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Showing posts from 2022

Mistrust

My life experience has taught me to be generally mistrustful of people and it has unfortunately served me well since it is not the majority which functions with stable and honorable intention. Therefore trust must be earned and once identified cultivated into friendship wherever possible. Humans are nuanced and finicky creatures and I include myself in that calculation. Our actions can be erratic and driven by a detection of a personal attack where one did not exist which makes us unpredictable and difficult to figure out even to ourselves.  Early on in childhood we learn to detect inconsistencies in others even if we cannot attribute them to a method and perhaps chalk it up to madness. The reality is that our search for love and our fears are what drive our actions into an alignment or conversely sometimes off a steep precipice.

Something to ponder

We need to be careful with fetishizing the feminine which is perhaps one way to understand ourselves. These young trans kids understand their identity far earlier than their conversion into sexual beings which is one way to identify them as trans; t he point being that their identity precedes their sexualization with the  difference today being that they can verbalize these feelings much sooner than we were able to. Many transsexuals, in particular those who suppressed their feelings,  had them tinged with sexual overtones into puberty but that is not necessarily the same thing as someone who simply enjoys wearing lingerie to bed or wearing tight fitting dresses and fishnets. Hence you need to understand where your gender variance is rooted and how it began in order to properly put it into perspective.

All the nasties

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A song I've listened to and played many times...

Mind your own business

I don't have a problem with conservatives thinking what they want but I do have a problem with them telling other people what they should or should not do while judging them for it. Right now in America there is a concerted effort to bring the country back to the dark ages by instilling draconian policies to control what people can do with their own lives. So again, while I don't root for abortions to be performed I won't stop someone from having access to one knowing what the alternative is. For in a country that extols freedom of personal choice, once these babies are born, Republicans will do absolutely nothing to help these mothers (some of whom will be young, poor and minorities) which is of course the height of hypocrisy. The war on trans kids is also based on backward ideas which aren't grounded in science but instead fear mongering which treats them like a plague which might spread if not completely stamped out. So conservatives, think what you like only mind y

Rant

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I would love to shake Steve's hand after this rant....

Market

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Today is a holiday in Canada and so I went to the Jean Talon Market to have an espresso and walk around. It is a beautiful crisp morning and the market is buzzing. I hadn't ridden public transport for a while and I realized I missed the convenience and other than still wearing the mask it was great. Also comfy shoes were definitely the order of the day :)

A global shift

That video I posted yesterday on declining birth rates and marriages in Japan shows us symptoms of our new societies. With more people spending time online and less within traditionally structured social circles plus women having more financial independence, we are seeing a drastic change in how relationships work (or more accurately in how they don't). The age at which young people first experience sex is going up and the frequency of that activity is going down. We are even seeing an increase in alternative choices of relationships such as cyber characters which is admittedly still fringe and yet growing.  The incel population (involuntary celibates) is also growing as more young men abandon the courting process due to an inability to pair up. As the population ages and there are less young people to take up the slack by feeding into social programs, there will be a shift in how societies must structure themselves. Models like the US which are highly individualistic and encourage

Single

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1917

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1917 is gritty and graphic and beautifully shot. There is an urgent and harrowing mission to prevent a blood bath and an oath to be kept for a dead friend. It is also an up close  and personal view of the needlessness of war. Highly recommended.

Cookie cutter

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Neuroplastcity is what allows us to adapt and grow as human beings provided we work on questioning our biases and preconceived notions about ourselves and others. Therefore to stop reflecting is to stop growing. Without this constant introspection I wouldn't be where I am today which necessitated I also abandon advice other than accepting the moral support that all of us require. Conventional wisdom should not be blindly trusted in affairs which are this delicate and nuanced and, in my view, should be replaced with a purely internal dialogue which respects our uniqueness and personality. Even well meaning trans people who have transitioned can sell you a formula which may not work for you even as it might have spectacularly well for them. I am better versed in this subject than the general public as well as most trans people, which if anything has only bolstered my cynicism towards any type of cookie cutter formulas. Trust only yourself.

