Patriots Pandas And Kylie’s New Job Would Normally All Make The Headlines But Better Together Have To Watch The Defectors And Replace Them With Ones They Don’t Want

Hey everyone Good Morning and welcome to the long lie. This is the first edition of the newest and best news programme in Scotland where we admit that we miss report the facts and tell our audience that every story we will have for you is based on rumour. And on this our first day we have sensational news just breaking on a story which will rock Scottish politics and neither the Proclaimers or Runrig are involved in it

Today as we enter the last few miles of the independence referendum marathon I can exclusively reveal the nightmare that all unionists have been dreading will take place this afternoon as two senior members of better together will announce the defections to Yes Scotland. The two defectors are said to be amongst the sharpest minds in better together. Acting on this secret tip off bookies have reacted quickly to rule out any current members of Labour Westminster Scotland team claiming that the Faroe Islands have more chance of beating Brazil in this year’s World Cup Final and since the Faroes
haven’t qualified for the event that would take a bit of doing.

A spokesman for William Hill said in the unlikely event of them being named as the defectors any punter backing them should replace George Osborne as Chancellor of the Exchequer as they obviously have such vision they could wipe out all global debt in ten seconds and be hailed as the saviours of the world.

Meanwhile speculation mounts that one of the defectors could be Conservative leader in Scotland Ruth Davidson who was recently mocked by an Edinburgh zoo keeper who commenting on the health of the Panda’s said they were enjoying the food again and joked that were showing signs that the green shoots of recovery were starting to be seen. On overhearing this comment Ms Davidson thanked the zoo keeper for his praise of the coalition policies to which he replied shut it you I’m talking to the panda’s. On hearing this Ms Davidson was heard muttering to herself by that well respected blogger otherwise known as tartantights. Where did I put Alex Salmond’s phone number I want to say Yes.

The other defector is reckoned to be a Labour member with principles. This according to my source narrows the search down somewhat though the money is not thought to be on Alastair Darling. Drew Smith has been mentioned but is not thought likely because as a Hibs fan he has serious issues with the First Minister who offered him a free football fact finding trip. At first Smith was reported to be well up for the visit, till he found out that the trip was to Malmo. The rumour mill has also brought the name of Kezia Dugdale in to the running along with that of one noble lord who claimed he was fed up being taken to the strangers bar and being left with a bunch of them. The favourite however is well known Celtic fan and former MSP Frank McAveety who is believed to have been won over because he heard an Independent Scotland would be paradise for all Celts.

On hearing that this story had hit the headlines a spokesperson for better together said we know the defectors are but we don’t care because we have got two of the sharpest brains in America to take their place Dan Quayle and Sarah Pallin.

In other news Danny Alexander tells a packed press conference that one day he will be Prime Minister a spokesperson for William Hill has immediately installed Kylie Minogue as favourite to succeed Alex Salmond as First Minister of Scotland. The spokesperson said I know it’s unlikely to take place it is still more likely than Scotland winning the World Cup, Tony Blair telling the truth, or the Labour Party discovering socialism.

Also God is said to having a crisis of confidence and no longer believes in himself. A BBC reporter has been found guilty of telling the truth, Bob Geldof has turned down a sainthood, and Keith Lemon has just been announced as the favourite to take over as head of ITV current affairs. This has been the first edition of the long lie whether we are allowed to be back on air tomorrow could depend on how just how gullible you actually are. However on this historic day the summary of the stories are as follows. Patriots pandas and Kylie’s new job would normally all make the headlines but better together have to watch the defectors and replace them with ones they don’t want

Love And Best Wishes
Gayle X

A Case Of Shocking Pink Has My Knickers In A Twist

Hey everyone Today a friend from my virtual village that is forever facebook posted the Scotsman Pink List. I have to say I find this list which names the 50 most influential LGBT Scots unrepresentative of the real picture and believe that though it does give some well deserved credit to fighters for equality it has missed out a number of very important people and by doing so it has managed to get my knickers in a right twist.

You see as a transwoman, who is a blogger, poet and political activist I believe I know who is and isn’t fighting for the LGBT community in this country and there are some people who if I’m honest haven’t campaigned as much as I have to bring about equal marriage or change people’s attitudes on this and other issues. So I think the list should to renamed the 50 people we know to be gay who are in the chattering classes.

