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‘Everyone has an amazing future ahead of them’: Scott McGlynn

 

Scott McGlynn is a celebrity blogger from South Wales. In the short
memoir, Out, he writes about growing up and learning to celebrate his
identity and sexuality. It’s a story that will resonate with anyone who’s
experienced bullying, teasing or self-doubt.One
small part of Scott’s story is almost identical to mine. I
too looked up ‘gay’ in the dictionary after hearing it as a
slur against me on the school playground. Except the dictionary I
used was quite an old one, and defined gay as being happy. What a beautifully
poetic truth that’s turned out to be.

I asked Scott more about the book and the message he hopes people will take
from it.

Why did you want to write your book?

I always enjoyed writing and love blogging on my own
site. Someone suggested I write a book and I knew it was the perfect
time to help others going through coming out and getting bullied.

How does your book differ from others about including coming
out?

Everyone has a different story to share. Everyone is different. Mine is a story
anyone can relate to for being bullied, whether it’s for being gay, hair
colour, size.

What’s your top tip for anyone inspired to write their story?

If you’re writing a book about your life be honest and go into
detail. People say ‘it must be hard to write about what happened
to you for the world to see’. It was emotional bringing up memories from the
past, but I knew it would help and support others.

In your book, you say you didn’t report school bullies as that would
only give them more power. Do you think action on bullying in schools
is better now?

I hope so! A lot of young people get cyberbullied now through
social media, which wasn’t part of the problem back in my day. It’s upsetting
to me that people sit behind a computer just making comments about other
people.

What impact do you hope the book will have?
I want to let people know if you’re getting bullied or you’re going to come
out, everything will be ok! Everyone has an amazing future ahead of
them. You have an amazing future. Don’t allow people put you
down!

The book ends with your engagement. Congratulations!
How is your future looking?

Thank you! My finance and I are slowly planning our wedding and have
the same ideas for it which is great! We’ll be getting married very soon. Until
then, I’m busy touring and talking about the book.


Out is available to download and buy now from Amazon. You can follow Scott on Twitter @ScottyMcGlynn.

 

Looking for another great book to read? Check out my suggestions from ‘My Gay Bookshelf‘.

 

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‘Grayson Perry: All Man’ Review

There’s a big ‘no man’s land’ in British masculinity. In ‘Grayson Perry: All Man,’ the acclaimed artist treads some of that vast area, to meet men and create artwork that reflects their identity. He journeys alongside the communities of a mining town in County Durham, a housing estate in Preston and the financial City of London. The conclusion in the third and final episode seems somewhat inevitable: ‘Men need to look to the future, like feminists have been doing for decades’.



Rewind to the start and the series opens with timeless image, as Perry stands ringside at a cage fight. Moments later the violence Alex shows as a fighter is replaced by his martyrdom image, wrapped up in a towelling sarcophagus to sweat out the pounds ahead of a weigh in. Perry observes, learns and eases himself into the ritual and continues with the same sensitivity for the places and people he meets throughout the show.

Grayson Perry talking to cage fighters
It’s the self-realisation on camera that makes for an intriguing watch. The first two episodes focus on areas that show the male identity is in crisis: suicide and crime. He meets Thelma, whose son Daniel died from suicide aged 30. ‘Sometimes I think men don’t even know when they are sad’ comments Perry, a sentiment echoed by Daniel’s friends in the pub. Seeing their response and gratitude for the ceramic pot Perry made, inspired by Daniel and the community, is a joy to watch as creator and subject share the art together.



Yet it was the final episode, following men of the City that most captivated me. It started on the traditional noisy trading floor of London Metal Exchange, before showing a more modern City at work. The transactions, trading and technology are quicker, and the buildings shinier but the aggressive male identity hadn’t changed. As one ex-wife said, the ‘sensitive masculinity’ of the City men today was just a slick veil over the same power and aggression.
‘Object in Foreground’ (2016) by Grayson Perry
This led Perry to create the most controversial work of the series: a giant ceramic cock. And the bankers didn’t like it. While the mining and estate communities engaged with the art created for them, and used it to reflect and open themselves up for exploration, the City workers rejected it and defended themselves. ‘You haven’t been derailed from what you wanted to see’ said one. ‘That’s because I haven’t been derailed’ replied Perry. Perhaps there isn’t the same male crisis in the City. But the continued inequality of financial growth shows something’s not right.



No other artist could front such a beautifully shot documentary, and it’s given me a taste to watch Perry’s previous series for Channel 4. The portraits created doesn’t speak for every man, and the overarching generalisation of male aggression and one-upmanship didn’t resonate with me. But the need to look to the future, to see the old communities and old masculinity aren’t totally working now, is a message for everyone to answer.

You can watch all three episodes on All4.