05 August 2006


Went to Brighton today, just to do some shopping, and completely kitted the 11 year old out in 3 pairs of nafnaf baggy surfer shorts and four slogan teeshirts, all for £16.

So he wasn't the one we went shopping for, so finding things on our intended list was perjury even though unplanned purchases for son just jumped up in front of us screaming bargain; so what?

The wonderful thing is that we also picked the 'wrong day' to go shopping and had ten times more fun than we had planned.

Specifically we managed to arrive in Brighton just as the buses were detouring in readiness for the Gay Pride parade. Boy was I sorry we left the camera at home! It was wonderful!

Stiltwalkers, drag queens, nurses with beards, people dressed as Pharoahs, Cleopatras and mummies, lorry after lorry dragging flatbed backs, tarted up to the nines to a Carry On theme. Wonderful, wonderful disco music pounding out from every new themed zone, people waving and smiling and just so pleased and proud to be getting smiles back!

Thanks to Jo I am a little more aware of the fears and sensitivities that have to be conquered before some dare be themselves, even just for a little while, to have simple clean fun in this way. My heart goes out to those with a permanent lump in their throat (through a side of themselves that means so very much to them being too long and too harshly suppressed).

It was especially lovely, then, to see the 'men' who dared to wear drag yet chose full makeup as a sort of camouflage, such as the person who dressed as Queen Elizabeth I; and to admire the sheepish transvestites who decorously and discretely turned up amongst the audience, tucked into a corner here and there, all showing the contrast between needing to be themselves and equally not needing or wanting mass attention.

I thought of you, Jo, so I have a proposition.

My home is up the coast - a long bus ride or an expensive taxi between me and the city, but I have one or two friends (of varying genders) in Brighton and was thinking maybe you, me and Doris could make a whole day of it this time next year, even if that means getting tarted up ready in the loos of a gay bar!

Second thoughts, we could always scrounge changing room (and a drop of courage?) from Lady Muck?

Double dare - If all three of you are up for this, I'll turn up in a nun's outfit with the arse cut out.

Or not.

Knowing Jo, of all four of us I would say she's far too ladylike for that sort of exhibitionism......


doris said...

ROFL what a thought! Jo would be the most ladylike amongst us!!!! You know it is quite a proposition but I reckon I'd be up for it. Nun's habit the lot and belting out "what are we going to do with a problem like Maria" and being told to shut it. :-D

Oooooo it's a delicious idea! Jo?

But I can do ladylike too. And then I cross over but not a ladette.

Oh yes - let's do it!

Jo said...

I'd lurve too babes! What a fab idea!!! Me, ladylike?!! I could let my stubble grow especially? ;-) Bagsy the nurses outfit.

Oh and by the way hon - your remarks about what was going through a few minds in Brighton today, the lump in the throat but the I'm-damn-well-going-to-do-it-anyway thing is absolutely spot on. Very perceptive as ever. Can I just offer my personal thanks Cheryl on behalf of the entire gay, bisexual and transgender community for thinking (and writing) such supportive things! :-)

(Now we only have 12 months left to figure out a neat way to smuggle me out and into Brighton under the radar - more on that in a post coming soon)

Stegbeetle said...

We'll expect lots of photos you know...

fineartist said...

What a colorful, happy, exciting day to go shopping.

I may HAVE to get myself to Brighton this time next year and join you, be sides how could I miss you in a habit with the hiney cut out?

Miss Cellania said...

That does sound like quite a fabulous day! I also wish you had your camera. If you get your buds together for that outing, be sure to write up all the details for us!

266k said...

Sounds like SO much fun.
To dress up as a nun
It's only just begun
Oh Cheryl, what have you done?

(If you'd like to hire a tiara for the weekend, let me know.)

beckyboop said...

I can't fathom how hard it would be to hide my true self. My heart goes out.

I can't imagine your friends saying no to next year. Who could say no to seeing you as a nun showing your arse?

About the shopping...I love getting a bargain too.


Badaunt said...

I once asked a gay friend what the point was of coming out loudly, so to speak. Why is it important that others know? I mean, why is it anybody else's business? Straight people don't tell everybody they're straight. Why should gay people have to tell people they're gay?

He explained to me that it is because straight is default. Everybody assumes you're straight whether you are or not. So if you don't tell people, you end up in awkward situations like having to let women down gently, causing possible hurt, and never finding a partner because everybody thinks you're straight, and how do you know who is a possible partner? It's not like 'gay' is branded on your forehead.

I had never thought of it like that, which is kind of stupid of me. I just hadn't THOUGHT about it.

Hale McKay said...

That sounds like it would be quite a memorable time. I hope it all works out - and that we can read about it here then.

Jo said...

Badaunt - it's like people walking around and assumimg a really really big thing about you that's just not true (I'd guess, I'm not gay but I am transgendered). This assumption permeates so much of life, both explicit and implicit and it can be very difficult to deal with. That said, I know a number of gay people who whilst 'out' and perfectly happy with their sexuality, don't go round broadcasting it because they feel it's their business alone.

It's perhaps also a rights of passage thing?

Marmoset said...

Sounds like it was great fun. Flatmates tried to drag me along but I was too tired and a bit to Pride-ed out after Euro Pride, Soho Pride and other pride event going on. Right about the drag, its quite a spectacle. Hope you had a visual feast!

Anonymous said...

Dammit. I'm always late...