Hi everyone and welcome to this weeks blog post. I have had quite a busy week and one which has made me reflect on things past and future. So here is what I have been up to and been on my mind this week. (Oh and if you are wondering I’m loving the Kindle).

A lot of things have been on my mind this week and I have been looking at what I’m doing and where I’m going and what I want to do. It might not be the meaning of life type of stuff but it is the meaning of me I suppose. One thing early on this week that dominated my thoughts was the vote in the House of Commons on allowing same-sex marriage. There has been a lot of talk in the media in the build up to the vote and I wasn’t sure how it would go. The result was a ‘yes’ for same-sex marriage and it will now progress on to the committee stage where the details will be sorted out and then it is to the House of Lords for a verdict before it can become law. Although the vote this week was a yes there is obviously still a lot to do. However saying that this was a huge step forward for everyone in the LGBT community. It is a step towards equality and that can only be a good thing. I understand the religious arguments against same-sex marriage and although I don’t agree with them for obvious reasons I do feel that no religious building/person should be forced to hold a marriage ceremony if they feel it is not right. However this decision should be made locally as each religious building/community know the people who go there to worship and they need to reflect that community and attitudes can change so I am wary of any Nationwide blanket decision. Anyway I am thrilled with the news and although I am single I hope that maybe one day if I am lucky then I will be allowed to marry not because of religion but because of love.

With this big news story happening this week it was quite appropriate/topical that on Friday I was attending a meeting in London which was to discuss LGBT matters in Universities and the Stonewall Equality Workplace Index . This was a fantastic opportunity and as well as meeting some fantastic people and getting some good ideas on areas we could look at. As well as this it was also a huge personal development experience and has answered some personal questions that I had about myself and also created a whole lot of new ones.

Although I was attending the event for work it wasn’t in the capacity of a library assistant it was as a member of the staff lgbt network. Because of this I was nervous before going. I am not a high-powered professional guy I’m more the geeky library guy. I may secretly want to be the young professional but in reality I know I am not that person. This meeting allowed me to step to one side and look at other options/interests in my life and for one day be that young professional guy commuting to London for a meeting. I suppose it was my Cinderella moment. Once in the meeting I was OK and surprised myself in how comfortable I felt, it felt right and I didn’t feel inferior or not good enough and I haven’t felt like that in this situation before. This feeling of being inferior is one that I often feel professionally as I have had my fair share of knock backs . There is no reason for this inferiority complex really but because of the environment I work in I sometimes feel I am lucky to be here almost above my station, or so I thought. I know I have earned the position I am in but it is a different life that I have had before (it’s a long way from a supermarket checkout) and it can lead to inner conflicts. The whole experience of this has been great for me though and if a chance comes along again then I won’t feel as nervous and will feel that I do belong.

As well this personal development another thing that struck home to me about this event was how far I had come with regards to acceptance of my sexuality and this made me look at how I got to this stage in just under two years and how separate incidents/interactions all connected up to get me to that point on Friday. I have tried to put a diagram together to show the point. This link should show what I am getting at connections (sorry if it doesn’t work). The top bit is all the incidents and actions as separate things, then below it shows how they all connect together. Without trying to sound too much like Kevin Bacon in those annoying adverts what I am trying to say/show is that meeting different people and doing different things are in some way all connected and led to me be being where I am. They say people come into your life for a reason and I can think of 2 possibly 3 people who helped kick-start this journey but from different approaches and at different times but the result came together at the same time because of my actions more specifically I said “yes”. I know that is quite confusing and a bit heavy going but it is true. If I hadn’t of said yes to some things or had given in to my doubts then I would not have done the things I have done. I said “yes” because of the inspiration of other people and seeing them succeed has inspired me to at least attempt it as well (with this in mind it was also fitting to catch up with them before my journey home). I think back to May 2011 when I ‘came out’ and was scared, nervous and not sure what I was to face and not sure how I would come to terms with myself and how I fitted in. Almost two years later I find myself at a meeting discussing LGBT issues with other senior HE people. If someone told me two years ago I would be doing that I would not have believed them but it happened. This progress makes me think that actually maybe I am a stronger person than I thought. I still have my demons yes but for the first time I am actually seeing the good stuff as well. I know I am not the only person who has done this but more importantly I don’t want to be the last either. For any of you out there who doubt yourself or are questioning their sexuality then I just want to say it does get better and you are not alone. There will be people in your lives right now who are there for a reason and are trying to show you the way, so let them do it. If you do you won’t regret it and more importantly let me know in 2 years time how far you have come.

With that in mind I think it is best to say bye for this week. Sorry for getting all deep and meaningful but at least I have tried to be positive. So until the next time bye.

Top Programme of the Week – Dancing On The Edge

Top Song of the Week – Little Mix – Change Your Life

Book I Am Currently Reading – The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setter field