Jump to content

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'blog'.

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • Gay Authors Community
    • Clubs
    • The Lounge
    • Forum Games and Humor
    • Help
  • Authors and Stories
    • Promoted Author Discussion Forum
    • Stories Discussion Forum
    • Peeks and Prompts
  • Writing Forums
    • Writer's Circle
    • Speculative Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Anthologies
    • Editors
    • Copyrights
    • Writer Clubs
  • Comicality's Shack Clubhouse's Cafe
  • Headstall's Paddock's Topics
  • Mikiesboy's Drop in Centre's Topics
  • C James Fan Club's Topics
  • Mark Arbour Fan Club's Topics
  • Stellar's Fan Club's Topics
  • In Memorium's Topics

Categories

  • Fiction
  • FanFiction
  • Poetry
    • 2024 - Seasons
    • 2023- Exploration -Poetry
    • 2015 Poetry Anthology: Remember
    • 2014 Poetry Anthology: A Storm Is Coming
    • 2013 Poetry Anthology: Whispers in the Dark
    • 2012 Poetry Anthology: Cracks of Time
    • 2011 Poetry Anthology: Into the Unknown
  • Fiction - Gay Authors Anthologies
    • 2024 - Long May You Run
    • 2023 - Leap of Faith
    • 2022 - Anniversary
    • 2021 - Spring - On The Road
    • 2021 - Spring - Potluck 2021
    • 2021 - Fall - A Winding Path
    • 2021 - Fall - An Unconventional Gift
    • 2021 - Fall - Potluck
    • 2020 - Spring - Full Moon
    • 2020 - Spring - The Storm
    • 2020 - Fall - Bridges
    • 2020 - Fall - Shadows
    • 2019 - Spring - Into the Stars
    • 2019 - Spring - Snapped
    • 2019 - Fall - Fall From Grace
    • 2019 - Fall - Raincheck
    • 2018 - Spring - Now or Never
    • 2018 - Spring - Encounters
    • 2018 - Fall - Fight Back
    • 2018 - Fall - Good Intentions
    • 2017 - Spring - Unintended Consequences & Jagged Edges
    • 2017 - Fall - The Fallout and Secret Spaces
    • 2016 - Spring - Crossing the Line
    • 2016 - Summer - Wicked Games
    • 2016 - Fall - Blindsided / The Forgotten
    • 2016 - Winter - Rewind: Pre-2016 Themes
    • 2015 - Spring - Full Circle
    • 2015 - Summer - Road Trip
    • 2015 - Fall - Blurred Edges
    • 2015 - Winter - Blackout
    • 2014 - Spring - Nature's Wrath
    • 2014 - Summer - The Backup Plan
    • 2014 - Fall - Scars
    • 2014 - Winter - Chain Reaction
    • 2013 - Spring - A Night To Remember
    • 2013 - Summer - Roll the Dice
    • 2013 - Fall - Pandora's Box
    • 2013 - Winter - Recipe for Disaster
    • 2012 - Spring - It Wasn't Me
    • 2012 - Summer - Choices
    • 2012 - Fall - Friends & Enemies
    • 2012 - Winter - Desperate Ends
    • 2012 - Special - Mayan Tribute: End of the World
    • 2012 - Anniversary - Secrets Can Kill
    • 2011 - Spring - People Are Strange
    • 2011 - Summer - Walk on the Wild Side
    • 2011 - Fall - Legends
    • 2011 - Winter - Aftermath
    • 2010 - Spring - I'd Never Do That
    • 2010 - Summer - Out of this World
    • 2010 - Fall - No Going Back
    • 2010 - Winter - Haunted
    • 2009 - Spring - Oops
    • 2009 - Summer - Carpe Diem
    • 2009 - Fall - Something Unexpected
    • 2009 - Winter - Deceptions
    • 2008 - Annual - It's Just a Game, Right?
    • 2008 - Spring - Living in the Shadows
    • 2008 - Summer - Escape
    • 2008 - Fall - Anniversary
    • 2008 - Winter - Ghosts
    • 2007 - Annual - The Road Not Taken
    • 2007 - Spring - Fairy Tales
    • 2007 - Summer - Ending and Beginnings
    • 2007 - Fall - The Rainy Day
    • 2007 - Winter - Worth Fighting For
    • 2006 - Winter - Blizzard
    • 2006 - Fall - Halloween
    • 2006 - Summer - Going on Vacation
    • 2006 - Spring - Day of Silence
    • 2004 - Winter - Christmas
  • Fiction - Story Contests
    • 2017- Halloween
    • 2017- April Fool's
    • 2016 - Secret Admirer Short Story
    • 2015 - Secret Santa Short Story
    • 2011 - Novella Contest
    • 2009 - Novella Contest
  • Non-Fiction
    • Writing Tips
  • Letters
  • Screenplays
  • World Building

