Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I Felt the Earth Move

I live in Ohio, not quite the epicenter of earthquakes in the country although I know there could be one anytime.

The earth did move around here this week when the Pope said he couldn't or shouldn't pass judgement on gay people. Then the nearly not as revered but probably more wealthy than the Pope, Pat Robertson came out and said he has no problem with transgender individuals. Then, there are the reports of the hate monger Rush Limbaugh being on the ropes as he addressed reports that he is getting dropped from Cumulus, the second-largest radio network in the country, on Monday. "Nothing is gonna happen that you will notice," Limbaugh said on his radio show. "Nothing is going to change. You are going to be able to get this radio program on as many if not more radio stations down the road than it's on now, and what you're being treated to is just a public business negotiation. Negotiations have been taken public by one side of this and I thought it was done!"

The difference in what the Nazi Rush didn't say was advertising dollars drive the viability of a network radio show and he just lost one in the Bojangle's Food Chain. When you have him on the run, it's easier to provide monetary pressure on him- not unlike the major fast food chicken chain I'm sure I don't have to mention to you. An effective boycott for them is when they cater an event, just casually spread the word about how inherently wrong it is to support their company and what the owner stands for.

Look, I know people are sheep and there are major problems in our country with mini Limbaugh's out there to cash in. Just look at the giant Clear Channel radio conglomerate. It has single highhandedly killed free speech over the airways in this country by buying tons of radio stations in the same markets. Clear Channel  specializes in right wing shock jocks on every level in every market spewing easy answers to tough problems. You can bet they have "superstar" or two lined up to fill Limbaugh's shoes.  In the meantime though we need to keep the pressure on the Nazi. Everytime he sticks his mug in a microphone, it's time to complain to the advertiser on his show.

That's our own small way to keep the earth moving in Ohio, except for the never ending interstate highway projects!

Oh, by the way, here's Pat:

It's a Start

According to theAdvocate and BuzzFeed,
Transgender military service will be examined with a $1.35 Million Grant from the Pal Center. The initiative will explore how the U.S. military could include trans troops without disruption.

Read more here.

Welcome to my World.

I used to hear it from genetic women a lot. I certainly understand why I did and I think I understand why I'm not so much anymore.

Perhaps you have heard me refer to the transgender learning experience as "playing in the girls sandbox". Until you climb in, you really don't know how the process works. The only certainty is the lessons come at you fast.

Women of course wonder what the hell you are doing in the sandbox at all?  Are you creepy, are you serious and/or are you sane. If you aren't creepy, are serious and reasonably sane (me) then you are allowed into the mix. Of course you will get get sand kicked in your face until you find which group of women you can bond with.

You know how guys bond with sports, business success or cars and women bond with- well - being women. Relationships, kids, husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends and men at large form the bond. Early in the process I learned I needed to bring my personal past into play.  When I was asked did I have any kids, I simply said yes but I never needed to say I birthed her. Also, I'm fairly sure all of my close women friends know I'm a widow and I was married to a woman for over 25 years. For the longest time, that was a "need to know" fact which I didn't toss around easily.  The bottom line was though, I became a real person.  So what if I was transgender, I didn't B.S. anyone and to the best of my ability  I was good people. Quickly it seemed I was making the leap from "welcome to my world" to "where have you been?"

For all of you who are still fixated on appearance getting you a spot in the sandbox, I can't say enough if you are blessed with a good head of hair, go with it! Hair is such a huge selling point to presenting as a woman and the girl stuff like clothes, hair and makeup are just fun play toys. Older genetic women just don't understand and I don't want to be a geek and tell them I still am like a teen aged girl in a makeup or clothing store! In fact it's times like that I want to say "Welcome to MY trans World". It's a blessing from somewhere to be transgender and living like I am.  Thanks "Mother Karma" I love my spot in the "box".

It's Nailed Down in Cyrsti's Condo

This morning as I was removing my best attempt ever at applying my own nail color. several thoughts came to mind.
First of all I am finally past the bitterness of the manual labor I did last week which precluded pretty, pretty nails and back on the path of learning the nuances of femininity.  As far as the nail polish issue goes, I could never quite conquer the smooth look and the need to be ambidextrous. I am right handed and applying polish to my left hand was always twice as easy as my left.
I also this morning learned of a "root touch up" product which will extend the life of my hair coloring.  We will see how easy it is to cover up gray!

Once again I'm amazed at the number of nuances there are to this transgender lifestyle. With all possible apologies to those of you who embrace the "sissy" lifestyle. changing your gender isn't for sissies.

Do I miss the days of the five minute shower, quick shave and out the door?  On occasion I do because I'm such a mentally disorganized person.  I'm pretty sure my GF gets a gold star for putting up with me as I packed for my first week long vacations as a girl! But hey, it's getting better and I sure as heck don't want to go back. It would kill me as I found out first hand last week.

My much maligned project which has depleted the ibuprofen supply here in town also netted me five "visits" from my past.  These acquaintances from my life as are all good guys but don't get me wrong, I have no desire to connect the dots with them as a guy again. Of course they sensed something was different with the long copper highlighted pony tail coming out of the back of my ball hat and smoother HRT transitioned skin. Then again, they are guys and sometimes just don't notice as much.

It's a huge long boring story of why I had to do the project at all. I will leave it at there was no choice.  If  I want to get out of where I live and sever all ties with my physical past, certain projects have to be done.

Very simply though, the week was a very graphic example to me that I am on the right path.  Now where is the new shade of nail polish?

Cross Dress Cafe

The "Ideal Cross Dresser"

On the Crytsi's Condo big screen, a clip from the British sitcom "Ideal"

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Cyrsti's Condo "Glamour Drag"

Every once in a while I run across a video of a "boy" in drag who is simply stunning.  At that point I start to look for Drag Queen "secrets" such as hip padding and multiple layers of hose to shape and soften the legs.  This "boy in drag" does it well!

Trans Safety

Every so often here in Cyrsti's Condo, I get up on my soapbox and preach to the choir about our security as transgender women, or cross dressers or genetic women for that matter.
I'm passing along a video from Egypt which focuses on the huge problem there and I can't image how dangerous life would be there for a transgender woman.

Truth of the matter is, it's dangerous everywhere. Every time I write this post I receive wonderful feedback from women who have been navigating society much longer than I. If you are starting your journey into the world though, it's a whole new experience.

I've heard from trans girls who were bullied and beaten up when they were dressed as a guy too. Been there and came close before I developed a fake macho image.  Of course not to discriminate I have had a couple of real close calls on the girl side too.

Genetic women learn the process early. Simply try to use common sense and not be in places you shouldn't be. What they don't say is you need to develop better senses of who is in the space you are at the same time.

The worst misjudgments come from transgender women and cross dressers who think most type of male attention is great validation of their femininity.  The tragedy is when they get hurt instead of validated. I'm not a "male basher" in the strictest sense but it is no secret how fragile the male ego is and how easily many guys can reach out to violence to save it.

Finally before we take a look at the video, just be careful out there in the world.  The more you become comfortable in your female role, the more you will understand the nuances of safety.  Surely we can't insure nothing will happen but we can cut back on the chances.

Cyrsti's Condo Cross Dresser "Montage"

Nothing like a well put together video of more than a couple well put together crossdressers:

Cyrsti's Condo "Horror Scope"

Move over bitches read this scope!

Libra (September 23-October 22): There may be a few moments this week when you’ll feel yourself going into super alpha bitch mode. Who knows what will set you off. No matter, as the competitor in you won’t be having it and your primal instincts will be in control. So, get ready to discover sides of yourself you perhaps had no clue about or have spent time trying to hide.

I can't wait!!!! Some may say I didn't wait.

For your own "scope" go here to theFrisky.

**Horror Scope is my own term not that I'm bragging.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Ten Percent or More?

