Body Beautiful

This is a post that I’ve tried to write three or four times over the last year. It’s a difficult one to cover as it’s opening up more than I usually do. This is not however a post asking for sympathy, just a way to explain a bit about some of the “invisible” effects of AS.

A couple of my friends have posted on Facebook about body image in the gay community. It’s one of the things that I don’t think gets talked about enough, actually men’s body image isn’t talked about in general. We talk about the impossibly high standards set for women (and we absolutely should, they’re often ridiculous) but men are kind of left out of the discussion. Continue reading “Body Beautiful”

Alphabet Soup

Last weekend was Pride weekend in Newcastle upon Tyne (where I live). A time to celebrate diversity and raise awareness of the LGBTQIA+ experience. To continue the fight towards equality and acceptance.

Over the last couple of months I seem to be experiencing a lot more discussions around sex, gender and sexuality. Recently I’ve read comments from a friend about the Asexual experience, spoken to colleagues about Trans and non-binary issues. A completely separate Facebook discussion around the extension of the LGBT acronym finally gave me a concrete jumping off point for this post.

There’s so much I want to say on this that Facebook comments and discussions just aren’t enough. (Plus, FB decided to reload the page while I was in the middle of a long reply and wiped the lot – so stuff you Facebook!) Continue reading “Alphabet Soup”

An Open Email.

Earlier this week I wrote about the situation in Chechnya. Even considering the fact that there has been more information coming to light, the government has still failed to respond. Hillary Clinton has roundly condemned President Trump for failing to comment, and yet there has not been a response or any sort of recognition from the UK Government.

So I wrote this email and sent it to the Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary and Equalities Minister. I copied in Jeremy Corbyn and Tim Farron as well as my own MP. PinkNews also has suggestions for people who also want to know how we can all help.

Ramzan-Kadyrov-Chechnya-concentration-camps

Subject: Government silence on the torture of homosexuals in Chechnya.

Mrs May, Mr Johnson, Ms Greening,

As I am sure you will have heard, reports are coming from Chechnya about the existence of “concentration camps” for Gay people. The stories speak of torture reminiscent of 1930s Germany. This isn’t liberal hyperbole. People are being tortured, beaten, and raped.

Continue reading “An Open Email.”

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

Wreaths Of Poppies On A British 2nd World War MemorialThe Holocaust was one of the most disgusting and evil things to happen in the history of mankind. I think that it’s probably the most horrendous thing to happen in the 20th Century. We hold Remembrance Day services and have 2 minutes silence every year. The key phrase that’s used is “Never Forget”.

But we have forgotten. When we remember, we think about the soldiers who gave their lives. Not just in the World Wars, but in wars that have been, and are being, fought before and since. They sacrificed their lives to save others, dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.

But what about the others? When we speak of the Nazi Holocaust, we think of the Jews. Millions of Jews were murdered in cold blood, experimented on and used as slave labour. It was truly awful. But the Nazis didn’t just stop at the Jews. They wanted a Master Race. Continue reading “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

All in the mind. 

I know, it’s been a long time since I posted. I’m sorry, but I’ve covered most of the big points around AS elsewhere in this blog, I haven’t had much to say.

Cracked skin man in poseBut recently I’ve noticed an upswing in people who I care about going through emotional and/or mental difficulties. Alongside this I’ve found that more people with whom I work have stress/anxiety/depression and related illnesses. It got me thinking about chronic illness and mental health.

An estimated 28% of the UK population will experience a mental health issue each year. People with chronic physical illnesses are up to 7 times more likely to experience one than people without one. LGBT people come off slightly better with an increase of just 3 times (source: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/statistics) Continue reading “All in the mind. “

Hyperbole? 

trumpOK, Brexit and Trump have shown me something. There are millions more racists, misogynists, homophobes, religiophobes and general bigots in this world than I ever imagined.

Yes, it’s scary that Farage and Johnson won with the campaign aimed at the lowest common denominator. It’s terrifying that Trump’s going to be in control of a superpower on the same type of platform, the same bombastic, superior and hateful attitude to the different.

But do you know what terrifies me more? What makes me sick to the very pit of my stomach? That the millions of people who voted for that are out there. And who knows, might even be reading this.

Let me make this clear. If you support these people and their ilk then, whether you’re bigoted or not, you are supporting bigotry. And you’re helping to create a world where the rest of us live in fear. (A more detailed argument is elsewhere on my blog.) Continue reading “Hyperbole? “

Pride

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A friend shared this on Facebook and I started to share it. Then I realised that this post, more than any other about Pulse, has hit me. I couldn’t just share it, and what I had to say was too long for a Facebook post.

This blog was called Proud Ankylosaur because of my AS. I’m outspoken about it because I wanted to spread awareness. But it’s also called Proud because I’m Gay. I haven’t posted much about it in the last year, but now I think that I need to.

It’s easy to forget how far we’ve come, or how hard we fought. Even when we weren’t “being political” just saying “I’m gay”, correcting a gender pronoun, or even dressing up to go out ran the risk of repercussions. Reading a room became second nature.

Continue reading “Pride”