Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Taxi Service and the Dox

Never a dull moment in my world (how much fun would that be?) Today I had to check in with my "medical team" endocrinologist on the results of my latest visit to the vampires. (Blood tests.) The result was after my cat -scan Thursday) he is scheduling me with a gastrologist. Hell, I don't even know how to spell it. Then, the Doc said "how you (me) doing?"  I said quite truthfully all of this new found attention was a bit un-concerting. In very unlike doctor language he said "Don't worry just go out and live every day." I thought quickly "easy for him to say" then again so right he is!!!

Then this afternoon, I was performing my medical taxi service for my "sinister in law" who recently lost her license. She is nearly 56 and ultra concerned about her image and tooooo concerned about mine. Which has resulted recently with me telling her "You are not the boss of me."

Anyhow, this afternoon I went in with her to her waiting room very butched in boy drag. I didn't think much about it until the receptionist was having a difficult time telling which one of us was "Melissa." What really got to "sis" though was when she (the receptionist) overlooked her and mentioned how much she liked the color of my hair. The very same color sis in law tried and miserably failed to copy. 

For once, I kept my "jabberer" shut and thanked the woman and thought "Ha Ha!"

So much for living every day Doc!!! Good advice!

Cyrsti's Condo "Blind Date?"

A little nervous waiting for her escort.
Identified cross dresser-Pinterest
Wow!!! I didn't know my sister was serious about setting me up on a blind date-but he is here! Too late to turn back now!!!


Moving Forward or Getting Even?

Following the landmark Supreme Court decision upholding nationwide same sex marriage, many have taken the opportunity to perhaps over celebrate or over react in the opposite. Recently, here in Cyrsti's Condo, we ran a post which essentially quoted verbatim a response from a photographer who chose to donate a wedding picture deposit to GLAAD rather than back to the person who paid it.  

And then, bless the persons who think not returning it was wrong-even though it said in the contract the deposit was not refundable. The reason for many was the whole affair was a chance to extend an olive branch of sorts to the couple of (faith?) who wanted their money back.

To an extent, Connie is one of them and you can read her comments why after the post. I am not,and I think the photographer did exactly the right thing. Perhaps? It's because Connie lives in a much more LGBT accepting part of the country? I am fairly certain entire olive trees have been torn down and extended to those "of the faith" around here who refuse to accept anyone else's faith. In an extreme sense, I'm sure to "some of the faithful" we LGBT women and men are as big of a threat to the fabric of society as the terrorists are in the Middle East. 

Enough said. Over the years I have been vilified, trolled and threatened with stoning surprising little on any of my social media.(  Maybe it was because I was stoned so much in my past?)

What does make me sad is how difficult it is for me to even consider the right wing bible thumpers will ever accept me.

Finally, as a point of reference- I want to say I am a capitalist to the point of supporting a small business owner's right to not serve someone on religious grounds. BUT when I take it a step further, owners could then begin to not serve others because of their race. So, in a sports reference-we won baby!!! Now get over it.

I know some of you are thinking too, what exactly does the SCOTUS decision mean to the transgender community, since most of us really didn't have a "horse in the race." More in a future post.

Cyrsti's Condo Advanced Training?

SissyMaid...............
Unidentified Sissy Boy Maid Pinterest
Hmmmn? This sissy maid thing seemed like such a good idea....now what is that thing in front of me supposed to do?


Monday, June 29, 2015

The Un- Kindest Cut of All?

"Back in the day" when I was cross dressing and beginning to explore the feminine world, I constantly thought would I - could I ever "go full time."  Obviously (for any number of reasons) I took my time almost to the point of suicide. 

During that period of time a couple things stood out in my mind. One of which was a "documentary" of sorts about a person who was shown picking out a wardrobe ahead of her trip to Thailand for her SRS.  Afterwards, the story skipped ahead to a welcome home party of sorts to her home town. I thought at the time, wasn't that all a bit too easy? What did walking around in her new "little black dress" at the party have to do with her reestablishing a new life?

Then, there was the guy who went through sex reassignment surgery, lived as a woman for a few years and wanted no part of it. I remember thinking Wow - shouldn't a person be sure? Would I ever be? What if I went the distance and could never go back.

Well, I have never "gone the distance" as far as SRS was concerned and at the age of 66, I wonder about the health concerns of doing so. As it turned out, I learned the hard way what was between my ears defined me. Not what is between my legs.

I'm no expert but, over the years people have asked me what questions (and answers) which brought me to where I am today.  My best advice is very simple. There are two ways NOT to find out if you can OR if you want to live as a trans woman. No matter how much time anybody says you should live a feminine life, that does not mean walking the mall day after day or hanging out in gay venues. It means doing decidedly unfeminine things (which women have to do) like going to an auto parts store-etc. 

