Thursday, July 18, 2013

#EqualMarriage in the UK!



We now have Marriage equality in the UK. Both houses have discussed, and negotiated, and finally agreed - and Her Maj has signed my right to love whom I wish into law.

I still can't really believe it.


Whether you wish to marry or not, this is a momentous change for us all. If you are in any doubt as to just how big this little law is, all you need to do is to think about how far we have come in just my lifetime:

'Sodomy' was illegal when I was born in the 1960's - and homosexuality was still considered a mental illness when I was starting to discover my sexuality. There were no truly 'Out' celebrities when I was young - no positive role-models of what it might mean to be gay and 'happy' - and the very few gay performers who were visible were figures of ridicule and fun.

Clause 28 tried to 'protect' my 'impressionable' mind whilst I was still at school - keeping me from any meaningful representations that might have balanced the universal idea that 'gay = tragic and unhappy', just in case it might 'promote homosexuality' to me as a valid life choice, rather than a 'pretend relationship' (and in the process, also denying myself and my contemporaries access to the very information that might have made my coming-out process easier; without doubt, it also helped to foster the bullying culture where it was acceptable to pick on those like me who were a little bit 'artistic').

The bullying and self doubt was bad enough - but it was also that culture of unthinking homophobia that meant that my Mum cried when I finally came out to her: devastated, not because of my sexuality, but because she believed that as a gay man I would 'never be able to find happiness and love' (even whilst she told me that loved me and would always stand by me no matter what).

From there - to here.

In one generation we moved from a culture of ignorance, enforced LGBT invisibility and legalised homophobia - to one where being gay is no more worthy of comment than the colour of my hair or my taste in food...

And now, finally, we have reached a point where Parliament has recognised in law what society has already come to realise: that love and commitment are the same - regardless of gender, colour, creed - or sexuality.

This one little law is a huge step both to me and to our country; it finally means that my family, friends and community are able to celebrate what I have always known: that my love - and my 20+ year relationship with Geoff - is no less valid, no less loving, no less *Equal* than that of anyone else.

So, yes, you could say that I'm just a little bit pleased....!!!


Now - I guess that it might just be time to go buy that hat...


Sunday, July 14, 2013

London: Fetish week

My Man and I had planned to have a fun time at Fetish Week London - but we hadn't really figured on the UK being swept by a heatwave the like of which we've not seen for 7-years...



It was already 30.c on the Thursday evening as we rode through North London heading for our Hotel in Ealing - both of us steaming inside of our full leathers and boots. The Travelodge room we'd booked lacked air-con too, so it was even hotter inside than out - so we checked-in, dropped our bags, and headed back out on the bike and the (relative) cooling wind to hunt for eats (finally finding a nice Ask! by the Thames at Kew - were we got to eat a lovely light pasta-supper in their garden, whilst fireworks lit the sky to mark the end of that night's Kew the Music concert in Kew Gardens).

It was a sticky night back at the hotel, made for sleeping without sheets - but Sir's pup still managed to snuggle into my Man's arms - and to work some wicked puppy-magic on Him with my tongue and wiggly hole... ;)



We'd planned to do some fetish shopping on Friday - maybe go to Silvermans and D.Vote, get lunch by the river, then head back to the hotel for a 'nap' before gearing up to strut our perverted stuff at the Nexus Exxtreme rubber party, as we had done in Berlin.

That was the plan - but it was already over 20.c when we strolled out to look for breakfast (a nice full English in a cafe off Ealing High-street) - and 28.c by the time we got into Chelsea. We stopped for a long cooling drink at The Chelsea Potter but I could tell Sir was starting to suffer, so we abandoned the planned shopping trip in favour of a restorative nap back at the hotel.

I could feel Sir wilting on the ride back, and hear His sighs and groans over the helmet intercom - and so I guessed that the heat was bringing on one of His killer 'heads'. He was looking quite grey with pain by the time we got back to the hotel, so we got Him stripped out of His hot leathers and into a cold shower, then left Him sprawled on the bed with a cooling flannel and a borrowed desk-fan on full whilst the dog headed out for several litres of cool drink and a couple of choc-ices.

I hate seeing my Man suffer - and He really *did* suffer that afternoon as the temperatures climbed and His head only got worse. I could do nothing besides trying to keep Him plied with fluids and pain-killers - and then to sit quietly whilst He tried to sleep it off as best He could...

I was relieved when He started to look a bit better by the evening, but we decided that a long hot night of gear-intensive clubbing would really just be too much (for both of us!) - so we left our gear in their bags, slipped into some shorts and went for a cool evening stroll along Ealing Green instead. The fresh air even had Sir feeling a little hungry, so we grabbed a street-side table at Carluccio's for a deliciously simple supper of soup and gnocchi - whilst a wonderfully latin waiter kept us plied with drinks (and flirtatious smiles...) - then made an equally slow progress around Ealing park and home.





It was due to be equally hot on Saturday, so we decided to play it cool, and ditched any further plans for shopping and play. It was even too hot for the bike - so Sir suggested that we pull on as little clothing as possible, hop on a bus to Shephards Bush market to pick up some drinks, then catch a beautifully cool air-con'd tube down to Portobello.

I've never been to the street market on Portobello Road before, but it really was a fascinating place. Each day has a different theme for the stalls, and you can easily spend the entire day just strolling, browsing and people watching - with the occasional stop to listen to street performers or try some of the amazing street food. Sir says that the dog's multi-coloured flesh got quite a lot of attention too - as did its proudly worn collar (even if I did somehow manage to snag my skin on the links somehow, and ended with a lovely blood-smeared neck that my Man had to try to spit-hanky into decency... ;) ).

It was a wonderful day: relaxed and surprisingly cool - and filled with fascinated browsing and the pleasant company of my Man (not to mention lots of iced smoothies and naughty milkshakes so thick you could blow a gasket just trying to suck them through the straw...!)

Sir was due to be working on Sunday Afternoon, so it was back to Ealing for a supper of chips sat on the grass in the park, and then an early night - ready for an equally early rise on Sunday morning, a nice quick pack (since most of our gear had not even been *un*packed), and an early check-out - then we were out on the road and heading back home.

Luckily, the weather had started to cool just a little, so our leathers didn't feel too heavy after days of wearing nothing buy skimpy shorts - but heat or no, the dog still spent most of the journey with my arms wrapped tight around my Man's waist, and my helmeted head resting on His shoulder. It might not have been the gear-intensive, perverted weekend of sleazy sex and proudly public puppy-play that we'd planned - but I can honestly say that it was still a wonderfully enjoyable few days with my Man: and that is better than anything else I can think of.



 
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