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Showing posts from February, 2018

Lucia

Lucia Lucas is a 36 year old transgender woman and baritone opera singer who has transitioned with the full support of her wife Ariana who says of her spouse:

"I'm really in love with her, and it was clear to me from the second I met her that I would never find anybody else like her. It was her soul that I first fell in love with, and it was almost beyond physicality, and way more than gender and physical body. I have never met someone who cares so much about others, as Lucia always goes out of her way to help people. She is also really smart."

Now isn't that something and wouldn't you know it, they're millenials....

https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/theatre-arts/i-used-to-go-to-bed-praying-that-id-wake-up-as-a-girl-35441636.html



real courage

the middle

Most people are not far right or left on the political spectrum however they can be swayed with key issues. Evangelicals for example will be all about abortion, prayer in schools and possibly gun rights (depending on the region). Political parties long ago determined that the middle will not adhere to their entire platform but if you capture some of the pivotal issues they hold dear they will vote for you regardless.

The extreme right and left in the United States are represented by neither major party although arguably the Republicans have moved further right than the Democrats have moved left. The alt-right trolls picked up on Trump thinking he was going to be an anti-establishment candidate. His obvious stupidity aside, Trump doesn't hold enough views on serious issues and his narcissism gets in the way of caring but he served as a useful tool for factions of the GOP to get their platform advanced. Think of the Koch brothers here as an example.

The middle is a mixture of both r…

it is getting worse

Watch this video for confirmation of what you instinctively already knew to be true: namely that modern music is getting progressively worse. Not only has the chord palette been reduced, but the timbre, quality and diversity of sounds has been drastically diminished.

This was discovered by analyzing over 500,000 recordings made between 1955 and 2010 showing that this decline in popular music has continued steadily since its peak form in the 1960's when a song like "A Day in the Life" by the Beatles employed a 40 piece orchestra to record it. Obviously these costs are astronomic today but the thing that is even more disheartening is the reduction in chord variety and patterns.

Many of today's hits have been written by the same select group of writers employed by the major labels hence the similarity in style and making us think it all sounds the same. That's because it actually does.

So while it is tempting to think we're just being old fogies, it might just …

OMG I love this girl!

a universal truth

Gender identities lie on a graded spectrum. However it appears that most people can fit reasonably well within a portion that allows them to fully identify with their birth sex.

Transgender people however, cannot entirely do so.

Some will have a gender identity that is entirely reversed from their birth sex and will more than likely end up as transgender women. Others will live in some form of partial transition while the remainder will settle for some degree of gender variance which reflects their sense of self.

The way sexual orientation plays into this dynamic is to either align or misalign with gender identification. When a person’s gender identity aligns with orientation they will be more likely to identity as transgender earlier in life whereas the opposite will be true when orientation misaligns with identity.

This universal model should apply to both male and female born individuals and makes far more sense than the scattered and confused proposals we have seen to date from t…

complicated lives

three choices

Robert Reich has a common sense idea to deal with this disastrous presidency and it just might work....


soul connection

When I was in my teens I used to imagine that being with someone else would enable me to be close enough to them to almost peer into their soul. I thought that being in a couple could be like the meeting of two minds intertwining and almost becoming one.

Of course I was wrong because what I held in my mind's eye was an overly idyllic portrait of how things should be forgetting that we are far too wounded and guarded as human beings to expose so much of ourselves to one another. This was also before I ever dared admit to myself that I was transgender and had that massive bridge still to cross.

We crave this type of deep connection with someone but our childhood trauma gets in the way of that desire and I have never understood this paradox as well as I do now. We hope to be loved and to return it in kind but we are incapable of letting our guard down to the extent it demands because it implies exposing our weaknesses as well as our strengths to another being. Instead we bring our ba…

we call BS

Watch out Republicans they are coming after you...


busted

This was the first time I have ever been called out by someone who recognized me in male mode but it happened this past week. Young Sarah who works in a Promenades de la Cathedrale watch store saw me and was so excited that she just had to call out to me with a big wave and a booming "hello, hello!"

“I was sure you were a woman!” she tells me excitedly.

I explained to her about my transgender background and she seemed so impressed that I could live the way I do which I explained to her is far from being easy. She commented on how my delicate features could go either way which is why she had no doubt and didn't let my height be an issue because "there are so many tall women out there"

“I am so impressed by transgender people” she added and I proceeded to tell her that we tend to lead complicated lives with many of us not making it. She just stood there wide-eyed listening to every word.

Sarah is all of 24 years old, married and already the mother of a young boy.…

enough is enough

It's a tired old story by now. There is a shooting in a school, a theatre or a mall, the president gives lip service and everything goes back to normal.

This latest Florida shooting was the 18th so far this year and it's only mid February. Pretending this is normal anywhere else would be a grave cause for concern but this is America with its immunity to violent gun crime.

So roly-poly Trump goes in front of the media and decries the problem of mental health but doesn't mention guns. The GOP he ran for houses under its tent that strange concoction of people with a love of money, Jesus and guns. But that is the paradox that is this party where some Evangelicals reconcile prosperity theology with a Bible that preaches God's favor for the poor, the meek and the down trodden.

Look at that graphic below and tell me that Americans are crazier than everyone else or could it be they just have much easier access to weapons? I have written here before that an attachment to firea…

converging identities

a little lighter

Last night I went to my bank for a financial planning session and I decided to lighten up the hair a bit. I have tried to go dark but that just harshens my features and makes me look older.

I took this picture upon my return home.

All of my banking records are with my male name but people just could care less whether you are trans or not and I got excellent service and was not misgendered. So get out there and don't wait for someone to give you permission to be yourself!


social media blues

Apple CEO Tim Cook won’t allow his nephew on social media for good reason. When Facebook was first invented it was supposed to connect people to each other. It might have been an innocent enough idea but in fact the darker side of social media has been winning it seems with online harassment, general feelings of inadequacy and people losing themselves in a cyberworld instead of living in the real one. We are more connected and yet more estranged than ever and even in my own family invitation to events are made on Facebook in lieu of phone calls. I am not on Facebook so someone eventually texts or calls me.

Technology has been wonderful but it has come at a price and as jobs are lost to automation and social media networks proliferate we begin to see patterns emerging.

I sit in a subway car and most people are immersed in their cell phones which have now become our lifelines. Many of us are on social media networks exchanging details of our lives that would perhaps best be not shared …

living in peace

My readership has gone up dramatically since I began this blog 5 years ago. However, it’s never been my intent to be popular and am just glad that my blog may have helped some transgender people in some way feel better about themselves. You have no idea how much personal satisfaction that brings me after living with so much angst over this issue for decades.

Those of you who are already there know what I am talking about and there is really no easy road to self acceptance whether it happens early or late in your life. What you do once there is up to you but don’t ever let anyone give you guff over being who you are; no matter what form that takes.

I have friends all over the transgender spectrum. They support me and I support them wholeheartedly because this is how we will educate a general public who doesn’t need to comprehend us fully to let us live in peace. Now wouldn’t that be something.

I don't pay much attention to commercial milestones like St. Valentine's Day but, if …

the tower

embarassing

Donald Trump wants to have a military parade down Pennsylvania avenue to compete with North Korea while Devin Nunes wanted to build a wall in Congress to separate the democrats and the Republicans. Meanwhile, LGBT enemy and vice President Mike Pence leads the American team into the Stadium while the openly out athletes rightly complain he has no business being there in this era of inclusiveness that the Olympics particularly champion.

We already know that Trump is a horror show of ignorance, racism and smugness but the people surrounding this administration are almost as much of an embarrassment.

Paul Ryan tweets lauding a secretary's $1.50 a week increase under the Trump tax plan and then wisely deletes it when a barrage of outrage comes his way. Someone named LOLGOP brilliantly retorts that the $26M a week increase one of the Koch brothers will get under this plan can pay for a few more Paul Ryans (see image below).

It's like there is concerted effort to turn the Republican …

swimming 2

I don't know exactly what it is but I am chalking up the treatment I am getting to feeling more relaxed in my own skin and to the fact I am presenting as a woman.

I was walking towards the bench yesterday at the pool to place my towel and one of the life guards greets me with a very friendly "ca va?"

Then later when my goggles refuse to cooperate and I had to adjust the strap for what seemed like forever I got:

"Madame we can lend you some if you need"

I very politely refused her offer, did my laps and then went into the locker room. After a short while one of the lifeguards comes in calling for me while I am in the changing stall.

"Madame some workmen need to come through here in a few minutes so please don't come out naked"

I hadn't begun to change yet so I opened the door and acknowledged her with a smile and a firm reassurance I wasn't going to do that.

Like I said before, I don't know what that combination is but I very much like…

Audette and Lyne

Lyne and Audette are two older ladies that I always see together having coffee. We had never spoken before but suddenly upon my return to Montreal they seemed happy to see me and wondered where I had gone. This led to a short but pleasant exchange which opened the door to greeting each other going forward.

