Saturday, February 28, 2015

First Looks



From theFrisky: " The first look at Eddie Remayne (left) as trans artist and model Lili Elbe, whom he will be portraying in the upcoming film The Danish Girl. Elbe was one of the first identifiable recipients of a gender corrective surgery, in Germany in 1930. Tragically, Elbe died in 1931 at the age of 48 when an attempted uterus transplant went wrong.
In life, however, Elbe was a vibrant woman living the life of a libertine artist in early 1900s France. Which, I think, is what we all wish we were doing right now.
Here she is in real life, wearing a jaunty hat! "
OK, here is my question I assume most of us  are all waiting for, were there no transgender actors/actresses capable of doing this role?




Friday, February 27, 2015

Burying the Mascara?

Of course, so many of us "started" our cross dressing activities in our Mother's clothes and makeup.  Also, the majority of us either spent tons of energy "hiding" our "hobby" from Mom for years and years.

I have written numerous times here in Cyrsti's Condo about my relationship with my Mom who has long since passed away.  She was very much a product of the "Greatest Generation".  She grew up through the Depression Years and WWII.  She was also a teacher, outspoken and had a real edge. 

Another focus of my therapy visit was my own lack of empathy.  Really me? Get away Lol!  And then returned to my upbringing and Mom. Finally, I mentioned the electro shock therapy suggestion Mom threw out when I came out to her in 1975 as a transvestite. 

Excuses turned out not the best solution with my therapist as I said (truly) I didn't have much emotional connection growing up with either of my parents.  They were great providers and cared deeply for their children but just did not have the capacity to be emotional role models.  So, I told the therapist, I didn't view my Mom as my ideal feminine role model.  Without missing a beat she said, why don't you "adopt" another "role model?" And, if you did, who would she be?

Good question.  Ideally, my perfect role model would be mixtures of feminine values such as intelligence, nurturing, spiritual mixed in with a soft touch of vulnerability.  After the laughter in the room calmed down, (not many of those Goddesses running around!) We moved back to Mom.

To make a long story short, at 65 years, at three in the morning the other night-I decided to remember all the good things about Mom and love her for what she was in the era she lived. Some of you do know too, I'm am beginning to make my very first efforts at changing my gender markers.  The names I am adopting come from my Grandfather on Mom's side - Jessie and Mom's name as my middle name.  Cyrsti, for lack of a better term will become sort of a stage or writer's name.

One thing is certain, after I do it and Mom quits spinning in her grave-I can hear her say "Don't tell your Dad!"



Thursday, February 26, 2015

Courage Under Fire/ Words?

I imagine most of you have worked for a company or were in the military and had a chance to ask a superior a question.  I'm not talking about your immediate boss, but one way up the line. Way back in the day when I was in the Army I was a "Spec 4" so I really didn't register on the radar of anyone of the "full bird" colonel rank or above (general.)  So, I never was able to ask any rhetorical questions such as "Why are we fighting this stupid war in Vietnam-Sir?"

So, I was surprised and pleased when I read this story from the
Advocate :Last Sunday, a young Navy officer serving in Afghanistan made history with an act of bravery that’s made headlines around the world.
It took place during a “commander’s call” in Kandahar, Afghanistan, where the new secretary of Defense, Ash Carter, was speaking to troops on his first visit to the country. When he finished his remarks and called for questions, Lt. Cmdr. Jesse Ehrenfeld of the U.S. Navy Medical Corps raised his hand. He thanked Carter for speaking with them, then asked, “Sir, what are your thoughts on transgender service members serving in an austere environment like this?”


There are yet other positive advances on the transgender military front:  LifeSiteNews.com) – A draft memorandum uncovered by USA Today suggests that the U.S. Army may soon make it more difficult to discharge soldiers who consider themselves transgender, a move reminiscent of policy changes made during the lead-up to the repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) policy on homosexuality.
Currently, gender dysphoria – more commonly referred to as “transgenderism” – is considered a psychosexual disorder by the U.S. military and is grounds for being dismissed from service.

Check out the links above for more.

Cyrsti's Condo "Cover Girl" of the Day

“Transitioning is such a personal decision.”

While Angel Qinan, Sacramento’s first transgender model, is sounding off on Bruce Jenner’s presumable dilemma, she may as well be talking about her once-upon-a-time private struggles.

Angel Qinan was born Angel Castillo and attended La Salle Greenhills, a private Catholic school for boys in Manila.
 
Angel Qinan waited patiently for the right time. The FilAm photo
“In grade school I wondered why my mother dressed me only in plain shirts, shorts and trousers. I preferred the girls’ clothes–pretty blouses, skirts, and dresses!” she remembered. “Feeling like a girl, I wanted to wear girl clothes and was frustrated that I couldn’t!”

Such feelings were taboo in a strictly Catholic society like the Philippines, so she kept them to herself for years. At age 17 she first expressed her desire to become a woman. Angel’s mother urged her to keep those thoughts to herself because she wanted to shield her son from gossip, ridicule, and sometimes physical assault. Angel patiently postponed her transition.

Read more here from GMA News

"Eye-Eye" Mamn

As Momma Fortune would have it, as I was beginning to write this Cyrsti's Condo post, I jumped over to Femulate  and read what Stana was up to. It turns out she had written a very interesting post about the concept of "passing".  I think it is very much a which came first "The chicken or the egg?" concept. Indeed, how much does attitude factor into navigating the world as a feminine person and does it come after one has achieved a certain level of knowledge of how to present one's self. 

How Stana's post worked into mine happened yesterday, as I mentioned briefly in my last post. Essentially, I was wrapping up a long day. After the therapist visit I made the 100+ mile trip down to Liz's in time to help take her 89 year old Dad to the Doc. We then got him home in time to ship a package at USPS before they closed and only then had a chance to stop and get vittles for dinner.

By this time of my day, I had had no time to touch up the make up I happening to still be wearing by the time we went into a close by regular big grocery store, close to Liz's house.  As we came through the front doors, I just happened to make eye contact with a nearby woman.  Normally anymore, my eye contacts with women are fleeting and without much reaction. This person was different in the fact she was nearly as tall as I am and happened to show up again in the checkout line next to ours.  By this time, I had alerted to Liz to take a look at her and see if we knew her.  She said no but Liz began to watch her as she watched me. 

I was just interested.  I am pretty much way past how peeps view me.  Sure I get looks but most of the time I am with Liz, so I am passing by default.  I am living my life and the world is living theirs'.

Like Stana (and so many of you) I work hard on the image I present to the public-because I want to and I have to. I do think the effects of HRT have helped me to quote "pass" but the added confidence I have from the shear amount of life "lessons" I have learned (and continue to)-probably helps me more.

