Archive for the ‘Retro Diary Enquiry’ Category

h1

Haiku City on the Go…

15/04/2014

Today is day 15 of the 30 days of April’s poem-a-day writing that is happening on Off the Trolley Production’s HaikuCity blog posts:

http://ottpshaikucity.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/haiku-no-15/ ‎

The theme of today’s haiku is housework – not one of my regular activities… But the ‘challenge’ of creating a haiku-per-day – and adding to that a fone foto or two – has been a spring cleaning for my spirit.

CreativityHaiku

The artwork above was created in March and based around a haiku composed at the beginning of that month.  This untitled piece features water-colouring & collaging of my now-shredded New Internationalist journal diary from 2009.  Having begun my gender transition in 2007, this diary would not offer clues to my hidden transgender nature (as investigated in the Retro Diary Enquiry category of this blog).

Creating art, however, has been a lifelong – and mostly regular – activity that has seen me through the challenges of not knowing/understanding my genderqueer – and bipolar and Aspergic – nature…

More haikus featured on this blog back in February:

https://offthetrolleyproductions.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/haikus-have-their-say/

 

 

h1

Retro Diary Enquiry: 9th December 1988

09/12/2013

20121101_123817

Today marks the third time that I’ve rummaged through my old diaries’ box, looking at the current day’s date in several diaries of yesteryear, only to feel too despondent about the diaries’ texts – the content and context of my life at the varied then years – and put all the diaries back into the box, and that back to its shelf space.

Image4385What can that say of my then unrealised transgender life – of which I’m searching for clues in those yesteryear diary entries?  Ironically, the more the disturbed and distressed years, the better the proof to the Gender Identity Clinics’ psychiatric consultants of a person genuinely struggling with gender dysphoria…

For the transperson living that life, those were just yet more sad days that are hard to look back on.  For me, they were days with no mention of transsexualism nor of intersex gender; no tolerance of bisexuality and no utterance of asexuality; no relief of medication for chronic anxiety and depression; an absence of diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder Level II; nil awareness of Fibromyalgia Syndrome; complete lack of knowledge about Asperger Syndrome…

Today I rummaged for longer than I had on the last two occasions in October and November.  Eventually the sixth diary I picked out of the box was for 1988.  On this day, 9th December, twenty five years back, I was caught up in yet another emotionally-charged, but asexual, relationship-of-sorts with a gay man. This day in that year, I was feeling some rays of hope that this new friendship would ‘go somewhere’.  It didn’t.  But the clue for my trans nature is there: a male side to me that was attractive to other gay men.  It wasn’t just that I felt back then that I was a gay man when I was dancing.  Some ‘part’ of me was a gay male sharing a flat with a gay best-buddie and falling for a handsome gay bloke I’d met on a Body Positive HIV awareness training…

As for the not-so-gay days, all I can do is embrace the grey’d-out (but a bit pink) shadow self

 

h1

Retro Diary Enquiry: 21&22 September 2005

22/09/2013

RothkoDiary2005From the bargain-for-a-pound Taschen Rothko diary:

This post sees me comparing a Wednesday & Thursday in September 2005 to the just-happening Saturday & Sunday of this month, 2013.  There are some links and recurring themes in my life with the 8 year difference.  The enquiry as usual is the Trans* journey clues from then versus now…

Wednesday & Thursday, 2005

21&22Diary05PicFollowing a year ‘out’ – from part-time paid employment – on an Arts Access-to-Higher-Education course, I am attending a Return-2-Work course based on crafts on the Wednesday: I struggle with the social relations with co-trainees; I get rebellious painting a colour wheel (for the umpteenth time…)

In the evening, I help my sister by bathing and putting-to-bed my beloved niece – who has disabilities from cerebral palsy. Sibling and self watch comfort TV: Hamish Macbeth [as link below] …

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0595606/?ref_=fn_ep_tt_20

Mood: “very low”

