Thursday, 25 November 2010


DL Williams writing on the BBC's Disability Site gives pulling tips if you're deaf and gay and how to make sure you've covered you tracks well and truly when it all starts to kick off!:-

I'm twenty years old and haven't been 'out' until very recently. School, you see, was mainstream and rather lonely. I had maybe one or two good friends and that was it. I was the only deaf person in a sea of hearing people. Same with jobs. I wasn't 'out' because I didn't have anyone to tell. Now stop sobbing into your hanky for me.

Then, last year, I went to uni and became part of a deaf community for the first time. Soon after starting, I was casually asked, just like that, straight out, if I was gay or straight. This was one of the first indicators that in the deaf world, things are much more direct.

How to explain? Well, language format plays a big part in this directness. British Sign Language is a symbol-based language, and it's very easy to communicate incorrectly or ambiguously. If we went around making it more complicated, conversations would take forever. Think text message though, and you're on the right track - clear, brief and to the point.

Anyways, I told them I was gay. No problem at all. And then ... I was 'out'. I loved it. Then I found out that a lot of people I had met were also gay.

Being unable to understand anything in loud places hasn't stopped me from hitting on the cuties though, let me assure you. All you need is a mobile phone.

It's simple. Set it to Text Message, write something witty yet flirty (that's the difficult part), then casually saunter over to the object of your desire and show her the message in the most nonchalant way possible.

It's helpful to explain that you're using text 'cos you're deaf - and if you've been seen signing to your friends, it all adds up. To some, it can also make you pretty cool.

Signing is cool and trendy, you see, especially to impressionable young things in nightclubs who are already a little drunk anyway. Oooh, those sweeping hand movements!! I digress.

This method of flirting is very direct in nature, so depending on the response to your SMS offering, you may either retire deflated or spend a while chatting via text. Note: you don't have to send the message, just write it, show it, delete it, and write another. Easy as that. And it does work. I've seen it working. Observe ...

Once upon a time, there was a deafie called David. Me, David, and other assorted deaf were in a gay nightclub. He saw a boy he liked and off he marched / casually sauntered with his mobile phone. The last time I saw him on that particular night, he was sitting on said boy's lap, they were showing each other messages on their phones and occasionally moving in for a snog.

The deaf culture doesn't really go in for subtle. It goes in for direct. Straight to the point and plenty of drama. Oooh baby, the drama.

When you're in a gay nightclub, and everybody's wasted on alcohol (and other substances), that's the perfect time for a good bit of drama.

Favourite in the drama stakes is having a go at some hearing person looking oddly at their signing. You walk up to said 'hearie' and ask them - in big gestures and patronising signs - if they "have a problem".

Usually the hearing person is equally drunk and does the patronising gestures right back. This is the cue for other deafies to get involved with their own versions of "You got a problem, pal?"

At this point, the bouncer will see all the big stuff going on and will assume that a fight is brewing, rather than just a bunch of deaf taking the mick out of an ignorant hearing person, and will intervene.

Half the deaf crowd will assume that the bouncer has come to throw them out and will kick up a fuss. The other half will try to calm everybody down, with mixed success. It's quite a show. Usually the bouncers just give up when it becomes clear that everybody is too drunk to cause trouble.

Someone asked me what the difference is between deaf gay culture and plain old ordinary gay culture. To be honest, I don't know. I only know it's fun, and a hell of a lot more accessible than boring old gay culture."

Thursday, 11 November 2010


The internet makes tracing people so easy these days. Actually maybe it makes it too easy.

When I was online the other evening and playing the game of 'where are they now?' I found myself in a couple of keystrokes coming face to face with the family 'friend' who had molested me when I was seven years old.

Yes, I was wondering what had become of him and curious enough to make a search, but I hadn't expected to hit on picture of him just-like-that.

I'm 45 and in the overall scheme things I wouldn't say the incident was hugely traumatic but I did feel a terrible tightening in my stomach on seeing this face after nearly forty years.

More significantly though, the incident is undoubtedly key to the suppression of my homosexuality for so many years. It was the revelation of it to an older brother that had me sworn to silence and implicated as being gay - a consequence of which, I was assured, would be my father ejecting me from the house.

For God's sake, I was barely eleven at the time and that was some heavy wrap to be hit with at such a tender age. I recall exactly the spot where I was, the time of the day, the coat on a hook in the hall, and the deep feeling of shame welling up inside me. Memories indelibly burnt into my psyche.

