Thursday, January 31, 2013

Pageant Photo

One of the contestants from last November's Miss International Queen womanless beauty pageant in Thailand.

Transgender Self Help

On too many occasions, I hear from transgender women who are painfully stuck in the closet.
There are ways out of your dark room and every once in a while someone steps forward with a great idea.
This one comes from Toni D'Orsay and her Dyssonance blog.
(Disclaimer. Sometimes Toni gets a little "wordy" for my tastes but she does incredible with this!)


"Idea: for the month of March, volunteer for 20 hours with an organization or project that specifically deals with trans folk, or solve a local problem. Without getting involved in politics. When I say without getting involved in politics, I mean without becoming embroiled in the online arguments we see, without lobbying for a law to change, without going to see a politician and getting them to vote for something. Kinda different for a request, isn't it? It is a suggestion to you in order to get you to help yourself. The difficulty is that the way that it helps you is indirect -- far more so than working on some change in law. It is going to affect other trans people, and that, in turn, is going to affect your life and make it richer, make it better. You might wonder why I am doing this now, as February comes calling, but the reason is that I want you to take a month a research the organizations in your area that do things for Trans people other than the political. You will have to research them. You will have to hunt for them. Well, that is unless you live in New York or Boston or San Francisco or Los Angeles. Some of the organizations will be doing political work as well, and that's ok. Just say you want to spend 20 hours in an entire month doing whatever it is that they need done. I haven't talked about this idea with any other organization. This isn't part of some secret trans activist effort carefully coordinated behind the scenes. Yes, those things happen. They have to if we are going to get some things to change. No, this is just me, by myself, asking you, personally, to stop for 20 hours in March and volunteer your time to help trans people. And I am asking you to start looking for that trans organization now."

For more on the post and Dyssonance go here:

A Case for Transitioning Young

I have subscribed recently to a blog called en gender written by Helen Boyd of My Husband Betty fame. As with most of her posts, this one is compelling:

" The other day I published a brief interview with Christine Benvenuto, who wrote a book about her marriage to and divorce from a trans woman. I blurbed her book, let me admit up front. I blurbed it because despite some transphobic tendencies (not respecting her ex’s change to feminine pronouns, most notably), I think it’s important that partners get their stories out there – as important as it is for trans people to do so. I’ve been enabling the latter for a long time, and I’m proud to have done so. But I see so often that partners who are having a hard time or who are bitter about a divorce or angry about transition are told – in trans community spaces – to STFU, pretty much. And that really sucks, a lot. The thing is, nothing about her memoir struck me as patently false. I’ve known a lot of trans women and a lot of wives of trans women over the past 13 years. A LOT. And Benvenuto’s story, just as she told it, is pretty goddamned typical. I have seen behavior by trans women that is sexist, misogynist bullshit. I have seen trans women spend their kids’ college money on transition. I have seen 401Ks emptied. I have seen all of that, and more. I have also seen the wives of transitioning women take out all their rage on their trans spouse – financially, emotionally, even physically. I have seen rage that I didn’t even know was possible in the wives of trans women. And I have seen them be unwilling to let it go. That is, I have seen a lot of awful behavior on both sides of this coin. Trans people are not excused because they’re trans just as women are not excused because they’re women. We are all faced with loss and betrayal and heartbreak and all of the emotions that accompany those things. How you choose to express them is entirely up to you."

Of course there is much more to her post which you can read here. But it finishes partly like this:

"So if we as a community want trans people to be happy, people need to know what kind of devastation a late transition can cause on families and wives and communities and of course on the trans people themselves. There is so, so much pain, on everyone’s part. People need to know it. People need to transition younger so that some of this can be prevented."

I'm sure you all know I'm a late transitioner and have even be called "yet another old guy on hormones". We all have compelling reasons or even excuses why we didn't transition earlier in life. Certainly none of us can go back in time so making the best of this situation is now all we have. Helen Boyd's ideas make sense.
I have added an en gender link here in Cyrsti's Condo plus another look "at the other side":  The Cross Dresser Wives" Monthly Newsletter. Don't expect warm and fuzzies there but worth a look!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

It Always Come Back

I found this YouTube video which I found to be quite prophetic and described my transgender life completely. You have to follow the video towards the end when Tiffany says her desire to live as a woman just never went away. It just kept coming back:


Dating Yourself Part 2

I started thinking more and more about my last post about dating myself as a guy and as it turned out others were too.
The first thing I thought was "hell yes I would date a stud like myself!" Just kidding!!!!!!!!
I've had a couple comments from transgender women who don't date men at all. That describes me but to each their own of course.
As I started the serious task of transitioning I did date a few guys but just kept migrating back to the company of women. Then when I started to think about it perhaps I was just seeking the validation of having a man with me in public. What better way would there be to be accepted as a woman? But the buzz just didn't last.
At that point I began to think about the very few male friends I had in my past. I had zillions of acquaintances of course but friends? I could count them on one hand over a 40 year adult life and all had moved away or had passed on.
From then on this process became more natural, even when I separated out sex and gender. I have remained adamant about keeping my sexual preferences out of this blog.  Who cares? It's not why we are here. Let's just say the only true transition I'm going through is external. Of course how the world views me is different but to me all the colors of the rainbow have not changed.
What an interesting process it has been!

Dating Yourself?

Maybe I should say-would you date your old male self?
I saw this question on a YouTube video and was fascinated.
I have asked here in Cyrsti's Condo would you be the kind of daughter Mom would like or even would you be the kind of girl she would like to see her son bring home?
Back to the question, would I date me?

For no particular egotistical reason I would say yes. As with so many other young men in my circles, sports and cars dominated my existence so as a young woman I would have had to expect it and adjust. I worked and had an income so as a young woman I could go with me and have interesting dates. (Or at least get out of the house!)
I suppose I was reasonable looking and smart enough to be headed to college so there were worse guys to be seen with.

Drawbacks? As any male, past and present-old and young-I had an ego. In fact as a transgender woman I deal with it now with any men I meet. To think genetic women don't learn to deal with the game all their lives is crazy. Some just do it better than others and one way or another I would have had been socialized to the experience.

I was never a dating "superstar" and I certainly didn't fall into the "bad boy" category which genetic women supposedly are drawn to. Ironically the reason I wouldn't date me is because of my gender alignments. The ripping and tearing of my male and female sides made life miserable for me and all around me at times.  As I got older, I also turned to self medication in the form of alcohol for the most part and considered myself rather "non civilized" following seven consecutive years in college and the Army.
Perhaps the women who did date and marry me felt the basic female need to nurture and change me? The only thing I do know is my wife of 25 years said several times she saw the basic good in me under the turmoil thank God!

At any rate, it's a fun and interesting question for all of us to ponder-trans women or trans men. The next time you pull out the mirror to admire or dislike your image, try looking past the mirror and take a better look at yourself.
The process may just make you a better woman or man.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Transgender Pageant Aussie Style


Miss Gay & Miss Transsexual Australia 2013, an alternative beauty pageant, is being held on 2 February 2013 at Yarraville, Victoria. The organisers of the pageant, The Victorian Secrets Promotions, has already successfully organised the pageant three times, starting in 2009. According to its website, the interstate beauty pageant "embraces diversity in the LGBTI community and provides a safe space for people-like-us to share their beauty and showcase their talents to the general audience."

"Chained Melody"

Author Debbie Martin recently sent me an email asking me to review her recently published love story which crosses the frontiers of transsexualism. For what ever reason I was not able to open the file on my computer.
Since she went to the trouble of finding me on the world wide web, the least I could do was pass along the info to all of you from Goodreads.com. 

