Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2019

a living museum

Toledo was the capital of Spain before Madrid was and it boasts one of the most beautiful Gothic cathedrals in Europe.

My daughter and I spent the day there.








ally

"Who is she?" asked my aunt

"That's me" I responded and she dumbfounded for a split second as she stared at the image on my phone

"You make for a very attractive woman" she said as she looked up and smiled at me.

This was the first time she had seen me in female form in her life although she knew everything about my being trans. She is open minded and wonderfully supportive and knows we each need to lead our lives as we must.

My mother and her now correspond every day by Skype and chat about whatever is going on because their kids are grown with families of their own.

It is great to have her as an ally.



resonance

Watching the sheer mass of humanity on the streets during this trip has helped me focus my thoughts on the idea of resonance. So many stories that each life must contain yet we are just another body moving about unperceived and unnoticed. We tend to think the opposite because we live mostly in our heads.

The message I take away even more resolutely is to be true to yourself as the only thing that truly matters because everything else follows from that. Things will fall into place when you are in resonance even when others around you are not.

Las calles de Malasaña

shy

Shyness robs you of your body's natural aesthetic in public. It surges with notes of self concious energy which at once imprisons and indulges our overt discretion as being the better of two poisons.

We learn slowly to let go with more abandon as the wants of a fickle public no longer concern us. There are bigger fears that draw our attention such as not having lived the way we wanted as we near the end of the road we have chosen.

One day we decide there are enemies much more powerful than a public shaming.


Cage the Songbird

A song about Edith Piaf with Crosby and Nash on backing vocals...



internet warrior

Natalie Wynn uses satire and humor to filet her tormentors who see her as a demented and leftie transwoman.
But in spite of that she persists, using their own arguments against them...

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-et-st-transgender-youtuber-contrapoints-cultural-divide-20190612-story.html






different times

My daughter and I had tapas with my aunt and she was telling me how happy I was dressing up around the age of 4 or 5. I barely remember that but for her, at 73 years of age, it's clear as if it were yesterday. Strangely my grandmother (her mother) found it all very amusing unlike my mother.

My aunt knows all about me and is a great supporter. I knew something was different very early but it would take decades to come to terms. They were different times back then and we understood very little about any of this.

I would argue that we still don't know all that much.


disfrutando

Estamos disfrutando mucho en Madrid...





pronouncenent

The Catholic church just came out with a pronouncement which states that being trans amounts to a "trend".

Well now that these experts have said this I know what I am going to do immediately; stop being transgender. Why didn't anyone tell me this before?

Next I plan to remove my very firmly planted tongue from my cheek.

changed

Madrid is still capitivatingly beautiful with its narrow historic streets full of cobblestone charm but also avenues like the Gran Via with its architectural majesty. It is decidedly not the same city I last saw 25 years ago when a proper mixing with the rest of the modern world had not yet occurred. Now the Starbucks' and the Sephoras have moved in and the youth look very much like they do at home. It is me who has aged and still half expected to see the city I had left behind would stay frozen in time.

The streets are packed at all hours not only with tourists but with locals who instead of living in large homes, lead their very social existence in the tapas bars and in the cafes where they people watch as they also catch up on their social media on the most recent devices.

One other very noticable thing is the modernity of threshold for tolerance as the LGB youth are not shy to show their defiance to a world that once shunned them through Catholic orthodoxy. They openly hold ha…

at the airport

the reflection to come

At a certain point in time I hit a juncture where I didn't know which version of myself was the real one. Was the male presentation a cover up only to be able to make a living or was the female the less accurate one? Over time Joanna gained in strength to the point where I am sitting at a crossroad.

If I were completely convinced that I were, as Rhonda puts it, a two spirited person I would say so but I am not. I am instead looking honestly inwards because the concept is not entirely convincing when it comes to me. Hence, I am exploring whether the woman named Joanna isn't stronger and I am simply treading carefully towards an inevitability.

I don't want to play a game of fashion instead I want to be authentic and work through the remnants of my programming and the life decisions I have made with precision. For decades I played a game of denial where I couldn't possibly be transsexual but as I have come to understand that reality, its gravity permeates my thoughts.

