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Showing posts from June, 2022

Born different

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Comments on the DSM

I very much like Zagria's comments regarding her recent post on the DSM and so I am posting them here. I am still reflecting on the differences between transvestism and transsexualism (expression versus identity with some overlap perhaps?) and these comments from Zagria really fit the bill. In particular the divergence between groups who seek counselling for distress for what used to be called GID (now gender dysphoria) versus "the happy crossdresser" (with no disrespect intended). How much of the compulsive elements of transvestism (among some) bleed into transsexualism if at all given that both can experience arousal patterns (as even some androphilics do). She also mentions Gender Expression Deprivation Anxiety (a Vitale term) which I find extremely descriptive of what many of us experience growing up and well into adulthood: "In the 1960s and 1970s Virginia Prince had advocated that the word ‘transvestite’ be restricted to heterosexual transvestites. This was acc

A problem

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The American political spectrum is composed of three groups but only two major parties which represents a problem. First there are the progressives, second the centrist Democrats and moderate Republicans (ostensibly the same animal), followed by the batshit crazy right wing hell bent on theocratic dictatorship. The Democrat party hope for change is hampered by their centrist and corporate wing while the Republican party aspirations of being a viable force instead of a coalition of extremist causes are restricted by their fringe crazies. The country needs three parties to allow each more breathing room and allow for platforms which have less compromise. This should also be followed by an abolishing of the electoral college whose very existence guarantees the minority will dictate to the majority. In fact Howard Stern has been floating the idea of entering the political arena with this very goal in mind. When Kentucky has equal weight to economic engines like California or New York, clea

The script

It takes us a while to wake up to how the world truly functions. At first we might think it's ordered a certain way for good reason and we don't question what later turn out to be obvious irrationalities. We accept both societal and familial obligations thinking that they are just part of the natural order of things; our role within them perhaps seen as sacrosanct. I know I fell victim to that naivete and actively conspired against my own enlightenment by swallowing the messaging almost whole. But eventually the blinders wear off and we see things as they are. What it turns out is that we are to make our way with our sense of self and personal compass to guide us made all the more relevant when you don't easily fit the script.. However many more years are allotted to me will be spent honoring my own personhood in disregard for the outside voices of a world that is often much more confused than you are.

Not surprising

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US poll which is not even remotely surprising....

Put me in my place

I love getting knocked off my perch when I deserve it. For that rattling might sting at first but ultimately jar me into new enlightenment. Many of us live with self assuredness about what we think we know and when shown otherwise it can upset our vision of the world.. By this period in my life I am open to being educated on any angle I hadn't considered and welcome the lesson if it makes me a better person in the long run. Therefore I am happy to be put in my place. For I don't want to be right but I do want to know what is.

Good purchase

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The Amazon rounded toe ballet flats I picked up are even more padded and comfortable than the pointy toe ones I bought. Therefore they are going to be my mainstay casual shoe for the summer. They are also stylish enough to be worn with a dress or skirt plus they don't make a big dent on the pocket book either :)

The hesitant trans

I can personally attest to the fact that once you are at a plateau which suits you in your trans journey, there is no going back. It's like entering a hot bath where at first you are tentative but then acclimatize and you don't want to step out.  I have reflected at length on what would happen if I regressed and sadly it would be an increase of stress and unhappiness. In spite of the fact that I have a unique formula that isn't perfect it calms the dysphoria to the greatest degree I have ever achieved. People who aren't self accepting might see this as succumbing but I see it as improving my quality of life. Having spent many years seeing being trans as an affliction (which the early years of this blog can attest to), I have perhaps a different perspective than some. My steps have been measured and tenuous and while I reject terms like bi-gender as applying to myself, I think the moniker of "hesitant trans" is much more apropos.

Checks and balances

How a malevolent buffoon like Trump got elected is less surprising than the enabling that went on for years after. Many Republicans were willing to ride that gravy train and even as they knew he was unhinged, they banked on being able to get what they needed while this clown entertained his audience. Of course it backfired in spectacular fashion not only for the Supreme Court picks but because it almost cost the country its democracy. That it got to the point where a weaponized crowd would have hanged the vice president will be a stain on a political structure that failed to meet the moment. Sure the unthinking masses can easily be duped but when the checks and balances aren't sufficient to stop such madness you need to ask yourself whether wholesale change isn't required.  Clearly there are members of congress, the senate, the right wing media and the administration itself who rode on the coattails of this dangerous plate throwing idiot and didn't seem to care about anythi

