As I commemorate the third anniversary of our independence referendum I still can’t forgive a large section of no voters for what they did to Scotland on that fateful day when they put apathy before ambition and personal contentment before the chance to build a better country and I explain my own issues with this particular demographic in this poem entitled Simmering which was inspired by the line Robert Burns classic poem Tam O’Shanter where the Bard says of Tam’s wife Kate that she was nursing her wrath to keep it warm. I have to admit, that though I don’t like the fact , that is very much how I feel when it comes to certain unionists who are shall we say more of the Ruth Davidson, Gordon Brown, and George Robertson variety than  is the case with more genuine unionists like Willie Rennie, Henry MacLeish, or Robin Harper who whilst not supporting Scotland’s independence accept there is a case to be made for it.  I hope you enjoy the read. 

I know I shouldn’t do it 

but tonight I’m nursing my wrath 

I don’t need to keep it warm 

when it comes to those who scorned 

the chance to build a better country

and allowed ugly politics to win the day 

trust me when I say when it comes to them 

my wrath is at boiling point

and the tempreture is unlikely to cool anytime soon 

I know I should try to forgive but I can’t 

I refuse to let those who let our communities decline 

in the name of this precious union 

get away with their crimes 

my patience with them died 

a long time ago 

snow will melt every fire in hell 

before they’ll ever be forgiven 

for lacking the ambition to shed the rags of apathy 

and deciding to be content with what they had 

meanwhile I nurse my wrath

but I’m content to keep it simmering for the moment 

I will bide my time before serving 

Independence will be won 

be under no illusions about that 

we have supporters in mansions and council flats 

and are more politically aware than our opponents 

who are drip fed propaganda by Westminster and the noble fourth estate 

which they believe without question 

indigestion is the natural result 

of prejudice fuelled by hate 

but content with this fate

 the gullible wrap themselves in second hand flags

not bothering to complain 

about Britannia’s under cooked meal

as long as it’s served on union jack platters

they will forget about May, Brexit, Blair , and Thatcher 

and be anesthetised to those yet to come 

it won’t bother them that there being used as voting fodder 

for a class based system 

in which their interests will never be priority 

if they think this is democracy 

their united kingdom is not as united as they are led to believe 

by those with vested interests in maintaining the status quo 

as a fighter for equality I will know 

when to take aim at those who were and remain 

too scared or malicious to fight 

for the right to govern ourselves 

my anger shows the passion of someone in good political health 

who is still up for the fight 

to stop the march of the right wing Conservative agenda  

It’s often said that we get the government we deserve

but this isn’t always the case 

and the Westminster set know the truth of my words

as I nurse my wrath and save it for a day 

when the unionists display their colours of fear 

then having nursed it back to health 

as the mist begins to clear 

with facts used as my weapons 

I will take aim at those who scorned Scotland

and believe me I won’t be missing my targets 

meanwhile my wrath is simmering 

it will be served when the greedy are ravenous

and demand a bigger slice of our cake 
© Gayle Smith 2017


Every Little Compliment Is A Very Personal Victory 

This afternoon whilst waiting to return home after an enjoyable but challenging day in the town I was joined by two girls who couldn’t have been more than 16 or 17 at the most. The girls concerned were polite, pleasant , and good humoured throughout my time in their company and once we had started a conversation I said I had ordered a new skirt from River Island which I would be collecting on Wednesday. 

As we chatted, I said that I had tried the skirt on in the store but I thought that the size 14 was just a bit too figure hugging and I wanted to give my bum room to breathe and as every girl knows the hips don’t lie. 

We are all also all too aware of the truth of that other well known female fashion fact which is what fits on the hips doesn’t always fit on the boobs. As the girls said it’s a girl thing and boys don’t understand  it. Well as they observed why should they, when all their signature style is a T- Shirt and  Jeans. 

Despite the obvious gap in our ages we were relaxed in each other’s company and the darker haired girl said that she really liked my outfit as it was nice and classy. My outfit was a purple top and black knee length skirt from River Island and black tights from Morrisons  Well as I said to the girls as long our tights fit it doesn’t matter where we get them from. 

