mum, i think i’m gay….

You’re love no matter what, dear son,

I’ve watched you grow into a man,

I’ve fed and clothed and washed out bloody knees.

How could it be possible to turn that rooted love

Into something festering and hateful too,

Just because of who you love?

My son came to me after several days of being really down, and he told me that he thinks he might be gay. He had been down because he was worried about how I would react and the more I think about it, the more I wonder whether there is a correct way to react.

My initial reaction was a bit of surprise. He’s not a rough and tumble boy, but he’s also not camp, so it wasn’t ‘expected’. But then I very quickly went into a very flippant attitude.

I’m open to anyone loving whoever they want. I strongly believe that we’re all on a bit of a sliding scale. I think we’d be lying to ourselves if we said that we have never felt something for someone of the same sex, no matter how fleeting.

So I kind of just smiled and shrugged and said that I really don’t mind. Which is the truth. But is it what he wanted to hear? He had obviously built it up in his head and I don’t know if my attitude would have seemed a bit flat.

It did remind of the time I told my mum that I was pregnant with him and that fear I felt before I did it. Her reaction was perfect, but who knows how you’re supposed to do these things. I guess this has just taught me that we just have to try the best we can and give each other the love and support that we’d want if we were in the same situation.

Much Love

Rachel xx

i’m sorry, but my pain is far more important than yours

My skin has been grated and the wounds are bloody,

And I’m proud of the mess and the pain on show.

I boldly display the cuts and the bruises,

Enjoying the oo’s and the ah’s of my captive audience.

I don’t even know how those scars came about.

I did know once, but now that has paled

Into nothing important, nothing that matters.

All that I care about now, is that you look at me,

Know how much pain that I’m in,

And to hell with the rest of you.

I’ve been following the JK Rowling fiasco quite closely over the past few weeks and I’ve found the arguments fascinating. The problem arose when she commented on an article and said something that suggested only women mentstruate.

This kicked off a really ugly Twitter debate over whether or not she was transphobic. And some of the abuse that I saw hurled at her was very uncomfortable to read.

I’m not transgender so I can’t even begin to understand what pain and anguish members of the community go through, but are we solving anything by hurling abuse at other women. Looking at JK’s initial comments, she didn’t say anything maliciously.

JK then went on to write an essay about why she said what she did and she had good reasons behind her words (namely that her ex husband had been abusive and she worries about the effects it will have on victims if they are stripped of their identities as female).

Again, I’m not going to pretend to know enough about this topic to pass judgement BUT I do find it interesting how we often forget that everyone has their own story and their own pain. In this argument it seemed like a lot of people were willing to launch an attack on JK without knowing anything about her story. It was as though their pain trumped anyone elses.

This happens across society and isn’t helped by the anonymity offered by the internet. However, I think that we are entering dangerous territory and we need to stop feeding into this idea that we are number one and we should put number one first.

Let’s learn from this drama that we’ve seen play out on Twitter and try to be more accepting of everyone’s stories. Nobody’s pain is worth more than another’s even if it does seem quite trivial to you. Some were arguing that because JK is a multimillionaire, he pain means less; as though money is the medicine that will fix the human condition!

Just be nice and remember that just because you are hurting, it doesn’t give you the right to be horrid to others. Hate doesn’t drive out hate, only love can do that.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

having to explain that i am a straight woman

The girl in the ticket booth,

I see her day after day, like a doll

In her plastic wrap, keeping her pristine

Before somebody can get their grubby fingers

Onto her pale skin and run through her hair

That is fiery red and drapes across eyes

As she prints off our tickets to board the train.

She smiles so small but I feel that it’s me

All of that smile is there there for me.

I’ll speak to her one of these days,

Something more than ‘return to Victoria’

The most I ever seem to mumble at her

With eyes down and cheeks flaming

As I throw her my coins and dissolve into crowds

Not to be seen until the same time tomorrow

When I’ll fumble again and wish that I could

Say how I feel to the girl in the booth.

