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December 4th, 2016

12:53 pm: Whenever I'm at e.g. a union meeting for LGBT members or thinking about how I interact with bi members of NUS or any other geographically distributed group with common interest I wonder why we don't have an email list for people in the group to keep in touch. Then I remember that most of the email lists I am on are silent, missing many people or full of useless arguments.

This entry was originally posted at http://skibbley.dreamwidth.org/428723.html. You can comment there if you have a Dreamwidth account or using OpenID or you can comment here instead as you wish.

October 19th, 2016

11:43 am: London people: I shall be at Housmans this evening reading from our Bisexual Book Purple Prose.

This entry was originally posted at http://skibbley.dreamwidth.org/428497.html. You can comment there if you have a Dreamwidth account or using OpenID or you can comment here instead as you wish.


September 4th, 2016

08:16 am: 'Tranny' as self-description
At Leicester Pride someone I think of as trans was upset and angry at someone with an official tabard having "tranny" as a nickname on it.
I'm not involved with the conversation following but wanted to ponder it a little away from the personal space of the trans person / people involved. I'd welcome further pondering from anyone interested but do not welcome people attacking trans people or their personal experiences including feeling hurt or attacked.
I use "them" about trans people because I consider myself cis-gendered. I know trans and gender and sexuality are all complicated and there are oppressions and strong disagreements operating.

If a cis-male gay man does drag, and uses tranny about themself in a public way at an LGBT event, in official role, while not in drag is that OK? (I don't expect anyone can definitively answer that, I'm more here to ponder the whole thing)

My first thought is with trans friends feeling hurt at an event that should be inclusive.

I'm thinking here of drag with performers dressing in ways exaggerating the way people identified as women sterotypically might be. I'm not much considering drag kings here.

I get that tranny as a shortening of transvestite would be inaccurate for many trans people and would consider it defamatory to push that label onto them.

I understand gay drag done in a tradition of parody and to queer gender roles can be separated in many ways from men dressing up in clothes usually associated with women for personal pleasure.

I know gender parody can be used to break down harmful gender norms but can also be used to attack certain ways of doing gender or perhaps women in general following a misogyny that can come from men including gay men. I think some acts could be read in multiple ways.

I note the audience: performance to an audience expecting and appreciating certain forms of drag is different from public performance.

I note an age difference in how drag has been used in gay subcultures.

I note gender performance (drag?) in Black and U.S. Black traditions seems very different than in white subcultures and also drag might be, and probably is, significantly different in working class places.

Leicester is a highly multicultural city. Pride is much more white than the city. The people involved in the incident I mention above are all white to the best of my knowledge, though it happened in a public place with people of colour around.

I note that Pride is supposed to be inclusive of many gay male subcultures and also of trans people (some of whom may be gay, some of whom may also do drag in some form) and also of people of any or all genders and people who don't consider themselves traditionally gendered or gendered at all. I also note that Pride is intended to be public.

I'd welcome thoughts if anyone wants to share them, and am fine just writing this out to help my own thinking if people don't want to respond here at this time.

This entry was originally posted at http://skibbley.dreamwidth.org/428095.html. You can comment there if you have a Dreamwidth account or using OpenID or you can comment here instead as you wish.

07:58 am: Purple Prose
Our new UK bi book Purple Prose is launched and for sale. (I co-curated the non-monogamies chapter)
We had the launch party in Brixton and sold and promoted the book at Leicester Pride.
More events are in the pipeline.

This entry was originally posted at http://skibbley.dreamwidth.org/427920.html. You can comment there if you have a Dreamwidth account or using OpenID or you can comment here instead as you wish.


August 22nd, 2016

12:21 pm: I keep wanting more bi stuff to happen near me.

I keep not wanting to organise it all myself because:

  • I want to do other things in life

  • Other people's ideas are important too, particularly those lesser heard. I am over-represented

  • I don't want to pretend a thing is important to me when it is really aimed at others - such as people newly coming out, or resent the time looking after something I don't benefit from directly

  • It may be better for some things not to happen right now

  • Other things than what I think of may be better, other people may do this better, groups (e.g. youth) might be better self-organised

I spend too much of my life annoyed and frustrated.

I'm wondering:

  • If it's just me not being good enough or having the wrong personality or skillset for this stuff: should I get some queer mentoring to be a more effective activist or get out of the way?

  • Much of what I want is for others. It is based on thinking there is a need, but I could be wrong about the need, it might already be being met, or others might be better to address the need

  • Other umbrellas may be better - our local Queer Together group is great for example without being bi specific

Still, the wellbeing stats for bisexuals are worrying. I continue to believe some form of communication, community building or knowing others like you are out there is important. If it is happening near me I'd feel reassured if I knew about it and thought it was accessible to others.

