The T & Cake Podcast – Episode 3 : Playing The Cat Like A Harmonica

Here we go you gorgeous people!!!

https://soundcloud.com/tandcakepodcast/episode-3-playing-the-cat-like-a-harmonica

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Podcasting: Episode 2

Episode 2 is now available to listen to on Soundcloud and many other popular podcast feeds.

T & Cake: Episode 2: The Lost Jane Austen Novel

Also, for those of you interested in the terminology of Trans discourse, we put together a shorter episode…

T & Cake Presents: Trans 101/God-Flavoured Queer Jam

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So I am a Podcaster now… #tandcakepodcast

Yes people. I may have been quiet on here of late, but I certainly haven’t been quiet. Together with my friend Aimee Joesbury, and with help from some other friends, we have put together this, our first in what will be a series of podcasts on Trans issues, Trans experiences and Trans Lives in our modern world.

For the pilot, our guests are Transgender Novelist, Amanda McIntyre Ure, and Chris Swift, a Gender Queer spoken word artist and blogger.

In this first episode we discuss Trans representation in the media, the double edged sword of declaring Trans identities on official forms and social media, the effect that enforcing gender roles on trans children can have, and the hoops that must be jumped through to get treatment on the NHS.

I hope you enjoy it and subscribe for future episodes. Please like and share.

The T & Cake Podcast

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Does Feminism Need a Rebrand?

Straight off the bat, fist in the air and hollering like a macaque, I am a feminist. Of course I am a feminist. Gender equality is something we should be ashamed that we haven’t reached. As a species we have put twelve men on the moon, observed distant galaxies, cured diseases that were once thought fatal, and created ABBA, yet equal pay, equal corporate and political representation, and even not hacking a girl’s lady bits to pieces in some parts of the world STILL prove elusive.

“BLAH BLAH Patriarchy, BLAH BLAH Pay gap, BLAH BLAH Glass ceiling.”

That is what people are conditioned to hear whenever issues of equality and prejudice are brought up. The words “I am a Feminist” to many people is just giving them permission to tune you out, talk over you or repeat some ‘witty banter’ about women not knowing their place.

Indeed it is seemingly acceptable to sneer and ridicule, as if holding said beliefs are an open and aggressive challenge to the sneering party. There are three groups of people who it is deemed totally okay to heap scorn upon with no ‘legitimate’ objections.

Feminists – Environmentalists – Vegans

Yup, even we much scorned and oft mocked Transfolk are starting to get ‘normal’ people fighting our corner (keep it up guys, you’re stars!).

Now, I could bang on about how those big three labels are consciously and constantly discredited by a patriarchal, fossil fuel loving, steak chomping cabal of wealthy (mostly) men, who use their assets to influence media and politicians, but all people are conditioned to hear is:

“BLAH BLAH Patriarchy, BLAH BLAH Pay gap, BLAH BLAH Glass ceiling.”

Since when were universal human equality, environmental preservation or just not eating animal products considered to be bizarre, far out political extremism?

“BLAH BLAH Patriarchy, BLAH BLAH Pay gap, BLAH BLAH Glass ceiling.”

Okay, okay I’ve lost a lot of the readership by this point, so I won’t labour it.

The actual core message of Feminism in particular, is one that even most naysayers would agree with, but the word has been toxified. A grotesque stereotype has been carefully crafted and bandied about as if it were cold, hard fact. When a negative portrayal of something is so crafted for so long, it begins to self-perpetuate and those who spun it can sit back in their gentleman’s clubs, joke about all the women they have groped and then run for President.

We live in a world of brands, slogans and logos. If something cannot be summed up by a simple image or a brief tagline, it fails.

Conditioned Public: “Why do we have this problem?”

Brand A: “There are numerous causes for our current situation, not least of all is…

Conditioned Public: “zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz”

Conditioned Public: “Why do we have this problem?”

Brand B: *Shrugs* Brown people.

