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new Blanchard interview

Our dear friend Ray Blanchard gets interviewed by the conservative National Review and tries to discreetly dispel the idea that trans people don't have a disorder. He's probably very unhappy that the language in the DSM was softened but then as a relic of a bygone era that would be the case.

If it were up to Blanchard we'd still be using proper scientific terms like "sissy", "pervert" and "disorder" mostly owing to the fact that he's an all around good egg and scientist (and I use the term loosely here). While we're at it let's go back to using "normal" and "abnormal" to describe human behaviour.

Good thing for all of us Blanchard's become irrelevant except in conservative and TERF circles where all kinds of support is needed to smear trans people.

Enjoy...

https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/05/ray-blanchard-transgender-orthodoxy/

the safe choice

Joe Biden has been deemed by the establishment as being highly electable except that there is a small problem: he is bereft of policies. It is that centrist Democrat stance which will slow but not halt America's decline by keeping the country firmly to the right of center and continue to allow the working poor to fall even further into desperation.

You cannot have a country without a healthy populace.

The policies being promoted by so-called unelectable progressives like Bernie Sanders are hardly radical and in fact greatly mirror what FDR would have proposed back in the 1930's. Today, the New Deal or the GI bill would be mocked by the GOP as being expensive socialist insanity but without them America would never have built up its once healthy middle class. A little chunk of a huge military budget would do nicely.

Biden is the milquetoast selection which will solve nothing as he also represents the political class which is beholden to Wall Street and promoted a Neo-liberal phi…

that was that

The lady who bought the place upstairs from me is originally from France and in her early 70's. Her daughter and her wife live just few minutes away and yesterday the wife knocked on my door to introduce herself. We had a nice chat about little details regarding the building and happy she was that her mother in law could be so close to them.

I took no time to come out as trans because I wanted completely clarity regarding my comings and goings and felt it would be good to get that out of the way. Not unexpectedly, this lesbian woman wasn't remotely phased. I told her that next time she might just meet Joanna which she said would be lovely.

Her mother in law moves in sometime in mid June.

And that was that.

gwen

flow

"Madame your makeup looks professional I really like it"

"That's all me my dear. I didn't need it when I was your age" i respond, pointing at her flawless mid twenties complexion as she serves me my shawarma wrap.

Compliments from women half my age are very nice although I don't go fishing. I just want to present like a well put together woman in her fifties and I think I do that. I have my makeup and clothing routine down to 15 minutes flat and I'm out the door. I don't have patience for long drawn out prep if I need to go food shopping.

When you live part time you want things to flow and if I could get away with wearing no makeup sometimes I would although I am getting closer to that goal as well.

Things need to flow.

going it alone

More people than ever are living alone. With the rise of female economic independence, the breakdown of half of marriages and the connectedness we now have through the internet, this is allowing for more flexible solutions for individuals to form human bonds.

In Canada the number of adults who are single are now in the majority and even in the United States that number is about 50/50. This brings options and upholds the idea that we don't necessarily need to pair up to be happy and certainly not just for the economics women felt they were subjugated to. Yes, today we can look for human connection which can come from a variety of sources.

In our brave new world the concept of till death do us part even in desperately unhappy relationships is no longer the baseline norm and people are perhaps holding out for more fulfilling ways to find community if one cannot get it through a conventional coupling. Those who later in life now realize what they crave in a more soulful and deep conne…

serving a purpose

Trump was on the podium addressing natural gas workers looking very much like a dimwit. He was sweating profusely and excitedly talking about how windmills serve as bird cemeteries including for bald eagles who helplessly fly into them.

One despairs at such idiocy.

We all know he is a simpleton but what about those workers he was trying to dissuade from embracing the Green New Deal which is increasingly becoming mandatory. Are they actually buying his snake oil? I would hope not.

America is at a crossroads where the GOP has become a repository for all kinds of volatile extremists and Trump has been enabling them. They all know he is an unstable moron and a liar but his histrionics serve them well as cover for their agenda. They hated him before he got in but once there he serves a purpose.

That fossil Pat Robertson preaches about America being vomited out by God as the Christian nation it never was if they tolerate the LGBT infiltration of society while Richard Spencer rejoices that…

what's too much?

This brilliant young woman has it going on...


the right direction

It's interesting to meld into the world of women. I have been working on my confidence over the years and now that it's there in full I make mental notes on the distinction between presenting female versus male.

There are some negatives of course in that the occasional man will call me dear or love which I don't like but then I mind it less when a woman does it. In Toronto I got a lot of 'hun' from other women.

I get more smiles as a woman mostly from other women which I find comforting because it tells me I belong. It may be a mother holding her baby or a young lady who's been looking at me and I catch her eye and she gives me a warm one once she sees mine.

In general I am treated very well and my professional overlaps as a woman have gone very well. It may have something to do with the new environment which is increasingly populated by millenials who are far less mysoginistic. My office is now seeing them find functional roles and move to to replace those of …

the diet and binge cycle

The reason I like Anne Vitale's descriptor “gender expression deprivation anxiety” so much to explain gender dysphoria, is because it so accurately labels what it feels like. There is an anxiousness borne out of repression which is constantly there, whether in the background or acutely in the foreground, which cannot be easily dismissed.

When you are young and find yourself denying and then sporadically obliging an expression which bucks against society, it can seem to take the form of a diet and binge cycle and it is only when you understand that you are being true to your nature that things make sense. But until that happens you might be tempted to think you are crazy. The mystery is unraveled once you accept that the gender expression you feel comfortable with is intrinsic rather than a vice. The extent to which we are successful in removing culpability depends on how much of the message you have swallowed. For some it can take decades while for others it can be easy to disrega…

timing

Timing preoccupies us greatly. I know it used to be the case for me.

