Say What You Say I Am Listening I Am All Ears

Well, I am most certainly trying.

For the first time in this life, I can actually feel something physically click into listening mode. Perhaps I finally found something that recalibrated my programing-years of not being heard, years of lying to the world of who I wasn’t, years of not having my authentic voice…

Critical.
This stage, and all that follow, really demand this change to continue to grow.

Critical listening.

My last relationship was someone who was criticizing me for everything: how I put on my makeup, cutting my own hair, how I talked, dressed, etc.
My ears turned off to listening to her. Even before we reached the “shut the fuck up” stage, I was done.
This one time she blew up in a fit-of-rage in a restaurant…

There was some Greek writing on the menus, as Greek restaurants sometimes have. I simply said “Its really cool the similarities of Greek and Russian Cyrillic alphabets.”  “Russian and Greek are NOT the same!” she yelled at the top of her lungs. “You think you know everything. You never listen to anything I say!” and she stomped out of the restaurant and started walking home. It was really odd sitting there with her parents who were about to start eating as our adorable Ellen Page look-alike waitress brought our meals out. The important thing is that I didn’t run after her. She stopped listening to me months before this, so why bother?

That period of my life didn’t necessitate critical listening to “save the relationship,” but it did indicate at that moment something would have to change for my future.

I currently am dating an amazing lady who listens to people all day long as her career demands it. She has really given me a little motivation to being able to listen, steer away from my long winded monologues, and keeping the conversation as drawing out what is inside-the most helpful thing in a relationship-and even something in knowing who your friends are FINALLY!!

Tuning your ears to another human being will tell you who should remain in your life, and will quickly tell you who needs to leave.

-Lexikat

Why I Was Terrible At Being A Dad

If you don’t know, I *was a parent. At one point I made fertilization of eggs part of those things you can end up doing or such. *Yes I think fate can take that card away and create the status “was”.

My oldest child was born June 2, 1994 at about 4:30 pm. That day, as they were stitching up my wife’s episiotomy, immediately after my daughter’s first breath of life, my new baby and I stared eye to eye for what seems an eternity. As I feel now, and back then-there was something I saw of depth, distance, and life going outward in her eyes. They also said to me: “I’ll need you in my own journey.”

As our new family unit went along, my wife quickly raised issue that I was “supposed to be bolder and protective of your daughter”. I don’t think I am supposed to act like a “knuckle-dragging-ape” and really resented her. My daughter developed into my little buddy, my shadow. That ended at the separation when she was just a year and a half old.

So my divorce made twins from the most willing girl at my workplace. Fate would have us split, but the children were removed from her custody and I “retained” custody until a relationship and “instant family” with too many people involved caused legal problems and I had my rights terminated. During that “run” of being a dad, there were a lot of “Oh dad, why can’t you get it right” type characters on television and movies. I had my then lover’s mother telling me how to do this and how to do that.
After the children we’re removed and placed with Department of Human Services, I had the oldest-values-about-to-retire woman give me a list of requirements and such before they would consider reunification.
Needless to say….

But the common and central thing, as I did not transition until later, was this imaginary ideal of what you are actually doing as a dad. Every moment of your life, was everyone’s business to tell you how “fathers are supposed to act and be doing.” I loved my children, loved them deeply. As the world full of opinions around me finally collapsed, it took that whole role of simply being a parent away.

I started my transition within a year of being free of parenting obligations. The largest influencing factor of being “authentic me”, was shutting off of everyone who made it their business to tell me how to conduct myself.

So regardless of whether I hurt inside by not being me, I was even less me and was a terrible father because of nothing but people telling me what to do. As in any case, they should have invested more in themselves.

-Lexikat

I Guess I Am Attractive

So I have been seeing a really awesome lady. We get a long great. Have great communication and chemistry.
Fortunately, she accepted the terms that my appearance will age-but will not conform to her whims on the First date.
And its never been a question.

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So this thing I mention being attractive, I figure I am attractive to her. I sometimes have more polish and edge to my looks, I sometimes downplay it all for sake of being ruggedly organic, aka butch.

But since she sees me before I have cleansed my skin of that stuff my previous life tries to grow on my face-looking raw and disheveled, she still comments on how beautiful I am.

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I really don’t want too much stock or attention to be paid to aesthetics because those come and go like the tide. She makes certain in a very clear manner that its not fleeting nor something that changes.

I believe she is pretty damn awesome, and I love her much. As with anything, time will tell the rest of our story together.

-Lexikat

March of Support & Show of Pride

Happy Pride!

So that time of year has come and gone in San Francisco once again. I’ll admit that this was the first Trans March I had walked in since moving here 4 years ago. It also was the first time someone has put themselves out in the public “officially” showing support of me.
(I’ve not had the fortune to have had a family member do such a thing, as I was pretty much shunned by blood and attacked, sometimes verbally, by the other.)

She, my girlfriend, stood (or rather sat in a wheelchair) with an intricately detailed sign. It was something that really showed the love and outpouring of support she has been willing to put into me.

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When she first showed it to me, it took a few moments for barriers to crumble down to the point of happy tears.
“Why has anyone ever taken this much investment into me?” was really apparent. Her outpouring and support does show in her pride in me, being who that I am, is something that doesn’t change.

Making the news was kind of cool. There were many people taking photos because of how “cute” or how “amazing” of a pairing/supportive couple we were. Photo link from SFGate.org The Chronicle. Photo by Craig Hudson.

The Trans March is a protest  march; it is for the open visibility of gender variant people, as well as a time to voice change, acceptance, support, and pride within this fraction of the queer community. There were a lot of people displaying support for Chelsea Manning among the march. Hand in hand were a few people displaying “proud parent of a trangendered child” signs and shirts. It was a really beautiful thing.

As we had planned to also do the Dyke March on the following day, exhaustion on both our behalves kept us from attending. (2+ mile parade route plus to and from the subway stations as well)

As for the “pride” of Pride, it hit me on a more personal level than I could have imagined before.

Happy Pride!

Lexikat

Butternut Squash Chocolate Soufflé

lexikatscan:

Amazing Chocolate Souffle Recipe.
Gluten free too.

Originally posted on The Leafy Pantry:

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This dessert sounds so fancy, yet is so easy. Whenever you say the word “soufflé”, people get scared. Soufflés are an intimidating dessert to make because it is typically such an art to get the right consistency, the right cooking time and the right flavor. The beauty of this crowd-pleasing recipe is that not only does it contain very little fat and sugar, but it is virtually impossible to get it wrong. Your guests will never guess that you are also providing them with a full serving of vegetables through the hidden butternut squash. Save the secret ingredient reveal for the end!

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Ingredients:

1 cup pureed cooked butternut squash

2 eggs yolks

2 tablespoons cornstarch

a pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon coconut sugar

a pinch of stevia (optional)

1 cup dark chocolate, melted

4 egg whites

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°. In a medium mixing bowl…

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The Little Prince inside us all

For the first time in my life, I am reading  Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The book is popularly known by its English title “The Little Prince“.
True, that it is a children’s book. I had seen a movie of it once, even a stage production back in ’80 as well.

The themes I find nearing the end is that adults tend to be wrapped in an absurdity of stoic logic and as such are the most illogical when it comes down to enjoying the beauty of the most common or simple pleasures in life. As we mature, we could keep some of this curiosity and care without so quickly rejecting it.

The story of the rose hit me pretty heavy. I did find much water leaking from my eyes for a couple of minutes because of the fine personification that the author leads the character’s place among her intricacies.

I find that the people among the journey like the king, the tippler, the businessman-all seem like parts we could have been at some point.

There isn’t a single question that the Little Prince lets go of until he receives an answer to.

Perhaps his biggest redeeming factor is that his curiosity is persistant-things that adults forget about.

Its a book I think most people, like myself, may have missed.

-Lexikat

Information Overload

I s’pose my ability to study (and study the refinements of grammar) of 4 languages simultaneously is one of the skills of my rapid-fire sequence brain. Having studied Spanish in college and still using it almost daily, Its helpful to strengthen basics. The Italian that came to be a language that I could also think in needs refining into something other than speaking the local tongue. German is new and I love it. French is the language of my girlfriend and so its always something I can find a better way to share experiences with her. How does one work on a little bit here and a little bit there? A website and app called Duolingo. Its fun that you can also connect to other friends and monitor each others’ progress.

Too, I am an artist. Expression comes naturally as breathing. Some expression is productive; at other times its emotive. Poetry, song, chords, scales, lyrics, and even a few drawings scrawled across pages or margins can flow like a river. This river swells to near-floodlike conditions, torrents and currents flow in rapid succession. There have been droughts, where the flow would just qualify being called a “flow”.

Some of my best attributes do make conversing with other “humans” difficult. Communication is clear, but gets impeded by differing communication style.

I need to learn to listen?

Not exactly.

This is where I say an analogy to cars/driving:
In racing, a governor is often an item that restricts the flow of fuel & air into an engine thereby limiting the production of power to the rear wheels, also known as SPEED.

Sounds good for cars, for people not so much.

Finding a happy medium of properly expressing thoughts & ideas without “restricting” content or sincerity and honesty is the tricky part, or slippery slope.

I’m really racking my brain for opportunities. Therapists that could really do some progress on this “skill of mine” would be few and far between, but not completely ruled out. A group of friends that hung out with to chat about deeper shit (listening to my rant and developing criticism and/or evaluation because or indifference to it) would be cool.
Car reference: A group of friends to pop a beer and wrench on an old Camaro and talk about each other’s lives would be a nice format.

As with anything, the cost of drinking and playing pool, therapy, buying a Camaro and parts and the place to rent garage space…..
all becomes a factor.

In finding a solution, I must try.
Then I must continue to try.
I’ll have to continue to try with the many setbacks that will inevitably occur from “the process”.

Life isn’t easy, once you get past the big parts, you cannot fall into the pitfall of small obstacle quagmire of progress.

-Lexikat