Wednesday, January 31, 2018

LGBT Success?

I have been following with interest the unfolding drama in my former hometown of Springfield, Ohio who finally has passed an ordinance to outlaw discrimination based on sexual preference. However, as I read with interest, I found the giant "religious loophole." Meaning, you can still discriminate for religious reasons. At least that is the way I read it. Also, I didn't find a word about "gender discrimination" ...or protection for transgender women or trans men. I suppose any movement in a very conservative old town is a good move, but it could have been better.

Speaking of better, check this out, from Vermont's Seven Days: "Christine Hallquist is about to make history — or at least give it her best shot. 

The CEO of the Johnson-based Vermont Electric Cooperative is poised to announce a run for governor as a Democrat. If she were to win the August primary, she would become the nation’s first openly transgender, major-party candidate for governor. 

It was only last November that Danica Roem of Virginia became the first openly transgender person to win a race for a state legislative seat. A potential governorship? Now, that's history. 

Hallquist is nationally known in utility circles and is a respected expert on energy matters in the Vermont Statehouse. But she’s never been tempted to enter politics herself — that is, until Donald J. Trump won the presidency. “There are strong headwinds from Washington that threaten [Vermont’s] way of life and finances,” she said, explaining her move toward candidacy. 
Hallquist


The 61-year-old Hyde Park resident would face long odds against Gov. Phil Scott, Vermont's popular first-term Republican, but she is undaunted by the challenge. “I’m a strong leader,” she said. “I can handle headwinds. I wouldn’t be running otherwise.”

Before that, Hallquist would have to win a Democratic primary featuring 13-year-old Ethan Sonneborn and environmental advocate James Ehlers — which, at first glance, seems like a pretty good bet. Party leaders have welcomed Ehlers’ candidacy but have also continued to beat the bushes for candidates with a better shot at winning. And they are very happy to see Hallquist enter the arena. "


Follow the link above for more.

If Ya' Gotta" Go

Unfortunately, one of the most devastating facets of being being transgender includes being able to use the bathroom of your choice.

So much so, I was surprised to hear one of the new participants (a cis woman) ask about it during our last trans vet support meeting. I said it definitely was a factor to me, as I have used (of course) women's bathrooms for years now. Along the way I have been treated very rudely, although many years ago. Even to the point of having the police called on me and being called a pervert.

Another trans woman in the group talked about the extreme measures she takes if she doesn't know for sure there will be safe bathrooms to use where she is going. For example, not drinking a lot of fluids. She also said she knows where every gender neutral bathroom is in the VA hospital (Veterans Administration) although supposedly, we can use any bathroom we want.

I have always said, I find the whole situation to be over blown because many women's bathrooms aren't the "pristine" palaces one was led to believe they would be. Be careful of where you sit to pee!

I have always found it to be the best policy not to take your time. Do your business, wash your hands, check your make up and move on. Back in the day I used to even carry a tampon with me, in case some women was questioning my girl card. These days I don't because rarely does anyone question my "age" card!

Plus, I have female marked on my drivers license and veteran's administration identification card. Should anyone ask.

Like I said, it has been years since anyone has. I even made it through the rest stop on the Alabama/Mississippi state line.

Enough said!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Coming Events

Presumably, I will go Friday night to one of the cross dresser/transgender social mixers at a nearby restaurant/ bar.

I really don't want to go without Liz, who is saying now she will go. However, a bad workday could derail her enthusiasm. Maybe a Margarita would help?  Maybe :).

As I have said before here in Cyrsti's Condo, I'm a little shy in going simply because "back in the day, I saw too many instances of "men in dresses behaving badly." I won't go into too much detail, except to say I was ashamed to be associated with them because of activities in the women's bathroom. Plus, that was in a gay venue and Friday's night out is in a straight venue.

Who knows though, I could have a good time and dodge the one t-Rump supporter who snorts under her breath half the time when something is said and for some reason won't leave me alone. Just lucky I guess, and yes she knows my politics as well as I know hers.

It would be interesting too to see if anyone else brings a real live cis woman with them as a guest. I'm guessing not.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Another Kennedy in Line?

Fortunately in this country, there are intelligent young progressive politicians waiting in the wings to take the reins of power from the old corrupt fools we have in power now.

