Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Something


Three posts in a week, I've hardly done that most months recently let alone a fairly busy week like this one has been The photograph was taken outside Christ Church which is near the top of the hill in Old Town and can be seen for miles around especially when illuminated at night.

Here's a cold looking plastic pig outside the County Ground.



The last post was about traditions, this one is the traditional Christmas entry. Thank you for reading in 2010 and merry Christmas.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Tradition

During Christmas day at home when I was growing up the television was on the whole day starting with the children's programmes. The strand generally ended with a very poor festive cartoon film called something like Flossy Reindeer Saves Christmas. Where the eponymous hero learns something about the true meaning of Christmas and other moralising messages pausing only for some really bad songs. Nobody's really watching it though because its presents time!

Television at Christmas time thrives on tradition, turning over just as the Queen's speech is starting and only tuning back once its safely finished. watching The Snowman on Channel 4. Which I see is being shown again, although no longer on Christmas day. Repeats give rise to that great pre Christmas traditions the newspaper article complaining about the amount of repeats. The Daily Mail managed to excel this year by publishing the piece before the schedules had been released.

Tradition is why the Sound Of Music gets another showing, personally I'm not a fan of over saccharine type films with the possible exception of Its A Wonderful Life. The great thing about tradition is that every family's traditions are different and there's probably a new one starting this year.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

The Worm That Turned

Forced feminisation and emasculation of men featuring a stern but skimperly leather clad women including the woman from the Shake-N-Vac adverts.

It sounds like some premium top shelf adult goods but believe it or not it was a series of sketches called The Worm That Turned on a prime time BBC family show.

In the serial women rule Britain while men wear traditionally women's clothes and law and order is maintained by a secret police force led by Diana Dors. It is, simply put, one of numerous anti-feminist satires where extremist feminists take over which popped up from the mid 60's showing what a awful place it would be (for misogynists, especially television writers) if women had equal pay and opportunities. In the end the evil feminists plan is throated because deep down all they want is children, fluffy things and a penis inside them.

A lot of just makes one groan rather than feel bothered, its just dated like a time capsule into a time long gone like the Miss World. Society has moved on for instance attempts by Sky and Channel Five to broadcast Miss World Contests in the UK flopped despite the publicity.

I was reminded about The Two Ronnies for some reason on the one hand they produced some of the finest sketch comedy ever (even at the time of Not The Nine O'clock News' Two Ninies parody) produced but there was also some quite naff or hideously sexist items.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Great Trans Cliché's

A number of overused word and phrase's used within the transgender communities in no particular order. Yes this writer pleads guilty of uttering at least one and asks for a series of other transgressions to be taken into consideration.


  • Transition or die.
  • Real Self (or Selves or me).
  • True Self (a variation on the previous)
  • Its not about the clothes.
  • En Fem.
  • I'm not interested in (sport or a particular sport).
  • Passing
  • Stealth
  • Hun



Any more suggestions?

Friday, 5 November 2010

Thought It Ended 5 Years Ago

The Jerry Springer show is 20 years old which is surprising to me as I thought it ended at least 5 years ago. Twenty years where a millionaire invited mockery on people who were mainly poor and stupid. But then the well off have been mocking the poor for essentially being poor for centuries. Perhaps the nastiest recent example was the use of words like pram-face which more than one tv executive thought was an acceptable term to put in a shows title.

From a trans perspective it also helped to perpetuate negative and unhelpful transgender stereotypes, Jerry's Transsexual Surprise, Guess What, I'm Really A Man, High School Transsexual being some of the episode titles .I personally find it depressing that transgender (and I use the general rather than the specific transsexual because the results radiate out, affecting all) people are displayed in such a way to barely disguised titters. 

Much like trans Big Brother contestants where you just know there's a gag about there being a knob under that skirt round the corner before they show a prosthetic penis to emphasise the point.

In its defence it doesn't claim to be anything else but silly, mainly scripted, trash, no pretence of "after-care" and unlike Jeremy Kyle there's no smug bullying lectures mid way though a segment. But it does annoy the hell out of me to see trans peoples portrayed in such a way.

Altogether, JER-RY! JER-RY! JER-RY! JER-RY!

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Death of a Transwomen

A death happened. The victim died instantly after being struck by a tube train. Someone else is charged with allegedly murdering the victim. A tragic event, one for the investigation team to try to piece together the events leading up and a subsequent jury or jury's to decide if there is culpability based on the facts presented to them.

The victim was transgender. This made all the difference to how it was reported in several outlets and what this post will focus on along with disgraceful online muckraking and tedious labelling.

In newspaper land Sonia was not a talented solicitor instrumental in the formation of several legal precedents and helping many people but just a transvestite or a "man in dress" with wilful insertions of the male pronoun the reporting was horribly sensationalised by several outlets including the Daily Mail, Evening Standard and The Sun. To compound it journalists started sifting through her online life, destroying her memory and suddenly the transvestite became a "a transsexual escort" who was living "a secret life".

