Tag Archives: GAY LIFESTYLE BLOG

FRIDAY MUSIC FIX: BOYS BY CHARLI XCX

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Ok it’s not Friday but I couldn’t wait three days to post this absolute pop cracker by the very talent Charli XCX. I literally eargasamed the first time I heard this song on the 9:15pm train from London Liverpool Street to Hackney. Sure, call me super gay for loving a song called ‘Boys’ but can you blame me? There’s nothing missing from this song and its accompanying video clip; there’s a selection of boys that you’ve secretly (or not so secretly) wanted to sex and or pash behind the bleachers, there’s a video game sample, there’s a catchy hook, boppy-electronic-summer-fun sound and there’s The Fat Jewish. Not to mention the lyrics – ‘I was busy thinking about boys’ – there has never before been a line in a song that better summarises the reason why 90% of the things on my to do list never get did.

The video was directed by Charli herself (real name Charlotte Emma Aitchison) and features a shirtless Cameron Dallas, a very wet Tom Daley, a hungry Joe Jonas and many other familiar faces including Flume, Wiz Khalifa, Tinie Tempah, Amine, Barns Courtney, Brendon Urie (Panic! At The Disco), Buddy, Carl Barat (The Libertines), Caspar Lee, Charlie Puth, Chromeo, Cobra Snake, Connor Franta, Dan Smith (Bastille), Denzel Curry, Diplo, Dram, Fai Khandra, A G Cook, Frank Carter,  G Eazy, Jack Antonoff (Bleachers), Jack Guinness, Jay Park, Jay Prince,  Joey Bada$$, Kaytranada, Khalid, Liam Fray (Courteners), Mac DeMarco, Mark Ronson, Max Hershenow, Mic Lowry, MNEK, Oli Sykes (Bring Me The Horizon), One OK Rock, Poet, Portugal – The Man, Prince & Jacob, Riz Ahmed, Sage The Gemini, Shamari Maurice, Shaun Ross, Shokichi, Spector, Stormzy, They, Hurts, Laurie Vincent (Slaves), The Vamps (James McVey and Tristan Evans), THEY, Tom Grennan, Tommy Cash, Ty Dolla $ign, Vance Joy, Vampire Weekend and Will.i.am…..to name a few….

Enough words, just listen. But stay away from Tom Daley and Cameron Dallas cause I saw them first.

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21 THINGS I WISH SOMEONE TOLD ME WHILE I WAS IN THE CLOSET

gay blog gay lifestyle gay bloggerThe closet is a very scary and lonely place for gay people. At a time when you need help the most, you are too afraid to reach out, for reaching out means admitting something that feels so shameful. Opening up to another person also places you in a terrifyingly vulnerable position. How will they react? What will they say?  Who will they tell?

For anyone still in the closet or for anyone who may want to support someone who has not yet come out, here is the list of 21 things that I wish someone had said to me while I was in the closet:

  1. You are loved
  2. There is nothing wrong with you
  3. You are normal
  4. This is not a phase
  5. This is not a punishment
  6. Your true friends will stay by your side and those that don’t were never your true friends
  7. Your family will love you no less
  8. Those who hate you are ignorant and scared
  9. There will come a time when your sexuality will not be your most defining characteristic
  10. You are destined for great things
  11. You will fall in love
  12. You’ll discover that the guy who bullied you was dealing with his own demons
  13. You are created in the image of God. God doesn’t make mistakes. God is perfect, therefore you are perfect
  14. You cannot pretend to be someone who you’re not – it’s exhausting
  15. You don’t have to conform to a stereotype
  16. You will find amazing inclusive communities where your sexuality is of little consequence
  17. You don’t have to be lonely
  18. You don’t have to be scared
  19. Everything is going to be ok
  20. A burden will be lifted off your shoulders once you accept yourself
  21. You will never regret coming out of the closet

Anything else you wish someone had said to you while in the closet? Leave it in the comments.

