Dating and the Fat Man

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The other day I was surfing around a site sent to me by my fellow blogger Ivan (ivansblogworld.wordpress.com), and the below article title caught my eye.

7 Struggles of Dating When You’re a Fat Gay Man – Gay Pop Buzz

YES!!  I’m not the only one who finds it a struggle!  Maybe this would be the article that would truly get me.

Quick recap – I’m a 43 year old fat gay man who’s never been in an actual relationship.  I’ve only ever dated guys casually for a bit before they would claim I was getting ‘too attached’ and only wanted something casual.. which usually ended with them having a new boyfriend within about 6 months.

So.. I opened this article hoping to gain some mutual insight into what I’ve gone through in my dating life.  That it was going to be validation for all the years I’ve felt marginalised for whatever reason.  And as I read the first couple of lines I thought I’d found a kindred spirit as there were a lot of similarities.

fat-manBoy… could I have been even more WRONG!!!

The more I read, the more I realised this wasn’t me or my experiences.  Instead, this was someone who’s allowed himself to become so dismissive of himself, his weight, and the gay community that he’s allowed his negativity to feed into his own fat-shaming.

It was to the point where he was obsessive about it.  And he was absolutely adamant that this was the truth for all chubby gay men out there.

Well, No.  His experiences sure as hell haven’t been mine.

So based on his article, I’d like to give my experiences over the years and how I’m feeling.  These aren’t facts or anything other than my observations, and I would never allude that anyone else should feel exactly the same.

Smaller Target Audience

I learned after a few years (and a bit of heartbreak) that there really is a smaller target for bigger guys like me, regardless of what type of guys I found physically attractive… and it sure as hell wasn’t other bigger guys like me (lesbian bears, as I like to call them haha).

At first I thought, because of my own fat-shaming, that I’d have to settle for whomever was willing to have sex with me.  That I was truly ugly and unattractive, so I’d have no real choice in the matter.  But then I found the bear community and the chasers… and I was meeting some pretty gorgeous guys.  And who’d complain about that?  😉

Loneliness is best served cold.. with gravy

Like probably a lot of people out there who have weight issues, I tended to turn to food as compensation when I was feeling down or bad about something.  It was an instant gratification while trying to justify my bad food choices.

Who munches on celery sticks when they’re feeling down?  LOL

Fat_ManBut this is something I’ve recently started working on, mostly because I was starting to feel like my weight had gotten out of control (partly due to quitting smoking I think).  I’m taking it day by day to ensure I’m making good food choices and pairing it was regular exercise (walking part way to/from work).

It’s only been about 2 weeks, but I’m feeling good about it and need to keep it going.

I’m one hell of a hermit

I don’t think I’ve used my weight as an excuse not to go out and be social.  Instead I’ve allowed my laziness to justify why I’ll spend a weekend at home having a Netflix marathon alone.

I think my hermit-ism is more due to my own feelings of being left out by people, and not taking the issue in hand to do something about it (see previous post).  I know there are places I can go and potentially run into someone I know (KA in Soho for instance), but I’ll let my laziness to justify why it’s a waste of time spending an hour travelling into town on the ‘chance’ of meeting someone I knew.  Or someone new.

And that’s not good.

I do alright, sexually.. sometimes

I know I sometimes moan about how I’m not getting laid as much as I’d like to, or even as much as I used to a few years ago.  But at no point have I ever said it’s because I’m fat.  Sure that may limit my possibilities, but it shouldn’t ever stop me.

And no, unlike the original article’s author, I have never paid for sex.  Fuck no.

Instead I know my lack-luster love life is down to my own laziness and not putting myself out there as much as I used to.  If I’m sitting at home all the time, how am I going to meet someone one new and exciting?  Sure, there are the dating apps, but mostly I’m only going to get the same group of guys within my immediate area.

naked-men-in-bedA compliment is a compliment

I’ve never been that great at accepting compliments from guys, mostly due to my own low self-esteem.  Usually I’d just assume they were saying these things just so they could have sex with me (and some of them might have been..).

But I think I’ve done well to get past that somewhat and accept a compliment for what it is.  And if the other person isn’t being sincere, then that’s on them.  I’m not going to spend my precious time over-thinking everything a guy says to me just to figure out if it’s real or not.