Even in reporting the touching tribute from her family which showed true love and acceptance by calling her Sonia not David they had to ruin it.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Killing A Polar Bear

Just consumed a shop bought salad bowls, half of which you end throwing away because they bulk it up with sweetcorn and pasta leaving a horrible gunk at the bottom, I suppose its all to do with psychology and it looks big on the shelf, but it is truly wasteful. I've yet to find someone who can get through it and at a time when you're made to feel like you've just killed a polar bear for requiring a extremely flimsy bag, its not very ecological.

A little bit of pasta would be fine but I have no idea what the point of sweetcorn is.

Another thing I have no idea about is where my bra's disappear, in particular my white bra's. Its quite feasible to imagine a sock disappearing somewhere along the line so its bra shopping time unlike the first time I knew what I was doing and not turning a nice shade of scarlet while shopping.

That first piece turned up while I was searching. It had to be the one which didn't disappear, to use a modern buzz word it is no longer fit for purpose. bought while I was metaphorically fumbling about and trying to learn a lot in a very short space of time, before I knew about forms socks and tissues were used instead.

Enough early trans reverie it will probably turn up someday in some inexplicable location, like behind the fridge.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

On The Bus

19:15 hours. Haven't written for a while, going to see if I can try to compile an entry on the bus. Catching the last bus home from deepest darkest Berkshire having visited my mum and dropped off a birthday card for my brother so I thought I'd try to write a stream of consciousness entry with a little tidy up when I get home.

Think the drivers in a rush to get home.

Just looked out the window for a second and saw some deer running on the top of a hill silhouetted in the dusky sky, that would have made a good photo.

A few weeks ago I went to Cardiff....

Bus went over the top of the Ridgeway and you could see the lights of several towns and villages.

...took a look at the Mardi Gras event which was in a cordoned off section of Bute Park, typical pride event really, been there before this summer. Remembered to grab some things to put in my scrapbook. Sadly a bad face day, looked a little blotchy and had a spot or two so  didn't look my best which hardly helped my confidence.

Went round the city taking photo's (which I'll hopefully remember to put in later). As I was walking back to the city centre someone who looked like a reject from Goldie Lookin Chain only without the wit, looks, intelligence or verbal dexterity shouted something homo/transphobic, I have to say if you had the choice of being abused in any accent, the Cardiff accent is probably the one I'd choose. Oh well, I know I wasn't "passing".






Parts of the city centre have been redeveloped and pedestrianised since last I visited a few years ago.

DSC00098
DSC00096



Time to get off, had to stop for a while on a very bendy country road somewhere in Oxfordshire, that looking at it you wouldn't think a bus could get through.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Footage Of Estate Agent Boards

Just noticed a business local to me has shut down, over ten years ago as a student I was asked to look over their books (once I had written them, this is how disorganised they were) I said they were losing money and heavily in debt. Somehow they managed to limp on adding more debt, somehow I think the bank will be lucky to see more than a few pounds of the six figures its owed. With lending like that its no wonder this bank has the UK government as its largest shareholder these days.

While I'm on the subject of money, why is the reporting of finance in non-specialist media so patronising? The default position is that my tiny little brain is unable to grasp anything with money or percentages in it.

Admittedly I've been known to read the markets section of the FT but no other section seems to be treated in the same way coverage of politics doesn't have the presenter promising to use clear language and having to explain every technical term. A typical report on interest rates has the reporter saying how the average mortgage holder will pay £13 more/less a month over footage of estate agent boards and how that affects the market in great length before a brief mention of savers just because they don't want to be seen as being obsessed about home prices.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Pride Before A (Rain) Fall

Another week, another pride. This one was more local but sadly the rain didn't hold back.

Swindon Pride is very much a small provincial pride event, the main event is held in the Town Gardens a pleasant park from the Victorian era with the Bowl stage built in the 1920's with some of the art Deco touches you'd expect from that era, it was restored a few years ago and hold several outdoor concerts a year, including this one.

I did not go any further than the entrance to the stage area, can't say I'm that interested in the line-up, though looking back toward the bandstand, there was a band tuning up, so there was some alternative. I found out later it had turned muddy towards the stage I did not have the footwear for that. Perhaps I should add some nice patterned Wellington boots to my shoe collection, if only I could spot them in my size.

100_1831Swindon Pride 2010



In nicer weather it would have been a great place to have a picnic, sadly the heathens really opened and we all set off to find a bar or cafe in Old Town eventually settling upon a nice Spanish bar.

Overall (leaving aside one menacingly rude man who one felt was spoiling for a confrontation, if not a fight) was that it was pleasantly youthful and friendly though there were very few trans or gender variant people that I saw

Even if my shoes were wet. Got a hug which made it worth getting damp.

There was a group going round offering free hugs (nope me neither) which decided to give me one, for some reason, which I tried to respond to in some non shy English way and failed miserably.

