Trans Kids Wrap-Up

The media onslaught on the trans kids issue continued for a few days after my last post on the subject. I had intended to say more about it at the time, but other things got in the way. I’m coming back to it now because there are a couple of important points I wanted to make.

First up, when you are reading any of these “debate” articles in which a journalist presents what appears to be two sides of the argument, always look for who gets the last word, because that is almost certainly the side that the journalist wants you to think “won” the “debate”. The article will probably be structured to lead you to that conclusion.

As an example, check out this piece from the Telegraph which purports to give advice to parents whose kids exhibit gender-variant behavior. The articles talks to Mermaids and a gender specialist, but gives a lot of space, and the last word, to one Linda Blair, a clinical psychologist, who encourages parents not to “overreact” — the journalist’s word, not hers.

As I noted in my post on the Victoria Derbyshire program, around 75% of the kids who see doctors for gender variance issues do indeed “grow out of it”. However, that leaves 25% who do not. Slowly but surely, the gender specialists are learning to tell who needs more help and who doesn’t, but the kids’ own testimony is found to be a strong indicator of behavior. The more insistent a child is that they are the “wrong” gender, the more likely they are to need to transition later in life.

The article states (without quote marks so I am assuming these are the words of the journalist, Radhika Sanghani):

However, the most important thing for parents to remember is that there are no real ‘warning signs’ their child will become transgender or transsexual.

This is flat out wrong.

Furthermore, consider this scenario: suppose your child exhibited possible signs of a dangerous disease. There’s a 75% chance that it is a false alarm, but a 25% chance that there is something seriously wrong which, if it is not treated in time, could lead to death, and at best lifelong disfigurement. What would you think of someone who advised you not to overreact, and to wait and see if the child recovered on their own?

The other piece of coverage I wanted to point you at is an episode of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. It is probably gone from iPlayer by now, but there is a transcript available here.

Before reading that, however, you might want to check out this blog post by CN Lester which explains how the Woman’s Hour staff tried to recruit CN to be the anti-trans person in a debate on the validity of treating trans kids. There’s little doubt that Woman’s Hour intended to run a “debate” show, and that they wanted the anti-trans side to win.

And if you need further evidence, go and read the transcript and pay close attention to the questions that Jenni Murray poses.

The eventual show had the anti side taken by Finn MacKay, who happens to have just written a book on radical feminism. Because there’s nothing quite like arguing against someone’s right to exist when you have a book to promote, right? Finn is a lecturer at the University of the West of England in Bristol. Doubtless our paths will cross at some point.

Actually, almost everything that Finn says on the program is stuff I agree with. Jenni Murray is much more obviously anti-trans. However, the program is presented in such a way as to suggest that parents who take their kids to a gender clinic are obsessed with a need for those kids to conform to the gender binary. Michelle Bridgman of Gendered Intelligence does her best to counter this idea, but she isn’t allowed much space to explain.

The truth of the matter is that trans people have waged a long and exhausting campaign against the medical establishment to try to prevent them from forcing gender-normative behavior upon us. Being trans isn’t about sexuality, and it isn’t about gender performance either. If all someone wants to do is wear pretty dresses, that person will be happy to go through life as a cross-dresser. They don’t need medical transition, and they should not be encouraged to seek it. Nor is someone who does transition medically required to be gender-stereotypical in their behavior afterwards. Presenting trans people as being obsessed with being gender conformant is just one of the lies that radical feminists tell about us.

As for kids, it can be hard to tell which way they will go, but gender specialists are getting better at recognizing who needs help. In the meantime treatment is carefully staged so as to give the kids every opportunity to back out. For those that don’t, there is increasing clinical evidence that the use of hormone blockers provides significant benefits.

The medical evidence is very clear. And yet journalists persist in scare-mongering and arguing that trans people should be denied treatment. What’s worse is that they do this for “entertainment”.