We’re homophobic towards each other

I’ve been living out and proud for over 20 years now, and it still never astounds me how much as a community we put ourselves down by ostracising our own sub-sects or stereotypes.

no fatWho hasn’t been to a Gay Pride and watched as all the muscular pretty boys in their little hot-pants get all the cheers and catcalls, while anyone who doesn’t fit that ‘society-approved norm’ basically gets ignored.

However I won’t allow that to affect how I feel about myself.  I go to Pride most years and have a laugh, usually ending up at the bear bar drinking in the streets with everyone else.  And I just get on with my life without allowing other people’s perceptions of who they think I am stop me from having fun.

Never assume to know someone

True, I look like the stereotypical little bear, but that doesn’t mean you know who I am based on someone you’ve known in the past who has a similar look.  Or that because I’m above a certain age with a bit of grey in my beard that I must be a ‘daddy’.  Or that because I’ve attended several naturist parties that I’d be interested in going to an orgy.

It’s all bullshit.  Not one aspect of my life wholly defines me as a person.

BUT…. if I’m being truly honest, I’ve been just as guilty of it as anyone else.  I would see some pretty, young ‘twink’ and immediately think they must be a self-absorbed, fashion-obsessed, obnoxious airhead.  Or that some beefy, muscled out gym-bunny must be dumb as a bag of hammers.  And so forth.

Sadly, this is something we all have to struggle with on a daily basis.  We’ve grown up buying into the stereotypes just as much as we’ve been fighting to get past them, and sometimes still treat people of similar backgrounds as gay clones.


So… what now?

Well, not much really.

It’s not like I wrote this to work through some issue or to justify my actions.  It was more of an exercise to prove that not everyone’s experiences are the same, no matter how many factors you may have in common.

CarrotHowever I do think it’s helped show me that, although my dating life is pretty stagnant at the moment, it truly hasn’t been all that horrible.  That despite never having that relationship I’ve always wanted, I still have met some amazing guys – and yes, some assholes too – that have made the journey so far worth it.

Yeah, shocking as it is, I’m actually feeling somewhat positive about my dating past and the potential for the future.  And that it’s just a matter of getting my lazy ass out there again. LOL

Source: 7 Struggles of Dating When You’re a Fat Gay Man – Gay Pop Buzz

Happy (Belated) Pride

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Happy belated Pride to everyone, both near and far.

I know this is late for most people, as like in London, Pride celebrations would have taken place last weekend or possibly this weekend depending on where in the world you’re living.

For myself, Pride can sometimes be a bitter-sweet time as it usually falls around or on my birthday, but luckily this time London Pride fell on the weekend before my ‘big’ day.

I had a lovely day celebrating Pride with some friends, watching the parade (from what I could see past the taller people standing in front of me lol) and then drinking the afternoon/evening away at the usual bear bar in Soho.

But this year Pride has a special meaning for me…

That’s right… my own little blog-space has once again been listed as one of the Top 10 UK LGBT Blogs!!!

This listing comes via a marketing and communications provider called Vuelio.  Along with their corporate work, they also maintain Top 10 Blog Lists that change weekly.

Vuelio is Europe’s leading provider of software for communications, public affairs and stakeholder engagement.  Vuelio offers an unrivalled portfolio of products and services to serve the modern public relations and public affairs professional throughout the UK and Europe.

Here’s the full list:

  1. Fagburn
  2. Pink Wedding Days
  3. The Guyliner (I actually follow this blog!!)
  4. Sarah + Laura
  5. Pink Therapy Blog
  6. Indefinite Adventure
  7. Ramblings of a Supposed Disease Free Mind (that’s’ ME!!)
  8. Yet Another T-Girl Blog
  9. Trade Blog
  10. THE LONDON UNICORN

 

As amazing as this is (and it’s pretty freakin’ amazing hahaha), this isn’t the first time this has happened…

Two years ago I was placed on this same list, when the blog listings were done via a company called Cision (see previous post HERE) and I was understandably gob-smacked this had happened.

love is loveHell, I am again this year.  LOL

To be honest, I hadn’t noticed the email notification or the Tweet (since I don’t go on Twitter that often).  It had only come to my attention when someone had retweeted the posting and it popped up on my mobile notifications.

Admittedly, this all happened a couple weeks ago, just before Pride.  I’d meant to post about it but between Pride itself and then my holiday in Rome, it kinda fell to the wayside.  Oops.

