Sunday, December 31, 2017

Survival and the Trans Girl

Here in Cyrsti's Condo recently, we have been exploring the relationship between cross dressers and LGBT transgender women.

As happens so many times around here, a couple of you regulars bring another sense of clarity to the subject. As in this comment from Connie"

"For me, being a transgender woman involved cross dressing as a means of survival until I could finally express and present myself completely. It was a combination of luck and a lot of hard work. The middle-ground became less and less an option, although I remained there for many years. I could no longer be disingenuous, however, and I believe that those close to me could sense that, as well. Had I been satisfied with occasional cross dressing, I would not have felt myself to be disingenuous.

As I am a musician and performer, I could easily have been a drag performer, but I never saw myself as one. My wife, in our early conversations, thought it to be acceptable for me to combine my "passion" for cross dressing and my passion for performing as an outlet for my gender expression. While music is a passion of mine, however, cross dressing was (and is) not. I was lucky that she came to understand that, but it took some work on my part to convince her. If someone who may have thought I were a drag performer sat through just one set of one of my shows, I think they would recognize that, too. Having the ability and permission to just be myself is all I ever wanted, and I can accept the accolades, as well as the rejection, because of it."

It's important to note she mentioned "rejection". Often the setbacks we encounter in the newly feminine world, are the best teachers.

I can't tell you how many times I was almost reduced to tears from cruel stares, comments, or giggles. Plus I wasn't even on HRT yet, which has driven me to tears for bad and good reasons.

Somehow though, I always found the fortitude to hitch up my "big girl panties" and get back in the game. Finally, I became skilled enough to exist in the world...on my terms.

I also was intriqued by Connie's reference to not being a "Drag Performer." The path was also indirectly open to me and it didn't seem to fit either. Plus, I have no performing talent at all!

Transgender survival in it's truest form. Thanks Connie!

Climbing Walls

As 2017 comes to an end, it's time to reassess the year and look ahead to 2018.

As I look at my life, I consider my Mtf transgender transition not unlike climbing a series of walls. Of course, some, like HRT or having legal gender markers changed are more serious than others.

2017 was fairly quiet for me. I look back at the year as one of stabilization. I was able to continue living day to day as a woman and learned from it...although not as dramatically as earlier in my transgender life.

Since I have been on HRT steadily now for three plus years and have even completed all my legal gender markers changes which are possible, what is next?

I still would love to have breast augmentation surgery someday to compliment my hip developement, but finances continue to be a issue in the near future.

Other than that, I still need to work on projecting an "aura" of femininity. I feel the need to out do cis women in this area, as they take their femininity for granted. Some, not so well.

Looking further back, I remember the excitement of someone like Cyrsti's Condo reader Marcia who is looking ahead to 2018.  Having the chance to finally achieving her dream of transitioning fully! How scary/exciting it was for me.

Either way, looking ahead at a new year is always exciting for me. A chance to find other walls and climb them.

In fact, I am thinking of adding "Walls" into my proposed Trans Ohio Symposium workshop in the spring.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

It's OK!

As I wrote in the last Cyrsti's Condo post, there is plenty of room to differentiate cross dressers and transgender women.

An example is one of the professed cross dressers who comes to one of my transgender support group meetings. She is quite attractive and seems to be quite secure in who she is. She says she is satisfied with a life that has her looking like a cis woman part time and living like a guy the rest. Yes, she is married.

Granted, to be able to live like she does, one has to have an understanding spouse.

I wonder too, if the number of trans nazi's who drift through the group, influence her too. Several just aren't pleasant people and don't seem to be secure in their Mtf transition. One is even a total "IQ-45"(Rump) fan, which I can't come close to understanding. She went through SRS several years ago and just has a level of meanness which doesn't lurk so far beneath the surface.

Of course, being trans is not just a trait you somehow acquire, I believe you are born into it...or not.

The cross dressers in the group profess having the freedom to dress or not, but a transgender person doesn't. The difference being, a cross dresser wants to look like a cis woman, while a trans person wants to be a cis woman. Or live the life of one.

Some, like the person at the meeting, are fortunate to have been able to transition well enough to step between the genders. Most just aren't.

Either way, it's OK to exist together. Cross Dressers and transgender women are just as different as drag queens are to us.

More Cross Dressers Versus Transgender Women

Here in Cyrsti's Condo last week, we examined briefly, the subject of cross dressers and how they relate to transgender women, if at all.

Some feel cross dressing is simply a fetish activity which is essentially harmless, while others are fairly sure being a cross dresser is a gateway to becoming transgender over the years. Paula Goodwin sent in an interesting comment:

I think we are all part of the same family, different expression of the same issues, different situations, allowing different levels identity expressions.

Of course our different situations also mean we have to find conformation of our identities in different ways. Today I can go out into society socialising, shopping, working and play authentically, much of this is inaccessible to the cross dresser, who is only allowed outings on high days and holidays, or maybe not at all. For them the selfie may be the only authentication they can receive.

Our social group is more than happy to have cross dressers, non-binary, full time, part time and any other expression of trans as members, ~ and we try to be nice to each other."
Thanks Paula!
I think, there is also a certain amount of friction between the two groups because they are so radically different. 
More on that later!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Meeting of the Minds

Yesterday marked the first time ever I was able to assemble two out of three or four of the most important people who helped me along with my Mtf transgender transition.

Liz was off of work for the holidays and made the journey with me to my VA therapist who initially approved my request for HRT. Some four plus years ago.

My partner Liz of course was instrumental in always viewing me as a woman, trans or not. She also helped me ( and or pushed me) into doing all the work to change my legal gender markers (possible).

It meant a lot to me to tell both of them how much it meant to me and of course, they were gracious and deflected all the praise back on me.