Als…

10 days

Joanna is being put away for 10 days but she lives inside me always which is what counts. When I get back on the 19th of June I am going back to my life which is extremely reassuring.

It is nice to be able to live on my own terms and be that feminine woman and even if have decided not bring her along on this trip with my daughter, Joanna is not going anywhere.


answer me this

Over the next couple of years I need to answer the following question without panic: what is the point in going back and forth?

After all, I am not a crossdresser who can be happy with sporadic gender expression so why live on the periphery of transition but not do so?

That is the question.

A feminist

I've never been more of a feminist in my life.

The more I advanced into my self-acceptance, the more I realized that I had been brain washed into certain forms of thinking which helped delay embracing my feminine nature.

Femininity is still regarded by many in this world as an inferior state. But the best parts of being a woman involve nurturing, inclusion and concern for others before ourselves which are contained in every individual. It's just that women generally possess these qualities in greater abundance.

I make friends with women easily and count more than 20 of them among my group of close acquaintances. They may not know I am trans but that matters less than building a bond with them which allows me to fortify and showcase the best parts of myself as a primarily feminine being.



overheard at a Sephora

She was maybe late forties or early fifties, svelte and well put together but casually dressed in her Lululemon track suit and sneakers. Her hair fell neatly on her shoulders as she got advice at the Sephora counter from a young woman half her age. Only a hint of subtle makeup adorned her face.

I wouldn't have noticed anything else except she was within earshot as I did my own browsing and her voice was the only giveaway that she was trans. It was decidedly not a Bea Arthur husky voice and she made no attempt to feminize it. Based on her looks I surmised she had transitioned quite some time ago. As she finished and walked past me I didn't look at or acknowledge her. She then blended into the mall traffic.

I am not sure the young woman at the counter realized she was trans but if she did she didn't bat an eyelash and served her exceedingly well. A few minutes later that same young woman helped me with my point total by scanning my card.

"Joanna you have 600 points. Do …

essence makeup

I've been purchasing the Essence line of cosmetics because they are cruelty free and they are very inexpensive. I particularly like the number 15 and 17 lip shades which are both always in my purse.

I don't know if they are available everywhere but I am sold on them and you should give them a try and let me know what you think.
https://essencemakeup.com


the incredible lightness of being

Yes, I am aware I am borrowing a movie title but I thought it was fitting in light of wanting to follow up that post about the transwoman Jenny with some commentary.

For the first time in my life I feel like her and am at my center with no concern with how I am perceived by others. I am content in my own skin with a sense of peacefulness which transcends everything else and have reduced the opinion of the external world into insignificance.

In that light, being trans is akin to a skin we wear to convey what lies inside whether that be masculine or feminine energy.

From our birth we are slotted into rigid boxes from which there seems to be no escape until we realize that we are the ones holding the key to our own salvation. That process whether short or long is the key to the liberation of every trans person. It is fundamentally the power of a self definition which transcends the borders of societal pettiness and, once you have arrived at that place, you will know it.

mutual empowerment

It turned out that Patricia’s friend was sick and couldn’t make it but the two of us met downtown to celebrate her birthday as well as her business taking off with the first construction of one of her prefab homes just around the corner. There we were sitting outside under the resto awning safe from the light rain of that evening discussing how things seem to be converging for both of us.

She supports my efforts wholeheartedly to find a balance in my life with respect to my gender issues and I do see myself working as a woman in her company. It is so empowering to have someone support you to such an extent who is also impressed with you as a person instead of as a gender stereotype. Patricia has helped me focus on being me and not worrying about anything else.

As we left the restaurant she put her arm around my waist and told me:

“Its so great spending time with my big sister” and I knew she meant it

I do feel increasingly comfortable in that role because as 14 years her senior I’ve l…

transwoman on vacation

out of the closet

This story is from KUOW.org....

"When I opened the orange door leading into The Cloud Room and our first Curiosity Club dinner, I also opened a door that led out of a closet — a closet I didn’t even realize I was in.

