Hackney Empire has done it again, yet another Pantomime that we thoroughly enjoyed. Fantastic cast, fabulous costumes and a storyline that’ll be sure to tickle your funny bone!
Hackney Empire’s Dick Whittington and His Cat promises its trademark magic and spectacle in a dazzling reimagining of the classic rags-to-riches tale which sails in from 23 November 2019 – 5 January 2020, starring Grande Dame Clive Rowe, as Sarah the Cook, who returns following an award-winning East End comeback last year to now mark his 13th Hackney panto appearance, plus panto debuts fromTarinn Callender (Hamilton) as Dick Whittington and Annette McLaughlin as Queen Rat (Harry Potter and The Cursed Child). Dick Whittington and His Cat marks a record 21st Christmas pantomime from Writer and Director Susie McKenna with Original Music by Steven Edis.
The cast also includes Hackney favourites Kat B and Tony Whittle as Vincent the Cat and Alderman Fitzwarren respectively and welcomes Christina Tedders as Alice Fitzwarren and Sue Kelvin as Fairy Bowbells. – Hackney Empire
Dick and Uncle Vincent The Cat
Dick is reunited with his mum, Sarah the Cook, who is played by Clive Rowe. His presence and ability to connect with the audience is great. He gives us great comedy moments and incredible range during his rendition of “And I am Telling You” and more. The cast are incredibly talented, and they all bring a bit of magic and personal flair on stage during their performances.
Dick Whittington And His Cat – Hackney Empire
“It was good, I liked it when Dick Whittington came off of the boat, and his cat was very, very funny”. – Ziggy aged 5.
“I thought it was clever how the sets moved and it looked like they were in places in London. I also thought it was cool that the characters talked to the crowd. My favourite part was when Dick Whittington met his mum because I thought it was funny how they got on”. – Zach aged 10.
Zach & Ziggy: Dick Whittington And His Cat – Hackney Empire
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Entertaining London since 1670, Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus are packed with festive family fun. We had the pleasure of dining at Hard Rock Cafe- Piccadilly Circus, sampling M&M’s at M&M’s World and sipping hot chocolate at Christmas in Leicester Square – a pop-up market. We finished off our day at ODEON Luxe to watch Frozen 2, and the kids absolutely loved it all.
Whether you recreate our day or try something new, both Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus have something for everyone this time of year. Remember, Christmas half term is nearly upon us!
Hard Rock cafe – Piccadilly Circus
“Only legends dine at Hard Rock Cafe Piccadilly Circus“. We had a festive two-course meal which included crackers and lots of family fun. While waiting for our food, we were entertained by jokes and games which popped out of our Christmas Crackers. Hard Rock staff were friendly and great with the kids, and the food was amazing.
The London flagship store pays tribute to the building’s prestigious heritage and unbeatable West End location. The restaurant is filled with epic music memorabilia featuring many, many famous names. No spoilers though, you’ll have to take a visit and see for yourselves!
Christmas in Leicester Square
Discover Christmas in Leicester Square. Wrap up in your favourite oversized scarf, and take a browse through the pop-up style Christmas market. Whether you warm up with a mulled wine or hot chocolate, the market will set the tone for a traditional festive experience in London.
There are stalls filled with hearty food and drink, hand-made crafts and a plethora of shows. You can even meet Father Christmas.
Leicester Square boasts a vast amount of fantastic stores, one of which includes M&M’s World, the worlds biggest chocolate shop! Be warned, it can get a little crowded, so make sure you take note of the official meeting point within the store. Treat your little ones to custom made M&M’s or buy yourself a souvenir to remember the day. From Chocolate to M&M’s teapots, you’ll be able to find that perfect gift; the store has something for everyone.
Never have I ever been so relaxed while watching a film, not even in my own home! Offering luxury reclining seats and state-of-the-art Dolby digital cinema experience; what better way to enjoy a movie with the kids! With large aisles and enough legroom that would allow a giant to spread out and relax, ODEON Luxe is the best place to chill after a day of shopping. No need to worry about all those shopping bags though, there is room to place them beside you! Don’t forget to check out Oscar’s lounge on the way in, you won’t want to miss out on unique movie-themed cocktails…or mocktails if you will.
