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Showing posts from 2017

the convenience of mental illness

The mental illness diagnosis is convenient isn’t it? Never mind that it’s not being honest it does however fit nicely into the world of dogmatic people for whom our acknowledgement becomes problematic. Think of the churches for whom the sanctity of male and female and marriages based on that unbreakable model cannot bend to accommodate reality; after all wouldn’t everyone want to adopt our “lifestyle” if they relaxed the rules? These are not deep philosophical thinkers but leaders of groups which view us as a fly in the ointment that cannot form part of the human fabric. We are to be viewed as defectives in need of pity and moral guidance. Never mind that we come from all walks of life including politicians, lawyers, engineers, scientists or social workers; the mental illness model fits just as well as any even if it bristles against reality. The fact that the world doesn’t actually work the way these groups mandate doesn’t matter to them. It is much more important to keep their floc

Halle and I meet for brunch

Halle and I met for brunch at a little eatery on a bitterly cold morning in small town Ontario. We had chosen this location because it was equidistant from our respective homes. She is only the second fellow blogger I have ever met in person. I had been reading her blog for years and have always found it to be a profound exploration of how she felt about being born different, grappling with the feelings and what to do about them. Now she has fully transitioned and she is beaming with the kind of confidence that comes from dropping the grand piano she had been carrying on her back for all of those years. She has arrived and has even re found and married the first love of her life who accepts her for who she is; both her grown children have accepted her as well. You couldn’t ask for a better ending to a story. Oh and did I forget to mention? She looks great to boot. The conversation flowed and we had much to share regarding our lives and how each of us dealt with a challenge most

the simpleton's view of gender theory

Here is someone who thinks he understands a subject but clearly doesn't and probably has read too much Blanchard for his own good. He makes the erroneous presumption that this "condition" we supposedly suffer from known as AGP begins at puberty. Of course how he would know what transsexuals experience without actually being one baffles me and those of us who do know what we are talking about because we are actually transgender will watch this video and think this man is an idiot. The whole talk winds looking like the graphic novel version of gender theory with even the speaking style being comical. A while back he posted on ThirdWayTrans's blog and, although I first responded, I realized it would be a huge waste of time to try to educate insufferable people like this and as I watched this I actually laughed out loud many times at the simplistic analysis. I ask myself why the people on the Blanchard side of the equation end up being so loopy but then that's pro

off camera

I have always liked Jeff Daniels as an actor and here he shows his integrity when talking about being a real method actor instead of a Hollywood star. Here is a man from the Midwest who never got the pomp and circumstance and the lifestyle that one has to buy into. He proves you can be in the movie business and still keep your principles which is all the more relevant in this post Weinstein scandal era.


Jack Molay said it very well in his most recent article: "I believe, as people who have followed this blog will know, that erotic crossdreaming is simply the psyche's way of handling a conflict between expected behavior associated with someone's assigned gender, and their real gender identity, whether they are some shade of non-binary or they identify fully with their target gender" Im my view, he is absolutely correct and I have observed this in my own life. My female anima (for lack of a better term) used to be an unwelcome appendage and I struggled to live a life where a strong part of my gender identity was firmly suppressed. As those of you who have also lived this way know, doing this takes a lot of energy because an intrinsic part of who you are is muted to a point that is not sustainable. The result is eventually hitting a wall which many transsexuals have described as the point where you can go no further. For me fusing both animas has been eye openi

learning to swim

My main focus for a time will be my son but it's a tricky tightrope to walk. You don't want to do things for him but instead want to help him develop the independence which this life requires. I watched him from a distance during the Christmas party at my sister's and he is alone lost in the crowd as much as I was at his age. Perhaps he is mired in his thoughts but also paralyzed by the fear of not knowing how to interact. He has confided to me that this concerns him but this skillset cannot be transferred to someone and they must force themselves into initially uncomfortable scenarios during which much trial and error occurs. I refuse to be a millenial parent who creates a monster that cannot be tolerated in the workplace and perhaps here is where his natural shyness will help take the edge off of any potential sense of entitlement. I know my son is intelligent and excels in mathematics and science but he also lives in that nether land of gaming which provides sanctuar

winter song

Christmas memories

When I was a kid growing up in Montreal the local station CFCF 12 would run Season's greetings vignettes featuring rural images from the Quebec countryside. These little videos bring back such fond memories that watching one now instantly takes me back the Christmas break and watching TV with my siblings and having these come on between shows. Suddenly I am 12 years old again. Time does go by so quickly.

I am perplexed

Felix Conrad's latest blog post about Anne Lawrence got me thinking and it would an understatement to say she is a polarizing figure within the trans community. To take the approach that your own transition is based on a fetish but then expect to be treated and accepted as a woman in society seems counterintuitive. It’s as if to say “No I’m still a woman despite my motivation for transition being highly suspect”. Ray Blanchard would call her a deluded man (as he would all transsexuals) even as she has taken all the right societal steps to be accepted and addressed by others as a woman. So in essence she both agrees and disagrees with him. This one of the reasons I have decided to disregard her work because the motivation seems very strange to me and I suspect that, like the rest of us, she can trace her feelings to early childhood. Nevertheless she speaks of the Blanchard model as if it were proven fact instead of being actually impossible to prove and, if she were being less d

what I want for you and me

What I want for all of you in 2018 is internal peace and balance because that is all we should desire. Possessions come and go but the knowledge of the self is priceless and fitting yourself into a world that doesn’t know what to make of you has much more value. To all who read my blog I wish you a new beginning in 2018 which includes a harmonious understanding of who you are if you aren’t there already. Confront your demons head on and defeat them with the understanding that you were put here for a reason and that you have value. The rest will come on its own. Fitting a square peg into a round hole is difficult but that is not the aim. The aim is to fashion your own aperture where you can fit and find likeminded souls who get you. Merry Christmas.


