Tuesday, 8 February 2011

A day out of the office

    It does say on my job description that I am encouraged to attend conferences. But even at her most optimistic my boss couldn't find an angle to justify this one on work time.
    Last autumn I participated in a research programme run by a grad student from the University of the West of England in Bristol. She was interviewing trans-people for her thesis on transgender issues, and since having supported my wife through her postgrad years I have a soft spot for those at that particular level of academic struggle and her approach to the whole issue was very sensitive and well thought out I was only too happy to oblige.
    In a couple of months time the same department will be running a conference: "Trans-cending gender norms", and it was this that I was discussing with my boss. Depending on a few other factors I should be able to attend the event.
    Now it might be said that someone in my slightly annoying position should see an occasion like this one as a rare chance to spend a day in the real world in girl mode. And I can't deny, that's a thought not without attraction. I can do it. But in this case I think the scruffy bloke is more appropriate. People expect a girl like me to be trans, discovering the same of a bloke like me is definitely one of those moments of widening perception.


  1. maybe the conference bumph is poorly-worded, but it seems to co-opt trans people into genderqueerdom- "...members of the trans community - who do not identify with the prevailing binary system. Trans realities are nevertheless vividly present in society as trans individuals attempt to establish new gender alternatives and rights on a day-to-day basis."

    ...well, it should make for an interesting discussion, anyway!

  2. Perhaps you might want to think about defining "appropriate" in terms of what you, and not others, think? I know that's not completely realistic or practical, more just a way of thinking...

  3. LOL............does that mean the bloke thinks differently? Smiles.
    I remember being approached by somebody doing exactly the same thing, fishing for information to help with their thesis on the same subject, that is transgenderism. I was only too pleased to help but as I was on a night out at the time the interview was fairly brief. She had plenty of other takers though.

    Shirley Anne xxx

  4. She does entertain some slightly fluid ideas about gender identity but that is even more reason for me to politely point out that inventing an identity won't fix all the fun and games between my ears.

    I understand the point behind the use of "Appropriate". In the sense of "Appropriate to protect other people's sensibilities" then yes, absolutely. But in this case it's my choice. And who knows, it may be I think differently on the day.

    One wonders sometimes whether we are outnumbered by those who are studying us:) Them and TV documentary makers. In this case she approached my local support group, and yet again we were only too pleased to help.