Friday, October 30, 2015

Here I Is

The fastest and easiest way to explain why I haven't posted for awhile is I just had to get away. 

For any of you who have written a blog, at certain points of time, you just have to decide who is running increasingly larger portions of your life-the blog or you (of course.) With me the lines were becoming blurred.

Then, I began to think back to why I decided to do this at all. Number One, I wanted to help anyone else who was heading down the same road as I and maybe at the same time have a little fun with it. In particular, the Rocky Horror Picture Show comments- from almost everywhere about Laverne Cox's role in the upcoming remake- just showed me how many sour bitter peeps there still are in the transgender community. So be it though-their problem not mine. I have never and won't live my life that negative way and it seemed I was letting the Condo pull me there.

Number Two, thank the Goddess, the treatment for my liver condition is working really well. So naturally I am feeling better and again just needed to clear my mind to match my body. I quit posting and began to write in earnest in my journal and began sessions on quantum physics called "What the Bleep do We Know." I can't explain the concept easily except to say follow the link and to say I am very early into the process.

One thing I did learn early was I had to put the transgender part of my being behind. I was using it as a crutch. It didn't really matter how much so called experience on either side of the gender fence I had, more importantly, where was I headed as a human.

I had already figured out which side of the gender fence I wanted to live on.

So maybe I  am reaching the magical kingdom of stealth we all so strive for. Or not caring what marks the finish line at all?

I don't know for sure and don't know for sure how soon (if ever) I will return to regular posting.

I just wanted to check in and tell you all I was still alive and well. If I was otherwise-I would have let you know!!!!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Rocky Two?

I had  no idea some of the reactions I got to my positive reaction to Laverne Cox's naming to the "Dr. Frank-n-furter" role in the Rocky Horror Picture Show remake?

In this instance I would have thought if we are secure in our transgender lives, we can sit back and have some fun with this. Pull out the lighters and the toast and all the props we used to take to the run down theater's who were showing "Rocky" at midnight and have some fun.

Fun is still fleeting I guess for the trans community I guess and that is sad!!! 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

What a CHOICE!

It was just announced the classic "Rocky Horror Show" movie is being re-released! And, better yet  "Frank-N-Furter"  the self-described "sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania" (and a scientist) will be played by actress Laverne Cox.

The 'Orange Is the New Black' star will take on the role of Frank-N-Furter, made famous by Tim Curry.

The movie is a satire of sci-fi movies and horror B-movies and originally starred Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick as a couple who stumble upon Frank-N-Furter's odd castle in which he is creating a living man in his lab.

The character was made famous by Tim Curry in the 1975 cult classic, which celebrated its 40th anniversary this year and continues to be screened at midnight in theaters across the country. The two-hour Fox special, due in fall 2016, will be directed, exec produced and choreographed by Kenny Ortega (High School Musical) and filmed in advance. Ortega, Gail Berman and Lou Adler, who produced the original film, are attached as exec producers. The new Rocky will be produced by Fox 21 Television studios and Berman's The Jackal Group. Adam Lambert and Lady Gaga previously were offered the part.

Of course I watched "Rocky" more than once "back in the day" but my problem these days is staying up past midnight at all!

Store the Ego in the Closet

It's time again to collect up parts of my male past and store them in the back of my very dark closet as I move closer and closer to changing my legal gender markers.

Lately,I haven't made any secret here in Cyrsti's Condo about how much my life has improved in the last year or so. (Over an improving one already.)

Plus, I began to think years ago how I would attributed it to my appearance as a crossdresser and how my old male ego impeded my progress out of the closet. But that is another story for another post.

It took awhile but with the help of friends and family, I have to began to understand my new life had nearly nothing to do with appearance but the rest of the world catching up with the LGBTQ community.  Which in turn, instills a certain confidence-no a lot of confidence.

You all also know I'm always trying to overthink this whole trans life process, so here are a couple quotes to leave you with:

Also lately, I have been attempting to come up with a well written quote which says something like "You can get to where I have become-just do it a LOT easier."

Another would be "There is a ton of room in your closet to leave your ego-when you leave it."

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Semper Fi

From the "Telegraph" comes the story we transgender veterans know so well:  A former US marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan has shared her inspirational story of accepting herself and becoming a woman.
Sona AvedianSona Avedian, 33, said she identified as a girl ever since she was a child, but hid that side of herself until three years ago.
Previously known as Matt, she says she had hid behind the mask of a US MarinePreviously known as Matt, she was married to a woman and has a small daughter. Ms Avedian said she had "hid behind the mask of a US Marine" because she was ashamed of the way she felt."I could only hide so much," she said. "I was exhausted and I could no longer hide behind these deployments".
In all fairness to Sona though, we all should be as fortunate to be able to gain as much passing privilege as we Mtf transition!  For more, go here and "Semper Fi"!
She said she prepared to "come out" by exercising and changing her diet, and eventually beginning to take hormones and altering her hair.
She hoped to inspire others with her story. "It's about being you," she said, "no matter what society thinks!"

