July 6th, 2008


WTF! LGBT Pride is worse than the other kind

For the first time in thirty-some years of going to Pride, I have come away seriously questioning whether I will ever go again. Official stewards who were running the toilets at Trafalgar Square announced that I, and any other transgender or transsexual woman, had to use the disabled toilets and was not allowed to use the regular women's toilets. I pointed out to the stewards that I transitioned and had surgery before they were born; I was more polite than a polite thing. No dice.

I went and fetched a posse of transwomen and transmen and we made a collective fuss. Their response - and remember these were official stewards AT PRIDE - was to radio in 'we're being attacked by a mob of trannies! send backup'. They were joined by a policeman, who was a LGBT liaison officer, who claimed that we had to be able to show our Gender Recognition Certificates if we wanted to use the women's loos and got quite upset when I explained to him that I had been involved in drafting the Act and that it did not take away rights that existed before it. At one point he threatened to arrest us for demonstrating on private property - those loos belong to Westminster Council, so you are not allowed to make a fuss there.

At one point it was claimed that they had instituted this policy a few minutes earlier because a man had attacked a woman; at another they said it was official Health and Safety policy. I don't think it was particularly to do with how much I do or don't pass - I think I got read in part because I am so tall and turned up in the queue among a particularly short group of lesbians.

It was one of the most wretched experiences I have had in thirty years, only made positive by the love and solidarity of my community - including various transmen who proposed that, since they had no GRCs, they should be made to use the women's loos. Beards and all.

What with the other trans-related mess I am currently dealing with, of which more anon, I feel that destiny is recalling me to the activist standard...

So, tomorrow, there will be letters and phonecalls. More generally, there will be serious kicking of Pride's butt. Pride screwed up in all sorts of ways this year and it will be requited.

Basically, no one gets to shit in my face and call it chocolate fudge. That young cop in particular is going to undergo an educative experience.

Dumbass EU law proposed to cut off file sharers: ACT NOW!


The '3 strikes and you're out' plan to cut those accused of copyright file sharing off the net - note accused, not found to be guilty - has been sneaked into an EU telecoms bill after it was explicitly defeated earlier this year.

This bill would require all ISPs to monitor all traffic, would doubtless catch those sharing files legally in the net (eg. I frequently shift around large files full of data - how is the ISP to tell if these are legal or not?), and effectively brings collective punishment since you might be cut off as a result of the actions of someone else using your net connection (with or without permission).

The bill is also technically incompetent since the increased use of encrypted P2P and Tor will make it very difficult to even guess reliably at who's sending what to who.

It's not just me worried about this, see a write up on this proposal by a UK Law Professor as well as comments by LJ's own Independent Diplomat.

And these measures are due to be voted on in the European Parliament TOMORROW.

Write to your MEP now using eg. WriteToThem in the UK or use this tool to find out who your MEPs are if you're outside the UK.

gakked from purplecthulhu

I speak as someone who needs to download television shows for purposes that are mostly scholarly - writing some of the stuff I write would be impossible if I had to wait for UK terrestrial airing.


Various people are criticizing Rose Tyler Collapse ).

I really do not think that anyone figures out 'the worst day of their life' in rational terms - the worst day of my life was not 9/11, or the day the US failed to ratify Kyoto, or the day Martin Luther King was assassinated, sorrowful as I was on all those occasions and bad as the effects on the world were. Nor was it the deaths of various friends, various occasions when doctors seriously screwed up my body or the day I failed to get a first-class honours degree.

It was probably the day that the woman I was in love with at the time rang me up at the behest of her other lover and said that she was severing all ties - even though there was a lot more of that story and I got to be very horrible to that other lover in due course. Or the day that a close friend came round and told me what a total shit I was - even though I knew at the time that this was bullshit, and years later we totally got past it.

The worst day of your life is the one you felt worst about at the time, and where the memory of that pain still hurts. AND THAT IS NOT ACCESSIBLE TO FRAKKING REASON OR THE PHILOSOPHIC CALCULUS OF JEREMY FRAKKING BENTHAM.

Sometimes, eg now, I despair of fandom.

(no subject)

1. I have created a Stop Transphobia at Pride Facebook group - now with photos and video from Bird LaBird...
2. While I take the point that more people need to be involved in Pride, there is a limit to the hours in anyone's day. I know plenty of people who are in serious danger of activist burnout - and one of the reasons why I don't do much political any more is that I had a bad case of it a few years ago, at the time of my resignation from Liberty after a near-fatal illness. As it is, I have a living to earn, a novel to write, three critical books on the go, a relationship to run and moderate contributions to make to the welfare of nations via, e.g., this LJ.

I have no spare capacity. All the comments and stuff I have done today have been at the expense of going to see movies I have to write about in the next couple of weeks, or writing a thousand words of novel.

Aside from Toiletgate

I was saddened to hear of tomdisch's suicide - ellendatlow. Tom was never more than a casual acquaintance, met in passing at the Clutes' flat, but I loved some of his work.

Camp Concentration is one of the best books about being clever and On Wings of Song an even better novel. Some of the short stories are extraordinary too - 'Getting into Death' is probably the best of the collection to which it gives its name. He was sarcastic, misanthropic and had a heart buried somewhere in the gruffness and occasional camp. The poems of the last year or so that he posted almost daily on LJ were not his best work - cynical, grumpy and sometimes gratuitously offensive - but there were some fine lyrics in there if you go quarrying, and some well-turned epigrams.

He died for the reasons that those of us that are ageing fear most. He was likely to become homeless; his work was neglected and unfashionable; the love of his life was dead.

I've been reading his last few entries - how did we miss how desperate he was? And yet, he had been so aggressive in his gloom for so long that how could we have known?