The journey of Queer Eye in my life

The original show was fighting for tolerance, our fight is for acceptance

This line uttered in Netflix’s Queer Eye, highlights not only the different approaches used in both iterations of the show but also the different times they exist in.

When I was between the ages of 11 and 13, I remember how just before supper I’d be sitting in front of the TV, as a family while waiting for our daily soap opera to come on, there would be an episode of the show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy that would play.

In South Africa, the show would be on in the late evenings while families were getting ready for supper, and I found the show fascinating. I did not know what queer meant then -other than thinking it meant odd-, and I didn’t really examine the premise of 5 guys who would makeover someone every week. However, I really enjoyed the show.

The show existed in the era where reality shows were growing and becoming popular. In our household, we really liked makeover shows and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy really fit into that genre.

It was just another makeover show in my young eyes.

It’s quite humorous when I look back at that and realize, that the original show with food and wine specialist Ted Allen, grooming consultant Kyan Douglas, interior designer Thom Filicia, fashion expert Carson Kressley, culture expert Jai Rodriguez was my very first experience of gay men and queer culture.


Cast of Queer for the Straight Guy: Thom Filicia, Ted Allen, Carson Kressley, Kyan Douglas and Jai Rodriguez

That show had been my unknowing introduction to what gay men looked like, and I only realized this fact years later while watching the Netflix reboot of Queer Eye – especially as an openly gay brown man from South Africa.

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy was that show that made me laugh and smile.

It was the show that was so exciting to see the transformations that people went through and just how it impacted them.

Years later, having gone through my own inner transformation, as I watch the brilliant reboot from Netflix, I marvel at the love and heart that is poured into the show.

There have been episodes in this reboot, that have left me wrecked, and have left a mark on me.


Original and New Cast of Queer Eye

The new Fab Five food and wine specialist Antoni Porowski, interior designer Bobby Berk, grooming consultant Jonathan Van Ness, fashion designer Tan France and culture expert Karamo Brown reflect the strength and courage that is necessary when you’re gay.

They go into areas where they are sometimes the first and only representation people have of what gay men look like, and it noticeably affects them too. The new reboot is phenomenal in how it fits in with the times.

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy was the fun, glam and light makeover that showed people what gay men looked like.

Queer Eye is the emotional, healing, and introspective show (that’s damn hilarious too) but really digs into the human experience in ways that force us to examine how and why we are the way we are.

These new Fab Five, are men with their own pain, their own challenges, and that is what makes this new iteration so powerful is that the show doesn’t hide away from it. The show is having really difficult conversations.


Cast of Queer Eye: Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Antoni Porowski, Jonathan Van Ness, Tan France

In Season 1 I felt my heart break when the show tackled a gay black man named AJ dealing with some of his internalized homophobia, something I still heavily struggle with, and how difficult it is to come out to those we love.

The show also really made my heart stop by showing Karamo, a black gay man get pulled over by a police officer, and how traumatic that experience can be. While the show did play it for laughs, it was still one of the most terrifying moments, especially in light of knowing how often those situations end up in death for black men.

The conversation that happened between Karamo and a white police officer was one of the most profound and affecting conversations to witness. You have two people who could not be more different talking about their respective views and managing to reach a middle ground.

In Season 2, Pakistani-Brit Tan France is speaking to a transgender man and he is not scared to explain that he has been ignorant of the Trans experience and some of the struggles that they face.

That chat had been one of the most honest conversations I’ve seen happen between queer men because it shows that not everyone within the queer community is aware of the struggles that other people in our community face.

In many ways, their talk has mirrored a conversation that has been happening in my life with one of my friends. As a cisgendered homosexual man, I’ve recently learned from my trans friend, and how he said that it does get tiring having to answer people’s questions, but so long as it is respectful and comes from a place of wanting to learn, he doesn’t mind.

As a gay man, I grow tired of having to educated people on the gay experience, I can’t even imagine how tiring it must be for him as a trans man to have to constantly educate people because there is more ignorance around trans issues in general.

It’s crazy looking at the mark Queer Eye for the Straight Guy left in my life, and how that is tying in with the new Queer Eye. The show has existed in my life in the same way that Tan explained:

The original show was fighting for tolerance, our fight is for acceptance

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy was fighting for tolerance, not only in how it was teaching straight people to be more tolerant of gay men, but also in how it was showing young boys like me, who didn’t even realize they were gay, that they were not alone.

The new Queer Eye, in just two seasons, has had me fallen in love with the beautiful and powerful way that acceptance is being shown. Queer Eye isn’t just about showing people acceptance of the LGBT+ community, but also acceptance of themselves.

We’re all works in progress, and we all have to learn how to handle that.

