Roses are red violets are blue if you’re not sane and sorted no one’s gonna f*ck you!

Maybe I was blissfully unaware, growing up as a teen in the 90s, but the only ‘type’ of gays I was aware of – were lesbians, gays, bisexuals and non-gays/straight. It never occurred to me to categorize them with regards to their age, weight, bodily hair or lack of it.

I see it as open minded, others may say I’m a whore but I was never really interested in a particular type. My preference was creative guys with nice eyes, who laughed a lot and kissed well. That’s a pretty wide spectrum.

Current tribes and trends – daddies, twinks, bears, cubs and otters etc. do make me chuckle especially considering I was once a beaver at scout group!

Just as I have got my head around these new labels bam! Along comes sane and sorted.

What does it mean to declare yourself sane and sorted?

I don’t think I’m alone when I say that I am far from sane and a long way off sorted. Although gay men, especially, seem to be afraid to admit this.

So much is expected of us based upon stereotype – we are the funny ones, the ones who are flamboyant, the ones with disposable incomes, creative types, the best friend a girl could have and of course we are but also we are so much more. To me to – be gay is to be courageous and brave.

It is easy to forget that less than 50 years ago it was illegal to be gay in this country. It still is in places around the World. At some point in our lives there is going to be a time that we realise we feel differently to our families and friends and need the process of ‘coming out’ which can significantly impact our mental health.

It’s still so difficult to be gay. You’d think that you would automatically find encouragement and support from other gay men but instead we find ourselves standing alongside these Spartans chanting “No Fems” “Non Scene” “straight acting” trying to take us down in a spiral of their internalised homophobia. To me they are an unlabelled trend, emerging as self-confessed superior gays.

You may not find effeminate guys to be attractive but it is ok for guys to be camp. You may not enjoy going to gay bars or clubs but those that do should not be made to feel there is something wrong with socialising in these places. What ‘sort’ of person discredits another by how much more they are/have/earn in comparison?

The statistics show that the LGBTQ community are more likely to suffer with mental health issues. As if our lives aren’t hard enough sometimes.

I suffer with mental illness. I have done for years and until last year I never really accepted that or sought proper help until it was too late and I had no choice but to face it head on.

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This had severe, damaging consequences on my relationships solely because I was in denial and tried to, for too long, hold it together.

Ultimately my relationships suffered because I didn’t take care of myself mentally. I was dishonest and scared because I thought that by admitting I had issues, there would be implications on my love life but it was by not acknowledging them that caused wreckage.

Pre ‘coming out’ with mental illness, I was a hopeless romantic. Post mental illness I’m slightly pessimistic and think cupid’s arrows are prejudice towards me and fellow mad hatters. I do worry whether I will be able to find love again purely down to the fact that I have ownership of a clinical mental health diagnosis.

I’d like to think that being open about my struggles reinforces my eligibility to ultimately find a relationship because it’s not a skeleton in the closet waiting to pop out but I do understand it’s not a great selling point. Buy one box of crazy frogs get another free!

Initially I really struggled with being a gay man who didn’t live up to the expectations of sane and sorted but It’s very clear that mental health is potentially more destructive if it’s kept a secret and untreated. So making people feel inadequate if they do have issues is only going to promote suppressive behaviour.

There’s still so much stigma around mental health.

Once upon a time I was one of those guys who wouldn’t have necessarily considered dating someone with known mental health issues. Now the shoe is on the other foot and I’m looking for the other right one to complete the ‘pair.’ Hopefully for a happier ever after.

A proudly not so sane and not sorted Gaz Goulding.

 

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Opinions expressed in this article may not reflect those of THEGAYUK, its management or editorial teams. If you'd like to comment or write a comment, opinion or blog piece, please click here.