Saturday, 31 December 2016

the model breaks down under examination

The old simplistic two-typology transsexual model proposed by Ray Blanchard falls apart under the close scrutiny and I will provide you with 4 very concrete and well-known examples to illustrate this: Kimberly Reed, Zagria, Gigi Gorgeous and Lynn Conway.

For those of you not familiar, the model works roughly like this:

Autogynephilic (woman and/or self-loving)/Androphilic (man-loving)
Not-feminine in childhood/Feminine in childhood
Late-transitioning / Early-transitioning

Now let's examine each case:

Lynn Conway was a patient of Harry Benjamin’s who fathered children before transitioning and eventually marrying her current husband. She is an outspoken critic of the Blanchard work and is a tireless defender of transgender rights. But which typology was she?

Kimberly Reed is a feminine and beautiful woman who transitioned in college, was an all-star high school quarterback and has a female life partner. Hence relatively early transition, gynephilic and not obviously feminine in childhood.

Gigi Gorgeous was a self-proclaimed and very effeminate gay male who then transitioned early as expected but then became a lesbian?

Zagria was a late transitioning gay male who was refused treatment at Blanchard's CAMH because she wasn't supposed to exist. Late transitioning androphilics are not allowed in the model.

Blanchard’s old fall back position would have been to accuse these people of lying when their narrative didn’t fit a model which, in retrospect, didn't turn out to be so accurate after all.

I suspect it's because real life doesn't lie.

Friday, 30 December 2016

no point arguing against the ideologically driven

Well the dogmatically-driven idiots over at Breibart News are at it again.

Telling us that the facts point to transgenderism being rooted in an ideological movement instead of in science. Well why didn't they tell me that when I was a kid I know it would have made all the difference to me.

Clearly these people are not interested in facts. Also where did they get the "born in the wrong body" line for I haven't heard any trans person I know utter those words.

If these right-wingers had done even some basic homework they would know that gender dysphoria does not respond to psychotherapy and, I don't know about you, but I am not mentally ill.

But this article is about ideology driving fact creation instead of the other way around.

I take it these people would rather have us try conversion therapy on these kids and then witness its utter ineffectiveness. Or perhaps they would prefer we shoot transgender people like horses with a broken leg?

It should be obvious to any thinking person that if this were an ideological movement, you wouldn't have transgender people showing up in every single country in the world and independent of race or religion. But then this is what happens when you are blinded by a belief system and won't be disturbed by data that contradicts it.

Once again we have people with no intimate knowledge of a subject talking out of their rear ends.

But then what else is new...

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/08/07/physicians-decry-pseudo-science-transgenderism-absurd-say-anyone-born-wrong-body/



Thursday, 29 December 2016

a disappointing reality

Ava DuVernay's "13th" is an extremely important film for it chronicles the persistent racism in the United States against African Americans. The title refers to the 13th amendment which was a way to facilitate the incarceration of slaves who had now been emancipated.

Beginning with the mass incarceration of freed slaves after 1865 and moving on to segregation and painting of blacks as dangerous and naturally criminal, there has been a consistent effort to marginalize this community.

DW Griffith's famous film “Birth of a Nation” depicted African Americans as rapists and dangerous killers and even glorified the Klu Klux Klan. This film saw the invention of the burning cross which, in an example of life imitating art, saw its adoption by this fringe extremist group as a new way to terrorize.

The US has 5% of the world population and yet currently has 25% of the world’s prisoners; a healthy portion of whom are black. This is a staggering and troubling statistic.

The Republican Party's first real influx into the Democratic south began in the early 1970's with Richard Nixon's appeal to white voters to join him in instilling law and order. This was code for keeping the anti-war peaceniks at bay and controlling movements like the Black Panthers.

This was followed by Ronald Reagan’s war on drugs in the early 1980’s which escalated the incarceration of young black men for sometimes minor offenses. Beginning in this period, the jail population truly exploded.

In the end it was another way to control and subjugate the black population; one which had been troubled and marginalized for many decades and was more often than not vilified and persecuted.

This film also clearly depicts the Machiavellian nature of politics and how one maneuvers in order to get elected. I suspect if you are well meaning and honest you won't get very far. I only need think of Jimmy Carter as a prime example whose humanitarian efforts continued well past his tenure as President but whose legacy will be viewed by many as being steeped in abject failure.

That recent social media posting about Michelle Obama being an "ape in heels" by a school board official who has, since the Trump election, regained her position is likely the tip of an uglier iceberg that lurks beneath.

This is essential viewing and you will find it on Netflix.


Wednesday, 28 December 2016

patience is a virtue

I was watching Camille Paglia being interviewed recently.

I am not a fan and her almost histrionic tone as she stammers her way through a conversation is almost jarring. She knows absolutely nothing about gender dysphoria but of course has lots to say about transgender youth. Remember how I said recently that those least well poised to speak are often the most vocal?

But there was a point made that merited reflection: As we come out from hiding might some of these trans kids be too quickly turning to body modification rather than settling for being authentic transgender people?