Having expressed this opinion it is now time for me to validate my view by stating who I believe is missing from the list and why they merit inclusion. To do this I may expand the boundaries of the list and include one or two straight allies who also deserve a mention in this rainbow of honour.

Let me start however by saying that I am delighted to see the names of Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson and co leader of the Scottish Greens Patrick Harvie featuring prominently on the list. I am also very happy to the see sterling work of the chairman of Scottish Equality Network Tim Hopkins and the Network policy co-ordinator Tom French get recognition for their stalwart efforts over many years of service. I am also happy to see the work of Mario Biagi MSP highlighted by his nomination and veteran gay rights campaigner Derek Ogg is equally deserving of his inclusion for his dedication to the cause of equality which stretches back to before homosexuality was legal in Scotland.

From a trans perspective it was great to see to see playwright and poet Jo Clifford included amongst the great and the good and James Morton of the Scottish Transgender Ailliance is another name of whom I am certain we will hear much more
in the future. Also it was good to see the name of one of my favourite comedians Susan Calman deservedly gaining a place but I am disappointed at the exclusion of poet and Liberal Democrat candidate Chris Young, Author Kirsty Logan, and the chair of the Scottish Association of Writers Marc Sherland

On a slightly more personal level I was proud beyond belief to see the name of one Lee Beattie on the list as one of the most powerful movers and shakers in the media industry. You see I have to admit a wee bit of personal bias here having known Lee since she was a caring intelligent teenager in a theatre group in Govan of which I was also a member and when it came to the youth group a volunteer helper. I have to say her success in her chosen field comes as no surprise whatsoever as such was her dedication and commitment she was always going to be a success. This recognition merely confirms what some of us already knew.

As for some of the others on the list there a few people of whom the best that can be said that they are to the compilers of the list. Amongst those whom I do not think should have been on the list are actors Alan Cumming, and John Barrowman and Glasgow Labour councillor Gordon Mathieson. With regards to Cumming and particularly to Barrowman who is now better together’s hired clown. I do not think that just being LGBT should be enough to be included in this list, especially at the expense of Pride Glasgow organiser Alasdair Smith or Tesco Equality Champion Lisa Tait.

As for the inclusion of Gordon Mathieson I quite frankly find this ridiculous. I mean why in the name of god was he chosen. Was it because he has actually done anything to advance LGBT rights in Scotland? No, of course it wasn’t because he hasn’t and that is my honest opinion. In fact his only contribution to that list is that as Labour group leader he helped his party hold a city they were never going to lose.

Also one has to say and will that Councillor Mathieson’s contribution to LGBT equality has been at best modest or to be more accurate non existent. This is the man who presided over the ashes of the Glasgow LGBT Centre and watched over the demise of a valuable community resource and like a later day Nero did precisely nothing. However be under no illusion this my condemnation of councillor Mathieson is not partisan or party political it’s just If I am being honest I believe there are others in his party who have done a lot more for this particular cause such as Disability campaigner Pam Duncan, and Glasgow MSP Drew Smith who has attended the last two Pride Glasgow events, speaking from the platform and the heart in 2012 and campaigning for his party at last year’s event.

As I said earlier in this post you can achieve nothing in politics or indeed life without allies and though not gay Stonewall Scotland’s Sophie Bridger is certainly a great ally to the LGBT community. Sophie who stood for the Liberal Democrats in the Inverclyde By-Election has certainly been a force for good in all equality matters.

So as you can see though I agree with many of nominations on the list I do not agree with all of them. I find the absence of the SNP MSP for Dundee West who was Scotland’s first openly gay cabinet minister and LGBT Youth Activist and equal marriage campaigner Laura McLachlan to be disgraceful omissions. It does however please me as a daughter of the kirk to see the inclusion of Church Of Scotland minister Scott Rennie. Overall though this list gives credit to the contribution of many in the LGBT community I can’t help but think it’s a case of shocking pink and it’s certainly got my knickers in a twist.

Love And Best Wishes
Gayle X

Rainbow Road

Hey everyone Tonight Scotland celebrates the right to love equally,
as our parliament passed the Equal Marriage Scotland Act by 105 votes to 18. This gives Scotland’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Community the right to marry and to have their love recognised in law with equal value to their heterosexual family and friends.

As a transwoman I have campaigned long and hard for this day, all I need to do now is find a man who is both man enough and mad enough to marry me and it will be in the words of that classic Billy Idol song a nice day for a white wedding.

