Grace Lavery at the University of Edinburgh

Grace-Lavery_poster

She’s the enfant terrible of Trans academia, described in her book as “the David Bowie of Californian English professors.” Grace Lavery is at the University of Edinburgh to promote her memoir, Please Miss: a heartbreaking work of staggering penis, and like Bowie, the book constitutes in its diversity of styles and switches of voice a marmite quality you’ll either love or be bewildered by. This is not to question the book’s value; it is in parts beautiful, hilarious, and poignant, as well as sometimes oblique: a mould-breaking series of self-reflections in other words, unlike the other, ‘straighter’ memoirs that largely make up the trans biographical canon. Prepare, then, to disorientate and depart from the linear trans life-story, and so too the cagily respectable one-woman show. Grace, unlike Please Miss with its multiple metaphors, is an open book and a brilliantly responsive improviser to her audience.

            At the UoE talk, shared with the laid-back suaveness of the chair Lindsay of the Lighthouse Books team, the auditorium is full and the carefully be-spaced audience laugh and applaud Grace’s free-flowing sharpness and self-deprecating humour. This includes her fabulously kinaesthetic reading of the ‘Trans-Woman-As-Alien’ homage from her book, and her rapid onset of spinning good yarns. Grace and Lindsay bond quickly over their mutual inability to summarize the book in a few short words, with Grace waving her hand, “My complete failure to describe the book in fact is not a bad descriptor of the book.” Perhaps if there is a guiding theme it is of the memoir as partly a response to the media narrative of trans people hating their bodies. The playfully constructed Please Miss is Grace’s rejoinder, with its focus on the sex and sexiness of the trans body, as a celebration of “trans joy.” Another driver is the desire to create a queer text – and therefore a convention-busting one – that switches font and tone because transition is all about such switches. The body of the text, then, as trans female body, one that captures the ethos of Oscar Wilde, never settling on one thing but expressing itself via complex and contradictory multiplicities, and doing so with Wildean elan.

            As both an organizer and an increasingly seduced audience member, I sit and watch Grace Lavery in awe and with love as the talk continues. Rarely does a 60-minute talk go so quickly, a good and bad thing. Grace’s sincerity, channelled through her hyperactive mind and charismatic conversation, rewards us early with her tale of a robbery of an Edinburgh McDonalds hashbrowns gone wrong, before she gets down to analysis and shares her counter-narrative about the ‘transition’ story: “Everything that’s interesting and worthwhile and worth affirming about transitioning … takes place in the strangeness of transition, not in its capacity to harmonize or normalize or neutralize our feelings of intensity or antagonism.” The strangeness and surrealism include a darkness too, of course. An audience member asks Grace for her survival strategies in the face of online abuse that Grace is well-known for bearing. The online campaigns against her have included sex photos of her and her husband hacked from her account and sent to her boss and to her mother. “I’m sometimes scared,” Grace confides. With this fear, though, is her recognition that what happens online is a distortion of the real world, in which the hate and hostility are generally absent. She came to the UK uncertain what to expect, she says, expecting a Beatlemania of ‘gender-critical’ hatred, but all she has seen so far is a single woman handing her a piece of paper in a Manchester book-signing talk, asking her if ‘woman’ is being erased by the existence of people like Grace. Judging by the number of women in this UoE audience who are loving Grace with every passing minute, the absurdity of the notion is never clearer.

            In the blink of an eye, the talk ends, and concerning Please Miss, there are some parts of the book which shall remain a mystery (the book’s recurring clown scenes, what do they mean? I think I might know, though I’m not even sure if Grace knows, or whether she wants to know). We all leave this warm and electrifying space with its unsolved plethora of mysteries and maybe a single shared sentiment left to offer the wonderful Grace Lavery: Please Miss, give us more.

 

Continue reading
  168 Hits
  0 Comments
168 Hits
0 Comments

Transpose 2022

Transpose_poster

Transpose 2022

 

Note: Transpose 2022 was filmed by CN Lester's team and will be made available to the public. I can't overstate how important an act this is, as my review will explore more  generally.

