Dispatches from TERF Island

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I don’t travel. The only foreign country I’ve ever visited is Britain’s neighbour France. Twice. In fifty years. I’ve been married to an American for over twenty years. I’ve never visited America.

But I do have a passport. I’d like to use it, but my life has changed beyond all recognition and I need an up-to-date passport.

So this episode of TERF Island Dispatches is all about what a prejudicial shit show official UK documentation is when you’re trans. I’ll be concentrating on passports, but since the guidelines are similar across the board, it’s going to touch other areas.


Let’s get this straight

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A couple of days ago I was attacked in the comments section of an article written by an esteemed colleague on this site. I don't use the word 'attacked' with any degree of hyperbole. My ubiquitous civility to this anonymous commenter was met with unrelenting hostility. I did, finally, call her an idiot. But by that point I was merely stating the obvious.

I was assigned male at birth. So technically my sex is male, although with the changes I've wrought determining even my biological sex would depend on what criteria you used. …

Being a Trans Woman 101

Being transgender means being part of a tiny minority.

Being a trans woman means typically more visible than trans men and many non-binary folk. It can be a little more difficult for us to pass. After all, bras can be padded, but a beard and balding head aren't so easy to fake.

And being part of a tiny minority, one on whom a disproportionate amount of attention is currently being directed, means I often find myself the subject of immense curiosity. Occasionally this is irksome. Sometimes it's a conversation starter.

It's also tiring in its repetition. Because of course the people I meet all have the same questions. And…

Mrs. C Recommends

Audre Lorde's reputation absolutely should precede her. But on the off chance that you live in a particularly deep cave on Pluto, Lorde was a black, lesbian, warrior poet. She grew up in Harlem in the 30s and 40s and through her work espoused many of the central tenets of intersectional feminism long before Kimberlie Crenshaw even coined the term.

Zami (or to give it its full title, Zami: A New Spelling of my Name. A Biomythography) is a semi-fictional autobiography, detailing Lorde’s childhood and early adulthood, along with her first relationships with other women.

Lorde's poetic heart is on…

The Advice Column from Hades

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Hi I’m Abigail Imogen Drake, the bitch with all the answers. Most of them wrong.

This week's question was culled from Quora but it's certainly something I've been asked more than once:

User, Lyvv Cruz asked: Should bad sex be a deal breaker in a serious relationship?

This another of those closed questions that has a simple answer, but of course I'll expand on it.

The simple answer is No.

What the fuck, Abbie?! Don't you like sex?

Don't be mental. I adore fucking. Always have. Now more so than ever.

BUT… The operative word there is 'serious'. For a…

Do I sound like an angel?

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Just lately it's been a bad time to be queer where I live. So why do I still grin like a jackass eating briars when reminded I'm queer as they come?

I know more about myself than most cisgender, heterosexual people.

Coming out requires a hell of a lot of introspection. Lots of painful self-examination. Because the prevailing attitudes around us are uniformly cis/het normative we have to fight for who we are. Nothing can be assumed. We know how we feel differs from the rest of society. We have to ask ourselves 'why?'

And even when we figure out…

Dispatches from TERF Island

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It was tempting to subtitle this one ‘Or a lay trans woman schools a barrister’.

Here's the story. Essex University cancelled speaking engagements with two 'gender critical' academics amid claims made about the pair's damaging views. So far, so good. Free speech means these individuals are free to hold whatever reprehensible views they want and to express them. It does NOT follow that institutions, whether public or private, are obligated to provide them with megaphones to share those views. Nor does it mean their views don't have consequences. In this instance their views cost them speaking engagements.

I wouldn't expect racists calling for a return to segregated restrooms to be afforded the opportunity to share…

Not just Jen and I

Photo by Dainis Graveris on Unsplash

So there we were. My curvy blonde amazonian affair partner (did I mention she was taller than me? Meow!) and I, both naked but for garters and stockings, and a double sheet, hastily draped over our otherwise naked forms, about to step out of our seventh-storey hotel room to go rummage in some bushes because… yeah, well, I dropped the handcuff keys from the cracked window.

What can I say? Jen wanted to restrain me and I'm an uber brat. …

Mrs. Capricious

Capricious by name, steadfast by nature. Trans femme dyke. Smutsmith. Provocateur. Witch. Poet. Slut. Idiot. Kicking names and taking ass.

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