You know I should have known it was going to be a good day when Caron Lindsay shared a photograph taken by her friend Andy Myles this morning which showed a rainbow over the royal mile. I wonder if God was trying to give us a message of hope and you know what, I think he might have been.

On seeing this beautiful image I decided to write a poem on the right to equal marriage and dedicate it with love and respect to everyone who has campaigned for this result and especially to those 105 MSP who voted for my right to love equally
My heartfelt thanks go to each and every one of them.

Special mentions are however merited these include Nicola Sturgeon MSP and Deputy First Minister whose support for me on a personal level is more appreciated than she will ever know. I also appreciated the kind supportive words of The First Minister of Scotland the Right Honourable Alex Salmond who said when I was introduced to him at a social gathering for ‘new’ party members that I would be a far greater asset to my party and my country than I was in my pre-transitioned days when though likeable I allowed nerves to get in the way of the message. This he said would no longer be the case for a happy and confident woman who would serve Scotland well.

There are also others to thank for this day including Co-leader of the Scottish Green Party Patrick Harvie, Leader Of The Scottish Conservative Party Ruth Davidson, Glasgow Labour MSP Drew Smith, SNP MSP for Glasgow Cathcart James Dornan, The organiser of Pride Glasgow Alasdair Smith, Stonewall Scotland’s Sophie Bridger, SNP Trade Unionist And PPC for the European Elections Chris Stephens, Shettleston SNP activist Steven Tierney, SNP Candidate in the recent Cowdenbeath by-election Natalie McGarry Woman For Independence and Scottish Independence Convention Member Shona McAlpine, Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament Laura McLachlan Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice Caron Lindsay, All at LGBT Scotland, the Scottish Equality Network particularly Tom French, friends from GAP Theatre especially Gillian Clark, Gary McGuire, Iain Boyce, Michelle Brown, Michelle Sloan, Tricia Feeney, Lorraine McKenzie, and the Mitchell sisters Kellie, Sharlene, and Jade. My long standing friends from the University of Strathclyde especially Ailsa King, Carolyn Black, Jo Muir, Katrina Cuthbertson and Simon Mawson and all members of the Scottish Spoken Word and Traditional Music Communities

I would like to acknowledge the contribution of some members of these communities without whose support my journey on the road I now walk with confidence would have been a lot harder than it has. So I’ll start with the team from spoken word they include Marc Sherland, Linda Grant, Kevin Cadwallender, Alex Frew, Andy Fleming, JJ Turner, Agnes Torok, Sean McBride, Claire Askew, Derek Read, Audrey Marshall, Craig Scott,
Fiona Lindsay, Kathryn Metcalfe,
Danny O’Connor Steve Allan, John McGlade, Catherine Baird, Kevin Gilday, Lisa Gilday, Maryanne Hartness, Tracy Patrick, John Savage, Stephen Watt, Jim Monaghan, Pete Faulkner, Jane Overton, Chris Young, Jenny Lindsay, Jim Ewing, Robin Cairns, Sophia Walker Siobhan Harkin and her adorable daughter Shannon The one and only first lady of Sammy’s the brilliant Pamela Duncan and my mad poetic sister also known as the magical Viv Gee.

From the world of traditional music particular thanks are due to Roisin, Siobhan and Patricia McArdle, who stood by me and supported me when they could easily have walked away. To Eilidh Grant now Eilidh Leslie for her continued friendship and support. To Billy and Hazel Pryce, to Heather Currie and her gorgeous daughter Shauna who insists that I am not only her auntie but tells her mother I am never wrong. Jim King also deserves credit for putting up with my ramblings over many years as does, Anna Meldrum, Rachel Sermanni, and Laura Wilkie. Also credit must be given to Samantha Hands whose faith has inspired me to grow deeper on my own christian journey, Daniel Hunter for no other reason except he is Daniel Hunter to my former woman of the year the brilliant Althea Maxwell, and to Siobhan Marie Downes for late night chats and attempts to keep me sane and so many others too many to mention. All of those mentioned and many who are not, deserve wedding invitations when the great day dawns as it must and surely will.

Also I can’t let today pass without mentioning a few former work colleagues and the names of Pam Duncan, Pamela Miller,and Joyce Cowie come to mind. However there is one who shines above all others and who’ll be a friend till the end of time and that is Yvonne Hughes whose friendship and support saw me through many of my darkest days. Yes Yvonne sometimes a smile really does make a difference.

