That ‘Boy Meets Girl’ Show

On the 3rd of September 2015, the BBC marked a turning point in British television with it’s new romantic comedy ‘Boy Meets Girl’, which finally aired after it’s successful pilot earlier in the year. While many may be aware that there have been other shows with transgender characters, none of them have really been centralised around, to the point of being the main protagonist in their own story. Additionally, if there were transgender characters they usually never seen more than a one-off episode. (With notable exceptions like: Orange is the New Black with Laverne Cox and Transparent with Jeffrey Tambor, for example) One that leaves the main character, in a awkward social situation to deal with and one they are left to decide how to confront. Transgender characters were left to become the butt of the joke; and a rather often misguided and out of ignorance, joke at that. One that many may deem comical for a few chuckles but without having any real sense of humour and certainly without realising what the fall out would be, especially with regards to transpeople who may watch it.

When I first heard of the Boy Meets Girl show, I had no real interest in watching it, romcoms just are not my thing; preferring stand-up and sketch shows instead. Indeed had it not been from a request by someone else for a radio show (which I’ll mention later) I really don’t think that I would have watched the show at all. I don’t have much desire to watch anything trans related but not because they don’t have anything to offer but I just don’t get anything from them and are therefore not particularly capable of holding an interest for me even as a transwoman; I know that might seem a tad ironic, even though some may be informational or factual. Its just that I know enough to be sure and more importantly happy with who I am. If they are documentaries about celebrities who have transitioned even less so; there’s something of a freak show peculiarity to them, like they are attempting to film and document a rare species of life which have finally been discovered, or rediscovered if you will. Trying to understand from a naive objectivity and not always putting the proper context of the person’s circumstances and life into perspective.

So naturally watching Boy Meets Girl, I couldn’t help do so with a trace of scepticism. Thankfully I did, as I can honestly say that it left me quite positively buzzing and heart warmed. Even if the show had it’s awkward moments and a somewhat contrived ending line: “I think she is the One!” But then its not that hard to expect from a romantic comedy and one that is actually making many attempts at promoting a positive blossoming relationship. However, while there is humour in Boy Meets Girl, at least from what I have seen in this first episode, it wasn’t laugh out loud funny for me. The funny moments that were there had been built up from elements of truth, of which I’m sure many, transgender or otherwise, could identify with. It also meant that for the first time, in a show including a transgender character I could feel myself wearing a wide smile and not rolling my eyes back into their sockets, literally in some instances, as is usually the case with any show that features transgender or transsexual characters.

While positive and humorous as it was, it unfortunately, does not fully portray the variety of lives that transpeople experience, whether they be good or bad. Indeed there were moments were Judy’s mother and sister go on about her ‘crazy psychiatrist’ and a sleuth of ex-boyfriends that have mistreated her in the past, in reality many transpeople are cast out, beaten and sometimes killed, simply because they are attempting to embrace who they are. My hope is that the story line does progress and help portray this, with as much accuracy as possible without subtracting from the story and humour and it doesn’t simply gloss over the many problems that many more transpeople suffer on a day to day basis. Then again this is meant to be a light hearted romcom, so perhaps expecting more from the a short six episode series could be left as an exception, one in place of just having a for once a simple story line about a transperson who isn’t the punchline to a bad quip about not having been born with the right equipment; even though this was in fact used quite bluntly in the first few minutes, it was used to get it out the way rather than using it as a cheap plot twist. Furthermore, while I was smiling and cringing slightly, I also could feel that minor pang of that inescapable uncomfortable sensation, when Judy was describing what it feels like to be “in a prison without a release date”. Something I’m sure many transpeople would identify as feeling and of whom suffer with the occasional bout of Gender Dysphoria. In this example of emotional revelation from the character, it further highlights how beneficial it can be to having a transgender actor(ess) perform as the character, due to the level of empathy they themselves do possess and bring to the role.

While I hope not to judge an entire show based on the merits of one episode even though it has already been marked as an important step in terms of television. I do wonder if this show will last and not be simple written off as a fad. Unfortunate as it is, transpeople alone won’t be able to carry the show into more series, assuming that they like it too and will undoubtedly require as many non-transpeople enjoying the show as well due to them making up the majority of the vast viewing public. This is why it will be all the more important that the image and the social acceptance of transpeople is developed as much as possible. I hope that this will also provide some momentum for general acceptance for not just transpeople but everyone, to show that transpeople are still fundamentally very human. That we are just trying to live our lives as normally as possible, just as anybody else would.

So the next day after it had aired, I had the rare opportunity to talk about the show on BBC Wiltshire, with my friend and TransSwindon’s front man Jeremy. It was for me personally one of the most nervous thing’s I have had to do, excluding of course the whole ‘coming out’ business in my own story. But despite that, it did feel great to be able to share my views on something that will, underneath it all, affect my life. The public perception of transpeople will need to continuously improve should we all collectively, both transgender and non-transgender, want a better society. The opportunity to talk on the radio as a member of TransSwindon shows that the opportunity for transpeople to give their opinions are being far more respected than they once were and that the combined efforts of TransSwindon admin team, including it’s growing members, is clearly working to give transpeople that much needed voice. Hopefully it is evident that we are now, as a community, slowly but surely being given the chance to make the most of our lives from opportunities that we have been seeking for so many years.


