I will be on TRTV Thursday 11PM Eastern

Here it is:

Update: I previously incorrectly listed the time as 9PM Eastern … it will be at 11PM.
Update 2: And I just realized I misgendered Mark.  Ughhh …. I try to get this stuff right.
Update 3: Watching TRTV now … now not really sure what pronouns Mark prefers … will have to ask.  I hope these guys don’t get me in trouble! Thursday is going to be interesting.
Update 4: TRTV Misgenders me on their website … it’s all good!   :-)   http://www.transitionradio.net/joel_nowak.html

Ok I guess this is a first around here – three posts in a day – trifecta (or hat trick or whatever). I wanted to let you know that I am going to be appearing on TRTV with hosts Mark Angelo Cummings and Lynna Lopez. (Here is the link.) I have been watching episodes of this program over the past few weeks and I believe that something worthwhile is going on here. Although I know that Mark Cummings and Lynna Lopez are passionate people (who I actually strongly disagree with on a number of things), the moments of this series that I love the most are when the guests are simply allowed to articulately share their journeys (and Mark and Lynna contribute here too). We aren’t hearing these conversations anywhere else (at least I am not) and that alone makes what Mark and Lynna are doing right now extremely important.

Mark asked me to appear on the show and since you aren’t hearing a lot of former MTFs talking about their experiences I accepted. This is the kind of venue I feel comfortable speaking in … this feels “right” to me … like this is where I should be right now.

Talking about this stuff is hard. I know I keep a lot of stuff sort of “close to the vest” in my blog and I will try to talk a little bit about that on the show. Someone recently told me that my blog seems to be about figuring out what I want to say and that pretty much hits the nail on the head. How borring. But at the same time, that question is actually kind of a lot more complex and difficult that I have really been getting into in this blog. Because the more of myself I “expose” through this blog, in some ways the harder it is to keep myself and my retransition healthy. I don’t want to talk too much about my life as a “woman” here because I fear that it will make it harder for people I know in real life to take me seriously as a man. So maybe it is time for baby steps … testing the waters …. saying a few things here and there that may be slightly out of my comfort zone but still trying to stay safe and keep moving forward. I will write more about this I promise. I am not going to be able to keep writing as much as I have been for much longer so I need to get some of this out while I can. And then I am probably going to be too busy with school to be around as much as I have been the last few weeks.

I really do be one of those who help clear the trail for others who come after me … only in the fact that I want to show retransition is possible should you really feel it is your necessary path. But here’s the thing I also HAVE to take care of myself first. I have to admit that I am a little scared (I have said this in my blog a few times recently you may have noticed) because I feel like I am out in no man’s land. It is reassuring when Third Way Trans gives me a shout out because I think he is one of the few people I know of out there who is in a slightly similar place (and there are a few others out there too). But I don’t want to step too far out into the public eye with this activism stuff because there are few men out there who have really had much experience talking about the stuff I am talking about that I can can turn to and ask for advice. I found myself turning away from some other chances to tell my story in some potentially powerful ways over the past few days because I feel they would be just too disruptive of the life I have right now and that I am creating and building upon everyday.

Uhhh … I am tired …. long day.

I am enjoying this time here though on this blog and am happy I am finding time to spend here. I do believe this is officially my RETransition Summer.

PS … here is the latest episode of TRTV with a really great interview with Lynn Cadin


Beautiful Lights Going Out

Since march three children who identified as trans have suicided here in San Diego County. This is ripping apart my community. I am not talking about the just LGBT community, I am talking about large swaths of the ENTIRE community of where I live … this is casting a dark shadow over the entire county. Some people that I have a lot of respect for are doing a lot of work right now to educate – to try to improve tolerance and understanding. But I don’t think that is enough. I still think there is something fundamental we are missing. We need to keep thinking. Or, if we think we might have some of the answers, we need to start speaking out about what they are. This post is not the place to do that. This is for Kyler, who’s story is linked below. It is also for his mother and all who are trying to heal. That process is only now just beginning.


Need resources related to suicide prevention awareness or just need to talk?:





Not really sure why we need more boxes to try to stuff people in but congrats … cisgender is now officially a thing. Oh I just can’t tell you the warm fuzzies I feel when I get called this by trans activists (and, yes, I really do get called this by some trans activists) … which plays like a really insensitive attempt to invalidate the nearly half century of my struggling through a gendered world just because I have come to conclusion that I actually do believe that I was “assigned” the correct birth “gender”. Nah … I am “cis” and I will never be able to fully understand the unique struggles of “trans” people. (Note: The last few days I have been feeling good about getting called “sir” a lot lately but my streak came to an end today when I was greeted by a “Can I help you find anything today ma’am” at my local Staples.)

I still think this piece by Glosswitch was my favorite thing written on this … even though it is coming from a female perspective (which of course is not my experience) it really shows how absurd this whole business really is in a way that anyone can understand … no matter how or what they were “assigned” (or not assigned) as at birth.



It really does feel like a death cult to me sometimes

I guess one of the things that gets me down the most about the whole trans thing is that it really does feel like a death cult to me sometimes. Death portrayed as noble, beautiful, innocent and darkly poetic.   For some, you can can first set your sites on living your life by almost unobtainable goals and when you come up short and have no real safety net you always have this beautiful escape route in which your death can be ritualaized in the ways that the trans community and their allies have been getting so good at doing lately (due to all the opportunities for practice.)  I almost think that in the trans community, a well-memorilialized death is almost viewed by some as a “consolation prize” one can expect to get out of this if nothing else in transition works out right. This just seems to be getting out of hand and it continues to escalate.

The San Diego LGBT Pride Parade is a BIG event in this town every summer and has been for years.  San Diego is not the most progressive city in the world, but this has always been a great event and for the most part a great celebration of life, hope and a time to come together to make things better.  This year, THE ENTIRE TRANS COMMUNITY has been named the grand marshall for this years parade.  That is right … THE ENTIRE TRANS COMMUNITY.  (I guess that kind of even includes me.)  This is a positive sign of coming of age and once again another chance to show social responsibility.  Yes, things are still very messed up in the world, but we are all adults here and we can step up to the challenge to create better possibilities in the world for those who struggle with all issues of oppression.  We can do this in a positive, life affirming way and what better place to do it than at a celebration like SD Pride.

That is why I am really sad to hear that some local activists are going to use this opportunity to turn the parade route into a “die-in” and shut down the parade at various points to stage this event (the parade will be suspended at various points along the route while people will pretend to be dead bodies while others will encircle them with police tape while still others read out the names of trans people who have been murdered and who have suicided.)

This is a thing kids come out to. This is just a family day.

I find all of these deaths tragic. Each of these deaths is one too many.  I spend some of my free hours doing what I can to raise awareness in the fight against suicide and violence, for all members of my community (but my heart right now especially is going out to my trans brothers and sisters.)  But there is a time and place for everything and this is not the right time nor place for these staged events.   I am not the only member of the trans community who feels this way. There are others who are just as upset by this as I am.  I think it is a very selfish act and I am going to skip the parade this year.   It hits too close to home for me, literally.  Rita Powers died just a couple blocks away. This is triggering for me in the most horrible way possible.

I still hope that these Trans activists decide to do the right thing and decide to hang out at the grown up table just for this one day.  I really do think that this constant death fixation is part of the problem here. At the end of the day I want what they want … people staying alive.  I hope they can maybe think about how what they are doing actually MIGHT be adding to the problem and not the solution.

Here is a link to the SD Pride statement about the Die-In


Need resources related to suicide prevention awareness or just need to talk?:




Article About Me and Third Way Trans by Tracy Clark-Flory

Over the past couple of years that I have been blogging I get small but fairly consistent stream of interview requests for potential stories about retransitioning. Some of these have come from some pretty big names in the news business.  I pretty much always agree to do an interview and supposedly some stories have been written but, maybe not so surprisingly, none of them have yet appeared (although a few may still be “in the pipeline.) My media losing streak ended  today when Tracy Clark-Flory published a piece on the subject of MTF retransition featuring myself and ThirdwayTrans.

Tracy reached out to me last week and I had a quick chat with her before heading out the door to catch Cheap Trick at the San Diego County Fair (somehow I had never seen them before.)  I thumb emailed a few more answers to follow-up questions during the show (Peter Frampton was also on the bill and that was my … ahem … email time) and a clarified a few more things throughout the week and tada … she actually published this week, just as promised.  So congrats Tracy for actually doing what so many before you have not done.

I’ll have more to say about it soon (I am on a roll folks … catch me while you can – I’ll be here all week *snark*). This is not entirely easy.  In fact it is really fucking scary opening up about such personal stuff and I had a really pensive and anxious weekend.  I still feel some of that but I’ll talk more on all that later.  For now I’ll say I think Tracy did a nice job of showing how this subject can be talked about in a way that is respectful to all.  Please check it out … I have a feeling that not very many people are going to read this.




(From California)