Here's an intro of sorts:
" Even with the sexual revolution of the permissive seventies and eighties, men remained men. But as childhood friends Tom and Will enter adulthood, for one of them maturity isn’t just growing from boy to man. He develops into someone completely new as surely as the butterfly emerges transformed from its chrysalis, irrevocably and chaotically also transforming both their worlds in the process. Through battle ground bravado in Northern Ireland, drugs, sexual betrayal, IVF, transsexualism, and ‘forbidden’ love, they each search for courage to live life their way. Can love be strong enough to fly in the face of the chains of convention? The answer only becomes clear after events transpire to ultimately create a simple choice for them both; life or death, and they have to face the consequence of their choices.'

There are a couple of great reviews on the link above. Perhaps in the future I can pass along more!

Ville Ruuska

From Finland's yleuutiset Ruuska ,  Finland’s first male-female model.

" Signed by modelling agency Paparazzi, he is set to grace international runways in the near future. Fashion agencies are increasingly hiring male models to model women’s clothing, Ruuska says, going on to explain on Yle's morning show Aamu-tv on Monday what it means to be a man in a woman's world. "The fashion world has always been interested in special cases. It’s nice that it’s breaking down gender barriers. It adds some spice to fashion when there’s some question over whether the model is a man or a woman," he says."

Before the femme nazi's go off again on the unrealistic idea of a super model's ultra thin figures. (Duh!) Ruuska explained:

 "That androgynous modelling is not about being thin. He compares the male-female form to that of child models aged around 14, before feminine curves have blossomed and a boyish figure is still natural. Yet he maintains that fashion should not be taken too seriously. "I don’t want to encourage women to try to lose weight to be super skinny. Fashion is conceptual, it’s fantasy," he says."

Monday, January 28, 2013

Horror Scope

Yes!!!!!!!!! It's time for a new "Horror-Scope" for all you Libra's  here in Cyrsti's Condo:

 Libra (September 23 - October 22) Romance will come back like the sun’s arrival after a stretch of gray days. All your past woes will fade, and it's only warmth you’ll feel from this week on forward. Be thankful for the moment, as it should be an inspiration for your times to come. Looking up is essential now, so put your self-sabotaging ways on hold, because this week it’s all about love.

Got to love this one! Horror scope is my term for yours go here to theFrisky!

Countdown to Fat Tuesday!

As always, time is flying by and my trip to Mardi Gras is coming up in less than two weeks.
The trip to "Naw Awlins" will provide a number of firsts.

It's my first trip to Mardi Gras although I have been to the city a couple of times. It's my first trip to the city as a woman and the first time I have had to pack for such an adventure. Since I have never been one to shy away from a party, this is a big one!

Of course the packing part is providing the biggest challenge. I will be leaning heavily on my girlfriend for guidance!!!!
So far, I have made my hair appointment for a couple days before we leave and still have to schedule a time to get my nails done. Then I have to find a dog sitter for my constant furry companion and I'm off!!!
Of course I will keep you up to date.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Taking on the Military

As genetic women won the much deserved right to serve in combat functions in the United States military, transgender individuals are still on the outside looking in. More precisely really looking in since we are forbidden to serve at all.

Here in Cyrsti's Condo, I have mentioned Allyson Robinson. Who is a decorated veteran, a wife, a mother, an ordained Baptist minister, and the executive director of the recently combined advocacy organization for LGBT people in uniform, OutServe-Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. The Army veteran was tapped to lead the 6,000-member organization in October, and her appointment is noteworthy not only because she is one of the few women leading a military group but also because she is the first transgender person to lead a national LGBT organization.

A new feature in  theAdvocate  spotlighted Allyson's qualifications:

"Robinson’s appointment is anything but an affirmative-action hire, said retired Navy captain April Heinze, cochair of OutServe-SLDN’s Board of Directors in a statement announcing the hire. “Allyson Robinson is exactly the right person at the right time to be our leader and voice in Washington in the fight to achieve full LGBT equality in the military,” said Heinze. Indeed, Robinson is exceedingly qualified for her new position. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Robinson served as a commissioned Army officer commanding Patriot missiles in Europe and the Middle East, a senior trainer for NATO, and an adviser to the armed forces of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar."

Read more here.

Jimmy...No Jenny Olsen

From XX Factor's Alyssa Rosenberg:

"Over the past several days, a rumor, based on both still photos and IMDb credits for Zack Snyder's upcoming Superman movie Man of Steel, has spread throughout the nerdosphere: that Snyder's made an important change to the Superman canon, turning Superman's pal, cub reporter Jimmy Olsen, into a girl. Some observers have suggested that the switch, if it proves to be true, would have some basis in Superman comics, given Jimmy's habit of dressing up like a woman. But if Snyder really is gender-bending Olsen, I hope he's thinking about what a permanent sex change might mean for the character—and what it would mean for Superman to have a close female friend. Superman writer and comics commentator Grant Morrison has suggested that Jimmy Olsen turned to drag in response to his essential uselessness to Superman. "Jimmy Olsen could barely stand to be himself for more than five pages," Morrison wrote in his book Supergods. "Prefiguring David Bowie and Madonna, his life became a shifting parade of costume changes and reinventions of identity." Jimmy may have gotten power from dressing up like a woman, but those transformations underscored the extent to which Jimmy as himself wasn't much use to Superman, and in fact, often ended up in need of rescue."

Read more of the post here . She approaches the idea of "Jenny" being a true equal to Superman rather than any transgender angle. That's OK, she doesn't have to. That's our angle. Speaking of angle's, I remember how difficult it was for me to get those seams straight on the stockings!

Cross Dressers on the "Tube"

What's easier, picking the number of stars in the universe or the number of cross dressing video's on YouTube? Easy...picking the number of stars!

Gender Slurs and the Transgender Person

Tranny, Gurl, or girrl? What's your preference as a trans woman?
For those of you who have been around Cyrsti's Condo, you know my preference...none of the above.
I know you are thinking "just what the hell does she want to be called?"
My feelings are "tranny" is what drag queens call all of us and the other two are terms which toss me into the promiscuous stereotype that many male "admirers" put us into. I would rather be called "Hey You" or how about "Cyrsti"?
I'm doing my best to educate people now and not become seriously upset. I simply say "what's a gurl?"
The reason I brought out my soap box and went on this mini rant is I was called a "gurl" today.
After the good news I received from the doctor today, a gender slur was not what I wanted to hear!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Band of Doctors

Actually a band of one doctor and me. As I posted yesterday I had another appointment today with my Endocrinologist. I don't believe I have ever pointed out that today was my first visit ever with a physician who looked at my current medical status and discussed my HRT future with me.
This is what I mean: Amazingly enough since I hand carried my blood labs from the VA to his office, he had the proper information. The first visit he had no blood work.
I was surprised with the results.  First and most importantly he said my overall blood levels were good and then he asked what my plans were. I said I wasn't really satisfied with my progress I have made over the last year. Of course I have never been the most patient person in the world and I always want more. He said unless I really want to get serious about castration or the like, patience may be the best virtue for me. Why? Because my testosterone levels are very low and likely to go lower as they lose the war against the estrogen which he said was quite high.
So we decided to sit tight for the next six months and we will take a look again.
After the visit my brief stop on "cloud nine" I drove the 35 miles home in yet another blizzard! I didn't realize there was so much snow in the cloud!

Vietnamese Transsexual

From Vietnam's Vietnam.Net comes the story of the first legally recognized transgender woman.

"In  November 5, 2009,  the decision: allowed Pham Van Hiep to re-define sex from male to female and to change her name to Pham Le Quynh Tram. She said,   “I can’t believe that this is true. I cannot describe my happiness of living with my true sex,” Tram went on to say was born in HCM City. Her family moved to Binh Phuoc when she was small. Tram was born as an intersex but she was defined at birth as a boy."

