Things That Annoy me as a Gay Guy

“Who would be the girl in the relationship?” Honey, as long as the two of us have male genital parts in our underpants that would be neither of us. I get it, you judge and evaluate any relationships your LGBTQ+ peers have based on what you’re used to seeing, but I don’t have boobs or a vagina and neither will my partner.

“You don’t seem gay”. What’s not gay about me? Am I not kissing enough boys? Shall I start wearing a rainbow tutu and carrying around a boom-box blaring ‘Born This Way’ on repeat? Just let me know how I can live up to my gayness and I’ll be happy to oblige.

“I voted yes” popping up out of nowhere. Like, we wouldn’t even be on the topic and people will tell me that they voted yes. I mean yeah, It’s wonderful and I do appreciate everyone who went out to vote because that referendum did mean an awful lot to me and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t cry like a baby when it was passed, but sometimes people will literally bring up the fact that they voted yes out of nowhere. Am I supposed to get on my knees and beg that you recognise my undying gratitude? I didn’t ask what way you voted.

“Is it slim pickings when you’re gay?” Yes, yes it is. Don’t remind me how little choice I have.

“I don’t have a problem with the gays but just don’t shove it in my face”  Then stop posting about you and your grease-ball boyfriend on Facebook, Debbie, and don’t shove your “one and only” in my face. Also, referring to us as “the gays” is a bit irritating.

Straight lads who think it’s gas to flirt with gay guys to show how edgy and quirky they are. We aren’t props. Maybe it’s because you like the idea of being desired, but please don’t use me to show people how confident and comfortable with your sexuality you are. Plus, you’d be lucky if I was to even consider going near you in that way, honey. It’s nice that you think you’d have a chance though. It’s cute. But it’s annoying when someone tells you how sexy you are and will literally put their hands on your intimate parts and think it’s okay and just a laugh. You shouldn’t do that to anyone, even your novelty gay friends.

“He’s gay, what about him?” – No, I don’t fancy every single gay person on the planet. I have plenty of gay friends and I’ve never even thought about them in a romantic sense. Just because two guys are gay doesn’t mean that they’re potential lovers.

Straight lads who won’t go to gay clubs in case they get hit on. Honey, I can guarantee that nobody is going to go for you. You should be fine sweetie xx

“Why do they even have to tell people about it? If they want to be treated  the same then don’t make a big deal out of it”. Because if we don’t point it out in this heteronormative world then everyone will assume that we are straight, because that’s the norm, the default category, and lads are going to think I’m hitting on their girlfriends when I’m really just being friendly.

“But seriously, would you ever go for a woman”You’re missing the whole definition of “gay” here.

“If they want to be treated equally, then there should be a straight pride as well” . EVERY OTHER DAY OF THE YEAR IS STRAIGHT PRIDE. Until straight people have been tortured, oppressed, and killed because of their sexuality, then no, you don’t deserve a straight pride. Don’t act like a spoiled brat because we have something you don’t.

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“No One Ever Made a Difference by Being Like Everyone Else”

That quote is really nice, don’t you think? It’s from the trailer for ‘The Greatest Showman’, which I saw the other day before my film started in the cinema. But I ain’t here to promote no film. I’m here, as always, to empty all of the trash that flies around my brain through the medium of blogging.

I know it’s a massive cheesy icky cliché, but there ain’t nothing better than being authentically you. Now, you’re probably thinking, “Brian, ‘Glee’ already schooled me on all this accepting yourself and loving yourself business”, but here me out. I have a point, I promise! And if you never considered yourself a “Gleek” at some stage of your life then take a long hard look at yourself, because that show was FIRE!

This is a blog post I’ve wanted to write for a while now, but I didn’t exactly know how to go about it. Do you ever get that feeling where you have something to say, but you just can’t find the exact words that you need to exactly express what you want to say? Well, that’s been me with this topic. But sure look, let’s have a bash at it anyways!

