A former East London local, Georgie Calverley, has penned a book about his life journey growing up in CC Lloyd township in Buffalo Flats.
A Coloured in Full Flight, Part One: A Boy from the Barracks chronicles the formative years of the openly gay 51-year-old’s journey growing up in a predominantly coloured community.
“I knew I was different from about the age of seven. I battled to fit in with the boys. I got along with the girls but still felt left out,” he said.
Calverley was abused by other boys without but never realising it that at the time.
“I felt like a body to be touched and kissed but nobody cared about how I felt. There was also some bullying and abuse,” Calverly said.
He described his upbringing as “everyone doing their own thing” and his family as not being “emotionally attached”, but still very caring.
“I’ve grown up with a lot of emotions and mentalities of childhood, often feeling like an island. I would I’d describe myself as being an introvert and quite shy,” he said.
Calverley started nursing training at Frere Hospital in 1986 and often found himself in trouble, until he was eventually kicked out. This put him on a in a series of downward spiral of suffering from with depression and alcohol abuse.
Calverley eventually regained his confidence and got his qualification. He is currently based in the UK, England and doing agency work in nursing.
The idea for the book came in 2001 in the form of a diary. He completed writing it in 2010 and sent it through to friends for their opinion.
“What was common was that I wasn’t digging deep enough into my story which left the reader frustrated. I then really had to dig deep inside myself, and the pain that came from it was immense,” Calverly said.
The self-financed and self-published author has also written a play called The Golden Rule which is on YouTube and tackles issues of date rape.
The message he hopes to impart is “no matter how dark things seem, there is a light at the end of the tunnel”.