What we already knew

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A dangerous mix

Human stupidity isn't at all perplexing however it is fatiguing. It runs on a fundamental fuel of ignorance mixed with arrogance with often the more vocal the person is, the less informed they are. Cue the fringe right wing attacks on anything they don't comprehend (or don't want to) and their easy prey of people on the margins who they secretly despise. T rump, who wouldn't sit down at a meal with any of his rally attendees, personifies that mixture of arrogant and stupid. But somehow the false bravado works because the audience for his histrionics is encouraged to hate the very same things he does and if you distract the masses you can make them do anything; something we knew even before Orwell. America is on the verge of collapse within maybe 2 decades unless grass roots interference stops it. The people will need to undo the oligarchical system that favors the corrupt and the powerful and take money out of the equation. This means no more special interest envelopes

This land is my land

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 When you are the butt of late night jokes it don't look good...

How I learned from two people

Many years ago I used to have an online friend who called himself Fiona. He was from the UK and liked to dress up and indulge in the occasional photoshoot dressed as a woman. He admitted he would go through these periods mostly when he didn't have a girlfriend but when he was with someone would not engage in the activity at all. Looking back now he was someone more on the expression end than the identity one.  In retrospect, being friends with him was helpful because we learn sometimes about ourselves through contrast. He didn't identify in any way as a female but simply needed to express a side of himself and even then not very frequently.  It was during the same period that I also met Sherry who was, in my mind anyway, almost diametrically the opposite. She was a petite Asian who was clearly transsexual and was then just on the cusp of having surgery. I have long ago lost touch with Fiona but still chat on occasion with Sherry who is living her best life. Today many in the wo

At least they're consistent

I n a 6 to 3 ruling the Supreme Court once again showed their leanings by upholding the 1st amendment rights of a football coach on the basis of exercising his right to private prayer.  The problem is that this coach would do it on the 50 yard line after the game and invite his players to do likewise. The school had asked him to stop specifically because it wasn't private and found it to be potentially coercive and have others feel compelled to join him in such a public space in front of fans. The 6 to 3 court ruling sided with the coach but dissenting judge Sotomayor rightly pointed out that her colleagues conveniently left out the circumstances in their ruling. They simply pointed to the fact that this man wanted to  engage in private prayer which was of course false. That some of his players are Jewish or non religious need not matter. The school didn't mind the coach praying only they asked him to perhaps consider everyone else as well and pray in the locker room instead of

2nd pair

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I was so happy with the Amazon pointy toe ballet flats I ordered that I went ahead and got the rounded toe ones as well. They are super padded and comfy. No regrets.

She's got a point!

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No matter what

There is no perfect and even as I have a latitude that others in relationships don't have, I am also on my own.  The reality is that being trans is extremely difficult and sometimes made more so by walking a tightrope between genders. Although Joanna has the lion share, I still present male to some friends and to extended family who I just can't be bothered to work on because their acceptance matters not one whit to me and isn't worth the effort. But no matter how we present, the internals don't change and we are the same person which took me the longest time to understand viscerally even as I did intellectually. We are trans before and after surgery because it is what is between the ears that counts the most. Finding your formula can take many years of trial and error and sometimes (like with a fellow trans patient of my family doctor) the death of a spouse to create an opportunity for a transition under the most horrible of circumstances.

Wake up call

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T he long standing incestuous relationship between the GOP and the crackpot religious right just gave the entire country a rallying cry. Come November Americans will come out to vote in huge numbers to try and take back their country from the edge of destruction which was starting to look a lot like a trip towards a theocratic dictatorship. Fathers and mothers who worry about their daughter being forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy, LGBTQ people and women who don't want the government telling them what to do with their bodies are going to hopefully come out in droves and vote. Those who worry about gun conceal laws biting the dust will as well. If you weren't worried before about voting extremists into office before you may have started to now and these recent developments might b e the catalysts the country was looking for to finally wake up. I for one certainly hope so.

