Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from November, 2018

benefit of the doubt

The extremist stories are the ones that make headlines.

The transgender woman who wants to look like Barbie is the kind of story that will entice readers but also be used as fodder for the anti-transgender crowd. Most transgender people want to fall under the radar and be treated like everyone else. They work in every sphere of work imaginable and under every economic bracket; in other words, they are just like everyone else.

The story I link to below about the six-year-old who is a girl with mommy and a boy with daddy gets attention because the mother is sure she is a girl and the father is certain that his ex-wife is poisoning his son with strange ideas. We don’t really know the answer because this child is so young and should never be put into this kind of scenario. Of course, the anti-transgender groups will pounce on this case as proof of the brain washing that the transgender agenda is hell bent on imposing on society but that isn’t entirely correct is it?

Transgender people are…

personal insight

Sometimes personal insight comes in strange ways.

My upstairs neighbor is panicking because she has some cracks in her plaster. Her reaction has not been aligned with the gravity of the situation and after speaking to a roof inspector he reassures me it's not water infiltration related. The cracks would need to be discolored and paint would need to have peeled. I have seen them for myself and its nothing I haven't seen before but unfortunately she has been getting advice from a real estate agent friend who knows just enough to be dangerous.

Winter has come early this year and so has snow on the roof hence his suggestion we wait until spring to do a proper inspection. These old buildings are full of cracks and he has seen many. However, she will hear nothing of it and wants someone to inspect and give her a report so she can sleep at night.

Erratic behavior like this short circuits my brain. My people pleasing side wants to help but the logic side tells me it is a relatively m…

time and time again

"It's been so many years since I saw your face
But now I'm home again back in my old place
And though you're not quite sure you think you see me by the door
I'll be there

And when the winter comes knocking on the door
And you've the firelight dancing on the floor
In the dead of night when every star is burning bright
I'll be there

Time and time again
I am always there to see you through the night
Time and time again
Rest your tired head and it will be alright
And after all is said, is said and done
Oh God you'll never know
Just how lonely life can be for me

So let me tell you now what it's like to be
The one whose memories are scattered on the sea
When the wind goes down you'll see them lying all around

On a cloudy day, high up in the sky
There's a lonely bird who's sailing round and round
Looking for a place to land down on the ground, for a while
Over and over again

Please give your love to me
Throw it in the wind and I'll be ther…

dream

The human mind has an interesting way to deal with things which are left unresolved: we dream. We will go back to events and reprocess them sometimes reinventing the outcome while introducing new participants to the story; all in the aim of coming to some state of resolution.

We may not come to a perfect answer, but our brain requires we arrive at one we can live with. Hence, we might convince ourselves that some narrative fits and leave it at that. Lived history is like this in that we pass it through the filter of our own subjectivity. After all, there is no other way to look at the world save through our own lens.

It would be nice to move outside of this box sometimes and see our history via another angle; one which would force us outside of our comfort zone. But then, that might be too harsh a punishment.

snowflake

I am not on Twitter but I happened to notice while over at Zagria's site a Twitter post from Jack Molay stating that Ray Blanchard had blocked him on that particular platform. Apparently, Blanchard is so much of a snowflake he won't be challenged and thus prefers to block people rather than engage them in intelligent discourse. It's one thing to block trolls but quite another to do so to a dissenter who is extremely well versed on the subject and willing to discuss it politely.

For me, this move speaks volumes about Blanchard's intellectual dishonesty.

It must be so great to come up with theories that are un-falsifiable and be unwilling to face a critique of them.


stupid ideas about what makes us trans

This story appears in LGBTQ Nation and it made me laugh. Hope it does the same for you:

"A lot of people wonder what makes people transgender, the same way we ask what makes people gay, or what causes autism.

The consensus scientific answer on all three is unsatisfyingly vague; there is no single reason, and what we can see appears to be a combination of multiple factors involving genetics, epigenetics, oligogenetics, and potentially some environmental factors.

There is broad consensus that it’s not caused by bad parenting, or what your mom ate when she was pregnant, or not going to church enough.

However, this isn’t enough for random (and not so random) cranks to propose absolutely bonkers reasons for why people are transgender. Because the public and the media knows so little about transgender people in general, some of these are getting more play than they deserve.

