Something in the Water

Miss the blog last week? Blame Halloween. As a child it was the only time it was actually OK to dress up and it remains my favourite festival, above Christmas.

But as my pumpkin sits rotting away like a bigot’s conscience, I return to the important business of what trans people have been up to. Some are doing quite well, like British trans woman Emma Swanick who’s been appointed by Triathlon South Africa as the high performance manager to oversee preparations for the London 2012 Olympics. Swanwick, who originally worked as a world-record breaking swimmer, will help provide managerial, administrative and logistical support for South Africa’s elite triathletes. Good. However, some of us have been feeding the lions again:


A gratuitous use of beige.

Yes, there’s a recession on, but is it really worth it? I advise trans not to sell-out to the tabloids, unless of course you happen to be Britain’s Fattest Tranny. I’m genuinely interested to see who that is.

I enjoyed a trip to Exeter in the summer, but whilst personally finding it all cream teas and friendly faces, not everytran in Devon is so lucky. Meet Thea Cox: convicted burglar, post-op transsexual, and rare recipient of judicial mercy. Sticks and stones may break your bones, but names will never hurt you, apparently – unfortunately Thea’s had the lot. Plus she’s been attacked on the bus, as well as sexually abused by scoundrels trying to work out her genitalia. Yeah, tell me about it.

So it’s a pleasant surprise to see the sentencing Judge take Thea’s hard life into account when giving her a suspended sentence for burgling a student-house. I hate sounding all ‘Trisha’ in the been-there-done-that stakes, but I’ve been burgled before, so I appreciate the seriousness of the crime and the impact on the victims. But as one commentator pointed out, being harsh on Thea would be like the old USA, where black people were social outcasts and denied jobs – then whacked with the law when caught stealing food. I truly hope everyone involved can move on now.

Meanwhile 30 miles North a trans man has been subject to such serious harassment from his ‘neighbours’ (everytranny needs good ones), he daren’t go outside, and lives in total darkness. That’s not a metaphor – he literally keeps the blinds shut for fear of bullying teenagers outside. All this persecution; it’s enough to make you want to turn to God.

Which is handy, because Jesus has returned to earth as a transsexual woman. Trans-playwright Jo Clifford claims she wrote ‘Jesus: Queen of Heaven’ not to cause controversy – but to draw parallels between the life of the messiah and the persecution and hatred faced by modern day transsexuals. (If you don’t know much about Jesus, he faced awful prejudice from judgmental officials – they literally ‘crucified’ him). Nevertheless the show was picketed by over 300 love-and-mercy Christians holding placards stating “God: My Son Is Not A Pervert”. Something tells me that should Jesus return he, (or she), won’t be protesting about minor plays at gay arts festivals, or telling us transsexuals are perverts. Actually, I’d rather hope he’d come to our rescue.

Not religious? There’s always science to put your faith in: it’s been throwing up some interesting stuff recently. Say, did you know there are loads of chemicals floating about now making us all gender-benders? It’s true; the Danish government has been doing some research on it:

Wow, but not quite as ‘wow’ as the doctors, according to the BBC, now working on womb-transplants (controversial!):

Exciting stuff, though if the NHS won’t give us boobs I doubt they’ll fork out for a new fitted-kitchen-sink, ahem, fitted-womb. Oh science, give us something! What, gay animals? Correct: forget everything you ever heard from school-ground bullies about gaydom being unnatural, because 1000’s of species have been documented with gay, lesbian and – here’s the cool bit – transgender animals. I discovered this through YouTube (, but apparently the information is available in any old University library.

Teach this in schools, now.


What next?

Paris Lees

(The views expressed within this blog are those of the author, and may not reflect those of the Gender Trust).

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