"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive boy who often thought he should have been a girl - -

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Who Starts This Stuff?

Sweetie got an email the other day telling her that August has been a really special month this year. It has five Sundays, five Mondays and five Tuesdays! Further, this won’t happen for another 823 years!!

First thought was, how interesting… then, wait a minute… that is because there are 31 days in August (all of the time) and the first landed on a Sunday (happens on average every seven years) this year.  2004 was the last time and 2021 is the next, in case you care.

How often do we see this sort of nonsense on the internet or in an email, stuff that is just plain crazy, and obviously false, and just let it go?

If people can get away with something as obviously wrong as this, then how hard can it be to convince everyone that _________s (fill in the blank with your particular target group) are truly evil and should be eliminated, by making up some sort of nasty story and giving it an authoritative spin?

I do love the internet, but there is little we can do after nonsense is out there to track it down and root it out.  What we can do is remind everyone, especially children that their computer is not an authoritative source on anything. Do them a favour; encourage them to develop and maintain a good 'crap-detector'.

Friday, 27 August 2010

A Committee Posing as God

I have sat on this one long enough.  Maybe by saying it some of my anger will leave. Disappointment, terrible sadness will remain no matter, because this is about how mean-spirited gangs of humans can be. Warning, this is about a religion and how one of our own has been treated there.

I love my spiritual friends. Good people usually have a spiritual side. I have a spiritual connection too and I’d like to think of myself as ‘good’.  There is nothing that needs to be mysterious and otherworldly about spirituality. If you want to believe in a higher power and that helps you to connect to fellow humans in a more powerful and peaceful way, I say GREAT! Personally, I don’t have a belief in supernatural forces; the natural ones do nicely to explain things for me. When your church and your spirituality match, the experiences you have at a church can be very uplifting. Sadly, the opposite holds true and as with a body and gender, incongruence is very unpleasant.

This post is about the Roman Catholic Church. These are the same folk who wrote the original rulebook, about three hundred years after the death of their ‘prophet’ or ‘lord’ (this is not my opinion; when the first council of Nicaea was held, bishops still were not sure which to believe) Jesus. In fairness, that church has been the one to ‘stick by their guns’ and you might give them some credit for that.

Diana of Salad Bingo, in her article “Transsexuals in the Catholic Church” quotes Catholic blogger and Senior Editor of Catholic Exchange Mary Kochan’s response to a letter from a Catholic transsexual female looking for guidance in finding a place as a woman in her church.

If you enjoy a ‘legalistic’ juggling act worthy of the best constitutional lawyer, the response to this seeker is for you. Maybe Mary could have left an opening for this poor soul to have some hope, any loophole would have done, but instead we get the following:

I understand that you were not happy.  I understand that you were in distress even to the point of your health being wrecked and I’m not in any way making light of that.  But objectively speaking, what you proposed and carried out as a remedy to your distress was the breaking of God’s law that says that you may not mutilate your body.  I won’t deny that God foreknew you would do this — He knows all things.  But to say he gave you a particular kind of body purposely to facilitate your breaking of His law is as nonsensical as for a cat burglar to say that God gave him nimble fingers and sharp ears for picking locks.  God did not make you a transsexual.  If there was indeed some kind of interference with your development in the womb, that was caused by human agency, not by God.

The old, “don’t blame god” argument of ‘free will’. The worst saved for the last, in the end, Ms. Kochan suggests her correspondent should have died (I kid you not) rather than break “God’s law”. That is her helpful hint for the rest of us. She doesn’t bring up the whole suicide being another big sin problem. Perhaps like this entry, her post was getting a tad long. What a mess.
Hopefully our sister went looking for another opinion within her church community and found solace; admittedly the Catholic Exchange is a conservative group even within the Catholic Church. However, what our seeker wanted was an answer to how she could carry on in her church and function as a woman within it. What she got was a shunning.

When an organization has a set of rules, a constitution, they have annual meetings at which the membership can vote for amendments. Countries (other than dictatorships) have constitutional lawyers and supreme courts and their government votes to create amendments to bring the law into line with current conditions.

