The last dance


I didn’t expect that I would die,
I didn’t know I had to dignify
A bid for future, peace, and freedom
With an iron-clad, no-nonsense, water-tight reason
Why I wished to go out that night
And dance away ‘neath cool neon light.

I didn’t know I would become a martyr
Midst clouds of alcohol-scented laughter
That out of a mist of foaming CO2
A cruelly aimed gun would come thrusting through
And excise the heart of the life I had made
A hope for tomorrow gone with each bullet sprayed.

I never had much, just an old battered case
With a misspelled logo set in the wrong type-face.
But I had a picture of those I had left behind
And on the back Te queremos my mother had signed.
In the early days here when things got too tough
I would take it on out and remember the love.

But little by little I made my way,
I got my own place and I earned my own pay.
I made new friends and I learned who I was
Sent half my pay home and was happy because
My future was mine as I saw fit
And I was damn proud of myself, I must admit.

After a while I got a pay raise
5 times what dad earned in my childhood days.
I moved downtown and forgot day-to-day hustles,
Joined a gym, got a plan, and worked hard on my muscles.
Home and away politics were easily dismissed;
Second amendment rights were never high on the list.

So I lived the dream, and dreaming I danced
By freedom, hope, and my boyfriend romanced.
Then at the height of the day and on the cusp of tomorrow
The spirits of night beckoned and summoned I followed.
The choice was not mine; it was the gunman’s blast
That spun me on round as we danced our last dance.

Is it right to stand up to bullies?

When Conchita Wurst, the bearded drag alter ego of Austrian Tom Neuwirth, won the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 it was a very clear two-fingered salute from the rest of Europe to Russia.

The harsh way that Russia has been applying their law to prevent “the promotion of homosexuality to minors” – effectively banning any public show of same-sex affection or tolerance – has caused outrage across the rest of Europe and the world. The situation in Ukraine has won them few friends to the west of that area either.

On the night of Eurovision it seemed that if their own country wasn’t going to win then almost everyone wanted Conchita to win. Her song was good by Eurovision standards, and well-delivered, so there was certainly every reason to champion her, but the strength of support inside the arena and out clearly showed that it was at least partly what she represented that was being supported.

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No room at the inn

No Vacancy sign

News is breaking – and being widely commented upon on the various social media – that Peter and Hazelmary Bull have put their £750,000 Cornwall, UK B&B on the market due to poor guest numbers and legal costs. This is the married Christian couple who would not let a double room to gay civil partners Steven Preddy and Martyn Hall at Chymorvah Hotel in 2008 because they believe in sex only between married couples. The gay couple sued and won. The B&B owners appealed and lost.

The Bulls claim in addition to this they have been subjected to a hate campaign; vandalism (they say their car wheels were tampered with), death threats, a rabbit nailed to their fence and an orchestrated “sting operation” by gay activists. Opponents say that comments on the trip advisor website concerning their B&B show the true reason for their failure; It’s a real shame because it could be a lot better if the rooms were cleaner/up to date and fresh and the people running the hotel more hospitable.
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Sochi 2014, Russian anti-gay laws, and Stephen Fry’s letter

Russian OMOH policeman reflected showing HOMO

Since Stephen Fry’s open letter to David Cameron and the IOC (International Olympic Committee) I have seen many misapprehensions from people defending the hosting of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games at Sochi, Russia (cough cough Daily Telegraph cough cough). The same arguments as to why the Games should go ahead despite Russia’s human rights violations go round and round so I thought I would list the principal ones I’ve seen and my suggested responses. I’m sure there are more around – please add your own in the comments!

There are lots of places which don’t respect human rights, why aren’t they complaining about Saudi Arabia and Uganda and just concentrating on Russia?” Well Saudi Arabia and Uganda aren’t hosting the Olympics! And if they were I would argue against that too.

We didn’t stop China having the Games and their human rights record is terrible!” True, and in my opinion the IOC shouldn’t have let them host the games. But two wrongs don’t make a right.
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