Wednesday 29 February 2012

META Magazine.

The first issue of the digital META magazine came out a couple of weeks ago. It looks glossy and bright (design by Fernando Safont) and... very promising. Just the cast list is impressive in itself: Paris Lees, Roz Kaveney, Jane Fae, Del La Grace Volcano (!!), CN Lester, Dru Marland, Jennie Kermode. As the subtitle proclaims, it's a magazine by t-people for t-people, where "t" stands for "trans". Paris Lees expands on this in her editorial:

What do we mean by “trans” though? You probably have your own definition, but we use it in the most inclusive sense; covering all types of genderqueer, genderless, transsexual, gender variant and gender non-conforming people, and also those with a trans history, loved-ones, family, friends and allies. It’s an idea which is sometimes expressed using ‘trans*’, but we’ve opted against this asterisk. This is partly a question of style, but also a matter of principle. We believe that everyone should feel welcome under the trans umbrella, regardless of punctuation. Roz Kaveney wonderfully outlines this broad concept of family on Page 25.

Indeed she does — in her strong piece "Cat Herding" (definition at Urban Dictionary), which concludes: "So here we all are at META magazine – passing men and stealth women and trans dykes and genderqueer bois and neutrois and two spirit people and hijra and galli and katoi and the rest. We may not be able to stand each other, but we are all still family." Nicely put.

For the rest, there are: features on Justin V Bond, Lewis Hancox, Steffi Moore, CĂ©line Sciamma, Diane Torr; articles on Gendered Intelligence, gender-free parenting, queer bodies, the trans "community", the word "tranny"; columns on binary finery (this time American Football and baking), clubbing, media watch, personal problems (agony aunt), and queer culture.

And all for the completely unprohibitive price of £1.99 (or £9.99 for six issues). I got it at pocket mags. Alternatively, there's an edition available for an i-app.

I'm already looking forward to META #2 :)

Saturday 18 February 2012


Damn. The first anniversary of my first post has been and gone and I didn't even notice. Or rather, I knew it was this month but thought it was later on. Whereas, checking the date just now, I see it was February 7th, which was a week last Tuesday. Oh, well, never mind.

So, how has it all progressed...?

Reviewing the first year, I think the reason (“related thoughts”, etc) given in the first paragraph of that first post, ‘Why this blog?’, still stands (though perhaps I should have said “especially me”). I've found it extremely useful working on the 26 posts (now 27 posts), drafting, redrafting, editing, reediting. The mere fact of putting something in a public arena for other people to read, to judge, requires you, forces you to be far more rigorous about it – at least it does me. And when it comes to personal matters I'm much more coherent writing than talking.

Looking through the first year stats: By far the most viewed post has been the ‘sexual fantasy’ one. I guess that's because it contains phrases like “sex with men” which get picked up by search engines – in which case readers may have been disappointed by its actual content, since it's not really very steamy.

My own favourite is probably ‘Femme clothes, women's clothes’, about which I have become more and more convinced since writing it. (There will be another post on this topic in due course.) Other personal highlights include: the penultimate paragraph in ‘Pronoun trouble’ (which sums up my own problems with social gender); and ‘Reading my way into femme’ (which should be self-explanatory).

More stats: Monthly traffic peaked in December at 1093 hits (and no, I don't track my own pageviews ;)). Google is (of course) the highest referrer, followed by T-Central and Samantha's Blogspot. Thanks Calie, thanks Sam.

Thanks as well to anyone who's read anything I've written, and especially to everyone who's commented on anything. Although I'm primarily writing for myself, it's nice to know that it's not completely in a vacuum, that some people are at least slightly interested in what I've had to say.

Here's to Year Two :)