Winter’s drawing in eh? The nights are getting dark and blimey has it been cold in the mornings. Still, truth be told, I actually prefer the autumn. To start with it’s not baking hot and if you’re lucky, the weather’s just right for a spot of walking (or biking). If you’re cold you can always warm up with a good cup of tea, coffee or hot choccy. Then there’s the whole run up to Xmas thing going on… and I don’t just mean the party outfits either. 🙂
Last weekend I caught a programme on Channel 4’s upcoming 25th birthday. To be honest, it seems like C4 has pretty much always been there. I do remember the first broadcast and it was a bit of an event (I’m from the sticks, we’d only just stopped pointing at aircraft).
Older readers – actually do I have any young readers? 🙂 – will remember there was just 3 TV channels back then. Seems kinda crazy with the wall to wall TV that we have now. Not to mention the Internet, time shift’ PVRs that some of us now have and the sheer number of DVD rental companies on the go.
But I’m drifting off-topic. C4 ran programmes that the other side (Ed: she means ‘channels’) wouldn’t run. Saturday Night Live, The Comic Strip Presents, Coming Next, etc: lots of the new Alternative Comedy movement that seemed to burst on to our screens. Ironically, the old guard of Alternative Comedy are now the cosy 50 somethings of mainstream telly. But there you go. (NB: Beeb 2 had The Young Ones, Alexi Sayle’s Stuff and a few others. However, it seemed C4 was first… but I’ve been wrong before).
Damn… drifted off again. I will really get to the point this time. Promise 🙂 In my pre-teens and obviously in my early teens, my trans genes switched on. It was about that time that C4 started to show ‘Out on Tuesday’. For those of you who never caught it, it was a gay magazine programme – cunningly shown on a Tuesday – and it, at least from my sheltered middle-class rural whiteboy upbringing, reported on gay news, issues gay folk faced and also their lifestyle.
To be honest, part of the reason I watched it was in the hope that maybe they’d be something on trans folk too, and once in a while there would be the odd bit here and there. As the majority of crossdressers are straight (Ed: shock! horror! probe…) they didn’t feature that heavily in a programme for gay folk. But each time they’d be something on TG folk, I felt a little less isolated.
But it was only part of the reason, I found the whole thing rather fascinating. My schoolmate’s gags about ‘poofs’ had never sat easily with me. I mean, really, there are more important things to worry about than if your best mate likes blokes. I wonder if the programme seemed strangely exotic: the places where far away from my sheltered rural life and perhaps it was the confidence that a lot of those folk had in who they were that I found appealing. Who can say. It was a long time ago.
What I’ll close on, if I may, is that I’m thankful to C4 for showing this programme and to the people brave enough to take part. They didn’t have to show it but in it’s hay-day it did make a difference.
[ Today’s lyric: Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprsy’s Television, The Drug of a Nation. ]