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Marni

Marni Panas grew up in a practicing Catholic household so her upbringing was filled with doubt and guilt regarding her gender issues. In that regard I can strongly relate to her personal struggle.

In this article she says:

“You know from an early age if someone were to find out it would be awful. You get good at keeping a secret. You get good at being alone.” At 25 and still living as a man, she met her future wife, Laurina. About a month into their relationship, Panas told Laurina her truth. “Anyone would be lucky in life to have a partner who makes you believe you can be better, makes you believe you can do more. Laurina has been that gift to me all along.”

That her marriage has managed to survive against the odds is an amazing thing which cannot be downplayed.

I have seen Marni on YouTube videos for transgender causes and being interviewed alone and she is charming, confident and a strong and public advocate for transgender rights in deeply conservative Alberta....

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Recent posts

once the dust settles....

Many people are still confused by what it means to be transgender and I can understand why even we at times grapple with its definition.

In the hunger for media stories with human interest it is often the extremes that draw the most attention. That 53 year old man who left his family to live as a 6 year old girl was one and the byline underscoring it should have been about mental illness. You can find such people all over society without the gender confusion thrown in except those who seek to invalidate the transgender experience will find solace in these cases. Walt Heyer is another less jarring example which is often trotted out by would-be detractors as the man who was cured of his mental illness by finding religion.

Despite the naysayers, the public is far more accepting than ever and, in this new environment, some kids will be hurried along the conveyor belt of transition and put on puberty blockers by well-meaning parents who want to help their children be happy. That they may b…

scientists or rational thought need not apply

Conservatism in the United States has hitched its wagon to two things: religious fundamentalism and unbridled free market capitalism; both of which conspire against what science is trying to do in this world.

The first belief hinges on literal creationism spelled out in the Biblical story and hence leaves many things in the hands of a benevolent or vengeful God. Some of these conservatives are evangelicals who believe in things like the rapture.

The second dogma is based on open markets where the realities of climate change will not be allowed to deter the amassing of profits. Hence they will simply block their ears when scientists warn of a warming planet thanks to our addiction to fossil fuels.

The current sitting American president is not only a moron but is also highly volatile and can change political stances like a weather vane. What drives him is profound immaturity coupled with an almost psychopathic zeal to appear competent and powerful; which is precisely the reverse of real…

coming out to her dad

My father died 22 years ago so this unveiling would never take place.

The emotions are sometimes very raw here as Jae Noel comes out to her own father and he does his best to process something he doesn't at all comprehend. But this old school gentleman will probably come around in the end and I can relate to how difficult it must be to see the person he thought was his son transition.

To help her through this, Jae is fortunate to have a supportive girlfriend who is clearly going to stand by her through all of it.

That this young transgender woman is gynephilic would not compute for the Blanchardians still stuck in the world of 30 years ago and today their heads must be exploding trying to rationalize it.

But then young Jae would not have come out back then and, like the many of us did, likely would have repressed everything for abject fear of rejection.

the tenacity of the human spirit

Danielle works in my office. She is 60 years old, divorced for the last 27 years and currently grappling with cancer.

We were talking recently about her medical situation and more facts about her life came out. Maybe because she was feeling particularly talkative or vulnerable she trusted me with the specifics.

Back in 1987 her dog died, then her 7 year old daughter suffered a drowning incident and ultimately died in hospital some months later. Later that same year her husband asked for divorce and he eventually re-married, almost adding insult to injury, to one of the nurses who was looking after their dying daughter.

Then while she was away from the hospital celebrating her birthday Danielle's mother (who had her encouraged her to leave her daughter`s bedside for a short while) died suddenly at her home. She was 56 years old.

Danielle is like Job in the Bible asking God how much more suffering will be brought his way. Yet she has retained a philosophical and strong character af…

our mother's closets

I am sure I posted this a few years ago but here it is again.

Lynn Conway has a section on her marvelous website that speaks to the experiences of young children upon first entering their mother’s closets.

I started doing so at a very young age and don’t really recall why I did it at the time although today I know very well why...

"My mother's closest was both a sanctuary and a crystal ball, a place in which I escaped the world and a place where, through the scrim of my mother's clothes I envisioned my future self. In my mother's closet my senses came alive. The smells of perfume, shoe polish, wool, leather; the feel of satin, velvet, silk, chiffon - these things had the power to evoke dreams and fantasies and, although it was not forbidden, I always was afraid to enter it. Afraid of what? Being caught? More likely I feared finding something, some clue that would reveal the mysterious world I knew I would one day enter, the world of being a woman." - Eugenia Zuker…

what does your dressing mean?

This post was prompted by reading what could have been the last post from the recovering crossdresser who seems happy to have sworn off the practice.

Here is a simple litmus test for you.

If refraining from crossdressing brings you distress then you might be denying part of your identity. Conversely if its practice starts to feel like an addiction it could be something to curb or even stop.

Most people who fit the latter description tend to have begun as a way to relieve stress or for sexual pleasure but then it began to interfere with the life they actually wanted for themselves. This is one way to know how it might not be for you.

Understanding yourself can take time and for the longest I mistakenly identified as someone who needed to recover except that I wasn't dressing all that often and it was the suppression of an important aspect of my identity which was causing me anxiety.

Knowing whether it is an intrinsic part of who you are as a transgender person forms part of the jou…