Blogs

  • Liukas Soli's World of Words
  • Daddydavek's Blog
  • Escaping for just a little while
  • Myr's Corner
  • Tropical Paradise
  • Fortune and Mens Eyes
  • Wildenberg’s Blog
  • Gay Authors News
  • Incubus Lover
  • harcallard's Blog
  • Memoirs of Forgiveness
  • The Fantastic Mr. Wilde
  • 2010
  • GREEN & CHAZ'S BLOG
  • Daddydavek's other Blog
  • A Demented Blog
  • No longer here
  • Toast
  • but don't forget about my bomb...
  • Pocket Full Of Stars
  • Val's Blog
  • harveybirdman's Blog
  • Wombat Bill's out takes
  • What are you currently reading?
  • Writing Unblocked
  • Daveys Blog
  • A Stone's Throw
  • Stephanie L Danielson's Blog
  • Vic's Blog
  • Grunge - Zen
  • Just a thought
  • seanriter's Blog
  • wildone's other Blog
  • My Daily Bread Crumbs
  • Wry Wrambling of a Rebellious Rimbaud
  • mr.chris' blog
  • Fir Pro Diet
  • Mark Arbour's Pride
  • James Matthews Blog
  • Viv's Blog
  • Qboi's Cogitations On Life
  • Words, Words and Words
  • Joe's Blog
  • Fishwings' Blog
  • Editor's Notebook
  • ;; " .MidnightSecret. " ;;
  • Z's Blog
  • mmike1969's Blog
  • scotty94's Blog
  • Mercys writing
  • Read my blog
  • huktaunluv's Blog
  • CF's Ramblings
  • Owls' hoot's
  • Ichthyic Insanity
  • My Only Escape
  • advocatus diaboli's Blog
  • Zuri's Blog
  • Thoughts And Ideas That I'm Happy To Share
  • Rise and Shine
  • Rising towards reinvention
  • Twilight Chronicles
  • thephoenix's Blog
  • Aditus' Road Blog
  • The River Song
  • Personal Blog
  • Bender's blog
  • Daddydavek's Other Other Blog
  • Libby Drew
  • jamessavik's Blog
  • Ron's Random Access
  • Stevie’s In Love
  • HearSay
  • TetRefine's Blog
  • mickey1952's Blog
  • The Bad Dog Chronicles
  • Sagar
  • Thorn's Edibles
  • Thoughts, Oddities and Utter Chaos
  • Insurgency's Blog
  • Blog Archive
  • Thicker Than Water
  • John Doe's Blog
  • paul.b's Blog
  • On The Outside, A Soundtrack
  • Xan's Blog
  • Chronicles of My Life
  • DynoReads' Blog
  • When I'm Stuck
  • Genderqueer Musings
  • Zot spot
  • Little Buddha's Thatched Hut
  • Arizona Legislature: Crazy, Stupid, Misguided...or all of the Above?
  • Caedus' Blog
  • ACEd it!
  • See My Secrets... See My Shame...
  • Caz Pedroso's Blog
  • Nephylim's Blog
  • quokka's Blog
  • Camy's Blog
  • arsimms' Blog
  • PrivateTim's Blog
  • Reset, Reload, Redo
  • Kurt's Corner
  • THIS IS NOT A BLOG
  • Cole Matthews' Dark and Dusty History Corner
  • trackstar195's Blog
  • Wolf At The Keyboard
  • vlista20's Blog
  • Esther Night
  • Life's a Conflagration
  • JohnAR's Blog
  • LouisHarris' Blog
  • I fell in love with my straight best friend & it destroyed our friendship
  • Luc's Dementia
  • Renee's News
  • I fell in love with my straight best friend & it destroyed our friendship
  • My blog
  • Douw's Blog
  • ColumbusGuy's Blog
  • BarricadeBoy's Blog
  • IBEX's Blog
  • Craftingmom's Blog
  • Marc's Blog
  • lostone's Blog
  • Hogan2015's Blog
  • old bob's Blog
  • lilansui's Blog
  • Musings from Valhalla
  • drak's sekrits
  • John B.'s Blog
  • The Wisdom of M
  • Albert Nothlit's Blog
  • Dabeagle's Blog
  • The Life and Times of a High School Dropout
  • Mann's Ramblings
  • Jay's Blog
  • The Jordanation
  • Alex Canton's Blog
  • JustynC's Blog
  • Love that always hurts
  • Drew's Slice of Pi
  • Bolg
  • Meh
  • Riding Thoughts
  • blogage
  • double meh
  • Ducks and Fucks
  • C James' Goatpen
  • wildone's Blog
  • TheBlackDragon's Blog
  • It's knotme
  • My Life - My Views
  • On Call
  • Blog of Cynus the Pan-Ace
  • Ninja Scroll
  • Fixing My Destiny
  • The Alphabet Game
  • skinnydragon's lunch
  • The Talon's Claw
  • peaceofthesouls' Blog
  • Brandon Smiling: The Soundtrack
  • nobody
  • Making of My Stories
  • Melancholy ... the broken staff of life
  • James Hiwatari's Blog
  • Victor's Wavering Weirdness
  • My Feelings
  • North to Alaska
  • TIMID
  • Nymphetamine Abuse
  • Edward's Blog
  • Random Thoughts of an Alpha Female
  • NightOwl88's Blog
  • Writing World
