Day 3 (Prague Pride)

Pain in legs and an excessive amount of flatulence during the night. Who wouldn’t want to live with me?

I work out (according to google maps) that I’m only 2 tram stops away from the park  where people are meeting after the pride parade. People are marching through central Prague and ending up Letna Park, but when I arrive there are people still setting up food and drink stalls. Is there beer? You HAVE TO ask the important questions. I am told in a thick Slovak accent that it will be ready in “10-15 minutes”. Did you do a voice a bit like Dracula in your head?

I am not too sure if I have made the right decision. What happens if no one turns up and I am stuck in a field in the middle of Prague with Janis and Bobvlac and they want to kill me? You’ve seen the film ‘Hostel’ right?

After I while I make the decision to listen to a band on one of the stages. They are okay. The woman playing the guitar hasn’t attached her capo correctly and the strings are making a distorted buzzing sound it’s getting on my nerves. I get up and find a stall selling food. Vegan food. I decide to buy something which looks like sweet and sour chicken and it turns out to be lovely.

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Eventually more people arrive and it keeps going. For at least over an hour more and more people turn up, it’s amazing. From the quiet park that I stood in yesterday to what I estimate to be people in their thousands. They said there was about 40 thousand who attended Prague Pride last year and it easily that number.

I spend the afternoon sitting watching people who are all colours, backgrounds, gender identities and ages. It’s refreshing and comforting to know that people are willing to come and celebrate who they are with others.

Some of the stalls are also places for people to learn about what affects LGBT community.  I am intrigued that there is a Christian church in amongst all this who are there to encourage the spreading of the message of the love of God. I talk briefly with them and share my experience of church life. Like the UK, the Czech Republic, has a staunch Christian wing who oppose everything the LGBT community stand for. It’s interesting to note that all the trundled out arguments, opposing marriage equality, are being used to stop the legalisation of same sex marriage. I give them encouragement and support and sign my name on their petition. Keep going and soon LGBT community will have the same rights as they do here in the UK.

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What a great day it is but I am tired as afternoon turns into evening. The tram and my bed are calling.

Bucket list 3 (Day 2 – I meet the meat)

So the time eventually arrives I pluck up the courage to ask for a photo.

I’ve never had a problem of going up to people and talking to them. It’s just one of those things you have to do when you are reaching. No retiring wall-flower approach for me.

One obliged willingly, he even went as far as to pull a silly face in a selfie as well as the normal photo

I don’t take things too seriously as you know and there’s no point in getting worked up about how you look. Especially when you’re standing next to guys who have the body’s of Greek gods. Oh they do … Oh my … I am having another hot flush, again. Who am I? What did I come in here for?

I mean I’m not shallow … I think that it’s how a person is on the inside … that’s what counts … Bollocks to that! Who am I kidding!? I like shallow meaningless lust and beauty. If that makes me a bad person, so be it, I’m going to hell anyway, might as well enjoy the journey.

Lots of other guys are getting photos and some are brave enough to take videos. I sit and watch. Most of the guys, apart from one or two, actually seem to be shy or maybe it’s a little embarrassing for them, to be pawed over by a bunch of letcherous men.

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I said it in the previous post that getting your kit off in the name of ‘adult entertainment’ must be a bore sometimes. People crave fame, but as most will testify, it comes at a cost. It’s the need to be validated; to be accepted and loved no matter what we look like or how we are as a person.

I enjoyed my experience at meeting a porn star. Well more than one. It was good. It made me think these guys aren’t any different or more special than you and I. They just spend more time at the gym and on sunbeds / suntans. It doesn’t make you a better person, just sparks the hormones and tweeks the emotions. Lights up the neurones in the brain and gives us a buzz. Doesn’t make someone husband material.

I have tried to access their website a couple of times and I stumble on a reason that I can’t access it here. It’s blocked in the Czech Republic (Slovakia and Hungry – I am told by my insider) for privacy reasons. The guys that work for the company are well known all around the world, but to have some anonymity where they live, they have decided not have access here.

