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.

“We are lezzzbians”

Written by Mitchell

I never really got lesbians. To be honest, I was always quite afraid of them. I figured that if gay guys could relate to girls more than guys, then lesbians could relate to straight guys more than girls. So if lesbians were more like straight guys than anything else, then I probably wasn’t going to have much in common with them.

Then there is the fact that a lot of lesbians I saw at gay clubs and out and about always dressed ….. scary. A lot of them had short hair, wore a lot of leather and camouflage pants and they just didn’t look like very inviting people.

My ignorance was almost as bad as homophobic heterosexual ignorance towards gay people in general. But then I met two lesbian girls in a committed relationship, Violet and Tulip. I met Violet and Tulip, through my brother, Wattle. Wattle used to work with Violet, and had no idea that Violet was a lesbian until she told him over email.

Violet and Tulip, on first impressions, did not appear to be what my perception of “lesbian” was at all. But I guess that all comes down to the fact that, just like gay guys, there are lots of different types of lesbians and not everyone fits the same stereotype.

Violet and Tulip are both very attractive young women. Violet is impeccably fit and has natural beauty without needing to really even wear make-up. Tulip has more feminine curves and a beautiful warm smile. These two together are a powerhouse. Some may say that their relationship is too intensive and that they don’t spend enough time apart, but whatever they are doing seems to be working, as they have one of the strongest relationships out of anybody I have met.

One thing I envy about Violet and Tulip’s relationship, is that they are able to be very open and public about their feelings without threat of physical or verbal backlash from the public.

One such example happened a month or two ago, when I was with them on the train, travelling back to our homes after a big night out. Violet and Tulip sat together, holding hands. It wasn’t long before a straight guy, obviously drunk, got on the train and struck up a conversation with them.

I’m not sure if he was trying to flirt or just being friendly, but he asked them where they were from.

Tulip proceeded to exclaim to the young man, “Violet and I live together, in our apartment. We are lesbians.” Violet then added, “yes, so stop hassling my girlfriend.”

Now, granted Violet and Tulip did get unwanted attention from a male stranger on the train. But it was the kind of attention that was more light-hearted curiosity and infatuation.

I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if it would have been two gay guys in a committed relationship on the train? Two guys holding hands on the train may very well have attracted attention from a drunken straight man. But I highly doubt the mood would have been quite so friendly. Most gay guys who exercise caution and want to be safe in public situations like this one, would not hold hands in the first place. I have been on a train with a boyfriend of mine plenty of times in the past. We don’t hold hands, we don’t even really say much. We just wait until we reach our stop so that we can get home safe. And even with the lack of physical intimacy, sometimes the odd member of the public with a bad attitude will pick up on the fact that we’re gay.

I have had smirks and girls pointing and laughing. I have had mixed groups of teenage men and woman walk past me, and a guy in the group coughing “faggot” as he walks past, which is followed by giggles and laughter even from the girls.  Fortunately, I have never had any physical threats against me, and I attribute this to the fact that I am so careful not to act flamboyant or draw attention to myself in any way when I feel I am in a place that could be considered dangerous; areas such as backstreets on the way to a car park or trains and buses full of drunk people on the way home from nightclubs.

Not to say that there aren’t a lot of straight people who are supportive and completely respectful, but as it always happens in life, it’s the small minority that tend to be the ones that go out of their way to give people a hard time. And unfortunately, a lot of people who aren’t bullies in this regard still stand or sit by and watch this kind of behaviour take place. I’ve always thought it to be so cowardly, especially when I’ll be walking down a street and somebody will yell out “fag” or “homo” as they drive past. So utterly gutless. But I’m grateful they don’t stop and get out of their cars.

Until you have ever experienced this personally, it’s hard to imagine the sense of being a second class citizen that you get, the sense of being completely ridiculed for the person that you are.

I am sure that being a lesbian comes with its own set of stuggles and obstacles. But to me, it seems to be a lot easier for lesbians to express their sexuality in public. You rarely, if ever, hear of lesbian bashings. Is it the fact that lesbians are still women, and it’s not okay to harass women in this way? Or is it the fact that lesbians are actually a lot more accepted in the wider community, at least more by straight men?

Until the time comes when I will feel completely comfortable walking down a street holding my male partner’s hands, I will envy Violet and Tulip as much as I adore them.

Hag Rivalry

Written by Mitchell

Friendship is a funny thing. To me, I believe you have to put as much effort into a friendship as you do with a relationship. It’s something that needs to be constantly worked at. But at the same time, it shouldn’t feel like work, and the rewards should be more than fulfilling.

Jealousy plays a part in relationships too, but in friendships it can be amplified. The friendship between a gay man and a woman is such a close bond and such a complimentary pairing. If another girl comes along that threatens the closeness or the “perceived closeness” of a friendship, then watch out, the knives come out!

