Glorious (2021)

I properly disappeared into this, our 24th Kick-About prompt, another complete world building around it and absorbing me completely. I kept discovering all these pockets of rage and sadness as I wrote this short story, not least because I’ve been reading a lot about so-called “conversion therapies” and ‘cures for homosexuality’, and not least because a fair ratio of Glorious is based on the life and times of an individual I know well, a man who guards his freedoms fiercely, with no f**ks given. The setting of the story is also a real place, with its big bridge and creeping gentrification, though liberties have been taken everywhere. I wanted to get into the different ways behaviours can be tamed, so while I’m civil-partnered myself, I know a number of older gay men – and one in particular – who would, if pushed (and not very hard) express a certain wariness for the onwards march towards ‘normalcy’, preferring instead the distinctiveness of transgression and what is ‘uncivilised’ and ‘anti-social’ about some aspects of its subculture.

You’ll find an online PDF version here.

4 thoughts on “Glorious (2021)

  1. Its a sad but also clear-eyed story I think. Families still have trouble reconciling their wishes with reality, and there is always nostalgia for our youth and the feeling of being outside the acceptable culture. Conversion is such a strange idea, and yet it refuses to go away. (K)

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  2. I really love this story, Phil! Your writing as always is so lush and vividly descriptive. It’s poignant and heartfelt, sad but also inspiring. It really hits home about the constraints that can be placed upon gay men, if they aren’t brave enough to not be shackled to it and choose not to give a fuck about people’s moral hypocrisies. I loved that, in elements, Frank could see himself in Rupert’s position – dead on the floor or otherwise just as hidden away and forgotten, but the last line just shows the differences between Frank and Rupert’s life with the return of the Polish Plumber… Come hither Frank says, with his “great big dick!” X

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