Why The High Female-Female Divorce Rate?

Around ten years ago, I noticed something different about gay women. I noticed that the strong and sturdy image most of us had had of gay women had started to crumble in places. I noticed changes in the emotional and mental well being of some gay women and I noticed differences in relationship patterns.

Traditionally in the UK, gay (lesbian and bisexual) women were the backbone of modern Britain. Gay women worked in social services and the teaching profession, they opened the first domestic violence shelters and children’s services. They cared for the homeless and the mentally ill.

When I first started out in social care and voluntary work, I noticed half the volunteers or staff were Christian and half were gay, and some – like me – were both. Gay women – although shunned by mainstream society – were the ones who could be depended on.

I’m going to do a series of modern issues affecting gay women. The first I will tackle today is the female-female divorce rate. In the UK, historically, gay men often had a promiscuous image and approach to sex and relationships, but some did maintain monogamous life long relationships like some men I have known. Female couples, though, tended to meet when they were young – at school, university or in their first job – and they stayed together for life. In 2022, we find ourselves in the situation where 56% same-sex marriages are female-female, yet female-female divorce makes up 72% of same-sex divorces. While opposite-sex divorce figures have fallen in the last year, same-sex divorce figures are rising.

What is going on?

The main reason why female-female couples divorce is unreasonable behaviour, and this parallels women in opposite-sex relationships filing for divorce, mainly for unreasonable behaviour. Among female-female couples, the top reason for citing unreasonable behaviour is infidelity, and the second reason is domestic violence. We do not see the same pattern among women filing for unreasonable behaviour in opposite-sex divorces, where the women cite many different behaviours as being unreasonable, although with adultery being the top reason.

The stark contrast in the divorce rates of female-female marriage compared to opposite-sex figures is not limited to UK couples. The same pattern has been found in the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and Norway – countries which had same-sex civil partnerships twenty years before the UK did. In both civil partnerships and in same-sex marriage in those countries, 30% or more of female-female civil partnerships and marriages end in divorce, whereas around 18% opposite-sex marriages end in divorce. We also see a similar pattern in the USA.

Opposite-sex marriages that end in divorce do so after on average12 years, whereas same-sex marriages that end in divorce do so after an average of 4 years. This could reflect the fact that same-sex marriage became legal in the UK in 2014.

One of the explanations given for the high divorce rate between female-female couples is U-hauling. This was an American term that most gay women around the world know through TV dramas like The L Word. U-haul is a furniture removals company in the USA. Female couples tend to move fast. Meeting, falling in love and moving in together can happen in the space of a month, which has been the case for several of my friends.

Ayesha Verdag of Verdags solicitors said that women are loss tolerant than men of infidelity, domestic violence and one person doing all the heavy lifting in a relationship. Gunnar Andersson, Professor of Demographics at Stockholme University, agrees with this, and said that women look for quality of relationship and women have higher standards of what they expect in a relationship.

Nathalie Drew, a same-sex fertility clinic manager in the UK, who herself has divorced her wife, said that same-sex marriage puts pressure on same-sex couples to behave in gender roles, for example one is the breadwinner and the other is the stay at home parent, and same-sex relationships never had this ideal of roles in the past. She asserts that same-sex marriage has put pressure on lesbians, and in doing so has done lesbians and lesbian relationships no favours.

I remember reading in Cleve Johnson’s memoir that Harvey Milk had said to him that gay people were not the same as heterosexual people and we should never try to be. At the time, I thought that that was a really negative comment for Harvey Milk to have made. Now, thinking about what Nathalie Drew has said and having seen the same-sex divorce figures, I see Harvey Milk’s comment in a different light.

Also, many women in female-female marriages have been married before, and a second marriage is more likely to fail than a first marriage.

Infidelity and domestic violence have been mentioned as the top two reasons why women in same-sex marriages file for divorce. I will investigate domestic violence between women in an upcoming blog post because I am aware that that is a huge issue for female couples today, and I want to explore the data and the possible reasons why domestic violence is much higher between female-female couples than opposite-sex couples.

It is clear that there are genuine problems for female-female couples in marriage, and perhaps beforehand. We need genuine research so that we can identify the exact issues and how women wanting relationships and marriage with women can avoid these problems.

The majority of LGBT people in the UK do not get married, but of those who do marry, more marry someone of the opposite sex than the same-sex. This is in line with studies following bisexual people’s attractions and choices of relationships, and most LGBT people are bisexual. However, we cannot ignore our friends who are not bisexual and/or have a relationship with another woman.

I believe honest and open dialogue between LGBT people about relationships and marriage is a good idea. Perhaps those in long term marriages can give advice to those starting out in a marriage or a relationship? Perhaps more research can be done in this area? If we can arm women with the facts so that they can avoid the pitfalls and strengthen their relationship before any problems arise? Perhaps U-hauling needs to be looked at and women could slow down, take time to date their new love and get to know the other person more before moving in?

If we care about our womenfolk, we need to break the taboo of talking about unpopular subjects.

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Are Anglosphere Gender Variants Like Third Genders Around The World?

Whenever I see people talking about how non-binary and agender and other neo genders with neo pronouns are like the third gender people around the world and throughout history, I groan inwardly – and sometimes outwardly. Like many people, the people who say these things are simply repeating what they have heard other people say without having put any thought or investigation into the matter.

I do not believe for a second that most of the gender variant people we have in the modern Anglosphere bare any relation to the third gender people around the world and throughout history. In many cases, third gender people in other cultures are community and religious figures, and follow a certain pattern and way of life. This clearly contrasts the lives of gender variant people in the Anglosphere.

The hijra people of India are the third gender people that westerners point to the most. They are all male bodied people and refer to themselves as kinnar, meaning mythical beings who excel in song and dance, and they live in communities led by a guru (a religious or philosophical teacher). They worship and live to please the mother goddess Bahuchara, or Lord Shiva, or both, and they practise religious rituals usually performed by both men and women. They refer to each other in female terms as sister or aunt. Some have an intersex condition, most do not. Some have surgeries, others do not. Some are sexually active and others abstain from sex and relationships and focus on the spiritual. Hijras face discrimination due to their low status in society. Many turn to begging or prostitution as a way of raising an income.

In the Balkans are the Burrnesha women. These are female bodied people who take a vow of chastity, wear men’s clothes and live as men. They do this for several reasons; avoiding the need to marry, avoid a certain arranged marriage without slighting the man or his family, to inherit wealth or to gain freedom in a society where women have less rights than men.

Two-Spirit is a term we have become accustomed to hearing, and some people add it to the LGBT alphabet soup. Two-spirit is a new term that first appeared in the 1990s. Some indigenous Americans are not happy about this cultural appropriation. Again, there are religious and cultural meanings that are not often reflected in the lives of non-binary and gender variant people in the Anglosphere. Not every tribe of indigenous Americans accepted two-spirit people. Indigenous Americans are keen to point out that different tribes had different cultures. Two-spirit male bodied people fought in battles and used the male sweat lodge, and they could cook and clean and take up chores around the home. Female bodied two-spirit people usually had relationships solely with other females. In Indigenous American tribes, cross dressing was no sign of being two-spirit or same sex attracted. Two-spirit people were a full part of the community, however some tribes would accuse them of being witches if a crop failed or other calamites came upon the tribe.

Jordan Peterson said that one of the main problems of our modern times – the problem that causes mental distress to individuals as well as communities – is that we have talked about and demanded rights, but not the responsibilities.

Third gender people around the world have their gender expression, but they also take up responsibilities, whether that be a religious commitment or a commitment to their community. Most gender variant people in the Anglosphere do not do this.

The one main exception I know about is in Christianity, with people who have similar beliefs to myself. We believe we were not born LGBT – as all the studies show, but become LGBT as a result of our natural selves mixing with a difficult environment. Many LGBT Christians I know are married to someone of the opposite sex, and some remain single and celibate. In the Christian tradition, and in line with the Bible’s teaching, some people remain single and celibate so that they can do more work for God. Jesus spoke about people who cannot marry because they were born that way, life made them that way, or they choose to be single so that they can serve God more.

I never adopted being third gender as a life style or identity, and I never gave it much attention. It was something in the background. None of my friends at university would have thought to have used words like trans about me. They knew, they saw how I was affected, but it was never something we ever needed to talk about or wanted to talk about. I found other things in life far more interesting than feeling dysphoric. Yes, there were times I wanted to mutilate myself and I felt very uncomfortable about my body being female, but because I never focussed on it, these feelings didn’t happen often. When they did, I took time to pray about it. I gave thanks for the body God gave me and after ten or so minutes, I felt much better.

