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Showing posts from April, 2016

these people don't think

One of the reasons these bathroom bills demonstrate they don’t come from the intellectually gifted is that you cannot actually perfectly enforce them. Imagine a young and feminine pre-op transsexual woman entering the woman’s bathroom. Are you going to give her a genital inspection before she is admitted entry?

I suspect that most young transsexuals already use the ladies’ room without incident and these bills are really more about late transitioners who don’t pass well. But remember that there are also a number of genetic women who actually look and dress quite masculine. Are you going to inspect their genitals as well just to be sure?

We know that transgender people just want to use the facilities and get out of there and I have been doing that now for many years when I am out as Joanna without any incident. I suspect that even if some women suspected I might not have been born female they could see by my respectful attitude and body language that I was not there to do anything inde…

of unrest and truth

There is unrest over transgender people and most of it is coming from deeply conservative pockets of society where the notion of not fitting perfectly within a prescribed binary does sit well.

The problem is that many of these people are not well educated and tend to see things like homosexuality or being transgender as a conscious choice as well as an abomination before God. Some are even the types that, half a century ago, would go to church on Sunday and yet would have little trouble denying a black person the right to sit on the same bus or drink from the same water fountain.

In the southern United States it took a great deal of bloodshed to finally settle things and give some semblance of dignity to African Americans.

Our population is somewhat smaller and more fragile. We are not well organized or as united amongst ourselves so we cling to the LGBT umbrella for support even if it does not fit us entirely well. Without their assistance however, we would clearly be far worse off.

smart lady

Cyndi Lauper is doing country music days and she chose education instead of not coming to North Carolina in protest over their discriminatory bathroom use legislation. Here is an excerpt from a recent interview:

Unlike Bruce Springsteen and others, you chose not to cancel your June concert in Raleigh, North Carolina despite your opposition over an anti-LGBT law passed by the state recently. Instead, you announced all profits are to be donated to a LGBT charity there. What was your thinking?

Fear is fear. And education is the way. Educate people on the facts and how to protect their civil rights; that there’s all kinds of people in the world and room for all of us. I lived through the civil rights period, I’m still living through the women’s rights period, because obviously all our rights are being stripped, one by one. So I felt that we could go down to North Carolina and teach people how to help themselves and each other – and also at the venue where we were playing we insisted on a t…

my humble advice

The reason this blog was started was to try and understand how my childhood interest in behaving and dressing like a girl became sexualized by puberty.

Now some people who think they understand this subject and know nothing about what it’s like to be me are coming up with conclusions except they lack solid information to do so. They are also telling me my prepubescent feelings are either straight lying or self-delusion which is of course untrue because I had them. Most of the people who read my blog had the same feelings and still do today.

There is no official handbook which spells out what to do about them.

I know I will never transition; of that I am certain and my advice is to get to know yourself inside and out and figure out the rhythms of your gender dysphoria. This will calm the waters tremendously and allow you to be yourself no matter who that might be.

Don’t model yourself after anyone else and never take professional advice from someone who knows less about this topic than…

good on the New York Times

The New York Times pens another scathing editorial chastising some of the more backward thinking States passing these ridiculous transgender bathroom bills. I am afraid though that before sanity prevails we will see more lunes say and do bizarre things.

There is no other way to view these laws other than they are based on misinforned prejudice and hatred. Presumably they would prefer seeing a pre-op transsexual woman get assaulted by someone named Bubba wearing a "I love Jesus and guns" baseball cap in a men's bathroom.

I keep saying that there is no shortage of dim bulbs on this planet and I hope this issue doesn't divide the Americans the way slavery once did.

You can find the editorial here




getting to know us

Getting to know us is difficult. We spend so many years in hiding that the self discovery process can become stalled. We have become such incredible experts at subterfuge and camouflage.

You can't blame others then for being surprised when we come out of hiding by then brimming with impatience from holding our breaths for so long.

Practicing this ruse cones with a price in that we don't allow ourselves the dignity to be genuine that we end up learning in mid to late life. It sometimes feels like using atrophied muscles.