So, in no particular order, here are 15 of the nuttiest suggested reasons for why people are transgender, and why…

caravan

We are seeing a rise in global right wing populism. The right leaning government of Italy is making noise in Europe about admiring Brexit and Brazil has recently elected a "Trumpian" character in president-elect Bolsonaro who will be clear cutting more of the Amazon to make way for industrial development.

It's a fragile period in our history because much of this backlash is a revolt against the false promises of globalism; the idea that we could open our borders entirely to expand economic markets without seeing dire consequences for some of the population. The concept that greed is good and that the crumbs that fall from its table will feed the rest, is a false ideology. This has helped breed a new animal in the form of false prophets; blowhards who take advantage of a disgruntled populace to instill fear while advancing toxic policies bred from their own hatred.

In order to fashion a more moderate and peaceful vision for our planet we will need leaders who are ready t…

what to do if you hate small talk

the bargain bin

I walk by the bookstore and see the biographies on sale. Some of them are of sports heroes of years past and some of musicians or actors who are now deceased. Their stories like so many others become unimportant as they blur into the lived history of humanity.

In the end our individual narratives are of less import than the greater meaning of what it is to be human. You could do a paste up with many of these stories and combine elements so that you have created a picture of a fictitious character; one which would still seem real to us because we feel it could be.

There is a little melancholy in seeing the life of another being contained in a discounted book bin and yet this is the way it is supposed to be. Our lives mirror each other and intertwine because across the ages we have not changed all that much. The same fears, illusions and aspirations fill the years of our lives and get us through in passing our knowledge to the next generation. We are forgotten in a way and yet there is …

hidden

My company of over 6,000 employees only has one person transitioning which means there are others still in hiding. Using the metric of 0.6% we should have about 36 employees who are transgender; some of whom undoubtedly do not intend to transition or even come out of hiding. The engineering business is not exactly the first place one thinks of as a hot bed for diversity.

I am known to HR in my local office but am not out to all employees and there are maybe others in that same position. What I would like to see is the day where none of us feel the need to hide.

With 4 years left to go as a full time employee in this company I have decided not to do anything even remotely resembling social transition, however that doesn't mean I might not work as Joanna elsewhere after that.

As Dr. Morris recently told me, I will feel even more free when I can have all the full options in front of me and decide based on my needs.


one step closer to banana republic

The Trump administration is a despicable affront to decency with, their latest attempt to turn to the Supreme court to bolster its ban on transgender people serving in the military, only one more example. The evangelical radicals (hello Mike Pence) in the administration are behind this move but as we head into January and Democrats take over the house there could be a different story.

In the meantime, Trump hopes to ram through what he wants by taking advantage of a Republican bolstered court with the addition of frat boy Brent Kavanaugh.

If this ban is upheld it will be one more step towards converting the United States into a banana Republic where extremist intolerance becomes the norm instead of the exception. The only hope is that sanity comes back in 2020 and more moderate and intelligent forces return to governance. If people were unsure what a mess this idiot president could create they need to look no further. One can only imagine how much more damage could be done over anoth…

Big yellow taxi

From a BBC concert in 1969, the pride of Fort McLeod Alberta at her angelic best...


we will not be erased

Put this in your stovepipe and smoke it Drumpf....


comfort zone

Testing your comfort zone is a good thing and this is particularly true for us. I used to live inside a box from where I could not escape and doing certain things as Joanna were prohibited to me because I deemed them to be too daunting or terrifying. But then slowly but surely I began to push the envelope.

This need has much to do with self realization because if we don't try we won't find out who we really are. You need to be a little uncomfortable so you can eventually learn to be yourself.

Those first tentative steps out the door when we are young lead to bigger experiences which test our mettle and make us realize we can indeed fit into society as authentic transgender people who won't back down in fear. This was petrifying at first but as new muscles flexed and learned to operate, I found that, over time, I had become a different person.

Being yourself doesn't hurt anyone else but not being so hurts mostly you.


the Gospel of Convenience

"No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money" - Matthew 6:24

Just curious as to how so called Christian conservatives (most of whom vote GOP) would twist that particular passage of scripture to suit their own needs.

