Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Email about the Asian gay community in London

Yesterday I received a short email from a reader which was asked a very simple question:

Dear GB,

I just moved to London a month ago and l would like to know if you know any clubs catering to Asian guys (from E or SE Asia). I am not sure if you are still a self-professed rice queen, but I was hoping you could help. I am Asian from Canada, and while I am open to all races for friendships, you sometimes long for people who share the same mindset and culture. I am aware of LYC but they no longer hold any social gatherings.

Thanks GB!

I suppose that I am a bit of a rice queen, because my boyfriend T is from Asia. However, even so, I'm not sure what the answer is to this reader's question! There used to be a bar near Charing Cross railway station called Kudos which had a large Asian clientele, however the company that owned Kudos went bust and so it closed a year or two ago. So can any other readers give any good answers to this question?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

An epilogue from the gay guy who didn't believe in love at first sight

This morning I heard from the reader who was behind "Email from a gay guy who didn't believe in love at first sight", which I posted in the 'Dear GB' category a few months ago. Today's email is a kind of epilogue to the story that he sent me, so I've tacked it on at the bottom of the original posting. Basically, the reader has come into contact again with the guy that he fell in love with. Even though it seems that the story is at an end, nonetheless I'm sure that the reader would still appreciate people's further thoughts, if anyone wants to leave a comment.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Should I support Tom Daley or Matthew Mitcham for Olympic diving gold?

Matthew MitchamTom Daley
Next Friday, the Men's 10 metre platform diving event begins at the London 2012 Olympic games. The defending champion is an Australian diver called Matthew Mitcham. But one of the guys who'll be hoping to steal Matthew's crown is a talented young British diver called Tom Daley.
Who should I support? I'm a mildly patriotic kind of chap so Tom Daley should be the natural choice. However, it's a little more complicated than that.

A couple of days ago, I was genuinely shocked when I looked into how many openly gay male athletes were competing at London 2012. As far as I can tell from Google, just three! There's
Wikipedia suggest that there are over 10,700 athletes (of both genders) at London 2012. If half of those are men and if just 1% are gay, then there should we well over 50 gay men competing, if not a lot more.

I can think of a lot of reasons why there aren't more openly gay athletes at the Olympics. Of course, there are all the usual reasons why people don't come out, namely
  • Fear of the reaction of friends and family.
  • Wondering whether it's really true that one is gay, or whether an attraction to the same sex is just a phase, etc.
However, on top of that, for Olympic athletes there's also:
  • Fear of the reaction of fans, sponsors and governments. It's worth remembering that the home countries of a lot of the athletes are much more hostile to homosexuality than the liberal West. And even after Matthew Mitcham had won his Olympic gold medal in 2008, it took him a long time to find sponsorship.
  • Training is the focus, rather than relationships with people of either gender. Given that a lot of athletes are relatively young, it seems quite likely to me that a lot of the guys who'll come out in the future haven't yet worked out that they're gay. Olympic training schedules leave little time for anything else!
Regarding Matthew Mitcham, it's interesting to note that his success at the 2008 Olympics was just a few months after he came out as gay. So perhaps there are benefits for gay athletes to come out. My own experience was that I became much more confident once I'd worked out who I was and wasn't trying to hide it any more. When competing in something like the Olympics, confidence is a valuable commodity.

Becoming a successful Olympic athlete is an expensive business, in terms of both the time that one needs to dedicate, and also the cost of coaching, equipment, travel etc. For gay athletes who need corporate sponsors to help with all that, one idea is to focus on companies who value diversity. I've blogged before that diversity is highly valued in the investment banking world these days. In the UK, there's also the Stonewall equality index, and some companies try hard to ensure that they get a good score.

The world needs more openly gay athletes. They're important role models for anyone who thinks that they might be gay. For teenagers, it's impossible to know how many suicides are related to the gay issue, so the value of seeing openly gay people on TV making a success of their lives can't be underestimated. So it's obvious who I have to support in the Olympic diving on Friday.

Good luck Matthew! I sincerely hope that you manage to win another gold medal :-).

Sunday, August 05, 2012

GB's twitter account

Back in 2010, I blogged that I wasn't going to be able to spend much time blogging any more due to pressure at work. Since then, I've still been able to find time to post something around once a month, but it's obviously much less than the two or three times a week that I used to manage. Unfortunately, it's still true that in general, I don't have much time for blogging.

Over the last year, various people have asked me why GB doesn't have a Twitter account. My response has always been that because I don't have enough time for blogging, then I'm unlikely to have much time for Twitter either. However, I've now accepted that it doesn't hurt to have an account, so I've set one up :-). Please feel free to follow me on Twitter. I may even manage more than one Tweet a month!

GB xxx

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Email from a guy who lives in Kampala

A few weeks ago, I received a query from a reader in Africa:

Dear GB,

I do hope that this e-mail finds you in good health. I have been following your blog since 2009 and I do like it. Your blog first caught my attention because I once lived in the UK and had dreams of becoming an Investment Banker but I failed to go through the tough recruitment process.

Anyway, reason for my e-mail is to seek for some kind of advice (I have and am still seeking for advice from elsewhere too) on avenues of finding a right partner. In brief, I will be 32 this September, my academic background is in Economics and I have just over 8 years' combined work experience in investment analysis and management, agri-business and freelance business consultancy. I am also a part time entrepreneur and one of the few CFAs you will find here in Kampala, Uganda.

I have had a string of 'boy friends' here in Kampala but most of these have been straight boys who I seduce into relationships and kind of look after them. I am officially tired of this arrangement and I am now looking for friendships that could possibly lead to a long term affair. I am interested in 30+ and I think I can do up to 65 years.

What I have discovered here in Kampala since I came back in 2005 from my studies in the UK is that the gay scene does not really have the kind of people I am looking for. I can date any person of any background but personally I think I am sort of bent to relating with professional whites. I think this is so because I came out while I was in the UK as a student and was introduced to lots of white professionals out there by friends, lots of whose contacts I long lost when I came back to Kampala. Life here is slow and it irritates me for such.

Do you have any idea of how I can make friends with professionals out there in the UK? Of course, I am now busy browsing the different internet gay sites and there are some interesting leads here and there.


When I first read this reader's email, it seemed surprising to me that someone could be looking for a partner from so far away. So I sent him a quick reply as follows:

Hi, thanks for reading my blog :-).

Kampala is a long way from London, as I'm sure you now. But it sounds like you're looking for contact with gay white professionals who live in the UK, so I'm just wondering how you think that kind of relationship would work?

Best wishes, GB xxx

I didn't have to wait long for his reply:

Hi GB.

Many thanks for the quick reply. Thought I would wait for days given your somewhat busy schedule. Anyways, yes I am looking for contacts with gay white professionals who live in the UK and yes I know it is quite a long distance from Kampala to the UK. However, I am very open to communication over the phone and or e-mail with someone up there who is interested in meeting a person like myself. I mean, if all seems well then I have no problem organising a a short visit to the UK to meet up with the person - I can pay for all my expenses and have no strings attached initially.

I have friends here who have been introduced and or met people from over there while they are here and the affairs have grown into life partnerships.

As earlier communicated, I once lived in the UK while completing my studies and I have lots and lots of relatives (well, most of them don't want to associate with me because of my sexuality).

Thing is, I am tired of the relationships here coz they all seem to be 'commercial based' and at 32 I think I now need a lifelong partner who fits my criteria.

Unfortunately, apart from all the usual dating web sites of which this reader is already aware, I have no idea how he might find a life partner from the UK to go and join him in Uganda. Do any other readers have any suggestions for him?