 

At the Barbican in London on Friday evening, I took a friend to watch the poignant, funny and beautiful Transpose – a kind of trans cabaret originally conceived in 2011 by the multi-talented CN Lester and now organized by them on a near annual basis. As I watched and was immersed in each episode of the show, a thought came to me about the transitory nature of this genre of performance art within the space of theatre. With urgency, we have to record these events in as many mediums as possible. Because this feels like a vivid, vital history happening on the margins, the kind that is too often lost while more materially enduring art – the trans memoir and the film – dominate trans history, including artistic expression. This domination is problematic on all kinds of levels, not least because the publishing company and the film studio will only ever invest in projects (and trans people) of acceptability to largely white, cisgender audiences, with queer and trans people of colour (QTPOC) barely mentioned, their experience silenced. The result is that the memoir and film by or about trans people have tended to be particularly compromised visions or exclusionary ones, much more so than the cabaret or reading, or the self-published short story or song. Arguably, these latter forms of art are where trans identity feels most genuinely to belong to the transgender artist, whatever their creed or colour. This makes Transpose 2022 an especially important show for the talents that it features.

Continue reading
  133 Hits
  0 Comments
133 Hits
0 Comments

Tiny Pieces of Skull by Roz Kaveney

Tiny-Pieces-of-Skull_cover

Tiny Pieces of Skull by Roz Kaveney

In Tiny Pieces of Skull, the Lambda-award-winning novel woven around the lives of a network of trans women in the late 1970s, a twilight world is opened up to the reader of ‘street life and bar life’ on the margins of polite society. The magic that gleams from the darkness is proof of the paradox at the heart of the story: this is a bildungsroman, a tale of a formative, spiritual education, no less uplifting or poignant for the violence and unstable conditions the characters find themselves in. The protagonist, Annabelle, is no Victorian heroine à la Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot or Jane Austen, in spite of her own casual displays of a formal education that ought to have taken her along a more publicly legitimate pathway. Yet in embracing her transness, she has both liberated herself from an original destiny and condemned herself to an existence judged by law enforcers and clients as degenerate, and fair game.

              The theme of destiny, and its subversion, is announced early. On deciding to leave London for Chicago, Annabelle is accused by a friend of trying to “ignore history, to step outside it and start again … you regard yourself as some kind of totally free agent” (2015: 28). A familiar transgender crisis-point rears its head, so recognizable in the work of the trans writer and director Lana Wachowski: the protagonist decides on a defiant bid to embrace the truth, whatever the consequences, including to be consigned to some desert of the real – ironically, like Wachowski’s Matrix, the location is Chicago, though in the case of Kaveney’s novella more 1979 than the 1999/2199 in Wachowski’s cyberpunk story. Warned that the taking of her own proverbial red pill will end in tears, Annabelle replies, “But tears that are at last authentically mine, perhaps.”

              What transpires in Chicago is Annabelle’s re-constituting of herself within an ostensibly amoral world, less Bronte’s Jane Eyre than a sometimes menacing, Pinteresque setting. To one sceptical warning, she says, “Falsehood has become, if you like, my first name and my last … untrustworthy and unreliable … I am a thoroughly bad lot, at last, and I am really enjoying it.” Meant to cower in self-shame as a trans woman dependent on sex work and bar work, Annabelle defiantly appropriates the scarlet letter; she will not be ashamed, but instead take quiet pride in her friends and her survival as she makes a new life for herself. One result is a surreal comedy of contrasts, of a refined survivor and social ‘degenerate’ pragmatically making the best of her circumstances and options. At one point, she is described in an S&M double-act, Annabelle the good cop to her friend Natasha’s bad cop while a client squirms underneath them: “Annabelle had gathered that her role in all of this was to sit still well out of the way and look sinisterly uninvolved … Once the man had a blindfold on she used the opportunity to get on with reading Proust.” Later, and having been praised for her performance, Annabelle produces a pithy reply before marking “her place in Proust with a piece of discarded thong” (114).