What about creating a societal environment where they don’t need to do that.

Make no mistake in that some of these transgender youths are deeply dysphoric and may be prime candidates for full transitions but for others it’s not as clear cut.

Now that our environment is more receptive to transgender people and we are emerging from hiding they may want to take a few deep breaths before hand.

However if I have observed anything about millennials is that they are not accustomed to waiting for things.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

I take up the challenge

I decided to take up Calie’s challenge and write a blog post about why some people stop going out dressed after a while. This issue was brought up in her introduction to a T-Central featured post from the “All About My Lucy” blog.

I have no doubt that the answer relates back to the gender spectrum and how some people use crossdressing as fun and are not gender dysphoric. Sometimes the two worlds blend but they aren’t the same thing at all.

This was brought home to me a few years ago when I went out with a crossdresser and his wife. The evening was fun and full of interesting conversation but as time wore on I began to realize that there were major differences between this person and myself. For me this was an issue of identity versus for him a social and perhaps sexual turn on which he shared with his wife. They might go out a few times a year like this and then put “her” back in a suitcase.

I am a borderline transsexual and nothing will ever change that. After 54 years of existence I know it deep in my bones.

Gender dysphoric people cannot turn this on and off like a faucet because it is part of their everyday reality. You think about it every day of your existence and it never goes away.

People who are not can put on a dress and go out for an evening and then not think about it again for months. My entire life has been about wishing I could do that and it is also why self-acceptance took me so long to achieve.

I am one of the last people you would have seen voluntarily and just for fun go out for an evening on the town in a dress if I weren't for the way I am. Dressing is a way for me to cope.

Those who are like me will understand my words very well.

Monday, 26 December 2016

a keen advisor and helper

Louise Lawrence was one of Harry Benjamin’s first 10 patients and was called Doris in the original writing to preserve her anonymity. She actually predates Virginia Prince who also corresponded heavily with him over the years.

Both Prince and Lawrence eventually transitioned mostly socially with some level of estrogen ingestion but with no genital surgery.

Louise was a keen student of the subject and wrote under the mom de plume Janet Thompson. She wrote Benjamin many letters over the years no doubt helping him fashion his disorientation scale which in today’s nomenclature we would describe as dysphoria intensity. She met Benjamin via Alfred Kinsey in 1948.

I have written about her before in this blog.

What makes her important besides her keen intellectual interest in the subject was that she straddled the line between what was then termed a transvestite and a transsexual which helped Benjamin see the sometimes blurred edges of dysphoria. As Louise’s life advanced she found it increasingly difficult to live as a male. As was the case for Prince.

There are many transgender people whose blogs I read that clearly fall under that same category while others do not; all the more lending credence to the likelihood of a graded scale.

Some androphilics chose not to interpret Benjamin's writing the same way because that would have meant for them polluting their own credibility with what society then saw as perverted men. However, it turns out that many of these "transvestites" were themselves latent transsexuals who were doing their best to live under societal expectation while tending to their dysphoria through secret or, as in the case of Louise, more open means.

Today we would call Louise Lawrence a transwoman and a pivotal one at that for she formed part of the original grouping of people that helped us formulate our current understanding of gender dysphoria.


Saturday, 24 December 2016

Merry Christmas

To anyone who follows this blog or to those who might read this post, I want to wish you all a peaceful and blissful Christmas.

This blog increasingly focuses on the ideals of justice and fairness for all no matter what your creed, sexual orientation, gender identity or social status in life. Let us hope that we work our way to a more peaceful world and that one day all people will be able to thrive through having the minimum requirements in life which are a roof over their heads, access to clean water and a warm meal in their stomach. All this being made possible through some sort of gainful employment.

Social justice for all shouldn't be a luxury but instead a basic human right.

God bless!





Friday, 23 December 2016

an alternate reality

In this internet era where faux news has become the norm it is more possible than ever to live in an alternate reality. Some Trump supporters even go as far as disbelieving that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote which she did by almost 3 million votes. Some of his base even thinks that California electoral college votes shouldn't count.

This is beyond surreal.

David Pakman goes through some recent poll data that is frustrating but not that surprising given my opening statement. People believe what they want to and will not be deterred with inconvenient facts.

For this reason, I am not certain that the current state of polarization in the United States is easily reparable because even relatively intelligent people are falling prey to ideology that falls along their political and religious beliefs.

This is like a bad science fiction movie where the people are possessed by alien life forms a la Invasion of the Body Snatchers and if I thought the Bush years were bad this is going to be worse.

I chalk some of this up to plain old stupidity among the Trump base however, in an era where conventional news outlets are being bypassed in favor of an echo chamber, can we be surprised about these results?


Thursday, 22 December 2016

a wholistic belief system

Coming from a strict Catholic background I have sought to reconcile religious teachings with my observations and to understand what makes religious conservatives so uptight about recognizing the realities of our modern existence. After all, sexual orientation and now gender identity for example, are becoming clearly understood to be something one does not choose but rather something one is born into.

