Eight things about my bisexuality.


I am a bisexual male in a relationship with another man.

This doesn’t mean that I have forefieted my sexuality, it doesn’t make me gay. As I still find women attractive too

There are many like me.


I’m not promiscuous.

Far from it.

I’ve only slept with a few people whom I was in relationships with. I never personally had a one night stand. Never been to an orgy. My sexuality has nothing to do with my morality, sex drive or need to prove a point. I know many gay, straight and bi people who are like me and others who differ.

We are all different and it’s a false stereotype.


I’ve never have been unfaithful. Actually my ex wife was the one who cheated on me. If you read the above I think you know my view already. Everyone of us are individuals, some situations cause unfaithfulness, others caused by personal choice. I see infidelity hurts and I would never do that to the one I love. If you did, then you need to ask what they meant to you.


I’m not in denial, frankly this annoys me the most.

Recently someone said I was gay because I am in a relationship with another man.

That doesn’t make anyone gay!

Who you are attracted to makes you gay,straight or like myself bisexual.

It only confuses people further when others are dismissive of someone’s self identity.

It’s OK saying if you were so convinced that you were xy and z you wouldn’t let it bother you.

Turn that around on yourself next time you’re accused of something that isn’t true.

How would you feel?

Then think how you would feel if that was a constant accusation.

Does it make sense now that so many lgbt people have depression and suicide issues?

Did you know bisexual women are the most vulnerable female group to commit suicide?

Streets ahead of straight woman and gay ones.we need to respect and respond better to these issues.


I don’t believe in ghetoising Bisexual people in our own community.

If you do that then you are shutting yourself off from others and blocking their vision into the world of bisexuals.

As a bisexual you don’t learn how to correctly deal with biphobic views, also you can’t teach others the truth about Bisexuality.

Sure there are many nasty gay men out there,  the same with straight men and women but there are some nice people too.

Im sure some will say the same about some bisexuals.

Gay, straight, bisexual, pansexual and so on. We all are individuals.

The good guys outweigh the bad ones, it’s just some are more vocal.


I’m not on a journey, I’m on a paradise island, with the one I love.

I’m not so sure about this journey everyone’s on.   I discovered I was bisexual and was only confused by the lack of resources, misinformation and so on. My sexuality didn’t change and never has, just as my ex wife’s, my boyfriend’s hasn’t.

They  both maintained they’ve always been attracted to men.

Some people’s sexuality changes,  and that’s cool but some of us are more on vacation rather than going on a world tour

There is nothing wrong with that too.

Again, we are all individuals.

My advice is to be sure before you share your sexuality with anyone. Maybe you are on a cruise liner but be positive that you’re not at a Hilton and make sure the location too.

Be positive, you have it right. Talk to experts, don’t rely on people’s opinion. Most of all, listen to yourself.


I’m honest with my partners. I always have been. It was difficult with my wife. However I did tell her, we spoke about it often. I never overwhelmed her though.

My now boyfriend asks me things constantly about both men and women. Trust me, there is no stone unturned with him. Then I’m the same with him. Honesty is the best policy.


I exist. people like me exist.  Get over it!

Lgbt flags: Asexual

There are a few Asexual flags to represent varying parts of the community.

The general umbrella Asexual Flag was required because of the need that other symbols didn’t represent the full community and so the asexual websites launched a search for a flag that represents all.

This design avoids the unwanted connotations that specific symbols like a triangle or heart might have, it avoids any hint of national affiliation, and perhaps most importantly, it fits in with the striped designs of most of the LGBT communities flags.

The purple represents the community.

The Black represents asexuals.

Grey represents Gray-a’s.

White is for the sexuality.

It was first posted in June 2010 on the AVEN website.

Aromatic and their flag.

Aromantic describes a person who not only feels they are asexual but doesn’t experience any romantic attraction. Naturally this varies from person to person and they may or may not desire any form of relationship and it falls down to the individual.

Green: aromantics Yellow: Lithros Grey: Grey-aros Black; demiromantics

Green: it’s the opposite of red which is common romantic colour Yellow: yellow roses represent friendship Orange: in between yellow and red. Black: reject traditional ideas of romance

Other articles on LGBTQIA flags.

