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buying time

Geo engineering may be upon us because we may not have a choice. As countries try to keep the earth's warming below 2 degrees celcius, we need to buy time. This technique would be like exploding mini volcanoes of sulphate particles into the atmosphere to counteract the warming effects of carbon and attempt to cool the planet. However, this would not help oceans which would still be acidic and the danger of affecting weather patterns would be a factor.

I heard it explained as spreading these chemicals via the use of planes which would discharge them and delay the warming hopefully long enough to buy us time to eliminate our use of fossil fuels altogether. There are considerable risks to this method in unbalancing climates throughout the world but if we do nothing the consequences could be catastrophic. Scientists are studying the feasibility of this approach as we speak.

Of course Drumpf thinks that climate change is a Chinese conspiracy so, while we wait for the Republicans and in…

this may be it

It's fascinating to interact as a woman in the world and I am learning so much. I couldn't do that in the past when I was so busy feeling self concious.

Now I have the same level of confidence no matter what garb I am wearing and I can observe the differences so markedly between how each gender is perceived and treated. The greatest gift to myself has been relaxing into the female role and basking in the sheer pleasure of it. I don't delude myself however; no matter what gender we are, each has its unique problems and challenges.

I now know that I could live as a woman and adapt and take whatever negatives come with that role. I have lived a more difficult life so far by withstanding the gender dysphoria which makes everything else pale by comparison.

What remains to be seen is where the comfort level peaks and where I stop in my transition journey. What I can state with some level of certainty is that even if this were to be my final resting point, I could live like this …

what it means to be intersex

Emily Quinn is so open and shows us how honesty is always the best policy. Watching the video makes me think about the parallels in being trans: the shame and the secrecy and getting rid of them...


paydirt at Payless

I couldn't believe my luck. I walk into Payless on a whim and scan the tracks. Not only was it 40% off everything in store that day, but I saw these cute and feminine pointy toe pumps in my size and in a black patent finish to boot.

The young salesgirl was watching me walk up and down the aisle and told me they looked so good on me and they are really comfy too.

Only $30 including tax; how's that for good fortune.



bucket list

Becoming who you really are is about as basic a bucket list item as you can get. Don't get to the end of your life wondering "what if".

Explore.


this weekend

Since my son is busy with his exams and my daughter with her animation, this weekend is a rare one which will be spent entirely as Joanna. Not sure what I will do yet but maybe just some bumming around. The hustle and bustle of the holidays is not something I need to stress about this year, so I will see.

I am getting used to spending a lot of time on my own, but I am also spending the right amount with friends when I feel I need the interaction. New friends like Patricia and Christine have been welcome additions to my life. Also, working alongside Patricia as Joanna is more than a distinct possibility in the future. It’s nice to have options to weight and consider without reservation or fear.

So tonight on comes the nail polish which is only going to be removed this Sunday night.

an analogy

Here is an analogy for you:

You play a sport expertly well but then one day along comes someone who has never played it and proceeds to explain to you and to everyone else who's not familiar with it, the rules and techniques of how it should be done. From the very moment you listen to their explanation you know it is completely wrong. To add insult to injury, there isn't enough technical info at their disposal for them to weigh in so conclusively.

This is what it feels for a trans person to read the theories that were going around (and still are) about what causes us to be the way we are. It seems at times that there is no shortage of so-called "experts" pronouncing themselves on something they have no personal experience in and nothing particularly solid to back them up.

Despite the amount of published literature, the science on this subject is still woefully lacking, so the most intelligent thing one could do is refrain from making any type of definitive conclusions…

what true love really is

typology difference?

On the Silly Ol You website there is an interesting piece on post transition satisfaction between man-loving and woman-loving transgender women. It focuses on a 2016 Chinese study which found that there are ostensibly no satisfaction differences between the two supposed typologies (don’t even get me started on that topic).

If there is no difference in this area, then why even make any distinction at all. Furthermore, the fact that some transsexuals change sexual orientation post-transition or become somewhat bi-sexual, makes the old Blanchard two typology model look even more dubious than ever....
https://sillyolyou.wordpress.com/2018/11/16/why-does-typology-matter-to-medical-professionals/


solving a puzzle

My life as a woman is more successful than I ever could have imagined. With rare exception, people who know Joanna don't know that she lives a different life at work.

I am able to communicate openly with everyone and feel free and happy to express myself as I see fit. This is probably the most liberated I have ever felt in terms of embodying a feminine being with her own increasingly independent existence.

At times it feels like I am crossdressing to go to work and then become myself in the evenings and weekends and perhaps that isn't far from the truth. You have to make your life work for you in whatever form will fit and that's what I have succeeded in doing. I have built myself an existence that honors who I am while balancing choices I have made in my life.

