Saturday, September 30, 2023

Toby

 


Differences

Androphilic and gynephilic transsexual typologies used to be far more distinct. For one thing, gynephilics were waiting much longer to transition because they were swimming against the current in a society that saw them as aberrations far worse than today. Androphilics, aligned in sexual orientation and more obviously feminine in childhood, at least were aligned with the current instead of against it.

Today it's not as obvious which is why Blanchard's model has aged so poorly (never mind that there are now transgender men which is yet another wrinkle). Gynephilics are not only transitioning earlier but when we consider Kinsey and his scale it's no longer easy to even assume orientation as some people change post transition.

That Blanchard disciples are still stuck in the 1980's it's because the current landscape doesn't do their pseudoscience any favors and weakens their credibility, already leaning well into fringe territory, even further.

Maturity

I used to think that maturity was always correlated to aging until I saw that it wasn't always true. Today I know people in their thirties who are more emotionally mature than some people in their sixties. That relationship with age is usually there because emotional intelligence should come with life experience and yet some people are more gifted than others to take information in and draw the necessary lessons for their own lives.

Maturing should not mean we lose sense of humor or zest for life but rather that we put everything into more balanced perspective which allows us to see things coming and avoid the pitfalls we used to fall into.

When I was a child I spoke as a child except now I no longer need to.

Laugh

I love people who laugh easily and heartily which is something I have never been able to readily do. As a child I would observe people carefully and my introvert nature plus my secret kept me on guard. Therefore I always envied people who are not the least bit self conscious and can be fully themselves.

Sometimes people aren't smart enough to know better and their looseness is made fun of but we can't worry about that and we should dance as if no one were watching.

I learned to be wary of people since very young and reversing some of that attitude will take some deftness on my part because separating mean stupidity from earnest and honest mistakes isn't always obvious; not when you have tended to assume that intent is more often malevolent than it really is.

But it is never too late for us because here neuroplasticity is our friend and I have been successfully rewiring my brain on many fronts over the years which included my massive and ultimately successful struggle with accepting my identity.

No, my brain won't allow me to stop being analytical but I can let the guard down and laugh a lot more.

Friday, September 29, 2023

broken record

The subject of gender variance is so poorly understood that it's not worth my time continuing to deal with its intricacies. In the end people can believe what they want except that there is an important emphasis to be made regarding the difference between an internal sense of gender identity versus expression outside gender norms which I see conflated constantly. 

In other words, we can feel perfectly aligned with birth sex but enjoy expression outside traditional gender norms. Conversely, we can have an internal sense of identity that differs from expectation of biological sex. That incongruence with birth sex is called gender dysphoria and is known to be a graded phenomenon (thanks to Harry Benjamin) which at its apex is called transsexualism.

For some reason this distinction causes much confusion even among some gender variant people. But I will stop being a broken record and leave it at that.



Writing

It feels good not to need to write but to simply desire to. Near the end of my work life and its deadline stress my blogging was becoming more habitual nuisance and when I stopped I was sure I would never return.

My retirement brought me the time and the interest eventually returned. I still had ideas to express about life and its complexities so why not do so regardless of the interest I might draw. I still don't care about who reads it because it is ostensibly still very much my journal but if someone benefits somehow I see it as a bonus.

Pull

My women friends who are in the know tell me I am happier and more genuine this way and I think they are right. What is interesting is the way doubt sometimes sneaks in from your upbringing. You feel great and yet that formative education tries sometimes to yank you back.

That I have not made any physical changes takes anyway any potential regret however I am nevertheless keenly aware of how pervasive programming can work on a person from infancy over decades. You understand how people have trouble leaving religious sects or cults.

I disregard that pull away from happiness as vestiges from the past but recognize I may never be completely rid of it.

Can I comprehend why some of us need to make physical changes? Absolutely.

Red alert

America is unraveling. Two days away from an unnecessary government shutdown there is a Biden impeachment hoax which ended up being an insult to circuses. Meanwhile, Trump threatens the lives of generals and nothing is done about it.

Don't expect the masses to do anything so if one side of the leadership is corrupt and clearly pushing for authoritarianism, the red alarm should already be on and repeatedly flashing.

Surreal.




Thursday, September 28, 2023

Bobo

 Look who it's coming from...


Hope

My GenZ kids are super open and accepting of everyone. Their entire generation is and they are devoid of the kind of hangups that so hampered baby boomers. In fact it is boomers who are currently creating most of the problems with regards to toxic ideas, policies and bills aimed at transgender people.

I was having this conversation with my 25 year old daughter who cannot relate to a toxicity that I fully comprehend and whose effects I liberated myself from.

Many of us were exposed to extreme orthodoxy in religion and very strict gender norms which allowed no flexibity. As a result anyone who didn't fit the expected stereotype was more prone to be self hating which created many unhappy and frustrated people.

My wonderful children love me and accept me exactly as I am and they want to see a world where everyone is accepted for their individual identities no matter what they may be. Provided of course you aren't hurting someone else.

There may be hope for us yet.

Smile

People smile at me readily and I smile back because I'm happy. You don't realize what a difference it makes when you finally become fully yourself and you relax like you never have before.

I compliment women on their lip color or shoes and they beam. It's little things which mean so little and yet so much.

Try it and you'll see.



Smoking gun

For the longest time I have reflected on where gender dysphoria comes from and have always concluded that is has genetic roots although we don't have perfect proof quite yet. Some brain scan data exists which leads us in the right direction but there isn't a conclusive smoking gun.

If there are genetics involved it helps explain why trans kids are aware that something is up so early. In my time many of us dare not verbalize it but we knew we were different and kept quiet.

I had convinced myself that this was all my fault of course but life experience and research has a way of giving you perspective and I can look back confidently and know it wasn't. Plus my strict religious upbringing brought no influences that would have encouraged it. My poor mother was mortified to the point of yelling when she caught her little 4 year old first born in her pumps. Although she swore years later she didn't remember, it marked me for life and forced me underground.

We understand that gender variance contains many variables within it and no two people are alike and although typologies are generally useful to us they do not reliably predict outcomes. 
What helps us is that transgender people and gender variance in general appear predictably over the millenia in every social class and culture which says "so much for social contagion". It is instead completely statistically predictable.



Transactional

GenZ does not use Tinder and the numbers show it. Combined with the disillusion of the millenials with dating apps, Tinder's numbers are falling off a cliff and RM Brown's last video (which I featured here) expressed in his usual acerbic wit was just about that very phenomenon.

Nothing is as it used to be and the rules of engagement are no longer set. The traditional approach channels have been abandoned and people are not quite sure how to connect on a romantic playing field that eventually always leads towards blunt reality.

It would be too easy to criticize young people and say that they aren't realistic about how life works when we weren't either. The difference was that the structures were in place and yet didn't yield better than a 50/50 shot at success. The generation of my parents put their head down and simply tolerated dysfunction because marriages were far more transactional and women often had little elbow room due to financial and educational constraints which no longer exist and permit them more choosiness. The pressures of religion and societal expectation have also been largely removed.

It will take a while to remake a social order which works a little better but it will never be perfect because they haven't yet found a way to create the perfect human.



Oligarchy

 


Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Interesting discussion

 


daily weirdo check

 

Toujours pareil

That Trump's fortunes continue to unravel and yet his poll numbers remain unaffected says less about him than human gullibility in general which I am increasingly less surprised at as I age. People have uncanny abilities to make up their own truth all the while having little interest in examining what they believe through a filter of critical thinking. It's a type of mental laziness that I cannot explain.

That the church and monarchies were able to control the population for millennia is now easier to understand. For you had the promise of heaven or hell while the royalty reaped the benefits through fear of stepping outside the alotted lines.

Freedom is actually an illusion because many countries, most notably the US, operate through oligarchy except the ruling class are now capitalists. Their wishes are met through those little envelopes passed on to lawmakers while the population thinks that the tide will turn in their favor with the right candidate.

That the result is always the same is unsurprising. The benefits continue to roll in until a point of excess is reached and the entire enterprise implodes asking to be remade. All empires have had the same fate.

C'est toujours pareil.

Identification

Identification can only really come to you through lived experience and this I can now fully attest to. Dipping a toe in once a while gives you a taste but does not allow you to fully coalesce into who you are until you properly field test. This is how you truly know what kind of life you need or conversely you do not.

Our little corner

If we are spending a lot of time criticizing it's because we are frustrated with ourselves in some fashion. It's just basic psychology because once we are secure there is no need to be angry unless of course we need to defend ourselves because we are the target.

At this age I have a good sense of self and no one steps on my toes but l also realize that there are always things to work on. Much of my outrage at the stupidity of the world is dissipating while I realize it isn't going to be fixed. So we work on doing our best in our little corner of the world to make it better.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

The neuroscience of being transgender

 


wizards

This completely priceless parody of an obtuse Joe Rogan and a haughty Jordan Peterson will leave you in stitches....

Inconvenient details

My old blog used to have an open invitation to Blanchardians to send me conclusive proof that they were correct which of course they could not do. They knew it and I knew it.

Today there are dimwits on YouTube selling AGP when all they are proving is that arousal exists which is something we already knew. You see, AGP purports that transitions happen for sexual motives instead of an internal sense of identity which at best is non provable theory. However, that some people are highly motivated in their zeal but not particularly bright is hardly a surprise.

Today I have come to the conclusion that cross gender arousal can exist as primary goal or incidental symptom of gender dysphoria depending on the individual typology we are dealing with. But please don't confuse those YouTube creators with pesky inconvenient details.

By the way, my invitation still very much stands.

Crevices

When I started blogging again back in April of this year I was maybe at a 100 views per day and am now pushing 1,000 which surprises me for a small limited interest blog with a blunt author who is very aware that some of what I say here runs counter to popular opinion in some circles.

But I wouldn't write if I had to walk on eggshells and circumvent topics since I want to be able to explore any subject matter without any intent of ruffling personal feathers. Looking into crevices while trying to comprehend human nature and its motives is what interests me the most and lived experience has continued to add to my arsenal in better assessing what I see. It is why philosophical concepts are so interesting to me.

I first began blogging to better understand myself and my place within a very complex topic but I have expanded my sights to all humans in general for we are highly malleable and textured creatures who seem to have a great capacity to talk ourselves in and out of things to suit a personal vision of the world.

Goals and distractions

As we get older both goals and distractions disappear. We have lived to get to some point all our lives and suddenly they are gone. That wedding, that first house, that new job, they are now part of your past plus our children are adults. We are very much still alive and perhaps even highly motivated but there are no more mandatory mountains to climb. It's why I have said that whatever was left unattended in some mental drawer will invariably need tending to.

This is not about distracting yourself with activities but about examining yourself at your core and if you are an introspective person, it will be all the more prominent. Being transgender will simply add yet another layer of complexity.

Monday, September 25, 2023

Surreal

The idea that you have to register to vote in the US is positively arcane. Most countries have automatic registration through the government provided you are a citizen and of voting age. It certainly is the case here in Canada.

In Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro has instituted automatic registration through the DMV it and it has Trump and the GOP up in arms because the more people that can vote, the worse the results will be for them.

Almost surreal.



How??

 


The fall

I love the fall.

Today it was a light long sleeve top, a cardigan, jeans and my block pumps. It was the perfect weather for it :)



Valued

Transgender people are renowned for undervalueing themselves. I spent a good chunk of my life thinking I was some sort of pariah who needed fixing so I don't share a lot of the enthusiasm I see online about how being different is so great. Thus I have tended to vehemently disagree with that perspective.

It's been hard but I've worked to understand myself plus the subject matter because my engineer's brain and natural curiousity needed to know.

Today I hold a different perspective while recognizing that not everyone will think this difference is in any way attractive. However my value as a person has never been better understood and I bend a knee to no one. In that sense I would like to see less hand wringing from transgender people and more resolve to not live as we used to. For being different does not make us a reject it is just another facet which makes us unique.

Thinking caps

The impetus to paint gender variance as sexual deviance is easy enough to understand. In fact, most of the advocates for it in recent times have been self hating boomers who grew up under the specter of religion and a society that saw them as outcasts. It wasn't a far stretch then to assume that they would have been amenable to seeing all manner of deviation from a norm as dysfunction and perversion instead of expected statistical deviation.

Interestingly, back at their turn of  the 20th century, Magnus Herschfeld was a gay man and yet he had escaped social stigma while keeping his intellectual curiosity intact and tending to patients like Lili Elbe.

Even a rudimentary look at all biological processes gives us our answer for there is not one which is untouched by anomalies and permutations. Knowing that some people are born with ambiguous genitalia and genetic anomalies like androgen insensitivity syndrome, it is not a far stretch to get to gender identity being also subject to variations. But for some highly motivated groups, allowing these ideas destroys their fundamental belief systems and they will fight tooth and nail against them. If necessary they will even concoct pseudoscience to state their case and feed it like red meat to their disciples. Sound familiar?

By now I am too old to believe that that the world fully operates on honesty and a search for truth but often on a multitude of agendas. All the more reason then to keep our thinking caps on.



Too much and not enough

We can read too much or not enough into our desire to express gender variance and honestly assessing our motivation can often be the hardest part.

In the past many transgender people tended to downplay their dysphoria because they had made life decisions which could be greatly impacted by becoming their true selves. Conversely today we are more in danger of overstating what it all means when all gender variance is lumped under the same moniker of "trans".

If you are able to understand your motivation plus keep an even keel on your life then you are to be congratulated. However the presence of distress, depression and anxiety are signs that more work needs to be done. I think it's fair to say that the more gender dysphoric a person is, the more is at stake which is why it pays to put the hard work in. It is also my humble opinion that suppression of identity should not form part of our solution.

This is not to say that everyone should transition, only that they should be able to organically express authenticity without fear of repercussion.

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Useless

Quitting social media years ago has been great. Not that I was on it for very long before I realized that it was completely useless to me. I was just adding vapid and unnecessary information into my life and because I don't care what people eat for breakfast or understand why everyone posts private information like where they go on vacation, I am better off without it. It was just making me despondent about the state of human affairs.

Needless information is being added to our brains and we are more distracted and less able to focus than ever before. We are overstimulated with digital pablum that we don't need and no better example than Twitter to illustrate the futility of social media where you start fires with other people for absolutely no good reason.

I am trying to simplify my life as I age not complicate it.




Stupid

Yes, revisionist history, needless censorship and book burnings are back. You might be forgiven for thinking it was 100 years ago when the Nazis were doing it plus destroying the office of Magnus Herschfeld arguably the grandfather of our modern understanding of gender theory. No, it is indeed 2023.

That a segment of the population is as stupid as it's always been should not surprise us as nothing has been invented to allow humanity to raise IQs over the millenia.

For example, a Texas teacher was recently dismissed from her job for choosing to show her eighth grade students a graphic novel version of the Diary of Anne Frank all because in her writing she had included descriptions of male and female genitalia.

Stupid is a permanent and unfixable part of our society and it's going nowhere.



Eltinge

 


Take note

Sophie Ottoway was reassigned at birth due to a penile abnormality and was only told at age 22. Unlike David Reimer however, she does not appear to intend on living as a male but wants to make people aware that this happened without her consent. What I find fascinating about these two cases is just how much our awareness of self is not tied to our plumbing but resides in brain chemistry as well as to socialization. In other words, it can be a complicated stew.

Here gender criticals would do well to take note but they won't because it does not fit a script which desperately wants to tie a perfect bow on the alignment between gender identity and birth sex.

That both these cases took the same action yet yielded different outcomes shows us just how unique we are. David reverted to living as male while Sophie appears to have no intention to do so possibly because she has come to terms with her masculine and feminine energies.



Un dimanche matin

 



Give us flair

It has been uniquely depressing over my life to witness how truly gullible people are. There are false prophets everywhere and they are followed off cliffs by eager disciples who can't be bothered to question whether what they are being fed makes any sense.

When I was young events like the Jonestown massacre seemed foreign and outrageously implausible and yet I have now seen worse. The age of social media and the internet have shown us the full power of how far some people will follow someone down a rabbit hole.

Intellectuals and subject matter experts who preach truth are too dull and perhaps that is the problem. Panache and a flair for the dramatic seems to draw the eyeballs and if you are entertaining enough you are suddenly credible.

This is the age that celebrates the carnival barker and the idiot, but I am hopeful that with the next correction the pendulum will swing back.

Right

Mixing into the world of women has been both hard and easy. The hardest part was my own reticence and fear and once I got past that, the natural reflexes take over. No one gives you a second look when you are right in your skin and that was the key to everything. Once you know who you are, it seems people understand it as well.

As I have said before, there is no more novelty to be had now only that things feel natural and like they are meant to be. Whether I am with the women who know I am transgender or who don't it does not matter.

password

positively sublime....:))

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Sex education

"Sex Education" is frank and deals with the little dysfunctions of its characters in a way that we relate without feeling embarrassed for them. In fact it's cathartic to know that we aren't the only ones who have ever had issues with sexual angst.

Don't let the title fool you. This show is not just about sex but also the messiness that surrounds every relationship we enter; both romantic and platonic. Otis, Eric and Maeve lead a cast of characters each with their own unique originality and complexity. The young actors show us older folks a world we never allowed to live in. Their looseness and identification is so malleable and we see gender variance and same sex attraction being treated as second hat which they are today.

I think what makes the show is its rawness and honesty and it's quirky way of surprising us with those unexpected little turns that real life also invariably takes.

Like Eric, who is gay, says "We have to love ourselves"

Indeed.



Male loneliness

 


What's in a face

FFS has saved the life of many transgender people and I can think of no more important surgery simply based on the numerous testimonials I have seen. I am not by any means a spokesperson or advocate for the procedure, only that it seems to make a massive difference in the lives of many in providing them ability to blend into the world and be left in peace.

Everyone has a right to live as they choose and while some transgender people could care less about being visible (and more power to them). It seems that others want to disappear more into the background and live as much as possible in stealth.

Some of these clinics are miracle workers and I have seen results that almost leave you speechless when before and after photos are placed side by side. The first thing people notice about us are our faces and if something can help bring joy and relief to people then I am entirely for it.



Run for the hills

What we used to term tranvestic fetishism still exists as does transsexualism but the right wing and TERFS have conveniently tried to lump them together to denigrate transgender people as much as possible. This formed part of the discussion I had with Helene the other evening who is more than qualified after so many years in practice to recognize typologies.

There is nothing wrong with being either only that one deals more with identity and the other primarily with sexual expression. I also know after so many years that some people have trouble distinguishing between them even within themselves. I think part of the reason has to do with the intense stigma surrounding any type of fetish no matter how tepid.

The other day I received an email from someone I had overlapped with years ago who had two outings a year with his wife and wanted to reconnect. They asked how my life was going and I answered that I had retired and had socially transitioned. Needless to say there was no further response as they had likely run for the hills for fear what I had might be contagious.

Fair

The world operates on the same strategies as it always has because human nature does not change. We are short sighted and many who can take advantage of situations will do so. Therefore the idea that we can apply altruistic principles to solve the problems of the world are said to be idealistic and naive. This is why there will always be a ruling class and serfs who toil for them.

In a more fair minded world we would try to help people get basics to survive without stiffling innovation or initiative but we somehow prefer that excess dictate the way we operate. So we permit extreme wealth and poverty to exist and that they be periodically upset through wars and revolutions as a counter. That this is short sighted speaks less to a reasonable strategy than to flaws inherent in our natures.

PT Barnum understood that you could always fool a certain segment of the population and with this knowledge we can take from them more than our fair share.

He wasn't wrong.

Friday, September 22, 2023

Cause for optimism

Poor Ray Blanchard has been making appearances on low brow channels over the last few years which still cater to his quack science. You almost feel sorry for him as he is trying to save his legacy by continuing to insist that we are dealing with pathological sexually fueled mental illness.

The good news is that by virtue of only being invited to TERF or right wing leaning channels he has fallen far from the mainstream while support for transgender people continues to grow despite the recent backlash.

Many clinicians today know he has been demoted to fringe and he has an axe to grind by virtue of falling out of relevance.

New environment

Helene called me last night and her presentation on gender (which includes the topic of detransition) will be at the Sorbonne in Paris. Since I have been writing on this topic for a number of years, she wanted my input as she has never seen such a confusing environment as now. I told her I see much the same and she offered me examples of people being rushed through the system without enough reflection sometimes pushed by their own parents into hormones because additional therapy encouraging further reflection and exploration would be more expensive.

This is the price paid for opening the doors wide and some gender variant people will walk through who might perhaps be best served by not doing so. The collateral damage will be for those who absolutely need to transition due to extreme dysphoria and might be stopped due to backlash from transphobes currently trying to put a stop to expert clinicians properly doing their job by painting everyone with the same brush. The Montreal General Hospital program is one of those which takes great care and I was approved to advance before pulling the plug myself in my late forties for fear I might carry through.

Do I want things the way they were in my time? Of course not only that at least there were many more hoops to jump through and so you had to be more certain. Hopefully we will reach a baseline position at some point that helps as many people as possible make  the right call.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

All dead

 


Email

I was surprised but a clinician affiliated with the Montreal General Hospital gender identity clinic contacted me by email as she has an upcoming gender presentation she wants my input and experience on.

Part of the project apparently involves dealing with the topic of detransition which does not surprise me in the least in this current environment.

Needless to say I am flattered.

Two energies

I tend to be a serious person and in that sense my blog reflects that. I am not devoid of a sense of humor by any means but my time as a child is over and I have no intention of trying to relive it.

However I believe it is possible to possess a youthful sense of frivolity without trading away our knowledge and composure. Maybe what we should want is to retain a childlike sense of wonder while embracing how we have been matured and honed through life experience.

I now think that living fully in the present moment is the key to balancing those two energies of youthful curiosity and the power of grounded observation.

Taking our time

If you were to ask me to go back to how I used to live I could not which I take as a sign that the baby steps to get me here were the correct ones. I am a big advocate of taking our time with defining ourselves by allowing our early programming to be slowly undone and rediscovering our true natures within the framework of the life decisions we have made.

If we try to upset the apple cart too quickly we are more apt to err and have it fall on top of us.

Take your time and breathe deeply.

Feminism

Fellow Montrealer and young transgender woman Lily Alexandre in her latest video essay...


Wednesday, September 20, 2023

What is life

 


"Protecting" kids

 


Like never before

Understanding who we are at our core gives us immense power. Suddenly you just don't give a shit what anyone thinks of you and you carry yourself differently. No, we haven't become superhuman but we have been endowed with a sense of value, purpose and confidence like never before.

Oh yes, it also doesn't hurt to be older and have lived a little.


Zone

I had dinner last night with an ex-colleague from the Toronto office who told me I was positively glowing. I know I am doing better these days but people keep telling me and it makes me realize they are right. I am in my zone.

She was one of the first people I came out to so her opinion carries a lot of weight for me. Plus she is just a lovely person.

Ticking

What gender dysphoria does is remove choice. You can choose to ignore it but it is ever present and eventually demands we address it. This I know very personally from experience. One does not develop dysphoria; one is born with it and it's insidious patterns become extremely familiar to us over time beginning in childhood.

The only cure is to face and deal with it and if I were to describe it, it would resemble a ticking clock in the attic that at first you disregard but becomes louder over the years. It is constant and never stops and, with the passage of time, more fervently asks that you pay attention should you value your eardrums.



Outrage

Imagine spending all your time being outraged. There are social media critics doing nothing but that plus spreading conspiracy theories and they make a lot of money stoking deeply seated fears in their devoted fan base.

This is the perfect era for building up a following because people feel unsettled. The societal landscape is changing on numerous fronts faster than they can keep up and at our core many of us are naturally insecure creatures. Some of this outrage is fabricafed but I think not all. Jordan Peterson for example appears to be genuinely perturbed by a world he no longer understands and so he jousts with windmills that he mistakes for legitimate foes.

Russell Brand is one of those who is outraged and now accused of multiple rapes when he was a drug feasting sex addict. His brethren on the right have not unexpectedly come to his defense because today unity of mission is more important than basic decency.

People have not ever changed but what has is that the mask is now off. Trumpism seemed to spur a collective movement to say the quiet part out loud with perhaps no end in sight and the natural ignorance and lack of curiosity of the masses helps to perpetuate this climate.

And so the outrage continues.



Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Filter

Yes I am aware I don't have much of a filter left. I am direct after working for so long in a technical field plus I am very much driven by the theory of this subject matter. After so many years we lose inhibition and fear because we are exhausted by the irrational in the world which is so encouraged by insecurity. We often measure our value by how much we step on the other.

We should all want to help and accept each other on our own terms. Were that to be the case, people would be free to be more genuine and there would be less need for masks in the world. That mine has been removed has been cause for celebration but I can so relate to anyone who is struggling.

My parents pushed self sufficiency on me which I credit with both my resilience and my stubbornness in refusing to come to terms much sooner. Two sides of the same card it seems and they had me build a hard shell for the self protection of an overly timid and sensitive child.

We should all come to accept who we are in full transparency and in so doing attract those who see us for our full value.

Divulging

I find that it gets easier all the time with respect to feeling like you need to announce to people that you are transgender. At this point in my history there is the largest number of people in both camps of those who know and those who do not.

I have continued the approach that anyone I meet today may be told in due course when the time is right but it must be organic for if there is nothing wrong with our identity it is information no more generally owed than our orientation.

There used to be a small reflex to correct someone when they asked about my ex-husband when they found out I am divorced, but it is now entirely gone. But I am glad not because I feel I have deceived but rather because any pangs of apologetic instinct in me have been entirely dispensed with.

Nuance

A more open environment like we have today can lead to more confusion. On the one hand we have more people able to come out and children are identified and diagnosed earlier. On the other hand you have bigoted agendas and some who end up detransitioning because they ultimately had received the wrong advice.

It's why my focus here is to be very specific about what we are dealing with and get to the root of things. This means that the answer lies somewhere between a "trans community" united and a caustic right wing and a Terfdom that aligns with them in a black and white dogmatic fervor. Unfortunately the world does not operate with nuance and the all or nothing approach does not work in this sensitive area.

One of the reasons I think being able to
 categorize and analyze gender variance is important is specifically to be able to get help to those who need it most (which can include helping to stop a process which isn't necessary). Some vulnerable trans kid is not going to get the assistance they need if we lump everything together because we are afraid to ruffle feathers.

Unfortunately agendas are plentiful in this world and so we miss out on intelligence and nuance.

Monday, September 18, 2023

Bloody well right

 Filmed my last year of high school...


Repairing cracks

He got on the subway car and thus began a litany of profanity mixed with social critique all at the top of his lungs. He was disheveled,  likely in need of medication and it was difficult to know if he was potentially violent. I see this more than ever now as more fall off the grid. When I remember my childhood this would have been a once a year event rather than a daily one.

All this is part of the work to be done to repair the cracks.

Go our own way

People keep telling me I look rested and younger and I think it's primarily because I have removed a load off my back. Not only was my line of business stressful but I was grappling with life long dysphoria as well. It is no small wonder I am far happier today.

I now strongly feel that transgender people should tailor make their transitions to reflect their needs rather than copy a standard formula. For example, if you have no genital dysphoria then perhaps you can forego this option; the aim always being to address your specific needs while keeping the rest of your life as balanced as possible.

I am living proof that not only can people tolerate large amounts of pressure but that we can come to resolution with perseverance and a sense of priorities. I think this is why I haven't lost a single friend and very much kept the respect of my children.

Go with your gut.

Descriptions

I found this article on the Maclean Clinic website and I feel that it does more than a decent job at explaining key differences within the global sphere of gender variance (certainly for those born anatomically male). Of course we have since added terms like non-binary, genderqueer, bigender, gender fluid, etc all in attempts to capture how people feel and what they do. Nevertheless, I would have little trouble passing these basic descriptions on to a person who has no familiarity with the topic..


"Many people have difficulty understanding and differentiating between who a transvestite, transsexual, or transgender is. This can be a huge problem, considering that it is a daily reality for some people. You may even unknowingly fit into one of these categories, or perhaps categorise yourself in the wrong group.

The rest of the population should also recognise and pay attention to the different “trans” terms as they may affect their lives – directly or indirectly – at some point.

Transvestite

This term is usually grouped together with “crossdresser,” and is used to refer to individuals who like to dress in what would conventionally be worn by the opposite gender, and act in that manner, as well. For instance, you can have heterosexual males wearing traditionally feminine clothing and acquiring feminine mannerisms.

Cross-dressers don’t regard themselves as anything but straight or heterosexual, and so they don’t associate with the LGBTQ community. Drag queens (men who dress up in female clothes and personify female gender stereotypes) and drag kings (women who dress in masculine drag and personify male gender stereotypes) are generally not considered transvestites or crossdressers. This is because people who dress in drag are usually gay, yet crossdressers are straight.

Transsexual

This term is used to refer to individuals who refuse to accept the gender they were assigned at birth, and even take medical steps to change different aspects of their body to match the gender that they believe they are.

For instance, a person whom you perceive to be male because of his outwardly appearance, with male sex organs, and conforms to male gender roles may actually believe that he is not male, and wants to become female (or vice versa). The person’s believe is so strong that they seek a “sex change” operation, or what is better known as a gender confirmation or gender reassignment surgery and hormone therapy.

Transgender

This is an all-inclusive term used by people who feel their assigned sex does not match up to their gender identity, behaviour, expression, or general sense of self, including non-binary individuals. So, transgender men (trans men) are people who were assigned female at birth but identify and opt to live as men; while transgender women (trans women) were assigned the male gender at birth but identify and live as women.

Transgender and transsexual should not be used interchangeably, since they do not mean the same. While transsexual people transition from one sex to the other, transgender people only associate with their identity.

Final note

Despite the different terms for the transsexual people, you should not assume that you know a person’s orientation based on their physical appearance or gender identity. You should also not try to fit a person into a certain category. Allow the person to identify themselves  - it is their process of self discovery and self identification"

Neuro-biology of transsexualism

Robert Sapolsky the well known Stanford neuroscientist....


Sunday, September 17, 2023

The least among us

Those who are against social justice raise the specter of communism at first hint of the term. They warn that equality of outcome will destroy all economic growth and incentive but of course they are being disingenous for what we try to achieve is access to opportunity rather than guranteed outcome.

America was largely built on measured policy on capitalism which taxed heavily at the highest incomes (Eisenhower era for example). With that money came roads, railways, national parks and all kind of public services which helped advance the greater good for the most people possible. It is largely how the middle class was built.

Today any taxing of excessive wealth is seen as anathema by worshippers of unfettered markets. The "I get mine" mindset runs counter to a country that used to hinge its values on civility and social conscience. Instead the GOP pays lip service to family values of the working class while filling the coffers of venture capitalists.

So much for social justice, but let us realize that the quality of your society is only as good as what happens to the least among us.

I like movies

"I Like Movies" starts off inoccuously enough and gains in depth as it moves along. Lawrence Kweller is an awkward and narcissistic film nerd with no social buffer who mistreats his mother and his friends. His dream is to go to NYU film school and become a famous director. He reminds us of the every boy in school who has trouble fitting in and finding his place in the world as he reaches graduation. He gets a job at a video store where he learns about his boss and his coworkers

This is a dramedy with some depth, heart and is extremely layered and complex. The character development is such that we recognize a small piece of ourselves in every person on screen. It reminds us how we are all a little scared, a little traumatized and ever in search of acceptance and love.

Highly recommended.



Justice

My daily traffic here is now tenfold over what it was when I began again and I know that Calie helped that along. If I am glad it is only because I seek truth and justice and it perturbs me if anyone is discriminated against through no fault of their own. Being born different seems to have created that bent in me and I still have left over outrage to clean up although it's gotten so much better.

In this world there is no worse combination than arrogant, ignorant and mean and so you can understand why I am not a Trump fan who personifies all three qualities with panache. He is not alone however and I do not like anyone who rejoices at the expense of someone else's misery.

I like to think that justice is coming but it will be slow as it always is.

Family

Our extended family is just that. They don't represent us nor do they know us at our deepest level. They are people we grew up with and with whom we share some genetics. Therefore the idea that family means everything is maybe nice for Hallmark movies but in reality these are often complicated entitles full of political layering. Transgender people often have to navigate these waters with great care and realize that at some point our own survival matters more than keeping ties which bring us little and maybe even potentially damage.

With age and reflection I have learned to use an arms length approach which wishes everyone well without damaging my own sense of self. If someone doesn't care for the way I live they are free to keep their distance because I won't change anything to appease and feed into a narrative of who they think I am or should be.

Would you like to control the way someone else lives to reflect your own vision? 

Didn't think so. Me neither.

10 minutes

If it took me more than 10 minutes to apply my makeup I would find it annoying.

My routine is pretty basic. First comes a light layer of Sephora foundation followed by a hint of loose powder. Then a bit of pencil above the eye followed by a touch of lipstick and that's it. For me it has to be quick because otherwise routine becomes a chore.

Of course the great advantage of doing something daily is that with practice come both speed and efficiency.

No big production numbers for this girl as I have living to do:)



Inflection point

When you remove objective truth from the equation you realize just how truly unwell the general population is. Their gullibility shocks us and suddenly family members cannot be reasoned with because they have gone down some frightful rabbit hole. Of course we give everyone a vote which even the American founding fathers were dubious of since they realized not everyone was wise enough to use it correctly. Never mind that women or the black population (who were then slaves) need not apply.

The world is in crisis at the moment and history will repeat itself in that this flux will resolve itself only through the ingestion of some radical medicine. Since people do not react altrustically in sufficiently large numbers to make needed changes, we invite disasters to do it for us. Then the good people will come along and pick up what is useable among the ruins to build anew.

Public intellectuals all agree that we are headed for an adjustment with the only question being when and we are seeing forces working behind the scenes towards a desired world order. Authoritarians are preaching about defeating "Wokeism" which is really code for stopping the people who want to dismantle their free market capitalist orgy.

In the meantime we distract ourselves by listening to idiots like Joe Rogan or Russell Brand who wax conspiratorial at this point in our history as grift to line their pockets. Otherwise we simply stare at our social media feed for an bigger slice of banality. Somehow the pursuit of ideas for the greatest public good has been lost in the shuffle in favor of agendas being defended and promoted which only benefit the few but we're all in too much of a stupor to notice.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Love at first sight

"Love at First Sight" is syrupy but just in the right way and it genuinely cares about love as it touches the heart strings without feeling cheap. You could be forgiven for being cynical about boy meets girl cliches but this film seems to have a genuine sheen that takes it somewhere else. Maybe it's the London setting.

Oliver meets Hadley when she misses her flight and then a story really begins by us being let in to the current complexities in their lives. The way it's handled is why I think this film is a little above the average rom-com.

That these films get to me a little is because all is not lost yet in my journey towards true curmudgeonhood and I can still relate to those early pangs of joy and excitement when that special someone looks your way.

Even if we are no longer young, the dizziness of longing is not readily or easily forgotten. For we can still remember those butterflies.




Only you can answer

Expression alone does not create an identity however identity does indeed give birth to expression.

How you fit into this reality is something only you can answer.

Fingernails

Failure of good people to do something is what loses democracies and America's is right now hanging by its proverbial fingernails. The work done by the GOP to gain Evangelicals, racists and how they have bamboozled rural voters has turned into Frankenstein's monster and threatens to convert the country into an authoritarian nightmare.

This isn't hyperbole for if you had imagined back in 2016 where the country would be today, you might have been tempted to laugh and, as caustic a decision I thought the Trump election was, even I am surprised at how bad things have gotten.

Here in Canada, Trudeau has run out of luck and popularity and one of the more rabid versions of the Conservative party threatens to unleash itself on the country. Yes, it is a much paler version of the Republicans but for a more progressive country like ours, it is the worst kind of cod liver oil. Soon, they too will be harassing transgender people and spreading their own brand of backward toxicity.

The very word conservative makes my stomach churn for, more often than I'd like, it is a synonym for idiot.

Twainisms

A bit of wisdom...


Side effects

Steven Soderbergh is a talented director to be sure and with "Side Effects" he has crafted a stylish sleeper thriller with a couple of twists up its sleeves. Rooney Mara and Jude Law are the protagonists who play their respective roles well as patient and doctor with just the right degree of mystery about the past of each.

I will say nothing else about plot save that nothing is exactly as it seems here which does not give away anything. This one might just be worth your time if you want a well paced film on movie night.



Friday, September 15, 2023

daily weirdo check

 

Unraveling a mummy

That foregoing full authenticity just to be accompanied by someone in life can be a bad idea is something only understood in retrospect. Many of us married thinking we could make a go of it only to discover our identities after the fact. This was pretty much standard procedure for transgender people born in the 50"s, 60's, 70's or before. Here I am speaking primarily of gynephilics although some do in fact experience a shift in orientation post transition.

Coming to an understanding of identity after years of programming isn't going to happen in one fell swoop but rather like the unraveling of a mummy. That many of us tried the stiff upper lip approach once inside is to our credit and I might still be in my marriage today had my spouse not wanted out. That this turned out to be best for both wasn't obvious then which is why we can't know what is good for us whilst inside our respective bubbles.

Perhaps I'm wrong here, but otherwise it seems to me that nobody really wins.


Simplify

This is my season. Cooler mornings give way to comfortable and sunny afternoons. Jeans and light sweaters are put on along with my usual ballet flats. I don't like to overthink it too much before stepping out the door and so I have my staples which means my wardrobe has actually shrunk over the years; in retirement all the more so.

I want to simplify.

Keep trying

I see gender criticals trying everything possible to stigmatize transgender people and so they use biology, the sanctity of women's spaces and even that we pity AGP widows (a video I saw recently). You throw something at the wall and hope it sticks.

By now it's well known that sex and gender are independent and some percentage of gender is a social construct (although not all as the case of David Reimer showed us). What gender criticals are desperately trying to do is to perfectly glue sex and gender back together the way they were in the 1950's except that isn't going to happen now. Their futility largely explains their current level of panic.

Within the world of gender variance there are a variety of people who are playing with gender in a way that displeases them and which cannot be allowed. There are also transgender people who don't have a choice in being who they are. But this minority of the population desperately wants to turn back the clock.

It likely occurs to these criticals that much of the way the world was before was based on strict enforcement but they don't care. Much like left handed people were forced to submit to changing hands, they want to sell the idea that being transgender is abnormal rather than a statistical expectation. We simply aren't allowed to exist they insist.

Are transgender people prone to do odd things like everyone else because they have the hace much the same flaws? Of course but that does not remove their validity. But the criticals keep trying to make something stick until it dawns on them that they will not succeed in the long term. 

Because a left hander is always a left hander.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Consolation

The world is replete with massive ignorance and stupidity. You will find much of it on social media and in the comments section of almost any online article or YouTube video. People with no knowledge of anything will expound on a subject making sure your head will spin and I have avowed that I will increasingly stay away so I can keep whatever remaining faith that we are not increasingly creating imbeciles. For somehow yelling the loudest and having the biggest audience seems to have replaced the pursuit of knowledge.

Knowing what I know today about humanity, it's not that surprising that the last American president is a complete moron. He received the second most votes of anyone in the history of the country whicb should deeply depress you if you are a thinking person.

Back when we didn't have social media we were not privy to the idiocies of humanity as often as we are now. The only solace that I take is that the people who most often bother posting their misspelled ramblings are not representative the average person who is too busy living.

At least that is how I console myself.

Reset

Capitalism in its curent form does not work especially in the US. What you have is a healthy 1% hoarding all while the rest basically do their best to survive. It's a recipe for societal implosion if I ever saw one and American intellectuals have been ringing warning bells for years.

It's fascinating to see people have such shortsighted views and not see things coming. You are barreling at full speed towards a precipice but you do nothing perhaps hoping that someone else will.

No such luck I'm afraid and we are headed for a reset. For some, though, it was nice while it lasted.

Somehow

You only realize how much you've been constrained in your life as a transgender person when you completely free yourself. For someone like me it was an extreme process that took so long because I came from so far back.

In retrospect you don't even know how you made it but somehow you did.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Scenarios

I always come back to how childhood dysphoria is formed and how it differs (if at all) from gender variant people who begin to cross gender express at or after puberty. If early dysphoria can take on sexual overtones by puberty how does this differ from what non dysphoric gender variant people experience? We know that many of the latter have never given transition a moment's thought.

All my transitioned friends had childhood dysphoria (both gynephilics and androphilics) although not all childhood dysphorics such as myself fully transition. So I go back and ponder that if early dysphoria can take on sexual energy, why is it that it is able to exist in absence of dysphoria unless as simply pure fetish beginning after formation of sexual identity.

Some gender variant people may have dysphoria but so mild that it was not realized in prepubesence and was merely mistaken for fetish afterwards. But I tend to believe that part of the explanation here lies in the fact that sexuality is so intrinsically tied to the human that it finds its ways to surface under various scenarios.  

Elements

I may yet learn how to enjoy and look primarily after myself. It's not obvious when you make others a priority for so long but I am confident I may still get the hang of it. My grown children somewhat on autopilot, it eventually sinks in that you are no longer the required resource you once were.

In some ways I didn't have a conventional childhood and have always been mature and measured. No, I don't want relive my childhood but rather introduce the elements of joy and spontaneity that they naturally possess.

Worry

I wish there was a solution for worry. There is simply so much expended energy wasted needlessly and for years I have been one of the biggest culprits. I don't think there is any cure for this basic affliction only that hopefully we learn that much of what we anticipated would happen never came to fruition.

Recently I testified in a court case involving my old firm and was ruminating over what the lawyers might have attacked me on but then I know my subject matter. I did well.

When will I ever learn.

"You are gangsters"

Robert DeNiro spoke today in New York in his inimitable style which reminds one of his movie characters. The tonality is so familiar. His bl...