Think about it: the people most opposed to those who are transgender are either deeply ignorant on the subject or have an agenda. The rest of the population can be reasonably educated over time but not everyone will buy that we are not a social movement hell bent on destroying society. My experience with the kinds of reasonable and educated people I either work with or frequent as friends is that they are generally supportive even if they cannot relate. Even my religious brother, who I had a conversation with not that long ago, understood that one cannot paddle upstream forever and that whatever the cause of my dysphoria it deserves to be treated. When I mentioned that I was weighing social transition he understood and whatever I needed to do was up to me. My 82-year-old mother is much the same although perhaps a little more reticent. In the end, she concedes that she wants to see me happy and that is what counts most. I have not decided anything yet but it is good to know that I w

I believe in Father Christmas

Definitely not one of those insipid Christmas songs. R.I.P Greg Lake....

Things have changed

Things have changed over time in that I can be in the busiest eatery and not worry at all about being noticed. I am a woman in the crowd and feel comfortable that way after not thinking this was ever going to be a possibility. So there I was locked out of my place most of Saturday after forgetting my keys and then trying the electronic keypad and having it not work. So no access to a vehicle, no cell phone and dressed as a woman. Twenty years ago the locked out and dressed as a woman part would have been the end of the world whereas today it’s the best part of the equation and the no keys and no phone part that irritates. It was the weekend and the only thing I had in my purse was my tablet so I could at least email my coffee buddy that I wasn’t going to make it. So I found things to do until someone came to open my door. As it turns out it was more an email telling me where to find the keys in their office which didn't happen till after 6 pm. I have not been sleeping well ne

of Christmas past and present

Christmas feels very different to me now. I see the parents waiting in line with their children to see Santa and remember how it is a period when that bond and focus is at a premium. Our parental skills are honed here and we operate on a kind of auto pilot where the daily business of child rearing overrides our ability to discern whether we are doing things right. We do not have the luxury or time to step back and analyze and it is with this in mind that I enter another phase in my own life; one where my role as parent has clearly shifted from one of caretaker into mostly mentor. As a result, it will require new definition of what I want. That same mall walk makes me think of the materialism that threatens to overtake the spirit of the season. It is always there but doesn’t quite succeed in hampering it and I think most people focus on connecting with family and friends even if their religious leanings (if ever there at all) may have dissipated. Christmas is now mostly a pagan feas

not so fast

That documentary on transgender kids that I wrote about yesterday had a sequence in which a brain researcher stated that the male and female brain are not gendered. She stated that they become so over time through socialization. Of course, we know there are brain differences between men and women but they have more to do with things like multi-tasking and spatial recognition and some men will fall more into the female spectrum and vice versa. So, the question remains: why is 1% of the population consistently not fitting adequately into their birth sex and the gender role set out for them? As tempting as it might be for some to dismiss this as mental illness the truth is that transgender people are as high functioning as anyone else and only suffer stigma through persecution so there is something going on that we do not comprehend yet. It makes sense that socialization does play a role but I will point to the case of David Reimer as one which greatly negates its importance. If D

childhood desistance

This post is about the recent broadcast cancelling by the CBC of a documentary focusing on transgender children and whether or not they know best. It gives plenty of screen time to Kenneth Zucker the now disgraced ex-CAMH gender reparative therapy practitioner. Even my favorite retired researcher Ray Blanchard is given brief cameos with his claimed statistics that the vast majority of trans kinds desist into adulthood. This documentary asks the question why do we need to change bodies and can we still be a feminine man or a masculine woman in this world. The one very well adjusted transgender girl shown in this film points to transition as clearly helping some children while others we are told grow out of their dysphoria. One can't help but recognize a not so subtle undercurrent of trans as mental illness as one watches but you can decide for yourself as the entire documentary is on the Dailymotion website (thanks for the heads up Zagria). One clear falsehood that is repeated t

the roller coaster type

I have an upstairs neighbour who is a co-condo association admin. She really is a lovely person but grates a little on the nerves sometimes because she is the kind of individual who turns wide eyed at every occurrence. She then proceeds to rattle off dialogue non stop until I manage to calm her down. When she is happy she will send out emails with 5 emojies followed by 4 exclamation marks. It is the kind of behavior that rubs against my sensibilities possibly because she reminds me of a younger version of my mother who tended towards this level of excitement. I keep my turbulence on the inside and try and keep the external ups and downs in check except when I am really angry. But even that storm has been quieted down over the last few years with further resolution of my gender issues. This is the archetype I least like dealing with and I have often joked that her and I would last together in the same dwelling for a month before I would need to drown her in the bathtub. Someone like

the mind boggles

Alabama voted for Doug Jones but he didn’t win because of the white vote. In that sense, the state is still very much a backwater for racism, transphobia and homophobia. Someone as reprehensible as Roy Moore was still able to get most of the white vote and you must ask yourself how much more of a bottom feeder he would need to have been to lose among this demographic. It was the black voters who voted overwhelmingly for Jones who was a far more credible and decent candidate. Alabama is also among the poorest places in the industrialized world which makes you wonder why people continue to vote against their own interests by supporting a party that favors the wealthy. But then again evangelicals seem to care more about hating people who are different than helping their state become less of a banana republic. The mind boggles.

