Sunday, August 31, 2014

Cyrsti's Condo "Sunday Edition"

A damp "Ker Plunk!" from the Condo as we start our "Labor Day Sunday" with steady rain.  Hope you are all well!

Page.1- "The week which Was-or Wasn't!"  For the present time at least, the discussion of "to be-or not to be- stealth" has died down again.  The consensus was for those of us "of age" which took us back into the 1960's-70's and 80's-there was not really a choice but to go stealth. Plus, for the most part, unless you were motivated to and had the resources to do it, there were few outlets to express your frustration  going from one closet to another.

Page 2.- "Putting a New Car in your Garage!"  Paraphrasing a term I heard Ophra say years ago, when she asked a recent Mtf transgender woman (who had just completed SRS) if she would stay married to her current wife and ever have sex with a man; the trans woman said no sex with a man and Ophra said -why would you buy a new car (vagina) and not test drive it?

All of that led to the "vagina or the woman" discussions again and since the new Obamacare/Medicare standards support SRS surgeries-would I have to buy a new garage for my new car here in the Condo.

"Post-Apocalypse" by shuchiu on Polyvore
Fall Fashion Outfit!
Page 3.- "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?"  Labor Day weekend, which traditionally is a long weekend which ends summer around the United States has nearly come and gone.  Even though any idea of traditional weather has come and gone around Ohio, hopefully the wonderful fall season will still "strut her stuff" before we see if we get another shot of the dreaded "Polar Vortex".

In the meantime, the glorious changing of the leaves and fields into yellows, browns and golds usher in fuzzy sweaters, boots and leggings!  As you can tell, I love the season and it's special big finish at Halloween. 
celebrating crossdresser day . . .err . . I mean, halloween
Unnamed Cross Dresser (Bumble Bee)

Halloween has become a special time of year for anyone even closely associated with femininity to have some fun.  From cross dressers to genetic- it has become everyone's chance to explore their creativity and sexiness.  I am sure we will have plenty of opportunity to discuss it all here!

Page 4.- The Back Page!  Well kids, that's it for this week and I hope you lived through yours (or you wouldn't be here?)
As always, thanks so much for being a part of the Condo. Without you, none of this would be worth it and my dog can't read!!

Peace Out!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Cyrsti's Condo "What If?"

Think my frat brothers will be surprised? It was their idea for me to dress up as a joke?If you went to college and were in a fraternity-perhaps you were called upon to cross dress as "punishment", a prank or as a theme event with a sorority on campus.  Here is an idea of how the idea wasn't so "terrible" for this frat boy:

Too Old for a "New Car?"

I have been remiss in not taking the time to thank Bobbie for sending in a story about the federal government finally listing gender dysphoria as being a "pre existing" condition and paying for SRS.

The article called "Obamacare Now Pays for Gender Reassignment"  Here is just a brief excerpt from the "The Daily Beast" which is linked above:

 The federal anti-discrimination regulations have yet to be written, but California insurance regulators have said that companies must treat transgender patients the same as other patients. For example, if plans cover hormones for post-menopausal women, they must also cover them for transgender women. Medicare, the program for the elderly and disabled, lifted its ban on covering sex reassignment surgery earlier this year. 
“The law and policy are on a transgender person’s side for the first time,” said Anand Kalra, program administrator at the Oakland-based Transgender Law Center. 
To me personally, I will be fully 65 and eligible for Medicare in early October, and the ramifications to me are huge.  So huge, that my partner Liz and I are taking part of this long Labor Day weekend to discuss them.  Quite frankly, as I have written here in Cyrsti's Condo, I never thought SRS was even a possibility for me.  Like so many other transgender men and women it's not financially feasible.  Of course now, it may be. I know though, I still have so many other hoops to jump through before I would or could undertake such a major move.  I do know my genitalia does not define my gender, but I'm still intrigued about going the "final mile" so to speak in the final miles of my life.  
Seemingly, I have never done anything in the right order in my life and SRS could be yet another.

Cyrsti's Condo "Cover Girl" of the Day

Our feature cover today is ANJALI LAMA – Nepals First Transgender Model

Friday, August 29, 2014

What The Hell Happened to Us in the 60's and 70's?

Pat recently brought it up in another comment here in Cyrsti's Condo, the tumultuous years of mid to late 1960's into the mid 1970's potentially could have been a time for change in the transgender culture too.

It simply wasn't and I have ideas why (of course I do!).

Two words: Vietnam and ignorance.  First of all, allow me to define my definition of the word ignorance.  I'm not equating it with stupidity or lack of intelligence.  I'm simply saying ignorance is not having access to information.  During that time (and after) gender dysphoria was considered a mental illness issue.  No pun intended, but real information about words such as transgender and transsexual was beginning to finally come out of the closet.

In those days though, it was a tough world to come out to.  Beginning with JFK in the early 1960's, a tragic hot mess of a war in Vietnam and then the losses of JFK, Martin Luther King Jr, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin-gender dysphoria all of a sudden wasn't so important.  Except for those of us who suffered with it.

