So Saturday, I loved. After getting home before 11pm on Friday and getting a good sleep, Rob and I watched some tv in bed (the chart countdown, which continues to make me feel old these days) before getting dressed and heading to Broadway Market. There I watched the group efforts of a bunch of people trying to rescue a dog who was swimming in the canal and couldn’t seem to get back out. The dog didn’t look particularly upset by this, mind. My favourite moment was when a man passing by ran over and immediately whipped off his top as he leaned over the canal trying to encourage the dog to come to him. I imagine this man whips his top off at the slightest provocation.
We spent the rest of the day at Pride in Soho. Before moving to London I had never been to a Pride event and would probably have been quite dismissive of it, in that way you tend to be when you’ve never been and just believe the stories about it being full of horrific people. Now I wouldn’t miss it for the world. It still feels like it’s an important statement of visibility – but instead of the loud sloganeering of more difficult times, the statement is being happy and comfortable in our own skins. People being whoever they want to be. It was a bit more low-key than last year as we didn’t do much wandering around and instead just pitched up outside a bar with some beers, but it was a very enjoyable day. I was almost disappointed that I had to leave. Almost. I did have to, however, as I was off to see Madonna at the O2.
Ah Madonna. What can I write that I haven’t written before? Suffice to say that I loved it, and it took on a whole new resonance with the death of her greatest contemporary. As has been widely reported now, she paid tribute to Michael Jackson during the show. It was an incredibly exciting (and lovely) moment and the entire arena went mad during it. I guess it must be a bit weird being Madonna and hearing about the death of ‘the King of Pop’.
We ended the evening in the Joiners, dancing for hours. I haven’t felt such unabashed joy on a night out in a while.
I guess this year marks ten years since I became a ‘fully out’ gay man. When I think back to the fear and frustration I felt when I was trying to come to terms with who I was (which you have to do before you can ever be comfortable telling anyone else) and look at where I am now, I do feel….pride. I feel saddened that there is an increasing tendency for younger people to refute that their sexuality is anything more than an incidental part of their identity. Something they tend to refute when going to gay bars, and hanging out with gay people, and consuming gay media. I cannot imagine many heterosexual people ever seeking to deny that their heterosexuality was an integral part of who they were and a huge influence on the direction their entire lives take. Being gay has affected my view of the world, all of the relationships I form in it, the places I go to, the things I create, the aspirations and expectations I have. It is not, and never will be, just about who I have sex with.
And that was my simple, ‘what a lovely Saturday I had’ entry.