One has a familiar last name, Joe Kennedy and he will be stepping up to deliver the Democratic rebuttal to the orange buffoon's State of the Union" address. Which I will be boycotting.
Joe Kennedy

On top of that, Kennedy is going to rub salt in 45's wounds and invite an transgender service person to the speech. According to The Hill:

"Rep. Joseph Kennedy (D-Mass.) has invited a transgender soldier to President Trump’s first State of the Union in protest of the administration's attempt to ban transgender people from the military.
Staff Sgt. P
Patricia King
atricia King will be the lawmaker's guest to Trump’s address, according to The Boston Globe.
King told the Globe that she realized she was a transgender woman while serving in the military, and soon came out to her family.
Trump announced last year that he was banning transgender people from serving in the U.S. military. However, courts have halted the ban and transgender people were allowed to enlist starting Jan. 1.
“I have served for almost 19 years,” King told the Globe. “And all of a sudden, it is all hanging in the balance.”
King also told the publication that she was the first service member to have her gender reassignment surgery paid for by the military.
“There are much easier ways to get surgery covered than enlisting in the military, [facing] the possibility of deployment, and dealing with the stigma of being a transgender service member,” she said. “Every one of us who raises our right hand is prepared to give everything in the defense of our country.”
Kennedy, a rising star in the Democratic Party who will deliver the party's response to Trump’s address, told the paper that he invited King to remind the president of transgender service members' dedication to the U.S.
“I want her to be there as a real person, and the face of an inhumane policy,” Kennedy said."

Banquet

Here is a photo of the banquet night outfit. It looks like I better step up my weight loss program again!

Maybe I should have had more salad and less meat at the banquet :)

Cyrsti's Condo "Quote of the Day"

"Dealing in shadows will just make you a dark person."

Jessie

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Still Fighting

Perhaps you remember the post here in Cyrsti's Condo concerning the transgender boy here in the Cincinnati area who was removed from his parents home. Staying would have resulted in suicide.

The father, kept telling him to go ahead and commit suicide while the mother pushed long and hard for 'Christian Conversion Therapy'. The trans kid was/or would be subjected to being read bible verses six hours a day.

What is happening now is in the court's hands. His grandparents have stepped up and volunteered to take charge and help the trans boy. In other words, to basically save his life.

If you recall too, the idea of teen transgender suicide is all too real here in the Cincinnati area. A couple years ago, Leelah Alcorn (right) committed suicide by stepping in front of a semi truck near her home on an interstate highway.

Thanks to intervention this time, hopefully such a tragedy won't happen again!

Another Trans Reset Complete

Just when you think (or thought) your legal male past has been erased, my old male name appeared quite unexpectedly on my new bank documents.

As I have written here in Cyrsti's Condo, I absolutely recoiled in disgust when I saw the name on my new bank cards and checks.

Well, yesterday, my new checks came with my correct name. Which matched my new bank cards. I need to point out too, it was over two years ago when I completed all possible MtF gender marker changes. Ohio is still one of the states who is resisting changing gender on birth certificates. So, as of now, that option is still unavailable to me until it changes.

I don't know if I mentioned too, I have met a transgender woman whose hormones are so screwed up, she registers as pregnant on her blood tests. She plans on using it to her advantage and is going to be petitioning the state for a gender change on her birth certificate.

As far as I go, I know I have a couple other pieces of documentation I have to get changed,  and yes I am a procrastinator! One is my term life insurance policy and the other is a college fund for one of my grand-kids. All just a matter of a phone call or two.

In some ways, I view the whole process as a just another needed problem to solve and other times, what a pain in the rear! 

Welcome Emily!

I would like to take this moment to welcome Emily's Virtual Rocket Blog to Cyrsti's Condo! Her link will appear in our "Wanna Hook Up" Blog roll on the right side of the page.

Here is an introduction for you:

Please take a moment to review "Emily's Virtual Rocket". (emilysvirtualrocket.blogspot.com) This has reviews of transgender life, plus a critical view of Donald Trump. Here’s what I cover:

1- Donald Trump
2- international (random)
3- civil rights
4- states (random)
5- feature

Sincerely,

Emily Shorette

Thanks Emily! (Especially for your view on Donny t-Rumpt.)

Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Younger the Better!

Well, the semi formal banquet has come and gone. As is usually true, Liz was right about my outfit and I even got a couple compliments on my top. Along the way, I was happy I didn't trash myself or anyone else at the table with my food. I tried eating slower and more femininely but ended up being the last one eating. So I don't know if it worked or not.

The biggest surprise though was seeing a young transgender girl (approx 10 or 11) having the time of her life playing with other girls. She was wearing a nice dress, black tights and flats. She also had her ears pierced.

Just to see her energy and know a little how she felt did my heart good!

Plus it took my selfish emphasis on myself, off...in a hurry.

As it turned out, very few people paid me any attention anyhow. So much for my trans ego.

Buy "Pure Romance"

If you are not familiar, "Pure Romance" features a line of feminine "romantic" products which are mainly sold at home parties and on line.

The company just happens to be headquartered here in Cincinnati, and the CEO's daughter is transgender. Cincinnati also has a ground breaking program within it's Children's Hospital for trans kids.

