Who is Zoe Quilter?
(last updated June 2011)
Well the simple answer is me, the person that put this site together. I am the woman on the left of the picture and not the guy on the right, he is my partner of thirteen years at the time of writing.
Previously I used the pseudonym 'dazed'. This was originally abbreviated from 'dazed and confused', that's how I feel most of the time, and acted as a buffer against my personal life for people that do not need to know the following. However at times it can, and has, cause confusion, so I have elected to use my real name from now on.
I was born in 1946 in Leicester in the UK, so I'm no spring chicken. Leicester is a place I have been trying to leave most of my life, but never quite managed the feat.
I live with my Dutch partner Paul. That's me on the left with Paul (right). The picture was taken in 2000, so I am a bit greyer and haggard looking these days.
I appear in some of the old photographs as a male, because prior to gender reassignment surgery in 1988, I was. I also lived full time as a woman three years prior to the surgery as part of the psychiatric assessment. However, anyone that knew me from the aeromodelling scene in the years before would know me now; and that raises a few annoying problems for me.
Having struggled to build a new life for my self as a woman against what seemed like insurmountable odds at times, it is extremely annoying to be referred to as 'He' constantly. However this is an unavoidable consequence of taking up a hobby again (encouraged by control line modellers from around the world, much to my surprise), that is very male centric. I also don't look very feminine dressed up in old clothes that reek of engine fuel, or under lots of layers of clothing to keep warm in the middle of a soggy wet field in winter, especially to people that knew me in a previous life doing exactly the same things; I am certainly not wearing my best dress for these activities.
All I can do is try to ignore it and try to enjoy myself, indulging in a hobby that has given me a great deal of pleasure for a large part of my life, even if I do sometimes feel like stabbing certain people to death with a sharp prop blade at times when they refuse to acknowledge my change of gender. Or it could be they just can't mentally accept a woman as doing this sort of thing. Remember fellas, I have seen things from both sides of the fence now, so I look at you in a different way, Most of you are decent human beings; but some, I wonder if there are any brain cells functioning at all when it comes to relating to other people or the opposite sex.
A consequence of the stress of going through a sex change, or Gender Reassignment to give it it's proper name, lots of other work related problems, and catching chickenpox in middle age, was developing M.E. (Follow this link for a brief explanation of the condition) which used to be nicknamed, inappropriately, 'Yuppy Flu'; a very debilitating illness (it's multi-symptomatic) that no one seems to be able to explain, but very real none the less if you unfortunate enough to have it. The tiredness still plagues me now, and relapses are common. If it was not for Paul, I am not sure how I would have got through this time in my life. All I have learnt to do is live with it over the years. It stopped me getting a job, I'm retired now, and even affects how much I can engage in aeromodelling, if I wanted to travel any distance to competitions for instance it would be fraught with problems. But it's not going to stop me building and flying models whist I am still able.
After writing the above, the end of 2006 to early 2008 turned into my own personal hell, one of the worst periods of my life. Everything, and I mean everything, went wrong, again, and again, and again, from battling my local authority to keep my housing benefit twice a year for six years, to fighting my way through a minefield of legislation and legal matters that will eventually give me full legal status as a woman, to money draining from my bank account like water, to my only transport breaking down twice with hideously expensive consequences, and the final kick in the teeth, having to separate from Paul. Not a pleasant thing to go through with someone you love, after living together for fifteen years at the time of writing (fortunately we are still good friends). As if that was not enough, my father died suddenly in January 2008. I can now quite understand why people hang themselves up or jump off of bridges, life can have a way of grinding you down until there is nothing left sometimes.
now 2010 and things have settled down a lot. Being diagnosed as
having gastric ulcers, "Oh! I am surprised." she exclaimed with a heavy
dose of sarcasm, and having it treated, has enabled me to at sleep
these days, so my general health has improved a lot. Nowadays I find
myself very busy splitting my self between my quadruple interests of
aeromodelling, computers (Linux os), the social aspects and endless things to
learn in the virtual worlds, and reading books when I get
the chance. I
don't even possess a TV these days. Days flash by like minutes. I still
like any sci-fi/fantasy films and TV series, but those I can watch by
various means from the internet; or go to a cinema.
into Second Life , and now Virtual Worlds in general. If you ever read, 'Otherland' by Tad Williams (actually four large volumes), or the seminal 'Snow Crash' by by Neal Stephenson you will get some idea of what Virtual Worlds may become in the future, and
why I am so attracted to them. I am now also
exploring the alternative OSgrids, (Second Life without the
commercialism), The learning
process in virtual worlds stretches into infinity if you want to follow
paths, so finding time for the modelling as well, is becoming more
difficult, but there is no way I want to give it up.
Music I like: 'Abney Park', a Steampunk band I discovered on my wanderings in in Second Life, and so good, if it was possible to wear out a CD I would have done it with 'Lost Horizons'; buy the mp3 download, buy the tshirt and anything else they have. It's not often I say that about any band. Also love the German band 'Rammstein', and a lot of mainland European industrial rock music, because they epitomise a genre of music I like. Always have been a head banger. Recently found Max Raabe und das Palast Orchester also whilst wandering around Second Life and i'm hooked, anyone that doesn't like this has no soul. Apart from the dislikes, almost anything else goes.
Music I have always hated with avengence: Hip Hop and Rap; and ANYTHING played at high volume from in-car sound systems (see Sport!)
This year (2009) I gave up watching TV, mine expired, so I spent the cable rental money on a fast internet connection; so far I haven't missed broadcast TV. I get 90% of what I want from the net and watch any free TV channels on an old PC; when I can be bothered that is. I'm too involved with everything else, If I die of anything, it won't be boredom.
TV I dislike: Sport! Although reintroducing Gladiatorial
Games for antisocial behaviour convictions might get me interested. And Celebrity (anything!).
Most enjoyable films seen recently: A little recognised film called Surrogates
Apart from the totally predictable naff ending and action based
trailer (it's not an action film), it's very thought provoking. Search for the Second Life
website and compare the advertising. My thoughts when watching it
where, when can I sign up please..? LOL.
God, this is a small taste of my interests, and must speak volumes about my tastes.....!