I don’t know what it is but I seem to always find it easier to write about women. I sometimes think that if people didn’t see my picture they might think that I am a man, my Twitter feed is full of poems to women. And yet I’m just a girl who like men!

It just got me thinking that it was a strange quirk that I had. I have self published a few novels that I’ve written and a couple of them are written from a male point of view too, so it’s not confined to poetry.

I think that one reason might be that infatuation with women is so easy to write about. Whether it is from a romantic perspective or something a bit darker, the idea of a man just quietly watching a woman is so powerful. And, of course, the classic literary muse is always female, so I guess it makes sense.

I’d love to know if any of you writerly types had weird quirks like that. Meanwhile, I’m going to stay over here pretending to be a man for the rest of the day……

Much Love,

Rachel xx

“Shall we run away?”

“Shall we run away together?” she had asked, her long blonde hair flowing in the wind.

We were only seven, but even then I knew that she was sad. I could see it in her eyes. And, of course, I could see the bruises on her skin.

“We can’t,” I said. “My mother will wonder where I’ve gone. She’ll worry.”

“Suit yourself,” she sniffed. She scuffed her shoe in the dust.

“You won’t really leave me, will you?” I asked.

She shrugged and turned away. I dug my fingernails into my palms as I watched her go.

I could still feel the sting as I watched her approach me on the dance floor. I could still taste the dirt in the back of my throat as her hand reached out and gently touched my shoulder.

“I’ve missed you,” I said. I wiped furiously at my eyes, not wanting to cry in the middle of a club.

“I know,” she said. “Twenty years and here we are. Maybe this is where our story really starts?”

The music was too loud so I grabbed her hand and kissed her sweet tasting lips. No need for words after all of this time. This was where I story really started.

What to do when life goes wrong?

There are times in life when everything is going stupendously. The flowers are in bloom and there is a spring in your step. But what happens when life takes a turn for the worse and everything just goes a bit wrong?

I was thinking about this today having just watched an interview with Glennon Doyle. I had come across her before and I knew her work but I didn’t really know anything about her life before she was a big writer and married to Abby Wambach. I didn’t know what had led her to the point that she was at when I came across her.

In the interview, she spoke about how she had the blog that she still runs called Momastery. She was a Christian mommy blogger with a husband and a couple of kids. Life looked pretty amazing from the outside, and it sounds as though she thought it was pretty amazing from the inside. And then disaster stuck and her husband told her that he had been unfaithful for the entirety of their marriage.

Now, for a lot of us that could have spelled the end of everything. The perfect life that she had portrayed on the internet had just been blown to smithereens. But instead she picked herself up and wrote a book.

Then, rather than worry about what people thought of her in the small community she had surrounded herself with she married the woman who she fell in love with, Abby Wambach. She didn’t care that people who had previously followed her were saying that she was wrong, she did what her heart told her to do.

And now, the two of them are one of the biggest power couples out there. They have a following of millions and they raise millions of dollars for charities that mean a lot to them.

I bet that there were some really dark days in between her husband leaving her and her marrying Abby and being where she is now. There must have been times that she got down on her knees and asked her God why life had to go wrong in the first place. But she persevered and kept following her heart and just look where she ended up.

There are times in all of our lives when a catastrophic event sends us careering off course, ending the life that we have come to know. But we need to remember that it is just lining us up for the next step in our life. And when life goes wrong, that is the time when we really truly grow. It’s the time that teaches us the most about ourselves if we are willing to stop and learn.

So next time something bad happens, remember that Gods timing is always perfect. You have been dealt that blow so that you can become a stronger person and be in the right place for your next blessing. If Glennon’s husband hadn’t left she would never have met Abby and if they hadn’t faced difficulties together then they wouldn’t be the inspiration that they are to so many young people.

Life has a funny way of working itself out so just enjoy the ride and really appreciate the full human experience, and that includes the bad parts!

When the time is right, I, the LORD, will make it happen

Isaiah 60:22