Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from February, 2017

dignity, compassion and common sense

I love Laverne Cox and in this video she is credible and motivated in her plea for common sense and dignity to prevail.

I have also added a link to a story from The New Yorker that made me want to stand up and cheer although it's positive and logical message would probably do nothing to impact types like Jeff Sessions and Mike Pence who live on another plain of reality altogether. Still it's so worth the read....




http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/betsy-devoss-spineless-transgender-bathroom-politics

America First, France Second...ok?

it was bound to happen and I'm glad

Yesterday I was in the city centre for a bit before meeting my friend Lyne for dinner and stopped to have a light snack since I hadn’t eaten lunch.

I sit down to eat and turn to my left and I see one of my work colleagues staring me square in the face. He knows me very well so he knew it was me. After two seconds of trepidation I waived him over and we started to chat.

Not only wasn’t it a big deal to see me dressed but he was fascinated. He is a lovely fellow and you could see it changed nothing for him, in fact he said as much.

He was there with his wife and baby daughter and we all spoke for about 45 minutes.

I went into my lifelong struggle with gender dysphoria and he listened intently. He later added that if I ever needed to make the change that people would adapt and accept me. I believed his earnestness. They were both lovely and matter of factly about it all.

I was very glad this happened because it was further proof of my solid stance these days. I didn’t miss a heart beat …

it should be easy to be tolerant

No matter what the so-called "Conservative Christians" in the Trump White House try to do to roll back transgender rights it’s actually too late to delay progress.

Many people will see the mean-spiritedness behind these moves and it will only add to the sense of outrage that this Presidency continues to instill in people who see this as one more attempt to bully and cajole. These despots are not reasonable and one could argue they are not even sane. They certainly are dogmatically motivated but in a direction that goes against the tide of societal advancement.

If the evidence supported their claims would be one thing but the truth is that transgender people go to bathroom to do their business like everyone else. It is obvious to any thinking person that a transgender woman shouldn’t be made to use the men’s room because that’s just dangerous and foolish. But these are not thinking people in charge.

In the past when governments have pushed the population too far, there have b…

my dinners with Rhonda

Rhonda Williams is a very happy person, has a contagious laugh and very much knows who she is.

As she was travelling on business to my neck of the woods, she contacted me in advance to see if I was available. Of course, I happily and wholeheartedly agreed to do so but looking at the photo of us below I realize I should have worn a different top; oh well...

We all have a long road to get comfortable with our identity and I have never met another transgender person who personifies coming to terms in such a positive way. She got there long before me and there is a comfort there that says: “this is who I am, take it or lump it”. Of course she doesn’t need to worry because she looks amazing and very few people would hazard to guess that she was anything other than a classy and well-dressed woman.

Needless to say we had a great time over both our dinners and the hours flew by. As I expected, our lives were eerily similar as we went over the different phases of how we came to finally accept …

the resistance

Trump shouldn't have come after the media as "the enemy of the American people" and Keith Olbermann very emphatically takes him to task over it....


entitled to the same rights

We have a hypervigilance to gender and even we trans people notice when someone else breaks the rules or doesn’t pass well enough so that they stick out. It’s one of the fundamentals that we first learn: this is a boy and this is a girl and this is what each one is permitted to do.

As someone who long struggled with self-acceptance I had to try and remove that sensitivity in order to repair my psyche. When I was working hard at ignoring my dysphoria I would wince a little when someone flirted with the rules and was brave enough to be themselves. Inside I felt an admiration for them that I thought I could never muster.

For many of us our salvation lies outside of the binary system because that itself can become a form of enslavement. “Be a man or be a woman but for God’s sake don’t be a transgender person because that is just confused” and so some of us switch sides when it may not be warranted or beneficial.

Being a gender outlaw is less difficult when you blend in and the less you do…

you will get what you think you deserve

I had already prepared this post but then it became even more relevant upon reading Jack's latest Crossdreamers post on finding love.

It’s very common to see trans people feel they are lucky to be with someone who tolerates them and for some this may be very true. For example if you have pushed the envelope into transition after not announcing you were trans from the outset, you should consider yourself very fortunate.

Conversely I think some set themselves up to get only what they think they deserve. What do I mean by this? That our natural self destructiveness conspires to set the bar very low and some of us are prone to settle for someone who is at best not repulsed by the idea that we are transgender. This is not exactly an earth-shattering gold standard.

