Archive for April, 2012


Anywhere but queer

If being gay was a choice, knowing what you know now, would you choose to be gay?

This was a question put to me by my girlfriend. We had just been talking about how I’m absolutely the biggest lesbian she’s ever met because I bought tickets to see Uh Huh Her and was dragging her along with me (she loved it).

I didn’t even have to think about my answer. No. Hell no. I would never in a million years have chosen this life for myself.

I could have done two things when I realised I was gay, I could have suppressed my feelings and ultimately ended up depressed or suicidal, which is a road too many people go down, or I could be the gayest person on the planet.

I chose the second one. I surrounded myself with lesbian pop culture. I bought all the music and box sets and surrounded myself with things that might make me look normal.

The L Word became my safety blanket, when I felt that I wasn’t normal I would put in one of the DVDs and watch my feelings normalised on screen. Girls would hold hands with each other, and a hell of a lot more on that show, and I would feel like it was ok to be gay.

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My music taste and bookshelf quickly reflected what I was trying to see in the world around me. I had to hear girls singing about girls, I had to devour pages filled with descriptions of my own feelings. I had to feel ok.

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As my girlfriend told me, I’m pretty damn gay owning all that.

I’m happy with the life I have right now. I love my girlfriend, my family are so supportive of who I am. My mum got angry at a homophobic blog! But I still wouldn’t choose this, maybe one day things will get better. I know they are better for me now than they were for the younger me that first picked up that L Word box set but it isn’t good enough yet. I still encounter homophobia on a daily basis, I can’t marry the girl I love, I’m still made to feel like I’m not normal by the world.

I campaign for LGBT rights because I have to see things get better so that maybe one day coming to terms with your sexuality won’t be an issue for teenagers because they will be accepted as normal straight away.

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I wish I was a Hufflepuff

It is no secret that I am obsessed with Harry Potter. It is a slightly better kept secret that I pretty much went to Hogwarts. My school had four boarding houses, insane teaching staff and some really good friends.

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Unlike Hogwarts you weren’t put in a house by a magical rhyming hat but by gender and age (Hogwarts had a much cooler system). Like all the other Harry Potter obsessives I’ve taken all the sorting hat quizzes it the results always baffle me. I constantly flip flop between Ravenclaw and Gryffindor, on a day when I answered the opposite of what I felt I even managed Slytherin.

I understand that most people want to be Gryffindors, most geeks want to be Ravenclaws and most bullies want to be Slytherins but what about Hufflepuffs? Why are so many people against Hufflepuff House? Especially those obsessed with sparkling Cedric Diggory, does no one remember that dear old Diggory was a Hufflepuff?

The more I watch or read Harry Potter the more I realise I would want to be in Hufflepuff. Not because of all of the typical ideals held up by all houses but by the pressures in each of the members of those houses.

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Imagine the pressures on a Gryffindor, you are constantly expected to be brave and chivalrous. You have to live up your housemistress, Professor McGonagall, and you have Harry fricken Potter to constantly overshadow everything good you might do!

What about those in Slytherin? The pure evil in your house is immense, you would have to be constantly cunning in order to attempt to impress your housemaster, Professor Snape, and then you would have Draco Malfoy constantly sneering at your pathetic attempts to do outdo his levels of meanness. Although not all of them are evil, Horace Slughorn was a rare nice one.

Ah Ravenclaw, you are my second favourite house but the pressures your students must feel seem immense! On one hand you have the beautiful Cho Chang as your housemate and Luna Lovegood could be your best friend. On the other hand even a mean Slytherin, prefect Gemma Farley, commented that Ravenclaws are so competitive when it come to academia that they will even backstab each other in order to get top marks. That is pressure that I would never be able to handle.

Hufflepuff on the other hand is underrated, it is always thought to have had the least powerful witches and wizards because of the house founder’s policy of accepting anyone. In reality, Hufflepuff has produced the smallest number of dark wizards and witches than any other house and, second to Gryffindor, the largest number of students staying to help defend Hogwarts against Voldemort. Hufflepuff doesn’t lack in cool students, Tonks was a Hufflepuff, that’s right, Tonks, the incredibly cool witch of awesomeness that was Tonks. There is a lack of pressure to be great on Hufflepuffs, but sometimes the lack of pressure produces greatness.

I wish I was a Hufflepuff.

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