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Showing posts from April, 2019

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…

the death of the band

Watered down versions of original songs stripped of what made them unique and appealing are abhorrent to me. I remember hearing a version of the Beatles' "In my Life" sans the accelerated George Martin harpsichord interlude and it sounded like elevator music. The woman singing had taken front and center and the instrumentation was bordering on the insipid.

I know I suffer from thinking that the music of the past was superior. There was an organic warmth and absence of technological crutch that made it so appealing. Whether it was listening to a recording of Ray Charles, Joe Cocker or Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues, there was magic in what we heard.

Recently, vinyl has been making a comeback and I wonder whether compositions will begin to return to more earthy techniques. Certainly that requires the kind of musicianship which few artists today possess. The countless hours those early pioneers put into their instruments are not the norm today and that 10,000 rule no lon…

bare-legged girl

Since the official end of winter, this was the first morning I left the house in a skirt and heels. I had first put on my jeans but thought the better of it when I stepped outside briefly to gauge the temperature. At 12C it felt appropriate to make the change and I have been out bare legged in lower temperatures. I cannot abide wearing any kind of hosiery and only did so during the years when leg shaving was simply not an option for me.

Today my legs are always smooth (well for the most part) and hence will opt to cream them just before slipping into my pumps. Most women (that I have observed) no longer wear pantyhose anyway and will only wear tights during the winter.

I love the freedom of a bare leg in a skirt or dress and since mine are not too badly mangled, I feel I can get away with it. In fact many women compliment me on them. Louise, the Mary Kay representative, recently asked me if I had ever modelled which was a huge confidence booster.

NB: I have now added a post history an…

blue in green

My favorite piece from Miles Davis's "Kind of Blue" album featuring the great Bill Evans on piano...


the eyes have it

It is true what they say: the eyes are a window into the soul. Mine used to conspire against me but they no longer do. If you are feeling well on the inside and understand who you are, your expression and by extension your eyes will reflect it.

This is why we speak of confidence being the heavy lifter in letting people see the real you. I don't care how good you look on this outside; without that we have nothing.

The crucial step is getting off the merry-go-round of public approval because we are always going to be too thin, too fat, too loud, too meek or too something for someone else. We will never find true contentment without that permanent unbranching from a fickle public opinion which knows nothing of your life but is only too happy to try and derail it.

Even my own version of a life as a woman will find disfavor from some in our community but that is their problem and not mine.

All we need to know is that the eyes have it.


brevity

If I cannot get my thoughts down succinctly I feel I have failed. My blog posts are short specifically because I want to convey something with as little verbiage as possible. Language is so rich and powerful that it can transmit images with little effort. It is the way the words are combined that provides most of its power.

Explaining our feelings is best done in servings that can be processed by others in bite size morsels which tantalize and yet must necessarily remain sketchy in outline. Because, in the end, adding more language does not guarantee something as ethereal will be transmitted with any greater accuracy.





living without shame

We can all relate in our own way...


is anyone surprised?

Chit chat

I'm not sure why I enjoy talking to mothers with babies but I do. They remind me of those early years when my own kids were young except that women are more forthcoming towards another woman; especially when being around their own children. I get to play the older mother and give the odd little tidbit of advice while we chit chat for a few minutes. They listen and we both laugh.

Were I presenting differently I couldn't do that and would get that dubious look as if I were going to steal their child but such is the way of the world where gender is so strictly defined. However I am just being friendly with nothing to prove to anyone else or to myself.

That phase was over a while back.


equilibrium

There should be a balance between trying to understand ourselves through introspection and acting out of one's instincts. If one greatly overrides the other, the result can be a negative one.

If one lives too chaotically through impulse the result is a life marked with jolts and needless suffering. Conversely, if one is too cerebral and analytical the first instinct will always be to not act at all.

No human being gets this blend perfectly right and as the years pass we may improve that balance such that harmony is instilled in us. This is what I am striving to do for myself. I may not understand what makes me tick perfectly but I do not need to in my aim to live an honest life. Originality is the mother of invention here and we need to keep the focus there and away from trying to emulate others.