Three groups

I 've written here before about Anne Vitale's 3 groups of trans people which she saw in her practice. G1 is born male but has trouble hiding very effeminate behavior right from the outset much to the exasperation of concerned parents. G2 is born female and is noticeably drawn towards boy clothes, toys and behavior. G3 is born male and understands early there is a disconnect but keeps quiet and is nevertheless able to conceal and behave as the world demands. What I like about these groupings is that they capture the trans community perfectly. Her G1 historically tended to transition early and was usually androphilic which was yet another bonus for alignment with their change. I am a G3 as are most of the trans people I know. This means we traditionally resisted until hitting a wall in midlife or later although this is now changing with trans issues being so much in the open versus when I was growing up. This likely means that there is probably a blending between G1 and G3 in so

Fareed's take

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The light

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Letting life come to you

There isn't the slightest doubt in my mind about two things: I will never marry again and I will never live with anyone. That being said there is an openness for companionship which not borne out of need leaves you without any sense of desperation and with your eyes wide open. By this age you know how life works with all its benefits and pitfalls hence you can entertain the idea of sharing a life with someone who accepts the entire package of who you are but it is not mandatory. Thus when you hold the cards and there is no sense of urgency, you can let life come to you.

Heat

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To say I am not a summer person is a massive understatement and my body breaks down refusing to cooperate. I have always tried to understand those who say to me unabashedly "Oh I love the heat" unless perhaps they mean lounging by a pool all day like a mollusk. For me being able to walk, bike or play tennis are hampered by the oppressive heat of a Montreal summer with the only respite my being my status as an early bird and taking advantage of whatever coolness which might be offered. Thus I spend summer waiting for the rescue of a fall which is increasingly hot as well. My body's set point has always been such that I tolerate cold far better than the heat and although I don't love those winter days of minus 20C, I will take them over 30C plus the accompanying humidity. I remember years ago being in our Tampa office in June and asking the employees what they did which was ostensibly run between an AC office to an AC car; a reality which at least made me appreciate tha

Midnight cruiser

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10 years ago

This morning this blog quietly crept past 1 million views which is much less relevant to me than the timing of the milestone; it was in early July of 2012 that I began writing it under very different circumstances. I could never have imagined still being at it 10 years later (with a few breaks in between for good measure).

A lexicon just for me

Trying to understand myself took many years. I wasn't a man who puts on a dress on occasion but I wasn't April Ashley or Geena Rocero either and so I needed to find language which satiated my curiosity and which allowed me to find peace. Even as I knew I existed on the cusp of transsexualism I settled on the abbreviation trans because I found nothing better. Yes, reading all the research helped but it still wasn't enough to just familiarize myself with the limited science I felt compelled to voraciously digest. Finding yourself is pivotal because without that self comprehension you won't know how to proceed. It's not just about finding a descriptor but about the soul searching process where that descriptor actually means something to you.

"Garde ton sourire"

  "Un jour a la fois" said the panhandler to me. I spoke to him for a minute and I apologized that I didn't have change only to realize much later that I did. He was weather beaten and probably not more than 65; part of the increasing population of the world who fall under the category of the have nots. Not far up the incline from the corner on which he stood was the newly refreshed Montreal downtown core with its new profile of condo towers and deluxe Starbucks franchises. It's been so upgraded that I sometimes need to question which corner I am on in an area I have walked repeatedly over more than 30 years. As I walked away from him wishing him a good day he said to me "garde ton sourire" which I imagine wasn't quite as easy for him as for me.

Drowning in the bathtub

When you have a country where the minority decides political outcomes you have a recipe for disaster. This latest Roe V Wade fiasco is the direct result of that where red states with small populations are able through the electoral college to dictate to the majority of the country. That these smaller states tend to be poorer and less educated is helping even less and they are holding back the progress of the rest of the US. That combined with a need to get 60 votes in the Senate, means your hands are tied and you are held hostage by the likes of Mitch McConnell. This decision by a fringe right wing Supreme Court won't sit well with the majority that supports a woman's right to choose even if they themselves don't agree with that decision. The country now takes yet another step backwards into a less enlightened place where fanatical forces can increasingly get a firm grip on the nation. This is arguably the worst period of American history in my lifetime and speaks to a ste

Gender crisis

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Roe V Wade

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Oh well it's back to the 19th century. The moves towards theocratic totalitarianism continue. 

Noticeable change

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Downtown has changed a lot since the pandemic and not a 5 minute walk from my old office St Catherine Street is now a wider esplanade with more room for pedestrians than cars. I took the bus and the metro now that my car is gone and i will eventually get used to living this way as a begin to slowly retire :)

Remember

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Atom Agoyan's "Remember" has a fascinating premise but perhaps stretches the plausibility meter a little. Still, the crescendo is so frightening and Christopher Plummer gives such a reveting performance as the supposed former Auschwitz survivor on a mission. He has one purpose before he dies or his alzheimers gets the better of him first. His dear wife recently departed makes him have even less to live for. Tormented by the past he cannot escape, maybe one final act can reconcile all. Highly recommended.

Compromise

I long ago concluded that the degree of compromise a gender variant person can offer in a couple situation is tied to a sense of identity. To provide a simple analogy more applicable to orientation but effective nonetheless, asking a gay man to marry a woman is anathema to the man because this runs contrary to his identity.  But once we are dealing more with expression then of course things are different.  Someone whose cross gender expression fits well within an irregular schema can make things work because that expression is tied more to choice. It is why for example self described crossdressers (and I use the term here because they do) seem more predisposed to navigate a dichotomy which, although contradictory, is somehow able to achieve a balance no matter how awkwardly. One meaningful and notable exception of course are those constrained by circumstances and obligations that they have little to no control over. This described me for many years.

Bandwidth

I think there's a lot to be said for the idea that our ability to draw a fuller experience from life is related to intelligence which is not necessarily the academic kind. Imagine if we were simply sentient and lived primarily on instinct. Yes we would suffer less but the payoffs would be as well. In other words, the wider the bandwidth the more possibility to experience both extremes and draw lessons from both. So perhaps the life of a cat isn't what we are after (with no offense to the cat) Yet given that we have bandwidth, the key to life seems to be to avoid either extreme for riding a roller coaster can't be good for the blood pressure. Hence the higher we go up the further we have to fall when the next calamity strikes. That greater bandwidth also allows behavior which is far more aberrant and toxic than the aforementioned cat could conceive of. I endeavor to achieve a better balance each day with the help of past experience which helps me see the landscape more clear

Speaking to the deaf

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Who you were all along

Growing up p re internet era, the te mptation to think one was unique was very high. There were no websites, no chat rooms or blogs where we could commiserate and so we understood ourselves to be aberrant to a much higher degree than we should have. That reality has a lasting impact and for many delayed the process of self acceptance because so much work had been done to desperately fit in. I have said here often that as bad as some of these trans kids have it, I am glad they are being spared the years of living in silence. The work still continues for me in large part because so much effort was put into fitting a narrative that would work for everyone except myself. That it has become more fine tuning today than heavy lifting nevertheless still shows how the years of subterfuge can result in a very slow road back to becoming the person you were all along.

Justice matters

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The F Word

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The F Word is a cute and quirky Canadian rom com in which the chemistry between Daniel Ratcliffe and Zoe Kazan is palpable from the outset but she is attached and so nothing can happen. Still, a burgeoning friendship develops based on a shared sense of humor. This is cinema which doesn't break any new ground and yet it works better than a lot of films in this genre by sidestepping tempting cliches. Nevertheless, these movies remind us of the messiness and the awkwardness; the sweaty palms and the heart palpitations of young love. Perhaps it's trying to tell us that love is a concious choice instead of an inevitability even when there is so much which can go horribly wrong; that there is no payoff without risk.

Disappointed

T rans issues are far more interesting when contextualized through the lens of social justice. Otherwise they can just become a dull and repetitive topic. Humanity has seen at every juncture of its history the issue of the marginalized fighting for basic rights. The struggle was always framed in the same manner namely that the tormentor saw less than a human being and the tormented wanted nothing more than to be left in peace. Whether it was the jews of medieval Spain, black people in the US or now the LGBTQ contingent, the same questions are posed and the same exaggerated demonization happens due to the massive ignorance of the oppressor. That the world thrives on ignorance is hardly surprising only that every era hopes we have finally seen the light and is yet again disappointed.

Ironic

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We started out lauding social media on the premise that it was a tool for keeping touch with others which is the last thing it's for. For that we could simply pick up the phone. Instead, social media has become about celebrating the banal, elevating our status as treatment of our insecurities as well as battleground to crush our nemeses. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are the equivalent of commercials meant to sell something and with all the weight and consistency of popcorn. In our aim to be connected we lost something along the way and became increasingly disconnected which if not amusing is at the very least ironic.

Anger

For a long time I didn't realize to what extent I was ignoring my anger issues. When you have something unaddressed for many years as I did, there is a building of pressure which sometimes erupts during occasions where there is more than one issue going on. You may have been angry about something else but the pent up frustration from not dealing adequately with what was bothering you would seep in as well. Protecting myself took on other forms like thinking everyone else was an idiot and being quick to focus on their flaws. Repairing this takes time and patience and the more you calm the furnace by dealing directly with the root of your demons, the more your empathy for others increases. I began to work on stopping being an intellectual snob and look increasingly at what made that other person's life experience fascinating. It appears that when you aren't entirely happy others don't have the right to be which is an irrationality borne out of emotional distress.

