Television

All posts in the Television category

Another One Bites the Dust, why? RIP #chrisieedkins trans role model, parent, performer

Published June 14, 2013 by Katy J Went
Another One Bites the Dust, why? 😦 Chrisie Edkins, in many ways a confident trans role model and advocate, has passed away, circumstances as yet undisclosed. [update: it now appears this was suicide]

“Chrisie passed away in the early hours of Monday 12th June. There are no further details at this time. Her family have requested a period of time to privately mourn and grieve for their loss, after which, they will provide details of the funeral arrangements along with ways her friends and supporters can pay their respects”

Chrisie was a popular performer at many Prides including London 08/09, as well as being signed by modelling agencies Model Moi and All Image Solutions. This year she had offered to perform free at Prides worldwide.

She was nominated for inclusion in the International Transgender Historical Society’s Hall of Fame 2012/13 and 2013/14 classes.

She had appeared on the ITV This Morning and Trisha shows to talk about her transition and promote trans awareness.

Though brave, confident and transparent about her past life, and having been reported on in the Daily Mail and Echo, she was nonetheless as human and upset as the rest of us when media coverage got it wrong and portrayed her as something she was not.

Last year she tweeted:

“What makes life so good… knowing it ends so make the most of it as dead is on only certain thing.” (May 2012)

Here in the UK over a third of trans folk attempt to take their own lives, 80% think about doing so. In other countries such as Northern and Southern America those figures are higher still and transwomen in some countries are 49x more likely to get HIV. This week Greece has been rounding up transwomen on the pretext of sexual health and prostitution checks as if it were a fascist state of the late 1930s.Mental health issues will affect 1-in-4 of us, as I know myself, having attempted suicide on 3 occasions. Being trans may not be a mental illness but living with it can make you ill, and some choose the difficult path of exiting this world. Having lost 2 trans friends in the last year or so to unexpected physical illness, the loss is felt no less keenly, whatever the cause and my thoughts are with the family members left behind.To every trans person, or anyone else living a lie not a life, carpe diem, seize the day, enjoy the present, live life to the full, who nobody knows what tomorrow may bring.

RIP Chrisie x #chrisieedkins

PostScript
Some folk have thought it insensitive to use Another One Bites the Dust in the title, undeniably, it is. Death is offensive, insensitive, untimely, taboo and no respecter of persons. Chrisie’s death was a shock to me as the third trans friend’s death in 18 months. Less than 15 months ago was my third suicide attempt. Chrisie was a performed and singer, I can’t ask her now whether she’d appreciate the Queen song reference. That’s death for you!

Freddie Mercury himself was taken before his time. I was at Queen’s last ever full line-up concert at Knebworth in 1986 where a fan climbed a lighting rig tower to get a better view, just 2m from me, fell off and landed on another annoyed fan who stabbed him. The delay getting through the 120,000 strong crown led to his death. We were all held back for hours afterwards whilst the police looked for and eventually arrested 4 men.

I had a “suicide” playlist on my iPod – now renamed “depressed” as some were offended by it! Bohemian Rhapsody even appears on it based upon the lines, “I sometimes wish I’d never been born at all” which I listened to on repeat before one suicide attempt 4 years ago.  Tears for Fears, Mad World, “The dreams in which I’m dyin’ / Are the best I’ve ever had” also appears.

Advertisements

Happily Partnered – Gay Marriage

Published May 20, 2008 by Katy J Went

This month California has become only the second state in the US, after Massachusetts, to legalise same-sex marriage. California’s Supreme Court said the “right to form a family relationship” applied to all Californians regardless of sexuality. Two media couples will be the first to tie the knot. Ellen DeGeneres swiftly announced plans to marry her girlfriend and fellow actress Portia de Rossi.

Not content with the first ever interracial screen kiss between Kirk and Uhuru, now Star Trek‘s Mr Sulu, the veteran actor, George Takei, is to marry his partner of 20 years. Takei also appears in the current hit TV show Heroes.

