This year the spring season consisted the full spectrum from the cold winter to the real summer warmth – and this time I couldn’t complain about chilly weathers.
The period is rather long and full of something to tell about so I regret the diversity of topics. For me the overall touch of it is something like dancing on the petals of the rose – my way life has been far beyond my wildest dreams I could dream some ten years ago.
This winter there were descent ski trails in our nearby forest after a long time so I could ski there numerous times. As the snow had disappeared I changed to my bike to go to the nature and sometimes also to work.
Skiing in winter Biking in summer
My long term belly dance teacher Marinka moved to Spain and we had a pleasure to get training from Mikaela Jokinen. She is very happy and lively person with awesome dancing skills. Our choreography with many quick minor elements was a challenge to me but I somehow made it – not with real class though. Some of the ladies in our group mastered the choreography marvellously so the show looked awesome – I stayed mostly in the background. We had a theme of tropical flowers so we sew plastic orchids to our tops. Our friendship in the group grew even stronger than it has been and I’m very happy to be one of us.
The final pose on the stage (Photo by Susanna Kauranen)
The video of the performance is here.
The first trip to Sigulda Latvia I’ve already reported. The next one was to Munich. For us it has been a destiny of misfortune. Some years ago we managed to order the flying tickets for different month we thought so we missed the voyage totally. This time my spouse spotted the wrong weekend for Easter so we were two weeks ahead, thoughts this time we could go there.
First we walked in the old town of Munich and enjoyed it relaxed feeling.
Then we went to a alpine village Oberammergau by train. I’ve never seen the Alps from the ground so for me even the train trip was an experience. The village is famous for its Easter spectacle and it is crowded at that time. Luckily being two weeks ahead we met no crowd though, only some last skiers and lots of wonderful paintings on the walls of the houses. I also found an apron to my dirndl there.
The last day of our visit we went to the Royal Castle in Munich – not the one in the country side which is the model of the Disney Princess Castle. The castle we visited has been habitated by electors and kings of Bavaria. The interests of these royal persons seemed to be somewhat odd. One of them collected paintings of the most beautiful ladies in Bavaria – he also organized the paintings.
The beauties of Bavaria
The oddest of them was naturally Ludwig the Second, the ”Crazy Ludwig”. He seemed to have no inhibitions to spend money to show his royalty. His carriages, sleighs, castles (Including the ”Disney Castle”) and everything was so beyond the any sensibility so it was no wonder his coevals wanted to get rid of him – which took place when he died in mysterious circumstances.
The more modest carriages of Ludwig
In the castle we had a local guide: We had contacted a local trans lady Michaela with whom we also dined and had a interesting chat about the conditions of trans people in both countries. The winter showed its last strength in the Central Europe so we were lucky to come back to Finland in the warmer climate.
The other pop out was the First of May trip to Tallinn. In Finland the First of May, called Vappu is very rambunctious event and important to both students and workers: Lots of air balloons, tickertape, student hats and tricks, worker marches and – of course – alcohol. In Estonia the worker tradition seemed to disappear after the Soviet era. Instead they have a German Valborg Night tradition where the people dress themselves as wiches and demons. Being too sleepy to wake late enough we didn’t see any of these characters. The evening before the First of May the centre of Tallin was exceptionally empty. Actually it didn’t bother us at all, we didn’t have to walk in crowds.
The hilarious Carnival feeling of the First of May in Tallinn
Trying my new glasses in Tallinn
The New Normal
After coming out as Anukatariina I have been as her more than half of my work time. I always introduce Anukatariina to every new group of students, either in male or female mode. I also give short introductions to transvestism and to myself whenever there’s time for such. The reception has been constantly warmhearted.
Doing laboratory excercises with students
To get to work I have used a bus, metro, train and my bike.
Now almost every colleague in the campuses I teach know Anukatariina. However to get that point I have to introduce me actively almost every time, only a couple of them have said they recognized me without doing it. Many colleagues seemed to get used to me as a new one without knowing who I really am. I didn’t have any plans to meet staff of the student internship. One day I however forgot I had to go to meet hospital staff to plan a project. So I went there as Anukatariina and met my former student as a partner. Even if he hadn’t heard of my story he took it very calmly.
In May we got a message to get new photos for the staff identity card. So I went to photographing as Anukatariina, the outfit the security staff meet me more often. However I still decided to get the male look photo for the web page.
Queueing the photo session
The personal life
I have been mostly as Anukatariina in my neighbourhood.
With the neighbours on the yard renovation day
The first harvest of the year, nettles
Hanami park trip to Roihuvuori, Helsinki
Politics and the like
On the Women’s Day I visited the old women's organization Naisliitto Unioni for the first time. As a background of the story I have to tell something that has happened long before. In my secondary school in a provincial town I had a bachelor chemistry teacher to whom we used to make numerous tricks, he was a special personality. Then years after that I happened to chat with a hair dresser in Helsinki who happened to have the same family name. And bingo, they were related. She also told me about the sister of my chemistry teacher in Helsinki who used to be a woodworking teacher with a specialty of always wearing a mens’ suit. In Naisliitto Unioni’s residence I spotted a chair where I could read a note: ”Don’t sit, this is Helmi Tengen’s chair” I asked some lady if Helmi Tengen was the teacher I thought she was and I got the answer that yes, she is the one.
At Naisliitto Unioni
I also attended numerous occasions as a formal representative of the Dreamwear Club. One of them was the festives of 100 years old Finland, this time from the perspective of rainbow people. The V-I-P- speaker there was a former president Tarja Halonen, also a former head of the Finnish LGBTI organization Seta.
President Tarja Halonen speaking
Another was a meeting with the Finnish police Board about the strategics in preventing policy. The message was the Police wants to promote limiting hate speech and such kind of behavior but they have to prioritize their capacity and practically allocate too little resources to effective activities. Sad to say this but I just wonder if all of the policemen are willing to promote the policy at all.
With the police officials
We have only few transvestite support groups in the biggest cities of Finland. So we were very happy to hear the LGBTI organization in Lahti decided to found a new trans group. To make the kick off more effective I also travelled there. They are able to use a venue with many separate rooms and it makes it easier to divide the group to different interests whenever needed. So I’m optimistic with the group where I met about ten different kind of people representing different colors of the diversity of gender.
On my way to Lahti trans support meeting
Our Hauho meeting is still in Hauho but the venue has changed. The old manor has been sold to a private person and it had severe indoor air problems. So we found a new place near the old one, Vähäjärvi in the village of Alvettula.
Swans were our alarm clocks at Vähäjärvi
The place is more like an institution but has its good points, good indoor air and flexible rooms for our purposes.
We had some official guests and had good discussion about the support activities.
Amanda from the Seta board with Dreamwear Club board members
A support activity expert Mikko Väisänen from Tampere District Seta, this time disguised
We also had some fun, including makeup tutorials and fashion show including the outlet sale of the dresses.
Some of the Bella Donnas of the Fashion show
My deal from the fashion show, ten euros
And of course we had some self made music with Tuija.
As the weather has been very warm the lake was somewhat warm (17 degrees Celsius) in spite of the chilly wind on just that day.
This year Seta was able to call the transpolitical committee after the break of one year. There is a plenty of work to be done, including promoting the descent trans legislation, implement the new Name Bill and preparing the Personal Data Act.
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