I really did not expect or was looking for a show to make me think and examine my own emotions in such a way, but I’m glad it did.

Theo. Over and Out


How my Daddy Issues manifest itself…

Let’s talk about Daddy Issues…

I’m sure that this isn’t something you hear very often. I assume it’s because we project it on to other people, labeling them as having daddy issues, and never in relation to ourselves.

This could have easily also been called mommy issues, and I think many of the points I’ll mention will apply to those who have had an absent parent figure in their lives, so feel free to use “daddy” as a placeholder for any parental figure you chose.

Specifically I’m tackling how my daddy issues have manifested itself in my life, and how I’ve noticed its effects.

Before we dig in, I think it’s important to address the metaphorical elephant in the room – my homosexuality. Many people have this misguided belief that people who are gay, are gay because of an absent father.

That is utter bullshit.

Many gay people I know have present and active fathers, and yet still turn out gay. I don’t believe there is always a cause and effect situation when it comes to sexuality. In my case it bears no relevance to me being gay because I knew I liked guys before I even knew what sexuality or being gay was.

With all that said, let’s begin…


Whenever someone mentions Daddy Issues, we all get this picture in our minds, or at least I do.

I picture a person, whose life has fallen apart, seeking to fill an emotional hole that they have within themselves by jumping into beds of many partners. It’s the standard stereotype.

This doesn’t apply to me, but there has to be some semblance of truth in it otherwise this stereotype wouldn’t exist. There are also numerous other psychological effects, besides how it impacts a person’s sexual habits.

My daddy issues have impacted me in very obvious ways, namely it being emotionally. Instead of finding a “father” in my sexual partners, it comes out in the way I seek affection.

It has to do with the sensation of missing love from my life – like there’s a gap in the love I was supposed to have in my life.

There was this person who was supposed to love me but didn’t, and they made the choice not to love me. Well he loved me for bit, but stopped loving me in the ways I needed.

As a young boy, you don’t know how to articulate this so an empty space settles in your heart, and when you’ve become a grown man, that space is a void nothing can fill.

As a man now, it feels like I’m looking for the reverse of what I was starved of. Instead of craving love from the man who never gave it to me, I’m craving love from someone who is not obligated to love me, but rather chooses to.

In my mind, it also explains my eagerness to shower my affection on those I have romantic chemistry with, looking for signs of their acceptance of my affection.

I give my attention and interest to those I deem worthy, but for me, the active acceptance of that affection and attention is important. (Basically I look for them to reciprocate interest or at least not be inconsiderate to my feelings).

Thankfully, I’ve discovered how hold a little of myself back, though I do fear this going too far in the opposite direction.

I’ve eased up on communicating with men, because every time I do, it has hurt more than helped. I don’t seek to express myself as eagerly anymore because it has only been leading to disappointment.

Their alienating reaction to my overflowing communication has caused intense feelings of anxiousness.

Anyone who knows me knows that an open wound. I lead with my feelings and I do that NOT ONLY as result of external circumstances growing, but I do it because the alternative would be to lead with apathy and numbness, and doing so scares me.


I’ve done it once before and it prompted a downward spiral that I felt like it was suffocating me.

It’s why I’ve found comfort in connecting with all of the women in my life because they understand. They listen, sympathise and give constructive criticism that makes me think.

When it comes to my emotions, men have always gone on to prove they are incompetent; incompetent in handling their own emotions, and that of an “emotional” man.

My daddy issues are, if I’m being honest, why I’m so averse to do being promiscuous and having “no strings attached” sex.

I attribute it to the contradiction in the level of unfeeling attached. Translation: it’s emotional whiplash for me.

I’m supposed to be intimate and care for the person in my bed, but I can’t care too much and I’m expected to have control over it. Walking that fine line hurts too much because it’s telling my mind that I can care but caring too much will only leave you hurt.

It’s a dichotomy I can’t get the hang of, and not sure I want to.

I’ve been fortunate that despite all of this, I’m a relatively well adjusted adult. It all gets overwhelming and I sometimes find myself close to hyperventilating and tears, but I think everyone feels that way at one point or another.

I was also blessed in the fact that, despite not having an active and present father, I’ve had many father figures who have had positive influences and played positive roles throughout my life.

They were supportive and helped me at so many junctures of my life, but it doesn’t negate the impact an absent father had in my life. I had a step-father who I was grateful for, and who at one point I was so attached to that I suggested changing my surname to his.

However, my request was made to sound ridiculous, and I think that rejection put up a wall that we never really overcome. Granted that he was about in his mid-20s, my age now, when I was almost finishing primary school.

Our ages I think stopped us from really bonding. He was a good father figure though, and still in my life to this day.

