Transgender Life

I don’t want this site to be solely about being transgender. From my experiences so far, it’s not even something I could write about every week – being in the closet is far more intense and frustrating and writeable. However, there are moments when things happen, unique to trans people. I’d like to share those moments with you, and let you into the mystery.

Gina’s Trans Diary, 05.09.16 Clothing I can't wear?

Gina’s Trans Diary, 05.09.16 Clothing I can't wear?

What to make of this T-shirt? I saw one several years ago with 'gay' instead of 'trans,' then saw this T-shirt during the Edinburgh Festival. First thing's first: Stonewall are a civil rights group that have championed the rights of LGBT people since their creation in 1989, and deserve credit for their courage as well as helping to make the UK a more tolerant place. They've been major players in the repeal of the UK's Section 28 (legislation against the promotion of homosexuality in UK schools) and in the right of gay couples to adopt children, among other pro-LGBT legislation.

The T-shirt, though, I'm not so sure I want to champion. It makes me ambivalent, if not uncomfortable. Perhaps it's the assumption, automatically formed when read, that any reader has a problem with people being trans. And that they need to get over it. Two things: first of all, this hasn't been my experience in Edinburgh. People ignore me, or glance or stare but no more than they would at anyone else. Secondly, being trans, I just want to blend in. This T-shirt is not about blending in, so I would never wear it. With its bold red and black colours, its imperative order and the exclamation mark, it's about making an eye-catching statement, aggressively catching your attention before saying: 'You've got a problem with me? It's your problem!' Again, we come back to the assumption of it. Whoever reads it is being addressed in a way that assumes they're guilty of being transphobic.

Perhaps I'm being too timid about trans rights? Too weak, too over-concerned with hurting the feelings of others? Be bolder, stronger, less shy. But couldn't it be more polite? 'Some people are trans. And some people aren't. Hey ho.' I think that would better indicate what I've experienced here in Edinburgh, and probably reflects UK attitudes overall (thanks in no small part to the political activism of Stonewall). Most people don't seem to care, and politely ignore you, unless you're JK Rowling, in which case it's difficult not to stare. I saw her passing through at the Edinburgh Festival and tried not to stare. I think I stared for a second more than I would have at anyone else. It might not even have been her, but I think it was, on George Square, walking briskly through the crowd. Now there is a person who deserves a T-shirt. 'Yes, I'm JK Rowling. Get over it.'

Weather for Transsexuals
Gina’s Trans Diary, 02.09.16 My First Selfie
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Guest
Saturday, 26 September 2020

Captcha Image

What's On This Week

My Latest Posts

July 01, 2020

Silenced by The Scotsman

​ On 11 June, 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 experie...
May 11, 2020

The Book of Queer Prophets, curated by Ruth Hunt

in Books

  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 for...
May 09, 2020

Queer/Transgender short film: Mesmeralda

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 ...
March 08, 2020

Sterile like the moon: the joys of transgender healthcare

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...
November 10, 2019

General Election

General Election 12 December 2019 I spent the last election in an office, alone but for the company of a colleague. We watched the BBC's coverage while I drank wine, downbeat and expecting austerity and the absence of hope to triumph. Then we saw the exit poll and hung around, disbelieving at the sight of the kindled embers and lukewarm glow of a f...
Joker
October 05, 2019

Joker

October 05, 2019

Joker

Joker The trailer did its work, flashing images of anomie and fury perfectly pitched for these unstable times of precarious working conditions, grievance and institutional indifference. For these same reasons, Joker , directed by Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix as the protagonist, has attracted pre-release criticisms like few other recen...
September 29, 2019

Resisting Whiteness event 2019

Resisting Whiteness one-day event, Edinburgh Returning for the second consecutive year, Resisting Whiteness came yesterday to the Pleasance Theatre in Edinburgh, providing an intense and inspiring series of panels, as well as a wonderful spoken word section, and a final segment based around the documentary short Invisible by internationally-acclaim...
August 21, 2019

Hearty by Emma Frankland

Hearty by Emma Frankland Raw and dripping with punk aesthetic, this one-woman-show's one-woman emerges in ripped tights and a T-shirt that paraphrases loudly the words of anti-trans theorist Germaine Greer: Lop Your Dick Off. My first impression of Emma Frankland is edgily uncertain and in awe, her Lady-Gaga-looks combined with Heath Ledger's mesme...
August 21, 2019

Pronoun, Pass, & Amnesty International

Transgender drama: Pronoun To be clear at the outset, this was the production of a youth theatre group, not a highly resourced team of experienced, professional career actors – although some of the performances left a powerful impression, and the show as a whole achieved some remarkable moments. Pronoun , written by Evan Placey, follows the transit...