Category Archives: Lifestyle

You have the right to be free

Now this could be one of those fun postings tonight, given I’m not meant to make political comments about the UK, because of my job, so if it looks like I’m trying to avoid saying something, I probably am!

So lets start with the Brexit situation. Those who have been around a while will have an idea of my view on the matter, but we arent here to discuss, or mention that. Because for this piece at least, regardless of how it all plays out, my sympathy lies with those people here, who have moved here from the rest of Europe. Oh, and strictly, those British people now living in the rest of the EU. So why do I feel sympathy for them, its just the total feeling they must have, of not knowing how things will play out for them in the future.

No, I now have no plans to work permanently anywhere abroad (unless I get a never ending TV offer, or something, anyway, ha ha), though I still hope that maybe, just for a little while, either in standard work, or in media, that I get the chance to work in North America some day. Doubt it will happen now, especially with my current health, though I guess for some roles, someone who actually uses a wheelchair, some of the time, might be a benefit?

But for those who wish to do so, either here, or in Europe, its a bit of a ‘no mans land’ situation at present. I just hope that sometime, at some point, the whole matter can get settled in a satisfactory manner.

The other matter that has saddened me again is religion. Again, I’m not going to (hopefully) get involved too politically in this, though thankfully this isnt a UK issue anyway.

I may not be the most religious person in the whole wide world, though I always state I’m Christian on those forms you have to fill in, I’m certainly not an ‘every Sunday’ churchgoing type, or anything. In fact, if anything, I’m probably multi-religious (if possible), or for want of another term, I take the best of many religions, and try to live life like that.

Unsurprisingly, given I work in Bradford, I work with a good number of Muslim people. Now, as a Trans person, you might think some might look down on me because of that. In fact, in truth, its just the opposite. To say that they’ve taken me, and my situation to heart, and have supported me, is putting it mildly! Thats not to say that everyone in the office hasnt done the same, but if you believed some of those right wing ‘crazies’, well…Not that they like LGBT folk on the whole, but to their way of thinking, I’d have major issues, nothing of the sort.

In truth, probably inspired by one woman in the office, who may recognize herself, but I’m not naming her, and the example she sets, I’d probably be more at peace as a Muslim woman, than being involved with some of the Christian folk around today. There are a number of lovely Christian people in truth, but in terms of a peaceful religious lifestyle, guess which one wins out for me?

I know, someone is going to shout IS at me, and fair enough. But do you know what percentage of Muslims actually support IS? A tiny fraction, if that many! Bit like saying all the Christians in the world are of the LGBT hating, bible bashing type, so untrue!

Oh fine, I’ll get to the main matter at last. Another Country has banned the Burka, and Niqab, and now a Canadian State is in the process of following suit. Yes, you’ve guessed it, I’m sad to see this. Let me say that I would say that I would love to see women given the choice of whether to wear it, or not, and I suspect for most, they do get that choice. There may be some that dont get that choice, of course, but I do wish they could have their say. But yes, I feel the ban, thankfully only abroad at present is the wrong way to go.

Me, yes, absolutely, if I was Muslim, I’d happily wear it. But fine, I’m submissive anyway, so I guess the nature of wearing it appeals to me regardless? I’m delighted that most women here only have to wear the Hijab (forgive my spelling on these items, if wrong), if that is all that they, and their family want them to wear! Me, I’d love to experience what wearing a Niqab, or Burka is like, both as a support to Muslim women, and their choice to wear what they want, and also because, as I suspect what counts as ‘Actress curiosity’, I’d be fascinated to know what its like, both my reaction, and others to my wearing of one. If anyone could give me the opportunity, without upsetting Muslim people…?

Yes, the experience I gained of using a wheelchair last month, at airports, was an eye opener, and not in a good way. I’d heard people say that people will try and ignore anyone in a wheelchair, and I’d have to say in 90% of cases, they’d be right! Maybe one day, they will be in that same position, I wonder how they will feel then? Yes, it would be interesting to walk out dressed in Niqab, or Burka, completely covered in that way, and even in Bradford, a multi cultural city, see how many people would actually look me in the eye? Hmm?