What I take from the passage is that one should not be attached to money and use it only as a tool. In other words, do not become a slave to it. But yet there is a whole school of people out there preaching a "prosperity gospel" which says that someone faithful to God will have monetary wealth given to them; a clear bastardization of the New Testament Jesus they purport to follow.

How convenient.




young transwoman finds a way

In spite of having to stop taking hormones at age 16 due to a medical condition, this young transgender woman found a way to be herself. She proved the skeptics wrong when she did not grow out of her gender variance...


Youza!

the price of tolerance

As I grow older I grow more tolerant of others and of myself and it makes me wonder why people can’t leave each other alone. If someone leads their life in such a way that doesn’t affect you why must you weigh in on it?

The answer of course is fear.

Once someone does something that challenges a strong belief system, it puts some into murkier waters that they cannot abide to live in. They would rather eradicate that difference than face the reality that things are not quite as they believed.

Societies today face great pressures to accommodate racial, political and religious differences which were not as evident when countries were more monolithic in structure. With global movement of people and ideas, we are being forced to live next to people whose dogma may be anathema to us.

This brave new world has in turn created factions which are fighting back against what they deem to be an unwelcome intrusion into their previously comfortable lives. This infringement will be fought against at…

transgressions

Gender is the equivalent of a loaded hand gun. It is such a fundamental building block of society that, for many, it is not to be trifled with.

A trans woman misrepresenting herself can get her killed as can a man who bends the boundaries and inadvertantly ends up on the wrong side of town. Gender is serious business because it is also tied to religious dogma which has traditionally placed very specific roles on each sex; in particular the dynamics centered around procreation.

Gender identity exploration can seem to some to be appropriation. TERFS, for example, will bemoan the intrusion of transwomen as "men entering women's spaces".

Transgender people know who they are but unfortunately they are outlaws in a world that craves strict definitions hinged on birth sex. It doesn't matter how much you protest; for some we will always be men in dresses even if that particular scenario would be entirely fine. Except that transgender people aren't just dressing up for fu…

femme

lay down your guns

"Lay down your guns I come in peace
No need to run my friend into the trees
We've been through this so much before
But still we get it wrong
Lay down your guns and feel no regret
Life is too short my friend, best we forget
No matter how we rise and fall
And how our love is torn
We'll stand up high above the storm.

And still our passion calls
And the juices fall like rain from the sky
We have to understand we're the flame
That feeds our desire
God knows we must survive

Lay down your guns and hold on tight
We'll prove the world is wrong and get it right
No need for you to worry now the best is yet to come
Lay down your guns and stand up strong

And though the cut is deep
We can heal it, trust me and keep
Your spirits high
It should be easy now that we've talked it over
And God knows we have to try

Lay down your guns just don't say goodnight
We'll prove the world is wrong, and get it right
And even in your darkest dreams
Some things you can't forsee
La…

creep factor

He touches my pant leg very subtly but I feel it. He is sitting next to me in the subway car but I don't react.

Later as I'm getting off he reaches for the pant leg again; subtle but again I feel it. I dont react because it's not worthwhile. Might just be his little fetish: feeling women's clothing and enjoying that he got away with it.

Some people are just creepy.

This past weekend a man followed me into the grocery store. I had already spotted him from the corner of my eye and sure enough there he was next to me trying to engage in conversation except that once again the creep factor was way high. I told him to go away or I would call security and thankfully he did.

When I went into a store later I mentioned it to the sales girl and she gave me that knowing nod telling me she was no stranger to the odd creepster.

"Ca fait partie d'etre une femme Madame" she said.

"Comme c'est dommage" I respond.

raking in Finland

strange

If you really think about it, human beings are perfectly strange creatures who have trouble understanding even themselves. We spend our lives trying to correct behaviours which confound and leave us perplexed for we know they inhibit our advancement to new levels of awareness.

This growth that we seek can be elusive because we cannot see ourselves with the brutal objectivity that this requires. Many of us don't want to see into a mirror which might force us into deeper introspection.

Today I am doing my best to remove those personal blinders but also working on eliminating the reflexive negativity I was taught to espouse; for this is also key to my evolution as a person.