I would also like a mention to Yvonne’s cousins Jackie and Natalie who saw me as my true self before most of the world was ready and a long time before I knew Yvonne. In fact Jackie and Natalie knew in the days when I was young enough to get away with wearing a black mini skirt and silver tights or at least I thought I was. Well it was the end of the 1990’s and I was in my late thirties and at the beginning of my journey out from the deepest and darkest of closets. Trust me I had loads of confidence in my unique personal style even if some of it may have been severely misplaced, however I have to say I didn’t think that at the time

To conclude what must be the longest thank you speech in history since Barry McGuigan retired from boxing I have to say that Lesley McKay has at least attempted to bring some sanity in to my life as have the parishioners at Baillieston St Andrew’s Church especially
the quietest member of any congregation otherwise known as Jane Sharp. Thanks also to Sheena Campbell and
Diana Mc Naught. Other local lassies who have tried to varying degrees to bring out the softer side of my nature include Theresa Agnew, Laura Mallin, Leanne McKay, Gillian Robertson, Jade Mc Isaac, Carlene Kilday and that lovable nutter who insists on calling me Auntie Gayle, my current woman of the year Katie Walker and I have to say this description flatters me much more than I deserve.

Anyway to all of those I’ve mentioned and my many friends in the LGBT community who are far too numerous to mention I dedicate this poem. I have called it Rainbow Road and I hope you enjoy the read and think it worthy to celebrate such a wonderful occasion.

Rainbow Road

On the day we said yes to equal love
a good friend made me smile
she shared a photograph she was sent
of a vision on the mile

A rainbow shone through a cloudless sky
and as the day was dawning
I saw a future filled with hope
in the peace of a February morning

This was a day for all of us
to celebrate with pride
the fact the love is a human right
and should never be denied

Love does not discriminate
so let this truth be said
it’s the right of every citizen
to share a marriage bed

To live our lives with the one of our dreams
real love does not surrender
to narrow minded attitudes
biology or gender

We find who we will on our journey through life
and hope our love stays true
and as a transwoman I want to say
for the right to say I do

My road will not be yellow brick
but when I find my prince
I won’t be slow to let him know
I will be dropping hints

Believe me he’ll know he’s the one
and as I’m dressed in white
I’ll know I walked the rainbow road
to find my Mr Right

@ Gayle Smith 2014

Rainbow On The Green

Hey everyone. I don’t know why but I never sleep well on the night before pride. Yesterday morning I was up by 4.35 despite not going to bed till just before midnight. Maybe it’s nerves excitement or even both, but either way I was up with the birdies to welcome to Pride Glasgow 2013.

After watching too much early morning telly than is decent for a woman on a Saturday morning, I eventually locked the door of Smith and Marshall mansions at around about 10 past 11 and made my way to the bus stop where I waited far longer than i should have done for my bus to the city centre.

During my 20 minute wait a couple of older people stopped for a chat and asked where I was going. I think my outfit may have attracted attention. Well. It’s not every morning you’ll see a middle aged woman standing at a bus stop in a red dress red fishnet tights with silver shoes and bag as matching accessories.

When I told them I was going to Glasgow LGBT Pride Carnival at Glasgow Green they both told me to enjoy the day and behave myself. I say I would try to behave but me being me I couldn’t make promises. At just after half 11 I finally boarded the bus. I was on my way to join the party would bring together so many kinds of LBGT people it would create a rainbow on the green.

Eventually I got off the bus at the border which separates the East End from the Merchant City. As I walked passed the Tollbooth bar I overheard a conversation between two regulars. ‘Whit’s wi awe they marchers?’ One asked ‘och it’s just gay pride says his pal ‘it’s better than the orange walk’ smiling I shouted over too right it is Celtic fans are welcome today I should know I am one. He smiled as I walked past, and since I thought he gave us good PR, I had to show my thanks with good chat.’

Realising I had missed the start of the march, well it’s kind of traditional for me. I made way along the trongate and who should I see but the lovely Joanna Barr. It is I think fair to say that Joanna is one of those younger lesbians I mentioned earlier in the week when I posted my poem a Thorn Amongst The Roses. You know the ones who tend to see me as a trans mammy. Anyway we had a brilliant wee catch up before I went on my way to join the parade.

