solidarity

A Rebel Is I, A Rebel Is Me

A rebel is I, a rebel is me.
An outcast is what others may see
But I am no outcast maybe a loner, I suppose.
In actual fact a rebel with very good cause.
Rebel against the social norms, that say, I can’t wear the things I likes as they’re too comfy, too bland, too me.
Rebel against the social norms, that say, I should be married and settled by thirty.
Rebel because you have a point to make, a voice to be heard that will not shake.
Rebel even if it kicks up a fuss, rebel even more when you see treatment that is unjust.

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Rebel With Good Vibrations

The year was 2005 and I was working in a well known high street sex shop on Princes Street Edinburgh. The pretty girls with good boobs stood at the front of the store selling lingerie while my quirkily dressed 20 year old self, who could sell a rubber dildo to an old woman without blushing, worked in the back, beyond all the novelty hen party items, with the sex toys, porn, specialist underwear and bondage wear.

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Rebel with a Cause

Warning: this piece contains strong language

I am a rebel with a cause

I never pause to think

I dont shrink

the words simply slink from my mouth like angry ink

I splatter them on everyone 

I can't lie, it's kind of fun.

people roll their eyes as i cry,

but what about animals lives? black women, trans and gay, lebsian and bi?

I'm not afraid of a fight.

I need to do what's right, it's my responsibiliy as a cis, straight white. 

I might be a witch

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The Nelson Mandela Freedom March

Nelson Mandela was to be 70 on 18th July 1988. I proposed the motion at the ANC International Solidarity Conference in Arusha, Tanzania, the previous December that the world should celebrate his 70th birthday by demanding the release of Nelson Mandela and all political prisoners from apartheid prisons. So I was committed to joining the Nelson Mandela Freedom March on its way from Glasgow to London, mobilising the people of Britain in the campaign against apartheid.

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Where are the Rebels?

I sat today and wondered, where are the Rebels? Do they still exist? Does it even matter?

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We r i people

Ma legs were shakin’ under the table as the community hall filled tae capacity in front a mae. A wiz reminded a midnight mass in the seventies except that a wiz at the tap table, and the priest wiz among the congregation. This memory came back tae me as a read wan a the flyers blowin’ aroon’ the car park where the lock up garages wir bein’ demolished. "NO SHERIFF OFFICERS" wiz the bold message they told, n it star'l'd me ae think how long they'd been layin there undisturbed.

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Rebel With a Cause

I am a rebel with a cause. As a drag queen, there’s a sense of duty. We’re leaders, performing in venues across the world every night of the week. We stand out from the crowd and use our microphone or social media reach for good. We’re a strong voice in the campaign for LGBT rights, and more.

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Trouble to Change

A Dedication to the Suffragettes

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Mull, 1972

It rains a lot on Mull. It was pouring the day of my story. We’d just finished breakfast and our two young daughters, Avril and Jennifer, were doing puzzles in the window seat of our holiday cottage. Avril peered up the street through the curtain of rain and haar and said,

“There’s something funny happening outside the hotel.”

I came over to look. Sure enough there was a melee of men and dogs in the car park and I could hear voices raised in anger. The hotelier – a gentle, courteous man – seemed to be getting the worst of it. I called over my husband to watch.

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The Troubles

Warning: this piece contains strong language

It was a damp night in Belfast in February (or was it March?) of 1972 that I didn’t kill someone and I wasn’t put on trial for murder...perhaps I should explain?

It’s funny what you think about in moments of fear and confusion, about the odd chain of events that have led me to crouch down, making myself as small as possible and hopelessly trying to push myself back into the unyielding hedge beside the footpath while I watch death rolling slowly down the hill towards me. Damn these street lights.

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