Saturday, March 30, 2024

Trans people are more varied than one might think.

 

When many people think of trans people, they think of predecessors such as Renee Richards and Christine Jorgensen.  Although these two trans women had severe gender dysphoria, we all share one characteristic: we all wish we were born into the other gender.  But that's the one thing that bonds us together, as many of us deal with this condition differently.

Many trans women take a path that involves exploring their sexuality, their gender presentation, and finally, body modification to make their bodies look as much like the image of themselves they want to be.  But this is still a simplification.  For many, gender preference is locked in at an early age, and only gets loosened up a bit when a trans person is exposed to the hormones of their identified gender.  One trans woman I know enjoys the idea of "adult play" with both sexes.  And yet, she has not been able to explore much after Gender Corrective Surgery (GCS or "the operation").  About the only thing she misses about life as a male is the ability to "go" standing up. 

Being "Out" as a trans person often prevents a person from finding romance.  For every trans person who finds romance, there may be up to 100 who are forced to give up on romance.  One of the reasons an ex-girlfriend broke up with me was that I am transgender.  It seems like most relationships break up because a transgender person comes "out".  This may be related to a subconscious fear that a partner's sexuality will contaminate the sexual identity of the other.  (Am I a lesbian if my male partner comes out as trans?)  Yet, there are many trans folk who go back and forth between male and female worlds with their partners' acceptance - including myself.

Not all trans folk need GCS.  For example the porn star,. Buck Angel, hasn't felt a need to modify his body to have genitalia resembling that of a cisgender male.  As such, he has a unique category in the world of porn.  Some of my trans acquaintances have had GCS, and others have not.  Most are happy with their decisions regarding the surgery, as those with mild gender dysphoria are happy not having to go through a painful surgery and not having to dilate themselves several times each day.

You'll notice that I haven't yet mentioned social class, political affiliation, education level and sports.  Most trans folk remain interested in the same pastimes they enjoyed before coming out. identify as belonging to the same social class (not necessarily economic class), retain the same political affiliation (yes, it's strange to see GOP trans people staying loyal to the party when it is anti-trans), come from all levels of education and enjoy both "male" and "female" social interests.

Being trans may seem strange to many, but it is just as strange to us at times....


Friday, March 29, 2024

Sometimes, dealing with friends can be frustrating

 

Part of the process of buying a new car includes disposing of the old car.  In my case, I have a targeted recipient for the new car - DCD.  He has a fair deal waiting for him as long as he doesn't blow it.  How often can someone get a well maintained car for under $2,500?  (What I'm not telling him is that if anything major goes wrong with the car, I'll forgive the remaining balance on the loan I'm floating for him. It's an effective $100/month car rent to own deal.)

Late last night, DCD started asking me for information on the car (VIN number, etc.) as if he was going to register and insure the car tomorrow.  This is frustrating.  It's not as if he is going to get the car on a fixed schedule - I have to get the same information from my new car's dealership so that my insurance agent can do his magic. And I don't expect that information for a week or two yet.

I figure that this is a small price to pay to get rid of an old car to get a new one in my driveway.  Yet, DCD adds a bit to my frustration because he is over eager to get this car in his driveway.  He is known for doing stupid things such as seeing the engine light come on due to overheating, and driving his car until the engine seized. Then, he had another car which got totaled, and he had to pay off the other driver to keep his mom's insurance from being dinged.  So, I have my doubts that he will be able to keep this car on the road for the 2 years I expect that this car could last if well maintained.

In reality, I'm treating this "sale" as if I am giving him my car.  I owed him a favor, and this is my way of returning it.  He's getting a car at a very affordable price, with a hidden, unspoken warranty that the car will last two years if properly maintained.  Hopefully, he will be able to keep this car on the road for the next two years.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Give some things time, and they start to sort themselves out.

 

Well - After a night of worrying, things are sorting themselves out.  My brother found the paperwork I needed, and my new accountant said that all she needed now was a copy of my 2022 tax returns.  So, I got that in order, and sent off the down payment (1/3 of predicted tax prep charges) to the accountant.

In my life, I have learned that when I'm worried, that I have to go to sleep and let my subconscious sort things out.  When I couldn't do so, such as when XGFJ and I broke up, my mind kept running in circles because the pandemic would soon get in the way of activities needed for distraction.  Four years later, I think of her now and then, but not in a pining over type of way.  Instead, she's just a milestone in life, an experience I had to go through before I was ready for RQS.

Life has a nasty habit of throwing me curve balls, and even my relationship with RQS is like an off speed pitch.  There is nothing wrong with it.  But it is something that you have to be ready for in order to get the most from it.  There are words I don't say and phrases I don't use out of respect for her.  (It's not that I'd use them often.  I'm just a little more careful because it would hurt me to hurt her feelings needlessly.)  And I'll bet that she goes the extra mile to try to keep me feeling good.

Years ago, XGFJ said that one of the reasons for our breakup (other than me being TG) was that I didn't show her enough affection, and say the little nothings she needed to hear.  I learned from that and try to make sure that RQS knows I care about her in both words and touch whenever possible.  Yes, holding hands while walking is still difficult, as the differences in our heights causes our arms to want to swing at different paces.  But we still try to do this.

Too bad that we don't teach our kids to rest on things a bit before tackling things that might be a little overwhelming.  Maybe we'd accomplish more if we took the time to think before deciding to act....

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Frustrations with tax preparation

 


I got myself into this by retaining the financial tie that bound me to my brother - the old family homestead. Now, I have to get the paperwork regarding this property before the new accountant can start work.  AARGH!  This kept me up over the weekend, and my brother's unavailability is causing me grief.

- - - - - -

The other day, I dropped off paperwork with the accountant and was told that I didn't supply all the information needed.  Well, part of this was an oversight on my part.  And part of this was simply being in a rush.  Either way, I have to get things done within a month.

Now, my brother can and will make himself unavailable when he doesn't want to address an issue.  He does this with my sister in law, so that he can avoid the arguments that can and will come with a wife who is not always in control of her life.  I think he's making himself unavailable to me, as he knows that he didn't give me enough documentation so that I can go to a new accountant.

- - - - - -

My brother has always been a frustration to me.  As a younger child, he was coddled (as typical for younger children) and treated more leniently than I was.  (In his teenage years, he became a terror.) We were always at loggerheads, as he was trying to find his way in the world.  As an adult, he has taken on a lot of responsibility, maybe too much for me to depend on him for much.  He took on responsibility for looking after my dad in his final years, since he lived 5 minutes away from my brother.  And now, he takes care of the paperwork on the family homestead.

Although owning the house and keeping it as a rental provides me with some benefits, I'd rather not have this headache to deal with.  I don't really understand what my brother is doing, and I know that if he were to die before me, I wouldn't know what to do.  After this year's frustration, I think I will tell him that I want out of this partnership, as I don't feel in control of important things in my life anymore.  And I need that feeling of control.  The big question is - how to get this point across to him and preserve the family relationship between us?


Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Doing business with a new Tax Person.

 


I'm frustrated over a series of events.  For the past 40 years, I have been using the same tax preparer.  This winter, she announced her retirement.  And now, I had to hustle to find someone new.  So, I ended up reaching out to a transgender CPA I know, and was awakened to a hard fact - I've had it very easy over the past few years. Without mentioning this CPA's name, I know that she follows all the rules.  And that's a good thing for me.  I don't intend to break the law just to save a few pennies.  Privately, I will give this person's name out and make a recommendation - as I did for RQS.

Most of the information this new tax person is requesting is something my brother and I should have at hand.  Given that my brother is the financial expert in the family, I always took what he gave me and handed it to my old tax person.  Now, I have to provide more information, and have my brother explain what's going on.  I'm not looking forward to a conflict that will force me to look for a new person at the last minute.

This weekend, I had a chat with RQS and explained why I want to dissolve this tie that binds me to my brother.  I depend on him too much, and the extra complexity that owning an income producing property provides is not worth it.  Hopefully, my brother will soon feel the same way about the old family homestead.








Monday, March 25, 2024

A trip to Mystic Seaport

 

My brother is temporarily unemployed for a month, and this is the first real "vacation" he's had in years.  So, it was nice to spend a whole day with him, driving to Mystic Seaport and back.  

- - - - - -

The day began for me by not having enough sleep the night before, and rushing to get out of the house in time to meet him in Port Chester.  Once he arrived, we took care of a little personal business before going on our way - he needed some hand cream, and I needed a pair of tweezers.  From there, we spent the next 2 hours driving to Mystic to visit the museum.

Once at the museum, we found parts of it closed, possibly for the winter.  Yet, it well worth the drive to get there.  On the way, we talked "of shoes, and ships, and sealing wax, and whether pigs have wings." There are a lot of things going on in his life, and it looks like he's made the decision to plateau his career.  This will give him more time to live his life without the stress of staying upwardly mobile, while being with the people who make his life worth living.

It was nice to see these old buildings and ships placed into a context befitting a nautical town of the 1800's.  At one exhibit, we ran into a docent who started talking about his visits to San Francisco and its local beer - Anchor Steam.  Once he mentioned Anchor Steam, I got into the story of how Fritz Maytag once rescued the brewery, and how the pandemic ended up killing the brewery off.  Next, we explored the rest of the museum, visiting an old bank building, an old schoolhouse, and old chapel, and a whaling ship.  It was very educational for someone not focused on maritime history,  Yet, with half of the museum exhibits being closed, it means that we will return someday soon.

On the way home, my brother asked me to do some of the driving, as his back was killing him.  I was glad that he trusted me to drive his car, and we ended up at an Asian place outside of Norwalk.  The food was good, but not spectacular.  Once done with dinner, my brother took back the helm of his car, and we drove to Port Chester to say Goodbye until next time....

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Anger

 

As my therapist taught me, anger is a secondary emotion.  It comes from the need to deal with another feeling which is often unidentified before anger erupts.  (I forgot exactly how he liked to describe it.)  Once a person gets angry, a lot of negative things can happen.

- - - - - -

Like many kids, I had an unhappy childhood.  My mother and grandmother were people who used fear to get their kids to comply with their directives. Both would get mad for reasons that normal children could not understand or deal with in a healthy manner. When my grandmother had a massive stroke, I was happy for a while - one source of terror was almost removed from my life.  The problem was that she became a shell of her former self, needing assistance for everything - including help to get up and being walked to the toilet.  At times, I had to babysit my grandmother when I should have been out playing.  One should not ask this, much demand this of a 7 year old child.  I guess this was one of the many causes of many feelings I had to repress.

At a certain time in my childhood, my parents realized something was wrong and took me to see several psychiatrists. Unfortunately, the DSM-4 (or whatever level it was then) didn't have entries for disorders caused by f**ked up family dynamics.  If they had, maybe I could have had a happier childhood, as I might have learned the skills to deal with many of the problems that come in life.

As I got older, the urge to get married and have children came along.  Knowing that my temper was a severe liability, I did not want to have children.  The risk of harming them as was done to me was too great.  But this also hurt my wife, as neither of us knew how to communicate our feelings to the other.  To this day, I'll never know if she would have wanted children, as we never had this discussion.  I feared letting myself get angry at her, as I felt that the only argument we'd have would destroy the relationship. So, when she became terminally ill, I can't be sure if either of us knew that we loved each other anymore because of our inability to communicate.

It took a while, but I eventually stumbled into an LCSW who taught me many of the skills needed to have a healthy relationship with someone else.  However, he couldn't help me deal with other issues that would cause me grief later on, such as settling for the first person who would put up with me after each loss.  

Just before the pandemic hit, I lost the two closest friends I had.  I need not rehash the reasons here.  But I ended up a better person because of it.  Now, I take a "Let it Slide" attitude to many things, as there are many more important things to be concerned about.  Letting go of anger, both repressed and non-repressed ended up being a good thing, as I can move forward to the future.  My current girlfriend can see when I get frustrated, and she knows that if she gives me a second to process what's going on, that I can stay rational and be the person she cares about.  Again, I am grateful to have her in my life at this time in my life.  But then, I've said this often in this blog....

An early dinner with a friend

  Last night, I mentioned to Pat that I wish I could have been born a cisgender female who looked like this when younger.  If I were younger...