Minor side thread to the ongoing 20s & 30s / Queer Meetup soap opera. Last Monday 26/07/2021, I went out for a meal and a drink with CW, one of the lesbians from the group. Given that this was "the morning after" the so-called "coup" (not to mention dealing with the Hafyz situation), I was an emotional wreck.
I was planning on keeping tight-lipped about the "coup" anyway. Although I was angry and upset about it, I did not wish to lay my cards on the table until I had decided what to do about it. My main reason for meeting CW that Monday evening was to discuss Hafyz. However, being an admin of that group, I was prepared for CW to bring up the topic of the "coup" and for me to dodge any questions.
During the course of the evening, CW told me that CL (a group member) was previously convicted, and served time, for child sex offences. CW is a friend of CL. CW would not usually tell anyone. But since I am a group admin, she felt that it was right that I should be made aware. Especially if the group is meeting in parks and open spaces where there might be children present. CW was considering the safety of the general public. She said that she believes CL is a reformed person and will not reoffend deliberately. Her transitioning is allegedly a cover up.
I simply listened.
Since the "coup" had only happened the night before, my emotions were still raw. That morning, Jenny & I had performed an Instagram raid. Apart from continuing to watch the "What in the actual gay" WhatsApp group, I had not heard directly from the rebel admins. I did not know what their plans would be with me (although they had no idea of my part in the Instagram raid). I had alluded to Sam L about my personal stuff (Hafyz situation) as a ruse to buy me some time. Although I agreed that the CL matter be taken into consideration, it was too early to say whether or not I would be staying on as an admin with the rebel group and what my role would be in this. There was no point in me mentioning anything to the others until I had clarified my role in the group. Which I still needed time for.
The morning after, CL messaged me.
[09:56, 27/07/2021] CL: Hi Rory CL here, how are you?
I was keeping a low profile and maintaining my silence. There were a couple of members of the group (including Yasmin who had exchanged numbers with Hafyz) who messaged me. I was feeling too paranoid and vulnerable to respond immediately. I intended to put off responding to CL until the following week. Once I had declared my true allegiance to Jenny in a way that would not cut me off from the park rebels. Once the drama died down.
Last night, I received the following messages from Jenny & CW.
I was about to respond and tell her that CW already mentioned this to me last Monday. But I decided that Jenny did not need to know that I knew about it. I did not wish to get involved. The more information that I give away, the more involved that I become.
However, I gleaned that the "C" meant Claire. And that Claire had messaged Jenny. So not all bad beef. It is reassuring to know that despite all of the tension between Jenny, myself and the 4 rebel admins, Claire has at least contacted Jenny.
10 minutes later, I received the following messages from CW.
[21:10, 02/08/2021] CW: Hey Rory, it's C New number.
Just as well that I did not mention to Jenny that CW had mentioned it to me last Monday! Again, I decided to withdraw from the conversation. It seemed that by messaging me and the other admins, CW was bringing about "aggro". At this point, I decided to hit the sack.
This morning, Of course, I found that this has exploded on the WhatsApp group. It was messy (see tabbed Queer 20s/30s LDN Chat).
What is my take on all of this?
No further comment needed.
What is Jenny's take on all of this?
[09:33, 03/08/2021] Jenny: Had you heard that info about CL before?
Again, no need to disclose to Jenny or anyone that I had heard that info about CL before. All that I needed to do was agree with Jenny. Let the members decide! Why are the admins getting off on yet another power trip from babysitting adults who are incapable of looking after themselves?
This whole conversation is ridiculous. Another exercise in inflating the admins' already swollen egos! Another specular display of unprofessionalism. Another extenuated publicity stunt of how out of control and poorly coordinated the admins are at running a group. Let alone addressing a sensitive issue in a way that cultivates respect and trust among their members. What a complete and utter shit show.
[09:34, 03/08/2021] Jenny: And the group isn't for children
I could not resist the "run by children, for children" comment.
Initially, I thought "OMG, Jenny might think that I am talking about her group". But no, Jenny understood perfectly what I meant. 😏
Last night, I pointed out to Jenny how the conversation (her presenting the facts of what happened with her Meetup group) does not need to happen in public. How funny, it is almost a prediction of what has happened here. 😓
From: Rory Duffy
This morning, I am starting to think seriously about whether or not I wish to be associated with these amateurs (Anna, Claire, Lily and Sam L). It might start to damage my reputation.
