Getting Told

Last night Leftwing Idiot and I went to the opening of Untold Stories, an art exhibition that Belle has some work in. It’s a fundraising event for the homelessness charity SHP and it’s hosted by Together, a mental health charity. The publicity says it, “Explores the idea that by listening to the hidden narratives of those who are socially excluded, we can move away from stereotypes to a more equal and inclusive society.” The show featured work by practicing artists and by clients of SHP.

While the director of SHP was making her welcome speech, a member of her staff turned to me and said, “Can you be quiet now?” It’s not unusual for people to say that sort of thing to me, but for someone to say it at an event about inclusion was extraordinary, and particularly poignant.

The other unusual thing about it was Leftwing Idiot’s reaction. He normally gets me to respond to comments or challenges like this when we’re together, but this time he reacted immediately and very assertively, saying, “NO, of course she can’t be quiet, she has Tourettes.”

Afterwards he said he went from being calm one moment to fiercely angry the next. He felt as if he was screaming, though in reality it wasn’t that loud.

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