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Vince Laws wants your pants to welcome the Pope

I’m not very keen on the current Pope. I’ve been thinking how I could protest his visit to the UK (September 16-19) and satisfy my poetic and artistic needs, and here’s the solution: Ladies and gentlemen, I want your pants! If there's a pair you never wear lurking in a drawer somewhere I want 15 pairs to peg on a line.

I will print a letter on each and hang them up so they spell out THIS POPE IS PANTS. The more pants I get, the more THIS POPE IS PANTS bunting I will make. If you want to send me your pants for this project, drop me an email vincelaws[at]googlemail.com and I'll give you my address.

Already I have people sending me pants from various parts of the UK, and dropping off pants in venues in Norwich. The Pope has called me an intrinsic moral evil, a deviation, a perversion – so I don’t feel calling him PANTS is grounds for concern, but I better point out these are my personal views and not necessarily those of DAO.

THIS POPE IS PANTS

P =Protector of paedophiles

A = Against abortion even for the most vulnerable women

N = No condoms Never

T = Teaching segregation 

S = inSulting to all Sexualities who don't fit his narrow
definition of normal 

Posted by Colin Hambrook, 20 August 2010

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 20 August 2010

Vince Laws takes up the OUT140 challenge to tell a coming-out story in 140 characters

I told my parents I was bisexual when I was 16. They said "go to your room."
I’m involved in a project on Twitter called OUT140, which has collected coming-out stories from the LGBT community, their friends and families, told in 140 characters or less (i.e. a tweet on Twitter). Some participants then made their stories into 12-second films, which were shown on the giant Fusion screen in Norwich, Europe’s biggest public access screen, for 2 weeks in January 2010.

Mother said i wud rather you were a prostitute than a lesbian. 
Next, community filmmaker, Shelly Telly, who devised OUT140, adapted it to be shown on 2 old tellys during the Norwich Dandies exhibition in May 2010. We collected more stories and currently have over 200.

When I told my cousin my daughter is gay she asked, "Do Lesbians have wombs?"
Now OUT140 is being shown on a giant plasma screen at the Norwich Arts Centre, while 39 of the coming-out stories have been blown up and stuck on the walls. I chose one story to turn into a piece of text art, a found poem, which hangs in the bar. It reads: Grandma asked Mum if I had a boyfriend. Mum said I was gay. Grandma said has she got a girlfriend then?

I like Grandma’s immediate acceptance and the fact that this short story contains 3 generations of women. I collected used greetings cards from members of the LGBT community and cut them into individual letters. Greetings cards are the invisible threads that join us to our friends and family. I stapled the cards to hanging threads, and hung the piece about a foot from the wall so you can read the shadows. 

Rejection, everywhere. Church sed: possessed by demons. Hell. Threw my jeans & LPs away. Wore dresses for Jesus. Kept away from friends.
It’s easy to think that LGBT people have it easy now, everything is legal, society has moved on, but actually coming-out is a very individual experience. Only recently I chatted to a 40 year old gay man who lives at home and cares for his homophobic mother and as a result has never had a partner, never allowed himself the chance to be in love, and won’t do so until she dies. 

The difficult part was coming out to me. Being gay made me feel filthy, unworthy. Then meeting Him I realised there is nothing wrong with me
OUT140 is at the Norwich Arts Centre until August 31. 

You can read and add to the OUT140 stories on Twitter
You can watch some of the OUT140 films on 12seconds.tv

Posted by Colin Hambrook, 9 August 2010

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 11 November 2010