Showing posts from June, 2019

trans groups

I know for certain that some of you will disagree vehemently with me on this, but I personally cannot see the great value in transgender groups. For one thing, I am not really a group type person and much prefer one on one and, for another, I think that finding friendship solely on the basis of being trans isn't quite enough for me. I prefer blending into the cis world but would of course dearly love to have local trans friends as well. The problem is that, besides Halle, there is no one close enough to me geographically who fits that bill. For the record I know she and I would be friends even if we weren't both trans. My history with meeting trans people over the years here in Montreal is dotted with mostly misses which included having coffee with a married part time dominatrix and a dinner with a self-described T-girl who I had absolutely nothing in common with in large part due to our being on different points of the gender spectrum. In the end, I simply stopped looking

morning rain

After the church service this morning I met three lovely young women in their late twenties or early thirties who hailed from New Jersey. They were visiting Montreal and were telling me how much they loved the city. One of them had been here before several times and was acting as unofficial tour guide. They asked me about the closest place to eat breakfast and I gave them the best recommendation taking into account geography but apparently showed enough hesitation that made them wonder "Hmmm she doesn't seem seem so sure" one of them said, squinting her eyes while smiling broadly at me. "No I am but my only warning is that the service can be slow" I replied. It was raining profusely and they were all wearing lovely summer shoes with consumately manicured nails. All three were in nice Sunday dresses. "Its not more than a hundred feet down the street ladies" I said "What do you rate it on a scale of one to five?" She asked me &quo

why I go to Mass as myself

Going to Mass as a woman matters because it closes a loop for me. Religion enslaved me and kept me from self acceptance hence unifying my thinking on my own nature and my spirituality is a way to come to terms with my past. God wasn't keeping me from self acceptance, but it was instead society's misplaced thinking on what is acceptable within its box of artificial orthodoxy. Humankind is at best limited and at its worst fundamentally stupid which is why it prefers to brainwash its children than allow them to become themselves. I don't get that much from the Mass anymore due to the limitations of the priests to say anything remotely interesting or stimulating; but that is not the point. My presence there as Joanna is my psychological closure to an episode of self imprisonment and it brings me so much joy to present as myself in a place which defined so much of my life. I am there and know to my core that I am accepted exactly as I am.

cappuccino on the terrase

Get out there!....

Shape of my heart



Patricia's relationship is rocky and she seems tired of it and I am not surprised. Relationships are crap shoots which depend on two individuals on the same page with equal levels of self knowledge and self assurance. I don't know of anyone who meets that criteria which is why so many unions sputter along from crisis to crisis. I have had three years to reflect on this subject while on my own and have concluded that a truly healthy relationship is close to an impossibility. There will always be one partner unhappy with some aspect in the other; there is always something they could do better. The level of commitment between them is also unfortunately unbalanced. The absence of a desire to want to change the other is what is required. We need to accept their essential nature while still being able to advise them as we accept their counsel as well. Human nature is bizarre and fickle and most of the time we are insecure about ourselves as well as our role within a union. Ma


If I were ever to fully transition would I miss the male? How does one flush out a stage character we have played most of our lives? Those who were certain they were women early in life didn't hesitate. They knew what they had to do. On the other hand, those of us who are older and tried hard to ignore our gender dysphoria, have all that accumulated baggage to sort through. There is no doubt that I have advanced at a snail's pace because I can look back and see the progression but there is still work to be done to know if I can live comfortably full time. Would I miss playing that role I was taught to? And how would I incorporate some of him into my existence as a woman? To a great degree I see the process not as a rejection but as an exercise in unification.


This is the third time in the same week that I've worn a dress this time it's a grey patterned one from Jacob. It helped that Patricia told me emphatically how I rocked the one I wore when we last met, but mostly this is about me being less critical of myself. When I look at other women around me and their imperfections, I see they have fat arms, stubby legs, bulging stomachs and yet they wear their dresses proudly. I am a past middle age transwoman and my body is not going to be like a 25 year old's ever again. Get over it Joanna :) Back then I looked amazing in a dress but I didn't have the confidence to pull it off. Today I have plenty of confidence but gravity and weight have conspired against me. I am now on a mission to lose 10 pounds and will go back to swimming and biking soon as well as more walking. Hopefully that should do the trick. Fingers crossed.

read this

Aided and abetted by this despicable Trump administration, the radical alt-right fringe is ramping up its rhetoric and talk of violence against transgender people. It's a worldwide phenomenon but perhaps nowhere more pronounced than in that land of of right wing ideology; the United States...


