Gender-punk and consumerism

August 29, 2011 § 10 Comments

I think I am going to officially adopt the term ‘genderpunk’ to describe my gender presentation from now on. As a long-time fan of steampunk and pretty much any and all composite words I think it suits me. Genderspastic is much more confrontational, but as I move towards presenting this aspect of myself to a wider public, (through my stand-up) a less contentious and potentially misunderstood term is more useful.

I was told last night that I have a following in the Middle East, and am inspiring people in Bahrain, which is incredibly humbling. Any movement outside the norm for me is in the context of a free and relatively safe society in which I live. So anybody struggling with actual state oppression or more violent social pressure: my admiration and my love go out to you. Any step that opens up a space in which you can live is worthwhile and brave. And every step that makes your expression of who you are visible to those who are struggling with theirs is a political act.

Now, talking of politics, I am currently experiencing an interesting and unsettling phenomenon. It’s old news as far as my mentality is concerned but I haven’t blogged about it before.

My transvestism makes me really fucking materialistic. Generally my outlook and politics are anti-consumerist. Records aside I don’t really crave material things, it what I do not what I own that makes me happy.

Some stuff like guitars, audio equipment and my laptop facilitate creating things, and as such they are important, but not really beyond what they allow me to do.

However, when I am in a girly mood (and I am slap bang in the middle of one right now) I tend to want STUFF. I am currently obsessing over this gorgeous / hideous (delete as applicable) bag:

I mean, I can’t stop thinking about it. Popping into shops and looking at it. It’s not millions of pounds, but it’s more than I can afford to spend on a pink thing at the moment. But the degree to which I want it annoys me. It’s against my normal way of thinking. I feel like I’m subject to the dark forces of capitalism. Like my genderpunk attitude,of which I am proud, has been co-opted by the nefarious power of consumerism. Want to feel like a particular type of person? Why not buy THINGS?!

The issue is, there is no transvestism without consumer items. And the items most heavily gendered are those most heavily fetishised in a consumerist society. And thus we have the other element of the problem: my actual fetishes. I have a HUGE handbag fetish. (Insert hilarious size joke here.) And it is that PLUS the effect such a bag would have on the very direct performance of this aspect of my identity (its very pinkness says “Yes. It’s a fucking pink handbag. What of it?”) that makes my brain latch on to it as an object of desire, a thing that would make me happy.

It won’t. I know. But I am going to buy it.


Review of my new show.

August 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

Some odd comments on gender stuff here, but they like the show!

“It’s no coincidence that Andrew O’Neill bounds on stage to the sound of The Kinks’ ‘Lola’: the energetic, abrasive Englishman is hot on Eddie Izzard’s heels for the title of most successful cross-dresser on the circuit. Tonight, O’Neill appears in a fetching combo of pink tights, size 9 Docs and a short black skirt – but it’s his anarchic wit, surreal tales and idiosyncratic delivery that are the real talking points.”

Full review here:




August 6, 2011 § 3 Comments

I am doing a show at the Edinburgh Fringe. My poster is the first in my nine times of coming here that has me cross-dressed on the front.


I found out yesterday one of my flyerers is using the pitch “He’s a transexual metalhead! What’s not to like?!” AARG! I kind of forgot that I am opening myself up to other people’s misuse of language and labels by being so upfront about it in my publicity. Still, I have an extra bit of material now…

So, please come to the show, please spread the word. Tickets available here: Andrew O’Neill: Alternative | Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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