2016, Just How Bad Was It? (April – June)

Well, 2016… what is there to say about 2016? It’s the year that we will all want to forget, however the legacy of 2016 will continue to have repercussions for the next 4 years at least. Sorry folks, 2016 is leaving us, but it’s leaving it’s problems behind.

I usually do a review of the year – I’ve been vocal about this year as we went through it, so here is what I had to say at the time…
Read Part 1 (Jan – Mar)

Part 2 (April – June)

The second quarter was when the world really started going to bits, starting with the UK.

There is a Game of Thrones spoiler in this, don’t read if you’re not up to date!

April

Nothing like an April fools joke to kick the month off

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Then the realisation of 2016 and the world that we live in started to hit home. The realisation that the world perhaps isn’t making progress in the direction that we would have liked.

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Though I was able to make myself feel better by taking advantage of the heatwave to work outside.

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April also means Game of Thrones, but I had to lay down a marker to anyone who even considered spoilers!

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It wasn’t just politics that were screwed in 2016, the weather was a bit unsure too.

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May

The month where I grow older, nobody wants to get older!

Nothing like a bit of exploring to take my mind off the world

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Someone decided to work out which shade of trans I am. I also considered “In a Transpennine Express kinda way”

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We went away to Brighton, but we wished we could take Frankie

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ITV were being, well, very ITV-like, very surreal and weird.

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June – Oh dear god what the fuck is happening?!

Jon Snow came back to life, we all knew it was going to happen! (See, I told you there was a GoT spoiler in here!)

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Brexit happily coincided with Euro 2016, which I’m sure must have hurt some peoples heads.

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Obviously though, nobody important cares about football…

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The week that hit home just how far people were willing to go in relation to brexit, alongside the horrendous shootings in Florida left me really uncomfortable and with nothing to say about the world.

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Frankie wanted to remain, of course.

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On the day of the brexit vote, we elected to go somewhere far, far away.

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And then woke up the morning after…

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And finally a sentiment that I still maintain today. So far there is no sign of it “all working out in the end”

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2016, just how bad was it? (January – March)

Well, 2016… what is there to say about 2016? It’s the year that we will all want to forget, however the legacy of 2016 will continue to have repercussions for the next 4 years at least. Sorry folks, 2016 is leaving us, but it’s leaving it’s problems behind.

I usually do a review of the year – I’ve been vocal about this year as we went through it, so here is what I had to say at the time…

Part 1 (January – March)

I have to admit, the first few months of the year weren’t that bad in the grand scheme of things. We were glad to see the end of 2015, me and Ellie were newly engaged and I got on a plane and didn’t crash!

January

We all woke up on New Years day slightly optimistic about 2016, how wrong we were.

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Things started going very well, the outlook was positive…

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But then 2016 went and threw it’s first blow:

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The passport office decided to get on the wrong side of me, but I was already losing the will to fight:

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February

February bought an exciting moment however, for a brief period there were no roadworks on the M6, which was far more exciting than it should have been!

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It was also the month that #CaptionFrankie became a thing…

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Not to mention our first of many visits to Wales…

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It was also the first time that I’d left the country since I was 16, I made it onto a plane and it didn’t crash. I have learnt however that I never want to fly Ryanair again. Any airline that plays a “we’ve successfully landed” jingle makes me feel nervous, it’s almost as if they are surprised by this fact.

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March

We started off March still in Rome, and had managed to assemble a fair chunk of the north of England there…

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Though I have to admit, after a while things got a bit same-y for me! Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful city though.

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We were already starting to get a little bit worried about America, how little did we know about what was to come…

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We made it back from Rome to business as usual with Frankie…

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Facebook wanted me to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, well who was I to refuse?

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We had a proper night out – something which I hadn’t done in a hell of a long time!

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Cards Against Humanity gave us the perfect solution to our inevitable Domino’s issues.

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And March ended with a deep statement. We don’t talk about Buxton.

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Seriously world, what’s going on?

Advance warning, this post will probably contain strong language, because I’m seriously angry with the world right now. I’m also going to try to be very simplistic about my points and how I explain things.

