sunnuntai 14. joulukuuta 2014

Fall 2014, a brief review

This autumn I have been too busy/lazy to write anything. So now when I have a little more time I’ll write some brief notes of the things I have done.
To make it very brief I’d say nothing special. Yet there have been wonderful moments among the nothing special.

One of the compulsory things was the Hauho meeting in the end of September. A friend of mine, Eveliina had made a poem where she stated that now it is time to put the end for closeting. 

It was very brief and yet very touching:

"Mua pelko kauan kahlitsi,
se kahlitsi monta vuotta.
Kun mursin kahleeni huomasin
olin pelännyt aivan suotta.
Minä kauan varjoissa lymyilin,
minä kauan valoa kaihdoin.
Mulle aurinko vihdoin hymyili
kun vaateparteni vaihdoin.

Olin vuosia kaapissa visusti.
Päätin viimein: nyt se riitti!
Nyt uskallan sanoa reilusti:

minä olen transvestiitti!"

"For a long time I was chained by fear 
it lasted so many years
When I at last broke my chains I noticed
I had feared totally without a reason.
For a long time had I hidden in the shade,
for a long time I escaped the light.
At last did the sun smile to me
when I changed my outfit.

I had lived in the closet for the years,
until I decided that would be enough!
Now I dare say clearly and loud:
I'm a transvestite. "

I decided to compose the text. I brought the tune with me to Hauho and let the audience learn it.  So after some rehearsal the tune had its collective premiere.

                                             Elsi and me performing the tune

                                                          With Eerika and Pinky at Hauho

The next thing to tell something was our trip to Pärnu Estonia. We took a hotel room at the seaside and walked nice long trips along the beach. And of course we did some shopping for the winter, too.

                                          The scene from our hotel window

Signs fot the ladies beach. Unfortunately it was too cold for any nudity.
                                                        At a cafe in Pärnu

In November I was rather busy. One weekend we were invited to ballet performance in Turku. The dance theater was Eri and the piece Juliet and Juliet, modified version of Prokofjev ballet. Before the performance we went to dinner with our friends and after the ballet we were invited to the stage to meet the dancers.

                                              At the dinner with Kristiina

                                          At the stage with two Juliets after the performance

Next weekend I went to "Curvy Flea Market" arranged by local burlesque people. We crossdressers were invited to sell our things so I gathered a collection of my clothes or shoes that didn't match or didn't seem to be enough me. The flea market was at the Kaapelitehdat (Cable factory) art center in Helsinki. Friends of mine, Päivi and Patricia were there, too. They had four huge suitcases which was far more compared with my two not so huge ones. It seemed they had more interesting things and they sold much more than me. A common notion was people seemed to buy things we were not able to predict they would. Despite the rather bad business day it was really fun to meet different people and chat withe them almost about anything.  

                                            With Päivi and Patricia

                                                      My modest collection

And the next week was a TransHelsinki week. I took part in a seminar containing many issues about trans people and history of the Finnish LBGTIQ life. Minna-Maaria had very colorful performance about her ladies figure skating hobby which she started some years ago - without any skating skills before!! Eveliina also performed her poem there.

                                                       Minna-Maaria and Eveliina

After the seminar a group of us went for a supper to a fancy restaurant Kappeli. It is an old restaurant in the Esplanade park. This night the park and the building were especially nice looking covered with tight frozen snow which made the scene look like an old post card.

The next week was very important for the Finnish LBGTIQ people: The parliament decided to promote the equal marriage law in spite of very aggressive opposing by fundamentalists and a conservative party the True Finns. There were a big demonstration of about 12 000 people for the bill and a bit lesser against it –though they called themselves the silent majority.

                 The loud majority                                                The silent majority (????)

I hope the bills concerning the right to express one’s gender and right to determine one’s own gender will be promoted, too.

The end of the same week I was a representative of DreamWearClub at the assembly of Finnish LBGTIQ organization Seta. There was also the 40th anniversary of Seta, so there was some celebration because of that. Of course, the other thing to celebrate was the marriage bill.

                                      At the assembly with Ariella and Minna-Maaria

6th December was the Finnish day of independence when the celebrities and some ordinary citizens are invited to Presidential Palace. I was sure my invitation was lost in the post so I decided to celebrate the happening by watching it on TV with my spouse and some delicious food and wine. For me the independence is the right to be what you are, so there is something to celebrate –at least if the new bills will go pass the legislation process.

Two days after the day of independence we had  DreamWearClub “Pikkujoulu” (Little Christmas) with some traditional Finnish cookies and Christmas carols.