Let’s face it, I think we all care at least a little bit about what other people think of us. I know I do anyways. Some days I care a lot, and then other days I barely care at all. If I’m being completely honest, I do think about how other people might perceive me. Sometimes I contemplate what other people might think about my looks, my outfit choices, my opinions, my sense of humour, and lots of other stuff. The list goes on! But one thing I’ll say is that nowadays I care a whole lot less than I used to.

I remember one ridiculous meltdown I had when I was about 14 or so. A new skate park had opened near my estate and everyone from my school would be there all the time. I decided to give it a bash, but instead of doing wheelies around the skate park on a bike, me and my friends brought roller blades. Lads, I was a gracious and elegant roller blader, but that’s besides the point. One of the lads from my class made a comment on how I was in roller blades with two of my gal pals instead of on my bike with the lads, and I got so so very embarrassed and probably thought about it for a few weeks. Nowadays I would happily skate around in hot pants and a rainbow scarf blaring my Gay Pride playlist. And I wish I could school 14 year old Brian about being proud of who he is, and to roller blade his way through life in a wonderfully weird manner.

Maybe it’s just because I’m getting older (I’m pushing 22 now fam) or maybe it’s just my recent life experiences, but I have definitely learned how to be myself and most importantly I’ve learned to let go of what other people might think, or how other people think I should live my life. I do me and I’m happy with that.

Honestly, what’s the point in being the same as everyone else? Like seriously, where is it going to get you? I highly doubt that the key to success is to just copy what people did in the past. I genuinely think that the key to success (success having a unique meaning to everyone) and fulfillment is to do it your way.

From my experiences, I’ve found that exciting things begin to happen for me when I think outside of the box and when I make decisions for myself, based on what I want for me. Some people might look at your choices and think that you are taking ten steps backwards, or that you’re messing up your chances of getting where you want to go. Well let them. They’re obviously not paying enough attention to their own goals if they’re busy criticizing yours. We live our lives for us, and not for anyone who may be looking at us.

I spent the first half of my college experience paying way too much attention to what my classmates were doing and how they were going about achieving their goals. I was getting nowhere. It wasn’t until I started giving up on everyone else’s aspirations that I started to discover my own goals and work towards my own dreams.

I’ve learned to embrace my uniqueness and my inner weirdo. Why not? I can confidently say that I don’t actively try to act or be like anyone else. Because there’s no point. If I’m trying to be someone else I’m going to fail miserably, because the only way to achieve that would be to actually be that person, and I don’t think modern science has come that far yet. The thing that I’m best at is being me. I’m Brian, a 21 year old college student from Dublin who is obsessed with Britney Spears and Broadway musicals and writes in his blog sometimes. I have big lips, I have ridiculously fluffy hair and freakishly long toes. There isn’t another one. I’m it. We’re all completely individual. Why try to be like others when we can exploit and take advantage of what we were already born with: ourselves. Don’t hate on my lanky toes, okay?!

There’s nothing wrong with being a little wacky, or thinking a little different than everyone else thinks. I think we were all born to stand out, and when people are open and honest about who they truly are and who they wish to become, I think it’s one of the most amazing and kind of beautiful things to see.

“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive, who is you-er than you.” – Dr Seuss

Why I Love Writing

If it isn’t already obvious through my blog, I absolutely love writing. Writing is a hobby and a passion for me, but at the same time it’s also therapy. One thing that gives me so much joy and satisfaction is spending an hour or two on a blog post, or maybe an article for a college website, or even a piece of fiction or just a page on whatever is on my mind, and reading over it and being super proud of what I’ve just created in my own mind.

Writing something is like designing and constructing a little piece of me, and when I’m stressed, anxious or feeling really down I find that it’s one of the best ways to figure out how exactly I’m feeling and resolving whatever conflict is going on inside of my mind.

Writing things down helps me figure out exactly what’s bugging me and most of the time, if not all of the time, I feel at least a small but better about myself and about whatever situation might be getting me down after writing it down.

