Originally I had planned to walk and talk with people in person to find out more about how they were during the in-between times of lockdowns and tiers. New restrictions prevented this. Instead, I invited a range of LGBTQIA+ people to answer questions about what they were missing during this time of a global pandemic. This was many months ago now when the nights were longer and the days were darker. Now we are in the middle of the light hurtling past midsummer, we move into a more unknown time, as things open up once again.
I have reimagined what was written, to illuminate the generous responses of the individuals into something collective, something unifying in a world that feels like it is constantly attempting to divide us.
I wanted to capture something about LGBTQIA+ lives during the global pandemic and it felt like something intimate was required for this in the writing. The writing is slow and it is gentle as it wanders. It is a testimony to the humanity and resilience that was shared with me so generously at a time of extremis. I loved reading all the different and varied responses whilst listening to song choices sent in and shared with me. I laughed, was stopped in my tracks and humbled by the answers sent. Thank you.
It made sense to me to work with Catherine Hall who is a brilliant BSL Interpreter, bringing alive the physicality of the words on the page, the visceral nature of the responses themselves. It has been a time of bodies and the heart.
A massive thanks to all who contributed their thoughts and responses, and to the creative team involved in making this work:
Words: Natalie McGrath
BSL Interpretation: Catherine Hall
Digital: Gillian Taylor
Dramaturgy: Josie Sutcliffe
Many thanks to Belinda Dillon and to Exeter City of Literature.
Content Warning: This contains some strong language.