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framing your own identity

I am enjoying seeing the diversity we have in our world. Our increasingly tolerant environment is bringing out the true colours of people who were once too afraid to poke their heads out for some air. As a result, we are more than ever able to showcase and celebrate our differences.

It happened with sexuality. We naively thought that people’s sexual practices were restricted to monogamous relations between men and women but clearly there was much more than met the eye. There was the part society was supposed to see but more underneath.

Recently here in Canada, Gian Gomeshi, a popular radio host and personality, was dismissed from the CBC for engaging in a type of bestial sex that was essentially physical assault. He defended himself by saying that it was consensual but many women began speaking up and the broadcaster could not condone his activity by having Mr. Gomeshi continue to work for them. Admittedly, this particular case features one of the less desirable aspects of diversity.

There are all types of sexual kinks, tastes and orientations out there that I won’t go into detail about but should we then be surprised that there is an equally astonishing diversity in the area of gender?

We now have people who openly self identify as gender variant, gender non-conforming, gender queer, androgynous,transgender, transsexual, cross dresser, etc and within those designations (whatever their value) live their lives quite uniquely. Even those terms only have the meaning and power that you give them and can shift within lifetimes. In the end you are a human being with emotions, intellect and a desire to express yourself that reflects who you are. I suggest that the best name for that is being yourself; it's that simple.

So yes we have discovered that the expression of gender is not as monolithic as we first thought and what of it? it should not come as a shock because if you look at nature’s model on other fronts it is chock full of anomalies, exceptions, mutations and variations. We, as an inherent part of that nature, are not immune to them either.

People of every possible inclination have always existed and made themselves known and heard only as much as was permitted by the mores of the culture they happened to be living in. We still see this today where depending on the family your were born into and openness of your society, your divergence from the accepted norm could either be welcomed, tolerated or openly rejected. Remember that surgery and hormone therapy didn't exist for those people and yet they somehow survived.

You have a chance to define and frame your identity on your own terms more than at any other period in our history and for that we should all be grateful. Now do yourself the honour and the dignity to be the only person deemed worthy to do so.


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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…