Contrast this with the hypocritical stance of Iran which countenances sex change surgery but not gay partnerships. Just today, the British Home office ruled that a gay Iranian teenager who might have been executed if he had been sent home, could be granted asylum in the UK. Mehdi Kazemi, 19, came to London as a student in 2005, but subsequently discovered his boyfriend back in Iran had been arrested for being homosexual, charged with sodomy and hanged. Over the last 30 years, it has been estimated that some 4000+ gay people have been executed in Iran.

In the UK and elsewhere transsexual people formerly had to divorce before being allowed a sex change as otherwise their gender reassignment would have led to a same sex marriage. Perhaps now gay partnerships and trans marriages will be allowed to stay together.

Marriage is part legal contract and part social construct. In some churches and religions it is also a sacred covenant or even sacrament. Biblically, however, the earliest marriages were simpler affairs. Adam and Eve were thrown together, their children obliged to marry their siblings. Abraham took his maid as a second wife, Isaac married Rebecca by just entering his tent. King David and Solomon had multiple wives and concubines. God married, divorced and remarried, Israel many times in the language and writings of the biblical prophets.

At the end of the day all human interaction involves relating and hence relationships. Not all relationships are sexual, and not all those that are sexual involve penetration (sex can be defined by many means). Similarly, not all partnerships are exclusive in business, social or romantic contexts.

If marriage is essentially legal and social only then it should be available to all. If there are religious objections they should be dealt within their communities, it is no business of the state. If relationships and partnerships, married or otherwise, are about love rather than procreation then what has gender to do with it?

Metrosexual gay sex change Dr Who?

Published April 7, 2008 by Katy J Went

Looking for an Excuse to write about Doctor Who
After watching the opening episode of series 4 of the 21st century Doctor Who, I wondered this morning was there any way I could write about it, legitimately, in a transgendering blog?

Given that the episode referred to cute friendly aliens called Adipose, “walk away” fatty creatures, I could write about the transgendering person’s desire for weight loss, but that is germane to us all, though it can become as much an obsession for the TG as for an overweight dieter when seeking that elusive society franchised female form. Personally, having a metabolism that burns very effectively I just want fat redistribution, tits and hips, rather than tum and bum, achieved as much through hormonal adjustment as exercise.

Doctors must be men

That, though, would be a lame excuse to write about Dr Who. I am often being mistaken for my ex wife because her title was Dr, and society makes an assumption on the phone or by letter that a Dr is the male of the house. Indeed, last week a caller assumed I was her, then apologised saying “of course I should have realised you were male by your voice”, I playfully pointed out another presumption on the caller’s part, and revealed I was TG and therefore the depth of my voice said nothing about my gender.

That was akin to O2 being embarrassed to offer me the only replacement mobile phone they had in stock as it was pink, colour prejudice is still with us as I gave them a history lesson on pink and blue (formerly the Victorians considered pink a boys’ colour and blue for girls) and a gender awareness talk before delightfully accepting their offer and calling it a divine joke. To add to the humour the saleswoman’s name was Divine!

But, no, (one shouldn’t start a sentence with a conjunction…but – grammar on the web is evolving) there was no need, for Russell T Davies and The Sunday Telegraph handed me all the excuse I needed on a plate. An article charted the increasing sexist sexiness of the Doctor’s assistants over time including Leela, Romana and Peri, and more recently Rose and Martha. This is the first time in recent history that with Catherine Tate there has been no sexual frisson between the characters, indeed she finds the idea of being attracted to an alien man with two hearts repulsive.

Davies, the writer, added that there was no chance of a female incarnation of the Doctor, for, “It would be awkward in the family home, with parents having to explain the sex change [italics added]. I think a lot of parents would be embarrassed.”

Gay, Metrosexual, Flamboyant Clothing

The same day The Sunday Times ran an interview with Dr Who actor David Tennant, describing his upbringing with Christian parents, his father is a Church of Scotland minister, and his birth into acting. The relevance to this blog is the gendered and sexuality assumptions around his mannerisms and wardrobe, his “flamboyant take on clothes”, i.e., that he must be gay, indeed the article is headed “It’s ok to think the Doctor is gay, says David Tennant“.

