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I am absolutely speechless, and in protest, I sat outside with my wife (also a full Labour Party member who joined after January 12th 2016).  We wore gags over our  mouths in protest. Thanks to the people who came along and protested with us.


If you  are a Labour Party Registered Supporter, or full member after Jan. 12th and can’t get in to your CLP’s ‘Supporting Nomination’ meeting, MEET OUTSIDE as we did.

 7:15, Friday 5th August 2016, St John with St Mark Church Hall, Parkinson Street Bury BL9 6NY – PEACEFUL & SILENT Demonstration, no intimidation, no abuse, ‘like Gandhi’. WEAR A GAG over mouth.

Our Labour Bury North CLP had a meeting as above, which they said we were ineligible to attend although we are full members and we paid the extra £25 ‘voting surcharge’ in the two-day window.

We are allowed to vote in the actual Leadership election (we think) but can’t attend our own CLP’s ‘Supporting Nomination Meeting’.

In my case this despite having paid £3 registered voter fee last year + full membership subscription + £15 subscription to LGBT Labour (an official ‘Affiliated Group’) + this £25 ‘new member voter surcharge’ – but because I was not a member before 12th January 2016 I am unable to attend or vote in the CLP’s ‘Supporting Nomination Meeting’ to nominate the Labour Leader!

The draconian and undemocratic eligibility criteria were as follows, as stated in emails from our Labour North West Region and our Bury North CLP Secretary:

From: Andy Smith <>
Date: 28  July 2016 at 12:13:50 BST
Subject:  Supporting Nomination for the Leader of the Labour Party

Dear Colleague,

                   CLP Supporting Nomination for the Leader of the Labour Party

Bury North CLP will be holding a meeting to give local members an opportunity to discuss the candidates and give consideration as to whether the CLP might wish to make a Nomination in favour of a Leadership candidate.

This letter is to advise you that this meeting will take place:

On  Friday 5th August 2016 commencing at 7.30 p.m. the venue will be :

St John with St Mark Church Hall, Parkinson Street Bury BL9 6NY

According to our records you are eligible to take part in the meeting.

To take part in the Supporting Nomination meeting you will need to have been a member of the Labour Party on or before 12th January 2016 and not be in arrears.

Eligible members – Freeze Date (as per NEC decision):

Only those members who have been Party members on or before 12 January 2016 and are therefore eligible to vote in the ballot will be eligible to participate in the meeting.

Those members who are showing as being in arrears from after the Freeze Date, will be able to participate in the meeting provided they pay the arrears at the commencement of the meeting, or provide proof that they have since paid the arrears to the national Party.

No registered or affiliated supporters or non-eligible members can attend or be allowed entry to the meeting, unless they are also an eligible party member.

If you have any questions in regard to your eligibility to take part in the meeting you will need to contact John Smith 0161 761 3597

John Smith

Labour Party Bury North CLP Executive Secretary
(no email address?)

(I emailed Labour General Secretary Iain McNichol about the NEC’s recent decisions – but no reply so far – Kate.)



  • The Meeting will check the eligibility of all members attending.
  • A discussion will take place on the qualities of the Nominees.
  • No Member will be allowed to speak more than once and no contribution will exceed 3 minutes.
  • This discussion period will not exceed 45 minutes.
  • Following the discussion of Candidate qualities, the Meeting will move to a Ballot if such is agreed.
  • If the Meeting decides not to make Supporting Nominations, then the Meeting will be closed.
  • If a Ballot is agreed Tellers will be elected to undertake the Count.
  • The Ballot, if one takes place will use a single round preferred voting system (as used in the final Ballot for a parliamentary candidate).
  • The Count will be witnessed by the CLP Secretary and Chair.
  • The Ballot result will be announced to the Meeting and the CLP Secretary will be instructed to fill out the Supporting Nomination Form and make arrangements for it to be returned to the Compliance Unit ahead of the deadline of 12 noon on Monday 15 August 2016.

This email has been sent out from Labour North West at the bequest of Bury North CLP.

Sent by email from the Labour Party, promoted by Iain McNicol on behalf of The Labour Party, both at Southside, 105 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QT Website: to join or renew call 0345 092 2299.



As many of your know, I am a transgendered author who has been writing and publishing trangender fiction since 1994, which has been read and loved by readers all round the world.

I have never had a single complaint or adverse comment about any of my transgender stories in the past, but recently I spoke out for tolerance and inclusiveness in the transgender community on a on a TV dating site, after which I was attacked by a number of ‘trolls’.  The substance of what I’d written was positive and suggested that people within the trans community should be supportive to each other and not persistently  hostile and negative.  Unfortunately I was then vilified myself by the same small minority of ‘trolls’, who referred to my transgender fiction in order to attack me.

