Sitters and Their Stories

Clippings from news sources involving fashion freedom and other gender equality issues.

Sitters and Their Stories

Postby TheSkirtedMan » Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:12 pm

I have had my application accepted to be part of a National Trust event at Benningbrough Hall, near York. I had my meeting yesterday to go over the finer details of the event. It was open to none National Trust members, in fact I am the only NT volunteer as a sitter.

Some within society state that the National Trust should only be there for historic buildings and landscape. The NT has that ethos and fulfils that ethos but as an employer and organisation in the 21st century I personally believe it, as with all other employers and organisations, should lead by example of being inclusive, tolerant and not prejudiced towards one or a group simply because others do not like. If no physical harm is being done then all can be as one prefers. I will happily be involved and help promote an inclusive attitude where differing views and outlooks can sit side by side without one or a group being ostracised by others for being different to them.

Over 4 days, 4 different sitters will have their portraits painted by Tanya Raabe-Webber an award winning professional artist. Each day the audience made up of pre booked attendees and general members of the public visiting the Hall can engage with the sitter and Tanya asking questions. Tanya also explains her art technique and the audience can see how a portrait is created prior to the finishing touches back at Tanyas studio. The sitter is given an opportunity to talk about themselves from questions via the audience and Tanya. I applied as a man who wears skirts and clothing labelled by society as womens wear. I saw it as an opportunity to promote men in skirts etc and the 6 questions I had to answer were all based on that ethos. As with my two radio interviews of 2017 I will be totally "blind" with regards questions. Even Tanya has requested not to meet the sitters prior to the days event.

My day as sitter is Thursday 12th October from 12 to 4.30. If any member of this forum is near York it could be an opportunity to not only meet in person but an opportunity for other men in skirts to gather to emphasise that men do and can wear skirts. The event is being publicised via media and social media and I am able to promote my site. My site since 2013 has had a link to this forum so where ever I manage to promote my site hopefully some traffic does come this way.

This is the link to the Benningbrough Hall web site about the event and listing all four sitters. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/beningbrough-hall/features/sitters-and-their-stories-at-beningbrough

This year this event is being funded by the National Trusts Prejudice & Pride program of events. The Big Draw is involved as Tanya is an Ambassador for The Big Draw. This project is on the back of a one off event in 2016 which was funded by The National Arts Council with 4 sitters chosen by the Arts Council one for four locations known then as Portraits Untold. This is a link to the website about the four 2016 sitters, a LGBT campaigner, musician, artist/film maker and a man who had learning difficulties who had his life dramatised for television. http://portraitsuntold.co.uk/

Benningbroughs event has four differing sitters chosen from a pool of applicants by Tanya and management of Benningbrough Hall. The event covers LGBT with transgender, mother and daughter who enjoy art and culture and the daughter is making it her career, something her mother wished she had done and had the opportunity, a young mother of 26 who is now a widow and her life experiences with her husbands death due to illness and myself. Only management had the photos and full information, Tanya based her selection upon the 6 answered questions only.

As with last years Portarits Untold, this years via the NT Prejudice and Pride Project, Sitters and their Untold Stories are not just centred on LGBT but cover wide and diverse aspects of society. Recorded and filmed on site it is to be used as promotion within prejudice and diversity. I am, later this year, formally presented with my portrait and as usual will have details on my web site in due course, hopefully the video recording. Unlike last year it is not being live streamed on to social media.

I continue to promote men in skirts where ever and when ever I can. My role as National Trust volunteer started in May 2016, by September 2016 I was appointed as Day Coordinator for the Wednesday Team of volunteers, a new day of opening for Ormesby Hall for 2017. 80% of this team were completely new volunteers and none had any dispersion on my choice of clothing when they joined my team or I met them on volunteer recruitment days. In fact it was not mentioned and as and when in passing conversation they are all for it. My team consists mainly women from young students to late 70's. 4 of my team followed me from 2016. For 2018 I head up a brand new team for Thursday, a new day of opening and many of my 2017 team are following me. Others cannot due to existing Thursday commitments. I am as a man in a skirt at the fore front of public interaction where the team call upon me to answer visitor questions about the Halls history they are not aware of or a question from the public they are unsure of.

I genuinely hope any member of this forum even non members who can read posts open to them, who have reservations of going public find the experiences and activities spoken by others on this forum of being skirted in public useful and provide them with confidence and courage to be a man in a skirt in public. Also hopefully those members whose other halves do not like their man in a skirt especially in public. My wife is at this event with me.
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Re: Sitters and Their Stories

Postby oldsalt1 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:24 pm

This is a major accomplishment .Public recognition of men in skirts. a couple of things you mentioned your site and you said you have had 2 radio interviews in 2017 can you give any insight to them
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Re: Sitters and Their Stories

Postby TheSkirtedMan » Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:17 pm

oldsalt1 wrote:you mentioned your site and you said you have had 2 radio interviews in 2017 can you give any insight to them


My site is www.theskirtedman.co.uk. I didn't mention it above as it is on my profile. Links to radio interviews are under a specific menu left hand side.

I actively promote men in skirts where ever and when ever. Virtually always in a skirt and outfits as shown on my site. Currently sat in Ripon Cathedral for one of many concerts and events at many locations I attend as a man in a skirt. I advocate and practice freedom of choice and expression is not a women only entitlement. Expected audience tonight around 200. I saw the Sitters and Their Stories event as another opportunity especially with national organisers of equality and prejudiced promoters either present or could know of the event 3rd hand.

Subjects like men in skirts will only be talked about positively if seen proactively.
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Re: Sitters and Their Stories

Postby Sinned » Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:19 pm

TSM, well done and I commend you for your efforts. I would have loved to come and support you as B Hall is just up the road from me. But on that day I was in Hurghada, Egypt on holiday with my family so unfortunately .... You have given me food for thought about volunteering for the NT though. Maybe a visit to their site is overdue.
I believe in offering every assistance short of actual help but then mainly just want to be left to be myself in all my difference and uniqueness.
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Re: Sitters and Their Stories

Postby TheSkirtedMan » Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:50 pm

This is a page on my website about my involvement at the Sitters and Their Stories event at Beningbrough Hall near York.

http://www.theskirtedman.co.uk/index.php/iv-professional-portrait-sitters-their-stories-12-10-2017

I have also added another page about my role as a National Trust volunteer.

http://www.theskirtedman.co.uk/index.php/v-my-national-trust-volunteering

Both are under a revised menu now called TheSkirtedMan - Radio & Promotions.

Sinned - the NT is an inclusive and diverse supportive employer and organisation. I do my volunteering in a skirt and clothing as shown on my site. I am Day Coordinator for a team of volunteers since the start of 2017. The page on my site gives more information. You will meet the odd volunteer who disapproves as any where but when on duty must abide by NT ethos. There is only one volunteer at my property that made negative overtones public but was told to keep them off duty. You get the odd visitor who disapproves but they ignore you but these are very rare. I am based at Ormesby Hall, Middlesbrough.

My experience with visitors is as I experience out and about and I can only say to any member on this forum who does not have the confidence to go public, please have the nerve to do so. It is very liberating as an individual. Issues with regards partners is beyond my pay scale - sorry. The more men out and about skirted can only help others to say I can too.
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