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Dreaming

As usual, our friend Mr. Molay encapsulates this complicated topic very succinctly and so very well... https://www.crossdreamers.com/2021/11/what-is-crossdreaming.html

System failure

The recent push towards authoritarian regimes is scary but not all that surprising. After all, the failure of Neoliberalism was that in opening world markets, it only increased wealth for an even smaller segment of the global elite setting the stage for the disillusionment which then earned the US an incompetent and malevolent imbecile like Trump and the world other despotic faux populists. The result is that now we have an even smaller group of oligarchs pulling the global economy strings which is making the world an even more dangerous place. If you’ve noticed the increased amount of Amazon delivery trucks in your neighborhood its not your imagination. We have entered an era where virtual monopolies have been set up effectively drowning competition that was supposed to be the hallmark of free market capitalism. Once again, the little guy takes it on the chin. The question isn’t if we are going to have a melt down but more like when and how big will it be. The dangerous combinatio

Forgiveness

T o err is human but to forgive divine which I think is a fit statement and goal. We might want to start with ourselves and let go of the self judgement that we carried over the years; we can perhaps forgive ourselves for our failings on the premise that we are only human. No one is more severe on ourselves than we are which in turn translates into an inability to forgive others. Otherwise we might be tempted to think: how dare they be so presumptuous. When we give way to humility it results in shedding judgement of others as well as ourselves. Otherwise we may want others to share our burden instead of rightfully cheering them on.

palette

When I was very young the only way to express my trans feelings was through clothing. I would sneak into my mother’s closet and put on her things to physically experience what my mind desired. Later I went through clumsy phases (not unlike teenage girls) of wearing colors and patterns that didn’t suit me and perhaps overdressing but that calmed down as I found my rhythm and sense of personal style. Today my palette has expanded and my relationship to clothing (and makeup for that matter) has changed where it becomes just part of conveying my overall identity which means it has taken a less prominent role. When you are no longer chomping at the bit between chances to get out things change, and everything becomes more wholistic and more meaningful; which sometimes can also mean more simple.

Purses

When your daughter asks if you are still using your purses, could she have them and it's considered a normal question to her, your life is maybe not so bad ;)

Last gasp

Right wing extremism is increasingly finding a friendly ear among people who feel powerless and despondent. Their economic woes are making them more susceptible to its message that social movements meant to elevate women, visible minorities and LGBTQ people are responsible for what ails them. As the world progresses into a new era where even the nature of work and how we perform it is morphing, the lasts gasp of baby boomer angst at losing the reins of power is helping feed the tumult. White men who controlled the world for much of the last few centuries, are upset that their time is almost up, and they are not going down without a fight. Therefore finding allies among the religious right, the racist and the misinformed is just what the doctor ordered. It is no coincidence that many countries are toying with fascism and fringe parties are testing the waters with people who want solutions to woes mostly driven by massive inequality fed via disregard for their well being. Today the GOP

Great expectations

If you are waiting for other people to give you permission to live life on your own terms then you might be waiting a while. You see, you have set up expectations of how you are supposed to be, and some members of our own families might even live vicariously through us. Therefore, when you go off script it ruins it for them, and your own feelings need not be as important. At my age I am finally living for me and have not only shed expectations of family but also of society and, the power inherent in that, is nothing short of soul saving. Sure, it does take an initial boost of courage but then trans people typically run out of road and then are forced to act lest they sink into depression and possibly even entertain ideas of self-harm. Sometimes, others don’t want to see you escape the gravitational pull of expectation because they haven’t the courage to do it themselves. Therefore, rather than rejoice in your accomplishment they would instead see you fail in your attempt.

Approval

My 85 year old mother knows that I live as a woman and is more than fine with it which is a testament to how far she has come. Of course, I have educated her over the years and she has progressed to a point where she disowns many of the ideas she once held. Having 3 of her grandchildren plus her eldest child be members of the LGBTQ community certainly has helped in that regard. It's funny how even well into adulthood the opinion of our parents still holds sway over us although I would not change my life were she not approving. Still, it speaks to the inner child and how the psyche has been forged throughout our childhood and into adolescence. Her approval is also a bonus that at one time I dare not count on, but am now glad I can find satisfaction in.