I think perhaps I just worry too much. Also, there is more to life than this.

This entry was originally posted at http://skibbley.dreamwidth.org/427573.html. You can comment there if you have a Dreamwidth account or using OpenID or you can comment here instead as you wish.

August 3rd, 2016

11:24 am: Initial thoughts on trans at work
I'm looking at some internal policy work on trans at work and thought it might be productive to think where I personally start on this. I'm not a policy advisor and while I have an amount of knowledge of trans and I think a pretty good ally position I'm not an expert and don't have personal experience of being trans. I want and expect to improve my knowledge. I know some people are more personally touched by trans issues so if my noodling would be uncomfortable please feel free to skip this; I will be suggesting we get specialised advice. This is a first draft and I may edit and add.

Here's where I start:

- I want all people to have good lives regardless of their gender

- Human gender including trans issues is complex and diverse and simplistic views can be ignorant and harmful

- Sex and gender and trans issues intersect and we support anti-sexism

- Our workplace should be a good place for all to work and study regardless of gender

- Gender issues and transition can be difficult for administration to handle, but they have a responsibility towards the individual staff and students to ensure their details are correct. As well as legal responsibility and expectations of administrative competence, the use of incorrect names or gender markers can be particularly distressing.

- Our top level university ethos includes diversity and we understand this to mean the university will lead on trans issues and will aim to be the best in this area

- We should have a positive impact on the world through our research and teaching to work towards all people doing well regardless of gender

- Due to transphobia and other problems I should be able to specify, trans people often face violence, hostility and various stressors, discrimination and prejudice and have worse well-being outcomes on various measures

- Other problems exist in the world and by focussing here on trans we do not forget them or make claims of greater importance. Trans issues are important and other issues should not minimise their importance.

- As well as their gender, people have other aspects such as their class, race / ethnicity, age etc. These integrate for each individual and so there is diversity amongst trans people and they occupy different postions of power in society

- As an employer and as caring collegues we should listen to any problems trans people report and help fix them. We should also monitor for problems we can discern statistically such as whether trans people are disadvantaged in pay for example.

- Humans are known to have biases which are out of our awareness and we should learn about and correct for unconscious biases

- Trans issues are offically included under our LGBT+ umbrellas such as the staff LGBT+ forum. We must check this is in fact reflected in our work, listen to what trans people inside and outside want, amplify their voices and fix our own mistakes and biases. If trans people choose to organise separately as well as or instead of under a wider LGBT+ umbrella then we supprt that.

- There are legal and procedural protections for some aspects of trans life and also support and campaigning organisations which we should know about

- We note some groups and individuals are critical of some trans issues and people and some are actively hostile

- We are aware of our support for and responsibilities to trans people and also to academic freedom and open exchange of ideas and that conflicts between safety and debate may occur

- We note as a teaching and learning institution there may be teachable moments in our work where we can learn and teach better practice

- We should keep our knowledge of trans issues up to date and disseminate it within our organisation and beyond. We as a university should always support people in increasing our knowledge and changing our prejudices or discomforts. Trans allies are responsible for their own lives and should not expect trans people to support their emotional processing or factual learning unless trans people choose to take such roles. It is OK to internally struggle with trans issues or be critical of them - however please work on these issues in appropriate ways and places so as not to hurt trans people while doing so.

- We operate in a multicultural and multinational context and this includes gender and trans issues

- We listen to trans people but do not expect them to act as unpaid researchers, teachers or support staff

- Trans issues might include but are not limited to changes of name and/or pronoun, as a current thing or a historical thing that may still be relevant, medical intervention, non-medical physical changes, changes in gender presentation, legal changes, intersex issues, non-binary genders, genderqueer people, gender fluidity, people who wish to share their gender position and journey and people who wish to keep this private

- As a starting point in the workplace: Treat people as the gender they present at in a professional manner

- Other people's gender is often none your business in the workplace unless we are dealing with combatting prejudices or that person wishes to share some parts of that aspect of their life

- Curiousity is fine but be aware that there are teaching resources available and collegues may not wish to be asked personal questions inappropriate to the workplace. Listen for consent to any conversations touching on gender and be aware of where you might cause stress, discomfort or cross lines into harassment.

- Some people find their gender problematic and we wish them good support

- Some people find other people's reaction to their gender problematic and we wish to help improve society to change this

- Some people indentify with a trans status or history and may not want or need to focus on that aspect of their life at this time and we would do well to respect that

- Gender diversity improves all of our lives when accepted and celebrated including our research, teaching and workplace and student experience

- Some people who do not identify to others as trans would benefit from a supportive, understanding environment, but maybe not so much from labels or groups. Access to information in a sensitive, discrete manner might be useful.