I told my son lately that he cannot be late or early for anything in his life. There is a time for everything which is not tied to what others do. You are unique and must do things at your own pace which must be consummate with an understanding of the person you are; a feat which must be accomplished at your own pace.

That unshackling from time must be made as early as possible in life which then frees us to discover a world without that self-imposed constraint.

right wingers cry over ad

girl's night out

I’ve got a girl's night out tomorrow with Patricia and one of her friends. The three of us will meet up at a downtown eatery and spend a couple of hours socializing. I have never met her friend, but she assures me that she is a very nice person and that is good enough for me.

I did this a few years ago with two young women I knew from a store I frequented (who didn't know I was trans) and that went very well. I have every reason to think this will go even better as both are closer to my age and I am far more at ease as Joanna than I have ever been in my life.


tonight

"Tonight
Do we have to fight again
Tonight
I just want to go to sleep
Turn out the light
But you want to carry grudges
Nine times out of ten
I see the storm approaching
Long before the rain starts falling

Tonight
Does it have to be the old thing
Tonight
It's late, too late
To chase the rainbow that you're after
I'd like to find a compromise
And place it in your hands
My eyes are blind, my ears can't hear
And I cannot find the time

Tonight
Just let the curtains close in silence
Tonight
Why not approach with less defiance
The man who'd love to see you smile
Who'd love to see you smile
Tonight"



Lacan

mandated

We all start off life as vulnerable little beings and build up our mettle, strength and experience over time to face the challenges that come with it. Then, near our end, we return to that state of vulnerability and, in many cases, become the child to our grown children.

It is not untrue that we are born alone and we die alone which contains a healthy dose of poignancy. If we think that we are too proud and independent, the end of our lives will, often forcibly, remove all trace and manner of pretense and humility will be mandated upon us.

Valhala

the little summer bag

I bought myself a little purse for when I go for walks in my neighborhood; when all I need carry is money, cell phone and maybe a lipstick. It was all of $10 and the perfect size for those needs. It also looks very summery and can be slung over the shoulder which I won't do with my other big purse lest I want to suffer pain later on. For that reason it is slung delicately on my forearm with hand cupped upwards.

This little bag will match perfectly when I wear a casual summer dress or shorts and a T.


The man who walked with kings

we challenge

Watch out because I am going to use logic here.

True or false: being trans is a choice.

If you believe the answer is true, then why do so many trans people attempt suicide? Is it because they are all mentally ill? No, that cannot be it because the reality is that most of us are extremely high functioning and work in every known profession (including some very challenging intellectually), belong to every known social class, race, age group and religious affiliation. The real reason that trans people suffer so much is through discrimination from society and even their own families simply for being who we are which in turn causes us great turmoil. Nice try though.

If you believe the answer is false, then no one should complain about trans people desiring being addressed by gender affirming pronouns nor should they accuse trans people of trying to usurp women’s spaces since all they are doing is observing their own true natures.

The reality is that trans people upset the social order and …

lovely people

There are some lovely people in this world.

One of the young women who works at a Starbucks I frequent stopped at my table and surprised me before going home.

I told my mom that a really cool and pretty older lady comes here. How are you?”

“You’re going to make me blush” I responded just as she touched my arm and gave me a big smile

“Have a minute to sit down?” I offered

“No, I can’t but for sure next time”


I know she works and goes to school as most of them do. This young woman is particularly warm and friendly with a smile that could light up a room.

I didn’t tell her just then because she was in a rush, but she had just made my day.

we're on our own

It is possible to work your way through massive psychological reconstruction on your own, but it takes time. I opted to forgo help from a gender therapist because I was afraid of being directed onto a path that didn’t suit me. So, after an initial treatment at a gender clinic, I stopped the formal process and proceeded alone only to later begin this blog and allow it to become the vehicle for my introspection.

In the end no therapist does the heavy lifting; that is up to us. They are there to listen and to permit you to ask yourself the big questions which prompt a forensic examination of everything you have been taught in your life and how it bristles against the internal forces that drive you. The answers will come at the speed they need to and should reflect your comfort level with such a deep examination of the psyche.

Throughout this process I eventually learned to trust myself which is something I didn’t do before. When you are too busy blaming yourself for your own incongruence…

"don't be silly"

Patricia said something to me the other day which stayed with me

“Don’t be silly, there is someone out there for everyone”

This was in response to my telling her that it is very difficult for us to partner and still be our true selves. That part of my life is the coldest its ever been and after 3 years on my own its not even on life support, so I don’t know why it even came up.

I like that about her; how open she is. Later she added that hesitation on the part of some people to enter relationships with trans people as being based in fear and I think she was right.

Next to my youngest sister, she is my biggest supporter from the cis world.

malevolence

The aim to delegitimize gynephilic transsexuals had been centered on one thing: their experiencing of cross gender arousal. The problem was that no one understood the phenomenon but the mere fact that it occurred played right into the hands of those ready to pounce on repressed baby boomer guilt. These poor people had grown up with no understanding of their condition and instead experienced a great deal of confusion hence the ease in making them feel shame and guilt.

