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Showing posts from September, 2018

more on who we are

Finding out who you are takes time because we need to clean our palettes. For most people their grounding in gender education works because they fit within the gender binary. For us however, the process requires we carefully scrutinize a social education that worked against us. The more we become entrenched in it, the more difficult redefining ourselves became. In my case, I had bought wholeheartedly into everything which is why I struggled and blamed myself for failing to live up to it perfectly. It wasn't until I realized that I could embrace my femininity without fear that things began to fall into place. This need not be an exaggerated form either and you won't see me posting pinup pictures here, but we can embrace the full spectrum of who we are without fear and bask in how freeing that is. We can repatriate our full range of expression to help formulate our own uniqueness. Once this first part is accomplished you can then decide whether transition is for you or not; f

Church and destroy

Brandenburg No 3 (excerpts)

I first heard this concerto on Wendy Carlos's album "Switched on Bach" which was recorded on the Moog 2600. It was the early years of my musical education and was instantly fascinated....

understanding your core identity

Before one can offer oneself to another there must be a clear understanding of identity. This I have come to learn with absolute certainty and that its definition can lie outside the box of conventional wisdom. In other words, you get to decide who you are which then leaves you open to welcome truly honest friendship and perhaps love. For all my life I did the opposite: try to fit into a premade box so that I could be accepted which was completely wrong. It is how I can feel so free today. There is no substitute for understanding what makes you tick even if that flies in the face of everything you have been taught. Once you arrive there, the choices to transition or not become easier because they are made on your plain of existence and free of the angst of what will people think. It doesn’t matter what they think. A nice chunk of the world is composed of people who will be against anything you do no matter what that is. The most important life lesson is to love yourself fully bef

how unique the playing field

I found this quote from Kris Kirk's book on Zagria's site and it is spellbinding because it describes some of the diversity we find within our community: "If there is any one lesson to be learned from studying this field it is that the individual is individual. People define themselves and the self-definition must always take priority over the received wisdom. I have met self-defined draq queens whom others would describe as TV either because they enjoy 'passing'; or because they 'dress' so often that it could be seen as a compulsion; or because they wear lingerie, either to turn men on or to make themselves feel sensuous. I have met drag performers who have grown to dislike drag, and men who insist on being called 'cross-dressers' because they dislike what the word 'drag' stands for, and men who wear part-drag in order to create confusion and doubt amongst others, but who would never wear full drag because that would defeat their object.

Firth of Fifth

The perfect prog song and its Genesis with Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett. Doesn't get better. I used to love playing this one with some of the guys I played music with...


I took this picture this evening upon returning home and I thought it captured fairly well the serenity I am feeling these days. No, not everything is perfect but then nothing in life is and yet I am generally content.

what precisely do transgender people threaten?

"Finally, it is important to emphasize that a transgender individual’s gender expression is not responsible for eliciting the prejudice of others. Rather, transprejudice stems from an internal process in which the person holding the prejudice experiences a threat to an aspect of their own identity, and thus lashes out against trans individuals as a means of trying to reaffirm the boundaries surrounding important aspects how they define their identity – in this case, their gender"

the secret to happiness in 60 seconds

let's please read carefully

This post is prompted by a recent comment I received to one of my older posts and I wanted to address it. I used to wonder why some transgender people accepted Blanchard’s work until I think I figured out why: they may not have examined it closely enough. They would experience cross gender arousal and then accept it was Autogynephilia without properly understanding what the term meant and what the theory said: it is an invented sexual “illness” which makes people transition. In other words, it is the arousal itself which causes this desire and not a pre-existing gender identity which does not align with birth sex. Of course, Blanchard has no explanation for the origin of his proposed “illness” only that it is a form of sexual deviance. My counter proposal? we transition despite this arousal. In other words, the transgender identity is pre-existing and the arousal is the result of the mismatching of burgeoning sexual feelings towards females and this misaligned identity; it is not

thank you

This blog is currently at over 520,000 page views since its inception and the traffic continues to slowly increase. I never expected that to happen or that I would be writing a blog this long. For a site that doesn't often deal with popular issues I am pretty proud of that. We need to fight back against all forms of prejudice, stupidity, malevolence, misinformation and, of course, pseudoscience. Thanks for your support!

