Trust conduct a campaign all about the importance of knowing your HIV status, and to regularly get checked for sexually transmitted infections, aside from HIV.

I unknowingly got their attention with a video I made a few years back which was quite… to the point, shall we say? I pretty much slated the sexual practices of todays gay youth, who do so in sheer ignorance of the pandemic that has gone before.

And ever since I have been part of this movement, this week of awareness, though it should never be restricted to one week – HIV testing should become a regular occurrence in everyone’s life, be you gay or straight, man or woman, non-binary or every other identity within the spectrum. HIV is NOT a ‘gay disease’, and is equally as susceptible  within heterosexual relationships as homosexual; not to mention through sharing intravenous equipment amongst drug users. It is not as discriminatory as those who once labelled it the “gay cancer”, and will act exactly the same way, regardless of who you are… if you contract the virus.

This year, I want to keep it simple – no gimmicks, no silliness in a video to further a point; just THE point.

Go get tested.

Not just for HIV, but a, what I like to call, full MOT – a full sexual health check up. This is the fundamental problem, particularly within the gay community, due to progression with treatments and other preventative drugs; people believe they can have unprotected sex simply because they are on PrEP, or are HIV+ but on the correct treatment and are the desired “undetectable” status. This may be okay (though not 100% safe) for HIV, but there are plenty of other STI’s that, if left untested, undiagnosed and untreated, can cause very severe problems in the long term.

Don’t fall into the group that are naive enough to think they are untouchable due to a pill, or that “it won’t happen to me”, as I can tell you now… EVERYONE thinks that.

The test for HIV is so simple – rapid tests are simply a finger prick which can take 20 minutes to get a result.
Or you can get a full blood test which will test for things like Syphilis, as well as HIV.
It’s worth it for a full MOT that takes 10 minutes.

Don’t be caught out…

’til next time.

As many of you who follow me on social media will know (I’m sure I say that far too often in videos, which is increasingly presumptuous that anyone watching/reading actually cares past the 3-5min video and however long it takes to read a blog post…)
DIGRESSION.
Anyway, where was I… Oh! I have recently became a puppy parent, more specifically to a loveably black Pug – who my mum veto-ed naming Theo!

img_3494

And whilst he is absolutely adorable, he is a handful – something Pugs are renowned for.

It is a strange feeling, having had a dog, a cocker spaniel, for 11 1/2 years before we, sadly, had to let him go due to illness, to then, seven months later, make the decision to adopt another. Simply because they are entirely different breeds, entirely different personalities, and in some respects, entirely different positions within the family.
What I mean by that is: we adopted Archie when I was 14 years old, and he passed away when I was 25, he was one of the most amazing dogs in terms of his temperament and his general demeanour around the house – there was never an issue regarding toilet training, chewing, biting, etc; and we knew that we were spoilt with his behaviour. As mentioned in a previous post, Archie was my best friend, and I was utterly heart broken when the decision was made to put him to sleep to put a halt to his suffering… But something has not been right in the house in the months following that event.

Have you had that feeling that something was missing in your life? A person, an object, a feeling? One of those unexplainable phenomenons that you just can’t put your finger on, but then suddenly it hits you?

The sound of paws on the laminate floor.
Someone greeting you every time you walked through the front door.
Just that unconditional love that you share between an animal and a human… (Does that sound too cringe? Meh, it’s true.)

The house was just too excruciatingly empty – I know there is four of us, but anyone who has a dog will know exactly what I mean. There is just something that is brought to the household when there is a canine critter creeping about; and Theo has definitely filled that void.

People seem to forget that animals are like humans in different respects, they all act differently, have their own personalities and characteristics, and are never the same; which makes it incredibly difficult not to compare when you have more than one, or like me have adopted a second time after losing a dog after so many years. They truly become a member of the family, and one of the closest friends you’ll have in the short time they are with you.

Theo is only 12 weeks old, and already we are seeing elements of his personality, and he is hilarious: still a puppy, so he has those crazy moments where he thinks everything is a chew toy, but is very loving and aiming to please.. Even if he still needs a little pull every so often when out for a walk.
It is odd though, I have found myself looking at Archie’s picture and thinking about him more than ever since Theo got home, trying so hard not to compare the two; and that was something I never used to do – I thought about him of course, but so much more since…

*Sigh*

Here’s to many years with Theo by my side, partner in crime, being that companion that no guy seems able to be. (Lol)

’til next time.