Writing the narrative of our lives

At this time of such political uncertainty I am so thankful for those organisations who tirelessly work to protect our LGBT lives. Last week we celebrated IDAHOBIT day (17th May, International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, & Transphobia). IDAHOBIT day was created in 2004 to draw the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the public and the media to the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBTI people internationally.1 Here in the UK, ahead of the election, Stonewall2 has been working to challenge parliamentary candidates to commit to protecting LGBT rights in the UK and abroad.

I think of this vital work, however, as the visible tip of the iceberg. Because, as with many things in life, the force behind change can often be found in the relatively small things we do on a regular basis.

For example, when as writers and readers we gather together each year at the Bold Strokes Books Festival to celebrate LGBT fiction, whilst our purpose may not be to debate politics or mastermind campaigns, it nonetheless cannot be underestimated what we are achieving.

We are creating for ourselves a precious, safe space where we can openly and joyfully connect with each other as we share in our love of LGBT literature. As we passionately talk about why these stories mean so much to us, and what we want our stories of the future to look like, we are actively writing the narrative of our lives. We are claiming our voice and asserting our individual identities.

I am so grateful to be participating in the 8th Annual Bold Stokes Books Festival, and empowered by the fact that in a small but significant way, as writers and readers, we are contributing to the wider work to challenge ignorance, discrimination, and injustice.

  1. http://dayagainsthomophobia.org/
  2. http://www.stonewall.org.uk/
Advertisements

States of Independence – 11th March 2017 at Clephan Building, De Montfort University, Leicester.

states-of-independence

Come say hello and maybe buy a book. Hot off the press copies of Highland Fling will be available (£10) before general release!

Bold Strokes Books authors Robyn Nyx and Brey Willows will also be attending with their books too!

The eighth States of Independence will take place on Saturday 11 March 2017 at Clephan Building, De Montfort University, Leicester. 10.30am – 4.30pm.

If you can’t make it but would like to purchase a copy of Highland Fling let me know (postage and packing will apply).


Workshops | Readings | Panels | Seminars | Book launches

Bookstalls | Independent presses | Regional writers

Fiction | Non-fiction | Poetry | Plays | Artist books | Magazines | Journals


Girls Next Door – Anthology Announcement

girls-next-doorFebruary 14th, 2017 Announcement: 

I am pleased to announce that my short story, Hooper Street, will be published in the anthology Girls Next Door.

Available June 01st 2017 from Bold Strokes BooksISBN 9781626399167.

Available June 20th 2017 from amazon.

Sometimes the most intriguing girls are right next door—BFFs, ex-girlfriends, new girls in town, party girls, study mates, team mates, and sexy strangers. All it takes is a night out, the right moment, or an accidental kiss to discover what’s been there all along—the perfect girl for a love that lasts a lifetime. Best-selling romance authors tell it from the heart—sexy, romantic stories of falling for the girls next door.

Table of Contents

  • Cupcake by Georgia Beers
  • Guilty Pleasure by M. Ullrich
  • Hooper Street by Anna Larner
  • Snow Day by Missouri Vaun
  • Knocking on Haven’s Door by Brey Willows
  • Gold by Giselle Renarde
  • Love Unleashed by Karis Walsh
  • Bat Girl by Laney Webber
  • The Aisle of Lesbos by Allison Wonderland
  • Kiss Cam by Lisa Moreau
  • The Girl Next Door by Beth Burnett
  • October Moon by Sheri Lewis Wohl
  • Chemistry by Lea Daley
  • Black Out by Ronica Black
  • Dog Day of Summer by Kris Bryant
  • The Perfect Blend by Rion Woolf
  • Welcome to the Neighborhood by Aurora Rey
  • Neighbors by Elizabeth Black
  • Black Sheep by Nell Stark

The Objects We Treasure – Diva Magazine

We all have certain objects that we treasure – that evoke cherished memories of moments, people, and places.

Some Of My Diva Magazine Collection – circa 1994 onwards.Diva1994

The recent news that Jane Hill, a respected journalist and newsreader at the BBC, will be writing a column for Diva Magazine is both exciting and important. Whenever a high profile figure endorses LGBT lives it gives the bully “homophobia” a bloody nose.

I remember buying my first Diva in 1994, the year Diva was first published. It was incredible that a tiny newsagent in a small town in mid-wales, where I was studying, stocked it and I remember thinking a whole magazine for lesbians, WOW. It was also around that time that kd lang was making me feel all unnecessary by ruffling her hair in her video for Constant Craving…anyway I digress.

These early issues included interviews with Sandra Bernhard, the newly-out Sandi Toksvig, and the wonderful late Claire Rayner. Agony Aunt Claire spoke with forthright compassion about ‘the injustice of it all’ in relation to the unequal age of consent. High profile figures endorsing LGBT lives…wait, hold on, that was what twenty odd years ago?

Anyone else have a sinking feeling that nothing has really changed – role models as important now as then –  the need to challenge homophobia and to assert our rights still as relevant now as in 1994…if not more so?

In her recent email Chief Executive Officer of Stonewall, Ruth Hunt, challenges LGBT people today to ask themselves “Are we really free to be ourselves wherever we are?”

So a heartfelt thank you Diva, for surviving in the fickle climate of publishing and for working so faithfully to ensure that the lives of lesbian and bisexual women can be visible, celebrated and endorsed.

 

© 2016 All rights reserved. No reproduction without written permission.

 

The Objects We Treasure – Silver Moon Bookshop

We all have certain objects that we treasure – that evoke cherished memories of moments, people, and places.

One of my favourite treasures is a mug I bought around 1996 or so, from the iconic women’s London bookshop Silver Moon. The names of fabulous female writers are emblazoned all over it. It also evokes exciting memories of discovering LGBT London.

As my tea steams from my mug, I am reminded of the fantastic history to which we all belong.

Silver Moon Bookshop Mug

Perhaps you have a treasured object too? Feel free to post on my Facebook page.

silver-moon-womens-bookshop

© 2016 All rights reserved. No reproduction without written permission.