I Went to Pride!

Yesterday was such a brilliant day. To be honest, it was the best day I’ve had in such a long while. Why? Because yesterday, I went to Pride in London for the second time (the first time was two years ago). The sun was shining (a lot); my voice is still a bit rusty but I feel like I truly made memories that will last a lifetime.

It took a bit of organisation, first of all. Originally, it was going to be a group from school – me, Wren and our other friend who’s moving abroad in a week or so for university. Then, I invited one of my closest friends, Lu, because she’s a fabulous bean and I haven’t seen her in months. Pearl – who I talk about here – was added to our group too, along with her two sisters and I was so hyped for that that I did a lot of screeching. My other friend who I’ve known since I was 4, Ivy, would also be at Pride and so we planned to meet her as well. In the morning, Lu and I met at a train station, then met her friend, before I went off to have a really early lunch with someone I hadn’t seen in months. As you can tell, there was a lot of “And then we met this person!”

The friend I hadn’t seen in months was actually a woman who had been my chaperone in the filming I did in December last year. Her name’s Chris and I hadn’t seen her in six months. Despite that, as soon as I saw her, I immediately felt just as I had when I’d seen her last – we joked, insulted each other, laughed and almost cried. We went to a cafe, spoke about our lives and had such a lovely time. I forgot how much I got on with her but hopefully, we should be seeing each other soon – I think there are some people who will remain in your life, no matter how much time goes between you seeing each other. Saying goodbye wasn’t difficult, simply because of that.

I sometimes get an attitude where planning isn’t so important. That was why, after having met Chris, we then met up with the friends who we’d originally organised the day with. Waiting outside Leicester Square station, it took a while for them to find us but when they did, I full-on screamed and rushed at Wren. Our other friend from school (who is a genuine icon) was there too so our group, who now numbered five, wandered off to find the parade. Along the way, Lu and I got rainbow flags; Wren helped me tie it to my cane (and by helped, I mean did it for me because I’m pathetic). Again, I screamed a lot as we neared the sounds of music and cheering.

Eventually, after much walking through crowds and stopping to see people going past us, we found a spot by some railings in Trafalgar Square. The parade would be passing directly beneath us – we were one of the first people there and so we stood right by the railings. As soon as the parade started, a huge cheer went up: people blew whistles and screamed and the whole square was a mass of noise and celebration. That continued as everyone passed us – I honestly roared at one point. After a lot of attempts, Pearl and her sisters found us and then Mit (another friend I met through blogging) arrived. Everyone was there and because I couldn’t see the parade, what filled me with joy was all my friends being there as the celebration and cheers swirled around us. It was so beautiful; Lu and I were yelling; I tried to hug everyone: it felt like I was on top of the world for a brief moment.

After a bit of time, when the heat was increasing and we felt our energy declining, we decided to leave the parade. Instead, we walked to a cafe and then to St. James’s Park, the sun beating down as I almost melted. Going through the streets whilst laughing and then finally arriving at the park, finding a place to sit and then just chatting was just as special as the parade. It was calm: some of us talked; some of us watched the football game “FOOTBALLs COMING HOME) and some of us decided it would be a great idea to climb a tree. Pearl, her sisters and her friend had to leave early to say goodbye to some kittens they’d been fostering (which was sad because seeing them again was so wonderful) and after that, Ivy arrived with a friend of hers. By the end of it, we were pretty much sitting in a circle, with two or three conversations going on at once as the weather slowly started to become less humid.

At around half 5, Ivy, her friend and I went back to her house. I felt quite emotional saying goodbye: I hugged Mit until it was painful, wailed at Lu that I loved her and told our school friend that I was proud of her – as she’s moving abroad and I may never see her again. A day was over that felt important, where I was entirely present and loved by people.

I smiled, or felt happy inside, all day which is a rarity for me. Not only was the atmosphere electric and amazing but I was surrounded by people who I love and who have become special to me in their individual ways. We laughed and I screeched and it lived up to a day of acceptance for me, where my identity – whatever that may turn out to be – was alright because people around me loved me. I felt like I truly connected with everything.

That’s what I live for. And I want to repeat those kinds of days for as long as possible, save up the snapshots of memory from Pride and love and beauty to hold with me, to remind me that though my identity can change, I’ll still be marching forward in the parade of existence and no one can stop me from feeling that euphoria.

