Journey To Pride

Hey Readers On day 4 of #NaPoWriMo my poem is dedicated to Labour’s Scottish Leader Kezia Dugdale who has recently come out as a lesbian. Whilst being a political opponent of Ms Dugdale I wish her and her partner every happiness and this poem is my way of showing solidarity with a woman who has taken the brave decision to speak publicly on a very private matter We should however, remember that the fact this decision attracted very few comments is a testament to how far Scotland has progressed since the dark days of the 1970’s when same sex orientation or wishing to acquire a new gender identity would have been illegal in our country. Indeed even in the early years of this century such activity whilst no longer illegal would almost certainly have been a career ender for someone in the public eye. Now we are a nation committed to equality for all our citizens and that  includes the right to equal marriage. We are I believe a more civilised country since the re-establishment of our parliament and it with that in mind that I have to give the poem the title Journey To Pride I hope you enjoy the read. 

Journey To Pride

In a sentence it was done
she said I have a female partner
the fear was over
and a public figure
could get back to her private life
I was happy for her when I read the news
a political foe welcomed to the diverse community
of the rainbow family
sexuality and gender identity
shouldn’t matter in the country we seek to build
though some will try to claim otherwise
misquoting the Bible
in the name of half truths and lies
to sustain their bigotry
in this Scotland we walk with dignity
this is how it should be
in a land of equal chances
where who dances with who
is respected by friends and family
but this was not always the case
I remember being called a disgrace
for even wanting to be a girl
being a woman would not be
a choice for me to make
in the world of council schemes
where dreams were abandoned
quicker than Usian Bolt can run 
thankfully times have moved on
since those dark depressing days
when being different meant being targeted
for physical and verbal abuse
and words like poof, dyke, and tranny
were considered perfectly acceptable
even amongst the respectable middle classes
who spoke the words of Burns
when it came to honest men
and bonnie lassies
and were fine with that unless two honest men went back the flat
or two bonnie lassies were caught kissing each other
and the very thought of a teenage trans girl
being discovered made sure I kept
my secret under the cover of night
the sky has cleared in the decades since my youth
now actively campaigning
for my vision of a better land
I understand more than she may think
why her decision took the time
it did
as my gran always said take the time you need
because you need the time you take
rushing would have been a mistake
for a woman who wants to keep her private life private
she should not need to be silent
nor should she feel pressured
compelled to speak on a topic
she may not want to discuss
love is the most personal of emotions
she needs to be left alone
to get on with her life
though sometimes the personal is political
it is her politics of which I am critical
all else is off limits and that is how it should be
which is why this trans woman of the SNP wishes her well
as I remember the battles we had to fight and win
before we could begin
our journey to pride
walking with confidence
in the future and ourselves

@ Gayle Smith 2016

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