Not to be one-sided, gay guys can be equally as hostile when their beloved hag (or fruit fly) develops a friendship with another gay guy. And as we know, girls and gay guys can both be bitchy as all hell when they want to be.

When you are younger, say in your late teens, I think you cling to the notion of having a “best friend,” someone that you actively promote to the world as being your absolute rock. It’s as if you want the whole world to know that you may be single, but you are definitely not alone because you have a special person who will always be there for you no matter what. Once you have found your best friend, there is a silent agreement between the two of you that, much like dating, you will be loyal and trustworthy and while you can have other friends, you can’t have other best friends.

As you grow older, however, you begin to realise that your life can be filled with the love and support of more than just one person. Sure, you can have some people that you are closer to than others. But personally, I have my little network of friends and the thing I love about them is that they are all completely different and bring completely different qualities to the friendship table.

I have two women in my life – and I love both of them unconditionally. I met one many years ago, and she was my first true faghag. Let’s call her Lily. Lily was literally one of the very first people I told that I was gay, and I know that no matter what happens and no matter how many petty squabbles, we will still always be there for each other. Speaking of petty squabbles, I met the second woman in my life, Hyacinth (who is my Fabulous Jessica-Lee), only a year and a half ago, during a time that I wasn’t speaking to Lily (due to a petty squabble). I wasn’t looking to replace Lily, but my bond with Hyacinth is truly special and I feel as if I have known her so much longer than I really have. My relationship with Hyacinth is what I would call needy HAHA. But good needy. We both have this abundance of love in our hearts and we have a very emotional relationship where we both share everything that just spills out of our hearts.

It wasn’t long because Lily re-entered my life, and all of a sudden she saw Hyacinth as a “replacement.” To some extent, it was true. Hyacinth had begun to fill the void that was missing during Lily’s absence. But Hyacinth was different. I missed Lily’s cheeky smile and personality just as much.

Although they both won’t admit it – there had always been a bit of a tension and rivalry between the pair. And I’m not going to name examples, but I often wanted to be all sleazy and be like “listen ladies, there is plenty of me to go around.” *wink*

Due to my amazing ability to manage and manuvoure around these kinds of situations, I have been able to get Lily and Hyacinth to attend a lot more events together. And you know what? When they both let their guards down they do actually get along! I am really glad they do. Because I love them both so much. And juggling friendships can be hard. When they are unified, I get to see them equally and there is so much stuff we can all do together.

As much as I hate to admit it, when either Lily or Hyacinth spend time with another gay guy, I feel like I flare up like a Siamese fighting fish. I get very defensive and wonder what they talk about, whether their bond is stronger than ours. I think to myself, is this new guy that she is hanging out with going to lead to me being pushed aside like an unwanted toy? I guess that’s the funny thing about human nature. Jealousy is a natural thing and as much as we don’t like to admit that we have jealous feelings, we have all experienced them at some point.

Discipline is the key though. I have learnt to control these silly feelings, because at the end of the day, I know that I am unique and let’s face it…can’t be replaced!

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?

“I know you but I’ve never met you” – the pros and cons of living in a small gay community

Written by Mitchell

Our home of Perth, Western Australia has been called most isolated capital city in the world, and while I don’t know if that is 100% geographically accurate, it sure as hell feels that way sometimes.

Being a relatively small city cut off from other cities by miles upon miles of water or desert does create a sense of “togetherness.” It’s sort of hard to explain, but I think a lot of Perthians tend to forget that the world is bigger than just Perth. So when you take a small city like Perth, and then you narrow it down to the LGBT community, you end up with this small concentration of people who all stick together and all know each other.

It really is rather bizarre. I would not say that I am some over-the-top, obsessive “scene queen” who goes out onto the gay nightlife scene every weekend and tries to mingle with the in-crowds. However, I would say that I would know of around 75% of the gay community. I might not know them personally. But I would know their full name, I might have them on my Facebook, I might have seen them walk by me a dozen times, I might know someone who is dating them or I might know a friend of theirs. Or I just might have seen them on Grindr.

For better or for worse, the Perth gay scene is small and everyone tends to know each other. So I thought today I would run you through the pro’s and con’s of this situation.

 Pro

  •  You can usually avoid dating someone “dodgey” because you already know their reputation.

So many times I have had some guy try to talk to me and my thoughts have been, “no, this guy is a slut and he cheated on my friend’s friend all the time,” so he instantly becomes a no-go and many times I won’t even give this kind of person a chance.

Con

  •  It’s easy to get a bad reputation that just gets manipulated and it’s almost impossible to get a clean slate.