It turns out the CEO is stepping up to help other transgender families. From Cincinnati.Com:

"Chris and Jessica Cicchinelli never thought they'd find themselves at the transgender clinic at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.
It was scary, but they found it a place that was safe and helpful as they accepted their child was a girl.
So the CEO of Pure Romance and his wife are putting their personal money, love and his business savvy into a new endeavor to make sure every family like them has the help they need.
This weekend the Cicchinellis are launching Living with Change: The LC Foundation, a foundation that will train teachers and other educators and provide financial support to the Adolescent and Transition Medicine Clinic at Children's".
"As a family we've gone through it," Chris Cicchinelli said. "We didn't have a lot of information. We needed answers, and there was no book. Now we can give people a guide."
Isn't that great! For more on Pure Romance, follow the link above.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Putting on the Bling

Tonight is the semi formal banquet I am going to with Liz.

As always, dressing up will be fun, but my underlying shyness takes the luster off the event. I won't know anyone there and I am thinking I don't share much in common with most anyone either.

I am wearing a long patterned flowing skirt with black hose and my black flats, topped off with a sleeveless sparkly red top. I am not overwhelmed with the choice, but Liz approved it. So, I trust her judgement.

At any rate, I hope the food is good and I can find some other folks to interact with. So I won't appear to be a stand offish snob.

Definitely not a good look for any transgender woman looking for acceptance.

Laverne Cox

From the LGBTQ Nation:

"Laverne Cox is making magazine cover history yet again.
Cox, who appeared on the cover of Time in 2014, is the first transgender woman to appear on the cover of Cosmopolitan.
The trans actress and activist graces the cover of Cosmopolitan South Africa, which has been given an LGBTQ makeover for a special “Say Yes To Love” issue.
Inside the covers of the magazine, readers will find a handwritten note from Cox."
Now, how about an issue from the U.S?
Reportively, understanding and support from the state side population has declined for the LGBT community, and we need the most positive feedback we can get from transgender women such as Laverne Cox.
I have to say, with the current attacks on us by the administration in Washington, a decline in support is no surprise. Yet, I still see trans acquaintances I know still support t-Rump. Sad. 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Bye Bye

No, I am not going anywhere today. Yesterday though, at my transgender veteran LGBT support group, there was a bisexual woman in her 50's. Struggling to come out.

The nice thing was, she asked plenty of questions of the rest of us. Concerning how it was for us to come out. She even asked about how it was to use the rest room.

Then she said how she had been attracted to other women her whole life, so I wondered (to myself) if she was really more lesbian than bisexual. By this time, our therapist/moderator had put up on the white board the sexuality contiuum. Which has totally heterosexual humans on one end and totally homosexuals on the other. I pointed out, as I have read, no matter what most people (mostly men) say, there are very few totally heterosexual guys.

She went on to say, she was looking diligently for groups in the area which were made up of bi-sexual people, and couldn't find any.

I told her, I thought it would be difficult. Out of the main LGBT grouping, now the "B's" (or bisexual) group are now the most silent of the group. Replacing the "T's" or transgender.

So, the session was interesting from a number of different ways. Mainly, I had never met a self avowed bisexual person!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

More "Support" Mail

I received quite a bit of mail on several topics here in Cyrsti's Condo, including "transgender support groups", or just women's support groups:

First from Paula Goodwin:
  1. "My own group, which I often describe as a "support group" offers "Mutual social Support", we meet in a local family pub, so basically it's a chance to share a few drinks with some friends."
  2. Paula, the group I go to the most has most of it's get together s in restaurants and/or bars. I don't go for any number of reasons. Including not feeling real chummy with most of them, all the way to having real bad experiences with groups of drinking cross dressers who have embarrassed me totally. Some of the pictures I have seen, lead me to believe, this bunch does have the potential to be the same.
  3.  Plus I just cant drink much anymore and risk driving. Thanks for the comment! :) 
  4. And, from Connie:


  5. As has been discussed here in your Cyrsti's Condo many times, trans women of our age are possibly considered to be dinosaurs by the younger crowd. We may receive some admiration for all of the crap we had to go through in "the olden days," but much of that is irrelevant to younger people's issues today. I think it's funny that, since the first time I went out in public, I had never hesitated to use a ladies room until doing so became politicized. 
  6. "I, like you, pretty much navigated my way through finding myself without the support of others. These days, I may belong in a support hose group with a bunch of old ladies, but not necessarily transgender ones. I'm just hoping for a few more years of not needing the support of a cane or walker. :-)
  7. The few support group meetings I have attended included some discussion about restrooms, however. One young (19 y/o) trans woman, who had already undergone GRS, was homeless, spending most of her daytime hours in the public library. She had been banned from using the ladies room at the library, though, and was forced to go across the street to a fast food spot with a unisex restroom. She went on and on about how this was such an interference to her transition, until she then switched to how men were rejecting her sexually. I think she said that she identified as gender queer, but I could only sit there thinking that, if she made the effort to be more feminine in appearance, neither of those problems would be so serious. 
  8. I did not express my thoughts, though, as I'm sure that they would have done more harm than good. She definitely needed professional help, and much more than a support group could provide. In fact, I mostly just sat there looking pretty - which wasn't hard to do considering the appearance of the dozen or so others in the room. I was the only one who could not declare the amount of time I had been on HRT, yet I felt like I had transitioned far beyond this group. I really did feel out of place, more like a mother who had accompanied one of the young trans kids. I could empathize, but I found it difficult to relate on their level.

