Caitlyn Jenner & Haters

Jun 06
2015

Recently I did a TV Interview with Shelly Horton of Mama Mia TV on my  Transgender Transition in the 80’s and my thoughts on Caitlyn Jenner.

At the time Caitlyn had not announced her name or her new identity officially but I was already being positive about her journey and what was to come.

The Effect of what Caitlyn Jenner and her very public Transgender Transition to me is bigger than any other Trans person has ever achieved or encountered.

Sure we have had many that have come close like Chaz Bono ( Cher’s son) and many wonderful public Trans people such as Christine Jorgensen, Rene Richards, Laverne Cox and Carmen Carrera just to name a few, but none that have shared their total transition so publicly as Caitlyn Jenner.

She broke twitter records of people following her in a short time on social media  and this just goes to show already to me how her story will help make all Trans People’s Journeys easier through more public acceptance of us as people.

I look forward to a 8 part TV series starting in July called ‘Call me Cait’, as this will show a ‘real’ Caitlyn facing the world and not just the fabulous Caitlyn that we saw in the Glamorous Magazine Spread where she had a team of stylists, make up artists and superb photographers.

I LOVED this magazine spread and thought it was a Fab way to let the world see Caitlyn for the first time as herself. She had much worldwide support and social media was going crazy for days. I stood and applauded along with many of my friends.

But what shocked me was the amount of hate that also came Caitlyn’s way. I expected it from the unintelligent bogans, but what truly surprised me was how many other Trans people were negative about her journey.

I saw many comments  like ‘ She is making a mockery of Trans People’ & ‘She is transitioning too quickly and making it look to easy’

I am saddened at this attitude from Trans people. What happened to supporting each other ? Why would they not see the bigger picture of how this in the long run really will benefit us Trans people as we gain more acceptance from the world.

Have you forgotten that Caitlyn spent all of her life not feeling like she fitted her body but due to circumstances did not transition. Instead she led a hero Olympian life and followed that with a Movie Star Celebrity life whilst all the while hiding the secret of who and what she was. This is not a easy way to live and I am sure she had many moments of darkness over the years.

A Post from a Woman in Transgender Australia

A Post from a Woman in Transgender Australia

She tried to transition in the early 90’s but decided against it and now finally she is living life as she has been wanting to for 5 decades.  Sure she has progressed quickly as a Trans woman but please remember she has been on hormones and hiding it for nearly 2 years now along with small surgery procedures to slowly feminize herself. . Once her tell all interview had aired she had breast surgery and quickly had a facial makeover to be the stunning 65 woman we saw in Vanity Fair Magazine.

I think we should be applauding her for her and the fact that she has progressed so well and not discounting her for the $ she has and the help she is receiving.

For all the benefits she has through her celebrity status there is also just as many negatives of being such a public Transgender Woman. The haters would be overwhelming and its hard enough to transition, without all that extra pressure.

I have been a public Transgender Showgirl all my life and and get my fair share of haters, Ive had old Showgirl colleagues attack me on social media hating on me because of surgery Ive had, or comments Ive made and even just the other day I had an older gay man who’s biggest claim to fame was being a popular barmen in the 80’s called me names in the street, simply because of my high profile, attracting haters.

A Hater’s Post on Social Media about me

But this would be a mere 1% of what Caitlyn would be receiving & as such I now call for all Trans People to support Caitlyn and her journey and stand alongside me as I applaud.

Bring On Caitlyns TV Show

Where as once we had to hide away and live our lives in stealth, things have changed and I hope we can all be proud & loud that we are Transgender & Support each other.

SX News Editorial

Jul 30
2014

I wrote this story recently for the Gay Magazine SX News about the sad state of Gay Oxford St.

It’s up to gay punters to keep Sydney’s gay scene alive, writes Penny Clifford.

I’m sure it was only a couple of months ago that the next big thing that was going to save drag and gay nightclubs was Unity. It seemed the whole gay scene was yelling, ‘Bravo’. UNITY had no lockouts, good DJs and shows. But apart from opening night, the crowds dwindled. Why?

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I also remember when Gay Bar got its fair share of applause too. This bar had amazing appearances by queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race and a great atmosphere with a unique branding. It seemed Gay Bar was the hip spot to be. Well, for a minute anyway – how quickly those queens went quiet.

