CN – This post contains discussion on racism, racist language, racist behaviour and mentions violent treatment towards people of colour.
Several months ago we booked tickets to go to MCM comiccon in London for Kai’s birthday. This Saturday (28th June) it finally arrived. So I’m going to explain the day piece by piece.
We had to chase up our tickets the day before because they hadn’t been emailed to us. We should have checked that way before, but luckily after much pestering by both myself and Kai they finally arrived Friday night. We had bought them in March!
On the way there the rail staff were pretty good in directing where to go. Well done on that. Getting off the underground wasn’t too much of a hassle.
The long walk to not even the gates to get in. What in the lord fuckery was that. It was beyond a joke. I got a quarter of the way there before my body gave up and we had to call assistance. Just to clarify, this wasn’t the queue to get in but the detour round the building
Eventually we managed to get some assistance and each staff member was so helpful until we had to get to right at the end of the whole building for the help/accessibility desk, to be rudely told that I should have got there sooner (we got rushed in) or bought priority entry because they had run out of wheel chairs and if I wanted (WANTED; WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK) I should have been able to get there sooner. As I said, we had been rushed in, and it had only just started. Eventually after much arguing we got her to take our contact details and ten mins later she apologised because there was one or two wheelchairs for “emergencies”.
Ok so after all that bullshit, we could finally look round and see bits. The venue itself isn’t that bad, its pretty big, so you can imagine how tiring it was trying to get from the main door to the access door at the end of the building, when it took about 15 mins to get to. The Excel centre is like a giant mall with big concert areas. They were filled up with stalls and things. Honestly there was lots to see.
We got to meet Shawn from storage wars whilst we were going round the centre and he was a total babe. He seemed so happy seeing eveyone.
Going round was a total nightmare if I’m honest, I couldn’t see much and I hated being wheeled around. I was so upset that my body wasn’t working and it made me really fucking depressed that I had to use the chair to get round. I was constantly bashed and no one looks where they are going. So i was often stepped over or walked across.
I spotted two different acts of cultural appropriation happening by white cosplayers who were trying to make their look more “authentic”. Its fucking gross that people think its acceptable to do that. Unfortunately until the venues tackle this, it will always happen.
There were not enough staff at the venue if I’m honest. It was a nightmare trying to find assistance. I don’t think they had thought it through that 15,000 people were even going to attend. However the staff we did manage to find (apart from the one at reception) were really nice and helpful.
We had bought a photo with Warwick Davis and after what seemed like forever, staff managed to get us to where he was, and away from the rest of the crowds. There was quite a wait, this was due to the autographs being far too over subscribed. This was a huge issue with most of the stars of the day, and that in all honestly money was thought off far more then time constraints.
When we saw him, he was ok. Wasn’t really talkative, and the photo was quite rushed, which I understand because of time. Then there was the issue of getting our photos.
It was a total fucking disaster, there was no organisation and rather then having photos straight away, you had to walk round to collect them. Some people had been waiting 3 hours just for one photo. Then we saw the photo, they had made no adjustment for the wheel chair, and it wasn’t central. It had cost us £25 and I was quite disappointed in it. We would have got two prints for both our parents, but we were not wasting another £10 on them, when we were going to have to edit them to look good.
We then had to rush back down to the end of the building to hand the wheelchair over, before we got charged £300 for the use. Luckily we got there just in time and managed to look at a few stalls before we left.
Honestly it wasn’t too bad, a lot of my issues were stemmed down to the fact that my body was fucked the whole time. A lot of issues need to be addressed with accessibility and cultural appropriation but it was ok. In October, if I go again, I will bring my own chair if I need it, and do the whole weekend because it felt so rushed.
Tldr: Ok, but could do with less racist bullshit and a little more organization.
Sunday night (31/1/16) I was given the option to go to see “Alice in Pantoland” at the Brighton Dome. I would like to thank Brendan and Jess for taking us.
Before it started I was quite worried because the last time I had seen an adult panto, I had to deal with transphobic abuse from one of the performers. Since it was a different show, I thought it would be fine though.
Never in my life have I ever said this, and I don’t think I ever will again. If you get rid of the racist, transphobic, conservative wanker writer who did the show, you might have a decent show. In just under 2 hours, this one person spouted so many immigration jokes, outdated sexist comments and of course the standard “these girls who think they are boys, you know the type walking down st James street, trying to act like a man”.
For a brief moment I thought I was back in the 1950s, because that’s where his fucking value system obviously was.
I would like to point out that the rest of the cast seemed pretty good, and I’m fully aware that the show was in memoriam for someone who had clearly spent many years of their life making people happy with adult panto. I just feel that in order to cater to a queer market, you must be progressive. Outdated racism, the “empress of China” who was both white English AND had knitting needles in her hair (Come on, I know its panto but really?) is not fucking needed. Its once again proving that providing there is ONE person of colour in a play, you can say what ever the fuck you want because being “gay” is the most oppressed fucking minority there is.
