Iâ€™ve never fitted in, there was never a social group I could happily exist in so I floated around on the edge, looking in as if on safari. To avoid the bullies at school I would have to don the clownâ€™s garments to deflect the endless accusations of homosexuality and fragility. Dramatization would come naturally, making light of oneâ€™s own faults kept the more prehistoric members of my school at bay and this brought me more time to survive till coming of age. School was not a pleasant time and I still come across these people who use my mannerisms against me. How do you tell a colleague and friend to ease off the Homophobic comments? I do not wish to be a killjoy, but homophobia is rife everywhere. Gay footballers are hunted, homosexual storylines in soaps are controversial and â€˜homosâ€™ are always treated differently. A large section of society still believes it to be shameful and unnatural which leaves a very sour taste in my mouth.
In defiance I held a gay rights presentation in my final year of the sixth form of my Catholic school. I had no â€˜street credâ€™ as it were anyway and I was never part of the â€˜in crowdâ€™ so I had nothing to lose. Most people saw me as a slightly eccentric loner and the speech just fuelled their suspicions of a â€˜homoâ€™ among their ranks. It is something I have always had to battle and something I have always had to hide behind a faÃ§ade of masculinity and comedy-even though I am a heterosexual male. Masculinity is based on what fashion magazines tell us it. The gay man is presented in soaps and the camp colourful chap in the background making innuendos about cocks and arses. I have never subscribed to what is â€˜manlyâ€™ and what is not hence a lifetime of insults.
The shift is a tight nit group, so tight the banter can become increasingly hostile and to the untrained eye one would make the assumption of crass bullying. Sometimes I roll with it, sometimes I dip out and find an excuse to move on to avoid the same old slurs. I do not approve of the rubber heelerâ€™s approach of thought control but I surely cannot accept this? A colleague recently told me I was the subject of his PDR race and diversity section. He told great pride in his handling of my â€˜sexualityâ€™ that differed from his. He found it hilarious, to avoid ruining our friendship I took a sip of my JD and coke where a laugh should be.
I suspect I shall continue to as I have always done and act up to it playing the camp fool at the party that sniggers at penis references. It is a vicious circle, why I make them laugh they fuel the humour by being increasingly homophobic.
Sigh, I donâ€™t want to be treated with kid gloves though I loathe the insultsâ€¦