Breaking free

Being a trans parent, I raised both my children to be tolerant of all differences. Yesterday I took my son and gay nephew out for coffee. They are one year apart ( my son being older) and have always been supportive of each other. When my nephew was self hating (as I once was) and putting down the lifestyle gay and lesbians, my son argued the opposite side and upheld their rights as human beings who want what everyone else does; this without knowing his cousin's inclinations. Hence, my nephew credits my son with being his biggest supporter within the family. Daniel is having some issues with his parents but nothing that cannot be resolved with some eventual distancing as he finishes his studies. He will need to find his support structure outside of the family as I did which will fortify his sense of self worth. Growing up in a strict Catholic family did not help him and he felt he needed to break away from the doctrinal and systemic bias against anything which did not meet a dogma

Trading places

Some people seem naturally happy. They might work in coffee shops or grocery stores and at least give the semblance that their job doesn't give them stress. I recall working during summers between semesters and feeling much the same way with the strain of physical labor being the only tell tale side effect. My career has been fulfilling but also stressful and with increasing demands of clients who are less project experienced than ever, they come to us with demands which sometimes don't make sense. Thus my fatigue is about those demands plus the need for a change which doesn't revolve around meetings and deadlines. What is left for me now is the pleasure of dealing with colleagues some of whom have become friends and they appreciate the mentoring in a way I had not expected. I suppose everything is relative and perhaps some of the people in those more physical jobs would have traded places with me. Who knows.

Happy as Lazzaro

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Lazzaro is pure of heart and works as a share cropper in rural Italy. More than a little unsuspecting, he trusts people perhaps he shouldn't.  The movie is surreal and not at all Hollywood and it  might even leave you scratching your head. Morality tale, fable or mystical journey? I'm not sure perhaps all of them. I just know that it's brilliant. On Netflix.

Yet again

Bill Maher and his supreme ignorance was on display once again last night but I won't grace his video by posting it here. Suffice it to say that his grasp of LGBTQ issues is just about nil and he employs the old conservative tactic of "everyone is going to catch it" on his equally ill informed and cackling audience. I saw this coming quite some time back but in the age of Trumpism it's full gloves off. If you listen to Maher the pandemic of LGBTQ people is apparently at our doorstep and apparently it never occurs to some people that the enforced binary and sexual rules of the past didn't work for everyone. Nevertheless, we are still talking about small percentages of the population but don't tell an increasingly flustered curmudgeon like Maher that. Are some people out than ever and are some experimenting with their sexuality and identity who aren't LGBTQ? Of course and many will end up leaving it at that. It's just that they are no longer keeping it a

Deep divisions

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America is in deep trouble. Culture war division reigns and no better example than the GOP voting against a bill to solve the baby formula shortage while decrying inaction on the issue in the media. It's almost hallucinogenic and they are counting on the average American not paying attention. Other than tax cuts for the wealthy there is no political agenda for Republicans which is why abortion, LGBTQ discrimination, critical race theory and 2nd amendment rights are what they use to distract a weary populace that is increasingly losing financial traction to an oligarchical system. I believe there will be no way out until things get much worse and you then try to pick up the pieces again. It's depressing for me as a well informed foreigner to witness this and feel bad for those who see the damage and feel helpless in trying to keep it from worsening.

Trappings

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If you are trans and like me have made the firm decision to not physically transition, there is something which has helped me immeasurably which is to think of myself primarily as a human being rather than a gender stereotype. The trappings of gender are everywhere and during my era it was black and white with no nuance to speak of. As a result, I fell victim to gender as an important boundary which cast a shadow on everything I could be or could not be. Today many things have changed, but many of us who are older still carry vestiges of that pervasive programming and if we do not transition fully, we may feel caught in a netherworld with pressures to take a side. Abandoning trappings related to gender, freed me from feeling in any way inadequate and espousing who I am as an individual.   Hence thinking outside of a predetermined box is always the way to go even if ultimately you do decide that a medical transition is for you. If your dysphoria is worse than mine I wouldn't blame

Comfort

Every minute of every day is different. Understand your moods and know that they will change and find comfort in that knowledge.

Freudian slip

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Responses

On a YouTube site that caters to the self-described crossdressing community the question was asked as to whether they preferred to use the term transvestite or crossdresser with two of the numerous replies being as follows: 1) “In general I identify as a crossdresser, however I use transvestite in my descriptions as I know the term is still used by some. it is outdated I agree on that, however i still use it from time to time. I never refer to myself as transgender because I am not trans and will not disrespect trans people” 2) “Of course, it depends on the person and their preferences. Transvestite is such an outdated term, slightly degrading. Crossdresser is the way to go if they are not transgender” These replies highlight once again the reality that many in the crossdressing community do not themselves identify as trans which I also noted when I put-a poll on my site. Yes, there can indeed be a blurring and many older people who may have identified as crossdressers did so to