Plus, recently, Connie and I have have been discussing another level of acceptance in the world-as yourself as a transgender woman. In nearly polar opposites in the country we both became members of "Meet Up" Groups. In doing so, we have discovered total strangers like us for our feminine selves. Not a small deal of course. 

So, of course, if one rushes into this gender change thing at any age, it's tough. It just could be tougher the older you get and the extra baggage (not under my eyes!) which comes with age. I can only say, as I transitioned, I knew without a shadow of a doubt I was doing the right thing. I can also understand why many would call me all too timid also!!!

Cyrsti's Condo "Quote of the Day"

Over heard on one of the "Housewives" reality shows:

"I would be nervous of me-if I wasn't me."

Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Classic!!!!!

Often I wish I could write with the simple force blended with eloquence I read from so many.
This was sent to a prospective client by Florida photographer Clinton Brentwood Lee: 

"After affirming his support for same-sex marriage, Mr Lee was sent a message by a woman who had booked him to photograph her wedding.
She said: “My fiancĂ© and and I support traditional marriage between a man and a woman and don’t want our money going to a place that supports otherwise. I would like to inquire how we can get our retainer [deposit] back from you.”
Mr Lee, of Brentwood Photography, responded: “I would say this disappoints me, but I actually find this to be a good thing because our company would now not like to work with you as well.
“It’s not because you have a different view from us, but it’s because, since you don’t like and support gay marriage, no one else should be able to have it.
“That’s like me not liking broccoli, and demanding that everyone else in the world should not have broccoli either!”
He went on: “At Brentwood Photography we see love in all forms. Now as far as your retainer goes, I hope you’ll read the first article in the contract you signed stating that this is nonrefundable.
“But don’t worry I’m not going to keep it!
“I have decided to donate your $1500 to GLAAD, a group created to help and support gay rights."
Go here for a link!

Leading the Way!!!!!

Leading the way in Cincinnati's Pride parade...the "T's"!!!!!

More specifically local transgender activist Lindsay Deaton!!!! The TGLB!!



Cyrsti's Condo "Sunday Edition"

Ker Plunk! Another virtual issue of our Sunday edition is hitting your front porch! It's a damp cool Sunday morning here in Cincinnati, Ohio-but for the first time in days I can see a bit of sun! So the "joe" (coffee) is going to be warm this morning-not iced. Let's get started.

Page One-The Week That Was-or Wasn't: This is as easy as the seismic week when Caitlin Jenner came out. Friday, SCOTUS (Supreme Court of US) approved same sex marriages.
If you listen closely, the rumbling noises you hear in the distance are all the bible thumping ministers pounding away this morning. Of course what you also may hear is all the grumblings from the transgender community. I too understand this decision benefits the gay and lesbians far more than us and many fear they will kick us to the curb again. How I see it is, same sex marriage was simply the right thing to do. To complain about any pro or con effects to the trans community is simply sour grapes. Ultimately our fate lies in our hands.

NOT singing in the rain!
Page Two-Party in the Rain!: Timing is everything after all and Friday night was the kick off of two weekend party days at Cincinnati LGBT Pride.  I thought about labeling the picture of me with a phrase I am using a lot recently: "Rode hard and put away wet!" This was taken waiting for the pub crawl shuttle bus at the end of the evening. Lesson learned to take a "before" picture too! As always, Liz (Liz T Designs) and I always seem to have an innate luck to be at the right time in the right place to to enjoy ourselves. 
The pub crawl actually had three different "legs" of approximately 20 bars. We were able to comfortably get into the ones we wanted (visit some new ones) and get out while the getting was good. Also, at my old age, I do like to talk while I am in an establishment while the entertainment is going on. Did that too!
It was fun!



Page Three- Flying the Flag: One of the nicer parts of the evening was when a young woman came up and said how much she liked my barrette. It was in an earlier part of the evening before the rain had wrecked any semblance of how I wanted my hair to look. You Cyrsti's Condo regulars may remember this hand beaded trans themed barrette Liz made me some time ago. I was proud to be trans this weekend for anyone who noticed at Pride!!

Page Four-The Back Page: Well kids, it's time to get going and wrap this edition up. Thanks for stopping by the Condo and I hope to see you again soon!!!!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

It's Not Over Till It's Over

A couple transgender moments the other night caught my attention. One very positive and one exactly the polar opposite.

First I caught an episode of a show I wouldn't normally watch because of it's first transgender participant. I am talking about Big Brother and Audrey Middleton. She was as advertised: positively gorgeous and probably just as nervous. The good news is she arguably is one of the most attractive women on the show. The bad news is she is arguably one of the best looking women on the show. Why it is bad? People within and out of our transgender community think passing privilege is everything - it's not.

