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

hate

Writing Everyday in October. Hate: Part 2

Photo from: pppics.com

Photo from: pppics.com

Writing Everyday in October: Hate Part 2.
Writing everyday in October, Hate.
Part two.
The very next day Ronny was surprised to hear someone shuffling around the flat below him. With his ear pressed against a glass which in turn was pressed against his threadbare carpet, Ronny tried his best to make out who it could be. After a while Ronny guessed it must have been the last tenants mum. He made this assumption as the television was on day and night with the favourites programs being reruns of Miss Marple and Columbo, games show’s, Pointless, Only Connect and fifteen to One. In-between these programs the person was an avid fan of the news channels, with a particular interest in news programs about war and any other other destructive topic.
At first Ronny thought that his new neighbour sounded like a kindred spirit, but he quickly put such niceties to one side as he reminded himself just how much he had enjoyed destroying the previous tenants life. With his mind made up, Ronny began his insult of hate by phoning up a whole host of companies, from funeral directors, to double glaze sales men and asked them to visit him; each occasion he gave the address of the person living below.
Ronny then waited for the appointed time he had made his arrangements, watched each tradesperson go through the front door and then got on his hands and knees, with the glass once again press against the floor. Much to Ronny’s annoyance, the new tenant welcomed each of the visitors in, chatted with them for a while, sometimes making them a cup of tea and each occasion the person left without any fuss.
Ronny tried his next trick which was to turn his television and radio up to the highest level while stopping about in his boots but this became more of an annoyance to himself then to the tenant below. Ronny decided that they must be deaf and so gave up on that idea.
After some thinking, Ronny started on his next idea. First he got a bucket, squatted over it and forced the insides of stomach. As his diet mainly consisted tinned food and beer, the smell was rank, making even Ronny gag. He looked in the bucket and quickly realised what he needed to do was to make himself go more, much more.
For the first time in weeks, Ronny left his flat, crept down the stair well and made his way outside. His first stop was the local Pharmacy where he bought six packs of Lax-u-go: super strength. The assistant had told him that one capsule should help any problems, but Ronny just grunted, paid for his goods and left. His next stop was the local fishmongers where he bought some king size prawns and was delighted to hear that needed to be eaten that day. His last stop of point was the ironmongers where he bought a funnel and a length of pipe.
Once he was back at his flat, Ronny placed the prawns on the windowsill; next he went into his kitchen and opened up an array of tinned luncheon meats, tinned potatoes, tapioca, and mushy peas. Ronny then plonked everything in a big bowl and settled himself in front of the telly. At times Ronny had to stop himself from throwing up as he forced the food into his mouth, taking great gulps of beer to wash the fuel for his next prank down.
With just about every scarp of tinned spam and tapioca consumed, Ronny felt he could not move but manged to stumble over to the windowsil and grabbed the plate of prawns. Logic told him he should at least cook them, but Ronny’s plan to traumtise the old woman below had consumed him to the point of no return and so he chomped down on the raw prawns, eating the shell, head and tails. Finally he felt he had reached his limit and fell back into his chair, and stored at the blaring television.
At three in the morning, Ronny was woken up by incredible stomach cramps. Although the pain was crippling, Ronny managed to force a smile as he thought how horrified his neighbour would be when they saw the gift he had made himself was poured through their letter box.
But first Ronny needed to get his gut into action. Each step made him wince as his insides gave a sharp poke, but Ronny knew it was all going to be worth it.
To be continued…

Posted on by admin in short story, Writing everyday in October Leave a comment

writing Everyday in October. Hate (part 1)

Writing Everyday in October: Hate. (part 1)

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Ronny hated everybody and everybody who had ever had the misfortune of meeting him hated him back.
The thing with Ronny was he had the knack in spotting someone’s weak spot and digging in deep with some nasty comment. No one was except from Ronny’s vile tongue. He would ridicule someone if they had a lisp, by exaggerating their speech and spit all over them. If a mother’s chid had a visible birthmark, he would pretend he had some dark ages faith and say they their child had the mark of the devil and should have been drowned at birth. One of his neighbours who had a mild tick had become one of Ronny’s favourite victims; whenever Ronny saw the neighbour, he would mention the tick and go on and on about how about how prominent it was which in turn made the tick so much worse. Ronny who had taken great delight in turning the tick into a trauma until eventually the neighbour had a complete break down and tried to burn down his flat. Ronny was even waiting outside the block of flats when the neighbour was taken away. Ronny took great delight in pointing and shouting, “He’s a fucking nut case that one, someone should give him a ticking off!”

