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Showing posts from March, 2013

living honestly

You can't be partnered to a fraud and that's basically what I've been for most of my life. Being truly myself is something I am still working on today and deconstructing the false reality you have fabricated requires time and effort.

Yesterday I got together for a drink with my closest friend of almost 30 years. He now knows about joanna but has never seen her. God bless him in that he told me he would not have any trouble seeing me in that mode. We are both divorced and he is testing the waters with the online dating scene. We shared our ideas on this topic and I expressed my opinion in that I am forgoing this process altogether. I really made him more aware of what a dilemna I am up against. I don't think he fully understood it before.

Last night at home I thought about it some more. I realized that although I will have my lonely days and get down sometimes, I really must stick to my game plan of just living and being me. I am still not certain who that person is yet…

Good Friday...

Yesterday was Good Friday and I was weighing going to the mass. It's traditionally a long and solemn service. I am not a lapsed catholic but I don't follow church doctrine to the letter either. The message I ingested over my lifetime was that I needed to fix myself and God could never accept me as I was.

That was what I ingested, but I no longer think that way. Man interprets God and messes it up everytime. If you're gay, lesbian or transgender you are by your very nature a sinner and must recant and repent. But if God made me this way why he not find me lovable. Of course this is precisely the point and why I no longer let misguided religious fanatics get in the way of a relationship with God.

It took me years to forgive myself for being the way I am and the whole time God loved me just as I am. Man, woman, both who cares; we are all children of the same creator and we are equally loved. This simple message brings great healing and internal peace. Why didn't I realize…

where I'm standing

I am fascinated with my ever increasing comfort presenting as Joanna.

This Friday I will be meeting Sabrina for coffee. She is a young lady I befriended at a Starbucks some months ago. We would engage in banter as she prepared my coffee and I shared some of my feelings about my son’s then impending anxiety problems. She was also an anxiety sufferer, so as it turned out, we had even more to talk about.

Last time I was there she told me it was her last day and we ended up exchanging cell numbers.

At times it feels like my life is slowly but surely building towards full time living and, although it may not become a reality, I am prepared that it could go that route. My children would be older and almost on their own and I could still play the male role in their presence; especially if I have neither hormone therapy nor surgery. So this leaves me a lot of elbow room when it comes to life options.

So I have definitely crossed a divide where I now have not the least bit of hesitation pres…

my son's anxiety

My son’s battle with anxiety is very frustrating. He is being put on Celexa in order to bring his anxiety down to a manageable level. After that the cognitive behavioural therapy will be the long term solution; essentially teaching him to manage his own mental process.

The human brain is such a delicate and mysterious organ. We can talk ourselves in and out of things so easily and the fledgling confidence level of a young adolescent is tenuous at best.

I am trying to stay positive and bolster his confidence as much as I can. This is the only tool I have in my arsenal at the moment. If this were a physical injury it would be easier to handle and I would gladly take his struggle upon my own shoulders but I cannot. All I can do is be supportive and try and see him through this. I expect it may also be a long battle, although I am praying it’s not.

I draw a bit of a parallel to my life long struggle with gender issues. I am glad he does not have what I have and would have wanted to spare…

man, woman or both...

I think that in the end all I am looking for is for congruency between my mind and my body. This need not lead to surgical intervention or hormones but I am hopeful that it can be achieved through an adjustment of lifestyle.

I believe that I am currently on the right track towards achieving my appropriate level of congruency.

None of us is truly one gender but instead a combination of both. The caveat with the transgender is that there is a sharp contrast between our perceived gender and our biological reality. For many this necessitates GRS in order to correct this perceived error of nature.

But what about the rest of us who are not entirely comfortable with the idea of surgery or hormones and are not certain that such a drastic change is the way to fulfillment or happiness?

I think the answer lies partly in our willingness to buck the trend and live in between genders. This is no easy task in a world that demands that we conform to the standards of one or the other. That expectation…

same road for a while.....

It's amazing how my personality has blossomed once I started to relax and be myself. Don't get me wrong - I know that maturity has a hand to play in this. However, when you are carrying a weight on your shoulders all of your life, putting it down feels really good. I did not know better before because that load was something I carried as part of my everyday existence.