To keep an eye out for more Leicester Square adventures, check out -Discover Leicester Square
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I always seemed to struggle with my skin. The ongoing cycle of breakouts which lead to hyperpigmentation, which leads to covering up with make-up, which then clogs my pores, which then causes breakouts. *EXHALES* Can I catch a break?
In the past, I have tried numerous things, drinking excess water, wearing less make-up, and hideous bleaching products to get rid of hyperpigmentation. None of it worked. It wasn’t until earlier this year that I was sent some lovely products to try out. Now, as you know, I’m not a traditional “beauty blogger”. However, now and again, I will share my finds with my audience; especially if I can recommend the product or service.
ARK SKINCARE & THE ORDINARY
I can honestly say that I have found a skincare regime that has worked. Ok, I realise that sounded like a heavily rehearsed infomercial, but it’s true! I’ve been using products specially formulated for those who sit in the ’30s & 40s’ age bracket (ARK), alongside a hyperpigmentation clearing solution (The Ordinary). All products have worked together to not only clear up dark spots but the overall health of my skin.
Skin essential pre-cleanse & make-up remover
Combining the right products to target problem areas or rehydrate the skin can be a problem, especially if recommendations are coming from those who don’t necessarily understand that skin types significantly differ between ages. My skin in my 30’s is entirely different from my 20’s; I wouldn’t even say it was worse, just different, and so it would make sense that my skin requires different products. The need for specially formulated products is a must.
I’ve been using all of the products daily for at least three months, and my skin has been noticeably clearer and healthier. Some of you guys have noticed and asked me in my DM’s! To my delight, the cycle of breakouts and hyperpigmentation is now finally broken. Because of this, there hasn’t been a need to use The Ordinary solution so frequently; therefore, ARK SKINCARE products have been a staple within my daily routine.
Do I recommend these products? Well, of course, I do! Both brands have worked in terms of meeting and exceeding my requirements. Healthy skin that I feel confident enough to wear with pride on makeup-free days.
Skin essential skin protector SPF30 primer & age defend replenishing moisturiser formulated for your 30s & 40s
Age defend replenishing moisturiser formulated for your 30s & 40s
Moisturiser with Co-enzyme Q10, jam-packed with natural ingredients such as Shea Butter and Olive Oil. Containing “clinically proven wrinkle plumping peptides”, it smoothes skin, plumps and tones, and diminishes signs of premature ageing.
Skin essential skin protector SPF30 primer
Award-winning make-up primer; sunscreen; and moisturiser all in one. With clinically-proven skin benefits, protection from both UVA and UVB rays which can cause sun damage and premature ageing.
Skin essential pre-cleanse & make-up remover
This vegan-friendly product works hard to remove traces of dirt, excess sebum and make-up.
Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2%
This formula combines pure Vitamin C and Alpha Arbutin. Vitamin C is an effective antioxidant that brightens the skin tone and reduces signs of ageing. Alpha Arbutin is a highly-purified biosynthetic active ingredient that reduces the look of dark spots and uneven skin tone.
As I’m not a dermatologist, I highly recommend speaking to a consultant before purchasing any acidic solutions. Especially if you intend to use it alongside other products.
*ARK Skincare products were gifted, however, I was under no obligation to share with my audience. Of course, all thoughts and opinions are my own*
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Grenada has white sand beaches, black sand beaches and waterfalls…fancy winning a holiday and seeing for yourself? A pair of Virgin Atlantic world traveller tickets are up for grabs, have a read for a chance to win!
Welcome to the Spice of the Caribbean; a place where untouched beauty meets our warm people content with a simple way of life. Grenada offers a lifestyle so pure and authentic that you feel instantly renewed. Our enchanting islands boasts silky stretches of white sand beaches, sunken treasures adorned by corals and unspoilt landscapes undiscovered by crowds. So, take a journey like never before; a journey that is pure and real. Welcome to Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique! – Pure Grenada
To be in with a chance to win one of four amazing prizes, including a holiday to Grenada, answer the following question- How many beaches and waterfalls does Grenada have in total? Submit your answer, along with your full name (and mine, Sareta Fontaine) to email@example.com by Midnight, Thursday 24th October 2019. *Terms and conditions apply
Grenada Levera Beach – Pure Grenada
- GRAND PRIZE: WIN A PURE HOLIDAY IN PURE GRENADA, THE SPICE OF THE CARIBBEAN. A PAIR OF VIRGIN ATLANTIC WORLD TRAVELLER TICKETS IS UP FOR GRABS! The Grenada Tourism Authority will provide the flight T&C’s. British Airways fly to Grenada twice a week– Saturday and Wednesday (St Lucia touch down).