We control much of our emotional center. How we feel about ourselves and how we measure up against others is often the source of much strife. It is easy to tell ourselves to disconnect from the outside but hard to do because we are human but it is possible to make great inroads through practicing this. I have never been more connected internally and less to the fickleness of society than I am now. Yes, it helps to have the fatigue of age where we have seen too much of what we don't want but this is not a prerequisite. We can come to our senses sooner by realizing how little misinformed opinion from the outside should play in your daily life. Finding center feels truly wonderful and satisfying, and even if things will not be perfect every day, there is a renewed sense of being able to laugh at the ridiculousness of the worlf to help keep us grounded.

Archie Bunker, drag queens and all in the family


expecting to be read

I half expect to be read in certain scenarios but it doesn't happen. The other day I was waiting for my coffee and a mother with her two young daughters were right next to me. There were no odd looks and I was ignored until the older of the two girls and I locked stares for a moment prompting me to smile and having her return a sweet one of her own. She was a preteen girl and she went right back to chatting with her mom. I have never been so calm and relaxed which probably has a lot to do with it. I just don't care whether I am read or not which only helps me blend in even better.

the new models

Here is model Veit Alex who works as a male and (mostly) as a female. How times have changed...


Complimenting other women is fun. I might say: "I really love those earrings" or "where did you get that amazing shade of lipstick?" I like watching their eyes light up and it costs me nothing to say it. The small repartee that sometimes ensues can be entertaining or at the worst I will get a very smiley thank you. I mean nothing by it but if it brightens their day even a little I am more than happy to do it. I run into these women sometimes that remember me and will stop to tell me. It's part of me sharing my happiness.


Democrats want social programs to help the less fortunate and bolster, through universality, fundamental services such as health care, education and social security. Republicans, on the other hand, want less government intervention such that they can spend their money as they wish even if that means that the gap between rich and poor widens. These are polar opposite approaches to governing a population which is why there is such an inability to cooperate on policy and laws which will apply to the American people. Republicans have moved further right than the Democrats have moved left which has resulted in the entire country moving a little further to the political right. The appeasement of fringe groups has resulted in a dangerous union based on special interests which should have little to do with proper governance. This has left the United States hopelessly gridlocked and unable to agree on even the most fundamental issues of public policy. Now with a fake populist liar in the

trust and comprehension

How do you know you can really trust someone? What is the signpost that tells you they won't turn the tables on you? It takes time and you being aware of signals we can sometimes willfully ignore. People can be even married for years and then some event happens which opens the eyes fully and be the straw that breaks the camel's back. Understanding what makes someone tick is a complicated affair made even further difficult by our inability to comprehend even ourselves.

from the outset

JT and Tani are two young women who work at a Starbucks close to my place and who both want to have coffee with me soon. I will take them up on the offer. JT reminded me when she saw me the other day. Both are very sweet and in their mid to late twenties. It has been very validating to be regarded as a woman by other women most especially by the younger ones. I do nothing special and yet they seem to like me. Perhaps it is the calm that comes with age that attracts them. In any event it has been a deeply humbling experience. These days everything flows and there is no effort required. It is how I wish it could have always been from the outset.

we get to know our body

Yesterday was the first day I wore a dress to Sunday Mass. Normally I wear a top and a skirt or pants because dresses can be hit or miss for tall women. If it rides up above my knees I spend a good chunk of my day pulling it down. It drives me nuts:) By now I know very well what works on my body and what doesn't. I also like to dress age appropriate which is by no means code for frumpy but it does mean no mini skirts for this girl. Like every genetic woman, after a while we get to know what feels comfortable over prolonged periods. That is why I always carry flats in my car just in case my feet start to hurt over the course of the day. It's all about that combination of style and comfort although I will wear things like stilettos if I don't need to walk for miles (my friend Sherry who lives in hers will be happy I admitted that). 

the power of myth 3

Biologists in 18th century America argued that Africans descend from Ham, son of Noah, who was saddled by his father with a curse that his offspring would be slaves. This is one of the ways that plantation owners were able to justify owning people as if they were pieces of meat. They argued that blacks were less intelligent than whites and their moral sense was less developed. Doctors even argued that blacks live in filth and spread diseases. Blacks were not, needless to say, part of the phrase "all men are created equal". This powerful myth existed long after slavery ended and had embedded itself like a foul odor into accepted belief to such an extent that it persists to this day. The cyclical effect was such that even after abolishment of slavery blacks lived under much poorer conditions which only reinforced the stereotype that they were less intelligent and less able to prosper. It once again confirms that we should never underestimate the capacity for some human


