Flashing Lights, Thumping Music, Pounding Hearts and A Whole Lotta Drugs

Written by Jessica-Lee

It’s a scene I’m sure you’re all too familiar with. Pulsating lights moving to the beat of the music. Blinding strobe lights jumping all over the room. Smoke filling the air. And that smell. Oh that glorious smell. For me, it is the smell of smoke machines, Red Bull and Gucci by Gucci.

Yes I am talking about the good old playground that is your favourite nightclub. Bringing back any memories?

I have been going out to clubs ever since I was eighteen. Yes, I was a good girl who never dared to go out prior to being legal! And, in my seven years of going out, I have used drugs on occasion (gosh I hope my Nanna doesn’t read this!), been witness to people using drugs and have seen first-hand some of the consequences of using drugs.

Whilst drugs are big in all walks of life, I have always believed that they are even more popular within the gay community. According to a certain study, gay people are apparently three times more likely to use illegal drugs than straight people. Now, I don’t know or trust the accuracy of this statistic but in my experience, I believe it to warrant some level of truth. Whether we are talking recreational use or addiction, they are everywhere and I would like to bet that at least 90% of the people I know have tried some form of illegal drug.

Most of the people I know who dabble in drugs only do so recreationally. I have always been terrified of drug addiction. Not personally but for my loved ones. I often see people on the streets – homeless people, junkies, street kids, etc – and instantly feel nauseous and a deep sense of unsettledness. What would I do if this was one of my best friends… I ask myself so many questions but my main one is always ‘how does life get so bad?’

Yes, drugs are fun but they are often used as a way to escape pain and mask insecurities. However they generally only ever push your problems to the side temporarily and I can almost guarantee that they will only worsen.

I know a lot of people that feel as though they can’t go out and have fun without the help of illegal substances. It’s an addictive cycle that is extremely hard to get out of. It can be agony for some people to have the experience of using drugs and then stop next time they go out. The feelings achieved are unrivalled and sometimes you never see the world in the same way again.

I have been feeling a bit helpless lately. I have a very good friend – let’s call him Pearl – who has been hitting some substances a bit too hard. In my opinion. I am unsure whether he thinks it is a problem or not.

I fear this person is on a self-destructive path and I want to help them so much but it’s so hard to get in to some peoples heart without them shutting you off. Do I risk our friendship for the sake of trying to get him help?

Also, I am strongly of the belief that you can only help someone if they are willing to help themself. As a smoker, I know this first hand. No matter how many times someone tells you to give up or that it’s bad for you or that their family member has passed away from lung cancer… You have to want to do it yourself.

I have no issue with the use of drugs. What I do have an issue with is when it starts to ruin ones life.

Support Gay Marriage; I Do

Written by Jessica-Lee

In 1962 America, a couple named Richard and Mildred decided to get married. No big deal, I hear you say. But back then it was an enormous deal – an illegal one, in fact – because Richard was white and Mildred was black.

This simple fact made their marriage illegal in sixteen states across America – including Virginia where the couple resided.

One night, police broke into their house and arrested them. Much to the disappointment of authorities, Richard and Mildred weren’t having sex at the time so they couldn’t be charged with the crime of ‘interracial intercourse’. However, they were still jailed and charged for being married with the judge ruling that their marriage was now void, stating that ‘Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red and He placed them on separate continents. The fact that He separated the races shows that He did not intend for the races to mix.’

In 1967 two civil rights lawyers took Richard and Mildred’s case to the US Supreme Court where the Interracial Marriage Act was overturned. In their unanimous ruling, they noted that: ‘The freedom to marry has long been recognised as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.’

The idea of two people being banned from marriage because they have differing skin colour is a ridiculous one to consider in 2012.

So my question is, how the hell is it still acceptable for two people to be banned from marriage based on their sex and sexuality?

When we hear people speaking out against same sex marriage, it usually has something to do with God, religion or the bible. I find this to be most ironic considering marriage didn’t start out as a religious institution. For most of European history, it was simply a business arrangement. Love or God had nothing to do with it. The church remained anti-marriage for quite some time. And in this day and age, you may choose to get married in a place of worship but that’s certainly not what makes your vows legal. Explain to me all the people who get married at the beach, in their backyard, in gardens and who compose their own vows… Marriage is a civil union so why the hell are some taxpayers allowed to take part and others are not?