Posted in Feminism, Gender, Journalism | Leave a comment

Puppygate – Winners and Losers

What a big HugoThat image is from issue #70 of Doom Patrol, published by Vertigo in 1993 and written by Rachel Pollack. The woman in the frog mask is Kate Godwin, a.k.a. Coagula, a trans woman superhero. The words are, of course, mine. If you’d like to know more about the villain, Codpiece, or indeed Coagula, that issue is available on Comixology.

I’m using that as an illustration to remind people that angry, entitled white men are by no means new. Indeed, if you want an even better illustration of the type, go and read Chip Delany’s Triton. Bron is possibly the ur-MRA character, though he does come up with a far more inventive solution to his inability to get laid.

As to this Puppygate thing, let’s see if I have understood it properly.

Postulate: for the past two decades the Hugo Awards have been controlled by an evil cabal of commie, pinko, faggot feminists led by Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. They use their power over the SF&F industry to ensure that the commie, pinko, faggot feminist writers they publish via Tor Books dominate the Hugos.

Fact: John C. Wright is published by Tor Books.

Fact: This year John C. Wright has five works as Hugo finalists.

Q.E.D..

Or maybe not. I don’t want to go through the whole Puppy 101 here. If you want details, Mike Glyer has them (and he deserves to be a finalist for the Fan Writer Hugo again next year for the sterling work he is doing keeping up with the torrent of comment).

Actually the whole thing is a bit of a mystery to me, because for the past five years or so I’ve heard little save how the Hugos are a conspiracy run by an evil right wing cabal headed by Old White Men such as Kevin and myself. It is actually a bit of a relief to be told that we are commie, pinko, faggot feminists after all.

By the way, please do remember those accusations. Lots of people are weighing in on the Puppygate issue. They all seem to have advice as to what you, the voters, should do about it. Before taking their advice, do bear in mind what they have said about the Hugos in the past. If they are the sort of person who has dissed the Hugos at every possible opportunity, and they are now telling you that the only thing to do is adopt a scorched earth policy and kill off the awards completely, you might want to be a bit suspicious about their advice.

For most of us, however, the Hugos are a thing that we have some affection for, and Puppygate has clearly got people riled up. I must admit that from my point of view the constant carping, not to mention outright greed, of some people claiming to push a diversity agenda had totally put me off. I simply couldn’t be bothered with all of that nonsense anymore. Puppygate, however, has awoken something interesting in fandom. Right now I am more optimistic about the Hugos than I have been for a long time. Let me explain.

The title of this post was inspired by a podcast that Kevin guested on. One of the hosts of the show was complaining that, no matter what fandom did in response to Puppygate, VD was bound to win. I thought that was wrong, so I started thinking about who the winners and losers were in all of this.

The most obvious losers are, of course, Correia and Torgersen. Firstly they have been portrayed in large numbers of articles all over the mainstream media as a couple of bad losers who, when they didn’t get the share of the Hugo cake they felt they were entitled to, invited a bunch of thugs (VD and GamerGate) to come and piss all over the cake so that no one could have it. Secondly, as has been pointed out by many people, they have been totally pwned by VD. And they daren’t try to dissociate themselves from him too strongly because if they do he’ll come after them next.

Some other authors are losers, of course. There are some fine works that could have been finalists for this year’s Hugos had not the Puppies intervened. But then again every year there are far more fine works that are not finalists than fine works that are. The Hugos are a very tough contest, especially in the fiction categories. Doing good work is not a guarantee of a rocket. That, of course, is a point that appears to have escaped the Puppies. It must be so sad when someone takes the silver spoon of patriarchy out of your mouth and forces you to compete with everyone else, no matter how brown, female or queer they might be.

Has fandom lost? Well obviously if VD and his pals win a bunch of Hugos then we will have done this year. But the final ballot hasn’t happened yet. I understand that Sasquan took an additional 1350 supporting memberships in the two days after the Hugo finalists were announced. I suspect that more memberships are still being bought. Sasquan is on course to be the first Worldcon ever to have more supporting memberships than attending, and probably the third largest Worldcon ever. Some people, I know, are convinced that all of those new members are VD loyalists who will vote as he directs. Personally I’m not so sure.

