Monday, 29 August 2016

my son and I talk

At 16 years old my son is 6 feet tall and wears a size 12 running shoe which is evidence that he is still growing because I wear a size 11. He is a sensitive and caring soul whose perceptiveness and intelligence are growing at an equally rapid rate.

So when we were having conversation in the car yesterday somehow the issue of his mother's desire to divorce me came up and he told me what she had told him. His mother's version was different from my own of course but clearly hers downplayed the trans aspect. However, when we were in marital counseling she kept repeating that she didn't want to be married to a woman which was fair enough. But the counselor kept telling her to stop harping on that point since it was she who wanted to divorce as did Pierre Assalian who was then the head of the hospital gender clinic. The latter flat out told her that people like me were born this way and nothing could be done about it.

My guilt revolved around omitting this detail when we married because I thought I could ignore my dysphoria and you know how well that turned out.

My son is a great protector of mine and he told me that this was not sufficient grounds for divorce and was surprised regarding his mother's reaction. Of course he doesn't share her perspective and loves both his parents but I defended his mother's reaction because it's water under the bridge for me and we had compatibility issues regardless.

We then discussed the issue of sex and gender identity and how they can be misaligned in some people. Like the vast majority of young people he was understanding and sensitive to the topic.

I am very much enjoying this period in my children's lives and as they enter adulthood there is so much as they can now teach me as well. Its like seeing the fruition of all the years put into their development.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

be inspired

Regardless of whether you transition or not there is so much to be said for being who you really are. Here is a video of Alice Lyman Miller who is a lucid and intelligent human being showing us what that looks like...


Saturday, 27 August 2016

Where Anne Lawrence goes wrong

In the concluding paragraph on her essay entitled "Do Some Men Who Desire Sex Reassignment Have a Mental Disorder? Comment on Meyer-Bahlburg (2010)" which can be found on her website Anne Lawrence writes:

"In short, autogynephilic eroticism, as evidenced by erotic cross-dressing, precedes cross-gender identity by years or decades in nonhomosexual MtF transsexuals. These transsexuals do not have female core gender identities, nor do they have well developed cross-gender identities that precede and act as the driving force behind their desires to turn their bodies into facsimiles of women's bodies. Rather, nonhomosexual MtF transsexuals gradually develop cross-gender identities after years or decades of erotic cross-dressing, accompanied by the autogynephilic wish to turn their bodies into facsimiles of women's bodies. In this sense, cross-gender identity in nonhomosexual MtF transsexuals is a secondary phenomenon or epiphenomenon. Emphasizing this point in the text discussion of gender identity disorders in the DSM-5 would help to correct many misconceptions among mental health professionals."

The presumption here is that many years of erotic crossdressing have preceeded and caused the invention of a false female identity. There are several things wrong with this conclusion but the primary problem is its gross generalization of the experience of gynephilic trans people.

Most of the gynephilic transgender people whose blogs I read and am in contact with date their gender issues to early in prepubescence. They are also perfectly aware that they are not women but have gender dysphoria which acts upon the psyche and instills the desire to be female. They were aware very early on that they were different and needed to hide in order to be accepted. Hence Lawrence is trying to make the same shoe fit everyone in order to make a false hypothesis work. If there are too many exceptions then the theory falls apart.

The crossdressing that takes place in early childhood is innocent, playful and devoid of sexual intent. I can certainly attest strongly to this in my own case and it was the advent of sexual overtones that became problematic and the start of my years of dealing with a conflict which is now resolved.

Lawrence is a self-admitted body conversion fetishist and I have read all of her work as well as Andrea James's personal experiences with her. I now understand why she identified strongly with Blanchard and why so many of us do not. I don't have any doubt that there are other people in the world who also fit into her category but it becomes a problem when you try to paint everyone else into a universal theory with little more than interview data.

It is human nature to want personal narratives to explain our natures to ourselves. To try and do that while applying it to everyone else via unscientific methods is another matter altogether.



Friday, 26 August 2016

looking ahead

God willing I am going to have even more flexibility to manage my dysphoria as I age.

My present goal is to do some form of partial or full retirenent from my current profession by age 60. This does not mean I will stop working only that I may branch out as a consultant and maybe also take another simple job doing something else. This latter job or both might even be done as Joanna who knows. This is not a definitive goal but just where my reflection is currently taking me at the moment. Ask me in 6 months if this is still the case.

I don't need or want any more amorous relationships and have decided they are far too difficult even without the added burden of being transgender. Therefore I am going to just concern myself with being content because I have lived long enough to know that either scenario has its positives and negatives. Besides I am a loner by nature and although I very much enjoy the company of people I don't need them around me all the time.

By the time I am 60 my kids will be 24 and 22 and anything I do with my life will have less direct impact on their lives but the fact that I don't physically transition will give me flexibility of presentation.

No this is not a perfect plan of course nor is it set in stone but it does allow for options and does not lock me into anything that cannot be reversed.


Thursday, 25 August 2016

what else but more bigotry...

Fundamentalist religious and politically conservative websites grate against my sensibilities. Typically diversity intolerant they like their natural model to fit their view of the world which tends to be in perfect shades of black and white.

