Colin’s second blog post (by Colin)…

So to start off with, I’m going to start off with the political thing I mentioned briefly in my last post, fining people for not using someone’s preferred pronouns or gender. Personally I don’t see how it would help. Because is someone going to sit there and say, “Oh I totally know what you mean by that, how I should use your preferred gender.” Or are they going to ban you from the establishment for something you did in the past, find just some reason to ban you, and not learn their lesson. And just be more upset with the LGBT community. If I thought it was going to help, I’d be all for it, but fining people? Like, think about speeding, right? People get fines for speeding, but isn’t it a regular thing? A fine really doesn’t do anything. And drinking and driving. We’re told endlessly not to drink and drive but there are still people who do that.

ColinBut let’s move on to the thing everyone probably has on their mind. How Obama completely wronged the gay community by legalizing gay marriage. Now it sounds weird right? You legalize gay marriage and you harm the community but, from what I’ve seen, that’s exactly what he did. When he legalized gay marriage, he put no protections under the law. So if everyone thinks back, you can probably remember right after they legalized gay marriage, you saw a massive thing where people were kicked out of their building, fired from their job, right after coming back from getting married, which is just fun. Now to me, it seems like it’s going to be more difficult to put the protections in the law now because, unlike the gender wage gap, which has been stopped, in most places, thirty years ago, it’s not a thing where you legalize gay marriage and it’s fine. You need to put specific protections in the law because, with the wage gap, you just had to say you have to pay men and women equally. But with gay marriage, Obama took the lazy way out. You have it where gay marriage is legal but not protected. So you can get fired still for being gay and kicked out of your apartment for being gay but you can get married. To me, that doesn’t seem equal. But Canada did make it illegal to kick someone out of a building for being gay but, to be honest, I don’t know about the last part because Canadians are so nice they probably weren’t firing people in the first place or kicking people out and they were probably just marrying them anyway <joke>.

The future and why free speech is very important. If we don’t have free speech and that kind of includes a bit of hate speech (that obviously doesn’t include death threats or threats of assault) you could have a situation which is entirely possible right now, where, if you say a word, your phone would pick it up and the police would be at your door in fifteen minutes to arrest you. Personally, that doesn’t sound fun, I don’t know about anyone else. And also, talking bad about people like the government, people in government, celebrities. I remember Anita Sarkeesian went to the UN and I’m surprised that no one in the news picked it up. She said bullying and stuff like that were people disagreeing with her on the internet. Disagreement is not bullying. But think about the future. If it is classified as bullying, what could happen next? You disagree with someone in government, you’re bullying them, you go to jail for like 20 years. But even, like, activists. You disagree with them, you could get the same prison time I bet.

Speaking of activism. Has anyone noticed the left is getting away with stuff they shouldn’t. Obviously in like the UK, Scotland, Canada, the US… places like that. Obviously not the place they’re getting fucking shot. But like antifa, they’re getting away with stuff like beating people up. I remember when the bike lock happened, the police said “we can’t track them, they have a mask on”. And then 4chan had to step in for the police and investigated it. And they brought enough evidence to get the guy arrested. Which, just a side note, don’t get on 4chan’s bad side. They found a flag that was inside someone’s house, which only had one window in an unknown location on a wall. It was on a white wall, with nothing around it, inside someone’s house. And they found it in a day. This is a thing that happened. They found it in a day or two. One more thing about 4chan, the news needs to stop falling for them. The OK sign is apparently “white power” and milk is apparently “white supremacists” but, you know, the news has a lot of investigative journalists to do things <sarcasm>.

And now good news. If anyone’s used Google Pay you can probably figure this one out. Soon your phone will do literally everything except gaming. You will have to play Steam games on the computer. So your phone will slide into a thing on your computer and will have everything on your phone be accessible on your desktop soon. But you’d still have all the functionalities of a desktop too, it will be a virtual interface but about gaming thing, try playing Fall Out 4 on the iPhone10 or the newest Samsung or any other phone from this year. Even the phone that was a dedicated gaming phone won’t play Fall Out 4. The desktop will aways be faster but the phone processors will be really good but most people will have a phone and a display for at home. But, in the future, you need your ID, grab your phone. You need your bus pass, grab your phone. We’re already paying with stuff on the phone so if you need your credit card, grab your phone, if you need your Visa, grab your phone. You need basically anything, you need your airplane ticket, grab your phone. You need to start your car, well grab your phone, that’s your key. But, in the future, your phone will be everything, which at first glance seems like, well this is horrible. If you lose your phone, all you need to do is grab your old phone, don’t trade it in because if you trade it in, you won’t have it anymore. And this is advice for if you’re going to get a new phone. Even though they say they’re going to give you a better phone if you trade your old one in, don’t. Unless if you think you can afford $100 to repair the screen. Maybe even $500 depending on the phone. Just get the best phone you can without trading in your old phone.

