Sunday, 31 January 2016

Epidemics, Owen Jones and LGBT suicide

Spent Friday in Bristol at the LGBT Suicide Prevention conference organised by my employers.

Not exactly a laugh a minute day. The statistics are truly grim. Nevertheless good things occurred.

I got to touch and talk to the creature illustrated here. I broke all the rules about never meeting heroes but I can report -  he doesn't disappoint,

Especially when he agrees with me.

There is truly inspirational work going on out there. Good minds and good hearts are engaged in this work.

One thing that became clear during the day is how many of us who had roles tackling the first wave of the HIV epidemic have pitched up tackling the current epidemic of mental distress.

There is learning to be learned.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Poppers and me

On April Fool's Day buying poppers will be illegal.

It was clear to me over a decade ago that this would happen. I saw them for sale in the newsagent on Bethnal Green Road where I would go to purchase my copy of The Lady, a pint of semi-skimmed milk, and a Mars bar. The writing was on the wall.

The current bill is a very real consequence of assimilation.

I first encountered the drug in question when I was seventeen. In a flat in Knightsbridge, just behind Harrods. They came in a glass phial which you had to snap open (pop), inhale and...   The occasion is memorable not just for the amyl nitrate but because the man I was shagging was from the Eastern Orthodox tradition. He had the Blessed Sacrament reserved in his bedroom. First (and to my best recollection) the only time I have fucked with Jesus in the room.

There are other stories.

The man who contrived for me to shag with a porn star whilst he watched. Overcome with excitement and desire, I spilt a bottle on a carpet that cost more than I have ever earned in a year.

The brief fashion for dipping the end of your cigarette in a bottle before lighting it. (It took few conflagrations for that fashion to die out).

Poppers give me a headache. I don't like how my friends and partners use them. I hate how many gay men use them as an 'excuse' to do things they otherwise believe they couldn't.

I have no idea of the economics of their production but I suspect I wouldn't like them if I did.

However, I will be fucked before I sit quietly and let this ridiculous legislation pass.

It is an attack on my story.

Up with that I will not put.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Carnival of the Gays

Joyous and enjoyable pilgrimage to the shrine of Abba this evening. In 1974 on the stage of the Brighton Dome they won Eurovision with Waterloo.

No such triviality tonight. We were given Saint Saens' Carnival of the Animals, some Wagner, a dash of Paganini and an arrangement of Albinoni's Adagio that I had certainly never heard before.

My highlights included the soprano's frock. In other circumstances it would have curtained the Brighton Pavilion (at least twice), and the highlights from HMS Pinafore. My companion, (a musicologist)  hadn't read the programme and it turns out is allergic to Gilbert and Sullivan. He came over quite unnecessary and at one point didn't know whether to sing along or scream in horror. All of which of course added greatly to my enjoyment.

The only fly in the ointment was that the whole thing was performed by a "gay" symphony orchestra and a "gay" chorus.

I had hoped we'd be past such things by now.