These attacks degenerated and became more and more personal, so I left the site in question.

I thought that would be the end of this persecution, but it still continued in the form of a threatening and intimidating email sent to my web hosting company. I chose to ignore it and treat it with the contempt it deserved, which proved to be the right thing to do – as the persecution stopped. In case you haven’t guessed, this despicable persecution and bullying happened on TVChix – my advice is don’t whatever you do post to any of the discussion forums on it, because your posts, however innocent, positive and innocuous will be attacked by sick people masquerading as members of the trans community who obviously don’t have a life and have nothing better to do.

I have posted a rebuttal on my websites, which includes the following words:

IMPORTANT NOTE: The stories in our magazines and books are works of transgender fantasy FICTION.

The stories are not true – anymore than J.K. Rowling’s stories about evil wizards are true. Because J.K. Rowling wrote about young people not having a very nice time at the hands of evil wizards in some of her books, it does not make her an evil wizard herself, anymore than authors of crime fiction or murder mysteries are criminals or murderers.

Some of our stories feature mothers, aunts, grannies, wives etc. who feminise boys or young men and turn them into girls. This is a common theme in transgender fiction and is about wish-fulfilment on the part of transgendered folk, who really wish that this could happen to them! None of it ever happened!

We have had to spell this out, due to attacks and slanderous allegations.

We believe in freedom of creative expression for transgender authors and artists. We are proud members of the LGBT community, and just as lesbians and gay men would be horrified about the idea of gay fiction being censored and vilified by a small minority of puritanical fundamentalists, we hope you will support us in maintaining that members of the trans community should be equally free from this type of politically correct oppression from these puritans who seek to put back the clock to the 1950s and attack the advances in artistic and creative freedom that were achieved in the 1960s and 1970s in liberal democracies.’

Please show your agreement by posting your support on this site and supporting me on my other social networking sites.

Amber Goth

Olivia Foster, a lesbian who wrote a paper on transgender and homosexual individuals for her English class,  recently commented how transgender and homosexual individuals are socially isolated from society. She asked: ‘How do you think we could help people understand transgender individuals? I really want an inside opinion! Thank you so much!’

This was my reply, which I am repeating here as a separate posting:

I think the first thing is that we all need to support and be tolerant of each other in the LGBT community. If we can’t be tolerant of each other, when we are ‘differently gendered’ or ‘differently sexually orientated’ from the so-called ‘norm’, how can we expect so-called ‘normal’ or ‘straight’ people to be tolerant and understanding of us?

As I said in my last blog post, I love lesbians and gay men, and I love socialising with my sisters and brothers in the ‘Gay Village’ in Manchester.

Unfortunately I have come across people, mainly in the trans community, who, in spite of their own transgenderism, appear to have a bi-polar approach to gender, and want to self identify as either a ‘transvestite/crossdresser’, just ‘a bloke in a frock but there’s nowt queer about me’ at one end of the TG spectrum – and what I might call ‘fundamentalist’ transsexuals at the other end, who regard themselves as in some way superior, or ‘more the real thing’ than other transgendered folk.

I think it is crazy to divide ourselves off from each other in this way. To me, if we have ‘gender discomfort’ or ‘dysphoria’ to any extend at all, whether we are occasional crossdressers, regular or full-time transgendered girls or boys, she-males, drag queens or drag kings, or pre- or post-operative transsexuals – we are ALL members of the transgender community, sisters and brothers under the skin, although some but not all of us usually identify ourselves as one gender or the other (not necessarily our birth gender) by our outer clothing, hairstyle, makeup, mannerisms, voice pitch, speech patterns and gender identity.

This is why I prefer the term ‘transgendered’, because it is inclusive and can be taken to cover us all, wherever we are on the gender spectrum or continuum, and I believe most people, including those who are not transgendered – so-called ‘normal’ people, are also somewhere in the middle.

We all, regardless of our biological and chromosomal sex, have feminine and masculine characteristics – but unfortunately many people are frightened or reluctant to fully express all parts of their personalities. So if most people are somewhere in the middle regarding the gender spectrum, transgendered people are just folk who find themselves on the ‘wrong’ side of the mid-point of the spectrum, so they self-identify as the ‘other’ or ‘opposite’ sex – that is, they have, in terms of traditional gender attributes and gender stereotyping, more of the characteristics of the gender on the other side of the gender ‘mid-point’.