Shouldn't You Really Wait?

A couple weeks ago here in Cyrsti's Condo last week we sent along the story of trans woman Elaine Walquist who was able to set up a meeting with an Oregon legislator. He (the legislator) was attempting to pass a bill prohibiting 15 to 17 year old transgender youths from going through SRS. He had never met a trans woman and she reportively didn't change his mind - but what do you think?

As much as I wish I had had the information and family support to begin a very early transition in my life, going as far as sexual reassignment surgery at that age may have been going to far.

First of all of course, one has to consider the maturity level of the person - plus factor in the influence of puberty blockers and HRT on the transgender youth considering such a huge move.

I have seen a couple kids in that age bracket around here who you would never in a million years think they were born into the wrong body. And remember, it is being proven puberty blockers can be reversed. 

Finally, I know I am more mature and not the best example of a passable transgender woman but then again I have been able to carve out a pretty decent life these days. I just don't think two years (15-17) would be too long to wait.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Feeling Guilty This Year?

Halloween (named after the patron saint of crossdressers everywhere) St.Weenie (just kidding) is fast approaching. 

Some time ago here in Cyrsti's Condo I mentioned Liz and I planed to accept an invite to a gay couples Halloween Party this year. As the pumpkin turned though, her son's birthday is on Halloween, so getting the family together was difficult. She had to do it on the day of this year.

So, for the first time ever (or my first two years in the Army in 1972-73) I will not be going to a Halloween Party of any kind. For several days I felt very guilty about not having to worry about coming up with the most creative costume EVER! It would be kind of tough to just show up as myself and say I'm Caitlin Jenner? Although I believe I have some her same style of clothes buried in my closet from the 80's. 

That's OK though, I have been fortunate to have had my share of some very fun times which happened to coincide with my first efforts to come out of the closet. Also, I should mention the Wicca/Pagan spiritual faith Liz and I follow has it's own different beliefs in "All Hallows Eve." or an even more ancient Celtic (NOT the basketball team!) festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts. Been to a few of those too!

So even though I am feeling a bit guilty of not being able to join one one or two of what would prove to be a very enjoyable evening-it's time to move on this year...and not on a broom!!!!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Research Day

The problem I have now with all my pending gender marker changes is that I'm trying too hard to connect invisible dots which aren't really there.

Example? The paper work to change my name and gender with my veterans administration care. In many ways it is the most important for me simply because I interact one on one with more people - right now. As I have written here in Cyrsti's Condo before, I won't have to guess which name the staff is going to use with me-or the right pronoun. The fine print says complete forms and send to the "Privacy Officer". That's cool, but which one? My home provider hospital in Dayton, or a higher up? At any rate, I am going to call later today too see if I can get an answer. The VA tops my list of changes to make first, or at the least get started so I can "hurry up and wait."

After that, I have a little bit more of a different agenda than some of my other younger transgender sisters. Since I am already retired, I don't have to make a social security change a priority yet because I don't need it to apply for jobs.

On the flip side of the coin (no pun intended) I have to be careful with my Social Security name change "syncing up" with my bank for electronic deposits. Plus, how about those pesky loan payments still in my male name? Shouldn't matter if the loan number still remains the same. See, all of those questions are great to keep me company at 4:30 in the morning.

Plus I have not forgotten to factor in my legal name change which will be needed and a new driver's license.

All of this is proving to me I was right in my noggin...this could be very as complex as other parts of my transition - up to and including HRT. (Which is another story right now.)

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Cyrsti's Condo "Sunday Edition"

Ker Plunk!!! Listen closely as another "Sunday" Recap is hitting your virtual front porch! Here along the Ohio near Cincinnati, we are dipping into the 30's (or lower) for a couple days before climbing back towards the 70's. Ideal for leggings, boots and big bulky sweaters. Lets get a hot "cup o joe" and get started.

Page One-The week That WAS-or Wasn't: Very definitely, it was the week that WAS for me. If you follow the blog at all you know Thursday my VA (Veterans Administration) psychologist signed off on my all important paper work to proceed changing my legal gender markers-which means my name and gender on documents. I have often written and thought the legal path is as challenging as navigating the world as a transgender woman at all. The next step for me this week is determining the sequence I want to do it in.  I can tell you for sure I am sick and tired of being called my male name at the VA, which is not their fault because that is what is in the system!

