Graham of Anywhere

Graham's blog: politics, poetry, and introspection

One month on

I closed QueerAttitude.com one month ago, now. I still visit a couple of times a week, even though the content never changes. I locked the system time at 5pm GMT, 11th May 2014, the point at which I flicked the switch. I'm not sure about that particular decision because it presents the appearance of a live website; the last posts will, in perpetuity, be shown on the Mainpage as posted within the last few minutes. Maybe that is, in some way, comforting to those who visited the site regularly over the course of many years and still, like me, habitually return. I'm not sure. I'm not sure how I feel. It's been the most consistent thing in my life since I was a teenager. What I do know is that I'm moving on and there is no going back.

There will be, I very much hope, a new project. But it won't be for gay kids. I'm no longer one. And while I still care, and while I still believe there's some distance still to go before coming out is a non-issue, I believe that I cannot help anymore. I'm still single and that plays on my mind a lot. I don't feel strong enough or entitled enough to portray positivity and hope. And I don't feel happy enough to handle the stress of running a community where the members constantly need looking out for.

Taking a break. Time to get my house in order. Finally close Forth St. Get out of debt. Get into shape. Turn my flat into something less student-like. Stave off the desire to "give up and get fat" -- as acceptable as that sounds at the moment, I do still hold out some sort of hope of finding a partner. I need that. I need that. Robin says that a mere 6% of Brits define as LGB which perhaps leaves 2-3% defining as gay men. And I'm not the best looking, or the most personable, and I'm now over 30. I've been a member of a couple of free dating websites for many years and I still see some of the same old faces. I'm remembering something my mum said when I was younger, about how she worried about me finding a partner and being happy. I know she still worries about this now. And I knew it then as much as I know it now -- that her concerns are well-founded.

At the time, though, I didn't know if I'd ever even get a boyfriend. It seemed conceivable that I might not. I did, of course. I've spent many more years in the drought but I've had some great experiences and I'm not sure I could name everyone I've at least messed around with. I've fallen in love with one. I've connected with another -- more than anyone else he seems to see me. I've had great sex with another. And there's been some interesting encounters in between. It gives me some sort of comfort and some sort of hope that despite being over the hill in gay terms, I may again be lucky enough to find a partner. Whether or not I'm lucky enough to fall in love... well, I see others glossing over that requirement but I won't be surprised if I never do, and never find it, and spend my days alone ad infinitum. Finding the one. Civil partnership. Marriage. It feels like something I'll only ever watch others do. And I feel like an outsider. In everything that I do.

Lately I've felt like I'm no longer good at anything. I feel like I'm closing down and shutting up shop. I feel like I'm preparing to start all over again. I don't have a plan and I can't predict six months from now. I'm trying to position myself near the exit, without liabilities, without constraints. I'm looking for reasons to stay, to buy, to work hard and settle down. I'm looking for ways to make that happen. But I'm also planning a contingency scenario where I can accept defeat and walk away; from work, from London, from the UK.

My mum is still in hospital. There's no-one to talk to about this other than my sister who's tried to keep me up-to-date. She posted something on Facebook which a couple of my friends responded to, but no-one messaged me. I don't know how serious this is. We're waiting on more results. But she's not strong these days, either physically or psychologically. I'm worried that it'll get worse and I'm worried that it might not get better. And I'm sorry for not going home more often. I'm sorry that I wasn't a stronger member of the family, the family of families in Edinburgh.

There was a tiny period of time, a few years maybe, between 2000 and 2002, that I felt like Edinburgh was almost my place. The teenage years before were a muddle of strife and insecurity and the years after have been vaguely nomadic. I don't feel like I know home. I feel like a home is somewhere you build with someone at your side. Everywhere else is merely a place. A space of sanctuary, sure, but a place devoid of connection.

I want to write. Write better. I want to write poetry and songs. I wish I was more creative. Technology fascinates but it doesn't evoke emotion. I don't want to buy gadgets and I don't want to waste money on a TV to help me waste time. I want to create. I want to feel. I want to love. I want to be good at something. I want to find my place in this world and I want to excel. I'm not stupid even if I feel lacking. I'm not ugly even if I feel substandard. I'm not incapable even if I feel unsupported.

I feel like a potential person. If only I weren't so bogged down with feeling like a spectator.
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