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 It would be another decade before the law on prohibiting homosexual relationships would be repealed, at least in the United Kingdom.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.



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EastEnders Tackles Serious Mental Health Issues Head-On

While I am not a big fan of EastEnders the recent storyline involving Ian Beale has caught my attention, with its realistic portrayal of his depression and subsequent breakdown.

It culminated in last Friday night’s episode, which closed with Beale walking by the side of a motorway in his pyjamas after having suffered a breakdown – triggered by his fiancée leaving him on the morning of his wedding.

This is a pretty one-off dramatic device, but it was just the culmination of several weeks’ worth of stressful events for Beale. For those who don’t watch, here is a brief overview: his businesses were in debt, his fiancée and daughter were fighting constantly; and he discovered that his half-brother, Ben, had killed another character – a secret he was struggling to keep.

Over the past few weeks, Beale’s behaviour had become increasingly erratic, although those around him had failed to spot the signs that he was becoming ill. Thus far, the storyline has, to my mind, shown a pretty realistic depiction of what a breakdown can be like. Even if some of the triggers for the character’s stress are untypical, his erratic behaviour, panicking and final disengagement from what is going on around him, are not. Adam Woodyatt, who plays the character, should be commended for his portrayal.

It’s also significant that it has happened to Ian Beale: he is the longest-serving character in the show, so viewers know him and know that he doesn’t have a history of mental ill health. His character is also a successful businessman, highlighting the fact that mental health problems can affect anyone at any time. That the story rings true should not be surprising: EastEnders’ scriptwriters have worked closely with anti-stigma campaign Time to Change on the storyline.

EastEnders also has form in this area. In 2009, the soap gained plaudits for the storyline involving Stacey Branning’s development of bipolar disorder. The actress who played the character, Lacey Turner, won several awards for her portrayal. In addition, Jean Slater – mother of Stacey – has been a regular fixture in EastEnders for more than 5 years. She also has bipolar disorder, and viewers have watched as her condition has fluctuated.

This storyline keeps up EastEnders’ fine track record in addressing mental health issues and tackling the stigma that surrounds them. While soaps are often dismissed as little more than televisual fluff, designed as half-an-hour’s escapism, a few nights a week, this again shows how they can be a powerful way to highlight issues and, in this case, tackle stigma with a mass audience. During the Stacey Branning storyline, MHF The Bipolar Organisation said the number of young people calling its helpline doubled in 6 months. The Ian Beale storyline may have a similar effect for people experiencing depression.

It will be interesting to see how the storyline plays out; hopefully it will include treatment and, in time, Beale’s return to health, which would further help to break down the stigma associated with mental health problems, by showing that people can, and do, recover from them.

Reprinted from:
With Thanks to the Original Article Author, Dan Parton

The New ‘Glee’ Promo Is Like A Prayer

By now it’s no secret that the cast of Glee will be taking a bow to the Madonna back catalog in the April 20th episode of the series. But what was that trilling over a the airwaves with such conviction during an American Idol commercial break last night? Why, it was almost like a religious experience. In fact, it was a religious experience—it was Lea Michele singing Madge’s 1989 hit “Like A Prayer” in a brand new Glee promo! (Sadly, there was nary a sight of her making out with a saint in the clip.) Watch below, Gleeks!

Ah, it’s like school is back in session and we’re convening with all our friends during lunch to talk about what we did over break—you know, at the unpopular table, of course.

Now, a Glee cast mini album called The Power Of Madonna—which features eight Material Girl covers, including a “Borderline/Open Your Heart” mashup—is out April 20, and we already know that Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) is singing “Vogue.”

But, forgive us, Father—for we are praying that either Kurt (Chris Colfer) or Finn (Cory Monteith) landed “Like A Virgin.” Or at the very least, give William McKinley High’s star kicker “What It Feels Like For A Girl.” (Oh, hush—you know that would be good television.)

