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: https://love-dimitra.deviantart.com/art/Table-Mountain-348838189

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.

Dear Marvel, stop telling us about LGBT+ characters, show us.

Dear Marvel

I have a bone to pick with your movie studio.



With Thor: Ragnarok, we’re roughly 17 movies into Marvel Studios’s historic cinematic universe, and we’re set to get a culmination of this universe building with the arrival of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 not long thereafter.

Marvel Studios has given us exciting adaptations of it’s properties. This year, they’ve delivered with Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2, Spiderman Homecoming, and recently Thor: Ragnarok.

While the movies have been unending fun, something which isn’t necessarily the best in the long term, they have been methodical at building the cinematic universe, but it has ultimately paid off for the studio.

I do know the studio has had their three phase plan, and stuck to it with an impressive level of devotion.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) have given us a vast array of movies, choosing to go with quality over quantity, with 2017 being the first year they upped their output from two movies a year to three.

The thorough process, despite its successes, has not come without its failures – namely that the MCU has been slow on incorporating diverse voices and actors into it’s world.

While Marvel had a bigger head start over DC, it was Wonder Woman who made it to screen as the first female led superhero movie – overlooking Elektra and Catwoman – going on to become the top origin story of all time.


Marvel has its first female lead in Ant-Man and The Wasp, in 2018 before following that up with Captain Marvel, who will be the studio’s first solo female heroine in 2019.

The first black female lead character came with Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie, and while her introduction was badass, it’s a little frustrating that it came now only.

The Marvel stable however, are forgiven for this slow delivery because they are in fact blessing us with a predominantly black cast in Black Panther – which is the first movie with a predominantly black cast to have a big action superhero blockbuster budget.


(The Blade trilogy did exist, but Wesley Snipes was always surrounded by predominantly white actors)

Black Panther is a pretty big deal because there will be disenfranchised and disillusioned young black boys and girls, who will get to see themselves represented on screens as heroes, and while to some this may seem trivial, it’s actually a huge deal.

Representation matters. Seeing yourself represented in the various media you consume matters.

Which is why as a member of the LGBT+ community, it’s frustrating when in interviews directors speaking about queers characters existing in the MCU but not showing that, or saying characters are bisexual, but having them acknowledge that on screen.

James Gunn, director of both Guardians of the Galaxy films was asked about this, in a previous interview, and then later again clarified his remarks saying:

“You know, somebody asked me will there by any gay characters in Marvel movies, and what I meant was there’s a lot of characters in the MCU and very few of them have we delved into what their sexualities are – whether it’s gay or straight or bisexual,” Gunn said.

“We don’t really know. So, I imagine there are probably gay characters in the Marvel Universe, you know. We just don’t know who they are yet.”

While his remarks seem harmless, it is frustrating when all you hear is about these fictional LGBT+ characters, but you never see them.

It’s an empty gesture. A form of tokenism to allow the studios to appear more queer friendly without having to put action to their words. It creates false hope.

Queer people don’t want to see ourselves represented as token characters because in our everyday lives we are the heroes of our own story. We aren’t tokens that exist for people to brag about showing off how accepting they are.

We battle our own demons, villains and face our own challenges. Sometimes we are the villains of our own story, but in reality we live complicated queer lives.

On film screens, we’re sorely lack the same level of complicated portrayal.

We’ve been so starved for on screen heroic representation, it’s why the #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend social media campaign galvanized so many people.

It was their way of expressing their desire to see the lead hero, Captain America get a on screen boyfriend.

The request, which isn’t unfounded or unreasonable when taking into account the high level of queer baiting which exists between Steve Rogers and James “Bucky” Barnes.

[Queerbaiting is the practice to hint at, but then to not actually depict, a potential same-sex romantic relationship between fictional characters. The potential romance may be ignored, explicitly rejected or made fun of.]