Scrutiny

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Upon first being exposed to Jordan Peterson who is exactly my age, there was instant dislike. He was on a YouTube video some years ago explaining to University of Toronto students why he wouldn't use the preferred pronouns of a young transwoman. His fame grew from there and afterwards there he was testifying against Canada's bill C-16 which sought to engrain and fortify the human rights of all Canadians including of course those in the LGBTQ community which Peterson clearly has a problem with. His premise being that he won't be forced into anything he doesn't agree with. His adoring fanboy club saw him as the perfect self help guru only that in his recent years he has been personally unraveling publicly on a series of right wing shows and proving that there is something unstable about him. So in many ways I feel vindication even if I don't wish anyone ill will. Peterson's arrogance proved to be his undoing and now having left Twitter in a huff over the backlash

Prison of the mind

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Before the next wave

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I don't much care for the heat, so a day like today really hits the spot. Sunny and dry with a high unfer 20 C is just what the doctor ordered although we will be back up to 30 C by Saturday. That variability is what we had all winter but at least I can fend with adding extra layers.

The philosophy of politics and economics

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Meghan

This morning I met Meghan in my usual Café. She is in her early thirties, originally from South Africa and was friendly and open. She has been living in my neighborhood for 3 years now and loves it and had the resolve to start her own business post pandemic; a decision which she attributed to her husband also working in the engineering business. People like her are easy to talk to. They are unassuming and frank and you can see she is comfortable in her own skin. It's a nice place to be at such a young age.

To be cautious

Being timid and taking things too personally were my two primary afflictions growing up and when you have fashioned a carapace all your life, any intrusion into it can be taken as an affront. You wind up with skin so thin and so raw that everything makes you uncomfortable especially if you are in any way in the spotlight. It must be worked through if you are to survive in this life otherwise be prepared to be eaten alive by society. With age potentially comes the opposite problem of wanting to put everyone in their place. You have been overly exposed to people you want to get back at and identify the archetypes of your torment which then become the focus of your ire. That also must be worked through unless you plan to lead the rest of your life in indignant outrage for which there is ample opportunity. The caution here to remember that your suffering was as an inexperienced youth and not as a well armed adult with an intellect.

Right on Seth...

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To such an extent

I always commiserate more with the spouse of a trans person than the trans person themselves. This with the understanding that we are never going to change since those of us truly trans are that way from birth.  I would reverse the scenario in my head which made it obvious to see how hard this is. Hence trans people who expected their spouses to go with the flow and gladly accept any kind of transition seemed utterly obtuse to me. Most of us however, understand the situation and might hope while expecting nothing. Sporadic cross gender expression is a different animal altogether, and here I am much more hard pressed to understand why the spouse wouldn't be more understanding provided there is love present. Yes every situation is unique and depending on your place on the spectrum, the gravity of the decision to tolerate or not will be of proportional weight. Interestingly, some years ago I was surprised to learn on one of my only two endocrinologist visits (before abandoning the st

Replacement theory

So many topics interest me and they are beginning to make their way into this blog. Once you sort out your dysphoria in an imperfect and yet deeply satisfying way, you no longer need to exclusively discuss trans issues. Hence I have now moved my militancy and outrage towards all forms of injustice. The world is a deeply ignorant place occasionally populated by caring and thoughtful individuals who make up a minority. In the middle there is an intellectually disinterested demographic who can be reached and educated. However, on the fringes there are unfortunately those who will maim and destroy in hopes of dealing with their own problems. That young man in Buffalo was helped in his radicalism by a twisted and deplorable malcontent like Tucker Carlson and Faux News which gleefully trumpets "replacement theory" narratives to people who don't go beyond the tip of their nose to test whether what they are hearing has any veracity. In this case it was a youth not yet equipped wi

A backwater takes a hit

Some of these Southern red states are literal backwaters for science and are run by deeply ignorant people. In Alabama a judge had the common sense to listen to over 20 medical associations rather than uneducated bumpkins hell bent on discrimination. The story from AP : "A federal judge on Friday blocked part of an Alabama law that made it a felony to prescribe gender-affirming puberty blockers and hormones to transgender minors. U.S. District Judge Liles Burke issued a preliminary injunction to stop the state from enforcing the medication ban, which took effect May 8, while a lawsuit goes forward. The ruling was a victory for families and advocacy groups who challenged the first-of-its-kind law as an illegal intrusion into family and medical decisions. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey referred to the ruling as a “temporary legal roadblock.” Alabama’s state attorney general indicated he will appeal. “This ruling means that parents of transgender children in Alabama will continue to be ab

New world

That last post was from the Not Just Bikes YouTube channel which I really like. It discusses civic planning and points out where we in North America have gone wrong. As a new model of work emerges post pandemic, we will likely abandon the atomic model of everyone in suburbs commuting to a city center. Europeans who have had far better models because having centuries old city centers to preserve, the newer expansions had to respect livability and keep their neighborhoods vibrant and relevant and not just places to work and vacate once 5 pm comes along. My son who is in software engineering will likely work mostly from home or at least in a variety of locations. My daughter presently works for a German digital animation company entirely from home and has yet to go to the office located in a neighborhood of Montreal. It's already a new world.

