There is plenty to celebrate as countries across the world recognise same sex relationships. At the same time there is still much further to go before equality is achieved. In the UK while gay marriage has been legalised in England, Scotland and Wales, it has been repeatedly blocked in Northern Ireland.
Not every gay couple is going to find this an issue and will be OK about compromising but I think it means more to me because after so many years in the closet, I am no longer willing to hide who I am.
Thing is, there are trans people who haven't always known, but that doesn't make their identities any less trans than someone who's always known.
It took a long time for me to realise, with the help of counsellors at the Rainbow Project and Lifeline (two fantastic resources that I was able to use to save my own life) that I am loved, I am valued and I am as deserving of happiness as anyone else. But it has to start with accepting yourself first.
Here is a list of just some of the comments I receive on a daily basis: "OMG. That's a MAN!', "ERR. I'm not going near that", "Go kill yourself!", "You were born a man, so be a man!", "Your mum should be ashamed", "You dirty tranny", "I'm going to smash your face in, watch!", "you're going to hell". The list is endless.
Coming off the stage after possibly turning the air a bit blue with my acceptance speech (keep it real I thought!), lots of people were coming up to me to say thanks and tell me how inspiring my speech was, heaping praise on me and generally saying lovely things - now this is something I find incredibly difficult to accept.
When I heard the incredible news that marriage is now legal regardless of gender in the USA, it reminded me of something that occurred to me recently - we are the first generation of parents that can describe marriage exactly as it is, an expression and celebration of the love two people have for each another, regardless of gender and sexuality, without exclusions.
Now dubbed the 'miracle' HIV pill, PrEP poses some provocative questions for the UK. Does this medicine represent sheer liberation for MSM
I celebrate Pride every day that I wake up with my girlfriend. Pride consumes my every movement. My every achievement. My struggle lifts me beyond all I thought possible. I accept that my pride is what makes me different, but also just the same.
Glitz and glamour, celebrations and rainbow flags as far as the eye can see are all great. An important part of Pride is about showing newcomers that we are here, we exist. But we also need to support the everyday people who do the really hard work.
Northern Ireland is the most homophobic region of the UK and one of the most homophobic regions of the EU. This intolerance is stirred primarily by the dominant Democratic Unionist Party, the main political wing of Loyalist protestantism. Its policies on gay issues echo the homophobia of the BNP and European fascist groups. Many Northern Irish people are not homophobic. Even within the DUP, there are members who would not discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity. But senior party figures hold sway and they dictate an anti-gay agenda.
The question I get asked most frequently is "What was it like growing up with lesbian parents?" Mostly I answer comically about how it was great because the toilet seat never got left up, but in reality it is pretty average. I think that people expect me to be scarred terribly because two women bringing up children does not seem normal to them, or that I must have this empty hole in my soul where a father should be.
We can achieve it by testing, so as to minimise the number of guys who don't think they have HIV, but do. We can achieve it by maximising viral suppression and getting as many HIV+ guys on treatment as possible. We can achieve it by using PrEP, not just because it works, but also to take the anxiety and rabbit-in-headlights paralysis out of gay dating.
The assumption is that lady-loving-ladies will do just that... Be bloody nice to each other at least. But it's wishful thinking. You've heard of man-hating lesbians but, in my experience, you're more likely to encounter a woman-hating lesbian, however ironic that sounds.
Recently some social media posts have been questioning definitions of heroism and bravery by comparing two pictures, a US world class athlete and a US soldier; a seemingly reasonable comparison of heroes. So why do the posts acknowledge the bravery and heroism of the soldier but ridicule that of the athlete?
It's National Blood Week and this year the call for blood donors is more urgent than ever with the announcement that the number of donors has fallen by 40% over the last 10 years. With such a crisis in donation why is it that there remains a restriction on any man giving blood who has had sex with another man in the previous 12 months? This week sees many calling for an end to such restrictions as unnecessary and discriminatory - as well as counter-productive given the shortage of donors.