Laura Steel 2015 ©

Wedding Day

It was one of those rather blissful warm days. The sun was in and out with the patchy clouds and when the gentle breeze kissed the face is was joyfully pleasant. As it is customary in these social outings, people gathered and grouped, talked and chatted; about how perfect the day was or how well the location was ideal. Its doubtful that they actual mean any of it, it’s just one of those trivial pleasantries you get at a wedding these days. ‘Oh my look how lovely she looks’, you can hear being on occasion, when if fact chances are they think the entire dress is ghastly. Or ‘look at that, doesn’t the bridesmaids looking stunning!’, while quite clearly they are wearing dresses so otherworldly you’d think clowns had been booked for the event. Some of course would argue that is the point of them; to be the ultimate sacrifice that is expect of best friends; that is they get to look like a twat, so the bride looks ten times better than is physically possible.

The obligatory walk down the isle from the bridesmaid and father linked together in that traditional giving away; I wonder just how many dads actually think ‘thank fuck for that, they aren’t my problem anymore’, I’m sure a few have. Still, the saying of the vows and the exchange is the main thing. The bashful smile, as they look deeply into each other’s eye like they are drawing strength from each other’s very own soul. The final caressing of each other’s hand, as they say the ‘I do’s, as they slip on the precious golden ring and finally become one…

…It’s the ‘does anyone have any reason why’ part, I’m waiting for…


Prompt: https://jeremysdailychallenge.wordpress.com/2015/08/27/weekly-challenge-36-27-august/


Laura Steel © 2015

The Venator Part 2 (WIP)

This doesn’t particularly flow well from the first part, while they are all still being written out but I hope you enjoy it all the same.


The Venator Part 2

Before I continue my story, it should be noted that most of this information did in fact originate from the Knifed Skull, so it is quite possible that some of the details have either been lost or embellished from the many drunkards within, I may have also embellished it a little for artistic reasons…anyway, I digress…

After a short hike trudging through the snow, Laurena had reached the outside of a now derelict mine the one the locals fearfully called Dreadstone; this was the very place the Circle of Shadows had instructed her to investigate. It’s infamy arose from the local lore of the resident miners and their descendants, of whom claimed the mine had a strange resonating ambiance and any simple touch of the abnormally dark purple metamorphic rock would instil a profound sense of horror. The unnatural colouration was also said to be certainly bizarre in contrast to the normal surrounding area, as if something evil was bleeding out from deep within the mine. Standing outside, while seeking shelter underneath an outcropping, she noticed the signs of it’s apparent use were present and sunken impressions were observable where they had eating into and around the rocky maw. The lack of any need for outside guards was obvious, to even an untrained professional, as the remote location in the craggy hillside was more than enough to keep it out of the view from prying eyes. The seclusion alone would have been enough to help conceal any wrongdoing on it’s own, even without the raging blizzard that was now bearing down and blanketing out the mine from a far distance; the ominously evil looking clouds had deeply overcast the area more than usual, as if they had a mind of their own. The additional thickness of the white obscure haze was obnoxiously glittering flakes of thick heavy snow, constantly clinging on Laurena’s ferapex leather hood and outfit; a speciality of this rare hide by the way, is that it’s reacts to the surroundings by changing its colour. Her stinging eyes, her bitter felt nose and bluing sanguineous lips were harshly numbing and painful, as the only parts exposed to the coldness in the ferociously biting winds. She edged closer to the rotten mossy timber framed doors and rested on the huge rusting handle of the now derelict mine. In doing so she could hear a faint echoing hum starting to creep into her ears, just barely noticeable through the howling gales and swaying barren trees.

Laurena shook off the build up on her boots before cautiously scanning the eerily ominous entrance, she pushed down hard on the stiff metal braced door and it screeched open as if in agonising pain. The outside light rapidly bled into into the pitch black tunnel, while Laurena’s naturally all-black Umbrian eyes required no effort to see further into the darkness inside; this was also a common trait of Umbrians, as many of whom would go their entire lives having never laid said eyes on Hexterra’s only star Sol. She forced her way inside, ready to confront any impediment within, knowing full well it was imperative that the truth be known; and she was certainly not one to disappoint the Circle of Shadows for that matter either. Besides which, at this point it was now the only option now beyond freezing to death from the elements outside, even as she walked a few feet inside the mine the difference in temperature was apparent and most welcoming to her core. The humming from within had grown louder and even more distinct, the rhythm was now clear and it was obvious there were people chanting what could only be assumed to be a sinister ritual of some kind; nothing good ever comes from rituals, let alone ones held in seclusion. Laurena knew about most known rituals most of which came from her spending many hours researching the various cults using the Venators Guild’s library, when she wasn’t otherwise hunting or training. She knew it was more than likely a soul-swapping ritual, one used to drain the soul of a person and transfer it into another person or vessel but couldn’t yet tell for certain the true purpose for the poor victim. The evidence gathered already would have certainly been enough to report back the Circle, to confirm their suspicions were more than just rumours. For her safety, as an novice in her rank, she was told to leave and report back upon any confirmation of wrongdoing. Yet, as she saw no reason to pass up the opportunity, she decided to explore a little further, especially with the storm raging outside preventing any safe return. Feeling no imminent threat, Laurena crept cautiously forward to find out more, running her fingertips along the rough and slimy wall in the darkest unlit passages, guiding herself precariously with each footing and cautiously poking her head around each corner before proceeding inwards further.