From Elm 🙂

Why Pride Is Important – My Thoughts and Yours

Today is the last day of Pride Month and it makes me a little sad that I haven’t written posts pertaining to it. However, there are a few reasons why Pride is a special month and I want them to be celebrated. In fact – this is a post mostly for you.

Simply put, Pride is important both as a way to express awareness about the LGBTQ+ community to those who aren’t LGBTQ+ but it also helps to let people find a place in the world who don’t feel like they fit anywhere. It’s a form of belonging but also a way to let people question who they are, as safely as they can. Of course, this isn’t exclusive to Pride Month but the conversations that can be started when acceptance is promoted so strongly from so many sources can be invaluable and can start the process of somebody feeling happy enough with how they feel about themselves to begin to ‘come out’, or to be more open with who they are.

Expressing your identity’ in the age of the Internet and modern technology may be easier nowadays then it was 50 years ago but it isn’t easy for everyone. There are still countries and communities in which being attracted to someone of the same sex or gender isn’t accepted as readily; social stigma against many parts of the LGBTQ+ community is still high, even within the LGBTQ+ community itself. Just because I, for instance, didn’t experience much homophobia growing up, doesn’t mean other people haven’t or won’t. This month can allow people to feel a little more secure in their identity, to belong to a community that accepts them when others may not.

Some may ask why Pride is necessary, if the world is more accepting now. However, not only is it necessary for those who aren’t accepted but also for those who don’t fit in with the ‘traditional’ binary idea of sexuality, romantic attraction or gender; for those who wish to celebrate their identity, it’s important. It can take any form, not just marches or parades or material things, but in discussions and collections of thought. It shouldn’t be limited or constrained to inaccessible forms of expression. Everyone is involved in Pride, not just those who speak the loudest.

What makes Pride amazing is the community surrounding it. So many people express their identity, in whatever way they wish to. It is – and should be – about positivity and inclusivity. On that note, I want to share with you a list of bloggers and blog posts who have done, and are doing, just that.

Kirithika opens up about her bisexuality on her blog, especially on how she felt about telling the important people in her life and how her understanding of her sexuality has developed over time.

Lia discusses Aphobia in the media and characters having happy endings that don’t depend on a romantic plotline.

Kel guest posted on Bethany’s blog about people’s perceptions of LGBTQ+ (in a hilarious way), as well as celebrating identity and discussing his sexuality.

Em explains her thoughts about her own identity and how confusing it can be, particularly highlighting how it can and has changed over time; it’s a truly beautiful post.

Bethany writes about her sexuality journey as part of her Pride Month posts, discussing asexuality and how school influenced her; all of her Pride posts are amazing!

Lu discusses 4 LGBTQ+ things she wants to see represented more in YA as well as talking about internalised homophobia, in the first part of her Coming Out series.

Victoria wrote about whether labels were always necessary to identify yourself in a really thought-provoking and inclusive post, taking into account all sexualities and genders in the community.

All of these posts are wonderful and I’d encourage you to read as many as you can; each has a unique voice and highlights different parts of the community, raising important points that should be talked about.

Pride goes beyond the month of June. I shouldn’t be sad about not writing posts to do with it because by expressing my identity, and by others expressing theirs, we keep the spirit of Pride alive. We show ourselves and others that being who we are should be respected and understood and that the world can be a bright place, if you give people the chance to make it so.

Love from Elm 🙂

Some Thoughts About My Identity

I’ve been thinking for the past few weeks. Though that’s never a good thing, because me thinking usually results in a catastrophe, this time it’s been about my identity. Along of bemusement and a heavy dose of yelling to my friends about how confused I am, I might have started to piece together a bit more of who I think I am.

Because my thoughts are quite jumbled, I’m going to try and organise them into sections. They’ll overlap, but that’s the beauty of life, right? (I honestly have no idea how this post is going to go, so bare with my strange ramblings).

Sexual Attraction

In terms of who I’m sexually attracted to, I know it could be any gender. I know that I can get incredibly strong sexual and physical attraction to people. It’s happened many times before, even if I don’t necessarily know them. However, the sexual attraction becomes stronger the more I know somebody. Saying that, I am honestly afraid of intimacy with anyone I don’t know very well and even when I do know somebody very well, I still can become really nervous. I think this is because I was emotionally damaged from situations before that I become wary of people that I trust, in case they do something similar. In addiN to that, I am afraid of losing control in a situation where I might embarrass myself. The attraction, as well as the fear, builds up over time but I’ve found that attempting to repress this attraction can make it a lot worse.

