Raped and Assaulted, LGBTI Activist Kemal Ördek says: “I’m not well…”

Awful news, which highlights how much the LGBT community still has to fight.

LGBTI NEWS TURKEY

One of the founders of the Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association (Kırmızı Şemsiye), Kemal Ördek, was raped in their home on Sunday. Kemal Ördek shared the following text with us in Turkish and explained the violence, the discrimination, and the fear. 

Source: Kemal Ördek, Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association’s Facebook Page, 2015.

It’s so difficult to write this when my body, my soul aches.

All I want to do is scream. I want people to hear me and then I want to hide in a corner, break away from this world.

How many times does a person cry after all that happened? How many times does a person shake and shiver when they think of what happened?

For years I have been engaged in rights advocacy to bring visibility to the rights violations LGBTIs and sex workers face. So it’s not that…

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We are super heroes

Who needs Christian Bale’s navel gazing when you have this melancholy Batman?!

hovercraftdoggy

Batman Rémi Noël (2) Batman Rémi Noël (3) Batman Rémi Noël (4) Batman Rémi Noël (5) TinyBatman08 TinyBatman06 Batman Rémi Noël (6) Batman Rémi Noël (7) Batman Rémi Noël (8) Batman Rémi Noël (1)

The secret life of miniature batman – French artist and photographer Rémi Noël takes a classic ‘Batman’ 1989 movie action figure on a tour of the American Southwest in a fun and surprisingly moving photography series.

This post is part of our second Theme Week where since last Friday, you the public had the chance to choose between 5 themes/inspirations for each post this week. Yet again you chose probably the most challenging theme we had listed: ‘Miniature’ Hope you enjoy… 🙂

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Being Grateful 7, 8 and 9

Hindsight enables us to be glib, it also enables us to learn. I’m still hoping for the latter.

Blossom+sumptuous architecture

Blossom+sumptuous architecture

The glorious Southbank

The glorious Southbank

Sunny sunshiney

Sunny sunshiney

It's a goat!

It’s a goat!

Grateful being friends with my ex

Grateful being friends with my ex

Gift my nephew made

Gift my nephew made

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been struggling the last week or so – looking back, the signs were there. After c. 30 years of attempting to manage a mental illness, you would have thought I’d recognise signs of the ‘creeping dread’… Things came to head literally and metaphorically with a particularly unpleasant eye infection.

Not bad on its own but, as anyone knows who has tangoed with mental illness, that’s really not the point. Things that you can usually cope with become a slog and add to the difficulty that depression et al can give.

Cafe standing the test of time

Cafe standing the test of time

Beautiful bag

Beautiful bag

Bein with my niece and nephew

Bein with my niece and nephew

Colours amongst the grey

Colours amongst the grey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swirly twirly signs

Swirly twirly signs

Crocus - harbinger of Spring

Crocus – harbinger of Spring

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I *know* this is a phase, I *know* it will pass, but it’s a hideous, upsetting experience that makes me want to crawl under the duvet, ball my eyes out and ignore the world. The eye infection became an outward illustration of how I felt about myself, and it wasn’t pretty. I know the tricks – this gratitude process is one of them – but it became a major effort to even leave home and the effort drained me. Perceived slights from friends increased my isolation and further strengthened the negative thoughts I held/hold about myself.

This wading through treacle has made me (re)realise that I need to reach out; now is seriously not the time to hibernate, self harm in whichever way currently seems appropriate – but to pick up the phone and connect with friends. This has meant that I’ve had to be more truthful than usual – previously I could just say ‘wanna get a beer?’ – but this time I’ve had to be honest, actually *say* that I’m struggling and that even a quick catch-up would work wonders.

That honesty has paid off. The duvet is still calling me, but it’s put down its megaphone. And hopefully, now those friends understand, the next time will be easier.

Being close to water

Being close to water

Thrill I still get of being in a hotel room

Thrill I still get of being in a hotel room

A friend that gives me the smiles

A friend that gives me the smiles

Beautiful architecture

Beautiful architecture

My annoying (loveable) cat

My annoying (loveable) cat

Green ghost

Green ghost

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have a mental illness or know someone who has, I encourage you to check out Mind‘s campaign of Time to Talk – it explains the power of checking in on a friend with a quick call, text, tweet, Facebook post, email, whatever. It can make all the difference.

Man and nature

Man and nature

Spring is springing

Spring is springing

Underneath the wobbly bridge

Underneath the wobbly bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This book gave my the words to describe my depression

This book gave my the words to describe my depression

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Being Grateful 5 and 6

The last couple of weeks have been bumpy; the usual dissenting voices have picked up the party line and it’s been a struggle to focus on the positive conversations.

Reminding myself of the old management trick of focusing on one step at a time has helped – instead of jumping ahead and fixating on unachievable goals – but so has this project.

I’m great at losing momentum – I go hell for leather on a project then have the logistical, less creative steps affect my enthusiasm. But I’ve reached the second month and I’m still taking photos and training myself to think about what I have – not what I haven’t. It’s also making an impact on other projects – my hopes of running a participatory photography course are a tad closer.

