Category Archives: lgbt

Feeling Alive Again. Or, Courtney Act on Big Brother Has Brought Me Back From The Dead

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So, I don’t know how many people out there keep up with the UK telly, but something amazing was just going down on what is normally a generic and trashy reality show.

The 21st season of Big Brother in the UK just concluded and that shit was bloody brilliant! As an American, I didn’t know much about the show except that Courtney Act was going to be on the show.  Now, I’ll say, if I were 15 years old, I would have watched that show every night of the damn week.

You see, as a teenager, I used to love Big Brother….And you know what, I should probably have a Big Brother breakdown here for everyone, because Big Brother is completely different in every country around the world.

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Here in the US, Big Brother used to be like a fucking marathon event.  The show was on, for no joke, almost 3 months. That means that everyone who made it into the top 7 got to stay for the entire 3 month period, whether it’s in the house, or the sequester house.  I know that in other countries, the show is only on for about a month. And then sometimes those Celebrity Big Brother seasons are only like 3 or 4 weeks.

Anyways, so as the gay kid in Ohio who was beat up and made fun of constantly, Big Brother seemed like a dream come true. It was this house filled with all these hot fun people, AND THEY WERE LOCKED IN WITH YOU….FOR 3 FUCKING MONTHS! 

It just seemed like the ultimate way to make friends. You could be close to all these people, and you were never alone. The hot jock would have to get to know you because you were sharing a room. The pretty cheerleading type would become your friend because an alliance needed to be formed. The wise old woman who’s been through shit could give you advice all damn day because you’re sharing a house together.  It all just seemed so perfect! I was sure that the reason I was alone all the time was because nobody ever took the time to get to know me.  But, if they were locked in a house with me for three months they’d have to!  It would be like one big family at summer camp!

So anyhoo, I used to watch the show religiously. All the episodes.  They’d have the Sunday, and Tuesday, shows and the Thursday live eviction show.  I used to fantasize about being the house with them. Watching all these people share a bedroom, share a shower, share the hot tub, share everything.  For someone who was alone all the time, Big Brother was fuckin wet dream for me. I loved the idea of having people in my life…even if they did potentially want to vote me out of the house. I used to stay up in bed at night, fantasizing that I was a member in the house too; making friends, and living life to the fullest.  I used to love the hope and excitement I felt watching that show, feeling that some exciting adventure was just around the corner!

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But as I got older, the show lost it’s luster. I stopped thinking that every new person was a potential friend. My heart hardened. Walls were built to protect myself. I stopped watching the show.

 

But, something with this new season began to attract my attention. I started seeing news articles creep up about something incredible happening in the Big Brother House. This season of UKCBB (United Kingdom Celebrity Big Brother) was titled “Year of the women” because this year marks 100 years of women having the right to vote in the UK. The show was already leaning towards a discussion of gender, and threw in 2 extra dimensions into the storyline.

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The first was India, The UK’s first trans woman to be a part of a news team.

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And the second was Shane J / Courtney Act, a drag artist who was previously famous from Australian Idol back in the mid-2000’s (which Shane did in drag as Courtney and pioneered the way for others) and then more famously, Ru Paul’s Drag Race.

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And then to counteract all of this, they also brought in ultra-conservative politician and super crotchety old woman, Ann Widdecombe.

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So, sparks started to fly because India was just god-awful, and Ann was just an old dusty bitch.   But the entire house, and all of the UK began to fall in love with Courtney.  She had multiple conversations with everyone in the house about gender, sexuality, and performance. She was willing to talk to anyone about the differences between drag, and trans. The difference between gay and pansexual, and the difference between gender and biological sex.

She even took to debating Ann about some of the more conservative and Anti-gay policies she helped enact back during her time in parliament. But what made Courtney so amazing was her ability to always remain calm, collected, and willing to engage in any  conversation that may have come up.

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And everyone loved it.  She was the house favorite, and the entire nation fell in love with her for knowledge, self confidence, and beauty.  The UK as a whole even started a national conversation on gender because of what was going down on the show. She wasn’t just teaching the other housemates, but she was teaching an entire country, and thanks to the internet, the entire world!

