This collection of Pride tattoos was created by the very talented Abz Mills, for a charity fundraiser led by LGBT Youth Scotland. This day allowed Abz to connect with her fellow queer clientele, resulting in some really fun and quirky designs which can be seen below. More can be read about the wonderful event here.
Jenifer Prince is an extremely talented illustrator who has generously shared her work with Queerativity! These pieces are inspired by lesbian life and culture in a vintage comic-strip style.
A selection of LGBTQ+ Illustrations by Roza Stevenson that explore Queer identities, friendships, and mental health.
These anonymously submitted Autumnal Haikus, paired with Madeleine Leisk’s beautiful illustrations, conclude Queerativity’s Halloween-themed features wonderfully. Madeleine’s artwork can be purchased as cards on her Etsy page here.
their eyes are autumn
changes with the bitter breeze
i will keep them warm.
the dying season
maybe this part of me can
finally be free.
pumpkin sculpting done
carve holes out of me and then
maybe i can pass.
want a cup of tea?
just one of the many ways
you say i love you.
Scottish poet Jackie Kay (Jacqueline Margaret Kay, CBE, FRSE b.1961) is known for her honest and occasionally darkly humorous, introspective writing. Kay’s work revolves around questions of identity including race, gender, and sexuality. Her first poetry collection, The Adoption Papers (1991), explores an adopted child’s search for a cultural identity and was inspired by Kay’s own experiences of being raised in Glasgow by white adoptive parents. Kay explores issues of gender identity in her first novel, Trumpet (1998) which tells the story of fictional transgender jazz trumpeter Joss Moody (inspired by the real-life story of American musician Billy Tipton). Kay also examines the history of the Atlantic Slave trade in The Lamplighter, originally broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in 2007. In 2016, Kay was appointed as the Makar (National Poet for Scotland) and in 2020 she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to literature. Kay lives in Manchester and is the Chancellor of the University of Salford. Kay’s poetry can be found online at the scottishpoetrylibrary.org.
Alan Cumming (OBE b.1965) is best known for his thespian roles in theatre, television, and film and has been a staunch advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights and a supporter of several AIDS charities. Born in Aberfeldy, Scotland, at the age of 20, Cumming entered the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland). He has since crossed both British and American stages and Screens. Cumming worked with the National Theatre of Scotland on a one-man adaptation of Macbeth that was brought to Broadway. He received an Olivier Award for his role as the Maniac in Accidental Death of an Anarchist and a Tony Award as the Master of Ceremonies in Cabaret. A creative of many talents, Cumming has recorded music, released a fragrance, showed a solo photography exhibition, is an avid writer, and owns a thriving NYC based bar, Club Cumming. Throughout his career, Cumming has also been a vocal advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights and has received over 40 humanitarian awards including the Vito Russo Award and the Human Rights Campaign’s Humanitarian Award (2005) for his work with the LGBTQI+ community. He was also appointed an OBE for services to film, theatre and the arts, and activism for LGBT rights (2009). Cumming currently lives in New York City and often returns to his native Scotland where he is an advocate for Scottish independence and a patron of the Scottish Youth Theatre.
Justin Fashanu (Justinus Soni Fashanu b.1961 – d.1998) was a successful English footballer and the first black footballer to command a £1 million transfer fee. Born to a Nigerian father and Guyanese mother, Fashanu and his brother John were raised in Shropham by foster parents. He was a keen boxer in his youth and began his football career with the Norwich City Football Club, the Canaries, in 1978. Fashanu made history with his £1 million transfer to Nottingham Forest in 1981. He made history a second time in 1990 as the first openly gay professional footballer. He was forced to come out publicly after threats that he would be outed by a British tabloid. He was ostracised by his family, including his brother John who sold his story to the press, and received abuse from fans and players. After nearly a decade of homophobic abuse and a sexual assault allegation, Fashanu died by suicide 2 May 1998. In 2020, he was added to the National Football Museum’s Hall of Fame on what would have been his 59th birthday. Fashanu’s niece, Amal Fashanu, continues his legacy through the Justin Fashanu Foundation which combats discrimination in football.
Illustrations and bios by Madeleine Leisk.
Love is Love Embroidery
This Anonymous “Love is Love Embroidery” is a simple reminder that not all Queerativity posts will be publicly accredited to someone. Coming out at all is a big deal and some people don’t feel safe to do so, or generally don’t want to. Both of these are okay.
A lot of resources surrounding coming out are very encouraging of the prospect, which is great! However, coming out should always be on your own terms, when you feel safest to do so. Queerativity would like to remind our readers that you don’t always have to come out if that is what you would prefer. If you are happiest making minimalist rainbow embroideries quietly, that is perfectly okay.