More to Me Than HIV 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 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

David Bowie

Gay Icons: Saluting the Sissy


First published in 01/01/2017:

Happy New Year! If I close my eyes I can take myself right back to living at home with my Nana and Sister, laughing at the campness of the likes of Larry Grayson (Shut that Door) and John Inman (I’m Free!) which we all really loved. As I got a bit older, these two characters where lambasted by right-on gay men, with cries that they did not represent the gay community. My guess was that it was never their intention, they were just being themselves, doing their job. There was further outcry that their characters were deemed safe’ to be on the telly as they were both sexless. I think if anyone bothered to re-watch a few episodes of Larry Grayson’s stand up performances they’d see plenty of sexual innuendo going on with his references to his postman, Pop it In Pete, or his more romantic suggestions with his song, My Friend Everard (get-it?) Is More Then A Friend To
Of course the writers of Our You Being Served and John Inmman both said the character, Mr Humpries wasn’t gay, the gag was the same with Mrs Slocombe was genuinely about her cat each time she mentioned her pussy, to do otherwise was to ruin the magicial nod, nod, wink wink on which the series was famed for. For me, I recognised the gay ellement in John Inman’s character and connected with that. I clearly remember sitting up straight when watching an episode of Are You Being Served, whth-3en John Inman suddenly popped out of a Wendy House, alongside a gorgeous bloke dressed up as a sailor, sporting a black beard…maybe that’s when my fixation with bearded men first began. To me, both these men are gay icons, along with the brilliant Hugh Paddick and Kenneth Williams aka Julian and Sandy (Ohh, how Bona!)

Sure, it would have been great to have a more diverse set of gay characters on the TV/radio but back then, and for a good while after, camp men where the only visible gays out there; the alternative would be guilt ridden stereotypes, I know which ones I prefer.
Another favourite gay icon of mine is Quentin Crisp. When I was eighteen, I saw Crisp’s autobiography TV drama, The Naked Civil Servant in which Crisp describes how he wanted to make his homosexuality, ‘abundantly clear’, by hennaing his hairand painting his nails red, even though such acts made him the target of homophobia. Crisp’s bravery made me all the more determined to be a happy, out, gay man.

Around this time, early 1980’s, there came a new influx of ballsie gay/bi men via the music scene, including: Marc Almond, Boy George, Marilyn, Pete Burns; these guys where ‘out there’ with their looks, but I was really drawn to the likes of Holly Johnson and Paul Rutherford (Frankie Goes to Hollywood) and theth-5 trio from Bronski Beat, Jimmy Someville, Larry Stienbachek and Steve Bronski. Frankie for their sexually explicit lyrics and video for Relax and Bronski Beat for their many unashamedly political gay songs, from Small Town Boy, Why and It Ain’t Necessarily th-7

These musicians may name check, David Bowie as a major influence, but it is the likes of Grayson, Inmanand Crisp who way before them were shaking up the norm, paving the way for other peacocks to shine. However, there’s a section of society both LGBT and straight who find camp men offensive. I recently saw the Play, Boys in The Band  (see clips from the movie) that shows that although we can all be a bit camp, it is very easy to turn on the sissy. I personally salute the sissy, the camp man, the queer. What isn’t right is that there is still very little acknowledgement for these camp men’s (as Ru Paul would say) “Charisma, uniqueness, th-8nerve and talent”. They may not have seen themselves as queer pioneers but without them this world would most certainly be a much less interesting place.

for more camp:The Queens of Camp Comedy

Posted on by admin in blogging, Gay, Gscene, LGBTQ, Pride Leave a comment

Happy Birthday David Bowie, A True Visionary of Our Times.

th-10 th-11 th-6 th-2






Happy Birthday David Bowie, 67 today. There can’t be that many people who have not heard of Bowie’s music, with his incredible output of twenty six studio albums, nine live albums, and a whooping one hundred and nine singles. Part of his success has been to his constant reinvention of not only his style of musical output, but also his every changing alter-egos, from the Boy next door, David Jones, Ziggy Stardust, that scary clown from the ashes to ashes video, Thin White Duke right up to last years incarnation getting all post modern with Tilda Swinton taking on the Bowie’s character, Thomas Jerome Newton in the cult film; The Man who Fell to Earth, in the brilliant video for his single, The Stars (Are Out Tonight.)

Typical Tilad pose from the video, The Stars (Are Out Tonight

Typical Tilad pose from the video, The Stars (Are Out Tonight

No doubt there will be many blogs today talking about Bowie’s contribution to music, but he also has made many memorable appearances in film, including The Hunger, Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, Labyrinth and his film debut, The Man Who Fell to Earth.

th-3 th-2 th-1 th

With Bowie’s birthday in his frame of vision, The Brighton Writer sat down last night and revisited this brilliant sc-fi film, The Man Who Fell to Earth. For those who have not seen it, or have vague memories of sitting through the two hours and twenty minutes of a visual feast, here is a recap.



Thomas Jerome Newton (Bowie) is an alien from the planet, Anthea, who has come to earth in the search of water to take back to his his drought ridden planet. He has nine patents from his own advanced planet, which once put in place garners him incredible wealth. The money he raises was intended  to build a space ship enabling him to return to his planet (in the book his plan was to bring his race back to earth, infiltrate key government powers and divert the human race from destroying itself with a nuclear war, as had happened on his own planet.

Th mean who fell to earth th-4 th-3

However, during his stay he meets a chambermaid at his hotel, a  a lonely woman called Mary Lou (played brilliantly by Candy Clark). Although together their love grows and Mary Lou’s character blossoms, Newton becomes addicted to alcohol (Beef eater Gin in particular) and television, (watching several television program at once).

images-10 images-3 images-2 images-4 images-11 Hello Mary-Lou

Despite this, Newton managers to create his  spaceship, but is arrested before he can make his highly publicised maiden launch and is incarcerated in the depths of a large hotel. there he is experimented on, by officials who believes he is a fake.

After many years he is eventually released from his Imprisonment, but by now he is a chronic alcoholic and unbeknown to him, his own specious has died of drought.

What is fascinating about the film is the continuous low level pace. Even during the more violent scenes, when Newton is being tortured or his business partner is murdered, thrown out of a top floor window by two men in glittery motorcycle helmets (The whole film has a very 1970’s feel to it) as a viewer your heart races with out feeling you are being bombarded with violence, that so many modern films of this ilk insists on showing.

Bowie’s performance as an outsider, quietly looking in is pitch perfect, as is his ghostly features, framed in a shock of red hair. It was only later that Bowie confessed that he was heavily addicted to cocaine and that for the most part he had little idea of what was happening.


“I was going a lot on instinct, and my instinct was pretty dissipated. I just learned the lines for that day and did them the way I was feeling. It wasn’t that far off. I actually was feeling as alienated as that character was. It was a pretty natural performance. … a good exhibition of somebody literally falling apart in front of you.” David Bowie

It has been Bowie’s intuitive instinct that has made him one of the most influential performers for the last five decades, with little sign of that creativity stopping yet.

Happy Birthday David Bowie, a true visionary of our times.

The Man Who Fell to Earth, Trailer

Posted on by admin in Fiction & Books, film Leave a comment