He.

He will say good morning to you, ask you how you are and how your weekend went. He’ll make a joke about how tired you look and then he’ll imagine forcefully grabbing your tits.

I’m not the one. I’m too nice and too young and too emotional and lacking in the genital department.

He could talk you into bed in seconds and I haven’t been able to talk you into a pub after two years.

He’d treat you like shit and leave you hanging. I’d treat you like a goddess and message you three times in a row.

This next month I’ll probably be heartbroken. He’ll be smug and you’ll be wounded.

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ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK – A REVIEW.

Wow.

I could describe the entire series in just that one word but that would be very boring for you and very lazy of me.

I didn’t have high expectations for OITNB for three reasons:

  1. I had to get a Netflix account to watch it.
  2. I don’t like being told what to watch.
  3. I’m not a huge fan of prison dramas.

But I can honestly say that I’m glad I put these three things aside and watched it because… wow.

Because some of you are yet to watch it (and I envy those of you who are seeing it for the first time through fresh, hungry eyes) I won’t go into too much detail about what actually happens as I don’t want to ruin it for you so, if you haven’t seen it yet, you can read this review safe in the knowledge that there won’t be spoilers.

It’s not often that a series can make me laugh, cry and stay up until 2 in the morning watching it but OITNB did just that. I cried for both good and bad reasons and sometimes it crept up on me and sometimes I knew I would end up a blubbering mess.

You only have to look up OITNB gifs on Google to see how quotable the entire series is and see that there is humour in almost every minute of it. If you were looking for a hard, factual, gruesome prison drama look elsewhere.

I have never watched a series so avidly before, and I’ve definitely not given up hours of my precious sleep for it but OITNB is addictive and so fast paced that you won’t feel like you’ve lost half a day watching it. (I recommended it to a friend of mine and she got through the entire series (13 episodes) in less than a week.)

What I love most about it is the realness. Yes, it was based on a real book by a real woman about her real sentence at a prison in America but often these “reality” based programmes are dramatised and exaggerated. You see the back story to almost every key character and this helps to build an understanding of them and why they’re there which is what drove me to tears on many occasions: most of the women are good women who have made mistakes.

This series not only challenges perceptions of prison but also class, race, gender and sexuality amongst other themes such as age, position of power and drugs. Whatever your opinion on these topics, I think you’ll find it hard not to be moved by the stories that portray them.

I could write about OITNB all day (if you like this review and want me to write another where I look at the storylines closer and reveal spoilers then let me know!) but I’m going to leave you with one simple instruction: watch it. I don’t care if you have to get a Netflix account or borrow a friends’ laptop or watch it after a 12 hour shift. And, if you’ve watched it before, watch it again (although I’m sure you need no prompting to do that!).

POBOL Y CWM – A REVIEW.

What on earth is “Pobol Y Cwm?” I hear you ask. Well, it’s a Welsh soap that I first started watching when I holidayed in Wales when I was about 12.

One of the shows prominent characters is Gwyneth who is portrayed to be a lesbian.

She’s had a couple of long term relationships (including one with a man whom she had a child with, and a woman who she married but later separated from) and has been through a lot of tough stuff (she had cancer a few years ago – what is it about lesbians on tv getting cancer?)

I’ve always thought her storylines to be really raw, truthful and moving. Yes, it was a bit of a surprise when she hooked up with Gary but surprises happen and I don’t think it affected her character’s identity as a woman who likes women all that much.

Recently, she kissed a (female) friend who is going through a break up. Whilst it was an interesting twist it was a bit predictable and I wonder how much further it will go. The woman that she kissed said she hadn’t been kissed like that for a long time before leaving the village with her son.

Later, Gwyneth was at the café with her ex and it was hinted that Gwyneth knew more about why the woman left and that her departure may have been more than a bit upsetting for her.

It always baffles me in soaps how people carry on living alongside their exes in a tiny village with little or no consequences – it’s as if it never happened sometimes!

Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see what happens next with Gwyneth and this lass but in the mean time I’ll have to just stick to watching Skins (and reviewing Frankie’s character which will be up soon!).