  9. I don't know if my presence helped anyone in that group, but I never returned to find out."
  10. Thanks Connie, our moderator in the one group goes to great lengths to tell really troubled individuals the group is not for trained counseling. The VA group though, has a trained licensed therapisr in charge.


A Softer Voice

This past weekend, Liz and I rented a cargo van. It was under my name, so I had to do most of the talking in yet another male dominated atmosphere.

I did have some trepidation on what would happen. As I transitioned, there were certain things I didn't look forward to doing as a transgender woman, and this was one of them.

As it turned out, my fear was premature. As Liz and I went to the counter, the rental guy's voice softened as he said my name. From then on, I knew I was OK.

Sometimes I wonder if I will suffer from what I call transgender PTSD for the rest of my life.

I'm lucky. Many times I have the company of a cis woman. Many persons just see a couple, not just one person who happens to be trans.

I would suppose the only better method would be to have a cis man accompany you around the world. I am more than satisfied though, to be where I am!

Monday, January 22, 2018

What Does It Mean?

I wondered what a "support group" meeting means to the average person reading Cyrsti's Condo.

By definition (of course) the group exists to support one another. Along the way, it's interesting to note some do need support, some not so much and some never will. I have written about them. If you remember the person with the phantom sexual realignment surgery claim I met.

On the other end of the spectrum, are the people who are really checking out different scenarios. Are they really cross dressers, or, on a deeper level transgender women or trans men. Through these groups, I have seen deeply troubled people all the way to thoroughly self  assured individuals.

You may ask, why do I go? Even though I may seem to be on the level of the self assured peeps (since I live full time), I am definitely not totally self assured. Plus, I try to tell all who care or ask, what a long strange troubled trip it has been for me to get here.

Also, I'm always impressed with the number of young people who show up for these meetings. Of course at my age (68) most people are younger! Almost all the younger people are struggling.

Some meetings I say a lot, some I say almost nothing. Most of the time, I wait for the conversation to come to me.

Plus, my path to coming out as a transgender woman, usually is so different than the rest of the room, there is very little connection.

I came out almost totally beside myself in almost totally non gay venues. Even though way early in the process, I did go out with a group of cross dressers, I just didn't feel apart of the group and more of a loner. Later, as I began to understand the difference between cross dressers and transgender women, I understood why I felt so different.

Basically, most of them wanted to look like cis-women, while I wanted to be one. There also more than a couple instances of drunken male behavior in a dress which really turned me off. So it was simpler for me to go my own way. On my own.

So far, I think I have been able to lend some understanding to trans lives from the perspective from one who lived in the closet for years. If I help one person, it is worth it!

That's what it means.


Retired?

This is another week I wonder about retirement. It seems every day I have something going on. Which isn't a bad thing.

Tonight (Monday) I have a transgender - cross dresser support group meeting here in Cincinnati. Tuesday I have my transgender veteran support group meeting in Dayton.
Wednesday, I have an appointment with my therapist at the VA.
Finally, Friday, Liz and I are going to her Black Belt Karate Banquet, which is semi formal.

As far as outfits go, it's basically leggings or jeans with a nice sweater for the first three days and a sparkly sleeveless top with a long flowing skirt for Friday. Pretty routine.

I can't write it enough, when you transition into full time feminine living, everything you think will happen does. You immediately have to begin to build a wardrobe which will include basics which can carry you in multiple situations. Also, you need some items for any special occasions which may crop up.

Of course, the good old sweats and T-shirts will still work around the house. Especially when you have been on hormone replacement therapy for awhile. You will give them a whole new shape!

Speaking of HRT, it's time for me to order more of my estrodial patches from the Veteran's Administration.

Retirement can wait!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Quick Post

In a hurry again this morning. Just a short note to say everything came out OK with my second mammogram. In fact, they recommended I should just get a screening next year and not the full fledged mammogram. Due to the time I have spent on hormone replacement therapy.

Yay!

Friday, January 19, 2018

Legging it Out

As I mentioned a couple days ago here in Cyrsti's Condo, today is the day I am scheduled to go back for another mammogram.

Of course now, I have to figure out what to wear. The weather is fairly decent for January in Southwestern, Ohio. The sun is out and the temperature is supposed to climb into the 40's (F). As I see it, I am working with two choices, jeans and/or leggings with boots. Or, I could go for walking comfort and wear my tennis shoes with jeans.

As far as a top goes, I try to go with a loose fitting sweater for ease of removal when I get there. If you are not familiar, you need to strip to your waist for the actual mammogram.

