Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Transgender Day Of Visibility

Happy international transgender day of visibility a day to celebrate trans, non binary and gender variant people and highlight discrimination and oppression. There's still so much terrible discrimination, harassment and violence about and so it's unsurprising that for many it's unwise and unsafe to be visible. Being anywhere on the trans spectrum requires a lot of learning and discovery which can take many years, hopefully days like these can help.

Sunday, 29 March 2020

Updating the GRA in Scotland

If you had only read the newspaper coverage of the Scottish Governments proposed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act of 2004 you might be led into thinking there was something really radical in the draft bill. The nation becoming innundated with people from all corners of Britain wanting to change their birth certificates, children given sex swaps, men taking over women's changing rooms, people being forced to transition by the sinister trans cabal. 

The reality is that it is a modest reform which will bring Scotland up to date with international best practice. To paraphrase for those unfamiliar with the current system of changing the sex on their birth certificate across the UK it requires providing evidence over several years, be signed off by two separate doctors and convincing a panel. In essence unnecessarily time consuming and bureaucratic. Replacing all that with a legally binding declaration and a reasonable period of reflection. It's a system that works successfully in other jurisdictions without fuss and should be welcomed especially as the proposed reforms in the rest of the UK are lieing in rapidly lengthening grass.

Saturday, 29 February 2020

Pretend Family Relationship

For LGBTQ+ history month marked in the UK since 2004 to mark the the repeal of Section 28 (clause 2A in Scotland). I'm going to visit recent history, in particular the 1980s where not just casual homophobia was rife but much of it was overt. A difficult time to be very young and feel different from the cis-het world and not have any knowledge apart from crudely drawn stereotypes depicted in mass culture. Also to step away from that culture and be yourself was too scary and possibly dangerous to contemplate. Section 28 of the Local Government Act effectively legitimised this homophobia under the cry of 'wont somebody think about the children'. The reference in the section to pretend family relationships stands out and is still offensive to this day.

The repeal was not a given, although most people at the time were not anti gay it was clear that this was only if they did it behind closed doors, even if this was just a peck on the cheek and definitely not in public especially if young people were near by. Hence the long bruising battle to equalise the age of concent, followed by the repeal of section 28 and the fight to allow same sex couples to adopt. Even after schools practiced section 28 in all but name, including one academy here in Swindon and the outcry over equality lessons recently show there's a long way to go.

Its easy to see the same playbook being used to attack trans rights exploiting the involvement of children and young people exploiting fears and telling lies with many now calling for a trans section 28 in all but name.

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Just Like A Woman (1992)

Going down the EPG one evening I came across a channel showing Just Like A Woman (1992), which I had not seen since the early 1990's. To the young viewer I was excited to see trans representation on screen and in a sympathetic manor, the transformation scene was particularly memorable.

The film was based on a real life story, turned into a book with a sub plot about corporate intrigue added into the script. Gerald played by Adrian Pasdar is divorced by his wife after she discovers women's underwear not knowing they're his ending up renting a room at Monica's (Julie Walters) home. Where gradually Monica finds out about Geraldine and unfortunately so does Gerald's boss who promptly sacks our hero. Leading to a climatic showdown between the two featuring some Japanese businessmen straight from central casting.

Watching it recently, you notice the use of the term "transvestite" dates the film and there's a constant feel of heteronormality, throughout. There's no caption on screen saying "not a gay, only likes doing it with women" or indeed something like the opening voice-over to Glen or Glenda there doesn't need to be you're very much beaten about the head with it. Also, apart from the make-up department Adrian Pasdar is not convincing or I would argue that he looks that comfortable as a transvestite.

That said the basic story is fine, the corporate intrigue bits less so, anything with Julie Walters is worth watching and the makers had good intentions, even consulting a trans group during the making.

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Twenty 20

I wish you a happy new year.

If you're making resolutions, don't make too many, one or two at most and keep them small, realistic and attainable. 

Finally do share and good luck with them.

Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Season's Greetings

Well if you haven't got your gifts yet you're too late. 

Seasons greetings to you all and thanks for reading.

