Floods of Testosterone

News from God’s representative on Earth: Pope Francis says people can’t choose their gender. (The Metro calls this a rejection of ‘The Trans Movement’.)

I’m puzzled. Does the Pope think transgender people choose to be transgender?

Does the Metro?

… /thinks …

Fuck. Do people choose it? Do I have this really really wrong? I mean I didn’t choose. I’m a woman. Always have been, for as long as I’ve been aware of the concept. I didn’t choose to be, any more than I chose for my body to be savaged by floods of testosterone for decades. And I’m not ashamed of it, absolutely I’m not – but sometimes, in the dark, and the quiet… sometimes… I do wonder if a lot of stuff might have been quite a bit easier if I could’ve chosen differently. If I could’ve picked a gender that matched how my body had turned out.

But I didn’t. Couldn’t. Like the Pontiff said*. In that respect I guess he’s not that far wrong. Picking my gender wasn’t an option for me. The choice I got to make – in the end, and only with the courage lent me by my beloved wife, and by friends and family and colleagues who supported me unconditionally – was just to start expressing my gender as it actually is, despite the screwup Nature… or God, if His Holiness insists… made of my body.

It just strikes me as weird to pronounce that people can’t “choose” their gender. It’s… It’s almost as if the Pope has rather managed to miss the point.

(* It’s an unwritten rule of journalism, I believe, that the second or third reference to the Pope in any item must call him ‘the Pontiff’.)


  1. Kate,
    Always remember Thor was a cross dresser and Loki was, well he was Loki, guy, girl, ummm horse (WTF) was that, oh mare, was he a trans horse.

    Remember the forest does not judge the tree, the flower, or the frog.

    Be at peace, you are and awesome Coffee Droodity thing, be you.

    I once had a Zen master who told me a tale, I was trying to be something I was not (a vegan), and he said, “Do you fault the mantis for she eats the grasshopper?”

    “Do you fault the tiger for he eats the deer?”

    I said, “No it is their nature.”

    He said, “To not follow your path is the the fault, be the tiger if that is your nature.”

    Kate be you, and don’t worry about others. I have never met you, but have listened to you thru 60 podcasts over a while, your a charm, May the whole world be filled with peace, love and acceptance.

    Bless you


    1. Hi, Bozzmu! Hah, you’re right – from what I’ve learned there are more than a few examples in Norse mythology of the… ‘fluidity’… of the gods’ nature and appearance. It’s definitely something to reflect on, I guess for anyone whose identity, in whatever way, doesn’t readily fit into conventional boxes.

      Your account of the Zen master’s comment is really interesting to me. It echoes one of the principles of Stoicism, a philosophy practised by, among others, the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (but a practice I’m personally very, very bad at!). Antoninus wrote about how much of the hardship people face stems from the fact that they’re trying to fight their nature, or their natural purpose in life. And writing that, I start to wonder if it’s perhaps reflected as well in the principle of True Will in Thelema, which (if I understand it correctly) is to act in fulfilment of your natural purpose without being invested in wants and desires. It’s fascinating – thank you for your thoughts on it.

      And thank you very much for your kind words and wishes – I’m really glad you’re enjoying the podcast – I hope you continue to enjoy it – and I’m happy you took the time to get in touch. 🙂



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