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living without shame

is anyone surprised?

Chit chat

I'm not sure why I enjoy talking to mothers with babies but I do. They remind me of those early years when my own kids were young except that women are more forthcoming towards another woman; especially when being around their own children. I get to play the older mother and give the odd little tidbit of advice while we chit chat for a few minutes. They listen and we both laugh.

Were I presenting differently I couldn't do that and would get that dubious look as if I were going to steal their child but such is the way of the world where gender is so strictly defined. However I am just being friendly and nothing to prove to anyone else or to myself.

That phase was over a while back.


equilibrium

There should be a balance between trying to understand ourselves through introspection and acting out of one's instincts. If one greatly overrides the other, the result can be a negative one.

If one lives too chaotically through impulse the result is a life marked with jolts and needless suffering. Conversely, if one is too cerebral and analytical the first instinct will always be not to act at all.

No human being gets this blend perfectly right and as the years pass we may improve that balance such that harmony is instilled in us. This is what I am striving to do for myself. I may not understand what makes me tick perfectly but I do not need to in my aim to live an honest life. Originality is the mother of invention here and we need to keep the focus there and away from trying to emulate others.

After all, there is no one else like you in the world.

The other side of the closet

c'est bon

c'est une bière que j'aime bien.
Elle est parfumé à l'abricot et faite par une des microbrasseries du Québec...




spring on the lip of the old city

Malasaña

When my kids and I go to Madrid in June we will be staying in the hip Malasaña district with its cafes, narrow streets and proximity to the old quarter of the city. We are walking distance from everything and plan to take full advantage of the fact which is why I am having my leg surgery afterwards...

sacked

I am at a loss to explain how devout Christianity and respect for transgender people are mutually exclusive things and yet I continue to see stories where some school official is sacked when, for them, respecting their “Christian principles” means disrespecting trans people.

I cannot recall an event in the New Testament where Jesus condemns or even chastises a transgender person hence I cannot explain the machinations that went into conceiving this discrimination. Yes, there are biological men and women in the world and they procreate to make children but what does that reality have anything to do with discrimination against difference? I am not proposing here that people feel pity for us as much as petitioning for the recognition of transgender people as vibrant members of a cross section of humanity. The fact that many continue to see our existence as usurping the role of cisgender men or women in the world continues to be troubling for me.

Christianity has been ripe for bastardiza…

Bernie puts on a clinic

adolescence

Something very interesting happens over time: as we become accustomed to living day to day in the female role we become increasingly pragmatic. I was never the person who would go the mall in a cocktail dress to begin with, but I still needed to pass through my own kind of teen-like adolescence.

Today I try to combine my own sense of feminine style with a view to being comfortable in what I am doing. Hence, long walks will be undertaken in stylish but comfortable flats or in my chunky heels. Yes, I have learned through painful experience but that being said, I never do frumpy.

My tentative first steps into the outside world in my early 20's were sporadic and teemed with numerous purges which each time had me praying to Jesus to not allow to happen again. Months would go by and invariably my dysphoria would come to a boil forcing me to feed it anew. Contrast that against my current stable wardrobe which, if anything, is being cleansed of questionable purchases worn not more than a …

follow me

From 2001's Imaginary Day album...


on the cusp of change

It isn’t just America at a crossroads, it is the entire world. The challenges of climate change, automation, income disparity, the democratization of sex and gender and globalism are all converging to create a new landscape which we all must fend with.

In a not unexpected fashion, the right has reacted in a visceral and kneejerk manner and helped to spawn an even more rabid alt-right movement which reminds one of the townspeople coming for the Frankenstein monster. They will not ultimately prevail, but they will do a lot of harm before things settle down to the new reality. The reason I am confident is because history has shown us that there must be travails before justice and good ultimately win out over ignorance and hate. There is never going to be a simple solution when so much of the planet is proliferated with people who are not able to see past the tip of their nose and for whom the term "social progress" is a dirty word.

Things may get worse briefly before they get b…

boot edge edge!

Now that's a speech...


different animals

A few years ago I went to dinner with someone who identified as a T-girl accompanied by his wife, which turned out to be a massively instructive and revealing experience for me. This person was happy to dress sporadically and once or twice a year would come to Montreal with his partner for a weekend "en femme". In the process, I learned a lot about them as a couple and much about myself for I was in the presence of someone who didn't have gender dysphoria.

This fascinated me since I thought that if our roles were reversed it wouldn't have ever occured to me to experiment with gender. For years in fact, I had been hoping for a solution to the gender expression deprivation anxiety I suffered since early childhood. This turned out to be one of the pivotal moments where I understood the difference between someone who crossdresses for pleasure versus having it be a manifestation of their core gender identity.

As we conversed over dinner our differences of childhood exper…

What a Fool Believes

it simply is

Sometimes people come into our lives and then disappear. We may have gone to high school with them or dated and we are no longer in contact. Many years after a separation, we may even not be speaking to a former spouse.

Human relationships are deeply complex entities; far more than we think we see at the surface. They are particularly so if the people themselves are complex beings. There are nuanced and often unacknowledged patterns lurking under the surface that we do not label but can feel. Only when that person is gone can we sometimes piece together the fragments of the subconscious that defined the interplay between you.