It wasn’t before too long that she happened upon a pair of cloaked individuals both standing together in a dimly lit cave. They were preoccupied with a minor conversation of no significance but in still anxiously governed secret as to look busy and to avoid not being caught doing nothing of import, both were completely oblivious to Laurena’s presence, so they made poor lookouts to be sure. She crept forward, step by step with one eye on the floor and another on her company, using the shadows for cover while inching up through the narrow passage upon the two cultists. When she was just a few feet away and still unnoticed, she watched them intensely for a brief moment. When she felt the time was right she unsheathed her sword, while picked up and throwing a loose stone behind and beyond the conversing pair. In their confusion of the startling sound they both turned around to check on the noise, as they done so Laurena got up and reached around the throat of the closest cultist and with her sword dragged it between both of his ears. Without hesitation she then pushed him aside and moved into position as she thrust her still warmly dripping sword clean through the second cultist’s neck. Both had slumped down as quietly as possible and without possibly alerting any distant ears with screams or shouting. Afterwards, she casually dragged the bodies into a dark corner out of sight and out of mind; this was Venators training at it’s finest and it was executed flawlessly.

Laurena continued to traverse through the narrow winding tunnels and sparse widening caves, edging herself through the dangling dead roots through the rocks and dirt or stepping over the occasional critter that scurried in a panic out of her way. After a few minutes of walking through now dimly lit tunnels, and almost getting lost in the maze of pathways before realising her curious mistake, Laurena happened upon an natural crack in the wall. Through this opening she could see into a colossal cavern, which was properly lit with magical sconces and perma-fire torches posted all around. One beam of streaming light could be seen permeating through the ceiling and at the base of it grew a single solitary dreadwood tree, it was covered with a strange assortment of ancient inlaid runes and markings; of an old dialect that was way too obscure to anyone currently alive to read. In the middle of the spacious cavity a single secretary stone cast altar lay proud, it was covered in cracks worn from age and overgrown with aged lichen and moss, additionally baring strange glowing symbols intrinsically carved, which were too far away to be analysed. Overshadowing the altar was a gigantic statue of what looks like the God Fabricus, it was protruding with it’s own apertures and thick wound wires feeding through it and with a strange turquoise coloured energy glow pulsing like blood in a person’s bulging veins. On top of the altar laid a single young man, bound firmly still, yet conscious and unable to escape untimely planned fate. To the side of him a large metallic sphere rested precariously and more of the same cloaked cultists were surrounding them both, while chanting the ritual that was now very noticeable for soul-swapping. The young man was undoubtedly to be sacrificed to fuel the contraption. One of the cultists had his cloak woven with metallic inlaying designs and stood directly underneath the statue clearly apart from the rest, he began to speak…
“Brothers and Sisters!” he pronounced loudly. “We are here to offer this sacrifice to one of our most beloved and cherished member of the Pantheon of Deusan; the Arbiter of gods!” The cultist leader’s voice echoed throughout the cavern, while Laurena wasted no time continuing through the tunnels further, still able to overhear what was said.

  “A new age is dawning…and for too long our future has been held back by a repressive regime. No more shall the wickedness of the Venators or other heretics, continue to plague Umbrianox as they unjustly rule over everyone, clouding the population’s eyes with colourful propaganda. For too long has their greed and oppression has kept the Umbrian people from progressing to an age of peace and prosperity. Continuously have they ignored the pleas of innocent citizens plight, those who bear suffering wrongfully, meanwhile using their guise of their protection under a broken wing. All to ensure their twisted religion and it’s polluted ideas, corrupt everything they touch. They willfully impede the development of a stable government, one of full morality and decency. To this will say, NO MORE!” The leader continued unabashed.

Meanwhile, Laurena had worked her way into the cavern, hiding behind a large outcropping but keeping an eye on the spectacle.
  “Oh!, he of creativity and grand design; God of Invention. Fabricus. We offer you this soul to fuel our ambition and to imbue this tool of most magnificent destruction, so that we may finally rid the world of those soulless mercenaries the Venator!”