OK, so on paper my life should be a real struggle, I’m transexual, bisexual, polyamorous, kinky (I was this before 50 shades made it cool), geeky and many other labels and terms that may not have been invented yet. In reality I lead an extremely privileged live when I compare it to the rest of the world. Put my problems alongside those who are currently in a camp in Calais for example, and my problems are so small they nearly don’t exist.

That brings me to my first point – why as a human race do we struggle so much to give other people a helping hand?

Now you’re probably reading this thinking “but I always help others where I can!” – this may be the case, but I find people often help “their own”, people close to them, people from the same country, same religion, same race. There is some seriously awful shit going on in the world right now, there are millions, billions even of people out there who are on the receiving end of all this, purely because of where they were born in the world.

Now, in the UK and most of Europe, compared to many countries, we’re privileged, seriously fucking privileged, every single one of us with no exceptions at all. The worldwide situation at the moment is causing people to leave their home countries (often not by choice) to go in search of somewhere better. Bear in mind, to most of these people, somewhere where they can stay alive constitutes somewhere better. They’ve gone through some serious atrocities to arrive “at our gates”, atrocities that put our minor problems to shame, they arrive here and find a mob of racist bigoted cunts with hypothetical pitchforks and a copy of the Daily Mail under their arms telling them that they’re not welcome.

Well I’ll tell you what world, you’re all welcome, because I’m a fucking decent human being. If we need to squash up a bit to make a bit of space for them, then so be it. If we need to share our wealth to give these humans a kick start in life that they’ve never been given the chance to do before, then be my guest. Stop being so fucking selfish people, get a grip, we’re all the same and it’s only the luck of the draw that you were born here in the UK rather than in some war torn country.

As far as I’m concerned, if you want a fresh start in life, you’re welcome here, we should help you – because once you’re back on your feet, I don’t doubt that you’ll contribute back into our society and hopefully do good for others.

If you read the Daily Mail, ask yourself some serious questions.

Do you even realise what you’re reading? You’re reading a paper (sorry, I just can’t call it a newspaper) that actively promotes hatred of other human beings. Do you not think there is enough of that world already? Do you actually believe the shit that they write in there?

That’s when they even try to report news, half the time they can’t be bothered to do that and resort to pointing out which latest celebrities have had their boobs fall out, or how fat they’ve got or anything else they can do to put down another human.

By giving this festering turd of a publication any ounce of respect, you are the problem and you are the reason that they will continue to spread hate and put other people down.

Reading The Sun is more socially acceptable than reading the Daily Mail (though I still wouldn’t recommend it personally)

Don’t ram your religion down peoples throats.

There are god knows how many religions out there, how can you be sure that the one that you believe in is right? You can’t all be right, surely? You think you have a right to act like vile humans just because you read a book sometime that said “A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this” (Deuteronomy 22:5) (It’s worth pointing out that the following passages appear a few lines later: “You shall not wear cloth of wool and linen mixed together. You shall make yourself tassels on the four corners of the garment with which you cover yourself.”) Don’t just pick and choose the bits you want to follow, hey!

And if you think that it’s right to kill someone in the name of your religion? Get the hell off our damn planet you fool, if there is a god then I’m sure they are laughing at you for even thinking that is in someway an acceptable thing to do.

I believe that if there *is* a god, if I die and find that there is a heaven, and said god doesn’t let me in because I didn’t believe in him despite doing the best I can to be a decent human being, then that won’t be a heaven that I’ll particularly want to be in.

All of that said, if your practising your religion in a way that does no harm to others, and it gives you hope, a reason to go on, gives you a sense of community and helps you to feel loved – then by all means believe in whatever god you like.

There were enough people in this country who voted Tory to allow them to get into government.

Why? Why would you do that? Do you not give a damn about anyone but yourself? I’m personally better off as a result of the tories, and this makes me *really* uncomfortable because I’m not someone who *needs* to be better off. There are people in this country on the street, you’re taking away benefits from legitimately disabled people, you’re squeezing the poor ever tighter and tighter – but you’re giving me tax cuts? I DON’T NEED A FUCKING TAX CUT – GROW A FUCKING BACKBONE AND HELP THOSE THAT ACTUALLY NEED IT INSTEAD OF ACTING LIKE SELFISH CUNTS. Don’t get me wrong, I want more money as much as the next person – but I don’t want it at the expense of someone who needs it more than me.