lunch with Cristine

I had lunch today with Cristine; that 32 year old woman who I befriended not long ago. She seemed to want to talk so we made plans for today since we were both off (I had a car appointment in the morning and booked off for the day). We had a nice lunch in old Montreal and she was able to share some of the frustrations she is going through in her life right now. I was only too happy to lend an ear but we both benefited from getting together as she is a lovely person. To Cristine I am a mid fifties divorced woman and I kept it that way. I had no interest in going down the transgender rabbit hole. She works in broadcasting and is moving to Toronto in the next few months so all the more reason not to broach the subject. I will more than likely lose touch with her. This falls into the category of experimentation with living full time and I am reflecting slowly on whether it's a good fit for me. Yes Sherry, I wore my stilettos.

a fantastic woman

Marina is a transgender woman living in a culture where she is not accepted. She has not yet changed her papers and when her boyfriend Orlando dies one evening she finds the police taking an interest and makes her life difficult. She becomes a suspect and suffers more than she needs to under an oppressive legal system. Orlando's family also wants nothing to do with her. Daniela Vega does a great job here. See it and understand why it won best foreign film last year. You can find it on Netflix...

more thoughts on cross gender arousal

I have been reflecting for many years on how cross gender arousal originates. Firstly, the transgender child has already exhibited (or hidden) some gender variance for several years before they arrive at puberty (I wasn't older than 4 when scolded for wearing my mother's shoes). But when they hit puberty a dilemma occurs: the object of the sexual attraction is also someone whose gender they identify with either fully or partly. This contradiction affects the imprinting of the sexual identity but it is not well described as target location error but rather as a pull in two separate directions which leaves the gynephilic adolescent facing two distinct paths. I was keenly aware of this problem but wanted to be normal so I suppressed the dysphoric feelings as hard as I could. I wasn't attracted to my own image as a woman but rather to the idea of being a desirable woman as well as being with one. That juxtaposition fused to my gender core and I was left with a riddle to solve

working on your female voice

The other day someone asked me how to improve their voice. Well here is the simple technique I used: 1) Record yourself on a cell phone for about 5 minutes per day and listen back 2) work on inflection, pitch and rhythm as females speak differently than males 3) Make sure the voice does not come from the chest cavity. It is about pinching midway through your vocal chords and not using falsetto. This requires you train them. After a while it becomes intuitive and foolproof. I am never misgendered on the phone and am always addressed as Miss or Madame 100% of the time. I also don't need to force to have the voice remain at this range. I can speak this way for hours. I recorded a short sample here and please forgive the fact that I was a bit out of breath when I did so :)

Michael Moore on Trump

Here is Michael Moore on Democracy Now...

is transition inevitable?

Is transition inevitable? I have been pondering this question as my own life seems to be heading in that direction only I do not yet know what form it will take. Those of you who, like me, have suffered from potent lifelong gender dysphoria have probably felt throughout your lives as if you were holding back the tide. You suppressed the feelings and perhaps indulged in periodic crossdressing to soothe those intense periods. As we age however, the reasons for suppressing become less evident. Still, I never expected to be in this position with the dearth of reasons not to live a more honest life slowly evaporating. I am alone with two adult children who have told me they just want me to be happy. My company is giving me the green light to transition and I am working as a woman part time on a side project. I am also virtually living full time in my social life. Yet as always, I am careful to tread with caution because this has worked for me thus far. I didn’t need to rush and becaus

ethical behaviour in all things

I was listening recently to an ethicist speaking on the radio about the idea of capitalism with a conscience which still exists in parts of the western world. Co-ops are one such form of inclusion where a worker forms part of the ownership of a company. Credit unions are another. How many of you remember the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” and George Bailey the man who didn’t think that his life meant anything until by film’s end he realizes how many lives he has touched through his acts of kindness and selflessness. His father’s struggling credit union helped people get their first homes and they forgave lateness on payments if it meant being able to support these burgeoning families. FDR had a bigger scheme in the form of the New Deal where families benefited from series of Great Depression era recovery programs which helped create the American middle class. Today this would be called socialism by a Republican party who has lost touch with the very principles on which their country

please try again

Blanchard, Bailey and Lawrence aren’t really scientists, but they think they are. You see, there is a sticking point: science takes not only rigor, but it also requires repeatable and irrefutable experimental results. I should know because I am trained both as a physicist and engineer. No matter how much people like Kay Brown (who oddly likes her not so flattering diagnosis in the Bailey book) insist, Autogynephilia is not a proveable condition therefore it is not a real thing. In other words, it is not science until it passes inspection as such. Hence it is a theory until proven otherwise. At the risk of being a broken record, cross gender arousal is irrefutably a part of the gynephilic transgender person’s experience but proving that we transition because of this arousal is the unfortunate tricky part. This is what AGP theory wants to prove but cannot. The other fly in the ointment for Ms. Brown is the penchant of Blanchard of breaking with scientific practice and accusing pat