What does it mean to channel feminine energy versus masculine energy and how do we know we're doing it? Those of us who were born genetically male were taught to suppress natural feminine impulses that we later tried to reincorporate into our lives so we could be whole. The problem then became making the distinction between the taught masculine and that innate feminine we displayed at at such a young age. My aunt remembers me as a toddler in a dress being deliriously happy as I danced for her and my grandmother. How did this translate to the person i was taught to become later on and how did the person I started as, how did she get lost for so long? Trans kids left alone know what to do. It is the public shaming that destroys us for years if not decades to come. I am able to effortlessly channel that woman today but I still sometimes still need to fight against the indoctrination I received. It was that pervasive. Letting go of the need to channel the masculine takes effort

social justice

The world doesn't operate on social justice, it mostly operates on greed. Systems founded fundamentally on capitalism are fine but there is a serious problem when less than 10% of the world population owns over 80% of the earth's resources. The idea that all that matters is I have mine is not a recipe for global wellness. We shouldn't be partitioning wealth equally but rather focus on setting realistic limits for personal wealth such that a Jeff Bezos cannot reach such excesses through not paying taxes. Better to collect funds through proper levels of taxation then use them for schools, infrastructure, health and other societal needs that help elevate the poor. One of the models that is most broken is the United States where personal amassing of fortune is akin to a religion and the myth of the American dream was sold as a way to keep people who had no chance of partaking in it sufficiently quiet. The chances of making it as a visible minority was not impossible but gro

Don't be discouraged and be confident

She was maybe 5'9" and early 20's "How can I help you today?" "I was looking for some cute ballerinas but I'm a larger size. Closer to a 12" "No we don't carry much beyond 10 but my mom is as tall as you and she has trouble too" "No worries I'm used to rejection but I know my places including online" "Good luck Madame and have a nice day" "You as well" I said

basic law

The smaller your particular minority is the more you will pay the societal price for not conforming. It is a basic law. No one wants to be banished or ridiculed which is how I know the trans phenomenon is real. We all want to be accepted precisely as we truly are which is also basic human law. It becomes incumbent upon each person on this earth to self define because failing that there can only be the yolk of dishonesty hanging over our necks bringing a certain form of despair. It is like viewing the world without colour. The distinction is made when we contrast our lives before we woke up to today. There is simply no comparison and we wonder what took us so long.

cartoon president



It appears that my comfort level in public as a woman is surpassing that of presenting male which became muscle memory after the immersion I was given since my birth. I am more jovial, talkative and carefree as a woman which behooves me to ponder transition. Why go back and forth when one is superior to the other? It seems obvious but I don't do things without excessive masticating. You know that. This is what the next couple of years will answer for me. It is the separation of the habitual learned from what is genuinely me which must be completed convincingly. Once I have done that I will know what to do. One thing is clear: my life as a woman is more comfortable, strong and relevant than ever plus I have two kids who support me no matter what I do. Only their opinion counts and no one else's.


Many transsexuals do distraction extremely well. We plunge ourselves into family, work, sports, art; anything to distract ourselves from our dysphoria until it eventually comes knocking at the door so hard that there is no more evasion possible. I have answered that door in the only way I feel comfortable doing so with many years of a life lived in denial and decisions made which required I respect commitments I made to others. Today I don't think I've ever been happier and, as I embark on the next segment of my existence, I want to live in that honesty that I avoided at all costs. Am I a woman inside? Yes I am and that assurance is what brings me much solace instead of the shame and guilt that used to replace it. I am finally home.

good to be home

I loved the trip to Spain but it is also good to be home. As I am still on vacation, yesterday I went to the Jean Talon market which is an open air market in one of the older parts of the city. The coffee and the ambiance are always great. Later I met Patricia for lunch and we caught up on business and how things are going for her in general. I never imagined building a strong bond of friendship with another woman as a woman but it's been great. She has confidence in me and I in her and no matter what happens with the business venture we will continue to be good friends. She has helped build my confidence even more although I don't think she realizes to what extent.

Pet Sounds


of all the people

I ran into Carine quite by accident. I was walking in one direction and she in the opposite except that we wouldnt have bumped into one another had I not made the deliberate trek to intercept. "I believe we know each other?" I said in French. She pondered for a moment, smiled widely and said "Wow t'est vraiment belle!" Carine was the office HR manager that I came out to who, during the very same closed door session, told me she was leaving the company. She was hugely supportive and told me that before she left the firm we could get the gears moving towards my workplace transition which I declined to undertake. "Is it official now?!" She inquired with a big smile "Non pas encore" I replied "mais je suis contente" We left each other then as she was headed to work but before we parted she said we would keep in touch which I will gladly take her up on.


"There you are love" he said as he handed me the cream container I had asked him for. He was half my age and I found what he said a little condescending although he probably didn't mean any harm. Women are treated as second class every day on this planet in a myriad of situations. They are made to feel like they don't know anything by tactless men who must think the universe revolves around them. Thankfully I have never seen this at my current firm. It never would have occurred to me to behave this way because I have always identified with women even when I wasn't self accepting. So while it may in one way be validating to be recognized as a woman by this young man, it didn't feel right to have any kind of condescending language used on me. Women are equals.

summer purse

I am switching to one of my cute lighter coloured purses today. It's summer soon and I want that cleaner and fresher look to go with the lighter fabrics. I tend not to carry a lot in my purse because I don't like being weighed down and also favor over the forearm purses to those you carry over the shoulder. I bought this one some years back and it has three main compartment areas to be able to separate my makeup, phone,keys, hand cream, change purse, hair brush, etc. This summer it will also contain that fan I bought in Toledo which I used last night on the subway to keep myself cool.

Time machine

Come back to high school with me...

the power of myth 2

Only in our current era can a repugnant baboon like Donald Trump get up in front of cameras at one his rallies for the intellectually impaired and lie through his teeth about readily verifiable facts. How does this happen? The power of myth. People don't want facts they are instead desperately asking to be lied to. The late night comics have a field day with subject matter that any of the rally attendees would call liberal media bias or fake news. We have officially reached mass insanity. I keep writing about the undoing of the United States because I firmly believe it will happen; but not through a single catastrophic blow and instead via a slow dismantling. The constitution is even a myth when it states that "all men are created equal". It should have read "all white men" and never mind women. The illusory nature of Voltairian ideals fell short when it took until the early 20th century for women to vote and for overt racism to fall just below the visua

relationships and the gender spectrum

I think that where you reside on the gender spectrum definitely does matter when you are discussing conventional man-woman relationships. However when it comes to any form of relationship, there are complexities regardless. For example, if you are a crossdresser who sees your activity as another side of who you are then chances are in your favor to find a woman who will tolerate it if not necessarily rejoice ebuliantly at the prospect of her man in a dress. If you reside on the transsexual side of the spectrum as I and many others do, things get a little bit trickier. You can either suppress your identity and attempt a conventional union, transition and enter into a relationship with a man or (and this is the long shot) find a woman who is that needle in a haystack and is blind to gender giving you the flexibility to transition or not. My own interest in this area has waned to the point of total atrophy because I have chosen to live honestly above all else and make myself happy.


Putting on my face this morning after getting dressed and slipping into my heels in freshly shaved legs was sheer delight. Yes, I was jet lagged and missing sleep but it was so great to be me after 10 days away. After this wonderful trip I'm not sure I want to leave Joanna at home ever again but I'm glad that I was able to experiment and find out.

dry rot of democracy


yet another step forward


as myself

We said our goodbyes to my aunt yesterday and today we fly home. She told me she would very much like to meet Joanna next time and I more than inclined to do that. I will likely come on my own and she and I can hang out for a few days. Next time the women's clothes come with me. Still, it has been great to spend time with her, and even if we don't see each other often, we just pick up where we left off as if there had been no time gap. When I get home tonight the fingernails and toe nails get painted again and the next five days minus a few hours are spent as myself and I am really looking forward to it.

the power of myth

I am currently reading a book called "Sapiens" which is a brief history of humankind and, in it, there is a description of the power of myth in helping advance homo sapiens ahead of other early humans such as Neanderthals. The ideal size of social group that humans can maintain without myth is about 150 people, but throw in the common beliefs of religion, law, corporate structure, etc and you can have perfect strangers cooperate due to this shared value system. This is what allowed homo sapiens to utilize much larger groups to defeat other archaic humans who did not use such common belief as a way to cooperate. The thing about myth however is that it must be weighed and analyzed and if I tell you that Neptune is the god of the sea and thousands of people believe it, that does not make the pronouncement any more of a reality. Institutions like the Catholic church were able to get the populations of nations to cooperate under the power of kings (who had no power other than


My daughter and I bought three abanicos in Toledo. One for her mother, one for her and one for me which is pictured below. Mine will come in handy during those muggy public transit rides in Montreal where I don't want my face to perspire. Because no dignified lady likes that.

no regrets

I have no regrets. Sure it would be easy to pin point moments or decisions which saw me suffer and wish I might have taken a different route except that this would have made me into a different person. It is the accumulation of experiences that make us who we are; good, bad or neutral. The path of the dominos and the direction in which they fall helps forge our character and, hopefully, we learn as we age and gather up the nuggets of wisdom to be used judiciously at the junctures where we wouldn't have known where to go before. For better or worse I am here at that bridge, formulating a way forward while using those accumulated skills to see me through.