Image Credit: Exterface

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THERE’S A GAY SCENE FOR YOU BEYOND THE SCENE

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I used to believe that there was only one way to find my place in the gay community and that was through hours invested at the gym, nights spent shirtless in gay clubs and holidays booked to follow the ‘circuit’ of summer parties. It seemed like a very easy route to happiness and community inclusion. I started with the gym in my teens and ramped up my training in my early 20s as I realised that I needed to be bigger, smoother and more masculine. I went to gay clubs in the evening and followed the social calendar of gay events in my hometown of Sydney – Stonewall then Arq on a Saturday night, Green Park and then Beresford on a Sunday, Daywash on a bank holiday, Harbour Party during Mardi Gras and I Remember House when I wanted to mix things up. Over time I came to see the same faces and learned about the who’s who of the gay community. That one’s an escort, that one came from a small town and now he’s a party boy, that one’s slept with that one, that one has a drug problem and that one is a social climber – all unsubstantiated rumours that became lore as they were perpetuated at weekly social gatherings.

While I tried my best to enjoy my time in these situations they actually brought on the most unnatural form of anxiety that I rarely experienced in other areas of my life.  I’d turn into a completely different person at these parties. In my day-to-day life I was a confident, social and happy person who wasn’t afraid to speak to anyone; throw me into a room with 1,000 other gay men and I would become nervous, uncomfortable and closed-offish. I felt small and invisible. To combat these feelings I would drink copious amounts of alcohol and lambast myself for not being muscley enough, confident enough or attractive enough.  ‘Maybe next time it will be different’, I would think to myself, ‘maybe I’ll have more fun at the next party’. But while the parties changed, the feelings always remained. To make matters more confusing, my gay friends seemed so natural in this environment. They would float around chatting to guys, drawing men’s gaze across the dance floor and generally having what appeared to be a wonderful time. Why was it so hard for me?

At the same time that I was becoming a fully fledged member of the mainstream gay scene, I was discovering another side to the gay community, an alternate side that would bring me much more pleasure. It was 3:43am on a Saturday morning in 2005. I was soaked in sweat, jumping up and down on a crammed basement dancefloor on William Street, Sydney, screaming the lyrics to a remix of Annie’s ‘Me Plus One’ in a puddle of equally enthusiastic and sweaty clubgoers. Somewhere between the lyrics ‘Mrs B, Mrs E, Mrs A-U-T’ I realised there was another community out there, one that was much more similar to me and I was standing right in the middle of it. The club was 77 and the night was Bang Gang. The crowd was a merry of skaters, fashion students, surfers, alienesque models, photographers, drug dealers and goths and they were equal parts gay, lesbian, straight and curious. 77 and Bang Gang would come to symbolise for me a place where sexuality and normality were fluid concepts and where a temporary community would come together for a few hours every weekend to escape and surrender to the hedonistic pursuit of indulgent fun. At the same time other nights popped up around the city which drew a ‘queer’ and alternate crowd including Bandits at Phoenix, Healthclub at The Flinders and Gay Bash at The Burdekin. In these club nights I found an alternate community, one that seemed to be at the fringes of the gay scene but one that I related to much more closely than the one in which I had tried so hard to belong. Over the years I would be fortunate enough to be part of similar communities around the world (even if it was just for one night) – Closet in Melbourne, Misshapes at Don Hills in New York, Plastic and Pink is Punk in Milan and Boombox and Sink the Pink in London.

I came to realise that the gay dream that I had been sold by gay magazines, TV and mainstream gay media was not my dream nor was it the only dream out there. There existed a scene beyond ‘the scene’ that embraced the queer side of homosexuality, where bearded ladies danced next to trans boys and muscle Marys were welcome but not worshiped. It was in this scene that I felt most at home, where I was part of something bigger than myself, where I felt like I belonged. Being amongst freaks, geeks, the sexually absurd, those with the confidence to be who and what they want really makes one feel empowered. Surrounded by so much colour and character encourages you to peel back your own pretense and embrace all of yourself.

Now I’m not suggesting that this alternate scene is for everyone nor am I suggesting that there is anything wrong with enjoying the mainstream gay offering, in fact it was only once I had discovered the alternate gay scene that I felt comfortable enough to enjoy those parties that had previously caused me so much anxiety. Knowing that there was a different option, where I felt included, freed me from the pressure of thinking that I needed to conform. The point that I’m trying to make is that there exist ‘scenes’ beyond ‘the scene’. If you’re feeling disenfranchised by what gay society will have you believe is normal then know this – there is an alternative. It may not grace the cover of gay magazines and you may not notice the posters advertising its existence but beyond Beyond, WE, Papa etc. there is a place for you too.  

Image Credit: Julia Hetta 

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THE JOY THAT COMES FROM GRATITUDE

luxury gay bloggerI have led a very blessed life. The places that I have been, the people that I have met and the privileges that I have been afforded have truly made me a fortunate person but until recently, they never made me happy.

