Thursday, 27 December 2012

Spark interview

A while ago, I was interviewed by Fiona McClymont from The Spark, Bristol's 'alternative' magazine and one that we in Bristol are very fortunate to get free, four times a year. Fiona was most concerned that we should get it right, and I am very happy with the finished article. Thanks, Fiona! The interview appears as one of their 'Changemakers' pieces. You can read it here, hopefully. I'm on P 47

...I do feel ambivalent about doing this sort of thing,  because there is an inherent contradiction in appearing in a magazine precisely because I have a trans history, and the central message of the piece which is that 'there's more to me, and more to life, than being trans, so let's get on with it'. Still, as long as trans people are exoticised and treated as caricatures, then it remains a message that needs telling, and the only way of telling it is to be 'out'.

I have had quite a bit of positive response to the article. I also just found this message to me, which, as it represents a point of view very much at variance with my own, I add here.

 Hi Dru

Yesterday I had the unfortunate and unwanted task of dealing with your irresponsible article. In fact I've only just finished crying. By your and others necessity to continue to label themselves as "trans" has made my life more difficult and its only when I explain to people that I don't associate with the Trans term and that I'm a women do I get treated as a women. So thank you for that.

a place for everyone who identifies as transgendered, in whatever way

I'm in the last few months of supported Wpath NHS transition which is a wholly medical process known to those that dish it out as Transsexualism. I am a women, always was and will be. The idea that people with gender dysphoria and gender identity issues are labelled Transgender is all well and good, but I don't suffer from gender dysphoria or gender identity issues so this umbrella term no longer applies. Your use of trans as a pronoun or adjective is most unfortunate as all you are saying is that you are an "illustrator that used to have a penis". This off course is totally open for all to make unwanted associations; as you allude to. Which is why I'm upset and baffled as to why you want to continue to label yourself as such. My understanding is that you are a women, but how you want to call yourself is up to you off course, but if any body calls or labels me "a trans person" then I'm disgusted and angry as any woman would be. How dare you suggest that I'm ugly or look like a man. Unfortunately a whole swath of people that have entered the GICs in this country are now throwing the Trans word around as though they own it or define it. Those people are pushing and hurting those like myself that remain quietly going about our business. For me and many others there is no third gender. All we ever wanted was to appear as how we felt. Now even that is being spoilt by articles such as yours.

Basically you're trying to make people associate me with being a tranny, a cross-dresser, a transvestite, a drag queen or gender queer; which usually comes with a gay man somewhere in there. This is the most saddest and most destructive and dangerous part of my life. I have to avoid the associations that articles, such as yours, and practices, such as those I've -already mentioned, that can put me directly into a frightening, unwanted and dangerous situations. I am a normal women that doesn't have any interest in cross-dressing, transvestites or any such stuff. You've just put that straight into peoples head. Thanks again.

Any hows, I've had to cut out and delete most of what I originally wrote as it probably was too upsetting or strong. But really thanks for putting yet another downer on the whole affair.