Sunday, 30 September 2012

what I've learnt so far in life..

Here are some of the things I've learnt over the course of my life; some of them the hard way:

- Be yourself. You need to know who you are in order to have others understand you and accept you and know what you stand for.

- Love yourself. If you can't manage this one you won't be able to love anyone else. There will be too much hurt and dysfunction governing your life and getting in the way of reaching out to others.

- Understand that life is full of ups and downs. This one is obvious to anyone who has suffered setbacks in their life and has come out on the other side. The aim is to keep your boat steady and ride the storms understanding that there are other storms down the line as well as sunnier times.

- Learn to find happiness in the small things. We all know money doesn't buy happiness or peace of mind and know that you can be happy with very little if your heart and brain are aligned towards being a good person.

- Don't let yourself be brainwashed. Have your analytical brain function working all times otherwise you'll be a patsy for every wacky cult and hair brained idea out there.

- Live one day at a time. Realize that life is short and that there are no guarantees. You can save for your future but then get hit by a bus tomorrow so live with balance an understanding of your mortality.

- Know that your creator has a plan for you. There is too much perfection and beauty in this world and nothing is random. God does not create junk so understand you are loved and add value to the universe. People are helped in some way by your existence and contribution to their lives.

healing up and misc...

I can feel things getting better by the day. There will be little bumps coming for sure but it's all going in the right direction. For one thing my kids are more at home when they're staying with me. Before there was a certain discomfort due to the fact that my gf was not all that welcoming towards them and was in particular not a fan of my daughter. This was something I had a lot of difficulty with since I was trying to love her along with my children. But it seemed to be a type of competition for affection and it was not being driven by my children.

On a completely different note I was watching a video of Paolo ballesteros dancing in drag and it made me wonder whether he is not TG. I know he denies being gay (isn't that always the public assumption when you do more than one role in drag?) and he is just so naturally good as a woman that there has to be something there. Would not surprise me in the least if he comes out as transgender at some point. What I like about these stories is that we get to have more public role models who break more barriers and just normalize everything for the rest of us. If Paolo enjoys wearing dresses and doing drag roles but isn't gay, it will just show people that not only drag queens own the domain of cross gender performance. Being a hybrid myself I welcome more stories like these in the future.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

freaky Friday...

Friday I took the day off. It's been a little bit quiet at work so I decided to spend the day as a woman. I put on my grey skirt, black top, black heels and my khaki trenchcoat and headed out the door.

I did a series of activities which included having early morning coffee with the girls at cafe depot and I met C again for a short lunch. But right before that something happened which I suspected was bound to happen eventually: I ran into my brother. Difference was that I was dressed as a woman this time. He and I both work downtown and he's known about my dressing for a few years now but this time it was up close and personal. Interesting thing was that we were headed right for each other on the street but he was looking right past me because he clearly could not recognize his brother in a dress. So while I could have walked right past him, I decided to let my presence be known. As I approached him I started to say "hey it's me" and the startled look on his face said it all. It was a combination of amusement, curiosity and embarrassment but all with a smile on his face. The whole thing happened in an instant and instead of standing there for a while we waved goodbye to each other and went our separate ways.

I was glad this happened because it drove home to what extent I am transgender to at least one more member of my family. It also removes another layer of mystery and relieves some pressure in the sense that it clearly wasn't that big a deal in the end.

After this day was over, I was again remarking how plausible a life as a woman could be.

Friday, 28 September 2012

living alone

I know why I'm having trouble adapting. I haven't lived alone in almost 2 decades. Between my marriage, living with my mother briefly after the divorce and then moving in with my gf, I have not had a chance to find ME. So that's why it hurts a little bit now but I think there will be a payoff in the long run. I will get to look deep inside myself and see what I want to do with the rest of my life. The difference now will be that I will not compromise on who I am and if I ever find a companion that person will need to understand that they are getting an unconventional individual who has found who they are. That much I've learnt in life and I won't settle for less....

Thursday, 27 September 2012

I may be a freak....

....but I've got loads of company. If there are roughly 7 billion people in the world, half of whom are genetically male, and about 1% are trans that makes roughly 35 million transgender women. Heck we could have our own country!

Far cry from when I was growing up thinking I was the biggest freak on the planet. Yes I may be a freak but I'm a proud one thank you very much.

my friend C....

I've finally decided not to follow up with Ana. Firstly, I left several messages and my call was not returned and secondly I realized that it might not be that useful in the end.

