Changes, changes

I’ve been thinking about all the changes in my life over the past 19 years. First, and most obvious, is the change from “him” to Cat. As a sidenote to that, I was the other woman in my own divorce.

Changing my name was a bit of an adventure as well. First, I had to decide upon a name. Some people choose to go with a feminised version of their male name. That didn’t appeal to me. Being left with having to choose a new name, I remembered my mother telling me that had I been born female, she was going to call me “Catharine”, so I decided to go with that. The city in which I lived had, as an acquaintance observed, had a “high redneck quotient”. Keeping in mind my sons were all in school I decided to change my surname as well, just to offer them some degree of separation from me. One more change I’m thinking of making is to reclaim my original surname. It’s been twenty years and the boys have moved away from that city, as have I.

Obviously my appearance has changed. I’ve also noticed a couple of minor changes in things as well. As “him” I would never wear shorts and I insisted upon always wearing shoes, even around the house. Now I much prefer miniskirts and never seem to wear shoes or socks when home. And I love my fishnets. Just minor things as I said, but a complete turnaround from before.

What else has changed? Well, I couldn’t find employment in my chosen field, so I drove a taxi for seven years until I got injured as the result of an accident, not an assault in the cab. Now that I’ve retired, I’ve become a photographer and writer. I write mainly blogs such as this one, as well as short fiction. I’ve also written my autobiography. I decided to end it with the new provincial documentation showing the new gender on my birth certificate. My life is, to be blunt, very white bread, so nothing would be gained by carrying it on further.

There are probably more changes, but at the moment I can’t think of any worth writing about, so, I’ll finish in my normal manner:

Enjoy your weekend and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.

Cat.

Sorry, wrong number

I received the following in my Gmail spam over the weekend:

Your Navy Account Is Under Review
Navy Federal <inft@usamail.org>

26 Jun (1 day ago)

to Recipients

Navy Federal Credit Union

Attention !!!

Our system can not verify your account and this might
leads to account suspension

please click here to resolve the problem.

*Warning*

Do not login elsewhere after you verify the account within 24 hours

There are a couple of things wrong with this message from my perspective and a couple of general red flags. First, I’m Canadian and second, have never served in the U S Navy. I did serve in the Canadian Army however if that makes a difference.

Now, the general warnings. The address “to recipients” is a prime giveaway you are dealing with spam. If it was a message specifically for you, it would bear your name. I am also suspicious of the email address of the sender. “usamail.org” sounds official, but I somehow doubt it really comes from the USPS.

The warning at the end not to log in anywhere else for 24 hours is something I’ve not seen before, but it raises concerns. Why is it necessary that I stay off the computer for 24 hours after I click on their link? Would doing so somehow mess up their trojan or whatever they’ve put on your computer?

If you receive this email, even if you are a Navy veteran, just delete it. Or if you have some concerns, use the telephone and call whoever you need do. Just don’t click on the link.

Cat.

Making yourself official

If you were like me and wanted something issued in your new name, not just changed documents, you got a library card. Things have changed greatly since the mid-nineties.

Just before Thanksgiving of 2012 (early October in Canada) the Ontario government quietly slipped out a new piece of legislation. This act made it possible for transpeople to change the gender on their birth certificates without undergoing surgery, but with a doctor’s letter saying it is necessary. My adventures with this are chronicled in my posting “The 4,000 mile birth certificate” of October 21, 2013. The 4,000 miles refers to the total distance my documents travelled between my home and the office of the Registrar-General in Thunder Bay, Ontario before I finally received my new birth certificate.

Once I had the birth certificate, it was possible to change my health card and obtain an Ontario identification card, since I no longer have a driver’s permit.

In February of this year, the federal Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, just as quietly as their provincial counterparts, changed their rules so that transpeople can self-identify and change the gender on their federal documents – Social Insurance card; any old age documents, and anywhere else gender is recorded. This requires only provincial documentation showing the person’s gender. There is no charge for any of this except for the fee to change your birth certificate in the first place. Federally, the only exception appears to be the passport. This requires a passport renewal, which has a fee attached – I was quoted $160 but I believe that is for a 10 year passport.

I have visited various provincial and federal offices and have changed everything but the passport. When you’re on a government pension, an extra $160 isn’t easy to find. Does it make a difference in my daily dealings with others? Of course not. But knowing that I am officially recognized as female by both the province of Ontario and the federal government makes me feel better about myself. No more looking hot and having my papers show that cursed designation “M”.

Enjoy your day and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.

Cat.

Where are their support groups?

If you’re like me, you ignore most of Facebook’s suggested groups as being of no interest to you. Tonight though, I noticed one I have no intention of joining, but couldn’t ignore either. It was called “The Caitlyn Jenner Support Group”. Now I agree that we could all use support when we begin this journey, so my objection isn’t to the existence of the group. I just wonder if this group was started from an honest desire to support Caitlyn or from some hope to perhaps share the Jenner/Kardashian spotlight in some small way because of her former life? I just hope for her sake that anything Caitlyn gets involved in doesn’t degenerate into a typical Kardashian media circus but that hope may already be misplaced.

But my real question is this: What of those other people who chose the day Caitlyn made her debut to decide they could no longer live the lie and took their first steps into this strange new world called Trans without all the television interviews and magazine covers? Where are their Facebook support groups? No, I’m not bitter or jealous for I’ve been Cat for 19 years now and am doing quite well, thank you for asking. We’ve read recently of people committing suicide, Leelah Alcorn comes to mind, because they had no support systems and didn’t feel they could cope on their own. There may be some support groups out there, but how easy are they to find? I know of none in my town or the two towns on either side of mine.

I recently changed doctors and this new doctor is very trans-friendly. One of the first questions she asked was “who’s in your village?”, meaning “who supports you on your journey?”. If asked that question, how many people can put a number to the people who they can rely on as they go through this? I’m fortunate in that I not only have some close friends in my village, but two of my three sons also support me.

As I asked in the title though, where are the support groups for these other people who aren’t athletes or reality television personalities? They are just as deserving as Caitlyn Jenner, if not more so since they probably don’t have the same financial backing.

Cat.

Who got it where??

This will be a short piece today. CONTAINS DISTURBING LANGUAGE!!

I think we’re all familiar with the current idiocy being perpetrated by men on female television reporters. If you’re not, here’s a thumbnail sketch of what happens: A reporter – female as I wrote – is doing a live spot from some location. A young man, or group of young men, will spot this going on and approach the reporter and shout something obscene into the microphone.

That happened to Shauna Hunt, a reporter for CP24 news in Toronto, this past weekend. She was doing a live spot outside BMO Field, the home of Toronto FC, on the occasion of their home opener. Some young men came up behind her and shouted “fuck her in the pussy” into the microphone. Things didn’t go as the men had planned after that. She confronted them on their behaviour, with the camera still running. Because she confronted them live on television, naturally the video has gone viral.

The repercussions of the stupid actions of these young men have been far-ranging. Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the owners of Toronto FC (and I believe the stadium as well) have announced that these men, when identified, will be banned from all MLSE facilities, which includes several other major sports teams. They also state they will provide additional security guards for media personnel doing reports from their venues. But it doesn’t end there. Oh, no.

Since the incident went viral, one of the men, apparently the one who did the actual yelling, was recognized by his employer. The company has a zero tolerance policy for this type of behaviour and the man was fired, According to news reports, up until Sunday afternoon, he had held a six-figure job.

So, to repeat my question in the title, “who got it where??”

Enjoy the rest of your week; be careful what you say and where and remember to hug an artist – we need love (not obscenities) too.

Cat.

Bring him to justice – commentary

Most requests for extradition are for murder cases or cases involving crimes involving children. Research indicates Canada’s request to Jamaica to extradite George Flowers on charges on aggravated sexual assault is extremely unusual. This fact in itself speaks to the severity of the charges against Flowers.

If you are unfamiliar with this case, here’s a recap. The Toronto Police Service have laid several charges of aggravated sexual assault against Flowers for failing to advise his partners he was HIV positive. This was over a period of 15 years. Some of those partners are now HIV positive themselves.

Mr Flowers fled to Jamaica, where he apparently hold citizenship. Once the Toronto Police had all their papers in order, Flowers was arrested by the Jamaican police and held in custody pending an extradition hearing. Jamaica, as a member of the British Commonwealth, uses the British system of courts, as does Canada. Consequently, Flowers is entitled to a hearing and the right of appeal should the decision go against him. At the time of writing, he is still in a Jamaican jail awaiting his last appeal, all previous lower court decisions having favoured Canada’s request.

It is expected that this final appeal will also support the extradition request and Flowers will shortly be on a plane bound for Toronto’s Pearson airport and a cell somewhere in Toronto. As he has already fled the country once, nobody can see him being granted bail.

I will update this situation as more confirmed information becomes available.

Cat.

If you can’t rebut, attack

Earlier today, a reader named “Joseph” posted a comment on “I don’t follow the logic” in which he made some general claims without backing them up. In response to this comment, which was really only an attack on some other people and myself, I wrote “Anything constructive to add?”.

Joseph seemed to feel I was writing an untrue (his word) story. In my responses (two of them) to his comment, it appears I hit a nerve. I haven’t approved his latest comment because it is nothing but another attack rant. The first part of it refers to other people, so I won’t copy it here, but the rest refers to me, so here it is, complete with foul language and misspellings:
Your saying because the police put out a warrent he’s guilty?
Wow
YOUR just a lonely little person with nothing better to do but write story’s for your friends.
You are no writer that’s for sure.
Won’t even waste my time anymore.
You must be one of the ones he told to fuck off.
All your friends but you
You angry?

No, I’m saying the police believe they had enough evidence to issue the warrants. It’s up to the Canadian courts to determine his guilt or innocence following his extradition after two years in a Jamaican jail.

YOUR just a lonely little person with nothing better to do but write story’s for your friends.
You are no writer that’s for sure. I’m not going to dignify these comments with any further comment, for your judgement would depend upon your point of reference.

Won’t even waste my time anymore. Good. Please unfollow my blog.

You must be one of the ones he told to fuck off. Actually, had he approached me, I’d have told him to take a hike. I didn’t like him on sight. I found him arrogant and thought he was nothing but a poseur.

Joseph, as I wrote above, some of my comments must have hit home or else rather than attack me, you would have attempted to rebut my points. For your information, the term for an attack on a writer, is “ad hominem”. I didn’t use it earlier because I didn’t want the big words to confuse you.

Cat.