Showing posts from November, 2015

The Starship "Transgender?"

Neil deGrasse Tyson is by far my fave "astro physicist" if fact I had no idea of what an astro physicist was until I began to watch him and his Star Talk Show on the National Geographic Channel.  Last night's show was extra special though as he featured an interview with another of my "faves" Susan Sarandon. Dr. Oppenheimer  As the show wound it's way around more than a few concepts I don't pretend to totally understand-all of the sudden they were discussing one I did: it turns out Tyson's lead chair is Dr. Rebecca Oppenheimer.  Dr. Oppenheimer is a comparative exoplanetary scientist: she studies planets orbiting stars other than the Sun. This nascent field is so young that much of the work involves developing the techniques needed to see these planets, so that their light can be dissected and analyzed. Her optics  laboratory in the Rose Center  is the birthplace of a number of new astronomical instruments designed to tackle this problem. In

A Day in the Lifer?

When I was in the Army long ago, a military member who was planning to make it a "career" was called a "lifer." As I was writing this title, it occurred to me, most transgender women or trans men are "lifers" too-if we know it, fight it, live it-or not.  Actually, I screwed up -the title was supposed to be "A Day in the Life." Today was mammogram day anyhow, so I knew from my last "mammy gram" the afternoon would provide it's own unique set of challenges. None particularly bad, just different.  Since I am still operating under my male credentials, I raised a couple of eyebrows when I walked in-regardless of appearance. To my surprise though, the receptionist didn't miss a beat and said she has a transgender woman friend who came out years ago. We had a brief conversation about how many trans folk there really are still in the closet.  From then on, the visit went real smooth-from the technician and doctor to check out. M

Cyrsti's Condo "Remember?"

Angela Morley From the Independent : " She was an Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning composer from Yorkshire whose triumphs ranged from   Watership Down   to  Dallas . But Angela Morley was also a transgender pioneer who faced the incomprehension of the music industry when she transitioned in the 1970s. Now Morley’s story is being dramatized in a BBC play starring Rebecca Root , the first trans actor to play a leading transgender television role. The star of the BBC sitcom  Boy Meets Girl , Root plays the musician who overcame prejudice to help bring the stirring scores to  Star Wars  and  Schindler’s List  to the screen. Rebecca Root Born Walter Stott in Leeds in 1924, the composer and conductor provided the orchestral arrangements for films including  Peeping Tom  (1960) as well dozens of albums, from Noël Coward to Dusty Springfield.

Cyrsti's Condo "Sunday Edition"

Ker  Plunk! A Thanksgiving Sunday Edition is hitting your virtual front porch. It's a cold chilly gray day here in Ohio, but actually a little warmer than the norm and perfect for a toasty "Cup O Joe"- grab a cup and let's get started! Page One-The Week That Was or Wasn't: Nothing jumps out which was radically different. We found out again, Caitlin Jenner peered out from her gilded closet and proclaimed support for all the politicians who want to discriminate the transgender community but then comes out and says "keep it together all-will be OK." No surprises, after all Caitlin has a whole new season of her show coming up. Plenty of time to establish a foundation for in need transgender kids and call for equal trans rights...or not. Jenner has to remember, transgender is not spelled with a "H" -for hypocrite.  Page Two-Deep Sadness: As Transgender "Days or Remembrance"  have or will still be celebrated around the world. All of us

Who Brought the Spirits?

A rather dark picture from our pre Thanksgiving Meet Up! But who brought  the "spirits?"

If You Bought a New Cadillac-Would You Drive It?

Years and years ago, I heard Oprah interview several transgender women and their spouses who decided to stay with them through transition. A couple all the way through SRS.  She (Oprah) zeroed in on one of the transgender women and asked her about the surgical procedures she endured. Then, she pushed the envelope farther and asked the trans woman about her "sexual" future. In other words, if she had a chance to fall in love and be sexually attracted to a man now-would she "try out" her new "equipment?" After pausing and with her wife sitting there-the trans woman said "no." I paraphrase here and quote Oprah's quick response as a non believing "if you bought a Cadillac, why wouldn't you drive it?" Which brings me to another point. Katie and Arin  Young, Trans and Looking for Love, BBC Katie Glover editor and publisher of Frock Magazine recently wrote a thoughtful article for the Independent   about the BBC3 Documentar

Caitlin Trump?

Already, the "Caitlin Jenner" is a Republican- is becoming an issue-because the "Pub's" are SO opposed to LGBTQ rights. It's a shame because for me at least, a few of the potential Republican candidates I see have ideas I agree with. I have followed Autumn Sandeen (trans veteran) for some time now and I was very interested in her recent post in the LGBT Weekly: Autumn Sandeen "Caitlyn Jenner is arguably the most famous transgender woman in the U.S. and has identified herself as a Republican. She represents the transgender community to the general public whether the transgender community likes it or not, and I’m seeing in social media where a lot of the transgender community is falling into the “or not” side of the divide in significant part because of Jenner’s public politics." I will let you read the in depth version here , but here are a few highlights: Caitlin Trump Trump referred to Jenner as "Bruce" then miss-pronou


