Pride Season: The Unsent Letter – Man In An Orange Shirt

A most heartfelt letter written, but never sent. The tender letter from Thomas to his lover Michael, written in around 1957. Taken from the brilliant ‘Man In An Orange Shirt’, this is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful yet tragic love stories I’ve ever seen on TV and encapsulates an era of forbidden love. A love that dare not speak (or write) it’s name for fear of imprisonment. It would be another decade before the law on prohibiting homosexual relationships would be repealed, at least in the United Kingdom.

“The love I feel for you runs through me like grain through wood.”

Think about that for a minute.

If you haven’t seen the BBC adaptation of Man In An Orange Shirt, it’s available on BBC iPlayer for the next couple of weeks.

The Unsent Letter:

My Darling Thomas,

I'm at work. Nobody knows I'm writing to you here. They think I’m drafting a long and stupefying memorandum about incremental shifts in the price of Welsh coal since the end of the war for the ladies in the typing pool to type up later.

You refuse my visits so you're probably tearing up my letters too but there's nothing else I can do but keep trying. It's beyond my control, do you see?

All those months ago, when I had nothing to lose really, I wrote to you in my head but was too cowardly to set more than lies upon paper. And now I find I no longer care. The love I feel for you runs through me like grain through wood. I love you, Thomas. Your face, your voice, your touch, enter my mind at the least opportune moments and I find I have no power to withstand them. No desire to.

I want us to be together as we were in the cottage. Only for ever, not just a weekend. I want it to go on so long that it feels normal. I think of you constantly. Your face, your breath on my neck at night. I want to do all the ordinary, un-bedroomy things we never got around to doing. Making toast. Raking leaves. Sitting in silence.

I love you, Thomas.
I’ve always loved you.
I see that now.
Tell me I'm not too late.

Michael

***

Everything in this image has been created from scratch by The Vandeput Design Co. and is copyright…

© 2017, Ryan Vandeput. Without exception, you may not use this image for any purpose in whole or part without licence from The Vandeput Design Co. Email ryan@ryanvandeput.com to request permissions.

BRIDEGROOM

You may remember seeing a viral video in May 2012 titled ‘It Could Happen To You’ made by the actor and singer-songwriter Shane Bitney Crone. It told the story of his life with long-term partner Tom Bridegroom – both were young men from small town America, who met, fell in love, and shared a life together. But when Tom died unexpectedly in a tragic accident, Shane found himself with no legal rights to contest Tom’s parents, who denounced their partnership and barred him from going to the funeral. If the original viral video wasn’t touching and heart wrenching enough, this film expands on the story by piecing together footage of the pair together, as well as using new interviews with Shane, and with his and Tom’s families. Although it’s ultimately a tragic tale, it does have hopeful undertones. Bill Clinton introduced the film at the Tribeca Film Festival, where he called it “a story about our nation’s struggle to make one more step in forming a more perfect union, for which marriage is both the symbol and substance.” A story of such universal love can only serve to help the quest for legal equality around the world.

~ Bridegroom shows at the BFI Flare London LGBT Film Festival on March 22, 27 & 29, 2013
www.bfi.org/flare

Here’s the original video:
http://goo.gl/uYgSvV

www.bridegroommovie.com

In Film: Leicester Market, Winter 2010

From the film maker:
“A short observational documentary about one of my favorite places. Let me know what you think? I’d be particularly interested to hear from the traders and other people connected to the market, I wonder if there are any stories set in the market that could be the starting point for a longer documentary? In case you’re interested, this was shot between 6am and 10am on a freezing cold (-3) Saturday morning. Shot on a Canon 5DMKII using a 24-70 f2.8 and a 70-200 f4. This is the first time I have properly tested the 70-200 and I’m pleased with the results.” ~ Nick Hamer. Courtesy of Intrepid Media:
www.intrepidmedia.co.uk/leicester-market

Exclusive: Oy Vey! My Son is Gay!

Official Trailer:

Song: “The Word Is Love” from the movie “Oy Vey! My Son Is Gay!”

They say mothers are the first to know. Mums can also the first to deny – even when the signs are obvious. Add stunting family expectations to a mother’s nose for trouble, and happiness might not be as close as expected. So is the case in the new romantic comedy Oy Vey! My Son Is Gay!, starring Carmen Electra, Lanie Kazan, John Lloyd Young, Jai Rodriguez, Saul Robinek, and Vincent Pastore. Oy Vey! My Son Is Gay! is the story of the Hirsch’s, a Jewish family living in the North Shore of Long Island, where every Friday night Shirley Hirsch (Lainie Kazan) invites another “perfect” girl for Shabbat dinner in hopes that her son, Nelson (John Lloyd Young), will marry a nice Jewish girl. When Shirley and Martin (Saul Rubinek) once again set him up on a date, Nelson reveals that he is already seeing someone. Shirley and Martin are thrilled and can’t wait to meet the lucky lady… But, soon learn Nelson’s perfect mate isn’t what they expected at all…. [RP] USA Screenings start 24/12/2010. UK dates to be confirmed..