Sunday, 22 December 2019

TERF'y Tweets

So J K Rowling made some TERF'y tweets, to the surprise of no-one. Well no one trans who had seen her Twitter account over the last few years anyway. It won't be surprising when another outs themselves as a self appointed defender of teh women next week. They all have freedom of speech to make such comments, as recent employment rulings have affirmed they don't have freedom from consequences, whether that be people calling out their bigotry or employers showing them the door.

Saturday, 21 December 2019

Bubble Wrap

Happy winter solstice. I've had one of those nights where it was nearly impossible to switch off my mind and settle down, thankfully I haven't had a night like that for a while and thankfully it wasn't a school night. Elsewhere I had a few packages arrive which quite idelly led me to rediscover the therapeutic joys of popping bubble wrap. I feel it could become a quite expensive habit.

Friday, 20 December 2019

Bits and Pieces

"Britain's First Transgender Parents" ran the headline which was news to me and the many trans parents I've met over the years, but its in the newspapers, so it must be true. Anyway congrats to them and as I've written recently there have been trans parents since time began and there will be many more to come.

I spoke to someone recently who attended a job interview in an office that had a casual Friday policy which was on a Friday so he was formally dressed while the interviewers were in jeans and t-shirts. He thought this was deeply unprofessional, where as I thought you're stuck and them's the rule's. Although they really should schedule interviews on other days. I'd be interested what the brains trust reading this think.

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

One Week To Go

One more week to go and I'm getting sentimental listening to David Essex crooning A Winters Tale. I'm also someone who's a whizz on Excel, can manage the moribund database system and understand how Winthrop and Valentine made all that money at the end of Trading Places but I'm blown if I can understand this new holiday booking system.

By the way here's an explaination, nothing can explain the sadist who came up with the holiday booking system.

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Monday Moments 3

If you think you're having a bad day. Scott Boswell's infamous over at Lords in the 2001 C&G Cup final, ironically it was his bowling display in the semi-final that got his team to the final but nerves and a sweaty palm got to him on the big day and his playing career was finished. In a Guardian interview a few years ago he said that moment took him ten years to get over.

Friday, 13 December 2019

How to Regift a Present

Chances are you've been given gifts that you don't want. Perhaps you're at that age where everyone decided to buy you a pair of slippers and now you've got a dozen pairs, maybe it's another bath set, a gag gift that leaves you gagging or its just plain horrible and now you're cupboard is full.

You could hire me as a sort of half arsed trans Marie Kondo or you could regift it yourself. Hopefully you've kept a note of who gave what to avoid embarrassingly giving that gift back and unlike all those slipper buyers you've put some thought into what they actually would like and hopefully they like slippers. Gag gifts are generally a terrible no no. Only regift if you are 100 percent sure they'd see the funny side. If your item had become worn or faded, the packaging bashed or torn, it's time to donate it away. After all you need that space for this year's slippers.

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Nearly Forgotten

Today's the day I nearly forgot to write something and it's getting on. A well organised person would have some kind of "here's something we made earlier" to drop in at this point, but as you've gathered I'm not that person. Today's been that kind of depressing day, gloomy and wet which hardly lifts the spirits and finding out your shoes are no longer waterproof. I should have added about Christmas TV guides yesterday was figuring out what to watch and what I wanted to tape and hoping I could fit it on one E180 before I ran out of tape which invariably I did.

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Christmas TV Guides

The Christmas TV guides are out, that large amount of paper that tells you whats on if you can't work that button on your TV that tells you for free. There isn't even the need to know the timing of programs now. But at least it does show that linear TV isn't dead yet.

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Trans Parenthood and the McConnell Decision

Being the sort of person who reads court judgement's in their spare time I had a look at the McConnell decision and his so far unsuccessful fight to have his name not listed as the mother on his childs birth certificate. Something missed or ignored by the right wing press and commentators is that the judge clearly de-gendered the term mother meaning a man or a non binary person can be a mother. The case is going to appeal, it affects his dignity and potentially endangers himself and his child and there's a long way until the dust settles and the legal ramifications become clear.

Whatever happens trans and nb folks are still going to have children.