Archive | February 2015

The Pretty Little Princess – a poem

I suffer for my art, Darlings.  Now it’s your turn.

The Pretty Little Princess

Once upon a time
in a town like any other,
a pretty little princess
was born to a mother.

And friends and family oohed and ahhed,
and toys and clothes were bought,
for the pretty little princess,
lying in a sky blue cot.

As she grew she had lots of toys;
cars and tanks and bats and balls.
She loved them all, yet happily played
with her older sister’s prams and dolls.

She loved to play at dressing-up,
like so many other girls;
wearing mum’s and sister’s clothes,
with their delicate feminine frills.

“A phase he’ll soon grow out of,”
her parents both agreed,
“once he makes friends with other boys,
best to just let him be.”

But as the years rolled on,
she kept wearing skirts and dresses,
and oft refused to go for haircuts,
wanting to keep her pretty tresses.

Her parents started getting angry,
and said she did it to annoy,
saying she couldn’t be a princess,
because she was a boy.

Father sat her down one day,
and told her she was being silly;
And said “A pretty little princess,
could never have a willy.”

The little princess was all sad,
and shed a great many tears.
And to make her parents happy,
tried to be a boy for years.

She went with Dad to football;
played war and climbed the trees;
got into fights with local boys,
and came home with skint knees

But still she yearned for frocks and gowns,
and play the girlish games girls do.
So as her parents were proud of their son,
the little princess became more blue.

And as childhood gave way to teens,
she became more and more depressed;
realising she liked boys, not girls,
despite the princess being repressed.

Mother came home from work early,
and stood there quite appalled,
as she caught the pretty little princess,
made up like the belle of the ball.

Pulled in front of her father,
both parents called her a disgrace,
as the pretty little princess cried,
mascara running all down her face.

Ordered straight back into boys clothes,
and now under watchful eyes,
the pretty little princess;
was forced to school in shirts and ties.

But the princess would be hidden no longer,
and she had finally had enough.
And although she loved her parents,
she realised she had to be tough.

Donning one of her sister’s cast-off skirts,
and a feminine matching blouse,
the little princess walked in on her parents,
no longer timid as a mouse.

“Mum and Dad,” she addressed her parents,
as they sat there both aghast,
“I know I’ve always been a girl,
in all my life gone past.”

“I can’t help being who or what I am,
nor should I feel ashamed,
for acting as comes naturally,
and neither of you should feel any blame.”

“I love both of you dearly,
and I need you more now than ever.
So please let me be who I am,
and don’t let our bond be severed.”

“For if you truly love me,
then respect the person I’ve become;
and be proud of the daughter,
who never was your son.”

A full minute went by without a word;
a tear brimmed on Mother’s eye.
And father merely held his head,
and let out a deep sigh.

“I guess I always knew,” said her father,
“you would never grow to become a man.
But this does not come easy to Mum or I,
so please help us to understand.”

“I know all you say is truthful,”
said her mother through her tears,
“that you were destined to be a girl,
so of course we support you, my dear.”

She threw her arms around her parents,
and the three cried tears of joy.
Especially the little princess,
now free of being a boy.

Now despite the talk and gossip,
Mum and Dad remain unbowed;
for they have their pretty little princess,
of whom they are rightfully proud.

© Xandra Durward, 2015

Who is on trial? A suspected paedophile? Or LGBT and BDSM people?

_0Character assassination and trial by media can only ever hurt the innocent

I am somewhat disturbed at a story in Pink News, which concerns a Roman Catholic priest who is defending charges of molesting little boys.  Am I disturbed by the story?  Well, yes naturally, but the abuse of children within the RC Church is now so endemic that one comes to expect it.  What concerns me more is the level of journalism Pink News appears to have sunk to.

“Catholic Priest had huge gay S&M porn collection, court hears”, screams the headline; and my immediate and initial reaction is “So what?”

The story concerns Father Anthony McSweeney (68), who is defending charges that he molested three young boys between 1979 – 1981.  He has admitted buying gay S&M pornography during a visit to Amsterdam’s red light district, which he kept hidden until it was discovered by his housekeeper.

There is no indication of this pornography being of a paedophile nature, and if that is the case, then I completely fail to see what bearing it should have either upon the case, or Father McSweeney’s character for that matter.  I can already hear some of you shouting that he is a priest, he’s supposed to be celibate and an upstanding member of the community.  Yes dears, and first and foremost he is a human being, with the sexual drives and leanings of all human beings.  Oh, and by the way, if he’s tossing off to gay porn, he is still effectively being celibate.

If the prosecution is seeking to convict Father McSweeney, who denies all charges laid against him, then they are using the guilt by character argument.  And as far as the public is concerned, Pink News is merely helping them to do that.

