I’ve finished having some counselling as I wait for heart surgery in a few weeks. It led me to revisit some of my experiences first time round in 2001, which I wrote about shortly afterwards – My Heart Was A Cauliflower.
Last week I attended the London Pride Parade – the first time for years. It’s changed a lot. I cheekily wrote this letter to the Editor at Capital Gay when there were heated debates about using the word ‘queer’ in the 1990’s.
It’s Cool To Be An Artichoke
I read with growing concern the ongoing debate over the use of the words ‘Queer’, ‘Poof’, ‘Invert’ and ‘Big Girl’s Blouse’ by militant lefty activists. Why, oh why, oh why do these troublemakers make T-shirts with such nasty and distasteful slogans, some of them using that naughty and impolite f-word?
I suggest that as homosexual people who are artistic and creative, we come up with a totally new word. My own favourite would be something tasteful and chic, such as ‘Artichoke’. After all, like us, it’s all heart. Let’s see slogans like ‘Out, Proud and an Artichoke’, ‘It’s Cool To Be An Artichoke’, and chants such as ‘We’re Here, We’re Artichokes and ‘We’re Not Going Shopping’.
What a lovely mauve world it would be if we could all come out as Artichokes and put our hearts first.
from Impertinent Decorum, © Ian Lucas,1994, 2001