Archive for ‘LGBT’

23/06/2014

For me it was when I was 4…

…then again at 7, but first time first. We lived in a huge mobile home in a field owned by my grandparents in pretty much the most isolated part of mainland Ireland. It was…okay I guess. I don’t really remember much apart from the dogs. Everybody had a dog. My grandparents had a border collie named Candy, my grand-aunt a border collie named, I don’t remember that makes me sad, I loved that dog. Anyway I had a border collie mix named Charlie, who I found out this year was put down the day we left; he went mad when I went away, and after nearly killing my uncle as they drove home from the train station my uncle was forced to drown my lovely 2-year-old dog so he wouldn’t end up crashing the car. I get it, but I hate it. It says a lot that that dog is still my 2nd clearest memory of Mayo, and that I still miss him 30 years later.

I say second strongest memory because my strongest memory is the time I told my Mom that I was a girl. I can remember standing in the tiny kitchen with her, watching her make scones, and then blurting it out. I was 4, I was already trying to read, already had had so many nightmares that they’d stopped scaring me, and I already knew something had gone horribly wrong with me. My body felt like a loaner. It felt like a stop gap while my real body was being finished. It didn’t feel like it was mine. Oh and it was already becoming sick, I started to have the bowel problems that have plagued my entire life since in those 2 short years in Mayo. But, time to focus on what’s important here; the gender.

So I’d told my Mom I was a girl. You know who liked dogs, and calves, and guns, and building random things, and hid all the time (like a soldier) with my dog in the tall grass at the edges of the field, you know, a girl…with a penis. And her response was…

…nothing.

No response. None at all. Now the fact that my Mom has absolutely memory of this at all makes me think that she actually didn’t hear me. Mom is a very quiet woman, but she’s a noisy baker, so it’s likely that she didn’t. But tell that to a 4-year-old who’s just told her Mom that penis and boy-play-stuff aside, she’s a girl. Yeah it all got put in a small box, locked up tight, and fucked down the deepest darkest part of my psyche. And there it stayed ’til I was 7.

7 was a big year for me. I started Primary School, I had my First Communion…ugh, got my first watch, discovered Virginia Madsen, and got molested for the first time.

The last part would be the part that’s pertinent here. You see I hadn’t had any sexual awakening at that stage. None, at, all. I was a blank sexual state, on a blank gender slate, all balanced on an already geeky as hell slate. So it probably shouldn’t be surprising to me that having my sexual nature activated in just about the worst way possible, against my will, and far too early for me would have a secondary effect. Yup my boxed up gender hit a trampoline somewhere down that deep dark hole, and then it bounced back up into the light of day, walloping me in the teeth, and adding immeasurably to my misery.

I told my Mom again, and again she doesn’t remember this. I don’t remember her response, I don’t even remember if there was a response. But whatever happened when I told her it was almost 2 decades before I would tell her again, this time making sure it stuck. In the mean time I hid who I was. I hid what was being done to me all the time. Well really I hid everything that makes me me.

This is all by way of sharing my early experience of my own gender. Why?

Because the video below shows how to (mostly, and even where she got it wrong it’s totally understandable) get it right if your child ever comes to you with something similar. But how to get it right is summed up best in these words…

Pay attention to what they say, and don’t dismiss it. They know themselves in a way you never will.

http://vimeo.com/user27600859/howtobeagirl

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14/05/2014

So the Bristish Political party UKIP have shown their true colours…

The website scriptonitedaily.com are reporting that the British political party UKIP have started taking legal action against bloggers who dare to post a certain picture on their sites. For full details read the linked page, but I for one have no problem calling UKIP what they are, a party of hate, and a party who use intimidation as their chief tool to silence any criticism.

A party that holds dear those who think LGBT folk should be punished for existing, and are to blame for floods.

A party that welcomes members who feel women have gotten too big for their boots.

A party based in part on racism of the darkest kind. A party that use inflammatory language to stoke the fires of the Other. The kind not seen since the 1930’s and 40’s. The kind that was so beloved of the National Socialist Party back in Germany’s darkest days.

A party more than happy to scream about their freedom of expression, while using any means they can to silence criticism from others.

Here in Ireland we have our version, and as soon as they show their true colours I’ll have just as little trouble calling them what they are. But right at this moment I’m worried for the futures of my friends in our nearest neighbour. My LGBT friends. My female friends. My friends who are parents.

UKIP are not Libertarians (Most real Libertarians would shudder to be placed in their company.), Ukip are to speak plainly Neo-Nazi’s in well-tailored suits. Their rhetoric matches that term, and so do their actions…Oh and that image they’re trying to have removed from the internet? Why it’s this one…

How thin-skinned the real bastards of the world are when the light is shone on them. Oh, and to use another now well-known meme.