OK, video time. Something a bit different tonight. I was 13 when this came out, and it struck a chord with me, even though at that age the sentiments meant little to me. Now they mean a lot more. I actually looked up Les Crane on Wikipedia, and seemingly he was far more than a one hit wonder!

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Its wonderful to be here!

Oh fine, the title is semi apt, but its definitely tilted to fit the video, which my 20’s friends will get, if I say its the cats whiskers!

In truth, when it comes to tackling the matters of transgender rights, I tend to be a bit of a pussy cat, not a tiger! Well, I am the submissive type, so…lol. Not that you’d believe that I’m the shy type over the last couple of weeks, for sure.

Tuesday marked the teleconference about gender diversity, the transgender version, of which I was one of the 2 major participants, and it was a great experience. No, I dont know how many people were listening in, or have listened to replays of it, but hopefully there were a few. It was certainly interesting to learn more about gender fluidity (the other person discussing things, and answering questions), and say my piece for transgender people (of both directions), I must say. I would say hopefully the DWP would take note, but in truth, there isnt anything that needs fixing where I work, for sure!

Out of this, I discovered that the department are planning to do some pieces for International Womens Day on Wednesday, and have now written a piece for that. Well, I answered some questions, someone else has transformed it into a readable article, and with luck, that might attract a larger Civil Service audience, I sure hope so!

Sorry, I have no idea if the latter will be available to non civil servants, but I’ll try and copy and paste it to here, if nothing else.

On top of all this, I’ve applied for a position on the Diversity committee, for which I could qualify on age (59 very soon), gender (obviously), and sexuality (asexual, bi, if I was interested), so I’ve applied for the cross strand role. Whether I get it, or even an interview, who knows? But hey, I’m getting the chance to be a transgender role model, and I’m proud of that.

No, I’ll pass on the Twitter chat with Trump, thanks!

Right, the video. Its actually from the 70’s, but sounds like its from the 20’s, and its a famous song from the 60’s! The singer, she’s been around forever, and still sounds good, even now! I hope you will enjoy the show!

So you fancy being gay? Will bisexual do?

If by any vague chance there are any right wing homophobes reading this, because of the Pence tag, just move on swiftly, because really this isnt for you. Yes, seriously, you wont like it. And just remember, if you like this because of that mention, and you’re a Trump fan, well I might not be the only one laughing.

Fine, warning over.

Yes, in the week of the Presidential Inauguration, and all the talk about whether Trump should be President, or how long he will last as president, lets look at an even more concerning fact for those of LGBT tastes. Yes, you’ve guessed it, Vice President Mike Pence. Because however much you think Trump is only in it for himself (and maybe Putin?), and that will either just chuck it in, or be impeached, be concerned. Because in all truth, the guy who would take over as President is even more crazy than him! The main reason of concern for us LGBT folk with Pence, his beloved belief in Gay Conversion Therapy.

And no, not as my title suggests, this doesnt mean making everyone gay, or even bisexual (which come on, might be fun? 😉 ), but just the opposite. Sorry, dear Mike, but being gay isnt an illness, its a way of life for a lot of people, but you dont want to hear that, do you?

Clearly Pence is in the pay of the electricity companies, because his main method of conversion seems to involve applying large amounts of electricity to various parts of the gay person’s anatomy, principally genitals, and brain. Yes, lovely! Well, fine, ECT research for my latest book might have been handy, but I dont think it would change me sexually all the same. Fine, strictly I’m asexual, but I always tend to say Bi on those boring forms that dont give that option. Thats right, I’m equally not interested in sex with either gender lol! But yes, I’m one of those in the camp that all ECT should be voluntary, and not forced on anyone just because of their sexual inclinations.

The main thing that fascinates me, and makes me wonder about Mr Pence so much, is the fact that all this GCT seems to only be focused on gay men, not lesbian women. Now is this because he secretly finds lesbians a turn on, as seemingly many men do (a recent popular porn search on the ‘bible belt’ states of the US was throwing up lesbian in the top 3 searches), or is this just a denial that wait for it…he’s gay? No, probably not, but those that shout the loudest are often trying to hide something, so…? 😉 Oh, did I mention, a high up GOP male has just been found to be sexting (ghastly term), boys under the age of consent, hmm?

