The Straight Pill

Written by Mitchell

I’ve always wondered if there was any way of “turning” straight. If there was some sort of magic pill or vaccine which instantly caused some light to go off in your head and suddenly you’re heterosexual. And then I wonder…if this pill existed, would I take it?

I’ve always been very much determined to prove that the homosexual part of me was a very small part of my personality and that there was so much more to me than just being gay. And it’s true.

Jessica thinks it is weird that I am not really that much of a sexual person. I mean, I can be. I am human after all. But compared to most, I almost sound like a nun. I hardly ever look at porn, I can’t really even write or say the “m” word let alone do it, the notion of sex just exhausts me and I don’t really find a penis attractive to look at. That being said, at least they don’t actually scare me, like vaginas do. Notwithstanding, I wouldn’t say that I was driven by my sexual preference as a person in any way.

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to fit in with the gay world while also trying to prove my own identity, break the trends and not spend a lot of my time focusing on it. Six months ago I wouldn’t have dreamed of starting a blog based around gay issues. Beyond gay bars (which act as a safe haven for gay people in a dangerous intoxicated environment) I always thought it was silly having gay clubs within universities, a gay radio program, gay bookstores etc. All that stuff promoted segregation to me; the notion that we were somehow different from straight people and needed a specialised version of everything.

One of the main reasons I started this blog was to have a chance to reach out to other gay people like me. The ones who knew they were gay and were proud of being gay, but also ones who don’t believe that this is the sole framework of their personality. Ones who don’t wear make-up but accept those guys that do. Ones who don’t do drag but support it as an artform. Ones who cannot escape the relentless “is he/isn’t he” from co-workers, because there’s never quite a clear indication. Ones whose girl friends get angry that they can’t pick out a decent designer pair of heels within a mountain of shoes, nor do they find this kind of shopping enjoyable.

I’ve got a little brother. He’s ten. Obviously he is much too young for his sexual identity to reveal itself for sure, but I think most signs indicate that he is straight. He doesn’t play with girls toys in the department stores and he doesn’t memorise and perform spice girl lyrics (I suppose it would be Lady Gaga these days). Not that this means anything, but it’s all I can really go on at this stage.

I am glad and happy for him and to be honest, though I would support him, I would hope that he isn’t gay. Because while I am proud of myself and the person I am, growing up as a gay person is a frightening and lonely battle, where the future never seems as laid out as their straight counterparts. My theory is that people are born gay for a reason. It’s often the ones with the most potential. Strong willed and determined people. We are dealt this hand to play because we are the only ones strong enough to deal with it. It is almost a sort of test, to an extent. By overcoming my battle with coming out and becoming comfortable with my own sexuality, it has made me fearless. It didn’t kill me after all, and I now know that no matter what life throws at me, I can get through it.  I don’t think I would have been so optimistic about life, if I hadn’t conquered my sexual identity as a young adult.

I think straight people have it a lot easier. And sometimes I wish that I had been born straight. It’d make life a lot easier. Perhaps then I would be comfortable to hang out with straight guys and talk about the footy at work, I’d be able to relate more to my dad, I wouldn’t be asked all the time if I have a girlfriend (because maybe I’d actually have one haha). But to answer my own question, if there was a “straight pill” that I could take to make me heterosexual – I wouldn’t take it. If I did take it, I just wouldn’t be me. And saying that I want to take a straight pill would be implying that I’m not happy being me. I’d rather live with the pressures and everything barriers of being a gay person than be anybody else. And I think most gay people would say the same too.

Let me know if you’ve ever wished that you could just wake up straight. Do you still think that way? In my next post, I will be switching things up a bit, and shedding light on the opposite situation. Until next time, keep being you.  🙂

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.

20120425-215207.jpg

Ten Things I Love About Jessica-Lee

Written by Mitchell
Since we are in the spirit of revealing a little more about ourselves today (even adding a photo or two), I thought I would share with you ten of my favourite things about my co-blogger, Jessica-Lee.

1)      Jessica is funny as hell! She has a sense of humour that I gel with really easily. It mostly centres on her hilarious observations of people and human nature.  She is also not afraid to laugh at herself and not take life too seriously.

2)      Jessica is protective, and to those close to her, she will defend you until the ends of the Earth. She will always have your back and her loyalty is something I know I can always count on.

3)      Jessica is one of those most forgiving people I have ever met. She can be easily hurt because she wears her heart on her sleeve, but if you give her time, she is more than likely to forgive you multiple times over. Forgiveness shows her grace and maturity.

4)      One thing Jessica and I uniquely share is our ability to reference extremely weathered D-grade celebrities and pop culture icons from the past. People who most people wouldn’t know or would have long forgotten about. One mention of Rowena Wallace, Prue McSween or Monica Trapaga has us in stitches!

5)      I love the little care packages Jess makes for me when I am feeling sad or grumpy.  Whether it’s a box of cupcakes or a little note, or even a bottle of Sealy’s Sugar Soap, she is the first to always be there to cheer me up with her little gifts. Of course, my favourite gifts from her are the hugs and genuine concern she shows me.

6)      The little sayings and catchphrases that Jess and I use make me love her all the more. It’s sometimes like we have our own language. “Very weathered’ and “sadly no” and “Nonnie” may sound very strange, but they are words we use hourly in general conversation.

7)      I love Jessica’s sentimentality. She is the type of person who keeps all her favourite photos pinned up on her wall, who saves favourite text messages and voice recordings in her phone and journals important events in her life. She understands that in the end life is nothing but precious memories, and preserves those memories better than anyone else I know.

8)      I love the fact that Jessica is the only person that I can bare to be on the phone to non-stop for over an hour. Time seems to fly when I’m talking to her.

9)      Jessica’s cartoon features! One of my favourite past-times is taking hilarious photos of Jess. She complains, but I know deep down she loves it! Bad angles, shots by surprise, I have hundreds. Jess’ expressions are absolutely hilarious and I can’t look at photos of her without laughing.

10)   Jessica always has my best interests at heart, and I know that seems like such a basic thing, but it’s also the most important. Too many people in this world are interested in only what they can gain from a situation or what is at stake for them. Jess cares only about her friend’s interest. Sometimes, she cares even a little too much for her friends and puts their happiness before her own. It’s a trait that I adore about her and she inspires me to adopt a much more  selfless attitude myself.

I leave you with one of my favourite pictures of my Nonnie, Jessica-Lee.

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?