I spent way too much of my time trying to convince people I was real

I spent way too much of my time trying to convince people I was real.

And I guess it’s my fault some people even suspected I might not’ve been in the first place. I never liked to show pictures of my face and I thought my books would never do well – and that people wouldn’t relate to them on a personal level if the image of the bugger who wrote them was printed all over the dust jackets.

It also didn’t help that my culture were trying to prove to the world that they were nothing like the ‘gypsies’ we were seeing on TV and were trying to paint a better image of who they were.

Being as old fashioned – or to be a little more blunt, backward – as they were, they’d never been able to separate being gay as any different to being a child molester. And so, they were always persistent that there’s ‘NO SUCH THINGS AS GAY GYPSIES!’

I’m very proud of being a gypsy, but it’s true that my leaving home at 15 was not because I wanted to, but because I had no choice.

Despite it being many years after leaving home and making a life for myself, I found myself being attacked every time I stood up for my culture. So I decided that I’d never do so again. I’ve had to deal with being regularly slapped across the wrists for even putting ‘gay’ and ‘gypsy’ in the same sentence. Though I love them dearly, my culture can be proper cunts.

Until they accept gay as a reality, I couldn’t give a flying frig what the community did with themselves, and I stick only to helping other gay kids within it, who need advice, an ear, or a place to go.

I’m not the only gay gypsy in the village, despite what they tell you.

I wasn’t the only ‘out’ gypsy online either. There was a young gay autistic gypsy, with a legion of followers, a blog, several celebrity followers and a spot in a posh Sunday paper. But then it surfaced that he wasn’t a gypsy. Or autistic. Or even a man. He turned out to be some woman from Bradford. 

A woman who, after two years of tweeting solidly under the image of some handsome young gypsy guy, had also built up quite a hefty stack of cock shots from Twitter’s gay community – the dirty bitch.

This part, I must say, hurt me. Not the cock shots, but the fact that this stranger had created a boy with a painful past and great struggle, just for the attention.

I’d spent two years both admiring and envying this boy, for all he’d managed to achieve, despite the suffocating demands of a bigoted gypsy culture.

I felt a little dirty after it all came out. Suddenly, the reason he’d never spoken to me at any great depth was clear. And yet, for two years, I’d sat wracking my brains as to why another gay gypsy would never give me the time of day, when we shared such similar pasts. How was I to even know that his past was mine, but with a few bits thrown in to make it even juicier?

I’m sure this girl is still out there, despite being politely told to kill her gypsy boy and move along. I find myself wondering about how lonely she must’ve been to go to such depths…

I guess there are a couple of lessons that came out of this.

One, you never know who you’re talking to online.

Two, no matter what you do, you’ll never please everyone. Thanks to Frozen I dread to even say these words, but let it go.

And three, people are very different to their online persona. To look at a person’s tweets and think ‘I wish I was as happy/sorted/successful as him’ is just wrong. We only put out there what we want people to see.

Being an insomniac, I can tell you it’s the post-midnight lonely tweets, then deleted by morning, which are REALLY good ones.

But take heart. It’s OK to feel crap. And if you ever do, well, message me and you can have a good ol’ post-midnight Twitter moan with a very real Mikey.

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