  • Put onto paper...
  • Freddyness' Blog
  • Looking for sense in the chaos of my thoughts
  • jeet01's Blog
  • The Persephone Chronicles
  • General Silliness
  • blog
  • KC's Blog
  • GaryKelly's Blog
  • Snowflake: The Soundtrack
  • RainbowPhoenixWI's Blog
  • MusicalAlchemy's Blog
  • Renee's Recipes
  • MusicalAlchemy's Blog
  • Hunter Thomson's Blog
  • lomax61's Blog
  • Mortal Morphology
  • Ieshwar's Blog
  • Andy's other Blog
  • Chatter from the Chatterbox
  • Cailen's Conclave
  • Cody Waustin's Blog
  • What once was is now lost.
  • In My Own Way
  • News of My World
  • Skywriting
  • hands in the air.
  • The Seashell: Soundtracks and Textures
  • CassieQ's Fractured Thoughts
  • Reflections
  • MHSebastian's Blog
  • Character Galleries
  • jamiiewhiite's Blog
  • Continuous Story
  • A.J.'s Blog
  • JC's Writing Blog
  • Glittery Place
  • Mark92's Blog
  • Mikiesboy's Blog
  • ValentineDavis21's Blog
  • Adagio: Music and Textures
  • V's blog
  • Day in the life of KibaNaru
  • S.L. Lewis Many Thoughts and Updates
  • Strife and Harmony
  • HB's Blog
  • Altimexis' Blog
  • Wayne's Updates
  • Just random entries
  • The Fall of Ast@r0th
  • nordmanni's Blog
  • journals of the poems
  • We're all mad here
  • clo's closet
  • Musings by MacGreg
  • Randomnicity (aka Jay's thoughts)
  • Billy Martin's Blog
  • Dodger the Blogger
  • Eric's Blog
  • This and That
  • The GA Law Blog
  • Nick Buchanan
  • Bloggie Blog Blog
  • D/s BDSM
  • Of Gratitude, Goofing Off, and Good Times
  • 365
  • The DL Diaries
  • Trebs' Blog
  • Labrador's Blog
  • Lit's Blog
  • What Scares You?
  • Claustrophile's Blog
  • Nobody likes you when you're 23.
  • Michael's Playroom
  • hh5's Blog
  • Percy's Blog
  • Mollyhousemouse's Stash
  • Life is worth an entry
  • podiumdavis' Blog
  • sean's scribbles
  • ryan jo's Blog
  • Moggy's Haunts
  • Menace Years
  • Jordan's Blog
  • Raphael Farmer's Blog
  • The CSU Stories
  • Prompt du jour
  • KingdombytheSea's Blog
  • Happy birthday and I'm sorry
  • The Yettie's Blog
  • The Secret Life Of Billy Chase: Music For A Teenage Dream
  • Gone From Daylight: The Music of the Darkness
  • Intellectual Circuit Boy Gone Seriously Crazy in Hollywood
  • Linxe Termoil's Blog
  • Le Musique de le Souvenir
  • Andy's Blog
  • AdamP's Blog
  • Methodwriter85's Blog
  • DragonFire's Cave
  • kjames' Blog
  • Blashi Blog Blog
  • Ravings of a VampireMystic
  • My kingdom by the sea
  • Rompecabezas
  • BB's Blog
  • vEETalk
  • The Saga Continues...
  • Ashi's Blog
  • The new kid in school music collection
  • Do the sins of a parent transfer to the child?
  • Once Upon a Time Prompts
  • According to Puppilull
  • Saint Peter
  • When Life Gives You Lemons Make Beef Stew (PRIVATE CLUB)
  • Dear G A
  • Comments, Musings, Ponderings, Thoughts, 'N' Thangs
  • blogage (PRIVATE)
  • Pride of Lions
  • Simply Sid
  • Loveless - The Jimmy LaPlane Experience
  • Rano's Blog
  • Goodbye my Love.
  • asamvav111's Rainbow Couch
  • Random Thought's
  • Musings From Me
  • joann414's Blog
  • THINK BEFORE YOU WRITE
  • Jesse 101 Soundtrack
  • Thoughts from the Faerie Fool
  • The Triple J Ranch
  • Marty's Musings
  • SimonOhNoes' Blog
  • No Comments
  • layla's Nightwhisperz
  • A Class By Himself: Derrick’s Mixtape
  • Colored in Gray
  • Blog
  • S H E L T ER
  • TheLifeOfRydo
  • In Chandler’s Hands
  • Left Without Words
  • Gabriel Caldwell
  • miker33's Blog
  • rick thoughts
  • A Point of View...
  • Ranting and raving
  • The Great Escape
  • Autumn Dream's Blog
  • Umbereth
  • Dolores Esteban's Blog
  • Stuff from Cia
  • The Occasional rantings and ravings of Anita
  • Bandage's Blog
  • Waiting Outside The Lines
  • Delusions in A minor
  • The Vault of Worlds
  • Spots of Ink
  • My One Truth
  • GA Blogs's GA News Queue
  • GA Blogs's WW Queue
  • GA Engagement's Blog Staging
  • Review Team's Blog Staging
  • Site Archive of Doom's Blogs to Review
  • Site Archive of Doom's Archived Blogs
  • Prompt Team's Prompt Blog Posts

