Summer of t-shirts #10

This is the latest in a series of posts I’ve been making, after top-surgery, to show off some of my favorite t-shirts I never got to wear!

I got this t-shirt at a thrift store, but I can’t remember when or where.  I’m gonna venture a guess that it was at the Goodwill, somewhere from 2004-2007.  I’ve never seen Mad Max, and it was only through other people telling me what it was, when I would layer this shirt under a hoodie or flannel, that I knew!  Here’s a film still for comparison:

I mostly like this shirt fits, more than anything else.  I love the line across the top, disregarding the human form completely, just a turquoise line designating a box, a square fit, as if we were all Mad Max muscle men.  That’s about all I have to say about this shirt!  If I ever see the movie, maybe I’ll update this post with more information!

How It Is To Be Miss Tobi

I’ve been corresponding with Linda Coussement, a video artist from the Netherlands.  She reached out because she recently made an awesome short video (3 minutes) about a transgender artist in Berlin.  She thought people who read my blog would enjoy it.  So, here it is, along with further information about Linda and a short interview:

Miss Tobi is a 44 year old anarchist who makes amazing metal sculptures, plays in several performance art groups, and is also a part-time physical therapist.  Check out the video!

Linda:  “My background: Well, my name is Linda Coussement, I’m 36 years old and I’m from the Netherlands.  […] I’ve only recently decided to step out of the business world and follow my (he)art on this epic adventure. I used to work as a business coach but I now plan to make a living through these videos somehow. On the short term I will probably have to get by on donations and funds, on the medium to long term, I plan to have books, events and workshops to sell.

What’s perhaps also good to know is that I’m not just doing this for myself and my own personal growth as a human being. I ultimately wish to inspire as many people as possible. To show that we’re all human beings, no matter what we look like, where we’re from or what we do. We all love and fear. We all have hopes and dreams. And we all sometimes struggle with relationships, money, confidence and loneliness. Personally, I’ve learned that the moment you realise this is the moment you can empathise with another person and because of that build a meaningful relationship. And that’s what I would like to see more of in the world!”

JQ:  How did you get into this project?  What inspired you?

LC:  I’ve spent about 12 years in the business world (amongst other things as a business consultant and startup cofounder) but I’ve always had a keen interest in the more human side of life.  This expressed itself through teaching yoga, doing lots of personal development training courses and coaches and being overall very reflective of myself and life in general.  Though this question popped up in my head a few years ago, it was in May of this year that I realised that it was this human side that I wanted to explore more at this point in my life and I made a spontaneous decision to ask the question ‘how is it to be you?’ to all sorts of people around the world (hence renting out my house and traveling) and document it through blogs and video.

JQ:  Is this video part of a larger series, or does it stand on its own?

LC:  This video is the first of a much larger series. There will be supershort videos on Facebook (where I randomly ask people in the street this question), these 3 minute videos (the next one will be about a banker turned hand made paper maker in the Czech countryside) and ultimately a book, a long documentary and live events. Concerning the video of Miss Tobi, it’s very likely that I’ll also make an 8 minute version that will be sent into several festivals.

JQ:  How did you meet Miss Tobi?  What came first, meeting her, or the idea for the video?

LC:  I was in Berlin to do a 2 month documentary making course so the idea was there first. I met Miss Tobi through her long term boyfriend Michael first as I was looking for ‘typical’ Berlin anarchists and found him through browsing OKCupid of all places.

More information can be found here:  How It Is To Be Miss Tobi: I Don’t Feel Like a Woman, I Don’t Feel Like a Man, I Feel Transgender

Thanks Linda, for reaching out!

“Just Call Me Kade”

A couple of weeks ago, I came across a long-lost video about an FTM teenager, made between 1999 and 2002.  It was one of those things where someone’s blog had a link to a YouTube video, and then the sidebar had other videos I might enjoy, and I was immediately taken back in time.

I saw this short film in 2002, with my mom, as part of a program at the local LGBT film festival.  It immediately stood out for me, and has withstood the test of time.  While re-watching it, I could just feel those memories resurface.  Sitting there, as a 21 year old, thinking that this person’s story also applies to me.  And can my mom tell?  Am I magically sending her vibes to let her know, as we sit and watch this film together, in a theater full of people?  I was also thinking, why did I not go that route of getting to be a 16 year old on hormones?  I could be in a totally different place right now (“right now” meaning me in 2002) if I’d done that!!!

I don’t feel that anymore.  I’m glad to be where I’m at.  If I had transitioned at 16, I think I’d have been happier than I actually was at that age, but I’d have some real regrets later in life. (Meaning my life right now.  Lots of time travel in this post!)

This film is seriously outdated in some ways, and also relevant and timeless in other ways.  My favorite line is, when the father says, “I thought that we were just going to have a lesbian on our hands.”  I laughed

It portrays different reactions from family members pretty well – the dad uses his correct name and pronouns and speaks lovingly of his son.  The mom misgenders him consistently, yet you can tell the love is there.  The grandma cannot get past the emotional hurt of how this feels to her.  It’s kinda heartbreaking to watch, but also I just want to shake her.  The sister is detached mostly, away at college, but has no problem with her brother’s life path.

Give it a watch if you’ve got the time!