Follow the link for more!




But then on a story dated Monday: On Monday Nguyen Van Hoi, chairman of Binh Phuoc People’s Committee, officially asked the justice department to act as a counselor in revoking two decisions issued by the People’s Committee of Chon Thanh district in 2009 and 2011 to allow Pham Van Hiep to re-define his sex from male to female and to change his name to Pham Le Quynh Tram. The provincial people’s committee said in a statement that the gender recognition is against the law. The provincial authorities have also proposed disciplinary action against the officials who approved this decision. Since receiving approval to redefine her sex, Pham Van Hiep has become widely known as the first transgender in Vietnam recognized by the authorities as a woman. “I can’t believe that this is true. I cannot describe my happiness of living with my true sex,” Hiep was quoted saying at the time. Go here for that link Sad!!!! Why can't the world just let us live?

Endo Doc Two

Early in the morning I make the trek into the unknown again as I go for a second visit to my Endocrinologist- which if the truth be known I can't say the word let alone spell it! But I know what it means to me! This is my chance to again to take a giant stride down my gender road. Once again I have a curious blend of anticipation and trepidation.
Almost every doctor I have ever been to has been better at telling me what he thinks is right without a great amount of regard for my feelings. That's the reason for my misgivings.

My feelings will be simple however. I want to kick my HRT feminization up a notch or two and I wish I could bring more knowledge to the situation.  I've talked to more than a couple trans women friends concerning alternatives but I'm not sure I came out any wiser for the experience. For example, the difference between estrogen pills, patches or injections. My first MD (not an endo doc) was a firm believer pills were easier on the liver than injections-which was fine with me. I have heard and read the opposite of course. Then there is that pesky problem of my testosterone level. It's my understanding the fairly basic dose of
"Spiro" I take will do a decent job. I will presumably find out how much of a job it is doing tomorrow when my blood tests are read.
So the bottom line is I hope the Doc can suggest a plan which helps accelerate my HRT but at the same time provides a safe path for someone my age.
Hopefully, that's why he has all the fancy degrees on the wall!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Working for the Transgender Nation

From the Michigan State University News:



"Some MSU students reconsidered gender and personal identity in art Tuesday by attending a workshop hosted by transgender activist and performer Rebecca Kling. With an extensive educational background in theater and performing arts, Kling was able to use her education to develop her identity, and when she visited MSU to run the workshop and perform for students, she encouraged her audience to do the same. “I used the tools as an artist to explore for the first time my experience as a transgender person on stage,” Kling said. “The reason we make art is to see ourselves. I used storytelling to share and fully understand who I was as a person.” Kling used what she has learned as a performer and a transgender person by talking to students and community members Tuesday in Snyder Hall about how to act and adapt to transgender people, and allow those people themselves to become comfortable in their own skin."

 Picture credit: Julia Nagy / The State News Transgender artist Rebecca Kling discusses exploring gender and identity during a workshop on Jan. 22, 2013, at Snyder Hall. About 10 students and faculty members attended the workshop. Julia Nagy/The State News

From the courage of a few come the benefits to many!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Springer Goes "Catfishin"

I mentioned the MTV show called "Catfish the Show". Last night they attempted to rival the "Jerry Springer Show" in out and out trash programming.
The premise of this well promoted episode was this guy who had a transgender girlfriend. Of course when they finally met he revealed he used a fake name and fake pictures to meet this very realistic transgender woman. As it turned out she wasn't transgender at all but claimed to be a lesbian who was considering having a relationship with a man.
Of course it got even better when it turned out she was actually sending him money to pay his bills. Really?
It seemed to me this guy was content to think this woman was easy pickings because she was trans and who was he to ruin his meal ticket? Plus what the hell was she thinking? Maybe we will find out on Jerry!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Martin Luther King

Thanks Dr. King!
For those of you outside the United States today is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's. birthday. He was a leader in the African American Civil Rights struggle in the 1960's and was assasinated in 1968.
Many of his non violent efforts spearheaded a civil rights campaign which extended basic civil protections to the Black American public.
Finally last year the transgender population of our country began to achieve some protections under law which Dr. King fought for - and many gay Americans already have.
In recent history it's easy to say the Civil Right's movement in the 1960's was the beginning of the civil rights struggle which we as transgender American's still are lacking.
Dr. King provided a very clear path. In many ways he indeed could have been a  very sympathetic supporter of our cause if he was alive today.
I just wanted to take the moment to thank him!

Potty Principles Revisited

Every once in a while here in Cyrsti's Condo I try to back track a bit and bring up items which you newer visitors may have never seen.

One of the most important subjects which continues to cause major problems with many folks is the simple task of using the bathroom.

First of all, I am not going to get into any kind of discussion of being allowed to use the rest room at all. Also these are only my experiences. Yours could be quite different.

For the rest of you, especially those of you who are new to going public as a woman: there are going to be times when you need a rest room. Of course some are more trans user friendly than others. Here are examples:
Certain big box stores in my part of the world have their restrooms up by the front doors. You can slip in and out without going in the store at all. On the other end of the spectrum are the mall bathrooms with all the security cameras and guards in the mall. Other possibilities are restrooms in stores such as bookstores which again are usually under populated.

My other restroom stories are endless. From professional sports games to road side rest stops to bars to gay venues I have had to use the facilities. Now, here are my own personal rules:
1.- Get in and get out! A cursory glance in the mirror to check my hair and makeup is all I allow myself. If I'm alone I will do a little repair.
2.- Women pee in a hurry. Most are in and out quickly. I always head to a stall quickly and wait to see if someone comes in behind me. It's possible they are following me. If they pee, I'm normally safe to assume they weren't.
3.- Timing is everything. Sometimes I can take a bit more time in the stall while the woman ahead of me washes and leaves. On the other hand you can't hide in stall in a busy women's restroom. There could be a line. Let's reverse it. If you end up in a line...pulling your cell phone out of your purse is a good way to pass the time. Once you get into a stall...don't forget to lock it!
4.- Wash your hands!!!! Very few women don't. Also, look down before you sit down. Don't fall for these so called experts who proclaim the "pristine" conditions of women's rooms. They obviously haven't been to many.
5.- Carry a prop. A pad or tampon in your purse can really take you a long way. If a woman truly needs one  you will be a friend and if she is testing you...you won. The best prop you can have is another woman you know!
6.- Act like you have been there. If you are hitching up your big girl panties to be in the restroom...own it and faint later.
7.- NEVER take it for granted.  No matter how many times you have used the woman's room before and how well you present as a woman- all it takes is one person's complaint to cause you an embarrassing situation.

There you go. I'm sure many of you experienced readers can add your own "do's and don'ts" to this list. These are a few "basics" or "potty principles" of mine to pass along. Hope they help!


Horror Scope!

ALREADY kids it's time for another "Horror Scope" here in Cyrsti's Condo. Here we go!

Libra (September 23 - October 22)
" You’re going to have to get creative to save face, as showmanship is going to matter and dealing sternly with a certain someone needs to happen. After all, your fate is now dangling from a string and you know you can’t take these thrills any longer. Not to say you want your life to end in a stalemate, but just being able to stay still isn’t a luxury right now."

Way too many "action words" in this one! I'm lost in the scope but you don't have be lost in yours. To get it from theFrisky go here. While you are there take a look at the article "Why a straight guy cares about transgender rights."
Here's one excerpt:

Here’s why I take transgender issues personally… Because I or someone I love might get cancer at some point, and a trans person who is capable of discovering the cure is otherwise occupied defending their right to exist. I live in a world that needs leadership, and a smart, tireless trans person who should maybe be President is busy arguing that they deserve basic human respect. I want to drive a fucking flying car someday, and the trans person who might invent it is stuck responding to Guardian editorials that treat them like they’re subhuman."

