SEHNSUCHT(“LONGING”):SIEGRIED WAGNER, ANOTHER RE-CLAIMED GAY MAN. BY STEVEN BENSON

Siegfried Wagner was Wagner pere’s homosexual son.

He kept a photograph on his desk, all his life, of his lover, Clement Harris, who had died in a war, aged about 25(Harris also wrote beautiful, underrated music); Harris appeared, somewhat occluded, in Siegfried’s first opera,”Der Barenhauter”(“The Man in a Bear’s Skin”), as the Stranger, who the protagonist finds: his companion and friend (the sleeve notes coyly, yet poignantly, exlipicate; said notes being part of Marco Polo’s recording of the complete opera{issued ?1993; still available?}).

Siegfried also wrote “Sehnsucht”(“Longing”), where it is easy to unearth a homo-erotic (not so) subtext of yearning for Clement in the stream of five tender, passionate melodies.

I want to remember Siegfried Wagner; hardly, anyone else does. He is greatly -and grievously over-shadowed by Richard. But he too has his moments!

—————————————————————–

Lest we forget the brave lesbians and gay men who went before us at a time when to live openly as gay or lesbian was very nigh impossible….

 

 

 

Posted in a la recherche Benjamin gay queer archive assembalge, blurred captures, ecriture cuir, gay affirmative writing, Hauntology, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

MY GAY/QUEER AESTHETIC: A PHOTO/TEXT CONSTELLATION:PSYCHOGEOGRAPHY.PART 1: THE LIVING ROOM LIVES.BY STEVEN BENSON

IMG_7212IMG_7214IMG_7211IMG_7209IMG_7210IMG_7206IMG_7200IMG_7199IMG_7197IMG_7198IMG_7189IMG_7192IMG_7188IMG_7186IMG_7185IMG_7183IMG_7182IMG_7178IMG_7177IMG_7176IMG_7175IMG_7174Queer(reclaimed) =

Camp

Kitsch

(merely) NAFF(“Normal as fuck”)

Quirky/idiosyncratic

Silly but nice

Bright colours

Re-appropriating stereotypes/”stereotypes”

pomo self referential

objets d’art:eg Vox Turnabout 70s LP cover art

historical/antique (camp)

homage to Susan Sontag, author of the “Notes on Camp” essay,before male homosexual acts where legalised in the UK

Re-creating a DDR style kitchen, as part of:

Every room, psychogeographically represents/mirrors a part of your personality (catalyst for idea from “Bachelors of a Different sort:Queer aesthetics, material culture, and the modern interior in Britain”{Potvin,2014}). Hommage, too, Des Esseintes’ demesne in “Au Rebours”(“Against Nature”), where every room is an exquisite, synaesthesic, sublimation of elements of his personality; (pretentious? re-claim THAT word too!)

The spectre of the camp yet sad risibility of the invented pianist(ultimate in camp artifice):JOYCE HATTO

Intellectualism gone crazy( viz. reclaimed as good!)

the OTHER Wagner, SIEGFRIED; the gay one!

William Morris type designs


EVERY book in the study has a gay/lgbt/queer content:”why are u always going on about gay?”; cos I like it! It is a big part of me; so there !:P. IT’S A GAY/QUEER study: get over it….

Heroes:Proust, Wildeblood, Derek Jarman,Sebald (much of his writing encapsulates a queer{anti-hegemonic} aesthetic)IMG_7180.JPG

traces from the past

IMG_7207taking our queer/gay “bachelors” into the nowIMG_7171IMG_7167.JPG

A room of one’s own; Laurieston Hall; gay Wales

Collecting espresso cups

IMG_7173

 

 

 

 

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CREATING MY OWN SPRING.PSYCHOGEOGRAPHY IN ACTION! BY STEVEN BENSON.

As winter edges towards spring,I inhabit a liminal place/space, a queer(quirky, self-created, counter-hegemonic) SAFE space, an oasis; today, it is in Blackwell’s impoverished, slowly declining (but, temporarily, re-invented) new little University bookshop. Amidst. and athwart, the quotidian distress and fear of likely surgery, and relationship problems,I sit in the café within the little bookshop, embattled yet, somehow, safe(that applies to myself AND the bookshop!).


I bought:

1.”At the Existentialist Café”; lots of Kafka; a literary theory tome, which has sections on trauma theory and queer et other anti traditional canonic theoretic modules; and,most serendipitously of all,”The Gap of {In?} Time”(Winterson)….