We LGBT trans women know though that throughout our transgender journey's, there are more than a couple of individuals who help us along. Knowingly or not.

I have written many times here in Cyrsti's Condo of my deceased wife of twenty five years calling me the "pretty, pretty princess" who only wanted to experience the fun part of being a girl, without ever knowing what cis-women really went through.

I took the direct hit and set out to figure out what she meant and, over the years, finally understood . The levels of gender communication alone were nothing I had ever experienced of course. I never had to.

She also taught me the hard way to take the time to express what you feel to loved ones while they (or you) are still in this world. My wife passed away quite quickly and unexpectedly. If you have something positive to say, you better damn well say it!


Three Years Yesterday

If you are not aware, it was almost exactly three years ago when transgender teenager Leelah Alcorn stepped out in front of an interstate bound semi truck and ended her own life.

More than allegedly, she was forced into a Christian conversion therapy program by her Evangelical leaning parents which went terribly wrong.

This happened just Northeast of Metro Cincinnati.

Perhaps Leelah's legacy has not been forgotten, as another misguided mother in the area ended up losing her transgender child (so far) into court ordered foster care. Again, so called "Christian" therapy was called into question. Supposedly, the trans kid was subjected to being force fed six hours of Bible verses a day.

While it seems, some parents never learn, maybe society is coming around to protect transgender kids subjected to this terrible activity.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Transgender New Years

As promised, Connie's reply to Marcia's Cyrsti's Condo comment:
Thank you Cyrsti and a huge thank you to Connie. This post really spoke to me. I am currently very much in limbo, a foot in each gender I am doing all the footwork (at 57) to be three dimensional and fully me in 2018. "




FABULOUSCONNIEDEEDecember 26, 2017 at 5:53 PM
Marcia, I am happy what I said resonated with you. It was in my 57th year that I recognized a breakthrough in my own transition. Yes, the footwork is very important, as are the "headwork" and "heartwork." In my evaluation, transition never really ends, and the work doesn't, either.

I get a "word of the day" in my inbox each day, and I think that today's is a good one for some of what I had said in my comment. The word is: abeyance
noun | uh-BAY-unss

Definition

1 : a state of temporary activity : suspension — used chiefly in the phrase in abeyance

2 : a lapse in succession during which there is no person in whom a title is vested

I think it describes the limbo we find ourselves to be in, at some point or another. I pray that the whole world will soon see you as the full person you see yourself to be!"

Happy New Years to both (and all) of you!

New Year's Resolution

The beginning of a New Year is always a great time to make a resolution (or two) and make changes in your life.

Rarely though, does a human being have a chance to make a resolution as momentous as changing one's gender.

Indirectly, it happened to me.

Even though, I had decided it was time for me to MtF gender transition from part-time cross dresser to full time transgender woman, I had not started my hormone therapy.

As luck would have it, I received my first prescription of estrogen just around the middle of December. I decided to wait until New Years Eve  to take the first pill with Liz at my side. This was nearly four years ago and I was to start HRT on a minimum dosage for the first six months to check for any adverse reactions.  After the first six months, I proceeded to have my dosage increased to what my Doctor perceived was still a safe dosage. Eventually I switched to the Estradiol patches which I am on today.

As New Years Eve approaches again, Liz and I will take a moment to remember the momentous occasion a few years ago.

Little did we know what the future would bring with things such as changing my gender markers, etc.

At least one reader of Cyrsti's Condo (Marcia) is ready to embark on a similar journey and reacted to a comment Connie sent in.

I will post Connie's answer in my next post. 

Oil and Water?

A follow up post about the site I recently linked to here on Cyrsti's Condo, will refer to the possibility of bridging the gap between cross dressers and transgender women.

Sometimes I wonder if we are the equivalent of oil and water mixing.

Of course, during the stages of a Mtf gender transition, many of us pass through being what we believe to be a cross dressing period. Then gradually we find,being feminine is a natural way of life for us and we begin to think of ourselves as transgender.

This transition makes it incredibly difficult for us to explain to a spouse, family or friend what is going on with us. Simply wanting to wear clothes of the opposite gender is easier to pass off (no pun intended) than wanting to switch and live full time.

Also, the incredible tiny yet huge differences between the binary genders can not be easily explained or even learned without real life experience.

I do think cross dressers can understand transgender women and vice versa.

It;s hard for me though, to understand the cross dressers who seem to be more interested in posting a selfie, rather than caring what is happening to LGBT rights overall. But there was a time, I was guilty of the same thing. It took me years to figure out when and if someone took the time to tell me "how good I looked" was there a silent "for a man" attached to it?  Plus learning to live a feminine life encompassed so much more than looks or passing.

Maybe I have been chosen to experience binary gender dysphoria and fluid dysphoria in the same life?

Why not?

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Time Heals All?

Well, not quite, but at the least, time does have the benefit of softening unpleasant memories.

In a recent comment on a Cyrsti's Condo post, Connie mentions (among other things) the concept of my deceased wife eventually coming to terms with and/or accepting me being a transgender woman:

  "FABULOUSCONNIEDEEDecember 25, 2017 at 11:19 PM
It's coming up on ten years when my wife and I finally started dealing, truthfully, with my gender identity. She had not been happy with my cross dressing, and it was about to end our then 35 years of marriage. We reached an agreement that allowed me to be myself, Connie, on a semi-regular basis, although not with family and old friends. Her one demand, at the time, was that, if I grew breasts, I would be out of here. Over time, we have transitioned together, and she may even feel a little sorry for me that I am unable to undergo HRT for medical reasons. Your wife may have relented over time, as well.

My mother and my brother both died the following April. I regret never even discussing my gender identity with them, even though they had known that I cross dressed when I was young. Their absence from the family get-together was felt today. If only my presence, as the woman I am, could have been felt by them when they were alive.