I think the problem centers around the idea that certain religions adopt as doctrine certain immovable tenets that, when questioned, are akin to removing the thread from the sweater that threatens its whole integrity. In other words, if one accepts these ideas then other parts of the belief system begin to be called into question.

Throughout my life I have had always had the conflict of believer versus my rational observations. However that rationality did not preclude the existence of something beyond our understanding. I simply had to reconcile my understanding of the physical world with my belief system. It is why for example I don’t need to believe in the Garden of Eden or Noah’s Ark in order to be a spiritual person.

Not surprisingly, the people who have had the most trouble with reality are the orthodox religions where everything is ingested verbatim and free thinking is discouraged. For them the concept of homosexuality or gender variance is dismissed as willfully chosen “social fad” by pure necessity.

However we know by observing nature that its variability invites permutations on all fronts and that includes human sexuality.

I had no choice but to abandon these simplistic ideas as I grew into adulthood because failure to do so would have meant abandoning my faith altogether. What I have done instead is alter my beliefs based on what my adult mind sees and understands. It is a wholistic approach where facts that stare me in the face are not dismissed in favor of blind dogma because that would involve shutting off my thinking process.

This is why you will see extreme religious orthodoxy adopt positions on issues that leaves you shaking your head. They have simply forsaken logic and even at times compassion in order to not betray dogma.

Faith without reason is something I cannot comprehend and it is one of the essential ideas of my father that stays with me to this day.




Wednesday, 21 December 2016

National Geographic makes history

Not surprisingly religious conservatives are foaming at the mouth over this but other people are praising the classic magazine for recognizing an obvious reality: that our understanding of gender is evolving. We used to think that plumbing exclusively determined how someone identified which has been found to be a simplification.

Young 9 year old transgender girl Avery graces the cover.

Here is an excerpt:

"She has lived as an openly transgender girl since age 5, and she captured the complexity of the conversation around gender. Today, we're not only talking about gender roles for boys and girls—we're talking about our evolving understanding of people on the gender spectrum.

The portraits of all the children are beautiful. We especially loved the portrait of Avery—strong and proud. We thought that, in a glance, she summed up the concept of "Gender Revolution."

Like her, all of us carry labels applied by others. The complimentary ones—“generous,” “funny,” “smart”—are worn with pride. The harsh ones can be lifelong burdens, indictments we try desperately to outrun.

The most enduring label, and arguably the most influential, is the first one most of us got: “It’s a boy!” or “It’s a girl!” Though Sigmund Freud used the word “anatomy” in his famous axiom, in essence he meant that gender is destiny"


Except that I am not certain that young Avery would agree with Sigmund.


http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/01/editors-note-gender/




Tuesday, 20 December 2016

my thoughts on alternatives to transition

Clare Flourish's blog post entitled "alternatives to transition" gave me much food for thought.

I think that the answer depends greatly on several things not the least of which is the level of your gender dysphoria. If you can be happy going out once a month or even once a week and temper the feelings then you are on to something.

In general, society has a deep disdain for feminine males. They are shunned and ridiculed and in the worst of times killed. There is a visceral distaste there which runs along the biological imperative of having a protective presence that will provide a masculine ideal. But such a model is not real for everyone and those of us caught in this trap of having to deal with expectation and needing to be ourselves are stuck.

Extreme cases of dysphoria were and are dealt with transition and I think that is still the best option. There are clear cut examples where you just look at the child and you know (and they know) that they are best to live their life as a female. But there are other cases that walk a tightrope.

I am one such person stuck in the middle and I am not the only one.

I have had to reflect long and hard for many years about what to do about my predicament but I know the answer does not lie in reshaping my body in order to fit in but rather shape my character to ignore the artificial expectations of a fickle society. But be sure that if I needed to transition then of course I would do it.

No person should be expected to live an existence based on someone else’s imagining of it. You have the power to change what you do but then the question remains: do you have the fortitude to do so?

I have had to fashion elephant skin over my life and now the thought of some ignorant idiot walking up to me and making a glib statement about what constitutes my way of being disgusts me. My current attitude has affected the way I present in public and I think people sense it. I am very confident when I am presenting as Joanna and many people know her and like her.

So there are maybe two solutions? transition or not. If you decide not to, then you need to develop the reflexes and the muscles to withstand the stares and the disdain of others because it unfortunately comes with the territory. But that confidence in me has come with much more acceptance than anything else and rarely do I encounter an odd stare.

When I do get an unusual stare, I stare back with a steely expression that has them look away.

Be yourself.

Monday, 19 December 2016

what to do

Mainstream conservatives in the United States have a problem.

With the rising polarization in the country, the conspiracy nuts and outright racist elements of the new alternative right (or alt-right) movement are forcing these more conventional believers to respond. For this new extremist element is risking polluting the waters of their tamer if not overly appealing doctrine.

The rise of the internet echo chamber which includes Conservative talk radio, FOX News and thinly veiled racist websites like Breibart have only fed the new appetite for extremism which is now flirting with increasingly dangerous ideas.

