"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive girl who was fooled into believing she was a boy because of anatomy - -

Thursday 14 June 2018

On Things Learned From Others

The years of this blog have been mostly spent in self-reflection. For a refreshing change, this post is a reflection on others, and their reaction to my transition - oh dear, sounds like it is all about me after all.

Most people have been great; typically self-absorbed, but friendly when approached in a friendly way. 

More surprising, it seems there are perfect strangers who get angry at the audacity of one who has taken charge of their life, refusing to conform to anyone else's idea of what is correct for them. Perhaps they are jealous, wishing they could find the nerve to follow what they know in their hearts to be true, instead of the dictates of society. 

From some friends and family members, I learned that what their particular version of the Christian gospels says (or, is badly interpreted to say) is of huge importance. Some of these former friends and family stopped speaking to me as soon as I told them. One quoted their badly translated version of the bible to me in emails before cutting off communication completely. I can only suppose that they all feared contact would threaten their immortal souls.

From my musical friends, it has become clear that in music, what matters most is the music and the love that comes through that music.

From a friend who teaches motivation to others, I learned that being myself was a truly wonderful thing for some. She actually said "You aren't sh***ing me are you??? That's wonderful!!"

From my spouse of decades, I learned that there are some for whom the most important thing in life is how they are seen by others. "What will ______ say? We won't have any friends. Everyone is going to shun us."

From my children I learned that being a parent who loved and supported them meant that they would support me right back. "You will still be our father, won't you?" They have a father who is a woman, and we get along just the way we always have. 

From my partner, the love of my life, I am continuing to learn what it means to accept and cherish without conditions. 

My knowledge of the rest of the human race is enriched as those around me have been pushed into revealing things about themselves that lie on the edge of their behaviour. 

I have learned from my closest friends through all this, that, as it says in Proverbs, there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother, or in my version, sister. 

What does one do with a collection of such knowledge? We make better informed choices about the sort of person we want to be, of course. 

Saturday 9 June 2018

She Doesn't Have to Be Visible, but ...

A big thank you to Coline, who introduced me (well, she didn't actually introduce us - she told me about her ... you get it) to Paris Lees, a journalist who is also trans.

It seems clear to me, listening to her and watching her in the interview below, Paris could have melted into the background after transition, maybe not right away, but certainly now. Instead, she chose to be a very public person; leaving herself vulnerable to the sort of situations that  just won't allow her past to go away. As a journalist, she is helping to shift the ground, making it harder for stereotypes to dominate the narrative.

Every life is different and, so, I found it very interesting listening to this interview. She is so much younger than I, but the parallels are quite amazing, as are the differences. Most of all it was refreshing to listen as two obviously intelligent people conversed about one woman growing up trans in Britain. 

This video is much too long for a transcript, so thankfully, if English is not your mother tongue, there is a closed caption option included. If the embedded video won't work, try this link

Tuesday 5 June 2018

I Need to Smile More?

There are all sorts of good reasons for me to smile these days, so I do it a lot. However, someone going around with a smile on their face all of the time looks a bit idiotic ... or do they?

For many who visit here, passing is an important subject. I've mentioned that there are some issues that I have with my hair, voice, and body, so when meeting someone for the first time they likely have some challenges with my femininity, until we get to know one another. After that, there is no issue; I am me! 

I've found that when walking into a new situation, a smile is often all I need to relieve the tension. If I show that I am confident and pleasant, most of the time the person who stares will smile back, and we go on our own ways. 

Only recently has it dawned on me (I can be rather slow) that smiling more is something that is generally expected of women. The other day on a Canadian talk show, they had a discussion about what is definitely a gender bias. Women, it seems, generally have a hard time if they don't have a pleasant expression. 

It isn't just me! For some examples, read here and here

So, guys, if you want everyone to know how male you are, stop grinning all the time. I know you want to smile, though. 

And, gals, smile; let everyone know how happy you are to be you!