Sunday, April 22, 2018

A Good Question

I love it when I read another idea about the transgender identity which I have never considered. Probably because in my egotistical mind, I have considered any and all possibilities. As I think about it, seeing other ideas is one of the reasons I am still addicted to Facebook.

An example is one of the peeps I follow is a transgender woman who refuses to acknowledge the trans label, except to say she is transsexual. Plus, in her latest rant, she says the entire transgender community is just in it for the sex. Which is far from the truth in my recent history. Maybe I am just being naive.

An even better example was sent in by Connie:

"A theoretical question I've considered over the years is: Would I pursue my transition if I should lose my eyesight? My answer has changed as I've navigated through the different phases, but that original vanity never really goes away. I know that I do a credible job of presenting, on the outside, my womanly self. It takes a mirror, and the ability to see myself in it, to be able to accomplish this (although, I've made myself up so many times now that I could probably do a half-decent job without a mirror). Yes, my vanity would take a hit if I couldn't see my outward appearance, but I've become comfortable enough with how I see myself as a woman in heart and spirit that even blindness could not change who I am now. I'd still miss seeing myself in a mirror occasionally, however."

A great question!  Somehow I think I would have to continue my transition and hope the effects of HRT would help me to continue to present well enough in public.

I am so vane now, in most situations I try not to wear my glasses...even though they are women's. So, I don't know how I would approach it!

"C" is for Charles?

Yesterday, I finally grabbed my partner Liz for a girls out shopping trip. We did really well at a store called "Gabes" which features overstocks of name brand fashion clothes. I ended up buying four different tops and one long summer dress. I am sure I will wear one or two of the tops next week at the Trans Ohio Symposium so I should have a couple pictures to pass along.

All went very well, including the changing room attendant directing Liz and I to the women's changing rooms. After we made our decisions, she said you Ladies have a good day. From there, we proceeded to the front registers to check out. As I was paying for my treasures, the clerk asked if I had a rewards card and I said no.  After deciding I needed one, she asked for my email address. It's still under my old name "Cyrsti" so I had to spell it for her. She said did it start with a "C" or a "K" so I said "C" as in Charles.  I wonder if I set off some sort of gender reaction in her, because, out of the clear blue sky, she called me "sir".

After getting upset, I decided not to say anything because I don't hear so well and she sort of said it in passing (or not passing). I just took my purchases and took off.

Then I started to think, the next time someone asks me to spell my email address, to say "C" as in cat. To make sure I'm not sending anyone any subliminal signals.

As I thought about it further, I decided to include things like "Charles" in my next "wall."

In addition, my next "wall" goal will be to try to make the smallest detail of my feminine presentation a priority. As I have written about before here in Cyrsti's Condo, I plan on trying to get involved in feminine voice therapy of some sort and getting some new makeup techniques.

The whole idea has rejuvenated me!

Friday, April 20, 2018

You and Your Mother?

Perhaps I should save this post for closer to Mother's Day, but I received another comment from Connie concerning a Cyrsti's Condo post (Whose on First) about her Mom, so I decided to use it. It came from a comment I made which included the phrase "per Norm":

"Just to be clear, I never do anything per Norm. I do, however, do things per Norma, as that was my mother's name. I am reminded often by family members how much I resemble her, both in looks and in personality. That used to bother me a bit, but now I just accept it as an affirmation of my destiny to live life as the woman I was born to be.

Come to think of it, being compared to my mother is a label that has been put on me. I guess some labels are just inescapable."

Like many other transgender women, I, like I am sure many of us have spent a considerable amount of time wondering about our relationship with our mothers. It's ironic how close we were to having a "mother-daughter" relationship and never knowing it.
My mother and I were much the same, including the resemblance factor. We both shared the same restless personalities and a complete need to try to dominate the other.
She (my mother) was the one who suggested electrode shock therapy for me, when I came out to her after I got out of the Army. And it was me who took her first name as my middle name, when I legally changed it. I did it partially as an honor and partially to know I got the last laugh with her about being transgender.
I honor her because she went through the hardships of WWII and the Great Depression, which I guess "battle" hardened her to face the challenges she was to face having child birth. I was the first to survive after several still births and miscarriages. In fact, I could be the result of a hormonal drug given to expectant mothers back then who were having problems with child birth. The word is now, the drug could have had something to do with gender dysphoria. 
If I had actually turned out to be her daughter from the beginning, I'm sure my life would have turned out about the same way,...because she had her way of doing things. It was her way or the highway.
Obviously,  I will never know but on occasion it is interesting to think about.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Life Through a Mirror?

Most of us start this journey as a transgender woman, trans man, or cross dresser the same way...with trips to the mirror.

For most of us as well, we begin to separate from the mirror and have a tendency to want to try our hand living out in a brave new world. One of the opposite gender. When we do, at least we think we are moving away from the mirror.