As I have got older, I have realised that you cannot just listen to what people say and believe it whole-heartedly. The gay world can sometimes play out like an episode of Survivor. There is backstabbing and blind sides. And at the end of the day, people will say whatever they need to do make themselves look and sound better.

I happen to know someone who, while they were young, did a few undeniably whorish things. I think it was all to do with that confusing phase in our lives where we are experimenting and finding out what it’s like to have these feelings and urges. This person did go a bit off the rails, and quickly it spread like wildfire that this person was a “slut” and had hooked up with people in public toilets etc. For the record, even though this person has been in a monogamous relationship for a year and a half now and has been an absolute saint, I still hear the odd person here and there talking about his “reputation”. It made me realise that whatever identity you shape for yourself in your early years really has an effect on how people see you in your 20’s. So I’m kind of glad that I was a bit of a late-bloomer! Haha

 Con

  • The gays that think because they are well known on the Perth gay scene that makes then worldly celebrities.

You wouldn’t believe the amount of people such as drag queens, dancers, photographers, writers or gay bar staff (or “publicists”) get a taste of what it’s like for everyone in their specific community to know who they are, and suddenly become up-themselves and think that the whole world now knows them. Being well known on the Perth gay scene, I hate to break it to them, is NOT hard to achieve. In fact, you don’t even have to be smart or talented. You do however, have to do a lot of sucking up, have a fondness for Gaga and have unlimited free time to devote yourself to the wearing of wigs and heels. I’ve seen so many Facebook “fan pages” people who go by stage personas more than they do their real names. It really is quite sad. I always just think to myself, what will these guys’ lives be like when they are in their thirties?

 Pros

  • Celebrations have the ability to go off!

Enough of the negative stuff, there are a few events on the Perth gay scene social calendar (Fairday, the Pride Parade and Pride after-party) that seem to go amazingly well. I think that if people are in a good mood, are drinking (responsibly) and are around people they love, they tend to have more of a good time. And sometimes, even being around familiar faces can lift your spirits. I’ve experienced moments of weakness being out for Pride or Fair Day where I actually just wanted to hug everyone (even people I usually wouldn’t even talk to) just because everyone has a sense of family and belonging and everyone is in a good mood. I think the LGBT community is at its best when it is united, and we sure know how to party.

 Pro and Con

  • You can’t get away from your ex!

Apart from a few that moved away, I still see a few ex’s of mine more times than I would like! They always pop up as a constant reminder of what used to be, or how low your standards used to be. I put this as a pro and a con, because I have actually retained a friendship with some of them because of the inability to lose touch, and it has actually been quite nice. I have the opinion that everyone enters your life for a reason, even people that ended up as bad relationships. Doesn’t mean they can’t be good friends.

It also is quite rewarding to compare yourself to them (let’s face it, we all do it) and see how much their life has gone downhill or hasn’t improved since you left it. I call it, the Bee effect. You screw me over, your life becomes a mess. haha! (but seriously, don’t screw me over!)

I’m sure there are a lot more that could be added too. If you live in a similar community, leave a comment! Let us know if you have any pros and cons you can add!

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!

“They are soooo affected”

Written by Mitchell

My last post was very much a downer, and rest assured in future posts I will write about how my mum and dad grew through the experience of having a gay son, and how difficult it was for them (their words not mine, because I stand by the fact that it was a hell of a lot more difficult for me).

I think a big part of my parents’ initial shock came from the stereotypes that they had been exposed to, and didn’t think that I fitted into.

Sure, the signs were there (I grew up idolising Tina Turner and singing Spice Girls..hello?), but in high school I had a wide variety of straight male friends, I didn’t speak “camp” or have the overly feminine mannerisms that they thought all gay people had.

I certainly didn’t dress “gay” (or remotely fashionable back then) and I wasn’t into hairdressing or dancing or make-up.

I need to stress now that there is nothing wrong with matching the description above AT ALL. All I am saying is that, like everyone else in this world, there are different types of people and gay people do not all match stereotypes produced by media, literature and the many that stem from homophobia.

My parents couldn’t understand this. My mum and dad painted us all with the same brush, and since I wasn’t camp acting, that apparently means that I wasn’t gay.

“Gay people are so affected though! You’re not affected?!”

Yes, that was one of my Mum’s signature catchphrases…and the inspiration for the title of this blog.

I don’t have a clue what it means or where she got it from. So if anyone has heard this before then please let me know!

According to her, it is just a semi-derogatory way of saying that we are usually “so camp/feminine acting.” I just burst into laughter at how ridiculous it is. And I think it shows the extent of narrow-mindedness and attitudes that are still alive in the world today, mostly from older generations such as my mothers (who was born in the 60’s).

Affected sounds all too similar to infected to me. To the point where I think it may have even derived from this word and through Chinese whispers it had just become affected to my mum. It is like being yourself or being camp is some kind of disease, something to be ashamed of.