Finally, I go back to one of my basic "passing" concepts: You can look as beautiful as you can in your mirror -or in a picture but as soon as you enter the world, it's a whole different gender universe- no matter if you identify as a cross dresser or a transgender woman.  One really has to act like she has been there before to "pass" and by the way-didn't the egg have to come first?

Training the Therapist?

Well, what turns out to have been my last VA therapist visit for awhile, went very much without any amazing results.  I don't think therapy in essence is designed to have instantaneous mind blowing results. (No pun intended-yes it was!)

In yesterday's Cyrsti's Condo post, I mentioned perhaps offhandedly about not thinking my therapist may be qualified to talk to me.  Michellewhois (Thanks!!!) mentioned in a comment, I could request another. It turned out my therapist is leaving the VA for greener pastures and I didn't have to-if I wanted and she offered. I respectively declined. Historically, for the most part, I have been able to balance the many facets of my life without therapyPlease remember though, to each their own as far as therapy goes.

Perhaps the most meaningful part of the visit grew out of when she told me "I seemed 'more grounded.' (Remember, I did my first session with her in guy drag.) I just said, I am more grounded now because I have very simply "synced" my gender with my outside self.  The conversation "morphed" into perhaps I had a bit of an easier time of transitioning into a feminine lifestyle because of my previous experiences working with groups of generics.  Specifically, power structure differences between the genders. 

All of this lead us into coming up with her three major male gender influences-or what men really care about (other than sex). I don't remember her other two, but I added power to her list. After all, it has been a very relevant topic following the release of the "Fifty Shades of Gray" movie.  I just told her, like so many aspects of a guy's life, power is a much simpler concept than a woman's. Just toss in equal parts of physical and financial powers and pretty much you got it.  The sublets of athletic prowess and looks fall into the physical parts and the financial speaks for itself.  Yet another benefit of working through a MtF gender transitioning I told her, was watching men. Interact in their world-one which is no longer mine.

So, that was it.  On another bright side, my primary doctor's lead nurse literally ran into me in the hall and she was able to update all of what has been happening with me within the VA.-a highly desirable deal!!  Before the day was over however, people watching was very much back into my thoughts. Not with men though, but with a generic (I assume).  More coming up!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Therapy?

Today is my second therapist appointment of the winter. Actually, looking back, only having to reschedule twice since January isn't too bad considering our weather.

I have a problem with therapist appointments. Are they supposed to talk?  Get me started jabbering and I dominate without thinking about anything else. Last time I even stopped and asked the therapist if she was supposed to talk? The problem I have with therapy sessions are-what are we having them about?  In my case, actually, being transgender is just a small part of why I'm there. Everything else in my world is what has a tendency to get in my way.  As I think about it though, much does come from reestablishing myself in the world in the gender I always wanted to be.  Yesterday, I even locked up in a conversation with my sister in law concerning the internal changes of HRT on me.  She asked what? After stuttering around I finally said, it's a whole new gender world for me. I can't explain it to you because you grew up with it.  Enough said?

Rightly or wrongly too-as far as I know, the therapist I am assigned to at the VA, may have never seen another transgender person before. But, I do know at my clinic at least, they became very concerned about my mental well being after I expressed concern last December.  Either way, it's all good. I wish I could forward any relevant info from today's session, but you all read enough of my jabbering here in Cyrsti's Condo, so I won't bore you more.  At least the therapist is getting paid!!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Cyrsti's Condo "Cover Girl of the Day"

Candis CayneTransgender woman Candis Cayne is our feature today and aging well!!!!


Coming Home?

Ask any natives of my part of Southwestern Ohio about the small village of Yellow Springs and they will say or think "liberal or hippie" central. I'm "more mature" of course and remember back in the day how the military draft and service itself effected me. When I was home on leave-a trip to "the Springs" would allow me to see how the "other half" lived and I died a little bit inside everytime for a couple reasons.  Of course I would have rather been there with the long hair than in the military with the short. Very few knew of course (none) I actually identified with the women with long hair. Ironically, I am fairly sure I got more negative reaction then from being a G.I.(military) than now being transgender.

After the Army, I ended up again away from Springfield/Yellow Springs area for any number of reasons-mostly employment.  I never did forget though (with all respect to the Beatles) the girls with "kaleidoscope eyes" I saw first in YS. 

These days, as I have been blessed with my own head of hair, going back to Yellow Springs and all it's small shops is going home- especially everytime when I see small stickers on many of the merchant's doors saying everyone is welcome in their diverse village.  I feel much better these days because I think the little oasis of hippie/liberal thought is being relevant again in our often gender twisted world!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Cyrsti's Condo "Cover Girl of the Day"

Josephine Jochmann - appeared in a documentary made for German TV station RTL2 entitled, "Transgender-my way to a competent body) - was born in 1994 but came alive as a girl in 2010 when he first went to school dressed in girls clothes. He started hormone therapy in 2011.Our feature cover today is Mtf transgender woman Josephine Jochmann  who appeared in a documentary made for German TV station RTL2 entitled, "Transgender-my way to a competent body) - was born in 1994 but came alive as a girl in 2010 when she first went to school dressed in girls clothes. She started hormone therapy in 2011.

Even Closer to Home?

HD5A0093.jpgJust yesterday I posted a transgender story from Cincinnati.com and today there is another.  Aside from the positive impact of this new post, the fact I also drive through Yellow Springs, Ohio at least a couple times a week back and forth to Liz's in Cincinnati.  I will explain my attraction to "The Springs" in a moment-but first the most important point. It.s called  "RAISING ZAY: A family's journey with a transgender child THE MORE SCIENCE LEARNS, THE MORE MEDICINE CAN HELP. CINCINNATI HAS HELPED LEAD THE NATION IN TRANSGENDER CHILDREN'S HEALTH. Anne Saker, asaker@enquirer.com"


HD5A0107.jpg
Follow the link above for more. It's a very in depth and positive piece!!!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The "Ripple Effect"

Unfortunately I drive past the exact spot Leelah Alcorn's life came to an end (and a truck driver's undoubtedly changed forever) - at least once a week and sometimes at night.  To say the least, it is a dark, desolate and busy stretch of road at night.  If it is possible though, the setting makes the whole story seem even more tragic and surreal.  But on the bright side, many are not forgetting the world's loss - as you will read in this article from Cincinnati.Com. It which recaps the events since Leelah's suicide:

The suicide nearly two months ago of Warren County (near Cincinnati) teenager Leelah Alcorn triggered a national soul-searching about gender identity, suicide, parent-child relationships and social progress.
Global attention to Alcorn's death came amid growing awareness of the transgender experience, particularly in the past three years with the shot to stardom of actress Laverne Cox. Less than a week before Alcorn's death, movie stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie announced that their 8-year-old child, a girl named Shiloh at birth, preferred to be called John and to wear boy's clothes. Olympic gold medalist and reality-TV star Bruce Jenner isreportedly transitioning, at 65, from male to female.
The Internet ignited and fueled the conversation about Alcorn. She posted a wrenching suicide note on the social media site Tumblr that flashed across the world. (The Tumblr posting has since been taken down.) A friend also posted Alcorn's selfie posing in a dress, a photograph that artists adapted around the world. That was only the beginning:
 The #leelahalcorn Twitter hashtag continues to generate rolling traffic. A petition drew thousands of signatures urging Congress to ban therapy that aims to dissuade people with questions about gender identity or sexual expression.
 Vigils were held in Cincinnatiacross Ohio and the nation in Alcorn's memory; demonstrations were held as far away as New Zealand.
And there is more.  Go here to check it out!!!

Cyrsti's Condo "Sunday Edition"

Ker Plunk! Another version of our Sunday Special.  Around the Condo at least - it's another morning for nice snuggy jammies and a hot cup o joe!

Page 1.- The Week that Was-or Wasn't.  Again this week, the ever evolving transgender story seemed to take a back seat to the "polar vortex" which froze the eastern part of the country.  My understanding is this one came from Siberia.  One of the positives I guess is I learned a little better how Siberian women dress. 

Page 2.- One Person at a Time. I am nearly to the point where I have lost track of my counts of how many civilians I have come to know now. As we have talked about around here, when the world sees you interacting as just another individual in their world, doors open with most. The nice part is some want to do more than just know or like you-they want to embrace you. Over the years I have chatted with countless individuals who really need friends to reach out to. I don't know how long these "meet up" groups have been going on but if you are interested in finding "friends" or acquaintances, Google "Meet Up.com". and see if there are any groups in your area. Plus it is possible for you to even start one.  It's an excellent way for people to see you as more than a transgender person.

Page 3.- Transgender Vets. Seemingly every week I discover others who's stories very closely follow mine.  By now, most all of you know I am a transgender veteran, but not many know my first wife was also in the military. In fact, we met in Germany in 1974.  This week I discovered another military/trans couple after I read Marcia's blog.  She is a naval vet and her husband Angel served in the Coast Guard.  With all the coming out stories flooding all the media's, I just have to believe we are on the cusp of more and more trans vets coming out of their closets.  After all, the military is a well known place to attempt to "solve"-unsolvable gender issues.

Page 4.- Leelah Remembered. Fortunately, at least in her hometown and beyond Leelah Alcorn's tragic suicide continues to reverberate. More coming up in our next post!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Burning Transgender Bridges

I considered naming this post after "Last Call" (I paraphrase), I don't care where you go-but you can't stay here. In my case at least, I haven't had anyone tell me to my face I had a choice in transitioning to a transgender woman's life. I used to think of the transitioning process as "jumping off a cliff".  Now burning bridges seems more appropriate. You have a chance to look back and see how well the fire is burning, how well is your bridge holding up and how fast can you run.

It's also important to not let others see you burning your bridges-or at least the fire. I had an experience last night at a dinner meetup (meetings) in one of Liz's groups.  Several members bring their kids on occasion.  For the most part, they are overwhelmingly girls. Interestingly, one of them is exceedingly androgynous and exceedingly shy.  After a little research Liz and I found she was a generic and even had a androgynous name.

Last night though, another 14 something? girl was there.  She, I presume hadn't seen much of me at other meetings.  As many other teen girls do, they sense a difference in me which I think goes past looks these days. HRT life changes are real feminine gender enablers. (More than I ever considered.) As it turned out, she and I were brought face to face a couple of times during the evening and as always with generics-the eyes say it all.  Hers had a mixture of curiosity and acceptance. The last thing I wanted to do was show her any of my gender bridges still on fire.  I smiled and softly said hello as she attacked the M&M's on the food bar.

 From then on I blended back into the fast moving world of a teen aged critter. After all, there was her cell phone to consider! I wondered briefly if I had any part of her conversation but then remembered my own advice. It doesn't have to be about me at all.

Transgender Vet Follow Up

Marcia was suggesting a trans vet roll call of sorts and I was sent one (thanks!). Here on Susan's Place. Or, you can find it on my list of links too!  Thanks J!

Friday, February 20, 2015

So Close and Yet So Far

Open HeartsI know you have read me write here in Cyrsti's Condo about how amazed I continue to be about those of us in the trans or cross dressing community share a commonality about life.  From Pat's examples of "spreading" the word in gay venues about her to Connie and I playing football in our youth (different teams) to cover our "girl-ness" -literally tons of stories are the same.  Now, I have another which goes back to Marcia and Angel (left) of the blog "A Cross Dressers Wife." 

It turns out Angel is a trans vet and Marcia is a vet (USN) too.  Of course most of you probably know by now and I am trans vet but maybe what you don't know is my first wife is a vet too.  We still get along and was actually one of the first people I came out to as a "transvestite" in Germany where we serving in 1974.  It's a small world.  Marcia finished her post with these words:

"My hope is with this new-found openness in our country, we are becoming more united as a country that embraces our differences, inspires our characters and promotes our people to new levels of understanding and tolerance where we truly know the extent of what it means to be free.   And Freedom isn't free.

Hey Cyrsti, Let's start a role call of our military trans* that will be counted."

Angel Harding - USCG
Maria Harding - USN (Wife)"

No freedom is not free, and it's tragic the transgender military members fighting on the front lines for freedom- are the first in line to be denied it!!!!

Going Back to My Roots

Before I get too far into this post, no I am not talking about my hair roots! I'm writing about my very dark years in the cross dressing closet and realizations how the past has effected my present.  First of all, I'm always surprised when peeps think I have magically arrived at this point in my life without a tremendous amount of stress and tension. Very simply, I almost didn't live through it. Connie said it best- we are survivors.  In most all transgender cases (to quote a movie line and twist it) "it's not the years-it's the mileage too."

Recently, I have been revisiting my past by reliving it through others.  On one side, there is Gena I'm chatting with.  She is in her 60's deeply closeted except for a semi understanding spouse and beginning to think she is trans. Then there is Maria with her Cross Dresser's Wife blog. And, finally last night there was Kadijah who by accident ended up sitting beside me at a Creative Society of Cincinnati meeting. 

