Tuesday, 31 May 2016

all bets are off

I think that these days all bets are off regarding gender and its presentation.

I have read stories of people transitioning with full HRT and then continuing to present androgynously because that is where they are comfortable. Not all genetic women are very feminine so why some transgender women not be the same?

The options are very variable and you get to make up your own rules and for me living part time is what works and likely will for the long term.

The other day I ran into another Walt Heyer interview where he keeps saying that being transgender is actually a form of mental illness. But then here’s the rub: if people are happy living the way they are after years of being miserable, they function well in their jobs and in society how is that mental illness?

You cannot speak for others only for yourself and that is where he errs.

Don’t worry yourself too much about labels and proceed slowly and organically to a resting point that works for you. There is pure magic in that. There are constraints along the way that we built because getting to know ourselves took time. They can still be managed while your life morphs into something else.

For example my son is always a big priority for me in that I don’t want him touched by any of this until he is much older and more secure in his role as a man in society. What possible good could come from me flaunting the fact that his father is transgender? It’s well enough that he accepts it intellectually which is more than good enough from my perspective.

The other evening I had a reunion of sorts. It was the group of four friends who went to Europe in the summer of 1986 and we got together almost 30 years to the day of our departure. We were in our twenties then and now in our fifties we still laughed and enjoyed each other’s company just as we did back then. We plan to keep it up.

The big difference for me is that 30 years later I know myself far better.

Monday, 30 May 2016

be free

There's never been a better time in history to be yourself. Never before has there been so much opportunity to show the world who you really are and have them listen. Think about how far we have come in the last 5 years. There has been more progress than in the previous 100.

I gained my liberty in my late forties but so many young people today have it early on. They understand what makes them tick and they don't waver. No matter what anyone thinks they brave taunts and sneers and present their unique face to the world rather than shrinking in fear.

Ivan Fahy is one such example of a gender nonconforming gay man who knows himself.

As I watched this TED talk I couldn't help but admire the courage I wish I had possessed at his age.

Ivan went to his high school graduation wearing his beloved high heels which he also wears here...


Sunday, 29 May 2016

way back then

It seems entirely intuitive and even logical that the more energy and years one has invested in their male identity the harder it is to adopt the female role. This whether you transition or not.

In that sense my journey has been long and laborious but I don't look back in disdain because that was all I knew at the time. I thought I was supposed to buy into the official script for my life.

So after my father's death I married and had children and for a few years lived the atomic age lifestyle of living in the burbs. It came undone in time because I was not living my reality but instead someone else's.

Today young people get more understanding and support and that's an amazing thing. I don't blame my own parents because they themselves were the product of their own education and socialization. We just didn't know better then.

God knows I tried so hard to fit in. I struggled with my identity all the while and put off the questioning as crazy delusions. Now I look back with 20/20 hindsight and marvel at how I lived the charade for so long.

I am so heartened by the possibilities for the future and how people like us need not suffer for so many years. There they are all over YouTube helping and teaching each other that their life can be better and they are not crazy like we thought we were back then.

I am so glad I have my children and in that sense my life back then was not entirely a lie. Sometimes we need to take a different route to get to our final destination and only comprehend later why we did.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

get over yourself

Right wing fundamentalists keep getting confused and talk in terms of not being able to change sex or gender. Indeed you can’t but as Anne Vitale says you can change your gender role.

Gender role transitions allow people who feel they are transgender to live more authentic lives but somehow by allowing that little 0.3% of the population the dignity to live the way they want we are somehow doing the rest of society a huge disservice.

Recently some African American pastors protested that comparing the transgender cause with the black civil rights movement was a mistake. In wades Attorney General Loretta Lynch by saying:

“Where people are victimized because of a physical characteristic over which they have no control, that is exactly what the civil rights laws are meant to cover,”

She isn’t wrong.

But transgender people butt up against fundamentalist beliefs of some that God doesn’t make mistakes and people like us are instead delusional and mentally ill. Of course we are neither and having public policy adjust itself to our reality is tantamount to an attack on their sensibilities of their tiny black and white vision of the world.

If you are gay, lesbian or transgender you just have to pray harder and get over yourself.

I for one am glad that Loretta Lynch is on the job and not them.



Friday, 27 May 2016

a must watch...

This video dates back to last year but could have been made just yesterday.

You might just laugh hysterically at sections of John Oliver's brilliant exercise in mockery of ignorant people and how they discriminate against the transgender. But not only is Oliver funny he is bloody well spot on!