Thank you to Jenny and her wife for the lift there, I'm sorry I messed up the directions though the roundabout obsessed West Swindon (Lydiard Millicent is not a bad village though:)) and to those I met including Jae.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

A Pride Suitable For Vegans

I got to say it was a good day and no I didn't have to use my A.K.

But enough 1990’s rap references this concerns a long rail trip, feeling a little queasy, an unimaginably large marital aide, trying to find a 20p to spend a penny, meeting people old and new, a pride parade and more people than you can imagine in a field in East Sussex.

While you figure out how a marital aide fits in I’ll start.

The day stated just before 6 rushing about and trying to perform the challenging task of getting ready in a personal record time of under an hour, despite having prepared the night before it was still a challenge. In my rush grabbed a red top to guard against the morning chill, by the time I was on a stuffy train to Brighton I kinda wish I hadn’t done so.

The previous day someone had helped themselves to some copper, unfortunately this copper was needed for a signal box just outside of Reading resulting all sorts of chaotic delays and cancellations. So I went to bed the previous night unsure whether my train would be there or if I’d have to find an alternative route but checking the National Rail site I found the area had been patched up and things were running normally and I was back to plan A sitting on a damp and cold platform, trying to connect to the free wi-fi.

I made it to Paddington and took the warm tube to Victoria early enough to wander round the shops and get to the train in enough time to find a seat and join the great decent of Londoners to the south coast. It was to be a feature from then on that I was to be surrounded by a mass of people but at least when I made it to Brighton Station I stood out less then I did two and a half hours earlier. Also I’m early, so there can’t be many about....

How wrong I was. By the time I got to the meet-up place it was packed.

My pumps gave me a blister last time I wore them to the Spectrum picnic and became incredibly painful to walk in towards the end, so I had a pair of walking shoes as insurance. Eventually got to the parade start where even more crowds joined in to throng the pavements, ditched the red top and just wore the cardigan over my tweed pinafore dress.

Rather shyly said hi to a few people I recognised and was introduced to some new ones. Then watched the parade, during which the cloud cover lifted. I did take a few images though they were partly obscured by the bus at the parade start. I noticed that Helena, with her photographers eye had moved to the front, either that or I’d made such a good initial impression that she’d prefer to stand in front of a bus. Anyway I’m sure you get the idea of what a pride parade looks like.

Brighton Pride #4

Afterwards the mass crowds subsumed myself and headed away. After a diversion for a latte in a nice cafe where I flicked through the Indy and Guardian while everyone else had something to eat or decided to be sociable I followed the rest towards Preston Park up the closed off streets which became more and more crowded. There was no space until we stepped away from the flow of the crowd and toward the tall clock tower.

100_1823100_1820


There Kimberly was due to turn up, obviously, so many people in such a space puts a strain on the mobile networks but eventually contact was made and she joined us. A slow meander through the stalls showed one that stocked whips and harnesses in leather and those suitable for vegans. Wandering further along in shoes which are also suitable for vegans I saw a stall which stocked implements which ran from the feasible to the how the hell can you use that. But it wasn’t all adult toys, there were those selling t-shirts, jewellery, pants with some gentlemen modelling said product among other things.

Inevitably photos were taken and then we sloped off in different directions personally I felt a little woozy though I thought that was because of the warm air coupled with the fact I really needed the bathroom, which we eventually found at the station. Got to pay to get in, arrrgh, desperate scramble to find my change, Kimberly kindly lent me a coin though fortunately I find the pouch where I stowed my own money just in time.

Myself, Kimberly, Saffy, Helena, Sue and joined later by Kimberly’s other half sadly I didn’t feel better and the last thing they needed was a non-eating sickly person spoiling their meal any more than I had done already.

You know when you've been ill you feel a little better until you look at what you've brought up and then another load comes out. Not nice isn't it?

Brighton station had been set up to handle a mass exodus though there wasn’t a huge number of people there, presumably one rush had past and there would be one later on tonight but I still had to sail up and down the barriers to get to the platform and then find a train to Gatwick Airport where I’d change for the long journey home, no loo but plenty of space, fresh air and a front facing seat. As I got off at Gatwick I could hear a group of loud men sounding slightly the worse for wear on one of the bridges linking the platforms my trans sense of self preservation kicked in and I decided to disappear the other way but not before I saw them standing at the platform I needed. I felt better if starting to feel tired, although I didn’t look it.

The train turned up and found myself a quiet area for the slow journey through nearly a dozen stations in Surrey and Berkshire to Reading and the high speed train home. Whenever it arrives. The only food around was chocolate bars, tried to eat one, didn’t finish. Thankfully got back in time for the last bus so saved money on a taxi, the only other people included an old man who was lamenting Swindon’s poor first game of the season at Brighton. He was talking about football rather than Pride, I am frequently wrong about people but he didn’t look the man who’d have more fun at the event not far away from the Withdean Stadium.

Myself on the other hand.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Three is the Magic Number

I am 3, the blog that is, so its time for a look back at what's been three years of rubbish.

