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dealing with reality

We have reached a place where it does not matter one whit what anyone thinks of us.

The sheer amount of exposure is forcing the hand of governments, public institutions and private companies to act and treat us with respect. What is helping is that transgender people come from all walks of life and among themselves they represent a mini cross section of society. Hence their credibility continues to grow.

We are lawyers, academics, scientists, teachers, engineers, actors and we are out in a public way as never before. That reality must be addressed because we are not going away and our number (although statistically small) gives us credibility. Some highly intelligent and well placed individuals are transgender.

It no longer matters what the detractors think because we are not going away and we cannot be healed through shock treatment or psychotherapy.

The Blanchardians, the ultra-orthodox, the feminists and the politically conservative can have their input but it will change nothing since this is not an issue that requires the opinions of myopic people on a subject that even we who experience it can barely comprehend.

Here is where reality trumps conjecture.

The Obama administration, my own Canadian government and the leaderships of other countries are enacting laws to protect our rights. They must deal with the reality that people need to transition or at least lead authentic lives instead of killing themselves or living with constant depression.

With numbers this significant you cannot claim mass delusion or moral decay since many of us are upstanding citizens with exemplary records.

We just happen to be transgender.


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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…