For the record, up until now no one has written anything that conclusively explains how the arousal originates but what Ray Blanchard did was dead simple: postulate that the arousal itself is what causes a desire to transition and make that the backbone of a theory that says that the misdirected sex drive towards the self is what causes someone to desire to be a woman. It’s a nice idea except it lacked proof and many poor transwomen fell into the trap. Some, like Anne Lawrence, even made it their life calling.

One of the …

chameleon

three times

I got wished a happy mother's day three times today and it was wonderful.

First, Patricia texted me with that message. Then it was the waitress at my mother's day breakfast with my friend Janet. The third time was by a lady sitting next to me who had been talking with a friend who had just left. She commented about the smell of my coffee since it is Ramadan and she cannot partake until sundown.

It really felt extremely heart warming and validating.

sharing our weakness

no wilting flower

You had better learn to be fierce in this world and do it quickly. For example, if you look at me in a way I don't find appealing be prepared for a stare that will pierce into the back of your skull. Idiots turn away every time. So whether you are a lecherous old creep or an old lady with mouth agape and no detectable manners who cannot believe how tall I am, be ready for it.

I have fun with it of course because after decades of putting up with feeling like I had to suppress and hide, the opposite has happened and I am as brave as they come.

Hadn't you noticed? This girl is no wilting flower.


extension

You get really comfortable in women's clothes after a while and they just become 'your' clothes. They no longer feel like that forbidden fruit you would investigate when no one was home.

So while their allure is reduced, your comfort in them greatly increases and they become an extension of your identity. I can be anywhere and not be self concious about them but just use them as a vehicle to be able to express my femininity.

This is slow as to appear almost moribund; a process that you don't realize is happening to you until you arrive at a point where the internals have become the driving force.

You aren't a man in dress and you never were; you are simply you.

challenging

Being a parent is both highly rewarding and challenging and as we do our best to raise our children we sometimes fail in our attempts to try and help them. There is no guidebook or manual and you often use trial and error combined with the way you were parented.

My son's anxiety has been that challenge for the last 6 years and now that his coming on the Europe trip is being threatened, it is supremely frustrating that you cannot shoulder their ills and fix everything. There are still 4 weeks to go and I am hoping that things will change but I told him not to worry and to not feel pressured. There will always be other trips in the future. However I am still secretly optimistic that he will be able to make it.

To those of you who are parents whether mother or father or both: happy mother's day.

the getting ready for summer girl

no going back

Every new plateau reached by a trans person represents a point of no return. I had read about it for years in the testimonials of transsexual women before being able to attest to it myself. You get to a point where you get closer to who you are and it feels wonderful. It will not be given up.

My partial life as a woman is exceeding my expectations and even if I have zero illusions about the disadvantage of being female in our world there is something very special about approaching your core gender identity.

It's not that you cannot live as a male but more the feeling that something wasn't quite right before and it is only when you taste the alternative that it is confirmed. As a woman I can feel myself relax into a sense of self that was denied me by virtue of birth plumbing; a reality which we now know very well does not conclusively decide gender identification.

There will be no going back for me and whatever little steps I take going forward, if any, will be measured agains…

the only question is when

With an obstructionist Senate, America essentially now has an idiot emperor. Immune to subpoenas from a frustrated Congess and a DOJ that snubs its nose at Democratic house committees, the system has broken down and the frustrations will build to a fever pitch if things are not remedied.

Turtle boy McConnell is now an obstructionist criminal who laughs at the US constitution for the sake of partisanship and makes one pine for the era that saw Nixon resign for lesser crimes. His own party had prompted the removal from power for the good of the country.

This is nothing less than a constitutional crisis and more proof about the validity of the idea that empires crumble from within. There is no reason to think America will be any different. That stage was set years ago by fracturing the country by wedge issues and lying to them while espousing oligarchical excesses that will now force its undoing.

I don't see an easy way out because, even if a Democrat wins in 2020, the hatred will on…

a visit to the fabricator

Friday started with dropping the car off at the dealers and waiting for the car shuttle service to take me to the metro. As I waited, a lady sat in front of me wearing fabulous heels and I told her so. She smiled and thanked me. I now also felt better about having opted to wear my pumps since it was raining quite heavily when I left the house.

I decided to go semi corporate by wearing a black faintly polka dotted skirt with a powder blue top and my gabardine. My black pumps with the chunky heel was the safe business woman choice and to complete the look I also wore some diamond studs.

Later this same woman with the great shoes woke me from my magazine and told me the shuttle was here and three ladies piled in for the short ride. Once on the subway a young Asian woman who just made it into before the doors closed, slipped badly and fell so myself and another lady helped her up. She thanked us both profusely.

I spent the morning in town and killed some time by having breakfast, running …

Ben Shapiro is an idiot

Yes he speaks like he's just swallowed a ton of helium and doing so quickly doesn't make you smarter which is why he gets owned here by another conservative who's more clever...


stages

My life has brought me here in segments. At each step I did my very best and tried hard to be a good son, husband, father and then partner. I was ready to accept the stage where I was and make things work no matter what. My dysphoria, which boiled quietly in the background, took a back seat and was treated by sporadic bouts of crossdressing before divorce, followed by frequent ones afterwards. That has increased to the virtually full time living of today which happened only once I was alone.

Life doesn't let you know what is going to happen in advance and I never for a moment imagined being where I am now. Once here however it seems entirely fitting which proves our elasticity as humans. We learn to adapt to our circumstances and, in so doing, sometimes end up where we need to be but were afraid to.


a public service announcement

Toronto

Once fear goes away, things change dramatically. That little nervous voice in your head disappears and you just relax. You are just a woman going about her business and simply living.

