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Transgenderism – in the news

My friend Jo T brought two articles to my attention today.

The first was a Huffington Post Blog article by called On the Other Side: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly about how her husband became her wife, and the three categories that their friends and family fell into – good, bad and ugly. The ‘good’ being the people who were open-minded, accommodating, understanding, and willing to be positive. The ‘bad’ being people who were closed-minded and refused to accept, or were at best indifferent, or attempted to pretend that it doesn’t exist (giving a cloak of invisibility in the process). Sadly I would put my family into this category – it’s all very much swept under the rug and ignored, is not talked about, or is considered an irrelevance and of no consequence, depending on family member. Lastly there are the ‘ugly’ who were abusive about it. I am thankful that I have none of those in my life. The article also talks about how their children accepted it, and also the questions people asked. I found it a really good article.
You can read it at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marvi-matos/…

The second thing that Jo mentioned to me was the story of the Radio DJ Stephanie “Hirsty” Hirst, formerly Simon. She was a presenter on Capital FM Yorkshire and Vinyl Heaven on Gold when she was Simon, and who left her position in June after 11 years in the studio shortly after she decided to transition from male to female. It is looking very much like she was pushed out of the job by her employers who “did not think gender reassignment was suitable or commercially viable content” for her shows. I’m quite saddened by this. However, on the other hand, the public support for her has been very strong with an active Facebook campaign to get her back and also a lot of positive press and support from various quarters.
There are many articles about Stephanie if you google for them. However, I thought this article by the Independent was a good one: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/news/stephanie-hirst…

Just before Jo contacted me, I had been reading a report from the BBC of the truly bewildering situation in Iran where homosexuality is banned, but where gender transition to the opposite gender binary so that you are then effectively heterosexual is almost encouraged. This is a very odd dichotomy of conservative and liberal. However, it’s deeply flawed as it completely misses the rather fundamental fact that gender identity and sexuality are two completely (and radically) different things – it’s not an uncommon misconception. A man who is sexually attracted to men is not a woman inside – he’s a man who is attracted to men. His gender identity is male, and is separate and distinct from his sexuality.
You can read the whole article at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-29832690

I’m sure there are plenty of other stories too, but these are the ones that I came across today and I just thought I would share them with you.

 

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Posted by on November 5, 2014 in In the News, Transgender

 

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What do our labels mean?

Now, before I go any further on this post, let me make it absolutely clear that I did not write this. I found it via a google search and it was on a site which required registration in order to view it. However, it was viewable via google’s cache.

I’m reproducing it because I think it is a good article that clearly explains some of the concepts of the gender spectrum and I think it’s a real shame that it won’t get a wider audience. Not that me reproducing it here will give a much wider audience, of course.

So, here it is:

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2013 in Transgender

 

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Wistful envy

I walked down to the local shops today to buy lunch, since it was a nice day. It’s around 10 mins each way, which is just right especially in this weather!

Whilst there I saw a gorgeous girl-next-door type; brown hair up in a neat pony tail, subtle yet perfect makeup, slim yet curvy body, a really lovely dark fitted above knee dress with rose print, block heel shoes. She looked absolutely stunning, but in a very natural and unpretentious way.

The thing is, though, I didn’t feel any desire despite her being what, a few years ago, would have been just my type. Instead I felt what can only be described as “wistful envy”*

Kind of surprised me a little, and yet at the same time sort of didn’t too. It’s all a bit confusing really, but possibly an indication of how my sexuality and mind-state are changing.

(* – I initially wrote “wistful jealousy”, as you can see from the URL of this post. But then I realised after a little googling, and stumbling upon this blog post, that what I experienced was far more ‘envy’ than ‘jealousy’ so I amended it. Although perhaps there was a small element of jealousy.)

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2013 in Diary, Opinion

 

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More than a woman

The BBC published a very good article on transgenderism on the News Magazine area of their website entitled Richard O’Brien: ‘I’m 70% man’

Credit: BBC / Tommy Candler

The article, written by Jo Fidgen, quotes Richard O’Brien (of Rocky Horror fame) as talking about the gender spectrum, and how he sees himself as maybe 70% male and 30% female.

However, one part of the article really surprised and struck me. It said:
“O’Brien’s idea of a gender spectrum may sound far-fetched to many, but there is scientific research that backs up his position.”

I’m really surprised that in this day and age, where people readily acknowledge the concept of bisexuality, that the idea of a gender spectrum could be considered ‘far-fetched’. Certainly the idea of a sexuality spectrum is well established, encompassing gay, straight and bisexual. And even then, bisexual doesn’t automatically mean you fancy men and women equally. Surely then, the idea of a gender spectrum can come as no real surprise and is equally logical? One only has to look at the concept of a girl being a tomboy, or describing herself as “not a girly girl”, to see that it is so. And, despite being less socially acceptable to say it, the same is true of men too. However, men have far more pressure (in Western society at least) to conform to a gender stereotype.

Having said that, I read on the news today of Maria Toorpakai; The Pakistani squash star who had to pretend to be a boy. In the area of Pakistan that she lives, it is completely socially unacceptable for a girl to play such sports, or wear shorts, or be a tomboy. She was forced to pretend to be a boy (with her father’s consent and support) and won several tournaments before being ‘outed’. Since then she and her father have had death threats and persecution, just because she doesn’t conform to a gender expectation. I’m both heartened by her and her father’s courage, and dismayed by the actions of their persecutors.


(Please note that the links in this article are to the BBC website and may not be available to you if you are outside of the UK)

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2013 in Opinion, Transgender

 

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