In the case of a religion, the set of rules can only be modified at the risk of suggesting that the old ones were not really inspired by the divinity, even when these writings seem to have little relevance to the particular situation. What you need is ‘divine inspiration’ on the part of someone very powerful in the administrative end of the church.

There is hope within religions. I suspect that most local congregations are much more supportive of their own, even if they would fall short of disavowing the central church’s authority. Telling someone they would be better off dead is easy from a distance, when you do not know the sweet soul of that individual.

If you believe in a god, hopefully that higher power operates in a better way than some committee with an outdated constitution.  I hope you can believe he/she is a forgiving god who really does love you and all the rest of us, in spite of the complexities of a real life.

Peace, Love and Hugs

Monday, 23 August 2010

If Not Him, Then Who?

There was a time, not long ago, that yours truly was a guy with a problem. I hated myself. I particularly hated the collection of ‘guy behaviors’ that had been cobbled together to help me to pass as a male in our society. Early in this blog there were many references and many helpful comments confirming that this was a concern common to many of us.

In a very short time (especially measured against a life six decades long) there has been a forced dismantling of an old much hated façade. I call this place ‘Maintaining’ the Façade, but instead it might have been better called “Reconstructing the Façade”. Honest, I don’t want to transition, for so many reasons. Along the way of dismantling, the following best things happened. My body is healthier, my appearance is more presentable, and I definitely relate to people in a more positive way. I find myself interested in them and feeling more concern than ever before. My memory actually improved. I laugh and cry more easily than ever.
All of these best parts are entwined with that part of me who responds to the world as a woman. Try as I might, when I attempt to set aside that desire to BE female, the best parts fade away.
This became obvious in the last couple of weeks as it has been necessary to put on a manly face all of the time. I referred to that here as losing the girl this past week. Coincidentally, the manly face didn’t even really feel like it ‘worked’. It isn’t the old one, but to avoid freaking old friends out, it had to have echos of the old guy-mode; enough to freak ME out when it happened.

To put an analogy on the situation, it is a lot like moving into a new office that someone else designed for you. When you arrive, you need an adjustment period to find everything and nothing seems to work for a while. If you have a lot of confidence in the architect, you live with the changes and eventually everything works out fine, because the new layout is actually wonderful, just unfamiliar.

There is no track record for this façade builder who I have put trust in to take me forward for the rest of my life. The old office is in shambles though. Moving back there just will not work.

Learning about the various others who are trying to make the best of a bad situation sometimes gives me hope, but for the most part there is no good news to be found when it comes to this business of keeping two genders alive and well in one body. It makes me so sad to hear desperate tales of sisters who have lived the dream part-time, or in some cases have gone full-time but have had to give up transition much to their dismay.

I think it was Snoopy the Dog who expressed the adage;  “No problem is too big to run away from”. 

I sure could use a little good news, because I do not want to run away for a second time in my life from this ‘gift’ I was born with.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Something Different - How Bad Can That Be?

Well, my little girl must be growing up a bit. She mumbled something to me this morning about being gloomy all of the time. Why can’t we lighten up a bit? I told her I missed her too.

In my search for some lighter thoughts, I stumbled onto a site on aphorisms. A few of them caught my eye as being apropos of my discontented situation.

At the risk of turning this entry into a parody of a Monty Python sketch, I will (simply?) state that it's time to fish or cut bait, since you can’t get toothpaste back in the tube and if you do as you've always done you'll get what you've always had.
No one can serve two masters and we all know that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

And now, for something completely different:
 

I love the 'hello miss' at the beginning... they never explain it.


Thursday, 19 August 2010

There Was a Little Girl

I don’t think it was something I said. No, nothing was said that could have caused her to abandon me, but the little girl in my mind isn’t talking to me anymore. Something like Professor Higgins, I miss her rattling around in my brain. I became accustomed to her ways and her enthusiasm and now she is sulking in some corner and is very quiet.

Without her gifts, I am a mess, even worse than before, because I know how light my heart felt when she looked through our eyes and tried to speak. Our internal conversations made me feel alive with anticipation. I enjoyed trying to put her caring feelings into words every day, and even though she wanted so much that I couldn’t deliver…. Oh, that must be it… she has given up on me because she knows I won’t, I can’t deliver on my promise to let her be in control.

I tried to explain how difficult a change like the one she wants would be for everyone, … now everything is 'no go', and she has retreated and it feels pretty gloomy all alone.

I just won’t be dishonest any more, that is all. What did she think a façade was anyway? Did she really think that somehow I could get along in this world with a boy body and a girl mind? Who does she think we are, anyway? Hmm, that really is the question: who do I think I am? Not the guy I was six month ago, he is gone and I don’t miss him. But it is starting to feel like it did then, and even before, and that isn’t good at all.

I want her back. She must know that is how I feel. Maybe she can be happy being a sort of tom-boy… it can’t hurt to ask her how that would be. No more tricks to get her to stay around. We are going to work this problem out, together.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Heavenly Holiday

Sweetie and I just returned from a ten-day holiday, camping near the waters of Georgian Bay in Central Ontario. For those who have never seen this part of the world, there are hardly words to describe the power of this place where granite meets the water and wind. The land bears the scars of ancient glaciers. Exposed trees clinging to a thin layer of poor soil add a rugged beauty. There is no place like it for meditation.

As a contrast to the bare rocky outcroppings, the place where we camped was a lowland area, heavily forested by tall deciduous trees, only a short walk from the water. A gorgeous sandy beach between the two areas provides a playground and walking area in the sun.

To sum up, this is a heavenly place.

As if you could top the scenery, in the nearby town of Parry Sound a music festival was in it’s final week. We managed to get seats beside the stage for a concert of harp music. The playing was exceptional by three harpists and an orchestra. For me the highlight was a harp concerto by Handel played by a true treasure in the Canadian musical world; Judy Loman. She is a world class player and a teacher of great renown. The beauty of her touch on that most heavenly of instruments had tears rolling down my cheeks.

These were wonderful days as we both forgot the usual (and unusual) concerns that life sends our way.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Good News - Do You Really Want Know?

We all know that there are times when GD becomes intolerable. We seek out the support of others who have been or are going through those same challenges. There have been times when that support has been essential for me. It has been a joy for me to know that at times this site and my scribbles have served as such an aid to others. There is no intent here to remove any of the archived materials, but what might I further contribute here if I really have learned how to maintain the façade as I set out to do?

From my point of view, this is my ultimate good news story. Just because I do not express my gender confusion externally does not mean I feel any less a bond with those who do. It is obvious I may never have the need to transition, since a ‘real life experience’ is the very furthest thing from my plan. I am painfully reminded daily what I am missing, but I'm seeing the world through a new pair of eyes and processing everything so differently. It has stopped mattering to me that nobody else knows me, just as at my age it has stopped mattering that I will never be able to win the Canadian Open! There are some regrets we all have in life. Part of getting older is learning to accept them and find ways to live a positive existence. Maybe we become coaches. Maybe we just cheer from the sidelines. It is important to move forward and be as positive as we can be.

Emma over at Breaking Free of the Bud has a post today ‘Bad Support’ in which she relates the lack of support that good news stories seem to get. I admit to you all that lately it has been a concern of mine that this site may die a slow death because the contributor is not feeling any angst lately.

Isn’t that good? ☺

Sunday, 1 August 2010

So Much To Learn

I do not even know how to begin to apologize for my ignorance of my heritage as a gender variant on this planet. Let’s just say my need to learn far exceeds the time I could possibly devote.

Often I just ramble around the blogosphere, sometimes far from Blogistan (our little corner, I guess) to see what else there is to learn. Recently I discovered a blog about intersex, that condition in which an individual is born with ambiguous sexual traits. The site is ‘Intersex and the City’.

We might be aware of the issues the binary sexual stereotype has created from our point of view, however it is becoming clear to me there is much to learn about the world’s rainbow of gender expression and where I stand in it.

It is time to stop now, so that I can return at least a little to a maxim I tried to live by before starting this blog and making that impossible: ‘It is far better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt’.

I hope you check it out and see for yourself. Look around even more, and hopefully let me and everyone else know where else we should be reading and maybe acting to educate and help ourselves.