Stephen Fry voices concerns about KONY 2012

12 03 2012

Stephen Fry voices concerns on KONY 2012

A Tranny life……

3 08 2010

Almost two months on the dole and my flatmate and I are in desperate times, the rent is two months in arrears and due to the nature of our tenancy (we’re “employees” who pay the agency to live in the flat and keep squatters out until they knock it down at some point in the future) we can’t claim housing benefit. We’re both short on money and Emma (the flatmate) who signed on at the same time as me still hasn’t received a penny due to some kafka-esque bureaucratic nightmare in which the Social don’t believe her situation yet have no problem with mine.

So today things were coming to a head, we could  both be out on our collective and shapely behinds this time next week. I spoke to my dad, not so much asking for money (I do hate having to ask money off my folks but sadly these days I have little choice) but just for moral support in what is quite a scary and uncertain time.

For most part of my life my father was quite a distant and private character, it was only until two years ago that I found out why. Like me he is a transvestite, a lifestyle choice we both revealed to each other during one of our pub lunches Oop North. Neither of us had idea of the secret life of the other, my dad was waiting to sus out if I could be accepting of who he really was and in quite a funny yet heart-warming moment I told him I was more sympathetic than he could have imagined. Quite a mind-bending  situation I’ll grant you but at the same time a wonderful moment which may become a scene in a film someday. At that point we both understood each other a helluva lot more than we had for the past thirty years.

So I told him what the situation is, that for the first time in my working life I was on the cusp of being employed in a position relevant to my degree in Media. It is only a freelance job with just few hours a week, not enough to live off but it’s a step in the right direction. I am genuinely excited about this in a way I’ve never felt about a job before. So many of us suffer in work that means nothing to us , as if suffering and misery somehow is more worthy than enjoying life and doing what you are genuinely good at that to see an opportunity to haul yourself out of the horror you have to take the risk and go for it.

We both reminisced about the jobs we had previously and how we felt about them, for him he worked over 30 years for British Rail moving from one souless office to another until eventually he was made redundant for his trouble. For over three decades he bit his lip and said nothing as he was expected to, pretended to be something he was not as conformed to Society’s rules. For some twisted reason we are supposed to consider this to be more noble and worthy than taking the gamble and living how deep down you feel you should.

My dad, who calls himself “Emma”  is free of those chains now but still experiences some conflict because he is an out and proud transvestite. He volunteers on a local steam railway, one of the passions of his life for as long as I can remember. He gets some money from this, just enough to supplement his pension but a few weeks ago he was asked to leave. In a typically British form of bigotry no names were given, no statements made, nothing was said to his face but it was apparent that some on the railway were not comfortable with my dad’s change of circumstances and made it their business to force him out.

Even still in the 21st Century and after so many hard fought battles a person who is different and causes no harm to anyone else is still prejudiced against by the mundane and vocal few who find it impossible to live and let live. Small minded and petty little people, those who make life a misery for everyone else because their world view has to be imposed on all around still have the power and the compulsion to interfere and judge. My dad and I could not comprehend the arrogance and spite of such people who rather tolerate those who are different from them have to destroy  lives when it is no business of their.

We didn’t feel anger, instead we felt pity for those pathetic and backward types. Perhaps they are bitter that people such as us can be strong enough to be who were are rather than who society expects us to be, what is imposed on us without asking. Perhaps their whole lives have been a lie and they realise what a cosmic joke it has all been and when they see folk such as us with the AUDACITY to walk unashamed they want to bring us down out of spite. Or maybe, some people are just cunts.

We then moved on to the sense of community that being part of a minority affords us, something the mundanes are clearly envious of. Because we still suffer prejudice from an unenlightened few we look out for each other. My dad remarked with great fondness the sense of belonging he feels when attending a pride rally and told me how he had his picture in the local paper. It was heart warming to hear the joy in the old man’s voice when he spoke of this for he was truly happy with his life now.

When critics go on that Pride rallies are a step too far and that straight people don’t “flaunt themselves in other people’s faces” they miss the point. For us we have to live our lives in fear that who we are will get us into trouble even though we aren’t causing harm to anyone else. With a Pride march we can walk in daylight and be PROUD of our identity instead of having to lie just to fit in with other people’s arbitrary rules and expectations. For one day a year we don’t have to be ashamed of who we are, we don’t have to put up with other people’s issues projected on ourselves and we live how we want to, how we should be able to live in any decent a free culture.

So yeah, despite our unusual situation my dad and I get on very well and understand each other on a deep level. And yes, he leant me the money to cover the rent arrears on the promise that when I finally start making it in this big scary city I pay him back. We could go for a girls night out in Manchester some time on that money, to Canal Street where we can live how we should and be happy with ourselves.

