BEHAVIOUR . IDENTITY . DESIRE
Introducing... Ever wondered who actually writes B.I.D every week? Well now you can learn a little bit more about the people who help make this magazine possible...
Elly Badcock works in a call centre and pretends to be a writer, spending her spare time attempting to reverse this description. Her interests include class politics, Jarvis Cocker and science fiction. A socialist, feminist and longtime activist, Elly specialises in featurelenth polemics and the overuse of adjectives. Contact her at elly.badcock@gmail. com
Lynsey Calderwood is a Scottish fiction writer. Sheâ€™s had several short stories published in literary magazines and anthologies including Nerve, Nomad, Mslexia, The Edinburgh Review and the Scotsman+Orange 2006. She is currently working on a novel.
Sophie Cohen is a19 year old English Language and Media Student at University of Brighton. She regularly contributes to B.I.D Zine writing about fashion. Likes: Rubiks Cube and Tartan Dislikes: Mushrooms and Arrogance
Lotte Murphy-Johnson is a 21 year old writer and TV researcher. She spends her week working for a TV production company and her weekend frantically putting together the B.I.D zine with her girlfriend Holly. Likes: chicken curry, baked alaska, Amanda Palmer Dislikes: Corriander, chewing gum, self-obsessed people
Melissa Martinez is a hopeless romantic and incurable insomniac. She goes weak at the knees for vintage black and white photos, tiramisu and pistachio gelato. She wanted to be a Bond Girl and airforce helicopter pilot but discovered Hitchcock films and that she didn’t have 20/20 vision. One day, she hopes to be as good as Annie Leibovitz behind the lens and finish writing her ‘Brokeback Mountain’ with two female indie leads.
Holly is a 22 year old trainee Montessori teacher who lives in London. Her passions in life are tattoos, women and computers. Shes loves music and in her dreams she’s a punk rock front-woman like Brody Dalle, in reality she is trying to learn the ukelele and can just about play Hot Cross Buns. Holly is an avid photographer and rarely ventures far without a camera. She launched B.I.D zine with her girlfriend Lotte and she enjoys being her own boss.
WHITNEY HOUSTON HAS BARELY BEEN DEAD A WEEK and already the gossip mill is in overdrive. One particular story which has emerged is that Whitney was a secret lesbian. Friends and people close to the star have since said that she lived a lie throughout her career and that her marriage to Bobby Brown was merely a smokescreen because she was gay. Sources are saying that Whitney’s inner turmoil over her sexuality caused her to binge on drink and drugs and that that was ultimately what killed her. Peter Tatchell has also commented that she seemed happiest when she was with her female partner in the 1980’s. He didn’t name any names but Robyn Crawford, a woman who worked closely with Whitney in the 80’s, is reportedly the woman that Whitney had a long term relationship with. A HUFFINGTON POST BLOGGER has written about her surprise when her seven year old son announced that he was gay. The mother, known as Amelia, says she has never heard of a child coming out so young. Whether it is a phase or not it doesn’t matter, the boy’s parents have stated that they are totally supportive whatever their son’s orientation.
IT WAS A VERY SPECIAL VALENTINE’S DAY for one couple from Alaska, they became the first same-sex couple to marry at the top of the Empire State building in New York City. Stephanie Figarelle and Lela McArthur won a competition by celebrity event planner Colin Cowie on Facebook and their prize was to marry atop the famous landmark.
THE MARYLAND HOUSE OF DELEGATES has approved a bill that legalises same sex marriage. Governor Martin O'Malley has voiced his support for the bill saying “This is about making sure that every family in Maryland is able to raise their children in a loving and stable home, a home that is respected equally under the law.” The state senate is widely expected to pass the bill and Maryland is set to be the next state to join Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont to permit and recognise same sex unions.
