hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
I'm on a mailing list for Lib Dem bloggers (even though I'm not really one) and today as sometimes happens there I noticed an e-mail asking people to share a link to a video they'd made. There was another e-mail from someone saying it was great and that they would do so.

A minute later there was another e-mail from the second person: "Is that one scarf or two, btw?"

I hadn't been able to watch the video yet, but I already knew the answer to that question.

Reader, I had knitted those scarves.

And yes, there were two (though apparently only one is in the video, as there's more than enough of it to drape around a person). The pattern I used, from doctorwhoscarf.com, called for so much yarn and so much knitting that you could have blanketed an elephant with it. Having realized this after having yards of knitted fabric and realizing I still had half the yarn I'd bought left, I decided to stop there and start another one, so Alex and Richard could each have one as their wedding present, rather than having to share the one. The scarves, I wrote in the explanatory yes-I-know-the-orange-is-wrong-it-was-the-closest-I-could-find (because Alex and Richard are the kind of people who'll know that the orange is the wrong shade, though they're polite enough that you can't expect them to let on), are not the same but two halves of the whole, something I thought reasonably appropriate for a wedding present, especially since I can't think of any two people who better epitomize the idea of a whole being greater than the sum of its parts.

I was honored when I saw that the scarves were a wedding gift that got packed into their suitcases for their honeymoon in the U.S. As Alex said today (in answering the question about whether there were one or two scarves), "They got a lot of attention on our honeymoon, particularly in Chicago - the Windy City - in November, where people kept stopping us on the sidewalk to ask where we'd got them (and shivering)..."

If ever I were going to burst with pride, it would've been when the famous Alex and Richard told random Americans where they got their Doctor Who scarves: it was from me. And similarly now that Alex and Richard have made a video about the long journey to their marriage, I am again delighted to see my scarves -- well, one of my scarves as it turns out they're sharing one in this video, bless them -- showing up too.

None of my Lib Dem heroes are famous: they're all people who are on worthy committees and reading dry papers and making phone calls and delivering leaflets. When things anger or hurt them, they don't just rage about it on social media; they start writing policy motions. And they get drunk and sing songs making fun of everyone, especially ourselves.

We don't always know the effects that our actions will have. I've helped write Lib Dem policy that has and hopefully will continue to contribute to the life and liberty of LGBT+ people.

We meet and fall in love. We go to each others' weddings. We sit at those weddings around a table set nicely for a fancy meal and get in screaming rows about devolution and what "England" even means.

We make Doctor Who scarves for wedding presents, with thoughtful advice on which version from which season is the most appropriate to the couple. Here I've gone with the Season 18 three-color scarf, less well known than the traditional multicolored Doctor Who scarf you see on cosplayers and such. It was suggested in recognition that Season 18 is a favorite of Alex's, but I think it also serves to demonstrate the unexpectedly unique couple to whom the scarves were given.

You can read what Alex says about the long journey to their married life here, and here's the video:





We got married.

It was a fantastic day.

So many wonderful people celebrating with us.

And so much food.

We’ve been together a long time, and we’ve been to a lot of weddings, and there’s never enough food.

Trust us on this. If you ever get married –

– which is fantastic, by the way –

– then feed people and they’ll be happy enough that they listen to your speeches.

But the thing about us getting married is, we had to wait a long time.

A very long time.

Twenty years.

To the day.

It wasn’t that we had very strict parents.

Well, not much.

You see, I met Alex

And I met Richard

And we fell in love.

And we got together twenty years and six months ago today.

So we got married six months ago today.

Because we’re gay.

So it was a long wait.

In fact, we had to wait

Until the Liberal Democrats were in government.

In the ’70s, when we were born, only one party said as a matter of principle that they backed gay rights.

That was the Liberals.

In the ’80s, when we were at school, one party brought in Section 28, to put bashing the gays into law.

That was the Tories.

Only one party opposed Section 28 from the first.

That was the Liberal Democrats.

Labour were in favour of it.

Until they weren’t.

But they didn’t do anything about it when they had the power to in the ’90s.

Not for ages.

In fact the bit of Britain that first got rid of it was Scotland, in the early 2000s.

When the Liberal Democrats were in coalition there.

Labour had absolute power in Westminster back then.

But they didn’t bother changing the law for the rest of us until much later.

I remember the 1992 election, when one of the three big extreme things Jeremy Paxman sneered at a party leader for was supporting gay rights.

That was Paddy Ashdown and the Liberal Democrats, and he stuck to his guns.

Actually, Paddy doesn’t need guns, he’s dangerous enough with his bare hands.

That was Paddy Ashdown.

I remember the 1997 election, when one of the three big things the Daily Telegraph said a party’s manifesto was dangerously extreme for was supporting lesbian and gay rights.

That was the Liberal Democrats.

And eventually, in 2001, one party came up with the first ever Manifesto for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People.

That was the Liberal Democrats.

And all the promises in there were in their main manifesto too.

That was the Liberal Democrats.

And they did the same thing again at the next election.

That was the Liberal Democrats.

And meanwhile the other parties either kept on hating the gays

That was the Tories.

Or just didn’t have the balls to do anything in case it put people off.

That was Labour.