As much as we are having a phenomenal time here, I will soon be ready to go home and return to the life I am comfortable with. Not presenting as Joanna for 10 whole days is something I have not done in a very long while and I am looking forward to little things like repainting my toenails. The daily routine of having coffee or doing groceries as Joanna may be simple but they bring me much joy and, as my friend Caryn would say, some much needed resonance. There is just something very special about being yourself.

a living museum

Toledo was the capital of Spain before Madrid was and it boasts one of the most beautiful Gothic cathedrals in Europe which was begun in 1226 and completed in 1594. The first historical references to Toledo go back to 59 AD. My daughter and I spent the day there and she couldn't take enough pictures.


"Who is she?" asked my aunt "That's me" I responded and she was dumbfounded for a split second as she stared at the image on my phone "You make for a very attractive woman" she said as she looked up and smiled at me. This was the first time she had seen me in female form in her life although she knew everything about my being trans. She is open minded and wonderfully supportive and knows we each need to lead our lives as we must. My mother and her now correspond every day by Skype and chat about whatever is going on because their kids are grown with families of their own. It is great to have her as an ally. My mother and my aunt 25 years ago


Watching the sheer mass of humanity on the streets during this trip has helped me focus my thoughts on the idea of resonance. So many stories that each life must contain yet we are just another body moving about unperceived and unnoticed. We tend to think the opposite because we live mostly in our heads. The message I take away even more resolutely is to be true to yourself as the only thing that truly matters because everything else follows from that. Things will fall into place when you are in resonance even when others around you are not.

Las calles de Malasaña



Shyness robs you of your body's natural aesthetic in public. It surges with notes of self concious energy which at once imprisons and indulges our overt discretion as being the better of two poisons. We learn slowly to let go with more abandon as the wants of a fickle public no longer concern us. There are bigger fears that draw our attention such as not having lived the way we wanted as we near the end of the road we have chosen. One day we decide there are enemies much more powerful than a public shaming.

Cage the Songbird

A song about Edith Piaf with Crosby and Nash on backing vocals...

internet warrior

Natalie Wynn uses satire and humor to filet her tormentors who see her as a demented and leftie transwoman. But in spite of that she persists, using their own arguments against them...

different times

My daughter and I had tapas with my aunt and she was telling me how happy I was dressing up around the age of 4 or 5. I barely remember that but for her, at 73 years of age, it's clear as if it were yesterday. Strangely my grandmother (her mother) found it all very amusing unlike my mother. My aunt knows all about me and is a great supporter. I knew something was different very early but it would take decades to come to terms. They were different times back then and we understood very little about any of this. I would argue that we still don't know all that much. My daughter at el retiro


Estamos disfrutando mucho en Madrid...


The Catholic church just came out with a pronouncement which states that being trans amounts to a "trend". Well now that these experts have said this I know what I am going to do immediately; stop being transgender. Why didn't anyone tell me this before? Next I plan to remove my very firmly planted tongue from my cheek.


Madrid is still capitivatingly beautiful with its narrow historic streets full of cobblestone charm but also avenues like the Gran Via with its architectural majesty. It is decidedly not the same city I last saw 25 years ago when a proper mixing with the rest of the modern world had not yet occurred. Now the Starbucks' and the Sephoras have moved in and the youth look very much like they do at home. It is me who has aged and still half expected to see the city I had left behind would stay frozen in time. The streets are packed at all hours not only with tourists but with locals who instead of living in large homes, lead their very social existence in the tapas bars and in the cafes where they people watch as they also catch up on their social media on the most recent devices. One other very noticable thing is the modernity of threshold for tolerance as the LGB youth are not shy to show their defiance to a world that once shunned them through Catholic orthodoxy. They openly hold

at the airport


the reflection to come

At a certain point in time I hit a juncture where I didn't know which version of myself was the real one. Was the male presentation a cover up only to be able to make a living or was the female the less accurate one? Over time Joanna gained in strength to the point where I am sitting at a crossroad. If I were completely convinced that I were, as Rhonda puts it, a two spirited person I would say so but I am not. I am instead looking honestly inwards because the concept is not entirely convincing when it comes to me. Hence, I am exploring whether the woman named Joanna isn't stronger and I am simply treading carefully towards an inevitability. I don't want to play a game of fashion instead I want to be authentic and work through the remnants of my programming and the life decisions I have made with precision. For decades I played a game of denial where I couldn't possibly be transsexual but as I have come to understand that reality, its gravity permeates my thoughts.

10 days

Joanna is being put away for 10 days but she lives inside me always which is what counts. When I get back on the 19th of June I am going back to my life which is extremely reassuring. It is nice to be able to live on my own terms and be that feminine woman and even if have decided not bring her along on this trip with my daughter, Joanna is not going anywhere.

answer me this

Over the next couple of years I need to answer the following question without panic: what is the point in going back and forth? After all, I am not a crossdresser who can be happy with sporadic gender expression so why live on the periphery of transition but not do so? That is the question.

A feminist

I've never been more of a feminist in my life. The more I advanced into my self-acceptance, the more I realized that I had been brain washed into certain forms of thinking which helped delay embracing my feminine nature. Femininity is still regarded by many in this world as an inferior state. But the best parts of being a woman involve nurturing, inclusion and concern for others before ourselves which are contained in every individual. It's just that women generally possess these qualities in greater abundance. I make friends with women easily and count more than 20 of them among my group of close acquaintances. They may not know I am trans but that matters less than building a bond with them which allows me to fortify and showcase the best parts of myself as a primarily feminine being.

overheard at a Sephora

She was maybe late forties or early fifties, svelte and well put together but casually dressed in her Lululemon track suit and sneakers. Her hair fell neatly on her shoulders as she got advice at the Sephora counter from a young woman half her age. Only a hint of subtle makeup adorned her face. I wouldn't have noticed anything else except she was within earshot as I did my own browsing and her voice was the only giveaway that she was trans. It was decidedly not a Bea Arthur husky voice and she made no attempt to feminize it. Based on her looks I surmised she had transitioned quite some time ago. As she finished and walked past me I didn't look at or acknowledge her. She then blended into the mall traffic. I am not sure the young woman at the counter realized she was trans but if she did she didn't bat an eyelash and served her exceedingly well. A few minutes later that same young woman helped me with my point total by scanning my card. "Joanna you have 600 points

essence makeup

I've been purchasing the Essence line of cosmetics because they are cruelty free and they are very inexpensive. I particularly like the number 15 and 17 lip shades which are both always in my purse. I don't know if they are available everywhere but I am sold on them and you should give them a try and let me know what you think.

the incredible lightness of being

Yes, I am aware I am borrowing a movie title but I thought it was fitting in light of wanting to follow up that post about the transwoman Jenny with some commentary. For the first time in my life I feel like her and am at my center with no concern with how I am perceived by others. I am content in my own skin with a sense of peacefulness which transcends everything else and have reduced the opinion of the external world into insignificance. In that light, being trans is akin to a skin we wear to convey what lies inside whether that be masculine or feminine energy. From our birth we are slotted into rigid boxes from which there seems to be no escape until we realize that we are the ones holding the key to our own salvation. That process whether short or long is the key to the liberation of every trans person. It is fundamentally the power of a self definition which transcends the borders of societal pettiness and, once you have arrived at that place, you will know it.

mutual empowerment

It turned out that Patricia’s friend was sick and couldn’t make it but the two of us met downtown to celebrate her birthday as well as her business taking off with the first construction of one of her prefab homes just around the corner. There we were sitting outside under the resto awning safe from the light rain of that evening discussing how things seem to be converging for both of us. She supports my efforts wholeheartedly to find a balance in my life with respect to my gender issues and I do see myself working as a woman in her company. It is so empowering to have someone support you to such an extent who is also impressed with you as a person instead of as a gender stereotype. Patricia has helped me focus on being me and not worrying about anything else. As we left the restaurant she put her arm around my waist and told me: “Its so great spending time with my big sister” and I knew she meant it I do feel increasingly comfortable in that role because as 14 years her senior

transwoman on vacation


out of the closet

This story is from "When I opened the orange door leading into The Cloud Room and our first Curiosity Club dinner, I also opened a door that led out of a closet — a closet I didn’t even realize I was in. I thought I was done with closets. Five years ago, I came out to the world as transsexual. I medically and socially transitioned from male-to-female, with the goal of blending into society as just another woman, a path referred to in the trans community as living in “stealth” mode. Thanks to hormones and surgery, I “passed” as female; no one I met was aware that I was trans unless I told them, and I identified not as “transgender” but simply as female. I felt very fortunate; not many people get such a fresh start in life. I was eager to experience life as a woman, ready to have new adventures and meet new people as Jenny. And then I heard about Curiosity Club. I was intrigued. Who doesn’t love eating good food with interesting people while discussing surprising


This Sunday evening my daughter and I leave for Spain. Despite my best efforts to convince him otherwise, my son will not be coming as he says he doesn't feel well enough to. It is supremely frustrating to deal with a child with anxiety but all I can do is show him my support and hope that his maturing, the meds and the help he's getting will eventually get him out of his situation. It's been a great lesson for someone who traditionally has tried to control to see that not everything can be easily fixed and we need to let time and persistent efforts take care of some things. Not everything has an elegant engineering solution.

by comparison

I only caught a brief glimpse of his face but it was partly caved in. No doubt he was the victim of some horrific accident which had left his skull severely damaged. He was there picking fruit next to me at the grocery store. At that moment I thought how trivial it is to concern ourselves with gender. This is a more real and affecting disfigurement which is so visceral when one looks upon it. But I was taught by my parents to be discreet in all things so I did not look again. When we think we are challenged in life there is someone to remind us how trivial our problems are by comparison.

angels on the head of a pin

A while back I went to Miranda Yardley’s blog and was not surprised to see what I found there. First it must be said that Miranda does not look like a woman and I doubt she ever will which must color her perspective on things. She is selling the idea that being a transwoman is just another form of being male. However, just like with the application of the bathroom laws, at the rubber hits the road level, her argumentation doesn’t really apply itself well to real life. Many transwomen look like women in every possible way and are living under society’s radar. As far anyone who deals with them is concerned they are women, and many have had husbands who never knew they were trans. How do they fit into a Miranda Yardley polemic which heartily feeds the TERFS and the Christian right? The same applies for these women when they go to a public washroom where they are undetectable in every possible way. How would you enforce the arcane bathroom laws on them? Hence the declaration that t

outing ourselves

When you meet a new person you don't know what they are going to think or what you are going to say to them. I don't want to hide that I am trans but I also don't want a sticker advertising it on my forehead. Later today I will be meeting one of Patricia's friends who doesn't know anything about me other than my first name. It is Patricia's birthday and it is just the three of us for a 5 a 7. I no longer care or worry about outing myself because gender doesn't matter as much as what kind of people we are. This woman may ask me something tonight which will oblige me to make a split second decision and I will see how I respond. You can always keep the language gender neutral by saying you are a divorced parent instead of a divorced woman and only say you have an ex-spouse. Again, it doesn't matter. I will see when I am there.

The dreaded S word


by rote

I have a daily routine which I repeat without fail. I will get dressed and then spread my Sephora number 30 just so making sure to add a little more where there are spots of facial hair I wish weren’t there. I follow that with some loose powder from Marcelle which I blot into my skin with a brush. Then comes the black pencil liner snuggling against my eyelashes followed by the wig, the earrings and the lipstick which segue behind in quick succession. The entire procedure which includes the initial quick shave takes no more than 10 minutes and I am ready to go because it has become so repetitive as to become an art form. I don’t ask myself who I am when I do this but go by rote. It is an exercise the end of which sees me looking at this middle age woman in the mirror who is confidently smiling about who she is. What seemed extraordinarily abnormal to me in that empty house in my mother’s bathroom all those decades ago is now a daily practice I do happily and cheerfully. Who would

Dallas, Texas

Even as the visibility of trans people greatly increases in the media in a positive way, the ones who pay the price for it are overwhelmingly trans women of colour. The factions in society who have a problem with the presence of transgender people see an easy target in the most vulnerable members of the community. It’s already much easier to be white in the United States where racism is institutionalized. Now add to that the two-fold punch of being a visible minority and transgender. I don’t know if many Americans realize that their country no longer represents a beacon of hope for others most especially with the current administration in power and It might be fair to say that countries like Canada, Australia and most of western Europe would make for a safer environment for these women who it seems are now being killed on a routine basis. There is something wrong when people cannot lead safe lives in their communities and are being violated simply for being who they are. Watch ho


Will I ever change my gender marker? I don't know yet and I am slowly chewing over the idea but, if I do, it won't happen for quite a while yet. First I need to finish working full time for my current firm which is still 3 years away. So in the meantime the part time life will continue which, although pragmatically challenging at times, still makes me very happy. That step, if taken, would be a huge psychological hurdle because it would represent a point of no return. I would be henceforth officially and legally recognized as a woman by the government with passport, driver's license and Medicare card all now marked with an F. It would mean the end of the safety of men's clothing but also no more oscillating back and forth. Is there some fear and trepidation along with the intrigue behind this idea? I'd be lying if I said there wasn't which is why much more reflection is still needed.


