Who Will Keep Us Safe?

Last night in a horrific incident, a 42 year old man went on a shooting spree at a local #LGBT+ club (London Pub) in Oslo, Norway. This left two people dead and 21 injured.  My heart goes out to the victims and families of this mindless evil act.

The Pride march scheduled for Saturday was cancelled.

The community’s safety has been compromised again; and in Norway, which is considered a very safe place for the gay community!

I am personally deeply saddened and angry!!

Why, I ask? Why would anyone want to terrorise people who simply live their lives. Why would someone be this evil?

The police have cancelled the ‘gay pride’ in Oslo.  The community will get together and fight back, no doubt, with the hope that things change, and that we are all made to feel safe again.

Waking up to this news today was a reminder of how things are for us in this world.

Today, I am on a panel ( Blue Orchid London Indian Film Festival)  discussing the life and story of Riyad Wadia, a renowned Indian filmmaker from Bombay, who made his first film BomGay, moderated by Nasreen Munni Kabir along with fellow panelists Neeraj Churi (of Lotus Productions) and Ash Kotak, at the Barbican Centre. Riyad passed away at a very young age of 36. Not before he had left a significant impact.

>> However, will this incident stay alive in my mind during the screening and post screening discussion? Yes, absolutely.

>>Does it make me fearful of being targeted? Yes, of course.

London is celebrating 50 years of Pride on Saturday, 2nd July. I will be marching this year with my head held high alongside my partner, for the first time since my coming out at 50.

>>Does it make me nearly of being targeted? Yes, Yes!

>>Am I afraid anymore? No. No.

No one can stop us from living our lives with the freedom and dignity we deserve.  Our fight to stay visible will continue. Our fight to pave the way for a safer, inclusive world for our younger generation and generations to come, will continue.

I am fighting this with the only weapon I have and know. LOVE.

I wish for a safer world! I work hard to create a safer world through my own voice.

But, who will keep us safe?

Will you?

Photo source: Internet 

When Life gets Dark

Dark Thoughts

I have always been a very happy, positive person and have had a great attitude to life. I live every moment in the best way I am able. However, I made certain choices in life that set me off on a different journey that at times took me to very dark places. I learnt very quickly about human behaviour and the dark side of life.

I had decided to move on from a very peaceful, comfortable life with a beautiful family when I was in New Zealand, to a life that would leave me exposed to being judged, as I had decided I was going to explore my sexuality.

This choice created many challenges – emotional and at times physical abuse from those around me (not my ex-husband),  I lost so-called friendships, people constantly judged and shared negative opinions and this also had an impact on my kids who were little at that time. This put me into a very deep dark hole. Outwardly, I seemed happy and excited about life, and I believe I laughed much more than I would otherwise (overcompensating) but inside I was breaking each day. I was finding it very hard to cope. Waking up and doing normal things was a struggle. Having the kids helped me push myself to do what I had to do. I got up, dressed and showed up each day. I went in and out of deep depression. Too scared to share with anyone, in case they judged me again.

There are still deep scars from that time and every now and again I go back in there, but I come out of it. I know how to deal with it now. I write poetry or I just write. My Untold Lies is from such times. I use tools, I keep myself busy with work, hobby and just allow myself to do what I need to do. I do nothing that will make it harder or difficult for myself. On such dark days, I am kinder to myself and try and love myself as I would a friend, who is going through a similar journey.

A short snippet of a personal story on mental health issues.

Raga Olga D’silva

Author – Untold Lies | Influencer | Speaker

Director – Speaking Minds

Straight from the Desk of a Gay Woman

“Hey dude”, he exclaimed aloud, as he patted me on my back. I observed this was something he did with the other blokes around. I nearly fell with the force of his pat. I was not used to being hit on my back by men (or by anyone for that matter. Women hug we don’t pat). He was excited and had much to say and show. I found myself in the midst of a dozen smart, professional men looking at something that this person was sharing. He turned to me and said, ‘look at this dude’, and showed me a photo of a naked woman, expecting me to drool perhaps and fall on my knees perhaps, as some men do.  I did not drool, nor did I feel any sense of excitement. Although I was not shocked, it did make me feel very uncomfortable. I found myself walking away to my favourite spot – to a group of women who welcomed me with warmest hugs. (more…)

Listen to those hunches!!!

We are meant to be soul people; soft, caring, loving with compassion for those around us.  Aren’t we all born  with a blank canvas? Apart from a spiritual line of thinking that we bring our past karma’s with us, the reality is that our present circumstances and experiences play an immense role in shaping  our lives. (more…)