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Showing posts from June, 2017

few things are as mysterious

My ideas on couple hood have firmed up with age and the benefit of hindsight. We create patterns for ourselves which are modelled after a personal style branded by childhood baggage which in turn affects our attachment style. What we expect of our partner and of ourselves is a unique formula that not even we comprehend because that would require the kind of introspection that could lead to findings we might not like. Some of us are motivated by abandonment issues or through the influence of invasive parents. That colors the kinds of demands we make on the person we are with and not always by deliberate intent but by an almost automated subconscious approach we can falsely attribute to our personality instead of on flaws we can attempt to correct. If only one person does the heavy lifting to work out their modus operandi there will be a shortfall since it requires equal engagement to make for a healthy couple. I now see the trials and tribulations of the marriages and relationship

inspirational Pearl

You will notice how collected and sure of herself this transgender woman is. I think she impresses with her resolve and class especially in light of the challenge she has been through in not only being transgender but also a visible minority. You go Pearl..

the puppet master

There is very little doubt from anyone that Steve Bannon has a big hand to play in the Trump white house. His views on terrorism, immigration and the treatment of minority groups are well documented and as former head of the odorous Breitbart news he is no stranger to controversy. Meanwhile, Donald Trump is the equivalent to Chauncy Gardinder, that character so brilliantly played by Peter Sellers as an intellectually challenged man who manages to fool a whole host of people with phrases taken directly out his penchant for watching television. That Trump is more malevolent than the Sellers character is well documented and his actions are not those of a mature or balanced individual. The bar keeps dropping for what qualifies someone for public office and we will hopefully one day see a return to a higher standard based solely on the outcomes of this presidency. Bannon is the modern day version of Rasputin who will eventually have his downfall but not before he has done what is hopefu


I think that the Buddhists have it right and that the elimination of human desire is actually a gift we can give ourselves. No it is not about missing out on the pleasures of life but rather about letting life bring you things and appreciating them with the proper measure of importance and sense of perspective. Chasing things that may or may not be right for us doesn't seem to work for many of us who sometimes realize that what we thought we should pursue does not bring us fulfillment. It might just be that being open to being surprised by life is the true gateway to self discovery and contentment. As my children naturally detach themselves, many years of responsibility are giving way to an opening where I can allow an organic process to occur with no particular goal other than to permit a natural redefinition of my life. While that may seem like a rejection of clear objectives I see it more as an understating that everything we try to grasp here in this life is made of sand


I don’t need to write but I enjoy it. Therefore I have decided to keep the blog active without feeling the pressure to write every day. If I do that’s fine but I won’t hold myself to that as a requisite. As my gender conflict has subsided I have begun to morph this blog to include observations on society in general, politics, religion, philosophy and any other topic that motivates me to express my thoughts. I thank all of you for your sincere comments and emails regarding this blog and have used that as motivation to continue. Of course gender will continue to form part of my writing because I have spent countless hours reflecting on it since I was young. When you are different much energy is spent trying to determine why your inclinations rub against the grain of society and that conflict eventually and hopefully resolves itself into self definition. So the theme here will continue to be social justice and shining a light on the dark places of our world where people are kept

princess jack

five rules to a happy life

During a graduation ceremony at Tulane University Helen Mirren gave the keynote speech during which she gave her personal 5 rules to a happy life. This video is an excerpt from her address but I guarantee you will appreciate what she has to say which can only come from someone who has lived a little...

winding down

This blog is slowly winding to a logical end because with it I have accomplished everything I needed to. It was a deep dive into my own psyche which necessitated an exploration of the literature that would help explain why I am this way. With my self-acceptance has come a calmer version of myself and as I enter into my latter part of my life I can say I have done everything to try and unravel the mystery that is gender dysphoria. Much of what is written on this subject is necessarily false because so much is contradictory and there can only be one truth. What I do know is that most of the people who are very vocal on it have an agenda and are trying to sway others. At my age this has zero impact on my life but deliberate deceit bothers me and I feel it should be corrected. Were the science on this subject matter solid we could all just sit back and say we had an answer but we really don’t. I am not done just yet but I am certainly done writing on a daily basis and maybe this blog

a sense of humor

It's important to have a sense of humor about ourselves. Being transgender for me was for the longest time a matter of great seriousness and concern and now I can look back on my history and laugh a little. Having that sense of whimsy can relax you and make you realize that there is a lot of potential to laugh at ourselves in a good way and we can enjoy the way we are all the more by removing obstacles through the gift of laughter. If only I knew then what I know now but it is not too late at my age to reap the benefits of what I have learned about myself and about the world. So the next time you feel really down about being trans try and look at the positive side and see the inherent humor that our situation has put us in over the years. I know I have had many and they form part of my formation as a human being who was born just a little different.

