Thursday, 13 December 2012

Where do I start?

251220092675    As I write this the countryside in my part of southern England is frost-bound, quiet and still. Yesterday morning's drive to the shops might have been through a series of Christmas cards, English villages in bright sunlight with trees picked out in grey and white.
    The normal pressures of this time of year have caught up with me. Trimming branches at my parents place, moving random pieces of machinery, starting a Welsh course and trying to avoid too many Christmas meals with disparate groups of friends and acquaintances. So not much time for blogging, sadly.
    It's almost three years since I stumbled from the closet, and just over three years since the stress of hiding it all robbed me of my ability to sleep. I must have been in the middle of all that when I took the photo on the right, a freezing cold sunset on Christmas day.
    While in a retrospective frame of mind, have I managed to keep it all under control? Probably not, there has been a feeling of managed descent about the last three years. But I know this, I have made my way as responsibly as I could have, I have guilt about not being able to keep on top of it all but no guilt about trying.
    Plenty to keep us occupied on the news. The Government's spineless fudge and the Church of England's outright homophobic stance on equal marriage, not to mention the BBC's continued exclusive use of the phrase "gay marriage". Cos it's all about the men in suits, innit. I welcome the prospect that someone in my position will no longer have to divorce should they wish to have their gender change legally recognised, however I deplore the fact that those who were forced to do so have been hung out to dry.
    But still, it's progress, of a sort. However crazy a specific legal ban on C of E churches performing same-sex marriages might be, especially following on from their debacle on female bishops. Good news though for my local United Reformed Church who host a monthly LGBT outreach gathering, the Government have just removed 90% of their competition  at a stroke and it's likely they'll be the go-to place in my town for same-sex marriages. I hope their ministry to all marginalised groups receives a boost from it, not to mention that the extra income helps pay for their roof repairs while their C of E neighbours have buckets in the aisles to collect the drips. There's power in them there pink pounds.
    Last night saw my department's Christmas meal, at a very nice local pub. A male colleague asked me about my long hair, and completely straight-faced I said "I'm going for the full-on girl". It's too easy to be naughty at times, isn't it.


  1. Welsh . Granted i am rubbish but a year in school was enough for me - although I do still have an odd habbit of saying Dim Workio at times, no doubt to the confusion of Welsh Speakers (my Father in Law was one) ....and my colleagues ....

  2. "...there has been a feeling of managed descent..." I know what you mean! I'm feeling the same way, most times.

  3. Time does fly doesn't it?

    And learning Welsh, maybe you can translate the sleeve notes to International Velvet from Catatonia for me :)


    And of course... Call if you need a chat :) (Or sms, or WhatsApp or some other communication medium!)

  4. Of all the choices you could have made you have chosen to transition into a Welsh girl...!?

    Interesting how uncharitable, homophobic and misogynistic some branches of christianity are, good luck to those which are more open hearted. I still expect it will take an age before any decent legislation gets passed.

    Better say Happy Yule to you and Mrs J.

  5. I bet the English towns look just delightful this time of year. Please post a picture(s) if you can. I love England and just can't wait to visit again.

    Regarding same sex marriage, this is primarily under the jurisdiction of the states here. Several New England states recognize same sex marriage along with a few others. Here, in California, it was once legalized but then got "voted" out by the populace. Incredible, since California is, arguably, the most liberal of all of the states in this country.

    Since moving to California, it seems to me that this state, albeit very liberal, is also filled with fundamentalist and mainstream Christians. Just my observation, and perhaps a bit warped, but it seems that this large group is very conservative when it comes to issues like same-sex
    marriage and right to life, while adhering to what are otherwise very liberal political beliefs.

    In a state where the Republicans are very much in the minority, it's hard to believe that same-sex-marriage is still a violation of law.

  6. Evening all,

    The Welsh is purely an interest thing, on several levels. I visit Wales fairly regularly, I'm a language geek so I enjoy picking up vocabulary, and it's a mental exercise that keeps my brain occupied and keeps other nastier things at bay. I'll never be anything but English and though Wales is a beautiful and interesting place with lots of opportunities I have no desire to leave my part of the world, so it'll be reserved purely for a few holidays and minor conversation my couple of Welsh speaking colleagues. Dw i ym hoffi siarag Cymraeg! :)

    From my professional life I've heard more than one lament of the tide of Wenglish. Adding -io to an English word to make it Welsh. I'd point out that appropriating words from other languages is the mark of a living language, but I see why it is contentious. I suspect as an Anglophone saying "Dim workio" wouldn't work though.

  7. @Calie, I was humming the tune of "Okie from Muskogee" as I read your comment :)

  8. Nice to see you plodding along as usual Jenny. I wondered why you had been so quiet of late.
    It's such a shame that folk see Christians as homophobic and the C of E in particular. Christians (by and large) are not homophobes just because they don't wish to bow under pressure and compromise their faith to gratify the wishes of others. Any church that does this is serving up a watered down gospel and are not worthy to be called Christians. True Christians tell it as it is. It is the sin which is obnoxious to God, not the sinner. The sin being homosexuality. Allowing gay marriage, which is what it is or are we to call black sheep dark for fearing to offend, in a church is condoning it and as Christians we should not be doing so. Live with it.

    Shirley Anne x

  9. To be fair my objection to "Gay marriage" was not on the grounds of political correctness, more that it erases we transgender people from the picture. As so often happens in the UK when politicians listen to Stonewall.

    In that particular context I take the view that the whole judgement of sin thing is not for me to do in this world but for someone with a bit more experience in the matter to do in the next. Meanwhile I take the instruction to "Love thy neighbour" rather seriously in the context it was meant.

    1. It isn't for me to judge either Jenny. I leave that to God. As a Christian I am obliged to witness to those who either don't believe in God or don't consider they are sinning. We all sin by the way but a Christian's sins are paid for by Christ. That doesn't mean we can continue in sin but rather we repent when we find ourselves slipping.
      One reason I don't like the 'T' in GBLT is because being trans is not about sexuality but about gender and that is why trans folk get overlooked I feel.
      Shirley Anne x

  10. Hello, Jenny! For some reason I hadn't placed you on my Blog List, but that's now put right.

    I'm actually Welsh - born in Cardiff - and I learned Welsh up to age eleven. Sort of. I wasn't good at it, and can't remember much now. It was not the language of children in sunny Barry Island. It was the secret language of the thirty-something teachers. I suspect that they were chatting each other up in Welsh, fixing up exciting, snatched knee-trembling moments in little Morris Minors and Austin A35s.

    All over urban Wales you can see signs for 'Dim Parcio' (i.e.No Parking), and I think that the '-io' word ending signifies a present participle, and simply means '-ing'. Something you can apply to any English verb to make it Welsh. In fact I once overheard a local youth in Swansea saying 'So, it's a big drinkio session tonight?' to his mates.

    As for the government's knee-jerk interference with the Church of England's (and Church of Wales') freedom to make its own mind up about same-gender marriage, that warrants condemnation. I agree: it will simply remove same-gender couples from the congregation, and thrust them into the arms of other churches, never to return. It's a way of undermining the Established Church, not protecting it from controversy.