Product Groups

  • Member Groups
  • Advertising, Story / eBook Promotion

Categories

  • General Site Help
  • Step-By-Step Guides
  • Site Membership
    • Account Questions
    • Profiles
    • Rules and Discipline
  • Author Related Questions
    • Story Archive Author Questions
    • Authors
    • Tips & Tricks
    • Anthology Questions
  • Reader Questions
  • Forums
  • Forum Apps
    • Store
    • Blog
    • Gallery
    • Calendar
  • Advertisers

Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


Favorite Genres


Topic Display Title


Interests


About Me


Website URL

Found 12 results

  1. Last week I saw my own heart beating. I have seen a human heart beating before, but not my own. Many years ago I did a post-registration nursing course and part of that involved watching certain operations performed. I was watching a spinal operation. The surgeons accessed the patient’s spine via their ribs and deflating their lung. I looked over one of the surgeons’ shoulder and down into the patient’s open chest. There I saw that person’s heart actually beating, its rhythmic, synchronised beating. The heart was so beautiful, a rich purple colour. Its movement was smooth but also strong, as it pumped blood, it contracted and expanded so noticeably. As I looked down into that patient’s chest, I saw the very spark of that person’s life. Their heart beating and driving the life that filled their body. It’s an image I have never forgotten. Last week, I had an echocardiogram, an ultra sound scan of my heart. These scans have revolutionised diagnosing heart conditions, and there is heart disease in my family. I have never had one before but I know how they work, I used to perform leg assessments on patients, using an ultra sound probe. I expected to lay back on an examination couch while a technician pressed an ultra sound probe back and forth across my chest, staring at their little monitor which I couldn’t see. My first surprise was that there was a second monitor, on the examination room’s wall, were I could plainly see my scan. As the woman performed my echocardiogram, I could see its images on that second monitor too. On the screen, I watched the actual beats of my heart, the padam-padam of it pumping my blood. I watched the blood rush into my right atrium, and moments later be pulled into my right ventricle. I saw that being repeated in my left atrium and ventricle. I saw my mitral valve, the valve between my left atrium and left ventricle, snap open and closed, like a stage trap door. I watched the outer muscles of my heart’s myocardium work, compressing and relaxing, compressing and relaxing, with their smooth but strong movements. I saw the blood pushed out of my heart, through a surprisingly wide artery, in a remarkably fast and strong wave. I watched my own life, beating away, on an oblong, flat screen monitor, in real time. Up there on the monitor, was the image of my very life, the thing that keeps me alive. This was the spark of life, my spark of life, my heart beating. It was fascinating and I couldn’t take my eyes off that monitor. I was watching my own heart beating, watching the very thing that is keeping me alive. The woman performing my scan explained each stage of it, what part of my heart she was scanning and what would be involved, always making sure I was comfortable. She was very attentive and caring, not just performing her task with no care about me except that she got the results that she needed to. Unlike so many other technicians I’ve met. To my shame, I cannot remember her name. She did introduce herself but I was far too focused on watching my scan, on that big monitor. At the end of the scan, she told me she was a nurse too. I left the hospital with a feeling of being alive, of new life breathed into me. I had seen my own heart beating and strangely it had energized me. I wasn’t firing on all cylinders, I didn’t skip along the pavement outside the hospital or rush along the street, it was an extremely cold day. But I have found I have more energy and impetuses to do those things I want to do, I am writing more again. I saw my own heart beating, saw my own life in front of me, on a flat screen monitor, and in return I got back so much. Drew
  2. My government has let me down, again. Am I of any value to them? They certainly don’t seem concerned about me. They made me a promise, told me to wait and wait, but never kept it and now… In July 2018 prime minister Theresa May promised to ban conversion therapy. In 2019, Boris Johnson repeated the pledge during that year’s general election campaign. Yet here we are, November 2023, and again there is no sign of the promised ban. This month’s King’s Speech, were the government outlines the legalisation they plan to present to parliament, saw no mention of banning conversion therapy, so it remains completely legal to carry on abusing LGBTQ+ people in the name of conversion therapy. I’ve made no secret that I survived conversion therapy, in my late teens, but the harm didn’t end when I broke away from it. I suffered from depression, flashbacks, problems accepting my sexuality and severe difficulties making and keeping relationships throughout my twenties. I lost my twenties to the depression caused by the emotional abuse I just couldn’t shake off. It wasn’t until I was twenty-eight, and a wonderful counsellor called Gale Simon helped me put my life back together. “I refuse to acknowledge that so-called ‘conversion therapy’ is therapy in any way. It is mental and physical abuse. Some would call it torture,” said 76-year-old transgender woman Carolyn Merce. And she is right, she lived throw it. But it isn’t just personal stories, like hers and mine. There is a great deal of evidence that conversion therapy doesn’t work, and actually harms people. A brief literature search, of two peer reviewed medical journal databases, on a Sunday afternoon, and I found ten references that conversion therapy doesn’t work and sixteen references that it causes harm. This was by no means a comprehensive search, I am certain that there is a far bigger pool of evidence of the harm it causes and its complete ineffectiveness. Why hasn’t it been banned yet, as we were promised? Brazil, Samoa, Fiji, Argentina, Ecuador, Malta, Uruguay, Spain, Taiwan and Germany have all banned it, so why hasn’t Britain? Earlier this year, Penny Mordaunt, the leader of the House of Commons, said that draft legislation would be published before the end of that parliamentary session. That parliamentary session ended and we are now in a new one, but no ban was put before parliament. In September, a spokesperson for No 10, the seat of British government, refused to say if the government had plans to ban it. Then loud rumours came out that the government had dropped plans for any ban. A government press release about the King’s Speech, issued on 4th November, made no mention of a conversion therapy ban. By many this was taken as an indication of the government’s plans, and they were proved right. On 7th November, King Charles delivered the government’s King’s Speech and there was no mention of a conversion therapy ban, again. “I am angered but sadly not surprised by the government’s decision to drop a ban on conversion practices. The prime minister has shown a callous disregard for LGBT+ lives of late and has chosen to prioritise listening to perpetrators over that of engaging with victims of abuse.” Jayne Ozanne, founder of the Ban Conversion Therapy Coalition. It quickly became clear the Tory Back Bench MP Miriam Cates had been lobbying other Tory MPs for prime minister Rishi Sunak to drop the ban. Her texts to fellow MPs claimed that the ban would “criminalise” parents and doctors who “council” children against changing gender. She also claimed that the ban will “split” the Conservative party and “anger” their base. Both claims were not backed by any evidence but 40 Tory MPs signed her letter. There are 350 Conservative MPs in Parliament, which means only 11.4% supported Cates, but Sunak gave into her claims. Miriam Cates is a notoriously Anti-Trans Evangelical Christian. She wrote an article claiming, again without any evidence, that banning conversion therapy will stop parents and doctors from helping “confused young peopl. However, conversion therapists prey on confused people, not helping them but damaging them, as the evidence shows. But Cates’s views are also shared by the Evangelical Alliance, who says they