I have been getting to know the woman that lives within me and I like her.

Yesterday N and I were out shopping and she quipped "I need to get something appropriate for women our age"

I reacted with a chuckle and very much appreciated the acknowledgement.

life is just like that

N's father is in declining health and a recent discovery confirmed it; he is in his last months of life. Also suddenly my son's anxiety has been racheted up after something triggered it out of the blue. The timing couldn't be worse as we are set to go away down to Mexico for N's 50th birthday celebration.

This trip has been booked for months and the turn of events have put a damper on the mood.

Life has a way of surprising you as we ride its fickle ups and downs. Upon reflecting one week away will not have much of an impact on either scenario and yet we are still distracted by the sudden events.

We are so governed by guilt and as parents ourselves or as children of ageing parents we want to take away all of their burdens and put them on ourselves. Sadly we cannot but I know my own struggles have shaped who I am and I wouldn't change them.

I told my son that I was proud of him and that he would come out better on the other side. It's easy for a 53 year old wi…

a mirror to the soul

They say the face is a mirror to the soul.

I wasn't really happy for many years and it showed in both modes. When I did venture out I was nervous, hesitant and paranoid. I was sure that all eyes were on me and everyone knew that I was a crossdressed male.

Today I smile and speak to people. Yesterday I was in a store I sometimes frequent and the young saleswoman who served me thought that I only spoke English but no French. When she discovered that wasn't the case her eyes brightened and she told me that she had wanted to serve me before but thought I was unilinguial. This by virtue of hearing me speak to her colleague who I more often dealt with.

She told me that she thought I must be a nice person because I seemed so happy by the way I interacted. We spent a few minutes chatting as the store was momentarily devoid of other customers. Turns out she is a lovely human being with a young son and husband. She resolved to be the first one to serve me next time as we hit it off so …

breaking down barriers

Increasingly there are people out there who don’t feel comfortable following the old gender rules any longer and are doing as they please. This doesn’t just apply to transgender people but to everyone.

Most of the stereotypes have been broken. Men perform tasks and responsibilities traditionally reserved for women and vice versa and people are freer than ever to choose the gender rules that best applies to them.

Men are not afraid to wear jewelry or a pink shirt and young teen boys can regularly be spotted wearing two earrings in their lobes. Girls join boys’ sports teams and wear pretty much what they please. Stereotypical jobs historically performed by one gender are getting harder and harder to find.

Living the way we were before was stifling and limiting. It was also denying some people the right to do something they loved by virtue of the sex they were born as which is completely ludicrous.

For those people who still have trouble getting with the program it’s a bit late to compl…

learning to let go...

Last time I took an IQ test I scored around 135. While this puts me in the top 2% of the general population, it's not exactly good enough to qualify for Mensa (it starts at 147) nor does it qualify for genius level.

Being intelligent has given me advantages in life but perhaps also made it more difficult in that it has often meant overthinking things and always wanting to know the whys. That desire to comprehend is why I had such a hard time accepting that I was transgender. Things like that just weren’t supposed to happen to a person like me; not when every other area in my life seemed to be under my control.

As I age one of the most important things I am learning is to let go and accept. This has removed a good deal of stress from my life and, as I approach the end of my 54th year of existence, I am still learning about myself and every day find some new grain of perspective to chew on.

Repatriating part of who you are takes time and what I used to see as an appendage to be cut…

late in life transitions

Almost on a daily basis you will see a news story on the internet about someone who, after many years of marriage, is suddenly transitioning. These stories used to be shocking tabloid fodder but are becoming almost normal as people who have kept a lid on their deep secret for decades finally come out of hiding.

For regular people who have never questioned their gender, these stories make little sense and they scratch their heads and think: there goes another crazy deluded person. Of course they cannot place themselves in the skin of a person with gender dysphoria.

We are so uniquely different aren’t we? Some spouses take the news as a shock but then adjust while others bolt for the nearest divorce lawyer. There are no right answers here and what happens next is rarely in the hands of the transgender person themselves.

I have tended to be critical here of people who just get up and announce that they are a woman and expect everyone to get with the program. But then I can also very much…

please pass me the shovel...

Germaine Greer has dug herself another hole.

While appearing on Australian television she had the following to say:

'If you're a 50-year-old truck driver who's had four children with a wife and you've decided the whole time you've been a woman, I think you're probably wrong,'

How Greer is able to say that with conviction is beyond me.

However her statement shows a basic lack of understanding of what gender dysphoria is and how it behaves and also assumes that there is premeditated intent on the part of the trans person to deceive. Most transgender people don’t want to be the way they are and do their best to suppress and truly think they can rid themselves of their dysphoria. Greer would know this if she had conducted even the most basic research.

Transgender people aren't stupid and they understand that they are undergoing a social transition of gender role in order to stop feeling miserable. Gender dysphoria is not well understood but we know that for…

more angst about bathrooms

Here is a nicely written op-ed piece by Jane Eisner that puts into perspective some of the irrational fears that are prompting these anti-transgender bathroom bills.

She concludes it brilliantly by stating:

"So let us not deny the safety of transgender people because we are in more pervasive denial about the violence against all women that persists — indeed, seems to be expected — in our society. Civil rights legislation like this is a necessary first step in becoming a more inclusive and tolerant nation, but we need deeper conversations about what really underlies our fears and about the genuine threats to our safety. Like I said, we have to talk"

You can read the short article here.

no more artificial standard

Maybe I'm being naive but I would like to see the day when gender fluidity is no longer an issue and people can be themselves. Yes there will always be those who need to fully transition but those who don't require it should be comfortable being who they really are.

It's already starting to happen in the modeling and entertainment industries but has not gone mainstream yet and trans people are still targets for violence in less enlightened places of our world.

No there isn't going to be a mass movement towards gender variance but those of us born different will have as much chance to feel normal like the rest of society does. This means no more chastisement from a young age and trying to turn us into something we are not.The current model is based on artificial standards about what a man and woman are supposed to be like.

There are bigger changes to come as we progress further into the 21st century and we will look back to this age as a period of growing pains as we be…

which model to adopt

There are a number of myths which have existed for a long time. One of them is that in order to actually be a genuine transsexual you had to transition or kill yourself. This was exclusively propagated by some classic (now termed androphilic) transsexuals and even resulted for a time in the invention of a condition known as Harry Benjamin Syndrome.

While these people had very intense gender dysphoria and undoubtedly needed to transition, some then turned around and used that as a weapon against others to bolster their own legitimacy. They would even claim that they are actually women based on a complete psycho sexual inversion; ie. they were feminine during childhood and they grew up to fancy boys.

We currently lack real evidence for such claims and the most we could say is that these people fit the classification of a type V or VI transsexual according to the Benjamin scale. Benjamin could not offer any further explanations because he had none to give and we still can’t to this day.

life as it really is

Based on scientific observation of every other area of biology, virtually every permutation of sex and gender identity should theoretically exist. Which begs the question: to what degree should that reality be subject to control by outside forces.

Historically these have been societal pressure and religious ideas about how life should be instead of how it actually is.

There is no shortage of beautiful and enlightened souls in this world which are matched if not exceeded by complete and total idiots. Just read the comments section of any internet article for evidence of this which seems to predominantly attract the latter. It is particularly bad when the article deals with transgender issues.

This means that if you spend any time at all worrying about how people perceive you it's one minute too many. I spent years as a shy young kid worrying about what a fickle society might think of me if I came out but I am way past caring at my age. Were anyone even give me a nasty look today I&…

dysphoria and sexual release

Recently I was reading a thread posted on the Susan’s Place website where the person stressed about whether they were transsexual based on the fact that immediately following masturbatory release their TS feelings seemed to subside. Of course they inevitably returned and based on the comments received this person was not unique in this manner. Many of the responses were quite interesting and very perceptive.

This issue used to worry me as well and make me think that my gender dysphoria was not real.

It turns out that all people masturbate. Some a little, some a lot, some almost never and some dressed as women or not. Some do it to fantasies imagining themselves having relations with men and/or women and some, like me, do it while imagining myself doing something very intrinsically female.

