Friday, April 21, 2017

Heroes

Hi,

As a kid of the 70s, I read my fair share of comic books. Yeah, in a world with three TV channels and no YouTube, there was a lot more reading going on. :-) As to comics I wouldn't say I read loads, but a fair few and mostly UK ones. For some reason, I never quite got into the American ones. Possibly because they always felt midstory, and quite possibly because our local newsagent's range was fairly thin. Hey, welcome to living in the sticks in the pre-Internet, pre-eCommerce world. :-)

Ignoring the WWII and sports strips, the more fantastic stories were the ones that caught my eye. Superheroes: present and past. Not everyone gets the Marvel or DC treatment, so some I guess are much forgotten.

But if there's a point to this nostalgia, other than I don't remember any trans* specific characters, but this was the late 70s; hardly a time of political correctness, let alone equality. But certainly, the idea of someone with a secret identity struck a chord. Chuck into the mix the idea of said hero (or heroine) having to rush getting changed or be found out, well, I don't even need to say any more on that do I? :-)

The thing is, as someone who does hide who they are, it can be quite tiring. I'm so glad I don't have to pretend when I'm around the Ever Lovely Mrs J. The fact that I can be just me, rather than putting on the mask of male behaviour, is incredibly liberating.

So, if there are any would-be superheroes, if I had one bit of advice - other than when you do meet your nemesis, don't pull your punches and do fight dirty :-) - it would be this: don't spend your regular life pretending. It's really hard, watching what you have to say, and keeping what who you are a secret. Instead, try being all of you, but, do leave the cape and the power gauntlets out of the office. You know how these things escalate ;-)

Everyday Heroes

On a related note, I heard from Sandi that one of our oldest members at Chameleons passed away at the weekend. The lady in question was Jane. She, along with a friend Rhona helped keep the group going through the 80s. I really don't know when she handed the torch on to Tracey & Sandi, but I'd guess it was a fair few years. Still, making a trans group a success, especially in less open-minded times is, at least in my book, quite an impressive feat. Hats off to you, Mrs.

I should add, that if you're pushing the gender envelope. Either by being out, helping others, running a website or keeping a group going; keep on doing that. Please keep on being you and doing that awesomeness that helps makes it easier for this and the next generation of trans people.

Words on an image

Over on social media, Tania made a comment about the complications around running two wardrobes. Sometimes, a line just comes to you and I did say I'd stick the quote as a meme. Well, all the cool kids are doing it. ;-)


Take care,
Lynn



6 comments:

  1. As someone who's probably around the same age as you (I was born in 1973, if I haven't mentioned it before), I remember reading quite a few comics myself as a kid and teenager, and, yes, many of them were British ones in my case as well. One title I got into in a big way for a few years was 2000AD, which I'd mainly purchase in the "2000AD Monthly" format (so I'd get to read a whole storyline all in one go); I was a particular fan of Judge Dredd, and like one trans blogger I stumbled upon a while back now (I think it was Joanna of Joanna's Diary fame), I often had moments when I wished I could be Judge Anderson (either the comic version or Olivia Thirlby's portrayal thereof in the very good Dredd film). :)

    Another British (I think) comic franchise I got into a lot was the Commando series of World War 2-themed comics, which I believe is still going strong. I used to find these amusingly dramatic, particularly in their portrayal of battlefield deaths (lots of people convulsing horribly as the bullets hit them, and going out with cries of "Argh!" or "Aiee!"). I seem to recall their protagonists being primarily British and antagonists primarily German, though Americans were sometimes depicted in the role of the heroes and the Japanese that of the villains. As for the whole Eastern Front, what was that? :)

    A little later on, I had a friend who'd lend me comics from such cult franchises as 2000AD (again), Marshall Law, and Hellraiser. Given that some of these could get pretty damn weird, I think the overall lesson I took from reading them was that it was OK to like the unconventional (if not downright bizarre), as you'd always find like-minded souls out there. Which was also a very positive message for a young CDer to get, I suppose!