fitting ourselves into this world

There comes a point when you will feel like you will literally implode. I remember when my dysphoria got so intense in my early 40’s and after years of trying to ignore everything, it threatened to consume me. I had to suddenly explore it and, in my naivetĂ©, try and cure it. Many of us have hit that wall and it is very unpleasant. For me it was the realization that I wasn’t a hesitant crossdresser but instead a gender dysphoric deep in denial. I was someone who needed guidance and so I reached out for it in desperation. Being screened at the gender clinic and undergoing therapy that would eventually lead towards self-acceptance has been one of the most difficult things I have ever had to go through. Add to that my stroke in my mid 40’s and my divorce and everything was falling apart around me. I had to slowly rebuild from scratch. There have still been bumps along the way and unexpected things have happened but I am still standing and probably far richer for the experience for I ha

rediscovering justice

A two party system is not helping America. This is what has encouraged the hardening of opinion and reinforced extreme thinking on both sides which only serves to gel an outright hatred. In the past the gridlines were drawn a little differently and a rural south was mostly democrat and racist while northern democrats thought differently. Republicans were the party of Lincoln and emancipation so there was a crossover of ideas that permitted a more balanced political landscape. Contrast this with the red and blue state polarization by social wedge issue that threatens to fracture the country in half. I am not American and yet my antipathy for Republicans and their extremism runs high. I can only imagine what some passionate patriots feel about what is happening to their own country and one only needs to read the comments left below a political YouTube video to see the vitriol first hand. These are dangerous times for a country that were it not for fundamental principles sewn into i

right wing warriors

Social conservatives are all about finding fault with progress. They decry social justice warriors (SWJs), political correctness, the LGBT agenda and any other movements that threaten their world view. I have written about them here: people like Ben Shapiro, Tomi Lahren, Faith Goldy, Spiro Yannopoulos and Matt Crowder. They are aggressive and insulting and make conclusions about things they know little about. They have also gained a small but loyal following of angry millenials who want to find fault with the world and all that ails it. These pundits are shrill and painfully annoying and are armed with the kind of smugness that youth is particularly blessed with. Their interest in truth takes a back seat to criticising what they see as an overabundance of political correctness behind which they conceal their disdain for people they do not comprehend. They are the next wave of Ann Coulters armed with an even healthier dose of chutzpah. Basic psychology would suggest that their agg


Why and how can eroticism shift and wane and pave the way towards late onset transsexualism? The answer is we do not know but I believe it is a mixture of factors which are not limited to but can include: • Declining testosterone levels • Increased confidence in oneself and disregard for the opinions of society • An ability to finally comprehend oneself sexually The first two are almost obvious but the third is trickier because it involves separating the attraction towards being female we have always had and the discovery we were attracted to them sexually. Since these two things became fused at puberty, dissecting them becomes very difficult to almost impossible until we have dealt with the first two points. In other words, one cannot understand oneself until all of the shame and guilt is removed and we can truly analyze our thought patterns and put them into perspective. To a great extent, I have managed to do this but it took me many years. Before that I would simply denigra

real life

One of my brother’s sons came out to my son this past week as being gay. I wasn’t all that surprised because he had shown signs in early adolescence as having a penchant for wearing princess dresses. I made the mental note at the time that he was either going to be trans or gay and didn’t think about it much again as he grew. For quite a while I began to doubt he was either and chalked up his early exploration as a rite of passage but then this recent unveiling came along to confirm things. My son called me to decry the objections of his religious parents who aren’t overjoyed with the news. He has told his cousin about me who in turn used my situation during talks with them. I for one am glad he came out at the tender age of 17 and not wait untill his forties like I did. I told my son that I support his cousin 100% and that he should not hesitate to call me and if needs to. This bit of news will hopefully open the eyes and ears of orthodox parents who might have preferred that th

to wear or not to wear

I know my friend Sherry will admonish me for saying this because she wears them, but I have never liked pantyhose or stockings. I used to wear them when I was young and had to cover up leg hair that I wanted to conceal but my legs have been smooth for years and I like the look and the feel of going out in bare legs. Besides, my pumps tend to slip out more easily when I wear any kind of stocking. Bottom line: I don't like the feeling. I was reading up on fashion advice on this issue and the consensus seemed to be that you should do what you are comfortable with provided your legs don’t look uneven with discolorations or have rough patchy skin. In my opinion, a tanning cream can take care of much of this issue. It seems that women under 40 are the ones who most prefer to leave the stockings at home but even in this age range there are some that swear by them which only proves how much of a personal issue it has become. In my office it seems to run about the same although many w

feeling sexy

Here are the results of a recent survey of genetic women: “A new hairdo, walking in heels and a glowing tan are among the things that make a woman feel sexy. Freshly applied lipstick, newly-shaved legs and a little black dress also have a positive effect on the psyche” Are you surprised? I’m not because it is exactly the same list that makes transgender women feel sexy. For a long time the idea was pandered about that transsexualism was rooted exclusively in aberrant sexuality. But of course you cannot separate the sexuality from the individual because that forms part of their overall makeup and the fact that genetic and transsexual women overlap here surprises no one. We should also add here that women aren't always thinking about sex and neither are transgender women. Pre transition transsexuals would not readily admit they found these things sexy because they were afraid to be seen as perverted men in front of gatekeepers who understood nothing about their condition.