I thought I was done with closets. Five years ago, I came out to the world as transsexual. I medically and socially transitioned from male-to-female, with the goal of blending into society as just another woman, a path referred to in the trans community as living in “stealth” mode. Thanks to hormones and surgery, I “passed” as female; no one I met was aware that I was trans unless I told them, and I identified not as “transgender” but simply as female.

I felt very fortunate; not many people get such a fresh start in life. I was eager to experience life as a woman, ready to have new adventures and meet new people as Jenny. And then I heard about Curiosity Club. I was intrigued. Who doesn’t love eating good food with interesting people while discussing surprising topics…

patience

This Sunday evening my daughter and I leave for Spain. Despite my best efforts to convince him otherwise, my son will not be coming as he says he doesn't feel well enough to.

It is supremely frustrating to deal with a child with anxiety but all I can do is show him my support and hope that his maturing, the meds and the help he's getting will eventually get him out of his situation.

It's been a great lesson for someone who traditionally has tried to control to see that not everything can be easily fixed and we need to let time and persistent efforts take care of some things.

Not everything has an elegant engineering solution.

by comparison

I only caught a brief glimpse of his face but it was partly caved in. No doubt he was the victim of some horrific accident which had left his skull severely damaged. He was there picking fruit next to me at the grocery store.

At that moment I thought how trivial it is to concern ourselves with gender. This is a more real and affecting disfigurement which is so visceral when one looks upon it. But I was taught by my parents to be discreet in all things so I did not look again.

When we think we are challenged in life there is someone to remind us how trivial our problems are by comparison.

angels on the head of a pin

A while back I went to Miranda Yardley’s blog and was not surprised to see what I found there.

First it must be said that Miranda does not look like a woman and I doubt she ever will which must color her perspective on things. She is selling the idea that being a transwoman is just another form of being male. However, just like with the application of the bathroom laws, at the rubber hits the road level, her argumentation doesn’t really apply itself well to real life.

Many transwomen look like women in every possible way and are living under society’s radar. As far anyone who deals with them is concerned they are women, and many have had husbands who never knew they were trans. How do they fit into a Miranda Yardley polemic which heartily feeds the TERFS and the Christian right?

The same applies for these women when they go to a public washroom where they are undetectable in every possible way. How would you enforce the arcane bathroom laws on them?

Hence the declaration that transwo…

outing ourselves

When you meet a new person you don't know what they are going to think or what you are going to say to them. I don't want to hide that I am trans but I also don't want a sticker advertising it on my forehead.

Later today I will be meeting one of Patricia's friends who doesn't know anything about me other than my first name. It is Patricia's birthday and it is just the three of us for a 5 a 7.

I no longer care or worry about outing myself because gender doesn't matter as much as what kind of people we are. This woman may ask me something tonight which will oblige me to make a split second decision and I will see how I respond. You can always keep the language gender neutral by saying you are a divorced parent instead of a divorced woman and only say you have an ex-spouse. Again, it doesn't matter.

I will see when I am there.

The dreaded S word

by rote

I have a daily routine which I repeat without fail.

I will get dressed and then spread my Sephora number 30 just so making sure to add a little more where there are spots of facial hair I wish weren’t there. I follow that with some loose powder from Marcelle which I blot into my skin with a brush. Then comes the black pencil liner snuggling against my eyelashes followed by the wig, the earrings and the lipstick which segue behind in quick succession.

The entire procedure which includes the initial quick shave takes no more than 10 minutes and I am ready to go because it has become so repetitive as to become an art form. I don’t ask myself who I am when I do this but go by rote. It is an exercise the end of which sees me looking at this middle age woman in the mirror who is confidently smiling about who she is.

What seemed extraordinarily abnormal to me in that empty house in my mother’s bathroom all those decades ago is now a daily practice I do happily and cheerfully. Who would have…

Dallas, Texas

Even as the visibility of trans people greatly increases in the media in a positive way, the ones who pay the price for it are overwhelmingly trans women of colour. The factions in society who have a problem with the presence of transgender people see an easy target in the most vulnerable members of the community.

It’s already much easier to be white in the United States where racism is institutionalized. Now add to that the two-fold punch of being a visible minority and transgender.

