Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Be Safe

By Paula Gaikowski

Back in better times, when I traveled the world, I had several trips to Reading England. I always stayed in the Forbury Hotel adjacent to Forbury Gardens, a delightful park. I would often walk through the park as Paula on my way to the train station and often stopped and took pictures.

I wrote several Femulate articles about my adventures in Reading my favorite would Bond Girls, about a concert Jenny and I went to.

Waiting for Jenny at the gates of Forbury Garden
I received an email from Jenny, who told about a horrible LGBT triple murder that occurred in the park. Three people dead after Forbury Gardens attack.

It is very unnerving seeing such a place that I associated with beauty, peace and friendship being the sight of such a brutal tragedy. I must have crossed by the Forbury Lion scores of times dressed as Paula. This could have happened to me; a crossdresser would surely be a target.

The park was always a safe place for me to go as Paula, I have so many warm memories of the park, the hotel and the nearby abbey ruins. Reading will always hold a special place in my heart, a town large enough to provide restaurants and shops, but not too large to as London would have been for Paula. I always felt at home, mostly because of Jenny’s friendship and hospitality.

I remember walking home from that concert one evening with all sorts of seedy characters on the street. Walking down the street in heels, hose and a dress, it made me appreciate how vulnerable women sometimes are. I wonder now if this thug was out there or if any other predator saw us and perhaps contemplated a hateful LGBT thought, but didn’t act on it.

After the pandemic passes, I hope to go back on the road and have a few more adventures in Reading. Perhaps I’ll take a moment and lay some flowers and remember that we are all queer.

Source: Rue La La
Wearing Kay Unger

Veit Alex
Veit Alex, male womenswear model

1 comment:

  1. I live in Reading, and had a few picnics in Forbury Gardens; it was the starting point for an International Women's Day march I joined a couple of years ago too. It is a beautiful place, and it has opened again.