Please watch....


Thursday, 26 May 2016

like it was yesterday

The first time I ventured out of my parents house fully dressed as a woman was 1979. I remember it like it was yesterday.

My entire family was out for the evening and as soon as they left I ran upstairs and raided my mother's closet. Back then she even owned a wig and, although it didn't really suit me, I perched it on my head regardless. One of her dresses, a pair of her heels and one of her fall coats were also borrowed for the occasion.

I remember stepping out into the crisp autumn evening and walking for several blocks with mixed feelings of excitement, dread and freedom that would have me repeat this again and again. These little adventures would remain secret and sporadic for the next 25 years.

Looking back it was all so dramatic and as I write this I almost can't relate to why it had been such a big deal. Sometimes it just takes a long time to learn. I don't have the photographic evidence but the memories will remain etched in my brain until I leave this earth.

While it didn't feel like it at the time, it was the first of many small victories that would ultimately gain me my freedom to be myself.



Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Renee Richards: a life in both genders

In many ways Renee Richards is a contradiction. She transitioned many years ago and has a first hand and pragmatic understanding of all this that few could ever relate to. It was much harder back then and her notoriety did not help her to make a successful stealth life she had hoped to embark on.

I can understand the bittersweet nature of the words because it must not have been easy to do what she did at a time when few people understood this. Being transgender or transsexual is not an easy thing and her statements in an Esquire article show it.

There is both resignation and sadness in her words:

"In my day, of course, everything was done secretly and quietly, and if somebody went through the transformation, they did it privately. It was called 'woodworking': You merged into the woodwork after your transformation and you tried to lead a new life without people knowing what your previous life had been. And that's what I tried to do. I changed my name, I moved three thousand miles away, I started my new life. I was taken care of by my friends and by my employer, who took me on as an assistant ophthalmologist. I tried to merge into the woodwork, and my undoing came when I played in a tennis tournament in California.

I am mystified to this day by the celebrity part of [being transgender]—with Chaz Bono and now Caitlyn Jenner, and people going on television announcing that this week I'm Christopher and next week I will be Christine. These were things beyond my imagination when I was trying to become accepted as a woman and I was found out and became a public figure. I never wanted to be considered somebody who was a trans-something. I've had a wonderful life, and I can't complain, and I happily spent forty years as a man and then happily forty years as a woman. But would I wish I would never have been born a transsexual or transgender? Yes. I don't wish being a transgender individual on anybody. The transgender community gets battered on both ends. They get battered by society from people who are hostile to them, and they need the protection of the law against violence and assault, and they get battered on the end of their own families, a lot of whom don't accept them and don't understand them. The work that needs to be done is primarily societal and legal, but from my standpoint as a scientist, as a physician, I would love to know whether there is some prenatal or hormonal or genetic preconditions that set it up for someone to announce when they're only two years old that they are a girl rather than a boy. If you could prevent the condition from ever getting started, that would be desirable. I don't like the world of yellows and browns and grays. I like the world of blue and pink. I think that the spice of life is the fact that there are men and women. And I think that if there could be no transgenders in the next one hundred years, I would go for it."




Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Blanchard and the androphilics who support him

I find it a bit surprising when I see some androphilic transsexuals espouse the work of Ray Blanchard. One only needs to read the work carefully to understand that they are not doing themselves any favors by doing so. I suspect that they like the part about gynephilics being attracted to their own image and conveniently ignore the rest.

But just read this statement from Blanchard acolyte and CAMH sexologist James Cantor:

“Autogynephilic transsexuals tend to transition later in life (typically in their 30s or 40s), are externally unremarkable in childhood, are attracted to females, and having a more mixed adjustment after transition. Autogynephilia is extremely controversial within the transsexual community, because of the unfortunate myth that only androphilic transsexuals are "true" transsexuals, while the autogynephilic ones are just wannabes”

I have seen Blanchard’s work being defended by androphilics and they have tended to focus on what they want to hear. They consider themselves to be ‘’true’’ transsexuals and the rest are perverted men. But this is not exactly what Blanchard and his followers believe.

Anne Lawrence, a self-identifying autogynephilic transsexual and Blanchard defender, states in her writing that autogynephilic transsexualism is just as valid as ‘’homosexual transsexualism’’. Its just another typology.