I don’t know if many Americans realize that their country no longer represents a beacon of hope for others most especially with the current administration in power and It might be fair to say that countries like Canada, Australia and most of western Europe would make for a safer environment for these women who it seems are now being killed on a routine basis. There is something wrong when people cannot lead safe lives in their communities and are being violated simply for being who they are.

Watch horrend…

marker

Will I ever change my gender marker? I don't know yet and I am slowly chewing over the idea but, if I do, it won't happen for quite a while yet. First I need to finish working full time for my current firm which is still 3 years away. So in the meantime the part time life will continue which, although pragmatically challenging at times, still makes me very happy.

That step, if taken, would be a huge psychological hurdle because it would represent a point of no return. I would be henceforth officially and legally recognized as a woman by the government with passport, driver's license and Medicare card all now marked with an F.

It would mean the end of the safety of men's clothing but also no more oscillating back and forth.

Is there some fear and trepidation along with the intrigue behind this idea? I'd be lying if I said there wasn't which is why much more reflection is still needed.



reversal

Transsexuals who are married to normal ciswomen have a problem: they take the mental role of the female during intercourse which greatly complicates matters. I never thought this would happen to me before I got married but then I waited until then to have sex. Even if in retrospect I had a clear history of gender dysphoria, I was in complete denial of my transsexualism and expected that I could lead a normal life. I was wrong.

This subject came up over brunch with Halle the other day and of course she experienced the same thing. We try our best to make things work as normally as possible but find that in the end we cannot.
I had no choice but to come to terms and it eventually led to my understanding of just how complex my situation really was. It was the first step in me realizing that it was far more serious than I had led myself to believe and something I would need to address in my eventual gender therapy.

find

I love chunky pumps; why? Because they're both stylish and pragmatic if you need to walk in comfort. So when I went into the Naturalizer store on a whim I never expected they would have the only size 12 in the only model I had been coveting.

This was clearly an omen.

"How is the fit Madame?" inquired the young sales girl

I told her they were perfect and very comfortably padded on the inside as all Naturalizer shoes are. Now that Payless is closed I will be using them as one of my go to stores for shoes. I was extra happy that I could try them on before purchasing which never happens with online buying.

They don't carry all models in my size but then there are other stores out there as well.










I need you to turn to

The beauty of Paul Buckmaster's orchestral arrangements only add to this marvelous piece...


ladies who lunch #4

Halle and I had brunch today and good thing too because she's moving much further away. She will be closer to her family but she and I won't be able to casually drive to meet up like we have been.

We met at the same diner in the same little town equidistant from both of us and were treated and addressed like ladies. Both the food and the conversation were excellent.

I am happy for Halle and her partner who are building their dream home because we all deserve to be a little happy in life.

It's been fun meeting you on these four occasions Halle and we will definitely be in touch.

logic 101

Can anyone give me the answer please??!!


options

It has been possible for me to make some compromises because of some advantages I had which I don't easily take for granted. Being able to do without FFS or hormones and still keep my options open for a social transition has been pivotal, although, if I were sure I needed either or both I would do so in a heartbeat.

As things stand now, without either, I am able to make my way through the world comfortably as a woman which has greatly helped to temper my dysphoria.

Still, I have reflected at length that if I were 20 years old today and knowing what young trans people know, I would likely opt for a full transition. However, at almost 57 I am going with what I need and know will work for me which takes into account my existing situation. I also use that most important metric to guide me: the happiness which I possess.

I am so heartened that there are more options for us than ever including full transitions and we are now being diagnosed and helped before we have gone down a road tha…

dreamland

Trump's approval rating is at a whopping 48% proving to what degree America is in deep trouble. A criminal president who is also a mean spirited moron enjoying these types of numbers proves to me that the country has lost its moral compass.

The haves are basking in an economy of their liking while the increasingly large have-nots are living in a dreamland state being hypnotized by a radicalized GOP subservient to its benefactors while pretending to care about its base. Meanwhile the centrist and elitist Democrats are hardly any better with the perennially sleepy and dizzy Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schummer with equally deep ties to big money.

I hate to say that things are not looking rosy but when only 39% of voters think the country is headed on the right track you have to ask yourself some fundamental existential questions. One of them would be: what kind of country do you want to be?