Life isn't perfect for anyone but we do our best to piece together a puzzle that works for us at each stage. In the meantime, things can change over time and we readjust sometimes surprising even ourselves with …

the church of England finds tolerance

The church of England, while stopping short of actively promoting gender transitions, has opened itself to fully welcoming trans people and addressing them by their chosen names. In a 284 to 78 vote in favor of these changes, the church is saying that all people are made in the spirit of God and should be welcomed. Some traditionalists opposed the move but they were in the minority.

This is yet another step towards the kind of tolerance that the world so desperately needs...

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/11/church-of-england-to-issue-transgender-advice-for-clergy






optional

Something’s been lost in the way of public civility.

It still shows up in spots here and there but in general there has been a loss in the way society sees and measures the value of its behavior. Part of it stems from the rapid pace of our lives and part of it is cultural. I heard recently on a radio program of how Chinese tourists scramble to take pictures in Canadian sites and saw no issue with blocking the right of way of others. This is reality in their country because the sheer number of people in China necessitates that you make your way in whatever method possible.

The world is a mixture of cultures and each has its own set of public standards for what is acceptable. Once a family moves to a new country those sets of behavior aren’t always adjusted to suit which is why some immigrants are sometimes testing the patience of some nationalist protectionist interests. If they look different it is even more appealing to single them out for attack.

I remember being in Hanoi a few yea…

First Circle

objective

The search for objectivity is important but almost futile. We cannot use a mind, most especially in matters of our personal lives, that is devoid of prejudice or emotional turmoil left over from our respective childhoods.

That coloring is permanent and hard to separate from true reality because the story we have sold ourselves about our lives is in a way a form of self-protection. To look in the mirror honestly is a demanding thing but if we are to grow as human beings it must be attempted.

Imagine trying to love someone else through the fog of a prism that bends the light in a way that we have preset. Anything that tries to enter at a different angle is rejected because we are not primed to handle it. This is how turmoil begins as each lover only sees things through a lens that has been built over their lifetime.

I think this is one reason why partnering later in life becomes more arduous. Yes, there is baggage but also an expectation that the other person will fit into a vision tha…

"by Jove I think she's got it!"

The second born in the family is the sister who has, for many years, been in a Catholic religious order.

When she first found out about me she tried desperately to have me see the light and railed against this choice I had made. At that time she had no concept of what any of this was about. So, after sending me email upon email she finally began to realize that this was not something I was going to budge on because I couldn't. It hadn't been my choice to be born this way.

Finally after visiting Criss Pagani's site on her own and reading everything there, she finally saw the light and never bothered me again regarding this issue.

She was in town this week and we had lunch yesterday. When the subject came up near the end of our meal she saw how at ease I am about it all and how my friends, family and my children don't care that I am trans and she said:

"After all, you're still the same person"

Now she's really got it I thought to myself.

the walls are closing in

spiritual

I still go to Mass every week, but I have trouble focusing and many times I don’t bother even trying. The simple fact of sitting in an ornate and cavernous cathedral and that I have made the effort to get up and attend is good enough. I have heard the same homilies for decades until I can bear them no longer. The priests themselves must tire of dusting them off and frankly not every one of them is going to be an inspired orator with his own fresh and philosophical angle.

You can find spirituality just as well in a beautiful field of grass and trees or in a sunset and perhaps my childhood education has me behaving in Pavlovian fashion, but it doesn’t matter: I go regardless. There is some sanctity in the quiet before the service begins and I stare at the details of the woodwork and the art as my mind reflects on many things all at once as it is apt to do.

I don’t favor repetitive prayer which makes the service even more routine but, yet it is my way of finding time in my week for a mor…

what's in a name

Jordan Peterson's worst fear could come to fruition: being forced to use the correct pronouns and there are several cases around the world that are currently testing these legal waters. Recently there was another teacher fired from a school for deliberately refusing to use the correct pronouns on a transgender student.

All of this is so very simple of course and a dose of respect for human dignity would be enough to settle things but then there will always be jackasses like Ben Shapiro or stubborn right leaning academics like Peterson to make sure you understand how the rules of the world should work. The former is stuck on biology and the latter on political correctness gone astray. Neither is right in the sense that our community is so marginalized that any little bit of help would do so much good. Hence, extending the argument that by giving in to trans people we are opening up Pandora's box for everyone else, is a silly argument.

There are also pragmatic issues at play tha…

mixing it up

Lunch with Christine was really nice and we spent about an hour and a half together.

I decided to go with a red sweater and dangly earrings. I am starting to mix it up more in that department because that style seem to work well on me and I get compliments on them (including yesterday from Christine). The photo below was taken before I left home.

Next meet up will hopefully be with Halle which may need to get pushed back until after the holidays; unless she tells me otherwise :-)



plastic

Today I am lunching with a young woman of 30 named Christine. We met by frequenting the same establishment and after bantering each time it eventually led to a lunch. This will be our second one.

She doesn't know I am transgender and I am old enough to be her mother which is how I think she sees me. This works perfectly well for me and we seem to have no trouble talking.