Romantic Attraction

This one’s a bit more tricky. A lot of the time, I get romantic and sexual attraction confused. However, I know that I do experience strong romantic feelings for people; I’ve “fallen in love” three times as far as I’m aware. This attraction is normally only strong when I know somebody really well. To people I don’t know so well, I can get attracted but it’s only often a surface attraction that easily fades. Like physical attraction, I also get scared of my feelings most of the time. This causes me to run away from them, or try, which can then block me from feeling anything.

How They Interact

This is where all the confusion starts. When doing anything intimate, if there isn’t any kind of romantic subtext, I can feel a little sick afterwards. This “sick” feeling also happens if I’m only romantically, and not sexually, attracted to a person. I will never feel entirely invested in someone if I’m just physically attracted to them but nothing else; this doesn’t stop me from being involved with them but it can cause me to panic somewhere down the line. As well as that, if I’m involved with someone in one way, it can progress to the other way as well: for example, if I just had romantic feelings for someone, I could then develop physical feelings and vice versa, the latter having occurred more than once.

I DO NOT HAVE A CLUE

All of this comes from experience, where I can relate every single thing I’ve said in this post to a situation that has happened. This means I don’t know if the same patterns will continue in the future. I know I’m scared of things and that to some extent, I’ve always been way, way more attracted to people who I know but recent experiences that have happened mean that I don’t fully understand how to commit to even those people who I adore with all my heart.

There isn’t much clarity here but I knew that, even as I began to write this post. I’m still extremely confused and there isn’t one way of saying, “Oh! This is me then.” I’m hesitant about committing to anything, just in case my indecisive brain decides to do a U-turn. However, as I said earlier, I’m very sick of having to pretend to not feel things.

All I know is that my thoughts on feelings and sexuality are complicated and can’t ever be fully explained with a simple few words. Part of it’s always been there but part of it’s to do with past experiences that have shaped my personal thoughts on what I’m comfortable with. Finding the different parts that fit into those two – or more – categories is going to be tricky and I may never fully figure out which might be which. Isn’t that what life is, though? Not always being sure of how things fit together?

I’m not going to attach a label to it right now, or maybe not ever. It might change – in fact, it probably will. If I commit to a label now, I might have further panic if that then changes again.

I want to live and fall in love again but I also need to work through a bunch of identity troubles first. Or rather, I want this to be a slow process because I’ve rushed things before and that is vastly unpleasant, to say the least.

Have you ever had confusion about your identity? What did you do to help yourself figure it out?

From Elm 🙂

In Which I Met a Girl

Hello,
I bring to you, my most likely exasperated readers, the first proper Elm-love-life-update in, probably, a year. It’s the start of one. It’s the feelings. It’s the freedom I haven’t had in ages because for once, the person I’ll be talking about won’t be reading this. I need to talk about it so I don’t forget that I’m capable of this kind of feeling, writing, again.

Today, I met a girl. I’ll call her Pearl for the purposes of this blog because I want to give her a name at least connected to nature. We started speaking about a week and a half ago, online; even saying that makes me feel like people are judging me because it was on a dating app. I signed up to it because I’ve been feeling really uncomfortable with some internalised, unpleasant thoughts about my sexuality because of what people have said to me before (a post on that to come!). However, I didn’t start speaking to her as a way to “prove” something to myself. I started speaking to her because she was interesting, funny; because the first conversation we had included reasons why certain types of boxes were great; because I dn’t have to tone myself down like I have to do with some other people.

Every single day since then, we’ve spoken, as if we’ve known each other for ages. When she told me she liked YA novels, I shrieked out loud. When I fangirled about Simon vs., Autoboyography and books in general, I messaged her. Most of our fangirling conversations include all capitals and I don’t feel like I’c being annoying. My insecurities aren’t gone when I speak to her but they aren’t all-consouming and don’t make me want to shut down.