This of course is very confusing for them, in a world which persists in the traditional bi-polar attribution of so-called ‘feminine’ and ‘masculine’ traits. But that is not to say that if this gender bipolarism was reduced to the point where everyone was free to wear what they like, and express their gender identity in any way they like, there wouldn’t still be transgendered people, because obviously there would be those, like me, who feel the need to have surgery to change their bodies as well as their clothing so that they can feel ‘whole’, be fully the person that they feel they are inside, and be perceived as such by others.

I don’t think I have exactly answered your question, Olivia, about how transgender and homosexual individuals can feel less socially isolated, as regards ‘straight society’. I’ll try to address that now:

Within the LGBT community, we can feel less socially isolated by all supporting and learning to understand each other, whether we are transgendered, lesbian, gay, bisexual, heterosexual, or any combination of the aforementioned.

But how do we achieve social and cultural acceptance, and therefore feel less socially isolated, regarding ‘straight’ society? The answer is simple, and it is what the Gay Liberation Movement did in the 1960s and 70s – ‘coming out’ – by NOT staying in the closet, by holding events such as Gay Pride and Sparkle, and by mixing as much as possible in and with ‘straight’ society, so that we seem as ‘normal’ to them as we seem to ourselves – just ‘people’, human beings – like them.

I guess the implication of this is that we shouldn’t just hang out in LGBT bars and clubs, and areas like the Gay Village in Manchester, where we know we are safe – we should also go into and be seen in ‘straight’ places – out shopping, and in ‘straight’ pubs and clubs, or anywhere that any other citizen of the world can go! We should be proud to be who we are, and the more we are ‘out’, the more it will be accepted as ‘normal’ to be LGBT.

Easier said than done, I know! I recently did go into a ‘straight’ fairly working-class ‘blokish pub’ in my home town, as my femme self, naturally, together with my (genetic female) wife/partner and a genetic female friend. The three of us girls were the only females in the bar, and we did get stared at, and I felt decidedly uncomfortable. At least one man, a little, wiry, Yorkshire terrier of a chap who was very ‘blokish’ indeed, looked over in our direction with a scowl on his face, as if there was a bad smell emanating from our corner of the room!

It would be easy to conclude that he had ‘read’ me as transgendered and was prejudiced against me, or that he resented our feminine intrusion into an otherwise male sanctum, or that he was just appalled that two of us ladies were drinking pints! But it could just have been that it was a Friday, the end of the week, he had perhaps had a bad week, and was tired and not in a good mood anyway – and that that was just his characteristic expression – and nothing to do with our presence in the bar!

This brings me to a final point – which is that it is too easy and in fact we can be completely wrong when we try to ‘second-guess’ people’s reactions to us. What did that look mean? Why is that person staring at me or smiling at me? We may think we are attracting unwanted and possibly hostile attention – but it could just be that if someone is looking at us – they might just be thinking how nice we look, or how interesting we are, or how they would like to come up and talk to us!

There are different levels of ‘coming out’ as transgendered.

I have been out on the U.K. transgender scene for over 30 years. I regularly hang out in Manchester’s Gay Village as Kate; I have been to lots of TG groups and events over the years. This is one level of coming out.

But when you come out to your neighbours, friends & family, when you begin to inhabit the real world as a woman, that is a different level of coming out – and it is truly wonderful!

I have tried not to use the expression ‘coming out in the real world’ to describe this, because the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered) world is every bit as real as the ‘real’ world, but in transgender clubs and groups, or in gay bars or night clubs, one feels immediately accepted – you are just yourself. I really like lesbians and gay men, and I love socialising with them.

We in the transgender community owe a great deal to the brave lesbians and gay men who fought for their rights in the 1960s and 70s. The Gay Liberation movement blazed the trail for all folk differently gendered or differently sexually orientated. And I am so grateful that the lesbian, gay and bisexual community have embraced the transgender community in recent years, and I am proud that the ‘T’ on the end of LGBT stands for us!

Thank you, sisters and brothers, I love you so much!

Coming out in LGBT places, you will feel safe and respected, and you will find many new friends, and no one will harass you or discriminate against you – that is one level of coming out. And it is real, and wonderful. If you are still entirely in the closet, get out there, young woman, and meet us all in the LGBT community! We don’t bite! (Well only the Goths and Vamps among us, maybe!) – and we are friendly, loving people!

But beyond that, there is coming out to the wider world, to the ‘straight’ world, to the so-called ‘real’ world – and if you can do it, you strike a blow for the advancement of all transgendered people – because the more we do it, the more we will be accepted.

I have passed a few milestones myself this week. I went to the hairdresser’s en femme, and finally had the girly cut I have always wanted. It was great! Thank you, Ellie, you are a star, and you made me feel a million dollars!

