lauantai 14. marraskuuta 2015

Telling about the fall 2015 so far

My fall has been so busy I didn’t have energy to write blog earlier than now.

In September I did a lot of on line lecturing so I also had an opportunity to do it at home. There were definite advantages in doing so: I could skip 1,5 hours trip to work and back and I could be really the person I am.

In the beginning of October we had our traditional Hauho weekend. That was the last one I organized and I’m happy to give the task to the other people. Our organization DreamWearClub also changed its president, Kristiina Piippola became the successor of Minna-Maaria Lax. I had drafted the opinion survey of the DWC to the members and also to non-members. I presented the conclusions of the survey to the audience. The main message was the members were mostly satisfied with our activities except the web pages which really are in the need of total reconstruction.

                                         Kristiina and Minnna-Maaria

Two weeks after that I visited two places in Helsinki with my good friend Hanna-Maria. The first were bauty, health and fashion expo “I love me” in Pasila expo center. The economical depression didn’t show in any way, the place was crowded with ladies. There were so huge amounts of products and brands so we should have been much better prepared to get the useful information effectively. 
There were also department of all kind of mystical life style, (so called…) therapy and healing brands which we passed quickly although they however seemed to pay a lot of attention from the other women. 

For us the fashion department was the easiest one so we did some shopping there, including my brownish home dress. The fitting room facilities were rather rough and ready, we just had to go behind the exhibition screen. But what would we have had to hide from other ladies who tried their findings with us…?

                           Trying on and purchasing the dress

Our next main target was the new gay bar called GLounge Sky Bar. It is in the very center of Helsinki and it used to be a private club, partly owned by Jenni Dahlman, the former wife of Kimi Räikkönen. The entrance of the place is very discreet, just a staircase with a tiny sign behind the two lifts. The bar is in the eighth and ninth floor and the ninth floor is behind almost the all roofs of Helsinki. Also the eighth floor gives the wonderful view to the downhill direction.
It was about 2 p.m. on Saturday when we entered the bar. We were instantly warmly welcomed by the other customers, mostly young and middle aged gay men. I spite of the invitations we chose the silent corner and yet we had a constant flow of men wanting to chat with us. We also asked them to take pictures of us (we were doing a reportage to our magazine). One of men insisted to take pics from the angle of view where our legs would show best.

                      At the smoking balcony

                                                      At the 9th floor bar

After taking the first sip of the atmosphere of Sky Bar went for a snack to the other gay bar called Cavalier. Even there we were in the middle of the attention, one gentleman praising Hanna-Maria more beautiful than Gloria Swanson.    

We had a plan to see how the atmosphere at Sky Bar changed in the evening so we returned the place at 9 p.m. It seemed to be quite empty, the hilarious gentlemen had gone somewhere else. But in less than hour the situation changed:  The elevator doors opened and closed and the crowds of people, mostly hetero men and women entered the bar. Maybe they have caught the message of the slogan of the Sky Bar as a hetero friendly gay bar…  

In Finland we have quite old fashioned legislation concerning the transgender rights. For example to change ones official gender you must be castrated, a married trans person must divorce and hormone therapy is not allowed to trans persons under the age of 18. About a year ago the ministry of social and health services made a plan paper to change the legislation to this millennium. It wasn’t particularly radical, for example it didn’t contain the idea of self determination like it does in Maltese and Danish legislation. However, when our government changed and we got the ultra conservative and populist True Finns party in it the progress of legislation stopped. We still will have the law about the equal marriage and because of that also the trans law has to be altered, because there is no reason to force people divorce because of the gender change. But the True Finns refused to do any other changes to the bill.

That’s why Finnish human rights organizations decided to organize a demonstration for the better trans law. I was one of the organizers as a member of DWC and Seta (Finnish national LBGTI-organization) trans team. The main organizer was the Finnish office of Amnesty International.
The primus  motor of the demonstration, Pia Puu Oksanen

After the demonstration we went to the Ministry of the social and health services where we had arranged an appointment to minister Rehula. We had a 15 minutes meeting with him and we handed a petition for a better trans law. He replied he understand the sometimes almost unbearable situation of trans people but indicated he had very limited changes to do anything in this government with True Finns.

When we were at I love me –exhibition we got the invitation to beauty clinic called DeSheli. I had my appointment there the same day as the demonstration. I knew there would be about one and half hour session containing various treatments. DeSheli turned out to be a French Israeli brand, consisting mostly Israeli originated products. As a beauty clinic it was quite big, there were about twenty beautician rooms. Actually it was a part of global and rather aggressive selling campaign. First the beautician asked me if I had any allergies. To test it, she put a tiny drop of each stuff she would use to my arm while she had her introduction speech. The offer was a Aluminum suitcase containing 18 different care products for the whole year. The price was “only” 1800 euro “just today”… I gasped for breath a little but let her continue. First she made the different care procedures to the right side of my face. As she promised, the skin felt much smoother and even the wrinkles seemed to have got smaller. I asked if it was the “Cinderella effect” because of swelling of the tissue which she firmly refused. Before the left side the sales lady came in and introducing the “last offer” 1640 euro, containing some extra cares at the clinic. I said firmly no thanks and let the beautician finalize my face cares. When I went out, I met a lady who happened to go in the same elevator up and down. We both agreed the selling tactics was too aggressive for us Finns – and of course the price was too high. Also the fact that the products were not altered according to the skin type and that the beautician talked about the collagen going through the skin, were not very convincing. But anyway I had some ideas to care my face skin more intensively than I have used to do.
The last week of October we had a wig evening at the DWC club evening. The boys from Suomikallio wig store had a huge selection of wigs to show. Many of the visitors bought some. I had visited at their shop a while and chosen a little longer wig with curls. That one I intend to wear in special occasions.  

Hanna from behind

I had an idea to go to Halloween ball for the first time in my life. I knew my friend Tiga would be there. I told my idea at the wig club evening and invited to younger and maybe more shy girls to go there with me. One of them called Hanna took the challenge and said she might come… And after some persuasion she really did it – it was her first night out. We met at Seta office where we have our dressing room. After some preparation she was ready to meet the world. I had my car so we could drive near our destination, Don’t Tell Mama –night club. The theme was “Bloody drag” which was somewhat ambivalent thing to the transvestite who tries to live a normal life without any extra labels. But anyway, I dressed in red and tried to look a bit wilder than I do in normal cases. We met Tiga and many other old and new friends and had a lot of fun. And of course it was a huge experience especially for Hanna.
                                                      Ready for the Halloween

My regular belly dance teacher Marinka is pregnant and she stopped to have lessons in November.

                                Saying bye for a while and wishing good luck for Marinka

The substitute leader Ulla has a different style: She is sportier and the tempo during the lessons is much harder. It is a good thing, especially for my physical condition. Marinka had introduced us a choreography for the Christmas show and we practice it also with Ulla. I have to practice it at home too, I’m a slow learner.

                                               Doing homework in my new wig

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