Father McSweeney may be guilty for all I – and you – know, and he may well be innocent.  To attempt to destroy him by his character and by bringing his other sexual pecadilloes into the case however, could very well sway the case against him using an extremely low blow and on a completely false dichotomy.

Consider the case of silent film star Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle and his part in the death of starlet Virigina Rappe.  On 9 September 1921 Virginia Rappe attended a party at a hotel suite rented by Roscoe Arbuckle.  That Rappe was a “good time girl” was no secret and it wasn’t long before she disappeared from the scene, as did Arbuckle.  She was found in a bedroom, bleeding profusely from her anus.  Her last words to other girls at the party were “Roscoe Arbuckle did this to me.  Don’t let him get away with it.”  She died soon after from a ruptured bladder and secondary peretonitis.  After three mistrials Arbuckle, accused of killing the girl by either vaginally or anally raping her, was acquitted of all charges.  His defence had been to prove that Virginia Rappe had loose morals, had several previous convictions, including extortion, and that veneral disease and, absurdly, cystitis, were the case of death.  The result was that a man guilty of the brutal rape (Arbuckle was hung like a horse, as well as being obese) of a young girl, walked free, purely because of the girl’s past character.

So it is that if Father McSweeney is tried on his character, because he is gay and has a penchant for sado-masochistic sex, then he is being tried on a false dichotomy which has absolutely no bearing on any paedophilic tendences he may or may not have.

That may have serious repercussions over who and what exactly on trial here.  Is it a priest accused of molesting young boys, is it being gay, or is it the BDSM lifestyle?  Most of my readers will already be painfully aware that the LGBT community in general and gay men in particular are often falsely accused of being perverts who prey upon little boys.  In fact, for those of you who are not aware, the opposite is true.  The overwhelming majority of active paedophiles who prey upon little boys are in fact heterosexual men. As case studies and statistics have proven, children are in fact much safer in the company of gay men.

Likewise, one would be hard-pushed to find anyone in the BDSM lifestyle who is sexually attracted to children.  BDSM is built upon trust between two or more consenting adults, who achieve sexual satisfaction through the willing subjection of the body and humiliation of the person.  I am not for one moment saying that there are not gay or sado-masochistic paedophiles; of course they exist, just as there are people with many sexual preferences who are also paedophiles.  No-one however could ever suggest that any child forced into gay or sado-masochistic sex would or could be a willing and / or consensual participant.  Yet by bringing the priest’s pornography collection into the case, it seems to me that the prosecution is immediately trying to make that correlation.

To attempt to make any such connection has the extremely dangerous potential to demonise both the LGBT community and those in the BDSM lifestyle (sometimes the same people) in both the eyes of the jury in the case, and worse still, the eyes of the public as sexual perverts who are a danger to children.

As we live in a culture of paranoia where parents see a paedophile on every corner (they’d do better to watch their own relatives and friends), such reporting can only serve to exacerbate the suspicion both LGBT are viewed with, at the very time children should be being taught all genders and sexualities are normal and something to be proud of.  To say I am disappointed in Pink News therefore would be an understatement.

The Pink News article can be read here:

Pope Nukes Trans People

gay-bombReligion has destroyed many lives – gender recognition embraces and enhances it

I really am beginning to wonder if Pope Francis has lost the plot completely.  In a new book, This Economy Kills, the Pontiff has comparaed trans people to nuclear weapons.

Claiming to defend the order of “God’s creation”, Pope Francis stated, “Let’s think of the nuclear arms, of the possibility to annihilate in a few instants a very high number of human beings… Let’s think also of genetic manipulation, of the manipulation of life, or of the gender theory, that does not recognize the order of creation.”

Utterly bizarre.  Particularly coming from a man who is not only celibate himself, but who heads up a church within whose rules millions of clergy, nuns and monks, and even lay people also practice celebacy.  Is that not going against the order of creation, which is to reproduce?

But he goes even further; “With this attitude, man commits a new sin, that against God the Creator,” the pope adds.  “The true custody of creation does not have anything to do with the ideologies that consider man like an accident, like a problem to eliminate.  God has placed man and woman and the summit of creation and has entrusted them with the earth… The design of the Creator is written in nature.  If we fail in this responsibility, if we do not take care of our brothers and of all creation, destruction advances.”

Really?  A sin against God, the Creator?  Okay, let’s play Frankie’s game here.  Assuming that God existed, would that God not have created trans people “in nature”?  And herein lies the problem; that the Pope, who previously has claimed to be cool with LGBT people, obviously still considers gender and sexuality to be a choice, when it plainly is not.

As to seeing “man like an accident, like a problem to eliminate”, that has never been my experience of LGBT people.  But I could quote chapter and verse of the history of Christianity (and other faiths) of eliminating people, including not a few LGBT people, who were a problem to churches, clergy and their fanatical followers.  Just as there are LGBT people who are attacked to this day, some to the point of being murdered, many more who commit suicide, because of persecution from the religious.