I recently wrote a playful Cyrsti's Condo post comparing my self as a "ten percenter" transgender woman with a "one percenter" outlaw biker gang person.

On a very serious level, Paula replied  ":I always worry about these sorts of stats, almost by definition they will be wrong, the first question that comes to mind is how do they know the person they have met is, or is not transgender? While we may well not deny it we will rarely announce it. Then again of course we are still transgender even when we are not presenting against our natal gender, so all those who have met us at any time have in fact met a transgender person even though they don't know it ~ if you see what I mean."

I do see what you mean Paula.  On one hand-like you I question the number of people who may have met a transgender woman or man and never realized it.  Stealth or not, no one has the responsibility to wear a sign which tells the world we are trans. Others of course transition so well, no one would ever tell. However, personal experience leads me to believe the number may not be that far off.

First of all, to get technical, I look at the definition of transgender.  At times I feel our own culture can't figure out exactly what that definition should be or if the average civilian on the street can understand it. If you take me for example, while it's true I can navigate society as a feminine person, more than likely I will never reach the point of being perceived as a genetic female. It's also true I have a fairly sizable amount of people who have met me enough to know something is up.  If you gave them a survey which asked if they had ever met a transgender person, I'm sure many would answer no.  There is no reason for them to identify me with the word. Conversations in the real world for me just don't start with "Hey Cyrsti, are you transgender?".

Here is another reason why I could be a believer in the "ten percenter".  I live in a relatively small town but within 100 miles or so of several fairly decent sized ones (Columbus, Dayton, Cincinnati, Ohio).  Over the past several years, I have been in the "anti-closet". I have been out and not hidden.  You can reach me here through my email, Facebook or Twitter.  The grand total of trans friends I have is TWO.  Both are a joy to me, one trans man, one trans woman. In addition, I stay in contact with a couple others who live relatively close to me. So my basic math is telling me when I took the basic populations of the counties around me I came up with approx 3 million peeps. Ten percent of course is 300,000 transgender folks around me. So around here at least I'm thinking my "category" is well below the 10 percent.  But that's OK.

I have never had a problem with who I was and if I'm a trans five percenter, I'm even more rare. But all you stat freaks out there- I know my small sampling is not enough to sway the stats!

All Dressed up and Scared to Death

To catch everyone up here in Cyrsti's Condo, I'm putting together a "Ten Greatest Hits" list for my book. This one comes from around 1995:

For the longest time I was treading water and trying not to drown. For the right reasons of trying to discover who I was and the wrong reasons of sneaking around the backs of my loved ones to do it, I made the giant leap of faith into the real world as a trans girl. As you may guess, a very scary proposition. For years I had been testing the waters in gay venues and harmless shopping trips but never had I hitched up my big girl panties and went out into the world.

The place I decided to go was a slightly upscale chain restaurant with a busy bar. I chose it because at that time I managed venues similar to it. I knew what to expect from the crew and management. Company policy would dictate as long as I didn’t create much of a stir, my money was good. Remember, this was way before any discrimination laws concerning transgender patrons in public places. I also had scouted this place and knew the clientele around 9 PM included quite a few single working women just getting off of their jobs at a big nearby mall. To blend I would have to attempt go dress in a professional business attire but not go over the top. Actually a perfect match to my wardrobe of the day.

All of the process was easy until I summoned enough courage to actually do it. I dressed in black dress slacks and a burgundy blouse with flats and my long blond wig I was fond of then.. The place I was heading was nearly 20 minutes or so from my house so the good news was I had a chance to calm down and regulate my breathing before I got there. The bad news was I had a longer time to stay a complete nervous wreck before I arrived. But arrive I did.

As I pulled into the parking lot, I made a futile attempt to find the non existent oxygen tank in the car for breathing emergencies such as this. Instead I pulled down the lighted mirror in the car and made one last stab at fixing my make up and hair. After the 15 minutes which seemed like a life time, I summoned up all my courage, left the safety of the car and headed for the entrance which I knew held the keepers of the castle, the Hostesses. From experience I knew “Hosti” are a finicky and funny bunch. They are the “gate keepers” who in a second could sound the alarm of an intruder in their midst who wasn’t all she appeared to be. My experience also told me though to time my entrance at a moment when they were seating others and then make an end run for bar seating. The “end run” seemed like a mile but I made it to the bar area without falling down or making any other kind of a spectacle of myself.

The bar itself was in the shape of a “U”. The closed end was supported by two columns which went up through the ceiling and ended on the bar. As I approached, I felt like I was back in Army basic training looking for cover. As luck would have it I found a seat next to one of the columns and tried to make myself part of it. After all of the drama though, here I was dressed as a woman in a world full of strangers who oddly enough were not paying me any attention. A person who would was on her way! Without a care in the world she invaded my thoughts with “how are you, can I get you a menu to get started?” Really? Was that it? Wasn’t she going to say “we don’t serve guys in dresses, get out?” No, of course she didn’t and as it turned out she served me drinks and food for over a decade at the same place. I felt like I had arrived as a woman (wrong) but I felt this experience made the list for more than the obvious reasons.

The evening did make the top ten because I did make the gender jump to the other side, or thought I did. But then I had to consider if I indeed could continue to exist as a trans girl in the everyday world, did I want to? I had opened Pandora’s Box and had to decide if I liked all that I discovered. From the outside I was drawn to all glitter and bling but would soon continue to discover a multitude of other contents in the box. I was to discover later I had just scratched the surface with my stick on nails, and many not so pleasant learning experiences were to follow. Plus I had the biggest issue of all, the continuing issue of the effects of all of this on my wife. 

So, at this point I just decided the absolute wrong path was the right one to take - the  status quo. Stay tuned! 

A Ten Percenter

Lately I seem to have been watching several shows on Biker Gangs.  Some are known as "one percenters" because of their life styles. 99% of bike gangs are law abiding guys next door. These guys, not so much.

At any rate, I began to think of myself as one of the ten percenters, because of the recently released figures which showed that only 10% of the overall public has ever met a transgender person.

By then I was I was thinking of a fashionable line of leather 10% coats, vests, jewelry and skirts.  Plus, maybe a 10% "T" tattoo would be cool too!

Then I figured with my luck new facts and figures would come out and transgender women and men would move up a point or two in the standings.  My whole line of clothing, tats and even jewelry would be obsolete!

I would be quickly becoming a fan of those transitioned transsexuals to stay in their closets and leave my income alone!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Jumping Closets Part 200

You all know how my stealth soapboxes here in Cyrsti's Condo are some of my favorites to pull out and preach from.
I finally came to my own little neat and tidy stereotype that stealth is simply jumping from one closet to another. You were in hiding before, and still are.  I say stereotype because of course there are all sorts of shades of gray with this issue.

The Transadvocate site is running a very good in depth series of discussions on the subject called "You're Only as Transitioned and Stealth as the Next Person says your Aren't.

Here's the Editors Note to give you a quick look:

"Editor’s Note: This is part of a series on “stealth.” The goal of this series to examine the nuanced ways trans opinion leaders conceptualize stealth and how they feel about it. Suzan Cooke kicked off the series with her article, The Many Shades of Stealth. It should be noted that TA is not endorsing any one view, definition or conceptualization. As with the elephant parable, each perception presented in this series represents one representation of the truth; taken together, it’s hoped that this series will provide a more comprehensive conceptualization of stealth and what it means to an oppressed community. Articles in this series: The Many Shades of Stealth | A Rant About MTF “Stealth” | Passing and Stealth: Two Words We Should Lose? | Stealth Doesn’t Help The Trans Community | You’re Only as Transitioned and Stealth as the Next Person Says You Aren’t. "

Follow the link above for the article.

