“Dandy Style” … National Trust continues to celebrate Pride … Transgender Awareness Week


Dandy Style, 250 Years of British Men’s Fashion

Most of the group dined at the China Buffet restaurant, but we all gathered at Manchester Art Gallery at 1.30pm in order to view the latest exhibition “Dandy Style”.

The exhibition explores approaches to men’s style and self-image. Fashion and art show what certain British men have chosen to wear and how painters and photographers have depicted them. On display was a vibrant mix of the historic and the contemporary, the provocative and the respectable, the personal and the public.

Beginning with the example of the Regency socialite Beau Brummell around 1800, the term dandy has come to define a range of contrasting, always rather mannered male styles; from tailored simplicity to flamboyant embellishment. This exhibition presents this elegance, carefulness and spectacle from the 18th century to the present day.

During the 18th century, fashionable British men dressed in highly decorated clothing. This remained the norm for those men able to afford it until around 1800. Embroidery represented the costliest of decorative techniques and still provides a rich source of creative inspiration for recent designers such as Versace and McQueen.

Although British menswear took a more sober turn in the 19th century, even then, colour and decoration could be incorporated in subtle ways according to personal taste. Striped, checked and patterned trousers and waistcoats remained popular into the 1860s. Middle and upper class Victorian men also dressed flamboyantly in a domestic context wearing decorated or patterned gowns or smoking jackets to receive guests. Men dressed themselves as dandies, revelling in military-inspired ornamental braiding, subverting the seriousness of army uniform and wearing garments with deliberately aesthetic decoration such as floral embroidery.

The 1960s saw another generational revolt against social norms and restrictions towards more imaginative dress. Colour and pattern were allowed far freer rein. Shirt frills and ruffles, bold rococo patterns, bright printing and braiding were reintegrated into men’s wardrobes.

Menswear has retained a certain, though not universal, extravagance in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, largely driven by street culture. It now has an established confidence in a vibrant, unapologetic and multi-cultural context

It was an interesting exhibition and more photos can be seen here.

National Trust members vote to continue celebrating Pride despite bigots’ best efforts

(Twitter / National Trust)

The National Trust is a charity and membership organisation for heritage conservation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and owns a wide array of land and historic buildings across the country.

Earlier this year, anti-LGBT+ National Trust members submitted a motion to be put to a vote at the AGM asking members to back banning “divisive” Pride events.

The effort was spearheaded by Stephen Green, a National Trust member and director of the far-right, anti-LGBT+, anti-abortion, anti-evolution and anti-feminism website Christian Voice.

But at the AGM on Saturday, 5 November, when 127,000 (out of six million National Trust members) voted on resolutions, 65 per cent voted against the anti-LGBT+ motion.

The AGM also saw a vote for seven vacant council positions, with Green and other candidates running for election, under the banner Restore Trust. Green has referred to being gay as a “deviant lifestyle”, supported the death penalty for LGBT+ people, and argued that it is impossible for a husband to rape his wife.

Luckily, he and six other Restore Trust candidates were all unsuccessful.

On the Pride motion, a National Trust spokesperson said: “The National Trust was founded for the benefit of everyone. We serve the whole of our wonderfully diverse society and we want to do that to the very best of our ability. This includes supporting our staff, volunteers and visitors to take part in cultural celebrations including Pride, which they have been doing for many years. We fully support our staff, volunteers and visitors being able to take part in celebrations of LGBT+ society and history, including Pride.”

Transgender Awareness Week

Transgender Awareness Week between 13 – 19 November is a week when transgender people and their allies take action to bring attention to the community by educating the public about who transgender people are, sharing stories and experiences, and advancing advocacy around the issues of prejudice, discrimination, and violence that affect the transgender community.

The event is closely followed by the Transgender Day of Remembrance on 20 November, which shows support for victims of transphobic violence.

There have been many pivotal historical moments that relate to transgender advocacy:

1952: Christine Jorgensen is featured in American national media – provided a large number of people with access to information about transgender issues for the first time as she was the first American publicly known to have undergone sex reassignment surgery.

1954: news of the first known British trans woman, Roberta Cowell, broke, gaining public interest around the world.

1964: American trans man Reed Erickson creates the Erickson Educational Foundation – the first foundation to donate millions to promote transgender and gay equality.

1972: Sweden legalises gender reassignment – the first country to legally allow citizens to change sex.

1975: the Gender Dysphoria Clinic at Queen Victoria Hospital, Melbourne was established by Dr Trudy Kennedy and Dr Herbert Bower.

1979: the Victorian Transsexual Coalition and the Victorian Transsexual Association is formed, Australia’s first transgender rights and advocacy organisations were established.

1979: A Change of Sex, the BBC documentary about male to female transgender person Julia Grant.

1986: Lou Sullivan founds FTM International – the first advocacy group for transgender men; the purpose was to challenge the popular idea that all trans men were lesbians before they transitioned into male.

1998: Rita Hester‘s murder – murdered on 28 November because of gender identity, a candlelight vigil was held on 4 December to honour Hester’s life; death lead to inspiration for the idea of the first International Transgender Day of Remembrance started by trans woman Gwendolyn Ann Smith.

1999: The murder of Private Barry Winchell for dating a trans-woman Calpernia Addams.

1999: The first observance of International Transgender Day of Remembrance to commemorate victims of anti-transgender hate crimes, observed on 20 November.

2002: Transgender Law Center founded – aimed to alter laws and opinions regarding transgender people so they could live a life without discrimination based on gender identity.

2002: Sylvia Rivera Law Project founded – provides legal and educational services and works towards altering policies.

2003: National Center for Transgender Equality founded – founded to progress the equality of transgender people through advocacy, collaboration, and empowerment.

2009: The first observance of International Transgender Day of Visibility – this day was created by Michigan transgender activist Rachel Crandall to serve as a positive counterpart to Transgender Day of Remembrance,

2010: the Australian Defence Force policy was amended to allow transgender Australians to openly serve.

2010: Gender Health Center, Sacramento, California, United States of America opened its doors.

2012: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission declares transgender people protected against employment discrimination because of violations to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

These are just a few of the many important moments that have led to increased transgender advocacy and awareness.

2 thoughts on ““Dandy Style” … National Trust continues to celebrate Pride … Transgender Awareness Week

  1. Very informative as always.
    Stephen Green sounds like an utterly despicable person and as a Christian I’m proud to denounce his views as bearing no similarity to most Christians I know.


  2. The group has been criticised for its positions. David Peel, leader of the United Reformed Church called Christian Voice “a disgrace”[4] and described their “claim to represent Christians” in the UK as “absurd”.[5]
    My sentiments exactly 😀


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