One year on
Today www.damiankerlin.com is one year old. After five years of talking about it, I finally launched my blog, this time last year. Yes, I became a lockdown cliché. A side hustle or as the brilliant Emma Gannon describes it “the thing, I loved doing for me. It was less about the hustle, more about creative nourishment.”
This weekend Pride in the City my article for the Belfast Telegraph was published in their Weekend magazine, and I couldn’t think of a better way to round off the year. As Belfast Pride prepares to celebrate its 30th year, I reflected on the strides made for equality in legislation, speaking with prominent LGBTQ+ members who continue to pave the way for transformative change and what is it about Pride in Belfast that makes it so special.
Pride is important, but for those of you who grew up or live in Northern Ireland, you know just how important it is.
It has also been amazing to connect with some incredible individuals and organisations who are doing great things for the LGBTQ+ community. I have learned so much from my research and covered some interesting topics from how children perceive gender, queer nightlife, how we weigh ourselves, lessons learnt as a same-sex parent, the beauty and loss of adoption, and the importance of friendships. It’s been enlightening, frightening and joyous.
It has granted me the opportunity to write for some incredible publications too such as Daddi Life, Gay BoyBible, Every Day Magazine, Gay Community News, Adoption UK and Left Foot Forward. As well as feature on podcasts The Adoption and Fostering Podcast and Heart of Cardiff.
One of my biggest highlighted was writing my article Growing Up Gay in Northern Ireland for Gay Community News.
When the folks at GCN asked me to write a piece for their July Pride edition, and their return to print, I knew just the scope. For my article to feature in a jam-packed issue alongside an interview with Jessie Ware, incredible features on queer sexual health and AIDS activism, the jaw-dropping and beautiful Child of Drag photoshoot, as well as a huge range of LGBTQ+ writers, the best in the business, discussing a host of topics including the situation for LGBTQ+ Travellers, how Ireland treats queer women, and older LGBTQ+ folk accessing healthcare was wild!
My side hustle has quickly picked up pace and has turned into my passion. So, I hope you’ve enjoyed reflecting on the past year with me! I can’t thank you enough for visiting my little corner of the world wide web. It still warms my heart to know people read my blog posts and I still let out a little yelp in excitement whenever I meet someone new who’s heard of my blog.
Here’s to the next!