Yes we represent a needle in a haystack but if we exist then so do they and I am certain that there is statistically a larger group of women who would welcome a transgender partner than our actual percentage in society.

Setti…

Wilmore to the rescue

I need to apologize to Whatever, Yeah because not having watched the entire episode of Real Time on HBO I had not realized that Breibart's Milo Yiannopoulos had come after transgender people during the show. It does not surprise me however since he is a disgusting piece of work.

This is one area where Bill Maher himself is also confused and actually agreed with Milo over transgender bathrooms which is deeply disappointing.

Comedian Larry Wilmore comes in to the rescue and rightfully tells Milo to go you know where....

http://thehill.com/blogs/in-the-know/in-the-know/320234-feud-erupts-between-larry-wilmore-and-milo-yiannopoulos-during



it happens first in the mind

Before anything else transition must happen in the mind.

That little switch must go off when you realize who you are and how you need to proceed. Barring that there is no sense in changing anything because it is too dangerous when you are conflicted.

I know that some people transition because they know themselves and hence do enormously well. Others, perhaps mired in the insecurity that they must fit into the binary, might opt for a process they may regret later.

I think your mind should be clear of doubt and you should be absolutely certain that this is right for you. Otherwise just be a happy trans person and find your own place in a spectrum where there is plenty of room.

I will write about my two lovely dinners with Rhonda Williams in a forthcoming post, but one thing we both touched upon numerous times was finding your own place as a unique human being who must by necessity play by their own rules.

something smells rotten

Breibart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos is irreverent and funny but he is also dangerous. He is disarmingly witty, unabashedly and flamboyantly gay and yet is strongly white nationalist, Catholic, anti-feminist and pro-Trump. He is also hard to pin down and uses humor as a way to disarm and avoid being cornered.

Watch how Bill Maher tries and then grudgingly finally agrees to disagree. Kudos to Bill for having him on regardless.

Like many in the alt-right they don't come out at you as blatant racists but instead spin things around to say that the political correctness has gone to far and that white people shouldn't be made to be apologists for the suppression of other races.

Milo is smart and dodges questions with jokes but just watch one of his talks and how he puts people in their place when they criticize him and his platform.

Like Steve Bannon and Richard Spencer they form part of a dangerous movement that tries to wrap white nationalism in a another guise only that at the…

understanding the erotic component

I have written about crossed wires before in two separate posts. The idea is that one cannot pass through puberty and the development of sexual feelings for females and not have your pre-existing gender dysphoria be impacted through your psychosexual development. The hormone responsible for your libido is testosterone which is present in much stronger concentration in males and is why gynephilics are most likely to experience erotic overtones as the conflict between romantic external feelings and their pull towards the feminine become permanently intertwined.

Because I came from a deeply religious family where sex was not discussed much at all, I grew up with little access to information and was very much ignorant of matters relating to the subject. With no firsthand experience in intercourse until I married I was then faced with the reality that my ability to perform sexually had been deeply impacted by my dysphoric feelings. This began years of turmoil and self-deprecating thoughts …

finding contentment where we are now

We are rarely 100% satisfied of where we are in life.

There is always someone else who seems to have it better than us. They have more money, a nicer and more attractive spouse or a bigger house. It might just be the natural state of human affairs.

As I have aged I realize more and more that whatever state your life is in you will find something that you think you want. When you end up getting it the results can sometimes be less exciting than you expected.

We know money doesn’t do it because once you get past the basics that a person needs to survive all the studies show that the level of happiness does not increase. In fact it could be argued that having a lot of wealth adds complexity to your life in terms of worry about how to grow it or spend it wisely as investing firms, family members and friends vie for your attention.

It might just be that the best approach to this life is to find joy exactly where you are at every junction for there is beauty there. If you are alone you have…

should we be surprised?

Well the "reality show" president has reversed course once again and allowed the nutty Conservative Christian contingent to get their away and remove fundamental liberties given to transgender people by the Obama administration.

Trump doesn't have his own mind and listens to his handlers on these matters. So if it isn't Steve Bannon it's Jeff Sessions doing the work behind the scenes to take us back a century or two. Good Lord these people are idiots.

I hope all this blows up in their faces...

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/donald-trump-lgbt-rights-transgender-jeff-sessions-white-house-bathroom-law-mike-pence-a7580201.html

my political stance

Those who read my blog know that I find objection with the political right.

The other day my son and I had a discussion about this and he asked me what my political stance was. He wanted to know how to develop his own thinking on defending his own views to others.

I told him that I use a basic formula.

Every person has basic dignity and is entitled to self-determination. This means that they have a right to gainful employment which then gives them shelter and enough sustenance to lead productive and fulfilling lives. When that is threatened people get understandably upset.

People also have a right to hold their own personal ideas and beliefs and as long as they do not harm anyone they can practice whatever religion they wish. They should also have responsibility over their own sexual practices (provided they are consensual) and to do with their bodies what their conscience permits them to.

The political right has tended to align itself with policies that undermine these basic concept…

my daughter's art part 2

My daughter continues her professional development as an artist and I am very pleased with the discipline she puts into her work. If all goes well there is a career waiting as a digital animator.

Here is one of her recent profile sketches...


well said

My friend Clare Flourish has written a lovely and very lucid post which deserves much attention. I love it because it’s about defining yourself.

You are who you are but you need to figure that out for yourself. She grew up trying to be someone else like I did.

Clare transitioned fully and she is challenging you to ask yourself the right question: who are you?

The answer should be to ignore everyone else and look inside.....

https://clareflourish.wordpress.com/2017/02/12/the-pink-fog/

when I look back

When I was getting married I knew deep down that something was wrong.

It didn’t feel right but I also recall thinking that it was time to get on with my life. My father had died of cancer the year before and I was in my early thirties. After all, this is what normal people do right?

It was a decision I made which although not the best conceived still ended up yielding positive results. I have two children whom I love deeply and an ex-wife who I get along with just fine today. If there are any signs that she regrets our marriage she has yet to show it to me.

I can’t look back to the past and can only look forward and deal with reality which is that I am a borderline transsexual. What I do with that reality is up to me. I don’t see transition as a negative thing in the least but I don’t feel in my bones that I must in order to continue living. It is difficult to live with dysphoria no question but then I have done so for many years with the vast majority of that time using little crossd…

it doesn't get much better than this

Bill Maher completely nails it here and bemoans some people's love of fake news and disdain for actual knowledge.

Let's hope that his message gets through to the people who get their information from "alternative fact" websites...


Harry Benjamin's legacy

Emma forwarded to me a very interesting article written by Richard Ekins from the University of Ulster in the U.K. titled “Science, Politics and Clinical Intervention: Harry Benjamin, Transsexualism and the problem of Heteronormativity”. It was published in a periodical called “Sexualities” in 2005.

It is a fascinating read and covers Benjamin’s history of publishing on transvestism and transsexualism from 1948 through to 1979 when he wrote his last publications.

Benjamin believed wholeheartedly in a biological explanation. He wrote in 1967:

“Most satisfying to me is a working hypothesis based on the experiments of brain physiologists and psycho-biologists . . . Their possible explanation for the transsexual phenomenon would be neuroendocrine in nature . . . If something interferes, perhaps an abundance of the mother’s estrogen or lack of response of the neural target organ, this particular center (a hypothalamic brain center) remains female, determining the later sexual behavior and p…

Trump's America

There is absolutely no doubt that Donald Trump is a narcissist. But you don’t need to trust me on this as plenty of noted experts have already weighed in on this issue and consider him a textbook case. I would find it amusing when, on national television, he extols his proficiency at every known subject were it not for the fact that it scares me to death that he leads an entire nation
.
However, the more pertinent question at hand is whether his pathology is as dangerous as Adolf Hitler’s or Idi Amin’s and could put America at peril. I for one think that it potentially could were it not for the checks and balances built into the American constitution.

Trump isn't a dyed in the wool conservative. He is all over the place politically but he is ambitious and his ego has no boundaries. He proved to be a formidable foe to GOP candidates who couldn't deal with his television showmanship as he sold himself as both traditionalist republican and Robin Hood to a beleaguered working clas…

masks

I wanted to address something that popped into my head after one of Kati's comments.

Every Sunday I see a young usher at Mass wearing a suit and tie just like all the others except that this one happens to be a young woman.

We all need to wear masks sometimes.

Certain jobs require a unisex uniform or that no jewellery be worn. It doesn’t make the person any different on the inside.

It gets even more complicated if the person is transgender and they would like the option to present differently. But then imagine yourself being employed in a fortune 500 company, being a male and wanting to wear a dress and heels to work. Some things just aren’t done because we are considered to be a distraction or deemed to be going too far. It changes nothing about who you are except that you are now confusing others and that is not allowed.

Gender and it’s expression are sacrosanct to many which is why everyone looks like a carbon copy and few are brave enough to bend the rules.

But then what if yo…

a state of rest

Self-acceptance deprives you of the need for armaments.

Living comfortably with the knowledge that I was trans was something that I thought was impossible but I have discovered that it very much is. There is no further need to posture for fear of discovery and as a result your body and mind come to a natural state of rest.

I grew up anxious because I was transgender.

It is not natural to fight yourself constantly and it exhausts your body and your mind. Sometimes people would see me and ask what was wrong but I couldn’t tell them for I was afraid to even tell myself.

Those of you who are where I am now can understand me. It doesn’t matter whether you have transitioned or not; it just feels so much better to have a closer understanding of who you really are.

Now I am beginning to see how others feel who knew who they were all along and never doubted it.


an unnatural fit

Reading the recent T-central featured post “Just When I Thought Things were Fine” written from the perspective of a partner brought up familiar memories: the transgender person and the spouse both doing their best to manage in a situation that is less than ideal for either.

The female sees her male partner as needing his “fix” while he begins to realise that there is more to this than a fetish, habit or "hobby". In this scenario no one really comes out a winner. I am not saying that it cannot be done only that both need to add a generous dose of water to their wine to make things work.

I understand and feel for both sides completely which is why I would never enter into that type of situation again. She wants and deserves a normal man and he has the right to honour a transgender nature which isn’t going anywhere and is not particularly welcome.

The only way this partnership can truly work is if she is more than just tolerant and he is not going to transition (presuming of c…

cognitive dissonance

Its only been a month and much more horror show to come.

Trump: "I can be the most presidential ever"

You couldn't make this stuff up....

contentment

I think we can make a conscious choice to be happy.

It is a given that life is, by its very nature, extremely complicated and if it isn’t we will find a way to make it so. The trick might be to accept that despite your best efforts you will constantly be dodging obstacles.

Probably the hardest thing to decipher in this life is how much of the instruction you are given is actually useful and beneficial to you. We are all either privy or victims to parenting that depends on a luck of the draw and we sometimes spend years undoing damage. I don’t think anyone has it easy.

Contentment comes from within and radiates outward allowing you to filter the blows you receive from life. The perspective you gain then allows for more personal growth to add to your arsenal of weaponry.

At the end of the day I have very little to complain about and I know it. I can also look at the glass half empty or half full and that is a deliberate choice I make.

For some strange reason, accepting that suffering f…

where I am now

I have boiled down my gender issues to one thing: self-definition. It is that simple but also that complicated.

If you have spent most of your life being conditioned to live life as a male using a mold that doesn't fit you there is no point trying to shoehorn yourself into it; believe me I tried. At a certain point in time you just come to a complete self-realization and become yourself.

I am 54 years old and more than half my life is over but I don’t say that with the least bit of despondence for it is merely a fact. Fortunately my failed marriage yielded my pride and joy which are my two beautiful almost grown children whose company (as limited as it is at their age) I very much enjoy.

Those of us who are older often need to go to therapy to undo the baggage we have amassed along the way and for me it was writing this blog which helped save me. Those who helped contribute to it and also challenged me (yes that includes you AQV) were instrumental in my journey towards healing my…

pragmatic while stylish

Shoes are particularly an issue for larger and smaller feet and once you step out of the Payless store you are hard pressed to find the bigger sizes.

As a result I sometimes shop online to find the size I need which is a woman's size 12.

Block heels are back which I am very happy about since they provide both balance and comfort over prolonged wear.

Recently I bought the Naturalizer Keeka pumps pictured below which in my opinion are both stylish and comfortable and happened to also be on sale.

My purchases are more pragmatic than ever because it's not fun being in shoes for hours that hurt.


come on in the water is fine

I sometimes see the same people downtown in both modes of presentation and am usually not recognized but this time the young woman working behind the coffee counter looked at me and said “oh hi!”

She had switched to a new location I frequent over work hours and there she was smiling at me like a Cheshire cat.

I knew that she had recognized me as she has seen me far more often as Joanna. I was amused by this and we chatted briefly.

She told me I was very convincing as a woman and she wouldn’t have made the connection had she not seen me as a male. She also added that her best friend since childhood had recently transitioned from male to female. This young woman is not older than 25 years old.

I am way past caring either way but it wasn't all that long ago that I would have been horrified at being recognized. She was matter of fact about the whole thing (as are most millennials) and thought it was all very cool.

If you are not already out there you should because the water is fine.