Thoughts and ideas (plus a little gender theory) from an intellectually curious, content and emerging but not full-time transwoman.
- “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
In a Canadian first, Morgane Oger became the first ever transgender woman to be nominated by a major party as the chosen candidate to run for public office in British Columbia. In this case it was the New Democratic Party of Canada.
I know a little bit about people like Denise Shick because my own sister is involved in a right wing religious organization that has nothing better to do than pronounce themselves on things they know nothing about.
Not surprisingly, Ms Shick has no personal experience with gender dysphoria other than at some point in her life her father transitioned and she never forgave that particular indiscretion. For the record, The Federalist is another right-leaning website that also loves to pontificate on issues they know nothing about.
At this point I would like nothing better than to let Ms Shick have a taste of what gender dysphoria feels like for a few months and am certain she would change her tune awfully quickly. But such is the way the world works where more often than not it is the people least qualified to speak on a subject that are the most vociferous.
She somehow cannot see the connection between a releasing of social stigma and transgender people coming out of the woodwork and pr…
After reading literally hundreds of narratives from transgender people over the years, I have come to two undeniable conclusions. First, no one asks to be transgender and second, for those that are heterosexual, it is unavoidable that the dysphoric feelings will become sexualized at puberty.
I have pondered the second one at great length and I feel it is impossible for the conflict of wanting to be female while simultaneously being drawn to one sexually, to not affect the psychosexual development. Puberty is the point at which our sexual identity is being cemented and the dysphoria simply tags along for the ride. How many of you have had the experience of looking at a beautiful woman and simultaneously desiring her but also to be her? for this is a universal theme that I have read over and over and have of course experienced first hand.
Understanding this mechanism is important because we grew up in a time of sexual repression and with little to no access to reliable information. The …
Of late I have taken a keener interest than normal in politics. The Trump election has been a big reason but also there are signs that even internationally we are headed into dangerous waters.
The alt-right (or alternative right) movement has been gaining ground in some parts of the world and, emboldened by internet anonymity and an appetite for rhetoric, they have found an audience among some disgruntled white men who view the encroachment of foreigners into their territory as anathema.
Make no mistake in that these are white supremacists who pine for a society devoid of visible minorities, jews or any other group that threatens their vision of a “Leave it to Beaver” world that no longer exists. Most are not religious and in fact their viewpoint contrasts sharply with the idea of love of neighbour which forms an inherent part of most faiths.
Trump’s adoption of Steve Bannon (of slimy Breibart news fame) as a political advisor has certainly not helped matters and there are videos on…
Sorting yourself out after many years of formulating shifting narratives about what causes your gender variance and how to grapple with it can be a daunting task. I am also not certain that there is a perfect resolution to dysphoria in every case. Yes some people transition but it doesn’t go equally well for everyone. Hence there are those who you would think should be deliriously happy with the results and yet are left with ambiguous feelings while others thrive.
This is why I maintain here that creating a unique formula for yourself is superior to following a narrative that doesn't fit you. Life isn't a on-off switch analogous to an all or nothing proposition and the hardest part of the puzzle seems to be embracing that you are different from the rest of the world.
What makes this task a little easier today is that society is, on the whole, more tolerant and educated on most topics than its ever been. So while it’s no picnic to be transgender it is a better time than ever an…
I have mentioned before that I have a lovely young couple living above the unit next to mine. Well the other day as I was getting in the door, she and I overlapped for the first time with me dressed as a woman.
We had a nice conversation and at some point I mentioned the obvious which was that I had told her future husband that they might see me in a different guise from time to time so they wouldn't wonder about who the strange woman was. She just looked at me almost rolling her eyes while smiling from ear to ear and said:
"Oh Please it's 2016!"
For the record she was also very complementary regarding my choice of attire.
I could care less at this point in my life what people think but it is still lovely to see the millennial generation's freedom of spirit and acceptance so lacking in previous generations. Yes they have their own foibles, as does every generation, but this area certainly isn't one of them.
Yes I know I am on the election again but God how I love Jimmy Dore and now Bernie Sanders even more.
These corporate media drones interviewing him are blaming Bernie for running an honest campaign and doing his best to fight for his principles. Watch this video and see how corporate media obfuscates and does its best to ignore the elephant in the room which is that Hillary Clinton lost to a misogynistic blowhard who had no business even being close to the White House if they had run a better candidate against him.
They do everything but throw the kitchen sink at Bernie who stands his ground and sticks to his social justice mantra. Good for him!
If you are going to manage your dysphoria without transition you need to develop a tolerance for an almost schizophrenic type existence. This means fully embracing gender behavior that clearly falls outside of the norm (which I now have by necessity). However, in spite of my high level of self-acceptance, there are still times I distress at how difficult this can be.