What the rainbow flag means to you?


The origin of the Rainbow flag


The Transgender Flag

Your thoughts: What advice would you give to parents of a lgbt child.

Years ago I had a conversation with a friend who had two teens. She wished for them not to be gay, not because she was homophobic, far from it, but because she feared other people’s homophobia.

Nowadays it’s slowly being more accepted. These simple things need to be told to parents to assure them that it’s OK if there child is lgbtqia.

Here’s some more pieces of advice from our followers on @Mattersofpride


Embrace and celebrate your child’s courage and trust in choosing to tell you x


Communicate your love, make sure they hear it.


Learn about what it is like to be LGBT, it will avoid you saying things like “that’s your choice”.


Remember they’re the same person you loved the second before they did one of the scariest things they’ll ever have to do.


You need to show your strength now, more than ever. Despite your own personal beliefs, you need to support & love your child


Think about who they were they day before they came out. That’s who they still are.


Nothing has changed, they are still your child, you loved them before you have the courage to still love them now.



Stay calm & listen also don’t say “its only a phase” mom actually said that I burst into tears but mom came around.


Don’t turn your back on them. Be there to help and support. And keep loving them!


My advice would be “don’t be an asshole and be considerate of THEIR feelings.”


Breathe, relax, dont respond until your brain has finished processing – you knew anyway but didn’t know how to show support.



Love. If you don’t know (about concepts concepts, etc), let them explain (I think that’s true for asexuals).


Be proud of them, love and support them!

It does not change who they are.

We are all human


Love them just like you did when you gave them their first bottle. Be the love you graced them with from birth. They need you.


We told her we love her & are proud. We explained it to the younger sibs. We all went for sushi (that’s her favourite)


Feel sadness? allow it, prvtly. Keep looking for the amazing person you have before you. #LGBTQ #FAMILY


Let them know (out loud) that you love them just as they are. Ask them if they want to talk about any of it.


Your child is still the same person, love them as such. In fact, love them harder. You are needed now more than ever.


Just love them.


Believe them. Still love them. Please don’t condemn them to the years of bitter pain my generation had, Be brave for them.

Just keep loving them. They’re not hiding anymore, but they haven’t changed, nor should your love for them. #Unconditional


From a parental view, listen with love and support wholeheartedly.

(aimed at the trans community) Support them, use updated pronouns/ name, they are still the same person inside before they came out despite external change


Just love their kid-they’re still the same kid you raised & brought into the world.


They are still the same person and you did nothing wrong


Don’t judge don’t criticize. Just show love and acceptance.


Let them know that you love and accept them.


Celebrate the fact that they trusted you… with such a personal revelation


Remember the person is the same. Even Trans the personality core is the same.


Do something to show them how proud you are – a cake, a hug, a rainbow glitter parade… Just let them know you care.


You can never tell them enough that you accept them, support them and most important, love them.


Listen and reserve your judgement.

Spanish version available of the below.


Your child needs you to be a haven. Love them, from cradle to grave.

Listen to them, ask them what it is they need from you (if anything) and above all love them for who they are.


Show them that you love them, and love them, and love them.
Remember, it’s not about what you have done, it’s not about sex, it’s nothing to do with religion. It’s about who they are attracted to, just as you are attracted to your wife or husband.


No difference! Provide unconditional love, specific praise, clear boundaries & model empathy. Avoid stereotyped assumptions.


I hope you don’t have problems accepting, loving & respecting your child.If you do, please find a good counselor. #loveislove

Remove all of your own ideals and accept and love as you would all children. Treat them no different. Love knows no end ♡


Abundance of loving support 4 ever.


Tell them to be themselves. That you love them and will support them. That you will help them seek to out positive LGBT role models, and do it!

Love them unconditionally & support them to achieve their fullest potential in all they wish or need to do.


Create an atmosphere of unconditional love where they will feel free to come out to you.


Embrace and support

Loving without condition

For they are a gift.

Remember, when they were young and you told them to be themselves, now help them to continue being who they are.


