Yesterday I went to Birmingham today for a second shoot in which I was doing another walkabout creating interest and getting the general public to talk about issues such as gender prejudiced, domestic violence and other relevant issues such as the 1985-5 Miners Strike.
On arrival I found out another photographer had let me down. Good job I brought my own gear!
The choice of skirt was a bright pink 8 and half / 20 cm bright pink micro PVC number. It soon became apparent that a bright pink micro PVC skirt was soon to bring out the best and worst in people!
The shoot started off well outside the Gay Village. I love that place. I love the Gay Quart. Used to go there a lot in the 90’s as they had some awesome deals at the bar. Plenty of great music too! Some great late nights there too!
Next stop was the China Quart love that place too. Had many great times there too! Set up my camera outside the Legs Eleven strip club as part of the anti-sexist message. A chap came up to me going on about private land as his mate got out the car with a bat. It was just 2pm in a very public place! They actually follow me.
Just around the corner I bump into a group of Lesbian women who loved the skirt and the idea of what I am doing. They tried to persuade me to go to the Gay Village with them. I declined as I was cut for time but it was great fun with one of them wanting my skirt! It was due to them women being there that the men cut their losses and backed off!
I got a good shot with the book ‘Feminism & Men’ Nikki Van Der Gaag. An excellent read which I reckon everyone should pick up!
In other places the shoot went well so I headed off to Ignite Records to see my mate Rich Perri and to pick up some vinyl he had just got in. War On Women rock! They’re a band who tell you how it is! It is a war on women out there. A very violent one that also sees trans women see violence inflicted on them too!
Next stop was the Birmingham Law Courts. It’s the same courts that sent down Miners on strike, sent down the Birmingham 6 and almost completely fail women in cases of rape, sexual assault and domestic violence. Not forgetting letting down the trans community on many instances too! The court system needs to change for the better!
Heading back down New Street I came across a group of young males mouthing off! It almost came to an altercation until two rather large men stepped in and slapped one of the abusers around the face. The response from the abuser was his legs went and he crumbled to the floor in fear. The other abusers were off on their toes very sharpish! The abuser on the floor was finished. A whole street of people walked past him laughing as he looked very scared and humiliated! I thanked the two men who took an interest in what I am doing! On a different day things could have been very different. This altercation happened in a very public place – Around 3.15pm in New Street.
I noticed the camera batteries dying so set off for one last shot in Victoria Square. Many statues in that area but this one always catches me eye as it’s the only where the pool is filled!
On the train home I had a great chat with two businesswomen on the way home. We talked about what I was doing and their own personal struggles to move further up the ladder. They were promoted at a much slower rate than their male counterparts.
Just 100 yards from my home I was thrown a load of abuse and threats thrown at me by a man wearing a Domino’s Pizza sandwich board. He was offended by the pink micro skirt and made out I was a prostitute amongst other things! How anyone wearing one of them had the nerve to insult me was unreal!
On arrival at home I put in a complaint to Dominos.
In fairness Domino’s responded rather quickly and took the incident very seriously.
Shortly after it was confirmed the employee was no longer going to be working for any Domino’s or any other company associated with the pizza chain. Great result!
On reflection it was a positive day out and one which caught the attention of the general public in a big way be it good or bad. It certainly was proof that the trans community can’t identify as they so wish even in areas where there is plenty of CCTV and members of the general public too!
Gender prejudice is alive and kicking!