For me, writing down things that are getting to me is like thinking out loud, and it’s like having a discussion, but instead of that discussion being with a person it’s with a piece of paper. Believe it or not, my notebook is a really good listener.
The difference between talking to someone and writing in your own personal note pad is that you can say whatever the hell you want to a note pad without the fear of being judged. You can vent all of your rage and talk about all of the thoughts going on in your head, no matter how outrageous or dark or shocking they are.

Obviously for me, blogging is something that makes me feel really good and I love sharing my thoughts and parts of my life with people. I love when I can read back over my blog posts and be really proud of them. But I love so many other kinds of writing as well.

As nerdy as it sounds, I love writing stories, long and short. In some ways it’s a lot like writing a piece for my blog. I’m putting myself into it, whether that is into a character or just into how the characters view the world they find themselves in. I know, I sound like a massive geek. But this is something that I really enjoy doing. I think a lot of the time as adults we let our imaginations die as we get older. Well, that’ll be a ‘no’ from me. I love being imaginative and coming up with ideas and stories, and just getting lost in the little worlds I make up in my head. Trust me, it’s much more enjoyable and therapeutic than getting lost in selfies and memes on my newsfeed.

A lot of the time when I’m talking about my blog people will say to me “oh I could never do that” or something like that. Why the hell not? The thing is, there’s not much to it. I started my blog because I thought what I wanted to say was too long for a Facebook status. But then I realised that writing it gave me so much happiness, and I had finally discovered something that I could call a hobby. Before that, my only hobbies were binge watching TV and going out drinking.

Since getting into writing and really experimenting and exploring it, I’ve found something that I’m passionate about, and I’ve discovered something that I might like to do with my future, whether that’s becoming a journalist, blogging, or maybe even becoming an author of a book! Why not dream big, eh?

But more than anything, writing is an aid with which I can process my thoughts and feelings and ultimately look after and improve my mental health. I’ve read a lot about how creativity can help with a person’s mental health, and I 100% believe it!

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” – Ernest Hemmingway.

Some Of Teenage Brian’s Odd and Embarrassing Facebook Posts

The only way to describe 2011 and 2012 Brian (15 and 16 years old) is that he was an absolute weapon. I set up Facebook in September 2011, and instantly began to whack up useless updates of my daily life as an N-Dubz worshiping, straight-acting Adidas tracksuit enthusiast. So, I’ve dug deep into that odd character’s social media experience and present to you some of the oddest and most embarrassing Facebook posts from yours truly. Prepare for an uncomfortable read.

 

“Hope ndubz get bac together ! !”Posted 29th January 2012. I was a hard-core fan. Their split literally crushed my soul.

“goin 2 see B.O.B in September! Can’t wait!!”Posted 15th July 2012. That was a lie, that did not happen. No tickets were ever purchased. I’m not even sure that B.O.B was even coming to Dublin. I just thought a Facebook status about going to see a rapper would make me cool.

“Does anyone know what classes we have 2moro?” – Posted 8th January 2012What are timetables?

“Anyone wanna go see Dappy wit me?”Posted 11th March 2012. Ashamed. That is all.

“Only three weeks til summer can’t wait”Posted 2nd May 2012. If people want me to resume reminding them of the time of year, just let me know. I’d be happy to help. It’s October now, in case you guys needed to know.

“Wish I was goin tomangos toni !”posted 16th February 2012. 16 year old Brian really loved a boogie and going to teen discos to meet girls before falling arse over tit out of the closet later that year.

“Taio Cruz never makes a bad song!”Posted 19th December 2011. The further I go back, the more I cringe. Teenage Brian literally makes my skin crawl.

Haha Every1s goin mad over Christopher! Hope he wins wud be gas!”Posted 2nd December 2012. I’m pretty sure this was about Christopher Maloney, the guy who was in X-Factor who really loved his nan but couldn’t really sing and I couldn’t understand why everyone was so triggered over this. 16 year old Brian just wanted to start a fight.