Introducing Bunzl, a character named after a coffee machine….

14 05 2009

Like intense blue-white hot blowtorches the stars of the Hadar system burnt away into the vast concentric spheres of dust and rocks that would have eventually coalesced into a mighty planetary system, sadly a majestic state they would never reach before all three giant stars that made up Hadar quickly burnt up the fuel in their core grow bloated and erratic in their old age. Each one of the brilliant suns would swell to a size many times the distance between the Earth and Sol, devouring the protoplanetary mass
settling around them like a fat old king of old at a banquet. Throwing out more energy per day than Sol would in its substantially longer lifespan the three suns of Beta Centauri fell victim to the old adage “A light that burns twice as bright lasts half as long.”

It was in a similar vein that the energetic (and energising) Bunzl Jagerman Jones burnt through life at many times the speed and ferocity of those around him. He was as handsome as a starship captain should be and with the charisma and lust for life that alone,could power a Hicks class Alnairian privateer across the stars and between the Branes. He was often described as Han Solo and
Captain Kirk rolled into one, which was no small compliment when you consider the high regard those who fly between the stars in the 31st century held the ancient pop culture heroes of yore. The comparison was closer to the truth then most would ever know, for it was those two specific characters whom Bunzl had in mind when choosing how to have his personality remoulded during his mysterious two year retreat in a mind-modding clinic in one of the Alnarian Partnerships’ backwater systems.
Where once there had been a mild mannered and ordinary individual who spent the first century of his life blending into the background and struggling to make an impression with his nearest and dearest there now stood a swashbuckling space hero currently abusing his equally heroic constitution with three of the most fashionable pharms.

“Hey look!” came an excited holler and eyes wide with delight,”Bunzl’s up on the bar doing The Saw!” A number of his fellow Alnairians turned their heads towards the bar where Jagerman-Jones was giving his own enthusiastic and slightly unhinged display of “The Saw” a dance where (men and the male at heart usually) would move their arms as if they were slowly grinding a primitive saw back and forth whilst moving ones booty from side to side. It was an interpretive dance style picked up (ironically, of course) by fans of the recent Bubba-grindstep music scene that had exploded into fashion back on Candi and synchronised quite nicely with the slow, salvia inspired multi-dimensional rhythms of that genre. That Bunzl choose to do this dance to the completely
different melodies of the Family Lounges’ soft ambient astro-jazz (27th century revival) and whilst bouncing up and down of the counter to the food bar was typical of his devil mare care attitude and spontaneous nature.
AV footage recorded via the eyeballs of the people in the lounge darted around to friends on the vessel to votes of approval but despite the positive reaction of some of his fellow travellers on the long voyage to Hadar other patrons of the lounge were less than approving. Mild expletives of castigation and sober explanations to curious children rattled around the lounge of the starship as service bots attempted to end Jagerman-Jones’ one man show on top of the food counter. Slowly weaving out the way of exasperated mechanical hands and tentacles he threw up his hands and intentionally slipped on a bright yellow trifle, bouncing off the counter with his buttocks and onto he floor. After a playful bout of cat and mouse with the multi limbed and soft pastel coloured automatons Bunzls adventures were brought to an end by the firm grip of a security drone, modelled after various transistor operated and clumsy movie robots of the 1950s, which had entered the lounge under the behest of complaining travellers.
Bunzl pulled the face of a cheeky and unrepentant schoolboy as vainly struggled with the grip of surprisingly agile and fast moving robot, its bright red grabbers clasping the recalcitrant future starship captain with just the right pressure so as not to damage him but enough to escort him back to the more decadent parts of the ship where his pharm-fuelled antics were allowed.
Singing joyously and surprisingly tunefully (another secret modification to enhance the “legend”) down the corridor to the adults only rear of the passenger section Bunzl was clearly in high spirits as the starliner fell towards its destination, the manufactured planetary system that orbited a suspiciously debris free and stable path around Hadar-B.
Bunzls’ ill advised public display of exuberance was far from the only incident during the long voyage that was borne of a dangerous mix of anticipation, boredom and good quality legal narcotics.
People from all walks of life and all shapes and sizes had taken this long voyage (almost 150 light years of straight FTL jumping) in hope of realising whatever dreams they thought would come true at the terminus and the air on board was thick with excitement and potential which often burst over into hi-jinks and horseplay.
For around Hadar B the long disappeared Gardeners had been busy. Applying their alien aesthetic vision (not to mention their god-like technology) to the raw material and energy of Hadar they had created a rich and majestic habitable planetary system which by now had the dizzying buzz of a gold rush town, populated by every possible cultural group the Community could throw at it and beyond that frenzy lay the wormhole that connected this isolated part of the Milky Way galaxy to the distant beauty and horror that lay within the Large Magellanic Cloud.