So, I sit in this café, making some of my OWN meanings in an absurd world(which, sometimes, feels like I am myself on some kind of “trial” or where I feel somewhat imprisoned in a labarynthine building of non-sequiturs, which could also be my own troubled body):I sit here, now,just before Spring starts, trying so hard to SING, to feel alive; and I think of MY Spring:

My lovely, lively intellectual/intelligent and kind friends

My music, particularly the gift of appreciating my favourite composer(Moszkowski) and pianist(Michael Ponti);and my piano

My self-made Huysmanesque EXTERNAL body: my flat, a sanctuary despite the hideous “Sanctuary” housing association; a room for aspects of me: gay/queer/academic; gay sunshine rainbow; razzledazzle(ship) bathroom; orange and yellow kitchen; Gothic hallway(“Abandon all hope, all ye who enter here”{Dante} emblazoned across the entrance and containing variegated captures and blurrings and ghost figures.)

My books, Lps and cds

My bookshops:Waterstons, News from Nowhere, Henry Bohn and, as long as it lasts, Blackwells.

My tentative (still) reclamation of Liverpool: Sefton Park, and Stanley Street and Bold street:lgbt-friendly enclaves; concomitantly, and hauntologically, with my contrapuntal present in the past of my two, true spiritual homes: Aber(ystwyth) and Laurieston Hall


We create our OWN springs; we HAVE to; then we live in them…..

 

 

Posted in alterity, blurred captures, Cafe, cafes, ecriture cuir, gay, gay affirmative writing, Hauntology, Michael Ponti, Phenomenology, Piano music, psychogeography, psychogeography urban life village life village in the city, queer, queer constellations rememberances straightqueer, queer geography, queer theory, Queer wrting, Quirky captures, Re-envisionning, safer spaces(guidelines), Self-actualisation, Uncategorized, Utopia, wordcount, working outside hegemonies | 1 Comment

I MEET MY HERO, JEREMY CORBYN(EXPANDED VERSION).I AM HAPPY(YET SAD) BY STEVEN BENSON.

20170204_192338

And, so it seemed I emerged from a dark tunnel of 2 months’ anxiety into LIGHT.


The “Village Hall” was, actually, an old gymnasium, redolent of a GDR-style(now) redundant building, with its concrete and steel; wholly functional, with no decoration. Somewhat incongruously, amidst this barrenness, to continue the German analogies, were Weimar Republic cabaret style tables, ten people apiece( gathered expectantly). What I didn’t realise was that Jeremy, true to form, really HAD come for a chat.

Nervous, nervile, sort of BEYOND/parallel to happiness or joy, tempered with four milligrams of (prescription!) Valium,I angsted: would he really turn up……

Then the sun shone: in he walked, purposefully, NOT in Cameron’s mother’s inspired smart suit but in a slightly too short jacket, not scruffy but informal (befitting the occasion). The Right Honourable Jeremy Corbyn,MP, Leader (by a miracle, and almost by accident) of her Majesty’s official and loyal{sic!!!!; he is a Republican} Opposition; a statesman and, yet, a human: humane and personable.He shook a few peoples’ hands, including mine:”Jeremy”, I cried in strangulated, barely contained emotion, not far from tears of joy.Maria Eagle looked uncomfortable, backstabber that she was(HAD been??) and Steve Rotherham seemed genuine about his friend. Anyway the “Bitterrites”, those ersatz Tories, were little in evidence and Jeremy was amongst friends.

I recalled my other big hero (along with Derek Jarman):W G Sebald and noted the similarities: concern for all humankind( AND animals) and a world vision based on communitarianism (NO, NOT command economy communism!)where people looked after/out for each other, be it in networks of friends, families or subcultural communities: TRUE equality, for the disenfranchised, the marginalised and the erased, be they the displaced Chagos Islanders (Corbyn) or lgbt people(Corbyn and Sebald); but also not excluding entrepreneurship, as long as it benefitted society and harmed no-one. This was a QUIET revolution, in the minds of these two great men: no-one was to be hurt. To many people, with vested emotional and/or financial interests, it was scary: the “other” might prevail over the hegemony: the disenfranchised might gain equality… “NAIVE”, I hear you ullulate; it is all naïve; the economy(“where is the money going to come from”?{McDonnell’s economic policies are mainly mainstream Keynsian!}).

