Hampshire Pride (& What I Wore)

Last Saturday, I got the train to Winchester for something other than crying over my dissertation!

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Me, Paige & James (Image courtesy of Sarah Penfold | Infinity Photography)

 

It was the second annual Hampshire Pride and this year, it was even bigger and better!

 

Hampshire Pride is a festival celebrating LGBTQIAP+ identities and championing equality and diversity in and around Hampshire. It is an event run by Hampshire LGBT Alliance which includes Hampshire County Council, Hampshire Fire and Rescue, Hampshire Constabulary, Solent NHS Trust and the University of Winchester.

The day kicked off on campus at the University of Winchester with speeches from Co-coordinator Sarah-Louise Collins, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Elizabeth Stuart (who is also the university’s senior diversity champion) and renowned teen vlogger and public speaker about trans issues, Hannah Phillips. All shared some really motivational and powerful words with a crowd of very excited and inspired people and there was a short film shown that was made on campus called ‘What is Love?’.

Next we all assembled outside on the steps for a lovely photograph in which you can really see how the Pride parade has grown in a year. Just look at the numbers!

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Hampshire Pride 2015 (Image courtesy of the Hampshire Pride Facebook Page)

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Hampshire Pride 2016 (Image courtesy of Sarah Penfold | Infinity Photography)

 

The march left campus and a sea of rainbow flags, hair colours and clothes walked through Winchester singing, chanting and blowing whistles. There were families and pets, partners and friends all in unison and you could sense the love and kindness in everyone’s hearts as they walked. Some of the shops had put colourful displays and Pride flags up in their windows to show their support which was really lovely!

 

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Hampshire Pride 2016 (Image courtesy of Sarah Penfold | Infinity Photography)

Here’s what I wore, it was uhh… interesting.

(Note, I am not a fashion blogger. I’ve linked to the product or similar but most is old stuff and out of stock!)

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|Lady Rainicorn hat | lilac Primark vest | crushed velvet New Look skirt | rainbow socks | leopard print Converse shoes |

 

We finished at the Discovery Centre in town where there was a Market with stalls from various local Hampshire groups and charities raising money and awareness of services. After a welcoming speech from Councillor Roy Perry and an entertaining excerpt from How To Love read by author Sally Edwards, everyone had a little boogie and a heartwarming moment as the Southampton Gay Men’s Chorus performed a few tracks. There was also an incredible performance by the Wessex Dance Academy and refreshments outside courtesy of mobile baristas Coffee Cruiser and The Pie Hole, Southampton.

 

That evening, my friends and I went to The Railway Inn for the Afterparty and we were not disappointed! I opted for something a little classier, which you can see here:

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| New Look blanket cardigan sequined crop top | black pencil skirt | lace up heeled boots |

 

Upstairs we watched a Cabaret show compered by the glamourous and funny Spotlight Vocal Duo and we were treated to performances from catty and sparkly Portsmouth drag queen Cherry Liquor, comedian and lip synch maestro Harold and melodic rapper and singer Paul Andreas.

My absolute favourite performance came at the end of the night in the form of London drag king, Adam All. Adam is a metrosexual cheeky chap with a really impressive array of suits, beatboxing skills and some hilarious musical numbers. Oh, and some rather impressive abs. I managed to get a chat to his parents as they were sat next to us and ‘hadn’t been allowed’ to go to show before (its a bit rude) and I was pleased to see them supporting, taking pictures and cheering him on in the front row. He’s definitely a new celeb crush of mine and he was featured in BBC Newsbeat’s documentary ‘Drag Kings of the UK’ which you can watch here.

After the Cabaret finished, we went downstairs where local student DJ George Nott kept us dancing til the early hours with some camp classics and chart toppers. We had so much fun and it was such a great day to celebrate being who you are with other friendly people!

 

Have you been to a Pride event before?
Were you at Hampshire Pride?

Let me know and leave me links in the comments below.

Jenna

X

 

Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
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If you liked this post, you should check out:
Why I Never Really ‘Came Out’ – I talk about being pansexual and my experiences
Queer Bloggers Network – Jess, Zoe and I have started a community to share content and support those with LGBTQIAP+ identities in the creative industry
My Queerness Erased – A piece I wrote for Zusterschap about ‘straight passing’ and my queer identity

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“You Can’t Be A Feminist If…”

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Hi guys!