That’s something that would be in the back of my mind. What would happen if you were noticed. I found another story where one of the guys had be acousted in his home town as the locals found out what he did for a living and they were none too pleased. So much for a tolerant and open society.

As I leave I make my way across one of the beautiful bridges in Prague. The rain has gone and what I am left with is an astounding sunset. I briefly consider selling up and moving here. Do I really want to become one of those bloody foreigners coming across and stealing the jobs and women (men)?

Walking through the old town, I decide that I will have a few more beers and head back to the hotel. People who know me are well aware that the days I stay up past 1am are long gone. I need my rest. Tomorrow is going to be a long day.

Bucket list day 2

It’s raining. Raining. There’s more rain and more rain.

In between the moments of quiet there are few flashes of lightening as I wait and count the seconds to know how far the storm is from Prague. I am guessing about 10 miles. I am not to sure that it is as there is some lightening a lot closer and scarier.

It’s like those horror films where the thunderstorm has no end. Prague has spectacular thunder and lightening. In the UK they might last for at moment, ten or fifteen minutes. This storm was lasting over two hours and it wasn’t letting up.

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I make my way to the place where we have been told that we can meet the adult entertainers. Sounds very formal but I really don’t know how to describe them. A gaggle of porn stars? A whoop? Who knows.

It’s still raining and I am beginning to get soaked. I really don’t mine it’s warm and I am happy as I have spotted a place to buy beer. If you have alcohol, you know it’s going to be a more pleasurable experience. Try it some time.

A few people have gathered in what seems an empty park. There’s a couple of gazebos with someone trying to flog something. The rain is still relentless on my walk from the tram I managed to buy an umbrella for ten billion Czech koruna which is about 3 pounds British money. This gathering has been organised by Prague Pride. A celebration of LGBT life in the Czech Republic.

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I down some more beer. Some unassuming guys arrive with hoods up and look a bit shy and reticent. I have no idea if they are in adult entertainment or not. They have their clothes on what do you expect?

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A lesbian couple approach me and ask what’s going on and did I know about anything that’s happening. I explained that I was a bit mystified by the whole experience. The Pride website wasn’t too user friendly and the pride app itself was shit. They both laughed and agreed. We talked about how Prague was supposed to be the “gay capital of Europe” but it was just something or nothing. As I said before everything seemed better if you were experiencingit under a haze of booze. I think I made two new friends. I quite like lesbians.

Bucket list 3 (Day 1)

My journey again starts at Newcastle airport. Last time the place was packed. Now it’s a different story.

Airports are strange places. Such transient spaces where you glance at people, who are dispersed over the worldand you probably will never see again.

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The first time I travelled to Prague was on the stag do plane. You can read about that venture here. This time I plan to fulfil the reason I wanted to go to Prague in the first place. I want to meet a porn star.

(If you are of an erotic disposition please don’t continue. I don’t want offend those who find ‘adult entertainment’ wrong.)

It’s odd really, that we live in a world where a lot of people have access to a platform that has a huge amount of information and where millions to get their jollies.

Some see porn as a the thin end of the wedge; depending if you prefer wedges or hinges. And believe me there are a lot of each on the net.

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I’ve always wanted to meet a porn star. Can’t imagine what it must be like to have to share something, which is so intimate a thing, to the rest of the world. But what is it you’re actually selling? It’s not snapshot or even a sometimes a ‘snapchat’ of your relationship or marriage. Unless you decide that’s the sort of thing you want to give away.

It must be a lonely profession. With all that ‘interaction’ and ‘contact’, you think the novelty would wear off pretty quickly, unless you are diagnosed nymphomanic with a huge sex drive.

Anyway, I’m on my first flight of the day as I’ve ditched the stag do flight and gone a slower and cheaper route. My first stop is Düsseldorf and I fly with an airline that’s sounds like a European pantyliner (thanks Gregory for that joke).