As the cultist finally finished, the statue of Fabricus lit up, brighter and radiant than before and with a soft turquoise glow surrounding the bound person on the altar. Just as the cultist almost built his strength, with the aim to plunge the dagger downward, Laurena had risen from her hidden cover and threw a knife, taken from her hip belt, towards the lead cultist. The knife cut deeply into his arm and he was forced to react, recoiling in pain and by dropping his dagger, simultaneously with both of her jagged swords now ready in each hand, Laurena ran forward and sprung off of a raised rock into the air. She landed harshly on top of two of the closest cultists with both swords squarely wedged through their chests. By now the rest had already stopped their chant and after having noticed her timely unsubtle intervention, all drew their own arms in reaction against her. The remaining cultists seized upon her and one by one they attempted to attack the young Venator. With their mindless ferocity they all one after another succeeded in failing, as she shredded through them as if they were like nothing but garden weeds. Before the last one fell, a series of loud bangs echoed through the cavern and Laurena without thinking reacted to seek cover behind the altar.
  “You wretched beast!” interrupted the lead cultist. Pointing a strange handheld device towards Laurena, who was now panicking, unsure as to the strange power the cultist held.
  “The Venator’s attempt once again to curb their own demise, ignorant to the thought to the continued suffering that would ensue.” His voiced echoed of genuine belief and that his actions were more than justified. “Have you any idea who you are working for you wicked little girl? One who would so readily cut down so many people who’s only goal it was, to bring peace to Umbran!”
“You’re the one attempting to kill a kid, to fuel that soul-bomb of yours!” Rebuked Laurena, who knew exactly what the metallic sphere was from her studies.
“This lost-soul forfeited his right to a life, when he took the life of another!” He countered. “Just as you have lost the right to yours, many times over, for which your suffering will be immense in this life and the next!” Upon finishing his sentence he took shots at Laurena, who was now pinned down as sparks and chips of stone flew off around her head and would feel her heart throbbing rapidly like it was trying to escape her chest. Using the opportunity the lead cultist had made his way around to expose Laurena’s vulnerable position, as she glanced up at the strange engrave device held in his hands, as she feared the end.
“You think you have won? Your order of sinners will pay the price regardless th…” As the cult spoke the young man on the altar had released himself from his bonds and had flung himself selflessly onto the cultist, both cascaded down, one on top of the other. A few more shots were heard, which pieced through the young man’s body. Before the cultist could shift him off, Laurena had seized the opportunity by running over and slicing cleanly through the cultists arm and finally head. Taking a moment Laurena turned over the draining body to check on the young man, his face was pale even for an Umbran. Horrified and sick with grief, Laurena instantly recognised who the young man as the one she had saved just two days prior.
“I’m so sorry!” She urged, examining the fatal wounds to the young man’s chest, furious with herself.
“Don’t…be” He strained, coughing up blood. “You saved my life…twice, it was…the least I could…” Before he could finish his sentence he passed away and slowly slumped back, finally being rendered motionless and cold. Laurena screamed in anger, punching the floor with her fist ignoring the physical pain. She laid the young man’s body in a more dignified position and walked over to the lead cultist, staring at him profusely with disgust, as if in attempt to curse his very soul before it finally departed. Having recognised the power she bore witness to moments earlier, she took possession of the dark metallic device scattered on the floor and a second which had been holstered and unused. Testing out the devices in anger, she shot repeatedly at the towering statue and after significant damage to its face and apertures, they stopped glowing rended the whole whole thing useless. Later, waiting by the exit for the blizzard to stop, Laurena stood restless and reflective; deeply saddened by the outcome of her actions and constantly trying to replay what went wrong and how it could have ended better. She started to ponder how Mathias and more importantly the Circle of the Hunt would evaluate her actions; their motives, as with everything else, were difficult to understand. After a few hours, she made her way back to Umbrianox, somewhat altered from her experience.


The Venator Part 1 (WIP)


Laura Steel © 2015

The Venator of Umbrianox Part 1 (WIP)

This is unfinished, written over the first 4 months of the year. When/if it is ever finished, I don’t know, but I felt that I might as well upload it now. Hopefully It will give me the chance to clear my head to finish it later.


The Venator of Umbrianox Part 1

One late night in dreaded lands of Mortister. Among the dark forgotten alleys that crookedly aligned from the main parenting streets, in the abyssal dark capital City of Umbran. A repetition of faint panicked screams and rapid klatter feet on cobble echoed throughout to the overclouded sky. Two very distinct sets reverberate between the houses and closed down market stalls, amidst the scuffling of drunkards, vagabonds and critters that plagued every day night-life. A fresh faced young man who was barely in his twenties was in the unfortunate dire process of running for his life. Where prevailing common sense would have prevented this, unknown events leading this poor soul to foolishly brave the streets will always be a mystery. This was nothing new in Umbran of course, many people died daily and for the most part it has merely became something to the liking of white noise, to it’s unrulier citizens or those too scared to act upon them. A figure of female form; much filthier and menacing, dark and wicked with her stride, who wore tattered clothes and boasting a stained grubby black hooded cloak, was in a relentless pursuit. She was enjoying the chase, cackling between breaths, ever slowly catching up and making ground on her young fair prey. Her whitened knuckles were clutching a twisted rust costed dagger with scratches and chips emphasising its age and use.

  The young man had inadvertently hasted too much in his tiring panic and he had found himself with his path impeded by nothing but horizontally stacked bricks and mortar. He frantically searched around desperately trying to locate any method over the ill-placed barrier; a foot hold, a railing or anything that could inch him over. In his vain attempt however, his foot slipped scaling the wall losing an already uneasily gained position. He fell back and landed on his foot awkwardly, painfully twisting his ankle, he was no longer able to stand much less run. He remained stuck on the wet grimy floor, helplessly heaped and in pure agony. He tried shuffling back into a corner, with a burning desire to prolong his life for as long as possible, his poor attempt would only deny the inevitable. Yet as he struggled, and his back pressed against the wall, his legs became paralysed stiff like dreadwood. Nothing he could do could stop the maliciously advancing woman looming towards him and the small amount of doubt he had; that he could escape, was gone.

  The alley’s entrance had now all too eagerly been seized by the hooded female pursuer. She was creeping forward, inch by inch, slowly closing the gap between the two of them, savouring each and every foot step. His fear intensified as the disguised shadowed face grew larger and darker, masked by wrapped black cloth around her nose and mouth. She pulled back her cowl and yanked down her mask with her free hand to reveal a widening dark smile expressing her malicious intent proudly. Her grubby half-shaven head with slicked back hair fell into a twisted greasy pony tail. Her face was scarred multiple times; with clean cuts of a clearly ritualistic and symmetrical style and others which were random, bumpy and red; which could have only been from altercations. Her sunken dark eyes seemingly scanned to locate the best place to pierce the clutched crooked dagger into the man’s most vulnerable of the fleshiest part first.