On Thursday, sign up for Italian class – which will clash with a textile class/group. Manage domesticity: this week boiling handkerchiefs, making flapjacks, cleaning top-of-the-fridge; visit the Citizens Advice Bureau (issue not mentioned – but gets completed whatever-it-was)…

Do some part-time twice-weekly volunteering work at Creative Recycling Scrapstore: it’s quiet after tidying & sweeping so do current Spanish class homework…

Go out in the evening to arts cinema and cafe: see 2004 Uruguayan film, ‘Whisky’ [as link below] on my own (as two buddies don’t show)…

www.imdb.com/title/tt0331370/?ref_=fn_tt_tt_1

Mood: “low to OK”

Mid-September Weekend, 2013

T*BSelfPortrait18.9Saturday: enjoy part-time twice-monthly volunteering work at Community Garden; take along flapjacks to sell to raise funds on this ‘Big Dig’ food-growing-celebratory day; (enjoy too my just-vaccuumed-after-months carpet: managed domesticity on Friday)…

Sort mobile phone fotos for ‘Queer in Brighton’ project after comfort iPlayer viewing: interview  with and retro footage of #1 crooner (Sir) Tom Jones…

Sunday: manage days’ worth of washing up (no space nor time to boil the waiting bag-of-hankies); photograph self-portrait watercolour pencil drawing – rebelliously ‘scribbled’ when skiving during the Queer Conference mid-week – featuring own-Trans*/Aspie-language exploration…

‘Perform’ weekly self-obligatory “qwe’re arT” blog blag space-filling…

Mood: “OK to OKish” 

Enquiry Conclusions:

2005 continues the ‘semi-denial&demi-decade’: 6-years-of-‘Noughties’-period where I try hardest, in spite of bi-2-A-sexual-leanings and andro-self-awareness, to be the social and heterosexual cis-female that I am clearly not (includes trying to learn Italian to impress manfriend: disastrously confusing on top of the Spanish being learned to replace Samba-playing for which I’ve become too ‘disabled’) – and become twice literally-suicidal-surviving…

2013 continues the transitioning ‘Teenies’ (taking ‘T’ [testosterone in gel form] begins in January 2010).  Language creation is now for me: currently busting the myth of the LGBT communal acronym… Rebellion is even more stroppy in 2nd teenager-pubertyhood…

Otherwise: still recycling cotton hankies; still being visually artistic; still only bake flapjacks; still needing advice advocates.  Houseworking on the decline energywise; socialising on the decline Aspergerwise: all positive.  Comfort TV-as-DVDs/Movies still a must…

Mood: cycling-as-ever

More anon: another date, another year…

h1

Retro Diary Enquiry: 16th August 1990

16/08/2013

RDE16.08.90CoverPlucking out a diary at random from my pocket-size-diaries’ box, I enjoy the tactile surprise of faux leather ( in hot pink ) of the slightly-larger-than-usual 1990 model with gold-foil-stamped digits worn away from frenetic 364-day journalling…

August 16th (as Americans would have it) also fell on a Thursday (as today, 16.08.13) and finds me waking early in the northern California suburb of Newark; I’m staying at my partner’s sister’s house – complete with swimming pool in the back yard.  A “depressive” grey start to the day turns to afternoon sunshine and I swim turtle-like in the chlorine-y, turquoise not-quite-depths before starting to read Russell Hoban’s ‘Turtle Diaries’ in a paperback that has been given to me by a London buddy. (This lovely story was made into a film starring Ben Kingsley & Glenda Jackson, and with Michael Gambon: trailer’d here…)

www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZanAPKDUuo

RDE16.08.90EntryThat day I also drive my host’s Honda to Target: a store that my partner pronounces ‘Tar-jay’ – in similar (but opposing ) vein to his calling Neiman Marcus ‘Needless MarkUp’…  If this was my first drive on US soil since arriving at the start of August, then when did I drive the gold Cadillac (purchased for me by brother-in-law) whose engine blew up within hundreds of meters of the house??  Memory fails me…