The American dream of the 1950's is long gone and in its wake an oligarchical structure has re…

challenged

Life isn't easy for any of us and we all deal with challenges that test our mettle on a daily basis. Illness, job loss, the death of a spouse or a child are but a few examples of the things that impact us dramatically and prevent us from attaining and holding on to serenity of mind and spirit.

Some of us seem to get away with less suffering but that is often optics which misleads us. We do not know what a person feels inside and what kind of challenges they have yet to face in their life. The nature of our existence demands that we not escape suffering but we grow with every misstep and hopefully the scars leave a tougher and more philosophical soul behind.

The great thinkers have pondered on the nature of our existence and meaning of living limited lives filled with extreme joys and sorrows both intermingled in a way we cannot control.

Christianity teaches us that suffering has meaning because there is a reward coming after and I have tried to hold on to some semblance of the fa…

Trump's buddy executes officials

tender tootsies

It's important to be comfortable when we walk so today I wore my most comfortable flats (pictured below on the subway platform). Yes, they are nothing fancy to look at but I can walk 2000 miles in them. I bought them at Payless years ago and they are virtually indestructible.

Comfortable feet are a priority for this girl when I know I'm going to be walking a lot and my next step up fashion wise but a move down in comfort are my chunky black patent pumps which I just love.

I am probably going to pick up another pair of flats one of these days because it's been ages since I bought a pair.


gentrification

My neighborhood, which is one of the oldest in Montreal, is still undergoing gentrification. I have been there 8 years now and I love it.

When I was growing up in another part of the city this area was considered a tough working class neighborhood but its changed dramatically and because of its proximity to downtown Montreal it has received lots of attention from working professionals.

These pics were taken last night during my walk...







one more visit

On July 3rd at 9 15 AM I go back to see the endocrinologist Dr Morris but I already know what I am going to say to him. It turns out that physical transition is not for me and after countless hours of reflection that is now firm.

It appears that I am just trans enough to reside on the periphery of transition but I do not see it as a matter of life and death and what I crave is liberty of expression which I now have. Hence in that sense my journey is complete. How I decide to balance my life going forward remains to be seen and perhaps social transition is not off the table but that is minor compared to my struggle to get where I am.

Dr Morris helped me to finalize my thoughts because he has so many patients all over the spectrum. Even as he called me a woman he asked me why I needed estrogen and I could not answer because the truth is that I do not feel that strong an impetus.

I used to think that my position on the spectrum was unenviable because I wasn't male enough to be satisf…

Song for America

wholesale conversion

Yes, it is possible for all of us to make a wholesale change in perspective.

When I first started to come out to my family, the sister after me began to make noises about my condition being “curable” if I really put my mind to it. Contrast that where today she has come around to such an extent, that she completely understands that being trans isn’t a choice.

To put this conversion into context, my sister is a person who is still very much embedded in a deeply orthodox Catholic organization and yet she was able to educate herself to the point where yesterday over our yearly lunch she asked me to forgive her for having doubted me.

"We all need to be who we are" she said which meant a lot coming from her.

While we may not see eye to eye on many aspects of religion, we have closed the gap on an issue that was very important to me. My family should above all appreciate that it is this is not about making themselves feel comfortable but about giving us the benefit of the doubt an…

roulette

That idiot Trump is trying to play tough guy with China in a likely effort to deflect focus from his increasing problems at home. The problem is that China has the resources to strike back and will if provoked.

History has already shown that severe trade tariffs don't work and here, as in every case, it will be the consumer who pays the increased costs. This means electronics will cost the average American more money to purchase. Someone may want to explain that to dummkopf who has also been wreaking havoc on American farmers and made sure their products weren't marketable when the Chinese retaliated with their own tariffs.

It's fair to say that Trump isn't an economist and would never qualify as one even if he tried. World economics is a very touchy subject even for the most experienced in the profession so now imagine using the knee-jerk bravado of a tempestuous 6th grader to decide the trade policy for an entire nation. While these sorts of antics may play well for …

Mueller specifies

Mueller did not exonerate Trump and made it clear here in this speech that it was outside of his mandate given to him to indict a sitting President. He would instead leave that up to Congress.

