Skip to main content

my Sunday routine

The way I am living my life is making it easier to manage my dysphoria and I have developed routines that I very much like. One of them is my somewhat regular attendance at the 8:00 AM Mass at the Notre Dame Basilica on Sunday mornings which will now become a more constant feature of my life.

There is a woman in her sixties named Janet who I have befriended and after the service we proceed to the Starbucks for a coffee and a chat. We talk about nothing and everything and it’s a pleasant way to kick-start the day.

Over the years, I have become less religious but increasingly spiritual. Religion is the formal practice of spirituality but there is much in that formality that I do not like and the black and white dogmatic elements on which each religion hinges its existence suit me less and less as I age. I prefer to subscribe to the ten commandment basics but I admit to still finding the solemnity of the Mass to be to my liking.

The basilica is ornate and has an impressive altar which harks back to the days when the province of Quebec was very much controlled and guided by the church. Those days are gone and the service now receives a smattering of tourists along with the regulars who sit at the same pew week after week.

As I sit in the church as Joanna I am filled with the sense that it doesn’t matter very much what wrapping I am in.
Notre Dame Basilica


  1. Joanna,
    I too am Catholic and while I cannot live my life en femme all of the time, I do go to Mass as often as I can as Leann. I started going in an effort to ask God for reassurance that I was not evil. It then progressed to asking God to let me know why he made me the way I am. I am now at the point of asking God how he wants me to put my TGism to His work. Through that evolution, I have gone to church and often felt the greatest peace with myself as I have anywhere. BTW, I have never had any problems being TG in church and my confessor doesn't have a problem with it either.

  2. Leann I am glad to hear that because there is nothing wrong with you or me. We are the way we are and just maybe for a reason. The world is full of all kinds of people. I am glad that you are able to attend church as yourself!

  3. Going to Mass dressed remains an out-of-reach pipe dream for me.

    I find I am increasingly sceptical about the Church's insistence that it comes from a point of moral perfection, while day after day we read reports of priests (and sometimes more senior clergy) involved in the sexual abuse of children.

    All of that having been said, I think Pope Francis is the first Pope for decades who seems to truly be a humble and forgiving man, more interested in the actual teachings of Jesus than in upholding the centuries of layered dogma which the Vatican has created.

    Nonetheless, there remains something special about Mass, just as you say.

    One day, perhaps.


  4. Vivienne, I do like Pope Francis's inclusiveness but nevertheless I tend to ignore the errors of the humans who run the church and focus more on my own spirituality as much as I can. The church should be like a hospital; ready to take the sick and needy and provide shelter and guidance and God knows we all need that at one time or another...

  5. Joanna,
    You are absolutely right. We should not let the failings of humans from allowing us to have a relationship with our God - a God who has made us special and who expects us in some way to do special things. I may not know what they are yet but I will work to find out. Maybe we are on the cusp of those of us not on the ends of the gender binary showing the world that gender stereotypes are inappropriate and harmful. Maybe it is something else. No matter what, I too look forward to interacting with my God during Mass no matter which gender I am presenting.

  6. Completely agree Leann. Thank you for your feedback!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

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…