THE BIG PICTURE
NEWS BOUND TO BRING HAPPINESS TO MANY LESBIANS AROUND THE WORLD is that Kate Moennig is due to return to the small screen playing a gay lady. Kate is set to play a private investigator named Lena in Showtime drama Ray Donovan. Kateâ€™s character is described in the script as dark and intense and the show also features Liev Schreiber.
The life of a poet Carol Ann Duffy is the first female poet Laurrett and she just happens to be bisexul. Lotte Murphy-Johnson looks at Duffy’s career and what she means for the future of poetry. When considering influential women over the centuries, Carol Ann Duffy certainly holds her own. Born in 1955 to Frank Duffy and May Black, her dynamic, down-to-earth and personal writing has struck chords with a huge variety of people. Dealing with issues such as love, romance and a sense of rootlessness, Duffy's use of every-day language enables her characters to come to life. Whether it is the solitary, love-struck maid of 'Warming Her Pearls' or the stereotypical macho man of 'You Jane', Duffy's use of the English language makes them incredibly accessible. A timeless quality being achieved that makes even the most historically remote situations resonate with her modern and increasingly diverse audience. Carol Ann Duffy was born in the Gorbals of Glasgow in 1955, moving to Stafford when she was six. As well as working as an electrical fitter with English Electric, her father was a dedicated Trade Unionist, unsuccessfully running as a Labour parliamentary candidate in 1983. Now poet Laureate, her career as a poet started when she was only 15, June Scriven sending a selection of her poems to Outposts, where they were quickly picked up by the bookseller Bernard Stone. From this point, Duffy has become increasingly well known and respected within both literary and public circles, writing numerous poems, plays and stories for young children. Much of Duffy's early life and experiences can be seen within her poetry, her move to the Midlands reflected in 'Originally' where she describes: “I lost a river, culture, speech, sense of first space/and the right place? Now, Where do you come from?/strangers ask. Originally? And I hesitate.” Similarly, on the death of one of her two influential English teachers she wrote: “You sat on your desk,/ swinging your legs, reading a poem by Yeats/ to the bored girls, except my heart stumbled and blushed/ as it fell in love with the words and I saw the tree/ in the scratched old desk under my hands, heard the bird in the oak outside scribble itself on the air.” This use of personal experience by Duffy is something that is reflected in much of her poetry and has become stronger in more recent collections. This sense of the personal is especially apparent in Duffy's third book, The Other County (Anvil, 1990), where a lack of belonging and sense of vulnerability begin to establish themselves as part of her poetry. This
more intimate poetry is again expanded upon in Mean Time (Anvil, 1994) where broken and developing relationships are explored, something which is taken to an even more intense level in Rapture. Carol Ann Duffy's treatment of love and desire in Rapture turns her own personal experience into something accessible to large numbers of people. The book length love poem traces the progression and transformation of love, dealing with emotions such as infatuation, longing, commitment and grief. Because of its structure, the book can be read as a whole or just with reference to individual poems. It is this style of writing that has enabled Duffy to become so influential within today's society, her poetry resonating and appealing to an audience which is able to relate to the issues she is discussing. As well as Carol Ann Duffy's role in influencing various attitudes towards poetry (her nearmiss as poet Laureate in 1999 forcing many previously sceptical critics to reassess their views) her role as a woman in society is also significant. Duffy is the first female poet Laureate since the post was created informally for Ben Johnson under Charles I in 1617. Furthermore, she is the first openly bisexual person to be given the role. In 1999 Duffy was a strong contester against Andrew Motion for the position of poet Laureate, however at the time there were claims that there was concern about her lifestyle and how this would be responded to by 'middle England'. Ten years later, the fact Carol Ann Duffy is in a gay relationship and is incredibly uncompromising in her beliefs is something that has been relished by the media rather than shunned. While having to write poems for State occasions as poet Laureate, Duffy has taken the role as an opportunity to popularise and advertise the diverse nature of poetry, commenting that: “What I want to do with my laureateship is spread poetry around — it isn’t about me, it’s about poetry — and so I’m going to bring in all kinds of different poets, bring them to people’s attention, use the influence that comes with this appointment to commission and encourage but, most of all, to show people what we’ve got, because there’s enough poetry out there for everyone.” It is this attitude to her role as poet Laureate that makes Carol Ann Duffy so important as an icon to women. She has taken control of a male dominated role and turned it into something with which she can highlight her key concerns and show the best elements of British poetry. It is this self expression and unwillingness to compromise has established Duffy, in my mind, as a woman who should be portrayed more strongly as a feminist icon. Duffy's achievements as the first openly bisexual, female poet Laureate are something that have inspired great numbers of women. However, Duffy's role as a mother is also important for her persona as an important female writer. Her ten year old daughter Ella has been a huge inspiration to Duffy as both a poet and as an author of children's stories. This mixture of opinionated feminism with motherhood makes Carol Ann Duffy incredibly accessible. This is particularly true for women, as her life experiences and the way she portrays these in her poetry enable them to identify closely with her.