I met my friend C yesterday for a brief coffee in drab and I almost broke down in front of her. I guess I needed to talk to someone in person about what was going on in my life, and meeting her was a watershed moment. It actually surprised me how easily I almost reduced myself to tears. So that made me think that I needed some more time to heal up than I had previously thought and get my life back together. I told her I was giving myself another 3 months.

C has been Joanna's biggest cheerleader from the get go. She approached me 5 years ago while I was in a department store dressed browsing for jewelery. She was working the cosmetics counter and came over to offer her assistance and some words of encouragement. I received free samples and advice on skin care but more than that she was the first person who really saw past the makeup of a crossdresser and wanted to find the real person behind it. From that day forward we remained in contact and I have used her as a confidante where I could not find the level of confidence with other friends or family. That is why for me she retains a special place.

I admit that we discuss my life more than hers since by comparison mine seems infinitely more complex. She is happily married to a successful engineer and has a 10 year old son. They are doing well but she continues to find pleasure in dealing with the public behind her cosmetics counter. Everyone who knows her will attest to her outgoing and bubbly personality and she exudes an energy that could light up a room. A smile and a laugh never far behind each statement she makes. I by comparison have always tended to be reserved and shy, so the draw of her energy by contrast was appealing to me

I'm glad there are people like her in the world.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

good thing I've got work

I'm messed up again. I haven't been this messed up since I got divorced except that it's a milder version of that earlier crisis. I don't trust my feelings anymore because I'm moving much too fluidly between emotions; highs and lows that are keeping me off kilter. I know that I will be able to trust myself again but right now I'm feeling destabilized and cynical about life. Happiness will be possible in the future or at least a certain contentment. I feel like I'm due for a period of stability after living the last five years in a constant state of flux....

Work is saving me right now.

Monday, 24 September 2012

facsimile of a woman....

By now I know I could get used to living as a woman. You could say it's a role I've been rehearsing for my whole life; at least at a surface level. Practicing to walk in heels, wearing makeup, trying to move gracefully. But here's the thing; I don't need to do anything about it. I can just perfect the role. I mean I'll never really BE a woman. Best case would be a reasonable facsimile. I know a lot of transsexual women would vehemently disagree with that statement, but for me it really applies. I share the view that Kate Bornstein has adopted, in that she feels neither male nor entirely female. She is her own gender construct.

I consider myself a hybrid of sorts. It doesn't matter which sexual organs I have and if I transition and then stay a lesbian I won't be able to make love the same way anymore. For the true transsexual the need to complete the process is an essential element in becoming a complete woman. Especially if you intend to be heterosexual in your adopted gender role.

I intend to perfect my impersonation of the feminine. This is something that needs to be expressed (whether I like it or not apparently) and I seem to be hard wired for it.I will continue to do it until such time as it no longer suits me and I need to adapt to my new reality at the time.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

finally at ease in my own skin

It only took 50 years but I got there! I finally learned to love myself for who I am. No more feeling like I'm flawed because I can't control myself. When you stop thinking about this condition as a vice it makes all the difference in the world. It takes soul searching and an understanding of yourself and the ability to forgive your failings and laugh at the absurdity of life. It also takes life experience and just not giving a shit about what the masses think. God there's so much ignorance in this world with loads of people walking around with their head up their butt. I won't worry about them because no matter what I do they'll never be happy with who you are. So instead focus on the people that matter to you and love you in return. People that add substance to your life and feed your soul. In the end it will be they who sustain you when you need them.

Every other aspect of my life will benefit. I am well educated, intelligent and have a new zest for life. I will be more able to love others when I have my own house in order.

I still have lots of living to do and I'm looking forward to it.

Kate Bornstein

I looked up Kate Bornstein's book "gender outlaw" while at the library yesterday. She's had quite the life and she doesn't shy away from speaking her mind. I am impressed with her cut to the chase style and quick wit. Afterwards I got online and viewed some of her videos. In particular, there was a plea for teens who might be suicidal with her essential message being that it does get better. She says you can do what it takes to make your life better as long as you're not mean. You can tell she's lived and seen a lot. Very much her own person.

She's also become an outspoken spokesperson for transgender rights and seems to be solicited often to speak on our behalf. I for one am glad she's there. Most of us need to do a lot of living to get to where she is and I wish we were all as self effacing and straightforward as Kate is. Bully for her!

