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

day eight



I knew it was going to be awful but living a lie had become too much of a burden. They were nervous too. Ours was a family of loud, simultaneous conversations. We didn’t do ‘sit downs’ for ‘talks’. I could smell the liver and onions cooking on the hob as I shepherded my parents to sit together on the sofa. I had refused coffee, tea, water and cordial. Mam went quiet when the list of possible drink options was exhausted. I could see that she was already pulling on defensive armor by the stiffness of her body language. Dad asked me again if he could get me a drink, or maybe a sausage roll.

‘Mam, Dad, I need to tell you that I have..’

I took a deep breath and straightened my own spine. The words caught a little in my dry throat

‘…become a vegan’.

A Bermuda Triangle calm enveloped the three of us. There is an expression in the north that goes something like ‘she looked like a slapped arse’. I could have told them I was a serial killer and they would have been less weirded out. Dad protested drawing upon my historical love of cod whilst Mam tackled the barely comprehendable possibilities of a life without bacon. Eventually though, Mam got to grips…

‘Well, I suppose it could have been worse, I thought you were going to tell us you are queer!’

‘Ah yes, well about that Mam…’



Lel Meleyal


* Note, this is entirely fiction. My own lovely parents are hugely supportive of me being queer and vegan although they are anxious that I will starve to death and thus continue to offer sausage rolls at every possible opportunity.


Comments on: "day eight" (3)

  1. your voice is strong – I love your pieces that take us back to your childhood , always laced with flavours of the time , and your humour weaving through – you and your pal Bill “eating a load of dog biscuits to see what would happen” made me laugh out loud – that working class expression of fondness is strong and familiar – I love it,love it ….and when you write like this I just want more …..Oh please write a novel that links back to working class childhood and humour , from where you are now…..

  2. That was a proper treat. The way you built up the tension! Gave me right giggle at the end.

  3. As always we arrive immediately inside your story, part of the drama, the characters are all us!

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