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Wonderful Websites – Gay Culture and Society

By Gay, The Web8 Comments
wonderful-websites-image This is the seventh blog post in a series titled Wonderful Websites. The first focused on general health and can be read here. The second focused on mental health and mental illness and can be read here. The third post focused on shopping and can be read here.

The fourth focused on money and can be read here. The fifth focused on gigs, shows and theatres and can be read here. The sixth focused on paganism and can be read here.

Here’s Wonderful Websites about gay culture and society:

1. The Gay UK – My number one source of gay news.

2. Gay Star News – My close second source of gay news.

3. Gaydio – A gay radio station that can be listened to in London and Manchester and online.

4. Stonewall – A national charity that campaigns for LGBT rights.

5. The Albert Kennedy Trust – A charity that supports LGBT homeless young people.

6. RUComingOut is a brilliant resource for anyone struggling to come to terms with their sexuality, coming out or thinking about it.

7. GMFA – A gay men’s health charity.

8. LGBT @ BuzzFeed – A news site that has an LGBT section. Has the odd interesting article.

Are there any gay culture and society websites that you think are useful that aren’t on the list? If so leave a comment below and let me know.

In the next post in my Wonderful Websites I will list great TV, Online Streaming & Films websites.

Blog soon,


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A Tale Of Overcoming Adversity

By Friends & Family, Happiness & Joy, Inspiration, Life, Thinking4 Comments

My new sun catcher.

I’ve wanted to write this post for a long time. I’ve started it countless times, looking at adversity from many different angles. In the end, I decided that the best way to express what I want to say about adversity and overcoming adversity is through a little tale.

Growing up I had difficulties with reading and writing because of Dyslexia and Dyspraxia. At sixteen years old, I had a reading and comprehension age of fourteen. I remember when I was younger, having to read paragraphs two or three times to get the meaning of the words. The thought of reading a book at this age, was like the thought of climbing a mountain.

I couldn’t write my name until I was ten years old. I understood what we were taught in classes, but just couldn’t write it down on paper in an organised and structured way. I got very good at talking and verbal presentation to compensate.

Fast forward to now. I have overcome adversity in relation to reading and writing. I’m always reading at least ten books at any one time. I read nineteen books last year (see Book List 2015) and I read twenty-eight books the year before that (see Book List 2014). I regularly get sent books by publisher’s publicists to read and review. Thankfully I no longer need to re-read paragraphs two or three times to understand them. I write creatively on a regular basis. I’ve recently published a short story entitled Soulmates and write for The Gay UK.

In addition to the above: I have done well academically. I have been to university twice and about to go back to university to complete a further module. I have gained a HE Diploma in Children’s Nursing and a Honours Degree in Nursing, graded at a 2:1.

The reading, the writing and the university wouldn’t have been possible without overcoming adversity. But what’s really interesting is that I’ve learned some fundamental things that were required in order for me to overcome adversity. These included:

  • Grit or determination. Not giving up. Continuing to read and write, even when I felt like I was banging my head against a brick wall.
  • The support of others. My mum fought the education authorities to get the professional help I needed to learn to read and write. Teachers, Teaching Assistants and Volunteers all spent countless hours teaching me to read and understand what I was reading. My mum fought the health authorities to get the practical support from a brilliant and professional Occupational Therapist. And of course my mum helped and supported me in so many other ways: spending time reading with me, taking me to my Occupational Therapist appointments, just listening when I needed to vent my frustration, etc.
  • Practice. Repetition is the key to learning and the way of getting good at anything. Think of when you learned to ride a bike as a child.
  • Being driven by my love of literature. Even with my difficulties in reading and writing, I used to be captivated by the stories my mum would read to me at bedtime. By how words could ignite my imagination and make me feel very real emotions.
  • People having belief and faith that I could overcome my reading and writing difficulties. This includes both family and friends.
  • Believing in myself, or at least hoping that I could overcome these reading and writing difficulties.

I would imagine that these fundamental things are essential for anyone trying to overcome adversity. I wanted to share these thoughts, for anyone currently struggling with adversity. If you have overcome adversity, how did you do it? What did you need in order to overcome adversity? Leave a comment below.

Blog soon,



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The ‘Recently, I’ve Been A Bad Blogger’ Update

By Amazon, Life, Music & Radio, TV, Online Streaming & FilmsNo Comments
imac-contact-me-large Recently, I’ve been a bad blogger. I’ve had so many things on that I’ve felt like I’m plate spinning. My daily creative play has stopped. My blogging and book reviews have stopped. But now I hope to get back to normal – whatever that is.