Never just say ‘it’s OK, I always knew’ when your child comes out to you. It may hurt that you never brought it up. What probably had made it easier for your child to open up to you.



love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love

The link to the next article isp


Extra information.

Here is Wipe out Homophobia’s pages on advice for families and lgbtqia persons.



The above are also available in Spanish.


There is plenty of support out there for parents too.

Pflag groups are global. Here are a few of countries groups websites.

UK – http://www.pflag.co.uk/

Canada – http://pflagcanada.ca/

USA – https://www.pflag.org/

Australia -http://pflagaustralia.org.au/

If you would like your countries pflag group adding please contact us with the details.
We are constantly updating these pages with more information, please keep checking and advising.

One subject: Transgender.

This series focuses on different points of views and experiences.

No one was aware of the others replies, giving varied and unbiased diversity in the answers.

The focus was on Transgender people this time as we asked the below question(s)

Many people who are transgender rightfully take their time in choosing the name they wish to be called. I asked several people who identify as Transgender the question;

How did you choose your new name?

Do you recall any interesting stories about choosing your new name?

Can you give any good advise to help others in their decision?



I haven’t legally changed my name yet, but I do prefer to go by Seth.

At first it was Alexander, but it was way too close to my birth name, and I didn’t like it, so I asked a group chat I was apart of, and they helped me pick a good one.

To anyone picking a name; go with the one you feel comfortable with, it might change a lot, but it will work out in the end.


Legally, there were surprisingly few obstacles, and it was easy.

The biggest issue was getting my coworkers to call me by my new name. I solved that by ignoring people when they ‘deadnamed’ me.

Originally I just used a feminized version of my given name, but when I moved to a new city it was difficult for the new people in my life to recall. Several of them (independently of each other) just started calling me Vikki because it “seemed to fit” me. I liked it, and decided to keep it.

Among my friends it was received very well. My mom was probably the biggest hurdle, and it took her meeting me as her daughter in person for it to finally stick.

One’s new name doesn’t have to be a ‘regendered’ version of your birth name. It can be anything. Choose someone who inspires you, or whom you admire. Think about various choices, and try writing out your new name(s). Try to pick something that feels right for you.


The hardest part about changing my name was figuring out what the new one should be. It felt like a lot of pressure to pick something that was at once personal, significant, easy to pronounce, and at least a little bit badass.

Overall I’ve had very positive feedback over the new name, despite it being a bit weird. It has very personal significance so I’m glad it’s not been torn apart by anyone. The only “negative” comment I’ve had was from my mum who wondered if it didn’t sound “a bit too feminine”. I told her I’m not afraid of femininity and I’m very happy with showing that in my name.

It’s so tempting to get the approval of others when trying to decide on a new name, but don’t be bothered with the opinions of others. Don’t be scared of choosing a name because it’s unusual, or unique, or it’s shared by a character from a book or a TV show, or because it’s too popular. Your name is yours, and no one with that name has ever existed the way you exist, and lived the way you live.


My method was to test drive names informally for a while to make sure they felt better than my birth-assigned name, before formalising it. In my experience, barriers to name and gender change included: fees for new birth certificate, reissuing fees for qualifications and formal identification such as driver’s license, credit cards, being ‘deadnamed’ even after your name is legally changed, and the endless task of contacting every business that has your details to update them – this included insurance companies, utilities etc. In some cases, a large number of copies of your new birth certificate are required to be mailed into some organisations to update their records.

On the plus side, you now have a name that fits you better than what someone assigned you at birth. For some people, Transgender more than any other group, name change is often accompanied by a change of pronouns, from ‘he’ to ‘she’ and so on. This also has its own set of barriers, such as the delay of filing a gender change, and the actual court date. To keep in mind, the amount of redtape and proof level required for gender recognition varies by country and state. The best country that I am aware of for such things is Canada, where it can all be done online in a few minutes, and it is free there.


