TW: People from the outside looking in can never understand what it is to have these feelings that can be seen as some of the worst acts in the world.

So to deal with that as an individual and go for a journey that can be a lonely one but at the same time, a rewarding one. Because if I had a red pill and a blue pill, where the blue pill was to be rid of these feelings and the red was to continue living this life, it would be the red pill every time.

Going back to friendships, it’s really important to have people that can relate 100% to what you are going through without any ulterior motives. Friendships that are purely platonic. Where there’s no kind of unrequited feelings where one person is feeling the other secretly and all of that.

Sometimes you might be going through a situation and an impartial friend can offer insight that you might not necessarily get because you’re in the situation. You need somebody that can relate and give you that viewpoint, from the outside in…So I definitely feel that friends in this lifestyle are hard to find but there are people out there worth finding.

ND: But do your friends’ families KNOW that aspect about them and you?

TW: No. That’s the thing. I guess it’s this unspoken criteria that you have to meet in order to integrate with certain people. 

If you have a certain Level of Outness, you alienate some of what you’re drawn to and attracted to so you have to make that judgment call. If you do come Out, what exactly are you subscribing to? Its different strokes for different folks, I think. It’s a personal choice. People that have done it, I have a lot of respect for them because it speaks a lot about your character in terms of what you are going to take on board burden-wise with the initial process. But it may be better for them and not for others.

There are a lot of people of color in the UK that are first, second or third generation immigrants. Their families are people from the islands or their families are from Africa…and their views are very antiquated. So within that antiquation is a sense of engraved homophobia. So if you’re growing up with your core structure contaminated with homosexuality being a sin, being an abomination, being just something that is zero-tolerated then a lot of people are gonna grow up with the issues. I guess, in a similar way that I did, they have to come up with a process of self-discovery.


ND: So what was your self-discovery? You touched on this in your blog post Inner Demons, one of my favorites that you’ve written. When did you start realizing that you were attracted to guys and what was the community you were living in at the time like?

TW: Okay, just think real humble beginnings. In the States you guys have projects, in the UK we have council housing. That’s where I grew up. So just think very homophobic environment, very hood, very rough, very ignorant, very narrow-minded.

I used to just roll with people that were very street, very shallow, very materialistic, very much “Instant Gratification.” They see something they want, they take it. They see somebody with a phone, they rob it. But at the same time, I was realizing that there were these feelings, there were these attractions. Initially I tried to suppress them.

So I think age 13-14, you know, weird feelings with the same sex. And then age 16, exploring those feelings. Venturing online, seeing what was out there. Seeing where people’s mindsets were at…So exploration at 16, first relationship at 16.

After my first relationship, I just thought, “Let me explore.” So I explored for a while. Went through ups, downs, highs, lows. Made friends along the way. Learned a bit about what was going on outside of just the UK and thought to myself, “Well, I guess you don’t really hear much from the UK so let me kinda document my experiences but at the same time keep my identity [private].”

ND: Wait, how did you go from being an isolated unsure kid in the homophobic community you described to being in a full-fledged relationship at only 16-years-old?

There’s this whole culture of rushing into things, like everything has to happen with a sense of urgency. But I’m just not about that. I like to take my time. I like to think things out. So back then, I just kinda ventured online and got talking to someone. We were talking for about 3 months before I felt comfortable to even see them in mutual place. Not anywhere near my vicinity, not near their vicinity, just mutual ground. Just to put a face to the personality and make sure that who I’d come to know, in real time, was what I expected and vice-versa.


I look back at the way that I approached the situation, even at a young age, it was really dope. I had full control of how the situation played out in terms of “first experiences.”  So my first experience, looking back, it was a positive one.

ND: Was he older or younger?

TW: Older.

ND: You know, as I was listening, I was thinking about my own self-discovery. My first experience at 19 was with an older guy, too. But the rest was definitely the opposite of yours. I was internally dealing with everything a lot longer than you, all the way up through college. So while I was interested in girls as well, the more I suppressed that other side of me, the stronger it grew. So it got to points where the suppression would literally boil over and I would have to get it out of my system by having a sexual release (hookup) and start over from scratch.

TW: Yeah! (laughs) Yeah…

ND: But in your case, was it only your environment that caused the struggle with your sexuality or were there other factors?

TW: You know what, I love my family. Everything about my family is cool other than the fact there is that level of ignorance. It’s mainly the older generations. Parents, aunties, uncles and the elders. It’s a very old school mentality.


PictureYou think back to the stuff that’s going on in Uganda and religious figureheads in America championing homophobic propaganda in the name of Christianity. It’s that black and white: “this is our viewpoint, we’re not gonna be moved, and we’re not prepared to understand. We don’t like it and that’s that.”

But I just refuse to be a victim of circumstance. I might have been surrounded by ignorance and homophobia, but I’m a very strong-minded person. I had feelings and I said to myself, “no one’s living my life but me.” Despite the amount of opinions you hear on a daily basis, there’s only one voice in your head and you’ve got to listen to that voice. You’re only answerable to your self.

Now, there’s a comfortability within myself. The people I grew up with are still my friends but I’ve relegated them to arms length status. We’re cool but because there’s that ignorance there, it stifles how much of myself I give to the friendship. Which is cool because, same sex feelings are only one facet of who you are.


ND: But don’t you think it’s possible that those longtime straight friends may at least suspect that you’re gay at this point?

TW: Do they suspect….To be honest, I don’t care if they do. I doubt that they do, but if they do, I’m just at a point now that I’ve gone through so much that I’m not gonna let paranoia, or my brain working overtime, interfere with what I’ve got going on right now.

That was the issue early on, that paranoia. Like people were watching me. That people took more of an interest in my life than what the reality actually was. Almost like a hypersensitivity to people being privy to my activities. It was all in my head but that impacted a lot on how I used to think in the early days of exploration.