Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Finnish Pirate Party has been attacked!

On Sunday, 24th of May 2015 a person showed their distaste of the Finnish Pirate Party (Piraattipuolue) by smashing the window of the party's clubhouse. Luckily no one was hurt in the incident and no one seems to be suffering from emotional trauma of any kind. However, what shouldn't come as a surprise is our lack of hysteria or all out panic over this.

We can safely say that the damage done by the culprit was not spontaneous but somewhat thought out. The fake security cameras that the building's owner had set up were knocked down and not only was the window of the clubhouse damaged, the windshield of the party's chairperson Tapani Karvinen's car received a beating as well. The person who was inside during all this witnessed the culprit staying outside of the clubhouse, waiting for someone to come out. The person inside locked the door and proceeded to call for help immediately.

No one really knows what the culprit had in mind. It could be someone who became angry when the Pirate Party showcased comics by Charlie Hebdo and other artists outside of the World Village event in Helsinki as a show of protest when the World Village event's organizers decided to cancel the "Freedom of Speech Village" event due to depictions of Prophet Mohammed.

It could also be someone who opposes us not from a religious point of view, but from an ideological point of view. Theoretically it could be a far-right extremist who doesn't like the idea of people living freely to begin with.

Whoever it was, we don't feel like we have to worry. We could be panicking and living in fear after something like this happened, but why should we? Should we let someone's act of violence silence us, our morals or our concepts of freedom? Sure, violence is extremely scary and it hurts and even kills people... But on the other hand, if we are afraid of someone using violence against us all the time, we can't really accomplish anything, can we?

I am glad that the Finnish Pirate Party is not shaken by this occurrence and I am happy to be a part of it!

(Source: http://piraattipuolue.fi/2015/05/piraattipuolueen-puoluetoimistolle-hyokattiin-aamulla/)
(Picture:http://media.piraattipuolue.fi/muut/puoluetoimiston_isku_2015/04_puoluetoimisto_sarjetty_ikkuna1.jpg - Public Domain)

Friday, March 27, 2015

Please, think before you ask!

I doubt I'm the only person who has faced this before, but has any of you met a new person in a social gathering or something for the first time and when you find out what their name is, they all of a sudden throw a question regarding your private life at you?

This might be different in other cultures, but around here it's generally speaking not acceptable to ask someone you barely know about their sexual, medical or other personal issues right off the bat. How would you feel if someone were to approach you and as soon as they have introduced themselves, they'd ask whether or not you have erection issues, hemorrhoids or an STD?

Well... It appears that over here the idea of some questions being regarded as "too soon" seems to be somewhat of a gray area. It seems that most people are completely comfortable making questions to transgender people without any issues whatsoever. I've lost count of how many times I've met a new person, whether through online interaction or a friend-of-a-friend in real life, quite often people immediately ask "so are you getting surgery?"

Now, I know it's all just curiosity and I am not trying to judge a person based on their curiosity or first impressions. However, it isn't really pleasant to meet someone when the first reaction is "Oh, it's so nice to meet you! So what are you doing about your crotch?"

To some this behavior feels rude, disrespectful and embarrassing, while others don't seem to have much issue with it. I personally feel a bit desensitized to this sort of behavior, but sometimes I can't help but notice how a lot of average individuals who feel comfortable with their gender don't seem to think what they are asking about.

Furthermore! What comes to talking to a transgender person, it is generally speaking not a good idea to automatically assume that he/she is willing to talk about their transition openly, because it might be a sore topic to some people. I'd suggest observing and evaluating whether or not the person might feel comfortable about talking about it first, either by politely asking if it's okay to talk about it or alternatively waiting for them to talk about it.

I still remember this one housewarming party, where my friend introduced me to her friends. It quickly turned from her housewarming party into "hey, let's ask this transgender person everything about everything" party. I personally don't really mind answering questions, but all I wanted to do there was to enjoy her party, that's all. ^^'

Anyway. This doesn't apply to all people out there. Quite a few people are even shy to ever ask these questions, because they might be worried that it might upset someone. And there are also plenty of respectful people as well, who do think about what they are about to ask and how they are going to ask it.

All I really wish for is that people wouldn't ask a transgender person (or anyone else) questions about their genitalia while they are introducing themselves. It just gives me the creeps. xP

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Epic Quest for the Right Size

We transgender individuals sometimes hear the unfortunate words "yeah, it might be difficult to find shoes in that size" from people who work in clothing stores. We seem to constantly have issues with our bodies having different form factors than what the majority of the population seems to have. This is for the most part expected, but to some of us this may prove to be problematic, especially those who are first experimenting with different types of clothing when they are coming out.

For instance, buying shoes as a male-to-female person is simply a nightmare to some of us who weren't blessed with small, petite feet. Trying to find any appealing and feminine shoes at EU size 44-45 (US size 13) is more often than not an extremely difficult task.

