My personal blog as a 'grown-up' Goth and Romantic living in the Highlands of Scotland. I write about the places I go, the things I see and my thoughts on life as a Goth and the subculture, and things in the broader realm of the Gothic and darkly Romantic. Sometimes I write about music I like and sometimes I review things. This blog often includes architectural photography, graveyards and other images from the darker side of life.

Goth is not just about imitating each other, it is a creative movement and subculture that grew out of post-punk and is based on seeing beauty in the dark places of the world, the expression of that in Goth rock. It looks back to the various ways throughout history in which people have confronted and explored the macabre, the dark and the taboo, and as such I'm going to post about more than the just the standards of the subculture (Siouxsie, Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, et al) and look at things by people who might not consider themselves anything to do with the subculture, but have eyes for the dark places. The Gothic should not be limited by what is already within it; inspiration comes from all places, the key is to look with open eyes, listen carefully and think with an open mind..

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Today was Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day on which to remember all of those murdered or driven to suicide for being transgender. It saddens me greatly to live in a world where people will kill each other over something that is really a personal thing. 

One of my friends is a transgender woman, who I will refer to here as only Helena, for her own privacy, and she wrote this on FaceBook, and with her permission I post it here: 

Today is transgender Day of Remembrance, where we take a moment to memorialize the trans people who lost their lives as a result of transphobia, be it because of murder, or because of suicide at the result of bullying or harassment.

Statistics tell us that a person identifying as trans* is murdered once every three days. This does not include suicide or any other cause of death. The trans community is one of the most discriminated-against groups of people, much more than cis-gender LGB people are. Simply coming out with a desire to maybe transition can put a person in danger of attack, loss of friends, getting fired, getting kicked out of the home (often by their own parents), and many other things that most people will never have to worry about.   

What I ask of you is to consider all of the above, and reflect on both the long way we have come in terms of awareness and acceptance, but also the very long way we still have to go. And if you know someone whose gender identity doesn't match what is commonly accepted, be supportive. Treat them as you would treat another person. Stick up for them if they are bullied. Offer a safe space for them to retreat to if they need it. You don't have to understand every minute aspect of our struggle to understand that most of us cannot fight it without your support.

Thank you.

When it comes to those I know who have transitioned, to me, it is as if they had any other form of body modification or plastic surgery, and the only thing that is different to me is what vocabulary I use in terms of new names and pronouns/gender descriptions if I knew them by other terms previously. I guess I am someone who sees gender as very much a social construct, probably because I have never understood or fit into that construct, and therefore gender is not something very relevant to how I see others or myself, so it doesn't really matter much to me whether someone is cisgendered, genderqueer or transgendered. I understand that it is important to how other people see themselves, but that's just not an important thing to how I see them (or myself, which I have written about ::here::). 

People are people, to be judged on how they act, what they say and do, NOT on what their genitals are or what their gender is. That seems like such a basic idea - don't judge - yet it is one that seems to only just be gathering momentum in the last few decades, even after all the hard work of late 18thC and 19thC social activists and those more recently.

Sadly, not everybody comes without prejudice, hence the horrible mess in the world that makes up sexism, homophobia and transphobia - all linked in how they based in the social acceptance of behaviour and characteristics according to archaic gender roles.  Think of how much homophobia is about gay men being effeminate, or lesbian women being masculine, or much of sexism being about how women ought to be meek and caring, and men aggressive and ambitious (in very broad terms). To me, it seems boggling that people develop such intolerance and hatred, and such a lack of empathy as to hate someone to the point of being actively bullying towards them, let alone murdering them. It seems like such a disconnect from basic humanity. Even if you, personally, do not understand, are squeamish about, or dislike what someone else has chosen to do, that does not give you the right to be nasty, aggressive or rude to them. 

Treat each other with dignity and respect, allow people their own choices. If you disagree with them, disagree politely, if you have questions, ask them with sensitivity (and sometimes, if you can't figure out how to ask politely just ask a search engine - as an algorithm, it won't be offended). If someone you know is suffering, and on this day, especially those who are suffering because their gender identity or expression does not fit into the narrow bounds set down from an older world, offer them compassion and kindness. 


Please be polite and respectful. Comments containing gratuitous swearing and insults will be deleted.