Most of us have PASSIONS & BELIEFS that we try and fight for. Some come as a direct PERSONAL
EXPERIENCE and others from what we have WITNESSED. Regardless, the seed for CHANGE is
planted and that fight can cause us conflict with family, friends, colleagues and other significant
adults in our lives. I too have lost friends as a result of my beliefs.
My passion is related to GAY RIGHTS -the PERSONAL becomes POLITICAL and ‘LOVE IS A HUMAN
RIGHT’ regardless of race, gender and sexuality.
Over the years I have confronted prejudice in many forms and created opportunities to raise
awareness of what it means to be LGBTQ. The present political climate towards GAY RIGHTS is
becoming right wing and reactionary with at least 70 countries where it is illegal and life threatening
to be LGBTQ.
I have explored SEXUALITY & GENDER through both my POETRY and my ART. For the first time on
the ISLE OF WIGHT last year we had our very own GAY PRIDE 2017 with 5,000 people attending,
supporting, dancing, performing and loving. I designed and made a WEDDING DRESS for PRIDE ARTS
as the symbol of the wedding dress now belongs to ALL OF US. Individuals sent in personal poems,
stories and statements on the theme of LOVE WINS. Set in the tea tent the WEDDING DRESS bore
witness to POETS FOR PRIDE and a performance set by RED TIE THEATRE.
IOW GAY PRIDE 2018 now has the enviable status of being UK PRIDE as well. We are expecting
anything from 12.000 to 15.000 people to visit the island. We are the only UK PRIDE to have our
event on the beach.
This year I am focussing on the LGBTQ LIFE JOURNEYS of the 50+ year olds for PRIDE ARTS. The
stories of a generation when it was illegal for men to express their love needs to be told. For some
their lives were and are still SECRET. 2018 SECRET STORIES IN BOTTLES gives them the opportunity
to tell their life journeys in a full and frank way. The stories will then be sealed in bottles, and buried
in the hope they will be found and read in 50 to a hundred years time or even longer than that-
TRUE TREASURE; TRUE ANTIQUITIES.
All 15 of us will contribute to a MEMORABILIA box with photos, letters, Pride memorabilia, leaflets,
poems, stories, songs, items of clothing, and books etc. Collectively it will map our journey which has
ended in us being on the ISLE OF WIGHT.
ONE PERSON-ONE POSITIVE WORD to drown the negative barrage of words we read and hear daily.
Each word will be written on post it notes, rolled and placed into a peg board and mounted into
On the day itself visitors can write messages, statements or wish lists, roll them and place them
again in peg boards. Afterwards, half of them will be opened and pasted onto board whilst the other
half are kept ‘secret’ replicating the lives of us who are either OUT or in the CLOSET. OPEN or
POETS FOR PRIDE will once again be performing in the TEA TENT with the amazing PATSY CABARET
TOP HAT- as well as the WEDDING DRESS being displayed again in the tea tent we will have an
amazing TOP HAT made by staff and students from the IOW COLLEGE. This hat will be like no other
hat and will have the most amazing rainbow messages coming out of it, and decorated in peacock
feathers and the international rainbow flag.
SATURDAY 21 ST JULY, 2018
RYDE BEACH, RYDE, ISLE OF WIGHT
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