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Showing posts from February, 2019

"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...


if it ain't broke...

When you frequent businesses, cafes and restaurants where you live, you become known after a while. Hence, I am now that over middle aged lady that people say hello to and I sometimes need to remember their faces as they do.

That list has become quite extensive and those overlaps have increased my confidence to a new high. It has allowed me to further appreciate my seemingly expanding time spent as a woman and test how I want to live going forward; some of which will depend on where I end up working.

But what is more pertinent today is that I have established a reliable and winning formula to manage my gender dysphoria and find absolute joy in the process. I find the interactions with others easy and relaxing and I am always treated and addressed as a lady which only confirms that I am doing things right.

One of those merchants I mentioned was only too happy to take this dressing room picture of me wearing a top she strongly encouraged I try on. It was simply too good a fit and price…

Thomas Hobbes

a good reason to worry

With the GOP stacking the courts with extremist judges, it won't be long before gay conversion therapy becomes the norm of the land and trans people are running for their lives or at least their livelihood.

Thanks to whackjobs like Mike Pence, Franklin Graham and others, America is starting to look like a caricature, with the founding fathers rolling in their graves from lack of recognition of the country they started. Their clear intent of escaping from both monarchy and a meddling church has been conveniently forgotten.

Something drastic happened over the last 50 years to infest politics with the kind of "flat earth-type" lunacy that will be the undoing of a previously enlightened nation. Religion and politics don't mix going all the way back to the New Testament where Jesus is heard to utter

"Give unto God what is God's and to Caesar what is Caesar's"

Of course this should be a national embarrassment but also a good reason to panic because infri…

improvement

In theory we should improve year by year. Yes, the pitfalls of life will still be there but our ability to avoid or at least better navigate through them should be better honed.

We learn by watching others but also through our own suffering which stamps us with indelible memories of what it feels like to get burned. Age also allows for a more efficient use of our energy in knowing when to accelerate versus when we should coast when the occasion calls.

We don't all improve at the same rates but I have never met an older person without some battle scars and the lessons that they invariably came with. That improvement takes time and doesn't come in measured time but more in bursts of experience which then illicit a growth response in us.

If we are fortunate, we will one day be able to see the marked difference and rejoice in the knowledge that the difficulties weren't all for naught.


self indulgence

I've been wondering of late whether this blog has now become an exercise in self indulgence for it is certainly no longer one of therapy.

I write what I think which has become an amalgamation of my ideas on philosophy, politics, music as well as the gender issues I almost exclusively focused on at one time.

Once you have established a routine it is hard to stop but if I thought I were writing for self indulgence I would. For some reason I need to keep this journal and if someone finds it useful then I am glad.

It has become for me a document of my transformation over a number of years and proof that we can all find our own type of deliverance if we search hard enough. That we can free ourselves from our own prisons and find ourselves again or, perhaps, for the very first time.

Even if all were erased it would have been worth all the effort.

finding the flaw

I can be a complicated person which is both a good and a bad thing. This means I think about and analyze everything and apply a level of discernment which I can tend, on more than one occasion, to overdo. Thus, when I was younger I couldn’t enjoy myself as much as I would have liked and simply let my hair down.

Today I am learning this lesson and can, more freely than ever, enjoy myself as well as the company of others. It is when you are completely at ease with your own identity, that this tends to happen. I still analyze of course, because I cannot help myself and yet it is done with much less of a tendency to find the flaws which, for a long time, I so readily found in myself. I can see the good in everything much sooner while also being able to recognize the aspects I do not favor. The latter is also more readily ignored and chalked up to the imperfection of our existence.

We are all flawed creatures doing our best to get by in a world that doesn’t appreciate any divergence from i…

Canterbury

One of my instrumentals...


withstanding the test of time

It would be simplistic to stick to a limited and outdated model of strictly gynephilic versus strictly androphilic in describing male to female transsexuals when in reality many trans people are not so easily put into either category. Some transgender people transition and reverse orientation and we have all heard of crossdressers say they welcome male attention when dressed as women but would not when dressed as men.

What is going on here?

In truth, sexual orientation is a little more elastic in some people than some would like to believe; as is gender identity. This is why we see this apparent fluidity which Kinsey first discovered in his work on human sexuality in the 1940's. Somewhat analogous to Harry Benjamin, Kinsey developed a scale of sexual orientation from heterosexual to homosexual to catalog what he observed. At that time there was visually no possibility for any variance, however behind closed doors, it was entirely different. Today more people than ever are apt to s…

can utility and the coastliners

One of my all-time favorite Genesis songs...


confidence booster

Whereas I used to pack on the makeup in the beard area of the face, I now use a much lighter foundation application thanks to the laser treatments and the Silk'n product I bought. The fact that whatever hair is there is turning white doesn't hurt either. Granted I don't have the skin of a 20 year old any longer, but daily cream applications help to keep it taut and my Mediterranean heritage helps too.

