Good morning all! I’m in a good mood because I’ve just got a free cappuccino at Caffè Nero (collecting stamps).

Another reason to be in a good mood is that I will be getting yet another bike. You might recall that my bike was stolen and that Rayne went and bought me a second hand bike. Turns out that the bike he bought me was a stolen bike from a rental company with a specific number and lock and as I came out of the gym a few days ago it was locked and a man stood beside it asking me ‘are you Mario?’

But praise God that there is still some goodness in the world because after explaining the situation to him, he contacted his manager who has offered to give me one of their bikes!!

So anyway that aside last night Rayne and I watched a film ‘Rocketman’ which was the story of Elton John. I thought it was going to be some sort of a boring documentary but not at all, it was a really good movie and before talking more about it, another budding star made his debut yesterday morning at St . Mary’s Hospital with his manager!!

Perhaps it was providential that only a few days ago I wrote about ‘hnh’ or chem sex because the movie starts off with a broken Elton saying:

“I’m an alcoholic, a drug addict, a sex addict….”

Things then flashed back to his childhood where his dad was an emotionless man who was in a very unhappy marriage with a narcissistic wife.

Despite all the fame the young Elton was simply looking for love and in this times he was told to hide being gay as it would have ended his career. He turned to alcohol and drugs to cope with the pain of rejection and the pressure of being a star.

Suicide attempts, a marriage to a woman…He tried it all. Honestly if you’re looking for a movie that packs the all the pain and confusion of being gay into one life, this is it.

One of the most painful lines of the movie came when Elton told his mum that he was gay. Full of self hatred it went something like this…

‘Mum….mum,….I’m a….., I’m a homosexual, a queer, a faggot, a poofter ..”

And her response wasn’t much better…. I’ve always known but if you choose that type of a life know that you will never be loved properly”.

This haunted him and not only him, these very words haunt every LGBTQ person. Will we ever be loved properly?

And this statement haunts nearly all of us LGBTQ people. Will we ever be loved properly? Will we ever be happy?

And is it really a choice?

At this point a tear rolled down my face as I pondered on the tears of breakdowns and fight with suicide that I’ve had and with our Medjugorje evening coming up on Friday, the bitter rejection and hatred that I received over there from so many for just being myself.

But when Elton’s mum said this, she was actually speaking more about herself than him.

“You will never be loved properly” could be reinterpreted as “I will never love you properly” and indeed this too is what I experienced in Medjugorje! A group of people with a love for God who were unable to love me properly and who bullied and abused me in the name of religion.

Yet this seemed to be the turning point for Elton who eventually realized that it didn’t matter if his mum didn’t love him properly, he had to love and accept himself properly!!

This my friends is the journey that we are all on…”love your neighbour as yourself” and I for one am still not at the end of it as I still battle with periods of shame and fear especially when I’m in religious environments where my past wounds get triggered.

But Elton found happiness and love in the end and so did I even if in very different places!

Our Lady has always loved me properly and she brought me to Jesus and the father, both of whom love me properly too!! They brought me to London and surrounded me by friends like Séamus and Toni and brought loving understanding priests into my life before then bringing the biggest surprise of all…Rayne!

And so while I’m still healing from some of the trauma, my life too is the story of a survivor and while I’m not as famous as Elton John nor is there a movie about me, I hope and pray that I too can give as much inspiration and hope as possible to the hurting LGBT community who at the end of the day just want to be loved properly…..

Bless

Michael