              In spite of the wickedly amusing incongruity that frequently arises, there are some harrowing moments, and these provide the essential other side to the story’s lightness, with simmering violence waiting to erupt without warning. In one shocking, brilliantly realized scene, Annabelle finds herself trapped at the hands of a rapist, whom she escapes through quick-thinking trickery (90-95); the tragic story of the initially annoying Tiffany, meanwhile, is memorable because of what emerges from the general absence of pathos or self-pity, with Tiffany revealed gradually as silently suffering physical agony, along with an oppressive familial background that may drag her back into self-abnegation and invisibility. A strength of Tiny Pieces of Skull is the tense unpredictability at its heart: the trans female characters may separately be annoying, selfish, or simply unremarkable, but behind each of them is a survival story, and the absence of elaboration adds to their poignancy. As Tiny Pieces of Skull concludes in its final words with a broader message, “part of the point of feminism is that there are no minor characters” (179). Through this story, we are reminded not to make assumptions or judgements of such figures who have so little, and whose desire to be remains defiantly uncontained.

  433 Hits
  0 Comments
433 Hits
0 Comments

'Prove you’re safe to be around’: a review of the reviews of Shon Faye’s The Transgender Issue: An Argument for Justice

Shon_Faye_Transgender_Issue_2

There is an audacity to Shon Faye’s book The Transgender Issue. It’s rooted in her refusal to give the UK’s national news media what it wants: an Infinity War requiring the trans person’s never-ending submission of reassurances, to concerns that realistically can never be satisfied. As the more indignant journalists betray through their reviews, Faye is correct to make this stand; one reviewer laments the lack of data in the debate (Goodwin, 2021), as if this leaves the ‘debate’ of whether trans people are a public danger unresolved. But this Kafkaesque task for transgender people – give me the statistical proof you’re safe to be around – encompasses the impossible-to-satisfy nature of the concerns and the demands for data. I imagine turning the tables on such an interrogation:

Me: Are you a predator?
Journalist: No.
Me: Prove it.

I am interested in this type of journalism, this genre of Kafkaesque interrogation, involving the UK legacy media’s use of its position to harass marginalized people in perpetuity, in this case transgender people. Within the genre is a spectrum, at one end the barely concealed contempt of some (Patterson of the Times), through the ingratiating pretence of those smiling a little too hard as they dress their bigotry as gentle concerns (O’Malley in the Evening Standard), to those sufficiently savvy and self-aware of the power dynamics at play to centre the trans writer and their concerns (Sturgis of the Guardian).

As with the books by Faye’s London-centred contemporaries CN Lester and Juliet Jacques, Transgender Issue emphasises, among various forms of institutional transphobia, the media abuse. Similar to Lester’s Trans Like Me, the introduction describes the press hounding of Lucy Meadows, a teacher whose transitioning in 2012 became a subject of ridicule for the Daily Mail’s columnist Richard Littlejohn, expressed while the photographers were parked outside Meadows's front door. Meadows’s subsequent suicide would see the Mail remove the article, but as Faye says, the withdrawal of the media’s harassment of trans people has transfigured into something new in the period of the GRA reform post-2017: “No longer something to be jeered at, we were instead something to be feared” (5).

Glaringly, the press reviews generally avoid addressing the oppressive media coverage that Faye devotes a considerable time critiquing. Christina Patterson’s article in the Times is especially risible, coming from a newspaper that as Faye says in the book, published over 300 largely hostile articles about trans people in 2020 alone, in the tradition of such headlines as ‘Children sacrificed to appease trans lobby’ (Times, 11.11.17). Perhaps unaware of her own paper’s voyeuristic obsession, Patterson describes trans people as the culprits for this focus, claiming, “In the past few years that less-than-1-percent, or people claiming to speak for them, seem to have made an awful lot of noise.” The review’s analysis of Faye’s book is typified by the eye-rolling summaries of some the major issues Faye goes to great length to detail. At one point Patterson says, “She thinks, for example, that prisons should be abolished. So should the police, because of their complicity with white supremacy … Oh, and she wants to abolish capitalism.” Patterson’s partisan take, in fact, is pretty clear throughout. Indicating the ‘Us and Them’ intention of the review is the title, ‘Which side are you on?’, before Patterson later introduces the gender-critical Helen Joyce – she whose book contextualizes trans women according to the discredited, fetishistic pathology of autogynophilia – with ‘And so thank goodness for Helen Joyce.’