In her 2004 article entitled ‘’Autogynephilia: A paraphilic model of Gender Identity Disorder" Lawrence even wrote something very honest and truthful:

“Nevertheless, it remains possible that cross-gender wishes might sometimes precede autogynephilic arousal by many years. This suggests the possibility that autogynephilia might sometimes be an effect rather than a cause of gender dysphoria. Since there is no accepted theory that explains how any erotic preference develops, one can only speculate about how gender dysphoria might lead to autogynephilia”

Of course she gives credence to the term Autogynephilia but you could just as easily just replace it with the term cross gender arousal. The point is that we don’t know where the arousal comes from but it most certainly could be the product of a gender dysphoria that is already present.

In later writings Lawrence seems to deviate from this earnest questioning and much of her time is spent trying to present Blanchard’s work in more palatable ways for gynephilics who rightfully and vehemently reject it if for no other reason than it's not science.


Sexologist James Cantor

Monday, 23 May 2016

its never been better than now

If you read the entire excerpt I featured from Lynn Conway's website, you will have noted that she very much advocates you go your own way. There are no hard and fast rules here and your objective should be to deal with your dysphoria and whatever works. In this way she is very much an advocate of Harry Benjamin's ideas.

The good news for the rest of us is that in the current climate you only need react in a level consummate with your situation. Be happy and proud of who you are regardless of your standing on the spectrum and never view a full transition as a goal but only as a possibility. The goal is internal peace and stability and nothing else.

Perhaps full, partial or social transition is for you or maybe dressing once a month works. You get to decide and define what you need. You are not dysphoric you say? Fine then dress to your heart's content if that gives you pleasure.

Thinking this way will secure and embolden you because people don't need to know what it's like to be you they just need to respect you. In that spirit worry more about being yourself than anything else.

You'll be glad you did.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

time to settle this

As expected the whole bathroom debate has turned into something bigger. This is no longer about allowing 0.3% of the population to pee but more about fundamentalists drawing a line in the sand against the Obama administration.

Remember these are the kind of people who think homosexuality is a choice and a sin against God and they don't think much better of transgender or transsexual people. The actions of the federal government are getting their backs up and they are ready to fight. Not surprisingly it's states like North Carolina, Texas and Oklahoma leading the charge because this is wholesome family value, GOP-friendly territory.

Ultimately these states will lose just as they lost in the civil war over emmancipation of African American slaves but I suspect it will take a while.

We are now seeing poorly educated people storming into Target stores yelling that they don't want their daughters or wives molested and even genetic women getting kicked out of women's bathrooms because they are taken for transgender women.

While we could decry that we could have left well enough alone, I think its better that this gain the national spotlight and get resolved. There were enough incidents out there to warrant a national policy.

Let's face it, it's the transgender people who need protecting and not the other way around and even if you can't educate those who will not listen you can enforce it through legislative protection. There is no precedent for transgender people molesting anyone in public bathrooms and this discrmination cannot be permitted on that principle alone.

Of course, it's easy to mock ignorant people and the Daily Show makes a field day of it.

http://www.advocate.com/transgender/2016/5/20/trevor-noah-goes-transgender-bathroom-predator-myth


Saturday, 21 May 2016

did I mention how much I like Lynn Conway?

Most of my readers know that I am a huge fan of Lynn Conway. Not only is she brilliant but she deeply understands this subject and was one of the early transsexual pioneers of the 1960’s having been a patient of Harry Benjamin’s.

Here is a wonderful section taken directly from her extensive website on the transgender condition:

"Contrasting Transgender (TG) transitions and Transsexual (TS) transitions:

There are many different paths that MtF transgender people may travel on their way to becoming women.

Over the past few decades many transsexual women have undergone transsexual transition, including both a social change of gender and a surgical "sex change" of the genitalia, and have then gone on to live successful lives in their new gender. Many media stories about these cases have helped society gradually become more aware of, tolerant of and accepting of the notion of transsexual transition. Most states now have well-established procedures for changing public records of name and gender for those who complete a transsexual transition. Many employers now even have procedures in place to accommodate people going through transsexual transitions.

More recently, many transgender people who do not have intensely transsexual feelings, have begun to openly undergo transgender transition. Some are crossdressers finally overcome by TG feelings and the need to take on a female social identity. Others are drag queens who've long enjoyed participating in drag shows, but then who finally recognize the strength of their mixed-gender feelings. Most of these transitioners begin transition by taking modest doses of female hormones (enough to produce some degree of feminization) and by undergoing electrolysis to remove facial hair. When feminized to some degree, they shift their full-time social gender by dressing to some degree as women, modifying their voice and mannerisms to varying degrees, taking on a female name, and obtaining some forms of formal identification in the female gender. Thus they achieve varying degrees of social gender transition WITHOUT transsexual SRS surgery.