Your friendly neighbourhood queer feminist here, ready to spill some tea on some common misconceptions about what being a feminist in 2016 actually means. Although there are many sub-sets of feminism, I’ll be discussing genuine advice I’ve been given with regards to my beliefs and my behaviour and boy is it something!

 

Please note that this piece is for entertainment purposes and so should be taken with a pinch of salt!

 

#1. “You can’t be a feminist if you wear make-up.”

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So some people believe that makeup is a tool that amplifies ‘beauty ideals’ and that by wearing makeup, you are not only compliant with but promoting a patriarchal standard of beauty. I say that this is bullshit. Make-up is a way in which many people choose to express their creativity. The colours, shades, shapes and techniques can be considered an art form and many choose to study these and/or take makeup as a profession. Make-up (like many things) is not solely a ‘woman’s product’ – people of all genders can enjoy makeup and when this assumption is made, you are ignoring a rich, queer history of drag artists and gender-fluidity.

My makeup makes me feel confident and powerful, ready to take on the world. It is a choice I make for myself that emphasises what I consider to be my best assets and it allows me to be artistic in ways that I can’t normally. If you don’t wear makeup then that’s cool but don’t tell me that I shouldn’t wear mine!

 

#2. “You can’t be a feminist if you’re in a relationship with a cis man.”

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This one is ridiculous. Not only does it further encourage the myth that feminism = misandry but it automatically assumes that you couldn’t love a man simply based on his gender. See something wrong there?

I’m a pansexual woman and it just so happens that the person I’ve chosen to be in a relationship with is a cisgender man. He is also a great LGBTQIAP+ ally who is interested in and educated about intersectional feminism and this is part of why we get on so well. On a personal level, he is respectful, kind and listens to my experiences so to tell me that I’m not feminist for being with him makes no sense.

Don’t tar every man with an ‘anti-equality’ brush, it’s hypocritical.

 

#3. “You can’t be a feminist if you shave/epilate your body hair.”

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So the idea of being pro-bodily autonomy is that your body and what you choose do with it is your own. It means that you believe in bodily integrity – that people’s bodies should not be violated in any way by others because of said autonomy. I know that some feminists believe that removing body hair is another patriarchal beauty ideal and I’ve spoken to many who don’t epilate for that reason. I respect that choice completely and I believe that if you want to be fluffy, you should be proud of it!

I personally feel more comfortable with less body hair, especially as I occasionally suffer from hyperhydrosis. The more body hair I have, the more the sweat clings to my body and despite deodorant, it can be quite smelly. It’s easier to stay fresh the less hair I have and when anyone tells me otherwise, I remind them that its my damn body.

 

#4. “You can’t be a feminist if you care about men’s rights.”

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Part of a comic by Rasenth on tumblr.

 

My definition of feminist is close to that used by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in We Should All Be Feminists:

feminist: a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.

I however would change ‘the sexes’ to ‘genders’ as I don’t believe that all inequalities are from within in the gender binary. In fact, I don’t believe in the gender binary at all!

To acknowledge men’s rights in your feminism isn’t to deprioritise women’s rights, as long as you  give each their own context and don’t derail the conversation. There are plenty of men who suffer as a result of the kyriarchy, be it because of racism, transphobia, homophobia or poverty. The archaic gender roles that put pressure on men and boys to exert power, exploit those more vulnerable,to be big and to use force ….they’re damaging and dangerous instructions. It is important to speak about these issues if feminism is to achieve true equality but not necessarily to shove them into the same conversation as womens issues.

 

#5. “You can’t be a feminist if you support sex work.”

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Image from qnotes.

This one tends to divide a lot of people so I’m just going to explain why I personally have sex-positive attitudes.

It is incredibly important to promote safe sexual practice. Not just in terms of sexual health but for personal wellbeing and education about consent. Not discussing these topics keeps them taboo and could make it harder for someone who has experienced sexual abuse or violence to speak out about their experiences.

While I do not support a huge portion of the sex industry that globally exploits and traffics women and abuses and violates performers, I am in support of sex workers and pornography and believe firmly in regulation and protection of the related professions. This goes back to the bodily integrity/ bodily autonomy thing because I think that  if someone has chosen sex work despite having alternatives and they are kept safe during their work then you don’t have the right to tell them that they shouldn’t be doing it.

