Tag Archive | Conservatives

The Wrong Diagnosis 

  

In my latest poem I recall a recent incident as I take a look at arrogance, and assumptions based on stereotypical attitudes. The event in question happened a few weeks ago as I made my way to Katie’s Bar when a stranger attempted to bark orders at me and in typical Ruth Davidson fashion ordered me to sit down. Naturally I refused to entertain this attention seeker and made my way to my destination where I enjoyed a very pleasant evening in good company. However I decided to write this poem to illustrate that there are just as many ill mannered attention seekers in the LGBT community as there are anywhere else. I have given it the title The Wrong Diagnosis. I hope you enjoy the read. 

The Wrong Diagnosis 

On a quiet autumn evening

I am singing contentedly to myself 

as I walk to my pub of choice 

as it comes in to view 

a stranger shrieks at the top of his voice 

barks orders telling me to sit down 

says he’s seen me around 

really I reply

 walking on I ignore him 

he seems aggitated

 that I pay no attention to his demands 

but what he fails to understand 

is that while his scouse accent may be fine 

his Ruth Davidson style charm is something I can do without 

my world has borders 

and he’s just made the mistake of crossing them 

without my permission 

the line of respectability

has been violated

and history will show he was on the wrong side of it 

you don’t cross boundaries without permission

that doesn’t work it never has and never will

trust me I am not the kind of girl

who likes her world invaded by unwanted intruders

I don’t like the assumption  it implies 

you know boys will be boys 

and claim women as their prize 

this is male privilege of a very British kind 

which states if you ignore me

 I will diagnose you and give you a label

to which I think ‘it will be nothing to one I give you 

and trust me it will take you on a journey 

for which you wish you had never volunteered’  

but the moment he sneered at me 

I smiled knowing I held every ace in the pack 

and he could do union jack to stop me 

I played a tactical game 

because I checked his privilege 

and called him out for his arrogance 

I’d met his type before 

he had plenty to say for himself 

but nothing worth my time 

his crime was barking orders 

believing dog whistles work at his command 

and failing to understand 

a poet will always defeat 

a conservative charm school graduate 

especially one who gave her

the wrong diagnosis 

© Gayle Smith 2017 

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The Cruellest Of Storms

Hey Readers This poem was inspired by the writer and journalist Will Black who asked his Twitter followers of which I’m one to #WriteAPoemAboutTories with the most retweeted poem winning a copy of his new book Psychopathic Cultures. Having written many political poems in the past including a good few on that particular party I needed no second invitation to take up the challenge and this is the result of my efforts I’ve given it the title The Cruellest Of Storms I hope you enjoy the read.

The Cruellest Of Storms.

It blows from the Thames.
this cruellest of storms
batters down the homes
of those most in need of shelter.
the icy blast
of the coldest political weather
for generations
shows this united kingdom
is not the united nation
some would like to believe.
former industrial towns and cities
never recovered from the 1980’s
but this new Conservative party
has nothing new to offer
people long since thrown to the wolves.
rules made in Eton
show contempt for those 
whose families can’t afford to pay
for private tuition.
this is the reality of democracy
Westminster style
where the billionaires rule
and sneers are masked by painted smiles
worn for public consumption
for the  TV  camera
and pictures for their friends
in the press.
no wonder I voted yes in the independence referendum.
the thought of Iain Duncan-Smith
cutting benefits to the sick and disabled
fellow citizens being unfairly labelled
blamed for all our social problems
because they are not us
disgusts me beyond rage.
immigrants are human beings
I know Glaswegians and other fellow Scots from many different lands
understand that my dear green city is a place of welcome  for all.
meanwhile in Tory Britain
we are excluded from the ball
not deemed worthy of an invitation
or a seat at the table
this pooling and sharing of resources
does not apply to the place
which decisions are made
about how to spend money
in a land of sour milk with no honey
where those with little or nothing
must make a choice between food and heating
in a country which is marching relentlessly to the right
where tax breaks are given to the wealthy
and trident is considered more important
than inner city children gaining access to education and opportunity.
there is no sense of community from those who lead the worship
in a man mind thyself society
where those who have will get
and those who don’t will be ignored
and the moral of the story is
Vote Conservative and all will be fine
meanwhile at the other end of the line
millions are striped of their dignity 
in fortress Britain social mobility
is a gift given only to those who can afford it.