“Lookin forward to getting me albums 2moro”Posted 24th December 2011.I literally just asked for like 20 CDs that Christmas, including everything from Taio Cruz to Flo-Rida to Chipmunk to (obviously) N-Dubz.

“Some creep just rang me askin was I asleep and just hung up… there’s some wierdos out there ha”Posted 31st October 2012. This was obviously some lad who was bored on Halloween night and decided to ring me for the giggles. Fair enough, I made a fair few prank calls when I was younger. But that doesn’t mean I’m not still on the hunt for this guy.

“Really regretting TY now I could have been goin into me last year of school!”Posted 28th August 2012. I wanted to be with the cool older kids.

“Well done Katie Taylor! That was brilliant ”Posted 6th August 2012. I have no idea what I was even on about here, because to this day I’ve never even watched a full sporting event from start to finish.

“Free texts gone”Posted 23rd June 2012. Oh No, I was no longer able to text my mates “Wuu2?” at random times throughout the day.

“Lookin forward to this school hikin trip tomorrow”Posted 25th April 2012. The only place I should have been hiking to was the barber to get my spud head sorted out, and then to the library to take out a dictionary to learn how to spell.

“If I get timeline can I change it back?”Posted 10th April 2012. OMG, do you remember when Facebook changed from having a ‘wall’ to having a ‘timeline’? That was a big transition for me. It was hard, but I got through it. I’m a better person because of it. Thanks for the support through that one. xoxoxox

“Goin to see hunger games tomorrow … Should be good”Posted 22nd March 2012. Little did I know I would become obsessed, read the books over and over again and that Josh Hutcherson as Peeta would open my eyes to how gay I actually was. I had never crushed on a celebrity so much.

“Who sent me a message cos my iPod won’t let me get into it ?”Posted 26th February 2012. I thought I was Kim K with my TOUCH SCREEN iPod, with which I could BROWSE THE INTERNET and GO ON YOUTBE at the tap of a screen. It was revolutionary to me.

“Surprised bebo didn’t go earlier !”Posted 30th January 2012. This was just a tough front, I really was not okay with Bebo being shut down. Before Facebook, I was just as much of an idiot on that as I was on Facebook.

“If anyone gets any strange txts or calls off me they are not me cos my phone was nicked !”Posted 9th January 2012. Okay, there’s a story behind this one. I was actually mugged that night, and my phone was taken. I had just turned 16. It was pretty scary, but at least I didn’t have access to Facebook for a few days so my friends were blessed with a break from these sorts of posts.

“My last status of 2011”Posted 31st December 2011. I actually have no words. Like, why?

“IPOD SCREEN IS CRACKED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”Posted 22nd 2011. Wow, I was an aggro teen.

“Hope Tallafornia is gonna be good tomorrow”Posted 11th December 2011. Oh Jesus Christ, could I have been any more of a wanna-be spicer?

“Dappy is comin to Dublin but it’s over 18s … DEPPRESSING !!!!!!!!”Posted 26th November 2011. If I could turn back time I would 100% give up the grime act and admit my Britney Spears obsession.

“Wanna move skool”Posted 8th November 2011. This was definitely a desperate plea for attention from people in my school.

“Bord ou of me tree”Posted 21st October 2011. So many useless posts, so little time.

“How do u use facebook???????????????”Posted 10th September 2011.

And to finish us off, here’s one that I find particularly funny, because every year it reminds me of the time I dropped out of college to do Communication studies (so basically committed career suicide): “Got my first choice on CAO! In four years I’ll be a primary teacher, can’t wait to start!!”Posted 18th August 2014. I lasted three weeks in that course.

So, there you have it. I hope you enjoyed observing the odd and complex character that was secondary school Brian. May he rest in peace.