This mindset is having repercussions on my thinking because it spurs on thoughts of social transition and indeed I am mulling that over slowly. After all, I am on my own and simply need to fill a government form to get an F on all my documentation. It's not that hard. I cannot do this now but the next few years will reveal the definitive answer on their own. It's how everything else has happened in my life so why would that change?

In that sense, Toronto was a great revealing period for me in that living entire weekends as a woman in addition to evenings for 6 months helped tremendously to shed yet another layer of trepidation and fear. Because being treated and welcomed as a woman everywhere I went was a tremendous confidence builder.


fleeting

Chris Kalaher was there one day and gone the next. One of my grade 7 classmates, he has passed away over the weekend. Freckle faced and as Irish looking as you could get, he was shy like most of us and more than a little self-effacing.

On the Monday, our home room teacher gave us the news with the sullenest expression I had ever seen him make and to this day I have never forgotten it. Chris had been playing with a chemistry set and somehow inhaled a combination of chemicals that had killed him. Just like that, at 13 years of age, he was gone. We all sat there silently not knowing what to say or how to react. We were all in shock.

This wasn’t my first brush with death, but it was the first one that had such a striking impact. Both my paternal grandmother and maternal grandfather had passed away, but I could barely remember them. Their impact in my life had been fleeting and I had not developed a strong enough bond to have their passing sting in the same visceral and immediate way that …

Vicky

Yesterday I stopped to see Vicky who works at one of the makeup counters at Ogilvy's. I first met her about 10 years ago and we seemed to hit it off straight away. She would compliment me on how well put together I was and she is just a very open and friendly person who is roughly 10 years my junior. She knows I am a divorced mom with two kids and she herself is happily married with two of her own who are a fair bit younger than mine.

Last night after chatting for a while and introducing me to her young colleague we made plans to meet up some Friday evening after work for a drink. We verified cell numbers just for that purpose.

Life changes and with my kids grown these little connections are part of remaking mine.

a very stable genius

negotiation

Relationships are an extremely tricky thing for a trans person and, not surprisingly, I have put years of thought into this topic. The conclusion I have reached is that it comes down to who you are. In other words, how much of your trans nature is part of your intrinsic identity.

Identity is not exactly a negotiable thing but if you fall on the side of the spectrum where your alternate expression of gender is sporadic then perhaps there is room for it. If, however you fall on the side approaching transsexualism, you as the trans person are suppressing and not negotiating.

There is no road map for such a difficult situation and those transwomen who partner with men are perhaps ending up with the more desirable results. There are cases where spouses stay with their husbands even after transition, but they are a small percentage.

For me it comes down to understanding who you are and deciding how much sacrifice will be made so you can be partnered with someone else. As a trans person who …

the rocky road

So long as being transgender remains a conscious choice in the mind of some people, there will always be prejudice and discrimination. Recently there was a report from a trans organization stating that approximately 60% of trans people in the US who had dealt with police had been mistreated by them which does not really surprise. If you don’t fit the model that society follows you are unfortunately going to take your lumps.

Those who pass are fortunate because they can most often fall under the radar. They may have transitioned young or perhaps have sufficiently feminine physical attributes to be left alone. But even they, once they come out or are outed, can face harsh discrimination at the hands of a society who doesn’t understand them and perhaps refuses to.

I know, like many of you, what it is like to try and fit in and fail. We want to be accepted and the best way to do that is to follow script but that is not possible for us. The alternative is to hide but that doesn’t offer us …

escape

For a long time it seemed that some trans women were being bamboozled into thinking that the presence of cross gender arousal meant they suffered from AGP. The shell game was simple: imply that the presence of the arousal is an indicator of this so called infirmity and watch the suckers fall in line.

Many didn't understand the distinction and indeed Anne Lawrence's website contains a number of testimonials from trans women who were ostensibly admitting to being driven by a fetish. The ones more likely to think that were older transwomen who had suffered all their lives from guilt.

The reality is that no one can explain where cross gender arousal originates but we can surmise that it stems from a transwoman's attempt to express an innate female sexuality while still in a male vessel. This is highly confusing for most of us until we are able to come to terms with it.

Millenial transwomen and those younger have managed to escape the appeal of Blanchard's pseudoscience in …

Compulsory

Every day involves the little adjustment of the thought processes which make us function. The doubts and the fears get a looking over as we assess how the way we live is going to be judged by others.

Letting go of all that takes courage but then retreating to safety can mean imprisonment. If we are not careful we can fall prey to the thinking that we should seek the shelter of expectation and just tow the line. Except we can't because we're trans and that is an indelible and permanent marking on your existence. Self definition then becomes all the more compulsory.

Do not be afraid.

Jane

coming to an understanding

I have always been female inside.

It doesn't matter what I swore to myself or how much I denied it. Its always been there like a pall hanging over me begging me to look at and acknowledge it. I can see it now because the fog of decades of denial has lifted slowly over time. It now feels like standing on top of a hill and finally being able to see your surroundings with perfect clarity for the first time.

Today, even in drab I know I am female on the inside, and that acknowledgement brings me comfort even when I cannot present as myself. There is no more fear, trepidation or shame about being who I am. All that remains inside of me is peace and joy.

My feminine instincts were quashed early on and then indoctrination took over. It was a long battle to come back but I made it and I have the rest of whatever life God gives me to be the person I was meant to. Even my lovely and intelligent son supports me no matter what I decide to do. Now that's really something.