Note how he clearly says that if he would have found conclusive evidence that Trump had not committed a crime he would have concluded so in his report but of course he could not because Trump did.

You cannot be any clearer and yet Trump apologists are still claiming that this represents an exoneration which it is not...



big sis

Patricia calls me her big sister and I don't take that kind of designation lightly. She has sought my advice on a variety of issues and we get along so well that it makes me proud.

Our outings together are enjoyable and we relate to each so well that the time just flies. I had not anticipated having a business colleague turn into such a close friend but I don't think it will affect our professional overlap. I am not so invested on the business side of things to let that get in the way of a solid relationship.

Patricia has helped increase my confidence as a woman tremendously and her telling me that she sees a person and not a gender speaks volumes about the kind of person she is.

downstream

we are not mentally ill

This story is from CNN:

The term the World Health Organization uses to describe transgender people -- "gender incongruence" -- is being moved to the panel's sexual health chapter from its mental disorders chapter, the WHO's legislative body has voted.

The new classification is expected to improve social acceptance among transgender people while still making important health resources available, the United Nations health agency said last year in announcing the intended change. The new standard of classification appears in the 11th revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11), which was adopted Saturday by the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland. It will go into effect on January 1, 2022.

The WHO uses gender incongruence to describe people whose gender identity is different from the gender they were assigned at birth.

The phrase was taken out from the mental health disorders because we had a better un…

a familiar scenario

This type of scenario has played itself out many times for me. I went out to eat something light last night because I didn't feel like cooking and told the waitress so.

After the meal was over she asked if I wanted something else to which I responded

"No but yes"

She smiled in recognition.

When she came back with credit card machine I told her that as we get older the weight is harder to keep off. It must be said that she was very trim and in her twenties.

"Oh I know, my mom says the same thing and we like our sweets"

"Yes we do" I said.

no surprise

The Trump economy is a false one because it only works for less than half the country but you already knew that.

A market economy is great when you are an investor but not so great when you can barely pay for basic necessities...


compatible

How well do you know another person and how does your method of interaction impede a deeper connection?

We human beings are so unique that what works perfectly well for one individual may not for someone else. While some of us are happy operating at a surface level, others might crave to make more soulful bonds where we can be ourselves and say what is truly on our minds.

That level is set by the person with the least amount of comfort with vulnerability and it typically stays there unless they experience change. I have witnessed couples where interaction is so mundane and yet it works for them which is what counts. It is therefore the gap in the desired level of connection that becomes the metric for health.

Profundity isn't what is always sought but instead compatibility which is the best foundation to build on. A connection that doesn't have that can burn out once the pheromones have expired and reality settles in. There is also the unfortunate reality that love is often no…

the real thing

Poor Mr. Rain's Ordinary Guitar

Homeland

I'm currently watching season six of the show Homeland on Netflix. It's riveting drama based on geopolitical espionage and if you haven't started watching this great show I strongly urge you to do so.

I promise you won't regret it.


nerves

Nerves are never helpful. They don't help when you when giving a speech and they don't help when are trying to pass in public.

Easy to say and hard to do I know.

Quite a while back I made a decision that I wasn't going to give away my peace of mind to someone else. I wouldn't give anyone the satisfaction of rattling me and guess what happened? I blend in better than ever.

Passing isn't being taken for a genetic woman every single time. It is instead being perceived as a secure and dignified person who is dressing and behaving as they like. That is what passing is. Many older transgender women don't pass and ironically some people who crossdress do so very well. It is about dignity and grace above all else.

But no matter the quality of presentation, all can be undone with nerves which is why we should avoid them.

Never give away your peace of mind to anyone because they haven't earned it.


what we think we want

There is a period in life when become convinced of what we think we want but then we are still young and haven't yet the experience to comprehend ourselves. The desire seems genuine and perhaps spurred on by what others possess, so we make our choice and live with consequences which may not reflect who we really are.

In life we should be so lucky to recognize what we need and forget what we want which may be steeped in fantasy or perhaps in our understood obligation of what society demands of us.

