“There’s something about you and I”
Gaga’s epic tune is ringing in my ear as I write this homage to my boys.
The new “Queer Eye” has me crying. I know our queerness transcends sexuality and gender. Queer means so much more than being gay, it is a freedom to be what is perceived as odd. We know that the perception of odd means you are actually part of the elite team of truth and knowing. Straight or gay, if your queer you are “my kinda guy”
My friends are my breath, they encompass everything I hold dear. They are the realisation and truth of what I am. I never doubt them and never feel I have to prove something to them. I have the most amazing companions ranging from 20 to 80. My connections and love gives me hope and the differences between us are to be enjoyed, laughed at and embraced. We are not the ones who decide who we are the people we surround ourselves are the judges. I’m a mirror with my friends being the reflection. When you look at me you see them. When I meet a new person it’s their friends I need to meet before I can have a correct opinion on them.
I have spoken about my girls but now it’s time for the brilliant boys I’ve shared my life with. My best people have been so many variations but I have a core of brilliant boys that have been there for a long time. Each one giving me support and an arm to be under and I give my arm for them to be under.
Boys get a hard time from me and so many other people from minorities. My brother has taught me so much. He is younger than me but has a resonance and honesty that I love so much. My brother is so different from me on the surface but we are intrinsically linked through our behaviour, lust for fun and moods. I adore him and learn so much from him. He is a protector as am I. These similarities have to be recognised with total unbiased opinion. It’s easy to act on the preconceived perceptions society imprints on us. I won’t do that. I want to learn about everyone, I’m in love with the concept of connecting through differences rather than things in common. My brother has taught me so much about the “man”. He has also told me the truths about me by educating me on when I need to “shut up Phil”. Very thankful of this! Shutting the fuck up has been the battle of my life (still a work in process) When I’m with my brother we dance and drink and talk. He is so like me and now we know.
My friendships with straight men have been beautiful. So unique and different to anything I’ve had with gay people or women. I will confess they are a less common than my friendships with woman but that makes them super special. My boys have orbited my life for years. The straight men in my life have been with me for years, outlasting many female relationships. Some of them knew me before I came out. These two boys are gold to me because they maintained our friendships when I didn’t. They knew my values and soul prior to me being truly open with who I am. These two boys have maintained our link through messages and meet ups way more than I have. I got worried and was a wimp, they weren’t. They were courageous and made sure their feelings towards me manifested. I’ve been shocked by their need to have our connection maintained, I didn’t think I was worth it. I was not the brave warrior building our relationships. I was ok to say goodbye because I thought they would’ve judged me. They haven’t, they have pushed through and refused to let our link be forgotten. These two boys I met when I was sooooo young. One came in to the garden centre I was working in and taught me to free my wildness, the other came to my sixth form college from the posh school. We had art lessons together. He had a loud car and a girlfriend. He was the type I had avoided for years yet he pursued our relationship. He made me feel one of the team. I wasn’t but he didn’t care when he realised that. When I moved to London he was also here and he and I drank together and it was all from him. He’s a brilliant person who has reminded me of me being powerful when I thought I was weak. He explained a situation I’d gotten myself in to when I was a teenager. Some one was being bullied on a bus and I went in on the bully before my friend had time to think. I had completely repressed that time in my life and he reminded me that I was who I am even back then. I had made up my a false history pre coming out m. I believed I was weak and hiding, He explained to me that it could not have been further from he truth. That means everything to me, I was still me even when I didn’t feel it. I would never have known that if he hadn’t reminded me.
My garden centre boy is the most fun person ever. We are mischievous and wild together. We have partied hard! His ability to let go matches my own, sometimes to our detriment. We work so well together, my ideas and his execution of said idea (so we do do more than dancing in bars and cause trouble). “12 whole years” (Yoü and I).
The boys I’ve met since being out have freed me as they don’t know pre out and love post out. I remember a random lad I had never met moving in to our student house in Salford. He scaled the stairs in red sunglasses and instantly took the piss out of me with an adorable sweetness. He has never stopped doing so and “I love it” (reference Gemma Collins). I spent hours in his room messing around as he tried to work on his proper degree. My degree was a lot of being a tree, miming rope pulling and trying to remember routines that I simply couldn’t 😂. I slept in his bed, we watched movies on his wide screen telly and played pool at the pint pot pub. He always won unless I cheating, which I did regularly because he was so serious about it.
We share bonds that are different than my other friendships. Each one of these boys have told me how they can speak freely with me. They can be soft and emotional, most of the time more than me. Soft lads! I jest.
Hyper masculinity is a plague of our times. With men under so much pressure to be “manly”. Our men suffer and a set of queer eyes on them is important. It’s the way forward for men. It works both ways, I get to be boyish and feel protected. I know.... it’s a stereotype but I do love that being protected my a man thing, it nice.
One of my fears is men. They make me feel nervous and judged. It’s something that has hung on since school I think. My boys teach me that that fear is simply not real and that it comes from me. I trust them implicitly. They know me so well. They slap my wrist when I tantrum and get carried away with something (as is the case so often). They keep me in line more so than anyone else.
So thank you to my straight best boys. I owe you so much and raise my glass. A pint glass of course. Thank you for saying you love me at the end of our phone calls, thank you for telling me to sort my hair out and thank you for taking pictures of me when I fall asleep in strange places after getting overly excited and crash. it’s ok that you can’t keep up with me at the bar, honestly I don’t mind 😂.
“Get your love out for the lads”
“Put your drinks up for Nebraska”