80's Drag Milf Makeover

Not your grocery store or mall look, but a dramatic drag makeover on the Cyrsti's Condo big screen. The "80's Milf" look description is his and probably proves he is too young to remember the 1980's:

Transgender and Married

We all know there are a select set of women who are inclined to accept a transgender relationship.  I found a video to pass along on the Cyrsti's Condo big screen about one such couple:

Looking For Jenna's Marbles

Jenna Marbles is a YouTube sensation who has like a zillion subscribers and peeps following her video's. So far this vid has something like 53 million views.
As you know, I rarely pass along any content here in Cyrsti's Condo which is not transgender - cross dresser material but Jenna is too fun to pass up!
This is called "How to trick people into thinking you are good looking". A subject many of us deal with a lot!

Cyrsti's Condo Fashion Beat

No part of the transgender woman or cross dresser's body can be as frustrating as our arms. By comparison, our legs are usually an asset which can be covered or shaved and covered by pants during our male lives.

Thick wrists, biceps and thick shoulder areas are just problems which just don't easily go away but like in everything else can be camouflaged to an extent. For the longest time, I went about my merry way thinking genetic women don't have much in the way of arm fashion to consider. In true form though, I was wrong. Genetic women have to consider all of their fashion options to present their best look and of course I am considering mine as fashion choices continue to change for me. Now as  I'm able to remove all of my arm hair and HRT is decreasing the size of my biceps, I'm in a whole new ball game.

Now you are not going to confuse me with a pencil thin ballerina but I do have plenty of dilemmas and inherent insecurities with the sleeveless summer fashions. After tons of personal fashion drama, I came to the conclusion I was going to wear most of the summer fashions because I could. Having said that, there are different styles of very feminine tops to choose from. Let's start with sleeveless tops.  Sleeveless in my book could mean no sleeves, sleeves which barely cover the tops of my arms and the traditional t-shirt length sleeves  So some I should wear and some I shouldn't wear,  just because I supposedly can.

To give you an example, I'm adding a picture (left) you probably have seen from last summer when I was still wearing wigs.. I like this top for several reasons. It is soft and feels fun plus shows off my assets. Also, this top is long and comes down nicely over my hips, which is important since a years worth of HRT is actually providing real change in the hip area.  A whole other discussion!

Now, to add some real fashion expertise to the discussion, I recently ran across an article I thought you girls may be interested in from a site called Fabulous after 40 called: "You’re Covered Perfectly with this New Line of 40+ Clothing."

Here's a bit of the "angst" from the genetic angle:"I was looking for something to wear to a party, and nothing was working. There I was standing in front of the mirror, with a pile of clothes on the bed, feeling very frustrated. Then I realized it’s not me, it’s my clothes. The sleeves on my clothes were too short to cover that part of my arms that I’d rather not reveal. The tops weren’t long enough to cover my tummy."

It struck me as ironic that I know most women are paranoid about the jiggly skin under their arms while I am extremely self conscious about what I consider is a weird softening in the middle of my bicep on top of my arm.

Jump on over to the article and check out Pauline Durban who has come to the rescue. At 56 Pauline came up with the brilliant idea for a clothing line called, Covered Perfectly and of course the link is there.

Finally I love to wrap up our little fashion discussions with my little pep talk.

If you want to try to play in the girl's sandbox, you have to do the best you can to do it to the best of your ability!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Cyrsti's Condo Remembers...

Actor Lee Pace's dramatic transformation to Calpernia Addams for the movie Soldier Girl:

Marching to the Beat of a Different Drummer

Transgender veterans Really know that feeling.
I was recently reminded vividly of how fortunate I am to be able to write here in Cyrsti's Condo of my experiences as a trans veteran and more precisely how the process works for me in my interactions with the Veterans Administration.

Perhaps you remember the much maligned "shake up" at Outserve-SLDN and the "resignation" of it's Executive Director Allyson Robinson who just happens to be a transgender woman and a graduate of West Point. The post was called I Joined and mentioned a new group called Spart*a which was forming for TGLB service members and vets.

Allyson Robinson
My dose of reality came when I joined and visited the Spart*a Facebook page. Within approximately six hours I received a confirmation message and a pledge of secrecy. I'm sort of naive now that I have been out as far as I have for a while and I thought "Whoa Dummy" organizations such as Spart*a represent what is transgender reality in the U.S. military establishment. Careers are at stake here.

Jumping back to Allyson Robinson, I'm passing along a link to a very enlightening post called Lunch With Allyson Robinson here.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Lunch with the Girls

Yesterday I was invited to a quick lunch with my daughter and 12 year old grand daughter.  Both of know of my transgender status so the day was sort of special.  On the other hand, I'm doing some of the most butch hard labor I can do on my house, repairing a brick wall.  I hate it but I have been literally been putting it off for years and the unseasonably cool summer weather we have now makes it a "must do project". I suppose I will lose a couple much needed pounds in the process.

So, I am a little short of time to post to Cyrsti's Condo.  I learned some time ago, when in doubt, go to the archives and came up with this post from 10/5/2011 and just so happens to include my daughter and an appointment at the Veterans Administration:

"Today had to be my best birthday ever! My third visit to the VA therapist seeking a hormone permission letter was late in the afternoon. As I got ready to meet my daughter for a birthday breakfast, I received a text from a long time female friend who I have progressively come out to over the past couple months. She wished me a good birthday and a positive trip to the "Doc" which meant a lot! My breakfast with my daughter was very different. Almost immediately she asked me if I knew one of the performers in one of the top drag queen acts in the area. They are known as the "Rubi Girls" based out of Dayton, Ohio.

As it turns out I had seen their act (impressive) and actually knew one of the performer's employees. As surprising as this was, more surprising was the fact I was having the conversation with her at all. The rest of the breakfast was equally as good and I'm still not sure how I did so well in the daughter department.

On to the therapist appointment. We exchanged the usual "how's life" questions before I asked the magic question: "what reservations did she have about writing a permission letter?" She didn't hesitate and said she expected the question and pulled a file folder off her desk The folder contained the "Harry Benjamin Gender Dysphoria Care Standards". As we went through the highlights it seemed I met most all of the criteria. (I'm not exactly sure anyone but Harry understood them all.) She was very positive and said she would like to take one more step before writing the letter. The step was a final consultation about me with a very experienced gender specialist in Columbus. Ironically she is the same person I went to for help over 20 years ago.

I know "nothing is over until it's over" but I'm cautiously optimistic I will have the letter in two weeks at my next visit. My last (but far from least) stop of the day was a lite dinner date with a GF down in Cincinnati. Without getting too personal, it was a wonderful ending to a special day. On the trip home I was going pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming but I have a real aversion to pain and just made sure I wasn't driving up I-75 in a dream. I can guarantee you I-75 between Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio is no place to be dreaming behind the wheel and I wasn't. The day was all so real and so wonderful!

And now it's back to reality and my bricks. Dammit, not good for the nails!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Young, Transgender and Together!

Louis (left) and Jamie
Young transgender couples have been in the news these days. The latest couple, a transgender woman and a transgender man are from Wales.

Louis Davies and Jamie Eagle are engaged and are waiting for gender reassignment surgery to be married.
The couple met when Louis invited Jamie to give a talk to his university group as he prepared to come out as transgender.

Then of course back on this side of the pond,  The simply adorable couple of Arin Andrews and Katie Hill are still gaining good press for the right reasons:


Shopping with Gregory

Plan "B"

My thought was does "Plan B" always have to mean "bitch"? (Not my female dog!)

I'm going to pass along a link here in Cyrsti's Condo to indicate the answer just could be yes:

Already Plucked by Avery Edison. Follow the link bitches!!!! Just kidding!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I Joined

Here in Cyrsti's Condo, I always try to keep a close eye on any and all transgender veteran news I can find because most of you know I am a trans vet.