My second life is beginning to expand itself and I am not fighting it. By virtue of the fact I live part time, it is natural to expect that things will change and with it my comfort level being a woman in these social settings. What used to involve hesitation is now routine and comfortable which I was unsure would ever happen.

The last remaining decision is work and then I would effectively be living full time. This will need to wait a while but at least all of this immersion is making things so much easier should I decide to go that route.

It's interesting how something so utterly scary and far fetched has be…

this Orwellian age

A young colleague of mine and his wife are new parents to a baby boy of 4 months. I estimate that he has already been photographed thousands of times in all kinds of outfits. His every move is carefully tracked and the wife texts her husband constantly; at times, much to my chagrin, during meetings. This child has a crib camera pointed at him 24/7 which both parents can access via their cell phones.

These new babies will be the most social media savvy in the history of the world. Their every move will be tracked, their preferences catalogued and every vacation posted on some platform. By the time they are out of school, an employer will potentially have digital access to every move they have made since their birth.

I worried about my own children born in the late 1990's and how they would fare. Back then the internet was in its infancy and still finding its sea legs. Our children had play dates and their movements were heavily monitored. I had to at times fight with my then spouse…

The Mission

The main theme from Ennio Morriconne's brilliant score to the 1985 film...


of Christmas present and past

The holidays now seem more cacophonous to me than ever. The hustle and bustle jangles against the nerves as the commercialism ramps up to a fever pitch. People frantically look for things their families and friends don't really need but that doesn't matter. One cannot show up empty handed.

My grown children will get money they will use more pragmatically than they ever have because their childhood is over. I marvel at their practicality as the three of us talk over the weekend coffee that they humor me with before going back to their lives. I don't tell them, but I still see those little versions of themselves gleefully opening presents on a Christmas morning; their mother and I both smiling ear to ear like Cheshire cats.

I am secretly glad that period of life is over as I no longer need to bask among the panicky holiday crowds. It allows me to sit back and remember when my parents (both young and healthy) indulged in that same age old ritual and beamed as we tore through …

dress rehearsal

There comes a time when you are certain it's not play acting but you are not quite sure when the change occurred.

When I was little and going into my mother's closet it was experimentation and practice but I had no concept of what transgender meant. Even as I grew older I couldn't bear to fool myself into thinking that this was something remotely legitimate. It was more like a disease.

But once you have accepted yourself strange things start to happen. You begin to be comfortable and appreciate how much of your internal identity this occupies. What you had convinced yourself was only play acting reveals it's true spectrum to you and how much it signifies.

People who aren't trans will dress up for a lark but this is deeply serious for us because it goes to the roots of our personhood. That dress rehearsal of our childhood morphs into the everyday necessity of just being.


the river bend

Nothing and everything is inconsequential. We can hardly predict patterns in the sequence of events that get us somewhere and it's only when we look back that we are amazed at how things happen. Change a sequence by one minute and that person we met who ended up offering us that job would never have known we existed.

Some of us believe in fate or providence or the guiding hand of a God who leads us through the darkness of life. We don't get what we want but what we need we are told which reassures us that his presence will be felt in due time.

We have all had what seemed like fluke encounters that led us somewhere and then reconstructed the events in our minds. How much we marvelled at the fact that without a perfect orchestration, things would not have developed without such astounding good fortune. Of course, sometimes it's in reverse and we curse our bad luck.

I can look back in hindsight and recognize traces of guidance which is why I prefer to live day by day and not …

"Pour Un Instant"

"Pour un instant, j'ai oublié mon nom
Ça m'a permis enfin d'écrire cette chanson

Pour un instant, j'ai retourné mon miroir
Ça m'a permis enfin de mieux me voir
Sans m'arrêter, j'ai foncé dans le noir
Pris comme un loup qui n'a plus d'espoir
J'ai perdu mon temps, à gagner du temps
J'ai besoin de me trouver, une histoire à me conter

Pour un instant, j'ai respiré très fort
Ça m'a permis de visiter mon corps
Des inconnus vivent en roi chez moi
Moi qui avait accepté leurs lois
J'ai perdu mon temps, à gagner du temps
J'ai besoin de me trouver, une histoire à me conter

Pour un instant j'ai oublié mon nom
Ça m'a permis enfin d'écrire cette chanson"



leaving the cynic behind

I observe people differently at my age and I can't help but introduce a kind of jadedness into the exercise. As we live longer we recognize certain patterns in people. Their insecurities are more easy to detect and their weaknesses almost worn like a badge.

This is not meant to be as much a putdown as it sounds. Perhaps it is fatigue of dealing with so many characters over the years; I dont know.

When I was younger there were less discernible patterns to human behavior because I hadn't yet absorbed enough of the world. Now it appears that abundant familiarity with personality types has me feeling that I have almost seen too much. There is a commonality to people which binds us together but then the branches which grow from that root in terms of life experience, separate us.

I am trying to stay patient with the archetypes I do not favor because I know there are redeeming qualities in all of us, but then those similar patterns show their face and threaten to unravel that patienc…

the pink dress

we all fall in love sometimes

It was 1975, I was 13 years old and in a small hardware store with my parents when I first heard this album playing over the loudspeakers. I was instantly captivated. Elton is one of the reasons I play piano today along with some other artists who inspired me. These two tracks fused into one little suite, ended this magnificent album...

"Wise men say
It looks like rain today
It crackled on the speakers
And trickled down the sleepy subway trains
For heavy eyes could hardly hold us
Aching legs that often told us
It's all worth it
We all fall in love sometimes

The full moon's bright
And starlight filled the evening
We wrote it and I played it
Something happened it's so strange this feeling
Naive notions that were childish
Simple tunes that tried to hide it
But when it comes
We all fall in love sometimes

Did we, didn't we, should we, couldn't we
I'm not sure 'cause sometimes we're so blind
Struggling through the day
When even your best friend says
Don&#…

Merry Christmas Bedford Falls

George Bailey is foiled at every turn and his attempts to leave the town of Bedford Falls go unfulfilled. His father's old Savings and Loan has been helping people for decades to keep their heads above water and hold on to their modest homes. When his father passes away he reluctantly takes over the little institution, setting the tone for a tale of Dickensian inspiration.

George Bailey is given the rare gift of seeing what his life would have been like if he had never been born and the experience does not disappoint. In the end, he turns out to be the common man with the heart of gold who, through little acts of kindness, transforms the lives of those around him with his well timed interventions. He proves that you don't need to have money to be happy and spreads that same message to all around him.

"It's a Wonderful Life" was not director Frank Capra's biggest or most successful collaboration with Jimmy Stewart but it should have been because, devoid of sch…

of marriage and men

I was watching a video recently made by a sociologist commenting on the state of men and marriage. The conclusion she reached was that men are not getting what they desire from the formula any longer because women are being excessively choosy and deciding they want to upgrade.

A recent survey of women who use Tinder showed that most of them thought that 80% of the men who used the app were not suitable material. This is a very telling statistic because even if you were to make the argument that many people who use the internet to pair up are desperate, it is doubtful that such a lopsided assessment is realistic.

Today, women have more choices than ever, and their level of education and career possibilities have increased to an extent that they feel more empowered. I am not certain that men have undergone the adjustment that this new reality brings with it. In other words, their role in society and within the context of marriage has necessarily shifted.

The role of stoic protector and …

moods

Our moods vary daily and at times hourly. Sometimes one will descend like a dark cloud and sour our disposition only to see a return to form the next day after a good night sleep.

The brain works in circadian rhythms and we slip into melancholy without always understanding why. What we know from experience is that there will be a return to form if we don't despair and we are patient. In time, the tide will return and replenish our mood with newly gained perspective; or so we hope. Our wallowing in self pity is sometimes tempting but then it only counteracts our ability to rebound.

Our lives are far from perfect and we know it and it is at times that very thing which spirals us into moroseness. But then we remember everything we should be thankful for and we come back to a place of normalcy; one in which we know there is no perfection but instead a calm resignation about the fact that we are human and subject to frailty.

Aging hopefully brings us that perspective which aids in com…

Les Montgolfiers

One of my instrumentals...


weird

Probably the hardest thing I had to learn was to stop thinking of myself as weird. This is such an easy trap to fall into in this world because we are brought up to fit in. It takes more than a bit of courage to look at yourself honestly and accept what you see in the mirror.

That journey was particularly hard as a first born pleaser but it had to happen because my being trans wasn't going to go away. Removing layers of old paint from the psyche was an exercise that was long overdue when I began it.

Human beings are intrinsically weird creatures to begin with and we as trans people represent just another branch in the human story. I had to reflect on that plus think in terms of my individuality if I was going to accept myself. You are not someone else, you are you and, as simple and quaint as that sounds, it is the most fundamental building block in coming to terms with who you are.

Every once in a while I stumble and think about how weird my behaviour is compared to what I see ar…

sartorial machinations

I took much of my feminine inspiration from my mother so growing up in the 1960's and 70's meant seeing a lot of well groomed women wearing dresses and pumps. My mother also wore (and still does) her pearl earrings which I tend to favor to this day.

My own style has evolved from there of course and these days I am wearing more pendant type earrings as well as more flats because I need to get around in comfort. My life as a woman has taken on a decidedly pragmatic side that didn't need to exist when I first entered my mother's closet about 50 years ago.

One finds their own preferences but it is all punctuated by a decidedly mental attitude which is more relevant. Over time, the comprehension of our own identity seeps slowly into the conciousness and begins to be the guiding force irrespective of what one wears.

No matter how one chooses to present, our internal sense of self should remain unchanged; which is the way it should be. You are still trans in any garb which is…

Jesus saves

Jesus might save your life from misdirection but he's not going to repair your being transgender.