The Secret Marriage

"No earthly church has ever blessed our union No state has ever granted us permission No family bond has ever made us two No company has ever earned commission No debt was paid no dowry to be gained No treaty over border land or power No semblance of the world outside remained To stain the beauty of this nuptial hour The secret marriage vow is never spoken The secret marriage never can be broken No flowers on the altar No white veil in your hair No maiden dress to alter No Bible oath to swear The secret marriage vow is never spoken The secret marriage never can be broken"

in my bones

Two Sundays ago I took a nice walk before mass. It was crisp autumn like morning and all I could hear was the clicking of my pumps echoing against the walls of the semi secluded old city. Notre Dame basilica is a beautiful old church which receives countless visitors during the summer months but at 7:30 in the morning it is ghostly quiet. I meet Iva at the door, a lady about my own age, and we talk for 5 minutes before we both go in. Going to mass as Joanna is special to me in a way I cannot describe. It completes the circle on what used to be a heavy handed Catholicism exacting judgment on a boy who very early identified as a girl. Now a past middle aged woman presents herself every week knowing that I am accepted as a creation of God and that I am welcome. How do I know all this? I just know it in my bones.

words to live by


I've worn these sandals to church a few times this summer. I think they are cute and feminine and I get to show off my painted toe nails even if I didn't do the best job with them:) My daughter saw me come home wearing them and she likes them. She also told me I still look like me in the clothes and makeup which was a nice thing to hear.

a small incident

I have been using the ladies room for over 3 decades without incident and more recently the pool locker room without a peep from anyone including striking up conversations with ladies on many occasions so I know I pass well but that doesnt mean that I do so perfectly for everyone. I pass better today than I used to but because I have been using a particular bathroom at Central Station for many years, security likely knows me. So I was quite surprised to be greeted by a security guard with an uppity tone upon exiting and being asked not to use this bathroom due to some complaints received. He asked me my name and when I gave it he asked me for my "real" name. Then I just saw red. To date no one has given me so much as a strange look or said anything while I have used that particular bathroom which is often empty when I use it so I was quite surprised. To what extent what he said was true I cannot say. I must admit I was a bit rattled but told him politely but firmly that

Marie Pol

I enjoy talking with people and when Marie Pol asked if she could sit at my table I was happy to oblige. She is very friendly and down to earth and only 4 years younger than my mother. She tells me she also enjoys talking to new people although she readily acknowledges not everyone does. By the time she is finished her latte we have chatted for a little while and we continue well past the duration of what most strangers would consider sufficient overlap. I learn that she divorced twenty years ago and has been with someone else for some time now. She is the oldest of 11 children and I am the oldest of 6. I tell her a little bit about my history only leave the transgender part out because it was not necessary. We hope to overlap again one day perhaps in the same place; who knows.


Canada now has 11,000 people in the ranks of the ultra wealthy; ie. the people who make more than 30 million per annum. That puts us 5th in the world and,of course, behind the United States who has an even worse disparity problem. Those of you who are around my age or older will recall a healthy middle class existing through the 50's, 60's and 70's which has been rapidly disappearing. The atomic family has been replaced with struggling millenial professional couples who cannot make ends meet with both working. There is also the working poor which struggles even more to make due with meager wages. Clearly that trickle down economic model isn't working and that is because corporations in this global economy are moving operations off shore and also downsizing via automation. I write about this problem because I believe it will be the next major world crisis. Job numbers mean nothing here because holding down a job doesn't mean there isn't a huge disparity pro

owning it

You have to own it. That's what I've learned. If you know who and what you are you need to own it or else people will smell the inauthenticity. That certainty goes a long way towards establishing credibility and how I gained mine interacting as a female in the world. This is making it easier for me to come to a firm decision and, as Emma so rightly commented recently, transition means different things to each of us. It is the amount of time (full time or part time) that remains to be decided and whether I begin some form of HRT with Dr. Morris. The one thing I know with some degree of certainty is that surgery is not for me because, personally, I don't feel it's necessary in order to be myself. Being self concious and transgender are mutually exclusive and if you worry about how you are being perceived you will develop paranoia. I am now rid of that condition I suffered from all my life: pleasing others to fit in and worrying about what they thought. You cannot



