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my first ever video

divided on trans rights

How did the two American parties get so divided on transgender rights?

Well, when you end up segregating people by ideology you virtually guarantee it and with only two major parties you facilitate the building of coalitions over things like religion, LGBT rights and gun control. Hence it’s become the rural right against the urban left locked in ideological battles over these kinds of issues.

80% of Republicans do not believe there is such thing as being transgender while a healthy majority of Democrats do. It also won’t surprise you that the credibility of transgender people improves with the level of education of the voter. This is more true in the Democratic party than in the Republican party which contains more hard line ideologues; for them it is dogmatic conservatism that drives their thinking.

Divide and conquer by wedge issues wasn’t always so prevalent and Republican voters who are libertarians have been left with little choice but to align with a party that increasingly does…

a simple letter to the editor

A reader of the delawareonline newspaper writes a simple letter to the editor admonishing another letter writer who fretted about children being exposed to transgender children in the school locker room:

"A letter writer in Friday's paper is upset over regulations for transgender children using locker rooms and the trauma it presents to cisgendered children.

May I suggest she speak to her children on the issue? Her children may surprise her and may even educate her.

A transgender child is the gender of the locker room and the bathroom they are in. Most people understand this. Perhaps if the letter writer would take the time to do some research instead of relying on prejudices, she would understand as well.

Education is key to understanding complex issues.

Children are not born hating others. Hate is taught by words, actions or deeds.

A child's mind is open to learning. An adult's closed mind is not.

We have to learn and understand that everything is not black …

my favorite band of all time lives on....

Tony Banks of Genesis and Elton John are why I play piano today and this is my favorite of Tony's compositions; one I would play regularly with my old band. I first learned to play it on the piano in my mid teens.

How interesting that a song composed in 1973 lives on and is interpreted so uniquely and so well by this young woman.

It's Genesis meets Amy Winehouse...


going solo

Rhonda’s recent guest post by Tami got me thinking about doing things on your own which I am apt to do a lot lately. What I like about this is that you are more likely to meet new people and discover new experiences than if you are accompanied by someone.

As I have become increasingly comfortable as Joanna and as I age, the inhibitions crumble and suddenly you find yourself deep in conversation with people who happen to be sitting next to you at a café, standing at a grocery lineup or with a merchant who happens to recommend some product to you.

Since I have been here I have made a series of acquaintances who, when I have told them I am going back to Montreal, have expressed interest in keeping in touch with me. For example, there is Anna who works at a jewelry counter at the Oakville mall chats with me whenever I pass her stall and she has told me she appreciates my easy-going style and that I am so nice. Then there’s Becca, Mae, Maria and Alex (that transgender young woman who doesn…

Kacper hits it out of the park

A lot of the performances on these imitiation shows can often be embarrassingly bad but Kacper Kuszewski seems to always get it right. His Maria Callas is no exception.

This performance is on the Polish version (Twoja twarz brzmi znajomo) and, not only does she look great, but the vocals are pretty darn good too...


diversion

Donald Trump is a diversion. Yes, he is a clown and a boor and the temptation might be to think that by removing him everything goes back to normal.

But by looking at the reasons he got there in the first place you will realize that the root causes must be addressed to ensure somebody even worse doesn’t get those same powers one day.

When Brexit happened, journalists first began to realize that a Trump presidency could be possible. After all Britons had no apparent good reason to leave the E.U and if this could happen, then Trump being president couldn’t be far behind. Brexit was a visceral reaction to British economic policy. It was a kick in the ribs towards the ruling class who saw their elites doing things that were impoverishing them and this was their only way to retaliate. It was those same people in middle America in places like Wisconsin with its boarded-up factories who gave the middle finger to Hillary Clinton as representing much of the corporate policies that made them f…

another first

a bucket of cold water

Female to male transsexuals don’t fit well into a model based on sexual perversion. Hence, it wasn’t a total shock when, back in 1991, Ray Blanchard chose to ignore them as wannabes instead of true transsexuals.

Since then of course, their presence has made itself very much more felt which has helped to debunk this false hypothesis. Chaz Bono is one of numerous examples of transmen living very publicly in the world.

You see, the very possibility of female transsexuals disturbed the preconceived idea that transsexualism was based on perverse sexuality and, since women were considered incapable of being perverts, their transsexualism could not be allowed to be valid. However, if women could suffer from gender dysphoria then so could men which would throw a monkey wrench into the Freund-inspired aberrant sexuality model.

Today we know very well that both males and females can suffer from gender dysphoria which has helped throw a big bucket of cold water on the two type model of transsexu…

no replacement for your own hard work

Probably the hardest thing you will ever need to do during your transgender journey is to fully accept yourself. It is what eluded me for years and even when you are sure you are there, bucking the trend in a world set up for a perfect binary is no easy task.

In today’s world, a young transitioner is unlikely to keep that identity hidden for long and they must learn to grapple with the everyday reminder that they are not welcome by everyone around them. Here is where your sense of yourself must come in and remind you that how people see you is not nearly as important as how you see yourself.

I wish I could tell you that there was a magic bullet to get you to that place of perfect peace but there isn’t. It is often an extended period of living in reflective thought where you finally escape the bonds of societal pressure and become yourself. The hardest aspect for me was considering how my friends, family and any prospective partner would view the way I am. But even that had to eventual…

gun culture

It is too late. Gun culture is engrained in the DNA of Americans.

No other country in the world sees anywhere close to the amount of mass shootings. You can argue that they represent a blip on the radar but they are disturbing nonetheless because they play on the peace of mind of its citizens. You never know when crazy uncle Harry is going to go on a shooting rampage.

Americans must now worry about being mowed over by an ISIS disciple in an SUV or shot down by one of their own neighbours who everyone described as “just an ordinary guy next door”

We in Canada don’t understand the need to own guns and we don’t settle our disagreements that way. There are still parts of this country where people leave their doors unlocked at night. I remember being in the Maritimes and having people tell me that. As someone from a big city I found it surprising and I have done it in error on a number of occasions and nothing has occurred.

Forget the NRA or trying to limit gun ownership it’s all too late …

confidence boosters

During her campaign for state legislature Danica Roem's opponent repeatedly used the wrong pronouns when attacking her and focused heavily on the fact that she was transgender. But in the end Ms. Roem won in what might be the beginning of an unraveling of the politics of hate in America currently championed by a buffoon president who shouldn't qualify for any level of public office.

Americans aren't stupid and the silent majority will not sit idle and allow their government to be taken over by radicals. Come 2018 midterm elections the GOP members who stood by and did nothing to counteract the sheer insanity of this administration will pay dearly for it.

But in the meantime the US has some first ever elected openly transgender public officials and I for one couldn't be happier.

Ms. Roem was joined by Lisa Middleton and Andrea Jenkins; two other transgender women who both made national firsts in their respective elections as well.

Confidence booster.

------------------…

little wing

I have my recording gear and keyboard here in Oakville so I decided to try my hand at an abridged and instrumental version of Jimmy Hendrix's "Little Wing". The guitar solo is inspired by Hiram Bullock's's work on the Sting version from "Nothing like the Sun"




belief

Belief in one's identity is crucial.

Look at genetic women who don’t identify strongly as women. The way they move and dress and behave suggests they are rejecting that identity. We see them in public and sometimes do a double take because we are not always sure they are women or perhaps react to how they stand out among the crowd.

They are being themselves which is precisely the point.

Belief in what you are is very important and I don’t care how well you present or dress or speak. If you don’t understand this in your bones it will emanate from your pores that you are a fraud. This is the significant difference between pretend and reality. We all know people who when dressed as the other gender should theoretically pass perfectly and yet that lack of authenticity gives them away because they either don’t believe it or for them it is only pretend.

If you are not sure about yourself, reflect and you will know in good time because passing has little to do with it.

a small treat part 2

I wanted to take a picture with the new purse and see how it all came together with a dressy casual look.

Yes it may be a little oversize but everything I need in there fits nicely and the colour scheme goes with everything.




a small treat

My mother had given me a gift certificate for my birthday and after having coffee with a friend I decided to go into Aldo accessories and buy myself this purse. It's almost like a tote bag but not quite and it can fit my tablet, phone, makeup, etc. with no issues. It also happened to be 20% off.

I used to carry purses over my shoulder which used to give me pain after a few hours but now favor draping them over my forearm just at the elbow which doesn't bother me in the least.

I have been a thrift store purse buyer for a while now but this time I thought what the heck.


sorry but we won't change the world

It doesn’t take a lot of work: go to Rottentomatoes.com and look at the top box office draws and the top sellers will be mind numbing violence, superheroes or dumb comedies.

This week the top seller is Jigsaw (a movie about dismembering people) with a 31% score from critics followed closely by Madea's Halloween at 7% and both made the most money at the box office.

This is just one small illustration of how the masses are basically geared towards the lowest common denominator with those who exercise even minimal intellectual criteria are in the minority; and it is unfortunately some of this number who end up as trolls on Twitter, Facebook or other forms of social media.

If you think I am being elitist it isn’t my intention but life experience has taught me this basic truth. Many people are sheep who can be manipulated and told what to believe and think and it will only be some who escape from the indoctrination we all receive. What life has also taught me is that the vociferousness…

my working future

I am at that junction where I am sitting on the fence regarding working as Joanna. I am completely comfortable going anywhere and interacting as a woman and any change would be social since I don’t require FFS nor do I need GRS in Quebec in order to change gender marker.