Most people don’t get to choose their own names, unless they are a celebrity of some kind. We all have different stories and different levels of acceptance of who we are. Early on I realized that many things about me didn’t match with who I was, and who I wanted others to see. I was about 5 years old, sitting in the kitchen with my favorite person in the world; my mom. I asked her point blank, what would my name have been – she replied nonchalantly “Elisabeth”, so for the longest time I only answered to that name. As I got a little older, and some of my personality blossomed I realised – Elisabeth is a Jane Austen character – I was Lisa; not a laced-up, well-bred lady who gets the vapors, but was a take no shit, take no prisoners snarky chic, who can handle herself. In retrospect, I could’ve picked anything later in my journey – “Selena” like Catwoman or Aria, but my mom supported me always without question, it was kind of the least I could do. Nauseating, right?


As I grew to understand myself as a transgender girl, I kind of took my new name choice for granted. My mother had two names picked out: one for Boy, one for Girl. Out of respect for my mom I just assumed my name would be Amanda when I came out as transgender. I figure I’d at least honor her by choosing the name I should have been born with in the first place. I wasn’t thrilled but hey, I didn’t get a chance to pick out my male name, either. It felt real and natural and safe. Another piece of myself clicked into place and there was no question after that. I love my mom but this is about what I feel is right for my life.

Goodbye, Amanda!

Hello, Kinney!

I know, no matter the name, it’s my character and heart that will be what identifies me as a woman and as a person.

All questions in this series were discussed beforehand before taking part, in order to ask questions suited to the groups asked.

If you wish to take part in the following group question please contact us.

Signs and symbols: Lesbian

By @pridematters1

In this series we look at signs and symbols that are associated with parts of the LGBTQIA+ Community.

The Labrys

The Labrys is also known as the double-bladed axe, and is from the Minoan Crete civilisation – a civilisation that is often portrayed as matriarchal. Since then, however, it has been used in more recent times to represent lesbian and feminism.
It has been used as its symbol since the 70s. Some women have it tattooed on their inner wrist, or as a pendant.

In late Victorian times, when the use of term “Lesbian” was emerging, it was likely that if you were a gay or bisexual woman you may have given violets to the woman you love or have feelings for. This most likely comes from poetry that ancient Greek poet Sappho wrote:

“If you forget me, think of our gifts to Aphrodite and all the loveliness that we shared.

All the Violet tiaras braided rosebuds, dill and crocus twined around your neck.”

The Greek island of Lebnos gives its name to gay females in honour of Sappho. Further, if you open a dictionary you will find the term Sapphonism which is an alternative to Lesbianism. A word that has now died away, similar to the gift of violets.

There is a flag designed especially for women who identify as lesbian and feel they are grossly misunderstood because of stereotyping. Although little is known about its origins it is thought to have originated from a blog called This Lesbian Life.

The flag was born out of frustration of people disbelieving that they couldn’t be a lesbian because they were far to effeminate. To many, the flag stands for visibility of diversity, and educates the ignorance many within the LGBTQIA+ Community often feel.

A pictogram or “glyph” has been used to represent male and female genders since the 50s. In the 60s they were often seen on public toilets. As the LGBTQIA+ Community rose symbols were created to represent varying groups.

The female pictogram represents Venus and so two adjoining of the same represents female homosexuality.

Simular to the pink triangle gay men were forced to wear in the concentration camps in nazi Germany a black triangle was often worn by lesbian women too and so it had alao been combined with the Labrys for an alternative flag.

It is not a comprehensive list and so if you discover another please let us know with as much information as you have and we will be more than happy to investigate in prder to add more.

A little about the Tudors and homosexuality!

Above: Elizabeth I before her coronation as Queen.

By @pridematters1

Edited by @oddsocks2017

Following the death of Henry VIII, there were a few turbulent years and three sovereigns of Britain.

One of these was Lady Jane Gray, who only ruled for only nine days, making her the shortest reigning sovereign of the United Kingdom.

Above: Elizabeth I on her coronation.

These tumultuous times subsided when Elizabeth I took the Crown.

Elizabeth’s half-sister, Queen Mary, had abolished the Buggery Act 1533 that their father had implemented. Queen Elizabeth I had this reinstated, it has been stated by historians that Mary had reverted back to the Catholic Cannon law.