After that, we did a bit of shopping in Tescos. No problem. Then we had a drink in the local branch of Wetherspoons. No problem.

This morning, while I was tapping away on my laptop, doing my trans social networking on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube (I’m Amber Gothy, Amber Goth or ambergoth on these, so please do ‘friend’ me or follow me!), my son came in and said he had terrrible itching all over his back from sunburn. My son is 24, and he has known about Kate since he was 7.

So we went off into Chesterfield, on a busy Saturday, and got him some Aloe Vera Gel in Boots; then we went into Wilcos so I could buy a Gillette ‘Venus Embrace’ lady razor pack and some Satin Care gel for doing my legs. Couldn’t find either in Wilcos, so we got them in Superdrug. Yes, I did that with my son.

My daughter has known about Kate since she was 9 – and she is 26 now, and has just had a baby boy, making me and my wife both grandmas! My daughter and son have also been very supportive and completely unfazed by my transgenderism right from when I first told them – I am very lucky, and I do know it – thank you, Anne and Henry!

My wife has fortunately known since before we were married – and I think that’s 38 years this year. She has always loved me as Kate (in fact she prefers me as a woman), and she has been wonderfully supportive and just about the most fantastic wife and partner any transgendered girl could ask for! Thank you, Rosie, for always being so accepting and loving!

To finish up about our shopping trip in Chesterfield today, we went into Waterstones, where my wife works, and she introduced me as Kate to one of her fellow booksellers, explaining that I was transgendered, and always had been! The lady in question didn’t bat an eyelid, just said: ‘Well why shouldn’t you do what you want?’

Walking through the crowded shopping streets on the way back to the car, no one gave us a second look. Apparently no one ‘read’ me – or if they did, they didn’t stare. The more of us who do this, the more folk in straight society will regard us as ‘normal’ – because we are normal! We’re just people!

So there you go. A happy, liberating experience. I guess I am fairly lucky in that I have my own long blonde hair, and I am not tall or big-boned and I do not have a very masculine face – although it is still more masculine than I would like, which is why I have decided, finally, to have Facial Feminisation Surgery (FFS) this year. I am so excited about it!

But even if you are over 6 ft, with huge hands, a jutting jaw and a heavy beard shadow – you can still do it – and I know people who do. Some of the girls who come to Sparkle come by train or other public transport, and even if they look a bit masculine, they brazen it out! They don’t care! It is all about confidence. Most ‘genetic’ women (i.e. women born female, with XX chromosomes rather than us poor girls who were born XY) do not go around wondering if strangers in the street or in a shop are thinking they might not be women. They just don’t ever consider it. Even women who are – well – frankly ugly or overly masculine in some way – don’t ever think this (though to me, no woman is ugly, some of us are just differently beautiful, and it is what is inside that is important). So we, as transgendered women, just have to remember when we are out and about – we ARE women. Walk with confidence. Act normal. Don’t slink. Don’t look embarrassed or furtive. You are doing nothing wrong. You are just being yourself, your true self. You are expressing your femininity, as any woman – or for that matter, any man – has the right to do.

Be proud that you are a woman. Be proud that you are transgendered! You are in a state of grace! You are lucky! Not everyone – particularly not ‘straight’ men – can feel and experience what you can feel and experience, if you ‘out’ as a woman. Women know it’s great to be a woman!

(URL for this is:

I realise I haven’t blogged for ages.  I will try to find the time to write something here very soon.

Meanwhile, you might like to know I am now ‘tweeting’ – you can visit my two Twitter accounts below:

Amber Goth on Twitter

Tranny Fiction on Twitter

I have hardly any followers on Twitter! Please do follow me, as I will be able to Twitter more often than I can blog

Tales of Crossdressing Volume 10 has also just been published

That’s all for now, folks.

Pope Benedict XVI says saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behaviour is just as important as saving the rainforest from destruction.

The pope used his traditional end-of-year speech to say a few words about what he considers the important issues of the day. In a world where the practices of greedy bankers and corrupt financiers have forced the global economy into recession, and the insane policies of evil African dictator Robert Mugabe have caused the outbreak of a cholera epidemic and driven his own people to the brink of starvation, the 81 year old pontiff felt an attack on homosexuality and transgenderism was the best way to make use of his end-of-year address to senior Vatican staff.

Pope Benedict looks askance at gays and transsexuals

Pope Benedict looks askance at gays and transsexuals

At a time when a record number of homes even in more affluent countries are being re-possessed and many people find themselves unemployed and facing an uncertain future, the pope emphasised his total rejection of ‘Gender Theory’. While people are facing starvation, disease and genocide in the failed states of Africa – Zimbabwe, the Sudan and Somalia, to name but three of the worst – the 81 year old ex-member of the Hitler Youth showed where his priorities lie by saying that homosexuality and ‘Gender Theory’ are as big a threat to humanity as environmental challenges such as the destruction of rainforests.


Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe raises his fist against the decadent West

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe raises his fist against the decadent West

Pope Benedict XVI explained that defending God’s creation was not limited to saving the environment, but also protecting man from self-destruction.

The pope warned that ‘Gender Theory’ blurs the distinction between male and female and could thus lead to the “self-destruction” of the human race.

Gender theory

Gender theory explores sexual orientation, the roles assigned by society to individuals according to their gender, and how people perceive their biological identity.


Gay and transsexual groups, particularly in the United States, promote it as a key to understanding and tolerance, but the pope disagrees.

It is not “outmoded metaphysics” to urge respect for the “nature of the human being as man and woman,” he told scores of prelates gathered in the Vatican’s sumptuous Clementine Hall.

The Catholic Church opposes gay marriage. It teaches that while homosexuality is not sinful, homosexual acts are.

In 2005 (his first year in office), Pope Benedict XVI upheld a ban on men with “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” becoming priests, and also described homosexuality as a “tendency” towards an “intrinsic moral evil”.

The former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – once known as the Holy Office of the Inquisition – from 1981 until his election. His defence of church doctrine led to him to be called “the Pope’s enforcer” and “God’s rottweiler”.

Joseph Ratzinger was elected to the papacy in April 2005. At the age of 78, he was the oldest cardinal to become Pope since Clement XII was elected in 1730. Joseph Ratzinger was born into a traditional Bavarian farming family in 1927, although his father was a policeman. At the age of 14, he joined the Hitler Youth and was briefly held as a prisoner of war by the Allies in 1945.

Could there be another reason why the pope has used his end-of-year address to speak out against homosexuality and transsexuality? Perhaps he hopes that the traditionalist, ant-gay wing of the Church of England will depart from the Anglican Communion and re-join the Catholic Church.

It cannot have escaped the elderly pontiff’s notice that in July 2008 the Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan declared that Gene Robinson, the openly gay Bishop of New Hampshire, “should resign for the sake of the church.”

In a press conference at the decennial Lambeth Conference, the Most Rev. Dr. Daniel Deng Bul said that homosexual ordination “is not what is found in the Bible” and that it is “not the norm of the Anglican world.”

Archbishop Bul, who serves as Bishop of Juba as well as primate of the church in Sudan, represents some of the most persecuted Christian minorities in the world, and lives in the country where Mrs. Gillian Gibbons was last year accused of insulting Islam. She was arrested, tried, and sentenced to 15 days in a Khartoum jail.

What had she done? Sheffield-born Mrs. Gibbons, mother of two, primary school teacher – and clearly a danger to the Sudanese state and to the whole Islamic religion – had allowed the seven-year-olds in her class at the Unity High School, Khartoum, to name their teddy bear Mohammed!

Did the pope speak out when the Sudanese government of President Omar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir persecuted a harmless, 54-year-old English primary school teacher? Did he denounce this ludicrous, outrageous act of bullying? No, he did not – even though he is no lover of Islam. In 2006, in a controversial papal speech, the Pope quoted a 14th century Byzantine emperor who said the Prophet Muhammad had brought the world only “evil and inhuman” things. This provoked intense anger in the Muslim world. He recently generated more anger among some Muslims by personally baptising a prominent Muslim convert, Magdi Allam, who has been an outspoken critic of Islamist militancy and a strong supporter of Israel.

I like…

I like Barak Obama (so far); David Davies (a courageous Tory who believes in standing up for our fundamental democratic freedoms unlike the despicable Blair gov’t); I like Agnostics; Atheists; Buddhists; Earth-Goddess Worshippers; Feminists; Goths; Jewish intellectuals; Lesbians & Gay men; Gregorian Chants; Optimists; Pacifists; Pagans; Poets; Secular Liberal Humanists (probably am one); Socialists; She-Males; Shamans; TV/CDs; T-Girls; Transsexuals; Wiccans; Wombats; Women by birth or choice; any folk who value and worship the Divine and Earthly Feminine in all its manifestations and psychological, social and gender characteristics; I like any cruiser motorbikes, esp. Yamaha Viragos and Harley-Davidsons; I like drinking (esp. scotch whisky & real ale); gothdom; free speech; talking about gender, transgender, life, religion, the universe and everything…

I don’t like…

Political correctness, religious fundamentalism, war-mongering neo-conservatives, God-bothering redneck creationists, Janet Street-PorterSandi Toksvig (who has ruined my enjoyment of BBC Radio 4’s ‘The News Quiz’); Calvinists, bigots of all types, including the Pope; and especially I don’t like self-righteous hypocrites and self-serving politicians and rich lawyers who line their own pockets and do favours for their cronies – for example Tony & Cherie Blair, two of the most loathsome individuals on the planet.