Ready

People tend to find solace in spirituality and God when their life is in jeopardy. If we have previously not paid attention to our mortality we will be forced to examine the hard questions as to what our lives have meant and whether they have had value and meaning. It's probably a good idea to examine these existential questions before we get there but we often don't because we are too mired in the distractions of daily life and feel we can put things off while we are healthy. But if we don't do the heavy lifting before we are faced with brutal reality it can take our breath away with its bluntness. I remember my friend Danielle speaking to me the day before she died how she had found peace and was ready. Over the 8 years of her illness she had made the journey of coming to terms with her past and what her previous suffering and joys had meant.  She told me how at the end the simplest things like the sun filtering through her window and the sound of the wind in the trees w

Born different

 

A global problem

The  Omicron variant is now upon us and the mutations will continue until we treat this as a global problem instead of a country related one. Sub-Saharan Africa has less than a 10% vaccination rate while some rich nations talk about boosters. Meanwhile, the United States has trouble getting to herd imunity thanks to hesitancy spurred on by general misinformation and a healthy proportion of conspiracy nuts. It boggles the imagination. We will need to forget about vaccine patents and put our humanitarian hats on to defeat this scourge which will last far longer than the Spanish flu thanks to our ability to quickly travel the globe and our current u nprecedented levels of navel gazing and greed.

One step at a time

On a more lighthearted note, I wish I were more organized. I am in the process of streamlining and getting rid of clutter but as you can see in the photo below I still have work to do. That particular corner of my bedroom is an assortment of shoes, handbags and clothing that needs tending to. I do have a dresser and a closet but they also contain things that need to go. Having my daughter move in has spurred me into action. One step at a time :)

38%

Only 38% of Republican voters think that the 2022 midterm elections will be fair. This is a depressingly low number but not surprising since Trump began his hypnotizing of his base electorate and convinced them that sabotage would cost him the election even before it took place. Now we know the full power of social media and its ability to sway low education voters. For the first time ever, the US has been put on a list of countries with backsliding democracies which is a distressing sign and the January 6th insurrection may have been just a small taste of something bigger to come as millions of voters lose confidence in their own electoral system. Before we had social media, low education people didn't have many common meeting places so readily accessible and which could reach such a wide audience. But now you just need a few websites, a few propaganda news networks and some motivated conspiracy theorists to undo an entire political structure.

Alone

 

How this blog has changed

Over the years this blog has moved from exclusively examining the questions inherent in being trans (brought out through personal crisis) to being the blog of someone who happens to be trans. While that wasn't a deliberate decision on my part, it seemed to work out that way because eventually one needs to come to a resolution. Yes, my trans identity colors everything about me but it isn't the only facet that makes up who I am and it feels healthier to me to express a whole host of ideas through that lens without having it be my sole focus. I seem to have arrived at a point where I have struck a balance and learned to patriate that identity without letting it consume all my thoughts.

Marche de noel

L'hiver commence pour vrai  

The worst of intentions

M y baseline defense has always been my intellect. I could use it as a weapon and was ready to dismiss those who readily disparaged others as unworthy simpletons. But the formula is not so facile and, as my lived experience opened my eyes, I began to realize that many people are hurting from their own less than stellar childhoods. I began to see that could slowly lower my weapons and need not always be ready to strike before I was belittled. We all have coping mechanisms for dealing with the world and we need to give people a chance. Sometimes there is the openness to be educated and we can work on their fear based prejudice. By now, I have become better at recognizing the difference between being misinformed and willful ignorance (which is what will draw my ire) and rather than thinking that prejudice will be a default position, I now observe and let the person tip their hand. I t is how I found out that, more often than not, people do not have the worst of intentions.

Bellwether

Believe it or not, the flu shot has now become a partisan issue in the United States. Yes, you guessed it, Trumpists are less likely to get a flu shot which in the past was an issue immune to political stripe. This does not surprise me all that much as the GOP increasingly became a storage house for the repudiation of science and rational thought. It does however point to the deepening problem of misinformation becoming dominant in areas which were generally devoid of it. Some comments I have read from progressives have to do with letting Darwinian selection do its thing and weed out the misinformed, but this is hardly a constructive proposal. Instead, we should see this latest development as a bellwether for the dangers of social media as primary source of information for the uneducated. America is hardly alone in this problem, but it serves as a laboratory for what could befall other nations because of its size and importance on the world stage. The fact that other countries are us

Validation

Tracy introduces me to Laurel and to her daughter Charlotte who is 8 years old and cute as a button. We are sitting in the usual morning coffee haunt and the conversation flows for a few minutes. I was relaxed on this Friday morning, and I felt calm. It’s interesting how easy it is to blend in today and I am just another woman to the staff and patrons. In the not distant past, I used to constantly question what they might be thinking, but I have stopped doing it with the result being that everything syncs and flows as never before. I remember decades ago being petrified to even walk around in public with any questioning stares only being encouraged by my own fears which then affected my movements and disposition. You don’t realize how much you betray yourself with your own thoughts. Before she leaves Laurel tells me I look good after learning my age and I thank her. I don’t need or fish for compliments, but I accept them with gratitude because I no longer need validation. Instead,

Epictetus

In a nutshell, Stoic philosopher Epictetus's 2,000 year old message is simple and succinct: only try to control and what is yours to control...  