But what of any clues to my current experience of self from all those 23 years ago?? Well, I’m (then) in a happily-A-sexual-mostly partnership with another bi-person in CA state which – as oppose to Britain – is more inclusive of bi- with L&G-homosexuality.  I’m depressive (as usual) and staving off panic ( as usual – in the days BM  [before medication] ) and watching comedy TV of-an-evening to still my troubled mind…

My partner thinks of me as a ‘saving angel’ (sometimes)… so is this a bi-lateral sub-conscious reference to my Andro traits/qualities (as in androgyne cherubim&seraphim of the angelic realms)??  Probably not.  I’m certainly not so ‘angelic’ that I will drive him to the gym at 6.00am – as I seem to recall!  And, this relationship is doomed to go the way of all others: ‘down the pan’…

RDEGermanShepherdSadly missing from this picture is the German Shepherd of the house; this buddy has joined the canine cherubic realms following decline with cancer.  A year previously, I had left brother-in-law with a portable electro-crystal-therapy device – complete with crystals-filled test-tube (through which are pulsed battery-voltage electro-magnetic frequencies) to apply to the dog’s tumour area; he says that the dog’s final months were good ones and that he attributes that to the e-c-t* (not to be confused with ECT…)  He also mentions that he occasionally now applies the wand to his trousered nether regions – and lo-and-behold (he and) sister become pregnant after trying for 10+ years!  *see more here now…

http://www.electrocrystal.com/electrocrystals.html

O Universe, how you do move (and explode) in mysterious ways!

More anon: another diary, another date…

h1

Retro Diary Enquiry: 13th June 2004

13/07/2013

RDEJuly2004_145645Got a memory shock this week – as I searched through my old diaries – to discover that I had stopped diary journalling for 10 years, rather than the 5 or 6 years in my recall…  So, decided to plump for the return-to-journalling diary after the big gap: the year is 2004, the diary an A5ish size beauty: the gorgeous Blue Dog art of George Rodrigue. (Do see his New Orleans gallery link below!)

So, on to the diary enquiry: this 13th July 2004 entry affords a few clues to my then ‘subdued’ trans nature.  The week preceeding that date, is also familiar in other ways to my experience now: then I was low and having to keep a record of my broken sleeping; now I’m coming down from hyper and having adrenalised-broken nights…  These days are Rosy Dog (if barking…) days, but back then the ‘K9’ mood was more of the Black Dog variety… (see Glossary for canine refs)

http://georgerodrigue.com/

With hindsight reflections, I realise that I was writing differently in that ‘lost’ 10 year period; that was the time when I embarked upon creative prose/poetry/proems writing with various groups.  But in June 2004 I was concentrating on visual art creativity and had just completed a year-long, part-time art course where text was featuring in my graphics.

RDE13704_220757-2

diary entry: 13.07.04

On that Tuesday of minimal journalling in 2004, it seems that I volunteered myself, at a Steering Committee Meeting to support women with as-then-known Manic Depression (I had only had my own bi-polar diagnosis for 11 months at that point), to perform some creative writing word at an upcoming event.  Perhaps a clue to my androgyne / transintersexual nature then is in the fact that I became increasingly anxious about my proems performance at a women’s celebratory event and backed out of both appearing and attending close to the date…  This was yet another example of my finding myself shying away from and retiring from women-only happenings – but without an obvious notion of why… (most dramatic in my mind was my inability to get myself to Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp in the 1980s).

TzolkinTwins_0598More interestingly to me… on the art course I had painted (a rare medium for me) a ‘self portrait’ based on the Mayan Tzolkin numbering system and featuring an image of myself with my twin as foetus.  Perhaps in the summer 2004 a year had passed since I finally realised that I had ‘lost’ my twin – a brother – at foetal stage (after many hints over 15 years or so from varied therapeutic bodyworkers of ‘traces’ of foetal trauma evident in my physionomy – plus a few clues in my own behaviour and thinking).