Critique yourself yes, but also be kind in admitting that our strangeness is an intrinsic part of the packaging and, knowing this, that forgiveness and leniency must be extended to the self.


existentialism and dating

Sunday lunch

I had an interesting lunch on Sunday with my friend Patricia who brought along a friend named Sandra. It was all very pleasant and I remember asking Patricia (when her friend went to the ladies room) whether she had told her I was trans but she couldn't recall.

But then, near the end Sandra asked me something about my ex-husband and said how our ladies lunch was so nice and it was confirmed she didn't know I was trans. Up to then I had used language in such a way as to not deliberately out myself; not because of any great concern but more out of curiosity.

The great thing is that I no longer worry about being read and just go with the flow; no matter what.


people have short memories...

making an informed decision

After much deliberation, I have decided not to medically transition but not because it is not a desirable thing.

My decision is based more on a combination of having found happiness in my life and the realization that I can live with a certain degree of gender dysphoria. There are always tradeoffs to every reality and I have pondered my situation at great length. It is true that my ability to present and pass as a woman has played a significant hand in my decision.

No one knows what causes dysphoria and each of us must grapple with what to do about it. If you are young and understand yourself well enough, transition could be a wonderful option which will set your life on a new path and permit you to respect your personal sense of identity.

Not all people who transition resolve their gender issues entirely because what they might have imagined in their mind’s eye may not be attained. You may expect to pass perfectly or resolve your body dysphoria only to realize that, even with a serie…

Natalie Wynn

a possible explanation

Here is a possible explanation for the cause of arousal to being feminized (or female embodiment fantasies if you will) in gynephilic male to female transgender persons.

The male dysphoric child is already aware of a gender incongruity before entering puberty (in my day you just shut your mouth) when suddenly there is a conflict present. Feelings towards females are now in direct competition with a desire to be one themselves which has an impact on the development of the burgeoning sexuality. However, this is not so much a misdirected sex drive (or target location error as it has also been called) as the overlapping of two distinct and opposing realities. We are perfectly aware of what is going on which is why many trans people choose to suppress their dysphoric feelings in favor of partnering with a woman.

Before puberty with no sexual drive present, there is no conflict just as with increasing age the arousal tends to go away with the depletion of sexual energy. Regardless of the p…

children of men

Clive Owen's character is protecting the only pregnant woman on earth and he's having a hell of a time doing it as some have plans for the child. This dark dystopian thriller set in the near future was the film I saw last night and really enjoyed.

Find it on Netflix and see what you think..







painting

My daughter has surpassed my skill level as an artist but I believe she took some of her predisposition towards art from me and from her great aunt who was also an amateur painter.

The last time I painted anything was the work shown below which was conceived 21 years ago; my ex was pregnant with my daughter. The inspiration was a post card of old Montreal (Place Jacques Cartier to be precise) which I then modified thematically to suit my vision.

After my daughter was born I mostly focused on music but might just pick up a paintbrush again one of these days.



fierce

Look at me the wrong way today and you are liable to get a look back that says "do you have problem?"

Not that this happens, but I think it is because everything about my body language has changed over time. If you are a trans person this is mandatory because you cannot allow the world to eat you alive.

You need to be kind, loving and polite but also fierce and be ready to signal that you aren't going to be intimidated by anyone. It has to stem from your pores and cannot be faked.

Until this happens within yourself you will not fit properly into a world full of all kinds of individuals some of which don't care for your existence. Your job is to find your center and, in plain colloquial terms, not give a "rat's ass".

So find that center and stay there. You will see what a huge difference it makes.


first snow

Montreal is beautiful under a fresh coat of snow....




for the first time in our history

We are entering a phase in our history where the expression of gender is being liberated and once you reach a new echelon there is no going back. Consider how a show like Ru Paul's drag race would never have seen the light of day 30 years ago. With signs like these, young LGBT people as well as those truly comfortable in their skin are challenging the strict binary rules we lived under and even bending them to suit their uniqueness.

Lately I have seen several cases of young male cashiers with their nails meticulously painted and yesterday I saw a young man wearing flawlessly applied makeup. No one was stopping to stare at him. The more gender variance becomes routine the less remarkable it becomes giving people the ability to avoid ridicule.

It is understood that not everyone will be interested in testing the boundaries of gender which is perfectly wonderful. But others will, for the first time in their lives, truly be able to be themselves rather than conform out of fear. They wi…

prolific

I think Halle was worried about me but she needn't have been. But then, as a result of her email, we are now getting together in December for lunch.