It wasn’t until earlier this week that I talked about meeting. Usually, I’m more cautious than this: I wait for a while before meeting people from online and often get terrified beforehand. With her, I suggested it, convinced she’d say no. We’d exchanged numbers a few days before and in my typical fashion, I said it in the cringiest way possible (including the fact that I was cringing in my message). When I asked if she wanted to meet, instead of ignoring me, she replied with “OMG YESS” and I was so happy that this was going well that I laughed. I’m not used to this, as you can tell. Then, I was done with being too cautious. I didn’t even pretend to not be apprehensive: I was nervous but not scared. I wanted to meet her because my disability wasn’t a talking point for her, because my talk of my family and endless wailing about things I loved didn’t put her off. She didn’t dismiss me or make me feel small.

When I talked to Wren about it, the only one who knew about it properly before it happened apart from my dad (for safety, just in case), I spoke about it in the most carefree way. I got taken over by this feeling that seemed foreign only because I hadn’t experienced it for a long time. It was anticipation. I was doing something I wanted to do, casually and without a massive fanfair, but it was still important. Pearl and I spoke on the phone and our planning turned into a conversation diversion about friends, our inability to plan and then finally some concrete ideas about when, where and how.

This morning, still tired from going out to London yesterday, I did a bit of creative “lying” to my mum. As she wouldn’t be okay with me seeing anyone I met online, least of all a girl, I told her I was meeting Ivy who you can read about here. I’d been texting Pearl all this time, figuring out which bus she was arriving in on so that I went to the right place. In the car journey on the way there, I kept smiling widely, to the point where my mum got suspicious and asked, “Are you meeting your secret boyfriend?” I burst out laughing, couldn’t stop and then told her that was bullshit.

When Pearl eventually found me, after my mum left, we hugged and I probably acted painfully weirdly. It was so natural from the start of it; we both already knew we were shit at making decisions and so our first stop was Costa. We stayed in there for an hour and a half, talking constantly about instruments, books, relationships and only remembering to order something when we were asked by someone who was most likely getting irritated by our chatter and me occasionally raising my voice to more than a conversational murmur. By the time we got out, it was gone 12 and because the weather was lovely, we decided to go to the nearby park.

Walking along the path in the quiet with her, whilst the sun shone on the right side of my face, felt so open. It was then we spoke about our childhoods and how cringey we were, regailing each other with stories that made me laugh so loudly that I’m sure it reverberated around the place we were standing. I never usually go out anywhere with people like that, mainly because I only have 3 friends who live near me who I’d be comfortable just wandering around with. This felt different: it felt relaxed.

It continued like this for the whole day, through lunch and when she came to my house. We sat on beanbags as she showed me videos of her when she was younger and I cried with laughter; she saw my infamous ornament shelf in my room and far too soon, it was quarter to five and we’d lost track of time. I remember thinking that I didn’t want the day to end because I’d felt absolutely comfortable, not like I was pretending to be funny or happy or anything. It felt right and when we hugged goodbye and she said we had to see each other again because this day was nice, I echoed it back to her and told her I’d had a great day. We’d spent the time talking about our lives and there wasn’t a second of our conversations that I wish I hadn’t said.

It’s safe to say I “like” her, in a way. I’m trying to not rush headlong into these feelings, or the beginnings of them, because that’s got me nowhere before. However, what’s so wrong with having them? Why is it that I’m holding myself back? It’s a fear of judgement, which I didn’t feel today. The day wasn’t romantic; we didn’t kiss, we didn’t hold hands; I certainly didn’t act more strangely than I usually do.

I thought I wasn’t able to do this anymore. To breathe and live, like I was worth something more than the twisted version of myself that appears inside my thoughts. I didn’t even have to try. I don’t have “feelings” for her but I might be on my way there and I know it sounds ridiculous, after a week and a half, but I need to cut myself some slack. It’s okay to have non life-altering, non earth-shattering feelings. It’s okay to be happy with that. It’s okay that the consequences, however scary they might be, won’t upset me as much as the last few times.

I’m okay and I’ve had an amazing day. I miss her and I know she didn’t feel the depth of emotion I felt today but I’m really glad that she wanted to spend time with me, genuinely, because she thinks I’m not boring or dull or any of the adjectives I describe myself to be. She’s not on a pedestal for me: she’s a person who makes me smile in a way that I thought was lost.

