At the start of the Summer, I moved back home from London to Southend.
Back to the same streets I’ve walked down to deliver papers, to see Grandpa, to go into town all my life.
The Playdays bus in the park playground that Grandma would take us to, that suddenly my nephew is too big for it.
The schoolmates I see at the train station each morning, who I don’t want to talk to, because they’re wearing a suit, of course their life is sorted.
The care home I pass where my Grandad died. And my Dad, four years later.
The bench where someone first made a pass at me. The bench where I broke down and a stranger comforted me.
The vicars I see after church at Waitrose, where Mum and I eat the moussaka for Sunday lunch, again.
The bedroom I’ve always had. The childlike Tigger pyjamas with my name on that I bought weeks after my Dad died.
The sea that, when you look south, you can always see.
The same sense that I’m making the wrong choices so I’ll never escaping living at home.
This week the landscape changed. the Grain A chimney that had forever been part of the view from Southend seafront was demolished.
The outlook is different.
So I bought new pyjamas. I ran along the beach. I tried a new church. I found the changes to make sure I’m going on, not going back.
The clarity and courage to make these step changes came from talking to new friends, faithful friends and (for now) an LGBT-specific counsellor. Always talk, always listen, always encourage.