www.oyveymysonisgay.com

Rolf Harris – Two Little Boys

Two little boys had two little toys Each had a wooden horse Gaily they played each summer’s day Warriors both of course One little chap then had a mishap Broke off his horse’s head Wept for his toy then cried with joy As his young playmate said Did you think I would leave you crying When there’s room on my horse for two Climb up here Jack and don’t be crying I can go just as fast with two When we grow up we’ll both be soldiers And our horses will not be toys And I wonder if we’ll remember When we were two little boys Long years had passed, war came so fast Bravely they marched away Cannon roared loud, and in the mad crowd Wounded and dying lay Up goes a shout, a horse dashes out Out from the ranks so blue Gallops away to where Joe lay Then came a voice he knew Did you think I would leave you dying When there’s room on my horse for two Climb up here Joe, we’ll soon be flying I can go just as fast with two Did you say Joe I’m all a-tremble Perhaps it’s the battle’s noise But I think it’s that I remember When we were two little boys Do you think I would leave you dying There’s room on my horse for two Climb up here Joe, we’ll soon by flying Back to the ranks so blue Can you feel Joe I’m all a tremble Perhaps it’s the battle’s noise But I think it’s that I remember When we were two little boys

*** “Two Little Boys” was written by American composer Theodore Morse and lyricist Edward Madden. It was written in 1902 and became a popular music hall song of the time, made popular by Harry Lauder. It describes the story of two boys who grow up to fight in the American Civil War. In 1969 it became a surprise No. 1 top selling single for entertainer Rolf Harris in the United Kingdom.

For Ben

You’ve got to give a little, take a little,
And let your poor heart break a little.
That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love.

You’ve got to laugh a little, cry a little,
Until the clouds roll by a little.
That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love. As long as there’s the two of us,
We’ve got the world and all it’s charms.
And when the world is through with us,
We’ve got each other’s arms.

You’ve got to win a little, lose a little,
Yes, and always have the blues a little.
That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love.
That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love. (Bette Midler – from the film ‘Beaches’)

for Benjamin Lane

Travelin’ Thru by Dolly Parton

Check out this video on YouTube! It’s Travelin’ Thru by Dolly Parton, featured in the film ‘TransAmerica’ – lyrics below…

Well I can’t tell you where I’m going, I’m not sure of where I’ve been
But I know I must keep travelin’ till my road comes to an end
I’m out here on my journey, trying to make the most of it
I’m a puzzle, I must figure out where all my pieces fit Like a poor wayfaring stranger that they speak about in song
I’m just a weary pilgrim trying to find what feels like home
Where that is no one can tell me, am I doomed to ever roam
I’m just travelin’, travelin’, travelin’, I’m just travelin’ on

Questions I have many, answers but a few
But we’re here to learn, the spirit burns, to know the greater truth
We’ve all been crucified and they nailed Jesus to the tree
And when I’m born again, you’re gonna see a change in me God made me for a reason and nothing is in vain
Redemption comes in many shapes with many kinds of pain
Oh sweet Jesus if you’re listening, keep me ever close to you
As I’m stumblin’, tumblin’, wonderin’, as I’m travelin’ thru

I’m just travelin’, travelin’, travelin’, I’m just travelin’ thru
I’m just travelin’, travelin’, travelin’, I’m just travelin’ thru Oh sometimes the road is rugged, and it’s hard to travel on
But holdin’ to each other, we don’t have to walk alone
When everything is broken, we can mend it if we try
We can make a world of difference, if we want to we can fly

Goodbye little children, goodnight you handsome men
Farewell to all you ladies and to all who knew me when
And I hope I’ll see you down the road, you meant more than I knew
As I was travelin’, travelin’, travelin’, travelin’, travelin’ thru I’m just travelin’, travelin’, travelin’, I’m just travelin’
Drifting like a floating boat and roaming like the wind
Oh give me some direction lord, let me lean on you
As I’m travelin’, travelin’, travelin’, thru

I’m just travelin’, travelin’, travelin’, I’m just travelin’ thru
I’m just travelin’, travelin’, travelin’, I’m just travelin’ thru Like the poor wayfaring stranger that they speak about in song
I’m just a weary pilgrim trying to find my own way home
Oh sweet Jesus if you’re out there, keep me ever close to you
As I’m travelin’, travelin’, travelin’, as I’m travelin’ thru

(Dolly Parton) Here’s a trailer from the film:

Thanks to Benjamin Lane