In some ways, these father figures stopped me from really going too far over the ledge.

I’m seeking ways to get a steadier grip on my feelings and dealing with my daddy issues. It’s been a journey to even get to this point where I can talk about this, and recognise the root cause of my behaviour.

So far, the only way that’s been helping is loving myself (get your mind out the gutter, that’s not what I meant). It’s been a challenge, but learning contentment and learning to take care of my feelings has been the only methods that have yielded results.

It’s not been pretty or easy, because how the hell are you supposed to love yourself? There isn’t a hand guide to it.

Ultimately, I just try to tell myself, “I’m doing my best”, accepting my imperfections and doing things that make me happy.

Every day is a battle, but it’s one I know I will survive.

Theo. Over and Out.

Cape Town Pride – Accepting, Isolating, but mostly enlightening


Cape Town Pride took place this past weekend, and while it was a lot of fun, it raised a lot of feelings and struggles within me.

Any and every LGBTQIA march is important because it highlights a community which despite its issues is brave enough to come together and celebrate who they are. The queer community often gets told that we’re perverse or that there is something wrong with us, but Pride is when we come out to show that we’re proud of who we are.

Pride is the queer community coming together and saying that we will not be shamed for being who we are, and loving who we love.

Cape Town Pride was an interesting experience for me. It illuminated a lot of things that I still need to deal with, and some noticeable flaws within the community itself.

Before I get onto some of the issues of Pride and the community, let me first address some of my issues.

Pride made me realise that I have to get over my issues of slut shaming. It’s not something I’m particularly proud of, but I think for me acknowledging that I unintentionally slut shame others is a good way for me to begin addressing the issue.

There were numerous instances, where a person was making out with someone, and within the next 5 minutes, they were locking lips with someone else. It didn’t only happen once, but more times than I could count.

I would often stare incredulously, signally at those around me like, “Did you see that? That’s totally unbelievable!” but it would always be with the intention of like “Damn, they sure get around.”

At the end of the day, who they hooked up with was none of my business, and if they wanted to make out with 5 or 20 strangers, and sleep with any of those strangers, it still didn’t affect me and my life.

Yes, practising safe and responsible sex is important, but people are adult enough to make decisions over their own lives and behaviours. It’s not for me to deem what is considered safe and responsible for them, I only need to focus and informed about my sex life and whoever I sleep with.

We’re entering a stage as a society where we are recognising that people have autonomy over their bodies, and we’re slowly losing the stigma surrounding what it means to be promiscuous.

For me to cast judgement or criticism at those individuals is on me, and something I need to address myself.

I have questioned myself enough to know, that my level of conservatism comes from my time growing up within a traditional Christian value system.

I was raised to be very obedient, and that the word of the biblical text was law – believing that sex before marriage is sinful and the bible-bashing rhetoric had a massive impact on me.

Even to this day, I’m struggling to reconcile my belief in God with the fact that I’m gay because it was preached for so long that you have to choose one or the other.

This is also compounded by society constantly screaming out “this is right” or “this wrong” regardless of whether or not it has anything to do with their lives…which is something people like to do, especially in regards to sex, and also women’s bodies.

I’m trying to do better and be better, but it’s a process unlearning all these unhealthy habits.


Picture: Cape Town Pride


Cape Town Pride was also at times isolating.

It was wonderful being around many people within the queer community who I felt accepted by.

I was with my friends, just having a great time, but after my friends left, I was left to my own devices, and sometimes that can be very overwhelming.

I am a friendly-enough person, and even my job as a journalist requires me to make conversation with strangers, but in social settings and surroundings, my reasons for engaging with someone change from it being “for work” to “making casual conversation” and that creates a lot of anxious feelings within me.

If I had to choose between being in the company of 2 strangers and making conversation, versus that of my own, I’d much rather be by myself.

Social interactions feel very overwhelming for me.

However, when checking social media I noticed someone I follow was also at Pride.

I sent them a message and after some milling about, I found them, and then by pure coincidence discovered a mutual acquaintance who I had met once before. Within a span of 10 minutes, I ended up hanging out with new people.

Later, I met another person from social media that I knew, and it all ended up with me having a lot of fun.

Every queer person will agree that another interesting experience about Pride is when you see a person you’ve slept with.

The community is so small that you WILL bump into a person you slept with. You have to be a big person, and at least greet them because if you’ve had your penis/fingers/tongue in them, a hug is the least you can do.


The queer community is also very big into its kinks and fetishes. The straight community is too, but it’s a lot more visible to the queer community.

A guy I went on a date with, and who I’m still in regular contact with, is into a particular kink and engages within that sub-community. He was at Pride, and as we were hanging out, he mentioned that the group he was about to introduce me to was part of this kink community.

