not going shopping charts the process of the artist Anthony Luvera working with a group of eleven people to create photographic work for Queer in Brighton, a project that celebrates the cultural heritage of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender people living in Brighton and Hove.
On the bus, running late, returning the loan camera.
I've had fun with the project. It was a good creative outlet at a time in my life where everything else seemed to be chaotic.
I could be glib and suggest that being queer in Brighton is like being anything else in Brighton: I am subject to the same trials and tribulations as my 'straight' friends, family and colleagues. But that's too easy!
I am here, I am queer, I've been shopping (though I hate it!), I continue to love and work and despair and cry with happiness. I love Brighton. I am in love with its offbeat perspective on life. Where else can I cycle to work, a mundane activity that is slowly giving me killer legs, and pass a drunken man cycling the other way as he plays a trombone? ( this happened - and I couldn't capture it on camera! Aargh! )
I don't need a flag, but I did when I was 16 and I had just come out. I remember walking into Virgin and buying some terrible soft-core porn, thinking that was the sum of my life. I grew up confident in my queerness even though I wasn't confident at all in any other area of my life.
I looked to my parents, who are now approaching 45 years of marriage, and thought that's what I had to do to be successful - only my marital bliss would be with a man that I loved.
It didn't ( and may never ) work out like that. I'm still sad over the ending of my relationship with Andrew. I have days where I immerse myself in the break-up music - Del Amitri and Kirsty Macoll are excellent exponents of this genre - And days where I embrace the awesomeness that is my life right now.
I had a poignant experience yesterday, sitting in the waiting room of the Claude Nicol, waiting for my six month sexual health check-up. I picked up a copy of Latest7 and read my ex's columns. It was poignant because I still had a connection to him. He mentioned me fleetingly at the end of a piece about a restaurant. Not by name but by a seemingly innocuous encounter over a whole dressed crab. Andrew could never confront me about anything but thought nothing of doing it in print. I was genuinely touched. Queer World, innit?