I did choose to stay out of the seemingly crazy story
of the requested resignation of OutServe-SLDN's newly appointed executive director, transgender Army veteran Allyson Robinson. (right)  Many more high-profile resignations followed in protest of Robinson's treatment.

Following this mess,  a recent press release  announced the formation of Service Members, Partners, Allies for Respect and Tolerance for All, or SPΛRT*A, a "group of LGBT people and allies who are currently serving or have served in the military, and our families," that is "especially committed to our Trans members… and to gaining full equality for them in the U.S. Armed Forces.

SPART*A's Facebook page is currently active, while a website for the fledgling group is still under construction.

One can only hope this group can gain traction and effect change against a huge obstacle - the U.S. Military. Follow the link above for more info!

Ch-Ch Changes

I hesitated about putting this YouTube video up on the Cyrsti's Condo big screen because it takes so long to actually get to the transition subject matter. Being the cynical bitch I am, I thought hell, two months on HRT could go by before this video gets rolling. But in the end it's worth the wait and a beautiful look at a transgender woman beginning to finally live her life:

How Much are YOU Worth?

"It's a privilege to be yourself, it's a job no one else can do." Iyanla Vanzant

I'm sure most of us of the transgender persuasion would argue how privileged we have been. I have written here in Cyrsti's Condo numerous times of how I wouldn't have wished the "ripping and tearing" I went through on anyone.

Finally, as I am coming out of the other end of the struggle, those very close to me are noticing the ownership I'm feeling in myself.

I suppose my process currently is similar to any other construction project. After a certain point you hope the work you put in begins to pay dividends. Any way you look at it, you are reconstructing your body when you go through HRT for any amount of time. More importantly though is the process of mentally owning the process and believing you are finally to a point when it is a privilege to be you.

I'm sure by now you are thinking all of this is all well and good for you Cyrsti but what's in it for me? Actually, a ton of warm and fuzzies if you can reprogram yourself from just two major misconceptions: The first is you are doing anything wrong. My saddest moments are when I remember all the guilt and torment I felt about gender over the years,  when in reality I probably never had a choice. The second is when you began to experience the outside world as a transgender woman, transgender man or a novice cross dresser. You will be certain to lose so much in the process if you focus totally on appearance and not ownership.

The only thought Iyanla may have added for good measure is life isn't forever,  but where ever you happen to be in the process, it's never too late to take control of yourself and your dreams."

An excellent way to increase your net worth.

Mean Girls On Oprah

I don't follow Oprah's OWN television network much and believe they must struggle for programming when they run re runs of Dr. Phil. Look I know Phil has been "her boy" from the beginning but his show has to be singled out as the most non diverse on television. But I digress.

Last night's show caught my attention:

"Oprah's Lifeclass (Season 2),  Oprah and Iyanla Vanzant discussed the Terrible Things Women Do to Each Other. More specifically they discussed why women do terrible things to one another. They identified the intention behind gossip and ways women can shift their behavior to create more positive, constructive interactions."

Of course I have discussed the dynamics of inter feminine interaction with you here in Cyrsti's Condo any number of times so I really wanted to hear their take on it. Iyanla had the best quote when she said:  "Comparison is an act of violence against yourself." The quote was used in context with the endless comparisons women use among themselves, primarily in appearance, family, spouses etc.

I wish I could come up with an epiphany or two from the show to pass along except Oprah and Iyanla seemed to believe the whole situation was getting worse with mean girls popping up now between the ages of eight to eighty.

From my gender perch on the fence, I see my spot as a transgender woman a true positive. I'm in on the "battles" but then again not. Having said that, I have told you about times I have been burnt by not keeping a closer eye on the women around me.

Perhaps I'm fortunate and don't have to play the comparison game with genetic women. I'm much more into the interaction process since it is still so new to me.

Finally, the bits and pieces of male thought processes I bring to the table should and does give me an advantage.  Sixty plus years of playing this back and forth transgender ping pong game has taught me something.

The only epiphanies I can pass along are be careful of finding yourself in a mean girl battle and being curled up with my chocolate/peanut butter cup ice cream was wonderful.

Follow the link above for more information of where and when you can see the show.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Time Flies When You are Writing a Blog!

I suppose it is not as bad when you miss one of your own anniversaries.

Time is going by so fast I missed the June 1, 2010 anniversary of Cyrsti's Condo! Little did I know where this effort would end up. Back then I barely knew what a blog was.

As I look back, I'm amazed at the changes we have been through together! I always have been humbled and flattered that all of you take the time to stop by.

As part of a belated birthday look at the past, I'm presenting of the original posts- which feels like a lifetime ago:

"Here is one of the stories I sent to a friend and she thought I should share so...Here" ya" go! Direct from alternate life style redneck bars , two stellar tales...of me being me. The first establishment basically was a female biker bar, not hardcore outlaw women, but a serious crew none the less. The best way I can describe the place was I got the juke box turned off one night when I played Shania Twane "Lord I feel like a Woman." No sense of humor...kind of like the urinal that was made into a planter. The best pick up line I heard was "you don't look half bad. Maybe I should take you with me and we can see what kind of time we could have." YAHOO. Me thinks that could have hurt! Back in those days my wife was still alive and I had to be home around midnight. She got off about that time and I had to be presentable with all signs of makeup gone. Believe me, no amount of jabbering would have saved my place in the house when I told her I was abducted by an alien lesbian.

A kinder and gentler lesbian bar also operated on the same side of town. I made friends there that I'm in touch with today. (5 years later) One night karaoke was the entertainment. Here she comes...burr haircut, cowboy hat and weighing in at a conservative 250. I'm in long blond hair, tight jeans and boots. It occurred to me quickly... it may be about time I started sharpening up my non existent singing skills. She did ask me to sing, she TOLD me to pick out a song. I thought "is this the way they treat girls in Texas?" I opted for the only song my male self destroyed after many beers...the romantic ballad "You don't have to call me Darling, Darling. You don't even call me by my name." David Allan Coe if you're familiar.(I think he wrote it in jail?) After we made sweet music (ha) she said "your voice is as low as mine!" I felt as if I was in a "Lola" song remake, just all twisted up. In this version, I was the guy and she was Lola. Well, I kind of was the guy and she was kind of the girl but backward... when and if she put me on her knee. I thought maybe I could outrun her if I took my boots off!

We parted friends (thank god!) and I don't truly know if she guessed my gender. I had never seen her before or after! Unfortunately all the pure lesbian bars are closed now in the area. How sad. I miss drinking free. But more importantly, I won't get to try out one of my top fantasies...female strippers in a lesbian bar! Dammit! Mo MO MO! as Billy Idol would say coming up!"

Billy was right, there was a freight car full of Mo,Mo,MO! coming up and hopefully there is much MO to come!

Cyrsti's Condo "Horror Scope"

Another week, another "scope" from theFrisky here in the condo:

"Libra (September 23-October 22): The stars are aligned for you now, making you want to shout to the world how happy you are. However, be mindful of people’s reactions, because this is when a few friends will feel the need to compete with you. Sure, you’d think everyone would be happy for you, but a few just won’t be. Unfortunately, it’s times like these when you’ll see friendship is never perfect."

Wait!!! Are the stars telling me not everyone is always happy with not so "little ol me"?  Must be a mistake there somewhere...haha!

Follow the link above for your "scope".

Cyrsti's Condo Big Screen

Gabriela Monelli:

Cyrsti's Condo "Thought of the Day"

"The theoretical man knows why. The practical woman knows why and how.  The transgender person  knows the whys and the hows and understands them better.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Cyrsti's Condo Entertainment News

Lauren Foster
Seems like today has been dominated by news from transgender - transsexual women in the entertainment field.
Cyrsti Hart,- Gossip Reporter
This post from the fabled "New York Post" (kidding kids) reports a ton of drama in married transsexual model's Lauren Foster's life:

"Art imitated life for transgender model and “Real Housewives of Miami” guest star Lauren Foster. The blonde — married to architecture-firm owner James Foster, though the duo have lived apart for a decade — had a steamy affair with her on-screen co-star Corey Cann in an art film directed by photographer Joesph Lally, “Lauren Foster Star.”