I don’t need or desire transition however my level of dysphoria will not be quenched with a once a month or even once a week outing. This has meant doing away with the idea of having a normal life and permitting the management of my dysphoria in whatever way works. This has been the price of being caught in an uncomfortable middle.
On my bad days I wish that I could push a button and have it all go away. But then on the good days I think that being this way has helped forge my character as a person. This is what I told my friend Lyne the other day over coffee as she struggles with some work and personal issues.
You cannot run a country where the platforms of the political parties are based primarily on wedge issues because it’s a recipe for implosion. Guns, religion, abortion and immigration have been allowed to dominate the political landscape in the U.S.
For historical examples I need to look no further than Europe in the 12th through 18th centuries for dangerous alliances between the church and governments as well as provisions for special interests which felled imperial powers over that time. My own rigidly Catholic Spain suffered a blow from which it has yet to recover.
This is a dangerous period for the current global power as divergences among its own electorate threaten to aggravate wounds which could escalate an already healthy level of mistrust. The rural and working classes pitted against an urban and professional class who increasingly lives in a different world. Trump somehow managed to sell the disenfranchised blue collar white males that he was going to bring them prosperity b…
You need nerves of steel to face society when you attempt to transgress their rules and regulations but that is the price to pay for being transgender. At a certain point the urgency to address your gender issues supersedes your fear and you must act or face health consequences.
4 in 10 of us attempts or succeeds at suicide but this should never be what we need to resort to in order to lead genuine lives.
I was one of the lucky ones in that the strength of my dysphoria coupled with a solid upbringing with 2 loving parents likely made the difference. However living in silence for over 40 years almost crushed me. Therefore I worry about our community in this reversal of fortune in the United States for there are many forces at play.
You have TERFS, Evangelical and conservative Christians plus the exclusionary and racist elements of society conspiring to erode the rights we have gained. I would be greatly despondent to see suicides go up among the young due to this emboldening of the lun…
Erica Elizabeth Ravenwood does a magnificent job of explaining the types of gender dysphoria. She describes so well the false persona syndrome that most of us go through until we come to self acceptance. Also the errors that we can make in downplaying our dysphoria by for example thinking "I am only a crossdresser".
I have applied much of what she says to my own life over time although this is the first time I found this video.
Denis Villeneuve has created a little masterpiece.
The Quebec director has made a highly artistic and moving work wrapped in the guise of a science fiction film unlike any I have ever seen; save perhaps for Stanley Kubrick's 1968 classic "2001 A Space Odyssey".
This is not standard fare and I left the theatre moved and affected by the atmosphere he created. I am predicting a best film nomination for "Arrival" as well as a best actress nod to Amy Adams who does a stellar job here.
Life is a constant series of compromises and adjustments and it’s never perfect. We think we know what we want but we often don’t and many of us try to make a life for ourselves that is a reflection of our mind’s eye.
I think the secret to life might be to live with imperfection and accept our limitations as human beings.
I have made some mistakes in my life and continue to make them but I am striving more and more to forgive myself for my frailties and even find comfort that in them I have learnt something. I need to let go and just continue pushing forward without struggling too much because life will sometimes just take you places you didn’t think you would end up in.
I thought my life would take a different direction and I have ended up surprising myself.
Very little of where I am today was deliberately planned but perhaps a result of a series of adjustments; much the way a sailor might adjust to the prevailing wind. Eventually he gets to his destination but with a series of ma…
You have to feel for Roxy as she tried her best all her life to conform to family expectation only to be rejected once she transitioned. It was a case of conditional love in her case which is so unfortunate. But wouldn't you know there was a silver lining where she least expected it....
We are all different as is the strength of our cross gender feelings but the transgender movement has been big on promoting the idea of transition as a cure-all panacea. However, many of us including borderline transsexuals like myself, could manage by incorporating a healthy dose of gender non-conformity into our lives and be relatively happy.
One of the historical obstacles to this approach had gender non-conformity being seen as an unacceptable solution to dysphoria. We associated it with sexual deviance and even saw fit to arrest people who dared to crossdress in public. Therefore before surgery was possible (and even after) many transgender people chose to live as the other gender in stealth rather than risk unacceptable gender behaviour and the persecution that inevitably came with it.
As we have expanded the acceptability of a wider range of gender expression, it should be logical to assume that less people will opt for a complete transition and by freeing the person to be them…
I used to be very disconcerted by the stares of people. This goes back to when I was very young and painfully shy. I always assumed that they were finding some fault with me when in fact it was the self-consciousness which invited attention.
