Tr@nz – January 2011 issue

22 02 2011

The latest issue of Tr@nz is out! Tr@nz is a bilingual (French and English) online magazine about local (Montreal/Quebec/Canada) and international issues affecting trans folks. Scroll down after following the link to download the PDF file for the latest issue. You can also subscribe to the magazine and get an email from Maxime every time a new issue comes out.

 

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On adjectives

25 12 2010

For the first time ever, after I started my transition, I had to get used to changing the way I used adjectives in reference to myself when speaking French. Unlike English, French adjectives are gendered according to the gender of the noun or person that they describe. So, for example, the “green” in “green apple” is different from the “green” in “green curtain.” Pomme, or apple, is a feminine noun so a green apple is une pomme verte. Rideau, or curtain, is a masculine noun so a green curtain is un rideau vert.

It follows then that a feminine identified person would refer to themselves, when expressing fullness or certainty, for example, with a feminine adjective, as I had done all my life up until transition when saying Je suis pleine or Je suis certaine. Suddenly, as with the signature issue, I would catch myself about to use an adjective with a feminine ending rather than with a masculine ending. It took a while for things like Je suis plein and Je suis certain to come naturally. But eventually they did. As did referring to myself as my mom’s son rather than daughter and my siblings’ brother rather than sister.

Things wind up working out eventually.





On signatures

25 12 2010

There is a lot of stuff out there on various aspects of life during and after transition. Ya know, hormones, surgery, getting letters, changing names and sex designation, how to deal with family, colleagues, medical practitioners. All that stuff. But as with anything, there are things that you don’t realise you will have to deal with until they come up. Lots of little things.

For example, it struck me early on that I would have to re-learn how to sign my name! When I started having to sign Jacky XXXX instead of Nancy YYYY (HA! Ironic association of letters with genders there!), it felt so . . . weird. I hadn’t put any thought at all into my signature until my early teens, when I “naturally” adopted my own unique individual way of signing my name. Before that, I had experimented with different ways of “fancifying” my signature, with froo-froo ways of adding little twists and curls to the first letter of my first and last names and so forth. At some point, I wound up signing with a block letter (non-script) version of the first letter of each name, with the rest of each name in non-fancy script form. It stuck and, when I think about it, my signature reflects my general character: somewhat plain and straightforward looking on the surface, with ideosyncracies that become more apparent upon examination.

In any case, my signature remained unchanged for over 20 years. And as lots of us know, when one does the same thing over and over again on a nearly daily basis for that amount of time, it becomes second nature. Changing it on account of having to *think* about it can feel a bit unnatural. So, like the mistake many of us make in any given January when we write the previous year on our cheques, I started many a signature early in my transition with Na—. Then when I would cross out the mistake and start signing Jacky XXXX, it always felt a little like I was trying to commit fraud by signing someone else’s name. It took quite a few months before signing my new name felt natural, but eventually I was able to ease into signing with the same style that I had signed my old one for all that time. But even now, after a couple of years, I sometimes double check because I wonder if I accidentally signed Nancy YYYY!

So note to people embarking on this exciting journey of officially changing one’s name, for whatever reason: start practising your signature as soon as you pick your new name : )

I’d love to hear about other people’s experiences with changing their signature in the comments section!





January 2010 edition of Tr@nz

25 01 2010

Here is the latest edition of Tr@nz, an online magazine on all things trans-related, produced by a brother right here in Montreal. Whereas Tr@nz previously alternated between French and English editions, it is now bilingual. This month’s edition has an article in French by yours truly. But most importantly, there is some interesting news about access to surgeries in Québec (in both languages).

Enjoy!

http://collections.banq.qc.ca/ark:/52327/bs1950171





There’s nothing special about being a guy

11 03 2009

Back when I first start alluded to the fact that I was seriously thinking of sexual transition to a colleaugue/friend of mine, his reaction was: “What’s so great about being a guy?” We’ve talked a lot in the meantime and he gets it now, but I know there are people who assume that people who transition do it because they think there is something “better” about being of a particular sex.

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Research on causes for FTM Transsexuality

30 07 2008

I’m always a little wary of research that seeks to locate a unique cause for any kind of human phenomenon. People are complex and, as a social scientist myself, I see that most of what we do has multiple causes. Therefore, while I’m not entirely opposed to research that looks for biological components of sexual identity, I’m always worried about the tendancy for reductionism.

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And how!

31 05 2008

I accidentally stumbled upon this post about the whole biology versus choice argument for sexual orientation and gender identity. I love it! Here is a copy of my response:

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