Sam is a mildly autistic 18 year old which makes him look awkward to most people and with the girls that he desperately wants to like him. In this slice of life comedy we can recognize ourselves a little and the difficult times we experience when we don't think we will ever fit in. We each have something about us that is a little different and makes us atypical and this show is taking me back to those times when life was so simple yet so very hard at the same time. Atypical can be found on Netflix.

trickle down baloney

Watch how trickle down economics works for Republicans. Cut taxes to mostly benefit the top 1% and then when the deficit increases go after Medicade and Social Security and take even more money from an increasingly smaller middle class and rising working poor. If you still believe in trickle down economics I have some swamp land in Florida to sell you. Go Bernie!...

the Canadian Tomi Lahren

We have our own version of Tomi Lahren in Canada and her name is Faith Goldy. She is pretty and young and ultra conservative and appears on our version of right wing media (Sun News) to say things like homosexuality is a choice and a sin and that catcalls towards women are compliments. Her brashness comes stupidity to be sure but also from her youth which imbeds her in a deep and profound ignorance of how the world actually works. I know this because I have at one time been there myself when I believed that people chose to be gay or lesbian. I also believed that I caused my own gender dysphoria. Youth is the period of your life when you are most likely to be brash and when your ideals are not deterred by reality or by empathy for the lives of other people. In this case, Goldy comes off as a strident Catholic who oddly doesn't have a problem with wearing overly tight fitting tops to her television interviews. What would the nuns think? It is a right wing and merciless Catholic

Twitter's biggest twit

my chat with Alex

I was prepared to go into a long discussion about my trans history but then it never happened. I was at the Starbucks and Alex (the early twenties trans woman) had just finished her shift and wanted to chat with me. So, she sat down and we began talking about generalities neither one of us acknowledging we were transgender. I wasn’t sure whether she suspected but then she began saying things that made me sure she didn’t. I was then sure I was the older lady and not the other trans woman. We talked about being yourself and having confidence and I sensed that she has more of it than I had at the same age. Suddenly she talked about coming out to her parents in her mid-teens and them having a tough time with it but then coming around. She is funny and philosophical and easy with a laugh. At the end of our conversation she told me that I was a very nice lady and I thanked her. I felt I didn’t need to go down that other rabbit hole now. She has her whole life ahead of her with the ad

we might be getting somewhere

I was in the Urban Outfitters store recently and happened upon the fitting room area. Lo and behold there was a sign that very much caught my attention and I just had to take a picture. It was an indication that we might be advancing as a species. Those stuffy "Christian Conservatives" (an oxymoron if there ever was one) who spend their time creating bathroom bills and feigning indignation can put that in their pipe and smoke it because the connection between being transgender and immoral makes sense only to them. Kudos Urban Outfitters for being a hip and enlightened store!

the bell goes off...


Rachel Flowers was born in 1993 and is a virtuoso multi instrumentalist. Here she is playing Keith Emerson's "The endless Enigma" from ELP's 1971's Trilogy album. Sadly Keith Emerson took his own life last year after many years of struggling with depression and suffering from a debilitating nerve disease which was taking away his ability to play. He was one of my keyboard heroes. So I was awestruck when I saw this performance not only because Rachel is blind but because eyesight or not she is an extraordinarily talented performer. This is one difficult piece of music to play and she does Keith more than justice. Bravo Rachel!

Reframing to see reality

I wrote yesterday about critical thinking and one important aspect of this is perspective. Think of Einstein’s law of relativity where your vision is affected by where you sit on some frame of reference. Say you are riding a moving train and the only way you know you are moving rapidly is looking out the window but someone standing on the ground just sees a rail car whiz by them at 100 km/hr. We don’t own objective perspective because we sit on our own subjective plain which hampers objectivity. So when a transgender person first discovers themselves they are sitting on a plain that doesn't correlate with what their brain is telling them. There is a disconnect between the observable world around them and how they are feeling inside and that disconnect doesn’t get repaired until that gap is addressed somehow. The only way out is to reframe the reality around them that tells them there is something wrong with them. It prevents their self realization because much of what they ha

critical thinking

None of us owns any true perspective and the reason is because we are all very much the product of biased indoctrination received during a period in our lives when we could not adequately discern and distinguish between truth or falsehood. The rest of our lives are then spent relearning things with a more complete set of tools but with the disadvantage of needing to jettison many of the untruths we accepted as gospel. This is why I believe that to stop reflecting and questioning at any age is akin to atrophying the mind. I personally had to work very hard to overcome ideas I had ingested and, although I had a rational mind, I couldn’t get past certain hurdles as to how I thought the world was supposed to work. It is why I am so concerned about false dogmas today and people’s abilities to delude themselves into rigid thinking which is either hurtful to others or to themselves. When something is lodged so forcefully in ones psyche it often very difficult to remove; just think about

definitely not the norm

Stefanie Pest can consider herself very lucky to have such a supportive partner and family. Most of the people I know (myself included) saw their marriages evaporate in part or entirely due to their transgender nature. She is almost my age and is now living the way she needs to. But regardless of support you need to be who you are don't you think?....

