Hello my precious little ones, and welcome to Freshers 2015!
So my basic objective is to slowly walk you through the many steps of making the most out of the next couple of weeks; a time in which you’ll meet a wonderfully wide array of people who you’ll proceed to awkwardly smile at for the rest of the year when you forget exactly how and why you know them. In an attempt to avoid rehashing all the standard rubbish you’ve read a billion times over in other articles, I’m going to gift you all little gems of information from my personal experiences as a gay man. Some of it might seem blindingly obvious, but some of you may have never met a real gay person in the flesh who they actually talk to. And yes, my eyes did roll back into my skull several times during Freshers.
So my little nugget of all-knowing wisdom is very simple: gay people, and the entirety of the LGBT community, have a lot more to them than just these wonderful little facets of their identity. Yes, my natural method of movement could be defined as ‘mincing’, and I do talk like the birth-child of Alan Carr and a Mancunian chav; that doesn’t mean I’m a living, breathing embodiment of the definitive gay man, darling. When approaching the first gay man you meet, don’t excitingly tell them “OH MY GOD I’VE NEVER HAD A GAY BEST FRIEND BEFORE LOL!” because we might awkwardly smile and laugh, but inside we’re rolling our eyes and considering how unbelievably patronising this god-awful situation is.
Furthermore, please don’t assume I’ll be your personal shopper because I like boys. In fact, I look back on photos from first year and die a little inside at my own clothes, so you’d be screwed if I was telling you what to buy, hun. Maybe said person is amazing at picking clothes for you, but don’t assume that is the case. You’re stereotyping, and although the idea that all gay men are fantastic shopping partners may not necessarily be a negative stereotype, you’re still painting an enormous population with the same brush. You’re putting us all into a simple framework which we’re all meant to adhere to. So yes, it is harmful.
Next, don’t assume that I’ll tell you the deepest, darkest annals of gay sex after gabbing for five minutes. Maybe I use Grindr, maybe I don’t. There isn’t a ‘man’ and a ‘woman’ in sexual relationships. Would you feel uneasy if I implored about your sex life after learning your name ten minutes prior? I imagine you would. There’s this really cool thing called Google, use it. Obviously sex-positivity is a wonderful thing that we should all celebrate and be open about, but don’t assume that your new GBF/personal Gok Wan is going to sit and tell you the ins and outs of their sex life straight away.
So I’m sorry if you’ve come this far and felt like you’re already informed enough to be aware of all of these little things, but you’d be genuinely surprised at how many people are unfortunately not quite as thoughtful as they could be. To all of my fellow gays: the scene is a plethora of cheese and glitter. Drag Queens are multiplying by the second, possibly thanks to RuPaul’s Drag Race, and it’s fabulous. Go check out the area around Queen’s Court – you can thank me later. Now good luck, have a wonderful time and ‘Death Drop’ (Google it) your way to into Fresher’s 2015. If the life of the glitterati isn’t your thing then that’s fine, keep on doing you and HAVE FUN!