On another note my friend J came over for dinner. We've known each other for 26 years, so the confidence level is there. I ended up showing him a picture of Joanna. I think he was impressed as to how well I passed as a woman. A few years back I never would have contemplated telling any of my friends, but so far the sky has not fallen and the earth still revolves, so I guess I need'nt have stressed about it. Who knows, maybe at some point he'll end up meeting the female me....

Saturday, 22 September 2012

another femme weekend

I don't have my kids this weekend and so I'm experimenting again with spending most of the weekend as a woman. A friend of mine is coming over for dinner tonight and he knows about my dressing but he's not quite ready for Joanna.

Tomorrow I will also spend the day as a woman. This needs to happen so I can hopefully figure things out in the long run. Will I tire of all the dressing or will I become Joanna full time?

I must admit that the novelty is still there for now....

Have not posted any new pics for a while so I will do so soon...

my 2 lives...

To my joanna friends I am a recently separated soon to be divorced woman. To my male side friends I'm a divorced dad who recently broke up with my gf.

It's all very surreal, and if you had told me 5 years ago that I would be living part time successfully passing as a woman I would have told laughed out loud in incredulous disbelief. But now I'm here walking a strange tightrope and maybe seeing if there's a winner or it will all end up in a draw.

I met my friend Melanie on Friday for a tea. She's an older lady that I met about 2 years ago while sitting in a cafe. I told her that my husband and I were done and that I was going to be a divorced woman. We had a really nice time and she really appreciate our get togethers as she lives alone. I wore a nice pink blouse, grey skirt and my new black patent pumps. Hair pinned back and my pearl earrings. So I really felt like a woman. Before meeting here I had gone to drop off my car at the shop and since this is a recent lease and they had only seen the male me once before, I dropped off the car as a woman. I have done this now for the last 3 times and they know me now as my own wife so I think I'll keep it that way.

While I was waiting for the car, I struck up a conversation with a young twenty something woman. We talked as I've heard other women talk and it was again very affirming for me.

All in all a good day...

gender as a construct

If we separate gender identity from sexual orientation (as I think we must) we begin to see that gender identification and behavior is greatly immersed in social convention. I mean yes there are differences between the male and female brains which leads to some cognitive variations but as recent studies have shown the trans brain has some commonalities with both genders. We have also observed how much gender stereotypes break down in real life just by observing social behavior and how some people are more the other gender in many ways and yet are not self labeled as trans.

So we are left with mostly socialization as being the key determining factor in making us conform to our birth gender. We copy others and society expects us to fit in and not make waves. People like Kate Bornstein have even had to disassociate themselves from identifying as women due to pressure from society and has opted to call herself neither. She is a gender outlaw.

So many of us rebel against society but often later in life when wisdom, experience and just not giving a damn anymore propel us to be ourselves finally.

I have painted myself into a corner even now by thinking that finding a life partner and being my own version of gender are at cross purposes. Best thing is to just be me and let life take care of what needs to happen next. Life meaning my creator here as I know that God exists even if I have abandoned much of organized religion due to basic human stupidity.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Anne Lawrence and autogynephelia

I did write to Anne and she was very kind to write back. I then thought some more about autogynephelia and finally decided the model was flawed because it rested it's case too much on the sexual payoff or love of self as woman. The theory especially falls apart when I look back into my own past and recall that innocence that my crossdressing was immersed in. The onset of erections and release that came later horrified me and actually brought on the cycle of purging that I practiced for many years. So in fact, had there not been any orgasms, I would have felt better about my dressing for all those years. So here is where the theory fails for me. It presumes that the payoff is the sexual component, which of course it's not.

Beth Orens has a wonderful write up on why the theory is flawed and I consider this explanation one of the best I have read from a detractor.

www.starways.net/beth/ag.html

Thursday, 20 September 2012

now what?

Well my appointment with Ana is postponed till next week. She's out of town for work. My understanding is that Ana is a transitioned woman so she's ahead of me (if there's any such thing). I'm having trouble focusing on a way forward but as I've said before I will wait for a while before committing to anything. Living part time as I am now will allow me to test the waters and see how being a woman might feel in the future.

So there's only 2 doors now:
1) transition and get rid of disphoria
2) stay as is and learn to cope with it

The problem with number 2 is that it's very hard to balance living in 2 genders and I have read accounts where people transition in the end because it's untenable as an ultimate solution.

