1st September 2021 ~ Issue 2
Show Your Support Today.
02: This Is Me, Christopher Amos
05: LGBTQ+ Anxiety Recovery
08: LGBTQ+ Movie Makers Present -Hating Peter Tatchell
11: LGBTQ+ Domestic Abuse
13: Brian Massey - Photographer & Artis
16: Split Infinitive Presents - Three Way
18: Mama G Stories
21: Quill, Featuring Author Brandon Burke
26: Followspot LGBTQ+ Theatre: Coppelia
29: Bellatrix Bed & Breakfast for Women
31: Who's Pride Is It Really? by King Kyree
33: Trans Radio UK
34: Fashion by Bear Wolf Panda
36: Fat Pigeon Art
39: Avenoir Perfumery
41: Cake It So
43: The Gay Saints
46: King Kidd - The Performer The Music
49: Loaded Burgers & Fries - The Ups and Downs
52: LGBTQ+ Weddings - Featuring Saltcote Place
55: Marcus Megastar The Story So Far
58: Travels in Queer Time and Space
62: GPN - Gay Professional Network
64: Tim Hamilton - The Queer Historian
65:AKT Charity looking after Homeless Young LGBTQ+ people
71: Tomer Aldube "Palestinian Theatre"
73: Our Sponsors
74: Sloving Minds, Qualified Counsellors & Therapists
76: Issue Three?
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This Is Me!
Christopher Amos is an Australian Director and producer born in Brisbane, Australia, a resident of London for two decades from 1999 before his return home in 2019 to live in Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast.
A long time Journalist and LGBT+ Activist, Christopher has created media content and entertainment for over two decades including his role as Editor-in-Chief of Bent magazine in the UK and owner of iconic club Manbar in London’s trendy Soho neighbourhood.
Christopher has produced and directed independent short films, promos and documentaries. In 2015 made his feature-length documentary debut by producing the cult film Dressed as a Girl, which premiered at Sheffield Doc/Fest.
Christopher originally graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Film & Television from Queensland University of Technology and studied a Masters in Scriptwriting from the London School of Film, Media & Performance.
In 2021, Christopher makes his feature documentary directorial debut with Hating Peter Tatchell, following the remarkable life story of one of the world’s most famous human rights activists, and featuring film stars Ian McKellen and Stephen Fry.
Hating Peter Tatchell is available to watch on Netflix now.
Within the LGBTQ+ world, something I see on a regular basis with all clients are issues around shame and self-esteem and it’s no wonder that members of the LGBTQ+ community suffer with greater anxiety levels than the general population. Somewhere between 30 and 60 percent of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals or transgender people deal with anxiety and depression at some point in their lives. That rate is 1.5 to 2.5 times higher than that of the straight or gender conforming people. The messages that many of us receive from the world at large can often be mixed and conflicting with microaggressions and unconscious bias, meaning that very often the feeling of being different is magnified by a marginalised society. There appears to be an attitude from the general population that the fight for equality is no longer required, because we live in a world that is more accepting than ever – and whilst this may be true to some degree, whilst there are still 70 countries in the world that view being LGBTQ+ as being a criminal offence, some still with the death penalty, the journey towards equality for LGBTQ+ worldwide will always be prevalent. Anxiety amongst our community stems largely from the feelings that we have about ourselves, which are generated from the messages that we receive from our families, people who are close to us, peers, colleagues and the media. Psychological safety is a basis for wellbeing and when a person doesn’t have it, one can experience overwhelm, frustration and anger which then spills over to guilt, shame, regret and remorse and the resultant effect is anxiety, panic and worry. Anxiety is something that I battled with for years for all of the reasons that I have talked about, prior to becoming a therapist and now that I have mental freedom in my life, I am able to use my roadmap to guide and support other clients who find them selves trapped in the anxiety loop. There are some things that I have learned along the way…
I want to share something deeply personal with you all.....
My Ten Rules For Life - from the mistakes that I have made.
SELF ESTEEM AND SELF WORTH, IS AN INSIDE-OUT JOB.
I STRUGGLED MASSIVELY WITH SELF ESTEEM AND SELF WORTH RIGHT UP UNTIL MY MID TO LATE 30’S, BECAUSE OF VARIOUS THINGS ABOUT MY INTERPRETATION OF MY OWN LGBTQ+ PRESENTATION TO THE WORLD -
I’D CONDITIONED MYSELF WITHOUT CONSCIOUS KNOWLEDGE, TO PLAY SMALL.
To give you an idea, I had cropped short hair, enjoyed tinkering around with car engines, lifted weights, played contact sports, I dressed in a very androgynous way, I rejected make up, preferred men's cologne to women's, wanted to desperately to find a corner of the world where I felt comfortable, desperately seeking validation from friends, family, colleagues, strangers ...
I struggled with my sexuality and my gender identity. I wasn’t even aware I was still struggling years after coming out to everyone.
I felt like a round peg in a square hole.
I was looking for outside approval, to gain inside approval of myself.
See the problem here?
When you lose yourself in others expectations, you lose yourself completely.
I set about bringing about change and transformation into my life. It hasn’t been easy. It’s been hard work, but with practice and repetition I started to alter my inner world, my inner narrative and that’s when things started to change rapidly.
You are never fixed, stuck or static in your life. You can gain control and learn to be a master of your own ship.
Now I fully love and embrace all of these things that make me different, because I can't stand being 'part of the crowd'.
There are some lessons I have learned on this journey and I want to share them with you today in the hope that some of them resonate to be able to realise that you don't have to be a passenger in your own life - You can be the driver!
1. You can’t please everyone in life (unless you sell ice cream and even then, it depends on the flavour).
2. You get one life. Life is precious and the years go by so quickly, don't waste time on things, situations or people that make you feel less than your worth. That includes family. (If family reject you, which mine did - choose your own family of friends).
3. When you focus on pleasing yourself, there will be people who will call you selfish. But who’s being selfish here? You, or them, for expecting you to live by ‘their rules’? Come on - think about it.
4. When you be fully yourself, you can truly thrive. Alone time is so good - You can reflect and rebuild. If you’re scared of being alone, you need to find out why, because if you don’t, this will cause you issues later on. Especially when it comes to personal relationships.
5. The one thing you can bet on in life, things are constantly changing and evolving- including you. Trying to apply your old patterns for new circumstances, is what is keeping you stuck.
6. Having children doesn’t mean you have to completely give up on your life, or your dreams. When you’re on an airplane and the oxygen mask comes down, you have to put yours on first, before you help anyone next to you.
7. Life is not something that happens ‘to you’ you always have the choice to steer your own ship. Some realise this, sooner than others.
8. Being LGBTQ+ means you are part of a very unique, global family. Those people in life who are the most inspiring and awesome, have never ever once fitted in. They stick out. They aren’t like everyone else. Make sure you do the same!
9. Enjoy your life and don’t be afraid to change and alter your environment, friends, interests, or career - There's a whole planet out there to explore. The people that support you, are your tribe.
10. Change is bloody hard and it’s scary. But the magic never happens, staying within the confines of your comfort blanket.
What lessons have you learned in your life that have helped you heal and walk forward into your power?Which of these resonates with you?
If you are interested in joining our exclusive Facebook Group The leading, premier LGBTQ+ anxiety recovery, confidence and personal wellness group for professional LGBTQ+ people, on Facebook.
This is a group for ambitious LGBTQ+ people who are invested in healing and recovery to connect with a therapist and LGBTQ+ emotional wellness coach.
Members in this group have said that this group is “Life changing”.
You won’t find another focused LGBTQ+ group like this on Facebook. This is a thriving community, for people who want to live more adventurously with more PRIDE and POWER. Click the link here:https://www.facebook.com/groups/359069712192635/
Leanne C. Jones BA (Hons)
LGBTQ+ Anxiety Therapist and Emotional Wellbeing Coach
Pride Passion and Purpose for LGBTQ+ Women
Writer& Director Christopher Amos
It follows Peter now as he embarks on his riskiest crusade yet by seeking to disrupt the FIFA World Cup in Moscow to draw attention to the persecution of LGBT+ people in Russia and Chechnya.
ELTON JOHN & DAVID FURNISH
From Executive producers Elton John and David Furnish, Hating Peter Tatchell is the powerful and inspiring true story of the controversial human rights campaigner whose provocative acts of civil disobedience rocked the British establishment, revolutionised attitudes to homosexuality and exposed world tyrants. As social attitudes change and history vindicates Peter’s stance on gay rights, his David versus Goliath battels gradually win him status as a national treasure.