The sad part to me is, so many who didn't live through it have such a cavalier view towards it.  I talk to anyone who will listen of my deep problem with being the only gender drafted.  I am not saying genetic women should not have been in combat (that is another discussion), I am saying everyone should have been drafted.  Find something for everyone to do.

So, those are the reasons I believe when we look back on an era of extreme change, really it wasn't for us.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Cyrsti's Condo "Cover WOMAN" of the Day

"LOTZA" curves define mtf transgender woman Ashley Eliese !

Ohio Proud

Here in the USA Heartland commonly called the Mid West we are commonly thought of as one big "gob" of territory and peeps who "happen " to exist between the elitist "right and left" coasts of the country.  When I lived around NYC years ago, many I worked with could only equate where I lived to how close it was to Texas...really?

We are used to it of course and yes live real lives with computers, electricity and indoor plumbing out here on the frontier.

To break it down for you in Ohio (where every presidential candidate seems to camp out anymore) we have the three "C's", Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland. As major metro areas.  Over the past decade Columbus became the most diverse in the GLBTQ arena, spurred on in no small part by The Ohio State University with it's 45,000+ students. But now, the other "two C's" are beginning to catch up.

In August, Cleveland hosted the "Gay Games" and now, the "third C" is stepping up to the plate.  I'm talking about Cincinnati and not the Reds (who haven't hit the ball much this year.). Cincy was always regarded as the backward step child of the "3-C's" for any number of reasons including the influence of Kentucky across the Ohio River to an ultra conservative powerful Catholic church.  Over the past five years or so someone woke up in Cincy and positive changes are coming fast and furious- including this one:

Medically necessary "transgender" procedures will be covered under the City of Cincinnati's health insurance starting next year.
The reason: To help Cincinnati lure citizens and workers.
"Since I've been here I've worked to make this city as competitive and inclusive as possible," said Cincinnati City Councilman Chris Seelbach, the city's first openly gay councilman. "This is a another step in that direction."
Seelbach led a council majority in signing a letter urging the change.
Cincinnati would be the first city in Ohio to offer transgender procedures in its health benefits, according to a statewide advocacy group.
Shane Morgan, founder and chair of TransOhio, which provides education and advocacy, praised city officials.
"For Cincinnati to cover their trans employees – because there are trans employees who work there – is great," Morgan said. "Hopefully cities elsewhere in Ohio will follow that."

Shane Morgan is right.  We are good for business, it's getting the narrow minded bible beaters and bigots around this state to realize it- is the tough task.  In the smaller towns like I live in, you only need to follow the money to why change is slow.  Everyone, being a business person, preacher-or whatever just wants to protect their little pile of sand.

Usually they do it under the guise of "protecting" the kids or God.  So sad.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What Now?

Here in Cyrsti's Condo, we have been discussing earlier times when passing successfully was a goal and often the only one.  I know I totally was  missing the essence of being myself on the days I blissfully was able to spend a day shopping in the mall.  I looked like a woman sure, but there was always a missing piece to the puzzle somehow.

Have have mentioned several times about that time I actually knew three or four transsexual women.  I was fortunate enough to have an up close and personal look at why someone would desire to undergo SRS or not.

One of the trans women was a married engineer and was easily one of the most feminine women I had ever met- a natural, you might say. Her wife knew all of what was to happen, they had an amicable divorce and after the operation, the person actually continued her engineering career out West and got remarried to a man.
Another had already gone through all the operations and was leading a successful life as a woman but for some reason, was just "passing through" and I knew her for the briefest time. But, speaking of passing, she would visit me at my restaurant in Columbus at the time and my crew wondered who the tall woman was I "might" be cheating on my wife with.

Another was also a very feminine cross dresser when I met her, a low key attractive classy cross dresser who did decide to opt for SRS.  Never knew much about her.
Finally there was the worst example of all.

Out of the four, I knew her the longest and had watch her go through the stages of cross dresser, HRT, electrolysis, etc.  She was always the one in the room who had every feminine detail covered, even down to a set of false feminine teeth she wore over her real teeth.  Always, every inch the society woman but never quite the "woman" at all.  She never quite seemed to get the essence of the gender as the other three did. She rushed ahead though and bought her new car (vagina) and seemed to tire of it real quickly.  At that point, what was next? She was now a middle aged woman loosing her looks and struggling to decide which gender she would live with.  Although, she only lives 50 some miles away, I have never attempted to make contact and I do hope she is happy!
"Andrea" Housewives of Melbourne-drag queen?

My point is, back in the day when passing was everything, seemingly the best shortcut to achieving one's dream was SRS.  The fact remained though that no amount of surgery could help some of the trans women who went through the process.  I briefly chatted a couple of times with a person not so far away who had went through SRS, facial feminization I think twice and then just had to have butt implants.  Really?

Maybe that's why so many of these women on all the "Housewives's Of---" Shows do look like drag queens? (In fact "Andrea" of the Housewives of Melbourne looks a lot like my final example.) Think of it this way. We are fairly sure all of these women have had their "cars" for awhile but now need constant exterior upgrades. My cross dressing friend extraordinaire  always had an easy time of being the best of the CD's in room-but I always wondered if she tried to ever really play in the big girls sandbox.  Hell, Andrea could be her!

So when I get blasted by a bitter "true transsexual" or whatever she happens to be calling herself at the time, I just hope she didn't just get caught up in all her own ideas or rhetoric and  "jumped too fast."

The world has changed - she can't and it's sad.

"Stealth" in the Day

Paula Goodwin commented about our Cyrsti's Condo "Stealth in the Day" discussion recently:

Accepting the risk of upsetting a least somebody.... surely going stealth in the 60s, 70s and 80s was very much a feminist issue, if somebody was to be accepted as a woman then there were very few opportunities to be any type of woman other than the "little woman", the house wife / mother type. We now are developing fresh ideas of what it can mean to be a woman, and being trans is one of those types f woman it is increasingly acceptable to be.

Having said all that I am not a great fan of tee shirts with slogans on the so I will not be buying one that says "HEY I'M TRANS" if asked I will now always admit to who and what I am, after all I now accept that there is nothing wrong with who and what I am, but I see no reason why I should shout it from the roof tops.

I agree Paula about the "Hey I'm Trans Shirt." The closest I came is the transgender vet shirt I wore to Pride this summer in Columbus which said "I fought for the rights you deny me."  And I do have a neat Trans necklace!

and Pat:

Even though the jargon of our times during the 60s was about tolerance and acceptance (If it feels good, do it...Whatever floats your boat...Let it all hang out...etc) the idea of acceptance of T folks back then was miles away from where it is today. Back then passing was primary and going stealth was as much a matter of survival as choice. We've come a long way baby.

Dammit! Ruined another pair of Mom's Hose!
Unnamed Cross Dresser Bringking Back Memories of Ruining Hose!
Paula, I know you know by now the idea of "tip toeing" around all the various "special interest" groups in our community is impossible. In fact, in the past I have been criticized for even using the word community or "culture" to describe say, transgender women and cross dressers.  I'm in  a good mood, so I'm not going to even mention the so called true transsexuals, who anoint themselves with that label and SHOULD go stealth.  

Indeed, back in those days, passing in society was almost the only was to survive and yes SRS was the quickest route to it. (If it worked) Yes, we have come a long long way- which we will discuss more in depth in a later post!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

"Momma" in the Kitchen!

My mother fit the stereotype of long dresses and high heels all the time, back when I was a kid...I can remember helping in the kitchen on the holidays, and her heels clicked as she walked back and forth... Now that she's in a nursing home, no more heels, and no more dresses. In fact, the only one she has there, is the hot pink number I posted about earlier...that I probably could borrow if I lost some weight.

I remember reading articles in some mainstream magazines about Dr. Biber, but from the 80's, not the 70's. Wish I had kept the magazines...but they went away, for obvious reasons. Nowadays, every time I go through Trinidad, CO on the train, my thoughts turn to him...and the new girls he "minted", many of whom traveled on the Amtrak train, due to its convenience (no other public transportation nearby.) Kinda distracts me for a while.

And's a good thing we bought our new Ford a year ago...because for some odd reason, in the future, I won't be able to "un-learn" Oprah's comment about "buying a new car." Never heard it before...and it's unforgettable. Not gonna happen! LMAO!



Ok Mandy, I have to ask- can you buy used parts?  :)
(Unnamed cross dresser in picture!)
How do you make this work?
Hmmmn, I don't think this was exactly what I ordered for my car in the mail?

The Week That Is!!!

I just wanted to pass along, I have a tremendously wonderful backlog of ideas from several of you here in Cyrsti's Condo I need to respond to.

Well honey, I was trying to hide and fell down the damn stairs!!! Call the ambulance!This week though, I have one very demanding event this weekend I do with my family which is what I call a "time sucker." If you are quiet, you will hear it!

So, if I haven't been able to respond to your comments, it's not because I don't 'luv ya', it's just because I am going to need a few  48 hr days this week!

I found a picture (not of me thank the Goddess) of how I will feel by Monday...I call it "I've fallen and I can't get up!"

I am definitely not as young as the cross dresser in this pose and if it was me, I would have an embarrassing trip to the emergency room!

It Is a Woman's World

This post is actually just a compilation of thoughts. First of all, an extension of the woman in the bright yellow Camaro convertible, with the matching hat driving past me with the top down (not hers) Saturday. The differing gender reactions to her presented a classic look at how the male/female binaries work.

First of all, I'm going to assume the couples I saw were men and women not just males and females.

Many of the first lessons I learned in the girl's sandbox came on how you had to learn to relay on your senses to survive and even thrive.  Communication was the biggest change for me.  My entire life, I knew what a woman wasn't telling me, carried the most weight and I had to learn now a new world of glances, innuendos and body language.

Quickly I put together a checklist of how women were viewing me in my the early days out of the closet  as a cross dresser.  You may remember them from here in Cyrsti's Condo, or Stilettos on Thin Ice.  Here are the basics of what I looked for:

  1. No look at all, or looked right through me.  I figured I passed as feminine because women don't miss much from other women.
  2. The "head to toe" look.  The "other woman" made no secret of checking every inch of me out.  She knew something might be amiss with the gender picture she was seeing.  But she didn't seem to be sure, and most of the time, I was satisfied with that!
  3. The little "smile".  This was a tough one for me because to many women, this is an accepted "inter-gender" greeting and not nasty.
  4. The little smirk.  She thought she was cool because she was in on my "secret".
  5. The "slut" look.  I knew I had gone way over the top in the outfit I was trying to pull off, and so did all the other women.  There are a group of women though who live in this group who have very few female friends and need men to compliment their ego. (another post)
  6. The run, whisper and point female.  She just had to get to her nearest companion, point at me, whisper in a ear and laugh. UGLY!
Like I said, I knew if I was going to be able to succeed in this feminine world, I had to learn to cohabitate with the ones who run it-women.

As far as our girl in the yellow convertible, I'm pretty sure all the women I saw glaring at her first and then their male companions, but her in #5. I'm also pretty sure the woman didn't really care!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Just A Girl and Her Car?

I received several thought provoking comments about the Cyrsti's Condo "Quote of the Day" post about the woman I saw in a bright yellow Camaro convertible heading down the the street with her matching visor cap. One from Pat:  I think that in many ways men and women relate to their cars differently. For my wife she needs a car that provides a sense of comfort and security. Good old reliable, never fail, transportation. 

Plus a couple others I agreed with- mentioned she probably had her matching tennis shoes and bag to complete the outfit also!

Certainly, men and women do relate to their cars different.  Right or wrong, back in the day, most guys of my age were fairly certain a cool car was a necessity for dating a cool girl.  It seemed to work, but since I never achieved the "cool" guy or girl status- who knows.

I am a big believer though since females are the birth gender of the species, they have the opportunity to experience a more layered existence. If and when they grow into women, no - a car, a boat, a jet ski or a yacht is not the center of their universe.  But,  a man with any or all of the toys I mentioned, just may be worth sneaking a peak at.

I am going to assume the person in the car was a woman (not a female) and was doing everything right if she was flipping the courting ritual (and she was.)  First and foremost,  the color of the car and her hair (blond) were attention getters, then add in the make and model of the car and the end result was- men watched and women hated. 

You could just see the "bitch, slut and whore" look of disdain in their eyes, before they turned around and saw their hubbies drooling.

How did I feel? It's cool to be transgender.  I had a fairly decent sense of why each side felt the way they did.  Both genders are hard wired certain ways and women do have more wires-by nature. If a transgender man or woman has spent any length of time as their birth gender, they work long and hard to get a new system of wires connected.

From a simple car quote, I had no idea this idea could go as far as it did-plus it could go so much farther.

I can only say that this girl at this age looks for lots of security and adequate comfort in her car - to go have fun!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Cyrsti's Condo "Sunday Edition"

And.....Hereeeeee we go kids-another glorious Cyrsti's Condo Sunday Edition. Ker Plunk!

Page 1.- The week that was-or wasn't.  Outside the friendly confines of the Condo, the world  went on. Most of it out of our control. Fortunately, the din over Kelli Maloney (the boxing promoter in the UK) coming out as transgender is subsiding and the media awaits the next well known person who opens the door and comes out.  We certainly know they are in the shadows-anymore, it's not if it will happen it's when.   We will have to check the Las Vegas betting lines to see if they have odds on when!

Page 2.- Mama June and TV Land Revisited.  In this case we didn't use the old TV initials yesterday to
"June Clever" Never looked this good in the kitchen!
The "Anti-June Cleaver?"
discuss transvestites, instead remembering June Clever from the "Leave it to Beaver" sitcom.  The post evolved (or unraveled) into a discussion of stealth, SRS and life back in the day.  Michellewhois was kind enough to fill us in on what the era was like for her.  Before we get to her, just to fill you in, "test driving a new car" was a paraphrased remark I heard Ophra  Winfrey make to a transgender wife who was on a show (long ago) with her original genetic wife.  The trans woman had just gone through SRS and said she had no desire to have sex with a man. Ophra looked at her and said why if you bought a new car,(vagina) why wouldn't you test drive it?

 Cyrsti you said in this article how back then ( the 50's and 60's), we should get the "Car" (I love that metaphor), try it out and go stealth. Back then it was very necessary to do just that for the very few that had the operation. Even back then, gays were treated better than those of us that were transitioning. I remember back then some of the names that even the gay guys used to call us and don't even think that lesbians back then gave us any support. If one didn't disappear, only to become someone new, you took your life in your own hands. If you were lucky you found the underground groups that helped support you. Drag queens were your only friends at times. Today it's a very different world. I wish that back then it would have been at least half as good so I could have been a wife and even a mother.

Thanks Michelle!  I was more than happy to pass along that old horse I have been beating for years about how hard it was to even consider coming out, back in the day.

Page 3.- Checking Gender Levels.  It seems no matter how far I try to run from labels, I get stuck all up in them.  The latest label-rama ruckus here in the Condo involved the relatively new label "gender fluid". I said I think it is a very workable label and semantically very close to transgender.  I translate transgender literally-between genders.  Pat added:The assortment of labels that get attached to us is mind blowing. I would agree that gender fluid can work with your concept of equilibrium.  I agree and like the term.  I think it comes from the younger peeps among us who are trying to find their gender way and is yet another label I would have loved to have embraced in my youth-as I searched.

Page 4.- The Back Page  Semper Fi!   If you haven't had the chance to check out the nothing short of amazing Mtf transformation video here in the Condo yesterday (of the former Marine) be sure to do so! She does an amazing job of describing the trip many of us took to get to where we are and the euphoria we feel.  As I said, I didn't believe the video was real at all until I read the background bio in the latest issue of Frock Magazine.  And YES!  my latest "Frock of Ages" article is on page 50!  

And with that, we are out of here.  The hot humid weather has returned here in Ohio as September approaches and my old dog and I have errands to "walk"  I love you all! Have a good week! 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

It's NOT About Passing!

To be quite truthful with you all, I saw this mtf transformation somewhere and dismissed it as a fake-until I saw the article in Frock Magazine!  While you are sure to check out my "Frock of Ages" article on page 50!

Stealth and the "Pink" Pickett Fence?

For those of you of age, you grew up watching the iconic mothers of the 50's and early 60's like June Cleaver.  Mom's were the stay home types who kept the household running and had the dinner ready when hubby came home.  My Mom wasn't like that (school teacher) but almost all my friends mothers were. So the feminine stereotype so aptly pictured by our unnamed cross dresser below was alive and well.

Then Dr. Stanley Biber burst upon the scene as one of the primary sexual reassignment surgeons in the U.S. Biber performed his first sex change operation in 1969 after a transsexual woman asked him if he would be willing and able to do so.  Biber retired in 2003, at age 80, because his malpractice insurance premiums had risen to levels which he could not afford, probably because of his advanced age. Marci Bowers, a gynecologist and transsexual woman herself, took over his SRS practice. Biber was hospitalized in January 2006 with complications from pneumonia, to which he succumbed on January 16 while hospitalized. Biber was 82 at the time of his death.

Deserved or not, one of the basics of going through SRS from the Dr. Biber's era of thinkers was the newly "minted" woman should go forth into the world, find a man, have sex with him and disappear. (stealth) For God Sakes as Ophra used to say "why would you want to buy a new car (vagina) and not drive it?" (At the risk of getting too "X" rated, my lesbian friends tell me they could drive my "new car" better than any man." )  

Is the Dress too much Dear? Cyrsti's Transgender CondoBut the question of even needing a "new car" doesn't define who I am or my life.  I know I can't meet the budgetary constraints of a store bought vagina or want to think of the health considerations at my age.With or without the new car, I have been shown a path to a wonderful life I never dreamed I could have.

So now, do I just walk away and go stealth or is there another road for me? I believe there is and it's in the example I mentioned in an earlier blog post about how I'm beginning to market my Etsy shoppes.

In the beginning of course, I did use my name and my male name only came into play when legally I had to use it behind the scenes because I had not changed my gender markers. (It all made for some interesting calls to Ebay, who were cool.)

Now, as I said, I'm seeking a broader social marketing base and it could be said I am in some sort of stealth mode because I don't say "Hey! this shop is a TRANSGENDER owned business."  But, I don't hide the fact it is either.  My hope is, that again the world sees me as just another person trying to make a go of it.

Maybe I'm naive enough to think how I identify would not make or break the sale of a vintage vase or comic book.  If it did, the person could go to hell, but overall I think of it as my one small Laverne Cox style statement:  Think of me first as a person you respect and oh yeah-I happen to be transgender.

Cyrsti's Condo "Quote of the Day"

After just seeing a blond driving down the street in her new bright yellow convertible with the top down and matching bright yellow hat, it occurred to me-

"When a woman buys a new car, she buys a matching hat, when a man does, he tries to find a matching woman."

Award Winning

This morning, being the radical person I am, I changed up my routine while the joe (coffee) was brewing, instead of burrowing into my email accounts, I just had to pass along this post from one of the few Tuba playing, super gardening transgender women on the planet....Paula Goodwin.  It comes from her Paula's Place blog and is called "Who am I?"  The subject is what makes a blog a "gender blog?":
Paula (on the right)
Here is an excerpt:  The other day I noticed a comment on Stana's Femulate which made an observation about "Gender Blogs", now it is usually the poss on blogs that get me thinking but this comment made me wonder, what is it that makes a "Gender Blog"? and is this one?

It seems that I'm not the only one thinking along these lines at the moment, Cyrsti noted on her Condo that she had made a few "genderless posts" and the wonderful Hanna wondered of she should be writing about more than just clothes and makeup, I enjoy these blogs and would say to them both, don't try to change, just carry on doing what comes naturally.

And more:

Certainly it was my gender issues that made me start the blog, it soon became a safe place for me to note my thoughts and feelings, and occasionally get some feedback from people who had walked this path before me.   It was a chance to talk about my outings, discuss my latest clothing purchases and talk about makeup.   But soon the rest of my life leaked in.   I am not just transgender but many other things as well, so I hope that is reflected in my blog, I know the blogs I enjoy reading most are reflect the whole person, not just their gender identity.  

First of all I was flattered to be included in Paula's thoughts and two, the excerpts above are just a portion of her thoughts. (Follow the link above for the whole post.)   

Finally, my feelings on the matter of writing a "gender blog" is this.  When I started Cyrsti's Condo, it even had a different name and was a suggestion of an on line acquaintance who I had shared my  cross dressing experiences with.  More than several people seemed to be be interested in my antics and wanted to read more.  Then my orientation began to change with HRT and living more and more as a transgender woman- and I kept writing.  So to this point, you all have transitioned with me to the point of even buying my book "Stilletto's on Thin Ice." - if you wanted the in depth version.

So I suppose, in many ways I'm beginning to feel the same way as transgender women such as Laverne Cox and Carmen Carerra do:  I am actively merging all my social media accounts involving my non gender related business and interests into one account on Twitter, Pinterest, etc...I do all of this and I just happen to be transgender too. An example is,  if you go to my Pinterest page you will see boards reflecting my love for vintage items and "ambiance" home decorating ideas as well as the usual plethora of cross dresser, transgender pix.

Who knows? Maybe as I merge everything I love into one person and project it into the world, I won't be writing a "gender blog" anymore.  But that is another topic for another post and thank you Paula!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Cross Style

Whatever label we want to stick on ourselves-cross dresser, transgender, gender fluid or whatever, our style becomes an integral part of us.  As we make the migration into the girls sandbox of the high maintenance gender, style is as big a part of our lives as most of the genetic women in the world.

Of course most of us (of age)  go through our formative cross dressing years without much guidance.  We knew what we wanted to look like from the confines of our masculine world.  If guys thought we looked like women, we passed and all was good.  Then of course, if we pursued it further, we found the world put so many other expectations on us as we transitioned.  As I have mentioned here in Cyrsti's Condo and beat it to death in "Stilettos on Thin Ice" (my book), when you play in the girls sandbox you need their approval to go forth in the world.  Everyone looks at women-especially other women.

I write often here in the Condo about my style which although it has always ran counter to many of the other cross dressers I met along the way is still a definite style.  Similar to the great majority of genetic women.  (The ones who don't where I live are the females.)

So, while I am dazzled anymore about why my posts from three years ago were so into what I was wearing and today are into what I am thinking-I took the time to pause and consider why.

The simplest answer is HRT has helped me to either give the world a highly androgynous view of me or a feminine one.  But, I thought, not so fast-I do routinely out style my genetic female friends (except Liz) and why is that?

#Bohemian StyleThe simplest answer to that (for my simple mind) is DUH! the most attractive women in the room are the ones who look like they aren't trying.  It's tough to do that, being genetic, transgender or cross dresser. My example is the woman on the left.  She is an example of my ideal style.  Now, just between us girls, we all know, I'm not getting there in this lifetime.

Instead, I go the next best route and try to incorporate as many of the Boho/Gypsy aspects of her style into mine.  The beaded necklaces alone represent my increased awareness of Native American and earth based spirituality.

Plus, when I go this route, I have a deeper understanding of the Stana's and Mandy's of the world.  I think I have read so much of Femulate I know exactly what would be in Stana's wardrobe and I'm beginning to learn the same insight from some chatting I have done with Mandy Sherman.

Our paths through the sandbox are the same, often the fun part is how we look getting there.  One of the oldest sayings in the cross dresser's handbook was the excuse we dressed in women's clothes only because a mans' was so boring.

All true to be certain,  but if you are not able to "let your girl flags fly", you simply will be missing much of the fun.   As you can imagine from the woman above, back in the day, I really wanted to be one of the girls letting their freak flags fly and I am over joyed the style is coming back!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

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

Yakici GuzelOur feature cover today is the Turkish mtf transgender beauty Yakici Guzel!

Female Impersonators Versus Drag Queens

Female impersonator, Lee Shaw.Some time ago here in Cyrsti's Condo featuring Baby Martell and Thomas Brayden commented:

For women it is often acknowledged in past times to allow them to would like to undercover dress them selves as the member of the other sexual regarding work in addition to career factors particularly for men took over career where they can pass in addition to are men. For the other area in the gold coin males have worked in female impersonator orientated occupations obtaining crossdessed since ladies.

Our vintage impersonator to the left is actually Lee Shaw.

Thanks to Thomas for the comment which may indeed be a "Google translation."

I "think" what the translation was trying to come up with was, in the past women would disguise themselves to work successfully as men.  Men on the other hand who could pass as beautiful  women could find work to as female impersonators. 

The reason I say that is a translation, a long time ago I chatted a couple times with a transgender woman in France.  Being the "tricky" person I am, I tried to use the translating tool on my end.  She politely told me me DON'T! It was coming out on her end as really screwy. 

Which brings me to the point I made in our Sunday edition, I don't think of -or mention the tons of readers we have from around the world.  I am old school and just humbled by the process!  Thanks to all of you!

Plus, any sort of translation takes me back to my Army days when I lived in Thailand and Germany for an extended time- I never did pick up any feel for the languages.  Some would argue I still struggle with English!

So again, thanks to Thomas for giving it a Paula would say!

Finally, feel free to comment in your native language and there is a good chance I can get it translated on my end - if you tell me where it is coming from.  A year or so ago I was even able to come up with a translation from a Maylasian  person in Kuala Lumpor.

Sometimes it is a small world after all!

Checking Those Fluid Levels!

I guess the last couple of posts here in Cyrsti's Condo may make the point more effectively than the one I'm going to discuss.  The "Madam LaNoe!" and star gazing posts were essentially genderless.  I wondered aloud with Liz what the average peep who stumbled across this blog the last couple days would wonder why the transgender tag is on it at all.

Maybe Pat answered part of it when she commented While I have been following your blog it is clear that you are going through a multi year transition. I assume that at some point you will reach a point where you are comfortable knowing that you have always been a blend of male and female but that your components have been reprocessed and have reached a new equilibrium.
Many others are on the journey

Pat didn't use the term "gender fluid", but on occasion I have considered the term as an interchangeable one for me and one which causes more than a couple of my "critics" to go "bonkers."  I understand why for the most part.  They are the "black and white" thinkers who have very little respect for a life out of the male/female binary- no matter how they identify. So would the "strict gender constructionists" be more comfortable with Cyrsti's "Gender Fluid" Condo?  I'm thinking not.

Regardless of all my babbling,  Pat's right, I am reaching a point of equilibrium and it's mainly because of the friends who refused NOT to accept me for anything other than the person I was. THEY brought me full scale out of the closet.

I will argue the equilibrium began when I began to accept my life as a man, even though I desperately didn't want to be there.  Of course some would argue, I wasn't desperate enough or I wouldn't have stayed there and those people are right too.  But, time, circumstances and lives change in a blink and  we all have reasons of why we are here  Plus, when you are almost 65, you have a freight train full of baggage to sort through to even try to understand why.

These days, it's not really a question anymore of checking my gender levels.  I'm at rest finally about who I am and when you think about it, gender is merely how society sees you. If I spend a day in drag as a guy now, at the least I'm a rather androgynous one doing things like mowing the grass.  Somehow, I don't think it would be appropriate to wear a skirt, heels and full makeup to mow.So I get a man to do it and that just happens to still be me. To put the whole idea in perspective, I have exactly two pairs of men's jeans left,one set of casual men's clothes and my old Army uniform and a bunch of unisex t-shirts.

Transgender, gender fluid, glorified cross dresser or whatever label anyone wants to slap on me, there is only one that really matters- survivor.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Cyrsti's Condo "Star Gazing"

Well kids, the stars have provided all of us Libra's with another wild look at the week!!!

(September 23-October 22): Living like you’re some sort of cult legend has been done and now it’s time to give up the vintage thinking for a more updated and wild approach to tackling the possibilities presented to you. You lack no shortage of optimism for others, so be open to giving it to yourself, because if you can sell it, anything can happen.
Best Lay Day: Tuesday, August 19
Really? Does that mean I will have to stop my cult legend lifestyle?  Just between you and me and the star gazers, if I was able to live 19% of the lifestyle some think I live-I would be happy!
Our "guest" spotlighted scope this week goes to the Sagittarius folks who seem rather conflicted between their "Butch and Bitch" sides:

(November 22-December 21): This week will be full of inner conflict, as your bitch and butch sides will rage hard and make you scramble at the thought of competition and claiming your turf. There is no defeating you now, but there is a way of outsmarting you, so don’t let your pride lead you to your next victory. Humbling yourself to the details will be what gives you the leg up on everyone.

There you go kids, if we missed your sign, don't despair and head to theFrisky for yours!

"Madam 'LaNoe!' Beckons!

If my old addled noggin has served me correct, in the past here in Cyrsti's Condo, I mentioned the possibility of putting together a persona called Madam LaNoe!" My initial idea (which got better and better as I had more and more adult beverages)  was, the "Madam" would be an "intermission" performer at drag shows.

She would be a harmless blend of Johnny Carson's "Carnac" (picture provided) - with a pinch of voodoo tossed in along with fortune telling and snake oil sales. Ironically, in another life I did a take off on Carnac at a couple functions-complete with hat.

Don't panic, my "card reading" would be from a regular deck of cards and my "voodoo" doll would be a stuffed bunny rabbit in a basket.

So, my partner Liz is a great seamstress and knows her way around a little make up and is creative as hell to boot.

sugar skull tattooSo two nights ago, she is up at five in the morning tracing ideas for "The Madam"  She wants to "roll her out" at the big "Highball" Halloween party in Columbus, Ohio this year. AND! She won't let me see any of her ideas and get this:  She simply said "I will blow you like you have never been blown before!"  Well, even I had no comeback for that!

I do know this, the image on the right is similar to the makeup she wants to do on me and I have this giant black drag wig.  Past that, all I know is, "The Madam" will have long flowing skirts and old combat boots and possibly will be outfitted with her own "business cards."

The only thing I can tell you is, Halloween is looking a whole lot more interesting this year!!!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

It's a Brave New World

As comments with me sometimes do, on occasion they "gang up on me."

Last week the process happened last week with Liz (my partner) and Missy ( deceased wife's sister.)  Liz was sort of expected but I was blind sighted by Missy's.

First of all she is very toasted from years of substance abuse (she is approx 55.)  We were talking the other day since I was given the job of "life coach" with her from Momma Karma and she came up with this question: "How did I function (seemingly) as well as I did with all the 'wanting to be a girl' stuff swirling in my head."  When she comes up with a classic question which is relevant to me and my transgender transition-I'm stunned.  This was one of those questions.

My answer was one we have chatted about here in Cyrsti's Condo, what would have any of us have done if we would have had the freedom to fully explore our gender dysphoria before we went on to have wife's, kids and the rest.  I think I did well enough but I told her (as well as anyone who will listen) I would not wish the ripping and tearing of my heart and soul on my worst enemy.  I have no idea of course what I could have been able to achieve and  in reality now, none of it matters.

Very simply now though, my advice to anyone with gender dysphoria is to explore it as young as you can.  There is only one certainty, it is not going away.

Then there was Liz.  She commented the other night how amazed she was of how "sensitive" I was to the world around me.  I just don't think she understands (I have told her) how much she matters in the process. Her support, along with a couple others, has allowed me to see the world as I always should have.  I have always enjoyed my share of different art forms, music and nature.  Along the way, I was curious about and studied (lightly) many different religions.  These days I have been freed of the gender constraints of my past. In fact my transgender status frees me of both the binary genders...but...

In the true essence of the giving, loving and understanding genetic woman we all aspire to, Karma has blessed me with three of them.  Ironically, they don't have much of a grasp of what they have done and I haven't been able to get my point across yet-except they feel the changes in me.

What path would I have taken if I had an open door?  Big question! We will try to bring out our Cyrsti's Condo "cyrstal ball"  in a future post!

Is It A "Man's World?"

Unfortunately, as you may have read here in Cyrsti's Condo, I witnessed a drunk neighbor man push and then hit in the face his girlfriend across the street from me.  Yes I did call the cops but wasn't the first and I did volunteer if they needed a witness. (they didn't)

Billie took the time to comment. From Billie :  I'm also infuriated by his striking a woman, but this is so true! It IS obviously a man's world after all and we "girls" are just a small part in it! Such is the life we lead!

While I agree with Bobbie, in these new lives we are leading as transgender women, the shift of "power" is one of the biggest gender transitions. Similar to so much of the lifestyle of women versus men, the concept of power to women is so much more complex to navigate and adjust to.  Due to physical limitations alone, women have to fight more mental battles than men. So in a one on one physical fight, for the most part it is a man's world.  In my many years of gender disagreements, I had to learn the hard way, since I couldn't hit a woman, I had to learn to get in her head and fight the way she did with me. To use an old quote, some of my "tiff's" were won, some were lost and most were rained out.

I also was raised in a post WWII family of strong macho men who did a outstanding job of being over achieving providers but it was an equally strong family of women who ran the show.  So as boys growing up we always knew we were inheriting the image of running the show. (wink-wink)

Then came the feminism movement in the 1960's and the sexual revolution and all of the sudden, the traditional strongholds of "male power" began to erode.  Slowly but surely, the process continues today and naturally many men are insecure.  Unfortunately, insecurity is a precursor to violence in a man.  

Over the past several years of living and trying to understand the dynamics of the mtf transition "thang", on occasion I have been dazzled on how much each gender doesn't understand about the other.  An example is the "men don't listen" idea.  After I went to the gender speech class at the Trans Ohio Symposium last May, the idea of men not listening may be a by product of how women speak and the words they use.

Finally Billie, I saw a comment today on a singles dating show (Bravo TV) from a woman saying they ought to do a study on the "pussification" of men.  The show I think went on to prove how that was true with one guy who essentially was afraid to even kiss his date for fear of a pending relationship.  So on that show, except for the token gay guys, it was a woman's world. The images of men being males and sex objects is as real as the past females were the sex objects.

For what it's worth,  I think younger guys today do have a more diverse world to adjust to.  All of the sudden, many of them do more than play golf and bring home a pay check.  They help raise the kids and so much more.  In my neck of the woods it's the males who can't understand the present and future of what it means to be a man are the drunk, stoned or stupid ones who use violence on women.