Tag Archives: Blog

Hop Against Homophobia & Transphobia.

In 77 countries it’s a crime to be gay. You can be thrown in jail or even killed for who you love and who you are by an accident of where you were born. Across the world, there are millions of reasonable, fair-minded people who don’t think that’s okay – but many fewer know that this is the reality for lesbian, gay, bi and trans people in so many places,
From Andre and Jeremy at All Out.

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As today is the start of the Hop Against Homophobia, I thought it would be a good time to bring this appalling fact to people’s attention.

Imagine, because of who you love, you can be thrown into prison, beaten, flogged, stoned and even put to death. And this, in the 21st century! It is like being punished for having blonde hair, green eyes, freckles or because you are tall or short. It is something you cannot help, you were born that way. It’s natural, and, if you will, God given.

Here are some horrifying facts;

4,000 lesbians and gays have been executed since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Methods of execution include; beheading, chopped in two, stoning to death, burning alive, and being thrown alive from a high building
Name, age and method of execution records for 152 individuals charged with homosexuality related offences between 1979 – 2007
Gay Iranian who had been persecuted because of his sexuality and had been thrown in jail, shoots and kills himself after his UK asylum appeal is denied
Iranian President in a speech at a top US university: “In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your country”
Two teens held in prison for 14 months and severely beaten, are publicly executed in Edalat (Justice) Square for the crime of homosexuality
Two men are publicly executed in Shahid Bahonar Square for the crime of homosexuality
A man is executed for acts he (allegedly) committed at the age of 13, even though the alleged victims withdrew their accusations and reportedly stated that they had either lied previously or had been forced to “confess”
Gay men are being persecuted, tortured and coerced into undergoing sex reassignment procedures. Transsexuals are being coerced into sex/raped by their surgeons
18-year-old man is sentenced to death by hanging for ‘sexual assault’, despite his accuser admitting that he lied, and withdrawing his accusation of sexual assault
Transexual is robbed and strangled to death by her brothers in her apartment because they “opposed her immorality”
2 heterosexual footballers suspended and fined £25,000 each for the “shameless” and “ugly” act of buttock squeezing during a goal celebration. They now face a possible two months in prison and 74 lashes
Influential cleric entitled to issue juristic rulings says homosexuals are inferior to dogs and pigs, blames them for the spread of Aids and says pro-gay western lawmakers are lower than animals
Iranian legal code does not “differentiate between rape and homosexual acts”, another four men sentenced to death by hanging for sodomy in accordance to Shari’ah law.

And this is just in Iran. There are many more countries which persecute and punish GLBTQ people, and in the most vile ways.

These facts fill me with anger and sadness. I used to say it was an ‘impotent’ anger. But impotent means ‘unable to take effective action; helpless or powerless. But we AREN’T helpless. We are NOT powerless and we CAN take effective action.

If enough of us raised our voices, took to the streets, signed petitions, and helped to raise awareness everywhere we can of these dreadful crimes against GLBTQ people, something can be done.

These people need our help, and they need it NOW. They should NOT be punished for loving who they do. How dreadful it must be to feel you have to live a lie, to live in fear and terror that tomorrow, there may be that knock on your door….and you will be hauled off to prison for being WHO you are and loving who you do.

If you want to help, please visit AllOut
AllOut is an organisation which raises awareness of the plight of GLBTQ people around the world. Their mission is simple……
‘…to build a world where no person will have to sacrifice family or freedom, safety or dignity, because of who they are or whom they love’

Thank you for reading…and, to visit other sites who are participating in this splendid Hop….please visit THIS PAGE and enjoy.

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A-Z Challenge

20130411-094312.jpg is for Ipswich (or Ippy or The Swich) and where I live and work four days a week. The other three days I live in Norwich.

Ipswich is the county town of Suffolk and is situated on the estuary of the river Orwell. The name Ipswich is derived from the old Medieval name Gippeswic, probably taken either from an Old Saxon personal name or from an earlier name for the Orwell estuary.

20130411-100341.jpg The Orwell Bridge

But wherever the name comes from, I am extremely fond of Ipswich. Before I first came here I imagined a town of ugly, modern buildings, concrete and glass office blocks and other horrors. But nothing could be further from the truth.

There are some stunning 15th & 16th century buildings in the town centre…and when I first saw them I was amazed and delighted. And of course, there is a beautiful pub named after Ipswich’s own historical great…Thomas Wolsey.

20130411-101020.jpg The Thomas Wolsey
I attended my niece’s birthday party at the Thomas Wolsey in January and it was every bit as beautiful inside as out. Below is a photo from that evening (I’m the one on the left) and behind is one of the lovely carved plaster wall panels. Some of these panel carvings depict wild boars, Tudor Roses and Fleur-De-lys. And the wood paneling and leaded windows are fabulous. And the courtyard is like the setting for a Sherlock Holmes film with old-fashioned lamps and, timber framed walls and a narrow passage way into the street. Very Jack The Ripper. *delicious thrill of fear*

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The Author (left) and her sister, Jill.

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There are many more lovely buildings in Ippy and some lovely parks. So I’ll leave you with some images of these.

