For all you lovely lads this one is for you……Sexual Awareness Workshop

Tomorrow night here in NRC, 82A Hill Street, Newry… A sexual Health Workshop free of charge being run by James from the Rainbow Project from 7pm till 8.30pm…come along for some information and advice on how to keep enjoying your sex life while keeping you and your partner safe……:-)


Well, i had just about had enough of sitting on my backside and doing nothing about my sexuality other than say to myself “i am Gay”. i had recently come out and i found that i wanted to develop myself to some degree within the gay community and scene. the first time i plucked up the courage to go out on the newry scene, i had decided to attend luscious, but to my shock and horror, i found that it had been cancelled. i had heard about it before but hadn’t the courage to go and now that i had found some sense of balls, it was no longer taking place. the next time i went to go on the gay scene was at spectrum in dundalk and to be honest i found it a lonely place. i didn’t know anyone and i didn’t go out of my way to meet anyone, so the reality for myself was that even though i was out on the scene, i wasn’t participating in the scene. when i realised this, things began to change.

i began going to the new venture in newry called Aqueeriam, and found that i was meeting people and making friends so long as i made the effort to do something other than sit at a bar drinking myself drunk, then walking home alone. i started to date a few people and as time wore on, i wanted to make my statement. i wanted everyone to know that i, Damian, was claiming my inheritance and that i was taking ownership of my life, i wanted it out in the open that i was and am gay and proud of that fact in all its glory. but the big question was how was i going to manage it and cause the least amount of (perceived) offence as possible to people who were and are close to me?

As i went through my inner thoughts and while continuing to attend Aqueeriam, i began to hear about Dublin Gay Pride from people and also from magazines like the GCN. my thought processes began to turn (i can still see the smoke puffing from my brain) and the thought developed that i could do the announcement through particapation in the Dublin gay pride parade. i had already come out to my family about my being gay, but, here was the opportunity presenting itself to me, that would allow me to come out on a wider scale and acknowledge for all time my own worthiness and indeed force people of the fence as to where they stood in relation to me, and in general, the gay community. here was a chance to say to all, “i accept you on your terms so could you please do me the courtesy of accepting me on my terms with respect and due care, as i do you”. so i made my way to dublin and joined in the festivities but missed the parade through my lateness in journeying from newry. it was a great time, i enjoyed gubu, yello, the ould out in the liffey(now company), and of course the good old george, the jewel in the crown of dublin’s gay scene.

i met my partner that weekend and continue to be together today in a relationship that has become very exciting and wholesome in many ways.

soon afterwards, we travelled north, towards belfast and the gay pride there. again the scene was great in the union, the krem, the kube etc but more powerfully for myself, was that i felt on home ground and it was really here that my statement was needed to be made, and it was done not just through parading with the gay community but by going on tv and saying that the hecklers that were heckling us that day claimed to be “Christians but the reality was that they weren’t being very Christian to us or myself when they wont allow our lives to flourish in its most natural form, that of being gay”.

So there it was, for all to see who knew and know me. i was out not only celebrating my gayness and that of my community as a whole, but i was demanding a moral right to respect and the human right of having my dignity in tact without fear of intimidation from any quarter, wheather it be from Christian or otherwise. i was claiming my birthright to be equal among equals and i was demanding that i be allowed to be equal. do you know what? to this day, i have had no real problems with being gay or from people who are striaght. so there it is folks, a short story about my life on the scene. there are many more encounters that i could relate but i think the point i am making is suffice for now.
the scene can be a good thing if one allows it to be so. there must be a reason for why we go on the scene and surely its not just all sex and music, although that too is good, excellent in fact ha. this year there is gay pride in dublin and belfast and what i would like to say is that if you are sitting back accepting that you are gay and want to get out from newry for to express that gayness in whatever way suits you, then maybe these events are the places to do just that. whatever you decide be happy with your desicion. it is you that matters. be safe, be prudent, be wholesome and definately be proud of who you are.

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