Old school conservatism along the style of a Barry Goldwater was more rooted in fiscal policies which included guaranteeing state rights and reducing the influence of the federal government, but with the passage of time more radical thinking had begun to enter into the ideology. The left also has its problems, but I more concerned about the right since moving further along on the current path can mean adopting more fascist type thinking. Besides, the United States has a much larger aversion towards leftist ideologies as witnessed by the McCarthy witch hunts of the 1950's, the longstanding Cold War and its policies towards Cuba.

Today's Democratic Party is hardly even progressive given its penchant for focusing on opening up global markets and helping Wall Street and the big banks to operate regulation free; hence the backlash from today's millenials who have a different set of priorities.

In fact it is probably the lack of a true progressive movement that has left the American blue collar worker high and dry.

I saw a video recently on YouTube where a woman in a Michael’s store was becoming belligerent because she was asked to purchase a bag for one dollar due to her item being too large for a conventional store bag. She was being served by two African American women. Suddenly out of the blue she goes into a tirade and states very vocally about not having to put up with this in Trump’s America. The presumption was that she was not being treated fairly as a white citizen. The two women do their best to calm her down and yet she continues on for about 10 minutes at high volume.

Clearly the nuts have been emboldened.

It will be interesting to see what these more mainstream conservatives react to this potential polluting of their political gene pool. The Tea Party looks tame compared to the alt-right loonies.

I think now of people like John McCain, Conodoleeza Rice, Colin Powell or even strategist and former Bush speech writer David Frum who are not often accused of fanning the flames of extremist thinking. Will they help smother them instead?

Sunday, 18 December 2016

hindsight

Hindsight is always 20/20 isn't it?

We look back at our lives armed with today's knowledge and we can understand why certain things occurred. At the time they made little sense to us.

When I was very young I played the delicate balance of doing what was expected and what I secretly desired. The latter could only be achieved in the privacy of my own room or when the family was out. I cherished those moments when I could be on my own and, no sooner had the car left the driveway I was already in my mother’s closet picking out something to wear.

At first her shoes were too large but it didn’t take too many years for that to change. It was the impetus for my first tentative steps out to purchase something that would invariably end up in a dumpster; something that was always purchased for “someone else”.

Today living as a woman part time would have seemed unimaginable to that young version of myself. That Jekyll and Hyde struggle with my psyche occupied so much wasted energy but it was all in a futile attempt to change something that couldn't be altered. I just didn’t know that at the time.

Today there is calm resignation which has taken the place of that struggle. But I was one hard nut to crack. Perhaps it is why, once converted, I approach the battle against those who think us freaks with that same intensity.

Most of us have suffered enough and it is time to look back at our lives and take stock for there are lessons to be drawn from what has come before.



Saturday, 17 December 2016

life throws you curve balls

Life has thrown me a few curve balls to be sure. The biggest one was having to deal with gender dysphoria right from a young age and finding a way to cope.

But of course there have been other challenges and today I stand at an interesting crossroads where my children are flirting with adulthood and my career is coming slowly to an end.

I now get to live a little more for me and will reflect on how I want to spend my remaining years; however long that may be.

I have learnt valuable lessons along the way because I do believe that adversity breeds resourcefulness and helps forge character. In that sense I don’t regret the challenges one bit although when I was mired in the depths of my gender struggles and my marriage was imploding I didn’t have the foresight to think that it was possible to survive and even thrive.

I am an intellectual, so everything must be sliced and diced and examined under a microscope which is both good and bad. I don’t know any other way to be but over analysis can help prevent a shipwreck while at the same time prevent a decision which might ultimately improve your existence. I am only wired for the former.

I am not sure being transgender is a source of pride but it is certainly not the scourge it once was to me. It is a way of being the way other people are different and have their own uniqueness. Accepting yourself is pivotal to internal peace and there is no other way around it.

All I can say is that after living a little over half a century I can see the curve balls coming a little sooner now.


Friday, 16 December 2016

sweet irony

This is just sweet irony.

If America’s Got Talent young prodigy Jackie Evancho sings at the Trump inauguration ceremony, it will not go unnoticed that her 17 year old sister Juliet is transgender and transitioned about a year ago with the approval of the entire family.

Also not lost on anyone is the future Trump administration cast of characters’ spotty track record with LGBT rights. Hence by having Jackie sing at the ceremony there will certainly be some focus on Juliet who will no doubt be present.

Word has it that the Trump transition team has had some trouble getting acts to volunteer as entertainment. I couldn’t possibly imagine why.

https://www.yahoo.com/music/meet-trump-inauguration-singer-jackie-evanchos-transgender-sister-juliet-062442693.html




Thursday, 15 December 2016

the pseudoscience behind gender dysphoria

The real science as to what causes gender dysphoria still awaits.

Harry Benjamin was on to something except he didn’t have the scientific evidence to back up his suspicions hence, like a true scientist, he negated to draw conclusions. His hunch, based on treating so many patients over his lifetime, was that one is born with a predisposition to be gender dysphoric.

