I must admit the past year has led me to spend most of January in deep denial about what is going on outside in this rather scary world. I’ve seen heroes die, and monsters rise to positions of power. I blocked out the news, and my anger, and decided I would spend the next four years living in blissful fiction. Unfortunately, fighting monsters is a pastime in the fictional universe I call my other life, so I read the news and exposed myself to all the horrors. It’s the end of January and some very diabolical things are going on, and I can’t keep silent any more. Walls are being built and vulnerable Syrian refugees are being denied refuge, women’s rights are being eroded. It’s easy to use the word ‘monster’ to describe someone (or a group of like minded people) who incite intolerance and hate, in order to acquire and maintain power, but I can’t quite see how any other word would be more apt. Monsters traditionally play to people’s fears, and there is now a real threat to the civil rights and liberties of large groups of innocent people, based on their religion, nationality, gender, race and sexuality. Yes I’m angry that my uncle, who happens to be Muslim may find it hard to go on holiday to the USA simply because of his religion. I’m angry that the LGBT community may have to continue to fight, for rights to marry, rights to have equality in the work place. I fear that this may leak into other cultures, that my own rights as a bisexual woman may be threatened, as the post Brexit government get pally with those of questionable morality, in order to secure trade deals, (which are obviously more important than human rights.) I have many friends from all over Europe, who want to feel safe and welcome in Britain, but is this just a dream now? I can’t sit back and write myself out of reality, like I’ve done for many years. I will march, I will speak out when I feel something is wrong. I will fight for my own rights and the rights of others. We need to stand up for one another, and recognise blind intolerance. I’m going back to fiction now, but I will be vigilant, and I will keep fighting monsters, real and imagined, not only through my words, but through my actions.