Page Two- Trans Allies: For some reason (other than yet another trans paranoia) I have read certain "T-peeps" blister transgender "allies." I thought I was missing something? Didn't I want/need more peeps on my side? Liz and I's "Meet Group" on Friday was one great example and my psychologist was another last week. Let me point out the group has absolutely nothing to do with LGBTQ causes and probably many wouldn't know the meaning anyhow. But they accept me warmly for who I am. So I guess they became allies out of "osmosis?" But I love them none the less and a whole lot more for them being - well-them. As they do me.

Page Three-Opinion: I have always considered paying forward a major goal of my life and I may have a yet another chance to help out coming up. In my discussions with my psychologist I mentioned several residents who sat in with my regular Doc's who asked if I had ever-or would talk to a Medical College class on the do's and don'ts of handling a trans patient. Of course I said no, but I would. Then she (my psychologist) said, would I be interested in talking to one of her interns. Again, I said sure-I would be honored. I hope something comes of the invitation because my VA clinic as a whole has become very diverse over the recent years - mainly with the help (again) of my psychologist. Great company to be included in-if only an itty bit!!!

Page Four- The Back Page: Well kids, time to wrap this up and put together breakfast vittles before the second half of my B&B football squads take the field. Of course my ultimate thrill yesterday came when "The team up North" lost to Sparty (Michigan State) in the last second-then my THE Ohio State Buckeyes beat up on Penn State. Then today the Cincinnati Bengals continue down their unbeaten path. To all of you though, I  hope the sun is shining in your world! Thanks for stopping by Cyrsti's Condo!!!

Luv ya All!!!

Friday, October 16, 2015

A Post I Never Thought I Could Write

Yesterday was a big day - no a HUGE day in my life-my psychologist signed off on my paperwork to begin my gender marker changes.

First  of all, lets back track more years than I can even remember to my earliest fascination with most things feminine. Like most, I made early excursions into my Mom's clothes and makeup. Like many I wanted a doll-not a toy gun for Christmas and like even a fewer, I just wished I could wake up a girl. But- this was in the 1950's and my parents were World War II/Depression born and raised. You want to be a girl, boy????  Get to the barber for your burr haircut NOW. Then go to your room and we will ALL forget this happened. Could have been worse though, they weren't particularly religious. 

Plus, there was nearly no information to work from as you remember back then and most certainly a legal change of my gender was only a distant idea. Instead, I fought the good fight the best I could-still thinking I could beat the deep down thoughts that I could be other than I man the world thought me to be.

I even went the crossdresser route. After all, what harm could be in "fooling" the public into thinking I was feminine. My bi-weekly trips into the world as a girl led to only to more frustration. I would journey out, with various levels of success. If I was successful, I got my fix-for two days at the most. Something was still certainly wrong.

So wrong, I was feeling so bad about my place in the world, I actively tried suicide for the first time in my life. (Some time I will have to explain my idea of a passive versus active suicide attempt.)

Then friends, parents and family began to die on me, so finally I had to follow my soul and transition. Even still, just starting HRT doesn't necessarily lead to changing gender markers.

Finally (as had happened quite a few times in the past few years) I got kicked off the gender marker cliff too. Mainly Liz and my daughter get the credit. They became flat out over me whining over certain aspects of my transition, not to mention my procrastination taking on the whole process too.

See-you all were wrong!!! KIdding! You all were right.

So going back to the beginning, gender is no longer defined what is between your legs, I 
positively love my psychologist AND have been working on my happy dance since yesterday.

After the gender dust settles, Liz and I are going to set a time table to start the Mtf gender marker process in earnest!!!!!!!


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

"Fear and Loathing" on the Elevator

To get to my psychologist office tomorrow, first I have to make several other stops in the VA Hospital- one on the second floor for blood work, fourth floor for my "blood letting" and finally up to the seventh.(where my psychologist office is.) Perhaps if you read Cyrsti's Condo yesterday (and your memory is better than mine) you will remember tomorrow is my first meeting to pursue changing my gender markers.

At the least it will make it easier for the person who called for me with my male name (she had to) to confirm the appointment. She said are "we" coming? Ha-ha! I said, "Indeed "we" will be there to see ""they."

The point to all this jabber is riding in an elevator as a trans woman just could be the most paranoiac experience I have next to bathrooms.

Why? It is not because of any deep fears I have of elevators themselves, unless I happened to find myself on one with Lady Gaga or Kathy Bates on American Horror Story - Hotel. If you do---get off ASAP!