Liberal Democrats proposed civil partnerships.

Labour and the Tories voted them down. They were both against it before they were for it.

And even then the Liberal Democrats wanted civil partnerships as a choice for both same-sex and mixed-sex couples.

But both Labour and the Tories have always said those can only be a second-class option for the gays.

The government spent thousands and thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money in court opposing an equal age of consent.

That was the Labour Government.

They lost. And the government spent thousands and thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money in court defending the ban on gays in the military.

That was the Labour Government.

They lost that too.

So when the Labour Party boasts that it equalised the age of consent

Remember that they only did it because they lost in court and the court made them do it.

So when the Labour Party boasts that it scrapped the ban on gays in the military

Remember that they only did it because they lost in court and the court made them do it.

The Labour Party’s boasts are like a burglar caught red-handed and then found guilty who then tries to claim credit for giving all your stolen stuff back.

When you know they’re the ones who nicked it in the first place and only the court made them do it.

And then when the Coalition was formed in 2010

Only one party leader had said he was in favour of equal marriage.

That was Nick Clegg for the Liberal Democrats.

And that year the first British party ever voted to back equal marriage.

That was the Liberal Democrats.

And eventually the Lib Dems persuaded the leader of another party.

That was David Cameron for the Tories.

And later than that, another party said there was no need to have equal marriage – but in the end came in third to back it once it was already happening.

That was the Labour Party. They were against that before they were for it, too.

And one party was badly split about it.

That was the Tories.

And a lot of their MPs said they backed equal marriage because it was a “gesture” to “detoxify their brand”.

That was the Tories.

So as it was only a gesture, we can think of a few gestures to make in return.

But this isn’t tagged as an explicit video.

And another party didn’t care, and hadn’t bothered doing it when they had absolute power for thirteen whole years, but they jumped on the bandwagon last and then tried to claim all the credit.

That was the Labour Party.

But at least this time they didn’t oppose it tooth and nail until the courts made them do it.

No. So that’s something, I suppose.

But when one party said that to make it all properly equal, let’s make the law equal marriage for trans people too, and open up civil partnerships to mixed-sex couples so everyone has more choices

That was the Liberal Democrats.

The other parties said

It’s complicated.

No thanks, you’ve had your gesture, that’s your lot.

That was Labour and the Tories.

So next time any important issue of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights comes up in Parliament…

You know what’ll happen.

Two parties will swing with the wind and just vote whichever way’s fashionable.

That will be Labour and the Tories.

Because they always have. So you’d better hope lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people happen to be popular that year.

Good luck with that.

And one party will vote for equality for everyone.

That’ll be the Liberal Democrats.

Because we always have.

Always will.

Because Liberal Democrats believe in freedom and opportunity for everyone.

Freedom for every individual

For everyone to have the liberty to live their lives as they choose

For fairness and equality before the law

I’m Alex

I’m Richard

Thank you, the Liberal Democrats, for changing the law so we could get married.

We had to wait twenty years

Some of them Tory years

Some of them Labour years

Without the Liberal Democrats in Government, we’d still be waiting.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-04-28 05:30 pm (UTC)
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
From: [personal profile] kaberett
Happy crying <3

(no subject)

Date: 2015-04-28 06:44 pm (UTC)
miss_s_b: Mindy St Clare from The Good Place, hiding her nakedness behind very large sunflowers and looking shocked (Default)
From: [personal profile] miss_s_b
Me too.

"We sit at those weddings around a table set nicely for a fancy meal and get in screaming rows about devolution and what "England" even means."

*slightly guilty expression*

From Andrew (DW's openID still borked)

Date: 2015-04-28 06:51 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
To be fair, you weren't the one doing the most yelling, by quite a long way ;)

Re: From Andrew (DW's openID still borked)

Date: 2015-04-28 06:52 pm (UTC)
miss_s_b: Mindy St Clare from The Good Place, hiding her nakedness behind very large sunflowers and looking shocked (Default)
From: [personal profile] miss_s_b
I think this is the thing Andy will be famous for long after he's forgotten for being the Sad Lib Dem on HIGNFY.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-04-28 06:53 pm (UTC)
miss_s_b: (Mood: Smug)
From: [personal profile] miss_s_b
Oh yes, I remember THAT! Tis only a shame Alisdair wasn't there too.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-04-28 08:53 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] magister
Oh, I think I made up for it by being in all the photos...

(no subject)

Date: 2015-04-28 08:58 pm (UTC)
miss_s_b: Mindy St Clare from The Good Place, hiding her nakedness behind very large sunflowers and looking shocked (Default)
From: [personal profile] miss_s_b
:)

This is true. Would have needed Mary there too OfC

(no subject)

Date: 2015-04-28 09:50 pm (UTC)
ext_550458: (Tom Baker)
From: [identity profile] strange-complex.livejournal.com
I saw the video earlier today, but I didn't know you had knitted the scarf(/ves). That is lovely to know, and this whole post is lovely to read. What a great tribute to these two special people, and your friendship circle more broadly. :-)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-04-29 06:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] halfshellvenus.livejournal.com
What a terrific story!

Those scarves clearly have done you and them proud. :D

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hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
Holly

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