Depression And Me

The Beeb has been showing some interesting programmes about mental health this past week. I have finally been feeling ok to watch some of them. I had been reluctant to watch any in case they made me feel worse. They are a very interesting watch and I would recommend watching, if you have access to the BBC iPlayer.

We don’t talk about mental health. I certainly didn’t, until recently. And even now I am very careful who I reveal my mental issues to. There is still a big stigma out there and people are still very judgemental.

So in case you are in any doubt. I suffer from depression.

I have lost many a friend (and boyfriend) to it as when it hits I turn in on myself and shut out the world. I tend to be more honest with people now, but as I said prevously, I’m still very careful who I tell.

Two weeks ago I fell into one of my bouts of depression but am coming out of it now. I re-posted the picture below about a week ago and thought I would share it with you.

Just to be clear I wasn’t suicidal.

The picture just reminded me how I sometimes feel when faced with people suffering with their own mental health issues.

Even with the experience of my own depression I struggle with how to help a person who is suffering from mental health issues. I really should do something about that.

‘My son killed himself after circumcision’

This BBC article tells the story of Alex Hardy, who committed suicide 2 years after undergoing a circumcision to cure his phimosis. He went to live in Canada, and while there he consulted a doctor who prescribed a steroid cream to stretch the foreskin. When Alex felt that wasn’t working he was referred to a Urologist who immediately suggested circumcision.

This is where the cultural differences kick in. In the UK we don’t circumcise as quickly or easily as they do elsewhere.

Those non-UK readers need to understand something of the British system. The NHS is publically funded through taxation and is free at the point of need. A consequence of this system is that the UK doesn’t provide any treatment that it considers unnecessary. Hence, the NHS will not circumcise boys on demand. (They also do not routinely perform tonsillectomies.)

I am against circumcision for non medical reasons, but sometimes, those medical reasons are not necessarily valid and depend on whichever culture you live in.
The article really moved me and I felt Alex should have been given more options and more after care, especially for someone so young who’s sexual identity is just as important.

UK to Introduce Porn Age-Checks

If your website is more than two-thirds porn then from July, all sites will have to very all UK citizens accessing the sites will have to prove they are aged 18 or over. To do this, they will have to either input their credit or debit card details or they will have to pay for an age verification card. Either way, they will need to know your personal details. So every time you visit a porn site, you will have to verify your age and hence give your personal details. Does anyone else find this rather… unnerving.

One other thing. Who defines what porn is? Is it porn or erotica, or sex education?
And one question I would like anyone to read this to answer. Is this website porn? I do show the occasional picture and a lot of stories do contain explicit sex. Would you class these explicit stories as porn?

I fully understand the reasoning behind this initiative, they want to protect children from seeing extreme material, which I agree with. But is this the right way to go about it?

Mums Make Porn

Channel 4 (in the UK) have started showing a series where a group of 5 mothers are tasked to make a porn film they would rather their children saw instead of the stuff that is out there. The main themes that came across were the degradation of the women involved, the lack of respect and the lack of consent.

The first episode was very female-centric, and they went to see how porn was made, both of these were produced by women. I would have like to see the male point of view and more voxpops from young men, after all, it is their consumption of porn that influences their views of sex and what women want. I think if the Mums are going to make a responsible pron film then they need to know what the young men want from porn and why they view it. Perhaps future episodes will look into this.

I’ve made some screencaps of a porn performer Sam. Cute, hung and uncut.



Wanted by the CIA

Well, it seems that I’m wanted by the CIA! They say they’ve discovered evidence of me distributing pornographic images of under-age children. This technician wants $10,000 to delete the evidence.

Now the hacker email from several months ago seemed more plausible. This one is just too far-fetched. I doubt that the CIA would pre-warn me, the price is far too high for ordinary people to pay and an unscrupulous employee of the CIA wouldn’t email from a CIA email.

I just get so tired of this shit! I get so much spam I’m sure I miss some important emails. If anyone has any ideas how to filter all this shit, I would sincerely appreciate it.


I don’t know how much the international community know about the UK miners’ strike between 1984 and 1985. Even in the UK knowledge is a little sketchy and depends on where you live. The south of the country was really not affected, and so they don’t necessarily understand what was actually happening.

I live in an ex-mining area (thanks to the dispute), and feelings still run pretty raw, even after nearly 35 years. I was a child at the time but the Midlands and Yorkshire were pretty much a police state during the strike, with travelling being monitored and challenged.