Gender variance in the Anglosphere, unless the individual makes an individual decision to follow a religious or philosophical pattern and way of life, have absolutely nothing in common with third gender people around the world. Gender variance in the Anglosphere tends to be among people who do not follow a religion, who think far too much about themselves and dwell on unimportant things such as gender and sexual orientation. There is a clear link between autism and gender variance, as well as other conditions such as depression, schizophrenia and ADHD – I have quoted findings of a study published by the Autism Society in a previous blog post.

Gender variance in the Anglosphere, from what I have seen in people I’ve known, is a sign of someone in emotional distress. Although I acknowledge some people who are gender variant might be attention seeking and want an easy fix instead of developing skills, hobbies and a personality, all the gender variant people I have known in the UK have been people in distress. Some were bullied at school, some physically abused by their parents and some were just confused about who they were and their place in the world. Autism or depression were clearly visible in most.

Instead of pouring scorn on gender variant westerners as all being attention seekers as I have seen several social commentators do, I would hope that any person in distress gets the help that they need and lives a life that is full and fulfilled.

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Showtrial and Misogyny

I settled down to watch the latest in BBC entertainment, drama even. Looking at the profile photo for the drama series Showtrial, there was no way I could have predicted the level of misandry and clunky woke script that this drama showcased.

Showtrial is a drama based around the murder and subsequent trial of the accused. The actual process is done well, written well, researched well. The writers of The Pact should pay attention.

What my innards didn’t react to so well was the man hating that ran through each of the five episodes of Showtrial. From the male coppers all being in lesser roles than the female coppers, to the flagging of the virtuosity of the young Black female lawyer to the All Men Are Bastards trope. If the men aren’t gawping at waitresses or leaking police investigation information to the press, they say things like, “These days, you’ve only got to look at a bird’s arse and you’re in the news with hashtag branded on your chest!”

And the response from Cleo, the lawyer, was, “Do you know how many sexual assaults were reported on campus last year? No? Then shut up!”

And the man just took that.

Firstly, men don’t say stuff like that. Secondly, 50% the UK’s population look at women’s beehinds from time to time – me included – and that has nothing to do with sexual assault at all. Attraction is part of human biology. It has nothing to do with harm or criminality. Women look at men in the street and we don’t have outbursts of accusations and offence about them.

The men in this drama just take everything that is dished out to them. Even when the man is as rough as a badger’s chuff, they just smile and look embarrassed at their own misogyny and decide to remain silent lest they curse the world again with more utterances of misogynistic stupidity.

Even Jordan Peterson isn’t safe from this drama criticising him in a bizarre joke yet again having a go at a man for no particular reason, shoe horned into a brief scene for no reason other than to have a go at a man and slate psychologist extraordinaire Jordan Peterson who has helped hundreds of thousands of men and women.

There’s lots of shoe horning in this drama. In episode 4 we are treated to the lawyer making a speech about the evils of clay pigeon shooting. The lawyer was a guest in the house of the clay pigeon shooter and was also employed by the clay pigeon shooter. Criticising a host’s hobby is rude and likely to get you kicked out onto the street in real life, and criticising your boss’ hobby is likely to get your sacked in real life. The speech was tedious, melodramatic, unnatural and not a patch on Meet The Parents when the hippy couple realise their son has been shooting ducks. Barbara Streisand and Dustin Hoffman were brilliant. “You shot a beautiful creature of the sky?!” “Our people don’t shoot ducks.”

I lost track of the number of times the word “misogyny” was used in this drama, but I remember it in the summing up of the case in court. “You are a cold, calculating, misogynistic murderer.” The word stood out to me as pretty pathetic in this sentence and wholly unsuitable. When I’m called misogynistic by so many women for saying that women are equal to men and so are as able as men to say no to living with an abusive partner, it is clear that the word “misogynistic” has lost any real meaning and value. Likewise with the words “racist” and “transphobic”. When words are thrown around so much, they lose their gravitas, and so when used in a court summing up they sound weak and silly.

All the men in this drama are either whipped or they become whipped by the sheer might of Cleo. It’s like watching an episode of Batwoman where tiny Ruby Rose throws around very accommodating 13 stone stuntmen. Even the nice CPS guy who hangs out with the mother of the murder victim to help her through the process of the trial is whipped in the home by his pregnant wife. He can’t even make a decision about his work without his wife being his moral compass and telling him what to do.

As I said before, all the men are in secondary roles and all the women are in command. When we got to the court and I saw the judge was… wait for it… yet another woman, I did shout “FFS!” It was just laughable. All the women were in control and all the men were poodles or bastards.

Then we get to the child abuse, and this is where it gets really interesting. The women in this drama think that a past experience of sexual abuse totally unrelated to the person who has been murdered is somehow a mitigating circumstance in this murder trial. Why? I’ve seen this in several TV programmes now such as Engrenages (Spiral). Why is a woman who has been sexually abused in childhood to be let off a murder charge when the murder victim has nothing at all to do with the sexual abuse? Why? Why is the abuse “mitigating circumstances” when it is totally unrelated to the crime being tried in the court?

Why is there a push to see all female offenders as victims of abuse? Yes, in the prison population, 29% female prisoners have been abused, either emotionally, physically or sexually (according to Ministry of Justice 2012, with the figure of 36% coming out of the USA legal system), which is only a little higher than the 25% for the general female population of the UK. 60% UK female prisoners witnessed domestic violence in childhood. So the biggest issue to highlight in connection with female prisoners is the effect of domestic violence on children.

Why is there a big push to see all female offenders as victims of abuse when there is little push to see male offenders as victims of abuse?

In this drama, the abuse victim was abused over a period of time by scores of men, and her own mother. She was sexually abused by her mother. Yet she shows no signs of having been abused. She has no problem being sexual and getting drunk and high with a male friend who she acknowledges is “creepy” and two other women have made complaints of stalking and rape against him which she knows about. She has a slight anxiety issue which she solves easily by singing to herself. The reality is that someone who has been sexually abused by scores of people and one of their own parents has profound mental health issues. Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly known as multiple personality disorder), schizophrenia, PTSD or Borderline Personality Disorder – all serious conditions that affect the person daily and require substantial amounts of medication to control. The lack of serious mental health condition in the horrendously abused character shows that the writers know naff all about sexual abuse and its affects on the survivor. When this character talks about being sexually abused, she just says it. There is no sadness, no horror, no trauma.

Sexual abuse is just a plot device that the writers wanted to throw into a drama that is all about The Message, and that message is All Men Are Bastards. It’s the mother who is the abusive parent, the pigeon shooter, evil evil pigeon shooter, but All Men Are Bastards, never women. Not even the female detective inspector who gets away with a slap on the wrist when she fails to disclose all the evidence. If you are going to write a drama with a sexual abuse survivor as a main character, don’t be so disrespectful to survivors. Do research, speak to survivors, respect their testimonies and write a realistic character.

What I find so disrespectful of survivors is that rape and sexual abuse is thrown around so much in modern TV dramas. Years back with Little Mo’s ordeals in East Enders, a columnist wrote that it is horrible that TV writers can’t make a female character interesting without having her raped. Being raped makes a female character interesting. I totally agree. We have seen this in the drama Shetland and countless other dramas where boring characters are made “interesting” by being raped. Guess what? The characters remain boring, but now the viewer has to watch a totally unrealistic portrayal of a survivor. TV writers don’t know what to do with female characters, often because TV writers have so little experience of life in all its fullness and reality.

I write female characters who are powerful and interesting. They have not been raped. They do not belittle men and make bizarre man hating speeches. They are interesting because of what they do and who they are. Why do I write interesting women who are capable and can do stuff? Because I am an interesting woman who is capable and can do stuff.

This badly scripted drama reminds me of Scott And Bailey. I hardly watched that drama – mostly because anything on ITV is not written for the demographic(s) I belong to. When I did see Scott And Bailey, I was amazed at how anti men it was. Again, all the top plods were women, and the woman police boss shouted at, made fun of and humiliated male officers in front of all the other officers in briefings. That’s workplace bullying and is illegal. But it was all knowing smiles between bitchy boss and Scott And Bailey. They all found it amusing that all the men were useless and they were the only good police detectives in their city and the (almost all female) viewers were encouraged to laugh at the men, too.

I find so many TV dramas misogynistic in their portrayal of women. Apart from their flawless characters, their virtuous characters, their beautiful clothes that they can’t afford on their current income, their quick wit and aspirational beauty, there are the unrealistic outbursts of man hating, sexual abuse to make the women interesting, and bullying behaviour is simply a woman’s factory settings. Good old fashioned misogyny, dressed up in designer clothes and sold back to women as empowerment.