The girls agreed with me on that but were gentle with my ego when I said that I needed to lose some weight to fit in to my favourite dress in time for Christmas. Though believe me I know the truth of my statement. I did however make them giggle when I said that because I was going to the theatre last night  I had decided to wear my sparkly tights  for the first time since March and was very relieved that they still fitted. Well as I explained there is nothing worse than tights which don’t sit where there supposed to and take on a life of their own. 

On telling them I was a trans woman I said it was important to me that I dressed in a way which was stylish but respectable. Not surprisingly they both agreed and smiled when I said that if I had once been their uncle and was now living as their auntie they would want to make sure I was dressing in an appropriate manner. 

The darker haired girl who was by far the chattier of the two said that I had did the right thing by trying on the smaller sized skirt and then ordering the larger one as it was always better to size up rather than down as left less room to be disappointed later. They also asked me if I had experienced any difference in the way I was treated. I said that I had and it only made even happier to be who I am because in spite of all the prejudice from some people I still get treated better than I ever did before my transition and every little compliment like the one they gave me is a very personal victory, and proves that my decision was the right one. 

Till next time. 

Gayle X

We Are Fierce Women And A Picture Of Success 

It has often been said that a picture paints a thousand words but this picture paints the most glorious tale using only four words. It is if you like the picture of success, but it’s also much more than that  as it paints a story of friendship, and  sisterhood,  and the power of women at our best. 

The words that tell our story can be summed up by this sentence. 
We Are Women With Fierce Words 

The truth of that statement is undeniable to anyone who knows us.  We are indeed women with fierce words  which we will speak with passion,  power , and purpose and we will do it without asking permission. 

This picture is the story of our success. We have launched our anthology of poetry.  Now I dare you to open our covers and read our words. By doing so, you will gain access to a treasure trove of thoughts from some of the most inspirational women you will ever meet. Women I am proud to call my friends. 

Till next time 

Gayle X

The Wine Of Life 

​This poem was written after an enjoyable and detailed chat with a woman on faith and transgender identity. The woman concerned asked me some very challenging questions as to how  I could  reconcile these two very important but very different parts of my life but such was her respect and willingness to learn about the issues I face on my journey we ended up getting on really well and she ended up being very supportive to me saying that God works in strange and wondrous ways and  if I believed this was the path he had chosen for me then who was she to doubt it.  After agonising for days over the title of this poem and getting loads of suggestions from friends as to what they thought may be appropriate I decided to the run with The Wine Of Life which I hope reflects in a positive way the conversation we shared. I hope you enjoy the read. 

Wine Of Life 

A woman wants to talk to me 

about the  role of faith in my life 

as I give her ten minutes of my time

I find myself speaking out 

on the issues that matter .

saying why my faith is important to me

a trans woman and a Christian 

I know my life will be interesting 

but when challenging situations arise 

especially concerning guys 

and my attraction to them 

I will pray for direction 

it’s to whether I should take it beyond kissing. 

yes I want to get intimate 

when the time is right 

but let’s get one thing straight 

there is no Mr Tonight 

nor will there ever be 

dignity and self respect 

are more than just words

I claim with boldness neclear weapons are absurd 

they can never be used

Jesus would not have approved 

at their invention 

yet there are some who claim that  my transgender status 

is a greater danger to the  planet  

than the greatest killing machines ever made 

personally I think that the only thing 

getting laid in their homes 

is the dinner table 

these are the boys and girls 

who will never know how to have fun 

who don’t understand scripture or how it fits in to our society 

being a Christian isn’t all about 

boredom and sobriety 

or being what the respectable classes call a good girl 

you know crossing my legs and saving my soul from Satan 

that said I will play the waiting game 

until Mr Decent turns up 

as our conversation concludes 

the woman wishes me luck 

with my transition 

and  calls it my mission for god 

well she said he’s given you the life you wanted 

so get out there and spread  his story

 be his witness to others on the road to glory 

and testify to his life changing all embracing power 

it was this that made you the woman you’ve become 

enjoy her and taste the wine of life. 
© Gayle Smith 2017 

I’m Proud Of Myself And Proud Of My Craft And Rhymes Matter Much More Than Rainbows. 

