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Showing posts from February, 2019

veil

I had spent so much of my existence living off the vapors of guilt that it is hard to get used to not to having it as a companion. The reprogramming required to eradicate it must virtually descend to the molecular level.

Guilt is a wasted emotion especially when you haven't done anything wrong other than be who you are. It is so pervasive however, that even when you know this intellectually, there is no simple elimination from its constant presence in your life.

From a young age it became such a steady companion that you almost miss when it isn't there. In fact, you can feel guilt about not feeling guilt which is why it must be removed in layers like one does with old persistent paint; the process slow and steady until one day you realize you are there in the absence of fanfare.

Those of us who think we hurt others by being genuine are living in that fog which will not lift so long as we consider our nature the potential source for causing them pain. We cannot understand the w…

Fred Van Leer

no matter what happens

No matter what happens going forward I am already living my dream life as a woman; one which I could never have imagined possible. While the way I live may seem like a deep compromise to some, for someone who thought my current reality was only a distant pipe dream, it has proven to be deliverance on a grand scale.

Am I open to things developing in a different direction? yes but I am also not pushing for it with any kind of urgency and only time will tell.

We are all free to redefine ourselves at any time in our lives and brand our uniqueness against the landscape full of the bland conformity which much of the world seems to thrive on. Against this backdrop, I have arrived at a place of wonder which lifts my spirit every day and there is no price I can put on that.

I can only reflect and marvel at it and see it as my prize for the many years of paddling against the current.


going in the wrong direction

LifeSite is among the worst repositories of right-wing extremism on the internet. A combination of religious fanaticism and politics that would make your toes curl, they purport to defend everything good about America; think of a fusion of apple pie, baseball, guns, anti-abortion, hating difference and love of a bastardized version of Jesus.

It is jingoism on steroids coupled with an anti-intellectual stance that prefers getting its raison d’etre from a fusion of Old Testament misinterpreted allegorical tripe and the NRA handbook. This is an ugly side of America which exists everywhere else in the world under different guises. It is intolerance and prejudice wrapped up in a suit of false rectitude fed by writers whose life philosophies makes them people you would not want to befriend. Think of Ben Shapiro as an example.

I used to occasionally peruse their stories because it pays to know your enemies but found I could not stomach the blatant disingenuousness which preferred to ignore i…

Gotcha

my setup at home

Below is a picture of my keyboard rig at home which consists of a Korg M1 synthesizer(61 keys) I bought many years ago on the top rung and a Korg Krome 88 key fully-weighted workstation on the bottom. The latter is only about 4 years old.

The M1 needs a new battery and isn't functioning at the moment but the Krome works great and is one of the best keyboards I have ever owned; it has plenty of pianos, organs, basses, drum kits as well as a whole host of orchestral instruments. It is also fully programmable although not at the level of basic envelope synthesis but more at the program combination level.

I haven't played in a group for many years but I still record at home using Cakewalk Sonar and a 24-bit soundcard which I bought a number of years ago at Steve's Music store. I first visited Steve's at the age of 17 and the guy who sold me my first synth in my late 20's still works there.


our sexual wiring

I want you to reflect on something.

Is it possible that the initial attraction you first felt towards females was more heavily steeped in admiration for who you wanted to be than in sexual attraction?

One of the interesting things we note is that many trans people reverse orientation or at least become more open to sexual partners of either sex particularly after the administering of cross sex hormones. Hence, that initial feeling of attraction towards females could have been heavily infused with more a sense of envy in wanting to embody one of them than to be sexually partnered with them.

I have long tried to understand how this mechanism works in our brains and my reality has been that, while having intercourse, I have always taken the mental role of the female. This made me think that our brains may be be wired more towards the female side of the spectrum than the male and we are always pushing against the envelope of a socialization begun based on what sex we were at birth.

Many o…

time travel

Every day of our lives our brains time travel. We go from the past to the present and to the future investigating every corner of possibility along with reliving those moments which haunt, fascinate or delight us about our pasts. We are strange animals that way in that we cannot just sit still and experience the here and now and perhaps that is best. Because it is also a gift to be able to dissect minutes, months or years of our lived experience and learn from them.

Sometimes that can be painful because we may be forced before a mirror to stare at reality in all of its bluntness. However, if we are fortunate, we will come away with nuggets of wisdom after such a naked introspection. Maybe a new light will show us the way to a path we hadn't considered.

What is the expression? Those who do not learn from the past may be doomed to repeat it.

when your ego is bigger than your brain

Trump is such a monumental knucklehead that in front of rolling cameras he makes a fool of himself in his inability to comprehend that a memorandum of understanding is the same thing as a binding contract. It is explained to him that this is the case at the world trade level but to no avail.

But since his ego will not allow someone else to possibly be more versed in a subject, he would rather appear to know what he is talking about when he clearly does not. Flustered, his trade negotiator finally gives up and calls it a contract just to appease and shut him up and what looks embarrassing to the rest of us, in his mind smells like a victory.

It boggles the mind and you know this will be told as a great victory at some future rally.

I give up...


nice to hear

This post might sound boastful but it's not meant that way. It is about the feeling of finding myself inside and how I hope that shines outwardly.

