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Interview with Kevin St John

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Escaping from a failed relationship in his home county of Essex, from a boyfriend who didn’t understand the concept of monogamy, Kevin decided to join his friends Bev and Rachel to the warmer climes of Australia.

He felt that a relationship with no trust was like a mobile phone with no signal – all games, so he ended the two year contract he had with the current one and went to seek a better tariff (Kev’s words, not mine).
He started keeping a diary of his escapades and travels, and I came across it and have to say I chuckled like a loon. Kevin has a dry, witty sense of humour, a way with words and to another writer, that’s awesome. I wanted to find out a bit more about him so invited him for this interview.

He’s not famous. Yet. He’s not a celebrity. But what Kev IS is a normal (well, kinda) person, who faced something many of us face, and it’s always great to speak to someone who comes from the same walk of life as everyone else but goes away and does something a little bit different.

And so here we are.

Kevin St John

Kev, when you spontaneously decided to follow Bev and Rachel to Oz, did you have a plan? You said that you worked in a bar previously, so was this the intention job wise when you got there? Tell us a bit about your preparation to go back packing.

Hi Sue! Thanks for reading my diaries. Glad you like them. Well, firstly there WERE no plans, and no real preparations. Before the words, “I’d love to come” came out of my mouth I had no idea I was interested in going! It was quite a shock. There was about two weeks between then and getting on the plane, so enough time to get a few things done – hand in my notice, cancel Netflix, that kinda thing, but not much else. I’ve done a lot of bar work, so I guess that option was always there, but the majority of my preparation involved applying for new credit cards. Not my wisest move. I had no money in the bank and no time to save, so it was the right thing to do at the time.

From what I’ve read, you have a bit of an issue with the way you look, a little bit of low self-esteem. Your friend Michael seems to be on the right track by telling you to have faith in yourself. I gather a lot of this stemmed from the relationship with your ex, Phil. Have you managed to shake this off now and realise you’re actually quite a catch?

Self-esteem has always been an issue for me, and I suspect it always will be. Phil compounded it, at least in my head. Maybe I was finding insults where none were meant, but it is hard to find the positive in comments like “you’re gonna start a fire if your thighs keep rubbing like that”. Nowadays I try to fake it, and am now having to stop myself from over compensating and going too far the other way. Turns out there is a fine line between confident and cocky-son-of-a-bitch, and I can find myself on the wrong side of it. Michael is amazing, and thankfully sees me in a way I struggle to see myself. He tells me I can’t accept compliments, and makes me say thank you if I ever get one. So thanks for saying I’m a catch. I’m like a cold virus.

You say you had relationships with women up until you were twenty, when you finally admitted lady parts didn’t do it for you. You’d been hiding, suppressing the fact you were gay until something snapped in your brain and you decided you were ready. Tell us about how this happened. It’s a common trope in romance stories and in life and I’m interested in your coming out story.

I knew from primary school my brain was hardwired different to the other kids. I’d been flicking through comics and seen a topless picture of Superman, and it had given me a funny feeling ‘down there’. But people refer to it as your ‘sexual preference’ so I thought there was a choice, like ‘chicken or fish’, and I chose to be straight. I got off with a right couple of wronguns just to lose my ‘V’ plates, but it didn’t work. I ended up having to dump my girlfriend because I fancied her brother. Then I got drunk and told the world on Facebook. Had a bit of a breakdown. Ran away to Scotland and nearly froze to death in a Welcome Break car-park. You know, standard stuff. Turned out to be a complete anti-climax though. No one could give two shits. For a long time, I carried that weight around my neck, but it turns out it wasn’t a weight at all. Just a really fabulous accessory.

Your Gran was obviously a special person in your life. She had these words of wisdom to say to you – “Promise me you’ll experience something new every day. That way, when you get to my age you’ll have lots of lovely memories to look back on and you can enjoy them again and again.”
Do you feel you’re doing her proud and honouring your promise to her to have these experiences?