I'll keep praying about it and try to let things surface on their own. But I must say for the first time in my life I can actually contemplate living as a woman full time and it's not as scary and taboo as it used to be. My kids would be my biggest reason not to do it (besides others)

I really like jack molay's latest post on crossdreamers where he describes his own struggles with his gender disphoria. Very worthwhile reading.

Monday, 17 September 2012

my confidence as a woman soars

I pretty much have arrived at a point where I feel as comfortable dressed as a woman in public as when I'm dressed in male mode. I don't mean that both states are the same mind you. I do feel so wonderful as a woman and I engage in conversations more easily with people and feel that they are comfortable with me as well.

I am more confident as a woman interestingly. But my male side has benefited from freeing Joanna.

That's quite a far cry from where I started as a frightened cd who had to brace herself before leaving the car....

Sunday, 16 September 2012

transgender advert....

This add for a Phillips shaver is so cool because it challenges our preconceptions about gender...

I think it's awesome but obviously not ready for primetime in north america...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3ESW6dw1kA

the gift of melancholy

As we get older and we amass life experience we are able to view all of those things that have happened to us through more reflective and experienced lenses. We understand that life comes with challenges and having survived a number of experiences, we understand that there is another day coming when the pain will eventually subside.

I am reflecting on this because I am aware that I am enduring a period of melancholy. It is not really depression because I am feeling ok for the most part but it is a " taking stock of life melancholic mood".

Thomas Moore, in his book "care of the soul" says that "depression grants the gift of experience not as a literal fact but as an attitude towards yourself. You get a sense of having lived through something, of being older and wiser". Very true words because when understood in the context of life experience, a depressive or melancholic state can bring insight and allow feelings that only emerge in dark moods to surface. I think it can be a healing experience and allow us to grow. Almost as if a butterfly waiting to emerge from it's cocoon.

This reflective period will be good for me and being on my own with no other distractions, I will be able to build a new model for myself for the kind of life I want to lead from here on in. It's not that I care about chronological age but somehow this latest life change coinciding with my 50th year on this planet represents a benchmark for me.

I am shaking off the past and the things that weighed me down and will emerge from my stasus a new being. Hopefully a more enlightened one...

what's the payoff?

I'd love to understand what the payoff is and where it resides in the brain of us transgender folk. Why do we tend towards the opposite sex if everything else about us is physically normal. I know the theories of a hormone wash exists and is postulated by many in addition to the fact embryos start off as female and are only subsequently turned into males at a later stage of gestation.

I know it would change nothing for me in the end but somehow knowing that I had no part to play in driving this condition would be helpful to me personally. That's likely driven by the massive guilt I experienced as a child and well into adulthood.

It would at least remove the component that says this is my fault and that I could stop if only I had more willpower. Because for me this has been the worst part of this : thinking it was all my fault for being weak.

This very notion has driven my perception of myself and I think affected my self confidence growing up. This is no longer a factor at my age, but I wonder how things might have been if I had known and understood that I was within a known and accepted subset of society that simply is the way it is. Not a perverse bunch of horny paraphiliacs rubbing one off in front of a mirror in a cocktail dress. My instincts tell me I'm right but I would value the science a great deal if it were there and if it were more than a little conclusive.

propecia and mandi McKee...

Well I guess you can't blame a girl for trying, but I'm not buying the entire story that mandi McKee is selling about the drug propecia "turning her into a woman". Yes there seem to be side effects to the drug as it tampered with the body's ability to produce testosterone into DHT which is what causes or at least helps encourage hair loss in men.

However, other men have had sexual function problems but have not become transgender overnight just because of the ingestion of this drug. More than likely mandi was already questioning her gender and used propecia as a scapegoat to try and recuperate some money. After all her business went down the tubes and winning a suit against Merck would be just what the doctor ordered. I am not questioning that the drug probably did feminize her a bit but I don't think it turns you female.

All this will have an unfortunate effect on the trans community as some will find credence in the claim that propecia is responsible for everything she is going through.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

part time woman

I've come to a decision - I will stay a part time woman. At least for the foreseeable future.

My rationale involves my job, my children and the fact that I don't hate my male body. I am drawn to a female version of myself that is true but not enough to want to make that state permanent. The tradeoff works because Joanna gets to have her place in my life now. She will have her drawer of feminine things and a jewelry box but the male me doesn't need to die to make that happen.

