Fan showcase: Gisbornesboy (part 2)

The press likes to portray intense fans as crazy, and there’s nothing we can do about that, I think. Humans seem to enjoy self-righteous finger-pointing, and as long as we think of others as fundamentally different from us, thinking of other fans as crazy conveniently allows us to hide our own insecurities about our identities. Fandom does so many different things for different people, however, that anyone who looks at it seriously for more than a minute should be led to abandon her prejudices. In continuing to think about this interview last night, I was reminded of an article on so-called “superfans” and their motivations. Often the reason that someone becomes a fan is so personal that it’s not possible to speak of it. This state of affairs is all the more reason for me to have appreciated the openness and sincerity and self-awareness with which Gisbornesboy approached this interview. He articulates, succinctly, one of the greatest possibilities of a fandom: the acceptance of self that one can be inspired to learn in this way. Below, he describes the possibility of using fandom as means to allow all the pieces of one’s personality to work together without judgment, which can make it possible both to change oneself and to learn to love others more as well.

I ask you to treasure and respect his openness as much as I did. Below, the second part of the interview with Gisbornesboy. Part 1, if you missed it, is here.

***

My personal favorite of Gisbornesboy’s original cartoons of Richard Armitage’s roles, which he’s been publishing on his blog. Note the particular with which he drew the sheep. His photo.

***

S: You’re also very active in social media, particularly on twitter. What does that bring you?

Gisbornesboy: I’ve always been a bit addicted when it comes to social media. I study media, which gives me another reason to show off my work at various sites and places. But I am also too lazy to stay active while being addicted. I guess I worry too much when on the Internet. I want the people following me to be pleased by the things I do. Whenever I find a new way to express myself I do — twitter, facebook, tumblr, different types of blogs and self-made homepages, and so on. I have about ten tumblr accounts, five facebook accounts, eight twitter accounts, two blogs. I always do more than I can really handle — the reason for me being too lazy to keep on going. But I think some of it is great. I love twitter, especially. One of my favorite places to be at. It’s easy to use and you don’t have to write a novel each time you want to say something. I think that’s the thing about twitter — I don’t have to write that much, just a few words, a few sentences, that’s enough.

S: You have a tumblr with an exuberant title. Can you tell us a bit about how you’ve selected and arranged the images there?

Gisbornesboy: Sadly, I don’t always have time to be on that tumblr, but when I do, I try to select images I enjoy looking at. Since only Richard Armitage-related work goes on that tumblr, I obviously select things about him, mostly pictures. It’s not about how good he looks in the picture, but how much I enjoy looking at it and how it speaks to me. The quality can be poor, but if the image speaks to me, I select it. I try to make them all work together, but lately I just let them figure it out themselves. I mostly want the colors to work together.

S: When I compare what you say about your initial fascination with Armitage to the sort of images on your tumblr, it’s clear that an initial focus on romance — and maybe protection, as you seem to have used the image of Guy of Gisborne as a sort of talisman for dealing with a potentially difficult situation — has now developed an element of sexual desire or visual attractiveness. Is that accurate?

Gisbornesboy: I have no clue! I don’t even know myself. I am the kind of person who acts before I think. But yeah, maybe it is that way. Visual attractiveness for sure. I am a sucker for romance, so I am not really surprised. And since I am a photographer and a sucker for romance, I do tend to chose pictures based on that kind of look. Romantic, calm, peaceful. Living in the moment sorts of things. If you check out my other tumblr, I think you will understand what I mean.

***

The header on Gisbornesboy’s blog. Quite obviously his own drawing of the wide-eyed Gisborne figure. My cap.

***

S: And now you’ve turned to blogging? What made you decide to do that?

