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An End to the Year 2023

Updated: Dec 23, 2023

Eyup folks!


Apparently it's the end of 2023, which may come as a shock to some - I myself thought we were nearing the end of 2024 (I'm really bad with numbers).


Things haven't been easy for most, if not any, of us this last (few) year(s). Personally, I'd like to remind anyone reading that there's nothing wrong with 'having a hard time'! In fact, I'd be a little worried if we weren't. In reflection of that, one of the best things we can do is prop each other up as a community. So...


Some of our lovely contributors from this past year have some messages to share with you all - in the form of rants, stories, poems, personal accomplishments, and advice.


Here's a compilation post of the wonderful messages they have to share for our amazing community. Be sure to give them lots of thanks if you can, and spread the love as we move in to the new year!


 

Below links not working at the moment, sorry! You'll have to scroll...


Advice & Discussion

From Ara Chalym

From Artie Carden

From The Fairies Collective


A Message in Poetry

From Dalton Harrison


A Message in Art

From Will Shoal


Short Stories

From Rebys J. Hynes, 'My Year'

From Flavio Picchi, 'The Love Letter'


 

From Ara Chalym


What advice do you have for anyone reading this?

Being truly seen is one of the greatest joys that an individual could experience on our planet Earth.


Even if you can’t fully come out in the social media or to your family, try to find open-minded people that accept you the way you are from the very start of your communication. Build up a trustworthy emotional support system, and you’ll see how your life improves.


As a person who tends to self-isolate (because my mental health plays tricks on me), I’m really almost begging you to reach out to people who share your values and interests. Members of the LGBTQ+ community should stay together and cheer each other up, let’s be light for each other in these dark days.


Have you made any personal accomplishments you'd like to share?

In collaboration with the publishing house Modern Magic I created a 2024 calendar of my dreams!




This collab means so much to me because I was working on this project really hard and spent a whole year trying to put everything together (but always something stood on my way of accomplishing it).


Besides my art this tasty PDF file includes moon phases, astrological seasons and festivities of the Wheel of The Year all marked up!


Each page introduces a tale or a tradition or a creature from various parts of the world; my favourites are February and November because these months tell a little story about characters from Russian and Turkish folklore (my homelands).


The texts in the calendar are written all in Russian but still you can intuitively navigate through the dates (or just enjoy the pics!). You can find a link to the Modern Magic page in my Instagram bio.


Would you like to share anything to or about your local communities?

Since my collaboration with Trans_Muted in June the situation with queerphobic laws in Russia got much worse. On 30th November The Russian Supreme Court banned ‘LGBT movement’ due to ‘extremism’.


Now volunteers of the NGO’s, activists, creators and simply any queer people risk to face 10-year imprisonment. With government supporting homophobic ideas the increase of violence towards queer people is unavoidable.


Also, this summer an anti-trans legislation had passed. As a result, medical commissions necessary to legally change one’s gender marker had been shut down, and gender-affirming care, like hormone therapy and surgical procedures, had been prohibited. Legal gender transition in Russia had seized to be possible.


If you would like to help the local community (at least with spreading the information), I really recommend you to find the Instagram account of the NGO ‘Queer Svit’. They always translate their posts into English.


 

From Artie Carden


"My advice for everyone is: everything you do to keep going and look after yourself or your friends is a middle finger to the government and isn't that in itself worth it?"

Artie's Year:


This year has been tough with a lot on my plate pretty much constantly. Every time I went through a dry patch with my work, I suddenly got an influx of acceptances and people's interest. Both are equally stressful. I had a tricky year with trying to sort some healthcare issues, finally get the right doctors in my team and progress towards correct diagnoses, but it's still an uphill battle with the NHS especially when no one is wearing masks as an immunocompromised patient.


This was my first year giving markets a go, some were amazing, some were... ehh... but I learned from those experiences and am quite impressed with what I did this year with nothing but spite and a 'fuck it' attitude. Whilst I didn't meet all my goals for 2023 (like... youtube partner... cryyy) I am quite stunned by why I did achieve by deciding on those goals and doing those 100 submissions.


Artie's Plans:


I have big plans for 2024. Starting with my art being on display at the Queery in Brighton through January (and for sale -wink wink-) as well as developing my group of neurodivergent and chronically ill friends' art sharing IG page (find us at @sick.bitchez) plus many secret goals. Gotta keep some things to yourself.


My life has always been a lot of extreme ups and downs, big wins and massive losses. But I decided a bit over a decade ago that if all else fails, I will spitefully continue on because the government hates people like me, and I want to be as big of a pain in their arse as possible.