When this project is over I have some reflecting to do and since I was already thinking of changing companies, I have come to a fork in the road. I don’t feel stressed about it at all but instead have a sense of positive energy.

Coming here helped me to clarify my thoughts and removed a lot of taboos from my mind. Now it’s time to let things ruminate and allow a decision to bubble to the surface.

One way to help me decide might be to interview as Joanna and see what happens.


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…

Blanchard foiled again

Zagria’s latest article puts to test Blanchard’s theories on birth order being able to predict the occurrence of androphilic transsexualism. She simply grabs a random sampling of well-known androphilics to see how it fares.

Her site is so well documented that you can’t slip one by her and once again we see how Blanchard’s work does not stand up.

For the record, like Zagria, I am also a first born as are many on the list she illustrates.

Bravo and well done...

https://zagria.blogspot.ca/2017/10/birth-order-in-androphilic-trans-women.html#.WfmY9qrrtow






a small milestone

This week I will turn 55 years of age and I don’t think I’ve ever been as philosophical about life and its constant ups and downs.

Of course, 20/20 hindsight offers us the kind of perfect perspective to go back and review the milestones of our lives to reflect on what we might have done differently or what paths we might have followed.

Detachment is probably the best place to describe where I am which has turned out to be a strong rejection of the distractions of this life which take us away from feeling internally balanced and content. The old saying is that the best things in life are free but these things that can’t be bought with money can also for some of us be exceedingly difficult to attain.

There is no more defined road now only to continue to seek a stronger and more spiritual version of myself which reconciles my history into a digestible life lesson; a lesson that includes repatriating this difference of ours as forming an integral part of my personhood. For I have come to …

Beside

"I have seen the compass turning
Round & round my heart
The senses are yearning
For a possible change of heart
That is coming to you
Coming to you
You stand upright, you are different
Why the spinal shock the fusion the evil
Spill it out on the floor of belief
Come and mend this design
Come and mend this design
With every right we do

I have seen the sun, this sounds crazy
The story about a boy in the rain
He was standing waiting for for the light
As though he did have a reason to know
Did he really know?
His eyes were open they expected someone
In his heart he felt the compass was turned on

I will echo, ho for reasons that change me
Every thought, though it takes so long,
Is master with every plan
It would seem there is no end
To the bad or goodness in man
So my friend it seems the weariest night
Just leads to a heavenly dawn
Should we see so much
In every time we sigh

Even this we could call music
As that would match my body connection
Let me take your hand, I will be beside…

doubting you are trans

Cross gender arousal confuses things because you may be going along thinking you might be ready for transition and the feeling after an orgasm sends a wave through you making you sure you should forget such a thing.

Over time this has been disappearing and my identification as a female has been slowly increasing.

I knew very early there was something amiss with my gender but I did my best to ignore it. Before puberty I didn't need to worry about the arousal and it befuddled me for many years since and had me doubt that I was trans. I am still meticulously sifting through my thought patterns to make sure there is no deluding myself because I don't do things based on emotion alone.

Our brains are wired differently than cisgender people but I have never at any point thought I was crazy. Hence, the only possibility left was that I was suffering from a perversion. But over the last few years even that possibility disappeared as I began to settle into a more holistic and mature vis…

chameleon

I adjust to the situations I find myself in. I have done that my entire life and, only when those situations change do I then consider other avenues. In other words, if I were a relationship today my plan of attack would take everything into consideration because life isn't perfect and compromise is its natural component.

Today I find myself with only myself to consider (minus some tweaks for my children) and the rules of the game have changed through circumstance. This is what now permits a different type of reflection.

Were I to meet someone today they wouldn't see the same person I was even a year ago and they would need to accept me if for no other reason that I haven't been as unconcerned with romantic love at any point in my life. This means that whatever happens or not will be left entirely to chance.

I have a lot of respect for trans people who love their spouses and adjust themselves accordingly; only their coordinate system hasn't shifted and mine has.

invested energy

I have fallen into an easy pattern where being out and about is exceedingly comfortable and I recently looked back to hand written journal entries dating back 10 years ago where the difference was startling.

It takes time to settle into the skin you were meant to inhabit and I liken it to entering a hot bath where you immerse yourself in measured steps which must be learned and perfected.

We do in a shorter time what women take years to learn; cramming voice, comportment, dress and makeup techniques that must eventually demonstrate some kind of grace and seamless form that doesn't look like you're struggling. The reason I know I am there is by the lack of negative reaction and plentiful positive feedback that I receive. Maybe it's because I have stopped caring and settled into myself in the process becoming immune the way other tall women shrug off occasional stares as part of daily life.

The energy involved in painting an acceptable portrait of masculinity is dissolving …

telling it like it is

Jeff Flake speaks the truth. Showing at least some modicum of dignity compared to the rest of the disgraceful GOP, he utters some spot on words.

The party who decided to appeal to the lowest common denominator attracted white uneducated numbskulls, religious extremists and outright bigots. So no, there is no more room for even remotely moderate Republicans in this version of the GOP.

But I don't feel too sorry for Flake. I am far more concerned for the population of America who must tolerate this imbecile for another 3 years...


the nice people of this world

John is my landlord and there he was last night waiting for me as I came in with my groceries. He said my male name although I was dressed as Joanna. He said to me:

“Is there another name I should use?” and I told him.

“I hope you feel comfortable coming and going” I told him that I certainly was and that at my age I really don’t care what people think. I said it very positively of course.

He then tells me that his sister and business partner told him she finds it odd using my male name when she sees me because I look so much like a woman.

John is almost exactly my age and he told me the story of his friend Mike who is now Ashley and still plays hockey with the gang. Everyone accepts her for who she is and she waited until her Irish Catholic father passed away before having the courage to become her true self. I told him I know a little something about Catholicism too.

Turns out that John is one of five children two of whom are gay so he knows something about tolerance. We chatted for…

progress

I have completed approximately 42% of my book. I know this because my rough target is about 40,000 words which won’t make it very long at an equivalency of about 160 pages (250 words per page).

Yes there will be technical sections to the book but it will also cover personal history and experiences from when I was younger that I have barely been touched upon in this blog. It will also cover everything I have ever learned as a transgender person looking for self acceptance over the course of my life.

Anyway, I am getting somewhere and if you appreciate this blog I hope you will enjoy the book as well.

to blend

Disappearing more into the background has been wonderful. I can be in the ladies room washing my hands next to some teenage girls and they will pay me no mind because to them I am just a tall middle aged woman.

Saturday morning I went to the esthetician to have my eyebrows cleaned up (not thinned). The young woman and I talked as she worked and it felt natural. I didn't concern myself with how I was being perceived.

I cannot explain any of it but it's been a desire since I was very young and I am finally able to blend in convincingly; and no, it never gets old. It is what is allowing me to manage my gender dysphoria and be happy. The solution was all in my head but, for better or worse, I needed this long journey to get here.

It's like my friend Clare says, we are more than a gender stereotype. We are first and foremost human.




blast from the past

It was 1998 and my daughter had just been born. We had just finished an album together; four guys who got together every Friday night in a drummer's basement to write and play music. We argued, we laughed and time passed and I can look back on it as one the marking points of my life. We were an eclectic bunch and the mixture of influences showed up in our own particular brand of progressive rock with the name of the group reflecting our penchant for disagreements.

Less than a year later we had disbanded for good.

It was my brother in law on guitars, two friends on bass and drums and me on keyboards.

This is one the tunes from the album "Utopian Moment" featuring my ex-brother in law on vocals....


hillbilly justice

making up for lost time

sometimes it's best to walk away

Yesterday I was on Thirdwaytrans' blog and almost caught myself arguing with a Blanchardian convert until I realized the person not only had no first hand experience dealing with gender dysphoria but also had some pretty sophomoric things to say which were taken directly out of the Freund Blanchard playbook.

Judging from the certitude in their tone I realized I would have wasted my breath over long threads so I asked Thirdwaytrans to kindly delete my initial responses. Sometimes it's just best to walk away than to attempt to educate people who have only touched the surface of a topic and still feign knowledge of it; a topic which I have been studying for years.

No, I don't pretend to have all the answers but I do know where the gaping holes are and when someone has clearly stepped right into them. But what I like most is that all the piss and vinegar I used to have regarding this issue is gone and been replaced with a calm certainty.

Something I very much like.


Maher positively nails it!

Yes he's a New Yorker who saw some rubes to sucker punch. But I will let Bill explain it...


stilettos

I walked into a Salvation Army on a whim and there they were. All of 14 dollars and exactly my size however walking on a 3 inch spiked heel is no easy feat and I can't see myself using them very often.

Yes, I can do it but I must maneuver very gingerly...






core gender

My commenting on Ralph in a Dress's blog the other day made me think of core gender.

Core gender is the gender each of us believes we are which, for most individuals, is normally aligned with birth sex. It is tied to femininity and masculinity yes, but that is only part of the answer since we all know men and women who buck the trend and still feel comfortable within their prescribed gender roles. So there is something else we are missing but we don’t know what.

I think that the case of David Reimer (who I write about in one chapter of my upcoming book) shows us a little of what this concept is all about. Raised from birth as a girl, he proved John Money’s ideas wrong by reverting to living as a male upon discovering he was born that way. David knew deep down there was something wrong and the discovery only confirmed it. While living as a girl named Brenda she rejected dresses and was a tomboy who favoured playing with boys over girls.

This is because at his core, David knew he w…

belinda et moi

This is a charming little French film about two women; one genetic and one transgender. IMDB describes the movie thusly:

"An elderly woman, whose best friend has died, meets her friend's favorite nephew to give him his inheritance. The nephew is rather different than expected"

Yes she is and you can watch the movie online at this link. Unfortunately no subtitles but I think you can catch the gist regardless. It is all very tastefully done....

https://ok.ru/video/38837226171


the pope blows it

I generally like Pope Francis but when it comes to LGBT issues he as thick as a post. Out comes the old standby line that transgender people are trying to blur the lines between genders. In this article it states:

"On Thursday, Oct. 5, Pope Francis made his most transparent condemnation yet of the lifesaving medical procedures that allow transgender people to live authentic lives. Speaking to the Pontifical Academy for Life, he decried “the biological and psychical manipulation of sexual difference, which biomedical technology allows us to perceive as completely available to free choice” which he claimed seeks to “cancel out” differences between the sexes"

This is a pretty dumb statement given transgender people's struggle to do their best to fit in. Some blow their brains out or walk into traffic or are murdered by some intolerant. No one chooses to be transgender and yes some of them transition but apparently no one has bothered to inform the Pontiff. Either that or he …

make up your mind

If being transgender is all about an aberrant sexual drive then why does declining testosterone (the hormone responsible for libido) not affect our cross gender identification as we age?

The answer might be as simple as: maybe because there is more to being transgender.

However, Anne Lawrence, a proponent of Autogynephilia in her 2007 essay titled "Becoming What We Love" tries very hard to defend her case:

“Blanchard (1991) described this phenomenon in nonhomosexual MtF transsexuals: “In later years, however, autogynephilic sexual arousal may diminish or disappear, while the transsexual wish remains or grows even stronger. . . . It is therefore feasible that the continuing desire to have a female body, after the disappearance of sexual [i.e.,erotic] response to that thought, has some analog in the permanent love-bond that may remain between two people after their initial strong sexual attraction has largely disappeared” (p. 248). This insight plausibly explains the reports by…

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…

mind the gap

I don't think I will ever physically transition because I have thought this over at great length and do not see the value in it for me. My gender dysphoria requires that I express myself as a female and of course that will continue. But what is to be gained by modifying my body is far less clear to me.

This is how dysphoria works: it is the gap between your perceived sense of gender and your birth sex. Except, that not everyone suffers it to the same degree. That I pass as a female in public helps me tremendously and tends to my dysphoric feelings in a dramatic way.

I am very realistic about things and mull things over a million times before reacting and no matter how much I reflect and no matter how bad my dysphoria is on certain days (and some are much worse than others), I ultimately arrive at the same conclusion.

The only remaining issue at hand is whether I will ever work as a female in my current profession; in other words, will I transition socially within the next few year…

a chance at a complete overhaul

Rex Tillerson had his moment of candor and of course he wasn’t wrong; the man he is working for is a f@#ing moron and a dangerous one at that.

This is where populism fails because, in its proper form, it requires a man with dignity and intellect who defies the red tape of bureaucracy in order to do the right thing to benefit the electorate. I can safely state that this does not describe Donald Trump in the least. He is instead the equivalent of a tempestuous and clueless juvenile with a penchant for striking out at detractors.

His base may represent the rabble of America but then there are many others who held their nose instead of voting for Clinton. So if America can make it all the way through what will assuredly be a horrid remainder of the term they may be compelled enough to make a wholesale change to a political system that is so corrupt it allowed this buffoon to become president.

When Trump goes he can also take that little weasel Jeff Sessions and his twisted agenda with him…

the risks of intervening too early

with time....

The trans brain is different. We haven’t found the exact tracer yet but hopefully we will some day. Then again we might not because gender identity has many layers to pass through to establish itself and is a mix of nature and nurture where anomalies might not so easily be discovered.

We know we are fundamentally different since very young and hopefully we figure out how to deal with this reality over time. Ignoring it is not an option because when you least expect it, it will bubble to the surface and threaten to destroy your life. It happened to me and I survived despite some difficult times.

I then came to a solid conclusion: I am a transsexual.

I have known this for quite some time with the challenge then becoming how to deal with it right in the middle of a life full of responsibility. When I retraced the steps of my life without blinders and devoid of preconceived ideas it was obvious and staring me right in the face. You can refuse to believe it but it will do you no good to ig…

time for change

reflection required

I was approached by a head hunter recently and then thought about it for a while. Do I want to change companies and is this my chance to begin working as a woman?

I honestly don’t think that this would present a problem for most companies in 2017 and my CV speaks for itself so now it’s just a question of reflection.

My children wouldn’t feel the difference since seeing them on the weekend only requires changing presentation with the most I would be doing is piercing my ears and shaping my eyebrows; hardly earth-shattering stuff. Besides they are moving on with their lives and I am on my own with no requirement to please someone else.

I have the wardrobe, the voice and the mannerisms. Now I just need the right opportunity and the courage.

Time will tell.

pleasant exchanges

This past weekend was interesting.

I met a friend of Rhonda's for coffee. He is someone I had met when she was visiting Montreal and so we ended up arranging an overlap because he happens to live in the Toronto area. The conversation was very pleasant and the time flew by.

I also had some pleasant lunch and dinner exchanges with my servers and one with a sales lady at Cleo’s which is a store specializing in women’s clothing.

The first was at Pizza Hut where I stopped for a quick bite last Friday. The server was a young 22-year-old woman and I continue to be fascinated at what a difference the exchanges are like between women. They are so much more willing to share of themselves when you make even a minimal effort to be friendly. This seems especially true in this area.

She asked me how I look so young after learning I had older children and wanted to know my makeup secret and I told her it was mostly genetics but I did say to use a lot of face cream. This is something I do before…

aria

In my opinion this is one of Mozart's most beautiful arias and a particular favorite of my mother's who is a frustrated amateur opera singer. She met my father (the church choir's 22 year old director)in the mid 1950's.

Every time she hears this aria her hair stands on end and come to think of it so does mine.

Here, not only is it sung magnificently well, but it is completely devoid of operatic vibrato.




heart warming and affirming

I know others have posted this video on their blogs before me but I wanted to add my two cents because I was so touched by it. It pretty much echoes my experience thus far in the world as a transgender person.

Watching it restores your faith in people in that most are kind hearted and wonderful and could care less about the petty battles that others go out of their way to create.

I am sure you will agree and will add that there are women here I just want to hug....


jackpot

I had been looking for the Payless Klue pump for a while because its block heel and feminine look was the perfect match for someone who does a lot of walking. But alas I couldn't find them anywhere in my size.

I must also tell you that unlike the States we cannot order from Payless online so we are limited to whatever stock each store has.

But yesterday lo and behold there they were staring at me in the face not only in my size but on sale to boot. I almost couldn't believe my eyes and, needless to say, I told the sales girl how positively happy I was because I had been on the lookout for them for the last 3 months.

I think she could tell by my expression.





the outside world

I have an admission to make: I am not drawn to transgender events. No, I have never attended one and yet the very idea turns me off. Part of it may have to do with my refusal to accept who I was for so long but the other may lie in my much keener interest in blending into the rest of society. From a distance these events seem to me like a place to hide out and ghettoize ourselves.

I know some of you will vehemently disagree with me and you would be within your rights to do so but I don’t think I will ever attend one now; not when I have gotten a taste of the outside. But then it must also be said that I am a bit of a solitary bird and prefer one on one interaction.

I understand that for some people who are closeted these conventions present a chance to get out and spend some quality time but then the kitschy fashion shows and make up demonstrations grate against my sensibilities. Even if I had been born female I wouldn’t go to woman’s shows for the same reason; they are just not for m…

elementary

This is easily one of my favorite series in recent years and, in my opinion, hands down the best interpretation of Arthur Conan Doyle's classic character. If you haven't caught the show you are really missing out if for no other reason than to watch Benedict Cumberbatch's amazing performance as the intellectual crime fighting sleuth and Martin Freeman's complex and ever bewildered John Watson.

Positively brilliant.




not a first timer...

The way she walks in her pumps, the feminine movements and those shaved underarms are a dead giveaway that she's done this before and she doesn't care who knows it...


Wind River

I have another film recommendation for you. Wind River is a murder mystery set on a native reservation in Wyoming and it is quite the movie

Jeremy Renner stars and does a fine job here as the brooding huntsman who has his own past to deal with but he gets mired in an investigation when he discovers the frozen cadaver of a young woman.

Highly recommended (9/10) and look for Oscar nods on this one.


book

The book I am now working on has been a long time in coming; actually my entire existence. It will encompass parts of my history, my observations about being transgender, some of the history of the research (you know I can't help myself there) as well as where we go from here in the 21st century.

I will take my time with it which also means that the frequency of the posting here may suffer a little or I will post more videos or articles that I like.

Practicing my writing by working on this blog made this idea possible and I am going to finish it no matter what.





more of my daughter's art

Here are some of the latest samples of my daughter's illustration work. She is busy working on her digital animation school graduation short which she has asked me to musically score.