Continue reading
  161 Hits
  0 Comments
161 Hits
0 Comments

Punk Food, Junk Food: Portrayals of transgender apocalypse in the works of Travis Alabanza and Emma Frankland

cover2

I include here the introduction to my chapter in the anthology Women and the Abuse of Power (Emerald Publishing, 2022). The anthology is the outcome of a conference I attended back in 2018, where my paper - very different to what it eventually became in this anthology - was one of several selected by the project's driving force and editor, Professor Helen Gavin of the University of Huddersfield. I will say that the timeline of this project (two years in the making, from when the project started properly in the autumn of 2019) and cost of the book (£65!) underscore the challenges and frustrations of working in academia: the difficulty of acting or responding quickly with a piece of work, in a way that's easy to disseminate to non-academic publics. Who buys books for £65? This is a shame, because the chapters in this book look amazing. Just as importantly, my chapter is on two brilliant trans artists, Travis Alabanza and Emma Frankland, whose performances have mesmerized me over recent years (Travis via their poetry readings and their play Burgerz, Emma through her plays Hearty and We Dig). How can trans people from a largely marginalized community access a £65 anthology to read about these amazing artists? Do I Youtube a reading of it? Is it illegal to make my chapter available online? So many questions, but in the meantime, here's the introduction to my chapter to give you a taste of what it's about:

Punk Mood, Junk Food: Portrayals of Transgender Apocalypse in the work of Travis Alabanza and Emma Frankland

The transgender figure is the siren of the apocalypse. So implies Slavoj Žižek and his cumulative analyses of the “moral vacuum ... of the apocalyptic times in which we live” (2011: 327), with the “ultimate difference, the ‘transcendental’ difference that grounds human identity itself” destabilized by the “sex-change operation” (2008: 28). It is a collapsing world similarly recognized by Camille Paglia with her warning of transgender identity as a harbinger of when “a civilization is starting to unravel” (2016: 4.20), and by JK Rowling who declares, ‘We’re living through the most misogynistic period I’ve experienced,’ a condition she claims to be encapsulated by the Presidency of Donald Trump, the Incel movement, and Trans Rights Activists (2020). Yet what of the transgender figure and how they view a crisis in gender? In the 2019 Edinburgh Festival, trans artists Emma Frankland and Travis Alabanza conveyed in their shows a transgender apocalypse from their distinct perspectives and experiences. Their respective productions Hearty and Burgerz, with their particular aesthetics and narratives, will be the focus of this chapter. Their siren calls via punk mood and junk food contribute to this essay’s refutation of the belief in the emergence of a transgender movement that destabilizes and damages society for the majority. The mode of cisgendered order apparently valorized and feared for by Žižek, Paglia, and Rowling, will be highlighted as more resilient than they credit it, and can in fact be viewed in its enduring hegemonic dominance as a significant cause of the violence enacted against transgender people in its many forms.

  193 Hits
  0 Comments
193 Hits
0 Comments

Call for Papers: At the Digital Margins?

At-the-Digital-Margins-flag-poster-1

Call for Papers: Workshop for Early Career Researchers
At the digital margins? Researching and communicating
marginalisation in online political engagement


Monday 21st March - Tuesday 22nd March 2022

University of Birmingham

We invite proposals from postgraduate students and early career researchers working on critical, feminist or queer approaches to social media to a two-day workshop. The workshop will involve research presentations (Day 1) and skills sessions on publishing and public engagement (Day 2).