Instead, we would be best off to wait until the light goes off in our heads and inspiration guides our action but this is not how life works. Instead we move forward; our paths unfurled before us only as we take them and all we can do is look back.

wonderful emails

I receive many wonderful emails from time to time and her is just one recent example which I found extremely gratifying:

“Please Joanna, keep posting. Your pieces are always interesting and to the point.

I am someone who only realized I was trans at the age of 70 which was just under three years ago.

For me the lipstick, etc. is important but being comfortable in my own skin is far more important. I soon came to the conclusion, as I believe you have stated, that it is an internal journey. I have noticed with some gratitude that the quality of my friendships and social interactions have improved immensely.

I appreciate your blog enormously and I would like to thank you for it and all the work you must put into it.

Best wishes
Melissa”


You are so very welcome Melissa and thank you. Just keep being yourself and you will never be happier.

algorithm

Youtube's algorithm is made to keep you watching. This means that the feed will offer you content that agrees with your views but after a while that doesn't work as well so eventually the videos will become increasingly controversial. Content made by white supremacists, 9/11 deniers or flat earth advocates will make it's way into your feed because these videos get a tremendous amount of traffic and YouTube will hedge its bets that you will tune into some of these as well.

The social media world creates little enclaves where our own beliefs can be reinforced but also you can be motivated by those of others, no matter how far fetched, and hence they are propagated for your amusement or possible discipleship. Discernment then becomes the name of the game.

Yes, there is plenty of fodder for the susceptible and, with this wild west mentality of content that runs the gamut from credible to ludicrous, the possibility to catch new converts is always possible.

bing bing

everything flows

Later today I am invited to Patricia's for dinner. Her partner is making roast chicken and I am going to bring a bottle of white wine.

I plan to wear a sleeveless patterned summer dress topped with a light cardigan to cover my arms. To that I will add some low heel pumps that have a bow on the vamp and also wear some dangly earrings.

This is my new normal and socializing as a woman has exceeded my expectations thus far and I just seem to fit in as if I had been born as one. There are never any strange reactions or double takes because I am so completely relaxed and happy. Women of all ages give me smiles of recognition like I am part of the club and everything just flows.

Before I went into the service this morning I met one of the sachristans who is a young woman of not more than 35 and we talk about the weather and a bit about her family's new backyard pool.

Everything just flows.

part of the historical record

I want you to do what I didn’t do for the longest time; look past your cross-gender arousal. Because if you get stuck there, like I did, you won’t be able to analyze your feelings and understand who you really are. For the longest time I thought my experiencing it meant that I wasn’t transgender which isn’t true. In fact, it turns out that I am in very good company.

Ray Blanchard used the existence of this arousal as the foundation of his theorizing which itself was based on Kurt Freund’s work in measuring sexual stimulation in pedophiles and homosexuals being screened prior to entering the Czech army. The end result of all this work was, by the late 1980's, essentially an attempt to stigmatize transsexuals by accusing them of either being perverts or, in the case of androphilics, gay men who wanted sex with straight men so badly they tried to become women.

Instead of trying to comprehend the origins of the cross-gender identification, Blanchard used the existence of the arousal …

but not for me

troglodyte

Even the sound of Trump's voice causes me pain. My face contorts into agony in response to the garbled ramblings of an idiot who cannot even express himself in the English language. Should there be a prerequisite that the leader of a nation be more intelligent and articulate than the average person? I would argue that it is more than mandatory.

If people were looking for proof of what happens when you vote in a troglodyte as president look no further than the last 2 years. The US constitution is being trampled on and laws are being broken on a daily basis in large part thanks to subservient and spineless GOP. There is a would be dictator with a well under 100 IQ running the most powerful nation on the planet with the temperament of a troubled adolescent. The knee jerk reactions are those of a school boy and not a full grown adult and there is pathology there that clearly stems from a privileged yet intellectually lazy upbringing. This man makes George W Bush look like a Rhodes sch…

vehicle

Clothing is a vehicle to express gender and not an end in itself.

After an initial period of sartorial experimentation we settle into ourselves and many of us who lean towards the transsexual end of the spectrum, drop an overly keen interest in them in the same way that many cis women do. Of course there are always those interested in fashion but they are a fraction of the trans community.