After walking the length of the town I joined the march just before it turned in to union street. I don’t know how it happened but for the first part of my walk I walked with LGBT youth one of whose members gave me a placard with stated I support equal marriage which I was very proud to carry all the way to the green. It was during this part of the route I had chat with one of my longest standing friends Anne Marie Kelly who was one of the event stewards.

Eventually due to my somewhat relaxed walking style, I ended up with the team from the unite trade union group where I had an interesting chat on equality, football fans and the upcoming independence referendum. As we marched through the streets of the city centre It was great to see so many workers out cheering us along the route and to hear that many trade unionists are considering a yes vote as they believe it will result in a fairer nation more at home with traditional trade union values than a Britain which is moving quickly and dramatically to the right.

As we approached pizza hut we were met with some ill mannered jeering from a group of Rangers fans who shouted some foul mouthed abuse. They probably didn’t realise that there were Rangers supporters walking in the parade. Well I hate to inform these idiots but not all parades take place in early July or need commissions to approve them. It is my considered opinion that these knuckledragging neanderthals were a total embarrassment to the club they claim to support though as a Celtic fan I can’t say I’m surprised by this.

The rest of the journey passed peacefully and on entering the green one of the LGBT youth team collected my placard and I was free to wander around the many stalls, which suited a highly sociable wee madam such as myself.

As was the case last year I visited the stalls of Better Together and Scottish Labour and enjoyed good debate with members or in Labour’s case the comrades. Oops I don’t know if I’m allowed to call them that. Well let’s be honest I think they’ve had orders from on high to ban two s words Scotland and Socialism.

One of the first chats of my day was with a better together activist who just so happens to the cousin one of my best friends. She is a thoroughly decent woman whose politics are based on the principled ideas of socialism though quite how she believes this is even possible in a country which still has and seems to be determined to hang on to an unelected unrepresentative second chamber I do not honestly know. Personally
I think she is living in a dream world and I wasted no time in telling her this. I think she was slightly stunned that I was and remain confident of a convincing victory on the day and being good at predictions I think I can safely say that after my butchery of the butcher’s apron and the Dis United Kingdom, that though we get on very well I don’t think she will be posting my nomination for diplomat of the year any time soon.

Anyway I enjoyed good chats with political colleagues on both sides of the independence debate and it was a real pleasure to meet two of the good guys in Scottish politics Patrick Harvie Leader of the Scottish Green Party and Labour MSP for Glasgow Drew Smith. Both guys spoke at last year’s Pride at George Square and it is empowering to know that the LGBT community have such committed allies in our law making chamber.

I have to say that Patrick is a man I have always respected as I believe the three E’s he contributes to Scottish politics are vital to the debates currently taking place in our country and will be even more important in a post independent Scotland. Those three E’s are Education Equality and the Environment. Well he and his party colleagues educate the public on the need for equality and how that will help shape a better more culturally and socially sustainable environment which will in turn be beneficial to the political and economic health of the nation.

The Greens had lots of leaflets and were very kind to me as they gave me a copy almost everything they had on their table. This is valuable educational material which I will read for poetic purposes and recycle when I’m finished with them. Well Smith and Marshall Mansions as I call my home is getting better on the recycling issue and I intend to keep it that way and where possible improve our track record.

In my short chat i said to Patrick and his colleague Alasdair Duke that in our house we do try to be as environmentally friendly as possible and if I say so myself we have a very impressive record on food waste. Well as our budget has been slashed since I lost my job we tend only to buy what we know were going to like and thus we cut food waste to a bare minimum. In fact such is our shopping intelligence I can truthfully say that since the council supplied us with food caddy bins at the beginning of July we as yet haven’t had to use them even once.

In my chat with Drew I recalled that in his speech last year he had talked about the horrific impact of section 28 and its consequences and told him that this law passed during my early adulthood meant repressing my identity for a far greater time than anyone should ever need to. We even had a brief chat about football and the indy ref amnesty on Thursday night. Like me Drew said he liked that idea as after the referendum is over no matter what the result we will all need to work together for the benefit of Scotland. I couldn’t agree more with those sentiments and told him that I’ve got form on this issue as where I can find areas of common ground I always will get involved in cross party campaigns.

I also visited the equal marriage campaign and am pleased to report that the stall was very busy with many people queuing up to sign the declaration of support. This is an issue which will not go away. LGBT people want and deserve the same right to equality as anyone else that includes the right to marry.
It is my belief that if Scotland or Britain are ever to be viewed as modern mature nations who are relevant to the 21st world then this right must granted and granted at the earliest possible date.