After all, there is no one else like you in the entire world.

The other side of the closet

c'est bon

c'est une bière que j'aime bien.
Elle est parfumé à l'abricot et faite par une des microbrasseries du Québec...




spring on the lip of the old city

Malasaña

When my kids and I go to Madrid in June we will be staying in the hip Malasaña district with its cafes, narrow streets and proximity to the old quarter of the city. We are walking distance from everything and plan to take full advantage of the fact which is why I am having my leg surgery afterwards...

sacked

I am at a loss to explain how devout Christianity and respect for transgender people are mutually exclusive things and yet I continue to see stories where some school official is sacked when, for them, respecting their “Christian principles” means disrespecting trans people.

I cannot recall an event in the New Testament where Jesus condemns or even chastises a transgender person hence I cannot explain the machinations that went into conceiving this discrimination. Yes, there are biological men and women in the world and they procreate to make children but what does that reality have anything to do with discrimination against difference? I am not proposing here that people feel pity for us as much as petitioning for the recognition of transgender people as vibrant members of a cross section of humanity. The fact that many continue to see our existence as usurping the role of cisgender men or women in the world continues to be troubling for me.

Christianity has been ripe for bastardiza…

Bernie puts on a clinic

adolescence

Something very interesting happens over time: as we become accustomed to living day to day in the female role we become increasingly pragmatic. I was never the person who would go the mall in a cocktail dress to begin with, but I still needed to pass through my own kind of teen-like adolescence.

Today I try to combine my own sense of feminine style with a view to being comfortable in what I am doing. Hence, long walks will be undertaken in stylish but comfortable flats or in my chunky heels. Yes, I have learned through painful experience but that being said, I never do frumpy.

My tentative first steps into the outside world in my early 20's were sporadic and teemed with numerous purges which each time had me praying to Jesus to not allow to happen again. Months would go by and invariably my dysphoria would come to a boil forcing me to feed it anew. Contrast that against my current stable wardrobe which, if anything, is being cleansed of questionable purchases worn not more than a …

follow me

From 2001's Imaginary Day album...


on the cusp of change

It isn’t just America at a crossroads, it is the entire world. The challenges of climate change, automation, income disparity, the democratization of sex and gender and globalism are all converging to create a new landscape which we all must fend with.

In a not unexpected fashion, the right has reacted in a visceral and kneejerk manner and helped to spawn an even more rabid alt-right movement which reminds one of the townspeople coming for the Frankenstein monster. They will not ultimately prevail, but they will do a lot of harm before things settle down to the new reality. The reason I am confident is because history has shown us that there must be travails before justice and good ultimately win out over ignorance and hate. There is never going to be a simple solution when so much of the planet is proliferated with people who are not able to see past the tip of their nose and for whom the term "social progress" is a dirty word.

Things may get worse briefly before they get b…

boot edge edge!

Now that's a speech...


different animals

A few years ago I went to dinner with someone who identified as a T-girl accompanied by his wife, which turned out to be a massively instructive and revealing experience for me. This person was happy to dress sporadically and once or twice a year would come to Montreal with his partner for a weekend "en femme". In the process, I learned a lot about them as a couple and much about myself for I was in the presence of someone who didn't have gender dysphoria.

This fascinated me since I thought that if our roles were reversed it wouldn't have ever occured to me to experiment with gender. For years in fact, I had been hoping for a solution to the gender expression deprivation anxiety I suffered since early childhood. This turned out to be one of the pivotal moments where I understood the difference between someone who crossdresses for pleasure versus having it be a manifestation of their core gender identity.

As we conversed over dinner our differences of childhood exper…

What a Fool Believes

it simply is

Sometimes people come into our lives and then disappear. We may have gone to high school with them or dated and we are no longer in contact. Many years after a separation, we may even not be speaking to a former spouse.