Featuring an amazing array of rare archive and an intimate conversation between celebrated actor Ian McKellen and Peter himself, as well as evocative interviews with the likes of former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, activist Angela Mason, actor Stephen Fry, this film explores what motivates Peter Tatchell’s lifelong fight for equality.
LGBTQ+ Movie Makers
By Director Christopher Amos
Available now on Netflix
In 1999, I first met activist Peter Tatchell soon after arriving in London from Australia. I was drawn to his dedication to campaigning for human rights over such a sustained period, thirty plus years already at this time.
Yet, despite his considerable efforts fighting for equality, Peter was facing severe criticism, even from within the LGBT+ community. Shockingly this included hate mail and death threats. Throughout the time I known Peter he went from being a public figure who the media and critics loved to hate, to a beloved national treasure – this fascinated me.
Over the past two decades, I have come to appreciate first-hand Peter’s eccentricities, his meticulous organisation and witnessed his arsenal of direct action tactics defending human rights. I admire his dedication and bravery.
Hating Peter Tatchell
Available Now on Netflix
In 2016, I set about making my feature directorial debut to tell Peter’s incredible story. Following three years of research, development and funding knockbacks in the UK, on the advice of a mentor, I moved back to Australia to seek finance. Soon after Veronica Fury of WildBear Entertainment embraced my vision to document Peter’s life’s work and we were in production.
In February 2020, we were fortunate to travel to London to film our master interviews, including interviews with Stephen Fry, Ian McKellen and Peter Tatchell. We returned to Australia to edit the film one month before the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions occurred.
Throughout this lockdown period, the entire post-production team, including a dozen musicians, worked remotely from their homes scattered across the UK and Australia. Coincidentally, the Black Lives Matter campaign reignited just as we finished our film about a direct action legend. Suddenly, there seemed a deep sense of urgency to tell Peter’s story now.
Society can be unkind to those who shake up the status quo. People are afraid of change. In Peter’s case, he forces people to take a stand on human rights issues, one way or another.
Sometimes facing ugly truths is confronting, even shameful, and Peter’s direct action tactics are viewed by some as a step too far. However Peter is one of the most peaceful people I have met. He uses non-violent tactics; words not weapons, to make his point.
Peter has spoken out against human rights abuses. When others have stayed silent and he remains a shining example of how one person truly can make the world a better place. By following his story, this documentary ends up a ‘how-to’ guide for direct action. Hopefully able to inspire a new generation of activists to campaign for whatever they believe in. To fight injustice like Peter.
A lot of people say, “But what can I do?” Peter doesn’t question; he acts. It is these actions and this striking mindset that deserves recognition and to which this film is a testament.
Hating Peter Tatchell
By Christopher Amos
Writer & Director
General knowledge, music and nearest wins questions are the staple of this LGBTQ+ game show type quiz for the 21st century.
Powered by SpeedQuizzing, SpeedQueerzers were due to launch their first quiz night in North London in May 2020 but 3 days before, Boris Johnson had advised everyone to stay at home.
Shortly after, an online version became available and from April 2020, a community of LGBTQ+ online quizzers began to form.
Fast-forward into 2021 and there are now several regular players as well as some who drop in every now and again. Many play solo while others play as teams within their household.
Most of their quizzers are based in London with others around the UK but some players have been as far afield as the Netherlands, New York, Seattle, North Carolina and even Rio De Janeiro.
players of all generations participate. Don’t rate yourself highly at quizzes? “In our quizzes, it’s not always about how much you know, sometimes it’s knowing what you know at the right time!” That’s the slogan used by Queerzmaster Angus, meaning that not necessarily, does the best team always win!
And it hasn’t just been about the quiz. It has formed new social circles for many, a chance to meet outside of quizzing with lockdown restrictions easing, and future events will include many other activities outside of quizzing!
September 2021 will see their new launch date at a venue in the Angel, Islington but for now, their quizzes will continue to be hosted online for free normally at least once a week via Zoom.
You can find out when their next quiz will be by searching for SpeedQueerzers onoutsavvy.comor following their Instagram or Facebook page/group.
Photographer & Artist
Brian a UK based Artist with a huge passion for Wildlife!
Africa ignites my two biggest passions in life, photography and Wildlife. The incredible imagery that I have been so blessed to capture was the basis of my very first designs and continues to be the main focus in my artwork. I would like to think my art brings awareness to some of the worlds most magnificent creatures and their natural habitats.
I have been extremely lucky over the last 14 years managing to travel to over 112 countries.
I always knew I wanted to do something with my art but was never sure which path I would settle on.
As all too often life got in the way and I didn't sketch for 17 years. I was also too structured and a total perfectionist and this frustrated me.
I was then inspired by a film I watched and began trying new freer styles and within a month my artwork was selling across the world.
I was lucky enough to be featured on Channel 4 TV recently for a daytime show because of the charity donations I give through the sales of my art.
Currently my artwork donates to Terrence Higgins Trust, Scope, Martin House Children's Hospice, Rob Burrow MND fund and Beardies in Need.
While on the show I did a surprise commission piece for Oti Mabusi and since then have been very busy completing pet portraits in my personal and eye catching style.
I currently have a small merchandise range featuring certain pieces and will be looking at adding to this collection over the coming months.
I am currently working on a new collection called "Iconimals" with the first piece "Amy Rhinehouse" having just been released, this collection will feature music icons and my favourite animals fused together to treat something funky, fresh and as always full of colour.
Click Here To Enter Website
Mama G Stories
Telling tales, for the whole family
How did you find the first edition of Forever with Pride?! I loved it! It was so good to see all the amazing things that are happening in our community because of incredible people like you!
I'm so proud to be a part of it!
Since we last spoke a lot has changed in the world and we've been able to go out galavanting again which means I've had gigs, gigs and more gigs!
I've been to libraries, theatres, festivals and prides - living my best life and meeting lots of wonderful people.
I even held my own family pride in South London, featuring Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, 90s pop star Lolly and BGT's Lorraine Bowen. Check out the highlights video! It was a great day and we did it all for the fantastic charity Mermaids.
And to get you in the mood: why not take a look at me telling some of my classic stories?!
Don't forget you can find me on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube - just click on the blue coloured words or search for @MamaGStories.
My podcast, 'Story Time with Mama G' is out every Friday, where you get your podcasts and I'm on Glitterbeam Radio every Sunday at 11pm.
And talking of pride: I'm so gutted that pride in London has been cancelled - but I'm making up for it by presenting a brand new pride storytelling show at London Wonderground on September 11th.
The next day "Mama G's Story Time Roadshow' will be at Underbelly Cavendish Square - so you can have yourselves a Mama G Weekender! Get your tickets NOW! Click Here
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The quill is mightier than the sword
Are you an LGBTQ+ writer and would you like to showcaes your work here? iIf the answer is yes please do get in touch.
It took me 35 years to come out of the closet. With Ozark blood in my veins, I was raised to love Jesus, throw a baseball, fish for trout, and admire Daisy Duke. It all got complicated when I realized what was going on in Bo Duke’s blue jeans was much more interesting.
Along my crusade to queerdom there were occasional cues, a little wink from God – a sign, that a boy’s life could be filled with more interesting activities that fishing, baseball, and boobies.
Here is a story of one of those winks.
By Brandon Burke
There is a windchime that terrifies me. It hangs in our backyard, cast from an imprint of a real woman’s face. It spins in a breeze: Tinkle, tinkle, tinkle- the chimes cry. I think it would scream if it/she could take a breath. The chimes might be Morse code, “I’m trapped; Let me out. I don’t belong here. Someone, please help me!”.
I hate the thing. When the Santa Ann winds come it gets angry, thrashing its broken chimes against the patio post, the face spins one way until its’ twine is taught, then spins the other way; a face trapped in clay. John made it.
John made windchimes at the arts and crafts shows. Where he met my dad.Low on cash he, his wife and their daughter moved into a bedroom of our home. John reminded me of baloo, the bear from Jungle Book. “…huge, hairy, smiley and opinionated.” John was the biggest, fattest person I had ever seen in my life; his wife Lucille, was larger.
Lucille spends most of her time in the bedroom with her daughter. While John laughs loud and often, and has an opinion on everything, his wife is silent. (At seven, I didn’t recognize signs of depression, or what it means to feel like life has passed you by; but I became good friends with these ideas later.)