In an interview in Elle magazine camgirl and filmmaker Ashley Vex spoke about making about safe, consensual porn with her studio Four Chambers go and check it out!

 

I appreciate comments, links and questions on this post but any hateful or discriminatory speech will not be approved.
Discussion and debate are welcomed provided it is structured, respectful and does not target individuals.

 

Have you ever been told “you’re not a feminist”?
What does your feminism look like?

 

Jenna
X

 

Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
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If you liked this post, you should check out:

queer bloggers network Jess, Zoe and I are starting a network for bloggers with LGBTQIAP+ identities!
empowerment playlistsMusic to make you feel like you can conquer anything…
my queerness erased
– A personal account of pansexual erasure.
why selfies are inherently feminist – I talk about Lindsay Bottos’ art project about self love and selfies.

Queer Bloggers Network

So the lovely Jess, Zoe and I decided that Twitter needs a space for bloggers and creatives with queer (non-hetero/non-cisgender) identities. A space where we could share and promote content but also offer support and advice to those who may be questioning or having problems with their sexuality or being treated differently because of it.

So we present to you…

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Huzzah! This network will primarily be running through a Twitter page that Jess and I will co-manage but we are of course open to others getting involved if they want to. Please get in touch if you would want to help with the admin side of things.

The aim is, once we’re up and running, to have a weekly chat with different topics or themes and a monthly newsletter that compiles lots of great content from within the community or about LGBTQIAP+ issues.

We will have DMs on and have an email should you wish to contact us privately and we will never breach something said in confidence.

If you’d like to sign up to our mailing list to receive our monthly newsletter, please complete the form below!

 

 

Jenna

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Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
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my first vlog! | birthday celebrations

My birthday celebrations included a cheap meal for family and friends at the Harvester, followed by a drag/genderbend themed house party… Things got a bit weird.  Because of this, after many hours toiling with Premiere Pro and cutting a lot of drunk rambling, my first ever vlog is finally up. Please be patient with me while I get to grips with editing clips, using my camera well and just generally trying to work it all out. Oh, and you’ll have to excuse the boozy shaky footage in places – I do enjoy alcohol responsibly, I promise!

As for future content, I’m not altogether sure of a particular focus for the channel yet but there will definitely be plenty of food and drink, beauty and alternative fashion, budgeting, health advice and feminist rants.

 

Do you vlog or have a Youtube channel?

Did you do something fun for your birthday?

Let me know and leave me links in the comments below!

Jenna

x

Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
| Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+ |

If you liked this post, you should check out:
Wella Instamatic Smokey Amethyst toner – a mini-vlog about lilac and silver hair adventures
tag: Boyfriend Does My Makeup – a rather sweary but entertaining video where Josh tries to do my makeup

drag on a dime: jujubee

This is the second post in my series that honours the queens of #DragRace – you can see the Adore Delano style board here. This will be a regular feature on the blog because finding drag dupes has been good fun. I’ve vowed that the looks will always be as close to the outfits as possible, without costing more than £20 per piece!

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| dress | leggings | heels | headband |

This outfit screams glamour and that’s one of the reasons that I love Jujubee. The only staple item that you would need to complete the look is a black elasticated waist belt and they’re cheap as chips! Unfortunately, the picture quality wouldn’t let me zoom in enough to examine the cuff bracelet she’s wearing, but I think there are plenty of jewellery items that would work just as well.

Do you like or own any of the items in this outfit?

Do you have a favourite queen or drag look that I should check out?

Let me know and leave me links in the comments below!

Jenna

x

Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
| Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+ |

Note: The images used in the style board are not my own and have been credited via links.

If you liked this post, you should check out:
my queerness erased – a piece for Zusterschap about my experiences with LGBTQ-phobia
birthday wishlists: clothing – some cute clothes that I asked for for my birthday
drag on a dime: Adore Delano – get some drag-inspired style from a f**king Libra!
10 Life Lessons from Rupaul’s Drag Race – important mantras from your favourite queens

drag on a dime: adore delano

As many of you know, I love all things #DragRace and so I decided that a fun feature for the blog (and for me to research) would be creating copycat style boards based on off- stage outfits of some of my favourite drag queens.

I am also a spendthrift shopper and so I have vowed that these looks will be as close to the outfits as possible, but without costing more than £20 per piece!

