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When a good friend of mine found out I was writing on here they suggested that I do an all about me review as my life has been somewhat colourful. After careful consideration I set about writing this review which I would like to warn you now could become a bit of a depressing read. For those of you brave enough to read on here goes.
Born Ian Steven Pipes on the 24th of January 1980 to Grace and Alex pipes I entered this world as we all do, with no idea of the heartache, fun, terror and excitement that would lie ahead. My very early childhood although I remember nothing of it myself seems to have been a very happy one. I am always reminded by my old grandmother of what a lovely smiley boy I used to be and how I very rarely cried, preferring to live my life with a smile on my face. I guess had I known the things that lay ahead it might have been much more difficult to maintain the smiles.
I will move on to me starting nursery aged three. Life was just a laugh and a joke at this age, I couldn't wait to get to nursery every day and meet my little friends for the couple of hours of fun and stories. My mum always reminds me how I was one of the most popular little boys at the nursery and how the others used to fight for my attention but then it is a mothers job to make her kids feel happy and wanted isn't it?
So nursery was good and so was the first few years at school, the problems seemed to start around the age of 7. Suddenly I found myself spending time with only one little girl (Sarah Rhodes) funnily enough I was the only one who wanted to spend time with her and together we just drifted away from the other kids which soon left us being picked on and bullied. When Sarah's mum and dad had the bright idea of moving away when I had just turned 9 it left me with real problems, I had no friends and no idea of how to make any.
Round the ages of 9 and 10 I started to drift between a few people basically just anyone who would give me the time of day. I had already realised that I was a bit different from the other boys in my class and the rest of the school who all loved to play football, climb trees and make fun of the girls (which I guess was the first signs of them actually being interested in the opposite sex). I preferred to spend my time reading and doing anything that kept me distant from the boys I so wanted to be like.
Along came high school at the age of 11 and this was terrifying for me, along with the terror of starting this new big school I was also going through the process of loosing the first person rally close to me as my granddad had been diagnosed with incurable cancer. My granddad had been there for me through everything whilst my own dad had basically given up on me thinking I was weak and pathetic for allowing myself to be bullied, although he had never said as much it was clear what he thought. Worse was to come for him because I was now sure that on top of everything else I was soon going to have to come to terms with the fact that I was gay.
Even at this early age I knew I had no interest in girls body's but was fascinated by the male form around me. Being a big reader I had read all sorts of things on the subject and most reckoned that at this young age it was probably curiosity and that a lot of boys my age were going through it, I however knew that it was more than that.
Shortly after turning thirteen something wonderful and very unexpected happened to me. The girl I had known as my only true friend (Sarah) came back to my neighbourhood to live. This started out as the best thing that had happened to me since her leaving but soon turned sour. Although I knew my sexual feelings were towards other boys I stupidly agreed to start going out with Sarah which led to disaster. After a very brief sexual encounter I had to be honest with her and tell her that I could only be friends with her although I avoided telling her why, this led to her not only stopping talking to me but to her joining the people who were bullying me which was the first time my heart was broken. I loved her as a friend and there she was taunting me with the people who had once bullied us both, this was to lead to me attempting to take my own life with an overdose which thankfully went dreadfully wrong and I am still here to tell the story today.
Days after my 14th birthday I decided to take the very brave step of telling my mum and dad that I was gay. To my amazement my mum immediately told me that she was 99% certain of that before I told her and that she loved me no matter what I was or what choices I made through life. My dad was a very different kettle of fish. He burst into all sorts of roaring and shouting. Yelling things like (excuse the language) A poof? A fu**ing poof? How the hell can you say you're gay? Your 14 for fu** sake you don't know what the fu** you are. Then telling me that if I thought I was going to go about making a fool of him I was wrong and that although I had failed to kill myself he wouldn't fail and he would fu**ing kill me for certain if he ever caught me with a man. I had been prepared for a bit of outrage from him but even I was shocked at how badly he took the news.
Now that I had come to terms with what I was, I was finding school a bit easier. I obviously hadn't announced to the school that I was gay but a few were starting to put two and two together, although I wasn't getting as much abuse as I expected to be getting. I had found out that I had a passion and a talent for writing and had already made my mind up that this was going to be what I focussed my attentions on. I was not the most intelligent student at the school, not by a long shot but I was cruising through English and impressing my teacher so much that she had already started telling me of opportunities available for writers which was eventually the path I would take.