However, with inconclusive brain scans and no DNA marker (as of yet) we are left with believing the word of people who need help and only want to lead happy and productive lives.

The best we have been able to muster since Benjamin's death in 1986 was to amass statistics on who gets a boner imagining themselves as a woman which is in equal parts pathetic and disappointing. For this is not really science at all but is instead playing with interview data that doesn't point to anything definitive or conclusive. I have dealt with this problem at great length in my blog.

The whole thing started with Kurt Freund's obsession with the penis and it all went irrevocably downhill from there (no pun intended). If you don't know who that is look him up; you will find it very elucidating. But remember, in the end its not the findings that are suspect but the inferred conclusion in the form of an invented sexually-fueled mental illness called "Autogynephilia".

That being said, there is absolutely no doubt that gender dysphoria comes with an erotic component attached in heterosexuals and in some homosexuals. The real finding would be to understand the true nature of how dysphoria, at its highest levels, leads some of us to seek a gender role transition. For it makes absolutely no sense that this process is exclusively driven by sexual desire. Most of us know we are trans even before we know what sex is; we just couldn't verbalize this at the time.

Therefore suggesting that some of us base their decision to undergo a transition solely because we sometimes come in our panties is simultaneously not provable, simplistic and insulting and, if that were the only impetus for such a procedure, I might already be there. But then I am not stupid and neither are my readers.

What now reassures me is that with the advent of transgender people coming out of the woodwork we are ministering to their needs and with more intimate contact comes their humanization. When you meet someone who is transgender you get to meet a real person who is just like everyone else and wants the same things.

When I first began this blog in 2012 maybe 10 people read one of my postings; I didn't care then and still don't since I am not looking to be popular - it was my therapy. Today, bolstered by friends Jack Molay, Calie and Stana my most read postings now exceed 800 views.

Hence, I am going to make it part of my remaining life's work going forward to help drown in the bathtub what's left of the unique combination of malevolence and intellectual dishonesty that helped forge this poor excuse for science. If my writing has helped even one trans person feel better about themselves it's so worth it to me.

Your lovely and heart-felt emails keep me motivated. You have no idea.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

feeling included

Yesterday I was ordering a coffee and a small sweet. At a certain point I mentioned to the young lady that I needed to be careful with the holidays coming up and how we typically tend to over indulge.

Then she proceeded to tell me how men and women gain weight differently and how "we" have an advantage over men in that "we" can be a little pudgier and it is less dangerous. Turns out she was a nursing student.

She was very friendly and I was enjoying the banter. It didn't validate me as a trans person because I have become accustomed to passing. But what struck me most is how it has become just matter of factly that I am going to be addressed and treated as a woman when I am out.

This helps me tremendously in managing my dysphoria and, without the trepidation and the worry, I can relax and be myself which only helps me pass even better.

Funny that now that I could care less either way, people take me at face value more than ever before.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

conservative Christians and the 'the liberal agenda'

Using religion as a fa├žade to mask prejudice is a practice that is truly reprehensible.

The religious right uses their moral belief system to decry the “LGBT agenda” which is, according to them, presumably immoral. But this belief is based exactly on what evidence?

Are some transgender people involved in the sex trade? Yes

Are some cis-gendered people involved in the sex trade? Yes

Transgender people cover the gamut like the rest of society and we don’t make up a monolithic group. All you need to do is read the blogs on T-Central to see the stark differences in style, focus and content.

The religious right and now increasingly the white supremacist alt-right alongside them, are pushing back on what they like to term the “transgender agenda” which is of course part of the wider "liberal agenda". These agendas mostly consist of live and let live and let God do the judging. Hence I would tell these fickle Pharisees to mind their own beeswax and worry about their own lives but these people just can’t do that.

Social conservatism is driven by one thing: fear of change. If you are a religious person what difference does it make to you what someone wears or who they love or what they believe?

The best example to give to others is living your life honorably and with dignity and hopefully that will inspire them by leading by example. But by using hateful discrimination the only thing you can guarantee is push back and disdain.

All I want to do is disown these people because they give religion and what it should really stand for a bad name.

As a side note this classless clown of a President elect is doing his best to drag the office into the mud by proposing he continue to appear on the Celebrity Apprentice. While I am not a trained mental health professional, I think I am on solid ground when I state that there is clearly something severely wrong with this 70 year old narcissist.

Monday, 12 December 2016

"I want to see pictures"

Recently I received a statement via my blog contact form which simply stated “I want to see pictures”.

My immediate reaction was to be a little miffed because those of you who read my blog know that this is hardly its focus. For much the same reason I have politely declined to link to sites that promote crossdressing.

This website is mostly about coping with gender dysphoria and is now increasingly peppered with my observations on other matters. I am not trying to chronicle the more banal aspects of my personal life or detail my clothing purchases (although I have done this on occasion)but only because of my natural disinterest and not because I don't think that is a good thing.