I could go with integrity, make a dramatic statement on the WhatsApp group, outline my reasons and step down as an admin. But what would that achieve apart from creating more temporary drama and less options / leverage for me?
I have come to a conclusion. While I am still an admin on the WhatsApp group, I still have some degree of influence and control. The other 4 admins must value my opinion to some extent (even if they are not asking for it). Either that, or they are scared of what I might do next. They did not see what happened on Saturday coming! Maybe keep them on their toes.
While I am an admin, I could always overthrow them completely. But now is not the time. Even if I did that now, it might make me unpopular among those poor clueless members. And where would that leave me? What would be the point of gaining control? While losing authority among members?
Apart from the fact that it would be stooping to their level. Influence is not won. It is earned. 01/10/21
[19:37, 02/08/2021] CL: Best of luck everyone.
[22:21, 02/08/2021] Claire: Hi all, many of you have noticed CL has left, after we asked them to leave the group and all in person events.
[22:51, 02/08/2021] +44: A huge shoutout to the admins who are selflessly trying to make this a safe space. Thank you ❤️
[09:33, 03/08/2021] Jenny: Had you heard that info about CL before?
[07:38, 02/08/2021] KD: Have emailed you the formal wedding invitation with timing details. Don’t bother coming home next week, it’s not really convenient to us or you either.
Initially, I tried to disengage from it. But my mum brought up the topic again at the end of the call.
Maybe they know that I might simply go ahead and run it past my aunt anyway. They feel threatened.
Why was I planning on going home? When we spoke last Monday, 26/07/2021, I was emotionally, mentally and physically crippled. Both by the Hafyz situation and the alleged "coup". It was "the morning after". It was raw. I was processing everything that had happened over the weekend. My parents decided that I was unwell and needed to go home.
On Sunday, when we spoke, I was in a much better state. Saturday evening's Queer Park Betrayal had come off without a hitch. I was feeling on top of the world. Yet the plan was to go home on Sunday 8th August. Evening, since I am hosting Jenny's Green Park Meetup.
Last night, I had an audition for a possibly residency gig at Ku Bar. It was possible that the DJ promoter might need me for the following Monday 9th August. The plan was to hold off booking my train for another 24 hours and confirming once I knew what was happening with the audition.
We had an argument over FaceTime. They were doing what they do best. Controlling, dictating and emotionally blackmailing me. Of course, they said that it is in my best interests. I threw it back at them by suggesting that it was more in their best interests than mine. Maybe this is why my mum is reacting personally to something that I said.
Do I get on well with my older brother? Yes. My parents find him easier to raise than me. He is sensible, compliant and family-oriented. I am the "wild one". My brother finds my parents easier to deal with than me. Probably because he is more conventional.
Clearly, my parents are concerned with my emotional, mental and physical wellbeing. But, like Sonia said to me a year ago, they have a strange way of caring. Every weekend, I am going out. 3 or 4 nights consecutively. Drinking, partying and socialising. Photos are emerging on Facebook. My parents are using the platform to spy on me. They have been critical and judgemental of who I am now. They do not like how much weight I have lost since coming off medication last year. They use words like "weird" and "gaunt" to describe how I look. Even though I am at my happiest looking the way in which I look now. They should be congratulating and complimenting me!
Over the last 12 months, I have worked hard at it. Not only in the diet and exercise regime. But also in the wardrobe choices that I have made. My parents should be asking me "are you comfortable with the way in which you look?" Taking care of my mental health. Rather than imposing their own views and beliefs onto me. It should be an open conversation. "How do you feel?" At this point in my life, I have felt more confident in myself than I have ever felt at any other point in my life. Despite what they want to think of me. What I think of myself is important. Those Facebook photos are a reflection of my increased confidence.
A year ago, I would have never have had the confidence to pull off what I engineered on Saturday night. Distancing myself from my parents has played a part in my increased confidence. I am trying not to blame them. But getting out of that family environment and associated cycles of criticism and self doubt has helped.
Better update my privacy settings...
Do my parents know that I am queer? Yes. Are they accepting of it? No. This is something that I have realised only now. In theory, they say that they are. In practice, they are not. My mum shies away from talking about guys and relationships. My dad will not even engage with me at all. The fact that I had to come out twice because they conveniently forgot says a lot.
I am beginning to realise that my parents are homophobic, transphobic and xenophobic. For example, their attitudes towards trans people. Branding them as "selfish". Asking me to date only British guys. Encouraging me to date girls.