 Actor and fitness model Cann plays Lauren’s troubled on-screen lover. Sparks flew both on and off screen and, in May, Cann moved into Lauren’s Miami home. “Our relationship was tantric,” Lauren told us. But the passion has since fizzled — Lauren told us the two are now just friends. Meanwhile, estranged husband James is reuniting with Lauren in Miami."

I just love drama...if it isn't mine!

"A Touch of Eden"

From Hareetz:
"Eden Yohanan has a mane of honey-colored hair, pretty brown eyes and a smooth complexion dotted with freckles. She also has long legs, a vivacious personality and a tendency to laugh loudly and expose lovely white teeth. Yohanan plays Avi the Singer’s girlfriend on the mockumentary “The Life of Avi the Singer,” which began airing three weeks ago on Hot’s Comedy Central channel.

In the audition scene − which appears later in the series ‏− the character of Avi the Singer, who is trying with all his might to make a comeback and regain the public’s awareness, introduces his transsexual girlfriend to his agent. The latter goes completely crazy, and forbids the two either to see each other or be seen together in public.

Originally from Afula, Eden Yohanan, 24, works as a bartender and dancer at parties. Three years ago she underwent a sex-reassignment process in Thailand. It’s possible that if she weren’t so open and didn’t speak so freely about it, none of the people around her today would even be aware of her former gender"

For more on a visit to "Eden" follow the link above.

Kim Petra Revisited

A Kim Petras revisit on the Cyrsti's Condo big screen:

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Captain Cross Dresser

Cartoon time kids, on the Cyrsti's Condo big screen:

Brows and the Trans Girl

Recently I ran a post here in Cyrsti's Condo which basically went into my adventures over the years with eyebrows. Taking care of your brows once again proves this "girl thing" is intense and sometimes painful!

Of course as Karma usually dictates I just ran into the "10 rules for creating perfect brows" from Lucky Magazine.
With all of these "rules" I know many, if not most of us in the cross dressing -  transgender community are still closeted and can not apply all the tips.
But we can pick and choose the most helpful ones and make a dramatic change to our appearance.

Here are a few I picked that may help:

1. “Draw an invisible line straight up from the outer corner of your nose: Your brow should start here and end along a line from the corner of your nose to the outer corner of your eye. The highest part of your arch should line up just outside your pupil.”
2. “Shower first to open your pores, soften your skin and make tweezing easier. After, use aloe gel to prevent redness and bumps.”
3. “Pull hairs in the direction of growth, one by one, working in natural light.”
4. “Use a regular (not magnifying) mirror;otherwise you can end up with a hole. If you can’t see the hair in a regular mirror, neither can anyone else.”

For my successes and failures in this all so important beauty area go here.

"Out" with Lynn Conway

If you are relatively new to the transgender culture, perhaps you haven't heard of one the true respected pioneers in our time Lynn Conway. Among other accomplishments Lynn (right) is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Emerita, University of Michigan.

Recently she wrote an article for the HuffPost Gay Voices called "The Many Shades of Out". It's a fabulous look into the recent decades of the transgender movement.  Here's the beginning:

"On a sultry June afternoon, as my husband and I strolled towards the White House East Entrance, I reflected back to the time of my gender transition, in 1968.

 Shamed as a social outcast, I'd lost my family, my friends and all social support. I'd been fired by IBM, and lost a promising computer research career. In many jurisdictions, I could have been arrested and charged as a sex offender -- or, worse yet, institutionalized and forced to undergo electroshock therapy in a mental hospital.

 Evading those fates, I completed my transition and began building a career in a secret new identity, starting at the bottom of the ladder as a contract programmer. Even then, any 'outing' could have led to media exposure, and I'd have become unemployable, out on the streets for good. The resulting fear channeled my life into 'stealth-mode.' I covered my past for over 30 years, always looking over my shoulder, as if a foreign spy in my own country.

 But this was June 13, 2013, and what a contrast it was. My husband Charlie and I, along with many other activists, advocates and allies, were about to join the President's White House Reception in celebration of LGBT Pride Month. The atmosphere was full of joy and hope for the future. As we waited for the President, I reflected further..."

And of course you can go here for more!

If You Care

After one year Kara Hays is back to set the record straight- if anyone cares.
Don't remember? Let me help! One year ago, headlines suggested a transgender woman spent tens of thousands in plastic surgery to look like Britney Spears. That was Kara Hays and she says was misunderstood and stresses she is happy in her own skin.

I feel sooooo much better! The weight of all the wrongs in the world have been righted!

I'm even happier I could bring you the news here in Cyrsti's Condo!

Friday, July 19, 2013

"Hollywood Nights in NYC"

This is actually from my book and is one of the Top Ten experiences I'm attempting to put together from the past half century. As scary as that sounds. I called it "Hollywood Nights in NYC"  My reference is pulled from the Bob Seger song: "Hollywood Nights" : He knew right then he was too far from home He was too far from home. Read on and you will know why I felt that way.

"The early 1980′s brought on major personal changes, mainly a move from the Midwest to the New York City area and a new wife who would be with me for 25 years. She was a very strong person who knew of my cross dressing past time and turned out to have a major influence in my life. She typically didn’t have a problem with going out with me as two girls but for some reason couldn’t accompany me on this adventure.
One evening a club out on Long Island was holding some sort of a “mixer” for transvestites, spouses and admirers. I wish I could go into great detail on my evening’s outfit but like my memory-it’s gone. What I do remember is my wig was long straight and dark plus of course my skirt was stylishly short and my heels stylishly high. It turned out none of that could match what happened next.

I parked the car and headed into what turned out to be a party room of sorts attached to a suburban motel. At the end of a short hallway was a table where two women were selling admission tickets. I asked for one ticket and they looked me up and down and said no single women were allowed. During the course of my life, I have been rarely speechless. One of those special occasions was then. I ho hummed around and finally said in my man voice “how about a single cross dresser?” Of course they apologized profusely and in I went with my head exploding with wonderful warm and fuzzies for be totally mistaken for a genetic woman. Little did I know how deep and far reaching the implications of that evening would take me. It turned out the person I am today was born that evening so long ago. Here's a look at why:

Of course I came home from the evening on cloud nine and quickly fell off it. The new perception of myself as this lovely feminine creature waiting to take on the world in my heels and hose was killing my relationship. In reality my male ego was going nuts and I was “Attila the Hunita” (not a famous drag queen) to live with. Finally my wife had had enough of my terror binge and after a very bad fight said “She had had enough of this torture, be a man enough to go be a woman.” Deep words to end a fight? I guess. 

Perhaps by this time you have figured out I may be a very determined person (all right stubborn) and those words took a while to sink in. Eventually though water will penetrate granite and I understood what she meant. Slowly but surely that statement became my mantra as you will read again and again here. I had to study the true essence of femininity and be brave enough to embrace it if I was to survive. Was it easy? Of course not!  Plus you can see by the year, I had a long way to go! I knew I was too far from home on my gender journey. I wasn't sure if I ever would get back-or if I even wanted to!"

Womanless Beauty Pageant

I'm putting this video up on the Cyrsti's Condo big screen from the sheer fact it is one of the best produced womanless pageant videos I have found, not because of the quality of the participants. Speaking of participants, I have determined my own breakdown:

1.- guys who are doing it for fun
2.- guys who started out doing it for fun but just maybe want to see how they look in heels and hose.
3.- guys who saw themselves in heels and hose and liked it.
4.- guys who liked the experience in the past so much they came back for more.
5.-guys who were doing it anyhow and just had the chance to dazzle the world!
6.-guys you are sure to see in a future drag show, or in the mall

Of course, all were "talked into it against their will"!

