sunnuntai 4. syyskuuta 2016

The day I got banned (by Jesus…?)

The last years I’ve been rather active in writing about the same sex marriage on several Finnish websites. In the year 2014 we had a huge campaign to support the citizen initiative supporting it and at the end the bill passed as with the first citizen initiative in Finland. The bill will be true next year and so many people will have their human rights to be fulfilled then.

Of course we have a religious minority that opposes the bill very aggressively. They call themselves the the "silent majority" in spite of the fact they are not - see the two pictures from the “majority” and the majority in the day the bill passed.

















The majority?

















The minority?


But anyway unfortunately there are enough conservative people in Finland to collect the 50 000 names to make a counter initiative – the pro initiative got 100 000 names in a couple of days. The counter initiative has organized under the name of “the genuine marriage”. The background of the organization is ultra conservative religious movements but they totally try to deny their religious background – even if their logo  is straight from the catholic anti same sex marriage movement.



And the people in Finland are mostly Lutheran! 


The arguments are mostly based on reports by religious institutes and misinterpretations of other scientific articles. The main stream seems to be there are articles on problems among children who loose contact to one of their parents – the very different case to kids that have their same sex parents all their childhood.

In other places I have argued against the fundamentalist people that they even don’t know their Bible:

-  The homosexualism in the Bible is not the same it is today and it is opposed because it is seen as a phenomenon in the rivaling religion (Bal ritual by Moses and Kybele cult by Paul)
The concept of the marriage is very diffuse in the Bible, containing numerous amount of wives and step wives. The only place in Bible where Paul says there should be only one wife is a guide for the priests!
- In the story of Sodoma it is about the bad habit to violate the foreigner by raping which is the still ongoing habit made by hetero men and have nothing to do with same sex love or marriage
     -   Jesus doesn’t say anything against gay people
     -  and so on

Most of them are uneducated people and think the Bible is totally the word of God - in spite of the very fact that for instance Paul stresses in some cases he just thinks the things might be so and so. Unfortunately they are lead by the more educated but deeply fundamentalist people it is easy to make the uneducated fraction to believe whatever. On other sites I have noticed that the people in charge have noticed I'm a dangerous person who also can argue with their language.  

Because the “Genuine Marriage” denies its religious origin I have used other strategy. I have revealed their false argumentation on the scientific data – systematically every time. I also have reminded them it is a sin to lie – both in hiding their background and distorting the scientific data.


So I have been regarded as a dangerous person and consequently banned on their Facebook site. Maybe I could take this action as a credit to my anti discrimination work. 

torstai 11. elokuuta 2016

Summing up the Summer 2016

Summer 2016 has been kind of hectic so I have had have energy to tell about it now when it is about ending. Before the Midsummer the project was belly dance intensive course. We were happy to have training from our long time teacher Marinka just came back from her maternal leave.







The music was somewhat exceptional, the “Myrskyluodon Maija” by a Finnish composer Lasse Mårtensson who died last spring. It was originally composed to the film telling about the life in Finnish archipelago in 19th century. The music is very romantic, sad and sentimental. And choosing Mårtensson music was a pure coincidence and had nothing to do with his death.


Almost immediately after that we went to Estonia to celebrate Midsummer. Actually we could do it twice for in Estonia Midsummer is a day earlier than in Finland. Both countries do it with bonfires, “Juhannuskokko” in Finland and “Jaanituli” in Estonia. It seemed they used some special tree in Jaanituli, for the smell of the smoke was special and different from the Finnish variation.


                                              The sun in Pärnu at 10 pm

Most of the time we were in lovely spa town Pärnu. The Midsummer eve was very peaceful and there weren’t many people on the beach in the almost-midnight sun.  

Luckily the weather was warm most of the time so we could swim, sun bathe and make a bike tour along the Pärnu seaside and river side.






 ...and of course there was time for doing some shopping in the shopping street of Pärnu.