 And this:   " But these fights aren’t anyone else’s struggle. They’re mine, too. They belong to all of us because the only way the world ever gets better is when people are able to use their talents to make better things for the rest of us to enjoy. And that doesn’t happen much when those talented people are busy fighting for their own survival."

It's encouraging of course to read this and more encouraging to see a site such as theFrisky to use it!


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday Morning Ramblings

Been busy chasing my tail lately. The worst part is I didn't catch it and I wondered where I would have found the time to do all these things if I had not retired!
Normally when I go through these times I have bits and pieces of ideas run through my mind which I would like to pass along and just don't get around to it.

The first was an animated chat a friend and I had about transphobic gay men. Do they have a tendency to be more transphobic and why. Sometimes I think they do and here is why. First, in some ways transgender women and men are forced on them. We go to their hang outs and sometimes don't interact so well. I've seen more than one cross dresser make a fool of himself in a gay club. On a deeper level though, a gay man has no more understanding of us than a hetero normal one does. If you throw in the drag queen culture, the average gay person has as much reason to wonder as the rest of the population. Plus on a deeper gender level, do we represent a "trip to the dark side" for an effeminate man who may have been teetering on the gender divide anyhow.  I'm biased but I certainly feel coming out gay is definitely easier than coming out transgender. We all know if you protest too much, you may have a dress hanging in the back of your closet hidden from the world.

Of course, I don't dwell on anything long, so it was time to move on.

The second thought that buzzed through my noggin came from a transgender vet blog reader who asked about how should she approach her first visit to a VA therapist. The whole question led me to thinking how much of a personal decision this was and how to handle it. My easy over simplistic answer was-just be yourself.  Easier said than done. I could only give my own rendition of hiking up my big girl panties and walking through the VA center as me. It was easier for my therapist to connect the dots since she never did she me as what was left of my guy self...BUT...my personal situation made that easier for me. I'm widowed and didn't have that part of the puzzle to wade through. My therapist wanted to make sure I had some sort of support system to fall back on if I started HRT. Also if I use the VA as an example, every center or clinic is different. From what I hear, my center in Ohio probably rates a B-. I would give them an A for wanting to do the right thing and a D- for having the tools to do it. While we are on the alphabet, let's toss in a "B" for bureaucracy on their end and a "P" for persistence on mine. I would guess the bottom line is somehow, someway you need to convince your therapist you need to go on a hormone path for your own mental well being. You notice I say "mental well being" not "mental illness".
As a final  point of reference, keep asking for another appointment with another person until you get one who you can relate to and ALWAYS remember to ask for the VA patient advocate in your center. The VA is directed to help you. Don't let them out of it!

As I embark on another busy week with the coldest weather in four years, I imagine my mind will go into overdrive again and I will certainly pass on the ramblings to you.
By the way, if you want to get a hold of me, my email is cyrstih@yahoo.com and if nothing crazy happens I should get back with you quickly. It helps if you put the "blog" word in the subject title.
Also, I never get into personal things by name in Cyrsti's Condo without your permission.


It Sure Looks Good on YOU!

One of my favorite YouTube transsexual transitions.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Catfishin...

MTV recently came up with a show based on the motion picture Catfish which is based on people who pull elaborate identity scams on social sites such as Facebook.
Of course already they have had an episode which featured a woman who developed a on line relationship with a person who turned out to be a transitioning trans man.
Coming up this Monday it seems a transgender woman is involved. We transgender folk don't need any more bad public relations and I hate to see us being the "scammers" at all. But with ratings and all I figured it was just a matter of time. On the positive side the trans man episode ended with a happy ending when the couple stayed together. We will see what Monday brings.
It could be worse though, at least the Heisman runner up from Notre Dame (Manti Te'o) who has blown up the airwaves with his Catfish scandal hasn't been placed with a transgender woman...yet.
Here's the MTV promo:


Maid Service?

This YouTube video crosses a couple of fantasy lines in the cross dressing community.


Friday, January 18, 2013

All that Jazz

Perhaps you remember Jazz the young transgender girl who was spotlighted several years ago. She's back with an update interview with Barbra Walters:


Here's the promo from ABC:


" Barbara Walters will sit down with 12-year-old Jazz on 20/20 tomorrow, a young girl whose life seems like every other kid her age, only Jazz was born a boy but identifies as a girl. What’s more, Jazz has been living as a girl from an early age. From the brief preview of the interview, which you can watch above, Jazz seems to be one of the most well-adjusted kids we have ever seen, forget the fact that she is transgender. Jazz has the support of both of her parents, who have identified her as a girl on her birth certificate and even had Jazz record a video explaining that she thinks like a girl and is a girl, but with boy parts, that she is encouraged to share as soon as she makes new male friends. The segment will also deal with the concerns now that Jazz is entering puberty. You can catch what is sure to be an incredibly interesting and informative edition of 20/20 tomorrow at 8 PM."

Brazilian Transsexual

By now I'm sure you have read the story of the furor which came out of this comment:

“we [women] are angry with ourselves for not being happier, not being loved properly and not having the ideal body shape – that of a Brazilian transsexual.”

Of course all the trans nazi's and trans feminist's jumped hysterically on this.

I hang out almost exclusively with genetic women and I have to say most of them and I would kill to have a body like Brazilian transsexual Lea T  shown on the right.

Look, all of us know we are never going to develop a body such as Lea's. She is a model for a reason!!! As far as a role model for girls and women's struggles around the world- that's a bit of a stretch. My point is feminists have a real reason to criticize society as a whole until all women have equal treatment around the world. I don't care that most don't consider transgender women "worthy" of joining their gender inner sanctum. Don't need their support, it's their loss.

The problem with the quote was she didn't take it far enough. I have my own prejudice against gender nazi's as being bitter one sided folks who have found this box of toys called the internet to spread their ideas. I don't suppose she would have ever added the idea that people of both genders and between have problems with being loved, being happy and how we look. But angry? How about we all should be working on our problems. Not just bitching about them.

Transgender In America

Representing a very informative look at being trans in America. From NBC News:

 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Mama Said-

"If you can't say anything good, don't say anything at all." She really didn't say that but it sounds good!
There is no way I can sugar coat the way I think about some of the cross dressing pictures I see on a site called "Flickr".

First of all, let me say I'm not an appearance elitist. I'm not a huge fan of pictures- especially my own. I see everything on Flickr from photo shopped beauties, glamour shot lovelies, naturally beautiful cross dressers and then tragic fashion mistakes. I'm thinking what was this person thinking? Many have quite a few feminine qualities but when they are out in the back yard in a bathing suit and heels it was all I could do to not jump in on the comments. Not in a positive manner. I didn't but could not have help noticing the nine or ten positive comments this person received. I did the worst thing I could. I stayed quiet. The best I could have done was offer a "for what it's worth" comment. You all know I have lots of "push back" on some of my comments in Cyrsti's Condo and that's fine so I'm used to it.
For whatever reason, I didn't want to step into this person's fantasy of thinking he was some sort of a blond swim suited beauty and others agreeing. Really?
My assumption is his next step won't be the cross dresser in the mini and heels in the mall. I hope I'm wrong. I think the caption was something of what the neighbor's would think and I thought ...the cops! Just my cynicism slipping back in.

Eventually, I passed along my ideas of this person as a bad example to a friend of mine. Specifically I passed along my thoughts on all the positive comments. His comment was a classic:
"This (cross dresser) whole subculture is like a snowball rolling down the side of a mountain. It grows larger and goes faster until it hits the oak growing in the middle of the valley."
Well said.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mark Your Calendars

All of you who are kind enough to read my babble here in Cyrsti's Condo and are in the Ohio area will have a chance to hear my babble at this year's TransOhio Trans and Ally Symposium. I have been accepted to provide a workshop called "Better late than never, Transitioning late in life."