As an update on my book news, I am currently working on the first three chapters.






American Tune

the millenial generation

This is an interesting observation on the millenial generation. The perils of social media, instant gratification, learning patience and corporate greed....


NB: I am also slowly starting work on a book tentatively titled "Different" which will resemble this blog in style and discuss my origins but also this complex topic in light of everything we have learned thus far as well as offer my own analysis. Hopefully there is enough interest to warrant a release via Amazon or some other online retailer.

the gift of being wrong

We are all wrong about all kinds of things in our lives and make many errors and assumptions that are completely off the mark.

What is interesting is that as I age I am learning to be more analytical and to appreciate the value in being wrong. It has allowed me to find better and more satisfying answers to things I thought I understood.

We grow up swallowing things and accepting them verbatim and hopefully with the passage of time apply more and more discernment as a litmus test for their veracity. Hence knowing what we don't know has as much value as what we do because we can stop ourselves from solidifying an opinion until we gather more data.

Have you noticed that very ignorant people tend to be easily led into a type of thinking and buy into it like sheep? Arrogance as a flip side also breeds thinking that won't yield to contradictory evidence.

However, ignorance is not bliss either. I think that understanding one might be wrong should be the signal to dig deeper for a m…

cross gender arousal part 2

Okay, if someone takes HRT why does their desire to crossdress or transition sometimes diminish?

I wrote here yesterday how we go through puberty and become imprinted with whatever baggage we are carrying at the time which means that your sexuality has been tied to your draw towards the feminine. Hence if we remove testosterone from the equation the libido is dampened thus helping to soothe the dysphoria but also diminish the need for feminization which seems counterintuitive right? But it's not really since your dysphoria, exposed to a cold shower of estrogen, has had its sexual energy greatly diminished.

With a lower level of dysphoria the person can now decide where they reside on the spectrum but they risk being feminized physically beyond a point they are willing to go. For some people a small amount of HRT is what they need to keep their dysphoria in check without entering into a full blown transition.

When I read Susan's (from transitioning into tomorrow) post it was a…

what causes cross gender arousal?

I have pondered long and hard over a number of years now as to what could cause cross gender arousal and have come to some fundamental conclusions.

Firstly, transgender people experience cross gender identification long before puberty which makes post-pubescent arousal a symptom of gender dysphoria and not its cause.

Secondly, sexual feelings for the opposite sex can interfere with that identification until the person figures out what their ultimate orientation might be which, for some, is decided post transition. Calling this target location error is completely erroneous since the person understands exactly what is happening to them.

What I surmise is that during the formation of a sexual being every aspect of that person's thought processes is carried through the transition into puberty thus creating a unique imprint that cannot be easily altered. In other words, passing through that doorway with whatever you are carrying will impact your erotic imprinting. That individual is t…

a conventional life

I did actually start out with the intent of living a conventional life but it turns out that I wasn’t for me. But it wasn't for lack of trying.

I plunged myself head first into things and did what I thought was expected all the while running into mental road blocks through trying to suppress who I was. Those domestic suburban years when my children were young were busy and I was able to concentrate on soccer and hockey practices, doctor's appointments and mowing lawns. This is what most of us from our generation did to the best of our ability.

Now this void of not being needed quite so intensely is sometimes hard to get used to and I oscillate between nostalgia a newly found sense of freedom.

Each stage of life is far from perfect and while we are embroiled in them we cannot appreciate fully because we are so intensely living the experience. That mindfulness that should accompany each segment sometimes gets jettisoned only to appear later as rose coloured memories we can savo…

the value in suffering and the mundane

There is value in the mundane and ordinary because that is where we spend most of our lives. Think of this part of life as the vegetables while the steak and dessert are those fleeting moments where we celebrate unexpected euphoria.

Mark Manson’s book is called “The Subtle Art of not Giving a F*ck” and it deals with high expectations we place for our lives and the increasing focus on having it all. We celebrate the special and unique in everyone forgetting that not everyone will be and place emphasis on finding it at all costs lest we fail to measure up. We have found a way to strip suffering and hard work from the formula of life which allows through contrast to know the happiness we seek. That struggle lived is part of the journey which leads to true fulfillment through learned experience.

When I was young the old adage was that it’s about the journey and not the destination and one of the unavoidable parts of the human condition is suffering. Yet with its experience comes the forma…

"Your Song"

I remember being about 11 years old and playing this song. It was one of the first pop tunes I ever learned on the piano and I had asked my father to start me on lessons upon first hearing Elton John's music. Later I went on to classical, prog rock and jazz but this was what initiated my interest.

I played "Your Song" at my youngest sister's wedding 20 years ago as my future brother-in-law sang it to her and, all these years later, I still play it on occasion and it immediately brings me back to my youth.

