Saturday, 11 June 2016
While Waiting Needlessly Outside Newcastle Civic Centre
I'd volunteered to do something.
To be a transgender activist with something. At least in a small way.
That's quite rare for me. I hardly ever get involved with anything the trans community gets up to. I'm happy to help people or offer advice and obviously it's Transgender Day of Visibility every single day for me because I don't exactly make a big effort to pass. See my post from last year with the nice title, "About My Breasts, Fucking Passing, And The Wisdom of Autism." I can't be bothered with passing. I am me and the world can put up with that. And normally I don't give a damn what people think unless I'm feeling vulnerable. A recent incident in Southport affected me for a little while. But mostly I just don't care. So I don't do make up. I don't wear prosthetics. I don't tuck. And I don't exactly wear clothes that help me to blend in.
Yes. I had volunteered. To be videoed. For something to be released publicly. I'd arranged to meet with a small group of transgender people outside Newcastle Civic Centre and with the person organising the video taping - another trans person. In the event things didn't work. The organiser couldn't make it and couldn't let us know because she got caught up with something at short notice. That's fine. It was an important thing for the well being of another trans person. The organiser works so hard for the community and the community would not be where it is today in the area without all that she's done.
I sat with a trans person for a while. It was pleasant in the sunshine to wait for the organiser and to talk, because we'd really not done that before. If I go to the transgender support group it's a far harder social situation for me and I honestly can't cope with it well at all and pretty much can't speak unless I manage to just be in the kitchen with a person or two. Sitting in the main room with all the people is beyond my capabilities and I generally can't say a word and find it very stressful. That's just me, and hey, a local support drop in for autistic adults was too hard for my head too. The autistic people can do social far better than this autistic person can! Talking with one person in a quiet place is much easier for me. We sat on a bench for a while, here:
Then they gave up (wisely) but I wasn't prepared to leave yet and I waited some more. Needlessly. And while I waited I decided to use the time. Out came my phone. And these pictures happened.
That bird is Iceland. It's the lead bird in the Five Swans sculpture, "Swans in Flight" - the full sculpture is in another picture. The birds represent the countries of Scandinavia in the order in which they achieved a democratic government. Iceland was first. The sculpture is based on the poem The Swans of the North by Hans Hartvig Seedorff Pederson. I haven't been able to find the poem online. If anyone has a copy and could send it to me I'd be grateful - assuming it's in English.
This is the River God. It is five metres up a wall. Both this and the swans were made by David Wynne. He was very well known having made Guy the Gorilla at Crystal Palace, and the linked hands design for the 1973 fifty pence piece that marked Britain's entry into the European Community. (Personally I am hoping that we aren't going to unlink those hands before the month is out)
He died in 2014 aged 88. If you want to read about him, this is his obituary from The Daily Telegraph.