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

Archive for February, 2016

day twenty nine


Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone

Joni Mitchell. Big Yellow Taxi

I had it all. Long term partner, two step children, a grandchild at whose birth I had been present.

No mortgage, sufficient income, reasonable health. Yes, I had it all.

And yet what had started out as exciting, loving, tender, had, over the many years together, slowly transmogrified into an unrecognisable stale, apathetic, antagonistic relationship.

Unable to accept that we had grown apart, unwilling to admit failure, unwilling to agree that it hadn’t lasted, we carried on with the farce, not recognising it for what it was. We were comfortable, we knew our lives well, we could live like this. So many people do, it wasn’t so bad, some of it was still good.

But one day enough was enough. I gave it up. I couldn’t live the lie any longer.

I began to realise what I had lost.

My old friends had been slowly pushed out by jealous tantrums, it was easier not to see them so I no longer had my old mates. My new friends were mainly my ex’s friends and chose sides – not mine!

My enjoyment of music had been eroded by the put downs over the years of my awful taste in music and my rubbish singing voice.

My self esteem was on the floor, after listening for so long to what a worthless, horrible person I was.

Oh my goddess, why did I stay all those years? I lost myself and barely realised it. A few years on and I’m back in touch with many of my old mates, I love my music and sing along whenever I want to. I’m so glad I rediscovered me. It’s worth the loss. I’ve gained so much more.


Anonymous, the world

day twenty eight


day twenty seven

Air to spare

I’m up in the sky high above the world as we know it and I’m coming to bury you brother.

Only nine hours ago she padded the beach hut floor towards me, every creak weighing heavy with the news of you.

Half drunk half sleep wholly partied out with friends and now. Now I’m sucked right back to the core of us and all that we came from.Raw on raw.

The kindness of her look the warmth of her hand on my back held my silent screaming denial. She folded me in to a loving hug as a cold white sliver of morning pierced my heart. A wailing, injured animal bellowed from my pit as friends concerned spluttered and spilled from their huts.

Suspended within hollow headphones and knees locked in economy class I can feel the regular breath of a stranger snoring beside me.

I am drifting through air, so much air, air to spare, and I try, try really hard to will life in to you in your few final moments.

When your world exploded inside your head did you know this was dying?  Did you see red? Did you feel you could fight it? Did you think of me and that we’d missed our chance? Did your thoughts come flooding? Did you feel yourself drowning? Or were you swimming in a sea of bloody confusion?

I’m up in the sky high above the world as we know it and I’m coming to bury you brother.


Fiona Thomson, Margate

day twenty six


From a window I watched her swagger back towards our house from the avenue’s communal bottle bank. Not a ‘Jack-the-lad’ kind of gait, but a ‘content-with-the-world’ amble. Hands in trouser pockets, shoulders low and light, lengthened neck on a head held high.

The first time she came over to mine. I watched her through a window then too. She was in a kerfuffle. Not quite sure of where I lived, a little bit lost maybe, anxious certainly and her body told the story. Her black shirt tucked into jeans a little un-tucked in places. Body, picture frame square and sharp elbowed. Trying to manage the scruffy dog on a lead and a bottle in hand whilst working out which was my flat. I went to the door. Made it easy for her. She beamed when she saw me. I beamed right back.

She laughed when she saw the pocket I had made for the TV remote controls stitched to the sofa, made out of a pair of M & S knickers. The dog made itself at home. We cracked open the bottle. We carried right on laughing.

Over time the awkward edges of not knowing are replaced by the soft roundedness of intimate knowledge. She still teases me about the pant-pocket. Neither of us can tuck our shirt in these days, but that’s OK.

I watch her swagger and I feel a rush of love for her.


Lel Meleyal, Brighton.

For Cath

day twenty five


We position ourselves well when we meet

I walk in or she walks in

Theres nothing casual about it

Its been a long time – it always is

Theres been grave danger and more submergence

And what about all those drowning at sea

Every day..

Then we find our strange bit of happiness

Outside of everything we know

I’Il never work her out

Yet maybe never give up on

Love her for her freedom

Potential wisdom and ecstasy

Even when she doesnt bring them

I know they’re there.




Ali Cocks, Aberyswyth

day twenty four


I feel you near, I feel you far, I feel you all around this house, I desire your presence but appreciate your absence, I want you near but push you far, we make life together but live lives apart. We spend time together, the clock ticks, the wind howls, the spaces echo our solitude, our separateness and then we share a moment, a meal, a sense of humour…..a chance encounter, one of many in a never ending scenario of coupledom.



Margaret Maggie Honey, Whitstable

day twenty three


A feeling.

Knocking at my chest from the inside.

But there is nowhere to go or escape.

There is no vessel to pour you into.

I cannot pickle you and put you on a shelf.

You do not go away even when I beg.

You wake me up knocking from the inside.

‘Wake up’ – you say.

To an empty room and an empty world.

How could a tender feeling bruise?

It claws sometimes.

Trying to escape.

But I have nowhere to put you.

You live inside.

We are both prisoners.

Inside out and outside in.

Locked in agony.

Cruel in its tenderness.

How can love be a feeling?



Anonymous, Kent