All of these dots connect. All take me back to my roots.  Gena is self explanatory.  We share the same age and probably if not for certain extenuating circumstances she could be in a similar situation as I am. Maria on the other hand most likely shares much of the same problems/opportunities which my wives have had from loving a cross dresser or transgender woman. (And more I will mention in another post.) And then there is Kadijah who was a "civilian" until last night.  At these meetings, Liz primarily networks her beadwork, knitting etc. and I use them to "hawk" my book Stilettos on Thin Ice.  Of course, as I do, I automatically out myself as I did with her when she asked what my book is all about.  Anymore my simple answer is my sometimes painful story of living a lie as a cross dresser until I came out and transitioned as transgender.  It turned out Kadijah was a 30 something very talented artist from here in Cincinnati and we ended up having a fascinating conversation which went way past being trans.

Never a dull moment! Thank goodness!



It's Not All About Me

Yesterday, I was making my way through the grocery store on a decidedly snowy winter day, I was immersed in buying only a few items to get us by at  the house.  As I was stopped at the salad department finally fighting off the cold in my long wool coat, I heard this voice behind me say "can I help you sir?"

consider thisI briefly thought "Really??" until I turned around and saw the real sir the produce clerk was talking to-not me.  So I guess it's true, it's not all about me.

Lewis Carroll said it best.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Cyrsti's Condo "Cover Girl of the Day"

 Over the years I think I have seen over a million on line pictures of anything from the most off the wall fetish cross dressers to the most beautiful transgender women.  For my own purposes I put together a checklist of sorts.  In a picture, I basically look for drastic photo shopping, where it was taken and who took it.  Was the picture taken outside, with a group etc...only then do I backtrack from appearance (or whatever initially drew me to it.)

Recently I found a set of pictures from Alex Cole on Pinterest.  I think she represents the joy and style of presenting herself as a woman and decided to pass along a picture here.  To see more, go to Pinterest and search for her!


Almost Equal Time?



Connie obviously didn't think kindly about my suggestion of any similarities between her and reality TV (not CD) person Mick Dodge and she even tossed the age card at me! 

Although I have visited the rain forest on the Kitsap Peninsula a few times in the past, and I actually do live on a peninsula on the Puget Sound in Seattle, I have, thus far, been able to dodge Mick. BTW, this peninsula is partially made up of Discovery Park, which was once Fort Lawton - where Cyrsti once was stationed. Of course, they hadn't change the name at that time, because Cyrsti had not come to really "discover" herself yet. Funny that my house overlooks the park, and I am still overlooking Cyrsti today. (Back to Mick) I even grew a beard one time at the ill-conceived advice of a therapist who thought he could "cure" me. While I'll admit to being a survivalist, I never was anything like Mick, nor was the Hoh Rain Forest named after me. I do wonder, though: If a tree fell on Cyrsti's Condo, would anyone hear it?


Hmmmn Connie, if I was techno advanced enough, I suppose I could add tree sound to the blog!  As far as Ft. Lawton goes, does having a drill sergeant at Ft. Knox by the name of Custer count? (True story!)  He tried to overlook me too Connie because he was about four inches shorter.

I have added a rather heavily (OK Really Photo Shopped) Pic from Connie's Facebook page above. Below is what she really looks like from her forest as she waits for a tree to fall. Or is looking for "magic mushrooms."

Up Date

Several of you have asked if I have heard or read any further information on the young pagan transgender woman in Akron, Ohio who was slain from her "demon's" by her father.  The reposts I have read still say (more or less) "Bri" was migrating back towards Brian during the last year.

My only "guess" is Bri leaned towards being gender fluid and was searching for gender roots.  Plus, as some of you may know, my partner Liz is a Wiccan (closely related to Pagan's in beliefs).  So, I know enough about it to be dangerous.  It's quite possible (like me) Bri was exploring a spirituality which is largely feminine based and similar to the ancient Native American cultures, acceptors of a Two Spirited person.

Now, since I'm guessing, Bri's hometown of Akron, Ohio is actually clear across the state from me and is yet another decimated old rust belt industrial city. I would think it would not be the ideal environment for a person with a crazy father- if you are searching for a gender identity.

Of course I have my biases and ideas-but that's all they are-unfortunately.

"Shades of L?"

Some time ago I found myself in a conversation with a generic about my sexuality.  She called me gay. I said I am not gay, I am trans.  She said didn't I say my partner was a lesbian. I said yes and she said-OK you are gay. The experience leads me to this discussion of how we- as transgender or cross dressers are accepted in the world and how (like it or not) we are all linked together.  Often, not under positive circumstances.

Like some others of you. I have been totally embarrassed by the actions of others in my so called community. To be truthful, fetish cross dressers. I only care about their lifestyles when it intrudes with mine.  One night in particular comes to mind when a certain group came in to a gay venue I was in and in effect trashed the women's room.  (The place had a sizeable lesbian presence that night.) Of course I distanced myself from them.

Switching gears a bit, I have always found connecting the dots between all the various gender and sexual spectrums of this is fascinating.  For example, take (again) the cross dressers who use dressing as a woman as an "excuse" to have sex with another man or transgender "admirers" who may feel the same.  Then if you begin to throw all the various "shades of L" in with generics-the fun really begins. 

First of all, those of us raised male simply (naturally) do not have a perception of what it is like to grow up generic and a lesbian one.  Why wouldn't it be a so called inclusive and increasingly enabled club similar to cis gay men?  Thus, transgender women have to get up to speed quickly to just be admitted to the club at all.  Plus, if you are a Mtf trans person and still prefer women sexually, you stand a better chance of being perceived as yet a bigger "wolf in sheep's clothing".  Some of you have mentioned the "Butch" lesbian community and my experiences have told me I don't even show up on their radar.  My one exception was a hundred years ago in a hard core butch bar. One of the regulars said she said I didn't look too bad and she should maybe "take me home with her." Lots of sexual tension after a free beer and that comment!

OK, I am tired of all these dots. Finally, I don't totally understand the reluctance to accept the trans women into the world of women at large.  Sure, most of us were raised male but have given up all of that perceived male privilege to enter a feminine world that half us are willing to kill ourselves to get to. Furthermore, we share the same nasty problems of male abuse as generics do-but worse not to mention the we just don't get paid less-we don't get paid at all.  

But, we are capable of adding a full rich spectrum of experience and knowledge to women everywhere.  We just have to quit being our own worst enemy and prove our worth to the feminine community as a whole.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Lesbian's, Trans Nazi's and Mick Dodge?