You're right, perspective is all-important. But, really, when will my Christmas wish come true? "All I want for Christmas is my two front teats, my two front teats, my two front teats...."
Sorry about the loss of your brother and mother and the holidays are a bitter reminder that death is final. As long as someone is still alive, reconciliation is still possible. 
I do think too, my wife and I would have remained friends and she may even have become to respect or even grow fond of the true person I was to become.
As far as those "teats" go, put your best breast forward. 

Removal

I removed the HTML link and post concerning the cross dresser - transgender woman union site after I was researching it closer and my anti virus protection kicked one of their links out.

Beware and I am sorry. I will find out more! It all could be harmless...then again maybe not.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Ghosts of Christmas Past

Christmas Day brings back memories of my deceased wife, who was hugely into Christmas.

Even to the point of having a separate gift exchange for my cross dressing self. She had very few problems with my cross dressing, but made it very clear she couldn't accept any part of me being transgender. So, I did the unnatural thing...I hid it.

Every Christmas Eve though, I couldn't wait to open my "girl gift", which normally was a very nice sweater, or a sweater/skirt set.

I remember being quite fond of a fuzzy tight fitting pale blue sweater I received one year.

My wife has been gone now almost nine years, and it took me a good seven to even begin to celebrate the season again. But with the help of Liz, I have (although we actually celebrate "Yule" on a separate day.) 

Overcoming 65 plus years of Christmas with all of it's fond family memories is something I don't want to forget. I found I have to put the whole season in perspective, even with the non acceptance of my only brother.

I hope all of you can too, and begin to look ahead to a 2018 full of good will.

Merry Christmas!

I hope this Cyrsti's Condo post finds you safe,well and taking a moment to celebrate whatever religion you believe in!

Also, thank you sooo much for stopping by the blog as much as you do. It means a lot!

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Happy? Holidays?

Very simply, the holidays are a tough, tough time for a significant percentage of LGBT people. Not everyone has been accepted by their families, or has been able to find an extended family of like minded individuals...in our case, transgender individuals.

Perhaps you remember the Cyrsti's Condo post about the on-line counseling services offered by the BetterHelp group.

In my correspondence with them, I asked if they had any services directed towards the LGBT community. Recently, I received a fantastic response, a "Pride Counseling List" of phone numbers (including other countries) which can provide you with a quick help line in times of dire need.

The overall link to the "BetterHelp" site is located on my "blog list" "Do You Wanna Hook Up" located on the right front page of the blog towards the bottom. Or you can go here.

Please always remember, if you are depressed and stuck in the closet (like I was for years) your life too, can change on a dime and often the darkest hour is just before the dawn! Trans people can be remarkable survivors.

Every Once in a While!

Yesterday was one of those "A-Ha!" moments when I happened to get a quick glimpse of what the future holds for me on HRT.

If you are not familiar, hormone replacement therapy happens in stages too, not unlike the rest of your Mtf transition. Of course, your change will depend on upon dosage and levels of testosterone already in your body. Always remember, estrogen will only take you so far, then has the potential to be very toxic.

Initially the first changes I felt were with emotions and with increased tenderness in my breast area. Overtime, my breasts filled out to perhaps a small "D" cup and my hair went positively nuts. Along the way too, my body hair began to thin out.

Finally, my hips began to fill out as I saw for the first time yesterday. I could see what could/would have been, had I been born a cis woman.

You also need to remember with me, my advanced age (68) and the amount of time (6 months) I spent off HRT when I had the liver/iron problems. Add in the six months I spent initially on a bare minimum estrogen dosage and I feel I have been on serious HRT for three and half years.

I have always read, one must be on HRT approximately three years for hip development to occur.

At any rate, my quick glimpse yesterday was at once exciting and sad. Exciting on how far I have come and sad it took me so long to get here.

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Essence of Feminity

Connie delves into the "earth being flat" or the essence of femininity:

"FABULOUSCONNIEDEEDecember 21, 2017 at 12:13 PM
Mirrors and pics are two-dimensional. Depending upon them to affirm a trans woman's femininity leaves that femininity two-dimensional, as well. One of my favorite things to say is that a trans woman can't really see herself fully until she sees her own reflection in the eyes of others. Reaching the third dimension requires much effort - even more than all of the primping and posing it takes to make a good picture. Simply attempting to achieve a physically passing appearance becomes, at some point, a flat existence.

I know there are many who would argue that their cross dressing experiences are not flat and two-dimensional. They might say that their feminine self is nothing more than an extension of their three-dimensional male self. I understand it because, well, "been there, done that." As for myself, I had reached a point where even that was making me feel flat - no matter what gender I was showing myself to be. Even when I was living 80% as my feminine self, I was really no better than 50/50, because I had to be ready to make the change, either way, sometimes at a moment's notice. I felt like I was in a limbo, and I was not a good example of a woman or a man. Yes, I was cheating myself of a full, three-dimensional life, but, worse than that, I was cheating family and friends of my full self and the attention they deserved. Showing myself in a selfie, or, more to the point, as a selfie, was selfish and disingenuous. That is not what I ever want to be again.

Maybe, someday, I will reach a fifth dimension - about the time of the dawning of the age of Aquarius? (dating myself once again) :-)"
A GREAT point!  Thanks Connie...maybe Aquarius is here for the LGBT  transgender community.  

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Comment from Google Plus Reader

This came from Jean- Paul on Google Plus:

Hi first of all, please excuse my intrusion into your world but could you accept that the fact that we find ourselves on this same network takes me to take part of your profile which has caught all my attention which I hasten to give full satisfaction, daring to hope that you are well and that you pass an excellent and in case you come back in knowledge of my mail and whatever your answer, know that it is in all friendship that the read, thank you for your understanding! "

First of all, thank you Jean-Paul and indeed I am well as I hope you are too!