Stroads

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Civic planning at its worst...but there is a cure...

Sarabande

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Lifted

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The mask mandate was finally lifted today here in Quebec and after over 2 years it felt so good not to wear one indoors in a public space. We are still required to wear them on public transport and inside hospitals but that's about it. Hence I will continue to carry one in my purse and even elect to wear one when I feel I am in overly close quarters. I am certain that the mandate helped keep the cases down and Canada had very good numbers per capita compared to many nations. Our tendency to think collectively rather than individually likely helped many to stay out of hospital and saved more than a few lives. It's one of the many reasons I am so proud to be a Quebecer and a Canadian.

From the inside out

I don't own a lot of dresses. I have maybe four that I will occasionally wear because they are comfortable and the right length but otherwise most of the time I am either in skinny jeans, skirts or shorts. That also isn't about to change either as I like being ready quickly and out the door. Primping excessively isn't for me and if I take more than 15 minutes from dressing to light makeup application to shoes I feel I am doing something wrong. We morph over the years from an awkardness to a balance of practicality and style because we must and anyone who has tried to walk in stilettos for an extended period of time will understand this. Eventually we adopt a style that mirrors a genetic woman's while realizing that they themselves are not all the same. For myself I have settled for a blend of feminine and practical which took some time to fine tune and which works very well for me. Your journey will be unique to you but I would suggest that it might best be undertaken

Remade

Many of not most of us have purged; not once but many times before coming to terms with who we are. Each time I did I was sure that it was the last time I would wear feminine attire and earnestly believed it. Each time I was proven wrong. My gender "disobedience" goes back to earliest memory only that I didn't start to worry about it until I became a sexualized being and was faced with a choice between authenticity and trying to fit in. Needless to say I chose the latter because being born in my era meant there weren't many choices available to me.  Purging then became a repetitive exercise where I could talk myself into  convention. I could convince myself that my gender variance was elective and self-inflicted and I could control it if I wished. Each episode of succumbing became a drunken binge I could dismiss as temporary misstep on my way back and away from truancy. That this turned out to be a convenient self-deception took a while to sink in and required everyt

As we had planned

By the time we realize life isn't going to be like we might have planned, we are already well into it. It turns out that the magic formula was not to have planned at all but to let things come to us and once there apply our efforts. The more we play within the sphere of desire, the more we will be disappointed.

Un musicien parmi tant d'autres

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Time to fix it

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I t's 30 C in Montreal today and it's the middle of May. That this is unheard of is an understatement and it will happen with increasing frequency as our planet warms. That we have done this to ourselves no longer needs stating and our task now is to fix it for future generations.

Let it go

I admit that for the longest time the archetypal self described "crossdresser" irritated me. Filming themselves on YouTube in a cocktail dress at the grocery store looking out of place didn't fit the trans narrative in my head or my own experience. But in the end I was wrong mostly because we each have our own way of expressing what is inside of us and I didn't want to play the trans echelon game. This doesn't change my understanding of the topic but allows me the looseness of knowing that once you know yourself you can let others be who they are as well.

Question

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What is it with fringe religion right wingers and anti-science attitudes? They seem to go hand on hand.

They simply are

In the grand scheme of things gender variance of any sort is extremely unimportant but for some you would think it was the end of civilization. When your dogma is tied to a rigid and straight gender binary, any deviation cannot be allowed to stand or at least it must be pointed out as freakish aberration not to be imitated. Social conservatism fears spreading of behavior through imitation because they don't believe that it is identity based. Instead they believe that LGBTQ people can be indoctrinated through propaganda. This explains their methods of introducing bills like "don't say gay" which pin hopes on reducing the numbers of the LBGTQ community via reducing exposure. Yes, it is barbaric and stupid but nonetheless their belief. But as this latest trans youth study points out, trans identifying kids don't change their mind to the tune of 95% which only reinforces our understanding of the science. People don't choose to be who they are. They simply are.