First of all, maybe you all are asking just who the hell is Mick Dodge?  Mick is yet another reality TV "star" who happens to come from Connie's "neck of the woods" in the Hoh Rainforest region of the Pacific Northwest. My question is how long has it been since Connie been hanging out in the "Hoe Forest" and could it be that Mick (below) is actually a pre transitioned version of Connie?

Image courtesy of: olympicmountainearthwisdomcircle.org

And, on we go with Connie's comments: (for all the fun I make of her- I agree with both!)

"Years ago, I was involved in a "discussion" with a Lesbian woman who, to put it more nicely, refuted the validity of my gender identity. She just couldn't come to grips with the gender/sex separation. Before it got too nasty, though, I told her, "Well, I guess that the difference between butch and bitch is "u" and "I". She laughed and bought me a drink!

On a side note, I admit to having avoided a certain group of (self proclaimed) cross dressers for quite some time. To (some of) them, I am a bitch because of that. Cyrsti, you may even put me into the TransNazi class for that. But, my avoidance is not because I consider myself to be superior in the "gender spectrum", rather, it is because I have a different identity of self that does not include what I perceive to be their exhibitionistic motivation for going out in public. I like to say that these people re-create themselves for the purpose of recreation. I had tried that for a short time, but I learned that it just didn't fit. This doesn't mean that I don't support and accept them any more or less than I do anyone within the LGBTQ community. For me, I had spent so many years struggling alone with my gender identity, and the more I've become self-assured, the more independent I've become. I don't think that I'm so different than many in this respect. Still, I believe the important thing is that we do respect each other as fellow human beings. Sometimes, though, the more narrowly we define ourselves, the more we distance ourselves. Or......maybe it's like a teenager who asks Mom to drop him off a block ahead of school - the fear of embarrassment does not diminish the love, though"

More to come! This is a huge topic.

Connie, Connie, Connie?

This morning when I opened the Cyrsti's Condo comment page to review, I saw I had been really "smooched" by the "Seattle Bombshell" or just bombed "Connie."  Before I head out on the tundra, I thought I would share one.

First of all, since she is from Seattle, Connie is a coffee snob. She commented: "The only thing that is disappointing here is that you get your coffee at a gas station. YUK"  What she doesn't know is all the attention I get from the tree company guys!!! On the other hand-  She (Connie) is stuck watching a bunch of Frazier reruns in a Seattle coffee shop, all the time wondering if she had a chance with Frazier's closeted gay brother Niles.

Her second point was much more serious and it concerned a transgender woman's often rough interactions with lesbians... coming up next!

Cyrsti's Condo "Vintage Looks"

Remember Jim Bailey? Female impersonator extraordinaire!

Jim Bailey

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

It's a Start!

Every once in a while I mention the often bewildering world of changing your gender markers (which means flipping the "M" to "F" or vice versa.  The rules often change radically depending upon where you live.

I have also mentioned I'm just lazy plus a huge procrastinator.  The other day though when Liz and I stopped into a convenience store/gas station for petrol and coffee.  It so happens I have had a rewards card there for ever.  It was still in my male name until the other day when Liz saw the receipt and the name.  To make a long story short, she said something not so positive about the name she saw.

OK already! I changed the name and the marker from "Mr." to "Ms."  I wish it all could be that easy.  Even I would have to quit putting it off.

Leelah's and Lindsey's Legacy?

Of course Leelah Alcorn's suicide and plea for help has tragically come and gone.  Part of her legacy around here (from where she was from) is turning out to be a continuing discussion of what it means to be transgender.  WKRC TV, the CBS affiliate in Cincy recently produced a special on transwoman Lindsey Deaton.(Left)

  Lindsey is one of the rare transgender women who has been able to transition during a long term marriage to a generic. She is also very visible in the local community. I have added a link below to the story and video.  My disclaimer is in the past we have had a difficult time with WKRC's links.  Check this one!



Go here



Cyrsti's Condo "Too Much Beauty for One Gender"

I'm not even sure I would be correct in using the "androgynous" word for (Tokio Hotel) musician Bill Kaulitz.  What would David Bowie and Boy George say?





Monday, February 16, 2015

And My Blog Gently Weeps

From GayStar News and Trans Ohio:
A 22-year-old, believed to be a trans woman, is alleged to have been stabbed to death by her father on Friday night (13 February). Bri Golec, an artist and drummer from Akron, Ohio, is the seventh known trans person to murdered this year. -Trans Ohio said: 'We are saddened to learn of the murder of Bri Golec (left), a 22-year-old trans woman who resided in Akron, Ohio. 'Her father has been arrested and is in jail at this time. Please keep our Akron community in your thoughts and prayers.



This is yet another refusal of the family to accept a members transgender identity.  Here is more:   The language in this report (from Akron) has been updated to reflect family members' clear statement that Golec was male and not a trans woman. We continue to note, as we did before, that Golec's gender identity can not be 100% confirmed based on conflicting evidence currently available. - See more here

Snowed In

Well, the much awaited meeting with the grand kids was snowed out today.  Cincinnati (Bostonians ignore this) is getting a foot of snow in the area and the thermometer is at a balmy four degrees.  At any rate, too much snow to drive a hour and a half in. We will have to "git er done!" later.  Of course kids are a blank canvas on which parents and family draw on, so fortunately I have only a positive canvas to complete. The deadline is sometime in May, when both families are expecting the real me at grand daughter's birthday party. 

My real surprise came though the other day when my daughter started to talk to me what I am required to wear at my oldest grandson's Bar Mitzvah . (A year from now.)  It seems all of his closely related women family members are wearing similar outfits.  The whole moment was yet another of the surreal moments I have experienced recently in my transgender transition.
 
Connie and Maria added a couple more thoughts!
  1. For you, Presidents Day will forevermore be Precedence Day! Weather permitting, or whether not permitting: Is that the question? Well, I think that you have better than "a snowball's chance" with the grandkids. Just a reminder, though - talking 'not down' or 'not up' is challenging, but 'not too much' is advised. It's the old K.I.S.S. adage that, I think, works best here. And, if you're really lucky, you'll get a real kiss before the day with them is over! :
  2. Best wishes on your tasks for tomorrow with the grand kids. They love you. Kids are so open, they'll probably just shrug their shoulders and say, "OK" 
Maria these three definitely are going to think "is that it" or as my daughter said, unless I grew a tail and pointed ears, her youngest wouldn't care-since he is such a huge cat fan!




 

Good Question!