So in the end I didn’t go to the official Glasgow Pride event 

And you know what, it didn’t really matter.  

Yes I was at least initially annoyed after queuing in the rain for half an hour which seemed a lot longer for a ticket I didn’t get because it had sold out. The reason it seemed longer was probably due to the rain

But then I remembered

 Pride is what you make it and I made mine the best it could be 

I started by deciding that I wasn’t going up the hill to The Art School for the Free Pride day 

Instead I was going to Superdrug for two new lipsticks and a Twirl and not my usual bar of Galaxy Caramel. The lipsticks were expertly chosen for me by the lovely Jessica who is becoming quite a star when it comes to assisting me with my beauty routine. Having made my purchases, I decided to give the staff a Twirl and let them see me at my devastating best. Well if a woman can’t have a Twirl on Pride weekend when  can she have one? 

Having entertained those who needed it, I then started doing the rounds of the places to be seen and be seen in such as Dels, Speakeasy, and Katie’s. Needless to say they were all packed to the rafters by a community intent to celebrating themselves and having more balls than Cinderella. 

Of course, it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t take some photographs to commemorate the occasion and here a few of them which I think capture both the spirit of the day and the very essence of what a pride event should be. 

I start by showing you a glorious image of rainbow taxi which is sitting just outside Delmonicas which as you can see is suitably decked out in all the colours of the rainbow.  I think it’s safe to say that if you got a lift in this cab people might  just see you coming. 

As so often happens in Glasgow it rained on the day of the parade. Here a young party goer shows that flags can have a multitude of uses, as she uses hers to shelter from the afternoon rain. 

As we all know pride is, or at least should be all about celebrating all shades of sexuality within the rainbow. However though the public seem pretty clear on the fact  that  Gay Men are attracted to other men  and Lesbians prefer women I often think that bisexuals are the most neglected part of the  community and the B is the forgotten letter in LGBT.  Indeed I have even heard as recently as three weeks ago some gay men referring to bisexuals as greedy and confused Personally I don’t see what there is to be confused  about, I mean it really is quite simple folks Gay men like men, Lesbians like  women, and bisexuals like both men and women what is it that makes this so difficult to understand? I think the placard contained in the picture below gives the perfect riposte to this outdated argument

For those who don’t understand what Pride or indeed life is all about, I think the slogan on the back of this jacket sums it up perfectly. 

There are many colourful and wonderful sights on a Glasgow pride Saturday  including the stars of Katie’s Bar Michael Marrouli and Ginger Rogers who were happy to smile for the camera 

Though I enjoyed my day at Pride for what it was. I never went back on the Sunday as I  was mindful I had to keep myself in shape for the fringe. Looking back at the events of day I have to admit it was a time when I was reminded of my closeness to the LGBT community and in many ways my distance from it. I say this not with malice but with honesty as not being fit enough for the  march I started my day with a drink not in an LGBT bar but a Celtic one and  trust me got more respect in the Tollbooth than I’ve ever felt on the gay scene but as our supporters have said so often in the past , we are Celtic a club like no other and we are open to all. 

Don’t get me wrong, I made the best of the day and enjoyed the company of friends but it made me realise how  pride has changed in the  last ten years. It has become very commercialised and is or at least appears to be all about the pink pound rather than the rainbow community.It is my hope that free pride will help to redress this issue but that will take time to build as will building a community to support it. I also think as a performance artist (in my case in the genre of spoken word) the timing of Glasgow Pride could not be worse, coming as it has in the last few years slap bang in the middle of the Edinburgh festival fringe which is the biggest arts festival in the world. Naturally as a trans woman and a  poet this presents me with a dilemma and may go a long way to explaining why this was my first pride since 2014 and it may also be my last. 

Now before anyone suggests this may be an age related decision (I’m 56) I can assure you that you need a hell of a lot  more stamina to cope with one day on the fringe than you do for a weekend on the green. So trust me when I say  age is not a factor it’s much more about knowing who and what I am and that for the avoidance of doubt is a trans woman and a poet.You see being trans may be part of my identity and a very important of it at that but so is being a poet and in my world rhymes matter much more than rainbows. It therefore follows logic that if I have to make a choice between a place where I can be both rather than be restricted to somewhere where few if any of the gathering even know about my talent and I’m often pigeonholed usually by average looking gay guys to fit their stereotypes of what a trans woman is  I know which option I’ll be taking. You see I’m proud of who I am every  day of the year and I don’t need  permission to say so. 