My friend Sherry was deeply offended by that video I posted a while back featuring Walt Heyer in which he and one other sex change regretter turned to the Lord to repair their psyches and embark on the highly personal journey to detransition.

However, real life doesn't work that way for all of us especially those who are truly trans.

Being transgender is the way one is born and has very little to do with acquired behavior. It is neither a vice or sexual perversion no matter how much naysayers insist. Therefore, those who have erred in their own introspective evaluation cannot deny others their right to lead lives which honour their identities.

If you are truly trans, turning to Jesus is probably more likely to help you to accept yourself if you really listen. If you are of sound mind you will be able to process your thoughts and come up with the right answer.

Now in her mid 40…

reminder

She deftly positions herself on the subway platform so she is square with the stairs. Her cane pokes at the first step and then she begins her ascent marking each one with a firm tap against the next riser. I cannot help but admire the way she navigates her way past the set of turnstiles and finally make her way out of the station.

Every time I have seen a blind person in my life they remind me that I don't really have challenges in mine. I think how hard it must have been to either be born that way or lose your sight and then need to adapt.

This young woman was a direct reminder to keep life in perspective and realize how fortunate most of us truly are.

love in the 21st century

A male friend called me last night to inform me that after a second attempt to make a relationship work, she decided to pull the plug.

It was breakup by attrition where the space between rendez-vous became increasingly wide and finally she stopped answering his texts.
Suddenly one came one day saying they had made a valiant go of it but it wasn't going to work. She strangely ended the text with an "I love you".

Perhaps it was asking too much to expect that 2 divorced people each with a child could make things work.

As bizarre as this breakup method was it didn't surprise me because love in the 21st century is increasingly spastic and erratic as well as frought with the kind of uncertainty that one had better brace for. People are strange creatures who are victims to their own baggage and the fickleness of today's world makes any commitment not worth the paper it's written on.

I told him that this was a best case scenario because he could, in his late fifties…

exposed

This presidency is deservedly going to go down in flames. Trump's history of shady dealings has finally caught up with him and the audacity to continue these backroom deals with Russian interests right before entering public office speaks to his sense of entitlement. No one with any kind of judiciouness would have attempted such a flagrant move unless endowed with that unique combination of arrogant and stupid.

Cohen and Manafort have given Mueller much more than he needs and connecting back the dots to Russia is likely already very well established. To what extent Julian Assange was involved beyond the Clinton emails remains to be seen but it is clear there were multiple players involved in this conspiracy of deceit.

The backroom workings of politicians are rarely exposed to this extent but then few of them as are audacious and moronic as Trump. When you are accustomed to get what you want you let nothing get in your way; not even common sense.

The next two years will be particul…

a worthwhile investment

The Silk’n hair removal system is working. What is left of my beard was turning white anyway plus I have also had 6 treatments of laser in the past, but this product is helping to clear more of the remaining hair. My aim is to use less makeup, and this is how I can tell it’s working; the patches which had more growth, are requiring less of it.

For those of you who are curious, I use Sephora number 31 foundation followed by Marcelle loose powder. This gives me a nice base to work with which passes inspection even in close quarters.

If you buy this product prepare to be patient. It will take a good year or more to clear some areas but it’s worth the effort to achieve the desired result. It also It doesn’t hurt (even at the highest level) which is a big advantage if you are squeamish about discomfort.

All in all, a worthwhile investment.


benefit of the doubt

The extremist stories are the ones that make headlines.

The transgender woman who wants to look like Barbie is the kind of story that will entice readers but also be used as fodder for the anti-transgender crowd. Most transgender people want to fall under the radar and be treated like everyone else. They work in every sphere of work imaginable and under every economic bracket; in other words, they are just like everyone else.

The story I link to below about the six-year-old who is a girl with mommy and a boy with daddy gets attention because the mother is sure she is a girl and the father is certain that his ex-wife is poisoning his son with strange ideas. We don’t really know the answer because this child is so young and should never be put into this kind of scenario. Of course, the anti-transgender groups will pounce on this case as proof of the brain washing that the transgender agenda is hell bent on imposing on society but that isn’t entirely correct is it?

Transgender people are…

personal insight

Sometimes personal insight comes in strange ways.

My upstairs neighbor is panicking because she has some cracks in her plaster. Her reaction has not been aligned with the gravity of the situation and after speaking to a roof inspector he reassures me it's not water infiltration related. The cracks would need to be discolored and paint would need to have peeled. I have seen them for myself and its nothing I haven't seen before but unfortunately she has been getting advice from a real estate agent friend who knows just enough to be dangerous.

Winter has come early this year and so has snow on the roof hence his suggestion we wait until spring to do a proper inspection. These old buildings are full of cracks and he has seen many. However, she will hear nothing of it and wants someone to inspect and give her a report so she can sleep at night.