- CHOCOLATE MAKING CLASS FOR TWO IN LONDON Did you know? For an island similar in size to the Isle of Wight, did you know that Grenada has five, artisan chocolate makers? The quality of the beans grown means that all 100% of cacao grown on the island is flavoursome. Cocoa plants were introduced into to Grenada in 1714 by the French. Today bar flavours include nutmeg, ginger, sea salt and crunchy cocoa nibs. Grenada has its own annual Chocolate Festival, to find out more visit www.grenadachocolatefest.com
- A RUM MASTERCLASS FOR TWO AT RUM AND SUGAR Did you know that Rum and Sugar stock Grenada rum- Westerhall no.3 and Westerhall No.5? There is excellent rum in Grenada, and it doesn’t stop at Westerhall. The spirit of carnival produced in Grenada, bottled in the UK and based in Kent.
- A RUM MASTERCLASS FOR TWO AT RUM AND SUGAR Clarkes Court in St Georges also has a range of rums of all types. And last but not least, River Antoine is the oldest distillery in the new world! They still use a waterwheel to crush the cane. For an authentic rum distillery tour, Rivers is the one! www.rumandsugar.co.uk
Hog Island Grenada – Pure Grenada
- The prize is open to UK residents (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) aged 18 years or over, excluding the families members (spouse, parent, child, sibling, grandparent and/or “step” family) of the influencers (Omoruyo Osagiede, Sareta Fontaine, Aaron Bridgeman and Meridian Reason), associated agents or anyone professionally connected with the prize promotion.
- Only one entry per person unless otherwise stated in the individual promotion. All additional entries will be disqualified.
- The competition closes on Thursday 24th October 2019 at midnight.
- Winner Selection: Grenada Tourism Authority will select winners randomly.
- Winners to be announced on Monday 28th October 2019.
- Influencers will be notified of winners on Monday 28th October 2019.
- The winners will be notified by email via the account provided at the point of entry on Monday 28th October 2019 and will have 14 days from notification to claim their prize. If a winner does not claim their prize within this timeframe, the Grenada Tourism Authority reserves the right to withdraw prize entitlement. The prize will be awarded to a reserve drawn at the same time as the original.
- It is the responsibility of the entrant to provide correct, up-to-date details when entering the prize promotion and acceptance of the prize. The Grenada Tourism Authority cannot be held responsible for winners failing to supply accurate information which affects prize acceptance or delivery of their prize.
- Prizes must be accepted as offered by the named winner. There is no cash or alternative prizes, in whole or part. The prizes are not transferable and cannot be resold.
- The Grenada Tourism Authority reserves the right to verify winners and ask for proof of identity, age and address. The Grenada Tourism Authority reserves the right to withdraw prize entitlement where there are reasonable grounds to believe there has been a breach of these terms and conditions.
- Data Protection. Any personal information that entrants share with the Grenada Tourism Authority will be kept secure and only used in line with these terms and conditions. The entrant can opt-out of future marketing from the Grenada Tourism Authority.
- All data from this competition will be destroyed unless the entrant agrees to opt into the GTA database – held by GTA on the island.
*Sponsored post, any thoughts and opinions are my own*
Take a look at some more travel inspo
Win a holiday to Grenada – Pin it & save for later!
Concorde Waterfall – Grenada – Pure Grenada
F*ckboy Tears. I didn’t care what the product was; I knew I had to have it. It turns out Firebox didn’t fail to disappoint and created something superb; to be precise, pink gin liqueur…with sparkles.
I hold a special place in my heart for Firebox; I love their products. There’s something about their quirky sense of humour which is similar to mine. So, when I stumble across a new product with a fantastic name and equally fascinating contents, I know it’s one for me.
We all know Gin is a popular one amongst the masses, so what better way to consume it than to place it in something different; ice lollies! Serve your party guests and have them giddy at the thought of licking F*ckboy Tears. What a great conversation starter!
The sweet tears of fuckboys, bottled. Juicy passionfruit and tropical mango flavoured.
