So, let's start 2017 on a more positive note. The coming months may well prove to be a very bad time to be poor, female, trans, gay, black, foreign, disabled, or in any way alternative; and like any group exiled from the mainstream of society this will lead to bonfires, pogroms, expulsions, discrimination and persecution. But we have a DNA of magic and resistance, and we've been through all this before. We shall overcome.
There is the weapon of glamour, of disguise, of 'give a man a mask and he will tell you the truth'. When make-up was first introduced to the UK there were attempts to ban it as witchcraft, as if the powers of seduction it possessed were a form of magic. As 'glamour' itself was originally a form of fairy disguise, we have grown to use it to weaponise ourselves as the 'other' against the mainstream. Like a Bowie shapeshifting and intimidating grey corridors, undermining street fascists and the smoke-filled rooms of cabaret mediocrity, we have grown to wear the masks of our own subconscious and externalise our inner selves. We may ink and pierce our skin like our ancestors, but we wear leather, PVC and latex instead of animal furs and coarse fabrics; on our own 'wild hunt' in our own personal arenas, our internal aggression externalised through dark fashions and cruel glamour.
There is the weapon of performance, of winning a platform and learning a skill; from the dancing shadows of childhood stories or mesmerising words at the fireside, or the simple songs of demons and magic that were sung in dark corners of squalid cities we have learned to play, to perform, to create. We create music to express ourselves, and escape, but also to attack, as the boldest options are often the safest. We corrode mainstream vanilla blandness and spill thick blood on new canvasses; we build with ambition and detail with equally cruel passion; we summon and invoke and channel all the spirits of the underdogs and the outcasts and the witch. We make our own amusement, and we conquer the world with it.
And there is the weapon of alliance, of unity, of solidarity; there may not be honour amongst thieves but there is fraternity. We know our enemies, we identify weaknesses, we bite at the soft underbelly of hypocrisy and power. We defend ourselves, we look out for each other, we know what we are up against. We dance by the same fires and look at the same sky through the same tear-stained eyes of resistance and regret; we dodge the same arrows and bullets. Some of us are public and active, others private and reserved, others afflicted by harshnesses of fate or circumstances, but we all have the same unity – that of the freak, the outsiders, those who prowl and scavenge on the outskirts. We organise, we faction, we unify; we create our own ceremonies and structures and festivals. We come together to purge and celebrate, and rejoice.
So against cruelties upon person, colour, religion, community and planet we refuse and we resist; like a witchcraft born in the dungeon we arose from suburbias and underworld, denying the nets of the priest and the boss and the thug. So when they make pyres for us, we shall dance around them and transform. We shall rise like we have always risen.
We shall overcome.