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Showing posts from November, 2017

my chat with Alex

I was prepared to go into a long discussion about my trans history but then it never happened.

I was at the Starbucks and Alex (the early twenties trans woman) had just finished her shift and wanted to chat with me. So, she sat down and we began talking about generalities neither one of us acknowledging we were transgender.

I wasn’t sure whether she suspected but then she began saying things that made me sure she didn’t. I was then sure I was the older lady and not the other trans woman. We talked about being yourself and having confidence and I sensed that she has more of it than I had at the same age.

Suddenly she talked about coming out to her parents in her mid-teens and them having a tough time with it but then coming around. She is funny and philosophical and easy with a laugh. At the end of our conversation she told me that I was a very nice lady and I thanked her. I felt I didn’t need to go down that other rabbit hole now.

She has her whole life ahead of her with the advantag…

we might be getting somewhere

I was in the Urban Outfitters store recently and happened upon the fitting room area.

Lo and behold there was a sign that very much caught my attention and I just had to take a picture. It was an indication that we might be advancing as a species.

Those stuffy "Christian Conservatives" (an oxymoron if there ever was one) who spend their time creating bathroom bills and feigning indignation can put that in their pipe and smoke it because the connection between being transgender and immoral makes sense only to them.

Kudos Urban Outfitters for being a hip and enlightened store!





the bell goes off...

virtuoso

Rachel Flowers was born in 1993 and is a virtuoso multi instrumentalist. Here she is playing Keith Emerson's "The endless Enigma" from ELP's 1971's Trilogy album.

Sadly Keith Emerson took his own life last year after many years of struggling with depression and suffering from a debilitating nerve disease which was taking away his ability to play. He was one of my keyboard heroes.

So I was awestruck when I saw this performance not only because Rachel is blind but because eyesight or not she is an extraordinarily talented performer. This is one difficult piece of music to play and she does Keith more than justice. Bravo Rachel!


Reframing to see reality

I wrote yesterday about critical thinking and one important aspect of this is perspective.

Think of Einstein’s law of relativity where your vision is affected by where you sit on some frame of reference. Say you are riding a moving train and the only way you know you are moving rapidly is looking out the window but someone standing on the ground just sees a rail car whiz by them at 100 km/hr.

We don’t own objective perspective because we sit on our own subjective plain which hampers objectivity. So when a transgender person first discovers themselves they are sitting on a plain that doesn't correlate with what their brain is telling them. There is a disconnect between the observable world around them and how they are feeling inside and that disconnect doesn’t get repaired until that gap is addressed somehow.

The only way out is to reframe the reality around them that tells them there is something wrong with them. It prevents their self realization because much of what they have b…

critical thinking

None of us owns any true perspective and the reason is because we are all very much the product of biased indoctrination received during a period in our lives when we could not adequately discern and distinguish between truth or falsehood. The rest of our lives are then spent relearning things with a more complete set of tools but with the disadvantage of needing to jettison many of the untruths we accepted as gospel.

This is why I believe that to stop reflecting and questioning at any age is akin to atrophying the mind.

I personally had to work very hard to overcome ideas I had ingested and, although I had a rational mind, I couldn’t get past certain hurdles as to how I thought the world was supposed to work. It is why I am so concerned about false dogmas today and people’s abilities to delude themselves into rigid thinking which is either hurtful to others or to themselves.

When something is lodged so forcefully in ones psyche it often very difficult to remove; just think about the …

definitely not the norm

Stefanie Pest can consider herself very lucky to have such a supportive partner and family.

Most of the people I know (myself included) saw their marriages evaporate in part or entirely due to their transgender nature. She is almost my age and is now living the way she needs to.

But regardless of support you need to be who you are don't you think?....

http://windsorstar.com/news/local-news/it-takes-time-and-love-transgender-woman-had-support-of-wife-and-family-but-not-all-so-lucky


God if I saw her now

One of Anthony Phillips's short little masterpieces with a beautiful flute bridge. This song has haunted me for years because it so melancholy and powerful.

It's from his 1978 "Geese and the Ghost" album with guest vocalist Phil Collins....

God If I saw her now

"Rest your head my love;
Rest your tired limbs;
Leave your mind at peace, at peace, at peace
What are you thinking now?"

"Thinking of a girl
As golden as the sun
She loved me not like you, like you, like you"
"Pray do you love me more?"