"I told my colleague the other day you're one of our prettiest customers" said the barista.

I blushed instantly of course and thanked her, proud that it's no longer an embarrassing or shameful thing to be called that.

"She told me how old you are and I couldn't believe it. What's your secret?"

I knew her colleague from her previous job at a shoe store and sure I told her my age at some point.

"Cream, cream and cream the face and the rest is genetics I had nothing to do with" I responded.

"But being happy in your skin and having confidence helps" I added.

Both these young women are quite attractive and not a day over 25 years of age so it did my confidence a world of good.

"I didn't have such an easy life" I told her without going into any detail and she furled her br…

a change of approach

I am starting to like the idea of basic universal income more and more and so are some leading economists. With the increasing disappearance of dependable sources of income, there is going to be a need to look after people who cannot be trained in more specialized fields. Hence for example, people that deliver mail, work on assembly lines or scan groceries for a living will be replaced by automation that can do the same thing with greater efficacy and speed.

That human beings can be freed to do more interesting things with their time is not a bad thing, but we need to get rid of the idea that personal validation can only come from our paid work. Perhaps we could embrace being able to work in various projects at once or reinvent ourselves every decade rather than toil at the same job we hate for 40 years.

Many capitalists are against this of course because they say it kills motivation and is the equivalent to a handout except that they themselves have been feeding into the mantra of “…

writing as therapy

Writing my blog has been more instrumental than I ever would have imagined and, by taking what was then scattered notes in a personal journal onto the internet, I created a vehicle for my own personal salvation.

I only realized this in retrospect and seeing the progress I had made since beginning to write. Many of you chimed in with your own stories and a good deal of you have written to me privately to express how much their own experiences mirrored my own. When you represent less than 1% of the population, finding kindred spirits becomes a lifeline you can scarcely afford to ignore and is one of the big reasons I was able to coalesce my thinking on this subject even faster. We should not live our lives in a vacuum when there is so much value in seeking familiarity of paths already tread by others like yourself.

In that sense I am very lucky to have felt the desperation at the time to try out this medium especially not knowing where it might lead. But then, it wasn’t such a large ga…

the "this is the way your life is" school

I am still getting used to this brave new world of education and work.

When I started my career 30 years ago, people graduated with a single-mindedness that saw them end up in companies (sometimes the same one for their entire career) and work until age 65 when they could finally gain their freedom. Things were relatively stable with no switching path in mid stream or taking sabbatical breaks.

Today things are different, and with more uncertain expectations about career choices, these young people are staying in school longer or conversely graduating and going it alone with homespun businesses rather than opt for a large firm which no longer guarantees gainful employment.

When my son and the doctor decided it might be best for him to take a medical leave, my heart skipped a beat because I was used to the idea of just getting on with things. But then I think about the safe choices I made and realize that isn't necessarily the right way to go. Being true to yourself in every way whi…

I will lie, lie, lie...

Daphne always

Daphne lives her life for her...


It's a pity

I walked up to one of the young ladies at my local Payless:

"What is a woman with a larger foot like me going to do now?" I said

"Oh I know" she lamented "I loved our team here"

I have known Kim the manager for quite some time and we engage in small talk from time to time. I will miss her team but also the ease of finding my size plus the pricing. Now it's back to being gouged through online ordering because stores stop at size 11.

I will find a way of course as I always do but it's a shame that such a good concept is not going to survive.

Farewell Payless Shoes. You served me well for many years.


bravo Ellen Page

"Ellen Page says it's time to step up to support transgender people, as she says they're being demonised and dehumanised.

The 32-year-old actress - who is married to Emma Portner - has said that transgender people are under attack as one of the most marginalized groups of people, and believes more needs to be done to protect them.

She said: "We need to realize that a lot of the most marginalized people in our community have been left behind. We need to step up for trans people because they're under attack."

The Juno star decided to speak out after lesbian tennis player Martina Navratilova was fired from an LGBTQ charity last week for making transphobic comments against transgender female athletes.

Navratilova said: "A man can decide to be female, take hormones if required by whatever sporting organization is concerned, win everything in sight and perhaps earn a small fortune, and then reverse his decision and go back to making babies."

And respondi…

an endless supply

Realizing that there is so much meanness and venom in the world towards transgender people should be strangely reassuring to us. Yes, it sounds counterintuitive, but my point is that you cannot worry about what everyone thinks because there are plenty of stupid people in the world and more where they came from. In fact, there will always be an endless supply of those whose malevolence is more powerful than their desire to do good.

I used to worry about how I was being perceived and how society would treat me if I were more open about who I am, and it turned out to be wasted energy. Those who think you are a freak will continue to so why not just live the way you want to. There is nothing more liberating than this.

Therefore, unplug yourself from the pressure to live up to an artificial standard and live your life knowing that there is always someone out there too ignorant to understand what makes you tick except that they don’t matter.

Your opinion, and that of those you love, are th…

buoyant

I am currently making decisions based on the fact that I am on my own and don't have someone else's feelings to consider; it makes the reflection process somewhat easier. I never expected to be weighing any type of social transition like I am now and understand very well those of you in healthy marriages who know the price of another step taken. This is why we often see trans people who are older attempt transitions only after a divorce or the death of a spouse.

