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my line in the sand

I spent many years telling myself that a gender transition would be an absolute last resort and only happen if my mental health were being severely threatened. Except that recently that thinking has begun to change and, while I am not saying that I definitely will transition, the door is no longer as firmly closed to the idea as it once was.

As time goes on and the reasons for saying no slowly dissipate (I am alone with grown children who know I am trans and approaching the end of my career) there is less weight behind holding steadfast to this previous line in the sand. The fact is, that I like my life as Joanna and the more I have delved into its benefits the more I don’t think living full time would be so absurd.

Fear is a huge factor here of course and after living for 55 years in a male role it’s not like flicking a switch and yet I know have been complicating things in my mind and finding excuses why it wouldn’t work instead of why it would. My living part time has been highly s…
Recent posts

salon de la femme

This past Sunday my friend Leticia and I went to the Salon de la Femme (the national women's show) in Montreal’s Palais de Congres. It was basically a convention combining fashion shows, culinary demonstrations, coiffure and inspirational talks by Quebec women of some notoriety.

Suffice it to say these two slightly over the hill ladies had an enjoyable time although I tend to easily tire of walking around in big crowds. However, what I liked is that I was not feeling the least bit self-conscious as I spoke with merchants and sampled products. It was an experience I never would have dared attempt in the past but feel completely comfortable doing now. It was attended by women of all ages and the convention floor was bustling.

I had not seen Leticia for quite a long time and we shared our recent happenings and had fun commenting on what we saw and sampled. We are the same age so we have much in common in terms of life experience although her three daughters are older than my childr…

advice to my younger self

The year was 1968 and there we were outside a church in central Madrid after some function. I was 6 and my sisters 5 and 4 with my brother safely nestled in my father's arms being about 1. Two more sisters would follow in '70 and '73

If I could travel back and talk to myself I would have said "Watch out kid because you are in for a bumpy but exciting trip through life"

I would have counseled myself to not take things so seriously and to not let the outside world get to you as much. Life unfortunately isn't like that and it demands that we learn the hard way which is precisely what I did and yet I wouldn't trade any of it for a do-over. The burns and the scrapes are all part of the play we are destined to act in. It's part of the game. Everything I might have dared to predict would have been wrong but at least I might have taken the ride much more philosophically.

This is what I tried to impart to my son the other day (who by the way is much the incarn…

framing language

People who are opposed to transgender people are used to thinking in reverse. They use language such as the “transgender agenda” to decry the forcing of our acceptance into society as if we were creating new rules for them. Instead of simply asking for tolerance to lead our own lives as we desire, we are akin to an invading army. But then insisting on rights which do not affect anyone else wouldn’t be as powerful an argument for these dogmatic conservatives.

When you frame a plea for tolerance as an imposition we suddenly become a conquering enemy instead of an oppressed group. Hence, using a woman’s toilet suddenly becomes about infringing on women’s rights rather than a desire on our part not to be victimized in the men's room. Our argument should be common sense to a rational person but we are not dealing with rational people here.

Painting transgender people as a group wanting to impose itself on others is far easier and allows for argumentation that encourages our continued o…

uniqueness

We are all so incredibly unique that we don’t realize it until we are older. Those younger years are spent trying to fit in and find our way in this strange world of ours.

Some of us tend to be more pleasers than others as we grapple to find a public persona that we can sell to society. It is only after many years have passed that we realise we should have been establishing and emphasizing our uniqueness from the outset rather than our conformity.

It’s easy from where I sit now to speak like this and I am so impressed by young individuals who manage to establish an honest reflection of their identity early on. They may face resistance but they insist and finally earn a grudging respect from people who normally wouldn't approve of them.

Not everyone is going to like or accept you but then this isn’t the aim of life and neither is it to stand out for its own sake. The aim is to claim authenticity and be yourself which is much easier said than done. The type of parenting we received …

the measuring stick

Jack Molay brought to my attention a paper written by Charles Moser on the topic of paraphilias called “Paraphilias and the ICD-11: Progress but Still Logically Inconsistent”.

In this paper, Dr. Moser examines some of the logic (or lack thereof) of labeling conditions as paraphilias while others are not. The Working Group on the Classification of Sexual Disorders and Sexual Health (WGSDSH) is charged with reviewing and recommending changes for categories related to sexuality in the International Classifications of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD), published by the World Health Organization (WHO). Moser then questions the distinguishing between what is and is not a paraphilia and the criteria used.

For example he states:

• What is the rationale for diagnosing individuals distressed about their ‘‘atypical’’ sexual arousal with a Paraphilic Disorder, but not to diagnose individuals who are distressed about their homosexual or bisexual sexual orientation?
• Are atypical sexual…

at the pool

My ability to do laps has been improving and I can do more of them with less effort. My going to the pool lately has been driven by a desire to shed some weight gained while in Toronto and I thought it would be now or never in presenting as Joanna. It is also driven by a desire to stay more fit as I age.

I bought a speedo type suit and after doing my best version of a proper tuck at home I found that it held extremely well during my swim. So while I will still keep the suit with the flared skirt, this one is actually better fitting and more comfortable. So now I have done one more thing as a woman which I was always fearful of attempting.

Once again I am chatty with the ladies in the locker room and with the lifeguards so I gather I am having no issues with passing. If anyone would have complained about me I suppose I would have heard by now since I have encountered all generations of females thus far.

After my latest swim I took this picture in which I am wearing the new suit.