Friday, February 28, 2014

Behind Every Actor Playing a Trans Role...

Is an even better transgender woman training him. Or at least with Jared Leto, in the Dallas Buyer's Club.
From Fusion:

Oscars season is coming up, which means we’re about to shower actors with awards and praise for their work. But the people who help them portray such stirring roles are rarely recognized. Calpernia Addams (left) is one of those people. “I recorded all of his lines from the script and he listened to that audio for months during his preparation,” explained Addams. 

Actor Jared Leto used her audio to prepare for the role of Rayon, a transgender woman living with HIV in the 1980s in the film “Dallas Buyers Club.” Leto’s performance helped he and the film earn six Oscar nods. This isn’t the first time Addams has helped A-list actors portray transgender characters. After 4 years as a field medic in the Navy, Addams came out as a transgender woman. Since then, she’s been an activist for transgender rights and was even portrayed in the movie “Soldier’s Girl,” a film about her relationship with Navy Private First Class Barry Winchell and his brutal murder. 

Addams’ first Hollywood experience was training actor Lee Pace to play her in the film. She’s since consulted for Felicity Huffman and, most recently, Leto. Addams draws from her own experience as a transgender woman. Her coaching goes beyond portrayal: Addams wants her clients to have a deep emotional and psychological understanding of what it’s like to be a trans person in the U.S.

Read more here.

Cyrsti's Condo "Quote of the Day"

I may be different from you, but this is me, and I'm going to be me to the best that I can be because I'm beautiful and anyone who says different is just jealous!

First Arizona-Now Mississippi

Open for BusinessWe ran a post in Cyrsti's Condo yesterday about the Governor of Arizona vetoing a blatantly TGLB discrimination bill. Beware of one coming to your state too, as I of heard rumblings of here in Ohio.

This time though, it's the state of Mississippi attempting to take a giant step backwards and adopt a similar bill which was shot down in Arizona.

For more info, go here where you can go and add your two cents.

Cyrsti's Condo "Cover Girl" of the Day

Our feature cover today is Columbia's transgender model  Melania Armenta

Melania Armenta:transgenderMelania Armenta:transgender

Thursday, February 27, 2014

What Part of Ignorance Will They Ever Understand?

A contradiction in terms to be sure. An ignorant person never understands because they are ignorant and to be clear here, I'm separating ignorance from a simple lack of knowledge or understanding.

This post is a celebratory one, plus one which comes with a warning.  Recently, two positives took place which will impact the TGLB community.  The first of which was when the repeal of the so called "Co-ed School Bathroom Bill" was thrown out due to lack of signatures. The bill guarantee's equal restroom rights for transgender California students.

The second of which was the veto in Arizona of a bill which had the potential to send the state back to the old "Jim Crow" discrimination laws in the deep south.  Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed the controversial anti-gay SB 1062 on Wednesday, saying it would "create more problems than it purports to solve." "Religious liberty is a core American and Arizona value, so is non-discrimination," she said. Ironically, the rumor is the NFL and a threat to pull the Super Bowl out of the state, had more than a slight impact.

Unfortunately, the more victories we have, the more we need.  The right wing hate mongers are more than ready, willing and able to toss more road blocks in our paths as TGLB citizens. Some even try to erode the rights of genetic women too. I can carry it a step farther to you cross dressers who maybe considering a step or two out of the closet.  When I first came out, the mere fact an owner could boot me out of his store for dressing like a women, may have made the process almost impossible for me.  My point is (again) even if you are a heavily closeted CD or trans person, you need to discretely vote against these people!

Today though, we do have hard fought victories and we do have a vocal and an economic impact in our communities. Smart towns know a positive TGLB rights stand attracts commerce and I do my small part by driving by Chik-Fil-A and not buying Barilla Pasta in the store.  I respect the rights of the homo-phobic owners of those companies to their ideas and I have my right NOT to give them my money. Not unlike the NFL and Arizona on a tiny scale, I will do my part to help them not prosper. Just because they happened to be good business people does not make them good human beings!

The bottom line is, as with any other rights we have earned, no matter how small, we have to be increasingly diligent to keep them.

It's In Here Somewhere

Pat had a great comment for me not long ago, which for the life of me, I can't find. (No real surprise!)

In a post, I was mentioning my need to carry a "feminine hygiene product" in my purse in case I was asked by another woman for one in the restroom. She said something to the point of who would even ask me at my age?  Of coursed I loved it! 

Her age comment does bring me to another point though- age appropriate dressing. It's a huge deal for many genetic women as they have the need to cut their hair shorter every year and seemingly go out of their way to ignore every younger fashion trend.

The length of my hair alone takes me out of the 60+ female age category I'm in.  In other words, I don't blend.  By the time a genetic woman gets to my age (or vice versa) she has beaten her hair into submission over the years and her hormone levels are decreasing. Plus of course, hair is only a small part of the problem. To help me,   I am a follower of the Fabulous after 40  fashion site and on a recent update, here was the question:

Of all the questions my readers send me, the one I seem to get the most is a variation on the theme of age-appropriate dressing: “Can I wear short skirts/low-cut tops/bikinis/etc. at my age?”;“Does this make me look like I’m trying hard to be young?”; “Does this make me look old?”

If you follow the link above, you can find many pictures plus possible answers to the question.  As a transgender woman who didn't get a chance to transition until later in life, I'm seeking some sort of a middle ground.  I don't want to regress to my days of being the cross dresser in the mall squeezed into a mini and heels but I do want to squeeze enough style and fashion into what's left of my active life.

I'm lucky. Over the years, I did take the time as a guy to give a little extra love to my skin.  Between genetics, HRT, make up and smoke and mirrors, I can take a few visual years off my life.  In fact in some situations I threaten people with my ID to show them how old I really am.

Finally, the problem I know I have (along with so many other cross dressers or transgender women) is looking like I'm trying too hard. The only difference is I have two hurdles - age and gender.

Cyrsti's Condo "Cover Girl of the Day"

Our feature Cover Girl today is transgender woman Dorian Garcia 

Dorian Garcia

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

"Engineering" a Cross Dresser?

Miss Eng Philippines 2013 year in the Philippines, an engineering school has a womanless beauty pageant. Perhaps you have heard of or seen the results of the "Miss Eng" womanless beauty winners. If you have, you know these engineers aren't playing with with designing sexy exotic "women."

Here in Cyrsti's Condo, it's worth the time to go back and take a look!

The first is from 2013, the second from 2007.  This place has been engineering women for awhile! Wonder if they give cross dressing scholarships or if an aspiring transgender student chooses this school with an ulterior motive?

Miss Eng'g 2007

Breakfast with the "Kid"

First of all, we are talking about my "kid" who happens to be 35 and a mother of three. For those of you who happen to be new to Cyrsti's Condo, my daughter is incredibly supportive and in fact my MtF transition has made us closer.

Recently though, she has been pretty quiet about receiving a "transition" update.  I knew her life was incredibly full with her family so I let her come to me. At a recent breakfast. I could see the wheels turning in her noggin, so I knew it was time.

Coming up in June is my grand daughter's Bat Mitzva.  If you don't know, it's the female Jewish equivalent of her coming of age ceremony.  The group of people attending will be incredibly diverse, religiously and politically. An example is I was baptized Methodist, became involved with Buddhism in Thailand when I was there and now am evolving into more of an earth based spiritualism. I guarantee you, most of the people there won't want to talk religion with me, and they shouldn't.  Nor, should they be distracted by my appearance anymore than I can help it.  As I have written many times, my HRT is transforming me into an androgynous person at the least and there will be a group of radical right wingers attending.  Of course I can tie all this hair I have back into a pony tail and look for an xxl very loose shirt of some sort to hide my breasts but my skin gives me away too. My only consideration is, it is my grand daughter's day and I don't need to be a distraction at all.  I don't think my daughter really cared but just needed to know what to expect.

Issue two with her was bouncing the name change off her and what goes on with the process of gender markers. She liked the idea of changing my name to Jessie but unfortunately had never gotten to meet or know my grandfather who I'm "adopting" the name from.

The only unfinished business was what were the kids going to call me in the future and when.  My only answer to the question was to follow the status quo for awhile. The two oldest kids (12 and 8) know but the six year old doesn't.  My suggestion was at some point in the future, it will be time for a sit down with just the three of them and me to "announce" the move. As it stands now, until I can get totally sold out of my old homestead and down to Cincinnati full time, there still are bits and pieces of my old self to deal with-as a guy or even as a cross dresser.

As you can probably tell, breakfast was a total success and she even paid!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Call the Maid!

 For those of you who visit Cyrsti's Condo who need a maid service, here are a couple of sissy suggestions!

He likes ruffles and petticoats and being his girlfriend's special maid.

"Budget Girl" Make Up!

If you are a beginning cross dresser or a transgender woman hitting the world full time, for any number of reasons, I know many of you just can't afford the pricey make up stores which are popping up everywhere.  I number myself in your ranks, especially now since my make up usage has increased so dramatically.

Now when I see a site which promotes "the best of" Drugstore Foundations, I pause to take a look. It seems I always struggle with a foundation.  Once I find one I believe works well (in my budget) I run into sunburn in the summer and now windburn in the winter as HRT changes my skin. Gallons of moisturizer are my best friend!

Fortunately now, in reasonable weather, I can apply light foundation no matter how I'm dressed and not look like Bruce Jenner.

I'm also lucky the super sized grocery store I shop at has a very good make up selection and they run sales all the time.  I can research the product and then get even a better deal.

This site is a little older but I imagine the information is at the least, a good starting point!  Check it out here.

The Bottom of Cyrsti's Purse

I have been at this game of throwing my good old billfold in the corner and expanding into a purse for some time now.  I think Spring is coming, so I'm considering my new spring bag but first I had to get brave and stick my hand into the depths of the bag I carry now.

Fortunately, I came out unscathed except for a few old memories resting down there.  One of which was stirred this morning by a dance number by the Radio City Rockette's on television.  My second wife was a huge fan of the Rockette's and of course (unbeknownst to her) not as big as I. So this morning stirred up many bittersweet memories.

Also in my purse, I ran across one of the "feminine hygiene" products I carry as an emergency "prop" for my women's restroom visit's.  As luck would have it this morning, I happened across another post about "securing your restroom pass".  Most of it is not really new territory we haven't covered before here in Cyrsti's Condo but it's never bad to review such an important topic.  All too often I think the subject is treated as one of those "I'm better than you" bitchy tools in our community. Like "ooh I use the pristine women's room all the time" why don't you? Number one Look down before you sit and number two why do we as transgender or cross dressers have to make it some sort of a badge of success?

It's from the "Sister House Blog"  and you can read it here.

Excuse me while I get back to braving the depths of my purse and practicing my dance kicks!

Cyrsti's Condo "Cover Girl" of the Day

Dallas Hernandez - NicaraguaToday we feature another Latina beauty, Dallas Hernandez  Miss Gay Nicaragua 2013

Monday, February 24, 2014

Cyrsti's Condo "Power Scope!"

I believe this the first "fashion orientated" scope I have seen!

Libra: (September 23-October 22): It’ll feel as if you have two left feet, so don’t let your inner fashion victim make your decisions. Otherwise, choosing vanity over safety will have its consequences and it won’t be pretty. So, ground yourself with sensible shoes and text only while you’re sitting, because caution will be your best asset now.

Well, no one has ever accused me of being coordinated and the years of working on hard unforgiving restaurant floors have pretty well diminished my ability to wear heels, I think I will be fine!

Don't get left out!  Go here to theFrisky to get your "scope."

Cyrsti's Condo "Cover Girl" of the Day

Isabella Santiago - Miss Gay Venezuela 2012

                                                                                  Isabella Santiago - Miss Gay Venezuela 2012

Sunday, February 23, 2014

This "Pool Boy" Brought His Own "Nets"

Fish Nets that is.  He is already on the "high dive" in those heels!

This is a whole new kind of "pool boy!"

Cyrsti's Condo "Sunday Edition"

Hello again "Condo-ites", ker plunk! (As Wendy would say) the Sunday Edition just hit your front door!

Page 1.- AKA Jessie.
Not long ago I wrote about thinking of changing my name again as I enter the gender marking phase of my transition.  For some reason, I had the opportunity this weekend to be around people who didn't know me at all.  My partner Liz went to a meeting Friday night and the first thing they did was go around the room and ask for names and I said Cyrsti Hart.  Later on that night before I went to sleep, I thought a second unrelated meeting in the morning may be a time to "try out" my family name of Jessie on for size to see how it felt.
The next morning, I did just that and really surprised Liz, who had no idea I was going to take the step.  I introduced myself as Jessie Hart.  You may ask, "How did that work for you?"  Strangely (even for me) after I said the name in public, I felt a rush of belonging.  It's a fun androgynous name to start with and as I said, is part of my past.
Later on in the day I used it again to order a pizza and began to think of the enormity of what I'm doing- yet again.
Then again, isn't the transition process enormous in itself?

Page 2.- Memories.  I already mentioned Wendy above but I didn't mention a further chat we had about our past which happened to include having paper routes.  I don't think anymore, many kids have paper routes. Some would say kids aren't motivated enough to work a route and some would say it is not safe for them to do it. I would think the latter.
Over the decades, I lost touch with how I had the financial means to buy my own "stash" of girl's clothes and makeup.  I forgot my paper route.  Between the route and a weekly allowance I received from Mom and Dad, I began to have a real reason to make money-I needed new make up!

Even better, I had the opportunity to spend my income (the American way!).  My Grandma lived a mere four or five blocks from a real live thriving downtown in the town I lived just outside of. It was a match made in heaven, I'm sure my parents were just as eager to get rid of my 12 year old behind, as I was to spend my money on wondrous new girl stuff.  Once I got to Grandma's it was certainly OK if I walked downtown and got out of her hair too.  Once I was down there,  a couple of the old "five and dime" stores became my favorite place to get scared to death, rush in, try to buy the best makeup I could and escape back into the world.  Makeup wasn't my only purchase either.  One magical day, I found my first pair of women's shoes that actually fit and I could afford.

As Wendy proved I wasn't the only kid of our age demographic who worked a "route".  It taught us the power of money and how to be entrepreneurs (I couldn't wait to expand my route into a new housing development.)   What differentiates us was exactly what we were using the money for.

Page 3.- Week in Review.  This past seven days saw no more new dramatic interviews with transgender icons but plenty of rumblings still reverberating.  As they should.  Plus a few more barriers were crashed in places such as Virginia who approved the rights of transgender athletes to participate in the sport they desire, as their chosen gender.

Finally, on a negative note we addressed the needs of senior trans  women and men.

Back always our time passes so quickly.  Thanks to all for stopping by "theCondo"

Cyrsti's Condo "Cover Girl" of the Day

Our feature "Condo Cover Girl" today is the androgynous Sebastian Simon:

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Cysrti's Condo "Quote of the Day"

After hearing Elton John's "I'm Still Standing" tune, I had a brief moment of euphoria when I thought...Hey! that's me!
Then I thought
"I'm still standing-and it's hurting my old knees!"

Cyrsti's Condo "Cover Girl" of the Day.

Today we feature androgynous male model
Konstantin Minaev.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Cyrsti's Condo "Image of the Day"


Number One in Late Night Drag?

New NBC Late Night host Jimmy Fallon certainly has been no stranger to donning a dress and performing drag.  As far as participating guests go, his recent skit with Michelle Obama and Will Ferrell will have to go towards the top.

As far as late night ratings go, it remains to be seen how Fallon will do, except in the drag department.

The only competitor as I see it, is the oft forgotten Arsenio Hall. He is shown here (in a shot (below)  from his appearance along side Eddie Murphy, in the 1988 movie Coming to America. Which, as I remember, Hall tried to distance himself from.


Cyrsti's Condo "Quote of the Day"


Cyrsti's Condo "Cover Girl" of the Day

Today we feature another of the androgynous male models from around the world....Luiss San Murguia from Mexico.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

It's Never Easy

It's very obvious I'm transitioning towards the end of my life.  What may not be so obvious is the amount of interaction I have had with other younger transgender women considering their transitions. The only constant is, a gender transition is never easy.  While a younger person may have the benefit of building a life from scratch in their chosen gender, in fact an older person may be close to or in retirement and not have to worry about a work transition at all.

Then, there is the ever important "appearance" factor which seemingly benefits a younger trans person who doesn't have the effect of living years and years in an unwanted gender. However, with out being too derogatory, later in life women begin to gain heavy features and sag when men lose their "T" naturally and start to soften.

All ages agree medical coverage availability and legal rights are huge injustices.  I have talked with several young transgender women who are just incensed they have to go to a therapist for permission to even start HRT.  On the other hand, I just don't want to face the day when I'm taken to the hospital with this highly androgynous body I'm developing especially with new gender markers.

Ironically, it was my generation (the baby boomers) who could have made a serious impact with all of this but just didn't get it done for what ever reason.   Just as ironic is I picked up this story from Al Jazeera America:

In the end, living an authentic life is a financial risk for transgender individuals. A 2013 study found that transgender workers report unemployment rates two times higher than the population as a whole, and are generally underemployed, more likely to have lower income and more likely to be in an unstable housing situation. But there’s always retirement, right? Not always. As more and more transgender individuals get older, the unique challenges they face are becoming apparent. Shortfalls in health care could mean the difference between life and death for some. Discrimination in retirement communities or assisted-living facilities could tarnish the golden years, and a later-in-life transition could leave some ostracized from the families they’ve loved their whole lives.  

But just when you think all is lost, there are beginnings of hope here and there, such as the group Forge which is described as a transgender support group with a focus on aging.

As I said, no one has it easy and the younger trans generation seems to have the task well in hand of changing the world from their end.  We old-timers need to do the same!

Follow the links above for more information on all of this!

Aubrey Frost Update

A couple of you commented on the Aubrey Frost post, asking more about where she was in life.  I did research her a bit more and a couple of the more active "in the know" peeps seemed to think she just went stealth and that was it.

Being the persistent researcher I am, I found a artist at a hair salon in San Diego who looked a lot like her, and of all things, an attorney working in a firm very close to where I live (no picture). Just love a mystery!

Cyrsti's Condo "Quote of the Day"

#lgbt #genderFrom

Cyrsti's Condo "Womanless Wonder"

Awwwwright, here is my disclaimer kids.  I happen upon these untitled pictures which I think are involved with a womanless beauty pageant of sorts. Then, I come up with an off the wall idea of what the person is thinking.

Dammit! They didn't tell me ALL those peeps would be here for the show. Why didn't I wear the blond wig instead of Tom? is my latest:
"Dammit!" First they talked me into shaving my legs, doing my nails and wearing these heels. But what's up with this crummy wig and hell no I'm not leaving like this to go eat beer and wings.  Wait though, I came here like this!   Ooooh how will I pee?

VHSL Adopts Policy for Transgender Student Athletes

VHSL Adopts Policy for Transgender Student Athletes: With proper documentation, a high schooler can now play sports alongside the gender with which he or she identifies.

Gender 'Dreamin"

Certainly, I'm not the only one of you Cyrsti's Condo readers who has had regular dreams about cross dressing or even crossing the gender line and being a genetic girl.

Anymore, I don't have them so much anymore.  I'm far from a dream "expert" but it could be because of the chance I have had to finally transition. I do know back in my earlier years, I had quite a few dreams I didn't want to wake up from. I was a girl or woman and so bad to stay one.  I was grumpy for hours as I "adjusted" back into my male world.

The reason I'm writing this post here in the Condo is last night I had an interesting dream.  Can't quite remember all the details except I was out all night, looked very ragged and had to see my Mom.  I had all this dark black curly hair (about the length of my hair with more curl) and I was in a restroom desperately trying to "freshen up."  Of course, I couldn't find the needed necessary makeup in my purse.  So, finally I said to hell with it and off I went to meet Mom.  I never did meet her, as I don't encounter in my dreams many of the loved ones in my life who have passed on. I also don't know if there was a question in the dream of me being genetic or transgender.

What I do remember thinking was-after the night out I had, I couldn't be pregnant! Always the realist!

Cyrsti's Condo "Cover Girl" of the Day

Today in "the Condo" we go south of the border (not Kentucky, sillies) and feature Keta Rubio the Mexican transgender beauty queen.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Most Boys Loved Playboy...

Holly White

Back in the "dark ages" of gender confusion in my life, it was the thing to do to "break into" my Dad's stash of Playboy Magazines when my friends came over.

The problem was of course, I wasn't getting the same "charge" out of them as my friends were and I wasn't attracted sexually to them either. The closest I ever came to "attraction" was what I think now was a huge school girl crush I had on one of my friends. To make matters worse the extreme possibly of doing a stint in the Army was bearing down on me as the Vietnam "non war" continued to escalate. My problem was simple,  my gender and sexual "synapses" in my noggin were switched and very few people had any idea of how to deal with it except for just stop it.  It would have been easier to have known I was gay because I would have something concrete to have dealt with.

To this day, I rarely get any sort of a sexual charge of looking at a woman (and even less from men)  but I get a real charge of wanting to be like her. "Back in the day" of course,  photo examples of transvestites and/or female impersonators were extremely rare in my part of the world and mainly in what amounted to be seedy porn stores. When they did surface however, I was floored.  I thought how was it possible a guy could look that good dressed as a woman?

Looking back, if you asked me for a truthful answer of what I wanted to be when I grew up; it wasn't a doctor, lawyer of fireman, no I wanted to be a woman. If I could have ever understood what I was feeling. Oh well, better late than never, right?

Interestingly, a couple pictures got me started down this long neglected path of self discovery:

The first is a vintage picture of classic female impersonator Holly White...and the second picture is of female mimic Robin Roberts....

Robin Roberts | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Nicki Araguz Fights On!

Seems like it has been decades since I saw a cross dressed beauty named Justin do battle with a couple of guys she met at a party on the Jerry Springer Show.  Wait! It has been decades.

Now according to the Courthouse News Service in Texas:

A transgender woman whose firefighter husband died in the line of duty may have a case for benefits, a Texas appeals court ruled Nikki Paige Araguz, (left) 38, who was born Justin Graham Purdue, sought judicial review in April 2012 of a finding that she is not the proper legal beneficiary of Thomas Araguz III, a Wharton County volunteer firefighter. Araquz was killed while fighting a fire in July 2010 at an egg plant. 

 Soon after his death, Arguz's mother, Simona Longoria, sued for a declaration that his marriage was void because it was a same-sex marriage, which is illegal in Texas. Araguz's ex-wife, Heather Delgado, later intervened in the case on behalf of her two children, agreeing the marriage was void. A Wharton County judge later voided the marriage on summary judgment but a three-judge panel with the 13th District Court of Appeals reversed Thursday. Ultimately there is "a genuine issue of material fact regarding Nikki's sex and whether the marriage was a same sex marriage," Chief Justice Rogelio Valdez wrote for the court.

Of course the contention is that Nikki's SRS still doesn't legally change her gender to female and as I remember, speculation was this case could go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Which would be huge. Let's hope she wins!

Cyrsti's Condo "Cover Girl" of the Day

Aubrey Lynn FrostOur feature cover girl today in "the Condo" is Aubrey Frost.  If my memory serves me correct, which is rare, Aubrey showed up on the scene several years ago as she began college and was wondering how to express her cross dressing with friends and others.  I wonder if she ever got it figured out?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

In the Passing Lane

"Back in the day", being able to navigate the public as a woman with no problems was called passing, then the transgender PC term became presenting and now Janet Mock cleared the air about both.

We have talked a little about Mock's new book called "Redefining Realness" here in Cyrsti's Condo but since I haven't read it yet, I'm restricted to what I can find on line about it.

Recently, I did find her YouTube video on "passing".  Cutting to the chase, what she says of course is so true. "I'm (Janet) am not passing as anything, I'm just me."  I already know what most of you are thinking. If the rest of us even came close to looking like she does, we wouldn't have to worry about passing any how!

The reason I believe those thoughts are wrong is, sure Janet Mock is gorgeous but regardless, she stepped up and out to speak for the rest of us and said a lot. All of the sudden,  transsexual, transgender or cross dresser,  you  had a person of substance (not going stealth) speaking for you.

On a much smaller level than Janet Mock, I can attest about how much my transgender world opened as soon as I owned up to who I am. Plus, we have had regular contributors to the "Condo" ( Pat)  attest to it too.

Now, let's take a look at Cyrsti's Condo big screen for what Janet Mock had to say on passing:

Cyrsti's Condo "Cover Girl" of the Day

Our featured Cover Girl today in the "Condo" is Sheila Verissimo

Sheila Verissimo

Cyrsti's Condo "Book Nook"

I mentioned Bobbie Thompson's upcoming book "My Husband Looks Better in Lingerie Than I Do...Dammit" not so long ago here in the "Condo". Well, it's not upcoming any more! Here's a look:

Bobbie Thompson, the supportive spouse of a transgender male-to-female, tells her side of their story in "My HUSBAND Looks Better in Lingerie Than I Do ... DAMN IT," in this companion memoir to "Hung in the Middle: A Journey of Gender Discovery," ( written by her spouse, Alana Nicole Sholar. After knowing 'him' for nearly 25 years, and even sharing a three-year intimate relationship in the mid-1990's, upon seeing 'her' for the first time in 2006, Bobbie was freaked out and didn't want to have anything to do with 'her.' 

Two years later, December 31, 2008, they were married. But marriage was only the beginning of this wild and wonderful ride they share called life. Often when Bobbie shares with others that her spouse is transgender she is asked, "Why in the world would you choose to be married to someone like that." "My HUSBAND Looks Better in Lingerie Than I Do ... DAMN IT" answers that question and further explains theirs is a happy marriage, although they face the same pitfalls faced in any marriage, such as financial difficulties, in addition to many situations other marriages may never encounter, such as Alana being diagnosed as HIV positive. 

Bobbie's is a transition story ... not a story of physical transition as are most stories about transgender persons, but a story of transition of perspective ... from ignorance and misunderstanding to educated and informed. Bobbie and Alana still live in the same rural Kentucky town where they both grew up ... only Alana grew up there as a male. "My HUSBAND Looks Better in Lingerie Than I Do ... DAMN IT," not only shares true experiences and lessons learned from those experiences, but is a life transforming love story.

Go here to Amazon to order your copy!

Two Female Impersonation Classics

Laverne Cummings - One of the first real boys. A gorgeous boy who easily passed as a gorgeous girl and with a beautiful female sounding singing voice. In this early period of his career he used his on hair as he could not afford a wig. Being a man with long feminine styled hair was very controversial and brave in the early 1960s. If Laverne could do it 50 years ago, you can do it today. Love  her hair, love your hair.

Any more, you have to be a "little more mature" to even remember the use of the "female impersonation" term.

William Reynolds - No Questions Asked - film UK - 1951 by stana-stana, via FlickrMuch of the time, it was even considered to be an art form.

This first picture is of William Reynolds (left) who is up to no good robbing a group of women in a theater powder room of their jewelry. William along with another impersonator got off of work in a club they worked in to do the heist in the 1951 movie "No Questions Asked".

Before you scramble to rent it, the drag scene is actually a small part of the movie.  Also it is shown every now and then on the Turner Classic Movie Channel. As you can see though, Reynolds is good.

The second featured female impersonator is Laverne Cummings (above right)  who as you can see was one of the classic performers of all times!

Monday, February 17, 2014

"Wing Girl"?

No sillies, not eating wings and staining your new manicures, I'm talking about trying to set up a lesbian friend with another lesbian in a bar.

I have a friend who playfully asked me why I couldn't have done just that for her one night when she was hot on the track of a femme blond in this gay venue we were in.  We all know, often, when someone "playfully" asks something - they mean it.  Especially when its a genetic woman who is asking.  Of course, at the time, I was a little slow on the uptake and didn't do it but began to think why couldn't I? This could be another one of those ultra unique "bucket list" opportunities to experience like a bachelorlette party.

Why this falls into my lap is, my friend does not have a partner. When events come up where she is sure will have a number of lesbians in attendance, she wants to drag me along (no pun intended).  So, I'm sure I will have a chance to be a "wing girl" in the future.  Of course I wondered how I would even go about doing it.  Looking back, I don't even think I did the "wing thing" as a guy.

Finally, I came to the conclusion the process may be easier.  Number one, she is femme and attractive which should open her availability up in the room and number two, as a transgender girl-I would certainly open the door quickly or slam it shut.  Either way, it would be simpler than sitting there watching her squirm in her seat about approaching someone. Plus, the more secure I am with my feminine self, the less shy I am! I would have no problem asking someone else to please talk to my friend because she is driving me nuts!

So, the next time she asks for a "wing girl" I'm taking flight.

Cyrsti's Condo "Quote of the Day"


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Too Much Style for One Gender

Me by Volleysteph, via FlickrA "Cyrsti's Condo" Pick-Pic!

"Your Type" Can NOT Come IN

Perhaps you have heard of Helen Boyd.  Her books, including My Husband Betty would be one of my choices to give to a spouse when you are coming out for the first time as a cross dresser or transgender woman.

Her blog is called En Gender and a recent post called UnValentine caught my eye.  Evidently she wrote it when her and her partner were not welcomed in a "woman's only" space.  Here's an excerpt:

Why should someone’s transition negate the partner’s identity as a lesbian? The whole idea that they wouldn't “look like” a lesbian couple is infuriating – the same argument was made against butch/femme couples back in the day. 

 Here’s the thing: as a community, could we maybe start to acknowledge that people transition, and that they have histories, and identities, and life experiences, all of which may not tidily map onto our models of “straight” and “gay”? Can we allow trans couples to decide how to negotiate their own identities as individuals and couples instead of everyone else telling us where we belong? Can a trans guy honor his own past and his relationship’s past without other trans men telling him he’s sold out his gender and trans people everywhere? 

Are lesbians really not used to guys transitioning yet? A little compassion would be awesome from groups who are now and who have been, historically, excluded discreetly and explicitly, kindly and hatefully. Trans partners are often a wrench in the homo/hetero works, but sometimes we get eaten by the gears. 

Well said! For more, go here.

Cyrsti's Condo "Cover Girl" of the Day

Our featured "Cover Girl" is transgender model Naam

Cyrsti's Condo Sunday Edition

Page one.- "Book em Danno"  a quote from Hawaii Five-O- fame, gets us started this Sunday Morning. I was using the quote to get us to the Facebook announcement this week they were going to open up their gender options....really open them up to approx 50 different gender categories. I met the news with enthusiasm, other's not so much, which is understandable.  One of my lesbian friends was simply surprised with the number of categories and I told her, someone at Facebook probably thought if they (FB), opened the door to a couple different gender categories, they better do it for all they could think of.

Another opinion comes from Condo visitor Alexis Michelle:

Last night I listened to a show that was talking about not only this but the entire gender identity issue. The question came up as to exactly why Facebook did this now. I guess the host is one who questions "why" many things happen. So does Facebook have an ulterior motive for this move? Is this an attempt to begin putting people into pigeon slots for some future purpose, be it good or not? I don't know myself, but I'm going to leave my gender as female regardless of this. Heck, I don't even know what some of those terms truly mean. But even with the ones I am familiar with, I'd have to choose between more than one. Too many options in my humble opinion...........

Thanks Alexis Michelle and I'm sure you are right, somewhere, sometime, someone may use the information and send it off to "Big Brother" for less than good reasons.  However, I think any kind of census count of the TGLB community may be good for at least we "T"'s.  If you remember, not long ago some "official" count listed transgender women and transgender men as nearly as rare as a Republican voting for same sex marriage. So as I said, if Facebook comes up with a surprising number of trans users who change their gender listings (Like you Michelle, I used the female option previously too.)- a light bulb may go on and Big Brother may realize we are a force to be reckoned with.

Who knows?

Page 2.- We took a break, a potty break in a safe place and sent along a link which lists places where transgender women or men and cross dressers can "pee in peace".  I went on the site called Refuge Restrooms and added a few of my own.  All too often these days I believe I'm beginning to see restroom "privilege" as yet another "hierarchy" hammer being used in our community.  I'm better than you because I'm "accomplished" enough to use the women's room without incident and you are not. Obviously we don't need another hammer being used and a site such as Refuge, helps negate it.

Page 3.- Media "splashes" last week turned into tidal waves for the transgender community when icons such as Laverne Cox, Carmen Carrera, and Janet Mock jumped into the pool with very public interviews. All three put the spotlight on our lives and tried to take it away from our genitalia.  All of them pushed ahead with a unified, much needed public statement which has yet to work for me but might sooner more than later. I still encounter the occasional "civilian" on line or even in public, who just has to know what is or isn't, between my legs.  Again, I was bemoaning the fact I was being "sexualized" vs "genderized" by these people with my lesbian friend I mentioned above....she said relax they are just curious about you (me).  Easy for her to say because years ago she asked me the same question and certainly genetic women are the most curious group in the human race!

Page 4.- Fact or Freak?  Sure looks to me like Bruce Jenner just might have been dabbling in a little HRT which certainly doesn't make him a freak but the way he is handling it does.

Back Page.- Well, I hope those of you still getting pummeled by terrible weather on the East Coast of the United States are getting back to normal and a big WOW to Micheal Sam  a NFL draft prospect who came out as gay before the draft!

Hope you all have a good week and as always, it's all of you who make the Cyrsti's Condo what it is today!

Cyrsti's Condo "Quote of the Day"

Momma Karma Rules All! Blessed be the Goddess!

The Ego of Transition

I don't pretend to play or think in the arena of transgender icon's such as Janet Mock who recently released a new book called Redefining Realness.  Of course, her recent interview with Piers Morgan stirred up controversy as did Katie Couric with Laverne Cox and Carmen Carerra.  Both Morgan and Couric to a degree wanted to focus on the mechanics of transition rather than the person involved.

My question is, isn't that a huge reason we can't get along well in our own community? How many times have you seen me use the term Trans Nazi to describe someone who feels they should move to the head of the line just because of money expended and pain suffered? I know for sure, there have been cross dressers who have felt I would be the same way, simply because I live a feminine life; and let's not forget the usual genitalia questions I always get.  So, I guess I'm in the same boat and did all the uproar help me?

That's the world today, right?  What's in it for me?  Don't get me wrong. I get sick and tired of being asked about what is between my legs, I can only imagine what it would be like for Carmen, Janet or Laverne. I do find it positive they all pushed back.

I'm not naive enough to think the world will get to a point where we can be defined as women and not transgender women anytime soon.  We still have too much ground to cover and in my case, I will never be able to take the "trans" off my identity. Sixty plus years of male dominated living is simply too much to overtake.  Then again who cares?  Sure, there will always be the haters.  The Rad Femme Lesbians or Trans Nazi's probably won't go away in my lifetime. Then again, do I care?  Not so much. I'm selfish. I just want to navigate the world as closely to a woman as I can. It is quite the liberating experience for me and I will fight like hell to keep it.

Yes, on occasion all the transgender icon's do help me.  In fact more of the world is now educated to the fact there are more of me than they thought and I'm very real.  In the end, we are just trying to live our lives the best we know and along the way, we are all similar to Janet Mock.

We are simply redefining what realness is to us.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Enough is Enough-or Is It?

I really liked the fact Facebook opened up it's gender options so I could identify as a transgender woman....but....when they opened it up, they weren't playing!

Check this list:

Agender Androgyne Androgynous Bigender Cis Cisgender Cis Female Cis Male Cis Man Cis Woman Cisgender Female Cisgender Male Cisgender Man Cisgender Woman Female to Male FTM Gender Fluid Gender Nonconforming Gender Questioning Gender Variant Genderqueer Intersex Male to Female MTF Neither Neutrois Non-binary Other Pangender Trans Trans* Trans Female Trans* Female Trans Male Trans* Male Trans Man Trans* Man Trans Person Trans* Person Trans Woman Trans* Woman Transfeminine Transgender Transgender Female Transgender Male Transgender Man Transgender Person Transgender Woman Transmasculine Transsexual Transsexual Female Transsexual Male Transsexual Man Transsexual Person Transsexual Woman Two-Spirit


We've come along way baby! I can remember when transgender wasn't even a recognized word!

They Said What???

By now you all have noticed how I love to speculate on what womanless pageant participants are really thinking here in Cyrsti's Condo.
is he going to a prom?? ask his girlfriend
Here are a couple more:

Oh Oh! I came out of this looking a little too good.  DON"T SMILE and act lack you enjoy this!!!!


So what if I got him to shave his legs, those heels will have to get to him sooner or later.  Hmmmn, wait a minute, he is a little too comfortable. Has he done this drag stuff before? Dammit! I'm doomed! Look at him! First I have to compete with my girlfriends, now him?

My Boyfried is a Girlfriend Drag by MalibuKenDoll, via Flickr They look sooo cute together!

I Need All the "Culture" I can Get!

One of the fascinating positives I have learned about my partner (Liz) is how many interests she has which off set mine.  First of all, she can do all the things I can't like sing, draw and craft items.  She works with jewelry, necklaces and knitting pieces too.  I can't carry a tune, can't draw stick figures and would injure myself knitting.

Although, I have enough interests to go around, on occasion I feel a little bad or even behind when she asks to go places which feature any kind of art.  I have always fancied myself as a person who could appreciate art but then get lost in the ideas. Plus I am totally in awe of anyone who has artistic ability.  An example was a weekend or so ago when we had a chance to go to a mini art viewing in a craft brewery. Talk about ideal! Of course I said yes. One of the artists was a tall blond who locked eyes with me for a moment. Of course I wondered if she read me as trans and I was wondering how she got that tall.  The meeting of the eyes was brief and she went about her business and I went about finding the beer...priorities.

Look, I do appreciate the work an artist puts into their pieces but I'm always trying to prove to Liz  I'm not such an uncultured hillbilly girl from Southern Ohio after all and recently I had a prime chance.
Pamela Ann Reed
Pamela Ann Reed (right)  is a transgender artist from Columbus, Ohio who is on the cusp of getting her work into a few major shows.  I have corresponded with Pamela in the past on Facebook primarily since we live so close to each other.

Pamela's Art Sample
The last time we "chatted" I asked her why she didn't plan on showing her art at the annual "Trans Ohio" meeting which I presented at last year.  She said she did and of course I felt like an idiot!

Always being the one to attempt to turn a negative into a positive. (I'm used to screwing up and shoving my foot into my mouth.)  I thought immediately of how fascinated Liz would be with her work.  For once I could bring class and culture to the relationship! Yay! I asked Pamela about meeting Liz and she graciously said sure and why wait until the end of May when Trans Ohio happens.

So, as soon as we get out from under this nasty Polar Vortex winter cycle, it turns out Liz and I have a vortex of fun we can do.  Other than visiting Pam, we need to try to get down towards Lexington, Kentucky and have coffee with transgender author Bobbie and her wife.

I'll make a believer out of Liz yet!  Jimmy Buffet tickets just went on sale for his legendary summer concert in Cincinnati and rumor has it I may be more of a parrot head than a regular orchestra concert goer....maybe all of this will help me be a balanced person!

Quotes To Live By

I found several of these on Pinterest which were not specifically tied in with the transgender lifesytle, but then again were.  Here's is one of the more radical ones in Cyrsti's Condo:


The Times-They are a 'Changing'

I saw this picture and article from the San Gabriel Valley Tribune about yet another young transgender woman running for a high school Homecoming Princess spot.

Two things got my attention, the first of which was, here's another transgender person willing to step out of the shadows and live her life the way she wants to and the look of Dad in the picture.

I could speculate on what he was thinking other than violence but I thought how wonderful it was he was there in a tux supporting his daughter. This actually took place last fall and now the transgender high school student is seeking approval to play on the girl's softball team.

Speaking of wonderful, I did go Facebook this afternoon and proudly changed my gender marker to "Trans Woman!"  I am hoping enough transgender Facebook users do it to the extent the numbers count up and our culture is recognized for it!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Potty in Peace

Logo darkAs I was catching up Cyrsti's Condo, I read one of Stana's posts in Femulate about a site called Refuge Restrooms.  

Like her, I am going to pass along the link to all of you. Depending of course of where you are in your transition and how your presentation is coming along, the simple act of going to the potty can be problematic. I have told you my restroom stories of being called a perve, cops called twice and possibly being tarred and feathered by two women in a state in the deep south when I was on a bus tour with my partner. It's only been recently that restroom problems seem to be in my past and every once in a while, I run my "do's and don'ts" of using the "women's room".

In the meantime, you can visit the "Refuge" site here and maybe add your own to the list.

Cyrsti's Condo "Cover Girl" of the Day

Our feature transgender woman today is Karla Karrillo from Mexico.

She's Baaaack!

Sorry I missed a posting day here in Cyrsti's Condo yesterday.  I was actually "in transit" again between my house and my partners house which is a couple hours away.  I have written many times how I go there to seek refuge from the cold (and any other number of reasons I will let you use your imagination for.)

Finally we have climbed from a -20 degree wind chill earlier this week, to a balmy summer like 39 yesterday.  Also, when I leave my circa 1850's house, I essentially shut it down. I'm glad warmer temps are finally on their way, 50's next week, because these shut downs are killing the house- and me.

When I came back yesterday, I even had to put a special heater on my old computer to coax it back to life. Kind of like me in the morning!

The worse part about this is, I'm not particularly happy to be back in the old homestead and I am working hard to get it cleaned out of all my years of memories and on the sales market later this year.  The weather this winter, set my schedule back.

I don't what I did in my previous lives to deserve the transitory tone I have in this one, but it must have been severe. From my 8+ years of bouncing who knows where in my college and Army years, to my transgender spirit, I was certainly destined to be where I am-between houses too!

Well, at the least, I thank Momma Karma for keeping it interesting!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Gender "Marks the Spot"

Here in Cyrsti's Condo, I have discussing my current plans to begin to take the next big step in my Mtf transition and change my gender markers.  With gender markers, you don't realize how many there are. I knew when I wrote the post, (as I said) I know a couple transgender friends who have changed their markers,including Shelle.  Recently she was kind enough to take her time and comment:

Certainly changing my markers has been the most difficult and arduous of all my tasks as I transition,It is a huge undertaking that tests your very resolve as a transgender, even armed with legal court documents some of it is just a miserable slog through a system that has known me as M for a lifetime and many of them are just plain resistant to change things and it takes sometimes a month or more to just change simple things like your electric,and gas account,and all the other accounts related to your previous existence you are left in some cases for a time thinking you suddenly don't exist at all,it two times for my bank to get my checks right so I could begin paying my bills again the whole thing gets done but not without a huge amount of perseverance.

By far dealing with the rules in my state are the worst for me,as they require a minimum of genital mutilation to acknowledge me as F,I'm sure they don't give much thought to it but they are asking me to give up likely on a permanent basis my ability to ever have sexual satisfaction as I have known it all my life,that's asking a very lot of a person just to give me the dignity of being who I truly am,I have thought very long and hard about going through with this major step in life,but having my markers changed is as important to me as the HRT was, so I will move forward reluctantly feeling somewhat stripped of my right to human dignity, I personally feel this is cruel and unusual punishment of my diagnosed condition,and I pray it will be changed for those behind me, not all of us has the monies or inclination to have the surgery. so for while longer I have to live somewhere between M&F branded as it were as T.

I'm in the same situation as Shelle because of for whatever reason, I don't see SRS in my future.  Our differences lie in which state we live in. For example, here in Ohio, changing your legal name isn't very difficult in most counties and changing a driver's license isn't either. However, I don't believe you can get a birth certificate changed here, with or without SRS.

The "big dog" Social Security changed it's policy sometime ago to: allow transgender people to change the gender designation on their Social Security records by submitting either an amended passport or birth certificate reflecting the applicant's lived gender, or certification from a physician confirming that the individual has undergone appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition.

If you are a cynic like me, you are looking for the "catch 22" in the process. I wondered,if in the end, an amended birth certificate (not possible) would stop me from getting an amended passport? But that's not true either according to this release: A transgender person can obtain a passport reflecting his or her current gender by submitting a certification from a physician confirming that he or she has had appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition.

From all of this you can see how intense this process can be. Fortunately we transgender women and men have had some very powerful and competent advocates opening doors for us.  An excellent example is what transgender veteran activist Autumn Sandeen has done to ease gender marker changes within the VA.  Shelle is a trans vet too and I'm sure she agrees!

Thanks again Shelle,  for commenting for us and you can always check out her blog here.

Womanless Pageant Hits and "Misses"

I don't find many new womanless pageant pictures floating around the web anymore. I think it's primarily due to the fact that these days, if someone snaps a picture of you in a dress-it can turn up anywhere. (Including Cyrsti's Condo).
Every once in a while I do see one or two which I think are interesting because of the other people shown.  Could be a girlfriend, Mom or fellow student.
Here are a couple: In the first, his girlfriend is wondering if she is ever going to get her pink dress back and how often she will see him in that damned tiara in the mall? I'm the princess dammit!

Her son wins the beauty contest.In the second picture below, Mom is thinking Wow! he does look like me at this age. Plus, this picture gives a whole new meaning to the expression, "Wait till your father gets home!"

Cyrsti's Condo "Quote of the Day"

"If you are going the wrong way, you better do it quickly!"

Cyrsti Hart