It pains me to think we cannot be accepted for who we are but then I realize that there is a type of false advertising present when we progress to a state where we become someone other than the person they married. Yes, there can be growth, but a change of gender wasn't part of the bargain when we said "I do". But each step forward cannot be taken back and, once we taste where we must be, it is worth more than the price of negotiated companionship. In the end, we will only become frustrated that we had to…

Not to be forgotten

From the album Secret Story...


Catherine et Liliane

Catherine et Liliane is a duo composed of two French actors in drag (Alex Lutz and Bruno Sanches) who perform a series of little comical vignettes. It's harmless enough if a bit exaggerated.

If you understand French it's a bonus, but if not, you can still appreciate the physicality and campiness of it.

Blonde Lutz on the right is particularly stylish in a choice of garb which is something I would wear in a heartbeat..


"workeen"

Yes, I know I'm getting old and cranky.

I was listening to a millenial writer on a CBC radio show talking about burnout and I had to switch it off. The constant use of the word 'like' for no particular reason plus her tendency to drop down an octave to a growl at the end of each phrase (almost a la California valley girl) was too much for me to bear.

The icing on the cake was her refusal to pronounce the 'ing' at the end of words such as working and pronounce them as "workeen". That was the last straw for me.

I am no linguist but are we losing the English language?

This person was allegedly a writer.


a little affirmation

I was approached this morning at a mall by a very nice man although I could instantly read what he wanted. He meant no harm and I decided to just chat with him for a few minutes.

He started by telling me he liked tall girls followed by the line that I should have been a model and looked no older than 40 which was a dead giveaway line. But he was so kind and gentle about it that I decided that being rude would be totally uncalled for. After I told him I was still married, he told me that my husband was very lucky and he then walked away with me wishing him a very nice day.

I will admit to you that this incident felt somewhat affirming of my femininity because it means my presentation is where it should be. However, I am also not looking for anything these days, from a woman or a man, other than peace whereas he was looking for a ciswoman to date.


come hell or high water

60 years of age is my limit after which I don't think I can continue to work the way I do. My job no longer motivates me and simply provides money with which to help support my children and my ex. There are limits and I am reaching mine. I am increasingly solidifying on the idea that I will be working as Joanna by then come hell or high water.

It's not that I am stressed about this but I know that going past that milestone would begin to test my patience. By that time my pension will be fully vested, my daughter will already have been working for some time in the animation industry, and my son attending university while most likely living with me.

He is perfectly at ease with my identity and he will just need to accustom himself to seeing me in women's clothing which he assures me will not be an issue at all.




good night

The last song on the White album with vocals by Ringo...


why I rarely talk cross gender arousal

There's a good reason I barely bring up cross gender arousal anymore: we're not perverts.

After many years of reading the literature, other people's blogs plus examining my own life, I came to the conclusion that the arousal is a symptom of dysphoria and a mismatch (whether partial or full) between gender identity and plumbing which do not align. Fantasizing as a woman while still having the equipment of a male is an odd match and a recipe for extreme confusion. However, I am not confused any longer and haven't been for the longest time.

If transition is right you will know it and it will be in spite of this arousal and not because of it. If the opposite were true you would be asking for your money back pretty quickly once your testosterone, and therefore libido, were depleted. But this is clearly not the case for the vast majority of male to female trans people.

Therefore that chapter is closed and only reopened on occasion when I see yet another imbecilic reference t…

bump

After seeing the doctor with my son yesterday I realized he is not doing as well as we thought. He is on his way to failing some of his courses thanks to an inability to concentrate. He has apparently hit a bump in the road.

Hence we decided with the doctor to focus on getting well with a combination of medication and therapy and drop the rest of the school semester rather than fail it. She will provide a doctors note and we will hope he can go back in the fall.

I know how frustrating it is for me and it must be all the more for him. But I am trying to see this as a small misstep in the larger scheme of life where things could be a lot worse than they are. None of us are spared in life but I am convinced that he will ultimately prevail over this and grow all the more as a person.

I hope to see him renewed when he returns to school in the fall which he tells me he definitely wants to do. In the meantime the Spain trip will do the three of us a world of good.


blackbird

"They're from a derner"

a guest post

Well here is a first for my blog.

Linda, who is from the UK and a regular reader of my blog, was very kind to have written a review of my book which she encouraged me to share with the rest of my readers (thanks so much Linda!)....

"I have been following Joanna’s blog for some time, probably because I feel a kindred spirit and like Joanna, I also think about many aspects of being trans and we happen to be a similar age. I had wanted to read her book but am not able to make online purchases without my wife being aware. However, when Joanna recently offered to give her book to anyone who asked, I jumped at my chance.

First of all, it is of course very well written as are her posts. It was also lovely to learn more of her upbringing and insights into life in her own family. Joanna is also very open and honest describing her intimate thoughts and feelings throughout her life. As expected, she summarises literature and reminded me of the reassurance I also got from Benjamin and S…

taking your time

Transition can take as little or as long as you need and take on many forms. You may need to physically transition, socially transition or simply transition from being closeted to being out in the world as a fully self-accepting transgender person. This is the beauty of today: there is room for all of us.

