I can't quite believe I'm saying this but next year marks my 25th anniversary as an out and proud gay man... It feels like yesterday, but a lot has happened in the last two and a half decades that has made me thankful that I'm not 19 again, despite the perception that things are now a lot easier for young gay men and women.
How could I move into masculinity that was all about dominating women and fitting into the patriarchy, whilst opening my eyes to a world that is patriarchal, and embracing feminism at the same time? Can these two things co-exist? Can I exist?
There's a competitive edge to male friendships that can make it difficult for guys to be open and honest with each other. You might have things that you really want to talk about but can't for fear of appearing weak. As a gay guy, I could stand apart from some of this.
At its core, this has always been about consideration for trans lives, trans issues and trans voices. Despite the other conversations it has also sparked about the power of activism, the evolution of its methods with the rise of social media, the role of universities in preserving free speech and the boundaries and limitation of free expression, I am glad that we are able to have these debates about inclusivity but I really wish that more trans women were being given the opportunity to speak right now.
Betting firms causing outrage by offering bets on outrageous things has become a standard way of getting the media to do their PR for them. The press will write acres of condemnation that would have taken a million barrels of ink to publish before the internet. Until now, none of these has made me angry.
Feminism does not discriminate against a woman's lifestyle choice: how much make-up she wears/doesn't wear; the way in which she chooses to dress, act or speak; or her sexual activities or preferences - for those things do not make you any more or less a woman.
I have thought much about her comments. They are nothing that I have not thought myself over many years of trying to come to terms with who the hell I was, and why those "ridiculous feelings" would not go away.
Rocky Horror recognises and draws upon the issues of sexuality and gender that mocks society's attitudes towards these matters. Sadly for some reason it has taken 40 year for parts of society to even truly consider taking a page out of Rocky Horror's book, and begin to accept sexuality and gender fluidity.
The outright rejection of you based on your race is tempered not by more understanding men, but by attraction to you based on your race, or more specifically, based on pre-conceived notions of what your race has to offer: Big cocks, thug-like masculinity, animalistic lust. When you're strong, you ignore it. When you're desperate, you capitulate.
Straight actors being cool with playing gay roles is a difficult one. On the one hand it shows a progressiveness the queer community has waited decades for - an acceptance of gay characters into the mainstream, and an associated flurry of Oscars for a diversification of 'difficult' roles. On the other hand, seeing gay roles monopolised by Heath Ledgers and James Francos seems akin to the sort of gay-baiting we might expect from only our naffest 90's boy-bands...
Coming out is probably the most awkward, fumbling thing you could ever imagine. It's like being inside a really warm closet filled with fluffy jackets, but where all the coat hooks are stabbing at you. It's something that doesn't just happen once; it has to be done on a constant basis. And despite what everyone says, taking the leap of faith is not the only option. Unfortunately, before you read any further, you need to know that there's no right and no wrong answer. All I can tell you are the things that I have learned in my 21 years of being a booted-and-sometimes-suited lesbian. My ramblings are not the definitive answer to dealing with sexuality. All I hope is that they provide a little light relief.
We're in a culture that teaches queer people that we don't deserve to be religious. We are taught to put faith only in ourselves because self love is the only love we will feel. Queer people don't deserve faith or hope, because why pray when you're already queer?
For me, being of Caribbean heritage has made me feel an innate pressure to present myself a particular way. Growing up my parents, relatives, and close family friends all held strong cultural and traditional beliefs that influenced how we all felt about subjects relating to anything LGBT.
In my opinion, the hostility that bi people experience from both straight and gay communities stems from ignorance, which is why visible role models are so vital. If there were more high profile bisexual people when I was at school, perhaps my peers wouldn't have been so vicious and mistrustful.
When I speak to people about religion and sexuality, the most common response is "its okay, I have no problem. People can be who they want to be". Bearing this phrase in mind, it got me wondering why religion can't become a passionate part of Pride.
As a gay man who has had sex in the last 12 months, I'm disallowed from donating and quite frankly, it makes my blood boil. And I'm not the only one. I know there are thousands of people out there who want to donate, want to do something incredible, but can't. And that's why I decided to create FreedomToDonate.