Brothers and families. The point of them is what? Seriously EDIT: This has actually ended up being a full on boring rant. Never intended. I just typed and typed and typed. Soz. SOOO REWIND In my family setting there were two boys. We’d keep each other smiling in our very strict upbringing (Catholic). Even our holidays were underpinned by religious dogma with __ to places like Lourdes. It was not fun but with the addition of the brother looking back it was a lot easier. For instance, we stayed over at some monastery on our trip to Morocco and after midnight mass we’d sneak out to find out where the nearest gay discos were in Casablanca. I was 15 and he was 17 and we wanted a passionate boogie on the dancefloor – afterall it was our summer holiday! So I suppose you could say we were thick as thieves for a time. He’d defend me in school, get me Kylie and Janet cassettes and hide them whenever our mother decided to “cleanse” our bedrooms. Initially it was a relief to have a gay brother as I could confide in him my secrets and feelings which naturally I was deeply ashamed about thanks to our good ole Catholic upbringing. Everything I was experiencing growing up, he’d already been there and done that. Even down to the incredibly fundamental rite of passage of getting your first gay magazine and sex toy. This was the sort of advice I could never ask the parents. So after some time I decided to come out to my family. I was out at university and was living a pretty damn fabulous gay life surrounded by incredibly good friends. Financially I was supported by my family. I knew my parents would immediately withdraw this funding but I thought I’d have the love and support of my brother. I didn't expect him to come out but I thought perhaps especially as the parents had begun subtlety arranging and co-coordinating a future marriage for him (like it was 17th Century!). Not surprisingly as my mother turned the furnace up on my brothers engagement, we decided to go it alone, leave em and made an agreement that we would come out together and move into a nice humble flatshare in central London. Do a runner essentially. Dramatic to be sure but I think we were both incredibly scared of getting married to people we didn't love, were attracted to remotely knew. Soooooo I came out. Over dinner. I recall potatoes and fish were served. And, a whole lot of silence from my brother. I was removed from the house in less than three hours. I stayed with friends – an immense pillar of support for me from then on. I was called randomly a week later by the family lawyer thinking maybe an olive branch was being planted by my brother who, I’d hoped, soothed my parents anger. Instead, I was given a stipend to live on the condition that took a different surname, relinquished my right to any family assets and wills and was not allowed to make any contact with them. The co-creator of this “contract” was my brother. Ha! Where is this going? This little message has become a full-on rant/therapy post. Initially it was just a side-bar comment on family. Bleurgh. Sorry. I’ve had far too much vodka and its his birthday today. I miss his embrace and the laughs we used to have. I don't understand brothers and family.