Now in retrospect I see it all.

At least I'm not so old that there can't be some quality living left in me. Even if my main focus is the welfare of my children, I can't provide for them properly if I myself am not balanced and happy.

My mother (God bless her) told me the other day that if I were young and did not have children, she would do everything in her power to assist me to transition. Not bad for an enlightened 76 year old. She really gets it now and sympathizes with my life long battle with disphoria.

So now I just continue status quo until something else needs to happen. If nothing needs to…

thanks for this Anne...

I have been harsh with Anne Lawrence for sticking to Blanchard’s theories on autogynephilia but it must be said that in reading her essay entitled “Men trapped in Men’s Bodies” I have come to a better understanding of her own translation of the theory. Here is an excerpt;

“It would be a mistake to conclude that if autogynephilic transsexuality is in large part about sexual desire, then it is somehow suspect, or is less legitimate than homosexual transsexuality. Although the focus of this essay is not on homosexual transsexuality per se, I do want to say enough about it to dispel any mistaken notions that homosexual transsexuals are the "real" transsexuals, or that their motivations are exclusively non-sexual. Neither is true. By definition, transsexuals are those who undergo sex reassignment as a treatment for gender dysphoria. The gender dysphoria of autogynephilic transsexuals is every bit as real as that of their homosexual counterparts. And it matters not a whit if that d…

my transition

Have I effectively transitioned? - In a sense yes. However, it has been more of a mental transition than a physical one and, for the purposes of how I intend to live my life hence forth, the best kind.

I was thinking about this the other day while having a coffee with Leticia.

Leticia works at a dress shop in a north end mall and I met her quite happenstance while browsing in her store one day. She is from South America so we hit it off right away. She now knows me as the mother of 2 teens and because she has 3 girls of her own we’ve had had much to talk about.
So there I was the other day sitting in that same mall over having a heart to heart with her about my son going through his recent bout of anxiety. And then it really struck me – how far I had come in my comfort and presentation as a female. So many people now know me as a genetic woman and don’t know anything different proving that so much is about presentation, expressiveness and gestures. But much more than that it is about …

a time to trust

Time to let go of the reins.

I've been fighting upstream all of my life; trying to control everything. I have never accepted myself as is. That has now started to change but ever so slowly.

Its also time to trust that God has a plan.

It starts with absolute acceptance of who you are and have always been. Its not about a vagina and breasts either. Who you are is between the ears. My brain tells me I'm a woman. It does not matter because who you are is so much more than about gender. Being who you are involves risk in letting people see the real you and not a fabricated caricature.

To a large extent my life has been about living up to expectation and pretending. But there have been choices made. I was married and I had children. I have a good career. I need that part of my life to remain healthy and vibrant. I need to see my kids to adulthood.

The lesson I just learnt in my 3 year relationship is that its hard to be who you are and fit to someone's expectation of a male wh…

life as a woman

Living as a woman has been an incredible eye opener for me. It has permitted me to move into a new area of gender balance, given me insight on how women are perceived in society and allowed me to see how they relate to each other socially.

It all happened so slowly and fluidly that it snuck up on me.

I have been slowly but surely increasing my exposure as joanna while gaining more and more contacts and acquaintances. Accompanying all this has been a new level of comfort, security and confidence; far beyond anything I could have imagined.

As I am writing this I am waiting for my car to be serviced. At my dealer I am also known as a woman and although the car is registered under my male name I simply pretend to be my own wife when I bring the car in. These are the methods I am using to retain my female identity in the world without compromising my job situation or scandalizing the life of my children. It's allowing me to keep my sanity intact.

Life balance, life balance, life balan…

you are not to blame

When it finally started to sink in that I suffer from gender disphoria and am not a fetishist, everything started to fall into place for me. I had tried everything and my habit of desiring to emulate a woman was not going away. So what was my problem? The answer was simple: I suffer from GID.

