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Self Love....

You are a wonderful person.

This is something you should repeat to yourself as you pass through those moments of self deprecation and self judgement that we go through; many of us perhaps daily.

To this day I sometimes fall prey to it when I think that by being out as Joanna I am doing someone else a disservice. My children or my partner should not be exposed to this and you are being selfish – I tell myself sometimes.

But am I?

I made no such choice to be the way I am and dealing with that pull and managing it requires energy, patience and self forgiveness.

As transgender people we represent our own worst enemies because we have swallowed the messages of the outside world and are fighting against those ingrained prejudices.

When I am out in the world and the odd person gives me a quizzical stare, I always remember to stare right back to send a visual queue that I have as much a right to exist as they do. This person knows nothing about you and yet chooses to judge based on their own preconceived notion of what should be acceptable or normal.

So when you are out there, be proud and stand tall. Be yourself and show people that being transgendered does not make you a monster or a freak.

I have found that when I turned the page on how I saw myself is when the world started seeing me more positively and more respectfully.

Is everyone going to feel this way? Of course not but you need to live an honest life and that life belongs to you and you alone. No one else can live it for you.

You are a wonderful person


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another coming out

Recently I had lunch with one of the young estimators who occasionally works with me here in Toronto. We were chatting about work and our respective lives when she queried about my love life:

“So how is it going on that front. Meet anyone interesting lately?”

I reflected for a moment and then said:

“My situation is a little particular and if you don’t mind I can share something about myself”

She leaned in a bit and told me to please go ahead.

“I am trans” I said matter of factly.

She looked at me and smiled and said:

“Really? That’s so neat”

She is 35 years old and a lovely person which is why I knew I could confide in her. I then added that I had been reflecting on whether I would switch companies and begin working as Joanna and although she is totally open she also knows how conservative our business can be. So I told her that if I did decide to it would definitely be under a different umbrella.

Then yesterday I was coming back to my place and the lady who rents it to me, who is abo…

feeling sexy

Here are the results of a recent survey of genetic women:

“A new hairdo, walking in heels and a glowing tan are among the things that make a woman feel sexy. Freshly applied lipstick, newly-shaved legs and a little black dress also have a positive effect on the psyche”

Are you surprised? I’m not because it is exactly the same list that makes transgender women feel sexy.

For a long time the idea was pandered about that transsexualism was rooted exclusively in aberrant sexuality. But of course you cannot separate the sexuality from the individual because that forms part of their overall makeup and the fact that genetic and transsexual women overlap here surprises no one.

We should also add here that women aren't always thinking about sex and neither are transgender women.

Pre transition transsexuals would not readily admit they found these things sexy because they were afraid to be seen as perverted men in front of gatekeepers who understood nothing about their condition.

Today we kn…

the risks of downplaying dysphoria

Kati’s comment on my post called “Doubting you are trans” got me thinking about the validity of our feelings and the importance of not downplaying them.

Make no mistake: gender dysphoria is real and you are not delusional and by trying to downplay our emotional need to express ourselves we are making a mistake.

At the same time, I am very realistic about what I am doing to treat my dysphoria and understand that I was not born physically female. However, the idea that gender identity is established exclusively through birth genitalia has been pretty convincingly debunked which means that gender and its expression should be left up to the individual and not to society. But unfortunately, we live in a world where disobeying the rules leads to suffering through persecution.

Transition is one way to treat your “gender expression deprivation anxiety” (thank you Anne Vitale for that wonderful term) but it is not the sole method. However, denying that the feelings are real is a recipe for dep…