Minuano

 

Love and fear

Most of my biggest supporters are women so I don't believe for a moment that TERF mentality is the baseline position of independent women. Instead what I think is that the patriarchy has wounded some of them and their axe to grind is to paint transwomen with the same brush as the men who hurt them. This is basic psychology because well adjusted people don't have natural enemies and will judge others on their own merits and at face value. They don't need to make baseless general conclusions. For example, JK Rowlings's experienced sexual and verbal abuse when young has colored her views and by playing up the angle that sexual predators could be dressing up to enter women's spaces, it clearly shows what impact it had. It may not be a reasonable conclusion (because the stats say it isn't) but that doesn't matter when it is the emotional side of the brain drawing the conclusion. Love and fear are the governing emotions of the human condition and no amount of re

Fascinating

For years I have been fascinated with the dividing line between playful cross gender expression and a transgender nature. With the understanding that we all possess both masculine and feminine traits, it is fair to say that women are given more leeway with this expression than men. Hence, as an outlet for their need for expression some men will secretly or openly crossdress. This should be seen as healthy and not the least bit abnormal; at worst it's a unique preference practiced by a minority of the male population. Adding gender dysphoria to the mix (in varying degrees) tends to cause conflict which is why you will generally (but not always) see crossdresser sites as being jubilant whereas trans sites catalogue some form of internal struggle (at least for a time). If you need to agonize over whether to transition or not it tends to get heavy. If you have never contemplated transition and reject the idea outright then you have removed a big weight from your shoulders. Note that I

Small victories

 The right wing keeps trying but this time it's another victory for justice and common sense... "An Iowa law that prohibits Medicaid coverage for sex reassignment surgeries for transgender residents violates state law and the state constitution, a judge ruled in a decision made public Monday. Judge William Kelly ordered the Iowa Department of Human Services to provide coverage for sex reassignment surgeries when ordered to treat gender dysphoria, a psychological distress that results from an incongruence between one’s sex assigned at birth and one’s gender identity. It often begins in childhood, and some people may not experience it until after puberty or much later, according to the American Psychiatric Association. At least nine states across the U.S. explicitly exclude gender-affirming care in Medicaid coverage, while 24 states and Washington, D.C., explicitly include this type of care,  according to the Movement Advancement Project, an LGBTQ think tank. The remaining stat

Swan song

My brother and I went to see Genesis last night at the Bell Center (I took a brief video below). The last time I had seen them I was 18 years old and they were about 30. Today at 70, Collins looks frail due to health issues and this tour will no doubt be the band's swan song. I am glad I went even if the material from the 80's did not thrill me (Gabriel era fan here). Their last great album for me was 1977's Wind and Wuthering although I was okay until 1980's Duke. This band had a massive influence on my own music and it was fitting to see them off into the sunset.

Dissenters

If our genitals were entirely responsible for our gender identity there would not only be no transgender people, but also no feminine men or masculine women. You see, testosterone and estrogen only get you so far and what most governs are our brains with a complexity that we have barely begun to adequately map. Therefore when dissenters make the direct correlation between sex and gender as being infallible, they are simply opting for wishful thinking. Trans people reside at the far end of a spectrum that has always existed among genetically born males and females and by doing so extend it. Those individuals who do not identify as trans may blur gender norms so they can feel comfortable, and in so doing give us a reality check on how sexual plumbing and identity are not always aligned. Therefore we might see masculine women avoid dresses and opt for a completely male wardrobe as a way of expressing their identity but not need to go beyond that point. This spectrum concept is not only

People who eat darkness

 

Equal

No one looks at me when I'm out which used to not the case many years ago. Of course much has changed but most of it has come from between the ears.  Yes, I've learned much about comportment, voice, mannerisms and clothing but most of that came naturally once I relaxed and was myself. The instincts were there but they needed liberating. My life hasn't changed all that much except that now I am perceived as female by the public which for the most part is not all that different. I get more polite smiles and treatment from women and occasional unwanted looks from men but that's about it. I also carry myself with the confidence of someone who has lived a little and cowers to no one. You would be wise not to get on my wrong side. You are equal to anyone else so why would you bend to them?

Rage

Kyle Rittenhouse was already the darling of the American right-wing fringe, and he is more so today after the verdict. Members of congress were writing caustic twitter messages lauding the outcome and encouraging Americans to arm themselves for protection. This is how bad things are. If Rittenhouse has been a visible minority there would have been no trial because that teen would have been arrested on the spot for being a minor carrying an AR-15 rifle to a protest. Instead, Rittenhouse was afforded a large defense fund and featured on intolerable Tucker Carlson’s expose on why the country is going to hell in a handbasket thanks the political left. America is far from healthy, and the culture wars played up to disguise an economic situation that keeps worsening for the shrinking middle class are going to set off an explosion. There is rage everywhere and the reason that this young man is so celebrated is that he has become, for some, a symbol of that rage.

Brunch

On the 12th of December it is Christmas  brunch at Louise's and the Friday night girls group will have their own holiday celebration. We've all agreed to dress up a bit and wear dresses which I haven't done in quite a while and means I will need to  get some black tights (as I've hated to wear pantyhose for years). I still have no compulsion to come out as trans to them and the more I enjoy the group the more I like keeping things just as they are; our relationship is not based on my past but on my present. As I was leaving our last Friday meeting I was thinking that I haven't felt this comfortable with myself in years. I suppose I must be doing something right.

Lest ye be judged

I f there is an overarching theme to this blog it is that of my interest in social justice particularly for the underdog. There are people who suffer in this world and are marginalized because they don't fit the script in some way. Since much of society lives in fear of truly being themselves, they allow that frustration to serve as justification for passing judgment on others. A colleague of mine separating from her spouse is currently experiencing that judgement from her family. Communication and understanding is what is missing in this world and if we had it we would be a calmer and more peaceful people. There would be more of us able to feel happiness and joy throughout our lives. As I have gotten older I want to help in my own small way. I want people to free themselves from oppression and find inner strength and, even if we touch just a few lives along the way, we will know we have done something positive.

Every little bit helps

Having a transgender person appear on a show like Jeopardy is helpful. It allows the every person who watches television after dinner to be exposed to how normal we are and how we don't have three heads and breathe fire. After many decades of salacious speculation and misinformation regarding how trans people behave and what drives them, these simple occurrences work towards calming the current backlash of transphobia that the advancement of trans people has brought us recently. The people who love to operate based on fear and judgement of things they do not understand, are quieted even if it's only for a while. It helps to normalize things. It may not be earth shattering, but every little bit helps and Amy Schneider is no doubt very glad to be a part of it.

Song of unborn

 

Richard Jewell

Richard Jewell is about an underdog; someone who society makes fun of and assumes they are nothing. It's a story about hero turned into villain by the press and the FBI who are sure he is guilty. Clint Eastwood who I respect as a filmmaker but not for his politics, does a fine job here with this true story of accusation and ultimately redemption. Catch it on Netflix.

Collective

Individualism works well when times are good, however when times are tough it is collectivism which pulls a country from the brink of ruin. This is such a time for most world nations where our recovery from a global pandemic and virtual economic collapse has forced governments to intervene in a more significant way. This is anathema for conservatives who praise rugged individualism and free market capitalism to win out. The fact that US corporations and financial institutions receive the equivalent of corporate welfare need not disrupt the illusion that the economy is operating as it should. It is why the GOP is espousing a doomed philosophy hampered even more by flirting with dangerous cultural ideas from its woefully uneducated base. We are at a global crossroads and the nations that will come out of this era with a healthier population status will be those who focus on the needs of the largest swath of their respective societies. Those who continue to flirt with dangerous ideas and

Neither like or dislike

There is nothing to like or dislike about being trans; it simply is. We need to get used to it and move on lest it disrupts our aim at leading fulfilling lives. If you disown it, it becomes an extra limb you carry along with you but cannot use. I am not proud or happy that I was born this way but I am also not ashamed and by ridding myself of concern over it, I can fit it properly into my life. I understand the instinct to over compensate with pride because having felt shame for so long, many want to celebrate with a healthy dose of positivity. No one gave us a chance to choose this way of life but we'll be damned if we are going to let it hamper our style. Many of us did not make it so this week let's remember them.

Here we go again

Here is Jordan Peterson being absurd yet again. As a psychologist who likes to claim knowledge across all disciplines, here he is stating that structural racism doesn't exist and we should go case by case. The problem for Peterson is that numerous institutions have been found to espouse racist policies; not only across history but in the present. The right wing loves him because he tries to apply principles of personal responsibility to everything which means you never have to address structural problems in society. Just simply clean your room and everything will be fine. People on the panel were of course astounded but I'm not the least bit surprised as this is classic blockhead Peterson in action.

Before we are wise

I 've had a lot of time to reflect the last few years over whether any romantic potential still exists in me. I often feel that what I have seen thus far has soured my taste to the idea and even cohabitation is no longer palatable. I now understand much better people who say they won't do it again once or twice burned and have had time to be on their own. There are of course benefits to sharing a life; of that there is no question and yet my opinion of human behavior has soured over the years with experience and by seeing things coming at a distance I know where the pitfalls will lie far in advance.  Perhaps it is why it's best that we couple before we know what suits us so nature gets what it needs and the species continues. It is best that things happen before we become wise. In our particular case, trans people once self realized will no longer be constrained in any kind of box which is what keeps me wary of venturing beyond simply my wild  imaginings.

Remaking

All of us are wounded in some way and our path into adulthood and into our later years often strewn with traumas related to unresolved childhood issues. For example, if our parents were overcritical or only showed affection when we obeyed can leave us with hurt that then establishes self-sabotaging tendencies as we move into other relationships in life. The truth is that we are the only person who can give us value and developing a strong sense of worth is the only way to truly find meaning and contentment. In our particular case as trans people, we may have developed coping mechanisms in childhood which taught us that coming out was going to damage or even end our relationships with family and friends and hence unknowingly lowered our sense of self worth. We often look for approval anywhere we can get it which includes our amorous relationships and the fall into that codependency trap where our sense of well being is not necessarily improved. Hence we can be more lonely than if we we

Pour un instant

 

Hypnosis

Just think about the startling hypocrisy. Congress and the Senate have no issue approving a yearly military budget of over $700 Billion and yet are wringing their hands over $1.75 trillion over 10 years for programs that will help people improve their lives. It is one of the reasons the United States is in serious trouble and why it will collapse from the inside as historically most empires do. There is a kind of mass hypnosis that has taken hold where even a program like social security would never pass both houses today. The evil of any kind of social program has been the oft repeated mantra of the right and is now taken as orthodoxy by even people who are themselves living on the margins of society and don’t even realize it. By the standards of today, a president like FDR would be a wild communist (let that sink in for a moment). I often despair at the state of humanity when things like this happen because so many are not aware they are being duped. Repeating something often eno

Forms

I hadn’t bought breast forms in quite some time but when you wear them every day they tend to disintegrate after a while. The backing disappears and I had been using tape to regenerate life into them and keep them going. There is nothing like the weight and feel of silicone and since I am not on HRT (a final decision made after some careful deliberation) they are the only option I will settle for. I also like the way they warm to the heat of the body. You don’t need to spend a fortune on them and the ones I just bought which were very similar to my current ones cost just under $100 Canadian including tax and shipping at the Breastform Store (pictured below). Considering my old ones had lasted for several years and were on their last legs, I could no longer put this purchase off. If you don’t know your desired cup size at least make sure you know the bra band size that you need by measuring yourself just under the armpit.

Salute

 

Workin'

Working from home has saved me. Never in a million years would I have thought that a once in a hundred year pandemic would rescue me from a schizophrenic existence of living in two worlds. Finishing my last year of full time career the way I need to has been life changing and revealing to an extent I had scarcely been able to imagine was possible. Add to that my children's absolute and unquestioning acceptance and I could not ask for a better scenario :)

Disrupted

C hristmas muzak was already being piped over store loudspeakers the moment Halloween (which completely disinterests me since my children outgrew it) was behind us. Something feels different however and perhaps it's pandemic fatigue which has spent all traces of whatever innocence we had left. No question that it has left its mark and yet I feel a relief because of it since it may have awakened us from our stupor. This tragic event which has killed millions worldwide has brought many to realize that life is fleeting and can be disrupted on a massive scale. We can perhaps finally look up from our cell phones and our shopping on Amazon. Not everyone will draw the same lessons of course but enough will to permit a redrawing of the societal landscape; one which now factors in the apparent randomness of our existence here. So no, it's not business as usual anymore.

Objective

I work on my objectivity, but I know I will never succeed at achieving it fully. Humans are so colored by personal experience that it invariably infiltrates all facets of our lives. Therefore, we look for evidence regarding our preconceived ideas as proof that we are correct in thinking the way we do. Examining all angles is not an easy thing because for many belief systems are tethered to the way we have lived for decades. If we find that we have erred, it could lead to regret we care not be exposed to. Hence when confronted with uncomfortable facts that are indisputable, some will admirably adjust while many will simply refute them as conspiracy to upend their sacred way of life. It has never been easier to pick and choose personal truth in our history and in its extreme forms we end up with people doubting that the earth is a sphere or that the US ever put a man on the moon. While these people are among the fringe, there are plenty of others who walk a tightrope between respecta

Fargo

Fargo has Coen brothers idiosyncratic written all over it even if they are only executive producers. Tense, irreverent and fascinating with terrific pacing, it offers crime stories you would think too far fetched and yet are based in reality. Production values are superb as is the acting. See if you agree.