Social media is often considered by political scientists as a digital public sphere, offering new spaces for democratic engagement and collective will-formation. In European and international politics, it is understood to play a key role in facilitating participation in transnational democracy. Despite increasing public attention to online abuse, however, the experiences of traditionally marginalised groups have been insufficiently explored. Women and people of other marginalised genders often receive misogynistic, highly sexualised and often racialised messages when engaging in democratic debate. Such forms of gendered and racialised online violence can be considered a form of ‘participatory inequality’. Social media nevertheless offers opportunities for resistance through what Nancy Fraser terms subaltern counter-publics, in which minoritized people can seek support and mobilise. Yet, such online spaces are not automatically safe for everyone: Trans women and gender non-conforming people face particular risks in spaces dominated by cis people. Likewise, women and gender non-conforming people of colour experience racism in spaces dominated by white people. Despite this, there has
been little intersectional research to date about the extent, nature, and implications of such patterns of exclusion for democratic participation.

Continue reading
  194 Hits
  0 Comments
194 Hits
0 Comments

Roz Kaveney - Selected Poems 2009-2021

Kaveney_Lemebel_Parra-homage From left, clockwise: Roz Kaveney, Pedro Lemebel, Esdras Parra

Roz Kaveney – Selected Poems 2009-2021: a review, via the work of Frankland, Parra and Lemebel

 

Note: In writing this analysis, I feel the precarity of the relationship between the trans person's poem and the trans reader, the risk of all kinds of misunderstandings and presumptions. Perhaps some day I'll meet Roz Kaveney and she'll say, 'Gina, you were miles off.' In the meantime ...

 

The imagining of the transgender figure in apocalyptic wastelands is seldom far from trans poetics, whether iEmma Frankland’s hypnotic cycles of fear and punk-infused transcendence in Hearty, or from South America, the poetry of the Venezuelan Esdras Parra or the genderqueer writing of Chilean Pedro Lemebel. In keeping with these highest forms of dystopian, genderfuck vistas is Roz Kaveney’s Selected Poems 2009-2021. To be clear, the first quarter of the collection explores “art, sex and love” through a shining, classical prism, but these give way to later pages involving death and desolation, alienation and tyranny. It is these latter sections that I want to celebrate here, as examples of trans texts that evoke both darkness and the light within that darkness.

Continue reading
  379 Hits
  0 Comments
379 Hits
0 Comments

The Nest (2021)

The-Nest
 

The Nest is a film I’ve been excited about watching for a while. It’s directed by Sean Durkin, whose arthouse movie Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011), about a girl having escaped from and trying to recover from immersion in a cult, effectively helped launch the career of the mesmerizing Elizabeth Olson and is one of my favourite indies. The Nest is a slicker, bigger budget affair but the psychological menace reappears in its own distinct way. Instead of the claustrophobia of a cult cut up into non-linear reflections and refractions as in Martha Macy May Marlene, we have a trans-Atlantic crossing from an idyllic U.S. setting into a Gothic fairytale. The film transposes us and the family in the film to a mansion in a brooding English countryside, and its fragmentary, isolating impact operates to the destabilizing backdrop of the late 1980s of the Thatcher-Reagan years. Capitalism and heteronormativity intertwine to strangle a seemingly happy family: the husband Rory, played by Jude Law, is increasingly revealed as a bullshitter and a bluffer whose self-esteem comes from being the ostentatious provider for his family; the wife Allison, played brilliantly by Carrie Coon, provides the Female Gaze and participative witness trying to keep it together as things begin to fall apart. The strains of violins increasingly signify a family pushed to breaking point, but also the illusory quality of a marriage exposed for its transactional nature, in a Thatcherite world where transactions are rarely to be trusted.

I took the atmospheric, cracked mirror vibe with me when I left the cinema. Stepping out into warm sunshine, I craved the shaded sanctuary of my home and wanted no one to look at me: I can’t remember ever feeling such dysphoria after a film before. I’ve missed visiting the cinema these past few years, I realize, with much of my transitioning previouslyt taking place in dark auditoriums while I fixed vampire-like on flows of empathy to help make sense of my upheaval. Yet watching a film by an indie director is also a dangerous game, it seems, when you’re empathizing with the perpetrators and victims of a sham social order, and I left their world to one that hardly seems more stable.