Here is a young Elton performing it in 1970...


a lesson in pragmatism

As a transgender person trying to figure myself out I needed to test my mettle in the world. So while dressing at home in my mother’s clothes when I was young was sufficient for a time, I would break out of those confines in my early 20's.

For me it wasn’t about standing out in the crowd and being admired but simply testing whether I could blend seamlessly into society (at least only as well as a woman over 6 feet can).

Besides, dressing in lingerie and sky high heels and staring longingly into the mirror wasn’t me and it is how I eventually determined that I leaned much more towards transsexualism than someone who merely got a sexual buzz from dressing. This part took a while to figure out and was intermingled with numerous purges and much soul searching.

But blending needn’t mean frumpy and my sense of style wasn’t going to be dampened by an attempt to pass by wearing sweat pants. Besides, this has much more to do with confidence than anything else. Now that I have tested mysel…

epiphany

It’s a zero-sum game.

Trump base supporters think that every time a visible minority makes a gain in society it comes at the expense of a white person.

It’s not difficult to figure out who his base is: uneducated white blue collar workers some of whom have lost their jobs over the last number of years not to minorities but instead to a system that values individual prosperity more than collective advancement.

This is not going to be repaired easily and you won’t readily convince that 30% who see Trump as almost being infallible. However now that his border wall is at risk and he has made overtures towards making deals with the Democrats over DACA, he is beginning to rattle that base who saw the wall as a literal and symbolic metaphor for solving their job problems while feeding a racist bent.

The GOP establishment is stuck because they dare not anger Trump and face midterm election scorn from voters weary of a party that is beginning to crack at its foundations. The Democratic party w…

Pope Francis calls out hypocrisy

Pope Francis recently called out the Republican party and in particular those members from the religious right. Yes, the people who rail against abortion and the LGBT "agenda" and very little else. But please don't tread on their capitalist system that gives everyone the middle finger who doesn't belong to their clan.

Are you listening Paul Ryan man of Catholic principles as you try and screw people out of their health care?

Let's call a spade a spade shall we? Unbridled capitalism has nothing to do with Christian values so the GOP may want to stop calling themselves the party of middle America and old fashioned beliefs.

Now if the Democrats would ever grow a spine and shed their corporate sponsors.


comment le monde change

That young transgender woman that I thought only worked at the downtown Oakville Starbucks outlet I most frequent was suddenly at the one in Oakville Place Mall. I recognized her immediately and she is not quite passable so I imagine that many people know and yet everyone, colleague and customer alike, seem to treat her normally. Something I am very glad about.

I am waiting for my coffee and suddenly there is a look of recognition and she smiles at me

“Oh, hi you go to the other Starbucks”

“Yes, how are you and what are you doing at this one?” I responded

“This one is 5 minutes away from where I live and no long bus ride anymore”

She hands me my coffee “have a wonderful day” and I say the same to her and miss the name on her badge although I make a mental note to ask her name the next time.

I have this funny feeling that she doesn’t know I am trans although I could be wrong but it doesn’t matter because the objective is not to point fingers at each other in recognition. We are more an…

Ozark

No it's not "Breaking Bad" and yet "Ozark" feels a little like it; the everyman embroiled in a series of happenings which have dire consequences and play themselves out like a series of dominoes. In this drama the acting of Jason Bateman as Marty Byrde and Laura Linney as Wendy Byrde steals the show as they play the hapless couple trying to survive the chaos of a bad decision gone sour.

I wouldn't let the tomato meter score fool you as I think this show is much better than the critics would lead you to believe. I for one inhaled the first season and I can't wait for the second one.

I don't know, but there is something about these types of dramas that captivates me. Whether it's "Breaking Bad" or "House of Cards" or this one, watching human beings try and deal with moral dilemmas as they are put under duress just makes for good material and all the more if the situation should be beyond their capabilities. I also greatly appre…

Miranda speaks

Reading Clare’s blog post the other day prompted me to go to Miranda Yardley’s page. The first thing I noticed is that she doesn’t at all pass which is not intended as a slur but I will get to why this might be relevant in a moment.

Miranda is a different type of trans activist in that she wants to use transgender women to broaden what it means to be a man rather than consider a transitioned woman to be a woman. This of course presumes that being a woman is strictly defined by biological sex which is not really a confirmed thing. I mean yes you are either born with a penis or a vagina (at least most people are) but how you identify has everything to do with what is between the ears.

I am on the record here as saying that transgender people should do whatever they need to deal with their dysphoria which need not involve transition but certainly can. So in the latter case why would I refer to someone who has successfully fully transitioned as a man?

It won’t surprise you that Miranda&…