The family environment is not accepting of who I am. It is a generational issue. They are too focused on what society thinks of me to focus on what I think of myself. Talking to them is starting to damage my mental health.
The above message from my mum says it all. Actually, I agree with her. It is not convenient for me to spend £50 on a GWR train ticket to put myself in a toxic environment for a few days. In which I am surrounded by discrimination and negativity. What is the point? No thanks.
My mum was even trying to dictate what train I take to Oxford. Travel the Saturday morning rather than directly from Friday's gig. Why should I? I am an adult. I can make these sorts of decisions for myself. Why should they take that personally? Yes my parents have booked a Travelodge. They have put a lot of thought into it. Well done. Presumably, they are expecting me to stay there with them. Another example of controlling, dictating and emotional blackmailing behaviour.
At least I know where I get it from. 😟
I might simply attend this wedding and disassociate myself completely from the family unit. Or not attend at all. I do not wish to be a part of a family unit that is so negative and discriminatory. My parents are not planning on attending the evening reception. I can always attend and not engage with them. What party poopers.
Just over a year ago, I was on the verge of saying to my cousin that I wished that I could substitute my parents with her parents.
[20:47, 17/05/2020] Rory Duffy: I can't stand the negativity of mum and dad
It is wise to not see my parents until the wedding. I might even book my own accommodation in Oxford. Rather than have to stay with them and pander to their rules and regulations. Attend the wedding separately. Avoid my parents. I know that this is a little extreme. And it might cause upset and offence. But I feel like doing that. Disengaging from them. I could even ask my cousin to put me on a separate table from them. I would rather not have them watching me like a hawk throughout the entire wedding breakfast. I would rather sit with my cousins' cousins Anna & Nina. That would be fun.
On the other hand, I might simply not attend at all. Let my aunt, uncle and cousins understand the reasons why. I have stepped out of the family. Let them deal with the consequences.
Whatever. No point responding to that message. Or engaging with it. Unless I hear any different. The best thing that I can do is to continue living my life in London. I am getting better at caring a little less. Or not caring at all.
The wedding is in a month. No need to tell my aunt and uncle that I will not be attending. I can cross that bridge if and when we need to. I always have that option if I need it. I am in a stronger position than my parents. I am no longer relying on them. They are relying on me to attend the wedding. I should not feel under pressure to attend if I feel less comfortable. No hard feelings on my cousin. I will send a financial contribution towards the wedding gift. And explain to him what has happened with my parents. It would only be more embarrassing for them if I were absent.
There is no need to say anything right now. Let those words come from them! Let them do the manifesting! If my parents tell me not to attend the wedding. Cue the advice of my care coordinator (in response to the "I will not reply any other texts you will send"). And of my MH Champion (every time she has shown a person that she does not care whichever way, they come back). My response will be "fine!" Let them scramble. And be prepared for the possibility that they might not back down. Taking care of myself is the secret to not caring.
GS picnic cancelled. Boo. Tracy has found someone else to perform at her party. Boo again. Well, in all fairness, Ade did say not to hold them to that date when I initially enquired about the date of the picnic. I took that risk by declining a music booking for in favour of a picnic. A picnic that was cancelled due to the rain. This year, summer has been crap and spring was completely non-existent. What should I expect?
Since I am trying to distance myself from the Queer 20s/30s London crowd for a week until the drama and hilarity subsides, I need alternative options for Saturday. I do not want to be sitting at home lying low. The only option that remains is attending ERD's birthday party. Which is something that I would like to do anyway. Since he has been so supportive of me recently. The only issue is that ML is also attending. I feel uncomfortable around him. Not to mention triggered by WhatsApp groups at this point. Understandably so.
I have asked CB to RSVP on both of our behalves. A previous entry (Read More: Listening Place 4) explains how unreliable she can be despite her best intentions. I would rather not subject myself to disappointment by having to travel alone. By appointing her as spokesperson for both of us, I am putting myself in a less vulnerable position. If she cancels, she would be cancelling for both of us. Which would make it less likely for her to cancel. Safeguarded. ✅
Notice how I also tried to discourage CB from looking at the train times. Until she proposed booking in advance. Which I endorsed ("Cool"). I know her pattern of setting a precedent and subsequently bailing on it. Or committing to something, backing out of her own commitment (despite enforcing that commitment on others) and accosting me if I respond disappointed or not at all. I am learning how to manage my expectations. Let us see how this plays out. It might be worth thinking of something alternative to do this Saturday in case she does bail.