It’s always amazing to get recognition from other bloggers, but to also get it from an outside source that I’d never submitted my blog to is very humbling.  Especially when you take into consideration my sporadic postings over the past year. 😉

But whomever compiled the list clearly enjoyed what they had read, and for that I am extremely thankful.

And I’m thankful to all of you who regularly come by to have a read, leave a comment, share a post, or even just give a like to whatever you’ve been reading.  It’s thanks to all of you that I’m still here and keep coming back regardless of whatever has been happening in my life.

So.. here’s to another year of my little humble blog (which will be turning 8 years old in the Autumn!!), and to all of you for sticking by me through it all.

Love,

Martin x

Why Pride Ruins My Birthday

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Unlike most people (I’m guessing), I don’t generally get that excited when it comes to my birthday.  At least not anymore after many years (a lifetime?) of disappointment when I’ve tried to do something special to celebrate.

39th-birthday-cheaters-250And of course as we move through Gay Pride month (June, for those who are unaware) and get closer to my birthday, the feeling of ambivalence and that there’s no point in planning anything gets stronger and stronger.

You see, this year my birthday is the day after London Pride.. and generally falls on or around the same weekend most years.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy going to Pride, but when it overshadows my own birthday, it kind of makes me feel a bit resentful.  Regardless of how proud of my community I am.

A friend of mine said I should use Pride itself as my own birthday party, that I should just enjoy the day as if the parties and such were in celebration of my special day.  Except that doesn’t work because I’ve tried it many times before when Pride and my birthday have coincided.  Firstly because everyone wants to be out partying with their friends and enjoying the crowds, it’s pretty much impossible to organise anything for people to get together.

Secondly, if I were to try and get some people together on the Sunday (my actual birthday), I already know most people would be complaining about how broke they were from Pride, or how hung over they were.. or both.  Or already had other plans (had to remind a friend what day Sunday was after he said he was planning a quiet day with his boyfriend.. after he’d asked me several weeks ago what I was planning for the day).

sad birthdayBut I also wonder if maybe this is just me being pessimist about my ‘friends’ ability to do something together for me.  Mostly after the last time I tried to organise something, just some cheap drinks at a pub in Vauxhall on a Monday.. and the only two people out of those invited who agreed to show up were my flatmate and his best mate.  So I cancelled the event in a huff, and fucked off to the South Bank with a couple I used to hang out with from time to time.

Since then, with the exception of last year, I’ve usually spent the weekend with my best mate from Scotland whose birthday is 2 days before mine, usually with us spending the weekend down in Brighton (we went again this year, but the weekend before due to it being the Brighton Bear Weekender.. sun, fun, booze, and bears LOL).

Last year, as I wrote in my post ‘I’m 40?!? WTF!!!‘, I ended up sort-of celebrating my birthday (which did fall on Pride day itself) out in Essex, helping pour drinks for my mate’s neighbour’s birthday party.  Despite it being a big milestone birthday for me, I kept somewhat in the background as the woman celebrated her 60th, and barely did anything special for myself.

Screw the t-shirt.. can I have the man inside for my birthday??

Screw the t-shirt.. can I have the man inside for my birthday??

To be honest, I’ve never really had much luck when it comes to celebrating my birthday, as something else usually takes precedence, like Pride.  Even if it makes me feel like I’m allowing Pride to take precedence over my own personal celebrations.

But it goes back further than that.  Throughout the years I’ve never had much luck organising anything for my birthday, with most people coming up with excuses why they couldn’t come celebrate – I almost snapped years ago when a co-worker actually had the cheek to say I should push back my birthday for a week or so after the next payday.

Umm.. no.

It was bad enough as a kid when my parents used to occasionally hold off celebrating my birthday until the middle of July when it was my younger sister’s birthday, and they’d get us a cake together.. which was usually a girl’s cake.  😦  It just left me with a feeling that my birthday wasn’t as important to them for some reason (I’m sure there was more behind it, like finances or something).

So anyway, now I try not to make a big deal about my birthday because I don’t want to feel disappointed that it wasn’t as fun or exciting as I’d like it to be.  And the last thing I want is to feel the sting when someone I’d love to spend time with on my day gives a lame excuse why they can’t.

The plan for the moment is to meet my old flatmate and possibly another mate or two to watch the parade, then into Soho for a couple drinks.. after that, nothing planned.  Might go to the big picnic in the park in Vauxhall on the Sunday, but we’ll see.