As transgender people have become more aware of the opportunities for social transition, the number of these TG transitions has risen dramatically. Many gender counselors now see far more transgender transitioners than transsexual transitioners, especially among their older clients. Acknowledgement of the validity of transgender transition in an important new trend, since there clearly are many more transgender people than transsexual people in the wider gender continuum.

Some TG transitioners migrate into a "transgender" social role instead of trying to pass as women. These transitioners may actually feel uncomfortable about becoming "fully female" in presentation and mannerisms, and they are especially uncomfortable about modifying their genitalia. They instead feel a need to take on a transgender or androgynous social role that better matches their mixed-gender identity. Such transitioners often remain visibly transgender and are comfortable in that identity, and their social lives outside work usually involve people in the transgender community. Many TG activists, support group moderators, speakers on TG issues, etc., are people having such openly transgender identities.

Other TG transitioners go much further towards becoming socially passable women (but without having SRS), and some are successful at reaching this goal. Some of them are even eventually successful in assimilating socially (though not sexually) as women.

As we think about this spectrum of possibilities, we can visualize that the "completion" of a TG transition is relative to the goals of the transitioner. "Completion" depends upon where one needs to get, in order to have "arrived". There are many possible end points.

It is now possible for some TG people to transition while employed in solid professional positions, by simply informing employers that they are "transitioning", without going into the details about whether it is a TG or TS transition. Most employers and co-workers simply assume that the person is undergoing TS transition, especially if the person works hard at becoming fully passable as a woman. They can then follow the well-worn path for TS transition, except that, although feminized by estrogen, they do not ever undergo SRS to transform themselves physically into women.

Such transitions can enable transgender people to find relief and a more comfortable place in society. And by not undergoing transsexual surgery, they can retain and enjoy their male genitalia, and have a sexual relationship with a partner of whatever sex or gender.

Of course the casual use of the term "transition" sometimes leads to confusion, even among TG and TS people themselves. For example, if someone says "I transitioned in 1991", we are left with the potentially embarrassing question of whether they are a transgender woman or a post-op transsexual woman - which can be quite a relevant question in social situations such as dating or matchmaking. However, if someone says "I'm transgender and transitioned in 1991", we are clear about their transgender status. Similarly, if someone says that "I'm transsexual and had SRS in 1991", we are clear about their post-op transsexual status. (A woman who is still in RLE (the ‘’real life experience’’) might clarify her status further by saying "I transitioned last year, and will have SRS in about a year").

To summarize: An MtF transgender person undergoes a social gender transition, in order to live as a transgender woman in their everyday outward social life. The MtF transsexual person undergoes not only a social gender transition but also a change of physical sex (by undergoing SRS), so that they can fully live and function as a woman in their intimate love-life too.

Sadly, many transitioned TG people are unnecessarily ashamed of their mixed-gender physical condition, and are often far more fearful of discovery than are post-op women. Many cover up their transgender status by saying that they are "transsexual". If their physical sex status is somehow discovered or disclosed, they often say they are "pre-op transsexuals" or "non-op transsexuals" as an explanation of their mixed-gender status.
Fortunately, many transitioned TG people now realize that a mixed-gender identity is an authentic identity, and that a person should not feel ashamed of being bi-gendered, intergendered or androgynous. More of these transitioners are coming out as "transgender" and are saying that they are comfortable that way. By being openly transgender, they are beginning to provide role models for others who hope to live as women but who do not want to "go all the way" and become women in genital terms.

Meantime, no TG person should ever be pressured into thinking that a gender transition automatically means eventually undergoing SRS. Such pressure comes from outdated bi-polar models of gender that allow for "no one in-between" male and female. Transgender people should not feel forced to say they are "pre-op", or "non-op", or that they have to misrepresent themselves as being "post-op". It really should be OK to say "I'm transgender", if that is one's authentic inner identity.

Similarly, those transsexual girls who need to undergo TS transition - who really do need to be girls physically as well as socially - should never be told that "they are buying into a stereotypical view of femininity" or that "they should be perfectly happy as she-males" and not undergo the "mutilating surgery" of SRS. Many people, including some in the gay, lesbian, feminist and even the TG communities will say awful things like that to young TS girls, out of a complete lack of understanding of the depth of those girls' transsexual feelings and of their need for full gender transition.

