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Showing posts from September, 2017

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&…

clothes shopping

Going into a woman’s clothing store and feeling comfortable doing it would have been a daunting and virtually unthinkable thing 10 years ago. However, today it is something I don’t give a second thought to. I walk in calmly and start browsing the rack until invariably a sales person will approach me and ask if I am looking for something in particular.

Sometimes I begin some banter with this person which will usually help make my experience that much more pleasant. She might ask me if they can start a room for me and every time my frugalness will kick in and I will politely decline.

In Montreal they will sometimes greet me in a warm fashion and ask me how things are going since the last time we saw each other which I am very happy to do. Some ask to make sure I come out and show them some item I have tried on so they can comment on the fit. This last bit used to scare me silly and now leaves me unfazed because I know who I am.

Later at the cash I am usually asked for my phone number so…

what drives my writing now

For several years, my blog was my primary source of self help in grappling with and trying to comprehend my dysphoria. At times it was a jumbled mess of thoughts and ideas but after a while things began to coalesce in my mind as my thinking on the subject matured.

Over time, it has morphed into an expression of who I am and hopefully helps others sort through the emotions relating to their own gender issues and maybe even inspires them to have confidence in themselves. There are no simple answers for dealing with being transgender but I have found that it is a bit like eating an elephant; one sorts things out one bite at a time.

My writing is now mostly focused on social justice because the world is full of people just waiting to pounce on things they do not comprehend. It becomes all the more incumbent upon people like us that we address that prejudice with our heads held high. Early on in my life I saw some of the ugliness in human nature and, as a shy kid born with a malformation o…

I second that!

the checklist

I was recently re-reading sections of J. Michael Bailey’s controversial 2003 book called “The Man Who Would be Queen” and the first thing that came back to me is how utterly unscientific it is. Literally based on someone else’s work of 15 years earlier (Ray Blanchard’s largely ignored 1989 book), Bailey builds his work entirely on the back of the other without adding any scientific evidence to bolster Blanchard’s argumentation.

One of the sections in the book is called: “Autogynephilic and Homosexual Transsexuals: How to Tell Them Apart” where he simply uses a score sheet of how to distinguish between the two alleged taxonomies of transsexuals without proving the theory is actually correct; mostly because he cannot but never mind.

The section is literally a punch list regarding the age of transition asking whether the person was considered feminine in childhood, whether they were ever attracted to or married to a woman and their choice of profession.

In one of the questions pertainin…

the sisterhood

My young waitress couldn’t have been much older than 20 and she kept calling me love during breakfast which is something I have noticed some women do here.

It started when I walked into the breakfast place where I go after Sunday Mass every weekend I am here. The older waitress greets me at the door and says:

“Hi do you mind sitting right there darlin’?” pointing to a little table near the window

“No not at all” I responded

“Good girl” she says for a moment sounding like a condescending mother and places the cutlery in front of me as I sit down.

Then this younger waitress arrives all smiles and cheeriness and serves me very politely throughout. At the end of my breakfast as I am about to pay the bill and I point it out to her:

“Women use terms like love and darling towards each other here. We don’t do that so much in Montreal where I’m from”

She gives me an even bigger smile and says:

“Oh I know isn’t great? I can’t help it”

“Well you keep right on doing it”

It made me think that the…

Q&A strikes a chord

One part of the interview that Monica (from the Heroines of my Life) did with Fran Fried really struck a chord with me:

Monika: "You transitioned into a woman in your late 40s. Have you ever regretted doing this so late in your life?"

Fran: "I guess everything in its time – though it would’ve made my life a hell of a lot easier had I been able to do this at a much younger age. But I couldn’t have done this back when I was a kid, in the ’60s and ’70s, for several reasons. I grew up with strict parents in a Catholic home. Also, there was very little understanding of gender dysphoria at the time, among professionals and laypeople alike – I mean there wasn’t really a common language until the early 2010s, when you think about it – and had I gone to a therapist back then as a tortured teen, I might have ended up even more screwed-up

So yes – I would’ve loved to have been able to transition as a child or a teen, because it might have helped me avoid years of depression, and th…

the vociferous

Social conservatism is not about live and let live; it is exactly the opposite. This is why you will read articles from its disciples on numerous sites on the internet criticizing any group or movement that doesn’t fit into their idea of acceptability.

Take heed libertarians that I am not talking about you.

So Ben Shapiro, Anne Coulter, Tomi Lahren and others spend their time dumping on groups who ostensibly want to be left alone as in not being discriminated against or even worse murdered. For these people Black Lives Matter becomes a terrorist organization and the Antifa are the exact equivalent of Nazi skinheads. Take note that I am not advocating violence only illustrating a point.

These right wing social justice warriors are all about propping up white people, keeping immigrants to a minimum and calling transgender men or women sufferers of mental illness whose acceptance into the societal fold signals its eventual demise.

You will note that people on the left are fighting the ri…

wats up

Normally I am not someone who cares much about cleavage but once or twice I have bought a top that I thought might have benefited from its presence. So when I almost literally ran into this Wats Up stick on bra for $20 I thought what the heck.

The idea is that you pinch your chest together and then stick bra on and for an extra boost you pull the draw string so that it presses your chest together even more.

I am not certain it will survive extensive wear but then I don't plan to wear it every time I go out under my regular bra and forms. But I must say that it worked for me and it wasn't the least bit uncomfortable.

We shall see what occasional repeated use will yield.













America First, Finland Second..okay?

our children

Having a son with anxiety can be frustrating as is any problem our children have. As a parent you want to shoulder their ills but you also know that wouldn't work in their favor.

My son is doing better than he was when this whole episode started at puberty but the new challenges inherent in encroaching adulthood don't make things easy either. The body, a cocktail of raging hormones and unintended narcissism spurred on by a fragile self identity, struggles to find balance. My own adolescence wasn't my finest hour but at least it was devoid of the medications I worry we dispense with too much haste these days. Today, one in four students suffer from some form of depression or anxiety which is a far higher number than when I was his age.

He has just come off one medication which means we are headed in the right direction. At his worst his mind was dulled into a partial stupor which he found helped his anxiety but limited his ability to function with a sharp mind. Now he likes…

the human heart trumps politics

It was all over NPR and other media outlets; people helping people in hurricane ravaged Texas. Yes in odorous Trump's new divisive America, Latino helped white who in turn helped black and vice versa.

We saw the proof that Americans are fundamentally good people who are being talked down to and grouped into warring factions for political gains. But when the water rose the goodness of the heart prevailed.

This administration can continue to support white supremacy and prevent transgender people from serving in the military but it will all backfire on them in the end. The stories of bravery I heard all this week proves that this will be so.

People worked extra shifts at hospitals and drove boats around picking up people stranded on rooftops and did what the human heart was meant to do and, by comparison, Trump with his political antics made himself look even smaller still.