I'm coming up to my 9th episode! Nine is my favourite number as it happens. It's the number of UNIVERSAL LOVE, nawwww!
This current series – IXNAY ON THE INARY-BAY has been an interesting journey. It's funny cos, when I started, I was all about my own BISEXUAL AGENDA (it's kinda like The Gay Agenda, but with a bit less glitter). It was also about cutting my teeth as an interviewer. So basically it was all about ME! ME! ME!
Speaking of me....As you know, to make it a bit easier on myself I roped my son into my first interview – and we chatted about our different experiences in coming out as Bi, given our gender I.Ds and our generational divide. The feedback from that has been awesome. It was followed last week, with an interview with my friend Jessie who identifies as bisexual and as non-binary. I expected that chat to be illuminating but I never factored in just how much it would immerse me in the complex topic of gender. But Jess really got me thinkin!
I've always been attracted to – what we have referred to in the past – as 'androgynous' people; particularly Androgynous womxn, but to a certain extent, also men. I gotta say I do have a soft spot for 'straight' presenting celebs who wear make up. Eddie Izzard takes it to the degree of also being a transvestite – and his 'giving no fucks' attitude to how he was perceived has always been inspiring. But throw in Russell Brand (I know, I know, shut up) and Tim Minchin (omg. Brains. Musical talent...uggghghgghhghghgh) and I'm sure there are others...and I'm just genuinely weak at the knees.
And it seems really weird for me to admit this, I NEVER REALLY PROPERLY EXAMINED how this reflected on my own sexuality and my own slightly fluid gender identity – and just how much I have always been intrigued by the concept gender ambiguity. As an adult, I've always represented a 'visage pendulum' between 'tomboy' and 'sexy minx' personaes, regarding how I present when I go to a modicum of effort with my appearance (which isn't that often to be frank. Even less so now, obvs). When I attended my eldest son's wedding, I opted for a conservative and 'girly' look a few years back (having said that, my hair was turquoise). But I wanted to pay homage to the bride herself - a lovely young woman who looks most at home in vintage sundresses. Me. I'm just a slob in a sarong or tracky dax most of the time - depending on the season.
And as you can see in the photo above: me at 20 years old - my hair has a fair bit to do with how I feel on the inside. When it's short - and with me standing at 175cm, I always tended to lean into those 'gangly boy' feels. As I age and my body continues to morph, I'm growing more curves. Matronly curves. And while I always embrace everything that happens to my body - part of me feels a bit miffed that I'm ageing into an 'old lady' and not into a slender, still boyish looking older woman. And no, I'm not going to go slave away at the gym to change the status quo. This is the body I have. That's fine.
Oh, how brave I might sound to some of you.
But all that stuff I just rambled on about is classic CIS, ABLE-BODIED, even TALL PRIVILEGE AT WORK.
At my core I'm a feminist and always will be. But even as a cis woman who has experienced continuous sexual-harrassment my entire life, occasional verbal abuse, and yes, rape, I still know my PRIVILEGE.
Because, as crazy as it sounds, I had to google the term 'TERF' about a year ago. The more inclusive and intersectional the feminist movement becomes, the more I have always embraced it without question. It's always humbling and reminds me just how lucky I am. Even when I'm triggered.
I have always had empathy for the trans community, but it has grown exponentially in more recent years. In 2017, I spearheaded a VDAY fundraising performance of The Vagina Monologues, and as I had been part of previous campaigns a decade prior, I was intrigued by the brand new monologue that had been included called THEY BEAT THE GIRL OUT OF MY BOY. I wasn't able to recruit a transwoman to recite the piece, so I printed scripts and got the entire company of 16 to recite it paragraph by paragraph, from scripts that were laminated with the Trans Flag facing the audience.
I wanted to make it very obvious that we weren't 'playing the part' we were telling a story that was not ours to tell. The intrinsic/interchangeable solidarity of including Transwomen in the cause's GLOBAL fight against violence towards women and girls was conferred upon us in such a tangible and powerful way.
Women know pain. But what Transwomxn have to face is next-level misogyny.
SOAPBOX ALERT: It's my opinion that JK Wrongling has drifted so far away from THE POINT of feminism, that she can no longer see dry land. She can only see her own 'struggle' and for some reason, doesn't want to SHARE her sisterhood with every woman. How fucking insufferably selfish is that?
There is no sisterhood, without transwomxn as far as I'm concerned. Being in the presence of transwomxn make me feel my femininity in ways I cannot describe. But I will attempt to, when I record my intro to this next episode in a couple of days.
I'm still sitting with how I feel. It's heavy in my chest. And I've cried a few times since.
So, who is my interviewee this time? Her name is Emme. She is a trans womxn around my age. She hasn't had an easy life, by any stretch of the imagination. It has been compounded by the fact that she grew up in a religious community. When we first met a couple of years ago, I thought she was fully OUT. But no. She leads a dual existance still. Our chat about how difficult it has been for her to come out has stayed with me these past couple of weeks. Her courage and reslience just blew me away. This ep DROPs ON OCT 13.
I just posted a short promo vid to my instagram, recapping the three podcast series' so far. The main reason I do this podcast is to quell the fire in my belly. Yes, ostensibly I started off talking about Orgasms, but if you read between the lines, that series was really about misogyny. Just how much women have been held back from realising their full orgasmic potential.
To be truthful, at almost 59, I'm growing really fucking weary of the never-ending battle against misogyny. From men and also internalised misogyny. It's everywhere.
But talking to Emme, has fired me up something fierce. Her courage and undying persistence to hold tight to the WOMXN IN HER, to give her strength and comfort. To make her feel whole and beautiful and loved and loveable, is so humbling. You might want to keep the tissues handy for that one.
Stay tuned a couple of weeks later for Part 4 - “WHAT'S IN A NAME?” It's an interview with an infectiously positive young transgender MAN, who grew up in a creative arts community, so while his coming out journey had some confusion and doubt, he has been able to appreciate that he's lucky to be 100% supported by family and friends. It's my privilege to have been able to present two completely different sides of the coin. Emme, helps us keep it real regarding how far we have yet to go, in supporting our trans community. And this last installment featuring this absolute angel I choose to call Luka (although he said I can choose between his birth name and his chosen name/nicknames) leaves us feeling full of hope for the future.
So, we started out celebrating Bi Pride in September. October is LGBTQIA HISTORY MONTH – AND DON'T FORGET OCT 11 - IS COMING OUT DAY! There are some more queer community dates coming up in November. Keep an eye on my insta for reminders. I've become THAT guy. The Ally who will not rest.
Have you watched "Disclosure" on Netflix yet? DO IT!
So...what's coming up in November's podcasts? I think I want to start getting stuck into the juicy topics surrounding body image, internalised misogyny, the madonna/whore complex, etc. But what do YOU think? It's also my birthday month so we can also throw 'ageing' in there too if you want.
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By the way, episode 6, which was about ORAL SEX garnered me one of the most tangibly REWARDING responses I've received so far. A Bisexual Woman contacted me to say she got GREAT results from one of the Cunnilingus tips I gave (lick, with the whole tongue, don't just flick the tip like they do in porn).
She realised that she was also brainwashed by porn about how to give a woman head. HOW IRONIC.
MAKES YA THINK...DUNNIT? I might be getting old - but I'm so glad I missed out on the whole "internet porn sex ed" influence dealie. A few Penthouse magazines and an endlessly assertive attitude about my orgasmic entitlement did me just fine.
Hmmm... ok. I'm spent. That was a big one wasn't it? Thanks for READING.