As time went by, Ronny spent less time going out and more time staying in but this didn’t stop the hate. He would take great delight in phoning people up at random and telling them that they were being watched and to be very afraid. On one occasion a new neighbour had moved in below Ronny. Once Ronny knew they worked night shifts and needed to sleep during the day, he made sure he played his television and radio on full blast off and on throughout the day. Each time the neighbour complained, Ronny would have the music off and say it must be coming from somewhere else. When he saw he was getting such a stressed out reaction, he kept upping the hate campaign. As well as the noise, he would make appointments for double glazing men, loan sharks and unwanted pizza deliveries to be made when he was sure his neighbour was in a deep sleep. Things came to ahead when he pretended to be his neighbour called up the gas company and fire brigade saying he could smell gas coming from his downstairs neighbour’s flat. On that occasion the fire brigade had to kick down the door. A week after that he heard neighbour had taken his own life. After that the flat stayed empty for some time. Ronny in turn decided that he too would have a break and wait for a new tenant to move. Being able to witness just how powerful his hate could have an effect without having to leave his flat was something Ronny wanted to do again and again and again.

Posted on by admin in creative writing, fiction, Flash Blogs, Flash fiction, Horror, short, short story, urban gothic Leave a comment

Happy 60th Birthday Peter Tatchell

Happy 60th Birthday Peter Tatchell.

To some, Peter Tatchell is the People’s Protester, to other’s he is an annoyance, for this author he is a hero. Citing his constant campaigns for human rights, highlighting environmental issues with his role as the Green Party’s Parliamentary candidate for Oxford East, and for being the one man brave enough to twice attempt a citizen’s arrest on evil tyrant and outspoken homophobe, Robert Mugabe.

Born in Melbourne, Australia, today Peter celebrates his 60th birthday. Within this time he has dedicated much of his life to highlighting the atrocities dealt out by one human to another, exposing hypocrisies, while making us all take a moment to really stop and think.

Aged just fifteen he campaigned against the death penalty, later he turned his attention to demanding equal rights for Aborigine people. In 1971, Tatchell moved to London and joined the UK branch of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF); the origins of this group began in New York with the now legendary Stonewall Riots. By the time Tatchell joined the UK Gay Liberation Front, the national press were taking notice. The GLC ideals would have a huge influence on Tatchell, as they campaigned not only for gay rights, but for an end to the strangulation gender norms held over everybody, regardless of their sexuality.

In 1983 Tatchell stood as a labour candidate for the Labour party in the Bermondsey by-election. Looking back, many people, including those in government and the press, consider the way Tatchell was vilified at a very dark time in political history. Although Tatchell was seen as a popular candidate, the hate campaign led by the press and other political parties led to Tatchell being afraid for his life.

While the papers made up lies with headlines screaming out, ‘Tatchell: Militant Gay Rights Extremist’, four words to strike fear in to the far right readers hearts, they printed altered photos so it would appear that Tatchell was wearing black lipstick and eyeliner, (a technique Tatchell would turn on its head in his own campaigns) further appeasing to the homophobic voter. The press also claimed that Tatchell had “burst into tears”, suggesting he was weak, after being beaten up while staging a gay rights protest in East Berlin. The truth was Tatchell had been arrested and interrogated by the secret police in East Berlin while staging the first ever gay rights protest in a communist country. It doesn’t take much to see how the national press were baying for Tatchell’s blood, which goes to show just how frightened they were of this man.

Just as shocking came the homophobic tactics used by Tatchell’s political opponents. Overnight graffiti appeared all over the constituency, with the slogan:Tatchell is a communist poof’. Tatchell political campaign would be further undermined with thousands of leaflets pushed through voters letterboxes depicting a picture of Tatchell and the Queen, with the headline   “Which Queen Will You Vote For?” Even the Liberal Party joined in, sporting lapel stickers saying, “I’ve been kissed by Peter Tatchell”, again another attempt to gain votes from the homophobic voters.

The outcome from all of this resulted in Tatchell being inundated with hate mail, abusive phone calls, death threats and hundreds of physical, violent assaults. All this resulted in Tatchell boarding up his flat and sleeping with a fire extinguisher and rope ladder by his bed.