I have yet to see where my resting point lies on my journey but that doesn't stress me in the least as I am very much enjoying the ride. I want to savor every facet of the trip rather than hurry from point A to point B. My progression has been dramatic over the years but it has taken decades instead of a few years with that surefootedness the reason I am able to know I am at the right place at each junction of my life.

Yes, it's been a long haul but I don't believe it's been wasted time. Instead it's been an experience I will continue to savor even more heartily as I advance in age now devoid of the distress and angst that used to accompany me.

Remember that you&…

you better watch out...

The establishment, which includes mainstream media, doesn't want Bernie Sanders to succeed because he upsets their apple cart. After all, this is a man who marched with Martin Luther King in the 1960's and isn't about false talking points. No, he is the real deal and they know it which shakes them to their core.

Bernie risks putting a big dent in their system of oligarchy which is why the major newspapers and networks, owned by billionaires who would stand to pay more taxes, aren't going to roll out the welcome mat and will make his ride as bumpy as possible.

But there is a new appetite among the people for an FDR style New Deal which would empower the lower classes and, by bringing them Medicare for all and free college tuition at the expense of regime change wars and the Wall Street parties, this would risk toppling what the top 1% has built at the expense of everyone else. Consider that in his first 24 hours after announcing, Bernie raised $6 million among 224,000 d…

Tucker triggered

Poor Tucker Carlson he really blows his cool here. When he isn't in control and his guests are smarter than he is (which isn't all that hard) it just sets him off.

The profanity flows when he knows he's been outflanked by a historian who will not be intimidated...


composure

Besides improving my makeup and dressing skills the single biggest change I made was to work on body language. This is so pivotally important that it cannot be overstated and makes the difference between looking like a guy in a dress versus a dignified lady.

I already had it in me to behave and move the way I wanted, but I had trouble giving myself permission to do so. After all, there were decades of Pavlovian training working against me plus my own fear of being clocked. But it wasn’t until I relaxed and just let myself be the person I wanted to be, that things fell into place. I know exactly what to do now in each presentation to the point that both have become instinctive and I don’t need to even think about it.

Presenting in public in any sort of situation is scary at first and if you have never done it before it can appear daunting, but like everything else it takes practice which in our case is mostly about removing hang-ups rooted in unwarranted fear. Thinking that everyone i…

DVT

A recent post by Diana on deep vein thrombosis (or DVT for short) made me think once again of the dangers which HRT poses for some of us. Many transwomen have died from this and others have been lucky to have had clots discovered just in time. After having suffered a stroke in my mid-forties, I have decided I will not take the risk of HRT even if I was sure it was what I wanted.

HRT has been a godsend for many transgender women and I am glad for them. My online friends Caryn and Sherry as well as Halle have all gone that route without regret and to date all are healthy and happy. I suppose it just takes that extra level of vigilance and to make sure you are checked out regularly by a physician. Still, I will not take that risk for myself and given the fact that I in my late fifties it may be more reason not to venture into those waters. I suppose it makes it easier when you aren’t 100% certain that HRT is for you in the first place.

If I ever decide to transition to full time, it will…

neither seen or heard

I know my value and I hope you know yours too.

It wasn’t all that long ago that I was struggling with the idea that measuring up to the right standard meant not being transgender and I expended much effort in minimizing as much as possible its footprint in my life. I would go about sparing everyone around me as if I were some sort of pariah and it did me absolutely no good. As a result my life became more complicated than it needed to be.

In retrospect, I am saddened by this but there is nothing I can do about it now. All I can do is resolve to live the rest of my life with full respect for the person I am and decide who is worthy of my time and attention. Thinking that I would be lucky to have someone tolerate me is no longer even on my radar, although it was something I once aimed for as its own reward.

It is unfortunate that this is a phase many of us go through until we come to the realization that there is nothing wrong with us instead of something amiss with the world which surr…

Bernie announces!!

Now he would make a great president. An honest and hard working politician who was worked tirelessly for decades for fairness and justice for all.

Let's get rid of that fat and corrupt orange dummkopf.

Go Bernie!


bloodwork

It's easy to point fingers at transsexual women and accuse them of having unfair advantages but that wouldn't be true. It didn't help Renee Richards and it doesn't help Rachel McKinnon today. When your testosterone levels are that of a normal woman's and the musculature suffers as a consequence over time, you are effectively just like any other woman.

Let's remember that even among biological women there is sufficient diversity in size and strength. Would the governing sport committees propose that we handicap Serena Williams due to her larger frame and natural strength? Of course not. She would arguably beat another smaller transgender woman handily and probably a good handful of seeded men players as well.

Martina Navratilova took the opportunity to take a shot here based on misinformation and not on fact and it is the kind of argument that helps anti-trans sentiment gain traction.

Let's base qualification on the bloodwork and leave it at that shall we?.


as we age

Linda Coleman read my book and provided some wonderful feedback. Her email gave me some food for thought in that she suggested that I could have added a chapter on transgender aging and I indeed I will probably do so in the next edition.

We do indeed change over time and it can be dramatic.