Don't know why

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Social circle

I got together with Cecile and Ghislaine for a work break on a local terrace and it was lovely. They are both quite a bit older than me but they have a wisdom and a relaxed air about them as might be expected of women living life on their own terms without the stress of work. Both were met on my morning walks. We agreed to do this again infrequently which somewhat makes up for Louise moving away which will do my psyche good. Again, neither knows I am trans which suits me more than fine as explaining my history is not something that would not add any value to the casual nature of the relationship. We are just friends who will enjoy each other's company from time to time. Louise is only 2 years older and we were on the same wavelength but this will be a nice addition to my social circle nonetheless.

Meaning

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Everyone's life has both a meaning and a purpose.

An open window

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American Taliban

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Consequence

Depending on where you are on the spectrum a choice may need to be made. If your dysphoria is perhaps mild enough you won't need to make it, but if it is not it may come down to treating it versus living with the discomfort and opting for as "normal" a life as you can muster. There is no perfect scenario however, and even androphilic transsexual women have difficulty navigating life. For example, sometimes their partners don't know their past and they must live with the stress of concealment. Since I began to treat my dysphoria with all the seriousness it deserves, my level of stress has declined and I am happier however that has meant giving up on companionship or at least letting it fall by the wayside and not focus on it as a goal. Again, a choice must sometimes be made because both options are often almost mutually exclusive. It seems that those who identify as crossdressers can often make a better go of it and for that I am glad. But if I've learned anything

Improving

In any human interaction that goes sour no one is blameless and while it's easy to think we are justified we only need look further into our psyche to learn the truth. One of things I am doing now is examining my history and trying to patch the holes where I see that they stemmed from my own flaws. Having and dealing with dysphoria was always a part of the picture even if I didn't fully acknowledge the massively important role it played. But we can't fix the past but we can atone as best we can by trying our best not to repeat the errors we made. It is what makes the introspection process so important as it hopefully allows for a new and improved version of ourselves to emerge. Never lie to yourself.

The rise of A.I. companions

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What???

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Off the deep end deranged however these days not that surprising. Note to GOP this is 2022

Warmer weather

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This is the kind of comfortable look I like for the warmer weather. The only thing I wore on top of this for this cool morning was my three quarter length knit top. My thrift store leather purse is proving to be a winner because it's so practical as well as stylish plus I never tire of it being slung over the shoulder.

A fighting chance

America in particular and the world in general is currently in a dark place. We aren't any less ignorant a race only that the ignorant have found a way to pool their resources through their social media echo chambers and personalized propaganda outlets which I hesitate to call news. This unification of the malevolent and dim witted has created a situation ripe for the taking by hate groups and lovers of all types of demagoguery. It has also invited the autocratic aspirations of those foolhardy enough to believe that any one savior could cure a nation's ills. It is a scenario where even a blithering idiot like Trump has yet more possibility to inflict damage. We will be taking some unfortunate missteps going forward before things improve and if we can find a way to somehow make life better for the disenfranchised of this world, we may yet have a fighting chance.

Less mired

Sometimes I wonder if lesser intelligence makes for a happier existence. After all, if we are not as mired in details we can perhaps let things go and not over ponder them. Reflecting on the type of carefree mentality which a young child possesses, we can see a model to aspire to at least in the sense of not being jaded by life. Once we become aware of the barriers that life puts upon us, our sense of dread increases and our pure joy can correspondingly decrease. Hence if into adulthood we can maintain that sense of wonder without over analysis we may be able to counter the damage that the world tries to inflict.

Warriors

I magine for a moment being a disgruntled curmudgeon like Matt Walsh or Ben Shapiro perennially on the lookout for some cultural outrage to latch onto. I'm sure it can't be fun when you are sticking your nose into something that isn't really your business and isn't really harming you personally. Still, these conservatives just can't help themselves because it's their duty to save society from itself. These people have always been with us and they will continue to. They warned us about women being too uppity in wanting to vote and about black people knowing their place and not being allowed to ride in the front of the bus like everyone else. Then they warned us about homosexuality spreading like wildfire once kids learned about it and now it's about the spreading of the dreaded "transgender agenda". It must be hard for them to recognize themselves in history; how it repeats itself and how they invariably get left behind as dinosaurs although they pr

Not a game

Gender d ysphoria isn't the least bit amusing and once you know you have it you must act. The raison d'etre of this blog has always been how to manage and curb it without overshooting the required response which took me many years to achieve. Be patient with yourself and use trial and error methods and always question your motives within the vacuum of your own psyche. External influences will not help you as we are all unique and gender dysphoria impacts us differently. Never mind conventional trans wisdom and think for yourself. Forget the shoes, the makeup and the clothes as they are all ancillary issues and instead ask yourself one simple but at the same time complex question. Who are you?

Father and son

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Casual

At 7 00 this morning I met up with Marcella the philosophy professor who I had first met the Friday before and we spent about a half hour talking over a coffee. The conversation flowed well and we may very well exchange cell phone numbers soon. Later at 11 00 I met Louise for yet another coffee as she is moving away in June and this will end our weekly routine but that is the way life goes. We have decided to keep in touch and I will likely visit her once she settles in to her new place which will be north of Montreal. It's been good making more women friends even if it is just for the occasional meet up and it keeps my life social while not attaching myself too much to any one person. I seem to have found just the right life balance as a trans person who isn't out to everyone and maybe these women won't ever be told because its not that important or relevant to these casual friendships. We shall see.

Wisdom

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Wisdom is knowing you know nothing.

Beginnings

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Little Burgundy is the birth place of the late great Oscar Peterson. A small neighborhood located just to the southwest of downtown Montreal, it's humble and less than austentacious origins showed us that talent and perseverance can come from anywhere in this world. As I was walking by there recently, I took a photo of this mural in his honor.

Willful ignorance

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When intelligent discourse breaks down you get this and people like Ben Shapiro are paid to do it...

Trip

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In early June, m y upstairs neighbor and I will spend a couple of days in Quebec City which I have not visited for a few years now. I have rented two rooms in a cute little auberge close to the old city and we likely will venture into Charlevoix on the second day. Only one dress will make the trip along with ballet flats, sneakers and one pair of pumps for dinners out. The rest is just two t-shirts, shorts and a pair of capri pants. After traveling for work for so many years, I know how to pack for practicality, minimal weight and maximum comfort. Founded in 1608 its one of oldest settlements in North America and is absolutely beautiful.

Longing

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The existential angst which Kierkegaard talks about can be low level but it permeates everything because it is inherent in our having freedom. Not knowing what life will bring us next can be exciting but also terrifying and that gap is what keeps the human wondering and sometimes stressing. The longer we live, the more we witness variability and uncertainty and indeed, as young as Kierkegaard was when he died, his five siblings passed away before him. Those events undoubtedly had deep impact on his psyche which then turned into voracious writing and exploring what we must do to mitigate that longing whose source we cannot adequately put our finger on. The older we are and the less our distraction with child rearing or career aspirations, the more we are faced with the time to reflect on what came before in our lives and what it all meant which can bring its own kind of angst. The good news might be that this longing can be channeled into what brings us joy and rejuvenates us by workin

Bouree

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Voice

In everyone of us there is a voice present which battles against anything we do which meets disapproval with our original conditioning. No matter how secure we are as individuals, it is there and likely why so many of us need therapy and sometimes medication to resolve key life questions which touch upon our ethos. I have always personally resisted seeking outside guidance but everytime I did it turned to have been a judicious call. My trepidation came from a place of feeling in any way cajoled onto a road I dare not embark on. Whether that was a wise move or not I shall never know only that it was the only approach I felt comfortable adopting because it fit into my mantra of do the least amount of intervention lest you regret it later.

Response

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Advice from the father of existentialism...

Minority rule

Lest anyone think that the US has moved too far left (as Elon Musk tweeted recently), I present you with the potential overturning of Roe versus Wade. In 1973, 5 republican appointed justices voted for it and now 5 republican appointed justices voted to repeal it which is a clear sign how far right the country has moved since that time. When traditionally Catholic nations like Ireland and Mexico had to legalize abortion due to the self harm some women were inflicting on themselves, you know what a backwards move this is now in the year 2022. Hence America has taken yet another step towards its own undoing by fulfilling the wishes of a segment of the GOP that they actively courted with the southern strategy. That along with the electoral college is proving to be detrimental to the wishes of a majority which is far less conservative. Let me state that for the record, I am not personally a cheerleader for abortions, but would not deny someone else the right to one provided there are late

Badinerie

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Normalcy

I will often run into the same people in my neighborhood on walks or I will might see them in the grocery store. The same cashiers serve me and after a while it's routine but in a good way. Having people not know you are trans is no longer a novelty but simply becomes a normalcy even as I work through the baggage of a large chunk of a life spent denying. People will ask you questions implying you were born female and it doesn't phase me anymore like it used to. It just simply is that way. This morning it was Linda I ran into as she walked on the waterfront and we met face to face and caught up on our lives. I know there is more work to be done because I can tell, however none is on the physical side. It is all mental.

