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Monday, 28 November 2016

THE NIGHT OF MS. TS LONDON UK 2016

(MS. TS LONDON UK 2016, Miss Akiko)

There were 9 chosen candidates and only 8 competed on stage but there was only one reflection of 'Who is the girl I see...' who outshone them all!

A brick-made listed building welcomed us all which was in stark contrast to the modernity of Broadway Shopping Centre in which it stood. It was like apples and oranges because of the automatic glass sliding door system and the well-preserved 18th century royal stairs. Don't you agree? I'm talking about the back passage/entrance of the DBANS pubhouse' venue where I met such variations.

Chairs were properly arranged in rows for supporters and the families of the candidates; tables were spruced up with names and programmes for the members of the jury to use during the competition and a stable stage was created in the 'thrust be-like' form which was arrayed with Yuletide lights. There was also the busy drinking bar and on the go food station. That was the ready ambiance last Sunday night at DBANS pubhouse. 

A bright beam of light was projected onto the stage and the audience were in sudden silence. The experienced and talented hostesses, Miss Angelica Caye Casinto and Mrs. Alexis Chiforescu, took over the stage and introduced the presence of the Organiser & BUKCCA Chair/Trustee, Ms. Catherine Casinto-Poole.

The hostesses left the stage and then, Ms. Catherine Casinto-Poole acknowledged the members of the jury one by one. The judges were remarkably appreciated because of their exemplary backgrounds and esteemed support for the LGBTQI+ community around the globe. Namely, Mr. Jean Louie Ferragu; Mr. Donald Dalida; Ms. Jackie Serrano; Ms. Cathy Cardiff and Mr. Malcolm Conlan. 

We couldn't wait no more to see the chosen candidates spice-up the stage with their intermission number...

They wiggled their booties in their titilating denim shorts as well as showing the contours of their voluptuous figures in their clinching white tops. Who do you think stood out in the  group dance performance and in the individual introduction, too?
(Miss Charlotte Lovell and Miss Jade Chloe)

 
(Miss Clara and Miss Cassandra)

(Miss Mayumi and Miss Akiko)

(Miss Tiana and Miss Pola)

 

We bid our goodbyes to the candidates' long leggedness and the spotlight was taken over by the talented hostess, Mrs. Alexis Chiforescu, with her favourite song to keep us actively involved.

The candidates were back but this time, they turned up individually on stage wearing bright body hugging dresses for the casual wear round. This was when most of them emerged on stage in regal above-the-knee dresses while discerningly flashing their flawless legs and mystique shoulder lines. 
(Best in Casual, Miss Pola) 
We were screaming the names of our candidates when they appeared individually and all together on stage. The joyfulness of our voices resonated into the ears of the jury and more importantly, it uplifted the spirit of our candidates. 

The intensifying energy from the audience pacified and an intermission number from the BUKCCA volunteers kicked off. We were reboosted by the Chiquita dance performance of young at heart Diana, Athena and Meriam. We boogied in our chairs as the Chiquita dance was once very famous dance music to all ages in the Republic of the Philippines. 
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The candidates were not ready and prepared yet to appear on stage. That is why, the talented Mrs. Alexis Chiforescu saved them by gracing us once again with her lyrical singing voice. 

They were given more time to fit in their outfits and style their selves with embellishments for the next round of the pageant. Some had minor issues with the sound system but most of them showcased their talents evenly and smoothly. Here are the candidates' video clips for you to enjoy, evaluate and praise. Who knows, you will be mimicking some of their talents in the near future? 
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All of them demonstrated breezy and vivacious talents like candidate number 8, Miss Pola, who finished the talent round with her Hawaiian Hula dance. After that Miss Geyzhel Sparks, one of London's pride duo singters, enlivened the crowd with her sing and dance numbers on stage. It was an unrehearsed dance & song requests which she delivered very well. Her contralto voice jazzed up us all in our chairs. 

It fired most of us up when the manifestation of more flawless skin, healthy pairs and curvaceous body figures unveiled in front of our eyes. They strutted individually on stage and  inadvertently seducing their male admirers. Who couldn't take their eyes off especially when the candidates continued parading without their shawls and only had their one shaded swimwear on.
(Best in Swimwear, Miss Akiko) 
They were called and gathered up on stage for the audience to see their sexiness once again and for the jury to re-evaluate their score sheets, if ever it needed some changes. 

