celebrating and creating our own LGBT history

day fifteen

Bus tales 

 

 

She sat on’t sofa an lifted up er top, should see size of er!

 

Is it twins then?

 

No but maybe there’s one hidden round the back of ‘tuther!

 

Any idea what it is?

 

No but our Michaela wants it to be a girl, says she don’t want another brother!

 

 

 

JJ

 

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day fourteen

Revolting ‘79

We were thought revolting, but we revolted
We wore badges and smiley symbols
We partied in cellars
We were anarchic
We were deluded but high on promises
We thought we pioneered
But we were children …
The beginning of the revolution

Disco, bright lights, Rocky Horror
Façades of inequality and sorrow
We protested, we revolted
Built the groundwork of tomorrow
Tomorrow has now become today
Youth is now a different way
May be we won’t agree with them
Perhaps we’ll become partisan
Yet revolution will take its course
And we are all revolutionaries of course

 

Tracy Diss, Birling, Kent.

day thirteen

little Helpers

 

Faces in this shelter

soften in the steam of

one xmas dinner

I strive not to stare

at the pain scratched

in there

we’ve come to cook

they are gifting us

shiny halos

again this year

before we drive off

to our homes bursting

full of gear.

 

 

Maj Ikle

day twelve

At first it was a silent protest – I didn’t say a word when I unwrapped the gift. How could she? Ten years of marriage and that’s what she gets me, an oven glove. A poxy oven glove.

Now I know we didn’t usually do presents on anniversaries, we were trying to be different in our marriage, trying to create our own new traditions and redefine, in our own unique, ok so not so unique, two car-one IVF baby-semidetached home- go to work in London every day on the train –and garden centres on the weekend kinda way. And this is how she thanks me, with an oven glove.

It wasn’t even a personalised one. Not that a few diamontes saying I love you Sacha would have made the difference, but at least it would have been a start, a show of thought.

However, my silent protest on unwrapping, my internal rage upon reflecting meant that I had to act. This couldn’t just go round and round like the usual passive aggressive trade offs we’d make, “well I would empty the dishwasher if the bin bags weren’t in front of it and someone took them outside” **rolls eyes, looks at the two year old who can’t really comprehend bins or my churning rage**

Yes, the wrong of the oven glove and all it symbolised had to be righted. I wish I had the balls (the tits?) to say ”is that all you think I’m worth, chain me barefoot to the kitchen why don’t you, that seems sooo feminist…are you really the person I went to that Germaine Greer lecture with when we all stood in unison cutting up our Tesco Clubcard as a symbol of our unshackling ourselves from domestic enslavement?”

The oven glove of misunderstanding, the glove of failure to recognise the one in front of you. An oven glove for someone who had to buy last minute Comic relief cupcakes on Tuesday because they had a meeting with the Director of Finance so got home late last week is a slap in the face. It’s saying you don’t know me. Or is it?  The problem isn’t the gift, although some diamond earrings would’ve been nice… it’s the metaphor…an oven glove, a utensil incapable of thoughts outside its purpose, stained, forced in to a situation to protect everyone by sacrificing itself, and its’ reward? Being dropped on the floor never cared for despite being used day in day out. You didn’t give me an oven glove, you gave me, me. And I didn’t like what I saw.

Revenge of course is hard, and requires planning, and isn’t easy when you have to go to Waitrose on the way home to pick up a shimmering blue bottle of Bombay Sapphire as it’s your turn to host book club with the girls, or you need to get onto Etsy to find the perfect birthday card to your 8 year old niece in Australia who you’ve never met except via Skype.

But it will come. The best revenge is living well, right….well, I’m biding my time, getting ready for my exit. And, when I do, it won’t be a silent protest. I will drive off down the street shrieking with the laughter of a free woman, blaring “you don’t own me” out of the radio, off into the unknown like Thelma and Louise, waving the oven glove out the window and releasing it into the wind.

Revenge after all is a dish best served cold….and there’s no oven glove required for that!

 

Serena Gilbert, Kent

day eleven

Protest in Numbers: by Adam Haylock-Lott, Kent

21 is my daughter

19 is my son

14 is my nephew

7 months is my baby

47 is my husband

I am 38.

The greatest protest?

Live life 

how you 

were not supposed to.

Defy

Couldn’t be.

Write

New blueprint.

Destroy

The dad box.

Marry

A man.

Have

Babies!

Build 

Family!

18.

Me.

zeros.

forever.

Life.

No.

numbers.

Living daily my protest quest for life

= a love multiplied 

Me

Became

Us

And us

Became a picture

Worth….

….a thousand words.

 

day ten

The Forest of Humanity’s Variety

 

I was walking through the forest of humanity’s variety,

my emulsifying footsteps were thickening the floor.

There were drifting conversations dripping from the canopy.

I was heading for the ocean and the glistening shore.

 

The concentrating eucalypts were housing insecurity,

bravado ran with jealousy along their ghost grey arms.

An incandescent gossamer, the down of human purity,

hung purring from the fingers of the elegant palms.

 

I saw bigots swinging spineless from the swinging spineless vines

and there were signs, put up by rangers, which were warning of the dangers,

(if one got too near, were queer, were black or disregarded lines)

for the bigots spat in sweating fear of understanding strangers.

 

Where the rocks were looking cranial sat humans looking brainy, all

they did was sit and think and sit and think and sit, intense.

And in their furrowed brows these ineffectual intellectuals

sowed weeds that lacked the promise of a thought outside the fence.

 

I walked among the tribes, among the cultures and the creeds.

I lit a flame and crept along their tight sewn seams.

I found myself entangled in a swampy clump of swaying reeds

that shared with fish their oxygen and shared with me their dreams.

 

When obstructions blocked my trusting eyes I simply followed butterflies,

ubiquitous professionals of transforming ways.

Their iridescent magic eyes would lead me on with winging sighs

and leave me in a clearing under hue renewing rays.

The vapours of stupidity, in tropical humidity,

are dissipated, damp, into a blanket green sky.

Where opalescent molecules discover their liquidity

returning them to fig leaves for their early morning cry.

 

Occasionally a red burlesque of human sexuality

would rise in blooms, and purple scents would stain the sticky air.

Since morals have no place in me (I cultivate debauchery!)

when pinky petals parted I learned what was growing there.

 

The mosses singing silently to soothe the rocks were violently

assaulted by the boots of those blood-stained with bellicosity.

Their gripping soles soon slipped in holes when boulders shifted silently

and, once encased in stone, a tyrant loses their ferocity.

 

After weeks of watchful ambling I finally stopped my rambling

and felt beneath my feet the subtle tremble of the sand.

As I looked across the beach I saw a million others scrambling

toward the same horizon.

Revolution’s best unplanned.

 

 

 

Renée McAlister, Brighton

 

day nine

Honouring and applauding Hugh Masekela’s sublime music and poetry driven by and in protest against apartheid. Thank you and rest in peace sweet man.