There is no mathematical formula that could ever be developed to adequately explain human behaviour because it defies both definition and categoriazation.

It simply is.


repatriation

I tried very hard throughout my life not to want to be a woman but today I no longer fight it. It's like someone has been trying to tell me something all along and I didn't listen to them (I can just see Sherry rolling her eyes).

The life accomplishments I am most proud of have nothing to do with gender and I could have done them all as a woman for we are human beings before we are a gender. There has been far too much segregating in the world by virtue of this aspect; a habit which is slowly being changed. We are starting to see the merits of simply measuring capability instead of fitting people into roles solely based on their birth sex. That being said, I am proud of being able to repatriate my feminine nature.

It's far more relaxing to not fight against myself and so I now succumb to instinct and swim with the current instead of against it. The only thing left to decide is whether it is sustainable or even desirable to live indefinitely with one foot in each camp.

Smal…

"your gender identity is the least of our concerns"

little miss organization

I need to become little miss organized because I've got clothes scattered all over the place. Living alone will do that in you being the only one who sees it and cares.

So today I am buying one of those free standing clothes organizers such that I can stop using one of the spare bedrooms as a dumping ground. It's going to go into my room and things will be either hung or folded neatly on one of the shelves. My life as a woman is well enough established now that this type of order is called for.

After that I will dismantle the bunk beds still sitting in my son's old room and repaint the whole thing in anticipation for his moving in for university.


Maslow's pyramid

The earthly physical needs at the bottom serve as a foundation for the higher aspirations of comprehending our life purpose and spiritual aspirations.

Makes perfect sense...


the cure

A transsexual like me has very little room for negotiation and, even if we don't transition, a life with us will never be even close to conventional. I can only imagine what we did 200 years ago; it must not have been at all easy but then much about life isn't.

I see videos sometimes made by crossdressers and how they negotiate their femme time with their wives except that mine is the only safety valve I have which keeps me from needing to transition. Without it I would be lost.

This blog tends to be written with gender dysphoric people in mind because that is what I am. In fact, most of the comments come from those who have completed or are currently in some form of transition. The thought processes I went through and the discipline I exerted to divert my mind away from the draw towards being female have been constant throughout my life although smattered with ebbs and flows. I have concluded that our brains can be tricked and distracted but not indefinitely and I am curious …

fascinating

Seth Abramson is a forensic journalist who ties the dots together and has followed president moron's tracks.

Watch...


taking notes along the way

Over a long walk with my son this morning we discussed the pitfalls of life and how none of are spared their impact. The good news for him is that he is not alone in feeling inadequate and scared sometimes; most especially at the tender age of 19.

The rest of us have learned the art of falling and picking ourselves up again. We know that not all things are as skyscraper size dimension as they appear. As his body cleanses itself of anti-anxiety medication he will teach himself to maneuver through the same minefield we have, while hopefully taking notes along the way. Each decade will bring a new level of introspection and self discovery which will set the tone for the next.

I cannot do that for him but can imitate what my father did for me in cautioning to not take himself overly seriously and learn to forgive himself for his humanity.

"be yourself no matter what they say"

A song in honor of Quentin Crisp from Sting's "Nothing like the Sun"...


Self reliance

Self reliance is important and I've had to hone mine over my life. Yes, I had a good head start from parents who insisted that life is hard and that I was going to have to rely on myself to push things forward. I had to be my own problem solver and not count on anyone else for help. I also became a problem solver for others all the while ignoring my own major issue.

Part of that reasoning was rooted in the reality that I was trans and no one would want to touch that with a ten foot pole.

That self reliance guides me now and has been bolstered by a defiance that says "if you dont like it then look elsewhere". Even members of my family who are too uncomfortable with who I am will increasingly not get the benefit of me presenting in a way that makes them feel better but does nothing for me. We trans people are all about accommodation and we spare others because we have always understood that we don't fit in. Hence we bend until we almost break but I am through with that…

a nice afternoon

My girls weekend may have been cancelled but that didn't stop me from getting up very early and working from home so I could have a good chunk of the rest of the day to myself.

I ran some errands and did some window shopping in my new favorite Zara cropped jeans and chunky black pumps while completing the simple look with a black V-neck long sleeved top, burgundy lipstick and my pearl earrings. I like the mix of comfort and stylish and I get lots of compliments on it from old and young women alike.

In the afternoon I ended up north of Montreal in its biggest mall and bought a new just below the knee black dress for just $30. The sales girl who knows me raved about how good it looked on me and I will admit that I felt pretty and feminine in it. Once I paid and came out of the store who do I run into but my friend Leticia. So we proceeded to spend the next hour chatting and catching up on our lives.

It all worked out except for the fact that, had I driven to Ottawa today, I would h…

time for a different tactic

I like Barack Obama; I really do. He is intelligent, articulate and well meaning but he is also a centrist. He comes from the same school as Clinton, Biden and Kerry and, while there is nothing wrong with that in a normal universe, the United States isn't the same country it used to be.