I believe my fear of elevators to this day goes back to my earliest crossdressing in public days. Being "trapped" on an elevator (especially one with mirrors) brought a terror I can only describe as asking Lady Gaga to push the fourth floor button for me. All of my fears are re-introduced everytime Liz and I are going to a big event full of impossibly small attractive cis women in their impossibly high heels and impossibly skimpy black dresses. For sure, feelings NOT only experienced by me - but by so many other cis women to!!!

So elevator time is only another long standing transgender paranoia which needs to go away. Many more people than not have been nice to me, or at the least didn't react to me at all.

A brown colored eye-hole on a doorI suppose too, I'm lucky I only have seven floors to worry about. I hear rumors about "Gaga" and the Gang having parties on the thirteenth!

Oh-By the Way-

Jackie Evancho Sister Juliet Opens Up About Transgender Journey
Juliet (right)

Red carpets might be run-of-the-mill for Jackie Evancho since the 15-year-old vocal wonder placed second on America's Got Talent five years ago. But when she stepped out to perform at the Global Lyme Alliance's inaugural gala in New York Thursday, the whole night was full of firsts for the person by her side, her sister Juliet. 
Juliet's first fancy gala, first time posing on a red carpet – and first time sharing with the world that she is transgender. 

As soon as being transgender becomes so routine it is barely mentioned-we have arrived! Sometimes I think we are getting there when I read stories like this;

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Cyrsti's Condo's Coming Attractions:

CINCINNATI (WKRC) -- Nobody said parenting was easy... but nothing prepared this mom! In a Local 12 News Family 411, anchor Sheila Gray shares the struggles of a mother of two transgender children. Her plea to the Tri-State. A message for all parents, #LiveOnLocal12 News Thursday at 6. 

Read More at:

FYI-  Channel 12 in Cincinnati has seemed to have taken the lead in local transgender coverage following the tragic suicide of young Leelah Alcorn here last Christmas.  Of course there will always be the "naysayers" who say the coverage is about ratings. With kids though I am not sure that is always the case. Depends upon each individual story and reporter I suppose.

Finally, I don't know if you will be able to pick this up, but we are still Eastern Standard Time!

The Sun, The Moon and the Trans Stars

As you NFL fans probably know, the Cincinnati Bengals won their fifth game this weekend by the slimmest of margins-with a field goal which hit the uprights and then through for the victory. The entire win prompted renowned astrophysicist "Neil deGresseTyson" to tell us why. (follow the link."} 

Today I felt the same effect here in the Cincinnati area which I suppose could be a "residue" from Sunday's game. For some reason I thought today would be a great day to TRY to contact my VA Psychologist, who happens to be the same one who was instrumental in starting me down my HRT path years ago.

She is tough to get to return calls from but today for some reason "The Coriolis Effect" was still spinning my way, because I got a return call less than two hours later. And, as amazing as that was, (it got better) she said she had an opening this Thursday!  And, oh by the way, she is also who could be the one start my "gender marker" change path.

For some unknown reason though, I still feel as if I am walking on thin gender ice. Even after all the transition time I have experienced. Perhaps I always will, but then again I have always felt negotiating the legal gender marker path was as tricky as the physical/social change itself.

No need to be bored - right?

Monday, October 12, 2015

Transgender Veteran Updates

You regulars around here in Cyrsti's Condo know I am Vietnam Era trans vet and have had my HRT monitored by the VA (Veterans Administration) for several years now. 

Along the way, other trans vet visitors here have asked for me to provide any extra info when I found it. I did find some "clarifications" today as I was trying to "back track' through the processes I would have to jump through to change my VA gender markers which works through the DD214 form.

Here are some other links you may be interested in:

  1. External Fact Sheet
  2. Patients and Resident Rights of VA Centers
  3. Changing Your Name/Gender
Your next move (of course) is another form - DD 149

Which leads you to:

What evidence should I submit along with my DD Form 149? 
1. Evidence of your legal name change, such as a certified copy of your name change order 
2. We recommend including at least one, and as many as you have available, of the following:  A U.S. Passport showing your updated name and gender - A state driver’s license or identification card showing your updated name and gender - A court order recognizing your gender transition
AND A signed statement, on office letterhead, from a licensed physician.

 Though no requirements for this statement have been issued, we recommend the statement follow the following format: I, (physician’s full name), (physician’s medical license or certificate number), (issuing U.S. State/Foreign Country of medical license/certificate), (DEA Registration number or comparable foreign designation), am the physician of (name of patient), with whom I have a doctor/patient relationship and whom I have treated (or with whom I have a doctor/patient relationship and whose medical history I have reviewed and evaluated). (Name of patient) has had appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition to the new gender (specify new gender male or female)

I will let you read on from there! (TAVAUSA)

Trans Woman on Aisle Nine!

As promised in our Cyrsti's Condo "Sunday Edition", the final regular Saturday stop at our local huge food store was anything but routine. After this morning's story from the Cincinnati EnquirerI am pleased I do. It's no small deal as-

 Kroger is the largest traditional grocer in the nation with more than 400 stores. With more than 400,000 employees, it's the nation's seventh largest employer.

"The Kroger Co. has agreed to extend transgender health benefits to employees covered under the company insurance plan with Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, according to a Facebook posting from a Kroger worker! Below!
SECONDARY BritneyMcGannon_03
Britney McGannon, a Kroger general-merchandise manager, organizes products on a shelf. She transitioned on the job and now proudly wears the female uniform and a new name tag.
(Photo: The Enquirer/Meg Vogel

Kroger is one of the largest retailers in the country and is headquartered here in Cincinnati. They operate stores under several different names, so you may be shopping at one now and not really know it.

OK, back to Saturday-it was relatively late (for a person of my age) and the store was nearly empty so mainly the only interactions Liz and I were having were with employees. (Which by the way, are normally very nice.) 

As we checked out, the young girl on the register did her trained but pleasant spiel on if we found everything OK. But then, the bagger, who was perhaps a young LGBT person, asked if we shopped at this store often? We said we did and she said "come back soon and shop at her store." How nice! Plus, the older woman (who I perceived to be in charge of the few cashier lines that were open) was heading our way smiling. Yes, the store is open 24/7 so she wasn't saying get out :).

After reading this morning of Kroger's new stance on transgender insurance, and the fact I already knew of their LGBT diversity. I had to feel Saturday night was no accident.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

We Got Comments

As promised, I wanted to highlight the comments I received here in Cyrsti's Condo about a trans woman Elaine Walquist, who requested to talk to an Oregon politician who had proposed a bill banning SRS for transgender youth 15-17 years old.

  1. At least she made an impression on him and put a human face on the TG people he is advocating against.

    Thanks for sharing this.
  2. The politics aside, this story is the most encouraging I've heard in a long time. I would love to have the opportunity to meet with someone like that....... Well, I do it all the time, but not with someone that could make it newsworthy.
  3. *
    I share Elaine's stealth mode history. My transition and operations (1974 - 1985) were all done in stealth though I had not known that term during those days. I transitioned beyond the express knowledge of my family and friends. They should have known, I spent my lifetime in feminine protesting from age three. They failed to comprehend that my change would inevitably happen.

    It was not until I went full-time female forever (1985 - age 29) did they know and right on cue they all - yes ALL - eventually rejected me. My last personal interaction with family (an uncle) was 1999. Both my parents are deceased; my sister wants nothing to do with me and refuses to write or call.

    Additionally, my transition was lonely. I was the only transsexual for all but one of my physicians until 1985. I resided at small communities during early years (1974 - 1980). Even when I moved to Salt Lake City (1980), my counsellor told me that I was the only transsexual from Provo to Logan. My sessions were mostly 'group'; my counsellor advised me to limit my discussion of my transsexualism to our private sessions because group might not be able to handle my presence.

    Nowadays I am again mostly alone. I am my current endocrinologist's first, my primary's seventh, my co-primary's first, and my therapist's first.
SharonAnne's and Elaine share a very real painful past which should never be forgotten in a transgender conversation of how we got to where we are today. Physical SRS pain followed (or proceeded) by even more emotional pain. Thanks SharonAnne for sharing, I am sending positive vibes along for you to add a friend or two to your list.

Cyrsti's Condo "Sunday Edition"

Ker Plunk! Listen up! Another Sunday version is hitting your virtual front porch. Thanks for joining in on another glorious Fall morning along the Ohio River here in Cincinnati. Lets get a hot "Cup o Joe" head out to the deck with the laptop and get started.

Page One-The Week That was-or Wasn't: My pick this week goes to the story about the YMCA in Tacoma, Washington who reversed their stance on transgender individuals being allowed to use the changing/locker room of their choice. Here is an excerpt from Connie: 

 "Locker rooms are different than restrooms, though. Personally, I would not feel comfortable exposing my male genitalia in a women's locker room. In fact, I never liked it in men's locker rooms, either. We can talk about the difference between gender and sex until we're blue (pick the body part), but it becomes all-too-confusing when standing naked in front of others. No matter what may be going on in our minds, it's more about what is in our presentation that shapes perception by others. Having grown up as a very confused child, myself, I would never want to be the one to create confusion in the mind of a child now."

I agree but NEVER should the organization involved even intimate a transgender person is the "perve" when in fact we are the ones who have been the victims time after time.

Page Two-Opinion: Seemingly, it is a huge "no-no" to compare any racial discrimination with transgender discrimination-but here goes. Should places such as the YMCA be forced to provide "separate but equal" changing/locker room facilities? Not unlike the old "Jim Crow" racial discrimination laws in the South? And, in this day of litigation everywhere, wouldn't that open the door for everyone else to do it too? Number one, I'm not smart enough to know, or two, have a crystal ball which is clear enough to tell me. But, (no pun intended) If I was provided a trans changing room-I would take it. I don't need that kind of battle! (Or embarrassment, and I too think of the kids.)

Page Three-Honey Is That A??? What a fun night last night was for all the wrong reasons. Let me explain. Liz and I were invited to a friends, son's 21st birthday party she promised him before he passed away a couple years ago. Friends and family were there, including a couple I guarantee had never and maybe never again see another trans person in their life. Outside of a long set of stares (and some glares) though all was good. 

Also, one of Liz and I's Mother Earth group members who has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer was there. My heart went out to her of course on the diagnoses-but also on the number of times she had to repeat:
  1. Yes, I do have breast cancer.
  2. Yes,I am on Chemotherapy
  3. No,I am not going to tell you how nasty that is.
  4. Yes I do hurt
  5. Yes I am tired and going home.

She was very gracious though and I learned a lot from her and she also is in my thoughts a lot. 

Page Four-The Back Page: Well kids it's time to wrap this up, but not before I am going to mention even another stop at the grocery store as we were heading home-in my next post!
I love you all and WHO DEY! Who Do You Think is Gonna Beat Dem Bengals!

Trans Gender Blender Two

From last summer's Dayton, Ohio Celtic Festival
As promised kids, part two of my "Trans Blender"  Cyrsti's Condo post.  Not only was I able to bring much of the baggage with me I wanted to from my past, I have been able to add back in what I wanted from my feminine side. Example?

Last night Liz and I went to a "Love Must Win" head event in Burlington,Kentucky where I make no secret of my journey to being an "out and proud" transgender woman. After the meeting we went to a family style restaurant as two women. 

Then today I will watch THE Ohio State Buckeyes play football and head out to a party we were invited to later today at our "Mother Earth" Meet Up group.

Tomorrow is another "blend" day. I begin with my journal, moving directly to our "Sunday Morning Edition" - which if it shows it or not takes normally an hour or more. At one-ish tomorrow even a town such as Cincinnati (which suffers from a huge blase sports attitude) has started to show a little spark over the undefeated Bengals playing Connie's "Seattle Sea Pigeons" who lost last year's SuperBowl with THE dumbest play call ever seen outside of Ohio.

I learned long ago, if THE Buckeyes lose, life as I know it is done and the Bengal's probably will lose big games and never bet on them!

Then after the game, we are going to meet a friend for coffee.

*****Plus, before I forget-I have a ton of comments from all of you to get to and I thank you sooooo much. I will get to them. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Trans Gender Blender

Yesterday (and today) was yet another day when I ended up looking back at key points of my transition.

"Back in the day" I wondered how I could "traverse" the gender gap of life as a guy for 60 plus years with assuming the feminine lifestyle I was so desperate to get to. Like so many others in my situation, there were certain "stereotypes" we thought could/would define us. Perhaps sitting at an upscale bar smoking a "Virginia Slim" cigarette while sipping a "foo foo" drink. (I hated even 'trying' to smoke.}

"Foo foo" means some sort of fruity alcohol drink which tastes nothing like alcohol. By the way, if you drink them, it's one off the most common ways for a bartender to make sure you don't taste the alcohol-there is none. They love to give your shot to a bar regular for an extra tip!

At any rate, as you Cyrsti's Condo regulars know, life didn't quite turn out the way I figured it would/could during my Mtf gender transition. Finally it came to me I could indeed bring the enjoyable part of my past with me. I began to notice cis women who enjoyed sports and beer and even became to be accepted in their sandbox. Sometimes to the point of being described as being too girly.

As it turned out-the blender wasn't done today! Read on in the next post.

Friday, October 9, 2015

You Can't Change at the YMCA?