The event is April 26-28th in Columbus.

Seriously, I'm honored to be accepted and hope I can provide a little guidance to others. Meeting any of you there would be extra fun! I will have more info for you later!

Transition

I love to pass along transgender transition videos from YouTube which show the positives of a journey!

 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

If I was Transgender

Well I am of course!
I'm always surprised on how I approach the subject with myself and others.

Truthfully, I started to say I really don't think about the subject much but that's not true. I think while I'm mentally the same person that person is female. So I don't think about that. Purists would argue though how I can ever think I am female, transgender or not.  Essentially , if I think therefore I am.  It matters not what anyone else thinks. Right? So, I don't really think quite a bit about being internally transgender but  do planning  to make my external trans life easier. I keep close track of hormonal body changes, how long my hair is and even how much hair is left in my brush. I've fairly well adjusted to grooming routines which include extra cleansing, softening and moisturizing.

I can't say I have totally adjusted to being essentially an androgynous person if I'm not made up at all. It's still a shock to see what was left of my male self has essentially disappeared.
Ironically, this transgender lifestyle has caused me to be a long term planner for the first time in my life. I have  to think ahead to doctor's appointments, hormones and more. Is hair removal or facial surgery in my future? How about the possibility of living stealth?

If I was transgender and it was a quiet 3 AM, it was all so real!

Darling, Did You See My Dress?

In the spirit of covering as many facets of the cross dressing - transgender culture as we can here in Cyrsti's Condo- it's only fair we pass along this YouTube video of a self professed cross dresser. Who happens to be very good at his craft:


Monday, January 14, 2013

Damn I'm Confused!

This morning I decided (for once) to get ahead of the game and go to my VA clinic for my required hormone level blood tests.
Just to confuse you, going to my local VA clinic is not going to the closest center where I have to go most of the time. It's much smaller , normally has one busy check in person and about 20 seats or so. You can't get lost in a crowd there!
Of course you need an ID to check in and at this point of my transition I still have a very male VA identification card. This morning I simply tied my hair back in a pony tail and went in.
I was fairly certain I would not have to answer any potentially embarrassing questions about why was I getting an estrogen as well as an testosterone test done. I was totally relaxed as I waited in line to get checked in until the receptionist glanced up and said "can I help you Mam?". Then he looked at my I.D and started with Mam I'm sorry Sir. Well I went from relaxed, to amused to elated!
Then it was time to "hurry up and wait" which is something all you veterans knew our military was famous for.
The remainder of the visit was surprisingly routine. The last time I did it, the process was a little tricky because I was getting blood work requested by a non Veterans Administration Doctor. Today, nobody said a word and I didn't have to say the transgender word once. Furthermore,  they are even letting me "hand carry" my results to my "endo-doctor". (Never trust a doctor to doctor fax machine!)
My reasoning is either the clinic workers know I'm the token transgender patient or my outside doc has been approved by the VA.
Whatever it was, hopefully today was a good sign for the future!

"Horror Scope"

It's time again kids for your Cyrsti's Condo "Horror Scope"  from theFrisky.

Libra (September 23 - October 22) All the glory you dream of is on its way, but you have to keep weathering the storm and do your homework. This is no sprint you’re in now, so pace yourself and accept that the challenges you overcome now will ultimately make you worthy of reaping the rewards you’re after. No, it’s not the prettiest time in your life, but a meaningful one. ''

I just hope the stars and I have the same idea of what the definition of "glory" is! Of course if today's activity was any indication, the stars may be spot on again! (Details in the next post!)

The Horror Scope title is an invention of my own devious mind!

Worth Another Look!

Awhile ago ABC's What Would You Do? television series ran a feature which centered around transsexual Carmen Carrera. She was working as a server in a diner and this is what happened:


From YouTube of course.

Don't Let Struggle Become Your Identity

This video is compelling enough but the phrase at the end says it all: "Don't let struggle become your identity"!
from YouTube:




Down Under Drag

Divanna Lorrette
I found this site by sheer accident "A Pictorial History of Melbourne Drag" by Jamie Lee Skye. Just for kicks and giggles I also threw in a classic picture of Barry Kay.
Barry Kay
Follow the link above for more classic female impersonation pictures!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Pieces of the Puzzle

Every once in  while here in Cyrsti's Condo I get excited and do a little housekeeping. I was going through a few of the old posts which described my first visit to a hair stylist and the resulting benefits.
As I said at the time, being able to go natural with my own hair was huge!
The whole experience was similar to finding a huge piece of my transgender puzzle. I was to discover quickly the benefits and drawbacks of finally being able to wear my own hair. Of course there was the sensuality. Whether or not women know the effect a simple twist of their hair has on some men is up for speculation but at the least the simple twist has an effect on them.
The other end of the spectrum is the time and effort hair requires. A part of me didn't believe I would have to schedule monthly salon visits to hide my gray, cut the split ends and trim my bangs. All of the sudden, I'm shopping for different shampoos, combs, brushes and hair dryers.
As all my genetic female friends say "welcome to our world"!
I can only say, thanks for the welcome and I love it here!
Ironically, the funniest part of all of this is when I try to take my hair off!

Transgender Stars

"Laura Calvo, a transgender activist from Portland, Ore.has become the first transgender woman elected to the Democratic National Committee, according to the Statesman Journal. Laura Calvo, the twice-elected treasurer of the Democratic Party of Oregon, has worked closely with Basic Rights Oregon in helping to pass Oregon’s Equality Act and Family Fairness Act. She's held a number of positions on local, state, and national levels. She was a regional director on the board of National Stonewall Democrats, served as treasurer of the party's LGBT caucus, served on the Hillary Clinton National LGBT Steering Committee and then went directly to work as a member of the Obama National Policy and Finance Committee once Obama won the nomination. Just Out named her as one of the top 25 LGBT community leaders of the past quarter century."

Many times I think all of us get too involved with the "glitzier" members of the transgender - transsexual community who are very public. We have a tendency to forget trans women such as Laura who are making a huge grass roots difference! She is an impressive role model for us all!
For more, go here!

Transgender Basics

All too often I read of beginning cross dressers all the way to transsexuals who dwell on the smallest points of fashion, shoes and makeup- there is nothing wrong with that! On the other hand, if you are not practicing the beauty basics in essence you could be wasting a lot of time before you slide into those heels!

My first example is weight. Similar to most of us, I have a thick torso so any weight I gain still goes to my upper body. (I think the hormones are finally shifting some "padding" to my hips, thighs and butt.) Excluding my breasts, the last thing I want to do is gain weight. My thought is, if you want to enter the feminine world, you may want to get obsessive about your weight like most genetic women. Be forewarned such as I was. Hormones will not help your weight issue! Pounds are as easy to put on but much harder to take off!

My second example is skin care.  Of course your skin is a canvas. The better the base-the better the finished product. One area of my appearance I do get a lot of compliments on is in the age category. Most don't even come close to thinking I'm 63. Genetics of course do have big impact but I believe nearly 20 years of moisturizers and skin creams have helped too.  "Back in the day" it was always easy for me to "stash" away some sort of skin care product to apply everyday after I shaved. There are hundreds to chose from. They include cleansers, defoliants, wrinkle cream at all different price ranges. Today it is even easier to use a skin care product because they are on the market for men. So, in reality you should have no excuse to not take care of your skin!

Finally, I believe so many in our community spend so much time jumping in and out of the culture they lose sight of tomorrow. Purging today for a week, month or year (of all your female belongings) usually doesn't mean you won't be back.  Following the two common sense basics above will certainly help you in which ever gender you ultimately chose to live.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Enigma?