Transsexuals who are married to normal ciswomen have a problem: they take the mental role of the female during intercourse which greatly complicates matters. I never thought this would happen to me before I got married but then I waited until then to have sex. Even if in retrospect I had a clear history of gender dysphoria, I was in complete denial of my transsexualism and expected that I could lead a normal life. I was wrong. This subject came up over brunch with Halle the other day and of course she experienced the same thing. We try our best to make things work as normally as possible but find that in the end we cannot. I had no choice but to come to terms and it eventually led to my understanding of just how complex my situation really was. It was the first step in me realizing that it was far more serious than I had led myself to believe and something I would need to address in my eventual gender therapy.


I love chunky pumps; why? Because they're both stylish and pragmatic if you need to walk in comfort. So when I went into the Naturalizer store on a whim I never expected they would have the only size 12 in the only model I had been coveting. This was clearly an omen. "How is the fit Madame?" inquired the young sales girl I told her they were perfect and very comfortably padded on the inside as all Naturalizer shoes are. Now that Payless is closed I will be using them as one of my go to stores for shoes. I was extra happy that I could try them on before purchasing which never happens with online buying. They don't carry all models in my size but then there are other stores out there as well.

I need you to turn to

The beauty of Paul Buckmaster's orchestral arrangements only add to this marvelous piece...

ladies who lunch #4

Halle and I had brunch today and good thing too because she's moving much further away. She will be closer to her family but she and I won't be able to casually drive to meet up like we have been. We met at the same diner in the same little town equidistant from both of us and were treated and addressed like ladies. Both the food and the conversation were excellent. I am happy for Halle and her partner who are building their dream home because we all deserve to be a little happy in life. It's been fun meeting you on these four occasions Halle and we will definitely be in touch.

logic 101

Can anyone give me the answer please??!!


It has been possible for me to make some compromises because of some advantages I had which I don't easily take for granted. Being able to do without FFS or hormones and still keep my options open for a social transition has been pivotal, although, if I were sure I needed either or both I would do so in a heartbeat. As things stand now, without either, I am able to make my way through the world comfortably as a woman which has greatly helped to temper my dysphoria. Still, I have reflected at length that if I were 20 years old today and knowing what young trans people know, I would likely opt for a full transition. However, at almost 57 I am going with what I need and know will work for me which takes into account my existing situation. I also use that most important metric to guide me: the happiness which I possess. I am so heartened that there are more options for us than ever including full transitions and we are now being diagnosed and helped before we have gone down a roa


Trump's approval rating is at a whopping 48% proving to what degree America is in deep trouble. A criminal president who is also a mean spirited moron enjoying these types of numbers proves to me that the country has lost its moral compass. The haves are basking in an economy of their liking while the increasingly large have-nots are living in a dreamland state being hypnotized by a radicalized GOP subservient to its benefactors while pretending to care about its base. Meanwhile the centrist and elitist Democrats are hardly any better with the perennially sleepy and dizzy Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schummer with equally deep ties to big money. I hate to say that things are not looking rosy but when only 39% of voters think the country is headed on the right track you have to ask yourself some fundamental existential questions. One of them would be: what kind of country do you want to be? The American dream of the 1950's is long gone and in its wake an oligarchical structure h


Life isn't easy for any of us and we all deal with challenges that test our mettle on a daily basis. Illness, job loss, the death of a spouse or a child are but a few examples of the things that impact us dramatically and prevent us from attaining and holding on to serenity of mind and spirit. Some of us seem to get away with less suffering but that is often optics which misleads us. We do not know what a person feels inside and what kind of challenges they have yet to face in their life. The nature of our existence demands that we not escape suffering but we grow with every misstep and hopefully the scars leave a tougher and more philosophical soul behind. The great thinkers have pondered on the nature of our existence and meaning of living limited lives filled with extreme joys and sorrows both intermingled in a way we cannot control. Christianity teaches us that suffering has meaning because there is a reward coming after and I have tried to hold on to some semblance of th