Brazen blessing vibes booming around big time this week as I look forward to seeing my Sue’s View level up to the perfect platform.
My infamous column is rising like a phoenix from the ashes of my Barry and District News days, via last year’s boldly launched Mrs SVJ Blog, to perch, nearly a decade and a half later, on the printed page once again.
I am absolutely honoured to be one of the regular columnists for on-trend aspirational publication, and digital platform, Style of the City – perfectly placed in their Voices of the Community section.
And a bit like the ‘blending learning’ soundbite currently being bandied around, I’m mixing up the old and the new with a quarterly printed column, and a monthly digital delight too. Get me.
So, as I always say…Welcome to my world, a beautiful place where life is always adventurous, sometimes surreal, occasionally unconventional but never ever (ever!) boring.
I have the pictures…and the scars, to prove it.
Slight tongue in cheek , I know but ever grateful for the rich life experience, bitter, and sweet, past and present, that’s given me plenty of content to put on the page.
Writing as Mrs SVJ, a top-trained journo, and well-travelled woman, I blog about all things Barry, and the wider world, through the eyes of a, quirky and queer, local girl done good.
Sue’s View, is my regular reflection of a life lived large as an award-winning activist, dedicated arts lover, and voracious community supporter – often being a very visible voice for my home town when it struggles to find its own.
I can’t help but love my rough, tough, edgy, kind, sweet, generous, Gavin and Stacey synonymous birthplace with a passion.
And I would never lay my (probably leopard print) hat anywhere else.
Long considered a credible voice of the community, I use my platform to reflect back to the town, the topics talked about, the tough times faced, and the harsh truths we need to tackle – often locally, sometimes nationally, and occasionally internationally.
Sometimes I even shout too – if only to stress the need to speak up and speak out against the unfairness and injustice that has corroded our communities, and scarred some of our very own residents.
Never was this more magnified that in the recent resurgence of the stand against racism. The #BlackLives Matter movement burst into Barry just as we were in the middle of struggling through the lonely Lockdown of an isolation nation.
And, what can I say, my birthplace did our Black Lives Matter protest beautifully – socially distanced, properly, and peacefully…respect.
Seeing the scores of rallying residents gather on King Square to show their solidarity with our brave Barrians who have fought, both slyly subtle, and boldly blatant, racism all their lives was instantly inspiring and undoubtedly uplifting.
Still a long way to go, I know, but from a pivotal moment in time, the vibe is very much being kept alive, thanks to those who stood up strongly in support.
We so totally get that staying silent, standing by, or just sitting at home, is not the answer that’s needed now – real action, real activism, real visibility, and real change is.
For me though community is not solely just anyone living in the same place either.It also means a group of like-minded people who share the same interests, who stick together through a strong sense of unity, and often, the deep desire to make a difference.
#BlackLives Matter did this for me on so many levels. And I’ve also seen it so many other times in my neighbourhood, in my LGBT life, and my arts world of film, music, and theatre – where true activists and allies keep our communities cohesive and connected.
We can all make a difference – and I hope my voice of the community column does some of that for you.
Thank you for having me.
Sue Vincent-Jones, writing as Mrs SVJ, is a Barry born journalist, editor, and communications specialist. She blogs about Barry – and her life in the wider world, through the eyes of a, quirky and queer, local girl done good.
An award-winning queer activist, dedicated campaigner and passionate arts lover, Mrs SVJ is a founding member LGBTQymru, and Stand Up To Racism Vale, a Barry Pride Ambassador, plus Chair of the #TheGlovesAreOn Charity.