As I stood on the Woodward Theater Stage Saturday night during the Leelah Alcorn vigil in Cincinnati Saturday night with thirty plus other transgender persons of all types - of course I wondered what was and is about my life. We all were encouraged to get up on the stage and honor the memory of Leelah by letting the world know there is so much more to our uncover, closeted world than anyone knows.
When the microphone came to me, in front of 600 people, I said "I'm Cyrsti Hart, a PROUD transgender veteran and senior citizen." Casually looking through the crowd during the evening, I'm fairly sure I was close to one of the oldest in the room. I'm the gender survivor with the HRT changes and the hugely age inappropriate hair.
Since my hair became long enough to discard all my wigs, it has defined my transition to the world. Age inappropriate or not, I use a version of one of Aesop's Fables to explain the life of my hair. Looking back, one of the less than the happiest moments of my life, was when I was riding a night bus into Ft. Knox in January of 1972 to begin Army basic training. Literally, several a few of the other guys on the bus were crying. I was lucky, I was older (21) and had been away from home in college. Plus, I had several other friends who had been through the Vietnam Army experience came back and coached me.
A few days later in basic, it was haircut time. The "barbers" were having a great time asking all of us how we would like out hair cut, when there was only one choice- gone! I look at that point in my life as the beginning of where I am today. It may have taken me awhile like the tortoise in the fable but I have made it to a point of being able to have age inappropriate hair. Sure, genetics have played a part, but I prefer to think karma has too.
Overall, the memories Saturday, just refueled the tragic frustration I feel about Leelah Alcorn's suicide and the surviving transgender youth who told their stories on the stage. I came away just knowing as much as I think I do-I'm missing way too many of the answers.