The bottom line is that all people should be free to undertake whatever gender modifications they must make, based on their own inner feelings - whether they need to become gender-variant, androgynous, undergo some degree of TG transition, or undergo a complete TS transition. They should be free to establish a gendered identity that is best for them, without undue pressure from others, and without society marginalizing them for living in that identity. They should also feel free to openly acknowledge their authentic gendered identity no matter where they fit into the gender spectrum, rather than being ashamed of it, hiding it or feeling pressured to misrepresent it.

Hopefully society will begin to recognize the validity and authenticity of the mixed-gender status of transgender people, and grant them their place in society without genital surgery, just as it's moved in that direction for transsexual women who've undergone complete TS transition including genital surgery.
"





Friday, 20 May 2016

the chicken or the egg

Which came first the chicken or the egg?

This is an analogy for what has become the essential dilemma in trying to understand how sexual orientation and the desire to be a female overlap. Most male to female gynephilic transsexuals knew they were different very early on in life.

Transgender people question their gender identity well before they have developed a sexual identity and what later transpires is a conflict between this internal identity and the sexual being which is slowly emerging. This is not the same thing as being attracted to your own image as a female but does take the form of sexual fantasies that juxtapose who we aim to be with whom we want to love.

This very confusing time causes an inherent contradiction which we need to sort out.

Some would have you believe that we create a false gender identity as a product of a paraphilic sexuality but that only makes sense if the desire to be female originated hand in hand with the sexual identity. The fact that most transsexuals know much earlier what their identity is, contradicts this idea.

Most transgender people want to downplay the role that sex plays in all this but it exists and most certainly does not invalidate their identity. It may be part and parcel of a more complex picture but certainly not the only defining feature.

To me it’s the most obvious thing in the world that my gender identity was shaped well before my sexual identity was. What happened is that eventually upon meeting, the latter came into conflict with the former. This causes an unconventional situation but not the stuff that paraphilias are made of.

Emasculation fetishists prefer to think in terms of paraphilias perhaps because they are afraid of possessing a transgender identity and not being truly male in the conventional sense. For a time this was also my fear and they will find out one way or another with increasing age.

I know exactly who and what I am and any decision going forward will most certainly not be shaped by my sexual longings but instead by my reason, my logic and most importantly by my heart.

But now here is the kicker: our gender identity need not be an either or proposition; in other words it need not be perfectly aligned with our conventional wisdom of what makes a man or a woman because much of that is artificially set by social convention.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

the young and the knowledgeable

Here is a young and bright transgender woman explaining the 5 things she says she was wrong about before deciding to transition. The power of internet and the dissemination of information helped make up her mind. This video was made early in her transition and she is much further along in her journey today.

She even offers a concise dismissal of Blanchard's Autogynephilia theory in her testament because she doesn't recognize herself that in a piece of pseudoscience.

These 5 questions are the same ones I asked myself and desperately needed to answer. Except that she resolved them much earlier in her life than I did.



good for Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government introduced new legislation giving increased protection to transgender people.....

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/transgender-bill-trudeau-government-1.3585522

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

those bumps and bruises

We cannot control our lives.

I am learning more and more to let go and just let life happen because every time I have tried to think I know where mine is going it changes once again. Living one day at a time is really going to be my way forward from now on.

As we get older we become more philosophical about life and the bumps and bruises we receive are, if not easier to bear, then at least part of what we have seen before. We understand that all will be better in time.

During my mother's 80th birthday celebration, I sat down with my 21 year old nephew . He felt so alone amidst the commotion of cousins and aunts and uncles because he has a very hard to treat strain of schizophrenia. He had just returned from a Caribbean cruise with his parents and siblings (along with their significant others) and while all were having a good time he spent much of the trip hearing voices.

He understands that he is not well and he looks at you with a hollow stare that betrays that something is not right. You could spot him in the crowd without me telling you who to look for; it's that obvious. He feels and looks so lonely.

I feel bad for his father who I also chatted with for a time and he struggles to find the right dosage of medications that will help his son lead a somewhat normal life. Nothing thus far seems to be working.

When I think I have problems I only need to think of his situation.