And I would ask the Pope, or any who agree with him, while they argue from the psychological identification of transgender people, where do they stand when such differences occur physically, such as in the case of hermaphroditism?  What happens when a baby is born with both sets of genitals?  What when such a child develops as they grow into either a girl or a boy, of which there are a great many recorded cases?  No doubt the God-botherers would claim that is different, because there is visible biological evidence.  Well, I’ve got news for them; within each and every trans person there is visible biological evidence of their gender identity.  Just because a girl is born with a penis, or a boy is born with a vagina does not make them any less girl or boy.  The point being that to wholly discard psychological identification with a gender contrary to that of the cisgender binary is nothing short of complete ignorance of what is in fact a very complex subject.

To put it another way, as the wonderful trans girl character Stephie says in Sophie Labelle’s cartoon Assigned Male; “I’m not a girl in a boy’s body.  I am a girl, this is my body. Girls have all kinds of bodies.”

And if we, still playing the Pope’s game, accept that God exists (except I don’t), then if he and his followers accept that their God can make human beings with biological differences which defy the cisgender norm, then it logically follows that any such God would be equally capable of making psychological differences.  Or does the Pope reckon that his maker would only ever be involved in biological creation, and have nothing to do with the mind?  If so, then that could be considered to be nothing short of blasphemy.  Who then is the sinner?

But then, I need no lessons on nuclear weapons and the disregard for human life from a church who once had a member of clergy, Father George Zabelka, who blessed the crews of the Enola Gay and Bock’s Car; the planes which dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Given that he once said “One cannot kill in the name of God.”, if Pope Francis had any balls at all he would publicly revoke those blessings.

And neither do I need any lessons on what is and what is not natural, or morality. from any church which not too long ago castrated prepubescent boys purely in order to keep their voices high, which to this day widely practices celibacy – which is choice, not nature – against the very commandments of the Bible to be fruitful and multiply, and which still protects perverts who bugger little boys.

The Pope Calling The Kettle Black

_80297179_80297178Hypocrisy is also a form of selfishness, Frankie Baby

So, Pope Francis has condemned those who do not have children “selfish”.

In a speech to his general audience in St Peter’s Square, the Pontiff stated “The choice not to have children is selfish. Life rejuvenates and acquires energy when it multiplies: it is enriched, not impoverished”

The remarks were supposedly directed at couples who make an active choice not to have children.  Yet as well as attempting to make such couples feel guilt and shame, his comments, whether intended or not, can only ever be yet another attack upon LGBT people.   I for one certainly feel deeply offended by his statement.

And I’ll just head others off at the pass here that, yes, some LGBT people do indeed have children.  Many more would love to be parents.   The vast majority however shall never know the joys of parenthood.  And the factors governing that are not selfishness, but rather biological impossibility, coupled with societal attitudes which frown upon LGBT people parenting children, whether that be through surrogacy or adopting or fostering children.  And why do societies frown upon that?  Because of conservative religious dogma from many faiths, with the Roman Catholic Church being one of the strongest critics of same-sex marriage and LGBT parenting.

Let us, however, take the Pope’s statement into context.  Pope Francis says that not having children is selfish. That immediately castigates not only heterosexuals who choose not to have children, but also LGBT people whose sexuality and gender is wholly natural and something to be embraced and enjoyed, not made to feel ashamed of.  That is quite a comment from a man who not only (allegedly) has no children of his own, but is the supreme leader of a faith in which whose millions of clergy, nuns and monks make an active, concious, and wholly unnatural choice – going by the very rules of that faith – to live a life of celibacy, thereby making procreation an impossibility.

It is also a church which still actively protects some of the most selfish people on the face of the planet, namely paedophiles priests, who steal childhoods and destroy lives, for their own self-gratification.

What was that about selfishness?

Given that Pope Francis has chosen both to point the finger at others, and attempt to castigate those who do not have children, as a celibate man at the head of an organisation with millions of fellow celibates, methinks today’s Bible lesson for him should come from the Gospel according to Saint Matthew, Chapter 7, verses 1- 5 (King James Version);

“Judge not, that ye be not judged.  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”

Assigned Male – Stephie has stolen my heart

Hi Loves.  Just a quick word about a webcomic I’ve been following, “Assigned Male” by Canadian cartoonist Sophie Labelle.

The heroine of the cartoon is Stephie, a 10 year old who is a trans girl.  The cartoon addresses the various issues that the trans community face, as well as combatting cisgender privilege and correcting the mistaken attitudes towards trans people.

I have totally fallen in love with Stephie.  As a good cartoon character should do, she has stolen my heart away.  I’m sure many of my friends on here will likewise adore her.

Assigned Male can be found on Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter.  Please give them a visit and support Sophie Labelle’s wonderful cartoons and artwork.