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The Your Stories section is all about you! Please take a minute to tell visitors of the ILGA website about what LGBTI life is like in reality. Please submit your personal story and share your experience!

YOUR STORIES
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Readers Experiences

This is what people are saying about life for LGBTI people in UNITED KINGDOM...
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(user currently living in UNITED KINGDOM) posted for readers on 26/03/2014 tagged with marriage / civil unions
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London LGBT choir releases video to celebrate UK's first same-sex marriages

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRpfcP5cwYw
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Dean MacKinnon-Thomson (user currently living in UNITED KINGDOM) posted for gay lesbian transgender bisexual intersex readers on 13/11/2013 tagged with gender identity, sexual orientation, marriage / civil unions +5
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Privacy, acceptance and just plain rudeness...

I was eating out with some friends last week, tapas and red wine, all very casual when the conversation shifted strangely. Now don't get me wrong, they didn't mean to be offensive, rude or generally far too nosy, but still...
So there we are, and one of my very good female friends I've known for a little over a year now asks me about my date with a (really hot) Egyptian dentist. Now, innocent enough right? Nope, she wanted to know which of us was 'the top'. This quickly became the hot topic of our dinner discussion: namely my sexual preferences with a maybe-perhaps partner.

I can practically hear people reading this and shouting, 'what is wrong with any of that?' But let me reverse this for the benefit of the ethically impaired heterosexual majority. What if us gay people decided it was 'casual conversation' for us to know if you prefer anal or oral sex with your partner? Suddenly it becomes a little bit more personal, and a little less fair game doesn't it?

Is it just a novelty factor?

Does our society really accept this? Or is this just cultural impetus devoid of moral learning?

I try to convince myself this is probably a good sign. That in polite society, in busy restaurants and even among relative strangers the 'taboo' aspect of my sexual orientation has dissipated. That said, can I ask: when the fuck will the novelty of having a gay friend wear off?

Culturally we've come a long way, even in my short 24 year lifetime. I've seen the age of consent become equalised, civil partnerships become the norm, section 28 become history (in the UK at least)... oh... and Conservative PMs introducing equality in marriage for us (who'd have thought it!)

And I wonder if this massive shift in public acceptance of all things 'gay' has unintentionally left straight peoples sense of decorum behind. Is my being gay, and loving to hold, kiss, and fornicate with my fellow males of the species really still so 'in'? From Sex & the City, through to more recent programmes like 'Vicious' we see the popularisation of my sexuality. Crikey, Tesco was caught selling 'GBF dolls' for young boys and girls (that's Gay Best Friend for those out of 'the know'). But is this a sign of the accepting times? Or is this the commercialisation of my sexual orientation?

No, I'm not over-reacting at any of this. I can tell you, being able to hold hands in public with your lover and not have people give a crap is wonderful. Being able to enjoy legal equality is empowering. And knowing well over 2/3 of my fellow citizens think I'm born normal is thrilling.

But let me tell you what isn't: being reduced to a comedy doll item for prepubescent kids. Or having some of the most personal aspects of my love life become casual fair game conversation. Or even seeing the name of my orientation 'gay' become a synonym for negativity, un-coolness or freakishness.

Thus: is this widely felt British public acceptance genuine? Or just a novelty factor soon to wear off?

The moral of the piece...

The lesson of this piece is simple. If you think we're normal just like you heterosexuals then why not treat us like it? Boundaries are wonderful things, and yes, even gay partnerships enjoy them. We aren't all drama queens with limp wrists just baying at the leash to spout all utilitarian-happy about our latest squeeze. Sex & the City stereotypes aren't real; but gay couples appreciation of boundaries are.
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Time to show a true leadership on same-sex marriage bill
Niranjan Kamatkar & Subodh Rathod
http://epaper.asian-voice.com/PUBLICATIONS/AV/AV/2013/07/06/ArticleHtmls/Time-to-show-a-true-leadership-on-same-06072013027009.shtml?Mode=1
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Very interesting film depicting the passing of same-sex marriage legislation within London and the UK in 2013. Worth a look!! http://youtu.be/NZaBse2hrQU
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I left the UK in 2011, to travel around the world with my civil partner, we are still on the road and there is no end to our journey. I must say we have not experienced any hate crimes or homophobia on our trip so far. You can see the countries we visited and follow our journey around the world at our travel blog http://flashpackatforty.com/
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Gay Nights UK (user currently living in UNITED KINGDOM) posted for gay lesbian transgender bisexual intersex straight readers on 15/08/2012 tagged with tourism, lgbt families, marriage / civil unions
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WELCOME TO GAY NIGHTS UK!!!
We are the UK's first and only National events company that specialise in organising weekend party packages for gay men, women and their friends! Whatever the occasion, Gay Nights UK is perfect for celebrations such as birthdays, hag parties, corporate events, team building, reunions, anniversaries and much more!

Our company aim is to create a new tradition known as a 'hag' party which is a unique celebration for same sex couples about to celebrate their civil partnership or gay marriage. Hag parties can involve both men and women at the same time which generally consist of friends, family and of course both of the grooms or brides to be!!! Wave goodbye to the old fashioned stag or hen party and say hello to the ultra modern Hag party! The revolution is here!