If the passion has gone, you gotta let that man-go. – FIREBOX
F*CKBOY TEARS GIN LIQUEUR
F*ckboy Tears Gin Liqueur
Apple & Blackberry Juice
Sparkling Elderflower pressé
Place 3 Blackberries in each ice lolly mould.
Fill half with a mixture of F*ckboy Tears and Elderflower Pressé (1/3 F*ckboy Tears).
Place in the freezer for 3 hours.
Fill the remaining space within the mould with a mixture of F*ckboy Tears and Apple & Blackberry Juice (1/3 F*ckboy Tears).
Place in the freezer for a minimum of 5 hours, or until you’re ready to serve.
- Silicone ice lolly moulds work well compared to plastics ones. Soft silicone moulds allow you to easily manipulate your creations without having to melt the sides of your lollies to remove. As your ice lollies contain alcohol, they melt exceptionally quickly. If you use hot water to thaw them out of your moulds, you’ll end up with a slushy rather than a lolly!
- Go easy on the Gin! Gin doesn’t freeze, however, when mixed with other drinks it will. As long as you dilute your Gin to the ratio of 2:1, you’ll be fine.
- Give your ice lollies a bit of a shake before placing in the freezer. Shaking removes all air bubbles and ensures that your Blackberries solidify within your lolly.
Want to get your hands on a bottle of F*ckboy Tears and try out the recipe for yourself? Here you go – Click me
*Gin was gracously gifted by Firebox, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own*
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The phrase “you can’t pick your family” has always made me chuckle, mainly because as an adult, I have always chosen how I spend my time and with whom – family members included. As I’ve gotten older, my tolerance for toxic behaviour has worn thin, which has resulted in a Marie Kondo style removal of anyone that hasn’t sparked joy.
I was once a “people pleaser”, or someone who didn’t want to “rock the boat”, and I often found myself in adverse situations. I would be that go-to person who would listen to others rant about how their life was difficult, or how others were the root of all their woes. Up until recently, I thought these relationships were meaningful. I would often say that you had to take these types of people ‘with a pinch of salt’. It was an ongoing excuse; the reason why I would allow myself to be at the end of someone’s mood and why I’d be inclined to forgive.
I thought everyone knew that type of person. They’d be the dominant one within the circle of friends, or they’d be the self-appointed head of the family. We’d tip-toe around their feelings because we all knew what they were like. No one would challenge them if they wanted a peaceful life. Not because we were afraid, but perhaps deep down, we knew what the consequences of our actions would be. It would mean ending the relationship.
Why didn’t you just cut them out of your life?
I’d end up referring to all the good that they did, or explaining the history of the friendship. However, in the back of my mind, I’d always pondered, if I mattered at all, wouldn’t that make people change their ways or treat me how I treat them? At what point do my feelings and thoughts matter? When is it time to put you first?
Life is way too short to walk on eggshells in fear of upsetting or going against an opinion
If you’re in a relationship with someone, whether it’s a partnership, friendship or otherwise, you should have the right to say what you want without fear of repercussion. You should be able to have friendly debates and have your own opinions and thoughts without it escalating; you’re allowed to have a voice. If you can’t, then you’re merely there to satisfy the needs of the other person. You are there to make them feel better about themselves, help them with their insecurities and feed their ego.
Babes, do they spark joy?
Are we at fault?
Looking back, I blame myself. Not in a self-pity sort of way, but I acknowledge my part in these types of negative relationships. I was that “yes” person; I bit my tongue in many situations. I never challenged their point of view. I kept quiet when they would go on and on about how other people treated them, even though I knew those people were probably as tired of them as I was.
As time goes on, you accept your role, you run on auto-pilot, but that cannot last forever. You’ll store all the minute irks and situations where they have taken you for an idiot, and you’ll end up storing those feelings until you’ve had enough. Being a yes person and then suddenly, in their eyes, having your own opinion, will be a shock. You’ve “changed”, or you’re being persuaded to speak up because of someone else…when really, your last nerve is shot. The insults will come, gaslighting and deluded accusations will come. Their insecurities are now fully projected onto you because, how dare you form an opinion of your own, or stand up for yourself? You are now the enemy, but you knew it would come to this because you’ve listened to previous stories of others in the same situation; they too have reached a breaking point.
