celebrating and creating our own LGBTQ+ history in honour of Sheila McWattie

day twenty one

Bristol, 1967



When does it start?

Then, like always,

It was toilets.

I stood.

He stood.

I glanced down,

He did too.

Eyes meet; a grim, resigned, relieved smile.

Extend the moment. Wash hands.

Together, with a tsunami of silence,

We climb the steps (please don’t leave me);

Reach the top (SAY SOMETHING!);

“Want to walk?” (Thank you, God!)

With names we capture each other.

We speak of the weather, the church, the situation, the guilt.

Then a quiet explosive,

“I can’t help it. I know I’m homosexual”.


‘Let there be light’


‘I have a dream’


‘No man is an island’

Verbal history is created.

Mine, now also visual, branded on my sleeve, without escape, and unremoveable.

History has begun.




Roger Newman, Margate

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