Today’s conversation will be triggering for some. What follows is a candid discussion which touches upon mental health, suicide, sexual violence and conversion therapy. Please listen with care. Included in this episode’s show notes are links to UK-based charities and services for each of the sensitive topics discussed.
Ben Ellis describes himself as a belligerent queer Black man. He's a poet who writes about survival, Blackness, Queerness, fuck boys and the layers of our identity, layers that he says are impermanent, transient parts of ourselves that we sometimes shed throughout our life.
We explore the emotional cost of his poetry, surviving conversion therapy, his ongoing battle with his mental health, religious trauma syndrome and the journey he’s on to use his pain to help prevent or alleviate the pain of others like him. But, as is so often the case when we come together to share the deepest parts of ourselves, this vulnerable and raw conversation is punctuated with so much laughter, recognition and kinship.
We open with his reading of Pansies, his response to someone who asked him at a poetry workshop why all of his poems are sad poems.
Mind Out The LGBTQI Mental Health Service
Albert Kennedy Trust The LGBTQI Youth Homelessness Charity
Galop The LGBTQI Anti-violence Charity
Know that you are not alone. There is a world of people here for you who love you.
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