Monday, July 31, 2023

In the bones

You will notice that during the entire history of my blog writing I have never referred to myself as a woman which has been an entirely deliberate strategy. For the longest time I identified as a type IV transsexual on the Benjamin scale (ostensibly a trans person who wavers on transition); a typology which I think is still very much apropos. The bar for womanhood in my head was, rightly or wrongly, to have medically transitioned. Hence this explains my current and most likely permanent identification as a transgender person admittedly one leaning towards the transsexual side of things.

Today I effectively live as a woman and yet my descriptor for myself does not perturb in the least.

One's own definition of the self will no doubt vary because ultimately it belongs only to you and you will know it is right in very your bones.

Zero sum

Gender criticals like Kathleen Stock will say that "sex still matters" (the title of her recent talk) which it does except that she means it as opposition to the accommodation of trans people. Using argumentation like this is meant as a zero sum game created  to deny simply allowing trans people to live openly in the world with dignity which does not erase biological reality for the rest of the 98% of humanity. A more disingenous argument could not be made which seeks to sell the idea that accommodation equals imposition.

It's all a bit dishonest much like the issue which got Anna Kasparian all hot and bothered because she thought the term "birthing person" was being proposed as replacement for traditional language surrounding procreation. It was meant to be inclusive for transgender men not to erase or impose on Kasparian's vision of herself or biologically born women in general.

Some people get so indignant over these issues when really it's not that difficult to have some sensitivity and tolerance.  However, ultimately the rub is this: transgender people aren't going anywhere because they have always existed hence the only objective of criticals is to drive them back underground and make things as difficult as possible. But their insistence will change nothing other than create misery for a tiny minority while doing nothing for the vast majority who either does not care or supports us.

All of the women who know I am trans (the rest will be told progressively) are extremely supportive of me and of our rights in general so the critical movement is a subset of women and not the majority by any stretch of the imagination. They will also use language like "transgender ideology"which is meant to paint trans people as a movement of choice. Are there gender variant people who have been liberated by loosening the reins on the gender binary and more readily play with it? Yes but that need not be Kathleen Stock's problem.

She just needs to worry about herself and live and let live; an audacious idea I know.

Sunday, July 30, 2023

GenZ

I worried for my GenZ kids regarding these very issues that Jonathan Haidt talks about here and worked hard to counteract them and encourage critical thinking and independence...


Brulerie

Brulerie St Denis is a classic Montréal Cafe on the Plateau Mont-Royal district that I've been coming to on and off for decades.

Not only do they do my allonge machiatto just right, but on a sunny and dry Sunday morning, the ambiance is to die for.





Volatile

We are in a time of global crisis. There is massive cultural and political change which is stirring passions in society and forcing a dialogue about what kind of world we will accept. In addition there is a climate crisis which is obliging us to change our ways and how our economics function.

Conservatism being what it is shows it's truest colors when there is the most threat to the status quo. The place of women and minorities in society plus the declining importance of the white male baby boomer world aesthetic is why we are seeing backlash. Social media being the great equalizer of opinion is also feeding into this frenzy. No surprise then that conspiracy theories abound.

Neoliberalism was a failed strategy that counted on free markets to fix global societal ails. That all it did was further line the pockets of the most wealthy is why we are seeing more talk of unions and a disgruntled GenZ generation wondering why they will be less well off than their parents.

Volatile is perhaps too weak a term after all.

Migration

Becoming your true self can be a slow almost imperceptible process. It at first can appear you are wearing a costume (certainly during early childhood forays into your mother's closet it can) until over the years you slowly realize you are just putting on your clothes. Of course clothing is just a symbol for the internal process you are going through and never has what I wear mattered less. Although truth be told I never aim for frumpy.

The person we need to most convince is ourselves because we are our harshest critics. Internalized transphoia runs rampant in trans people of my generation and so the process of migration is certainly more difficult; such was our pervasive and unrelenting programming.

At first I was astounded that I was taken at face value as I thought everyone would see through what they would assess to be a disguise. That it never happened showed me to what extent I had advanced not only in confidence but, more importantly, in my ability to convey my true self to others.

Now when I remove clothing that is all I am doing because the person inside always remains.

Of that there is no doubt.

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Something we already knew

 


This morning

I was walking through the cosmetics department at The Bay this morning and, sure enough, there was a young transwoman working there. I am going to say maybe 30 years old tops and although not entirely passable clearly extremely comfortable and confident in her own skin.

It is becoming commonplace now at Sephora and other large cosmetic retailers to see trans people working there. Good for them.

Just as I wear less of the stuff too:).

Happy

Here is a fundamental axiom: other people don't make us happy; only we can do that. However a happy person with the right company can be rendered considerably happier. Conversely, the wrong company can make us miserable.

I think it's fundamental to be able to be happy living alone if need be. For if we can do that it makes us self contained beings who can more readily welcome those who are truly compatible with us. In youth we may make choices out of fear of being alone or of being seen as less socially acceptable, but as age hopefully brings wisdom we realize that we should only listen to that internal voice which knows what is best.

Nevertheless the human default is to be ever restless and pine for what we don't have; all the more so in the age where everyone's minutest victories are constantly on display on social media.

The simplest definition

I've been trying over the years to formulate a unified theory of gender variance. All my reading of published papers and blogs has encouraged me to generate ideas which were inspired by my own primordial need to understand myself.

The overwhelming conclusion is that no matter what the source, human beings are extremely diverse and their true instincts are heavily tempered by societal norms. This means that an accurate picture of people's inclinations would only emerge if those rules were removed or at least heavily loosened.

The other obvious conclusion is that the subject matter is deeply complex because humans beings are and, because we have a need to rationalize our natures, we develop whatever science we can muster.

Under the dome of gender variance then exist all kinds of people with multi-layered motivations however the simplest definition of the transgender condition I can think of is that one is born with it. One does not become transgender and hence it is unchangeable and therefore fundamentally tied to identity.

Are some forms of gender variance elective? Certainly and I have met some of those people. But regardless, it is always about the way we grapple and adapt to our realities that matters most.

Down in flames

That Trump dug his own grave speaks to his personality as a psychopath and narcissist. Anyone else receiving a subpoena would have been judicious enough not to add fuel to the fire and certainly also keep his mouth shut on social media.

But like all mob bosses they eventually and invariably go down in flames and in this case all the better for American democracy.

Friday, July 28, 2023

Conspiracy

 


Blinders

As I've aged I have developed both a worse and better opinion of people. In being able to read them better and even find archetypes within society, I can be more forgiving of errors made out of innocence but more severely judge deliberate malevolence.

People are often enigmatic and unpredictable but almost always within a framework of the prime directives which drive them which are perhaps equal measures of love and fear.

I am now engaged in letting go of stereotypical thinking and my tendency to have been negative towards a world I saw as mostly filled with injustice dosed with a healthy sprinkling of idiocy. Much of this obtuseness from all of us is perhaps inadvertent because all of us have blinders and think of the self above all. In so doing we can forget we are part of a global village.

Harmony

As I've said here before, primary motivation for cross gender expression is the most important element in understanding yourself. We can be motivated by the feeling of the clothing, its purely a sexual kick for you, you like the sense of rebellion that playing with gender brings or perhaps you are motivated by a deep sense of identity. The reality is that because people are so unique, the answer is that it can be either of those things or something else I haven't mentioned.

When I was on the fence about medical transition, I considered many factors but paramount was where my sense of identity resided and what it needed for me to baseline into a more peaceful existence. My dysphoria still exists but it is now much better managed which took years of trial and error. This last phase is the most important because there are no obstructions and dealing with the remaining conflicts inherent in our education versus our instincts is what is left for me. Had I been born in a different time there would have been less baggage for me to parse through but then better late than never. If younger I may also have taken a different path.

Your own exploration should focus on motivation and what drives your impetus towards cross gender expression. That understanding will be the biggest contributor towards coming to harmony and balance in a world that worships adherence to conformity.

But to achive that harmony, we first need a brutally honest appraisal of the self.

Nothing is more important.

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Conservatives seethe


 

Simple

Increasingly I keep things simple. Makeup use is more sparse and my choices more subtle over the years. I don't want to waste time getting ready but also want to look put together. My latest lipstick is almost neutral and yet it does the trick. It's almost like I want to look like I'm not wearing any. The girl at Sephora was helpful with my choice.

Finding your look in some ways parallels the internal process you go through.  The closer you get to your identity, the more you want to remove the extraneous and simplify everything.

You stick to essentials and focus more than ever on what's inside your noggin'



Cosmic time machine

I saw a documtary on Netflix called "Unknown: Cosmic Time Machine" about the James Webb telescope and its intricate planning and construction. It took decades to conceive and construct and even then over 300 single point failures could have detailed and scrubbed the project entirely.

Putting the telescope into orbit about 1 million miles from earth was a Herculean task which took thousands of technical experts and countless hours of effort; all so humankind could peer into the dawn of our universe which is estimated at 13.8 billion years old.

Fascinating and well worth your time.




Wednesday, July 26, 2023

It's as bad as you thought

 


You do you

For a long time I found that infantilized and hyper-exaggerated forms of gender variance irritated me. I was embarrassed by them because I didn't want that to impact the credibility of trans people. After all, the easy low hanging fruit for a transphobe is to find someone dressed as a child or in a form of comical and fetishized femininity and use it as an archetype for trans people in general. This is also one of the reasons I have tended to stay away from groups and lead my own existence outside of any bubbles.

But then I increasingly thought about the world and the massive range of behavior within it. You don't need to be gender variant to participate in all types of activities which society finds aberrant and with 8 billion people in the world, you can think of a possibility and it likely exists.

Therefore I resolved to worry more about myself and realize that the world of gender variance encompasses and mirrors much the same wide range of possibilities we find outside of it.

In the end we just need one simple motto which is "You do you" and leave others, with a well-intentioned smile, to their own penchants.

In the moment

Letting go is difficult for us. We can stress and allow thoughts to repeat themselves incessantly to the point of mental exhaustion. It is one of our worst features and some of us take anything to allow us to escape this mode of self mortification.

Retiring does not make the hamster stop turning and in many ways encourages it. As someone who is on the intellectual side of things, it seems to be an inherent plague for me to overthink and to analyze.

Part of my work now is to allow looseness and spontaneity to percolate into my existence; to allow it to let me live more and more in the spur of the moment.

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

5 crises

 


Bravado

Andrew Tate is toxic and yet his absolute confidence got me thinking. The YouTube feed presented me with one of his videos and curiosity, perhaps against my better interest, beckoned. I got what I expected but while his type of misogyny is not admirable, it was the idea that he deserved a certain type of partner that stuck with me. He makes comparisons between alphas and simps and I couldn't help but think about trans people and their settling for at least someone who will tolerate them. This if they are lucky.

I lived that experience and have evolved perhaps aided by the disappearance of my appetite for something I know will eventually lead to discord. There is so much to be said for saying no and stand one's ground. For trans people aren't toxic and are asking to be loved and understood on their terms.

This used to be asking too much but I am seeing signs of change and, while we may not want Andrew's caustic bravado serving as ideal, even just a fraction of it might do the trick.

As my grandmother used to say "better alone than badly accompanied".

N'est ce pas?



Rules

There has never been so many people without romantic partners in our history. Not only have the rules disappeared but the economic tables have balanced such that women no longer need men for support.

While at the surface this may seem dire, there is a lot to be said for the brutal honesty of the moment. The hypocrisy and the pretense drops off and we are left with a chaos but one which perhaps leaves more room for reflection before leaping; an open playing field for the creation of new and hopefully fairer rules instead of expectation.

Monday, July 24, 2023

Killing a vampire

The term "crossdressing" is completely meaningless. Consider that by the standards the 1950's all biological women of today are "crossdressers". But not only that, the term does nothing to address motivation which is the most important element you want to try and convey as not everyone practices cross gender expression with the same intent. In general, most trans people don't think they are "crossdressing"and yes I am aware that not everyone who identifies with the term feels they have a trans identity.        

Cultural norms change and what is normal in one era would be aberrant in another. Men wore wigs in the 18th century which isn't exactly daily fare today. But what we want to do is address meaning and motivation and our terminology should attempt to do that. We also want terms to be as universal as possible which means employing a lexicon applicable to both sexes.

Yet for some reason this term refuses to die so I guess we will have to rely on the GenZs to do it. God bless them :)



Some choice

Republicans bet all their money on a losing horse that they are now stuck with. All the perfect elements are there: a cult of personality, rampant misinformation online, echo chamber media and an appetite for theocracy thanks to their courting of evangelicals going back to the Southern Strategy.

Traditional fiscal Republicans and Libertarians have nowhere to go and indeed many became independents and voted Biden. The Lincoln Project was started by these types of people who despise Trump and what he did to their party to their core.

With continuing indictments, you now face the prospect of your leading candidate for the presidency being on the cusp of being a convicted felon which would be comical if not so sad. Here the two party system shows it's weakness because you have nowhere to turn. Both parties are bought with donor money but at least one isn't run by anti-democratic lunatics.

Some choice.

Humble pie

Humble pie is probably our best dessert. I know I have eaten some over my life and I intend to consume some more. I think we develop the ego and pride as defense mechanism to avoid being hurt and then forget to moderate ourselves. We have learned to fight to not appear weak and sometimes take untenable positions because of it.

As I age I welcome it more and more because it's good for me. No matter how smart we think we are it's good medicine.

Sunday, July 23, 2023

True

 


Live your life

I still see comments in blogs about physical size stopping people from being authentic. I'm 6'1" and almost 200 lbs and have friends who don't know I am trans.

Are there women taller and heavier than me? Duh

Please live your life. It's all in your head :)

Jackpot!

 


Dimanche

 



Guardrail

In many ways being a trans person with guardrails is easier because I lived it. You might feel safer being yourself at home, you have a partly or outright non accepting partner, you feel more comfortable in like-minded groups, etc.

My guardrails are completely off with the combination of retirement soul searching and introspection demanded by my dysphoria working in tandem and showing me there is still work to do. When we are in any way constrained we look for openings but without borders we are forced into making sure the breaks still work because we don't want to roll down any embankments.

Many of us older trans folk who in some fashion led a semblance of a double life have more work to do on the psyche and, although it may at first seem like what I am embarked on is just some clean up, it is considerably more involved.

Some gender variant people seem relatively content with compartments (and more power to them) but it becomes increasingly apparent to me that, especially without guardrails, I've never been one of them.

Saturday, July 22, 2023

The acceptable you

 


Good times

Human nature is highly predictable. The haves don't want to give to the have nots but there is a point at that gap becomes so dangerously wide that your society invariably implodes.

This cycle is being constantly repeated throughout history in differing incarnations of ruling class. All global powers have run under much the same system and the US, despite its semblance of a democracy, is no different. It operates like an oligarchy where the richest citizens essentially pay for congressional favor through donations. To believe otherwise would be to deliberately cover one's eyes.

Without a balanced system the risk is that the poorest citizens fall below a standard where they eventually become burdens of the state due to lack of livelihood or access to health services.

But human beings, being generally short sighted, ride the good times without sufficiently preparing for the winter to come. This applies to people as well as nations.

Worsens?

I would not say that gender dysphoria worsens with age but rather that as you get closer to your authentic self, the urgency of addressing the mental work which remains increases. You now truly understand that there is no place or even any need to hide.


Friday, July 21, 2023

daily weirdo check

 

Unique creatures

There are two people who stick in my mind as most representing the side of gender variance I can least relate to. One was someone who went out twice a year with his wife and had started cross gender expressing well into adulthood. He saw this is a fun activity and during our dinner (which his wife attended) it was very clear to her that her husband and I were very different. 

The second was someone who sidelined as a dominatrix which was an admission during our dinner that shocked me a little (the fact that his wife was in the know made it even more so). We never connected again after that one meeting not because they weren't nice but because there was no connection of shared experience.

These examples both helped me to further formulate my ideas on gender variance and how expansive it can be but also to find my own definition of who I was. For it is often in contrast that we are helped in finding our own identities.

In the end we wish people well and understand that we are indeed very unique creatures.

Bright spot

I met Alejandra who is cute as a button at the bus stop. Maybe my daughter's age and freshly arrived from Mexico, we spoke for a while as we shared part of the ride.

I am fascinated by new people and I will talk with them when the circumstances are right and the mutual affinity is there.

It can often be a little bright spot in your day.

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Critical flaws

The problems of unfettered capitalism are obvious. For one thing, there is a need for constant GDP growth which is impossible and so there are recessions and then government rescue plans to fix the mess. In essence, showing you why your ideology does not work.

Since 1978, CEO pay in the US has increased by almost 1,500% while average worker pay only 18% (adjusted for inflation) which is an abysmal statistic showing just how bad things can get in a society experiencing late stage capitalism like the US is.

There is no place to go but implode since most menial US labor has either been outsourced or is being performed by undocumented migrants. The short sightedness is almost comical but then no capitalist is thinking logically or morally and with little in the way of safeguards, the runaway train will continue until it runs out of track and derails.

Social democracies try to balance the scales between societal needs and the advancement of their economies and even then only so successfully but, when you espouse ideologies of excess, you invariably discover that there is an expiration date and you need to reinvent yourself. No doubt the US will need to do this because the cracks are clearly showing. 

Canada is only just behind and slowed only by our safety net mentality. But if the conservatives get in, we are in for trouble.

The poles

The crux of our reflection rests on the question of expression and identity. In other words, you may be entirely fine with your male identity but need the feminine expression. Conversely, your sense of identity is female and your expression stems from that intrinsic understanding of self.

This is the most important question of all to ask oneself. Where do I reside?

What makes this reflection complicated is that expression and identity can blend in differing proportions giving birth to the idea of a spectrum. There are people who exist on the polar extremes in that some are all expression while others all about identity. The latter we used to identify as being representative of high intensity transsexualism.


The more you exist in a nebulous middle, the more complicated will be knowing what to do

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Toilet paper

Life is like a roll of toilet paper. At the start it dispenses really slowly but near the end it almost falls off by itself.





No harm, no foul

It really is a shame that older gender variant people with little to no gender identity conflicts couldn't live more openly throughout their lives. Many were and are content expressing themselves on occasion or perhaps on a regular basis except that the social norms were so restrictive at the time.

This problem does not exist to the same degree today and young people express themselves without much fear of reprisal. In fact I regularly see young men and women on public transit break social norms that during my time would have invited shock and awe and plenty of raised eyebrows. This type of gender variance is harmless and gets people in touch with their masculine or feminine sides. It is benign and should perhaps even be encouraged so people can dabble into what life might be like on the other side of the divide.

To a great extent the self labeling we are increasingly seeing (non binary, gender fluid, gender non-conforming, etc) speaks to the people most representative of this need of some for expression outside of rigid binary rules.

The good news is that you don't need to have dysphoria to qualify.

As i live now

It's very revealing to be out in the world every day as I live now. What I most like is how comfortable I am and how I am largely ignored which is a sign of how much your headspace factors so largely; we all come in different shapes and sizes. Yes, things have changed and I am treated a little differently but not so much that it impacts me either positively or adversely. Overall I would say the treatment is generally better especially from women.

The novelty of being addressed in the correct pronouns wears off but it is replaced by something much more valuable which is comfort in one's own skin in a role you weren't supposedly born to play. No, your problems don't go away and you still have ups and downs of course only that you experience all from a place closer to your core.

Having more people in your inner circle not know your history is at once validating and sometimes worrying because you are unsure how they might react upon disclosure. For example I have an upcoming social gathering with 3 women and it does play on my mind only increasingly less so as time passes and all will be handled on a wait and see basis.

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Linked in

LinkedIn long ago became Facebook with people living inside of it posting platitudes about colleagues and their company's or their own exploits. I was never much of a user and now dip a toe inside only to quickly run out. You could easily become lost inside this forest of mostly propaganda which seems to keep some people heavily motivated.

Social media infected what was once a place to post one's CV and perhaps find a new job by making connections. It has since become, like other social media, just another place to gloat or celebrate achievements in the same way the banal is celebrated elsewhere.                      

Freedom

Having much more freedom than you have ever had takes getting used to. For most of your life your time has been spoken for and you now drop off a cliff to have more than you can handle. Eight months into retirement and I am still adapting to this abundance.

What is fascinating as a trans person is that this freedom obliges a more profound investigation of who you are which in some ways can worsen your dysphoria. As you enter into little crevices previously unexplored, your path forward can be complicated by virtue of a richness of options not previously available to you due to obligations.

It is this work which I am presently engaged in and if you are entering a similar scenario, be prepared that it may happen.

Hate

Hate is powerful and it works. The allure of Trump was that he said the quiet parts out loud and for uneducated voters tired of a system rigged against them, he was their mouthpiece. Never mind what he actually did or didn't do.

Biden may not be the best president the US has ever had and yet he is quietly getting things done such as putting the economy on the right track and getting infrastructure projects going that will ultimately help the country. So while progressives don't like him for his history as a neoliberal centrist, the right despises him because he is doing things to help people. Meanwhile the GOP flails and continues its culture wars for lack of any public policies other than cutting taxes for the wealthy which is why they need to distract from any points Biden is scoring with the electorate.

Hate has been the primary selling feature of Trumpism and it has coalesced all of the malcontents into one movement which will do absolutely nothing for the country other than sink it. No better spokesman then in having someone who spews it as readily as they breathe.

Monday, July 17, 2023

Sixth grader

A clever sixth grader with basic critical thinking skills could dispell AGP. What is fascinating however, is that it's strongest defenders have for decades been using only the existence of arousal patterns exhibited by some transsexuals as proof of its validity which is plainly idiotic. For the theory proposes that it is the arousal itself which is the primary motivation for said transitions; an assertion which is not provable hence data points be damned.

Today I assume that proponents of AGP still hanging on for dear life are either stupid, disingenous or both and the most embarrassing appearances on the internet I occasionally see are by people who are barely educated but have learned to parrot the talking points of others.

There simply isn't enough time to fix all the ignorance out there and I no longer have the emotional investment nor the desire to do it.

However it is no less pitiful to witness.



Discipline

I work on myself constantly and have learned over the years to be extremely self reliant to a point of exacting discipline. This is of course a double edged sword because it can discourage spontaneity and looseness. It also kept me for the longest time from accepting who I am because I simply would not permit it.

I have never taken medication for depression or anxiety and, aside from my initial treatment for gender dysphoria at the Montreal General Hospital, I have never had any psychiatric counseling. This is less a badge of honor than an admission that I might have sought help more readily and developped instincts to reach out to others. To this day I sometimes regrettably see reaching out for help as a sign of weakness.

My resilience is there and yet I look back to realize how hard it was sometimes to keep everything under wraps. A demanding career in engineering, a challenging marriage, raising two children, all the while managing gender dysphoria. No doubt I saw and can credit the discipline of my parents and took inspiration from them for their realistic view of life and its many challenges.

My curent vantage point now permits this realization and fortunately also the chance to make some rather welcome improvements.

Lovesick

Lovesick is just what the title says. Its a series about trying to find the right person and how people come in and out of our lives. Dylan is looking for that special person while he grows up and he dates differently people to see if he can find a true connection.

It turns out that life is supposed to be messy and awkward and love is no exception. We fumble along confused about who we are until we hit upon someone and perhaps make of the best of things even long after after the shine comes off the apple.

Watching this may even remind one of their own youthful existential meanderings.

Recommended.






Sunday, July 16, 2023

Idiocracy

 


The early starters

I've been reflecting lately on the different paths those who begin to cross gender express prior to puberty take. Some are clearly transsexual and never waiver in their insistence of who they are. Others perhaps have milder forms of dysphoria and deny or suppress their trans nature while others seem to be able to somewhat comfortably live a prolonged dual existence. Note that I am leaving out post-pubescent starts because quite often (but not always) there are sexual overtones and motives as primary driver.

My temptation is to say that all prepubescent starts are by people who are trans in nature but have different gradations of dysphoria. Of course societal, family, religious and other situational constraints will drive what each of them does but it is not uncommon to read about some of these older people identify as "crossdressers" and thus partly downplay their situation when there is clearly more there than meets the eye.

It should be noted here that appearance of sexual overtones once puberty is reached does nothing to denigrate who these people are because for many (if not most) it is a way to cope with their gender dysphoria.

For those gender variant people starting at or after puberty who are driven primarily by seeking arousal, it need not be problematic provided it is not accompanied by distress.

Down the road

Authoritarians will tell you that fascism is freedom whereas democracy is tyranny. They do this by manipulating the masses and convincing them to think against their own interests by painting themselves as defenders of the lower classes.

The GOP has been highly successful at branding a party that basically panders to the aristocratic class through wedge issue propaganda by telling people the American way of life is under attack. Immigrants are out to get them as well as "woke" ideologies and they are scared into voting for a party that is cutting taxes for their wealthy benefactors and trying to eliminate social programs.

It would be amusing if it weren't so drastic how easily people can be manipulated into parroting talking points they are fed on FOX News over a virtually 24/7 cycle.

Most recently I am seeing advocates for theocracy talk about the American founders as religious men when they had in fact left England specifically to escape the tyranny of rule by right of kingship bolstered by clergy. Europe had been ruled this way for centuries and they wanted a different model.

Today we have made up information and we can now use technology to modify it. With the lack of critical thinking we have in society, it is a recipe for trouble down the road the likes of we have never seen.

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Saved

I often think that the people I have dated or been partnered with over my life (there haven't been many) were somehow saved. They were spared something they didn't need or want despite me showing them as hard as I could what I was sure they wanted to see; namely that I could play the conventional male.

I have written posts before talking about what a rock and a hard place this is. However, for some gender variant people, happy sporadic expression seems to work and so perhaps no harm no foul. For people like me and others this formula does not work and I say this as dispassionately as possible.

But as with family, you end up choosing you because that is the only real and valid recourse if you are to live an honest life; and it is precisely that honesty that they they were saved from.

Under the bus

In a way I feel bad for Blaire White. By cozing up to people who would normally hate her she is showing how desperately she wants their approval.

The psychology isn't very complicated and if she were more sure of herself she wouldn't appear on podcasts and YouTube channels that actively try to denigrate and belittle trans people. But through her insistence she tips her hand at how severe her personal insecurity is. One thing is to have some reservations about some elements of gender variance orthodoxy, it is quite another to have such toxic advocacy that would so readily ridicule others in front of an ignorant audience hungry for red meat.

Here I think also of someone like Candace Owens who does much the same thing and panders to her benefactors although perhaps more for financial gain than true advocacy.

Blaire is like that subservient cooperator who hopes she will be spared by her tormentors by throwing everyone else under the bus first. Like Caitlyn Jenner, she is a conservative who will live and die by the fickle appetites of the fringe people that, for some odd reason, she wants desperately to be loved by.

Pity.



Thrifting

I bought myself a "skort" at the thrift store. This is, as the name suggests, a combination of skirt and shorts which is very comfy for summer. I wear either ballet flats or sneakers with it and since I love to walk it's a great asset to have in my wardrobe. I don't like skirts above the knee but the way this is tailored seems to work.

Nadine, who is one of my work ex-colleagues wants to go thrifting with me this Tuesday. She is maybe a size 8 and we will no doubt find nice things for her.



Friday, July 14, 2023

The stranges times

Remember the pandemic? Well one of my favorite bands does too..


Is there a problem?

It's a problem only if you it causes you personal grief...


Daily weirdo check

 

Rapprochement

For older trans people getting full family support can be tough. They know you as this other person and even if they claim to support you, they seem to care more about upholding that image than affirming who you are. They also have busy lives with their own concerns.

For this reason I have distanced myself with the best of possible intentions rather than feed the narrative they expect. You wish them all the best but it's now your turn to live your life as you see fit.

Ideally they should approach you and try to get to know this person but so far it hasn't been what I might have liked. Still, we are on our own in life and we make our way based on who we are. If we were to live otherwise, we are not honest with ourselves or with them. You don't stop caring for them but simply choose to put you first.

Any future "rapprochement" which will occur in its own time and in the meantime I continue to adapt and grow into myself each day. For I also need to continue to get used to living as me.

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Big big train

 


Nowhere to run

My resistance to moving forward towards authenticity was slowly killing  me. Fifteen years ago when I realized something needed to be done I never could have imagined I would land where I am today and I recall distinctly asking the gender clinic to please cure me.

That was then and my initial reticence was well documented in my writing at the time.

If you are truly honest with yourself you will invariably land where you need to; the alternative being cognitive dissonance and depression. That I have no regrets is because I am too stubborn and far too analytical to have taken any other approach. The "go by feel" isn't part of my programming and I needed solid convincing. Maybe it's the engineer in me.

Everyone has a different plateau but the secret is to find it.

At your own pace.

Low hanging fruit

Trans people are low hanging fruit for right wing extremists by virtue of their small number but also because the pushback from supposed allies can be so timid. I used to watch the YouTube channel TYT but unsubscribed recently over their stance regarding, what they feel, is the militancy of trans advocates. This would be fine were it an important election issue but polling shows it's not on the radar of even most conservative voters. They are far more concerned over economic issues and even reproductive rights.

Asking a tiny sliver of the population to be quiet and help get moderates elected feels disingenous and a slap on the face for a group that regularly faces violence, high rates of suicide, rejection by families and an onslaught of legislation trying to wipe them from existence.

The proper stance would be to support a very marginalized group and their very basic demands and maybe quash the hysteria rather than asking they moderate their tone. Bill Maher used to call trans rights a "boutique issue" which I found reprehensible and it looks like TYT are going down much the same rabbit hole.

Predictably the pushback has been fast and furious among others in progressive media (thankfully elder statesman Sam Seder included) which was both expected and completely justifiable.



Deanna

I spoke to Deanna yesterday which was so very pleasant since we had not done so for quite a while. She is doing well and living the relaxed life of a retired person and keeping busy with house chores and music.

Having transitioned in her mid sixties, it was mandatory for her and she could no longer live the way she had been. For her it was medical transition which once again reminded me how each life is different and how each of us comes to full self actualization so uniquely. The calmness finally installs itself and we live authentically not caring one whit what others think.

I miss the lunches we used to have but perhaps something can be done about that in the future.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Smoking gun

I've been reflecting and reading about the subject of gender variance for my entire life. Not being self accepting as a trans person made my research mandatory because I needed to comprehend whether I was dealing with sexual deviance, mental disorder or simply an intrinsic way of being. In that way I have my father's intellectual curiosity.

Even as I now have my answer, it still bothers me that so much ignorance in the world passes for knowledge. So while part of me is happy there is no "smoking gun" gene yet identified, the other part thinks it would go a long way towards soothing the rampant transphobia of today.

The reality is that some gender variance is elective and so we end up with a mishmash of diversity within its borders. If we found the source of transsexualism it could then make others targets for simply being happy to play with gender expression.

Therefore the nebulousness is perhaps best because people don't need permission to be themselves and, although I vehemently disagree with those who say dysphoria does not exist (hello Abigale), I want them to just feel safe in knowing that not having it does not make their choices any less relevant to them.

Little exchange

We were at the same intersection. She in her black stiletto pumps and me in ballet flats. As we crossed she was veering south and I north and she made a comment about crossing wires and we both laughed. She was maybe 30.

I then said that I had given up stilettos but admired the way she expertly manouverd in hers. I said "I love it!"

She gave me a huge smile and a have a great day.

It only deepens

I'm going to need to get off the politics train because it is a shit show everywhere I look. The US in particular is going through the most tumultuous period in its history with respect to its fragile grip on democracy since its inception. It is also starting to appear to me that justice may not come for the crimes committed under Trumpism.

In any event, the cards will fall as they will and if their republic is meant to survive it will. For we know what happens under dictatorships and people never learn until they scald themselves on the stove by experiencing it. 

The human appetite for fascism (right now in the form of theocracy) is strange but clearly it appeals to enough people and not just the dim witted. The indictments having the opposite effect in that they bolster the popularity of a criminal, it shows to what depths some are willing to go to achieve a goal they think will help them.

Sadly, my understanding of humanity only deepens as I age.

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Militancy

When you are out in the world sometimes in crowded buses, streets or stores you need a game face; this whether trans or not but in the latter case it becomes more important. If required, mine can say "get out of my face or I'll smack you".

People can smell fear like sharks do blood in the water but truly my militancy is rooted in my fatigue of a world full of injustice.

Trans people will not get what they need by falling on fainting couches but by taking their place and having a bit of attitude about it when necessary. When out in public we also need to remember that today most people are for justice although the vocal online trolls would have you believe otherwise.

We don't apologize for existing.

Dinner

I had dinner with my daughter and her boyfriend. I wanted to invite them out to catch up with them both because by their mid twenties your kids are really on auto pilot and leave you be unless they run into some internal conflict they want your advice on.

They have been a couple for 7 years now and are planning their lives in an unstable economic environment where job security is not what it once was. Hence I encouraged both to stay at home for a couple of more years and build some equity. Plus having her with me is no trouble as she comes and goes and is highly private.

My son at 23 lives with his mother and by 25 he should be finished his engineering degree. He has stabilized greatly and is maturing at a rate I very much admire. There is a steady calm reserve there that will only benefit him as he ages and life brings him its inevitable little surprises.

I am glad that I put them first because they have been wonderful with me and have been part of my bedrock of support. I think that our children understand even more when we go slow and they realize that nothing much will change other than perhaps our wrapping. Plus GenZ is so with the program that it still surprises me how they do not even furl a brow at things my boomer formation made me think they would find traumatic.

Nope.

"Im just asking questions"

Imagine being all consumed with disdain like some gender criticals are and lose your mind over trans people (1.4% of the population). What I find is that the most insidious are not the ones frothing at the mouth like Matt Walsh or fumbling like the everyman idiot Joe Rogan, but instead I focus on the 'I'm just asking questions' types a la Kathleen Stock. The latter introduces questioning in what appears to be reasonable tonality which gives them a credibility with those who might be on the fence allies; you know, the types of people who want to help but they worry about certain scenarios.

I find it disappointing that the trans people in sports question gets wrapped in to the rights to use a bathroom in an all or nothing line of questioning. It is one way of draping one's discrimination in the flag of respectability without appearing toxic. For one certainly could debate some of the finer points without throwing the baby out with the bath water, but then that would give trans people credibility which these criticals are desperately out to avoid.

No, it is easier to cloak your message in less threatening ways and through your introduction of "reasonable doubt", put yourself on the same footing as the medical experts when you clearly are not.

Completely disgusting.

Monday, July 10, 2023

Daily Weirdo Check

 

Ticking

If you live in a big city like I do then you see panhandlers everywhere. They are in the subway, on the streets and a constant reminder that we are in trouble. As the one percent continues to line their coffers, more and more people are falling into desperation.

Here is where a conservative would castigate me and preach about free markets and trickle down economics which would only see me blurt out in strong laughter for corporate welfare has been used for decades now to make up for the malfeasance of these crooks as they line their pockets and move money to off shore accounts to avoid taxation.

We are headed for trouble but then you know it as well. For you can hear the ticking as well as I.

No more time

June was the hottest month ever on the planet since we have been recording. This meant the average temperature reached just over 17 C which doesn't sound very high until you realize that this includes some very cold places on our world.

That climate change is real is no longer in question unless you are a radical conspiracy theorist or member of a religious cult and are waiting for the world to end. The rest of us know it's time to roll up our sleeves and do something. Dependence on fossil fuels is no longer a long term viable option.

If you are American never mind Greg Abbott or Ron DeSantis or any other climate change denying right wing loonie. You don't have the luxury to entertain them so you will just need to vote them out.

Right now it might just as well be 1923 instead of 2023 for all the abject lunacy. In fact the parallels are stark and by 1933 the Nazis were banning and burning books while today we do our best to prove stupidity is not a temporary human affliction but a permanent fixture.

I was due

I was due for some new sneakers and as much as I hate to admit it, Amazon does have the selection and the pricing.

My ballet flats from them are going strong and I walk a lot :)



Sunday, July 9, 2023

Cello suite no 1 Prelude

 


Bifurcation

I have explained before why I don't identify with the concept of bi-gender or gender fluid. It is because it had my brain become somewhat schizophrenic and because I don't see gender as something one interchanges. Perhaps for the externals we can talk in this manner but for the internals I favor and apply a unified concept for myself.

There are those who can do this and indeed many gender variant people seem to exist in this fashion rather happily. But to settle into myself I required a unified theory of the self.

Older trans people have often settled for this bifurcation of identity which was less desired outcome than consequence of decisions made in the life led prior to self actualization; because once at the right place, it was not always possible to start again with a clean slate.

Most of us who came late to authenticity have had to do this with the only difference being to what degree.

Living with others

The hardest but also the best thing about being in the world is other people. Our complexity and unpredictable nature is what makes us dangerous, lovely, irrational, frustrating, etc.. We are a package of contradictions and we are hard to figure out which makes our interactions sometimes needlessly complex.

Finding our identity in the world cannot be completely accomplished in isolation but it would almost be ideal if it could be formed and then allowed to run free among society and be appreciated. The person we think we know is a combination of what we absorb from around us and the earnestness we desperately want to regale in but learned to be afraid to. It is not easy to be oneself completely and sometimes it can be dangerous.

People are afraid and so they cluster with others they think they might most resemble or want to emulate. We lose ourselves in a role and then fall into worldly distraction to maybe never truly return to honestly revisit the self.

Saturday, July 8, 2023

Room for error

I am still in the final stage of my trans journey (and will be for a while) which mostly involves fine tuning. My decision to not medically transition firmly established, it is just working out the remaining reflection which I didn't have time for when I was so busy working. All that distraction somewhat impedes the deep dive that I am now afforded. Also the freedom to express your authentic self without borders forces that last stretch of refinement.

Someone like me had a lot of work to do by virtue of where I resided on the dysphoria scale. Had I existed further up, transition would have been a more urgent matter whereas with milder dysphoria sporadic cross gender expression might have sufficed. Therefore there was no way to make a well informed decision without very deep introspection. My interest in the subject matter from a clinical perspective was something of a bonus which wasn't mandatory but it still helped in the understanding that I was making none of this up.

This new more accepting environment has seen some people transition perhaps with not enough reflection and then detransition to become role models for transphobes (some even willingly). This is unfortunate because their own case has little to do with someone else's. That trans people from my generation needed to be more cautious it is because the environment was a lot less ripe for any kind of error and I
 am far too cautious for that. 

Jadel does it in style

 


Friday, July 7, 2023

Tramps

"Tramps" surprised me. A sleeper Netflix indie film which seems innocuous enough but then gets going and turns into a caper with a relationship being developped within it.

I wasn't expecting a lot but then the story catches me as the briefcase exchange goes awry. The two young protagonists are then left to remedy the error and in so doing develop a friendship neither was likely expecting

Full marks here for the non Hollywood style which I think adds to its earnestness and for the two leads performances.

Highly recommended.



What motivates us

One of the most fascinating things about humans is what motivates us. In other words, why do we behave in certain ways and what drives it. Here I refer to all behaviour and not just to gender variance.

As humans we exhibit the largest range of behaviour of any species because as much as we are driven by instinct, our brains are geared towards expressing free will. The question which begs asking is how much is what we perceive as option is predestined by virtue of our genetics and rearing.

One thing is certain: we have great capacity for obfuscation and denial which just as easily talks us into things as well as out of them. Understanding ourselves becomes that much more complex when we are not able to discern how much of our motivation is well founded versus being pure folly and driven by self delusion.

Small wonder then that we gage ourselves through public opinion and try to conform when a truly objective measuring stick is not readily available 

Blip

A very quick way to gain some perspective is to think of the universe and then imagine us as tiny ants going about our distractions until our time is up. We are but a momentary blip on the radar and then we're gone.

I say this not to depress you but to remind you to focus on what's really important while we are here and not sweat the small stuff.



Thursday, July 6, 2023

Interview of trans child and mother

 


The rest will come

Interestingly the people who I like getting feedback from the most are girls and young women who will sometimes probe your face on the subway or give you the up and down. I will sometimes catch their eye and smile and they will smile back.

I use this example because once we are comfortable in our skin we give off an aura that people can detect. However when something is off the opposite happens perhaps because we somehow feel like a fraud as we are not yet there in our journey towards who we are.

When I completely stopped looking for outside validation suddenly I was getting much more positive feedback which taught me a valuable lesson about reaching into our core and working on yourself. 

After that, the rest will come.

I push back

Yesterday I felt compelled to educate someone concerning AGP. It had been a deeply uneducated comment which spurred my intervention but I did so only because you could see there was no malice behind it only that they had not done their homework. Once I responded to her there was dead silence only confirming that she wasn't a troll but instead someone who had only skimmed the surface of the topic on some internet site.

I took her silence to mean there had been at least some willingness to listen even if her opinion won't ultimately be changed. So often people just want their bias confirmed

That we have moved well past toxic pseudoscience proposed in the late 1980's means nothing if it still lingers in the dark corners of the internet and is being preached with little pushback.

The little traps

We fall into little traps. The hamster in the brain becomes overworked and suddenly we are mired in negativity which threatens to consume us. Were we not human it would not happen but our fragility and penchant for self deprecation is a natural feature.

With age we maybe come out of them faster because we've done it so many times before. The power of the mind to fall into spiral is equalled by its ability to rescue itself from despair.

If your mind is anything like mine it can get caught up in over analysis and the need to walk away from it when it has gone too far into self critique; being trans only adding to the complexity of things.

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Daily Weirdo Check

 

People hurt

 


Stating the obvious

The fact that the majority of the relationships of trans people have historically not worked out is a no brainer (most especially for gynephilics). Factor in pervasive gender conditioning for both sexes and suppression on the part of the trans person (which often meant late self discovery and confession) and there you go. That some people made it work was largely through ability to balance and compartmentalize or outright lie to themselves which many of us ultimately could not do.

Today those two things are being countered. Gender stereotyping and conditioning is disappearing and trans people can come out far earlier in life (even before they hit puberty). This means that their chances of finding a harmonious coupling is greatly improved if not necessarily made into a slam dunk.

That I am happy for these young people to the point of giddiness is because I was not certain I would ever live to see it.       

Despite the current climate, I have much hope.            

Buzz words

Microphones are placed before Trump voters entering one of his rallies and they are asked to define "woke". The results are, as you would imagine, completely predictable.

If you use buzz words as propaganda and then feed them to your voting base as part of your general grievance with societal progress this is what happens. Of course I feel bad because many of these people with their garbled and confusing responses need more economic help as they have seen over the years many of their livelihoods stripped away by globalist policies which favor capitalist agendas. So they are distracted with language and encouraged to vote against their own interests. Neither party really has their backs but the GOP and their wealthy benefactors make for that much worse an option.

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Of more coffees to come

My friend Marcela and I met for coffee today. She is a fascinating person with an extrovert personality and a kind face which is regularly probing your expression. She was explaining to me some of her current life challenges and at 10 years her senior I am perhaps able to provide some guidance. She seems to see me as an older sister as she asks for my opinion on different things.

We speak in Spanish because she is of Chilean extraction (although she was very young arriving in Canada).which connects us to a common Latin heritage. She is one of the friends who do not know of my trans history.

When we talk over coffee I no longer try and guess what people are thinking and increasingly relax into myself. The result is that the interaction is more genuine and I am more able to focus and be present for the other person. I can feel the difference it's making.

We later go into a little craft store and buy rope style bracelets helping each other with our choices. A simple task and yet very affirming of my femininity. The women all around interact with me and I feel welcome among the banter which includes the shop owner herself.

More coffees with her to come to be certain.

Fragile

Sometimes my YouTube feed takes me to a channel where the person has suddenly been diagnosed with an illness. I recently watched one where t...