49823761

04/06/2013

“Wipe out Homophobia” but let’s make sure the transwomen keep quiet. (I hope I’m wrong about this.)

This weekend past something happened on Facebook which took me right back. Back almost ten years to a point in time when the LGB societies in Ireland were debating whether to include “T” in the acronym. That brought me right back to the good ole days when the LG part of the acronym seemed to take total joy in silencing the “B”s and the “T”s. It was a moment in my own life that showed me once more though this time in a very personal way, if I needed another example, that the “T” in LGBT is nothing more than a placeholder for an extremely convenient sacrificial lamb.

So Amanda, what happened?

Well on the morning of Friday the 31st, the self described education page Wipe out Homophobia (WOH) posted this link to an article about the Stonewall Riots. For those who don’t know, the Stonewall Riots were a pivotal moment in LGBT history, which marks in many ways the start of organised action for civil rights for LGBT people.

If you read the article in that link you’ll notice something is missing. Something rather glaring in fact if you happen to know anything about the riots. Why yes, there’s absolutely no mention of transgendered people. Funny considering that there most definitely was transpeople of varies types involved.

So being me I decided to comment this. Mine was the first comment. And my comment was the following.

“So transgendered people are written out of history again I see.”

I posted, and within a few minutes not only was my comment removed, but my account was blocked from making any further comments. So how do I perceive this act? Well as being censored of course.

The LG movement has a long history of throwing the Bs and the Ts under any political bus that happens along, though because it’s much easier to throw the Ts under a big political tyre we have tended to get it a bit more. We get written out of queer history all the time. We often have our rights, and our needs neglected, or misrepresented by the cis-gendered Ls and Gs for their own political gain pretty regularly, usually it seems to be explained away with a phrase like “A small sacrifice for a greater good.” As a matter of fact we as a group are misrepresented by Ls and Gs all the time, in every sort of situation, I can’t count how many times I’ve been described in some way as a fake person by one of my so called allies. How many times truly horrid comparisons have been made about me, my brothers, my sisters from within what is supposed to be our own loving community For an excellent example of this, well, remember I mentioned this at the start of this article?

“…when the LGB societies in Ireland were debating whether to include “T” in the acronym”

Back then I was a member of several Irish LGB forums. All of which I left after various people decided to compare transgendered people to pedophiles. And if that comparison sounds familiar well here’s the first page of a google search. It’s been almost ten years since that particular vitriol filled debate was heard in Ireland. But the pain caused by some of the comments, and arguments made during that debate is still with me, and I’m sure others, to this day.

The T of LGBT is sometimes heard to be called the “silent T.” And that is with good reason, seeing as our places in our own history keep being rewritten, by people who are not us. I won’t try to explain how, not when someone else has already done it infinitely better than I ever could. Please click this link to read how the story of Stonewall has been stolen from the trans-community by cis-centric members of the L and G communities. Censoring of transpeople is simply business as usual for the LG part of our little family.

Taking a deep cleansing breath, because this could devolve in to a full-blown rant very easily and I’d rather like to keep the high ground here, but I am very angry, rightly angry. Well anyway, I have this to say directly to the owner/s of the Facebook page “Wipe Out Homophobia“.

The history of my particular subset of humanity does not belong to you, or to any lesbian or gay person. Nor to any bi-person, politician, historian, or asshole with a red marker and a nasty attitude. In fact it doesn’t belong to me either. It is history, the past, an immutable fact. It has already happened. The truth of who was actually there can not be changed. But by trying to silence someone who draws attention to the way in which a key part of our communities history has been altered, rewritten, perverted,  you are simply doing to transpeople what the rest of the world has at one stage or another tried its damnedest to do to you.

Your page is listed as an “education website” on Facebook. But if you deny the truth of an event. If you deny a group of people access to the heroes of their part of their community in that event, then you sir/madam prove yourself as wrong, as misguided, as indefensible as any other history denier who walks this Earth.

Whether you like it or not transpeople were a part of Stonewall. They and the other queerfolk who couldn’t hide in plain sight, the queers, the nancy-boys, the butches, the trannies of all stripes are the ones who led that particular charge, because they had No. Other. Choice.

They were there then.

We ARE here now.

WE ARE NOT GOING ANYWHERE. No matter how hard some of our communities members may try to drive us away, you probably know exactly who I’m talking about.

Denying our place in history won’t erase us.

Denying our existence won’t erase us.

Stealing our words, won’t silence us.

Nor will stealing our voices.

Trying to silence us when we call “bullshit” won’t silence me for one. It’ll just make me scream louder. And you better fucking believe I’m not alone.

