It was a big year all round. There were some shocking global events – Brexit, the election of Donald Trump, as well as continuing conflicts in many regions of the world. We lost what seems like a greater than usual number of big names.
But hey, we’re all still here right? Albeit a year older, and hopefully a bit wiser.
The end of year is always a good time to look back and reflect. It’s something I like to do with the blog as well. I really feel like 2016 is the year the blog strengthened its voice and found a growing audience hungry for original content, great interviews and a different take on all things gay.
So here I present to you a look back on some of the biggest moments for the Little Gay Blog in 2016.
This was the starting point for my year. The very first article that kicked 2016 off was about my desire to set only one goal (new year’s resolution, if you will) and try to stick with it. So, how did I go?
2016 was an interesting year for me personally because while there was a lot of ‘stuff’ going on, it wasn’t necessarily happening to me, but to the people around me. So you could say I had front row seats to a lot of personal drama. Which is kind of a unique position to be in.
When you’re the one going through something, it can be hard to look at it objectively, because you’re experiencing whatever it is emotionally. But when you are slightly removed from the situation, it does allow space for objectivity, reason and even acceptance to come into play.
So in that sense, I guess I did a pretty good job of accepting a lot of the things that were going on around me. I was adaptable to changing circumstances, tried to remain aware of my own emotions and behaviours and all in all, just tried to ‘go with the flow’.
While there is room for improvement (isn’t there always though?), I think I did pretty well in this regard.
Sharing the Instagram love
One of the things I love most about writing this blog is being able to showcase just some of the amazing people in our community. That was definitely my intention with an article I wrote at the start of 2016 highlighting some awesome gay Instagram pages I love following.
There are so many cool gay dudes doing interesting stuff with and in their lives. It might not get mainstream media attention, but anything I can do to shed a light on the huge array of diversity and awesomeness we as gay men bring to the world, I’ll do in a heartbeat.
The reaction to the article was so overwhelming and positive that I’ve decided to turn it into a tradition here at the Little Gay Blog. Keep your eyes out for the 2017 article to kick off the new year.
Combining acceptance (point 1 above) and my newfound love of Instagram (point 2 above) led me to write an article I’m really proud of. Let me start by saying that at 36 years of age, I feel more confident and comfortable in my body than at any other point in my life.
So when I scroll through my Insta feed and see the display of veritable hotness, I don’t get jealous. Nor do I feel bad that my body doesn’t look like that. I’ve accepted, and continue to accept, how I look – and I LOVE how I look.
Celebrating our bodies – no matter how they look – and redefining what we consider to be attractive are two issues I believe strongly in.
Look, life is short. We only get around 80 years on this planet (if we’re lucky). How much of that time are we going to spend obsessing over our appearance, versus how much of that time could we instead focus on our internal qualities?
It’s a shame politeness can’t be captured in a photo. Because ultimately, qualities such as politeness, manners, respect and listening – make a guy so much hotter and sexier than big biceps and a low BMI ever will.
Choosing how we respond
2016 had some controversial moments. In the greater scheme of things, some were trivial. The “No Fats, No Fems” shirts by Marek + Richard is an example of a relatively trivial issue, even though it got some people really worked up.
I wrote that while outrage is a valid response, it’s not the only response we could be having to it.
The single most tragic moment for the gay community would have to be the tragedy that unfolded at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida on the 12th of June. In the early hours of that morning, 49 people lost their lives, while 53 others were injured and had their lives changed forever.
It was the largest mass shooting in US history and it happened in a popular gay nightclub on one of the busiest nights of the week.
I may be writing this blog on the other side of the planet, but man, did I (and so many others here and all over the world) feel the shock, horror, pain and hurt of what happened in Florida.
At this time of year, it’s also worth thinking about the families, friends and loved ones of those who died, as this will be their first Christmas without their loved ones. It’s going to be tough.
And again, even in the face of such brutality and tragedy, the gay community chose how we responded. And I am so proud that as a community, we chose to respond with love.
And then there was the US presidential election. I have to admit, I followed the election closely because I thought I’d be witnessing history. As it turns out, I was. It just wasn’t the history I thought (yes, hoped) it would be.
I think a part of me is still in shock about this. I understand and respect that people had issues with Hilary Clinton. What I still find harder to understand though is that people didn’t seem to apply those same standards to Donald Trump.
It’s not a Republican vs Democrats thing for me. It’s the amount of shocking things that have spewed out of this man’s month that astounds me. All the more in the knowledge that he will now be referred to as ‘Mr President’.
It’s a lot to process. But life moves on. Millions and millions of people (myself included) need to move on too and make the most out of this situation.
Meeting lovely people
One of my favourite aspects of writing the blog is getting the opportunity to interview some amazing, inspiring and truly talented people. This year, I got to meet some great guys and share with you the ways in which they’re making the world a better place.
I can’t mention every single person I interviewed, so I’d like to express my gratitude to EVERYONE who appeared on the blog this year. Without exception, it was a pleasure to speak with you and learn a little about your lives and your driving passions.
I’d like to send out a special shout out to Harrison Blythe. If you haven’t heard of this super talented singer/songwriter/musical artist – you have to check out his work. I reviewed his debut album in 2015. In 2016, he followed it up with an amazing sophomore record called ‘San Ramon’.
Then, I had the privilege of chatting with Tommy DiDario. Tommy’s ‘The World Needs More Love’ initiative’ is the perfect antidote to some of the tragedy and general craziness 2016 has thrown at us.
Behind the porn
October saw the launch of a semi-regular series of articles called ‘Behind The Porn’. In it, I interview some of the world’s biggest gay porn stars with the aim to discover a different side to them.
Yes, they might be known for their physiques and on-screen performances, but I like getting to know people on a slightly deeper, more substantive level. These articles are my small way of doing that.
3 underrated gems
For a number of reasons, some articles fly under the radar. You may miss simply not notice them, or they may not initially appeal to you. But given a chance, you can discover some great content.
Here are three underrated gems you might like to check out.
2016 has been an amazing year for the Little Gay Blog. I’d like to express my deepest thanks to all of you guys, the readers, for your support throughout the year. I look forward to bringing you heaps more awesome articles in 2017!