First edition hardback book
A postcard from Bilbo
Read with a friend
Verified Good Bboy
Twitter shout out
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Friend of Bilbo
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Helo ! Im would love for yuo to See my Bbook. It is abbout how to be a good bboy ,and how to be kind ,and why llove is good. Itse also abbout my mum's jjob.
Ellen Murray's good boy Bilbo has been blessing the internet with his kindness for three years now, and he’s shown the world how he lives his life with kindness and love. As a cat of experience, he’s grown up in Northern Ireland to see that affection, care and positivity make everyone better off.
Ellen has raised Bilbo since he was a kitten. She is a human rights activist working for LGBTI and disability rights at home and abroad. Ellen's goals and Bilbo’s are very similar: making kindness, love and care a safe reality for everyone. Ellen sees her work as ultimately about happiness, about joy, about love. Just like the work Bilbo does of comforting tens of thousands of people online. They’re similar in that way, although he reaches a great deal more people.
Bilbo would love you to support this book because knowing how to get started – on fighting for your own rights, or standing as an ally alongside others – is difficult. It’s intimidating and sometimes it’s really confusing. Fortunately, Ellen has learned a lot about dignity, respect and justice - both from the halls of the United Nations and from the tweets her good round boy gets at 3am.
This book will be about Bilbo, and about Ellen. About her work, and about how Bilbo’s online presence is not just an accessory to that work or a silly side Twitter account, but a way to channel the greater goals of her work to a wider audience. It will be silly and serious. It’ll be accessible, but also challenging. It will give you an introduction to what being a good bboy means, what human rights work is all about, and how to do it yourself. It’ll be about imposter syndrome, about mutual support, and about owning your vulnerability and your power. It’ll also have Bilbo pictures and plenty of gushing about him too. He insisted.
You should support this book if you believe in the kind of work Ellen is doing, or you’re interested in getting on board this human rights train yourself. It’s not a gravy train (or a Dreamies train), but it’s a wonderfully fulfilling and exciting thing to be involved with. If you’d like to get some useful knowledge for your own life, or you just would like to gaze upon a very good bboy in print form, this is a book for you.
About the Book
- A full colour, high quality hardback with printed endpapers.
- 135 x 189mm format with head and tail bands.
- 40 original, colour photographs.
- Approximately 144 pages, and 30,000 words.
- Tons of amazing and exclusive pledge levels!
*Book designs, cover and other images are for illustrative purposes and may differ from final design.
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First edition hardback book
A postcard from Bilbo
Ellen Murray is a Northern Irish trans human rights defender who has worked towards LGBTI human rights in Northern Ireland since 2013. She is the carer of a beautiful orange cat called Bilbo, who has ninety-two thousand friends on Twitter and countless adoring fans. Bilbo helps Ellen’s work by calling attention to important issues while also sharing kindness with all he encounters. His head is as big and round as the world, and he’s a warm fuzzy vector for love.
Ellen is Executive Director of TransgenderNI, a trans human rights organisation in Northern Ireland which runs Western Europe’s only trans community resource centre. She works in the field of international human rights at the highest levels to bring trans and LGBTI people’s issues into many areas of law, and is studying international disability law at NUI Galway in Ireland. She is a public appointment to the UK Government’s LGBT Advisory Panel and an independent consultant to a variety of international human rights organisations.
im hhere for you . i llove you ,. we will hhave an nice Day togehter and get throuhg this
Being a cat is easy, or so they say in the papers. Being a human rights defender, the proper legal term for the sort of work I do in advocating for LGBTI people’s rights, is also easy, or so they say in the papers.
Neither of these is true, but there are wonderful parts to each. Bilbo gets the adoration and gifts of tens of thousands of friends online, and I get to see the world change for the better in small ways each year.
This book is about being a cat, and about being a human rights defender. And about how to dip your toe into this work for the first time. It’s about love, joy and kindness, and about how these are at the core of what we both do, and our work together as people who make folks a little happier and more comforted over the internet. Due to the limitations of science in the 2020s I will not be covering how to become a cat.
With the ever-growing sense of impending doom in the world, we now need more of both groups – cat friends and human rights defenders – to be out there, to feel able to do what they do best, and to make tomorrow easier for everyone.
Being a good bboy
I’m a trans woman, and unless you frequent certain parts of the internet you’re probably thinking “how does she know anything about being a good bboy!?”. Well, I have two things on my side which grant me the expertise for a book like this: I have the quintessential model of a good bboy living with me every day and showing me his love and affection, and I won Boy of the Year in primary school in 2004, so I have the qualifications.
Let’s get started.
The main way our rights as human beings are formally protected throughout the world is through human rights law, especially at the international level. The right to life, to speak your mind, to have an identity that’s true to yourself and countless others are protected by a plethora of human rights law, developed through the 20th Century into a large and complicated nest of rights. All of us have human rights, and they can only be limited where there is good cause, like limiting the freedom of business owners to rightly protect their workers, or limiting the rights of parents to protect their children.
Some of this framework is provided via the United Nations, others via more regional bodies like in Europe. Human rights law is then implemented in some form by most countries around the world into their own law, and is promoted, progressed and enforced through different ways from state to state.
Human rights law is just one tool at our disposal when advocating for people’s rights, and it’s far from a perfect one. It has major flaws, often making assumptions that originated in western countries, making it less suitable elsewhere. It’s a product of its time, and older law today can reflect badly on the era in which it was written. It can be used for bad as well as for good – hasn’t every class of bigot cried “but freedom of speech” at some point or other? The law also moves slowly, and the type of work I do is more likely to have meaningful benefits for people next year as opposed to next week, meaning other work is crucial to support marginalised and persecuted people today. Direct action, mutual support, protest, strikes and other public-facing rights defences should always be on the table, and people like me should support those who organise them.
After all, human rights law shouldn’t be the be all and end all of advocacy and human rights defence – it’s there to back up our other work, which for most activists is not reading court paperwork.
I’ve been working to protect and promote LGBTI people’s human rights since 2013, and have been neck-deep in it for five years at the time of writing. My experience has brought me to tables as diverse as local policing accountability boards to national healthcare regulators to the United Nations Human Rights Council. This range of experiences has been a massive privilege and a benefit for my knowledge in some ways – I know how not to focus too hard on one thing – but also means my knowledge in any given area isn’t going to be as strong as someone who’s devoted their life to reforming a single law or resolving a single injustice. Both these approaches are good and needed, but don’t just take my word on anything I say here – let this be an introduction to the subject, not the final say. Treat it perhaps like the dictionary – a useful guidebook on how language can be used, but not the final authority on how English is used.
If you’re new to this sort of thing, I hope you can come away from this book having learned a substantial amount about human rights, about law and about what justice and equality can mean. I hope you can use this to defend your own rights or in supporting others to do the same through allyship.
Remember that nobody falls from the sky with this knowledge or experience. Most of us get into this work through hardship or lived experiences that prompt our interests, and develop our work incrementally until we’re genuinely good at something. Imposter syndrome is incredibly common, and I continue to experience it today, including right now as I’m writing this. Who trusted me to write a book? Not me, that’s for sure.
These people are helping to fund How to be a Good Bboy.