It's true I have been writing blog posts at an alarming rate but maybe its because of this burst of energy I have; I don't know. It will probably spend itself and I will go back to daily posts or even weekly posts - who knows. The only thing I know is that the blog isn't going anywhere.

If an idea pops into my head I write it into my phone and expand upon it. Sometimes that thought is abandoned only to see it return and I will attack it from a different angle.

I enjoy writing and I have never had more time on my hands than I do now. With two grown children and many hours spent on my own, it is easier to write and doing so brings me comfort. It doesn't matter how many people read it although my readership has never been higher. Still, I would write regardless because I have to.

I am always thinking and when I go on my …

fearless

kudos

I don’t need to tell you how much pleasure I am getting from reading the new site Silly Ol’ You. Not only because the academic writing it really knows her stuff but because she readily pokes holes into Kay Brown’s agenda. Brown tries so desperately hard to prove the clearly unfalsifiable assertions of Blanchard that it is at times most comical to see the contortions she employs.

I have always also wondered whether Ms. Brown does not see the irony that despite her own oft-trumpeted early transition, her own history does not seem to fit the assertion that androphilics aren’t supposed to be scientific types. In fact, my overlap with a well-known gender therapist in Montreal as well as with the endocrinologist Dr. Morris is that most of their patients with scientific backgrounds are gynephilic types (or at least start out that way). Read Michael Bailey’s dumbed down version of Blanchard and all androphilics are portrayed in misogynistic fashion as either prostitutes, secretaries or pole d…

Dear extremists....

“We, the undersigned businesses, stand with the millions of people in America who identify as transgender, gender non-binary, or intersex, and call for all such people to be treated with the respect and dignity everyone deserves.

We oppose any administrative and legislative efforts to erase transgender protections through reinterpretation of existing laws and regulations. We also fundamentally oppose any policy or regulation that violates the privacy rights of those that identify as transgender, gender non-binary, or intersex.

In the last two decades, dozens of federal courts have affirmed the rights and identities of transgender people. Cognizant of growing medical and scientific consensus, courts have recognized that policies that force people into a binary gender definition determined by birth anatomy fail to reflect the complex realities of gender identity and human biology.

Recognizing that diversity and inclusion are good for business, and that discrimination imposes enormous pr…

pride

Going from an abject refusal to accept oneself to pride is a very long journey which is now almost complete for me. I used to see being transgender as the person who is missing a limb and adapts to this reality in the best way possible. But over time I have come to understand that this difference is not as much aberration as a condition which bears the price of having little statistical weight. It is like the person born with an eye color that is very rare.

The fact that our reality is not seen as positive has less to do with objective truth and more with the breaking of social conventions which are not made to accommodate us and, because we are not numerous, it is easy to dismiss our claim to legitimacy with counter arguments of mental illness and depravity. This is pushed by those who cannot abide that we be allowed to form part of the normal fabric of society even if we have always existed and will continue to.

Being part of tiny sliver of society has its challenges but that should…

at the end of the day

the ideal model

The human need for companionship seems to be primordial and yet we know the pitfalls. Most of us who have had relationships fail know the agony when nothing we do seems to work and we are left scratching our heads at what we gauge to be the other person’s inability to understand us.

The ideal model cannot be achieved because that would take two perfectly secure people who don’t really need each other but have chosen to share their fulfillment. The reality is that many of us look for substitutes for things we lack; maybe not consciously but it is there humming in the background: the woman who is looking for a protective father figure or the man who thinks he will be happy with a vivacious woman to counteract his lack of social skills.

Making ourselves happy first should be a prerequisite to finding a partner but most of us choose at an age when we don’t really know who we are yet. When we are young and impetuous and barely know ourselves is when we do this. The only saving grace is tha…

the boy who was raised as a girl

I've written about the case of David Reimer both in this blog and in my book. This landmark case study proved psychologist John Money was incorrect in his ideas and that you could not have someone who wasn't transgender undergo a gender transition as a way to make up for a botched circumcision. Despite being raised as Brenda, David felt male all along because the perception of our own gender lies between our ears.

