A poem about writing and waiting, and waiting to write.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

I cannot pay bills with exposure.
I am overly-exposed, as is.
Excuses are meaningless words,
Wasted breath with barbed connotations.

Forgetfulness is often the reason.
Did you forget I need to eat?
The only consistency I get from you is to be rewarded
When you see fit. Or if you remember.

I am not worth the money, it seems. It feels.
Life took away my killer instinct long ago,
“I’m too nice” for the biz, I hear 3 months on,
When sending an email asking for what’s mine.

I sit late at night. Reading old emails. An inbox lies static…


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Damien TUPINIER on Unsplash

Long before Daenerys Targaryen, there reigned an Irish ‘mad queen’ in the form of a honeybee. Ruling the bog lands of Ardee, this queen bee earned this title because of her fierce temperament and a strong army of protective worker bees.

And so, on visiting her on one of my first day’s beekeeping, I learned two things. Firstly, how fascinating these insects were in their thousands, as they flew around me, and equally, I learned how fast I could run away.

Then, I thought beekeeping would be straight-forward, practical and dare I say ‘easy’. That with a certain amount of…


Her attempts to fit into a world that despised her made her an LGBT cult hero. Star Trek: Picard just made it offical.

Image for post
Image for post
A screenshot of Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) & Raffi (Michelle Hurd), Star Trek Picard Episode 12.

As a gay man interested in sci-fi, gaming and comics, I’ve faced my fair share of tokenism.

First comes my raised eyebrow as massive production companies toy with the idea of including LGBTQI representatives into their stories. What follows is predictable. Diehard fans argue how the ‘PC culture’ of the world is ruining these organic storylines.

They argue that in world’s full of aliens and spaceships and magic, the least realistic thing going is a gay character. How these characters are ‘made gay’ just to suit a current political climate (as opposed to you know, representing all walks of life?)


Everyone Should Get to Celebrate Ireland. Bigotry is the only thing which should be banned at a St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Cooper Le on Unsplash

Like many people born in Ireland, I watch with fascination as the world turns green in every sense to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Ireland, this small nation adrift in the Atlantic, is front and center on the world stage. Every man, woman and child is Irish on March 17th.

St. Patrick’s Day is a keen reminder of our nation’s influence, and importantly, our shared history. But Irish people here never take kindly to a fuss being made. So the pageantry we see on our TV screens or on social media of the day’s celebrations— well, we find it amusing.

But…


For a long time I treated my sexuality as a weakness — it’s time to realize it’s my power.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Harry Quan on Unsplash

Who doesn’t love the idea of a superhero? I’ve spent my whole life reading about them. People who surpass the limits of physics (and society)…someone whose sole purpose in their world is to do good, unimaginable things when hope is all but lost.

But for me, favorite thing about superheroes isn’t fancy tools or gadgets, nor breathing fire or flying through the sky at light speed. No, what I admire most is the superheroes kryptonite — that hidden weakness which makes them vulnerable. When they overcome it, it makes them inspirational.

Every hero has one. And that’s what makes heroes…


The ‘No Femmes’ mentality reinforces that archaic idea that being openly gay is something to be ashamed of. It’s time to challenge that.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Christian Sterk on Unsplash

Before I came out and accepted myself for being gay, I was trying desperately to hide it.

For the longest time, I tried everything in my power to edit myself. My voice. My manner. The words I used or didn’t use. How I walked. Laughed. And cried.

Anything to make myself appear as a traditional man’s man.

As a gay man who lives in the countryside, I rely heavily on dating apps to remind me of the fact I’m not ‘the only gay in the village’.

That there are more out there, like me, albeit a few hundred kilometers away.


The Sims turns 20 — a game that‘s showed the world it’s more than OK to be a gay.

Image for post
Image for post
The Sims 4. Photograph: Electronic Arts

I was 8 years old when The Sims debuted. That’s over 20 years ago, back when dialup Internet and Windows 98 were in their prime.

It was also the time when I (and much of the world really) didn’t know, understand or accept what being gay was actually all about.

But the inclusion of LGBT Sims from the start, the game mechanics that your characters could be gay and that more importantly, other Sims accepted this — was a huge deal for me growing up.

Discovering Sims could be gay — and this was perfectly normal

I had only just bought the game when I murdered my first Sim. It’s a…


If reluctant readers have taught us anything, it’s that we need to reform how we teach reading —and embrace new ways of teaching the curriculum.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Miika Laaksonen on Unsplash

When I was training to become a teacher, I was told in a literacy lecture that a reluctant reader was any student who ‘does not show an interest’, or ‘who resists, reading books.’

When I heard this, I remember asking my lecturer — “Books? What about comics? Graphic novels?”

“They don’t really count” she said.

That was over a decade ago, but still many teachers (and parents) I know, hold the belief that graphic novels and comics are overly-simplified and have long been distanced to the far reaches of the classroom— and this needs to change.

If we are ever…


I never decided to be gay — but I did decide to come out. And it’s important to share your experiences, to help those still on that journey.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Zac Durant on Unsplash

For many members of the LGBTQI+ community, coming out is a monumental occasion. It carries enormous pressure and weight, regardless of who you are coming out too — whether it’s to your family, your friends, or to yourself.

It’s 5 years since I came out. Beforehand, growing up, no one could have convinced me I would ever come to terms with being gay.

And so with that famous line from The Killer’s…


Born when being gay was illegal, it took drag queens on TV to show me being gay was not only OK, but pretty fun too.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Rochelle Brown on Unsplash

I was born in Ireland, 1991, just two years before homosexuality would finally be decriminalized in Ireland.

Technically, for a short period of my life, it was illegal for me to be, well, me. The aftermath of this was a society and generation still teetering with the idea on if it really was OK to be gay or not.

They were old times, with old ways and traditions swamped in religion, and with even older Internet. It is non too surprising that growing up, I didn’t have many gay icons, if at all.

Familiar faces to help figure out what…

Barry O'Rourke

Freelance Writer. Journalist. School Teacher. Coffee Lover. Views often Defy Gravity. Irish. ✍️ orourkebarry55[at]gmail[dot]com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store