Eurowings (tee-hee) is a German based airline (at least I It think it is) as they asked in German what I would like to drink. I replied with my order but didn’t receive what I asked for. Practice makes perfect Philip.

There is a bit of turbulence and I’m clinging to that armrest again. As I mentioned last time I’m not a confident flyer. At least I am not swearing and praying loudly, like my father did once, when he was flying back from France with my mother. She told me she was so ashamed of him when they were just about to land. That was a fun journey home.

There’s a baby crying. It’s mother starts to nurse him in aim to subdue. There’s something quite surreal when you’re near to suckled breasts at thirty-five thousand feet. A spoilt teenage girl in the seat in front of who can’t sit still. She was huffing and puffing when told she couldn’t have her bag with her on take off but had to store it in an overhead locker. I can’t understand why people cannot behave for one hour of their entire life.

The complimentary sandwich had bread that had passed a couple of days sell by date and rigor mortis had set in. A steward tried to use a defibrillator on it but for the wheat based snack the game was up.

I arrive late and tired. I don’t want to go out. The hotel bar is more than enough for me tonight. The waiter is twenty four and is easy on the eye and somehow we talk about shaving and he inadvertently lets slip that’s he buys razors to shave but not his face. I stumble in embarrassment and sickening delight as he laughs it off. That’s the new generation shrugging off the old. Shave the pubic hair and have done with it.

Bed. On my own.

Is it safe to be gay in the UK?

A programme title and a question that is asked by some people, others probably don’t care or respond with hate. 

I watched the BBC programme “Is it safe to be gay in the UK?“. I always thought the UK was an enlightened place to live. The UK as a beacon of LGBT rights and champion of minorities. It was my opinion, until I heard the heartbreaking stories of people who had been attacked, beaten and in some cases lost their lives to homophobia and hate.

I thought I was listening to something from a hundred years ago, where as it wasn’t, it was here and now, in the country I once thought was safe. Gay people can get married and go to bed with the person equally as their straight counterparts. So what is it that makes others feel it’s acceptable to assault others, whether it be physically or verbal?

Having a phobia usually means you are scared of something. I can’t imagine that it’s fright that’s going through someone’s mind, when assaulting another, because of their sexuality.

Being aware of your own emotions and how to handle them is a marker of someone who is stable and mature. Nothing wrong with not understanding others but to attack isn’t acceptable.

The solution is education. Actually being allowed to talk to others about being LGBT. Having others talk about their experiences and teaching others about what is acceptable.

50 Years ago (Chika Amadi update)

My previous post was get the Christian Institute to talk to me. In the mean time even more hatred appears. 

What is it about Christians that believe in the literal translation of the Bible? I know loads of people, who I’m happy to call good friends, who are committed Christians. I happy to tell people that have friends who work within in the Church England or have done. Nothing wrong with that. As openly gay man I am happy to tell others of my experience of the Christian church and how it has had a profound affect on me.

Enter in Chika Amadi, who appeared on my twitter timeline this afternoon, and I am reminded again why we have Pride festivals in the UK. You can read all about her and her distasteful views. She is a person who is also a labour councillor for Harrow Borough. She is supposed to be a public servant. Someone who is there for everyone.

Not only does she express her abhorrent and vile views but she also gives warning to those who dare to cross her opinions and religious beliefs.

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If you are prepared to take her on, then you are prepared to provoke God’s wrath. This is a pretty huge claim to make so I look forward to my house being visited upon by locusts, boils, gnats and whatever her god can throw at me, when I call her an ignorant, selfish, naive, cretinous twat.

As she claims on her twitter bio she is ‘a legal advisor’ and ‘TV personality’. She must then be aware of the legal implications of making public accusations that are without wholly any basis or truth.

I am sure that it will be the ‘horrible liberals’ and their wicked ways that would have caused her to be suspended from her role as a councillor. Let’s see if justice will prevail.