The V By Very Irish Blog Awards

Last night was simply amazing! I was so incredibly lucky to be able to attend the V By Very Blog Awards Ireland as a nominee under the Lifestyle Blog category. To be surrounded by so much writing talent who all shared the same passion for blogging was truly phenomenal, but I was particularly struck by one thing last night.

Before the event and throughout the night I received so many messages from friends and people who read my blog, congratulating me on becoming a finalist in the awards, and wishing me luck. I was so overwhelmed by all of the love and support that I started to get really emotional (although I managed to hold back the tears and didn’t become a blubbering mess). It made me realise how lucky I am to be surrounded by such loving and supportive people who I am able to call my friends and family. It really opened my eyes to how many lovely people I have around me!

I also got a shout out from the DCU Media Production Society, who congratulated me on “making waves on a national level” which was such a lovely gesture, and that one really hit me right in the feels.

I also had the chance to chat to some other bloggers, who wrote about everything from craft to beauty to travel and so much more. It really made me realise how much of a diverse area blogging actually is, and how many different areas there are to blog about. There were people who wrote about technology, finance, parenting, marketing, business, art, film ,literature and history to name just a few!

My fabulous date and I then got free goodie bags filled with snacks, fragrances, lotions, vouchers, fake tan (which my sister claimed for herself without hesitation) and most importantly little tiny adorable cans of Heineken goodness.

Last night was a blessing, and I feel so inspired to continue working on my blog and keep on ‘Being Brian’! Thank you so much to everyone who sent me lovely messages, and of course all of the people who read my blog! I would have never continued to write my blog for as long as I have if it wasn’t for all of the support and love I get from the amazing people who read my blog!

Although I didn’t win the award for best Lifestyle Blog, I’m still filled with an overwhelming amount of joy; that I got to attend such a glamorous event, pose for photographers, meet and chat to so many brilliant bloggers and spend the night with one of my really good friends (which made it super special).

It’s been almost 24 hours since the awards, and I am yet to take off my wristband, and I am yet to stop smiling. A year ago, I never would have imagined that I would be writing a blog, let alone be attending the Irish Blog Awards as a nominee. As cheesy as it sounds, last night was a dream come true.

 

Now vs. A Year Ago: Two Different Brians

How do you measure a year? I mean, I know its 12 months, 365 days, etc. But what I’m asking is how much should you do in one year of your life? How much should change, how many goals should you achieve, and how swiftly should you move along with your life and fulfil all of your goals and expectations?

This time last year, I never would have expected I would be the person that I am today, confident enough to write a blog that I share on social media for everyone and anyone to see. Reminiscing on the person I was at one stage in my life compared to who I am now is one of my favourite things to do, because it reminds me of how far I’ve come, the things I’ve achieved and how I’ve made changes that altered and reshaped my life for the better. I love to do this because the only person I am in competition with is myself, and the only person I try to out-do or beat is my past self. In my eyes, success is simply becoming an improved version of who you already are, whether that’s becoming more successful career-wise, becoming richer, or simply becoming more kind and giving.

About a year ago, I was in a pretty bad way with my mental health. I think my problems had been gradually building up over months or maybe even years, and too many bad thinking habits had gradually worn me out and turned me into an anxious and worried mess. One thing tipped me over the edge, and it is the best thing that ever happened to me. I was put in a position where I felt that I had to leave a job that I had been in for a few years, where I had made so many great friends, and where I felt really comfortable and at ease. It was a super stressful time, and I definitely think it was a major turning point in my life!

I was way too comfortable, and if I had stayed in that comfort zone then I definitely wouldn’t be working in jobs that I really enjoy, I wouldn’t explore my creativity as much as I do, or (most importantly) I wouldn’t be writing this blog and I wouldn’t be nominated for a V By Very Irish Blog Award!!!! Sorry, I had to get that shameless bragging in somewhere!

I normally hate those inspirational quotes you see all over Instagram and Facebook, because you are literally taking life advice from a nameless/faceless image your distant acquaintance shared, but there are a few I like, and one of them is: “The most difficult paths often lead to the most beautiful destinations” or something like that. I think it’s true, although I don’t believe life is as poetic as quotes like this make it out to be.

