Pansy EP Release

Today I’m releasing my EP “Pansy”

It’s a 32 minute tape of sad queer songs about trauma and love and gender and ugliness, written last spring when I was heartbroken and homeless.

Side A has guitar & synth songs with my melodramatic voice crooning about rape culture, gun violence, internalized transphobia, bullying, unrequited love, and feeling creepy, plus a different cover song on each tape. Side B is solo improvised cello; an exploration of the instrument’s capacity for ghastly textures and general ugliness.

The digital version is ✨free✨ / pay-whatever. There are 28 cassettes, and they are priced at one for £1, one for £2, and so on up to one for £28. I’m donating 15% of the sales money to Action For Trans Health as an act of solidarity because they do amazing direct action work to fund healthcare for trans people in the UK.


Listen to or buy the digital version


This project has been really important to me personally because music was weaponized against me by my abusive ex (fuck you, Charles Potashner, aka Shapeshifter promotions in London) and it’s the first time I’ve written music since then.


See all the artwork or buy a cassette


It’s also the first time I’ve made music all on my own, without any help, ever! I did every part of the project by myself: writing the lyrics and music, engineering and recording each cassette direct-to-tape in my bedroom 29 times (28 tapes + 1 for the digital version), painting the shells, hand-writing the liner notes, typing up the plant fact inserts, hand-drawing the plant artwork, and photographing the whole process; and, I’ll be hyping and selling and shipping them all out myself too. It’s been a lot of work and I’ve found it to be empowering, frustrating, cathartic, and long.

This is the first year I’ve played and performed since I left Charles; reclaiming music has been difficult and wonderful. I’m so so grateful to everyone who has encouraged me, asked me to play with them, allowed me to play with them, come to our shows, recorded with me, and especially my housemates who tolerated my repetitive live bedroom performances as I recorded these tapes.

DIY or die

“Pansy” EP Pre-Release to benefit the Transgender Law Center, and Action For Trans Health

Today, bandcamp is donating all of their profits to the Transgender Law Center in the US. To maximize the impact, I’m doing a 24 hour release of an A Side / B Side single from my new EP “Pansy” for £1.

15% of the money raised will go straight to the TLC (that’s bandcamp’s usual cut), and on top of that I’ll be donating 15% of my share to Action for Trans Health in the UK. It will only be available for 24 hours, from 8:00am Friday August 4 to 8:00 Saturday August 5, during bandcamp’s campaign. After that if you want to hear it, you’ll have to wait until I release the whole EP at the end of the summer.

The A Side is “But Why”, a song about weird romantic cultural norms. The B Side is a cover of “I Am Hated For Loving” by my fav trash lord, Morrissey, re-imagined as a trans love song to self. “But Why” will be on the full EP, but the cover won’t be so if you want trans mozzer, this is your only chance.

It’s only £1!

Support trans artists & trans activism!

When I release the full EP, the digital version will be free / pay-what-you-can, and I’ll continue donating 15% of my earnings from both the digital and physical versions to A4TH.


UPDATE: Thank you so much to everyone who bought or shared my pre-relase single yesterday.

Bandcamp’s profits were about $100,000 (!!!) which will all go to the Transgender Law Center. My sales are just a drop in the bucket but I’m really proud that my music contributed to this massive fundraiser. On average you spent almost 4 times as much as my suggested price: bandcamp’s share came to £10.13 which will go to the TLC, and I’m giving the same (well, £11, rounding up) to Action For Trans Health. Lots of the support came from other trans artists which warms my cynical heart tbh.

I’m overjoyed that my music can materially support activist groups. When I release the full EP at the end of the summer, the digital version will be pay-what-you-can / free, and I’ll keep donating 15% to A4TH.

“Real Life Experience” with trans healthcare in the UK

The wait time for an initial appointment with the Gender Identity Clinic in Charing Cross is about 12 months. In that appointment the doctor is supposed to verify your gender identity and pathologize your personal history, and five months later you’re given another appointment during which they might prescribe you some gender-affirming hormones. That initial appointment only comes after being referred by a psychologist/psychiatrist from your local Community Mental Health Team (CMHT), to whom you must be referred by your GP.

The CMHT in Hackney is dreadfully transphobic (but then, the whole process of referral is inherently transphobic). After being referred by my GP—who stared at my like I was an alien when I told him I’m trans—I waited for 10 weeks to see a psychologist. She didn’t know what the word “transgender” meant, and for the remainder of the evaluation insisted it was a noun. Every question was underpinned by her attempt to find out what traumatic event made me into “a transgender”.