[11:21, 03/08/2021] Rory Duffy: GS picnic has been cancelled and by this point, my gig client found someone else. 🙄
[13:06, 03/08/2021] CB: If we go to Brighton why not go early so we can go to the beach? And then last train home. I’d rather make a day of it! X
[13:22, 03/08/2021] CB: It’s actually better for me to go via east Croydon? X
[13:58, 03/08/2021] CB: I hope to come on Saturday @ERD and Rory too! Xx
[23:56, 20/07/2021] Tracy: Long shot but are you still playing the sax and for hire … you played my party 2 years ago and was amazing 🙏
He made me feel uncomfortable. I was too drunk anyway. I walked. I sent Jenny a dozen or so messages on my walk home from G-A-Y (see tabbed). I arrived home late and devoured an entire jar of pesto. 🙄
I basically left him with my girls and Prosecco bottle and told him to get on with it. For the remainder of the weekend, he was messaging me and trying to call me but I was crying for 2 days. In the end, I asked him the money for the Prosecco and my hat back (which he still has). He apologised for being unsure of what he wanted. He said that we had both learned something from this experience. I was like “yeah sure, speak soon darling 😘”
Lesson: never trust a stranger with my personal property? 👌🤠
Sorry to hear, he sounds annoying and a waste of time! I hate it when men try to say that you have issues, too. Have I had any further contact with him?
That was it. Anyway, I sent the Last Message. 💁♂️
We will see...
Men suck. And not in a good way!
Yes, they do that, too. 😉
[23:12, 24/07/2021] Rory Duffy: I’m in g-a-y balcony with Hafyz
So, it seems like Anna is doing our publicity for us (see tabbed)...
This message effectively proves:
Alternatively, should I lay claim to the responsibility of creating a Meetup page? Or should I simply say that a Meetup page has been created?
Just to alleviate any confusion. I have created a Meetup page for us all so we can continue to enjoy balmy Saturday afternoons out in Green Park. All admins are aware of this and Lily has already scheduled in the event listings, which you can find here:
[22:11, 03/08/2021] Cyrece: 🏳️🏳️ @Rory Duffy I'm holding up a white flag. I'm seeing you're reading all of these messages. Please can you come and explain??
[22:23, 03/08/2021] +44: “Whilst they remained admins of the group, micromanaging from some became a problem. A final email on Sunday 25th July made me question why I was tolerating borderline threatening messages (from one particular admin) when everything had been simple for years prior. It was at that point that I decided to remove all admins who I did not know.”
Thank you, Alex. That would be Anna.
Maybe a quick:
Anna is hosting this Saturday 7th August. Hope you can all make it 🌈
Too late. They have created a duplicate Meetup page.
[03/08/2021, 20:45:47] Anna: All those who have received an email from Jenny, if you're wondering, it's about me
[03/08/2021, 20:53:41] James: On the meetup page under leadership team yeah
[03/08/2021, 20:57:41] CW: @Anna Fill us in on the gossip! What was the email 😂
[03/08/2021, 21:02:59] Anna: There you go
[03/08/2021, 21:08:08] Anna: We asked him to revert back but haven't heard from him
[03/08/2021, 21:08:42] Yasmin: Oh wow.
[03/08/2021, 21:13:30] +44 left
[03/08/2021, 21:36:58] +44 7515 379171: You think this is confusing wait till you see TeneT
[03/08/2021, 21:44:20] +44: What happened to Jenny, why had she created her own group?
[03/08/2021, 21:48:27] +44: I love our park events, just worry this Jenny drama will be the focus for all the upcoming events…and this will only push people away…
[03/08/2021, 22:02:59] Lily: This is *exactly* what all the other admins said to Jenny and she said she didn't like that idea and proceeded to remove us from the admin group etc..
[04/08/2021, 00:59:23] Lily: Rory honestly you're really confusing everyone at this point
[04/08/2021, 01:05:47] +44: I literally was ready to go on my first meet on Green Park this weekend but now I have no idea what's going on xD
Rory spent the first few years of his life in an ice cave, carving out his palace of wonder. He's a bit of a love doll, but he who melts the ice shall have his reward.
332 Brixton Road
Samaritans, 24 hours, on 116123 or email:
I have been recommended to acknowledge and process all that I have been though, where it all started from how it has affected me.