 

So this is first part of where I started feeling myself wake up inside. There’s just something about Courtney Act that I need to be more like. I need to carry myself with her confidence. I need to walk into a room and actually feel like I belong.  Somehow, even though Courtney Act tends to look like a slutty drag queen Barbie, she ends up being the shining light in every situation she’s in.  I need to have the self love and respect that she has.

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Furthermore, during the season, Courtney Act managed to school everyone on gender and sexuality.  She not only carries herself well, but she is phenomenal in conversations. She took what could have been some very difficult and controversial moments, and spoke to housemates about them as if it were just the most natural thing to her. I need to be better at communicating with others.  

Check out Courtney given’ the boys a lesson on Drag and Trans:

 

 

So yeah, I’m a guy, and I have never done drag, but damn, there’s so much to learn from Courtney Act.

 

 

Secondly, there was a bit of a show romance happing in the show as well! There’s an insanely cute guy on the show named Andrew Brady (He was on the UK Apprentice or whatever…)

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So get this…. from the very first second Courtney Act walks into the Big Brother house, he’s in love with her.

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And from there… a Bromance/Romance began!

They started getting really close, and Andrew was constantly flirting with Courtney Act.

Throughout the show the “friendship” grew and grew…..

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And then, as time went on, Andrew started like Shane, even out of drag… for a gay boy like me, it was like magic was happening.  A hot straight guy was getting along with a man who, out of drag, was an effeminate guy, and in drag was….well, a drag queen.  It was so amazing to see Andrew form this friendship and not care about labels or what other people may think.  He was just himself, and Courtney was just herself…and they connected.  It was amazing and heartwarming to watch.

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Oh my God…. they even had tub time one night!  It was fuckin’ amazing!  So yeah…that fifteen year old inside me who used to watch Big Brother hoping to find an amazingly close friendship… well, he felt super pleased watching this season.  I get those butterflies in my stomach again watching this season, just like I used to when I was a teenager. I find myself laying up in bed at night again, imaging myself in the house….Imagining some handsome straight guy was becoming my friend, and was having tub time with me too! I get this rush watching this season… a rush I haven’t felt in such a long time.  The rush of youthful excitement and passion and hope for some great adventure.  And ya know, I’ve missed that feeling…and I’m glad it’s back!

 

And You know what, everyone noticed that she was a shining light as well… because she won!

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Watch the win here:

 

But look, I think we can all be winners here.  I think we can all learn a lot about being your true self and letting yourself shine, even if your true self is something that the common man might find odd or different.  Courtney went into that house and literally changed people’s minds about the LGBTQ community and that is fucking amazing!   Let’s all try to be beautiful, engaging, and inspiring people! 

 

~ The Dark Horse

 

 

 

 

 

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My Sexual Assault Story

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Alright, so, this is Mackinac Island.  A small resort island in the Great Lakes.  I’m going to share with everyone a story about what happened to me there.

But first let me say, this isn’t a memory I’ve thought about recently.  I was reading a book yesterday called Suicide Notes.  In the book something happens to the main character that was very similar to something that has happened to me.  He wakes up in the suicide wing of mental ward.  He is there with about 5 other teens who are in extreme mental distress.  One night, the big football jock (who never discloses the reason why he is there) named Renken comes into his room while he’s sleeping and… you know.

After reading that scene, the memory of Mackinac came flooding back into my head.

Here’s what happened:

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Although it seems like a sleepy little resort island, behind the scenes is a whole different story.  When you work on the island you stay up in the middle of the island.  The part where nobody goes.  Most of the hotels put you up in “dorms” which is basically 2 old houses that have been connected together.  I was staying in one of the dorms for the hotel called The Island House during the summer of 2014.

My roommate was this kind of machismo guy who’s dad was in the military.   He didn’t go to college and he smoked and drank and did drugs like a fuckin’ crazy person.   But then again, everyone on Mackinac Island did drugs.  Drugs were everywhere.  For me, someone who doesn’t drink or do drugs, it was a horrible experience already.  The dorms were separated by gender.  There were guy dorms and girl dorms.   So you can image, a building filled with a bunch of guys between 20 and 28 who drank, fucked, and did drugs like crazy…it was kind of like living the worst frat-house nightmare imaginable.