After spending three days in Pärnu we headed to north. The weather was still really hot and dim so we had to chill us in the sea. The place was near Villa Andropov, the luxurious villa where Andropov had time to visit only once. That also gave an explanation to the odd piece of the four lane highway leading to the villa.



                                                 Remains of the Jaanituli in Virtsu ... 3 days after!


Our last night in Estonia we spend in the Padise manor. There also was a monastery ruins near the manor. We had a sweet and a luxurious dinner in very at a reasonable price.




                                                      At the Padise monastery 


The next morning was very foggy. So when we visited the Paldiski cliffs we could hardly see the see under it. Anyway the feeling was spectacular in the meadows of Paldiski. Wea have had a tradition to visit Paldiski “Kaubamaja” mall. Paldiski seems to be sort of relic from the Soviet time and also the Kaubamaja is old fashioned in Russian manner. Anyway the prices were very cheap and it is one of our places to complete our pantyhose stash.







The Estonian trip was the first completely made as Anukatariina from the home door and back. The lack of need of hiding this issue was really relieving.   


The next big thing was Helsinki Pride. One of the things I was involved was a panel discussion about the treatment policy for transgender people, arranged by the committee of trans political affairs of Seta. We had good debaters, a doctor Teemu Kärnä, a transgender activist Luca Tainio and the Pii Anttonen as the leader of the conversation. The main conclusion was that in spite of the notions many people have made the two treatment units Helsinki and Tampere have approximately same policy due to intensive collaboration between the units. The problem is mostly with the admission notes made by the ordinary doctors before the trans treatment unit and also with the surgeons who interpret the admission notes made by the treatment units. The debaters agreed the other thing is that the treatment and legal gender process should separate completely. In the audience of about 30 people I noticed the members of “True marriage” group of Finland making lots of notions to their notebooks. I’m interested in seeing the results of that action but haven’t found anything, yet.


                                                    Luca, Pii and Antti

The other thing was I got a short floor in another panel about discrimination of LGBT people at work, arranged by labour unions. There I could give some information about our survey. The third panel was about legislation work by LGBT group of members of parliament. The situation is not very good because very stagnated party True Finns in the government. The sad thing is the other parties in government let them stop any reasonable progress in this branch, mostly to shut True Finn’s mouths in other matters where Finland is going towards economical inequality. And of course there were two parties missing in the panel: The True Finns and Christian Democrats. I asked if the new legislation should base on the principles of the older, sort of constitutional bills. The debaters agreed, but just today it became evident the new laws can be confirmed in spite of the fact they contradict with the constitution.   
   
                                                  The politicians debating

Of course I had some “obligatory” events like Dreamwearclub coffee evening with 23 visitors and the traditional Finnish ball where I danced waltz, humppa and jenkka with friends.

In the Pride parade there were more people than ever, partly because of the LGBTI Euro Games held at the same time in Helsinki. Though I had got sort of bikini tan lines in Pärnu I burned my back in otherwise so lovely sunshine during the parade and the park festive after that.



In July we visited Kristiina in Rymättylä. The weather was not good for sun bathing but we had very useful discussions how to proceed with our survey and made some statistical analysis on the material. Earlier I had met a scholar at the University of Helsinki who also gave me some valuable pieces of advice. And of course we made some barbequed food in Rymättylä.







I still had some spare time to enjoy my lady holiday. I have been as Anukatariina in my garden dining or in bikinis, I have been on the beach and in the woods for some mushrooms. The life has been much easier in that respect and it takes much less energy to do anything. 



But the most important thing for me was to meet my grandchildren as Anukatariina for the first time. Surprisingly they payed no attention to my changed outlook and were ready to play with me as usually. The other of them wanted to look my ear rings more specifically...




perjantai 3. kesäkuuta 2016

My busy spring 2016 briefly

Spring 2016 has been extremely busy in many senses. At work there has been a lot of extra activity full of surprises. I won’t tell about it more to make you tired.