I’m off to watch the realistic depictions of Allo Allo.

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The John Lewis Christmas Advert

It’s that time of year again when the big stores and companies do their best to convince us that Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without us buying their stuff.

Enter Stage Right John Lewis. Hot on the heels of their insurance advert featuring a boy in makeup, necklace and glitter rampaging around the house, trashing everything in his path and bullying his sister – aka The Patriarchy in acceptable form, John Lewis brings us the warming tale of a 14 year old boy who meets an alien girl and he shows her the delights of Christmas before she gives him a peck on the cheek and ascends to the mothership.

So far so good, right? Wrong. What alarmed me is the 14 year old boy looks more like 10 years old, the alien looks male, and the kiss on the cheek looks more like a kiss on the lips. The boy is also Black, which is no biggie, but if an alien ship crash lands in the UK countryside, they are not so likely to find a Black person as a white person. The alien is a girl but I thought she was a boy, and I’m not the only one who thought that. To me, the girl was chosen for having the bone structure that makes her look androgynous in her costume and alien makeup. The alien’s ship crash lands in a hail of rainbows.

The advert is called Unexpected Guest. The problem is, a girl who appears to be a boy kissing a Black boy is not unexpected in 2021, it’s very much in our faces in 2021, but much more than that, it has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas. As one commenter said, “Can we have a fat man in a red suit?” Another was, “Roll on Kevin the Carrot! Save us from this torture!” My favourite was, “All I want for Christmas is alien abduction!”

I have a real problem with the age of the children in this ad. They are supposed to be 14. 14 year old Black boys walk up my street every day going to the local secondary school. 10 year old Black boys walk down my street every day going to the local primary school. I know what a 14 year old Black boy looks like and what a 10 year old Black boy looks like, and I asked a Black friend for verification, and he wasn’t sure that the boy in the ad looked 14. When there is an image of two children kissing in material consumed mainly by adults, I feel uncomfortable. It gets my paedophilia alarm bell ringing. When it appears to be two 10 year old boys kissing on the lips in material consumed mainly by adults, I open a new post on my blog.

10 or 14, the children are children, and there has been backlash against these two children for being in this ad. I am totally against this. Child Protection. No child should be targeted for anything.

10 or 14, children are children, and having two children kiss for material mainly consumed by adults is highly concerning. The write up says they kissed on the cheek. They appear to kiss on the lips. Many children have a little peck on the lips from another child of the same age they find special. It’s not a huge big deal. It’s a special moment between two youngsters that doesn’t go anywhere and doesn’t need to. But. When that special moment between two children is watched by millions of adults, I’m pretty sure we have entered into a realm of paedophilic voyeurism.

A lot of backlash has been around the Blackness of the boy and family. I get it. I lived in a city that is 70% BAME, but most of the UK is not. In fact, only 13.8% of the UK is BAME, and only 3% is Afro-Caribbean (or Black). BBC dramas (Ordinary Lies series 2, The Pact) would have us think that rural Wales is populated by mixed race (Black-white, not Welsh-English) people. While BAME people make up 13.8% the UK’s population, BAME actors on TV account for 22% actors. The over-representation of Black people in TV ads has become more than noticeable in the past three years. I found it pretty patronising when a holiday company had a Black family featured in their ad, and the family were rapping. Badly.

I don’t mind a Black family appearing in a Christmas ad. What I mind is how generic the ad is in every way. I talked to a friend about this. I asked if there are any differences between a Black Christmas and an, er, white Christmas. He said that in some households there were, and in others there weren’t because many Black people who came here with Empire Windrush sought to emulate the culture they were in. I asked about differences, such as in China, people have a Christmas tree and presents, but Chinese food. My friend said there could be a difference in food, maybe a Black Jesus in a frame on the wall, but also often a white Jesus on the wall.

It’s just been Black History Month. I wouldn’t have known if Sainsbury’s – one of The Big Four supermarkets in the UK – hadn’t added to its regular signage with black, red, yellow and green stripes – the colours of the Jamaican flag… because there are no Black people in Australia, or Gambia or Gabon or Rwanda.

Just like with Pride month, Sainsbury’s has done nothing except put a few extra colours on its regular signage. It’s not donated any money to any good causes, it’s not platformed Black entrepreneurs, Black artists, Black classical musicians, Black personal trainers, Black teachers, nada. It’s not put up any displays about local Black people who have done well or helped people such as local nurses. Absolutely nothing. The local indoor market did put up some artwork, and I loved three computer generated images, but I had no idea what they were supposed to be about and what I could learn from them. Other Black people had written that they feel the same as the artist, but no one explained to the public what that was, so I could not understand. If no one explains something, I can’t understand, and if I can’t understand I can’t empathise.

Two years ago, Easter’s Songs of Praise was led by the nation’s choir master Gareth and the Gospel choir leader from the choir who sang at Meghan and Harry’s wedding. They covered UK traditions for Easter and Afro-Caribbean traditions such as bun and cheese. I’d never heard of bun and cheese. I learned that when the Empire Windrush generation first celebrated Easter in the UK, most people couldn’t afford the ingredients to make hot cross buns, so instead they had a bread bun with cheese. Bun and cheese. I learned something and I taught Chinese students about Easter two days later, and I included bun and cheese in the lesson.

Can we have a fat man in a red suit?

As a Christian, I know that Christmas is three celebrations in one.

  1. St Niklaas coming across the water to give German, Dutch and Belgian children presents if they had been good and sticks if they had been bad.
  2. Pagan and practical traditions of bringing nature indoors because it was too cold to go outside, and decorating the house to cheer people up on cold, dark days.
  3. The birth of Jesus.

Jesus was brown. One of the wise men was Black. There were angels – beings not from Earth. Surely John Lewis and all the other brands we love for their Christmas ads could find some BAME and superior being angle in the Christian Christmas story?

One comment on the John Lewis ad pointed out the fact that the alien was white, and the commenter wrote in irony, “The superior race is white!”

This is the thing with woke; it’s often more bigoted than the “bigots” it claims to fight.

Going back 5 years, the word “replacement” in the UK was a dreaded word because it was usually prefixed with the word “rail” and suffixed with “buses”. Rail replacement buses. If there had been flooding, or work on the train tracks or leaves on the line, train passengers would be taken off trains and put onto buses that were always overcrowded, freezing and took 1 1/2 times longer to get to their destination.

Now, the dread is not rail replacement but race replacement. It is a conspiracy theory going around – mainly the internet, and we all know how close to normal public opinion the internet is. But it is there. The conspiracy theory that our government is deliberately allowing illegal immigration (up to 800 people per day crossing The Channel in boats, with no Covid passport, and being housed in 4 star hotels at the expense of the UK taxpayer). The conspiracy theory is that the UK government wants to replace white people with Black people. This conspiracy theory has been fluttering around the USA and early 1900s France.

Some people believe we are all being primed for all sorts of Armageddon. The John Lewis advert is a woke advert created by wokenistas – who didn’t realise they were pushing white supremacy by having a white person as a superior being! Joking aside, it feeds the paranoia of race replacement. It gives paranoid people something to point at, like at least half the adverts on TV now, like BBC dramas, Doctor Who, Star Trek Discovery and more where the white characters are the minority, and some are the butt of jokes and the ire of the BAME female characters.

Christmas ads are supposed to showcase what the big brands can do for us at Christmas – give us quality food, decorations, presents. The John Lewis ad gave us only a brief glimpse of what their brand can offer us this Christmas. In previous years, we’ve had the dragon learning to control his firey behaviour in a Victorian-esque village (that had a number of Black people) reminiscent of Christmas card scenes we all know, and we’ve had the ad featuring the 1914 football truce between the Germans and the Brits – adverts that are rooted in our culture and history and draw on our familiarity and emotions. This year’s effort from John Lewis has missed the mark.

Instead of giving us white supremacy (the alien) and The Patriarchy (the bully boy), give us something we can all enjoy together. Maybe a fat man in a red suit, or Jesus. Pax et bonum x

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Unsafe Women

Tonight, I opened a DM from a complete stranger. Her DM made a false accusation against me, that I used her trauma of being sexually abused in childhood as a reason to not help others.

After a few minutes, I realised she was referring to a statement I have made many times on social media, that I have worked with survivors of abuse and asylum seekers, and I know which group needs so much help and gets none, and which group needs next to no help and gets everything.