Once I understood that I was not to blame I could shed the shame and guilt and actually begin to explore the feelings behind my attraction to my femininity. This is the key discovery for every gender disphoric. It is the epiphany that allows us to begin scratching beyond the surface or looking behind the proverbial curtain. It took me a long time to accept this piece of information but I am not entirely sure why. I suspect that my religious upbringing coupled with the guilt that accompanied the sexual arousal patterns of my crossdressing past that helped muddy the waters. This kept me in constant state of penance and mea culpas everytime I succumbed to the urge to put on a dress.

But how could …

Seeing the positive

I am struggling sometimes to figure out how to turn my gender disphoria to my advantage and make it seem like less of a life handicap. My historical negativity towards GID is of my own making of course as I have spent so much of m life trying to rid myself of these feelings. One thing is acceptance and quite another to actually see the condition as a positive.

I have read some transgendered people’s evaluation of their gender disphoria as a gift and I can somehow understand why some might want to. Maybe the idea of possessing a gender duality appeals to them somehow. I am perhaps getting closer to that level of appreciation but I am not quite there yet I’m afraid.

People are born with all kinds of conditions and manage to live productive lives. The problem with gender issues is that they tend to gestate for long periods of time and the sufferer does not understand the full ramifications of their condition until well into adulthood. If you’re born blind or without a leg you can adjust …

the dreaded spectre of exceptionalism...

I have said this before and I know that some people hate me for it but I don’t believe in transexuality in the sense that one is really is a woman born in the wrong body. I do however believe in gender disphoria as a very real condition. In other words, the extreme disphoric needs to transition in order to stay sane but not because he was always a woman; If he were a woman he would have been born a woman. I of course exclude hermaphrodites or others born with both sets of genitalia for example.

GID is a pre existing condition that requires treatment and the fact that the treatment sometimes requires GRS I have absolutely no problem with. Whether GID is brought about by a wash of chemicals before birth or whatever the reason, it is very much a real thing.

I firmly believe that all transgender people suffer from disphoria with the only difference being the degree that the feelings are present and are debilitating. This is why we see such a wide variation in the way transgender people l…

the well meaning but obtuse...

My sister C is a lovely person. She is full of love for God and family and is very well meaning. I love her dearly.

We were close when we were younger because we are back to back in the family pecking order and we were able to share a lot of our feelings and ideas when we were younger.

This is not so much the case today as we have drifted apart due to physical distance (she lives 3000 km away) but also with the varying experience of life and where our respective journeys have taken us.

She has been (in her own way) trying to help me deal with my GID in the only way she knows how; namely through the forwarding of information she finds on the net and through her prayers for me. Occasionally, the link she sends points to a very valid website (such as Cris Pagani’s) but often she points me to some religious crackpot who has made up their own reality and neither understands firsthand the condition nor cares to. They simply spew their own drivel to anyone who cares to listen; hopefully not …

Controlling your thought process

I was telling my children yesterday about how important it is to control your thought process. Thinking positively and feeling good about your abilities goes a long way towards establishing your self confidence as a human being.

I was saying all this in the context of trying to deal with my son’s recent battle with anxiety.

I am trying to help him along without appearing preachy or condescending. After all, I lived with a fair bit of anxiety for most of my life. Having gender disphoria and not feeling like you could discuss it with anyone was quite the handful for me. I also tend towards a natural level of innate tension which hums along within me at all times. I am just accustomed to it by now.

Having my son know about my crossdressing has helped me to explain my life experience in a very up close and personal way. He now better understands how his father dealt with a heavy personal issue and was able to come to grips with it over a long period of time. His own anxiety, which is part…

there's surely a meaning...

I was looking over really old emails between myself and N from 2009 and they were making feel a little nostaligic. The tone of the texts were so full of promise and happiness. They were full of what could have been.

It's so interesting where life takes us sometimes. We just never know where we're going to land. It's like being in a movie where the plot shifts and turns and nothing seems in any way predictable.

If you had asked me decades ago where I pictured my life going, I would never have imagined where I would be today and how much my disphoria would have had a hand in shaping my destiny.

I watched a brief film about the life of Katherine Cummings this morning and it made me feel sad. She loved her family but her disphoria was too powerful. So faced at age 52 with suicide versus transition, she chose to forge ahead with her GRS. There was a poignancy in the video and a measureable loneliness in her that came through as she spoke.

If there is a meaning to our suffering…