Monday, November 30, 2020

Where Were You Born?

 On occasion I become humored when I read of someone who says they were "born into the wrong body." 

I figure I didn't have a real choice. I had no choice on my parents, where I was born or the gender I was assigned. No matter what I thought, those three "facts" were non negotiable. Of course, as I grew, I learned while the "Big Three" were non negotiable, they could be questioned and even changed. 

Like them or not, my parents will always be my parents. Sure, they had their faults but who doesn't. As far as coming out to them, I tried to come out to my Mom. I was rejected and never tried again. I never tried to come out to my Dad. After all, I was doing my best to live a robust male life, so who cared?

I cared of course. As my gender dysphoria continued and began to take it's own peculiar shape, I learned to suffer silently. Even though I think I came up with every possible question I could over why my gender issues were so prevalent, at no time did I come up with the idea I was born into the wrong body.

What I did come up with was I had a overwhelming desire to change the body I had. The more I was able to feminize it the better I would feel. I was fortunate in that the body I had was healthy enough to undertake hormone replacement therapy at a later age in my sixties. Thanks to HRT, I was able to learn the body which I was given was fluid enough to provide me a male foundation to play football and survive Army basic training all the way to presenting as a woman in public. 

So, I guess I can say, I wasn't born in the wrong body. I took what I had and adapted. 

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Cyrsti's Condo "Quote of the Day"

 


Shock and Awe?

 Naturally enough, there are many ways to "come out" to family and friends. I have known many transgender women who have decided to come out gradually. In other words, they decide to tell a few people at a time before they decide to tell more. 

Others rely on the "shock and awe" method which means just showing up as your authentic self  and let the fall out happen. I am far from an expert because I just waited for most of all the people around me to die, so I didn't have many people to tell. For obvious reasons, I don't recommend that method. 

Others (such as Connie) were fortunate to have another person to pave the way for them:

"I have to say that I don't know that I could have made my Thanksgiving "debut" had it not been for my wife's help. She paved the way for me by talking to my daughters well ahead of time, giving them the opportunity to prepare their kids and husbands. I never would have just shown up with a big surprise for everyone, and I would caution anyone who might consider coming out in that way, as well.

There's not a good way to come out - to family, or any other group of people. I would say, though, that there is one bad way to come out. Doing so with the attitude that it's "all about me" is bound to lead to disappointment. From the beginning, I have approached my transition as a responsibility. Every individual relationship from the past is going to change, and it is up to me to do my best to recognize and accept the feelings of each person. How I react to them is what will determine our "new" relationship. Above all, one needs to keep in mind that what has taken maybe years - even decades - for self-acceptance cannot possibly be absorbed instantaneously by another. Even if I've decided that "what you see is what you get," what I get back will always depend on the work I put into each relationship.

The way I've gone about things would probably not make for a great Hallmark production. Nothing can be tightly wrapped up in a two-hour episode; more like The Never Ending Story. "

A reminder, I tried a process similar to Connie's when it came to coming out to him and his extended family and he turned me down. We haven't spoken since. The whole process was and is nothing I am proud of. 

It turns out, the coming out process is as complex as being transgender itself.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Josie Totah Steps Up

 From "Teenvogue.com":

Josie Totah plays Lexi: a sharp-tongued cheerleader, the epitome of a Gen Z Valley Girl, and the fashionista queen bee of Bayside High, who is also transgender. In the show, Lexi’s gender identity is not her biggest plot point and is instead treated as a matter of fact, something that excited Josie when showrunner Tracy Wigfield approached her for the role. “Getting to play a role that’s dynamic and interesting and more than what people think about on the outside is such a gift as an actor,” Josie says. “[Lexi is] this mean, fun, aspirational, fantastical character that also happens to be transgender — but it [isn’t] everything about her. That was really important to me and the people that I talked to in the trans community because so much of the trans representation in [media] has to do with struggle ... and that's only when it's done in favor of trans people, [most] of the time [the media] perpetuates the negative stigmas and stereotypes that create the erasure of trans people in our world.”



Voicing Your Gender

Most transgender women and men obsess with the problem of outing themselves with their voice. It seems no matter how well we present as our preferred gender, a slip up with our voice can ruin our whole day. 

As with many other aspects of being transgender, there are many avenues coming along to help with our voices. As well as the many voice feminization services featured on line, more than a few hospitals offer voice therapy. In fact, even the Veteran's Administration does offer voice therapy too. 

There is always the concept of vocal surgery which I have heard has varying levels of success. I have only ever encountered one person who had went through it. To be truthful I wasn't impressed. 

Myself, I pursued the VA services offered to me with varied results. First of all, I was pleasantly surprised they were knowledgeable to what I was trying to achieve. I blame myself though for the results. Being essentially the lazy person I am, I gave up and have tried to improve my feminine voice through the very few lessons I ended up going through. 

Over the years, what I have tried to do is try to match my voice to the cis women I am talking to. I imagine with varying levels of success.

The only time I can truly "try" out my feminine voice on strangers is on the phone. Even then, I am not competing on a level field. The majority of my calls come from the Veteran's Administration setting up appointments and going over results of my tests. Since the overwhelming majority of the hospitals' clients are male, the odds are stacked against me. Sometimes I still get called sir on occasion, except for the nurses and receptionists who have dealt with me a number of times. The example is my endocrinologist nurse. She is always very correct with her pronouns and calls me the proper ones. 

With all the others who don't, I always gently remind them I am not a "sir" and go back to the drawing board. What am I doing wrong to trigger their response. Plus, as I said before, I am essentially a lazy person and since I so rarely encounter strangers anymore, it's only Liz I talk to. 

Finally, the majority of the attendees of my transgender - crossdresser group have managed to settle into a softer version of their male vocal selves. Again with varying success. I suppose too, results hinge on what voice you had to start with. Many times feminine men have feminine voices. 

Voicing their gender becomes increasingly easier.