Things can alway…

Victoria Elizabeth

on her way

Interesting Sunday

Because it was warm yesterday I wore a dress to Sunday mass. Afterwards my friend Janet and I went for our usual coffee which we both really enjoy. She lives alone and I know that it's a nice little bright spot in her Sunday. It is for me as well.

Later I drove to that super mall north of the city I sometimes frequent and did some window shopping and had lunch. The girls at the lunch counter know me and always chat and ask me how I am doing.

After having finished my browsing I stopped for a cappuccino and two very friendly older francophone ladies sat down next to me and started conversing. They were really lovely and told me how tired they were from walking around from store to store. They asked how I was able to find the mall without getting lost which made me chuckle but I completely understood since some of the turns can be tricky if you've never been there before.

Before I left, Patricia texted me and asked if I could go with her to a fabricator next Friday and I agreed s…

internals

All women need to perfect their look and transgender women are no exception. We need to figure out the clothes that best suit our bodies, the hairstyle and the makeup which will bring out the best in our features.

For me that has meant simplifying my base wardrobe with mostly solid colour tops and using accessories like scarves, jewelry and cardigans to switch up my looks. It makes choosing what to wear so much easier for those of us who aren't really clothe horses to begin with. Yes, I want to feel feminine but comfortable which also means wearing shoes I can spend hours in although admittedly I have one pair of killer heels I reserve for that event I might one day attend.

There's a lot more to me than what I wear so I don't want that to be a distraction. Hence this summer I will be often sticking with a simple T-shirt, shorts and ballet flats.

It's funny; the more I have felt comfortable with my being trans the more that has meant focusing on the internals rather th…

Boethius's consolation

We control very little in our lives but there is some consolation...


telling

In general I found Torontonians to be a very friendly bunch.

So it was the other day that a very chatty, polite and open young man from Toronto struck up a conversation with me as I worked on an entry for this blog. He simply wanted to know how long it would take to get to the top of Mount Royal which kickstarted some banter between us. Turns out he was my daughter's age and suddenly we were talking about his generation and how they are more egalitarian towards each other. He told me he wants a wife who is his equal and he asked how it had been between me and my husband. Since I don't tell perfect strangers I'm trans for no good reason and the conversation was about other things, we kept going without my divulging anything.

This type of scenario happens to me quite often and playing the role of the wife and mother is usually my distinct pleasure. Hence it is only when I see a real need to educate someone that I might tell them I'm trans. So after I had given him some m…

the most important criteria

I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy being a lady. It fits me like a glove and the life I have built for myself as a past middle age woman is a very comfortable one. I am increasingly well known in my community and have established a level of comfort that may yet overtake the life I had previously built for myself.

I am understanding more and more when people say that transition is a journey and not a destination. You look back and you cannot believe where you are because the progression was so slow and organic you didn't feel it as much. For me it is the only way it could have been.

I don't have a specific goal in mind other than to stay content which allows my forward movement to be rooted in that most important criteria. Where that lands me is less vital than the balance of peace and tranquility of spirit I have always sought.

Is this where my resting point lies? Maybe or maybe not and that's why its exciting to find out.

the red flag before the bull

William Barr is a partisan hack who just lied to Congress regarding Robert Mueller's objection to a biased 4 page summary of his report.

Now, with taunts coming from both the White House and Barr, they are making it easy for Mueller to testify before a house committee. The consummate professional, who just wanted to get his work done quietly, is going to need to speak and tell the whole truth which, needless to say, spells trouble for president "rump".

Good lord these people are painfully stupid...


resigned

On this business trip I was speaking to Ivor, my South African counterpart, who came to this conference leaving his wife back at their Johannesburg home in the equivalent of a jail cell. His doors and windows are barricaded with steel bars and there are cameras positioned everywhere to catch anyone who might infiltrate his property. The last time he had a breakin he shot at the robbers as they ran into the distance.

He is a soft spoken and robust bodied 59 year old who is determined to remain in a country he thinks has a bleak future and hopes his grown children can get out and lead safer and more prosperous lives than he was able to.

We can forget how safe our own lives can be compared to many in the world and my professional life has taught me that. Many places I have visited are hardly touristic paradises and can bring home the reality that much of the world lives in dire poverty.

As I write these words on the way home I am reminded of what he told me when I expressed incredulity a…

Lido

disgusting

“The Trump administration finalized a new rule enabling the discrimination of transgender people in health care on Thursday.
The rule essentially allows health care workers to refer to religious or moral objections when they don’t want to deliver health care services, which would also affect access to abortion and contraception.

The so-called “conscience rule” would revise existing regulations to “ensure vigorous enforcement of Federal conscience and anti‐discrimination laws applicable to the Department, its programs, and recipients of HHS funds.” It would also encourage recipients of funds from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide notice to people and entities about their right to be free from coercion and discrimination on account of religious beliefs or moral convictions. The responsibility for enforcement falls to HHS’ Office for Civil Rights.

Roger Severino, the head of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), created a new office at the department called the Di…

finding the language

I didn't have the language to understand myself when I was young; I was simply different. There are no options for you because you need to fit into the model that has been set and you do your best to meet expectation. You do that until, one day, it can be done no longer.

Today, living part time as a woman is teaching me much about myself and about the world around me. I am learning how gender plays a part in how we are perceived and how we fit into this social structure we have created for ourselves. The little steps forward which I take are what give me confidence in remaking my life the way it should perhaps always have been. It is hard to know in this life why things are prohibited to us but we often accept without asking why. Then we awake one day and, without waiting for permission, soldier into a new playing field. We then wait for the reaction from others which, in the end, turns out to be rather anticlimactic.

