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Friday, 6 April 2018

The Price of Poverty.

It’s no secret that I’ve been poor. My money has always gone on my passions rather than my desires. As a designer, any spare change went on materials, as a publisher extra cash went into production and as a brand manager a lot of money went on the commute to work. 

Being poor is something you can think of and fear but not really know the feeling until it hits. Poverty is mean, it causes you to think and feel down, every breath seems to cost money. Sometimes all you can do is hope for depression as at least in those dark moments, you cease to need the fuel of food - with hunger eliminated as a side effect. In the process dark moods end up saving you money on a day or twos meals, without having to suffer hunger pain. 

You think you can calculate the costs of the meager money you have, but it’s just not that easy, 
Things happen that can’t be accounted for. Take for example flatmates inviting you to dinner and your pride not allowing you to say no. At dinner you cut corners but still end up spending €10, afterward you end up annoyed, knowing that it could have gone on a week worth of food and not just one dinner. Either way, you shrug and try not to feel guilty. Other times it’s your friends who buy you drinks at bars, even though you insist they don’t and after three rounds on them, you scramble to the bar to at least buy one round, even though you know that it will hurt your pockets in the long run. 

The main pain of poverty for those newly imprisoned is the loss of freedom. If you’ve lost a job you suddenly inherit life’s most precious asset - time. But now you have time but no money. Instantly you’re robbed of being able to do what others do/ what you did before. You can no longer go where you like, eat what you want or buy the little luxuries/ bare necessities which you did before. Everything is considered, measured and debated. If you spend here can you thrift there? It’s mentally exhausting to think so much and physically draining to eat so little. 

Friday, 30 March 2018

On fitting in/ having clubbing anxiety.

So I like to dance, but I’ll admit it and hold my hands up and say I’m not the best dancer but I like to move, groove and lose myself to the music. The issue here though is that dancing means going out and going out has its issues. 

One of the main problems for me is that the gay establishments, I usually frequent don’t really have the sort of men that I’m attracted too (not to sound bigheaded). I find it really hard to find the right vibe that fits me. If someone is too handsome I’ll be intimidated, cursing everyone including myself for feeling inadequate, beneath them, not right. If they’re not my type but persist on trying to get my attention or in some cases pester and not get the hint it can sometimes ruin the night. It may sound stupid but sometimes when someone is constantly watching you it can feel unnerving and you can’t fully let go. Luckily sometimes the stars do align, with good music, cheap drinks, my type of guys and a nice buzz. It’s always great when the men aren’t  stiff, unapproachable or shallow. When they laugh, dance and look good, yet don’t think they’re gods. It allows nights that I can belong to, lose myself to the music and for my mood to soar, but these moments are rare. 

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Intimate doesn’t mean intimacy

For it’s a heavy breath to take to know that what you breathe in is pure and out toxic.Life is the journey but when you start to feel comfortable and confident time takes something away...

I struggle with being gay and it’s not the being gay that’s the issue, loving men plays no part in my despair it’s the men/ the man that seems to destroy me. In my lived experience I haven’t been fortunate  enough to receive a love I feel deeply, a guy I want badly and a relationship that’s healthy. I love men I just haven’t loved a man.

I crumble more and more inside with every high and horny message I get I feel more numb, more reduced, more nothingness, my optimism at finding something and someone special is diluted, I try blank it out but I can’t as I want something so bad that it’s frustrating that this is all I get and all I’ve had is boys who know nothing and have no self.... I’m hardened with snarky responses to most things, when others see wonder I detract from their moment, this is like some heavy veil I can’t lift and I’m numb getting even more so with each passing day. 

I’ve been on dates recently but I don’t feel the burn, I don’t see the brightness, I don’t feel the warmth. That easy ebb and flow, that pulls you towards another and makes you want to get to know all you can, to try and understand someone other than yourself. It’s all just something with Someone but it’s not the one. 

I find getting intimate is easy but intimacy is hard, I wonder do we have an issue with building pure and strong bonds?  In sustaining a committed, loving & nurturing relationship?  or is it simply in the game of like, lust and love I’m just no good at it? 

I’m losing my senses and in the process losing myself, I’m becoming something and someone that might just hate everything, feeling robbed of something I’ve always wanted... As just because I’m gay does it mean I have to struggle to find a lover, have a family and build a home, will it always be quick kisses, lewd messages and this sad lonely feeling? 

Sunday, 12 November 2017


Ok so I must confess I’ve never come out and in truth, I hate the word and term as to me it implies I ’m hiding something. To me there was never anything to hide even if it meant when answering a question often asked truthfully by bigots and bullies could mean you’d get beaten up or abused verbally. 

I didn’t tell my parent or siblings as my relationship with them was never strong. I’ve never really been understood by my family, being privately fostered from 0-8 and living with my sister and a foster nanny meant my mother and two brothers who lived in London & I in Somerset would have a certain sort of distance. That wasn’t the only thing as with two brothers only a year apart they could form a connection similar to twins, develop tastes in sports, music, food, friends that seven years younger and less masculine I just didn’t. I listened to Brandy they listened to Murder C, I wrote stories they played basketball. I always felt pushed, poked and punished for being me
and not like them. 

In regards to my friends at the time, things had started to go wrong, we were no longer the children that had been bound by the past, the present was just that, the future seemed like it was far away but the cracks had begun to show. 
We no longer liked the things that bound us in the past from Dragon Ball Z, playing Gameboy advance or collecting pokemon cards. The present was about girls, designer clothes, sports and who had the best phone and acquiring it by whatever means necessary. Violence seemed to always be in the air, guns, knives, robbing etc - I wanted out. 

At 15 I was sent to a referral unit for hardly ever attending school ( I found it boring and patronising that they taught us at the level and pace they did.) I was destroyed as I was fully capable of getting the grades and passing my GCSE’s but the school thought I wouldn’t ‘apply myself’. This turned out in hindsight to be one of the best things that happened in my life, I stopped going to the referral unit and soon I was going to Heaven every Wednesday that put on a night mainly for LGBTQI, POC. 

This opened my eyes completely changing how I looked at myself and my colour. I wasn’t the odd one out anymore, there were so many gays of all races, shapes and ages. This led me to the decision that I no longer wanted to be where I was or in fact who I was, I wanted to discover myself and understand my sexuality. I had a burning desire to find a place where I could live my truth and I did finally at stonewall housing. 

At Stonewall I met the coolest, craziest most energetic people, every day was a party and I felt freer by just even being in their company. We had left the world with its hatred and discrimination behind. It was here I made some of my closest friends. I entered lost and emerged found, due to Rasharn living upstairs, he was studying fashion and I’d go and pour through his copies of Vogue & I-D, eventually I decided this is what I love. I applied for The Fashion Retail Academy and soon after we started the menswear label Jaiden rVa James.

I cannot be an activist fighting for equality if I feel ashamed, I can’t speak loudly and proudly if at any point my voice shakes or is lowered to a whisper! I'm a gay man who loves and finds beauty in other men. I see no shame in my desire and if anyone tries to make me do so they’re not a friend, family or ally and those who do are living proof that battles have been won yes but the war still rages on.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Privilege is a priceless power.

Look it up: racial shame, racial hatred, racial bias, racial stereotyping, racial abuse. 

There are many things that one has to suffer when living in the lands of a majority that seeks to suppress you. You grow tired and weary of the eye rolls and people saying you're playing the victim. 

Privilege is a priceless power that can be used and abused, even if the persons not consciously aware of it. 

I always say to those who ask about being black, that maybe a trip to Asia or Africa will help them experience the 'social construct' of race for the first time. As they look different maybe they'll be treated different nonetheless.