Erratic behavior like this short circuits my brain. My people pleasing side wants to help but the logic side tells me it is a relatively m…

time and time again

"It's been so many years since I saw your face
But now I'm home again back in my old place
And though you're not quite sure you think you see me by the door
I'll be there

And when the winter comes knocking on the door
And you've the firelight dancing on the floor
In the dead of night when every star is burning bright
I'll be there

Time and time again
I am always there to see you through the night
Time and time again
Rest your tired head and it will be alright
And after all is said, is said and done
Oh God you'll never know
Just how lonely life can be for me

So let me tell you now what it's like to be
The one whose memories are scattered on the sea
When the wind goes down you'll see them lying all around

On a cloudy day, high up in the sky
There's a lonely bird who's sailing round and round
Looking for a place to land down on the ground, for a while
Over and over again

Please give your love to me
Throw it in the wind and I'll be ther…

dream

The human mind has an interesting way to deal with things which are left unresolved: we dream. We will go back to events and reprocess them sometimes reinventing the outcome while introducing new participants to the story; all in the aim of coming to some state of resolution.

We may not come to a perfect answer, but our brain requires we arrive at one we can live with. Hence, we might convince ourselves that some narrative fits and leave it at that. Lived history is like this in that we pass it through the filter of our own subjectivity. After all, there is no other way to look at the world save through our own lens.

It would be nice to move outside of this box sometimes and see our history via another angle; one which would force us outside of our comfort zone. But then, that might be too harsh a punishment.

snowflake

I am not on Twitter but I happened to notice while over at Zagria's site a Twitter post from Jack Molay stating that Ray Blanchard had blocked him on that particular platform. Apparently, Blanchard is so much of a snowflake he won't be challenged and thus prefers to block people rather than engage them in intelligent discourse. It's one thing to block trolls but quite another to do so to a dissenter who is extremely well versed on the subject and willing to discuss it politely.

For me, this move speaks volumes about Blanchard's intellectual dishonesty.

It must be so great to come up with theories that are un-falsifiable and be unwilling to face a critique of them.


stupid ideas about what makes us trans

This story appears in LGBTQ Nation and it made me laugh. Hope it does the same for you:

"A lot of people wonder what makes people transgender, the same way we ask what makes people gay, or what causes autism.

The consensus scientific answer on all three is unsatisfyingly vague; there is no single reason, and what we can see appears to be a combination of multiple factors involving genetics, epigenetics, oligogenetics, and potentially some environmental factors.

There is broad consensus that it’s not caused by bad parenting, or what your mom ate when she was pregnant, or not going to church enough.

However, this isn’t enough for random (and not so random) cranks to propose absolutely bonkers reasons for why people are transgender. Because the public and the media knows so little about transgender people in general, some of these are getting more play than they deserve.

So, in no particular order, here are 15 of the nuttiest suggested reasons for why people are transgender, and why…

caravan

We are seeing a rise in global right wing populism. The right leaning government of Italy is making noise in Europe about admiring Brexit and Brazil has recently elected a "Trumpian" character in president-elect Bolsonaro who will be clear cutting more of the Amazon to make way for industrial development.

It's a fragile period in our history because much of this backlash is a revolt against the false promises of globalism; the idea that we could open our borders entirely to expand economic markets without seeing dire consequences for some of the population. The concept that greed is good and that the crumbs that fall from its table will feed the rest, is a false ideology. This has helped breed a new animal in the form of false prophets; blowhards who take advantage of a disgruntled populace to instill fear while advancing toxic policies bred from their own hatred.

In order to fashion a more moderate and peaceful vision for our planet we will need leaders who are ready t…

what to do if you hate small talk

the bargain bin

I walk by the bookstore and see the biographies on sale. Some of them are of sports heroes of years past and some of musicians or actors who are now deceased. Their stories like so many others become unimportant as they blur into the lived history of humanity.

In the end our individual narratives are of less import than the greater meaning of what it is to be human. You could do a paste up with many of these stories and combine elements so that you have created a picture of a fictitious character; one which would still seem real to us because we feel it could be.

There is a little melancholy in seeing the life of another being contained in a discounted book bin and yet this is the way it is supposed to be. Our lives mirror each other and intertwine because across the ages we have not changed all that much. The same fears, illusions and aspirations fill the years of our lives and get us through in passing our knowledge to the next generation. We are forgotten in a way and yet there is …

hidden

My company of over 6,000 employees only has one person transitioning which means there are others still in hiding. Using the metric of 0.6% we should have about 36 employees who are transgender; some of whom undoubtedly do not intend to transition or even come out of hiding. The engineering business is not exactly the first place one thinks of as a hot bed for diversity.

I am known to HR in my local office but am not out to all employees and there are maybe others in that same position. What I would like to see is the day where none of us feel the need to hide.