             The DreamWearClub Pikkujoulu hostesses Ariella, Hannamaria and Tuula Marika

And of course there has been some belly dance... We practiced two dances, Batwannnes Bak by Mezdeke....

...and a Nancy Ajram piece Yay, telling about the girl who’s sooo in love with sooo cool guy. To show such pink dreams we were dressed in pink, me almost totally. That one we danced at the Christmas show of the dance studio.

    This is my home rehearsal video of Yay,

Christmas was very busy because of so many relatives visiting us. Luckily we had our Christmas Eve evening for us two only so we had our candle nigh supper with our special Christmas courses. 

After Christmas I met my new friend Zarah from Eastern Europe. Zarah turned out to be an intelligent, warm-hearted and awesome-looking lady. We had our Helsinki city tour starting from the shoe store Kenkä-Marski and ending up to the same place. In between we walked in so nice winter scene of Helsinki old city, containing the Esplanade park, the Presidential Palace and
 the Senate Square. The temperature was 7 below the zero but surprisingly there was no wing so it didn't feel cold at all.

                                              At the Esplanade Park

In front of the Presidentia Palace with Zarah
                                                           Two aspects of the Senate Square

We had our coffee and tea at the park restaurant Kappeli where we had a long and nice chat about almost everything. Then  I decided to show her Ateneum, the Finnish national art museum with a current exhibition of Sibelius and his world. By doing that I had an opportunity to tell her about the golden era of Finnish art. She seemed to be impressed and very happy that I took her there. After the tour she still wanted to return the Kenkä-Marski to buy the pumps the had caught her eye in the first time we visited the shop.   
                                                 With Zarah at Kappeli

maanantai 21. heinäkuuta 2014

Archipelago weekend

Last weekend we made our traditional visit our good friends in Western Finland. They live in the nice archipelago village called Rymättylä.

On Friday we met our friends at the mall in the town Raisio near Rymättylä.  We had some shopping both to the wardrobe and the fridge. In the evening we barbequed some salmon with some tomatoes and zucchini. We also had a special guest T who joined us bit later that night…    

Saturday was full of nice things to do. We had a nice breakfast on the dock in warm and sunny weather. 

There were a Jaakko’s (Jack) day market in the village. There’s a saying that Jaakko will throw a cold stone to the water to cool it. Actually the saying is from the period Jaakko’s day was the 6th of August, so the water was actually just warming up.

After eating an archipelago lunch made by local lady club we went to the theater. The theater piece told about the history of Rymättylä, especially the only herring fleet in Finland. It was rather good and fun, concerning the text, the songs, the direction and the performance. The Theater group consisted of young artists from Tampere theater school.  

                                        Having a warm doughnut after the theater performance
After the theater we still had time for a trip to Seili Island. Our friend T has a rather fast motor boat and he offered that trip which we willingly accepted. So after a half an hour sea voyage we reached the Seili dock.

Seili is a wonderful island full of old trees, meadows and some old buildings. 

The history of the island is very sad as a isolated place for the leper hospital. The first hospital on Seili was established in the 1620s. Before that there were two farms on the islands belonging to the Crown and thus available when the authorities looked for a suitable island to which the leper hospital at the outskirts of Turku could be moved. The last leper patient died in 1785, and the establishment on Seili became a hospital or a place of confinement for mentally afflicted people until 1962. The hospital was self-sufficient with agriculture, and fishing. The present-day buildings on the island, with the exception of the chapel (built 1733) and the rectory (built 1791), date from the 19th and the 20th centuries, and most of them have been built for the mental hospital. Currently the island hosts the Archipelago Research Institute that is a part of the University of Turku.

                                                   The Seili hospital

                                                   The Seili Church

After the Seili trip we felt ourselves hungry and barbequed some red wine marinated entrecote beefsteaks. Our host read some chapters of the novel “In the Parlour at Alastalo”  by the Western Finnish novelist Volter Kilpi. Or actually he read only a fragment of the chapter: The whole 800 pages opus tells about six hours in the parlour and it’s a masterpiece of prolonging the story: Describing how to choose a tobacco pipe takes no less than seventy pages!!  Kilpi tells the main clue, the investment in the ship building from every person’s point of view and does it in the manner that is very hard to translate to other languages. It resembles in many way Kalevala and the first Finnish novelist Aleksis Kivi -  except they didn’t use lingering way of telling.

The reason our host did it was he wanted to persuade us to go to Volter Kilpi festival in Kustavi near Rymättylä. We have had our experiences of Kilpi text earlier and had great difficulties in reading the first 200 pages so we didn’t catch the bait.   