This is a reminder  you can reach me  on my email (which is on the blog page "contact me". If you wnat the question/comemment to be private, just tell me) also I am on Facebook and Twitter.

What ever method you choose, thnaks soooo much!






The Two Second Challenge

The second part of the previous Cyrsti's Condo post, addresses the two second gender challenge. In fact It's one of the topics I was educating my therapist about yesterday in our transgender veteran support group.

I have read studies in the past which have said the average human forms a gender determination in a space of two seconds.

In my stages of transition, I believe I have reached the point of having a fighting chance of being considered feminine with the majority of strangers I encounter these days.

More likely than not, I try to be ultra friendly (with a smile) the first time I meet someone, so they will pleasantly remember me when and if I see them again.

I learned the "second meeting" idea when I first started to go out as a cross dresser and the people who encountered me a second time expected me to interact with them. It was when I first learned I could (and wanted) to be a functioning transgender woman outside of my closet.

These days, I feel it's up to me to better my voice and project female to other strangers. Plus, if they don't get it, that is their problem, not mine. Which makes the whole deal stress free for me.

Plus, even these days, I still try to learn from every interaction. After-all, if I didn't, life as I know it would be over and I may as well regress back into my dark past in a cross dressing closet.

It's a gender game I love to win!

To Be ...or Not To Be

There are two huge questions we face as we go through the "stages of MtF gender transition."

One of which is the pesky "passing" question. If you go back through all the very old Cyrsti's Condo's posts you may notice an inordinate amount of them have to do with how I looked. Over time though, I became less and less obsessed  and more concerned with how I felt. In addition, you probably noticed, many of the pictures I use are dated.

Connie noticed: (Thanks!)

"You forgot to take a selfie?!? Now, that marks a point of transition. It's a long way from being obsessed with taking selfies, anyway. Although I have never been one for taking selfies, it seems to be a pretty popular thing to do within the trans community, especially among the cross dressing faction."
I think there is a certain sense of pride in all the work it takes to transform one's self from a man to a woman for a selfie at least, and rightfully so. The problem becomes when you  have to take the selfie out into the public's eye and deal with reality. I remember all the times the mirror told me I looked devastatingly good, just to be totally devastated when I would be immediately busted. It's impossible for a picture to hold up a standard when you add in all the angles and movement of real life.
Over time though, I personally was fortunate enough to be able to grow out my own hair enough to do away with wigs and gain enough confidence from it to move forward in my transition to another stage. I am aware too, a cross dresser or transgender woman can do the same with a quality wig/hair piece.  
The end result of course is how confident you feel and if a picture helps, why not? 
Often, to be...or not to be is just in the eyes of another anyhow.
I believe now I have crossed into another stage of transition where much of the public automatically views me as a woman and it is up to me to screw it up from there. Which is the topic of another upcoming blog post here in Cyrsti's Condo and answer the second question.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Everyday Life of an Everyday Transgender Blogger

When I embarked on writing Cyrsti's Condo some five plus years ago (thanks to Connie) I barely knew what a blog was, let alone write one. Then I found out how many bloggers don't post everyday.

Early in the process, writing everyday was a challenge (yes), but on the other hand, a much easier one in that the whole process was so bright, shiny and new. In my pet "levels of transition" the first big level of stepping out into the world as a real live trans woman.

Echoing my sentiment in many ways is fellow blogger Paula GoodwinPaula GoodwinDecember 19, 2017 at 6:57 AM
"As things progress it does become very difficult to find things to write about, when I started Paula's Place each outing was worth at least four posts, as I planed my outfit, my route and everything else down to the smallest detail to avoid any risk, then I could usually mange at least a couple of posts, on what I did, how I felt and what people's reactions were.

Now it's just everyday life!

I have found that the Blog is now much less Trans or Clothes related than it used to be, it is just about me, my opinions, experiences, and my ideas. Writing a daily Blog is tough! and a big commitment."
I can't agree more Paula about your overall comment, especially the part of this level of transition is when life becomes essentially "ho-hum" I am finally living my dream as a transgender woman. I too, struggle to write about clothes as much as I did. 
It's a good problem to have! 

"Trans Trippin Bout 'Nuttin"

As previously mentioned here in Cyrsti's Condo, I spent most of my day yesterday traveling the one hundred mile trip to attend one of my transgender veteran support group.

I wore dark gray leggings which closely matched my charcoal boots with my new dark forest green fuzzy sweater with the lace inserts. I paired it all with a pair of rose gold hoop earrings and one of the hand knitted beige scarves which Liz made for me...plus my black leather hip length jacket. I was trying to remember to get a selfie, but yesterday was so screwed I forgot.

As far as the sparsely attended meeting went, I ended up speaking about a specialty wig shop in Dayton, Ohio and my theory about the different levels of MtF gender transition. Nothing too exciting.

I ended up packing some items I need to sell from my warehouse I am closing in Springfield (Ohio) and a load of trash. So, the day was overall less than a glamorous excursion.

Such is life as a full-time transgender woman.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Monday Blues?

This is another one of those days when my Cyrsti's Condo's blog ideas are difficult to come by. After all, you have probably noticed, I have relied heavily on the creativity of regular readers'comments to provide quality content.

I have even written about going stealth as a transgender woman.

It's also difficult to write about every time I go out as a trans woman, because I am living 24/7. Our weekly shopping trip to the grocery store yesterday was predictably boring. Except the cash out girl who gave me the "princess" look when I balked at helping to bag the groceries. Liz would have killed me! I suppose I should be happy she thought enough of me to fire off the powerful woman to woman non verbal communication.

