I will be on Thursday the 5th of April, in Dublin West helping to MC the fundraising Table Quiz which is being held in Myos in Castle knock at 7pm.
I will be in Dundalk on Wednesday 18th of April at 7:30pm in the an Tain center as a panel speak for a debate on the 8th amendment.
I will be in Killkenny on Friday 27th of April 6pm The Book Centre, for the launch of Autonomy a women-led collection of stories, poems, memoirs, essays, articles, screenplays and more exploring what it means to have bodily autonomy.
I will keep this updated as more events and dates are organised!
I only meet Laura Lee in person a handful of times. We chatted on twitter and facebook a fair bit. Often sharing our eye-rolling encounters with our own daughters.
She was a caring, compassionate, formidable woman who was a sex worker as well as an advocate and activist for Sex Worker Rights. She stood up, put her self in the public spot light to break the stigma around sex work and to be visible, for it is harder to deny the rights of visible people.
Stigma and prejudice strip people of their humanity and so it is easier to ignore them and treat them as lesser. She made a point of being very present, which made it harder for people to make the generalisation about sex workers and sex work.
As part of being involved with Octocon: The National Science Fiction Convention, I got to ask if Laura Lee could come be a panellist at the convention. Octocon has always been run by and for a very diverse Fandom, and the panels deal with a range of societal issues.
There is also a policy of ‘Nothing about Us, with out Us.” so there is always an effort to get people from minority and marginalised groups to take part in the discussions at the convention as attendees (via concession rates and Con or Bust) or as panellists.
I was delighted in 2015 to be able to moderate a panel on Sex Workers in Fiction and have Laura be one of the panellists.
Sex workers are written the lot about in fiction, be it in Game of Thrones to Firefly. Laura spoke so well about what rights sex workers needs and that we need to change attitudes towards sex workers, which starts with affording respect and dignity especially when writing about them, be it in reporting or in fiction.
The panel was a late night one, as all the more adult topics tend to be and then after, Laura and some of the other Sex Worker activists stayed for the Octocon disco. They really enjoyed the relaxed and welcoming atmosphere of the convention and asked if other friends could pop in and attend. It was a fun evening.
That is one of my fondest memories of Laura surrounded by friends and activists at Octocon either sitting chatting or up dancing. Others are running into her at the various Marches for Choice. My body my Choice as far as I am concerned applies to sex work and all workers should be able to work in a safe environment. It is about bodily autonomy, no one should be forced to have an abortion or give birth, no one should be forced to do sex work or be forced not do sex work.
With the cold weather and snow which storm Emma brought, I made coddle. It was something which Laural also loved. I made it and found myself thinking of her and how the world is a lesser place without her now in it, of the wonderful work which she did and how we need to make sure the work for Sex Worker Rights continues.
I miss her, she made me feel less odd about speaking my truth and knowing that we both supported each other in the work we were doing made it a little easier at times.
Right now we are in a weird place re the upcoming #repealthe8th referendum. We are waiting for the Gov to announce the wording and the date for the #repealthe8th referendum. Once that happens there is a whole process that kicks off.
There hadn’t been an official date announced yet, a possible one has of the 25th of May.
But right now there is a court case in progress in our Supreme Court which is in relation to the 8th amendment. The Supreme Court case that needs to be resolved before the Eighth Amendment referendum http://jrnl.ie/3824130
Until the Supreme Court rules, the Gov can not decide the wording of the referendum and can’t announce a date. We are in a holding pattern, so we are seeing media outlets who know there is much interest in #repealthe8th with nothing ‘new’ to report. So we get pieces full of speculation. I know people are getting restless wanting to get a move on, but the Gov has to wait on the Supreme Court. And no the Gov can’t hurry along the courts, that would be a serious breach in separation of powers.
I’m frustrated too, with waiting for the Supreme Court, but I am going to keep on talking to people about #repealthe8th And how if we want to have any change to bring about to compassionate healthcare at home in Ireland in line with human rights & best medical practice then we need to #repealthe8th.
I have a soft spot for this particular play by Sean O’Casey, I never studied it in school but read it all the same. The language of it, the rhythms of speech can still be heard in Dublin today.
I have seen it preformed a few times and have read as Juno in table readings of the play and was offered the role once when I was part of an amdram group but turned it down due to nerves and lack of experience.
I think it’s an important one, esp for women to read, and my favourite of Sean O’Casey’s plays. A friend of mine reminded me of this quote today and 93 years after it was written it is relevant today.