Lucille will venture out of her room when the house is mostly empty. She walks daintily on large legs and tries to sit down silently in an armchair where she can watch her daughter skip rope in the back yard. I usually skip rope with her daughter, but once a month I sit with Lucille while she reads from her monthly subscription of Dance Magazine.
She said, “it’s the one thing I told John I wouldn’t give up”. Lucille doesn’t let me touch her dance magazines; she’s concerned I might smudge them or crease the pages. She shows me pictures of the dancers flying, their leg muscles stretched and fixed mid leap, and tells me stories of when she was a dancer. As she talks about this she smiles and rubs her hand down the base of her neck.
We want all fat women to be bold and brassy or at least cheerful. It makes us more comfortable. Lucille wasn’t funny; she was the opposite of funny. She did have the thick shinny hair many lager women seem to have, hers was orange.
Her skin is white, almost translucent; when I watch her wandering down the hall with her head down, like a ghost haunting our house- a huge ghost looking around for something she’s lost, or something to eat. But, when she sits in the armchair and tells me stories of the famous dancers she’s met, she will lift her head, the sunlight from the window, a spotlight in the darkness, reflects off her clear ivory skin.
Most of the time Lucille is scowling and sighing, her mouth turned down into a mockery of a frown, her blue, small eyes squinting out the window. I get the feeling that I should stay out of her way, but when she’s talking about the ballet she’s welcoming and bends towards friendly.
When I first heard john tell my dad that Lucille was once a ballerina, I didn’t comprehend it. It was like being told she was once a toaster. The more I watched, the wat she would tilt her head and delicately turn the pages, I could almost imagine it.
The same way I thought of John as Baloo from the Jungle Book, Lucille became the dancing hippo from Fantasia. Though large, the cartoon hippo spins like a top, balances on a toe shoe with her head held high and her other leg lifting behind her to the sky. She’s never out of breath; her tutu around her large waist creates a halfway point between her quick moving feet and the arched back and arms lifted over her head. In my imagination Lucille is like this long eyelashes and smile and joyous. She is the star of the ballet and takes the stage to huge applause as pencil shaped girls circle around her then wait in the background.
Lucille comes in and sits down in her regular chair. She has her Dance Magazine and looks a little more animated today. She calls me over and shows me the cover. It’s a picture of a handsome man with a smirk on his face, like he’s got a secret. He has on a collared shirt, blue stretched pants, white leg warmers pushed down around his ancles and a huge crotch, like he’s hiding a half-filled balloon in his pants, maybe that’s why he has that look on his face.
Lucille points at the bottom, “Exclusive, Baryshnikov’s Balanchine Adventure”. Lucille tells me she was once in dance class when Baryshnikov came through and commented on her camber during the adagio.
Baryshnikov, Balanchine and camber mean nothing to me, but I smile, nod my head and raise my eyebrows as though I’m impressed. She describes in detail, that day in the dance studio, using French works that sound like fancy foods. I practice these words in my head with a French accent, “Yes please, I would love some a La seconde on my fondu grand plie.”
Lucille notices that I’m daydreaming and stops talking. I ask her to show me how to do a move.
She has me stand and grab hold of the arm of the chair with my right hand. She tells me to bend my knees but make my spine grow at the same time; I’m to open my left arm to the side. This is called a plie. I feel like royalty. Lucille isn’t impressed and she rocks back in her chair to get the momentum needed to stand. I sit down on the ottoman, and she tells me to watch then takes off her house-shoes.
She looks frightening standing over me, and I get the idea that if she falls forward. She’ll squash me and I’ll never grow up and have the chance to order food in a nice restaurant using my French affectation. She takes a moment to place her heals together with her toes facing out. She is standing straight, looking forward, her arms low and curved outlining her large midsection.
In shorter than a second, in the blink of an eye, though I don’t blink, she becomes a living statue. She is simultaneously rigid and feminine. Her head moves slowly, softly left, as her arms start to lift then open to the side in a movement that has the impression of being quick but is smooth and slow.
Her left fingers touch the edge of the chair; her right arm extended long and powerful and curved, ending with one finger stretched out like the painting I saw of Adam reaching out to God.
As she bends her knees she whispers “plie”. Her neck grows longer and her chin lifts slightly; she is floating up as her knees bend down. She continues; I’m breathing in time with her. She straightens her legs, then lifts her body up, up, on the balls of her feet. Her legs are squeezed tight and her right arm still slightly curved, is over her head; she takes her left arm off the armchair. Her fingers release the chair as though it had been there, not to keep her balance, but to keep her grounded to the earth. This hand comes up to greet the other.
She is a skyscraper stretching to heaven, she is Athena leading warriors to battle, she is Lady Liberty: thick arms, long neck, solid jaw and majestic. She’s beautiful, and I’m a witness. It’s my first experience with this feminine power glorious, a step towards divine, made in the image of God.
I hear john’s footsteps behind me, but I ignore him. I’m in diva worship. He bounds forward heavy footed: “Oh isn’t she a knockout?” He leans forward and grabs at her as she loses her balance, “My little Bala-rhino”. He laughs and slaps her back end. If I had a riffle I’d shoot him and mount his head on the wall, then sell him at the craft fair.
I come home from school; John and Lucille and there are gone. On my bed is a stack of dance Magazines. I hid them in my closet and bring them. Out when nobody is home. I read about Rudolf Nureyev, Gelsey Kirkland and Natalia Makarova. Inside, she has left a fold out illustrating ballet position. I practice these in the backyard.The rhythm from the windchime setting the tempo for my adagio.
Brandon Burke is an American Stand-Up comedian and actor living in London.
To read more from Brandon follow him on Facebook @brandoninbritian or Instagram @mrbrandonburke
CoppeliaandTheSupermarketSuiteis a double bill of all male jazz ballet.
Nominated choreography is provided by William Spencer, who will also premiere his new short workThe Supermarket Suitein an exciting evening of narrative theatre dance inspired by the music ofTheNutcracker,focusing on the everyday comedy we find in our lives.Coppeliais a timeless classical ballet which has been reimagined to showcase 4 phenomenal dancers and set to the backdrop of a 21st century Soho.
Headlining the season is a sexy new all male modern ballet based on Delibes’ classic Coppelia, which is partnered with a new piece to the music of Tchaikovsky, The Supermarket Suite.
If it’s hard hitting drama you are looking for, we have the critically acclaimed Bleach, a darkly humorous, soul-jolting one man show about sex, violence and city living.
For those of you a need of a laugh after 16 months of restrictions, there is Ronnie Larsen’s hilarious and naughty Happy Ending. A gay man, a straight man and a massage table. What could possibly go wrong in this fast paced, fresh and fruity comedy?
Produced by Peter Bull for LAMBCO Productions
Do you own/run an LGBTQ+ theatre or theatre group and would you like to see it here in the Fallowspot theatre page? Well if you do get in touch, we would love to know who you are and what you do.
AFTERNOON ARIAS: the best of Summer Opera
A summer's afternoon of opera classics, freshly picked from the season's most anticipated festivals.
This special concert performance, curated and accompanied live on piano by David Eaton (Pirates of Penzance, Holland Park; Charles Court Opera), highlights the very best of this year's summer programming at Glyndebourne, Holland Park, Grange Park and Garsington.
Tyler Everett knows how to take it like a man; he’s made a career out of it. He’s rejected London’s corporate world in favour of screwing his way through the city each night. Up to now he’s been doing pretty well for himself, enjoying a hedonistic life of men, sex and money.........
A gay man, a straight man and a massage table …Happy Ending introduces you to a simple, perfectly professional massage therapist who goes about his day job never knowing who his next client might be........
Performance Dates, Times and Ticketing Information: www.gardentheatre.co.uk
GET 10% OFF USING CODE: LGBTQ+
We regulary enjoy BBQ's at this cove and the women who stay at Bellatrix love this authentic outdoor experience on The Wild Atlantic Way' there are many other thinsgs that you can do here at Bellatrix such as whale and dolphin watching, bird watching, cycling and much more.
To find out more about Bellatrix Bed & Breakfast just click on any photo or follow this web link: www.bellatrixbedandbreakfastforwomen.com
Bellatrix is a bed and breakfast for women on the wild atlantic way, Beara Peninsula, close to Castletownbere, West Cork, Ireland.