Gisbornesboy: I’ve been following lots of Richard Armitage blogs from all over the world for who knows how long. I admire the people running the blogs; I get inspired by their strength, their drive, their creativity, their possibilities for continuing. Many of my twitter friends have blogs. I think 99 percent of them are about Mr. Armitage, of course. I thought it over, and I am not writing much on my Swedish blog anymore and I’ve never had one in English before so I wanted to try something new. Having friends supporting me helped. I was hesitant at first, since I am aware of my pattern when it comes to ideas and stuff I want to do. I am very excited at first, but then I get bored and move on to something new. But this time, it feels different. Better. Wonderful! I now have a place to be myself and unleash my creativity.

S: The most noticeable thing about the original cartoons you’ve been blogging lately are their very striking eyes. Why do you emphasize that feature so much?

Gisbornesboy: I actually struggle to create cute and funny cartoons. I studied art & design when I was younger, so I didn’t really do anything cartoon-like during that time. Only realistic art, landscapes, portraits, contrasts and perspective and blah-blah. I learned about things I still like to draw, especially animals. In my own personal opinion, however, it is the eyes that make my drawings look more like cartoons, and the eyes are also the very first thing I draw when I create my RA cartoons.

S: Social media connect us with other fans, but you’re not in the most typical demographic in the Armitage social media. What’s it like, being a late teenage male fan of an actor whose fandom seems to be made up mostly of women over thirty?

Gisbornesboy: It’s a lot of fun! I know there are more teenage male Armitage fans around, but as it’s not that easy to find them, I feel pretty special. Maybe it will be 50/50 sometime in the future! I still love the whole army of “middle-aged” women, though, and I feel very settled and at home in their presence. So I really enjoy it.

***

Gisbornesboy stuck with Robin Hood for his final choice of a memorable scene.

Gisbornesboy: To me, the most memorable scene in Armitage’s work is the “almost” kiss in episode 13 of the first series, the one that occurs just before the wedding, when Marian comes to ask Guy to deny that he attempted to assassinate King Richard. I could just play that scene over and over again, only that part, like [pauses] for a whole day. I never grow tired of it. Maybe because I waited for it to happen for such a long time.

***

S: I wonder if we can talk a bit more deeply about the meanings your fandom for Richard Armitage carries for you. I’ve read on twitter that you have dreams that involve Armitage.

Gisbornesboy: I don’t dream about him that often, but when I do it’s all so freaking bizarre. Everything from him speaking Swedish fluently, to him having a baby elephant as a pet.

S: When do you dream them?

Gisbornesboy: I always dream about him when it is connected to another dream; he appears towards the end.

S: What do they mean for you?

Gisbornesboy: They don’t really mean anything to me, but I enjoy them very much because they feel so amazingly real, and we all need a little Armitage therapy sometimes. The latest dream had a very serious, scary, complicated story, but it ended with Richard Armitage being in his parents’ house, dancing with a cat, and then making out with someone beneath the dinner table after drinking a Coke. I mean, if someone can explain that to me, then please do!

***

Guy of Gisborne (Richard Armitage) dreams in Robin Hood 3.6. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

***

S: Did you know, when you saw Robin Hood for the first time, that you were gay?

Gisbornesboy: Hmm. In one way or another, I’ve always known. I wasn’t completely open about it at first; I didn’t really feel obligated to be. Discovering Richard Armitage sure got the engine started.

S: Something about that show and watching Guy of Gisborne made it easier to accept yourself or be open?

Gisbornesboy: I did have girlfriends, with whom I basically didn’t even hold hands, so being gay was always there in the back of my head. It’s been difficult. Before I outed myself completely, I told people I wasn’t attracted to someone based on sex, only on personality. I still care about personality more than anything, but(!). Watching Sir Guy of Gisborne made me realize what kind of partner I wanted to have in the future. No, maybe not a medieval man dressed in head-to-toe leather, but the looks, the way of being, moving. That excited me. Sure, it was Richard Armitage playing that character, but it was Gisborne’s way of being that captured my mind. I would gladly have taken Marian’s place. Sir Guy of Gisborne definitely unlocked my closet. And today I am open to everyone around me and I feel great.

