Hey everyone. It has to be said that in my rich and varied life I have enjoyed many eventful days through the years. Now you may or may be not be surprised to know that last Saturday was right up there with best of them as it was filled with drama from start to finish. I started my day at T-Time a monthly trans support group to which I was paying my first visit. The drama however started long before I arrived.
Now I don’t know why or for what possible reason but I seem to have unlucky knack of sitting next to nutters on a bus. If your are a regular reader you will no doubt remember a couple of weeks ago I met a mystic orange Labour voting unionist who blamed the SNP for everything even when she knew it wasn’t our fault. Well this time it was another religious fundamentalist who got on my nerves and at a time when the Muslim community needs all the support they can get I met an embarrassment to Islam who tried to come wide and take the rise out of me. Memo to planet Doughball, This is not a wise tactic and being a lippy transwegian I can rip people like you in a thousand bits without getting out of second gear. This deluded would be comedian showed me a card with the lyrics to the Flower of Scotland which he claimed he wrote. Unfortunately for him he was up against an educated and uncompromising yes voter who is not only a member of the SNP but who also knows her Scottish traditional music and took great delight in decking him with the line since when did you become Roy Williamson? For the benefit of my ever increasing Non Scots readership Flower Of Scotland was originally performed by The Corries who were a well known Scottish folk duo in the 1970’s comprising Roy Williamson and Ronnie Browne and was written by Roy Williamson.
The guy who tried to spin this bull claimed he remembered me from a writers group I attend and told me he had become a Muslim. I asked him what had made him take this decision and he talked about Islam being the one true faith. I said as a Christian I had to dispute that but that he was entitled to his beliefs however much I disagreed with them. I had hoped he would take the hint and leave it at that, but no he accused me of following a false god a god who was created I just smiled and attempted to laugh it off. He then said he wanted a socialist utopia and we would need to destroy the internet to get it. I then noticed he had a copy of socialist worker by his side and no more needed to be said. Some socialists it seems don’t even trust Jeremy Corbyn but if this guy is one of them then the future leader of The Labour Party has just received a very lucky break.
Fortunately, I was sitting beside a very nice young woman who realising my distress allowed me to engage in conversation with her for the rest of the journey. Anyway it turns out she was a Celtic supporting yes voter who proved the truth of what my granny always said. Your own are always faithful in the darkest hour of night. At the end of a bus journey which far more traumatic than it needed to be I made my way to this new group which I had always meant to attend but never quite got round to. On arriving I found a packed room of women like me and also a few transmen in the middle of a talk on Scottish traditions and culture including how to use traditional weapons and how to wear the kilt in the proper way. You may not be surprised to know that men and woman wear the kilt differently and that in its traditional form which is unstitched is a multi functional garment which can be used in many ways including a hammock. We were then taught about the traditional weapons used by Scots warriors.
During the talk the presenter informed the gathering that we were running warriors and this determined the type of weapons we used, how and when we would use them and how many lines of warriors we would use in battle. The presenter then told us that the Kilt, the traditional weapons and the Gaelic language and even the traditional dancing were all barred in the aftermath of the Battle Of Culloden which signalled the end of the Jacobite rebellion and were only popularised again in the Victorian era though they had been de-criminalised in the 1780’s.
Knowing my history well, I said that the wearing of the tartan and the other Anti-Scottish laws came in 1782 when realising there was going to be trouble in France which could lead to greater conflict the British Government realised that they had better do something fast or many Scottish Highlanders would have no hesitation in siding with the French when the shit hit the fan. Anyway, enjoyable as the talk was Scottish history and culture were not the reason for attending this group. My reason was and remains the fact that I want to get more involved in the trans community as I want to provide for others the support other trans people have provided for me. This kind of peer support really is important to women like me and of course we must not the fact there are transmen in our community who also need and deserve our support. Trust me I have learned a lot in the seven years I’ve been attending the trans support group and I want to pass some of my knowledge on to others who may be at the beginning of their journey. Overall I really enjoyed the group and it was good to meet so many others of all ages in such a friendly and welcome environment.
On leaving the group I found my way to CCA for a browse round the best hidden bookshop in Glasgow where I discovered books I really will have to buy. Well I don’t know about you but I always think you discover secret gems when you have not got the cash to buy them. Maybe that’s just me but I don’t think so. I mean I can’t be the only one whose so unlucky can I?
My visit to the bookshop over, I was on my way home to Baillieston via Buchanan Street bus station or at least so I thought when a man invited me in to Molly Malone’s to buy me a drink. It really is amazing what a little bit of leg can do. Anyway the gentleman concerned was very persuasive so I accepted his kind offer. On doing so he told me All Ireland Football Championship Semi Final was being shown live in the bar so I should go in and watch the game which was the All Ireland Football Championship semi final reply between Dublin and Mayo. As I did so he bought me a drink and introduced to friends in his company including a very lovely young couple Lauren and James. On introducing me to the boy my drinking companion teased me and asked if I found him attractive. Naturally I had to think about my answer but I think I gave a good reply when I said that if he had been my son I wouldn’t be ashamed to admit it. I have to say I think this was a reasoned, diplomatic, and very truthful answer and it created an environment in which we were all comfortable. Chat over I went to the big screen to watch what I knew would be a very high quality game of football between two top quality teams.
