It Was Our Pride, Too

Flying the flag at London Pride 2013

Flying the flag at London Pride 2013

My first London Pride was a disaster.

Fairly new to the scene, I went to the 2011 event by myself. Hoping to be surrounded by friendly and accepting crowds, instead I was met with aggression and bullying at almost every turn. I would get comments about my appearance from groups of gay men, and one lesbian was so incensed by my presence she forced her way through a crowd to tell me to my face ‘You’re not a woman, and you never will be!’ before storming off.

Pride 2011 remains one of the few times I have experienced transphobia in public. So I was wary of attending this year in case the story was to repeat itself.

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Being Pretty Does Not Help The Cause: Why A Beauty Pageant Will Do Nothing To Combat Trans Prejudice

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Miss Universe contestants always talk of ending war and world hunger. Not one of them has done anything about it

Transgender pride events are virtually non-existent.

Sure, there are pride events worldwide. But all too often the T in these LGBT events are sidelined in favour of more exposure to sexuality. In fact, with the exception of Sparkle in Manchester, the idea of a trans* pride seems to be confined to small self-help groups and inward facing communities.

So opening up my copy of Time Out magazine on the tube on Tuesday, I was happy to see word of a ‘transgender pride’ event here in London, known as London Diamond Transgender Day. Reading the beginning of an interview with organiser Dee Chanelle filled me with hope, where she said:

Trans people don’t have their own Pride event… And we need one, desperately. We’re invisible at Pride. Either that or we’re lumped in with the drag queens. Nobody raises awareness about us.

The simple thought of a trans-exclusive pride day in London got me excited. I’ve always been a believer of the idea that trans people should be open about who we are, celebrate where we’ve come from, and fight for our future. However, further reading showed that LDTD wasn’t so much a celebration of the trans community, but something else entirely.

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Passing Out

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A few months ago, life was sweet.

My new found life in London was going great. In most respects, it still is. I’m finding it easy to get work, my bank account is healthy, I have friends and maybe even a potential partner (who doesn’t live in London, but does work at Alton Towers). But I seem to be losing an ability that I unexpectedly gained when I moved to the city; one that’s incredibly important and effects every part of my life.

I seem to be passing less and less.

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Ashlee Kelly’s Fancy New Vagina

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I’ll be the first to admit that my blogging hasn’t been as regular as I’d like. I can’t place my finger on exactly why that is. I think I could blame it on some of the personal issues I am facing in my private life. For example, right this moment I am off work due to anxiety issues. Which is disruptive, to say the least. My job is stressful, which hasn’t helped matters. But the people there are lovely, and I hate being off for this long as I feel I am taking advantage of their understanding surrounding my situation.

So I have still a few days in which to pull myself together. The whole situation I am in is taking it’s toll, to the point where some pretty major events in my life have almost taken a back seat. But there’s one in particular that has barely even sunk in yet, and is what I’m going to be discussing today.

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Life in London, part one

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It’s been well over a month since I moved away from North Wales up to London. It’s certainly a whole world apart from what I’m used to. Every day on the way to work I pass world famous landmarks like the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. From my office, I can see The Shard, the looming skyscrapers of Canary Wharf, and the still rather bizarre looking ‘Gherkin’ (which I still think is a stupid name, and and truth be told looks more like something that’s kinda rude). The diversity I see in the crowds is completely different from the almost whitewash of faces I used to see every day around Chester. It’s a place where straight, white males aren’t necessarily the majority all the time (when I started my job, for example, there was only one guy in the group, and he is Asian. I’m 99% sure he’s straight, though). So really, London is a place where there is everything for everyone.

Well, almost everyone.

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New video blog

Once again, I’ve found myself not writing. When I got my iPad I promised myself that I’d make a blog every few weeks…but that hasn’t happened. I’d start writing, then I’d get distracted by something, whether it was my TV or going out or whatever. I had a nice, big post planned about my most recent accomplishment – moving to London – but I fell I’ll and by the time I actually had time to write the thing, I had already settled in my new house, and started my very business-like job. It felt too late to actually start writing about it.

So I’ve decided to start doing something a bit simpler – video blogging. See my head is always filled with ideas, and I feel I can communicate it easier through my voice. I can get it done there and then. With writing, I need more time to make sure what I’ve written makes even the slightest bit of sense (this post being an exception). I’m hoping to make it a series, discussing different developments through my transition, and exploits in my new home city of London.

I hope you enjoy, and please spread the word :)

Ashlee x