God if I saw her now

One of Anthony Phillips's short little masterpieces with a beautiful flute bridge. This song has haunted me for years because it so melancholy and powerful. It's from his 1978 "Geese and the Ghost" album with guest vocalist Phil Collins.... God If I saw her now "Rest your head my love; Rest your tired limbs; Leave your mind at peace, at peace, at peace What are you thinking now?" "Thinking of a girl As golden as the sun She loved me not like you, like you, like you" "Pray do you love me more?" "It's hard to say for sure A child, sixteen, was I Both virgins did we buy, we buy, we buy" "You loved her more than me" "She left me one dark night She took my heart for free I've seen her not since then, since then, since then God if I saw her now."

the failed man

I know that for a very long time I fell prey to the failed man syndrome and it took me many years to shed it. It involves blaming yourself for your own dysphoria and subsequently being unable to measure up to a model of masculinity that was preordained through your parenting and society's influence. That you have not measured up to a standard can be one of the worst things that can befall a male born child in this world. So much emphasis is placed on this metric that it is the source of much distress even among non transgender males. I was very good at the role and able to escape any detection but it wasn't at all easy to keep my deep dark secret. Today, hyper masculinity has been the new response among the alt right white males who decry a world full of political correctness and emasculation as women find new places in society without the same reliance on males. The new chest beating has even taken the form of aggression against foreigners who would threaten white male ide

leave them be

I was in the Erin Mills shopping center recently and at my usual coffee spot. The woman ahead of me turns around and says "Oh hi!" It takes me a moment but then I say "Where do you work again?" Trying to recall where I have seen her. "At the Sears that's where I've seen you. You know we're closing right?" "Yes I do, I'm sorry to hear that" "It's a blessing in disguise my dear. I needed an excuse for a change and may I say you are so well put together. I love your makeup" I thanked her profusely and then we spoke for several more minutes before parting ways. Not five minutes later making my way with a coffee in hand two little girls dressed in princess dresses almost barrel into my knees. They couldn't have been older than 6 and 4. "Watch the lady" the mother scolds. "She is so cute" I told the mother pointing at the youngest scrambling to get up.. "Actually that's

my first ever video

divided on trans rights

How did the two American parties get so divided on transgender rights? Well, when you end up segregating people by ideology you virtually guarantee it and with only two major parties you facilitate the building of coalitions over things like religion, LGBT rights and gun control. Hence it’s become the rural right against the urban left locked in ideological battles over these kinds of issues. 80% of Republicans do not believe there is such thing as being transgender while a healthy majority of Democrats do. It also won’t surprise you that the credibility of transgender people improves with the level of education of the voter. This is more true in the Democratic party than in the Republican party which contains more hard line ideologues; for them it is dogmatic conservatism that drives their thinking. Divide and conquer by wedge issues wasn’t always so prevalent and Republican voters who are libertarians have been left with little choice but to align with a party that increasingly

a simple letter to the editor

A reader of the delawareonline newspaper writes a simple letter to the editor admonishing another letter writer who fretted about children being exposed to transgender children in the school locker room: "A letter writer in Friday's paper is upset over regulations for transgender children using locker rooms and the trauma it presents to cisgendered children. May I suggest she speak to her children on the issue? Her children may surprise her and may even educate her. A transgender child is the gender of the locker room and the bathroom they are in. Most people understand this. Perhaps if the letter writer would take the time to do some research instead of relying on prejudices, she would understand as well. Education is key to understanding complex issues. Children are not born hating others. Hate is taught by words, actions or deeds. A child's mind is open to learning. An adult's closed mind is not. We have to learn and understand that everything is n

my favorite band of all time lives on....

Tony Banks of Genesis and Elton John are why I play piano today and this is my favorite of Tony's compositions; one I would play regularly with my old band. I first learned to play it on the piano in my mid teens. How interesting that a song composed in 1973 lives on and is interpreted so uniquely and so well by this young woman. It's Genesis meets Amy Winehouse...

going solo

Rhonda’s recent guest post by Tami got me thinking about doing things on your own which I am apt to do a lot lately. What I like about this is that you are more likely to meet new people and discover new experiences than if you are accompanied by someone. As I have become increasingly comfortable as Joanna and as I age, the inhibitions crumble and suddenly you find yourself deep in conversation with people who happen to be sitting next to you at a cafĂ©, standing at a grocery lineup or with a merchant who happens to recommend some product to you. Since I have been here I have made a series of acquaintances who, when I have told them I am going back to Montreal, have expressed interest in keeping in touch with me. For example, there is Anna who works at a jewelry counter at the Oakville mall chats with me whenever I pass her stall and she has told me she appreciates my easy-going style and that I am so nice. Then there’s Becca, Mae, Maria and Alex (that transgender young woman who do

Kacper hits it out of the park

A lot of the performances on these imitiation shows can often be embarrassingly bad but Kacper Kuszewski seems to always get it right. His Maria Callas is no exception. This performance is on the Polish version (Twoja twarz brzmi znajomo) and, not only does she look great, but the vocals are pretty darn good too...