“When did you start living as a boy?” my psychologist asked.

I reiterated—“I am a boy, so I’ve always lived as a boy. What do you mean?”

“When did you stop wearing dresses?”

“Boys can’t wear dresses?”

It was obvious that if I said I were non-binary I would be labeled “confused” and told to come back when I had “decided”.

In the end she referred me, and now I’m waiting to get an appointment at Charing Cross. They say it will be in about 12 months. They’ve been saying that for the past 12 months.

That you need to be referred at all is transphobic. You need multiple medical “experts” to externally verify your gender identity, as if you’re not credible, as if they know more about you than you do.

If you go private, you can self-refer to a gender-specializing clinic—that is, if you have wealth, you can bypass the barriers of the GP referral and the referral from a CMHT. They’ll do their own assessment and prescribe hormones as appropriate like at Charing Cross, but the wait times are only 2 weeks for the initial appointment, and 1 further week of waiting for blood work before you get a prescription. It costs about £725, plus follow-up appointments (£140 each) and prescription refills (£195 for three months’ worth). Sometimes the private clinic prescribes mandatory counseling, which costs £150 for an hour-long session.

After hormones, you must pass the “Real Life Experience” test before being considered for gender-affirming surgeries, whether you use the NHS or go private. You must prove your sincerity, your trans authenticity by overtly expressing the gender identity you claim—in a normative, conservative, girls-wear-pink/boys-don’t-cry sort of way. There is apparently no thought given to the fact that it’s fucking difficult to “live as” (i.e. express) your gender identity without medical treatment; that it’s fucking difficult to pass and insist on your “preferred” pronouns when your body doesn’t conform to normative gender expressions. Without hormones and surgery, you can only go so far in signifying your gender: you can bind your breasts, change your intonation, and hide your curves in baggy clothes but it’s an exhausting daily battle. How can you “live” (read: pass) as your “preferred” gender if no one picks up on the gender cues you’re desperately sending? How can you implicitly assert your gender identify if everyone misgenders you?

Fuck conforming to cis narratives and expectations of gender. Fuck passing.

In Pursuit of Trans Healthcare: the NHS Psych Eval

psychologist: Hello, I’m Dr ––. I’m going to ask you some questions for your initial assessment.
me: Wait, do you know why I’m here?
psychologist: You tell me.
me: I’m not seeking ongoing treatment. I’m here because I’m transgender, and I’d like a referral to the Gender Identity Clinic.
psychologist: You’re a transgender? … What does that mean?
me: It means my gender identity does not match the gender I was assigned at birth.
psychologist: … What does that mean?
me: … When I was born, the doctor assigned me “female” based on my perceived sex characteristics; I don’t identify as female, I identity as masculine/male.
psychologist: So you’re biologically female.
me: No, assigned female at birth.
psychologist: And you want a referral to the gender change clinic?
me: No, Gender Identity Clinic, GIC.
psychologist: How did you hear about the identity change clinic?
me: Gender. Identity. Clinic. I googled it.
psychologist: Have you done anything about it yet?
me: ? I’m here? I’ve asked people to use male pronouns?
psychologist: OH you use “he”?
me: Yes, please use “he/him/his” in my reference letter.
psychologist: Have you had any operations?
me: No, that’s why I’m here, I’d like to get access to trans healthcare through the GIC.
psychologist: What kind of operations do you want?
me: I want to go on hormones—testosterone—and to get top surgery.
psychologist: ?
me: To get my breasts removed.
psychologist: Do you do anything to your breasts now?
me: I bind them.
psychologist: ?
me: I bandage them down or use sports bras to flatten my chest.
psychologist: What about your privates?
me: (Seriously?) You mean getting a phalloplasty?
psychologist: *practically salivating*
me: … I haven’t decided yet.

Continue reading “In Pursuit of Trans Healthcare: the NHS Psych Eval”

Gender Identity and Informed Consent in the UK

In order to receive gender-affirming healthcare through the NHS, trans patients in the UK must surpass a series of checkpoints in which their gender identity is externally verified. The implication is that trans people are not capable of providing informed consent because people with non-conforming gender identities are by default mentally ill: this is transphobic.

Continue reading “Gender Identity and Informed Consent in the UK”