He was kind enough to give me a heads up, which I really appreciated. As he mentioned this, my flight instinct wanted to kick in, and I was having a mild freak out, to say the least.

Part of the reason for this was because I had this notion of what kink meant in my head, and I also cast judgements on them before meeting them, which also didn’t really help the extremely awkward level of uncomfortable feelings that sat in the air.

It doesn’t help that I’m a socially awkward individual.

Now, I’m not saying that kink is for me, because it’s not, and it’s not something that everyone is comfortable with, BUT instead of just seeing them as people, I judged so heavily and that just made a situation infinitely messier than it needed to be.

Again, while I have a minutely limited understanding of kinks, it’s not my place to be a moral judge.

While feeling uncomfortable was a completely valid feeling for me, other people’s sex lives have nothing to do with me.


Now onto the issue where Cape Town Pride was being problematic:

Many people knew about a pre-planned protest to disrupt Pride, as there was a message going around on social media:

Love lives here…PHI??
Where is the love?
Where is the love for Noxolo Xakeka, 23, assaulted, humiliated and murdered in January 2018?
Where is the love for Noluvo Swelindawo, 22, abducted, assaulted and shot to death?
Where is the love for Nonkie Smous, 28, whose body was so badly burnt her own family could not recognize her?
Where is the love for Joan Thabeng, whose mutilated body was found after having been dragged through the streets?
The list could go on if anyone cared to put actual numbers on paper.
So sorry to put a damper on your party but ours is the Pride too. Cape town pride, among other problematic prides, is an exact replica of what is happening in society at large and we intend to put an end to it.
Cape Town Pride is accustomed to being oblivious of the struggles endured by the LGBTQI+ community.
Cape Town Pride is blind to the discrimination, rape and murders.
Cape Town Pride is capitalist, entertainment machine that has traded in its responsibilities for a fistful of Pink Rands.
We are aware that many others, over the years, have tried to stop the injustice and it has not worked and we are the ones who have been awaited and something WILL change.
Since 2012 1 in 9 Campaign was kicked out of Gauteng pride in Joburg and as a result exposed the racism that exists in these spaces, Cape town and Durban pride included.
WE ARE SAYING ENOUGH IS ENOUGH as 80% of the black majority that lives in this country.
We are reclaiming our purpose. We are reclaiming our Pride.
We are saying that this cannot be the case that an entire 80% is not represented
Especially while BLACK WOMXN bodies suffer in silence.


While there is absolutely no love for black LGBTIQP+ bodies

We intend to disrupt this celebration for we are not in the mood to party while our community is being plagued by discrimination, violence and corrective rapes.
There cannot be any celebration when all the resources are being geared towards the entertainment of privileged White males and empowered people.
WE REFUSE to allow this to continue
We have tried to contact and involve the Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille before but she has not responded to our cries.
We may not have a pink rand to spare but we have our value.
We are going to take the matters into our own hands.
We have been polite
We have done “polite” protests, silent protests amongst many others.
We have engaged and tried to get a black lesbian or two to sit on the board and it has not worked because it is an EXCLUSIONARY STRUCTURE.
It’s a PREJUDICED WHITE SUPREMACIST PATRIACHIAL structure that excludes Black LGBTIQP+ bodies
So perhaps love lives here means that LOVE LIVES WHERE BLACK QUEER BODIES DO NOT LIVE!!!!!

– Where Is The Love? Disrupting Cape Town Pride!

News of this protest caused a lot of complicated feelings for everyone.

These feelings stem from the fact that many feel like Cape Town Pride isn’t inclusive and caters to predominantly white gay males, and that many others who aren’t white gay males don’t feel as included.

The issue of exclusion relates to a topic I tackled previously in a post, “THE RACIAL CURRENCY IN CAPE TOWN, AND IT’S GAY SPACES“.  People of colour often feel a constant level of being uncomfortable in predominantly “white” spaces because those spaces all make us feel unwelcome.

Pride is this issue on steroids, being that many within the queer community, who aren’t white and gay, feel unwelcome by those who are meant to be there as a support structure for them.

The pride organisers have tried to help remedy this, but others have seen their efforts as half-assed.

This issue is too complicated to tackle here, but its problem that has persisted for recent years, and doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.

The reason why a pre-planned protest didn’t go through was that an arrangement was reached by the two parties, which included a moment of silence for the deceased.

Cape Town Pride Festival

In remembrance of our fallen black lesbian sisters we will be having a 15 minute silence at the beginning of the parade to morn these atrocities. We are one community that will win as one.

Many people, myself included, were relieved that an agreement could be reached because while we wanted to honour and show our respect for our fallen sisters, we also want to celebrate what it means to be gay.