This week has been a very controversial week.

So this week Germany announced that it would be adding a “third gender” option to birth certificates.

It’s stated in the New Science magazine that this gender has been added because of “developmental or genetic problems – making it difficult for doctors and parents to decide if a child is male or female.” Ok, fair.

I am a bit surprised, however, to hear that its main purpose is not for adults who feel that they are neither gender, both genders or other to state so.

Whilst I understand the need for it medically and legally, I kind of wish it had been introduced to help those who feel that the gender binaries do not fit them.

Some people have been very hostile towards the new addition and have said that it ignores intersex and transgender and gender queer people and that it is merely a legal based decision. Whilst I understand this it is a huge step forward and one that I think Germany should be commended on.

No it’s not the best possible outcome but they’re exploring the idea that there are more than two genders and that has to be positive surely?

Man, I feel like a woman (every day of my life).

When my mum gave birth to me on the 10th of February 1993 I bet she had no idea what I’d become. Maybe a vet or a lawyer or a doctor. Maybe a police officer, a paramedic or a teacher. But probably not a lesbian.

Being a lesbian is not a full time career. It takes me minutes a day to scroll through afterellen.com and catch up on lesbian and bi life in the media and it takes even less time for me to look like a lesbian. I always look like a lesbian, or, at least, a stereotypical one.

I have short, often spiky or ruffled hair and tend to wear a lot of shirts, trousers and, if I’m treating myself, ties. I scream lesbian. (Not literally, that would be a bit odd.)

I have been blessed with fairly large breasts. I’m not boasting, they’re just there. Whilst I have no problem with them except for their considerable weight, they seem to pose a problem for other people who try and guess my gender.

I am called sir at takeaway drive throughs, restaurants and swimming pools. I am told that “the men’s toilets are next door” in cafes and theatres.

Some say I bring this on myself and I can understand that. If I hated being called a man so much I would surely make myself feminine? Yeah that makes sense, I get why people would think that.

But here’s the thing. Until I reached 18 when I cut my hair and started to become who I knew I was all along I felt like I was living a lie. I looked in the mirror at my long hair and didn’t see me. I saw someone who was just trying to conform to avoid confrontation. Well fuck that, I am better than that and I am stronger than that.

As you can imagine, I hate gender stereotypes. Boys like blue, girls like pink. Boys have short hair, girls have long hair. Boys where shorts and trousers, girls wear dresses and skirts. Today I am wearing entirely blue, including some blue striped jeans, and am deciding what to do with my newly washed short hair. This does not make me a boy, this makes me a girl.

I also feel like when I’m walking around people judge me purely on the fact that I look like a man and am “OBVIOUSLY A LESBIAN!” (as I frequently hear shouted in my direction). I am a daughter, grand daughter, friend, enemy, ex, work colleague, volunteer, aggressive driver giving you the finger (as in my middle finger, this is not a sex reference!), lover, admirer of cats, photographer, drunken karaoke singer, the person that tells you that you’ve dropped your wallet and the person that holds a door open for you, the person who slips over in public and laughs hysterically at their own stupidity. I am a lot of things as well as a lesbian.

But some people can’t seem to see past this. Let’s say that I work at a hotel, I don’t but it’ll do for the purpose of this example. A couple of months ago we had a coach load of people visiting who had never been to the hotel before. They were meeting up with a company that often come to the hotel. As this was an important occasion I had donned my usual function clothes; a pair of black trousers, white shirt, floppy (FEMININE!) black tie and a black waistcoat (that doesn’t really fit, that reminds me – I need to get a new one…). Within minutes I was having jokes about my sexuality and gender made right in front of me. Now this is at work, a place where I usually feel comfortable to be who I am; thanks to my colleagues who have literally no problem about me being gay. What I found most insulting was that our usual customers were using my gender and sexuality as conversation topics as they never usually mention it at all. Thankfully, it was all dealt with and I received an apology.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this: unless you know who I am or what I deal with on a day to day basis or know what gender I am or what sexuality I am or what kind of person I am don’t assume anything. Because when it boils down to it, I am a human and nothing more.