I come from a family of mostly well-educated career professionals; my mother is a family doctor, and her father was a physics professor. I say this not to expose, reinforce or show off any kind of class status, but simply to give context.

There was a time when I thought I wanted to become an academic, after finishing my undergraduate degree at university, I strongly considered the possibility of doing a PhD (in my field of study, it was technically possible to skip the masters altogether), and I even began the long process of applying for funding.

But then I realised that spending a minimum of three years studying after sixteen years of doing so without a break wasn't what I wanted to do. So I got a job (working in a travel book and map shop) and saved up to travel.

It was while on those travels that I met a lot of people teaching English as a foreign language (specifically in China), and realised that was something I could do and enjoy.

phallic rocks in China
phallic rocks in China

Since that trip in 2009, I haven't had what most people would describe as a ‘normal' job or life. I never had a contract that lasted more than six weeks, I didn't have a car, a mobile phone contract or watch TV. And while I did have a fixed address, it was only for official purposes and I spent only a small proportion of each year at that address (which happened to be my mother's).

Now I'm travelling indefinitely with my partner, who happens to be the same gender as me. Could there be a connection? Does being gay make me more likely to experiment with alternative lifestyle models?

Dan Savage, an American sex and relationship advice columnist, who also does one of our favourite podcasts, the Savage Lovecast, says that once you tell your mother you like to suck dick, it's not a big leap to tell your partner that you want to be tied you up and spanked (in other words, once you come out as gay to your family, telling your lover that you're kinda kinky isn't a big deal). While I'm not particularly kinky, I couldn't agree more.

Swedish royal guards
Swedish royal guards…because gay guys like men in uniform, right? (Not me, really.)

The point is, overcoming the social hurdle of coming out makes it easier to overcome others, and broach what can potentially be taboo subjects with people you care about.

But this made me wonder: could this extend to other things? For example, is it easier to tell your family that you no longer want to be involved in the giving and receiving of Christmas gifts after coming out as gay?

Or that you want to leave the place where you grew up and where the majority of your friends and family live to fly on a one-way ticket to the other side of the world to travel indefinitely, with no idea when you might return?


Or is it like asking whether having green eyes means you're more likely to dislike cheese?

What do you think?

Similar Posts