TDOR Canberra

I went with some friends to Canberra’s TDOR ceremony yesterday evening.  It was held at The Gods Cafe at the ANU’s Arts Centre.  Quite a few people were there and once again it was pleasing to see a large number of our allies turn up to show their support.

G gave a wonderful talk (which should be up on Youtube in a few days) and the Gay and Lesbian Qwire sang beautifully.

As was the case last year, small plants were handed out to be planted in public spaces in honour of the trans men and trans women who lost their lives during the last 12 months because of transphobia.  (There’s one such plant thriving outside the ACT’s Legislative Assembly Building.)

In other news, I have now lost 12 kg and am happy to say I can  now wear clothes that I thought I would never wear again.  A couple more kilos and I’ll stop with the weight loss and concentrate on weight maintenance.

Lots of socialising coming up.The Denouement Dinner with the College of Law, the Legal Workshop’s Xmas party, my work farewell (retiring at age 60 to pursue a life of leisure) and my 60th Birthday Party in 4 weeks time!  Not to mention Xmas Eve dinner here in Canberra and the annual family get-together in Sydney on Xmas day followed by a few days down at Jervis Bay with my sister.

And come next May, grandchild number 7 should make his/her entrance into the world.

UPDATE

Canberra’s TDOR Video now available on Youtube

The video appears in four parts:
Part 1 and 2 – Gab’s speech
Part 3 – Tim’s speech
Part 4 – the Qwire’s closing two songs.
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Trans Day of Remembrance

I attended the Canberra TDOT event last night.  In previous years we have met in Glebe Park where we stood around with candles while the names of murdered people were read out.  These people were murdered because they were trans or perceived to be trans.

Last  night we met in the Gods Cafe at the Australian National University’s Arts Centre.  While time was spent remembering those who were killed for simply being themselves, it was also a celebration of those who are still here.

Potted flowers were distributed to those present to plant around the City in memory of those who died.

Shane Rattenbury (Greens Party), the Speaker in the ACT’s Legislative Assembly, was present to talk about some positive steps being taken regarding law reform.

Among the people remembered was Roy Antonio Jones III, a 16 month old baby murdered by his mother’s boyfriend who had struck him with fists to try to make him act more like a boy.  What a tragic and ugly manifestation of transphobia.

This day causes me to reflect on the amount of privilege I have (or had).  Because what separates me from those on the list of the dead is my privilege and a great big dose of good luck.

Bad Apple

There’s a new iPhone app called “Peekaboo Tranny” about which Hoyden About Town has just posted.

If you are as offended by this app as I am, then please call Apple to register your disgust.

US Phone Number: Apple Public Relations: +1 (408) 974-2042

Australian Phone Number: Jesse James, Public Relations Manager: +61 2 8987 8264

As Tigtog  at HoT says, call them, and please reblog. Make some noise.

UPDATE:  Making noise works! Apple has now removed the offensive app.

December

Early each December I feel as if I am hurtling towards Xmas.  There’s an unfamiliar busy-ness to life as social commitments sometimes feel overwhelming.  So many friends and relatives have birthdays around this time of year and add to that the Xmas parties and shopping in very crowded spaces.  And yet I LOVE Xmas.  It is a time for celebrating with family.

We had our traditional Canberra get-together with all the Canberra clan.  The three youngest grandkids are 18-22 months old and surprised me by their selfishness.  Perhaps it’s a necessary stage of development but they were not interested in sharing.  Beloved ex had once again organised a grand, traditional feast and it was good to have B (my children’s cousin) attend with his new partner, K, and new child, Q.  B has been living in Canada for the last few years and will be heading back in a few weeks.  All 7 of Grandma and Poppa H’s grandchildren were present as were all 11 great grandchildren.  Who forgot the photo opportunity??

On Xmas morning I went to my youngest daughter’s home for breakfast.  My son in law did a fine job preparing a full breakfast for all 16 of us who attended.  For some reason, 4 yo Kman is obsessed with Indiana Jones and was runnung around the house sounding the theme song from Raiders of the Lost Ark and cracking his whip.

I then drove to Sydney to spend the afternoon and evening with my siblings and their families.  The rain was appreciated although it meant the pool and tennis court went unused.

