Monday, 28 June 2021

Proud to be trans?

 This is Pride Month. So my question to you is: Are You Proud To Be Trans?

I've struggled with the word pride. Pride is often presented as a bad thing, a 'deadly sin'. And there's a lot of doubt as to how Pride came to be associated with LGBT. Was it an acronym, Personal Rights and Defense in Education, a radical gay group set up in California in 1966? Or just a name chosen by Brenda Howard in the era of the Stonewall Riots in New York in 1969? Or is it just a term that most obviouly defies the many attempts to shame us? There seems to be no certain answer.

Am I be proud to be trans? When I feel proud of myself, it's because of some achievement. I'm feeling proud today because I determined that this year I would get back to a healthy weight and I've already done a lot towards that goal. I'm proud of losing 20 pounds (9 kg) in 6 months. It's not something that just happened, I worked at it.

But being trans is something you are, not something you achieve. No matter how much our detractors insist it's all in our minds, it's just a lifestyle, it's just a choice, we know it's not. It may take us time to accept that as we battle many prejudices against our living our reality, but you can't become trans in the same way that you can become slim.

So you can't really be proud to be trans. Unless you're a total narcissist, which I think is what the traditional sin/failing of pride is really all about. 

The easiest thing is to say is that Pride is just a name, a term of some kind for a series of awareness events. 

But yet we can be proud of the achievements of the LGBT rights movement over time, especially since the 1960s. And we can be proud of our personal achievements, too. From closeted dressing as a kid when I had a moment to myself, to getting in touch with the trans community, to getting tips from a dressing service, to actually going out as a woman. Next month I'll be writing here about the periods in which I chose to live full-time female to see what it was like. I'm proud of the effort I put in to achieve what once was just a dream. And I discovered a happiness I had never known before. No doubt you will have similar achievements regarding your goals and dreams that you can be proud of, too. And often in the teeth of strong opposition.

Despite the difficult times that LGBT people are now facing in countries that were once more liberal, like Hungary, Brazil and the UK, I have seen how public opinion all over the world has been moving more and more towards accepting LGBT people. The minority of those who want to restrict us seems to reduce all the time, despite the noise they make. There's little doubt that hearts and minds are being won and allies made. And that's something to be proud of, too.

So as Pride Month draws to a close I'd like to say that I am really proud to be associated with so many people who have fought and overcome so many prejudices to live as they must. 

So... Pride. Good word. I can relate to it.

A dip in the archives

A point on historic crossdressing opportunities. 

Occasionally I have heard complaints that crossdressing in theatre and TV or at parties detracts from and cheapens the real efforts that trans people have to undergo to be accepted as their real gender (and some go so far as to say such performances should be banned). The ungainly dame in the Christmas pantomime would be one example, or the drag ball during college rag week, and any number of such events.

But throughout history, when being trans was dangerous, a criminal offence even, people have needed the opportunity to express their real gender. So many annual festivities, such as Carnival in Latin countries or Hallowe'een in Nordic countries, provide an opportunity for people to go out in disguise, even as one's other gender or none, without recriminations. 


Venice Carnival. Where things may not be as they seem.

The Medieval Feasts of Fools, where lunking around as a character of your chosing whilst mocking authority was part of the release from societal norms; the Roman Saturnalia in December, where society was upended and slaves became masters for a day, children could command and genders could be changed; mumming at Christmas where boys and girls, old and young, would swap roles; even army barracks or prisoner-of-war camps or ships had regular shows in which the female roles must needs be taken by men. These cultural outlets have in different ways, at different times and in different places provided welcome opportunities for trans people to express themselves more freely. Far from detracting from trans authenticity, such events have often been a lifeline.


Sue x


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Spero che questo mese di Pride vi abbia aiutati ad essere orgogliosi di tutto che la nostra communità ha realizzato questi ultimi cinquant'anni. Sono fiera della vita che ci conquistiamo. 

Sarebbe un vero trionfo se passasse la legge Zan.

Sue x

Thursday, 24 June 2021

Beach body

 In this Pride month when there is more anti-LGBT activity than ever before, it is tempting for me to make comments on trans participation in sports or the Vatican City State's extraordinary attempt to interfere in the passage of a discrimination bill in the Italian parliament. 