It's the place where women from all over th world can meet and relax in Ierlands stunning south west coast.
Lainey from Ireland and Rita from Switzerland are
the owners of Bellatrix, the met on The Beara Peninsula.
Rita is an experienced walking/hiking guide. She will tailor specific walks to suit your level of fitness.
The walks are around the beara Way, Beara mountains and costal treks.
Who's Pride is It Really?
For those of you saying that “it can’t be that bad or at least not like being accosted by the heteronormative world” should really check themselves. I have been called the “N” word more times by other gay men than any other group and if I’m being specific, other gay men of color.
In today’s society, it seems that everyone has a social camp that they belong to and want to defend, but for me, a gay man that also happens o be black, I have quite a few camps that I belong to simultaneously. My name is Kyree Turner and this article is a mere glimpse of what it’s like to be someone like me. It is not my intention to offend anyone with my statements, but rather share my experience being a person of color in the gay community. As I often in my podcast ‘Age of the Millennial’, if you do not want to be here, you are free to leave. So, with that being said, let’s continue.
If I’m honest, being black in the gay community is garbage, and that is putting it lightly. Being marginalized within a marginalized group has a tendency to leave one feeling isolated and filled with self-loathing simply for being. If that sounds familiar to any of you, I wouldn’t be surprised because it’s almost what every LGBTQ+ person feels being surrounded by a group of heterosexual individuals that drop the “F” bomb on a regular basis. For those that are not of color, you may feel more at ease surrounded by other LGBTQ+ individuals, but for me and many other LGBTQ+ of color, that space isn’t safe at all. Can you imagine having nowhere to go, because oftentimes, that’s how many of us feel?
When I say stuff like that, people shake their heads in disbelief, some going as far to call me a liar. People who call me a liar often change their tunes when I pull up screenshots proving my truth. After that, they usually apologize to me and say things like “I can’t believe that” or “that’s messed up”. Yeah, I agree, it is messed up and I find it hard to believe too. Or I did when it first started happening, but now it seems all too normal.
How did we get to this point? I am not sure exactly, all I know is that when pride month comes around, it seems less and less like it’s for me and other people like me. If you want to call me a whiner or entitled, go ahead, but the fact of the matter is that all the pictures of pride show a very clear picture of who it’s meant for. Its very white, gay male focused, which is exhausting to think about and even more exhausting to explain, but if you want to see a clear picture, go to Google and simply type “gay pride parade pictures” and simply count the times a racial or gendered minority is represented within our community. You’ll understand what I’m talking about.
At the end of the day, I am not ashamed of being gay, just like I’m not ashamed of being black, but I know my place and it’s in a very specific role within the community. I am more often than not expected to be seen and not heard and just go with the flow/agenda while accepting the scraps. Many LGBTQ+ have accepted this for themselves, but I refuse. I know who I am and what I’m worth, so I will never settle. If the white gays want to be in control, let them, for all the good it does them, because when everything’s said and done, we are all still a marginalized group, desperately clambering for our shot at equality. It’s unfortunate to think though, that we will never get to where we need to be by standing on top of one another and establishing our own marginalized hierarchy, where we rank the most important people by physical characteristics, but that doesn’t make you better than anyone eles, it makes you luckier.
As always, I’m King Kyree. Peace out for now.
This page was sponsored by
Our presenters are proud to represent the station, and regularly do, at various Pride and Trans Pride events around the country and internationally. Our services are available whether it be our DJ’s hosting, playing background music, broadcasting live or undertaking interviews. The Trans Radio UK family was proud that the founding member, Lucy Clark, was nominated for a National Diversity Award as a positive role model (LGBT) 2019 and that Trans Radio UK was also nominated in 2020 as a Community Organisation (LGBT).
Who are Trans Radio UK?
We are the only trans radio station in the UK although we are told we are the only one in the world. The vast majority of our presenters and team are trans or non-binary and although predominately UK based, we have many of our team located around the world. We are a community radio station run by the community for the community.
Despite the UK in our name, we are listened to in over 100 countries and are live 24/7 with a vast range of different shows from Classical, early 1900’s right up to current music and nearly everything in between. We are proud of the diversity of our team and the music they play and are a platform for members of the community to showcase their talents whether they are a presenter, DJ, musician or composer.
We have an active chat room where presenters and listeners can come together for chat and banter during the shows and we are active on most social media, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat and TikTok.
Bear Wolf Panda…. Our story so far………in a galaxy far far away, well Suffolk UK
As members of the Bear community since it’s been too early to mention, we wanted to create a company of inclusivity. Using our platform to champion diversity and widen our representation in the community. Our aim is to make you feel special and proud to be who you want to be.
At bear wolf panda (BWP) we have style on our minds and creativity in our hearts. But we also celebrate unconditional love for all, passionately presenting a none-traditional expressive and creative line that welcomes everyone in our community and beyond.
We are a new start up business born through the COVID-19 outbreak. We own & run a restaurant in Suffolk which was forced to close and we worry for it’s future. We had been toying with this idea of creating T-shirts and accessories for years and now seemed the perfect opportunity.
Life sometimes feels like a roller-coaster and not always the safest one. However, that’s one of the things that make life beautiful, spicing things up, challenging us to make changes, to improve ourselves, to be better tomorrow than we are today.
Today is the birth of BWP.
Kevin Wainwright (Panda)
Born in Cheshire.
20 plus years in the arts as an actor in most West End musicals, design and creativity was always part of his life.
He came to the restaurant industry at the age of 40 and successfully created, owned and ran 2 bars, 2 restaurants, 1 cafe and an award-winning boutique hotel over the last 16 years.
Born in Zaragoza Spain.
Now living in Sitges and working as a Firefighter at Barcelona Airport, Jose offers an international flair to our business.
He is a free spirit and enjoys travelling to remote parts of the world bringing back inspiration and ideas.
His passion for wild animals and nature and knowledge of both is second to none.
As our business grows in the UK Jose will be developing contacts everywhere and anywhere else, even in a galaxy far far away!
David Little (Bear)
Bear Wolf Panda ships globaly and postage is calculated at the check out before payment is taken.
Born In London.
Account manager for 20 years in the Waste industry, turned to become a self-taught chef at the age of 40 gaining 2 AA rosettes after 3 months cooking and some local awards saw their restaurant go to no 1 in Suffolk on trip advisor.
Now David is the finance manager and executive chef for his current venture with Kevin based in Suffolk.
Jose luis Olmos Alvaro (Wolf)
NO NO NO
Fat Pigeon Art is an LGBTQ+ business of limited prints, mugs, t-shirts and much more.
We believe in bringing colour into the lives and homes of our customers. It is also important to us to give back to our community and that is why we have selected work to raise funds. 50% of the sales from these selected items go directly back into the LGBTQ+ community.
Art was my thing at school. I achieved the highest grade in my year way back then. After leaving school I wanted to go to Art College but unfortunately my homophobic foster parents told me that ‘only poofs go to art college’ I wasn’t 16/17 yrs of age so I didn’t argue it. Instead, I went to catering college and had a very successful career for 30 years.
When lockdown happened for the first time I found myself at home with my husband and our kids….. I needed to escape somehow at times, so I picked up my tablet and started to scribble…..
I sell my art through my website, www.fatpigeonart.uk as well as on social media. I’m also really lucky to be able to say that my art is also sold in a fantastic LGBTQ gallery/shop right in the heart of Brighton’s city centre.
I’ve been lucky, because of my hard work, and have had celebrities like and comment on my work on Twitter which has been very exciting, So Jane Horrocks, Boy George and Alan Carr to name but a few. But last year I designed 9 drag queen Christmas cards and mugs of local stars and all profits from sales went back into the community which was a thrill.
Ugh the Pandemic! What a terrible time it’s been. For my art the pandemic has been positive because I have the time to create a fair amount of artwork and I’ve also been able to see myself improve. Personally, we’ve been very lucky and haven’t experienced any loss or serious health issues. The four of us, stuck at home with each other has been pretty calm.
The kids have done well but I’m glad they are back at school to be honest.
We have big plans for the future! I will continue to sell online and hopefully via the Gallery. I’m currently trying my hand at pottery and envision a series of figures of British Drag Queen figures towards Christmas time and there are few other ideas bouncing around in my head.
We hope to also have other LGBTQ artists feature on the website and a podcast too. The idea is for artists to talk about their talents and how they do what they do as well as advise, competitions and freebies. Keep an eye on our social media for more announcements.