The other day I paid for some dangly earrings and the young wom…

traveling

When you live part time as I do, being away on business can be a little challenging on the psyche. You try not to think about it but there are moments in the evening when you really miss being able to go out as the woman you feel you are inside.

The good news is that when you return home you know you will go back to your regular life. Thank goodness that when I do travel, I am away at most for a week.

When I was living in Toronto I couldn't have made it without keeping the exact same lifestyle as Joanna that I do at home in Montreal.


trust

I don't know why I am not afraid to die but I am not. I have been through enough experiences now that the concept is not so hard to relate to. I am not as certain as I once was that there is something waiting on the other side of the curtain because my thoughts on the spiritual are far more nuanced than they once were.

Religion must me mingled with the things of the world and we cannot abandon our logic because there is likely a unified explanation for the universe and our place in it. Our minds are not quite equipped to envelope all the lofty concepts involved but we can sometimes see glimpses and feel the grandeur.

We have all walked in a quiet field or by a lake and pondered about what life is all about. We sense intuitively that we are only little cogs in a very large mechanism which works with massive precision even if at the micro level its workings seem random and erratic.

Faith is about letting go and having confidence that there is a plan for us even if it there no obviou…

so many stories

I watch people at the airport and wonder about their lives. We all have a story and there are 8 billion of us in the world. Each heart has aspirations and dreams and we do our best to navigate through lives intermingled with both challenges and joys.

The expressions of travellers vary from relaxed to tense as they go through security checkpoints meant to screen out potential threats. Air travel has never been more complicated than it is today and we have made a trip to the airport a daunting and harrowing experience. After all, there are more of us travelling than ever.

For the first time in all my years of work trips I have absentmindedly left my laptop at the security check point. Some 20 minutes later my name was called at the Air Canada gate and I was asked by a flight agent a bit sarcastically if I was sure i hadn't forgotten something. Still in my early morning stupor I confidently assured him that I hadn't only to see him produce my computer seconds later as he defiantl…

land of confusion

Just as relevant today as it was back then...





No, things are not okay

Poverty is everywhere.

Even in a social democracy like Canada there are overt signs which make me despair for the kind of societies we have built. The BMWs stopped at almost every red light in the city center see the obligatory disheveled occupant asking for change. Waste baskets at the food courts are constantly surveilled for something that may have been rejected that is still good.

There is something deeply wrong.

Bernie Sanders makes a simple plea to return to fairness and decency while being asked by idiots at televised town halls why he believes in communism. I despair at the abject stupidity which has spawned such ignorance. The Midwest is full of ghost towns that once contained thriving industries which supported healthy and vibrant communities. Trump went there with his repulsive face and his lies and told these people everything was going to be okay while at the same time approving huge tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. No, things will not necessarily be okay.

America i…

wakeup call

Near the end of my last relationship I was confronted with an email that contained the phrase "if you were a REAL man..."

It left me literally gobsmacked and considering the fact that she knew my entire history and hit home at one of my weakest points at the time; while I was still struggling with who I was.

It's water under the bridge now but it forced me to reflect hard on how I was going to deal with what had haunted me my entire life: the denial that I was transsexual. Up to that point I had tried so hard to lead a conventional life albeit one which, with her, now contained pre-approved pockets of dressing which served as my only safety valves. I thought I could have it both ways but I was wrong.

That wakeup call made me realize that I needed to change my being apologetic in any way for being who I was. She was right; I wasn't a real man but no one had ever tried harder to be. However, the fact that I ultimately couldn't was somehow going to be okay.


the reticent role model

I give Dianne my lipstick. It was not quite the right color for me anyway and she was so happy to receive it. We have hit it off over several months as she works at one of coffee places I sometimes go to. We would banter as she made my coffee and sometimes she would sit down with me for a few minutes. I seem to serve as a surrogate mother offering little bits of advice here and there or just listening. Dianne tells me I'm cool and the feeling is mutual as she is mature for her tender age of 24. She speaks to me very frankly in a woman to woman fashion that I find very humbling.

Adopted at birth and transplanted from New York City to Montreal by her parents, she has done her best to assimilate into the Quebec culture and is even working hard on her French.

I love this generation for their openness and easy going nature. Yes, some of them can seem entitled but this young woman is dealing with dysfunctional divorced parents where the mother was the caretaker and the father the patien…

crime and no punishment

Bill Maher calls a spade and spade here and gets it absolutely right on his New Rules segment.

Considering how much meat Muller had to work with, he ended up delivering a mostly tepid report on the most corrupt administration the United States has ever seen. Could he have done more considering the severity of the crimes? I think so and so does Bill.

Think about Watergate and this one should have been easy although back then the GOP had more backbone and more patriotism which prompted the Nixon resignation..


happy

A permanent feeling of happiness is not possible in this life because it is only one of our natural states. To be perennially happy would be unnatural since this is not what being human is. What is possible however is a certain level of contentment which factors in the rises and falls inherent in our existence; understanding that even in the course of the same day we will run a gamut of emotional states must be part of that equation.

With time the rhythms and patterns of our lives become recognizable and we know we will be able to surmount a setback of a magnitude we have faced before. Familiarity of experience has toughened our psyches and softens the blow with a sense of perspective we don't possess when we are twenty.