A radicalized version of the GOP is now in power stitched together by a band of evangelical Christian nuts, outright xenophobes and other right wing extremists which resemble nothing the grand old party of the past.

When Goldwater began his southern strategy by grabbing disgruntled white racists unhappy with the end of segregation, the lower half of the country became staunchly Republican after having been Democrat. Yes, a culture which cut its teeth on slave ownership didn't like someone messing with their status quo and they were ripe for the picking by a GOP hungry to capitalize.

Reagan began yet another step to the right with his anti-union welfare queen ranting meant to mostly target blac…

Life accordion to Trump

This idiot just invites these parodies...


self aware

It's interesting what happens over time: you no longer feel self concious. I don't mean its reduced, I mean its basically gone.

This removal eliminates the need to look over your shoulder and seek validation from the outside world. We don't care if someone is staring or wonder what they are thinking for that is their prerogative.

I got here so imperceptibly slowly that you don't celebrate the day you arrive. You just notice that you no longer care and you go about your business like everyone else. In my opinion this is a strict prerequisite for knowing whether a transition is for you because if you cannot feel comfortable you cannot assess your true feelings properly.

I think that too much self awareness is bad for a trans person. Don't get me wrong, you may get a buzz about going out and getting noticed or having pictures taken and after your fill and go back to your regular life which is fine. However for others this is much more tied to identity and there is no…

perceptive

Kristin is one of my favorite trans Youtubers because she is a very smart and perceptive millennial young woman who has transitioned very successfully. In the first video (filmed early in her transition) she dispels 5 misconceptions (the second one regarding cross gender arousal) about why she thought she couldn't transition.

In the second video you can see how see how much further down the road she is and how well her life is going.

Kudos to her...




analysis

A tough and disciplined life isn't a bad thing because it builds character. It is only when that life begins to build unnecessary stress that things become undesirable. I know that I added to my own discomfort in feeling like I could not share what I was feeling with others which made me feel alone and vulnerable.

First born discipline did get me a long way but I was repressed and shy. I was able to see other people be loose and jovial but that couldn't be me. It just wasn't in the wiring and I lived mostly in my head which at least helped me develop my intellect.

I've done more analysis on aspects of life than I care to admit but today I live on more feeling and intuition than I used to. I have realized that at a certain point in time the answers won't come and you will be forced into a mental paralysis instead of just living.

It's not that I've stopped analyzing altogether only that now I know when it's not bringing me returns to do so.


medley

Malena

From my favorite Italian film and one the country's best composers...


a long way

I approach the young receptionist who works for the neurologist who will operate on my leg and, with any luck, cut away the benign growth that is giving me grief and make things better.

"Could you please put Joanna in brackets after my name?"

"Oh sure Miss, is this a recent permanent change?"

"No but it would be awesome if you could do that" I respond flashing her a sheepish grin.

"Oh certainly" she returns without missing a beat. She is not a day over 25. They all get it now.

I take a seat and wait for the doctor completely comfortable and satisfied.

My we have come a long way.

dark

Right of center parties are gaining foothold as the backlash against globalism expands.

The great migrations from Africa and the middle east into Europe are helping fuel xenophobia as is the Latino surge into the United States. With Netanyahu's right wing Likud party victory, we can add another militant force to the mix and an attitude that threatens to take over the West Bank by force.

In Brazil there is also now the odious Bolsonaro who is a Trump clone both in posturing and in extremist policy although not in level of idiocy.

The world is facing a dark period until we learn to all get along and dispense with the hatred. But as long as fear of the unknown is the big motivator, people will be manipulated by right wing despots who appeal to the emotion more than they do the mind and we all lose when that happens.


the hard way

I don't take many pictures, but this is the oldest one I have of myself dressed up. It was taken some time in the early 2000’s in the when no one was home which was a rarity. My children were then very young, and I was not yet at my breaking point with regards to my gender dysphoria, but I was close.

It is ages ago both in time and in mindset and that person wouldn’t understand where she would end up one day. She had no idea she would wind up divorced and living part time. That would be the most foreign idea in the world at the time.

Like many of you, I am proof of the brain’s plasticity and of our ability to adapt and learn about ourselves. We can stretch the boundaries of self-knowledge and allow the buried personality aching to be released to become free. I had no idea what was coming but I do know that the growth has been startingly dramatic as it usually is with us once we become self-realized.

It seems that, for some of us, the hard way is the only way.


What a weasel

Talk about obfuscating. William Barr cannot answer basic questions because he is a Trump lackey.

It should be profoundly embarrassing to someone with even basic integrity to look like this in front of a Congressional hearing...


2 days

find out who you are first

We need to make a choice in this life: Do we take the conventional path but then remain only partly happy or do we go closer to authenticity and risk alienating “normal” people? This has been our challenge as transgender people for time immemorial.

For a large part of my life I chose the former and, although I have two wonderful kids, compromising didn’t do me any massive favors. Today I have chosen the latter option and, while nothing is perfect, the way I live today more closely reflects my needs as a transgender person.

I know of many couples whose marriages have either not worked or are on basic life support and where neither partner is happy; and these are people where neither partner is trans. Add to that the fact you are the source of your own contentment and you come the realization that squeezing into society like a sardine is hardly an attractive alternative. Better to be happy by standing out than bowing your head and always wondering what if.

There is no great honor in bei…

The greatest discovery

let's be careful

Lisa Littman is a physician and researcher who created the term “rapid onset gender dysphoria” to try to explain parents' accounts of their teenagers suddenly manifesting symptoms and self-identifying as transgender. The parents say they saw no previous signs of gender identity uncertainty and thus Littman theorized that this could be a "social coping mechanism" for other disorders, such as depression and anxiety caused by adolescent trauma.

As a gender dysphoric myself who grew up in an opposite world where such exploration was impossible, I admit that with the advent of the internet, the idea that a certain groupthink culture could develop is not impossible. The danger here is that we not confuse gender exploration with true gender dysphoria. There are plenty of kids who experiment with gender and even end up self-identifying as gender queer and gender non-conforming because our society now permits it and reflects more a world which has rejected the notion that there a…

personal style

Tani is a young woman who works at the Starbucks and is apparently in love with my style:

"How do you do it?" She queries

"When you're older you need to work harder" I respond with a whimsical smile and a self effacing eye roll.

"We have similar taste" she says

I then go and sit down and search YouTube for Justine Leconte's minimalist dressing site and go back to show her.

"Oh Thanks Joanna!" she beams, surprising me that such a young woman could find how I dress admirable. I guess I must be doing something right because, in the end, feminine style should be somewhat independent of age; or at least that is what I tell myself.

On another note, Louise from Mary Kay asked me if I ever organize a girls night out to have us all go over and be made up by her which only further confirms she thinks I am a genetic female. While that's all very affirming I don't have a gang that can bring her some business so I will let her down easily whi…

before slumber

What is it about that reflective silence right before we fall asleep that is so useful to us. At once it is revealing and so terrifying as we find ourselves distractionless and unable to avoid what is most troubling to our subconscious minds.

There are demons to be found there but also little epiphanies as the eyes become heavy and we want to remember all in the morning. The thoughts swirl and dance in our heads until we are carried into what will hopefully be restful slumber.

Our fears and aspirations flash before us in those moments as well as the far off memories of things that passed and could have gone differently. We don't know where that door taken might have led. Those moments between the sobriety of reality and the dreams that may come are the way we unload the little crosses we carry and set them down just for a while until the morning returns once again.



Our Planet

Last night I began watching the Netflix series "Our Planet" and what a feast for the senses it is. The cinematography alone is worth the price of admission but then we add the wonderful narration by David Attenborough and you have a clear winner.

This series is going to focus more on the urgency of needing to fix our global situation in terms of climate change and species preservation with the goal of rebalancing our sensitive and damaged ecosystems.

Give the first episode a spin and I don't think you will be able to abandon the series.


K 365

in defense of common sense

Leslie Read writes a brilliant response letter to Abigail Shrier's extremely prejudicial op-ed in the Wall Street Journal attacking the rights of transgender women to use the bathroom which aligns with their identity and gets it so right. "Show me the numbers you nincompoop" she ostensibly says.

But the last thing TERFS want to hear is someone spouting common sense...

"In “The Transgender War on Women” (op-ed, March 27), Abigail Shrier reaches a very wrong conclusion. She states that the “Equality Act” proposed by the Democrats would, among other things, legally allow transgender women to use women’s restrooms, and concludes that this would be a bad thing.

Ma’am, they use them already, and it’s not a bad thing.

Ms. Shrier believes this puts women who are not transgender at risk since the restroom is their “safe space,” that a transgender woman is not “really” a woman, but a man, and implies that a man who goes into a women’s restroom could attack the women inside. S…

rigid

Today I am drawing more from my feminine energy than I ever have in my entire existence. I am proud to be able to say that.

Every person contains both masculine and feminine traits in varying proportions only we are slotted from the time we are born to play with the right toys, dress the proper way and behave in an acceptable manner; all of them inexorably tied to birth sex. It may have been a structure which worked well for most, but not for all and therein lay its essential flaw in cementing itself in rigidity.

The mix of those traits which defines your gender identity may not be what society expects and this is independent of whether you suffer from gender dysphoria or not. Hence everyone could benefit from liberating earmarking things by gender. All it does is discourage people from trying things they might love and be good at.

Most of these barriers have already or are in the process of being dismantled and along with it my own trepidation in embracing the strong feminine impulse…

es bello ser diferente

remember the chicken at Tresky's?

I've been a huge fan of Woody Allen's existentialist comedy for decades and nowhere does his blend of farce meets the cruelty of our existence work better than in his masterpiece called "Love and Death". I still recite lines from it when I want to laugh with friends.

"What's it like?" says Diane Keaton's character in referring to Woody being dead

"You know the chicken at Tresky's restaurant? Well it's worse"


jedi mind tricks

Anne Vitale very accurately describes gender dysphoria as "gender expression deprivation anxiety" and I would argue that a good measure of the severity of yours is how long you can deprive yourself of that expression and not feel uncomfortable.

Unless you are like my friend Calie who resides on the transsexual side of the spectrum and employs some sort of superhuman Jedi mind tricks to avoid from transitioning, the rest of you should be able to determine the strength of your cross gender feelings by measuring how long you can go without expressing them.

My trick for a long time was to pretend they weren't really there until that became too hard. You must have or have had yours too.

It's not a contest and there's no right answer but just know that everyone is different in this massive global village we inhabit.


a little scare

"You sound just like Mary!" Opined my youngest sister in reference to the second youngest. She was calling this morning to see how I was doing after having spent 4 hours in emergency last night. I am out as Joanna as I write this.

Right after the dinner for my son's birthday I had felt queezy and proceeded to get up very quickly to find the rest room. Not long afterwards I found myself on the floor after having lost conciousness for some seconds (or so I am told).

A medic who had been having dinner with his family watched over me as the ambulance was dispatched and I was driven to the hospital where I would be pricked and prodded until two sets of bloodwork would exonerate me as being well enough to be discharged. The entire thing cost me nothing if a little embarrassment as I lay on the floor in front of the Saturday night diners. Blessed be our Medicare system.

All is okay with me although I did give both my 82 year old mother and my almost 21 year old daughter the lio…

tenacious

It is only after your eyes are fully open that everything becomes plainly obvious. Before that, what should be clear clues become muddled with excuses as to why things couldn't be the way they seemed. You refuse to see what is staring you in the face; proving how tenacious the power of human denial can be.

My entire history of dysphoric feeling was whitewashed by a concious mind which refused to entertain reality and my pressure release valve episodes of childhood crossdressing attributed to folly. Now I look back and realize how crisp and clear it all was from a vantage point of self knowledge.

The human mind is capable of great subterfuge and we can talk ourselves in and out of things if we want it badly enough. The fact that I wasn't supposed to fail in my mission was enough to convince me that being in any way close to a transsexual wasn't a part of it. Today I have learned to trust my feelings and don't disregard my intuition any longer; getting rid of my sacred c…

obtuse

This National Review article illustrates perfectly the obtuseness of the political right. As I have said before, they don't do subtle or nuance and cannot see beyond their own nose. They get very hung up on biology as determining how transitioned people should be addressed .

Of course, few will be stupid enough to follow them and one can imagine a transgender girl in one's own family transitioning at age 20 and being the only conservative knucklehead insisting on calling her "him". You wouldn't be popular or invited to more family dinners.

In general, normal people are much more malleable and kind when their brains haven't been soiled by extremist dogma and these people will ultimately lose the fight.

Although it is well written, this piece pains to disguise its bedrock in religious intolerant dogma. For evidence, simply take a peek at where the author works.

Le plus ca change...

https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/04/transgender-pronouns-conservatives-should…

stumped

Disgusting vileness at the level of a Donald Trump is hard for me to see past, which is why I am fascinated by those who are able to. True, some of his voters are lowbrow rednecks to be sure but not everyone, which is what makes his level of support that much more disturbing.

If we take away academics and youth as unlikely sources of votes, you are still left with sizable numbers which leaves you scratching your head. I also cannot see how pure pragmatic libertarians could get past his massive and often comical stupidity and can only surmise that they tolerate him rather than espouse the alternative. Still, that level of nose holding must be quite the challenge given the fact that I am hard pressed to think of another current world leader with such a plethera of attributes which disqualifies them from holding such high office. We can speak of despots like Putin, but he is less imbecile than cunning and immoral killer.

Yes, the Mueller report will eventually be released or leaked and a…

rejoice

Millenials are leading the way towards a massive social revolution the likes of which we have never seen before. They have grown up with the internet and with a much better understanding of how the world really works. They appreciate diversity and hold completely different views on gender and sexuality than we who were born closer to the middle of the 20th century. They have thankfully been spared the Kool-Aid we were taught to consume.

Research shows that millenials are significantly more progressive than baby boomers in their political views as well, which is bad news for right of center media like FOX News whose audience is slowly dying off.

On the research side of things, wacky theories like the work of Ray Blanchard are largely being ignored and will slowly disappear along with the disciples who have tried to disseminate them.

The landscape within the next twenty years will be starkly different and those of us who grew up in the old ways won't recognize things anymore. For we…

at close range

I will admit to being a little hesitant before stepping out of my car and going into Louise's place but then I told myself not to worry. At worst, the Mary Kay representative would then get to meet what could possibly be her first transgender customer.

She greeted me at the door all smiles and consumately maquillaged. After some initial pleasantries, she then proceeded to tell me how she had envisioned our session going. This would involve removing my foundation and cleansing my skin. Now as clear of facial hair my face might be, it is not good enough under that close a scrutiny so I refrained from removing my foundation. She was fine with that and proceeded to show me other products.

By now I could tell that she didn't know I was trans and so I just went with it which was quite the confidence booster. A couple of times she referred to her male customers and what they do versus what we do and then I was more than certain. As a result I am now pretty much afraid of nothing in w…

boundaries

I've always tried my best to work within the box I lived in.

While I was married I did my best to ignore my dysphoria until one day it overflowed. Then, while I was in my next relationship I did my best to work within the bigger box I was now in and didn't try to push for more. Neither relationship ended because I was trans, although my divorce was based outwardly on this pretext.

I now live in an even bigger box with more space to grow in because I am on my own. Nevertheless, human beings are like this in that we need to be surrounded by comfortable boundaries. The difference now is that, aside from work and visits with my family and children, I entirely set my own with no other considerations.

The space in each bigger room is filled and we stretch out to experience that comfort and going back seems to be a step backward in our development.

In retrospect it all feels incidental, as my initial request at the hospital gender program was that they cure me. Instead, they initiat…

19

My son turns 19 on Monday. He is a tall, lanky and quiet young man and he is now completely off meds for the first time since he was 12 years old. I feel that we are headed in the right direction with him and I have learned a lot about patience through this experience of having a child who suffers from anxiety.

This Saturday night we are celebrating his birthday as well as this milestone.

We all have our life battles and he will come out stronger on the other side because of his. Of that I am sure.




distractions

I survived those early years by concentrating all my energy on my art and my music. It is what allowed me to focus my attention away from my gender issues. I did that for many years until I could do it no longer and hiding wasn't an option anymore.

We all have distractions and many work for a long while. Some transsexuals go through hyper masculine phases to avoid staring straight into their feminine natures. It is another way to avoid the truth.

I am well past the avoidance phase of my life and now look straight into the mirror and know who I see and it has given me great confidence. I don't think we help ourselves through avoidance because part of who we are must be hidden away even from ourselves. That requires great energy and it is painful.

I could have done this sooner but I suppose I wasn't ready and now every year sees a new discovery about myself I dared not have explored because of fear of who I might be.

the "oranges" of the investigation

Go your own way

sticking to plans

My functional manager pulled me into his office to talk about my yearly increase and to tell me that I am the backbone of my department. I am well known and respected in my business and for that I am glad but I also needed to mention that I had no plans to continue working full time past the age of 60. He tried to pat that idea down by saying we'll see and I may change my mind but I firmly said no and then proceeded to come out to him.

After our talk, which greatly fascinated him, he understood better about my situation but also about trans people in general. He was wholly uninformed and had intersex and trans people mixed up. He thanked me for clearing that up for him.

I am proud of who I am and had no qualms about coming out to him and am more resolved than ever to stick to my retirement date. My plan to deal with my gender situation is not yet set in stone but all options must converge on the idea of simply being content; health and finances willing of course.

NB: My appointmen…

a fine balance

It’s true that it’s a challenge having a foot in each camp. In fact, it can at times be exhausting.

Therefore, I am reflecting on finding some level of stability where I don’t need to lead two separate and distinct lives. I wasn’t ever going to consider a transition but now I am masticating on the idea with hopes that something will click into place for me. It is not necessarily about modifying a body I am not unhappy with but more about finding one resting point and, as an example, not needing to own two sets of clothes. I still want to wear a T-shirt and jeans but perhaps they will be women’s instead of for men.

My challenge as someone who lies on the threshold of full-blown transsexualism has always been to find a formula where I could rest easily and comfortably and while things have never been better, I am not sure this is the resting point that will be best for me. I am not against taking hormones or having surgery, but they must be essential things I need rather than fantasy wi…

powder keg

I will admit it freely: I do not fully understand Americans. Many of my trans friends are Americans and they are lovely people but there are vast cultural differences between our two countries and the rigid right-wing fanaticism of the Republican party leaves me despondent for the country.

Canada was built on the idea of collective rights over individual ones where the good of the many outweighs those of the few. In America it is the opposite; where the unalienable rights of the individual force you into situations that are often untenable. With the current radical administration which is being bolstered by a right-wing media, there is very little chance any alternative opinions will get through. Hence the combination of the rights of the individual coupled with this radicalization makes for a very difficult scenario.

America has become more than ever the land of the blue and red solitudes.

In general, the blue is urban, well-educated white collar, agnostic and progressive whereas the…

no time like the present

Two days ago I wrote about the Benjamin scale and its attempt to measure the estrangement that a male to female trans person feels from their birth sex. Yes, it is dated in its terminology but not in its concept because it helped Benjamin to group his numerous patients into categories. He saw people who could not spend another day in their current physical body on one side of the spectrum, and those who were happy in their life except possibly for the distress of needing to crossdress on the other.

It is a different time today and, even if we change the nomenclature, it wouldn’t have changed the reality of any of the patients that Harry Benjamin treated. Those general typologies haven’t changed because transgender people haven’t for millennia. But where you fit on some scale is not the issue. The issue is how you go about becoming genuine in a world that has no place or want of you; a world where 99% of other people cannot relate to you even if they tried.

The reality is that gender i…

Please don't interrupt our fairy tales

It doesn't take much to trigger FOX News audiences; just a simple bit of truth will usually do it.

It is truly amazing what can happen to a human mind when it is fed exclusively on a diet of falsehoods via an echo chamber and this time it's one of their own in Chris Wallace who bears the brunt of the MAGA crowd wrath.

