Tag Archives: HOP

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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Once Upon A Time……

…..I was homophobic. Yes, shocking isn’t it, and shameful. I say homophobic but really, I went through a phase of disliking anything gay and avoiding anyone who appeared to be, or I knew to be gay. Thankfully, it didn’t last long. 

Let me explain. In 2001 I started an Access Course at a local college and there I met a young man, lets call him Adam (not his real name), who was severel years younger than me and separated. We started seeing each other and for a while it was nice and I fell for him big time. 

However, over time, Adam began acting very strangely and being very distant, until one evening after a dinner date he told me he wanted to end the relationship. I was stunned and heartbroken of course but eventually I accepted it and moved on. 

In 2002 I went to university and Adam got in touch and we started our relationship again….and a few weeks later, he finished it again. His moods were increasingly erratic and he would shout and scream for little or no reason. I was a wreck and felt as though I was for ever walking on egg shells. Consequently, my studies suffered and I was increasingly depressed. 

The on/off pattern of the relationship lasted until April 2003 when we finished finally and for good. Later, a mutual friend phoned me and gave me some news which stunned me…..Adam had ‘come out’ as gay. I will never forget how I felt that day. Sick and angry…at him. Why had he done this to me, why? 

That night, I shut myself in my room on campus and sobbed and sobbed and drank and drank. And, to my everlasting shame, I broke and ruined every gift he’d ever given me. Worse, I wrote a letter to him in which I called him every horrible name I could. I won’t say what I called him…but you can imagine. I didn’t send the letter of course. 

Consequently, I hated anything gay. Magazines, people, films, books. I was bloody angry and bitter that part of my life had been ruined by him and what he was. Why, I thought couldn’t he have been honest with me (and his ex wife) Didn’t he realise what he’d done with his deceit and lies. He’d ruined my life and possibly hers as well; I was so horribly bitter and filled with so much anger and, looking back, I hate how I was then. 

But then, why did Adam feel he had to deceive people and why had he lived a lie for so many years. The answer of course, is simple….he was terrified of how others would react. Frightened that his family and friends would reject him and scorn him for who he really was. In short…..Homophobia. 

It wasn’t really Adam who had ‘ruined’ my life or that of his ex wife; it was societies intolerance of GBLTQ people. He lived a lie for so long and I know it caused him great emotional and mental trauma. And I also know that, while he was married he had twice attempted suicide. His wife had been less than sympathetic. 

I haven’t seen Adam since that April day in 2003 when we finished for good; but I heard that he had settled down with another young man and they were talking about marriage. I am truly happy for him and I hope he found the peace and  happiness that had been denied him for so many years. He has a daughter (from his marriage) and I hope she is happy for him and has accepted who he is because she was the one person in his life who, I believe he truly loved. I hope that, knowing who her father is and that he is still her loving dad as taught her, not merely tolerance but acceptance. 

Homophobia, then doesn’t just hurt one person; the effects of it can and do impact on many lives. It is horrible to think, in this day and age that many men and women still feel the need to live a lie, to conform to what many people still see as the ‘norm’.  But, until society is truly accepting of the diversity of human sexuality and stops believing that Man/Woman relationships are the only ‘normal’ kind then we will see more stories like mine and Adam’s and more lives ruined because of the terrible scourge of Homophobia. 

This piece has been written for the Hop Against Homophobia & Transphobia which was created last year to spread awareness of homophobia and transphobia, and to stand together as a writing community against discrimination of our works.

To visit the site and to read other HAHAT posts, click here or on the Rainbow Badge on the right and enjoy. 

To celebrate the the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia and the HAHAT blog, I shall be giving a donation to The Albert Kennedy Trust in one commenters name. 

 

 

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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