This has been an exceptionally weird Pride month.

With all that has been going on, Pride has felt as notable as it has non-existent. More invisible — and important — than ever.

It’s been a rainbow-coloured rollercoaster. One day, the Supreme Court would finally agree to protect the rights of LGBTQ+ people in the workplace. The next, JK Rowling would try to EVANESCO trans women altogether (yes, that is the incantation from Potter’s vanishing spell and I’m #notsorry).

But she didn’t stop there. As the so-called ‘trans row’ gained steam, Rowling decided to explain transphobic comments with a transphobic blog. Then, today, delete personal praise for Stephen King after he tweeted ‘Trans women are women’. All in the name of feminism.

(Because, as impenetrable as her arguments are, trans women are apparently threatening to the ‘sex rights’ of cisgendered, heterosexual, white women?)

Honestly, enough is enough.

While I don’t intend on singling Rowling out as the beacon of all that is transphobic, it has to be reiterated — the baseline of all feminism is equality.

Equality which, in the most basic of definitions, would ensure that a specific aspect of a person’s identity (like gender, sexuality, or skin colour) would have no effect on their treatment or opportunities.

That we’re all seen as people.

To believe in equality yet question the sanity, intentions, or existence of a person for not hiding such an aspect is clearly wrong — and in this case, transphobic.

Women, as a collective, do not share a singular experience. Nor do ‘straight people’, ‘tall people’, ‘English people’, ‘trans people’ (etcetera, etcetera). These are labels society has presented us with. Labels we’re either happy or complicit to adopt.

At best, people who share a label may also share a handful of similarities. The rest, whether it’s good or bad, is individual.

The fact is, calling trans women what they are — women — has zero impact on me (a cisgender bisexual woman), Rowling (who continues to restrict the construct of womanhood to “people with vaginas”), or anyone else on the outskirts of trans-ness, but it has an enormous impact on those women.

Just as the slow-but-sure acceptance and advancement of cis women, black women, gay women and more has done for the rest of us.

We are born and bred to be an alliance.

As marginalized groups go, trans people have been dealt an impossible hand; they face daily discrimination and harassment, societal demands that they “pass” for their gender, ridicule around their “transition” (or lack thereof), and HIGH-PROFILE REMINDERS THAT THEY ARE NOT WOMEN BECAUSE WOMEN HAVE ALWAYS FACED DAILY DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT.

I’m going to let that one sink in for a second.

The TERFs can’t rationalize this — weaponizing cis trauma to justify trans trauma. They are so clearly connected, so clearly a manifestation of the misogyny and gender roles that wreak havoc on us all (and the same, in reverse, for all men).

There is no room for people to rest on their laurels (or ignorance, or paranoia) here. The rhetoric has to change.

Do your homework (TransEDU is a goldmine), do your documentary diving (Netflix’s Disclosure is a fantastic place to start), and approach these conversations with the attitude you’d want from someone judging you.

Nobody is equal until everyone is equal.

** Artwork from the cover of An Illustrated Oral History of Queer and Trans Resistance **

ygtg you got this girl

“I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is, I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.”
Rebecca West

silk dress
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
Steve Jobs

christmas gift guide

For the film connoisseur…

I’m not a huge fan of purchasing DVDs for people but I do love buying presents for fellow film-lovers so was thrilled to find out Cineworld have just released their gift box for the holidays to open the magic of the cinematic experience; two 2D or 3D tickets, two regular drinks, one regular popcorn and two Merryteaser chocolates for just £25!

The idea? Share more magic with Cineworld. Grab your Wizarding World-loving pal and present them with the gift box and JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and The Cursed Child wrapped up in a Hogwarts hoodie (surprisingly easy to do and adorable as the sleeves can easily be fashioned into a bow!). Conveniently, the hoodie is also likely to be the only comfortable thing to wear to Cineworld on your food-comaed Boxing Day trip to Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them before it leaves cinemas.

This gift idea can obviously work for any movie your loved one has shown interest in, so don’t hesitate to be creative! So many films are about to be released – – Rogue One, Assassins Creed, T2, Sing, etc – and all have an inspiring theme of their own to tie into your friends and families interests. The gifts are available online from Cineworld.com and in Cineworld cinemas nationwide.

For the big dreamer…

I love group gifting but it can often be very hard to keep track of and often put a lot of pressure on one person (“the money handler”). Leetchi (which also works for crowdfunding) has completely taken the hassle out of it. Money pots (or projects) are set up within minutes, completely secure, and hold all of the money with no stress to the organiser.

The idea: Have a friend who has always dreamed of spending a romantic weekend in Paris? Luxury hotel costs, Eurostar tickets, and a restaurant gift card for two may cost £400 but you can split the cost between ten friends at only £40 a piece! Has your Mum spent the last ten years lusting over a Mulberry Bayswater? You can split the cost with the rest of your family for less than £100 each!

With a few messages exchanged beforehand to find all interested parties, group gifting can literally make dreams come true.

For the impossible to buy for…

Not to worry! I love helping people find and create special gifts so if you’ve trawled through the best gift guides around (hint: House of Fraser has a fabulous one!) and still feel stuck, shoot me a tweet (@lelalondon) and I’ll do my darnedest to help.

Happy Holidays, babes.

pick your life

Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself.”
Walter Anderson