To the majority of my friends, this is completely new as I didn’t mention this before, at all. However, I’ve come to realise I’m now incredibly uncomfortable when talking about anything to do with my “love life”. I feel terrible that I didn’t talk about it before but I don’t know how to anymore; I don’t trust like I used to and that makes me feel guilty. I can’t let this ruin my day, though.

I’m not too bothered if people judge me for how I met her because I can live my life and I want to make the most of this time. What’s so wrong about that?

From Elm 🙂

I Thought that My Love Life was Over

So far, school has been rather uneventful in the two days that I’ve been back, save for me internally freaking out about coursework and stressing at things that aren’t even important. However, there is a far more pressing problem besides the prospect of unmanageable work. That is, I appear to actually possess feelings.

How my mind works is that there are certain people which my brain tells me, “Okay, they’re nice; you could have feelings for them – but don’t; that’s a terrible idea!” A girl who joined my school this year, who I used to share my French class with, is one such person. I call her Laurel on this blog and you can read more about her here. I feel like a total creep for writing this and knowing my luck, she’ll end up finding it and I’ll be mortified for the rest of my days.

Yesterday, I spoke to her for the first time, properly in person, for about a month. Because of exams which meant that I was only in school to do them for two weeks and then I had two weeks off, I couldn’t have seen her for that length of time and before that, I hadn’t spoken to her in ages. Not being with Pine’s “group” a lot, I don’t often have the chance to meet her unless I go and sit with them at break. She’d been on my mind a lot lately. It wasn’t in a romantic sense really but I was more contemplating the decision that I’d made to drop French, as well as how much I missed those in my class even if I could see them outside of it.

I got into school, walked towards my first class of the day and genuinely didn’t realise it was her speaking to me, at first. Being greeted is a common thing but it was loud; I couldn’t hear much and I think I must have been tired. We were standing a little ways apart; I didn’t pay much attention to my surroundings. My friends Wren and Swan were being themselves, saying inside jokes to me whilst walking off and that was when I knew that Laurel stood in front of me and I was a total moron because I think that I smiled really strangely. Now I think about it, that was so awkward.

We didn’t talk about much. The subject was mainly exams and before I had known it was her (how the hell did I not know?!) she hugged me and I felt really happy because I felt like she really meant it. I was cringing so hard when I clocked that it was her that I tried to, erm, make up for it, or that was how my mind justified it. Upon her saying that she would fail, I utterly disagreed with her and I hugged her again, touching her hands once or twice to prove my point. As I never usually initiate such physical contact with those that aren’t my very close friends, it was almost a shock to my own internal systems to note that I was doing this with very little fear.

I’m confused. Over the last few months, I convinced myself that those fledgling feelings had been stamped out. I didn’t need complications like that, especially when I was attempting to viciously deny other, much stronger feelings that had emerged for a different person. Neither approach worked. Now, it looks as if I’m in the same predicament as before: uncertain as to what I want, who I think about and what I want to do with those feelings.

I usually know how I act around those who I have feelings for but then I refuse to acknowledge that. It might not be apparent to anyone else except me but I think differently, pay much closer attention to everything and am more likely to remember how I felt in that exact moment. As much as I’ve tried to stop this, I don’t think I can. Once my thoughts go down a trajectory of weird and inconvenient feelings, they don’t stop until I a) realise it’s pointless; b) something unpleasant happens or c) I move onto someone else. I’m hoping it’s option C, honestly.

My feelings, or what’s left of them, for Laurel can’t be overstated. Yes, I think she’s wonderful and I feel entirely too comfortable around her but there still remains the problem of the ‘other person’. I won’t use Laurel as some kind of rebound because that would upset me; I don’t know her well enough to know what it would do to her.

All in all, I know a few things:
• I have small feelings for her
• They won’t go anywhere because I have about as much luck or good decision-making as a single-celled organism
• I’m hopelessly confused because feelings EW NO GO AWAY
• There are ‘other people’ who I have similar reactions to which makes things needlessly complex
• If you try and ignore a problem or put your fingers in your ears whilst screaming ‘la la laaaaa’, it doesn’t go away
• HELP ME I don’t need this in my life!

Are you going through something similar right now? How do you feel? I kind of feel like running and hiding next time I’m near her because feelings are scary. I haven’t felt this way, so carefree with it, in at least a year.

From Elm 🙂

Smiling After Frowning is the Best Feeling Ever

My day started off horribly: I didn’t get the work sent to me for French so I had to run back to the “unit for us blind people” as I call it, and then I wanted to sob insanely because I got overwhelmed. I got really upset, because I have to do so much work: both to catch up and work outside of school to help me understand the subject.

But you know what? Now, I’m HAPPY. There are a few reasons why.

I panicked a bit earlier. I walked into the common room – for some reason I thought it was a great idea to go there, despite not knowing where my friends were. I felt everything go numb, I walked straight back out and leaned against the wall, trying to reconcile with myself that my breathing was too shallow and that I was getting frantic. A girl who I always thought thought I was stupid came up to me and asked if I was okay: not the patronising tone of someone who doesn’t care, but of someone who genuinely wants to know. “Are you waiting for someone?” she asked, and I said “Probably.” I knew she cared, even a little bit, which made me more happy than I can say because my classmates aren’t actually awful people.

After my French lesson from hell, I felt as if I was going to burst into tears. I went to the unit, met the other VI guy in my year (coincidentally we’re friends) and we chatted a little. I explained to him that in order to be able to stop myself from panicking, I had to DO something: that French homework, reading a book for English, anything that’ll make me feel productive. He didn’t quite get it, and asked if I practiced mindfulness – I don’t and I told him that it didn’t really work for me. Him trying to understand really made me feel better, because I was talking through my thought processes.

The head of VI (what we also call the unit) then came into the room and talked things out with me. She helped me to realise that I couldn’t do everything and it WAS hard, that I didn’t have to put so much pressure on myself but that she understood. That, coupled with Oak’s understanding, made it seem not so terrifying. I think I feel more positive now; I’ll have to catch up with French, plus do all the other extra work for my subjects, but I can do it. No crying, no fear; the only problem I’ll have is telling teachers I’m struggling. I still can’t do that much.

Every Friday since about midway through Year 11, a lot of my friendship group and I go to something we affectionately call ‘gay club’ – where LGBTQ+ people go to a classroom. I mean, we literally just hang out and yell a lot, but it’s great. Today, Wren brought cake and so 20 or so people turned up – some of which were straight but that didn’t matter – and there was the usual shrieking and I have no idea what most of the people were actually doing.

What was different about today was that someone knew turned up. She’s repeating year 12, and is friends with the year 13s that originally started the club (we’re all connected through various friendship groups) and she and I spent ages talking. She’s lovely, and we spoke about sexuality and how I call myself bisexual, but really, it’s not as defined as all that and it’s okay. She says it’s doubtful she’ll be coming back next week, but that we’d definitely see each other again; talking to someone new amongst people who were my friends was the greatest feeling because I was showing someone, who didn’t know before, who I was. I walked around the room a bit, mystified as to why my friends were piggy-backing each other across the floor and literally screaming, but then I returned to talk to her, Wren and a few others.

On the way to form, I laughed so hard that I nearly sobbed. I was walking with a friend – I called her Swan once so we’ll stick with it. She’s the type of person who you think is brilliantly insane, with crazy ideas that people look at her strangely for. However, she’s a really lovely person and has become a good friend to me the past few months: she laughs like a seagull, screams about Karl Marx, writes pisstake fanfictions about Donald Trump – but she’s ridiculously intelligent. We were walking to form, and I crashed into someone by accident. Because I’m cool, I full-on screamed (I was shocked okay!) which prompted so much laughter that I could barely stand up. It was just what I needed, honestly.

Today was also eventful (I sound like a news reporter ARGH) because I trusted someone with the fact that I had a blog. Pretty much the only friend I have in my form, he’s very thoughtful and just generally nice, though he was a bit of a dick to Willow so I’m not too happy about that. However, I was chatting to him about my difficulty with accompanying myself on piano when I sing, and we had the most lovely conversation. This is a paraphrase of what he said:
“You don’t write songs just to write them. Write them so that it’s genuine, so that people can tell it’s just from you rather than from just anyone. You can start simple, because sometimes, simplicity is the better option. Don’t try and overcomplicate things.” As always, he’s so right; I told him I had a blog because he’d said he doesn’t show anyone his songs, because of how personal they are. I can relate, with my songs and blog, and I told him that. It was lovely, because he just wasn’t bothered: he treated it like it was worth talking about, and didn’t dismiss it.