No, dont worry hetro folk, I havent yet come up with a therapy to make everyone bisexual, nor am I working on one, but…?

But just in case by some miracle he reads this, or someone passes it on to him, let me just say, Mike Pence.

I will be in LA for 11 days in May, and in New England for 8 days in September. If you want to try and convert me away from that evil bisexuality of mine, with a dose of ECT, give me a call. You’re paying, and I’d prefer half voltage (I am bi, remember), but yes, if you want to pay for my belated book research, out of your very wealthy pockets, lets go for it!

So yes, America, feel free to impeach Trump, or send him home to Russia, or whatever, but please, send Pence with him! Before anyone says anything, no I am most definitely not a Clinton fan, wouldnt trust the woman as far as I could throw a plane, but compared to Trump…

Right, video time. What will happen when I build my bisexual converter system (I am joking!) for all you hetro folk

Caitlyn, are you sure?

Alright, lets throw in a bit of transgender controversy tonight, and see if this blog explodes or not?

Normally, I’m 100% supportive of anyone who wants to transition. Its a huge decision to make, a very brave one, one that is going to reflect on your whole life, and people deserve all the support they can get, if they’re doing that. So yes, full personal support.

So why do I find it nigh impossible to find any element of support for Caitlyn Jenner? Maybe its all the media support she gets, maybe its because of all the money she has to do a marvellous job of it, which I will never have, or is it just maybe, because she has never convinced me that she’s fully behind the whole idea of transitioning? I know, its that family, and their love of publicity that makes me wonder, but anyway…?

And yes, I know its not just me that feels this way about her, but I’m possibly the only one brave enough to blog about it? Even ignoring the transphobic comments about the fact that she’ll never be anything other than a man, which are ghastly, to put it mildly. At the same time, the Kardashian family do polarize attitudes in the same way that Donald Trump does, seemingly you either love them, or hate them. And fine, before I say much more, I’m in the latter camp.

But fine, when someone commented on the way she acts, walks, and other little issues, in a male way, I went and took a look. Do you know what? They arent wrong! Yes, I thought, someone with her backing, both media, and financial, you’d learn to act like a woman, if you want to transition into one, wouldnt you? Even us impoverished ladies can manage that!

Let me say, I hope I’m wrong, and that Caitlyn is genuine about transitioning to a woman, but all the evidence I see, doubled up with the desire for publicity that family has, for doing anything radical, and well, I just wonder? So all I’m saying, Caitlyn, if you’re true about this, then fine. If however, all you’re doing this for is a publicity stunt for your ghastly family, then please stop, before you find yourself in too deep. Because believe me, if, 6 months down the line, the world discover this was nothing more than a stunt, what you’ve taken up to now, will be a piece of cake, because then, you’ll have the whole transgender world ganged up on you too, and well, that wouldnt be nice!

Alright, tonight, a song almost as old as me. Believe me, at the moment, I feel that old too!

Love myself for a reason

Amongst many other things that might annoy me about myself at present, one of them is the fact that I’ve let myself go, a bit. No, not in a drastically bad way, just that at present, due to an attempt to not spend more money than I have to, beauty treatments have gone out of the window, since I got back in October.

Fine, not having my nails beautifully painted really only affects me, I guess, but I must say I miss having them with gel on the nails, just always looked good. But yes, even more annoying to me, and which will definitely be a far more painful experience when I can get it done, waxing!

Yes, my brows are currently hairy, and I hate them, especially as they are distorting the gorgeous semi perm make up brows that I have by now. Oh, and fine, the armpits too, and I ‘KNOW’ they will hurt when ripped out! Bad enough when I keep them maintained, but now…

Oh, and fine, my knees could do with a major massage too, but all of them will have to wait, I guess? Fortunately at present, my hair should be fine for another month or so, before I have to decide what I’m doing about my roots. Oh, and last, but not least, next week is meant to be my podiatrist visit, but I suspect that too will have to be cancelled, at present.