When Elizabeth I reinstated The Buggery Act 1533 she excluded the amendments made by her half-brother, Edward VI, who died at sixteen. This meant you could be hanged for the act of buggery and could also have your assets stripped once again. This in itself suggests to many that she was using this the way Henry VIII had; as a strategy move, if need be.

As most historians are aware, Tudor England’s mentality witnessed attitudes that by todays’ standards would be considered akin to homophobia compared to the most hostile countries of modern day, wherein no one would actually believe that men could be attracted to each other, probably more not understanding sexuality than it being homophobia.

Later travellers were shocked to discover that in both the Americas and Africa homosexuality was widespread, Europeans thought of this as evil and barbaric, owing to their Christian faith.

You don’t have to look too far away from the Crown to witness signs of homosexual life.

Two close confidants to the Elizabethan court were Fulke Greville, and Phillip Sydney. The rumours that they were lovers were widespread amongst high society at the time, Greville even planned a joint monument for himself and Sydney in St Paul’s Cathedral, it was never built. However, the simple intention alone indicates the nature of the relationship, as also its recognition by the Church and the Crown. Today one has to wonder if this statue would have influrence history in more positive ways.

At 23, Greville along with Sydney resigned to attend court in 1577, with both men becoming firm favourites to the Queen. It is known that Elizabeth I valued Greville’s sober character and administrate skills.

Above: Fulke Greville.

Above: Philip Sydney

Greville became a Member of Parliament for Southampton, but the Queen did shun him on more than one occasion for leaving the country to participate in conflicts overseas with Sydney. Interestingly, it has been suggested on more than one occasion that Greville may have wrote some Shakespeare. It is more than technically possible as Greville was confident in writing.

One thing we do know after Sydney was killed in a campaign on 17 October 1586, Greville memorialized his beloved friend in his biography Life of the Renowned Sir Phillip Sydney. He was also known for other work too, so you can understand why his name has been mentioned in regards of the rumours about Shakespeare.

After the Queen’s death, and James I came into power, Greville’s good fortune continued. He represented Warwickshire in parliament for a few terms of office. He also became Treasurer of the Navy for a while through the early years of James I. Later, he became Chancellor and Under-Treasurer of the Exchequer. This career led him to gain the title of Baron Brooke.

Above: Warwick Castle

One of his greatest achievements was when he was granted Warwick Castle by King James I in 1604 and restored it to its former condition, spending twenty thousand pounds on it, equivalent to millions in todays’ money. Greville’s sexuality was never questioned because at this time in history no one would think of someone being homosexual. However, the laws relating to the crime of buggery did still exist. These laws were often used in association with other offences, such as use of witchcraft, until the eighteenth century.

The key to survival appears to be discretion, just the same as adultery was an offence, but if it was behind closed doors then it wasn’t really thought of as an issue at all.

Greville lived a long life at Warrick Castle as a bachelor, but sadly even his fortune didn’t save him.

His manservant turned a knife on him in a rage before committing suicide himself, after finding out how little he would be left in Greville’s last will and testament. The knife wound was not fatal, it took weeks for Greville to die. Naturally back then, surgery was in its primary stages, and it is thought the practices used would result to his fatal and painful demise.

This goes to prove the theory that homosexuality, although frowned upon, was accepted in some parts of society at the very least.

Your thoughts: What does the rainbow flag mean to you?

Explaining the Rainbow flags origins in https://pridematters.wordpress.com/2016/05/07/the-origin-of-the-rainbow-flag/  makes all of us aware of its historic meaning, just the same as other iconic items through out history the flag means so many things to so many different people.

It also represents all parts of the LGBT community equally, although some groups do have an additional flag they often use side by side.

Originally the colours all had their own meaning and there were even a couple more colours than there is today.

Only recently the meanings appear to be making a come back.

So we asked the question…..

What does the Rainbow flag mean to you?

and here are some of your replies

@WeRWorld Community.

@scytheanon Togetherness.


rainbow_flower_by_lalala508-d33nsyo@JmJohnpj Respect, dignity, equality, love & hope!

@Maenllwyd hope, freedom, equality, justice, release contentment, life



@mrkosugi equality home support and love.