Survivors of abuse are the most ignored group in the UK. A survivor of abuse is entitled to no help whatsoever under UK law and common practice except for a vague statement that all vulnerable adults are supposed to be cared for by the local authority, with no guidance of what that care should be or how it should be delivered. Whereas an illegal immigrant with no needs abusing our asylum system gets attention from government bodies, the national press, churches and NGOs. From what I have seen across the UK, survivors of abuse get next to nothing, or nothing in most cases.

Some of my good friends are from countries such as Rwanda and Congo. They were brought here by the UK government so that they can build new lives in the UK, away from danger. They have had next to no help since they arrived 20 years ago, except for layman’s help in churches. They were genuine asylum seekers in need of genuine help.

In the statement I made, I never referred to the woman who DM’d me, nor any other survivor of abuse. I don’t behave in those ways. I had also seen that she had made quite a lot of abusive comments to everyone on the page she disagreed with. I simply made a statement about my observations as a frontline worker of 20 years. I responded to the woman’s false accusation with compassion, and she said she was going to report me to facebook for harassing her. Too late, cos I got there first.

I don’t know why women behave like this. Men have bad ways of behaving, yes, but in my experience, it is women make all sorts of false accusations about me, about men, and about others in general.

I want women to take hold of what I have to say here. Women, if you don’t know why a man or a gay woman doesn’t want to go anywhere on their own with you, it is unlikely to be anything to do with you, but everything to do with how another woman or women have behaved in the past towards that man or gay woman.

When I was at university, I wanted a word in private with my church’s youth worker. He refused, saying the only woman he goes anywhere with in private is his fiance. I said. “Dave, it’s me!” He insisted on upholding his rule. Back then, I had no intention of doing anything remotely sexual with a man, I was very much into woman and I identified mostly as male, and Dave knew that. I didn’t understand why he refused to go into a room alone with me for me to confide in him.

Now, I do understand.

I was part of a wonderful organisation for LGBT Christians for 10 years. When I first went, I felt, “Wow, I’m surrounded by Christians!” I didn’t feel I was in a gay gay gay atmosphere. As the years went on and new leaders came in, I found the atmosphere changed very much. I felt a lot of people attending events were there to score a partner or just sex rather than worshipping God. For the first few years, I didn’t go to any of the women’s seminars because of how gender dysphoria affected me. I went to a women’s meeting for the second time, and I was wearing a dress. I found myself surrounded by women who were 20 years older than me and much bigger than me saying how pretty I was in a way that made me feel uncomfortable sexually. Sure, when I had previously worn skirts or dresses around female friends and they had told me I looked pretty, my response would be, “I always look pretty! This is the same head I’ve always had!” I never felt sexually uncomfortable with those friends. But I did with this group of women…

…And two of them – 20 years older than me – started messaging me on facebook, flirting and obviously wanting more. After praying, I messaged one and asked her to stop trying to flirt with me because it made me feel uncomfortable, and she hit the roof, calling me all sorts of names. She was 20 years older than me, and her daughter – who was 2 years younger than me – was about to get married, but this woman had decided to try to get with me while slagging off her husband. Not exactly the kind of behaviour that turns me on.

Two years later, I messaged the Christian organisation with a list of women who had come onto me, and I asked them to not put me in a group with these women at the upcoming event. I got to the event and found I was in a group with straight pensioners, and the group was led by a good friend. He told me that the women I had listed and several others had told the organisation’s leaders that I had tried to get with them. He told me he had spoken up for me, and stated the truth, that the women were annoyed that I had turned them down or just not noticed they liked me and so they made stuff up about me.

Quite a number of women have made stuff up about me because I have turned them down. I am thankful that I have the facebook messages on record or witnesses who saw me telling a woman to stop trying to flirt with me. Women have lied about me because they were annoyed that I didn’t want to be with them.

Outside of the Christian sphere, I have found the same problems. Several years ago, I was so happy that I was hanging out with three women, we were having fun as a group of friends, throwing ice cream at each other on a hot summer’s day when we were in the street just being daft. Within a month, all of those women had come onto me. I felt really disappointed because I just wanted friendship, these women barely knew me and their “attraction” to me was all about how they wanted me to improve their lives.

This is the reason why I go nowhere on my own with a woman. I understand my church’s youth leader now. I go nowhere on my own with a woman now. I am happy to be on my own with a man or several men, but not a woman because of the lies some women have told about me. The emotional turmoil and the threats of police involvement as well as the husbands of these women being hurt and maybe filing for divorce are just not worth the risk. Some women lie and that’s why some men and some gay women will not be on their own with a woman. I want women to hear this and understand it. You may be wonderful, but other woman may not have been.

Ironically, at this Christian organisation, I did have a mutual with someone. He was someone who blew me away with his talents for music and sport as well as his sense of humour. We liked each other instantly, but we had just moved to opposite ends of the UK so we knew it was unrealistic to form a relationship beyond friendship. We hung out whenever there was an event on, we stayed in touch in between and generally ate a lot of cake and won quizzes together.

I’m not into women – or men – who are 20 years older than me, morbidly obese and have zero personality. Call me old fashioned. I’m also not into women or men who are emotionally or mentally unstable. Call me unadventurous. The women I am into are women who stun me with their awesomeness. The last woman I liked is the top person in her country for what she does. Every citizen in her country is governed by her words and actions. She is kind, direct, builds her work – and nation – on facts and evidence-based practice, she challenged me in my work and my working practice, plus she wears amazing clothes. The last man I liked is kind, funny, hard working, interesting to listen to, popular and has a lovely smile.

What I have found in the workplace and in social scenes is that when a woman feels insecure, instead of improving herself she tries to tear apart a woman who she feels inferior next to. What I have also found is that emotionally or mentally unstable women or women with zero personality try to cling to someone who they believe will make their life better, and that target has been me in many instances. I’ve witnessed a 30+ year old woman who had no personality of her own leeching off an oblivious effervescent 18 year old and it was just unpleasant to witness.

Many women – who hardly know me, who I don’t recognise when we are face to face – hope that I will be the person to make their life exciting. No. I am not interested in anyone who is needy. These women have no idea I have three chronic health conditions and I only just get by some days. All they care about is what they want me to do for them. It is a very selfish and self centred “love” or “attraction”. As the Bible tells us, love is not selfish.

Before you tell me to limit my use of social media, don’t worry, I’m already there! I’m off Twitter – cos Twitter kept accusing me and other LGBT people who aren’t into certain beliefs of homophobia and transphobia. No thanks Twitter. And facebook is going as soon as one of my jobs ends. I have much better things to be doing with my time.

I’m happy to be building a life with safe men and safe women – genuine people who don’t want anything from me except my dazzling personality and witty conversation. Seek out safe men and safe women. There are plenty of them out there.

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A lot of people in the UK balk at the idea of getting married, saying “I don’t need a piece of paper to validate my relationship!” I am religious and pro marriage, but I understand the view point if people are not religious, then why get married? But now non-religious people are demanding that a piece of paper validates them, in the form of comics.

Superman’s son – aka The New Superman, as well as Robin, is bisexual. Yawn. Am I as a bisexual person supposed to be overjoyed about Superman being bisexual? Am I supposed to feel “seen” now? Am I supposed to feel better about myself now, with the assumption that I will hate myself if comic books don’t depict same-sex kisses?

Superman was the main superhero of my childhood. When the Head Dinner Lady shouted at us all for buttoning our Parkas up the wrong way so that we look like Batman, everyone shouted, “Superman!” We had never heard of Batman. In the 1980s, we had the Superman films starring Christopher Reeve. In the mid-90s, we were treated to a TV adaptation of the Superman stories in the form of family-friendly entertainment every Saturday night, starring Dean Cain and Terri Hatcher. Dean Cain has rightly said that if Superman had been made bisexual back in the 1990s when he was playing Superman, it would have been a brave move. Making Superman bisexual now is just bandwagonning.

I’ve never been into UK comics. We had very little money when I was growing up so I never got comics, but I did see the X-Men cartoons and all the others on a Saturday morning. I’m going to be controversial and say I like Tintin in the original French, and I like Suske En Wiske which is a Belgian Dutch language comic. Both Tintin and Suske En Wiske are adventure stories that have very little time for love interests and lots of time for crossing the high seas and battling baddies, and in the case of S&W, educating the reader about Belgian history and culture via the time machine that appears in almost every story.

Growing up, did I need constant affirmation about being bisexual? No. I never even thought about wanting affirmation for my sexual orientation, let alone demand that entertainment businesses provide me with the affirmation. It never crossed my mind that my sexual orientation was a big deal. To me, it’s as important as my hair colour, or wearing glasses. The aim of LGB – we didn’t include the T back then – people was to be seen as normal. We wanted to live free of anyone making our sexual orientations a big deal. Now, the reverse is the aim for so many LGBT people, especially those who identify as queer.