Via Connie, the story of a Tacoma,Washington YMCA is now caving to pressure and changing it's stance on transgender use of it's changing rooms:

On the heels of a new "bathroom bill" in Wisconsin and just days after bathroom usage became an issue for one transgender student in Missouri, a YMCA near Seattle is embroiled in its own bathroom battle.
"The Y in Tacoma, Wash., attempted to make its bathroom policies more accommodating to transgender individuals, reported Seattle TV station KOMO. But the facility encountered a backlash from members, what the station called "a flood of phone calls, emails and social media postings."
So the YMCA recinded its new policy, which would have allowed transgender members to use the locker room of their choice. 
Those in charge of the athletic facility gave KOMO this explanation for the policy change: "a non-transgender individual might pose as a transgender [sic] to gain access to our locker rooms and expose themselves to children and cause harm to children." 
"We are asking that our transgender members use our private changing room at our family facilities," YMCA spokesperson Michelle LaRue told KOMO."
Trans sunset over Cincinnati
Of course we know: " studies have found that transgender people are much more likely to be the targets of harassment and violence when using gender-segregated spaces like restrooms or locker rooms, rather than the perpetrators of such crimes. In fact, there has never been a verified instancereported of someone "pretending" to be transgender to enter gender-segregated spaces and cause harm to cisgender individuals.
Nevertheless, the false assumption that transgender people are deceiptful and have nefarious motives behind their desire to exercise basic human bodily functions persists, and continues to give rise to misguided policies and legislation that isolates and stigmatizes transgender people. "
Thanks Connie and you all can follow the link for more!

"Grass Roots" Transgender Politics

No! Not that kind of grass (which by the way is coming up for legalization this fall Ohio) the other kind of political campaigning - which by the way, seems to be in total disarray with the Republicans  Something all of us in the LGBTQ community need to be aware of.

Out in Oregon (literally) a transgender woman decided to meet a politician who had never met a trans woman: From the "Oregonian"

"Last month, after Rep. Carl Wilson announced he will introduce a bill to ban transgender teenagers from having sex reassignment surgery, the Grants Pass legislator admitted he had not yet knowingly met a transgender person.
Elaine Walquist decided to be his first.
A 64-year-old retired teacher, Walquist spent most of her adult life living in "stealth" after having the surgery in 1980. Last week, in an hour-long meeting both parties called friendly, Walquist experienced something new, too: It was her first time telling a stranger her story.
Walquist grew up in Michigan, the second of four children. She was a skinny, honor-roll student who loved Broadway musicals and spent prom night reading a book. The morning of her 13th birthday, she began wishing she would wake up a girl. She wished every year until 1980, when she was 28 and had saved enough from a job working at a hotel.

Legislators weren't talking about women like Walquist then. There were no advocacy groups lobbying states and insurance companies to cover transition-related procedures.
When she began taking female hormones and going through lengthy, painful electrolysis procedures, she did so alone."

As a side note Elaine was not able to change his mind but said they parted with much more respect and knowledge than before. Follow the link for more, including an all too familiar MtF gender transition story from those of us "of age."

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Women Form Cliques and Men Form Teams

No big earth shattering news in that headline? Right? All in all, it's just another version of "Women are from Venus" and "Men from Mars."  Over the years, I have written about where transwomen and transgender men come from.

I think (assuming we make it through life relatively unscathed) we are Earthlings. Why? Because we do assume a highly unique view of the genders by simply living our lives. Men mistrust us because we have made a conscious choice to leave the "team." Women often are much more curious as to the reasons behind us joining their's.

As I widened my scope of feminine acquaintances who have never met my past self, it seemed that only a few doors had to be opened and I was admitted to what I have always called the "girl's sandbox".

I found for the most part, I did not threaten the other cis women except for the ones who always seemed to keep in the back of their noggin's the nagging idea I used to live a very male life. So I didn't matter to the average woman chasing down a man, stuck in family drama-etc-or I was just too damn old and certainly wasn't going to win any beauty battles!

On Mars, I always felt it was ironic that once I chose to leave the man's team, I was for the most  part feared or very/very excluded. I guess because they felt I was cheating in the gender game. No sports or beer for me!

Which brings me full circle to my journal post for today-what type of women do I enjoy hanging out with the most?

It wasn't so long ago I would have said "all." Now, not so much. One example was a woman who was at the Nail Party the other night. For some reason, she just made me feel a little uneasy. We had never met before and we never really interacted that night, but she just didn't seem like the type I would meet for a cup of coffee anytime soon.

That's OK though, I will try to stay grounded here on Earth and let my transgender experience calm all the gender drama around me. All that traveling just makes me tired!

Who Deserves "What?"

I have been following Terri Lee Ryan's series of posts on the cross dressing culture. She is one of the few I have found who does not mix in transgender women into the mix. For the most part, I have agreed with, or at the least read with interest the posts. But the latest sort of "rubbed" me the wrong way.

It was entitled "Cross Dressers Deserve a Happy Marriage." I immediately thought-and who doesn't? Actually, she was reiterating what all of us already know. Whatever tripped whatever "switches" in our psyches to forever attract us to women's (or men's) clothes as CD's or to feel sure our gender issues go much deeper-just aren't going away...ever.

So yes Teri, cross dressers do deserve a happy marriage. But as you yourself wrote, walking that tightrope with a spouse who has one hand on the family checkbook and the other with a speed dial number to her divorce lawyer, is tough.

