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.

What's on (my mind)?


 What's on (my mind)?

The World Cup of football, not of Quidditch, is coming our way and we must embrace it. And yet, despite the politics and the evil lurking in the shadows, I remain excited.

I remember my first World Cup, in 1986 in Mexico, a thing of scorching scenes on fuzzy TV screens of far-away exotica. Teams I'd never heard of, like Uruguay, in their sky blue and black, all dark arts and skills I'd never seen before. One beautiful player of theirs, Eduardo Acevedo, of olive complexion and olive-coloured eyes, my first crush, along with France's Dominique Rocheteau and his long black curls, who could have been one of Dumas's original Musketeers.

Stereotypes began to crystallize during 1986: the French footballers as artists, the Germans as unrelenting; the Argentines as a single man of Latin passion, flawed temperament and mercurial talent: Diego Armando Maradona.

I remember loving France in that first World Cup. Sexy and graceful, they disappeared off the map for a decade or more after and our love cooled to nothing. It was never love, just a first crush. Uruguay, a brief erotic encounter quelled by the shock of seeing them descend into physical abuse (of other teams). It could have been good, Uruguay, but why did you have to be that way? Why couldn't you control that temper of yours?

In 1986, I learned to hate the Germans. Boo, hiss, cheats. Undeserving winners, how did they keep winning? But only a few years later, I found myself slowly falling for them. Germany, the boyfriend your Father (i.e. Britain) warns you to avoid. Germany, my lover; by 1990, I brought them home, hand in hand, and gave them my soul.

I didn't have pin-up boy bands when I was a child. I had the footballers in these pictures. Let me introduce you to the boy band of my youth. Top left, my first Latino crush, Eduardo Acevedo of Uruguay. Next to him, like a singer from Duran Duran or A-ha, Denmark's Michael Laudrup. After, my blond bombshell, Germany's most gifted footballer of the 80s, who quit playing for his country at the age of 22, Bernd Schuster. Nobody talks about Schuster anymore because of his self-imposed exile, so I have him all to myself. But watch him glide and shoot for Spain's best club sides, and maybe you will see what I see in the poetry of his movements, and how good Germany could have been in the 1980s with him in their side.

Across the middle, the smouldering good looks of Michel Platini, the lithe beauty of Ruud Gullit of the Netherlands, and those long black curls of the fifth musketeer, St Etienne's Dominique Rocheteau.

Across the bottom: Brazil's anti-authoritarian all-knowing master, Socrates, looking more profound and thoughtful than his namesake of Ancient Greece. Then the grace of France's Jean Tigana, seen here in the deep claret colours of Bordeaux, and finally two bushy haired Argentinians, Maradona and rock star-looking colleague Alberto Tarantini.

The World Cup opened my eyes to a world outside, one of colours and peoples and passions, of Ladybird World Cup books I clasped in my small hands as I filled in the scores, and learned that the capital of Uruguay was Montevideo. The World Cup is back. I am a child in love again.
Anxiety Dreams and the Cisgender Label
On loving a film that others hate


No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Thursday, 18 July 2019

Captcha Image

What's On This Week

My Latest Posts

June 09, 2019

Dark Phoenix, John Wick 3, Godzilla: my reflections

Three fantasy movies within three days: X Men: Dark Phoenix; John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum; Godzilla: King of the Monsters The Lacanian feminist Kaja Silverman says about cinema, we go because we need the affirmation, to see the things we hope to see and fail to see in the real world. In Lacanian-speak, Silverman says we go because 'the desire ...
June 02, 2019

Personal Reflections on Transgender: Intersectional/International

Personal reflections on the conference Transgender: Intersectional/International (28-29 May) ​​Note: these reflections do not represent anyone else who contributed to Transgender: Intersectional/International I got involved with Transgender: Intersectional/International in order to create an LGBT/queer space that accommodated discussions on racism,...
April 28, 2019

Gina's Moving Castle

Saturday afternoon 27.04.19 Enough with marking papers. Enough about conferences. Outside is a blue sky. There's a book shop nearby, my temple, its owners are trying to remove stickers of transphobic messages pasted on their door. Yesterday I met a guy who'd been set upon by a group of 17-year-olds. He still had the scars, and the trauma. They saw ...
April 14, 2019


April 14, 2019


It's a film I watched weeks ago, uncertain that I wanted to review it, the gruesome, horrific ending overshadowing anything positive I was able to take from it. Girl (2019), a Belgian production directed by Lukas Dhont is apparently inspired by the life of contemporary dancer Nora Monsecour . It's a film I had hopes for, really wanted to like, and ...
March 09, 2019

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi

in Books

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi The author, Akwaeke Emezi, calls herself trans but also Ogbanje, a spirit depicted in Igbo culture as inhabiting a newborn baby soon to die, though possibly allowing it to live. These are dark conceptions already, embracing fatality and negotiating both intrusion and malevolence, and they contribute as themes to Emezi's ...
March 02, 2019

The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein

in Books

The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein This may be one of the most important books on the 21 st century state of the world, an analysis of the global socio-economics that makes sense of the chaos of post-9/11 Iraq, of the collapse of democracies of Latin America since the 1960s and 70s, and the democratic false dawns of Russia and South Africa since the...
February 17, 2019

Alita: Battle Angel

Alita: Battle Angel A week has gone since I watched Alita: Battle Angel . It's a film that left me feeling similar emotions to the cyborg-driven techno-fireworks in Ghost in the Shell (2018), the emotion of 'almost.' Visually, there's a lavish sci-fi splendour to the film, bearing the wonders you desire in a mixture of escapist sci-fi and fantasy: ...
February 03, 2019

A Brexit Feminism That Fears And Excludes

This article follows a number of events that shook me this week. First of all, the filmed harassment by two Trans-Exclusionary-Radical-Feminists (TERFs) of trans woman Sarah McBride at McBride's workplace. I watched it online and thought: that could be me, caught out, disoriented. How do you respond to the equivalent of door-stepping, as out of the...
January 26, 2019


January 26, 2019


Vice A lukewarm reaction from critic Mark Kermode and a condemnation from political writer Simon Jenkins are a strange way to start this review of the Dick Cheney biopic Vice , given that I really enjoyed it. Jenkins's is peculiar, believing it reduced the U.S. invasion of Iraq to the work of a few shady men in the U.S. administration. But wasn't i...