The importance of seeing someone like yourself

Transgendered people in media
I guess it a little bit late but today I learned that in the just finished (thanx Annelie for the update!) cycle of America’s Next Top Model featured a 22-year old woman called Isis (middle picture) which has a transsexual background. There wasn’t any mention about her background in the official release but just like me she seem to think that openness is the best strategy and came out in an article in the USMagazine.

First I was happy for her just for the chance of being a model because ten years ago I have to confess that I dreamt a little about being a model. I guess it is the ultimate affirmation of beauty and femininity. I got to know a photographer back then who took at a thousand images of me and I believe doing those photoshoots and seeing all the images meant a lot for my process. Then I thought about that this meant that she actually got a chance to follow her dream just as the other girls on the show. That is really something for a group of people unfortunately used to being treated badly (read the comments on the USMagazine page if you want to see ugly comments…).

However, I wonder if the biggest things isn’t that fact that transgendered people actually are starting to see someone who are like them in the media. Invisibility is a hard thing to handle. The review from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) notes that a positive trend is that more transgendered characters are appearing in film and television. We have of course Alexis in Ugly Betty (left image) but she is played by a genetic female. In Dirty Sexy Money however the transgender character Carmelita is played by Candis Cayne (right image) who went through her transition 10 years ago. Not only a transgender character but also a transgender actress that has a successful career.

Further they noted transgendered Laverne Cox in VH1’s I Want to Work for Diddy and in America’s Got Talent Dorae Saunders, a transgender woman and Tina Turner impersonator, appeared. I had not heard about it but there apparently was a romantic reality series Transamerican Love Story which featured transgender actress Calpernia Addams as the bachelorette, and included a transgender man among the contenders vying for her affection. Read what Out&About wrote about the show.

Sure, there is always the argument of whether or not these are “good” representations of transgendered people but I guess it must not matter. It IS important to be visible and sooner or later people themselves find out that all transgendered are not the same while we shared some common experiences and problems in life. I think the future looks promising. It does not hurt that these women are stunningly beautiful either – seeing that your dream can become true!

Bra sizes and a very nice Birthday party

Started this morning with a home made CafĂ© Latte again and it was really nice. I still think Espresso House does it better than me but still it tasted really good. Noticed again what a big difference my new office chair is compared to the old one. It is way more comfortable sitting in front of the computer now. I can’t really figure out what took me so long. Had a nice talk over the phone with Mikael and realised that a week from now we will be in Berlin on his birthday trip. I look forward to that, maybe because it was years since I travelled and it had nothing to do with work.

A friend of mine had her brithday party planned for this evening so I set out to buy her a present. Decided to go for a book with a LBGT-theme so it turned out to be a great opportunity to visit the bookshop Hallongrottan. When I got there I could not really figure out why I had never been there before either. It struck me how nice it was to have all these LGBT-books gathered and I started looking for a nice lesbian-themed novel for my friend. I really think I need to get some of these books myself. It would be so nice to have a story where the relationship part is actually something I could relate to directly. However, the nice girl in the store guided me to some other books as well and when she told me about a book about post-communist gay men in Poland I knew she would like that. She has her heritage from Poland and the subject seemed really interesting with a story around how these gay men had come up with their own polish way of being gay under a communist dictatorship.

Happy with my purchase I headed off to the downtown area to see if I could buy some underwear for me. The experience this Thursday inspired me to get some nice underwear which I guess can make me feel even more comfortable. I felt it would be great to have some assistance so I headed for Twilfit at the Gallerian Mall where I had some faint recollection of a women working in the changing room area. It turned to to be true and she challenged me directly and rather harshly asked if I knew my sizes. She more or less insisted to measure me, I guess because many women have a tendency to buy the wrong sizes for them. I was a bit nervous at first but it quickly went away when I started trying my bras out. Somehow it felt great when she could see me in my underwear and see that I had the body of a woman. Somehow I think she felt so too because she started complementing how great the bra was and how nice my boobs looked in them. It was more fun then ever to try on nice underwear and I think it looked real good on me too! One great surprise was also that I needed a size 80D (36D in the US) on the light pink one. I have a D-cup – wow! Felt great to have her assistance and when I looked at her nametag I smiled – “Bra expert” it said! Ended up buying a black Calvin Klein and the light pink one from Chantelle.