But it's hot and there's enough strife to contend with as the world continues to battle Covid and its resultant economic difficulties.

So I'm going to go all light and fluffy and talk about the beach body I have been cultivating! But there's a little detail of the Sistine Chapel in my regular dip in the archives (below) that is all one needs to comment on the fact that it was actually the Vatican that initiated more modern ideas on LGBT life!

As for beach bodies, let me just say that I am with so many other women who don't believe that there is an ideal body shape. If you want a beach body then, first, check that you have a body; if you do, put it on the beach. Voilà! Your beach body! And if you want a bikini body, put a bikini on it.

But in the everyday meaning of the term, I'm looking to get in better shape. I've already lost nearly one and a half stone this year (10 kg) and am returning to a healthier weight. Yesterday, I bought a new swimsuit, just plain black but with a cutout back detail and removable insert pads in the cups. They are supposed to hide nipples when the costume is wet but to me they are a welcome help in enhancing my bust.

I also bought a floppy sunhat which I've desperately been needing as I sunburn easily.

Both items are quite plain but ideal for sitting out in my private space, which will be private on Sundays when the builders take a day off (you can imagine there are lots of building works that have been delayed but are now in full swing, and with men on roofs its hard for a girl to get some privacy).

These last ten days have seen gorgeous, hot, fine summer weather at last and I have been swimming every morning in the beautiful outdoor pools here. The anti-Covid rules are strict but reasonable and the exercise has been doing wonders for my shape. The beautiful trees, grass and flowers all around the pools are good for the spirit, too. So that's been a real morale booster after nine months of Covid closures and a mainly indoor life.

I used to go to Slimming World when I lived in the UK, but clearly I can't now. But I do still apply some of the principles. But the big difference has really been stopping eating ham and pork products which are so delicious but which are so fattening! And I drain off all the excess oil from anything preserved in a jar or can. The worst thing for making you fat, though, is alcohol and the hot weather reduces my desire for a glass of wine with my meals that is such an everyday, normal thing in Italy. If you don't order a glass of wine in a restaurant they regard you with great suspicion! I treat myself to a summer cocktail once a week, which means a tipple becomes a treat again.

Seville Spritz: 1 x Tanqueray Seville orange gin, 2 x prosecco, 1 x soda water, a twist/slice of orange, and lots of ice. Very refreshing and such a delicate colour.


I'm certainly noticing the weight coming off, my mood improving with the sunlight and my whole body feeling more energetic and less tired than I was last year when I was overweight, locked down and still limping from my leg injury.

Photos of my new swimsuit when I get a bit of privacy.

A dip in the archives

My local LGBT support group jogged my memory of this little corner of Michelangelo's huge fresco painting of the Last Judgment on the altar wall of the famous Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.

Here angels (controversially, without traditional wings) welcome souls that have been reunited with their resurrected bodies with a fraternal kiss. It's a pretty smoochy kiss, right on the lips (tongues too? 😜 ) and straight-laced art historians and priests insist it is all very proper.

But the Sistine Chapel is a temple of homoeroticism and although I am unaware of any contemporary sources that state overtly that Michelangelo was gay, it's pretty likely given the robust and perfect male forms that are so striking a part of his output. It is said that some of his artist's models were rent boys from the back streets of Renaissance Rome, but who can be quite sure?

Michelangelo at his best. The tomb of Lorenzo di Piero de' Medici in Florence. Lorenzo sits in contemplation, a perfect figure of a man, beautifully posed. The reclining figures are Dusk (male) and Dawn (female). The robust musculature of the male figure is typical; but looks odd on the quite robust female figure with her firm biceps and powerful thighs yet slack tummy skin. One feels that the artist understood the male body more than the female one.

The Renaissance was a remarkable fusion of medieval Christian tradition with the learning and ideals of the classical civilization of ancient Greece and Rome. In art, the former required the continued expression of Christian faith, the latter informed the style. But, of course, new ideas brought new practices and a more overt expression of the rarer forms of sexuality than had been possible in the Middle Ages. This resulted in a much richer exploration of gender variance, from the cult of hermaphroditus to women of the regiment to castrati to boys playing women in theatre and so on. And it was in large part the Vatican, with its unearthing of ancient artifacts and commissioning of avant-garde artists, that initiated the cultural revolution that it now seems keen to backpedal on! 