Despite its derogatory nature, we chose So Affected as our title as a big “up-yours” and a big middle finger to anyone that thinks this way. I say, take these negative attitudes, twist them on their sides and do not take offense to them. Embrace them even. And all the while, continue to prove that we are so NOT affected by any weak attempt to bring us down. We are stronger than that, we are stronger than them.

The Thought Collective

Written by Jessica-Lee

People are so fascinating. I enjoy deciphering them and their actions. I love people. But I also hate people. Or their actions.

Finding a true, honest and caring person is rare these days. Borderline impossible even. Most people are just out for themselves.

I am picky with my close friends. I know lots of people and generally have lots of friends but I keep most people at a distance to a degree. I just don’t feel the need. My best friend alone could be all the things any of these people could ever offer me.

I hate confrontation with people and arguing. I have a very guilty conscience. I am extremely stubborn. I value honesty even though it can hurt. I believe everything happens for a reason. I also believe that the problems we face in every day life were dealt to us as a lesson and kind of as though we had to go through that in order to grow and so we can better handle future experiences. Sometimes I have immense trouble trying to vocally voice how I feel or an opinion I hold. Give me a pen and paper or a keyboard, though, and it will all just spill out in the exact way in which it was meant.

I have a big penchant for lovely, caring souls with big fluffy hearts. A person who instinctually puts others before themselves is someone to keep a hold of and cherish.

I have a number of people in my life who I like to think I’ve collected along the way. Here I am comparing my friends to jewellery again…. These people are ones that I want in my life forever. I think they are pretty special and I would fight to death for them. I may not see some of them all the time but doesn’t matter. Real friendship succeeds time.

I am pretty big on intuition and I get pretty strong signals the moment I meet someone. You also learn a lot about someones values and intentions when they are in difficult situations. Or situations where they are forced to make a choice.

I am extremely nostalgic and I cherish memories. I’m a big collector of anything that will bring back memories. Photos, text messages, letters, emails, gifts, perfume, travel books and souvenirs, jewellery, videos, journals, picture books, songs.

You get the drift.

Rubies, Pearls, Emeralds, Sapphires, Opals & One Special Diamond

Written by Jessica-Lee:

I often get asked what is the appeal of having gay friends and also why I have so many of them. To answer it shortly, I love their company.

If we were to delve into it a little further, I would tell you that I think they’re funnier, more fun to be around and that a night spent with their straight counterparts (male or female) just isn’t quite the same.

And if we really wanted to scrape the barrel, I might end up admitting that I have secretly wished I was a gay man on more than one occasion. Hell, my CD and DVD collection proves this theory alone!

You see, I have been around them since I was a little girl and – if we’re really being honest – growing up, all I wanted was a gay best friend. And I wanted my relationship with said best friend to be like the one between Will and Grace. That special friendship with someone who loves you to the moon and back, would do anything for you and who you just click with. Kind of like a marriage – but kind of not.

I’ve started comparing my gay friends to being like a jewellery collection. There is one for almost every occasion or mood! And, of course, there is that extra special one for every day – he is the diamond. The rarity in the world and the constant in my life.

And what was it Marilyn said about diamonds being a girls best friend?

My Diamond is the most lovely boy I am sure I will ever know. Our friendship just is and it just works.

I have been to three Mardi Gras parades in Sydney (cried during the majority of my first one), a number of Pride parades, seen countless drag shows, been the only girl in the room more times than I’d care to admit, spent literally thousands of hours within the confines of gay bars and nightclubs.

I have had dear friends, good friends, party friends and people who I’ve loathed and who have hated me just as much. I have – not all at once – danced on a club stage in Sydney wearing a hot pink cowboy hat a flower hanging out my mouth, had photos taken with pink feathers pinned to my hair and full drag make-up, worn a shirt embroidered with the name of a very famous gay nightclub in silver sequins, decorated my car with shiny disco balls, had Pride rainbow flags decorating my room.

I think it’s easy to see that this is a community that I feel very strongly about. It’s my home in a sense.

It’s a community that has been my life for a number of years and one that I am defiantly proud of. I will argue gay rights and marriage equality with anyone who cares to disagree with me. I will protect and nourish my close friends to the lengths of this earth. I am a fiercely loyal friend and I have a strong maternal instinct. I have a lot of friends but there is a very select bunch who I hold extremely dear.

I literally believe that my friends are the family I have hand-picked for myself. I do not know what I would do without you. You make me smile, laugh and cry.

So I want to take this opportunity and dedicate my first blog to all my wonderful friends. I want to say thank you to you all – near and far. To the ones living interstate and overseas, I love and miss you.  And to my Diamond… You are my world and my sunshine.