 

 From Fairies Collective



The Fairies Resolutions (2,024)


  • Pay it no mind

  • Nurture the beauty of our differences

  • Let ourselves be happy

  • Let ourselves be angry

  • Take HRT like a sacrament

  • Reject cis standards for our trans bodies

  • Spit in the face of normalcy

  • Keep making queer art to piss off bigots xxx


(Fairies Vol. 2 coming soon ;) send us your work and piss off some bigots with us)


 

 From Will Shoal



 

 From Dalton Harrison


Each year


Tears and fears souvenirs of all my years Waiting for hormones to start glowing up my once-hidden body.


Now this year. I stand back against the wall. Looking at all the reasons why trans people are told, they could never be happy in this world.


I look at the chain around my neck, my naked chest filling out the mirrored frame.


Feel the memories I made swell up out of me like a laugh was on the edge of a grin. Let my tongue lick my lips.


While others never got a chance to make their presence on this world we call a stage known.


I remember to stand in solidarity and nod up to the stars I trace my finger along the edges of my scar, note the dog ears that I need to get taken off.


I look at myself. Another year gone. Try not to compare myself to anyone.


This year to come, round like my hairy belly slick with T-gel and possibilities.


I look at myself. Remembering how this image was something I was told I would never see.


I stand.


chest out.


I flex and mess with hairs I have and hairs I hope will grow...


Someday.


I stand knowing this year could be different


Stand and know how far just believing has got me to this moment.


When anything can be done I know I can be strong.


This year, no over achieving goals or believing I am not good enough.


I need to trust in me. Start every day with what do I need.


Make a plan, pull on my vans and raise my hands.


Shout fuck the bans on trans in sports, toilets, drag, hospitals or prisons.


The world will know I exist This year, you wait and see.


 

 From Rebys J. Hynes

My Year


I don’t recommend going to Victoria Park at night. For some unfathomable reason, the council haven’t put lamps up anywhere inside. When I go running, I use the light of the motorway’s tail end to trace the edge of the park. I love Glasgow. A beautiful city, ridiculous enough to slap a motorway in the middle. This morning, the DPD man dropped off Ariadne’s thread (well, he left it in the next building on the complex, but beggars can’t be choosers). Tonight, I follow it to Victoria Park. The Minotaur King waits for me in Fossil Grove. Blanket laid across the damp bridge. Cross-legged, toga flowing down her body. She pours herself a cup of peppermint tea. 

 

Thank you for changing the venue this year, I say.

 

The Minotaur King prefers to meet in subterranean places of her own making. Back when I lived in Liverpool, that was Moorfields station. Lancaster, the university underpass. Here, she made the subway but, well –

 

That’s one of the things I learned this year, I tell her.  I finally realised that I am probably, almost certainly neurodivergent in some way or another. There are so many stimuli I cannot stand. They burn my brain out. The subway here is one of them. It’s so loud, regardless of if it is busy or not. If I take it, I can’t think straight for a while. And that’s just one of the many clues that my brain works differently to other people’s. So, I took the autism test and passed the first stage – I was always good with exams – just on a two-year waiting list now. It’s a step. Er, what else have I been up to? I finally started putting my writing out there. People are reading it. Somewhere along the way, I forgot that’s what it’s all about. Sharing. A story’s still a story if it’s just for you, but a story shared, that’s a powerful thing. Well, you would know wouldn’t you.

 

The Minotaur King sips her tea.

 

Three years of me being out as a trans person, I continue. It’s wonderful, most of the time. Being in sync with myself, my body. Learning who I am, a little bit more every day. Oh, and there’s trans people in Doctor Who now. The Doctor wears a skirt and is queer and I am looking at the identity-changing hero that defined my childhood and I am sobbing. That’s what I want to do with my writing. I want to talk about the scary parts, sure, but I want to talk about the joyous parts too. And trust me, it can be scary. I was on the bus the other day and a man played Rishi Sunak’s speech at full volume. I don’t know if he agreed with it but it was there and I did not look cis I can tell you that. One day a man stared at me on the bus until I stared him down. When I tell the story, I think people think I was brave or defiant. Didn’t feel defiant though. I felt alone.

 

But Glasgow – what a place to be trans. What a community. Every time I go out I see queer people. We are here and we are beautiful and I am becoming myself more and more with every day. I wear the flashiest dungarees and I painted my nails for the first time this year and since then painted them every colour under the sun. Still haven’t found a combination that beats Lavendar and Mint Candy Apple. I am scared but I am me and not matter how scared they make me, they can never not make me me. I have met so many trans people this year. I have felt community.  I use two names now. And I am just as much Rebys as I am James. I am both and I am starting to feel complete.

 

The Minotaur Kings pours herself a fresh mug. She raises it to her lips but does not drink.

 

But I promised you my year and those things are some of my year but they are not all.

 

She sips.

 

Do I have to tell you all?

 

She puts down her mug.

 

No, I say, I don’t. But I want to.