Sue x

Cari lettori italiani

Continuo a perdere peso (quasi dieci chili!) e ho appena comprato un nuovo costume da bagno. Spero di essere molto più snella alla fine dell'estate.

Arcigay Imperia mi ha ricordato di una piccola parte del Giudizio Universale del Buonarroti nella Cappella Sistina dove degli angeli accolgono le anime con dei bei bacioni sulle labbra. La carità? un bacio di fede? Sicuramente, ma anche un' espressione dell'omoerotismo che pervade gli affreschi dell'artista in quel luogo santo. Che ironia che proprio lì, dove il Rinascimento e la libertà delle idee si sono sviluppate, vogliono intervenire, come hanno sempre cercato di fare, negli affari di altri paesi come l'Italia mentre che si discute sulla legge contro l'omotransfobia.

Sue x

Monday, 21 June 2021

Wedding dresses - a longing

 One of my sisters has just sent me photos of her recent wedding. I have to say she looks lovely in an off-the-shoulder chiffon gown.

Since she no longer needs the dress, maybe I can borrow it! 😁

I know that wedding dresses can be quite a thing with a large number of MtF trans people - there are whole trans wedding parties to go to, with dozens of brides! - but I have never owned a wedding dress. (For the matter of that, I don't have a maid's uniform either ... some will now start to question whether I am an authentic TGirl!)

When I was 15 - and I felt this was so wrong and bold, yet somehow so necessary, almost a trans rite of passage - I tried on my mother's wedding dress. She was really slim on her wedding day as I wasn't able to do it up all the way even though I wasn't full-grown! But it did look and feel amazing, a very special kind of garment for a very special day. I stared at myself in the mirror for a very long time with that dress on.

Like every girl, I've always dreamt of my wedding day. It's not happened yet but it's not ruled out. When that day comes, I will have my own gorgeous dress. 


Photo: Benigno Hoyuela

Yes, I will be wearing the dress. I have promised myself that. OK, I realise my wedding day plans have already reduced the number of eligible spouses! But we are looking for that special person, after all. The one who appreciates the girl in the dress for who she is.

Anyway, I wish my sister every happiness.


A dip in the archives

 Possibly the last wedding I attended was nearly ten years ago: I love a good wedding. That was a nice weekend event.

Recently I looked back at photos of Dawn and Kirstie's wedding, both trans girls. Both brides looked lovely and very happy. It's so good to know that same-sex and trans weddings are everyday events now.

The wedding dress weekend is no longer a preserve of the trans community either but is something women generally seem to be getting into more. A hundred-odd years ago both womanless and manless weddings (and other events) were common in colleges and institutions segregated by sex. A photography exhibition I saw three years ago presented a remarkable insight into this alternative culture. Not to be confused with the 'womenless wedding' charity events of the Southern US which were more for entertainment, these were the option of persons needing an opportunity for gender flexibility.

Photo: Charisse Kenion

Sue x


Cari lettori italiani

Oggi qualche parola sugli abiti da sposa. Come tutte, ho sempre sognato di come sarebbe stato il mio abito ...

Sue x 

Thursday, 17 June 2021

The fact is, trans people make the world a better place

It was five years ago today that something horrible happened, the start of a chain of events, that completely changed my life and I'm still living in random, uncertain times. Yet in all the subsequent chaos, it's my trans and gay friends who have been the most supportive, despite - or maybe because of - the fact that society often treats them badly.

A trans person: a danger to society! Brrr! Shudder! Run away!


To explain, very briefly, how it began. I used to live in an area of homes built uniformly in the 1950s. Some had balconies and on 17 June 2016 one of those balconies collapsed. To cut a long story very short, that balcony had been built with almost no steel in the concrete, yet had still survived 60 years. Unfortunately, that property was let, and the letting agents tried to cover the mistreatment and overloading it had had by making out that all similar properties were faulty and they would act to have our homes condemned. We might lose our homes if they had their way. This was all a lie, of course. They were crooks trying to cover up their neglect. 