If enigma sounds like a mysterious word, it is supposed to!
By definition an enigma is an inscrutable or mysterious person. Just think about it this way. If the average male can not decipher the average female,  just what do they think about us?
Plus, let me take this a step further and ask what the average genetic female thinks about a transgender woman?
The easy answer is most of the public doesn't know what to think.  The best part is most know we are here to stay.  It's part of our allure to stay an enigma!

Transgender Changes

From YouTube (of course) A little transgender history:

 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Hold Still-Here Comes Your Label!

I certainly do my best to stay away from the insane world of labels. I recently read a column concerning the "correctness" of using transgender rather than transsexual. I don't remember which.
Personally, I identify with the transgender term myself...I think! The word seems to separate me from the transsexuals in that the word sex was used.  I followed through the fact that sex is between the legs and gender is between the ears and I don't have the overriding urge to have a total sex change. Of course what I feel about those two labels doesn't matter. I am who I know I am not who I say I am - just to please society.
Also, my ideas don't stop me from writing about those who use labels to hate and bigot...Such as these two.

"A Twitter message about spitting led Towson lawyer and lesbian advocate Cathy Brennan to file for a peace order against a transgender advocate. Phylicia Sampson, a 28-year-old Baltimore resident, and Brennan, 42, were engaged in a heated debate on the social media site when Sampson wrote that she wanted to spit in Brennan's face. Brennan, a former member of the Boards of the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Baltimore, said she has been a gay activist since 1995, but is of the opinion that transgendered women are male and should not have access to "female spaces." "The balancing interest and concern between lesbians and transwomen is an issue," she said. "This is an issue in [the LGBT] community, but I don't think this has bubbled into the main stream yet."

Really?

I have read more than a couple of Brennan's ideas and have felt she is a Rad-Femme hater/bigot. On the other hand the endless back and forth which resulted in the lawsuit is just counter productive. I suppose people just have to have something to do, even if it is just hate. That is one of the reasons why I don't dwell on labels. The wrong label with the wrong person only can lead to trouble.  Maybe I can say I'm into "label stealth"?

Top Gay Cities in America

The current issue of the Advocate features their choice of the "gayest" cities in America.
I have had an interest in this ranking for several years when nearby Columbus, Ohio made the list.
I know though that being the "gayest" city often has nothing to do with being transgender friendly of course. Still, it has been interesting to me from a public relations viewpoint of Ohio. More than once I have been asked by a former Ohioian who has not been back for awhile, how I stand to live here?
Well, times do change of course and certainly there are pockets of transphobia and homophobia as virulent as any place else in the country here. But do not slap the stereotypical conservative "bible belt" tag on us all.
Of particular interest in this selection of cities was the inclusion of Cincinnati. "The Nati" (also close by) in my lifetime has always been known for a very conservative stance on almost all issues. Obviously, I was surprised and happy to see the city made the list. Especially, since I'm considering moving there this year.
As with any ranking system in any publication the Advocate has a very subjective ranking system. But does include a transgender point:
"Transgender protections 1 point for every jurisdiction with laws prohibiting discrimination, according to National Gay and Lesbian Task Force"

To check it out and see if your city (or one close) made the list, go here.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Black-Out?

Like so many larger women, black is the basis of my wardrobe.  Sure black makes you look thinner but there are options. Check this fashion advice from Fabulous after 40.
I'm a real believer in keeping up with all of the feminine fashion and make up tips I can find and passing them along to you on occasion here in Cyrsti's Condo.

Video Trans Fun

This transsexual video is very simply easy on your eyes! Enjoy!
From YouTube of course!



 

"Wassss-up?"

Well kids, here we are. 2013 is collectively beginning to wrap her collective arms around us all.
Of course, as the dust has settled-some of us have tossed our new years resolutions in the trash all ready.
I prefer to think of mine as goals. In my mind at least a kinder gentler form of resolution.
Truthfully, I haven't had much time to think much about them because once again life seems to be rushing ahead so fast I'm lucky to stay on for the ride. Speaking of ride, the first week or so of my year left me without one. My car developed severe problems shortly after Christmas. I live in an area devoid of public transportation so thank goodness for friends who came to my rescue.
Since I'm finally on the road again, I can take care of fun filled tasks such as a big dental appointment...Yay!
On the bright side though I have set up another appointment with my Endo Doc to judge where I am with my  hormone levels and where we can go with them. That week is turning out to be an exciting one since I have also set up a laser consultation earlier in the week.
Then, as February comes around it's time for my first trip to Mardi Gras! I really don't go into "Bucket Lists" very much (Like John Lennon wrote "Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans.) But I would really like to get my beads the natural way!
So that's my disclaimer of sorts of where I have been outside of Cyrsti's Condo and all of you.
I did want to mention I did run into a trans man friend of mine last weekend.  He is getting reading to start transitioning in earnest and in fact is going to the same Doc I am.  I have rarely seen a person as happy and at peace with himself! It certainly did my heart good!!!!

Quote of the Day

"Are you too old to start transgender transition at the age of 60? You are too old not too!"
Cyrsti

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Cross Dressing in the "People's Republic"

From the Chinese "People's Daily On Line":

 "As the music rose, a fine-looking woman in ancient Chinese clothes appeared on the stage, waving her long sleeves and the ribbons tied to her wasp waist, delicate and graceful. Dancing and singing, she looked like a fairy on the cloud-shrouded stage and every tantalizing move aroused applause and ovations. This scene occurred at a concert in the Great Hall of the People at the end of 2012. The audience was thrilled not just because of the beauty of this woman, but because the performer was actually a man, Li Yugang, a male singer whose specialty is performing as ancient beauties. His imitation usually makes the audience forget about his gender. Li rose to fame in 2006 in a talent show with his cross-gender act (fanchuan art), a fresh form of stage art that combines make-up and performances. Since then, there has been an increase in the number of both performers and audiences for fanchuan. "Li launched a new era for this art, and it came at the right time," said Tang Yigang, a performing art commentator."


Fanchuan performers are usually mixed with nandan (men who play woman characters) in Peking Opera, because the former is kind of a derivative from the latter. "The performance pattern of nandan is fixed on stage. 100 nandan play one role exactly the same, while 100 fanchuan present 100 types of one role. It is more flexible and variable," Yang explained. In 2007, Yang became the first fanchuan performer on the stage of Vienna's Golden Hall.

Hispanic Crossdresser

I think "he" calls it his "hobby" So did I "back in the day!"

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

"Insta" SRS

Yes sometimes I'm an opinionated bitch I know and one of my favorite subjects is the availablity of non researched sex changes in places such as Thailand. It makes no difference if you have lived a week a month or a year as your chosen gender- just have the money.
My belief what this leads to is transgender individuals  (who may not be) may be led down a path of no return without proper socialization. I believe some feel that with enough cash, anything is possible and after a trip overseas and a couple months of healing- POOF - all life's ills will be solved. I knew a person like this. She merely became the best looking cross dresser in the room-even with her store bought equipment.
I'm not good enough to write about this as well as this post I read. It's written by Jillian at the Montreal Gazette:

"For those of you who are planning to physically transition, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of the real-life experience period. I know about the desire to get on HRT as quickly as possible, and to circumvent the accepted standards of care by getting hormones through online pharmacies and/or the black market and/or less-than-qualified medical personnel. Don’t do it. If you are going to make such great changes in your life, it is worth doing it properly, with the help of competent, objective therapists and endocrinologists. As for SRS, living 24/7 for a year or two as a woman (or man, if you are a FtM person) before having surgery is extremely important, for obvious reasons. Among them, you will see how the world accepts or rejects you, and you will have plenty of opportunity to change your mind, with no long-term consequences. I don’t often hear about people who regret transitioning, because most people who transition follow the traditional standards of care. But there are cases of people who have regretted transitioning — after going on HRT and/or having surgery. In some of those cases, the people circumvented the system and rushed into it. I’ve heard of cases in which people got the papers needed through less-than-ideal ways and faxed them to Thailand and, presto, they were on the surgeon’s table in no time at all. The trans community has pleaded with the gatekeepers to make it easier to transition. And it is easier now than it ever has been before. As a result, it puts more onus on you to really be sure about what you are doing. And the best way to be sure is to go through a prolonged real-life experience period. If you can’t do it, or are afraid to do it, then you probably should not be transitioning at all."