I ran across this post on a site called "Slate".  It's near and dear to me because as most of you know, my partner Liz identifies as a staunch lesbian.  So, more often or not I am in the company of women, straight or gay.  Of all the groups I deal with though, lesbians are the most likely one I will get at the least given the cold shoulder to or at the worst-flat out discriminated against. The problem to me is I am not the enemy to cis-lesbians-the same as I told the teen therapist (who happened to be a Christian) on the radio.  Look, I know not everyone has to accept or like me but finding out I'm not alone (as always) makes me feel a bit better. Read on:

 "In theory, our multifaceted, multilettered queer community is all about alliance, solidarity, and mutual support. Though we’ve seen advances in areas like marriage equality and nondiscrimination ordinances, systematic oppression of LGBTQ individuals continues in the form of disparate treatment in health care, employment, criminal justice, and public accommodations such as bathrooms and similar sex-segregated spaces. With so much to fight against outside our coalition, divisions within it have largely gone unchecked, with destructive rifts continuing to grow. One of the widest of these rifts exists between the L’s and T’s, particularly between cisgender lesbians and trans women."

If you have observed or dealt with the cis lesbian community at all, this is a wonderful article which goes into the misconceptions both sides have about each other and is worth the read.

I will leave you with this positive excerpt:

"There will always be differences in the experiences of cisgendered women and trans ones, masculine people and feminine ones, and between each and every unique individual. Already, there are signs that the divide between cis lesbians and trans women is growing smaller, as more and more queer women’s groups are extending explicit welcomes to trans women, women’s colleges are opening admissions to trans women, and more trans women are adding their voices to feminist campaigns. True, our differences can lead to misunderstandings and tensions, but the diversity that comes with difference can also be a source of great strength if we are willing to allow ourselves to learn from one another and support each other’s individuality. "

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Stealth, Activism and the Grandkids?

How's that for a post heading?  First of all, here is my definition of "stealth" :
  1. You are "able" to.  that means more than mere appearance.
  2. You do have a level of passing privilege, attitude, confidence-whatever.
  3. You live, understand and embrace your new life.
I used to feel two things about stealth. Number one, it terribly hurt the knowledge and advancement of the transgender community during my generation. And, two I could never even be in a situation to go stealth. Well, it seems these days, stealth could be a possibility because of the effects of HRT and the relationship/social settings I have found myself in.  As I have written about recently, I am not going to out myself but won't hide from who I am.  After all, being trans is just one small facet of my personality.  But, none of what I just wrote will ever stop me from being a vocal example of change for the transgender community. Being an "activist" however is a highly subjective term and often in the mind of the beholder.

"And the Grandkids?" Weather permitting, the big sit down "coming out" breakfast with my three grand kids is tomorrow (Monday).  Two have "known" but have never met the real me out of male drag and one (the youngest) hasn't really been included much.  They range in age from seven to thirteen and too smart for their own good.  (Aren't they all?)  My biggest job is not talking down or up to them!!!!

Don't Panic!

If any of you tried to get on the blog in the past half hour or so, it has asked you to redirect.  What happened was I purchased a domain name through Google and did what it asked and now I'm still trying to figure out all the extra BS that goes with it.  I changed it back!!!

Sorry

Cyrsti's Condo "Sunday Edition"

Kerplunk! Another Sunday edition from the Condo is hitting your virtual front porch.  This week around here at least, warm jammies and hot cocoa are in fashion- it's a brisk six degrees...but no snow.  Let's get started.
Page One.-The Week that WAS or Wasn't:  Overall, it seemed the new "it" community (transgender) took a week to pause and look at what happened, what it all meant and what it will mean.  I know to some of you, most of it means nothing.  An example is a person I have seen on Facebook asking if she was the only trans person in Ripley, Ohio?  If you know anything about Ripley and the area around it, it's safe to say in this little Ohio River town in a less than liberal area-she may be-but in reality she lives only a little more than 40 minutes from where I do in Cincinnati. Still others who I chat with on Google+ point to their "passing privilege still being a major problem.  I'm fairly sure both still will be in the near future. The difference is when someone looks at you and thinks you may be "one of them", it's not a bad or evil thing.
Page Two.-Transition Time Lines?  My oft quoted (or off quoted) Connie brought up the fact I was entering another of my "time lines" as I wrote about all the "groups" Liz has signed us up for.  FYI, if you live in or near to a population center of any size, Google "Meet Up's", at least in Cincinnati there are tons of them.  The utilitarian use is you can find one deeply into your interests and as you attend, being transgender just goes away-quickly.  As I have written many times, people don't readily know I am deeply shy and reticent about meeting new peeps. Regardless of being transgender or not. I will however go with Liz and yes, the experiences have taken me to new levels of negotiating the world.

Page Three.-Getting Social -Media? For the most part, my social media excursions into Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are very unremarkable-just regular folks like me.  On occasion though, I hit the jackpot and hookup with those who are really making a difference!  For example, this morning on Twitter, I received a request for a follow from a University of Cincinnati gender studies person and an acceptance of my LinkedIn request from another very visible transgender woman activist here in Cinci. 
Page Four.-We Got Mail!  Maria HardingFebruary 15, 2015 at 2:01 AM Thank you for the information listed here. I never really stopped and thought about how many people are actually included in trans* numbers until more people began coming forward. I appreciated your insights and courage as you continue on your journey. We have come a long way.
FABULOUSCONNIEDEEFebruary 15, 2015 at 3:27 AM Now I'm starting to get a little worried about overkill?  Is that a possibility I wonder?
Thanks to both to you!  I think those of us "in the community" knew how many of us were deeply stuck in the closet. On my part though, I thought the "outing" would come completely from the "bottom/up" starting with the younger generation.  Now though we are seeing more and more from different ages. Yes Connie, I too view the overkill as a reason to head stealth but there is still too much to do with too many people to do it. 

Page Five: The Back Page:  See ya, thank ya!!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

We HAVE Come a Long Way!

All of this news comes from the "Hollywood Reporter" site!  When I think of the dark days of growing up in my closet feeling so alone, I sometimes can't believe all of this:

Glee continued to put the spotlight on the underdog Friday when the Fox musical featured a 200-member transgender choir.
The singers, which were put together following a nationwide search with the assistance of LGBT-watchdog group GLAAD, were introduced as part of the dramedy's transgender storyline featuring three-time Emmy-nominee Dot Marie Jones.
Read more 'Dot Marie Jones' on 'Glee's' Groundbreaking Transgender Storyline
As was first introduced during the Jan. 16 episode, Jones' Coach Shannon Beiste revealed that she was transitioning from a woman to a man. The football coach made her triumphant return during Friday's appropriately titled "Transitioning" episode as Sheldon Beiste and found immediate support from former New Directions transgender student Wade "Unique" Adams (Alex Newell).
The choir backs Newell's performance of "I Know Where I've Been," from the musical Hairspray.