A lot of these same people say that it’s ‘detrimental’ to their own marriage. If two people are in love, and want to stand in front of their friends and family pledging their love for one another and their desire to spend the rest of their lives together, what does that have to do with your marriage? How can that possibly be to its detriment? Does Kim Kardashian’s definition of marriage affect your marriage? Certainly not.

Statistics show that every third marriage in Australia will end in divorce. Marriage certainly isn’t the sacred thing it once was to a lot of people. So while heterosexuals are walking away from their marriages in droves, there are gay people trying to go in the other direction. Except their path is barricaded by governments and religious leaders because…well, ‘just because’. Nobody seems to be able to come up with a very good reason beyond ‘just because’.

Marriage equality is something I feel extremely passionate about and I am eager for the day that same sex marriage is legal. I have two main reasons for this – apart from what I have discussed above – and for the simple fact that I believe it is a basic human right.

 

One of my reasons is that when I have kids, I want them to be able to have the choice to get married regardless of their sexuality. I want them to grow up in a world where we are all treated as equals. No matter whether you are gay, straight, transgender, bisexual, black, white, short, tall, skinny, fat, Christian, Muslim, atheist or if you have three legs or two. I want my children to have every opportunity in this world.

My other reason – and one that I have held close to my heart for a very long time – is for my Uncles to have the opportunity to get married. They are a gay couple who are still very much in love and they have one of the best relationships I have ever been witness to. For someone to tell me that they do not deserve to get married absolutely kills me. I could sit here for hours and discuss all the valid and varying reasons why they should have the choice to get married (and there are plenty!) but take this one for instance… They have been together since just before I was born. I was born in 1987 which means I am turning 25 this year…

So why, oh god help me why, are idiots (I’m talking about the Britney Spears’ and the Jennifer Lopez’s here) with no concept of true love and commitment allowed to get married at the drop of a hat but my beautiful, gorgeous and devoted Uncles are not?

And what about my many friends who are also not allowed to get married? The majority of them aren’t even in a relationship at present let alone thinking about getting married but I want them to be able to have the choice.

‘Tradition isn’t an argument for anything. It’s an argument against change.’

Come on, Australia!

 

 

Ten Things I Love About Mitchell

Written by Jessica-Lee

In the spirit of love and friendship, I now present to you some of my favourite things about Mitchell, my Diamond.

1. His warm fuzzy heart. Mitchell and I are basically the same person. We have the same thoughts on most things and are both sensitive old souls.

2. His face. Mitchell has a very cute little face that he emphasises when he wants something because he knows that I can’t say no to him. My favourite is when I am making purchases at the petrol station, supermarket or such and he spots a lolly of some kind that he wants or is thirsty and wants me to buy him a drink. I imagine I endure the same kind of pressure as a mother with their young child. Except I have no willpower and he always gets what he wants.

3. His dedication and drive. Mitchell is one of the most motivated people I know. I mainly respect his willpower with exercise, healthy eating and budgeting because they are the areas I seem to struggle with myself.

4. All of the silly little things we share. Nonnie, links, ‘Jessica, you are not my wife!’ (we couldn’t get more ‘Will & Grace’ if we tried), canoodling, our dinners, chats, our intense love and care for each other and just how easy our relationship is.

5. His humour. Mitchell and I share the same humour and find the oddest of things hilarious. A lot of the time, our jokes are either at the expense of ourselves or other people but they are only ever made with the purest of intentions.

6. His messages, emails, phone calls, hey tells etc. Every day without fail I wake up to a good morning message from Mitchell and our communication basically doesn’t stop all day. I tell him everything.

7. I love that we have known each other just short of two years yet it feels like an eternity – in a good way. I am sure we knew each other in a past life. Mitchell is my twin soul or, as I ever so infamously told him one night, my link.

8. His love of certain celebrities. Mitchell is what I would call Jessica Mauboy’s number one fan. He has been known to check her positioning on the ARIA and iTunes charts daily, have a shrine in his room dedicated to her and whilst I complain about his competitiveness and obsessiveness over her, I secretly like her and have all her hits on my iPod.

9. He is the one person who I know I can rely on. For anything.

10. Mitchell is one of the best smelling people I know. I have a very strong love of scents and perfume so it’s something I hold dear. I have a select bunch of people who have distinct smells from the colognes they wear and Mitchell is no exception. Although he has a couple of aftershaves on rotation, there is one in particular that makes me feel at home.

And here, my most favourite photo of him looking his cheesiest. This is the face that makes me give in as mentioned above.

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I love you, friend.

Written by Jessica-Lee

When I was eighteen, I met a very special boy and, for the purpose of this story, we’re going to call him Topaz. We were introduced by mutual friends and clicked instantly. I had never met someone who had made me laugh so much and we were inseparable for a very long time.

Topaz and I have been friends for nearly seven years. I have literally grown up with him. He knows more about me and my past than probably anyone else. He has seen me at my best and my absolute worst. He has been there and helped me, leant me money and bought me drinks and dinners when I had no money and vice versa (it’s fair to say I supported his weekly alcohol and cigarette habit at one point when he was earning a pittance working at Red Rooster), he gave the speech at my 21st and so on. He has always been a huge part of my life.

Looking back now, I cherish the times we’ve had together and I will always love him to bits but our friendship was based mainly on drugs, alcohol and clubbing. Yes, these things were the main part of my life at the time. I was a self-confessed party animal who lived for the weekend. I still do but I have calmed down drastically.

I am someone who believes that a friendship requires the same amount of work as a relationship – if not more. And I don’t know if we would even still be friends today if it wasn’t for me being such a sook or for the fact that I hate seeing friendships I’ve invested so much time, love and effort in, be flushed down the drain.

I think he only realised how much the friendship meant to him when he felt threatened that he was going to lose me. For years, it was all about the two of us – except for the times he would ditch me to hang out with different people. I had no issue with this but don’t avoid me for months on end and then come running back when everyone else hates you.

So when I started becoming friends with lots of other gay guys, I think he felt threatened and I’ve never heard so many verbal emotions spill from his mouth.

And therein lies my point. Why is it that sometimes we are only ever thankful for people when they drift away or we have already lost them?

I am quite an emotional person and I am a big softie for my friends. I believe it’s important to let people know how much they mean to us. Send them a message telling them you love them, offer little gestures to show how much you care, be there for them when they need someone to talk to or a shoulder to cry on, listen to them and offer advice if asked, let your friend who lives interstate or overseas know how much you love and miss them, be generous with your love and lay it all on the table.

Let your love come from a special and wholesome place – your heart. Not a place of negativity and insecurity.

Sex For Le Money

Written by Jessica-Lee

It isn’t unusual for me to wake up in the morning with a message from a confused or upset friend claiming they have either ‘done something really bad’ or they ‘really need to talk’.

I’ve heard it all. Everything from having orgies, sex with a seemingly ugly person, taking a cocktail of drugs, embarrassing stories regarding certain bodily secretions, being bashed up, hooking up with an ex, starting a scene-stealing argument at a club and so on.

My friend, Opal, was what you may say someone always looking for love but constantly found himself involved in casual sex and romantic trysts that generally never lasted very long.

However, I was not expecting what I was to wake up to this one particular morning. ‘I need to talk to you urgently. I have done something really bad!’ my phone screamed at me.

My brain still half-asleep, I replied immediately asking if, most importantly, he was okay and, secondly, what had happened.

‘I slept with someone for money.’

To be honest, I was more shocked that he was telling me. Opal was quite private when it came to his sex life and would generally only offer the odd tidbits.

Growing up, I’d never really thought much about being paid for sex. It was something I’d only ever seen in movies.

The first time I ever really gave it much thought was on my first visit to Sydney when I went to Kings Cross. For anyone familiar with Sydney will know, this is the local melting pot of sex and drugs. Well I’d never seen anything quite like it! There were beautiful young girls, drug addicts, young boys, old women… Standing outside shops, sitting on steps, bustling down the street.

I was nearly eighteen. Over the next few years back in Perth, I saw the odd few in and around Northbridge – our nightlife hub and where the majority of any dodgy dealings would occur.

I knew of a friends friend who was a prostitute on the side of her normal job. She was a relatively normal girl. She dabbled in drugs socially but I wouldn’t call her an addict. She lived in a nice inner-city apartment. She had a good job and lots of friends.

They were about the only encounters I’ve had with sex for money. And I’m sure it goes on a lot on the gay scene that I just don’t even hear about.