It’s not just those 1350 or so new members (presumably all voters) that we need to think about either. Given the way that nominating eligibility works (members of last year, this year and next year’s Worldcon), there must have been at least 12,000 people eligible to nominate. Only 2,122 people actually did so. And in the Puppy-dominated short fiction categories the largest number of nominating ballots was 1,174.

What would have happened if all 12,000 eligible WSFS members had cast nominating ballots? Well in Novel, where there were 1,827 ballots cast, three non-Puppy works became finalists.

It is certainly true that a small number of people voting for a slate has far more influence on the nominating ballot than a larger number of people voting independently. But there is a limit. With enough people voting, even a slate becomes less effective.

So my first point is this: VD didn’t win the Hugos, we (collectively) gave them to him by failing to use our votes. Obviously there are good reasons why people don’t participate even though they have the right to do so, but if we want to fix the Puppy problem one of our main priorities ought to be to increase the level of participation in Hugo voting. I do, as you might expect, have ideas about how to do that, which I’ll address in a later post. For now, however, fannish outrage at Puppygate is doing a fine job of encouraging people to vote.

My second point, of course, is that if enough of us vote in the final ballot then he won’t win that either.

I understand that VD has threatened that if he doesn’t win the Hugos this year he’ll come back harder next year. Well, let him try. How many loyal followers does he have? A few hundred, at most, I suspect. There are lots more people who enjoy conservative-themed fiction, but I’m pretty sure that most of them have discerning taste.

There is, I understand, a great deal of debate about how to vote in the final ballot. Do we vote as normal? Do we put known Puppies below No Award? Do we put everyone on the Puppy slates below No Award? Or do we vote No Award for everything?

Well, your vote belongs to you. How you use it is up to you, not to anyone claiming to be an arbiter of fannish morality. All I can say is what I’m intending to do.

I’ll start by noting that there is one category (Fan Artist) for which the puppies didn’t put up a single candidate. There is the possibility of the first ever Finnish winner of a Hugo Award. There are other deserving candidates too (hi Spring!). I’m certainly voting in this one.

There are some really good works in Novel and Graphic Novel too, and anyone who thinks I am forgoing the opportunity to vote for Groot and Rocket has got another think coming (though actually I’ll probably put Winter Soldier first because it is a seriously good film). In Fancast I’m torn between my Aussie pals, Alex, Alisa & Tansy, and Bristol’s local heroes, Emma & Pete.

I’m not going to go through all of the categories in detail, but I do want to note that just because something was on a Puppy slate it doesn’t mean that it didn’t deserve a nomination in its own right. Guardians of the Galaxy was a Puppy nominee, despite the fact that the principal villain, Ronan the Accuser, is a right-wing religious fanatic who wants to kill off everyone he deems morally inferior. I have been constantly surprised that Jim Butcher hasn’t appeared on Hugo ballots, given how many books he sells, and he was a Guest of Honour at this year’s Eastercon.

Ronan judges the Hugos

Then again, No Award is available as an option if you think that a work is genuinely not Hugo material, or doesn’t deserve to be on the Hugo ballot for some other reason. I may well be using it. John C. Wright, sadly, has not got better through his career. Some of you might remember what I thought of him in the days when he was the Great White Hope of Libertarian SF.

I understand that VD claims he will have won if he is beaten by No Award because that will “prove” that the results are fixed. The believability of such a claim will depend a lot on how many people vote.

By the way, Puppies, when I first started getting nominated for Hugos, a whole bunch of angry people from Fanzine Fandom started going on about how I had cheated by using immoral campaigning tactics, how I should have been ruled ineligible anyway, and that there should be a campaign to place me below No Award. I was even officially blacklisted from programming at the 2004 Worldcon. I won Fanzine that year, and a rant denouncing my win was put on the Worldcon’s official website1. Some of them, I think, are still demanding that the “Hugo Committee” correct the results and remove my wins from the record. Frankly, you Puppies are amateurs when it comes to being hated by people who think they own fandom.

