Wendy, a 52-year-old gay woman, has been in a relationship with her partner of 8 years, who also identifies as a gay woman.

We spend a lot of time in America, and we go to a place called Provincetown, which is right at the tip of Cape Cod. P-town very much identifies as a haven for the LGBTQ +++ communities and is very welcoming to all types of minorities. When we’ve been there, we’ve made friends and we’ve started to visit other people in different parts of the country.  When you’re in P-town, the feeling of inclusion and belonging is really quite…, it’s like nothing else I’ve ever experienced, really.  All nationalities, everyone on the LGBTQ+++ goes there because there’s no fear or threat.  It’s like Gay Disneyland, if you like!  It’s really open. There are some things that shock me, you know, anything goes, kind of thing. You can be moderate, or you can go down a really alternative route there.

This photo is of downtown Atlanta, the gay area of Atlanta. It’s a real dichotomy. Because it’s deep south America, there’s a lot of very right-wing attitudes and opinions. You don’t have to drive through Georgia to see the Confederate flag.  There’s racism, and sexism, and every other -ism that you can think of there. It’s very, very divided. But this was a little pocket of gay acceptance and love in the middle of this quite bustling city.

We’d been doing a lot of walking through parts of the city where, by just holding hands, you felt a bit threatened, and at times we did stop holding hands. But then we walked into this, this  area where, you know, rainbow flags, lots of lovely little cafés and bars, and a lot of gay people – obviously gay people – and you could see that my partner was a lot less tense. So, we kind of relaxed into a nicer afternoon than the day we’d been having seeing other parts of the city. The photo illustrates the contrasts of one place, and how you can feel moving from one physical place to the next, it can be so marginal. I do have a love-hate relationship with the States, because it can be so tolerant, but then you have the flipside.

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