Grayson Perry meets Tschan

We all suffer until we figure things out. Whether you are a self-identified transvestite like Grayson Perry or a beautiful transgender model like Tschan we all need to figure things out and come to a place of reconciliation with who we are. The one thing you see in both these people is that they have come to that place of self understanding and as Tschan struts her stuff down the street her long slender body is poised and her head held high as if to say " this is who I am take it or lump it"...


I can only explain my path away from religion and towards spirituality as a journey of rejecting pageantry in favor of a purer form of thought. From a young age I was never able to accept doctrine at face value and I railed against what I perceived to be my father's insistence on regimented prayer and observance. That I still attend a Catholic service has more to do with tradition than absolute necessity and it may be rooted in the idea that it is the least I can do to retain a bridge to my religious instruction. I now sit in a beautiful building and more often than not allow my brain to drift away from uninspired homilies by repetitious clergy who seem to treat us like children. Still that convention remains as a reminder that I need not entirely flush all ceremony despite it often grates against my desire for simpler and more streamlined thinking. The church as hospital analogy is perhaps useful here as the priests who we thought should be held to a higher standard proved t

Canada passes Bill C-16

Well we have done it and with an overwhelming majority to boot. Canada has passed a law that protects the rights of transgender people and more specifically the rights of freedom of expression and identity. It was only voted agsinst by a handful of conservatives (surprise, surprise) who thought they would be forced to use gender neutral pronouns which was more a ruse to vote against it as well as some feminists concerned this would facilitate men posing as women gaining access to their spaces (sound vaguely familiar?). This is a historic day for my country and I am proud to call myself Canadian.


I have trouble with smugness and arrogance. It seems to work for some people and they will use it to advance their cause of establishing dominance or perceived status. I am dealing with one such person now on a project and I am finding it best to not let that get to me or at least be sure to make it not show. By doing that you give the smug person more power. Learning to cope with people is that hardest thing about my business which involves a large amount of interaction and coordination. People’s egos and styles get in the way and their personal ways of communicating impact their core message. They may want to send a clear statement but their method affects its effectiveness. Over the years I have had to adjust to these types of people but it doesn’t get any easier when you encounter one. The only thing you can control is your own attitude to them as nothing you will do will change them. Sometimes they want to get a certain reaction or are used to being listened to intently and

the idiot defense

Trump may be an idiot but according to legal experts the “idiot defense” would not fly in a court of law. So those GOP politicians coming to his side by saying he didn’t know what he was doing and that he is a newbie president don’t understand the law. All you need to prove is bad intent which by clearing the room and telling James Comey privately to seeing his way to letting this investigation slide was clearly there. Most lawyers never get that much red meat and, by actually admitting it via Twitter, it is only icing on the sundae for them. Impeachment is in no way certain however with a Republican house and senate so unless the Democrats win in 2108 things won’t likely change. Mueller would have to find a real smoking gun which would then raise the public outcry all the more for justice.

too old to suffer fools gladly

Most people are lovely but it is always good to get a little reminder about passing. Not every transgender person passes and even those who have been on hormones for years and have had surgery do not always do so successfully all the time. The point is that passing is not your goal but just being happy in your skin is. So when I when to buy a fan for my place I wasn’t expecting to deal with an overly curious and slightly smug person but by now I have enough confidence that I do not suffer fools gladly. That same day I had a lovely older couple ask me how I got my wonderful height and that I was an attractive lady. This salesman at the fan place had another idea. He thought it was polite to ask things in an offensive way. So he said: “So is it okay to ask you a question?” I said sure expecting something reasonable like I usually get. “Are you a transgender or a transvestite?” I was a little gob smacked because the question was so direct and so smugly stated. It immediately

