Progress

I am currently looking at new job opportunities. It’s not that I am unhappy as such, but there is a good market out there for my skills at the moment so it could be a chance to advance my career.

Anyway, the only reason I mention it is because of a positive experience I have had.

Quite a lot of job opportunities these days are found and applied for on-line. Companies use services such as “Workday” which acts as the interface between the company and the applicant allowing a seamless application and submission of CV file etc.

One such application recently sent me to a “diversity questionnaire” after the actual application part. This is a big national company. The asked for the usual kind of stuff but what struck me where the “Sexual Orientation” and “Gender Identity” questions.

What gender do you most readily identify with?

This was the first time I have seen that exact question on such a questionnaire. Most often it’s just a single word.

Gender?

The available answers to choose from were extensive and I would imagine that most non-binary-identifying people would find something that they were comfortable with, if they were comfortable answering the question (Which is of course another matter entirely).

What is your sexual orientation?

This one really impressed me as it’s the first time that I have ever seen my identity on there.

Pansexual

It’s still one of the less well known and mentioned ones and as such I have never seen it available as an option. I selected it with a smile.

We spend a lot of time bemoaning the lack of understanding of gender and sexuality so if feels good to just take a few minutes to celebrate a bit of progress.

Aaaaand just as a bit of an added bonus – here’s a sizzler……watch it/him!
lucifer

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There is nothing

There is nothing, and I wish there was nothing
There is no love, no hate
No happy, no sad
No enthusiasm for the outside world

All there is
Is the eternal internal loathing
The warm safe cuddle of self hatred
The permanent friend who has never left
Who is closer than anyone ever could be
Who hates me
Who loves me and holds me in the dark
Whispering diabolical half-truths in a lovers voice

There is nothing, and I wish there was nothing
I am a coward, a worthless waste of breath and water
I drain the joy from the ones I love the most
And who love me the most
I fill their lives with “coping” when it should be full of laughing
I give them feasts of “it’s ok” when there should be plates of smiles
I hurt them

Nothing
Nothing
Nothing
Nothing
Nothing

There is no hate but self hate
There is no anger but fury at what I am
There is no love but love of the dark
There is no sensation but that of falling towards…

Nothing

Moment of Clarity

Do you have, or have you ever had a moment of clarity? It’s a sudden flash of understanding where everything is laid out in front of you, perfectly understandable and obvious. Religious people might call it a flash of divine inspiration.

I have had a few in my life, and I had one this morning. It went something like:

Of course sexuality and gender are both societal constructs

I am a person; an animal with a mental, spiritual and physical being, just like every other “person” and “animal” on the planet. I have preferences and I self-identify in a particular way.

Some examples, and for clarity I am using “boy” and “girl” to refer to gender identities, not young examples of biological “gender”.

  1. I like music. I really like music. My favourites are Blues, Black Metal and Folk, but I listen happily to almost everything.
  2. I don’t really self-identify as “boy” or “girl” (recent realisation). I just don’t have strong feelings either way. I don’t feel like that puts me in any sort of box, it’s just a complete non-issue for me.
  3. I can be attracted to anyone. I prefer “girls” (and one in particular 🙂 ) but again, it’s not really an issue for me, if I am pulled towards someone who identifies as a “boy” then so what? If I am attracted to someone who identifies as a “boy” but who was assigned “girl” at birth, then so what?

It’s society that tells us what a “boy” and a “girl” are; how they should behave, what they should wear, what jobs they should do, who they should fancy etc. People are just people and they have individuality. They have their own individual set of morals, beliefs, thoughts and self-identifications.

Let people be people m’kay!

Descartes (Work in Progress)

Another of the photographs for my upcoming collection along with a prose piece that is still very much under construction but I wanted to share it with you in its “as is” form.

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Descartes

The only thing that is truly real must be the way that we think and feel.

Questing for eudaimonia occupies so much of our lives it distracts us from the twisted thorns of reality.

If we truly are experiencing the world as a puppet of an evil demon then the only thing we can rely on is what we think and what we feel for if there are thoughts then there must be something real thinking them.

But when our feelings are at counterpoint to the experienced world what are we to do?

Grain

I sat;
the grain of the boards calling out to me.

Begging me to follow them,
to stroke them,
to dive into them.

I caressed them
stroked them
loved them

Spent my entire life swimming with them
in them
on them

for them.