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| fishnet top | bustier | gloves | bead art | leggings |

Key items for this outfit were the necklace and the leggings. I am always on the lookout for small businesses and creative crafty types to support, and I love the idea of having something handmade for me. The necklace, I decided, could easily be made from this cool pixel bead art from shopgrotesque on Etsy.  The leggings I have chosen similar from Leaf Fairy over at Fairy Footprints, who I know very well and I know makes highly- commended custom fashions and accessories, including sparkly wings!

Do you like or own any of the items in this outfit?

Do you have a favourite queen or drag look that I should check out?

Let me know and leave me links in the comments below!

Jenna

x

Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
| Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+ |

Note: The images used in the style board are not my own and have been credited via links.

10 Life Lessons Learnt From Rupaul’s Drag Race

So while I’m struggling to cope with the fact that S7 is now over, and *SPOILER ALERT* the fact that Pearl didn’t win, I thought I’d write a post summing up all of the great motivational stuff that the queens of Rupaul’s Drag Race have already taught me.

WARNING: This is a GIF-and-video heavy post. Also swearing.

1. Ambition is healthy, don’t try to hide it.
If there’s one thing guaranteed from the majority of the queens on RPDR, it’s a bloodthirsty attitude. Whilst it ain’t pretty to constantly be ‘throwing shade’ at your competitors, it’s perfectly normal and encouraged to use that energy to give your best performance.

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Image courtesy of College Candy.

2. Confidence is key – “you better work!”
Throughout the show, many of the queens share stories of rejection and non-acceptance. In a truly inspiring way, this negativity encouraged them not to change or stop doing what they love. Self love is a really important and worthwhile practice.

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Image courtesy of Buzzfeed.

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Image courtesy of Giphy.

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Image courtesy of gayonabudget on tumblr.

3. Don’t be afraid to take risks.
Being safe isn’t always going to win you the challenge. Some of the most memorable queens gave performances that were a little out of their comfort zone or completely out of the box! Risks can pay off hugely, and standing out can sometimes be for the right reasons.

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Above images courtesy of homosexual-supervillain on tumblr.

 

4. Don’t be bitter, be better.
Sometimes negativity can come from inside your own community or even your own family. Rather than lashing out, it’s important to keep calm like Jinkx Monsoon and Alaska did and remind yourself that you can be the bigger person.

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Image courtesy of Giphy.

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Image courtesy of untucking on tumblr.

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Image courtesy of Buzzfeed

5. Be a well-rounded individual.
The contestants come from a variety of backgrounds and skill sets. Some work with fabric like Violet Chachki, some are comediennes like Bianca Del Rio, some can do a jump split like Kennedy Davenport but they are all talented in their own unique ways. The lesson here is to embrace your many talents and perhaps to work on what you’d like to be better at.

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Image courtesy of gayonabudget on tumblr.

6. Help each other out once in a while.
Okay, so you’re competing for a top prize but that’s no reason to stand by while someone’s struggling. If you need the assistance, pluck up the courage and ask your mentors or colleagues. Just remember that someone is more than likely to ask you to return the favour! For the cutest friendships on the show, check out this LogoTV clip:

7. Family CAN be chosen.
Many of the queens have a Drag Mother, who has taken care of them and taught them things that their biological mother couldn’t have or wouldn’t. Those who perform in clubs often talk about the other performers like sisters or aunts because of how close they are. If your chosen family members are more present and there for you than your relatives, then that isn’t a bad thing.

If your family environment isn’t supportive of who you are and what you do, it’s important to remember that you can always find that network among other people, blood or not.

 

8. Attention to detail is everything
Queens are called out by the judges for a wonky hemline or a false eyelash hanging low because that shows they’re not giving 100% in their work. The same applies to you perhaps for a future employer – first impressions at the interview will be key but so will maintaining a high standard in your work!

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Image courtesy of thewiccan30 on imgur.

9. Pop culture knowledge is cool.
You never know when you’re going to have to play Snatch Game or lip sync for your life.

10. Most importantly…

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Image courtesy of Buzzfeed.

Do you watch Rupaul’s Drag Race?

Who are your favourite queens?

Did I miss any important lessons?

Let me know in the comments below!

Jenna

x

Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
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Credits to Julia Pugachevsky & Jules at Buzzfeed, Ami Angelowicz at The Frisky, Nicole Fallon at Business News DailyMathew Henderson at Drag Official and Emerald Pellot at College Candy.