Here’s a major snippet of the interview:

he’s very organised. When we lived together I was always teasing him about his alphabetised CDs, for example.

Still single (the tabloids have, usually erroneously, linked him with various women, including Kylie Minogue), David is pretty careful in all his choices. The only area in which he goes positively mad is in his choice of clothes. In fact his wardrobe can be very flamboyant, which is why those who know him quickly gave him the monicker of “metrosexual”.

In the early days many of my friends (principally male, I’ll admit), thought that he must be gay. “He has to be – you’re his best friend, and look at the way he dresses,” they’d protest.

Leaving aside the suggestion that an association with me reflects on a man’s sexuality, I had to break it to them that just because a guy wears a red velvet suit and is able to form a close friendship with a woman he isn’t sleeping with doesn’t necessarily mean he’s homosexual.

David, meanwhile, took all this teasing in his stride; he is so unmacho and fair-minded that the speculation about his sexuality never bothered him . “Why would it?” he’d say. Now, that’s what I call a real metrosexual.

Of course, the BBC2 spin-off series Torchwood is even more bisexually rebellious, perhaps even polysexual or pansexual if one’s includes dalliances with aliens. John Barrowman, the lead actor, playing Captain Jack, is himself like the writer Russell T Davies, openly gay. All the characters in the 5 person team, including and especially Captain Jack, have same gendered as well as opposite sexed encounters.

Transgender on TV

Published April 2, 2008 by Katy J Went

Transgender and transvestitism are becoming more ok on the appropriately abbreviated TV. In the last month alone I have caught the following shows.

BBC2 ran a programme on Transsexuals in Iran, watched by 1.7 million UK viewers, portraying how this Islamic country allows gender change but not homosexuality. More sex change operations are carried out there than anywhere apart from Thailand. Admittedly, for some it seemed the only way to have a legal gay relationship, and others have suggested that it is part of an Iranian program to stamp out homosexuality. Crossdressing is only allowed if you are scheduled for surgery, hence transvestitism is illegal but transsexuality ok. Triple standards.

C4’s Cutting Edge documentary Sex Change Soldier aired on 20 March 2008. Jan Hamilton, formerly Captain Ian Hamilton was a British paratrooper officer who served in the Gulf War and Afghanistan. S/he is the first British Army officer to complete gender reassignment but was dismissed from the army and cut off from her family. (Wiki)

Sexcetera ran episodes on shemale parties and visits to Fairplay Imaging‘s crossdressing services on Staten Island, NY.

Married US senator to be William Baldwin cannot end his affair and love for his transgender shemale lover in Dirty Sexy Money, the new hit US show.

Gorgeous lesbian and sexily named Portia de Rossi (she changed her name at just 15 after the famed character in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice) from Sirens and Ally McBeal now appears in Arrested Development. In a currently aired episode she is passed off by her daughter Maeby as a pre-op transexual to her school chums as her mum is getting more attention than she is and trying to date one of the high school seniors.

In the same show Barry Zuckerkorn, the Bluth family attorney, played by the Fonz, Henry Winkler is portrayed as having ambiguous sexual preferences including transvestite hookers.

Back to Portia, who wouldn’t? She is now dating Ellen DeGeneres since coming out as lesbian in 2004/5. First she feared Hollywood’s reaction then she had problems convincing anyone she was gay!

Portia de Rossi and spookily similar seeming Joely Richardson, who plays Julia McNamara coupled up as a gay relationship on Nip/Tuck in 2007, an episode about to air in the UK. Nip/Tuck creator Ryan Murphy says that was no accident “Since the show is always about the search for identity”.

Julia’s coming out to her ex-husband Sean and fellow surgeon Christian leads the men to offer vile anti-lesbian insults. Apparently,the scripts brought back some of de Rossi’s own early experiences. “It makes me remember all the people I had to come out to and how often I had to come out,” said de Rossi, “People think you just hold a press conference, but you don’t – you tell individuals. And you cross your fingers with every single person you care about, hoping that they’ll love you just the same.”