Grain

I have been working on the photographs and writing for my planned book.

Anyone with depression will hopefully recognise the sentiment in the picture and short piece above, being completely lost in something and not able to escape, it draws you in like a Siren, singing beautifully and horribly all at once.

Nowhere To Go

I have talked before about my experience with depression. Thankfully now I am decently medicated and able to engage properly with my wonderful partner I am able to turn my eyes inwards a little more and think about those feelings, even fight them when necessary.

I have also spoken about photography and my love for making photographs. I have recently started using old film cameras rather than digital (Although the results are digitised) and am loving it.

So, I am going to put the two together.

One of the key aspects of depression is the feeling that you are trapped in some way; you feel like there is no way out, no options, no alternatives. Nowhere to go…

I have started planning work on a project to combine  my photography with my words on the subject of barriers and depression. This will be the first photography project I have ever undertaken but it feels right. It has been far too long since I wrote prose or poetry; and I have never limited myself in such a way as to have to focus and write on a specific subject. It will be an interesting experience.

I will keep you posted – as a starter here is one of the photographs that I will be including in the project.

bars
bars – 2016

Maybe I can have a photo-book created, perhaps to sell and donate the proceeds to a relevant charity, but I am not jumping ahead of myself, rather my aim is to enjoy the process and get my feelings and thoughts through the lens and pen.

Blackstar – David Bowie

A 10 minute dirge is how I would initially describe David’s new single. Pop it aint! He has explicitly said he isn’t a pop star and doesn’t want to be seen as such; I think that’s great and this song solidifies that.

Jazz elements sit alongside Drum & Bass (A little throwback to Little Wonder? …) and there is a strong religious feel throughout. Commenting certainly, but what the actual message is I can’t say right now. Bowie is veiled with bandages through most of the piece, except when he stands like a character from a CCCP poster, statuesque, blessing the fields with the blackstar book.

I love it. I have mentioned before how much I like ‘him’, but I don’t always like his music. This really resonates with me though.

Anyway – watch and enjoy 🙂

Some more examples of David Jones’ genius –

Live on the greatest show on TV 🙂

Nick Rhodes

Sat with my fiance watching Duran Duran on TFI Friday, I make a comment about Nick Rhodes and how he is one of those guys that I realise I have always fancied. Her response…?

“I thought he looked like your type”

She is most certainly a keeper 🙂

Putting these pictures up I just realised that as he ages there is a touch of Andy Warhol about him. Random…

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Orange is the new Awesome!

There are many reasons to love Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black”. It’s funny, touching, life affirming and at times even a bit scary; it is set in a prison after all.

The cast is wonderful. Kate Mulgrew is so good as “Red” that I have forgotten all about Captain Janeway (Not a bad thing at all!). She is one of the more complex characters, at once domineering and autocratic but also caring and supportive. Laverne Cox is amazing. A breakthrough role for a trans woman playing a trans woman. It helps that she is drop dead gorgeous but the part certainly isn’t played for that. Again she is shown having her own struggles (At least she has been sent to a women’s prison though, plenty of trans people have their gender completely ignored and are sent to the wrong institution with what I can only imagine are pretty terrible consequences a lot of the time.)

Laverne 1

So yeah, watch it! I imagine that quite a few readers already do, it’s one of the most popular shows of the last few years.

The particular scene that made me want to write about it was in an episode we watched last night. The show is obviously very LGBT friendly and has explored Piper as a bisexual young woman, Sophia as a (I think) straight trans woman, and various characters that are along the LGBT spectrum in various places. All have been women. In the episodes we have been watching there have been strong hints of a male same-sex relationship behind the scenes and we had it confirmed.

We had it confirmed in one of the best gay scenes I have ever seen in mainstream TV. It was a tender obviously loving kiss between two grown men. It was beautiful. There was no camp, no sordid undertones (Besides it being in secret). It was a kiss like we have seen for almost a hundred years on the silver screen between a man and a woman, but it was between two men. Brilliant.

You and I – Gaga

Just……wow!

Completely blown away by how completely awesome this is. I love how all the “poperazzi” are just sat staring, confused as all hell, and Dave Grohl is sat there loving it 🙂 Makes me proud to be me, proud to be able to love what is good and great, proud to accept that I am part of the LGBT rainbow in my own way.

Watch this and love it.