Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognise how good things really are. Marianne Williamson.
I love all sorts of awesome things. Fortunately for me most of the world is cool with Yorkshire Tea, chocolate, techno and me, as a girl, loving Martin, a boy. So, I can express myself as I please pretty much.
Expressing love is more complex for some of my fellow humans.
What a joy then to go to this event in Stockton tonight and sing (I don’t sing often and trust me that is entirely for the best) about love. For everyone.
I didn’t intend to sing, if push comes to shove and it looks like I have to somewhere I like to pull out the old school assembly classic of mouthing words over a whisper. That’s my limit. I skillfully ducked one handed out word sheet but as a later one was placed in my hand, and the mood of the room soared, I was enveloped in the moment. I think I belted a bit out. My daughter looked excruciatingly embarrassed so I think it really happened… although her dad was dancing too. Poor child.
I reckon the love in the air around Stockton vibrated at a little higher frequency tonight as we gathered together. Celebrating how far we’ve come in terms of acceptance, our pride in who we are and showing our support and desire for happiness to our companions. Embracing an opportunity to appreciate the joy that is togetherness, that love is inherently good and that it is for all.
The parallel was not lost that we can also use occasions like these to give ourselves permission to love our home town Stockton. It’s hard to stand up for something that is loudly shouted down. To dare to swim against the tide and risk being dismissed or laughed at. Mike McGrother gave us a green light to speak of love for Stockton.
Starting a Wednesday evening by following pink chalk footsteps to Who-ray for a lush rainbow button badge was always going to be good. The universe even answered the call to action with a rainbow across the sky just before the event commenced. Well done to whoever called that one in! Music, laughter, conversation and cheer then radiated from the Georgian Theatre where the Town Choir, Infant Hercules and Andy from The Southmartins send out a musical flare of joy.
I’m genuinely still feeling it. The only tragedy? I had to do the gymnastics run to pick up youngest child that likes to bend herself in two of an evening a few times a week. This meant I missed Matty’s Bistro and it smelt bloody lush! Next time I’m positioning myself better for the eager queue.
I am very grateful to have spent a few hours in a room filled with such positive intention. Its invigorating. Thanks to everyone that was there for sharing that joy and Stockton Council’s LGBT Staff Forum and The University of Durham’s LGBT Association for their support for the event.
Love for everyone and calling up rainbows on demand? – that’s Real Stockton.
If you know of a cool human, animal, event or creation that epitomises Real Stockton and you think it should be in our 2014 Annual please contact us and we would love to come and meet you! Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org