Oh, the things we women suffer for, lol.

But if anyone wants to help…?

Fine, the video. This is me, showing my age. I’m pretty sure that the first clue that maybe I wasnt your standard guy, was as a teen, I fancied Donny Osmond. Now I know it was the natural teen girl thing, but yes, back then, I was confused! But this version is in fact a live version, from 35 years later, and he still looks pretty distinguished!

Trying to foresee the future

Normally, even when I’m writing science fiction, I tend to work in the period I would call the near future, usually about 10 years ahead, maybe stretching to 20, at a push. Beyond that, I tend to think that we really havent got a clue how things will be in 100 years time, just the same as people about a century back had no idea how things would be now. Its fair to say this video rather proves that.

Actually, some of it they got right, though not necessarily in the right decade, as per the Channel Tunnel. Others, lets just say they got it badly wrong! London to New York, taking a day by air, its about 7-8 hours, and far less when we had Concorde operating! But hey, they forecast the need for men to have pockets for their mobile phone, though I dont remember seeing too many with candies, for cuties!

So yes, for us now to imagine what this world will look like in 2100, no idea? I’m sure, like a century ago, we’d get a few things right, and a good few horribly wrong too.

So fine, you can imagine my reaction when I was supposedly setting a story in 2999, as per someone else’s story idea. What the world will look like by then, even if its still here, how can we possibly comprehend. Even by moving it to 2099, I still ended up with conundrums that I couldnt hope to get right. So I ended up playing it simple, making a few dramatic changes, and leaving it at that.

I mean lets face it, when we look back at the 1920’s, and the only practical way to cross the Atlantic was by ship, and it would take a week to cross, hard to imagine. Mind, looking back at the wild innocence of the Flapper era, maybe we’re missing out on something? Just think, 100 years from now, people will look back on us, in exactly the same way!

I guess it might be interesting to see this world in 2100, not that I will, but anyway…I suspect it would be one hell of a culture shock, for sure!

Unlike OMD, I cant see the future being silent, but I wont know, for sure.

Against All Odds

Fine, I had to post this earlier than I normally would, because after the event would be a pointless exercise, so…

I cant remember the last time I played the National Lottery, to be honest. The last time I would have played it on a regular basis, that much I know, was 2002. I have bought the odd lucky dip ticket since then, when there has been a rollover, but in all honesty, its been quite a while since I even did that, certainly not at all since they doubled the cost of the tickets, for sure. And now they’ve gone and added 10 more numbers too, making it even more challenging to win the jackpot. Which is probably why the estimated rollover jackpot for tonight is £26.3 million, because it hasnt been won in quite a while. But I’ve cracked, just for once, and bought a ticket.

No, I dont seriously expect to win the jackpot. Hey, in all honesty, with my luck, I’ll be amazed if I get 1 number, let alone all 6! But something inspired me to give it a try, and hey, lose £2!

To be honest, compared to some lottery jackpots, £26.3 million is chicken feed. The Euromillions one seems to hit £100 million from time to time, and as for things like the Powerball lottery in the US, well, absolutely nothing!

But even so, that sort of sum of money is still way beyond my comprehension, and I have no idea what I would do with most of it, other than savings, and letting the interest give me a comfortable lifestyle.

I guess there are a few obvious things I would do with it. A nice home, in Hollywood, if I could convince the US authorities to let me in (and that much money would influence things, I’m sure), but nothing too excessive, I’m just not the type for that. A comfortable 2 bedroom apartment, in the Hollywood Hills, around Beachwood, would suit me fine, I wouldnt need more. If they wont let me in, I’ll find somewhere nice over here, with good public transport, and settle for that. But in my dreams…

I guess the other obvious thing I would then get done, is have a ‘few bits’ rearranged, as I could afford the best surgery possible, so what the hell, I’d probably get it done, with a whole lot less fuss than some I could name. I have to admit, I’m not sure about the pain involved, which puts me off at present, but I suppose with that much money behind me, I could get the best care possible, and a bit more! Anyone who doesnt know what ‘bits’ I’m talking about, hasnt been reading this blog before lol!