The following week the UK referendum on leaving the EU left my industry in the doldrums for five months, and it has never properly recovered. The prospect of losing my home and my livelihood unexpectedly in the space of less than a week put me in a tailspin of anguish. 

Few of my vanilla friends cared, and even dismissed my concerns. But my trans friends rallied round. One who was a surveyor drove 130 miles to advise me and my neighbours on what to do about ensuring that our properties were safe from collapse. Her advice was taken up in the four streets affected and, after suitable structural surveys, we found that everything was fine. The one faulty balcony had simply been badly made on the day it was built - a one-off - and the letting agents who'd whipped up this panic were clearly dishonest crooks. 

As for the post-Brexit British so-called governments under psycho Theresa May and mendacious, corrupt narcissist Boris Johnson, I'd much rather deal with the mafia.

Many trans friends rang me, messaged me and consoled me in 2016, even those I hadn't heard from in a while, sending me no end of loving support. One sent me a hand-made gift that I consider priceless. 

When I was later hit by a bicycle whilst doing home removals, which wrecked one of my legs so I couldn't walk properly for two years and is still causing some problems, it was my 'alternative' friends who helped me with my last days of moving. Then the surveyor TGirl took me into her home for a fortnight to recuperate and learn to walk on crutches before I could move to a new home offered to me by a gay friend of mine. 

Covid has hardly helped with earning and socialising, not for me or for anyone. But, again, I have gay and trans friends contacting me all the time as I get by alone, as well as friends who have more alternative lifestyles and unusual beliefs. 

So it's my trans and gay and 'different' friends who have always stepped up. That's right, the ones society tries to discriminate against. Whereas my smug, hetero, rich, supremacist, transphobic or trans-indifferent 'friends' and family care much less.

So thank you, LGBT+ community. My friends know who they are and I have saved any embarrassment by not naming them here. And yet it is we LGBT+ people who have to claim rights from callous, incompetent governments!


Sunday saw my local regional Liguria Pride in the port of Genoa, Italy (see photo), which was the first pride event and the first major national event after lockdown. 8000 people turned up in the city centre, which was a good turnout under the circumstances. There's a new anti-discrimination law going through the Italian parliament that should afford good protections against the various phobias around. Intelligently, they've coupled LGBT rights with protections for women and disabled people, which gives a better chance of the bill becoming law.

Why should there be this need to beg for protection from the callousness of hetero or religious or extremist or ultrafeminist or other bigoted and ignorant people? 

If you're a Christian or a Muslim, didn't your saviour/prophet point out that the outsiders like tax-collectors and prostitutes, foreigners like Romans or Samaritans, were the folk who were really doing things right rather than the religiously correct? Yet my religious family, like so many others, hates people like me.

You're straight or masculine. Cool. Some people aren't. If you were as strong as you claim, as confident, you wouldn't be bothered that others weren't like you. You'd happily defend the fact the some people are different because it wouldn't actually diminish your life or confidence in any way.

My trans and gay friends have helped me unhesitatingly in these last few awful years. They're the good ones. Be proud of LGBT+ folk in this pride month. I am.

A warm hug to all you humane and loving people. You have helped me survive the worst years of my life. I think and hope I reciprocate. It's maybe a sign of emotional maturity that those who struggle most look out for others who also struggle.

A dip in the archives

 In 1972, a conference was held in Sanremo, NW Italy, a town best known for its music festivals. The conference was dedicated to "deviant behaviour in human sexuality". It wasn't exactly a gay or trans friendly event! There was a protest by gay activists, the first such demonstration in Italy.

Next April sees the first Sanremo Pride in commemoration of the 50 years since this protest, and the huge progress that has been made since then. I hope to attend. 

Sue x

Cari lettori italiani

Il successo di Liguria Pride ci da speranza per il successo della legge Zan e la lotta contro l'omotransfobia.

In questa data cinque anni fa è successo un disastro che ha iniziato una serie di disastri per me che non sono finiti: il crollo di un balcone che ha suscitato polemiche e paure dove abitavo a Londra, seguito dal voto inglese per lasciate la communità europea che mi ha tolto il lavoro, poi il razzismo e la corruzione che hanno accompagnato quel voto, il danno fisico che ho sofferto quando mi ha investito un ciclista e il disastro del Covid che ci coinvolge tutti. In questi cinque anni i miei amici transgender e omosessuali sono stati dei amici veri e sinceri e mi hanno aiutato senza esitazione. Ne sono fiera.