Besides, other blogs do this far better than I ever could. So I hope those who expect something else understand that, for better or worse, this is who I am.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

all hail Richard Spencer

Richard Spencer is one Ray-Ban wearing, preppy-coiffed dude and one of the spiritual leaders of the alt-right movement in the United States. Without mincing words, these people are white supremacists who end up trolling the internet with their message of hatred.

They denounce the liberal hatred of people like him while he ironically has little issues with ideas of Aryan supremacy and despising of blacks or jews. These are the types of people you normally find under a rock except that the Trump ascension has emboldened them.

Spencer gives speeches at Universities and greets his followers with Nazi salutes while crying “hail Trump, hail our people” and there is no confusing what "our people" means.

Donald Trump distances himself from these deplorables except that by picking up another alt-right acolyte in Steve Bannon he can hardly claim innocence. He has only just hand picked another brilliant choice for Secretary of state in the Putin-loving big oil CEO of Exxon Mobil Rex Tillerson. Do you begin to smell a pattern?

“Donny tiny hands” is surrounding himself with a despicable cast of characters and is only helping vermin like Richard Spencer to advance his agenda. So much for cleaning up Washington.

You don’t think history can repeat itself? I wouldn't bet on it.



Saturday, 10 December 2016

we are everywhere

Transgender people are everywhere. They are your neighbours, your co-workers and even your family members and in the United States that number is estimated at approximately 1.4 million people; which is the population of a medium sized urban city.

This past Thursday, the National Center for Transgender Equality released the largest survey of U.S transgender people ever conducted and the results don’t surprise those of us who form part of this demographic.

Transgender people have been in hiding for millennia but now that is beginning to change and the more we are out, the better our prospects will be for the future…

http://time.com/4595422/transgender-survey-data-united-states/


Friday, 9 December 2016

appearances can be deceiving

This young man may look like your average uneducated working-class rural Trump voter but he is anything but. He very astutely puts his finger on the problem and even rejects the line that the alt-right movement is trying to feed him; namely that immigrants are responsible for him losing his job as a coal miner.

Seeing this young millenial gives me hope that the new generation will be able to see right through the pablum that is being fed to them by the current political system.

He picks up on American military and prison system spending and acknowledges how Nordic European countries tax more but then also look after their populace more effectively.

He's certainly no dummy to be sure...


Thursday, 8 December 2016

summoning the courage

Coming out for me has been supremely slow but this is because I had invested so much energy in becoming someone I wasn't. Buying into a narrative that society expects is exhausting for someone who is transgender because you are constantly on alert to make sure you don’t out yourself.

For a time, the worst thing in the world becomes being discovered and you literally think your entire life will implode all around you should this occur. Except that for me, this devastating scenario never happened. Instead I have been greeted with understanding and support.

The other day I was reading a narrative of a 22 year old male who calls himself a crossdresser (which is odd for a millennial) and he went about describing in detail the extreme courage it took him to buy a pair of women's shoes. I could have found that amusing if I wasn’t for the fact that this described me perfectly at the same age. Everything was calculated to an extreme degree in order to avoid any suspicion.

I have come so far in that time and don’t wish that kind of fear or trepidation on anyone. Having the courage to be yourself in the face of a society that craves uniformity and adherence is not easy but it is so worthwhile when you achieve it.

It shouldn't have to take so much courage to be yourself.


Wednesday, 7 December 2016

crossed wires part 2....

The other day I wrote about crossed wires and this post follows that one.

If gender dysphoria is graded (which I am all but certain that it is) then so will the impact on your sex life. This means that the milder your dysphoria the better you will be able to perform sexually as a male.

For a gynephilic gender dysphoric there is no such thing as “target location error”. This painfully stupid term has tried to advocate for the idea of an alternate form of sexuality when there is in fact no such thing. Instead what occurs is gender dysphoria actively conspiring to interfere with “normal” sexual functioning.

We are attracted to women but also want to emulate and be them. Hence the less dysphoric you are the better you will be able to lead a normal sex life with a female partner. This is why you will often see occasional crossdressers have little conflict with their everyday lives and their secret ones. They are able to compartmentalize them more effectively.

Among his high intensity transsexual patients, Harry Benjamin (who was definitely on to something) found that some had been able to help conceive children but only through the aid of mental imagery. They had placed themselves in the role of the female and only then were they able to impregnate their sexual partners. I had to do the same in my marriage because I represent an example of someone who is on the periphery of needing to transition and hence that conflict is very much present within me.

Absolutely nothing can be done about it but accept it.

The suggestion of an alternate sexuality model not surprisingly came from people who have never experienced gender dysphoria for themselves. However, I am in the rather unique position to be able to try and explain my personal experience with it. Having spent years analyzing my thought process which was, for a time, hampered by a massive and misplaced culpability, I was finally able to truly comprehend it from a more dispassionate angle.

All of this doesn't change the reality that you are transgender but is simply a symptom of the intensity of the gender dysphoria you experience overlapping with your sexual orientation.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

an end to plutocracy

I was very glad to see that the Austrians chose to elect a left leaning president. Had the populist right wing candidate won, it would have signaled a new openness in Europe towards the alt-right movement which rejects minorities and anyone that is different.