Blurring

My exploration into gender over the years has sometimes gotten me into hot water with some people because the lines can be fuzzy. In the past we made very clear distinctions between people who were transsexual and those we termed transvestites but as Harry Benjamin showed us in the mid-twentieth century with his extensive patient history, there was a blurring as one moved up his scale. The reality is that this is a very complex topic but one thing that seems to stick out as a differentiator is the presence or absence of gender dysphoria which in its more extreme forms is what drives a person to transition in some way (be it social or medical). If you aren’t dysphoric then it’s a good possibility you may not be trans. The act of cross gender expression can be as benign as something which relaxes a person or as significant as the early exploration of a trans person on their way to a full transition which is why it is so hard to make diagnoses as to what an individual requires. For ex

Our lot

If I give the impression that I have it all together I apologize for no human being does. I struggle like everyone else with thoughts about my identity, about my past and about whether I was a good enough parent to my children. This is our lot as human beings who must evaluate our lives from various angles and pronounce ourselves either victorious or unworthy.  The price of not studying yourself being the potential for stunting growth for to not examine is to risk not learning. I used to chide myself for being mired in over analysis and yet I cannot deny that it helped me. Not automatically trusting instincts and asking myself why I felt a certain way contributed to healing a psyche that for a long time had been conflicted between my societal education and where my spirit seemed to want to go.

Desastre

In November of 2016, the day after the US election, a Radio-Canada reporter stuck a microphone in my face as I walked to work perhaps wanting to get the every person’s opinion of what had just occurred. “Un vrai desastre” I said without hesitation. The election of Trump did of course prove to be an unmitigated disaster and as the evidence continues to pour in regarding the January 6 th insurrection, we are getting a full portrait of how a true psychopathic narcissist works and how if enabled they can do tremendous damage. Democracy was hanging by a thread and in fact still does. I have written here before that I used to wonder how Germany could have gone from Weimar Republic to Adolf Hitler except that I stopped wondering when I was able to witness it in real time happen in America. Well before Trump my eyes had been freed from blinders regarding the ignorance and gullibility of the general population, but the extent that this chicanery was possible advanced my ideas on human na

Mary Ferguson

 

That ship may have sailed

With a plunging approval record of 41% Joe Biden has a problem. The democratic party policies is what the population likes but they are watered down by a donor class who doesn’t (the build back better and infrastructure bills the latest examples). Meanwhile middle America seems to like the false cultural war that the GOP cooks up which allows them to keep gerrymandering and suppressing minority votes. The right has no policies other than to manufacture outrage and keep milking an oligarchy that feeds them. It is the perfect dysfunctional situation which, if it continues, will be the nation’s ruin. The only possible thing that could save things now would be to get money out of politics but I’m afraid that ship has sailed and those politicians who are beholden to their corporate owners would have an impossible hill to climb. The single question that remains in my mind is how many elections cycles left before the collapse.

Our best versions

Can love grow on soil that is not fertile? One of the more frequent models I have seen in my life is co-dependency where two both partners look for the other one to fill their needs. This cannot properly work since the only person who can repair your own issues is yourself. It is why the tandem of two people who are secure and content in their own skin is so rare and why I have met few couples who meet this criterion. One can become convinced that co-dependency works because the fear of being alone is such an overriding concern for so many that it serves as prime directive. In this scenario, the individual will tolerate dysfunction simply to not feel isolated. Most of us need tending to childhood issues which impede us from loving ourselves fully such that without this remedy we cannot adequately love someone else. It is why so many relationships are only as healthy as the weakest link in the chain which is the partner in most need. Once we learn to truly love ourselves then we a

Sometimes and occasionally...

"Petra Wenham sits neatly in a pretty white blouse, denim skirt and perfect mauve nails. She has youthful skin and smooth, bare legs. She is 74 years old — but could pass for 15 years younger — and glows with pride as she recounts the events of the past few weeks. Not just the news coverage and endless requests for interviews, but also the myriad wishes of goodwill from the small Suffolk village where she lives with Loraine, her wife of 48 years, and also further afield, on social media platforms from all around. And all caused by her star turn as cover girl on the latest issue of Women's Institute Life magazine. Not just any cover girl, mind you . 'I am so, so happy,' she says today. 'The happiest I've ever felt. I've done well and finally I'm who I should be.' She beams as she talks — about her new friends in the WI, the welcome she's had from the sisterhood, the lectures she now gives to improve awareness of trans issues and, of course,

Traffic

This site would rather have a smaller readership than pander to a larger one and have me write about things I hate. It is why I write for me rather than to attract eyeballs. The trans community is wide and we are not all the same; even a small sampling of blogs will show you that. If you are interested in shopping adventures or what I wear from day to day it is best not to look here as those who read my blog have already noted. There is a difference between a person who crossdressers on weekends and has photo shoots and those who must live with their safety in mind while trying to do so as authentically as they are allowed to. At the risk of putting some people off, it is sometimes the former group that tends to generate traffic to blogs which is unfortunate but not the least bit surprising since that latter group also happens to be much smaller.