Sue x

Monday, 14 June 2021

TGirl coping with summer heat

 I love summer: the blessed warmth, the long days, the light ... it all improves the mood, though I acknowledge the misery for those who don't tolerate heat well or have hay fever. I, on the other hand, suffer in winter from agonising cold and seasonal blues, so I'm enjoying things now.

It's mid-morning as I write and the temperature in the shade is 26.5C (80F), just how I like it. The open-air pool here is having a final touch-up made before opening tomorrow. I am looking forward to jumping in, catching the sun and losing more weight - I've lost 17 pounds so far this year (7.6 kg).

It's not so good that last night I had to battle four mosquitoes who were treating my bedroom as a restaurant. I took some hits but victory came at last, at the cost of cracks in the plastic fly swat!

I have always had problems, though, when fully en femme in hot weather. The wig and makeup are the main issue.

Wearing a wig is a bit like wearing a woolly hat, which is not what you want in summer. Advice from experience and wig suppliers suggests:

- Wear synthetic not human hair wigs 

- Wear shorter styles 

- Wear a lighter colour (dark colours absorb heat)

- Wash wigs more often (in tepid, not hot, water) to remove grease, sweat and hair products that add weight and reduce the passage of cooling air. Don't be rough as every wash reduces the shape and bounce of your wig. Use a dedicated wig shampoo or mild baby shampoo.

- Wear a sweat liner under your wig

- Keep your own hair short 

- Wash your hair and scalp before donning the wig and after you've taken it off

- Keep your hands out of your wig as they introduce dirt, grease and sweat

- If you are able to put your wig hair up without damaging it and your neck is not too thick or masculine, this will make the back of your neck cooler

- Sythetic fibres warp with heat so try to stay in the shade or wear a light hat or headscarf

These ideas help a bit, but the reality is on a warm sunny day you are going to feel hot. Sorry!

Keep cool in summer by standing somewhere breezy. Waterloo Bridge, London. With Stella, Linda, Stephanie, Rachel and Irene


As for makeup, water-based makeup is going to mix with perspiration and wash off. Switch to oil-based, preferably a greasepaint foundation as used in theatre and TV where hot lights cause actors to perspire. Kryolan stick was recommened to me by Jodie Lynn at the Boudoir dressing service precisely because TGirls can overheat under wigs and in corsetry. It comes with a matching powder that blends with water (sweat) to form more foundation so you can't usually lose your makeup even if you're dripping. There are other oil-based foundations from other suppliers to the entertainment industry. Oil-based foundations from regular women's cosmetic companies are not usually thick enough to cover beard shadow.

Kryolan foundation: thick but useful


 A dip in the archives

To illustrate the above, here's a link to my trip to Berlin three years ago in the blistering summer of 2018. A tale of successes and failures in coping with very hot days:

Berlin trip

A cool spot on a hot day

Sue x

Cari lettori italiani

Questa botta di caldo mi fa suggerire modi di resistere al caldo quando si porta parrucca e trucco. 

Sue x

Thursday, 10 June 2021

Scientific progress goes "Boink"!

 Yesterday my laptop went weird and panic came over me as it's the only one I have with me. Today I took it to the computer hospital and the whizzkid sorted the problem out in less than a minute. 

Yes, he showed me where the ON switch was! 

Not really! But it just shows how reliant we are on these things. Over the last twenty years I have accumulated 3 desktops, 3 laptops, 6 printers, 1 tablet, 4 mobile phone contracts and no end of other IT gubbins and doofers. But despite having had to use them for work and play every day for the last quarter century, I still struggle to fathom how they all work and interconnect. It's not my line of understanding. 

Because Covid has socially distanced me from my IT equipment, I have one laptop and three phones with me where I happen to be, and other stuff is scattered at locations elsewhere. It wasn't supposed to be this way and everything should have been brought together by now, but then a world pandemic blocking everything wasn't something I'd planned for. 

So I bought a new laptop anyway as an update and backup. Maybe it will help me sort out the electronic ID we are now being encouraged to have in Italy to interact with government bodies. I've had no luck creating that so far.