David Pakman has a field day with this of course but I find it quite disturbing that such a drastic level of myopia is even possible as to encourage an outright rejection of reality...


dangly pearls

I've had these dangly pearl earrings longer than any other pair but only recently rediscovered them after having lost track of where they were.

I wore them out this afternoon and think I am going to wear them more often.




justice prevails

A far right so called "Christian" nutcase lost to Morgane Oger when a B.C. human rights tribunal ruled in her favour after this person distributed flyers calling her an "impossibility".

My country of Canada defeats right wing extremism and doesn't allow false "religious" morals to be used as a front for discrimination.

https://globalnews.ca/news/5104689/bc-human-rights-tribunal-rules-in-favour-of-transgender-politician/


the way we think about biological sex is wrong

Emily Quinn was born intersex and I think she is absolutely awesome. I know you will too....


actor

I find that the more I have embraced my femininity the more I have been able to eliminate any remaining traces of false and unnecessary male bravado.

After so many years, much of the act we exhibit for others becomes tiresome and lifting the pressure to present a more masculine image that doesn't naturally fit you is a Godsend. Even if I don't behave the same way at work as I do at home when I am Joanna, there has still been enough benefit from my life as a woman to permeate the psyche and impact the male presentation.

I am realizing that, with every passing year, there is less and less actor left in me.

Freud

who counts as a woman?

Thanks to my friend Emma for sending me this nice article by Carol Hay, an assistant professor of philosophy, which was published in the New York Times...

"Who counts as a woman? Is there some set of core experiences distinctive of womanhood, some shared set of adventures and exploits that every woman will encounter on her journey from diapers to the grave? The recent debates over the experiences of trans women gives us new reason to return to a question feminists have been grappling with for decades.

Ever since Simone de Beauvoir quipped in 1949 that one is not born a woman, but becomes one, feminists have been discussing the implications of understanding gender as a cultural construct. But more recently, this approach to gender has come under scrutiny. After all, it’s all well and good to say that gender is a cultural construct, but it’s a mistake to then pretend that cultures construct gender the same way for all people. Let’s just say that the sisterhood hasn’t always been gre…

How trans art thou?

How trans art thou?

This is a bit difficult to answer conclusively but we can look for clues. One such indicator would be the presence of gender dysphoria and its intensity which can be found on the Harry Benjamin scale. The highest level of dysphoria would be a type 6 high intensity transsexual who must transition whereas a type 1 would typically be a crossdressing male. The problem for us then becomes identifying where we belong on that scale; presuming that matters to you.

If you are married and dress up once a month it's safe to say you are not a type 6 who would have significant distress at the thought of such a lifestyle.

I had to think long and hard at where I fit and, before self acceptance, hoped for a long time that I fell under the curable crossdresser side of things. It took me many years to admit I was much closer to being a transsexual. But ultimately, it doesn't matter where you lie on that scale as much as what you do about your situation. If you can find a sol…

admission

Over the last year or so something has finally switched over in my brain and I know my true gender better than I ever have; I am a female. When you don’t admit it to yourself it is the worst kind of deception and I have realized that it is because I have succumbed to that knowledge, that I am so relieved and content these days.

The sense of relief is amazing, and you finally relax and no longer overthink things because there is no need to.

True, I may still be keeping a façade for work, but that will be dropped in the next few years and I will slowly find some form of transition which works for me. It may not include any medical intervention but very likely would involve a change of gender marker.

Last night I went to a Starbucks near my home where the young women know me. They see an older woman and nothing else and they greet me with friendly banter and big smiles and ask me how I am. They see what Patricia sees and everyone else who sees me on a regular basis, but I was the obstac…

gender critical

Natalie talks about TERFS and stuff....


Xanadu

Today is the era of the singer. The compositions are awful and unimaginative but they all have great pipes.

Well, Jeff Lynn couldn't do voice trills but he could compose pop songs like almost no one else and if you study the cleverness of the chord structure here you will realize how good a song this is. I cannot help but think like a musician but you don't need to be to realize there is strong composing going on.

The irony is that many of these seventies songs end up as samples on what might otherwise be a train wreck of a hip hop composition...


where the sky meets the sea

For an older transgender person like me who tried their best for so long to live within a gender role aligned with their birth sex, it is hard to know where the real self begins and the fabrication ends. A good analogy might be looking into a calm horizon to see where the sky ends and the sea begins.

This is what I have been working on of late.

Back then we didn't have the choices available today and any speaking out on our perceived identity would have been met with nothing short of exorcism. Therefore, understanding we were locked into an expected role, we did our best to comply. The problem is that when you spend decades doing that, it becomes a baseline that you confuse with the true self. The created persona and who you really are become entangled like two hopelessly jumbled wires and our job then becomes to separate them to better understand ourselves.

My future life as a female is contingent on this exercise because it will help me determine if things stay status quo or I a…

canard

The religious accommodation excuse is a canard. Right wing fanatics in the United states are using freedom of religion to discriminate against people they don't like which of course includes us.