So do I consider myself a ‘woman’ or a ‘man’?  And what does religion say about gender identity?

When I am dressed as a woman, I see myself as a woman.  Obviously I don’t view myself as a woman all the time, but my desire to function socially and be accepted as a woman most of the time is getting stronger, and I recognise that.  I haven’t indicated whether or not I see myself ever living as a woman full time. Maybe I do, maybe I don’t.  (I can tell you that even if I had SRS, I would probably occasionally dress as a boy just to be contrary – because I’m like that!)

I guess I want the best of both worlds, and I actually can’t see why that is impossible.  Perhaps that’s naive, but there you go.  Too much Monty Python in my youth, probably.

I don’t like being designated as a ‘CD/TV’ any more as that’s not how I see myself, and I think those expressions are very limiting.

I am also suspicious of the whole way that transgendered people are ‘diagnosed’ by the medico-psychological professions who believe themselves to be the experts on transgenderism.  I think our understanding of TGism is about at the stage that the barber-surgeons of the 18th century were at as regards conventional medicine, if I can make that analogy.

In other words, the so-called experts may well be wrong; their ‘treatments’ as regards SRS etc. may also be wrong, at least for some people.  Certainly that great early pioneer of how to ‘treat’ transgendered people medically, Dr. Harry Benjamin, has been proved to have been misguided in some instances.  The famous case of the male twins who were circumcised is an example of this – something went wrong, and one twin had his penis accidentally cut off by the rabbi – Dr. Benjamin then decided he should be raised as a girl, with disastrous consequences for the individual concerned, who as an adult chose to revert to the male gender.

SRS may not be the inevitable end point for all transgendered people – be they transsexuals or not – and I am not sure even whether the term ‘transsexual’ is any more helpful than ‘transvestite’ or ‘crossdresser’.

Transsexuals are cross-dressers or transvestites, at least while they are pre-operative, as the terms ‘cross-dresser’ and ‘transvestite’ are properly merely nouns denoting a neutral description of behaviour.  The term ‘transgendered’ on the other hand recognises the distinction between gender, a social and psychological construct, and biological sex, which is a physiological reality.

I don’t see gender identity as an ‘either/or’ – I think ‘man’ and ‘woman’ and ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ are simplistic psycho-social constructs over emphasized by the three great monotheistic or Abrahamic religions, as a means of reinforcing prejudice and justifying the control of one biological sex over the other.  As an agnostic humanist, I don’t care for any of the fundamentalist manifestations of Islam, Christianity or Judaism.

Some societies and cultures have never fully subscribed to the bi-polar notion of sex and gender, and have room for a ‘third sex’ – North American Indians recognise the ‘squaw man’ as a valued member of their community; in Thai culture there are the Kathoi or ‘Ladyboys’; and more recently in our western society being a ‘she-male’ seems to be growing in acceptability and popularity as a social gender role option.

On the subject of Ladyboys, we saw a wonderful cabaret of ‘The Ladyboys of Bankok’ which fortuitously visited my home town of Chesterfield (Derbyshire, UK) last week, so we were privileged to enjoy the performances of some of the most beautiful ‘transvestites’ in the world.

The brochure we bought before the show about the Ladyboy cabaret described them as ‘tranvestites’ and referred to them as ‘Mr – ‘ but I would guess this was for the benefit of the general public, who may not have come across Ladyboys before.  The female pronouns ‘she’ and ‘her’ would inevitably be used within the troupe (I would guess) to denote the Ladyboy members, as there were also four distinctly male members of the group.

The Ladyboys had well-formed breasts, wide hips, narrow waists, very slim builds and very beautiful feminine faces.  They looked much more like women than many self-identifying ‘transsexuals’ I have met.

To me and probably the rest of the audience they looked like lovely women – but yes, I understand they still also had their male parts down below.  Some would probably see the Ladyboys as ‘transvestites’, but I saw them as very feminine and beautiful women.

What, exactly, is a ‘woman’? Now there’s a question! (See Simone de Beauvoir’s ‘Second Sex’ and the Feminist writings of the 1960’s and 70’s.)

If we have to use limiting gender designations, Ladyboys could best be described as ‘TG girls’ or ‘transgendered women’ – I can’t see them as ‘transvestites’ – they are much more than that in their full social gender identity as women.