Petit homme

I sabelle and I had lunch yesterday overlooking the canal in a cozy Italian eatery located in my old neighborhood. 38 years old and full of vitality, she is one of those colleagues I admire so much for their easy going attitude towards life.  She is the only child in a family who didn't perturb themselves with gender roles and so she became a civil engineer who works in the mainly male-dominated field of construction. For this she thanks a father who didn't just see a girl but a child who need not be constrained in their interests. So when her 5 year old "petit homme" (as she calls her son) shows an interest in dolls and the occasional penchant for wearing dresses, Isabelle readily indulges him hoping he will just be happy. Whatever he turns out be is fine by her. Isabelle's best friend committed suicide at age 27; a gay man rejected  by his family she saw first hand the devastation which can come when people who are different feel there is nowhere to turn. And s

Black and white world

My heart always goes out to the spouse of a trans person who didn’t see it coming; to those who thought they had married someone else and then are surprised midway into a coupled life. Coming from the black and white world we were schooled in, the surprise would have been like a punch to the gut. The trans person who had finally run out of road wasn’t entirely at fault and, as a fellow victim of their own rearing, they were left no elbow room to be genuine until they could put up with pretense no longer. In that world there were few winners. Today, millennials and younger generations are rewriting the language of gender and sexuality and even the lexicon we used doesn’t sound right to them. They go more by feel and are less encumbered by the labels that we gripped to so tightly which is why there is perhaps more room for trans people in their world. Recently I saw a video where the hurt and conflicted look on the spouses’ face spoke volumes and as she was witnessing her former hu

Redefine

H aving my grown daughter around has taught me how I am improving in my ability to adapt. For many years a victim to military-like discipline with time and also liking things my way, I am becoming far more flexible in letting things go. Life is too short to let unimportant irritants get in the way of living; plus we each live on a separate story and share the kitchen and dining room which is perfect. My daughter goes out with me without reservation which is also a massive plus since my being trans is never going to change. Reconnecting with our adult children is different and requires a more even-handed approach; one which is no longer rooted in a parent/child hierarchy but is more supple in structure and nature.

November

 

Normal

My intent was to make my son feel better and I'm sure I helped. At 21 years of age he has not had a sexual experience and worries he is behind compared to his peers which made me chuckle inside. Not only had I waited until I was 32 and newly married but it is how I found out I was transsexual in needing to place myself in the mental role of the female in order to achieve climax. Of course at the time this scared me to death because it was confirming the secret I had held since childhood and hoped to be rid of. Now it was staring me in the face and would eventually need to be addressed in a more serious way. That is now water under the bridge, but my essential message to my son was never to compare himself to anyone and to define what was normal for him. I think by sharing this intimate detail I was able to hopefully make him realize this.

Vantage

As you might already have gathered, I don't write just for trans people because the struggle with being different is a  universal one. Anyone who has ever felt part of the minority can relate and access those same feelings that leave them in any way being isolated. Most of the people who comment or write to me are trans but over the years there have been people who have thanked me for my candor and how they could understand the struggle even if they could not share in the experience of what it feels to be transgender. Sometimes I share videos here of those who struggle much more than we do to put things into perspective because it's a relative thing to suffer. Being paralyzed or living with other handicaps is much more severe and yet many of these people find a way to adapt and even excel specifically because they need to work that much harder. That reality has not been lost on me and I draw inspiration from those who cope with much more load than I have in my life. From that

Cure

Before humans are rational we are first emotional creatures. I think that much our rationality comes in response to trying to control and subdue those emotional impulses which can sometimes betray us. In the course of the same day we can experience ups and downs which leave us wondering how feelings could undergo such rapid metamorphosis and so we find methods to cope with the volatility. We try and instill mental discipline to remain stable There is no cure for the human condition and not that we desire one. Because with every descent into despair there is also the opportunity to find joy when we least expect.

Optimism

Optimism can coexist with realism and they need not be mutually exclusive. Once you understand the limitations of your situation you can find ways to make the best of things. You can resolve to be satisfied. We all have limitations and circumstances which hamper our lives with roadblocks. The trick is to accept and move on from there without wishing things will change because we know deep down that they will not. Sometimes it takes resignation to serve as foundation for good things to grow.

Belong

 

Challenge

With little surprise, my AGP challenge continues to be unmet. All I have asked for is iron-clad scientific proof that the theory is valid and when someone does send me something I will be sure to post their argumentation along with my response. You see, the pesky problem with science is that you need to have an effect accompanied by a provable cause and with AGP you have an effect with a possible series of explanations which is why it ends up in the garbage heap of pseudoscience. It is like a boat that takes on water because of all the holes. That doesn’t stop the disingenuous from using it as a weapon which unites all the usual suspects. The religious right, TERFS and even some transsexuals love to play in that sandbox and simply amplify their own beliefs to each other. Meanwhile, I wait in patience.

