Trans Matters II – The Wrath of Twitter

 

TransLivesMatter

So recently I’ve been a bit quiet on my blog. Mainly because I’ve been caught up with other things. I revisited my old Twitter account. I’d started one years ago but didn’t get on with it and left it. Now I have several people I’m following and it’s been a good platform for me to interact with trans people and to come a bit more out. My profile pic is my Supergirl one.

IMAG08566
Of course by doing this I have got caught up with much of the ‘debate’ surrounding Trans issues especially in light of the consultation of reforms to the Gender Reform Act regarding self I.D. A move I am in favour of. To be honest I was a bit unprepared for the amount of hate coming from those who not only oppose it but in some cases even oppose Trans women. It is truly horrifying. That is to say that some people opposed to self I.D don’t have reasonable concerns but in many cases are ill informed on the subject.
My own reaction to any attack levelled toward myself is to talk back. Not shout and argue or get into arguments but just to answer back and in many ways in an unexpected and possibly weird way. A trick I learnt from the comedian Joe Lycett. For an example:
Recently I was embroiled on a thread mainly talking about Labour. Of course it wasn’t long before some people who didn’t agree with me changed from bashing Labour to bashing me, attacking me simply from my profile photo. One such individual actually posted ‘Does he really think he’s Supergirl. I want to vomit.’ Now despite my powers of being able to make a woman I’ve never met or spoken to apparently physically sick I know I’m not Supergirl. Now I could have simply told her where to go but I didn’t. Instead I wrote back ‘Of course I don’t think I’m Supergirl’. Followed by this gif.

original
Weather it was meant sarcastically of because she was confused or simply she wanted to still try and get a rise out of me her response was. ‘But I guess you want everyone to think you’re a woman.’ Now there is nothing on my Twitter profile that mentions I’m Trans or questioning. I believe I mention that I’m questioning somewhere in the thread but I’m guessing that she hadn’t read this. And at the moment as I am only questioning and that I may only wish to do this in an artist way my response was ‘Personally I don’t give a shit’ followed by how I do want to get better at passing. This was then followed by her giving me make up tips and advice on how to get a better look to pass better as a natural woman. She’d gone from vomiting at the thought of me to trying to help me pass better.
While I take great delight that I managed to turn this women’s viewpoint around and count it as a victory I’m aware that I wasn’t really standing up for Trans rights in this way. It is something I try to do though. Not long after this incident the news came out about Trump trying to effectively erase Trans people. Its timing was also coincidently with the airing of episode three of the new series of Doctor Who, Rosa. (Look if you don’t know about Rosa Parks, go look her up and then come back) One reviewer of the show, who is also genderqueer, mentions that one problem with the episode is it shows no one else standing up for Rosa on the bus. It’s a valid point. Of course the Doctor and friends can’t interfere on this occasion no matter how hard it is for them. But now there is a comparison between then and now and quite rightly as this You Tuber says people do need to stand up for those being discriminated against. It can’t just be down to the victims.

rosa-parks
I had to remind myself of this very recently as some of the hate on Twitter nearly made me give up. A report on a woman, a mother, who abused a twelve year old in America came to light and immediately comments were made on why there was no mention of her being trans, on how it was obvious a male. The usual transphobic crap and do you know what. There was no official mention of this person being trans. Nothing mentioned in reports, just transphobic people deciding that a woman let alone a mother could do this so they changed the facts to fit their narrow minded views. And they say they can always tell. Huh.
Right deep breath.
In many ways the whole Trans thing has reminded me of the X-men graphic novel. God loves, Man kills. I recently dug it out of storage to re-read as events sparked memories of the story line. A story line where there is a movement out to eradicate mutants, such is the hate towards them. There is no attempt to try and understand mutants and the leader of the movement even turns on his most loyal follower when it’s indicated she too might have mutant genes. In the end it’s not only the X-men that stand up for their rights but one solitary police officer doing what is right, protecting one young mutant when she is threatened.

glmk6
It’s not the only X-men comparison I’ve made. Two weeks previous to writing this I tweeted about how maybe there should be a registration of Trans people so they can be policed before pointing out this was a plot of the X-men which didn’t work out so well in the end. It was a joke showing how absurd the idea is and yet this week the idea of a register was suggested. It is truly scary times we live in and I fear for those people across the pond. Certainly the X-men comics contains at its core the issues of hate against a minority. Currently the new season of Supergirl is also dealing with these kinds of issues, using aliens as its metaphor. They have also added a new transgender character. Hopefully a positive step in the right direction.
So regardless of what I decided about myself. Regardless of how I ‘protect’ myself on Twitter I will continue to stand up and fight for people’s right to be accepted for who they are. Rosa reinforced that in me and indeed the Doctor in general. In doing so I rewatched the twelfth Doctor’s speech to the Master and Missy. Because fighting a battle (even on Twitter) is not about winning, it’s not about beating somebody. It’s definitely not because it’s easy. It’s because it’s right and above all its kind. It’s just kind.

9cc99962633df69febc1a441e4763e88

Drag Wars 2018

 

drag%20wars-0e88da.jpg
So recently I found myself back in my old university town of Cheltenham when I attended two out of the three shows of Drag Wars 2018 completion. Unfortunately I was unable to go to heat one due to being at Pride. This was the first Drag Wars I’ve attended, or any drag competition to be honest. The competition is a spin off from, Felicia’s Drag Race, done by my friend, Miss Felicia. The competition is run by Misty Monique. A Drag Queen with a unique and literally out of this world look who won Drag Race in 2015.