I had a second dinner with that young estimator from Toronto last night. During the meal she told me how entirely natural my presentation as Joanna was and wondered how she would feel seeing the male again. She suggested, without being rude, that she prefers the woman she dined with. This is not the first time this happens to me where people see the entire package and wonder how I was able to hide being transgender for so long. I often wonder myself.

en femme


Being on the fence with my type of transsexualism means that I am never sure. However, I am more certain than ever that I need to investigate all possibilities. Chatting with my friend Sherry the other day she brought up a good point: the notion that fear shouldn't be my primary motivator here. If transition isn't for me that's fine but not because I am paralyzed with dread. I was brought up to try and think of others first and left the management of my dysphoria as something to be limited to dressing only. Now that my children are grown and I am on my own, I cannot allow fear be the deciding factor. The problem is that, unlike Sherry, I have invested 3 more decades putting all this off. That entrenchment and life lived is not easily remade but then living part time is perhaps not the most elegant of solutions either. So is this fear or about something else? this what I have left to examine with the bonus that I am no longer afraid to hold things up to the light wit

about Vivien

Oh Tucker

Yes, Tucker Carlson loves to dog whistle to his mostly senior and white FOX viewers about white nationalism without being overtly explicit; but then that's just his way. As disingenuous as they come and equally as dense, he gets owned by Dollemore here simply because his stance is not what America stands for....

overheard in a ladies room

I was in a ladies room in the Centre de Commerce Mondial de Montreal on the lip of the old city this past labor day Monday washing my hands, when the woman next to me points to a spider on the counter. "My daughter would probably freak out a little" I said "Just wait till mine gets here and she is 18" Just then her daughter came out of the stall "This lady says that her daughter would freak out too" says the mom pointing to the spider. I detected an American accent "Where are you both from?" "Vermont, my daughter is going to school here" "Go Bernie!" I piped up. "Oh God we love him too. Everytime we come up here we feel like apologizing to Canadians for Trump" says the mom with a sheepish grin. "No worries, 60% of you can't stand him" I reassured laughing a little. "What I don't get" says the mom " is that he's made of teflon. For the Trumpists he can do wron

The Toast

Round and round and up and down Round and round and up and down Drinking all the wine we found Not so easy to remain Steady, happy Round and round and up and down Round and round and up and down Drinking all the wine we found Not so easy to remain Steady, happy Say it soft and say it slow Tell me what I want to know Pour it 'till it overflows Love may come and love may go Such a pity


Patricia wants to hire me full time but she cannot afford my salary just yet. However this is perfect because my plan was to become a consultant in 4 years and not impact my pension too much. This means I stay with this project part time working as Joanna and possibly full time down the road whether or not I medically transition. In other words, I have tons of options including keeping the status quo and having one foot in each gender. This makes me very happy as the team is amazing and the project deals with sustainable development and prefabricated housing which is just up my alley. I also get to work as a woman full time should I desire to. Who woulda thunk.

It's like shooting fish in a barrel

the meeting

I went to that shareholders meeting for my side project the night before last and it all went fine. There wasn’t a hint of nervousness or self-consciousness on my part and I was addressed as she and her the entire time. I don’t think Patricia has told everyone that I am transgender but that doesn’t matter to me; she can tell them when and if she wants. The only thing that I kept thinking was that this occurrence would have been so frightening until relatively recently. It was a series of little steps that got me here and now I don’t need to second guess every gesture or movement anymore. The voice is there when I need it and it is effortless to the point that I don’t even think about it. There were five of us around that table and the meeting lasted about 2 hours. I expressed myself when I needed to, and everything worked like a reflex. Later on the subway, aside from the usual tall woman looks I get from time to time, no one paid me any mind which is the way I always imagined it

let them go

of social justice and human dignity

How are my actions upholding social justice and human dignity? This is the question we should ask ourselves every time we undertake some action or political proposal. Is this for the common good of society or only for the select few? Unfortunately, the answer is often the former in this world of ours as we choose options which fail this basic litmus test. Political parties as well as individuals continue to adopt stances that they can then wrap in language of pretense, so they can get what they desire. It is what is happening now under the Trump administration where a puppet president is doing the dirty work for a GOP that doesn’t like him but recognizes his value so long as he has a base that supports an emperor devoid of clothing. Do you recall the nastiness during the Republican race for the presidential nomination? Trump couldn’t go down into the dirt far enough slinging mud in all directions and hoping it stuck. Now all is forgiven and the likes of Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz h


