Tag Archive | Permission

The Wrong Diagnosis 


In my latest poem I recall a recent incident as I take a look at arrogance, and assumptions based on stereotypical attitudes. The event in question happened a few weeks ago as I made my way to Katie’s Bar when a stranger attempted to bark orders at me and in typical Ruth Davidson fashion ordered me to sit down. Naturally I refused to entertain this attention seeker and made my way to my destination where I enjoyed a very pleasant evening in good company. However I decided to write this poem to illustrate that there are just as many ill mannered attention seekers in the LGBT community as there are anywhere else. I have given it the title The Wrong Diagnosis. I hope you enjoy the read. 

The Wrong Diagnosis 

On a quiet autumn evening

I am singing contentedly to myself 

as I walk to my pub of choice 

as it comes in to view 

a stranger shrieks at the top of his voice 

barks orders telling me to sit down 

says he’s seen me around 

really I reply

 walking on I ignore him 

he seems aggitated

 that I pay no attention to his demands 

but what he fails to understand 

is that while his scouse accent may be fine 

his Ruth Davidson style charm is something I can do without 

my world has borders 

and he’s just made the mistake of crossing them 

without my permission 

the line of respectability

has been violated

and history will show he was on the wrong side of it 

you don’t cross boundaries without permission

that doesn’t work it never has and never will

trust me I am not the kind of girl

who likes her world invaded by unwanted intruders

I don’t like the assumption  it implies 

you know boys will be boys 

and claim women as their prize 

this is male privilege of a very British kind 

which states if you ignore me

 I will diagnose you and give you a label

to which I think ‘it will be nothing to one I give you 

and trust me it will take you on a journey 

for which you wish you had never volunteered’  

but the moment he sneered at me 

I smiled knowing I held every ace in the pack 

and he could do union jack to stop me 

I played a tactical game 

because I checked his privilege 

and called him out for his arrogance 

I’d met his type before 

he had plenty to say for himself 

but nothing worth my time 

his crime was barking orders 

believing dog whistles work at his command 

and failing to understand 

a poet will always defeat 

a conservative charm school graduate 

especially one who gave her

the wrong diagnosis 

© Gayle Smith 2017 


A Woman’s Choice

I have written this poem for one very simple reason and that is to express my support for the me too campaign which is highlighting the problems of harrassment and sexual assult against women. Trust me these are issues which need to be addressed if women are ever to receive full equality in society. I’ve given it the title A Woman’s Choice I hope you enjoy the read .

A Woman’s Choice 

When I came out as a woman 

I was asked inappropriate questions 

about who I’d prefer to have sex with 

in other words did my transition mean I was a lesbian 

I don’t think some people got it

so at the risk of what they called playing gender politics

I tried to explain that sexuality has nothing to do with trans identity 

I was making a decision to live my life my way

you know the way it works for me 

I would still support Celtic and The SNP

just as other women would support neither both or maybe one 

we all different but have some things in common 

and in 21st Century Scotland and the UK

one of those things is and let’s be honest about it

 the fact that women still get sexually abused or harassed 

as cavemen find it funny to make comments about bodily parts 

or what a woman wears

trust me I’ve received stares and  comments 

in bars and on the streets 

none of which were soliticed 

about my breasts and my bum

if you think wolfe whistles are welcome

your living in a fantasy world 

and to think I’ve heard people say 

I should be flattered at these unwanted attentions 

is beyond my comprehension

I can’t understand why anyone would enjoy this behaviour

it is like giving permission to be judged 

and that is something I reserve my right to reject

I claim the title woman and say loudly and proudly

Women deserve respect 

maybe you’ll get it on the day we judge you 

tell you what to wear to work

critisise the length of your skirt 

when there is no dress code for any other employee

yet the minute you wear anything an inch above the knee 

you are told men will look to see what they can see 

can they not understand 

that the problem lies with men not me 

a woman should be free to wear what she likes

and not be treated like an object of desire 

male lust is a fire  which is not

a woman’s responsibility to extinguish

they need to do that for themselves 

but the patriarchal structures in our society

somehow suggest this is a woman’s fault 

It is not and never will be 

we will not take the blame 

for attitudes so ingrained our country 

some men turn ugly when women say no 

claiming she really means yes 

so let me say it straight no women 

is ever asking to be raped, assaulted, or harrassed 

because of the way we are dressed

this is wrong it has to end 

we can’t go on pretending it doesn’t exist

and risk the next generation of girls growing up

believing it is acceptable to be treated in this way 

we have to say we are women 

not objects of desire

we will not tolerate being viewed 

through the window of male privilege

it is not your right we are not your toys 

so let make it clear when it comes to intimacy 

 or who we interact with 

it must always be a women’s choice 

© Gayle Smith 2017

Dare To Speak 

Hey Readers 

As some of you may know February  is LGBTIQ history month and I am a trans woman so I decided to attend a themed poetry event to celebrate the diversity of our community. I also wrote a  poem to commemorate both my attendance at the event and the struggles I’ve  faced on my personal journey I’ve given the poem the same title as the event and called it Dare To Speak I hope you enjoy the read. 

Dare To Speak. 

