So what is your book Gay Man Talking about?
Gay Man Talking is all about those conversations that we often think are done, moved on from, and lets face it, many of us prefer to leave in the past. Close the door, don't look back. So, I start having them.
In a collection of stories, unpicking the relationships that surround the LGBTQ+ community, encouraging that we still have a lot to say, I go on a journey with the reader. From our parents that started our journey, to our siblings, role models, bullies at school and then friends, comes a call to action to re-open communication with those in your life. Because often we come out and 'shut up' and think the hard parts done, but what we don't always ask is how the relationships around us feel and don't give ourselves the chance to learn from them. Gay Man Talking is about joining a conversation, finding your comfort and understanding the importance of community and our allies. A book for all.
What made you come up with the idea of writing the book?
After writing an article around the often toxic label of The GBF (Gay Best Friend) I went on a quest to see if there were other areas of the LGBTQ+ lives that we often don't chat about, or feel comfortable with. Are we really happy just being the GBF, the Guncle, the plus one? Or do we want to ditch the labels and have conversations about how we really feel? Gay Man Talking came from a spark that lit a fire to encourage conversations on how we want to move forward in our lives and how the communication is far from over.
We see you got your friend Lewis Oakley to promote the book in a quite a unique way. Did it take much for him to say yes?
Ha! He did not need any convincing. Lewis loves a moment that happens to include ditching clothes and labels, so it was natural for him to embrace the lens once again. I'm thankful for all his support and I'll always be there to give it back - clothes on or off. However, support comes in many ways and the reaction within (and outside) the community to Gay Man Talking has been incredible - I'm truly thankful. I've been fortunate to have great allies like Lorraine Kelly endorse the book, and lovely recommendations from incredible writers like Matthew Cain (and many more.) Important books need a platform and need people to shout about them - our voices are our most powerful tool.
But, whoever wants to ditch their clothes and cover themselves with my book, be my guest!
Where can people buy the book?
The book is available in all good book outlets. It's available online at Amazon, WH Smiths, Waterstones and Foyles - In the UK and USA. But it's also important we support local LGBTQ+ businesses, the likes of Gays The Word, The Glasshouse, Bookish Type, QueerLit, Berts - all also have lots of copies (some signed) - grabbed yours and support LGBTQ+ businesses.
On your Twitter page you talk openly about mental health - Is it important to you that we all talk about it openly?
Mental Health is something that does and will affect us all. I've suffered and know a lot of people who also have/are suffering. It's not a taboo subject and shouldn't be treated as one. Good mental health is the difference between surviving and thriving. We must support each other and speak out on how we are feeling, or if we need help. I'm a huge advocate and supporter of mental health within (and outside) the LGBTQ+ community. I'll continue to use my platform to speak about this and hope to be of help to others. GMT is about conversations and not closing yourself off, mental health works in this way and we must communicate this.
When you're not working, what do you like to do to relax?
Get naked... and have a bath!
I'm a sucker for a holiday. I love a good (brutal) gym session - or great sex. Coffee is a staple within my life, as is brunch. I love to spend time with friends, rooftop bars and cocktails. I do not like fish... but I love a swim! Ultimately, I like to go out and live, and my friends/family are an excellent remedy for that. Also, you must try my mums Mac and cheese - now that's a meal to help you chill.
Do you have plans for more books?
I'm fortunate to have a brilliant publishing house that believes in me with JKP/Hachette. Plans are in process for more books and I have plenty more to say... Watch this space.
Gay Man Talking - All the Conversations We Never Had - Out now. https://www.hachette.co.uk/titles/daniel-harding/gay-man-talking/9781839970948/