Take last night's incredibly tragic news that Jess Shipps a 31 year old transgender military activist had committed suicide for example. 

One of the gender transition problems is the frustrating fact you never seem to reach the "other side" in your mind. Assuming you have reached a certain level of "passing privilege" - then you have to face the daunting tasks of finding a mate, a job and all the other tasks of building a life. 

Then, what kind of life do you want?  The days of strutting yourself in front of your home mirrors, in the mall or at a gay venue are gone. Are you a "tom boy" or a "girly girl" and don't know it?

The problem also is-there is no right answer. The person you perceived you to be before transition maybe totally different than the one you become. 

Just don't put all your eggs into the "passing privilege" basket and know the transition process can be a life long process. Your rewards can be more than you ever imagined.  

Friday, June 26, 2015

Supreme Court Affirms Gay Marriage!!!!

From my Yahoo News Feed: VICTORY!!!!

"The Supreme Court has found a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, striking down bans in 14 states and handing a historic victory to the gay rights movement that would have been unthinkable just 10 years ago.
Anthony Kennedy, a conservative justice who has broken with his ideological colleagues to author several decisions expanding rights for LGBT people, again sided with the court’s four liberals to strike down the state bans. The 5-4 majority ruled that preventing same-sex people from marrying violated their constitutional right to equal protection under the law and that the states were unable to put forth a compelling reason to withhold that right from people."
Wow. 

Plan Part Two

Picking up where we left off here in Cyrsti's Condo, let's chat for a second time of the struggle to present admirably as a woman in public. As with anything else in life some of us begin with more to work with than others- but I am more than a little humored when some think they can ignore the basics when they cross dress.  My examples have always been skin care and weight control. (Ever wonder why generics obsess about these?) 

In our last post I mentioned the incredible difficulties I had when I was cross dressing a couple days a week. Rarely did I put the "whole package" together. Of course now, HRT and simple experiences in the public eye have made this "presentation" thing easier-sort of.

Aflac TV Spot, 'Duck Salon' - Screenshot 7For me, the effects of HRT had the most affect on my skin and hair.  Skin because of it's size and hair because of society. 

Hair I discuss quite a bit here in the Condo-lately it has cycled through to a combination of needing a color update to resembling an out take from the Aflac Duck Hair Salon commercial.

While I make fun of all of this "process", the fact remains if we as transgender women or cross dressers expect to be accepted by society-it takes effort. 

Example? Because of the first diet I have ever undertaken (not undertaker) I have taken off 35 pounds and all of the sudden can wear some of my clothes which were too small. Mainly, a couple long skirts and a denim skirt which comes a couple inches above my knees. I decided l would get brave and wear the denim skirt with a pair of flip flops and simple white top earlier this week when I went to the VA, my kid's house and out with my friend. 

The problem was getting my legs and feet up to "code" for public presentation. Remember I, like most of the other women around here do not wear panty hose in the summer. First of all I had to get rid of the "stubble" on my legs, then put another "coat" of "natural color in a tube" on my legs. (I have to be real careful of not screwing that up!!!) Then I moved on down to my feet and made sure all the old skin was off my heels and my self applied toe color was again presentable. On the plus side, HRT has given me the extra layer of fat women have under their skin to look smoother, so my legs are more presentable and I don't have any vein problems generics my age have.

Bottom line (for this post) was not how I thought the outfit came together and worked the way it did. It was how long it took me to get here. All day, through all sorts of situations, I was comfortable, natural and presentable. 

I had no idea I was this patient!!!

A Break Through?

Here in Cyrsti's Condo I have written about the difficulty my former Sister in Law (from my deceased wife) has had understanding my transgender status. It's not surprising in many ways because I wonder if she understands why the sun comes up in the morning. 

For some reason, today we were discussing my day yesterday. The topic bounced from yet another trip to the VA hospital, a stop by my daughter's and meeting up last night for adult beverages with one of my long time girl friends - all the way to gender markers. (For all you new visitors here to the Condo, I am a US Army trans vet and the VA is the Veteran's Administration where I get my heath care.)

For once I was patient with her and forgot about the fact she is actually 55 and not the mental age of my grandkids. I started with a slow explanation of what gender markers are, what they do and how difficult they are to change. Amazingly, she was following along. Until tomorrow when she has forgotten half of what I told her. 