Party over country

There is now absolutely no doubt that Trump led a criminal conspiracy to subvert American democracy with the only question remaining being to what extent does the arm of justice act. Thus far it seems that Merrick Garland has little appetite to indict partly no doubt because the lunatic fringe element that still supports the odious one and his lies is a substantial portion of one of the two major parties. The problem is that if you do nothing you implicitly are saying that the actions Trump took were acceptable and then set a precedent for a repeat performance. We now know the plot involved an alternate slate of electors and through coercion of state election officials (who have received countless death threats) they hoped to ram their plan through and use Pence as the actor who would upset the legitimate election of Biden. Unfortunately no matter what you do you are in trouble, for if you indict the right wing mobs are stirred into action but if you do not you have added several more

Schiff

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Discernment

I think we need to stop thinking that other people or certain things will make us happy for only we can do that. Hoping that the next great job or partner will fulfill us completely is a fallacy and those of who have lived long enough have learned that valuable lesson first hand. The secret to life might just be to be open to experiences with a peaceful inside which is that much more amenable to being pleasantly surprised while taking the shocks that inevitably come and deal with them with a certain grace. In that sense, there is nothing that can reward more than the perspective which weighs value with a discretionary eye; one that can see through the gloss that society tries to paint over things. The idea might be not to be cynical but instead to get to the root of value with more discernment.

Older 'hoods

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This is what I meant about the aesthetic of having living space above commerce and how mature tree-lined residential side streets compliment feeding into a vibrant artery (currently pedestrian only) thus breathing life into the neighborhood. These buildings date from the early 20th century and are attached but are not more than 3 stories high with independent staircases which encourage privacy. Hence, aside from being attached no common areas shared between occupants other than perhaps green space in the rear of the building. This artery also has subway entrances which make getting here a breeze via public transit.

Message

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Suite Francaise

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Suite Francaise is about finding love during wartime. Nothing is simple when there is conflict and two people who might have met under different and better circumstances find themselves drawn together through their common love of music. Michelle Williams is very good here as is Mattias Schoenaerts who plays the stoic composer and German officer caught in a web of duty to his country in a cause he doesn't really believe in. Casablanca it is not and yet there is a similar tonality here where you are afraid that melancholy might just win out over a happy ending which I guess you will have to see for yourselves.

Car sharing

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Not a red red

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Well it's not the reddest shade but let's see how long it lasts which is typically about a week :)

Nothing too extreme

The American right loves to talk indoctrination of children and now a Trump endorsed pastor running for office is advocating for the execution of the parents of LGBTQ kids. Not that many years ago, these sorts of statements would have instantly disqualified a candidate but now they seem to be a badge of honor. In Orwellian America nothing is too extreme especially within a party desperately trying to not lose the culture war to societal progress. This era of ours is the handover from the twisted boomers and Gen-exers to the millenials who don't think remotely the same and somehow ended up less driven, frustrared and conflicted possibly due to their being spared Pavlovian programming. Hence all this change is not sitting well with those whose preconceived ideas and lack of education unsettle their world view and so the pushback won't be pretty. I always tell my children that one of my most disappointing life discoveries has been the sheer amount of idiots running around the wor

In spite of everything...

Calie's latest post on T-Central made me think about older transsexuals who never had a chance to treat their high intensity dysphoria. As someone on the transsexualism spectrum myself, I struggled all my life but imagine being born in the 1920's and not having any information on the subject matter and no recourse to seek and receive help. I was able to access the Montreal General Hospital gender identity clinic in 2007 which I credit with the beginning of my self acceptance process. I can only imagine where I would be today without that resource and how much more painful my life would have been. In spite of the insane persecution of trans people currently happening in the world (especially in the US) things are far better for the simple ability to find a friendly ear and medical resources to help you.

Liveable

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I live in a walkable neighborhood that was mostly built up between the end of the 19th century and the 1950s which means that it was conceived more for people than cars. The main commercial street (pictured) goes fully pedestrian until October and as a result it is full of activity and full of restos and cafés many with outdoor terraces. The area is undergoing gentrification yet there is a great balance of demographics here that doesn't favor any one group. This vibrancy is what keeps the neighborhood buzzing with all age groups and income brackets. Building neighborhoods like these is now illegal because they mix commercial and residential spaces which is a shame because it makes neighborhoods far more liveable and less car dependent. In fact, m y car disappears on Tuesday and then it's car sharing.  