Human relationships are deeply complex entities; far more than we think we see at the surface. They are particularly so if the people themselves are complex beings. There are nuanced and often unacknowledged patterns lurking under the surface that we do not label but can feel. Only when that person is gone can we sometimes piece together the fragments of the subconscious that defined the interplay between you.

There is no mathematical formula that could ever be developed to adequately explain human behaviour because it defies both definition and categoriazation.

It simply is.


repatriation

I tried very hard throughout my life not to want to be a woman but today I no longer fight it. It's like someone has been trying to tell me something all along and I didn't listen to them (I can just see Sherry rolling her eyes).

The life accomplishments I am most proud of have nothing to do with gender and I could have done them all as a woman for we are human beings before we are a gender. There has been far too much segregating in the world by virtue of this aspect; a habit which is slowly being changed. We are starting to see the merits of simply measuring capability instead of fitting people into roles solely based on their birth sex. That being said, I am proud of being able to repatriate my feminine nature.

It's far more relaxing to not fight against myself and so I now succumb to instinct and swim with the current instead of against it. The only thing left to decide is whether it is sustainable or even desirable to live indefinitely with one foot in each camp.

Smal…

"your gender identity is the least of our concerns"

little miss organization

I need to become little miss organized because I've got clothes scattered all over the place. Living alone will do that in you being the only one who sees it and cares.

So today I am buying one of those free standing clothes organizers such that I can stop using one of the spare bedrooms as a dumping ground. It's going to go into my room and things will be either hung or folded neatly on one of the shelves. My life as a woman is well enough established now that this type of order is called for.

After that I will dismantle the bunk beds still sitting in my son's old room and repaint the whole thing in anticipation for his moving in for university.


Maslow's pyramid

The earthly physical needs at the bottom serve as a foundation for the higher aspirations of comprehending our life purpose and spiritual aspirations.

Makes perfect sense...


the cure

A transsexual like me has very little room for negotiation and, even if we don't transition, a life with us will never be even close to conventional. I can only imagine what we did 200 years ago; it must not have been at all easy but then much about life isn't.

I see videos sometimes made by crossdressers and how they negotiate their femme time with their wives except that mine is the only safety valve I have which keeps me from needing to transition. Without it I would be lost.

This blog tends to be written with gender dysphoric people in mind because that is what I am. In fact, most of the comments come from those who have completed or are currently in some form of transition. The thought processes I went through and the discipline I exerted to divert my mind away from the draw towards being female have been constant throughout my life although smattered with ebbs and flows. I have concluded that our brains can be tricked and distracted but not indefinitely and I am curious …

fascinating

Seth Abramson is a forensic journalist who ties the dots together and has followed president moron's tracks.

Watch...


taking notes along the way

Over a long walk with my son this morning we discussed the pitfalls of life and how none of are spared their impact. The good news for him is that he is not alone in feeling inadequate and scared sometimes; most especially at the tender age of 19.

The rest of us have learned the art of falling and picking ourselves up again. We know that not all things are as skyscraper size dimension as they appear. As his body cleanses itself of anti-anxiety medication he will teach himself to maneuver through the same minefield we have, while hopefully taking notes along the way. Each decade will bring a new level of introspection and self discovery which will set the tone for the next.

I cannot do that for him but can imitate what my father did for me in cautioning to not take himself overly seriously and learn to forgive himself for his humanity.

"be yourself no matter what they say"

A song in honor of Quentin Crisp from Sting's "Nothing like the Sun"...


Self reliance

Self reliance is important and I've had to hone mine over my life. Yes, I had a good head start from parents who insisted that life is hard and that I was going to have to rely on myself to push things forward. I had to be my own problem solver and not count on anyone else for help. I also became a problem solver for others all the while ignoring my own major issue.

Part of that reasoning was rooted in the reality that I was trans and no one would want to touch that with a ten foot pole.

