Hi and welcome to this weeks blog post. It has been one of those weeks where there has been a lot of stuff going on in my head so this weeks blog is going to be a bit heavy going so you have been warned.
I should be feeling all festive and looking forward to Christmas. I normally am but so this week I am not in the mood. I was going to put the tree up today but at the moment the last thing I want to do is be all smiley happy Christmassy. I have tried and have done my cards, started my shopping, listened to Christmas music, been to a carol service. I’m doing it all but so far nothing. I think the reason is that it makes you think about the end of the year and that’s when you reflect on the past 12 months and what I had hoped for this year and have not happened. I’ve not been feeling that happy all week and my head has been all over the place. On Thursday it was starting to really get to me. There are a number of things getting to me and are not necessarily connected. This isn’t the place to talk about them all but I will touch on some of them.
This week the Olympic diver Tom Daley made a very personal and emotional video and has at last check has been watched by over 9 million people. It was him ‘coming out’ and saying that he was in a relationship with a man and he couldn’t be happier. I was not surprised to hear the news but when I did it made me feel quite emotional and still does in fact its been on my mind this week.
Friends and family have talked to me about it and asked what I thought about his announcement I told them I wasn’t surprised and that I have huge respect for him. They asked why was it no surprise and this is difficult to answer all I can say is my gaydar. I know that is not really an answer but its the best explanation I can give. Watching his video made me remember how difficult ‘coming out’ is to do. Talking on Jonathan Ross he spoke about how he was feeling and about telling family and how telling that first person helped lift the weight off his shoulders, that is so true. I remember telling that first person and thinking I can’t go back now but also felt that it was the right thing to do. When he was talking about telling family it made me realise that the only family I actually told myself were my parents. I didn’t tell any other family member my parents did and they told the rest. Out of all the family that know only one other family member has spoken to me about my sexuality and that meant a lot and still does so thank you to him. I have never brought it up and they have never asked and I’m not sure how this makes me feel and I never thought about it until this week. I remember my parents asking could they tell other people and I said yes but I didn’t expect them to phone around all the family the following day while I was at work to tell them. Did they need to know straight away no, and maybe it would have been better if I had been the one to tell them. By not telling them maybe it looks like I am not happy about it and they are the uneasy about mentioning it. I certainly don’t have a problem with it but I am conscious of others. I am certain Aunts, Uncles and Cousins know but don’t know about their own family. That is something for them to talk to them about isn’t? Maybe that is why I have dreaded family things since I came out. I have noticed they never ask if I am seeing anyone now which saves one awkward question. I also regret coming out sooner because maybe then I could have told my Grandparents. I don’t know how they would have reacted and don’t know if they ever suspected I was gay. I’ll never know though.
People have said about the news of Tom Daley what’s the big deal people do it every day it is not a news story. Yeah this is true, people do ‘come out’ everyday but it is still a big deal for that person. This attitude can be seen in a positive way as it means that it doesn’t matter to most people but sadly society still has a long way to go in terms of fully accepting this you only need to look at some of the vile comments that have been made or read some of the tabloid newspapers’ reaction to see this. From personal experience I know it is the scariest thing I have done. I remember wanting to be sick and crying and I’m not an Olympic athlete. By doing this announcement Tom Daley has shown how grown up he is and why he will be a great role model. Like he says in a perfect world he wouldn’t have had to do this announcement. Some people say why is it a big deal. Until you have been in that situation and had to sit down with those closest to you, you will will not know that gut wrenching feeling of ‘my life has now totally turned upside down’ and so does the world of others around me. He has said “it felt like a dirty little secret. It felt like I had chains around me. I couldn’t be who I was. I felt alone and trapped”. When I told some friends (before parents) I remember one friend saying ‘we are ok with it are you’. That memory is so vivid and is one of the happiest ones I have and it was at that moment those chains and that ‘dirty little secret’ disappeared and I hope they have for Tom as well. Sorry for talking again about coming out but when a friend or a high profile person comes out it reminds me of when I did it.The reason it could be seen as a big deal is because he a sportsman and most don’t come out until they retire from competitive sport. Tom Daley is still early in his career so he risked a lot. He could have lost major sponsorship, it could have resulted in bullying etc etc. Thankfully this doesn’t seem to be the case and he can carry on the same as before. Maybe seeing the huge positive reaction to Tom’s announcement will give other sportsmen and women the confidence to do the same.
What is great to see is how happy he is now he has made his announcement. Hearing someone say “I can’t get him out of my head” is a lovely thing to see and hear and I just want to give him a big hug and say well done. He gets it, its about love and not sex. So many people forget this.We all hope to have that special feeling where that special person is in our lives and is our first thought of the day (yeah even before coffee that’s what love is) and the last thing at night and more importantly they feel the same about you. Just as Tom Daley said on Twitter “one day someone will hug so tight. That all your broken pieces will stick back together”. I just hope that at some point I am able to be in a position where this is the case for me just like Tom.
I mentioned at the start of this weeks blog post that on Thursday my head was all over the place. Part of this was to do with what I have just been talking about and that feeling of being alone and failing in my personal life. Being still at home at almost 33 is killing me and I feel so suffocated sometimes. I need to move out as I can for my own peace of mind. When I got in from work I just wanted to be on my own so I put on a Disney DVD and had a little sing along. It did help a bit but once I finished watching the DVD I heard the news about Nelson Mandela.
Like many people I knew it would happen one day but still hearing the news of Mandela’s death is still sad. He did so much for his country and many people were given the chance to live their lives because of him. South Africa is a beautiful country and the people their are great. I really hope they can move forward and make things even better and build a lasting legacy in tribute to the great man.
I think that is it for this week. Sorry for the lack of cheer this week. Hopefully my head will be in a better place next week.
Top Programme of the Week – Strictly Come Dancing
Top Song of the Week – Katy Perry – Roar
Book I Am Currently Reading – New Moon by Stephenie Meyer