The other thing is that my personal life has been quite busy as well.
                                       

On of the early bird was the news that I’ve been nominated as president of the board of transgender affairs  of the Finnish LBGTI organisation Seta. It has been an interesting but a bit busy thing to do – as some of the readers might imagine. We have some plans to make the situation of transgender people better. The Finnish legislation concerning the transgender people seems to get stuck during the current government era but we plan to make the change as soon as it is realistically possible, following the road map Denmark and Norway have used. The other thing is the medical treatment of the ”androgyne transgendered” people which is very different depending where one is getting it. Now there’s a project to make it homogeneous all over the Finland and we try to make them choose the best current alternative as a model.

The other issue was our survey on the discrimination of transgendered people at work. The Finnish legislation prohibits such a discrimination and even the discrimination on basis of the expression of the gender – that means even transvestites have right to be as themselves at work. The analysis of the survey is not ready but as a brief foreknowledge I’m glad to tell the situation is not as bad as it could be. Unfortunately there were reports on severe discrimination cases, too.

In Easter time we flew to Turin, the town I’ve never visited before. The town seemed to have really many significant historical layers. Beginning from the ancient Romans Turin had really important role as the head of the kingdom of Savoy and then as the starting point of the independence process of Italy. In the palace of the king of Savoy we saw a huge amount of ”second rank” Italian medieval, renaissance and also Dutch golden age masterpieces – second rank meaning tha there were no Tintorettos, Leonardos, Michelangelos and Rembrants but the artistic standard was still phenomenal.  


                                                    Palazzo reale Turin


We also visited the film museum which was in a surprisingly high tower building. We were specially impressed with the department of the archeology of film, meaning the techniques preceding the real films.

Turin is the town of arcades. The story tells the king hated to walk in the rain so he told to build the arcades to both side of the street from the castle to the banks of the river Po. After that it seemed to be a habit to build the same kind of arcades along almost every major street – maybe the king got bored to use  the same route over and over…
                                                     Me and the arcades of Turin

After our Turin visit we were invited to Turku to celebrate the anniversary of the local LBGTI organisation TuSeta. The theme was glitter and I had nothing against it.



                                                       Me and the empty "silver plate" in Turku

As some readers of my blog may remember, I composed a song on the verse my friend Eveliina had made. In February I bought some software to make an audio and sort of karaoke kind of video files of the song and released it on Youtube here.


                                               Eveliina

I also have done some education about what it is to be a transvestite. The biggest audience were about a hundred psychologists. It was an interesting possibility to tell about the issue to professionals. And the audience was interested in my story as well. 

                                           Tiia and me and the psychologists

This year the Dreamwearclub has its 20th anniversary.  Our Hauho meeting was celebrating that issue by inviting many network people there. 



                                                 The guests of honor


As a 20 years old organisation we also must look at the future. Doing it in our seminar we decided to change the organisation more to the direction of the human rights, though no to forget the meaning of mental support and being together.  The nice thing that has happened during the last two years is that there has been a lot of new young girls coming to our activities – before that we were almost desperate and thought DWC would be only the club for elderly ladies.
                                           Thinking about the future



My belly dance spring has been sort of different. Marinka had her baby in November and we had a substitute leader Riitta. Her style was totally different and I really had some difficulties to learn the choreography for the show. At last I could make it, only with some minor mistakes in the show.




                         My home rehearsal while my spouse watches ice hockey




                                                              The show

We transvestites are appreciated among the Burlesque ladies. So we got the offer to pay only one Tlady for two at the show in May. So I used that offer and had a terrific evening with friends in Kaisaniemi park restaurant.

                                                   The fresh air part of Kaisaniemi Burlesque show

And it was the same Kaisaniemi park where the multi cultural festival ”The world visiting” took place at the end of May. I assisted Seta by staying behind their presentation table and telling the audience about the situation of the trans people in Finland.