Brexit was in part motivated by this type of thinking whereby ordinary working class Britons feared a loss of their autonomy and all things traditionally British. Some of them pined for a return to a world that no longer exists and this vote was seen as a way to stem the tide. Such is the frustration among the working class which also impacted the US elections.

We can see that we are at a global crossroads where the world’s resources are very unevenly parsed out. My own city continues to see a rise of destitute people as do many of yours. It would be easy to blame these people are freeloaders but the truth is that the marginalized increasingly have less places to go.

In America many of the jobs no one wanted were taken by Mexican migrants but only because conditions were even worse in their own country. As fortunes have changed some of these people have returned to their homeland and are leaving some voids in the more mundane physical work that must be done; the work that most Americans don’t want or cannot perform because it simply does not pay a fair wage.

In the 1950’s an American auto worker could support a family and have his wife stay at home with the children. We now have a situation whereby two University educated young adults cannot even afford a down payment on a home that often costs more than 4 times their combined salaries. In my own country an increase to just 6% in the interest rate would see many of these Millenials lose their homes.

What to do about the void in the working class is not going to be easily resolved. But it is clear that not everyone can re-train in other sectors because we are all limited by our capabilities as individuals.

Neo-Liberalism's current modus operandi is to leave the working class to their own devices. With no minimal safety net and with their jobs outsourced to third world countries these people need to find some form of recourse.

If the Democrats, who are in bed with Wall Street and other corporate lobbyists, cannot do it then someone else will have to. The Republicans have proven to be even worse hypocrites as they pretend to be defenders of the common man and his values while lining their own pockets; all the while using flag waving jingoism and a propensity for militarism as a decoy. You may have noticed that most of the leaders in both parties are either millionaires or billionaires which only helps to ensure a more myopic and self-interested vision of the state of affairs.

It might be time to put an end to plutocratic rule.


Monday, 5 December 2016

human desire

Eliminating desire is a good thing.

I think that human desire fools us into thinking that what we currently possess is not good enough and invites us to think that our neighbor has it better. By being happy and content where you are now is probably the best way to take full advantage of the moment and relish it for its true worth.

I have been guilty in my life of not following this principle but I am endeavoring more and more to change that. Realizing that where I am in life is a good place is the best way to lessen desire to be somewhere else.

This all relates to the idea of mindfulness which is not a new concept. Living in the present moment can save us an incredible amount of anguish as we take full advantage of the reality that the past cannot be changed and the future we stress about has not yet arrived.

I prefer to now focus on learning from past mistakes while not dwelling on them and using that past experience to craft a better way forward with a more positive spirit.


Sunday, 4 December 2016

low hum

I very much enjoyed reading 30 year old Amy’s post on her transition experience (featured by Calie yesterday on T Central) because it was brutally honest and devoid of window dressing. It was candid and chronicled both the good and bad aspects of transition in a way we don't often see.

In the end it illustrates that, for people with severe gender dysphoria, transition is not a choice but a necessity.

I used to think myself unfortunate for being on the cusp of needing to transition but not quite there; of being stuck in an uneasy middle. But like Amy has done I accept where I am on the spectrum. She doesn’t glorify the process but calls it for what it is.

A change this drastic requires courage but it is more driven, I think , by the less desireable alternative of living with the intense discomfort of having your identity not match your physicality.

I also think that a full transition is best done when young and before the ravages of a lived life and testosterone have had a full stab at you.

Amy’s life will likely involve trading one set of challenges for another but at least it will be lived without that constant low hum of dissonance that eats away at you day after day.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Jennifer Boylan letter to the New York Times

While not normally a huge fan of hers I must admit that this letter she penned for the New York Times absolutely hits the mark...

"It was the morning after the election. The bottle of Champagne I’d opened as part of an anticipated victory celebration still sat on the coffee table, only one-third finished, the unconsumed flat remainder marking the exact moment that my future, as a transgender American, became uncertain.

I wanted to hear Hillary Clinton’s concession speech, but she was late to the podium. On TV, a commentator speculated that Mrs. Clinton had lost because of her party’s focus on things like trans rights — “boutique issues,” they were called.

A boutique — a place where you’d shop for, say, artisan pantyhose — is not the first place I’d associate with an individual’s quest for equal protection under the law, but then what did I know? I was now one of the people from whom the country had been “taken back.”

The phrase echoed unpleasantly in my mind. A boutique issue? Is this what my fellow Americans had thought of my fight for dignity all along?

It wasn’t the first time I’d heard it. This summer, Bill Maher cautioned that “there’s no room for boutique issues in an Armageddon election.” He volunteered to put his own pet cause — “legalized weed” — to one side if it would help the party win Ohio. “And you know me, I have seeds in my urine.” Apparently providing a person like me with health care and protecting me from violence and discrimination in the workplace were on the same order of magnitude as the right to roll a doober.

Nov. 8 is over, and legalized pot did very well, thank you. The future of L.G.B.T. rights is more tenuous.

