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

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day nineteen

Visionary Mountains


“Joan Armatrading,” she said “do you like Joan Armatrading?”

“Yeah she’s ok” I lied. I’d only heard one song, Me Myself I, which I did not like at all.

“And you always wear those trainers,” rhetorical question.

“Mmmph” I was always getting grief about the trainers.

“And a motorbike”.

Decisive pause.

“You’re a lesbian” she says, kindly but matter of fact.

My body jerks back, eyes like saucers, annoyed “I am not a fucking LESbian!”.

“That woman you’re with,” we both look across the canteen at the same person “do you

sleep with her, have sex with her?”

“Yeah” I said, all casual, like it was normal to be asked.

A year of it actually. Sex. In every little orifice all over the county. In the woods, in cars,

round the back of the pub/disco/youth club/swimming pool, in her mum’s bed in my mum’s

bed in her auntie’s caravan crazy mad rip your clothes off snog so long your face is sore sex.

“Yeah,” I repeated “but I am not a fucking LESBIAN!”.

A smile, amused, suppressed.

“Have you ever met any lesbians?”


“Come to my party” she said, “I think you’ll enjoy it”.

I did. I did.

I am!

And I found the rest of Joan.




Sarah, London

day eighteen



Winter sea swimmer

Pounding waves and cutting foam

Steaming mug of tea






Fiona Thomson



day seventeen

March: A Haiku for Andrea



Yellow spring flowers

Mark your birth and death day

Joy in the sadness.




Lel Meleyal




day sixteen

(Sound and) Vision

A vision of loveliness…the lady harpist incongruous in lurex and black lycra, feather earrings and jackboots. Blue-white flattop hair and skin that is silver in the follow spot. She could be a ballet boy from a Matthew Bourne, or a mythical bird. Her arms dance around the strings, like a sea anemone in slowmotion. Fragile silver rings on huge fingers. Those hands are so beautiful they can’t be big enough. They could reach out to fill the auditorium and pull notes from the rigging cables and handrails. They might, so gently,  stroke the hair of the patient ushers, and raise from each strand an echoing harmonic in the hush of the soft darkness ; or pluck tiny chords from the straps of the icecream seller’s tray. Out in the foyer, bar staff would watch mesmerised as her arms burst from out of the hall flowing elegantly by them and out again through the window, onto the quayside, to ripple across the tuneful cables of the footbridge. Henpartyers and Offcomers, Dogwalkers and Theatre-goers all stop, amazed by so much beauty, hardly knowing that they have begun to dance. And one by one they fall silent, waiting open-mouthed in a dream of anticipation. And still in our seats, we are on the banks with them  – we are by the Orinoco, the Severn, the Tyne holding our breath together  until finally, her hands will reach and play the river itself – one immense, vibrating, yearning note, too low to hear but only feel.

Once, I would have decided then and there to take up playing the harp.

Once, I would have asked her for her phone number.

But tonight, I can only stare, wide-eyed and grateful for the dark. Tonight I can only vibrate with the river.



Fin McMorran


day fifteen


My vision has no TERFs

My vision has no TRA’s

My future has no us

And it has no them


My vision has no pro this or anti that

Them over there and us over here

Lesbian rad fem versus oh so queer

As fuck


We are all fighting the same battle

We are all interconnected

Winding in and out of each other’s fear is one true Love

One world

Look after it








day fourteen


If you were a peonie, then I’d be your sun,

painting you rainbows when the showers come.

If you were the moon I’d be your turning tide

constant, sure and moving far and wide


If you were a rose red and me a violet blue

today as tomorrow I’m so in love with you




Sally, 37

Maidstone, Kent


day thirteen


And so it goes…

More lies burst free like bubbles

surfacing in pools of water.


Admit nothing,

You don’t have to.

Your silence speaks volumes.


Aware of the irony,

my framing of you as bad all along.

My sickness fit neatly with your shame.

And so it goes…


The other truth…

The love between us,

that meant we were unable to part.

Your arms today are safe and strong.

And so it goes…



Deb, 49


day twelve

Mother’s prayer for xmas day



Lord, grant they all sit in peace in front of Dallas,

In harmony with Christmas carousel,

Muffle the sudden wit or caustic comment

that breaks the peace and raises merry hell,

I cannot cook and serve a Christmas dinner

and try to keep the peace as well.


Dear Lord, prevent the older generation

provoking confrontation, face to face,

like father going on about the Falklands

and mother on the theme of women’s place

and asking why a lot of silly women

are dancing on a US missile base.


Please grant the children keep off awkward subjects

like plastic bullets ‘stop and search’ or race

don’t let them call the police ‘the filth’ or argue

for legalising pot …or make a case

for women’s rights to instant free abortion

or for giving Sappho’s verses pride of place.


and for god’s sake lets keep Laurie Anderson down to 10 minutes at a time.





Dr Joan McDonald 1921-2019

Submitted by her daughter Harriet

day eleven


​Galloping across the sheep nibbled turf, ​

dodging sharp yellow gorse.​

No danger because no acknowledgement.​

Charge up the hill and stop.​

The horse rears​

and I bellow at the top of my voice​

Hi ho Silver,​

then away down the other side.​

Careful of the lambs,​

jump the stream.​

and stop.​

What shall we do now then,​

I ask my sister.​

She answers, Let’s go to the shop.​

Because riding the moor,​

Isn’t quite right​

without crisps and a bottle of pop.​







day ten

2020 vision.
I saw my life, not a wife
Not a mother, hoped for a lover
Tried the guys, then got wise
I found my tribe, I had the vibe
Found THE woman, then became human
Decades passed, it did not last
When we split, life was shit
Years being single, nowhere to mingle
I met a guy, we both felt shy
A very old flame, but we’re not the same
A spark reignited, I’m not short sighted
I see the future, a new adventure.
Chrissie, Wales