I did stir the subject up a bit by explaining how natural it was yesterday to live my life in all those various spots as me. No looks or stares from the world. In fact the only hell I caught was from the VA nurse who seemingly is stuck with taking my blood lately. She rode me hard and put me away wet for still not changing my VA gender marker. Of course she is right and this time after I go through these tests to see what is wrong with me-I will get the process rolling. Enough already with the procrastination.

I have all the info stashed away on how to do the gender marker work. I do know I will need documentation from a psychiatrist/therapist type peep. So, I hope my original "shrink" at the VA who approved me for HRT is still there. We got along so well. If not, it will be interesting because almost everyone I encounter in the system now hammers me for my ID.

I should get more news next week.

In the meantime, my sister in law today said "Oh! It's not how you perceive yourself-it's how the world perceives you. And that's why yesterday was so natural for you. The world finally perceived you how you wanted." 

Wow  

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Yet Another Suicide

Jess Shipps
Jess Shipps
Just when you think everything is warm and fuzzy in the transgender community, a touch of reality comes crashing through.

For some reason, I missed this story. It did not come through my emails and I happened to pick it up because of Jeni's message through my Google + comments. But-all of the sudden, all of those comments are being sent to my Yahoo Spam mail account-which I rarely read.

So thanks to Jeni for alerting me to the tragic story about Transgender Military Advocate Jess Shipps committing suicide. 

 From the Advocate.ComThe transgender military community is in mourning after learning of the suicide of Jess Shipps, a 31-year-old Air Force veteran.
ADVERTISING
Shipps, who served 11 years before leaving service nine months ago to pursue her gender transition, was an active member of SPARTA, an advocacy and support group for trans members of the military.
The story is very sad and intensive but relates the all too familiar story of transgender suicide. A friend said her (Jess Shipps) "pretty sad, pretty difficult" final message reflected struggles experienced by many trans women and trans army veterans, that can take a toll on mental health. The pair had been friends for two years after Shipps had left the Air Force; although she was not discharged. The friend said he believes she chose to leave because "she had a fear of transitioning while on active duty." 
Check out the links for more and thanks again Jeni!

More Than Coffee with Mick Dodge?

All this time my friend Connie who lives in Seattle has represented the city and the Pacific Northwest as more as survivalists living in the woods (Mick Dodge) and a convenience store coffee stop at every corner!!! Turns out she may be right.

Aneesh Sheth produces and is featured in "CRAVE," an online series that she hopes to raise enough money through Kickstarter to produce. (Photo via screengrab at craveoriginalseries.com)
Aneesh Sheth
From the Seattle Globalist: Seattle webseries aims for depth in transgender story lines. -and why:

"With the positive reception of Laverne Cox’s breakout role in “Orange is the New Black” and Jill Soloway’s “Transparent,” scripted television shows are increasingly featuring transgender characters. But for Seattle-based trans activist, producer, and artist Aneesh Sheth, rarely do these representations dare to be different."


Sheth says her webseries “CRAVE” will bring a depth to stories about transgender characters that she’s been hoping to see.
“I definitely find my ethnicity and stories like mine absent from the latest trends of trans stories out there,” Sheth said. “Trans visibility to me is exactly what ‘CRAVE’ is hoping to do; get more stories out there that don’t rely on sensationalizing trans people and their lives. Yes, the main character is trans, and yes it is important to point that out- but only to show people, ‘Hey! Look! Here’s a trans person too and they’re just living their lives like everyone else!’”
Sheth has launched a Kickstarter to get her project off the ground. The campaign is active until July 6."
Here is a link to the campaign. 

Don't You Love it When a Plan Comes Together?

When I have the time, I browse other blogs I have linked up here with. Recently Mandy Sherman and Paula Goodwin wrote about experiences which jogged my noggin. Specifically, Paula was writing about an experience she had with a "leaking boob" and Mandy about her experiences traveling as a woman on vacation. Of course, like many of you-been there-done it. Some of the experiences were extremely humorous-some close to tragic.

Bottom line is presenting as a woman is a labor intensive activity. I clearly remember the days when I was cross dressing a couple days a week. It seemed each time I would almost put the whole deal together until I was out for awhile and my panty hose started to slide down my hips, my heels became instruments of torture, my bra hurt too and I am not going to even mention my wig and makeup!

Slowly and all too surely I learned the basics of blending, comfort and style. I was mostly too stubborn with blending as I thought it was some sort of "right of passage" to wear a dress and heels where I was the only woman doing so. Of course, dressing for comfort such as women do brought me a much better enjoyment in the clothes I was wearing. (And not be a slob!) Ironically style has always seemed to come to me easily. Perhaps it's because of all the years I spent observing women of all shapes, ages and sizes.