“Maybe, Needle Nugent, it’s nearly time we had a little less respect for the dead, an’ a little more regard for the livin”
I run into a lot of peope on twitter who spout harmful anti trans rethoric. Some of them seek me out cos I use the term pregnant people when discussing reproductive rights.
I rarely see it here on fb, Esp on friends time lines thankfully, how ever I am still going to make a statement.
Gender is between a person’s ears.
Transmen are men.
Transwomen are women.
Genderfuild people are either, & I respect them by being mindful of them, thier presentation on any given day, and which ever name/pronoun combination they need me to use.
Non gender binary people are those who are somewhere on the gender spectrum, I respect them by not expecting them to conform in any way to my ideas of gender presentation & using thier correct pronouns and names.
Agender people do not relate to being anywhere on the gender spectrum, I respect them by using the names and pronouns they need me to and by trying to not make gendered statements or assumptions about them.
Acknowledgement and acceptance are part of respect.
Gender is a spectrum, all people deserve respect.
Respect also means not outing a person to other people and being mindful when in public what I say. My words no matter how respectful may, in public but a person in danger or be used by strangers as an excuse to abuse or ridicule.
Yes this is far from the idea of people I grew up with, but life and people are always more wonderful than how it was dumbed down, to create sexist stereotypes.
I am always glad for the world stories and fantastic fiction I read as a teen which made me ponder beyond the gender binary.
I have zero time for not respecting people’s gender.
These are pretty important imho and should be played forward in all subcultures. I first read this when it was published 14 years ago, more people need to know about the Geek Social Fallacies. Examining our own behaviours and social circles for GSF is important the whole article is a damn good read
GSF can allow for shitty behaviour to become accepted & normalized be by a person or a whole group of people.
Subcultures are for all people who are passionate about the things they do/read/watch/create.
I do want Irish Fandom/Geek/Maker/Activist spaces to be generally inclusive but intolerant to shitty behaviour, esp repeat shitty behaviour. Tolerating shitty behaviour in Fandom/Geek/Maker/Activist spaces is the broken windows of those spaces. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broken_windows_theory
Geek social fallacies make dealing with such behaviour difficult & allows for too many ‘missing stairs’ to develop
‘missing step’ is the shitty behaviour of a person which has become normalized, people adapt to them, being them, take safety measured but Sooner or later a new person will encounter this & suffer, cos we let it become normalised, & they don’t know the risk or history.
Honestly if I had my way I would have the Geek social Fallacies on the Jr Cert Social Personal and Health Education Curriculum SPHE.
I’ve not been writing that much of late, life had been a bit bumpy and the mood a bit dark. So I am going to treat myself to a 2016 round up post to remind myself of the nicer things which happened this year.
This year I tried to do one thing which was new or scary to me each month, most months I managed more then 1 thing.
July I was at #Longitude and worked 3 days at the Abortion Rights Campgain stall, running the twitter and instagram account, talking to the oh so many wonderful people who came over to get leaflet, sign petitions and by badges and t shirts.
August I was a speaker at the Galway Pride Festival about the intersection between lgbtqi rights and reproductive rights. I was also on TV3 as a spokesperson for the Abortion Rights Campagin as part of a debate on National TV as well as being on Dublin City FM for the Nerdy wordy girlie section of the Kitchen Table show.
September was very, very busy. I was delivering training in Cork, working on the March for Choice,
from the press conf to doing media spokes person stuff, which involved going out to RTÉ today’s in a row to be interviews by the BBC, BBC Gobal and BBC 2. Doing interviews with media outlets. Then helping with coverage of the March on the day, and taking part in the Speak Out.
October was OCTOCON! I was pro and Vice Chair! I got to be on some amazing panels, take part in some excellent discussion and help make the national SFF convention happen! We got some lovely coverage on Newstalk, Irish Examiner and Dubiln City FM. I am really looking for today next year as I am to the Convention director and two of my Fav writers are coming over as Guests of Honour!
November was thankfully a bit quieter after October and September. I was an invited speaker out at UCD Labour to talk about repeal the 8th as an ARC spokes person and to GIGSOC in GNUI to talk about reproductive rights. I also did one of the hardest, most panic inducing things of the year, applying for a passport. It was a mess of red tape, involving 4 different governmental departments.
For in December having a passport meant I left Ireland for the 1st time in 18 years, boarded a plane and headed off to the UK, where in Wembley I got to see The Cure play, twice.
2016 has been an eventful year (what I have listed is barely the tip of the iceberg), the last 1/3 of it have been a struggle at time, but looking back has helped. Still can’t believe the BBC 100 women thing! We got through this year, here’s to getting through the next one.