That self reliance guides me now and has been bolstered by a defiance that says "if you dont like it then look elsewhere". Even members of my family who are too uncomfortable with who I am will increasingly not get the benefit of me presenting in a way that makes them feel better but does nothing for me. We trans people are all about accommodation and we spare others because we have always understood that we don't fit in. Hence we bend until we almost break but I am through with that…

a nice afternoon

My girls weekend may have been cancelled but that didn't stop me from getting up very early and working from home so I could have a good chunk of the rest of the day to myself.

I ran some errands and did some window shopping in my new favorite Zara cropped jeans and chunky black pumps while completing the simple look with a black V-neck long sleeved top, burgundy lipstick and my pearl earrings. I like the mix of comfort and stylish and I get lots of compliments on it from old and young women alike.

In the afternoon I ended up north of Montreal in its biggest mall and bought a new just below the knee black dress for just $30. The sales girl who knows me raved about how good it looked on me and I will admit that I felt pretty and feminine in it. Once I paid and came out of the store who do I run into but my friend Leticia. So we proceeded to spend the next hour chatting and catching up on our lives.

It all worked out except for the fact that, had I driven to Ottawa today, I would h…

time for a different tactic

I like Barack Obama; I really do. He is intelligent, articulate and well meaning but he is also a centrist. He comes from the same school as Clinton, Biden and Kerry and, while there is nothing wrong with that in a normal universe, the United States isn't the same country it used to be.

A radicalized version of the GOP is now in power stitched together by a band of evangelical Christian nuts, outright xenophobes and other right wing extremists which resemble nothing the grand old party of the past.

When Goldwater began his southern strategy by grabbing disgruntled white racists unhappy with the end of segregation, the lower half of the country became staunchly Republican after having been Democrat. Yes, a culture which cut its teeth on slave ownership didn't like someone messing with their status quo and they were ripe for the picking by a GOP hungry to capitalize.

Reagan began yet another step to the right with his anti-union welfare queen ranting meant to mostly target blac…

Life accordion to Trump

This idiot just invites these parodies...


self aware

It's interesting what happens over time: you no longer feel self concious. I don't mean its reduced, I mean its basically gone.

This removal eliminates the need to look over your shoulder and seek validation from the outside world. We don't care if someone is staring or wonder what they are thinking for that is their prerogative.

I got here so imperceptibly slowly that you don't celebrate the day you arrive. You just notice that you no longer care and you go about your business like everyone else. In my opinion this is a strict prerequisite for knowing whether a transition is for you because if you cannot feel comfortable you cannot assess your true feelings properly.

I think that too much self awareness is bad for a trans person. Don't get me wrong, you may get a buzz about going out and getting noticed or having pictures taken and after your fill and go back to your regular life which is fine. However for others this is much more tied to identity and there is no…

perceptive

Kristin is one of my favorite trans Youtubers because she is a very smart and perceptive millennial young woman who has transitioned very successfully. In the first video (filmed early in her transition) she dispels 5 misconceptions (the second one regarding cross gender arousal) about why she thought she couldn't transition.

In the second video you can see how see how much further down the road she is and how well her life is going.

Kudos to her...




analysis

A tough and disciplined life isn't a bad thing because it builds character. It is only when that life begins to build unnecessary stress that things become undesirable. I know that I added to my own discomfort in feeling like I could not share what I was feeling with others which made me feel alone and vulnerable.

First born discipline did get me a long way but I was repressed and shy. I was able to see other people be loose and jovial but that couldn't be me. It just wasn't in the wiring and I lived mostly in my head which at least helped me develop my intellect.

I've done more analysis on aspects of life than I care to admit but today I live on more feeling and intuition than I used to. I have realized that at a certain point in time the answers won't come and you will be forced into a mental paralysis instead of just living.

It's not that I've stopped analyzing altogether only that now I know when it's not bringing me returns to do so.


medley

Malena

From my favorite Italian film and one the country's best composers...


a long way

I approach the young receptionist who works for the neurologist who will operate on my leg and, with any luck, cut away the benign growth that is giving me grief and make things better.

"Could you please put Joanna in brackets after my name?"