Conditioned Public “YAAAAAY!”

Ye get me bro?

Now, Feminists can be massive pricks. Believing in women’s equality does not automatically prevent you from being rude, aggressive, divisive, cruel or elitist. In the Venn diagram of “Pricks and Feminists” there is a little bit of a crossover.

feminist pricks

Yes, there are several high profile Feminists that seem to get an awful lot of media time because they outright despise Trans people (so much for your genitals not dictating your destiny eh?). There are those who would rather fight against the women that don’t adhere to their own narrow views of what is, and is not acceptable for a Feminist to be.

But what of the rest of the Feminists who stand in solidarity with their Trans kin, who embrace a woman’s right to choose her own form of self-expression, set her own standards of beauty and fashion… those who argue that it is no less oppressive to ban an item of women’s clothing, than it is to enforce its wearing? Because that is most of us, isn’t it?

Of course that pesky old hyper-male governed media only give coverage the to the divisive and hypocritical…

BLAH BLAH Patriarchy, BLAH BLAH Pay gap, BLAH BLAH Glass ceiling.”

Okay, so we can’t go in with the complex ideas off the bat. It also doesn’t help that the letters ‘F.E.M’ get a whole other heap of scorn all to themselves when placed in that order. They have been made to mean ‘weak’, ‘contradictory’, ‘stupid’, ‘less than’… The whole language of being female, or even feminine has been toxified. Men suffer as a result of this too. The pressure to be emotionally distant, repressed, stoic, insensitive and unaffectionate creates an ‘ideal’ that one would have to be a narcissistic sociopath to live up to… and yes guys, since you’ve always been told that everything is really about you when it isn’t, this actually is, at least in part. I am glad that so many guys nowadays actually get this and proudly label themselves as feminists, but the status quo as ever pushes back against challenges with increased vigour and severity. Let’s push forward together.

I am no marketing genius of course (I couldn’t sell shit to a Dung Beetle), and I never sought to offer a solution to the whole ‘rebranding’ option, but in a world where short answers trump correct ones, I feel it is inevitable that we must come up with some way of approaching our argument that cannot be toxified and filtered out of debate.

Or, in other words…

BLAH BLAH Patriarchy, BLAH BLAH Pay gap, BLAH BLAH Glass ceiling.”

Oh, just a side note. I spent waaaaay too long looking for an easy to use Venn Diagram generator online that didn’t require some kind of coding or payment for use so I gave up and did it in MS-Paint like a techno-illiterate from the late eighties (which I am). I’m not sure the gag was worth it, except that I really REALLY can’t stand Germaine Greer.

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Boing Boing Boing

Hey everybody. First off… yeah, I haven’t blogged properly in ages. Sorry about that. My usual Winter funk started early, triggered by western society’s increasing resemblance to pretty much every dystopian science fiction future in every dystopian science fiction movie ever. As a result, I have been just drifting around in some kind of semi-fugue state, fueled by very strong painkillers and an immersion in the ‘grim darkness’ of the Warhammer 40,000 universe because, fuck it, it’s a brighter future than ours looks right now.

This is of course all hyperbolic for comedic effect, but what I wouldn’t give for a few power armoured, 9-foot tall warrior monks wandering around, purging would-be dictators with guns as big as a car.

Now, this post is more of a ‘She’s Baaaaaack’ thing (although consistency remains to be seen), rather than a scathing, withering yet amusing analysis of anything in particular. In all honesty, who needs satire when global events efficiently take the piss out of themselves? MRAs, the Alt-Right, ‘Alternative Facts’, ‘Fake News’, Rapey reality TV stars being elected President of the US, Brexit (Or how do we enact this thing without dry-fucking ourselves in the arse), some twat called Milo speaking in support of Paedophilia (he’s fallen a long way since he was in ‘The Tweenies’) and the Political Left in the UK refusing to get behind an actual Left Wing leader. All the while, our government has been systematically shagging the disabled and selling off the silverware… business as usual then.