41818746_2205379429747303_6374324009542090752_n
So heat two consisted of serval acts for whom we had to use our tickets to vote for. To be fair every act was not only good but very different to each other. Some were just a bit weaker than others. Among them one shone out to me, Ophelia Cox, Gloucester’s youngest Drag Queen. A fantastic act with a few little tricks up her sleeve (or more to the point down her dress) and she has a great classy look. I was definitely impressed by her style and I loved the dress she was wearing. I was able to talk to her afterwards to find out the make and where to get one from. (Which I promptly did with a view of doing a Jessica Rabbit style photo set sometime soon.) So that was one of my votes used before I even saw the rest.

41452214_1990768597654600_893993456932749312_n
Another of my votes went to Hevvi Flo, young, energetic, memorising. The show she put on was like nothing I’d seen before. The moves that she did on stage was amazing. It was clear early on that she was definitely a favourite to go through to the next round. The judges voted highly of her.
My third and final vote was harder to cast. I was torn between a few of the acts. True I could have cast a second vote for Ophelia but felt I should spread my vote. In the end my final vote went to Semi Colon, a woman that not only gave a good show but put across a message about accepting yourself. Ultimately and rightly (IMO) it was Ophelia and Hevvi Flo that went through to the final.
So a few weeks later I find myself back to watch the final. Sadly Hevvi Flo had to pull out beforehand due to illness, a shame as she was a favourite to win. There was also an act brought back, Astro, from heat one, who gave an enjoyable performance. Ophelia gave another good performance although it felt a little less snazzy then the first. There were still a few surprises in her performance however.
They were followed by the two winners from heat one, Ravenna Slayshon and Sage. For me personally Sage didn’t hit the right spot for me but the act was good and very emotional. You could tell it was very personal and I couldn’t fault it. Then there was Ravenna. Wow. This Queen knew how to put on a show. Dragged to the stage on a blanket pulled by four guys who then helped lift her up onto stage it was an amazing performance. For a little pub in Cheltenham it was almost like a show by Madonna or Gaga in a stadium. Her performance was faultless. Sadly, for me, her performance was overshadowed by a rather large and very vocal fan base.
So when it came to voting it was a no brainer. All three of my votes went to Ophelia Cox. Sadly however it was Sage and Ravenna who were the clear winners going thorough to the final stage of the competition. This then left me with a dilemma as it was hard to choose who to vote for in this round. Both were very good. Both deserved the vote. I held off for most of the voting time but eventually (maybe wrongly) my mind was made up by Ravenna’s own fans. Their antics and attitude towards the other acts had annoyed me and so Sage got my vote. Ultimately though Ravenna was the winner and to be fair she is going to be fantastic but hopefully many of the other acts I saw will go on to have great success. They certainly deserve it.
So that was Drag Wars 2018 and I loved it and look forward to Drag Wars 2019. There was an incredible atmosphere at both shows, and presumably heat one, with the place packed out. The final finished with the acts, judges and hosts performing Lady Marmalade. A fitting show stopper.
Already I have tickets for Misty Monique’s next show at Christmas, Oh my Drag – An X-rated Xmas.

42899072_2212967312321848_4403260622876180480_n
It’s going to be amazing and I’m looking forward to because like Drag Wars it will feature a Drag Queen who has become one of my favourites. No not one of the acts but Luna Lakes, Misty’s cohort and pre show host. She performed for the opening of the shows as well as throughout and was brilliant. Ok, I’m happy to admit I may just have a little crush on her. Her look is amazing as well as the persona and she just blew me away. The interactions between here and Misty make for a great double act. Even a live Facebook feed that they did together out of drag just shows how much chemistry these two have.
So not only did I enjoy the show but it’s also made me question even more where I want to go with myself. I’m still not sure if I’m Trans or just enjoy becoming female for a little time in an artistic way to take photos. I do want to get better with both my look and how I model myself in the photos. At present out of two hundred photos maybe only five or six I’m happy with. It may well be that I could be happy in doing drag. I already have a stage name in my head. Cherry Ade, cool yeah? (Well I like it). So this is something I’m going to look into. It’s not the first time I’ve considered it. Many years ago when in College I thought about doing drag but never did. Drag Wars has certainly proven inspirational.
So I have plans to get some professional help with make-up and to talk with Miss Felicia for some tips and I’ll see where I go. I’d love to have a look like Luna and Ophelia, except unfortunately older. Maybe sometime it’ll be me up there on stage trying to impress the judges and the audience without fainting. And I don’t think I’d even be that worried about winning. I’d just love to have the courage to have a go and hopefully not suck. All I’ve got to do is develop some talent first and judging by the acts I saw I’ll have some hard work ahead of me.

cristmas1.jpg

 

Photos of Ophelia Cox and Misty Monique used with kind permission. Links to their Facebook site below.

https://www.facebook.com/themistymonique/?ref=br_rs

https://www.facebook.com/pg/TheOpheliaCox/services/?ref=page_internal

Plus links to Miss Felicia and Luna Lakes

https://www.facebook.com/Miss-Felicia-215562955978/

https://www.facebook.com/delunasional/