Jessie J may have been making leggings cool for months but this season they’re coming into their own. Sophie Cohen lets you know what to look out for. MAYBE FEBRUARY HAS SEEN ALL OF THE SNOW it’s going to get this year, but those rain clouds are still hanging low in the sky. Seeing as there is little chance of sunshine any time soon, we can hold back on the skirts, shorts and swimwear (that high street shops are crazily putting out this early) and continue to cover our bodies until the temperature increases at least 10 degrees. Do you remember that time when you wore leggings with a skirt or with shorts? It turns out if you’re still doing that then maybe you are living in the dark ages, because it appears that leggings are attempting to make it on their own; more so than ever now with some of the loudest and maddest Aztec, animal and tie dye prints around. Maybe I am over exaggerating slightly; leggings have been trying to break through for the last 5 years or so, on their own, and they haven’t done too badly; true they will never be jeans or trousers but they are certainly trying to stand out in 2012. Being louder and certainly a lot cheaper than your average pair of jeans is certainly a plus side; browsing the web I have come across wacky patterned leggings from just £10 and with bargains like that, this is a trend to certainly not miss out on! It also seems that designers are starting to vary the sizing of leggings as well; where some places are sticking with ‘Small/Medium/Large’ most shops are hitting up the size ‘8-18’ making sizing a lot more specific and generally easier. Are we ready to focus all of our colour and madness on the lower half of our bodies? After years of being told to stick all the colour and boldness on our top halves (and generally keep our cleavage out) is the world ready for streets of wacky legs and hypnotising prints or are printed leggings going to be a big old phase?
River Island £18.00
New Look £12.99
River Island £20.00
Chasing Rosa Rosa is intense but cool like Alba in ‘Room in Rome’. I’m more like Natasha, the Russian. Rosa affectionately calls me ‘Rubia’ which means blonde but somehow in Spanish, it conjures up more precious stone than peroxide. I tell her I love her. She tells me, she loves me more. While we didn’t have a drunken one night stand in Rome, we did meet randomly and rapidly fall head-over-trainers/ heels in love...
tempted to flirt with her through her friend who acted as our bemused translator. She seemed quite shy and puzzled by my interest in her. I casually asked if she had a girlfriend. She told me she only had ‘amigas’ and insisted that she was very independent. I told her I was too. I wondered if she was the non-committal ‘Shane’ type. I wasn’t deterred even though I knew we were totally different. At least, physically.
It all started early one crazy morning when I woke up startled by gunpowder explosions. My heart was pounding louder than the church bells and I thought my sleepy Spanish town was being blown up by Basque ETA terrorists. I couldn’t see anything from my shutters except the cobbled street below which was deserted. Curiosity defeated my fear and I slinked into the old town with my bed-head hair standing on ovation. There were no blazing buildings only a smoky haze and the faraway festive sound of marching bands. Las Fallas, the fiesta celebrating Saint Joseph had just begun (in Valencia this involves an 8am wake-up call by locals igniting loud firecrackers!). Relieved, I gazed up at the dazzling blue sky and for the first time in a long time, I felt really alive. I was high. I was intoxicated and it was too early in the morning to blame it on the sangria.
