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Attitude’s Bachelor of the Day: Riyadh Khalaf

By Will Stroude

Attitude’s Bachelors of Year 2017 is brought to you in association with Blued.Bachelor of the year position: #29

Riyadh Khalaf is one of the UK’s most well-known YouTubers and he’s about to launch a documentary series about queer life in the UK on BBC Three.

Here, Riyadh tells us about his perfect first date, his surprising interests, and which part of a guy has to be “big” to get him interested …

How long have you been a bachelor?

I’ve been a bachelor for about three years. Not really by choice, might I add! Guys have strolled in and out of my life in that time but nobody I would call a partner. My last relationship was with a guy in Texas and the long distance threw me a lot, not least that it’s a bad idea! I’m now casually keeping my eyes open for a UK-based Prince Charming.

What are the top three qualities you look for in a man?

Nothing turns me on more than a guy with a big… dream and who is working towards a goal. If he can be that passionate about his career or hobby then he’ll likely be as passionate in a relationship.

As an Irish guy, banter is vital to me. If you can laugh at yourself as much as you can laugh at others then we’re on to a winner.

Intelligence is a green light for me. Being able to enjoy a heavy current affairs documentary together followed by the latest episode of Kardashians and be able to chat as passionately about both is just music to my ears. Intelligence without arrogance is hot.

Best date you’ve ever been on?

It’s funny because the best date I’ve ever been on didn’t even lead to a second date. He told me he just wanted to be friends.

I suggested we go to IKEA because I needed a mirror and some other bits. I rented a car and we drove out together while blaring top 40 trash music. It was glorious. The great thing about an IKEA date is that you have endless amounts of things to talk about and there is no chance for awkward silences, you get a sense of each other’s interior design tastes and can mentally prepare for marriage while playing house (joking, kinda) and of course MEATBALLS.

…and the worst?

I was on a date with this guy who just sat there and proceeded to lecture me on why I didn’t have a ‘real job’ for thirty minutes. I think he thought it was banter but it was just rude and factually incorrect. He was one of these YouTube-hating gays who saw me as no more than a fame-hungry guy who got lucky.

I politely told him that I am my own boss, I write, film, edit and market my work without anyone’s help, speak on panels and consultations all over the world, work with LGBT charities at home and abroad and rarely take a full day off.

What’s your favourite part of a man’s body?

All of it. Is that a fair answer? I absolutely adore the male body and its beauty.

The part of a man that is most important to me is his face. It’s what I’m going to be looking at the most so it has to make me smile and want to kiss it at every opportunity. If you are looking for another body part (which I know you are) it would have to be a nice perky bum. Nothing nicer.

Biggest deal-breaker?

Bad breath. I can’t do it. I tried with a couple of guys who were so lovely but had sewer mouths. It’s a massive turn off.

Do you have an *ahem* ‘three date rule’?

The classy answer would be to say yes but in reality, it’s a no. I think the three, four, five date rule works for some people but for me, I just go with what feels right in the moment with that particular person. If I’m in a situation where things are going in *that* direction, we’ve only been on one date but both really like each other and feel comfortable then why not? I’m a sex-positive kind of guy and think it should be celebrated, enjoyed safely and talked about. We all exist because of it after all.

Who’s your celebrity crush?

The model and actor Gregg Sulkin does it for me every time. Those lips, that smile, mysterious eyes and an athletic yet not over the top body. What’s not to love?

What’s your hidden talent?

I am an expert in Marine Biology and Aviation. No, I’m not joking. For years I worked at a centre for marine wildlife and endangered corals where I was teaching the public, selling and conserving certain species. I am the best person to have with you on a date to Sealife.

What was your coming out experience like?

My dad is Iraqi and his background worried me. I had no idea how he’d take the news. I came out to him through a note nine months after telling my mother. He took the news incredibly badly and it broke him. He had no idea this news was coming and didn’t understand what it was to be gay. His vision of a gay man was created by TV, newspapers and film. We were dirty, scary, embarrassingly over the top and shameful people.

The night after I came out he attempted suicide. We only learned about this a few years later and as you can imagine it was incredibly hard to hear. As the months after coming out to him rolled on and through the help of my mom, he changed. Dad met gay men, spoke to parents of gay kids, tried incredibly hard to open his mind and understand my reality.

Nine years on and my dad is the most loving, accepting, supportive and present father I could ask for. He never misses a pride parade, he protested for marriage equality in Ireland, appeared on multiple TV shows about LGBT issues, told his story and struggles to millions on my YouTube channel and actively asks to meet guys I’m dating to make sure they’re ‘good enough’ for his son. No pressure boys!

Daddy K (the original) ❤@samkhalaf65

A post shared by Riyadh Khalaf (@riyadhk) on

What are some of the most interesting things that you found out while filming Queer Britain?

Our six-month shoot opened my eyes to issues in the community which I had never paid much attention to: homelessness, racism, body image, faith, porn and the word Queer consumed my world day and night. Making a full-length documentary on each of these topics brought me face to face with the people most affected.

We have marriage equality, we live in a mostly accepting society and homophobia is widely frowned upon yet these issues still exist and what makes it worse is that most of them are born and fed from within the community. Why are we doing this to ourselves? Segregating an already segregated group, creating racial hierarchies and celebrating unattainable body image goals. I think we find some seriously eye-opening answers throughout the series.

It’s not all heavy and sad though. Many of the stories we tell show incredible personal triumph, strength, resilience and the beauty of LGBTQ people all over the UK.

Windswept af 🌬

A post shared by Riyadh Khalaf (@riyadhk) on

What are your goals for the next year?

I would love to continue my TV work alongside the online content I’m creating. I’m hoping to make more documentaries about the issues that mean the most to me. Overall, I want the next year to bring me happiness and memories. Who knows if I’ll be sharing the journey with someone!

Follow Riyadh on Twitter and Instagram.

The first episode of ‘Queer Britain’ goes out on Sunday May 7th with a new episode coming out each week. They can be seen on BBC iPlayer and the BBC Three YouTube channel.

The June issue of Attitude is out now. Buy in printsubscribe or download. You can see all 100 of Attitude’s Bachelors of the Year here.

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