The obsession with sexual orientation is something I have never understood. My sister – who is heterosexual and has tried very hard to be gay so that she was seen as cool – has some really odd views when it comes to sexual orientation. When I graduated university, my sister thought that I should celebrate attaining a 2:1 Honours degree by “Now you can tell everyone you’re gay!” Wow! Only I’m bi, and everyone I care about has known since I was 12. This was the same sister who wanted me committed under the Mental Health Act when I was 30 years old because I’m “gay but want a husband”. I have a very “interesting” family, and I hope one day they are studied by biologists and psychologists alike to find out exactly what the chuff is wrong with them.

As well as the obsession with sexual and gender orientation, there is an obsession with race. When Pearl Mackie became the companion for Doctor Who, over and over in interviews, Pearl Mackie kept saying that young people need to see characters on TV who “look like them”. She said that when she had been growing up, there was no one on TV that looked like her. No there wasn’t. Because no one looks like anyone. We are all unique and different. Even identical twins have facial differences.

What Pearl Mackie was actually saying that because she is mixed race and her character was a lesbian, this was some how ground breaking and a day of triumph for young mixed race LGBT people everywhere. What really happened was a very boring and forgettable series of Doctor Who. Mackie’s character was called Bill – a man’s name, usually a middle aged white man’s name. Bill was most memorable when she had been dissected and made into a Cyberman and was the butt of Missy/The Master’s jokes. The series was badly written, and as per other Moffat era Who, it laboured the fact that Bill was gay, but it went further to making Bill’s gayness the only thing in Bill’s life. Bill was Gay. Bill had no hobbies, Bill had no interests. She was a kitchen hand who fancied a woman she had never spoken to. She fell in love with another woman she barely spoke to, and at the end of the series, the two dead women who had hardly ever spoken to each other, drifted off among the stars, together at last in death and bored silence.

Bill is a great example of representation. Bill was a terrible character. All there was in her life was being gay. She didn’t do anything remarkable, she was bland and that’s all I can say because I really can’t remember much of Bill’s time in the Tardis. I saw Brokeback Mountain on DVD with friends. I found it boring. I loved the scenery, but it was a boring film. It was a hit at the box office because the main thrust of the film was two cowboys thrusting in a tent. If the film about two men thrusting in a tent had been part of a story about two fighters in the civil war fighting for freedom and the end of slavery, I probably would have liked the film. Two men frolicking naked outdoors, you can see that on Hampstead Heath for free.

The Critical Drinker said that today’s versions of much loved adventure stories such as Star Wars, Star Trek and Doctor Who have become the playground for the petty squabbles of today, and as Dave Cullen said, rather than the more elevated morals and ideals of the superior versions of the 1980s and 1990s. Cullen took the character of Reg Dwight in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and how the crew – including Captain Picard – worked with Reg’s anxiety and personal issues and helped him overcome them to be a brilliant officer on board a flagship vessel. Whereas the new Trek shows a white middle aged male officer who is unable to use tech, and he is laughed at, talked down to and pushed to the side by the new show’s progressive characters who are all young, female and BAME. It’s cruel and pitiless.

What is the representation supposed to represent? The colour of someone’s skin? Who they look at in the street? What they have between their legs? I prefer the unique adventures, the moral questions, the analogies, the kindness and the scientific breakthroughs that were showcased on the 1990’s Star Trek: The Next Generation. I do not want to be “represented” by people who are cruel, who belittle others to lift themselves up. I have spent the last thirty years combatting such behaviour.

We don’t need representation. We need great stories.

When David Tennant played Doctor Who and RTD wrote the scripts, we met Shakespeare and the cast had fun with all the Shakespeare lines that RTD had written into the script. One of the assistants was Martha, a Black medical student. Another assistant was Captain Jack who was a highly able time agent of the omnisexual persuasion – bisexual, but with alien partners as well as human. Martha and Jack weren’t there to push an agenda. They were full characters, well written, funny and never preachy. Fast forward to 2019, where the new Doctor wears rainbows across her T-shirt and hammers to the camera an eco message that could have been written by Greta Thunberg’s speech writers. Blah blah blah. Most stories contain anti men lines, and the anti white sentiment breaks through from time to time. Instead of meeting people from history who happen to be BAME or LGBT as we did in Tennant’s day, we now meet people from history because they are BAME or LGBT. A science fiction story shoe-horned around Rosa Parks’ bus protest – co written by Malorie Blackman, so I expected great things – came off like a children’s story, with children’s drama level acting and script. Representation seems to be another word for “sub-standard”. Hence so many BAME and LGBT fans of Doctor Who – and so many film franchises and TV programmes – are annoyed and have switched off.

We don’t need representation. We need great stories.

Who is this representation actually for? It’s not for the fans, so it must be to appease the Twitter mobs. Only 20% the UK are on Twitter, but people think that Twitter is representative of what normal people think. The same with Facebook. When you speak to people face to face, you find a very different reality.

As an LGBT person, I look at a lot of people speaking on behalf of LGBT and all the other letters of the alphabet and – like Douglas Murray – I observe that these people seem unhappy and highly sensitive. LGBT groups are full of people with depression and anxiety, and they hate people like myself who are LGBT and not unhappy, and who want more out of life than simply being LGBT. Being LGBT is just one small part of life. It is not the entirety of life and I will never live my life as though who I look at in the street determines any part of my life. But these very unhappy people do. They often think it is the most important thing in life. I have tried to ask some of these unhappy LGBT people what hobbies they have, and most have none. Being gay or trans is their life. They listen to music. They play computer games but that is it.

One of my friends said I was the only person in our LGBT group he stayed in touch with because he could have a conversation with me. He had been in the army, fought in Afghanistan, loved history and geography and had a keenness for painting and drawing. Some of his work was pretty amazing.

Yet it is the unhappy, seriously unhappy, people who are determining the cultural climate, as Douglas Murray has said. No one wants to know what happy BAME and happy LGBT people want to see on TV. People listen and change their film or TV programme to fit the desires of the most unhappy people who seem to have no hobbies. This could be why films and programmes have become so boring and depressing.

What I can say to the unhappy LGBT people is that if you build your sense of self and self esteem on a cartoon character, you are not someone who is going to fit into this world with all the wonders and richness it has to offer us all. You will always be unhappy and insecure if a piece of paper is what you need to validate your existence.

Write your own great story!

Peace x

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Obesity, Obese Nurses and Covid

Recently, I was happy to go to the city centre hospital and see one of my specialist doctors. It was wonderful to see a doctor face to face after two years of phone calls here and there and seeing what I could do for myself. What I did notice while I sat waiting for my doctor was the size of every nurse. One nurse was slim. All the others were obese, and some morbidly obese. One nurse did not walk, but waddled along the corridor. Her bottom was so big, it would have been possible for the nurse to carry an obs machine on it, and her legs were so fat that she could not walk properly.

I am carrying more weight than I want to, and I have undertaken the diet that I used several years ago to lose two stone. I am carrying more weight than I want to, and all but one nurse I saw dwarfed me in terms of fatness. I was glad to see that my doctor was a Slim Jim.

Why is it a problem if nurses are obese or even morbidly obese? Firstly, we are living with covid-19. When an obese person contracts covid, the person’s risk of being hospitalised with Covid-19 is increased by 113%, being admitted to Intensive Care Units by 74% and of dying by 48%, irrespective of age according to the British Medical Journal. When a person has complex co-morbidities such as diabetes and heart disease – as is often the case with people who are obese – there are even worse outcomes. Therefore, by being obese, nurses – who are in hospitals surrounded by people carrying Covid-19 – are putting themselves at risk of severe illness or death.

According to the Journal of Infectious Diseases, obese people who are hospitalised with Covid-19 need more oxygen treatment, they have an altered immune system and they have a higher viral load of covid-19.

The Journal of Infectious Diseases says the problems with Covid-19 in someone who is obese are “multi-factoral”. “Impaired cardio-vascular, respiratory, metabolic and thrombotic function, amplified or dysregulated immune responses that lead to more viral replication and a greater inflammatory immune response, and higher levels of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptors, which allows SARS-CoV-2 to enter cells.”

So the second reason why we need to cut obesity in nurses is that if they have Covid-19, their viral load is much higher, therefore patients are at greater risk of contracting Covid-19 from obese nurses. Patient safety is being put at risk.