These are the same people who gave Galileo a hard time for having the audacity to suggest that the earth was not the center of the universe. But here we are in the 21st century and they are still very much with us in the form of sites like Lifesite, Patheos, Breibart News as well as others.

Much of their platform is not science or logic based but instead built on a perversion of faith tinged with intolerance with very little love thy neighbour. In support of the sanctity of man and woman they rail against the LGBT community and their chosen “lifestyle” and love to use terms like "transgender agenda" through warning against its promotion of a gender fluidity conspiracy. All this presumably under the premise of protecting "family values".

Unfortunately, nothing is to be done with these people and they will continue to exist regardless of the education you offer them. They are the ideologically driven "earth is flat" crowd that seem to be ever present in every society.

Take the bathroom issue: any semi-intelligent individual can tell the difference between a sexual predator and a trans person but for this group it's prejudice in the guise of trying to protect the public. Transgender people were using restrooms before without incident and sexual predators don't need to dress as women to do what they will.

Now in Texas a judge has temporarily defied Federal Law by blocking the Obama administration initiative to allow transgender children to use the bathroom that fits their identity. So this tiny sliver of the population is once again going to experience discrimination due to blatant human stupidity. Thank goodness the New York Times editorial board calls these bigots on it (see link below).

These people do have a fall back position in that the science on why people are gay or transgender is sorely lacking but pointing this out to a member of the LGBT community has little value. We know very well that absence of evidence is not definitive proof that something isn't there. But spelling out their position on this issue is not for our elucidation but instead to bolster more discriminatory practices among the already skeptical.

In the end these types of people are driven by unflinching dogmas rather than compassion and tolerance for the diversity and complexity of humanity. There are no agendas but instead only people who don't want to be discriminated against for being different. In that sense the world has changed very little and still has some ways to go.

How I pine for the day when people mind their own business instead of weighing in on the lives of others. May God save us from the imbeciles of this world.


http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/24/opinion/more-attacks-on-transgender-rights.html?_r=0



Wednesday, 24 August 2016

the non-transitioning trans person

Jack Molay’s latest Crossdreamers article got me thinking.

Much is left to be written on the non-transitioning transgender person because the fact is that the vast majority of us will not do so; at least not fully. For those of us that are strongly dysphoric it poses unique challenges that involve weighing previous life commitments, beliefs and economic factors.

For me the most important element here is that a dysphoric person cannot worry about imposed societal guilt or shame which must be eliminated at all costs if they are going to begin a journey towards internal peace. No clear thinking will happen without it with the risk that the person will end up in a vicious loop of despair and disillusionment because they cannot achieve an ideal that they had painted in their mind.

Perhaps that ideal was to have been born a girl.

In some ways I still continue to see gender dysphoria as an illness. It can act as a trickster and have you think that you can only find fulfillment by undergoing a complete transformation when I don’t believe that this is necessarily true; at least not for everyone.

Perhaps the best goal might be to find the best version of you which honours the gender non-conformity that seems to be a natural part of who you are. Here there are no hard and fast rules and you are given the task of writing your own manual. But it is clear that transition need not be nor should be the ultimate target of every transgender person.

For a number of reasons I have already stated here my aim is not to transition but not because I don’t see that as a favorable goal. It is because I have achieved internal resolution without it and forging ahead would be going too far. This is not the case for all you and I am deeply aware of this.

The hardest part is finding what your own balance point is and that can take years to arrive at. But rest assured that there is no wrong answer if you reflect deeply and honestly on this difficult question. At least this was my experience.

For me it was not one pivotal moment that decided all but instead a series of little victories aimed towards allowing myself the dignity of defining who I was rather than let someone else do that for me. It sounds deceivingly simple and yet can be very difficult when you have lived under the oppressive weight of indoctrination for as long as I did.

Its important to remember that to a great extent the gender binary has historically been used to enslave people and have them fit into predetermined boxes whether they wanted to or not.

Except that there has hardly been a better time to renounce that idea than today.


Tuesday, 23 August 2016

what are the odds

There I was on the flight from Montreal to Detroit on my eventual way to Tampa. On business trips I sometimes talk to the person next to me and sometimes I don’t and I suppose it depends on the willingness of both people to chat.

His name was William and he is a biomedical industry scientist helping to develop drugs that help people battle certain cancers and other diseases.

So we bantered back and forth at the beginning and then took a bit of a break. Near the end of the flight the conversation began to flow better and then I found out we were exactly the same age. He married at age 40 and has no kids. I talked a little more about my life as well.

We exchanged first names and then he told me where he went to high school which was also my school. Then he looked at me and asked me if I was (insert my male name here) and then the light bulb went off. We were in the same grade of the same school and hadn’t seen each other since 1979 but there we were sitting on a flight to Detroit side by side.

Turns out that William is a perfectly lovely fellow and even though we didn't hang out with the same groups we did overlap quite a lot in high school. He has been living in San Diego for the last 25 years but he has Montreal in his veins and wants to come back. His parents are both living and still live here.

Needless to say we exchanged emails and plan to keep in touch but what I kept thinking was: what are the odds.


Detroit McNamara Airport