"Oh sure Miss, is this a recent permanent change?"

"No but it would be awesome if you could do that" I respond flashing her a sheepish grin.

"Oh certainly" she returns without missing a beat. She is not a day over 25. They all get it now.

I take a seat and wait for the doctor completely comfortable and satisfied.

My we have come a long way.

dark

Right of center parties are gaining foothold as the backlash against globalism expands.

The great migrations from Africa and the middle east into Europe are helping fuel xenophobia as is the Latino surge into the United States. With Netanyahu's right wing Likud party victory, we can add another militant force to the mix and an attitude that threatens to take over the West Bank by force.

In Brazil there is also now the odious Bolsonaro who is a Trump clone both in posturing and in extremist policy although not in level of idiocy.

The world is facing a dark period until we learn to all get along and dispense with the hatred. But as long as fear of the unknown is the big motivator, people will be manipulated by right wing despots who appeal to the emotion more than they do the mind and we all lose when that happens.


the hard way

I don't take many pictures, but this is the oldest one I have of myself dressed up. It was taken some time in the early 2000’s in the when no one was home which was a rarity. My children were then very young, and I was not yet at my breaking point with regards to my gender dysphoria, but I was close.

It is ages ago both in time and in mindset and that person wouldn’t understand where she would end up one day. She had no idea she would wind up divorced and living part time. That would be the most foreign idea in the world at the time.

Like many of you, I am proof of the brain’s plasticity and of our ability to adapt and learn about ourselves. We can stretch the boundaries of self-knowledge and allow the buried personality aching to be released to become free. I had no idea what was coming but I do know that the growth has been startingly dramatic as it usually is with us once we become self-realized.

It seems that, for some of us, the hard way is the only way.


What a weasel

Talk about obfuscating. William Barr cannot answer basic questions because he is a Trump lackey.

It should be profoundly embarrassing to someone with even basic integrity to look like this in front of a Congressional hearing...


2 days

find out who you are first

We need to make a choice in this life: Do we take the conventional path but then remain only partly happy or do we go closer to authenticity and risk alienating “normal” people? This has been our challenge as transgender people for time immemorial.

For a large part of my life I chose the former and, although I have two wonderful kids, compromising didn’t do me any massive favors. Today I have chosen the latter option and, while nothing is perfect, the way I live today more closely reflects my needs as a transgender person.

I know of many couples whose marriages have either not worked or are on basic life support and where neither partner is happy; and these are people where neither partner is trans. Add to that the fact you are the source of your own contentment and you come the realization that squeezing into society like a sardine is hardly an attractive alternative. Better to be happy by standing out than bowing your head and always wondering what if.

There is no great honor in bei…

The greatest discovery

let's be careful

Lisa Littman is a physician and researcher who created the term “rapid onset gender dysphoria” to try to explain parents' accounts of their teenagers suddenly manifesting symptoms and self-identifying as transgender. The parents say they saw no previous signs of gender identity uncertainty and thus Littman theorized that this could be a "social coping mechanism" for other disorders, such as depression and anxiety caused by adolescent trauma.

As a gender dysphoric myself who grew up in an opposite world where such exploration was impossible, I admit that with the advent of the internet, the idea that a certain groupthink culture could develop is not impossible. The danger here is that we not confuse gender exploration with true gender dysphoria. There are plenty of kids who experiment with gender and even end up self-identifying as gender queer and gender non-conforming because our society now permits it and reflects more a world which has rejected the notion that there a…

personal style

Tani is a young woman who works at the Starbucks and is apparently in love with my style:

"How do you do it?" She queries

"When you're older you need to work harder" I respond with a whimsical smile and a self effacing eye roll.

"We have similar taste" she says

I then go and sit down and search YouTube for Justine Leconte's minimalist dressing site and go back to show her.

"Oh Thanks Joanna!" she beams, surprising me that such a young woman could find how I dress admirable. I guess I must be doing something right because, in the end, feminine style should be somewhat independent of age; or at least that is what I tell myself.