The Best of Androgyny

As you can see in this Cyrsti's Condo big screen choice video,  the beautiful androgynous guy "Tima Marso" transforms from male to female with the help of a professional makeup girl. It's tough to determine the before or the after!

Cyrsti's Condo Word of the Day

One very simple word which says it all...and nothing...undefinable. 

A descriptor which many of us never have the freedom to understand or embrace. For what it is...or isn't.

A "Natural" Woman?

I picked this video for the Cyrsti's Condo big screen because unlike so many YouTube drag transformation videos, the final result is very natural!

I am the Transsexual

In our transgender community there never seems to be a shortage of interesting, thought provoking articles and posts.

I found this one to be particularly interesting from several different viewpoints. It's called "I Am The Transsexual Your Boyfriend Wants to Be With."

 Here's an excerpt:  “I wonder if you had leveled with me about your intrigue with these men who look like women, or women with the parts of men, I wouldn’t be so scared. Scared of not knowing you, of life as the fool who blindly trusts while you meet escorts, the partner who will never understand you or your fascination with what I cruelly call “things.”

As I said, this article will take you in more than a couple different directions and it is worth a read here.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

From the Cyrsti's Condo Archives

Aussie Courtney Act.  If you don't remember her story, watch the video below!

Chick Flick

I have mentioned here in Cyrsti's Condo several of the key moments when I knew this transgender deal was the real thing. Here is one:

I was bored one night a couple of years ago and was innocently surfing through the 900 channels I have on satellite television and settled on one obscure movie for a reason I can't recall.

Turns out the movie was some sort of "chick flick" .  For reasons I truly can't explain I actually started to become interested and more amazingly I was watching it from a feminine perspective -  Subconsciously.  In no way did I set out to watch this movie thinking if I do this, I will be more of a girl.

Being the genius that I am, I learned from the experience and began to search the room so to speak when I watched a movie. Which female lead do I identify with, envious of or just admire.

In a recent post I told you I went to see the 2013 version of the The Great Gatsby.  Of course the period costumes and scenery were just fabulous but the woman I locked into was Jordan (above). I just loved her look and the ability to play the perimeter.  She was part of the inner plot and drama but was good enough to stay just out of reach of it and not get burned. Plus her non verbal eye communication was classic female.

It turns our this new toy of my transgender transition has proven to be more enlightening and enjoyable than I ever would have expected.

Now where is my movie critic show on Bravo TV?

Becoming Transgender Handy

Last night I went to the "movin' picture show" to escape my part of the country's turn to experience "hell on earth" temperatures.

I was a good citizen and paid for my ticket and headed to the concession stand to help the theatre pay for their air conditioning. As the teen aged girl put together my massive order of a buttered popcorn and a Coke I noticed how incredibly delicate she was. I mean over the top delicate. Her movements and the current incarnation of The Great Gatsby movie I watched started my thought process into the entire dynamic of hands and the transgender woman.

Early as I started to explore the feminine side of the world as a cross dresser,  I viewed my hands as a huge barrier to presenting as a woman.  There was the pesky problem of hair on my knuckles, nail care and the size of my paws. Just what was a trans girl to do?

Ironically, the hair problem was easy. At that time I worked in a very busy broiler driven restaurant. If you are ever around a really good broiler cook, they judge the doneness of their steaks by touch. They naturally burn the hair off their hands. So when I was looking for a new cook and he said he could broil, I would look for hair on his hands. if he had any-he wasn't that good. On occasion I had to get in the way and help on the broiler, so I had the easy answer for hairless hands.

My nails were easy too.  The temporary "stick on" nail products did a great job. If there was a problem, the wrong kind of nail drew extra attention to my hands. Later I began to learn the basics of nail length, shape and color. Many flatter, just as many don't.

Most importantly, my hands weren't huge. All of the sudden the problems I experienced in football or basketball due to "small hands" began to benefit. In no way do I have dainty hands but I'm told I have proportional hands. Who knows, maybe it's just another passive aggressive compliment but one way or another I had to move on with what I had.

The biggest problem I faced was nothing I just mentioned.  I was faced with the "operational" issue of talking with my hands. Again, a couple of hurdles to clear. The first of course was if  I talked with my hands, people would notice them and two I was completely unprepared to do it. The whole process very much falls into the feminine way of doing business. When men do it, the process is very directional or even violent. I don't like you so Boom! here is my fist communicating with your face.

My answer was to compromise.  At the time I was already being indoctrinated into the feminine non verbal communication world which included a series of taps or touches for effect on occasions.  I learned to try to keep my hands close to my body to gesture or touch and to not use my hands as paws to grab something. I didn't have to go over the top like the concession girl but I did want to gently find something in the black hole known as my purse.

Becoming transgender handy is never an easy process.   As with anything else in the transgender process though, almost anything is possible if you handle it right.

Coming Out Transgender in the Workplace

It's encouraging to see sites such as xoJane  put together thought provoking insights into the issues transgender women and transgender men face in the world. Follow the link above to take a look.

A Tribute to the Late Michael Andrews

On the Crysti's Condo,  big screen classics from the beautiful female impersonator:

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The "Trans Rock" Returns!

All right kids, this trans girl has been known to try one or two crazy things, but a friend of mine has me topped.

She too is a transgender woman by the name of "R". I have decided to invoke my Cyrsti's Condo non disclosure clause and shorten her two syllable  name to the "Rock".

It seems 'the Rock" has signed up for a mini hot dog eating contest at the pub where the two of us plus a trans guy make up the Three Transgender Amigo's or Amiga's in two of our cases. The contest is not how many of the health food delights you can eat. It's how fast you can eat them and yes the competition comes complete with a release form that if you choke to death-it's your fault.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm for transgender competition at all levels. I will be slowly enjoying an adult beverage during our 6000 degree heatwave while she does this. If she doesn't back out and let the entire transgender world down.

I just hope she wins, doesn't choke and upchucks on the floor! How disgustingly unfeminine! In which case I will do the natural thing and say "I don't know her!"...give me another beer.

Hopefully though I hope I will be able to see the slow motion replay on ESPN's Sports Center! But I doubt it.

Another possibility when she wins, I can get her to sign me up as her manager. I could set up a tour and start marketing the "Trans Rock Rules" T-Shirts everywhere!

Look at Rude Paul...that clown got away with it.

Transgender Success in the Workplace!

From the Washington Blade:
"Mia Macy"

"Transgender victims of workplace discrimination are for the first time finding restitution in a pair of decisions handed down from the federal government finding anti-trans job bias at two institutions — one a federal contractor, the other an arm of the U.S. government.

 The two decisions — first reported by Buzzfeed — are the result of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which is charged with enforcing laws against workplace discrimination, finding last year in a historic, unanimous decision transgender workplace discrimination amounts to gender discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. One of the decisions is the culmination of litigation in that very case, known as Macy v. Holder, was initiated by the Transgender Law Center after the plaintiff was told she wouldn’t receive a job at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives’s crime laboratory in Walnut Creek, Calif., after she announced she would transition from male to female.

 On July 8, the Department of Justice — to which the case was remanded after the EEOC made its decision last year — issued a final decision finding Macy indeed faced discrimination when she applied for the position and awarding her relief."

Go here for more.

Day Old Sushi and Zombies for Breakfast

I'm glad Pat and others have questioned my use of the "Zombie" term in a recent Cyrsti's Condo post. Since I just might have a tendency to veer off the beaten path on occasion, I can understand! To clarify my position I went to
"A zombie is a person whose behavior or responses are wooden, listless, or seemingly rote; automaton. b. an eccentric or peculiar person.
I was disappointed! No where could I find a "c" definition which said "a leering face or faces in a crowd with  unmoving inhuman smirks on their faces".