Donald Trump is a diversion. Yes, he is a clown and a boor and the temptation might be to think that by removing him everything goes back to normal. But by looking at the reasons he got there in the first place you will realize that the root causes must be addressed to ensure somebody even worse doesn’t get those same powers one day. When Brexit happened, journalists first began to realize that a Trump presidency could be possible. After all Britons had no apparent good reason to leave the E.U and if this could happen, then Trump being president couldn’t be far behind. Brexit was a visceral reaction to British economic policy. It was a kick in the ribs towards the ruling class who saw their elites doing things that were impoverishing them and this was their only way to retaliate. It was those same people in middle America in places like Wisconsin with its boarded-up factories who gave the middle finger to Hillary Clinton as representing much of the corporate policies that made them

another first

Canada has its first openly transgender mayor....

a bucket of cold water

Female to male transsexuals don’t fit well into a model based on sexual perversion. Hence, it wasn’t a total shock when, back in 1991, Ray Blanchard chose to ignore them as wannabes instead of true transsexuals. Since then of course, their presence has made itself very much more felt which has helped to debunk this false hypothesis. Chaz Bono is one of numerous examples of transmen living very publicly in the world. You see, the very possibility of female transsexuals disturbed the preconceived idea that transsexualism was based on perverse sexuality and, since women were considered incapable of being perverts, their transsexualism could not be allowed to be valid. However, if women could suffer from gender dysphoria then so could men which would throw a monkey wrench into the Freund-inspired aberrant sexuality model. Today we know very well that both males and females can suffer from gender dysphoria which has helped throw a big bucket of cold water on the two type model of tran

no replacement for your own hard work

Probably the hardest thing you will ever need to do during your transgender journey is to fully accept yourself. It is what eluded me for years and even when you are sure you are there, bucking the trend in a world set up for a perfect binary is no easy task. In today’s world, a young transitioner is unlikely to keep that identity hidden for long and they must learn to grapple with the everyday reminder that they are not welcome by everyone around them. Here is where your sense of yourself must come in and remind you that how people see you is not nearly as important as how you see yourself. I wish I could tell you that there was a magic bullet to get you to that place of perfect peace but there isn’t. It is often an extended period of living in reflective thought where you finally escape the bonds of societal pressure and become yourself. The hardest aspect for me was considering how my friends, family and any prospective partner would view the way I am. But even that had to event

gun culture

It is too late. Gun culture is engrained in the DNA of Americans. No other country in the world sees anywhere close to the amount of mass shootings. You can argue that they represent a blip on the radar but they are disturbing nonetheless because they play on the peace of mind of its citizens. You never know when crazy uncle Harry is going to go on a shooting rampage. Americans must now worry about being mowed over by an ISIS disciple in an SUV or shot down by one of their own neighbours who everyone described as “just an ordinary guy next door” We in Canada don’t understand the need to own guns and we don’t settle our disagreements that way. There are still parts of this country where people leave their doors unlocked at night. I remember being in the Maritimes and having people tell me that. As someone from a big city I found it surprising and I have done it in error on a number of occasions and nothing has occurred. Forget the NRA or trying to limit gun ownership it’s all to

confidence boosters

During her campaign for state legislature Danica Roem's opponent repeatedly used the wrong pronouns when attacking her and focused heavily on the fact that she was transgender. But in the end Ms. Roem won in what might be the beginning of an unraveling of the politics of hate in America currently championed by a buffoon president who shouldn't qualify for any level of public office. Americans aren't stupid and the silent majority will not sit idle and allow their government to be taken over by radicals. Come 2018 midterm elections the GOP members who stood by and did nothing to counteract the sheer insanity of this administration will pay dearly for it. But in the meantime the US has some first ever elected openly transgender public officials and I for one couldn't be happier. Ms. Roem was joined by Lisa Middleton and Andrea Jenkins; two other transgender women who both made national firsts in their respective elections as well. Confidence booster. -----------

little wing

I have my recording gear and keyboard here in Oakville so I decided to try my hand at an abridged and instrumental version of Jimmy Hendrix's "Little Wing". The guitar solo is inspired by Hiram Bullock's's work on the Sting version from "Nothing like the Sun"


Belief in one's identity is crucial. Look at genetic women who don’t identify strongly as women. The way they move and dress and behave suggests they are rejecting that identity. We see them in public and sometimes do a double take because we are not always sure they are women or perhaps react to how they stand out among the crowd. They are being themselves which is precisely the point. Belief in what you are is very important and I don’t care how well you present or dress or speak. If you don’t understand this in your bones it will emanate from your pores that you are a fraud. This is the significant difference between pretend and reality. We all know people who when dressed as the other gender should theoretically pass perfectly and yet that lack of authenticity gives them away because they either don’t believe it or for them it is only pretend. If you are not sure about yourself, reflect and you will know in good time because passing has little to do with it.