A slippery slope

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I just finished watching the last episode of Ozark and it was indeed a bumpy but exciting ride. The descent from accidental victims of a Mexican drug cartel to becoming your own force for malfeasance was slow and many chances were had to escape but none taken. Marty and Wendy Byrde are not as caught in the vice grip as much as they would like to think, and once inside that spiral an appetite for power begins to take hold. Wendy in particular sees her escape from a troubled childhood through a climbing into a societal structure that would never have accepted her as a member before. It is indeed a slippery slope and a must watch.

Language matters

I am trying to comprehend why many in the male to female gender variant community continue to employ the term crossdresser when female to male persons who do the same thing are not so labeled. If women aren't "crossdressing" when they wear traditionally male clothing, why is a male bodied person doing so when wearing a skirt? I tend to personally see this term as slightly anachronistic and dismissive rather than helpful since there are a series of societal connotations surrounding it which aren't generally positive or helpful. If we are going to move towards a deeper level of understanding and tolerance of all types of behaviour (no matter the percentage of the population which engages in it), we need to update the lexicon as we have done in many other areas of social science. Hence if we are going to less stigmatize a behaviour which has always existed and which occurs with much more frequency than transsexualism, a name change might be in order. Perhaps as a startin

What will suffice

My patience with the world has never been thinner but I am committed to working on it. Among my many flaws is a certain level of ire for those who don't think and I am not about to change that therefore I must work on myself. In that sense, maybe the right level of detachment is what I seek. When one has seen too much there is a tendency for cynicism to seep in but then the counter is to find solace in the small corners of the world where goodness exists. While there is perhaps an advantage in seeing humanity for what it is, the breaking of the illusion isn't the least bit therapeutic for the soul. Orthodox religion doesn't work for me the way it works for others because I must look into all the crevices before I find satisfaction. The idea that constant prayer will fix the ills of humanity are perhaps convenient and expedient for some, but I need more to quench my curiosity. When my father was dying of cancer I read Peter Kreeft's book on making sense out of sufferin

With equal aplomb

If one thinks about it, love should be about connectedness with another's mind rather than a consolation to being alone. After all, the human can find contact outside of the romantic which invariably tends to take on less importance as one ages. What remains is an openness to become intertwined with the spirit of another being even as both are replete with imperfection. This is why the best pairings morph beyond pragmatic concerns and challenges and, even as the pheromones have long dissipated, find ways to share both joy and sorrow with equal aplomb. Something which one does not find everyday.

Permanent

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The dysphoric brain is permanently miswired from birth. Caught in a conflict between its conditioning and instincts running counter to birth sex, it tries to resolve this gap in any way possible while navigating the heavy restrictions of our world. In the end we are often left with methods that curtail dysphoria which do not involve the ingestion of cross sex hormones plus the possibility of their addition. However for many if not most of us the dysphoria is at best reduced but not entirely eliminated particularly if the methods to combat it began late which is why young trans kids today have more than a fighting chance before too many years are spent in internal turmoil. The reason I have always recommended that caution be used for those of us who are older is that medical transition does not always resolve dysphoria in a fully satisfying manner and often introduces other life impacts that can leave us bitter. This is certainly not true in every case as some are deliriously content

The trap drum set

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Children's Crusade

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Targets

While some like to think of the trans community as being more monolithic than it is, there are elements of it which are in some ways even anti-transgender. This division goes back a long time when Virginia Prince was trying to make distinctions between married crossdressers and transsexual women. The reality is that it has never completely disappeared which is why posts on crossdressing blogs garner massive views while those on trans issues barely get noticed. This is because the gender variance community is a larger portion of what we have been calling the trans umbrella. I have tried to point out distinctions without appearing prejudicial because it is not about that. It is more about upholding the rights of people who go out on a limb and live their truth versus others for whom it boils down to a sporadic practice that they might enjoy often without excessive consequential impact on their lives. I am not and never will be against the crossdressing community, but it does not inte

Candor

She is a philosophy professor and we just started chatting as we both sat near each other in my usual Friday morning café. She tells me she likes to grade exams while sipping a large latte on Friday mornings and by the end of the conversation, we agreed that we might meet each other again on a regular basis at the end of each week. I learned that her husband works in the music business, and they have a 15-year-old daughter. She has been living in Canada since the age of three when her parents emigrated from their native Chile. The fact we both spoke Spanish only fed the ease of conversation and I am once again reminded of how some people are so ready and willing to engage while others are so much more reticent. Its good not to overthink and be overly on guard while still using warranted discretion but not so much as to appear unfriendly. In the end it is a balancing act of candor versus exposing too much information that upon subsequent reflection makes you wonder whether you cross

