#RainbowLaces

The last two years have been a real eye opener for me personally.
All things LGBT have been questioned and I have gone looking for answers.
In my quest for answers, I have found some amazing people.
Riyadh Khalaf –  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClTfkJcsP0M-3Q788U5sZKw
Melanie Murphy. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDwHFuZJV_2qukjmkJGWIfw
Hannah Witton. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6iWKC08iw9K-R6Wh5pbZNQ
Calum McSwiggan. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6pzgnZ75lEnsOCLi64Vx2g
To name but a few.

This weekend sees the launch of #RainbowLaces.

Go to Twitter, check out the hashtag to find out all about it.
It is aimed at sport.
Whether you want to participate or support, whether you are lesbian, gay, bi, trans or whatever you identify as…. sport should be for ‘EVERYONE’!!
No one should feel left out or afraid because of who they are!!

My rainbow laces are still in the post but this weekend is their official launch.
Football and rugby club teams have all had rainbow laces for their matches and some have even had pitch flag changed to rainbow flags this weekend and Wembley Stadium has even been lit up in rainbow colours to show support and re-iterate that sport is for ‘EVERYONE’.

We can beat the hate. Together we can make a change.

AMAZING NEWS

A few days ago my Dish of the Week was a guy called Riyadh Khalaf.

In that blog I mentioned how he’d gone from Youtubing and radio onto BBC Three who gave him a chance to voice and showcase the LGBTQ community in a 6 part series called ‘Queer Britain’.

I am so happy to say that this show will now also be officially shown on BBC One!! starting on August 3rd.

I am absolutely thrilled for Riyadh.
I can’t stress enough what a personality this guy has.
Just spend some time going through his Youtube channel and I guarantee you will laugh, you will cry, you will drink an inordinate amount of wine and you will feel enlightened and blessed to be part of his journey.

To give you a taster, here are some of my favourite vlogs.
You already know that if I’m looking for a laugh I go straight to this one…

This is where I fell in love with his Mum!

This is where I really felt for his Dad.

This is where I could have cried for him.

But he continues to have fun and I love him….. Can you tell?!

Please tune in to BBC One on August 3rd. Open your heart and your mind and spread the love.

DISH OF THE WEEK #73 – RIYADH KHALAF

It’s been a while since I did one of these and in a way this is a strange one for me because, as much as I love this man, his personality, his smile and his enthusiasm for everything he does, I know that as I girl I would be on a forever losing battle to win his heart.

That and the fact that I’m also old enough to be his mother!!
Oh, and by the way, his Mother is a goddess and I love her to bits! and his Dad is amazing too.

I discoverd Riyadh a few months ago when I had a quiet afternoon and a large bottle of wine.
I stumbled onto this little gem on Youtube. He was such a cheeky happy guy, I couldn’t stop watching.

At the time I was looking for a good laugh and this hit the spot!!
I just had to check out his Youtube channel and found myself spending an entire afternoon having a major fit of giggles and having my eyes opened to a whole community I knew very little about.

Riyadh developed an interest in Youtubing at an early age and worked in radio in Ireland and was recently offered the chance to present his own 6 part TV show with BBC three.
I highly recommend taking a look at Queer Britain. A wonderful show and very enlightening.

Riyadh 3

Riyadh didn’t have it easy growing up in Ireland, but he overcame adversity, followed his heart and his dreams and now he’s living his dreams and I really hope that he goes from strength to strength. I want to see him hosting his own chat show in future. He’d be amazing!

I’ll leave you with this little piece from his Youtube channel.

#ProjectRainbow

OK, I’m blogging about this for various reasons.

The first reason being, it’s important!
Everyone on the planet deserves to be treated the same way and unless it’s discussed and handled well by the media and other outlets, we’re never going to get anywhere.

The second reason is personal.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m a very open person and accepting of anyone regardless of race, religion or sexual preference or anything LGBTQ related.

With that said, and after a few teenage encounters at work, I realise just how little I actually know or understand about LGBTQ issues.

I have decided to enlighten myself by finding out as much as I can in the hope that I may be able to help people, directly or indirectly.
Knowledge is a powerful thing and if I can at least put a few biggots in their place by knowing my facts, then it will be worth it.

