No one should be celebrating trans woman today. Celebrate us as women, celebrate our achievements, everyday, any day but not one day dedicated to making the atypical quality of our foetal gestation visible.
This day is the worst.

There is no honour or pride, no shame or crime in the social stigma we carry. We cannot wash it away, only society can do that, [this means you] by affirming trans identities, allowing them self-determination and leaving them alone. Unfortunately the harder part ignoring the bilious nonsense that is puffed out in our direction like some cheap mall eau de parfum.

I am not a great petitioner. But we have a real problem on Twitter and relatively few avenues with which to explain it. So, from the top. Let’s ask Twitter to ‘address’ the proliferation of white rhetoric and the global expectation of First Amendment privilege of idealogical violence on ‘social’ platforms… again.

Why we even need another petition…

1. Twitter is where transgender community face an increasingly vocal counter-culture. It feels like it has always been so. But, as shown, it turns out the last decade’s torrent of abuse was a mere trickle.
Twitter is where I find my family, my people. My people are noisy…

A smart man said to a smart friend.. "when people talk about straight white men it’s essentializing and dehumanising and I don’t think it’s fair."

The friend replied.. "Well, exactly - that’s what happens to us all of the time; it’s just you guys aren’t used to it."

Picture of a small assistance dog called Ginny.
Picture of a small assistance dog called Ginny.
An Assistance Dog called Virginia Woof. MindDog provide “assistance dogs for people with psychiatric disability” (Image courtesy Fiona Wright)

What we mean by privilege - beyond the fact that fish can't see the water they're swimming in - is that privilege describes the compounded effect of disadvantage on others; not the unfair benefit of being born the way you are.

It's not about you, it's about the structures we have all…

What causes Social Injustice?

graphic protest poster — red fist raised with ND symbol next to text that reeds Black Disabled Lives Matter
graphic protest poster — red fist raised with ND symbol next to text that reeds Black Disabled Lives Matter
#BlackDisabledLivesMatter protest graphics by Jen White-Johnson @jtknoxroxs

What causes Social Injustice?

A. Social constructs. Structural Inequality. Systemic prejudice.

What creates those constructs?

A. Words. Language is community transmission for ideas. Ideas create Labels. Labels create Prejudice. Prejudice creates Violence.

Labels are good for identity, but bad for people. It’s not empowering to label someone unless it is necessary. It doesn’t ‘empower’, it ‘others’.

The other, or atypical, only exists once you have defined what is typical. This is privilege.

What Privilege?

A. Privilege means a 'typical' or ‘normal’ state that doesn't need definition. Something that is too obvious to explain. White folk in a white world. Men…

In a very elegant piece by Rachel Thompson for Mashable I was given the chance to think a little more deeply about an artwork I made recently regarding Trans issues and the way they are covered. The article is great : but I also wanted to share my thoughts in full.

Could you tell me a bit about the idea that prompted you to Google & print out headlines of UK media coverage of trans people?

Sure. Mainly it’s a response to the effect of framing a national conversation around ‘reasonable questions’ that primarily generate fear. I just wanted…

Another of our kooky new ‘digital’ books about old ideas via Editions at Play. The old idea is that we all see truth in our stories in many different ways. To recast it we repurposed an old story: Ovid’s Pygmalion, which you may know better as My Fair Lady, or Pretty Woman, or Ex Machina. The book is 200 pages long comprising 8 re-tellings of the same 24 page long story.

In our version we also included Ovid’s (possibly confusing) scene setting pages about some tangential communities called the Propoetides and the Cerastae because … well, mainly because they are…

Recently I was lucky to be asked, via the brilliant Rachel Botsman, to say a few words at the conclusion of the school year. A traditional evening of speeches and awards, of dux and mensch, of beautiful music, welcoming parents and unexpectedly funny teachers. It was, how shall I say… so much more than I had expected. I also didn’t expect to be asked to share my little speech. But, here is it is. (I have removed the swearing).
Thanks again Mr Watt and Ms Favero.

Tea. x

Jan 4, 2018. NYC.

“Good evening all,

It is such a great…

Sometimes a sub-editor’s decision on a strap-line (below) can skew a whole article’s perspective.

[This is a longer version of the essay that appeared in the guardian opinion section.
This is the version without the line that suggests some kind of dialectic relation between our understanding of the universe and our understanding of gender. But it’s basically the same. A few more words. A tad more nuance.]

Once upon a time people believed the sun circled the earth. That was the perfectly sensible model that they understood the universe by. The important word here is ‘model’.

Almost everyone who bothered to think about such things thought that this model was accurate. Magically so. As…

[This is a longer version of the essay that appeared in It’s Nice That]

I am a woman. It’s nice to write that. I am a trans woman. The trans part is an adjective, it describes a quality of me, like most adjectives it does not define me. It is the same as saying I am a Deaf woman, or Muslim, or fat, or a smart woman. In fact my full title is longer. I am a bisexual, vegetarian, teetotal, transgender, face-blind, english, white, well-educated, well-paid, very-tall woman with a complex relationship to mental health, creativity and cognitive disability. …

Which image of you has had more influence than any other?

Chances are it’s a profile photo. You may not want to think about it, but that’s the image that the internet has of you. Of course that requires you to personify the internet, which is silly, but it makes you wonder what the profile picture of “the internet” might look like? And how it might change on different accounts.

We have lived through a period of extraordinary change. One hundred years ago if you had any photographic documentation then your passport picture may have been the only photo of…

tea uglow

[‘Tea’, like the drink.] I work for Google on atypical creative projects, and talk about doubt, reality, diversity, and biscuits.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store