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Showing posts from October, 2017

a small milestone

This week I will turn 55 years of age and I don’t think I’ve ever been as philosophical about life and its constant ups and downs.

Of course, 20/20 hindsight offers us the kind of perfect perspective to go back and review the milestones of our lives to reflect on what we might have done differently or what paths we might have followed.

Detachment is probably the best place to describe where I am which has turned out to be a strong rejection of the distractions of this life which take us away from feeling internally balanced and content. The old saying is that the best things in life are free but these things that can’t be bought with money can also for some of us be exceedingly difficult to attain.

There is no more defined road now only to continue to seek a stronger and more spiritual version of myself which reconciles my history into a digestible life lesson; a lesson that includes repatriating this difference of ours as forming an integral part of my personhood. For I have come to …

Beside

"I have seen the compass turning
Round & round my heart
The senses are yearning
For a possible change of heart
That is coming to you
Coming to you
You stand upright, you are different
Why the spinal shock the fusion the evil
Spill it out on the floor of belief
Come and mend this design
Come and mend this design
With every right we do

I have seen the sun, this sounds crazy
The story about a boy in the rain
He was standing waiting for for the light
As though he did have a reason to know
Did he really know?
His eyes were open they expected someone
In his heart he felt the compass was turned on

I will echo, ho for reasons that change me
Every thought, though it takes so long,
Is master with every plan
It would seem there is no end
To the bad or goodness in man
So my friend it seems the weariest night
Just leads to a heavenly dawn
Should we see so much
In every time we sigh

Even this we could call music
As that would match my body connection
Let me take your hand, I will be beside…

doubting you are trans

Cross gender arousal confuses things because you may be going along thinking you might be ready for transition and the feeling after an orgasm sends a wave through you making you sure you should forget such a thing.

Over time this has been disappearing and my identification as a female has been slowly increasing.

I knew very early there was something amiss with my gender but I did my best to ignore it. Before puberty I didn't need to worry about the arousal and it befuddled me for many years since and had me doubt that I was trans. I am still meticulously sifting through my thought patterns to make sure there is no deluding myself because I don't do things based on emotion alone.

Our brains are wired differently than cisgender people but I have never at any point thought I was crazy. Hence, the only possibility left was that I was suffering from a perversion. But over the last few years even that possibility disappeared as I began to settle into a more holistic and mature vis…

chameleon

I adjust to the situations I find myself in. I have done that my entire life and, only when those situations change do I then consider other avenues. In other words, if I were a relationship today my plan of attack would take everything into consideration because life isn't perfect and compromise is its natural component.

Today I find myself with only myself to consider (minus some tweaks for my children) and the rules of the game have changed through circumstance. This is what now permits a different type of reflection.

Were I to meet someone today they wouldn't see the same person I was even a year ago and they would need to accept me if for no other reason that I haven't been as unconcerned with romantic love at any point in my life. This means that whatever happens or not will be left entirely to chance.

I have a lot of respect for trans people who love their spouses and adjust themselves accordingly; only their coordinate system hasn't shifted and mine has.

invested energy

I have fallen into an easy pattern where being out and about is exceedingly comfortable and I recently looked back to hand written journal entries dating back 10 years ago where the difference was startling.

It takes time to settle into the skin you were meant to inhabit and I liken it to entering a hot bath where you immerse yourself in measured steps which must be learned and perfected.

We do in a shorter time what women take years to learn; cramming voice, comportment, dress and makeup techniques that must eventually demonstrate some kind of grace and seamless form that doesn't look like you're struggling. The reason I know I am there is by the lack of negative reaction and plentiful positive feedback that I receive. Maybe it's because I have stopped caring and settled into myself in the process becoming immune the way other tall women shrug off occasional stares as part of daily life.

The energy involved in painting an acceptable portrait of masculinity is dissolving …

telling it like it is

Jeff Flake speaks the truth. Showing at least some modicum of dignity compared to the rest of the disgraceful GOP, he utters some spot on words.

The party who decided to appeal to the lowest common denominator attracted white uneducated numbskulls, religious extremists and outright bigots. So no, there is no more room for even remotely moderate Republicans in this version of the GOP.

But I don't feel too sorry for Flake. I am far more concerned for the population of America who must tolerate this imbecile for another 3 years...


the nice people of this world

John is my landlord and there he was last night waiting for me as I came in with my groceries. He said my male name although I was dressed as Joanna. He said to me:

“Is there another name I should use?” and I told him.

“I hope you feel comfortable coming and going” I told him that I certainly was and that at my age I really don’t care what people think. I said it very positively of course.

He then tells me that his sister and business partner told him she finds it odd using my male name when she sees me because I look so much like a woman.

John is almost exactly my age and he told me the story of his friend Mike who is now Ashley and still plays hockey with the gang. Everyone accepts her for who she is and she waited until her Irish Catholic father passed away before having the courage to become her true self. I told him I know a little something about Catholicism too.

Turns out that John is one of five children two of whom are gay so he knows something about tolerance. We chatted for…

progress

I have completed approximately 42% of my book. I know this because my rough target is about 40,000 words which won’t make it very long at an equivalency of about 160 pages (250 words per page).

Yes there will be technical sections to the book but it will also cover personal history and experiences from when I was younger that I have barely been touched upon in this blog. It will also cover everything I have ever learned as a transgender person looking for self acceptance over the course of my life.

Anyway, I am getting somewhere and if you appreciate this blog I hope you will enjoy the book as well.

to blend

Disappearing more into the background has been wonderful. I can be in the ladies room washing my hands next to some teenage girls and they will pay me no mind because to them I am just a tall middle aged woman.

Saturday morning I went to the esthetician to have my eyebrows cleaned up (not thinned). The young woman and I talked as she worked and it felt natural. I didn't concern myself with how I was being perceived.

I cannot explain any of it but it's been a desire since I was very young and I am finally able to blend in convincingly; and no, it never gets old. It is what is allowing me to manage my gender dysphoria and be happy. The solution was all in my head but, for better or worse, I needed this long journey to get here.

It's like my friend Clare says, we are more than a gender stereotype. We are first and foremost human.




blast from the past

It was 1998 and my daughter had just been born. We had just finished an album together; four guys who got together every Friday night in a drummer's basement to write and play music. We argued, we laughed and time passed and I can look back on it as one the marking points of my life. We were an eclectic bunch and the mixture of influences showed up in our own particular brand of progressive rock with the name of the group reflecting our penchant for disagreements.

Less than a year later we had disbanded for good.

It was my brother in law on guitars, two friends on bass and drums and me on keyboards.

This is one the tunes from the album "Utopian Moment" featuring my ex-brother in law on vocals....


hillbilly justice

making up for lost time

sometimes it's best to walk away

Yesterday I was on Thirdwaytrans' blog and almost caught myself arguing with a Blanchardian convert until I realized the person not only had no first hand experience dealing with gender dysphoria but also had some pretty sophomoric things to say which were taken directly out of the Freund Blanchard playbook.

Judging from the certitude in their tone I realized I would have wasted my breath over long threads so I asked Thirdwaytrans to kindly delete my initial responses. Sometimes it's just best to walk away than to attempt to educate people who have only touched the surface of a topic and still feign knowledge of it; a topic which I have been studying for years.

No, I don't pretend to have all the answers but I do know where the gaping holes are and when someone has clearly stepped right into them. But what I like most is that all the piss and vinegar I used to have regarding this issue is gone and been replaced with a calm certainty.

Something I very much like.


Maher positively nails it!

Yes he's a New Yorker who saw some rubes to sucker punch. But I will let Bill explain it...


stilettos

I walked into a Salvation Army on a whim and there they were. All of 14 dollars and exactly my size however walking on a 3 inch spiked heel is no easy feat and I can't see myself using them very often.

Yes, I can do it but I must maneuver very gingerly...






core gender

My commenting on Ralph in a Dress's blog the other day made me think of core gender.

Core gender is the gender each of us believes we are which, for most individuals, is normally aligned with birth sex. It is tied to femininity and masculinity yes, but that is only part of the answer since we all know men and women who buck the trend and still feel comfortable within their prescribed gender roles. So there is something else we are missing but we don’t know what.

I think that the case of David Reimer (who I write about in one chapter of my upcoming book) shows us a little of what this concept is all about. Raised from birth as a girl, he proved John Money’s ideas wrong by reverting to living as a male upon discovering he was born that way. David knew deep down there was something wrong and the discovery only confirmed it. While living as a girl named Brenda she rejected dresses and was a tomboy who favoured playing with boys over girls.

This is because at his core, David knew he w…

belinda et moi

This is a charming little French film about two women; one genetic and one transgender. IMDB describes the movie thusly:

"An elderly woman, whose best friend has died, meets her friend's favorite nephew to give him his inheritance. The nephew is rather different than expected"

Yes she is and you can watch the movie online at this link. Unfortunately no subtitles but I think you can catch the gist regardless. It is all very tastefully done....

https://ok.ru/video/38837226171


the pope blows it

I generally like Pope Francis but when it comes to LGBT issues he as thick as a post. Out comes the old standby line that transgender people are trying to blur the lines between genders. In this article it states:

"On Thursday, Oct. 5, Pope Francis made his most transparent condemnation yet of the lifesaving medical procedures that allow transgender people to live authentic lives. Speaking to the Pontifical Academy for Life, he decried “the biological and psychical manipulation of sexual difference, which biomedical technology allows us to perceive as completely available to free choice” which he claimed seeks to “cancel out” differences between the sexes"

This is a pretty dumb statement given transgender people's struggle to do their best to fit in. Some blow their brains out or walk into traffic or are murdered by some intolerant. No one chooses to be transgender and yes some of them transition but apparently no one has bothered to inform the Pontiff. Either that or he …

make up your mind

If being transgender is all about an aberrant sexual drive then why does declining testosterone (the hormone responsible for libido) not affect our cross gender identification as we age?

The answer might be as simple as: maybe because there is more to being transgender.

However, Anne Lawrence, a proponent of Autogynephilia in her 2007 essay titled "Becoming What We Love" tries very hard to defend her case:

“Blanchard (1991) described this phenomenon in nonhomosexual MtF transsexuals: “In later years, however, autogynephilic sexual arousal may diminish or disappear, while the transsexual wish remains or grows even stronger. . . . It is therefore feasible that the continuing desire to have a female body, after the disappearance of sexual [i.e.,erotic] response to that thought, has some analog in the permanent love-bond that may remain between two people after their initial strong sexual attraction has largely disappeared” (p. 248). This insight plausibly explains the reports by…

another coming out

Recently I had lunch with one of the young estimators who occasionally works with me here in Toronto. We were chatting about work and our respective lives when she queried about my love life:

“So how is it going on that front. Meet anyone interesting lately?”

I reflected for a moment and then said:

“My situation is a little particular and if you don’t mind I can share something about myself”

She leaned in a bit and told me to please go ahead.

“I am trans” I said matter of factly.

She looked at me and smiled and said:

“Really? That’s so neat”

She is 35 years old and a lovely person which is why I knew I could confide in her. I then added that I had been reflecting on whether I would switch companies and begin working as Joanna and although she is totally open she also knows how conservative our business can be. So I told her that if I did decide to it would definitely be under a different umbrella.

Then yesterday I was coming back to my place and the lady who rents it to me, who is abo…

mind the gap

I don't think I will ever physically transition because I have thought this over at great length and do not see the value in it for me. My gender dysphoria requires that I express myself as a female and of course that will continue. But what is to be gained by modifying my body is far less clear to me.

This is how dysphoria works: it is the gap between your perceived sense of gender and your birth sex. Except, that not everyone suffers it to the same degree. That I pass as a female in public helps me tremendously and tends to my dysphoric feelings in a dramatic way.

I am very realistic about things and mull things over a million times before reacting and no matter how much I reflect and no matter how bad my dysphoria is on certain days (and some are much worse than others), I ultimately arrive at the same conclusion.

The only remaining issue at hand is whether I will ever work as a female in my current profession; in other words, will I transition socially within the next few year…

a chance at a complete overhaul

Rex Tillerson had his moment of candor and of course he wasn’t wrong; the man he is working for is a f@#ing moron and a dangerous one at that.

This is where populism fails because, in its proper form, it requires a man with dignity and intellect who defies the red tape of bureaucracy in order to do the right thing to benefit the electorate. I can safely state that this does not describe Donald Trump in the least. He is instead the equivalent of a tempestuous and clueless juvenile with a penchant for striking out at detractors.

His base may represent the rabble of America but then there are many others who held their nose instead of voting for Clinton. So if America can make it all the way through what will assuredly be a horrid remainder of the term they may be compelled enough to make a wholesale change to a political system that is so corrupt it allowed this buffoon to become president.

When Trump goes he can also take that little weasel Jeff Sessions and his twisted agenda with him…

the risks of intervening too early

with time....

The trans brain is different. We haven’t found the exact tracer yet but hopefully we will some day. Then again we might not because gender identity has many layers to pass through to establish itself and is a mix of nature and nurture where anomalies might not so easily be discovered.

We know we are fundamentally different since very young and hopefully we figure out how to deal with this reality over time. Ignoring it is not an option because when you least expect it, it will bubble to the surface and threaten to destroy your life. It happened to me and I survived despite some difficult times.

I then came to a solid conclusion: I am a transsexual.

I have known this for quite some time with the challenge then becoming how to deal with it right in the middle of a life full of responsibility. When I retraced the steps of my life without blinders and devoid of preconceived ideas it was obvious and staring me right in the face. You can refuse to believe it but it will do you no good to ig…

time for change

reflection required

I was approached by a head hunter recently and then thought about it for a while. Do I want to change companies and is this my chance to begin working as a woman?

I honestly don’t think that this would present a problem for most companies in 2017 and my CV speaks for itself so now it’s just a question of reflection.

My children wouldn’t feel the difference since seeing them on the weekend only requires changing presentation with the most I would be doing is piercing my ears and shaping my eyebrows; hardly earth-shattering stuff. Besides they are moving on with their lives and I am on my own with no requirement to please someone else.

I have the wardrobe, the voice and the mannerisms. Now I just need the right opportunity and the courage.

Time will tell.

pleasant exchanges

This past weekend was interesting.

I met a friend of Rhonda's for coffee. He is someone I had met when she was visiting Montreal and so we ended up arranging an overlap because he happens to live in the Toronto area. The conversation was very pleasant and the time flew by.

I also had some pleasant lunch and dinner exchanges with my servers and one with a sales lady at Cleo’s which is a store specializing in women’s clothing.

The first was at Pizza Hut where I stopped for a quick bite last Friday. The server was a young 22-year-old woman and I continue to be fascinated at what a difference the exchanges are like between women. They are so much more willing to share of themselves when you make even a minimal effort to be friendly. This seems especially true in this area.

She asked me how I look so young after learning I had older children and wanted to know my makeup secret and I told her it was mostly genetics but I did say to use a lot of face cream. This is something I do before…

aria

In my opinion this is one of Mozart's most beautiful arias and a particular favorite of my mother's who is a frustrated amateur opera singer. She met my father (the church choir's 22 year old director)in the mid 1950's.

Every time she hears this aria her hair stands on end and come to think of it so does mine.

Here, not only is it sung magnificently well, but it is completely devoid of operatic vibrato.




heart warming and affirming

I know others have posted this video on their blogs before me but I wanted to add my two cents because I was so touched by it. It pretty much echoes my experience thus far in the world as a transgender person.

Watching it restores your faith in people in that most are kind hearted and wonderful and could care less about the petty battles that others go out of their way to create.

I am sure you will agree and will add that there are women here I just want to hug....


jackpot

I had been looking for the Payless Klue pump for a while because its block heel and feminine look was the perfect match for someone who does a lot of walking. But alas I couldn't find them anywhere in my size.

I must also tell you that unlike the States we cannot order from Payless online so we are limited to whatever stock each store has.

But yesterday lo and behold there they were staring at me in the face not only in my size but on sale to boot. I almost couldn't believe my eyes and, needless to say, I told the sales girl how positively happy I was because I had been on the lookout for them for the last 3 months.

I think she could tell by my expression.





the outside world

I have an admission to make: I am not drawn to transgender events. No, I have never attended one and yet the very idea turns me off. Part of it may have to do with my refusal to accept who I was for so long but the other may lie in my much keener interest in blending into the rest of society. From a distance these events seem to me like a place to hide out and ghettoize ourselves.

I know some of you will vehemently disagree with me and you would be within your rights to do so but I don’t think I will ever attend one now; not when I have gotten a taste of the outside. But then it must also be said that I am a bit of a solitary bird and prefer one on one interaction.

I understand that for some people who are closeted these conventions present a chance to get out and spend some quality time but then the kitschy fashion shows and make up demonstrations grate against my sensibilities. Even if I had been born female I wouldn’t go to woman’s shows for the same reason; they are just not for m…