At first there is an almost teenage-like fascination with the clothing but as we mature the feelings deepen and it is about the warmth of experiencing life as our core gender. We undergo a deeply profound metamorphosis which is more about internal identification than what we have on our bodies. The clothing then becomes just an outward manifestation of that joy rather than it's own reward. But we are not brought up as girls and hence must suffer our pubescent prat falls which will happen chronologically later than for a biological female. Once that phase is over we will be left with the adult transgender individual who is certain of who they are.

The options are greater today than ever which ca…

what feeds this blog

It has been mentioned to me more than once as to why I write more often now that my life as a transgender person has really begun to blossom. I have reflected on this and you may have noted that, over time, this blog has become more than a one trick pony. I have begun to express the fuller sense of who I am which is more than just a trans person. I think of myself, more accurately, as a person who just happens to be trans.

This means that my ideas on such subjects as politics, music, philosophy, human culture and religion will be expressed more often and, at the risk of inventing a word, through the lens of my “transness”.

I love to write and the human condition, in all its messiness, continues to fascinate me. We as a species are so mysterious yet at the same time so highly predictable in our patterns because much of the world continues to operate on the fear of difference and standing out among the crowd. This why I am in awe of people who can define themselves on their own terms an…

ripples

"She shakes her head as if to say that it's the last time you'll look like today..."


excellent advice

Some excellent advice from a very thoughtful, young and intelligent transgender woman...


Andrew Yang

Andrew Yang is smart and more than overmatches one of the stooges at FOX News who are taught to repeat the same tiresome mantra.

Ten thousand dollars per year universal basic income is a very smart idea because it might be just be enough to discourage many from falling into destitute poverty in the US and still keep capitalism running smoothly.

This FOX host does his best to derail Yang to no avail and resorts to the usual "Oh look, its socialism!!" talking points as he's made to look uninformed by him. The irony in all this, of course, is that Yang is proposing something that would help much of Trump's base.

David Pakman very ably explains...


a childhood regained

I didn't exactly get to live my youth the way I would have liked but then I suspect no one really does. There was never a truly carefree period where I could completely be myself and I suffered a fair bit of anxiety coming from being the eldest plus needing to hide a deep dark secret. Thus, I feel that I owe myself a childhood with the added bonus of having the mindset of an adult who knows a few things about the way the world functions.

I am not frustrated about this little injustice but have simply resolved to allow that lightness of spirit meant for youth to infuse my life. I don't blame my parents or society for this failing and, after all, life does offer us an opportunity to learn and grow at any age.

I intend to use my experience and live like I never have before; to let the inner child have some fun even as the adult navigates those unavoidable natural obstacles of our existence.

carapace

If we are not careful we can build a carapace around ourselves which only hardens with age. We've all been burned by life in one way or another and it can be tempting to let that scar tissue be our armor against further offenses. However I feel that reopening ourselves again might be the right thing to do even if it can feel dangerous and reckless.

I will sometimes wake up from dreams that tempt me to enclose myself against the elements of life and then, when fully awake, will rethink my strategy. Maybe it is best to be as open as we once were before life got to us and taught to carry baggage which only saddled us with pain and hurt.

At least we can try.

my book "Different"

I was not looking to make a lot of money from writing my book so any of you who would like to have a pdf copy should simply write to me via the contact form on my site and provide a valid email. I will be glad to send you a copy.

I want to thank my dear friend Calie for the plug on T-Central. She is one of those people whose fortitude and commitment I greatly admire.


I want love

a question of origin

I have reflected at great length on possible external social causes for my transsexualism and in that light have analyzed my own life for signs of how it could have originated. My father was a kind but distant intellectual and I had two sisters who were born after me. Hence, in my early years, I spent a lot of time in the company of women without an overly dominant masculine presence.

To the best of my memory my mother did nothing to encourage my behavior and in fact it was she whose severe verbal scolding I will always credit for my taking any crossdressing activity underground. I wasn’t older than 4 years old when she admonished me for wearing her shoes. I have asked her about this over the years and, besides the shoe episode, she saw no signs from me that I was anything but a normal boy. I did my best to fit in and show no signs of effeminacy which I would only permit myself to exhibit in the privacy of my room.

To what degree transsexualism is both a nature and nurture combination…

dangerous times

This is a more dangerous time than ever for transgender and gender non-conforming people because through their increased visibility they have attracted the ire of the extremists. In the past you could hope to transition in stealth or keep your gender variance private, but with our coming out we have become a magnet.

I know I am relatively fortunate because I live in a very liberal province of a very liberal nation and I don’t take that for granted. Despite my stature I am also able to blend in well but others in the world are not so fortunate and are subjected to indignities that no one should suffer. All this because of the ignorance and brutality of people who are not enlightened and don’t want to be.

The United States is presently being held hostage by a radical cabal of extremists who are trying to take over the courts and take the country into a direction of mixing politics with religion which is a dangerous cocktail. The minute you start to discriminate based on gender, orienta…

guilt, shame and fear

red pumps

I am on the lookout for a pair of red pumps but it's not urgent. They've been on my radar for a while because I think some outfits really pop in them. I may come upon them one day second hand or some store will have a sale in my size (which is not easy at size 12). That is the scourge of being a tall woman.

