I am an addict. I suffer from various different Mental Health conditions including BPD and ADHD. All of these are labels. All of these carry immense stigma. I have suffered homelessness, abuse, rape and homophobic hate crime. I have begged, stole, done jail, got locked up, got institutionalized, been in mental health units, rehabs. I have been resuscited in North Manchester during Covid. Odeeing the moment I arrived at Detox. If I'd have been home alone that morning as always, I'd not be here to write this.

I believe in a power greater. A multitude of Gods, not their God, not their oppressive and exclusionary dogma and precepts. As a Queer, non binary person I am beyond it all.

I am an Activist, an Iconoclast, if you met me you'd say a true original, an individual. I can be self absorbed, I can be compassionate and humble.  I am a contradiction in terms at times. I am human. I am an Artist. I idolaize LGBTQ+ Artists like Bacon and Jarman and Leigh Bowery. I wear clothes by Designers and friends, I listen to music, many of which are by Gay people. People like me. Humans. We all bleed the same, don't we?! I have bled.

This is a story of recovery. This is a story of redemption. This is a journey of self-actualizing.

I am in Therapy. I am healing from Trauma, some of it caused by Anti LGBTQ abuse. As a child I was ridiculed. As a child I was labeled. I carry the scars. I now wear them with Pride not shame! They tell a story of survival.

I see people's faces when they hear my voice. I know the looks well. Their words of hatred hold no power no longer. Often I ignore them. I say I have a thick skin but of course the spirit in which they are spoken triggers getting shaken at School and called a puff and a girl to the point I wet myself.

That was acceptable then. That was unacceptable then. It is unacceptable now. No child should go through that!

We simply have to unite. We have to stand tall.

Lesbian, gay, trans, queer, anyone! These are just part of our make up, our DNA, our beauty.

We no longer need to hide in the shadows and darkness. Throw the darkness back, reflect it! Chuck some glitter at it.
- Benjamin Peter Lidster