On an even more personal note I really pleased to see the Scottish Transgender Alliance was also attracting a lot of interest. As a transwoman I have to say this pleased me greatly as it shows people want to learn about the topic though it was mainly women and younger women who stopped to get information.

As I mixed and mingled with the crowds I enjoyed a good catch up with one of my best friends Derek Read who informed me he had lost a very tall lesbian and If I found her I was to tell her he looking for her. This is earth calling Derek how in the name of god how did you manage to lose her in the first place?

Not long after my chat with Derek I bumped into another of my closest friends that one man tour de force Chris Young. Now it’s no secret that I see Chris as my baby brother bard, so like any big sister I was I ever so slightly concerned when I saw his hand all bandaged up. Naturally I had to ask him how it happened and he told he had an argument with a chisel, when doing some DIY. Honestly I worry about Chris and as a protective poetry big sister I think I really should advise him to stay away from any household object sharper than a member of the BNP.

Moving ever onwards I made my way to other stalls such as Guy to Girl a new community business for male to female transgender women which is based in Cathcart on the south side of the city. I think this will be an invaluable resource for transwomen and it’s a resource I fully intend to make use of when the need arises and will inform transwomen I know about it at the first available chance.

My next stop was the Yes Scotland stall to go and show my support for my country’s independence. This visit provided by far the most ironic moment of the day, when I was asked by a young volunteer if I would like some information on the yes campaign. When I told him I had already made up my mind up as to how I would be voting he asked who for them or us? When I told the young man that I had spent half the day terrorising those at the Better Together and Scottish Labour stalls I think it would be safe to say I would be voting yes.

Now those of you who are regular readers of tartan tights will know that the fact I’m voting yes is not exactly a secret so as you can imagine this caused me to have a wee chuckle. Well it’s good to see that even my lot aren’t taking my vote for granted.

I stayed at the stall for a wee while and I think I may have changed a young girl’s vote from no to yes. Well when one of the team asked her how she thought she would vote she said she would probably vote no. When asked why she said ‘It’s to do with the money, can Scotland afford it?’

Armed with the ammunition of the official statistics my colleague explained to the girl that Scotland was a net contributor to the union putting more money in than we got back and this meant we could comfortably afford to be independent. As he spoke to her about GDP and the technical stuff which those of us in politics get bogged down in to a greater degree than ordinary voters I thought it was the right time to kill this unionist myth in more voter friendly language, informing her that our parliament receives only 16 percent of the tax we pay Westminster takes from us. This in anyone’s language is daylight robbery and we need to call a halt to it on the 18th September next year.

I also used another tactic which has worked so often for me in the past. I informed her that as someone who reached her 52nd birthday just a month ago I know that many countries have gained independence from Britain since I first came in to the world and many more did so in the 10 to 15 years before. So if we were so poor as better together would like to make out then why are so desperate to keep us? I mean if you have a partner whose not pulling their weight you leave that relationship and move on to something better.

This I think was the game changer for her as she said that she would need to look in to it more and there was now a serious possibility of her voting yes. Whilst she made no promises on it I think our chat probably gave her the confidence that better together try so hard to destroy. On concluding our chat I said that we in yes Scotland would work hard to earn her trust and would not take her vote for granted. We would never be so arrogant we prefer to leave that kind of behaviour to our opponents. It’s the reason I believe we’ll win on the day the votes are counted.

I believe that the job of yes Scotland is not just to gain our country independence but to encourage dialogue and discussion amongst our people about the kind of Scotland we want to live in post independence. I was greatly heartened to have a discussion with a young man who says that though he will vote yes he does not want independence to be the end of the road but rather the beginning of a new journey. Like me he believes that austerity cannot be allowed to continue and that we must seek to find a better way to address the social and economic problems we face.

At this I decided my work was done for a wee while at least and went on another wee wander round the stalls. Well I figured there must be some I hadn’t visited and I was right. However just as I was passing that no women’s land between Scottish Labour and Better Together I was greeted by another member of my chosen family the adorable Heather Currie. Heather and her daughter Shauna who was with her mum probably to keep her in check, have always been important to me and I know Heather has not had the easiest few months.