IT is created by a particular type of mind and mine cannot see the logic behind how and why things are configured and done in a particular way. I deal with international affairs, law and languages, and they are messy; human life is, though not necessarily in a bad way. The precision often needed in dealing with IT stuff is not natural or intuitive at all, I find.

That long preamble leads me into how intuitive I find being feminine. It's effortless as it's the natural me. I'm not saying I know what it is to be a woman; if you're a born woman it's hardly something you'd think about or discuss and I can't be sure if my experience is truly that of a woman as my body and upbringing were different. But being a man in the sense of having to do manly things in manly ways has always been alien to me. I have no interest in cars, competitiveness, sport, careers, status, war and so on that are the realm of the alpha male and of those who ape them. I don't get it.

I think it would help if science could fathom what causes some people to be trans (or all people, just varying in degree, as I think may actually be the case). We have some tantalising glimpses of what might be the causes in areas such as genetics, hormones, environment, and so forth, but no firm answers. Although science likes to be precise, I suspect the answers may not be. As I said, human life is actually quite messy, though not necessarily in a bad way. Persuading the ignorant and bigoted to accept life's variety and messiness is the tough part.

(c) Calvin & Hobbes: Scientific Progress goes "Boink" by Bill Watterson (1991).

A dip in the archives

 In 2015 I looked into how many people there might be who are trans:

How many of us are there?

I'm not sure there's been much subsequent progress in finding out. Research costs money, and money tends to be put into more high-profile, exciting things than looking into minority biology and care. One day we may know and if there's a natural cause then transphobic discrimination can be treated on the same level as racism.

The joy of being trans :-)


Sue x

Cari lettori italiani

Oggi un guasto al computer mi ha fatto riflettere su il progresso scientifico che c'è stato nel campo di ricerche sull'identità transgender. Ben poco! Credo la vita che viviamo sarebbe molto meglio se la gente sapesse le cause biologiche della nostra condizione.

Sue x

Monday, 7 June 2021

Freedom! Knickers! Madame JoJo's!

 Today marks the end of Covid restrictions where I live. By which I mean you can go and do what you want (except bop at the disco), though masks should still be worn in closed spaces and public transport is still regulated for half capacity. But we are free!!!


Except we're not as restrictions can be reimposed under certain known conditions, or none, or as-yet-unknown conditions. The restraints and worries of the last 15 months are replaced with hope but also great uncertainty. Hmm, those Rumsfeld "unknown unknowns" again.

The one thing that I take from all this pandemic is that governments all over the world have been incapable of dealing intelligently with the problem but have preferred their own unco-ordinated and shambolic approach. The results speak for themselves.

In the 1990s, as I have said before, I was directly involved with anti-pandemic strategies as part of my work, and most countries had a policy on what to do in an eventuality such as Covid-19. In 2001, for instance, there was a series of anthrax attacks in the wake of 9/11 and, although that was a case of bioterrorism, the pandemic strategy was on standby. Twenty years on, we have seen almost none of this careful preplanning put into action, as though this was all a new thing. 

To combat Covid-19 people have given up their liberties, such as freedom of circulation, have lost their jobs and businesses, not to mention long delays in medical treatment for other ailments. And governments seem to have enjoyed imposing restrictions by dubious legal instruments and hiding their incompetence behind a barrage of propaganda about how we all have to pull together. Citizens are too easily swayed by authority and I am now even more worried about incompetent politicians and the effect of this unexpected overdose of power on their future behaviour. 

I am very depressed about all of this. About the mess that we are forced to comply with, about the lazy, inhumane approach of some governments that equates to genocide. I mean you, Mr Trump, Mr Johnson, Mr Bolsonaro, Mr Modhi... you who are all bullying, nationalist abuse and no actual substance.

Most readers of my blog prefer posts about my lingerie to those about the state of the world. So, how do we cope with oppression these days? Well, we usually ignore it and go for retail therapy and since I must buy new underwear (you should replace your everyday panties annually) I'm going to be buying a big new lot of knickers (yes, cheeky, I did put "big" in the right place in the sentence there). Fancy panties are for fancy occasions so these will be boring and practical and, no, I won't be showing you them. But this may help to give me an illusion of normality in a world of unreality.