  “Now…your…mine!” Her sickly sweet voice teased through her grinning cracked lips.
“Wh…what do you wa..want!? I’ll give yo..you money!” he pleaded desperately.
“Oh I what I want from you…is his hidden under that juice flesh of yours!” her vague psychotic response only added to the young man’s terror, who was struck silent, realising no bargaining could be brought or pleas to be made.

  Just as she rose her hand above her head, his in pathetic defense, gathering the force necessary to strike a fatal blow, her face instantly and inexplicably dropped. Only a pained grunt emanated from her throat, like a table had been scratched across polished flooring. Her mouth had lost it’s wicked twisted smile and her eyes darkened further still yet rolled backwards and seized into nothing but bloodied dull-white orbs. Thick crimson fluid had ejected all over the young man, staring up confused, as he wiped it from his face. It profusely pour out of every orifice from the villain’s now twitching head and body. Seconds later, the twitching stopped and a bright red line had magically been drawn diagonally across her head. Soon signs of this enigmatic prevention had been made clear, as both halves of the woman’s head had slid away from one another and fell distant. The now eviscerated corpse slumped away into a bloodied pile, to reveal to the young man and initial yet unplaced fear, yet another dark hooded figure.

  To his amazement and relief, gazing at what stood before him, his anxiety dissipated slowly. Nothing gave off the impression that one malicious force had simply been replaced by another and this was certainly an alternative replacement. This one was much slender than the last, curvier and smaller, who was certainly more subtle in her poise. She was well armed and bound in skin-tight leather with her hood covering over much of her face. Pure white satin hair fell down the sides, leaving barely any facial features visible apart from her blackened wine-red lips and the tip of her slender pointy nose. She was someone who had previously heard the cries of the frightened defenceless creature, still languishing on the floor, seeking to assist their desperate pleas for help.

The hooded heroine pulled away her curvy jagged sword from the now decapitated mess on the floor and flourished it magnificently into her back holster, before kneeling halfway down to extend out her hand in aid.
  “Are you alright?” asked the hooded woman, spoken in her soft yet husky voice.
  “Y…yes…” the young men trembled, while slowly calming down.
  “Good. Do you live far?” She asked concerned.
  “N…no, ju…just a few mi…minutes away…”
  “Com’on, I’ll see you home.” The woman’s words placated the man’s fear enough that he willfully grasped his saviour’s hand and found himself gracefully aided to his feet.

  The time both spent walking and limping the distance to the young man’s home was met both conversing with silence. He was still quiet uneasy while she was calm and composed. As the young man finally stood at the entrance to his home he begin an attempt convey his gratitude, however as he turned around, all he found was an empty moon night lit street. His eyes scanned around and between the darkness of shadows yet met with no result. There was no evidence to even suggest that the hooded women who had saved him earlier was ever there in the first place. Yet still he yelled a most sincere “Thank you!” out to his rescuer, completely apathetic to the ears of his neighbours and the creatures that lurk unseen. Hoping that his gratitude would echo beyond the darkness and fall upon his saviour’s ears. Now safely home, he knew full well that night; could have been his last.

Later that evening, the young hooded woman had preceded onwards towards the large guild hall in the centre of Umbran. It was the headquarters of the most famous Venators. The sacred home to the agents of Umbria the Goddesses of Death (after which the city was named) and her unseen twin Noxia the Goddess of Darkness. It stood majestically towering over the surrounding houses and markets stalls to anyway, that stretched out for miles around. It had always existed as something of a symbol for for the downtrodden citizens. The iconic structure meant more than just its cathedral-like Gothic structure. One of justice, honour and more all-importantly vengeance. Where values of strong moral judgement were prized, higher than any amount of gold or shiniest jewel, in what was a rather an unruly nation and more so because there no real official “government” that proceeded over any of the entire Darklands.

Opening the great double wooden doors into the Venators Guild, the young women was greeted by apathy from everyone. The great halls were flooded by fellow hunters, mentors and their apprentices either chanting silent rituals. The almost inaudible hum rang out through the halls of hunters chanting and praying, while others were training in the various forms of combat which permitted hunters to operate to an almost silent level of noise. This was the usual level of activity that was typical from an evening’s business. While the young woman was no longer considered an apprentice she was always greeted with much contempt, even though her parents were rather famous hunters; when they were still alive that is. She would never benefit from their celebrity-like status. Not longer after arriving she was greeted warmly by a familiar face, much more than the others would ever have graced her with. It was by her former master and her adoptive father Methias, who was something of a living legend in his own right.
  “Ah Laurena, just in time.” spoke the greyed bearded old man with enthusiastically open arms.
  “Methias?” Laurena confused by his unusual cheeriness.
  “The Circle have finally made a request that you grant them an audience. How bout that eh? I can’t believe how far you’ve come, many never get to see them. Although saying that, I did train you so it’s no surprise.” He was always the boastful type but everyone knew him as the only man to have ever killed a Ferapex with his own hands, so to them it was justly so.
  “Oh…” replied Laurena reluctantly.
  “OH?” Methias astonished at the young woman’s apathy. “The Circle of all places wished to see you and all you can say is Oh?…Bloody hell girl you really need to lighten up. This is a tremendous honour you should be proud!” Methias rapped his arms around his daughter’s shoulders, hugging her as only a father would, while urging her forward towards the Circle’s chambers.
  “…Fine, lets go.” Laurena reluctantly followed her father down the great hall, which lead to many of the anti-chambers to the guild.

