Legend in My Living Room

Fluffles. It’s a feeling – one I recently enjoyed after helping an isolated young trans woman connect with a local support group.

I was sceptical about internet activism at first: I wanted to blog, but I didn’t see how this would improve the world. Nevertheless, I carried on, building up a following for the Gender Trust and giving a few trans folks 5 minutes’ distraction from the daily grind. But it was cathartic too, helping me more than anyone.

Then I started looking after the Trans Media Watch twitter feed. I didn’t appreciate how important a tool this could be at first, and was unimpressed by the format. Could anything useful be said in 160 characters, really?

Well, last week a trans woman contacted me after reading my blogs on Facebook. A young parent in pre-transition, she was feeling miserable and trapped by a marriage that prevents her expressing her true gender identity. She loves her family, but knows there is upheaval ahead, and hadn’t had much luck finding anyone trans in her area to connect with. She’d tried one group for trans students, but struggled to fit in and didn’t know where else to turn. (I should point out that I sought her permission to talk about this.)

After contacting me for help, I did a call out on Facebook and Twitter, asking about support groups in Berkshire. Some general suggestions were made, but they were either too far away or not trans-specific, and I started to feel a bit shitty and useless.

Then someone messaged me on Twitter with details about a really low-profile support group she organised – basically around 15 local trans women meeting up fortnightly for drinks and food. Sometimes they go in boy mode, sometimes girl, and for someone isolated, this sort of face-to-face contact can be a lifeline.

3 days later, and my married friend had met the girls and had a great night out, (according to Twitter). Which got me thinking about something I learned at the Trans Media Watch social media course in January: online activity should facilitate and enhance actions in the real world. Obvious, perhaps, when you put it like that, but I hadn’t previously thought of it in those terms.

Yet it’s not the first time that my online networking had influenced the outer world. That very training course in January was held in Kings College following a request made on Twitter for a venue. And last month I picked up on a tweet by Stan Collymore, who was looking for transsexual people to discuss prejudice on BBC Talk Sport following the Andy Gray and Richard Keys sexism row. Naturally, I thought of football enthusiast and trans woman Juliet Jacques.

Juliet seemed the perfect person to thrust on radio and I personally thought she made a great ambassador for the community. Of course, she’s had some practise in the Guardian, but writing skills don’t always translate into articulate speech. It helped that the woman on before her was an idiot who had no problem with the men’s game being so dominant. I thought this comment was particularly stupid: “I wish I was a man sometimes just so I could play. Ha ha!”

Every story has a moral kids (don’t eat giant peaches; oranges are not the only fruit; a man in possession of a large fortune must be in want of a wife) – and this one is no different. Go forth, I tell you, and let your tweets and status updates effect change in the physical world. As well as the virtual one we’ve all come to love so dearly.

SONG IN HEAD WHILST WRITING: Read the title. I repeat the most recurrent lyrics:
“Now everyday, on a dead end street, is where I spend my time,
The dust has been collecting, on the corners of my mind,
But I shed my tears, in bitter drops, until the thorn trees bloom,
To take the spiky fruit, to crown myself the Queen of Doom.”

LAST MEAL: Cheese and bacon sandwiches, with brown sauce, consumed around 6.30am, after staying up all night.

LAST EYE CANDY: Derek Jarman’s Jubilee

Paris x

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One thought on “Legend in My Living Room

  1. Natalia Nicholson says:

    Really amazing thoughts and spirit I’ve discovered in your online stuff. I watched two videos on YT and just began to read through your blog posts. I don’t know what to say except that your doing some exceptional work and share a much needed spirit. I was encouraged by your thoughts on aging and bf(s), in particular. I was also encouraged by your activism. I haven’t been so open about being TS (I dislike that term, btw) since I began to pass. I mean to be. And am sometimes.

    I want to deconstruct the term in my art. I am going to grad school in performance art this fall and need to begin to really dig into my life/memories without reacting negatively inward all over again. I have the tools, for certain. My Dad lovingly calls me his daughter (or did until he passed in ’05). That’s how I define my sex, gender most times – by what he felt I was… I never expected him to adore me so completely. But he did. Perhaps more ardently for the struggle and achievements he witnessed.

    And on aging, I am 100% sure your inward beauty will confound your expectation that 30 will look older than 20, and 40 older than 30. I feel somewhat lucky, my Dad’s love reconfigured my whole life, all of my memories, and continue to do so (sometimes in dreams). I had a dream that he said he’d walk me down the aisle, although I have no fiancée or bf, even. He said it was ok, he just wanted to reassure me he’d do it when the time came…

    I was so worried that I hadn’t transitioned by age 10, so I’m sure the worry has nothing to do with reality. I worry to just be hard on myself. It’s what society taught me to do. I got hooked on drugs at 15 and couldn’t start hormones until 32. Now my unfolding spirit, not the hormones, gives me back my youth on a daily basis. I didn’t smile or laugh before. Now I have the goofiest smile ever! And a silly donkey laugh I am so embarrassed about… Being really active in the art world and in society helps stimulate youth. Age is what happens when we stop loving ourselves and looking for compassion from others.

    I am done procrastinating, no matter what the biological process might do. We should know better than anyone that the biological process is fluid and able to be reshaped by seeking happiness. We owe it to all women to share that reality. I look younger than most any woman my age. I dance in public whenever a 70′s song or Sabbath song plays and talk to anyone/everyone I may meet, having rid myself of all boundaries except romantic and sexual ones. I have no fears to age me anymore. I found a new (uniquely personal) spirituality that treats me as a vulnerable, trusting child (daughter) should be treated always… I try to live within my feelings exclusively, and not let my appearance determine them anymore. I will send a pic or two and you can see what simple happiness can do… I have never had ffs and many days/up to a week pass when I forget to take hormones. I don’t let the medical process dictate my life.

    This is all rambling and loose, so I’ll chill… I see your spirit as being so happy, giving and bright. Live in that and age will never lay hands on you… I would love to meet you one day if I ever get back to jolly ol’ England to say “Hey, what’s up chica! Thanks for being so bright and open,” in person. I have a YT page and a FB page, if you feel like connecting… natalianicholson (all one word) and natalia nicholson, respectively.

    btw, I wrote a song Lucy’s Blues you must just needs hear! and to be honest, you seem like the perfect person to collaborate with on a performance art piece…

    do you act? i found that craft to be very helpful with acceptance of aged appearance. you can learn through casting that you get cast older and younger for purely subjective reasons. when i wanted to play my first role that was a woman older than myself, i got wise quick. Lady M… What a role! My fave! age is totally in the mind… look at beautiful 40 yr olds if you have some doubts. Ellen Degeneres is a great example of how happiness keeps you young… you will be more beautiful at 30 than 20, more at 40 than 30… women, we peak creatively, sexually at 40. i know… especially us literary/performative chics… hold on for the ride…

    Ciao,
    Natalia

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