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    1. 73, so a handful of months after me. 2000AD was my goto choice too. Anderson, for me at least, was a very powerful icon. She wasn't the damsel in distress, and despite being a judge, seemed to play be her own rules. Her irreverence was one of her defining qualities. That and her courage. So, yeah, quite the inspiration for a young lad. See also Halo Jones. Not so sure about Durham Red, who was a little after my time.

      Funny you should mention the monthly comics, as I'd get the US release of Action Comics, which ran the stories I'd missed. I think they were 2-3 years behind. Still, in colour and they let me catch up.

      BTW, Hellraiser or Hellblazer? Constantine FTW :-) So, yeah, to the unconventional and a respectful nod to Mssrs Moore and Gaimen for making the weird wonderful.

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    2. Hellraiser was the one I read as a teenager - the comics used the basic premise of the movies of the same name ie unfortunate individual plays around with a weird-looking puzzle box and unwittingly summons the Cenobites (though sometimes said demons would be summoned in other, more... inventive ways). The ones I read were fairly interesting - the individual stories in them ranged from the fairly humorous to the downright nightmarish, and some could be pretty strange too. Never read Constantine, sad to say, though I believe they made a movie of it a decade or so back. (I was actually a little disappointed when I discovered that the movie in question was a comic book adaptation - I was kind of hoping it'd be a biopic of the famous Fourth Century Roman emperor! :)) After my introduction to the aforementioned Hellraiser comics, I started watching a few of the movies those were based on, and quite enjoyed them. I was never one for horror as a kid (hell, just looking at the ads for some horror flicks was enough to give me a sleepless night!), though during the latter half of my teens, I forced myself to overcome my aversion to them, and ended up becoming a big fan of the genre. Hell, you know you've become desensitized to horror flicks when you find yourself watching them on nights you're struggling with insomnia, and are looking for something - anything - to help you go to sleep!

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    3. The first two films, yeah. Not so much HR3. I can't say I read any of the comics, although a friend did and enjoyed them.

      The Constantine film took a few liberties. There's a series on Amazon, but I've not watched it yet.

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  2. The thing is, as someone who does hide who they are, it can be quite tiring. I'm so glad I don't have to pretend when I'm around the Ever Lovely Mrs J. The fact that I can be just me, rather than putting on the mask of male behaviour, is incredibly liberating.

    I think that's very important for a long-term relationship. Over the years, I've had the occasional person offer me unsolicited (and always unappreciated!) advice regarding what I should do to attract a woman and get in a relationship with her (be less "feminine" and generally "weird"), and my immediate reaction has always been, "Why would I want to get into a relationship if I have to spend it being someone I'm not, perhaps for decades if I'm particularly unlucky?"

    I remember at one time becoming interested in the whole "seduction community", which often seemed delightfully strange. While this community was initially about simply helping single guys get more casual sex (through the use of various (often arcane) techniques known collectively as "Game"), various of its practitioners eventually started developing something called "Married Game", which was exactly what it sounded like: using "Game" techniques in marriage, or any other long-term relationship. While there were probably a few good ideas in this latter philosophy (such as the whole idea you shouldn't become complacent in your marriage, and take your partner's attraction for granted), unfortunately much of it revolved around the idea that a man always needed to the "alpha", in his home life as well as his work and social lives. It all seemed way too stressful and exhausting - this idea that you could never drop the "real man" act, that not even your own home could be a refuge from the demands of stereotypical masculinity - and made me wonder what the point of having a relationship at all was if you had to keep your guard up even around your partner. Too much hard work!

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    1. Oh larks, no. I'm so with you on being yourself. Yes, I did hold back on what I was when we met. But, in honesty, I didn't know who I'd be, or where this trans thing would take me. Turns out, mostly to some good people and happy memories. Okay, ignoring some of the darkness I had to walk through. :-)

      So, no. Don't hide if you can. What a waste of time that would be :-D

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