Little to complain

My traffic is down because maybe I have nothing interesting to say. I am in a good place and things are coalescing towards the end of a challenging career. Both my children are doing well and as long as my health holds up there is little to complain about it. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Layers

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Some people feel they exist in the middle of two genders while others are perhaps denying their true one. Determining this isn't the least bit obvious especially when the investment in the birth sex and all its trappings has been extensive over a long period of time. We end up peeling away layers as one does an onion until we get to the root of who lies underneath. I have been doing that for decades and the answer still isn't perfect but the bi-gender moniker doesn't quite feel right for me. So I leave the descriptor as trans and simply keep peeling the layers.

Cencus

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Last year for the first time ever I was able to mark the option of transgender as gender identity on a Canadian Cencus. The results released today show that over 100,000 of us identify that way with the actual number most assuredly higher due to trepidation and fear as that only gives 0.33% of the population when we know the average global percentage is higher and closer to 1.4% (and only goes up from there if you include all gender variance). Still, its another step forward in recognizing that not everyone has their birth sex and gender identity perfectly aligned. Some years ago, had that option been available, I would have been among those too hesitant to speak my truth but no longer.

Trust

What is our impetus for trusting? After we've been burned a few times by life we discover that not everyone merits our trust. If we then turn to mistrust as a baseline position we have lost a piece of ourselves for then everything is seen through a prism of cynicism. We humans are flawed, insecure and driven by self doubt which can impede trust in others. When we fall victim to unpleasant turn of events suddenly our justification for mistrust is rewarded and fed.  When older we tend to have a better eye for gaging in whom we can confide which perhaps makes up for those early scorchings. Fine tuning our criteria improves our outlook by also necessarily reducing the number of deserving candidates. As trans people our reasoning for trusting less has some justification because we have lived the consequences of partial or outright rejection. Something which makes our journey to intimacy just that much harder.

99%?

That debate between Vaush and Deborah Soh exposed the core difference between those who accept versus reject trans people. Those dubious of trans claims fall back on chromosomes while those accepting understand that one can decouple sex and gender and appreciate the heavy connotation of social construct as component of the latter. One interesting point not touched was Soh's assertion about 99% of people being comfortable with their birth sex which isn't completely true. The reality is that gender norms being so restrictive and punitive when broken, the vast majority settle for adherence. Hence if tomorrow all rules were dropped plenty of genetic males and females would live their lives very differently.  So even if trans people represent the outer edges of the divergence between birth sex and gender identity, there is a large subset also willing and able to free themselves from impositions they did not freely choose. Even if these potential gender outlaws aren't trans iden

Tethered

When you are trans and in a relationship you are tethered and have a reference point as to where you stand. Being untethered is less restrictive but also more dangerous because knowing what to do becomes more complex. Without that reference point to hold you back you can become more uncertain about your future since at least before we knew what our limit point was: namely the border beyond which the relationship would end. I know many trans people who live knowing where that fence exists and are perhaps happy about it because, even if they might want to venture beyond it, their anchoring to another person they love is comforting and brings structure even as they sometimes imagine a world outside of that boundary. My natural state is to be cautious which is why even now I step gingerly past potential land mines in a world that doesn't really know what to make of me. Being tethered then, is not always the worst thing provided you exist at a limiting line where your response to your

Gender debate

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Vaush just being Vaush  :)

Balance

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Simple is good. Ballet flats, jeans, black top over which I place a grey three quarter knit works for me. The color scheme is simple and I have jettisoned most patterns (except stripes) for solid colors which match well with each other. It makes dressing easy and expedient. My caramel thrift store leather purse is also pragmatic and comfortable suspended over a shoulder which doesn't tire of it. Yesterday on CBC radio I listened to a young transwoman describe her increasing migration into a balanced blend of comfort and style after initially opting for extra femme choices and I  smiled to myself as I drove. Been there done that :)

Monologue

I try to be patient with monologists but it's hard. I cannot imagine being in their place and needing to talk without any apparent need to listen. The art of conversation appears to be a one way street for them and I become weary of their tactics very quickly. I don't want to judge but simply observe and chalk it up to neediness. I suppose it's as good a reason as any.