I like to think that I won because the voters liked what I was doing. However, I have learned from the latest Galactic Suburbia that, according to Puppy supporters, an Evil Feminist can only win a Hugo if she has a “glittery hoo ha”. A little Googling revealed this means that the poor male members of Worldcon were so desperate to have sex with me that they voted me four Hugos even though I didn’t deserve them. I must admit that I hadn’t noticed this level of general lust, but my ego has benefitted significantly from the discovery.

Given the number of people voting, I am fairly confident that there will be some very fine winners of Hugo Awards this year. There will also be some results I disagree with, but then again the works I nominate rarely become finalists so I am used to that. People need to remember that if some Hugos are won by very popular works that they don’t particularly like, that does not mean that the awards are “broken”.

The real winners of Puppygate, however, are science fiction, and the Hugo Awards themselves.

Why? Well to start with look at all of the press coverage we have got. It is still going on now, more than two weeks after the finalists were announced. No amount of money could have bought that level of attention.

What’s more, most of the coverage is broadly sympathetic. The message has been that there are awards for science fiction that are deeply loved by fans and authors alike, and that those awards have been hijacked by a group of right wing fanatics. A lot of the coverage has explained that diversity has been increasing in the SF&F community, and that this is why a bunch of bigots are so angry.

If that wasn’t enough, we have a whole bunch of top authors writing about their support for the Hugos, and we have hundreds, possibly thousands, of fans signing up to vote.

Thanks Puppies, there’s no way we could have managed all of this without you.

Finally, lots of people have been talking about the need for major change in how the Hugos are run. Normally the WSFS Business Meeting is viewed as a massive snore-fest. This year the eyes of the world will be upon it. Obviously Kevin has a huge responsibility as Chair of the meeting, but I have every confidence in his ability to do a brilliant job. The end result could be a number of really valuable changes that will make the awards much more relevant.

What those changes should be will be the subject of a later post.

I’m closing comments on this, mainly because I don’t have the time to deal with the war that is likely to erupt in the comments if I don’t. There are plenty of other places where partisans can throw insults at each other. If you have genuine questions for me, I’m not that hard to find.

(1) Thanks again to con chair, Deb Geisler, for ordering the web team to take it down, though the matter should never have got that far up the chain of command.

Posted in Awards, Fandom, Feminism | 2 Comments

Book Review – Signal to Noise

Signal to Noise - Silvia Moreno-GarciaHere’s another book review for you. I owe Gary Wolfe and Jonathan Strahan for this one, because I would never have even noticed it without them. I’m really pleased that they talked about it, because it is a lovely book.

It has a lovely Eric Mohr cover as well, which is why I’m providing a bigger version of it here than the one in the review. I really must remember Eric on next year’s Hugo ballot because he does great work.

Anyway, the book. The short version is that Signal to Noise is a love story between two geeky teenagers set in Mexico City in 1988, with magic. However, things don’t finally get sorted out until they meet again in 2009. Gary said in his review in Locus that it is not a genre YA story, despite the teenage protagonists, and I tend to agree with him. It is, however, well worth reading. My review can be found here.

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That’s How To Do A Book Launch

Donut Tree
Yeah, that’s a donut tree, fruiting with strawberries. Sarah Hilary does book launches in style.

Congratulations to all involved, especially Lydia who made the donuts and the tree. A good time was had by all. And now I am off to read more of Sarah’s new novel, because it is gripping.

No Other Darkness, y’all. It is good stuff. I’ll be talking to Sarah about it on the radio on May 6th.

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Evil Is As Evil Looks

Dark Queen
Sometimes the Covet cosplay events are really easy, because I just channel myself. Case in point, we were asked to style a look for the Dark Queen of the Underworld. Here I am, contemplating sacrificing puppies.

