Tag Archives: gay

My thoughts on ‘that’ tweet.

Yesterday the tweet below appear as a retweet in my timeline.


This isn’t a person I follow and having read the tweet, and some of their others, it’s not likely to be someone I’m going to follow. That being said I, of course, had to comment.

I’ve always been a big believer that everyone is entitle to an opinion but I also believe that opinions are open to challenge. Much like this one.

So lets break down this tweet piece by piece.

As a gay man, I have never been to a gay pride march, nor will I go to one. I despise them.

I’ve been to a lot of them. I’ve been on the committee of three different cities Pride celebrations. I don’t like them all. Yes, I despise some of them. I don’t like Pride events that charge for the main parties or for people (companies, groups, whoever) to march in the parade. If you’re charging then you’ve made it commercial and are no longer thinking about the community instead you’re thinking about the money.

You could use the excuse that you need the money to get the big acts there to encourage more people to attend but why do you? Why do you need big acts? Why do you need people from every corner of the world to attend? Why not make it about your community. If people wish to visit and attend then so be it.

Personally I believe you should be using local talent. Those that need the exposure. Those who will work for a lower wage, if not free. I’m not saying all acts should work for free, people need to live after all and exposure won’t pay the bills, but most local acts, if you ask, will work for the cost of travel and refreshments. How do I know? Because I asked and got the answers I needed.

Lets take 2018 Brighton Pride. £37.50 for a ticket. With approximately 55’000 people in attendance they’re looking at raking in over £2million! For what? To pay a popstar who mimes to strut around on the stage.  Think about the LGBT+ groups who get no funded who could be helped with that money!

This entire event is a commercial entity and no longer about the community. Pride started as a political movement and with the fight for genuine equality still ongoing it should remain just that.

Yes, march down the street dressed in your Sunday best, birthday suit or highest drag, it doesn’t matter. It’s about expressing who you are and who you’re comfortable being when you’re in a safe space, but keep the movement a fight for our rights. Celebrate who you are and praise those who came before us that have helped us become who we are, but remember there are still challenges ahead.


I lived through Section 28, it did me no harm.

I lived through Section 28. It was horrible. Given the rest of the tweet I’m guessing the reason it did this person no harm is because they lived a secular life without visiting many of the popular gay bars. This is an assumption and I could be wrong, I don’t know this person so it’s all guess work. I don’t want to get to know this person so it’ll remain guess work.

Section 28 made me a second class citizen. Gay bars had to charge people a membership fee to enter because it was against the law to promote homosexuality, which this was considered. At Alton Towers I was asked by staff to stop holding hands with my same-sex partner. When I refused I was asked to leave. Why were all the male/female couples not asked to leave? They were holding hands too, and that was all I was doing. It was because of Section 28. I couldn’t hold my partners hand while walking down the street and if I did I could be stopped by the police and asked to stop. If that cop didn’t ask me to stop he was breaking section 28 by allowing the promotion of homosexuality.

When at college, for part of a general studies assignment, I wrote about the LGBT+ community and the law. I spent weeks with solicitors and in the courts and libraries researching for my assignment. After handing it in I was called to the principals office and met with him and my teacher. It was explained that I could not submit this assignment because it was inappropriate. No further explanation was given but I wasn’t stupid, I knew what it was. I was given an extension and the opportunity to write something else or not handing anything in at all and thus fail the assignment and not get enough points to get a good grade with the exam. Two days the later the teacher gave me my original assignment back, marked with A and Post-It saying “Sorry.”

Section 28 did me harm because I was out and had a social life that involved more than just sitting at home with friends, in seclusion the way the government wanted it.


I don’t force what I am on to others, this doesn’t get you support.

I don’t force what I am on to others. I don’t need to. Walking down the street with my bushy beard people can correctly assume I’m a man. I don’t need to tell them. Obviously, the tweeter is talking about him not forcing his homosexuality on others. Good for him because it’s really fucking frowned upon sometimes. So, again, neither do I. Some might disagree because, as I’ve already said, I go to Pride marches and gay bars. I also work as activist. But I don’t force myself on people. Where there is inequality I point it out and try to do something to change it. As the tweet started with mentioning Pride I’d also like to point out Pride is a peaceful prearranged march. The only force used is when bigots try to stop it. And even then, the force goes as far ignoring them and pushing through.


Live quietly with dignity, don’t make a scene & people will support you.

I live quietly and with dignity. I don’t make a scene. People do support me. But when needs must I will make a scene and I won’t be quiet, but I still do it with dignity! Attending a Pride march doesn’t stop any of that.

I get to live like this because of the LGBT+ community that came before me. The community that fought for my equality and my rights. The community that ensured that when I apply for a job they can’t turn me down because of my sexuality. A community that fought to give me the right to walk down the street holding hands with my partner. The community that has done so much to help me.

Sitting quietly is all well and good but why should I live my life in the shadows. If those before you had sat quietly you wouldn’t be tweeting “As a gay man…” because it would have been illegal for Twitter to allow it, and if the giants before us hadn’t fought it’d probably be illegal for you to say it let alone Twitter to block it.