Growing up as an only child, I spent a lot of time making things to entertain myself. Being creative, with whatever materials I could get my hands on became my “thing”. But most of all, I loved to play with my mother’s aromatherapy oils. Every bath time would become an experiment in making a momentary perfume experience.
Avenoir Perfumery makes perfumes unlike anyone else.
Inspired by life experiences, music, poetry and art, our perfumes are vegan, cruelty-free and sustainable. Each bottle of perfume is made by hand, in small batches, here in Birmingham, UK. We don’t believe that fragrances should be segregated by gender. That’s why all the fragrances we make are gender-neutral.
All our perfumes are formulated by our Perfumer, Luisa Gibson. We started as a dream, back in late 2018, and after 18 months of development, we launched in 2020.
For me, fragrance is much more than just a smell. It’s a method of storytelling, a way to set the scene or put the wearer (or those in close quarters) in a particular frame of mind.
As I got older, music also became a passion of mine. It wasn’t until I was in my late teens, after having been diagnosed with Dyslexia and Dyspraxia that I realised not everyone experienced colour and music and scent as emotions (otherwise known as synaesthesia – one of the many perks of being Neurodiverse). Once I saw this as a gift, and not an abnormal quirk, this started to influence my creative output.
During this time, I made a concerted effort to live more ethically. I cut waste wherever possible, and spent many hours researching how I could make our lifestyle more sustainable. Whilst doing this I was shocked to discover that my beloved perfumes were often manufactured in an unsustainable way. Made with synthetic materials which aren’t good for the human body or the environment. Grown or processed in areas of conflict, with the inherent human exploitation this can bring, or form natural materials which come from plants threatened by extinction.
I searched for a range of ethical perfumes, so I could replace my usual perfumes. I struggled to find something that was natural, cruelty-free and also felt representative of me. And so started the journey of creating the range of perfumes that we make here at Avenoir Perfumery!
Each perfume is inspired by or inspires further creativity, by the way of paintings, sculpture, poetry, or digital art, all of which will be featured alongside the perfumes.
Everything we make is firstly formulated by myself. It is then tested for safety in a lab, that categorically does not test on animals. We then share samples with our fabulous supporters for their thoughts, before it makes it to a bottle for you! Everything Avenoir makes is vegan and from sustainable sources. We only use ethical materials and look to reduce waste wherever possible.
I moved to London and started university, training as a singer and then as a sound engineer. On lecture free days I spent many an afternoon at the perfume counters of the flagship department stores of Oxford Street, often wondering if I could make perfumes myself. I wanted to combine music, fragrance, and performance within my work.
After finding it near soul-destroying trying to break into the industry, I left London and retrained as a makeup artist. This was a career I loved, as it allowed me to continue to express my creativity. But, as my genetic condition worsened, and I became more Disabled, all-day photo shoots were just too strenuous to continue. I quickly found that self-care became not just important, but essential to keeping myself healthy and happy.
In 2018, I experienced another major life change. I found myself having to rebuild almost every aspect of my life as a young Disabled single mum. Although at times things seemed desperate and bleak, I instead chose to see this change as an opportunity to start a fresh. It gave me the impetus to turn my hobby into a career and use my talents to provide a better future for my daughter and I.
Welcome to Cake It So, My name is Sarah and I am a cake designer, specialising in geeky and sculpted cakes which make people say “wow!”. I’m particularly fond of making cakes that look like other food but have made everything from ramen to reindeer!
My business began just over 12 years ago after I discovered a passion for cake decorating. I initially worked around my job but it soon became clear I could run the business full time, so I went for it.
Over the last 4 years I stepped back down to part time whilst I completed a full time Integrated Masters in Chemistry degree at the University of Leeds but since I graduated I am back in the kitchen full time and have relaunched and rebranded to reflect the geeky nature of what I do, and the direction the business has taken over the time I’ve been running it.
I’ve been very lucky throughout the pandemic that me business hasn’t suffered too much. Of course it has changed, I’ve not made a big cake to feed 200 guests for a while, but I think people have still needed their celebrations albeit on a smaller scale, so I’ve made lots of fun smaller cakes.
I’ve been lucky to create cakes to celebrate all sorts of wonderful events, movie launches, celebrity birthdays, I’ve even flown a wedding cake to Germany! One thing I’ve never done before is enter competitions, but I am planning for that later this year and I’m very much looking forward to seeing how I can do there. In terms of my cakes I enjoy cakes with a gravity defying element and want to create bigger and wilder cakes like these.
Instagram is the best place to see my work,https://www.instagram.com/cakeitsouk/as I share behind the scenes shots and sneak peeks of upcoming projects there. I have a full gallery and other information also on my websitewww.cakeitso.couk
They were then sent to Risafe (now a city in ruins in central Syria), where they were scourged so severely that Bacchus died. Boards were nailed to Sergius’s feet, upon which he was forced to walk before being beheaded.
Considerable posthumous homage has been paid the martyrs.
Saints Sergius and Bacchus, (died c. 303, Risafe, Syria; feast day October 7), among the earliest authenticated and most celebrated Christian martyrs, commemorated in the Eastern and Western churches.
Early martyrologies record that Sergius and Bacchus were officers in the Roman army on the Syrian Frontier. They were supposedly favourites of the Roman emperor Maximian, whose wrath they incurred by refusing to sacrifice to the pagan god Jupiter because they were Christians.
Maximian demoted Sergius and Bacchus, ordering them to be costumed in woman’s dress and marched through the streets.
Saints Sergius and Bacchus The Gay Saints?
With Thanks to
In 431 Alexander, metropolitan of Hierapolis, restored the church over Sergius’s grave, and shortly afterward Risafe became a bishopric.
The Byzantine emperor Justinian I changed the name of Risafe toSergiopolis, making it an archdiocese, and in honour of Sergius he had churches buit at Constantinople (now Istanbul) and at Acre in Palestine.
The church at Risafe became famous in the East as a major pilgrimage site. Sergius and Bacchus were designated protectors of the Byzantine army, and numerous Eastern sanctuaries and churches were subsequently dedicated to them.
Their veneration is old, and a mass ascribed to Pope Gelasius I is assigned to them. Christian desert nomads regard Sergius as their patron saint.
In Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe (1994), American professor and historian John Boswell argued that the relationship between Sergius and Bacchus was much debated, the saints are popular in the gay Christian community.
Can you please tell us your name and how old you are?
King.Kidd – The king in my name represents the determination to be at the top; and the Kidd in my name represents my inner joy and authenticity. And I’m 28 years old.
Where are you from? Please tell us a little bit about where you live.
I was born in Dallas Texas, and raised in Plano and Frisco Texas. Everything is seriously bigger in Texas.
From the food, to the personalities, to the music venues.
I don’t think I could live anywhere else.
How would you describe yourself?
I would describe myself as a society bending, epically passionate, nerd of an artist.
I’ve always been for the underdog, and I like my music to reach out to those individuals.
If you were ever called weird, nerd/geek, or too passionate my music is for you!
Tell us about your music.
I like to describe myself and my music as a Conscious Poet who happens to make Hip-Hop
With a mix of RnB and Pop. I aim to entertain while also educate and uplift.
How long have you been a musician? And what would you say was your influence with regards to your musical style?
I officially branded myself as an artist in 2015, but I’ve been doing music my entire life.
My earliest memories are being in the church choir around 5 years old.
Where can we listen your music?
My first album Royal Family and new album Conscious King EP are both available on all digital platforms. Apple Music, Tidal, Spotify, YouTube, Deezer ect.
Do you do live gigs? If you do where?
I love doing live gigs! I’ve preformed all over Texas and Louisiana, and currently looking to expand my brand to other staes/countries.
RESTAURANT IN THE VALLEYS PAVING THE WAY FOR THE WHOLE LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY
A couple say they are creating a "safe space for LGBTQ+ people and the wider community" at the restaurant they opened in 2020 during the pandemic.
Lauren Bowen, aged 34, and her wife Natalie opened Loaded Burgers and Fries in the small Welsh town of Gelli/Ton Pentre after Coronavirus forced their marketing company to close during the first Covid Lockdown.
Natalie, aged 41, said that during lockdown, she and Lauren discovered they had limited food delivery options in Rhondda Cynon Taff, and saw an opportunity to set up a business to provide gourmet burgers as well as employ others who had lost their jobs amid the pandemic.
