Tag Archive | Prizes

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 

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From Plain Girl To Working Woman I’m A Mistress Of Disguises. (The Story Of My Halloween Memories)

Hey everyone. Tonight is halloween night. Halloween or to give it it’s church name All Hallows Eve is also known as the day of the dead. Some say it is the last day of the Celtic year and heralds in the start of winter. Traditionally this is the night when the spirits of ghosts past are said to walk amongst our number. During this festival it is good not only to commemorate the passing of the year but to celebrate the harvest and prepare for the future, it is also a time of parties for both children and adults and there will be some very strange sightings in Scotland tonight.

However on this particular halloween night, rather than reporting on the strange and ghoulish sightings in and around Glasgow for that matter the village I wander take you on a walk down the memory lane as we wander back in time through my adventures on previous all hallows eves. Yes the ghosts of Halloween’s past can take you
on some very strange journeys if you let them, so let’s let them take us to some mysterious places as you learn how I became a mistress of disguise.

When I was growing up Halloween used to be my favourite day of the year. In the calvinist protestant Scotland of the 1970’s it was the only night of the year when I could openly dress the way I wanted and be the girl I wanted to be. I used to love raiding my mother’s wardrobe and finding a suitable outfit which would as if by magic turn me in to a princess for the night.

My mother knew but could never admit I wanted to be a girl but on halloween night she would make a special effort to pamper me curling my hair and giving a complete makeover. It was brilliant and I really enjoyed it. Even as a youngster I knew who I was and I think my mum knew as well.

As I reached my teens there was halloween disco’s to attend though I never did win any prizes they were given to those with the best costumes not just a plain girl as I always was but then I was never after the prizes just the chance to be myself was in opinion the biggest prize of all.

My favourite Halloween memories have all come as an adult. Well ok, in my case a so-called adult may be a more honest description. Now I had the chance to be far more adventurous with my costume choices and over the years I’ve graduated from a schoolgirl when I was young enough to get away with it. Little Red Riding Hood, a bridesmaid, I was definitely pretty in pink a bride yes it was a white wedding dress, I think I’d have to wear cream now. I have also been a nurse, a french maid, an office girl, a she devil, and on far more occasions than is good for me a working women. I have to admit that I have enjoyed each and every one of my roles for very different reasons. I must admit however that the working women has been my most successful choice of all.

The reason for this is I think is a simple one. The costume of a daring coloured top red is always my choice of colour a mini skirt and fishnet tights or stockings can be found in many a woman’s wardrobe or if not can be assembled for less than the £12-15.00 which is the starting price for many costumes in the shops and you don’t need to buy any props just overdo the make up really badly and your good to go.

The first time I tried this particular costume at Halloween 2009 I was if you’ll excuse the pun totally hooked. I don’t know why but wearing this outfit made me feel strangely empowered. The choice was made because I thought it would be a better than spending money on a costume which I might not get much wear from and I knew everyone else at this gathering which was a friend’s birthday party would all be trying to see who would have the best costume so Glasgow city centre was going to get an eyeful. The first stop was a city centre bar and then on we went on one of the city’s best nightspots.

On arrival at the club, as I chatted to the girls I was with, I was surprised and delighted bear in mind I was 48 at the time to be asked up to dance by a rather good looking young man who was young enough to be my son. However I take the Joan Collins approach to younger men if they ask you to dance you don’t say no you just get up and seize the moment. Needless to say I enjoyed the attention and danced seven dances with him before taking leave of my senses and rejoining the rest of the girls.

After a short break I was up dancing with both male and female dancing partners. Like Cinderella I was having a ball well was my first halloween living as the women I had always known myself to be and that night proved the truth of one fact my girl friends had always told me. Yes girls you know what I’m saying some guys really will chase anything in a skirt and believe me when I say trans women are included, even those trans women old enough to be there mother.

I suppose it kinda goes without saying that due to my success that night, the working woman outfit has now become my statement costume and yes I’ve still got the basics in my wardrobe should they be required. Well I learned that night that a bit of leg can get you some serious attention and girls just wanna have fun was an anthem for my generation and it’s an anthem I live up to as often as I get the chance.

So as we approach the witching hour of midnight and the ghosts of our past get ready to walk amongst us once again I hope you have enjoyed my walk down memory lane as much as I have enjoyed being your guide. I have seen a lot of wonderful creatures on our streets in halloween’s past and I myself have always enjoyed halloween. You could say I’m a lass of many parts I have played a lot of them in my time. Yes from plain girl to working women I’m a mistress of disguises or at least that’s the story of my halloween memories. Now, at least on a personal level halloween isn’t quite as significant as it once was. It doesn’t have to be. Well there was a time when it was the only day I could really be myself. Not anymore now I’m a woman every day of the year and I wouldn’t change the fact for all the gold on earth.

Love And Best Wishes
Gayle X