Despite the shitty start, my day ended amazingly. Laughing in history with Red, getting home and reading, and not feeling like the whole world is collapsing in on me like I did this morning. I mayh too much work to do, but that can wait for now; I’ll concentrate on myself for now.

If you’re having a bad day, try and look at the positives. Yes, it may just be one thing in a sea of negatives, but let that one thing make you happier. Some days are just awful, but in every day, there can be a reason to smile and bloody well be happy: I learnt that today. And if you can’t find a reason, you can make one.

Sometimes, days that you think will end up with you crying in a corner can, really, end with you remembering laughter.

From Elm 🙂

I Went to Pride!

I have honestly had one of the best days of my life – I’m still smiling and I feel unbelievably happy. Why? Because I went to my FIRST EVER PRIDE!!! (Okay Elm CALM)

Yesterday, Ivy (one of my best friends ever) and I organised a trip to London. We needed to buy French books – or well, we wanted to – and she’d found this really cute little European bookshop that sold so many books in different languages (Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, German and obviously French). We just decided to go and find it, by taking a bus and a train and searching around the surrounding streets.

We found it, and it was so so nice! The street it was on was so pretty and picturesque (so I was told) and then we spent ages in the shop. It was quiet, peaceful and amazing and is just the kind of little place that makes London so beautiful. After we left, we got something to eat and sat in this random covered walkway and chatted.

It was whilst we were sitting there that we talked about Pride. Both she and I wanted to go, but there was a little fear of anything happening that would be dangerous, due to the recent Orlando shootings. Because we’re spontaneous and we wanted to see what it was like, we hopped on a train (okay no, we just got on whilst being a bit nervous) to Piccadilly Circus.

God, I can’t even describe to you how I felt when we stepped off that tube and there was just noise as we entered the station proper. “ALL PEOPLE GOING TO THE PARADE, USE EXIT 4!” The nervousness and excitement was mounting and I had to breathe deeply to try and calm myself. We got out of the station, heard the music and cheering and whistles and then we were at Pride and it was beautiful.

I never quite understood the sentiment that you could get so emotional that it became overwhelming, but that’s EXACTLY how it felt in the first few minutes. The sun was shining and we were just walking through crowds, going back and forth through different streets. There were so many people, wearing “I Am Gay” t-shirts, signs that said “Love wins!” “Love is united!” and confetti and balloons and just INSANITY.

Ivy described it all to me. There were couples holding hands, kissing, and random people with rainbow dreadlocks wandering down the streets. The windows of shops and the archways were FULL of rainbows, Pride flags, music played from pretty much everywhere and all the people seemed to be talking and laughing. “I SAY LONDON, YOU SAY PRIDE!” was the highlight of when we actually got involved in crowds.

There were some streets that were quiet, and some that were so crowded that I couldn’t get my cane out and walk because I’d hit people. I kept shrieking “SORRY!” whilst holding Ivy’s arm, and cheering at random points throughout the times when different busses were going past.

We were going to meet Ivy’s friends on a whim, but that didn’t happen. We spent ages trying to find them, wandering up and down from Piccadilly to Trafalgar Square and back, and THEN it started raining. It didn’t quell the atmosphere, though; people were still clapping and cheering and throwing balloons.

I bought a rainbow Sash, wore it and took pictures which I then put on Facebook. It’s the first time I’ve more or less publicly declared I’m not straight. It felt so bloody freeing because I was wearing something with a rainbow on it, surrounded by crowds of people who were PROUD to be who they were.

The highlight of it was definitely having Ivy there. We were in London, at Pride which we hadn’t planned, properly enjoying ourselves and smiling. I loved it and I’m going next year, and nothing can damn well stop me.

I’m so happy, because my dad called me up before we went and basically told us we should. I said I was scared and he just said, “You should go, Elm.” He was proud of me for going and that’s the main thing that convinced me I COULD do this. He didn’t even bat an eyelid and was so so happy when I called him, through cheering crowds and yelled, “I’m at Pride, dad!”

Even my mum didn’t kick up a fuss when she saw it on Facebook. To be honest, even if she had, I wouldn’t have cared. I don’t think anything could ruin this day for me.

Fear didn’t stop people from having a good time. It didn’t stop us from smiling and from feeling we were part of something. We knew no one around us, but that was so good; we were people in a crowd of those who wanted to be there.