They first rented a small kitchen at a local pub, but there were constant power cuts and so they had to move elsewhere. Natalie said: “We then later found a premises that was more than we’d budgeted for but decided to take the risk and moved into a bistro. All renovations were done by the local community, and without the help from government grants, we were forced to open as soon as we could.”
When discussing the importance of inclusivity, Natalie said: “Pride is still needed today because so many parts of the community have been underrepresented. The Stonewall riots were headed by a trans person of colour who was a sex worker! Yet there is still a noticeable lack of representation. Parts of our community have been around for many years and we need to remember this and embrace them.”
They are now successfully running Loaded Burgers and Fries, an upmarket restaurant offering handmade burgers, fried chicken (they currently sell 3 different types all gluten free), hotdogs and loaded fries, cooking with the same meat supplied to five star restaurants in Cardiff. They employ 10 local people.
“We wanted to give more than just great tasting food, to create a safe space for LGBTQ+ people to be able to dine,” said Natalie.
We are certainly not just an LGBTQ+ restaurant we are a restaurant that is breaking the mould... helping those who are struggling to feel included to feel empowered and able to pursue their passions.”
Loaded Burgers & Fries also hosts drag performers, musicians, cabaret, and other performances. Natalie said: “We bring amazing diverse performers from all over the UK, from all different backgrounds. We are a community that welcomes people to be their genuine authentic selves.”
“Big cities are so diverse and inclusive yet, unfortunately, that sort of community is not translated everywhere in the UK. We are the first restaurant in South Wales with gender neutral toilets.”
She added: “There is little knowledge about the LGBTQ+ community in our area, so people have been more receptive because there are no preconceived notions.
Natalie believes that it’s simply because schools are playing catch-up. “Schools have been hampered for generations because of section 28 – it was the policy that prevented kids talking about their sexuality, about who and what they are. Government legislation prevents the conversations that safeguard children.”
She added: “The ‘No outsiders program’ taught younger children about the positives of LGBTQ+ community, books like ‘Are You a Boy Or Are You A Girl?’ by Sarah Savidge and Fox Fisher are helping to get those important conversations flowing again. People shouldn’t be frightened, it’s encouraging children to ask questions and accept one another.”
Loaded Burgers and Fries are providing a clean slate to pave the way for everyone in the LGBTQ+ community wanting to inspire others to do the same.
Welcome to Saltcote Place,
I see that you only do weddings is that right?
Actually no, we have 11 bedrooms in the house and choose to offer only two for guest accommodation. This approach along with a sensible pricing policy and a clear set of guidelines on our accommodation website https://salcote.co.uk/ ensures we receive enquiries from people we know we can look after, no children for example and breakfast will never be before 9am.
Our guests are generally mature, in established relationships who want to spend quality time together.
Many of these guests then become “repeat offenders” they all know we use this term with warmth and respect, when they return to celebrate significant anniversaries and birthdays.
The weddings we host are with people we really know and understand, the arrangements are a pleasure, and we never stress. The organisation takes place over a glasses of wine and friendly chats on the phone in preference to email which is used sparingly. We have an online portal that we use for arranging the detail for the weddings which works extremely well.
Can you tell us why did you start doing weddings at Saltcote Place, and when?
We started to host Weddings after hearing from our guests as a result of hosting our first wedding for a friend, it was a lot of fun and the feedback was quite a surprise.
Even suppliers have commented that it’s unlike other venues, the reason it’s different is because it’s a hobby albeit that we operate in a professional manner we are not focussed on volumes of weddings and never do “back to back” that would be dreadful. We much prefer a few weeks between celebrations.
There are as many different wedding venues out there as there are days of the week! 0 what makes you different and how many do you do in a year? Having a real and very sincere relationship with our couples who we’ve come to know well is a lot more fun than running a sausage factory of back to back events. With our gay couples it’s something we understand, We’ve been together nearly 40 years so we really do understand the significance and that some people just want sincerity and not the massed bands of the grenadier Guards in a faceless hotel that claims to be “Gay Friendly”.
We host a lot of events, the reality is we do a lot of events with like-mined people of which some are gay, we are not targeting any particular sector of the community but we are straight friendly.
From what I can see on your website you have a large team working for you, what can you tell us about them and what do they do?
Looks can be deceiving, we have two websites, one for accommodation, the other for weddings. The two of us manage everything in the house with a husband and wife cleaner team who help four hours a week and a father and son gardening team who do a day a week.
Our catering team have worked with us for over ten years and understand it’s all about encouraging our couples to be creative and indulgent.
Where do your clients come from are they all from the UK?
Mainly from the South East with a few from Canada.
Can you please tell us where you are?
We’re located in Rye in East Sussex TN31 7NR.
Our marquee team are flexible and usually our marquees go up on a Wednesday or Thursday so that our couples and their families can have some fun making them bespoke, whilst having fun without spending a fortune.
What sare your thoughts on companies being more environmentally friendly?
It’s no longer an option to ignore environmental concerns. When it’s your home and someone fires a confetti gun filled with annoying plastic hearts and slivers of shiny plastic it’s more than annoying. We have a set of guidelines we share with our neighbours so that everyone understands the do’s and the don’ts which cover Chinese lanterns which kill wildlife, fireworks without alerting the neighbours and how to move on roosting birds before the big display.
Has Saltcote Place wone any awards?
The accommodation has always been graded as 5 star gold by Visit England, since TripAdvisor started we have always been no1 locally. We have been rated first in England by our guests and third in the world.
During our 11 years we have never had a complaint in part due to having the neighbours on board withhttps://SaltcoteWeddings.co.uk/respect/
How would you describe yourself and your music?
I’m all about the FUN, super-watchable, never boring!
I do the undone in sound and visuals, especially creating characters with prosthetic FX.
I'm passionate about taking entertainment to the stratosphere collaborating with some of the freshest hottest producers from the world to create adanceathon in every record.
Can you please tell us your name and where you’re from?
Hello you beautiful people! I'm Marcus Megastar from Battersea in London (pronounced “Bat-Terr-See-Are Darlings” fondly by proud locals!)
Please tell us how you came to be a musician? and what/who inspired you?
It’s always been there! In my DNA! From an early age, I was obsessed with pop music and used to write in my much wealthier best friends playroom which was stacked with keyboards, disco lights and amps!
I used to dance in the playground on the school bench and sing songs by Yazz (I recently spoke with her informing her of this this lol).
How long have you been a musician? And what would you say has been your highest moment so far?
I’ve succumbed to my calling to make it my profession in 2015 following a near death experience in late 2014 which was my wakeup call to make it happen.
The highest moment was being an opening act on the hugest stage’s and crowds at Wandsworth Fringe Festival in front oas well as recording my recent show from London’s legendary Clapham Grand.
On my journey I was introduced to members now part of my team who work in TV and film prosthetics as well as my choreographer Eddie who are kindered spirits.
I spent many many years slogging it in basic back breaking minimum wage jobs to save to learn and workwith writers and producers and writers who have worked with the likes of Kylie Minogue, Steps and Jennifer Lopez.
So where can we hear your music?
1.I’m on amazon music, iTunes, Youtube and all online stores except Spotify due to the exploitation of songwriters.
Do you do live gigs? If you do where?
New shows are coming soon! Please visit my website www.marcusmegastar.com and subscribe for the first for ticket announcements.
With regards to your image and style how did your look come about?
I grew up with the Pop King and Queens of Madonna and Michael Jackson. I was bored with seeing just pretty people standing on the stage and sing and determined that everythingI did was super watchable in character, styling and movement choreography.
In one version Glen, a bookshop volunteer, travels in time with The Doctor, while a visitor from the future arrives to fortell equal marriage.
It's true, a lot of us who started the Edinburgh shop were sci-fi fans, and we had a surreal sense of humour.
But there's another reason the play came across as a journey in time: in 1982, the idea of a queer bookshop was a voyage to another planet.
For generations, publishing positive books about lesbians and gay men risked legal disaster. Censorship laws were harsh and the tabloids were quick to attack any writer or company whose books might 'threaten the family' and 'corrupt young people'.
The most famous case was Radclyffe Hall'sThe Well of Loneliness,now the best known lesbian novel in the world. It was banned and publically burned at New Scotland Yard in 1928.
In 1959 this harsh censorship law was reformed. Even so, years later, mainstream publishers still hung back from challenging the queer books taboo – it was trouble they didn't need.
