I can clearly remember the nervousness that I felt when I first built The Shack Out Back online. It was a tiny little thing, built with my severely limited HTML knowledge and a few colors, purple and black, to represent the site as a whole. But the one thing that worried me most was exposing a part of myself that I worried people would use as an excuse to hate me. To make wild assumptions about me, send hate mail, go out of their way to shut me down…sometimes, people can be absolutely heartless. And to become the target of their anger and loathing is never a very pleasant position to be in.
At the same time, I didn’t want to lie about who I was. I was being given an opportunity to share my voice with other people in an open and honest way. People who were willing to understand, agree, or at least tolerate, me and my deepest feelings for what they are. So I let my readers know the truth. I am attracted to teenage boys. It’s what I write about, it’s what I feel, and I wanted people to know that ahead of time, so there were no giant dramatic surprises thrown in later on. And while I’ve definitely had my fair share of nasty comments, judgements, vile treatment, and disgust thrown my way in the past…I’m happy to say that the overall reaction to me and my stories has been incredibly positive. And being true to myself is a decision that I will never regret.
MAPs, or ‘Minor Attracted Persons’, is the newest term being used to describe my particular attraction these days. Hehehe, they change the terminology every now and then as society tries to figure out what’s wrong with us. There’s nothing wrong with us. Get over it already.
That’s such a comforting word to use in this situation. ‘Us’. Because we are normal, everyday, people just like you. We have a community, a culture, and a family to call our very own. Which brings me to the ‘MAPs irl Podcast’, which posts a new episode roughly once a month. Each episode runs anywhere from one hour to ninety minutes, and consists of an entertaining discussion about the attraction and the effects of it on MAPs around the globe. Intelligent, unscripted, and wildly entertaining, you can tune in at any time and enjoy the playful banter of creator, Finlay, and his two co-hosts, Peace and Murr. It’s refreshing to hear a mature (and sometimes hilariously immature) approach to something that most people seem to be so afraid to talk about. Why? I would think that something you didn’t quite understand would inspire you to try to understand it…not simply get angry and deny its existence.
I don’t know. Maybe that’s just me.
Starting from…let’s say ‘humble’ beginnings, hehehe…Finlay’s podcast has evolved quite a bit over its nine episode run so far. The audio is also improved, and all three hosts seem to have hit their comfortable stride in terms of discussing topics like age of consent, attraction, activism, and the like. The channel is taking a very brave approach to starting a conversation that I think is seriously needed in this day and age. It exists as a small oasis for MAPs that is supportive, understanding, and welcoming to all. I think you guys should definitely give them a listen and let them know what you think.
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Finlay admitted to having zero experience when he first ventured out to share his voice with the rest of the world…but then again, neither did I. All in their early 20’s, Finlay, Peace, and Murr, really do remind me a lot of myself, and how those first few shaky steps towards a public stage to speak your truth, consequences be damned…can truly lead to something beautiful in the long run. So I wish you guys the absolute best! And I want you to know that I had a blast talking to you all! Hehehe!
What? Oh, I didn’t mention that? 😛
Yes…I, myself, have personally appeared on one of their recent podcasts! And I know that 99% of you guys have never heard me actually speak in real time, or have even been lucky enough to catch me in a text based chatroom…but Finlay did contact me, a big fan of my story “Untouchable”, and asked if I’d be a part of their podcast. I was all too happy to do so, and it really was a lot of fun. I’d love to come back some time for more giggles.
So MAPs irl and Comicality came together for an hour long discussion in Episode 9, which is down below. My voice has been slightly altered of course (because…the internet), and I was dealing with an echoed delay at the time that I couldn’t get rid of on my end at the time. So, I would speak into the mic, and then hear my own voice a second or two later. It was like I was talking over myself. Weird. So if I pause or stutter on occasion, that’s why. But we powered through it anyway and I think it came out great. Just, if I sound weird, it’s just me trying to ignore the sound of my own voice. Hehehe, which is what most people do anyways!
Be warned, this podcast is openly discussing adult/youth themes. So, if that’s not your thing…to each their own. But there’s nothing raunchy or shocking about it. It just us having some laughs and being friends in a world where you can never have enough!
Thanks to all three of the MAPS irl Podcast hosts! Keep doing what you’re doing, and I’ll be listening! ((Hugz))
You can find all of their connections by clicking on the following links: