Monday, September 30, 2013

Cyrsti's Condo "Horror Scope!"

As I get ever closer to the "Will you still read me? When I'm 64?" birthday my horror scopes continue to dazzle and entertain me:

Libra (September 23-October 22): There will be a whirlwind of activity around you and to come out of it on top, keep still and take it all in. Patience will matter now, but that doesn’t mean you have to be totally sedentary. Instead, look deeper into the circumstances, the cause and the effect, because in the midst of it all, you’ll see there is a way to step out from the eye of this storm and let it pass without you.

The toughest part of this "scope" is the call for patience! (Hurry up Dammit!)

Go here for your scope from theFrisky !

Fall Fashionista Shopping!

No! I am not a "fashionista."  I just don't have the budget to be one but I learned long ago where there is a will there is a way.

During my married years, I stashed as much small time cash as I could. It was difficult because my wife and I didn't have much spendable income to start with for the longest time and she was a book-keeper by trade and knew how to keep track of spending. I felt real guilty!

As I have written here in Cyrsti's Condo, I learned and made do with thrift store and deep seasonal discount purchases.  Not much has changed today except my wife passed and I semi retired into the infamous never never land of "fixed income."  So when I made a major investment in two pairs of boots this weekend, it was big! 

In the picture to the right you see the two new pairs and a hold over boot in the middle from last year.

Of course, the more you transition into your girl self, your fashion dynamic will change too.  All of the sudden, your wardrobe needs go from one or two days a week to five, six or 24/7.  Over a space of time, I changed my focus to finding cost conscious styles which had the potential of lasting longer, fitting better and matching my overall style.

We can use the boots above as an example. The shorter tan boot will certainly not be a flattering fashion find for my feet in that they will have the tendency to make my feet look bigger and they do not have a smooth fit up my leg. On the other hand, they will be very functional in snowy/icy weather and I will still be able to tuck my jeans into them for a trip to the grocery store or where ever.AND they will be warm with a pair of thick snuggly socks! As I have told you all several times, HRT has ruined my thermostat and I'm not making up some sissy/girly excuse when I tell you I get colder now. I do!

The black boot in the middle is essentially a bit more of a winter fashion upgrade from the shorter tan boots. These boots are really fun to wear with leggings, a big baggy sweater and just the right scarf.

The gray "slouch" boot on the left qualifies as the fashion choice of the three.  It provides a slimming line up the leg and can again be worn with leggings, tights and even hose.  Lot's of potential for me to dress them up or down.

Interestingly, all of these boots are sized different.  The tans are regular 12's, the black suede regular 11's and the gray slouch boots are 12 wide.  I have a difficult time finding a boor which will slide over the top of my foot without a side zipper.  Another consideration I have with boots is finding a pair which will fit my wider calf. All are reason's I have a tough time shopping on line.

The cost?  Under 100 dollars spread over two years.  Believe me, I would have recoiled over such an expenditure as recently as a couple years ago. Now, winter footwear is a needed expense.

One other feature you may have noticed is all of these boots styles have very low heels.  I have four reasons:
1.- safety. I'm very uncoordinated and want to keep all the decidedly unfeminine falls to a minimum!
2.- height (I prefer to stay under the 5'11" mark)
3.- comfort. Let's just say my old bones and joints have seen their better days.
4.-blending.  These three styles give me the flexibility to match my style with what the majority of the other women in my area are wearing.

Hope all these little hints help you girls!







Cassidy Lynn Campbell

Hell hath no fury than a scorned transgender woman may just describe transgender homecoming queen Cassidy Lynn Campbell. Check out Campbell's  NOH8 photo -


Cyrsti's Condo "Quote of the Day"

"Everything worthwhile is perishable" Bryan Cranston from "Breaking Bad"

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Bikini Dress

So what if we are looking at cool fall and cold winter weather creeping in on us, Alice is going to model a "Boy to Girl" bikini dress for us on the Cyrsti's Condo big screen:

 

Good Bye Old Friends

Had a big day boot shopping today with girlfriend. As always I was putting way too much thought into what I was going to wear. But then I just stopped and just let nature take it's course.

For some reason, I have had this one bra which I have basically just tossed off to the side.  Today I pulled it from retirement and put it on and discovered I really didn't need my trusty, well used breast forms with it. My own "girls" were holding their own nicely.

I was stunned then ecstatic. All of the sudden, I could put on some minimal makeup, brush out my hair and face the world in my jeans and top. As one good happening beckons another, it turns out we found two pairs of great boots for the fall and winter ahead and better yet I achieved a new level of relaxation today.

Of course it did not take Liz long to notice and comment on the "girls" progression which was great fun.

I'm far from where I would like to be with my breast development, but it looks as if two of my oldest friends who made this transgender trip with me will be going into retirement- along with my wigs.

All power...Momma Karma!!!!!!!!! I am soooo thankful!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Benny Hill Never Looked This Good!

Remember Benny Hill the British Comic who was known to don a frock or two? (left)

For some reason the cross dresser on the Cyrsti's Condo big screen used the same theme music. (Must have been the pig tails!)













 

Checking the Fluids

"Gender Fluid" is yet another one of those pesky labels. Just don't need another label but it sort of makes a lot of sense.

It seems these days, more and more of us who occupy the gender "middle ground" are expressing it.  Take me for example. I'm a gender fluid "picker" which means I sell collectibles on various sites like Ebay and I use my male and/or my female name on occasions.  My "fluidity" though depends on the item. Yesterday, I sold an old 1930's popcorn machine and had to lend a helping hand as my guy self to muscle it out of here. All the time being careful of any contact with my breast area which was very tender.

I'm always intrigued by the posts I read here and there by transgender peeps who say they can't wait to start HRT to "Feel like a woman". I guess I did too when I got slapped by Momma Karma with a hot flash which made me feel as if I was self combusting, my first big irrational cry I couldn't stop, or the physical changes I was experiencing.

Of course before I started to set back and enjoy the changes, I tried to over think the process.  If I increased my dosages or ran off to a surgeon, would I feel "more like a woman?" In my case, no.  I'm pretty much set in the idea that after 60+ years around here, my inner gender is set and it does bounce on occasion. What I choose to show to the rest of the world varies too. The most rewarding part to all of this is knowing I can socialize as a woman after all. For better or worse, the world treats me different of course.  Women do give up a lot to so called male privilege but gain back in a sort of a sub culture which is foreign to most men.

So, do I feel like a woman? Can't tell you or claim to know. I can only vouch for me.  The only thing is know is, this gender fluid idea is not so bad.

For other examples go
here to check out the stories of individuals like Toni (left) who is changing the world.

The Miracle of Hormones

A few male to female transition videos I find showcase amazing changes and I wonder about dosages etc. Not to mention the slim female ready body most of us would die for. As a matter of fact if I ever became as thin as this transgender woman... I would be dead!   Here's she is on the Cyrsti's Condo big screen:

Friday, September 27, 2013

KayHar

One of most haunting beautiful video's to date on the Cyrsti's Condo big screen:

Transgender Reality in a Small Town

All too often I think we have a tendency to focus too much on the transgender women and men who have the benefit of looks and/or location to ease their transition.

Here's a look at a different side of life on the Cyrsti's Condo big screen:

Classic Boot Weather

From Fabulous after 40, one of my favorite "Go to" fashion sites here in Cyrsti's Condo, a look at "Tall Boots" for fall and winter:


After 40, 50 and beyond you want to look classy, you want to look chic, and you also want a look a little bit sexy. After all, you are still a vibrant woman, you’ve still got it! But how do you communicate that in a tasteful, grown-up-gal way? Plunging necklines that dive desperately deep, or thigh high skirts designed for teenagers are not the answer. One of the best ways to look sexy and not silly is to buy yourself a pair of fabulous tall boots. Here’s a look at what’s out there this fall to make you look alluring and Age-Amazing!™.

For more, go here.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Boycott Barilla

In a move reminiscent of a certain fast food chicken chain in the United States, Guido Barilla, whose firm has almost half the Italian pasta market and a quarter of that in the US, told Italy’s La Zanzara radio show last night: “I would never do an advert with a homosexual family…if the gays don’t like it they can go an eat another brand. “For us the concept of the sacred family remains one of the fundamental values of the company.” He added: “Everyone has the right to do what they want without disturbing those around them”. But then the pasta magnate upped the ante by attacking gay adoption. “I have no respect for adoption by gay families because this concerns a person who is not able to choose," he said.

 It is up to us to make sure "Bigot Barilla" knows we will go eat another brand!

New Transgender Star?

Yes kids, it could be you!:

"The casting company behind hit television series such as "RuPaul's Drag Race," "The A-List," and "Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys" is seeking transgender women to participate in a new reality series, tentatively titled "TransAmerica."

 According to a press release sent to the Huffington Post, Doron Ofir Casting is seeking "beautiful," "dynamic" and "fashionable" transgender women to take part in a new reality series that will explore the personal and public lives of modern day women who self-identify as trans. "TransAmerica" hopes to redefine stereotypes by exploring the complex world of dating and careers for transgender women, in an effort to both entertain and educate audiences.

 Casting Director Doron Ofir states in the press release, “I hope to revolutionize the perceptions of gender and sexuality by finding and casting the most spectacularly interesting women with fabulous personalities, who are proudly unapologetic, living a life of beauty in every way.”

 The casting call is open to all individuals identifying as transgender women, regardless of their position within the transitioning spectrum.

Follow the link above for more and when you become famous just remember the "good ol Midwestern trans girl" still pecking away on her blog!

We Got Mail!

If this keeps up you all are going to force me into a new Cyrsti's Condo mailbox investment!

Historian Pat passed along "Your parenthetical that "If I knew I would this long I would have taken better care of myself" was a comment from my (her) boyhood idol, Mickey Mantle."

I of course,  disliked anything in pinstripes such as the suit my Mom made me wear to church and especially the pinstripes worn by the Yankee's! Although the "Mickster" got some redemption in the form of his transgender niece Kelly as seen on the left.
To be fair, the 1961 World Series between my Cincinnati Reds and the Yankee's pretty much sealed my idea of the Bronx Bums.  True story, when I lived very close to NYC for almost two years, I watched plenty of Mets games at Shea Stadium but refused to set foot in Yankee Stadium.  No grudges, right?

Then there was the comment agreeing with my praise of the Ernest Hemingway quote "Write Drunk, edit Sober" from bashashhazbaz.. Thanks also for the comment on my picture! Interestingly Liz had a whole different take on the quote, preferring to looking at it as an opportunity to go back in life and rethink decisions at a more rational time. I never got past the drunk/sober dynamic which shows you where my mind was at!

And finally, from across the pond, Paula commented on the Top Ten Restroom post:

"It seems we area bit more liberal about all this in the UK, I now find when I am out and about in drab and am forced to use the "Gents" they are generally pretty nasty"  They generally are here too Paula in comparison to the women's rooms but I'm always fascinated by those want to attach the "pristine" tag to women's rooms.  I always remind everyone of my managerial 30+ years in the restaurant business.  I had tons of experience with women's rooms before I ever used one as a girl!

You may want to follow this link to Paula's blog and read her post "Under the Wing of the Eagle". She covers more of the potty/pub topic from a transgender woman's viewpoint there.

All of you are great for sending in your comments and as I have always said, I wish this blog platform had a better way to work with them. Then again I would have to be smart enough to use it!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Enjoy!









The Colbert Report
Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Video Archive





Steffani's First Time

Just another "natural" on the Cyrsti's Condo big screen:


Do Something Dammit!

Here's the Email I got in response for standing up in support for transgender homecoming queen Cassidy Campbell:

Cyrsti, Incredible.

" You are among over 2,500 people who have taken action to lift up the transgender homecoming queen, Cassidy Campbell, and stand against bullying. Because of you, we've smashed our goal of sending 2,500 messages of support to Cassidy. Will you forward the email below to five friends who'll stand with us and help reach our new goal of 3,400 messages to Cassidy Campbell?"

 The more of us who stand together now paves the way for more transgender people being voted homecoming queens and kings, student body presidents, and even national elected officials. That's the hope you've given Cassidy and other transgender young people--the hope to dream bigger and be themselves. Here are more messages of hope you've given Cassidy: "You won a great victory. Not only for yourself, but for all of us. You single handedly gave courage to those who needed it (myself included)."

Send the email below to five of your friends to help our effort generate 3,400 supporters. This challenge is minor compared to what Cassidy has faced and if we work together, we can help end bullying in our schools and communities."

Sincerely, Mara Keisling Executive Director National Center for Transgender Equality


http://www.transequality.org/take_action/standwithcassidy.html.

Personally, I can't believe how incredibly tough Cassidy's life has been. Deciding first to run for queen and then perhaps being a little naive of how bad the ignorant bigots tirades would be. NOW is the time to silence the haters!

Back when I was in high school (before electricity) I wonder if I would even have had the guts to enter a womanless beauty pageant?  (didn't have one)
AND 
This is you closeted peeps chance to make a statement!

Does the Dress Really Make the Person?

Received yet another thought provoking comment on the Cyrsti's Condo "Pass the Make Up" post:

"As my guy self everyone I deal with has come to accept me for all components that they see. I am generally friendly, involved, caring and willing to give my honest opinion on any subject. When I do get out and about while dressed I pretty much am the same person. I do not try to fool anyone.

If I am perceived as a large older man in a dress I hope that most people think that I did not do a bad job getting dolled up and that I look decent, friendly, pleasant, involved, friendly and willing to give an honest opinion on any subject. I am the same me. I suppose as I guy I am not distasteful in appearance or presentation. I expect no less of myself when dressed. Pat"

I thought Wow! this was a major discussion point with my wife and I "back in the day".  She was certain I was different as a woman and not necessarily in a flattering way.  Of course, since then a lot of make up has gone under the bridge and I am drastically a different feminine person than I was then. I can tell you now there is only one other person in the world who could speak to how much of me carries into both genders.

Similar to Pat, my inner self has carried through, standards, spirituality etc. On the other hand, the more completely I cross the gender line, it's natural my feminine self does change. You all know how much I push the idea of socialization before surgery here in Cyrsti's Condo. As I pursued in earnest what a life as a woman was really life, I also learned quickly I wasn't out to fool anyone either.  To hell with the old male/female gender binaries.

I'm fairly sure Pat would agree the only big difference we have is experience. But, when it all comes down to it, you can throw out the cross dresser and transgender labels and go with who you are. Good is good...male, female or trans. Gender does not dictate personality. If you were a bastard before SRS, your chances of being a bitch afterwards are good.

So if the dress does make the person, it's because we are all just mirrors anyhow.  It's what behind the mirror that really counts.

Is It Too Late Not Too?

Awww right, I'm almost 64. If you are close to my age, surely you remember these lyrics from the Beatles classic:

When I get older losing my hair, Many years from now, Will you still be sending me a valentine Birthday greetings bottle of wine?

 If I'd been out till quarter to three Would you lock the door, Will you still need me, will you still feed me, When I'm sixty-four?

I can almost guarantee you that when I heard the song the first time, I had serious doubts about living until I was 64! Now that I'm almost to 64, I decided to celebrate the upcoming occasion here in the Cyrsti's Condo for once.  Mainly because of these reasons:  One, I don't care if someone knows my age.  Two, I'm still standing unlike many others I used to know ( if I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself) and Three, I perhaps could provide some insight into the process for those who may be considering it.

Feedback has been amazing.  Everything from I was called "just another old guy on hormones" to "like you, I considered transitioning but I'm too old" and there was Shelle.

Although we have never met, Shelle and I have become transgender sisters of sort. It turns out we share several powerful life experiences with this gender trip we are on.

Recently Shelle wrote a great post on her blog called "Why"?  In the post she answers a few of the questions of why she transitioned when she did:

"I am repeatedly ask by people why did you wait so long to transition,I have ask myself the same question a thousand times,I can only guess that like most people like me I thought that if I practiced “immersion therapy” I could cure what seemed to be wrong in my life.I like most trans women of my age group thought that by immersing myself in in the hyper-masculine world I would be somehow magically cured that it would rub off on my psyche and cure the fact that in reality I was a woman,But with little support and few coping skills the whole shared only proved to be a complete failure and things just continually got worse all my life not better or less confusing but more and more the focus of my everyday thoughts.

It wasn't until around 17 years ago when I met my last wife and shared from the beginning who I was with her and she in turn was not only supportive but with her love and everyday help I began to feel emboldened and the fog I lived under began to clear I saw a more clear path to the person I needed to become to finally have some sense of peace in my life and really begin to grow again."

Visit Shelle's blog here and if you haven't guessed, she may remember the song too!



Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Cyrsti's Condo "Quote of "da" Day"

No off the wall writer (like me) who penned this quote!

"Write Drunk, Edit Sober"  Ernest Hemingway.

Hmmmnn, very profound, that "Ernie" guy!

Cyrsti's Condo "Horror Scope"

Time flies when you track your year a week at a time by "star gazing" and as my b-day rapidly approaches here is another rather sexy "scope" from theFrisky:

Libra (September 23-October 22): Your body and mind will be operating on two different wavelengths and as much as you may feel active, your brain may find a way to hold you back. Yes, this will make you one lazy lay, but no matter, because there is luck in your partnerships now. So, whether it’s a dependable booty call or your boo, trust they will be able to hold up your end as well as theirs.

Nice! Already I'm craving some warmth as the weather starts to cool into fall!  Follow the link above for your own "scope"!

Fight the Bigots and Haters

There is a site where you can add your support to the young transgender woman Cassidy Lynn Campbell who was bullied after her Homecoming Queen win.
Go here.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Wide Wonderful World of Wideo's!

OK, I couldn't come up with enough "V" words for the title so what's the harm in a bit of creative license?  (Very little!)
As I lined up yet another male to female transformation video for the Cyrsti's Condo big screen, I began to think how unfair most of them are to the majority of us.  Here we are, daily scraping by to transition, present and carve out a world in our non birth gender. It's just unfair how "female ready" some of these guys are. But is it really?

A couple indicators I look for in a video is the size of the person's shoulders and an indication of height. With many, I'm simply amazed with how small they are.  Over the years, I have known or seen transgender women, cross dressers and/or drag queens who have been built the same way.  The best example I remember comes from 260 years ago one night when I was at an amateur drag show. One of the performers was absolutely the most petite, effeminate males I have ever seen and obviously a stunner in drag. On the other hand, I had to mentally shudder at the possible bullying and abuse this kid had to take. In fact, he was subjected to it there.  An especially creepy "admirer" in the crowd was scaring the hell out of the kid and rightfully so before he was removed.

So I guess (as with everything) Momma Karma giveth and taketh away. But regardless of how far the video subjects have traveled in their transitions, there are more than a million very entertaining, educational and amazing videos on the subject. Like this one from a drag queen:




Transgender Morphing

I found this interesting video to pass along on the Cyrsti's Condo big screen which features a series of MtF transgender before and afters.  This one is a little different in that the gender images are "morphed" from male to female. Take a look:


"Pass" the Makeup Please

If you are not familiar with a site called The Transadvocate,  you should be. They are a top shelf spot featuring transgender issues, features, and discussions. As you may remember, I have mentioned their work several times here in Cyrsti's Condo.

Recently Transadvocate ran a post by Dana Taylor called "On "Passing" As A Woman." She begins by writing:

"Right up front I will tell you that I cringe when I hear passing as a woman in relation to a trans woman. What this really means is passing as a cisgender woman. A real woman, right?"

And a bit later adds:

"They want all women to meet certain stereotypical criteria which includes how you look, smell, walk, talk, etc. We should never tell our sisters that they must meet this criteria to be a woman. Even though you may think you are trying to help this person you may actually be causing damage to them. For instance, there are some trans women who have physical male characteristics that will never allow them to meet the passing criteria. I am one of those women. If I had listened to a lot of advice from trans women on being a woman, I am not sure where I would be today. It is difficult enough to come out and try to be who you are than to have all these other requirements put on you. This can cause some trans women who are not out yet to never come out thinking there is no way they could pass."

I so agree!   I get all sorts of  messages which begin with  saying "I will never pass", I immediately consider one of three things:


1.- If you use the "never" term, you are a success! It will "never" happen.
2.- You are not willing to go through the years of trial and mostly error I have endured with my "linebacker" body to enjoy bits of success. (Did you think I was born with all this "natural beauty?) Kidding!
3.- Most importantly, what are you trying to pass as?

As Dana said above you may fit into a category where indeed you will never "pass" as a genetic woman but is there a problem with "passing" as an attractive transgender woman?

Check out this message I received from a reader the other day:  He said he was afraid to go out and he would need to look exactly like a woman before he did. I told him "good luck with that"! Sure, there are rare guys like the kid on the left who indeed may "pass" in the strictest sense or the British chopper crewman above. The rest of us know our path is beyond tough and has no guarantee of success.

Then, there is the classic example of Stana of Femulate fame. The picture to the right is what she was wearing the day we met for coffee last summer. She is unapologetic about being very tall and in tall heels. I have had comm enters say they are too tall to pass. Obviously Stana doesn't feel that way and she proved it to me as I was able to look over her shoulder at all those men getting lost in all those legs.

The common thread here goes back to what Dana pointed out.
"A woman is a woman who makes her own choices on how she wants to look, dress, smell or anything else that has to do with her own body. If she wants to follow the stereotypical concept of being a woman, she should be free to do so."

She went on to add and I paraphrase, society needs to get the hell over how we want to live and leave us alone - and you know what? We have contributors here in the Condo who are living examples of how society does adjust to us for a change. Pat, Tracy and myself of course.

Let me repeat though "If you tell me you will never "pass", I will certainly take you at face value."

***Go here for the entire Transadvocate post.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Top Ten Rest Room 101...Again

I update this post every now and then here in Cyrsti's Condo because the simple act of finding a place to pee is so difficult for transgender and transsexual women and men.

My quick list. (Your's could be different)

1.- NEVER take your rest room pass for granted. As you read in the news all the time, many peeps will accept you in all public places but the rest room.
2.- DO go for the point of least resistance. For example one of the big box store chains around me actually has their rest rooms in the vestibule before you go in the store.
3.- GET IN and OUT. The longer you play with your hair and make up in the mirror, the greater the chance another woman will take a closer look at you too.
4.-DO wash your hands.  If you are being scrutinized, if you don't wash your hands, you will be more certain to be labeled a guy. The more experience you have, the more you will find the myth of a pristine women's room is just that.
5.- DON'T BE STUPID.    Sit Down to Pee! It's not as dumb as it sounds. Years ago I actually had a woman follow me into a restroom to see if I sat down or not. Be smart though and look down on what you are going to sit on.  Lots of women are found of the Tyra Banks "squat over the toilet to pee" method but not so fond of cleaning up afterward.
6.-MAKE SURE your stall is locked. If you happen to be stuck in one that won't try to hold your hand on it while you go. While we are on the subject of locked stalls, don't hide in one until the room empties of waiting women who have to go.  You will be roundly disliked.
7.-BE PREPARED to wait. Ideally you can monitor a rest room in a place like a restaurant for an idea of traffic but the women's room is tricky. You don't have the neat quick gadgets like urinals for quick turnaround and a woman with a kid or two can really slow the room down. Plus meeting those kids is also tricky. Don't panic though, lots of time Mom is so engrossed with getting the "little darlings" in and out, you are the least of her problems.
8.-PROPS.  If you are stuck in line, have your cell phone ready to "occupy" yourself. Another trick is to carry a pad or tampon. Over the years I have been asked twice. Could be innocent or a simple way to ask do you really need one?
9.-MAKE EYE CONTACT.  It's tough but the restroom is the place to project the fact you are doing nothing wrong. Another hint to pass along is, another woman may smile at you just because she can woman to woman. This is not the macho men's room. Finally, you can also learn volumes about how your presentation is working...good...bad...or ugly by making eye contact. Acceptance, approval, no reaction and real ugly are possibilities.
10.-KNOW WHEN TO RUN.  If the situation gets bad. (I've had the cops called on me a couple times over the years and other UGLY incidents) Just move on as quickly and with as much dignity as you can... Unless you know your local laws protect you and want to make a stand.

Of course there are many more nuances of effectively securing and maintaining your women's room pass-all the way to how you sit on the toilet to mimic a woman's flow. Rest assured, if a woman has her doubts about you and you both got a stall at the same time, she will be listening. Especially if the room was empty and she more or less followed you in just to see what was going on. Turn the tables and listen to see what she is doing. If nothing, be on high alert.

More than anything else we do and learn during the transgender transition process, rest room passes are the most intense. Just be a good student, do your best and you will be fine!

FYI...the places I have felt the most resistance to using the women's room?  Mixed gay and lesbian venues!





Dead Horses and Glue?

We beat a lot of dead horses here in Cyrsti's Condo...in a manner of speaking of course. Wow, I wondered do they still make glue out of dead horses? .Not much any more I guess, why make glue when you can make  hot dogs?

The point of all of this babble is comparing the ghost horse looking over my shoulder to a very real phenomena called "trans-security". More precisely insecurity. 

Take last night as an example, the four walls here were killing me as dead as the horse, so I took the horse to one of my regular watering holes for an "adult beverage". Specifically one of the two places I literally transitioned in. As always, I felt the same old insecurities creep in as my ghost horse and I took a seat at a moderately populated bar.

In a fairly short period of time, a couple of other female regulars stopped by to say Hi before they left. The more vocal of the two was simply gushing about the changes I was going through and how well I was doing with them? I'm getting very good at sniffing out a BS compliment versus a honest one and felt she was being real...However...

Somehow I was born and bred never to accept a compliment.  Growing up I learned the hard way a compliment was simply a way of saying "that's alright but can't you do better?"

The two women quickly went on their way leaving me to bask in the warm glow of the knowledge others were seeing and approving the changes I have been going through. Being me though, I didn't take long to think of how far I have come because of where I started.  It's similar to saying your sales are up 100% over last year...when you were closed!

I'm the first to admit, I committed my share of awful, crazy fashion blunders but as I was beating my dead horse thinking about them, I stopped. For once I accepted the compliment and the positive charge to my self esteem and took the moment to bask in the glow.

All too quickly my horse turned to look at it's backside.  That look is a signal to me to me that I could transcend both genders and be labeled as a "horse's behind". For once I grabbed my purse and my glow and headed home.

I wish I could say last night was another huge step in relieving my trans securities but I know it won't. There are simply too many issues out of my control and being ever aware of my surroundings is the right thing to do.

My guess this step is simply another even bigger leap in the transition process.  Bigger, because this involves rebuilding the non gender inner me and linking to the new me. Who would have "thunk" it?

By the way, do you know the best thing about a ghost horse is? They don't eat much!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Sweet 16!

Cassidy Lynn Campbell broke down in tears Friday night when she learned that she had been crowned homecoming queen but was born male.

The transgender senior at Marina High School in Huntington Beach, California began taking hormone blockers and estrogen injections prescribed by an endocrinologist and made the transition to living as a girl.

 She decided to run for homecoming queen, in part, to make a statement. "If I win it would mean that the school recognizes me as the gender I always felt I was," Cassidy, 16, told The Times before the election. "But with all the attention, I realized it's bigger than me," she said. "I'm doing this for the kids who can't be themselves."


 She succeeded in a big way!

"T'd" Me Off

An article from the Huffington Post recently had me thinking about a recent experience with a guy using the gender slur Tranny with me.  For reasons he would not admit to, a guy showed up in one of my "Google+" Transgender groups. Of course I couldn't let it alone since the original post was referring to the well worn subject of why transgender women carry the stigma of being promiscuous.  Of course he didn't believe in any of that but he and his wife have been looking for a "tranny slave" or two for their domination "fun" group. Not only are all of all "easy" we just love to be dominated!

Let me point out I could care less about anyone's sexual preference or fetish, it doesn't matter to me what most do as long as I'm not hurt...Within legal reason of course. He kept accusing me of that when my main point was his use of the "T" gender slur. Couldn't get him to understand the process was the same as using the "N" word or any number of other racial slurs.  His main argument was the transgender women in the group had no problem with being called a tranny. Very similar to "I'm not a bigot, some of my best friends are black."

Again he would have no part of my point that his "transgender" women weren't.  They probably were fetish cross dressers, gurls or even she males.

Unfortunately the abuse doesn't begin or end with a man like him as documented by Jennifer Finney Boylan  (left)

"Hey, can we have a conversation about the word "tranny"? It's a word that is generally considered dehumanizing and offensive when referring to transgender people, like the "N" word for a person of color, or the "F" word for a gay man. But there it was in headlines last week in the story about DJ Mister Cee, who'd been outed as having had sex with a transgender prostitute (see "Is That You Boo? Mister Cee DRAGGED Out The Closet By Alleged Tranny Lover Who Taped Their Encounter??? [Video]"). There it was in a Daily Beast interview with actor Jared Leto about his performance as a transsexual woman in the new movie Dallas Buyers Club. (Writer Marlow Stern's first question: "How did you summon your inner tranny for this role?") And there it was, virtually everywhere, when Chelsea Manning came out as trans last month, causing editors from The Huffington Post to NPR to go running to their copies of the AP Stylebook for help. Politico's Dylan Byers actually wrote a smart article about the challenge, titled "Manning Switch Challenges Style Editors," which you'll have to admit was putting it mildly."

Of course there is much more to this post which you can read here but I'm going to finish off with this excerpt:

"Once, early in transition, I found myself wandering around L.L. Bean in Freeport, Maine, wearing a wig that would have been better off used as a home for red squirrels. If you didn't know better, you might well have called me some kind of a "hot mess." I still remember the huge eyes with which a small child, holding her mother's hand, viewed me as I drew near. "Mommy," said the child. "Who is that?" To this day I am grateful for the mother's reply. "That," she said, "is a human being."

FYI, I had that wig and the kid said "Big MEAN woman".

Friday, September 20, 2013

Cyrsti's Condo Book Nook

Is it my imagination (fertile ground to be sure) or are there more and more non fiction books these days which are written about the transgender experience?

Here's another:  My Brother My Sister :

Which has been chosen by Publishers Weekly as one of the Top Ten Memoirs of Fall 2013

"On a visit to New York, the brother of well-known film critic Molly Haskell dropped a bombshell: Nearing sixty, married with children, Chevey revealed he was transsexual and would begin to live openly as a woman. Despite her longstanding liberal views, Haskell was dumbfounded.

 In My Brother My Sister: Story of a Transformation, she recounts the steps in Chevey’s transition, while candidly exploring her own emotional journey, from shock and bewilderment after the initial announcement to a place of acceptance, empathy, and love for her sister Ellen. Throughout the book Haskell turns her critic’s eye on herself, but also broadens her lens to include psychoanalytical and scientific research, meditations on sexual anomalies in art and mythology as well as previously published memoirs such as Jan Morris’s classic Conundrum.

 This is a memoir that pulls no punches in its exploration of a controversial, delicate subject. Through Chevey’s transformation into Ellen, Haskell has produced a cultural map of not only her sister’s experience, but of gender roles and transsexualism in a world increasingly governed by notions of individual identity. My Brother My Sister is tender, honest, informed, and at times a humorous must-read for anyone who has ever struggled to discover who they really are."

Look for the review in review in Sunday's NY Times Book Review.

If we again pause to take a look at the "big picture" of transgender mainstream education, this effort from Molly Haskell is yet another person who possessed the knowledge and expertise to push her experience with a transgender family member into the mainstream press.

Go here for more.

We Got Mail!

First time commenter Laine wrote:

"This is my first time reading your blog, care of the link on Google Plus. I keep hoping that I will be able to skip the adolescent phase, but then I run into a wave of giddiness over something that I was never allowed to experience before. I still get bouncy just from having social time with girl friends and it feeling right, us socializing properly rather than with the inherent awkwardness that occurs with boys around. I think part of the Princess phase is that you have to push hard to cross over the line before you find your happy medium, in most cases." Thanks Laine!

"Princess Jim"
Hi Laine and thanks for the comment! Indeed the transgender adolescent phase seems to last forever and in many cases no one (including me) wanted it to end. In reality though, we probably aren't in the "A-phase" any longer than a genetic girl, it's just tougher for us because of the time of life when we happen to be going through it....say 40 something. Plus many times we are under pressure to go adolescence again  totally alone - without the cool social time you mentioned with your girlfriends. I agree, you have to make your way through the process before you have any idea of who you are. The process dictates you rather than the other way around.

Here's where my "Princess" tag came from. Approximately 2,000 years ago as I first became totally immersed with my femme looks in the mirror, my wife was fond of calling me "The Princess". I credit her blunt critiques for getting out me of the mirror and gay clubs and into taking a took at the reality of a feminine life.

She passed nearly six years ago and I often wonder if she ever knew how she unknowingly laid the ground work for my MtF transition. I know I will always feel the impact of a fashion "critique" or two somewhere in my subconscious from her.

I do think though, even the most jaded genetic woman would admit there a little bit of the "Princess" in every woman, genetic or trans.  The princess just adds a touch of mystery or spice to who we are!



.

What Would Thomas Edison Say?

A chance to re-invent yourself? Really? I'm thinking Edison would have to invent the transgender word first of all and take the credit away from Virginia Prince (who didn't coin the term either)

Nice topic.  Many feel they aren't reinventing themselves as they go from one gender to another of their choice. After all,  they were born with a few gender switches in the wrong positions. Indeed they are right.

On the other hand, most don't know immediately of exactly which switches are in the wrong position, what to do about it and have the support structure to do anything about it.

Which means, most of us, transgender women or transgender men simply do carry an imprint from living a life outside of their mental or chosen gender. We learn from observation or participation how the two primary gender binaries dance. For example, most of MtF trans women are up to a passionate debate about the so-called benefits of "male privilege"

So in a sense, no matter how many of the trace elements you are carrying from your birth gender- you do indeed have a chance to reinvent yourself.

Take the guy on the bike to your right.  Growing up as a male child did you wonder why women were mainly attracted to the "bad boys"? But now don't you secretly want to be the "chick" on the back of his bike? Or have his kid? ( Well maybe that's a little extreme!)

The point is, to even consider any of this is as special as it is confusing and painful. Really, how many members of the human race have or considered starting all over in a new gender?

It is also a subject which scares many people outside the transgender community. We make men very uneasy about their sexuality and/or aggravate women who for whatever reason don't want or need perceived competition in their sandbox.  In many circles we are viewed with distrust simply because we have glimpsed behind the curtain of both binary genders, rather than  ignoring the idea we could be ambassadors of understanding.

We trans folks indeed are from a planet between Venus and Mars and have had a special seat on the gender fence since we all lived in caves. Sadly in many cultures we used to be valued for our potentials!  I'm sure you have probably heard of the Native American cultures (and others) who believed in genders between the binary male and female.

Unfortunately, our seat on the fence is ours alone to ponder and it's not without it's own pressure.  As I constantly learn to process the world from a feminine viewpoint, I am guilty of using my male imprint to maximize my life. What bothers me more is though,  I'm also guilty though of not being more understanding of the where's and why's of input then  making the wrong decisions.

Now you will have to excuse me, I have to go jump on the back of a Harley!

Just Plodding Along?

When life slows down for me, I just have tell you all I feel a little guilty. I struggle to write much about my day to day existence.

I can tell you though what I never dreamed would happen and it is.  I appreciate the fact that in the morning, I somehow know immediately if the effects of HRT have stepped up or stayed the same. I love the fact that through a combination of tedious repetition and the effects of feminization I'm pretty much able to navigate the world similar to any other woman. I cherish the group of friends I have, the family that supports me and a person who is crazy to consider spending the rest of her life with me.

I'm an adrenaline driven person, always have been. It's interesting to me how this transition process in essence has become more mundane and how do I feel about it? Is the thrill gone? For the most part it is. Here's an example:  The electric charge of a new outfit or the stepping out the door as a girl just isn't there. Why is this good???

First and foremost my adrenalin rushes were very shallow and didn't give me a real look at what a feminine existence would be. Here's a comparison from "back in the day" when I had a cross dressing acquaintance who was also a fireman on a nearby large urban fire department He often connected potential dots between the excitement of fighting a fire versus dressing as woman.  Ironically, she connected quite a few more dots and finally went through SRS. I have lost track of her but it would be interesting to learn of her feelings now.

So here I sit with my self described "Princess" cross dressing phase way behind me  The problem was, the Princess and I never got along. I had a deep sense of feeling something was still wrong deep inside when I was cross dressed or not. Finally it turned out,  I was given the golden opportunity to search for an answer for myself.

The answer was and is, I needed to transition and in a lifetime of less than intelligent gender decisions, I made the right one.

I'm guessing the feelings I'm having now are just part of the usual gender "re-socialization" process. To be sure I want to have the perfect hair and the best "look" for the occasion but now all of that has taken a back seat to enjoying the company of my friends.

I know it seems I'm just bitchin and whinin.  In reality though, I'm attempting to take all of us through this next step in my transition journey.

As we undertake this most difficult of all ventures, I believe our souls give us direction signs. I was given a very vivid one as I crossed the threshold from cross dresser to transgender.

I was naive enough to think I had arrived as a trans woman then reality set in. Surely, I'm right in the middle of that reality now and the only certainty is, I love it!

April Ashley

More than likely April Ashley, the 1960's transsexual icon, would have never dreamed her life's journey would have taken her to this place.

The 78 year old April is the focus for a new exhibition which opens on September 27 at the Museum of Liverpool. Her "Portrait's of a Lady"  will explore the story of the woman who was one of the first people in the world to undergo pioneering gender reassignment surgery.

To be sure, April Ashley's story is as current today as it was in the past: Born George Jamieson, the former model's remarkable journey went from suicide attempts and people spitting in her face to Buckingham Palace.
April in Liverpool

If you do not recall her story, April Ashley was outed as a transsexual in 1961 and her career was destroyed  and essentially she never worked again.

Through all of that though April refused to be bitter and got on with her life.  Eventually she was awarded the MBE for services to transgender equality: given to her by Prince Charles (left) who said it was a long time coming. She was also instrumental in bringing about changes like the Gender Recognition Act in 2004 which allowed her and others in her position to have her gender reflected on her birth certificate.

Of course there is much more to the April Ashley saga, go here to read more.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Cyrsti's Condo Fashion Tips!

From Fabulous After 40:


5 Classy, Casual Ways To Rock Your Jeans This Weekend!

"Looking for some new ideas for how to look casual but polished on the weekend? Here’s a style recipe that takes a pair of basic jeans to a totally new level. All you need to do is start with a pair of dark wash, bootleg jeans. Dark wash look classiest over 40 and are super slimming, compared to faded or lighter blue jeans. A bootleg cut flatters all body types because the slight flare balances out your hips. If you don’t own a pair of dark wash bootcut jeans, they are a worthwhile investment that never go out of style."

Dark Bootcut Jeans


Wallis jeans
wallisfashion.com

"Next, open up you closet and take a look inside. Do you have some tops, a blouse, a camisole and perhaps a jacket or two? They don’t have to be fancy. Basic will do. Maybe they look rather plain and boring hanging there, or you think they are too conservative to go with jeans. Don’t over think it. Get them out so you can start to play."

I think the key for we transgender and cross dressing women is over thinking the process but there are so many reasons we do it!

Follow the link above for more "real girl" fashion ideas!


Thoughts from Afar

As you all know by now, I'm fairly good at sticking my nose into things I don't know much about here in Cyrsti's Condo.

Every once in a while I do get curious about the transgender man dynamic and how it works. Essentially,  I know enough to make me dangerous. Over the years of course I have my own observations, current and past lesbian friends as well as my close trans guy buddy.

Recently, I found a post from the SF Bay Times called "Where have all the Butches gone?" It's an interesting look at where the "jumping off" point from identifying as a "Super Butch" to a transgender man is. Actually, I think the line of demarcation is similar to  presenting as a cross dresser versus living as a transgender woman.  Over the years, I have known a couple of butches who gave me a run for my money in the masculinity department...but...as far as I knew they identified female. No different than the super femme gay guy who looks great in drag but never has never had a question with his gender.

What makes the process so much more interesting to me is that the lesbian community takes sex and gender to a different level..Years ago I had a lesbian acquaintance tell me about the inherent complexities with a woman living with a woman. Or worse yet finding one to even date. Two summers ago I was fortunate to go with a lesbian friend of mine to see a female entertainer and the whole room was filled with all the social levels of the lesbian culture. From super butches to femmes and everyone in between, they were there.

So I can't even begin to tell you where have all the butches gone.  For all I know, the title itself is maybe becoming a little outmoded.  As the entire gender/sexuality picture becomes increasingly fluid these days, labels aren't so important.

Being selfish though, I loved it one night years ago when a butch "parted the waves" to get me served at a gay bar in Columbus, Ohio.  They sure know how to treat a girl!


Neighbor Girl

Although we have never really met, Josie actually lives in the same area as I and this is one of her older video's on the Cyrsti's Condo big screen:

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

One of My Favorites

Every now and then I rediscover a video or two I haven't seen for awhile that I felt were special for any number of reasons. It could have been the man before and after, pure drag queen or a wonderful transgender video.  It's fun now since I can pass them on to you here on the Cyrsti's Condo big screen to take a look:


Out and About

All of the sudden if you look around, there are transgender women and men who are jumping into the spotlight simply because of who they are.

Take Kristin Beck, the Navy Seal and now Jennifer Pritzker, 63, formerly James, who officially changed her listing to female and has become the world's first transgender billionaire. Only 12 percent of the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans are female, but in 2013, the ranks gained one member from the other side of the list.

Or the South Dakota woman who just reached a landmark transgender discrimination settlement, keeping in step with a growing trend of cases that say transgender discrimination is applicable under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

 The $50,000 settlement is bringing transgender workers one step closer to federally recognized equal opportunity in the workplace. Transgender Discrimination Settlement Cori McCreery, 29, was fired in 2010 after telling her employer at Don's Valley Market in Rapid City, S.D. that she would be transitioning from a man to a woman, reports Time.

We can't forget the omni present Lynn Conway the transgender pioneer whose longtime passion has been sports, particularly adventure sports. She's overcome two similar life obstacles (transitioning and a fear of heights) en route to her current state: a 75-year-old Michigan resident—reflective and respected, passionate and accomplished, innovative and intelligent. "In a strange way, while rock-climbing years ago I was learning exactly what I needed to transition, learning how to overcome fear," Conway said. "Although scared of heights, I worked up to some modest climbing in Yosemite Valley—and passionately enjoyed it."

Or Nikki Araguz's incredibly important court fight in Texas:.  The result of her case in the appeals court could affect the transition status of transgender people throughout the state of Texas and beyond.  Cristan Williams, director of Houston's Transgender Center Williams said. "I think that this case is incredibly important not only to transgender people throughout Texas, but transgender people throughout the nation."

Wow, the good news is we are just beginning to scratch the surface thanks to all these determined transgender citizens!

Drag ing Out Something Different

All this time you didn't think any of those aliens on the UFO's weren't doing any drag?  Wrong kids!  Check this vid on the Cyrsti's Condo big screen: (Nice Halloween idea!)


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

We Got Mail!

Of course I know at least one real live genetic woman who is a regular visitor to Cyrsti's Condo and of course she commented on my "bra" post. Another Mystery Solved

"The real trick is to take it off without removing your arms from the long sleeves that they are in, and without unhooking the back! ;) Liz "  Gee thanks Liz, did I say something about not being Houdini?

The second comment came from Pat on the "Trans Canyon" post:

"Every day affords us an opportunity to do some sort of outreach. The more 'safe' encounters that any civilian has with a "T" person the better for all of us. There seems to always be a natural fear of things that are strange or unfamiliar to someone. In my view as more and more of the general population got to know people who were gay or lesbian, or black or latino, or hippie or preppie the more comfortable they become. The same is true with the multitude of various types of "T" people. Pat"

Familiarity certainly does not breed contempt for the great majority of us as you said Pat. - " There seems to always be a natural fear of things that are strange or unfamiliar to someone." I have always thought there also has been tendency to be curious about transgender peeps. As more and more positive information slips into the mainstream media the public seems to think "Hey! You are one of those!" Not unlike the first Asian, or black kid I encountered in my very white and rural grade school. We couldn't spell diversity let alone see it.

The problem we face are those who have our story "filtered" by media outlets such as Fox News. The opportunity though is "converting" those folks. Hey I've had my shots, won't bite and I'm not looking to bring down society into the gutter. Plus if you want to discuss it, I can explain why I and that trans kid in California aren't perves for simply wanting to pee in the correct restroom.

I also am a strong believer a good portion of the public respects a public transgender person for living our life on our own standards.  Ironically, the greatest negative feedback I get is from within our community.  It seems many just can't wait for someone like me to fail. But that's the world as I know it.

As always thanks Pat and I guess...you too Liz. Instead of the bra/t shirt trick, I went directly to the straight jacket...something I know!


The Winds of Change

One of the reasons I like living here in the Midwest is the fact we have seasons. While I'm the first to whine about the heat of summer or the cold of winter, I'm making the deal just to get to fall.

As the lush greens turn to the browns, reds and golds of the landscape around me, any sort of wind at all reminds me of primeval change.

Sure, I can tie in the change to my transgender transition but in reality the shift in the world around me goes so much deeper.

Every year at this time though, I do take a second to consider the gender changes I have been through and those that are yet to come.  As sure as the squirrels in my back yard are beginning to harvest the newly fallen walnuts and the drug dealers down on the corner are sporting their new hoodies, it's time for me to take stock of my sweaters and long sleeved tops.

It's ironic how the priorities of the season have changed. Most of you know I'm a sports fanatic of sorts and a football fan above all else but now I have to consider what I'm wearing to watch The Ohio State Buckeyes or the Cincinnati Bengals with my friends. As a transgender girl, I always have to try to make sure I'm doing the style gig a bit better than the genetic girls - if I can.  At the least, cause some of them step up their game too.

The fun part is now that fall really is just beginning. The true colors on the tree's haven't arrived yet and all the fall festivals are still around the corner with "nummers" such as home made apple butter. Better yet the season wraps up with Halloween and my chance to attend the **Cincinnati Witches Ball as a "Zombie Bride" -compliments of my very talented girlfriend.

So, like most of you I have spent my life waiting for the "other shoe to drop".  I have always preferred to call it waiting for "the other foot to fall."

This year I have been in touch with "Momma Karma" to see if the foot can "fall" another time. Preferably after fall is over.

**The "mission" of the Witches Ball:
Our mission: to hold one kick-ass costume party each and every year, with the most fabulous, talented performers we can find, gifted readers in our divination room, vendors with the best wares....raffles, a costume contest, moderately insane pirates, & steampunkers. (As well as raise money for a wonderful cause in the process!)

Nice!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cyrsti's Condo "Horror Scope"

Let's take a look at what the "stars" are foreseeing this week for the Libra signage:


(September 23-October 22): Only you can be your own worst enemy now, so don’t stress yourself out over the monotony of life now. Seems you just needs to sort out a few details and then you will be a-ok. However, due to you own psychological pressure, you can run yourself down to the ground unnecessarily. So, pop the vitamin C like candy this week and be as chill as possible.

Me? Psychological pressure? Where's my extra large economy size bottle of Vitamin C? For your vitamin fix, head to theFrisky and reach for the stars!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Lens Power!

Just a quick male to female glamour transition video on the Cysrti's Condo big screen:


Gossip Monger!

Got to love the lipstick!
Awwwwright! I may like a little celebrity gossip as much as the next girl- transgender or not.
From IBT  to the Cyrsti's Condo gossip section:

Recently Lauren Harries (left) made headlines when she revealed her alleged fling with comedian and actor Russell Brand - and now the transgender star is plotting to name and shame some of her other high-profile conquests. Harries claimed that she had a brief fling with Brand after they met during the seventh series of Big Brother in 2006.

She said that Russell was hosting Big Brother's Big Mouth and Lauren was asked to be a guest on the after-show. "I knew it would take a man with real awareness and strength to take me on," she said. Brand has denied the allegations. "With respect to the ol' transgender community, I didn't have it off with the antiques kid," he tweeted. But Harries insisted that their nights of passion did happen.

Of course there is a forthcoming book and Harries, The Celebrity Big Brother contestant, who finished third in this year's final, will reveal the identities of the stars she said she has bedded in an explosive new tell-all book.

Trans Girls Just Want to Have Fun

Just a night "out" with the Chorizos on the Cyrsti's Condo big screen:




Fashion Questions

No quiz on this post kids, I have just been working on a few of the questions which go through my pea brain when I'm shopping and thought I would pass them along here in Cyrsti's Condo. I am sure you will have quite a few to add!

1.- The blend: What are other women wearing in the same social situation. (I always dress for them first) Then how will my look resonate with men.  Accentuate the positive, be attractive not trashy.

2.-Incorporation: How do I incorporate all the trends I see into who I am.  Or any of the trends?  Are any "age appropriate"?

3.- Where can I find them? Then:

Can I afford them?

Are they in my size?

4.- The Big Picture (not me this time silly's)! Can I find a certain piece which fits into my current wardrobe seamlessly. Examples would be a classic fall jacket or boots which I can use more than one season.

5. Usability. Obviously I have to plan my closet now on a much higher level.  From going to the grocery to getting coffee and gas, I now have a need for casual wear which on occasion needs to be stepped up to a social situation with friends.

6.- Permanence:  One of the biggest change for me has been realizing my public style is not playing dress up anymore. Dressing up is going out in drag as a guy.

Bonus: Women will notice if you are put together or not on any level. Even if you are wearing a pair of nice jeans, T shirt and minimal make up at the store - someone will notice.  My goal is minimally presenting as an attractive transgender woman as possible.

There you go, just my list you can play with!

Another Mystery Solved!

I believe it was at least a year and a half ago when I first wrote of this feminine "mystique" being solved here in Cyrsti's Condo.

One night I was busy on the computer slaving away on yet another "epic" post and the bra I was wearing really began to bug me. The evening was cool and I was wearing a big bulky sweater. I was lazy and didn't want to get up from the computer and make a big deal of taking my bra off.  For some reason I flashed back to a few of my old girlfriends over the years who were quite adept at taking their bra off - under their shirt. In those days I was intimidated and so inexperienced I thought "wow, if I ever get to wear a bra on a regular basis, could I learn to do that too?" Finally years later, I tried it and was successful.

Tonight I was in the same situation, with weather, light sweater and a  bra bugging the hell out of me. As I slid out of the monster, I remembered I had written a post abut the process years ago and maybe I should do it again..

If you have never tried to do it, it's actually quite easy. As I tell everyone if I can do it, so can a trained monkey and no you don't have to be Houdini.

The first step is to work each arm up out of the sleeve it's in. When you do you should have enough room to slide each bra strap down the free arm.  Once you have both straps off your arms, simply move the the bra around to the front of you so you can unhook it.

As I look back though, the girls who were the best at doing it were the ones who could take their bra off while wearing a t-shirt.  You never saw a hint of the bra showing anywhere until they pulled it from underneath their shirt. Of course they were at least 200 times as limber as I then, and 400 times now.

All these years later I wonder if they ever understood my motives were not so much sexual as instructional!

***Don't try this in public kids without experienced supervision!

Taking the "Girls" for a Bike Ride.

From the News Telegram: When Stacey Schnee took a bike ride from her Webster Square neighborhood, down Route 9 to Leicester earlier this month, heads turned. Drivers slowed down, stopped, leaned smartphones out the window to take pictures. Some honked. Some shouted that they were calling the police.
But there's something else to Ms. Schnee's background that no one seeing her ride that day could have known by casual observation. In fact, a lot of people don't know. Ms. Schnee used to be a man. She had gender reassignment surgery in June 2011 and breast augmentation last year. Prior to that, her topless ride would not have likely created any stir at all. The transition, Ms. Schnee said, saved her life, although it ultimately cost her her marriage. Before the transition she struggled with her identity and had gone as far as to plan suicide, she said. But having lived as both a man and a woman undeniably gives her an uncommon perspective on the topless equality issue. "This puts me in a unique position to fight for topless rights since it is a right that I lost when a single letter was changed on my driver's license — from 'M' to 'F,'" Ms. Schnee said.

Yet another transgender person fighting the system in a highly unique way.

I look at it this way. If Stacey wants to ride topless with the girls, why not? She's wearing her helmet!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Bridge over the "Trans Canyon"

In a recent post here in Cyrsti's Condo, I mentioned the "knowledge" gap between the transgender and gay/ lesbian community has been narrowed somewhat. Bridges are being built as less and less of us become stealth queens.

I base that  idea on a very small unscientific sampling of my interaction with the gay community.

As I began to roll the idea around in my noggin, I came up with a couple not so brilliant epiphanies. The first was the fact I had no real idea what they were about. Like what questions I should or shouldn't ask? Is it cool to ask a gay person questions like "when did you come out and to whom?"  It also took me years to figure out I still shared the basic male homophobic fear of getting too close to a gay person.  Even in a dress, my frail male sexual ego was "afraid" a gay guy was going to generate a sexual "threat" to me. I was viewing them the same as the "hetero" guys who steer very clear of me. In reality of course, the greatest majority of gay men are attracted to men and not one in a dress.

Then I wondered how did the transgender community become linked to the L's and G's to begin with? Also,what's up with those Bi folk? I have never met a "Bi Activist" for whatever reason.  More than likely the link occurred years ago with all the LGBT groups seeking safe places to socialize. As time went on, having more public clout meant including the addition of the silent "T". The "T"  lived up to it's billing and stayed very silent. As it turned out, the main goal for a huge majority of a generation of transgender women was to take whatever change they could and run and hide with it.

As times began to change though, the gay and lesbian community really began to come together and exert a strong force on society.  Yet the transgender folk were once again left to bicker between themselves behind closed doors.  The number of operations you have had, how well you "pass" and the number of hormones you took surpassed discussing trans rights and jobs. It seemed once again the transgender community was content to stay in it's own closet and blame others for being there.

Finally we can feel the winds of change as the young transgender community is beginning to be a vocal force for change. All of the sudden older trans folks are transitioning and not running for their closets but are running instead for public offices,  and many others are screaming or voting against injustice.

Now we have gone full circle to the subject at hand. Our interaction with the gay and lesbian community will always take a great amount of work and understanding. Mainly because our life experiences as transgender women and men are so different than all others in society. The more we do to build our own bridge to them, the less silent the "T" will be and the LGBT coalition will be stronger for it.






From the Cyrsti's Condo Bookshelf

,

This book instantly caught my attention. Mainly because I live close to the area of the country the book was written about. Plus,  the cultural lines between central Kentucky and southern Ohio are very similar.

Here's an intro for you to check out:

"They’re doing their makeup in a pickup truck as you step into that small-town gay bar and take a seat at the catwalk, where the queens striding down the line are fierce, and all because they have to be in these parts. It ain’t all about the coasts and a couple of Midwest strongholds anymore. Now there’s "Who the Hell is Rachel Wells?," the debut collection from J.R. Greenwell, a one-time headlining female illusionist in Dixie who now devotes his time to writing fiction and plays in central Kentucky.

 The title story kicks off the anthology, where a whole lot of people are about to get in a whole mess of trouble when Danny, a little boy with a taste for cosmetics and J.C. Penney’s catalogues, discovers a purse full of drag and trinkets that’s been left for the dogs near a rest stop off I-65 at the Kentucky-Indiana border. Danny’s mother Linda sifts through the purse and finds a note: "The contents in this bag belong to Rachel Wells... Take care of these items and give them a good home..."

Here is more of the review from the Edge in Boston:

"A slew of bizarre stories , some hilarious, some heartrending, and almost all of them as original as an Ionesco play with a good dose of David Lynch trompe l’oeil thrown in. "Silver Pumps and a Loose Nut" explores what happens when drag culture meets the criminal underworld and how a diva can still come out looking like Botticelli’s Venus -- or, better yet, Ursula Andress in "Dr. No" -- in the aftermath. Make sure your Puffs box is full when you read about the trials of the young gay and trans characters in "The Scent of Honeysuckle," "Spaghetti Kisses," and "A Colony of Barbies," as the protagonists attempt to stake whatever meager claim they can in a world that’s frozen them out. "Watch Me Walk" gives us the other side of the struggle when two gay seniors contemplate falling in love in a world that seems to belong to the young. "Starting Rumors" shows what happens when a bitter queen and his irascible hag at work stir the turd over lunch with the wrong colleague."

And yes kids, you did see the fleeting "trans" word even tossed out once in the review. Who said there wasn't change in the gay community? (Actually there is) thanks to girls like Pat.

Go here for more.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Still in the Fight

Perhaps you remember Nikki Araguz. (Shown below with her new family)

If you really remember her, she goes back to early talk show appearances on Jerry Springer I believe as a party girl with a little extra. She resurfaced in Texas years later with the story of the tragic death of her husband Thomas Araguz III ..  Thomas Araguz was a volunteer firefighter in Wharton, Texas and was killed in the line of duty in 2010.


However, Texas’ 2005 marriage amendment doesn’t recognize her marriage to a man and her 2008 marriage to her late husband, Thomas Araguz III, became invalid leaving her out of her husband's death benefits.

Now, the 13th District Court of Appeals in Corpus Christi will hear her case on Sept. 18. Araguz is appealing a 2011 ruling by Houston state district Judge Randy Clapp, who ruled that Araguz was born male and Texas’ 2005 marriage amendment doesn’t recognize her marriage to a man.

Advocate's are calling this case ‘incredibly important’ for transgender equality and it's way too difficult for a person of my limited intellect to explain.

Go here for more!

A "Smokin" Headline"

From the "Scottish Express":

 Sex swap cannabis farmer avoids a spell in the joint  Really?

 A SEX swap patient caught with cannabis worth more than £10,000 has escaped a prison sentence.

Mellow out and go here for more...wow, far out man!

Friday, September 13, 2013

How "ya" Like Us Now?

It seems daily there is more and more "coming out" news from the transgender world.
The first today comes through the "Huffington Post" Parent's Site and features a MtF transgender parent's story on coming out to her 10 year old son as well as others:






And then from Russia is Masha Bast (right) who is used to facing formidable tasks. As the chairwoman for the Association of Russian Lawyers for Human Rights, Bast has worked on some of the most high-profile and politically sensitive cases in the country. Only recently, with those cases having come to an end Bolotnaya has she found time to fully embrace another, deeply personal project: living her life as a woman. With the past and current wave of homo and transphobia in Russia, Masha most certainly is courageous at the least with her public transgender stance!

Read more here.

How encouraging is it that so many are stepping up and out of their closets to lend their lives to make our future better.

Cyrsti's Condo Quote of the Day

" When won't is used enough never will be along for a visit
shortly"

cyrsti hart

Jared Leto Makes a Woman?

The God like Jared Leto
Headline from The Rolling Stone : "Jared Leto makes a beautiful woman."

Will there now be a backlash from the immoral right? Really?  Jared Leto has made a woman?  Will the Catholics make him a saint?  After all, can't only God make a person?

Looking way back in my past, I had the same power.  More than once someone would say I made a great looking woman.  Where was she? Did I make that hot redhead down the sidewalk? Where was my spot in the Bible?

Of course I just didn't think I belonged up there with the grand creator.  Not only that, I found plenty of those who couldn't spell what I was. I became a gurl or a grrl and even a tranny.

I am happy to say most of all of this is fading quickly. Needless to say, I didn't make anyone and I now I promptly reject any and all shemale gender slurs directed at me.

I do wonder however how Jared Leto feels about his new found creation powers?