That’s right you heard me, twitter made me gay. Before you jump to thinking this is some Reveal magazine ‘real life’ shock story, let me explain…
Evidently I have been gay for a long time. I came out at 15 years old to a school full of hateful bullies and then to my parents during an argument two years later. Now, at nearly 23 years old, my sexuality isn’t an issue for anyone is my life. But to be entirely honest, it’s only been in the last few months I’ve truly felt comfortable in my own skin and felt affirmed and accepted into the gay community.
Believe it or not in the PR office I work of around 50 people, there are only 2 (maybe 3) gay guys. As per my earlier blog post I have been struggling to find gay friends and feel accepted as a part of the gay community, not just some outsider trying to break the big glitter covered ice.
Things in my life have dramatically changed in the past few weeks, mainly thanks to twitter.
I’ve done the whole gay social media, FitLads, Gaydar and now Grindr thing. Though I have made some ‘friends’ through it, it has also been hard work and always felt very fabricated. Twitter, is a whole other barrel of man-on-man-loving fish.
The brutal honesty and fierce wit some people display on twitter has my sides aching with hilarity. Over the course of a few months, it seems there were a handful of people on twitter I realised I was speaking to more regularly than my own housemates. We shared an immense love of commenting on popular culture through a vicious sense of humour via 140 characters; the high level of content in such a limited field deserves great respect.
Twitter was also allowing me to connect with people outside my facebook friendship base aka, friends of friends, and tap into an entirely new gay-osphere of people. I was able to converse with people from Bristol, Leeds and Edinburgh, who all shared my same mind set. It has been liberating as for the first time I’ve been able to express myself as who I want to be and not who I’m seen to be. These guys had no reason to follow me back, no need to comment on my life, but they chose to, they were interested, and I was back. Over the course of a few weeks, a network of twitter gays formed, who had friends in common. I felt part of a community. An online community of gays.
The next step was obviously to take these friendships offline. Funnily enough, the day after writing my Token Friends post I meet with a small group of guys in Soho for a drink on a Sunday afternoon. We’d all been chatting for sometime, so it was only a natural progression to meet. A mixture of emotions washed over me. What if they don’t turn up? What if they don’t like me? What if we have nothing to say? Not having the comfort of a computer screen and having to converse in more than 140 characters seemed bizarrely daunting.
Within seconds of arriving at the pub and clocking one of the guys having a smoke outside, all my nerves subsided. I genuinely felt like I was meeting up with old friends who I’d known for years, not a group of complete twitter loving strangers.
The afternoon started at 3pm and lasted till around 11pm in the evening. Drinks and conversation flowed remarkably well and friendships really blossomed. This eclectic bunch of gay men had come together all seeking mutual friendship and respect for one another. It was a great feeling to feel part of a collective which before this time had never existed.
Following that day and the incredible response I had from my Token Friends blog post via email, comment and twitter, I’ve made efforts to meet with other guys and started to build more friendships.
I’d like to honour this post and say a huge thank you to @MJButtell, @Spawnofthediva, @HRWright and @Mattmusic78 for meeting me that Sunday afternoon and really helping to define who I am and allowing me into their lives. As my readers will know, I’ve struggled in the past to make gay friends, but now that struggle is over.