By the way, that look is, of course, Hel. I did notice that someone else in the game did a passable attempt at Ereshkigal, but there was no skull jewelry available so it didn’t quite work.

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Stories for Chip

Here’s the latest crowdfunding project that you should be following. It is an anthology called Stories for Chip. It is being published by Bill Campbell’s Rosarium Press — the same people who did the Mothership anthology — and it is chock full of great contributors. Plus, it is all dedicated to the fabulous Samuel R. Delany (Chip to his friends).

Contributors to the book include: Geoff Ryman, Nalo Hopkinson, Eileen Gunn, Nick Harkaway, Hal Duncan, Michael Swanwick, Fábio Fernandes, Ellen Kushner and Junot Díaz. There’s also a story in the book by my friend Roz Clarke, which I am very happy about.

For further details, and to back the project, see Indiegogo.

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Well That Was Fun

Last night’s BristolCon Fringe open mic night went very well, I thought. And that’s despite Roz having to rush off early to look after her new puppy and leaving me to host the event.

We note that the new puppy is most definitely not sad, nor rabid. He may be misogynist like Alisa’s puppy. Roz hasn’t had him long enough to find out yet.

Anyway, there were readings. Pete Sutton managed five stories in five minutes; Tom Parker brought a deadly prop; Justin Newland wiped out the whole of Clifton with bubonic plague; Jo Hall went boxing with an alien lizard; and I killed off King James I.

There were many other readings as well. Special mention should go to our latest Polish import, Cord. Firstly he managed to live stream the event over his phone to friends in Poland for part of the evening. And he spent the rest of the time busily translating a story he had written from Polish into English so he could perform it for us. It ended up being one of the best pieces of the night.

Podcasts will follow in due course, but first I need to finish last months…

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Fringe Open Mic Tonight

BristolCon Fringe is having an open mic event tonight. Everyone is welcome to come along and read, but only for 5 minutes. I’ll be reading a bit from a story I wanted to do for Long Hidden but ended up not submitting because the characters were demanding far more space than the submission requirements allowed.

As usual the event will start at 7.30pm in the Shakespeare Tavern on Prince Street. I hope to see a lot of you there.

Podcasts of last month (with Paul Cornell) coming soon, I promise.

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Write Like a Grrrl Comes to Bristol

The fine folks at For Books Sake will be running a one-day intensive fiction-writing workshop in Bristol on June 20th. At £80 it is quite expensive, but I’ve heard really good things about the longer version of the course. Also I am well disposed towards any women-only event that says it is “open to self-identifying women of all ages”. Do let me know if you decide to go.

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Just Another Day

As those of you who are on social media will have noticed, yesterday was my birthday. It always weirds me out the way such things work these days. Facebook, in particular, sends me a couple of hundred birthday wishes, many of them from people I don’t know and have probably never even met. I was intending to go through them all today, but I’ve discovered that FB only lets you see the few dozen most recent posts. All very strange. Thanks very much, everyone, and my apologies for not responding personally.

Other than that, it was just another day. I had a meeting in Bristol that I had to go to. A coordination group for local trans communities and service providers. However, I did manage to call into the fine fellows at Independent Spirit and pick up a little something. It was rather nice, though I could probably have done with someone to share it with.

Meanwhile, back to work.

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My Golden Angel

Golden Angel


The latest cosplay-themed contest in Covet Fashion to come back from judging is Golden Angel. While I was putting the outfit together I realized that the model I had in mind to wear it was Laverne Cox. Here she is, doing me proud.

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Reclaiming Words at Bath Uni

Last night I was an invited panelist at a meeting of the Bath University LGBT+ Group. It was an intersectional event, and the panel includes representatives from the university’s race and gender equality groups (though not a disability activist, which was a shame). The panel was part of a campaign the LGBT+ group is running called “That’s So Straight”, which aims to raise awareness of the use of “gay” to mean “bad”.

