Monday, 31 July 2017

Comedian Refuses To Apologise For Saying They Would Kill Trans People

American comedian Lil' Duval has refused to apologise for a 'joke' made when appearing on the radio show The Breakfast Club where he said that he would kill a trans person if he slept with them.

When asked how he felt about President Trump's proposal to ban transgender servicepeople from taking part in military service.

'I'm just doing my thing,' he replied, 'shout out to all the trannies out there.'

Lil' Duval was then asked what he would do if he were to sleep with a transgender person without knowing that they were trans beforehand. 'If you had sex with one and you didn't know?'

'This might sound messed up and I don't care, but, she's dying.' He responded. 'I can't deal with that. I can't do that. You manipulated me to believe this thing. In my mind, I'm gay now!'

One of the shows presenters tried to get Duval to apologise for his comments whilst on air by pointing out that it would be a hate crime; Duval, however, continued on to defend his response.

'There should be some kind of repercussions if you do that to somebody. If one did that to me and they didn't tell me, I'm gonna be so mad I'm probably going to want to kill them. I can say what I want and do what I want, and people understand where I'm coming from. They know I'm not coming from a place of malice.'

Many members of the trans community and their allies took to Twitter to express their disapproval of Duval's comments, including actress Laverne Cox.

Author Janet Mock, whom Duval referred to with male pronouns during his interview, condemned the shows hosts for allowing hate speech.

'It's this deplorable rhetoric that leads many cis men, desperately clutching their hetrosexuality, to yell at, kick, spit on, shoot, burn, stone and kill trans women of colour,' she wrote in an open essay online. 'Duval purposefully misgendered me (as the hosts laugh, thereby cosigning it) in an attempt to put me in my place and erase my womanhood. Their fragile masculinity would not allow them to recognise a simple truth: I am an accomplished, beautiful black trans woman.'

Duval has refused to apologise for his comments, responding to the criticism on Twitter by releasing the following image:

He has also spoken about the incident during an interview with TMZ Live, where he claimed that his response was justified by the emotional and psychological damage sleeping with a trans person would cause him.

'I went crazy there, because that's what they made me do. That's what they made me say.' He said. 'I said that because the hosts were saying, taking away somebody's power of choice, it should be criminal; you don't know what it could do to someone psychologically.'

Duval went on to claim that his comments were not transphobic.

'I don't got no problem with transgender, I ain't got no problem with gay people. I got a problem with somebody trying to take something from me. In my own mind, I say what I feel. This is only about one situation, and the situation was 'what would you do if you found out somebody was a man that I thought was a woman, and didn't tell me she was a man.'

Lil' Duval is still facing criticism for his comments and his refusal to apologise.

Go to Amy's Blog

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Tory Activist Claims Transgender People Are Mentally Ill

A member of the Tory activist group Grassroots Conservatives, Mary Douglas, has faced criticism after her appearance on BBC Radio 4's Today programme after suggesting that people that wish to legally change their gender are mentally ill.

The discussion follows announcements from the government that they intend to review and update the Gender Recognition Act, an announcement that has sparked outrage for many anti-trans groups and individuals.

Mary Douglas appeared on the BBC radio show to criticise this decision, saying that she was 'very concerned' by these plans.

'In my view, it should not be easy to do something as massive as change your gender and the law is there to protect us, normally from other people, but also sometimes from ourselves,' she described her views to host Nick Robinson.

'If somebody thinks that they have a mismatch between how they think and the way their body is, the question is: which should be changed?'

'What's interesting is that many people who have gender dysphoria also have other mental health conditions like depression or drug addiction. They are deeply troubled, and it has been proven that when they change gender that doesn't solve those issues.'

When Nick Robinson went on to ask her to clarify if she believed that wanting to change your gender to be a mental health condition she went on to say: 'I'm not a doctor, but I have read doctors who think it is and until very recently that was the medical consensus. I don't see that anything has changed.

'If for example, you have someone with anorexia who says 'I'm too fat' and you look at them and go 'really, you are not', it's not actually respectful or loving to affirm to that person in a belief that is false, that doesn't tie up with reality.'

After making her comments many people took to social media to condemn Mary Douglas and her views.

Some members of the Conservative party themselves made strides to distance themselves from Douglas' comments. Former chief of staff to Brexit Secretary David Davis, James Chapman, wrote on Twitter that he found the comments 'disgraceful'.

