Wednesday, 28 September 2016

we don't need permission but....

It's important to have skin like an elephant; in fact it's mandatory.

People are supportive or people are repulsed and nothing can be done about it. You cannot convert and educate everyone but you need to live. That takes resolve and courage.

Despite everything I've been through in my life I consider myself very fortunate. I can go about the world and not be bothered but not everyone has that flexibility. My aim is not to preach but to thrive in spite of the challenges.

A good start is by not being our own worst enemies.

On the other hand I become troubled when I see someone pop up and suddenly announce on social media that they are a woman and leave wife and children in utter bewilderment . It makes the rest of us who are trying to do the right thing look bad and I take my responsibilities seriously.

Gender dysphoria is not kind that way and it demands attention. It is like a car with no breaks but it can be steered at least. Those of us who are more conventional don't make the headlines as much but we represent the silent majority.

I no longer seek my family's permission to be myself I only ask for their understanding which I am lucky to have.

But then here is one of those frightful train wrecks that the media loves....


Tuesday, 27 September 2016

not quite so simple is it?

I had prepared a slightly longer blog post on Gigi Gorgeous but Jack Molay beat me to it.

Previously Gregory, he was a young gay man with a YouTube channel who talked about hair and makeup styles. He was effeminate and would sometimes wear women's clothing.

About 3 years ago Gregory began to identify as a woman instead of a gay man and started a transition process. The surprise is that now she has suddenly come out as a lesbian woman which of course stands the Blanchard, Bailey and Lawrence androphilic pattern on its ear; thus proving that reality is more complex than theoretical models.

Recently I wrote about Kimberly Reed who doesn't neatly fit the late transitioning gynephilic model either. Just these two exceptions alone throw a big bucket of ice water on the BBL pseudoscience which doesn't at all like loose ends. Their fall back at this point would be to accuse both these transwomen of lying.

I can't help but find all this a little satisfying because once again reality has the upper hand over conjecture.

You can read Jack’s well written article here....

http://www.crossdreamers.com/2016/09/when-real-life-gets-in-way-of.html#more


Monday, 26 September 2016

the resting point

I have exceeded my own expectations of where I would go with my trans identity but I am fine with this now. One cannot struggle indefinitely and I will cite a concrete example.

I tend to frequent certain stores and while my buying habits have been greatly reduced over time I have become friendly with some of the staff.

In one such establishment I met two young women (one under 30 and one over) and it got to the point that every time they saw me they seemed very happy to talk to me. I think they see me as a kind of role model because I would speak to them seriously about life issues and having confidence in yourself.

This led to meeting them both for coffee a few months back which was very pleasant.

Not too long ago I was in the store when one of them suggested an evening out and suddenly I had some trepidation. I had never gone this far with Joanna before and I began to doubt that I could pull it off.

For the record I know the difference between people knowing I am trans and when they don't. I know by how I am treated, the facial expressions and the questions I am asked. I know with certainty that for these young women I am a genetic female.

So once again I surprised myself in that we had an early dinner together and a couple of drinks and all went very well. I am just an older woman to them whose life experience and personality they like. All of us had a nice time and it may be repeated at some point as they are nice people whose company I enjoy.

My experiences meeting trans people here have been less rewarding but I attribute this to our tiny numbers which turns the exercise into finding a needle in a haystack.

Which brings me back to the issue of living part time. Yes it is not a perfect solution but it works and I don't plan to change it. Being accepted by other women is that much more validating and helps me confirm that I don't need to go further. This is very reassuring to me because all I’ve ever wanted is to find that elusive resting point and it appears I am already there.

Dysphoria doesn't always allow for perfect answers and even those who successfully transition by all accepted standards can sometimes still be left dissatisfied. In the end all we can do is try to find the best in a series of imperfect solutions.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

of autumn past and present

Yesterday Montreal welcomed the sobriety of Autumn and I for one was happy to see it. I rejoice in its briskness and after the humid dog days of summer there is a lucidity that the cooler air brings.

My son and I walked among the crowds at the Jean Talon market and took in the espresso laden air and the sounds of shoppers mixed with buskers singing their songs to a half attentive audience.

This season has always held a fascination for me even as it meant a return to scholastic discipline in my youth; the drier warmth peppered with a bracing wind could always be counted to wake and invigorate the senses and inspire the creative juices.

I turn to him and see him in his Halloween costume suddenly: the mental image fading as quickly as it came. I make mention of it and he reminds me his trick or treating days are long over and while I have never enjoyed his company more, part of me grieves the passage of time.

How much faster it moves as we get older.




Saturday, 24 September 2016

true self-acceptance

There is nothing that has more intrinsic value than accepting yourself as you are. Think about this for a moment.

If you did not care one bit about what people thought and were completely immune to their opinions you would have achieved something few people in this world possess. Yet this is the kind of fortitude that is required to be a truly content person.

I believe that most transgender people suffer from lack of confidence at some point in their lives and that is not surprising. After all we are aware very early that we have to hide in shame from this difference and this only encourages the building of insecurity that is hard to overcome. But it must be defeated at all costs.

I was debilitated by shyness when young and this was exacerbated by needing to hide a part of myself that I dare not divulge to anyone. This made the building of confidence more difficult and while from the outside I may have appeared to have everything under control it was far from being the case.

I still see much pain among our community as people struggle with the challenges of being different and the rejection that they face every day can seem insurmountable at times. Our best shield is the knowledge that we have value as human beings and that being different does not mean being inferior no matter what conventional societal wisdom may say.

By now I have witnessed enough human stupidity to last me a lifetime and I will be damned if I am going to let just anyone affect me at my age.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome

Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS) is a rare condition that affects a tiny portion of the population. It basically produces an individual that has the XY chromosomes of a genetic male but one who is either fully (CAIS) or partially (PAIS) insensitive to androgens which serve to masculinize the body at puberty. As a result AIS women do not have a uterus or fallopian tubes and cannot conceive children.

In the cases of full blown AIS (CAIS) the woman looks perfectly female albeit with a shallower than normal vagina, taller than average body proportions resulting in an almost Amazonian appearance in some cases. As a result some of the modeling and sports females have been accused of having AIS due to their exceptional height and above average beauty.

In the lower grades of PAIS the genitalia can be ambiguous and even produce a child that appears intersex or is more male than female.

AIS women do not menstruate which is why typically this condition is discovered at puberty. These young women typically go through a stigmatizing period where they must adapt to the reality that they are not conventional women and must adjust accordingly to their reality.

What is fascinating about this condition is that once again we see that nature does not correspond to the wills and wants of the doctrines that humankind has created. As a result anyone who does not fit the prescribed model of normalcy must hide for fear of persecution and prejudice. In the past and even today very few AIS women would publically admit to their condition and some have lost relationships upon disclosing this information.

It is also interesting to note is that a male to female transsexual that begins prepubescent treatment (via blockers for example) would be indistinguishable from an AIS woman from a genetic testing point of view as their body would also not have been subjected to androgens.


Eden Atwood (AIS woman) and her mother

Thursday, 22 September 2016

the volcanic isle

Iceland is a country that I might not have visited if it weren’t for my profession but I am glad I did.

It was a difficult and challenging project for my company and yet over several months I managed to go there 3 times and enjoy some of the touristic merits of this island of approximately 300,000 inhabitants.

My first trip was in February so the sun rose at 10 am and set by 2 pm but as spring approached the days were virtually 24 hours long.

The capital city of Reykjavik is charming and boasts a wealth of fine restaurants while the landscapes in the countryside are almost surreal due to the volcanic nature of the soil. In fact the entire country is powered on geothermal energy which makes certain industries attractive due to the low electrical generation cost.

If you decide to visit (and I strongly urge that you do), The Golden Circle, the Blue Lagoon and the drive to Hellissandur are particularly worthwhile visits.


Reykjavik


Hellissandur


The Blue Lagoon