WOH, I can now post on your page again, I unliked you and boom, look at that, I can comment. But I no longer care to do so. You tried to silence me when I called bullshit on a history denying article that YOU posted on your page. You supported history deniers, the rewriters of history when you did so. You stopped being educators, and became oppressors.

You erased my words, then stole my voice. Guess what? I have many voices, and congratulations, you just became one of the very people who vilify you, and as I avoid them, I now avoid you.

I hope I have taken what happened on Friday the wrong way. I hope you were having a pissy day and you regretted your action afterwards. I hope that you are not one who has taken the first step down in to a darker place. I have hope, but not a lot. In any event have a nice life.

Just one small thing more.

I’m not going anywhere.
I will not be rendered silent by anyone.
I will not have my heroes denied their places in history.
What they did matters.
They matter.
I will be heard, and I will be counted.
What I think and feel matters.
I matter!

(Why do I get the worrying feeling that Sputnik is about to land on me?)

Edited to add that I’ve just found out that a friend who made much the same comment, but even more politely has had his comment removed also. Well, so much for hope then.

09/03/2013

The thing I hate most about my life.

Is not that I’m transgendered. I’m cool with that. No, actually I’m very, very happy with that. It’s a big part of not just what, but who I am.

It’s not that my sexuality seems to have shifted a little. I may not be overly fond of the fact that I’m what I think of as a 5% bisexual. But I don’t hate it, I just don’t hugely like it either. After all your sexuality isn’t something to love or hate, it just is.

It’s not even the way that I am always sick, hard as that may be to believe. And believe me when I say that always being sick is a very hard road to travel. Never being able to plan more than a couple of days ahead, simply because it’s impossible to predict what your body will be capable of in a few days time. Not being able to do the things you love, because they hurt too much. It does suck. But after so many years like this being ill has become rather like my sexuality. Just something that is.

I don’t hate that I’m kinky, or poly. More love is usually better (barring the occasional psycho second partner, or that rare person who simply is incompatible with your other partner), and how can finding ever more interesting ways of expressing that love be a bad thing?

Nope, the thing I hate most about my life is the, for me, immeasurable hurt that my existence in her life has caused my partner. Well more precisely the hurt my existence has allowed other people to cause her.

I adore my Partner in Crime. I simply could not wish for a better partner. She’s loving, caring, intelligent, sexy, beautiful, and unlike me can actually cook. And after almost 9 years in each others lives I would be hard-pressed to come up with much of anything about her that I don’t love. She’s given me 9 years of mostly happiness. And I like to think that mostly that’s what I’ve brought her also. But my nature, which is so often an issue for people on the street, has also from time to time proven to be an insurmountable issue for members of her family, and I suspect for people who are now former friends.

So I hate that my existence means that she has lost inclusion by parts of her family. I hate that I’m the reason for her losing out on those relationships. I hate that my loving her has led to her missing important family events.

I come from a rather small family myself (excluding various adopted family members who rather dramatically increase the numbers). Just myself, my mom, and my brother. But I know how much it would hurt me to be excluded from anything that might happen in the years to come. So I can at least begin to imagine how this has hurt my Partner. And all I can do to make up for that hurt is to love her as much as I possibly can, while I try my hardest to deserve being in her life.

Anyway this post is really just about me getting this off of my chest. Its been bothering me a lot lately, and better to vent than to let it build up until I finally explode leveling a large part of Dublin County.

08/03/2013

Acidgirl Page 6

That time of the week again. Hope you all enjoy.

Acidgirl Page 6

22/02/2013

Acidgirl Page 5

It’s that time of the week again, webcomic page time! Drawing it this week was actually a joyous experience for me, it took just under four hours, and I think the artwork has made a huge leap forward over last weeks. Well anyway here’s this weeks page, enjoy.

Acidgirl Page 5

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19/02/2013

Living in a golden age.

(This was written at 4am this morning in a fog of insomnia fueled exhaustion. So if it rambles a little please be patient.)

Recently a wonderful and horrifying thought struck me, that we are all in the western world, and almost certainly in other parts of the world also, living in a golden age. Now please do not take me up wrong on this. I’m not saying that we’re living in a perfect age, I fully acknowledge that there are still inequalities, wrongs, discrimination, hatred, and all the other seething pus that humanity always seems to spend a lot of it’s time floating on. But right now life, even in this second Great Depression, is for most people in the West blessed beyond the dreams or imaginations of even our grandparents at our ages.

Information is there for the taking, piped directly in to our homes, and on to our laps by the internet. Why I just spent the past few hours taking a very basic crash course in film-set lighting, something that even in my memory would have before required at minimum a very understanding librarian and a lot of patience.