However, yesterday I saw (without actually intending to, may I hasten to add) a 42 year old Transwoman in Brazil, dragged screaming from her home, begging for her life before being beaten to death in an alleyway. I shan’t link to it, it isn’t hard to find. This is the fifth reported Trans Murder from Brazil alone this year.

Now it’s easy to say “Oh well, Brazil is a backwards, Third-World Country.” Well it isn’t. It adopted equal marriage before we did, and supports Trans people with its public healthcare system. Poverty, Prejudice and Police corruption are prevalent in a large amount of countries we see through our Western perspective as ‘Developed’. Indeed, most of South America is coming on by leaps and bounds in terms of equality and social enlightenment from where they were a few dark decades ago.

No, this isn’t about Brazil. It is about all of us. It’s about everyone just laughing at the bigotted whilst they terrorise, intimidate, harass, assault and abuse the people who aren’t them.

People sit and laugh at Trump, but hate crimes have massively increased in the US, whilst he has personally signed away the rights of millions of US citizens. “Oh it’ll be interesting to see what he does…” are words one only hears from a straight, white, cisgender man (of course, not ALL straight, white, cisgender men 😉 ).

The Brexit Vote… guess what? A significant rise in hate crimes in the UK. I don’t really care what side of the fence you are on there, but the result gave a massive boost of self-righteousness to those whose idea of a good time is punching queers or battering brown people. So yeah, I’m now more likely to be attacked in the street. GO TEAM!

This oppressive fog of negativity has left me in a situation where I have a hard time motivating myself to chew through the restraints every morning. It is hard to see the goodness in the world right now, even though it is right there in so many of you. One of the things about strong pain medication is that everything looks so bleak, and yet so distant that you feel powerless to change anything (except pants… always change your pants. I cannot stress the importance of this enough).

But hey, every now and then someone puts a motivational poster up on Facebook so that makes it all okay, doesn’t it?

Ah well, at least the sun is shining. The bells of St Stephens are tolling and the primary school down the road is full of children screaming like someone’s chasing them with a chainsaw. Best of all, that hooty bastard Tawny Owl appears to have fucked off for the spring again so he can go and lure some other miserable bitch to the Underworld. Oh, and people are actively punching Nazis now, which is apparently something nobody thought of in the 1930s.

I fancy some toast.

I think I’ll go make some toast.

Peace out, love ya lots, and don’t forget to punch a Nazi.

Tamz

xXx

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A New Way To Be #poetrybitchezzz

A New Way To Be

by Tamlyn MacPherson

I have learned, these past few years

a better way to be.

Where once was rage and anger rife,

I try serenity.

My patience, grown and evolved

brings calm into my mind.

When raging hard, my mental storm

made answers hard to find.

Compassion rules, it stays my hand

and I know all life is sacred.

Gays, the disabled… a refugee child…

they suffer ‘coz they’re hated.

A healing touch is just too much

to hope for at this time,

but an open ear, and loving word

is the power that is mine.

And tolerance is the tricky one.

‘Do you tolerate the intolerence?’ they say.

I say ‘look mate, when it comes to hate,

we can’t let them get away’.

Because people die when hatred thrives,

and to sit by and do nothing,

is a cowardly act and stark betrayal

of all who need saving.

So I will stand as best I can,

and take their shots and stones,

in defence of those who have no voice;

afraid, oppressed, alone.

So whatever your faith, or if you have none

the most important thing to be,

is so fucktastically Christ-like,

the cunts’ll want to nail you to a tree.

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#Orlando – What the blithering fuck did people think was going to happen?

Yeah I’m swearier than usual because I am fucking angry.

Yeah, I am late to the opinion party as it has taken a few days for me to be able to articulate my sadness and rage. Anything posted beforehand would have merely been page upon page of gibberish, typed furiously with a lump hammer.