Money couldn't believe his luck because David was a twin and so he could study both as they grew. What he ultimately witnessed disappointed him.

What is heart breaking about this case is that 4 years after this appearance on Oprah, David would take his own life at the tender age of 34.


finding your core

What I have found in my life so far is that the closer you get to the roots of who you are, the happier you become.

Many of us lead lives trying to be someone else. Perhaps we choose the profession that our parents wanted for us or we married according to expectation but not love. Whatever your particular situation was, you suffered under the yolk of duty and stayed far from the core of what brings you peace and contentment.

As I am discovering my own identity, I am finding a calmness in my soul that I didn't quite possess before. The secret seems to lie in wiping out all the programming and go back and examine the inner workings of what truly makes you tick. Sure, life is full of compromises and obligations except that who you are on the inside is not negotiable. Other people don't do that so why should we trans people?

Finding your identity is a singularly personal journey and doesn't lie in copying someone else's. What others have done is for their own fulfillment a…

John McLean

John McLean is a bit of a unique character as you will see in this video. He identifies as a man but presents full time completely as a female. This Q&A session will reveal just how eccentric and secure he is for such a young person so clearly butting against the norms of society....



what he said

Nail on the head...



toxic

Certain forms of masculinity can be toxic especially in the west where a monochromatic view of what it means to be male used to be the norm. The Marlboro man was perhaps one of the best exaggerated archetypes of this.

American rugged individualism created a stereotype for men that contrasted sharply against a perceived effete European intellectualism which wasn't needed and hence not celebrated in this fledgling new frontier.

Even to this day there seems to be an anti-intellectualism to American male culture particularly among rural Republicans. As a result, the American aesthetic for manliness continues for some to be a cartoon of a man whose primary features are to celebrate ruggedness and aggressivity; the man who takes control and commands attention. This is of course a fallacy but it served as a model ideal that would haunt men for many decades.

I have noticed that this has begun to change with today's youth and both women and men are helping to break that toxicity.

My fa…

pronouns

Of course Ben Shapiro is a conservative dweeb; we know this. In this video Natalie addresses descriptive versus prescriptive use of pronouns and makes arguments that addressing transgender women as women has a societal usefulness and is not about birth biology. She manages to even get a nice poke at political correctness drama queen Jordan Peterson....


the worst intern assignment

exchanges

It feels funny to have a 20 something woman open a door for you. I guess it means that I've reached older woman status. Of course I gladly accepted the gesture and thanked her to which she responded that it was her pleasure.

Much later I walk by the mall information kiosk and smile at the young woman attendant and tell her she's looking good.

"Every time I see you I think you're so beautiful" she tells me

I beam at her for saying that

"Not bad for an older lady right?"

"You re not old" she frowns while still keeping her smile

"Just turned 56"

"You don't look it at all. What's your secret?"

"Cream your face every day" I tell her "that and be happy with yourself"

eating alone

lives spent on automatic pilot

When we are immersed in a life experience we immediately lose objectivity because we cannot be on the outside looking in. We are living it moment to moment and do not often stop to take and breath to reflect on it. This is even more true when we are young and do not have the benefit of déjà vu to contextualize things.

For example, when I was living inside my relationships I couldn’t see their patterns as clearly until I was afforded the perspective that hindsight offers. There is also the added challenge of the other mind of a partner which operates on its own filter and window on the world. We see the other person through our eyes and imagine how they might see us but that is fiction for their perspective is as unique as our own.

It is now even more fascinating to me how a bond which works for the benefit of both equally is possible given the inherent inequity of life. The delicate balance of emotions and things left unsaid we wish we had or things we shouldn’t have are left to linge…

what is gender queer?

making ourselves stronger

It takes many of us longer to grow into ourselves than most. The reason is that we carry baggage we must grapple with which can make things more difficult. The photograph below I would estimate to have been taken in Madrid during the summer of 1967 which would have made me 4, the sister next to me 2 and the other sister on the far right 3 years old. Right around this time, I would have received the stern message that little boys do not to wear their mother’s shoes.

I was born without the fold in my ears being properly formed and so they jugged out making them perfect targets for insults even from older people who should have known better. About 2 years after this picture was taken I would undergo an ear pinning operation that would drastically paste them against my skull. No, the procedure wasn’t perfect but into the 1970’s my hair would grow out, and I would cover them up to avoid the rude comments I would sometimes receive.