Despite many taking the time to condemn her comments a handful of people have agreed with her, supporting her notion that wishing to change your gender is a sign of mental illness.

Whilst Mary Douglas is not a member of the Tory government she does hold a position of respect within the Tory community; enough at least to be asked to speak on the BBC regarding decisions made by the party and how they are viewed by Tory supporters.

Many people have spoken out against Douglas' views, and have pointed out that having an opinion like this is wrong; but this kind of blatant transphobia is something that is still rooted deeply within society and politics.

Mary Douglas asked, 'If somebody thinks that they have a mismatch between how they think and the way their body is, the question is: which should be changed?' Whilst innocuous on the surface asking is a body or a mind should be changed is bordering dangerously close to the belief that trans people can be 'treated' to change how they view themselves.

This kind of treatment is more commonly known as Reparative Therapy or Conversion Therapy, and is used to 'correct' non-hetrosexual and non-cisgender people. It's designed to alter someone's gender identity or sexual orientation, and is often extremely traumatic and physically harmful.

Whilst many see such kind of treatment as inhumane it would appear that Mary Douglas is quite comfortable with the idea of altering gender variant people's minds to match their bodies by the comments she made.

In regards to transgender people having other mental health issues such as depression and drug addictions, whilst many studies and organisations do agree that the trans community are more likely to suffer from depression and to be drug users they also agree that this is not due to being transgender; rather it is because of the way in which society treats trans people.

I myself suffer from depression, I take medication for it, I've self harmed, and have even attempted suicide. This is not because I'm transgender. Yes, I am depressed because my body does not match who I really am, but this isn't the reason why I have suffered.

It's because society treats me poorly. It's because people like me are stereotyped as 'freaks' and 'deviants'. It's because we're made to look like predators and pedophiles for political agendas. It's because people stare at me, laugh at me, spit on me in the street and threaten me. It's because the National Health Service does everything it can to make it harder for me to receive treatment. It's because I've been discriminated against in jobs.

I've hated myself and have considered taking my life because people treat me like shit, and most of society not only doesn't stop them but actively reinforces that it's okay to do so.

Mary Douglas is right in saying that trans people have mental health issues; but it's because of people like her trying to make our lives hell, trying to make it harder for us to be ourselves, for being othered and demonised.

The plans to re-evaluate the process to legally change gender is a good step forward, though one long overdue. It's just unfortunate that individuals like Mary Douglas are still given a platform to spread their own bigoted views in the face of progress.

Go to Amy's Blog

Monday, 24 July 2017

The Strain 'Blood Tax' Review

This review WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS, if you do not want certain plot points or story spoilt, please do not read further.

With the first episode of the new season of The Strain focusing on Ephraim and Fet, and their experiences on the fringes of the new strigoi controlled world, episode two focuses on Setrakian, Dutch, and Gus, and gives us a look into the inner workings of this new world.

We learn that Dutch and Setrakian have remained together after sending Fet and Quinlan to search for a nuclear weapon, and that the two of them are still trying to find some further information within the Occido Lumen to help them to destroy the Master.

When their apartment building is set on fire Dutch manages to fight off a number of strigoi and hides the Lumen away safely, unfortunately this does not stop her and Setrakian from being arrested and taken to a processing facility.

The first scenes at the strigoi compound are extremely unpleasant, and mirror the season one episodes where we see a young Setrakian being led into a Nazi concentration camp. Whilst this scene doesn't generate the same amount of distress any re-creation of the Holocaust does, the similarities make it incredibly uncomfortable; something that is played incredibly well by David Bradley.

After being separated, we learn that Dutch has been selected to be used as breeding stock. She joins a group of other women who all have a desired blood type who are made to get pregnant, give birth and go through the whole experience again and again, as a way of keeping the strigoi's favourite blood around after the end of the world.

Fortunately, Dutch is already forming plans to escape from the facility. Unfortunately for her, she manages to catch the eye of the facility administrator, Sanjay Desai, who wants her to help him to keep the peace with the other women.

With Desai keeping a eye on Dutch she enlists the help of one of the delivery men to help her escape from the facility. When the plan goes wrong, however, she has to turn him over to the strigoi, and certain death, in order to ensure her safety.

Back in New York, Gus is now running an underground black market with Alfonzo Creem. Using Gus' cousin Raul's connections they manage to infiltrate a Partnership facility in order to steal food and supplies.