In Toronto there was a store called Long Tall Sally where they carried up to a woman's size 15. I was assured by the owner that they did indeed sell the occasional pair at that size.

Oh how I would be despondent were my feet that size.


harness

I am leery of medications used to combat anxiety and depression. My son is on Celexa and our recent attempt to switch to Effexor to improve things did not go well; he fell under a spell of fatigue and nausea which began to threaten his school year and so we decided to forego the process. He may try again in the summer or he may not.

I have always been anxious from a young age and so was my father except at that time we did not resort to medication. We simply got on with our lives and those uncomfortable times were handled as best as we could. We suffered through the discomfort knowing there was nothing else to be done.

I credit some of my fortitude today to having been able to withstand the pressure and not divulge anything to my parents. On the other hand I concede that today's microfocus world of social media isn't helping these kids; that and our rush to come to their aid and alleviate their pain and suffering. I see them now come to the workplace with a certain false confi…

the best thing

Accepting that some of us should have been born girls shouldn't be a big deal and taking steps to grapple with that seen as a positive reaction. There is little use in fighting upstream and I can attest to that fully now. Living life while going in the right direction has saved my happiness and done wonders for my disposition.

I wasn't an angry person before but certainly angrier than I am now and the internal battle which raged against my own nature was like slow and painful torture.

It is better to flow in the direction of the current with the understanding that life as a transgender person is going to be hard. Like all of us, I was given some talents but also one big challenge which I have found a way to deal with.

So if you are able, find a way to honor who you are and, if that path is to transition, then do so while trying your best to respect the commitments you made to others. I say this but then I have come to realize that my kids were going to love me no matter what I…

temper, temper

CNN's Jim Acosta has a gift for saying what the rest of us are thinking and here he is calling Trump on his audacious horseshit. National emergency? Ah right.

You can really feel Trump writhing here and making up stuff as he goes...


off balance

Ideally, you should have a solid understanding of yourself before you can give and accept love from another. This is universal and should apply to everyone.

If not we will fall victim to our own or their baggage and constantly be subject to its festering wounds. For some of us its childhood trauma and some unresolved issue with a parent who is now deceased. For others it will be abandonment issues and feeling insecure in our skin such that the partner becomes a panacea that never does the trick.

The other person doesn't make us happy but we are lulled into this illusion via the advertisement of romantic love as a cure all from more than just loneliness. With time that promise feels more like a lie we should have been able to read. It is we who make ourselves happy or miserable and the partner is an addition who can bring richness or tragedy with the understanding that compromise cannot be avoided. Even if you have your act together, their trauma may add complexity which forces yo…

ask then tell

I met Glenn yesterday who was friendly and engaging at the Standard Cafe near Patricia's office. He has travelled the world extensively and we spoke about some of the overlap locations where we have both been. The three of us including Patricia spoke about his potential involvement in her company. Later he needed to make a call so Patricia and I continued to talk while she had something to eat.

I then took the opportunity to speak to her about what I thought would be the best way to handle my being trans. She was very curious because she wanted to do the right thing so I told her to only tell if people asked. In other words, if someone suspected I might be trans and asked her, she was free to respond affirmatively. Otherwise, she was to not say anything. She thought this a grand idea and it took the pressure off her as to what to do. To date, no one has asked her anything and I suspect that, to many, I am just a woman who works with her.

For example, young Tanya an architect who a…

Thoreau

no one pushing but me

I am slated to see Dr. Morris again in July and to be honest I don’t exactly know what I am going to say to him. After meeting me, he was open to letting me decide what I want to do as he could clearly see that I was transgender. He told me he has seen very few patients as advanced as I am who have never taken hormones before.

He smartly suggested nothing which I very much admired because, if he had, it would have made me suspicious that he was trying to push me in a certain direction. If anything, he asked why I would want to begin HRT given that it would quash my libido. However, libido is hardly a concern of mine these days and I am more reflecting on just how far into full time I need and want to take my life as Joanna.

Right now, outside of work I am virtually already living full time as a woman with the only question remaining whether that ever goes to full time with a corresponding change of gender marker. This can of course be accomplished without taking hormones so there is …

oxygen

TERFS have a problem with transgender women saying that they feel they are women. For them it is about biology only. So, they will cozy up to a right wing that doesn’t care for their beliefs and protests the fact that many of them might be lesbians. They make for unlikely allies in the war against men entering women’s spaces.

This war pits gender against sex. To what degree does a person not biologically born a certain sex get to determine that they belong to the other gender group. It is a war that has no obvious and clear-cut answer because the gender one feels one is will never be reflected by plumbing. This goes to the advantage of the literalists who say no matter how much one modifies their body, the sex cannot be modified at the chromosomal level. But we don’t live with chromosomes. We live with reality that we don’t get to stare at people’s genitals, know whether they have had mastectomies or whether someone is intersex. The rubber hits the road is how the person looks, sound…

the woman inside

It doesn't matter what the external plumbing is. First understanding that you are a woman on the inside, is what helps immeasurably in your ability to relate to the world. Once this knowledge became entrenched and allowed myself the freedom to be who I was, dealing with others became far easier. The way I relate to other women today and they relate to me is as if I had always been one. There is an instant connection and ability to communicate.