Monday, 16 May 2016

conservative Christians versus the LGBT community

Here is an article which explains exceedingly well how conservative Christians are continuously disconnected from reality. They focus on concepts instead of people and ignore science time and time again in favour of a world view that contradicts facts. While I am a religious person myself this is not the type that I espouse.

I urge you to read this very well argued and presented article.

http://religionnews.com/2016/05/14/3-reasons-conservative-christians-will-lose-the-transgender-debate/

Saturday, 14 May 2016

being your own free thinker

I now know that I am a woman but then I am also a man. It wasn't until I firmly understood and accepted this duality that I became truly happy. I didn't have a choice in the plumbing I received or in the education as a boy. That was decided for me but I knew that something was different about me very early on.

To understand me you need to know that my life has been a lot about doing your duty and conforming but those days are over. I have made a resolve to follow my heart.

Gender is one of those things we don't really understand. Sex and reproduction we do but what is in those complicated litte brains of ours is still very much a mystery. It's easy to dispel the insistence of a child who feels different and only now are we truly listening.

What clothes a person wears and which of the sexes they are attracted to is their business. For far too long we allowed misguided religion in conjunction with societal forces to tell us how to live and how to think.

It feels good to let go of all that baggage and once you get here you can never go back.



Thursday, 12 May 2016

the decreasing importance and strength of the erotic component

I have reflected many times on how the erotic component in my desire to express myself as a woman has waned in importance and intensity over time. I used to read about this regression in the narratives of older gynephilic transgender persons but had not experienced it for myself. Now I have.

While this aspect is most definitely not driving me towards transition I acknowledge that it simply exists and no longer causes distress. To be frank, removing it altogether would have made my thought process far clearer and simpler.

Think of it this way: if it were the only driving element at play then gynephilics who transition should immediately regret their decision since they have removed the engine that drives the desire. The fact this does not happen should be proof enough that there is much more going on.

Consider also that satisfaction rates among gynephilics and androphilics who transition are statistically comparable. It’s like two sets of people arriving at the same location via different roads.

Hence, a transgender identity cannot possibly be built upon perversion like the Blanchardians and a host of others who would deny access to bathrooms would have you believe.

At a lower echelon consider the drag queen and the heterosexual crossdresser. Each has slightly different motivations but to the untrained eye they are doing the same thing: indulging in something that is a natural tendency and arguably part of their identity. Additionally, neither needs or wants to transition.

As one increases the level of gender dysphoria the consideration of transition becomes more relevant and more pertinent. And even that means different things to different people.

Also as gynephilics begin to transition younger than ever we can clearly see many of the myths that were propagated being dispelled.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

living for me

I am really coming into my own with my life. While not everything is perfect, my living a dual identity has helped solve the dilemma of accommodating my need to express a transgender nature which was kept in check for far too long.

Living on my own has made that easier of course and now that my two are fast approaching the age of autonomy it makes it that I can finally live for me.

When your kids are young you sacrifice much for them and you do so happily. Now I am glad to see the sacrifice pay dividends as both are doing well in school. My son’s anxiety is something that he will hopefully learn to manage and trust it won’t hamper his ability to function as an adult.

Living as both man and woman has its challenges but I am drawing inspiration from some drag queens that seem to do it so well. Just be yourself and express who you are both inside and out. They may have a different motivation for their expression but the end result is the same in that they are out and proud.

When I am out I don’t tell people I am not a cisgender woman but I won’t deny my transgender status if asked (which almost never happens). The trick is really not to care what people think in which case passing becomes a secondary priority.

After spending so many years trying to do things for others it might just be time to start living for me.


Tuesday, 10 May 2016

you could see this coming a mile away

I knew this would happen now here it is. The idiots over in North Carolina now have a butch lesbian fearing that she will now be stopped from using the woman’s bathroom because she could be confused with a transgender person.

Presumably we are going to conduct genital inspections as well as check whether people are masculine or feminine enough to meet the criteria for entry.

North Carolina is suing the feds for overreach and now the feds are suing right back by claiming human rights have been violated. The result will undoubtedly be a victorious precedent that will protect transgender people

You can read Sally Kohn's story here.


not all genetic women fit the stereotype - Chantal Hebert is one

Monday, 9 May 2016

still some work to do

I am a tough nut to crack. I have a quick Spanish temper which flares like a pop bottle that’s been shaken and then subsides as fast as it came.

We are all victims to our pride and we suffer the consequences of sticking to our guns until we remember what is most important. I am trying to work on that aspect.