While walking through the great hall, Laurena noticed a rather tall, medium built muscular man, his skin was so pale, even for an Umbran, as it was almost translucent. He was scarred much in rather the same ritualistic way as the other woman Laurena had dispatched earlier. He was armed with more than he fair share of weaponry; much more than was needed for any Venator. As the two crossed paths they looked at each other, his eyes narrowed as did hers in reaction, Laurena felt as if he wanted to curse her strongly, yet was not permitted to do so loudly. Laurena stood there watching him walk off towards to exit…
  “Laurena!” shouted Methias. “Lets not keep the Circle waiting!”
She finally caught back up to her former master, following his shadow towards the Chamber of the Circle.


The Venator Part 2 (WIP) 


 

Laura Steel © 2015

The Day They Arrived

The day they arrived back 12 years ago; it’s 2043, so yeh 12 years ago now. It was most probably the most monumental day in human history, if you discount World War III that is. It dominated the news for months, it was far beyond the most interesting of events that happened across the planet at the time. Some news stations attempted to highlight a few natural disasters but quite frankly they were so obviously reported with no real enthusiasm and were ushered through with some moderate haste just to get back to the back issue; given the media’s bias it only further trivialised the thousands of deaths and those left homeless…but I’m digressing.

When it first happened I was sat in my kitchen at the time, scoffing my usual breakfast of muesli and I was late for work, in which it felt like one of those shitty days but not because of what happen; not that being late would have mattered that day. The first thing I heard was the faint screams flooding in from my framed window and then the high pitched tires screeches and car horns. Then the most horrendous rumble; the sound was so intense I could feel it through my apartment floor and echoing into my feet and legs and resonating through my lungs. It shortly followed by the increasing rattle of everything I possessed shaking against anything horizontal or vertical surface, the occasional shatter of picture frames and crockery smashing from within the cupboards next to me; the annoyance of know they would have to be replace didn’t register in my conscious at the time.

I rushed to the window after I could see the light pouring through them darken, as the sun was blotted out it cast half of London in complete shadow. All that could then be seen; as recorded by people’s mobile phones, was the bright patchy skies turn a most magnificent of fiery reds, the centre tipped with a yellow and white bullseye, bursting through the brilliance of the patchy blue background. The screaming and shouting grew louder, almost in a vain attempt to drown out the roar of the maleficence shadow looming overhead. The more people rushed outside to see what was going on the louder it grew. Everything that happened caused a feeling of a deep pang of fear and anxiety, which overwhelmed me before I realised that it was not from any earthquake; not in London anyway. Other more apocalyptic events rushed through my head was it a comet, or larger meteor? What it was was far from what I, or anyone I expect felt, as there was an almighty explosion and deep deafening boom; that almost sucked the air out of everybody’s lungs.

It was a space ship! I couldn’t believe it unless I had seen the news. Amateur mobile phone recordings showed it landing rather spectacularly in Hyde park, almost like it was being kept as a planned runway for it, curving a deep trench parallel to Baywater Road. As it bit into the green and brown like a massive farmer’s plough it kicked up so much dirt that it plastered just about everything in it’s wake. There were unfortunately a few reported deaths and cases of missing people; who were most of likely caught underneath the ship as it crashed. It came to a grinding halt right up to Kensington Palace, almost like the royal building was a train stopper ready for it, I’m sure his royal majesty would not have approved of it being destroyed. Before the dust even settled I could hear sirens, whirling and howling from all directions, as the emergency services were obviously called to assist the hurt or perhaps confront those from within the alien hull.

The rest of the week the country was at a standstill, no one could make out just what to do. As nothing had emerged from the ship at the time politicians and other heads of state attempted to calm the country and state they had it under control, urging the population to go back to their normal lives and continue to work if they could, as always they of course were naively ignorant. Needless to say after that day 12 years ago the world changed forever. I hope by writing this people will be a better judge of what has happened than I ever could, if not for my sake alone but for the rest of humanity as a whole.


Laura Steel ©2015

 

About Trans Swindon

ABOUT TRANS SWINDON

A place for ideas, discussion and team building for Trans Awareness at Pride 2015 and beyond.

This is an activist group seeking to promote and achieve equality for transgender people. We are not a group for promoting individuals but the whole community. Whilst we endeavor not to take sides politically, it may well be the case we will post political issues that are relevant to transgender.

We are a non-judgmental group, and whilst we know it shouldn’t have to be said, it will be said here as it has been noted and seen on other so called equal rights groups. No bigotry or hate will be tolerated on any grounds whether that be age, disability, ethnicity, marital status, race, religion, sexuality, social background, trans identity or anything else.


Find us at: Trans Swindon on Facebook

The Impact of the Internet on my Life as a Transgender Person: Blogging and Creative Writing

Ever since the start of my transition there has always been one resource that I have always found myself relying upon time and time again, more than anything else that has been available, the Internet. Not a day goes by that I rarely have access to the web or even forego using it, unless I am otherwise engaged—although mobile devices can still keep the bridge the gap on the go, if you have the finance. As an established global entity, the Internet has been by far the best tool I use to assist myself in the various activities of my life, of which includes: shopping, gaming and the ability to socialise between family and friends. This wondrous digitised realm has become like a second home to me, with the almost infinite amount of websites available to browse from turning into an entirely whole new world to explore. To be cut off from this world, for even a brief moment, brings about a strong sense of withdrawal—one which that can be rather uncomfortable to bare at times.

