Note added 24th Nov: Ok, Shannon just moved his blog (and forgot to tell us!). I’ve updated the link bottom right, but I’ll leave this post because I like the pix. TC
I’ve been pleased to carry on this blog a link to a young gay Aussie guy called Shannon Boh (the last bit reflects some Malaysian ancestry). Formerly known as ‘Swimbabe’ and once a regular contributor to the ‘Young Lifter’ Forum (also linked from this page), he has been building a reputation as a photographer in Melbourne (and, briefly, in Sydney). Once the regular subject of another photographer, ever willing to be ‘captured’ in one of his monumental collection of Speedos, he chose to share his life with us in a brilliant blog. Dave and I have enjoyed reading the astoundingly sensible stuff he has written about the gay lifestyle, the obvious precautions one needs to take, and the fount of wisdom about the emotions and indeed the difficulties which this lifestyle choice can bring: not least, coming out to one’s friends and family. That last one – family – was the real problem for me, I have to admit. My grandparents knew already and were kind of proud and instantly supportive: my parents – well, in denial for a while. All’s been fine for years now, but I still shudder at the memory of the day I told my parents that I was to be a father – in a pavement cafe in South Africa, after I talked myself into a kind of hole from which there was no escape except the truth. Arrgh.
Shannon’s blog has suddenly disappeared. His Facebook page promoting his photography, ‘The Australian Male’, is still there but not updated for ages. More than once, Shannon’s followers have been anxious when he stopped posting – as I said, by his own admission, he has had some serious problems at times – and he has recently been posting to the effect that his huge presence on the net might be losing him work. Would you engage a photographer for your wedding who enjoyed appeared in skimpy Speedos on the internet…?
We’re all hoping that all is well with Shannon, and that this is just a deliberate attempt (albeit awful sudden, mate!), to reduce his exposure. I’m not going to help: I’m posting a couple of my fave images of Shannon and hope that, if anyone knows what’s going on, or knows for definite that Shannon is OK, they might leave a comment here.
That’s the kind of guy Shannon is – we don’t know him, of course, but we feel we do. We share his ups and downs, and we feel that we care for him. I hope he realises the amount of support and love that is out here if he needs it.
Ah… that last one. Reading a book! If only it could be one of mine (sigh!).
Stay safe, Shannon, and let us all know what’s going on – if only to say ‘goodbye’.