Being surrounded by others who seemed to have so much more than me, skewed my understanding of how lucky I truly am. It’s not my fault though. We’re raised in a society that encourages us to keep wanting more and in doing so never allows us a moment to reflect on what we already have. By focusing on the wonderful things in our lives though and giving thanks for having received them, we transition from a state of lack to a state of plenty. Gratitude is the instigator of this immense change.

You don’t need to be rich or famous or popular or successful to practice gratitude nor do you need to be religious. The simple act of opening your eyes in the morning and being able to move out of bed is something for which we can be grateful. Even biting into a fresh piece of fruit or living in a safe country are occasions for giving thanks. When you reflect on all the small things that you have in your life you realise that there is so much for which you can be appreciative.

Instead of focusing on the lives of others and things that they have, look into your own life and give daily thanks for even the simplest things. Joy is a bi-product of gratitude and gratitude is the anecdote for dissatisfaction.

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SUNDAY STYLE: COMME DES GARCONS

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A wallet, a man purse, a murse, a man clutch, a mutch – call it what you will but these accessories from Comme des Garcons are amongst my most favourite accessories ever created. Large enough to fit cash, cards and house keys, they are the perfect hold-all for the modern man. My first Comme des Garcons wallet was a gift from my sister and so vital was it to my day-to-day life, that I wore through the leather and had to replace it recently with an updated version. Reasonably priced around the £60 mark they are a luxury leather good which won’t blow your budget.

Shop the collection here.

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A DIFFERENT APPROACH TO SATURDAY NIGHT

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Happy Saturday night boys. Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, make sure you do it with joy, positive intentions and awareness. Whether you are heading out with your friends or staying home alone, Saturday night has the potential to be wonderfully fun or absolutely lonely. The power is in your hands.

Go forth into the night with only joyful intentions and give up all expectations. Without expectations or attachment to outcomes out of your control, you will never be disappointed. You may pick up a cute boy in a club, you may dance on top of tables, you may sit at home alone or you may unexpectedly be invited to the best party of your life, whatever the night brings allow it to bring it freely.

Wonderful things happen in the space created when we let go of expectations. Use this knowledge to bring you inner peace tonight and beyond.

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WHY GAY MEN ARE SO MEAN TO EACH OTHER

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I could have entitled this post ‘Why people are so mean to each other’ because the reason is common across all sexualities. For the purposes of this post though, I’m going to focus on the gay experience. Why? Because the factors at play that cause us to tear each other down are often stronger in gay men which can make us meaner than most.

Why do we look at the success of other gay men and find reasons to justify why they’re not deserving of it? Why do we make fun of fellow gay men who are different from us just for being themselves? Why do spread rumours, leave hurtful messages on social media and ostracise others from within our own community? The simple answer is insecurity and what is insecurity? Insecurity is the fear of not enough.

When we see people doing something for which we negatively judge them it’s because it stirs something within ourselves that we do not like. Do you discount someone else’s success by spreading rumours that he slept his way to the top? Chances are you are insecure about your own ability to achieve your goals. Have you purposely excluded someone from your friendship circle because you think that he’s not good enough to be your friend? Chances are that you yourself don’t feel worthy enough to be loved by others. Extreme action is in itself a reflection of its opposite. I will repeat that for emphasis. Extreme action is in itself a reflection of its opposite. The loudest people are often the most afraid, the most confident often the most anxious and the most popular are often the loneliest.

Many of us gay men have been made to feel insecure through our formative years because of our sexuality. Once we are liberated we have the option to overcome that insecurity. For some though this insecurity becomes internalised, covered up; it is left unaddressed and surfaces as bitchiness, meanness and what can only be compared to adolescent behaviour (because adolescents are often the most insecure!).

Where does this insecurity originate? It comes from the fear of not enough. I’m not good enough. Rich enough. Handsome enough. Fit enough. Masculine enough. Popular enough. Smart enough. Loveable enough. Seeing good, rich, handsome, fit, masculine, popular, smart and loveable people awakens the insecurity within us. We tell ourselves that these people are flawed to make ourselves feel better because we are afraid that if they succeed then by law we must fail. This is the power of scarcity, a function of modern society which convinces us that we will never be or have enough. We have been misled to think that in order to get ahead we have to aggressively force our way past others but the universe doesn’t operate with that same limited mentality. The universe is abundant. There is enough oxygen for everyone, enough money to be made, enough opportunity for all those that seek it. Just because someone else has a boyfriend or an apartment or a dream job, does not mean that you cannot have those things too. When you look at the world from a place of abundance then the fear of not enough vanishes and with it your own insecurities.