  371 Hits
  0 Comments
371 Hits
0 Comments

Graduation 2021

Gina_Valentina_PhD-Graduation
 

 The idea of life as a transit point has never felt more relevant. I attended my PhD graduation at Edinburgh Castle with my partner in crime, Valentina, last week (see picture, on our front lawn before the taxi arrives to sweep us off to the ball). You probably can’t tell from the photograph but the dress I’m wearing is so tightly bound to my body that on trying to remove it one time in London as I attempted to go to bed in my hotel room, I nearly died of suffocation. I’m glad it didn’t happen last weekend too, after getting a PhD and then walking through the streets of Edinburgh with dreams of a glittering career, it would have been quite the anti-climax to that career. I imagine the gravestone: Dr Gina Gwenffrewi: died of auto-asphyxiation while getting stuck in versatile officewear.

They say the PhD is an achievement, but there’s always the immediate aftermath of finding the job that fits your new skill-set and qualifications. You’re more than you were, but also, materially, just the same as before, which in my case can be characterized by the words 'temporary contract,' 'minimum wage,' and 'Amazon.' That gap can lead to sleepless nights, and I'm not talking about the nightshift work I recently ended at Amazon. I was thinking today about how I once thought coming out as trans would make me happy. But I realize now that coming out was just a piece in a jigsaw puzzle in which happiness is about being the best version of yourself. Will the transitioning never end?

  439 Hits
  0 Comments
439 Hits
0 Comments

Paris Lees: What it feels like for a girl

Paris-Lees_What-it-feels-like

What it feels like for a girl by Paris Lees

UK: Penguin Random House, 2021

Trans memoirs today are a world away from the 20th century genre that gave us the Born In The Wrong Body narrative and a conforming middle-class, middle-aged respectability, shorn of incriminating evidence to the contrary. Let’s not be too judgemental: while today, there is transphobia, back then there wasn’t even a trans movement in the UK to attract the phobia. Isolated, bewildered and afraid, the trans people of the past appear to have made their way past medical pathologies, shaming families and freak-show news coverage to attain the Holy Grail of a bearable existence while the famous few pleaded their normality (though of some of these things, I’m uncertain how much has really changed).

Today, though, we have trans media figures who write reflections with humour, sassiness, and a discernibly greater candour, partly because they can afford to. With Paris Lees’s memoir What it feels like for a girl (2021), the writing is, in addition, exuberantly the hallmark of a wonderful writer taking risks. This is partly with the deft handling of the dark subject matter, including in relation to the violence she encounters and the sex, drugs, and disco life that increasingly gives her an escape during adolescence from hometown homogeneity and drudgery. Yet the risk-taking is also shaped by an authorial voice in a regional, Hucknell (or ‘ucknell’) accent that makes the text a gritty, funny, unsentimental trans-genre story, blurring bio with Irvine Welsh storytelling at its best. Seemingly toying with a readership that might expect transness to explicitly be at the heart of everything, Lees personalizes her story away from such a convention as well as the current media’s misconceived idea of some urban ‘gender ideology.’ Reminiscent especially of Janet Mock’s Redefining Realness (2014), What it feels like for a girl captures in flecks of colour the original nebulous feeling of Otherness of a young trans person in an economically impoverished suburbia. Like Mock, Lees becomes aware of her transness not by ideology but through instinct and a gravitation to those who will understand. As with Mock’s testimony, Lees reveals how being trans is first and foremost an awkward, individual awakening over many years, even as it reflects the surrounding environment. But because of its uniqueness, Lees’s account, like Mock’s, is also distinctly her own.

The opening sets the tone for this approach, the author referring to her former name and namesake, the Romantic poet Byron who apparently comes from the area:

Continue reading
  429 Hits
  0 Comments
429 Hits
0 Comments

An androgynous orgasm: Fashion Beast by Alan Moore

Fashion-Beast-montage
An androgynous orgasm: Fashion Beast by Alan Moore The images of this story become like memories of another life, maybe what's to come, Gina making do in a fascist state and looking good in spite of everything, a version of me, a cosmic cousin. Like the time I wrote about Cloud City in a film from my childhood, the cosmos conjures certain plac...
Continue reading
  416 Hits
  0 Comments
416 Hits
0 Comments