I felt happy; yet I felt sad, for, seeing him, in the flesh, for the first time, I saw a slightly frail, towards elderly man, who, just for a small part of his heartfelt speech about the plight of the NHS and about homelessness,leant(albeit lightly) on a chair; he seemed tired, after that speech. I also felt sad because of the bile,vitriol and sheer hatred thrown at him, remorselessly by his own Party(never mind the to-be-expected fear of a  challenge to the status quo of the so-called mainstream media); even some Tories (Jacob Rees-Mogg, a homophobic rightwinger, called him “principled”; but then you could argue they WOULD say that, because, like the Bitterites, they WANT him to fail). I felt sad that this dignified, ineffably kind, statesmanlike and, yes, in an alternative to the hegemonic way,Primeministerly(what do these terms mean anyway; they are , at least partly, received “wisdom”):- that this humane man was the subject of continued ridicule and under-estimation. This all in contrast to the painstakingness of his talking to about 300 people in the hall, in ones or groups, with his ubiquitous notebook, assiduously writing down their problems. I think many of those who hate or ignore him have more to hide and fear in THEMSELVES: their OWN masked “other” of compassion and humaneness.Jeremy is the Everyman: he is the Walt Whitman of politics: he is the gay or lesbian person, he is the person scratching a poor living, he is the victim of de-industrialization,he is the sick/disabled person and, as I said, he is also the entrepreneur; he is the politician who believes in interconnectedness of oppressions, not solely a workerist. His Everyman , yet “other”, nature leads, of course, to the endless scapegoating and misrepresentation.

But, despite this gloom, I STILL felt happiness in his transfiguring presence. He was MY man, OUR man(including lgbt people, for a change; his policies on lgbt are complete and far-reaching). he was also like my mum, in her massive humane concern: call her a “middleclass do-gooder”; call Jeremy such, too. So what ? They did/do good, in an unpatronising way.She, like him, changed the world around her (ecumenicalism, support for Africa, lgbt people). I wished mum was there: to scold him for his too-short jacket and to praise(most of!) his policies. What a debate her and I and Jeremy would have had; my mum who was PROUD of me, her gay son.


Time ticked on…the Valium kicked in, Maria carried on gritting her teeth, the Metro Mayor candidate set out his stall(a nice man who seemed-you can never tell in politics- a loyal PPS to Jeremy.)

There were, peculiarly, about 80 minutes still to pass after the set speeches. But, Jeremy really HAD come to chat to us, and, in a queer, atemporal sequence-time outside time- the clock seemed to stop as I realised he had been allowed all this time to walk round every table and talk to EVERYONE; well, at least that was the plan. One third the way around, he got mobbed by selfie-seekers and people panicking to jump the queue to speak to/ see him; including myself, after a while of patiently waiting my turn. I braved it, went upto his (very pleasant) minder and asked could I join the queue for a selfie and one sentence and was soon ushered in: the Valium had, mainly, removed the nerves and I cogently announced myself as a lgbt community activist and thanked Jeremy for his fulsome, great lgbt policies and speech at LGBT History Month(Febuary 2017); he was ever-so-tired:little response but an arm round my shoulder(see pictures!) as his friendly minder took FOUR selfies. I sat back and watched him, with a sort of happy, Valium- induced forlornness. This had been an evening of such bitter-sweet moments, Steve said(to the absent sebaldian narrator),{ the intertext here referring to my slightly unreal, outside-of-myself feeling, engendered by the insensity.}


Jeremy, you make me happy, whenever I see your kind face on TV(ok, sometimes grumpy in a difficult exchange with Ms. May or the media!). I DO NOT CARE if some of your policies may(?putatively/actually?) be Utopian. We NEED visions of hope (and not of the Owen Jones, opportunist disingenuous kind), to mend this money-driven, everyone-for-themselves, fear of minorities society we live in, represented, to various extents, by Ms. May and Donald Trump.