But seriously, beyond that, what would I spend money on, apart from general living costs, given the only work I would then do, would be some writing! No idea? I mean, I’d probably get a few nice dresses, maybe a corset or two (especially if someone can design a self tightening one!), and almost certainly a custom made robot suit, just because I’d love one, even if it doesnt actually turn me into a robot, hey, I could look the part.

What I dont think I’d do, even if perhaps I could, and should.

A boob job. Yes, it would be wonderful to have a pair of C Cups of my own, I guess, but the thought of doing that, I just dont know? Again, I suppose with this wealth, I could get it done by the best surgeons, and everything else, so maybe. But while I have such excellent silicon prostheses, why do it to yourself?

Plastic surgery. Please, no. I know, I could find a surgeon who could make me look even more like Jean Harlow, but I’ve seen the results, and how often it just makes things worse, not better. And besides, I’m middle aged, if Jean had reached her fifties, I might look just like her, but we will of course, never know.

Oh, and the one silly thing I would do.

Simple, fly first/business class, depending on airline. I have walked through, or seen first class a few times now, but never traveled that way. Yes, its one of those silly things I’ve always wanted to do, if money was no object. Ironically, I’m hitting the range with Delta, where I can request complimentary upgrades, but given how many ask, how far down the list I would be (I’m only silver status), its not likely to happen that way.

But fine, in the end, this posting is just a dream, nothing more. Because the strict chances of me getting 6 numbers tonight are about 30 million to one, and I dont have any luck in draws with far more favourable odds than that. But for a couple of hours more, I can dream, so…

No, dont expect a blog in the morning saying I’ve won the jackpot lol!

The video sums up my chances of winning anything tonight, let alone £26.3 million!

Wouldn’t it be nice?

…If in these modern times, we didnt feel the need to have Gay Pride parades, because everyone is genuinely treated equal.

Yes, being fair, things are an awful lot better now (to put it mildly) than they were in the past, but are things as good as they really could be, hmm?

Oh, yes, its Leeds Pride tomorrow, another day when the streets of Leeds will be shut in places, making the run to work more ‘entertaining’ than usual. Thankfully, even with an afternoon start, I should be clear, and into work before the ‘real fun’ begins.

So alright, yes, its an LGBT issue, but an event like this generally doesnt take my eyes, I’m too old to worry about such things, until…

Earlier this week, at work, I was asked if I was going to Leeds Pride, by one of my workmates, a wonderful lady, but maybe not everyone’s cup of tea. Me, I get on fine with her, but anyway…I said no, mainly because I was working, but equally, I added that I wouldnt have gone, even if I wasnt. I didnt ask if she was counting me as Lesbian, Bi, or Trans though, and as another workmate said to me today, it could have been any, or all of them, knowing her!

She made a reply, which I gather related to the chaos that all these parades, and running events (Tour De France as well this year) cause to the public transport in Leeds. Fine comment, if she was working tomorrow, but she isnt! But, she made one fine point, saying that if ‘Hetro Pride’ (or a similar title) was arranged, the PC crowd would have a fit! And yes, she’s right, they would!

From my perspective, it would be nice if people didnt feel the need for Gay Pride parades, and secretly I suspect, that even if things were perfect, they might still continue, the power of the ‘pink pound’, and all that. In fact, to a good degree, I think we are getting towards that point, though we arent there yet! But one day…

Who knows, maybe one day I could go to a job interview, in a dress, and high heels, and get the job! No, I am far from convinced that would happen now, however well I pass. Oh, and seemingly, in the next few days, I will have an even bigger piece of Trans news, but I’d better let her break that to the world first.

Me, I suspect that unless the Leeds NHS buckle, and just let me have the op (I think to be honest, everything else is femme already) to remove something, then I probably wont bother, unless I find a man, or a woman, and feel the need to change things down below. And lets face it, Leeds NHS have forgotten about me by now!