@ColourfulLoves it makes me so happy when i see one. It gives me a feeling of freedom and equalty in the world. I love rainbow flags!

@philosophypope inclusion, acceptance & love.


When I see the Rainbow flag I feel at ease, that I’m in a safe place. And reps the unity of my lgbt family

@moneyhomo E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G

Other articles on LGBTQIA flags.

The origin of the Rainbow flag


The Transgender Flag


Bisexual Pride Flag


The Asexual Flags


Interview with Hijra film makers.

By Darren Marples.

Edited by Tom Wiese.

I managed to catch up with a film maker who is in the process of setting up a documentary about the Hijra folk in India.

Hijra-Trans sex workers getting ready for work

Could you please introduce yourself:

I’m Ila Mehrotra Jenkins, I’m the director of the documentary HIJRA. I grew up in Delhi and I’ve been based in Britain for the last decade. During this time I’ve been working in British television, specifically in documentaries and current affairs with the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV. HIJRA is my first feature documentary.

Most people will not know who hijra people are who read our article, due to culture differences. How do the hijra differ from Western Transgender? Could you please explain?

Hijras are the oldest ethnic transgender community in the world. Hijras are known as the ‘holy hermaphrodites’ from ancient Hindu scriptures. The scriptures say the hijras have the power to bless and curse, and even today that belief is very prevalent.
Tradition holds that a hijra must leave their biological family and society to live within a hijra family and earn a living through their blessings. Through the centuries, the hijra community has grown to absorb very large numbers of trans and non-binary people, particularly from the lower sections of Indian society. Paradoxically, while hijras are considered ‘holy’ in society, it is a matter of grave shame to manhood to have a hijra within one’s family. Unfortunately, young trans-hijras are often excluded from their biological families to live amongst hijras. They continue to bless in exchange for money in India today, but a very large number of hijras are forced to beg and do sex work to survive, excluded from education and mainstream society. As in many parts of the world, hijra people in India face extreme violence, marginalisation and abuse; but unlike in many countries, while facing extreme ostracisation, transgender people can find a precarious acceptance in society as “sacred” figures.

What are the rights both legally and socially of the hijra community in India?

In 2014, the Supreme Court of India recognised transgender people as a Third Gender and a socially and economically backward class entitled to reservations in education and jobs, and also directed union and state governments to frame welfare schemes for them.
This tabled bill was then passed in 2018 in a much watered down and heavily amended version that provides the equal recognition and protection only in theory.
Although homosexuality was finally decriminalised in 2018, in reality, hijras continue to face massive discrimination, marginalisation, violence and abuse, as societal prejudice is very widespread.

Hijra- Trans activist – warrior, Rudrani

How important is the making of this film for yourselves and society understanding and what do you wish to achieve in the making?

We hope to share the stories of hijras. One such astonishing activist for the hijra community is Rudrani Chettri. Part of this film includes her and the hijras she helps, and through this film we hope the world will hear the voices of the trans-hijra community. Further, we hope for the film to raise support of Rudrani’s work and help with increasing acceptance for trans-hijra identities, in the way they wish to be defined.

What can other cultures learn from the hijra?

The hijra trans community inspires others to have the courage to live beyond restrictive gender norms. While they have faced severe discrimination hijras have also thrived as a welcoming community to those who choose to live a transgender identity.

Hijra blessing at a temple.

How can others support you?

We are currently asking for financial support through our crowdfunding campaign:

These funds would allow us to continue making the documentary, and will help get us into production for two crucial shoots. We’d ask you to please support us and share the project widely and support Rudrani’s work for acceptance, love and respect for the trans hijras in all their human complexity.
This film will spread the word about the struggle these incredible people face, encouraging international solidarity by documenting the hope and force of will they display, and reaching out to the wider community on their behalf.

Embracing meaningful art and learning from it!

After a few days in London taking in the sites and doing a little business I spent the day at the Tate Modern. This was a place I had heard mix reports from, however, I’m the sort of person who doesn’t go on other people’s opinion, and will instead make up my own mind with the least amount of expectation possible.

