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Born This Way

15 Non-Essential Items in my Home

By Amazon, Friends & Family, Home, ThinkingNo Comments

We all have non-essential items at home that hold great sentimental value to us. Here are 15 of mine:

Crystals-In-Bowl-Aug-16

15. Crystals

15. Crystals
I love crystals. This bowl of crystals (my friend Jayne bought me the bowl as a Yule/Christmas present) is just the tip of the iceberg.

My home is filled with various types of crystals (clear quartz, smoky quartz, rose quartz, amethyst, lapis lazuli, citrine, turquoise, loadstone and many others), in various forms (tumbled, natural, points, beds & raw).

Each crystal is unique, with its own energy and feel, which is what I love about them and why they hold such sentimental value.

Amethyst-Tree-Aug-16

14. Amethyst Tree

14. Amethyst Tree
This Amethyst Tree was one of the first ‘pagan’ things I bought, when I was sixteen years old. I had to save up for it for weeks. It’s only small and wasn’t expensive. But it holds great sentimental value.

It reminds me of my past. How much I’ve grown and continue to grow. In every aspect of my life.

Sun-Wall-Plaque-Aug-16

13. Sun God Wall Plaque

13. Sun God Wall Plaque
I love this sun God wall plaque that I bought myself on my recent adventure to India. It celebrates the sun, which I worship in all senses of the word.

You can read more about my India adventure in my eight part series of blog posts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7 & Part 8.

gay mirror fabulous multi-coloured

12. My Fabulous Gay Mirror.

12. My Fabulous Gay Mirror
Two years ago, before Simon and I went away to Wales (see Mid-Wales Part 2: Aberdovey Beach & King Arthur’s Labyrinth) I bought a lottery ticket. Then we went away. While away I bought this fabulous gay mirror. I was reluctant to buy it because I didn’t have much money. But the lottery ticket turned out to be a winner and covered most of the cost of the mirror.

I like the mirror just as much as I did on the day that I bought it. I love the bright colours, the shape and it’s weight. It is hung on the wall in my bedroom. The mirror also reminds me of the good memories Simon and I created on our trip to Wales.

Pentacle-Pentagram-Wall-Plaques-Aug-16

11. Pentacle/Pentagram Wall Plaques

11. Pentacle/Pentagram Wall Plaques
Pentacles and Pentagrams are symbols of protection. I bought the bronze pentacle for myself, as a moving in present, when I bought and moved into my apartment 7 years ago (see The Move). It is hung above the door to my master bedroom.

The wooden pentagram was bought for me by the Watts family, at a gay pride stall of all places. The Watts family and I have mutually adopted one another. It is my priviliage to be considered part of the Watts family. The pentagram is hung above my front door in my hallway.

Handmade-Box-Aug-16

10. This Handmade Box

10. This Handmade Box
My friend Simon bought me this handmade and unique box for my 21st birthday. It is beautiful. I keep an array of essential and magical oils in it.

Simon and I have a close relationship and share a wide range of interests. He always buys tremendous gifts and presents, many of which could have made it on to this list. Each gift or present is chosen or made with great care.

Like this box, my friendship with Simon is handmade, unique and beautiful.

Glass-Candle-Holder-Aug-16

9. This Glass Tealight Candle Holder.

9. This Tealight Candle Holder
This handmade glass tealight candle holder was bought for me as a Christmas present by younger brother Alex, prior to his death. So for obvious reasons it holds huge sentimental value.
Apollo-Statue-Aug-16

8. Apollo Statue.

8. Apollo Statue
Every time my friend Kay goes on holiday, she brings me back a wonderful souvenir. I love the god Apollo, so one year when she was going to Italy, I asked her to bring me back a statue of Apollo. She brought me this statue back. It is among my prized possessions.

Kay has brought me many lovely things back over the years. Each of them has found a place in my home. Each makes me smile and think of Kay every time I see them.

Kay is a amazing friend and one that I am very lucky to have.

Altar-Aug-16

7. My Altar – here is a photo of my Altar, which has a various items for various reasons.

7. My Altar
My altar is ever-changing. It changes with the passing of the seasons and according to pagan festivals. I’ve had altars on and off over the years, usually depending on physical space.

Although having an altar isn’t essential, it reminds me that I am a Witch and to practice meditation, spells and other spiritual endeavours.

sye-picture-close

6. An Illustration of Me – drawn by my good friend Sye Watts.

6. An Illustration of Me
For Christmas in 2011, my friend Sye, who is a superb Illustrator, drew this illustration of me. It is framed and hangs on the wall in my hallway.

It makes me smile every time I see it. It always reminds me of what a wonderful friend I have in Sye.

Monkey-Aug-16

5. My Childhood Teddy Monkey.

5. My Childhood Teddy Monkey
This is Monkey, my childhood teddy, bought for me by my Auntie Sue. Monkey has velcro hands and as a child he came everywhere with me. Once my mum even had to rescue Monkey from under a bus.

These days Monkey lives quite happily on my bookshelf.

Brother-Willow-Statue-Aug-16

4. This Willow Tree Brothers Figurine – given to me by my long lost brother.

4. This Willow Tree Brothers Figurine
My brother Shaun bought me this Willow Tree Brothers Figurine for Christmas one year. Shaun is my Long Lost Brother. He’s my older brother and despite not growing up together, we’re really close. Shaun is supportive, loyal, makes me laugh and always has a story to tell. I’m so glad that we met.

I just wish we had met sooner, so that my younger brother Alex and Shaun could have had more time together.

