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trans across the ages

Increasing transgender and transsexual visibility and acceptance in society has begun to embolden different people on the spectrum to come out from hiding confirming what we already suspected: that gender identities are not built exactly on a rigid binary and, when left to their own devices, people will choose to express these variances.

It was about time too and that stifling set of rules kept people in their little closeted world for fear of rejection and violence.

If you read Zagria’s blog you will have noted that historically many transgender people would live as the opposite gender with no access to surgical or hormonal assistance. Some even married and it is hard to believe that their spouses would not have known about their situation. Perhaps their marriage was chaste or the spouse was told a story about some sort of genital birth defect.

One of Zagria’s recent entries is about James Allen (1787 – 1829) who was discovered posthumously to be female bodied after dying in a work-r…
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"the eagle will rise again"

Alan Parsons at his hypnotic best from his 1978 Pyramid album. Marvelously sung by Colin Blunstone .

This is one for the headphones...


I appreciate how women communicate

“Oh my God I love your bracelet!” said the Starbucks barista. She is a young woman in her twenties.

The other one comes over and says much the same and suddenly the three of us are talking and it just flows. The latter proceeds to tell me things I know I would have never heard as a male.

For the record the bracelet was an $11 find at the Toronto Eaton Center and had called out to me with the price making it an easy sell. Like some costume jewelry, it looks like it’s worth much more which is a bonus. Later that day I got another comment from another vendor who pointed it out how much she liked it.

Being on my own here and spending more time as Joanna has made things less lonely if nothing else because of the openness that women have and my own impetus to oblige them in conversation or start one myself is part of that. It is very comfortable and the reflexes are there and don’t require any special prompting in order to surface.

As a side note, that same day I decided to wear my feather …

dunkirk

Christopher Nolan has created a cinematic feast for the senses.

His film Dunkirk flows along with long periods between speaking parts and with the continuous hum of a Hans Zimmer score that marks the tension perfectly. This is a great film which will be nominated for best picture and possibly win it all. When the ending credits began to roll I knew it then.

This movie breaks with war movie convention and delivers most of its impact through its expansive cinematography, soundtrack and actor's faces which mark the desperation of the situation with just the right level of angst along with their minimal but strategically placed dialogue. It draws you in and does not let up allowing you to be more involved than you had expected. I was riveted the whole time and that's what great film making is all about.

There is no one hero in this movie although one does stand out a little more. They are just people put under very difficult circumstances doing their best to survive.

Last year it…

my brother's keeper

I recently watched a debate between The Young Turks’ Cenk Uygur and Ben Shapiro. It was supposed to be a friendly one between the American left and right.

At one point Shapiro said something revealing and tipped his hand. While discussing health care he said he didn’t want to be restrained by a system that kept him from doing what he wanted and getting the service he and his family deserved. He said he didn’t care about anyone else’s situation. Cenk responded that he could always supplement single payer with his own elective services if he could afford it but at least people wouldn’t get kicked off the insurance grid and potentially die.

But that wasn't what struck me.

American individualism worked well under a system when taxes were much higher like the 1950’s and 1960’s when there was a prosperous middle class with strong family units and community ties. As the social fabric has begun to dissolve that individualism has led to selfishness and disdain for those who aren’t part of …

realistic

I share my victories here with you to help give you confidence to be yourselves and face the world without fear. But then I am also not fooling myself; I am 6’1” and weigh 200 lbs and have a body more like a man than that of a woman.

I have learned that most people assume I am a woman and treat me like one but some people likely suspect otherwise and I am okay with that because I have taught myself to be a secure over this issue. If you are transgender and out you have little choice and, regardless, genetic women my size receive that much more scrutiny to begin with so you must be prepared for it.

I am treated just like a woman but that doesn’t mean people don’t suspect I might be transsexual or transgender and even if I took hormones my shoulders are broad and my biceps a little too big for a genetic woman; the byproduct of trying to counteract being skinny during a period when I was deep in denial.

Last Sunday I was on another train trip sitting in front of a woman who had wanted m…

right-wing Barbie

Tomi Lahren is all of twenty-four years old and already abrasive and cocky. She looks like a Barbie with her long, platinum hair and could be described as a younger version of the other beloved right wing pundit Anne Coulter.

Both women use the no holds barred and pull no punches approach which typically appeals to the Fox News right-wing base whose “America First" myopia has them respond favorably to violent rhetoric.

“Let’s show them whose boss. Let’s carpet bomb the Middle East!”

Lahren will say these types of things without a hint of restraint and with even less decorum but she doesn’t care because her following tells her she’s on to something. It is the same crowd that is apparently fed up of diplomacy and political correctness and helped put an inept Donald Trump in the White House.

Politico ran a story on Lahren and the comments section showed the kind of vitriol that has now taken over America. There is outright hatred between the blue and the red factions that has no prec…