Link: Tate Modern https://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-modern

As it turns out, I ended up spending most of the day there.

One exhibit that got my attention was by an artist from Beirut, a war-torn city from the past. The artist was clearly affected by the war as a younger man and clearly affected by one particular building in the centre. Before the war devasted the city, an office block was under construction. Due to the war, it was never completed, and because of its location, it was used as a “crows nest” for snippers. Following the devastation of the war that had occurred in the city, the government believed the building would be too costly to tear down, so instead they simply left it and over time it gradually became an unofficial monument to the war in some people’s eyes.

Below: Marian Rechmaoui impression of the tower block in Beruit.

I followed the exhibit to a video of the artist speaking about his work. Something he said resonated with me. He stated how the older generations view the building as a monument to the war. The young view it with no importance. It has no meaning to them, it has no purpose, due to the young not having lived through the horrors of the war in the city.

Marian Rechmaoui

It resonated with me because I often feel that in regards to the domestic fight for LGBT+ rights here in the uk and similar fights elsewhere in the world, the LGBT+ uprising in the 80s against section 28 and other indescrimate legistratration in the UK. The riot in New York in the 60s that led to the pride movement. Partial decriminalisation in 1967 in the UK that led to similar laws in other Commonwealth states, easing the way to fight for more equal rights over the decades. The list goes on and much further back in time.

Are these events that shaped older generations too easy to forget? It may certainly be easy to not to have that emotional connection over time with younger generations.

Pondering this, I left the Tate and made my way over the Millennium Bridge. As I was crossing, I began talking to this lovely lady with three young kids – around 8, 4 and 3 years old. The oldest was getting excited because he wanted to see “CHEWING GUM MAN!”. You could see in the eyes of the 8 year old this man was special to him, almost with a superhero status.

Below: The view from the millennium bridge in London.

My clear confusion led the mother to explain to me that he wasn’t a superhero after all, but in fact, an artist. Every few days this man would go on the Millennium Bridge and find chewing gum that people had dropped, then use them as his canvas. Each gum dropping had a unique look, and he respected that in his work. He had come up with a way of exercising his creativity and making a better world to live in.

He turned something negative into something positive. He hadn’t gone out there to protest about people dropping gum on the bridge, but he added something pleasurable to the bridge. Let’s be frank, if he made one person happy, one small boy excited, he had done a great job.

Link: More about The Chewing gum man….. https://inspiringcity.com/2014/04/18/the-chewing-gum-man-paints-a-trail-of-400-mini-artworks-on-the-millenium-bridge/

Later, I met a friend in Soho and I ventured to The Admiral Duncan – a classic British pub. Sadly, the pub was the scene of a nail bomb in 1998 by a Nazi right-wing extremist. However, after the clean-up from the attack, it was opened in defiance of the hatred toward the LGBT+ Community.

Above: Admiral Duncan plauqe remembering the bombing in 1999

Link: https://www.standard.co.uk/go/london/bars/the-admiral-duncan-a3696551.html

Looking on the wall outside the pub there is a plaque to mark the bomb attack, and inside a piece of beautiful art in the form of a light decoration discretely hanging from the ceiling. Monuments – or memorials – to remind us of the past. Without the emotional memories, the ones that you feel in your gut, it becomes nothing but history, nothing of real connection to the loss. That is, if we are not vigilant in keeping it alive. When we talk about historic LGBT+ issues or for that matter any minorities issues those not within the Community may say “stop playing victims”, because they’ve not experienced what the Community has historically – and still does in some parts of the world.

Without showing others the past, soon we forget, and soon someone is potentially the poor victim once more, and we don’t learn from the past at all. Just like the superhero, the chewing gum man, who used the canvas of the gum to create something meaningful, we need to reach out to the past, embrace it, and learn from it in order to truly move on with no reprisals.

Don’t judge the old for showing us the memorials of a bygone time, but learn from them, and don’t judge the young for not understanding the memorials’ true meaning, instead teach them in ways such as the chewing gum man teaches us. Simple but effective ways.

Written by Darren Maples.

Edited by Tom Wiese.

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