Yes, this thing has been going since July 2007, a time when people still updated their MySpace profile, smokefree legislation was introduced in England though it was hard to create smoke as a lot of it was underwater and a cat called Oscar is found to have an uncanny ability to predict when residents of a nursing home were about to die (Personally if I lived in that home I'd never sit down, just in case).

I'm not entirely sure what possessed me to set up a Blogger account that evening or to start off with a brief post a few days later, I guess it was the need for a personal space to write, create and to think things through. So within a short period of time this space soon filled with crazy scrawls to become my own personal online nutty room. I didn't think of it as self promotion but I suppose having a blog is in some way an act of self promotion.

I recently went through my feeds recently and found a large number no longer exist, out of the first handful of blogs I followed only three are still there and of them only one updates regularly, so there is a short average lifespan, people move away in various directions and for different reasons.

There has been change over the three years, now I'm just shy instead of being really shy and I've learnt things like never agree to appear on a trans documentary for Sky television as it will be embarrassingly repeated as often as E4 repeat Friends.

And now I feel another chapter has begun with an uncertain future.

Thank you for visiting (for more than a few seconds) or reading via a feed reader like Google Reader including the many I do not know about.

Here's The Magic Number by De La Soul to sign off.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

The Woman Who Shared Too Much

I knew a woman who had (and probably still has for all I know) an unfortunate habit of disclosing too much information once in a while.

And so it was while I was eating my lunch with some cohorts that she says "ooh its all itchy down there, I haven't shaved it for days". After some choking, my reaction was something along the lines of dude, this is wayyyy-yyyyyy too much information. Your colleagues stubbly lady garden is not what you want to think about at any time, let alone with a mouth full of sandwich.

And yet there are many who are comfortable sharing similar things even with transitory friends like I was especially online. The Please Rob Me site was a cleaver attention grabbing idea highlighting the dangers of over-sharing which some should pay heed.

Sometimes, something's are better left unsaid or to the imagination.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Time For Soccerball

Its the soccerball foot world kick championships or something taking place apparently there's been some dreadful adverts cynically exploiting support in order to sell fatty snacks and appalling beer.

In marketing world, it seems, the only thing they know about football fan's is that they are passionate and loyal, loyal and passionate and if only their product could tap into that. Except they don't, instead some annoying character pastiche is created who doesn't represent anyone I've ever met and is exclusively male. Presumably all the women are only interested in handbags and Sex and the City 2. This marketing mentality permeates through to the administrators of the game hence daft ideas like the 39th game appear and the only records are Premier League or Champions League ones as if the game magically appeared in 1992 and no records were kept before.

A recent report indicated that many consumers couldn't tell who was a sponsor of the World Cup (I absolutely refuse to prefix it with FIFA which seems to have caught on, in some cases presumably as a contractual obligation but others should really know better) and who wasn't. Presumably makes you wander what they are getting for their money and if it could be better spent.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Breast Surgery and the NHS

A woman who is of transsexual history (AC) has lost her case challenging the refusal of her health authority (Berkshire West Primary Care Trust) to fund her breast surgery. Here are my notes from the judgement.

The hormones which she is taking have not in her opinion produced adequate growth. Claimant has not, "at any rate so far, sought to have such surgery (GRS) carried out" which the PCT considers a core service in the treatment of GID.

Her treating clinician stated in written evidence that any attempts to help are not going to be as effective as a surgical solution and that AC has become more fixated on achieving this aim.

NHS authorities have a duty to balance the budget every year they therefore have to find the best use of their finite resources.

The judge appears to be following a line of decisions that state that they would rather the decision is left up to the various medical boards and accession panels. Quoting Lord Bingham in R v Cambridge Health Authority ex parte B [1995] 1 WLR 898.

"...Difficult and agonising judgements have to be made as to how a limited budget is best allocated to the maximum advantage of the maximum number of patients. That is not a judgement which the court can make. In my judgement, it is not something that a health authority such as this authority can be fairly criticised for not advancing before the court."

In other words health authorities have to decide what gives the biggest bang for their bucks, giving priority to grave illnesses.

With regard where transsexuals stand in the priorities the case of North West Lancashire Health Authority v A & Ors ([1999] EWCA Civ 2022) was referred to by the judgement. Glancing at the case they appeal court judges seemed slightly dismissive of the human rights angle, however since then the Human Rights Act has come into force since then as has the judiciaries willingness to apply the act along with the Goodwin judgement.However he agrees that there is no human right to surgery under article 8.




No consensus as to the psychological benefit BA surgery gives to MtF transsexuals or natal females, the case the complainant uses of Ms X, a natal female who received BA support was distinguished by the fact she was suffering severe psychological damage and even then the decision in favour was probably borderline.

It was  advanced that the exceptional circumstances requirement amounted to a blanket ban with regard transsexuals (and therefore discriminatory), the judge didn't agree saying it was psychological need (as in the case of Ms X's greater distress) that was the deciding factor.

The judge therefore dismissed claims that their policy discriminated between natal women and transsexual historied women.

