Sixty-three down: memories of birthdays past — and the long road to Dundee


Today is my 63rd birthday. Age comes increasingly quickly it seems. As far as I can recall, most of my pervious sixty-two birthdays have been spent in one of four places: surburban Cheshire where I grew up, Lancaster where I studied as an undergraduate, London where I spent my formative adult years, and Edinburgh, the […]
Equal marriage: the time for debate is over — in 2024 we must kick-start progress to shore up hard won rights


When (if ever) is it reasonable to argue that the debate is over? As 2022 ended, this was a question with which I had long grappled. And for me, as a gay man, it is a question which has always been personal and political. As the rallying cry sounded out back in the day, the […]
On the death of a remarkable woman – in memory of Marie Buckley


Scarcely anyone reading this will have heard of Marie Buckley who has died aged 86. Yet she was, by any measure, a remarkable woman. And although I had not seen her for many years, she was also one of the most significant people in my life. Marie was my late partner, Lawrence’s mum. If you […]
How Scotland can beat stigma and end HIV transmission by 2030 — and why we must


‘What one can see is the present, the dimension of landscape which is in front of us now. But now is shaped by the past, backed by it, as it were, the way the glass of a mirror is backed by silver; it’s what lies behind the present that gives it its color and sheen. […]
My mother and me: on making sense of lifetimes lived and the one I never had


‘I think, like me, you have had quite a few lifetimes,’ remarked an old friend after we met up recently for the first time in more than 20 years. I have reflected on that message in the run up to today, the first anniversary of the day I learned my mother had died. My friend […]
Jake Wightman’s victory in Eugene speaks to the best our sport can be


Asked on the BBC by Jeanette Kwakye how many times he had watched back his gold medal-winning 1500m race at the World Championships, Jake Wightman’s answer, for all its modesty, was a reminder of the gulf between his participation in athletics and mine. He had seen it first while in anti-doping after the race, not […]
All we have ever wanted is to live our best lives — Jake Daniels’ courage means many more might do just that


The term ‘breaking news’ has become a byline for shocking news of late. So, when Evan Davies uttered those words towards the end of this afternoon’s PM, I braced myself. Was this to be news of yet further atrocities in Ukraine? I was, as it happens, driving home from a weekly session with my personal […]
How I caught up with running – and why I won’t stop yet


It was a slightly indifferent way to end the season. My legs felt heavy after nine races in five months. And after a cautious start — at north of 10k, the course demanded it — I didn’t quite work my way through the field the way I’d hoped. By the final lap of three, energy […]