Hi everyone and welcome to this weeks blog post. This week I will be discussing Darlington Comedy Gala, trouble with e-mails, the film ‘Non-Stop’ and Ian Thorpe coming out. So are you sitting comfortably then I will begin.

Once again it has been a very crazy busy week with work so it has been good to find some time to have break from everything and let my hair down (so to speak). One way I did that this week was to go to the Darlington Comedy Gala Night at the Civic Theatre. This is the 3rd year of this show and I have been to all the previous shows. Last years wasn’t that great but the year before was so I was going to the event with mixed expectations and also not knowing who I actually was going to see as many of the acts originally announced had cancelled. It turned out to be a fantastic night out. The MC for the evening Andrew Ryan was brilliant and I admit a little bit of a crush (it’s the Irish accent does it every time). Some stand out performances were Carl Hutchinson, Ray Bradshaw, Rob Deering (I loved the LEGO song), The Boy With Tape On His Face and the surprise act Chris Ramsey (who I also have a crush on). It was a good night and hopefully it raised lots of money for charity. My only criticism was that there were no female comedians but maybe next year this will change.

As I have mentioned I have been busy with work. One of the things I had a problem with was a simple task to do with e-mail accounts. I have a number of e-mail accounts that I have to check. Whilst trying to sort out my issue with my e-mail I even locked myself out of my computer and had to get IT to unlock it for me. All of which made me more stressed than I wanted to be. I still need to fix the problem I am having and I’m thinking it is something I am either doing wrong or not doing.

This week I watched the film ‘Non-Stop’. It was my iTunes film of the month and wasn’t something I would normally watch. After having to give up on last months film ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ I was hoping to do better with this film and I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t original but you knew what you were getting from this film from the very beginning. It had suspense, action and bad fake British accents by a British actor (Michelle Dockery). I also don’t understand why Julianne Moore was in the film as her character could have been played by anyone. It is worth watching and I now no longer want a window seat on a plane.

Moving onto other news today in an interview with Michael Parkinson, Olympic champion Ian Thorpe ‘came out’. Now in a perfect world ‘coming out’ shouldn’t be a news story but we don’t live in a perfect world so it is news. Also ‘coming out’ is a big deal for the person involved and for their friends and family. What has struck me with this interview is that it is clear that dealing with his sexuality was a contributing factor with his recent depression. He is not the only gay person to have gone through this and it is good to see that he is good place now and he can finally “breathe out”. I know from my own experience what a dark and lonely place it can be when coming to terms with your sexuality although not to the level Ian Thorpe has but he add extra pressure with fame and sport etc. With any form of depression it is tough because you are fighting a battle but your opponent is ‘you’ and you know your strengths and weakness’. I look back to where I was over 3 years ago and I was in a bad place and desperate for help from others around me. It felt liking I was shouting in a room but no one could hear or they didn’t know what to do. I never saw any professional about how I was feeling but I am fairly certain I was suffering with some sort of depression. I remember trying to discuss the issue with people and wanted someone to ask “are you gay?” but know one  did. I finally got the help I needed from some good friends and I was able ‘come out’ at the age of 30. In the interview Ian Thorpe talks about why he had denied being gay and why has he said so now. He said “the lie had become so big that I didn’t want people to question my integrity”. Like many people who are coming to terms with their sexuality you do deny it early on because you are still trying to answer the question yourself and be comfortable with the answer before the rest of the world knows. This doesn’t make him a liar as he was still finding out himself and it is not an easy thing to get your head around. I think I was first asked about my sexuality when I was 13 and at that age I was of course going to deny it as I wasn’t sure myself and I was already bullied enough and didn’t want to be the only openly gay kid in school.I know people talked about me being gay behind my back and my parents were often asked but they couldn’t answer for certain. Does this make me a liar? I don’t think so. It is good to see that he is in a good place and is finally comfortable with calling himself ‘gay’. It is a great feeling when you get to that stage in your life.

One thing that struck me with this announcement was that he has ‘come out’ later on in life. OK 31 is not old I know but many gay people now ‘come out’ a lot earlier. There is no set date to come out it is something you have to do when you are ready to but I would say don’t wait as late as 30. I was late ‘coming out’ and there were many reasons for this such as worry over families reaction, attitude of society, and the 1980’s. If you were a child in the 1980’s then you were led to believe my TV and the government that being gay was wrong. Thankfully things have moved on in society but that fear has held back a generation on ‘coming out’.  Hopefully Ian Thorpe’s decision to ‘come out’ now will make it easier for other people to ‘come out’. I have always admired Ian Thorpe as an athlete but now I have even more respect for this inspirational man. If you are reading this and you are trying to come to terms with your sexuality then talk to someone about how you are feeling. You will know who to talk to they just need you to ask for that chat.

Well that is it for this week. Thank you again for reading and I will be back again next week to do it all again.


Top Programme of the Week – John Bishop’s Australia

Top Song of the Week – Ed Sheeran – Sing

Book I Am Currently Reading – Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead