About Me

I’m someone who has travelled the world and finally found a place to call home, Edinburgh my oasis and place of coming out. I love Edinburgh and am drawn to its cinemas and theatres in particular. I’ve decided to share my weekly visits to shows and films, and hope it will help anyone interested in gaining a perspective.

I have never been a critic before and will do it my way: films and shows affect people in different ways, depending on their mood and what’s happening in their lives at the time. I will write reviews that reflect how I feel at the time. I think this is important, in case you think me an impartial observer. I never am. Whether it’s on a plane, or during a period of stress or sadness, or an attempt to clear my mind with mindless entertainment, how I feel will influence my review. In reading my reviews, you will know not only something about the show or film, but about this observer’s state of mind at the time.

In writing about Edinburgh’s cultural scene, I will also try to do something different. I came out in 2016 as a transgender female. I want to share my highs and lows, and let you know what it’s like to be trans in Edinburgh. I have a feeling I will disappoint those looking for something lurid or even just exciting. My life is rarely either. But it is unavoidably a trans life now, and with the West still working out what the hell we are, I’d like to add my two pence’ worth.

 Gina Maya 22.08.16

What's On This Week

My Latest Posts

January 12, 2019

Transgender Venezuelan Poetry: Esdras Parra

in Books

Transgender Venezuelan Poetry: the Collected Poems of Esdras Parra (2018) I've seen your dreams In the foliage of your eyes Opening in a horizon of ash Ready for death And the innocent flame That leaps from branch to branch Brings you the color of earth Which you should get used to Before the fog Grows within you (taken from the collection Este Sue...
January 06, 2019

2019 I am ready for you

2019 I am ready for you After a Christmas of deadnaming, trans-shaming and get-in-the-car-quick confidence-maiming, I am back, like a fist through a million-dollar painting. I am adult enough now to disregard what's not important, as I survey the field before me. I am unlikely to romance or murder anyone. I'm also not planning to die. I will work h...
January 06, 2019

The Favourite

If playwright Harold Pinter does brilliant depictions of the menace and impotence of male experience within patriarchy, then this film, Yorgos Lanthimos's The Favourite , produces a stunning equivalent of female power games in a dog-eat-dog world. This felt like a 'woman' film, where boy-meets-girl romance is simply – and peripherally – a means to ...
December 09, 2018

Mortal Engines

Mortal Engines If the anime films of Studio Ghibli and writer/artist Hayao Miyazaki were to be turned into live action movies, they would look like this. Steam punk machines, whirring aircraft and zeppelins, with utopian valleys and dystopian wastelands sharing screen time, reminding us of how one can turn into the other through the rapacious consu...
Creed 2
December 08, 2018

Creed 2

December 08, 2018

Creed 2

Creed 2 I remember Rocky IV in the mid-1980s, at the peak of Reagan's (and Donald Trump's) America. It's a film so mesmerizingly patriotic to American exceptionalism, the boxer 'Italian Stallion' Rocky Balboa as the plucky underdog, avenging the brutal death of his friend Apollo Creed by taking on the steroid-abusing giant who killed said friend in...
December 04, 2018

Transgender milestone (#5): visiting a foreign country

It means nothing to me This means nothing to me Oh, Vienna (' Vienna ' by Ultravox) It's up there with your first full day as an out trans female, with the admin changes, your first job and that conversation with your family. I went to Vienna this weekend to a conference, my first time out of the country with my passport grasped at my tender bosom,...
Widows
November 25, 2018

Widows

November 25, 2018

Widows

Widows A taut, stylish heist movie spotlighting destinies of gender and race in the U.S., Widows is the kind of movie I'd forgotten they still make for adults. Contrasted with multiverse fantasies like Crimes of Grindelwald , Widows is proof you can have several characters as vivid, substantial, and delicately drawn, while the action and the tensio...
November 18, 2018

The Crimes of Grindelwald

The Crimes of Grindelwald A curious film, one to categorize under 'part of a series' than self-contained. But you sit down to these 'multiverse' sagas from Marvel and Warner Bros. (et al) expecting the cliff-hanger concept that really belongs to TV shows. With this expectation, I entered the dark cinema an intrepid explorer like Eddie Redmayne's Ne...
November 09, 2018

Gifted Transgender Writers: Jamie Berrout

in Books

Portland Diary by Jamie Berrout I never use to read short stories, but I'm glad I found Portland Diary: Short Stories 2016 / 2017 by Jamie Berrout. As a transgender woman of colour, Berrout is able to go beyond the clichés of isolation and domesticity of cisgender appropriations (David Ebershoff's nauseating The Danish Girl , for example), but also...