The fire of swimwear show was extinguished and the humorous Ms. Ambi Da Diva delighted us with her marvellous singing voice. She satisfied us more when a guy from the audience became her romantic companion on stage. They were indeed intimately perfect and a match made in DBANS pubhouse. Woohoo! 
(Ms. Ambi Da Diva with her romantic companion)

The newly found love team had their moment but every story has an ending. It ended when the candidates were all set and ready to flourish the stage with their appliques and embroidered long gowns. They were all wearing floor-length gowns embellished with glistening colourful sequins and designed with decorative sweetheart boobtube as well as made from (luxury) lace brocade fabrics. 
(Best in Long Gown, Miss Akiko) 
The ultimate round commence. Prepared questions with corresponding numbers were given to the members of the jury. Yes, this was the Question & Answer round which spurred some of the candidates to be hysterical. Who would not be especially when they need a precise and demanding answer? 

They held the microphone firmly and stood strongly in front of us despite the intense feeling. In my opinion, those were queenly attributes of someone who already touched and tasted triumphs in life. Nevertheless, a beauty pageant must conclude the winners and the Question & Answer portion plays a significant factor in proclaiming the runners-up and the queen. 

They headed back to the dressing room to recompose their selves after delivering their impromptu answers. The stage and spotlight were now back to the hostesses who acknowledged the importance of the generous and supportive sponsors of last Sunday's beauty pageant. 

The score sheets from the jury were fairly tabulated and the results for minor/major awards were handed over to the hostesses. Here are the recipients of MS. TS LONDON UK 2016' minor and major awards:
(Miss Friendship, Miss Mayumi and People's Choice Award, Miss Clara)

(Miss Endeavour, Miss Cassadra  and Miss Charity, Miss Charlotte Lovell)

Miss Friendship was candidate #5, Miss Mayumi 
People's Choice Award was candidate #3, Miss Clara 
Miss Endeavour was candidate #4, Miss Cassadra 
Miss Charity was candidate #1, Miss Charlotte Lovell 

Best in Casual was candidate #8, Miss Pola 
Miss Talent was candidate #6, Miss Akiko 
Best in Swimwear was candidate #6, Miss Akiko 
Best in Long Gown was candidate #6, Miss Akiko 

The candidates were chosen to compete and outcast each other all throughout the battle. Thus, beauty queens are trained to shine and only created to win (apart from the experience gained). Hence, last night there was only the sole queen who was crowned and brought home the title with her. 
2nd RUNNER-UP was candidate #2, Miss Jade Chloe 
1st RUNNER-UP was candidate #8, Miss Pola 
MS. TS LONDON UK 2016 was candidate #6, Miss Akiko

Monday, 21 November 2016

MISS LIP GLOSS INTERNATIONALE BATTLE OF THE QUEENS 2016

I heard that the fictional character of James Bond novels and films, Miss Moneypenny, will be hosting a beauty pageant in Birmingham. Upon hearing it, my reaction was WOW, WOW and WOW... Excuse my snappy response but sadly, it will not be the fictional Miss Moneypenny who will boss around the candidates on stage and also, knock dead the supporters in their chairs. 

Last year, she glaringly hosted the Miss Lip Gloss Queen Internationale with her big and bouncy iconic aura. Actually, her physical appearance wasn't far from the fictional secretary and also, James Bond's boss. That is why, you will wine and dine with her once again this year on the 2nd of December at Eden Bar Marquee in Birmingham. 


Welcome and greet the voluptuously delightful Miss Penny as well as be awed by her bright outward show. The candidates will appear in sequence introduced by Miss Penny on the night of the event. The lovely candidates would like us to participate for the People's Choice Award via there Facebook account. We still have more time to cast our votes and it's very straightforward, too. Just scan all of their collages and then, press the 'Like' button to show she is your favourite candidate and deserves to be the People's Choice Awardee. Here is the link for you to explore and cast your vote, https://www.facebook.com/LIP-GLOSS-455204851334154/


There are 8 interracial queens who will face each other and vie for 1 yen crown. So, who do you think has the vantage in bringing home the title and ultimately be called The Queen of all Queens? The title holder will embrace the persona of the Lip Gloss' Queen and basically becomes an exemplar for the LGBTQI+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, and Intersex+). 

