A person doesn’t need ‘curing‘ of the richness, beauty and diversity of that which makes that person.
Mr. Alyster Gynn. 2021
I am looking forward to Church tomorrow morning. I get the chance to see some lovely friends again and sit within the beautiful architecture of Riverside Church in Looe.Many a time, I have taken great care to write about and openly Thank my priests from the circuit and all of those involved in pastoral care and safeguarding. This has been essential to me and I have been shown so much Love as well as being guided to explore my own heart too and share my art skills and music with as many as possible.
All without judgement and that is essential within a Methodist – or any – religious, spiritual sector when one is openly from (and for his entire lifetime) part of LGBTQIA communities.I also wanted to update you as friends, generally, too.I am, currently, still being ‘safeguarded‘ as a vulnerable adult.
This is with good reason.
I am indebted to those professionals whom are really and cohesively bringing exceptionally high standards of ‘safeguarding practice’ … thus allowing me to still live within a relatively safe environment.But there are still challenges. Organisations, Corporate bodies and even Public Bodies can hold a diverse range of actions, views and interpretations of what ‘Safeguarding’ is.
At a stage, now, when I am able to Zoom and attend Microsoft meetings, it is possible that I have the ‘voice’ to convey my experiences. My apologies that this write up or update sounds like the premise for a Sociology homework assignment. I realise it is dry.
I still have art, music and poetry projects on the go. They stop, however, when my priority becomes more basic and that would be going to the local shops to get food safely. I emphasise SAFELY here.
As always, you know that I am so indebted to Social media friends. Those whom I have met in real time, those whom I hope to meet one day and those whom we meet and share kindness and love through a virtual world. Love transcends via wi-fi and the stars.
Once upon a time ago … I was invited on to the morning BBC and ITV news channels to speak about my experience of Autism (on behalf of The National Autistic Society)A naughty question by a host threw me. It was something like …’and do you hope to be cured.’I didn’t understand, at that time, many years ago the broader context or loaded question toward someone with a ‘communication disorder.’
What I should have replied was … there is no cure for autism and a bloody good job too.In a similar vein, the question of being ‘cured’ of my previous homosexuality or transgender identity would or could echo the same.
There is no cure and a bloody good job too.
A person doesn’t need curing of the richness and diversity of that which makes that person.
The sun is shining here in Cornwall. The seagulls are excited and squawking at the potential of someone dropping a chip. The image is of my favourite lamp. All reclaimed car pieces and a wire curled ball shade. An Edison style bulb. But the poetry is a loose strand of flexible loose wire. And of course I flexed it into a word. Love Wishing everyone a lovely Easter I have my shorts on, my legs are like a gnarled chestnut tree. But they remain strong.And in today’s sunshine – My chin will be up.
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True Story. Lincoln.Dedicated to ‘Lincoln.’ My 60th Birthday celebrates too, my lost twin.I name him. After sixty years. I name him.I name him and remember him.
My twin. Lincoln.His name is Lincoln. As we approach midnight I say Hello and Goodbye to my twin in one breath.(A medida que nos acercamos a la medianoche, le digo hola y adiós a mi gemelo de una vez)My 60th Birthday is his too.
That he was still born and that ‘we’ were ‘Siamese twins’ (As Mum has explained to me since I was 8 years old)…Resonates with me now as I approach this birthday tomorrow.
(added clarification 29th July. My Mother was always mistaken in her understanding of identical twins and years later, I did explain and discuss that we could not have been identical. nonetheless, she decribed how we were adhered at our backs but “broke away during the birth”, My Nana, maternal grandmother also described my brother too. The details of such and my Mum’s prescription of thalidomide is written about in my official Cambridge autism research centre diagnosis, as the practitioners interviewd my Mum at great length)
back to original and continued …That he was ‘stillborn’ and cremated in the domestic wood burning stove without ceremony or naming has hung with me for … 60 years. That my Mother was prescribed thalidomide to ease her morning sickness has to be great.Never, in my life time, would I have wanted my Mother to feel sick.The drug took my brother. We were joined back to back.He had no arms or legs, I did and I survived.At 5lbs and jaundiced on a cold, dank, Cornish, damp farm – I survived Deli Farm, Delabole, Cornwall. Now a contemporary wind farm or such – once my Grandfather’s property.