On another note, Louise from Mary Kay asked me if I ever organize a girls night out to have us all go over and be made up by her which only further confirms she thinks I am a genetic female. While that's all very affirming I don't have a gang that can bring her some business so I will let her down easily whi…

before slumber

What is it about that reflective silence right before we fall asleep that is so useful to us. At once it is revealing and so terrifying as we find ourselves distractionless and unable to avoid what is most troubling to our subconscious minds.

There are demons to be found there but also little epiphanies as the eyes become heavy and we want to remember all in the morning. The thoughts swirl and dance in our heads until we are carried into what will hopefully be restful slumber.

Our fears and aspirations flash before us in those moments as well as the far off memories of things that passed and could have gone differently. We don't know where that door taken might have led. Those moments between the sobriety of reality and the dreams that may come are the way we unload the little crosses we carry and set them down just for a while until the morning returns once again.



Our Planet

Last night I began watching the Netflix series "Our Planet" and what a feast for the senses it is. The cinematography alone is worth the price of admission but then we add the wonderful narration by David Attenborough and you have a clear winner.

This series is going to focus more on the urgency of needing to fix our global situation in terms of climate change and species preservation with the goal of rebalancing our sensitive and damaged ecosystems.

Give the first episode a spin and I don't think you will be able to abandon the series.


K 365

in defense of common sense

Leslie Read writes a brilliant response letter to Abigail Shrier's extremely prejudicial op-ed in the Wall Street Journal attacking the rights of transgender women to use the bathroom which aligns with their identity and gets it so right. "Show me the numbers you nincompoop" she ostensibly says.

But the last thing TERFS want to hear is someone spouting common sense...

"In “The Transgender War on Women” (op-ed, March 27), Abigail Shrier reaches a very wrong conclusion. She states that the “Equality Act” proposed by the Democrats would, among other things, legally allow transgender women to use women’s restrooms, and concludes that this would be a bad thing.

Ma’am, they use them already, and it’s not a bad thing.

Ms. Shrier believes this puts women who are not transgender at risk since the restroom is their “safe space,” that a transgender woman is not “really” a woman, but a man, and implies that a man who goes into a women’s restroom could attack the women inside. S…

rigid

Today I am drawing more from my feminine energy than I ever have in my entire existence. I am proud to be able to say that.

Every person contains both masculine and feminine traits in varying proportions only we are slotted from the time we are born to play with the right toys, dress the proper way and behave in an acceptable manner; all of them inexorably tied to birth sex. It may have been a structure which worked well for most, but not for all and therein lay its essential flaw in cementing itself in rigidity.

The mix of those traits which defines your gender identity may not be what society expects and this is independent of whether you suffer from gender dysphoria or not. Hence everyone could benefit from liberating earmarking things by gender. All it does is discourage people from trying things they might love and be good at.

Most of these barriers have already or are in the process of being dismantled and along with it my own trepidation in embracing the strong feminine impulse…

es bello ser diferente

remember the chicken at Tresky's?

I've been a huge fan of Woody Allen's existentialist comedy for decades and nowhere does his blend of farce meets the cruelty of our existence work better than in his masterpiece called "Love and Death". I still recite lines from it when I want to laugh with friends.

"What's it like?" says Diane Keaton's character in referring to Woody being dead

"You know the chicken at Tresky's restaurant? Well it's worse"


jedi mind tricks

Anne Vitale very accurately describes gender dysphoria as "gender expression deprivation anxiety" and I would argue that a good measure of the severity of yours is how long you can deprive yourself of that expression and not feel uncomfortable.

Unless you are like my friend Calie who resides on the transsexual side of the spectrum and employs some sort of superhuman Jedi mind tricks to avoid from transitioning, the rest of you should be able to determine the strength of your cross gender feelings by measuring how long you can go without expressing them.

My trick for a long time was to pretend they weren't really there until that became too hard. You must have or have had yours too.

It's not a contest and there's no right answer but just know that everyone is different in this massive global village we inhabit.