This was one of the most emotional moments of my day and showed that contrary to the opinions of some people I do actually have softer side. I just hope that Labour lot didn’t see it after all we can’t have me showing a gentle side in the sight of the enemy. I mean god knows what dirty tricks they might use to try and weaken my resolve. Joking apart, it was great to see two very special women who will always have an important role in my life and a permanent place in my heart.

As I regained my composure I made my way to the stall of Metropolitan Community Church where I got talking matters christian with a girl called Susan who is almost as gabby as I am. Yes it’s true the age of miracles isn’t dead and we chatted for a good while about the metropolitan church the important role it play in the lives of many LGBT christians. Susan told me she also attends the united reform church and that her church is pretty liberal on LGBT issues. I said that I find the same in the Church of Scotland and it’s good to see the churches moving forward to greater acceptance of the community.

After chatting to Susan I thought it was time to enjoy the entertainment and check out the talent. I have to say I never saw a lot of hot guys but the talent on stage more than made up for the lack of talent in the crowd.

It was that of the day when I was in the mood to party and the carnival atmosphere which is so unique to pride added to the occasion. Of the acts I managed to see I particularly enjoyed the sets by Heather Small who was absolutely brilliant and the always enjoyable Robert and May Millar. As for Scott Agnew well he was as mad as ever and that is always good news. To me however the star of the show was a local lass by the name of Rozelle. This girl has the complete package, she has the voice, the look, and the personality to really go places, I think she may be one worth watching.

As the afternoon drew to a close Joanna found me as she had promised she would and I spent some quality with her and her friends. Realising I had taken only one picture during the whole day I decided to get at least one with Joanna. Her friends snapped us twice and both pictures show someone happy to be seen with her trans mammy before going to mix, mingle, and enjoy the rest of the festival.

Talking of my maternal instincts they must be really easy to spot as not long after leaving Jo I was ‘adopted’ by another three young lesbians all of whom were chatty, lovable, and ever so slightly mad. Something tells me they’ll fit right in to my family of rainbow daughters. The biggest chatterbox from my latest brood is pink haired nutter Cherry. Her real name is Emma but everyone calls her Cherry because of her bright pink hair. Trust me this one is just like me, a gabby wee madam who doesn’t need happy pills. The other newbies to my ever growing family Stephanie and Gayle are i have to say very sweet natured and quiet girls or maybe they were just waiting to Cherry drew breath so they could get a word in. Well she’s just that kind of girl and you can’t help loving her because of it.
At Cherry’s insistence more photographs were taken and with Stephanie as photographer it was her chance and to a lesser extent Gayle’s to grab the limelight. This was something she wasted no time in doing and she was quite right in my opinion.

However all good things must come to an end and as Alasdair Smith came to the stage to thank everyone for a great day we had one giant conga round the green to celebrate a wonderful day and head to the various bars to continue the party into the night or if you were lucky and not as skint as I am the wee small hours of the morning. It was perhaps fitting that the last friend I saw before heading for the bar was my wee princess and superstar Anne Marie. I think that’s as it was, as it is and as it ever shall be. Well there may be room in my heart for a lot of people but there’s only one Anne Marie.

Eventually I left the green and made my way to the merchant city where the whole place was buzzing with those in the mood to make a night of it.

As for me, I ended up in a jam packed Katie’s Bar where a group of youngsters who had never met a transwoman before bombarded me with questions on what it is like to be trans? These ranged from the obvious when did you come out? to questions on bust size it was a girl that asked that one so it was ok, style icons and did I ever think I was gay. I think the boy who asked that question was shocked when I replied that being gay had never entered my head as even back in the day I knew I was trans I just had to keep it secret. Honestly I felt like a celebrity getting interviewed in one of those an audience with type programmes. I was more than happy to answer every question as honestly as I could and it was really refreshing that they were interested enough to ask.

At the end of an eventful day I made my way back to Baillieston with only one regret. I didn’t have enough money to stay in Katie’s bar especially since Michelle McManus was going to be appearing later on to treat the crowd to a few songs which I have no doubt would go down a treat. Well it’s Michelle what’s not to love?

As l arrived back in Baillieston the streets were quiet and peaceful far removed from the madness of the merchant city. Having had time to reflect on the events of a great day, I just want to say thanks to everyone I met along the way who were part of my rainbow on the green and helped make Glasgow 2013 my best pride so far.

Love And Best Wishes
Gayle X