Thursday, May 06, 2010

don't make me angry

those of you who follow me on twitter will already have seen my comments about one of our local MP-hopefuls, philip lardner (i'm not going to link to his site, because i don't want to give him the traffic - but if you're really interested/curious, feel free to give him a google). i don't often get too personal or political on my blog - it's usually a place to talk about knitting, or cute dogs, or nice things like that. but sometimes, i need to vent a little bit.
this MP candidate was a member of the conservative party - he was suspended once in 2008 for racist comments, then reinstated, only to be suspended again this year (so soon before the election that he's still listed as a conservative candidate on the ballot papers, which may be confusing to some!) for an anti-gay statement published on his website. he's still standing as an independent MP candidate, and unfortunately for us, has been quite a presence on the local streets over the past few days - including leading a wee parade of his supporters (about 10 or so) up & down the street outside my studio on saturday, then spending some time hanging about chatting to folk right outside my studio window.
it was a strange feeling for me to watch this little parade of bigotry - some of these folk are local people who have previously been quite chatty & friendly to me, and a few have even visited the studio from time to time. seeing them out in support of a man who not only believes that i'm "abnormal", but who is actively seeking to gain policital power so that he can lobby against me & my kind, was a shock. & although i've certainly experienced homophobic behaviour of varying degrees throughout my life (ranging from the sudden absence of former "friends", to verbal abuse, to being spat on), for some reason this was almost worse.
and then i worked out what it was - i've actually reached a point where for the most part, the majority of people that i come into contact with on a daily basis really just don't care that i'm as gay as the day is long. and so, i let myself relax - and i almost forgot, just for a minute, that we're not quite there yet. i forgot what this kind of casual hatred feels like; i forgot the fear, and nausea, and the sheer unadulterated rage that floods through your brain in response to something like this. and in the short time that i was in the studio with this going on outside the window (before i fled up the street to a friend's studio & accidentally burst into tears on her shoulder), i did the unthinkable....

.... i added the wrong dye mix to the pot that was cooking away on the stove.

now, not only had this ruined my saturday afternoon, but this tiny-minded man had actually ruined my yarn. it was meant to look like this:

& instead, it came out like this:

sigh. but the more i looked at my "mistake" yarn, the more it reminded me of something...

"don't make me angry - you wouldn't like me when i'm angry."

...which cheered me up a little. i think that anger can actually be quite a useful emotion - it's an "active" feeling, and it can sometimes inspire or push you to do something that you wouldn't normally do. anger is what's behind a lot of the political protests that have changed the world for the better - and when used in the right way, anger can be pretty powerful. & i'd like to get something positive out of this - something that would annoy the philip lardners of this world, just a little bit. so here's the plan...
i have four skeins of this colourway, in the merino/cashmere/nylon 4ply base - and i'm going to give them away. all i hope for in exchange is that you make a donation to stonewall, a UK-based charity that works towards equality for GLBTQ (gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered/queer) folk like me & mine (or, if you'd prefer, to a similar charity in your own country). stonewall accepts donations by credit or debit card, or via paypal. then, leave me a comment on this post that says "i donated!" - you don't have to tell me how much - and i'll add your name to the draw for one of these totally unique skeins of yarn. i'll keep the comments open for 2 weeks, until 22nd may, then i'll draw the winners.
and maybe, being angry won't feel so bad in the end.


Sadie said...

I'm not happy with New Labour for a lot of reasons, but I think one of the really positive things that has come out of the last 13 years is how much more accepting society has become of LGBT folk. And I really, really hope the Tories don't get in and stuff that up.

Anyway, I think the mistake yarn is beautiful, and I've donated!

danièle said...

I love you, and I love Hulk too ;0)

I have donated.

And yes, angry can make people do great things.

Once A Sheep said...

I have donated on behalf of my lovely 15 year old daughter who just recently came out to me, I admire and respect her. She is my beautiful daughter and nothing changes, how could it?

Emma said...

I donated.

the march for equality in Krakow is next weekend. It usually ends up being not as bad as I expected, I know Poland has a very long way to go in terms of tolerance and whatnot, but on a day to day basis, I don't really have any problems.

Kirsten said...

Dear Lilith - don't let the petty Philip Lardners of this world make you unhappy, they are so not worth it. Anger is OK, especially with such a gorgeous outcome!

If you still need a little comfort then try and compare your number of supporters and admirers to his - I think you can muster more than 10 :-)

I have of cause contributed to Stonewall.

Roz said...

I donated.

The colour is absolutely beautiful. Perhaps the only good this man has done?

At least that tiny minded bigot and his party lost & lost worse than last time. I think we're making progress.

Flavaknits said...

Righteous Anger - How wise you are Lilith! Hulk is a fabulous colour , and yes I donated.


PS - your post made me cry , but in a good way!

.: Jade said...

I donated.
I just can't wrap my head around that kind of intolerance, what ever happened to live and let live, or as I prefer, mind your own fucking business?

I hope you're feeling better today.

Anonymous said...

I've donated, didn't even realise this kind of charity existed. That Philip guy sounds like a horrible person. Never commented before but I've been reading a little while :)

Elodi said...


i just read somne of lardner's comments and I am chocked. he should be charged for hate crime!

I want to think that all together with Hulk, we can win!

Katiepops said...

I donated!

Actually I think your anger is a good thing - look how delicious that 'hulk' green is (you really should make that a new OMA colour and sell lots of it, and then you are the one that wins).

Do you ever wonder why some people are so zealous in their bigotry against others? It's because they're scared ...

The only opinions that matter are those of the people who don't give a hoot about your sexuality, and like and admire you for the lovely and talented person you are, even if you do spend your days corrupting all the knitters with your yarn, you wicked woman!

Lin said...

I've donated!
And thank you for galvanising me into doing something that I should have done anyway . . .

lisa said...

I donated. I'm sure I'm too late for the drawing, but as a gay person in the United States, I feel the need to support equality efforts here at home and around the world. Thanks for letting us know what's going on in your neck of the woods.