Photograph-Aug-16

3. This Photograph – a rare photo of two of my brothers and myself.

3. Photograph
This photograph. It’s a photo of two of my brothers and myself. It was a photo taken on a family meal for my 21st birthday. Alex, my younger brother (on the very left of the photo), died a few years after this photo was taken (see My Darling Baby Brother). It’s been 5 years since Alex died and I am so glad I have this photo of us brothers together.
February Photo Challenge 10th

2. iMac – my writing tool.

2. iMac
I bought my iMac in January 2012 (see iMac Part 1 & iMac Part 2). It is so many things to me: a tool for writing and for sharing my writing through my blog & creative writing page; a visual collection of memories via my photos; an entertainment station playing music, films, DVDs, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube; a tool to communicate through Facebook, Twitter, email, forums, Skype, FaceTime; and a tool to learn through the Internet.

It is one of the best things that I’ve ever bought myself.

Books-Aug-16

1. Books (image is part of my top shelf where all my favourite books are kept).

1. Books
The photo (left) is a photo of some of my favourite books. Books that I have read again and again. For me books inspire creativity, educate and inform, but mostly: ignite my imagination.

Books in this photo: Wannabe a Writer?, Sane New World, The Graveyard Book, The Humans, The Time of My Life, The Magician’s Assistant, The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Born This Way, Split, Best Gay Romance 2014, OMG Queer, Franky Gets Real, In His Secret Life, Above, The Gay Man’s Kama Sutra, Elements of Witchcraft, Advanced Witchcraft, Utterly Wicked, Witchcraft: Theory and Practice & Everyday Magic.

What sentimental items do you have at home? Leave a comment below.

Blog soon,

Antony

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Growing Up Gay: My Story

By Gay, History, Life4 Comments

Inspired by Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay by Paul Vitagliano, I’ve decided to share my own story of growing up gay.

I’m about eight or nine in this photo, it’s Christmas and I’m striking a pose in my Power Rangers pyjamas proudly showing off my new cross puppet. I remember loving to entertain others, being full of confidence and having no inhibitions. I remember being sensitive, caring and sometimes in a world of my own. My mum describes me as a child by saying I was “such a joy to have.”

If you’d have shown me this photo as a teenager I’d have cringed with embarrassment. By my teen years I’d realised that I was different to others; I became very self-conscious of what my peers thought about me and was hiding my sexuality out of fear of what they’d think, say or do. I also became extremely self-critical of seemingly everything about myself.

Today, I look at this photo and aspire to be like that younger version of myself. I am so thankful that as a child my mum instilled me with confidence to be myself and always made me feel loved. I am still learning and developing as I experience life, but there are many goals I’ve been successful in achieving and the others I’m working towards.

If there are any gay youth who are experiencing what I did in my teens I would encourage them to stay true to who they are, only listen to the opinions of people who truly love you – they will love you for who you are, seek out support (Google: lgbt support) and come out when you’re ready.

I look at this photo and think: how did my family not know I was gay? The answer is that they did! I was born gay and I wouldn’t be any other way.

Published by: The Gay UK on Friday 8th August 2014.

Blog soon,

Antony

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Book Review: Born This Way by Paul Vitagliano

By Amazon, Books & Authors, Gay, Reviews2 Comments
The kind people at Publishers Group UK recently emailed me asking if I’d like to review Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay by Paul Vitagliano. I said yes and got excited when my hardback, full colour, glossy paged copy arrived a few days later.

Born This Way shares one hundred stories of people growing up gay from the 1940’s to the present day. Each of the contributors have shared a photo of them as a child and then wrote about their experiences.

Celebrity contributors include: Perez Hilton (Celebrity Blogger), Patrick Bristow (Curb Your Enthusiasm), Andy Bell (lead singer Erasure), Clinton Leupp (Drag Artist), Matt Baume (LGBT Activist) to name a few.

The book is aimed at the US market which is evident through the use of language using words such as “mom” and celebrities that are US-based. It was easy to get over this and relate to the contributors experiences including the feeling of isolation I experienced when I was younger, as back then being gay was taboo and there were no openly out gay role models in society.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the longer stories in the book and indeed a few stick in my mind as emotionally touching. I felt grateful that the contributors choose to share their personal childhood experiences, to which anyone could relate too gay or straight. The shorter stories, with some contributors sharing a paragraph made them feel like anecdotes. I would of preferred the few shorter stories being removed and increasing the length of a few of the longer stories. There was no reference to bisexual or trans people, I’m not doubting that some of the contributors were bisexual and trans – just that some reference would have given me that unique context to their stories.

Vitagliano originally started the idea of sharing childhood experiences on the Born This Way Blog. The idea behind the blog and this book is to reach out too gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans youth with the message that they were born gay, they are not alone and that they are perfect exactly as they are. The book encourages parents to accept their child’s sexuality as part of who they are and to love them unconditionally. These messages to gay youth and their parents are wonderful, the book conveys and reinforces them well.

The Contributors of the stories come from Western Countries with most of the stories coming from the US. I can understand the lack of stories from Eastern Countries due to the legality and attitudes towards homosexuality, but a story or two would have highlighted the issues gay people face in that part of the world and give gay youth the message that they need to continue to fight for their rights on an international level.

Overall the book is fantastically presented with truly inspirational stories that will leave you with a sense of admiration for the strength and bravery of the contributors. The book will make a ideal gift for any of your gay friends or parents of children or young people who are gay. Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay by Paul Vitagliano is available to pre-order/order on Amazon.

Write soon,

Antony



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