I couldn’t get her out of my head. I liked her nonchalance. I liked her Mexican tattoo of the Virgin of Guadalupe. I’m not exactly sure when she first really liked me. Maybe it was after I bumped into her and Lola at the local Lambretta scooter rally. The next day I surprised her with a small red Vesper key ring. She seemed quite touched by the gesture and without saying a word, led me to her friend Juan’s 60’s Mod store and suggested I try on a vintage style Vesper shirt. When I called her over to the changing room to show her the shirt (buttoned up!), I impulsively tried to steal a kiss. She pulled away shocked although she was smiling.
And that’s when I saw her. I just knew. She was different. Although she didn’t even look at me. I was invisible to her. I was a “guiri”. An alien with kohled blue eyes and a wild golden mane. Undaunted, I befriended her Labrador puppy, Lola, who licked and liked me straight away. I bought Lola treats and studied my Spanish phrase book with renewed interest. Rosa didn’t speak any English so I at-
Fast forward six months and several steamy showers together. I’m still crazy about Rosa and I’ve discovered she’s not so shy after all. She’s strong-willed and passionate. One night, she sent me a text asking me to come to her clothing store as she wanted to show me her latest ink. It was my turn to be stunned. She’d had a large ‘M’ tattooed on her leg. She teased me and reassured me it was only a ‘stick on’. I laughed and thought she was funny. It wasn’t until later, I found out from our friend that she hadn’t faked it. It was the real thing. By Melissa Martinez
Three guys walk into a bar at the corner of King Street. Their names are Allen, Daniel and Randolph. These guys have never been in this bar before, they’ve never been in King Street before; they hover like fireflies around the barstools, sucking in all the atmosphere of local yokel old man pub, and trying not to make eye contact with any of the other punters. Each guy orders a pint of Guinness apart from Allen who only ever drinks Budweiser, and only ever from a bottle. Allen is the slim built, clean-shaven dude in the baseball cap: he is thirty-four years old but, looks at least ten years younger; he doesn’t talk much, likes to mind his own business but can handle himself in a fight if the occasion rises; when the barmaid asks for two pound fifty he pays her in exact change from the right knee pocket of his baggy black combats. Allen suggests that they all sit at the table in the alcove. He’s worried that Randolph’s drawing too much attention to himself. ‘Just imagine how embarrassing it would be,’ says Allen, ‘if you got I.D’d.’ Randolph agrees. But still he continues to drink fast and talk loudly; his high girlish voice is fluttering and floating in the air. He is laughing too much and when he laughs his cheeks turn pink and he pulls his checkered scarf up around his mouth. Randolph is a good four or five inches taller than the other two men; he is built like a fag paper and the cap he is wearing makes him look like Horace Broon without the glasses. Allen is glad they did not go to the Polo Lounge like he first suggested because Randolph would have been a sitting target for sleazy old men. Daniel is regretting coming into this pub already. He is glad when they sit down because his hands are shaking. He has just spilt his pint down the left leg of his trousers
and he is sure that the three young guys, sitting two tables along, are staring at him; they are probably discussing how stupid he looks. Daniel is nineteen, and slightly overweight; his pectorals are larger than the average guy’s and this is not helped by the brown cord jacket that he is wearing which is tight below the armpits. He has short brown hair with pink and green tips that curl around the nape of his neck, and a stud on his bottom lip which sits just above his goatee. Daniel is proud of his goatee, the lone stripe of inch-thick brown fuzz on his pale round baby face. A fourth guy enters the bar. He nods at Allen who does not return the gesture. James: the midget of the group: James is twenty-five years old and stands at a mere five foot three inches with eyes