Channel 4 are showing a documentary tonight at 10pm titled ‘Kids on the Edge’.
Tonights episode tackles Gender Identity.
I think this is a perfect springboard into my education and may just prove valuable at work at some point. Even if I only help one troubled teen it will be worth it.

Now.. here’s some great news!!!

As any regular readers will know, I’ve recently discovered a wonderful Youtuber called Riyadh.
He’s such a bubbly, happy personality you can’t help but smile and laugh when you watch his Vlogs.
He works in media and he’s been keeping a secret for the last few months.

On Monday he was finally able to let the cat out of the bag on his Youtube channel.
Here is his big announcement on his Youtube channel.

YAY!! He’s got his own series on BBC 3 tackling LGBTQ issues.
I can’t wait.
It hasn’t got a title yet but you can keep track of it using the hashtag #ProjectRainbow

You can find him on Youtube – look for Riyadh K
You can find him on Twitter – https://twitter.com/RiyadhK
You can find him on Snapchat – https://www.snapchat.com/add/riyadhk
You can find him on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/riyadhkofficial
You can find him on Instagram – https://instagram.com/riyadhk

Go take a look. I guarantee he’ll put a smile on your face.
Keep your eyes open for the new series and take a look.

CONGRATULATIONS RIYADH!!!

REGRETS

This is going to be a difficult blog to write without sounding bitter.

I’ll state from the start…..

I do NOT regret getting married.
I do NOT regret having my amazing kids.

But, as I meander through middle age, I think about the things that maybe I’ve missed out on.

I grew up with an amazing extended family, but they have always been very down to earth.
The whole point of life was to get a job, find a partner, get married, have kids, retire, have grand kids and that’s it.
I was always pretty much allowed to follow my own path but I was never in an environment that pushed for me to follow any kind of dream.
I was expected to find a job, find a partner, have kids, etc…..

After 21 years of marriage and three kids hurtling into adulthood, I’ve had time recently to indulge in things that a few years ago I wouldn’t have dreamed about and it’s made me think about what I missed out on before I got married.

As a teenager I was pretty isolated.
I had a few close friends but I didn’t explore who I was. I kept myself to myself. I lost myself in movies and locked myself away in my bedroom with my music, videos and magazines.
The internet was unheard of back then!

I started blogging over ten years ago. I used it as a kind of diary and a way to express myself as a stay home Mum. It now enables me to rant about things and obsess about things and I find it quite therapeutic.

Along came Facebook which I embraced like everyone else on the planet.

I found it harder to relate to Twitter. I’ve started trying it again but still don’t really get it.

Instagram is another one I’ve tried but don’t really use too often.

Tumblr!!! was a revelation. I love Tumblr. It feeds my obsessions nicely.

Youtube is a go to place when I need a laugh.
I use it to backup my blogs a lot but I have also learned to appreciate it for wonderful inspirational people. Some doing crazy things.
A recent discovery is a wonderful young man by the name of Riyadh (Riyadh k on Youtube)
This young man is full of life. He’s inspirational and has had the guts to live his life the way he wants. Most importantly, he makes me smile and he makes me laugh.
Oh yes, he loves his wine… like me!!

Then we have Snapchat. I only started this yesterday and I still have to get used to how it works, but I’m sure I’ll get there eventually.

I wonder what my teenage years would have been like if all this was at my fingertips.
I was over 20 years old before I had a boyfriend and I was 25 when I married him.
I never experienced anything else or explored my own sexuality.

Is this a regret?
Yes, I suppose it is.

I hope I have instilled into my kids the need to explore and find things out before they ‘settle’ down to anything that will tie them down.
I’ve tried to be very open with them about ‘everything’.

I think Tumblr would have been my place as a teenager.

I think all the revelations of the past couple of years have sent me into a midlife crisis.
I’m doing things I wouldn’t have dreamed about before (tattoos and clubbing) and I’m looking ahead to what I want to do when all of the kids have flown the nest.
Unfortunately my body is not cooperation on that one.

I seriously need to look at the next year and do something about my health before it’s too late. I want an ‘active’ retirement and do some of the things I didn’t do as a teenager!!