Journal

Welcome to my online journal, which I started in December 2002 after several very persuasive hints from friends. Although I obviously don't write about everything that happens in my life here, I hope it'll provide an insight into who I am and what's happening in my life - whether good, bad, happy or sad.

Brain bending recognition

Posted by Anna at 20:40 on Saturday, April 22, 2006
My Gender Recognition Certificate arrived yesterday.

It's only a piece of paper really, but its interesting what legal effect it now has (within the UK at least).

Before it arrived I could legally walk into any registry office in the UK and marry a non-trans woman, but not a trans woman (unless she has a GRC, in which case I could). I could marry a man only if he was trans and didn't yet have a GRC.

Conversely, I could form a civil partnership with a non trans man, or a trans woman (provided she didn't have a GRC), but not a cisgender (non-trans) woman or a trans man without a GRC.

Since yesterday, it's changed a little.

I can now marry any man (unless he's trans and doesn't have a GRC) or any trans woman without a GRC, but not a cisgender (non-trans) woman or a trans woman with a GRC. Conversely I could form a civil partnership with a cisgender (non-trans) woman,a trans man (provided he didn't have a GRC) or a trans woman (provided she does).

Is it any wonder people find this confusing?

"Turn off your phones, or better still: switch to vibrate, lie back and enjoy..."

Posted by Anna at 23:17 on Saturday, April 08, 2006
...so says the introduction to Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues, and very apt it is too.

I've never really been a theatregoer (more from lack of opportunity than inclination I think) but never let it be said I'm not one to try new experiences...so when Beth and I found out that The Vagina Monologues was coming to Hampshire we knew this was one show we would be mad to pass up on.

If you aren't familiar with the show it's a sequence of monologues derived from interviews with women all over the world ...women of many backgrounds, cultures, experiences and sexualities. The cast and content of the performances change regularly, and on this particular tour Sharon Osbourne, Lisa Riley and Jenny Jules were performing. Given all that, we knew we were in for an entertaining evening, to say the least!

We arrived at the theatre about half an hour before the performance was due to begin, to find that (not surprisingly) the audience was predominantly female...so much so that I felt I could count the number of men there on the fingers of one hand.

Incidentally, the Mayflower theatre is an amazing venue, dating from 1928 and capable of seating up to 2200 people. The places just oozes atmosphere (it's just as well the Rank Organisation didn't get their way and turn the place into a bingo hall in 1970!) and if you can imagine 2000 plus women in absolute hysterics in such a venue you'll certainly be able to imagine how we felt being there.

The Monologues themselves were expressive and trememdously moving - whether telling the story of how women related to and viewed their bodies, or their many varied experiences (whether happy, shocking or sad...and believe me some of the accounts were truly shocking) - they together amounted to something special and empowering - truly a celebration of women and womanhood. All were told by our hosts in expressive style with an empathy and humour (especially Sharon Osborne...words just couldn't describe the performance she gave!) which just carried the audience along.

I'm not exaggerating when I say that it is a show that every woman should have the opportunity to experience. After all, where else can you learn how to recognise whether the man sitting next to you (for those lucky enough to have one, they were a rare breed indeed that night) is a "Bob" or hear 2000 women shouting "Penis!" at the top of their voices?

Highly recommended.