As you can see there isn't much difference between the upper and lower part of the face and Patricia has told me that even close up she doesn't see any hint of beard.

I can't tell you how important that's been for my confidence as an aging woman.


Choosing greatness

waste not want not

The waiting of food is a significant problem in the west and we typically throw out between 25 to 50% of our grocery purchases. Much is this food is still good and restaurants and grocery stores are just as guilty as we are in seeing some of it end up in dumpsters.

I live alone and so my food purchases tend to be small. Hence I typically consume virtually everything I buy. However the larger the family, the more the likelihood that things will be thrown out.

Our society is becoming increasingly aware of this important issue especially since there are people doing without enough food. If we all do our part to be less wasteful we will be contributing to making things better for everyone.


entitlement

I will not be able to watch the State of the Union address tonight because that would make me physically ill. Watching this oaf read from a teleprompter with his accordion player gesturing about the urgency of building a wall to stop the dangerous hoards at the border would be enough to short circuit my brain cells.

Anyone who still buys the narrative that Trump is selling might want to give their head a shake and realize it’s all a distraction from the encroaching Mueller investigation. Whether that report ever sees the light of day remains to be seen but when this presidency is over in 2020, Trump will have a plethora of legal troubles tied to his Russia connections as well as his other shady business dealings. Most if not all will be found to have various degrees of tax evasion.

Trump has thus far shown a level of psychopathy that is troubling but not surprising. His level of entitlement harks back to his history as a spoiled child of rich parents who saw no trouble in conducting …

Four Holes in the Ground

The first time I heard PFM I was 17 years old and I was totally amazed. These Italian progsters could really cook and this little masterpiece of a song was one that appeared on their 1974 album "The World Became the World" which was an English version of their original Italian release with translated lyrics courtesy of King Crimson's Pete Sinfield....


Gabbard says all the right things

I don't know how much of this she could deliver on as president, but in her campaign launch Tulsi Gabbard delivers a powerful message which would make her platform the antithesis to that of the clueless idiot presently in the white house.

It's a "let's clean up America" speech.

The core of her message starts around the 6:15 mark...


"Hun"

This coming May I will be going on a girls weekend with one of the Toronto estimators who knows Joanna. I am really looking forward to it and so is she. In fact, she now has trouble thinking of me in any other way than a woman even if my Skype picture shows otherwise. So far, she has met Joanna twice for dinner.

She has that Toronto habit of calling me "hun" when we text on Skype which I only find mildly grating. But then she tells me she uses the same descriptor on all her female friends which makes me feel included. I was called "hun" a lot by waitresses and sales girls in stores there and figured it was just part of the local lingo used by some women to address each other.

Early May should be good enough to leave the winter boots at home and brave it in some pumps and flats for the 2 days.

Oh, and did I mention that I am really looking forward to it?



all over the human map

One of the tipoffs that transgender people aren’t mad is the sheer variety of our presence in society. In other words, we appear in every profession, education level, economic class, ethnicity, age group and religious affiliation. This is a clear sign to the fact that we aren’t crazy.

Conversely, if there was a traceable pattern we could then look for reasons why a certain culture or class of people had adopted this identity and perhaps find an answer to its origin. This is what the right has desperately tried to do to no avail. The fact that we can at once have brilliant scientists like Lynn Conway, ex-Tibetan monks like Tenzin Mariko and Hasidic Jews like Abby Stein (who grew up with no internet or television) come from such drastically different origins and all identify as transgender, proves the point that we are just part of the larger fabric of human diversity.

This amazing reality is what proves our claim to authenticity and leaves the dissenters with less of a strategy for the…

lucky man

"You're a transgender!"

here is what is wrong with US health care

AOC is dangerous. She is smart, asks the right questions and isn't in anyone's pockets

Watch out big pharma cause she's coming for you...


a reason to rejoice

The idea that femininity is inferior to masculinity is what drove many of us to despise our own natures. The culture I grew up in valued masculine men and respected feminine women but there was little doubt where the power lay.

Hence, being a transgender child who saw themselves in opposition to this reality was akin to the worst brand of heresy. The answer for many of us lay in ignoring who we were in hopes that it was just a phase.

Of course, in retrospect it wasn't, but at the time it seemed like our natures were a self mutilating exercise hell bent on undoing something which was part of our birthright and seen as favorable. To reject your own role as a boy and then a man was something almost unholy; and indeed for most religions it remains so today.