I will say what needs said

I am trans 

I am woman 

I am not superhuman 

despite what. my younger friends may think 

black and pink both have places in my closet 

which is for clothes not living in 

I am trans so where does my story begin ? 

my earliest recollections of being different 

are remembering a hot summer Saturday in 1969

I was eight 

my mum allowed me to be a girl 

it was great 

my dad had taken my big brother 

on a fishing trip 

so I got to wear lipstick and get my  nails painted 

I was dressed in a navy skirt 

and tan stockings with a suspender belt 

which my mum had too fasten 

presbyterian fashion was very conservative 

in a home the swinging sixties never found 

then Donny and the Rollers came around 

and sent my head and hormones  spinning 

I thought of highly original sins 

I would never dare to commit 

during my Jackie reading years 

secret tears were cried as I denied myself 

a hundred and twenty three times 

at least 

Jesus wept at the secrets I kept hidden 

throughout the 70’s and 80’s 

yes I was frustrated but better frustrated than dead 

occasionally I would say what needed to be said 

but not until the 90’s did I do more than whisper 

what I should have dared to say  in a much louder voice 

being trans is not a choice

it’s an inescapable truth 

It’s who I am 

it’s who I was born to be 

I respect myself but it’s been a long and difficult journey 

to reach a place of contentment

I have no time for resentment

or holding grudges against those who mock 

they can say what they like 

I don’t care what they think 

black and pink both have places in my closet

which is for clothes not for living in 

I am trans 

I am woman

I am not superhuman 

and despite ignorance, prejudice , fear ,

or transphobes labelling me queer

I will not be silenced

I will say what needs said 

my lipstick will be pink or the deepest shade of red 

I will be who I am 

I have opinions and I will say them out loud 

I am trans and proud 

I am a woman who won’t wait till she’s given permission

to air my views

I will do whatever I need to do 

I will dare to speak my truths 

@ Gayle Smith 2017 

Tonight I Wear A Mini Skirt

Hey Readers Last week the milatent pro rape artist Roosh V who believes that rape in a private property should be made legal  cancelled his plan to host via Video link gatherings in both Glasgow and Edinburgh as well as a number of other cities throughout the world.

This decision was made after he claimed to have received more death threats from Glasgow than any other city in the world and branded my home city a crime resettlement zone. Now I hate to inform him, but he couldn’t be more wrong. Glasgow is not some crime ridden hovel, it is however a place we value our women and girls and believe that that the only places you can take a woman in this city is the cinema or maybe to a bar or a nightclub and only with her permission.

Glaswegians and Scots in general are a friendly people but push us too far as this guy attempted to do and you may find out to your cost that when we do anger nothing can save you from our wrath. In both my city and my country there are lines you don’t cross and this smart ass decided to cross them. One can only conclude that taking this in account it is perhaps no great surprise that Police Scotland feared for the safety of the people of our country if these demonstrations were allowed to go ahead.  You see, like myself Police Scotland realise that in our great country women are and should be valued as equal citizens who should be allowed to wear what we like without the threat of any form of intimidation from men and rape is rape no matter where it occurs. There is no return of kings and for this clown and his followers to promote such an idea is nothing short of scandalous.
These men are in my opinion no more than barbarian criminals who are desperate to get their vile sexual gratification by what ever means they must and that is why these demonstrations had to be stopped. 

In stopping these gatherings Scotland has shown the world what we will or will not accept and whether he knows or not Roosh V has inspired a mid fifty something trans woman to look out her mini skirt and wear it with pride. You see my message to Roosh V and his followers couldn’t be clearer no woman should ever be raped and it doesn’t matter where. Rape is Rape and Rape is a criminal offence there can be no excuses for this most disgusting form of power crazed sexism.  It is with this anger burning in my heart that I decided to write a poem on this most controversial of topics I’ve titled it Tonight I Wear A Mini Skirt I hope you find it challenging and thought provoking read. 

Tonight I Wear A Mini Skirt

When some over inflated chancer who boasts of being a milatent pro rape artist
attempts to host a gathering in your city’s main square
and other cities throughout the world
encouraging the rape of women and  girls
you have no choice but to raise your voice in anger
this is not my usual way
so when I do have something to say
I will say it loudly, proudly, and clearly 
no man comes near me
unless its at my request
I will never settle for anything less than the best
second place means second prize
and that is something I don’t do.
I have to take more risks than most will ever know
just to be myself
so when some ego maniac with an over inflated sense of self
dares to claim that rape on private property should be legal
I will call him evil.
when he boasts of the return of kings
I will say beast when you speak of such things
you will never be welcome in my city or my nation.
or any place on earth which puts the rights of women and girls
ahead of  those who dance with the devil for their dark deluded despicable desires
and though I do not approve of death threats
if you received more from Glasgow
than any other city in the world
they had the appropriate effect.
you see we  respect women in this dear green place.
think you are a crime against humanity
what you peach is a combination of misogyny and insanity
the only places you can take a woman are to a club or a bar
if she wants to kiss you underneath the stars
she’ll let you know
yes you do need permission
before daring to make further advances
anything else is a step too far
and will never be accepted
we deserve to be respected
in the name of gender equality
which is why in the name of femocracy
tonight I wear a mini skirt.

@ Gayle Smith  2016