S: Regarding the romantic component of your attraction to the Robin Hood series, it’s interesting that a (rocky, unrequited) heterosexual romance caught your attention.

Gisbornesboy: I have absolutely nothing against heterosexual romance! I can totally relate and be touched by that. As a viewer, you can use your own imagination, basically. I don’t know if a homosexual romance would have caught my attention more. It probably would have. I could almost see something happening between Robin & Much or Allan & Guy, but that’s just a thought. Actually, the romance between Guy and Marian is absolutely one of my favorite romances of all times when it comes to TV shows.

S: One reason this question interests me is that I tend, myself, to identify with Armitage’s characters, especially Mr. Thornton or Guy, rather than with his female costars and/or love interests.

Gisbornesboy: Marian is a very interesting character. She’s not all girly girl or butchy butch, either, which makes it easy for viewers to step into her shoes and take over that role in their imaginations. I have totally done that, in my own thoughts. So even though it is all a big heterosexual romance, it is pretty simple to just [pauses] take someone’s place in your own imagination.

***

Sir Guy of Gisborne (Richard Armitage) manipulated by Prince John (Toby Stephens) in Robin Hood 3.6. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

***

S: Did you develop any interest in the apparently homoerotic elements of the show? A lot of female fans have remarked upon that feature.

Gisbornesboy: I really liked Prince John’s way of being intimate with everyone. And especially with Gisborne. But I’m not sure that is what you mean.

S: For example. Or the moments of almost sexual tension between the Sheriff and Sir Guy. The way, in the first series, that Much clearly feels and expresses the loss of a previous intimacy or emotional exclusivity with Robin after their return to England. All those guys living together in the forest, with a woman who’s pretending to be a man. The way the script has Guy disrobe in front of Allan.

Gisbornesboy: Well, personally, I like it. I would have wished for more of that. I’ve read a few Guy/Allan fanfictions and many of them are very realistic, I think something could have happened between them — the same with Robin and Much. And it wouldn’t have surprised me if the Sheriff had Gisborne do more than paint his toenails, so to speak. I haven’t read much history of that century, but I believe things like that happened.

S: It seems that your Armitage fandom helped you deal with difficulties in growing up.

Gisbornesboy: All kids struggle from time to time, and I was one of those kids. As I mentioned, I didn’t have many friends while growing up. Just a few. I mostly stayed by myself or joined grownups’ conversations. I was a very chubby kid, too. So other kids made fun of me, called me “fat” and other lovely stuff, and I took it so personally that it was extremely painful even to go to school. I managed, obviously. But I’ve always been very sensitive when it comes to my body, and I still am today. Before Richard came into my life, I was a complete nobody. I didn’t have anything representing my sense of self. I can’t even remember what I used to do when I got home from school. I liked dogs and drawing. But that was it. I wore simple clothes, I didn’t have a real hairstyle. But then, when I discovered this man — everything changed. I stood up for myself with other kids, spoke to people, made real friends, started making a real effort in school, got interested in hair and make-up, tried a hundred different hair cuts and hair colors and lost weight. Basically, I got a real personality and a real character because of him.

S: So Guy of Gisborne started it, but in the end, it was more?

Gisbornesboy: Reading about Richard’s life and his desire to act and the way he started as a teenager really got my life to take off. And I can’t even begin to explain how grateful I am for that. I don’t even know the man, yet he gave me a life. A real life.

***

The first picture of Gisborne that Gisbornesboy used as a computer background: Richard Armitage as Guy of Gisborne in a publicity still from series 1 of Robin Hood. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

***

S: Do you see Richard Armitage as a role model for you in any other way?

Gisbornesboy: Besides helping me through my early teenage years, he is a very big inspiration to me. Eventually, I started roleplaying Robin Hood with a friend. Not out in the forest, but through text. I’ve often played Sir Guy, and more recently I’ve roleplayed as Richard himself — my own creation of Richard. So when people think of me, Sebastian, they also think of Richard Armitage, since he is a part of me, and he always will be. He has changed me for the better, truthfully.

