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yesterday and today

A good part of our journey involves letting go of some shackles. Most of us were raised with pretty strict messages about what kind of behaviour was acceptable for our birth sex and we adopted the archetypal patterns that were expected of us. The more we internalized the message the more difficult it became later in life to undo some of that damage.

It’s fair to say that North American and European cultures of the middle part of the twentieth century were extremely restrictive in their gender rules. Any deviation from the norm was unacceptable and in fact we saw an extreme exaggeration of what it meant to be man and woman. Men were to be masculine, virile and tough while women were to be submissive, feminine and nurturing. But this was to a great extent a mirage since a great many people never fit that model very well and they simply went underground. Men dressed as women in secret, some gays married women to try and fit in and people went to church because it was expected whether they believed or not. We had a whole subculture existing under our own noses but didn’t know it or didn’t readily acknowledge it.

Growing up then may have seemed simpler but that was perhaps due to the level of conformity going on. The stricter models presented to us made for a clear road map but didn’t allow for much variation.

By the late 60’s, things began to unravel and we saw the women’s, gay and hippie movements start to rebel against these artificial norms. But that was only scratching the surface and there was much more to come down the line.

When I compare the world of today to the one of my childhood I can scarcely relate them to one another, and although the argument can be made that we have lost our way in some areas, I would not trade the openness we have espoused on a great number of issues; gender variance being one of them.

This is clearly the next battlefront for social change in the world and although I posted about overexposure the other day, I am happy that I can discuss this topic openly with my own children when I barely discussed sex with my own parents when I was their age.


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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…

Being transgender isn't exclusively a problem of aberrant sexuality

If being transgender were exclusively a problem of aberrant sexuality, then I would seem to be an exception to the rule.

To date I have lived my life like a choir boy and have had low libido throughout. I have yet to ever see a porn film and both my ex-wife and ex-girlfriend complained about my lack of sex drive. I also knew I was different from a very young age.

This is why the accusation that male to female transgender persons attracted to women are perverts doesn’t hold much water with me. I was mortified when I hit puberty and realized that my desire to be female had taken on sexual overtones and I ended up, like most of you, repeatedly throwing things in the bin as a repudiation. In fact, accepting that my sexuality has been permanently impacted was the hardest pill to swallow in my journey to become a fully realized transgender person.

That is why I say to those who are still concerned about what outsiders who haven’t lived your personal experience have to say about you should l…