 

I miss them both with all my heart. Every day. I think I am grieving but I honestly don’t even know what that means. Some days, it is consuming. Some days it is just a fact. I will be mourning them for the rest of my life. The man who made me who I am today. The friend I wish knew how much I treasured them. They are with me, but not in the way they should be. When I see you again next year, I will bring them with me. And the next and the next. I’ll never not bring them to you. You want my year. They exist in every moment of it.

 

The Minotaur King pours a second cup. She gives it to me.

 

Tell me more, she says.

 

I do. All night, in the darkness of Fossil Grove, I give her my year.

 

In return, she gives me the next one. 


 

 From Flavio Picchi



The Love Letter


(dedicated to the art of John Kelly, Jackie Curtis and Candy Darling)

 

I’d swear the first time I saw you we were at the club. You were spacing out, picking voids from the air, smoke lights beaming through your straw hair. Shirtless thugs taking pictures in the toilet mirror. Renaissance male toys showing off k-abs (you did everything not to look at them). Some dude crushing your crystal tears on his phone. You noticed me but turned your head away, as if you were offended by my longing gaze. Cursed the evil in my desire. You didn’t even look at me. Even me. As if I’d hurt you before. As if I ever could. Your insides are soft, that’s why you cover yourself with metal. Little scarred eyebrows, wearing the armor of a saint knight, living your secret life. You make me wish to disappear.

 

You lick away my wine, turn my mind into fog. Just to hide the fact that you love as a girl. Catatonic dummy shaving her beard. Sucking on your index after the sign of the cross. Sick child holding a Love Me lollipop, teasing popular songs. I slip under your lilac veils. How I wish to sustain your flight, but you have wings of your own, made of blue visions and lonely nights. It’s almost like what I’m supposed to do, in fact, is to keep you grounded, keep you from solving the riddles of heaven too soon. Help you bear its light.

 

Yet I’m scared of your past.

 

I dreamed of the hidden pleasures of your cryptic body. I followed the garden trail up to the Victorian pavilion, a mystic road trip through rings of freedom. And I dreamed I saw the drag queens lying down on an infinite cape, stealing rhinestones from the skies. I saw nuns feet win the grip of the ground while reading through the linings of your poetry. Your platinum long hair flowing in the spirals of a rose petals storm. You, the naked ghost, unveiling your sex and its double in the water mirror. Near your spot is an altar made from rocks. Ancient runes of love engraved on the stone.

 

A spill of pain: I might have the power to destroy this. I lay a pillow on the ground to rest my head upon.

 

Again, I fall asleep.

 

It seems like the only way to love you.

 

 

Pierrot évanescent



 

A Final Message from Dorian / Transmuted


It should go without saying that nobody deserves to be lonely at any point of their life - never mind at the end of the year!


There are a few groups out there putting on events for meet-ups, such as Trans Sheffield for people who wish to celebrate Christmas together.


For us involved in this digital space, we're here in spirit - in our culture, our creativity, and our words. Every contributor this year and last has come to celebrate a shared struggle against cisnormativity and loneliness, in one way or another.


If any of you still reading this are in want of community, Transmuted is here for you - and will be for at least another year!


We are all still learning how to be ourselves in the face of 'it all' (cis people am I right?) - much of that involves un-learning the narratives of normativity, binary gender ideology, and all that jazz.


Many of us are also still learning how we feel about things on a day-to-day basis. Having to push our emotions down into a deep, deep pit in an attempt to move forward has been (and unfortunately is) a part of trans life. So, many of us struggle to even comprehend what our 'loneliness' actually is.


The most blaringly important thing to remember there, to me, is: it's okay to be lost. It's okay to feel like you don't know who you are, like you don't have a self, like you're on your own in the world, and so on...


Nobody ever got anywhere by beating themselves up for feeling emotions, ya know?


But there's one other vital thing to remember: you don't deserve to be lost.


Some of us have a tendency to feel like we deserve the things that we're going through. Maybe because it's easier than the alternative, or because it's just sort of 'how things work'.


But one day, after lots and lots of work, trans people won't have to go through those things anymore. And if someone a hundred years in the future can exist without shame, then why can't we?


Trans spaces like Transmuted are there to remind you that there's a home for non-cisgender folk, and that we're probably the best creatives on the planet (jk... or not jk?). Our creativity is one of our greatest strengths, because it allows us to communicate on some of the most complicated topics (that the cis can't figure out because they're sorta stoopid). It also allows us to create a sense of community on another plane of existence - we don't need literal spaces, we just need the space to exist.


Which brings me to my final point: use trans creativity and culture to your advantage! Our ability to bring wonderful ideas and work into the world should not be appropriated by cisnormativity. Not only can we learn a lot from ourselves, but we can use our so-called 'abnormality' to protect not just our immediate communities - but future communities, trans youth, and our brave egg explorers.


There's so much to be said, but I will leave it there before I go on a big ol' rant!


Love & solidarity, Dorian xo

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