a small treat part 2

I wanted to take a picture with the new purse and see how it all came together with a dressy casual look. Yes it may be a little oversize but everything I need in there fits nicely and the colour scheme goes with everything.

a small treat

My mother had given me a gift certificate for my birthday and after having coffee with a friend I decided to go into Aldo accessories and buy myself this purse. It's almost like a tote bag but not quite and it can fit my tablet, phone, makeup, etc. with no issues. It also happened to be 20% off. I used to carry purses over my shoulder which used to give me pain after a few hours but now favor draping them over my forearm just at the elbow which doesn't bother me in the least. I have been a thrift store purse buyer for a while now but this time I thought what the heck.

sorry but we won't change the world

It doesn’t take a lot of work: go to and look at the top box office draws and the top sellers will be mind numbing violence, superheroes or dumb comedies. This week the top seller is Jigsaw (a movie about dismembering people) with a 31% score from critics followed closely by Madea's Halloween at 7% and both made the most money at the box office. This is just one small illustration of how the masses are basically geared towards the lowest common denominator with those who exercise even minimal intellectual criteria are in the minority; and it is unfortunately some of this number who end up as trolls on Twitter, Facebook or other forms of social media. If you think I am being elitist it isn’t my intention but life experience has taught me this basic truth. Many people are sheep who can be manipulated and told what to believe and think and it will only be some who escape from the indoctrination we all receive. What life has also taught me is that the vociferou

my working future

I am at that junction where I am sitting on the fence regarding working as Joanna. I am completely comfortable going anywhere and interacting as a woman and any change would be social since I don’t require FFS nor do I need GRS in Quebec in order to change gender marker. When this project is over I have some reflecting to do and since I was already thinking of changing companies, I have come to a fork in the road. I don’t feel stressed about it at all but instead have a sense of positive energy. Coming here helped me to clarify my thoughts and removed a lot of taboos from my mind. Now it’s time to let things ruminate and allow a decision to bubble to the surface. One way to help me decide might be to interview as Joanna and see what happens.

the risks of downplaying dysphoria

Kati’s comment on my post called “Doubting you are trans” got me thinking about the validity of our feelings and the importance of not downplaying them. Make no mistake: gender dysphoria is real and you are not delusional and by trying to downplay our emotional need to express ourselves we are making a mistake. At the same time, I am very realistic about what I am doing to treat my dysphoria and understand that I was not born physically female. However, the idea that gender identity is established exclusively through birth genitalia has been pretty convincingly debunked which means that gender and its expression should be left up to the individual and not to society. But unfortunately, we live in a world where disobeying the rules leads to suffering through persecution. Transition is one way to treat your “gender expression deprivation anxiety” (thank you Anne Vitale for that wonderful term) but it is not the sole method. However, denying that the feelings are real is a recipe fo

Blanchard foiled again

Zagria’s latest article puts to test Blanchard’s theories on birth order being able to predict the occurrence of androphilic transsexualism. She simply grabs a random sampling of well-known androphilics to see how it fares. Her site is so well documented that you can’t slip one by her and once again we see how Blanchard’s work does not stand up. For the record, like Zagria, I am also a first born as are many on the list she illustrates. Bravo and well done...

a small milestone

This week I will turn 55 years of age and I don’t think I’ve ever been as philosophical about life and its constant ups and downs. Of course, 20/20 hindsight offers us the kind of perfect perspective to go back and review the milestones of our lives to reflect on what we might have done differently or what paths we might have followed. Detachment is probably the best place to describe where I am which has turned out to be a strong rejection of the distractions of this life which take us away from feeling internally balanced and content. The old saying is that the best things in life are free but these things that can’t be bought with money can also for some of us be exceedingly difficult to attain. There is no more defined road now only to continue to seek a stronger and more spiritual version of myself which reconciles my history into a digestible life lesson; a lesson that includes repatriating this difference of ours as forming an integral part of my personhood. For I have com


"I have seen the compass turning Round & round my heart The senses are yearning For a possible change of heart That is coming to you Coming to you You stand upright, you are different Why the spinal shock the fusion the evil Spill it out on the floor of belief Come and mend this design Come and mend this design With every right we do I have seen the sun, this sounds crazy The story about a boy in the rain He was standing waiting for for the light As though he did have a reason to know Did he really know? His eyes were open they expected someone In his heart he felt the compass was turned on I will echo, ho for reasons that change me Every thought, though it takes so long, Is master with every plan It would seem there is no end To the bad or goodness in man So my friend it seems the weariest night Just leads to a heavenly dawn Should we see so much In every time we sigh Even this we could call music As that would match my body connection Let me

doubting you are trans

Cross gender arousal confuses things because you may be going along thinking you might be ready for transition and the feeling after an orgasm sends a wave through you making you sure you should forget such a thing. Over time this has been disappearing and my identification as a female has been slowly increasing. I knew very early there was something amiss with my gender but I did my best to ignore it. Before puberty I didn't need to worry about the arousal and it befuddled me for many years since and had me doubt that I was trans. I am still meticulously sifting through my thought patterns to make sure there is no deluding myself because I don't do things based on emotion alone. Our brains are wired differently than cisgender people but I have never at any point thought I was crazy. Hence, the only possibility left was that I was suffering from a perversion. But over the last few years even that possibility disappeared as I began to settle into a more holistic and mature