Jeremy, you make me happy…. and you love the gays:) xx20170204_192338

 

Posted in "Pride", gay, Hauntology, intersectionality, Jeremy Corbyn, Re-envisionning, revolution, safety for marginalised groups, Sebald, Self-actualisation, Uncategorized, Utopia, working outside hegemonies | 1 Comment

THE NIGHT I MET THE (RIGHT HONOURABLE) JEREMY CORBYN. STREAM-OF-CONSCIOUSNESS. BY STEVEN BENSON

Wow, I met him,at last, despite my illnesses and limitations, I MET him; his minder got me in the queue for a selfie; and I , briefly, explained my lgbt activist history and wished him luck with his arduous task (against the “moderates”/Blairites; didn’t actually mention them!). I was amazed that one man could get round about 300 people, individually, selfies and all, and listen to their concerns; amazingly, he got his ubiquitous notebook out and made copious notes. What a man. Combined with a fiery (he IS an orator, of the correct, nonpompous, non self-aggrandizing kind) defence of the NHS and plans to tackle homelessness; and some welltimed but ever-so-Jeremy slightly awkward jokes. He was SO relaxed after all the onslaughts from the mainstream media, (and , even more upsettingly, many of his own “colleagues”), often unwilling to accept their new(ish) leader is a social democrat and socialist of a DIFFFERENT genus: a believer in tackling de-industrialization and general disenfranchisement; AND(they are.by NO means, incommensurate with “rust belt” area issues) the fighting endlessly for the rights of women and minorities( a supporter of lgbt rights since the 70s; and the only Labour MP to vote for a Libdem bill, BEFORE Blair’s welcome reforms,for equality for lgbt people). A  20170204_192338very special man; a very statesmanlike man; a very human man; a very winning man; a kind man; a caring man; a principled man. So come out!!!!: I know, from personal experience. there are lots of shy (potential?) Corbyn voters out there. Don’t be bamboozled into silence

Posted in "Pride", intersectionality, Jeremy Corbyn, Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners(LGSM), rant stream-o-consciousness;likes; dislikes; hates;writing workshop, revolution, Self-actualisation, Stream-of-consciousness, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

REVOLUTION:A FANTASY(OR IS IT?).”Jeremy meets the Queen”: a homage to Catherine Warner’s “Mrs Thatcher’s Secret Diaries”. BY STEVEN BENSON.

Jeremy met

The Queen.

Did he kneal or

Bow;Didnt he

Kneal or Bow?

Who cares?

________________________________________________________

The new Leader of Her Majesty’s Official and Loyal{sic!} Opposition entered the state room, which was festering in its own otiose ornateness and redundancy. He was to be entered in to the Freemason-like echelons of the Privy Council.{Jeremy with defence secrets; heaven forfend!}.

“Ma’am”, he began,and  half -knealt (in an uncomfortable compromise between his principles and Royal protocol){luckily, even “The Sun” had not sneaked a camera in!}.

“Leader of the Opposition, delighted to meet you”, she oozed, sounding like an upmarket Robert Peston, and using her regal, mechanical voice.

She anointed him with a sceptre-type thingummy; “Congratulations, Mr. Corbyn”, she said, “on your election as Leader”.

Small, tedious talk ensued……..He Maj was filled with ennui, Jeremy was bored, thinking “Oh my God, what have I got myself into NOW?”{he was, at this  stage, still a reluctant, very surprised Leader!}.

Of course, HMQ had to take the conversational lead; it was protocol……

 

BUT< FUCK PROTOCOL:
With a noticeable dearth of any segue. the Queen(lets call her Elizabeth), aged 90. said suddenly, apropos of nothing:”I LIKE you, Jeremy; I REALLY like you: I have been following your progress assiduously. I KNOW you want to abolish me and the whole monarchy and replace us with an elected head of state(though I heard it’s a battle you are not currently minded to fight); but I LIKE you, Jeremy. I am VERY tired and VERY old(by the way, I LOVED your 90th birthday tribute to me: made me seem like a tough old bird, emblematic of my generation; it was SO statesmanlike, especially for a leftie.) Anyhow, I want to step down; I am desperate; but the pressure from my public( not unadjacent to the adulation you get from… what’s it called “Monumentum ” or something) and tetchy ancient Philip is IMMENSE. And Charles will make a useless, inappropriate KING, between you and me. I shall abdicate and we can end this charade of a monarchy. If I have to do THAT wave from my chariot again. I swear I shall use the mechanical arm they keep in reserve for my exhausted real hand.

“Jeremy, I LIKE you. Forgot all this pomp and circumstance for a moment and let us talk…..”

Jeremy stood in a state of shock and disbelief.