Today I go about my business and stare anyone down who has a problem with me. But as it turns out it almost never happens because people can detect the self-assuredness. Growing up is not easy even when one is not transgender but I somehow managed to do it. I didn’t take anxiety pills and grinned and bared myself through to adulthood. I can look back now more dispassionately but it was so stress inducing for the longest time.
I tell my son now that the human spirit can take more than we think and I know I am right because I am living proof of it. In truth is that there are far bigger problems in the world than being gender dysphoric and that helps keep things in perspective.
I listened to the radio the other day and heard the story of a young epi…
Henceforth demagogues are going to have an easier time of it because we live in an era of subjective truth. Whatever you believe will have you find your kindred spirits out there in cyberspace.
This is what allowed Donald Trump to win the presidential election and will embolden the more subversive elements of society to think his victory represents approval of their ideas. Immediately following the election there was reporting of random acts of violence against muslims.
We are entering dangerous territory here and it’s driving a bigger wedge between progressives and regressives (read GOP here or other right leaning party). You don't believe in climate change? Don't worry you will find a pseudoscientist willing to endorse your position.
In the early to middle part of the with century we suffered from the lack of free propagation of information which allowed people like Mussolini or Hitler to control the masses by feeding and withholding in order to advance their agenda. Today i…
I've known for quite a long time now that I fit Harry Benjamin’s type IV non-transitioning transsexual almost perfectly. This individual is described as someone who does not desire surgery but remains with a level of dysphoria that must be managed therefore dresses as often as possible and lives in both gender roles.
While this used to be distressing to me it no longer is because I have embraced my identity completely. I am an example of someone who can make it work and not transition.
Finding out who you are can take a long time particularly if you live in that grey zone like I always have. So while I fully support transition for those who need it I am convinced that it is possible to live without it; at least for those who fit my typology.
I have tremendous will power which has helped me to manage my dysphoria for 54 years and I strongly believe I am going to continue to live this way as long as God allows me to draw breath in this world.
1) You caused your own dysphoria
2) The dysphoria is pre-existing
If you believe that number 1 is true then you should be able to exert some measure of control and even eradicate it completely perhaps through therapy. However if you believe that number 2 is true then your approach becomes one of managing a reality that you have only partial control over.
After studying this subject for many years now and getting to know myself I know that number 2 is correct; at least for me. This is why I have so stridently fought the sexual depravity model which aims on putting blame on us for causing our own problems.
Two posts ago, I wrote about understanding your value and if you believe that number 2 is true then you must accept your reality, embrace it and not feel sorry for yourself. If transition is what will make you happy then go for it but know that there are a myriad of options that can also work.
I used to believe that number 1 was true and so I pr…
I wasn't going to write another post on Trump but I couldn't help it because there was simply more to say. You see, Michael Moore hit the nail on the head and you can read his reasoning in the link below.
Clearly the "Angry White Man" vote came out in droves plus the people who didn't trust or like Hillary Clinton and perhaps were disenthused with Bernie's derailment stayed away or voted third party. That is why this man-child is going to be president for the next four years.
But I do still have hope that there will be reform ahead because the American people are resourceful, intelligent and decent. I think they just have to stop making elections about things like race, religion, abortion, guns and immigration and they need to go back and focus on infrastructure, health care and the economy. The hatred that has built up over this election is greater than anything I have ever witnessed and is akin to a type of social war built along rural-urban lines which ref…
Michael Moore and Jimmy Dore were correct: the disenfranchised wanted a populist but instead they got Donald Trump.
The Dems did this to themselves when they didn’t pick up the signals from the population and saw fit to derail the Sanders campaign. I know Bernie well because Vermont borders Quebec and over the years I saw a hard-working, honest and intelligent man who cared deeply about fairness and correcting injustices.
Americans voted instead for an opportunistic narcissist who promised to “Make America Great Again” without actually specifying what that means and he was spurred on by an internet echo chamber where one gets the news they want to hear and where fact-checking is optional if not outright discouraged. Most of what Trump said over his campaign was replete with false hoods.
Half of America now hates the other half because they have turned elections into referendums on social wedge issues instead of concentrating on sound fiscal policy and helping to bolster the downtrodde…
I have read so many stories over the years and have come to understand the particular circumstances that each of us lives with. You can literally group the narratives into categories because so many are eerily similar.
The most important thing I have retained from all of them is that not every one of us understands our value within your relationships and it’s not hard to see why. You love your partners deeply but are conflicted with just how much of your transgender nature is allowed to peer through.
Some spouses are kept entirely in the dark and disclosure would mean certain divorce. Others know but don’t want to acknowledge it. Another group lets their partner have their outings and doesn’t participate while the next level up actually tags along. Finally there is the accepting spouse who stays even after transition whether surgical or not (this case being the rare exception).