like half-moons and hair the colour of tar. He looks just like his father did at that age and they have the same silver dusting of stubble around the chin, the same trade mark pony tail that hangs down like a snake to just below the shoulders. James surveys the crowd, notes the ten to one ratio of males to females in the place. The men he sees are mostly forty-something, old enough to be his father; they have thinning grey hair and skin turned piss-yellow by nicotine. The women he sees are waif-like school leavers with wrist breaking gold jewellery and bleached blonde hair, no older than just-turned-eighteen. James is the most confident one out of all four men who have just come in. The most brazen. He likes to make his presence felt. He orders a pint of Miller in his bold Glasgwegian accent, winks at the barmaid and then pays her with a twenty that he has just withdrawn from the Clydesdale Bank outside St Enoch’s Centre. James sits down. He puts his pint on the table and takes his tobacco tin out to roll a fag. ‘What you lookin at?’ he says. Allen’s heart misses a beat. He could just tell from the minute James walked in that he was going to be trouble. The guy was a total exhibitionist. ‘Aye, you mate,’ shouts James. ‘You got a problem?’ ‘Not me pal,’ says a punter from the next table. Allen frowns. He keeps his eyes fixed straight ahead on James, while he grinds his fag out in the ash tray with one finger. Daniel’s hand shakes again and he bumps his pint glass down on the table leaving a wet mark; Randolph giggles to himself and blushes. ‘Aye, well stop fucking staring at me then eh,’ growls James. His eyes are steely grey like pieces of flint and he holds the punter’s gaze for more than a minute. ‘Eh, nobody’s looking at you, pal. I’m not looking at you.’ James opens his mouth to say something else but Allen interrupts him. ‘Leave it,’ says Allen in a low voice. ‘I’m warnin you, just leave it.’ Silence. ‘My mistake,’ says James, finally. ‘Let’s just forget about it,’ he tells the punter. Allen, Daniel, Randolph and James finish their drinks in silence. James rolls another fag for the road and there is a murmur of conversation from the other table. ‘That guy keeps lookin over here,’ says Daniel covering his mouth with his hand. ‘Ah’m goin over to fucking say something to him,’ says James.
‘Just ignore it,’ warns Allen. ‘How bad would it look – ’ ‘Eh pal, nobody’s lookin at you,’ roars the punter. ‘Aye, it was yer pal there that we were talking about,’ says another voice. ‘It’s fine, mate,’ says James, ‘my mistake.’ Allen thinks he can hear panic setting into James’ voice. He wonders if James is worried now and regrets the confrontation. ‘He’s talking about me,’ whines Daniel. ‘I told you I look crap.’ ‘Hey you, aye you with the pink hair,’ shouts the second punter. ‘What’s that on yer face?’ Daniel points to his lip. ‘You mean my piercing?’ ‘Naw, I mean the thing on yer chin. Is that painted on?’ No reply. ‘Is it hair from yer fanny then?’ The punters laugh and Allen signals to the others that they should go. ‘Aww you better apologise to the boy,’ laughs the first punter. ‘That’s bang outta order that is.’ ‘It’s just they big tits, from a distance they make ’im look like a lassie.’ ‘He’s only kiddin, son, just a bit of a laugh an a joke.’ Allen, Daniel, Randolph and James leave the pub in King Street. They make their way round to the Trongate, to where the Glasgow Women’s Library is. No one stops them at the door and they walk straight ahead till they get to the large disabled toilet. Once all four of them are inside, Daniel, Randolph and James lift their shirts and begin to unravel the bandages from around their breasts and scrub their faces with soapy wet cloths and olive oil. ‘D’you think those guys in the pub could tell?’ says Randolph, slipping an amethyst drop earring into each lobe. James smiles to himself in the mirror as he watches the crepe hair that had been glued to his chin, slowly flaking off into the sink. * By Lynsey Calderwood
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B.I.D ZINE Issue 9
With Thanks To: Holly Richardson Lotte Murphy-Johnson SOPHIE Cohen lynsey calderwood melissa martinez