S: I’m intrigued. What’s involved in that? Who does Richard Armitage turn into when you roleplay him?

Gisbornesboy: Oh, my. My ex-boyfriend and I used to (and still do) roleplay as our favorite people / role models because it was a very intimate way of both creating stories and being affectionate. We had a long-term relationship. I’ve been roleplaying for such a long time, so my version of Richard changes depending on [pauses] me, obviously. He can be a bit Gisborneish, but also like Mr. Prince Charming, Harry Kennedy. I do try to stay true to what I know about the “real” him, but I also don’t want to get too close because that would just be weird. I guess you can say that my version of Richard is a copy of Harry with a piece of Lucas North. Yeah, that’s my Richard. When I roleplay him, he is often a confused straight man who discovers his attraction to men.

S: Aside from his talent, what are the qualities in Armitage that you most admire?

Gisbornesboy: His kindness and absolute caring for other people, his polite way of being, the glow he is covered in. Apart from being talented, he is a very nice man. And yes, I don’t know him, but I can just feel it. It is that obvious. He is also very smart and has got such an interesting drive. I want to go bungee jumping, skydiving, and horseback riding now, too, you know?

S: How has he changed you for the better? 

Gisbornesboy: From being a very selfish, ignorant person — he made me think about others. Nowadays, I always put others first. I want what is best for everyone else, and then I can do what is best for me. And by achieving that I have gotten ever so close to my family. Our bond is unbreakable and has never been this strong; my friendships have never been this strong; and I have never been this strong. And I’m growing stronger and stronger every day, all thanks to Richard Armitage.

***

One of Gisbornesboy’s favorite pictures of Richard Armitage. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

***

S: How do you think you’ll look at this interest in five years? Ten years?

Gisbornesboy: My admiration and love for Richard Armitage have developed more and more each day since I encountered him, so I am sticking to that sentiment — my love for this man will be even bigger and better! I might not create bags and dolls any more, but my love for him will be just as big.

S: And finally, I have to ask: Where are you on the beard question?

Gisbornesboy: I am all for the beard! I love facial hair — want to grow lots of it myself, but I might have to wait a couple of years until I can be as sexy as Mr. Armitage in a beard. It suits him very well, I think. But — if I could choose between bearded and scruffy, I would go with the scruffy face. I just love scruffy men, and especially Richard Armitage. I mean, he is the reason why that desire started in the first place. But overall, he can be clean shaven or a head-to-toe monkey, I don’t care, everything looks good on that piece of art!

***

Gisbornesboy reports of himself: I’m eighteen and live in the capital of Sweden with my family. I drew a lot when I was a kid — mostly animals; I also played with dinosaur toys and pretended to be a dog all the time. I bought strawberries, made juice out of them, and used it as my own Mary Poppins medicine. I personally think I am funnier than I actually am, but I try to be a good friend and I am pretty loving and caring. These days, I’m studying photography with the goal of becoming a professional photographer. I am a confident, straight “A” student and am learning about dog psychology as a hobby.

***

[Fan showcases are an irregular feature on “me + richard armitage.” These segments seek to highlight the opinions and activities of a cross-segment of the very diverse group of people who have become fans of Richard Armitage. Previous showcases can be found here: bZirk, Eli, LadyKate63, fitzg, Angieklong, khandy, jazzbaby1, Amanda Jane, Jane (part 1, part 2, part 3), Prue Batten (part 1, part 2, part 3), mersguy, and Mezz. I plan to continue this feature intermittently, so if you are interested in being interviewed, please let me know. My email address can be found in the sidebar under “About.” — Servetus]

~ by Servetus on July 31, 2012.

