Sunday, 1 June 2014

I should be shunned

I haven't written much for a while and I've certainly not written anything serious.  I thought I'd got most things out of my system and there was nothing of any great consequence left to report.  These things are often phases I guess and you just need something to be able to get things off your mind and written down.

The problem is that being a parent and transexual is apparently so unspeakably wrong and hurtful that I can be considered sub-human and therefore ignored and treated like a worthless person because of this most heinous crime.

Okay, this is not entirely what has happened, rather it's how I feel I am being treated.  What has happened, which I was convinced wouldn't (I'm different, my ex is a nice person, it can't happen to me, I'm a nice person, why would such horrible thing befall me, etc, pick your delusion), is that I have reached the point where my son is not wanting to see me nor even send me an e-mail, txt, or even answer my phone calls.

This hurts. 

I've had to deal with a general background level of dislike, blame, suspicion, distrust, disconnection, secrecy, blame (again), and a general up-hill struggle to have my feelings, rights, and thoughts even accepted as worth considering (it's all my choice and therefore my fault after-all folks, what was I thinking to expect it to be otherwise).  So, because of this, I've developed a reasonably thick skin or probably just naive optimism or out and and out denial.  Also, in complete fairness, I have been lucky and preoccupied with many other things in life being hard work but good and having battles to fight but with the odd victory.  In short, I've just dealt with things the best I could and tried to keep on trucking (metaphorically rather than literally, my in charge of a truck would be a dangerous prospect).

There are two things that are frustrating and extremely hurtful about the recent turn of events.  The first is that I tried, maybe not in all the right ways, but at least put the effort into looking after my son (and my ex) as best I could.  I tried to be fair in the divorce and not just let the solicitor grab everything they legally could (trust me, divorce is a horrible, almost blood-thirsty thing).  I've tried to be a 'good' person throughout and no matter what contribution I've made it's either something like "the least you could do" or "not enough".  No gratitude, just an expectation that I should do that.

The second issue is that any problem is my fault.  Everything is down to what I have done.  There isn't the slightest thought that maybe my behaviour isn't the complete picture, there might actually be other peoples opinions and actions that have led to some of the problems.

Children hear and pick-up on lots of things, how others talk (or fail to) about someone is something they are going to feel.  Given that I have been shouted at and told-off in front of my son it's quite possible my name is mud in the family generally.  The fact that all contact has been severed and that I'm treated 'differently' is probably enough of a negative things that it's had an impact.

Related to this is the fact that there is the constant message that it's understandable for my son to be upset at me and that it's okay to be sad and want me to be the way I was before and to exhibit all sorts of emotions and have these be a reason not to see me, to phone, or to talk about things.  That's acceptable, I'm in the wrong, I've done a terrible and hurtful thing.

My ex once commented that it would have been better if I'd had an affair.  Really I think she is right, that would have been more socially acceptable in hers and her families eyes.  In fact it often seems that lots of 'bad' things would have been better than this.  Seriously, how fucked up is that?  When someone dealing with a diagnosed mental illness, to wit, Gender Identity Disorder, and having (there is no choice, everyone please understand this concept if you don't, this isn't a lifestyle option) is "wrong" and cheating is actually better than that.

Technically adultery is a sin yet it's more socially acceptable these days than someone having treatment for a condition that can be (and thankfully wasn't in my case) life-threatening due to sufferers often having to deal with depression and suicidal tendencies also.  Maybe if I had more extreme symptoms it would have been acceptable then?

However, I'm getting off the point.

I have reached the stage where I feel there is a very real possibility that my son will not want to see me and either the visits/calls will reduce to such an infrequent rate or will stop all together.  I never thought I'd get to this, I didn't believe it could happen.

For anyone else out there going through a similar journey, trust me, you could reach this point too.

So, what is the solution.  Well, in the short term there probably isn't one.  I'm wrong remember, I'm the "bad" one here all of this is my fault.  Why should anyone do anything to help me, I brought this all on myself.  Starting from this point of view nothing is ever going to change.  So until my ex and family and all the people on the "other" "side" make a conscious effort to try and learn any understand what I went through and why and drop their bigotry and ignorance then nothing will change for me.

The overall solution is education and awareness; someone once said trans is the next gay - there has been a long hard fight for equal rights for gay individuals and couples.  It seems lots of progress has been made in this country and some others.  There are still things to fight for but there is at least some important equality in law and at the very least a much greater awareness.  Famous people are coming out as gay, it's becoming more acceptable and hopefully better understood.

This progress has also had a positive knock-on affect on trans people too and there is more awareness out there.  Speaking from a personal point of view my life would be better if awareness, understanding, and acceptance developed in very specific areas/people and that's going to be the same for anyone whose family, friends, and children are faced with this.

I did a little bit of research (should probably do more) and found the following resources that hopefully may be of some help:

GIRES - Gender Identity Research Education Society

Kid's Of Trans - seems America-centric on the whole but still useful information and explanations

A gay or trans person is still a person, they still have feelings and emotions just like everyone else and their dealing with their sexuality or gender identity doesn't suddenly render them unworthy of consideration, compassion or just being treated like a fellow human being.

A gay or trans parent is still your parent who loves you and hopes with all their heart that you still love them.




Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Altera Quartus II and EDS on 64bit CentOS ... Eclipse won't start!

In a HHGTTG way* I will point out now to avoid any undue stress that Eclipse is now working fine (well seems to be as far as I have had time to test at the moment) so thankfully I can get on with learning about FPGAs, NIOS II and other geeky things :)

However, I thought I'd record my trials in getting this working so that anyone else that hits the same problem can fix it - or possibly suggest what I did wrong in setting everything up in the first place.

Anyway, we're having a look at FPGAs at work at the moment and they've purchased a little DE0 Nano board (available from Farnell in the UK prices £66.06 - need to save up as I want to buy my own to use at home now!).  I downloaded the Quartus II 13.1 Web edition from Altera which includes all the design tools and EDS (Embedded Development Suite) for these experimenter boards.

The software claims to support 64bit RedHat Enterprise Linux 6 (I went for the CentOS equivalent) and setup a VM.  Download (or a 7.5Gb ISO - eeek) and installation all seemed to go well and I followed the instructions in the readme to install a couple of 32bit libraries.

To cut a long story short; I was in a rush and just expected everything to work.  And in fact Quartus II did seem to startup fine.  Eclipse however, didn't start at all.  And more annoyingly, it just failed silently without any clue as to why.  I ran the eclipse-nios launcher as well as the eclipse executable directly.  No errors they both just start, appears to do some thinking and then quit :(  Weird.

After some investigation (ran strace and had a look at what it was doing) it became clear that I was missing a load of 32bit libraries!  Installed these and voila, Eclipse all working now :) 

While 'researching' for this blog post I came across the actual installation/licensing instructions/release notes which contain the following

"The following RPM packages are required to install and run the Altera Complete Design Suite (ACDS)
on systems running Red Hat Linux Enterprise 6:
• 32-bit libraries: compat-libstdc++-33.i686, expat.i686, fontconfig.i686, freetype.i686, glibc.i686,
gtk2.i686, libcanberra-gtk2.i686, gtk2-engines-2.18.4-5.el6.centos.i686, libpng.i686, libICE.i686,
libSM.i686, libuuid.i686, ncurses-devel.i686, ncurses-libs.i686, PackageKit-gtk-module.i686, tcldevel.
i686, tcl.i686, and zlib.i686
• XWindow libraries: libX11.i686, libXau.i686, libXdmcp.i686, libXext.i686, libXft-devel.i686, libXft.i686,
libXrender.i686, libXt.i686, and libXtst.i686
• GIMP toolkit: GTK+2
• For more information about RPM packages, visit the Red Hat website"


So, ultimately RTFM! 

I think I've got alot of RTFM to do with all this stuff now so will post when I've managed to understand some of it and maybe got something running!


* - I just re-listened to the audio book of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and it makes reference to stress being such a serious problem in the Galaxy that to avoid further increasing this the following points would be made clear about no-one getting hurt apart from a bruised upper arm. 

Friday, 10 January 2014

Script, script and more script

This year I'm going to try and learn some more geeky-type stuff, specifically I'd like to have a go at some Ruby (and Rails) coding, bit more Python, CSS3, HTML5, PowerShell, and lots of other stuff.

As an aid to memory I'm going to dump a load of stuff I find out here so that I can always go back and see what I (should have) learnt.


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

This week I have been mostly ...

... recovering from a very busy and enjoyable weekend and trying to get through the mountain of photos and videos that I need to process! In fact last week I was chipping away at that mountain and expect I'll be doing the same next week as well!

Anyway, as well as Dr Sketchy's flashmob on Saturday the highlight of the weekend has to be the Miss York 2012 final.  I was thrilled to be one of the photographers there for the evening and it was a fantastic show and everyone had a wonderful night.

Hopefully this week will be a little less busy and I can get the rest of my pictures processed before I take even more!


Friday, 3 February 2012

Project 365

Several friends have been doing the photo-a-day thing for a while now and I finally decided I should try this aswell.

Rather than be sensible and, like my friends, just take pics with phone camera or something simple I'm going to go completely over the top and use my DSLR for all the images!  This could maybe get a little irksome sometimes but it's also a good challenge and means that I should have my camera with me whereever I go and can maybe get some other shots as well.

Anyway, for anyone interested, here is a link to my Project-365 album on FaceBook.

Dating (again?)

Having just split up from an on/off relationship for about the 4th/5th, but most definitely last, time I find myself in the position of having to endure the whole dating thing.  I was going to say "again" there but then I had a think.

I don't believe I've ever really done the dating thing!  I've been lucky in the past to meet friends-of-friends, who I just get on with really well, and like immensely (hardly surprising given they are close to people I'm close to) and thing have gone quite rapidly to the "going out with" state.  Well, that's the way I've always seen it because I'm an incurable romantic and am inclined to believe all that mushy stuff about love at first sight.

Well, it's early days yet anyway but I should really alert my friends to start searching for any prospective dates because I've pretty much found no-one suitable on PlentyOfFish or GaydarGirls!

Friday, 20 January 2012

And now for something completely different ...

Had to have some pics on here at last, and these are some of the items I got from Ikea the other day while we were having a mad girls shopping trip.  Okay, maybe not the most obvious things to buy but they should hopefully come in useful for upcoming photoshoots :-)