A rule I never break

A young transwoman asked me if I needed help at Sephora. She was cute as a button and maybe 25 at most and no I never break the rule that I should not acknowledge another trans person. I told her I was just looking and she gave me a lovely smile and went about her way to help another customer.

A means to an end

I will admit that  I used to be a little stumped as to why evangelicals were willing to support a deplorable dirt bag like Trump until one thinks about the ultimate goal. You see, Trump became a vehicle to get policies passed and his character (or lack thereof) became inconsequential. Of course in order to defend their support publicly, they had to do cartwheels on live television and it was perhaps less convincing when it was someone who at least had an education than a tin foil hat wearing MAGA rally attendee who swallowed everything whole. True followers of traditional faiths praise humility and kindness for their fellow human beings but this twisting of religious ideas mixed right wing intolerance with poisonous public policies all made to fit a narrative. Hence an idiot like Trump became a means to an end because for them the alternative was far worse.  To be clear Biden represents to most established democracies a milquetoast centrist (a church attending Catholic no less) and yet

Patience

My son and I talked over espressos yesterday and I am impressed with his reserve and maturity. Yes, he is still hampered by anxiety but talking about his relationship with the extended family and his viewpoint regarding a possible future partner, he showed wisdom beyond his years. When I was his age things were more defined when it came to the rules of the game but today they are far more hazardous and even if I know he would like someone in his life, he has observed the world around him and sees the potential dangers of rushing. Possibly aided by the failure of his parents' marriage he knows what he doesn't want and is willing to wait. I am suspicious that during the course of his engineering studies things will work out in that department and if not plenty of time during a burgeoning professional life. But regardless, I told him that things will happen when they are supposed to. And though it might sound terrible and that I would love him no matter what, given a choice betwee

At 72

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Los herederos de la tierra

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Acabo de empezar la serie Los Herederos de la Tierra y me gusta mucho. Encuentro que la television Española hace las series muy bien. Prefiero ver la serie en Castellano A ver como pensais vosotros. 

Good!

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I really like David Doel's channel and here he comments on Krystal Ball's stellar appearance on Bill Maher's show. Maher who has increasingly become an unbearable crank and bore with his woke mob mantra, gets pummeled by Ball. The show has become increasingly unwatchable but good for her for appearing on it though...

Off our perch

We've all had rude jolts in life which knock us off our perch. While jarring, they are actually good because they serve a valuable lesson once the shock wears off. Thinking we have it all figured out perhaps happens while still in our youth and then suddenly we are taught otherwise as we take our licks. Knowing how much work we still need to do is more humbling and makes us more empathetic to the plight of others who are struggling along side us. For  I can be happier being more aware of my flawed nature and more likely to forgive myself than when more self assured.

Lone wolf

YouTube will sometimes send recommendations your way which aren't part of your usual fare but this one video struck me because it was by a disgruntled member of the MGTOW movement making fun of women being desperate or exasperated on Tiktok (a platform I've heard of but have never used) with regards to relationships. It became obvious that this man was equally frustrated but took it out on these women as to why he wasn't successful either. So he extolled being a lone wolf by swearing off relationships and making himself feel better by ridiculing them. Of course it is easy to hand pick car wrecks on social media and in so doing regale in your own misery by pointing out that of others.

So far so good

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The Amazon ballet flats I ordered came last night and I gave them a trial on my walk this morning. What I like is that they have a tiny lifted sole and some cushioning such that the back of the foot is well supported. So far so good :)

Every day

The mind travels to the past and  future with equal aplomb and proficiency. It has trouble staying in the moment and taking everything in but sometimes we can and then suddenly there is peace and lucidity. Whatever errors we think we committed in the past cannot be repaired now and permanent atonement hampers our ability to go forward. Besides, what we might view as errors could have been avoidance of a rabbit hole we might not have been able to escape because we just don't have the full information to know. So we live in the present and do our best during each moment of every day.