Also, we’re also constantly hearing stories about those in power fucking kids? Is it that hard to *not* have sex with kids? Please stop, it’s sick and disgusting.

Homosexuality is a sin, same sex marriage is an abomination etc…

Fuck off.

Why the hell do you feel it necessary to put other people down because their body is different to yours?

So someone is bigger than you, for example – why do you feel the need to highlight this in a negative way? Just the other day on a forum I witnessed someone describe another person in a photo (who they’d never met or communicated with in any way) as a “fat bint”. Give yourself a pat on the back, I hope you’ve made yourself feel loads better because of that. What’s worse? People were quick to defend it too, give yourselves a pat on the back too – you’re promoting this culture of bodyshaming that we have.

Don’t you think there is enough wrong with the world (it’s not like I haven’t pointed out a small selection already) without you feeling the need to shame and degrade someone.

Every single human being on this planet is different by their very nature. Every single person you will meet in your entire life will be different to you, so why do you insist on having such a narrow minded view on things?

America, you really need to sort your shit out.

You really think that owning a weapon designed to seriously injure or kill someone is needed? How the hell can you even justify that? Words fail me on that one – your society is fucked.

 

I have nothing more to say. World, sort your shit out.

 

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Why I won’t be taking part in any ice bucket challenges

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Right, I want to start with a few statistics taken from this article (disclaimer: I haven’t verified if they are accurate or not, but they are certainly believable)

53 per cent of people who did complete the challenge did not know what cause it was supporting

This, I find shocking! Over half of the people doing this challenge are tipping a bucket of ice and water over their heads without thinking to themselves “Hang on, why am I actually doing this?” – that is disturbing! Have we really really descended into a society of sheep? (Don’t answer that, I already know the answer is yes!).

It’s also defeating the whole point of the challenge, to raise awareness for the ALS Association and the comparable charities, but how is it raising awareness if most people doing it don’t know why, and thus aren’t making any attempt to raise awareness themselves!

Over a third of respondents said they did the challenge just to gain attention on social media

Seriously, if that’s your reason for doing it, just get out tbh, there are no words.

A further one in ten claimed to have done an ice bucket challenge because they felt pressured into doing so after receiving a nomination.

Now this is the big one for me. I’m someone who struggles with social pressure, the last thing I need is to be pressured into doing something that I don’t want to do, something that I’ll be too embarrassed to say no to. Would I then be doing it for the right reasons? Of course I wouldn’t.

I, along with many many other people only have limited money. That means I’m limited in what I can donate to charity, do you not think it’s reasonable for me to decide what charity to donate to, rather than social pressure?

The sad truth is, while I’m very sure that this is a noble cause, I personally am left unmoved by it. A lot of that will be down to the fact that I’ve seen zero attempts by anyone posting these ice bucket challenges to actually raise my awareness (most haven’t even mentioned it tbh), is there any wonder that I feel unmoved by the cause?

I personally will continue to donate to charities that I feel strongly about, rather than charities where I’m socially pressured into doing so.

All that said, I have no issue with people taking part in the ice bucket challenges and donating towards ALS/MND if that’s what they want to do, but I urge you to do it for the right reasons and to think about the people you nominate.

 

 

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Gender

Wow, it really has been a hell of a long time since I posted here! *waves* I’m still alive!

A few things recently have got me thinking specifically about gender. Now I don’t know nearly enough about gender that I should do, in fact, I know practically nothing about gender. That said, I know more about *my* gender than anyone on the outside world could possibly know.

Gender can be a big gender-y-timey-wimey blob of a thing. Everyone has differing opinions on what gender actually is, in reality people will never agree… ever. But that’s fine because it doesn’t actually matter! Whatever gender someone chooses to define themselves as is not the business of any other person on this planet.

It’s not rocket science, you don’t need to understand gender to get it. The person you are speaking to is a person, the gender that they identify as is completely irrelevant to practically any aspect of the relationship that you have with them.

Your religious views, personal opinions, your own gender, all have absolutely zero relevance to my gender, so please keep them out of it. Don’t try to tell anyone else what their gender is or isn’t, you simply will never know as much about them as they know about themselves.

That said, if you want to try to understand gender, go for it! :) I do however wish you luck! I’m probably not the right person to ask, but I can probably point you in the direction of people that get it more than I do.