Finished off the evening at the birthday party and my friend seemed to like my gift. It was a nice and calm evening with a couple of her friends and a dog called Milou that really liked me this evening. Ended up having her sleeping in my lap 🙂 We had ginger bread cookies with ginger bread tea topped off with a pizza later on while we watched Sex and the City the movie. Even if this was the third time I saw it I liked it again. Brought some good reflections on love and sometimes to not give up that easy. I was also reminded by A when Mr Big proposed to her by putting on Carrie her blue high heels. A is an absolute goddess on heels. So balancing getting over her with the (movie®s) message of not giving up to easy when it feels right is not an easy one.


IkvĂ€ll har jag varit och sett filmen Rallybrudar och det var en trevlig filmupplevelse med bĂ„de glĂ€dje men ocksĂ„ en del förfasande över tider som varit. Gillar skarpt Eva Röses karaktĂ€r Ulla som en tuff tjej som vĂ„gar satsa pĂ„ sina ambitioner i en ganska inskrĂ€nkt samhĂ€lle dĂ€r kvinnor helst ska gĂ„ husmorsskola och gifta sig. Alla i samhĂ€llet Ă€r emot henne inledningsvis – till och med kvinnorna vilket kĂ€nns extra hĂ„rt tycker jag. Men det tar sig i slutet av filmen och det kĂ€nns bra. En klart sevĂ€rd film med en ganska konkret illustration av hur förtrycket av kvinnor sĂ„g (ser) ut.

Definitely, maybe

I have just finished watching the cutest movie which is called “Definitely, maybe” (IMDB, Official site). It is a wonderful romantic movie about the complexity of love. The main character is getting divorced from his wife and his 10-year old daughter who is just adorable and can’t really understand why they are divorcing. So he ends up telling her a story about his different relationships but swaps out the women’s names so she have to guess who is her mum. It turns out to be a long story starting in 1992 and show how frictions and timings have a tendency to screw everything up. Expectations, mistakes, plans, lack of plans, career, geography – almost everything can be in the way if you are unlucky. Of course I cried a little bit in the end because it is was soo beautiful. Thank god for happy endings!

Another nice day at home

Wednesday morning I woke up just after eight again – this seem to be a trend. I guess it will make it slightly easier to go back to work or it is just a sign that I am not exhausted 🙂 I started by getting a bit worried over something I saw next to the stitches so I decided to take a picture of it and send it to the hospital. I was amazed how my camera managed to highlight the bruises that apparently is a result of the surgery. Looked a bit scary when I saw them at first.

Anyway Mia chatted me up and offered to come buy to fix me some lunch and provide excellent company. Thought it was a great idea so I was once again spoiled with having a wonderful afternoon with nice food, lots a talking and a walk in the park. The weather was even better than on Tuesday and with a temperature of 21 deg C it was just perfect. She left around 5 and then I decided to do a little bit of work even though I am on a sick-leave. I joined a teleconference at work and being able lie down on a sofa with pillows and a blanket it was actually a nice experience. More teleconferences should be handled this way.

In the evening i decided to watch the movie 27 Dresses which made me both smile and cry a bit. It is about a girl who has a hard time saying no to people and end up being the constant wedding planner/bridesmaid. I think I could identify with her in a few ways especially of being the single girl around a lot of couples. Some of my friends are single so I think I am fortunate to have a very mixed set of friends but anyway. I also think I am not that good at saying no because I so much want to be there for people. However, people have been really there for me during the past years so I think I have at least got much better in accepting my own vulnerability and being able to ask for help when I need it. The hard part of course is also to be able to handle when you ask for help and someone (for good reasons) have to say no. I guess that is the next step of evolvement. Anyway it was a very sweet movie and I was really moved by it.

The Second Stargate movie on its way to me

This weekend I got an email from Amazon in the UK that the DVD with the next all-new Stargate feature-length movie had been shipped to me. It is called Stargate – Continuum and I really look forward to experience the adventures of SG-1 again. I really hope that these movies have been a success and that there will more coming. Nothing like Amanda Tapping as Samantha Carter and Richard Dean Andersson as General O’neill with his great humor. I hope I will get it in my mailbox on Thursday so I can bring it to the hospital and watch it in the evening if I feel well after the surgery.