Before I finally sought medical intervention for my gender dysphoria I had spent many hours searching for the causes of the severe anxiety I found myself with. I had an inclination for many years, since my early pre-adolescent years in fact. But this feeling wasn’t something I tried to confront fully because of the fear of being rejected by my family, should I reveal who I really was. I desperately searched for some form of officiated information that would allow me to understand the reason why I felt the way I did and what I could do to alleviate myself from it. My hope was that somewhere online there was the knowledge I so desperately sought after. So I used the Internet to search through online encyclopaedias and other websites, with their hordes of medical knowledge on gender dysphoria, transgender people and the process of transitioning—which I hoped were all accurate and reliable enough to inform my enough to better my understanding— and I would take to browsing every last link I could find on these subjects. While none of the contents on these websites have truly answered all my questions, with regards to discovering who I am as a person, they undeniably had given me a good base point in which to start my journey of self discovery. My absolute certainty of who I am was only achieved through prolonged and deep introspection. All of the information these websites have provided me with, however intentional, has been to an such an immense degree that I feel I will never be able to repay the help provided by their existence. They have not only given me such a better sense of who I am today but have allowed me to define myself much further as a person, regardless of my ‘trans’ identity.

One of the sub-sections that just happen to inhabit this digitised realm is the websites dedicated to blogging. When I first heard about these blogging sites, young and naive as I was to the use of the Internet, I did not care for their existence and I was rather unimpressed with the few I had inadvertently stumbled upon. I only really saw them as way for people to just be egotistical, boarder line narcissistic over, and who were only trying to fill a psychological need that wasn’t being met in their real lives; away from the computer screen. My perspective was that these individuals were only using their blogging sites as somewhere to just dump boring unintelligible information about themselves, in a vague attempt to justify their own existence. This was all in a narrow minded view that was previously only held before I had “come out” or even come to terms with who I was, and a view that I thankfully no longer hold.

However, having access to the blogs of transgenders, who have shared their own experiences, back in what was a time of immense depression and self-destructive hate for me, would truly become invaluable. I continually searched for any account of transgender individual’s experiences online because at the time I couldn’t even bring myself to talk about it to those I loved. Being that depressed had the unfortunate side effect of causing me to become so distant from my family that it took several years to tell them the truth. The increased desperation of trying to understand why I felt the way I did would further drive me to search for anything else there was to know about what being transgender means, into the processes of transitioning and even into the some of the surgeries; which involved the viewing of graphic photos and videos of them being performed. I especially looked for the written experiences by other transgenders believing that their first hand knowledge would be much more useful for me because it’s not as if any of it is taught in schools or freely handed out on pamphlets as you walk down the high street. While I have fully accepted and embraced who I am now, as have my family and friends thankfully, possessing the knowledge that I wasn’t alone in what I was going through was something I had taken an immense comfort from and I still do. I know the conclusion I have come to, of who I am as a person and who I am today, was aided by other transgender individuals and the experiences they had bravely shared on their blogs.

Overtime I started to understand that there was a clear difference between the different types of blogs and the contents they housed. As I grew older—and hopefully a little wiser—I slowly started to appreciate the impact they can have on their readers, which I know at the very least is true with regards to myself. I eventually learned that many of these people weren’t blogging because they were being self-obsessed or sought the attention of others for the sake of it but rather were people who, just like myself, wanted be seen, accepted and loved. To have a means to express themselves truly without any restriction and in a manner that is sure to be on some level therapeutic for them, which is something I have since found for myself after I creating my own. My hope was that when I had created my own blog it would afford me the same opportunity to express myself not just as a person but as a transgender too, which is something I can safely say for certain that it has. I feel like I no longer have to accept being cast into the shadows and left wallowing in self-pity, doomed to live a life of fear and repression, simply because of who I am but can start to express and embrace my life as an individual, let alone because I am transgender. As an added result I have found that I can not only express myself freely in this online realm but subsequently in the offline world too, which is something I am continually enjoying doing so. This was all because I had the luxury and privileged access to the Internet; access to which I no longer take for granted, as I once did.

It is for this reason I believe I have come to learn, love and embrace the creative aspect towards writing. One of my pass times since transitioning has come in the form of reading the creative works written by other people, in particular those written by fellow transgenders. Analysing their apparent structure and form of prose, such as: poems, flash fiction or short stories, and on their even deeper meaning. The best way I have been able to approach this has yet again been through having access to the blogs of other individual writers, via the Internet. Blogs and other forums such as social media sites on the web can give the opportunity for transgender writers to not only share links to their creative writings to be read and enjoyed. Geared up correctly and in the right way they can allow for comments and criticisms, that allow others, regardless of how they choose to define themselves, a means to improve their skills of writing, with help of their fellow transgender piers and from other members of community groups. This is also because just about any one, assuming they have Internet access, can find the required information on them, with the simple aid of a search engine or because of a social media site or two. The very fact that this essay has been written is evidence of this; as I would not have been aware of the opportunity to do so if I did not have access to the Internet or the dear friend who kindly shared the link for it across one of these sites to begin with.

An additional beneficial aspect of being able to post online is due to the fact that what ever has been written is left up to the pure discretion of the individuals who have written them. There are rarely any other intermediary people who could perhaps edit, abuse or otherwise get in the way of anything creatively written by anyone, least of all those written by transgenders. Transgenders who wish to take up the art of writing are freely able to express themselves, with the only limit being their own imagination and the confidence to post them. This can be accomplished even if they consciously choose or have to rely upon the use of a pseudonym or using an anonymous name coupled with an avatar of any suitable digital image. Even I have found it relatively easy to set up a website, despite not being an expert; from information that was once again obtained within the vastness of the Internet. The ease and quickness for additional entries into a website’s expandable content can all be done for a rather minor cost per month or even for free if your limited in budget and don’t mind the annoyance of the odd advertisement. Being able to have such an affordable forum, that little digitised haven to call my own, in which I can upload my own work or to do with as I please, is truly liberating. It imparts a strong sense of freedom and is something that would have to have it be prized from my cold dead fingers before I would ever choose to give it up willingly.