Travels in Queer Time and Space:
A books archive keeps LGBT stories alive!
James, Bob and Sigrind at the Biscuit Factory
Long ago? In a galaxy far away?
Not really. It was only 40 years ago. But to some who were there, the start of Lavender Menace, Scotland's first LGBT bookshop, seemed like science fiction.
Playwright James Ley caught that spirit in his play,Love Song to Lavender Menace(staged in 2017 at the Royal Lyceum, and later on the Edinburgh Fringe and in New York.)
The gay centre bookstall expanded. It took on volunteers, including Sigrid Nielsen, who had visited the Artemis Cafe and dreamed of taking part in something similar. The stall renamed itself as Open Gaze Books Collective. It left the centre after a row about censorship and sold books in the cloakroom at Fire Island Disco in Princes Street. Finally it opened in 1982 as Lavender Menace Bookshop in a Forth Street basement. Bob and Sigrid had formed a business partnership and opened their doors in August as the Edinburgh Fringe began. Some people were excited, while others were skeptical. 'Are there really enough gay books to fill awhole shop?' one asked.But the days of the glass-fronted cabinet were over. Soon the outpouring of books from the new lesbian, gay and feminist presses included literary novels, mysteries, romances, history, erotica, travel guides, cookery books, health, and humour.
But then the totally unexpected happened – the cultural uprising now known as 'the sixties', followed by the Stonewall Riots and the rise of what was then called gay liberation.
It was a multinational movement and it arose very quickly. In Edinburgh, a campaigning organisation, the Scottish Minorities Group, opened a gay centre in Broughton Street.
They offered a meeting place, a befriending service for lesbians and gays, and information isolated people needed.
There was also a bookstall, set up by Bob Orr, an Edinburgh University student who had worked in book distribution.
The stall was contained in a modest glass-fronted cabinet. There were pamphlets and copies ofGay News. There were a few books by writers such as gay MP Tom Driberg, as well asAgainst The Lawby Peter Wildeblood (a journalist who had been imprisoned) and an American lesbian novel,Rubyfruit Jungleby Rita Mae Brown.
Then, during the next few years, the changes became a flood. All over the world, lesbian, gay and feminist publishers were being started, and bookshops such as London's Gay's the Word or San Francisco's Artemis Cafe (which also sold books) and Philadephia's Giovanni's Room were opening.
Gays the Word in London was raided by Customs and Excise in 1984 and only survived because their community defended them.
But the most powerful changes were economic. The rise of chain bookshops and the internet emphasised huge bestsellers and left less space for smaller publishers.
One by one, the queer and feminist presses closed. Only one, Virago, survives today.
Most of the North American and European shops also closed. West & Wilde's sales began to fall and it wound up in 1997. Magazines such asGay News, the feministSpare Rib, andGay Scotlandallstopped publishing before or just after the new century began.
The books which had made a difference to so many readers fell out of print. Their publishers no longer existed. Libraries sold them off to acquire newer titles.
In 2015, when James Ley set out to write a play celebrating LGBT history, he was surprised to discover the story of the bookshop.
By then it almost took a time machine to discover the books – to some younger people, they were not even names. The set ofLove Song to Lavender Menacefeatures shelves of light-up books which, as the play ends, go out one by one.
These books changed people's lives. 'I was 14 years old when I readPatience and Sarahby Isabel Miller,' said one bookshop customer. 'I'd never believed two women could live together. I just didn't know it could happen.'
After a few years the shop was established and held regular author evenings - and presented readings and original plays during the Edinburgh Fringe. Meanwhile, on the publishing scene, large commercial firms followed the lead of the small presses and created lesbian and gay bestsellers.
Internationally known authors such as Armistead Maupin and Jeanette Winterson came to read. The shop became West & Wilde, established by Bob and his now husband, Raymond Rose, in larger premises in Dundas Street.
Queer publishing (bisexual and trans books became more numerous in the 1990s) looked set to survive. Its story showed what happens when the creative energies of a large group of people are set free.
But it was one thing to create the books. It turned out to be another to keep them.
By the mid-1990s, publishing was changing and the queer booktrades began to struggle.
Part of the problem was that legal trouble, such as Section 28 (2a in Scotland) didn't go away.
'I miss the books,' said one former customer. 'And I really miss the space.' Many people who saw the play said similar things – and Bob and Sigrid were among them.
In February 2019, the two of us decided to run a bookstall for the first time in 22 years at LGBT Youth Scotland's Purple Friday event, where we listened to younger readers and told our own story.
We began to realise that that even though indie bookshops were reviving, and exciting new queer booksellers such as Category IS Books in Glasgow were opening, the original books from what has been described as 'the golden age of queer publishing' were disappearing. The mainstream publishing industry didn't care about the writers. The vitality of their work and times was unknown, especially by readers of a new generation.
That was how the idea for the Lavender Menace Queer Books Archive was born – to preserve the books and use the resources of online technology to connect them with today's growing body of queer books and readers.
We've received generous donations of books from LGBT Health and Wellbeing and kind individuals. We are establising an interactive database which will enable readers to rate the books and share their experiences across generations. Now as then, time travel is what we do.
We are also reviving the shop's readings, both online and in person, and recently held a conversation between lesbian novelist Ellen Galford, who publishedMoll Cutpursein 1984, and Elix Hwang, genderqueer performance poet (you can see their poetry and graphics on queerpoetrees.com).
We will be fundraising for a a physical and online home for our books- and for further events and projects. You can follow our progress at lavendermenace.org.uk or on our social media accounts (see below).
It's a new era in queer writing and we're voyaging into the unknown again.
Lavender Menace Queer Books Archive online:
www.lavendermenace.org.uk (news, mission statement and blog)
Facebook: Lavender Menace Queer Books Archive
Twitter: @menaces of 2019 Instagram: lavender_menace_returns
The Gay Professional Network is very active in the World, it builds lasting social & professional relationships.
Welcome toThe Gay Professional Network, (GPN).
Under the Patronage of The Lord Scriven of Hunters Bar.
Together we tackle homophobia and any other phobias related to the LGBT+ community, in the press and the social media, we promote education in schools, families and everywhere to teach love and respect for all mankind.
With GPN there is no akward moment, you are made at ease as soon as you enter the room, you are amongst friends and perhaps future business partners.
I went to many Networking events, some are pick up joints under any other names: loud music not allowing you to speak or hear conversation. Those events are not professional and won't contribute to your success. You may as well go to the nearest pub and save yourself the registration fee.
GPN is different! I know I am biased, but please remember that this network is a not for profit organisation.
We allow YOU to broaden your professional & social relationship and allow you to develop your business.
Come and discover this for yourself!
GPN is a not for profit, fully inclusive, membership organisation since 2010 and your platform to promote your cause, business, venue and yourself.GPN helps your further your business or career and makes meaningful business and social contacts. You get connected, proactive and productive.
To find out more please follow our links or click on my photo:
In addition we support:
Gay Northern Irelandhttps://www.facebook.com/groups/gaynorthernireland/
GPN: The Gay Professional Network to make meaningful business and social contacts
0300 330 0630
Hello, my name is Tim Hamilton. At my place of work, I have fried fish and chips, boiled and rolled Dandelion and Burdock flavoured suck and dressed up in Victorian costume… You guessed it; I work at the Black Country Living Museum.
I currently form part of the intimate Collections Team helping take care of the 80,000 plus objects which have been acquired from local businesses and donated by people in the community over the last 50 years, all of which contributes to telling the story of the Black Country.
Like many others during the various lockdowns, I spent many long hours walking various stretches of the canal in Bilston, Wolverhampton and Walsall.
Links to the Past
By Tim Hamilton
I couldn’t help but marvel at the contrast between the still literallyboomingindustry and, as evidenced by the numerous swan nests and lily pads, the insistence of nature to reassert itself over the historic manmade waterways. While I didn’t see many boats lazily retracing their ancestors’ schedules during those walks, weareentering the height of the summer, the roses are in full bloom, and with dreams of romantic faraway places on the minds of many; I feel inspired to centre this first article on the canal boat art style ‘Roses and Castles’.
Roses and Castles is an art style which likely originated right here in the Black Country and the surrounding areas in about 1850. Just when, ironically, other forms of arts and crafts were being lost to mechanised, mass production.
Sadly though, during the peak of the British Canal system’s profitability the very rapid development of rail led industrious types looking for a quick return on investment to divert their cash from the cut to locomotives.