represent 3,500 churches, and argue a ban would restrict “religious freedoms”. More and more though, the support for conversion therapy is disappearing, especially as the truth of it emerges. The Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Royal College of General Practitioners have also called for a ban, both of whom promote evidence based healthcare. While the UK Council for Psychotherapy said of it: “Exclusion, stigma and prejudice may precipitate mental health issues for any person subjected to these abuses.” The Equality and Human Rights Commission says legislation outlawing conversion therapy is overdue. Their chair, Baroness Kishwer Falkner, wrote to Women and Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch, stating the legislation "is needed". The Church of England’s General Synod called for the government to ban it, in 2017, after hearing experiences of “spiritual abuse” practiced in the name of conversion therapy. John Sentamu, the archbishop of York, said conversion therapy was “theologically unsound, so the sooner the practice is banned, I can sleep at night”. And more than 370 religious leaders, around the world, are calling for a ban on conversion therapy. But isn’t it a practice only abusing a small number of people? The Government’s own research found 7% of LGBTQ+ people have experienced some type of conversion practice. While the Ban Conversion Therapy Coalition’s online survey, of the LGBTQ community, found 40% of respondents said they had undergone some form of it. Would any other form of “therapy” that abused people to the degree that conversion practice does, with zero success rate, be even tolerated? A YouGov poll found 62% of voters wanted the ban, a fact that any government facing a General Election should be taking notice of, but not this one. Rishi Sunak seems to be more interested in listening to a small minority of his MPs, 11.4%, then medical and church bodies and a large percentage of voters. Fortunately, there has been an outcry, in parliament, against this broken promise. Labour has promised to ban conversion therapy, with no acceptations, when they get back into government. On 7th October, Labour MP Anneliese Dodds, the chairwoman of the Labour Party, promised to ban conversion therapy, with “no loopholes”, if Labour are in power after the next general election. But Labour are still in opposition and there isn’t a hope for a general election until next year. The has also been an outcry from within the Tory party. “We’re looking at every possible opportunity and we’re definitely not going to let this drop,” said Tory MP Elliot Colburn in reply to the ban being dropped. This isn’t surprising. Only 40 Tory MPs signed that letter to Rishi Sunak and there are large and public divisions within the Tory party. But why weren’t Colburn and his supporters lobbying Sunak while they were writing the King’s Speech? A letter signed by only 40 Tory MPs swayed Sunak’s mind. On Thursday 9th November, two days after the King’s Speech, a bipartisan Private Member’s Bill to ban conversion therapy, the “Conversion Therapy Prohibition (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity)” bill, was announced. It was drawn first that day in the House of Lords ballot. It was introduced by the vice chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group, Baroness Burt of Solihull. The bill would set a blanket ban on conversion therapy. There will finally be a debate in parliament about banning conversion therapy but I don’t see this Private Member’s Bill going further than that. The Parliamentary session 2019-21, saw 192 Private Members’ Bills put before parliament, but only 7 received royal assent, became law. That is only 3.6% of Private Members’ Bills became law. The vast majority failed because they didn’t make it past the second reading stage. In a normal Parliamentary year, thirteen Fridays are allocated for debates of Private Members’ Bills, which take place between the 9.30am and 2.30pm. Even if a Bill is approved at Second Reading, MPs second debate of the bill, the progress beyond that to it becoming law is not guaranteed because the Government can veto it by refusing to introduce a Money Resolution or a Ways and Means Resolution, were the impact on the public themselves and the public purse is assessed. Unfortunately, there is very little chance this Private Members’ Bill will become law. This Tory government has already dropped the promise to ban it, why would they support a Private Members’ Bill banning it? The only chance of getting a legal ban on conversion therapy is to wait for a Labour government, which is probably a year away, and even then, will it be an immediate priority for them? They will have an economy that is in free-fall, under resourced public services, with poor staff morale, that are failing to meet targets, and a cost-of-living crisis effecting all but the rich. Will banning conversion therapy be top of their list of laws to get through parliament? I cannot turn back the clock and prevent my younger self becoming sucked into conversion therapy, I cannot change or prevent the hurt and abuse I suffered, and nor will a ban of conversion therapy do this. What it will do is prevent young and/or vulnerable LGBTQ people being abused and damaged in the name of conversion therapy, it will stop other LGBTQ people being driven to suicide because of what happened to them during conversion therapy. It will stop other people living through the nightmare that I did, and that thought gives me so much hope and relief. I want that to happen tomorrow, but again this government has let me down and ignored me, and there will be no ban in the near future. Alan Cumming, actor and writer, said: “It’s not just about banning conversion therapy, it’s about sending a message to young queer people that their government does not believe there’s anything wrong with them, and that they have no need to convert or change. Until conversion therapy is banned, the UK government is sending a message that it is inherently homophobic.” Many people still say that conversion therapy should still be offered if people want it, it’s that person’s personal choice. I question how much it is a choice, how many people are forced and/or pressurised into going into it. I didn’t make an informed choice when I went into it. But my response, to this claim, is different. As a healthcare professional, no other healthcare professional, therapist or professional should be offering it, because they should only be offering evidence based care. Care and therapies where there is evidence that they work and are beneficial. There is no evidence that conversion therapy works and a lot of evidence that it is very harmful to those who undertake it. It is very unprofessional to offer anyone conversion therapy. Drew
  3. A lot has been said about how sex sells. There’s no doubt about that; sex and sexuality are hugely important to many marketing and advertising campaigns, and the fact that companies continue to experience commercial success after using sex as a marketing tool proves how well sex sells. But, I’m not a marketer, or an advertising executive. I’m just a guy who writes young adult novels. Which leads me to wonder how much sex is too much sex for a novel, or even a series of novels. We’re all taught to hide sex in our writing, that if we really must have our characters be put in sexual situations then they must be off-screen, to be imagined by the reader instead of explained and detailed. All of this is done in fear of disturbing potential readers, or especially potential publishers. This moral paranoia extends to television and films, though not to the same degree. You see people on tv or the movies pre and post-coitus. Sometimes, you even see the sexual act in some clinical fashion. Maybe we’re going about this the wrong way, as authors. I try to be a realist in my writing. I write about young adults who are on journeys of self-discovery, particularly relating to sexual orientation. They fall in love, and they have all the same urges that we had when we were young adults. We had sex. We didn’t let sex consume our lives; it was present, to be sure, but it didn’t dominate our existences. It was one thing among many other things that we did. I like to think that my writing is the same. Yes, there’s sex in my novels. Boys kiss boys. Sometimes they stop, sometimes they don’t. They’re learning how to control themselves and figuring out how to satisfy those urges without causing problems in the rest of their lives. But, they have other things going on in their lives that are much more important. I think that part of the equation is incredibly important, that sex not become the defining quality of the novel or the character. Frankly, the people who read my novels, and who read your novels, and who read anyone else’s novels? They all have sex.We’re deluding ourselves as an industry if we think our readers don’t know what’s going on when we fade the scene to black. Let’s be realistic with our writing. Write scenes the way that feels natural, not the way you think it needs to be censored in order to survive a publisher’s wrath. In an industry filled with things that defy reality, it will make your writing feel that much more connected to the lives of your readers. Cross-posted from https://authorhunterthomson.wordpress.com (Check out my blog/twitter/facebook page in my profile!)