Sci-Fi weapons soon a reality?

To me one of the things that makes Sci-Fi shows so interesting is the feeling of being able to sneak-peak into a future where much more advanced technology is available to us. In Stargate SG-1 the story begins with when the team is confronted with a seemingly unbeatable enemy – the Gou’old. Later in the show they meet the even more powerful Asgaards appears which possess really advanced space ships and weapons. One of these impressive weapons from the Asgaards is the Rail Gun that one of the ships from Stargate Command gets outfitted with. So, I was really amazed when I read this article about, yes that is right, a rail gun being delivered to the US Navy. Now I am just waiting for space ships that are bigger than aircraft carriers that can travel many times that speed of light 🙂

The first Stargate SG-1 movie is available for pre-order

It was really a sad moment when I saw the last episode of Stargate SG-1 but now the first feature-length movie is on its way! It is called Stargate The Ark of Truth and it is available for pre-order here at the UK Amazon Site.

I am so looking forward to April 14 when it is released. The other day I caught my favourite actor Amanda Tapping on a short 15 min experimental movie and I realised again how talented she is an actor. There is also an audio interview with her available from her fan site.
Fortunately, I can also enjoy both the Stargate feeling and Amanda Tapping on Stargate Atlantis where she plays the expedition head.

Charlie Wilson’s War

Last night I went to see this movie where Tom Hanks plays the US Congressmen Charlie Wilson who was crucial in getting support for the largest covert operation in US History. The operation was a reaction at the Soviet invasion of Afganistan in 1979. Bearing in mind that this was during the Cold War the US decided it wanted to support the Mujahedin resitance movement in Afghanistan to make it a Soviet version of Vietnam. By supplying advanced anti-aircraft and anti-armour weapons the resistance movement was able to inflict sizeable losses to the dreaded Soviet Mi-24 Hind attack helicopters.

It was a really good movie which also was really amuzing to watch, mainly thanks to the wonderful dialogues created by Aaron Sorking (creator of the West Wing show). Since this movie is based on real events it was really interesting to somewhat relive the 80-ies and the Cold War setting. Even though I was really young then I was for some reason very interested in what happened in the Soviet Union and I remember some of this. It is also very interesting to reflect on how difficult it is to fully understand the consequences of our actions since this support of the resistance movement have repurcussions even today. The Soviet Union left Afghanistan in 1988 which probably was a contributing factor of the demise of the union and after they left Afghanistan started a journey towards an extremist implementation of islam.

However, it is easy to shift the blame on the CIA. Bear in mind that the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and what was supported was a liberation movement. If the Soviet Union have stayed in Afghanistan until the collapse of the Soviet Union a revival of extremist islam could have been risen three years later instead just as religion had a general revival in all parts of the former Soviet Union at that time. The only thing to learn from this is to invest time to not just win the war but also the peace and that it is really difficult to forsee all consquences of our actions.

A really nice Saturday

A view of Stockholm from the cliffs on my island
I have found that it easier to write when I am not feeling that good and where I have things to process. However, I think I need to be better to write about and therefore in a sense also appreciate when things are good. Here is an effort to do just that.

The past two weeks have been really hectic but also a lot of interesting and fun work. When I came home on Friday I had initially planned to go to a birthday party but I was so exhausted that I decided to cancel it and fell asleep after I had done my evening routine (which takes a while…). I think I slept for 11 hours so when I woke up I felt really good. The bakery around the corner have recently opened up again so I decided that having brunch there would be a good start and it was. Not that much people and I found a nice sofa to sit in. I brought my computer to have some company and it was nice sip some tea, look at people and then surf the web a little bit.

After that I took a short walk around the island and was once again reminded how beautiful it is where I live. I must try to enjoy that more often. The view from one of the cliffs over the water and the sun going down was so nice.

In the evening I went to Stockholm Film Festival to see a movie called “The Ten” which deals with the ten commandments in the form of 10 short stories. It was a strange movie but it was ok even though I thought they tried to be humourous but it did not work for me.