Conclusion.

Given the fact her lawyers had to prove some sort of irrationality to succeed I had my doubts it would be successful and so it turned out as Mr Justice Bean dismissed every argument. 

Its simple economics that even the best funded healthcare system does not have infinite resources and the NHS is no exception. Tough choices do inevitably have to be made sadly leading to someone losing out. I hope these considerations are made by rigorous evidence based panels rather than the populist whim of a national newspaper for the foreseeable future. Sadly for most, if not all, MtF women, the process of transition requires very deep pockets to cover what is core to them. I wish AC the best of luck finding the means to fund the surgery in the future.

Elsewhere: Court rules that NHS was right to reject transsexual's breast enlargement claim (via guardian.co.uk)

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Demolition


Two structures one should be saved, the other demolished immediately. Most towns have a large abandoned building which should have been pulled down years before but is just left to decay while the windows smash and the graffti grows. Some big ugly landmark blighting the area like a big puss filled spot on the edge of a nose. I remember pulling into Temple Meeds station in Bristol where a ghastly old tower block is the first thing travellers see of the city which hardly gave a good impression. The former college building is just one of many around the country. The planning and development system should be changed to encourage such blot's on the landscape to be torn down as soon as possible.

The other building is from the Victorian era in what seems to have been re-branded as the heritage area but is known to many locals as the railway village. 


The Mechanics Institute was one such building that avoided the attentions of demolition happy post war town planner, a lot of whose efforts have been torn down themselves. It was the site of one of the first public library in Britain and the Medical Society Fund the sort of cradle to grave care that the NHS was modelled on, a century later. Sadly it has seen better days, having been left to decay for as long as I can remember.




I'm tempted to try and start up some sort of meme where I ask others to suggest a building in their area that should be demolished immediately and one that should be saved.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Passing

I would have written earlier but I've been distracted with other things like... er, changing my ringtone to Yakety Sax which would be a great song to play at my funeral as well. Being led into the crematorium furnace in a fast motion figure of eight chased by a nurse, a short bald man, several women in bikini's, passers by and mourners.

Anyway... I don't know why but my t dar ping's in M&S either its the shop of choice for middle aged looking tranny's or I need to review my spotting mechanism.

Personally I've had a pleasing small moment of female identification, admittedly in dim light but I take it as a encouraging note and suggested I was doing something right, for once. I went out again, after my accident where I wore thick tights to cover the bumps and bruises on my legs, I don't think the rest of my outfit, which was picked out in a hurry, worked quite as well, especially the plain court shoes I brought with me.

Usually when another thread on passing appears on a online discussion forum it tends to give me a form of narcolepsy called tediusrehashedquestionus as the same old views get restated often quite forceful. The only things I will say is that if you're wearing a little Bo-peep costume and six inch heals standing outside Bristol Temple Meeds station, you might not pass. But then one might suggest if you're wearing a little Bo-peep costume and six inch heals standing outside Bristol Temple Meeds station you're likely not to care if you pass or not. There are also no short-cuts, so don't believe the snake oil salesmen.

Above all, don't panic and have fun, self consciousness is the biggest give-away.

*That's enough from auntie Lucy's advice column, you'll be relieved to hear.*

Friday, 30 April 2010

Sensation

At least it wasn't in front of lots of people with mobile phones or other wise I might have unfortunately become a YouTube sensation.

After accidentally discovering my theory that flying over the handlebars and travelling face first on to the pavement really really hurts was correct I stumble up and inspect the damage. Blood, torn clothes and a broken bag yet somehow my phone is still in one piece and working. Maybe in future I should dress as a large phone.

Bot enough about me, I was reminded of the whole sorry saga of grotty tabloid splashes, as the PCC released its decision earlier this month on The Sun's front page stories featuring trans children last September. (which I commented upon at the time). The Daily Mail's website churnalistic effort is still online. As you may have found out the complaint brought by Mermaid's on behalf of the parents of one child featured was only partially upheld, on clause one (accuracy) and clause three (privacy). The other parents complaint through the charity was sadly dismissed. One learns that their details were passed on to a TV production company, as if to increase their wrong doing. The mealy mouthed apology buried away deep inside for a front page story also wasn't acceptable.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Scrapbook


The other thing I've done is to decorate my scrap book (below) and give it the ground-breaking title of My Scrap Book


Ever since I read about a woman who has kept a scrapbook for her adult life featuring all the wonderful titbits she collected, ticket stubs, invites to glamorous parties, pictures, letters and other mementos, collages and keep sakes. I have had the idea of creating a scrapbook for my own trans life, the intention is to document bits from my trans life and transition with lots of glue, sticky tape and crayons thrown in.. 

This blog, I guess, is already a written scrapbook, what I will hopefully have is a physical memento of my life. My first entry are the first pair of clip-ons I ever owned. Over the years I wonder if all the silly little things I've done will build up and show the progression of a girl.

I've seen another transsexual who is doing a similar thing but in a neat, slick and way more professional looking manner instead of my slightly playtime effort.