Then, the more I transitioned and began HRT, a whole new plan emerged. One which involved attitude over appearance as a major factor. More on all of that coming up in a later Cyrsti's Condo post...stay tuned kids!

What Does "Pride" REALLY Mean To You?

Rapidly another LGBT Pride month is rushing by. As it does, it's time to pause and ask ourselves what it really means to each of us. In years past, Pride was clearly a time for gays and lesbian's to celebrate their visibility and gains in society. (Well deserved)

We Transgender folk were pretty much along for the ride. We were the younger siblings who were really not invited to the party-but came anyhow.

Then the ultimate hurt came when we did go and were firmly included with the drag queens. 

Now of course 'times are a changin' -rather quickly. 

I began to attend Pride events only three years ago. In addition to the overall party aspects of the events I went to, there were pockets of information. Normally none of which directed to trans women or men. Yes, the "T" was invisible. It seemed I wasn't invisible though with the other attendee's. Many were very visible (to the point of being rude) with their reactions of me. I thought really? Did I have to put up with the "whip-lash" head looks and even a smirk or two? (Mainly from lesbians) I thought this party was mine too???

Back to my point. Pride to me means taking a look at where we as transgender women and transgender men have come. And, more importantly we are we are going. "Going" just could be the most important message for all of you still firmly in the closet and questioning. Regardless of what some say, coming out at any certain age does not determine your transness. What's between your ears does. So Pride is for all of you too.

I'm going to Cincinnati Pride this weekend. Yet other time to gauge how far we have come in what maybe the toughest crowd of all-our own. By the way-Cincinnati's parade marshal this year is not a cis gay man, not a lesbian but a real live out and proud transgender woman! She is  Erika Ervin, known professionally as Amazon Eve,  an American transgender model, fitness trainer, and actress.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Success!!!

Last night was the first of what I hope are many Trans*forming the Dialogue sessions hosted by Simmons College on Twitter. The hour went by way too fast!

First of all, consider this: Simmons is only the third US women’s college to accept students who identify as transgender. Perhaps you have read recently of more than a few transgender women who have struggled to be accepted number one as a woman and into other "all women's" colleges. Good for you Simmons!!!!

Trans*forming the Dialogue - Blog Logo

Here is another link for you to check out which includes everything from the Twitter Dialogue I have mentioned here in Cyrsti's Condo, to LGBT Pride Celebrations to guest posts.

My only critique of last night is - the participants represented a variety of important transgender subjects. In fact, maybe too many for the time allotted. I know, even my "know it all self" was surprised and I hope the organizers were too- pleasantly.

One way or another Simmons, I am giving you an "A"!!!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Looking back at the first Transgender Playboy Model

caroline cosseyFrom the Huffington Post Gay Voices- plenty of memories!

"Caroline “Tula” Cossey, who became the world's first transgender model to pose for Playboy magazine in 1991, opens up in her first media interview in two decades for the publication.
In the 1970s, the British-born Cossey appeared in issues of Australian Vogue and Harper's Bazaar before landing a role in the 1981 James Bond film, “For Your Eyes Only.” Shortly after the movie's release, however, she was outed as transgender by the tabloid News of the World."

I was always a huge 007 James Bond fan and just couldn't believe there could be a trans woman with enough beauty to "make the cut" and be a Bond Girl. 
Here's more, before I leave you with the link to the entire post:
"Cossey, now 60, eventually walked away from the spotlight and now lives a relatively quiet life in Atlanta. "There’s a difference between being known as Tula the transsexual international model versus just a successful model," she tells Playboy's Shane Michael Singh in the July and August issue of the magazine. "It wasn’t the same. I felt like a circus act.

Trans*forming the Dialogue

Tonight, if you on Twitter at all, I am going to try to participate in the Simmons College chat. You can register here.  and jump right in I think!!!!

#TransDialogue Tweet Chat: 
Date: Tuesday, June 23rd
Time: 8 pm Eastern Time

Trans*forming the Dialogue - Blog Logo

A Busy Week!






Nicole Maines on Royal Pains
Nicole Maines (from Out Magazine.
Those of you more mature Cyrsti's Condo visitors may remember the days in the "Dark Ages" when the only type of a transgender-cross dresser-transvestite person on TV was either on a sensationalized talk show (like Geraldo Rivera) or a movie in which the character was some sort of an evil murderer.

This week is the exact opposite. Last night (Monday) was another episode of the Ryan Seacrest-produced reality series Becoming Us.  The show explores the relationship between transgender (transitioning) MTF Carly and her son Ben, a teenage photographer with a lot on his mind. As television would have it- Ben’s girlfriend Danielle also has a father who’s transitioning. Doesn't everyone?
Audrey Middleton
Audrey Middleton

Then tonight (Tuesday) is the Royal Pain episode with young transgender woman Nicole Maines.

