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Showing posts from August, 2017

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…

"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…

good advice

Now here is a fellow writing to an Irish advice column where he gets some very perceptive feedback from Brian O'Reilley.

While my experience or yours may differ from this person's, the point is that he is searching too adamantly for a category to slot himself into.

The best advice he receives:

"Don't feel pressured to put labels on yourself, they're unnecessary"


http://www.independent.ie/style/sex-relationships/ask-brian-ive-started-crossdressing-after-discovering-my-girlfriend-cheated-on-me-35976717.html


pseudoscience meets religion

John Harvey Kellogg was one of two brothers who founded the cereal brand that many Americans know and grew up on.

He was a keen believer in clean living and, as a Seventh Day Adventist, he advocated no consumption of alcohol, meat and frowned upon all activities that would motivate a person to be tempted towards sin which included sexual practices. As the name implies, Seventh Day Adventists believed in the imminence of the second coming and would even not bother educating some of their children since there would be little point.

So even as an intelligent scientist who advanced our modern day understanding of probiotics and how they affected our digestive tract, he fell under the spell of Eugenics which was basically the belief in encouraging the selection of certain human traits implying that the white race was privy to most of them; something even president Teddy Roosevelt believed in. These types of ideas would be further advanced and developed by the madmen Adolf Hitler and Jose…

"When She Loved Me"

An abridged version (for the Oscars) of Randy Newman's haunting little song beautifully performed by Sarah McLachlan



an inconvenient truth

Al Gore comes off like a decent and well-spoken man.

There he was on NPR being interviewed for his new documentary “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” where he once again tries to instill a sense of urgency for the dangers of climate change in anyone who will listen.

During the interview, he was measured and articulate. A far cry from the current charlatan in the White House who Gore tried, to no avail, to dissuade from pulling out of the Paris Accord.

During the 2000 election people decided that they would vote for someone they would rather have a beer with than a passionate intellectual like Gore who was accused of being haughty and stuffy but he would have made an excellent president and, were he to have been elected, there likely would have been no Iraq war.

Another thing that caught my interest during the interview was his staunch belief in the separation of church and state. Here is a man who went to divinity school and has his own religious convictions and yet is not compe…

the little details

This past Friday night was only the second time in my entire life that I have gone to a movie as Joanna.

There was nothing particularly eventful about the experience only that before the show started the woman next to me leaned over and said:

“Normally these theatres are so cold but not today for some reason dont'cha think?”

I replied that I agreed.

She dealt with me like one woman to another and I know for a fact that wouldn’t have happened if I weren’t presenting as one. It wasn’t just what she said but the way she said it and I have learnt to recognize and appreciate that approach very much.

Then it was meeting Jacqueline and her husband yesterday on the train from Oakville to Union Station. She asks me why I am going downtown and we begin a conversation. He is half interested and does not look up from his phone except for the odd time perhaps recognizing the flow of the discourse has taken on a decidedly female tone. By the end of the train ride she has given me her card and w…

the believers

I find that many religious people irritate me.

No I am not against religion per se but the kind of religion that I grew up with seems to have transformed itself into one based on intransigence and intolerance.

The foundation of all religion is spirituality and the idea that we transcend the earthly and the physical world; that there is more to this life than what we can touch and feel and that humankind has not been graced with the full capacity of being able to comprehend the divine.

The small-mindedness of so-called “religious people” is what I find most disturbing and I see how they view their limited black and white world that won’t be soiled with any type of ambiguity; that is until they themselves touched by it somehow.

I now look at the unquestioning disciple with a healthy dose of skepticism because I cannot comprehend how one can live without some degree of doubt. The things we have been asked to accept verbatim almost demand that we correct our thinking as we move along in t…

incoherent

There is something wrong with Donald Trump's mental faculties.

Here is the David Pakman show featuring his interview with the Wall Street Journal, who keeps lobbing him softballs, but he is severely and hopelessly incoherent and arguably bordering on demented.

Robert Muller can't possibly work fast enough...


just to be clear...

I certainly don’t mean to sound callous or insensitive when I say things and yesterday’s post could have been taken that way. My message was about waking up transgender people to the idea that they are not pariahs and they shouldn’t have to beg someone to tolerate their “illness”

I have reached a stage in my life where my self-esteem is far more important than bending myself over in order to be accompanied in life. Believe me, I tried that way for years and it didn’t work.

Those of you who are currently in relationships where your transgender nature is completely suppressed I feel for you. But getting a taste of the freedom I am enjoying now there is no going back and my only plea to partners in a relationship would be to try and understand the other person before calling it quits.

Make no mistake, I don’t have much sympathy for the person who suddenly announces out of the blue that they are transitioning and expect the spouse to get with the program. If she ends up divorcing you it i…

how I hate the term "crossdressing"

I still see older transgender people and their spouses use the term “crossdressing” to describe what is essentially someone being themselves. No spouse should ever be lied to but then no one has the right to hold someone prisoner for something as utterly benign as dressing in the clothes normally associated with the opposite sex. No, its not like killing puppies.

Some women are disgusted by it and that is their right while others might be even amused by it; it runs the gamut it seems. But the double standard that says a woman can express herself with more latitude while a male is supposed to stay inside a limited track is disturbing to me and, should I ever enter any kind of relationship again, my identity will not be up for negotiation.

The truth is that we live in a world where we are supposed to be straight jacketed into submission and, whatever the cause of gender dysphoria, we should never allow someone else to call our right of self-expression a compulsion or a filthy habit simp…

the shell

Third Way Trans' most recent post (which my friend Calie featured on T-Central) has a powerful message to pass on and that is that a full transition isn’t for every trans person. He is not against transition by any means only that you should be 100% certain that this is the right thing because there is no going back.

I am reminded here that we are much more than just our earthly physical bodies and yet we live in a world constrained by them which renders these types of decisions important.

A while back and after some deliberation I decided I wasn’t going to tamper with my body in any way with the only thing outstanding being the consideration of a full social transition which is also presently on tenuous ground. During my reflection process I realized that I didn’t need to do anything further to be myself and I could adopt the best aspects of each gender and mold them to suit the psychology that I formed as a young child.

Changing my body would be in some ways like trying to subsc…