Yes our situations are different but the one I find most unfortunate involves the transgender person being i…
No matter who wins on November 9th it’s been an ugly, infantile and embarrassing debacle of a campaign. In my lifetime I have never seen a race for the presidency of the United States reach this low level of discourse which has reveled in xenophobia, sexual innuendo and juvenile statements more at home in a middle school than the political arena.
Donald Trump represents an embarrassment of astronomic proportions and is now resorting to saying that he doesn’t believe that humankind can impact climate with carbon emissions. All this for the pleasure of accomodating his extreme right wing base.
Even if Clinton manages to get in by the thinnest of margins the country is more deeply divided than ever along urban and rural lines which mirror the wedge issues that Republicans decided to go with approximately two decades ago. They have picked up all the gun nuts, racists and extreme right conservative Christian types who sit in their shelters waiting for the next Rapture. Its almost a reversa…
I am now in my eighth year of coming out as trans and yes I am aware that this is a long time. It is also the only way I know how.
A colleague and friend I have known since 1990 was told two Saturdays ago that a few years ago I had made initial inquiries with HR about how a possible transition might be viewed. Their response back then was that it was up to me and to their knowledge my company of over 6,000 didn't have any other transitioned people although I know that statistically there must be some in hiding or simply in stealth.
My friend was a little taken aback because although he knows about my dysphoria he was surprised I would make such an inquiry. That option is now off the table but it felt good to disclose it. Such has been my experience with the people I trust in that my friendship with them has been validated. In my wildest dreams would I ever have foreseen being able to do this in the past.
There has been such an organic flow to healing my psyche and reinventing myse…
This post is prompted by the recent featured post on T-Central from the blog of someone who identifies as a healing crossdresser. It is not about making judgments or trying to separate us into groups but there are differences in our respective histories that bear pointing out and one of them is the age at which we first realized that there was something not quite right with our gender identity; or perhaps more appropriately: how it clashed with expectation.
I remember being 3 or 4 years old and having my mother scold me about wearing her shoes and up until then not realizing that I was supposed to be a boy. That incident marked me for life and will forever be forged in my memory. Henceforth my dressing went underground and was relegated to times when I would not be seen.
I have always had gender dysphoria and don’t know what it is like to exist without it. Had I not been dysphoric I would have had little interest in seeking out crossdressing as a coping mechanism and I did my utmost t…
I feel that it is very important that the transgender gynephilic person recognize and take ownership of the sexual component that has adhered itself to their gender dysphoria. Why you ask? Because without doing so you cannot resolve the anxiety you may have built up around it and get to the bottom of how you need to proceed.
The fact is that our sexuality has been impacted and there is no getting around it. Our earliest desire to be female piggy-backed onto our developing psychosexual identity during puberty and hence we cannot be conventional because simply put: 99% of males don't have gender dysphoria.
Now I don’t need to explain to my usual readers that Ray Blanchard spectacularly failed to conclusively prove his theory because to do that you would need to firmly establish a causal relationship. His intellectual dishonesty came in making a claim to science while not clearly acknowledging that the dysphoria could easily have preceded and have been the cause for the establishment…
Yesterday I had lunch with a colleague and I could tell something was wrong. He started to tell me that he had a bad day at work the day before and a bad evening at home to boot. He started to choke up a little bit and was hard pressed to talk about it.
I didn’t push further but said he could tell me anything as I have known him for 20 years.
Finally he told me it was regarding his daughter who had come out as a lesbian some time back but now was suddenly identifying as transgender. He had only found this out last night when he and his wife accidentally stumbled upon a webpage she had been viewing when closing her tablet (at least this is what I was told). She had finally divulged to them that she was thinking about binding and possibly looking into hormones.
His daughter and mine are only weeks apart and I have known this man since before both were born. He was on the verge of tears so I came out to him and told him my own story.
I told him she needed support above all and to be list…
I may have mentioned here before that I have been an amateur musician for many years. Well this past week I went into the mini recording studio in my basement and laid down the tracks for this song I wrote called "Move Aside".
Its about not being affected by prejudice no matter what your status in life and finding your way past the non-believers. It could apply to the LGBT community or to anyone who has ever come to odds with society's judgement.
Hint: it will sound better through headphones than through the tiny computer speakers on your laptop!
Note that singing is not my forte nor my favorite part of the song creation process and I normally work with a more seasoned expert. This was an exception.
I also made an accompanying video....
everyone in this life must decide
everything that we feel deep inside
All that moves you and alters paradise
garden of eden dreams that you knew
simpler days when all stories true
we believed them and held them up to you