Its fascinating how this happens as you discover what was there all along was being impacted by your efforts to make a go of it as a man in the world.

I allow that woman inside free expression and it is effortless. It is also why I am able to blend in with a level of success I never could have thought possible as witnessed by that gaggle of teenage girls who don't give me a second thought as they pass me or that woman I chat with at the coffee line.


an adult at the helm

This disgrace for a president will sign the spending bill that the House and Senate are expected to pass but then his massive ego will compel him to declare a state of emergency to get the rest of the funding for his "wall". This despite the fact that illegal entry via the southern border is at a historic low. However his low education base doesn't care for facts and are more interested in action which includes attacking BBC photographers at MAGA rallies while chanting "This is 'Merica"

Putting the United States into further debt to please the likes of the deplorable and intolerably smug Anne Coulter is not smart but then no one ever accused Trump of being that. It's just that he'd rather grab pussy than be called one.

Pelosi and the rest of the Democratic house will do well to take Trump to court as this is not a genuine emergency but rather the crying wolf of a toddler who cannot otherwise get his way.

I would imagine that by now most Americans m…

loving what you see

Realizing and admitting that I was transsexual took me many years, but that fog has now cleared. We don’t get to pick who we are in life but that reality cannot be hidden indefinitely especially from ourselves. What I am doing today is trying to judiciously reconcile the reality of the life I built with the person I genuinely am inside.

That hasn’t been easy but the mere fact that I am no longer negating who I am, has made a huge difference in my level of happiness. I can now live my life closer to the way I want even if it is not yet a perfect reflection of the ideal.

We become experts at subterfuge and denial until we run out of road and there is nowhere else to go but stare at a mirror and accept. The next step is to love what you see even if that image is something you were taught was an aberration of humanity.

I am there now, comfortable and able to see a more positive outlook on my life and there is no price that can be put on that.

aftermath

I took this photo after yesterday's storm was over. The calm beauty of the aftermath...


Locke

the right sex

I am no longer interested in relationships but it is in that void something odd has happened: the idea of being with a man is not as farfetched and ludicrous idea as it once was; as least in theory. As I have come to accept and embrace my femininity, I am noticing that there isn’t a firm no but more of a maybe present. My sexuality, although pointed more strongly in the direction of women, is perhaps not as static as I had led myself to believe.

It is no doubt an affirming thing as a woman to have the attention of a man, but I am not looking for it. Instead it seems to just be there as a potential hanging in the background. I will admit that sometimes I fantasize about having a gentleman take me out to dinner and treat me as a lady. If I am indeed comfortable as a woman then it would be natural to accept that attention. My sexuality seems to be positioning itself towards the idea of the right person rather than the right sex.

I am happy on my own now after a long period of adaptation,…

snow day

I am writing this wearing a black long sleeve top, some checkered pants and a pair of black pumps. I am in the Montreal underground after needing to dig myself out of 30 cm (12 inches for you Americans) of snow to let the street plows do their work. So I drove to the center and parked underground while the city clears. I then ditched my boots and jacket in the car and switched to my heels.

I will stay here most of the day and drive home this evening in hopes that my neighborhood will look a little cleaner. When it comes to these storms I am a pretty resourceful girl because, after all, I have lived here most of my life.

As I entered one of the underground coffee places I sometimes frequent, the young female barista said

"Hey beautiful I haven't seen you for a while"

It made all the shoveling worthwhile.

decoupled

The older I get the more I comprehend what gender means on a personal level. I have pondered my own educational history and have watched how society functions and pressures people into roles that do not necessarily fit them.

At its core, gender is about expressing masculinity versus femininity which is normally correlated with birth sex but clearly not in every case. The error we made as a society was to assume that those who did not align with this were somehow deviant or sick instead of belonging to what proved to be a spectrum. However, the education of both sexes became so pervasive that both saw any deviation from the norm as proof there was something deeply wrong with the individual. Hence, for example, biological women were taught to reject males who were not masculine enough to be their mate. This wasn’t their fault as much as the intensity of the message they received from the time they were born.

There are probably biological forces at play here as well where women seek a p…

something is wrong

There is a reason that charging higher marginal tax rates is catching on even among Republican voters: people are seeing a broken system where some are benefitting greatly while a large majority are increasingly losing out.

Income disparity has become a huge problem in America and it is getting worse. However the answer isn't about the rich throwing dollar bills out the window but rather returning to paying their fair share as they did during the greatest economic growth period in the country's history; a time when those marginal rates were sometimes as high as 91%.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's proposal is hardly revolutionary: increase marginal rates for every dollar above 10 million. This money will then get fed back into the public infrastructure development, schools, health and other beneficiaries. Your entire society benefits a little and the wealthy can still lead the lifestyle they desire. During Eisenhower's presidency those marginal rates kicked in above $200,00…

still at it

Think about it for a moment. If Walt Heyer were truly concerned about transgender people he wouldn't just be focusing on the regret cases. He would be looking at a slice of the entire community and realize there are plenty of people who have happily transitioned and are leading as normal a life as they are permitted to. But this isn't about that but more about religious fervor and retribution.