After all, to me creative writing is more than just a fancy collection of words, bound together to just paint a picture with vocabulary or project the imagery of fantastic characters, setting and theme; all presented in one of the various forms of prose, such as a short but potent poem or a rather long drawn out story. It has the ability to affect the senses of the readers and gives the ability to develop ideas from within the subtlety of the text regardless how it appears in a book, on a computer monitor or on the TV screen; just as long as it leaves that lasting impression on the mind of the reader. Whether it is about a transperson’s dramatic journey of self-discovery or an epic fantasy about a foxy heroine, who just happens to be transgender, brandishing her swords as she bravely fights off a ravenous monster. Creative writing may hopefully even go further towards inspiring people to reflect upon aspects of their lives and help further shape who they are and will become. I can only hope it will increase the amount of transgender literature, written by and for transpeople, as this can only work to increase our exposure in a broader and ideally better understanding. The Internet is an exceptional platform for self-expression and is capable of capturing a wide array of audiences, regardless of how they choose to define themselves.

Ultimately, the Internet’s existence continues to dominate my life, as well as the lives of others; either at home or on the move. Despite any of the negativity that it has been associated with the Internet, I know it has changed my life for the better, as I hope it has the same effect on others. Whether it’s socialising between family and friends, learning and researching new ideas, as one ploughs though website after website of information, or expressing one’s self via a blog or forum, with each and every upload. I know with out exaggerating that I would be fully amiss without the Internet, which is something I believe a lot of other people may be too even if they may not be fully aware of it themselves. Not just as a person trying to live my day to day life but especially because I am a transgender person with the freedom to express it; something which is achieved in the way I choose. So great is the power and liberation that the Internet can have.


Laura Steel © 2016

Inner Peace – Shaped Reflective Poem

I
In past
Hid my cry
Of depressed cast
Self-abuse blurred mind
Substance misuse sins spree
Deep cutting acquainting hind
Corrupt vague version becoming me
Through acceptance I found inner peace
Kindred unburdens my self-hate
Compassionate floods of love
Kindness key to mental gate
Mind now like free dove
Everyday I’m live
No more strife
I thrive
Life


Rhyme: ABAB, CDCD, E, FGFG, HIHI


Laura Steel © 2015

Heroes In Disguise – English Sonnet

From dry course sand and ashes felled quiet
Hands of many reach out consumed in pains
Hold silent desire or boasting of riot
Help is but abandon bragging blood stains
Eyes seeing problems where prone hands yet shift
Minds know of solving so ready to judge
Apathy fills hearts, where villains yet lift
Heroes in disguise discard their last grudge
Ivory stained polish towers of gold
Guarded walls protect the sinners of sloth
Their ignorance is fashion worn so bold
As agony blindness bans them of growth
Castles remain huge though purpose does rot
History rings out those keen too care not


Rhyme ABAB,CDCD,EE
Iambic Pentameter


Prompt: https://jeremysdailychallenge.wordpress.com/2015/03/26/challenge-2015-week-13-26-march/


Laura Steel ©2015

A walk in the meadows – Short Story

It was so glorious, the day I first fell in love, it couldn’t have been better; weather wise at least. My friend Alex and myself were outside, during our half term of college. She had suggested that we go on a walk for a change, far away from any technology, so we left our phones behind; anything that required a battery. We forgot about our studying, where thankfully our recent passing of exams was no longer a stress but a relief, and of course from everyone else. It was just a nice change of scene, just the two of us as best of friends since childhood, before our studies resumed later next week.

We had gone to the field behind our houses where we lived, arms linked and hands held while trailing a path through the lash green field; littered with so many different flowers and plants neither of us could recognise. All the way out in the country where it wasn’t so tainted by concrete, street lights and the noisy pollution of cars. It was so peaceful out here that only the wind could be heard carrying the songs of birds, when we weren’t laughing of course. I remember how warm it was with the sun bearing down when occasionally it broke through the clouds.

We talked so much about when we always used to play out here and had so much fun away from our parents, who always told us not to but we did anyway. She always was the brave one, I followed her rarely without question. Every grazed knee or splintered hand was because of her, being the adventurous spirit that she was. I used to often look at her with a strange sense of awe, that someone could be so free and wild yet made me feel so safe and secure at the same time. This was before we were thrown into the daunting process of living in an adult world, where she seemed to only thrive even more, she was an unstoppable force and unrelenting with a passionate glow. We’ve never been separated, evident by any of the photos of either of us, as they never existed without the other.

I think it was subtle over the day but I noticed my heart thumping so intently, I felt like it really wanted to burst through my chest, every thump seemed to grow stronger. My head was buzzing I could barely make sense of anything but it felt so real, so painful. But I finally knew how I felt about Alex. Now I knew another feeling, with this feeling of love all that grew was fear. I wondered if our friendship would all be ruined forever if I tell her…oh how I wish I could tell her…


Prompt: https://jeremysdailychallenge.wordpress.com/2015/02/19/challenge-2015-week-8-19-february/


Laura Steel © 2015