Here’s to boys who like boys, girls who like girls and men who like to wear dresses. Here’s to the woman who doesn’t want to look like an anorexic stick insect from some vile fashion magazine and who knows she is the equal of any man. Here’s to those who don’t have any interest in telling others how to live their lives but have an interest in the lives of others, those who can shed a tear for their fellows, who know it’s not always about “me, me, me” and always remember that “there but for the grace of God go I.” Here’s to those who recognise the Love of God and know that the life we live in this world is but a small fraction of our total existence.
Here’s to those who will not accept that a system that hands out opportunity and privilege based on how rich your parents are is neither justified nor justifiable, to those who believe in a level playing field for all. Here’s to those who are, every day and in every way, angry with the world even in the face of their own powerlessness and who don’t know when to shut up about it, refusing to go quietly into the night. Here’s to those who aren’t ready to be the people other people think they should be, who just won’t dress appropriately for their age or do the “sensible” thing. Here’s to those who don’t believe a word they are told, who will always check the “facts” and the “research” before coming to a decision that is entirely their own, be it right or be it wrong.
Here’s to those who accept they are different and revel in it, who enjoy standing out in the crowd, who know that they are unique and wonderful individuals but no more unique and wonderful than any other individual. Here’s to those who nobody loves, those who society has cast out to sleep in the street as though they were nothing more than human garbage. Here’s to those who won’t accept authority and see it for what it is; an attempt by flawed, sick and dangerous people to gain power and control over others so that they can satiate their own perverse desires.
Here’s to those who are appalled by the brutality we inflict on animals and weep at the way we rape the world that sustains us. Here’s to those who feel outrage that 1% of humanity controls as much wealth as the other 99% does collectively, who are disgusted that even a single child should starve to death in a world of plenty. Here’s to those who have principles and beliefs and who stick to them even when there’s a price to be paid for doing so. Here’s to those who have strange ideas and say stuff that they shouldn’t say, who say “maybe things are not all they seem to be” and who carry on saying it even when others are laughing in their face. Here’s to the gentle, the kind, the loving, the caring; here’s to the meek and to the day when they shall inherit the Earth.
Here’s to the old man standing on a street corner, protesting at the way things are, waving his walking stick in the air and shouting incoherently at passing traffic. Here’s to the different, the strange, the eccentric, the odd, the looked down upon, the ignored, the outcasts, that funny bloke from number 37. Here’s to the freaks. Here’s to the future.
This short piece was originally published (under the title ‘For Nora Lee’) in my book of short stories ‘A Curious Book’):