These people do not spark joy
You can choose who you have in your life. You can choose who you spend time with, who you allow in your space and how you want to be addressed. You’re in control of your relationships, and you should be in an equal partnership. You deserve to be treated with respect and should be able to have your thoughts and feelings accepted and valued. You’re allowed to be you!
We are all born into families and influenced by so many things and people. We start friendships and may continue them because we feel some sort of alliance, just because we’ve known them for years. As much as you love and value those people, your love and value should be reciprocated. If not, you’re just another yes person excusing harmful behaviour and fuelling a toxic personality. Not only do you not need it, but you also don’t deserve it.
So think about your next encounter with your long-time friend or family member. Did they spark joy? If not, my love, why are you bothering?
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Can you take your kids to Pride? Why not? Of course, you can, duh! First things first, if you’re not a part of the LGBTQ+ community, think about why you’re attending. Are you willing to support the community outside of the rainbow-themed parade or just there to play dress-up?
You may be a parent of a child who is either questioning or a part of the community; if so you’re a VIP and should definitely go and take them with you. Whatever your reason for attendance, make sure it’s an honest one. Lots of people have fought for the right to take a stand, and Pride isn’t an excuse to wear glitter.
The first Gay Pride march took place in New York in 1970. The LGBTQ+ community took to the streets to commemorate riots that took place the year before. Throughout the 60’s it was common for police to raid gay and trans-friendly bars. Police officers would misuse their authority to spread their bigotry and hatred, that was until LGBTQ+ people decided to take to the streets and fight back. When police tried to arrest and mistreat The Stonewall Inn’s customers and employees, four nights of rioting commenced. Two often-forgotten people who made an impact that night were transgender women Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera.
The Stonewall Riots
What you won’t see at Pride
You won’t see ‘big gay orgies’ or trans people trying to brainwash the masses. These things don’t happen. What you and your children will see is a fabulous parade. You’ll see colourful floats, including brands and LGBTQ+ activists waving their flags and people having a great time in a safe space.
Drag queens, camp queens and everyone in between are welcome. As long as you’re open-minded and believe in rights for all, you won’t be offended. There will be adults consuming alcohol, that’s a given during fun vibes and summer sun. As you would with any adult orientated street party, steer clear of pubs and bars. During the day you may be able to find a child-friendly pub, but from 5:30 onwards, the kids need to leave.
Pride London – Kids at Pride
Will ‘Gays etc’ be showing public displays of affection?
Well, I mean, there are no current UK laws that suggest that a crime is taking place if they do. You may see same-sex couples kissing or holding hands. However, there is no difference between their love and Charlene and Scott’s…except that TV romance wasn’t real. Taking your kids to Pride may help them learn, first hand, that the LGBTQ+ community isn’t one to be feared or mocked. It’s a time to get rid of stereotypes and let your kids see things for themselves; everyone has the right to love and be who they want to be.
UK Black Pride, London – Kids at Pride
If you’re still up for it, make sure you check the following
Yourself. No gawking or staring, please. This is a safe space for people to love who they love and be who they want to be with Pride!
Travel. Pride gets busier and busier every year, and stations can get pretty crowded. Make sure you check for station closures or route diversions to avoid getting stuck.
Outfits. Many brands are jumping on the LGBTQ+ train and making a profit by doing so. Although some are in it to make a quick buck, others are supporting the community by donating to organisations and charities. Put your money in the right places my fellow allies!
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Let’s talk Pinterest Story Pins and how I’m geeking out over the new feature!
The new Pinterest Story Pin feature has been made available to a few business accounts for early access. As a blogger, I have a business account, so I can cleverly link my site images to Pinterest. I have made my pictures Pinterest-friendly to enable my readers to save their fave posts to their personal boards. Using Pinterest’s analytics, I’m able to see the reach of each pin, and how many times it has been clicked and saved. It’s a great way to keep track of what content my audience has best enjoyed.
As some of us have noticed a steady decline of engagement on other social media platforms due to algorithm changes. However, Pinterest seems to be a great place for creatives and small businesses. Reaching your target audience is a breeze if you have a genuine passion for what you’re sharing and create what your viewers love.
Story Pins could be the next in thing for fellow business account holders who want to share more content in the form of multiple pages within one Pin. Think of it as a storybook with up to twenty pages consisting of a cover page, fantastic images and fabulous videos.