We want to be joyous and be proud of who we are because there is a laundry list of horrible things that come along with being gay, and it’s baggage that for one day we want to put aside.

It created many complicated feelings.



Cape Town Pride is fractured, and this was corroborated when witnessing who people were interacting with.

There was rarely any crossover.

People of colour would hang out with people of colour, while many white members of the queer community would be relaxing with those who too looked like them.

One can argue it is Pride and everyone doesn’t always want to interact with strangers, but if this is true, then why even come out with Pride.

Pride is supposed to be about solidarity and coming together as a community, NOT just sitting with your friends who you see the rest of the year.

Pride should be commended for the fact that more people of colour seem to be attending than in previous years, however, it is saddening that they sometimes sit outside the gates of the Pride party because they don’t get the luxury of paying the R50 entrance fee.

Of course, if the money didn’t go to a good cause then entrance would be free and open to all, but it’s a definite catch 22.

This may be a non-issue and could be something that happens in many other Pride festivals, but it is saddening regardless when you see how people who have so much in common not really communicating with each other.

That said Cape Town Pride, much like the city that it represents, has a very long way to go when it comes to addressing inclusion. When will that happen? I don’t know, but I am hopeful that I will see that inclusive day.

Theo. Over and Out.

The Racial Currency in Cape Town, and it’s Gay Spaces


Picture by:

I’ve been planning to write this for a while, but I didn’t really know how to start.

Fortunately, a conversation I had with a friend and fellow journalist helped me find my intro.

To set the scene, we went to grab drinks after work at a bar, when she surveyed our surroundings and then pointed out this point.

Her: “Do you notice what I notice?”
Me: “That everyone is mostly a person of colour?”
Her: “Yes, but it’s more than that. Look at that spot across the road. It has nearly the exact same prices, but then when you look at the place across the street…”
Me: “…It’s predominantly white people.”
Her: “It’s weird how Cape Town is divided so racially…well not weird, because Cape Town is racist, but it’s crazy when you think about it and see how some spaces are geared towards certain people in terms of race.”

It was this very thing that has been on my mind for a bit about Cape Town, including how queer spaces are almost separated to race.

Yes, socio-economic status plays a part in this, because white privilege and generational wealth is a big deal in, not only Cape Town but, the country too (because Apartheid and slavery were things that greatly impacted on the socio-economic status of people of colour).

ALSO READ: Turning to the person who hurt you…

In Cape Town, for some reason I don’t yet know, this is compounded.

There is a trading of racial currency at play, where a particular skin colour has a different value at certain places, and also sometimes on different nights.

As a person of colour, when you enter predominantly white spaces, you feel immediately uncomfortable. People even tend to act differently.

I remember when I was at a gathering with mostly coloured people, we had been laughing and having a good time at a restaurant when suddenly a group of white people walked in.

There was an audible reduction in how loud we were speaking, and even how expressive we were. Someone, who hadn’t been paying attention to the arrival of the white patrons, asked: “Why did everyone get quiet?”

We pointed in the direction of the new people, and the person understood. We eventually relaxed again and continued to be more of ourselves, but the fact that roughly 10 people had noticed the arrival of white people in a restaurant, and became visibly muted, feeling like we shouldn’t have been as loud, indicates to a problem.

We had every right to be in the space as what the white patrons did, but we automatically became reserved, as if to accommodate them, because it’s how we’ve usually felt throughout our lives.

Every person of colour has had an experience where while out with friends or family, they have felt uncomfortable in spaces with predominantly white patrons.

Another instance of this was a discussion that another friend, who happened to previously be a waiter, had divulged.

They had said how sometimes, while the waiting staff would treat everyone the same, they knew that white patrons were more than likely to tip better, so they’d put in perhaps 5-10% more effort.

He mentioned that, yes there were many times when people of colour would tip well, but that mostly they knew they were likely to get better tips from white patrons.


We had mentioned how unfair and wrong that was, which he had immediately acknowledged, but he said it’s just how things are. This could be attributed to how white people typically are more financially secure than people of colour.

It was pointed out that this could be because people of colour have to stretch their limited income twice as far for basic domestic needs.

Yes, there are exceptions to the rule, but we live in a country where for white people, going to Spur is usually a weekly treat, where for people of colour, that’s a monthly treat.

I’ll be honest and say that because people of colour have this representation of not being good tippers, I make sure more than 10% tip is given in instances where I receive good waiting service.

It’s like I’m psychologically trying to combat this stereotype and fight against it.

Cape Town gay spaces are not exempt from this.

I want to discuss two particular gay places, where I see the trading of racial currency at play – Zer021 and Crew.