a feather in the wind

I watched Forrest Gump the other day after not having seen it for many years. The film has aged relatively well and its slice of life style reminded me how much our existence is a combination of tragedy and comedy interwoven into what can seem like a randomly designed tapestry. Tom Hanks gives a powerful performance here as the intellectually challenged man who still manages through his innate goodness and loyalty to find the best in all those he meets and they in turn are better for having known him. His wisdom lies in his ability to find the little things in life that truly bring us happiness as he exercises the simple values instilled in him by his mother. The movie both begins and ends with a feather being impacted by the wind and it meets obstacles along the way as analogy for our lives and, to punctuate this, Gump theorizes near the film's end that our lives are comprised of both random chance and fateful interventions as we interact with others and our existences tou

going down with the ship

Regardless of whether you believe in the two type model of transsexualism or not (which for the record I don't) you must admit that there used to be some pretty heavy-handed stereotyping going on to substantiate it. Homosexual transsexuals were supposed to have lower IQs, be exclusively attracted to men and tended to come from lower income backgrounds. Gynephilic transsexuals were supposedly more likely to come from scientific backgrounds (engineering, etc.), be exclusively attracted to women or be asexual as well as being prone to fetishism. Now I have already given examples here of transitioners who completely break that model and in fact the whole thing reaks of the kind of bias that was rampant around the period that Blanchard was cooking up his pseudoscientific baloney. Since then we have seen gynephilics start to transition much sooner and note that transitioned people cover every possible profession that exists. In fact there is literally nothing left to substantiate thi

my daughter gets a bigger eyeful

My daughter wanted to attend a faith service at her boyfriend's church and asked if she could stay over on Saturday night. Of course I said yes and reminded her that I attend the 8 am mass as Joanna while her service was at 11. On a Sunday the bus and metro schedule is slow and it would be easy for me to simply drop her off and he would then just take her home. But then the rub was would I change clothing just to do that. For the record my daughter has seen me dressed before but this would be 15 or 20 minutes in close quarters in the car and I hesitated. As much as she reassured me that it was no big deal to her I hesitated because my whole life has been about shielding everyone from my being transgender. So I explained my state of mind and she assured me that taking public transit was no big deal for her. So we left it at that and I stewed over it for a while before calling her back and telling her I would drive her. Two things changed my mind: I am tired of shielding peop

the credibility gap

Trump shot himself in the foot. When it comes to credibility it’s no contest and former FBI director James Comey was resolute, calm and credible during his testimony. As a contrast not long afterwards, the man child president was back on Twitter spewing his garbled and dim-witted retorts. They have him and it’s only a matter of time now. The constitutional experts are even stating that all the elements are in play for impeachment charges and, even if this Republican congress doesn’t act, their own re-election bids will be put into jeopardy; all the more when one considers the disastrous health care bill which is now in play. What matters most now is to understand how the United States got here; that magic combination of echo chamber made to measure news along with disenchantment with the status quo must be repaired lest the country gamble with another populist incompetent. Maybe the next one might not be as visibly buffoonish. Whatever attempts he makes to discredit Comey wil

a private matter

So Caitlyn Jenner has had gender reassignment surgery. Somehow she still looks the same and whether this occurred or not it changes nothing for the rest of us. Yet the speculation kept the tabloid media machine humming. Has our opinion of her now changed as a consequence? This interest in genitalia is coming from a curious public that barely comprehends what being transgender is all about because they have never questioned their own identity. It makes sense that it should reside between the ears and as transgender woman Julia Serano states: “These are problems trans people often have to deal with in our day to day lives, if they haven’t had surgery, there’s something wrong with them.” To which she adds: “The most important factor that affects someone’s experience of gender is whether people perceive us as male or female and how they treat us and outside of the bedroom, it is very rare that a person’s genitals come into those split-second judgments one makes countless times a

social media isolation

Social media can actually instill loneliness. Once past our maximum circle of 150 contacts, we cannot focus on any more. This is why humans tend to stick to smaller groups where we can be ourselves and offer candid testimony without the benefit of editing. The less we see reality the less that interaction offers us anything tangible and worthy of our time. We also don't get to share our pain and joy with others in a beneficial way. Our dependence on social media instead breeds more isolation as we water down our human interaction to a series of sound bytes. Those of us who didn't grow up with these platforms may be less likely to become addicted and yet we have all been exposed to them and have fallen for their spell in varying degrees.

