“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”
In a stunningly Orwellian example of rewriting history, the Guardian has changed the photos accompanying Shon Faye’s 2014 ‘Men in Make-Up’ article.
In the piece, Shon (then Seán) praises the benefits of wearing make up, observing:
“Some strangers are so desperate to prove how totally, earth-movingly OK they are with a man wearing makeup, they’ll cross a room to tell you how great you look. And I’m not ashamed to admit this kind of cheap validation is wonderful.”
You can read the piece at the Grauniad’s website here: but if you have read it before you’ll notice something has changed. The photographs of Faye in rather fetching blue eye make up are gone – instead they are replaced with a photograph of Eddie Izzard in lippy and a pink beret and the words “Eddie Izzard wearing red lipstick, and eye make up at a public event.” (Ouch, that comma.)
‘But why,‘ I hear you ask, laying down your copy of 1984, ‘has this memory hole been created?”
Well, Faye is now a woman, so we are told, and on a mission to remove any inferences to the contrary from the internet.
“The range of style options available to men is already woefully narrow.” wrote Faye at the time, expressing resentment that men were expected to pick their clothing ‘from a cupboard of identikit Zara shirts’ .
Reinvented as Shon, Faye finally felt able to sparkle in a variety of glitzy, skimpy items.
So the photos had to go, and are now only to be found where archived. This link, for example, will show the original photos but they disappear in a flash. As the page has been archived over 40 times many other links, like this one (left) maintain the original photos.
Regular visitors to my blog will know that Shon- who is, after all a qualified lawyer, and clearly good at this stuff- persuaded WordPress to withdraw a black and white version of the photo on the far left from my article ‘Transwomen are Men‘ last year. The photograph was removed from my blog and replaced with a picture of a robot, and anywhere that I had used Shon’s ‘deadname’ it was replaced with the word [redacted] in no-nonsense block brackets. (Last year I also had to remove several tweets where I had ‘misgendered’ or ‘deadnamed’ Shon.)
I was not told of these changes to my blog but left to discover them for myself. Shortly after, my blog was closed down without warning, and eventually relocated here, where I now pay a monthly fee for my right to freedom of speech.
The new version of the article, with the Eddie Izzard photo, keeps the date of Faye’s original article: 6th December 2014. There is an especial irony in the fact that the Grauniad chose Eddie to replace Shon as its token ‘man in make-up‘ because Izzard now also claims to be transgender.
As recently as 2014 Eddie was proud to be ‘a man in a dress’, tweeting:
However, times have changed. Izzard no longer views himself as a man in a dress any more than Shon wishes to be perceived as a man in make up.
In 2016 Izzard described himself in court as having been on the receiving end of years of abuse ‘as a transgender man‘, a confusing descriptor usually reserved for women who believe themselves to be men – as in the popular headline: ‘first transgender man to give birth‘.
Although he had previously described himself as a transvestite, in September 2017 Izzard told the Irish Times “I came out 32 years ago… I like to think that I have kicked the trans door open, so there is more acceptance. I am straight transgender as well: this ‘wannabe lesbian’.”
Izzard’s take on what it means to be trans is, like his identity, ever-changing and extremely confusing, but over the last few years he has wholeheartedly embraced the transgender label, claiming on one occasion that he knew he was transgender aged 4.
So what will happen next? Will Izzard object to being the poster boy for Faye’s article? Will he be offended to be represented as a ‘man in make up’? Will they have to replace the picture of Izzard next? Who will get the job? Will there even be any men in make up left in another couple of years?
It seems unlikely Izzard will complain any time soon. His 2015 tweet remains on Twitter. Unlike Faye and the Guardian, confusing as his narrative has become, he seems to have no desire to erase history.