I say scrapbook, it's more a cheap binder with construction paper, cards and pockets. But pretty cool, as far as I'm concerned. :)

Thursday, 15 April 2010

One Pig and Their Dog


Its spring and the Stunt Pig (West Squad) has found a friend. While they've been frolicking I've been out despite the spot which tends to find the least friendly moment to make an appearance. Ready early by my standards I took my time, put the boots in a bag to change into later and set off. Not a great deal happened, other than coming down a grassy steep hill in heals is harder than I imagined and I really must change shoes for the way back as well, yet I never do. 

From the actual slope to pondering the metaphorical depths of the slippery slope. My hair is continuing to grow to the length where I feel more comfortable with it. There are, of course, pluses and minuses to this as I'm sure you are aware or can well envisage and my look has blended. I will have to get it styled and trimmed some day, just not sure what can be done with my frizzy mess to make it look better and (preferably) a little feminine.


Thursday, 1 April 2010

Retrofitted Feminism

Hello just retrofitting my post for a 3D release, so if I start *poke* doing *jab* stuff for *whoosh* no reason you know why.

As you've gathered nothing has prompted me to start hitting the keyboard with gusto *throws paper aeroplane at camera*. Last week was Ada Lovelace day, a day to pay tribute and write about remarkable women in the field of science and technology who will hopefully inspire a future generation to enter those professions. Areas the UK need to get good at if it is to she itself of its recent over-dependence on the financial sector to drive economic growth especially outside of the south east.

*camera now looking from bottom of glass as I pour water into it*



Sadly many women are perceived as being totally clueless when presented with anything mechanical or technological and get marketed to as if total idiots obsessed with whether it'll match our shoes.

Perhaps feminism still has a long way to go. I do agree that modern thinking is more inclusive but there is more that needs to be done to bridge the gap between trans and non trans feminists. Feminism has moved on and perhaps so has trans although there are still many especially older self-identified transvestites who appear to lament the fact society and fashions have moved on and women are choosing to wear jeans.

I believe there is a need for feminism to reassert itself if at the very least to protect the progress gained since the last time 3D was popular.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Identity 8 Rooms, 9 Lives


A few weeks ago i visited the Wellcome Collection on Euston Road, London for a thought provoking exhibition entitled Identity: 8 Rooms 9 Lives. It explored various topics about the self and identity and was a part of the institutes series of events on the same subject.

The first room I entered was Claude Cahun, whose photography on gender, sexuality and religion struck me as being quite modern looking. The story of her imprisonment along with her partner in Nazi occupied Jersey for distributing resistance propaganda under the pseudonym of a dissatisfied German soldier was similarly fascinating.

The section featuring April Ashley was intending to show that the chosen gender is more than ones identity. Some mention was made of other trans and gender variant folks, along with fascinating information includeing Roberta Cowell, but this was for the most part April's own story, told sympathetically, through her personal artefacts, selected press clippings along with a interesting television interview.

One other notable rooms were that of DNA profiling pioneer Sir Alec Jeffreys whose techniques use has ensured innocent people have been released from prison to more recent uses in genealogy and the dubious storage of DNA profiles on official databases, also a room on diary's (Samuel Pepys, Tony Benn etc.) and how they are used to present the self.

The exhibition runs until the 6 April 2010 and is worth stopping by if you have a half hour to spare.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Love To Your Mothers

Its easy to be cynical and dismiss it as another Hallmark holliday, and certainly a lot crapola and tat is being peddled but a happy mothers day to all mums, mams, moms, mummys, step mothers, grand mothers, mothers to be and especially to those sadly no longer with you.

Have a good day.

I was going to include a picture of some spring flowers but they're barely poking through, so instead here's a mean looking swan.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Skirting The Issues

Gymslip hysteria shows the age of satire is dead  
By Daily Mail Comment. Last updated at 12:39 AM on 23rd February 2010. 
Defying parody, a £70million-a-year quango warns schools it may be unlawful for them to require girls to wear skirts.
And why? Because ... wait for it ... under Harriet Harman's Equality Bill, compulsory 'gender-specific' uniform may breach the rights of transsexual pupils!
Schools that force girls to wear skirts may be breaching the rights of girls who feel compelled to live as boys, according to a quango
It is still unclear how much time and public money the Equality and Human Rights Commission has lavished on its 68-page report. All that's certain is that this lunacy proves, yet again, the age of satire is dead.
As a former pupil of Grotbag Comprehensive, now demolished with the playing fields sold and rebuilt as the Macky D Academy High, managed by EduCorp. the whole hysteria whipped up by some newspapers over the mythical banning of schoolgirls wearing skirts rather bemuses me.

In my memory, with the rare exception, often by wearing a skirt so short (although incredibly long by some some trannies standards) they ended being being sent home. Which is what they wanted. Many years later there's a future partner who excitedly suggests they put on their old uniform for a bit of fun only to be disappointed when she appears in a pair of trousers, an old blouse with a frayed cardie.

