Saturday 25th April 2015 a photo shoot was set up with Andy from Motogp46 where I would be promoting issues such as domestic violence, gender prejudice and Caroline Lucas’ recently released book.
I set off from Telford Central on what was the most packed train I’d ever been on. Madness! I finally arrived in Birmingham for 10.30am and had 20 minutes to get over to Broad Street. I meet Andy bang on time.
We set off to the canal on Broad Street and we overheard many people making comments about how I was dressed. Some were complimentary and others transphobic. We didn’t have much time to spare to talk to people as the weather was heading for a pour down.
The first photo I’m holding an educational book from Everyday Victim Blaming. It’s filled with facts and stats regards many serious issues regards victim blaming women who have been attacked etc. The latest book can be purchased from Amazon.
Identifying as MTF trans I experienced ‘Victim Blaming’ first hand. I was walking down the street later on in the day when a man started following me with a phone camera. I politely asked him 3 times to put it away and he kept badgering me. In the end I grabbed his phone and smashed it against a wall. He called over two passing police officers to make a complaint. His argument fell flat when he blamed wanting to film me on the way I was dressed. The police in fairness were having none of it and sent him on his way. They called it ‘Restorative Justice’ me breaking his phone!
Sadly women have to deal with this on an almost everyday basis where their clothes are usually blamed on them being harassed, sexually assaulted or raped. It’s totally unacceptable that men carry on like this! Men need to stop their violence against women and anyone else who don’t follow the gender rules.
I’m MTF Transgender and I don’t apologise for it. I am who I am. You can take me or leave it! I’ll never wear male clothing again. I feel comfortable with who I am.
Sadly other people saw different.
In the Chinese Quart for example I got shouted out by a group of men from a pub. I just ripped into them making them look dicks! Being cis men they didn’t like it. However their plans were thwarted by a group of Birmingham City fans who told them bluntly if they wanted to fight the men would have to fight them. Those men walked off holding their limp dicks. They lost their bottle! One even was going to dial the police for protection but that plan was thwarted too!
Even in the Gay Quart when I head to the Gay Village bar a couple of lads mouthed off from their car.
After having a couple of pints at the Gay Village I headed back towards the Bullring Shops. There I came across a DJ outside who made a transphobic comment about how I was dressed. He was bluntly told how I or anyone was dressed had nothing to do with him. I grabbed his mic and threw it in the bin. The security again were spot on and said he was the one in the wrong and I was allowed to carry on with my shopping!
Heading towards New Street I copped some grief off 5 builders working overtime on the project around New Street Train Station. One of them actually threw something at me so I picked it up and threw it back at him. They weren’t expecting that. Being ‘Real Men’ they tried to make an issue out of it but I was having none of it! In fairness some of their colleagues tried diffusing the situation but these 5 men were having none of it! Well that’s the way it was going until some police officers arrived on the scene along with one of their bosses. Sadly for them all 5 were fired on the spot and I got an apology from their boss. The police asked if I wanted to press charges but I think losing a wage of £600 + a week was punishment enough!
That’s how it rolled but in fairness there were lots of positive comments from the general public too! Some made me smile especially when an OAP commented on my pink stockings and told me I had a cute bum!
Going back to the photo shoot I took the ‘Honourable Friends?’ book written by Caroline Lucas the Green MP. I think she’s a brilliant woman who’s one of the most important politicians of our time. Here’s hoping that Caroline is given a second term in office.
Here I’m in Digbeth wearing an Anti-Domestic Violence t-shirt by Irish punk band ‘Paranoid Visions’. Where it’s generally accepted that around 85 – 90% of domestic violence incidents is because of men directing their anger at women. The 10 – 15% of cases regards women being the perpetrators of domestic violence is not so clear cut. The main reason being that in many cases is where women simply retaliated to violence started by the man. Women defending themselves should not be classed as domestic violence. It is self defence!
Finally micro skirts are great to wear but you’re screwed if you get a gust of wind blow in your direction as I found out Saturday! Andy captured that on camera. I’m so glad that I wasn’t in such a public area! Women who have experienced the same fate haven’t been so lucky and some publically humiliated by comments coming from men! Get a grip eh lads!
So that was my trip to Birmingham on Saturday and one that finished with a brilliant musical experience!
Thanks again to Andy for the photos and taking time out to do them! Much appreciated.
A big thanks to Rich Perri from Ignite Records for always having some great vinyl in stock to buy.
All Photos: Andy – Motogp46
Words: Steve DIY