*Sigh* I’ll let you know how the weekend turns out…

Happy Pride Weekend everyone!

stock-footage-animated-pride-flag-seamless-loop

LGBT Blogs UK Top 10 | Cision

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pride-flag-flying-emotionWell I came home from holidays to a very nice surprise, one that I definitely wasn’t expecting – I’ve been listed in the LGBT Blogs UK Top 10 list on a website called Cision just in time for Pride this weekend in London.

Now personally, I’ve never heard of this website/company, but from what I’ve been reading it’s a media/PR company that helps other companies/freelancers/media outlets improve their online branding and market reach.  They basically offer global communications software and services.

Well, regardless of who they are and why they’ve chosen my wee little blog, I’m very grateful to be considered and included in their list.  Some of the blogs listed I’ve heard of before or actually follow myself already.

Here’s Cision’s full list:Pride-London

  1. Pink Wedding Days
  2. Fagburn
  3. Disco Damaged
  4. That Gay Backpacker
  5. The Gay Agenda
  6. Gay Banker
  7. Nottelevision
  8. Ramblings of a Supposed Disease Free Mind
  9. homotopia
  10. Gay Sikh

Please feel free to check out the above blogs (I know I will be).

Also, I want to give all of you who continue to visit my blog, comment, like, share, and so forth a great big THANK YOU.  If it wasn’t for all of you, I would have given up on this blog a long time ago and wouldn’t have kept writing.

Anyway.. click below for the full listing and Cision’s other Top 10 lists.  And stay tuned for a recount of my recent trip to the coast for the Brighton Bear Weekender.. and a post about how Pride always clashes with my birthday. 😉

LGBT Blogs UK Top 10 | Cision.

When Did You Choose?

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There’s always been a lot of debate whether LGBT people choose their sexuality or if it is just a natural part of themselves.

I know for me personally I’ve always felt it’s part of who I am, who I was born to be.  It’s genetics.  And most definitely wasn’t a choice.

The below video turns the table on those who consider being gay a choice, and asks them when they chose their own sexuality.

Cyndi Lauper – She’s So Unusual: 30th Anniversary

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Can you believe it’s been 30 years since Cyndi Lauper released her debut album ‘She’s So Unusual‘?  Where has the time gone?

At 60, Lauper is rocking fiery red locks, a throwback to her 1983 debut album “She’s So Unusual.” The album broke records with four Top 5 singles, including the angst laden “Time After Time” and the iconically irreverent “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” Hailed at the Grammys as that year’s best new artist, Lauper went on to release nine more albums within three decades. Her music’s pop-punk hybrid sound later influenced No Doubt, P!nk and Lady GaGa. Lauper has since founded the True Colors Fund for queer homeless youth, penned her memoir and composed the Tony award winning musical “Kinky Boots.”  (Source: Washington Post)

Upon reading a couple articles regarding the anniversary, I was surprised to hear that her female-empowerment pop anthem ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun‘ was originally written by a man about bedding women!  That definitely would have had a different feel to it if Ms Lauper hadn’t reworked the track to fit her views on women and sexuality, promoting not just equality for all but also equality amongst women themselves.

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“Girls” was engineered to be an anthem of women’s sexual freedom at a time when feminism was becoming a big part of cultural consciousness—and it helped set a template for how future stars would sing about social issues. (Source: The Atlantic)

Some people may look at Ms Lauper’s music and only enjoy it at face value, which is great in itself.  Others will look at her music as anthems for periods in their lives, and that’s even better.  Either way, you really can’t deny the impact she’s had on pop music over the decades and how future artists get their messages across.

But it’s more than that with Ms Lauper.  Anyone who’s ever seen her live will attest that she’s got this amazing energy about her, and that she truly enjoys interacting with her audiences.

Cher_CyndiLauperI remember close to 10 years ago seeing her open for Cher on her (first) farewell tour back in Montreal.  The friends I’d gone with were super excited to watch Cher live (ish), and although I wanted to see her too, I was more excited to see Cyndi Lauper.

Growing up in the 80’s, I’d always loved her music, and continued to follow her career even after she seemingly slipped from the mainstream’s eye.