As my wife once told me years ago "you make a terrible woman". It's not what is on the outside. It's the inside that counts.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Blondes and Fun?

We got mail!
 From Stephanie: "I only have Dial-up internet so watching a video is out of the question. But.....if you have doubts that blonds don't have more fun, you being brunette, put on a bright blond wig, some bright red lipstick, and take a drive down the road. There will men hanging out of their trucks to wave at you! ....(someone who's been both blond and brunette!) on Blondes Do Have More Fun!"

Stephanie, I too have been blond and brunette and red! I agree with what you wrote but would like to add my two cents.
I have always thought that blonds do get more attention but how that translates to fun depends on the individuals! Ha!
One of my "best and worst" of all blond worlds is similar to yours. I had a streaked summer blond wig which I ended up naming "suicide blond".
The best of time was driving the interstate in my denim mini with mirror sunglasses distracting guys everywhere. The worst of time was when I stopped anywhere and continually getting busted as a guy. As one of my women bartender friends so "kindly" put it-"aren't you a little over the top?" Very simply I was attracting too much attention. Presenting female was sooo much tougher of course with all the extra scrutiny.

I don't know if there is a scientific reason why blonds naturally do get more attention or if the whole deal is PR motivated. Just a few examples would be classic blond movie stars Jean Harlow or Marilyn Monroe Of course there are beautiful women of all hair colors but somehow a blond just seems to stand out more.

Years ago, I did have a "kinder and gentler" long blond wig which I dearly loved and was able to negotiate the public gauntlet quite well in. Now though, my own hair is colored almost as dark as the picture at the top of the blog and is very close to my natural color (without the gray). I prefer to think "dark and mysterious".
My friends though are quite fond of asking me if I'm a natural blond when I go off on some sort of a totally "ditz" binge.

I smile and tell them to lay off the stereotypes...and go back to my own little off the wall padded world!

Horror Scope

Well kids, it's time here in Cyrsti's Condo for the new years second "Horror-Scope"! I have rebounded a bit from the first one:

Libra (September 23 - October 22) Good news is coming, and will make you feel more settled in your life and trust the direction you're taking. So, keep up the momentum and go with it, even if you don’t have all the answers! As long as you keep pace with the the action, everything will fall into place as it needs to.

Yay!!!!

As always, "Horror Scope" is my term and you can go get your own here!

Transgender Law

No it's not a new television show (unfortunately). My friend Bobbie was kind enough to send along this information from a police publication called "Dealing with Transgender Subjects". Here is an excerpt:

"Officers must often protect and serve members of special groups. Providing this service can bring challenges that demand agency guidance or targeted training. One such group that has rarely been seen or contacted by officers in the past has become empowered to step out and live openly in their communities. They are the transgender individuals. On every continent there is at least one culture that gives social recognition to individuals who don't fit the gender binary of male or female. Only until recently has medicine made it possible to match the individual to their appearance with surgical procedures. Our Western societies have forced these individuals underground (into "the closet") to survive by avoiding ridicule and persecution. Being transgender has nothing to do with who you are attracted to for sex; it is not attached to sexual attraction identifiers such as being gay, lesbian, or bi-sexual. You can be transgender and also be gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, straight, or none of the above. Being trans is about your gender identity; it's who you feel and know you are. Our society develops a spectrum of gender possibilities from ultra-masculine to ultra-feminine and every variation in-between."

Obviously it's refreshing to see law enforcement taking a look at the transgender community for what it really is. The huge majority of all of us are not sex workers or some sort of criminal up to no good. Which used to be the norm in how we were presented. Over the years I have been fortunate enough to be treated with respect in my dealings with law enforcement. Perhaps more information such as this will continue that trend for the entire transgender community.

Read more here.

Blondes Do Have More Fun!

I have a friend you sends me YouTube videos which we have a fun time critiqing and everyone in a while I find one out of the transgender transition type and find a drag one like this blond bombshell drag queen:


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Male Privilege

Relax, I'm not going into a contrived emotional post concerning "male priviledge".
Talk about a horse that has been beaten into the ground!
Recently I read a article called "Sex change patients are getting younger and are more likely to be women".

That's right. "Transsexuals in Hong Kong are now seeking gender-changing surgery at a much earlier age than two decades ago, and those coming forward are more likely to be women seeking to become men. "It seems that more and more patients are in their 20s," said Dr Albert Yuen Wai-cheung, chief of service at Ruttonjee Hospital's department of surgery and the only specialist performing sex reassignment surgery at the city's public hospitals. "In the past, they were in their 30s. Now they are quite young, still studying," Yuen said. "With more information available, more are willing to see doctors." Also, women undergoing sex change operations to become men now outnumber men wanting to become women."

Granted this is a very small sampling but interesting none the less. I'm fortunate to know two trans men. One is exploring how he can finance his change and the other is in a very exciting exploration phase. Both could speak to this issue much better than I know but it seems to me I see more women where I live who are really masculine in appearance.  I'm not talking about the much maligned idea that women are allowed to wear men's clothes and not vice versa. I'm talking about women who would have given me a run at my masculinity in my macho acting days. Now,  I also know that having a male ready body does not make a person a transgender candidate. Most of you also know I'm a proponent of the increasing blurring of the genders. (Jamie) Is my small local sample an example? The last thing I claim to be is a statistician, so let's just call it an observation and move on.

Regardless of all of this, the true male or female privilege is the ability to change your body to the extent you need to feel comfortable.  If nothing else, new medical advances have the potential to completely blur the genders- if one has the resources to do it.

For more on the article above, go here.

Blond Drag Fun

I have seen a couple of this person's transformation videos and think his friend is just incredible!


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Tran "S" Gender Voices

Most of us struggle with feminine vocalization in our transgender journeys.
We learn early on the process involves much more than just pitch.  Many genetic women have sexy lower pitched voices. Famous examples are actresses Lauren Bacall  or Jacqueline Bisset.
I recently came across this study:

"How can you tell if a person is male or female just by their voice? In general, men have deeper voices than women. However, according to a study conducted by Lal Zimman, a doctoral student at The University of Colorado - Boulder at the time of his research, the style of speech can impact perceptions of a person's gender as well, not simply the pitch of his or her voice. In fact, the letter "S" can, on its own, impact people's perception of the speaker's gender."

Read more here. If you are like me you need all the vocal help you can get!

Guide to Becoming More Manly!

Yes girls! A friend sent this to me (not seriously) so I will pass it along in Cyrsti's Condo to you.
Put down that mascara wand and pick up that tire jack! :


Transgender Mirrors

Janie Black recently wrote a post which jogged my sleepy mind called Gender and the Wrong Body.
She wrote a very thought provoking post (here) which basically goes into the much debated ideas of why we transgender or transsexual people feel this way.

