Hear Me Roar logo

Dear Man

Good morning,

For this week’s blog, as Hear Me Roar is the main thing on my mind at the moment, I thought I’d try something a little bit different, and share with you the letter I contributed to Becci Sharrock’s Letters to Myself project. I hope to see many of you in Lancaster 8th – 12th March!


Dear Man,

I realise that in starting my letter this way, you might think I am not addressing you directly.

You might think you’re still just a boy, or you might think I’m not all men… You might even wonder if this is addressed to you if you weren’t born in a male body.

Whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever you might be thinking… I am indeed addressing you. You, right there, reading this. Yes, you. Thank you for bearing with this.

For a long time, I wasn’t particularly aware of my gender. I was bobbing along being who I am, carrying with me all the bits of identity that have built up over the years. All at once, I was carrying my social background, the religion I was raised with, my heritage, my age, my sexuality, my education and no doubt, many other things. Being a man was just a tiny, inconsequent piece of a multifarious thing called who I am.

For the most part, who I am, was almost always all about me. Sure, it had some relationship to other people in my life; family, friends, lovers, colleagues… but my starting point was always myself. I couldn’t see how who I was had any bearing on anyone else, in the grand scheme of things. Never mind society, or the world.

And that was fine. It worked. I was bobbing along being who I am, carrying with me all the bits of identity that have built up over the years.

Chances are, this resonates with you. Chances are, you’re bobbing along too. Chances are you are or have been thinking I can’t help being who I am…

And that’s fine. It works.

I have an invitation for you. I’d like to invite you to consider that you can choose who you are. Are you willing to try that on? Great, thank you.

Every day, I choose who I am. In every waking moment, I choose who I am. Whatever the circumstances, I choose who I am.

This gives me the opportunity to choose that I am you, and you are me.

I am you, and you are me.

Remember, I mean you, really you, reading this.

This gives me the opportunity to choose that I am playfulness, love, contribution

This gives me the opportunity to choose that I am creativity, serenity, equality

In choosing this, I begin to notice where it is missing. I begin to notice where I am missing.

And I can take responsibility… Not like a prime minister or a president, not like a superhero or a god… Just with what’s there, what’s on hand, what’s possible…

Whichever kind of man you are, whatever categories you might fit in, whichever bits of identity you’re carrying with you… notice what’s possible, choose who you are and stand your ground.

Being a man – whichever kind of man – comes with an undeniable privilege.

Will you choose to keep it to yourself? If you would do me the favour of trusting me for a moment, I would promise you that it will grow when you share it…

Yours, truly.

Hear Me Roar 2016: Ages, Stages, Phases

Hear Me Roar 2016: Ages, Stages, Phases


Hear Me Roar is a festival of feminist arts set to happen in Lancaster in March 2016.

Piloted in 2015 through Lancaster Arts City’s First Friday programme, the festival brought together 40 artists, 150 participants and 1,000 audience members over the course of a weekend.

In 2016, Hear Me Roar is due to start on International Women’s Day and conclude on 13th March.

We believe that at this moment in time a contemporary feminist arts festival, bringing together diverse communities and ideas, provides a powerful platform to instigate positive social change by promoting intergenerational dialogue understanding and cooperation, between feminists past, present and future.

The theme for Hear Me Roar in 2016 will be Ages, Stages, Phases. This curatorial strategy embraces feminism as a plural movement, recognising that challenges around gender equality differ through time, both in the historical sense, and for different age groups but acknowledging the possibilities for common ground.

The Hear Me Roar steering committee is committed to championing equal opportunities and celebrating diversity and wishes for this to be reflected in the festival programme. With this in mind, we are now looking for proposals for activities to take place during the festival from anyone who may wish to take part.

We will only be able to directly invest time and resources in a limited number of ideas (subject to fundraising outcomes), but will be keen to support a wide range of self-produced or “fringe” activity.

To submit a proposal, please send the information below on no more than 2 sides of A4 to Leo Burtin, leo@making-room.co.uk by 12noon 23rd November.


  • Your name and contact information (please include a telephone number)
  • Your organisation details, if applicable (please include a website)
  • A clear description of what your activity is, including the kind of space it might require and any relevant technical information
  • Who you think your activity might be suitable for
  • How your activity would benefit from being presented in the context of a feminist arts festival exploring Ages, Stages, Phases/is relevant to this context
  • What support you would require to make this idea happen
  • Any information, such as links, about your work or previous projects you have been involved with

For more information about the 2015 pilot edition of the festival, you can visit the following links:

Exeunt Article by Maddy Costa, Jake Orr & Leo Burtin

Festival brochure

Introduction blog