The first time I realised I was gay was when I was 21 at the family Christmas Day lunch when I saw how my brother and step-brother were acting foolishly, and realised that was just not me. The realisation I was gay was no surprised or shock to me because it seemed to fit in nicely to what was already my complex and unique identity. I was at an age when I told my parents what I was doing and how I was as a matter of fact without really caring for how they felt, or I tried to, and so coming out was not a problem.
The first time I probably properly came out was at the NUS National Conference the following year, and it was shortly after that I met my one and only boyfriend and now soul mate, Patrick. I also had the privilege of well and truly coming out in May 2005 for a newspaper advert for Scope on the front page of the Guardian! I have never been one for doing things by halves!
I believe whether being gay is natural or nurture, or a bit of both, it is not something we can consciously decide, and it is something we must simply accept. My journey and story, as well as my contribution to society, is not having a family, but to make a difference through things like this article, and I think I will be remembered for that.
I also believe being gay or straight is not a simple switch but there is degrees to which we are feminine or masculine in a number of ways such as how we think, as well as our sexual preferences. I also know a lot of people with cerebral palsy who are gay, and have the same fetishes as myself from all over the world, and I have always wondered if there is some been psychological connection that needs researching one day, to discover some deep and wonderful meaning.
Being gay is important to me, but it is not my top identity component, which is obviously having cerebral palsy. I came out at a point where it was fashionable to be gay, and I have always enjoyed going to Gay Pride events when I have been able to. I have not experienced any direct homophobia and unsure I would notice it as I am spending my time dealing with my prejudices I face as someone with cerebral palsy.
I once interviewed the Gay rights legend, Peter Tatchell, at his home for an E4 comedy called Taboogie. It was filmed as a spoof interview, where he was not in on the joke as I asked him things like if there are Gay Rights, are there Gay Wrongs? And can people be ‘Ined’? I found his experiences of the often government sanctioned homophobia a real eye opener and made me appreciate the freedoms I currently have as a gay person.
My sexual and relationship experiences have been far from the Hollywood inspired idea of dating, and I have never actually been on a date. I am very comfortable with how I express my sexuality and I would suggest to everyone to do what feels comfortable for them despite the pressure from others to conform to social norms. So long as you are happy, it does not matter what you have, or have not done, or what kinds of relationship you are in and indeed wish to be in.
Being gay is like the filling to the Chocolate Cake that is me, and it is a nice filling to have.