When I was younger I didn’t always see the best side of people and I was made fun of either because of my ears or because I was too thin. It didn’t help my confidence.

As I got older I discovered that I had a good intellect and I used to it to my advantage. In its worst moments it has been used in derision of people who I deemed were lacking in some measure.

What didn’t help was that I wasn’t completely happy with myself for the longest time until I removed my own anxiety over being transgender. I couldn’t see the positive in others first and would often choose to focus on the negative if they did something I didn’t like. Perhaps this was a method of self-protection going back to my childhood.

I have had to work my way back and I am much happier for it. The temper still requires some work but then none of us is perfect and sometimes by the time we get it right we have run out of road.




Sunday, 8 May 2016

the unattainable dream

Noam Chomsky is one of the great intellectuals of our time. The MIT professor emeritus has been active in important social and economic issues since the 1960's and has written countless papers, articles and books critiquing his own government as well as others.

Chomsky believes in justice and fairness for all and decries how the United States has fallen increasingly into an Oligarchy instead of being a democratic nation.

Of course true democracy is an ideal that works well on paper but not in reality because it would involve the powerful giving fair voice to the powerless. The founding fathers made sure that there was still a ruling elite in place to guarantee that the rabble didn't mess with their wealth or power.

The world has always been about the strong controlling and exploiting the weak and if you have doubts I strongly urge you go to Netflix and see the film "Requiem for the American Dream". It is Chomsky at his most brilliant and insightful. He gets it right.

The disparity of wealth is an issue close to my heart because I believe we are headed for a precipice if we don't address it.

If you watch this film you may just find yourself nodding in agreement with this masterful thinker.

Five stars.



Saturday, 7 May 2016

what the fuss is about

Transgender people are everywhere in the media now and while this means greater exposure it also means opening up ourselves further as targets of derision. In the end it’s probably better that we are out there than not.

North Carolina’s controversial bathroom bill has now seen the federal US government considering suing the state over infringement of human rights. Those people who worry about women being assaulted by a transgender person have never known one personally and, if they did, they would understand that all we want is to be accepted and to be as safe as the woman in the next stall. That still hasn’t prevented the crazies from trying stunts like dressing up and trying to use the ladies’ bathroom in order to make a point. Thankfully they are being viewed as just publicity stunts and are backfiring.

The next few years will be about normalizing things and as people realize that we don’t have horns and breathe fire. Many will undoubtedly come to grudgingly respect us if not entirely find us appealing.

Most of you over 50 remember what it was like for us in the dark ages. We had no internet and thought you were the only crazy in town. Technology has changed everything and we are stronger by virtue of our connections.

Now we are mobilizing in a way that makes some people cringe. Those on the far right, who pine to turn back the clock to the last century, don’t like their gender politics to be messed with and feminists decry our infringement into women’s spaces. Transgender people have thrown a monkey wrench into things simply by asking for the same basic rights that others have except that granting them involves rebalancing the power that is inherent in the notion of gender.

All this fuss just for wanting to be our genuine selves and not be persecuted for it.

Presumably we are being asked to not be seen as well as not heard but it’s a bit late for that now. The genie is out of the bottle.


Thursday, 5 May 2016

a little debunking

There is a myth being propagated by the Blanchardians but also by some androphilic transsexuals that gynephilics cannot be innately feminine and are actually more akin to deluded men in dresses. According to them we are driven by our own sexual interest in the woman in the mirror and have no internal female identity to speak of.

Of course this is not true and I am but one example among many others who can dispel this notion.

Not only have I always had androgynous facial features which have allowed me to pass rather well but I am able to easily and readily express myself as a feminine woman without much effort. It’s just that I put on a cover for many years and suppressed those tendencies in order to blend in.

I am now known as a feminine middle aged woman by a whole host of people who don’t even know that I am genetically male and have been complimented on my comportment, dress and makeup style on a great number of occasions.

Of course there are some gynephilics who are not naturally feminine but then so are a whole host of genetic women who aren’t at all interested in femininity. Is that surprising?

There are feminine men and masculine women and everything in between in this world.


Wednesday, 4 May 2016

just one layer

I have come to view the sexuality of gynephilic transgender people as another layer of a larger and more complex picture. I think of it as a transparent film that forms part of many others glued together such that it cannot be separated from the rest.

