Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Remember me as a sunny day

According to the gay blog patriarch (he is The Daddy): Joe.My.God, today is the International Transgender Day of Remembrance.

From the TDOR site:
The Transgender Day of Remembrance was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder on November 28th, 1998 kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Rita Hester’s murder — like most anti-transgender murder cases — has yet to be solved.

Although not every person represented during the Day of Remembrance self-identified as transgender — that is, as a transsexual, crossdresser, or otherwise gender-variant — each was a victim of violence based on bias against transgender people. We live in times more sensitive than ever to hatred based violence, especially since the events of September 11th. Yet even now, the deaths of those based on anti-transgender hatred or prejudice are largely ignored. Over the last decade, more than one person per month has died due to transgender-based hate or prejudice, regardless of any other factors in their lives. This trend shows no sign of abating.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008


I like my gym. I go there every day. I am looking rather MuscleBear in consequence. It's big, so that you don't have to wait about to get on any of the machines. The staff are all quite lovely - there are two in particular, well three in fact, whom I like to take home in a doggie bag. It's not one of the super duper expensive gyms full of muscleboys, so I fit in pretty well with all the Halt, the Blind and the Lame. In fact, it's has been all a bit shabby and down-at-heel heretofore. I'm happy there, even although it has been a bit of a building site for several months as they make improvements.

So far the improvements have amounted to losing the row of plasma screens temporarily and all the cardio equipment moving to another part of the main gym floor for a while. BUT - today! New male changing rooms open for our use! Gone are the cramped ranks of wooden bench and metal locker. Gone are the old open showers with chaps soaping their genitals for thirty minutes at a time.

Instead, gorgeous, chic, dark wood lockers spread all round the large, airy changing room, arranged to face N, S, E, and W, instead of the old stratified rows. It affords you more privacy than the old bunched up arrangement. Not a bad thing but not 100% positive. I quite liked the being (more or less) innocently naked in public with lots of other naked men thing. Flashback to High School and 70s orgies :-))

Similar deal with the showers. Everybody has their own shower cubicle but they are all grey slate and frosted glass screens and really rather handsome. Very reminiscent of the smart boutique hotel in which we stayed this past Summer. Bit awkward to be towelling down in the cublicle though, rather than in an open common space as before. I'm not that high and mighty but I was having to concentrate on not banging up against things as I flounced my towel around.

Still, very pretty. Just a bit concerned now that the whole gym will be transformed into your standard central London gym, designed for people who only exist in GQ and they will decide I don't fit with the new décor.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Sunday, 2 November 2008

I say whip it, Whip it good

I am currently trapped in the 16th century, since watching The Tudors reawakened my interest in that period of history. I've been reading Joanna Denny's biography of Anne Boleyn and enjoying it a lot, although that's possibly because it's not any of the reading I should be doing for my MSc.

Have just been reading her take on Sir Thomas More. When I was young, I saw him as a heroic figure, as he is depicted in Robert Bolt's A Man for All Seasons. Certainly, the Church of Rome still sees him in that light. The Tudors gave him a more complicated gloss, with Jeremy Northam's realisation making him slightly less saintly than Paul Scofield's had been. Since I'm a big fan of Anne Boleyn, I tend to see More in a less than saintly light.

Then I read this in the Denny book:
More was a most unattractive character, a dreadful gossip according to Erasmus, and a fanatic where his religion was concerned. Ridley calls him 'a particularly nasty sadomasochistic pervert' who enjoyed being flogged by his favourite daughter, as he also flogged 'heretics' and beggars.

I wonder how (Jasper) Ridley discovered this tasty gossip. I'd like to have seen that subtext illustrated in The Tudors, echoing the fanaticism and obstinate refusal to bend to Henry's will. Reading all of that has made me think about how sexual behaviour may not have changed so much through the centuries but that the way we name it, explain it and contextualise it will have changed. I expect More's flagellations might have been perceived and described without a scintilla of sexual innuendo at the time.