The theme of the panel was reclaiming words. Should we, the panelists were asked, use words such as C*nt, N*gger, F*ggot, Tr*nny and so on when they are still viewed as offensive by many members of our respective communities? It was a wide-ranging and interesting discussion, and we ended up mostly agreeing that reclaiming words was a good thing, but with significant reservations.

Chloe for the gender equality group made the good point that the offensiveness of words is very much dependent on power structures. Calling a man a pussy is offensive in a way that calling a woman a dick will never be.

Miada for the race equality group noted that word reclamation is generally led by young people, and the elders may not always be happy about what they are doing. I noted that a lot of older LGBT folk, especially gay men, are very upset about the reclamation of queer.

For my own part I described how tr*nny is generally viewed as offensive by much of the trans community, but is a beloved nickname for many cross-dressers.

I also opined that, due to the games played on social media, the whole idea of offensive words has pretty much jumped the shark. When you have a group who refuse to accept any term for people who are not trans other than “normal people”, and reject anything else as a slur, it becomes very difficult to talk about trans issues. Also I see quite a lot of people on Twitter who proudly have SJW as part of their handles, while another sizeable group is running around wailing, “SJW is a slur, how dare you call me that!”.

It is a difficult issue. On the one hand I profoundly distrust the policing of language. On the other hand, hate speech exists, and so does carelessness. I noted, that the list of words people had suggested to use to mean “bad” instead of “gay” included “lame”. Some of the gay guys actually defended that, which is why I wish there had been a disability activist there.

At the end of the panel we talked about words we would like to reclaim. My own suggestion was “Radical Feminist”, which I would like to mean something other than an angry bigot who spends all her time policing other women’s behavior, allies with the likes of GamerGate, and thinks that the need for the extermination of trans women is the most important issue facing feminists today. My thanks to people on Twitter who sent in their suggestions. Special thanks to Lee Wind who suggested reclaiming the term “family values”, and to Gili Bar-Hillel who wants to reclaim the word “puppy”.

My thanks to Ellen Edenbrow for inviting me and chairing the panel so well, and to all of my fellow panelists.

Posted in Feminism | 2 Comments

Juliet Interviewed

A little bit of Wizard’s Tower news. The fabulous Juliet E. McKenna has been interviewed by The Skiffy and Fanty Show. According to the blurb she talks about, “her work, politics and their influence, her experience with historical research, and feminism”. I’m looking forward to listening to it.

Posted in Podcasts, Wizard's Tower | 2 Comments

Reviewers Wanted

I’ve had two requests today from people who are looking for book reviewers, so I am passing them on.

First up is a new venture called Shoreline of Infinity. It is a new magazine based in Scotland. They plan to publish fiction as well, and of course they are looking for art. They appear to be paying minimal rates for fiction and art, and nothing for reviews. The magazine will be published in ebook formats, and in print, and you can pre-order issue #1 for £2.50, or the first five issues for £10.

Also I have email from SF2 Concatenation which is a very long-established webzine. They are looking to expand their list of reviewers. They do ask that you live in the UK, presumably because they need to post you books. Again there is no pay.

Neither of these publications is on the list of venues surveyed by the Strange Horizons Count, but they might be in future years. In any case, the more reviews that are written by people who are not straight cis white men the better. If you fancy trying your hand at reviewing, why not give one of these venues a try.

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Cersi is a Winner

Cersi


Every so often Covet Fashion has what are essentially cosplay competitions, in that you have to style a look from fiction. This week, to coincide with the start of the new series of Game of Thrones, they asked us to design an outfit for a ruthless queen of a fantasy kingdom. They weren’t allowed to use the name, of course, but from the background image it was pretty clear which fantasy kingdom they had in mind.

Naturally I had to do Cersi. The dress isn’t really very queenly, but as I’m new to the game I haven’t accumulated many ballgowns and can’t really afford to buy one. However, I had won a green one in a previous contest so I went with it. I’m really pleased with the choice of makeup. I think it makes our girl look suitably villainous yet still very pretty. And she got more than 4 stars, which means she won a prize for me.

