Opinion

Opinion

National Coming Out Day: Is today the day for you?

It is National Coming Out Day*, the day when the collective force of a zillion closet doors being thrust open is enough to knock you off your feet. If someone stares intently at you and clears their throat, or puts their latte to one side with the biggest case of 'serious-face' you've ever seen, there's a good chance they're about to tell you they're gay – or they have a peanut stuck in their throat and are unable to speak, silently willing you to decode their desperate stare. Before you...
Opinion

Why blaming the rise of HIV on ‘gay sex parties’ is irresponsible and dangerous

Sometimes it’s wonderful to wake up gay and some days, well, not so much. My perfectly Instagrammed breakfast of eggs benedict was seriously spoiled on reading the Guardian and the Independent’s latest overwrought articles about ‘gay sex parties’ being linked to a rise in HIV diagnoses. This story is trotted out in some form or another every few months or so, usually illustrated with a microscopic selfie of HIV itself or a blurry picture of a heaving Vauxhall club. For the uninitiated, here’s how these pieces usually roll: a ‘study’...
Opinion

Social media: Form of self-help or enabler of self-doubt?

The 2010s are truly the age of the share, whether Instagramming pictures of your breakfast, Facebooking all your friends about your holiday or tweeting a link to your latest blog. Social media has turned us all into broadcasters, producing special-interest programming on every aspect of our lives and thoughts. We are all our own chat show. But while we gently mock those who overshare or bore on about their children or their dull jobs or impart half-baked political opinions, social media has also given us a window into people’s lives...
Opinion

Gay marriage, fatherhood and my very own ridiculous, personal dilemma

I have always had something of a knack for talking my way out of answering difficult questions. My first instinct when asked something mildly taxing is to cause a diversion or commit the most egregious of sins and answer the question with another question. But now my luck is running out. Thanks to all these rights coming the gay community’s way, I’m running out of excuses for why I don’t want to get married or have children. You think you bigots are inconvenienced? You don’t even know the half of...
Opinion

Sorry, ‘straight-acting’ boys, but gay stereotypes exist despite you… get over it

If you asked the average man on the street whether he could tell the difference between a gay man and a straight man, he'd probably say yes, citing a number of reasons such as differing fashion or music tastes, cultural references and mannerisms. He may even suggest that gay men behave in a more feminine manner. And, on hearing that, many gay men would be very offended. But why? Well, put simply, if you can still spot the gayness, they've been caught out. All that carefully executed 'straight acting' has...
Opinion

Why I believe in internet anonymity – even when you’re calling me a ****

We hear a lot about trolls in the news these days. A sub-class of human previously restricted to the mysterious world of specialist messageboards and forums about dodgy TV shows nobody watches any more, the troll has now been brought front-and-centre, blinking uncertainly in the shimmering light that is Twitter. The adoption of Twitter to the bosom of the mainstream has finally done for social media what Facebook could not and would not: it’s made it okay to talk to absolute strangers, even if you’re not an ‘internet geek’. Those...
Opinion

Is David Davies right? Would parents really prefer not to have a gay child?

The gay marriage debate rumbles on. And it really is rumbling, like a tummy which refuses to be sated no mater how much junk you feed it. It’s becoming tiresome to watch, whichever side you’re on. Everyone seems to be making the same points over and over again, like a long line of toy monkeys banging their miniature crash cymbals while an air raid siren whirrs its death rattle in the background. The ‘church’ thinks Thing A, pro-gay marriage campaigners think Thing Z, and there’s a whole load of other...
Opinion

“Gaybrows”, girl talk and the Sunday Times’ brand of smart-casual homophobia

Being gay is very political these days. What with the world and his wife sticking their noses in about whether we should be getting married and Twitter confusing homosexuality with paedophilia in the wake of the BBC sex scandals from the 1970s. Like the unavoidable pink square in a slice of Battenberg or the writing running through a stick of rock, there’s always a constant air of homophobia which lingers around the reporting of such stories, but it’s not just the heavyweight news events we have to watch out for,...
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