When I was 11 years old At Launceston College, I greeted 100 pupils with a statement that would leave anyone confused.Remember, this was pre my formal autism diagnosis from Cambridge Autism Research Centre thirty years after.Remember, this was pre my formal diagnosis of ‘severe gender dysphoria’ and transition female to male from the Gender Clinic…. A new School, new friends, new environment, new plimsoles. Don’t blow it.At assembly in the BIG HALL, a teacher looking through the register asked (randomly) … ‘Is any one of you a twin!?’I shot my hand up with pure delight.I knew the answer to this. “I am!“ I exclaimed“I am!” I announced excitedly”…” but he’s dead” I added. I explained further… We were joined at our backs … We were Siamese like kittens?
A hall of children and blanket silence (I remember) The teachers silent (I remember) The rubber of a sea of plimsoles on polished wood gave off a smell of innocence and Mr. Sheen. In the vast building of a thousand pupils and too many teachers – one sound resonated over my odd and silencing childhood public announcement… Brett’s fart.That and the growing awareness of stinky socks linking to the cafeteria’s lunch time cabbage on the boil. I think that he quite liked the acoustics. I loved him already.
(in sixty years my brother was never given a name. I name him now, today. My brother whom I lost at Birth is called Lincoln)
A Dress Rehearsal for my 60th Birthday. March 13th 2021. Cowboy to CO-OP.
Finished Portrait drawing of Rev Chloe Jones. My next portrait will be of Rev Andy Day. I have many other project drawings and paintings ongoing. These will be finished in time.
But, for now … I wanted to use any skills to say a huge big ‘Thank You.’
This woman is extraordinary.
Looe, Liskeard, East Cornwall, Methodist. A reverend whom works hard to validate LGBT and women in Churches. She is awesome!
Album work. Band camp and Soundcloud. Mix of Indie Worship and Secular songs.
The black oblong cursor is blinking at me flashing time away like the second hand of a clock.
I so desperately want to write about how I have felt being a victim of hate crime on more than one occasion and I so desperately don’t want to write about being a victim of hate crime on more than one occasion.
The cursor has moved along a bit and I have made the first few brush strokes on my canvas. This blog update has to be figurative, descriptive and tangible, it can’t be semi-abstract or abstract or evasive.
Perhaps that is why I am struggling to write.
In the last couple of years and even a bit longer – I have been physically assaulted over and over again, the victim of malicious gossip and of lies and untrue things by people in courts. There was no justice, none what so ever. I was punished for having my ribs broken and I was punished for speaking out. I was punished for complaining via official channels and I was punished for facial bruising and I was punished for having a human body which bled and bruised when punched and attacked. And the police and the courts did nothing to protect me. And as they did nothing to protect me it gave my attackers licence to go again and again and again.
I was not believed.
It took vast amounts of photographic evidence, hospital reports and sound recordings and video footage (all of which I relentlessly collected) to, eventually, be listened to.
As a result I was and still, am being ‘safeguarded as a vulnerable adult.’ It also took input from the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
This is not a blog where I offer insight or guidance to anyone who has experienced anything similar. I can barely cope myself, I can barely look after myself and like Dorothy’s friends from the ‘Wizard of Oz’ – I have no brain, no heart and I am rusty. I am broken. The hate crime against me broke me.
The violence and lies against me – broke me and that was their intention. That is any bully’s intention and it works.
Is it possible to survive, repair oneself and recover?
I have to believe so.
Sticks and stones do break bones and the agony and pain is excruciating post-attack.
The words did hurt me.
“Faggot, come with me and I will kick your head in where there are no cameras”
“You’re not disabled you make this autism thing an excuse”
“You need to be got rid of” and from the police (some not all) ” Quite frankly I don’t believe your account” (this kept on my computer as a sound recording of a voice mail message left)
Alongside this blog, I have the means of adding video, photographs and sound recording – all of which would show you as the reader that I am telling the truth about my ordeals. But I have chosen to spare you of that distressing content and protect you. I care. Because I care. I care about you as a reader. I am, in fact, a really lovely and loving person and have striven for equality all of my life.
I wish I had a to-do list and guidance notes to give out. How to cope as a victim of Hate Crime…
I don’t and my sincere apologies. It seems far more responsible to just state that it is really hard and that the emotional pain and grief is like pain in which there are no words for.
Here is a gap in the page with no words.
This morning I cried and it was the first time in years. It was too short-lived and too quiet to represent much – but useful and I am determined to practice crying and weeping.
If the saltwater of tears can wash away the wounds of devastation and grief then this will bemuse, irritate and chalk up resilience to the bullies’ efforts.
