I don’t know how long ago it was but it must have been a while because suddenly it’s a week away. I signed up to be a public speaker at two events. I have never done public speaking before in my whole life. This blog is about the most ‘public speak’ I get. I wish I could talk the way I write, but it just won’t work. Not that anything would come out of my mouth. When I get nervous or excited, italkreallyfastandslurrmywurrds. I also sweat, a lot – a cold sweat, only under my arms, which makes me shiver, so my hands shake too. Do I regret signing up for a 3-5 minute slot in front of strangers and more attractive public speakers than me? Yes. NO.
Because on Saturday 17th November is Reclaim the Night, Brighton. And I’m going to be doing a (hopefully very) brief talk about being trans and being a feminist. I don’t know if anyone else noticed but on the Reclaim the Night, London webpage, they explicitly say “women only” countless times. I understand why this limitation was there in the first place, but the opinions, beliefs and fight should never be limited to “women only”. Why reclaim the night? Because I too want to demand justice for rape survivors. And my gender identity should be the last thing to stand in the way of what I’m fighting for. So I’m really proud I can attend Reclaim the Night, Brighton, and I’m so happy that I can express why being there is so important for me and anyone else who hasn’t been able to march because “women only” stands in their way.
I did say I would be speaking at two events. As if Reclaim the Night wasn’t enough pressure, I went and opened my mouth at a Trans Media Watch conference in London last month (I need to blog about that, too important to forget about). I made a friend there who spoke about organising an event in partnership with his work (METRO) to celebrate gender diversity, aptly called “Celebrating Gender Diversity”. It’s on Monday 19th November, the day before International Trans Day of Rememberance, which will also be commemorated. He noticed my angry passion for being brown and queer, and now my name is on the event poster. I am so nervous. Again, I wish I could just grab a keyboard in front of an audience, and hear their chuckles and applause in response to tap-tap-taptap-tap instead of my embarrassingly-high-pitched-nervous voice. Better start chain smoking.
When I started my blog, I felt alone, and it was my way of getting my voice heard. I don’t know how well it worked, but something’s being heard. That’s why I can put all these nerves to the side and focus on my good looks angry passion. I’m so glad I’ve got this opportunity, I just really hope I pull it off! Actually, it doesn’t even matter if I don’t. I will have tried, and through my quiet clammy opinion someone will hear me. This is just the beginning.
In the mean time, any advice on how to turn Smash into a feisty orator is definitely welcome. And perhaps a prescription for propranolol.
Thank you for listening.
If anyone is interested in coming to either event, then please do! Any support is totally welcome. If you get any jip, tell them Smash sent you. I’ll even hold your hand.
Here is the link for Reclaim the Night, Brighton on facebook. Join and follow the Brighton Feminist Collective if you’re local and want to keep involved. There’ll be a march all through town starting at 6pm, followed by a few speakers (including me, eek) and a little social do. Find actually useful details on the facebook event page.
Here is the link for Celebrating Gender Diversity on facebook, and a terribly low resolution poster for the event. Click to zoom and check out the schedule and line-up. The event is actually 1pm-3.30pm, not what’s on the poster as 12.30pm-3.30pm. Again, everyone is welcome. Get your butts to London and watch me squeak.
See you there.