But apparently there are schools where skirts are worn and in the current guidance from the Equality and Human Rights Commission to public bodies regarding trans users one part politely suggests transgendered boys should be allowed to wear trousers and that it may be unlawful if they don't. All perfectly fair and right one might think given the great discomfort and distress a trans boy may feel if no allowance was made. Suddenly it gets blown up to be a blanket ban on school girls wearing skirts.

(Though personally this blogger feels it to be a highly retrograde step that in the second decade of the 21st century there could be schools which only permit girls to wear skirts in this country. That along with my views on gender identity will probably be dismissed as "ultra-feminist drivel" undermining "traditional British values". I'm not sure what's meant by the latter comment presumably in "Mail world" that's going back to sending unmarried mothers to mental institutions and hideously racist comments are just a bit of banter).

Total bollocks of course, but you suspect they don't really care about the truth when there's newspapers to fill and a daily quote of things to hate to be met, especially if it allows them to bash their traditional targets. Which is that hideous notion of basic transgender rights. As it rumbled on the commenter's, especially the male ones, a little hot under the collar. Many trans children have a hard enough time as it is with bullying and some driven to suicide without attacks like this and the suggestion you are not trans or in a minuscule group that its not worth bothering with. The numbers one suspects are under-reported, some parents, often well meaning, try to deal with it privately or the child learns to hide it.

Its not the only recent example of a document being so distorted it bears no recognition to the original. Claims of secret plots appear regularly along with phrases like PC gone mad and lunacy. Often after someone's done some digging the truth is rather more prosaic with things done for very good reasons. Which shows despite claims to the contrary shows that you can make it up.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Headlines and Pregnancy's

In tabloid speak I would probably be described as follows "Gender-bender SEX-SWAP tranny Lucy (31)...".

Yet it could be even more offensive a quick search through Google News shows that terms like "lady-boy", "she-male" and others, have appeared in mainstream newspaper websites in the UK and around the world. Even within serious publications obsessed with attention grabbing headlines and search engine optimisation rather than accuracy and sensitivity. A recent ruling by the Press Complaints Commission has ruled that the Belfast Telegraph was wrong to the use the tranny in a headline to refer to a transsexual. The article was about a transsexual who worked in a rape crisis centre. One could argue that her being there should be open to debate, I don't think there is consensus among the general public or among rape victims (though many forget or ignore the many transgendered and trans historied men and women who are themselves victims). In the end a partial slap on the wrists to a regional publication regarding the headline but not the tone of the story, may give slight difficulties to headline writers, but it wont stop future pernicious stories.

Example two follows pregnancy the of Scott Moore. One of a handful of trans men to go public with the fact that they have a bun in the oven and not as some reports state the second occurrence to have happened in the world. Shortly followed by a third and we're back to how can they be men if they have babies it shouldn't be allowed wont someone think of the children etc etc. The arguments have been better put elsewhere and I suspect most readers of this are already familiar with them. It is also a dangerous path to start going down if we were to decide to prevent certain individuals or groups from getting pregnant.

It would be a dangerous path if we were constantly to shout down our critics and probably counter productive that's not to be apathetic just to know there is more than one way to skin a cat. (Who ever come up with that phrase, why skin a cat?)

I also challenge commenter's to describe themselves or me (the latter being something I may regret) in a tabloid style.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

I Went To A Marvelous Party - Part 2

Act two.

I did snap a photo (such a cliché I know) before taking the decision to take the phone instead of the camera.

My make-up wasn't helped by the inadequate lighting in the hotel room, next time I'll bring my own mirror and do it in the hall way I think.

Finally making it outside to where a chill had joined the rain and guessing from the slow trickle of people crossing the road and going down a slope that the entrance to the Pink Punters must be around there.

At this point someone stepped out from the reception entrance and said my name, that someone turned out to be Lynn, the esteemed blogger and leading light of the Nottingham area here with another girl who had absolutely gorgeous hair travelling down for the evening. Both looking great, unlike myself and exuding an air of knowing what they were doing... unlike yours truly.

Once arriving at the venue my first good move happened when I resisted the temptation to attempt a dance around one of the poles on the bottom level, a sight which would have scared many innocents. I did attempt to dance on the level above later but realised that I still have no rhythm. Eventually I followed up to the top level where I saw a few more familiar and unfamiliar faces and chatted briefly with a few some whose names I failed to gather above the noise, for which I apologise massively and profusely.

Some time after midnight Lynn left for the drive back to the East Midlands. Nice to have met, It was a unexpected delight to see you. After she left I found myself stood between a conversation on one side was Jo Angel the overlord of the Angels site and forum whose tenth anniversary was the reason we were all here. There were others including Sarah-Jane, Sophie, Justine, Jenny, Petra, Helena, Saffy, Toni Louise (most looking totally in their element) and so many others (mentioned and photographed elsewhere) that my brain couldn't process as it was whizzing along trying to match names to faces I recognised. As Evan Dando once sung "I'm never good with names but I remember faces". I am bound to have left some out and for that I apologise, maybe next time? Apparently I was mentioned in a tweet by Becky. Jane and Becky looked like a fabulous couple who were comfortable together. Given that Becky has been out even less than me she looked like she hadn't been away.