The kind stranger has continued to send me fascinating photos and info about my uncle and, combined with the human rights atrocities in Russia, I’m tapping into personal strength – standing up for what is right and what I want.

Whilst reading about the hideous crimes inflicted on Russia’s LGBT community, I stumbled across Edmund Burke’s inspirational quote: “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” We have the power and responsibility to ensure human rights abuses are tackled head on. Martin Niemueller’s quote dares us not to take a stand:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.

Movies films flicks

Movies films flicks

Soho colour

Soho colour

Home cooking

Home cooking

One of my first bikes was  Raleigh

One of my first bikes was Raleigh

Fruit - love it

Fruit – love it

Wildlife amid buildings

Wildlife amid buildings

raindrops and sunshine

raindrops and sunshine

Yum, panettone

Yum, panettone

one of my fave sculptures

one of my fave sculptures

crudery rudery

crudery rudery

Books book books

Books book books

My friendly, local restaurant

My friendly, local restaurant

Dad's DIY

Dad’s DIY

Mum's food blender

Mum’s food blender

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Being Grateful: 4

This week I’ve had a mountain for which I’m grateful. Out of the blue, I received a response to a post I made asking for info about Uncle Trevor.  All of that is better off in another blog, but this man unwittingly flung open a door and shed light on a life I never knew.

Although the end of Trevor’s life was fraught and isolated, this kind stranger has shared his photos, his memories and contacted friends who knew Trevor – all to show me that, at one time, he enjoyed life to the full.

I didn’t realise, until I typed that paragraph, how grateful I am for the time in which I live. Things aren’t perfect – I still face homophobic abuse, there will still be people who literally hate me and want me dead because of my sexuality – but I know that I have a strong core of people who love me and who will do their utmost to fight for me. I also now have something I think my uncle lost or never had – a sinewy streak of love and pride for myself that protects me from thinking that I’m worthless.

Maybe that was the gift he gave me.

Seeing my Uncle Trevor with friends

Seeing my Uncle Trevor with friends

gay salads

gay salads

Cutty Sark - the first trip I had to London

Cutty Sark – the first trip I had to London

Canary Wharf light streaks

Canary Wharf light streaks

Royal Festival Hall - a home for arts & meeting friends

Royal Festival Hall – a home for arts & meeting friends

Brixton's multiculturalism

Brixton’s multiculturalism

Tate membership - access to amazing art

Tate membership – access to amazing art

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Being Grateful: 3

Yesterday I was told about the suicide of a friend of a friend. I didn’t know this person but, after some basic research, I found out he had rented a room on the top floor of a hotel and jumped from the roof.

I felt such a wave of unconditional support and empathetic pain for this poor man who just couldn’t cope. The premeditation of his suicide chilled me. Looking at the number of caring comments on Facebook, following a bereavement he suffered last year, both reminded me how isolating depression can be and how hard it is to ask for help from people who love us.

It also made me realise that I will never again (I hope) feel suicidal. I’ve accrued enough skills to weather the storm of depression – not to say it’s easy, it’s certainly not – but I have a toolbox of healthy coping mechanisms and gold medallist friends in whom I can confide and who, in turn, know the signs and will intervene.

I feel such pity, sadness and anger for this poor man’s death, but gratitude for the fortitude and awareness I’ve learnt over the years. Suicide is never depression’s answer – but it sometimes takes superhuman strength to ask for help.

UK based support: MindThe Samaritans, The London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard (you can call from anywhere in the UK). National Alliance on Mental Illness – based in the USA.

Local parks

Local parks

My wonderful niece and nephew

My wonderful niece and nephew

Intricate structure lit beautifully

Intricate structure lit beautifully

Signs of life on bare branches

Signs of life on bare branches

Coffee with my best friend

Coffee with my best friend

Gnomes. They make me smile

Gnomes. They make me smile

Love the bus if I'm in no hurry

Love the bus if I’m in no hurry

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Being Grateful: 2

The concept of being mindful of what one has seems to be working. Granted, I’m not yet two weeks into the new year, but I find myself less stressed, more aware of Good Things and more re-connected with my camera.

True to the Law of Unintended Consequence, it’s triggered conversations about the mechanics of happiness and contentment. Can you be content as well as aspirational? Is being aspirational a Bad Thing? Should we be happy with our lot and not get ideas above our station?

What about the importance of personal improvement to become the best we can feasibly be? What happens when aspiration becomes unachievable goal setting – the harridan of mental health? How do we know the difference? Is it so wrong to strive? Or is it more of a matter of trying hard, but being willing to accept any outcome?

Mythical detail

Mythical detail

Repetitive patterns

Repetitive patterns

Creative graffiti stickers

Creative graffiti stickers

sky+reflection = happy

sky+reflection = happy

Love a tattoo

Love a tattoo

I heart Monster Munch

I heart Monster Munch

Scrumped or allotment fruit  liquer

Scrumped or allotment fruit liquer

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