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Showing posts from July, 2021

Louise

Louise is a diminutive and spry 61 year old. We met because she works as a crossing guard near my house and when I would leave to get my morning coffee we would greet each other and realized that the conversation flowed. She is kind and expressive and draws people to her with an eboulient energy that is contagious. There is a depth to her that I find fascinating and i have since discovered that she has had difficult times in her life. Working part time in her current job as she slips into retirement suits her because she loves people and interacting with them. Louise doesn't know I am trans or at least she hasn't asked but if she were to, I would respond in the affirmative. She lost a son to suicide in 2015 and that pain still sears as she mentions it with a glassy eyed sadness. All of 22 years old he suddenly took his own life and Louise learned of it when she received a call from police when she was out of the country with her now ex-husband. That marriage, already strained

Fixing stupid

Anti-intellectualism is rampant along with an increase of bravado among the uneducated. COVID cases, rapidly climbing in many American states, are overwhelmingly among the unvaccinated; to be precise 99.5%. Some, sitting in hospital beds gasping for air are finally asking for a much too late dose of vaccine that won't save them. Today you don't need to be educated in a subject to weigh in on it. You simply need a chorus of like minded individuals agreeing with your ideas no matter how misguided. Social media provides such a hotbed for the kinds of geniuses who invent their own version of science which is its own kind of pandemic; one which spreads idiocy. It's now virtually assured that the virus will continue to exist and possibly mutate further and those who hoped for a speedy return to their lives won't be able to attain it. As the cooler weather returns and people venture back indoors the number of cases will only rise again and, i n an era where every opinion is v

Scars

As trans people many of us have had to deal with rejection on numerous fronts in our lives. Whether it is disapproving parents, siblings, spouses or friends there is always someone not fully happy with your identity. Sometimes that disapproval is outright rejection but it can also be conveyed in more subtle ways which have a similar effect. If you are fortunate enough to keep ties with the aforementioned people intact congratulations but fear not as there is always someone in society more than willing to denigrate you.  I understand both sides however, and some trans people come out with a flourish expecting everyone to get with the program in a hurry. Real life doesn't work that way and a major change requires patient adaptation on the part of all concerned most especially if the relationship really matters to you. The one thing they need to get is that you aren't going to stop being trans no matter how appealing a scenario that might be for them. The older the generation, the

Whataboutism

Whataboutism is the latest tool employed by the right to deflect from inconvenient truths. So while capital police officers were testifying before the January 6 th commission, the right’s spin machine was busy looking for targets. Blame Nancy Pelosi (not a fan by the way), Antifa, Black Lives Matter or, even better, just pretend that the rioters were the equivalent of friendly and respectful tourists. That kind of bold-faced mendacity would have been ridiculed twenty years ago except that the echo chamber of the internet and cable news has cured people of shame. The living proof was that having a reality show moron as president being seen as the second coming by the GOP revealed a deep disconnect in some which cannot be bridged using reason. Of course, we know what to expect from reprehensible serial liars like Laura Ingraham and perennially confused-looking Tucker Carlson on FOX but what is more disturbing is that members of congress, some of whom actively conspired and spawned the

The lesser of two evils

As Jeff Bezos blasted off into space on the backs of minimum wage factory floor workers who sometimes need to urinate into plastic bottles, one could not help but note the injustice. Already a well-established oligarchy, the United States has slipped further into socio-economic chaos and even moral decay. The pandemic, having wreaked havoc on the half of the country living on the edge of poverty, only made the billionaires richer as their dreams of acting on their whims blinded them even more to the state of their own nation. FDR, who rescued the country after the economic collapse of the 1930’s would be seen today as a radical communist which serves as a barometer for the paranoia that has instilled itself in the national consciousness. As the country edges closer towards social and economic unrest the policies which got them to the precipice continue unchecked and for-profit health care and industries which barely pay taxes continue to be the norm as Rome slowly burns. Red state

What the doctor ordered

  The pandemic turned out to be strangely helpful. When something upends your life in a way you had not expected it forces you to reflect on where you've been and where you need to go. I would almost describe it as a watershed moment.  Working from home has offered me the chance to rid myself of the schizophrenic back and forth between gender presentations and hence I have melded myself even more into one entity. The fact that I will be heading into partial retirement in this manner has been a panacea for my psyche and by this time next year my life will be changed yet again. The thought process which took place in the isolation permitted me to coalesce ideas into an action plan and made me realize how strong my identity as a trans person truly is.  As hard as this pandemic has been for so many, it turned our to be just what the doctor ordered for me. Go figure.

Belief

Fervent religious orthodoxy is as ill contrived as blind allegiance to atheism. Both suffer from lack of convincing bulletproof evidence and stem from the idea that humankind can comprehend all through either unwavering pious belief or conversely a strict adherence to our limited science. I often use the example that if an insect cannot conceive of a human and its origins, the difference between that human and the intelligence behind the universe and its contents is almost infinite. Therefore, believing that we will ever comprehend all while in the guise of carbon based life forms makes me chuckle.  Instead, a healthy agnosticism if we tend towards non belief and mistrust of the human elements polluting world religions if we are believers are our best bet if we are to be rational. After all, if humankind understood the nature of God there would be only one religion practiced in the world instead of hundreds. By the end of the 3rd century Rome had become Christian and the essentialist

Shapiro

Ben Shapiro is the human equivalent of a turd. Pint-sized and helium-voiced, he preaches a mantra of “facts don’t care about your feelings” using the crutch of biology (an argument not lost on trans people) and with the fervent belief that he has wrapped up the issue of what he terms “transgenderism”. Like most social conservatives, he simplifies what is complex and also heavily tinged with sociological implication and nuance, into a black and white sound bite. "Boys are born with pee-pees and girls with vaginas" is his checkmate position stated with the hubris and self-satisfaction of someone who is convinced he has you cornered. That Shapiro isn’t cleverer yet still manages to attract a large audience speaks to me about the gullibility of many people who cannot think beyond the tip of their nose. For if one thought hard enough, one would realize that the sheer numbers of trans people (roughly 1.4% of the global population) and their insistence represents science which mus

A resilience beyond all expectation

 Lest we feel compelled to navel gaze....