Then the Midnight Shift closed its doors a few nights a week and put itself up for sale, but after a short time with no offers, the owners decided to reopen the gay doors and they got a ‘bravo’ when it was announced that it was no longer up for sale and would reopen full time as a gay club. But how long will the bravo last?

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But even before that, people were yelling ‘bravo’ at the Imperial Hotel for making a comeback with shows in the Cabaret Bar. Indeed, we had award winning casts, great shows, the best DJs. But with the costs of wages, costumes and running a venue, drag was not enough to keep the cabaret doors open. For the Imperial, large production drag shows were a thing of the past. Yes, drag shows have survived but only in the pub bar, six nights a week.

The Stonewall Hotel and Arq seem to be hanging in there with their shows and I hope they continue. But with both these clubs dealing with lockout issues and drink stopping at 3am, how long can they pay costs to keep the doors open?

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There are some smaller boutique clubs like Palms and others that offer the odd gay event, but most venues will have to diversify to stay open.

The average punter does not realise the money it takes to run a venue. Apart from the obvious like rent, mortgage and staffing costs, there is insurance, OLGR fees, Apra fees, PPCA fees, venue maintenance, costumes, taxes – the list goes on and on and on.

I have been blasted myself for finding ways to keep the Imperial doors open such as bringing in bands and dance parties that are not gay-only events. But we are surviving now and this is through no help from the gay punter, although I am happy to still see gay parties at the Imperial like Woof Club, Harbour City Bears, Bake Off and Dykes on Bikes Ball.

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Is this change because we have fought so hard to be accepted in everyday life that we now go to any venue and not feel the need to be isolated in gay venues alone? If this is the case, then it’s great we finally have that much acceptance. Ironically, this acceptance is causing us to lose the clubs that have been our safe havens for decades.

Or is the reason less people are frequenting gay bars is due to dating apps like Grindr, Scruff and Tinder. Do people not need gay clubs anymore to meet others?

As for drag, is the drag scene in Sydney as we know it dying a slow death? Are people truly not interested anymore? You can see drag on TV in many shows and on YouTube too. And you can buy drag performers’ albums on iTunes. All of this begs the questions: has this made the good old lip sync show a tired format?

But the one thing that remains constant is that unless YOU support your local gay venue and their shows, things will change and you will lose the shows and venues that you love.
In these tough times with lockout laws and alcohol restrictions, nothing is a given and venues are finding it tougher to survive.

Go to the venues and support them. If you don’t, when they do close or not have the shows you love anymore, you forfeit the the right to complain.

Support, support, support.

People Hate Me

Aug 23
2013

Its seems that I often annoy people, although I certainly try not to.

I’m not sure why this is, perhaps I am just not a nice person and haven’t realised it yet?

I can be tough, and to survive in this world I have learnt or needed to be on occasions.

I have quite a few old friends that dislike me and often turn quite nasty with me.

I question why this keeps happening.

It’s happened with 3 of my oldest friends, 2 of which were very dear to me. (All Drag Queens)

I’ve moved on and live my life and make peace with the situation.

Good Friends give me reasons why this happens.

Jealousy * Envy * Hate * Growing Apart * Nothing in Common *Unhappiness

There are I assume many reasons.

One of the most common comments they say once they turn nasty is that I am plastic. I have had too much surgery, all of me is fake, I have a plastic vagina etc.

If you really know me I am an open book, I hide nothing of who I am, or what I have done or my physical transformation.

I see their comments as redundant and pointless. Like saying to a black man he has dark skin.

The next comments are I am up myself, No One likes me.  I’m not sure what to think about this.

I have many great friends (Non Drag) that I have known for decades so I know I am loved.

I don’t think I am up myself although people that don’t know the real Penny might think that.

But then it’s that simple they don’t know me, they only see what I want them to see on stage and on social media.

Again I go back to the fact that it’s the Friends that are old Showgirls that hate me with a passion…

Strange.

Life is Strange, Hate is Strange.

In the last Decade I have lost my both Parents and over 8 family members. One thing I know life is way too short.

I refuse to let these people take any more of my thoughts.

To those people that dislike me, I wish you Love and I hope you find happiness.

Penny.