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Yes, I know this seems rushed, but this should have been yesterday’s post and I’ve been a little bit busy. But, hey….it has pretty pictures so don’t grumble. 😃 See you all later with J……..now what can I do with J *walks away scratching head and frowning*

A-Z Challenge

20130409-170111.jpg is for Hubris. Ok, ok….I’m being a clever beggar here but I couldn’t think of anything else. Soooooorreeeee!

Anyway, Hubris, or pride comes from the Ancient Greek ὕβρις and if you speak and read Greek, you’ll be able to decipher that. ☺

We all feel pride in things; our own achievements and those of our loved ones, a beautiful house or garden. This is normal pride, but hubris is pride with arrogance, the over confidence in ones ability and sometimes with a lack of humility.

There are many examples of hubris in literature; Paradise Lost and Frankenstein being two examples. Victor, in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein manifests hubris in his attempt to create a being using technological means. But later, he regrets it and pays the price of his pride and arrogance, his hubris.

And this is where Nemesis joins forces with Hubris as was occasionally the case in Greek society. Suffering and punishment will follow pride, as in “Pride Cometh Before a Fall“. It is the pride which blinds as one accused of hubris often acts in an extremely foolish way without common sense.

20130409-190417.jpg And hubris was a crime in ancient Athens. It was considered to be one of the greatest sins in the Ancient Greek world. And no wonder; after all who wants some overweening, arrogant little pip-squeak running around causing untold chaos in a flagrant disregard for basic moral law.

But…..isn’t that what some of our MPs are doing right now? 😳

Anyway, I’m often quietly proud of my writing and no doubt all you lovely people who are reading this are as well. But, I’ll never be over proud or arrogant about my writing. I’m too self- deprecating for that malarkey.

Hump Day Hook

It’s Wednesday and that means…..Hump Day! Lots of lovely authors (and me) share snippets from WsIP or published stories and books. So if you want to read them, go to This Site for the list of participating authors and enjoy.

We follow on from last week with my WIP, Ellis.

Even in here I can hear the gulls screaming over and around us, and they seem to mock me; Go on, tell him, tell him….we dare you.

The sound of them still has the power to invoke memories. Memories of long summer days when, in our world at least, the sun always shone; and winter when we waited with the others for the fishing boats to sail safely back into harbour. Even in our fear we had each other and that was comfort enough as we stood by the harbour wall, peering through curtains of icy, wind blown rain.
The women’s faces creased with anxiety and concentration as they too waited for a glimpse of a sail, and the weather and worry added more silver strands to already greying hair and more lines to the life maps that were their faces.
And always the gulls, screaming and wheeling around the headland and the cliffs, and always there is Ellis, my beloved Ellis.

The reverend waits patiently for me to begin my story. And I’m afraid that, when he hears it he will look at me not with friendship, but with disgust and revulsion.

‘Very well, I’ll tell you about my friend’, I say, ‘But you promised you would hear me without judging me. And I’m so afraid that you will change you’re mind when you have heard me out’.

‘I cannot judge you, Stephen, I leave that to a higher power’. He says, leaning forward to coax the flames with the poker.
And as I watch him perform that one simple, domestic act, and feel the heat from the flames as they leap upwards, I begin my story……

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A-Z Challenge

20130408-085914.jpg is for Gay. Originally, the term was used to mean “carefree”, “happy” and “bright”. However, the term’s use as a reference to homosexuality may have been used as early as the late 19th century.

But, we use it primarily as a noun and an adjective referring to homosexual men and the practices and cultures associated with homosexuality, and have done since its use increased in the 20th century.

Of course, there are some people who use it to refer to anything they regard as stupid or something or someone they do not like. This is rightly frowned upon and it’s use in that context is discouraged by anyone but homophobes, bigots and the extremely ignorant.

One of my WsIP, Defying Leviticus is set in the 16th century when men who loved men where referred to as Sodomites (or Sondomite if you were the Marquess of Queensbury) or an ‘Unnatural’ . Loving other men was ok but the act of Buggery was punishable by death. Indeed, Walter, Baron Hungerford was beheaded in June 1540 under the Buggery Act of 1533 when Henry V111 made it a capital offence. He (Hungerford) shared the scaffold with Thomas Cromwell who lost his head on the same day.

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Walter, Lord Hungerford

Thankfully we have moved on from the days when homosexuality was a capital offence. But in other countries, particularly in the Middle East and countries where Muslim is the prevalent religion men and women can still be executed or imprisoned for homosexuality. In our more enlightened culture, it seems extremely harsh and unjust to us that human beings can be so cruel to others merely for being who they are and loving who they do.

But we shouldn’t be too complacent, because there is still a long way to go even in our own country before being gay is seen as normal and hardly worth mentioning. Gay men and women are still targeted by bigots and homophobes, called names, beaten up, maimed or even murdered. The fight to marry and have the same rights as heterosexuals is even now being fought for in the UK and in the USA.

And one day, hopefully the right to marry, have a family, to visit and be visited by loved ones in hospital, and to have the right to be recognised as the next of kin will become a reality for the thousands of gay couples in every state, province and country around the world.

Meanwhile…the fight goes on.

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