I’m sitting here a little overwhelmed. This afternoon I gave my first book reading proper. I’ve been ‘on the bill’ for one or two open-mic gigs which went down rather well. But this was my first on my own. It was a bijou affair on the fourth floor of The School of Oriental and African Studies, attended by more people than a Lib Dem Conference (single figures).
It was organised by the brilliant Emily Ost Walker who is the caretaker president of the LGBT+ Soc and doing a great job too. Emily is really curbing the apathy that can stagnate such an important and necessary society, added to which the work she does with LGBT support groups too, sterling stuff, SOAS, take note – I wonder if there is some dean I can write to? Possibly.
Anyway, I wanted the reading to be informal, and it was, I embarrassed myself with my e-book, only just working out how you ‘bookmark’ a page before reading it out. I read stuff about Parasite (my ex), my hospital stay and coming out at school. This is was with some extra asides and bad Australian accents I might add. Following that Emily asked some incredibly well thought out questions such as ‘Do you feel any resentment toward the teachers that did nothing to stop the homophobic bullying they saw you suffer?’ or ‘You said you were open and happy about being gay as a child, then you felt that you had to suppress it, how do you feel about your sexuality now?’ – These were great questions which floored me in ways, and I hoped I did them justice. It’s all been filmed and will be uploaded in the next few days.
Questions also came for our ‘audience’ (Chloe and Gemma) and it actually became a really open forum about mental health, being different, sexuality and coping with University and adult life. We even went to the bar after for a (cheap) drink and to talk about big fat gay vegans and China.
All in all it was a wonderful experience, I felt honoured to hear everyone’s experiences and that we can be open about our mental and physical health, sexuality and gender in a way that is empowering; it’s the point of the book ultimately, a tool to allow a dialogue and acceptance 😀
Next Week: Bangor Uni in Wales!