This week has been very productive in some ways but not so much in others. I have sadly had to put Cthulhu Cat Cult on the back burner for the week as I have been trying to get used to my new timetable. I now have classes on Monday, all day Wednesday followed by work and then work through to Saturday so I am allowing myself time to settle. This week I also had an interview at Manchester Metropolitan for my PhD and got offered a place within a couple of hours, so it has been a crazy and eventful week. The downside of getting the place though is that the project is not suitable for the AHRC funding, which makes things difficult. Money always makes things difficult but the lack of financial help at a postgraduate level is disgusting. It is true the PhD loans are coming in for 2018/2019 but who really wants to add on to their student debt? Imagine that, getting your PhD, getting a great job and then losing out on most of it to back back 2 or 3 lots of students loans depending on whether you have done a MA too like myself.
I was talking to someone the other day about my degree and got the “so this is what my tax money is going on?” I didn’t say anything. It is one thing to disregard studying gender and sexuality as an important topic, it is another to believe that other people directly pay our studies for us. Upon further conversation however I am lead to believe that this gentleman’s son was gay and he didn’t approve, so that would probably explain his standpoint. But believe me sir I pay enough for my studies and I work and I still struggle!
I have been reading Amy Bloom’s “Normal” which has been…interesting. It is about the authors experiences hanging out with trans people of different varieties but I cannot help but notice the huge flaws in the book. I don’t suggest that it is a heavy work of academia in the slightest but she has an evident standpoint and isn’t afraid to indicate what they are in the book which is hardly a good basis for research. She constantly has her “radar” on trying to detect what gender someone is and writes about previously lesbian couples where one transitions to male but does not change the vagina to a penis as the other half is of course still a lesbian; Bloom almost jibes this decision as the male has a beard and a deep voice as if these are the defining points of a man. In fact Bloom there are genetic females out there with facial hair and deeper voices! She goes in to this “research” guessing people’s identity, something that a lot of these people don’t want others to be doing! It is an interest yet wholly frustrating read.
I am also reading Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America.” It is a script, I am just under half way through and it is entirely fascinating as relationships cross between scenes, it talks about religion and AIDS, mental health and is set in the 1980’s which is a pivotal time fro AIDS especially in America. One of the sequences reminds me of Dallas Buyers Club as one man insists that he is straight and yet has been treated for venereal issues only associated with homosexual sex, he contracts AIDS but refuses to accept any sexuality for himself other than heterosexual. In both of these instances AIDS is treated as a label, a label only issues to homosexuals and drug users and the implication of this label would affect their livelihood and relationships. Within only a couple of decades it is amazing to see how this has changed as women and children become HIV positive too, it is no longer the “gay disease” or to do with needle users. It is horrendous to think of the AIDS related attacks made against the gay community just because people didn’t understand or there was not enough research at the time. Or on a darker note that scientists did know the truth and didn’t release the information for the world to be educated. A constant worry of mine when it comes to science.
Hopefully I will smash through the rest of my uni work for the week and get some customised clothes and items posted back up on here! Don’t forget that you can support Cthulhu Cat Cult on Patreon.