Dream of the return

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and everything else should follow

I was never one to take advice from other trans people. It wasn’t that their words rang hollow only that I needed to see and live things for myself. Now I can view the videos and read the words and they resonate because I viscerally understand them. I still hold the viewpoint that cheerleading for being trans is not such a great thing for it is more a fact of life that one must get used to like the color of one’s eyes or hair. For better or worse it is a fact of life that fighting against only brings you more misery. In fact, fighting just brought me frustration because in the end I couldn’t be like everyone else. I could only be myself which many people in this world are deeply afraid to do. When choice is removed from you there are only two options: accept or rail against reality and as hard as the former is, it is the better of the two options. Your biggest task then isn’t really to find acceptance from the outside world but to work hard on yourself such that it doesn't matt

What no longer works

American society isn't going the way the right wing would like it to which is why continuing to abide by democratic ideals isn't in their playbook. US demographics are revealing a more diverse electorate which is getting younger and less likely to vote Republican hence the toying with gerrymandering districts in hopes of keeping their white, older and less educated base as the majority. By also using divisive wedge issues to distract from the loss of economic strength of their voters,  they continue to take money from corporate donors who then ostensibly write public policy. In this scenatio, the average voter doesn't stand a chance. Constitutional Republic or parliamentary democracy it doesn't matter what any system is called if it doesn't work for the people that it is supposed to represent and from where I sit I'm not overly hopeful the country can be saved without the kind of massive overhaul that will basically be a revolution; only hopefully one without bl

A tall order

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T he January 6th committee has more than enough evidence to convict and in a less partisan and deluded era all this would be open and shut case. Imagine if Nixon had so much more weighing over him than the Watergate break in; they would have put him in prison and thrown away the key. But the world has changed and since we can now hand pick our truth from specialty websites, the DOJ must walk on eggshells lest the MAGA loonies make the insurrection look like a garden party with their next display of civil unrest. The country is armed to the teeth and full of militias keen on using their storage house of weaponry which means Merrick Garland would need a case so air tight that even the most deluded Trumpist would have no trouble reconciling the evidence with the preprogrammed right wing talking points rattling around in their heads. A tall order indeed. For it seems that democracy only works when all parties involved believe in it.

Better to...

I don't get stared at but I did when I was very nervous and insecure in public which was what people were detecting instead of them reading me as a trans person (which was what I was sure was happening). In this world you need to have that confidence about who you are and then proceed on that basis. I can tell you that today I will lambaste you where you stand if you get in my face and it is that self assurance that people can detect in a person. Conversely they can also smell dread. I have learned that in the end, it is better to have people hate you for who you are than love you for who you are not.

Hustle

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Hustle is about redemption for 2 people. One is the street savvy and talented athlete from a tough neighborhood while the other is the crusty talent scout looking for that big discovery. That they find themselves in each other and change both their lives is a story we have seen before although perhaps not always told this well. Adam Sandler in particular does a fine job here as does Queen Latifah as his steadfastly supportive wife. If you like basketball the movie offers a plethora of cameos from the big established stars as well as plenty of action in addition to the pathos. Highly recommended and who knows  Oscar contender? You heard it here first.

The fetish narrative

I will be blunt and also apologetic to those who take offense but I do find some some gender variant people a little off putting. The photoshoots and the skimpy outfits don't fit the trans narrative in my head which is why I tend to not readily include them under the trans umbrella.  This is not about being a separatist but if we are going to understand a subject we need to be able to make distinction between behaviors. Thus having thought about this for a long time I have made a clean separation in my mind between gender expression and identity while understanding very well that they overlap to differing degrees in each person. My problem is perhaps that I personally relate much more to transsexuals and this is where my perspective is skewed. I just can't help but think that skimpy outfits and sky high heels aren't doing the trans community any favors as they just seem to give ammunition to detractors who just love to trot out the fetish as origin narrative.  Mind you, hav

Seeking solutions

Geopolitics deals with issues related to demographics and economics as well as the political structures that govern nations. Over the last 3 decades the advent of the internet has drastically remade our world and thanks to the sharing of information gateways were opened which transcended even language barriers. The flip side of course is that this the dark forces of societies who could now plot similar schemes and have them work globally. We are now faced with major issues such as climate change and devastating income inequality which threaten most nations. It is why I feel that thinking globally rather than nationally is going to be more beneficial to our world. Hence closing the borders and hoping for the best isn't going to work out. Strategic alliances will need to be formed if we are to problem solve and whether it is the climate crisis, reducing plastics in the ocean or curbing devastating poverty will take more than the will of one nation. Since neoliberalism became a thing

Huh?