So, let's jump ahead. Tomorrow, I am going to another transgender or even LGBT support group meeting in Dayton, Ohio. Normally, I have a person or so I need to write about, but lately I haven't even seen the "on again" - "off again" SRS "transendered" (her words) woman from Indiana.

I have even figured out which outfit I will be wearing on our annual New Years Eve "date" and where we are going.

Oh yeah, while I am on my whining binge, my estrodial patches are bothering me this morning. Every once in awhile, they itch a day after I change them out. On the other hand, I feel they are doing me some good if I can feel some sort of reaction in my breasts...or "breast-ed's" as our Indiana friend says. :)

Even though it wasn't much of a post, maybe later on today, I will be inspired!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Transitioning Around Transitioning

As I have mentioned many times here in Cyrsti's Condo, there are many stages in a Mtf transition. Very rarely I suppose, does a transgender woman wake up early in her transition and say "this is the day", go out and throw her male clothes in the trash.

Personally, I think I went through at least distinct transitions before I arrived at the point I am today.

Let's check in on Connie's ideas:

"FABULOUSCONNIEDEEDecember 16, 2017 at 11:43 AM
In my mind, I had begun transition about 18 months before I went full-time living as a woman. There had been little doubt that I was ready (long overdue, really) to live as my true self, but I felt obligated to others to plan and allow them to transition along with me. That is, family and friends were more important to me than whatever solace my transition may have brought me. By that time, I had already been living 80% as a woman, which was pretty easy. The last 20% took a lot of work, however. The 80% was in terms of time, but the 20% of time was ten times more important to me. Three Thanksgivings have passed now since I began my 100% life, and I couldn't imagine going back to 80% - which is as far back as I know I could manage, anyway.

I, like Paula, am a musician. I had long wondered how I would be accepted by an audience as a woman, and also by other musicians. I had been performing for mostly cross dressers for about a year, but that was more of a novelty, and not so affirming. I was in a blues/jazz band as my male self at the same time, and one day I secured a job for the band at a charity event called "Cross Dress for Success," raising money for "Dress for Success," helping low income women with business attire to help them find jobs. Using my cunning and decisiveness (honed so well over the years), I had a clause put in the contract that "at least one member of the band must be cross dressed." That opened the door for me to come out to my band, but what happened later was far beyond my expectations. Someone at the event wanted to hire us for another event (having nothing to do with trans), but insisted that I be just who I am. That led to a series of gigs for "Connie Dee and The Sciaticats (we all had bad backs, but were cool as cats), and I never appeared on stage as my old male self again. I went on to bill myself as "The Fabulous Connie Dee," adding the "fabulous" because there was already a "Connie Dee," hence the name you see here.

I'd have to say that love is what helps to make the decision to transition. Love who you are, love those who are important to you, and love what you do (or continue to do what you always loved)."
As always thanks!
I too agree with the 80%. I had an tendency to over think the final 20% as I transitioned. I was too concerned with every move I made and with every nuance of how I looked. It was only after I finally began to gain confidence (and relax) did I begin to really enjoy my new life.

Rugby Mini Dress

Thanks to all of you who continue to help me to write Cyrsti's Condo! These comments from Paula and Michelle deserve to be repeated:

  1. "I always thought that American Football was a girls game anyway! Sometimes when I am with friends who have known me for a long time, and the conversation turns to my game (Rugby Union ~ I played in the front row!) anyone who overhears the conversation can get a little confused. I am sure that there are some men who have felt their masculinity undermined when somebody as apparently Macho as I appeared to be rejects their own masculinity, but, I suspect that this often indicates a lack of security in their own sexuality or masculinity.

    I make it point of pride only to wear rugby shirts of teams I have played for or against, I still have the shirt I used at my last club, it's just that now I wear it as a mini dress!
  2. I had to laugh when you were describing how you dealt with the tow truck driver.

    And yes you are right about how women start learning early on how to act around men (basically how to stroke their egos) to accomplish a goal."
  3. Paula, while I wouldn't go as far (of course)  by calling American Football a girls game, there are women playing it now...so you could be right! Plus I have seen a semi-pro women's football team up close and personal, and I would  not want to make any enemies of them. Also, I thought the Australians played the toughest rugby :)
  4. I had a long The Ohio State University football jersey, which could have been worn as a mini dress...just never did it.
  5. And Michelle (no relation), I did learn a powerful lesson with the tow driver, just smile, shut up, and make him feel good by making a fool of himself! It's no wonder cis women have such a different view of dealing with men that we trans girls have to learn as we cross the gender frontier!
  6. Thanks to both for your comments!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

We Made the Cut!

In an ever increasing attempt to curtail free speech in this country, the orange menace (Rump) and crowd have banned certain words for government agencies to use...including transgender.

Here is more from the Washington Post: 

"  
The Trump administration is prohibiting officials at the nation’s top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases — including “fetus” and “transgender” — in any official documents being prepared for next year’s budget.
Policy analysts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta were told of the list of forbidden words at a meeting Thursday with senior CDC officials who oversee the budget, according to an analyst who took part in the 90-minute briefing. The forbidden words are “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.”
And:
"The question of how to address such issues as sexual orientation, gender identity and abortion rights — all of which received significant visibility under the Obama administration — has surfaced repeatedly in federal agencies since President Trump took office. Several key departments — including Health and Human Services, which oversees the CDC, as well as Justice, Education, and Housing and Urban Development — have changed some federal policies and how they collect government information about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.
I have no further comment about how ugly this makes me feel about the current fascist administration.