  4. Do you ever get the feeling like you're not good enough? Yeah, that's me. This guy. The one with more awards on his shelf than he knows what to do with, who's helped shaped and pass legislation in the face of bitter and personal opposition and who's repeatedly distinguished himself academically and politically. I know what I've done with my life so far, and right now all I can muster is a "so what?" I'm still dangerously underemployed. I'm 26 and live with my parents. I have no immediate prospects for work in either my political field or my educational field (though there are a few people pulling strings for me in the teaching world), and I haven't seen anything that leads me to believe I'll be working full time in the near future. Frankly, this isn't where I thought I'd be, and it's playing hell with my plans that I made for myself. The plan was to be teaching or a full-time worker by now, building up my contacts in the community and preparing for a run at municipal politics next year. I'm not ready. No one thinks I'm a serious candidate in spite of how well I acquitted myself before. I'm seen as a gadfly, and by all rights people are correct. I have nothing in my life that signals I'm a serious being. I'm supposed to be one of the people who helps shape my little corner of the world, maybe make things a bit better than they were. How am I supposed to accomplish anything like combating homelessness when I can't even land a job? I hate this.
  5. Something New Every Year (July 2019) The other Saturday, I did something I’d never done before. At my age, it isn’t often I get to do something as new as this, but the other Saturday I marched in the London Pride March openly as a nurse. I’ve marched in the Pride March many times before, with friends, with LGBT organisations, but never before openly as a nurse. This year, a group of staff in my Trust’s LGBT Network organised to take part in the London Pride March and we had the blessing of our Trust. On Pride Saturday, all of us in bright yellow tee-shirts (with our Trust’s name and logo emblazoned across them) and all wearing our security bracelets, we took our place in the march. We were LGBT staff and our straight allies gathered around our placard that announced who we were, Whittington Health Staff Inclusion Network. Marching in Pride openly as NHS staff was one thing, but the reaction we received from the crowds along the route was amazing. People smiled and waved at us, they clapped and cheered us, people were so happy to see us. All we were doing was marching. The NHS is still not an inclusion or safe place for many LGBT patients. A recent Stonewall report found one in four LGBT people have witnessed homophobia from NHS staff and one in seven of them have avoided treatment because of fear of discrimination from NHS staff (1). Yet how much has the NHS done to reverse this situation? Very little. This isn’t the first report by Stonewall, there have been many over the years, all reading the same, and yet the NHS does so little to change this. In the four years between 2014 and 2018, LGBT hate crime rose by 144% (2) and yet the NHS is still not a safe place for LGBT patients. What my colleagues and I did at Pride was not a great step forward and for most of us did not require a large amount of effort, yet the reaction of the crowd was almost breath-taking. Those people cheered us on because they were happy and grateful for us being there, and our presence told them that our Trust was working towards providing care in a safe place. Taking part in London Pride fired all of us up, our WhatsApp group has gone crazy, and we are already making plans for next year’s Pride and getting off the ground an LGBT Staff Network. We need to work hard at making our Trust an inclusive organisation, a safe place for all, but we are starting. We talk a lot about person-centred care but are we just paying lip service to it when so many LGBT people do not feel able to be open with us about themselves for fear of discrimination? Every long journey starts with a single step, but who would have thought that step would be marching at Pride? So why aren’t more NHS Trusts taking part in the different Pride celebrations around the country? Our presence would say so much to the LGBT people there. (This was originally published as a comment piece in Nursing Standard magazine) Drew Payne Find out more about this short blog series here
  6. Do Unhealthy Attitudes Ever Change? (August 2015) During my first year of nurse training (twenty-five years ago) I ran into a wall of homophobia. I was told by some of my vocal colleagues that I only wanted to be a nurse to see naked men, that all gay men deserved AIDS, that I was a danger to children, and that God could heal me and make me “normal”. I endured it because it was 1990 and homophobia was what I expected as a gay man. It's now 2015 and our society has changed so much since my student nurse days. We are so much more open, we have so many legal protections now against homophobia; last year my partner and I got married. I thought we had come so far and then I was brought down to earth with a crash. This month, Stonewall (the LGTB campaigning organisation) published Unhealthy Attitudes (1), their report on the treatment of LGBT health and social care staff, and it was a shocking read. It felt as if I was right back there twenty-five years ago, like nothing had changed. The report, written following a YouGov survey of health and social care staff, found that one in four people had heard a colleague make negative or homophobic statements about LGBT people and one in five had heard negative statements about trans people. A quarter of them had been the victims of homophobic bullying from patients and service users. 10% had heard colleagues make claims that LGBT people can be “cured”. These statistics may sound cold and not greatly impressive but the report also carries the realities behind them, it is full of personal quotes. The nurse who was told by another nurse that he should be hung for being gay. The nurse whose manager told her that homophobic comments were “only banter”. The nurse who was ostracised by his whole staff team, at work and socially, when it came out he's gay. And many comments where trans people were called “it” or “she-male”. Then there were the comments that were themselves homophobic. A healthcare assistant (HCA) who said people are not born LGBT but “choose” this “lifestyle”. A doctor referring to anyone he doesn't consider “normal” as “deviants” whose needs shouldn't be “forced” on the majority. Yet this report has created little outrage or even comment from our nursing leaders or the wider community. If this report was highlighting racism or sexism surely there would have been an outcry about it, articles in our newspapers or items on the television news. Yet this report barely caused a ripple. Homophobia still seems to be the prejudice that we most easily accept, it's just “banter”, it's just someone's personal belief or personal views, and any challenge to it is seen as “political correctness gone too far”. But it's none of these; it’s prejudice and it can damage or even destroy people's lives. Why, as nurses, are we tolerating this? There have been several reports previously from Stonewall highlighting the poor treatment experienced by LGBT people from the NHS and how reluctant they are to be out to healthcare workers. The results of Unhealthy Attitudes only reinforce these earlier findings. How can we offer patients open and non-judgmental care when we can't offer non-judgmental support to our own colleagues? We have spoken a lot about “person-centred care”, but it seems that if the person is LBGT then a large part of their personality and needs are ignored, at best. LGBT people have their own healthcare needs, more than just using the gender-natural term “partner”, but the evidence is that they are still being ignored. How have we got to this point? Unhealthy Attitudes has a clear recommendation, staff training in LGBT issues. It found that three in four people haven’t received any training in the needs of LGBT people and only one in four have been provided with any equality and diversity training. Yet the NHS has a legal responsibility to eliminate discrimination. In the last three years my own equality and diversity training has consisted of one fifteen-minute, online presentation that covered the needs of disabled people, black and ethnic minorities people and LGBT people, but in no depth at all for any of them. How can we say we focus on person-centred care when LGBT staff’s safety is so bluntly ignored by the NHS? (This was originally published as a comment piece in Nursing Standard magazine) Drew Payne Find out more about this short blog series here