This is pivotally important because rounding off the peaks and valleys will help our navigation since we know that getting too high will only make that inevitable fall that much more painful and dramatic. So while this may seem like a dour approach, it's not …

I love Adam Schiff

character

When you don't accept yourself you think you suffer from compulsion. The mismatch between your birth sex and gender identity and your attempts to bridge the gap are exceedingly confusing when you're growing up.

I was working hard to ignore the problem and my occasional giving in to temptation was met with guilt and shame rather than embracing; this was particularly true after puberty. We were too young to understand what was happening and, to make things worse, we had no information to go on. I don't think I could have tried harder and every succumbing to temptation was ultimately attributed to another failure of my character.

It is not until we understand our transgender nature that we learn to attribute our behaviour to our normal state rather than a weakness to be corrected. We were fooled by the ability of others to lead lives where sex and gender aligned. If they could be that way why couldn't we?

Today I understand deep within my bones that I am transsexual and i…

self destruction

Chomsky is correct. This is the most radical version of the GOP to ever exist which means that both parties' move to the right over a number of decades spells deep trouble for all version of minorities. Recent moves with regards to transgender people are in line with this deep radicalization.

The Republican party had a challenge: how to serve its wealthy benefactors while at the same time acquire votes from people who would choose them against their own economic interests. To do that they needed a coalition of evangelicals, gun nuts, racists and other wedge issue groups who could be hoodwinked into voting GOP.

The strategy worked but created a monster of a party that was now faced with pandering to extremist demands and made its face wholly unrecognizable. Previous leaders like Reagan and George HW Bush had recognized that issues like abortion were not for the consideration of the state but now their new base wanted these as part of the platform.

The southern strategy worked all t…

and now on to the 18th century

The people in this administration are animals. No wait, animals are better behaved towards each other.

This is yet another level of backward...

https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/25/health/hhs-transgender-protections-bn/index.html

Shout!

One of the most inventive and original bands from the 80's with their battle hymn...


clustering

Clustering is when everyone fights for the same piece of real estate. It is what is helping to drive up pricing in hot markets in major cities of the top industrial nations which in turn feeds income inequality. Part of the solution is that we can no longer afford take a NIMBY attitude of exclusivity of neighborhood because the world population is exploding. Therefore if that means more residential towers then that is what it will take.

Notice that young couples today have a greater income, in relative terms, than we did at the same age with the notable exception that a much greater share of their take home pay now goes towards mortgages. Major cities in the world are seeing an inflation of pricing due to to speculators to benefit people who sometimes do not even live there but want a foothold for future use. In some areas they have ostensibly created ghost buildings.

Part of our global effort to fight increasing income disparity must be focused in this area to keep communities viable…

just live

It doesn't matter whether you transition or not just be unique. Be the person you were meant to be and do not let anyone tell you differently.

Make up your own rules and be confident. You will see how little the world cares when you present as a self assured and truly nice person. Think long and hard but once you have decided something just do it provided you have taken care of obligations that you care about and you committed to.

I spent far too much of my life energy worrying about the world but that is now over. It feels good to be myself and to be proud of what that means. Don't let others bring you down through their judgement because that is just insecurity on their part. Regale in your originality of spirit.

Live because life is short and we never know when our time is up.


The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging

once more with feeling

I still catch the odd Gen-Xer or Baby Boomer transwoman doing this and Rhya is one of them.

Sufficiently versed in Blanchard to be dangerous but not nearly well enough to sort through the theory properly and find the gaping holes, she takes the bait and acknowledges that AGP is a real thing.

Millenial and younger transwomen don't have this problem because they just disregard a quack like Blanchard altogether.

I hope I don't need to explain this to anyone again but put in its simplest form here it is: cross gender arousal is a symptom of your being trans whereas AGP is a made up theory that states the reason you think you are trans is basically due to a fetish. This is a very important distinction.

Now watch well-meaning Rhya completely confuse herself and anyone else who watches her video....




maybe next time

The young transwoman greeting at the door of the Sephora is beautiful, at least 6 feet tall and lithe as a reed. She is also not a day over 25 years old. I give her a big smile and tell her I hadn't seen her for a while; we then chatted briefly.

After I had bought my foundation and had gabbed a little with the young woman at the cash, I went back to the front and spoke to her again on my way out.

"You look amazing, what have you done to yourself since I last saw you?" I said

"Oh well I was going through a major depression but things are much better now. I have been through a lot in my life"

Just then I wanted to hug her and tell her I understood at least one important aspect of her life but I will save that for another time for she looked happy and the store was very busy. I walked away very glad for her because she was radiating contentment and she has a whole life ahead of her.

Next time perhaps.


the wall

At some point in our lives, most of us who are transgender hit the wall and for me that was in my early forties. I had reached a point where I could go no further and needed to get help because I was sinking. The years of suppression were finally taking their toll and I could not take another step. I came out to my then wife after which the entire life I had built to date began to unravel.

In retrospect that wasn’t a bad thing but at the time it wasn’t an easy thing to face. Who I thought I was supposed to be had been a lie and I was realizing to what extent I had buried my feelings to try and lead a “normal” life like everyone else.

More than 10 years later I have completely given up on the concept of living like others and am now in the process of building a new existence for myself which respects the person I have always been inside; this with the added complexity of undertaking it later in life. I am more open to change than at any point in my existence and the roadblocks I made f…

Cinema Paradiso

brilliant

Here is some brilliant political analysis on what ails America from Noam Chomsky; one of the nation's preeminent and most important intellectuals.

All of it is spot on which, needless to say, makes the video a must watch...


Dang!

Powerful ad from Bernie...