Plus healing is a gradual, arduous process and one that is and can be so incredibly lonely.
Hate Crime has gone up within the UK. This is an undisputed fact.
Whether it was my disability, my trans-sexuality or that I am perceived as gay – no odds to some. They would have battered me for wearing yellow socks too.
None of this has made me want to hide my identity and be less proud of my identity and the intersectionality of such. I have been and remain a proud member of my LGBTQI plus Brothers and Sisters and They.
And too – my communities of kick-ass autistic people who are often incredibly inspiring.
It was my openness that, at times, may not have protected me – but my openness is autistic (my leopard spots)
I am frightened of the world now though, or more frightened. I had always suffered from depression and made suicide attempts and none of what I have written about has helped of course. I am so grateful to friends and professionals who have shown me support and love and, of course, the ‘Samaritans’
I am here and I am doing my utmost to heal.
The cursor has blinked it’s way into a couple of pages now and, in fact for a while there I hadn’t even noticed it.
It’s flashing and blinking at me now like a cheeky metronome. ‘Do it!’ – it’s teasing me ‘write it and publish it.’
The Samaritans freephone number 116123
Kilminorth Woods a ‘Nature Reserve.’
The Candian Geese aren’t so reserved. Someone didn’t let them know!
Every so often they take glorious flight skimming the river and if they detect a fox or tax collector, even at 2am their extraordinary cacophony of sound travels at the speed of light through the night. The owl wins out though. She hoots well into the early hours until – I guess – she wants to hunt and then the Hoooting would prove not such a great device for stealth. “TWIT twoo” – I try not to take it personally.
You think that I am complaining? No. For years, this was the first time that I had heard (and enjoyed) birds which are not seagull shaped. (I love seagulls…but) this woodland orchestra of – squawking, calling out, talking and having general conversations in – what must be – one of the most beautiful places on earth.
And where am I? – In a tent at ‘Watergate Camping.’ – I did an overnighter and for me, that’s a brave thing to do. For sure, brave, because my confidence has dwindled and shriveled over these past couples of years. So much so – that it is a major expedition to go to the Co-op for a pint of milk.
But Hike with the kitchen sink I did (Yoda undertone there)
…and hike a few miles back and forth (be with you) as my ton weight rucksack didn’t evince an essential camping stove part.
Why? Why did I camp – near to me, just up the road, a stone’s throw from Looe?
To challenge myself and because I was frightened to.
While exploring and enjoying the woods one day (just off of Millpool car park) – I met a woman walking her dog and we ‘chatted’ (I am the world’s worse chatter)
And she mentioned that along the river there was a campsite – ‘Watergate’
And so – long story/short. That’s where I was this week – for one night only.
I am not kidding – but as I approached the wood trail, I met a man who lived in Duloe, called … wait for it … ‘Wolf.’ He was so lovely and he had a dog named ‘Raven.’
He came from Germany in the 1970s and I thought that he was such a lovely human being.
Later- during the night, the owl did keep me awake just a bit, I thought it would be a little funny if I met a wolf in the woods while camping – who then introduced himself as ‘Man’ or that I met a raven on my hike back to Looe, who introduced himself as ‘dog.’
I will camp there again. The place, the situ, the family that runs it, the communications and support beforehand – (I explained when booking with ‘pitch up’ about my autism) – all were incredible. The gnats like my bald/bold head a little too much – but then I did say ‘Hello’ to a gnat called ‘Elephant.’
Sometimes Mary Poppins is about all a man can manage. And yeah, I cried. I could blame coming off of all anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds and such would be true. But as I explained to my GP recently – if there is real trauma in my life then I have to feel it. If there is real injustice, I have to recognise and deal with it. That aside, Thanks to my dearest friend (T) for another lovely day out. Rock n roll it may not be – but I will take all the feel-good film, kindness and friendship that I can get.
Worked out that – The photo portrait on the left is 2007 and taken by Robin Hammond for the National Autistic Society exhibition ‘Think Differently about Autism’ and I was 46 years old and ‘presented’ as a Woman. And the other portrait is by photographer Shane Reynolds 2015 and I am now 54 years old and have completed gender re-assignment from female to male. I wanted to compare the two together. So these are two photos 8 years apart from one another. In the first I was Aly (short and abbreviation of then birth name Alison) …and now as Alyster – with new birth certificate. (copyright: Robin Hammond and Shane Reynolds)