Crew is very problematic unless:

  • You are a white gay male
  • You’re from a particular tax bracket
  • You’re mainly from the Central Business District
  • You like to objectify straight males who serve you booze

The place is fun don’t doubt that, but there are micro-aggressions you experience as a person of colour in such spaces.

Sometimes the underwear-clad straight boys working at the bar will overlook you and serve everyone else around you. Usually, the people who were around you were white.

Sometimes, I might be inclined to tip well, but when that happens the bartenders do lose out on whatever tip I was gonna give them because I’ve been ignored for so long.

I can concede that sure, these clubs get busy and they can’t get to everyone, but for it to have happened to me regularly on more than one occasion, means that there is definitely some grain of truth here.

We won’t also delve into the problematic objectification of straight males and slippery slope it causes.

I get that some spaces are geared and advertised towards a particular market, but that doesn’t mean you exclude other potential customers and markets. That would be turning away money.



I was initially hesitant to go to Zer021, and it took a while to grow on me, and there was a reason for it.

That reason was that I was unfamiliar being in a queer space where the patrons were predominantly people of colour who looked like me.

The fact that I needed to adjust to a space where most of everyone around me looks like me, should indicate just how fractured Cape Town is and the racial dynamics at play in its spaces, not just queer ones.

The interesting thing about Zer021 is also how it has more inclusion of queer people that aren’t just gay men:

  • There are more drag queens
  • There are more lesbians (not just gay men)
  • The prices are more affordable for queers of colour
  • The people who are bartending aren’t dressed in underwear – and some are gay and some are straight.

I was having a conversation about another friend, who I had mentioned to that I was going to be writing about this, and they had asked if perhaps I was choosing to see race in an instance where there was none.

ALSO READ: Dating outside of your social class… [Abstract]

I gave him an satisfactory answer explaining my point but I’ve have since thought about it more and come to this realisation – as a person of colour, I don’t have a choice in choosing to see race, I just do.

When you’ve grown up a someone non-white, the colour of your skin and the fact that you aren’t white are one of the first things you notice.

Of course, there are those who argue that you can choose not to see race but is very problematic because there is a lot of cultural heritage, identity and socio-economic status linked to race. It ignores those and gives someone the ability to see part of a person, not the whole.

Also lets not forget that racism is a thing.

Things are not always blatantly related to race but it does play a big part of the conversation. Even more so in queer culture where many people still see whiteness as something to be achieved.

I’m also a part of this problem given how I typically am attracted to white men.

I am NOT solely attracted to and interested in white men, but for a majority of my dating years I have been attracted to them. That doesn’t rule out me being interested a person of colour in the future.

However, I’m still a part of the issue.

Of course, when looking outside of these two predominantly gay spaces, you will be able to find spaces that cater to those within the queer community who don’t identify as gay or don’t identify to a singular gender, but those spaces are even more limited, and it’s something you have to look into, not something you easily stumble across.

Like many things that come with being queer, these things are things you learn over time, often on your own.

With all this said, I LOVE CAPE TOWN.

It is very problematic and has a laundry list of issues that it needs to work on. Don’t even get me started on the problematic portrayal of coloured people specifically and how we’re only seen as caricatures.

It’s a lot.

Cape Town does have its good qualities but doesn’t always put it on display.

Race plays a big part in our daily lives and our spaces – queers not excluded. I hope that in future, posts like this are relics of a bygone era, but alas, that time can’t come soon enough in my opinion.

Theo. Over and Out.

Turning to the person who hurt you…


Something fucked me up recently.

Apologies for the strong language off the bat, but it’s the only way to articulate how the situation messed with me.

A friend had unintentionally said something that hurt his partner’s feelings. Let’s call them John and Jane.

It wasn’t so much about what John had said, but how he said it, along with the fact that what he said had triggered feelings about a broader conversation.

He had said something that had hurt Jane.

What was difficult about the situation, as an outsider to their relationship, was seeing the visible hurt he caused.

Further though was how, he had tried to fix it and apologize but Jane was too hurt and was trying to heal from what was said, that she couldn’t make him feel better about having hurt her.

It was very tense.

They both needed time.


What caught me though was that while I had been consoling Jane, I checked up on John.

When I asked how he was, seeing the level of pain he was in as well was what caught me off guard.

He had said something with a good intent, but instead had caused hurt, and he was hurting too as a result of his actions.

He was hurting over how he had hurt Jane and was trying to remedy it but also giving her the space they wanted.

When another friend and I were having a conversation about this situation, she had explained how her boyfriend too had done something that had unintentionally hurt her.

Now here comes the thing that fucked me up – I’m not remembering this exactly, so bear with me.