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Blade Runner – Flash Fiction

In the future, in a world not unlike The Culture, gender transitions are absolute. Biological science has advanced to the point at which they can re-program your entire body, even editing your chromosomes. Of course you do still want to be the same person, so the brain structure is not changed. Only the cell internals are edited, not the connections. Your skills and memories will still be intact.

On a planet called Greer they have invented a psychometric test designed to detect memories of having lived in a gender other than that which your body currently manifests. It is the only known way of telling if someone is trans or not. It is known as the Raymond-Bindel test. The people of Greer employ an elite cadre of assassins whose job it is to use this test to hunt down trans people and kill them.

They do not call this execution.

They call it, “a cure”.

Posted in Fiction, Gender, Movies | 1 Comment

The Monet Dress

Monet dress


Years ago, when I had money (because I was still trying to pretend to be a man), I used to buy magazines like Cosmo and Marie Claire and study the fashion pages. I even, for a while, wrote a fashion column for the Beaumont Society magazine. It was probably quite bad. Post transition, I found that I was much better at writing about books than about clothes, and in any case fashion is a young woman’s game. However, playing Covet Fashion has re-kindled my interest. It turns out that while you can take the fashionista out of the journalist for a while, you can’t take the journalist out of the fashionista. Hence this article.

Two of the best scores I have had in the game thus far have involved the same dress. You can see the outfits above. The one on the left is for a tea party, and the one on the right for going shopping in Barcelona. They are very similar, but also have some important differences.

The hair difference is an artifact of the game. When I did the tea party outfit I had only just started playing. Since then I have leveled up and now have access to a wider range of hairstyles. The one on the right, while not exactly like my own hair, is pretty much what I’m aiming for, and can more or less achieve if I devote enough time and styling product to it.

The other differences are deliberate. The pink shoes in the tea party outfit keep it feeling light and summery. In the shopping outfit the black shoes and the belt add a sharper edge for impressing the staff in designer clothes shops. And there’s the big tote bag to carry all of my purchases.

The dress in question is this one by Kaii. At $130 it is fairly reasonable for designer wear. IMHO it looks much better on my dark-haired model than on the blonde on the Kaii website. But what if I wanted this look for myself? Well my hair isn’t that dark either. More importantly I’d have to lose about 5 inches off my waist to fit into the largest size that Kaii has available. I could probably do with losing most of that, but that’s a separate story.

On the other hand, that style of dress is very much in this spring. For example, there’s this one from Next. It has roughly the same silhouette (sleeves obviously excepted), and the same impressionist aesthetic. It is also only £25, and is available in sizes well beyond what I need.

So yeah, that’s how I’m amusing myself these days. I can assure you, it is much more fun than getting into online fights, which is what lots of other people I know seem to be doing.

Posted in Clothes | 1 Comment

Exploring Gender Fluidity through Science Fiction and Fantasy

This talk is full of spoilers for the various books that are discussed.

The audio track is a bit quiet, but I’m playing it through speakers and it is clear enough.

My thanks again to the University of Liverpool, Professor Beer, the Flagship Group, the Liverpool University Library, and the SF Foundation for making this talk possible. The official page for the talk on the University website is here, and they may prefer you to leave any comments there.

Posted in Gender, Science Fiction | 4 Comments

Cats 1 – 0 Sharks

Bobcat catches shark


That is one badass bobcat.

Full story at National Geographic.

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A Report On My Trans History Talk

Many thanks to Katie Herring for this lovely write-up of my “Potted History of Gender Variance” talk. It is always heartwarming when people enjoy something you have done.

Chupchikoni the trans-male penguin is probably my favorite character from the talk as well. However, I have a soft spot for the Quariwarmi, who were trans Inca priests, and I really want to know more about their trans god, Chuqui Chinchay, who was apparently known as The Rainbow Jaguar. I also want to know a lot more about Tuwais, the non-binary singer who founded Early Arabic Classical music.

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