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Ann sits resting against a rough concrete wall next to a shop mannequin's torso

Being part of A Rather Queer Evening

Ann the poet

It’s LGBT history month and I was asked to perform some of my poems for an event called A Rather Queer Evening by The Ashton Group Theatre Factory, and friends and supporters of the Furness LGBT Community.

Having an aggressive form of MS makes it difficult to commit to performing at events because I never know when I might have a really bad episode of MS hug and if I’ll be able to travel.

However the director at The Ashton Group is a good friend and knows all about my MS. So she asked if I would video the poems and they would play them on a big screen.

This was brilliant, it meant I could definitely take part, without any worries about what might happen health wise that day.

This was an important event

The LGBT community in Barrow had been targeted in 2017 by a young man who had set out to kill people at a gay pride event in The New Empire. He is now sentenced to an indefinite hospital order.

It was important that there was a celebration event in the town for this community, some were still a bit scared. Tickets were free but needed to be booked in advance. All tickets to the live event were booked. The organisers also live-streamed the evening on Facebook so people could watch it from their homes.

A brilliant experience

I don’t write a lot of poems about being a lesbian, just like straight poets probably don’t write about being straight. However I had written a poem after a homophobic incident on a night out.

I’d also written a poem called Straight Bananas that mentioned the LGBT community, so that was a start.

Lee Wicks from Friends and Supporters of the Furness LGBT community sent me some great links about relevant events. This helped me to write poems that suited the event.

The evening was a great success. My poems were shown at the beginning followed by a film made by young people at Dropzone called A-Z of LGBT, then there was a script in hand drama, an interview and a band.

The whole event can still be seen on Facebook and you can see my poems on Vimeo.

I was so pleased to be asked to perform by video and it’s a great way forward to be involved in events in the future.