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“One Night in Heaven”

I wrote this poem for LGBT History Month 2016.  Its title comes from the theme of the last night of the H.M.’s  Ball, held by Camden Forum at Islington Assembly Hall.

It’s about the dead Gay, Historical Characters I would like to meet during one night in Heaven.

It is a  living interactive poem. I am shrouded in ghost-like white. The text I am wearing names and honours some of  our deceased Gay Icons.

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 https://youtu.be/mxMLuaQtons

Labelling the Day performance

SCHWULE

“Schwule” is a living interactive poem written for International Holocaust Day. The pink triangles I am wearing are inscribed with the words used to describe homosexuals (in German and English) during Gestapo rule. See the video of poem in Video section of website.

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Remember those poor unfortunate men

Of every race, age and religion…the 175’s,

Rounded up, incarcerated in concentration camps

Because they were Homosexual.

 

Respect those 20,000 men,

Who lost their friends, families and businesses,

Who were beaten, tortured and castrated.

Labelled with a pink triangle…the lowest of the low.

 

Resolve to never again return

To those dark days of terror and evil.

Fight injustice and inequality,

Encourage love, regardless of race or gender.

 

I can choose to remove these labels,

Live and love freely, be Glad to be Gay.

Those men were not so fortunate.

Remember, Respect and Honour them today.

About

LGBT POET LAUREATE:

This inaugural post was devised by Camden LGBT Forum to promote LGBT poetry in London and the UK. The name of the first LGBT Poet Laureate will be formally announced during LGBT History Month, February 2016.

Camden LGBT Forum is a charity that supports local LGBT residents. The Arts is a powerful tool we use to celebrate diversity and promote cohesion amongst our communities. During the last six years our “INCITE” Poetry event has been paving the way for LGBT talent to foster positive change through spoken and written word.

The recipient of the title, “First LGBT Poet Laureate” is Trudy Howson. The term of the appointment is for three years. During this period she will be expected to.

Write poems for nationally and internationally recognised LGBT days and events.

Write, perform and promote poetry that reflects and celebrates the very diverse experience of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans people within our society

Raise the profile and accessibility of LGBT poetry

The LGBT Poet Laureate’s poetry will:

Portray the lives and experiences of the LGBT community

Celebrate our style and culture.

Support LGBT people who feel isolated and marginalized within our society

Encourage within our community a sense of self respect and pride

Raise a greater public awareness of the LGBT community

Encourage LGBT people of all ages, nationalities and types, to read, write, watch and listen to poetry.

CONTACT: Camden LGBT Forum 020 7388 5720 camdenlgbtforum.org.uk

Facebook: INCITE Poetry

Camden LGBT Forum

‘Run by and for LGBT people’ 

Who are we?

Camden LGBT Forum is run by LGBT people for LGBT people and holds a monthly meeting open to all LGBT people in the London Borough of Camden and those with concerns about LGBT issues. It meets on the first Tuesday of the month; usually from 6- 8 pm at Camden Town Hall, Judd Street. Camden WC1H 9JE.  (However, phone the office on 020 7388 5720 to be sure).

It is a registered charity no. 1107855 and a company limited by guarantee no. 05132434. Formed in 2002 in response to the murder of Jody Dubrowski, the Forum’s aims are:

To promote equality and diversity by the elimination of discrimination in relation to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people living in or working in Camden and, where appropriate, neighbouring boroughs and London, for the benefit of the public.

What we do

The Forum ensures that the rights and interests of LGBT people are represented in Camden. We do this by:

Casework/Advocacy

If you are a victim of discrimination, harrassment or hate crime because you are LGB and/or T our caseworker will assess your needs (in confidence) and, if we can help, contact your employer, housing provider or the Police etc. on your behalf and (again) in confidence We also work with the local strategic groups to stop homophobic hate crime and harrassment and to promote services for victims of same sex domestic violence. If we cannot help we may be able to refer you to someone who can.

Schools/youth work

We tackle homophobia and transphobia at root – in our schools and youth work. Every year we attend Camden schools as part of the ‘Prison Me No Way’ programme to oppose homophobic and transphobic bullying and raise awareness of LGBT issues. During LGBT History Month (February) we take part in assemblies in local schools.  In addition we have made an anti-bullying video Treading on Eggshells (the only one which currently deals with homophobic and transphobic bullying).

Policy/Advisory work

Together with partner organisations we work on ensuring positive access to services and inclusion for LGBT people in Camden. We have created good links with the local Police, NHS, and the Council via the Social Cohesion panel and the Equality Stakeholders Group to ensure LGBT people’s views are represented in consultations or to the Police, for example, if there is a critical incident etc.

Mapping/Crime Analysis

We regularly analyse information from our communities and from the local Police to see what is happening and where in the borough. If necessary we can issue alerts to the local LGBT communities and we can also assess local Police responses

Training

The Forum has run training for Registrars (when Civil Partnerships came in), Registered Social Landlords and other Housing providers; Police Community Support Officers and LGBT Liaison Officers. We can tailor training to the needs of organisations who wish to meet their legal obligations to LGBT people or to ensure they promote good practice.

Raising LGBT awareness

We undertake public speaking (such as at Holocaust Memorial Day about the plight of LGBT people under the Third Reich) and publicise issues of interest to LGBT communities and individuals (such as the attacks on Iraqi LGBT people and the proposed new death penalty laws in Uganda). We also publish a fortnightly newsletter of local national and International news (shortly to be available by link).

Projects

The Forum has undertaken a number of projects such as the Survey of Needs (2004); the production of ‘A Lifestyle Choice: Myths and Facts about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans People’ (2006) and ‘Treading on Eggshells’ our anti-homophobic and transphobic bullying DVD.

 

Events & Outreach

Each year the Forum works with local LGBT people and organisations to celebrate the achievements and document the history of LGBT people. Since 2007 we have run the biggest LGBT History month programme in the country in Camden and we also run commemoration events on IDAHO (International Day against Homophobia) and Trans Day of Remembrance (TDoR). These events and others (Pride, Freshers Fayres, Peace Week, local outreach at venues in Camden) enable us to make contact with the local communities and to encourage the visibility of LGBT people. As a result, more and more organisations choose to work with the Forum.