More to Me Than HIV

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More to Me Than HIV

First published in Gscene July 2020 For last years World AIDS Day I put together a public project of work joining other people living with an HIV+ diagnoses at Jubilee library.For last years World AIDS Day I put together a public project of work joining other people living with an HIV+ diagnoses at Jubilee library. For the project I spoke openly about my journey having being           Read more

More to Me Than HIV: GScene post Aug 2020

More to Me Than HIV is a project that aims to breakdown the stigma that has historically been attached to this virus.  When I saw my piece in last months Gscene to promote the More to Me Than HIV project, I was extremely proud, but a small part of me was filled with anxiety; but why should I feel this way? I have been on effective antiretroviral therapy since the Read more

More to Me Than HIV: first published in GScene July 2020

For last years World AIDS Day I put together a public project of work joining other people living with an HIV+ diagnoses at Jubilee library. For the project I spoke openly about my journey having being             diagnosed HIV+ 32 years previous. Back then there was no treatment and a lot of fear and misinformation concerning how HIV was transmitted. As such stigma was rife, Read more

Conservative Government

80’s Pop rewind

With the summer riots of last year still fresh in our mind, every increasing joblessness, and the Conservative Government delivering a budget that once again sees them feathering the nest of their rich cronies, it’s as if we have collectively jumped in a time machine and found ourselves back in 1980’s Thatcher’s domain. 

Of course that era wasn’t all doom and gloom, there was the fashion that could not be ignored, our TV screens were awash with classic trash programs like Dallas and Dynasty but best of all was the music that made this particular time in history so memorable. 1981 saw the launch of MTV, were the visual impact was as important as the sound itself, and without a whiff of irony the first ever video to be played was Video Killed the Radio Star, by the Buggles

Looking back perhaps the monster the 80’s created is to blame for so much of the manufactured, over hyped pap churned out by the modern-day that is not to say that the 1980’s had its own fair share of forgettable tunes. Of course only time will tell when in twenty years time we will still be bopping around to Alicia Keys, New York State of Mind? (Yes definitely), Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance, (probably) or how about anything by Justin Bieber? (Hopefully not).

The true test to any pop stars career will be partly down to image, but the thing that gives them longevity will always be well crafted music with lyrics that say more than, “Baby, baby, baby”, and yes Justin, that means you.

This month Brighton Dome saw the brilliant band The Stranglers take to the stage and remind us all just what make a great band. Memories came flooding back as they played hit after hit including their seminal single Golden Brown. Of course it helped that this particular song was wrapped up in mystery over what the lyrics were actually about, was it heroin use, a sunset or just a piece of toast.

June 3rd  2012, sees the Brighton Dome opening its doors to another 80’s music legend when Gary Numan will be performing all of his classic hits including his famous electro-pop style hits Are ‘Friends’ Electric? and Cars.

Later in the year, two very different styles of 80’s pop will be coming to Brighton. On the 12th November 2012, Joan Armatrading will be reminding us all, not only how beautiful her voice is, but also what perfect pop songs sound like. Armatrading back catalogue is filled with songs that would get even the most jaded pop junkie tapping their feet with her songs, Drop the Pilot (was that song really directed at straight women to give same-sex loving a try?) I Love It When You Call Me Names (never has S&M sex sounded so much fun), to the more heart wrenching ballads,  Love and Affection and Down To Zero.

A final treat for 80’s pop fans see Phil Oakey, Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley came together as the Human League at the Brighton Concert Hall, 23rd Novemeber 2o12. No matter how many years have passed, this trio still manage to look as give moody looks that would make Victoria Beckham come across as the laughing Cow. Once again, this band’s music stands testament to just how  good the 80’s were and that there lyrical talents told great stories: Don’t You Want Me?, Mirror Man, and the political song, The Lebanon which stands as being just as relevant today.

The 80’s maybe remembered for many a disastrous hair cut, or dodgy shoulder pad, but as this list goes to show the music in the 80’s is something to be truly proud of.