Pinterest Story Pins have been created for those who would like to tell a story. You could show different views of something, create step-by-step guides, show steps for a DIY projects or curate a collection of products. The possibilities are endless, and I can’t wait to see what fellow Pinners create.
How to create a Pinterest Story Pin
Pinterest Story Pin function
As you normally would when creating a Pin, click on Pinterest’s red coloured plus symbol and select Create Story Pin. Take it from there…
Each portrait image or video must be created with a minimum of 900×1600 pixels. You can, however, resize your pictures, but in terms of producing great content, it’s best to stick to the requirements. That way you know your imagery won’t be pixelated or poorly cropped.
Each engaging Story Pin must have a minimum of two pages and can have a maximum of twenty. Your title has a maximum of 100 characters.
Include links to your website or origin of each image or video; it’s good practice if you’re not solely using your own work.
Pinterest Story Pin function
The following file types are accepted: BMP, GIF, JPG, PNG, TIFF, WEBP, .mov. and .mp4.
If you’d like to include videos, make sure they are no bigger than 2GB. For more info about video requirements, refer to Pinterest’s video guide.
The max file size for your entire Story Pin file is 10MB.
Pinterest Story Pin function
Dare to be different and think of original ways that you can engage with your audience. Pinterest Story Pins have the potential to reach far greater viewers than a stagnant self-promotional picture or advertisement.
No doubt, eye-catching and engaging content will increase website traffic and help grow your audience or hike up those sales.
If you’d like to see a fully functional Story Pin, you’re in luck, my examples are live! Although, I wouldn’t blame you if you were equally interested in my Unicorn Rainbow Toasty recipe…here you go, enjoy x
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Let’s talk about sex! And gender, sexuality, pronouns and what is and isn’t okay.
There’s so much terminology for those of us who don’t fall into the heterosexual / cis-gendered categories. After centuries of being outcast, we’re finally moving into a world of acceptance, for those of us considered “other”, outside of the parameters of “straight”, “male” or “female”.
With a plethora of terminology out there, we see why folks get confused. Lexicon evolves as society does. What was once an acceptable term could now be considered derogatory. By the same hand, terms once used as insults have now been appropriated by the community.
Some people (usually the older generation to speak broadly) have a tendency to get the terminology wrong, accidentally, and cause hurt. Ignorance is not bliss people!
The vast range of terms means it’s easy to get confused. If your intentions are good, we’ll correct you and forgive you. So I’ll break the rainbow down for you, step by step. This handy guide will let you know what’s hot, and what’s not, what is acceptable and what could cause hurt.
LGBTQQIAAP (Often referred to as LGBT+)
L is for…Lesbian!
Lesbians are people who identify as women and are only interested in other women.
Like all other groups of people, lesbians present themselves differently. Some are more masculine presenting. Some are very feminine presenting. Some are androgynous. Regardless of appearance, lesbian is your go-to term for a woman who is into other women. Some lesbians may refer to themselves (within safe spaces/people they know well) as a butch or a dike. (See Lea DeLaria / Boo in Orange is the New Black.) Some may refer to themselves as femme or “lipstick”.
Your safest bet is always Lesbian. Or, you know, just their name, because why does it even matter?
Terms that are not acceptable: lezza, dike (in general reference to someone who looks like a stereotype of a lesbian), homo etc. These aren’t fun and should not be used.
G is for…Gay!
Gay refers to people who identify as men and are only attracted to other men. The stereotype of gay men indicates a feminine man, usually well groomed, high pitched voice, very camp and all a bit silly. Yes, some gay men are that, and we love them. However, some gay men are the total inverse; very masculine, deep-voiced, sensible. Everything in between those two, you can be there’s a gay man like it. Believe it or not, there might be one who looks just like your grandad. Or your neighbour. Your doctor.
When in doubt, use the word from the umbrella. Gay. It’s the only safe option. A gay man may refer to himself as a bear or a whole host of other sentiments, but I’d stick with gay. You could also use the term to refer to a woman who likes other women.
It’s not okay to use it as an insult, though. “Don’t be so gay” is a phrase people use if someone doesn’t want to do something they want, for example. That’s not okay. Being gay is not an issue, so let’s not use it as an insult. Homo/faggot/fairy/bender – these aren’t cool. Ever.