*Information and Photos Courtesy of Lip Gloss' Facebook Account

Friday, 18 November 2016

CROSSROADS: WHEN HE BECAME SHE


He was the heir to the throne and ultimately became the successor on his father's name... 

The mother was nourishing in her womb an ascertain baby who could be a boy or a girl. However, the loving parents already prepared seemly analogous names for their baby. It was an excitable task despite the fact they didn't have any single indication of the baby's sex yet. 

Back in the days, the diagnostic invention of ultrasound which predicts the sex of an unborn baby wasn’t well known and available yet for one main reason. The fetal anatomy prediction of a baby was mesmerising but it wasn’t' reasonably affordable for working class couples. Only the rich couples could afford to pay the highway rubbery fees charged by the ivory tower sonographers. However, the grindstone eeriness of 'not knowing the sex' contributed an immeasurable excitement to those wage-earner couples who were preciously and tirelessly waiting for their unborn angel. 

His parents already decided... 

The unknown sex of their baby was neither a great issue nor a concern as they were more excited to hear the first wail. Like most parents, what they only desired was for the mother to deliver safely a healthy baby and with no complications. An angel they would cradle warmly in their arms and protect as he/she grows-up.

The time had come and the mother delivered a wee version of themselves. The nurse came out and told the father, it's a.... 

The father was mostly  looking forward to spoiling the baby. Oh no, I have already given you a cloudless inkling about the baby's sex, which was delivered safely and naturally by his feisty mother into this world. Yes, she was feisty with very firm ideas about nurturing a child. He also inherited the robust yet soft personality of hers. On the other hand, the light-heartedness and flexibility of his father was also enrooted in him. Whilst the boy was growing up, the generosity of his father spoilt him. Particularly, when his wishes and requests were granted which made him love the father more as a boy. Useful stuff and handy ideas were also taught to him and a more self-reliant boy was moulded. Consequently, the father certainly maturated the analytic and critique sides in him. 

Years passed by and the boy's sexuality was getting clearer and evident. His parents made no big fuss about it but instead, they were in full support while the boy was developing. At the end, they shaped the best person in him and who he would become in the future. 

Unavoidably, the father inoffensively tried to make their son a boy/man and he didn’t fail! Yes, the father accomplished having a son but not because he turned him as a boy/man. The boy remained who he was and even still loved playing his little guy toys. Besides, he was also gradually embracing the life of being a girl with the foothold of his mother. That is why to have his supportive father and caring mother beside him while developing, he grew up well-balanced and overcame most of his frailties in life. Essentially speaking, not all of the times the boy became victoriously balanced as there were times his firmness was tested and overshadowed by others. 

He was challenged but was never overpowered by others... 

He was thought to be robust and flexible when dealing with everyday circumstances in life. Which is why, he became competent when solving issues and also sensitive enough to be in the other's shoes. 

His life as a boy was full of nourishing and delightful memories...His life as a teenager was brimming with teachings and stimulating discoveries... More so, his life as a young professional was impregnated with eye-opening responsibilities and excitements...


Undeniably speaking, the boy who gradually became a girl/woman was very spirited in possessing her father's name. She felt the self-importance of the father's name in which she had used and valued it for 27 years. In the latter years, there were times she didn’t want to hear the sound of her birth name as it structurally contradicted her physical appearance as a woman. Considerately, after she turned 27 and while settling down in the United Kingdom she officially changed her title and name by virtue of Deed Poll. Although, she didn’t fully renounced the father's name and just added a few vowels. 

In the last months of year 2012, she ultimately applied for Deed of change of name and title officiated by Deed Poll. It was the right time for her after she successfully applied for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the United Kingdom. It was a breather for her alas when the Deed Poll Certificate arrived with the changes she's been longing for in life. She whispered to herself and in front of the mirror, I have now papers to prove that I am she and that I a woman! 

For the past years, she has been using the name of how it should be if her loving mother delivered a baby girl. 

The memory of her late supportive father when she was growing-up and transitioning has been a warmth and priceless. That is why, the thought of eliminating fully her father's name in papers didn't make her please and overjoyed. Her father was a great man who taught objective and dynamic lessons in life. In the end, she still renounced legally her birth name and title but didn't erase the priceless representation of the father's name in her.