My favorite bouree in F major from Handel's Water Music. This'll get your heart pumping...

desert island concertos

If I had to choose one series of concertos to take with me to a desert island it would be Bach's Brandenburgs; the music is so joyous and buoyant. Here is the first movement of concerto number 5 being consumately performed. Take note of the majestic and patient passage back to the movement's main theme between 4:28 and 5:45 which is just one example of the pure genius of Bach...


Well, Bob Woodward is not telling us something earth shattering: Donald Trump is an idiot. Members of his staff literally took documents off his desk so he wouldn't sign them. Both Mattis and Kelly call him an "idiot" and "unhinged". The mock Mueller interview they set up for him results in Trump purjoring himself. Woodward interviewed numerous people and recorded them with permission and we know how surgical he is going back to the Nixon investigations. He also had countless emails between staff members. I wonder how the Trumpists will spin this one but you can count on it. Impeachment looms.


I read recently about statistical data showing that transgender people have an incredibly challenging time on dating apps. Of course, none of us needed this information to understand this on an instinctive level. People just don’t know what to make of us and many have never met one of us. Dating is a whole other ball of wax. My personal opinion is that transgender people would do well to refrain from trying to find companionship on these sites. The reality is that the chance of finding a match is going to be exceedingly hard by simply noting the failure rate for cisgender people. Take theirs and then multiply that many times over for transgender people. If you are genuinely interested in finding companionship, then work on your insides first and become the person you need to be; the rest will take care of itself by attracting the right kind of person. If not, then you will at least have achieved a solid love and knowledge of self which many people who are already partnered might no


Measuring the productivity of the white collar industry worker is coming. Already well entrenched in places like call centers and assembly line work, I recently listened to an expert on the radio announce its imminent arrival. The obvious danger? Adding stress and the feeling that the employee is not to be trusted. When I began in my business almost 30 years ago, we had rudimentary technology and office hours were very much fixed. Contrast this with today and millenials are multi tasking from home while monitoring children or having repairmen fix their fridges. They come and go with greater ease but on the other hand are taking calls from Australia late into the evening disrupting the family routine. I work my own unusual hours in order to more effectively live as a woman part-time and my company knows what I can do. My experience and ability to deliver a good product is what ultimately counts. I believe this is where the danger lies in trying to measure productivity. I now spe

why Socrates hated democracy

You might recognize our modern times are very much affected by the warnings of Socrates. Uneducated masses being duped by charlatans..


My daughter is working on a Netflix animated series with her new company. She has been assigned to season 2 of the show because she joined it in progress. It is called Robozuna and is aimed at the teen market. I am super happy for her. She loves the location (a section of the Montreal plateau district called Mile End) and the people have been great so far. It is mostly a francophone milieu so time to use that French she learned in school. Apparently everyone at the studio had seen her animated movie and it was part of the reason she was hired there. It's been getting amazing traffic since being uploaded to YouTube.

a proper eulogy from a class act

celebrate you

Many of you may already be where I am. Tired of the world and its propensity to judge, you are past its fickleness and pay no mind to its opinions. It's by no means easy to do but it is mandatory for us otherwise we are not living. It is this tougher skin we must develop to go about the world in freedom and has helped me to be known and accepted as a woman by a great deal of people. Imagine the reverse scenario: I could recoil everytime someone gave me a second glance or furled an eyebrow. It is precisely because I don't worry that the best of me comes out and celebrates who I am. Last week I went to Payless and bought some stilettos. No, they are not very high but they were so comfortable I could not resist. I was chatting with the sales girls who told me how nice they looked as I paraded the aisles making sure I could wear them over a long stretch; for them I was just another lady looking for shoes. I also had dinner a few nights ago with that young estimator from the T