So after a lazy Sunday morning we had our own ways, our host went to Kustavi and started our way back home. So far it has been a wonderful weather, but when we started our journey it started rain and thunder. But when we entered our home region it seemed there had been no rain, so we had no troubles with it.

We had some extra time to make visits to places between home and Rymättylä but we were so full of nice experiences we simply couldn’t absorb any more.

Helsinki Pride 2014

It’s almost a month when the Helsinki Pride actually happened at the end of the June so I make only a brief report.

On Tuesday my main activities were hostessing our DWC coffee evening. On Wednesday I was organizing the panel discussion about opportunities of the new equality legislation, concerning the trans people. The panelists were representatives of employer and employee organizations and ministry of the social and welfare issues.   The trans issues are linked to equality legislation together with other gender equality issues so the rules and sanctions are harder compared for legislation for other minorities. However it wasn’t clear enough what is the right to express one’s gender identity at workplaces. The employers have a sight they have right to rule what is the descent way to dress for a man or a woman. To my point of view they should have the right to tell what is the descent way to dress but not who is the one who’s dressing like that.

                                        The panelists with a leader Inkeri (on left)

Wednesday evening I went to “logdans“ at the Kaisaniemi pavilion restaurant. It is a traditional happening with old Finnish dance music and crowd of Pride people. Although the weather was rather chilly the dance hall was hot and it felt you could almost cut the air with the scissors. Anyway we had a wonderful time with some friends and later in the night I even danced when the air wasn’t so hot after many people had already left the place.

                                        Two sweaty ladies at the logdans, me with Patricia

Thursday was for some rest. Friday afternoon we went to two picnics: The Finnish LGBTI-organisation Seta and the support center for the trans people. Both had an anniversary, Seta 40 years and support center 20 years. After trans picnic we still visited Patricia and Päivi and had a wonderful moment there with some other friends, too. While other still continued to ladies club we decided to go home to spare some energy for the next day…

                                      At the trans picnic with Asta and Päivi

…and it was naturally the Pride train day!! I had promised to bring our banderol for a sign mark so we had to be in time at the plaza the train was starting.

                                                   Strating the train with Tea

In Finland we have a new law for citizen initiatives for a parliament. One of the most successive initiatives have been law for equal marriages. And it was just three days earlier a parliamentary committee ahd decided not to support the initiative. The reasons for that were apparently artificial and many people got very upset of the incident. So there was a huge rise of the number of the people in the train. 

The park where the train ended was not so big so it was really crowded. Luckily the weather had turned sunny and warm again so it was a very enjoyable happening. I had made my specialty, mushroom pie for our picnic. However there were so much people we couldn’t see all our friends to share the pie. But no problem, I gave the rest to some German visitors who willingly ate it.

                                         Mushroom pie with champagne with Kiira and Elise

The last Pride activity was the Mummolaakso (the valley fo eldery ladies) punch coffee ball - though I enjoyed it without coffee.

lauantai 31. toukokuuta 2014

(May) I Continue: The Various ways of dancing

In the end of the month it’s time to sum up my May.

Of course, there was Hauho weekend to meet sisters from all over the country. The special guest star was a crossdresser legend BB who has been a icon for many of us. She doesn’t know the word compromise. She even went to army rehearsals in mini skirt in late sixties!!  She is also a chess enthusiast so a tiny tournament took place.

Another guest was Sophie le Sucre, a burlesque artist. She had a little lesson of the history of Burlesque and a workshop with a short show. As an organizer I had an honor to help her tie the corset. It was not an easy task so I had to ask my friend Jaana to do the actual tightening.

To do a little different dancing we went to the local dance hall. We had done it also last May and we were then welcomed again. Those of us who asked ladies for a dance were also asked for a dance very many times.

The weather had been quite cold before the Hauho weekend but it gradually changed to warm sunshine. So I had an opportunity for my first bikini sun bath this year.

And after some hesitation I even went swimming, even though the water was far from being warm after two chilly weeks.

Last weekend I  danced in a season closing gala of the dance studio Luhtavilla. Our dance was a Turkish folk tune  Nihavent oyun havasi. When I see my dancing in the rehearsal video I notice I have done some progress. It's not much but I enjoy even the tiny progress I can notice in my dancing. 

This time we were more than five dancers in the performance so the dance looked quite impressing. Afterwards I asked my fellow dancer if she had heard some comments on me being there. She told me she had asked her husband and he had replied he didn’t notice any male dancer…

I wish a lovely, warm and relaxing summer for everyone!