B is for…. Bisexual!
A bisexual person is a man or a woman who is attracted to both men and women. If I had to put myself in a patch in the rainbow, this is where I would fall. I have dated both men and women. My only serious relationship has been with a woman.
Some people, both within and outside of the LGBT+ community, cannot comprehend being bisexual. Bi-erasure in the LGBT+ community is real. We’re not gay enough, apparently. Some straight people think we’re just gays who are only half out of the closet.
Some people will just call us plain old greedy. Believe me, it’s not about greed. Being bi is as confusing as hell sometimes. We’re not greedy, we’re just lucky. Though believe me, it doesn’t double the size of the dating pool.
Many bi-sexual people will refer to themselves as gay when within the LGBT+ community. It’s just easier. If your friend is bi and refers to themselves as gay, that’s okay.
T is for…Transgender!
A transgender person – or trans person – is someone who was born one gender but identifies as another. Some trans people choose to undergo a very long process of medication and surgery to become the gender they identify with. Others will choose to live outwardly as their identified gender while keeping their original form. During the process of becoming the gender, they identify with (from their birth gender) is called transitioning.
A trans person’s gender and their sexuality are two very different things and not to be confused. There are trans-women (born with male genitalia) who will identify as a lesbian and are only attracted to other women. A trans-woman may only be attracted to men, too. Generally speaking, this does not make them gay, though they may choose to identify as this before their transition. Synonymously, there are trans-men (born with female genitalia) who are only attracted to women. There are, however, trans-men who identify as gay and are only attracted to men. Of course, to throw another colour into the rainbow, some bi-sexual trans people are attracted to both cis-gendered men and women.
This is a very deeply personal topic, and each trans-person’s situation is different from the next. If you are lucky enough to know a trans-person personally if they are happy to talk, ask them how they identify. Many trans people have spent much of their life being confused by “outsiders” who recognise them as the incorrect gender. They have had a deeply personal struggle to become who they are, and many find it comforting and respectful when you take an interest in their self and their identity.
What is not acceptable is calling a trans-person a tranny. This term was once derogatorily used to refer to the people we now proudly name as Drag Queens. Though the majority of drag queens are gay men, they are not all transgender. A man dressed as a woman for fun or for a show is not the same as a trans-person who was born male and identifies/lives as a female.
Q (number 1) is…Queer!
Many people in the rainbow will identify as Queer. This generally means anything outside of the heteronormative. I often refer to myself or my peers as Queer. Rather than identifying with one label, or feeling that none of the traditional profiles ticks their own personal boxes, Queer is an easy umbrella term for us to live under.
The word once was used to describe strange people. It has been historically used as a derogatory term for those not brave enough to use the term gay to refer to someone else. At some point in recent history, we have reclaimed this word. Taking ownership of the word and choosing to use it for yourself took away the insulting power it once had.
Q (number 2) is for…Questioning!
This term can be used in terms of both gender and sexuality. You may be a woman or girl (teens through to old age) who has only been sexually and romantically involved with men so far. However, you’ve always had this idea that you might be attracted to women. Sometimes you might see a beautiful woman in the street and not be able to decide whether you want to be her or be with her. It’s the same for men, too, in this instance.
A person who is questioning their sexuality may never act on it. They may have a drunken kiss in a nightclub and leave it that. Perhaps they go on to have a relationship with a person of the same gender. Life’s full of opportunity!
A person questioning their gender may have been born one gender but have felt that they might want to be the other. Again, they might never act on it. They might try dressing in the other gender’s clothes once or twice. They may go on to transition to the other gender, both outwardly and physically.
While the questioning period can be an exciting time, it can be profoundly confusing and stressful emotionally. If someone you know is questioning, be kind. Give them space to talk or just be whomever they want to be.
I is for…Intersex!
An intersex person is one who, physically, does not fall into the traditional male/female gender. Intersex people may have both (or neither) genitalia at birth. Most likely, their parents will have assigned them a gender at birth and prescribe that they live their life as that gender. They may choose later in life to change their gender to the one they identify with, rather than the one they were assigned by parents or doctors.
In Greek history, an Intersex person was considered someone with superhuman powers!
Whichever gender an intersex person identifies with, is the only option you should choose. This issue only relates to their gender and not their sexual preference.