So I guess that's the direction my pea brain was moving kids!

On a brighter note, my public life as a transgender woman went back to it's basic normal the next day. I saw no zombies peering from behind trees and cars as I went about my everyday life. I was relieved because I gladly would have given up my on sale- grocery store sushi for safe passage!

And on a serious note, zombie night was a wake up call. I have the tendency to forget my transgender journey is far from over and on occasion I slip up and flip too far back into my dark side or very simply don't pay enough attention to my appearance.

We all know if we show those pesky zombies any weakness, they don't hesitate to respond.

Now if you will excuse me, my sushi will be extra good with plenty of soy sauce!

All The Makeup Mistakes I Have Made!

I picked this video for the Cyrsti's Condo big screen because this person someone captured all the make up mistakes I have made in two minutes!

Cyrsti's Condo Quote of the Day

You know you are old when:

"If all of the sudden not only does everyone under the age of 30 look like a teenager but the people on the "I've fallen and can't get up" commercials look your age. Or:

When someone says it's time to "throw in the towel, you can't because you don't have enough strength to lift it!"


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Enough with the Zombies!

I rarely spend the extra time and energy to get upset about a situation, but last night was getting to that point.

I met with two trans friends (one male and one female) at a relatively liberal pub which does have a mixed clientele of straight, gay and lesbian peeps. For some reason last night, I was attacked by the 20 something zombie leering women.  Look, I'm used to the so called little "I know what you are looks".  Is it too much to ask for you not to lean in towards me to do it?

Fortunately, it's happening less and less these days, so I was surprised when the zombies were out last night. Furthermore all of you know I really don't care what the public thinks. I own who I am. I know it's too much to ask to cut back the stupid reactions but I have a plan.  Maybe I should redo my business cards and just hand them out to each zombie.  Word them very simply "Yes I am a Transgender Woman" feel free to ask any respectful question you have-but don't just walk by with that incredibly cheesy look on your face. I could rant on but I ran out of room on my imaginary card already.

I know I'm speaking to the choir here in Cyrsti's Condo.

The comment made by my trans woman friend last night said it perfectly: "Maybe after a certain time here, they don't serve our kind in here?"

No, they do and I was the unpaid free entertainment. I could have at the least got a free drink. I got more attention than the two women singing.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Did You Know?

PJ Torokvei was an alum of Second City and SCTV where she worked with John Candy. She later became producer and head writer of WKRP in Cincinnati, a situation comedy that ran from 1979 to 1982 and is no doubt still appearing in reruns across the nation. PJ and her colleagues won two Emmy nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series. PJ also cowrote the films Real Genius, Back to School, Caddyshack II and Guarding Tess. PJ transitioned from male to female in 2001. On July 3 she died of complications from liver failure. R.I.P....

Cyrsti's Condo "HorrorScope"

This week's "scope" is a little scary:

Libra (September 23-October 22):

 "Weird values you were raised with will come back to haunt you. While you accept there were lots of lovely ideals in there, there were also a lot more conservative thoughts you have long let go. However, those issues somehow always come back to haunt you. This week is, again, one of those times, leaving you the choice of ultimately educating or evacuating."

 As I look back to my child hood days of "Ozzie and Harriet" and "Leave it to Beaver" on television, hell yes I do have several rather conservative long buried thoughts deep in my noggin- where they can stay! . I can't see myself as June Cleaver doing the housework in heels and hose anytime soon! Wouldn't that be festive! The next move may be doing the housework in a french maids costume with fishnets and heels...oh wait..wrong horrorscope!

 If you are a "youngun" and don't remember these shows, follow the links above.

Lest I forget...your scope is here from theFrisky!

Educating the "G"

We talk a lot about the lack of understanding of the transgender community in the gay and lesbian cultures. Today I found a great "educational" video on YouTube by a gay man I'm passing along on the Cyrsti's Condo big screen:

Poy Time

According to TheNation Thailand's former Miss International Queen winner is on her way to establishing a film career in Asia: "Former Miss TU and Miss International Queen Treechada "Poy" Petcharat has been dubbed one of the top transsexual entertainers in Asia, giving her the chance to "go inter" in the big-budget Hong Kong film "The White Storm"." Poy wasn't sure she'd get the role. "Maybe I got it because I have a Chinese ['Ar-muay'] look that suited the character, a mafia chief's daughter," she says. It evidently made no difference that she's transgender. She blended in. "I mingled with hairdressers and makeup artists!" The movie is heading for China, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia. Poy isn't sure if it's coming to Thailand, but she would certainly love to attend that premiere. Meanwhile she's landed a modelling job with Japanese magazine Common Sense. "I'll be surrounded by Louis Vuitton products and another set will reflect me as a Thai beauty."

From her pictures, it's easy to see why!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Little? Black Dress?

Recently I was going through my closet during these hot humid summer days and found an old friend! She is a long, lite, black, flowing ankle length skirt with a button up slit on the side. As luck would have it, time has taken a toll on most of the buttons to the point of a VERY immodest slit! I thought dammit! I was not in the mood for sewing, there has to be a creative way around this! Well, there was. Mother Karma stepped in and I "found" a huge chrome bobby pin which looked as if it was used as a fashion accessory on a "50's" era poodle skirt of some sort. As it turned out, the "accessory" secured the slit and looked great teamed with a long silver chain and hoop earrings. Teamed with a lacy, sleeveless back top, the whole outfit made me look like I knew what I was doing as a "fashionista". Black, cool and slimming! The world didn't have to know my whole little long black dress was born from just a couple of thrift store treasures:) It's our secret!

Closet Transgender Activists

You regulars here in Cyrsti's Condo know the low regard for what I call the "higher end" peeps of our trans culture. My stereotypical example is the person who had the resources to run off to Thailand and come back a "changed person" then "Poof" they are gone.  We all hope they are becoming the exception rather than the rule. We need things done. Just look at the exceedingly high rates of suicide, violence and unemployment in the trans community-big problems to be solved.

Rather than me ranting here, let's come up with a few workable ideas to solve these problems. Even if you are a closeted cross dresser or a closeted transsexual woman who moves freely through society. You too can be an activist in your own small way and not jeopardize your life.

Number one is political. No, you don't have to run for office or even picket at your local courthouse. What you need to do is pay attention to your local elections. My example is I have an election coming up this fall in the town I live in.  A swing of one candidate getting elected over another could forge an all important majority on our city commission and an equality amendment getting passed.

I would have known nothing about this until I went to a local "Equality" meeting. Again, you don't have to go to the meeting, most of these groups on the local and state levels publish information on websites. I now know exactly who voted against my rights and if they are up for re election this fall.

Number two is grassroots.  Not all of us are beautiful attractive humans-male or female but sometimes we are the ones who build transgender understanding-one person at a time.  I have published comments from one specific person like that who is a regular visitor to the "condo". She simply loves to get dressed up and go to gay venues.  By her own admission, not a beauty but takes the time to listen to questions from the other clientele and educate them. Remember the gay and lesbian community is very well organized. Never assume they know anything about us and we need them to further our cause.
So no, you don't have to go to the neighbors in heels and hose to do on:

Number three is be an apostle.  When someone says something about one of us-don't let it slide.  You don't have to say you have a closet full of dresses or went through SRS in the 1970's but you can gently say how unfair the person is-especially in a church.  My examples are a couple of middle aged women I have seen on various talk shows who have made wonderful transitions into "the woman next door".  Not glamorous by any means but completely feminine. Unless you saw the show, you wouldn't think the woman in the back of the church helping with refreshments wasn't born as one. The reason I bring the two together here is where I live in the Midwest U.S., churches provide the most resistance to our very most basic transgender rights. If and when "one of us" infiltrates the system I would hope that at the least he or she would do the right thing.

There you go. I'm sure many of you have other great ideas which blow these away.

