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Why is there no Cross-dresser Pride Flag?

As I’ve been working through the numerous tasks that I have lined up at the moment I’ve been putting together a section in the Transgender Awareness Training relating to definitions of the various sub-categories which fall under the Transgender Umbrella.

In order to present the concept on the PowerPoint slides I decided to use the various Pride flags as a starting point for each definition, and this highlighted a problem. I couldn’t find a flag to represent the cross-dressing community.

Now whilst cross-dressing is not synonymous with being transgender per-se, the support group I help to run welcomes cross-dressing individuals to our ranks as we feel they are a valid subsection of our community and face many of the same problems and issues as the rest of the transgender people we aim to support. Just try going shopping with one and you’ll find out what I mean.

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The passing of a true gentleman

I’m sure most of you will have heard of Captain Sir Tom Moore who, last year, raised an astonishing amount of money for NHS charities in the UK in the lead up to his 100th birthday. His idea had been to walk around his garden 100 times before his 100th birthday, and his original aim had been to try to raise £1,000.

Once the media got hold of the story it went viral, and by the end of his birthday the total amount of donations exceeded £32 MILLION!

Yesterday we received the sad news of his passing; apparently yet another victim of this horrible pandemic.

From Wikipedia:

Captain Sir Thomas Moore (30 April 1920 – 2 February 2021), popularly known as Captain Tom, was a British Army officer and businessman known for raising money for charity in the run-up to his 100th birthday during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moore served in India and the Burma campaign during the Second World War, and later became an instructor in armoured warfare. After the war, he worked as managing director of a concrete company and was an avid motorcycle racer.

On 6 April 2020, at the age of 99, Moore began to walk lengths of his garden in aid of NHS Charities Together, with the goal of raising £1,000 by his 100th birthday. In the 24-day course of his fundraising, he made many media appearances and became a popular household name in the UK, earning a number of accolades and attracting over 1.5 million individual donations. In recognition of his efforts, he received the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Helen Rollason Award at the 2020 ceremony. He performed in a cover version of the song “You’ll Never Walk Alone” sung by Michael Ball, with proceeds going to the same charity. The single topped the UK music charts, making him the oldest person to achieve a UK number one.

On the morning of Moore’s hundredth birthday, the total raised by his walk passed £30 million, and by the time the campaign closed at the end of that day had increased to over £32.79 million (worth almost £39 million with expected tax rebates). His birthday was marked in a number of ways, including flypasts by the Royal Air Force and the British Army. He received over 150,000 cards, and was appointed as honorary colonel of the Army Foundation College. On 17 July 2020, he was personally invested as a Knight Bachelor by the Queen at Windsor Castle. He died on 2 February 2021 at Bedford Hospital where he was taken after being treated for pneumonia and then testing positive for COVID-19.

Rest in Peace, Captain Tom. You were an example to us all and a true gentleman.

This is turning into a full time job

Many of you may be aware that I help coordinate a local Transgender support and social group. It is something I’ve been doing for the past four years or more.

The group has received much praise for the work it does and is well respected within the local community.

Through 2019, and especially toward the latter end of it, I felt that I was running out of the energy and motivation needed in order to continue to work for the group. I expressed my need to back away to the other Coordinator and we began to look for other group members who could step up and take over some of the responsibilities involved.

It was a slow process, but help was forthcoming and I was able to sit back in a more minor role and just keep my finger on the pulse.

Then, of course, 2020 happened.

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Connections and motivation

It’s as if a weight has been lifted, not just from my shoulders but from those of the world.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been working with a colleague, D, from another local LGBT+ organisation on revamping and expanding a Transgender Awareness training module that the co-coordinator of our Trans support group and I put together a couple of years ago. Well, I say “working on”; I guess what I really mean is “trying to work on”.

As with so many things I talk to people, make notes, think about ideas, make mental plans, but actually getting down to action? Well, that’s something else. That final motivation and inspiration is often lacking, a situation that is oh too common since my accident some thirteen years ago.

I started this week very much not able to function in any real sense, but then something changed. A light began to emerge from the darkness.

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A Dream Deferred

I have a very dear friend who is an artist. They work in pencil, water colours, pen and ink, and among other things also engrave on glass.

They have just released their beautiful promotional video and it is with great joy that I’m sharing it with you today.

You can find more information and follow their blog at cmralph.com.

Scotland first in world to make period products free

I’ve never forgotten a conversation I had with a female work colleague back in the early 1980’s in which I stated my belief that period products should be free for all women the world over.

She looked at me in astonishment and said something to the effect of how amazing she felt it was that a guy would have the understanding to hold such an opinion. (Back in those days I was still very much in “male mode”, although this was the same young lady who was the first person I ever told that I felt I should have been born in a female body.)

Well, I sat here just now with my jaw dropped and with tears forming as I heard the news that Scotland will be doing just that; making sanitary wear free for all women.

This makes me even more proud to have made Scotland my home.

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Just when I needed them: Pronouns – and a challenge

I’ve been finding it hard lately to come up with something to blog about. Oh sure, there’s a whole rack of YouTube videos I have flagged and ready to roll, but knowing which is most important or what to say to lead into them has been somewhat holding me back.

Today that changed, and thanks to Beau for this insightful message to everyone. I’m not sure he really knows what a sea-change he may have started.

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Bon Jovi “Do what you can” – Colbert

Mr. Gorgeous is back and, I have to say, looking a lot better than he did last year. Whatever he’s been putting in the water is really working! 😛

Last night he was on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on CBS and finished the appearance with the brilliant single “Do what you can” from the new album “2020”.

Unfortunately when I edited all three parts of his appearance together the file was too large for me to load into the blog, but here are all three parts for you.

This guy is just an amazing person … enjoy!

Discreetly calling for emergency services

If you’re ever in need of assistance in a life threatening situation and are unable to speak clearly to the responder for fear of being found out then remember this story, and adapt it for your own country as appropriate.

Stay safe.