How excited should a straight man be about a gay man’s play and Margate Pride 2017?
Courtesy of Margate Pride 2017 website
Well, I’ll tell you.
I feel happy coincidences and what we call luck, happens at times when we are ready to act on the moment. A friend invited me to a screening of three LGBT films (blog review coming soon), when I happened to bump into Tommy Poppers. His play at the Tom Thumb Theatre (link below) which is playing August 10th and 11th, tonight and tomorrow I had already booked tickets for and will be attending on Friday night.
Courtesy of Tommy Poppers website
The play is about his experiences of Tommy’s past abusive relationships and the time he was sexually assaulted and hospitalized. It’s clear his play, blog, writing and songs were part of some catharsis and healing. As a straight man I may not identify with his sexuality or his traumatic experiences, however I recognize and identify the pain and suffering that he expresses in his songs.
In his song Wrestling with fire, recorded for Seaside Sessions in Margate his lyrics struct a cord with me.
“I’d like to think I’m not the only one, who finds a silly mask to hide behind”
Is a lyric he sings while clad in his Sailor Drag outfit and make up. I think you’re right Tommy. How ever much I have tried to convince myself I am a genuine person who does not hide behind a mask I still have a mask, I think most people do. Mine may not be as colourful, interesting or entertaining but it has to be a barrier to protect me. What I find interesting is that by his performance in sailor drag, as with many other performers the literal mask allows the performer to escape their societal mask and express pain, suffering and joy in as a healing process. It’s something that is largely missing from our lives.
Happy coincidences have given me the opportunity to meet people of Kent’s LGBT community and I will be doing podcast interviews with Tommy Poppers, a Brazilian writer and academic called Bernardo, Amy who screen the films in her welcoming club/ community project, and a drag act Called Just May does Geri. I will be doing a review of the films along with links to the film makers and content, so keep an eye out for that.
If you can get to Margate Pride in Kent it has already started but will be continuing until Sunday (link below).
On Tommy’s website you can find his blog, links to his songs where you can listen for free or download, links to his banned book and videos to his songs.
Picture taken by Nutworajit Udomlitwong
Tommy Poppers, modern shaman, shattering our reality with his “silly mask to hide behind”. Thank you Tommy.
“I can wrestle the fire within my soul, and it burns and it burns beyond control..”
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