“Ma’am”, he stuttered…

“Drop the grovelling for a start she (almost) shouted back, feistily; you are Jeremy(I believe they call you “Jezz” or “Jezza”, a bit too Liverpool for me, that northern place I can never quite bring myself to visit); call ME Liz”.

And so Jeremy sat, on his plush chair and they chatted.

“Too many wars”, Liz said; “I like your ideas for stopping them; more rights for gays(half my staff, dear); more equal pay (I shall relinquish all my palaces except Buck House)… Thatcher, what a bitch, Blair , what a bitch, Cameron , what a wuss. But I LIKE you. Let’s make a deal: abolish me and the whole monarchy and, just before, I shall make you PM(I have ways!)”

“Liz”- Jeremy struggled to use the requested nomenclature-“that would be corruption of the highest order- and, with all respect, I cannot do that”

“No offence taken,dear,” Liz replied, “Well, plan B:you abolish me and I shall make all my next 3 Christmas messages(if I last that long: there is already speculation I am actually no more extant)about equality and all that kerfuffle, cuts in pay for top executives; more rights for homosexuals and ethnic minorities: you know, the kind of stuff you bang on about so eloquently. In short, I shall iterate YOUR policies. The public-mainly- listen to me;and you are not getting much traction -let’s be honest- with the Daily Mail or the media generally or those bastard Blairites”

Jeremy succumbed under her fierce charm barrage:”Ok, Ma’am, sorry Liz,go for it!; I shall write the speech, and YOU read it: for Christmas day.”

“Deal”, she said.

 


The conversation ran dry. Just as suddenly as  HRH Queen Elizabeth 11 had transmogrified into Liz, just so did she changed back to her previous regal self; dismissively, she signed for him to leave. And, as a servant, pushed open the vast double door, and as Jeremy walked out, she said:”DID you have that rumoured affair with Diane Abbott in East Germany. I LIKE her; I DO hope so.”

 

 

 

___________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

Posted in camp, Jeremy Corbyn, other, Quirky captures, Uncategorized, Utopia, working outside hegemonies | 1 Comment

A RIVEN LIFE.BY STEVEN BENSON.

He didn’t quite know how to manage this. In a fog of anxiety, he went, every Tuesday to the slightly decaying “Beautiful View” hotel, entering by the back door, in order not to be seen. Most of his friends were straight and he had felt very uneasy about coming out to them,as they could be dismissive(at best) of gay people; in Aberystwyth, in 1981, it wasn’t exactly talked about openly.

This bleak, angst-ridden SPLIT life, he felt he inhabited: some kind of liminal world between his get-out clause of the academic asexual being, befriended by the straight world; and this furtive one of the once a week, unadvertised gay night at the hotel. He actually lived with an outrageous quean,G,who regaled him with stories of his latest beau and/or conquest; living in a two room flat, G and his amours had to have sex in the kitchen! Finding a time to cook was quite fraught! Simultaneously, he made friends with a man a year younger,who was winsome and attractive, but also a bit petulant; and whose sexual orientation was, to say the least, unclear(though there HAD been that incident, on the wayback from the Railway and Transport Society{RATS} trip to the Metropolitan Cammell works in Birmingham, where, somewhere between Shrewsbury and “Aber”-as the students lovingly called this magical place-, M touched his foot with his own foot, his ability to read the signal as accidental or positive being wholly beyond him). Complicatedly, M was a friend of his straight friends; but night after night, they tacitly got on the same bus to the campus “up the hill” to study in the library, though studying was the last thing he could do, with his love-stricken yearning for M.


Once, he attended “The Beautiful View” Tuesday gay bar and was “approached”(for sex) by an older man he did not, at all, find attractive, and whose unwelcome attentions he was completely unaware of how to deal with, other than running outside and confiding in his flatmate, who began to exhibit less and tolerance for his tentative, back-and-forth steps at attempting to accept that he was, indeed, gay. It was only the friendship of J that kept him going, really. J was on  his uni course, and was supportive,a gay man himself, recommending the (then very pauce) selection of even vaguely gay- affirmative fiction books, by the likes of Forster, and Vidal, and Renault; these helped, but it remained, primarily, a sublimated, academicised acceptance (to an extent) of his sexual orientation. He had always been like that: academic: sometimes “academic” in a subtly pejorative way, to indicate “not quite of the real world”, though, in a university town, it DID engender a (niche!) acceptance. However too much stress on academia and no love/sexual fulfilment had lead to his first panic attack,a massive one, in June 1981. So, he could INCLUDE academic re-direction in his selfconcept but there had to be more: (homo) sex and love and passion.