It’s also alarming when your lead character has more romantic chemistry with his best friend than that of Sharon Carter – whose romantic development was so rushed in screen it’s comical and not in a good way.


There is however a bigger picture to consider – global audiences and their conservatism…especially in big profit areas such as China and India.

Marvel is a movie studio, and movie studios need money to continue making more movies. The more money the better for them. It’s why they’ve started paying attention to releasing their films in the international markets.

Within some of these countries, they have restrictive guidelines about what may or may not be shown, and with Hollywood eager to captalise on the vast profit potential that these regions offer, they will certainly stick to these guidelines.

In China, the biggest film market outside of America, the The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) board pulled and banned LGBT related shows, which were successful as these shows went against what they perceive as normal.

An example of this was a show I have watched called “Addicted” – which deals with the development of a relationship between a teenage same sex Chinese couple.

To quote a Guardian article the show was banned as:

“The government said the show contravened the new guidelines, which state that “No television drama shall show abnormal sexual relationships and behaviours, such as incest, same-sex relationships, sexual perversion, sexual assault, sexual abuse, sexual violence, and so on.”

The ban also extends to smoking, drinking, adultery, sexually suggestive clothing, even reincarnation. China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television told television producers it would constantly monitor TV channels to ensure the new rules were strictly adhered to.
The clampdown follows an increase in cultural censorship in China since Xi Jinping came to power in November 2012

The same goes for it’s films.

In India, another big film market, the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) besides, having banned a gay film, Ka Bodyscapes – they also had Oscar winning film, Moonlight allegedly recut removing pivotal scenes from the film which directly reveal it’s handling of homosexuality.

In India, homosexuality is still seen as a taboo.

It is for this very lucrative reasons that one can understand why Marvel has been so slow and been dragging its feet when it comes to LGBT+ representation, and giving vague answers, trying to appease those who want to see LGBT+ representation.

It’s also maybe for this reason why the Valkyrie scene in which it was suggested that she was bisexual was removed.

So in closing…


Dear Marvel, If you’re not interested in tackling or adding LGBT+ characters then please say so.

It’s your prerogative to do as you wish, and decide if you will tackle LGBT+ characters or not, it’s also our prerogative to decide what movies I am going to spend my money on.

Who knows…maybe DC will be the first movie studio to do that too…



The Lion Mutters.

PS: I know your TV shows have been delivering some LGBT representation, but let us not get started on how TV and film differs. Also how they had to separate y’all because you couldn’t place nice.

Killing who you used to be…


This blog post was originally published on 6th September 2016.

It is often that moment when you realise that the person you are becoming is different from who you used to be, and not in way that leaves you fulfilled.

It’s a heartbreaking realisation but it is the price of admission you pay for adulthood.
For the price of adulthood I’ve had to repeatedly sacrifice the sweetness I once had because people take advantage.

For the price of adulthood I’ve had to restrict that level of enthusiasm I use to have because everyone made me feel like that was out of place for someone like me.

For the price of adulthood I’ve had to sacrifice the gentle manner I used to have because it is not appropriate for a man.

For the price of adulthood I’ve gained a large dose of cynicism because people deceive and lie so regularly that you will pay dearly for  accepting something at face value.

For the price of adulthood I’ve had to learn to protect my heart to the hatefulness of other. To shield myself from those who seek to do me harm for no good logical reason.

For the price of adulthood I’ve had to watch people hurt each other and all I could do was watch, because sometimes the ways they hurt each other are intangible.

For the price of adulthood, you learn about the grey:
– where black and white blur
– where good and bad aren’t defined
– where right and wrong both harm and hurt.

The price of adulthood is costly, but it’s a price you have to pay.

It sucks to look at the person you were and the personality traits you love in yourself that no longer have a place in your life, all for the price of adulthood.

I’ve been watching myself kill off the parts of me that can’t exist all for the price of adulthood.

I miss the me I used to be.

Fuck adulthood.

Theo. Over and Out.