One of my favourite songs of hers (barring ‘Time After Time’ or ‘True Colors’, of course) was the title song from her delayed 2004 album, ‘Shine‘.  It’s an amazing song with a great dance beat (in the remixes anyway), and a terrific message that ‘I’ll stand by you’ and ‘don’t be afraid, it will all be ok’.  The song and Ms Lauper even featured in an episode of ‘Queer as Folk (US)’.

Click HERE to watch the QAF clip on YouTube

I couldn’t help but get super giddy when she opened that show back in Montreal with that song.. and proceeded to walk through the audience up into the nosebleed seats as she sang it.  Later on in her set, she came down to stand on the front row as she sang another song (can’t remember which one) – which was amazing since we were sitting in the 8th row and had a clear view of her.

But of course, the entire audience went wild when she sang ‘True Colors’ wrapped in a Pride flag, a song she dedicates in her shows to the gay community and to PFLAG, of which she’s a member (her sister is a lesbian I believe).

What can I say.. she knows her audience.  🙂

And of course Ms Lauper doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.  She’s current on tour with Cher (again.. how many times can this woman retire?), and had a ‘She’s So Unusual’ anniversary tour last summer.

I know I’ll be keeping an eye out in case she comes to London for a show or two, because I’d love to see her again live.

For more Cyndi Lauper news, tour dates, television/film appearances and whatnot, check out her website cyndilauper.com.

Oh Canada!

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With the start of the Sochi Olympics yesterday, the Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion (CIDI) recently released a promotional video for the Canadian Luge team in support of Gay rights.

This fun little video has gone viral across YouTube, Facebook and so forth.  And it goes to show not only how supportive Canada is of both their athletes and gay rights, but also that they have a sense of humour too.

On July 20, 2005, Canada became the fourth country in the world, and the first country outside Europe, to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide with the enactment of the Civil Marriage Act which provided a gender-neutral marriage definition. (Source: Wikipedia)

Canadian Luge

This little video also makes me proud to be (partly) Canadian.  Sure I may not live there any more, but whenever I see something like this it makes my heart swell with pride of my heritage.

Oh and I saw this morning that Canada has it’s first medal at the Sochi Olympics – a Bronze in Snowboarding.  I’m personally not going to be watching the Games, but I always like to see how Canada (and the UK) are doing in the medal count.

Imagine a World Where Being ‘Gay’ Was the Norm

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I recently saw the below video over on fellow blogging site Queer Landia, and it’s extremely powerful.. and very thought provoking.

This short film flips the world’s sexuality and shows things from a young closeted heterosexual girl as she deals with the pressures of being straight, hiding who she is, and the ensuing bullying she receives from her classmates.

Most definitely NOT a comedic clip..love-all-you-need

It’s also somewhat disturbing, at least to me that is.  If we did live in a world where the sexualities were reversed, and being gay or lesbian was the norm, would we truly really act like that?  Would we act as hateful and treat heterosexuals as bad as they have us over the years?

Sadly I think the answer might actually be yes..

Initially when watching this video I kept looking at it from the point of view of how we live now, of how inclusive the LGBT community generally is of others and we tend to embrace all other outcasts from society.  And that perhaps if the whole world was gay that it would just be a big fabulous party full of love.

But then I started looking at it as if the whole gay rights movement didn’t need to exist, but instead was a way of life.  And sadly, as human beings, we tend to shun anything we don’t understand and doesn’t fit into the ‘norm’.  As much as some might want to hold their head up and think they’re above the attitudes or actions depicted in this video, deep down we’re all fundamentally the same and get scared of the unknown.

However that’s not the only point of this video.

Bully1alamy_2225842bI personally would love this video to be shown to school children around the world so they can truly feel and understand how bullying can affect one person, regardless of the reason for the bullying.  This could potentially be a great PSA against bullying, however I highly doubt it’ll ever get a single showing in a classroom, even if it could potentially prevent a future bullying.

And at the same I would love to have their parents watch this video as well, because then maybe they’ll start seeing how their words can hurt their children without realising it.  Just watching the scene where the mothers were talking about the ‘disgusting’ new couple that moved in down the street and the ensuing hetero-phobic comments made while watching the young girl’s facial expressions was absolutely heartbreaking..

This was an amazing short film.. And needs to be shared around the internet so we can continue to get this message that bullying, whether intentional (being beat up by classmates) or unintentional (overhearing your parent’s conversation), cannot be tolerated and needs to be stopped.  Regardless of your sexuality.

Please share.