Medical care is widely available. Now it’s far from perfect, and the right care may not always be readily available for the right person all the time, but for the vast majority of people (in Ireland, and the UK, America…WTF Dudes?!)  it is achievable.

The much maligned welfare state exists in many western countries, and through national conscience helps to keep those in trouble from finding themselves on the street. It’s not for nothing that it is sometimes referred to as a safety net.

Education is up until 3rd level guaranteed. Admittedly it is still up to the student to apply themselves, and make the most of that opportunity, but at least they get the chance.

Those last remaining ill-regarded, and unprotected minorities are finally gradually being cared for by states laws. Roll on the day some of the cutest lesbian and gay couples I know can throw simply fabulous weddings.

Compare a world where the “Emigrants Wake”, a sort of combined going-away party and funeral for the still living which was even in the 80’s a major part of Irish emigration, is not really needed anymore. Now we have Skype, email, telephones (mobile or good old-fashioned landline) in every home. Our loves who are a world away have never been so close. Where as even 30 years ago a family member leaving for the States meant at worst good chance of never seeing them again, and at best rarely hearing from them.

Add to this the fact that the European continent has never been at peace for so long. (Yes, I know there was a war in Serbia and Bosnia not all that long ago, it was terrible, and I can only imagine the pain that people from there still feel to this day. I’m speaking here of the larger European powers not being at each others throats for once, and Europe as a larger whole.)

Nuclear war has shrunk from an ever present worry, to a pale shadow of its past self. And while that particular genie is still out of his bottle, and will forever more haunt our species to some degree, at least for now we only have to worry about the U.S.A., North Korea, and China starting something, at least until the next time Russia decides that Empire is a good idea.

When I think about the world I live in today, and compare it to the world I lived in as a child, or even a teen I find myself filled with wonder, relief, and not a little fear.

Wonder because the world has become wonderful in ways I never imagined. The internet, somewhat affordable air travel (for now at least), the freedom to publicly love whoever I wish regardless of their gender, HIV becoming to some degree a chronic illness rather than a death sentence. Hell even the small things like my entire music collection fitting in one pocket, while 1,200 books fit in the other is something beyond my own imagination as a child, but most days I walk around with a small library music and literature in my pockets.

Relief because the older ways of thinking are gradually, painfully being erased, and I for one don’t worry about the pain, a little pain isn’t a bad thing, it helps you to appreciate the joy that follows. In my own life I’ve seen Europe become a (somewhat fractious) whole, the power of corrupt religions called in to question, and the voices of the abused, tortured and raped finally heard. Of course those with the power doing something about it…well that will take some more time, and possibly a liberal application of cattle-prods. But I have genuinely seen life get better in my own lifetime. I’ve experienced it get better for me personally.

But I’m also experiencing fear at what I’ve called a Golden Age, perhaps I should have said “start of a Golden Age”. You’ve heard it said I’m sure, that to all things there is a time, and the sort of progress we’ve only just really started making is fragile. The wrong person in the wrong position of authority, and it could all come crashing down. The wrong act by the wrong well-meaning madman and we find ourselves at each others throats yet again. The very human tendency to say “that’s good enough”, when we should be saying “That’s a good start”, could lead us in to stagnation, and then in to decay.

Humans are still just a blip in history. Our whole history as a species is microscopic compared to our worlds story. And nanoscopic compared to the universe as a whole. But even in that short blip so many human societies have experienced their Golden Ages, lived without noticing, without seizing the potential that was offered. I truly fear that this chance to achieve greatness might be lost too.

But for this moment, right now, I’m going to concentrate on being happy that I live in a time of wonders. So those memories will sustain me if the time of collapse comes while I still live.

15/02/2013

Acidgirl Page 4

Here again with this weeks webcomic link. I actually had a lot of fun doing this one. I took my time with it and got everything as close to spot on as I could manage. Anyway, enjoy.

Acidgirl Page 4

13/01/2013

Julie Burchill and trans women.

I simply don’t have the words, or the heart to do the job properly for this particular fight. But luckily some pretty amazing other people have done a far better job than I could do.

Here at with Aoife at Consider the Tea Cosy

Julie Burchill and trans women..

And here on the Guardian website with Roz Caveney

Julie Burchill has ended up bullying the trans community..

25/10/2012

My Random Video Ruminations – Episode 1 – Transphobic attacks, and Mists of Pandaria Collectors Edition unboxed.

Today we have a double feature for my monthly video blog. In part One I’ll be speaking about a transphobic attack I was the victim of two weeks ago. As well as several which have happened to me in Dublin City over the past 10 months.

In Part Two I’ll be sharing my experience of unboxing my brand new copy of the latest expansion to the World of Warcraft, Mists of Pandaria.

Enjoy, and I’ll be back again on Saturday with your regular burst of randomness.

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