 

 

Posted on by Glenn Stevens in Brighton & Hove, Leisure, LGBT 3 Comments

Church of the Poisoned Mind

Throughout the 1980’s schools were gagged from talking about homosexuality by the Conservative Government’s hated Clause 28. Fast forward to what many of us would like to think are enlightened times, with Clause 28 consigned to the history books and our knowledge of how HIV can be prevented through education and safer sex. David Cameron has apologised for the way the conservatives dealt with these issues in the past and now schools are legally obliged to condemn discrimination on the grounds of sexual-orientation, although there is still a long way to go with many schools not discussing enough but the issues of safer sex. However, last year Pope Benedict XVI has pulled off his blinkers to the AIDS crises and said that in exceptional circumstances, (male prostitutes ) condoms can be used. Hearing these things from such high power, one could almost believe things are getting better, but a report in the news recently has shown there are still those intent on peddling untruths and causing as much damage as they can with views on homosexuality. Last week it was reported that a US preacher has visited Catholic schools and peddling outdated hatred by distributing a booklet called: Pure Manhood: How to become the man God wants you to be. Within the pages the booklet suggest that feeling of homosexuality is a disorder against Gods wishes and that homosexual feelings in adolescence men may be a reaction to an unhealthy relationship with the young person’s father, an inability to relate to other young men, or even sexual abuse. The book goes on to say that “scientifically speaking, safe sex is a joke”. Returning to Cameron and his rousing words at the time of the last election promising that his government would be a fairer, inclusive Britain; it would be hoped that he would step up to the plate and condemn these preacher’s words and ban him from peddling such hatred in schools. After all, we have seen just how fiercely he has come down on other preachers who peddle hatred with the likes of Abu Qatada under house arrest with the backroom boys working day and night to have him extradited. But unsurprisingly Cameron’s government have proven they are as eager as ever to continue discriminating as they have always done with education secretary Michael Gove saying, “The education provisions of the Equality Act 2010 which prohibit discrimination against individuals based on their protected characteristics (including their sexual orientation) do not extend to the content of the curriculum. Any materials used in sex and relationship education lessons, therefore, will not be subject to the discrimination provisions of the act.” A further statement from the Department for Education added, “Any school engaging in the promotion of homophobic material would be acting unlawfully.” But the row highlights a grey area over the teaching of sex education. A review intended to offer new guidelines on what was right for schools to teach was kicked into the long grass when the last election was called.” This in other words translates that the government don’t see this as a vote winner and hope that the issue will get pushed aside, even though chief executive Ben Summerskill has said, “It would certainly be helpful if there was clarity as to what is appropriate for young people of all ages, the water could no longer be muddied by people pushing age-inappropriate sex material on the one hand and fundamentalist anti-gay religious materials on the other.” Church leaders are continuing to bemoan that their views are being marginalised. Perhaps for one moment the likes of the former archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey should take a look at how his religion is being used to frighten, misinform and ruin lives and then take stock at how the Christian faith can be used for the better and not hate.

Posted on by Glenn Stevens in Flash Blogs, Human Rights, LGBT, Zhoosh 1 Comment

Help Stop Anti-LGBT Campaigner’s of Hate

Help Stop Anti-LGBT Campaigner’s of Hate.

Throughout the years there have been countless cranks, politicians and religious fanatics ready to jump on the bandwagon to spout words of hate against the LGBT community; some are destructive, while others are just plain ridiculous. Who can forget the right wing views of Reverend Jerry Falwell who suggested that Tinky-Winky, (an animated foam form) from the children’s TV programme the Tellytubbes, was gay.

 “He is purple – the gay-pride colour; and his antenna is shaped like a triangle – the gay-pride symbol.”  Rev. J. Falwell. Read more

Posted on by Glenn Stevens in HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, LGBT, Zhoosh 6 Comments