Something else happens when you see the world from a perspective of abundance – you actually begin to see people differently too. People’s successes do not cause you shame or jealously but act as an example of what can be achieved. Instead of wishing failure on your fellow gay man, you honour his achievements which in turn actually empowers you to go after your own. It’s rather quite simple.

So if you’re ever the victim of a mean gay then now you know that he himself is actually suffering. A person who sees the world from a secure, abundant space will never be threatened by another’s triumphs nor will he find reason to be mean to his gay brethren.

Image by Sven Banziger 

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FRIDAY MUSIC FIX: SAM SPARRO

I don’t like Sam Sparro because he’s gay nor because he’s a babe nor because he’s Australian. I like Sam Sparro because he makes awesome pop music. Enjoy this track by my future ex-boyfriend Sam Sparro.

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PERSONAL TRAINERS WHO USE STEROIDS

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In my opinion, hiring a personal trainer who uses steroids is like asking Kim Kardashian to give a lecture on inner beauty – it doesn’t make sense.

Personally when I look to a trainer or a fitness professional for body inspiration, I want to know that if I follow their lead then one day I too could have a physique like them. It would be a shame to find out that this could never happen without injecting an illegal substance into my body. I see all these incredibly muscled fitness celebrities on Instagram, with hundreds of thousands of fans, spruiking messages of ‘strength’, ‘determination’, ‘willpower’, ‘gains’ etc. without acknowledging that their superhuman size is also due to another factor – steroids. Some, you can tell are clearly using artificial enhancement while others are questionable. The problem though then becomes, how do we distinguish between natural and not? By default everyone falls into the same ‘fit’ category and fans are left wondering why they can’t put on the same size as their heroes.

I guess that I don’t understand the obsession for size. While I try to see every choice from both sides, I have yet to hear an argument for steroid use (other than a genuine medical reason) that is plausible. To me it appears to be purely vanity and dare I say it, borderline narcissistic? I’m happy to be proven wrong and it certainly isn’t my place to judge someone’s personal choices. However, my issue lies with people in power such as trainers and Instagram celebrities, whose actions do have an affect on the expectations and self esteem of others. A young guy, following the training regime of another guy from Instagram, wonders why his physique is taking so long to change even though he works out religiously. Unrealistic expectations lead to disappointment which is made harder when you’re only being told half the story in the first place.

Steroid use by personal trainers and Instagram fitness celebrities is like false advertising. PT’s are there to motivate and inspire you to reach your goals and one of the ways that they do so is through their own desirable physical appearance. You wouldn’t hire an overweight PT who clearly doesn’t practice what they preach. Rather, you choose the extraordinarily fit muscle man with the tight tank top, shorts and  fluro Nikes.  But what if your PT’s body has been boosted by chemical enhancements? You’re being sold a fake product.

We cheered for Lance Armstrong in the Tour de France and felt betrayed when we found out that he was doping. Why? Because we look to these sportsmen for inspiration, for examples of human will and achievement and when we find out they’ve been cheating, we feel cheated ourselves. We feel lied to. Why then is it different for bodybuilders, fitness professional and PTs?

 

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FRIDAY MUSIC FIX: A TASTE OF HONEY

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Do you believe in reincarnation? I do and I’ll tell you why. My unbridled love for disco music is clearly a carryover from my past life as a discotheque frequenting, flare wearing, dance floor boogying, New York living, Tony Manero type. I’m pretty sure that I partied at Studio 54 with Andy Warhol and Bianca Jagger because what else could explain the nostalgia I feel when I hear songs like ‘Boogie Oogie Oogie’ by A Taste of Honey? Or my love for flares? Ok, I don’t really love flares but I do love the energy and freedom of disco music which transports you to another place and time.

You can’t tell me that this song doesn’t make you want to flick your hips around a rainbow underlit dance floor?

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Celebrities during New Year's Eve party at Studio 54: (L-R) Halston, Bianca Jagger, Jack Haley, Jr. and wife Liza Minnelli and Andy Warhol. (Photo by Robin Platzer/Twin Images/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

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