Glee Transitioning Still - H 2015

Tear Down the Walls?

This story was one of the leads last night on Channel 12 TV in Cincinnati:

" SHARONVILLE, Ohio (Angenette Levy) -- The pastor of Leelah Alcorn's church has written a blog discussing the need to "tear down walls" in reference to transgender issues.

Pastor Tim Tripp works at the Northeast Church of Christ. He posted on his blog February 11. The post "Can Tragedy Bring Us Together?" details Tripp's thoughts on Alcorn's suicide and the transgender issue.

Tripp wrote, "I can't help but wonder what would happen if people on both sides of the wall would stop thinking of ways to vent their anger on both sides of the wall would stop thinking of ways to vent their anger toward the other side but instead just reach over the wall and grab a hand on the other side."

Alcorn's suicide sparked outrage and sadness around the world. She wrote a suicide note in which she discussed the need for gender issues to be taught in school. She also said her death needed to mean something.

Lindsey Deaton, who identifies as a transgender woman, was overjoyed by the blog post.

"How amazing. How wonderful. He has reached out. He has written. There is something, I mean this is a really big gesture," Deaton said.  "This is a huge gesture so number one I'm really thankful and grateful and I am a believer. I'm Roman Catholic so my first thought was wow, God is good all the time, God is good all of the time. That's my reaction."

Go here for this promising story.  In addition, Channel 12 I believe is doing a follow up story on Lindsey Deaton.  Go here for more.

A Different Kind of Spirit?

As Connie so profoundly put it- "Yeah, Cyrsti, like you ever limit yourself to just two spirits!  *Hic" (In reference to my Native American 'Two Spirit' Cyrsti's Condo posts) Well, last night, timing was everything and Liz and I went to a gay and lesbian couple happy hour social mixer at a-Bourbon Bar (The Littlefield) in Cincinnati.  The idea is not so far fetched seeing as how Kentucky is across the river and does have some legal and illegal bourbon manufacturing in it's past.

I haven't done much bourbon/whiskey over the years after early abuse of it when I was young (compliments of my Dad's stash.)  But last night Connie, I did not limit myself! It was the first time I have ever been to a bourbon bar, so who would I have been to not partake?

The only other noteworthy part of the evening was I never did out myself to the other attendee's which were fairly evenly mixed between gay men and lesbians. The whole experience was totally liberating and the first of a kind for me.  Seeing both groups as an (almost) innocent observer was very different and all of these individuals were couples and some very long term.

The only problem was I am now invited with Liz to come to the next mixer which involves playing Trivia and Pictionary. I really dislike playing games like that, but organizers said at the least "I could come and drink."  Transgender or not, those first impressions are hell!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Cyrsti's Condo "Cover Girl of the Day"

Our feature cover today is Mtf androgynous model Alex Wetter from France:


Cyrsti's Condo "Quote of the Day"

.I happen across many quotes here and there. Many most definitely could be applied to the transgender experience. Not surprising, because we are living life like most human critters.  Some though seem to be written completely for us!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Not Trans Enough?

As I said in my last Crysti's Condo post, this paragraph explains why the transgender elitists of the world would not agree with the following "two spirit" Native American concept:

Rather than the physical body, Native Americans emphasised a person's "spirit", or character, as being most important. Instead of seeing two-spirit persons as transsexuals who try to make themselves into "the opposite sex", it is more accurate to understand them as individuals who take on a gender status that is different from both men and women. This alternative gender status offers a range of possibilities, from slightly effeminate males or masculine females, to androgynous or transgender persons, to those who completely cross-dress and act as the other gender. The emphasis of Native Americans is not to force every person into one box, but to allow for the reality of diversity in gender and sexual identities.


Read more here from the Guardian.

OMG! A Real Trans Character?

lavernecox
 
 
 
Laverne Cox already made history, becoming the first openly transgender performer to earn an acting Emmy nomination for her breakout role on Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black. She is now looking to break more ground with the first transgender series regular character on broadcast TV played by a transgender actor.
Story from "Deadline Hollywood"


Professional "Women's Night Out"

Last night, my partner Liz and I went to a small Professional Woman's  Dinner "Meetup".  I have not been excluded from this one like the lesbians have from the "Loki" group here in Cincinnati.  It's an incredible time hearing how these other women approach their professional lives.  Of course each get together such as these have the initial "introductions."  As quickly as my old noggin could think, I thought I am not going to introduce myself as transgender with all the carnival barkers jumping on the trans band wagon.  So, I went with the "Two Spirit" name. 

Of course, my introduction confuses many "civilians" more, but it's simpler for me to say very little more and chat later-if anyone cares.

I have found many trans people don't know of, or don't embrace the Two or Dual Spirit ideas at all.
From the U.S version of the Guardian comes a look: This week's guest editor, Antony Hegarty, is a fan of the book The Spirit and the Flesh. He asked its author, Walter L Williams, to write a feature for guardian.co.uk/music on the 'two-spirit' tradition in Native American culture:
Native Americans have often held intersex, androgynous people, feminine males and masculine females in high respect. The most common term to define such persons today is to refer to them as "two-spirit" people, but in the past feminine males were sometimes referred to as "berdache" by early French explorers in North America, who adapted a Persian word "bardaj", meaning an intimate male friend. Because these androgynous males were commonly married to a masculine man, or had sex with men, and the masculine females had feminine women as wives, the term berdache had a clear homosexual connotation. Both the Spanish settlers in Latin America and the English colonists in North America condemned them as "sodomites.



Above, We-Wa, a Zuni two-spirit, weaving US national archives


Rather than emphasising the homosexuality of these persons, however, many Native Americans focused on their spiritual gifts. American Indian traditionalists, even today, tend to see a person's basic character as a reflection of their spirit. Since everything that exists is thought to come from the spirit world, androgynous or transgender persons are seen as doubly blessed, having both the spirit of a man and the spirit of a woman. Thus, they are honoured for having two spirits, and are seen as more spiritually gifted than the typical masculine male or feminine female.
Therefore, many Native American religions, rather than stigmatising such persons, often looked to them as religious leaders and teachers.

In my next post, I will tell you why many transgender elitists won't accept the idea at all.

Trangender In the Heartland?

Yes, we who happen not to live on the right or left coast of the United States, do know there is secretly a rich tapestry of life which happens. Now,  ironically, the flood of reality shows are beginning to shed a bit more light on arguably one of the more bland places in the country-the Midwest. It's our secret and we are sticking to it, except now Kansas City is coming out of the transgender closet: From Discovery:

Kansas City is about to be the setting for a new reality TV show – but it’s not about barbecue, fountains or jazz. The show, called New Girls On the Block, follows a group of transgender women. Shot in 50 locations around town at the end of last year, it debuts on the new Discovery Life Channel on April 2.