  7. The next six blogs form a short series, which I have called “With Pride” because they were all originally comments pieces, on LGBT rights and healthcare, published in the Nursing Standard magazine, and I am proud of having written them. For nearly fifteen years, on and off, I have written comment pieces for Nursing Standard and a lot of them were on LGBT healthcare. These pieces chart changes in attitudes, but they also had recurring themes and one was responding to a very disturbing piece of research, reading which just left me frustrated and angry, I felt nothing had changed. The first and last pieces here almost become companion pieces though they were written eleven years apart. The first one asks a question and the last answers it. I am posting here the original versions, with their original titles and all the links to their source material; they were edited for publication but mostly this involved reducing their word count. The last one was written in 2019, we had every intension of following that one up the next year, but history had other ideas. There were no London Pride marches in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID pandemic. This year was the first one since then and fate has intervened again for me. I want to say “happy reading”, but some of these pieces are on uncomfortable subjects. I am very grateful to the Nursing Standard for giving me the opportunity to write these pieces and to be able to shout above the crowd. Find out more about London Pride here. Drew Links to the other With Pride blogs: With Pride July 2008 With Pride January 2015 With Pride August 2015 With Pride January 2017 With Pride July 2019
  8. “Life is so cruel,” it was all I could think of to say to my nephew Stuart, who was on the other end of the phone. I was sat on the Brompton Road, the traffic rushing passed me with far too much haste, slight drizzle beginning to fall. I had missed Stuart’s message on Facebook, the day before, I’m not great with social media, so I was returning his call. Stuart wanted me to hear it from someone who knew me, a friendly voice. Dave, my only brother, had died, suddenly, two days ago. But he was healthy, strong, looking forward to the future, looking to finally retire, making plans. It wasn’t fair. I was stunned, as if someone had kicked me in the side of the head. This wasn’t real. But my eyes glazed over with tears. Still sitting there, I called Martin, my husband. I told him what had happened, and as I did it slowly began to feel real, slowly my mind was processing the shock. My tube journey home felt unreal, like I was stuck in a vivid dream. People were behaving as they normally do. Laughing, talking, reading their phones, ignoring the others around them, and pushing onto the tube so they could get the last seat. I wanted to shout at them, “It’s not fair! None of this is right!” But I didn’t. I just sat there, staring at a stupid poster advertising Tinder. When I arrived home to an empty house, I locked the front door behind me and screamed in frustration, my voice bouncing around the empty room. Dave is thirteen years older than me. That might not sound much to an adult, many people have partners thirteen years older or younger than them, but to a child it is an impossibly large gap. Dave left home, to go to university, at eighteen, when I was only five. He didn’t return to living at home, even after he finished his degree, instead embarking off on his own life. He was more like a young uncle to me, than a brother. We simply didn’t have the chance to be close. What also didn’t help us was that my parents saw Dave as the perfect son and, all through my childhood and adolescence, they compared me unfavourably to him. In my parents’ eyes, I could never be as good a son as Dave. It wasn’t his fault, he didn’t even know they were doing it, but it didn’t stop me being resentful. It was only as an adult I discovered that my parents compared all three of their children to each other and always unfavourably. Also, as adults, we lived so far apart. He had settled in Lancashire, I live in London, and I don’t drive. I simply thought we were never meant to be close. Our mother’s death and then our father’s brought us together but only temporarily, our lives soon parted us again. It was another tragedy that finally brought us together. Linda, Dave’s wife of over forty years, died at the height of the Covid lockdown. She didn’t die from Covid, but that wasn’t important, when she died Dave was isolated by the lockdown. He rang me, in a terrible state, to tell me what was happening. I kept ringing him over the following days, reaching out to him. Then, that afternoon, he texted me, Linda had died. I was in the middle of our busy District Nurse office. I went to the next office, which was empty, its staff redeployed, and rang him back. He was in a terrible state, on his own at the hospital. I wanted to just reach out down the phone and comfort him but I couldn’t, I only had words. So I told him how sorry I was. I wasn’t able to attend Linda’s funeral, only a handful of people were allowed to be there. I knew why I couldn’t be there but I still felt I was letting him down. We talked a lot over the phone a lot over the following days, and weeks, and then months. Dave travelled down to London as soon as the lockdown lifted. He was being inducted into the Fellowship of Engineers. We were able to have dinner with him the evening before. He travelled down on his own and spent the afternoon walking around Covent Garden. He revisited the places where he and Linda had visited so often before, together, but that day he was presented with what he’d lost. He was almost swamped with grief. As a nurse, I’ve looked after many people at the end of their lives. I have seen so many relatives drowning in grief. Every time, I wanted to press a syringe to their skin and draw out all of their grief and pain and sadness, freeing them from it. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t do the same for my own brother, but I so wanted to. I told him if was normal what he was feeling and I told him I was sorry. That evening the three of us talked, talked easily and openly. Dave and Martin talked as equals, both as professionals, but from different specialities. Before Martin joined us, Dave and I talked as brothers. We had so many different things in common. When Dave rang me and told me he had met a new partner, all I felt was relief. He wasn’t on his own anymore. Not for a moment did I think he was trying to replace Linda, he had loved her for such a long time, but now he had found companionship. Martin and I met Margaret, Dave’s new partner, on a bright spring Sunday, on London’s South Bank. Both Martin and I were struck by how happy they were together, and it was such a pleasure to see. I could file away that memory of that winter night, the memory of Dave so lost, and not worry about it again. Dave travelled down a lot to see Margaret and was able to see me too, and I looked forward to those visits. Suddenly I found we had so much in common. He knew my parents as well as I did and saw the things that I saw, that I didn’t know if I could have told anyone else. I didn’t have to explain my parents to him, I didn’t have to make excuses or justify what happened, because he already knew them. We could talk about all those things without explanation. When I published my first book, he championed it and that meant so much to me. He’d read it and enjoyed it, he even recognised the inspiration behind some of its stories. As a child I longed to have an older brother. Someone who knew me, was on the same wavelength as me, someone who knew the same things as me. As a middle-aged man, I suddenly found I had the brother I had always wanted. Dave and I were finally getting to know each other. I looked forward to talking with him and seeing him, especially seeing him. His visits to London helped me get through last year, which was a difficult year for me. He was happy again and he was making plans for the future. Martin and I were planning on coming and seeing him this summer, but suddenly it was all taken away. I have lost my brother suddenly and without any warning. I cannot find any meaning or purpose in what has happened. How can something positive come from all this? All I can think is, “Life is so cruel.” Dave Payne 1953 to 2023 (Thank you to my niece Rachel, who first posted the picture of Dave I used here. It so perfectly captures him)
