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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > November 2018 > THE CAT AMONGST THE PIGEONHOLES

THE CAT AMONGST THE PIGEONHOLES

IRAQI-IRISH YOUTUBER AND DOCUMENTARY MAKER RIYADH KHALAF HAS BROKEN AWAY FROM THE PACK AND FORGED HIS OWN PATH IN THE MEDIA INDUSTRY, AS HE REVEALS TO ATTITUDE + JAGUAR.

You’ve spoken before about struggling with self-acceptance, how have you learnt to be more accepting of who you are?

The journey to self-acceptance has taken me over a decade, and I’m not finished. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realised I need to be kinder to myself. We humans have this very nasty trait of tearing ourselves down, and worrying about other peoples’ opinions. I’m 27 years old now, and I really feel like I haven’t got time for that bullshit. I’ve decided to give the middle finger to anyone or anything that doesn’t allow me to be me, and others should do the same.

What would you say has helped you get to the point where you now think: ‘This is who I am, and I’m good at it’?

I remember when I was younger and exploring my sexuality I felt so ashamed that I had erotic feelings about men. It was like this dark secret I had. Slowly but surely, I realised that my sexuality is gloriously beautiful, and it’s something that I cherish deeply. So, I think having relationships with men has been the thing that’s allowed me to love who I am. I definitely had this Irish Catholic guilt about sex, and letting go of my religion has also really helped.

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About Attitude

The Attitude Awards issue! With Adam Rippon, Jess Glynne, George Takei, Boy George, Tituss Burgess & more. Plus: 20 years on from Matthew Shepard’s murder his parents speak about his enduring legacy
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