______________________________________________

 

In later years,he went back to Aber a few times, even re-visiting his first “digs”(mainly unchanged); and, unexpectedly, not with panic/anxiety but a sense of return,home; “Aber” remained his homeland. Now, he was a whole person(35 years) later having a strong gay/lgbt/queer identity but integrating it in his own, overall, sense of personhood. He seemed to carry that back to his OLD, split self in Aber, when he re-visited; and, thus, he healed himself.:)

 

Posted in "Pride", a la recherche Benjamin gay queer archive assembalge, alterity, ecriture cuir, gay, gay affirmative writing, gay literature, life mirrors art, other, queer, Re-envisionning, Self-actualisation, Uncategorized, Utopia, wordcount, working outside hegemonies | 1 Comment

ZIGZAG.MY (ONGOING!)COMING OUT STORY. BY STEVEN BENSON

First thought; this is corny. Yet, it is the

All too

True

Self-

Narrative Of
Gay

People………………………………………………………

{self-reportage}.

Stage 1

In 1981, at university in Aberystwyth, I endeavoured to come out and half made it:furtive visits to the gay bar(Tuesday nights only), beset, concomitantly, with feelings of love and lust for a Catholic, possibly gay(well, there was ONE sign he gave me!)man, with whom I had a weird, intense friendship. The greatest strides were made by my friend, J, loaning and recommending gay male content novels, such as “The City and the Pillar”(Vidal) and “Maurice”(Forster); so I, partly, came out and reached SOME kind of self-understanding of this absolutely crucial part of my psychological and emotional make-up through literature: always the academic sublimist! Yet, it helped.

Stage 2

I returned to my birth town , Liverpool, and back into that psycho-socially built closet, I withdrew: J and my gay flatmate had gone and there was no context; or so I thought.

Stage 3

I worked in Swansea and I am amused to own-from the vantage of NOW- that I took the job primarily because I fancied one of the interviewers: I since met him on a Gay Mens’ Holiday! However, apart from distant yearnings for him, wholly unfilled, I remained in that wardrobe. I left the job; it merits a short story/reportage in itself: horrendous but had its humorous moments.

Stage 4

Back to Liverpool again(December 1983); about 9 more months in the wilderness. Then -and it all gets a bit hazy here- I made friends with a gay male couple, one of whom became a substitute father for me ; or-I am lost in the memory mists-{and unoriginal imagery!}- I rang the Samaritans and they gave me the number of Liverpool Friend, an lesbian and gay{the nomenclature of the time}support/counselling group; I cannot remember which first. But more pieces of the jigsaw began to fit together, and I zagged back towards psychological wholeness and personhood. They counselled me-in a phone box  near Grassendale Park. I turned up at the erstwhile “Link” lesbian and gay centre (R.I.P), up 3/4 flights of stairs, breathless with anxiety; and for the first few weeks had to see a “Friend” worker before I could even join the group; though I, sooner or later, did and made some friends.

Stage 5

It went smoothly and the disjointed zigzag motion mainly ended, as I developed a network of gay friends, got my own first(bizarre) “studio” flat-with the bed on a sort of plinth over the kitchen!-met a stunningly beautiful Irish man, with whom I had sex once (and wanted to be his boyfriend but he preferred others; heartbreak);went to Sadie’s, Jodie’s, the Masquarade, McMillans, all either above or below ground level, with my gang of new brothers/gay friends.

Stage 6

I learnt from my beautiful, now seven years dead, mum, that if you help yourself first, it is then good to help others : I became, briefly, an l and g activist(around the pernicious clause 28) https://towardsutopia.wordpress.com/2015/09/05/section-28-the-fight-against-it-in-merseyside-reportagelgbt-archiveunwritten-histories-by-steven-benson/

(1988 now); I got sick from exhaustion, an illness I still experience; and then, after a long gap, remaining throughout(mainly)comfortable with my sexual orientation and supported and supporting many close friends,I

Stage 7(ongoing!)

Set up three lgbt groups (with the help of two, recenter friends); one aim being to give a social context, like I had had myself, to the coming out process for SOME lgbt people; and a nonscene alternative social milieu for others.

This is a simplification of a long, winding, at times tortuous process.

Recommended reading on coming out:
Donald Clark: “Loving Someone Gay” {including yourself}

Riggle/Rostosky:”A Positive View of LGBTQ:Embracing identity and Cultivating Well-Being”{more recent}

{Both the above deal, magnificently and helpfully, with internalised homophobia and family/friend support/issues}

and a wonderful novel{a few copies extant on Amazon}, part of the classic Gay Mens Press imprint-now defunct-“That Other Realm of Freedom” by Barry Nonweiler, very of its time( the period I came out in, the early/mid 80s, and quite tortured, but ending in positivity).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in "Pride", a la recherche Benjamin gay queer archive assembalge, alterity, ecriture cuir, gay, gay affirmative writing, gay literature, life mirrors art, other, Re-envisionning, Section 28 protest traces memory reportage, Self-actualisation, Uncategorized, Utopia, wordcount, working outside hegemonies | Leave a comment

MUM AND DADS’ MARRIAGE DAY; AND THE DREAM WEAVER.BY STEVEN BENSON.

IMG_6334.JPG

Through glass, memory, and time: mum and dads’ marriage day, c. 1958IMG_6344.JPG

The dream weaver: a skein linking together past, present and future; preserving the past as much as possible via memories and dreams; but also mum watching over me, in spirit, in sleep, so that bad dreams are banished, in an eternal now:)

Posted in blurred captures, other, Phenomenology, psychogeography, Quirky captures, Re-envisionning, Sebald, Uncategorized, Utopia | 1 Comment

FRAGMENTS:ALL THAT REMAINS.REMNANTS FROM MUM AND DADS’ HOUSE, MY HOME OF 20 YEARS.A TRIBUTE, AND AN ATTEMPT AT REDEMPTION OVER TIME.LOVE FROM STEVE.

I shall, mainly, let the captures (of lost time) speak for themselves; but my childhood home/mum and dads’ home for over 50 years is finally being sold on 8.8.16. These pictures show what remains, re-situated in my flat….

IMG_6257.JPG

Classical music was VERY important to dad, and he even wrote an (unpublished) book on British classical musicIMG_6258.JPG

His favourite composer, and his mission to rescue from obscurity, was Josef Holbrooke: the piano score for Holbrooke’s mammoth, Wagnerian opera “Bronwen”. I inherited an acute love of classical music from dad:)IMG_6260.JPG

childhood ikon; obvious imagery

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Dad loved trains-and Meccano!

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My great grandfather was first Labour Mayor of Bootle; Jeremy Corbyn link there 🙂

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Mum’s beautiful wild garden!

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Cover of dad’s (quite famous in its day!) chemistry textbook(one of, I think, three)

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Inside the Archive in rememberance of my dad:50s “Gramophone” mags, 70s BR timetable, 78s(and one speed 80!); by collection of objects do we,thus, try and fight against mortality

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Great grandfather with Mayoral chains!IMG_6274.JPG

Mum really enters the picture here, with two of her quirky, camp objects plus nana’s cuckoo, which, if you blew into it, made a cuckoo noise!

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A tenuous memento of perfect family Christmasses; again, very mum:)

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Mum and I in the echt “Greendays” café, c. 2006

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Myself, aged about 11; still had hair then! The quizzical look hides the pain to come (:

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:):) (me on bike, mum and brother), c.1965

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Our erstwhile cat, Dinky:)

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More quirky, variegated extravaganzas from mums collection of (knowingly) kitsch/camp objets d’art!

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Mum and dad, in their different ways, always wanted us to be happy:)IMG_6287.JPG

Mum certainly WAS quirky, with a penchant for rainbow colours(she was always openly proud of me, her gay son: she told everyone and wanted to go on Pride Marches: I regret I never took her along)

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Misty: mum, sister and I. Mum looks SO happy,c 2006 (she died in 2009)

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From mum’s garden:you are getting the picture of what she was like:)

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DadIMG_6294.JPG

IN MEMORIAM:Denis and Kathleen Benson, mum and dad. Forever. Rest in peace.xxx

 

Posted in blurred captures, camp, gay, Jeremy Corbyn, other, Phenomenology, psychogeography, queer, Quirky captures, Re-envisionning, Uncategorized | 5 Comments