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Showing posts from 2021

Tragic

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More able to relate

Living mostly as a female gets easier over time and I think I know why. It's certainly not because being a woman is easier (far from it) but that it is more comfortable when you are more aligned with yourself. Gender in and of itself is not that important but it is when yours is even a bit out of whack. Anyone who understands what gender dysphoria feels like knows how brutal it can be and will comprehend what I say here which is why I have so much respect for those who have done what they need to often in spite of the significant difficulties involved. I have since concluded that I was born a girl but learned to be a boy which took me the longest time to comprehend and accept. But now having completed my introspection over decades, I can finally more relate to those people who do not feel any misalignment. As my readers know, my own transition process has been long, uniquely my own and because it has worked I continue to preach against a one size fits all formula. It needs to be

Curfew

We are going back to curfews in Quebec because the Omicron numbers are spiking just as they are in the US. As of January 4th I will be able to book my booster but I am not worried in the slightest. I will simply continue to be prudent and follow the safety guidelines like a good little Canadian girl ;) Even with our over 80% vaccination rate, this variant could overwhelm our hospitals due to its highly contagious nature and, even if the percentage of people needing medical assistance is proportionately lower, that doesn't mean much when the variant spreads like the Colorado fires currently ravaging parts of that State. For the foreseeable future (until we get numbers under control) all people need to be at home between the hours of 10 pm and 5 am or face stiff fines and I wouldn't have it any other way if it means saving lives.

Doldrums

We get into a funk sometimes and we often cannot determine why. There is a drop in energy and exuberance and the doldrums seem to set in. On certain days it is there from the very outset and it is only upon its lifting that we realize how affecting it had been; everything about our lives is suddenly coloured with a light tinge of grey. We could blame biorhythms or perhaps a culmination of life frustrations which compound upon each other suddenly. Either way we often just need to let time pass before the fog lifts and we once again are transported to a state of normalcy that we know is never perfect. The world does not live inside our heads but we do, and sometimes it's good to step out of them and look around. Take it from someone who knows.

Dixie Dregs

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  Completely kickass....

Know thyself

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I have a good eye for my size after many years of shopping for what suits me. So when I held up these jeans at the thrift store, I knew they work. Lord knows I used to make horrible mistakes when in the early years I felt I couldn't try things on but, as lady's changing rooms became no longer a problem, I began to understand how my body fits women's clothing. As a result, the imperative to try things on has been reduced which is a great advantage when the ability to do so is prohibited due to COVID restrictions. It takes a number of years to settle on your style and comfort requirements and today I am definitely on auto-pilot.

Cause for optimism?

Lately I've been watching Dr John Campbell provide some detail analysis on the Omicron variant global progression on his YouTube channel and what the numbers show so far is cause for some optimism. Yes, the variant is far more contagious than Delta however it appears to be less virulent and hospitalizations and deaths are not significantly up despite the much greater infection rates. Hence, unless you have underlying comorbidity, your chances of not winding up in hospital are very high (assuming you are vaccinated of course). Many doctors are now telling their patients that if you have strong cold or flu symptoms assume it's COVID and look after yourself. Knowing human nature however, some will flock to emergency rooms at the first hint of sore throat. It never fails.

Waves

People come and go from our lives like waves and end up leaving a trace; a marker if you will on our lived experience. We don't always have the same friends or lovers over our life span but nothing is wasted and every influence allows us to grow as individuals. Maybe we shouldn't grieve when people leave but just appreciate that they were there in the first place. We can then hold on to the memory and to what we provided for each other at the time.

Frenzied

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I am deliberately slowing down my driving but not because my faculties are failing me. It is instead part of a formulated plan to calm everything about my life down and is making me notice even more the frantic and schizophrenic behaviour of other drivers no doubt additionally brought to a boiling point frenzy by the pandemic. In general I find people are less balanced today than when I was younger and that phenomenon is probably tied to numerous factors. One could argue that the speed at which we live and the breakdown of family structures are main culprits along with a steadily declining economic certainty. That variability has seen drug use as well as visits to psychologists markedly increase (getting help is always good thing). The point is that our societies are fracturing and we will need to rebuild a new set of structures to replace the old nuclear model which served us for the longest time. That process will be long and arduous and hopefully ultimately fulfilling and, if we

Points of reference

Lord knows I am not a trans separatist and those who have read my blog long enough know that I love to push back against the Blaire Whites and "Cloudys" of this world for their snobbishness against other trans people. However I must point out that we seem to be conflating gender nonconformance with being trans. A horse and a zebra may resemble each other but they are not the same animal. On YouTube you will find videos by someone named Heidiphox who I only mention here by name because for me they represent the archetypal married crossdresser. It's an exaggerated form of femininity which gets brought out and then packed away in a trunk until the next time. It's perfectly fine but it's just that it's not the same thing as a transitioned trans person living life in as authentic a manner as they can. In other words, April Ashley this is not. I am seeing this conflating happen more and more within our community and the general population is even more hopelessly c

Not the brightest stars

What is left for me to work on now is my indignation towards a world where I was forced to grow up being stiffled. Even as I recognize my life has dramatically improved, there are still vestiges of outrage which sometimes threaten to boil over forcing me to keep myself in check. I need to be careful because having burned off shyness and fear of society's opinion I am apt to give people evil looks and am more than prepared to use a sharp tongue should it be required. That it almost never is, means that I still have work to do to diffuse whatever anger remains. Being trans wasn't the worst thing that could befall me but it became such a burden that it required taxing over compensation whose misplaced nature, produced frustration. Your eyes are opened and you see the way life works with all its inherent injustices and prejudice which is made more galling by the kind of people most responsible for it hardly being humanity's brightest stars. And so diffusing the little bomb cont

Prelude & fugue in C

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 No one does counterpoint like JS Bach..

Wine that doesn't age

Back in the late 1980's when Ray Blanchard was proposing ideas about a two type taxonomy on male to female transsexuals, he was dealing with rigid and now woefully outdated 1950's defined models of what it means to be a man or a woman. And so it was AGP: big hands and jaw, likes women versus HSTS petite and feminine, likes men. Fast forward to today and even a perfunctory look at YouTube videos will show you that transitioned trans people run a gamut between ultra femme and butch and even the supposed androphilic types can be less petite and feminine than gynephilics. Some of their orientation preferences even blur and I personally know some who have dated both men and women. The problem with pre-conceived bias is that, besides not being scientific at all, it makes your research age very poorly which we can plainly see is the case here. Time for a new batch of wine I say as that last one's gone sour :)

Encounter

She was 40 but could easily pass for 25. Her 3 year old daughter was rambunctious but very cute and friendly and approached me as I sat just enough to get the caution signal from her worried mother which then prompted the start of a chat at the mall coffee establishment where we were seated (at sufficient distance I might add). I am friendly with people and especially with women because they are naturally more open with each other. It's not lost on me that it helps I am taken as one of them. We inquire about our respective backgrounds after I hear her speak in what I first thought was a Slavic language (which turned out to be Russian). I ask if her husband is also from there and after am asked about origins of my own which I find comforting even if I no longer concern myself with passing as a ciswoman. The conversation flows nicely for maybe 5 minutes after which time her daughter gave me a big smile and a heartfelt "Bye!" I cannot explain why being where I am these day

Edge of tomorrow

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Yes it's Groundhog Day for sci-fi thriller aficionados and I am not normally a Tom Cruise fan but yet this movie works. Emily Blunt certainly makes it better. If you forget that the concept was done before and more memorably by Bill Murray in a comedic setting then you will perhaps enjoy it even more here. On Netflix 

To be good

W hat does it mean to be a good person? Is it acts of altruism or is it just being sufficiently devoid of malevolence that you are deemed acceptable by society? We have all been asked to be good as children and obey our elders but I suggest that does sufficiently make one good. We are all born innocent and then receive an influx of socialization that sometimes introduces ignorance which can lead to inadvertent evil. If our patents are racist, for example, we will have learned from them and yet not realize their baseless opinions are destructive. When I was in high school I did a presentation in religion class (I was educated by the Jesuits) where I suggested that we would not recognize good if there were no evil and it is through differentiation that we make the distinction. That simplication worked on one of my fellow student inquisitors but today I realize it's a more complex subject. I believe we can know moral rectitude in the absence of religion simply through the logic tha

No going back

T here is typically a tradeoff to be made if you are trans which happens when you are in a relationship. This is most particularly true for older trans people. I haven't been with anyone for several years now and during that time it became evident that being myself was more valuable and important than trying to squeeze myself into an ill-fitting box for the sake of companionship. This transformation of mind wasn't planned but now that I have tasted what truly being me feels like there is no going back. Were I ever to meet someone again, this would not be on the negotiating table just as her identity would not be.  It's not that I don't have interest, but rather I am too invested in living life in a way I did not think was even possible for me. I used to be in a place where many of you are and with my advanced level of dysphoria (which borders on full blown transsexualism) it was often times excruciating. It is for that reason that there could be no going back. I used t

Changing things up

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My daily makeup routine has been pretty basic for a long time: light foundation, pencil eye liner (only above the eye) and neutral lipstick with even the latter being sacrificed for much of the pandemic. Lately however I have at times taken to applying a light dusting of blush on the cheeks and using some eyeshadow. I particularly think that the bronzer when used subtly gives a nice healthy glow to the face. Just changing things up :)

Apres noel

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Worth

If you are using society, partners, family and friends as measuring sticks for your worth then I might offer that you are erring. Self worth comes from inside which then builds the kind of self-respect you eventually come to expect and realize you deserve. If you are old enough to have seen the darker aspects of our world then you know it operates on ignorance much more than it should. By using it as any kind of metric for your sense of value you are doing yourself a great disservice. Instead look for people that like you are finding their value on the inside and see themselves with a level of honesty and authenticity that allows them to then see yours. After all, what would the neighbors think.

Away from the spotlight

David Cay Johnston has been writing about the shady dealings of Donald Trump for over 30 years and has collected enough information to fill several books. I have listened to some of his lectures and he paints such a grim picture of what was from the beginning a psychopathic and criminal personality type operating with the aid of inherited wealth. What I find most interesting is not that all this happened, but that it has not really resulted in the consequences one would expect. Even after a criminal presidency and trying to mount a coup there is every reason to think that Trump will run out the clock with assistance from GOP henchmen more than willing to lick his boots. You will often find in society that there are two different sets of rules: one for the wealthy and one for the common person. The latter will always pay the burden of the consequences when punishment must be administered. Trump leaves a trail of lawsuits, unpaid vendors, people cheated out of their life savings and f

Open

I f we protect ourselves first we cannot be hurt but then we cannot truly be vulnerable by letting others in. I think to some degree we all have a carapace that we have fashioned to protect ourselves from emotional injury but if it is too thick we will miss out on connection. As older trans people we may have built up bigger defenses just to survive and they may even have extended beyond where we intended. The carnage of failed marriages and relationships scattered in our wake speaks to that reality. If you have somehow managed to keep that openness and vulnerability intact then you are to be commended.

Gender ideology

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Here lily Alexander discusses intellectual transphobia which has gained a lot of ground especially in the UK. If you cloak your disdain behind pseudoscience much like Ray Blanchard did decades ago, you can stir public opinion by hiding behind concern instead of open hate. It is malevolence disguised behind a gloss of reasonableness. If you don't look and talk like a knuckle dragging base Republican you can try and get away with it.

Thoughts on a Christmas Eve

Today my daughter and I thrift shopped for a bit and it struck me how much life has changed. She doesn't bat an eyelash and just wants me to be happy as she holds up some jeans and asks me what I think. At times it feels surreal and I don't need to try hard to imagine my life before where this would not have been at all possible; certainly not from my perspective. She came away happy with her purchases but I was happier still for the new normalcy and as I picked up a few groceries for the evening while she waited in the car,  I couldn't help but smile and be glad.

Distractions

I n 2019, 90% of Americans had less equivalent take home pay than in the mid 1970's. This is a startling but unsurprising statistic as we look around and see the increasingly shrinking middle class. It helps explain why social wedge issues as distraction are working so well and why the country is on the verge of civil strife. Trumpism gave some permission to enflame existing frustrations by pointing towards enemies which aren't the root cause of the pain. The current system, which works as an oligarchy, is not free market as is trumpeted doctrine but instead employs favoritism based on political clout gained through corporate donations; essentially creating virtual monopolies. By using distractions, the elite have used cultural issues as pawns to represent bogeymen people can vilify. What we begin to realize is that power in the hands of few always works the same in history with only the circumstances changing. The results, however, are always the same.

Tidings

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In Quebec w e are limited to 10 people gatherings and hence we have canceled the extended family Christmas gathering for yet another year. It's not the end of the world if we do our part in helping keep people out of hospital. Wherever you are you are most likely limited in some way as well and no doubt tired of this global pandemic and yet there are undeniable lessons which have come from it. I know it helped me in ways I had not imagined even as I bemoan the limitations it has imposed. If nothing else it has shown me the resilience of human beings as well as confirmed what I already knew about some of the more unsavory aspects. In whatever way you mark this time of year I hope that it is reflective and peaceful and that whetever positive lessons you have drawn you apply going forward. Merry Christmas.

Linus

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Opposites

On the pandemic front we seem to have two polar opposite reactions: complete disregard versus unmitigated panic. It is somewhere in the middle you might be able to find the common sense position. With the advent of the Omicron variant we are seeing people overreact and line up for rapid test kits as if they were going out of style. Most assuredly, the minute some of them show symptoms of a cold they will flock to emergency rooms and quickly overwhelm them. It is the way much of society functions. I don't envy the government in dealing with press releases as they must walk a fine line between cautioning without instilling panic knowing full well that those polar groups will always be with us. Eventually we will all get COVID which is an unavoidable reality. As we wait for it to happen we hope that as it spreads it loses potency and it becomes just another reality we must regularly deal with.

Cathedral of the Sea

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Cathedral of the Sea is set in 14th century Spain where injustice through the serf and royalty hierarchy was very much entrenched. The story follows one such poor man who must fend for himself and his son in Barcelona at the house of his sister who has since married into a noble household albeit one full of treachery and mistreatment of its staff. The father must find ways to ensure his and his son's safety and somehow survive in such dire circumstances. He manages to keep his self respect intact while he navigates the minefield of an unjust system meant to subjugate people simply trying to put food in their stomachs. The world in many ways still operates in much the same manner only the cruelty more subtle and perhaps less perverse. Excellent. In Spanish with English subtitles.

Nice people

I did not know her name and with a mask on I could not place the young woman who greeted me so warmly yesterday morning as I sipped my coffee. When she rode her bike with Dalmatian in tow during my summer morning walks we would say good morning as she rode by.  This day she referred to me as "la Madame que je voyais chaque matin" before we exchanged names and she introduced herself as Guylaine. She exuded a genuine warmth that makes me realize there are still plenty of lovely people in this world. I am working on getting some of that same energy and exuberance. If only I could tap into it with a syphon :)

Lists

I found out that my blog ended up on one of those lists that rates trans and crossdressing related blogs and my first reaction was to be a little miffed. Not only don't I like comparisons but I don't see this blog as just dealing with trans issues. It is the blog of a person who happens to be trans. I might have to try a little harder to avoid even being considered :)

Get over it

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 Watch it all the way to the end cause its really good!

Kill shot

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Anthony Fauci has personal bodyguards accompany him when he steps outside to do something as simple as go for a walk with his wife. This is what it has come to in a country that appears to be slowly but steadily fraying at the seams and where out of control right wing media empire FOX News seems fine with anchors using inflammatory language like “kill shot” to denigrate a man who only wants to help people not die. It is this aspect of humanity that works against my desire to find the positive as I am constantly being reminded of the lack of intelligence and plentiful malevolence so prevalent in the world. Jesse Waters, like Tucker Carlson, is an extremist television hack presenter who panders to a low-grade audience just itching for a fight. There is most assuredly some among his viewers who would more than gleefully go for that kill shot and end Dr. Fauci’s life. The amount of death threats he has received more than amply speaking to that reality. We may have progressed technologi

One day at a time

I post here frequently because thoughts come to me and I tend to view this blog as a personal journal rather than as a vehicle to entertain. Posts are short and succinct and, as I have begun to clear my head over the years, I get to the point much faster. It is perhaps one of the advantages of aging. I still have much intellectual curiosity left although now I want to focus on the human side of the equation. Hence, I am more aware of what I can solve with logic and research and what is entirely to be left to the more ethereal domain of emotion and feeling. I work now on forgiving myself and others for our foibles and letting go of past frustrations one day at a time.

Sparing others

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“Sparing others from seeing us be ourselves” sounds like an odd turn of phrase doesn’t it? But that is exactly what trans people do. We hide for the benefit of other people so they don’t feel somehow uncomfortable or are in any way perturbed by our identities.  Over time, I have begun to distance myself from influences that could harm my psyche and sense of self-worth. I still wish these people well but their expectations of who I was supposed to be weighed on me and I felt forced to comply because that is what I did for many years. That distancing includes members of my own family. If you aren't already there, there may come a time in your life when you get tired of complying to make someone else feel comfortable.

Hallelujah

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From here

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What comes after this global reset is anyone's guess but I will venture some ideas. The nature of work being permanently impacted, people will ask themselves even more whether employment with corporations feeding wealth to their shareholders is really what they want; most especially when they have lost traction in their ability to keep up with rising costs. The nuclear family model I grew up with has also been permanently altered if not entirely jettisoned in favor of a more malleable one that will reduce the birthrate in richer nations. This will result in a further loss of geopolitical power. Alarmists on the right see this fracturing as anathema to the family structure, but I am holding on to some optimism because what we witnessed before was teeming with a good deal of hypocrisy residing just underneath the surface. People being what they are will find ways to remake their social structure towards models which will perhaps be more equitable and balanced for all citizens. We hav

A question

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I find both crossdressers and drag queens to be equally fascinating. Both generally devoid of gender dysphoria, they can immerse temporarily into a side of themselves and then safely put the woman away until the next time. In one sense I see them as two sides of the same coin with sexual orientation being the main differentiator. Another important element is that the drag queen regales in the role more as homage and performance art whereas there are often sexual overtones for many crossdressers. Neither plans to transition or has seriously considered it (unless mistakenly self identified) and both have a fascination particularly with the accoutrements of the feminine albeit the drag queen taking it to a more exaggerated form (although not always historically the case as witnessed by Laverne Cummings below). Adding healthy doses of gender dysphoria to either tends to respectively produce gynephilic or androphilic transsexualism. What I ask myself is this: if all people possess a mixture

Aligned

I don’t think that feeling self-satisfied is a good thing because it risks losing sight of humility. However, I do feel more satisfied with my being trans that at any other point in my history. I now wonder if I am beginning to feel like other people who aren’t trans and are in alignment in both sexual and gender identity. If that is the case, I am glad of it.

Stepwise

L iving almost full time gets easier and you relax into being yourself. It is why making the last step to full time does not seem the least bit far fetched. No matter how I dress I am always myself so it's not about clothing but about embracing yourself as a trans person who no longer needs to worry about how they present to the world. It's a step process where you evolve beyond externals and rewire your psyche until you are at your new normal.  I had not predicted where my mind would be even a year ago and yet I am significantly different than I was then.

Regardless of era

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Omicron is upon us and even if the initial findings seem to point to less severe symptoms, it won’t help if the transmissibility is as high as numbers currently show. The hospitals will still be overrun particularly with those who are still unvaccinated (don’t get me started). This pandemic is becoming endemic, and we are going to have to get used to it especially when even rich nations (who currently hoard unused doses) still need to sweet talk people into saving their own lives. Thus we know we are still in for a bumpy ride. In North America, states or provinces with high rates of vaccination won’t be able to isolate themselves forever so until we get a handle on this issue globally there won’t be a return to what we used to call normal any time soon. The only hope I see is that we vaccinate as much of the world as possible with the aim of curbing more caustic variants from forming. The longer we give this virus the chance to mutate the worse things will be. This issue has challe

Some time to learn

We don't suffer because we want to but rather we rail against what happens to us and do not accept the outcome which only extends the pain. I am not suggesting here that there is an escape from it because humans need to mourn. Still, it is somehow noble if we realize the value of suffering as an instrument of teaching. No one is so stoic that they can will themselves out of suffering but I would suggest that failing to address the root cause of why it does not at least dissipate over a certain issue, is our own responsibility. At a certain point in life we need to accept things which, as inconvenient as they first appear, will not change and hence must be embraced so we can move on. This lesson took me some time to learn.

The Hand of God

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The Hand of God is a coming of age film. Set in 1980's Naples it tells the story of Fabietto who is enamored of Diego Maradona and football and loves his parents (particularly his mother) who he loses to an unfortunate accident. He is also infatuated with the lovely but tortured Patrizia.   Surrounded by a crazy extended family he meets people who prod him along the way towards finding out who he is and what story he wants to tell as he imagines a life in the world of cinema. In some ways he reminds me of young Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye as he aimlessly wanders his native city while pondering where he belongs in the world.  The Fellini influence here is undeniable. In Italian with English subtitles and highly recommended :)

Hat

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Ok, so I'm not normally much of a hat girl but this one spoke to me and at $2,50 at the thrift store it was a no-brainer. Likely my go to hat for the winter :)

Free

My son begins computer engineering in January after taking his time with his studies due to his battles with anxiety. He has markedly improved since his early teens and now I see before me a young man who is intelligent, thoughtful and kind. I learn from him at my age about the power of composure even as his insides sometimes threaten to detail him as mine once did. He sometimes watches political videos and asks me about my stance on issues as he embraces social justice in a way that makes me feel proud. He would also never judge anyone based on anything other than what constitutes their personhood with their outside packaging being simply an inconsequential reality. I wrote here recently that we don't possess our children but borrow them for a time. Their unique identities challenge us as we struggle to help them develop the navigational skills so we can set them free.

Heartbreaking

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Many white Obama voters ended up voting for Trump. After all, they were promised change and somehow their lives had not improved; hence they rejected the same neoliberal policies that Clinton would have continued and hedged their bets. Many of them may not have understood that global free trade policies begun in the early 90's were largely responsible for their woes. Outsourced jobs and stagnating wages had shrunk the middle class to a new working poor as personal financial stability waned. Now that rich stockholders could increase profits through corporations which largely operated in poorer countries, their own country's population was falling behind. While realizing something was wrong, many citizens could not put their finger on the problem. When I watch Trumpists being interviewed by the media it breaks my heart because so many don't have a clue as to what is going on. Not only are their depictions of him as an honest broker misguided, but they attribute him with savi

Michel

Michel was a jovial colleague who I think saw life with a sense of humor even as he often recognized its inherent melancholy with his pronouncement of "C'est la vie". He was quick with a laugh and when he entered a room would greet you with a booming voice. He was lost to liver cancer last week and I had hoped we would be able to meet for lunch but as I waited for a good day when he would feel up to going out, his health declined rapidly and suddenly I got the news from a common friend. He was 72 years old. We first met in 2003 when we worked on the same project and his penchant for microwaving fish or pungent cheese became a recurring joke on the floor. His ready belly laugh when he was teased for it also became a trademark I would continue to see from him over the years. Our legacy is branded by our humanity and what kind of impact it had on others and, in his case, I will never forget that earnest and unapologetic presentation of who he was. 

Your own path

My transition process has been very uniquely my own. In the end they all are because we are all different and see the world according to our varied histories. You could say it's been at a turtle pace and some people would be tempted to say that it has stalled but I don't see it that way since there has always been a slow but steady progress. You need to be comfortable and cannot take advice from anyone else but simply be open to letting things happen at a pace that works for you.

Worthwhile

To me the only model of couple hood that still holds any fascination is not just based on physical company but on the kind of connectedness that promotes sharing of oneself that almost parallels your own internal dialogue; a frankness that elevates you beyond where you would be if alone. That model is highly theoretical and I am not sure I know anyone who possesses it, but I would like to think it is at least feasible. Given the inevitable irritants that each side bring into the equation, that affinity for being in tune would make up for much of the shortcomings and make it all worth while.

Ingenuity

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G avin Newsom's had a brainwave which just threw a molotov cocktail not only into the Texas abortion law fiasco but also into the gun lobby and Supreme Court approaches on these two issues. If he succeeds in passing a law that allows private citizens to sue illicit weapon holders and manufacturers, he successfully sends a message to both Texas and to second amendment zealots in one fell swoop.  This has so scared the gun people that some are now siding with those fighting the Texas law for fear that they will be impacted. New York is also considering similar legislation which would mean the two most populous states in the union would have handed the right wing and the highest court in the land a constitutional dilemma. If the court allows the Texas law to stand but interferes with California and New York's laws they will be effectively caught in a trap of hypocrisy that will reek to high heaven of conservative bias. Kudos to Newsom for his ingenuity.

Un matin avant Noel

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Fluff

I don't do fluff well because it's just not in my wiring. However that doesn't mean I can't enjoy it when I see it in other blogs. After all, trans people are as different from each other as any other person in addition to where they reside on the spectrum. It used to bother me when I saw other trans people's apparent disinterest in the science but I let that go and chalked it up to confidence that being themselves was enough and they need not peek behind the curtain. Blogs that were too trivial also tended to irritate because I saw so much suffering in the trans world where suicides and murders were so commonplace but in the end I concluded that you just need to let people be who they are.

Chloe

I first met Chloe about 14 years ago when I was still in my trans clumsy phase and she approached me as I window shopped. She was then working behind a cosmetics counter and recognized the trans person awkwardly and nervously try to look inconspicuous. She sweetly approached me and offered free samples. So when we shared coffee yesterday after 3 years of not seeing each other she was nothing sort of flabbergasted yet again at my progression. People like her are well-adjusted, open and progressive. At 36 years of age she exudes a confidence and possesses a devilish sense of humor with which she disarms and then winks at you making sure you are laughing along with her. After some years of marriage she has begun to realize what many of us do after our initial idealism about life begins to wear off. I will be seeing her again in the future.

Greener

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Humans love the concept of attaining that something which will make them happy. It is what the American dream is founded on and why people comb the Facebook pages of friends for evidence they are somehow being left behind. The truth behind the curtain is that these people are no happier or sadder and have their own daily trials which is proven by all kinds of polling and studies confirming wealthy people do not fare any better. Married people are also no happier than single ones which for a long time was a propagated myth. Still, we want to believe the perfect partner or that new career waiting around the corner will cure our ills and finally bring us to a state of bliss. As we age we hopefully discover that happiness is a choice which emanates from within. Changing external circumstances will simply add joys but also sorrows which are proportional in size to their magnitude. Anyone who has ever had their heart broken or struggled with raising children will understand what I mean. Li

Realizing change

For thousands of years birth sex became a tool to suppress and to uphold. It was the most essential divider of humanity into strict and immovable roles. Now for the first time in our history this has begun to change, and our merits are not as weighed by those metrics as they once were. When society became less about plowing fields and bearing children, we could begin to look at individuals based on characteristics others than those tied to their birth sex. Of course, this evolution very much perturbs those who still hinge their philosophies on what males and females are supposed to be like and do. The increasing visibility of trans people is yet another reminder to them that the world as they knew it is changing which represents a threat they cannot accept. My generation and certainly all before were very much defined with strict gender roles and we bought in as just part of the inherent way life was. The idea that there were supple edges and grey areas never occurred to us and when

I Believe

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The right

T he reason the right wing doesn't do science all that well is that there is a predetermined conclusion to every issue they touch. As a conservative, once you have decided what you want the answer to be, you then go about finding ways to dispell whatever science does not support you. It is why they are often on the short end of finding "experts" who will stand up for their views. Open mindedness is not part of the vocabulary of the movement as its name would suggest and it is why it's most ardent supporters tend to be religious zealots, bigots and the uneducated; all of whom tend to be easily manipulated. Again, we are not talking here about fiscal conservatism but the cultural and social kind. Hence, whenever a new vanguard issue enters the social arena which threatens their dogma they must treat it as a virus and destroy it. It is with little wonder then that greater rights for women, visible minorities and LGBT people are on the radar for destruction since the peop

Rest

The holidays don't feel the same anymore and yet there is a pull of tradition and history which brings us back to the child with the innocent view of their world and its undiscovered potential; to the time before our eyes were fully opened. Perhaps I have seen too much and today I battle a muted cynicism which has been instilled in me through lived experience. I suppress the temptation to rage against the clear injustices of the world and the forces which keep all types of minorities oppressed simply because they can be. The eternal struggle of the powerful and the powerless will always be with us. When the next 10 months are up, I need a period of rest and reflection to figure out how I want to live the rest of my life.

Self-aware

We've all seen this before: the individual who is not at all self aware and does not take verbal or visual clues that you no longer want to interact. I am fascinated by this dynamic where the impetus to be who they are overrides almost everything else and becomes a type of obtuseness. As someone who was perhaps overly self-aware growing up, I have tended to find this type of person irritating. Self-analysis requires introspection which not all possess and in so doing we necessarily need to examine areas of our psyche we just as soon leave untouched. The price for not doing so being stagnation. There is also a price for over self-analysis and I have paid it in full many times. Nevertheless, I strive to be more tolerant with these people because we are all hurting in our own ways and a bit of kindness is always a good thing in this world that is in so much desperate need of it.

Acclimatized

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Having people see you as a woman every day is no longer exciting in any way but is simply reassuring and comfortable. Being addressed as Madame, she or her is not special but it is expected and welcomed as affirmation of your presentation. I think of this process as immersion in a hot bath where you slowly become acclimatized to the temperature of the water and it becomes comforting after the initial shock of trying to enter wears off. This acceptance by others has helped take the idea of a physical transition off the table because I didn’t need it to accomplish my goal of living more honestly. Had it been imperative I would most assuredly undertaken it just to achieve peace and balance. It also turns out that when you are self-sustaining the idea of companionship remains attractive but is not as mandatory and we get used to feeding our own soul. That then allows for more cherishing of connections with others when they do happen. On a pragmatic note it helps when you no longer ever

Wasted time

I'm trying to imagine a world where people leave each other alone provided no one intends or commits harm but I cannot because it is likely too intrinsically baked into the human condition that insecurity be translated into external aggression.  It is also the easiest yet least satisfying method to seek personal solace.  The ease with which people condemn based on lack of knowledge of someone else's experience is staggering and the more virulent the attack the greater the chance that person suffers from low self esteem. It is basic psychology. Secure people have no need of aggression as they are too busy living and realizing how brief our time here is to waste it on prejudice.

Redefining roles

Getting to know your grown children is a separate exercise from raising them. You are no longer in the same situation and the dynamics have changed with the balance of power which used to give you certain rights to intervene now almost depleted. The differences are now laid bare before you and you realize how unique they are as individuals and even question whether you would be friends with them if you were not their parent and the same age. We don’t own our children, but we borrow them and look after them for a time until it is their turn to run free in the world; hopefully without the assistance of a net. If we have done our job right, they will leave and years later remember us with fondness and appreciate what we tried to do for them as steeped in imperfection as it was.

Your own narrative

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How do you know what is truly right for you? I ask this because we are often victims of our lived history and will only settle for what we think we deserve. We can lead lives where the early messaging is such a key driver to how we go forward that we can forget we can adjust the programming and rewrite our stories to suit our needs. By getting rid of victimhood we can begin taking charge of where we need to go in life. When I began this blog almost 10 years ago, I felt powerless in dealing with something I had hoped (but need not) eradicate and did not have a firm grip on my understanding of how to grapple with. Over time however, I was able to take back control and give myself what I needed and deserved. I see people in society settle for what they think their lot in life should be and many fail to realize their own potential. But it's never too late to find the spirit and innocence which was always there from the start; a spirit which was slowly but surely usurped from us thr

Oxymorons

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C onservatism and intellectualism tend to be oxymorons. After all, most universities tend to espouse liberal ideologies and encourage free thought which tends to broaden horizons and critical thinking; exactly what the right wing effectively opposes. If people think for themselves they wouldn't fall prey to an ideology that stagnates.  Arguably,  conservatism of old did have more of a grounding in family values and ideas of altruism but as it morphed into culture war against immigrant hoardes and failed to deal with structural racism within its ranks, it began to attract a more unsavory type of acolyte. The movement became one for the uneducated and the reticent for advancement. David Brooks, who is arguably one of the last traditional conservatives in the United States, recently wrote a piece in the Atlantic where he bemoans what happened to the movement he one time admired and now deplored that it has been lost to a caustic Trumpism. The movement now takes its cues from a vengefu

Blue in green

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Differences

I do really understand why historicaly some older transsexual women felt very insulted when grouped in with crossdressers and interestingly the feeling seemed to be mutual. For example, in Virginia Prince’s early writing there was a clear message of disassociation between what she saw as two distinct groups. More than a little ironically of course, Prince went on to transition and live the rest of her life as a female. When I was doing my early exploration into what it meant to be me, I came across people who clearly fit the traditional crossdresser archetype. It would be the married man who would occasionally get dressed up and maybe have a night out in a club with like-minded people or indulge in a yearly makeover and photoshoot and be happy with that. But then l also met other people who were clearly wading well into the transsexual side of the spectrum and I could better relate to. As the world has become more open and accepting a lot of that animosity has dissipated because tr

Stating the obvious

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Kat states the obvious here: that trans people aren't stupid and understand that they are trans. One of the arguments that detractors use is that trans people deny biology which could not be further from the truth. But then if you believe that sex and gender are exactly the same thing, you will just have a mental block over something that is really so simple to understand. Kat lives her life with a lot of privilege and she knows it, but still is out there making supportive videos for the trans community.

Beauty and comfort

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Those winter boots I bought last week work well with even a dress. I took this photo before I went to Louise's for brunch (which was great as both her and Nicole were in fine spirits) and as you can see they are both practical and feminine. I love when that balance is reached because there is nothing worse than being uncomfortable in footwear. Earlier in my youth I went through that phase of opting for beauty over comfort but developed enough calices to finally learn a lesson that women already know through experience :) The shoes I wore inside were ballerinas with a little bow.

Bad faith

The next American Federal election will be ugly beyond words. Having planted the seeds of doubt where now a clear majority of Republican voters believe the election was stolen, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that democracy is in trouble in the country. We all know the story by now and the two parties have become almost culturally opposite visions of the country and, once you consider your political rival a sworn enemy of everything you stand for, it's no longer about taxation or infrastructure policy. We know the cause of the rift and portions of the country wanting to halt progress are holding back coastal populations trying to move further into the 21st century with a more diverse and global thinking population. It is the revenge of the uneducated white voter who watches Fox News and gets their political ideas from Facebook compatriots. The people most under the thumb of a deeply flawed oligarchy which suppresses them are voting against their own advancement and one

Question

I have a simple trans related identity question for you to answer for yourself. If tomorrow you were suddenly completely transitioned by wave of a wand would be able to be happy and ready to adapt to that? My answer would be yes but yours may be a different one. I am already there in spirit except for any physical transformation but I would have answered differently in the past. Today I know I would readily accept that change and my life would go on as it is. The point is that I no longer feel it is impprtant that it ever happen and I am good and at peace with it. As trans people we need to chew things over and believe me when I say I've been doing it since I can remember. There is no right or wrong answer here just your own.

Voice

I was walking in the Hudson Bay department store the other day and did a little double take in my head. This only because the woman working behind the counter I had just passed suddenly got on the phone and a distinctly male voice was coming out of her. She had clearly transitioned and I would never have guessed she was trans as evidenced by her appearance which was of a middle age petite well dressed woman. I also surmised she had transitioned quite some time ago. Unfortunately, voice does matter if not having people question your gender matters to you. Not all trans people feel this way of course, while others resort to speech therapy or even surgery to increase their ability to blend in. There is no right answer. Voice did matter to me and I worked on it until I achieved a voice that always worked even on the phone. It took a few months of daily practice but it paid off in spades. There are plenty of YouTube videos that explain the technique and just to put things into perspective

Vincent Beier

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Festive breakfast

I ended up buying some black tights for breakfast at Louise's this Sunday. I haven't worn a dress in a while and hate wearing pantyhose so the tights were the obvious choice. Each of us is bringing something and it should be fun to celebrate the festive season with a small group. Besides the dress maybe wear some dangly earrings and will bring my black ballet flats to change to once I arrive.

Flaws

T hank God my children are able to point out my numerous flaws for it keeps me honest and plants my feet firmly on the ground. We all have much work to do on temperaments, quickness to critique and other vices which make sure we are not fully at peace. I am fully aware of my flaws and work on them but also apply a dosage of self forgiveness because without it we would give up and simply stop trying to repair ourselves.

Hard to live with

Are you hard to live with? Good and so am I. Welcome to the human race :)

Life is precious

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Trans blog?

Occasionally I will get someone asking why I write about politics, philosophical concepts or the nature of love. They must think this is just a trans blog whereas I view it as a blog which happens to be written by a trans person. There is a distinct difference :)

Orthodoxy

I try to be patient with religious people because I used to be one of them. However nothing irks me more than blind allegiance to orthodoxy without applying critical thinking. When I hear religious people arguing along the lines of what the church or the Bible says I just raise my hands in exasperation. I am not an atheist and the argument that everything comes from nothing is as tired and full of fallacy as the most ardent religious fervor steeped in not wanting to think for yourself. The concept of charity of spirit and kindness and love for your fellow human being need not be polluted with the kind of dogmatic irrationality that leads some to judge without the slightest hint of fact and it is what makes the worst parts of religion so distasteful to me. It also speaks to the presumption that human beings can know all when we clearly cannot. I am often highly successful in disarming the blindly orthodox because they often have not applied much critical thought to their belief system

Most assuredly?

If I were my daughter’s age and with what I know today would I transition fully? My temptation would be to say most assuredly yes however I cannot since I don’t have the benefit of hindsight. We had little to no concept of what being trans was in the early 80’s and I had only read enough salacious material back then in the library to scare me running into the hills. Yes, I knew about Renee Richards and had heard of Christine Jorgensen, but my information was sketchy, and I was trying my best to pretend all was normal to pay more attention. My early childhood inclinations had been already cast aside and I buried them as deeply as I could. I have done the math many times in my head and besides my health history which does not prohibit but certainly discourages HRT, there are other considerations rooted in my lived experience. Besides I am happy in comparison to where I was and that keeps me safe just where I am. I do however laud my friends who have taken that step and are so much happ

Repent

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Le plus ca change....here is the church ensuring even less people in the pews... "A Catholic diocese in Michigan has instructed its pastors to deny baptism, confirmation and other sacraments to transgender and nonbinary people unless they have “repented” — possibly the first diocese in the United States to issue such a sweeping policy about those who identify with a gender other than their sex assigned at birth. The guidance issued by the Diocese of Marquette also stipulates that transgender people may not receive Communion, which Catholics believe is the literal body and blood of Jesus Christ. In most circumstances, they cannot receive the anointing of the sick, which is meant to provide physical or spiritual healing to those who are seriously ill. The guidance was issued in July but only recently sparked a debate after a prominent priest and advocate for LGBTQ Catholics shared it on Twitter. “The experience of incongruence in one’s sexual identity is not sinful if it does no

Visage

Now that conspiracy people and the uneducated are numerous enough to be able to influence politics, we are seeing a shift in how society functions and may do so well into the future. Nowhere is this more evident than in the US where the Republican party is less about public policy than culture war grievance and a cultish devotion to an idiot. The reason this is possible is that extremist groups are now able to mobilize on social media platforms and wield their power over party platforms. The likes of Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert may seem like aberrations, but they are actually accurate reflections of the least educated and most fringe elements in the right wing base uniting and then voting strategically.  The Democratic party is a disaster and is hamstrung by its obligation to please its corporate donors. Therefore any well meaning members who want to help the disenfranchised are silenced by the big money that actually runs the country. It's the age old story of kings