playing God

CRSPR is a DNA editing tool which allows scientists to alter DNA strands in order to cut out mutations or add missing elements which would theoretically render the coding of that plant, animal or human to be free of imperfection or disease. The ethical implications are of course evident as, besides the correction of human diseases and deformities, you could envision a scenario where designer cattle, pigs or even babies would be handpicked by parents who would be eager to have that perfect offspring with blue eyes and blond hair. Human nature being what it is, you are almost guaranteed to see the use of this technology test the limits of what is moral and ethically desirable and, even as nations introduce measures to control its use, there will be those who will wield its power for their own ends. We are entering a brave new world where the human appetite for extended youth and beauty could supersede the implications that could ensue and gratifying an individual’s vanity or search

how aging can help us

I like the way I look as a female at almost 55 years of age. I have learnt from experience over the years to craft an image that allows me to deal with my dysphoria more effectively than ever before. I know how to speak, how to dress and how to behave in public and I don't give a hoot whether people like what they see or not. What matters is what I think. Its a combination of mind and body that comes together and you finally settle down to become who you are. The little things that I have done over the years like the laser treatment on the face and the thinning of the eyebrows have helped me but mostly its the work I have done on the inside to craft the person I have needed to become.

manning up

Felix Conrad once again brings a thoughtful discussion to the fore in treating the subject of the non-transitioning dysphoric male. To what degree does he, who at times desperately longs for transition, deal with the feelings and the very real possibility that it might not be the best option? How does he cope when there might be another way forwards and how does he frame his identity in a world that has no place for him?...

my mortality

My mortality is comforting to me. It puts things into perspective and, just when I fall into a trap of thinking that something in this life is complicated, it brings me back to the reality that it is not so important as my finite time on this earth. I think that as we inch closer to our own end we gain this focus that hopefully allows for priorities to be better aligned and for dependence on material things to fall by the wayside. What used to be daunting in our thirties becomes an issue we can put into perspective far quicker. My work is like this sometimes and as I get tired of the politics and the ladder climbing tactics of others, I find solace in the fact that its main objective is to make more money for some company whose primary interest is its bottom line. I am at age where colleagues are suddenly diagnosed with tumors or cancers and I have prepared myself that I might be next. Instead of depressing me it brings everything else I do into more clarity and diminishes its

peak superhero

If we haven’t reached peak superhero yet we are close. The Marvel and D.C. universes fight it out for dominance on the big screen for our attention spans and our cash. Last night my son wanted to see Wonder Woman which I thought was great. The movie was far superior to the cheesy 1970’s Linda Carter version and it showed me how far we have come in terms of featuring a strong female lead. Not only wouldn’t this have made the silver screen back when I was his age, but even if it had been we might have been criticized by our peers for wanting to see it. This is escapism with a message and it plays well to an audience who isn’t remotely aware of the origins of these characters. For me it was a 15 cent purchase at the local corner store which resulted in amassing a little collection in a cardboard box; my last addition was probably made at age 12. We have changed comic books to graphic novels and I see twentie-somethings reading them on their tablets or in hard copy on the subway. I

it makes one shake their head

We are all baffled when people are faced with hard facts and they choose to ignore them. This latest Republican health care bill which will knock approximately 23 million people from being covered by insurance companies is being defended on the basis that it is providing Americans with more choice; yes, more choice to those who can afford it. They don’t even bother hiding the fact that this choice also means another tax cut for the wealthiest Americans who form part of the Republican faithful. Conservatives don’t believe in handouts and if you can’t afford something it’s not their problem. So I ask the basic question: is basic health care coverage a basic human right or a privilege? The GOP has clearly already answered that question with the lower end voters who opted for their party the ones who will be experimented on. The United States is the only industrialized western nation with a for profit health care system thanks to a visceral aversion to any form of governmental interv

Being transgender isn't exclusively a problem of aberrant sexuality

If being transgender were exclusively a problem of aberrant sexuality, then I would seem to be an exception to the rule. To date I have lived my life like a choir boy and have had low libido throughout. I have yet to ever see a porn film and both my ex-wife and ex-girlfriend complained about my lack of sex drive. I also knew I was different from a very young age. This is why the accusation that male to female transgender persons attracted to women are perverts doesn’t hold much water with me. I was mortified when I hit puberty and realized that my desire to be female had taken on sexual overtones and I ended up, like most of you, repeatedly throwing things in the bin as a repudiation. In fact, accepting that my sexuality has been permanently impacted was the hardest pill to swallow in my journey to become a fully realized transgender person. That is why I say to those who are still concerned about what outsiders who haven’t lived your personal experience have to say about you sho