In most women's shoe sections the selection of larger sizes mainly include two completely different types of shoes. Either you find crocs, slippers and other shoes that are mainly designed with comfort or working conditions in mind. Sometimes you can only find platform heels and all the latex thigh-high boots you can stomach. In some rare cases I have stumbled across shoes that I would like to have and wear, but then the price tag becomes an issue (not all of us are able to pay 159€ for a pair of ankle boots, y'know).

Some of my friends have also complained about overall clothing sizes. My friend once told me how he has to shop at the kid's section every time he's looking for new clothes and more often than not the selection is highly kid-friendly, but doesn't necessarily suit a grown man's tastes. He told me he's also a little dissatisfied with how most men's pants are designed, since they don't fit his form factor that well, thus he has to more or less wear baggy jeans/pants or alternatively tailor his own bits of clothing so they could fit in a more sensible way.

The only real shopping option with variety in sizes is eBay. However, having no way to try on shoes or other bits of clothing makes some of us a little nervous. Do you want to spend 30-60€ on a pair of shoes you really like, only to find out that the shoes in actuality are not comfortable after all?

I wish clothing stores would start to have more variety in sizes. The demographic for these sizes is smaller than the sheer amount of average sized consumers, but would stocking a couple of extra sizes be that much of a burden for clothing stores? After all, this isn't just an issue for transgender individuals but a bunch of others too whose body type or size don't fit in with the norm.

What I would like to see some day is a trans-friendly clothing store where sizes weren't an issue, where one could just walk in and try out anything they find to their liking. A place where every customer could find nice, stylish and affordable pieces of clothing with the chance to try them on even!

That's most likely not going to happen... But a girl can dream, right? ^_^

Friday, March 20, 2015

Rambling about the Finnish trans law

Recently I've noticed that a lot of people are seemingly unaware about the current state of affairs of the legal situation surrounding transgender people and their legal requirements before they can change their legal gender in Finland. After I had explained to my friends overseas about the current legal status of transgender individuals and what kind of hurdles they must overcome when they wish to change their legal identity, I realized that most Finnish people around here are completely unaware of these as well.

Currently as it stands, transgender individuals must provide a certificate of sterilization to a Local Register Office (census if you will) and they also must have the green light from the medical personnel who are supervising said person's transition. The approval of the medical personnel in question must be obtained by a "real life test".

Essentially what this means is:

1. The purpose of the Real Life Test is to determine whether or not the person in question is comfortable and identifies his/herself as the gender they wish to be identified as. This is a bit redundant seeing how this test is conducted AFTER being diagnosed with gender dysphoria and after the beginning of Hormone Replacement Therapy as well.

The Real Life Test in practice just means it's an additional waiting time for those transgender people who are already comfortable with the gender identity they have chosen. During this test they are basically saying "before we go any further, go on a test drive in your new car" AFTER we have spent months driving the damn thing!

2. The Sterilization requirement is mandatory if a transgender person wishes to change their ID and official gender. According to personal testimonies and information that is available on the internet, Hormone Replacement Therapy for male-to-female transgender patients warrants a sterilization certificate in some cases. Usually by the time official gender becomes an issue, the person in question has been on HRT for longer than just three months, so in the end getting that certificate is just another bit of wasted time on everyone's part.

However, the case for female-to-male transgender patients is a different matter. To my understanding, female-to-male transgender individuals have to undergo a surgical procedure to get their uterus removed before they can be granted a sterilization certificate. Now, despite the fact that MOST female-to-male individuals desire to have their uterus removed, the issue of equality still very much exists.

Is it fair that male-to-female persons get away with three months of Hormone Replacement Therapy in some cases, without their ability to reproduce being properly looked into? Female-to-male individuals have pretty much no choice but to remove the uterus, thus not being able to reproduce at all.

I don't think that these requirements are fair or reasonable at all. In a democratic and peaceful society like Finland, we shouldn't have to undergo forced sterilization just because we are different. How would anyone feel if they were forcibly castrated just because of their core identity?

The state should not be the one to tell it's citizens who should and should not be allowed to reproduce.

(Source (in Finnish): Sukupuolenkorjausprosessi Suomessa)

Thursday, March 12, 2015


Yay! This is my first blog post EVER and I am already getting way too excited! Here's a short introduction for my blog and my YouTube channel so you can see my ever-so-pretty face! x)

 Despite this being my own personal blog I'll be covering plenty of different topics that interest me including HBTQ rights and activities here in Finland as well as general geekdom, such as conventions, sci-fi, anime and other things most people probably find kinda geeky in one way or another.

 But it's not all just geek stuff however! Seeing how this IS my personal blog afterall, I'm also going to make posts about anything I just happen to find interesting (such as restaurants, festivals, activities, etc).

Anyway! I hope you will find my blog entertaining and to some degree informative as well! ^_^