77 Responses to “Fan showcase: Gisbornesboy (part 2)”

  1. Thank you for doing this, Servetus. Thank you for telling other RA fans my story. This has been wonderful. Lots of fun. I’ve never really thought about some of the questions you’ve asked me during this interview -thinking about them made me realise how grateful I am for this fandom. So, thank you. Thanks to all of you!

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  2. Am I first?? This made me laugh, cry and think. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Again, thank you, Servetus and thank you, Gisbornesboy. And thank you, Richard Armitage, for being the catalyst for so much creativity and sefl-awareness and much more. It’s ALL good.

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  3. Gibsy, you are far more articulate and self-accepting than I was at your age. That’s half the battle in life (or at least it has been for me). Thanks for giving this part of the fandom a much needed shot of positivity!

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  4. Just lovely! Thanks guys! 🙂

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  5. GB, honey, you truly are a breath of fresh air! Thanks to both you and Servetus for this lovely interview! 🙂

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    • Thank YOU for reading and commenting! I just realised something… “GB”, that stands for Gisborne’s Boy, right? It just hit me, NOW. A bit late to the party, but… LOL. Wonderful!

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      • Yes, *GB* is short for Gisborne’s Boy. Some of us have a tendency to shorten any name! lmao The gals in the Armitage World chat room have taken to calling me Itsy. 🙂 Fewer keystrokes – it’s all good!

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      • Gisby, this is the funniest comment ever. Another reason why we love you. You are just so in-the-moment and perfectly honest.

        I have tears in my eyes from laughter right now. 😀

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        • LMAO! You all will soon, slowly, come to realise I am a slow thinker. I read “GB” a couple times earlier today and I was like… “must be some kind of ‘modern hip hop’ word… better not ask”. But yeah, I am a bit of a nuthead. BUT I did realise what it was shorten for myself. So, I should get some credit. 😉

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  6. This is my fave interview ever. Seriously. Gibsy, you are like a breath of fresh air. It’s wonderful you were able to find yourself at such a young age. You are an inspiration yourself.

    Great interview, Serv!

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    • Wow, thank you so much. Means a lot to me, seriously. And it makes me so happy to hear this is your favourite interview. I am very proud. And I am sure Servetus is proud as well! Yay!

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      • I suppose finding oneself goes on and on — and some people have life circumstances that put them on that path earlier than others. But I agree with the tenor of the comments — the clearer one can be sooner, the easier it must be, not just to understand oneself but also to change the things one wishes to change.

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  7. I have to agree with the other comments here, this is my favorite interview! Gisby, thank you for being so open and honest in your answers and letting us see who you are. You just radiate such positive energy, which is lovely to behold!

    Serv, thanks again for sharing this with us!

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    • Aw, thanks… You guys are just the best. The very best. I am getting all emotional! Haha. In a happy / positive way of course. What else is there. 😉

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    • someone said on the previous post that we learn to hide pieces of ourselves as we get older — here’s to learning to uncover them, as we need to.

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  8. It is truly amazing how inspiring Mr. Armitage is to so many people. I am so glad that you are happy with your life now GB, that is a great gift. Now I can see that you want to share your happiness with others so the gift just keeps on giving!
    Thanks for this interview Servetus!

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    • Mr Armitage is a true inspiration source, and a true hero. Thank you! I will keep on fighting, keep on sharing, and keep on smiling!

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    • I do think talking about how one person did it makes it easier to see how it could happen in others’ lives as well.

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      • Yes, just as it works with tuning forks. 🙂

        If you have the same natural vibration frequency, the energy transfer is quite efficient from one to the other (resonance effect).

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  9. Reblogged this on gisbornesboy.

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  10. Great interview. Thanks to Gisbornesboy for being so open and let us know your life process. and thanks to Servetus for sharing!
    this confirms that RA has a wonderful group of fans, so much diversity and talent… 🙂

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  11. Gisbornesboy, I love this amazing energy emanating from your words. 🙂 Servetus, thank you for the great interview.