Returning to Canberra, I had arranged for a nephew to come over and do some gardening for me.  Armed with a chain-saw and a mulcher, we got rid of a great many shrubby weeds that had found their way into my garden and which I had allowed to grow out of control.  There is still much work to be done.

I then headed down to Jervis Bay to spend some time at my sister’s.  I’m afraid that I have never seen the Bay so crowded.  But we managed to find uncrowded beaches for our daily swims, went to the Art Gallery at the Lady Denman Museum to see the latest exhibition, caught up with friends.  And relaxed and read.  I’m currntly reading Richard Flanagan’s Wanting and he makes me chuckle at times.

New Year’s Eve was celebrated firstly at B & S’s home and then we moved on to H’s home for more festivities. B is recovering from a heart attack and so we left at around 9:30pm when he appeared to be getting really tired.  H was hosting a party for my sister’s gym group and their partners.

A pleasant end to a pleasant year.

There was more controversy in the glbti community during the month when a new contributor to the Bilerico Project decided he would use his first column to deny the existence of trans folk.  Some cis folk seem to have trouble with the concept of gender identity.  They assume that their gender identity is directly linked to what is between their legs.  They believe their gender identity is a consequence of what is between their legs.  Most people are very fortunate to have a gender identity that matches their genitalia. Those of us whose gender identity does not match the genitalia we were born with do not need privileged folk telling us our condition does not exist.

November

This month has gone by so quickly!

Early in the month I attended a Melbourne Cup Day BBQ at my boss’s home.  Some beautifully prepared salads and gourmet sausages washed down with beer made for a pleasant day.  Chatting to my host’s mother, we discovered that she knows my eldest daughter’s mother-in-law.  Both were Hungarian migrants who came to Australia after the war.  Small world, eh.  We had a sweep and I drew the eventual winner, “Shocking” so came home with some extra change in my purse.  As winner of the sweep, I got to plant the first tomato plant in their vegetable garden – local knowledge here in Canberra suggests that you don’t plant your tomatoes until you know the winner of the Melbourne Cup because by then the chance of frosts is minimal.  All in all, a good day.

I accompanied my middle daughter, my grandson, my son-in-law and his mum to have ultrasounds done of her baby who’s due in January.  The 3-D rendering of the ultrasound images is just amazing.  It was fascinating to watch her (she’s a girl!) fingers and toes, her eyes and nose and her sucking on her thumb.  I hope my daughter manages to remain comfortable carrying a nearly developed baby through our summer.  I don’t envy her.

Mid month was the class reunion which I’ve posted about already.

I entered a painting in the “Gender Rights are Human Rights” Art Exhibition hosted by A Gender Agenda at the ACT Legislative Assembly.  I was expecting about 20 people to show up at the opening and was pleasantly surprised to see about 70+ people there.  The Director of the ACT Council of Social Services, a friend from our Democrats days, gave a speech as did a representative of the ACT Commisioner for Human Rights.  Peter H from A Gender Agenda also spoke.  His speech is found at their website.

This was the first time I have shown any art work publicly and I thought my entry looked rather pathetic among the other works.  Oh well, a good experience.  My BFF and her partner came along to the opening for moral support.

Dignity

I attended the TDOR at Glebe Park here in Canberra on Friday 20th.  This day is important as a political statement.  TDOR was started by Gwen Smith following the murder of Rita Hester.  The way Rita’s death was treated by the media was disgraceful – and we are still faced with the inappropriate use of pronouns when such deaths are reported.  Rita’s murder has not been solved and was almost certainly a hate crime.  Another young woman murdered for simply being herself.

Word has come through late in the month that Christine Daniels had died – probably from suicide.  Christine’s transition attracted much publicity as she was a well-known sports writer for a LA paper.  Her detransition also attracted much publicity.  She never gave any reasons for her detransition.  I think the pressure on any high profile person who transitions in such a blokey profession as sports writing would be enormous.  I know that I finally decided to do something about  my transsexualism after I hit rock bottom and was once more suicidal.  Transitioning wasn’t a brave act – it was the final throw of the dice.  If things didn’t work out, suicide was always the next  option.  It still is.

On Saturday night I went with friends to one of Canberra’s top restaurants to celebrate a friend’s birthday.  For the first time I ate kangaroo.  I was very unimpressed.  Like eating a cheap cut of steak.  Never again.  The rest of the food was delicious and the conversation sparkling so overall the night was very pleasant.

And that was the month that was.