With 4 years left to go as a full time employee in this company I have decided not to do anything even remotely resembling social transition, however that doesn't mean I might not work as Joanna elsewhere after that.

As Dr. Morris recently told me, I will feel even more free when I can have all the full options in front of me and decide based on my needs.


one step closer to banana republic

The Trump administration is a despicable affront to decency with, their latest attempt to turn to the Supreme court to bolster its ban on transgender people serving in the military, only one more example. The evangelical radicals (hello Mike Pence) in the administration are behind this move but as we head into January and Democrats take over the house there could be a different story.

In the meantime, Trump hopes to ram through what he wants by taking advantage of a Republican bolstered court with the addition of frat boy Brent Kavanaugh.

If this ban is upheld it will be one more step towards converting the United States into a banana Republic where extremist intolerance becomes the norm instead of the exception. The only hope is that sanity comes back in 2020 and more moderate and intelligent forces return to governance. If people were unsure what a mess this idiot president could create they need to look no further. One can only imagine how much more damage could be done over anoth…

Big yellow taxi

From a BBC concert in 1969, the pride of Fort McLeod Alberta at her angelic best...


we will not be erased

Put this in your stovepipe and smoke it Drumpf....


comfort zone

Testing your comfort zone is a good thing and this is particularly true for us. I used to live inside a box from where I could not escape and doing certain things as Joanna were prohibited to me because I deemed them to be too daunting or terrifying. But then slowly but surely I began to push the envelope.

This need has much to do with self realization because if we don't try we won't find out who we really are. You need to be a little uncomfortable so you can eventually learn to be yourself.

Those first tentative steps out the door when we are young lead to bigger experiences which test our mettle and make us realize we can indeed fit into society as authentic transgender people who won't back down in fear. This was petrifying at first but as new muscles flexed and learned to operate, I found that, over time, I had become a different person.

Being yourself doesn't hurt anyone else but not being so hurts mostly you.


the Gospel of Convenience

"No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money" - Matthew 6:24

Just curious as to how so called Christian conservatives (most of whom vote GOP) would twist that particular passage of scripture to suit their own needs.

What I take from the passage is that one should not be attached to money and use it only as a tool. In other words, do not become a slave to it. But yet there is a whole school of people out there preaching a "prosperity gospel" which says that someone faithful to God will have monetary wealth given to them; a clear bastardization of the New Testament Jesus they purport to follow.

How convenient.




young transwoman finds a way

In spite of having to stop taking hormones at age 16 due to a medical condition, this young transgender woman found a way to be herself. She proved the skeptics wrong when she did not grow out of her gender variance...


Youza!

the price of tolerance

As I grow older I grow more tolerant of others and of myself and it makes me wonder why people can’t leave each other alone. If someone leads their life in such a way that doesn’t affect you why must you weigh in on it?

The answer of course is fear.

Once someone does something that challenges a strong belief system, it puts some into murkier waters that they cannot abide to live in. They would rather eradicate that difference than face the reality that things are not quite as they believed.

Societies today face great pressures to accommodate racial, political and religious differences which were not as evident when countries were more monolithic in structure. With global movement of people and ideas, we are being forced to live next to people whose dogma may be anathema to us.

This brave new world has in turn created factions which are fighting back against what they deem to be an unwelcome intrusion into their previously comfortable lives. This infringement will be fought against at…

transgressions

Gender is the equivalent of a loaded hand gun. It is such a fundamental building block of society that, for many, it is not to be trifled with.

A trans woman misrepresenting herself can get her killed as can a man who bends the boundaries and inadvertantly ends up on the wrong side of town. Gender is serious business because it is also tied to religious dogma which has traditionally placed very specific roles on each sex; in particular the dynamics centered around procreation.

Gender identity exploration can seem to some to be appropriation. TERFS, for example, will bemoan the intrusion of transwomen as "men entering women's spaces".

Transgender people know who they are but unfortunately they are outlaws in a world that craves strict definitions hinged on birth sex. It doesn't matter how much you protest; for some we will always be men in dresses even if that particular scenario would be entirely fine. Except that transgender people aren't just dressing up for fu…

femme

lay down your guns

"Lay down your guns I come in peace
No need to run my friend into the trees
We've been through this so much before
But still we get it wrong
Lay down your guns and feel no regret
Life is too short my friend, best we forget
No matter how we rise and fall
And how our love is torn
We'll stand up high above the storm.

And still our passion calls
And the juices fall like rain from the sky
We have to understand we're the flame
That feeds our desire
God knows we must survive

Lay down your guns and hold on tight
We'll prove the world is wrong and get it right
No need for you to worry now the best is yet to come
Lay down your guns and stand up strong

And though the cut is deep
We can heal it, trust me and keep
Your spirits high
It should be easy now that we've talked it over
And God knows we have to try

Lay down your guns just don't say goodnight
We'll prove the world is wrong, and get it right
And even in your darkest dreams
Some things you can't forsee
La…

creep factor

He touches my pant leg very subtly but I feel it. He is sitting next to me in the subway car but I don't react.