Overtime business owners and boat captains who once kept property on land and hired a crew had no choice but to sell their homes, let their staff go and move their wives and children onto the boat to live and work.
By the 1860’s the Roses and Castles art style had bloomed due to the increasingly common travelling family bargees who would fashionably decorate their tiny homes with crisp white works of crocheted lace, gleaming brass and bold geometric designs hand painted in primary colours.
The origins for the inclusion of castles in canal art seems to have been the topic of much debate over the years. In researching this subject, I’ve met people making links to the traveller community who are known for their brightly painted caravans, I’ve read books which suggest the style is historically Carpathian in origin (which is geologist speak for Eastern European countries such as Poland and the Ukraine). There are even a couple of casual references on the internet that suggest canal art holds resemblance to earlier Asian folk art– which if anyone could Tweet me evidence of, I’d be grateful!
While it’s much more likely that inspiration was drawn from places closer to home, I’m looking at you Dudley Castle! My favourite interpretation comes from an early 1970’s book written by D.J. Smith. He believed the motifs to be fantastical interpretations of the tall chimneys and towering kilns found in the glass making districts of Stourbridge and Brierly Hill. The smoke and steam reimagined as proud flags thrusting from the turrets and their backdrop of mountains and valleys inspired by the surrounding quarries and common waste mounds.
History of The Cut
Once, fortunes were made early in the days of horse drawn narrow boats, which offered a more swift, far-reaching mode of transport for heavy raw materials and offered a smoother and safer form of shipping for finished goods such as china and glass than the roads of the time could offer.
Flowers and foliage on the other hand have been a staple in design all around the world and throughout all of history so the occurrence of popular British flowers like roses and daisies is no shocker, but the canal artists of the day took it to another level.Everythingon a canal boat would be painted in this way, from water jugs and bowls to teapots, mugs and plates, chairs, candle sticks, furniture and doors!
If you would like to learn more about Roses and Castles or are interested in canal boats generally; the Floating Market will form part of the Brownhills Canal Festival on Saturday 18thand Sunday 19thSeptember 2021.
Share your thoughts with me on Twitter@MrTimHamilton
People in the community:
Kerri from Halesowen;TheHeritageCrafter.co.uk
‘Canal Boats and Boaters’ (By D.J. Smith, 1973)
‘Flowers Afloat’ (by Tony Lewery, 1996)
See for yourself:
The Narrow Boat ‘Diamond’, Black Country Living Museum’s Boat Dock.
To find out more just follow the live links in each photo or go to www..bclm.com
Today, more than 170 years later the techniques remain unchanged. In the summer of 2020, I visited The Roving Canal Traders Association’s open-air Craft Fair on the Merry Hill Waterfront. There, I was lucky enough to meet a heritage crafter named Kerri who demonstrated her techniques first-hand.
The real surprise to me was not only the time and patience the florals take to construct through layers built up over time, but how the overall symmetry of the designs are maintained on curved, tapered and even cylindrical canvases, sometimes just by holding out a thumb at arms-length and squinting!
Formerly - The Albert Kennedy trust
Just13 percent of LGBTQ+ young people surveyed felt supported by parents or stepparents while homeless.
One in six (16 percent)of LGBTQ+ young people who were happy to answer, were forced to do sexual acts against their will by family members before they became homeless. The same number had experienced this with a romantic partner.
Almost two thirds (61 percent)of LGBTQ+ young people who were happy to answer felt frightened or threatened by their family members before they became homeless. One in five experienced this from romantic partners.
Half of LGBTQ+ young people (50 percent) who were happy to answer said they feared that expressing their LGBTQ+ identity to family members would lead to them being evicted. Almost one in ten (7 percent) said the same about romantic partners.
Two thirds (64 percent) of LGBTQ+ young people said homelessness made it hard for them to establish or maintain new relationships, including friendships.
Almost one fifth (17 percent) of LGBTQ+ young people felt like they had to have casual sex to find somewhere to stay while they were homeless.
Less than half (44 percent) of LGBTQ+ young people were aware of housing support services the last time they experienced homelessness. Almost one quarter (24 percent) weren’t aware of any support services available to them.
AKT Key Findings
Only 35 percent of LGBTQ+ young people who have accessed a service whilst homeless recall being asked by service providers to provide information about their gender identity and sexual orientation.
Just one third (33 percent)felt safe to disclose this information.
Over half (59 percent)c of LGBTQ+ young people have faced some form of discrimination or harassment while accessing services.
LGBTQ+ young people would like to see a range of additional support services, from wellbeing and mental health services to services that support young people who have been victims of sexual exploitation or trafficking. The need for more specialised services, such as those for trans and none-binary and young people of colour is also important for LGBTQ+ young people.
The majority of young people would like to see services adopt more inclusive language and imagery in their communication materials.
This is particularly important to disabled and LGBTQ+ young people of colour. Other examples of recommendations to services from LGBTQ+ young people including shorter copies of communication materials, more individualised support and more group support in their communities.
LGBTQ+ young people also told us about what they would like to see services do more of:Two thirds (63 percent) of LGBTQ+ young people want to see services offer more individualised, face to face support.
"AKT supported me in making a housing application for my own accommodation"
John, a young gay man from Manchester, fled his homophobic father's attacks after coming out to his parents.
We at Forever With Pride are pleased to lt our readers know that we have chosen AKT charity as one our dedicated charities that we now support.
We would like to thank AKT for the information that they gave us and should you want to contact or find our more about AKT please go to www.akt.org.uk
" Carmen came to AKT after spending a week in an abandoned building"
Carmen was supported by AKT after facing rejection from her family.
Chris was sleeping rough until they found out about AKT.
" AKT supported me into safe accommodation and helped me access therapy"
Jane was supported by AKT during a particularly difficult time.
Freddy came to thee UK as an asylum seeker and was supported by AKT in Manchester.
Sharif -Theatre Production about
the LGBTQ Palestinian
He has researched this issue for the last two years as a journalist for "Mako Pride", one of the most viewed and most popular Israeli websites for the LGBTQ community.
The play is about Sharif, a Palestinian teenager who was forced to flee from the West Bank when he was 18 because his sexual identity was revealed,and his life was in danger.
Many dozens of LGBTQ Palestinians are forced to flee from their homes and families due to their sexual identity. They often cross into Israel and live legally but under inhumane and impossible conditions. Their stories and testimonies are the basis of a new play, which will be performed on stage in Israel from the month of October.
The play was written by Tomer Aldubi, director and play-writer in his 20's from Haifa, in north Israel.
Since then he has lived in Israel for several years and he is trying to survive without basic human rights. The play jumps between the past and the present of 10 years of his life, which are narrated from his point of during of view during a military interrogation.
Is Sharif a rel character?
"Sharif's story represents the experiences of the persecuted Palestinians, whose testimonies are the basis of the play", shares Aldubi.
"The play shows Sharif in complicated situations both in Israel and in the Western Bank, especially under the interrogation in both locations. For instance, during the period he lives in Israel, he's being sexually abused, drugged and when he's hidden from the racist policemen.
"However, the play shows also the positive and optimistic points of view, such as Sharif's parents who love and accept his sexual identity and the Israelis volunteers in the NGO who help him to receive the permission to stay."
Why is it important to create the production?
"I believe this play is one of a kind, as we have not seen so far other plays like it, at least not in Israel, that talk about this important topic. When it's soon on stage, I have no doubt that the play can save human lives - and this is not a cliche. Imagine that a young boy or girl, or a Jew or an Arab, sits in the audience and sees the play with his or her parents. The play might give them hope to be who they are and maybe to come out.
Besides, there are not enough LGBTQ theatrical productions in Israel and even fewer productions that focus on the Palestinian society.
For more information and to keep updated, check the Facebook page of Sharif: www.facebook.com/Sharifonstage
Do you want the play to be preformed on your local stage? You're interested in funding or you have any other questions? Don't hesitate to sen an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are fully qualified counsellors and therapists. We are here to help those with:
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An individual treatment approach, call-to-action plan gives clients reassureance that full recovery and a lifetime of being abstinent but living a healthy, happy, meaninful, enjoyable, and successful existence is just an arm's length away
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Please help us raise £100 for the Terrence Higgins Trust charity by the 4th November 2021 just scan the QR code to make your donation and you will be entered into the draw where you could be one of two people who will each win on of the two prints seen here. Please do share this post and help us support this great charity
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