While I am on the subject of leggings though, I decided to pass along a link to another fashion site I follow by Ginger Burr. Her featured topic today centered around leggings and how to wear them effectively.
Here is a small example of what you will see and the link is here.

5 Steps to Creating a Great Outfit with Leggings

JANUARY 18, 2018
Leggings and tunics are still popular. Women of all ages are wearing them
 and as a result I am regularly asked about how to wear them. The questions include:
  • what’s appropriate
  • how to layer tops and not look messy
  • how to find tops that feel beautifull
Personally, I find leggings to be a great part of my wardrobe. I love the feel of them
 on my legs and how they flatter my legs. But I struggle to find tops/sweaters to wear 
with leggings. 

Of course "The Total Image Consultant" blog offers so much more.
You may want to check it out for ideas on your transgender fashion woes.

Or winning the fashion battle in a cis gender world!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

I Wonder

Several items jump started the old noggin this morning and started me wondering.

First of all, Oprah's interview with another of my least favorite people, Rude Paul.  At least in this interview (and I didn't read or hear it all), Paul seems to stay out of topics he is not qualified to talk about. Like we transgender women.

Here is part of the interview from the Huffington Post:
As RuPaul says in the February issue of O, The Oprah Magazine and on the latest podcast for “Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations,” drag has been a powerful teaching tool for him on a level much deeper than anything aesthetic.
“What it teaches people is that ... all things are temporary,” RuPaul says. “Everything’s temporary: just clothes, some paint, powder – this body, even, is temporary.”
Yes, life itself is temporary, but being trans goes far deeper than the "3 P's"...paints, powders and parodies of cis women. For more on the interview, go here.
Also, to no surprise to anyone, T-rump has continued his attack on transgender rights. I will direct you over to Femulate for Stana's view on the situation.
I can only add, as I always do, you have chances to fight back in this situation. It's called voting. Even if you are deep in the closet now, it doesn't mean you will be forever!
Here in Ohio, a sweeping statewide LGBT rights law is up for debate and passage (I hope) in the state legislature. We are all hoping this time for a positive result. Which would include Ohio as a another inclusive state in the union.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

More Snow and a New Mammy

It seems as if we can't get out of the snow belt totally around here. It has been been snowing off and on for about three days now. Plus again, we have been plunged back into to sub zero (f) temperatures. Fortunately, we are supposed to head up into the 40's and 50's soon.

Soon enough for my second round of mammogram x-rays on Friday. The nurse called yesterday and informed me the radiologist found something he/she didn't like on the first set of x-rays. I'm not too concerned because this is not the first time this has happened to me. As I remember, the first time it had to do with "dense breast tissue" which probably is an extension of my dense brain matter. So, at any rate, I will be negotiating the maize of traffic messes to get to the center for another mammogram. (Sigh.)

As I said before though, the alternative is much worse.

Also, in the much worse department, the bank called me and is supposedly correcting all my debit card name situation. It was quite the shock (as I had written previously here in Cyrsti's Condo) to see my old male name staring back at me on the new cards.

Such is the life of a transgender woman and oh yeah...damn I'm cold! If you are considering hormone replacement therapy and live in a colder climate, remember you will get colder. It's not just a myth cis -women make up for sympathy! 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Cyrsti's Condo "Quote of the Day"

Smile in the mirror. Do that every morning and you'll start to see big difference in your life. 

Yoko Ono

Validation?

Here's a question...what exactly do you think validates you as a woman. Transgender or not.

For me, finally, I came to the conclusion, my validation came from my mind. It took me, many years of "error and trial" to get there.

Of course I started in the mirror. Most certainly, the bewitching person looking back at me just had to be a woman, not just a witch. The mirror grew old quickly and I wanted validation from other sources. My dog didn't care, so people had to be next on the list.

People were hard to find. I lived in a rural setting, with very little access to makeup and other wardrobe essentials including a wig. Finally, I had to bide my time, go to college, serve in the Army and earned the chance to dress as a woman for the first of several Halloween parties.

Comments from the parties were mostly positive and I thought yes, I was being validated as a woman when I heard the comment I would make a better looking girl than a guy. While the comment provided positive reinforcement, in the long term it just proved to be more frustrating than validating.

As I came to the point where I was going out as a cross dresser a couple times a week, again, validations were mixed. Some days were blissful. Followed by ones of out and out hell. How could I ever think I could exist as a woman with people snickering at me.

I didn't quit though and kept going back to the drawing board. It took a while, but finally I came to the conclusion not to dress for men, but for women and life suddenly became easier. I began to have my girl card validated by other women.

From there, I could start to connect other dots and understand my true validation as a transgender woman was inside me all the time. I was born into it. Forget the time I was cornered by an admirer, or the compliments, or the snickers, or the out and out rejections. Being trans was my out and out birth-rite and I was going to seize it before not doing it nearly killed me.

In so many words, when I stamped my own girl card, I was validated and the world followed.