Sorry, Terri, looks like you were just reaching for a topic to speak to a choir with on this one. Plus you didn't mention the number of women who outwardly don't mind cross dressers-until it is her husband in her new dress.

Don't forget women have egos too!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Transgender Women and Violence

We all know the ever present threat of violence to trans women and men everywhere. Especially to those of color. But what we don't think about enough is how prevalent this violent behavior is to others in the LGBT community too.

As you Cyrsti's Condo regulars know, I'm a huge fan of Helen Boyd who has written two books (My Husband Betty) and teaches gender studies at Lawrence University in Wisconsin. After reading a recent post called "To the Guys" I strongly felt the need to pass it along. First of all though, I am going to give you an excerpt of why so many of us feel uneasy:

"When women complain about being catcalled, this is why. Too often we don’t feel safe and a catcall reminds us that we’re attracting attention – wanted or unwanted. & Sometimes it feels safer to be less noticeable when we’re out.
That phrase, “safe enough”, came out of a conversation I had with a gay man about what it’s like to walk past a guy on the street. You never know how he’s going to respond, or what’s going to happen. The safety concerns aren’t just women’s. The violence some of us worry about isn’t just sexual violence. It’s gay bashing. It’s transphobia. It’s racism.
The thing is, even if you’re not that guy, you probably know that guy. It’s not that you’d even know who he is, either, which is why everything you say or do when you’re only with other guys matters. Jokes about crazy bitches, gay men, all of that. When you don’t stand up in the little situations, the guys who would hurt gay men and trans people and women get permission. They think you hate us all too because of the jokes you tell or listen to without objecting.
Someone isn’t taking no for an answer, or is freaking out because a gay guy is crushed out on you, or because a trans woman is hot."
What I like about Helen is she is speaking from experience (with a transgender spouse).
You can read more of this thought provoking post here, and maybe think a little more about your safety in the near future. Especially if you are just coming out of the closet into the feminine world.

The World Wide Condo?

One thing I forgot to mention about our last Cyrsti's Condo post was is a reflection of my generation I guess.
Mick Dodge

I just didn't realize how much the post was truly international in scope. Jeni is in Australia, Paula in the UK, I of course am in Ohio (Mid West USA) and Connie lives in Seattle (Pacific West Coast) - in Mick Dodge's tree house.

The internet lives and the transgender world is alive and well on it!!!

Cross Dressing and the Guy Next Door?

After the Cyrsti's Condo "20 Word" post on words you believe to be female in nature, Connie came up with an idea to do 20 for cross dressers and Jeni even directed me over to a Paula Goodwin Facebook post on "Crossdressing Success Stories." Both are incredibly interesting. 

First, Paula's- being the bitch I am (on the 20 word list) or inquiring minds want to know, doesn't one have to define what dictates "success" as a crossdresser? I mean if you can go shopping or whatever as a girl and not be "busted as a guy",is that "success? In that case, I'm pretty sure I had tons more failures than success. I guess the biggest success I had though was figuring out the clothes actually had very little to do with the process. Something much deeper was going on. Which brings me to another comment sent in from Jeni (I paraphrase) - how many times does cross dressing lead to a person becoming transgender. 

Number one, I don't believe someone "becomes" trans. Either you is, or you 'ain't.' It may manifest itself in your life at any time, but it's there. So, like marijuana leading to doing heroin, a cross dresser will not automatically take the path to a transgender future. If the dots are already there-they are easier to connect.

As far as 20 "crossdressing words", here is part of Connie's comment:

"OK, we could try to come up with a different list: 20 Reasons People Cross Dress. Notice that I say "people", as the lists may be different for men than for women. Also, and more importantly, designating the sex of the cross dresser would change the whole definition. That is, I believe there is a difference between a cis male who identifies as such, but partakes in the activity of wearing women's attire (to whatever degree and for whatever reason) and a cis male who (gender) identifies as a woman wearing women's attire (to whatever degree and for whatever duration).

 I know many more (self proclaimed) cross dressers than (self proclaimed) transgender women ("full-time" or "part-time"), yet I'm not sure that the self-proclamations are always accurate. Many of the cross dressers may have just settled for the lifestyle out of fear of the loss of loved ones or a career, but they, at the same time, identify their genders as being female in secret. So, they cross dress (or do they?), when they can get away with it, as a coping mechanism. Furthermore, their self-proclamation could very well be a coping mechanism (denial) in itself. *Been there-done that."

Go here for the rest!

Finding your Happy Place

From the Jessie Hart Archives   As a transgender woman or trans man, it is often very difficult to find your happy place. A happy place can ...