I adjust to the situations I find myself in. I have done that my entire life and, only when those situations change do I then consider other avenues. In other words, if I were a relationship today my plan of attack would take everything into consideration because life isn't perfect and compromise is its natural component. Today I find myself with only myself to consider (minus some tweaks for my children) and the rules of the game have changed through circumstance. This is what now permits a different type of reflection. Were I to meet someone today they wouldn't see the same person I was even a year ago and they would need to accept me if for no other reason that I haven't been as unconcerned with romantic love at any point in my life. This means that whatever happens or not will be left entirely to chance. I have a lot of respect for trans people who love their spouses and adjust themselves accordingly; only their coordinate system hasn't shifted and mine has.

invested energy

I have fallen into an easy pattern where being out and about is exceedingly comfortable and I recently looked back to hand written journal entries dating back 10 years ago where the difference was startling. It takes time to settle into the skin you were meant to inhabit and I liken it to entering a hot bath where you immerse yourself in measured steps which must be learned and perfected. We do in a shorter time what women take years to learn; cramming voice, comportment, dress and makeup techniques that must eventually demonstrate some kind of grace and seamless form that doesn't look like you're struggling. The reason I know I am there is by the lack of negative reaction and plentiful positive feedback that I receive. Maybe it's because I have stopped caring and settled into myself in the process becoming immune the way other tall women shrug off occasional stares as part of daily life. The energy involved in painting an acceptable portrait of masculinity is dissolv

telling it like it is

Jeff Flake speaks the truth. Showing at least some modicum of dignity compared to the rest of the disgraceful GOP, he utters some spot on words. The party who decided to appeal to the lowest common denominator attracted white uneducated numbskulls, religious extremists and outright bigots. So no, there is no more room for even remotely moderate Republicans in this version of the GOP. But I don't feel too sorry for Flake. I am far more concerned for the population of America who must tolerate this imbecile for another 3 years...

the nice people of this world

John is my landlord and there he was last night waiting for me as I came in with my groceries. He said my male name although I was dressed as Joanna. He said to me: “Is there another name I should use?” and I told him. “I hope you feel comfortable coming and going” I told him that I certainly was and that at my age I really don’t care what people think. I said it very positively of course. He then tells me that his sister and business partner told him she finds it odd using my male name when she sees me because I look so much like a woman. John is almost exactly my age and he told me the story of his friend Mike who is now Ashley and still plays hockey with the gang. Everyone accepts her for who she is and she waited until her Irish Catholic father passed away before having the courage to become her true self. I told him I know a little something about Catholicism too. Turns out that John is one of five children two of whom are gay so he knows something about tolerance. We ch


I have completed approximately 42% of my book. I know this because my rough target is about 40,000 words which won’t make it very long at an equivalency of about 160 pages (250 words per page). Yes there will be technical sections to the book but it will also cover personal history and experiences from when I was younger that I have barely been touched upon in this blog. It will also cover everything I have ever learned as a transgender person looking for self acceptance over the course of my life. Anyway, I am getting somewhere and if you appreciate this blog I hope you will enjoy the book as well.

to blend

Disappearing more into the background has been wonderful. I can be in the ladies room washing my hands next to some teenage girls and they will pay me no mind because to them I am just a tall middle aged woman. Saturday morning I went to the esthetician to have my eyebrows cleaned up (not thinned). The young woman and I talked as she worked and it felt natural. I didn't concern myself with how I was being perceived. I cannot explain any of it but it's been a desire since I was very young and I am finally able to blend in convincingly; and no, it never gets old. It is what is allowing me to manage my gender dysphoria and be happy. The solution was all in my head but, for better or worse, I needed this long journey to get here. It's like my friend Clare says, we are more than a gender stereotype. We are first and foremost human.

blast from the past

It was 1998 and my daughter had just been born. We had just finished an album together; four guys who got together every Friday night in a drummer's basement to write and play music. We argued, we laughed and time passed and I can look back on it as one the marking points of my life. We were an eclectic bunch and the mixture of influences showed up in our own particular brand of progressive rock with the name of the group reflecting our penchant for disagreements. Less than a year later we had disbanded for good. It was my brother in law on guitars, two friends on bass and drums and me on keyboards. This is one the tunes from the album "Utopian Moment" featuring my ex-brother in law on vocals....

hillbilly justice

making up for lost time

sometimes it's best to walk away

Yesterday I was on Thirdwaytrans' blog and almost caught myself arguing with a Blanchardian convert until I realized the person not only had no first hand experience dealing with gender dysphoria but also had some pretty sophomoric things to say which were taken directly out of the Freund Blanchard playbook. Judging from the certitude in their tone I realized I would have wasted my breath over long threads so I asked Thirdwaytrans to kindly delete my initial responses. Sometimes it's just best to walk away than to attempt to educate people who have only touched the surface of a topic and still feign knowledge of it; a topic which I have been studying for years. No, I don't pretend to have all the answers but I do know where the gaping holes are and when someone has clearly stepped right into them. But what I like most is that all the piss and vinegar I used to have regarding this issue is gone and been replaced with a calm certainty. Something I very much like.