Party packages for your celebrations are available in the following UK cities: Bournemouth, Brighton, London, Cardiff, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Blackpool, Newcastle & Glasgow!

No matter what your group size, Gay Nights UK will take the stress out of organising your perfect weekend away which gives you plenty of time to sort out your big day! Choose from the many packages on offer which are suitable for every budget and taste. Don't worry if you don't see anything you like as we can create your very own bespoke package!

Here at Gay Nights UK we like to take the time with each and every group that books with us so we can make sure we offer you exactly what you want. We talk over the phone to every group organiser to find out their individual requirements. Unlike other companies out there we do not treat you as just a number or deal with you only by email. We care about our reputation and we care about you!

Why not take a look at the various packages on offer right now. Here at Gay Nights UK we make it simple and stress free to book your weekend celebration in some of the best cities in the United Kingdom!

Check out the website today and receive a 10% discount off your booking! www.gaynightsuk.co.uk
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Dear Sir/Madam,
We have just updated our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) guide to resources and support groups available online to be re-launched for the upcoming Tower Hamlets LGBT History Month in the United Kingdom.

Your organisation is featured in this guide.
http://www.absoluterelaxation.co.uk/LGBT

The guide aims to help Teachers, Parents and Students understand and support Young People with LGBT issues.

It contains helpful resources and a wide range of of support groups and links to help those students who are gay, think they might be or for Young People who would like a better understanding of LGBT issues.

Teachers will also find helpful resources to tackle homophobia and bullying in schools.

The pages include lists of support groups and information of LGBT History, Employment Issues, Religion, Health, Parenting, Books and Resources.

Kind regards,
Bernard Hazell
Michael O'Meara
Absolute Relaxation Ltd


"I'm thrilled that Tower Hamlets has compiled this comprehensive and stunning resource"
Sue Sanders, founder LGBT History Month


"It's great to see young people in Tower Hamlets
having access to such a useful resource.
I wish I had been given this information when I was at school.
It's a really cool website."
Peter Tatchell, Human Rights campaigner
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Zoe Bremer (user currently living in UNITED KINGDOM) posted for gay lesbian bisexual straight readers on 06/08/2010 tagged with laws and leadership , sexual orientation, religion, marriage / civil unions
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Nottingham Unitarians (www.nottinghamunitarians.org.uk) had a stall at Nottingham Pride on 31st July 2010, distributing leaflets on equality issues and giving away back copies of THE INQUIRER and THE UNITARIAN. We aim to make this an annual event and to do more outreach work with minorities in our area and would love to hear from gay and feminist groups in and around Nottingham.
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Fertility Road (user currently living in UNITED KINGDOM) posted for gay lesbian transgender bisexual intersex straight readers on 24/06/2010 tagged with adoption, lgbt families, health, human rights, marriage / civil unions
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SAME SEX SURROGACY - Feature in the next issue of Fertility Road (www.fertilityroad.com). First Lifestyle Fertility Magazine! We are happy to announce that we are working together with Pride Angel to provide a fantastic resource for all the gay community that have an interest in becoming parents.For more information please visit Fertility Road website..
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Stephanie (user currently living in UNITED KINGDOM) posted for gay lesbian transgender bisexual intersex straight readers on 28/01/2010 tagged with lgbt families, gender identity, sexual orientation, marriage / civil unions +10
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I recently came out as bisexual to my British husband of 6 years. I hail from New York but live permanently now in south west of England with him in a relatively rural location, well outside London, so I have come to expect some relatively provincial attitudes about most things related to gender, sexuality and marriage roles. My husband's response was loving and beautiful and akin to "oh now that explains some things." He was only sad that I took so long to trust him with this and that still lingers between us, unresolved. And though he was raised by middle English parents with some run of the mill and tedious homophobic attitudes (his parents think our gay male nanny is a 'obviously' a child molestor and are entirely blind to the fact that their younger son is quite likely gay), his attitude to my bisexuality is so-far postive and progressive. After making it known to him, though, I slowly started to make it known to friends and colleagues, gay and straight, that while I was happily married with kids, my psychosexual self (for lack of less psychobabbly term) was bisexual. I got every response from neutral acceptance through to encouragement from my gay and lesbian friends, but the straight friends still surprisingly held some seriously old fashioned views. So far none of them have shunned me or seem to direct any overt hostility towards me, but there is a passive aggressive line of questioning that I keep getting. Questions like: "But doesn't that mean you are really just a lesbian and don't want to admit it?" or, "So are you leaving your husband for a woman then?" And my 'favourite': "How can you be bisexual and monogamous?" That seemed to be the prevelent attitude really -- that bisexual either meant a life-long menage with both a man and a woman at once or a life where you could not commit to only one partner. The concept that I was a married, monogamous woman just happy and more content to finally be honest about who I really am was not sufficient. Saying I was bisexual now meant I needed to "do something about it." Again, this is all very new to my friends and husband... but that is what I experienced so far. A set of sadly retrograde questions and the expectation that my ability to be faithful was under scrutiny. I suspect there will be more to come, but for now ... that's it.
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