Robyn and her boyfriend, Andrew, shared a laugh as they prepared dinner Tuesday evening at their home in the Waldo area. Robyn is a transgender cast member on a new five-part Discovery Life Channel series set to air in April.
Robyn and her boyfriend, Andrew, shared a laugh as they prepared dinner Tuesday evening at their home in the Waldo area. Robyn is a transgender cast member on a new five-part Discovery Life Channel series set to air in April. Keith Myers The Kansas City Star

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/entertainment/article9729632.html#storylink=cpy
Another experience line from the show from Discovery Life said New Girls on the Block will be the first reality TV series about a group of friends in the transgender community. It focuses on four couples, all of them from Kansas City. (Including the couple above.)
And, there’s Macy and Sharon, a middle-aged, married couple – Macy used to be a strapping, motorcycle-riding man.
"He was the man all my friends were like, 'Girl don’t you mess this up,'" says Sharon.
Now that Macy has transitioned, viewers will get a glimpse of how her marriage to Sharon is evolving.

Now the question is, will "reality" be more "real" since it is coming from the "Heartland?"






Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Trans Beat Grows Louder

As I wrote here in Cyrtsi's Condo recently, every morning it's difficult not to hear a story or someone's interpretation of the recent flood of transgender news. Plus more and more trans peeps are coming out of the woodwork to comment.  Thanks Bobbie for sending along this story:


"According to the Guardian’s Editor-in-Chief, former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning will soon be writing an opinion column for the British daily neMwspaper’s U.S. website.
Readers will likely, of course, remember Chelsea Manning formerly as Bradley Manning – responsible for the largest leak in U.S. history of classified information. The people’s patriot and whistleblower declared publicly his desire to transition to a woman in August of 2013 and began the transition from male to female last year.
Manning has been sentenced to 35 years in prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, for her role in the historical information leak."

Also, on the Meredith  Viera Show,  Patricia Arquette was one of the guests. She talked about her current projects, then of course the topic turned to her transgender sister Alexis. (left)  Patricia did a wonderful job of describing how brutal our lives can be and said, I paraphrase "it's not the package -it's the person which matters."

Unlike the stupid misdirected comments from a very ignorant Sharon Osborne about Bruce Jenner's sexuality on the Talk

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Carnival Barkers?

Yesterday, when I visited my daughter, one her her comments was: "My friends want to know what you (me) think about Bruce Jenner."

I just said "A clown show waiting to happen."  Nothing against him, but I will continue to pronoun "him" until he happens to come out, but I just expect the worse.  Sort of like Zoey Tur's comment last night that Jenner's HRT transition meds could have contributed to his tragic wreck. Really???  I guess I better be extra careful since I am on HRT and depression medicine too. Nice job putting the idea in everyone's noggin that we transgender women and men maybe "danger's" on the road.

The only lesson to be learned is no one is an expert and who the hell dug up Zoey Tur anyhow? Surely there maybe someone like Eden Lane (left)  out there, who is truly qualified? But I digress:

Back to my rant - Cognoscenti says it best:
Leelah Alcorn might still be with us had her painful gender odyssey attracted the empathetic national attention Diane Sawyer is reportedly about to shower on Bruce Jenner. But the struggles of a 17-year-old transgender girl from rural Ohio could never compete with the call of the carnival barker.
Few knew her name until Leelah, née Joshua, stepped in front of a tractor-trailer on Interstate 71 20 miles outside Cincinnati a few days after Christmas, one of the 41 percent of transgender people who attempt suicide, according to a 2010 report by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Figures about those, like Leelah, who die by suicide are harder to come by in a society that acknowledges transgender people only when they turn up on a hit Netflix or Amazon seriesclaim Sonny & Cher as parents or grace the front of a Wheaties cereal box.
Follow the link above for more!

Monday, February 9, 2015

What's Wrong With You?

For security reasons, I have all my HRT meds sent to my daughter's house.  It works for two reasons. The meds go to a secure place and I have a fairly regular excuse to see her.  If you stop by Cyrsti's Condo often, you know she is one of my strongest advocates-behind my gender transition all the way.

It turns out my new Estrogen patches showed up recently at her place and I stopped to pick them up.  After a bit of small talk about my grandkids and son in law, she got serious and I knew a big discussion was headed my way.

After a bit of side talk, she got right to the point and asked me why did I come in male drag to the recent birthday dinner for my 10 year old grandson.  She said how much sense did it make if everyone already knew and expected to see the real me?  Well, I thought what the hell, "why did I?" Right or wrong, I knew my excuse - It was his evening and I didn't want to take away from that. That is true but both my daughter and I have been putting off me sitting down with just the three kids for a question and answer. That is scheduled now for next week.

So...here are the three topics of discussion: (8-10-13 year olds)
!.- Is the "new" me any different than the "old" me?  No, I am still old and will share all my interests in history with them. I want to keep doing all we have been doing.
2.- What is this "transgender" thing all about anyhow?  Fortunately the kids are very cerebral and diverse in their thinking already.  My oldest grandson had a very out gay man as a fourth grade teacher who the whole school knew was a very well known drag queen. I am fairly sure I can explain rather plainly and by keeping it PG rated - the difference between being gay or lesbian and a  transgender person.
#3.-And-the tough one: What should they call me?  I am thinking about making it a contest. I'm thinking about "Granny C"?

I will let you know how the experience works out!

In Hot Water?

OK, of all the responses I figured I possibly may get from my transgender "Bucket List" post about going swimming, I missed the point totally on this one. I thought Connie would zero in on me for my "bucket" being large enough to use as a wading pool- or my bucket is so old it wouldn't hold water anyhow!  Here's Connie's comment:

Senior Ladies Water Aerobics class at the community pool? I hear the sharks in Ohio are among the most discriminating; they prefer aged meat. Be careful that your feminine expression does not become just another old expression, considering that "valor is the best part of discretion", that is. :)

**Note-the closest sharks to me are in the Ohio River and they have different names: giant catfish and carp!

Then Paula commented:

In London and Brighton (and quite possibly other places as well) we have special closed swimming sessions at local pools specially for trans and gender diverse people. It is really liberating, and great fun. Having been swimming with the London group and on holiday I am now challenging myself t use my local pool.
Thanks Paula!  My prediction is if my swimming idea happens at all, it will happen at a hotel pool when Liz and I travel. And, yes Connie, I will warn them ahead of time about an oil slick if I don't wear the right water proof makeup!!!!