I worked in four hospitals for an agency and I worked in one hospital for the NHS ten years ago. I was working as a nursing assistant on many wards, but with my main placement on the brain injury and stroke ward. We were in Scotland and had many patients with MS. At the time, it was found by Scottish medical scientists that the reason why MS is so prevalent in Scotland was because of the typical Scottish diet which was high in fat, and thus cut off the functionality of one of the main arteries in the neck, thus cutting off blood and oxygen from the brain and the nervous system.

While I was working for the NHS, the hospital I was working in put on zumba classes at lunchtimes. You may think this was a great plan. It wasn’t. No nurse or nursing assistant could attend because we all had 30 minute lunch breaks, and everyone’s breaks were staggered over a two-three hour period so that the ward was always adequately staffed. The NHS putting on zumba classes at a lunchtime was nothing more than a virtue signal and box ticking exercise.

I also noticed that nurses have very unhealthy diets. When patients leave a ward, going home after being made as well or as comfortable as possible, they give presents to the staff as a thank you. These are almost always boxes of chocolates or biscuits. The ward office always had a stack of boxes of chocolates and biscuits. When you work on a ward, it is easy to dip into the office and grab three chocolates from a box and go back to work rather than eat a few segments of an orange and then go back to work.

Look at what snacks patients have at their bedsides. We remember all the old jokes about grapes. Now, patients rarely have a fruit bowl at the side of their beds, and instead have boxes or even a drawer full of chocolate and crisps. The hospital shops sell a small amount of fruit that usually has seen better days, and aisles full of chocolate, crisps and fizzy drinks.

On the ward I mainly worked on, most Sundays was “treat day”, when the nurses would phone in a take away. Again, food that was loaded with salt, fat and sugar.

The NHS and the UK government want all frontline staff to be double-jabbed with the Covid vaccine because the vaccines can limit the seriousness of symptoms in people. However, the NHS are doing nothing to tackle obesity in its frontline staff, which seems to run contrary to their plan to limit the severity of Covid symptoms in their staff. If the NHS was serious about keeping its staff healthy, each member of frontline staff would have a regular appointment with a dietician to get their weight to a healthy level. Patients are sent to see dieticians if they are chronically over weight or under weight, so why not the staff?

I am in my 40s. I have a genetic condition that means I am more likely to be overweight, as are all the women in my family. No medical practitioner, no doctor, no nurse, has ever recommended I lose weight. I have always been a size 14-16. I am currently 11 1/2 stone. I should not be. A woman of my height should be more around 9 1/2 stone. The shape of my body when fat means that I am at greater risk of heart disease and diabetes. No medical practitioner has ever told me to lose weight. One nurse even said that she was envious of me being 11 stone. She was far fatter than me. A nurse told me that she was envious of my level of unhealthiness.

When I am ill, when one of my conditions plays up, when we face a global pandemic, I look to the NHS for guidance. We look to our health authorities for help, to tell us what to do. How can I have any faith in the NHS if the GPs who are treating me or the nurses who are weighing me are morbidly obese?

I really hope that the NHS starts to take the health of its frontline staff seriously, and that staff themselves start to take responsibility for their own health and fitness, for their own sakes, as well as for the sake of their patients.

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“It’s Culture, Not Colour” – Denzel Washington

While advertising the film “Fences” that he had directed, Denzel Washington gave a statement to a Black interviewer who asked if a white director could have directed the same film. Denzel Washington’s answer resounded with me:

“It’s not colour, it’s culture. Stephen Spielberg did Schindler’s List. Martin Scorsese did Good Fellows. Stephen Spielberg could direct Good Fellows. Martin Scorsese probably could have done a good job with Schindler’s List. But there are cultural differences. I know what it is when a hot comb hits your head on a Sunday morning. What it smells like. That’s a cultural difference, not just the colour difference.”

I never thought about the cultural differences between me and my husband before I got married. Even though my mum was suggesting old songs covered by Mad Dog McRea to play as we walked into the registry office, and I kept saying, “Mum! He doesn’t know any of these songs!” I never thought about the huge cultural differences between me and my husband before I got married.

My ex-husband is racially mixed but was raised white British. I am white from a Scottish-English family with a strong Celtic Christian upbringing, and I keep this faith and lifestyle to this day. The differences between my ex-husband and I from a cultural perspective were stark. Despite the big arguments my ex-husband caused with his selfishness and not getting treatment for his mental illness, underneath all of that was the cultural differences that were an issue because my culture and religion impact my life and behaviour deeply and are a daily part of my life.

I have a strong work ethic, which my ex-husband didn’t. I have a strong faith, which my ex-husband didn’t. I have a strong grounding for my life, which my ex-husband doesn’t. My background and grounding are colourful and full of life. Whereas my ex-husband moaned daily about how bad his life was, I gave thanks and I worked hard to change my circumstances. On top of this, my ex-husband didn’t like Celtic based or folk music, and due to his laziness he didn’t contribute much financially which meant I didn’t have the money available to visit the islands and the religious communities or see friends or attend festivals. I was cut off from my culture and everything I loved.

We had a lot of good times. We did. We had a lot of good times. But.

When I decided to split up with my ex-husband, I spent each evening upstairs in my bedroom, listening to music by the Levellers, McDermott’s Two Hours, Mad Dog McRea, 3 Daft Monkeys, Dropkick Murphy’s and more. Straight away, I was getting my life back. I moved out and so all my money was mine, not ours, and I went to three traditional music festivals and saw old friends and made new friends. I had conversations with strangers about the music we loved, about history, about spirituality and more. At Wickham Festival, the local Churches Together run a chill out tent, and it is decorated with Celtic Christian symbols, so I taught a live lesson to my Chinese students about the symbols and what they mean and why Celtic Christians use them today.

In October last year, I was having problems with where I was living – thanks to the police for doing nothing about the men dealing heroin from my garden all hours of the day and night, so my ex-husband let me stay with him for a while. I had organised for a friend to phone me between my teaching hours. My husband happened to be home on his break from work when my friend phoned. We talked music non-stop. We talked about Cormac Byrne, the innovative bodhran player and all round genius percussionist. I raved about hearing him ten years ago and recognising his style of drumming straight away on an experimental album called Dodo Street that my editor sent me to review. My friend said that Cormac Byrne was one of two top percussionists of our time. I asked who was the other. My friend said “Pete Flood”. I was like, “Ahhhhh, Pete Flood! He’s amazing!” And I regaled my friend with my experience of having seen Pete Flood that summer playing with The Oysterband at Shrewsbury Folk Festival. Pete Flood had walked to the front of the stage armed with a hand drum and triangle, and he was just mesmerising.

I got off the phone from this conversation with my friend, and realised that my ex-husband had had no idea what my friend and I had been talking about for forty minutes. The cultural differences between my ex-husband and I were stark.

People from different cultures and backgrounds can have a successful marriage. Most do. Most spouses give each other effort and consideration. However, because of how important my culture is to me, and how much it is part of my daily life in ways I never thought of before because it is just natural to me, I would prefer to date and marry a folkie or Celt if I were to marry again.

There are many facets to my culture besides the music and religion; the hunger for travel, the need to walk, the need to meet new people and have random conversations that are all actually part of the Divine plan, the need to be among nature – woodlands, cliff edges, sea shores, and the need to enjoy the good that the world has to offer. The need to speak the traditional languages and listen to music in those languages. The need to express art, the need to read old books, the need to be quiet, the need to party outdoors. When I can’t do these things because I am having to work all the hours or have a lack of money, I am not complete, I am not balanced, I am not me. It makes sense that when my culture is a crucial part of who I am, that I find a future husband from the same culture or a husband who makes the effort to respect my culture. He could be Black, he could be Celt, he could be mixed race. But it’s culture that is important to me, not colour.

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Rainbows, Ideologies and Jesus

48 hours after a rainbow crossing was installed in the city of Bristol in the south of England, UK, someone wrote “Jesus loves sinners” on it.

My thoughts on this are many.

There is a rainbow crossing in my city. It is driven over – because it’s on a public road – and so has become grubby and lost a lot of its colour. There was a funny video on Twitter of police horses refusing to cross the rainbow crossing – because it looks odd to horses, so the police horses trotted around it, no matter what the police officers on horseback were telling the horses to do. A lot of LGBT people found it hilarious that the police horses refused to cross the rainbow crossing. I found it amusing.

I actually think that having the rainbow Pride flag on the ground for people to walk over and drive over shows a lack of respect for LGBT people – that we are to be walked over and driven over. Maybe that point of view comes from my Celtic background. Saint Aidan refused to ride the horse the king had given him because riding a horse would have put Aidan at a physically higher level than all other people, which Aidan thought would have sent out the wrong message about equality. I think it is disrespectful of LGBT people to have what is supposed to symbolise us on the ground for people to walk and drive over.