The following morning after 4 hours sleep and with a poor attempt at shaving for the third time in less than 24 hours I checked out and made a vague plan to head back and explore the centre of Milton Keynes. Living around Swindon I'm used to roundabouts but blimey there's a lot in Milton Keynes was the major thing I learnt from this.

In short it was a good night, I learnt that its worth paying for a half decent pair of tights, gloomy lights help to hide rushed make-up and I wasn't as middle aged as I'd suspected.

(The title as some may have guessed was inspired from the Noel Coward song of the same name).

Sunday, 31 January 2010

I Went To A Marvelous Party - Part 1



I didn't see a concrete cow but I did get up close with a plastic pig. One of the legendary Unison stunt pigs no less

Just one of several highlights from my visit to Fenny Stratford and the infamous Pink Punters, having left my West country coven to travel across the Thames Valley by train and by bus. According to Google maps the distance was about 72.8 miles. Though most transport companies required me to take a lengthy and expensive detour via London (in the case of National Express, Heathrow) probably not a good thing on a Friday afternoon and and given the cancellations and delays it was probably a smart move.

After much searching I figured the best and quickest way was to get myself into Swindon, travel to Oxford, get the twice hourly bus to Cambridge which stops at Milton Keynes and get a train for the short ride to Fenny Stratford.

For some reason I also decided to attempt it dressed, I suppose, just to prove to myself that I could. Although this involved taking more time to get ready, which I didn't take fully into account hideously underestimating the time it takes to get ready, especially when straightening hair. Cutting the story short it rained the whole time, got splashed by a passing car and walked from Bletchley station.

So I arrive, damp, runny make-up and my hair frizzled, I felt like crap. Though I'm sure the reception have seen worse. On a normal night the sensible course of action would be to put on a nightie and crawl into bed but this was not a normal or sensible night.

Stumbling in to the hotel room I could hear the noise from adjoining rooms and folks rushing about. So little time to rest before I joined them in getting ready, my nails needed finishing and the hair needed to dry and be fixed again for a start. There was also the question of fixing up my face and the supreme engineering achievement that is my support underwear (seriously Brunel would stand up and applaud it, while I'm on the great Victorian engineer why are there so many bland and just plain awful buildings bearing his name? Almost in inverse proportion to his own great achievements. Slough has a particularly dreadful building named after him but the one I saw in Bletchley was not very inspiring. To the man who designed the Clifton Suspension Bridge across the Avon Gorge among many other great feet's of engineering, we name a bit of grey concrete that will crumble and smell slightly of piss. Yes that's a Fantastic tribute.

I'm sorry I digressed, where was I?

My make-up skills had grown a little flabby owing to the fact I hadn't been anywhere and had long ago given up putting on the slap while at home.

Getting ready to step out I felt something I hadn't felt for a long while, nervousness? Giddyness? I'm not sure but it was something I hadn't felt since my first times out.

I suspect it was largely caused by the unfamiliarity of the place I was going to and meeting some people I'd been looking forward to meeting. Once past my initial turbulence the metaphorical pilots voice kicked in telling me I've landed the plane far too often to feel like that and true enough once I took the controls it became simple. By now the noise had died down obviously everyone had gone, but not everyone as I later found out.

The second act will cover the good and bad ideas I had, reel off a list of people I met avoiding it turning into one long "tranny coo".

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Sugar Sugar Kandy Pop! Push it Down Pull it Up!




Much like a contestant on Knightmare, the late 80's through to the 90's, Dungeons and Dragons inspired, rpg quest show Anglia Television made for Childrens ITV in the few minutes they weren't making nature films. In that I'm constantly saying "where am I"? and am very unlikely to make it to the end without being killed in some way after wrongly choosing the arrow over the tankard, the latter I could have exchanged for a spell to disarm the bomb or something daft like that.

I'm back for another year of underwhelming witterings. In the intervening weeks since my last entry a new year has begun, snow-mageddon has been and melted while the nations landfill sites groan with uneaten bread bought in a panic buying tizzy and built two snowmen, one with my niece the other ended up looking slightly evil.

In a recent dream (yes I know descriptions of other peoples dreams are the very boring things to read and that everyone thinks they are the exception to that rule) sat opposite me at the kitchen table was someone who I communicate with often online but have never met in person. There we were just drinking coffee, not even worthy of a PG rating.

Meeting people who you know only from their blog or other virtual conduit can be a strange experience and I'm rather crap at small talk anyway so there follows either awkward silence or the most awkward conversation since Meg Ryan went on Parkinson as many know to their cost.

In a future entries I'll detail some other things on my mind, probably returning to some old themes along the way.

This music video explains the title, I remember hearing it originally while going through one of many thousands of pieces of coursework.