So I guess I was shocked in that sense when my Opal told me. I think he was expecting me to be angry or disappointed with him. I was neither. In fact, I kind of understood.

He had recently quit his job as he was on the move and was not all that financially prepared to do so. He was emotional because he was in his final few days before leaving and had said a teary goodbye to his parents and close friends. I don’t know if these were the reasons but he was very down on himself about it.

It definitely got me thinking about my stance on having sex for cash. I think that there is probably a line to be crossed. I definitely don’t think it’s healthy when people are doing it to pay for their next line of coke or they have infectious sexually transmitted diseases or if there are children involved.

What do YOU think?

The Power of Social Media

Written by Jessica-Lee

There is no denying that social media has become a big part of life as it stands today. Sites such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace enable people to keep in contact no matter where they are in the world.

And in communities such as the gay one – especially in smaller cities such as Perth – they allow people to become almost like mini celebrities, if you like. I couldn’t even begin to count the amount of people I’ve come across on these sites and felt as though I knew them and their life story… before even meeting them!

A lot of them, I still haven’t met or I see out but have never spoken to. A little over a year ago, upon meeting a good friends new boyfriend, I promptly asked him his surname. When he replied, I said I’d never heard of him (as you do) to which he advised me that he doesn’t use social media sites. And therein lies their power!

Facebook and its sibling sites provide people with access to all sorts of information about you and, of course, it’s up to you how much of yourself you’d like to share with world.

Have an opinion about something? Write a status on Facebook. Starting your own business, venture or performing drag? Make a Facebook page for it and share it with all your friends. Had a wild night out on the town? Post photos of it. Into performing, singing, dancing, playing an instrument? Post a video of you doing said routine. These sites are like one huge publicity machine for you. The power they yield is amazing.

And that power on the Perth scene is huge!

For the purpose of this post I have counted how many gay friends I have on Facebook. DRUM ROLL PLEASE! The grand total came in at 123. And that’s not including the 13 drag queens, 16 lesbians and 15 fellow self-confessed fag hags. I have three-hundred-and-twenty-something Facebook friends in total.

My first thought was something along the lines of ‘how the hell do I have so many?!’ But I know damn well how I have so many. Strangely enough spending six years surrounded by gays will do that to you. As will traipsing around gay clubs every weekend!

I can see what these people are up to day in and day out. After perhaps even one chance meeting, I can follow their every move and they too mine.

I often wonder what life would be like without these websites. On my half an hour bus trip to work, I flick between text messaging, emails, Facebook, WordPress, Instagram and sometimes Twitter to see what my favourite celebrities and personalities are up to.

What would I do in that time if I didn’t have these things to distract me?!

The Awkward Moment One Of Your Gay Friends Wants To Have Sex With You

Written by Jessica-Lee

‘I think you are beautiful and I really want to kiss you.’

They are generally not the words you expect to come out of one of your gay friends mouth. And what was to follow was even more unexpected…

I’m not a prude and, of course, I’ve had drunken kisses with quite a few of my gay friends but this was different. In so many ways.

This guy actually meant it, was dead serious and wanted much more than just a kiss. A message sent a few months later confirmed that when he said he couldn’t stop thinking about me and had an erection because of it.

Now, excuse me for a moment while I explain something. Whilst I don’t lack self-confidence, I am the first to admit that I am not some stick-thin stunner. So having this gay guy declare his desire for me was a little overwhelming to say the least.

I was flattered, yes. Of course I was. He was a good looking guy! And there seemed to be no stopping him. On the very first night he bought it up, I declined. He then pleaded even more before saying he wanted to take me home with him. Needless to say, I made a beeline and went to my own home.

In the months to come, I received messages and emails from this guy basically declaring his lust for me. He asked me on dates, told me that making me laugh wasn’t the only thing he could do first thing in the morning and wanted to know EVERY little detail about my life.

I had refused, declined and tried to ignore his offers for a number of months. I finally gave up and kind of opened myself up to the idea. I mean, what was the harm in just seeing what happened?

All I can say is that was a big mistake on my part!

However this taught me that sometimes friendships can be formed with the worst intentions and for all the wrong reasons. And if something doesn’t feel right, it generally isn’t.

For the record, we never ended up having sex. A drunken pash may have occurred however!