Later as I'm getting off he reaches for the pant leg again; subtle but again I feel it. I dont react because it's not worthwhile. Might just be his little fetish: feeling women's clothing and enjoying that he got away with it.

Some people are just creepy.

This past weekend a man followed me into the grocery store. I had already spotted him from the corner of my eye and sure enough there he was next to me trying to engage in conversation except that once again the creep factor was way high. I told him to go away or I would call security and thankfully he did.

When I went into a store later I mentioned it to the sales girl and she gave me that knowing nod telling me she was no stranger to the odd creepster.

"Ca fait partie d'etre une femme Madame" she said.

"Comme c'est dommage" I respond.

raking in Finland

strange

If you really think about it, human beings are perfectly strange creatures who have trouble understanding even themselves. We spend our lives trying to correct behaviours which confound and leave us perplexed for we know they inhibit our advancement to new levels of awareness.

This growth that we seek can be elusive because we cannot see ourselves with the brutal objectivity that this requires. Many of us don't want to see into a mirror which might force us into deeper introspection.

Today I am doing my best to remove those personal blinders but also working on eliminating the reflexive negativity I was taught to espouse; for this is also key to my evolution as a person.

Critique yourself yes, but also be kind in admitting that our strangeness is an intrinsic part of the packaging and, knowing this, that forgiveness and leniency must be extended to the self.


existentialism and dating

Sunday lunch

I had an interesting lunch on Sunday with my friend Patricia who brought along a friend named Sandra. It was all very pleasant and I remember asking Patricia (when her friend went to the ladies room) whether she had told her I was trans but she couldn't recall.

But then, near the end Sandra asked me something about my ex-husband and said how our ladies lunch was so nice and it was confirmed she didn't know I was trans. Up to then I had used language in such a way as to not deliberately out myself; not because of any great concern but more out of curiosity.

The great thing is that I no longer worry about being read and just go with the flow; no matter what.


people have short memories...

making an informed decision

After much deliberation, I have decided not to medically transition but not because it is not a desirable thing.

My decision is based more on a combination of having found happiness in my life and the realization that I can live with a certain degree of gender dysphoria. There are always tradeoffs to every reality and I have pondered my situation at great length. It is true that my ability to present and pass as a woman has played a significant hand in my decision.

No one knows what causes dysphoria and each of us must grapple with what to do about it. If you are young and understand yourself well enough, transition could be a wonderful option which will set your life on a new path and permit you to respect your personal sense of identity.

Not all people who transition resolve their gender issues entirely because what they might have imagined in their mind’s eye may not be attained. You may expect to pass perfectly or resolve your body dysphoria only to realize that, even with a serie…

Natalie Wynn

a possible explanation

Here is a possible explanation for the cause of arousal to being feminized (or female embodiment fantasies if you will) in gynephilic male to female transgender persons.

The male dysphoric child is already aware of a gender incongruity before entering puberty (in my day you just shut your mouth) when suddenly there is a conflict present. Feelings towards females are now in direct competition with a desire to be one themselves which has an impact on the development of the burgeoning sexuality. However, this is not so much a misdirected sex drive (or target location error as it has also been called) as the overlapping of two distinct and opposing realities. We are perfectly aware of what is going on which is why many trans people choose to suppress their dysphoric feelings in favor of partnering with a woman.

Before puberty with no sexual drive present, there is no conflict just as with increasing age the arousal tends to go away with the depletion of sexual energy. Regardless of the p…

children of men

Clive Owen's character is protecting the only pregnant woman on earth and he's having a hell of a time doing it as some have plans for the child. This dark dystopian thriller set in the near future was the film I saw last night and really enjoyed.

Find it on Netflix and see what you think..







painting

My daughter has surpassed my skill level as an artist but I believe she took some of her predisposition towards art from me and from her great aunt who was also an amateur painter.

The last time I painted anything was the work shown below which was conceived 21 years ago; my ex was pregnant with my daughter. The inspiration was a post card of old Montreal (Place Jacques Cartier to be precise) which I then modified thematically to suit my vision.

After my daughter was born I mostly focused on music but might just pick up a paintbrush again one of these days.



fierce

Look at me the wrong way today and you are liable to get a look back that says "do you have problem?"

Not that this happens, but I think it is because everything about my body language has changed over time. If you are a trans person this is mandatory because you cannot allow the world to eat you alive.

You need to be kind, loving and polite but also fierce and be ready to signal that you aren't going to be intimidated by anyone. It has to stem from your pores and cannot be faked.

Until this happens within yourself you will not fit properly into a world full of all kinds of individuals some of which don't care for your existence. Your job is to find your center and, in plain colloquial terms, not give a "rat's ass".

So find that center and stay there. You will see what a huge difference it makes.


first snow

Montreal is beautiful under a fresh coat of snow....