So, you sit back and live quietly in your own self-built safe space while the rest of us fight for your rights. Just remember who to thank.  And with respect, go fuck yourself.


And here was my comment on Twitter. Sometimes you wish Twitter had more than 240 characters.


Just in case either tweet gets deleted here’s the text from them:

@matthewtoomer: As a gay man, I have never been to a gay pride march, nor will I go to one. I despise them. I lived through Section 28, it did me no harm. I don’t force what I am on to others, this doesn’t get you support. Live quietly with dignity, don’t make a scene & people will support you.

@UrsusRob: As a gay man, I lived through section 28, it did me harm. I don’t force what I am on others. I live quietly with dignity and don’t make a scene. I attend and organise Pride celebrations because someone has to fight for equality so section 28 and laws like it can be ended.


It is Pride week.

After last years brilliant Pride but fucked up committee I really hope this one goes off well.

I’ve had a couple of issues with some committee members but personally I think I’ve been a good chairperson. Time will tell I suppose.

The majority of the committee have been great. Very helpful and a pleasure to work with.

Here’s to Galway Pride 2017, and all who sail in her.

Gay Labels

Over the years of being gay and going to various bars, clubs, nights, hoot nannies, exhibitions, shin-digs, festivals, marches, (I could go on with this list!) I’ve seen all sorts of labels given to gay men. I don’t know if it’s because I’m not one or I just don’t listen but I don’t remember there being so many boxes for lesbians to fall into (no pun intended!). Lipstick, diesel, boy-babe, butch and alpha seem to be the only ones I can remember hearing. Trust me, I’ve spent a good few nights try to remember them, without google, so I could write this piece. And yes, before you say anything, not all lesbians fit into those boxes either. And the same goes for anyone in the LGBT+ community. As I’m writing this from my own perspective I’m only going to talk to about cultures and sub-cultures I may be part of. Mostly because I don’t know enough about the others and how it makes you feel. If you’ve thoughts on this feel free to share them.

For gay men there seems to be hundreds of labels or boxes we can tick to define ourselves. Bears, twinks, jocks, muscle, fem, clean-cut, daddy, geek, leather, rugged, poz, circuits, gay-listers, queens, show queens, again I could go on. If those weren’t enough each of those can be broke down even further. Especially the bear culture. Polar, otter, cub, wolf and so on. And to make matters worse we can, and do, cross over into one or more. This is all well and good but what if you don’t want to be labelled or put into boxes?

Many gay dating and hook-up sites will ask what “tribe” you belong to and on most you can pick a maximum of three. Some sites are kind enough to let you pick five. Some would have you believe that this is a good thing as it means we can define ourselves, say what type of man we’re looking for, and hopefully the dating algorithms written to choose your destiny will match you with the guy you’ll want to spend the rest of your life with.

It’s bullshit. I can list many of my friends who when looking for dates would choose one type of guy but have now, for many years, happily been with a partner who wouldn’t match the description of the guy they were hunting for on dating sites or in bars.

This method of labelling gay men can also lead to insane friction at speciality nights. At a ”Bear” event I attended a few years ago in walks a couple of twinks (yes yes, I know I’m labelling, I’m doing it to explain the situation, get over it!). Some of the bears starting complaining as this was a night for them and these twinks sadly looked like they wouldn’t be shaving until their late thirties. They were refunded and asked to leave all because they weren’t bears! I don’t know as I didn’t ask them but maybe, just maybe, they were looking for bears! This could have been the kind of guy they were into and now they’ve been turned away because they weren’t part of that sub-culture. I’m all for gay men only nights and lesbian only night, and all other LGBT+ sub group only nights as some people from the LGBT+ community only feel safe approaching those they know are the same as them. They struggle to approach people in gay bars as some straight people actually use gay bars. I know right?! As if they dare! (I swear I’m joking! – integration, it’s the new frontier!) (Seriously, I don’t know what’s wrong with me today!) Life for the LGBT+ community can be hard enough as it is, lets give then a bit of slack when we can.


As a community we will always be given labels. We will always be gay or queer or lesbian or bi or trans or so on, but do we really need all the others? Probably. But rather than limiting how many we can belong in why not let me say how many I want to be part of. There are hundreds of other “tribes” I belong to outside of the LGBT+ community. I’m a husband, a talker, a trainer, a helper, a volunteer, a moaner, a chancer. Do I need more? Labels define us but why choose just one? Regardless of the boxes I fall into, I’m still Rob. I’m still annoying.

If I look at myself and the gay boxes I might tick there are many. All of them depend on my mood. I could be a bear. I could be a daddy. I could be rugged (at a push) or a queen (maybe a little too easily) but tomorrow I could be clean-cut. Who cares? I don’t. You shouldn’t.

Of course, all that being said, when I need a quick ego boost I’ll be the first to tag my instagram pictures with #bear #gay #beard #lgbt etc.

And as for gay-for-pay? No. Just no.