"It's hard to say for sure
A child, sixteen, was I
Both virgins did we buy, we buy, we buy"
"You loved her more than me"

"She left me one dark night
She took my heart for free
I've seen her not since then, since then, since then
God if I saw her now."



the failed man

I know that for a very long time I fell prey to the failed man syndrome and it took me many years to shed it. It involves blaming yourself for your own dysphoria and subsequently being unable to measure up to a model of masculinity that was preordained through your parenting and society's influence.

That you have not measured up to a standard can be one of the worst things that can befall a male born child in this world. So much emphasis is placed on this metric that it is the source of much distress even among non transgender males. I was very good at the role and able to escape any detection but it wasn't at all easy to keep my deep dark secret.

Today, hyper masculinity has been the new response among the alt right white males who decry a world full of political correctness and emasculation as women find new places in society without the same reliance on males. The new chest beating has even taken the form of aggression against foreigners who would threaten white male identi…

leave them be

I was in the Erin Mills shopping center recently and at my usual coffee spot. The woman ahead of me turns around and says "Oh hi!"

It takes me a moment but then I say

"Where do you work again?" Trying to recall where I have seen her.

"At the Sears that's where I've seen you. You know we're closing right?"

"Yes I do, I'm sorry to hear that"

"It's a blessing in disguise my dear. I needed an excuse for a change and may I say you are so well put together. I love your makeup"

I thanked her profusely and then we spoke for several more minutes before parting ways.

Not five minutes later making my way with a coffee in hand two little girls dressed in princess dresses almost barrel into my knees. They couldn't have been older than 6 and 4.

"Watch the lady" the mother scolds.

"She is so cute" I told the mother pointing at the youngest scrambling to get up..

"Actually that's my son and he likes…

my first ever video

divided on trans rights

How did the two American parties get so divided on transgender rights?

Well, when you end up segregating people by ideology you virtually guarantee it and with only two major parties you facilitate the building of coalitions over things like religion, LGBT rights and gun control. Hence it’s become the rural right against the urban left locked in ideological battles over these kinds of issues.

80% of Republicans do not believe there is such thing as being transgender while a healthy majority of Democrats do. It also won’t surprise you that the credibility of transgender people improves with the level of education of the voter. This is more true in the Democratic party than in the Republican party which contains more hard line ideologues; for them it is dogmatic conservatism that drives their thinking.

Divide and conquer by wedge issues wasn’t always so prevalent and Republican voters who are libertarians have been left with little choice but to align with a party that increasingly does…

a simple letter to the editor

A reader of the delawareonline newspaper writes a simple letter to the editor admonishing another letter writer who fretted about children being exposed to transgender children in the school locker room:

"A letter writer in Friday's paper is upset over regulations for transgender children using locker rooms and the trauma it presents to cisgendered children.

May I suggest she speak to her children on the issue? Her children may surprise her and may even educate her.

A transgender child is the gender of the locker room and the bathroom they are in. Most people understand this. Perhaps if the letter writer would take the time to do some research instead of relying on prejudices, she would understand as well.

Education is key to understanding complex issues.

Children are not born hating others. Hate is taught by words, actions or deeds.

A child's mind is open to learning. An adult's closed mind is not.

We have to learn and understand that everything is not black …

my favorite band of all time lives on....

Tony Banks of Genesis and Elton John are why I play piano today and this is my favorite of Tony's compositions; one I would play regularly with my old band. I first learned to play it on the piano in my mid teens.

How interesting that a song composed in 1973 lives on and is interpreted so uniquely and so well by this young woman.

It's Genesis meets Amy Winehouse...


going solo

Rhonda’s recent guest post by Tami got me thinking about doing things on your own which I am apt to do a lot lately. What I like about this is that you are more likely to meet new people and discover new experiences than if you are accompanied by someone.

As I have become increasingly comfortable as Joanna and as I age, the inhibitions crumble and suddenly you find yourself deep in conversation with people who happen to be sitting next to you at a café, standing at a grocery lineup or with a merchant who happens to recommend some product to you.

Since I have been here I have made a series of acquaintances who, when I have told them I am going back to Montreal, have expressed interest in keeping in touch with me. For example, there is Anna who works at a jewelry counter at the Oakville mall chats with me whenever I pass her stall and she has told me she appreciates my easy-going style and that I am so nice. Then there’s Becca, Mae, Maria and Alex (that transgender young woman who doesn…

Kacper hits it out of the park

A lot of the performances on these imitiation shows can often be embarrassingly bad but Kacper Kuszewski seems to always get it right. His Maria Callas is no exception.

This performance is on the Polish version (Twoja twarz brzmi znajomo) and, not only does she look great, but the vocals are pretty darn good too...


diversion

Donald Trump is a diversion. Yes, he is a clown and a boor and the temptation might be to think that by removing him everything goes back to normal.

But by looking at the reasons he got there in the first place you will realize that the root causes must be addressed to ensure somebody even worse doesn’t get those same powers one day.

When Brexit happened, journalists first began to realize that a Trump presidency could be possible. After all Britons had no apparent good reason to leave the E.U and if this could happen, then Trump being president couldn’t be far behind. Brexit was a visceral reaction to British economic policy. It was a kick in the ribs towards the ruling class who saw their elites doing things that were impoverishing them and this was their only way to retaliate. It was those same people in middle America in places like Wisconsin with its boarded-up factories who gave the middle finger to Hillary Clinton as representing much of the corporate policies that made them f…

another first

a bucket of cold water

Female to male transsexuals don’t fit well into a model based on sexual perversion. Hence, it wasn’t a total shock when, back in 1991, Ray Blanchard chose to ignore them as wannabes instead of true transsexuals.

Since then of course, their presence has made itself very much more felt which has helped to debunk this false hypothesis. Chaz Bono is one of numerous examples of transmen living very publicly in the world.

You see, the very possibility of female transsexuals disturbed the preconceived idea that transsexualism was based on perverse sexuality and, since women were considered incapable of being perverts, their transsexualism could not be allowed to be valid. However, if women could suffer from gender dysphoria then so could men which would throw a monkey wrench into the Freund-inspired aberrant sexuality model.

Today we know very well that both males and females can suffer from gender dysphoria which has helped throw a big bucket of cold water on the two type model of transsexu…

no replacement for your own hard work

Probably the hardest thing you will ever need to do during your transgender journey is to fully accept yourself. It is what eluded me for years and even when you are sure you are there, bucking the trend in a world set up for a perfect binary is no easy task.

In today’s world, a young transitioner is unlikely to keep that identity hidden for long and they must learn to grapple with the everyday reminder that they are not welcome by everyone around them. Here is where your sense of yourself must come in and remind you that how people see you is not nearly as important as how you see yourself.

I wish I could tell you that there was a magic bullet to get you to that place of perfect peace but there isn’t. It is often an extended period of living in reflective thought where you finally escape the bonds of societal pressure and become yourself. The hardest aspect for me was considering how my friends, family and any prospective partner would view the way I am. But even that had to eventual…

gun culture

It is too late. Gun culture is engrained in the DNA of Americans.

No other country in the world sees anywhere close to the amount of mass shootings. You can argue that they represent a blip on the radar but they are disturbing nonetheless because they play on the peace of mind of its citizens. You never know when crazy uncle Harry is going to go on a shooting rampage.

Americans must now worry about being mowed over by an ISIS disciple in an SUV or shot down by one of their own neighbours who everyone described as “just an ordinary guy next door”

We in Canada don’t understand the need to own guns and we don’t settle our disagreements that way. There are still parts of this country where people leave their doors unlocked at night. I remember being in the Maritimes and having people tell me that. As someone from a big city I found it surprising and I have done it in error on a number of occasions and nothing has occurred.

Forget the NRA or trying to limit gun ownership it’s all too late …

confidence boosters

During her campaign for state legislature Danica Roem's opponent repeatedly used the wrong pronouns when attacking her and focused heavily on the fact that she was transgender. But in the end Ms. Roem won in what might be the beginning of an unraveling of the politics of hate in America currently championed by a buffoon president who shouldn't qualify for any level of public office.

Americans aren't stupid and the silent majority will not sit idle and allow their government to be taken over by radicals. Come 2018 midterm elections the GOP members who stood by and did nothing to counteract the sheer insanity of this administration will pay dearly for it.

But in the meantime the US has some first ever elected openly transgender public officials and I for one couldn't be happier.

Ms. Roem was joined by Lisa Middleton and Andrea Jenkins; two other transgender women who both made national firsts in their respective elections as well.

Confidence booster.

------------------…

little wing

I have my recording gear and keyboard here in Oakville so I decided to try my hand at an abridged and instrumental version of Jimmy Hendrix's "Little Wing". The guitar solo is inspired by Hiram Bullock's's work on the Sting version from "Nothing like the Sun"




belief

Belief in one's identity is crucial.

Look at genetic women who don’t identify strongly as women. The way they move and dress and behave suggests they are rejecting that identity. We see them in public and sometimes do a double take because we are not always sure they are women or perhaps react to how they stand out among the crowd.

They are being themselves which is precisely the point.

Belief in what you are is very important and I don’t care how well you present or dress or speak. If you don’t understand this in your bones it will emanate from your pores that you are a fraud. This is the significant difference between pretend and reality. We all know people who when dressed as the other gender should theoretically pass perfectly and yet that lack of authenticity gives them away because they either don’t believe it or for them it is only pretend.

If you are not sure about yourself, reflect and you will know in good time because passing has little to do with it.

a small treat part 2

I wanted to take a picture with the new purse and see how it all came together with a dressy casual look.

Yes it may be a little oversize but everything I need in there fits nicely and the colour scheme goes with everything.




a small treat

My mother had given me a gift certificate for my birthday and after having coffee with a friend I decided to go into Aldo accessories and buy myself this purse. It's almost like a tote bag but not quite and it can fit my tablet, phone, makeup, etc. with no issues. It also happened to be 20% off.

I used to carry purses over my shoulder which used to give me pain after a few hours but now favor draping them over my forearm just at the elbow which doesn't bother me in the least.

I have been a thrift store purse buyer for a while now but this time I thought what the heck.


sorry but we won't change the world

It doesn’t take a lot of work: go to Rottentomatoes.com and look at the top box office draws and the top sellers will be mind numbing violence, superheroes or dumb comedies.

This week the top seller is Jigsaw (a movie about dismembering people) with a 31% score from critics followed closely by Madea's Halloween at 7% and both made the most money at the box office.

This is just one small illustration of how the masses are basically geared towards the lowest common denominator with those who exercise even minimal intellectual criteria are in the minority; and it is unfortunately some of this number who end up as trolls on Twitter, Facebook or other forms of social media.

If you think I am being elitist it isn’t my intention but life experience has taught me this basic truth. Many people are sheep who can be manipulated and told what to believe and think and it will only be some who escape from the indoctrination we all receive. What life has also taught me is that the vociferousness…

my working future

I am at that junction where I am sitting on the fence regarding working as Joanna. I am completely comfortable going anywhere and interacting as a woman and any change would be social since I don’t require FFS nor do I need GRS in Quebec in order to change gender marker.

When this project is over I have some reflecting to do and since I was already thinking of changing companies, I have come to a fork in the road. I don’t feel stressed about it at all but instead have a sense of positive energy.

Coming here helped me to clarify my thoughts and removed a lot of taboos from my mind. Now it’s time to let things ruminate and allow a decision to bubble to the surface.

One way to help me decide might be to interview as Joanna and see what happens.


the risks of downplaying dysphoria

Kati’s comment on my post called “Doubting you are trans” got me thinking about the validity of our feelings and the importance of not downplaying them.

Make no mistake: gender dysphoria is real and you are not delusional and by trying to downplay our emotional need to express ourselves we are making a mistake.

At the same time, I am very realistic about what I am doing to treat my dysphoria and understand that I was not born physically female. However, the idea that gender identity is established exclusively through birth genitalia has been pretty convincingly debunked which means that gender and its expression should be left up to the individual and not to society. But unfortunately, we live in a world where disobeying the rules leads to suffering through persecution.

Transition is one way to treat your “gender expression deprivation anxiety” (thank you Anne Vitale for that wonderful term) but it is not the sole method. However, denying that the feelings are real is a recipe for dep…

Blanchard foiled again

Zagria’s latest article puts to test Blanchard’s theories on birth order being able to predict the occurrence of androphilic transsexualism. She simply grabs a random sampling of well-known androphilics to see how it fares.

Her site is so well documented that you can’t slip one by her and once again we see how Blanchard’s work does not stand up.

For the record, like Zagria, I am also a first born as are many on the list she illustrates.

Bravo and well done...

https://zagria.blogspot.ca/2017/10/birth-order-in-androphilic-trans-women.html#.WfmY9qrrtow