Human sexuality is already complex enough but when you add having a desire to be female to the mix it becomes all the more so. What I have realized is that while this aspect is not driving me to transition it has adhered itself to my gender identity and wanes in significance with the passage of time.

People like us cannot naturally follow the prescribed rules of the binary because we were never equipped to do so. For whatever reason we were born with a difference that seemed to demand we go our own way right from the outset. Once you understand and accept this it makes it easier to function in life.

I was speaking to my mother yesterday and I mentioned that it might be a possibility that I could fully or partially socially transition once I retire. That is not very likely because I am very satisfied with the way things are right now. However, what was most interesting to me was that she did not bat an eyelash and she went on to mention that she had recently seen a very well put together crossdressed man at her local thrift shop. This is the kind of conversation I never would have dreamed of having with my soon to be 80 year old mother who is really is progressive is so many ways and wise about life.

That tends to happen when you've been around for a while although not everyone gets there.





Tuesday, 3 May 2016

of genitals, identity and expression

There are three key aspects to gender: biology, identity and expression. We may be born with a particular set of genitalia but how one identifies and expresses gender can be independent of this reality. Biology may be of the body but identity and expression are sourced in the mind.

We all have known people who blur gender expression but not all feel that their identity is in complete conflict with their birth sex. It is only when the core gender identity is felt by the individual to be in direct opposition to birth sex that the person will typically seek a corrective measure. The combination of these three factors makes it that we are clearly dealing with a kind of continuum.

Here are some examples we all know:

• Drag queens are male and identify mostly as male but use exaggerated forms of female expression
• Butch lesbians are female yet identify strongly with maleness and express it without needing to resort to transition
• Crossdressers identify as male but express themselves as females on occasion.
• Androgynous or gender queer people can identify as one gender or both and express as one or both in a varying combinations.

The interplay between these three components varies individual to individual which contributes to one’s uniqueness. Additionally, the degree to which one willing to brave society's disapproval is also an important element. Given the tendency of people to not want to be rejected, what we see out there is actually the tip of a submerged iceberg which historically did not give an accurate picture of some people’s natural tendencies.

As a result people who tried hard to meet expectation(and I count myself among them)suffered in silence.


• Terminology of biological sex, gender identity/ expression, sexual identity/ preference-orientation; medical isues affecting gender identification


Monday, 2 May 2016

transitional thoughts

Life is a transition.

We age and we change and our mindset morphs from decade to decade. Thus my understanding of who I am as a person has come a long way over the years.

I used to think of transition as going from one gender to the other but that is not actually true; at least it’s not true for all of us. My transition has been to go from a scared individual to one who has embraced self-acceptance and no longer worries about labels.

My concern about what category I fit in has melted away to reveal a broader and more expansive understanding of my own gender identity and expression. That process has taken many years and I now understand very well those blogs that described transition as a prolonged affair. It is not like going from man to woman in an instant but more about developing a new mindset over time that takes into account many aspects that go beyond just clothing.

Being transgender is not easy and there is no guiding document where you can find answers. Therefore you seek them from within and hopefully gain a new nugget of wisdom as time goes on.

If that growth makes you a better and more balanced individual then you have achieved something worthwhile.


Sunday, 1 May 2016

grass not always greener

I'm the oldest in a family of six and between us we have 22 children. It's a large Catholic family and we grew up in a safe and middle class home with two loving parents. Of course nothing is perfect and my parents argued as we did amongst ourselves but all of us turned out to be relatively successful in our lives and careers.

I have tended to be a loner within my own family and as they live typical suburban normal lives mine has tended to be more complicated. I am the only one divorced and sometimes wish for my children that things had turned out differently. They have not enjoyed the same perks that their cousins have although this generation tends to be spoiled compared to when I was growing up. That may not be such a bad thing.

My life is certainly more complicated than my siblings' and in the past it sometimes became a source of frustration for me. I also tend to have little in common with most of them; the one sister I was closer to lives across the country and is in a religious order.

I don't regret my life despite the fact that I am a complex and complicated person. This has been both good and bad with my need for analysis being ever present. It has made me an individual that is hard on myself but also on others and I have needed to work on softening the edges. Doing so allowed for my own self acceptance.

Life isn't easy for anyone and sometimes what we think we see are but optical illusions. When we scratch below the surface we often find a more complex portrait of what is truly going on.

Comparing ourselves to others and wishing our life had been different is not the best way to go. Rather we should focus on understanding what got us to where we are today and seeing how we can improve ourselves as human beings.