The point is, sometimes things have to go tits up first before they start to change and get better. Sometimes life throws a massive heap of poo right at your pretty little noggin, and it could be the best gift you’ve ever received, because it forces you to make changes and think differently about life. A year ago, I reached a stage where I started going to counselling and I was forced to focus on nothing but me and my mental health (which I’ve learned should always be a priority no matter what is going on in my life).

A year ago, I never would have dreamed about starting a blog (because it’s quite scary to put yourself out there like that), let alone dream of being nominated for a V By Very Irish Blog Award (more bragging, please forgive me)!

The main things that the past 12 months have given me are a new found self-confidence, a totally new belief in myself and in my abilities and potential that I very much lacked before, and a generally happier day-to-day life. I haven’t done many things I would have liked to do in the past year, though. I didn’t travel as much as I hoped I could, I never went to a music festival (because believe it or not this boy who is nearly 22 years old has never been to one), and I don’t have as much money in the bank as I’d like to.

But there’s all the time in the world for those things, but what there isn’t time for is panic attacks, sleepless nights and worrying from morning ‘til late at night. If I’m not in a generally happy and relaxed state of mind, then none of the other stuff is really worth having.

As messed up as it sounds, I think there’s just as much value in the difficult times as there is in the happiest days of your life. We have all gone through crappy times in our lives, and we’ll all go through more. But hey, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?

“Inside of a ring or out, ain’t nothing wrong with going down. It’s staying down that’s wrong.” – Muhammad Ali.

Look at me, quoting Muhammad Ali as if I’ve ever watched more than five minutes of any type sporting event. Still though, he has a point!

Entering Final Year And Setting Goals

As I prepare to enter final year of University, I am beginning to realise that full-on adulthood is approaching at an alarming rate (cue panic). I mean, technically I’ve been an adult from the day I turned 18 years old. I mean I haven’t been doing it very well, but technically yes I have been an adult for almost 4 years now (also panics because I’ll soon be 22). But once I graduate from college and have my degree, I’m in the big leagues. Yikes.

I suppose final year should be the time where I get y sh*t together, and start working towards my goals. I have different goals, both big and small depending on who you ask, and perhaps I should start to think about how I would go about achieving these goals.

When it comes to achieving any sort of goal, I have a certain set of rules, not to sound too much like Dua Lipa. But seriously, there’s certain things that have to be in the mix for me when I’m working towards a target, which are totally based in my personality and how my mind works. Obviously everyone is different, so what works for me doesn’t work for everyone else. This is why I think getting stressed about the amount of work other people are doing is pointless, even if they’re working towards the same goal.

The only way I can ever achieve anything, whether it’s minor or rather large, is to be the best, most positive, kindest and most importantly, happiest version of myself every day. My main goal for final year of University is to finish every day and being able to tell myself that I did my best, I smiled plenty, and that I wasn’t an a**hole. For me, a healthy and happy mind set is the best way to move forward and get anywhere.

I learned something really important in my second year of college. I learned how to say no. Believe it or not, this is harder than you think when you have your heart set on something. I would take on so much that I would become stressed out and exhausted, and be absolutely useless at everything I was doing because my brain would be so mashed. I was forced to realise my limits, which are totally individual to me, and I became way more productive when I realised how much I was and wasn’t able to do.

The main promise I am making to myself for final year is to trust my gut. If I feel like a situation or role is going to make me uncomfortable and cause me unnecessary stress and anxiety, then I will simply say no, no matter how ‘useful’ it may be, because the state of my mind is a top priority for me.

I think our mental health and a positive day-to-day life should be a priority to us all, because without it, how much is all the success and achieving going to be worth anyways?  How much are you going to enjoy all of the progress and goal-reaching if your brain is absolutely fried?

Be the best possible version of YOURSELF and not anyone else, and the rest will follow.