I was happy when I went to Northern Pride in Newcastle three years ago to see a rainbow crossing. I thought that had just been put in place for Pride and that it would be removed after. I think celebrating Pride – in a family friendly way with no kinks on show, no nakedness, no plain odd stuff, just normal people having a normal celebration, showing that LGBT people are normal people – is great. Northern Pride is very family friendly, with no nakedness, no kinks, nothing that caused me alarm in any way. It centres around a fairground, with stalls from sports groups, religious groups, charities for homeless people and more. Northern Pride seems holistic and fun, and is the only Pride I’ve been to. I refuse to go to other Prides because of the plain bizarre behaviour, the drunkenness, the drug taking, the kinks on display, which show people that LGBT people are freaks.

I am happy with a Pride day. I think that is cool, I think we need to stand up for equality and show our numbers and stand against workplace discrimination and all other discrimination LGBT people still face in buckets in the UK today, including physical violence, which is on the rise. But I think one day is enough. It really is. We have one day for Rememberance Day – when we remember the people who fought and died for our freedoms in wars, we have one day for D Day and VE Day, we have one day for Eid, we have one day for our nation (St George’s Day, and Scotland has St Andrew’s Day, Wales has St David’s Day and Ireland has St Patrick’s Day).

The rainbow flag was designed to represent all LGBT people. However, the Pride flag painted onto Bristol’s street also includes the trans pride flag and the brown and black stripes for BAME people who are LGBT. The rainbow flag was designed as it is, with a meaning attached to each colour band, to represent all LGBT people, and so many LGBT people are against the use of the trans flag alongside the rainbow flag, and against the black and brown stripes. I do have a bi pride flag in my home because I am bi, and also as a Christian the rainbow to me means that God doesn’t break promises. Because of my religious beliefs around a rainbow, I personally don’t like to use it to mean LGBT, but I support anyone who does because I understand the rainbow flag to them is about equality.

There are now so many flags for different sexual orientations and gender orientations, and also lifestyle. I think it’s great that there are flags for lesbians (white and different shades of pink), bisexuals (blue, dark pink and purple), trans (light blue, pink and white) and many more. However, when it comes to public unity, I think the rainbow flag should be enough – the rainbow flag as it was first designed, because that was about being inclusive of all LGBT people.

I really don’t like the brown and black lines added to the rainbow flag. The reason is 20 years ago, if a person said they were brown, it meant they were into doing stuff with poo during sex. Likewise, if a person said they were yellow, it meant they were into doing stuff with urine during sex. For me, the black and brown lines look a bit grim.

Putting a rainbow out in a city centre, for all citizens to see, for all citizens to be made to pass if they want to use the city centre, is bullying. It is pushing all citizens to accept an ideology or sexual behaviour that they may not accept. It tells citizens what they are expected to think. The majority of LGBT people don’t accept the ideology that is being pushed at us, and many of us distance ourselves from the overt sexual behaviour and kinks that are also being pushed at us. Using public funds – paid for by citizens – to paint a symbol on a public road or footpath that is representative of a moral point of view, an ideology and sexual behaviour is going to cause trouble.

When a local authority puts out a message in the street about a matter that is both moral and ideological, no one should be surprised when other people start putting out their moral and ideological messages. Someone writing “Jesus loves sinners” on the rainbow crossing is really a mild reaction. The reactions could have been much more severe. When physical attacks against LGBT people – by people who are not religious, they just hate gay people, especially gay women – are on the increase, someone writing “Jesus loves sinners” has to be the nicest graffiti.

I know two or three LGBT campaigners were “distressed” by someone writing “Jesus loves sinners” on the rainbow crossing. I think that shows how free from strife their lives are. Most of us have much more to worry about, such as being sacked from the job that keeps a roof above our heads or being attacked in the street.

I also think that instead of assuming the negative, assume the positive. Someone writing that Jesus loves sinners is a positive message. As Christians, we believe all people are sinners and all people are loved by Jesus. I understand people will have a problem with the word “sinners”, but that is Christian language. I understand people will feel LGBT people have been picked out as “sinners”. That is true. There is no painted representation of heterosexuality in all its forms, which also include what Christians class as sin such as a drunken fumble on a night out, cohabiting and extra marital affairs. If there was a painted representation of these popular sins, I am sure Christians would be writing “Jesus loves sinners” on that.

I also think assuming it was a Christian who wrote “Jesus loves sinners” on a rainbow flag is not an assumption to make. Plenty of non Christians who have a problem with LGBT people will misuse Bible verses to hammer home their homophobia.

A representative of Bristol City Council said that Bristol was an inclusive city. Good. So someone writing “Jesus loves sinners” should be OK if Bristol is indeed an inclusive city. If someone had written that a hadith (an account of what the Muslim Prophet Mohammed said) calls for the death penalty of anyone engaging in same sex behaviour, that should be accepted if Bristol is an inclusive city. If someone had written “meat is murder”, that should be accepted if Bristol is an inclusive city.

This is the problem. “Inclusivity” often means the exclusion of one group, or several groups. It isn’t what it claims to be, like many words were are told we have to use and obey today. “Inclusive” often means pushing the rights and an ideology of one group and pushing other people out. As a Christian who has traditional beliefs around marriage and is bisexual, I have experienced first hand how intolerant, how unloving, how unaccepting and how exclusionary “inclusivity” really is. I have been threated with violence, almost beaten up in a “safe space”, had lies spread about me, someone tried to start a hate campaign against me on Facebook, which was denounced by the area’s LGBT workers. In general, I face a lot of hostility and people being aggressive towards me. I know how intolerant, unloving and unaccepting “inclusivity” and the people who preach it are.

When a moral and ideological message is put out in public for all citizens to accept, we should not be surprised when other people start putting out their moral and ideological messages. This is why we have always been more restrained in the UK when it comes to public shows of belief and morality. Christians can hold services and preach in the streets, but Christians do run the risk of being arrested for doing so, especially if they are reported for upsetting the feelings of someone around the issues of same sex relationships. Earlier this year, a Christian cafe in Blackpool was told by police to stop displaying Bible verses because of the nine verses in the Bible that condemn same sex behaviour. The Bible has 137 verses that condemn all sorts of opposite sex behaviour, but the police were not bothered by that.

Muslims are allowed to have stalls in the street to tell people what the Qur’an teaches. Sadly, people speaking in support of Islamist terrorism were allowed to preach hate of the UK in the streets of London and Manchester until recently. Vegans and animal rights activists can have stalls in town and city centres displaying their views and why they believe in their moral choices.

Christians and Muslims talking about their beliefs in the street, vegans and animals rights activities talking about their beliefs and morality in the street are individual citizens who walk away at the end of the day. There is something very different when the city’s governing authorities paint a permanent moral symbol in the street and demand that everyone must respect it.

As a gay person and a Christian, I think people’s personal beliefs, lifestyle choices, personal behaviour, personal morality should not be put on permanent display in the public square. For a society to be inclusive and equal, we must respect all citizens, not just the citizens we are told we have to respect. We all tone things down when we are in public so that we have a cohesive society. We all tone things down when we meet new friends because we want people to like us and not be put off us before they get to know us because we are different in some ways from them. All I see coming from the drive in recent years for “inclusivity”, “equality” and “anti racism” is more division, more hate, more anger and more loneliness. I agree with Douglas Murray that we were on the right path to having a harmonious society where everyone was welcome, and then things just went crazy when people started demanding “inclusivity” and “being visible”.

I am happy for a rainbow crossing to be painted onto a street for the Pride celebrations, but for the sake of LGBT people and all other citizens, get it painted over again after the Pride celebrations are over.

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The Pact – Another Badly-Written, Bigoted Drama

As a writer, I believe strongly you must have a normal world job. You can’t just be a writer. People who are just writers often have a fake view of the normal, real world. They have a bizarre view of jobs and how people get on or don’t get on in the workplace. They often have no knowledge of how jobs actually function and run, thus they make glaring errors in their storyline that anyone who has worked in those jobs can spot a mile off.

I was out with acquaintances the other night for a meal, and they all said The Pact, a recent BBC drama that the Beeb has been advertising, was amazing, fantastic, the best thing in a long time. So I sat down with my Quorn and vegetable curry to see this outstanding work of art. Pretty soon into the first episode, I had turned into Rab C Nesbitt and was shouting at the screen.

