Introspection

apology and thanks

Apology

Recently, I undertook the task of going through my blog posts to get a sense of my history. It has been a bit of a humbling experience – so much so that I think I owe my loyal and persistent commenters an apology.

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janie golfing happier

Golf + Bubble Baths – Why I’m Happier as a Woman

I always knew that I was happier as a woman, but I’m only just starting to realize why.

I played golf today with a couple of my old male friends. I shanked my share and hit some plain stupid shots, but y’know what? It didn’t affect my mood one iota. Not to put too fine a point on it, but that’s not exactly the way it was in my prior life. Today, all I cared about was being outside on a beautiful day playing a fun game with friends. And, I was happy.

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Normalcy – A Slice of Heaven

Is this the reality of being trans? That normalcy is a slice of heaven?

I kinda know that already (see Just Living Life, posted only a few days ago), but I saw this graphic today on Facebook and my reaction really surprised me anyway.

heaven is a slice of normalcyYeah, it’s cute humor, and yeah, there are those who focus on the gun thing and on feminist objections to the father’s protectiveness, but for me what really hit home – and it stopped me in my tracks – was the picture it created in my mind… of having a boyfriend who stood beside me, proud to be with me, and of having the passionate approval and protection of my parents – especially my dad.

Wow!

Funny how the idea of just being part of an almost cliched family experience can be so moving! I see a scene where I am loved and accepted (not just tolerated), protected, desired, wanted, embraced, and where I can have confidence that I belong – and it feels profound.

It seems like just getting back to zero is a major accomplishment for many trans people – and even those whose experiences have been quite positive.

But, I guess heaven is in the small things for everyone. As we strive for money and things and thrills, in a quiet moment it can hit us that genuine love of family and friends is heaven – is the only thing that really and truly matters.

i'm not kellie maloney

Kellie Maloney Has Always Been Female But I Have Not

Kellie Maloney has been in the news lately – at least the British news. Formerly a boxing promoter named Frank Maloney, she has come out in her sixties as a woman. There has been little in the form of any backlash – which is great, and yet, The Independent took time out to deliver a little lecture on the use of language.

The article appears here: Kellie Maloney has always been female.

There’s a false idea out there that “men” just wake up one day and “decide” to become women. It’s not really like that, to be honest. I find it really bizarre when people preface questions with: “When you were a man” or ask me what it was like when I “was a bloke”. For a start I transitioned in my teens, so we’re hardly talking bloke territory, but honestly, I couldn’t tell you what it felt like when I “was a man” as I’ve never been one, inside.

I get it. However…

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Janie shoveling snow

Winter Life – Digging Out

Ah, life in Canada! We had our first real snowfall here this weekend.

I know, who comes here for the weather report? Well, sometimes all the mumbo jumbo about life as a trans woman comes down to simply living your life.

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frock magazine article photo of Janie Black

Catch Me in Frock Magazine

The current issue of Frock Magazine is out on the virtual newsstands, and there is a six-page spread by and about me, starting at page 58, called “Beauty on the Gender Line.” (The issue is #21, June/July 2013.)

To save you the trip – and a few of their maddeningly ill-advised edits of the article – I reproduce the contents here –

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blogger janie black and her computer

Therapy

It has been a bad week, blog-wise.

First, someone I thought was a friend expressed “sorrow” at my “gender struggle.”

Then, no less than four others responded to my next post with a recommendation that I get therapy, one of them going so far as to liken trying to find one’s way on her own to representing oneself in legal proceedings – invoking the well-known saying that a person who is her own lawyer has a fool for a client.

I also like sayings – and the more appropriate one for today is: if three people tell you you’re drunk, lie down.

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why

Why Do I Do This Gender Thing?

Why do I do this gender thing? This is a big question for me.

Many people have a ready answer, “I was born this way.” I am not sure I believe that about myself, and even if it is so, there is not enough there to stop and put the pen down.

I have noted the number of issues in my life that being Janie has addressed. She has added excitement and motivation to my life, she has increased my self-esteem, she has helped me break some debilitating patterns – and there is lots more I expect to come.

But, I have struggled with the idea that instead of this craziness, of dressing like a woman and having to deal with the doubts I have, the social risks, and other attendant lifestyle risks, that I should just “man up” and get help if necessary, but solve my problems in the “normal” way, through personal growth, and addressing the real concerns instead of doing an end-around.

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redhead tgirl in green dress portrait

Pro-Choice

In all my recent writing about contemplating an adjustment to the way I express my femininity, there is one huge presumption: that I have a choice.

This is not a popular concept within the transgender (or even gay) community, and I am not going to undertake the futile task of even suggesting that my feelings apply to anyone but me. Suffice it to say that there are those who believe that it is a stronger statement to say “I choose to be” than it is to say “I can’t help it,” though the latter has always been a better political argument.

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accommodation

Accommodation – Mitigating Factors and Being Me

The recent implosion of my yaoi gender identity project (as described here) deserves just a little more attention.

My attempt at an androgynous presentation was shot down in no uncertain terms by a family member – which was somewhat shocking considering the contrast to the reactions, or rather lack of reaction, from close friends.

But there was an important distinction.

The family member in question KNOWS about Janie. And my androgynous appearance was in circumstances where we had agreed Janie would not appear.

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