Who are you?

I’m a freelance writer and author, and one of the things I do is write under the name of The Guyliner – which began on this very blog, back in June 2010. 2010, wow. God.

Why do you review the Guardian Blind Date?

Because I’m a huge fan and found myself most Saturday mornings analysing it and discussing it with fellow fans on Twitter. I decided to take things next-level and in July 2014, began writing a review of each one. This part of my site is called Impeccable Table Manners – or Table Manners? Impeccable depending on how long you’ve been reading it for – and people seem to like it. I even ended up on the cover of Guardian Weekend in 2019 because of it. Meta!

Yes, I look kind of hot here. Not in real life though, sorry.

Why are you called The Guyliner?

It was the name I gave to the blog when I was dating. I retconned this to mean that I lined up the guys, then I dated them, but in fact I just liked the word ‘Guyliner’ – the ‘the’ came later. Somehow this has, quite unintentionally, become my name.

What do you write?

Aside from this blog, I write a weekly column for the British edition of GQ, about anything from LGBT issues to sex and relationships to the terrifying awkwardness of being alone in the 21st century.

I have written two novels for Little, Brown. The first one is called The Last Romeo and came out in 2018. The second is called The Magnificent Sons and came out in 2020. Find out more about them.

And as I said, most weeks I review the responses by participants in the Guardian’s Blind Date column. Do give it a quick read.

I have bits and pieces published everywhere, really, including The i, and the Guardian. You can find a selection of freelance stuff I’ve done as The Guyliner on my Contently page.

I’ve also done stuff for International Business Times, – which saw me shortlisted for Arts, Entertainment and Culture Commentator of the Year at the 2017 Comment Awards – BuzzFeed, Little Atoms, the Irish Times, Stylist, Empire among others. It’s all go. I was the dating and advice columnist on Gay Times from 2012–2017.

Can I hire you?

To write? Yes, of course! Contact me and let’s do something! I only write for free on my own site, by the way – just to be clear.

Can I write a guest post for you?

No, sorry. I’m always interested to hear people’s stories, but I don’t publish guest posts anymore, I’m afraid. I think it makes more sense to have just my voice on my site now.

What was the dating blog all about?

Oh, it was easy peasy:

– I joined an internet dating site
– I talked to men online and arranged dates with them
– I went on the dates
– I blogged about them. And indeed still do.

That’s it, really.

Note: I didn’t date these men just so I could fill my blog. I actually did want to meet guys and was, I suppose, in my own strange way looking for ‘the one’, or at least ‘the next one’.

I didn’t blog all the dates, because some of them are quite boring and others would make me easily identificable.

I’m not single any more but went on a LOT of dates so was still blogging them up until late 2015. I do change some details to avoid my ‘cover’ being ‘blown’, but I did not make the dates up. That would be pointless and unfair to any readers who have followed my ‘journey’.

I don’t blog in chronological order, either, so all events were written from memory and notes I made at the end of the night. There was a spreadsheet, I’m afraid.

I’m an unreliable narrator, yes, but I’m all you’ve got.

What’s your real name?

It’s Justin. Fancy that, eh?

 

The Guyliner logo and site design by Paul Lang at The Pop Group

Header image by Dominic Ibbotson

1 Comment

  1. Hiya Justin. As a somewhat queer woman living on a Scottish island as a straight woman (them’s the breaks) and who regularly reads Blind Date (and is regularly dissapointed by the paucity of story and all my unanswered questions after), I’ve just discovered your blog this morning. As a writer, I am quite inspired by a writer who seems to work on his own Ts & Cs. Well done, you. You have another reader, keep up the good work.

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