@ Gayle Smith 2016

The Night I Put My Panties On Was The Night That Saved My Life My Message To The Not So Christian Right

Hey everyone I write this post both as a transwoman and a christian and I write it in a state of outrage. Yes I can and do get and angry sometimes, I know that’s hard to believe I mean I’m such a mild mannered moderate little missy but get my knickers in a twist then you’ll really feel the pain and wish you hadn’t bothered tampering with my metaphorical lingerie.

This is especially true when it comes to trans or for that matter any other equality issue. To me fairness and acceptance of others are the benchmarks for the kind of society, country, and indeed world that I want to live in.

There are however some people who it seems do not believe we should all be treated with respect and tend to believe that George Orwell’s quote from his brilliant novel Animal farm,that some are more equal than others is the way it should be rather than Orwell’s critique of what was and for that matter still is wrong with society. It should come as no surprise that it is one of this group which I call the demented demographic who has got me more than just little bit angry with her thoughtless comment of a teenage trans girl in the United States recently .

The culprit in this case is right wing American conservative Gina Miller a woman who would make Margaret Thatcher look she had a heart and Sarah Pallin look like a future Mastermind champion and potential member of Mensa. I came across the rantings of this woman thanks to trans activist and blogger who reported on them in her Lexie Cannes State Of Trans. This is an excellent blog for those of you who wish not only to learn about transgender issues but also the prejudice and discrimination we can and do face. I really can’t recommend it highly enough.

In her blog post on this tragic suicide Lexi reports that Ms Miller commented on this tragic death by labelling the young trans victim as being mentally ill and suffering from a deluded fantasy that she could be a girl. This so-called Christian then went to claim that by jumping on the inter state the young woman committed a selfish action and gave the driver no choice but to run her over and states that he will have to live with the horrific consequences of this suicide for the rest of his life.

Coming up as I do from a city still grieving for loved ones from the tragic bin lorry accident in George Square just before Christmas I have no appetite for blaming any driver for circumstances which were out of their control, however the person I feel most sympathy in this case a young 17 year old with her whole life ahead of her. Yes Ms Miller I do use term her, because had she lived I have no doubt that she would have eventually become a woman. You see, trans people are neither deluded fantasists nor are we mentally ill.
I know I am a transwoman in my early fifties and like the young victim she so ignorantly taunts in what I can only describe as heartless and spine chilling comments I also knew my desire to be a girl from a very early age.
Of course it was different back in the 1960’s and 70’s no-one had ever heard the term transgender let alone countenanced the idea that someone born biologically male could ever wish to be female or indeed vice versa come to that. And even if they had it certainly hadn’t reached a socially and culturally conservative Scotland where there were I have to say very pre defined gender roles and norms to which one had to conform.

So bearing in mind what my country was like at the time I was a young child I would have to ask Ms Miller a few searching questions like for examples how did I know as far back as 1966 when I would only be five years old that I was meant to be a girl? Was it because I screamed my nursery walls down when the other girls were getting to try on make up like red lipstick and nail polish and I wasn’t allowed to?or was it because I used to beg my mother to curl my hair and dress me like a girl? Maybe it was the fact that all my friends at school were female I don’t know, Maybe it was because when I was seven or eight I read girls comics and liked to think of pretty things rather than those horrible boys comics which focused on fighting and war. Maybe it’s because at the age of eight or nine I can recall my mother dressing me up in a pink top, navy blue skirt, tan stockings with a red suspender belt as for the colour of my panties in those days when I was too young for a bra, all I will say is there are some things a women never talks about but let’s say it was age appropriate for a girl of tender years and I can still recall this memory as if were yesterday. Maybe it was one of those incidents which set me on the road to be the woman I am today, or maybe and far more likely it was a combination of all of them as they were all early signposts on the road I had to travel.