Solitude

  Solitude is not a penance.  It's a gift which permits reflection on where we want to go and understand better where we've been in our lives. If we cannot abide to be alone we should ask ourselves why that is so because it is during these times that our best self-analysis is performed. We have all known people for whom aloneness becomes synonymous with loneliness and they must distract themselves to avoid the unbearable quiet of their own thoughts. I have been living alone for several years and one gets used to it to the point of preferring it. When the desire to reach out manifests, it can be satiated with the company of friends  after which we can withdraw to one’s sanctuary. It becomes easier the longer one does it. Having discovered that I am at heart an introvert, I can be very outgoing but then must retreat to recharge when I suffer overexposure to social noise. I must afterwards take the time to digest what I have experienced and process it to arrive at a concensus of

Authenticity

I’ve written here many times about the concept of authenticity and, if you are measuring yours against an external metric, I would suggest that you are doing it wrong. Authenticity is about being true to one’s internal identity which can easily be suffocated through the messaging we receive before we are even able to walk. Since many people are driven by fear of being misaligned with the rest of society, their earnest attempts at helping you ‘’fit in’’ can invariably contribute to a dampening of your spirit instead of helping you. I spent many years listening to the world’s voiced directives over my own internal compass which, in retrospect, turned out to be a mistake. For society’s often misguided and contradictory dictates saddle us from early youth and end up being detrimental to our well-being and sense of self-worth. Trans people used to try and blend in perfectly as their target gender to avoid being detected: an admirable goal which allowed many to avoid being harassed. But

Conservatism

Those of you who have read my blog in the past for any length of time know that I do not comprehend conservatism as an ideology. In its mildest form it takes on aspirations of fiscal responsibility but even that can degrade into the idea that government has a very limited role to play in society and people should be left to their own devices. With a minimal safety net and with a for-profit corporatist sociological philosophy, it devolves into the current American system which is helping dismantle the country piece by precious piece. Add to that the southern strategy which the GOP employed to gain voters in the south, and you have an amalgamation of people who vote along wedge issues: racists, guns, abortion, etc. The result is a fractured nation which cannot abide the other side for its blatant disregard for what to them should be obvious. If you were to transport an individual from the Middle Ages into the world of today their head would explode. Not only for the technical innovat

A Great Film

I recently saw Quebec director Denys Arcand’s 2018 film “The Fall of the American Empire” on Netflix and instantly fell in love. The title, which is deceptively and bluntly direct, masks what is a philosophically-tinged crime caper wrapped in a morality play. The director revels in social commentary which, for me, hit the mark although I have read some critics state otherwise. The protagonist is a philosophy PhD who works as a courier and happens upon a crime scene which forces him to make a split-second decision changing the course of his life forever. That this film works so well on different levels is kudos to Arcand’s mastery of his craft. I found the multi-layered approach gave the movie a complexity of vision that made the ending more satisfying and Arcand closes the story arc in a way that leaves us reflecting on how good and evil function in the world and about our obligation towards helping the less fortunate.  You can perhaps forgive Arcand for being preachy here particular

Critical Thinking

 Social media has only emboldened the feeble minded. Able to find cohorts who agree with them, people expound on vaccine efficacy on Facebook with the epidemiological pedigree of a 6 th grader only with far more conviction. Some, who have been twice vaccinated, walk in empty fields and when questioned about mask wearing tell you about how COVID can spread through the air. I recently met such a couple and did my best to avoid a deep sigh or an eye roll. If this pandemic has reinforced anything in me it is that critical thinking is not a strong suit among a large swath of the population and finding kindred spirits who share your opinion has been a boon to those who seek reinforcing of their own ideas, no matter how mistaken. I don’t think it is entirely their fault as right-wing echo chambers (I think of Fox News in the States) trumpet conspiracy theories daily to attract eyeballs. Advertisers are the gleeful recipients of viewer attention, and the network makes money. No one loses

Never Say Never....

 I was certain that I would never post here again and yet, here I am. It’s been several years, and life has changed me yet again. I have burrowed further into my psyche to discover more internal truths about myself all in the silence of a life lived with more periods of reflective solitude than ever before. After attempting for many years to be a problem solver for others, I needed to dig deeply to discover who I was, which should be a necessity for all people and an absolute imperative for those of us who dare rub against the grain of conventional society. The most important thing we can do for ourselves is honor the internal voice which has driven us since childhood. That whisper which we were compelled to ignore through our initial indoctrination must be listened to again for guidance. I knew I had spent too long heeding messaging that wasn’t working for me as a trans person, and it was time to stop. For the world gleefully basks in a level ignorance and hypocrisy we are not abl