Yesterday, I watched the play “Wonderland” about the miners’ strike. It brought back memories of the time but was a brilliant and sometimes difficult watch. The first act centred on the miners, their relationships and life underground. It also had some laugh out loud moments. The second act centred on the strike and the effects on the miners and also the politics behind it.

In Nottinghamshire, the strike broke apart communities and even families. Fathers and sons who worked down the mine together were set against each other as one would break the strike to be able to look after their family. Families were given food parcels to survive, but there was no money to pay bills, so they were left with no electricity and had to resort to picking through rubble for scraps of coal to heat their homes. Even the union split and miners wanting/needing to work setting up the UDM (Union of Democratic Mineworkers).

Over thirty years before Brexit, it was the Miners’ Strike of 1984/85 that split the country, communities and families. It was dark times for the country.

And now to lower the tone!

I had no idea when I booked to see the play, but there was a bit of nudity. Miners get pretty dirty, and there was one short scene with them in the shower. Although it was dark, we did get to see everything. The notable view was of Joshua Glenister. Such a nice view. But let that not distract from the fantastic performances of all the actors.


“Do you like boys?”

Another good reason to love Joe Root. A great cricketer and now a great ambassador for humanity.

During a tense moment of the match, West Indies bowler Shannon Gabriel asks Joe Root, “Why are you smiling? Do you like boys?”

Joe Root retorts, “Don’t use it as an insult. There’s nothing wrong with being gay.”

You’ve just got to love what Joe said in response.

Gabriel’s comments landed him a four-match ban and fined 75% of his pay for the match.

Afterwards, in a statement, Gabriel said, “I know now that it was offensive and for that, I am deeply sorry… To my team-mates and members of the England team, especially their captain Joe Root, I extend an unreserved apology for a comment which in the context of on-the-field rivalry, I assumed was inoffensive sporting banter.”

All this reminds me of a time in the early 2000s when I was training a young woman, and whenever she got frustrated or thought something didn’t work very well, she would say, “That’s so gay.”

It really rankled me, but she kept on saying it. So eventually I had to say something about how I didn’t like her using that word in that manner. Her response was ok, and she understood, but she did say that she had gay friends who used it.

Perhaps it’s just me, being an older gay, not liking the way the youngsters used the term. But associating the word gay with bad things is a retrograde step in my opinion. Gay does not mean bad, or faulty, or crap. Being gay means being human and having the same rights as every other human in the UK.


For those interested, Shannon Gabriel’s statement, in full.

Time to stop judging people!

Sam Smith has posted a picture of himself, shirtless, to reclaim his body. He wrote:

In the past if I have ever done a photo shoot with so much as a t-shirt on, I have starved myself for weeks in advance and then picked and prodded at every picture and then normally taken the picture down. Yesterday I decided to fight the fuck back. Reclaim my body and stop trying to change this chest and these hips and these curves that my mum and dad made and love so unconditionally. Some may take this as narcissistic and showing off but if you knew how much courage it took to do this and the body trauma I have experienced as a kid you wouldn’t think those things. Thank you for helping me celebrate my body AS IT IS @ryanpfluger I have never felt safer than I did with you. I’ll always be at war with this bloody mirror but this shoot and this day was a step in the right fucking direction 👅🤘🏼🍑

I don’t think any of us have the perfect body and we are feeling more pressure to look good. And the pressure is starting when we are young.

There was a 2016 survey of more than 1,000 boys aged between 8 and 18 where 55% said they would consider changing their diet to look better and 23% said they believed there was “a perfect male body to strive for”.

They found that the four biggest sources of pressure on secondary school boys to look good were:

  • Friends (68%)
  • Social media (57%)
  • Advertising (53%)
  • Celebrities (49%)

I’m not a person who follows the crowd, but I have always struggled with my body image and hate being seen naked, or even shirtless. I don’t have the perfect body, I am carrying extra weight and, to put it in a nutshell, it makes me feel bad, awkward and embarrassed. People judge you as you walk on the street, especially if you are eating. They judge you when out shopping in the supermarket.

Fat is a self-induced illness and deserves no sympathy! Bullshit!

Fat is a symptom, as a society, we need to find the cause. One of those causes is body shaming which makes normal people feel bad, so they turn to food for comfort.

If you see a man struggling to walk with a cast on his leg, you feel sympathy. That plaster cast is protecting an injury. Just think of fat as a plaster cast we put on our body to protect our mental and emotional injuries.

If you take one thing from this post… Please don’t judge people. Fat, thin, tall, short, loud, quiet; you don’t know their story, and they may be different. Let’s celebrate difference.