After a while, clothing loses much of its allure to the greater importance of expressing gender the way we want to. It becomes less about the outfit and more about the fact that it aligns with an identification we have espoused and in that sense a cocktail dress does much the same thing as more casual attire. Yes we want to be well put together, but we don't fuss so much about details when we need to go to the pharmacy or grocery store.

This is why my wardrobe is smaller than it's ever been. It just makes it far easier to just get out the door. Make no mistake in that it may be reduced, but…

moral

Why is the issue of transgender identity for some correlated with morality? I have asked myself this question many times.

When I had not yet accepted myself, I did make this association because my ideas on gender were not based on reality but more on the mores of the church I belonged to. The idea that an identity could not be trifled with and sexuality which diverged from the norm was a choice formed part of my accepted dogma. This type of thinking didn’t last very long, and I began to question the concept of choice and how first homosexuality and then transgender identities fit into the map of human reality.

Christian churches are all based on rigid dictates which are centered around the family structure. Rightly or wrongly this focus made anomalies of human nature character flaws to be corrected rather than normal statistical divergences from a majority baseline. In the distant past for example, a leper would have been accused of being unclean and deserved their fate rather than su…

I hate being transgender

Robin is a beautiful young woman but she has some life hurdles to get past. It's not easy being her age and even less so when you are trans and trying to fit in. I hope she can overcome all...


evolution

I have a confession to make: I like the level of traffic I get. It keeps me happy to have just enough readership which reflects the portion of you who are interested in ideas whether they be on trans issues, religion, politics or philosophy. If I wanted more traffic I might think to write a fashion blog or give you a play-by-play of every day of my life but then I wouldn't want to write any longer because that doesn't really interest me very much; plus plenty of others do it so much better than me.

This blog gets half decent traffic which varies between 15,000 to 20,000 pageviews per month. That is reflective of a percentage of you who don't just want me to talk about trans issues or gender theory every time (although I have posted plenty on that). Today I post more often than I used to specifically because I want to touch on so many more subjects and since ideas pop into my head throughout the day I sometimes enter them here. I will also sometimes post music videos or tho…

making up for lost time

I am slowly discovering that I have always been female inside and was probably meant to be born as one. No doubt things would have fit better and the struggle to make sense of my world greatly diminished. I know this now after many years of uphill struggle and reflection which has landed me on a stable plateau where I now sit making up for lost time.

Everything fits and flows better when I present female and there is fluidity that isn't there otherwise. There is also a warmth and comfort and no need to force behaviour so I am not discovered. Nevertheless I am not discouraged or sad because everyone has a different road and mine was to become myself a little later in life.

It is never too late to do that.

It takes time to dispel dogma you have swallowed whole but I am now at the most peaceful place in my life.

I have no idea

What does it mean to be with someone? I have thought a lot about this over the last few years.

We cannot see inside the mind of another person and their motivation cannot be deciphered with any certainty. Is their connection to you tinged with fear of being alone? Do they have unresolved parental issues? Is the economics part of the equation keeping the relationship viable?

We cannot understand the psychological elements that drive another person and our interplay is affected by a unique formula that we setup at the outset which can be very hard to further refine. If we sense trepidation of going too deep into their psyche, the pushback can cement us into an uneasy experience which stunts the development of a deeper connection. As a result, our relationship stays at a level of the mundane and daily experience which avoids the spiritual bond we as humans secretly crave.

In my estimation maybe 25% of relationships attain deep levels of connection with the rest hobbling along at various …

safety

There is a spectrum between gender expression and identity.

For example, someone who crossdresses but otherwise identifies entirely as male is at the expression end whereas a transgender woman who has fully medically transitioned is at the identity end. In between there are a host of variants including full social transition and living part time (which is where I currently reside). Ostensibly these variants can be said to mirror the Harry Benjamin scale.

We may have created an umbrella term for transgender, but clearly it is far more investing to reside on the identity side of things. Once we have crossed into a world where there is no going back, and we publicly made a choice to officially change gender we are exposed to needing to drastically increase our sense of safety. In particular, transgender women of colour face an incredibly high level of violence which superimposes racial bias with transphobia in a virulent cocktail. To live openly in such a way requires a level of courage …