Monday, 7 November 2016

BORN IN THE WRONG BODY...


I was born in the wrong body... 

When I was growing up, I heard this needling belief from some feminine gays and trans people that they were born in the wrong body. They even strongly criticised their selves and also confronted their family members about it. Is it really true to say and even believe firmly that they were born in the wrong body? Or, they just couldn't see the bigger picture because of what they have regarded as true? In connection with this, how about when we were starting to embrace our sexualities and transitioning? Do you think we all still castigated our bodies and punished our well-being? 

We were young and for many, our innocence was full of positivity with no obtrusive assumptions and deep-seated questions about ourselves and to others... 

In our childhood years, many of us had wonderful memories which we treasure now and until our last day on Earth. These recollections were shared and for me especially with my loving parents, engaging relatives and energetic playmates. Those years have passed but the memories frame permanently in my mind because of the warmth, affection and the unconditional love. Amongst these was when my dearest parents nurtured me to surpass my vulnerabilities. They also allowed me to grow stronger by encouraging and guiding myself to face my weaknesses and demons. Isn't it a very sustaining way to grow up? Have you even remembered the endless joy of laughter shared with our childhood friends while enjoying our refreshments? The wooden and mechanical toys we played in their houses, on the streets and even in our own humble abodes?

The occurrence of changes was gradual but it left a huge structured impact... 

We started asking ourselves why we felt sexually different and most of the time, curiosity got the best of us. Our flourishing sexualities made us meddlesome and very inquisitive with what we emotionally felt and physically saw. Our once very innocent minds became incredibly yet particularly inquisitorial with the biologically unfamiliar changes in us. Apart from that, we enjoyed more the company of girls and their giggles became our giggles, too! They liked us and we soon started sharing their accessories specifically hair clips, head bonds and jewelry. We became more like them especially when they asked us to wear their clothes and shoes. We were very excited to see ourselves in front of the mirror and their encouraging cheers boosted us emotionally. A boundless smile resided on our faces and the buoyancy of our attitude remained in us. 

When we were with our parents especially with our mothers, we engaged more with them because of our emotional curiosity as a girl. We asked questions only a girl will find very interesting and to us, it was more an unconscious embracing of our femininity. Realistically, we were very absorbed by their affectionate answers which made us quite responsive to everything they uttered. Gradually, we abandoned our boy toys and our love for our supportive fathers evolved in a more affectionate way.

Things unfolded and our minds were opened to a much higher level... 

When we started our respective schools, we discovered lots of things both educationally and in other ways. Science as a subject gave us clarity about our bodies but other reading materials (magazines, encyclopedias, internet etc.) also broadened our understanding. We even desired more information in order to augment our knowledge. We had an exceptional determination to uncover who we were and why we felt like our girl friends, our sisters, our aunts and our mothers. Our analytical minds unveiled more truths of who we were which was very sustaining for our own well-being. We helped ourselves and we nurtured our growth. This made us robust when we integrated into our society as a girl/woman. 

The integration progressed and our sexualities evolved more deeply... 

Puberty stage took us to a much more forwarding curiosity which led to more delicate questions. Inevitably, we saw physical changes in us and even asked courageously our mothers as well our girl friends about it. We already knew the answers based on the knowledge taught by our science teachers and the reading materials we read in and outside of our schools. Moreover, when we were growing up we saw the physical differences in between our mothers and sisters in comparison to our fathers and brothers. 

We had delicate and troubled years with unknown answers and paths. In those years we questioned our biological bodies and even didn't want to see it. Strikingly we even raised the questions; Am I born in the wrong body or is this really my body? Consequently, we didn’t want to be a young adolescent man every time we saw our nakedness in the bathroom or when we adhered to the detested haircut policy. 

Adolescent stage was full of trials and revealed lots of truths about us; who we truly were behind our clothes and physical appearances. 

Realistically speaking, not all of us had beautiful childhood and teenhood memories. We may not have the same starting point when transitioning but it doesn’t mean, I or she is far better than you. We have surmounted fruitfully all life's trials thrown upon us and it has been indeed a colourful and beautiful life. Our triumphant battles were based on our beliefs and how sturdy we have been. So, will you still say you were born in wrong body? 