Since being ‘out’ as andro and chatting with other Trans* folk, we have discussed the possibility of ‘foetal lone twin syndrome’ being a cause of transgenderism ideation.  I had certainly not known before 2003 that it was quite common for two eggs to be fertilised in the uterus but for only one to survive, and the other to be not miscarried but absorbed into the uterus – and, presumably, also into the other surviving and developing foetus… Back in those early Noughties then I was thinking that my sense of dual genderedness was due (merely) to a conscious grieving (at last) of my ‘long lost twin brother’…

More anon: another diary, another date…

h1

Retro Diary Enquiry: 5th June 1974

05/06/2013

RDEPurpleDry1974_150049Starting with the first year of my diary journalling (1974), I find June 5th to have fallen, as today 5.6.13,  on a Wednesday.  It was a schoolday; the writing in this mini, pocket-size diary is not my smallest: not too much to say on a schoolday – other than history revision for mock ‘O’ Levels…

So, any clues in that entry as to my ‘hidden Andro nature’??

5thJune74_123432

pocket-size diary text: 5.6.74

The most surprising fact is that I record that I was sewing a dress! Not any garment that I recall and the sewing fact surprising, not because I was in any way a ‘tomboy’ dresser, but because I thought by then I had made a decision not to handmake clothes – after my experiences up to this 14-going-on-15 stage with the well-intentioned but frequently-too-big garments (“for growing into”) that my seamstressing mum had made for me…  (Interestingly, the floppy gusset now seems to have reached its heyday as a fashion feature – predominantly on the male-identified body…)

I see from the Sunday entry of 2nd June ’74 that I was also mending a kimono dress; this was a pale turquoise wrapover-style and ankle-length satin dress of my maternal grandmother’s (out of our dressing up trunk of clothes) which I wore to parties at the time.  Now I would only be seen in a dress if it was a ‘fancy dress’/drag up occasion (but I’ll wear a fine calf-length kilt – see foto below – over trousers in snowy/icy weather)…  I started to feel, in the new-millenium-noughties, that I was a gay male in drag anytime I wore a supposedly feminine, skirted outfit.

Back to ’74: I wrote that I spent an hour on the phone with my first boyfriend discussing how to spend our upcoming Saturday evening: I was in love &  our first anniversary was coming up on 8th June…  Aah! here’s a clue to my androgyny: ‘J’ was an extremely good-looking, androgynous-facially, blonde 18 year old (with Scandinavian parents).  Too young then to understand the concept of gynandrophilia (being attracted to the feminine in a male-identified person, and vice versa, the masculine in a female), I was certainly attracted to his Botticelli cherubic looks: that which stereotypically embodies the notion of the androgynous angelic…

Kilt & Jacket_225830

But no!  Only a month or so later, this first love-of-my-life would dump me for not being ‘hippy’ enough, in relation to my clothes style and lack of interest in drugs (and possibly in reluctance to be more sexually active – as an also-‘hidden Asexual‘)… So those lurid emerald green trousers, with the white pinstripe, worn with the fluorescent blue/pink/yellow zip-up cardigan hadn’t turned him on??

Horrors to recall such hideous taste – but these are signs of my attire rebellion, that prelim’d the late 70s’ fluorescent punk era to come, and signalled my desperate need to be different, to look individualistic; signs of the early teenager with own clothing earnings (from cleaning and babysitting) manifesting the sense of difference I had felt since kindergarten age… Sadly, same boyfriend mistook my intention when I wore a black crepe calf-length/ ‘midi’ dress (also out of the dressing up trunk) over jeans; ironically he described my look as “whoreish”… These days my middle-age genderqueer dress sense is still questionable: a sort of twin-set-&-pearls mixed with hip-hop-bling,  AKA ewe-ram dressed as lamb…

 

More anon: another diary, another date…