Tatchell would later say, although the experience was terrifying, it changed the way politicians and Trade unionist viewed gay rights. For Tatchell it also showed him the power of the press and how he could promote LGBT rights through public media stunts, many of which he is now best known for.

As well as setting up organisation UK AIDS Vigil Organisation (UKAVO) promoting issues around HIV and AIDS, he was also a prominent influence in the London-based AIDS activist group ACT UP. These two groups would subsequently lead him to launch the more radical, and in many people’s eyes the contentious protest group OutRage.

In 1994 Tatchell and OutRage ‘outed’ ten Church of England bishops, demanding they admit that they were homosexual, while hypocritically supporting anti-gay policies. Once again he came under attack from the government of and the national press labelled him a ‘homosexual terrorist’ and ‘public enemy number one.’

In 1998 Tatchell once again hit the headline when he burst in on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Easter sermon in Canterbury Cathedral. Tatchell verbally attacked the archbishop, Dr. George Carey’s advocacy of discrimination against Lesbians and gay men.

In London, on the 30th September 1999, Tatchell and three members of outrage made their first attempt to make a citizen’s arrest on Robert Mugabe, a man famous for his disgust of homosexuals, saying; “Lesbians and gays are “sexual perverts” who are “lower than dogs and pigs”. Mugabe continues to urge his people to expose anyone they think is gay or lesbian; this in turn has stirred up more hatred, causing all LGBT Zimbabwean’s to live in daily fear of their lives. It is this violation of Human rights Tatchell has used in his bid to arrest Mugabe, accusing him of “murder, torture, detention without trial, and the abuse of gay human rights”.

“Military interrogators beat both men all over their bodies with fists, wooden planks and rubber sticks, particularly on the soles of their feet, and gave them electric shocks all over the body, including the genitals. The men were also subjected to ‘the submarine’ – having their heads wrapped in plastic bags and submerged in a water tank until they suffocated”. (Amnesty International news release, 21 January 1999).

Tatchell attempted another citizen’s arrests when Mugabe was visiting Brussels in March 2001, this time he was badly beaten by Mugabe’s henchmen, but Tatchell’s actions helped highlight Mugabe’s atrocities against his own people.

Last year, Tatchell, joined international gay rights supporters Andy Thayer, Dan Choi and Louis-Georges Tin; plus Moscow Gay Pride committee member, Anna Komarova and other Russian gay activists as they attempted to march through Moscow, highlighting the right to hold a Gay Pride March. Once again they found themselves under attack from Neo-Nazis, while the Moscow police turned a blind eye.

Our suspicion is that many of the neo-Nazis were actually plainclothes police officers, who did to us what their uniformed colleagues dared not do in front of the world’s media. Either that, or the police were actively facilitating the right-wing extremists with transport to the protest.     Peter Tatchell

Tatchell, along with Dennis L Carney, Vice-Chair of the Black Gay Mens Advisory Group (BGMAG) in London, campaigned and won the battle that stopped reggae stars, Beenie Man, Sizzla and Capleton from performing their songs that incited hatred towards gays and lesbians.

“The singers’ rejection of homophobia and sexism is an important milestone. We rejoice at their new commitment to music without prejudice,” said Mr Tatchell.

Whatever your thoughts on Tatchell, his commitment to highlight human right abuses, corrupt governments and LGBT equalities have been phenomenal. Happy Sixtieth Birthday Peter, I for one think you’re amazing.

 

 

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Posted on by Glenn Stevens in HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, LGBT, Zhoosh 3 Comments

Homophobic Hate Contiunes…

When I wrote about Jamie Rodemeyer taking his own life after years of being bullied at school for being bisexual, in the back of my head I really believed that the children who had targeted him would wake up to their words of hate and realise that they had been the cause of a 14 year old boy taking his life. Astonishingly this has not been the case. Instead the bullies have started a new campaign of hate and are now picking on Jamie’s sister, yelling at her that they are pleased her brother took his own life. I believe that it is up to all of us to stand up against bullying in all its forms and to make people of all ages face up to their actions and understand the full consequences. Please take a moment to follow the link to Jamie’s school and ask the adults to help stamp out bullying in their school.http://www.williamsvillek12.org/contact.cfm Let’s hope the message gets through to other schools that just because someone shouts out words of hate they can still kill. https://www.facebook.com/RIPJameyslaw
http://youtu.be/vTu9XBt6SPI

Posted on by Glenn Stevens in Human Rights, LGBT Leave a comment