My search for help will revolve more around getting moral support and possibly to help others as well. This will take the focus off myself and open up my horizons within the trans community. I am going to stick to this plan until something else comes around to replace it that makes more sense to me. If that never happens then so be it.I will see how my meeting with Ana goes on Tuesday and go from there.

PS: I know my posting habits are a little ererratic but I consider this blog more of a mental notepad than a daily journal. So that means several posts one day and none the next. Forgive me if that makes this blog harder to follow. I thank those who have followed thus far and hope you find my musings interesting and thought provoking. I see this opportunity to jot things down as personal therapy but I welcome your feedback very much.

a call for support

I called a TG support group yesterday to find out how I could get some guidance and speak about where I am these days in my thinking. I had been given the number by the hospital where I had received my therapy 5 years ago. Their website stated that they were run by transgendered individuals and sure enough when I called I was greeted by a voice that was neither female nor male but somewhere in between. He introduced himself as Jackson and we chatted for a while; long enough for me to learn that he is a young transman who's been on testosterone for several months. He was extremely helpful and told me that Ana would phone me back to set up an appointment. Not more than an hour later she called to set something up for this coming Tuesday.

I think it will be interesting to learn what this group is all about and if nothing else get some live support from people who understand me and have been through the same challenges.

I am looking forward to it.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

developing a feminine voice

I worked on it for several months. Walking to and from work using my cell phone voice recorder. I learnt several things:

1) the voice must stay away from the chest. Men's voices come from there.
2) you don't speak in falsetto but you need to pinch the vocal chords so you're only using a portion. This is hard to explain but with practice you figure it out. It's using only the femme portion and leaving out the bottom end.

I cannot overemphasize the importance of recording your voice and listening back. When you start to hear a woman, you know you have it right.

I always get madamed on the phone so I know I have developed something that resembles a female voice. Besides there are always those women who sound like Bea Arthur right? A lot of it is about intonation and emphasis. Practice, practice, practice....

more at home in the dress...

I have noticed that the more time I am spending as a woman, the more natural I am feeling in that role. So for me living part time will be a test to see how I want to live my life - be it part time woman or full time. The only reason for opting for full time being that I cannot balance both gender roles and I am forced to choose.

Interestingly, the time spent as Joanna is becoming comfortable but I can also tell that I am still in crossdresser mode because I will get home, spend an hour more in the dress and then change back. A good deal of that relates to the way I dress now to go out - falsies, hip padding, makeup, etc. But when the girl guise comes off it feels like I am back in boy mode even if my brain is still in girl mode (or just ME mode).

I read an interesting post on Jack Molay's crossdreamers site that deals with the similarities between the genders. The essence of the text is that there is more difference of typical male or female behavior within each gender than between men and women. I find that completely fascinating and anecdotally true; we have all known people from either gender who are much more like the other gender and they don't label themselves as trans. Again extremely fascinating because that means that there are other triggers in the trans brain that push us towards our opposite gender and liberation seems to come with a complete switch. Why can't I be more feminine and still be a man and why is that notion only mildly appealing?

Sometimes I'll be getting ready for work in the morning and have my slacks and shirt on but still have my ballerinas and earrings on. The contrast is striking and I have thought at times: why need these clothing elements be mutually exclusive? I need to understand my own answers to these questions in order to find a life balance for myself and until I am very certain that my dressing is in no way fetish based would I entertain the idea of dealing with my condition by living full time or transitioning.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

different world for today's young trans...

What a vast difference from when I grew up. We were literally in the dark ages. I first read the word transvestite in a 1970 copy of the encyclopedia Britannica and realized that the term applied to me. I was mortified and intrigued at the same time. It even described the lack of sexual performance unless dressed as women. What did a knieve little 8 year old know about these things. I never asked my parents or siblings but kept it to myself. In my room I would take my bath robe and pretend it was a dress. Sometimes I would innocently put up a hand drawing of prince charming on the back of my door and pretend to be his princess. It was very little girl and I probably was a little girl but I never let myself accept it because I knew by then that this behavior was taboo.

I played Indian princesses with another boy who was receptive. But it didn't last and I pushed myself to conform all the while knowing I was shy, sensitive and leaned towards the feminine. An artist, musician and a boy who physically resembled a girl.

Today kids are diagnosed early. Sometimes they are encouraged to be themselves and some even transition with the encouragement of their parents who in the end are forced to admit they have a daughter.