  9. Last Wednesday morning (29th March), I was woken up by the radio news telling me that Paul O’Grady had suddenly and sadly died (1). It was a shock. Lying there, half asleep, I didn’t believe it, for a moment, but it was true. The tributes poured in for him, praising his work as a television presenter, chat show host and champion for Battersea Cats & Dogs Home (2). But I will always remember him as his alter ego, Lily Savage. When I moved to London, in the mid-eighties, Lily Savage was Queen of the gay scene, and her home was the Royal Vauxhall Tavern. There were a lot of different drag acts on the gay scene, even then, but Lily Savage stood out from the pack. So many drag acts, then, were no more than a man in a wig and a dress. They didn’t try to create a female persona; they didn’t bother to hide that they were a man. Lily Savage had a fully formed character. She was a working-class mother, with a taste for booze and a good night out. But she also had a life off the stage as well. O’Grady had created a whole life for his character. Lily was a home-help, working for the council, and living in a rundown council flat. There was her feckless husband Jack, her frumpy and alcoholic sister Vera, her delinquent daughter Bunty and her uber-twink son Jason. Lily supplemented her poor standard of living with a lot of alternative-shopping (shoplifting). Lily was crude and often confrontational but so much of her humour came out of her working-class and low-quality life, and her very dysfunctional family (This was at a time when “family values” were used as a political weapon, and living in a nuclear family was the only acceptable lifestyle. Here was Lily’s humour, painting her family life as survival of the loudest). But her humour never mocked women, belittling women’s bodies (A friend of mine, during my training, was a very strong feminist but she always loved Lily’s humour. I sat next to her, at a Lily Savage show, as she laughed herself silly). I saw Lily perform, so many times in packed and rather tacky gay clubs, always without the benefit of air conditioning. She would stand on the tiny stage there and dominate the whole club, having the audience in the palm of her hand. I loved Lily’s humour, her sharp social and political commentary, and it was blisteringly funny. She took no prisoners when she saw something wrong, or faced with a drunk heckler. When policed raided the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, all wearing rubber gloves, Lily was on stage, and announced, “Oh good, have you come to do the washing up?” (3) Lily also did a lot of work for HIV, appearing at AIDS benefits and long before it was fashionable. In 1991, Lily was nominated for the Perrier Award (4). Though she didn’t win, this was Lily’s gateway into mainstream media. Suddenly, she was presenting her stage shows and appearing on all different TV shows, she even appeared on a kids’ TV program. The genius of O’Grady was that he tempered Lily’s language for TV but lost none of her edginess. Many people accused O’Grady of “selling out”, as if as a drag performer Lily should only stay on the gay scene, but to me, it was the bigger platform that Lily deserved. It meant I could also enjoy Lily’s performances on my television, and I did. In 2004, O’Grady announced that Lily had retired to “a convent in Brittany” (5). O’Grady moved on to presenting television programs, out of drag. He soon became very successful at it, everyone’s slightly badly behaved and outspoken uncle. But as an openly gay man, he became so established that he presented a tea-time chat show and had a celebrity cameo on Doctor Who. He had become so popular and established that his death was the second item on the 6 o'clock BBC news the next day. I enjoyed his TV presenting but I really missed Lily Savage, her sharp and irreverent humour. She was such a fully formed character, with her own catastrophic life and very jaundice humour. I missed her undeferential attitude to celebrity. (Only in the last few days did I learn why O’Grady retired Lily. In 2004, Brendan Murphy, O’Grady’s partner and manager of 25 years, died after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour. O’Grady said the joy of performing as Lily “sort of died with him” (6)) Paul O’Grady 14 June 1955 – 28 March 2023
  10. On the grass, in front of our house, the crows and seagulls have fallen back into their usual cold war, after all staring at the lorry that came to emptying our rubbish bins. They stand around, glaring at each other, or attacking leftover fast-food wrappers, which the crows always seem better at. Every couple of days the cold war breaks down and they’ll start fighting over something or other, leaving behind the occasional feather on the grass. Before lockdown, the grass was dominated by pigeons, who wondered around in their lost way, with the occasional crow interrupting them. But something changed during lockdown and a flock of crows moved in, driving the pigeons away. Towards the end of lockdown, the crows were joined by the seagulls and the cold war began. The crows are now sitting up on the roofs, of our terrace of houses, glaring down at the street like a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, as the seagulls just stand around on the grass. They are back into their cold war.
  11. Last Friday we had a day out. We went to the London Transport Museum Depot, out at Acton (West London), for one of its open days. It was an amazing experience. It is housed in an old London Transport depot and is full of all kinds of old equipment, trains and memorabilia from the London Underground. I have always been fascinated by the London Underground, ever since I moved to London. Taking a train across a city, that travelled only underground, was so new and different. Since then, I have found that the history of the London Underground also ties in with so much of our social history. Then something uncomfortable happened. We were looking at a restored old tube train and a guide was telling us all about it. I realised that I used to travel in that type of tube train when I moved to London. Then I saw they had, preserved, the ticket machines from the same time, the ones I had used almost daily back then. Looking around the museum, I saw serval other exhibits I remembered from when they were in use. I remember things in everyday usage, from when I was an adult, that are now exhibits in a museum. I am old enough to remember museum exhibits when they were in everyday use. When I was a child, exhibits in museums were strange and very old things, things from a different world, an old world that was securely in the past. Now I can go to a museum and find something there that I can remember when it was in everyday usage. Life can be so complicated.
  12. I was sent this link by a friend (to a blog entry) and it gave me a few minutes' amusement, so maybe you'll find something to it as well. http://thescribblebug.com/2015/07/27/19-conversations-writers-can-only-have-with-other-writers/ In the context of the article, I liked #11.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Our Privacy Policy can be found here: Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..