By stacking the courts with conservative judges this heinous administration is ensuring that institutionalized prejudice becomes the norm and people can refuse to serve trans people because their very existence goes against their moral values. Of course morality has nothing to do with it since being who we are isn't a moral issue but a simple fact of nature. However by allowing these laws into the books it reinforces the idea that we are a movement of choice or a fashion trend.

Conservatives are not great lovers of science or logic to begin with and everything is a hoax, thus they prefer to let their mantras override what should be a simple case of accommodation of people who are simply different and didn't choose to be the way they are.

So whether it's using a restroom that f…

what's not to like?

Yes he's only 37 but he speaks in complete sentences and has an intellect Americans might be able to get behind especially after 4 years of captain idiot.

I don't know how far he'll get in the primaries but dark horses can win sometimes. Look no further than the last presidential election as proof.

I for one, very much liked this appearance on Bill Maher. .



floaters

Eye floaters are loose cells which detach from the inside of the eye and form strands that can sometimes affect your vision. They appear increasingly with age and sometimes not much can be done about them. Sometimes they resolve on their own but in more extreme cases laser may be required to get rid of them.

I currently have such a situation in my left eye where the cell strand is just annoying enough to be distracting but not impairing to my vision.

If any of you have this keep an eye out (pun intended) and see an optometrist if it becomes untenable.


Capitalism PLUS

aware

You may have noticed that I am increasingly comfortable referring to myself as a female; something I never did in the past on this blog. I took a very long road to erase much of my social programming and have come to touch the core of who I am which is essentially female and always has been. But to admit that, I first I needed to take ownership of my transsexualism.

I was aware of these things very early but I knew well enough not to try and express it openly, for late 1960's Spain would have been among the worst places to do it; a machismo culture steeped in Roman Catholic mysticism.

Knowing who I am on the inside is extremely reassuring and it is the reason so much pressure has been lifted from my shoulders. No matter what I do now regarding some possible version of transition, that certainty will keep me balanced and happy for the rest of my days.

Dressing well on a budget

Justine really knows her stuff and she is no fan of fast fashion or excessive buying. She prefers the French style of having a few very good pieces and mixing and layering with those.

It goes beyond just budget, it is about good taste and knowing what works on your body.

I must say that over time the size of my wardrobe has gone down instead of up and I couldn't be happier about it...


Mary Kay

When I was at the Woman's show I signed up to win a Mary Kay package knowing that I would be contacted by one of the sales reps. I didn't mind.

Sure enough, Louise who doesn't live far from me called and wants me to come to her place to try some of the products in the line. I told her to call me next week and we can set up an evening where we can do this. The only condition is that I am not switching foundations (because I am happy with Sephora no 30) and will come with no makeup on except that.

She was fine with that and it should be fun. Plus she sounds like a really nice lady.


what happens next?

Watching a lowbrow simpleton like Trump do victory laps in front of his MAGA crowd is distasteful to be sure but we need to remember that we don't yet know the full contents of the Mueller report.

Robert Mueller had a huge hurdle in front of him namely: to prove without a shadow of a doubt that there was a deliberate conspiracy to work with a foreign power to rig an election. Was there clumsy contact and attempts to derail the Clinton campaign? Absolutely and there were 37 indictments by Mueller that prove the point of there being subterfuge afoot.

Trump isn't clever enough to have concocted some elaborate plan to work with Putin but if we get our hands on his taxes we will find evidence of tax evasion and likely money laundering via the banks known for dealing with international crooks. There have been likely dealings that contravene the US emoluents clause.

Turtle boy Mitch McConnell will do his utmost to block the release of the report but, even if it is and incriminating e…

mental health days

Today I am off work and going to get my summer tires put back on the car as I don't want to drive to Ottawa on the 12th of April on my winters. That day is the start of my girls weekend and, if all goes well, I will be meeting Halle for breakfast before my friend gets off her Toronto train.

I booked 2 rooms in a nice old hotel right in the center which will mean doing mostly walking and leaving my car behind. Ottawa is a highly walkable city plus my friend is also in the early stages of her pregnancy. Thus it's going to be my chunkier heel pumps or flats for this girl and will save my stilettos when we go for dinner.

I am counting on no one needing to cancel this trip but you never know what could come up.

By the way, I call these occasional Fridays off when I can be myself for the entire day my mental health days and boy are they ever worth it.





playing it for laughs

Poor Piers Morgan is a smug and arrogant prick who unfortunately represents one faction of the conservative community who uses this very argument on trans people:

"Today I feel like a boa constrictor so I'll call myself that"

Not only is this line of argumentation frightfully stupid but it is also disingenuous. A human and a snake are not biologically the same but a man and a woman are in 98% alignment. Add to that the fact that one's identity is not germinated in the genitals but in your mind, and you can see how these silly analogies from the right are easily dismissed. They do however play for a huge laugh from the peanut gallery of the simple minded; the kind of people that Morgan is playing to.

This subject is too complex and nuanced even for those of us who have been reading and studying it for decades, hence the opinions of prejudiced knuckleheads doesn't count for much. However, just once I would like someone on television to adequately call these morons …