                                           The daylight picture of Kaisaniemi multi cultural festival
                                  

And the last but not the least…

I finally made up my mind and posted a note to my neighbors:

Dear neighbors

Many of you might jave noticed a shy resident in our house. In fact she have lived here for 21 years. In spite of her shy and  hide character some of you may have seen her. During the last years she has made her mind up: It is not worth hiding and instead she has decided to live as the other people do.
Her name is Anukatariina and you may see her mostly when the person XXX is absent. Her hobbies vary from oriental dance to human right issues. She may spend her time at her garden enjoying the wonderful summer we are happy to have.
So you may say hi to her and chat about anything also the person XXX would chat – mostly they have the same opinions on any issues. If you wish, you may also talk about Anukatariina.  
What is behind the phenomenon Anukatariina you may read more on:

If yous kids are confused, this link might give the good angle to the issue:


So far no one has commented the issue, though the other issues have been discussed. Since then I have been openly as myself at my garden and I have walked cross the parking place. The people passing my garden have avoided looking at me and so far I have met no one at the parking place.

But we will see… Anyway I’m very happy to skip all that hide life behind. 


                                               My look at the garden after sending the note

sunnuntai 7. helmikuuta 2016

The Birthday and Carnival week

The last week I celebrated my 27th birthday again. Actually it was the 34th time to do so some say I have something more to celebrate. I’m not very familiar to being the centre of the attention so I didn’t want to do big number of the issue. The most important thing was to meet my daughters and grandchildren. I had made the agreement with my daughter that the kids will get used to have a slightly different grandpa. They have not met Anukatariina but I decided to introduce to them some elements of her. This time they were a slight makeup, scarlet finger nails, pantyhose under the lady pants and lady style T-shirt. The necklace and the ear rings they have seen always. My daughter told me for the kids the issue gender is not very clear nor important. And yes, they payed no attention to my specialties.  




At work I bought the birthday cake for the staff of my department the day before. Then I realized I have been at the same work place more than half of my life!

The actual birthday was my official day off so I could do whatever I wanted.  It turned out I didn’t do much, just relaxing the morning and meeting DWC friends to plan our new websites in the evening.  

To celebrate my day I bought Runeberg tortes for everyone. Such cakes enjoyed this time of the year, near the birthday of the Finnish national poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg.  

After the meeting we went to the restaurant to celebrate a little more near the office.  We drank a bottle of sparkling and ate some Spanish tapas while chatting about some deep minded and some not so serious issues.




The weekend was the Carnival time. Normally the Finns don’t celebrate it but for us the Carnival has become an important thing because our experiences in Cologne where we have some friends. So on Saturday after the sauna we decided to dress up to celebrate Carnival. I was a German maiden in the dirndl dress and my wife was a sandman ( an easy way to dress up and not to dress up before going to sleep…). We had some bottles of original Kölsch beer from Cologne and even the original small beer glasses. So we had some of them and shouted “Kölle Alaaf”, the ancient Carnival shout. 


The Carnival feeling in Cologne is normally very joyous and relaxed and I love to be there to feel the atmosphere.  As everyone knows the situation in Cologne was tense. I hope that the city can get over of the dramatic happenings and have a fresh new start as a city of joy and happiness.



sunnuntai 24. tammikuuta 2016

Art and friendship


This is the opening of the new blog year 2016. The first blog is story about the nice moment with the friend.


Last Saturday I had made an appointment with Zarah. We had three goals. To find shoes for Zarah, to see the exhibition of the famous French photographer HenriCartier-Bresson and, of course a little time for chat in some nice cafeteria.


It had been really cold last few weeks. So I had quite a warm winter coat and thick pants and cardigan. When I drove to Helsinki I noticed the thermometer showed plus two Celsius. Luckily I was sweating  neither outdoors nor indoors.




In front of the Ateneum art museum and the Finnish National Theater in the opposite direction


We met in the City of Helsinki in the afternoon in front of the Finnish national art museum Ateneum.  There were rather long queue, so we decided to go to the shoe shop first. For Zarah the royal shoe acquirer is Kenkä-Marski by the main street Mannerheimintie. She found her Högl pumps quite quickly with an assistance of a friendly sales lady.