 

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365 days later…

So, a year ago, this happened…

http://jeniemma.com/blog/video-jeni-moves-to-manchester/

I threw my lifetime collection of “stuff” into the back of a Corsa and Lexi safely(ish) delivered me to the north!

I walked into the pub and when I told people that I’d moved here, the general reaction was “what? you weren’t already living here?!”… figures!

So what’s happened in those 365 days? Here are some estimated statistics:
* 0 times watched X factor
* 1 successfully cooked turkey resulting in 0 persons with food poisioning
* 3 days in Macclesfield
* 6 days in London
* 6 days travelling to and from Birmingham
* 8 days in Hardy’s Well
* 15 umbrella’s left on trains
* 21 – the number of time’s I’ve sang “I think we’re in Didsbury” while passing Didsbury
* 50 bottles of wine
* 50 days in Birmingham
* 106 days sleeping
* 111 – the number of times that I’ve missed a 111
* 135 – the number of times that Kirsty has tried to talk me into going to KFC
* 208 status updates moaning about travelling to and from Birmingham
* 289 phonecalls from Lexi
* 300 repeats of the Big Bang Theory
* 362 days avoiding Macclesfield
* 365 days of no regrets
* 700 litres of coke
* 1000 tweets
* 1000 cups of tea made
* 11000 miles travelled (only 1000 of those with a car)

 

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Don’t feed the trolls

(This started out as a Facebook status update, and it started as a rant about feminism, before having a bit of a realisation and started typing this instead, and before I knew it, it was too long for Facebook!)

OK, so here’s the deal as I see it. Most people who go about their day to day life, don’t care, they don’t care about trans people, they don’t care about homosexuals. That’s not caring in a good way, as in, it makes no difference to them, they just see us as people… which is good, yes?

Our biggest fight, from what I can see is small groups of people on a mission, within larger groups. The majority of christian’s are ok, the majority of feminists, are ok, the majority of teenagers, are ok… I could go on! Yet, we end up listening and taking offence from the (frankly) idiots in the minority. What about if *we* started to not care? You know, the kind of “don’t feed the troll” logic.

Most people out there who don’t care about us, also don’t care about them, I suspect that a large proportion of their audience is us, feeding and fuelling them. A flame will go out without oxygen, surely its time we turned the fight to metaphorically starve them of oxygen?

Maybe I’m being too sensible when I say that we’ll never have 100% acceptance, there will always be a few out there that will never accept, it’s just the way that humans are, but for those few, if they’ve got no audience, then there is a massively reduced problem.

Show the world that we are normal and harmless, and the world (over time) will more and more discount the opinions of the ever diminishing minority.

That’s just my take on things anyway!

 

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I’m privileged

I posted something similar elsewhere, but here is a version for my blog :-)

Around various communities that I’m in, the word privilege thrown about as a bad thing, making out that some groups are more privileged than others. I don’t doubt that this is true, to be fair, we are all privileged in some way. I don’t want to rant about how this is just casually used in arguments with no real backing, I want to say what privilege is to me.

I am privileged to be able to walk down the street and not get any hassle, to not have to worry about *where* I go, or when I go there. There are so many people like me that haven’t been afforded that luxury.

I am privileged that I don’t have to hide the life that I lead, yet I still don’t push it in peoples faces, hence me rewording this post. Some people have to live the lifestyle they enjoy in private.

I am privileged to make the choices that I want to make, do the things that I want to do. People moan about the UK and what it’s becoming, but it’s a hell of a lot better than so many countries out there to live in for freedom.

I am privileged to pass as a girl. I don’t believe in my heart that I do, I don’t see a girl when I look in the mirror. But people around me tell me that I do, so I must trust them.

I am privileged for the advice I am given, even if I’m sometimes useless at taking it. It matters to me that people care about me enough to give it, it would be all to easy for people to give up on me!

I am privileged for friends from all walks of life. You don’t have to be a specific kind of person to be awesome, and I love you regardless of what slot in my life you fit into.

I am privileged to have the freedom to make my own mistakes, to look like an idiot, and to come out of anything a stronger person.

Not so long ago that I was struggling to find my place, I am privileged to now be finding it.