Once upon a time, intersex people were referred to as hermaphrodites. This is a term that has been thrown out for use regarding humans and can now only be used to describe certain animals. This is never a word you should use about another person.
A (number one) is for…Ally!
You guys are great. You gorgeous allies are people who identify as straight and cis-gendered but love all of us in the rainbow. You believe in equality. You know that everyone has the right to live as the person that they want to be and to love whoever they want to – regardless of any physical or sexual alignments.
You’ll turn up to your local Pride parade dressed brightly and cheering the queers with love and support. Without allies, we wouldn’t have come as far as we have with LGBT+ rights across the world. We thank you for your continuous support and will always love you.
A (number 2)…Is for Asexual!
Asexuality is a broad term for someone (of any gender) who does is not physically or sexually attracted to anyone, regardless of sexuality or gender. This is not a person to be pitied. They may live their life in romantic, non-sexual relationships. Some asexual people may never have a romantic relationship and will live their life happily so.
There is a significant difference between someone who is asexual and someone who is celibate. A celibate person has sexual attractions and feelings but chooses to abstain from them. An asexual person has little or no sexual attraction or desire. Don’t get it confused, people!
Graphic designer Daniel Quasar’s re-booted Pride flag
P is for…Pansexual!
The last letter in our rainbow acronym is possibly the broadest of all. A pansexual person is a person who is attracted to people of all genders, including trans and non-binary people (people who identify as neither gender).
A pan person may go from sex with a woman, to a relationship with a post-transition man. They may be in one long term, heterosexual relationship their whole life but still be attracted to all gender types.
There is no link to Peter Pan here. These aren’t people who haven’t grown up, they’re just people who don’t conform to certain types!
Knowing a person under the rainbow
If you’re lucky enough to know or love someone under the LGBTQQIAAP rainbow, just ask them how they identify, and how they would like to be referred to. Some people may not want to be boxed and may not choose a term. For those who do, getting their pronouns correct is imperative. Whether a person identifies as he or she, gay or lesbian, non-binary or trans, is their place to tell you, not for you to decide.
Holly is a queer-femme lifestyle blogger and ‘pawrent’ to a miniature Dachshund, Chorizo. She bosses her role as an Office Manager during the week and spends the rest of her time just trying to figure herself out and enjoy life. Holly is an inter-sectional feminist who believes in the combination of the power of people and the power of conversation. The more we talk about the awkward topics people want to avoid, the better we can overcome marginalisation and inequality. Also Gin. There’s always room for gin in Holly’s life.
Have a chat with Holly on Twitter.
*All thoughts and opinions remain the authors own, and do not necessarily reflect the sentiments of Sareta Fontaine.
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This Unicorn Rainbow Toasty has got to be the easiest recipe I have ever shared in the history of this blog. It’s quick, simple and oh so cute! Serve at your rainbow themed party and wow your guests with a multicoloured cheesy surprise. You’re welcome.
A magical recipe that I can only assume has been inspired by a traditional Aussie treat called fairy bread. This sweet cheesy delight would be great for summer parties or fussy eaters. Who could resist any form of rainbow-coloured food?!
The only thing I’d warn you about is to go easy on the food colouring. Yes, you want pretty colours, but too much could make your magical creation taste pretty gross. A little goes a long way!
UNICORN RAINBOW TOASTY
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple food colouring
Bright and Bold sprinkles or Hundreds and Thousands
Two slices of bread
Grated Mozzarella cheese
Preheat your grill and place on medium heat.
Place 3 tbsp of mozzarella in six bowls.
Add one small drop (1/8 of a tsp) of food colouring to each bowl, starting with red, orange and so on.
Mix each batch, making sure the mozzarella is evenly covered.
Lay the mix in order of the colours of the rainbow, from red to purple.
Place your second slice of bread on top to create a sandwich.
Grill for 1 minute 30, turn over and grill the other side for the same amount of time.
Butter the top side of your toasty and cover with your chosen decorative sprinkles.
Slice in halves or quarters and wow your diners with your cheesy, magical goodness. You have created a Unicorn Rainbow Toasty, enjoy!
Obsessed with all things rainbows and unicorns? Take a look at my Pinterest board which is dedicated to all things…rainbows and unicorns.