 

So, one night about a month into my stay there, I’m sleeping and suddenly I start having this horrible dream.   In my dream I woke up and saw a shadowy figure standing in the room staring at me.  I remember it was making this weird kind of incoherent noise.  I felt so scared.  I remember in the dream I was saying “No…please go away….go away…please go away…”  and I felt so cold. I just remember this intense feeling of being exposed and cold and scared.

Then, I actually opened my eyes and saw that there was something in my room staring at me.  It was a person. But it was so dark I couldn’t really make out who it was.  I remember having this feeling like my stomach was in knots but at the same time it felt like my stomach was also clumped in my throat.  It was so difficult to process because I was still only half-awake.  I put the covers over me and tried hiding. I was so scared because I didn’t know what was going on, I just knew there was someone in my room.

Suddenly I could hear the sounds of someone climbing up the bunk bed and into my bed.  I was so scared I couldn’t breathe.  Then it laid down next to me.  At this point I kind of woke up a little more and was confused… If someone had come into my room to kill or rob me or something, they wouldn’t just lay down.   I took the blanket off from over my head and looked to see that it was my roommate.

I became a little less stressed knowing that I was safe and that it was just my roommate.  I figured he just got super drunk or high and had no idea where he was and came into my bed by accident.  I started to fall back asleep until suddenly he grabbed my hand and put it on his penis.  At that point I suddenly realized my roommate wasn’t wearing pants and was erect.  I quickly moved my hand away but he grabbed it again and put it back on his penis.     I moved my hand away again, and then he put his hands in my underwear and grabbed my penis.

I said, “What are you doing…dude stop”.   But then he started this weird incoherent low-level mumbling….the same that I heard from the shadowy figure in my dream before I woke up.    Suddenly I was terrified again, knowing that he must have been standing over my bed watching me as he mumbled whatever the fuck he was saying.   That must have been why I was so scared in my dream and why I felt so exposed.  My body must have known that someone was standing and watching me.

He grabbed my head and tried pushing me down to suck his dick.   I pulled away again and said, “Dude stop it, seriously.  what the hell is going on?”.    It was so weird because he kept his eyes closed.  Like he didn’t want to mentally be part of the moment.   Then the mumbling became more audible.  He was calling me “fag” and “slut” and was saying things like “Suck it you fuckin bitch”.

I was pretty much awake at this point, and I was scared.  This guy wasn’t the most stable I had ever met to begin with, plus I didn’t what kind of drugs he was on that night so I had no idea what he would be capable of doing”.  I tried playing stupid and so I did one of those koala cuddles to him, where you put your leg and your arm around the other person.  I tried doing it in an ‘Oh lets cuddle’ type way, but what I was actually doing was trying to hold his arms down so he couldn’t grab me.

He kept pushing my arms off and kept trying to push my head down to his crotch.   When he saw that wasn’t working he grabbed my penis again, and obviously it was limp because…how the fuck am I supposed to be aroused in a moment like that?   Then in his weird mumbling he said, “why aren’t you hard you fuckin fag?”.

I was now pretty pumped up with adrenaline and so I sat up and I said, “You need to get the fuck out of my bed right now”.   He tried grabbing me again but I swatted his hand away.  Then, silently, he got up and left the room.  I could hear that he walked into the bathroom which was the door next to ours and I heard him get in the shower.  I locked the bedroom door and tried to get back to sleep.

 

The next day when I saw him I asked what had happened last night.  He of course was like, “What do you mean?”   So I told him that I was talking about him coming into my bed.  Then he responded with something like, “Oh man I was so drunk I probably had no idea which bed was mine..”  Which you know what, I wouldn’t have cared if that was the case.  Had he been drunk and passed out in my bed I wouldn’t have cared.  But that wasn’t all that happened…

So then I said…”dude, you didn’t pass out in my bed…did you not realize that you didn’t wake up in our room this morning?”   And he was like… “Oh ya I crashed in my friends room”.    kept pushing him.  I said, “Do you know why you had to do that?”  And he was like… “No man, why?”  So I straight up told him.  I told him that he came into my bed and tried making me suck his dick.   To which he responded with, “Oh dude, I was so high I probably thought I was crawling in a girl’s bed or something….”