Decisions, Decisions

Paula Goodwin responded to our Cyrsti's Condo post about going full time as a transgender woman:
"Making the decision to stay full time in one gender is not an easy one, particularly for those of us of more mature year! After living many years presenting one gender to then make a permanent switch takes a lot of thought. For me I felt I had to try out what it was like doing real life things presenting as a woman, not just the fun things like going out to concerts, bars or galleries. I joined an orchestra as Paula and found that I enjoyed my music more and played with more sensitivity (as much as is possible on the bass trombone!) and that I was just more comfortable.

I would strongly recommend trying some real life experiences before making the decision, after all it may be possible to go back after going 24/7 but it could be both difficult and embarrassing!"
Thank you Paula!
I can't imagine ever going back, although I have to admit I miss doing several of the activities I did as a guy and I miss the simplicity of living as a guy.
My body is so feminized now from HRT, I know I could go back, but I can't ever imagining wanting to. Almost none of the people now ever knew my old male self.


Friday, December 15, 2017

What Makes a Man a Man?

Briefly, a couple of posts ago here in Cyrsti's Condo, we discussed how (for the most part) cis-men are intimidated by transgender women.

It's another complicated topic with no easy answers, but there are a couple. First, many men cling tenuously to their manhood to start with. Manhood is so confined, as compared to womanhood. After-all, woman have the children, keep a home and these days most must work too. Men have ego's which need to be maintained, etc.

Also the domains previously reserved for men are shrinking. Sports are a prime example. When, we, as trans women have played sports (and still have an active interest in) in our past, it's a problem with some men. Take Connie for example:

"I don't know if my high school successes as a football player intimidates any man, but I have disappointed a few who think that I was fooling them. I did play football as a diversion; a diversion for myself and a diversion for others to have no idea that I had a secret identity. The truth is that I loved playing the game - beyond the opportunities it afforded me to take out my anger and frustration on another human being. It was something I had a talent for, but, thank God, I had not the size for college ball. I don't have many occasions to talk about my past exploits in the game like a group of guys might do, trading stories and one-upping each other. That just doesn't fit my style anymore. 

There have been times, with people who are sincere in their curiosity, when I've used the example of my prior football days to explain how I dealt with my gender identity early on. Then I sing a verse of "If They Could See Me Now," and give a big wink. My days of intimidation were left on the football field. ;-)"

As most of you know, I too played football and some baseball in my past. When I was actively in the dating pool as a transgender woman, sometimes I just didn't say much about my knowledge of sports, or other "guy" things when dealing with a guy. A perfect example was when my car broke down one time and I had to sit back and play the perfect "dumb blond" as the driver explained to me how to get to my own house and how his tow truck worked.

I suppose it's an act most cis women learn growing up.

Maybe now, times are a changing and it's up to cis men to be better persons and catch up. They just can't rely on their "brawn" to make life work with women. Cis or trans. 

And thanks to Connie.

What If

I dwell on this topic quite a bit it seems. Perhaps it's because I get asked the question about what it's like to go "full time" as a transgender woman. All of a sudden, it wasn't which gender I was going to a party as, it became what I was going to find to wear. As a woman, I didn't want to embarrass myself. Didn't want to under-dress or over- dress for the evening.

In many ways, it's a tough question, yet easy to answer. First of all, it is different than anything I ever imagined. Back in my cross dressing days, I was obsessed with so called "passing." Now I'm obsessed with looking the best I can and letting the cards fall where they may.

Along the way, I have crossed so many frontiers, they are hard to remember. Communication barriers arose the more I lived as a woman. Both genders communicated with me different. For the most part I was ostracized by men and treated with curiosity by women. Along the way, I just came to expect it. I learned to be more of a listener and be on the outlook for passive aggressive behavior.

"Passing" was also replaced by comfort and blending. It became simply impossible for me to put together a complete "heels and hose" outfit for every occasion. Instead, I began to dress to blend...with other women. So, again, I was dressing for women and not men.

I think too, in many parts of the country, living as a transgender woman or trans man is becoming  somewhat easier. In fact, I recently gave job advice to a new trans woman friend. I asked her if there was a Kroger Grocery Store near her. At least around here, Kroger makes it a point to be very diverse.

Not to say life is a piece of cake for a trans person, but in someways there is a glimmer of hope on the sunrise. Especially with the political situation beginning to change. Even in Alabama.

Finally, if you really are thinking about going "full-time", dress to blend and go to the hardest places you perceive to go. If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere!

Good luck...on your new gender skill.


Thursday, December 14, 2017

Success in Columbia?


  • From the Washington Blade:



BOGOTÁ, Colombia — A transgender woman who is running for the Colombian Senate hopes to make history in the South American country.
Tatiana Piñeros on Monday formally registered her candidacy with Colombian election officials.
Piñeros is ninth among the list of candidates for the “List of Decency” — a coalition that includes the center-left Independent Social Alliance and Patriotic Union parties and the Indigenous and Social Alternative Movement.
Congressional elections are scheduled to take place on March 11. Piñeros would become the first openly trans person elected to the Colombian congress if she receives enough votes.
“We need to have new voices,” she told the Washington Blade on Tuesday from the Colombian capital of Bogotá. “We need new leaders.”
For more, go here.

Dealing with Life

Every now and then I am reached out to by a professional medical organization about linking up to Cyrsti's Condo.

Recently, I was contacted by another called Better Help. The site seems to be totally involved in helping people with mental health issues, including stress.

Speaking or writing for yours truly, being transgender has dealt me with an incredible amount of stress over the years. In addition with having a day to day struggle with being bi-polar. I had to struggle trough half of my life before I ever sought out and received help. Times, fortunately, are changing.

Better Help also offers a link to on line counseling too, as well as too many topics to mention here.

My only aim in sharing with you is maybe you can find a topic/answer that will be beneficial to you.

In the meantime, I am going to ask them if they had or have any specific advice for transgender women or trans men.

Finally, you can check their link out above or in our "Want to Hook Up Listings".