We encountered more new faces with different attitudes and gained extra friends with the same orientations and inclinations. We were more attracted to men and even thought of them as our beaus or someone we wish to be as our partners/husbands. Erotically speaking, we even fancied making love with them all night long. In a leap, our minds flew somewhere deep-rooted and we asked ourselves again and again and again this ingraining question. Despite the fact we already had deeper understanding of ourselves. Yes, we still think we were born in the wrong body! 

We are very inquisitive by nature especially when we nurtured our intellectual minds. We perceive things differently and supported them with substantial reasoning to become firm ideas. When we were exposed to a new environment, the learning process continued and it wont end until we die. Essential teachings at schools nurtured our growth as well as guided us to learn more. We became voracious readers who yearned for more knowledge. However, our sturdy belief in ourselves was challenged and our development grew with fears. In particular, when the naughty and bullying people tested our patience and took advantage of our own weakest spot. It was in their nature to put down someone they see us weak and soft. Sadly, we didn’t allow them to overpower us which led to a rewarding triumph. We have to admit also that their domineering personalities made us strong and stronger apart from simply ignoring them. This is one fact of life we learnt when mingling in a new environment and when we started discovering our weaknesses and strengths. If all things are just given to us, we will never be able to stand-up on our own feet or cope with the test of nature. It was unavoidably a mixed touchstone for us all but at the end, a colourful odyssey emerged. 

We pursued our visions in life and created a fortitude... 

Years have passed but we still stayed in contact with our advocate friends during our younger years. We cannot simply abandon them as we shared with them our unexpected laughter, giggles about crushes and even irritations about life. More importantly, they were their when we needed reinforcement and a boost of the belief in ourselves. 

Life is full of challenges but giving-up is not the best solution... 

We were tested emotionally and torn into pieces as well as reaching the stage of giving-up. We encountered varieties of discrimination which even outweighed our intellectual understanding and physical prowess. Characteristically, we were taunted for being very soft and even made the subject for embarrassment by our alpha teachers and classmates. Yes, they made us very weak and we thought of those people as abhorrently diabolic. Yes, we were discriminated, humiliated and bullied by them when we embraced wholly our unhindered sexualities. However, they also moulded us to become powerfully durable and solid. Generally speaking, we condemned them so much but they were also one of the main ingredients in carving the fortified woman in us. 

It takes time to forget the past and forgive those who discriminated against us. We were tested and its because we can surmount each trial in life and who/what we are now is the by-product of what we have experienced in the past. 

We are the most beautiful and resilient women who cannot be easily cast out and disregarded. Hence, we were not born in the wrong body!

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

MY EXPERIENCED OF THE GENDER IDENTITY CLINIC IN THE UNITED KINGDOM


Life's challenges unfolded and unknown paths emerged on my way to becoming me...

It was nearly ten years ago to date when I first came over to the United Kingdom; to live and explore a new chapter in my life. I had no extended family to rely upon, like most of us Filipinos, but I was full of excitement and had a positive outlook. On the other hand, I was naïve and innocent up to the point of being ignorant, too. Yes, I was! However, it didn’t mean I was careless and dull not to understand the real meaning of being away from my parents and living outside of my nest. 

Before I came over, I have been feeding myself with its history that helped me to understand more clearly what United Kingdom was all about. I even read about the publicly funded health care system which was founded in 1948 and referred to as the National Health Service (NHS). I have to admit that it was such an embarrassment to have assumed that England was United Kingdom and its historically famous London Bridge was falling apart, based on the nursery rhyme we used to sing in kindergarten. 

I didn't have family nor friends to assist me while living a new chapter of my life in the United Kingdom...

When I begun integrating in order to know more about my new environment, I started from scratch. I didn’t like asking for help from other people but someone told me about registering at a nearest surgery, if I may be needing medical advice from a General Physician (G.P.). I set it aside and didn't give much consideration about the surgery for almost a year. Its because I have this idea, like when I was in the Philippines, that if ever I will be needing to see a doctor I will just find one nearby and pay at my own cost. Yes, typical of me! When I was running out of my oestrogen pills and panicking, that was the time I thought of the surgery and a General Physician (G.P.). 

