Gay Rabbits - Pride!
The Coffee Break Sketching Challenge. Draw anything and everything during your coffee break!
The news of the Orlando shootings at gay nightclub, Pulse, is still sinking in.
Slowly we are being shown the faces of our dead brothers and sisters, as the news companies find out who they are. Photos appearing on screen of happy smiling people, heading out for a night of excitement, partying and joy.
50 vibrant people.
50 families left devastated.
I'll try to explain why it's especially gutting for our gay family, by relating it to my own thoughts about the gay scene.
If you grow up 'the other way', as my dear old mother once called it. Your younger years can be a bit of a confusing nightmare. You've already got the hormones rushing through your body and mind as a teenager, but you're taught from birth that the gay thoughts you are thinking are morally wrong. Everything you see around you is geared towards a hetero lifestyle. Remember, I'm going back to my teenage years, when the national press used to hound gay people, 'exposing' people for being gay and in 'responsible' jobs. When gay people on television were seen as limp wristed, camp, 'oops pardon' types. And when words like 'poof', 'shirtlifter', bender, flowed freely from people's mouths in normal, everyday conversation.
And who can forget Section 28, where you were preached at from the pulpit to Westminster, to Brian Souter funded Billboards, that you really had no place in polite society.
And that's where the gay pub, or nightclub, comes in.
It's always been a place of sanctuary.
A place where everyone was like me!
I had moved, from a small town, up to college in Glasgow, in 1993, and I can remember reading 'The List' magazine, looking for the addresses of these 'exotic' places. Whereas the national press had done 'exposes' on bars like the Waterloo, and Bennets, with headlines blaring "THIS IS WHERE A MAN KISSES ANOTHER MAN!', it was a different story in 'The List'. In the student pullout section, it made the gay pubs seem like cool, fun, and exciting. I plucked up the courage to go and find one.
I must have walked around Virginia Street for ages looking for a big sign that would basically say 'CAFE DELMONICA's'...
...I couldn't find it.
Round and round the block I walked, like a teddy bear.
And then I noticed it - the little rainbow flag poking it's shy wee head out of the doorway.
You would think I would have ran inside like John Mills, in 'Ice Cold In Alex', but my wee feet kept walking past.
Round three times more, until I summoned up the courage to go inside.
It's now more years than I care to remember since going through that door, and friendships made within are counted in decades.
There's been fun, laughs, tears, romance, breakups, gossip, celebration, drunkenness, and too much bad karaoke! But there's always been an overriding sense of safety, a place where you can just 'be'!
And you see, dear reader, that's what the clubbers in Pulse, had expected - had a right to, on Saturday night.
And that's why we're all feeling like we've had the 'stuffing' knocked out of us, a wee bit.
But, we've been fighting for so long, to get where we are.
And make no mistake, we have made a lot of progress.
We will all, as a family, get through this.
We're made of strong stuff, and if you see someone that needs a wee hug, then do it!
I'll leave you with love and positive thoughts!
See ye tomorra,
Whit's he up tae noo?
The blog posts of David Brodie, a Scottish artist based near Glasgow.