How times have changed for the better. So even as I know the violence and prejudice faced by trans people every day, there are those who push the envelope with knowledge, education and understanding. I for one am very glad even if I was not able to benefit.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

I feel alone...

I know it's a symptom of the breakup period and my brain needs to heal from this big change, but I feel very alone. I am very pessimistic about ever being with anyone again and feel that if I did it would involve huge compromises about expressing myself as Joanna since no conventional woman welcomes this "disease".

I have been through much worse depression after my divorce so I know I will survive this period. It's still hard to go through it. In the past 5 years I have been through a health crisis, a divorce and now another breakup. To boot I have a condition that's basically given me mostly grief for most of my life.

God has a funny sense of humour I suppose. Work is keeping me busy and thank goodness for the focus that my kids provide. They are going to help me through this.

chicken and the egg...

Which comes first? The deviant crossdressing behavior which turns into obsession and pathology or the desire to be female which starts the crossdressing which then develops the odd pattern of behavior? I don't even know if I have put the question correctly.

Back when I first came out to my sister (who is dogmatically religious) she could not accept that I was a crossdresser. She read some websites about people who had been "cured" through some kind of behavior modification therapy and beat the dreaded vice. So for my sister I had a habit that could be cured. All I had to do was pray and read the right things and talk myself out of it somehow.

What I tried to explain to her over several weeks was that this was not a habit that one picks up for fun. No one wants to be different or have to hide because they have a socially unacceptable behavior. So we conform and we purge and we deny. We marry in denial and the dam bursts one day and all falls to pieces right in front of us.

I used to think that this was "cureable" and that the behavior could be modified because I was weak and needed to get stronger. But I was doing what my brain wiring wanted me to do. I was acting on my desire to be girly and feminine. At least part of the time.

But because we get slapped down early we learn to hide and conform. This starts us on the road to secretive and pattern behavior that is sporadic and obsessive because the circumstances demand that it be so. We learn to hide our disphoria and go underground instead of finding a healthy comfortable flow of expression which suits where our brain wiring wants to take us.

Is there biology in this? I'm almost certain that there is. No proof but my instinct tells me I'm right

Monday, 10 September 2012

being yourself as a transgender

I think this is an important issue because we as transgender people don't get to develop our true personalities. If for no other reason than the fact that we suppress so much of our true selves in the attempt to fit into society. So what essentially happens is that we choke off part of ourselves and in the process never become "us" until very often late in our lives. Now I know this is not true for all of us but I would say for a significant number of us this the case.

When we finally get the courage to express our true selves it's often later in life when our choices have been set and we have little elbow room or courage left. Those who do venture forward are those for whom the choice comes virtually down to death or live as their true selves.

I guess I'm still hesitant about embracing everything about being TG. I'm not purging or denying anymore mind you but I am treading ever so slowly and all the while trying to analyze my thought patterns and behavior. This buys me time to figure things out. So as long as I don't have that die or transition mindset I plan to live as myself - whatever that means since I have not had the chance to discover who that is.

Without the brakes on Joanna we'll see where she goes. But as with any vehicle, brakes are a good thing to have no?

Sunday, 9 September 2012

what bothers me most about crossdressing

There is one aspect of crossdressing that I don't like and that is how obsessive it can become. When you're not doing it, you're thinking about doing it and it never seems to be enough.

I am a very advanced crossdresser (or transwoman let's say) and you would think with my frequency that would be enough. But it never seems to be and as I age I feel it getting worse. So there's what irritates me about this condition that you are compelled to dress or face stress and irritability. Might my condition improve with hormones and transition? I don't know but I don't want to take a path of regret to test a theory.

So what does one do? I honestly wish I knew....

Saturday, 8 September 2012

dreams

I've been dreaming about my ex gf on a regular basis. I wake up and remember dreams about kissing her or being close to her. It's a confusing time so I will allow myself this period of emotional ambiguity. Do I still love her? I know there's a period where the mind gets confused - it's a mix of anger, frustration, depression, euphoria, relief all rolled into one.

I know for sure that the distance is a good thing because it allows objectivity and reflection to take precededence. The time and the distance will allow the dust to settle. I know my mind is confused right now and sorting this fog out will take a while. Maybe in the end though a person like me can't be with someone else as dealing with this is hard enough.

why autogynephelia is starting to ring hollow...

