To all (FE) teachers everywhere

Do you remember August, when you couldn’t imagine how to start? You walked into those echoing classrooms, with spaced-out, haphazard desks like a pre…

To all (FE) teachers everywhere

Nice people

Avril and Alison moderate a facebook group. Alison has gone down the rabbit-hole, quoting hate group foul play by transphobes to argue Trans is the …

Nice people

“You have entered a very difficult and a very challenging world.” (!!!) You have ENTERED??? Was there a choice? Clare and all trans people have been slung into this through an circumstance of birth, that is the truth of it. Can you tell I’m fuming?
People who think they are nice are the pits. If you are one of them, please read this and get real.

Forgive us if we seem to you like men

Why can’t we just let go our expectations of other people, and release the true selves that are weeping to be heard?

Clare Flourish

Forgive us if we seem to you like men.
It is a shell, it’s only how we seem
For so long our real selves were just a dream
or shame and weakness, glimpsed then fled, again
Girlish, girlishness was danger, then
the mannish act was habit, or a scheme
to fool the world, and hide, till our extreme
desire overcame us, til the moment when
we could deny no more. That was the start.
I feared too much to claim my womanhood.
I fear so much I cannot simply be
If you expect a man, I play that part.
The gentle, peaceful self, half-understood
will flower in time. I know I will be free.

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Parliament supports trans rights

Clare Flourish

Liz Truss spoke to Parliament about her refusal, three years after the announcement, to reform gender recognition after all. MPs eviscerated her, though two other Tories spouted “feminist” anti-trans claptrap, using the same words as any other anti-trans campaigner. Here is the transcript: or view the debate.

Truss claimed there are “proper checks and balances”- the humiliations the consultation overwhelmingly opposed- and that it is “important that we protect single-sex spaces”. Note she does not use the term “women’s space”, having learned to avoid it from the haters. When she says “It is also important that under-18s are properly supported in line with their age and decision-making capabilities” she means she wants to restrict treatment for trans children. Even after three years she could give no date when her paltry improvements will come into force. The Tory transphobe MPs echoed her language: Felicity Buchan said retaining “single-sex…

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Cancel culture

Clare Flourish

It’s all very well complaining about people being “Cancelled” for transphobia, but every day people come out as trans, and are immediately cancelled. We lose our jobs, families, and friends. People abuse us in the street, and on social media. I think that’s a bad thing.

What kind of opinions justify “cancellation”? Opinions prejudiced against people simply because of who they are deserve cancellation. Racism including antisemitism, sexism, and homophobia are all disgusting opinions, which should make people disgusted with those who hold them. There is some fuzziness around the edges of these things, for instance, when does criticism of the government of Israel shade into antisemitism? But they have a clear core- a reference to “bum-boys” is clearly homophobic. Boris Johnson’s use of the term, and others, show he is racist, homophobic and misogynist. He has not been cancelled, but he should be.

Assertions of falsehood which damage other…

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Candles and Corona

At online Meeting for Worship last night a Friend ministered about candles. I didn’t catch who she was quoting but it was someone’s reminiscence of how, as a small child, her parents explained to her about the votive candles she saw in church. How each one is a prayer. The child asked what would happen when the candle she’d lit went out, would that be the end of the prayer? No, said her parents, because other people were always coming along to light their candles and all the prayers join up together and support each other.

I really needed to hear this right then. If I’m going to have a wobble then early evening is usually it but this reminder really helped, that it doesn’t matter if we get tired, that the community can hold the faltering individual . I remembered the many occasions I’ve looked around the room in Meeting for Worship (when we could still meet face to face) and thought, I’ve really lost the plot. But it didn’t matter because you could see that other Friends hadn’t and they were holding the space. Then the other times when I’ve been one of the steady ones for somebody else.

So it’s OK to not be strong. We are enough. Which took me back to Coronavirus and Climate Grief (the cause of most of my recent wobbles) and on to the Covid-19 maths: how many thousands one person can potentially infect. And I thought about that one prayer – that one candle metaphorical or otherwise. Could that grow exponentially in the same way? So it doesn’t matter if I burn out or die, the people of goodwill continue and grow.


The right to be believed

When I was young what used to hurt most was feeling misunderstood. Being told constantly what and who I was; having my own insights and perceptions denied and rubbished.

As an adult, other people can no longer diminish me; I have the choice to walk away. However, my trans friends don’t. Theirs is a daily struggle. Hate and physical danger are the obvious enemies but well meaning ignorance is almost impossible to deal with. Read (or listen to) Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race; many of the same points apply.

You see, I’m not talking about sex, gender or whatever wobbly bits anyone of us might have. This is about openness. About respect. About kindness. About the right each one of us has to be accepted exactly as we are.

This is about souls. And who am I – who are you – to dare to trample on someone else’s.


I’m English, living in England, and although it’s months since I’ve seen my granddaughter in Edinburgh Scotland is absolutely right to close the border. The situation down here isn’t safe. There will be a second wave and we shouldn’t be reinfecting Scotland when they have done so well at curbing infection rates.


Should Nicola close the Borderto non commercial traffic.

IS an argument that is raging across the country. Has she the power to do it? What would justify it? What would be the economic cost?

Good questions, let’s try and answer them. I will take the easiest first. I think there would be overwhelming public support for such a move if it could be demonstrated that Covid 19 was on the rise again in England and the current infection rates were much higher than in Scotland. This would create a clear and present danger to Scots, particularly in the rural tourist areas where local health facilities would be quickly overwhelmed by a deluge of incoming infected tourists. In such circumstances I think the public would be right to demand Government action to end that risk. There would be a big cost in doing so but I will deal with that…

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Dean Laidley

I don’t get bogged down in the “mainstream” hate-filled fascist media very much but I am beyond furious about this whole situation. Daniella Laidley has my full support.

Clare Flourish

A charge of stalking becomes national news when the alleged stalker is AMAB in women’s clothes. Reporting on Dean Laidley treats them as a man, even while stating they asked police to call them Daniella. It also shows the photographs of them in a wig and dress taken by a police officer, even while condemning that police officer who is suspended and likely to lose his job.

Dean Laidley was a former player in the Australian Football League, then coach of North Melbourne. Aussie Rules football is a contact sport played with an oval ball, played all over the world though only professionally in Australia, where it is the most popular sport. The leaked photographs, published by the Murdoch outlets, show them in the interview room with a long blonde wig, and in a mugshot with makeup but without the wig, showing a man’s haircut, short at the sides, apparently…

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