[edited to add [personal profile] yoyoangel comment, thank you]
[edited to add point based on [personal profile] sparrowsion, thank you]
[edited to add point from [personal profile] ellemir, thank you]

This entry was originally posted at http://skibbley.dreamwidth.org/427268.html. You can comment there if you have a Dreamwidth account or using OpenID or you can comment here instead as you wish.

June 29th, 2016

03:58 pm: Multiple hat working noodling
[Work in progress noodling, not a completed and checked article. Extra noodles welcome.]

I've been thinking about the tech I use and how I use it when owning multiple "hats" where by hats I mean work personas, voluntary roles and personal ones.

For simplicity I won't talk here about shared hats and I'm not concentrating much here on teams and groups.

I'm talking about me and tools. Am am willing to consider using different tools and even using tools differently and yes I do get unreasonably annoyed if the world doesn't provide tools that fit me and I'm probably missing a bunch of knowledge.

An example:

I have email. In fact I have multiple email accounts, sometimes several for one workplace and some personal ones.
When I'm out and about with a tablet I'd like to be able to check my mail for all or just some accounts.
I'd like filtering to help me organise my email. I'd like to be able to respond wearing different hats so have the correct servers, addresses and signatures depending on which hat I'm wearing. I don't want organisation A to be able to easily see email I'm doing for organisation B.
This seems pretty easy to do with standard tools. My phone can do this for quite a few of my accounts though a virtual mailbox would be handy to read e.g. just email lists, just unread mail, just personal and not work email accounts.
I'm pleased with email.

Other tools are harder to do that with. Web browsers can be set up with different profiles for different hats, thanks [personal profile] yoyoangel I'd like my web browser to tab between multiple hats and combine and uncombine histories, bookmarks etc.

How to save progress and be clear which hat or hats are being worn can be difficult to do and to display and control in a sensible fashion. Ideally I'd like to tell my current device which hat or hats I'm working with in any moment and have all of the tools tabbed into that hat or those hats rather than doing it for each tool.

Mainly I want to use tools that work on any device I'm using, including web versions if I can't or don't want to install software on a box. Tools will have different capabilities on different devices.

I get a bit more stuck with other tools. Lots of tools online connect to an email address. Fewer let you swap between addresses rather than logging out and back in again each time. Google are better at this.

I'm wondering what wording to use to look for tools that are multi-platform and multi hat.

This entry was originally posted at http://skibbley.dreamwidth.org/427190.html. You can comment there if you have a Dreamwidth account or using OpenID or you can comment here instead as you wish.

June 27th, 2016

09:35 am: Exit strategy
Following the disastrous vote last Friday I'm seriously considering moving away from England. This isn't a firm decision yet and would be in at least a year.

I mainly speak English and am looking at developing a second language.

Wikipedia: List of territorial entities where English is an official language

Within Europe English is used officially in Malta and Ireland and I'll include Scotland if they leave U.K.

CountryStarting point for immigrationNotes
MaltaMoving to MaltaHave visited, country is closely connected with England, Maltese is hard
IrelandIrish Naturalisation & Immigration Service (INIS)I have been there lots and like it. Rather rainy

Other places I've considered so far:

CountryStarting point for immigrationNotes
AustraliaMigration to Australia 
New ZealandImmigration New Zealand 
CanadaCanadian Immigration and citizenshipLearn French
South AfricaImmigrating to South Africa (under review) 
SingaporeSingapore Immigration and Checkpoints AuthorityCheck human rights and politics carefully

I should read some overviews of the various countries, including their civil and human rights situations and diversity situations including LGBT.
Also check where I can convert to working as a psychotherapist and what other transferable skills I could use from my day job and other interests.

This entry was originally posted at http://skibbley.dreamwidth.org/426973.html. You can comment there if you have a Dreamwidth account or using OpenID or you can comment here instead as you wish.

May 8th, 2016

07:53 pm: He for She references (TW)
I was at a He for She discussion on Friday at work at University of Leicester which included a few references I thought I'd find and note (some of which are about sexual violence)
Read more...Collapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://skibbley.dreamwidth.org/426706.html. You can comment there if you have a Dreamwidth account or using OpenID or you can comment here instead as you wish.

May 1st, 2016

03:26 pm: London
Have a couple of pictures from Golden Square

Then the Gherkin and train related.
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This entry was originally posted at http://skibbley.dreamwidth.org/426268.html. You can comment there if you have a Dreamwidth account or using OpenID or you can comment here instead as you wish.

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