While I have been exceptionally busy, I have managed to listen to some new music, watch some good TV, re-watch some old films and do a bit of reading.

Musically, I’ve been enjoying Ed Sheeran’s new album X. I’m particularly fond of the first track, One. It’s sentimental and mellow. Perfect chill out music and believe me, I’ve needed to relax. I’ve had Sam Smith’s album In The Lonely Hour on repeat, appreciating the sound of his voice.

I bought Matt Fishel’s new album Cover Boy, but have to say that it was a disappointment. It was nowhere near as good as his first album Not Thinking Straight. I did like his cover of Finally, but I’m afraid that was all I liked.

I’ve watched season 2 of Under The Dome, well all but the final episode. It’s a brilliant show based on a short story by Stephen King. In Under The Dome the people of an American town are trapped under a giant dome. The plot is intricate, ever twisting and full of intrigue.

I’ve been watching the new series of Dr Who and have very mixed feelings about it. Peter Capaldi isn’t a convincing as The Doctor. Clara’s character feels a bit conflicted, not because of Mr. Pink (Danny) but because of the writing.

The Walking Dead has started again and I’m super-excited, thrilled and ecstatic during every episode. We’re only a few episodes in and it’s already my TV highlight of the week.

I’ve watched some old films like Jurassic Park 1, 2 & 3 as I love dinosaurs. In my mind, there just aren’t enough dinosaur films out there. The Adams Family 90s film has made me laugh, especially Cousin IT and thing who never fail to make me chuckle.

I’ve watched good triumph over evil through working my way through the complete collection of Harry Potter films. Mum and I are going to Harry Potter World (London) in November, so I wanted to be adequately prepared.

I got my essential hit of zombie versus kids by reading The Hunted by Charlie Higson. You can read the review I’ve wrote for The Hunted here. I felt elated reading Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella, which I will review soon. I’m currently reading the ridiculously funny Good Omens by legends Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman and the love story Us by David Nicholls.

I was organised enough to write two articles for The Gay UK. One for National Coming Out Day and The Gay UK‘s digital magazine entitled My Come Out Reactions. It’s people’s responses when I’ve come out as a gay to them. The other article I’ve just finished is 14 Reasons It’s Great To Be In A Relationship.

What music, TV and films are you enjoying? What literature are you reading? Anything I’d like? Leave a comment below and let me know.

Blog soon,


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Import: 14 Reasons It’s Great To Be In A Relationship

By Creativity, JournalismNo Comments

Being in a relationship can be great. Here are 14 reasons why it’s great to be in a relationship:

14. The financial benefits. If you’re in a relationship it’s someone to share the bills with. Plus married or civil partnered couples get tax reductions.

13. Someone to share the housework with.

12. You double the size of your wardrobe. Providing that you’re both the same size.

11. You learn what you want from a relationship and from Mr Right. As well as what you don’t. These are important things to know.

10. Seeing him smile will make your day.

9. You learn more about yourself.

8. Sex. You’ll regularly have sex, with someone that you’ll feel conformable with. He’ll even know what you like and what you don’t. Vice versa. Sex with someone you’ve been with for a while becomes increasingly intimate, as you get an emotional bond with him. Some people say that the strengthening of the emotional bond over time can make sex an almost borderline spiritual experience. Plus a monogamous relationship reduces the risks of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) such as hepatitis and HIV.

7. Being in a relationship can be fun, and not just in the sack! You’ll do loads of fun things together and it’s even more fun because there’s always someone to share it with.

6. You’ll have someone who’ll listen to you ramble on about your day. He’ll be there to enjoy the highs and lows of the rollercoaster ride we call life.

5. You’ll never be lonely. You’ll always have someone around for company. Going to weddings, looking at the happy couple and wishing you had that what they have and weren’t alone- will never happen again.

4. A boost to your confidence and self-esteem. Knowing that someone finds you attractive, especially when they give you complements will boost your confidence and self-esteem.

3. You’ll be with someone that you trust and that you can to go to for support.

2. Someone who gets you. We all want someone who gets the real us. Truly understands who we are, sometimes knowing us better than we know ourselves. Being in a relationship can give you this and even help you to understand yourself a little better.

1. Being in love is awesome. It’s a life-changing experience, that’s why most songs are about love. Love is like a drug; it’ll make you feel high – bringing joy, happiness and lots of laughter into your life. But it can also make you feel low – bringing sadness, anger and jealousy into your life. Sometimes making you feel elated and disheartened all in one day. But most people find that the occasional low is worth the high.

Published by: The Gay UK on Tuesday 18th November 2014.

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