Oh No! Not Ozzie!

Connie sent in a comment to Cyrsti's Condo about which celebrities she has been mentioned as looking like and the complex relationship we trans women develope with beautiful women we have a crush on:


  1. "I've been told that I look like Leann Rimes, Connie Stevens, Jane Fonda, and even Connie Chung. I don't really see it, and I definitely never purposely tried to look like those women - or any woman in particular. I do try to present myself as I feel I am, which is a feminine creature of the human variety. Still, I was once put off a bit when a drunk girl said that I looked like David Bowie, as I am much more toward the feminine end of the gender binary. Maybe I should just be happy that nobody has said I look like Minnie Pearl, Phyllis Diller, or - God help me - Milton Berle in drag.
  2. I don't know that I would agree in the lowering of expectations. I see it more as a mental move away from dysphoria toward reality. Whether cis or trans, I think it's normal to idolize beautiful women. Trans women of our age probably held on to our fantasies much longer than our cis contemporaries, just because many of us were living in a closet with no outlet for facing the realities of the outside world - where cis girls naturally become women.

    Rachel Welch was also a favorite of mine (and still is because I admire how she's aged with such grace and beauty). Sophia Loren is another, for the same reasons. I was attracted to them, first, in my pre-pubescence, but even more so as the testosterone increasingly affected my being. The dichotomy of both yearning to BE them and to HAVE them really messed with my mind most of the time, but cross dressing relieved the pressure. 
    Even though I recognized that I could not be Rachel or Sophia, I could feel as though I was more like them than I was the boy who desired them sexually. I also recognized, early on, that watching Sophia Loren and Cary Grant in a movie added to my dysphoria. I was attracted to Sophia in the same way Cary Grant was, but I identified more with her than him. At the same time, though, I was not attracted to Cary Grant sexually. Such confusion for a young trans girl! Now, if I could have been Sophia, and Rachel would have been attracted to me, that would have been the best thing ever! Likewise, with Veronica and Betty, or Ginger and Mary Ann. In my mind, I desired Betty and Mary Ann, but I was either Veronica or Ginger in those scenarios. My attempts to cover those thoughts had me acting more like a dopey Archie or Gilligan to the outside world, however. 

  1. Wynonna Judd

    As I sit here at the computer, I am still in wake-up mode. The mirror on the wall shows me to be a mess of a woman. That's OK, though, because I can get into makeup mode to take away the mess, but I'm still the same woman - either way."
  2. When I was much younger and just starting to live a feminine life as a cross dresser, people used to say I looked like Wynonna Judd, the singer. Much better than the bum on a bicycle at Pride last year who thought I was Ozzie Osbourne...yikes! 


Monday, January 15, 2018

Don't Believe all That you See!

Over the past week or so here in Cyrsti's Condo,  we have covered an amazing amount of ground. From Chelsea Manning's senate run, to dressing for success as a 40 plus aged woman with Deborah Boland. 

And, speaking of looks and your feminine presentation, I have always preached to the choir here about the need for preparation, before you can even begin to think about about putting your best transgender  foot forward in public.

I know from reading her blog, it turns out the "gold standard" in the transgender community, Stana from Femulate feels the same way and passed along an interesting comment about my Raquel Welch crush:

Jacqueline Bisset, in 2017
"Actresses Jacqueline Bisset and Jaclyn Smith were my idols. Years later, I mentioned this to a Hollywood makeup artist who was giving me a makeover at a trans convention and he said that I had a better complexion than one of my idols, who he had worked with! So, you never know!"
Thanks Stana!
I always have loved Jacqueline Bisset's voice, as well as her looks.
Stana also mentioned she has had problems posting comments to the blog. If it happens to you, you can email me at cyrstih@yahoo,com. Please just tell me if you dont want the comment posted!
Thanks :)

Transgender Senatorial Run

In Maryland, former Army soldier, Chelsea Manning has announced her run for a Maryland Senate seat as Cyrsti's Condo reader Jeni Skunk pointed out in a comment:

"Jeni SkunkJanuary 14, 2018 at 5:53 PM
Chelsea Manning
News item - Transgender politicians

Washington Post - Saturday 2018-01-13

Chelsea Manning files to run for U.S. Senate in Maryland

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/chelsea-manning-files-to-run-for-us-senate-in-maryland/2018/01/13/6439f0d0-f88c-11e7-beb6-c8d48830c54d_story.html?utm_term=.146b4a5ae5a5

Chelsea E. Manning, the transgender former Army private who was convicted of passing sensitive government documents to WikiLeaks, is seeking to run for the U.S. Senate in Maryland, according to federal election filings.

Manning would be challenging Democrat Benjamin L. Cardin, who is in his second term in the Senate and is up for reelection in November. Cardin is Maryland’s senior senator and is considered an overwhelming favorite to win a third term."
Thanks Jeni for this update.
As much as I would love to see another (or one) trans senator, I cannot support Chelsea Manning. As a transgender veteran, I just don't respect want she did.