So to make a long story short. Free speech is important. No one learns anything by a fine. And the future will be you with a phone and, if you play gaming on a computer now, you’ll have a computer.

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All about Colin (by Colin)

One of my earliest memories was hanging out under the bridge at my old place. It was so dirty. It was a swamp. If I wasn’t careful enough my feet would go right into the soil. One of my favourite memories was that I stole my Mom’s laptop when she was at work and my friend and I stayed in this elevator for about two hours, nice and air conditioned elevator. And we just sat there on the elevator and it was fabulous. We were just playing this one game, I think it was Facade, the game where you go into this house. You’re celebrating the fact these people got married and you had to try to keep them together. It was this most challenging game and it took over YouTube longer than most games. The only game that took over longer, I think, is FNAF (Five Nights At Freddys).

I did not have a nice time going to high school. My first high school wasn’t as bad as my second. I got into arguments about doing math. A sneak preview for the second one is the second high school would change what they were doing in the day just to bug me. Manipulate the other students to not like me. Bring me to the office for barely any reason. Refuse to let me do the classes I wanted to do. They didn’t let me do any work placement stuff. Caused one of my friends to move because of the stress their parents were going under.

Now let’s get back to my first high school. They did stuff bad like I wanted to do more school work. They started handing out more then they told everyone in the class that it was my fault because I kept asking for more school work. But I got the last laugh because I pointed out that I could do the work while everyone else had free time. For the most part, if we stayed there it probably would have gotten better. But, because we moved, oh boy does it get bad.

The second school, they did stuff like, I’d bike to school and they didn’t know I was coming in because I was 10 minutes late so I’d come into class and they’d have math on the board and I’d say “Great, we’re doing math?” and they’d be like, “No, we’re doing something else, we’re doing science.” They’d say we’re doing this for you but it was always weird because they were doing it instead of math. Days that I was not at school because I had a dentist appointment, a doctor’s appointment, I had to stop the universe from imploding again, they’d always have math. They’d always talk about how they had math the day before. I asked in the third year if they were moving math and removing it if I was there or not. You’ll never guess what they said, they said they’re not. And, if you don’t understand why I thought they were, just go to the beginning and re-read again. It’s blatantly obvious. Then one day I did go into class quite upset but all I did was keep asking to do math and they sent me to the office who sent me home, in the middle of winter, and I’d forgot my jacket.

They’d do other stuff like manipulate the class to get the kids to fall into line. They make sure kids follow exactly what they say or they’d punish them, for no reason, by sending them to the office and sending them home. They’d hold back school work. There was one kid, I remember who was going home every day walking. Eventually he stopped going home early. I asked him why and it was because of the teacher. Has anyone heard of the flexing kids of snapchat? They basically just flex their money and tell people “I can afford this and you can’t”. That’s basically what my teachers would do when we got back to school every Monday. They would talk about how their trailer was amazing and how they got like a golf cart and their 16 year old kid a brand new car. Almost every kid in that class was doing horribly financially. And they’d talk for half an hour. Then it would come to me and I’d have five minutes tops. Oh and they’d talk about, like, their boat too. Keep in mind this person had a car, a house, a car for their kid, a trailer, and a boat.

My best friend for two years in high school got pushed out of where he even lived because of the stuff that was going on. I think it was mainly him being my friend that got him bullied by the teachers. I asked his parents when I saw them last if they were moving because of the school and the teachers and they said yes. And, umm, the one teacher who was nice to me got transferred to another class. A tonne of other teachers were confused about how I wasn’t listening to my teachers when I was listening to them and trying my hardest and I could just see in their faces they were confused as to why the teachers weren’t letting me go to other classes.

Now going to the best part of all, they wouldn’t go by the gender pronouns I wanted. I don’t go by them at all anymore but it was zie and zir. First thing I want to say is, I don’t think they should have been fined but it shows their character. They refused to call me by the gender pronouns I wanted for absolutely no reason. Even when the school board came in and told them they had to, nothing happened. And then they’d do this stuff that ladies first and I told them jokingly I’d have to go between because of my gender and mostly because I wanted them to stop having women go up first. And it was causing a thing where women hanged out with women and men hanged out with men. I don’t know how the others saw me because I don’t know what the teachers said when I wasn’t at school.

Now we’re at the present today. Now I’m finally getting the education I wanted. I went to the John Howard Society and got a shit ton of math done. And it was for like a year and it was great because they’d me sit down and listen to music and do as much math as I could that day. Some days would be a page and some would be five. And now I’m going through college courses.

I want to transition to female but I can’t because I want to have kids. I knew something was wrong with my gender when I was a kid, that I was probably born with the wrong gender. But I didn’t know exactly what and, to be honest, I didn’t particularly care. I was more interested in “hey, where does that creek go?” I feel upset about not transitioning.

So that’s about it. That’s my life. Other than video games, I really don’t do much anymore. I’m thinking about starting a gaming channel or something like that.

And coming up in the next blog, my views on politics. Here’s a sneak preview, politics is a bit more difficult than most people believe like Obama legalizing gay marriage is possibly one of the worst things he’s done.

Colin on the dock

p.s. How Canada did it is how Obama should have done it.

Dave’s Strawberry Gelato…

homemade strawberry gelatoYears ago I went to our Unitarian Universalist end of year potluck and one of the members brought a thermos of strawberry gelato. It was so good that I immediately asked for the recipe, which he sent to me that evening. I made a batch then shared it on my old blog, Positive Steps.

It’s been years since I shared it, seven years to be exact, and I figured it was time to share again. It’s smooth, sweet, and has an intense strawberry taste. I hope you enjoy!

 

1 1/2 cups sugar*
1 cup water
3 cups washed, mashed strawberries

Simmer water and sugar in a saucepan, stirring until sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from heat, add mashed strawberries, and chill in the fridge for 2 to 3 hours or overnight.

Pour the chilled mixture into an ice cream freezer and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

If you do not have an ice cream freezer, pour the mixture into a shallow pan. A large glass casserole dish works well. Place the pan into the freezer. Every couple of hours, take the pan out of the freezer and use a fork to scrape through the hardening mixture. The purpose of this is to introduce air as it freezes to keep it from forming a solid block of ice.

If it is hard coming out of the freezer, allow it to sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to soften before serving.

*I only add 1 cup sugar and it turns out quite sweet

 

The wrong way to get recognized…

I’m pretty sure most bloggers want their blog to get noticed, to go viral. Well maybe not the people writing their diary online and, in those cases, I suggest a lovely journal from Marshalls. I know that I’d love to see one of my posts get noticed. I should be more careful about what I wish because sometimes it’s like wishing on a monkey’s paw, you get what you want but in the worst possible way.

There’s a blogger who, like me, has a small blog and a Facebook page. Our content is worlds apart. I write about Colin, LGBTQ issues (mainly trans), vegan recipes, my novels, and mental health issues (mainly my own). I’m also an atheist. Hers is about her interpretation of the Bible, offering suggestions for living a godly life, in full blown posts on her blog and handwritten notes on her Facebook page… with the occasional photo thrown in.

so regrettable

I want that font!

A friend of mine posted against the blog on her page, after getting banned for commenting. I went on as well and, I must admit, I commented too.

“I need to go get another tattoo. Would girls still like me?”

I wondered why I never got banned and then I took another look at the sheer number of posts and their times. I had to scroll up to get out of the 1 minute old messages then the same for two, three, five… there was no way a single person could delete that deluge. Plus many of the posts were people calling friends in to see and comment.

Then I wondered why she didn’t just delete that post… until I scrolled down and realized it wouldn’t make a bit of difference. Her posts were buried under thousands of comments. She’d become viral in the worst possible way. I figured, by then, that she was probably extremely shaken, maybe even crying, and away from the computer. I know I would be. Most of the comments were along the lines of:

No, REAL men preefer strong independent women who dont take.lessons on how to live or who to be from.a FB article. This lady is nuts!

That was an average comment. There were better and there were plenty worse. I did not see a single comment supporting her.

I get that people have the right to their own opinion but if your opinion has already been shared 500 times, do you really need to post too? There’s even an article on Woke Sloth that God helpfully shared (the Facebook persona, not the sky Daddy). Someone, who appears to lead a quiet, sheltered life, has suddenly been shoved into the lime light and it’s all negative.

There are all sorts of people that I don’t care if they get negative press. Actual Nazis, rapists, child molestors, people who make pickle and peanut butter sandwiches, and bigots of any kind. She didn’t fall into any of those categories as far as I could tell. She simply wanted to share her 1950’s views on the Bible. She certainly didn’t deserve what happened to her page.

With any luck, something new will happen in the next few days and she’ll fade, once again, into obscurity. And, hopefully, when the next viral blog shows up, they’ll be remembered as a human and not just something to mock.

How do I know I’m a boy?

Colin used to ask me this so often and it left me confused and a bit bewildered. How didn’t he know he was a boy? It’s something you just know. So I’d answer the question as best I could.

“You’re a boy because you have a penis and when you grow up you’ll be a man. Nothing’s going to change that.”

He’d calmly accept that answer and skip off, while I wondered if he was being bullied again and just wasn’t telling me. He’d already complained about being called a he-she on the playground, which is what I’d chalked the questions up to.

Fast forward through a lot of years, right up to the Q&A we did a few days ago, where Colin answered the question of “How long have you known you were trans” with…

“I honestly don’t know. Looking back, like when I was younger, I wanted to be a girl but I never knew why.”

All the time I thought he was asking because of being teased, he was asking because he felt like a girl. And that just breaks my heart.

But, at the same time, I had no real idea what transgender was. My only examples were Klinger on MASH, who is definitely not trans and a person in our town who was horribly nicknamed Terry the Fairy who paired a dress with hairy legs. I have no idea how he identified.

Our doctor wasn’t very trans friendly, something we discovered last year, and he’d have been sent to see Dr. Zucker, who is known for being transphobic when it comes to children. He felt that teens and adults knew their gender but that kids were flexible and responded “well” to conversion therapy.

I also would have needed to deal with my ex husband, who’d claim the sky was green if he thought it would hurt me. He’d have fought me long and hard and had someone in the background willing to pay for a lawyer.

So, in reality, it wouldn’t have made a difference, other than giving my ex some more ammunition and possibly traumatizing Colin, but I can’t help thinking of how I tried to help and cringing at my words. And I can’t help looking at Colin’s answer and wishing he’d had a better way and better choices.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Colin playing in our backyard with our friends’ pick up truck

Whispers of the past…

I was sitting in the van with Colin and my parents on the way to Bon Echo Provincial Park. It’s a place we’ve gone camping for decades now, a popular campground in Ontario. I was looking out the window, not really thinking of much, just noticing all the sights of nature as we whizzed past. Then I looked over and, for half a second, I expected to see heads with brown and black hair in the seats in front of me, instead of the grey I saw.

My parents’ camping days are numbered and their numbers are less than the fingers on my hand. I commented to my Mom about when we go camping next year but what I really meant was if.

It was really noticeable with my Dad this year. Would he be able to walk down to the deep beach this year? Should we take a van to the day beach? This is a man who was scouted for the Montreal Canadiens farm team, an opportunity he missed because he was out fighting forest fires in BC and no one knew where he was. A miss I’m grateful for because otherwise he wouldn’t have met my Mom and my sisters and I wouldn’t be here. A man who played “oldtimers hockey” and walked the track for exercise. A man who enjoyed getting into nature for a good walk. Now we’re worried if he can walk a few blocks.

My Mom commented sadly a few months ago that things just weren’t the same. When she was little (and when I was little for that matter) the dishes were ignored for a while and everyone sat and chatted. Now everyone finished, cleared their plates, got right into washing, and then went to do their own things, while my Mom and Dad sat at an empty table, a table that should have been filled with chatter. That one was easy at least. I messaged everyone and asked them to hold off on clearing the table to chat and, thankfully, it’s taken off and become something everyone enjoys. But there’s nothing I can do about age.

It’s seven and a half weeks until Kait has her baby, bumping me into the grandmother position and my parents into great grandparents. I wish my Nana could see this baby, when she was still strong and cheerful. She would have loved him so much (and equally loved knitting him little outfits). My Nanaimo Nana (great grandmother) would have loved him too. But I can’t dip into the past and bring them forth, they only exist in memories. There’s a chain of family connections and my parents are next on the list to get bumped off, then, eventually, it will be my turn.

I’m reasonably sure my grandfather had similar thoughts because he set out to write down the more memorable family stories that he remembered. I don’t think he got all of them because there’s been a few times I’ve mentioned a story he’d told me and got blank looks. Sometimes I think maybe I should write some family stories down too but I don’t know if anyone would be interested in the coming years.

But the past is the past. We honour them by remembering them and remembering their advice. Well except for my Nana’s advice to have me leave Kait in her carriage outside for a nap while I cleaned inside. That’s terrible advice when you’re in a third floor walkup in a not so good neighbourhood. But the good advice.

The future is coming, like it always does. Soon there’ll be a new grandchild and the beginning of a new generation. Soon there’ll be new ideas, dreams, and goals. And I hope my parents are there to see it unravel and to watch the little wee one grow big and strong.

Mom and Dad's 50th wedding anniversary

Mom and Dad on their 50th wedding anniversary

Colin’s answers…

 

Colin, I would like to know what is your passion, something you always love doing and talking about, or do you have more than one?

I have a few. Computers, video games, and technology in general. On Steam alone I have 170 video games and then I have twelve computers and out of those eight work.

I was wondering, have you gotten more than one medical opinion on the possibility of being able to have biological children if you medically transition? I have read lots of articles about trans women choosing to stop hormones temporarily in order to provide viable sperm. Though there does come a time when it gets past the point of that working. Which could be a worry if you are are really set on having a biological child.
So I know your main reason for not medically transitioning at this time, but I’m curious as to why you have chosen to not continue transitioning socially? Are you truly happy going by male pronouns and using the name Collin? Have you ever considered continuing to transition on a social level while starting to save up money to have your sperm banked? (Maybe one of the online fundraising sites would be useful). Then once you’ve had that done you’d be able to start medically transitioning if you so choose without having that worry. I’m just curious as to what the thought process has been?

It’s more than just that I’m dealing with, more than the fact of having kids. Transitioning, I don’t know how I’d look afterwards. I really don’t have the time while I’m in school so adding transitioning into it really wouldn’t help. I honestly don’t know if I’m happy going by Colin. I’ve seen a few medical doctors and statistics. Statistically there’s been a few trans people who have been able to stop hormones to have a child but it isn’t the majority.

Colin, I am confused why you put so much trust in one doctor that knows a lot less than those in your community (the trans community), in choosing not to transition. I just want to understand where your coming from, as someone who chose not to at a young age, and regretted it in the harshest way later.

The doctor really was helping me out a lot. It also wasn’t just him but others in the transitioning world. It’s not just the fact I can’t have kids which is the problem, I’m having other problems as well. The fear of the unknown strikes again. I don’t know how I’d look. And there’s school, I have a lot of school stuff to do and, once I get into college I won’t have enough time to transition.

Colin, how long have you known you are trans?

I honestly don’t know. Looking back, like when I was younger, I wanted to be a girl but I never knew why.

Would you rather fight one horse sized duck, or one-hundred duck sized horses?

One hundred duck sized horses because then I could just kick them all [vegan Mom: why not just adopt them out]

If you ran the zoo.. which animals would be in it?

If I ran the zoo, I’d definitely have to have, like, a few polar bears, a few lions, a few tigers, and a few bears. Oh and a few horses [Mom: but sadly no duck sized ones], and a t-rex.

Okay cuz I have one… How does a person help support someone who is either going through the changes of becoming another gender is thinking about it? Okay, two questions what kind of advice or thoughts would you like to offer people in general who are either ignorant (by choice) or just don’t know?

Well it’s always different from person to person. The best thing to do is just ask them. Suggest things like PFLAG if they don’t know about it already but, yeah, just ask. If they don’t know, tell them that it’s their choice, they’re not harming anyone, it doesn’t matter, and that should suffice for most people. But if they really hate it and they’re saying it’s for religious reasons that we have freedom of religion. We don’t have to follow anyone’s religion if we don’t have to. You can also mention the high suicide rate for people who can’t transition even though they’re trans. [Mom: J, I have a resources page on my blog that you can share with your friend and, like Colin, I strongly recommend PFLAG both for you and your friend. They welcome allies with open arms and have lots of information, both in groups and one on one]

Colin wants to know if anyone would like him to do a blog post himself. He’s definitely willing.

Colin on the dock

Colin sitting at the dock waiting for the ferry to take us back to shore after our cliff climb