I'm going to greatly over simplify this topic by using the "born in the wrong body" argument.  Personally I can't use that as any rationalization for my status as a transgender woman. It could be argued I was born into the wrong body to hit the baseball the way I wanted or to play football the way I thought I should. OK, I can agree with those of you that are thinking "pretty shallow" Cyrsti.  You are right and wrong. Wrong in that those were important to me at the time.  Right, in that I learned to live with reality and they went away.

What never went away was the idea I was somehow living life from the wrong gender perspective. You could argue I was born into the wrong body but you know you have to go with what brought you here. I'm lucky the physical aspect of my body has allowed me to be healthy into my 60's and along the way has been pliable enough to explore the female gender.

Sure, like many of you I have thought of SRS very seriously and of course you know I started HRT sometime ago. So far I'm quite happy where I am although if my finances allow I would certainly be open to some sort of facial hair removal and even facial feminization surgery.  In my own way though, I see those as primarily vanity moves. No different than any other genetic woman. Would either help me to be more stealth than I am now? Possibly but neither would help me feel anymore feminine than I do now. Then, there is that word feminine. It's a stereotype. Right? Who knows if I feel feminine. I'm just being me, reflecting to the world. Which brings me to the word mirror. 

As I progressed down this transgender road, I found how I reflected my inner mirror to the world was much more important than my external mirror. I was lucky enough to cover the basics in public as a woman but just walking through a mall "undetected" just wasn't enough. Which brings me to the point.

No I wasn't born in the wrong body. Sure my mental processes don't match my physical gender but through my feminine socialization process I have been able to bypass the limitations of my physical self. I have been able to redirect a series of inner mirrors to give the public an accurate perception of my inner self.

All of this is a never ending discussion. No easy answer. It's as different and personal to us as life itself. Some of us have to go out and buy a vagina to feel whole. Some don't. Bottom line is though all that really matters is the inside and how you reflect it to the world. It took me years to figure it out. Now it's up to the world to accept it.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Patience as a Transgender Virtue

Autumn Sandeen
Here in Cyrsti's Condo we have discussed on occasion the power of patience. I don't have much of that specific power so I respect those who do.

SO! I really respected this post I just read from Autumn Sandeen.  She is a transgender vet I've referenced before.

Her article is called My Year of Bureaucratic Changes in Gender, but in reality covers the ten years since she began living as Autumn. 
Here's the link to read more but in the meantime I would specifically recommend all of you who are considering a transgender transition journey to check it out.
Indeed, patience is a virtue!  Another virtue is Autumn writing about her experiences!

Pejic Meets Warhol

"Edie"
As with many others, it seems we can't get enough of super model Andrej Pejic here in Cyrsti's Condo.

Recently we posted his new cover of the Serbian Elle and even briefly discussed him in a comment response from Gina.
Now he has surfaced in a fashion feature for the luxury magazine DuJour.  Not that Pejic doesn't look stunning in everything he does, but this feature channels Andrej recreating the looks of several Andy Warhol icons. Of course one can only speculate how intrigued Warhol would be with Pejic if he was alive today. 
"Candy Darling"

Here's an excerpt from DuJour from Glenn O'Brien (who actually knew Warhol): "Andrej is as pretty as Candy, although I’m not sure who is the more feminine character. Being feminine was definitely harder for a boy in the old days." He also goes on to state: "Andy would have been fascinated by Andrej. He liked pretty boys, and he liked boys who could impersonate girls. Andy thought boys made the best actresses because they could be more objective about femininity, and they didn’t have to worry so much about being politically correct in one’s femininity."

There are a couple more pictures and more for you by following the DuJour link above.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Princeton Beauty

Princeton's Triangle Club in 1916 produced this picture of a feminine lead to promote The Evil Eye production. The "woman" is actually F.Scott Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald was in his third year at Princeton when the musical-comedy troupe performed the bawdy lyrics penned by the future Great Gatsby writer. In a review of his performance, the Times referred to Fitzgerald as "the most beautiful" girl in the whole production.
Maybe he was writing the lead for himself? For more go here.

Casey Up To Bat

Over the years, I have been a fan of certain fashion makeover shows. I believe the shows provide invaluable style advice to all transgender women- especially beginners. Normally our male based bodies have something in common with certain female bodies. An example would be a genetic woman who has broad shoulders and narrow hips.
The TLC network has a show that I have watched off and on for several years called What Not To Wear who is going to makeover a transsexual woman named Casey. 
To my knowledge this could be the first time the show has featured a transgender or transsexual makeover. I have seen shows over the years makeover drag queens but lets say not your cross dresser down the street. I'm biased but most of us really could use a dose of fashion advice.
Here's the promo:

(This season) " Other contributors in need of drastic wardrobe overhauls include Simona - an overachieving scientist who needs to ditch her comfortable duds, Tristen - a New Yorker but self-proclaimed Jersey girl whose skimpy outfits are getting in the way of her finding a quality man and a promising career, and Casey - a transsexual who has been living as a woman for the past nine years, but has yet to find the wardrobe that reflects the confident, happy woman that she has become."

Here's your link.


By the Numbers

I just happened on the number of posts here in Cyrsti's Condo over the years.
Similar to the increase in government expenditures recently, here are the stats:

June 2010-Dec 31st- 189 posts
Jan   2011-Dec 31st- 518 posts
Jan   2012-Dec 31st -867 posts

Only one thing to say : "Blah, Blah Blah!!!!"

We've Got Mail!

Recently I ran a post called Skip the Makeup here in Cyrsti's Condo.  It's Gina's blog and she was good enough to drop me a comment back. I mentioned the lack of any mention of Andrej Pejic in her mention of transgender models. Rightfully so, as Pejic has never outed himself as transgender. for whatever reason. 
Here's more of Gina's comment!

"Heh, thanks for the mention of my rather neglected blog. Mostly, for the past 2 years, I've just been reviewing books and films with trans characters rather than doing cultural commentary. I think that post was before Andrej appeared but, moreover, he's never identified himself as transgender (from what he says about himself, he sounds somewhat genderqueer but doesn't call himself that). I would never ID someone as trans if they didn't personally identify that way. Needless to say, since I wrote that there have already been a lot more stories about trans models (especially in Brazil) and at least 2 or 3 more androgynes like Pejic. Really, my post was more about how people make every trans accomplishment sound like a "first time" (when those boundaries had been broken decades before) and how people project concepts like "androgyny" onto trans women whether they look even vaguely androgynous or not."

Thanks Gina for the comment and bringing back some of the transgender models of the past!


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Horror Scope

With all the end of year activities, somehow I let our Cyrsti's Condo Horror Scope slide by! Perhaps if you read this, you will know why!

 Libra (September 23 - October 22)
Remember you like to get ahead of yourself a lot, thinking it's going to prepare you, but you forget that method doesn’t work for you. Slow it down, as this is when you're going to have to maneuver a bit more delicately to get what you want, as in step-by-step. Order exists for a reason in such matters, so respect it and practice it now.


Dammit! I never have been one to "slow it down a bit" or "maneuver a bit more delicately"!

Of course the term "Horror Scope" is my own and as always you can go to theFrisky for your own.

A Touch of Class!

We need all the "class" we can get here in Cyrsti's Condo.  I don't want you thinking "Cyrsti has a lot of class, it's just all low!" Ha ha!

Perhaps you have seen me reference my transgender friend Jessye from France.  She has just embarked on a journey I started over a year ago. The road to HRT is opening for her! I could just feel her excitement in her recent e mails.  Ironically, it was only a couple nights ago on New Years Eve I was thinking about her.  During the French themed production we went to.

Of course, I wondered if Jessye inherited any of the "in bred" style French women are known for and out of the clear blue (cold-snowy) sky she sent me a few! So I will pin them up here in Cyrsti's Condo for all of us to enjoy! By the way, she certainly did inherit the French sense of style!