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  12. Just a super interview! GB, impressed that at a very young age, you have found yourself – I doubt it happens that often! Stay happy and creative and communicating.

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  13. What everyone else wrote … 🙂
    Thanks, you two, for a positive, introspective and fun conclusion to the interview. I can’t stop smiling.

    You go, GB! 😉

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  14. GB you are a cutie pie. Wishing you all the best in life. I love your tumbler acct nice to know you. That site always makes me smile.

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  15. This is at rob:)

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  16. Someday….someone will be very happy with you ,GB!. 🙂
    This interview was a real treat ,guys!. Thanks!

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  17. Hi Serv and Gisby,
    This interview with Gisby was so delightful. And I have to say it–as one of those over 30 RA fans–I identify with a lot of what you say and feel about Richard Armitage. RA’s kindness, caring, and gentlemanly ways–in addition to his exquisite storytelling talent–are so appealing. And, oh yeah, RA is more handsome and self effacingly charming than any man has a right to be. But thank god that he is!
    And may I wish both of you–Serv and Gisby (and we’ll throw RA in there)–every happiness that you wish for yourselves.
    Love, Hugs, and Cheers! Grati ;->

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  18. Gisbornesboy and servetus, thank you for a wonderful interview. 🙂
    GB, it’s lovely to meet you. Your honesty and positivity are refreshing, and that you appear to have your act together at such a young age is truly admirable.
    What I’ve found most interesting reading this is that your Armitagemania springs from a perspective so totally different to mine (I think serv touched on that in her introduction) yet we have so much in common when it comes to being fans of a certain fabulous actor and man.

    BTW I wish that I could express my love and admiration for Richard Armitage as openly as you do in RL, and not just online, but the whole (perceived) dignity thing is a little too ingrained at my age! 😉

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    • I understand! We all are very different, and depending on generation to generation, it sure is harder for some people to be as open as I am. Thank you for your lovely comment, I really appreciate all the kind words! x

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  19. Thanks for sharing your story with us GB and thanks Servetus for publishing that interview!
    it was funny, interesting and moving and I am glad you two did that 🙂

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  20. Gisbornesboy, your energy and joie de vivre make me so happy that I want to shed my cloak of cynicism. You make me so proud to be a part of the RA fandom. This interview is really uplifting and much needed. Thank you both Servetus and Gisbornesboy 🙂

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  21. Well said Seb! Long may Richard inspire us all ♥

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  22. It’s my absolute favorite interview too! Both of you did such an amazing job, I regret there isn’t a third part! Very moving, very funny, and gives heaps to think about!
    I hope is gives other lurking gay men the courage to come out and join us. There are risks involved with being the first Seba, you never really know how people will respond, but I’m so happy you blazed the trail. I really believe that some guy, who was like you a few years ago, will read this, and it’ll inspire him!
    Great job! 🙂

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  23. What a wonderful interview! Thanks to you both.

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  24. I come in late, but want to congratulate you two, GisbornesBoy and Servetus, for this wonderful and so lovely interview. The inspiring way of RA grips us all and holds us enthralled. I am glad that you found RA in time to turn your life around and give you the freedom to be yourself, GisbornesBoy. That is the best way life can be. Keep this up and have joy and fun in the RA-world and spread your wings and creativity.
    You won a lot of female fans now, GisbornesBoy ;o) [Who was it who called us aunties? How true ;o) ]

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  25. […] 1, part 2, part 3), Prue Batten (part 1, part 2, part 3), mersguy, Mezz, Gisbornesboy (part 1, part 2). I plan to continue this feature intermittently, so if you are interested in being interviewed, […]

    Like

  26. […] ETA: here’s part 2! […]

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  27. […] It’s also Gisborne’s Boy’s Armitage anniversary! If you weren’t reading this blog yet last summer, check out my interview with him here (part 1 and part 2). […]

    Like

  28. […] Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here. […]

    Like

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