What makes a ‘woman’ or a ‘man’?  I think it has very little to do with what you have between your legs, but everything to do with how you feel inside, how you express your personal psychological ‘gender’ attributes socially, and perhaps more important than anything – how others view you.

So in my book it is perfectly possible to be a ‘woman’ with a penis, or a ‘man’ with a vagina – and there are plenty of examples.

I appreciate that I am probably challenging some entrenched views among the TG community as well as ‘straight’ society – but there you go – if we don’t challenge these stereotypes and definitions, we are never going to progress as a species beyond them.

To  be governed in one’s behaviour by conventional male/female/masculine/feminine stereotypes is very limiting and it is a shame that so many so-called ‘normal’ or ‘straight’ people are so controlled in how they are able to express themselves gender-wise.

I see no point in giving up one straight-jacketing stereotype (as a conventional ‘man’) simply to don another, as a conventional ‘woman’.)

I am transgendered – yes, but I refuse the designation ‘transvestite’ or ‘cross-dresser’, and I am  not ready to take on and adopt the term ‘transsexual’ to describe myself.

I rejoice in my transgenderism, I regard it as a gift, and I wouldn’t be any other way, unless it was to have been born a biological (genetic XX chromosome) female.  I guess that would have been my first choice – but being a TG girl isn’t too bad as a second choice.  I would hate to be a ‘straight’ male – it must be ghastly.

To sum up, I would suggest there is much more to gender identity than that which is believed by conventional society – and the transgender community is itself a work in progress and shouldn’t be circumscribed by these conventional definitions.

As we find out more about ourselves as trangendered people, we can educate society as a whole – and ourselves – but it would be a pity if we were constrained by the traditional views of what constitutes a ‘woman’ or a ‘man’ .

The current prevailing orthodoxy, originating, as I have suggested above, from the bigoted, repressive, misogynistic and patriarchal views promulgated by the Abrahamic religions, does not have to be the last word on the subject.

So there you go.  I can’t seem to leave this subject alone. Oh dear!

As regards my prostate, (with which I was having problems), I got the result of the PSA test today – it was normal – so I’m quite pleased about that, even though I know the PSA prostate test can be unreliable.  I am still going to see a urologist (my G.P. referred me) re. the prostate, just to make sure I have nothing to worry about, as I do seem to suffer from many of the symptoms of BHP (Benign Prostate Hyperplasia). 

Regarding taking 1mg of Finasteride to promote my scalp hair growth, this is more from vanity than necessity.  I am lucky in that I probably don’t have much to worry about.  I will upload next a very recent photo of myself and Rose-Marie (my wife) taken l at Martine Rose’s ‘Harmony Weekend’ at Matlock Bath  – which should be appearing as my avatar and photo on TrannyWeb once it has been approved by the moderator.  I already have shoulder length blonde hair and therefore don’t have much to complain about, but I am conscious of a very marginal thinning right at the front of the crown, which I’m hoping that the Finasteride might improve after about a year – but if it doesn’t do anything, it doesn’t really matter that much. 

I am still working out which is the best ‘ femme’ hair style for myself, bearing in mind my age and personal preferences.  The current very straight styles maybe don’t work for me, as my hair is naturally curly, and although I can get it to go straight (at least the hairdresser can), I think a few soft curls or ‘bangs’ as they say in the States, works better in softening and framing my face (god, I am going on…sorry!)

Regarding why I am trying to feminising my body, please excuse the length of my reply, but I need to ramble on at some length also about this, and it might be helpful to others in a similar situation.  

Yes, I guess I am transitioning, or to put it another way – as my wife says – I am a ‘work in progress(!)’ …but from what and to what is perhaps at this stage still open to question. My current designation on TrannyWeb as a ‘TV/Crossdresser’ doesn’t really describe where I am at nowadays. I would prefer ‘transgendered’.

I prefer to think of gender as a very broad continuum.  Some people start at one point (eg. hetero TV) and stay on that point all their lives; others may start at one point and ‘get off’ at another point – which is probably what is happening to me, and I am sure I am not the first.

I have thought about this a lot over many years.  In the late 1980’s I did a Masters degree dissertation on ‘Gender Identity Development’ – and very much believed in ‘nurture’ rather than ‘nature’ explanations of gender identity, which partly came out of 60’s Feminism, Simone De Beauvoir’s ‘The Second Sex’, and the idea that women and men are ‘made’ (by upbringing, society, etc.) rather than being born.

