I was watching “Match of the Day” on April 15th 1989, watching in front of my eyes 96 fans dying.
I was on the outside looking in, I knew no Liverpool fans – but I sat in shock, and slowly I was weeping.
It was my community dying, community of football fans. Community that was misunderstood, community that felt they were outsiders.
I belong inside football.
Watching the horror unfolding in front of my eyes, I felt my detachment melting.
I knew being an outsider, I knew being misunderstood. As I had known to be silent about that I was prostituted, as I know to not speak about child abuse.
I join with football fans, I found a family who all lived inside their own silences.
Remember the 80’s where loving football was being told you were stupid, scum, hooligans, and always male. Remember the 80’s when football fans where pinned into the stadiums, squashed up till they hardly breathe. Remember the 80’s as a time of shame for all those who condemn football fans.
Hillsborough was inevitable in a society that treated football fans as subhumans.
The unnecessary deaths could be any group of football fans.
I remember the terror of being squashed into terraces. I remember the fear I may faint, be trampled underfoot.
I remember the ignorance that surrounded those who felt outside of football.
I remember Margaret Thatcher wanted to rid the country of all football fans.
The 80’s has terrible memories for me. It was a time of ignorance and hate in every corner of my life.
Hillsborough taught me to know PTSD.
I see the families and friends gathering at Anfield today and on Wednesday coming, and I know how raw their grief is.
Grief where there is no justice. No-one accountable for those 96 deaths. Still some voices saying it was their own fault, still saying football fans are and always will be scum. Still saying it does not matter for Liverpool is just overdramatic about it’s own history.
Grief where there is no justice is the common thread in PTSD.
It there for in child abuse. There as it is dismiss as something you be over now, it was so long ago wasn’t it. There as my abuser goes through life safe and unpunished.
And there is no justice for surviving the sex trade. No interest in hearing that it is torture, that there no human rights for prostituted women and girls – that is shown to be unimportant. Don’t say the reality, because that just upset and disquiet that the sex trade is just a normal part of life.
I know not having no justice. I know that grief that screams like a wildcat in my stomach.
I know the grief of being on the outside. Child abuse and prostitution does that for me.
I see the crying for Hillsborough and I cry for football fans, cry my child waiting to be abused, cried for my prostituted self who tosses hope away.
Don’t anyone say to anyone – it was long time, why ain’t you over it.