When you think about it, all of our lives revolve how we see the world, or how it sees us. Crossing the gender frontier becomes so difficult when we already have specific gender ideas ingrained within us and something is screaming, wait!, that's not right. As we begin to live in the proper gender, often, the first thing we do is to do our best to at least look the part of our chosen person.

From there, the mirror gets much more intricate. Not only should you do your best to present your gender properly, you have to learn how to read others. A keen observation of whom you are dealing with can take you a long way. Especially, if you think you may be finding yourself in an unpleasant situation.

I guess you can say, a trans life could become truly one of smoke and mirrors but then again it doesn't have to and I am sure you know a cis gender person or two about whom you could say the same thing. Or, your life could be entering an extraordinary phase. Even phases though must come and go...and the extraordinary becomes mundane, as Connie says:

" Finding the extraordinary to now be ordinary. Then, when you think about it, life can truly be extraordinary by that very shift. As we transition to womanhood, we move past living through experiences on to discovering that we are free to experience life."

So true. and when it happens, the freedom is wonderful.

Make Up?

My other transgender - cross dresser support group (here in Cincinnati) announced yesterday, the date of it's first make up assistance workshop in May.

Being the smart a-s person I am, I always say, how could I ever try to improve upon perfection. If the truth be known though, I have many questions about working with my eyes, foundation and contouring. I would love help with all of them.

So, on May 14th, I hope to garner some individual attention, all the way to the point of taking my skin wipes with me to take off all my current makeup to have her start over. If indeed I have the opportunity. I'm afraid she is only going to address the group as a whole.

For some reason, it seems my skin is responding again to the hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and is going through another mini transition. Which I always heard was possible. I also switched to another slightly more expensive foundation. Which seems to be helping.

I do wish all of the makeup advice would have been available before the Trans Ohio Symposium at the end of April. I need all the immoral support I can get!

Diversity within Diversity

Tuesday was my transgender veteran support group meeting at the Dayton, Ohio Veterans campus.

For once, the meeting was well attended (twelve) people and wonderfully diverse. Two much younger new people attended who identified mainly as gender fluid as well as the on again- off again SRS person from Richmond, Indiana.

We also have several run of the mill transgender peeps, as well as a "card carrying" lesbian. The mix made for an interesting conversation on several topics.

We talked about having a VA presence at the Dayton, Ohio Pride celebration this year and one of the gender fluid persons said they didn't like Prides basically because of all of the blatant exhibitionists. Her only experiences were from Atlanta, Georgia and Berlin, Germany. Far from the still conservative ideas of Middle America. I told her also, it wasn't so long ago, I felt totally un-represented at Prides "overrun" by drag queens and garishly attired cross dressers. Fortunately, I haven't felt that way at the last couple of Prides I have went to.

The other gender fluid person (who I will refer to as she) said she didn't quite understand what all the fuss was about existing in the public's eye. Even though, she is a self professed six foot three inches and a former Army Ranger, she is still quite androgynous and has quite a bit of passing "privilege." So at her age (30 something) she has missed quite a bit of the public problems for transgender, or gender fluid, individuals that used to exist much stronger... back in the day. It was nice we "more mature" participants could explain the "good old days" were just old and not so good.

Finally, I also brought up the possibility of receiving voice help through the University of Cincinnati Medical School, in conjunction with the VA and I hoped to get more info soon!

 All in all, one of those support group meetings that for once provided support!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

"Whose on First?"

Several posts ago, I wrote here in Cyrsti's Condo concerning the use of labels. Basically I said, labels, like it or not are a part of human nature and probably will be around forever in one form of another. I even dropped pronoun usage (he and she) in the label category.

Per norm (you remember him!), Connie added a valued thought:

It seems to me that someone who is on facebook bitching about labels is not yet confident enough in her own gender identity to be able to give up the very label she wants to wish away. The truth is that very few of us who have suffered through a male puberty will ever be able to escape the "transgender" label. As you posted before, there's always something (or someone) there to remind me. The best we can do is live as authentically as we can, and try to ignore the labels anyone else may want to tag us with. Worrying about it all the time probably leads to more self-labeling than what others may do or think. An important step - or wall to climb, if you will - in transition is to just get over oneself. When we realize that what others may think of us is really none of our business, we are then free to become who we see ourselves to be. Whether that be a transgender woman or a woman, we each have our own identities, and only we can define our ourselves. Those who would insist upon placing the transgender label on us will continue to do so, but I'd prefer that adjective to "bitchy" or "bitter" - accompanied by the transgender label or not.

I think you'll agree that the most affirming thing is to hear from someone, while knowing you are a transgender woman, that they can't imagine you as anything but the woman you are. If you want to be seen as a woman, all you really have to do is act like one; a gracious and friendly one makes it all the better.
I agree! In fact I can use the two women from dinner Monday night as an example!

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