Right, the culmination to this Leeds based video, is a Leeds based band. You may not have heard of them, but give them a chance, because they have talent, and judging by the video, they have fun too. Oh, and one is related to a workmate of mine. So good, they are playing at both Leeds, and Reading festivals this year, so enjoy

gender identity equality?

Yesterday at work, I saw this item (or a similar one at NBC, which I cant find as quickly) about Obama again seeking to get the bill through the Senate which will make it illegal to discriminate against someone job wise, or job interview wise, due to their sexual preferences, or gender identity. Seriously, my main annoyance with this is that its taken so long to actually get to this point, and even now, may only pass by the barest majority permitted.

That article

http://www.advocate.com/politics/2013/11/04/obama-and-60-senators-support-enda

To be honest, if passed, this may well work in terms of someone currently employed, but I still feel that in terms of interviews, the dice are still loaded, especially against trans people. And before anyone points out that I am trans, and have a job, well thats because I’m in a job that I started before I made things official! Whether they would take me on now, with the same skills, well, maybe they would, but I think it might be a more challenging issue somehow. Not that I currently have any plans to put it to the test (besides which, this legislation relates to the US, and I’m in the UK), but would be interesting to see any reaction if I did. There might be employers who would take me on regardless, but I bet there are a few, where if I was a natural woman, my chances of employment would be far greater!

Strictly, I have had one interview since then, for a promotion at work, but didnt get it. But no, I only applied for the job because it was ‘suggested’ to me that I should, as I didnt consider I was suitably qualified in the first place. So to me, it doesnt count as discrimination, just that there were better candidates for the jobs.

Would I get a job in the US at present, if I was legally allowed to do so? Given many over there think I’m a woman anyway, I’d like to think I’d get a fair crack on merit, but who knows? Instinct says yes though, and that if I didnt get it, it would only be because I wasnt good enough.

So, I wish this bill success, but just wish we didnt need it in the first place! So employers (reading this?), if the best person for the job is openly transgender, can you put your hand on your heart and honestly say they’d get the job? Interesting test, isnt it?

The video, classic 4 minute pop, which is what the situation might be, if there truly was no gender identity issues in the world

The name may change, but does the person?

Pertinent question, you might say, for anyone, for whatever reason changes their name by deed poll. Some like myself, do it as a sign of a change in life, in my case transitioning, but equally for many, its because of a wedding. But does that change the person too?

Despite what some say, especially some comedians, most women dont change after marriage beyond the name. But for me, changing name, and more importantly changing gender was an amazing release. All of a sudden I was no longer trying to live a lie, I really was me, a woman in nearly all senses of the word, and believe me, the one thing that marked me as a man hasnt functioned for years anyway! Well, it does in one sense, but not in the way that marks you as a man lol! I would say it fires blanks, but nowadays it simply doesnt fire at all lol!

But for me at least, the change was far more than that. Its possible to say that hypnosis played a part in making me the confident woman that I am now, and I’m sure to some degree it has, but the thing was, finally, after all that time, I was the real me. No pretence, as Helen Reddy said, I am woman, watch me run, and I certainly have since then, and I love it.

Even so, back then, if you’d told me I’d be buying shoes with a heel, I would probably have laughed at you. Now I’ve got 3 pairs, even if one of those is a wedge, so a slight cheat, and neither of the other pairs are of the towering, or the narrow kind, just not practical with my knees, even if I wanted to. Now I go out in public in skirts, and of course, even more famously in a dress, and love it.

So yes, I’ve definitely changed beyond just the name, but its all for the better. Just a shame I wasted so many years of my life trying to be a man, but so be it. Now, I feel good, and thats the main thing.

Right, the video. Funnily enough, just the opposite situation here. Mention a group called The Brotherhood of Man, and everyone would think of the group that won Eurovision in the 80’s. Funnily enough, there was another line up of that group, and not one of them is in the line up that most people know. Yes, you might recognise one of them, its someone who has appeared before in my video collection, Tony Burroughs.

I love the title as well, it sums up beautifully what the whole LGBT community has to do, to stand united.