The molestation had been a walk in the park by comparison to this treatment being meted on me - and yes, I have often speculated on what treatment my brother might also have been subjected to be so keen to turn the tables on me.

As for my abuser. I don't view him with particular malice. The extent of his molestation was no worse than him making me lie on him in his flat and embrace him while he put his hands down my trousers and fondled my arse. At least, as far as I can recall.

What does trouble me though is the total abuse of trust he engaged in, both of me and of my parents who would have trusted him utterly.

To drive me to his flat in a premeditated act, knowing exactly what he had in mind to do. To have the presence of mind to close his curtains to conceal his despicable deed. To have exploited a child's innocence and lack of suspicion. To have engaged in an act that was so wrong, wrong, wrong.

Whatever, in his picture he's looking positively relaxed and untroubled, but what about other children that he might have similarly abused? Did it at any stage go beyond hands down the trousers?

I dread to think. SM/LG

Tuesday, 9 November 2010


I don’t believe in God, but I do believe in the Christian orthodoxy by which I was raised

I do believe in safe sex, but I do sometimes I have unsafe sex

I don’t like kidney, but I do like liver

I don’t suffer fools gladly, but do behave like a fool myself

I don’t ask after my godson enough, but I do treasure him in my life

I don’t do the gym, but I do do the cyling thing every day

I don’t have enough sex, but I do enjoy the little I get

I don’t have a boyfriend, but I do have good best friends

I don’t send greeting cards, but I do get narked not to get any

I don’t read the sports pages, but I do like lyrca clad sportsmen

I don’t do fanny, but I do like good tits

I don’t dig muffins, but I do do biscuits, lots and lots of them

These are the contradictions in my life

They make me what I am ... an imperfect work in progress

Friday, 5 November 2010


I'm always looking for tags that will neatly encapsulate who us Lately Gay folk are and that must be what I was sleep-working on last night as my very first thought on waking was ... Enola Gay.

Well, how on earth, I thought, are lately gay people like the Enola Gay*? (*The Bomber that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, I add for our younger viewers!) Er, because, er ... I began to grope my way through this ... er, we dropped a shocking bombshell from a great height .. late in the day?? But Enola Gay bombed first thing in the morning? Yes, yes, I know, but it was very late in the war, wasn't it? I even realised that I could get an acronym out of it: Explosive News Only Lately Aware.

So, having tried it on for size, I'm intrigued and think it has possibilities - and imagine if it did catch on - the Enola Gays! Might even get us into the dictionary. There we'd be next to Gay, Bi, Butch, Fem etc. accompanied by a neat illustration e.g. Adam: 'Hi Steve, who's your new friend - I've not seen him before?'/Steve: 'Oh that's Ryan ... Yup, he's Enola Gay!' Nuff said! Of course, things might get interesting if the tag takes on and we'll have the war buffs looking up the actual 'Enola Gay' on the net and then they'll find our site. Now that really could be a bombshell for some, especially those of a mighty, righteous persuausion.

Bring it on, I say.

Monday, 1 November 2010


"I don’t wear pointed shoes, I don’t rate Kylie or Madonna or listen to pop music, I detest G-A-Y. I don’t look like a fashion disaster when I come out of my house and think I look fabulous or feel the need to conform to gay trends. People can’t work out whether I’m gay unless I tell them. I don’t pretend to be something I’m not and I can actually laugh at myself before others. I don’t live in a pretend world or scared to venture some where totally straight. I don’t have tribal tattoos or worse still stars! I don’t feel the need to throw dramas or say really hurtful things to people to make myself feel better. I think with my brain not my dick and I know what the word monogamy means. I can count the relationships I’ve had on one hand and all of them have lasted a lot longer than 2 weeks. I don’t need to lie to make my life sound better. I’m not as shallow as a puddle, I know that some people can be pretty on the outside and pig ugly on the inside. I don’t expect things I couldn’t provide for myself or need to ride someone else’s wave. I read the sun newspaper I don’t try to use big words. I will talk to anyone even if I don’t fancy them. I know how to play pool! I’m not afraid to stand up to a lesbian and I don’t have a fag hag. I don’t care what other people think of me its what I think of myself that really matters. The only reason I know I’m gay is because I sleep with men and that's good enough for me." (Anon)

Editor note: I saw this piece posted in a Gumtree ad and I was very taken by it.  There wasn't a writer credit but I will happily credit it if the author can identify himself.