When the plan goes slightly wrong the group are forced to take Raul with them in order to protect him. This decision not only produces some conflict between Gus and Creem, who did not want to take Raul with them, but also introduces somewhat of an innocent character to help bring out some more humanity in Gus that may be missing since the loss of Angel.

Whilst the focus of the episode is with Dutch, Setrakian, and Gus, we do check in with Ephraim, who is still with the freedom fighters he encountered in the last episode.

Ephraim and Alex begin to bond a little this episode, following on from their somewhat cold interaction in the season premier. Whilst Eph doesn't admit that his son is responsible for the apocalypse, the two of them do bond over the loss of their children.

Im hoping that this relationship will continue to grow over coming weeks, as the two of them seem to work well together. Even though Eph intends to leave the group he talks himself into staying with them in order to make a strike against the strigoi on a larger level, setting up for what is sure to be exciting developments in the next episode.

'Blood Tax' has a lot more depth and emotion to it than the first episode, and fleshes out the new world of the strigoi rule. The scenes with Setrakian, whilst limited, are also some of the best the show has produced, with David Bradley giving an amazingly understated performance.

Monday, 17 July 2017

The Strain 'The Worm Turns' Review

This review WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS, if you do not want certain plot points or story spoilt, please do not read further.

The Strain returns after its literal explosive season three finale to find that nine months have passed since the detonation of a nuclear device on Liberty Island, and that the strigoi have effectively taken over the world.

It's a bold step, and one that has given the show some fresh life as it has gone from horror survival to post-apocalypse fight for freedom, and the time jump gives the show the opportunity to create a new world for our characters to inhabit.

Whilst this episode doesn't feature Setrakian, Dutch or Gus, though it does show us what's happened to the rest of the cast since the end of the world.

We find out that since Zach detonated a nuclear bomb and destroyed the world Ephraim has fled New York and is now living in Philadelphia, working with a group of black marketers to trade his medical knowledge for valuable trade items.

Despite having lost his family, no longer being with his friends, and being in a devastated world that his son helped to create Eph almost feels like a whole new character. He's more relaxed and easygoing, which is a little bit ridiculous for someone living in a world ruled by vampires, but then he's no longer fighting against the Master and trying to save his family, so I guess there's a lot of pressure gone now.

It's during his work as a travelling doctor that Ephraim discovers that the Partnership, the human face of the strigoi rule, have been pumping tankers full of blood into buildings that are home to hundreds of strigoi. Something that I'm sure will be important in upcoming episodes.

After the black market hideout is raided by strigoi Ephraim and his colleagues find themselves bundled into the back of a bus as prisoners. Before we can find out what fate can befall strigoi prisoners, however, the bus comes under attack from bombers and Ephraim becomes the only survivor.

Despite not wanting to get involved and to have a quiet existence he can't stop himself from providing assistance to the injured freedom fighter that attacked the bus and soon finds himself escaping the scene of the attack with the resistance members.

Meanwhile, Zach has been spending the time since he caused the apocalypse living with the Master in his own private apartment full of arcade games, game consoles and toys. The end of the world has done little to lessen Zach's annoyingness.

It would appear that the Master is far from finished with Zach as he begins to groom the boy to be his next host after Palmer. He takes Zach into what's left of Central Park Zoo and arms him with a rifle, having him hunt down and kill a tiger.

The scene plays out differently to the books, where the Master has Zach build up a bond with the animal before killing it. Here however, the Master comes before Zach as a vision of his mother, twisting the boy into believing that the Master is Zach's friend and that his future lies with the strigoi.

It's rare that there's a scene with Zach that actually makes you feel anything for the character other than major annoyance (he makes Wesley Crusher look like Shaft), but here we get a look into just how messed up his mind is and how deeply the Master has his claws into the boy.

On the other side of the country we find that Fet and Quinlan have been searching for a weapon that can help them end the Masters reign; a nuclear bomb.

The two of them have teamed up with a group of survivors, including the tough sharpshooter Charlotte, who would appear to be Fet's latest romantic interest. Despite travelling with a group of fighters Fet seems to be getting himself into bad situations quite easily.

When the group is held up by another group of survivors it's only thanks to Quinlans superhuman intervention that the group gets out alive. Unfortunately for Fet him and Charlotte are later captured by a second hostile group when they're searching for food without Quinlan around to protect them.

