As Pride month ends in the US, and London Pride rolls around this weekend, I thought I’d include this amazing speech by Almeida Young Leader Darren Siah. It explores the issue of internalised prejudice in the LGBTQ* community with thought and eloquence and passion.
A side note: I think Love Island has shown this kind of prejudice is rife in the heterosexual community too, and there’s a brief article on racism within the show’s ‘preferences’ here.
I love Pablo Neruda. His language is gorgeous. Having read an amazing, but deeply upsetting book last week, this is what I’d turn to to cheer myself up and remind myself that beauty and love exists in the world too.
I don’t have time enough to celebrate your hair.
One by one I should detail your hairs and praise them.
Other lovers want to live with particular eyes;
I only want to be your stylist.
In Italy the call you Medusa,
because of the high bristling light of your hair.
I call you curly, my tangler;
my heart knows the doorways of your hair.
When you lose your way through your own hair,
do not forget me, remember that I love you.
Don’t let me wander lost—without your hair–
through the dark world, webbed by empty
roads with their shadows, their roving sorrows,
till the sun rises, lighting the high tower of your hair.
Love Sonnet XIV
Me falta tiempo para celebrar tus cabellos.
Uno por uno debo contarlos y abarlos:
ortros amantes quieren vivir con ciertos ojos,
yo sólo quiero ser tu peluquero.
En Italia te bautizaron Medusa
por la encrespada y alta luz de tu cabellera.
Yo te llamo chascona mía y enmarañada:
mi corazón conoce las puertas de tu pelo.
Cuando tú te extravíes en tus propios cabellos,
no me olvides, acuérdate que te amo,
no me dejes perdido ir sin tu cabellera
por el mundo sombrío de todos los caminos
que sólo tiene sombra, transitorios dolores,
hasta que el sol sube a la torre de tu pelo.
This poem is filled with beautiful images. The last line, in particular, is one of my absolute favourites; I want it on my wall. The perfect poem to give you a little boost.
Love After Love
The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 2, Scene 1