This atrocious act of sheer, blind, ignorant, fucking stupid hate is all the more tragic for its inevitability. When any psychopath with hate in his heart and a dick for a brain can buy a fucking assault rifle, people are going to die.

“Oh, but he was a Muslim extremist!”

Fuck off with that bullshit. He was a wife beating, queer hating American with an assault rifle. The fact that he was from a Muslim family is redundant.

“But ISIS claimed they did it.”

ISIS, ISIL… whatever the fuckers call themselves… would claim responsibility for everything from a traffic jam to a meteor strike if they thought it would further their cause.

Oh, and fuck off with your second amendment too. The declaration of Independence states that everyone has the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Your second amendment makes a mockery of the entire foundation of your country.

But it wasn’t just a case of one man and his prejudice. The world is fucking toxic towards LGBT folk. We cannot escape the fact that any stride we take just to be treated as human beings comes with very real casualties.

When you have state legislators pushing forward laws allowing people to refuse service or support to LGBT people… when you introduce bathroom bills that put Transgender people at risk and then claim that we are only there to molest your children… when you have allowed ‘Gay Panic’ or ‘Trans Panic’ defences as mitigating circumstances in assault or murder cases… Don’t you see the world that you create? Don’t you see that your clamour for votes among conservatives is actually killing people? Don’t you see that the people you vilify are no longer seen as people? You dehumanise us, you denigrate us and you seek to climb atop a pile of innocent victims to preach your fucking sermons.

A few days before the abomination of Orlando, a bomb detonated in a bathroom in a Target store in protest to their Trans-inclusive policy. The same night as Orlando, a man was arrested taking guns and explosives to be used against the participants in a Pride event. These events are not being regarded as acts of terrorism. Why the fuck not?

The rest of the world is far from blameless. In Britain our government espouses the wonders of our progressive attitude on LGBT issues, and yet they cosy up to Saudi-Fucking-Arabia. They may stone gays to death, but apparently oil and arms trades are more important.

They sit on their hands whilst Northern Ireland’s fucking government refuses to allow marriage equality despite massive public support for it. They do nothing whilst members of the commonwealth outlaw homosexuality and refuse to acknowledge Trans identities. Our national church reserves the right to use homosexuality as a reason for dismissing gay members of the clergy. They demand celibacy for gay vicars, but not straight ones.

For every fucking step forward we make in LGBT rights, there are those nations and administrations that would seek to block, or even reverse the rights of LGBT people under their jurisdiction.

High profile individuals such as Germaine Greer and Julie Burchill spout such horrific anti-trans diatribes and get sand in their fucking arses when people challenge them.

The press is notoriously, mostly, right wing. The Daily Mail didn’t even carry news of the massacre on its front page. Right wing commentators who have shown nothing but fucking disdain for LGBT issues in the past are frantically trying to disassociate the actions of the killer from their own hostility towards our community. They say he was a fundamentalist Islamist, not a homophobe. They say he was acting out of some backward religious ideology, attacking what he saw as decadent western culture.

FUCK

RIGHT

OFF

The cunt was a homophobe, a transphobe and a misogynist. Those traits are found everywhere regardless of race, faith or ethnicity.

If your freedom of speech creates a world where fucking lunatics feel justified to murder innocents, then it is not free. It has a cost, and the other night that cost was over a hundred human beings killed or wounded just for who they love.

Silence will not end the hate, nor will dismissing it. Making excuses for it… “Oh, it’s their generation.” or …”Oh, it’s their religion”… will not end it. Standing by when hate is spewed and not challenging it… WILL NOT FUCKING END IT!

Across the world people are united in grief and sympathy for the lives lost, and that is a beautiful thing, but if we do not take steps to challenge, educate and condemn the behaviours that make the world toxic to LGBT people, then the bodies will continue to pile up. Feeling sad for us is not what we need. We need you angry. We need you fucking appalled! We need you to stand with us and add your voices to our own.

An injury to one, is a fucking injury to all.

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