We Are Women And We Live In A Place Near You (The Story Of A Trans Friendly Social Night )

Hey Readers. I recently attended an LGBTI meet up at The Spoon Cafe in the heart of the merchant city. Though the meet up was intended for the entire community it was at least from what I could see mainly attended by the trans population especially trans woman. Unlike most events it was refreshing to see that the majority of trans women in attendance were of a younger demographic to myself though like myself they were living full time in their true gender.

Naturally being the chatty wee madam I am, I mixed and mingled with a broad range of people particularly amongst my fellow members of the trans community, and just in case you think my chats with them were all about lingerie and lipstick I can shatter your illusions by saying that amongst topics discussed were poetry, politics, and organisational cultures and how they impact in a positive or negative way on our community. So if anybody thinks that trans women are only concerned about the price of our new lip gloss then you couldn’t be more wrong.

You see though we may well be concerned with the price we may have ethical interests as to how it was produced and on the substances used to make it. Yes I’m sorry to shatter your stereotypes but someone has to do it. I make this point this is not only to shatter any  preconceived ideas  some people may have been fed in their formative years but to illustrate that we come as individuals and we each have our own ideas and opinions.

Never was more this more clearly demonstrated than when a member of the company said the BBC didn’t have a trans equality policy and expressed her disappointment on the matter by  saying that in her opinion that so good on other matters there not having a policy on trans issues was a major disappointment. Needless to say I commented on this issue by saying that BBC were hardly ambassadors for fairness or equality and that after the despicable way they treated the yes campaign in Scotland’s independence referendum I would never trust them on anything ever again. When I added that I thought they were a disgrace to broadcasting and I thought that the licence fee should be abolished she remarked that if we we had to rely on advertising we would make crap TV programmes.

I countered by saying that if Belgium, Denmark, Ireland and Sweden could make good television then there is no reason why independent Scotland couldn’t do the same and we needed to rid of what I referred to as the unionist cringe that anything Scottish must be garbage. This is I said was example of cultural imperialism to keep Scotland in our place as Westminster’s small minded shortbread subordinates and I wasn’t in the mood to fall for it.

This discussion was only one of many which took place between us girls on what was a cracking night held a great venue with an inclusive and relaxing atmosphere. Yes we did talk fashion and chat about what some of the less enlightened may refer to as women’s issues whatever they are or are at least perceived to be. However to me the main thing about this particular night was that everyone mixed and mingled with each other because we felt safe and secure in each other’s company.

This to me is what a real social night is all about. To me a good night is when you’ve had good chat, a couple of drinks (in this case non alcoholic) and the opportunity to talk to those with shared experiences as we express our own individual opinions. be
You see, though we may have some commonality with each other, we will also have our differences and in that respect we’re just the same as any other group. From secret crushes to political influences, from fashion disasters to campaigns and causes, it would be unrealistic to expect a teen or twenty something to have the same views as someone who may be in their fifties or older.

That however was what I liked about this meet up, I liked the fact weren’t all in the same age range or had the same taste in almost everything. Far too often, too many would be experts would attempt to stereotype trans women and fit us in to boxes where they think we should stay. Unfortunately for these so-called opinion formers the trans community just like the wider LGBT community and indeed Scotland more generally, is gaining in confidence. We are at long last saying both individually and collectively that we will not be silenced marginalised or pushed to the side and forgotten. We are saying that this is our time to be seen in all our glorious diversity. You see it’s time to bust a few myths. Unlike the trans woman of little Britain we do not tell the world we’re ladies we don’t all wear mini skirts or twin sets or struggle to walk in stilettos. We show we are women and we do it every day. Yes we are women and we live in your cities, towns, and villages we may even be your neighbours or see you at church on Sunday mornings. In this new more confident Scotland we will be seen and heard on issues from equality to the environment, from fashion to fascism from poetry to poverty, if it matters to us we’ll have opinions on it and we won’t be slow in sharing them with all we think we need to. You see if in the words of a favourite song of mine this land is your land it is by definition also my land and as a trans woman I say it with pride this is our Scotland as much as anyone else’s and we aim to be and will be a very visible part of it.

Love And Best Wishes
Gayle X


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