As it happens, I lost a pair of knickers a few weeks ago. A pair in light microfibre blew off my washing line in a high wind and landed in someone's garden. I could see them but not get to them. So I just hoped they'd blow on, or even blow back. But the very next day a builder started working in the garden laying paving slabs and the knickers were nowhere to be seen! I could speculate on whether he'd put them in his pocket to impress his mates with, whether he'd buried them under the patio to suggest a murder mystery for future discovery, whether the lady of the house was accusing her husband of 'entertaining' other women in the garden... the mind races!

Please stay safe, be sensible and for heaven's sake hold your government to account.

Flagging up the issues of the day


A dip in the archives

I've been looking back at venues I went to in search of other trans friends in my early days of being out and about. On 27 May, for instance, I wrote about Leeds. Today I recall Madame JoJo's in the heart of London which closed a couple of years after my 2012 post. 


It's been granted a controversial licence to reopen after the controversial decision to close it! Being something of a London institution, it would be great to see it back. 

I've recently found out it was used as the set for the Sonata Café in Stanley Kubrick's last film, Eyes Wide Shut.

My post: Madame JoJo's 

Sue x

Cari lettori italiani

Qui da oggi siamo in zona bianca. Dovrei essere contenta ma in realtà sono depressa. Depressa da quello che abbiamo affrontato, da non aver visto parenti o amici da più di un anno, dal modo in cui i governi hanno pasticciato tutto perché non volevano seguire le politiche guide su come affrontare le pandemie che sono state preparate decenni fa, dal fatto che ancora non ho potuto farmi vaccinare, dalla solita maledetta burocrazia italiana ... la libertà non è tornata, e chi sa se tornerà veramente?

Sue x

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Pride Month - take care

 This month is Pride Month in much of the world so I'm wishing all others in the LGBT+ community every good thing. I hope that improvements in our lives and rights continue. 

Here in Italy there seems to be a lot of public support for a bill currently in parliament to improve the law in the area of discrimination. It's coupled with improvements on dealing with discrimination against women and disabled people, too, so it's not purely a minority matter. 

If you go to a Pride event, have fun. Take care with Covid advice even if you have been immunised.

If you are still invisible, in the closet, yet might still be reading this, be aware that you are very far from alone. One day, in your own time and if and as you wish, you can live the life that was meant for you.

If you are in a country or situation where you or people like you are being persecuted or discriminated against, be aware that a lot is being done within and without to deal with this. Take care of yourself.

Most of all we need to take care because of many ongoing campaigns in many countries against trans people. A peculiar, unholy alliance of disparate, usually mutually antagonistic groups are now allying to discriminate against trans people, notably in places like the US and UK. Having failed in the developed world to keep homosexuality criminalised, having failed to stop legal recognition of gay relationships/marriage, having failed to increase discriminatory provisions against gay people, they are now turning to the smaller, more disparate and less organised trans community, presumably hoping they will be an easier nut to crack. 

A much greater proportion of trans people are still hiding than are now hiding in the gay community. Most trans people are not out to friends or family, not out in the neighbourhood, not visible even online. People like me who are visible are rare, a small proportion of the whole. And yet having the overwhelming majority of trans people still too frightened to emerge from the shadows just isn't good enough for these anti-trans groups who, in essence, want to rid society of us. So take care, or rather watch out!

This is why we need Pride. One day we won't. But that day is still a long way away.



A dip in the archives

In 2018 I went to Pride in London, a massive and positive event that an estimated one million people attended. Here's my report:

London Pride 2018

Sue x

Cari lettori italiani

Tempo fa ho visto che c'erano parecchi lettori di questo blog in Italia. Adesso che mi trovo in Italia, c'è meno gente italiana che lo legge! Questo si capisce dalle statistiche che il sistema produce. Continuerò a scrivere qualche parola in italiano su ogni post nella speranza che potrebbe essere interessante e utile per capire quello che c'è scritto qui in inglese.

Oggi parlo un po' della legge Zan e dei problemi che ci pone l'omotransfobia. Nel mese in cui normalmente si celebra Pride, dobbiamo stare attenti alla malizia di gruppi transfobici.

Sue x