Silence

The psyches of young trans kids will undergo a different process throughout their lifetimes. Mostly spared the bravado years of denial and doing things like joining the army to “man up”, they might be able to enter adulthood with a stronger sense of self. Aided by puberty blockers and hormonal treatment as well as surgeries (when required) they will have options we didn’t have or dare not even consider accessing. Living in silence is a very lonely thing and when you are alone fighting a battle it tends to make you an introvert who is afraid to share too much of themselves for fear of rejection. I suppose I am experiencing a renaissance and, even as I have settled for my best compromise solution in dealing with my trans nature, I would not replace the darker and more ponderous times for anything.

L'eau coule

The plumber came downstairs after he had cleared the blockage in my neighbor's washing machine drain and stared at my chest for a moment. I didn't take offense but it reminded me about how irritating it is for many if not most women to have that happen. "L'eau coule maintenant Madame Joanna" he tells me in French confirming I will no longer have water enter my condo. Things are different now and I am more aware of how I am treated and viewed by men. It runs from a spectrum of occasional leering stares at the mall to extreme politeness and respect. There is no question that it is more difficult for women in society and the amount of judgement they receive. They are assessed on both physical and mental attributes with far more willingness for others to pass judgement and must excel beyond the capacities of their male peers in order to receive the same recognition.

Little demons

A nything that touches a nerve with us is fodder for analysis. We can suddenly be transported to childhood hurts and the inner child whose needs were not tended to suddenly appears. I have reflected for many years on those inner demons and why they need excorcising. The remains of unattended fears can crop up when we least expect and then we are left with shock and awe to explain the resulting carnage to ourselves and why we are rattled. The simplest example is the road rage that turns some people virtually to vehicular homicide. The emotions stir like a primal scream and focus energy where it is least helpful or desirable. So we work on those little demons a little bit every day in hopes that we will be cured of them.

Cenk nails it

 

The ideological

I suppose I should presume that transphobes are being disingenuous and not stupid when they claim that "you can't change biological sex". After all, last time I checked no reasonable trans person has ever claimed that you could but it doesn't stop these knuckle heads from inciting hatred among an ignorant public. Trans people run the gamut of society and some are even academics who understand perfectly well how chromosomes work as well as what can and cannot be altered. It is nevertheless a continuing battle among the ignorant and those who use deception to gain favor with them. The world often works this way where the ideologically-driven will use any method at their disposal to gain favor for their cause and lying or twisting the truth is definitely not beneath them.

Happier

Back in 2008 I became convinced that I could get by as an occasional crossdresser. Having refused further treatment I had been approved for at the Montreal General hospital gender identity clinic (where I had asked them to fix me), I resolved to try and live as "normal" a life as possible. This was just after my divorce. But as fate would have it, transsexualism isn't defeated through will power and eventually the chickens come home to roost despite your best efforts. It's been a lesson for me in how to accept things and not avoid what you have known since childhood but were taught to disavow.  I have strong willpower but it was proving to be my undoing and something had to change lest my mental health suffer as a result. If you are reading a person today who is more self assured and content it is because I learned to stop denying the obvious.

Atonement

We all have things to atone for. We wouldn't be human if we didn't. The trick I think is to forgive yourself and let go once you have learned what you did wrong and resolve not to repeat it. So many of us live in the shadow of regret and are afraid to move on lest we appear selfish. Guilt will only eat away at us until we let go of the need to languish in masochistic thought. I have less energy now for self-flagelation and would prefer just to reflect with less emotional investment on my human failings.

Pet name

When I was living in Toronto in 2017, I got called “hon” a lot by waitresses and just yesterday morning it was “love” by an older woman smoking a cigarette as I walked by. We had shared a brief chat about the mild autumn weather. I am amused by this and chalk it up to harmless endearment between women. Between men there isn’t much in the way of pet names as it seems to historically have been about competition and perhaps grudging respect. The only term I think of is the younger generation’s use of “bro” to address someone of the same age and ilk while in my father’s time and before it was the dreaded “sir” which, to someone with gender dysphoria, grates against the sensibilities like nails on a chalk board. Recently a young woman at a Sephora addressed me as “hey girl” which at first seemed jarring coming from someone my daughter’s age. I did not take offense as she was so bubbly and friendly. From a Vogue article where women writers discuss the topic: “But while most are fine

fooling yourself

To many Americans, left wing extremism is represented by the likes of Bernie Sanders or Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez; two left of center politicians who much of the rest of the world (including my own country) would view as plain vanilla social democrats. This is how far right the country has gone and how the ideological fringe in the GOP has made villains of ideas that used to be commonplace in the country. Extremist thinking encouraged by privatization through free market capitalism gone astray has corrupted a nation where fully half of its population is now considered among the working poor. The loss of jobs to poorer countries through misguided neoliberal policies has only made things worse and the Republican party is left to distract its poor and uneducated base with issues that have little to do with bettering their economic livelihood. In truth, I don’t hold out much hope that the American experiment will survive more than a few more election cycles and as both parties become en