                                  By the Kenkä-Marski Shoe shop, the Swedish Theater behind me

After such a quick and successful purchase we had time for our coffee and tea with delicious Sacher cake at a lovely cafeteria Bulevardin kahvisalonki. We hadn’t met since October so we had a lot of stories about our Christmas and other issues.



After that we went back to Ateneum. The queue had disappeared and we were quickly in to see the exhibition.  Cartier-Bresson had an extraordinary eye for photographical and esthetic things and on the other hand he had a marvelous skill to tell stories via his pictures. The exhibition was huge and we totally miscalculated the time we could be there before the place was closed. But as everything else in Finland, Ateneum was closed early on Saturday because of the official sauna time. And according this schedule I drove back home where my spouse had already heated the sauna.





                                               

torstai 31. joulukuuta 2015

The Stress free Christmas in Berlin

This Christmas we decided to relax: We met our relatives in longer period and left the Christmas days just for us two and headed for Berlin. Our program was very loose and I enjoyed the every moment no being in a hurry. 

We flew there on Christmas Eve and took a taxi to our hotel on Kastanie Alle. We have reserved our Christmas dinner at a restaurant near Friedrichsstrasse:  Sprout soup first and goose breast as a main course. It tasted delicious. There are some things in German cuisine I don’t like very much. One is the treating of potatoes: Why on earth should the potatoes be altered to sticky goo!? Another thing is the frequent usage of different cabbages: Four different ways in a dinner is just too much, however delicious the different dishes might be.

Me with my Chritmas goose breast

Berlin was really quiet as a big city and we walked through the almost empty streets in moonlight to our hotel.















                                                     At our hotel bar

The Christmas day was for two things: We visited Potsdam and met our Berlin sisters. So in the morning we took a S-Bahn to Potsdam. The weather was warm (about 10 degrees Celcius) and it has obviously been warm for a while. So many plants have made a false conclusion that the spring has already come. For example cherry trees, roses, and rhododendron bushes were blooming.


Potsdam is an old military and administrative town. The streets and houses along them told me a story about wealthy and organized life in 18th century. The blocks of flats from DDR period  behind the scene disturbed the illusion a bit.



We visited the interesting castle Sanssouci. It was the place where Frederick the Great (1712–86) lived his summer periods. He was known as a strict warrior king but at his summer palace he led his stress free life. He had many highly civilized long term guests, for example Voltaire and “servants” as Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach and he played and composed music very skillfully. He didn’t live with his wife (which he was made to marry by his father) and had no children. The guests were only men what makes one wonder what was really  going on. On the other hand the royal problems with making babies seemed to be very common in these days, for example Swedish Gustaf III and French Louis XVI.







The Christmas day evening we took a S-Bahn to Nollendorf to Transsisters Berlin club. It was at a tiny gay bar. There were about ten sisters and some of their spouses. We had a nice chat with many of them. I’m rather lousy with German language but fortunately my wife speaks it like a native.


     With a Transsisters Maja in Nollendorf


In the Boxing Day morning we went to the Church in a suburb of Berlin to listen to the Choir where our friend sings. The music was a mass by a French baroque composer Marc Antoine Charpantier. It was made on basis of Christmas carols and made as such sounded more like hilarious court dance music than church music, composed by coeval Germans.



After the concert we had a long lasting lunch with lots of stories and sorts of German food. In the evening we wondered along the Berlin streets and Christmas markets. 

                                                 At the Berlin Alexandeplatz

The shops were closed so we really had time to spend again. We had our evening snack at a Rheinland style bar which had a name meaning it is an embassy of Rheinland. It is very popular among the federal administrative who moved from Bonn to Berlin when Berlin became the capital of Germany. And indeed, the relaxing atmosphere in the restaurant really is like in Cologne.


                                                No, the sausage is for us two....                              





                                                By the river Spree



On Sunday after Christmas the shops were mostly closed so our trip was sort of non-shopping trip. We travelled here and there in Berlin and finally took the bus to Berlin Tegel airport - without any hurry and stress.  



















Holocaust memorial, Potsdammer Platz


                                               Someone undressing the Brandenburger Tor Christmas tree