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Archive for January 2009

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Adele Anderson is one of the mainstays of the comedy/satire trio Fascinating Aida.

In the previous episode I talked to her about FA's uniqueness as three women writing and singing comic political satire for over 25 years.

It's also quite widely known that Adele is a transsexual woman. Maybe that's not such a big deal nowadays, when people have seen many representations of trans women (real and fictional) in film and TV. In this interview I talk to her about the way it was received 25 years ago, and the TV dramas and films she's been involved with in the years since then.

The songs you hear in this programme can all be heard in full on Adele's Myspace Page.

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They are described as Britain’s sassiest, funniest, craziest musical comediennes. Imagine “Sex and the City” with harmonies. The Mail on Sunday said, “See them before you die or your life will have been meaningless”...

Fascinating Aida have been collecting ecstatic hyperbole from reviewers for a quarter of a century and have an immensely loyal fan base. Yet, in Britain at least, musical comedy and satire is still not an area that all that many women have conquered. So what’s the secret of showbiz success and longevity for three women with a wicked sense of humour?

Adele Anderson, who joined the Act a year after it was created in 1984, was very generous with her time for this interview in her hotel room, a couple of hours before going on stage at the Lowry in Salford. In fact we spent so much time that there's enough for two episodes.

This first episode departs from the normal "Just Plain Sense" format to focus on the group itself, their music and Adele's career. In next week's episode Adele talks about press interest in her personal background and some of the TV and film projects she has appeared in.

The songs you hear in this episode come from the albums "A Load of Old Sequins" and "It, Wit, Don't Give a S**t Girls", which can be purchased from FA's website or online from iTunes. Fans of FA may also be interested in this interview with Adele's colleagues, Dillie Keane and Liza Pullman

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What springs to mind if you think of Australia? Crocodile Dundee? Neighbours? Straight talking straight men who would't give a Castlemaine XXXX ?

How about serious debate on a third gender category for passports and official documents? Or inheritance rights for same sex adults regardless of whether they're in an amorous relationship or not? Things have evidently changed down under since Skippy and the Flying Doctor roamed the outback.

Katrina Fox is a journalist; Tracie O'Keefe is her therapist partner. Together they emigrated from Britain in 2001 and settled in Sydney where they've set up an organisation called Sex and Gender Education (SAGE). They talk to me in detail about Australian culture and their activist work.

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Two weeks from now the United States will witness a historic event that some of us probably doubted we would ever see. When Barack Obama is sworn in as America’s first Black President few would contest the symbolism. But how are Americans seeing it, now that the election night euphoria has died down?

How much expectation is there on the new man? Can it be realised? Black men may take plenty of encouragement, but what about other minorities?

To ask these questions, and to look particularly at the issues for LGB and Trans people, I hooked up with Internet broadcaster Ethan StPierre in Massachusetts. I learned, for instance, how a last gasp move by George Bush, aimed at women's choice on abortion, could go on to have effects for trans people too.

To hear Ethan's own broadcasts visit Trans FM online.

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Happy New Year!

The biggest thing for Equality and Diversity in 2009 is probably going to be the new Equality Bill, which was announced in last month’s Queen’s Speech. Debate on that will begin soon in Parliament and then we’ll learn the precise details of what the Government intends.

During December I spoke to several audiences about the 40 year history that brought us to this point – you can hear a version that in an earlier episode. I plan to feature an update when the Bill has been published and there's been a chance to study the fine print.

In the meantime, here is a keynote speech about trans people in social care, which I delivered back in October 2007 for the Commission for Social Care Inspection. The audience included over 300 inspectors, social workers and service providers.

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