Shock and Awe

A week ago, I began to transition my massive finances from one bank to another.

All went well, I thought with the very young "personal banker" who set my new account up.

The problems started though, when he asked if I had ever done business with the bank before. I said yes and the system took over.

As he worked out all the forms, they all had my correct new name on all the paper work. Naively, I was so proud of myself, until...

A week later my debit cards arrived in the mail. As I opened them, imagine my disappointment  when they came imprinted with my old male name!

I recoiled in shock. I learned the hard way again how much I never wanted to see that name again.

I will be heading back to the bank today!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Cyrsti's Condo "Quote of the Day"

Most transgender persons have felt this way during their life!Nature reserves the right to inflict upon her children the most terrifying jests.

Thorton Wilder

Exceeding Trans Expectations?

For years I worked in a highly competitive industry in which, success was decided on a daily basis. What have you done for me lately was the rule.

As so often happens, by chance yesterday, Liz and I started talking about expectations and how they affect growing up transgender, or as a cross dresser. Being a cis woman, her idol for a long time was Christie Brinkley. Then of course, harsh reality set in and she learned she would never achieve the lofty heights of Brinkley's beauty.

As we compared mental notes, we began to connect the dots between growing up cis, versus transgender.

I said, Raquel Welch was, (and is) the cis woman of my dreams. I often wondered what I could ever give up to look like her for one day.

Like so many dreams, unrealistic expectations come and go, but if you are creative and persistent, realistic expectations can be achieved.

First of all, I had to learn what looking good (for a man in a dress) meant, then begin to discover the hard way what my positives were. Examples were, people told me I had wonderful eyes and I started to play them up. More importantly, I learned to dress for other women and not how my male self would view me. In other words, Raquel had to go away, to be replaced by the desire to blend in with other women around me.

Raquel Welch
As I achieved it, I started to relax my expectations of how I looked and began in earnest to discover my full personality as a transgender woman.

To my surprise, over time, I couldn't believe the expectations I did achieve.

Sorry Raquel, still love you. Just not as much :).

Saturday, January 13, 2018

How Many of us do Blackface?

I am sure many "Terf's" or feminists who want to exclude us out of hand from any feminine discussion, would also want to group all of us into one group (transgender, cross dressers and drag queens) into one category, and say yes.

Internally though, we know that is not true and the answer is so much more complex.  Blackface by definition is a form of  theatrical makeup by primarily non black performers to represent a black person. So drag queens by definition could fall into a similar definition. Primarily gay cis males who use forms of makeup to represent women.

From there on, the comparison gets murky.

Cross dressers, are primarily "straight" cis men who often are feeding a deep seated need to look like cis-women. You can draw your own conclusions if that is a form of "black face" or not. The old term "transvestite" can also be applied here, if you like.

Finally, when you consider transgender women, "black face" should not enter into the conversation at all.

Being over simplistic on purpose, trans women want to do much more than just look like cis-women, they want to live like one. The deep seated need to live a feminine life often takes over one's life, even to the point of ending a life if nothing can be done. Insert, transsexual here if you would like.

My difference between the two is ideally a transsexual woman (or man) deeply desires to have genital surgery to complete their gender identity, where as a transgender person is more content to live the life of a gender they weren't born into. With or without surgery.

At any rate, I thought the "blackface" discussion was a thought provoking one.

Cyrsti's Condo "Quote of the Day"

From the Archives 

"When you feel that rope getting a little tighter around your neck...make sure it matches the rest of your outfit!"

A "blast" from my past!

Not True!

It turns out, Trans Big Brother star Rebekah Shelton is NOT dead, and was the victim of hacking

Rebekah Shelton implies she was hacked by someone she knew who 'cannot accept the fact I'm happy'

12 January 2018 by Joe Morgan and David Hudson


Trans Big Brother star Rebekah Shelton is not dead, as she confirms in a video she was a victim of hacking.

The fake news was announced on her Twitter yesterday evening.

‘Please stop spreading this news that I am dead because I am obviously not,’ she said in her hotel room.


Thanks to Stana from Femulate also for pointing this out!

Rebekah Shelton

This sad news was just released:
Transgender UK Big Brother star Rebekah Shelton has died at the young age of 32.

Rebekah, who shot to fame on the 2009 series of the reality TV show pre-transition, passed away on Wednesday.
The sad news was announced on her Twitter page in the early hours of Friday morning.
"We’re sorry to inform everyone of the sad news that our wonderful and lovely Rebekah died unexpectedly on Wednesday night," the tweet read.
Rest in Power!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Astrology Fashion Sense

A site I haven't featured in awhile here in Cyrsti's Condo is Deborah Boland's Fabulous AFTER 40.


Of course I was initially attracted to it because I may just be a tad over 40!