Tani

Tani is the lovely young barista that works at Starbucks who keeps telling me she admires my sense of style.

Well this afternoon she surprised me with the label on my single long espresso...



one hell of a guy

Scottie Madden had that same marking incident at 4 years of age which I did; someone yelled at her for wearing the wrong shoes. A lot has happened to her since then...

"Scottie Madden made one hell of a guy.

Tough, outdoorsy, a dedicated son, big brother and husband. He led a reality TV crew that took a former Navy SEAL, a Green Beret, and an RAF instructor into some of the harshest environments on earth.

But there was a problem. Scottie Madden may have been born a boy, but he felt he was supposed to be a woman.

At 47 years of age, he was done living with that secret.

At 5 a.m. one morning, Scottie woke his wife Marcy and told her everything.

“I don’t know who I am,” he said. The words just tumbled out.

Scottie knew that she was supposed to be a girl at a young age. But she also learned young that her true identity wouldn't be accepted.

“I was 4-years-old and the babysitter was babysitting me and the little girl next door, and it was raining,” Scottie recalled.

“She had the…

You're fired

free

Being mostly ignored is fascinating to me. Since being able to be just another woman going about her business, the calming effect on my soul has been nothing short of dramatic.

With this confident mindset, I have learned more over the last 5 years than in my previous 50 and, as I have immersed myself in the daily world of women, their reactions towards me are incredibly different than when I present male. For one thing, they smile much more readily at each other and communicate more openly than men.

I am not the least bit nervous in any setting and engage everyone in conversation without fear. That has increased my confidence in confirming that I am treated as a woman because I am perceived as one.

Yesterday I sat in a subway car sandwiched among 3 teen girls as they noisily spoke with each other. I would get the occasional glance in my direction which was always met with my warm smile in recognition of the boiterousness of youth. It was returned in kind for they saw I was just the ol…

unification

This is a subject I am reflecting on more frequently now.

I think I have some decisions to make over the next few years, but nothing is so pressing that it will not benefit from further reflection. Over the last number of years, I have exorcised all my demons pertaining to my being trans and what is left is to ascertain how I want to live from here on in.

It is true that living in two distinct gender camps doesn’t feel quite right and I think I could benefit from a blending myself into one entity. I am not a crossdresser and never have been, and I am not sure I see the value in having two sets of clothes with which to present differently depending on who I am seeing that day. The voyage of self-discovery carries us along and we change both in mindset and in daily practice and I am no longer the person I was even 3 short years ago.

That unification process will still require some time to complete with one obvious advantage being the removal of the sometimes-schizophrenic nature of havi…

Star of Sirius

the tip of the iceberg

Think about it: how can your genitals determine your gender identity? Are they sending direct signals to your brain?

No, most likely gender is a combination of nature and nurture which involves complex brain chemistry bolstered by profound and unrelenting socialization forcing people to comply lest they face ostracization. Hence, even if you fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum there are certain basic rules you needed to abide by to avoid ridicule.

Today those rules are at the loosest point in human history, allowing us to see just how varied the expression of gender can be. The reason most people do not avail themselves of this reality is simple fear where the dread of public rejection overrides the desire to be true to oneself.

Transsexuals are a special case of course where the gender identity is entirely reversed and the remedy of transition is often the only cure for a deep sense of dysphoria. However even those on the cusp of full blown transsexualism can find more solut…

9 banks

on the whole

This morning I dressed nicely but not overly fancy for Easter Mass. I wore dangly earrings, a discreetly flowered top I bought at Old Navy, my dark denim skirt and my new black patent pumps. On top of that came the long trenchcoat I've had for years.

The basilica was fuller than normal but hardly filled to capacity. After the service my friend Janet and I had our usual Sunday morning coffee and later on today I hope to meet Patricia to catch up on things socially and with her company.

I can't complain about things too much and life is generally good. Even if things with my son are a bit rocky right now, on the whole I am a happy lady.

Happy Easter to you all particulierement a mes soeurs a Paris.




powerless

My son has decided to go back on meds but then he has started to experience horrible bouts of nausea as his body reacustoms itself.

It is supremely frustrating as a parent to see them go through this and you want to take on their discomfort. These are the ages as they venture into adulthood where your impact is not as direct and they no longer need close surveillance. It is the part of their life when they are releasing from you and only seek counsel on a sporadic basis.

They are their own people and my children couldn't be more different from each other. Each possesses strengths and weaknesses the other does not. The same parenting style cannot erase that basic DNA and individuality of vision which creates such unique beings.

In some ways, this phase of the parenting cycle is the most debilitating as your sense of powerlessness sometimes overflows. You are caught between interjecting and knowing that too much will not help their empowerment in facing a world that doesn't care…

Las Negras de Atlatlahucan

The fool on the hill

worthwhile

Trying to steal moments when I could be myself is something I did all my life and I now realize how difficult that was. Those of you still in marriages with non- accepting or barely tolerating spouses are in the throes of this and it makes me despondent to even think about it. Most of you figured yourselves out well into your relationships, and are left with whatever time you can steal while trying to remain together.

Today, with the benefit of hindsight, I am at a loss to see how a tenuous balance like this works for either partner. The spouse knows her husband often dreams of a slightly different life and the transgender person is robbed of a more fulfilling existence. Perfect scenarios do not exist and, even those difficult cases where the spouse remains through a transition, there is a transformation in the relationship such that it can scarcely be called a marriage any longer.

Being transsexual is not the worst thing in the world that could befall you but it is certainly one whe…