Being a fan of a gaelic games I got involved in the game and as always supported the underdog which in this case was undoubtedly Mayo as they hadn’t won an All Ireland Champion since 1951 though god knows they’ve come close on a couple of occasions. This time however Dublin were just strong for a Mayo side whose hopes were clinically destroyed when Dublin turned up the heat with two goals in a three minute spell early in the second half turning a one point deficit into a five point lead from which Mayo never recovered and at the final whistle Dublin’s seven point win 3.15 to 1.14 in no way flattered them and Mayo’s 64 year wait is extended for another year and the travellers curse they are supposed to have over them for going through a travellers funeral on the road back from their last All Ireland victory has yet again come back to haunt another generation of Mayo men.
The curse said that the county will never again win the All Ireland till the last of the team of 51 has gone to their final resting place. At first this looked liked no more than an old wives tale but with the bad luck the county has had in recent years this now looks to be a chillingly accurate prediction.
After the game I went to the bar with the intention to leave both my glass and the bar. However Lauren whose boyfriend I had chatted to earlier in the evening bought me a drink and she and her man chatted to me about my transition. As always in these situations I answered all questions openly and honestly and I said to her that I had always known about my gender identity issues and that I hoped that by being honest about my feelings that I was being both genuine and authentic. Lauren replied that I was and that it must be a considerable relief to me that I didn’t need to hide who I was anymore. I said this was indeed true but that I knew what I had signed up for and that being a woman as she knew from her own life wasn’t all sunshine and roses. Well there are things that even I as a transwoman have to go through which would scare the crap out of the vast majority of men. I said I had only one regret about my life and women get it far faster than men. Sharp as a razor Lauren got it straight away and said it was must be that I couldn’t be a mum. James joked that he got it but that some guys would have said something stupid like that I hadn’t seen my favourite football team win the cup. Well since I’m a Celtic ghirl I think that would have been a very silly answer. As I said to Lauren this has to be my only regret as I think I would have been a good mum had I had the chance.
Lauren said that she didn’t doubt that for a second and asked me what I enjoyed most about being a woman. I don’t think she was in any way shocked when I said that to me the best thing about being a woman wasn’t the fashion or the make up but the fact I was allowing myself to express my emotions which men at in least in Scotland/Britain are not allowed to show due to the culture of the stiff upper lip. As I said god help us all if our men are not allowed to show any emotion for being of labelled weak. On making this point I looked at James and told him that if he cries he is far being from weak. I said that if a man has a lost a loved one, or if his girlfriend or future child is in pain and distress then he should be able to weep. I told him not to worry if he shows emotion in this way as it takes more of a man to show his feeling than it ever does to repress them. This I said was the Scottish and Irish way it was only the British aristocracy who foisted their alien saxon attitudes on our more culturally developed nations. This needless to say went down very well with Lauren who I told to keep a hold of her man and remember what I said earlier. I also told her the best place to keep him was under her thumb. Of course we girls know we can get men in that position without trying too hard, well we have our ways. I then said to James you know the things she does that you think are a good idea that’s because she made you think they were a good idea to start with. Lauren smiled at that, I think it’s called feminism.
Talking of feminism I then brought up the subject of poetry and asked this lovely couple if they thought the term poetess was in any way derogatory as this had caused a dispute earlier in the day between me and a fellow transwoman when she referred to me as the wee poetess and told her not to be so sexist. Naturally she got defensive and told me in a very sharp tone said she was not sexist in any way. It was James who was first to express an opinion on this matter by saying that as far as he was concerned there was only one word to describe a poet and that was poet to say anything else was outdated and using language he had never heard of.
As for Lauren her reply was even more defensive of me, backing up my claim that poetess was a sexist term and devalues the work of women poets as being lesser than that of men and then saying the use of wee was both patronising and insulting. Believe me I may only have enjoyed her and James company for just over a hour or so, that’s if you include game time but I felt supported by both of them for a 100 per cent of that time. It really was a privilege to share time with a couple who I wish every happiness for a long future together.
As I left the bar I went home with a smile after a busy but enjoyable day filled with battles, culture and traditions. I learned about Scottish fighters and why we running warriors, watched Irish sport and played a few games of my own. Well every woman knows how to play the flirting game and the value of playing by the rules.
And so on a glorious sunny Saturday I gained proof if any were needed that no matter how tough times may be there good people in the world, and on a day I celebrated my Celtic heritage and my womanhood the two factors which more than any others made me who I am, I went home safe in the knowledge that I am even prouder than ever of my Irish-Scots bloodline. Yes it truly is great to be part of a community who are the friendliest and most welcoming of any you will ever find .
So on a day of running warriors I watched a sporting battle, and got unexpected drinks after t-time, It has to be said I realised more than ever before the value of time spent with the girls and the power of a good pair of legs. Yes it’s true they really are a woman’s secret weapon.
Love And Best Wishes