Sure, ranting is fun on occasion. It blows off a lot of frustration and steam but in the end result creative solutions provide true progress!

Thank God!

Every once in a while I wonder if all the transsexual stealth people look out of their closet doors and wonder just how our world would be if everyone ran and hid like they did?

Here are 24 who didn't from BuzzFeed LGBT.

Follow the link to read about those transgender pioneers who had the courage to push change while others did nothing more than changed closets. If you are like me, there are some names here I have never heard of!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Just Your Basic Androgynous Discussion?

This young transsexual woman covers a lot of ground in the Crysti's Condo big screen video. She talks fast as she goes into gender identities, sexual identities and how the world views her...or how she wants the world to view her.  Listen for the part where she want's the body of a woman and the logic of a man!:


I started watching this video when I was sleepy and simply got what the hell...why not pass it along to you on the Cyrsti's Condo big screen? Nothing like an over the top drag queen to get your attention? It's long and about 6 minutes into it...he starts playing in the makeup. I love the accent!!!!

Where Have All the Sisters Gone?

A friend who I have mentioned more than once here in Cyrsti's Condo found ourselves in the middle of a pretty interesting chat/question recently concerning the seeming "non availability" of other trans sisters in any segment of the culture.

My friend and I go way back to the early 80's and actually met indirectly through one of the old Tri Ess chapters in Cleveland, Ohio. Through those "get together's" in discreet motels, we came to the conclusion we got to meet and know more people than in the present social media dominated society.

Why? I believe the in culture social stratification between the so called "haves and have not's" is a huge culprit.  Cross Dressers, Transgender folks and Transsexuals all have managed to exclude each other on one level or another.

Identifying transgender as I do, I feel the pressure from both sides. The cross dressers prejudge me as someone who looks down on them and I'm guilty of feeling that way about transsexual women judging me. "Back in the day", the prettier cross dressers did form their own cliques but we were still too naive to know the process would go so far past the immature high school antics. Way past!

Taking the process a step further, it's interesting to me how seemingly rare we are to ourselves. If you take me for an example (again) in the past five plus years of being really out - I have developed friendships with only two other transgender folk, one male, one female. Only 2. I won't bore you with how many different ways I was out looking- just for a friend or two. The positive twist on the story is I found them and they weren't trans.

I've always have been fascinated by the very few CD/TG/TS women I have seen over the years. I'm going to leave trans men out of this for a second. I can go back as far as 20 years in my mind and think maybe 5? Say what you will about maybe I missed more than a couple top notch presenters which is true but how about the girls like me just trying to "learn the ropes" 5?

I left the trans guys out of this for a reason. The reason is where I live these days I am seeing more and more individuals who I could possibly categorize in the trans man status.  But that is an entire other subject for another time. Just don't give me the BS it is easier for a trans guy to negotiate society. The demeanor of the person in with a Mo Hawk haircut in a big loose sweatshirt just didn't seem to indicate that was true.

Finally, I'm not going to be naive here and ignore the sexual component of meeting others in our culture.  For good or bad, sexual questions can be asked, accepted or rejected early in the game with the impact of social media. So those of us who feel that's a none of your business intrusion find our way to the social curb quickly.

So there you go, a few theories of why it's a lonely world in our culture...still.

Here is an example months ago when I saw this question on another site I go to on occasion:  "I want to meet a transgender person" After two months or so, I was one of two replies. I simply said I guessed no one really did. Even if they are transgender themselves.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Trans Man Security

A television show who has a main transgender character has pretty much flown under the radar, at least to me.
It's called Small Town Security on the AMC Channel.

One of the characters on the show is a transgender man, Dennis Croft seen in the picture on the right. Dennis is the man on the left in uniform.

Like I said, I really missed all of this and this is one of my "better late than never" posts here in Cyrsti's Condo.

Regardless of how the quality of the show may be perceived, Dennis's public journey should not be minimized.

I'm also going to add a YouTube video on the big screen:

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Trans Travelin' to Thailand

Pattaya certainly wasn't like this in 1973 when the B-52's were flying over heading for Hanoi.

Traveling the Transgender World

On the Cyrsti's Condo big screen, "Transpinay Beauty Pageant" from the Philippines:

Beauty and the Brow

Surely one of the major road blocks we face in our feminine presentations are the eye brows. These days the gay and the metro sexual guys are paving the way for a better looking brow and less attention to it. For most of us though, just walking in to your barber shop and asking to have your brows waxed and shaped just isn't possible.

As I went through my "formative" cross dressing days, I decided to "gradually" pluck and trim my brows. A great plan until on occasion I got carried away and went a little farther with the process than I should. Luckily my glasses covered my increasingly feminine brows until they grew back. But they didn't. On the positive side my brows were a tremendous plus to my looks and eyes.  On the negative side I received a couple "suggestions" a mustache or beard would make me appear "more manly".

Of course I embraced the positive but have always viewed with great interest the extent drag queens work to cover their brows.  Good for the stage, not so much for a trip to the grocery store.

I know much depends on who you live with and how they feel about your transition (even into cross dressing).  But you too can try a "gradual" eyebrow shaping regimen.  Back in the day when I started my hair and brows were almost black and I began by "thinning" some of the hairs in the middle...then I began to shape the brow later.

Two words of warning. You need to be careful to match each side and never assume your eyebrows will grow back quickly!

My Angel at the VA

For those of you who are following my continuing saga/soap opera with my HRT and the Veteran's Administration, my "angel" came through again.
After only two phone calls to my patient advocate (angel) , she discovered the bureaucrats at my local VA Clinic had decided two paid visits to my endocrinologist were enough and turned down the third and any future ones.

She got that reversed and payment has now been approved for the one this past spring and the one coming up in September.  For some reason the powers to be have decided my transgender "condition" is temporary I guess so a few "Endo Doc" visits are all I need.

Maybe if I keep "poking the bear" I will irritate him enough to get me some in house treatment. Hopefully before he claws me.

FYI, if you are a transgender veteran and need any advice what so ever about my learning experience- please email me through the blog!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Matt to Maddy!

A whole lot of transitioning going on the Cyrsti's Condo big screen:

Life on the Passive Aggressive Frontier

We could call this a Cyrsti's Condo "Quote of the Day"...  sent along by a friend:

Robert Heinlein made a good point when he said that women were just like men, only more so. Gentler, kinder, more intelligent, more vicious, etc...

Camping in the Girls Room

Last night a female friend of mine and I got together for a couple adult beverages and eats in a place we go to quite a bit.  We were enjoying our conversation until about an hour into it comes a group of at least 25.  Mixed in the group were five or six of the worst kind of adults-the ones who didn't seem to care about the kids who were basically 10-12 and probably 90% girls.

Well of course they abused the place and were extraordinarily loud which was bad enough until the girls commandeered the bathroom too. I tried to go potty and let a very unhappy woman go through the door ahead of me.  Of course all three stalls were full, plus another two girls sitting on the floor by the sink on their cell phones.  The woman ahead of me didn't hesitate and growled something to the effect of get the hell up off the floor. (I know for a fact she wasn't with the group.) Well, there was some scattering in the room, but no one left-except for me. I decided to hold it for awhile.

My friend and I sat and watched the comings and goings in and out of the restroom and never did see the girls leave.

Finally we paid and left and I found another place to stop and pee before a rather lengthy trip home.

Look, I know of the magical feminine bathroom mystique but bottom line is the older women in the group should have quit stuffing their faces with food and beer and taken care of the situation.

It's no wonder many of these people don't want a young transgender girl to use a girls bathroom. Maybe she would blow the whistle on the whole foolish mess.

I have said any number of times how surprised I am at how fast the majority of women use the bathroom and get out.

OK, I feel better now. Yes I did find another bathroom in time plus I was allowed to rant with all of you for a bit...thanks!!!