I always going to marry Stephen Gately. I just knew it. In forth class I didn’t care that Zara Power said he was gay (hadn‘t a clue what she meant), I didn’t mind when he came out - like most Boyzone fans I was fiercely protective of lickle Stevo and just plain glad he wasn’t marrying Keri Ann - I brushed off the comments “you do know he is gay?” with my own brand of odd humor “oh that was just a publicity stunt everyone knows his really straight…”. I have often explained to my boyfriend of many a year at this stage his only Stephen Gately bait. I think he knew I was actually serious and that wasn’t my own brand of odd humor. More importantly I was going to marry Stephen when Boyzone split, when his single didn’t reach number one and when his record label dropped him. I was a Stephen Gately fan and that meant I’d buy all the Boyzone albums, listen to his solo album, support him on the West End, vote for him on Dancing on Ice and google him when he wasn’t doing much at all. I was in it for the long haul.
I woke up this morning to a large number of missed calls, texts (messages on twitter/ facebook etc that I’d no idea about). The first text was asking me if I was ok and they were really sorry about the chap from Boyzone. I felt like I’d be punched - “not Stephen not Stephen not Stephen” I thought but the next text confirmed it. Stephen Gately had died. My Stephen Gately. Who I wrote I love… 4 eva… probably a million times whilst doodling at school. Who when I’m upset I stick on his song Shooting Star or some dodgy video I’d taped off the TV. Who I was banned from playing on College Radio. Who I’ve travelled far and wide to see and often spend too long rambling to strangers about. Who I was always going to marry.
In the past six months I’d invites to a few PR events where I knew Stephen and the rest of Boyzone would be present and despite that being the ultimate fan girl I didn’t go. While I’d meet the rest of Boyzone and Louis I’d never met Stephen and I didn’t really know if I wanted too. I’d him build so much in my head - what if he was just plain rude or thought I was crazy? After all I’m a grown up now I should act like one I though fainting or screaming wouldn’t go down well. I seriously doubted my ability to say anything but I love you and I want to marry you. Could I even stop myself from kidnapping him?
I blogged a few months ago after seeing Boyzone in the O2 two nights in a row about how much Boyzone meant to me growing up and how much their reunion now means to me. It got printed on the official Boyzone so I like to think maybe he read it. Now more then ever I am so thankful that Boyzone reunited not because I got to see them a few more times all together but because it made Stephen so happy and that was all any Gately Girl ever wanted. He needed Boyzone more than the others and the other members really did take care of him. There was always that sense that he was more fragile. I put it down to him being pisces.
I’m sad now because there won’t be anymore tours and albums but also because he won‘t get to see the new Harry Potter movie and he loved Harry Potter. He’d of loved Up and the X Factor. I like to think he’d of ended up involved in the Michael Jackson tribute next year. He wanted to adopt and he’d of been a great Dad. He never got to have an Irish wedding…
When Stephen Gately joined Boyzone in 93 being gay in Ireland was illegal and now his dead we still don’t allow gay men and women to marry. (I know a form of it is on the way but still?)
My heart goes out to the rest of Boyzone who I have as much love for - I can’t imagine how they feel and his family who he adored esp. his sister and Mother. His Mother was so proud in the beginning she’d let fans in to the house for tea and give them a sneaky peak of Stephens room. And of course his partner Andrew with whom Stephen seemed settled, stable and in love.
If I had to pick a mastermind topic Stephen Gately would be it. I know a massive amount from the simple standard stats any fan girls should know such as height, birthday, favourite colour to his dislikes and likes, who worked for him, his dreams and then of course the rumors that were true and ones that were false and the rumors people had never heard of. I knew Stephen Gately and I understood and loved him. Yet really I never knew Stephen. I have no right to grief as I do when his real loved ones are in so much pain. I never met him. I wasn’t his friend and he was never going to be my husband. I know I’m just a fan but yet I still mourn.
I’m glad I was a Gately Girl for 15 years. RIP Stephen Gately. I love you.