I’m proud to be part of the community. I’m proud that I had the confidence to just go to Pride because I FELT like that. I felt so incredibly comfortable with Ivy beside me, because we were just being us and revelling in the fact that WE WERE AT PRIDE, spontaneously.

Today was brilliant. Today was happiness, and freedom, and two girls’ unplanned journey into a world of loud music and amazingly happy people. Today was a leap into the new, and a day that started off with books and ended with a smile.

Today was Pride, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Unplanned or not, today was being proud of who we are.

From Elm 🙂

My Sexuality, in 14 Minutes

Hey, it’s a new “youtube video”!

This recording was inspired by the wonderful Em from Adventures of a Lost Teen. If you haven’t followed her already, you should because she’s brilliant and really inspirational to me as well. You can listen to my recording here.

If I offended anyone, I’m really sorry 😦 I was going to go into the whole “why do people hate gay people?” thing, but then I realised, EVERYONE HAS DIFFERENT BELIEFS AND I DON’T WANT TO UPSET ANYONE.

“I’ll try and make it MUCH shorter…” HAHAHAHAAAAA nice one, Elm!

I really hope you like this. I want people to realise that talking about this is okay – for me, Em made the first step and allowed me to feel like I COULD make a recording about it. So thank you so much for that, you amazing girl; also, the way she describes things is perfect. ANYONE can talk about their sexuality and I love how she did it, because teens like us should be able to talk about it too. We’re people.

From Elm 🙂

ZZZZZZ ZZZZZ and Pretending to Do Exercise

So, a LOT happened today. Let me explain, expand, WHATEVER; I’m tired.

I branched out a lot. OH MY GOD SEE WHAT I DID THERE?!

I’m in year 11, and the year above us – sixth formers – set up what we affectionately called “The Gay Club”, or “Cweer Club” – spelt with a c because we’re cool or something. I went, along with… 8 of my friends? Or rather, 8 people from my group.

It was absolutely amazing, but it was more amazing because no teachers were there and we didn’t have to cringe whilst talking about our “coming out!” stories. I would have just walked out otherwise. It was nothing like you’d expect it to be, cause we were all just shouting and making morons of ourselves. It was great though, because I was around a LOT of my friends, and some people I didn’t know. It ended up with our friend – think I called her Swan once so let’s stick with it – SHRIEKING with laughter, then Wren and a few others changing the name of the club to ZZZZZZ ZZZZZ with different accents over each Z, so it’s pronounced “Cweer club”. No, I have no idea either.

The other thing that happened was in PE, I made a friend. Sort of. She’s what I’d term “popular”, so I’m a bit scared of her, but she, Willow and I just talked for the entire lesson. I never would have thought that she’d be just so nice, and she knows that Ash and I have issues and seemed to understand. We’re trying to get Willow a date for prom, and it was lovely to have that shared goal with someone. Remind me to talk to her again, and to do things like that more often.

I seem to be talking to more people, and it’s making me really happy. There aren’t many things I’m okay with in terms of myself, but this is one of them. I’m almost brave enough to talk to whoever I’d like – one step at a time, though.

Was your day good? S’m still reeling in shock from yesterday – HOW DID THIS HAPPEN TO ME?!

From Elm 🙂

I Want to Write a Book Like Right Now

OHHHH my HOLY

Okay. The title explains it, but I have just had the blooming idea for a book and I CAN’T, oh god, I have ideas for TWO books! YES!

Phew. Calm down.

I’ve been thinking about this book for a while, and I’ve not got the plot fleshed out, but the motivation to write it came just now when I wanted to find some good LGBTQ young adult books. I’m in the mood for having a light read, because I just read some dystopia and then an AMAZING Sci-fi book called Qualify. Even though that was so amazing, I needed something to tide me over – maybe even a new series. I posted on my twitter, asking if anyone had any recommendations, and then I said:

“Or should I write my own?”

And BANG. The ideas formed. Not the characters, not the idea FOR the book – because I’ve got that figured out – but how I’m going to write it. What will the characters be like? Their voices, their personalities, how they tick? Chapters with names or numbers? Past or present tense? Love triangle or no love triangle? (Figured that one out already HAHA).

I need to write it. But how? HOW do I put this all together?

And, most importantly, would you like to read it?

I’m a teenager, wanting to write a book. What am I doing?! Ah, well; let’s see how it goes.

From Elm 🙂