Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Andreja

Andrej Pejic was one of the first models to break gender boundaries. Before he ultimately transitioned to Andreja there was a period where he fascinated the public with an ethereal and at times androgynous beauty and a confidence that said "I know who I am". There was no hiding from anyone and the self-assured nature came out on the runway as well as during interviews which is what I most admired.

The journey of all gender variant people takes place principally in the mind which is where identity and confidence are sourced and what I liked most was that nothing seemed to phase Andrej. He took all comments regarding his career completely off the shoulder as if they held no value because they didn't.

Andreja is a woman now having undergone the full transformation with the same sense of self one has when comfortable in their own skin. Perhaps it was always there.

What will the neighbors think? Who the hell cares she says.



Tuesday, June 11, 2024

A night in Tunisia

 


So glad we met

Angele and I have really hit it off. An introspective introvert, she measures her words carefully before she speaks. Like me, she has a limited battery life for socializing and likes crowds about as much as I do.

When I see her at the Cote de Neiges café we both frequent, we sit together and catch up on life and pepper our commentary with where we are philosophically. At 70 she is at the same place and is weary of societal obligation and the pomp that often accompanies it. I love that about her and the repartee we share is filled with nods of agreement.

I am so very glad we met.

Another small step

Yesterday I emailed HR and explained that I wanted only the initial of my first name to appear on email or MS Teams for example. Many former close colleagues in my former company know I am transgender but I told her that this was my best compromise without doing a global coming out and still honor my identity. Not everyone needs to know.

However, since I am still consulting sporadically I wanted to reflect where I am in my journey.

I was expecting red tape pushback but got none and she responded very favorably as their policy on diversity is always being trumpeted. There is even a young transgender woman working full time in my former office which is something I thought I would never see. She snuck in just after I retired.

Monday, June 10, 2024

Social dynamics

Once we understand social dynamics it can become a kind of game. We learn to recognize archetypes and their behaviour and can predict it.

For example, I derive great satisfaction  from ignoring someone who wants to get my attention or I will give an indiscreet woman a once over once I realize by her expression that I am too tall for her liking. Years of practice teaches you things about people.

The most important thing is to hold your ground and your demeanor which seems to make them lose interest in you. The more certain of yourself you are, the more these dynamics become obvious to you and you can pick out the best people while disregarding the worst.

You relax, stop being self-concious and in the process become yourself.

Wakeup call

The disconnect is hard for us outside the US to swallow even as many of us understand the process that got us here. There is huge dissatisfaction among the people who have been manipulated by both parties and are now sharpening their pitchforks readying for the revolt.

While the GOP was working on their strawman culture war strategy, the Dems had been counting on the belief that failed ideas inherent in Neoliberalism would save them. Free trade policies which go back to the early 1990's were to save America but instead only lined the pockets of a tiny group while the rest were left with job insecurity and increasing costs. Bailing out huge greedy corporations during the 2008 crisis only made the problem worse.

In that sense, Trumpism is the inevitable result of the same things we saw in Spain, Italy and Germany in the 1930's. People who were losing ground became willing disciples of autocracy because they were so desperate for someone to save them. As witnessed by the interviews I have seen, people today don't understand what got them here any better than those in the early 20th century but they are looking for satisfaction and need someone to pin the blame on. In that sense they can be easily manipulated.

If Trump wins in November it will be a far scarier world than if Biden does. However even if the Dems squeak out a victory, the core problems will still need addressing because the country is living the inevitable consequences of late stage capitalism which is sinking them.

The only saving grace will be to bring some semblance of fairness and balance back. But in this environment of divisiveness and hatred I fear that only a collapse will bring the wakeup call that is needed.

Neuroplasticity is a thing

I am very aware of the brain rewiring which is taking place since the pandemic and even more so during this early phase of retirement. It's the last steps in the exercise I needed to complete regarding who I am proving that neuroplasticity is indeed a thing.

Transgender people (particularly older ones) need to build up a strong backbone and sense of self if they are to live openly in the world. It does not matter how well you blend in because your biggest enemy is going to be yourself as most people could care less about you once they notice you are confident in your skin. Identity comes from inside.

The last piece of the puzzle involves building a final narrative where you explain your nature to yourself and how it fits into daily living in society. Everyone has a story they tell themselves and some are caustic and self-destructive because not all behaviour we adopt is beneficial to the psyche. But people need narratives so they can feel better about themselves.

However if our introspection is honest, it should result in increased self-esteem and contentment.

Iceberg

She lives on only $1,800 a month and is now looking for a tiny studio apartment she can afford after having lost her flatmate who went back to living with his family. I used to see her sometimes and we would always chat and I would give her money when I had it.

She slurs because she has no teeth and this morning it was she who saw me. I felt terrible that I didn't have any cash but at least we overlapped for a few minutes and I listened to how she manages. Last night she found a cozy spot outside and managed to sleep. She also told me that the Quebec government wiped away $2,800 of debt that she had.

At least there's that.

I have zero to complain about and
 I cherish reminders like this one plus once again I have confirmation that we are headed in the wrong direction because she is just the tip of a growing iceberg.

Sunday, June 9, 2024

MAGA morons

 


Gender and men

David Pakman interviews Scott Galloway...


Butterfly

N in so many ways was perfect for me. She was tall, beautiful and highly intelligent. It was a match made in heaven for someone who thought they had won the lottery. The idea that I had matched with someone who did not wretch at my being so different was, at the time, a notion beyond my wildest dreams.

It's funny how life works however because my being transgender didn't break us up even as I would at times have very candid discussions when I was still weighing the potential I might one day medically transition.

The reality is that relationships are volatile and I was then still an undecided and somewhat angry person and she was the bohemian butterfly who butted heads with my regimented and surgical approach to life. 

We were just not meant to be.

Andreja

Andrej Pejic was one of the first models to break gender boundaries. Before he ultimately transitioned to Andreja there was a period where h...