On Monday the 25th of May, a chill went through my veins in a way that is indescribable with words, as my arms started to convulse in the throes of an overwhelming anxiety attack that left me feeling sick to both my personal and professional cores.
There in black and white on the screen in front of me, was a paragraph that challenged not only my gender identity and sexuality, but my ability to remain professional and impartial in a way that no journalist, let alone person, should ever be expected to face. Like a rabbit caught within the eyes of a snake, it left me feeling terrified in a way that I had not felt in years, as the memories of some of the worst times in my life came flooding back. Read more
A few days ago, The Guardian’s Fred McConnell asked a question that’s left me thinking pretty seriously about the society that I’m living in today. Namely, does Sydney have a progressive enough environment that LGBTI people, particularly Trans-people, can feel loved and safe within.
Now to most people that would be a pretty straight-forward question, however after some of the events that I’ve experienced over the past few months, I’m reticent to give either a definitive yes or no as an answer.
That’s because while there’s undeniably a lot of goodwill towards the LGBTI community as a whole present within the Sydney metropolitan area, there’s also a lot of issues, concerns and events that get conveniently swept underneath the carpet within this city on a day to day basis, by both the powers that be and the LGBTI community itself as a whole.
Now for the most part, I’ve been extremely lucky ever since I packed my bags and headed down to Sydney a couple of years ago from the far reaches of northern New South Wales. From having the unwavering support of service providers such as The Gender Centre through to having a lot of friends and mentors from both the LGBTI and wider community who’ve stood steadfast beside me each step of the way, I couldn’t have wished for a better time or place to transition in.
Needless to say, with friends, mentors and allies such as Kate McClymont, Christine Forster, Michaela Whitbourn, Virginia Edwards, Amy Coopes, Lauren Ingram, Rachel Smith, Julie Lawless, Mark Textor, Sarah Davis, Ebony Allen, Peter Lloyd, Penny Sharpe, Tracey Spicer and a whole studio full of people from places such as Fairfax, News Corp, The Hoopla, SBS, Seven and the ABC amongst others, I know that I’ve got both the personal and professional networks that I need here in Sydney not only in order to thrive as a person, but to love life in general as well. Read more
If there’s something that I’ve always wished for throughout my life, it’s been the ability to always be myself all day and every day in ways that I could only dream of previously imagining.
From exploring the utter highs and lows of humanity through to the journeys of family, joy, sorrow and love, I’ve always wanted to experience everything that life could offer me, while embracing it all.
Now while I’m now doing that and I feel as if I’m experiencing the much lauded concept of “having it all”, I can’t help but recognise the fact that for each and every one of us that there’s a different meaning to that phrase which in turn directly challenges how we live and engage with the never ending events within our lives.
Like a massive soap bubble taking shape within a home-made bubble wand, our minds are constantly moulding the desires that each and every one of us has throughout each and every stage of our lives. So while sometimes “having it all” may feel impossible to grasp and comprehend for any of us, at other times it can be completely and utterly within our reach.
He thinks that because he has had a nip here, a tuck there and popped a bunch of pills that he is now a woman.
I don’t like to speak on behalf of women, so I’ll let them describe how they feel about his analysis that femininity consists of the sum result of a bunch of cosmetic surgery and hormones stuffed in a bottle.
While they consider their response, it might be worthwhile for them to remember that Malcolm has publicly stated that he is still attracted to the ladies. And when he puts on his Army skirt and lipstick, he is allowed to hang out with them in the bathroom.
The other thing I’ll say about Malcolm is that he may not be female, but he sure does act like the Queen Bee.
Angus, as the Deputy Chief of Army is affectionately known around my parts now, also said I should resign from my position with the Army Reserve. I suppose that is a polite way of saying bugger off.
And I have politely ignored his request, although I did pen this piece in honour of Angus.
Now, I don’t want to jump to any false conclusions, like thinking that Malcolm is getting a better deal in terms of treatment from the military head honchos than I am. But I am starting to consider signing off my correspondence with the chain of command as Bernice.
Maybe then they will listen to the evidence I have put to them that the ADF is complicit in child abuse by marching with a bunch of men clad in leather G-strings and busloads of topless women while kids looked on at the Mardi Gras.
Maybe then they will listen to the truth that soldiers don’t want women in front line combat roles and that they would have more confidence in Malcolm if he didn’t pretend that he was Cate.
A few weeks ago I had some words to say about Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and his sensitive new age approach to an ‘old mate who has morphed into a new lady friend.”
Today I received correspondence from that new lady friend and I thought I may as well share it with you. The writer is Lt Col Malcolm AKA Cate McGregor or should we call him “cateypie” after his email addy.
Hey tough guy-see you had a few sneering comments to make about me after the Janet Albrechtsen column. You know nothing of me beyond your prejudice.Feel free to pass this on your six followers. Ever done day’s military service or does culling rabbits represent the extent of your ticker? I’ll run my record of service and decency against you any day. Call yourself a Christian? You make me puke. Hope you get to Canberra some time-unlike you I don’t hide behind hash tags and mons de plume. Drop in a tell me how I should live my life. Good luck with the cattle-don’t see you cutting it as a ‘journalist.” Cate McGregor”
Now that seems a macho brand of correspondence which only serves to reinforce my opinion that McGregor is not remotely female, but is actually autogynephilic meaning he is a man who is in love with the image of himself as a woman.
Needless to say he didn’t evoke any kind of sympathetic reponse. Here is my reply.
You’ve got a problem, girly boy. It’s called a paraphilia and you have never had either the personal strength of character or the guts to face up to it and get over it. You’re a disgrace and an embarrassment to the Australian Armed Forces. What’d they do with your knackers? Stick ’em in a bottle for you to display on your mantelpiece? I don’t hide behind hash tags and noms de plume. I say what needs to be said and I say it in my own name, unlike you who uses a name that belongs to the opposite sex. You love your mirror, girly boy, and that’s essentially all you care about. You’re like a moth to the light. It’s tragic really – such unrequited love of self.