Whilst Fet may not be the best at not getting himself into trouble it does actually pay off for him when he finds himself imprisoned with a Roman, a soldier from a missile silo that still has its nuclear weapons.

Using one of the oldest tricks in the book to get the upper hand on their captors Fet and Roman manage to get free (literally just before Quinlan turns up to save them). Looks like our heroes could be finding their ultimate weapon sooner than we think.

The first episode of the final season does a great job of setting up the new world and showing us what some of our characters have been doing in the gap between seasons. Hopefully the rest of the season will continue to build upon this solid foundation and will build a strong conclusion to one of the best horror series on television.

Go to Amy's Blog

Thursday, 13 July 2017

New Black Canary Costume Revealed For Arrow Season Six

Entertainment Weekly have revealed the first look at the new costume for Black Canary, debuting in season six of CWs Arrow.

Whilst Black Canary has been in the show since the second season this will be the third person to bear the mantle (fourth if you also count the one episode that Evelyn Sharp wore the costume). The current incarnation of the character, Dinah Drake, was introduced to the show during season five and has more similarities to her comic book counterpart than previous versions; Dinah actually has the metahuman ability to produce her 'Canary Cry'.

The reveal of the new costume also shows that the former police officer will be developing as a character in the upcoming season, and will be embracing her role as a hero.

Show producer Wendy Mercil also spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the new costume and it's significance for the character;

'Last season she wasn't a full fledged superhero, you could say. She was, she had this power, she had this ability, she was part of the team, but really what this costume signifies more than anything else is that she is now a full-fledged member of the team. She was before. But she's now owning it in a different way. We had a talk about having the costume at various points last season and it never felt right. It felt that we wanted to save it for a special occasion, and the premier seemed like a really good place to do it.

'She needs something tactical. She has this meta power, but she also has the bo staff, so we felt that it was right for her to have something that was definitely a nod to the DCU character, but also something that was distinctive from what we've seen before. This really fits the bill. Maya Mani, as usual did an amazing job. My favourite parts is actually the subtle hint of gold and yellow lines in it.'

Arrow will be premiering 12th October.

Go to Amy's Blog

Friday, 7 July 2017

Everything Left Episode 19 - March Madness

In this episode I'm joined by Hannah Simpson and Adi Anhang as we talk about the Chicago Dyke March ejecting participants that were carrying a Jewish Pride flag.

Twitter: @_EverythingLeft

Everything Left is a Trans-Scribe Production
Hosted by Amy Walker
Theme music

Now a part of the Black Hole Media Network

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Everything Left Episode 18 - Magic Money Tree

In this episode I'm joined by Hannah Simpson and Adi Anhang as we talk about Trumpcare, Mike Pence, and the fact that the Tory party managed to find their magic money tree.

Twitter: @_EverythingLeft

Everything Left is a Trans-Scribe Production
Hosted by Amy Walker
Theme music

Now a part of the Black Hole Media Network

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Life Size Red Ranger Bust Announced

Pop Culture Shock have revealed a life sized Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Red Ranger bust, set for release late 2018.

Pop Culture Shock describe the bust on their website as;

'It’s Morphin’ Time!'

The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers burst onto television screens in 1993 and the show was an immediate cultural phenomenon.

Using footage from the popular Super Sentai series that had already been running for years in Japan, MMPR was for many American kids their first look at a group of spandex clad teenagers battling giant monsters in a sea of smoke and explosion effects.

The shows success led to the adaptation of subsequent seasons of the Sentai, which featured a new team of heroes each year. No matter the makeup of the team the show always featured a leader who was the embodiment of heroism and bravery…the Mighty Red Ranger.

PCS Collectibles pays tribute to that first noble Red Ranger, Jason Lee Scott, in our next Life-Size Bust.

Featuring a faithful recreation of the Season 1 Red Ranger helmet and a fabric costume that offers a distinct textural contrast and gives the whole piece an incredible authenticity found in few collectibles today.

The PCS Exclusive Red Ranger bust stands an impressive 25” tall and features an LED light-up Power Morpher base and signed certificate of authenticity and is limited to only 200 pieces worldwide!

Approx. Dimensions – 24″ (60.96cm) H x 17″ (43.18cm) W x 12″ (30.48cm) D
Sculpted by – Miguel Argueta, Glenn Morris & Justin McMillan
Painted by – Mike Najera
Art Director – Jerry Macaluso

The bust is available for pre-order at the price of $999.99.

Go to Amy's Blog