Beach beer and paddling with ladyboys in the Philippines. I wonder what the collective noun would be here? A delight of ladyboys? Pictures made in 2016.
Jelly and I went to the beach to relax and drink beer with some ladyboy friends. Two, Azumi and Icey, paddled around in the water and I photographed them. Icey reminded me of Botticelli’s ‘Birth of Venus’. She had amazing – dyed of course – auburn hair that fell in cascades around her face and adopted a perfect contrapposto, holding a towel over her head to keep off the sun.
We are currently, in 2020, in a crisis in which young Sexual Inverts, sometimes called gender non-conforming children, sex non-conforming children, pre-transsexual children or just transkids, are under a level of attack not seen since the 1980s. This comes largely from a disparate and thoroughly poisonous group calling themselves ‘gender critical’ or ‘gendercrit activists’.
This group appeared about ten years ago and is partly comprised of various flavours of radical feminists who believe, erroneously, that gender is a ‘social construct’. If HSTS is what it is claimed to be, then two things logically must follow. One is that Sexual Inversion is a real thing and the second is that gender must be related to sexuality. It cannot be formed by ‘socialisation’ but instead is the innate means by which an individual expresses and communicates his or her sexuality. This destroys the greater part of feminist dogma and so these feminists would like to see HSTS erased. Prominent in their ranks are Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, aka ‘Posie Parker’, Anne Ruzylo, in the featured picture and Graham Linehan, a television screenwriter. (See HERE)
The Philippines has become very important to me over the last four years. It’s now the focus of much of my life and I want to spend more time there. The winters in France are just too cold for me now.
When you visit a country for longer periods, months at a time, as I do, you can’t do quite what the holiday tourist does. It’s partly to do with budgets but also with burnout. You have to learn to chill and take it easy.
Flying out to the Philippines
Before the start is always the bit that has me in a fankle. I get travel stress a week before The Flight. No matter how long I give myself for preparation the last few days are a nightmare — and I always forget something. (This time it was the sandwiches for the train — but I had time to go back.)
Because I live in rural France, just getting to the airport is a journey. I take the train from Chagny to Charles de Gaulle airport. You can either go direct to Paris Gare de Lyon and then get the RER across to Roissy, or take a direct train. I do the latter. And after nearly missing the flight on a previous trip to the Philippines — because of a train delay — I always leave a lot of time now.
When I find myself on the platform at Chagny, it’s OK. The pressure goes away. I’m in the pipe now, and at the other end of it is the Philippines. All I have to do is get on the right trains and planes and I’ll get there.
Maryhill, the poor part of Glasgow’s West End, in 1974, was a different world. Looking back on these pictures, 45 years later, I am still moved. When I came to the Philippines first, a kind but unaware French friend told me that I would see poverty such as I had never seen before. I had not the heart to tell him; I had seen worse.
Yet on the other hand I have so many memories of Maryhill and most of them are good. I was never robbed, beaten up or threatened there. Nobody ever asked if I was a Catholic or a Protestant — a question I would get used to later. People were poor, yes, many had no shoes; but they had community and mutual respect. I see that today in the Philippines. We lost a great deal when we lost that.