So, we start out with Big Bad Horrible Man Boss saying nasty things to his women factory staff. Then, after his party that all the staff felt they had to go to, he assaults one of the young female workers in the car park. Of course he does because he’s a man, and male bosses always assault their female staff at a staff party. They don’t, but the BBC want you to believe that they do.

The other women intervene and get the female who has been assaulted to safety. And they don’t phone the police. The women then decide to kidnap their drunk and high boss, leave him in the woods tied up in the rain in the middle of the night, and pull his trousers down. So Big Bad Man can’t assault a woman – good – but the women can commit a group assault on a man, kidnap him, and even talk about exposing his genitals while they take photos of him to put on social media to humiliate him. Talk about double standards.

While I’m at the women, let’s have a look at the demographics; three middle aged straight women, and one gay in her 20s or 30s. They are all very close. One woman is godmother to another’s children. This doesn’t happen in real life. Firstly, the gay woman would be an OK acquaintance to the other women, but they wouldn’t be close with her because that’s just how relations between straight and gay women are – at arm’s length, and no work colleagues are so close that they kidnap a boss together, are godmother to another’s kids nor cover up a murder together. They just don’t. I’m working class, I’ve worked in fast food places, hotels, shops, care homes. I know these things. Women don’t kidnap their nasty Big Bad Man Boss. They just quit and get another job.

So we have a secondary female character who is gay, and then the main main character’s son is gay. That’s a lot of gay for the Middle Of The Welsh Nowhere. When only 2.2% the population of the UK is LGBT, that’s a lot of gay for A Small Village in The Middle Of The Welsh Nowhere. What Anna chatting with her son about his possible date with another boy shows is that she is A Good Person. I’d like to see a main lead character who is gay or bi. We’re always relegated to the Second Division, there to tick a box and show how wonderful and tolerant the heterosexual characters are, but not to be the main lead character. What if Anna had been gay or bi? Now that would have been daring.

When 15% the UK population is Black or Asian, the DI being Black, a DS being Black, a police techie being South Asian and another police techie being East Asian, the realms of believability are being pushed. I’ve been to Wales many times. In the cities where the Victorian ports were, there are many people of different racial backgrounds. But not in The Valleys.

Oh, and the only relationship that turns out to be good is the gay one; the gay female character gets together with a mixed race female worker who has just dumped her boyfriend. Of course, because bisexual people just bed hop, we flip a switch and don’t have any emotional connection to the relationship we have just ended. We flip a switch and we switch. It’s really easy, because we are shallow and don’t actually care about the person we live. We just move onto the next person and jump into bed with them. We don’t actually. We are (mostly) normal people who want a normal life, but the BBC writers, actors, producers and promoters seem to love viewers having all sorts of biphobic thoughts running around their heads. And in Pride Month, too.

Oh and the lesbian character has been in prison. Of course she has. Just another homophobic trope to add to this cesspit of a drama. We never find out what she did to be sent to prison, and when she shows her girlfriend scars on her stomach from prison, we are never told what these scars are, nor why they do not look like scars at all. They look like birth marks.

Oh yes, and the bisexual – after three days of dating her girlfriend – offers to cover for her in a murder investigation. Of course she does. That’s because us bis are not normal people. Hang on, yes we are. None of my friends nor myself are with a jailbird of any sex or gender, and we’ve never offered to cover for a partner of three days in a murder investigation. We’re all social care workers and probation officers and counsellors. We don’t get involved with prison types. It’s almost like we have a moral compass and healthy boundaries.

The police conducted witness interviews in the factory they all worked in. I take it the police station was suddenly inundated with hardened criminals who filled every interview room and office space.

The autopsy showed the victim died of asphyxiation. How? Was there a ligature wound? Was there bruising to the mouth and nose? Was there any hand prints on the throat? No. Just asphyxiation. When it is revealed how the victim was murdered, it’s pretty clear there would have been bruising to the nose and mouth, and probably fibres of the murder weapon imbedded in his upper epidermis. But the police autopsy has completely missed all this.

The police, after two weeks of investigating, have no information on the victim. his social life, his habits, nothing. The first thing a police murder investigation does is get a picture of the life of the victim. But apparently the Middle Of The Welsh Nowhere Police don’t run investigations like the police in the rest of the UK. Anna’s husband – who happens to be a DS – can’t spot the fact that the CCTV camera in the games arcade is a fake. The police have Nance’s car on CCTV near the murder spot, but not the murderer, who was following Nance’s car. Don’t get murdered in The Middle Of The Welsh Nowhere. Don’t even break a nail. The police are even more incompetent than the force in the area I moved away from last year, and that’s saying something.

More man hating in the last episode. Anyone who has heard Douglas Murray take apart Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda will have flash backs. So, at the end of the laugh out loud video from Minaj that is supposed to be sexy and empowering for women, she does a lapdance for a guy, and is all over him, but when he goes to touch her she slaps his hand away. Nance does the same with the vicar, albeit without the lapdance and thigh highs. Nance has been sharing “looks” with the male vicar throughout the drama, and in the last episode, she invites him to show his feelings for her. He goes to touch her face and she slaps his hand away and chastises him.

And then we come to the murderer. Teenagers under the age of consent don’t murder people. They just don’t. OK, a small percentage do, but they tend to come from abusive homes, are desensitised to violence and have mental health issues as a result. A teenager has to have something really wrong with them to murder someone. Normal, nice girls from nice middle class families don’t murder people. Not even if the person they murder is a Big Bad Horrible Man who has said nasty things to them. I wish someone had told the BBC writers this.

Also, nice middle class families don’t cover up a murder. They don’t know how to. Oh yes, the father is a recently promoted DS who gave up his unspecified former career to become a police officer, but he’s not even able to spot when a CCTV camera is a fake. He’s not going to be able to cover up a murder that one of his children has committed.

Nance’s talk with the vicar was of her decision to free herself from the shackles of putting others first, so she walks into the police station and confesses to a murder she did not commit and sits in her prison cell, smiling with her light pink lipstick. Nance, after all the soul searching she has done in all the episodes, has found her true vocation; doing twenty years in prison for a crime she did not commit. She is happy at last.

That’s it. That’s the six episodes of man hating, biphobia, lesbophobia and incompetent writing and some shoddy acting at times. Holes all over the storyline, police procedure out the window, reality bended into a social justice warrior’s dream and it just me bored in the last two episodes. Crikey, they really dragged out the last episode. They could have just ended the drama with five episodes, seeing as the murderer was uncovered in the fifth. The last two episodes were an anti climax, with me flicking the timer on and off, wishing it would all end soon.

This drama alone shows the viewer why writers should have normal jobs alongside their writing work. Who says “It’s your funeral”?!

It reminds me of Collateral, another BBC drama that was out last year. It was totally woke, with open man hating lines, police procedure went out the window, holes all over the storyline, and it was just shoddy. One glaring example was when the interpreter for the police interviews started advising the interviewee what to say, and then was gossiping with the police about the suspect/witness they had just interviewed. It’s a sackable offence for the interpreter. I’ve looked into interpreting. I know these things. There could even be jail time involved. But I guess the BBC writers didn’t know this.

Several years ago, a writer friend (who wrote for the BBC) asked me to look at a friend’s script. It was set in a mental health ward. I could tell the writer knew nothing at all about mental health wards, from the fact they wrote that the nurse was wearing a nurse’s uniform – and in mental health, nurses wear casual-smart clothes, to how the medication was administered, which were key points in the writer’s script and storyline. They had no facts at all, therefore could not write realistically about a patient’s experience on a mental health ward.

For writers to write successfully, they need to have actual first hand knowledge of what it is they are writing about. If they are writing a police drama, they should volunteer with the police or even work for or with the police for a period of time. If they are writing about mental health wards, they should have experience of work on a mental health ward, if they are writing about farming they should have experience working on a farm. How could someone know what to write unless they have first hand experience of settings.

Yes, I write BAME, female and LGBT characters, but their racial background or sexual orientation or genitals are not the story, there is no bigotry and the story depends on the story, not immutable characteristics. My characters are real, they are based on people I know, they have depth, they have friends, hobbies, interests. I don’t stereotype and I don’t man bash.

I am working on an ebook, a novel that I hope to have out in July or August. It begins with a murder in a care home. I’ve worked in many care homes and in care settings. I am writing real experiences into my work. The real experiences I have had in care work and in care homes contribute massively to the story and provide some of the twists in the murder investigation. I also wanted readers to know about what goes on in care homes, the abuse the staff face daily, and the toll it takes on the staff’s mental and physical health. I write about what I know. I wish the BBC’s writers knew stuff.

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