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

Archive for February, 2016

day nineteen


‘I was given Grandpa’s Panama after he was dead, it could have been my brother’s, had he had a smaller head’


Brodie, Brighton



day eighteen


by Butch Barbie, Liverpool



I love my dog

and my cat

my Mum

my friends

my gay family


I love being in Love

even when She breaks my heart

As does happen

To me



But I fall again

Into that wonderful abyss

the butterflies

the stomach flips

the twang in the groin

the ache

the desire

the yearning

the wanting

the panting

the kiss

The Release!


I escaped from Love

for many years

She distracts my brain


Just when I forgot

about Love


She snuck up on me


Remember Me?


I do.


You hurt me

again and again

But I did miss you

I am glad you are back

How long will you stay?




That wasn’t long.

Where is my dog

and my cat.


Hello Mum

Hello friends


I love YOU.






day seventeen


The function of the power of perceiving.


I hold my breath and look down, I visualise, I screw up my eyes and I hope. I hope this time when I look down I will see what I want to see, what I need to see, what I know I should see! Slowly I let the light flood into my eyes, my tired and weary eyes, eyes that have felt the burn of too many salty tears. My blurred vision quickly clears just in time for the tsunami of repulsion, confusion and dread to wash over me once more, as I gaze upon it. Limp and flaccid as it mocks and betrays my very core.  It denies who I am and will not allow me to forget, nor will it allow me to move on.

My mind drifts away as the breeze stirs through the conifers,  my eyes track the trails of a plane drifting across the pale blue sky, I wonder where it’s heading and think about its cargo of families heading away for half term in the sun, or meeting up with family separated by borders and continents.

BUZZ BUZZ….. BUZZ BUZZ….  I’m plucked from my daydreams by a nurse call buzzer, one of my fellow inmates calling for the nurse. I begin to remember what I was thinking about before I drifted away, my memories, my torment before I arrived here.  My fears and apprehension, the questions I asked myself a million times, can I do it? Will I do it? Should I do it? The answer the same each time, yes, yes and yes.

Monday was a bit of a blur really and such a long time ago now. Sure I remember parts of it before sleep came for me and drove away my tormentor. Tuesday though, I remember Tuesday! Tuesday is a day that will stay in my mind for a long time, probably forever in fact!

Tuesday was the day they took the bandages away and removed the dressings, Tuesday was the day I stopped visualising, no more screwing up my eyes and hoping, Tuesday was the day I looked down and saw ME for the first time, past the bruising and swelling I saw what I was always supposed to see, Tuesday was the day the tsunami came full of joy, full of peace and full of happiness. Tuesday was the day I stopped longing and wishing. Tuesday was the day I became whole.




Leah Gaynor, Dover


day sixteen



Meet me in a library if you think you have to leave me

Then I can hide behind the fiction

And not think about the drama

Perhaps I’d read some Stephen King as a way to face the horror

Of our own lives as they unravel

Like a badly written story.

It’s not easy when the night comes

And the world is full of demons

And you turn to face the one you love

And they turn to skin and bone


Meet me in a coffee bar if you’ve got something you need to tell me

And if you have to say it quickly

We can order an espresso

Because there’s not much time for reason when the shot is fast and bitter

Best to take it all in quickly

Before it blows your world completely.

It’s not easy when the night comes

And the world is full of demons

And you turn to face the one you love

And they turn to skin and bone


Meet me in a restaurant if you’re going to have to tell me

That you need a second course

And that it’s going to get much harder

I won’t pass any judgements and I won’t ask any questions

I’ll just hold you until the pain stops

Then we’ll rebuild our lives together.

It’s not easy when the night comes

And the world is full of demons

And you turn to face the one you love

And they turn to skin and bone


So we’re saying goodbye my Euroboy

Goodbye my Euroboy

Give him a hand with his luggage

Better kiss him on the forehead

Wave him off from the station

Secretly glad that he’s leaving

Because when he comes back, he’ll come back a man



Anon, Kent


day fifteen



You exploded onto me.

The incriminating ink pack secreted in the bag of stolen money.

Vibrant, wild, permanent.


You wrote your name on me with a Sharpie

and again with just your finger

and again with a desperate palm

and again with just your tongue

and again and again and again.


You exploded onto me like a Biro in a bag,

a squid in a vice,

like a renegade tattoo gun,

felt tip pens left out in the sun.


You are henna

and dye

and pickled red cabbage

and the oily yellow in Indian food,

and nude, I am a kaleidoscope of you,

and you, my you, are never truly gone.