Retreating from gender-critical feminism: my reflections

20210730_171744
Retreating from gender-critical feminism: my reflections Some months back, I reached out to the people who were meant to be my enemies: gender-critical feminists. I was worn down and had had enough of the media attacks and the hate, the JK Rowling furore and GRA reform, the weekly articles questioning our intentions and validity. I was worn down by...
Continue reading
  600 Hits
  0 Comments
600 Hits
0 Comments

On being a trans woman in Scotland in the 2020s

Lomo_Art_Red_Gina
On being a trans woman in Scotland in the 2020s (2022 and counting) In the onslaught of negative visibility that is now par for the course for the modern trans woman in Scotland, I watch floating before me in my Twitter stream, the The Times' latest attack pieces on the highly respected Mridul Wadhwa (19 May 2021). I've met Mridul once and she...
Continue reading
  1094 Hits
  0 Comments
1094 Hits
0 Comments

When Renata Carvalho spoke at Edinburgh Transgender Intersectional/International (2019)

Picture-of-Renata-Carvalho
In 2019, I was part of a conference that invited the travesti actress and activist Renata Carvalho - star of Jo Clifford's 'The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven' on its touring production in Brazil - to come over from Brazil as our keynote speaker. We originally uploaded the speech on our conference website, but with that w...
Continue reading
  564 Hits
  0 Comments
564 Hits
0 Comments

Trans Hell-thcare

Photo1139
The picture accompanying this post is important to me. I took it yesterday, 16 November 2020, unsure what I'd find. It's been nearly eleven months since I came off oestrogen for reasons I'll get into in a moment. Undoubtedly this has had an effect on me, bodily and therefore psychologically, but the accompanying selfie gives me a reassura...
Continue reading
  1251 Hits
  0 Comments
1251 Hits
0 Comments

Silenced by The Scotsman

The-Scotsman_Transphobia
On 11 June 2020, The Scotsman published a deeply hostile article against transgender rights and activism in an opinion piece about the JK Rowling furore by its deputy political editor Gina Davidson. After much distress, I wrote a counter article which The Scotsman quietly ignored, after they had offered to pass it on to their Comment Editor. I expe...
Continue reading
  1019 Hits
  0 Comments
1019 Hits
0 Comments

The Book of Queer Prophets, curated by Ruth Hunt

The-Book-of-Queer-Prophets-ed.-Ruth-Hunt
 The Book of Queer Prophets: 24 Writers on Sexuality and Religion The historically fraught relationship between Abrahamic religions and LGBT+ identities provides the backdrop to The Book of Queer Prophets, a collection of twenty-four meditations by public figures who identify as both religious and LGBT+. The book's curator, the forme...
Continue reading
  1365 Hits
  0 Comments
1365 Hits
0 Comments

Queer/Transgender short film: Mesmeralda

BeFunky-collage-1
Joshua Matteo's short film, Mesmeralda, merging horror with esoterica, is now out on youtube. As with his previous work Metanoia, we see youthful trans actors racing through the empty streets of a moonlit New York, haunted by symbols and stalked by a masked figure of violent intentions. Mesmeralda, as described by Matteo, is the companion piec...
Continue reading
  1386 Hits
  0 Comments
1386 Hits
0 Comments

My 2020 Vision

Gina_15.03.2020_19.19
My 2020 Vision I've been away for so long from these postings, don't be offended. I used to write three times a week, because I needed to, in the maelstrom of early transitioning. Now, things are calmer, my gender feels more normal, we've reached the point where it's all about finishing my PhD in Trans Female Representations in the Americas this su...
Continue reading
  1448 Hits
  0 Comments
1448 Hits
0 Comments

Sterile like the moon: the joys of transgender healthcare

Gina_Frozen_08.03.2020
Sterile like the moon: the joys of transgender healthcare Summer, 2016: Gina's Big Bang, as transitioning begins A bureaucratic question in a sun-lit room. My medical practitioner asks me if I intend to have children. The question lingers, but the self-loathing is instant. No, I won't be having children. The practitioner nods. She moves on to the n...
Continue reading
  1107 Hits
  0 Comments
1107 Hits
0 Comments