Sigh. Four more weeks. Time goes by so slowly, indeed, Madonna

For now, here’s a few GREAT promos:

and finally, the Sneaky Gays:

~ thanks to @tommiiTERROR on twitter for the heads-up! Follow him:

Glee’s Sue Sylvester Quotes

“Hey, Buddy! I was just dropping by to feed my Venus flytrap” Episode 13: Sectionals"You think this is hard? Try being waterboarded, that’s hard!“ (Episode 1: Pilot)

"You think this is hard? I’m living with hepatitis, that’s hard!” (Episode 1:Pilot)“Your resentment… is dellllicious.” (Episode 1: Pilot)

“You think this is hard? Try filling your own cavity, that’s hard!” (Episode 1: Pilot)Sue: “See, now what you’re doing here is called blurring the lines. High school is a caste system and kids fall into certain slots. Now, you have your jocks and your popular kids up in the penthouse. Your invisibles and kids playing online trolls and creatures, bottom floor.” Will: “So where do the Glee kids lie?” Sue: “Sub-basement.” (Episode 1: Pilot)

“Lady Justice wept today.” (Episode 2: Showmance)“I took the liberty of highlighting some Special Ed classes for you. Maybe you can find some recruits there because I don’t think anybody else is going to want to swim over to your… island of misfit toys.” (Episode 2:Showmance)

Sue: Iron tablet? It keeps your strenght up when you menstrate. Will: I don’t menstrate. Sue: Yeah neither do i.“It is my strong suggestion these two students be hobbled.” (Episode 2:Showmance)

“Let me be the one to break the silence. That was the most offensive thing I have seen in 20 years of teaching and that includes an elementary school production of "Hair.”“ (Episode 2: Showmance)Will: "Are you threatening me?” Sue: “Threatening you? Oh no, no, no, no. Giving you a chance to compromise yourself? You betcha! Let’s break it down. You want to be creative, you want to be in the spotlight. Face it. You want to be me! So here’s the deal. You do with your depressing little group of kids what I did with my wealthy, elderly mother. Euthanize it! It’s time, and I’ll be happy to offer you a job as my second assistant on Cheerios. You can fetch me Gatorade, launder my soiled delicates. It’d be very rewarding work for you.” (Episode 2: Showmance)

“This is what we call a total disaster, ladies. I’m going to have to ask you to smell your armpits. That’s the smell of failure. And it’s stinking up my office!” (Episode 3: Acafellas)*when Principal Figgins forces them to hug* Will: “I will destroy you.” Sue: “I am about to vomit down your back.” Will: “It’s on.” (Episode 7: Throwdown)

“There’s not much of a difference between a stadium full of cheering fans and an angry crowd screaming abuse at you. They’re both just making a lot of noise. How you take it is up to you. Convince yourself they’re cheering for you. You do that, and some day they will. And that’s how SueC’s it.” (Episode 4: Preggers)“I’ll often yell at homeless people: ‘Hey, how is that homelessness working out for you? Try not being homeless for once.’” (Episode 4: Preggers)

“God, it feels good to finally pop that zit known as Will Schuester.”“Oh, I know the Dutch are famous for being a cold people but that’s no excuse for treating you like some half-priced hooker in Amsterdam’s famous red-light district.”

“I don’t trust a man with curly hair. I can’t help but picturing birds laying sulforous eggs in there and i find it disgusting”“Are these your droopy white granny panties, Jacob? Are you an Eve who was born a Steve? Because if you are, I think there’s a special school that would better address your needs. And I think that school is in Thailand.”

“Schuester! Yeah? I’ll need to see that set list for Sectionals after all, and I want it on my desk, warm from the laminator at 5:00 p.m. And if it is one minute late, I will go to the animal shelter and get you a kitty cat. I will let you fall in love with that kitty cat, and then, on some dark, cold night, I will steal away into your home and punch you in the face.” Episode 8: Mash-Up"If I have a pregnant girl doing a handspring into a double layout, the judges aren’t going to admire her impeccable form, they’re going to be wondering if the centrifugal force is going to make the baby’s head start crowning.“ Episode 9: Wheels

“If there’s anything on that list that involves demeaning, fruity hair tossing, I’m cutting it!” Episode 10: Hairography"Never let anything distract you from winning. Ever.” Episode 10: Hairography

“I have reasonable confidence that you will be adding revenge to the list of things you’re no good at – right next to having a marriage; running a glee club; and finding a hairstyle that doesn’t make you look like a lesbian. Episode 13: Sectionals"Love ya like a sista!” Episode 13: Sectionals

“Get ready for the ride of your life, Will Schuester,” she told him. “You’re about to board the Sue Sylvester Express. Destination: Horror!“ Episode 13: Sectionals“I’m going to head down to my condo in Boca, brown up a bit, get myself back into fighting shape.” Episode 13: Sectionals

Sue: Kids; I don’t have the time, I don’t have the uterus…

More great Glee info on GleeWiki: