Sunday, March 18, 2018


Again! Another week has flown by. Very much a typical one on the home front.

No trips to the doctors or therapists this week, except for my recent hearing test, it looks like I will be around for awhile at the least. I hope so, I still have quite a bit to do!

I did read a couple interesting links from Bob and did send a message to a nearby LGBT organizer in Dayton, Ohio, so I can pass along his ideas. Recently, his posts have been very pro - transgender in the LGB spectrum, so we will see what will happen.

The link from Bob was called "What Do We Do About Women With a Penis?" by Cassie Brighter. It leads off with: "The Penis in Women's Spaces, the Cotton Ceiling and the Definition of Womanhood. It's a very long and well written post with several intriguing ideas from which I am going to try to pass along. Or, you can follow the link above to read it yourself.

One paragraph starts with a circle of women all cis except one transgender who become nude in a circle:

"Nineteen of these women are vulva-clad, vagina-equipped natal, cisgender women. One of these women is trans. While she might not refer to her genitals by the words 'penis' or 'testicles,' that’s what they are anatomically. And, though transformed by several years of female hormones, her genitals are likely to be understood as "male genitals" by most women present.
This is the challenge we face: Do we allow the trans gal to participate in the exercise (which includes shedding all clothes and touching one’s genitals), or do we specifically exclude her, for fear of triggering one or more of the other women?" 
The post goes on to explain an answer, or answers to this complicated idea. Also, if you are wondering what the term "Cotton Ceiling" means, here is your answer:
"The term "cotton ceiling" was coined by porn actress and trans activist Drew DeVaux in 2015. It’s been used to refer to the tendency by cisgender lesbians to outwardly include and support trans women, but draw the line at considering ever having sex with them."
Finally, as I try to break this down for you, the post goes into the trans woman in "women's spaces." She (Cassie) writes:
"I beseech you, please show up with humility and patience. If a cisgender woman talks to you from privilege, acting entitled and expecting you to "mind your place," resist the urge to get mad. It might not be malice, it might just be ignorance. Be gentle in correcting pronouns, explaining trans basics, correcting misperceptions."
Later on in the post, we transgender women are referred to as "refugee's" in women's spaces.
As you can tell, there is a lot of ground covered here. Thanks Bob for sharing!

Hope the rest of you had a great week!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Transgender Day of Visibility

This year I am determined to not miss the Trans Day of Visibility. I can't remember why I missed it last year but I did.

The day is held on March 31st and this year, it will be held in the Cincinnati Zoo campus auditorium.

As part of my new desire to volunteer more within my larger (non VA) cross dresser, transgender support group, I volunteered to help with an information table.

It's interesting to note also, this years event is being hosted by "Living with Change." It has been set up thanks to the generous donation from the CEO of the Pure Romance Company.. "Generous" to the tune of two million dollars. The CEO just happens to have a transgender daughter and it's worthwhile reading the story by following the first link above.

Of course I asked my partner Liz to go and help too, so we are planning to have a great time!

Friday, March 16, 2018

More Walls

As we get ever closer to my workshop at the Trans Ohio Symposium, the impetus to "fill in" my topics gets stronger.

Thanks to you Cyrsti's Condo readers, I am settling in on the walls we have to climb over to successfully negotiate a Mtf gender transition (and trans guys too). The first wall I described was cross dressing. As soon as we feel secure enough in the mirror, many times, our thoughts turn to going out in the public's eye.

The second wall we face, is what happens to us when we do it. Much of the excitement we felt looking into the mirror and seeing a girl look back, has a tendency to turn into utter fear as we go out. I know when I first started to live a feminine life, I would look for any semblance of a mirror to reassure myself. Slowly but surely, I became relatively comfortable walking around as a feminine cross dresser.

Then, a little at a time, a voice was telling me, something was still wrong. I was tired of just feeling like I was a guy walking around cross dressed as a woman, I wanted to live more like a woman. At that point, the  real fear of loosing what was left of my masculinity set in. Did I really want to keep going down the road I was on. All of a sudden, labeling myself as a transgender woman was very scary.

As we have discussed though, fear is a powerful motivator and I sat out to do the best I could to co-mingle with cis women and see if I was accepted. This wall was as tough to climb as any previous walls because I had to communicate with the public and often the same ones. It was during this time period I settled on yet a new name and one wig, so I could look the same.

As I made it to the top of this wall, I could look around and see the world as a more feminine person. Most importantly, after the fear subsided, I found I felt really natural. Plus the more natural I felt, the more people around me were beginning to feel it too.

It was about this time, tragedy struck my life and ironically opened the doors wide to consider the next wall. Living my life full time as a trans woman and sacrificing all of my male privilege.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

It's All in the Smile!

It turns out, science has now mapped out the specifics of how each gender smiles:

"The dynamics of how men and women smile differs measurably, according to new research, enabling artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically assign gender purely based on a smile.
Although automatic gender recognition is already available, existing methods use static images and compare fixed facial features. The new research, by the University of Bradford, is the first to use the dynamic movement of the smile to automatically distinguish between men and women.
Led by Professor Hassan Ugail, the team mapped 49 landmarks on the face, mainly around the eyes, mouth and down the nose. They used these to assess how the face changes as we smile caused by the underlying muscle movements -- including both changes in distances between the different points and the 'flow' of the smile: how much, how far and how fast the different points on the face moved as the smile was formed.
They then tested whether there were noticeable differences between men and women -- and found that there were, with women's smiles being more expansive.

The article goes on to say:
Lead researcher, Professor Hassan Ugail from the University of Bradford said: "Anecdotally, women are thought to be more expressive in how they smile, and our research has borne this out. Women definitely have broader smiles, expanding their mouth and lip area far more than men."
The team created an algorithm using their analysis and tested it against video footage of 109 people as they smiled. The computer was able to correctly determine gender in 86% of cases and the team believe the accuracy could easily be improved."
A smile maybe more than your best may be your most important one, as a transgender woman. 
Read more here from Science Daily.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Phantom Waists

One of the many fashion problems we transgender girls face (and cross dressers too) is creating a waist line.

From Fabulous After 40 comes a spring and summer chic idea to help us all out!

I am soooo happy to see this fashion trend return. I used to love it!

Follow the link above for three ways to wear this fashionable figure flattering top!

Those "Pesky" Cross Dressers!

Our recent posts here in Cyrsti's Condo concerning the dressing habits of the average cross dresser versus transgender woman continue to garner interest. Here are a couple more comments:

  1. "You're note alone, hon - I've noticed the same thing. There are 2 trans support groups in my area, and I felt guilty for the longest time about noticing the same thing.

    There would always be one side of the room wearing beautiful dresses, with their hair and makeup done, looking happy to be among friends. Then there's the other side of the room, looking like they just threw on a pair of sweatpants and an old t-shirt, looking bored or exasperated.

    I stopped going to the one meeting because there was far too much scorn and condescension going both ways. I know it shouldn't matter what we wear, and I get the mindset that some girls don't feel the need to impress anybody anymore, but I look at those meetings as an event, much like going out to dinner with friends, and I appreciate a little effort."
  2. "I had a cross dresser friend up until a couple of years ago. Replies from her/him (we knew each other as both) to my calls and emails ceased a while after I decided to live full-time as a woman. Prior to my decision, we spent many hours discussing our respective "conditions," and one night I did some math to put some quantity to what we felt was our "quality time" presenting as women. Between the weekly CD social club outings and about one weekend a month, multiplied by the number of years we thought we had left to be able to present (maybe just the ability to walk in high heels?), I came up with a total of 10,000 hours (500 hrs/yr X 20 years).

    The difference between us was, mainly, our respective definitions of "quality time." To her, it was to be dressed to the nines, where I felt that the ability to just be who I was amounted to quality for me. My 10,000 hours have long since been used up, even when only considering waking hours of each day. Had I tried to dress to the nines for all of them, though, I probably would have permanently damaged myself in those high heels! I do love to dress up when the occasion calls for it, but I don't need to do it to feel complete. I think that when one has to rely only on their allotted 10,000 hours (or whatever can be arranged), she wants to get as much out of it as possible.

    Which one of us, though, might have something to prove? Going for full-blown glamour may be an effort to prove something, but I think that presenting oneself minimally could also be an attempt to prove something, as well: "See, I am a woman no matter what I wear or how I present!" Then, we must also ask ourselves the question as to whom we are offering the proof. Is it to others, or is it to ourselves?"
  3. First, on Sally's comment. I agree with the "scorn" comment. In fact, since two or three of the most abrasive members quit coming to the larger group I go to, (all trans women), meeting attendance has started to go up, although another transitioning woman seems to have the ability to step into the void on occasions and be over bearing. 
  4. Connie, of course I think the proof of being a woman lies within each of us. Over the years, I too have lost contact with several acquaintances who went on to have genital realignment surgery. It could be we grew apart because I was too involved in my own transition and I felt somehow they had arrived and wouldn't  care about me. Now I'm not so sure.
  5. As far as presenting to the groups I go to now, I try to wear tasteful but still fashionably strong makeup but I normally never wear anything other than jeans or leggings, with a nice sweater. My look represents the woman I have become.
  6. Thanks to Connie and Sally for your comments.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Transgender Versus Cross Dressing

Recently here in Cyrsti's Condo, I wrote a post somewhat comparing what cross dressers wear to my support meetings, in comparison to transgender women. Although I don't attach any significant positive or negative ideas to the idea...cross dressers just seem to out dress the trans girls normally. For a number of reasons, probably.

First and foremost, the trans girls don't really have anything to prove by going the extra distance to dress up for a casual meeting. Secondly, and just as important, cross dressers just don't have the overall time and experience to think, well, I will have plenty opportunities in the future to dress up, if desired. Finally, thirdly, most cross dressers are just learning their way in a feminine public world and still haven't settled into the woman they still are to become.

Interestingly, I received two comments from our regular readers on the same subject:

  1. "It is quite noticeable at the group I attend, that it is those who have transitioned who most dress down, and those who have to make the most of their rare opportunities who are the most "Glamorous" this last week end there were at least two of us there wearing jeans and a sweater and with no make up at all."
  2.            Paula! I agree with you. Thanks for the input and writing it better :)
  3. "Well, if you haven't upgraded your style to the cross dresser level, at least you're buying your coffee at a coffee shop instead of a gas station now. :-)

    Speaking of deciding what to wear to a meeting, I have come to the conclusion that I don't care what the rest of them (be they cross dressers or SRS transgender women) are wearing. I choose from my wardrobe just what I feel like wearing for the day (or evening). If I'm going to err at all, I would rather it be at such a meeting, rather than how I might be seen by the general public. I used to care too much about how other transgender women might be sizing me up. That is simply ridiculous, when you think about it, yet I have felt more judgement on my presentation from the trans community than I have from the general public. Around here, though, the cross dressing organization and the transitioning group generally keep away from each other. I have attended meetings for both, and I've worn jeans and a t-shirt to the CD meetings or a dress and heels with the other group. I may get a few looks with either, but I think they have a better idea of who I am by the time the meeting is over. The truth is, after all, that most of us just want to be who we always saw ourselves to be. So, that's what I do!

    It's what we often talk about - all in the confidence you show; not in the clothes you wear."
  4. Thanks to you both! 
  5. Connie, much of my coffee snobbery comes from the fact I now live in a major metropolitan area with coffee choices outside of gas stations and Tim Horton s! Ironically, confidence was one of the main topics with the cross dressers at last night's meeting.

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