We had a man over a while ago. My boyfriend is a part of his school’s little LGBT club, and they had invited this man to speak, in exchange for a good dinner after. He told many stories, and Angry Ricky’s post just reminded me of one of them. Ricky was surprised that some people from the LGBT community reached out to him.

Community is, this man said, what a human needs most after food, sex, and water. When he grew up, he was all alone, behind a hideously homophobic society up in the north of England. You can imagine, coal miners and welders and what-not. Strong silent men. Not people that take kindly to kids prancing about half-naked on Pride floats, right?

When this man fled to London, he thought he was leaving everyone. But, he told me, he was moving to where there was a community. He just didn’t know it yet, but instinctively he sought out where there were likely to be more like him. The biggest city in Europe. London.

That community was full of strange ones. Drag queens, transvestites, male prostitutes, and normal people like him. Working lads and old peers. Shop assistants with CEOs. All mixed together out of necessity. He said that when he stopped being afraid of all those weird people, it was the greatest community ever.

Maybe that’s the only thing about all his stories that I fully understand. I was pretty lonely in Sweden. Even with all the people around me, the important bits of me were shut away, locked behind padlocks, never for anyone to see.

***

Stephen wanted to find a summer job, but there just wasn’t any around. Even jobs in shops had dozens of applicants, most of them a lot more experienced than him. So, it makes me feel a little guilty about me and Mark. I mean, my mum pulled strings and got him the job. Who has those kinds of connections?

It is far too late now, but in a show of solidarity, Mark gave his boss a ring about a job for Stephen, but of course they’ve all been filled. No luck there, then. With Mark’s dad over in Wiltshire, it’s unlikely that he could arrange anything practical.

Stephen has also, he says, decided to drop business for next year. He just doesn’t like it, and now he walks around on egg-shells because his parents are going to go ballistic. So that’s another worry for him.

Thing is, his parents are probably going to be all right. They’re cool people, if a bit stuck up about things. He’s a late child, so it’s like he’s being raised by his grandparents that are set in their ways, but they’re still good people.

Stephen is going to drop business and continue with the science subjects that he has.

***

My VISA filled up nicely on Friday, so we’re in money again, and it’s amazing that a third of it didn’t go to my aunt. It feels like I have more than I should, which is totally weird. Instead of giving a huge portion to auntie, she’s giving us money. I like this.

I have started putting away cash for the 16th next month when it will be the one year anniversary for me and Mark. Next year on that date we’ll get married, but this year I’m going to think of something spectacular. But spectacular is likely to cost a lot of money.

I have nearly £500 set aside already, and I am going to put another £100 this month. I think I won’t reach my goal of £1000. If I get that, there’s a trip to France just waiting. And this time we should afford a hotel room for a weekend.

He’s worth every penny, and I’m so happy that he’s dropped into my life. Sometimes I get a little doubtful and I over-think, but he’s stuck with me for a full year, and that’s got to mean he likes me. Doesn’t it? I know that’s weird, but there you go.

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