By Hayley Sherman of India (and Ipswich)

day fourteen


Whispering to the Moon

When you’re no longer there

When your breath stops, becomes just air

Will I be here to remember

Your vitality, your flair?

Will I rage with sorrow?

Beg for another tomorrow?

Will I whisper to the moon

“Why was she taken too soon?”

Will I rage and lament?

Howl my discontent?

Or will I find consolation

Gazing at starry constellations?

Will I find comfort there,

Imagine your light still exists somewhere?

Or will the breeze that lifts my hair

Only add to my despair?

Will the wind’s ghostly fingers

That caress and linger

Remind me of your touch

Of which I could never get enough?

Or will the flutters of the leaves

Fill me with ease?

Each shift and sigh

A sign that you did not really die

That you are still here with me

That your heart beats with mine

Our souls entwined

Our love not be denied

Death is not the end

We will transcend

Any obstacles placed in our way

Our devotion will hold sway

One day we will be reunited

Our love reignited

We will whisper to the moon

“Don’t let it end too soon”

For there is only one certainty:

We are bound for eternity




Cerys Russell, Dover

day thirteen

Barcelona is waking, in it’s own characteristically care free manner. The sun, peeking shyly through a gossamer sky, gently caresses the outstreched arms of Jesus, atop the Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor, then the big wheel in the Tibidabo funfair and lower, to the top of the Torre Agbar and across the city, laying its first tendrils over the districts of L’Eixample, Gràcia and Montjuïc, Barri Gotic and Las Ramblas. In the cranes and scaffolding high above La Sagrada Família, pigeons frantically vie for position, then lazily observe their domain. The world below them is slowly coming alive.

Two Cuitat Municipales escombriaires wend their way through the Gotic, brushing and hosing down the paving on Escudellers, meanwhile the refuse and recycling trucks scurry along, collecting the detritus from the day before. Vehicles on Diagonal and throughout the city, more sparse than during the day, nevertheless continue to pulse from traffic light to traffic light. Handfuls of Scooters and mopeds weave between cars, trucks and buses with an abandon that would make out of town onlookers wince, their daredevil pilots determined to make it to their destination as quickly as possible. Bakers and builders and butchers and baristas and teachers and bus drivers, and many more of the army of humanity that make the city live and breathe, turn off the violent urgency of their alarm clocks and curse the early hour, or lie, soaking in the first rays of the days sun, as they contemplate the day ahead.

In deep contrast to this, giggling and blinking against the sunlight, a figure half falls, half stumbles out of the depths of the Metro at Passeig de Gracia. The figure straightens up quickly and, in reply to a virtually inaudible catcall from a passing driver, a desultory middle finger is flicked in salute. Cass has been in BCN for precisely two months, the passing of which required toasting, quite a few times apparently. And she’s loving it.


Kelly, Folkestone


day twelve


I remember those days

So hot with need, I wanted to beat my chest and roar.

I remember those nights, sweated through to exhaustion,

Spiked with lightning and loud joy.

Then lying panting  and shuddering in ruined sheets.

When did it all go?

Am I now really so content,

To lie alone?

In my tidy bed.





Meg Merrilees, Wales

day eleven


In Dam Square, chain lighting yet another Benson and Hedges duty free and necking cheap Belgium beer, we weigh up the serious lack of talent amongst our field trip fellows.  Stretched out and balanced on the hind legs of his chair, he turns and whispers, “Thing is, I’m gay, Su!” Stealing his thunder, I croak back, “Thing is, so am I, Shaun!”   He crashes into the undergrowth, a drunken tangle of shrub, check shirt, blue jeans and soft Welsh curses. Whenever I think of his tumoured, brain rot, death, I relive instead that definitive moment of our youth and laugh out loud every time.



Su, Hove

day ten

Signs of love



That inimitable twinkle

As you said

“I think I’d get bored

On the other side,

So I’d probably send

Mischievous signs

To those I love.”

Carefree belly laughs

Connected us

As if by an umbilical cord

One to the other.

I wish I felt like laughing now.

Though you would probably prod

Me to, for the sheer synchronicity.


Your absence

Shows its presence

In new and varied ways.

And it weighs –

It weighs,


On my soul

And on my life.

And I wait,

I wait

For your signs of love,

Which I sense

Are more vibrant

Than that burnished orange of yours

Draped around benevolent Buddhas

Transcendent of this gap

Between the visible and the invisible,

Of the seeming space between our two worlds,

And which I know soar

As high, higher

Than those peak experiences

Our souls spoke of

And high above

The steadfast mountain peaks

Of your majestic Isle of Skye.

Oh, but I miss you hon.





Nicola, Brighton