This is not only because Donald J. Trump’s administration is filling up with people who oppose L.G.B.T. equality. It’s because the Democrats may now dismiss our urgent needs as unaffordable luxuries, and back off the fight. As a local Democratic official in Ohio put it in a memo to the Clinton campaign: “Look, I’m as progressive as anybody, O.K.? But people in the heartland thought the Democratic Party cared more about where someone else went to the restroom than whether they had a good-paying job.”

I was present in 2014 when President Obama signed an executive order expanding a ban on L.G.B.T. discrimination in the workplace, so close to the president that I could have thrown glitter into his graying hair if I’d taken the notion. It was one of the proudest moments of my life.

That order could be one of the first things to go in January when President Trump “erases the Obama presidency” on Day 1 of his administration (in the words of Stephen Moore, a Trump adviser and Heritage Foundation fellow). Other issues on the chopping block could include the lifting of the ban on transgender military service and the Justice Department’s backing of trans students under Title IX.

Mr. Trump has occasionally expressed support for L.G.B.T. issues, although, as usual, it’s impossible to know his core values. He has opposed a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality. And yet he’s also pledged to appoint a Supreme Court justice who would overturn the Supreme Court’s ruling that legalized same-sex marriage.

If his intentions are unclear, those of the people around him are anything but. Mike Pence, his vice president-elect, is one of the most extreme opponents of gay, lesbian and transgender people in the nation. In Indiana, he signed a bill to jail same-sex couples applying for a marriage license. He wanted to divert funding from H.I.V. programs to conversion therapy. He opposed the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

On the state level, L.G.B.T. people face even greater losses. One advocacy group puts the number of anti-L.G.B.T. bills waiting to be introduced nationwide next year at more than 200. Texas is likely to lead the way. Its Senate Bill 242 would punish teachers who keep students’ sexual identities private from their parents — in effect forcing them to out the students. Senate Bill 92 would void local anti-discrimination ordinances. And the so-called Women’s Privacy Act, like House Bill 2 in North Carolina, would force transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender on their birth certificate, regardless of their anatomy, appearance or identification.

Across the country, L.G.B.T. activists fear the advance of other laws pushing back against the progress that’s been made over the last eight years. Some will come in the form of First Amendment Defense Acts. These would legalize anti-L.G.B.T. discriminatory actions by employers, health care providers, landlords and other businesses — as long as these are motivated by religious belief.

Who will fight against these laws, if Democrats give up on their commitment to justice? Colin Jost, on “Saturday Night Live,” made light of this when he noted the new Tinder feature giving users 37 different gender options. He said, “It’s called ‘Why Democrats Lost the Election.’ ”

I don’t deny that a generalized fear of “political correctness” contributed to the resentment of some Trump voters. But Mrs. Clinton hardly campaigned as an L.G.B.T. firebrand. In fact, there’s really only one race in which L.G.B.T. rights played a major role — the governorship of North Carolina, where the Republican incumbent, Pat McCrory, rammed House Bill 2 through his Legislature last spring.

A recount is underway, but Mr. McCrory is for now at least 10,000 votes short of re-election. His relentless campaign against L.G.B.T. people led to an economic backlash from corporate America and — perhaps of greater offense to the people of North Carolina — from the N.C.A.A., which moved championship basketball games out of the state. If he hadn’t taken the issue on, he would most likely be on the threshold of his second term.

When Mr. Obama signed that executive order in 2014, he said, “We’ve got an obligation to make sure that the country we love remains a place where no matter who you are, or what you look like, or where you come from, or how you started out, or what your last name is, or who you love — no matter what, you can make it in this country.”

This is not a boutique truth, but an American truth."

Friday, 2 December 2016

the lessons of history

Globally we have created an economic situation that cannot continue to exist. The presumption was that through globalization entire societies would prosper through free trade of goods and services which would then expand the wealth and advancement of those nations. But instead the opposite has happened and a small percentage of individuals have expanded their wealth and now control the vast majority of the planet’s resources.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that many people in this world are not going to be generous of spirit by nature and, when push comes to shove they will choose pure profit over an option that also considers what is best for the society as a whole.

When FDR was president, Americans paid far more tax than they do today and they benefited from The New Deal as well as the GI Bill which allowed many American soldiers to go to school free of charge and then raise their families thus creating a prosperous middle class.

In this new deregulated global environment, the people who own factories and businesses are not going to manufacture their products out of the goodness of their heart in a place that costs them more to do so. They are instead going to move their operations overseas where they can pay someone a dollar a day to make a cheap T-shirt.

Hence the impoverished blue collar worker who has lost his job in the United States isn’t going to get that job back unless the government policies are adjusted which will encourage a return of manufacturing. A lying opportunist like Donald Trump is most certainly not going to be the one who does this and, if he is fortunate, he might be able to survive his term without facing charges of impeachment.

If the world reaches a tipping point where the masses have little to lose, you will see a backlash on a far grander scale than the French Revolution because once desperation sets in people will do what they must.

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.


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Thursday, 1 December 2016