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  • Writer's pictureAshton Blyth

I've been MIA from my practice...

I've felt rather MIA from my practice for a few weeks now, I've considered ideas in my head of what I want to include in my animation, but not actually put anything to paper. I started a new job at a cinema a couple of weeks ago, but all the online induction training outside of full-time hours while I get started has left me tired and drained - unable to go past thinking about what I want to be doing in my practice at the moment. I feel like I can start to act on those ideas now that I'm settling in, and having overcome the barrier of being in such a customer-facing role - not just in the sense of post-COVID, but also in that this is my first customer-facing job where I'm not being misgendered on a daily basis.

I can honestly say I'm loving it, only a couple of the new members of the team know that I'm trans as one of them is trans themselves (only a short way into hormone therapy) and I felt it would help him settle into the job easier knowing that there was someone else on the team that they could come to if there were any issues regarding their gender identity - customers or staff. However, I doubt that will happen, there's a real family vibe to the team and have all been really welcoming and helpful - even if one of them did nearly kill me by checking all the fire escapes in the building on opening!

This job also offers me the opportunity to use the cinema as a set for filming - many of the staff are students/filmmakers/actors/musicians from a creative background and the job is supportive of that. I'm hoping to use the ladies toilets to film an encounter I had with a woman pre-hormones (and so very much presenting as a butch lesbian), where a child asked why a boy was in the girl's bathroom, and their mother told them that I was a "tranny" and "it shouldn't be in here with us". I'd also like to use the men's bathroom to film an idea I planned to pursue in my final year of BA, depicting the experience of being on my period and using the men's toilets. I've already filmed myself pretending to change a tampon on the toilet, but ideally it would be great to capture footage of me in the men's toilets for that scene.

The attached image is actually from part of my online training for the cinema - I found it of particular interest that in the hygiene module under toilets, it specifically spoke about gender identity and how their policy is that "customers are free to select the facilities appropriate to their gender".


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