“I was so ready to end the relationship, but we had a conversation and I had to decide whether to end it or keep trying.

I had to turn to the person who hurt me, to help heal me.”

It was this that had also played out with John and Jane. They were both hurting,  but they both needed to heal too.

He had hurt her but yet she had to turn to him to help with healing the hurt feelings.

His hurt was then alleviated once he could fix the hurt.


This reminds me of a quote I will never forget: “Love is giving someone the power to destroy you, but asking them not to.”

It really messed me up because it showed how we hurt the people we most want to protect…and sometimes we do this all unintentionally. You always hear about it, but seeing it play out was what played on my mind.

John and Jane could get through the issue but it took a few days.

This isn’t just a situation that couples get into, in recent days I’ve seen friends get into such circumstances and it’s not easy. People aren’t perfect, and we will make mistakes and say hurtful things to friends, and the people we truly care for.

It’s really crazy when we see how words and intent can cause damage in ways we cannot anticipate. It’s always something to be mindful of.

Theo. Over and Out.

It’s hard not to become closed off


It think people forget how difficult it can be to be open.

I’m the type of person who is a open book. For the longest time I was shamed for it, I still get jibes over it, but I’m past then point of caring over that…well I’m getting there.

The thing people seem to forget though is that when you’re an open-hearted person, it makes it that much more difficult to remain unjaded; especially when you’ve been forced to retreat inward for emotional protection – be it from a previous experience or from a flippant remark.

It makes it harder to open up for someone because every knock and bruise that you sustain feels more intense and makes everything else feel hypersensitive.

This is especially true when it comes to romance. Getting to know some is great, but it’s also strenuous.

It basically feels like I’m holding my heart in my hands, and repeatedly giving someone a “you-can-look-but-not-touch” glipse.

They obviously never get to see or touch your heart until such a time where they can be trusted, but before then, you just hold your heart in your hands protecting it.


It’s why I hate the process of getting to know someone with a romantic intention. Yes you can argue that you should just go to meet someone, but the whole purpose of a date is to see if you a romantic connection or potential.

I hate the feeling because I don’t like how vulnerable it makes me feel.

Good things have never come from making myself feel vulnerable, because people have never handled me being vulnerable well. I’m patiently waiting for someone who will prove me wrong but may be I’m asking for too much…

…which in all honesty, is not out of the realm of possibility.

It’s entirely possible that I AM asking for too much. Maybe I should not be asking for anything at all?

READ: Happy Gay Anniversary to me

My friends have previously suggested that I tend to self-sabotage.

I push at people until they cave, and when they do, it’s almost as if I’m vindicated because they turned out to be as fallible and unreliable as I expected them to be.

I get told that it’s not fair to them or myself because it’s like I’ve already decided that they were gonna hurt me.

I’ve doomed us before we started.

I’m not gonna lie and say hearing such criticisms didn’t hurt. They hurt a lot, but I could see their point.

How else am I expected to let something romantic develop between myself and another person when I’ve already boxed us in?

I am the type of person who will put my heart on the line for the people I love. Those people have always been friends and they’ve been reliable, and they’ve gotten me through some difficult times.

However, I’m in a wholly uncharted territory with doing it for the potential of something more romantic.

I wear my heart on my sleeve, and it’s never been a easy feat. So much difficult trauma and hurt happened in my life which could have made me bitter and cruel, but instead of internalizing my pain, it became easier to externalise it and write about it.

It’s most likely why I’m such a open book, who people can easily read.

I’m not perfect. Far from it, but I so try to be good. Being open about my thoughts and feelings is one of those ways.

The challenge is dealing with those who might not be like me, and understanding that their way is not wrong or to personally block me out, but could be the only way they know how to cope.

It’s tough, no one likes being vulnerable, because it hurts, but if we all remained cold and cruel to protect ourselves will we ever be open to being loved?

I’m, for the first time in a while, not clear or have any big epiphany or experiencing some type of resolute emotional growth because this remains ongoing…

This crazy little thing called life leads us on expected journeys so time will tell where I’ll end up.

Jaded by love, saved by it or one of those not sure what to make of it? Who knows? Time will tell.

Theo. Over and Out.

PS: This short animated film is still pretty damn amazing…

Happy Gay Anniversary to me

Today marks the anniversary of my coming out – 12 December 2012.

I have lost track of how many times I’ve written that sentence.

I’ve probably used the same sentence to commemorate my coming out every anniversary since that day. One would think as I writer I’d come up with something more poetic and eloquent, but it’s always been that sentence.

Weirdly enough, the weight of that sentence has somehow started meaning more to me as time goes on, not less.

