An Equal Future? A short story

A short story by Ryan Petrie, a regular attendee of our Dundee "Allsorts" youth group.

To these garish lights I come, for I wish to tell you a story; a story that none actually know, for it has not happened yet. Well, not so very true is that statement, for it has happened, for it unfolded in my mind. I wish to ask you to imagine a space of time, say about one hundred years into the future; vivid imagery, though I will not astound you with the ideas of flying cars and robots walking around as though this were some episode of Philip K. Dick’s electric dreams, which come with electric sheep, as no doubt these androids do verily dream. The house to which I will draw your attention is small, lavish, almost certainly last century; the redbrick layout, the ivy crawling unchecked over its face, the gas and electric metres still functioning (admittedly barely). 

Inside, there is a couple; they walk and talk, they kiss, they dance, they sing (though they have not sung in a long time, and their voices have rasped with long disuse), they watch their programmes: a repeat of the many escapades of a funny little Belgian with marvellous moustaches, speaking in a high whining drone, how he is the ‘greatest detective in the world’.   

Now observe this couple, old and friendly, meaning no harm to the world, seated in their sofa, leaning against one another, content to ignore the world outside with its tumult; oh, how the world can never stop moving, one must always be heading somewhere. But here, no-one need go anywhere, save to bed when the time comes. I realise now that I have given no particulars as to this couple, but that shock shall, like Agatha Christie’s turns and twists, come later. 

It is late, not too late, but late enough. The two wonder as to the presence of their son. It was late enough; he ought to be here. He was only seventeen, said one.  But I do worry, said the other. The door opens and behold, there is the young man of whom they speak: a gangly youth of seventeen, pimpled as is the wont of teenagers when they grow up; his eyes are large and dark; he’s been to that youth group again, what’s it called? Something to do with Liquorice, something like that. He’s smiling, that idiot smile of the young, though they can’t deny that they smiled like that too, when they were his age. 

‘I have a confession,’ says the young man.

‘Close the door before you declare anything in this house!’ cries one. ‘Bloody Baltic in here!’ 

The door is closed. ‘I am in love, and I love a boy.’  Pause. ‘I don’t care if the world knows it, I love him, and I want to be with him.’

‘That’s nice, son,’ says one of the two men sitting on the sofa. ‘We’re very happy for you.  Now get yourself into a bath before you freeze.’ That is all: peace, happiness, acceptance, and smiles. That is the future that will occur; I’d know, for I am its author.


LGBT Youth Scotland and Children in Scotland are pleased to announce An Equal Future? - a landmark one-day conference that will explore the practical steps required to fulfil our ambitions for an inclusive Scotland.

At the intersection of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018 and LGBT History Month Scotland - this conference aims to increase the skills of professionals across sectors in creating environments where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender children and young people feel safe, supported and included.

With keynote speeches from figures at the forefront of research, policy and youth work delivery; we have curated a lively and thought-provoking programme. An Equal Future? is co-designed with the input of young people and shaped by their lived experiences and passionately held opinions.

More information at: http://bit.ly/AnEqualFuture