This week, I assisted Rosana in Brighton where The Basement and Pink Fringe had programmed Walking:Holding. In light of my recent response to a Glasgay talk, this week of placement seemed even more uplifting and inspiring. Not only was it spent in one of the most queer-friendly cities in the UK, full of queer art, it was spent with incredible people. It made me see that when a place is liberal, you can really revel in your otherness and queerness - and celebrate that connection that brings a queer community together; their differences.
This is perhaps why from the workshop with the 6 participants, exploring our relationship to hand-holding, to discussions around the dinner table at the end of the weekend, I felt wholly connected to the group of people I was working with. The work became very tentative and simply about connecting and intimacy. There was far less of a strong reaction to same-sex couples, and so intimacy and beauty took the forefront. Whereas in London we felt united in the fight against animosity, and could feel how important the work was in fighting prejudice, in Brighton we were united in celebrating that which transcends the norm; queerness and holding hands with strangers.
'Our public displays of affection have the power to move us from the periphery to the center of society by showing that our love, lust, and everything in between are legitimate and do not need to be hidden'
Click here to read the full Autostraddle article about the positives of seeing queer couples in public
I've realised how much I appreciate work that does not intend to 'help' or create a community, but having such a strong agency does so of its own accord.
Seeing how much queer performance was going on, I saw lots of posters and leaflets in venues we were in, and all year round, makes me even more defiant in my stance on Glasgay (or rather, those who run it).
It's a shame we had a lack of a cross-dresser this week, for all its liberalness Brighton still has gender stereotypes...