This is entirely fabricated, but to a young child and then an adolescent, it didn't seem that way at the time. We were rejecting a God given patriarchy which was not only an invitation for derision but a spit in the eye of ever…

history

My paternal grandfather was an Oxford-educated architect who was born in 1893 and converted from Judaism to Christianity so he could marry my then 33 year old grandmother in 1933. He was already 40 at the time, came from a family of means and was a patron of the arts in Madrid. His name would sometimes appear in the newspapers of the day.

However when the civil war broke out in 1936 he was forced to leave Spain as he was considered an enemy of the Franco-led fascist forces since most of his friends and acquaintances were opposed to Franco. He fled to Portugal for a time and when he tried to return in 1944 he died of a heart attack in transit. My father was 10 years old at the time.

My Spanish Belgian-born grandmother died of ovarian cancer in 1968 when I was 6 which was 3 years before we left for Canada. She had been a conservatory trained pianist and singer and, her father, an executive at the Spanish Osborne distillery company.

I learned much of these details over the years and woul…

free

My desire for romantic love is at its lowest point in my history and I am seeing that as a positive. By now I know the pitfalls all too well and I have accustomed myself to finding alternate sources of human interaction which are exceedingly less complex.

I have always been somewhat of a loner anyway so it makes it easier for someone like me to detach from the necessity to pair up. The more I speak to my friends and colleagues about their own lives the more I am convinced that long term relationships seem forever verging on the lip of collapse because they try to balance the wills of two people whose priorities more often than not are not aligned.

It's not that the door is completely closed but it is only just left ajar and it would now take an extraordinary gift of a situation to fall into my lap to reopen it. For I have experienced some pretty big lows I care not to repeat.

So it may sound like a horrible thing to say but, for the moment at least, it feels like I am free from an…

Me and Sarah Jane

One of Tony Banks' compositional little gems..



Braindead

time will tell

I think that Patricia's business will eventually take off. She is determined and hard working and she has a good concept.

She keeps telling me how much she values the fact that I am on board and how my experience adds weight to her young company. She also keeps telling me that I am a natural as a woman which only encourages me to continue to present as Joanna. I have had no trouble interacting and the increased confidence I have gained over the last few years, beginning with my time in Toronto, has cemented my resolve that I need not set limits on myself in this area.

Patricia is 14 years my junior and perhaps it is that optimistic buoyancy of hers that gives me energy. All I know is that I will continue to enjoy what will hopefully be a smooth transition from my present career to working with her company full time.

The only thing that remains outstanding is whether I change gender marker with the government; something which I will let gestate for a while. It would certainly make …

Ellen Page speaks out

What she says on Colbert is right on as she comments on the Empire show star being attacked in Chicago by a couple of MAGA losers for being gay.

Thanks Mike Pence....


a normal existence

Do I need to destroy the "he" to celebrate the "she"? This was the fundamental question which needed answering and which would dictate whether I would transition or not. In the end, the answer turned out be no.

The mulling over of a transition didn't take nearly as long as the transgender self acceptance part did; certainly less than a year. I realised that I didn't despise my physical body and simply wanted to give life to the woman living within me. Even if the little girl I might once have aspired to be was gone, she was going to live.

That sealed the deal for me and made me relax into the existence I lead today. It is not for everyone but then I am not everyone; I am Joanna.

That existential realization must cement itself to your core and only then will you rest easy. It is the same type of resolve which occurs to people who know in their bones they must transition.

Figure this out and watch your body and your mind relax into a normal existence with t…

harassed

No surprises here. A teacher who just wants to do a good job faces discrimination and public ridicule from some people who are just too stupid for words. Their small-mindedness is what makes this world difficult for those who just want to be themselves; for people just like Jennifer Eller....

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/this-is-about-who-i-am-transgender-teacher-harassed-at-md-schools-lawsuit-alleges/2019/01/31/09fdd590-1f47-11e9-8b59-0a28f2191131_story.html?utm_term=.b9223415fab3




personal sanctity

Finding personal sanctity isn’t exactly like finding religion. I see it more as respect for your value as a human entity within a global village that has an origin we cannot fully conceive of with our limited brains. It is the appreciation that you have a mind and soul that can be synced together and be made to work harmoniously even as the happenings in the world around us do not.

I think every day about how to live in a more balanced way in a place that is always mired in constant and ever shifting entropy. Finding that peace within yourself is what will make us happy and most of it consists not on the value of things but on variations of human contact and our ability to bring happiness to others.

Much of what I refer to here is practiced spirituality which is not to be confused with forms of bastardized religion that are more prone to enslave us. The way to know the difference is that true spiritual awakening isn’t about limiting ourselves but in taking full advantage of the freed…