I visited a pharmacy and thought I could just acquire my hormones upfront. Sadly, I was told that without a written prescription from my G.P., they couldn't give it to me. Instead of getting irritated and sulking, I looked on the internet and found out how to register with a surgery as a new settler here in the United Kingdom and what contact number to ring, too. Luckily, I was accepted at the first surgery I applied and became their patient with black & white written formalities. They even immediately booked an appointment for me to see a General Physician. I agreed about the day and time of meeting a G.P. for the very first time and also, to end my misery about oestrogen pills. 

When I first registered with my surgery I still had my birth name but I was already smoothly transitioning. The first time I met my very approachable and considerate General Physician, she was slightly surprised. Her eyes didn’t lie! I didn’t mind her reaction and it vanquished when I chatted to her and we started knowing each other. She asked essential information about me which was very understandable given I wasn't born here and have no medical records on their system. She was even curios with my strong American accent and how I learnt to speak well. We conversed and when the time came to ask for oestrogen pills' prescription, she declined to hand it over to me. She declined with an explanation and even raised the possibility of a private prescription. I was tempted to pay for the private prescription but when she explained about the Gender Identity Clinic referral, my mindset changed. Hence, I responded to her imperatively that I couldn’t wait for it!

She forwarded my referral with a name change and a week after, I received a letter from the Gender Identity Clinic. That was quite fast and even my appointment with the clinic was booked early, too. Thank you! 

On the day of my first appointment at the Gender Identity Clinic, I felt eerie while waiting in their lounge. A few of their patients were staring at me and I could see through their eyes, the sufferings and pain. That was when I put one and one together, the clinic was mainly treating people with psychiatric disorder. I gulped and just looked straight up to the ceiling while waiting for my name to be called. 

My name was called and a community nurse welcomed me with a smile on her face... 

The community nurse was easy going and soft spoken while asking personal questions regarding my transition to becoming me, a woman. It went pleasantly and she also learnt new information (from me) regarding the transsexual men and women in the Philippines. She forgot the time because of our frolic but before we ended our conversation, she asked me politely if it was ok for me to be forwarded to another expert. I just said yes with an interrupted explanation from her. She said and I quote, 'It was just for formality purposes and to be assessed by another expert means, I couldn’t be accused of being biased with my remarks about you and your transition'. 

Another letter arrived and an appointment with the same clinic was arranged for me to see a psychologist... 

I was there once again but with no more spooky feelings. The community nurse I talked to last time escorted and introduced me to an intern female psychologist. I was very surprised as I thought a tough psychologist would handle me and be very critical about my transition and sexuality. I was utterly disappointed, just a joke! 

My one on one dialogue with the intern psychologist went smoothly and she even complimented me on how comfortable I was when asked delicate questions. She was very glad and delighted at my well-balanced understanding of being a man and as a woman. That is why, we had a good laugh and even talked about a patient who slapped her for no reasons whatsoever. We finished our healthy conversation with a statement from her and I quote, 'You can't choose who you will be serving in this profession and that slap was part of the package'. 

I know the words per see in the name, Gender Identity Clinic. However, I have no knowledge that this type of clinic existed until I first met and conversed with my General Physician. When I started my transition back in the Philippines, I didn’t have to see a General Physician in order to acquire for my oestrogen pills. I would just go straight to the pharmacy and buy it from them with no limits, for as long as you can afford the total price. That is why, to be assessed by experts from the Gender Identity Clinic was new to me but it gave me so much understanding why. Wish we have Gender Identity Clinics in the Philippines who would not just assess women and men like us but will also deeply understand our biological sex and gender identity. Actually, the Gender Identity Clinics here in the United Kingdom don't just assess biological sex and gender identity issues. They also offer support groups who will treat you with respect, guidance and love. 

My surgery gave me a call and an appointment to see my dearest General Physician was booked on my behalf... 

It was, more or less, a period of 2 months of assessments before I finally got to see my General Physician again. We chatted for awhile regarding my experience with the Gender Identity Clinic as she was very happy with the remarks from the experts. She then monitored manually my blood pressure while explaining another test I will do once in a year called, lipid blood tests. After that, she handed over to me my monthly supplies of oestrogen pills' prescription.

*Photo Courtesy of gendergp.co.uk