Last night there they were and as I was leaving I stopped to say hello and suddenly I am sitting with them for a few minutes and chatting.

They are about my mother's age with Audette, who is a widow, having had three children. Lyne has no children and has been divorced for many years. They have known each other since 1957 when they lived in the same building and still meet regularly for coffee.

"I have a son who is 6' 5" and a tall lady like you and he would make a perfect match" says Audette to me in French and smiling like a chesire cat.

"But he is married" she continues

I tell her I am not looking anyway and we continue chatting for a few minutes…

Chapter 1 preview

I thought I would show a preview of the first three pages of my book to give you an idea of the style. Not every chapter deals with my personal life and I would like to think that the book has the right balance of gender theory, personal experience and observations about being trans and I have tried to make it interesting and informative to those who are transgender as well as to those who are not which often includes their partners.

I hope you read it, like it and get something out of it because that is my aim.





groovy

In 1967 I would have been 5 years old. We may find the fashions a little odd today but then so would have these people if we had shown them pictures of the future.

I don't know, there's something charming about this more innocent time don't you think?


chapter listing

Here is the chapter listing for my book which is now 70% complete (I have been prolific of late). I haven't yet looked into the online publishing site I will use but perhaps some of you who have gone through this process before can provide suggestions.

Chapter 1 - My Origins
Chapter 2 - The Next Phase of my Life
Chapter 3 - A Brief History of the Research
Chapter 4 - Can We be Cured?
Chapter 5 - Confidence
Chapter 6 - Yes, but am I a Woman?
Chapter 7 - Enemies of Transgender People
Chapter 8 - The Problem of Cross-Gender Arousal
Chapter 9 - Self-Acceptance and Finding Love
Chapter 10 - Who I am
Chapter 11 - My Experiences in Public
Chapter 12 - What is Gender?
Chapter 13 - Religion and being Trans
Chapter 14 - You go girl!
Chapter 15 - Guilt and Shame: the Dynamic Duo
Chapter 16 - Okay, but should I Transition?
Chapter 17 - Rise of the Millenials
Chapter 18 - Vive la Difference!
Chapter 19 - Authenticity
Chapter 20 - What I have Lea…

it's all about his base

life's arc

The secret to life is to try and manage its arc. Understanding that it bends so you cannot quite see where it’s going but that there is some predictability there.

We are about experiencing patterns in mood and events that when we live long enough start to breed familiarity. We know that we will get through this latest challenge because we have faced another of similar intensity and survived.

We are also, as Alain de Botton reminded me of late, strange and flawed creatures who have enough trouble understanding ourselves never mind anyone else.

Then we begin to see that life is an imperfect combination of the melancholy and the euphoric but not parsed out in equal measure. Our challenge as human beings is to find the nugget of truth inside the times of difficulty and the lessons contained therein. I have never heard of anyone having the perfect formula to existence but those who know that the light will return after the dark times will maybe suffer a little less.

As we age we tend to fi…

no solid footing

I have spent a lot of time in this blog making a distinction between cross gender arousal and Autogynephilia to try and make transgender people understand that there is a very important difference between the two. In so doing we can remove a false sense of culpability that need not exist.

As I will touch upon in one of the chapters in my book, the onus is on the inventor of a theorized condition to prove his case and in this regard AGP fails spectacularly. However, I am still interested in understanding how pre-existing gender dysphoria and burgeoning sexuality intertwine at puberty to create a situation that for a time has us question whether we suffer from a perversion.

All the trans people I am in contact with trace their feelings to early childhood so all we know is that the sexual feelings toward females become melded with the desire to be one in a way we do not yet comprehend. The important distinction to remember here is that the dysphoria precedes the formation of the sexualit…

beside myself

It’s getting rarer to present as male when not at work or with my kids, family or friends. Being Joanna is something I find natural and there is no situation where I wouldn’t feel comfortable especially after my swimming experience of late.

If there were a logical next step it would be social transition but that is being mulled over the next few years as I try and strategize how to deal with my work future and financial situation. The reason I don’t feel rushed is that living this way is so much superior to the way I used to. There simply is no comparison.

Some people my age want to rush through a process after decades of suppression but I find my method gives me solid footing and makes the mental gymnastics I must go through more rigorous. When it comes to this issue I don’t agree that you can think too much because it is not a simple process and requires undoing decades of programming. You are like the person leaving the comfort of a cult and trying to find your footing one day at …

a chronology of crazy