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

day twenty

Vision:

 

 

I’ve got cancer.

Apparently.

Am I meant to feel sick?

Cos I don’t

What does it mean?

Do you want me to act weak?

Cos I won’t.

Take me in, cut me.

Cut it out. I don’t need it.

That’s better.

Is it?

Can you feel cancer?

I didn’t.

Big Scar.

War Wound.

Yeah so what!

I’m tough me.

I love my Family.

Friends.

Pet dog. Guardian. Who Knew? Protector.

Journey.

Cold Head.

Ok, so let’s go wig shopping,

Nah! Fuck that, I’ll wear a beanie.

They give you a wig voucher.

Do they make a Dolly wig?

I’m gonna have hair like Dolly.

 

 

 

Butch Barbie, 58, Liverpool.

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?”

Silence.

“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

Vision

 

Winter sea swimmer

Pounding waves and cutting foam

Steaming mug of tea

 

 

 

 

 

Fiona Thomson

59

Kent

March: A Haiku for Andrea

 

 

Yellow spring flowers

Mark your birth and death day

Joy in the sadness.

 

 

 

Lel Meleyal

60

Brighton

 

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

Teesside

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

 

 

 

 

Kerry

Brighton