My Gran was pretty damn cool. Well ahead of her time. She built her own house! She taught me from a very young age to appreciate every day. “It will never exist again,” she’d say. “Make sure you make the most of it,” and I do. I cram more into my life than anyone I know, though admittedly my goals are now often more “binge-watch that new TV series I like” rather than “quick, go climb a mountain”. Do I make her proud though? I dunno. There’s a lot of stuff I’ve done that I’M not proud of, but I do try to live life to the fullest. Of course, the side effect from this is that I always feel guilty going to sleep. There’s always something else I could be doing. I think I suffer from FOMO. Fear of missing out. I’m a homo with fomo.

I laughed long and hard at the story about you being arrested in Hong Kong by the stern faced Mr Wang. Personally I’m glad you didn’t end up as someone’s bitch in prison. Has anything else exciting like this happened to you since?

Wow, stuff happens to me all the time. I’m a stuff magnet. I’m a total clutz, often oblivious to my surroundings, usually in my own little world. Hence my diary being called ‘Away With The Fairies’ – it works on several levels (it’s like I’m a genius). I have no doubt that my life would make a cracking cartoon, some comedy sound effects would really enhance it. Just this morning a pigeon flew into my face. THWACK. I’d seen it coming. My brain had sent out the warning “that bird is flapping right at me” but unfortunately my mouth had interpreted it as a reason to shout “BIRD FLAPS” in the middle of the High Street. It helps that I can see the funny side, otherwise I’d be a quivering, rocking mess in the corner.

Now I have a bone to pick with you. Your journal starts on the 15th November and ends four days later. I need to read more! Tell me your plans – are you going to update it, or do we let you fade off into obscurity and simply go off enjoy your new Oz lifestyle? I think that would be a great pity.

It really depends on if people want to read it. I’m conscious that publishing your diaries is an EXTREMELY arrogant thing to do, like “look how cool I am!” or, in my case, “can you believe I’m such a doofus?” I publish a new entry when I reach a certain target of new subscribers and am convinced people want it, so if your readership enjoy what they read and spread the word I might be playing catch up. But that’s fine. There is WAY more that happened. A little secret for Divine readers; I’m actually back from Oz. Got back a while ago, but I’ve been too busy sorting out some of the ramifications of the trip to publish. I guess the secret will be out when people get to February 29th. Leap year. Technically I slept with a five year old birthday boy but let’s not even go there.

 Any future plans?

I’d like to see my diaries proving popular. Maybe get them published properly, in print I mean. I’ve got lots of photo evidence. Hell, even a TV series of my adventure would work well. Wow, I’m such an attention whore aren’t I? Thing is it goes from PG-rated to more ’18 certificate’ pretty sharpish when I arrive in Sydney. What do the Americans call that, ‘R’ rated? Sounds a bit Pirate-y to me. It won’t be for everyone, but look at ’50 Shades’ at the moment. Ooh, this could be 50 Shades of Gay! I just thought of that…

I hate to burst your bubble but that book title has already been done…it was only a matter of time.

Do you have any plans to come back to your home county (and mine) of Essex anytime soon to visit the family? If you do, I need to buy you a beer and catch up on what you’ve been up to. I seem to make it a habit of befriending young gay men; I think it’s a fetish, personally, as I can’t seem to stop. #collectagaymanophobia

It’s true, us Gays are awesome. Well, I’m back in Essex so a beer is totally be on the cards. Actually, no it’s not. I’m more of a double-vodka kinda guy. And I’m pretty sure Collectagaymanophobia would be a fear of befriending young Gays, so you may actually be suffering from the far more common Queercleptomania. Or possibly Wannahomoitis. I’ll look forward to it.

 

You know, I realised a day after I wrote #collectagaymanophobi a that is was totally the wrong thing to say lol. So thank you for putting me straight on that one. *Grins*

Kev, thanks so much for being with us today and answering these questions. I for one have been very entertained by the replies and I’m sure our readers will too! We hope to see more of these diaries soon.

 

Website: getawaywiththefairies.com
Twitter: @kev_away

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