*note – that WAS sarcasm*
Now I would have just left this to it, buried it deep inside, only to flip out at them later on in the year when they decide to yet again advertise the next years performance on Brighton Both ways. But I couldn’t. Mainly because I felt that things should be addressed.
1) Racism/sexism/transphobia SHOULD NOT be part of our traditional value system. Saying its OK to do shows like this is just inappropriate, especially in the queer/lgbt community. You wouldn’t want the minstrels still going round, because that was also tradition. It was also in our history that we took over countries, murdered millions of innocent people, and brutally tortured thousands of homosexual men. But we don’t continue to do so because ITS FUCKING WRONG.
2) The sponsors were almost a who’s who list of places most queer people wouldn’t dare to step foot into now following this. If you have Poison Ivy advertising your performance, you have fucked up somewhere. Although, its not Queer friendly, its transphobic and some dodgy back door deals have happened, so actually its pretty fucking apt.
3) I’m pretty sure the next venue you host the performance might want to see the script first. The venue is trans friendly and against racism and sexism.
4) Pride/Rainbow fund! Thank you so much for being part of it. Yes you are one of the charities getting money from this. Let’s please give you a standing ovation for finally showing us where some of the money that desperate queer organisations need, is coming from. It’s being donated by people who are so offensive and backwards. Rather than actually getting involved in the real community situations, political upheavals and issues our empoverished queer community needs help in, you decide to be a part of this.
(PS – Next time, make sure you schedule in a time to moan about how I complain on social media about your ethics, rather then doing it on work time. Its fucking embarrassing and this is a PERSONAL blog, not affiliated with anyone I work with!)
Now I’m not saying that we need to get rid of panto (both regular or adult). Fuck that, I actually enjoy it. I’m saying that we need to work out what is and isn’t acceptable in our own community. If we spend millions of pounds helping cis gay men finally get the right to marry, we CANNOT just think that the fight is over. As an community we need to stop trans women of colour being murdered. We need to stop the spousal veto, and in fact most of the bullshit that goes with the GRC and the politics that goes with the gender clinics.
We need to stop women being objectified, and we need to stop thinking that immigration is not our problem, it is and we need to help.
Comedy comes in many forms, and I feel that the best comedy we can get is laughing at the people who oppress us. Not the people who are struggling to survive on a day to day basis.
Maybe next year you can write a better script and actually help out a struggling community, rather then the people who need it the least.
Its that time of year where we all go and dress up as our favourite ghosts and monsters, our fears and our loves.
It is also the time of year that I used to love as a child. The dressing up, the laughter, the candy. Oh god, the candy, my sweet tooth has never enjoyed so much candy, as when it has at Halloween. This post isn’t however about candy. Its about costumes.
There has become almost a tradition in society to allow racist, trans phobic and just inappropriate costumes to be made especially for this time of the year. And its some how allowed because its in humour.
I am going to speak now on the whole Bruce/Caitlin Jenner costume that has come out this year. Whilst impersonating celebrities has happened since the dawn of time (and often with funny as fuck results) the costume is aimed for cis men, as a way to “drag up” and make fun of transgender women. Some people may think that this is totally acceptable, and if you do, even after this post, you are part of the problem.
You see, if it was just a costume or cos play aimed at everyone to wear to just imitate a celebrity, it would be a beautiful thing. Many hours of make up, expensive dresses and fabulous vanity fair looking photos would be taken. HOWEVER THIS IS NOT THE CASE. What the costume is, and I apologise for my language right now, the costume is nothing more than a piece of fucking shit with a sash saying “Call me Caitlin”, with what looks like a drunk cis man posing stupidly.
For starters, they could have used a woman. Since, that’s how she identifies, secondly for an extra few pounds more you can buy the Bruce Jenner Olympic outfit ” To make your evening complete”
The sad thing is, is that this isn’t even going to affect Caitlin as much as you might think. The people who it will affect are trans women on poverty lines, street workers, women who regularly get abused on a daily basis because they are not “passing”. The fact they chose a man to showcase the costume shows that they never considered that (though they did consider that his dick might be too small, and packed him with extra stuffing for the costume).
When trans people try and explain that its not a joke, and that we need to stop this, they are told that they need to lighten up. That they are being far too sensitive. That they need to take a joke. The fact is, its not a joke. TRANSGENDER PEOPLE ARE BEING MURDERED BECAUSE THEY ARE TRANS! Jokes like this, are constant reminders that the world doesn’t see us for who we really are, and that we are nothing more than a breathing punchline.
ONE COMPANY WENT A STEP FURTHER. Let me introduce you to the MENS (ITS LABELED AS MENS) costume, “Tranny Granny”
I think I do not even need to explain how this is inappropriate. I think as soon as cis people use the word tranny, it speaks for itself.