The more I read about it and try to apply it to my own experience as a so called non homosexual tg, the more I think that the hypothesis behind autogynephelia falls apart for me.

Firstly, my earliest memories of wanting to play dress up with my sisters or pretend to be a girl in my room, were so innocent and so devoid of any sense of sexual motivation. Secondly, my earliest experiences with orgasm brought shame and distaste to my otherwise wonderful feeling of joy. I would argue in fact that it was the sexual release that kept me purging and suppressing my tendencies towards the feminine. So while I desperately welcome an all encompassing theory that explains the way I am to my satisfaction, there is too much simplicity and dismissiveness in the theory. Saying that all non homosexual TS women are motivated by sex is simply not right.

So while I do find familiar themes in the essays by Lawrence, I don't find enough solid science or familiarity with my own experience with this disphoria to be able to support it finally.

Maybe the answer is to stop trying so hard to look for an origin and just concentrate on living.

lovely little moments

Last night I was at one of my favorite thrift stores browsing for a variety of things including a jean jacket for the fall.

I noticed a man from the corner of my eye giving me the once over. Then he went over to his girlfriend and asked her something to the effect of whether I was a man or not. She looked me up and down and told him firmly NO.

I especially enjoy when women pick me out as one of their own. Had it been her finding me out I would have been a bit disappointed.

Friday, 7 September 2012

confusion

The more I read about crossdreaming, autogynephelia, transsexuality, etc the more confused I get about where I am in the spectrum. All my investigations lead to more doors that need opening and paths to be explored. I was not even aware that crossdreamers don't necessarily crossdress.

One thing I do know is that the cold turkey approach definitely does not work and I am at least happier expressing Joanna out in public. My ability to somewhat pass is helping me to at least blend in as a woman. I am not sure how I would feel if I were very masculine looking but I had nothing to do with that so I'll just say thank God for that at least.

I will have my kids tomorrow so Joanna goes away but she's back on Sunday...

Thursday, 6 September 2012

lost and found....

I spoke to Elcy last night. She told me that she just lost her job at the clothing store. I felt bad for her at first but then she went on to explain that she hadn't been happy there anyway and needed a change. I guess I can draw a parallel with my own recent breakup. Maybe it's best to lose something and find something new on the other side. It's not always comfortable jumping into something new and losing our comfort zone but it's the only way to grow as a person in life.

I highly recommend the site www.crossdreamers.com by the way. It's an intelligently written and thought provoking blog that I will be visiting on a regular basis. Thank you jack.....

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

counter to autogynephelia....

I had some interesting feedback from a poster called jack molay who offered me some thoughtful feedback on my original autogynephelia post. He offered a link to an article that analyzed Blanchard's work and poked some holes in the logic or lack of in the theory.

I am always looking for alternatives to the idea that I am a pervert or paraphilic weirdo. Thanks for the feedback....i've pasted his link to the article....

http://www.crossdreamers.com/2010/07/on-mosers-critique-of-blanchards.html?m=1

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

ups and downs

I guess I must be going through Elizabeth kubler Ross's 5 stages of grief after a breakup. I am having some depression as well as denial and anger. I know these things take time so I am not going to be too hard on myself. I wish I could just turn the page but things don't happen like that in real life do they?

Best thing is to ride the experience knowing that I will come out on the other side wiser and better for having had the 3 years. It's best not to regret our life trials and use the lessons they teach as a springboard for personal growth. It doesn't make it hurt any less mind you but at least there's comfort in knowing there's an end to the pain and discomfort.

There have to be SOME benefits to getting old and wisdom is one of those things hopefully....

Monday, 3 September 2012

unexpected lunch with G...

This morning I got up early and got dressed before 6 am. My kids had been dropped off the night before so I went for casual jean skirt, pink top and black ballerinas. I did remember that it was labour day but still decided to head out and grab a coffee in a little place and surf a bit. I tried to contact Elcy but she was not answering. Figured that her phone was still inactive (it had been stolen by a cabby only a few days before.

I was supposed to meet G who is my co administrator in our little condo association. I am madame president. We needed to talk business so I suggested we meet at 2 pm to which she agreed. I also told her I'd be coming as Joanna. She did not seem to have a problem with that and told me if she did she would say so.