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Amazon

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I walk a lot which is why ballet flats tend to be my go to shoe in the warmer weather. Sometimes I will also opt for sneakers or for a low heel block pump when less walking is required. This week I ordered the Amazon ballet flats pictured below because my other favored casual pair were getting ratty. I should get them by Friday and although I have ordered other items from Amazon before, I have never ordered shoes so I will have to see how the quality versus price ratio pans out :)

Gender variant

If you notice I have begun to refer to non dysphoric people as gender variant which is meant to describe gender behaviour outside the norm without identity implications (this group would include self identified crossdressers for example). So while they might possibly be dissatisfied with their frequency of expression they aren't going to jump off the nearest bridge when it is curtailed although they may get moody perhaps. Once we introduce dysphoria, there is now a internal discussion involving identity which brings into question what actions are required to mitigate or eliminate it. For those familiar with Benjamin this aligns ostensibly with his types 4 through 6 who must weigh the benefits and pitfalls of transition carefully. In the type 6 the high intensity nature of the dysphoria demands the most attention (think Janet Mock here for example) Cristina Cross commented here yesterday regarding her feelings of euphoria which is very apropos since with the resolution of all or mos

A simple message

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From this place

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Some very interesting questions

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I found this entry on Jack Molay's Crossdreamer portal (dated January 2022) where some of the very same interesting  questions which I ponder were being discussed (for example I don't believe that expression and identity are necessarily synonymous) : "Over at CDL Carah Maise asks whether it  makes sense to include people who have a different gender  expression  (as opposed to gender  identity ) in the transgender family. She writes: I've been around the trans world for what is becoming a very long time. I've seen things evolve and change. I’m seeing, a growing call for gender nonconformity and expression (whether for crossdressing, drag, fashion, etc) to move from just being under the trans umbrella but a call to be considered the same thing as transgender, regardless of actual gender identity/dysphoria. Beyond what we have classically seeing requiring at least an identity of not cis. Much of this comes from a very sincere place and is motivated by good. However so

Open eyes

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Visiting places like Hanoi, Monclova, Johannesburg and Geogetown gives you an eyeful as to how much of the world lives. Early on in my career I was able to formulate a picture of injustice while realizing my life in Canada was blessed. Many people live in dire poverty with very hard daily conditions and those images will always stay with me. Many who travel only for leisure see idealized visions of these countries because they do not visit the industrial portions where the people live which skews their perspeptive. When you see people living in the equivalent of a box it opens your eyes.

Still fascinated

A s I've said here before, one of the last areas that still interests me is the relationship (if any) between what we used to term travestism and transsexualism. Is it a question of gradation or are they different branches altogether with possibly a common root? I have been reading the blogs of others for many years looking for clues and where many were obviously and clearly in each camp others were more nebulous. But in either case, putting people into categories doesn't help explain their origins. The tranvestism camp often produced narratives of raiding mom's laundry basket for undies or pantyhose often at or after puberty whereas transsexuals tended to do the same only considerably younger. Arousal patterns can appear in both but that has never been the motivating factor for a transition but instead a curious symptom. In general we can perhaps say that transvestism does not seem to lead to a wish for a permanent transition whereas transsexualism is very much about that

What's in a tweet

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That rotting piece of excrement known as Donald Trump tweeted out a false allegation such that this city of Philadelphia Republican election official received serious death threats. Jail cannot come soon enough for dear old Donny. America please do the right thing...

Institutional reform

The nature of dating has drastically changed and now some women are bemoaning the fact that men aren't asking them out. The MGTOW movement has certainly made great strides in recent years and as more men check out from playing the game, the number of participants decreases. Small wonder then that birth rates are down and more people are living alone than ever before. Swiping left or right and ghosting have become part of the new idiom as we try and figure our what the social dynamics will be as we move further into the 21st century. Certainly much will change because not only have women gained in economic strength but so have non-white populations which are increasingly making their presence known in society. As the nature of work also morphs into a new system we will see the family unit adapts to it all and whether the institution of marriage (at least as we have traditionally known it) even survives at all.

Irukandji

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Choices

We all make choices in life which in turn have consequences both good and bad. This also applies to the trans issue and grappling with dysphoria which at its highest peak can be debilitating. Hence we can choose not to transition for example but then deal with ensuing cycle of depression which can be a consequence of that decision. I often ask myself to what degree my decisions were based on choice versus necessity but those who know me through my blog know that I came to self acceptance kicking and screaming. In retrospect I can now say that where I am now is linked more to necessity and although I could have held out there would most certainly have been health consequences. At the highest levels of the spectrum ignoring dysphoria is done at a high risk but at the lower echelons there can be more flexibility; the key being to determine to what extent we are proceeding correctly.  What I am saying here is that with increasing dysphoria comes the lowering of choice which is one way to