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

We Got Mail

We received several great comments on the Cyrsti's Condo post "He Protests too Much" here they are:

  1. Yeah, I like girls.....and football too! So what? Lots of women, trans and cis do, as well. How old is this guy, and how long has he been cross dressing? I spent most of my life questioning my gender identity, not coming to such conclusions as that. Obviously, though, he picked the wrong crowd to make that proclamation.

    When I came out to my family, my then 15-year-old grandson had two concerns: Would I leave his grandmother, and did I still like football. No, and yes were my answers, and everything was cool. I hope this cross dresser can open his mind as much as a 15-year-old.
  2. I am so tempted to repeat my favorite joke, you know the one, "What's the difference between a crossdresser and a trans sexual?" ~ "about three years" (actually that's a lie, my favorite joke is "A white horse walks into a bar and orders a beer, while he's pouring it the bar man says ~ "We've got a whisky named after you!" and the horse answers "What!? Nigel?"

    Anyway I digress the thing about trans people is that we reflect all of society, we are Black, White, and every other available colour; we are straight, gay, bi, pan, or asexual; we are liberal and conservative; we are fat and thin; male, female, or non binary; basically we are just the same as everybody else ~ and of course that means that some of us are liars, cheats, sexual predators, and of course some of us are simply stupid!"
  3.   I think too, because some of us do like football or rugby and used to play them, we intimidate some men. After all,what actual domains do men have left? 
  4. Plus, if some cross dressers find trans girls attractive, it brings up delicate serious insecurities. The guy at the meeting perhaps was dealing with one of those.  He is in his 40'sand has been cross dressing since his teens, but has never "gone all the way." He is into fetishes such as satin and corsets.
  5. Thanks for the comments!

Me Thinks He Protests too Much!

At our transgender support group meeting last night, I heard a self professed cross dresser say emphatically he couldn't be transgender because he likes women. The whole outburst was a little unnerving to me because he looked straight (no pun intended) at me when he said it.

I simply said, don't tell my cis-woman partner of five plus years I can't like women because I'm trans.

From there, and I am not sure he listened, other's in the room tried to explain the difference between gender (between the ears) and sexuality (between the legs).

I guess I shouldn't have been surprised at his lack of understanding and hopefully a few more statements such as that will help him to understand. Plus, it just so happens, I know at least a couple more of the participants are married to, or live with cis women and a couple more participants are bi-sexual.

A learning experience for him to be sure. I hope a positive one.

Perhaps too, if you have heard the old saying "if a person protests too much they may have a skeleton or two dancing in their closet." He may be experiencing a fantasy or two keeping his skeletons dancing.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

How Did I Get Here?

I used to write anti stealth posts here in Cyrsti's Condo about transgender women transitioning and then going stealth, to be never heard from again.

Many years later, I find myself in the same spot.

It has occurred to me I am the trans stealth person now for a couple of reasons. The first being, I really don't care what the public thinks of me and if the truth be known, most need to see and/or interact with a transgender person anyhow.

The second reason being is I think I am better in living a feminine lifestyle. Or, at the least I am used to it, through more error than trial over the years. I have settled in to the person I thought I could become and blend with other cis-women in the world.

In other words, going stealth was a natural turn of events. After all, I went through all the trouble of having my legal gender markers changed to female.

I used to see "landmarks" in my MtF gender transition.  Now all I see is life. So I guess, stealth is good after all. Looking back, I am pretty sure I know how I got here, now I sure as hell don't ever want to leave.

It's Amazing!

Well once again, it seems the "Dumptster" has been dealt dual set backs in his quest to deny transgender troops the right to serve in the military. A third judge as well as the Pentagon itself has said after January first, trans woman and trans men can enlist and serve in the U.S. military.

Since the people's minority president spends four hours of his day watching television, I'm sure he will be finding other activities to zero in on, like screwing up the Middle East or starting a nuclear war.

Locally, the news concerning trans students in a local school district was not good. Last night a major school district in the Cincinnati area voted not to extend LGBT transgender protections to their students. Of course the meeting was packed by local alt right Evangelicals who shot it down. To but it into perspective, this is close to the same area as Leelah Alcorns' parents live.

Not so amazing. I wish I could have written a "fluff" post today. But, I just couldn't. Sorry.

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Pendulum Swings

I believe the winding course which takes us from being a part time cross dresser to a full time transgender woman has a pendulum. It swings back and forth until you decide on the feminine person you ultimately will become as you regain your heritage.

You may always want/need to dress in heels and hose or (on the other hand) you may end up loving your girl jeans and boots. It's trans human nature, sort of like being a princess, per Connie:

"FABULOUSCONNIEDEEDecember 10, 2017 at 4:05 PM
It's OK to feel like a princess once in a while. In fact, every woman - cis or trans - has a right to it. Looking back, I see that my cross dressing experiences were like crossing a line each time. I was feeling the princess in me, but I was simultaneously trying to block out the essence of my self in order to do so. Soon after entering the women's world 24/7, I found myself more in a zone - a zone in which I might feel like a chambermaid one moment, and a princess the next. 
The princess feeling may come and go, and it may be as small and fleeting as having a man open a door for me or a knowing smile from another woman. Sure, I experienced a bit of that when cross dressed, but I had to cross a line first. I can tell you now, though, that these feelings are so much more affirming in my life as a woman (trans woman, if you insist) than they were when I was only temporarily presenting a facade.

Above it all is that I would rather live within the zone as a chambermaid, with fewer opportunities to be a princess, than to have to cross a line in order to feel like a princess for a few hours at a time. The princess feeling can come at any time, not just after I've made a conscious effort to step over a line."
Very true! Thanks! :)

You Are Nothing...

