I also strongly believe the start of my journal writing days related to my coming out as a bisexual man [I class myself as 86% gay and 14% straight] and was a way of me writing down my feelings and thoughts as I was in that process of coming out and coming to terms with myself. I found it almost like therapy to write down everything that was going on in my life.
The style of the book is interesting - narrative interspersed with journal entries. (This is a comment as a question)
The journal entries were obviously wrote on my travels in New York City and when I returned home I decided to write up my full trip using the journal entries as a reminder of all the stupid and fun times I had experienced. As I was writing the trip up, in what is now ‘Tuck It Away’ I just felt like I wasn’t being real to the reader and that it would enhance the format to actually include the journal entries that I’d hand wrote in ‘that’ moment. I actually think it works really well and engages myself with the reader even more so than in normal memoirs as it gives us that connection and makes them feel part of it more.
You do seem to find yourself in some hijinks (presented hilariously, of course). Did you think that any could possibly happen, or were you totally not expecting them?
It’s New York so I knew that I was in for a great trip! Just how great was unexpected though. I’ve never really been a confident and outgoing person and that is something that started to develop after I came out so this trip alone was part of a great change in my life. For me that first night where I ended up walking unknowingly into the gar bar just set me up for the next few days of fun and hijinks. I can honestly say that from the guy who hit on me, to that incident in the nightclub, and the barmaid and her megaphone table dancing made the trip one of the best experiences of my life!
Your descriptions of NYC are pretty enlightening, even to me as someone who's there on a weekly basis. (Again, comment as a question)
I’d been to NYC two years prior to the visit which I detail in Tuck It Away, but that was your standard tourist holiday. I’d done a lot of growing up as a person since that visit and knew that this time I wanted to experience the real NYC. I felt like I needed to just live the city for all I could as I didn’t know when I would get the chance to return. I made such a conscious effort to try and go off the beaten ‘tourist’ track and live the real NYC to its full potential which I think is how I came about stumbling upon some of the great bars and people that I did. I loved that for those few days I went about NYC as a real newyorker.
How did writing this book affect your decision to come out (or vice versa?)
I definitely believe that my coming out was helped through writing a journal. As mentioned above I find it my therapy! It’s quite strange as I’m quite an open and honest person but for some reason I don’t seem to talk to those close to me about my sexuality and prefer to write about it instead. Whether this stems from years of keeping it hidden I don’t know. When I came out I kind of told everyone I wanted to know and then that was that – I never really discussed it again. I am proud to be bisexual but have always been a believer that being bisexual isn’t my life it’s just a small part of who I am, and that I am who I am through music, design, friends, family etc. Releasing this journal is a huge step for me in terms of finally starting to accept that I am a bisexual man.
How did your relationship with your mom change you as a person? (this is related to the blurb he wrote below)
I wouldn’t be who I was today without my mother – that’s a fact! I’ve always been incredibly close to my mother and love her so much but growing up I always had that doubt in my head that she couldn’t love me as she didn’t know the real me – the me that also like guys. I remember the relieve I felt the night that I told her and how happy I was that she was still exactly the same with me. Being from a broken home I obviously spent a lot more time in my mother’s company [that’s not to say I don’t have a great relationship with my father because I do] and so to me all those things that are seen as ‘gay’, like a love for Cher are totally natural and just part of my upbringing.
There is one story that definitely influenced me growing up, and she’ll kill me for telling people. We were on a family holiday at Butlins where my mother returned to the holiday apartment real drunk. I was crying asking why she was falling over; she then asked for my bucket of colouring pens and tipped them on the floor to use the bucket to be sick in! This put me off alcohol for a good few years but now I’ve discovered what I was missing out on – which you can clearly see from the antics in Tuck It Away!
Click here: to buy book