This week, several features attracted my attention, including:

Zodiac Styles for Aquarius and Capricorn signs, Chic on the Cheap with tips on building a "Wow" wardrobe on a budget and ways to "Dump the Frump"and jump start your style.

As Stana from Femulate always points out, fashion sense for most doesn't come naturally and whatever you can do to discover and establish a personal style, will help you so much in the world of women.

Plus it's common knowledge we transgender women have to work harder to look presentable. Preferably while not looking like we are trying that hard!

Fabulous AFTER 40, offers a news letter plus more than a few "help books" you can purchase. Which can help you turn that "Oh No!" moment in the mirror into an "Oh Yeah!"

Elvis in Drag?

Not in the classic sense to be sure that I have ever seen or heard of, but Connie indirectly brings it up during an interesting point in a reference to a recent Cyrsti's Condo post:

FABULOUSCONNIEDEEJanuary 10, 2018 at 4:10 PM
I have to admit that I find myself torn, often, between the art portrayed by nude photos and drag performance, and the objectification and parody I see in them. I won't go so far as to compare drag to black face, but I do see the playing into stereotypes and parody that can exist in drag shows. Of course, I'm not impressed by Elvis impersonators, either, and art is a matter of taste. Elvis, by the way, took black R&B music and introduced it to a white audience. I applaud him for that, because the music was better than what the white kids were used to. He didn't wear black face to do it, but he did end up being a parody and caricature of himself. So much of drag, to me, ends up being about the same. I'd rather not see either, really, but I'd definitely not want to see a nude Elvis impersonator!
A Drag Look (NOT Elvis)
Comparing drag to black face is an interesting point which I have seen bantered around a time or two. How it relates at all to cross dressers or transgender women is the topic for another blog post!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Estrogen Overdose

Well, yet another mammogram appointment has come and gone.

Seemingly, the toughest part for me, is threading the needle so to speak, and finding the place. It's in a three story building surrounded by the giant University of Cincinnati Health Center. Today, however the weather was warm (60 degrees F) and just a little wet. I only had to ask a couple of places before I found it.

If you are not familiar, a mammogram itself has just a little discomfort built in, depending upon how good your technician is. Either way though, expect to have your breasts squeezed rather sharply.

I consider the whole process a sort of "rite of passage" in my Mtf transgender transition.

Plus, of course, I have yet to see a man involved in the process in anyway. Just a bunch of mostly dour cis women sitting around. The only person who may have judged my trans status was a young aide who took the time to help me find the building I was supposed to be in. She was very pleasant.

As I left, I naturally hoped the doctors wouldn't find anything amiss in my X-rays, and took a moment to remember the pre -HRT  days before I needed a mammogram at all. Then, as I pulled up my big girl panties and tried to retrace my steps out of there and home, I wondered if I had gained any estrogen from the air today.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Transgender Playboy

From Germany, the editor of Playboy magazine says it will feature a transgender model on its cover for the first time.

Editor-in-chief Florian Boitin said Tuesday that putting Giuliana Farfalla  (left) on the cover - topless, as is customary for such magazines in Germany - was in line with Playboy founder Hugh Hefner's tradition of being "resolutely opposed to all forms of exclusion and intolerance."

Boitin says the 21-year-old Farfalla is a "wonderful example of how important the fight for the right to self-determination is."

And, staying in Europe, Trans  broadcaster India Willoughby has been slammed by Celebrity Big Brother viewers for comparing drag to blackface.
She attacked the art of drag after housemate Shane Jenek, who is better known for performing as Courtney Act, helped a fellow contestant, Apprentice star Andrew Brady, to transform into a drag queen. 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Trans Support Group Meeting

Last night's transgender - cross dresser meeting was interesting from a couple of different views.

I finally figured the participants who for the most part are giddy with excitement and do most all of the talking, have no one to talk to at home, so that is all good.

And, speaking of good, I have grown used to not feeling guilty about not having anything really negative to say about myself.

My only negative last night was having to sit beside the token transgender t-Rump supporter in the room. She just bugs me negatively on so many levels.

I also had a chance to meet another trans vet, and now there are at least three in the group. She was/is having severe problems with her hormone levels. She literally came up showing she was pregnant on her last blood labs and has been lactating through her shirts. It turns out she is a walking study of losing her family and lives in a camper she has to move from location to location. Mainly in state parks I guess.

My only contributions last night were mentioning my meeting with my partner Liz and long time therapist together (for the first time) and the Trans Ohio Symposium workshop submission which I actually sent in yesterday.

Another good thing that happened was one attendee who has continually threatened suicide in the past, was able to come out successfully to his two teen sons. To seemingly counter that was another trans woman who told her story of trying to commit suicide on Christmas Day.

So as you can tell, the meeting fell way short of having no drama at all and was far from boring.

Featured Post

Are You?

The other day when I was setting up my mammogram appointment, the receptionist finally asked the magic question...are you male or female? ...