 Till next time 

Gayle X 

If A Man Wants To Be A Lady Like Me He’ll Never Be The One That I Want

​It had to happen after a spoken word event on sexuality. I had decided not to go to the smut slam but instead take a wander to my favourite LGBT watering hole otherwise known as Katie’s Bar. As I was enjoying a quiet drink I was approached by a highly attractive Frenchman who said he liked ladies like me and I’ll admit it I was turned on pretty big time. Well he was a hot young guy so as a middle aged trans woman who was old enough to be his mum it’s fair to say I was flattered.

But …. There was a problem 

You see  my nice hunky Frenchmen wasn’t all he seemed. You see my hunky French fancy had a confession. The reason he liked ladies like  me was because he wanted to be one but only sometimes. 

Now I must admit this came as a bit of a blow as and let’s be honest I did find him very attractive and my over active mind had started imaging him in all sorts of different fashions. These included a kilt, a tuxedo, a coller and  tie, and very tight fitting jeans not to mention the full monty but never in my wildest dreams  or fantasies could I imagine him in a cocktail dress far less a mini skirt and fishnets. To say I was crushed would be an understament but trust me my disappointment was about get even worse. 
You see , after telling him that unlike him I was not a cross dresser and lived permanently as a woman he showed a sexist side which made a difficult situation even worse and started asking questions of a very intimate nature which I naturally refused to answer he then thought his Gallic charm could take me to his bedroom or at very least a deserted alley for a five minute thrill. Had he been all  man I just may have let him but no man of mine will stretch my knickers  or ladder my tights I want my man to be exactly that a man. 

So though I let him down gently with help from the best barmaid in the world (yes missy I know you’ll be smiling when you see this) I had no choice but to knock him back. You see if a man wants to be a lady like me he’ll never be the one that I want .

Till next time 

Gayle X

The Accident 

As anyone who knows me will testify, I have always had a reputation for  being a wee bit accident prone. As if to prove this I had a pretty bad fall at the end of April which had a catastrophic impact on my social life. Well when a spoken word poet and political activist had to cancel my own monthly night on the grounds of being housebound and was able to attend only one event for the whole of May   not to mention being unable to  campaign for not one but two elections you kinda know it’s serious. 

Thankfully I’m a lot better now but I can still recall the events of that night as if it was yesterday. So bearing that in mind, I thought to myself that if these memories will insist on  staying around I may as well turn them in to a poem and that’s what I’ve done with this poem in which I’ve taken a light hearted look at the events of that unfortunate evening.  I’ve given it the title The Accident. I hope you enjoy the read.

The Accident. 

It was a Wednesday in late spring 

as gentle sunshine brightened the early evening sky 

when suddenly my balance left me

and I was sprawled, legs akimbo 

on a path I had walked a thousand times before 

with no one to be seen I felt ignored 

yet at the same time relieved 

I mean I wasn’t wearing heels

I couldn’t even use that excuse 

I only do flat shoes  or maybe boots in winter 

yet for some reason my legs just couldn’t stay together

no it wasn’t like that. 

well I wouldn’t not in a lane

and not on a Wednesday night

so with handbag on one side and house keys on the other 

I discovered how quiet my village is

on a week night

with one shoe on ,

and the other a distance away 

it’s fair to say I wasn’t looking my best 

I was like a drunk in distress 

the kind of sight you’d expect to see 

in the city centre on a Friday or Saturday night

grazed knees and laddered tights 

are not my look to go

eventually I struggled on

got my other shoe back on my stockinged foot

I was anything but cute

as I made my way back to the safety of my flat

on hobbling up the stairs

I remembered that I’ve always been accident prone 

I was glad I left my phone at home

 giving thanks that the streets were deserted

I looked towards heaven in silent prayer

 expressing gratitude to my creator

that nobody had captured my moment

or worse still recorded it on YouTube 

© Gayle Smith 2017