As a sixteen year old boy just about to leave school, now more confident than I had ever been before, with my relationship with Sarah back on tracks (as friends of course) and things even starting to improve between me and my father life was to take a horrible twist for me and set me back years. After a night out with my mum and dad (the first in a long time) I returned home and went straight to bed (the time around 11.30 at night). Approximately 1 hour later I got a phone call from Steve (a new friend I had recently made)he was calling to let me know that he and a few friends had been out and about in their cars and his friend mark had crashed, one of his passengers being Sarah. He went on to tell me that Mark, Sarah and one other passenger had all been taken to hospital and that they were very badly injured. As I was only sixteen and didn't drive I woke my mum telling her what had happened and asking her to take me to the hospital, by the time we arrived Sarah was gone and I have never gotten over loosing her. The only true friend I ever really had and there haven't been many more since.
Now that I had lost Sarah things were taking a massive backwards step and I was spending most of my time indoors watching TV with my parents and watching life pass me by. One good thing to come of spending time with my parents was the fact that my dad (whether it was out of pity or what I don't know) was starting to accept me for who I was and we began to talk again properly for the first time in nearly two years. Although I had Steve for company when I needed it I was apart from that alone, just like when Sarah had moved away and I was soon to feel even more alone and as though the whole world was against me.
In just one freezing cold Friday night in November 1996 I was to feel the happiest and the saddest I had ever felt in my entire life. Sitting in doing nothing was my plan for this night until completely out of the blue and to my great surprise and pleasure my dad asked me if I fancied a trip to the club he drank in for a game of pool. I never thought after the day I told him about my sexuality we would ever do anything together again but here he was asking me to go out with him, I couldn't hide my happiness if I had tried. We set of for the club at around 7 o`clock and after four hours playing pool with my dad and his mates Steve came to pick me up and me and him went for a pizza, leaving my dad playing pool with his friends. This was to be the last time I ever seen my dad alive and to this day the words he last spoke ring in my ears " goodbye son mind how you go in that car remember what happened to Sarah" little did he know that it was to be him that ran into problems that night and not me.
The time would have been around midnight and as my father was leaving the club two woman on the other side of the road watched him being badly beaten in what appeared to be no more than a random attack. He had all his possessions on him so it was not a robbery, just mindless violence for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The two ladies who witnessed the attack called the police and an ambulance but being elderly they were unable to intervene and stop the attack. The ambulance arrived promptly I was told but my dad died from a massive heart attack brought on by the beating. Now unbelievably I had lost my best friend and my dad back to back and I was sure this would be the end of me too but from somewhere I found a new lease of life, maybe I thought to hell with it things couldn't get worse or maybe I just knew I owed it to my dad to be strong but whatever the reason, I picked my self up and through everything I had into my writing and looking for work.
8 months later I got my first real job writing for a music magazine which led me to write many articles for many other magazines along the way. Finally I had my career that I longed for and I was making friends along the way. One Monday morning a new guy came to work in my office, a very good looking gay guy name of Paul. We instantly clicked as friends and a few months later we became a little more, we are still together today as common law partners and very much in love. With Paul and my mum by my side I have been able to put the disaster that was my life behind me and end up as the happy person I am today. Not a day goes by that I don't think about and miss my dad and Sarah but I have anew life that they both would have wanted for me and I am sure somewhere out there they are looking down on me and are very proud.
I have taken a break from the world of magazine writing and am living on Pauls massive wages from his work with computers (I guess I am a house wife of sorts) I love to do many things including writing reviews on here and also other sites. I keep my hand in at what I am good at through these sites for one day I will return to writing in some capacity. I have considered writing children's books and if I should give it a go you people will probably be the first to sample my work.
There are so many things you can add to an about me review but I feel the story of my life worth telling has all been included and it is what made me the person I am today and therefore can be all you would need to know. I hope I haven't bored you or given you the impression of someone looking for sympathy because I need no sympathy and I am sure others have terrible moments in their life too.
I just wanted you to know what I had been through in case god forbid it should ever happen to anyone else and then they would know there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
Dedicated to Sarah Rhodes and my wonderful dad, miss you both R.I.P!!