This year, when you wear your outfit out, please ask yourself whether it would be offensive towards people. Whether the humour your projecting is hurting people we actually need to protect. I’m even going to extend this to not just Halloween but to general cosplay too. I have noticed a rapid increase of white people “blacking” up for a costume. You do not need to do that to make you a “better” cosplay. If you think that being racist is going to help you, it isn’t. Its just going to make you look like a racist dick.
So this year, maybe celebrate Halloween by getting a costume for fitting for the evening. Like a vampire, or a ghost. Halloween is all about the spooks people, and not an excuse to get away with being a dick. Unless that’s your actual costume, in which case, good luck with your costume.
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Content warning – Transphobic comments, racism, sexual remarks, people being dicks on the dating scene
I’m not ashamed to admit this, but I have used online dating apps and websites. Not now as I have got older, and realised I prefer human interaction, but every now and again I will look at them.
I stopped using them because they are depressing. Nothing screams that you are worthless then dating sites and apps.
You see I’m stuck with an ever lasting loop in my head. If I tell people from the start that I’m trans, I will get abuse or worse be seen as a fetish and nothing more. If I don’t, and then start talking to people, its a question of either lying to them or saying that I’m trans later on, and be accused of “lying”.
There is one app of course that goes further. Grindr. Did you know that the term “FTM” is a banned word, and it will get removed from your profile, in fact that anything that relates you to being a trans masculine / trans man will be removed quickly. However if you are a trans woman / trans feminine person , or as some users say “chick with a dick” , this is totally allowed. The fact is. Its a men only dating site, and Grindr will not allow men to post up profiles saying that they are trans men.
Secondly, the abuse you will get from that site. Ranging from “Your a woman, not a man” to “Kill yourself no one will ever love a dyke who wants to be a man” . Grindr is fully aware that this goes on, and there are countless pages dedicated to how trans men are treated on the app. They will refuse to change their settings though.
They are probably the worst, but at least they own their transphobic bullshit. There are other sites that do it blatantly and try and deny it.
As well as transphobic comments, what I hate is the racism that often comes with dating apps. I once saw “no curry, no rice” as their preference, whilst talking about what race they wanted. Also, its acceptable to write “sorry no blacks, only whites” and get away with it. YOU WOULDNT DO IT IN REAL LIFE, WHY ON THE INTERNET. I know there are many debates going on about dating racism and how it needs to be stopped, and it first needs to start with App makers refusing racist language.
Its also acceptable that you can say almost anything to a person. Like starting a conversation like “I’ve never fucked a tranny before” , and with language like that, you won’t ever. The internet has brought on this idea that you can be as disrespectful as humanly possible , but it’s OK, because you don’t actually see them. NO! ITS NOT OK.
I think that we should go back to dating face to face and stop using apps that promote a behaviour you wouldn’t want to see in real life. Or at least create apps with a better reporting and filter system
Tell me what you think of the dating scene, any online dating horror stories you want to share? Any positive interaction? Come say hi
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You know what, I’m going to say it sometimes, the trans and queer community fucking sucks. Do you know what sucks more than politics, queer politics.
Its based on a bull shit lie. Do you know what half of the community is? White angry people who claim to be allies when really they are not. Now I’m not saying being white or being angry isn’t OK. Fuck that. What’s not is OK, is that I have seen some incredibly offensive people in the queer community and they just need to leave.
There are a few people who identify as queer activists , who are white, and do not understand the issues and cultural appropriation with having their hair in dreads or corn rows. In fact they have said how they are a fashion statement more than anything. If you have chosen not to educate yourself on this, and still wear them, please vacate from the queer circles.
There are a few trans activists that REFUSE to accept non-binary folk or people who’s gender expression is beyond the basic construct of male or female. There are people who are in the trans community who refuse (or worse forget) that “they” is a legitimate alternative as a pronoun. There are also trans activists that after MONTHS of telling them not to misgendered someone who uses other pronouns, they still claim to forget, or choose not to be respectful.
To add to this point, I have heard non-binary queer people, tell other non-binary queer people, that they are not queer/non-binary enough. If you are one of these people who thinks its OK to belittle someone because what you see is “non-binary” and “queer” isn’t the way that makes you happy, then get the fuck out of my breathing space .
We do not tell someone that they are not trans enough, so what makes you think this is acceptable. Being queer isn’t about how you dress, or how your gender expression needs to be loud and out there. It doesn’t. Its about fighting oppression, something I thought we wouldn’t need to do in our own community. What we need to do is to keep ourselves educated, listen to minorities and stop oppressive systems. What we do not need to do is police someone’s gender, critique someone’s clothing or allow racist and prejudice people into spaces that are meant to be safe.