Walt found Jesus whom he credits for a conversion and wants everyone else to do the same; except it doesn't quite work that way. Many of us are already spiritual and balanced people who aren't any less transgender.

Being a poster boy for the right is a big responsibility and Walt isn't about to let them down. Those who desire nothing good for transgender people, want to use his repentance as an example of the wrongheadedness in thinking that hormones and a cosmetic operation are going to turn someone into a woman or a man.

I seriously doubt that Walt ever suffered from dyspho…

bit by bit

Earlier in my life, shyness and self conciousness almost consumed me and was one of the primary reasons for not speaking out. Between that and the shame and guilt, I was being eaten alive inside; bit by bit.

This is why it all had to come to a head for me. It was either face my worst fear or perish. The stroke and the divorce were the type of events that had to happen before I began to change my life for the better. I often state here that we can all remake ourselves at any period on our lives and that the consequences of inaction are sometimes far worse than facing up to something that terrifies you.

Today I am living life the way I could never have imagined as the transgender person I wouldn't allow myself to be. Sitting on the other side of that fence it's easy to look back and laugh but it was no laughing matter then; far from it.

Being authentic isn't a choice it is a necessity so if you are not living that life now, try to find ways to approach it for your own benef…

windows

Finding higher meaning has been one the main preoccupations of the great philosophers for thousands of years. The idea that there is a purpose for our birth and subsequent death and that our existence here is part of a higher plan has been their main quest.

When one ponders life outside of the context of religion, it becomes harder to justify. If we are just small creatures living on a rock and then, if we are fortunate, disappearing some 80 years later, it is easier to fall into nihilistic thinking and despair and yet many of us find great joy in the daily experiences of life.

I find comfort sometimes in stepping away from what I am doing and observe it from higher up. Imagine hovering several kilometers in altitude over the earth and pondering how meaningless much of what goes on here actually is. It is in that moment that we would find perspective and come to realize that much of what occupies our attention is just filler and otherwise wasted time doing things to avoid reflecting o…

Camus

I remember reading Camus' "L'Etranger" in high school French class...


the iconic black pump

Ever since I was very little I had a fascination for my mother's black pumps which holds true to this day. Don't ask me why although the most convenient answer could be that I should have been born a girl and was drawn to girl things.

Now that I can virtually live my life in them it's always nice to watch the odd style video showing us how to make an outfit pop.

This shoe is the one staple that cannot be missing from your closet and, if it is, please take your temperature :).....


free thought

The search for spiritual truth and the practice of religion are not necessarily the same thing. Religion is the application of spiritual ideas within a shared and formalized structure but it can be soiled with human ideas and foibles that warp its essential message.

You may have noticed that it has never been in the interest of most traditional religions to allow its flocks to think because this would invite a possibility of disadhereing from their rules. Hence it was better to have black and white pronouncements which were to be followed to gain access to some reward.

Clearly it is impossible that all religions are correct because there is only one universal truth. This is how we know how divergent we are from what likely be a huge shock to all of them. Yes, they share a common message of gaining some sort of divine discovery through some power higher than ourselves. However, there are plenty of distractions which entrap the faithful more enamored of ceremony, to get caught up in the…

a new gig

Companies don't hire like they used to and the newer generation knows it. They are helping to create what is becoming known as the "gig economy" where short stints or only part time work is being sought. Alternatively, many of these young people are creating their own online businesses and building their own brand that way.

It is not an easy time where the average combined salary of two young people is dwarfed by the price of homes that are many times more. Hence many of them are foregoing the traditional nuclear family model and will find alternate ways to lead their lives.

Many of the industries that would employ people in their twenties have disappeared and include the then decent paying blue collar jobs now outsourced to low wage markets. What is still left here is being given to immigrants at dirt poor wages.

It may take some time for the dust to settle during our conversion from a traditional company based model to a more scattered one replete with individual merch…

fog

How do we recognize that we truly love another being and that they love you? What gives it away?

I think if we had the answer to that question there would be no failed relationships. However, I do not think it is something we can entirely quantify. Since no two individuals are alike, that relationahip cocktail we create becomes uniquely yours and cannot be duplicated. The only indicator you will have will be the ability to survive the good as well as the harsh moments which will test the bond's endurance and elasticity.

Once you are inside your fog it hinders the objectivity that those looking in will sometimes possess. They will see those signs that you couldn't or wouldn't be made aware of.

I heard a radio program recently where a researcher went about systematically measuring for factors that would draw people to one another. He did extensive interviews in which he asked questions about their ideal partner and tried to determine their personality type. This was followed…

Suzanne

Most of you have no doubt seen the Transline series of videos which feature Suzanne; an older transgender person who has been through more than a few struggles to get to where she is today. This includes two failed marriages.

She now lives the way she wants to without guilt or shame which, for someone from her generation, is quite the achievement....


Chomsky on AOC

Noam Chomsky has been, for many decades, an outspoken critic of the injustices of his own government. Here he is commenting on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's rise to prominence in the Democratic party through her own brand of outrage for the policies of an administration and party who continues to put money into the coffers of the ultra wealthy while ignoring the shrinking middle class. She has also risked censure and disdain from the centrist wing of her own party who have become the new moderate Republicans...