….SERIOUSLY?   

So then I mentioned that that doesn’t make any sense considering that he he grabbed my dick, which isn’t something you would normally do to a girl…

Then he got all quiet and was like… “well that wasn’t me man, must have been someone else…”

 

I knew it was him.  I wasn’t the drunk and high one in that bed.  I clearly remember who was in that bed with me and I remember what he did.

We never really spoke after that.  However, 2 days later he switched rooms.  Then he told all the guys in the dorm that the reason he left our room was because I was a fag and would stare at him when he was naked.

Furthermore, anytime I would pass him in the building or on the lawn he would always call me a fag as I walked by.  He of course was always sitting with about 5 other guys at all times so it wasn’t exactly like I could have fought him or anything.

 

People would say things to me like, “Oh man I don’t know what you did to him but he’s always talking about how he wants to beat you up” and “You really shouldn’t have come on to him….it’s kind of your fault”.

 

But you know what people, I’m gay and from Ohio.  Sadly, I know how the world treats gay people.  From experience I know that adding flame to the fire is the worst thing you can do.  Going around and telling everyone what really happened was only going to make him even more mad.  And a closeted drug addict son of a military father is not the kind of guy you want to question the sexuality of.   That would just be me asking to get beat to death one night.

 

So I justified it to myself.  I told myself this is just how the world treats me.  Nobody ever cared about me before, so why would they now?  I remember thinking that, after all, he was the hottest guy who has ever wanted to have sex with me…so maybe I should have been grateful?   I just did what I had to do to make it through the rest of that summer.

 

But now, after reading that book all these years later I’m fucking pissed.   Present-day me would have beat the shit out of him.  Present-day me would have raised the kind of hell most people could only imagine the devil himself could conjure.

IT WASN’T FAIR THAT I HAD TO HAVE THAT HAPPEN

IT WASN’T FAIR THAT I HAD TO LISTEN TO HIM CALL ME A FAG AS HE TRIED TO FORCE ME TO SUCK HIS DICK

IT WASN’T FAIR THAT I HAD TO HEAR HIM CALL ME A FAG EVERYDAY AFTER THAT

IT WASN’T FAIR THAT HE COULD TELL EVERYONE A FAKE STORY BECAUSE HE KNEW THEY WOULD BELIEVE HIM OVER ME

IT WASN’T FAIR THAT I HAD TO LIVE BEING AFRAID OF GETTING BEAT UP THE REST OF THE SUMMER

THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT IT WASN’T FAIR.  IT WASN’T RIGHT, AND IT ISN’T JUSTIFIABLE

I called the sexual assault hotline and spoke to a consoler on the phone last night.  I told her the story and asked if I had a right to be mad.  I was wondering if I was being a drama queen, or if I was correct in my new recognition of this event.  I told her that when I think of rape I think of some girl who gets jumped in the woods and is gang-banged or something….but this event also felt like it was so wrong.   She told me over the phone that I had every right to be angry.  She said this was a violation and that I wasn’t being a drama queen.

It felt good.  It felt really really good actually.  After having everyone tell me it was my fault the entire summer.  After having myself believe that it wasn’t a big deal and that it’s just something you have to go through as a gay person… it just felt amazing for someone to actually sit there and say, NO.  BE MAD.  You’re allowed to be mad.   There was such relief and such power in it.

So to anyone out there who has had something bad happen to them, BE MAD.  YOU ARE ALLOWED.  I don’t care if it was sexual assault, physical violence, emotional abuse, or anything else.  If someone has treated you like you’re sub-human, you can be mad.  It is your right to be mad.

And if anyone is dealing with a similar issue, please call a sexual assault hotline and just talk about it.  The woman who spoke to me was insanely nice.  They don’t judge or get mad at you.  You are free to talk about anything you want.

And furthermore if anyone is hurting for any reason remember that there are crisis lines all across the world.

Below is a link to all the crisis lines across the globe ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS talk about it with people.  It helps so much:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_suicide_crisis_lines

 

I sincerely thank you for reading this post,

~ The Dark Horse

… sorry it wasn’t proofread well