So my early vision of the world involved an understanding …

check and balance

Well if nothing else there will be some checks and balances now. Even if I am not enamored of Nancy Pelosi at least Trump won't be able to push the most toxic parts of his agenda through without going through a congress that will not automatically bend over for him.

What kills me is how all these Republicans who were insulting Trump thinking he would never get in have now become docile lap dogs and wouldn't do the job of controlling him.

Also, the results of the Mueller investigation will not be ignored when presented to congress as it would have been with Republicans in majority. The results will be very telling and not at all surprising.




now what are they doing (to my little friends)....

I dreamed I was an Otter
In sheltered leats I lay
Then I heard a sound I feared
And then I saw their coats
All smeared in blood
I knew my fate
Nowhere to hide

I dreamed I was a Red Stag
In pastures grazing
Then I heard a hunting-horn
Ringing out its song
The Song of Death
We know so well
How can I tell?

"For I, I am the Sun
I am the Moon
I am the Stars up above
Now what are they doing to my little friends?
I make everything and it all dies in the end"

I dreamed I was a Big Bear
Bespectacled and brown
Then I saw two shafts of fire
Shooting through the sky
I heard no more
Save drops of rain
I cannot explain

I dreamed I was a Grey Seal
My cubs for suckling
And then they came with sticks and clubs
And beat away my brains
I heard no more
Save children's cries
Helpless to die

"For I, I am the Sun
I am the Moon
I am the Stars up above
Now what are they doing to my little friends?
I make everything and it all dies in the end"

The night is quiet for Otters
In peaceful h…

it gets easier

Coming out as trans gets easier the more you do it. So whereas a few years ago it would have been something to work up great courage around, today it is approached as matter of fact.

I came out again this week to a colleague I admire who marvelled at my courage except I corrected her and explained it was more fatigue of concealment than anything else.

To date I have not been rejected by anyone I have come out to but then who I tell is also judiciously reflected upon. They even seem to come away more impressed with my ability to keep something so intrinsic hidden away for decades. With each passing experience a little more load lifts and one realizes how catastrophic our mindset was over something so utterly benign.

the cult of personality

Populism seems to really work on some people. You can deliberately deceive and have them believe you because they have bought into the cult of personality.

Trump is a thoroughly despicable human being and yet there are people on YouTube being interviewed repeating his lies and not bothering to fact check; the cult of personality.

If the United States falls slowly into autocratic rule via small fragmented steps it will be the fault of its own population and, if there's one thing I've learned in my life, is that there are a lot of people in this world who don't like to think very hard. They prefer to believe in something or someone no matter how far fetched what they are sold.

I am still counting on the Democrats taking the house but if they don't it will be another step towards the unmaking of the American constitution.

I must say that the cult of personality would make more sense to me if the person was at least remotely appealing.


anachronisms

If you notice, the most prominent individuals peddling gender variance as sexual perversion were post-war baby boom white males. Why is that important you ask? simple, they were brought up under the same repressive society which influenced many of us who were born close to that period. Hence, there is very little chance that their prejudices would not have colored their work and points of view.

Here are their birth years:

Blanchard: 1945
Zucker: 1950
Lawrence: 1950
Bailey: 1957

For example, at the CAMH you had Zucker trying to "repair" gender variant kids and when that didn't work the next step might have been to see to Blanchard for more treatment to serve as guinea pigs for his theorizing. Bailey, Lawrence, Zucker et al are all cut from the same cloth and were raised in an era that would not see anything positive coming from gender variance. I know because I grew up just like them except I needed to accept myself as a trans person and was able to break away from this t…

the man who changed jazz

Dave Brubeck was the first to introduce classical influences, syncopated rhythms and odd time signatures to the jazz medium which had up to that time stayed in 4/4 time.

Here is one of the pieces from his 1960 release Time Out with Paul Desmond playing sax like only he could...



Please vote!

Get your friends, your family members, your neighbors and anyone that will listen. Republicans have only won the popular vote once in the last 30 years and that was papa Bush.

This is a crucial election not only for the LGBT community but for health care, for decent immigration policy and for the environment along a whole host of other issues.