I picked her up at 2 and we went to nearby resto with a terrace. We both ordered sangrias and salads and that was just what the doctor ordered. I did not change from the morning other than switching to casual heels for our get together. She was a real sport because not only did I expose her to femme me o also used my feminine voice which she got used to fairly quickly I think. So two ladies having a pleasant lunch. It was great!

female impersonation

Yesterday I was watching a video on YouTube highlighting the life of Danny LaRue. The British female impersonator got his start in Soho and during the war was assigned to the group responsible for entertaining the troops. I found his life quite interesting and his homosexuality was of course hidden from his fans at that time since it was not something to be admitted to during his era. His life partner was his stage manager in fact. There were some tragic turning points in his life and I found his buoyant spirit inspiring. I encourage you to see it if you get a chance.

I remember as a young child being fascinated watching Jim Bailey on the carol Burnett show doing his imitation of Peggy lee and other women. I was transfixed but tried not to show it and recall even needing to leave the room for fear my own secret desire would be discovered. I was all of 8 at the time.

Of course these drag queens had no emotional investment in the dressing and no matter how real or feminine they looked, it was all business for them.

The other startling find was seeing a very young Christopher Morley on the show switch with Eddie Albert and Robert Wagner. The episode was called "ship of fools" and Chris's impersonation of a woman was so perfect that I was shocked to find out she was a he.

So yes female impersonation for me is high art and I consider the ultimate practitioners to be true artists!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

outings have morphed

When I first started going out about 30 years ago the aim was to go out and crossdress. I didn't care what I did or where I went because the sheer thrill of being out as a woman was intoxication all on it's very own.

Now as I have grown older and most especially as my frequency has increased, I find that I need to do things while I am crossdressed. That could be something as simple as doing groceries or running small errands or meeting someone for coffee.

This is no small distinction because it means that my focus has changed with time.I am becoming a person who lives life and sometimes does it as a woman. So in that sense I am finding this important change beneficial since in the long run it may take the focus off the dressing itself and just let me focus on living life.

Might I ever want to stop presenting as a woman? All of the anecdotal and research information I have tells me otherwise but at this point I don't care. I just want to find solace and peace. I will celebrate this difference instead of beat myself up. What an important discovery.

what's in a name..

I find it interesting how much the trans world places emphasis on what you are - closeted cd, TS, tg, tv, etc. I myself have thought I have been and am all of those things sometimes at the sane time. Truth is that labels are sometimes used to divide us and rate us as to just how womanly or advanced we are in the journey to womanhood.

My aim is not really to be a woman, it's to find life balance so I can manage my GID. So in a sense there is no specific goal other than to find inner peace. For some transition seems to bring that peace while for others it may only take a few hours a week out dressed.

What has helped me most over the years was learning that I was mot alone and that there were others like me who suffered the same anguish; the same trials and tribulations but also the same joys and exhilaration. Those shared experiences went a long way towards making me feel part of the human condition and reassure me that I was not a unique freak of creation.

I embrace all my trans sisters in whatever form or stage we are at. We all need the support that's for certain.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

my mother

My mother came over this morning to visit the kids and I. We stepped out a bit and bought a few things and after coming home we chatted about things in general. She asked how I was doing and we waded into the trans issue. I told her that I needed to live openly as I am and she understood. She is ok with me being as I am but prefers not going out with me while I'm dressed as Joanna. I completely understand this and would never ask her to accompany me on an outing if she were not 100% comfortable.

To be honest I'm just happy that she's happy about my being at ease with my trans status. What else could I possibly ask from her. I think I'm pretty fortunate in that regard.

nice Friday...

I took the day off work yesterday to make it an extra long weekend and I only needed to pick up my kids at 6 30. So I spent the day as a woman.

I got up early and did my make up and put on a nice outfit and my new heels which I'm still breaking in. I ended up at the cafe depot I frequent (where they know me as Juanita). I had an espresso and chatted with one of the girls. We got to talking about our families and I was surprised to learn that she had a 22 year old son (she does not look older than 40). I mentioned that my husband and I were splitting up and she told me she had not long ago split up after 3 years with someone. I stayed downtown for a while and walked around and then decided to go to a suburban mall north of the city. I was looking for a vase to go in a particular corner of the living room so that was my hunt for the day. Everywhere I went I was addressed as a woman and treated respectfully.. I am feeling more and more comfortable as a woman.

I also got a call from Elcy. She wants to get together again soon and maybe go to some boutiques. I was surprised at how quickly she got back to me but we did have a very nice time at that little cafe. I am also surprising myself as to how I am building a second life as Joanna.