South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2 this afternoon
I gave up social media because Madonna told me to. Yes. I gave up social media because I saw either a video or read a message of Madonna talking about the toxicity of Instagram.
To be quite honest, I don’t remember which format and that, ladies and gentlemen, is the vagueness of the attention span one has when you have a hand-held screen which bombards you with information at a pace far faster than the human brain has had the ability to adapt to.
Now, it must be said that as I write this it is only day three but I feel liberated.
I’m a 30 year-old, below average fitness-level gay working in a fairly high-stress environment and living in Dublin.
I dropped out of University in my final year and stumbled through the recession in a low level, low income job, making no real progress with my life but committed myself to this job out of feeling worth nothing more for myself.
I had failed but I’m from a long lineage of people who are quite frankly very hard on themselves.
It took a failed long term relationship for which i had poured all my energy into (and I’m going to come back to this energy because it’s something I’d like to discuss) for me to realise that I had completely lost myself.
I was a closeted gay in a county, staunchly Catholic, secondary school. I took a hell of a lot of abuse in my years listening to all the homophobic shit: “gay” was the derogatory term of choice.
I’ll always remember the only time I heard someone defend gays and I’ll forever love her for it. It was upstairs between the chemistry and biology lab and I remember it like it was yesterday.
I’ll also – even though we fell out irreparably in later years – will remember the girl who stood up for me on the bus. Big shout out to Squishy.
I don’t actually harbour resentment for the homophobic bullying. I was harbouring guilt and shame and taking an emotional beating upon myself.
Nobody knew me because I was affording nobody myself, including myself. I was something to be kept hidden, even from myself.
Coming out a month before the Leaving Cert to my parents and a select few so, they could deal with it “whlie I had to study” was one of my smartest choices in life. Which is also one of the only real things I have ever done for myself.
One thing has been with me throughout all the years. Social Media.