Ms Miller claims to be a christian and yet is quick to judge another just because she perceive them to be different from herself. Speaking as someone who is also christian and yes I can be as the title of one of my poems suggests A Prim And Prissy Little Missy. As such I refer her to the gospel of Matthew where it says in very clear terms ‘ judge least ye be judged’. In other words if you pass verdicts on others live their lives you must be prepared for others to do the same to you. Bearing this in mind judging others is something I tend to avoid.

When I read this article on the unfortunate suicide of this young transwoman I found her attitude cruel and if I’m honest, totally against all the teachings of the christian faith as I understand it. I was taught that christians are supportive towards others and
her unkind words were certainly lacking in empathy towards the victim. Instead this woman sneered contemptuously at her gender identity issues and reserved all her support for the bus driver and the parents of the bereaved whom she claim to be good christians who tried get someone who you refer to their son psychiatric care to cure what she wrongly and spitefully calls this delusion.

This in my view is entirely the wrong view to take. This young woman had issues which with support could have let her lead the rich and rewarding life which should have been her destiny. As for the false assumption and I and other trans people are part of some evil sexual anarchy movement this is something which I strongly resent. I am a church going woman with a very strong set of morals to act as a guide book for my life. Those morals are based on a book she and others of her ilk claim to know well it’s called the bible and nobody misrepresents more than the conservative religious right. This group tell me and others like me that I am demon possessed and suffer from a mental and spiritual sickness. This mindless labelling is something I find deeply disturbing and just for the record I am not demon possessed nor have I ever been The idea that I am spiritually sick shows who really needs to battle with demons and believe me when I say it isn’t me.

Trans people are not evil nor or we are a threat to religious freedom. In fact Ms Miller may surprised or even shocked to learn that the trans community in general and trans women in particular are often regular attenders at church. Personally I find many if not most of Ms
Miller’s comments to be ludicrous. I am offended however that she openly mocked a suicide victim. This in my view is a vile and disgusting act which no real christian would ever have contemplated. It is attitudes like hers which are the primary reason that many transsexuals live in denial for a great many years before coming out. I have personal experience of this as I fought against my natural instincts till in December 2008 at my former work’s Christmas night out at the age of 47 I decided it was in the words of an Elvis song Now or Never. It is I have to say a decision I have never regretted. Indeed my message to Ms Miller and the not so christian right is this, the night I put my panties on was the night that saved my life. This is a fact whether she and her narrow minded friends like or not I have a better life than ever before with a better quality of friends. You see real friends accept you as you are and don’t impose conditions on their friendship. Yes I have lost some friends over my decision but as it says in that well known Scottish folk song Caledonia. I lost some friends. I needed losing gained others on the way. And you know what I don’t miss the ones I’ve lost. That decision was their call and if they can live without me in their lives I can and will live very happily without them in mine.

No doubt Gina Miller will find this appalling and no matter how much I dislike her views I do respect her right to hold them, however I also believe that she should be held accountable for them. To use religion as a mask to hide her transphobia is completely unacceptable and should never be tolerated. As a christian myself I believe it is the duty of sensible christians to speak out against those who do our faith far more harm than good. For someone to say that society’s right disapproval should be least of a trans person’s worries shows a level of prejudice which against people like me which I find both frightening and if I’m truly honest a wee bit sinister.

To use words such as deluded and lunacy to describe the emotions of trans people does Gina Miller no favours. It is people like her who are the reason church attendances are falling in almost every western democracy in the world and why though trans I understand more about the world today than she does. Maybe that is why I know that children of the future don’t want the laments of the past and uncomfortable though it may be for the conservative right trans people are hear to stay I should know I am a transwoman and as the song says I am what I am. I however would also say I am who I am, and you know what I rather like being me.

Love And Best Wishes
Gayle X