I am gradually trying to explain here my own development re. theories of transgenderism and gender identity in the context of developing psychological, psycho-sexual and societal theories of gender identity development and the views, explanations and distinctions that were advanced by transgender social groups such as the Beaumont Society and Northern Concord (a Manchester-based TG group), over the last 30 years or so.  Quite a job I have set myself!

I am not sure I am any longer convinced about the ‘hard and fast’ designations or self-identifications of TG girls as either‘ TV/crossdresser’ or ‘transsexual’. And in saying this I know I am posing a threat to some people’s confort zones, and will probably bring down the wrath of both the  ‘professional’, ‘wear it on my sleeve’  transsexuals – and ‘hetero TV’s’, who believe themselves to be ‘just a bloke in a frock…but I’m not in the least bit effeminate..’, who make a big thing about distinguishing themselves from transsexuals, so as not to frighten the horses, wives and partners, etc.

If we have to use the ‘TV/crossdresser’ versus ‘transsexual’ distinction – and see these as mutually exclusive rather than different points on the same ‘spectrum’ – I guess some people would say it sounds as if I am moving more towards the latter designation, in that I am taking female hormones and feminising my body, etc.  But I still prefer to use the expression ‘transgendered’ in describing where I am myself, as this seems to me to be an embracing and inclusive term, whereas ‘TV/crossdresser’ and ‘transsexual’ are arguably limiting and more ‘exclusive’ – though I don’t have a problem at all with folk who prefer to self-identify by using either one or the other term, and for many these are probably the best designations.

I prefer ‘transgendered’, in that it can be taken to include everyone who dresses as the so-called ‘opposite’ sex (a term in itself with which I disagree) –  my understanding of the term ‘transgendered’ (which may be wrong), is that it can include transvestites/crossdressers;  transsexuals;  she-males;  drag queens;  drag kings – regardless of sexual orientation, so you can be ‘straight’ ( hetero), bi, lesbian, gay, or whatever, but we are ALL transgendered if we sometimes or all the time like to dress in the clothing normally associated with the other biological (genetic) sex…and if some of us do something about changing our bodies as well. Phew!  Glad I got that off my chest!

 I thought and believed originally, back in the 1970’s – when I first ‘came out’ – that I was a ‘heterosexual TV’.  When I joined the Beaumont Society in the 1970’s, I had to say what I thought I was, and this was the nearest designation that described me at that time.  

The closest I could come now to an accurate designation of myself is that I am a ‘she-male’ and ‘lesbian’.  If I transitioned the whole way, I think I would be lesbian.

My wife and I have been discussing all this recently.  She knew about my cross-dressing before we got married, as I made a point of telling her.  She was under the impression (and so was I) that she was marrying a hetero tranny, which she was quite happy about.

We are still happily married (after 31 years), and Rosie loves my female side and in fact used to get cross with me if I didn’t get a skirt on often enough. That hasn’t been a problem lately, as these days I seem to be Katie more often than I am my male self (poor dolt that he is).  

And yes, I am taking female hormones, and my wife rejoices in my growing breasts and very much enjoys touching and fondling them!  Aren’t I lucky?!  But she also enjoys making love to a male as regards the ‘down-below’ department, and would miss this if I have SRS (sex-reassignment surgery – ie. getting an ‘innie’ rather than an ‘outie’).  We both recognise that this is no longer a total no-no and impossibility in the future;  it is acknowledged and open for discussion between us, including the consequences for our sex life. (We both laugh about ending up as two old ladies.)

I guess if that happens we might rub along together as a lesbian couple.  Likewise if my feminising hormone regime, or for that matter, any treatment for prostate problems meant that I could no longer get an erection, we would deal with that in a similar way.  Or Rosie joshes me that she might just go off and find a toy boy – and I guess she might, who knows!  (I hope not – but I would hardly be in a position to object.)

I am certainly still at present heterosexual, in a male sense, so being lesbian as a female might be on the cards if I transition the whole way – but again I say, who knows?  Perhaps I’ll go and find a toy boy as well.  There was certainly a very nice young man – looked a bit like a public school type, with a floppy quiff, waiting on us two ladies for afternoon tea in the restaurant at Chatsworth House yesterday (nice young man, nice young man…) Maybe sexual orientation, as well as gender identity is also a ‘moveable feast’, or perhaps we are all basically bisexual (…discuss).  Am I hetero as a male, am I hetero as a female, am I lesbian, am I bi – who knows?  Who the fuck cares?  Ain’t life interesting?!  We should embrace all the possibilities, as regards finding out what we are gender-wise, sexual orientation-wise, life, the universe and everything-wise… Is there a god?  I don’t think so, but I can’t prove it, and neither can you prove there is a god, if you are god-botherer…  But I digress…

I think I’ll stop for today at that point…!