It’s a privilege to me to have people close to me. I really do appreciate that, lots. Without knowing it, the people around me save my life, very often.

This is what privilege really is.

 

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Updated Video: From A to B – My Transition

I have added some earlier pictures to the beginning of this :-)

 

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Updates

So I’m sat in a pub in New Street station, because silly Jeni got all the times mixed up and got here an hour and a half early… Doh!

May as well use this time to write a blog post, since I don’t get time anywhere else!

So what’s new in my life? I had an amazing birthday week… too much drinking, some epic hangovers and a load of very nice surprises all combined to make it pretty damn good! Oh, and some sort of chocolate based dessert daily? Yes please!

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Awesome chocolate cake!

One of the high points was definitely catching up with someone who I hadn’t seen in far too long, who I love to bits. That was one of the best presents I received, ment so much to me!

But the whole week took it out of me, and I finished my week off work far more tired than when I started! Was nice to start getting back into a normal routine… having some chill time and even gave up alcohol!

I was supposed to have come down to brum sooner… but to be fair… if you were offered tickets to see Guns N Roses… you’d totally delay your trip! The gig was awesome in every sense of the word! Though, with it ending up finishing at 2am… and me having to get up at 5… it was never gonna end well the next day :)

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Guns N Roses at the MEN Arena

Even though I don’t miss the place, I’m missing all my friends in the Midlands lots… I really need to make more of an effort to come down more often!

Have been totally enjoying the really nice weather recently, though today in brum has been pretty miserable.

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Enjoying the sun in Platt Fields Park... may have got a little burnt!

Oh, and one final thing… my boobs are massive!! Hehe… anyway, I’ve wasted enough time now, gotta go get a train!

 

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Self Harm

I originally posted this on my old blog about 4 years ago, I had lost everything I posted… but recently found a notebook with half my posts in, it is still very current.

When you are in the deepest, darkest pits of depression and your coping resources have run dry, its difficult to know what to do to try to continue to cope. Your judgement will be completely clouded, and things which you previously thought to be an unthinkable option, suddenly seem like such a good idea.

In this situation, some people, myself included, turn to harming themselves as a way to release the pain. It can take many forms including cutting, scratching, pulling hair out or overdosing. Very few people on the “outside” understand what is happening if they find out. Many will brand it as attention seeking, most people will insist that you stop, this only leads to guilt and worsening the pain.

A lot of the time, self harm is far from attention seeking, it is something they are very ashamed of and will go out of their way to try to hide. Sometimes it may well be attention seeking, but not necessarily in a bad way, it can be a cry for help. When you are stuck in the pit, it is a very lonely place, talking to someone is a very hard thing to do, it is a way of showing that you are badly hurting on the inside.

Most people who self harm will completely deny that there is any element of attention seeking, this may be the case most of the time, but there will always be people that do. They should never be frowned at, they need a bit of love and attention. Maybe they don’t want to talk, but just be acknowledged. Even something as simple as a hug can go a long way.

The worst thing you can do to someone who self harms is to insist that they stop. The guilt can be far too high and can lead to them starting to bottle up their emotions, inevitably this will get to a point where they will just have a breakdown, possibly with far worse consequences. Just offer a listening ear, company if they want it. Make sure they are being safe, the majority of self harmers will have no intention of killing themselves, they are just releasing their inner pain.

I am not a doctor, I have made no in depth research into the subject. I talk from experience from being on both sides. I used to self harm regularly, I look back at what I did with so much regret, yet I fully understand what happened, and in the situation that I was in, it was the lesser of two evils. I had the guilt of people telling me to stop, that almost pushed me to suicide on several occasions. It was the friends that stuck by me throughout out that pulled me through one of my darkest times. I now have the scars as a constant reminder of the valley that I went through.

I’m not quite sure why I’m talking in the past tense, the problem hasn’t gone away. I rarely self harm these days, I’ve come a long way yet occasionally I will still slip up. I’m terrified that I will start to slip back down on a slippery slope and end up back to where I started. I am a much stronger person now to what I was then, but nobody can be 100% strong all of the time. If the fragile outer shell that I have get broken, then I’m screwed.

I hope this helps if you know or ever meet anybody who self harms. If you are reading this and you harm yourself, just remember that the other side of the valley is never that far away!

 

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