I am not American but even from here I can see how crucial this midterm election is.

This could be the first step of a return to sanity and an end to a bad dream.


succumbing

I don't know if I could have tried any harder to fit into expectations others had for my life. Today I am still a very disciplined person but my dysphoria was something i couldn't solve until i found that the best way to deal with it was to succumb.

Many trans people don't realize that we are not born the same as other people and trying to be like them doesn't work for us. Our failure is in thinking that we can fit a square peg into a round hole instead of embracing our natures. In that sense, succumbing isn't failing but rather awakening to a reality that is not easily accepted because you've been raised and conditioned to reject it from the moment you are born.

Hence, I don't view my attempts to fit in as failures but as lessons which brought me here and gave me the calluses I needed to grapple with the difficulties of this life. By comparison I can now handle challenges far easier because I have already faced much bigger ones and survived.

From a very y…

stochastic terrorism

The idea of stochastic terrorism is not far fetched. Get someone to reach a wide enough audience to fan the flames of rhetoric and someone out there with the propensity to commit violent acts is going to respond.

I don't have to remind Americans who that inciter is (he's fat and orange) and, with yet another right wing extremist (who had a YouTube
channel) attacking a yoga studio in Florida killing two and wounding multiple others, it is clear that the political climate is turning ugly. Who knows whether it happens again before or after Tuesday's midterms.




a lovely day

It was a very nice day yesterday.

I dropped off my car to have the tires changed to my winters and then was chauffeured to the subway. There by happenstance I met Tina who works at the Hudson's Bay Company (the Bay) at one of the cosmetics counters and we had a lovely chat before she got off at her stop.

I killed some time before meeting Leticia at our designated spot and we then moved on to Cafe Cherrier on the Plateau Mont Royal. We had a nice time catching up and I even had a young just married couple ask me to take their picture.

I got picked up at the subway by the dealer and as I paid for my tires had a brief conversation with the receptionist who is very friendly.

My comfort level as a woman is now at it's best level ever and I am just humming along on muscle memory not needing to second guess myself or feel in any way self concious. After all, why should I?



numb

Benjamin is quietly and slowly being proven correct

The two type model of transsexualism looked better 30 years ago. Now it looks long in the tooth and not at all representative of today's youth. These kids, regardless of sexual orientation, are transitioning young and sometimes even switching orientation along the way.

If a theory is correct it should be able to stand up under the light of social change.

It's looking more and more like Harry Benjamin (and by extension Anne Vitale) were right by focusing on a universal model of dysphoria based on intensity irrespective of natal sex. This approach is elegant and universal which all the best theories leading to verifiable experimental results possess.

Sorry Blanchard.


trans voices

who was Kurt Freund?

To understand how the research on transgender identities went astray, you first need to know who Kurt Freund was.

Kurt Freund was a Czech-Canadian physician and sexologist best known for developing penile phallometry which is measurement of sexual arousal in males using a device. His area of work was in sexual disorders such as pedophilia and exhibitionism and in the late 1960’s he ended up at the now named CAMH (the center for addiction and mental health) in Toronto.

In his native Czechoslovakia, Freund was tasked with using penile plethysmography to detect recruits attempting to avoid serving in the military by falsely claiming to be homosexual since this was grounds for being dismissed from service at that time. However, the main focus of his work was detecting and diagnosing sex offenders with the aim of establishing appropriate treatment guidelines. Freund was also involved in administering aversion therapy to homosexuals which, to no one’s surprise this day and age, proved to be…

dysphoria versus euphoria

There seems to be an interesting relationship between gender dysphoria and euphoria. At some point during our discovery process our despair and frustration over not being able to express our gender identity morphs into the euphoria of opening up the floodgates and finally feeling freedom.

I am currently well past the euphoria stage and the liberation excitement has subsided into more everyday living. Putting on a dress and heels today is hardly a chore but it no longer carries the charge it once did. It just feels normal and right.

This is perhaps expected because there is a honeymoon phase to every new positive experience which brings us closer to balance and who we are. In this case, the authenticity we are finally able to live has us floating on endorphines for a while until things settle back down. Compare this to the times you were able to sneak into mom's closet when no one was home except that closet now belongs to me.

The dust settling down to a kind of normalcy is far sup…