Last but hopefully not least (this Wednesday and Thursday)  the 2015 Edition of "Big Brother" will begin it's 17th season with a transgender woman Audrey Middleton included. 

As a sidelight, if you have ever seen Julie Chen, the host/moderator of this show speak on transgender issues she seems to be a huge ally of the trans community.

Finally, sometimes it is difficult to get links such as the ones in this post to work for long but you should be able to keep searching to find one.

Kristin Beck

Kristin Beck Addresses FBIFormer Navy Seal and transgender woman Kristin Beck is running for Congress! She is running for the Southern Maryland 5th Congressional seat against a long time incumbent. 


Follow the link to her site for more!!! (And donate if you can!!!)

I view Kristin as sort of the "ultimate" transgender veteran and wish her the best!!!

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Greatest Conflict of All?

Connie recently commented:

"The vast majority of people grow up and live their whole lives without thinking about their genders. They become aware of gender at an early age, and that, most certainly, affects their general thinking. We, on the other hand, struggled with the dysphoria as we became aware of our gender flux"

I attempted to explain exactly that to my Grand Kids and sometimes even others. Again this weekend, I became extremely aware at how others can't even conceive what we go through. Fortunately any more  I don't need to carry around a chip on my shoulder or bitterness by this time in my life-it is what it is being transgender.

Back to this weekend, Liz and I went to a Lavender Festival plus a Summer Solstice Ritual Saturday and Sunday. A few of the group (we are members of)  braved the monsoon downpours Saturday and met again Sunday. In the group are four or five tweener girls who have become increasingly fascinated with me.

They are losing their shyness and are asking my name-slowly but surely they are warming up, which I love. After all, it wasn't so long ago girls their age were my worst fear when I first opened the door and began to cross dress in public. 

Connie went on to write:  "As I was standing in the grocery line yesterday, I surveyed the covers of the magazines on the rack. People Magazine had a full-face picture of a young Bruce Jenner, along with a smaller insert from Caitlyn's Vanity Fair shoot. The headline read something like: "Good-bye Bruce; Hello Caitlyn". That got me to thinking (like I said, you can't ever get over it completely) about how others misunderstand us. It's not as simple as "good-bye/hello". Just because we may have lived our lives in a flux about gender, we don't discount our pasts through MTF transition. Of course, I used to fantasize about a "magic wand" myself, so I don't blame others for thinking that, just because I've come out, I am a totally different person. "

Of course in some ways those girls do equate me with Caitlyn Jenner and what Connie wrote. While I am sure I will never have the opportunity to sit down with any or all and chat further about a new world of gender awareness they will be a key part of. One never knows! And of course, when their kids meet transgender classmates or friends, we won't be quite as confusing.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Cyrsti's Condo "Sunday Edition"

Kerplunk! Heads up! Another Sunday edition is hitting your virtual front porch. Here in Ohio, we are taking a brief break from a typical steamy summer with torrential rainfalls which are the remnants of Hurricane Bill. Lets get started.

Page One-The Week that Was or Wasn't:  Last week, the remarkable run of transgender orientated media programming continued with the announcement of  another transgender teen, Nicole Maines making her acting debut this Tuesday on national television. She will be on this weeks episode of the USA Network show (Tuesday where I live) Royal Pains. **Note, this link may take you to a video.


If you remember, Maines, a 17-year old high school senior, made headlines when she won a Maine transgender rights case. The ruling saw the Maine Supreme Judicial Court guarantee the right of a transgender child to use the school bathroom designated for the gender with which he or she identifies.
Page Two- Dad's Day.- It's Father's Day again. I have no idea if other countries in the world have an equivalent. Around here, it draws the natural comparison between it and Mother's Day.Of course, the Mom's get the credit. In the transgender community I am going out on on a limb and write most of us for one reason or another worshiped our Mom's while our Father's remained distant. In my case, my Dad was an extraordinary provider while at the same time providing a strong moral compass. But, he was an a distant man...a WWII and Great Depression self made man. So Dad (who passed years ago) - I still wouldn't know what to get you for Father's Day. But, the more I read about the effect of single parent homes today-you were a star. Thanks I owe you a lot.
Page Three.-Summer Solstice.- Today also happens to be the longest day of the year and time to wrap this up and head to a celebration of sorts in a nearby park. Be safe and (as always) thanks for joining me here in Cyrsti's Condo! 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

A Cyrsti's Condo Salute to Father's Day


No boring tie for this Dad on Father's Day!



James Ross in his drag role as Tyra Sanchez, with his son Jeremiah.  Portraits by Jeffrey Salter

Cyrsti's Condo DAMMIT!

