Saturday, February 4, 2023

Life Long Experience or Bad Ass Transgender

I have seen recently several profiles of new followers (thank you) who refer to themselves as "bad-ass" old ladies. At the time I felt Wow! it must be nice to think of yourself in those words. One thing is for sure, it takes the amount of life experience to make such a claim. 

Photo from the 
Jessie Hart

Certainly, many cis-women have the multi layered experiences to make the "bad-ass" claim.  It has always been my thought that to become women, girls have to go through quite the process. Just one example would be the child birthing experience. Of course most girls have to deal with the fact they shoulder most of the burden when it comes to becoming pregnant. It's still too easy for an underaged boy to trot off into the sunset when there is an unwanted child to deal with. 

Then women through out their lives have to deal with being perceived as being second class citizens in the worlds of being paid less and overall treatment at the hands of men. It wasn't so long ago women finally earned the right to vote and much later to even apply for and receive their own credit card. Bad ass women remember all of that. So where does it leave transgender women? Our life long experience should lead us to a position where we deserve to be bad ass women also. I vividly remember the early days of my gender transition into a feminine world when I rudely was rejected by men. In any and all conversations. Through it all it was evident when I reached a certain level of the presentation I was seeking, I lost huge amounts of my former hard earned male privilege. Primarily I lost my intelligence as well as my personal safety. Ironically, I knew it was coming and didn't miss any of it. What I gained was worth it because it all felt so natural.

None of this of course happened over night. There were so many nights out with my friends engaging the public when I was able to learn what I would need to know later in life to survive. I needed to survive my basic battles just to use the women's restroom as one of my prime examples. Those alone should make huge contributions to my claim of being a "bad ass" old lady. Except I am not. Over the years remembering how testosterone made me feel as well as the new feelings of estrogen in my body mellowed me right out. When someone mis-genders these days, even though it hurts me deeply, I try to take the upper path and educate them to their gender mistake. 

Life long experiences as a transgender woman have made me a better person. Not so much more of a bad ass. Who else is able to cross the gender frontier and live to write about it. Plus, to be bitter at all would negate a life long experience of learning. I do respect those who describe themselves as "bad ass old ladies" and prefer to make them my friend rather than an enemy.  One never knows what is going to happen next. 

Friday, February 3, 2023

Sweet Revenge

Photo from the 
Jessie Hart Collection

 I wish to thank everyone who responded to my recent post which dealt (among other things) with my self destructive attempts at self harm. Tragically it is a theme which resonates deeply within the transgender community. 

Now, since I survived a very bumpy road down my gender path. I like to think back and enjoy just a bit of sweet revenge. Too many times it would have been easier to turn around, purge my feminine clothes and wigs and go back to my male lifestyle. I could have reclaimed my male privilege and moved on like nothing happened. Through it all, I faced all the challenges, learned and finally arrived at the other end of a long dark tunnel. It all began in my very dark and very lonely gender closet as I suffered from gender dysphoria. As I continued my journey, there were too many false road marks to guide me and I suffered setbacks. It was during these set backs I resorted to deeply self destructive behaviors.  I took too many risks behind the wheel and drank way too much alcohol as I wrote about previously. In addition to all of those, I even lost a job when my gender dysphoric behavior got the best of me and I took it out on others. 

In desperation I made appointments with one of the only gender knowledgeable therapists at the time in Ohio. She was upfront with me when she said she couldn't help my gender issues but did diagnose my bi-polar ones. Which helped me immensely with a portion of the severe mood swings I was going through. The end result was once again I discovered there would be no magical cure to me wanting to be a girl and I was essentially on my own again. Back in those days, in the early to mid 1980's, there simply wasn't the information available to help any LGBT individuals, especially those with severe gender issues. In addition, I was guilty of expecting too much from my therapy. I was new at the process and just didn't understand the benefits and drawbacks. 

These days, as I come to the end of long series of appointments with my highly motivated and qualified Veterans Administration therapist, I have so many memories of the assistance she has given me over the past ten years. It was her who in many ways helped me in plotting my sweet revenge when she initially provided me the paperwork to begin hormone replacement therapy with the VA. Then she helped me again with paperwork which forwarded my gender marker changes which happened over seven years ago. By gender markers, I mean all the legal identifications I needed to process to change my gender legally through the courts and other places. 

Although, since I have been living for years now as a successful transgender woman , I still don't have all the revenge I so desired when I was younger. Back in those days, I couldn't wait to be prettier and drive a nicer car than my fianc√© who dumped me with no warning before I was drafted into the military. Now, with my younger and prettier days behind me, I have mellowed to what is really important in life. My daughter, grandkids and wife who support me.  At the age of seventy three my own personal revenge is staying healthy enough to appreciate my gender journey and what I learned from it. 


Thursday, February 2, 2023

Being Transgender Nearly Killed Me

Image from Alexander Grey
on UnSplash

Even though I was able to never convince myself I was going through any sort of a cross dressing phase, I finally moved on in my life. By moving on I should say I went through several of the other gender dysphoric questions I faced such as was I addicted to the clothes all the way to was I facing many more gender issues such as being transgender. For reasons only I could answer, being transgender was the scariest proposition of them all. Certainly, thinking I had a part time hobby of being a cross dresser was less threatening to me. 

Through it all, I never turned back and ended up moving more and more towards knowing the inevitable, I was a feminine person and had been one all along. Being the hard headed person I was, I continued to do my best to carve out a male life. But, the more success I had doing it just made me more unhappy. Somehow, someway deep down I felt there had to be more. Another problem I had was the more I tried to test the public as a woman, the more successful I was. The more I did as my hidden self, the more I wanted to do. An example was my wife and I finally came to an agreement I could go and get a motel room, change into my feminine self and explore the world one day a week. Even that didn't end up being enough to satisfy my drive to femininity. What I did was start sneaking out behind her back any chance I got and ending up trying to lie my way out of it if I was caught. Which I was on a fairly regular basis. The whole process was very stressful because in the rest of my life I had prided myself on my honesty. 

Still I didn't stop until I reached the point where I had falsely tried to convince myself I could live part time as both binary genders, male and female. To be brief, the process nearly killed me. I went to the point of being caught one night by my wife and we had a massive fight. I decided to sleep away from her on the downstairs sofa but before I did, I was feeling so bad I took a full bottle of my anti depressants and washed them down with a bottle of J√§germeister liquor. Fortunately the mixture didn't kill me and I don't think my wife ever found out I tried suicide. 

Since that attempt many years ago, with the help of therapy, medication and many close friends, I have been able to put self harm in my past. As far as my wife went, before her passing, I was able to grow a beard and go back to acting like I was a guy for six hard months. Her passing was totally unexpected and sudden from a heart attack and when she died it opened the door for my feminine self to finally be given a chance to take over. Not the ideal way to do it but the opportunity was there and one night I finally accepted the fact I was transgender and had been my whole life. Suddenly, all the other self destructive episodes of my life became clear. All the times I was driving recklessly trying to cheat death all the way to drinking way too much to mask my gender pain, all made sense. 

Most certainly being transgender nearly killed me but it didn't quite succeed. Leading me to a happy, satisfied life as a transgender woman living my truth. I will forever wish though I had not been so stubborn in hanging on to my old male life.