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.

London: Digital Identities Conference


 London: Digital Identities Conference 18.05.18

Presenting at a conference on deprived sleep is like wandering Peruvian forests on Ayahuasca

The last few days have seen me emerging from hypnotic tortures of sleep deprivation, of days blurring into nights blurring into dawns and hotel breakfasts. Train journeys taking me to speak at a conference in a hopefully much better way than I spoke two weeks previously at the Edinburgh Mad Con.

I went down to London on Thursday for the King's College conference, sharing space with two colleagues: one with pink hair called Bridget and another from New Zealand called Sarah, both chilled out and super nice. We wandered the National Library: I remember entering dark recesses of globes and scriptures and parchments, with Bridget showing us around her future home. Next year she will work there as its Grand Vizier on a throne of Gutenberg Bibles. Sarah, meanwhile, prefers ice-cream with honey and almonds.

I spent Thursday evening hyperventilating in a hotel room at a PowerPoint talk that wouldn't come naturally. A slide disappeared and never returned, my Chromebook refusing to play ball. Eventually I sat down and tried again, and found my voice. Getting up at 4am, I sat on my bed and went through the order. Friday: I sat on a tall stool before a small audience and produced as easily as I had on the edge of my bed in the witching hour.

So here's what I've learned: sit, don't stand; and don't go over 15 slides. All the best talks I've given have happened when it's been like this, so now I know.

After the conference I drank blood-red wine on an empty stomach. Wandered up a busy London street in a dusky afterglow, and collapsed on the bed of my hotel room. Woke up first at 10.30pm, then at 3.15 am. Got up, washed off my make-up, removed my tight black dress (which I'm always worried will trap me in the process, leaving me to die like Meinir in the tree trunk of an ancient Welsh legend). Slipped under the sheets and eventually fell asleep, to awaken with an undeserved hangover.

I'm conscious this post may make no sense to anyone except me, but sometimes it has to be this way, because that's how conferences happen. On Saturday morning, with the conference over and time to kill, I entered Regent's Park. For some reason I expected a small, shrub-like square, but instead discovered a beautiful place of sunshine and silence. I took out a book I've been reading and lost myself in the writer's thoughts. Later I met a friend I hadn't seen since our Masters in Creative Writing: Temi Oh, who's just signed a book deal with Simon and Schuster. Her super-cool sci-fi novel comes out next year. Then hopefully a Netflix or Amazon or Sky adaptation.

And me? Maybe my eventual book will be academic, about transgender narratives in the 21st century. I would like to do this, academia can be a creative site too, as you bring things together in a single narrative that helps the reader to make sense of complex but important issues, while in some small way, you make the world a better place to live in.
Transgender Art: Metanoia
What's On (my lips)


No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Friday, 22 January 2021

Captcha Image

What's On This Week

My Latest Posts

December 22, 2020

Lacanian Icarus: when Gina flew too close to the sun?

On the recent experience of nearly being no-platformed There are two identities in one when it comes to being part of a disempowered minority. The first is for yourself: all your failings, your insecurities, your doubts, and connected to this, your curiosity and quirks. Let's be Lacanian analysts for a moment: what we're talking about is the transg...
November 17, 2020

If I were to detransition, this is what I would write

Warning: this is a speculative piece of writing, not an official announcement, although I have recently begun to imagine an 'ideological' detransition (from trans woman to GNC male). Here, I'm trying to articulate and reflect on my thoughts and feelings, and imagining myself from a different perspective. In this post, I'm Gina v...
November 17, 2020

Trans Hell-thcare

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...
October 17, 2020

What if gender-critical feminism came to power?

This scenario is inspired by a dialogue I had yesterday evening with a gender-critical feminist just before I went to bed. Here is what I dreamed: In the summer of 2021, the Conservative minister Liz Truss introduces legislation, making women-only spaces legally accessible only to those born female. This U.K. law includes a provision for funding al...
October 13, 2020

Responses to my blog post (1)

A frustrating aspect of my website is that when people write in, there's no trace of an email address so no way of getting back to people, and also no way of publishing their messages. However, I received such a nice response to my article just now that I'd like to include it here. It's from some who for the sake of confidentiality (in case it's ne...
October 11, 2020

On adopting a more gender-critical transgender activism

On adopting a more gender-critical transgender activism Note to the reader: This post is intended as a contribution to addressing the current tensions between transgender activism and gender-critical feminism. The way I see myself in relation to female i dentity, and the ideas I express here, are not a prescription for other trans women. The t...
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...