Unidentified Pinterest Cross dresser
Jim! I don't have the key. I forgot and locked the hotel door behind me!!! It's going to be difficult telling the wives I was just "playing"sissy for you when the wives get back from shopping.

Friday, June 19, 2015

You Get to See What I Choose to Show You!

In recent posts here in Cyrsti's Condo, we have discussed how the world see's a transgender person. By now, even the average person has some sort of understanding of who they "think" we are because of Caitlin Jenner, Laverne Cox etc. 

Not a real surprise in that for most of our lives-we don't know what to think. At the point I did and interacted with the world, I came to my own realization my gender feelings were a highly personal, fluid and powerful part of my life. Selfishly, I discovered my gender was but a mirror. It was A mirror when I was kid walking down the hallway the first time in a dress and make up. When I transitioned more completely into the public, I compared my feminine life as stepping out of the mirror and into the "real world."

These days, I think I am coming full circle again. (One of the benefits of being old.) I still feel the highly personal nature of my personal gender, but now feel even a deeper sense of humor in letting the public see what they "think" they see in me. Only I know for sure!

After all, they don't have a life.

While My Blog Gently Weeps

Everytime I write one of these posts, I fervently hope it will be my last.  

The older I get now it seems the world has turned on it's end-again. First came the tragedy of the racially motivated attack in South Carolina. I was a "tweener" when the real impact of the Civil Rights movement took effect in the 60's.  While I am not naive enough to think racism was ever dead and buried in our country, I was fond of telling my grandkids of how their great grandmother went to local Klan meetings in a horse drawn wagon-and now we have a biracial president. 

Then, this morning a Cincinnati policeman was shot and killed on duty.

I wish I could pretend I was smart or powerful enough to even suggest ways to end this madness.  And, I have not even mentioned the issue of gun control.

I still think the somewhat "romantic" idea of a "gun in every house" because we (America) are a youngish country is still alive. After all that is the only reason the Germans or Japanese didn't attack in World War II! was we were armed. Finally, toss in all the meth heads or heroin addicts with automatic weapons and a good time will be had by all! 

What I do propose is, ALL of the nearly 20 candidates who are running for president need to not be allowed to steer the issues away from the basics.

Stop bitching about gay marriage and transgender rights and get to work on fixing what's broken. Before it's too late.


Thursday, June 18, 2015

No Trans Pain From Maine!

Transgender student Nicole Maines (center) with her father, Wayne Maines (left), and brother Jonas, speaks to reporters outside the Penobscot Judicial Center, Wednesday, June 12, 2013, in Bangor. (Robert F. Bukaty | AP/Pool)
Transgender student Nicole Maines (center) with her father, Wayne Maines (left), and brother Jonas, speaks to reporters outside the Penobscot Judicial Center, Wednesday, June 12, 2013, in Bangor. (Robert F. Bukaty | AP/Pool)
From: The Bangor Daily News:
Maine’s most famous transgender teen is making her acting debut next Tuesday on national television.
USA Network announced today that Nicole Maines will star in an upcoming episode of the show “Royal Pains”.
Maines, a 17-year old high school senior, made headlines when she won a Maine transgender rights case. The ruling saw the Maine Supreme Judicial Court guarantee the right of a transgender child to use the school bathroom designated for the gender with which he or she identifies.
The episode titled “The Prince of Nucleotides” — set to air 10 p.m. Tuesday, June 23 —  will feature Nicole as she plays a trans choreographer who discovers that the hormones she’s taking may be putting her health at risk.
Follow all the links for more!!!

Letting My Transgender Flags Fly

I recently added another "Pride" sticker to the back of my "Rolls Royce!" "TOhio" stands for "Trans Ohio" and the Leelah Alcorn is self explanatory!


It Was All An Act

My friends are absolutely the best. I have two generic girl friends aside from my partner Liz who I talk about here in Cyrsti's Condo quite a bit.

We all got together last night. As I said, they are really cool about me not wanting to talk about Caitlin Jenner. But it happened, and we did. Per norm, Nikki is never afraid to speak her mind while Kim is a tad more laid back.  To put it bluntly, she has never cared less about my past. Nikki doesn't really either but she will rock my boat every now and then. I could see it in her face a Caitlin Jenner question was coming. 

After knowing Nikki for over six years now, I always enjoy playing verbal "tag" with her. The question was how did I view Jenner talking about her past as an Olympic hero and did I judge her gender when she did it. I said she was a male then. She asked about my past-especially in the military. Good question! I said male and it was the only way I could do it. But, similar to Caitlin Jenner, it was all an act. 

At that point, in classic feminine style, she asked (nicely) "so was I lying about my life like "Bruce" and even Rachel Dolezal. "  By this point in time I have been sufficiently experienced in woman to woman communication and just said "Yes, I was lying and I was one hell of a macho actor!"  On the other hand, I do have a real understanding of what Caitlin Jenner, Laverne Cox and so many other transgender women and men have gone through.

And just that quick, the topic we never talk about was over. I was just their friend again. I love them!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Move Over Gay Marriage

I just saw this on my Yahoo News Feed:

Transgender movement may not have to wait long for its day in court"Inmate Michelle-Lael Norsworthy smiles after a parole hearing at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, Calif. She is locked in a legal battle with The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation over her request for sex reassignment surgery. (Photo: Steve Yeater/AP)
The Supreme Court will announce whether it has found a fundamental right to same-sex marriage any day now, dramatically altering the course of gay rights history. But a much lower-profile case that is currently wending its way up through the federal courts could offer the Supreme Court an opportunity for another potentially transformative decision on LGBT rights as soon as next year."
And, for those of us who think change isn't coming fast enough (it's not) I still am amazed at these numbers -again from Yahoo who questions the reasons behind the little "t" along with the big "G"and "L" in the LGBT grouping: 
The transgender movement has always lagged a bit behind. One reason is that while most Americans now say they know a gay person, the vast majority does not know a trans person. That is beginning to change, according topolling by advocacy group the Human Rights Campaign. Twenty-two percent of likely voters now say they know a transgender person, a five percentage point jump from even just one year earlier. And that’s already affecting public perceptions: 44 percent said in January that they viewed trans people favorably, compared to just 26 percent in 2011."
Wow!

Caitlin Who?

aubrey middleton
Audrey
Here comes another very visible trans woman, Audrey Middleton. She is the First (?) ever transgender contestant on CBS's Big Brother television show. I put the question mark in because I seem to remember another several years ago before it was trendy to be trans.

No matter, Audrey grew up in Georgia, was a competitive swimmer and- imagine this-had problems transitioning with her family.

Not a huge fan of the show but I am biased for another trans sister! 

Thanks Bobbie for passing this along!!!! 

Marriage, Children and Cross Dressing?

Of all the various layers in our community, the cross dressers are likely the most silent, closeted and hidden from society. For obvious reasons. Most have families to raise and support. Plus on many levels a cross dresser just hasn't decided to make the much more serious leap into the transgender woman world. But recently, Terri Lee Ross has been blogging about cross dressers! Here is a lead in:
Marriage, Children and Cross-dressingThe cross-dressing community needs role models. So many of them are hiding in the shadows, unable to come forward and share their secret with their wives and families. They remain trapped in their own negative self-perception that leads to a lonely and an unauthentic life. Because of this, the image of cross-dressers remains a perversion, along with being thought of a transsexual woman, further wrongly defining them. Cross-dressers are not necessarily transitioning transgender/transsexual women. Many are comfortable in a dual-gender role, where they choose to remain a man, yet need to express their femme self.
Meet Brian, a cross-dresser who lives in the Seattle area with his wife and two young children.  Brian’s femme self is Alyssa, who is very much part of their life. Brian has found balance in living in his male and femme roles, while raising children. It is a story of hope that our society is moving forward in understanding just who cross-dressers really are, not necessarily the portrayed image of Caitlyn Jenner or other television shows on the transgender community that keep populating, like rabbits.
Here is your link!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Trans Black?

If you live in the United States at least, Rachel Dolezal is the latest person to dominate the headlines. The story has unfolded something like this from Today:

"Rachel Dolezal, the former NAACP chapter president accused of pretending to be black, tells TODAY's Matt Lauer in an exclusive live interview that she identifies as black — something she started doing at the age of five.
"I was drawing self-portraits with the brown crayon instead of the peach crayon, and black curly hair," she told Lauer. But she insisted she never deceived anyone as numerous critics have suggested."
No, none of Rachel's story has anything to do with being transgender, but that she does identify as black (not pretend) and has forever (since five). It is not surprising some are connecting similar dots with trans women. 
Rachel Dolezal - Trans black? or Black Face?
Example? Rachel wasn't born black and I wasn't born female but we identify that way.
One of my least fave questions is, "How does it feel to be a woman since you were a man?" Well, I can't tell anyone how it feels to be a woman or a man. I am qualified to give insight on how the world has treated me either way. Plus, I am also qualified to comment on what happens when you don't get accepted either way. 
These days, I am fond of saying I am the person I choose to show you-no more no less.
If you are interested, one of the more in depth looks at all of this (of course, she is great!) comes from Helen Boyd here.