I used to try and force myself to masturbate and in those moments afterwards revel in the fact that I didn’t really have gender dysphoria and that it was all in my head. The feelings return of course…

anger

When I finished my sessions at the Montreal General Hospital gender clinic in 2007 I was told that I had a good deal of pent up anger. I knew this to be true and it bubbled up to the surface as my marriage came to an end and the frustration of all those years of suppression took their toll. Even as I was approved for the next phase of treatment at a private clinic I decided to forgo that move and stop the process cold.

After having met N again, living together for 3 years and thinking all was well again it wasn’t and I would periodically explode in a rage that would have me yelling at the top of my voice. This culminated in one incident which scared N enough to have her packing and leaving me. The year we were apart was when I began to write this blog to try and deal with that anger and attempt to resolve the gender issues that had plagued me since earliest memory.

Anger is an insidious beast which will eat away at your soul. It was not allowing me to love myself properly so how could…

how we label ourselves

I need to be careful about nomenclature but then I come from the generation when the terminology of transvestite and transsexual for example had very particular meanings. We saw them as boundaries that we are a little less certain about today.

For today’s generation these terms have less meaning. They use words like gender queer, non-binary, gender non-conforming or gender variant to describe their lack of adherence to prescribed gender roles. Even the term transsexual is no longer used by gender therapists and I was reminded of this when I went to see Helene Cote at the Montreal General Gender Identity clinic a couple of years back.

The problem with strict definitions is that they are made to be broken and recast. Some people start off with an understanding of themselves and years later take a different path they did not expect to take. Does that mean that their original label was incorrect or did their mindset shift over time as they began to truly understand what made them tick?

Al…

everything old is new again

I have always been fascinated by female impersonation and have vivid early memories of seeing men crossdressed on television and wondering why I wanted to do the same. My first were Flip Wilson doing Geraldine and Jim Bailey on the Carol Burnett show. Later it would be Christopher Morley on an episode of Switch with Eddie Albert and Robert Wagner and then on the show Vegas.

It is most certainly an art form that when done correctly gives an almost perfect illusion. Think of Laverne Cummings (pictured below) with that perfect presentation including credible singing voice and her own hair.

Back then I had no understanding of why I wanted to be like them and tried my best to distance myself from those feelings but now I embrace them and do my best to perfect my dressing, mannerisms, makeup and voice.

By the 1970's it had all but fallen out of favour but in its heyday it was a popular and well viewed form of entertainment. Many perhaps did not realize the great majority of the performe…

rubber hits the road

Transgender people cover a wide spectrum of society. They come from all walks of life in terms of ethnicity, education levels and professions. This has made trying to label them in one sweep of the brush exceedingly difficult.

As they come out of the woodwork it becomes challenging to stereotype them. Compare today with even 10 short years ago and the difference is nothing short of remarkable.

This has served to discredit further those who would look for simplistic theories to marginalise and dismiss their reality. As mentioned two posts ago the work of Freund and Blanchard is all but entirely discredited. If that weren’t the case we wouln't have government institutions and the courts enacting laws to protect trans people.

The Blanchardians have now retreated to Twitter where they can feed off each other’s academic hubris.

After all what do you do when members of police forces, judges, politicians and litigators are themselves transitioning or admitting to their gender variance? t…

an important clarification

Most of the people whose blogs I frequent are transgender or transsexual. This means that the knowledge that something was different about them dates back to earliest memory and those who crossdress use it as a part of a strategy to manage their gender dysphoria. There is a section in Harry Benjamin's book where its proposed as a non-surgical treatment method for transsexualism.

When I was trying to find a solution for myself I would come upon websites that dealt with curing crossdressing desires. At the time I felt that I needed to heal from what I determined to be a curable abnormality. I sincerely believed that such sites could be helpful and provide inspiration. Ultimately they weren't and my understanding today that I am a borderline transsexual has completely changed my mindset on this issue.

I occasionally still come upon a site that proposes that one can be “cured” of the affliction of crossdressing which only gives me visions of some young transgender kid ending up th…