It's been awhile here in Cyrsti's Condo since I have discussed my most prized possession...my health.  You may (or may not) remember, I ran into some fairly serious iron problems in my blood in 2015. The issue wasn't a lack of iron, it was too much. If the problem was not brought under control, liver damage would result. To make a long story short, I was taken off my precious estrogen until it was and in the meantime my hands were breaking out in sores, again until my iron could be brought under control.

After seeing a number of VA (Veterans Administration) doctors, one diagnosed my problem and set out to help me take care of it. He ordered me to undertake a series of Phlebotomy's until my iron was back under control. Here is a partial explanation:

"Phlebotomy is a clinical procedure in which blood is taken out from your body. People suffering from conditions such as hemochromatosis, where there is an excess of iron content in the blood, or polycythemia, where the patient produces excessive amounts of red blood cells, regularly undergo phlebotomy to alleviate their condition.
The regular removal of blood lowers the body’s iron level by bringing down the population of red blood cells in the body."

This link will take you to more of an explanation..

Most importantly, over a period of six months, the treatment worked and I was allowed to get back on my HRT meds and resume my MtF transgender gender transition. In addition I, perhaps, will have blood taken every three months or so for the rest of my life.

My thanks to Sam Thomas , the main editor at Medipursuit who helped me with the explanation and the link.

It's hard to explain what the process was and how important it was/is to me. With the Christmas season upon us, the most important gift anyone can receive is their health!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Jump! ...Suit

I was watching one of Liz's sewing shows this morning on one of our PBS television channels. Liz is a seamstress and the show's theme today was the returning popularity of the pants or jump-suit for women.

The show brought back many memories I had about a black jump-suit I just loved back in the day...when they were in style. I remember I was lucky to find it in my size in a deep discount store and it fit wonderfully. The only problem was when I had to potty, I had to almost take it all off.

Ancient picture of the wig I wore with the pants-suit
The jumpsuit was also what I wore on the evening I chose to go out and seriously begin to live as a transgender woman. It was also the first night I can remember I was making a conscious choice to move from a cross dresser to a trans woman.
Perhaps you remember the Cyrsti's Condo post detailing the extreme fear I felt on the evening. The "suit" helped me to succeed that night because it was upscale and fit in with the professional women who were coming in after work. I was able to blend in easily.

The jump-suit also fit in well when I went shopping in several of the upscale malls in Columbus, Ohio. Again, I fit right in with many of the other cis-women as I shopped.

As fond as the memories were though, I don't think I would try to wear a pants-suit again.

Reality or Fantasy?

Back in the day, my deceased wife and I would engage in many discussions/arguments over my cross dressing only being fantasy based and having nothing to do with knowing how a "real" woman lived. Little did she know, when she called me the "Pretty, pretty princess" I was motivated to learn exactly what she was talking about...learn how to live as a "real" woman.

It turns out Connie had a similar experience:

"As we both heard from our spouses early on, "You just want all the fun parts of being a girl!" For me, that comment made me really examine my gender identity. It caused me, at once, both shame and indignation. I hated myself for living out a fantasy at the expense of our relationship, but how dare she say that it was only a fantasy! By all appearances, though, she was right. I had been holding back my real femininity in order to be able to compartmentalize my feminine and masculine presentations. When I explained that to her later, and she graciously accepted my need to let go of the masculine, the freedom (and the responsibility) of embracing the feminine world opened the door to a life that was so much more natural to me than I'd ever experienced before.

As a man, I always preferred the company of women on a social level. I was seen by them as a sensitive and gentle man. Women would confide in me like they would not to most guys, and I learned so much about myself in the process. I actually had an empathy for women that most men could not ever comprehend. The thing that was so upsetting to me, though, is that I was not so well received by women when I was "just having fun" being one. Yes, I had been looking at life from both sides, but it wasn't until I melded them together - being who I really am - that I have been able to be seen by both women and men as having validity. Now, this validity may not be of a cis woman's, but it is close enough that I get respect for who I am. I can't ask for more than that."
As life went on, I found out my wife was right...I was just being a princess but my life was to change dramatically, and no I never became the "queen."
Thanks Connie for sharing.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

How High or Low can You Go?

Liz was discussing with me my Cyrsti's Condo post about the socialization similarities between cis and transgender women.

I'm paraphrasing here, but she said she thought many cross dressers and/or trans women don't understand the seriousness cis women grow up with, when life comes down to appearance. How a whole day can be ruined when an outfit is under appreciated.

On the other hand she agreed with me when I brought up how good we can feel the moment we sense everything has come together and we look the best we can.

She also said, most cis women pass through a certain time of their lives when they are sure they look their best. But, as time passes by, the cis woman has to rely on other features to make them still feel attractive.

That's why, I do my best to take care of my aging skin. If you are on a budget and have an "Big Lots" store nearby, they sell cosmetic facial wipes for around a dollar a pack (30 wipes.) My personal faves are the "green tea" wipes. They do a fantastic job of removing all my makeup and deep cleansing my skin.
Older picture with shorter hair and old glasses.

Plus, as you have all probably read, I try to walk everyday for all the benefits it can provide-including the all important weight control. I figured long ago, if I was seriously considering playing in the girls sandbox as a transgender woman, I needed to start to work at it.

Sometimes I wonder, when someone says they "cannot pass", are they working hard enough to do it. Very, very few of us can naturally head out into a feminine world and be successful. I also tell everyone to not necessarily become enamored with all the pictures you see on the web. The best looking cross dresser - transgender woman in the world can not make it as a trans woman if she walks and talks like a linebacker.

In fact, Liz says "I'm such a girl" when she out cusses me. On the other hand she is always telling me I have a problem with my posture.

It's like everything else in life...highs and lows are part of existence. Just head on back to the drawing board and do better. No matter what age you are or how you perceive your appearance.

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