That doesn’t really make sense to me because I thought it would have less significant, but if anything I’ve realise just how powerful of a moment it was in life. In some ways I see my life pre-coming out and everything thereafter.

It’s not that way for everyone, but for me that day I came out was a seismic shift in my reality and perception of the world.

It wasn’t the first time I had come out actually, because I had come out to friends months prior, and I was struggling with it. I had even had a four part counselling session, at the recommendation of a friend, which really helped.

The reason why my coming out on 12 December 2012 carries more weight was because it was the day I told my mother that I was gay.

It was the scariest AND bravest decision I ever made. It changed my life.

A lot went down that day, and I remember a lot of details about that day. It will be burned into my memory and I don’t think I’ll ever forget that evening.


Getting a tattoo in February 2016 to honour the day. Picture: David Ritchie

On the night I told my mom that I was gay, I couldn’t stay at  home because my mom feared what she might to do me. Her reaction was something that I don’t think I’ll ever forget.

Currently, while she’s not fully comfortable with my homosexuality, I know she loves me.

Every year since coming out, I’ve found myself having difficult time in the last quarter of the year.

I felt a sadness start settling in my soul during September leading into October (my birthday month) and just find myself strugglling – feeling like all the colours from my life and the vibrancy of it had been muted.

It had been particularly difficult this year as for the whole of November, I was hypersensitive and feeling raw. I didn’t know what was going on, and I was scared. I was constantly seconds away from crying whenever someone asked me how I was doing, and I couldn’t put my finger on it.

It felt like I was back in the weeks leading to my coming out, which was a particularly dark time for me.

I can’t recall exactly how I discovered the correlation, but I was able to get to get a better understanding once I realised that how I felt had to do with my coming out.

At it’s discovery, I was left feeling confused.

A part of me is worried that my increasing melancholy heading into the festive season is connected to my tumultuous my coming out experience.Bottom of Form

Almost like none of the vast growth I’ve done since then will impact on my mood because of the deep feelings of rejection which come from it.

There was one day that I was feeling very lost and confused, and I needed to get away from my desk at work, because I was seconds away from crying at my desk or in the work bathroom.

I am not the biggest fan of crying – well not true, because I do not mind crying during a TV show, but when it comes to real life situations and feelings, I try to avoid it.

I left my desk, and took a 20 minute walk to visit my friend at her offices nearby.

Even that walk was a challenge, because I almost started crying along the side of the road. I had to pull myself together a few times and give myself a talking to like “Stop being stupid and pull it together. You’re a man, and this is a dumb”.

I got to her offices, and she was surprised and delighted to see me, but she could sense something was up.

I gave the non-committal blanket answer – “I’m fine and you?” – when she asked how I was doing, but she pressed.

Eventually everything spilled out and as I explained why I wasn’t in the best space. I barely made it a sentence when tears were running down my face. She gave me a tight hug.

When I explained my theory behind my feelings, she said something that stuck with me.

“Of course it’s coming up out now, I am surprised it took this long if I’m being honest. What happened to you was an emotional trauma…”

When I argued that I felt dumb because I was stuck on something that happened years ago she replied.

“When you break your arm, of course it’s going to take time to heal, what you’re going through now is the same. Something inside you broke, and it needs time to heal.”

What she said gave me context and greater understanding for my feelings because I realised that I had never really dealt with what had happened that day, or rather, not in any helpful way. I had instead gone into survival mode because it was a sink or swim situation.

My life was up in the air at the time, and for the longest time I had been so proud of having just survived it, that I didn’t recognise how much pain I felt.

Looking back over that time, I hadn’t actually cried as much as I should’ve.

I think that was because It was easier to feel numb and nothing, than feeling that pain, and heartache of being rejected for something I had tried to change, but was unchangeable. I never had that cathartic sob, and in all honestly, I still haven’t.

I can still feel my hurt.

I try to not sit in it or give it my full attention because it doesn’t feel healthy, and I still have my current life to live.

However, I know better than to just fully ignore it. I don’t know if I will ever fully be healed but I know that I am getting better. It will be a process, but one that will take time.


The before and after

12 December 2012, will always be special to me. I got a tattoo in memory of the day because of its significance.

Coming out isn’t easy, and while I’m still battling with my internalised homophobia, it does get better.

I am reluctant to think about where I would be if I didn’t come out.

I am proud of my younger self for doing the scariest and bravest thing he could have done. It wasn’t easy, but we’re better for it.

If you take anything away from having read this – be gentle with yourself, and there is no timeline to healing. Sometimes pain never goes away; we just get better at handling it.

I am so grateful to all the people in my life for being my support structure. Thank you for being there for me. I appreciate your love, compassion and kindness.

Theo. Over and Out.