Here in Cyrsti's Condo I used to call transitioning "playing in the girl's sandbox". All I heard forever it seemed was "welcome to our world" from the cis women who did embrace me. (Bless their hearts-a bunch of embracing!) Finally, I became just me to them and the world. And last night on Thanksgiving Eve, everything seemed to slow down and come into focus.  Indeed I knew I was going full circle into becoming the person I was born to be.  In more of a traditional way, Liz and I went to a small meetup of friends celebrating a full moon. The group focused the power of the moon to heal ones in need-and the world.  On the way home, Liz and I took the easy way out and shopped for our Thanksgiving dinner with her family on Saturday. I have a bad hip, so I wasn't expecting an easy way of the experience.  Amazingly, the hip didn't bother me and here I was following Liz around like a puppy dog while she tore through the store, comparing prices/coup


It's that time of year to consider what the year has done for you - or what you can do moving forward in your life - in the community. You thank then give. Of course that is all up to you. As I always repeat here in Cyrsti's Condo, no matter how small your contribution is, it will come back to you three fold. Having written all of that though, this is the day to consider your blessings. Many times they are there, just hidden.  Best wishes from the staff and management of Cyrsti's Condo (me!) and I decided to pass this along from a group which is working diligently to make transgender lives easier. 

Clean UP Dammit!

Finally, a couple nights ago, I broke down and colored by hair-basically by myself. I will explain. "Basically" means I only made a mess with the color base in a couple spots, like the bathroom door and sink. If you have ever worked with hair color, it will stain almost anything and get you (me) hollered at. No pressure? Plus I sort of figured if I screwed up bad enough, Liz would help. I didn't and neither did she. Lets back track a bit to where I got to this place. Looking back years ago to when I put my wigs aside and began attempting to style my own hair. Very simply, I called this the first time in my life I had to see the back of my head and brush out my hair. A "Pink Floyd" song? "The Dark Side of the Head?" Seriously, being able to experience the thrill of having/wearing my own hair has been worth the hassle. Having said that, if you are a transgender woman of means- you can afford the monthly trip to your hairdresser and is flat out wonder

Coffee With Paula?

Paula's Place blog (Paula Goodwin), is one I keep up with as much as I can. It has always been interesting to me how similar on occasion our transgender experiences can be - even though we are an ocean apart. Recently she posted her transition ideas along with a drawing from Hannah's McKnight's illustrated transgender blog. The key point to a transition is when you don't think about gender. You are simply you. An example from me was one of the last meetings I went to. The group issued name tags asking for preferred pronouns. I put down her, she and me (not really). On the other hand one my preferences is not to be ever called a "female" which I consider a physical birth issue. So, I agree with Paula and Hannah totally and ironically picked up on the barista word from Hannah.  The other night I was waiting in line for a coffee from the "big time" coffee chain who currently is in trouble from the "radical right" for what they are put

Wishful Thinking?

With a couple of the real scary presidential candidates who were given "no chance" not long ago-who now are. This picture of transgender veteran and Navy Seal Kristin Beck standing in front of what could be "Air Force One" (if the Prez was on board) is somewhat reassuring.

The Power/Problem of Trans Youth.

In a recent Cyrsti's  Condo post we wrote about the potential problems a very attractive young transgender girl would have dating and finding a relationship. When do you tell a potential lover you have not been the gender of your choice - your entire life? I have always been a believer in "total disclosure" when it comes to a potential trans relationship-even if the person has gone through total SRS. Plus, it's easy for me to say, because I haven't and seemingly won't ever get into that situation.  Not so much at all with Claire Green on the left who is being featured in a British (BBC 3) Documentary   “Young, Trans and Looking for Love” (Image via Barcroft TV/BBC 3). I think too many of us also think "Wow! If I ever looked like Claire, how could I ever have any problems?" As I have always said, looks  are only the beginning. The  younger the trans person, the more the continuing culture of legal transgender discrimination and rest room hassles

The Sexy Dillemma

In a recent Cyrsti's Condo post I wrote I would use the picture of a young Latina transgender girl who was very attractive and was slain brutally last summer. No pun intended but the double edge sword for trans violence is the better you present, the more chance you could have to attract the wrong "admirer." I have never been in the totally presentable category but I can only imagine the trepidation I would feel if I thought I was trying to "fool" some guy on a date. Other factors would be "competing" with cis women of the same age. (Especially if they are young, attractive and in competition for a guy. One of the memorable comments I hear quite a bit from the older cis women I hand out with is- when they see a 20 something in a short skirt or low cut top is "hey if she has it, flaunt it." In itself, that statement presents all kinds of serious problems for a trans girl. The biggest maybe is that looks represent a validation of our femi

While my Blog Gently Weeps - Again.

This comes as no real surprise to we transgender women or men who have followed the "number" of transgender violence victims over the past year. Then today, this story jumped out to me from my Yahoo news feed today: Monday, Aug. 17, 2015 this photo provided by Randall Jenson, lead advocate of the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project, shows an altar made by the friends of Tamara Dominguez during a memorial service for her at her home. Dominguez was run over multiple times and left to die on a Kansas City street. For a few transgender Americans, this has been a year of glamour and fame. For many others, 2015 has been fraught with danger, violence and mourning. (Randall Jenson/Kansas City Anti-Violence Project via AP) Here is just part of the story:  The toll compares with 12 last year and 13 in 2013, and is the highest since advocacy groups began such tallies a decade ago. "Most Americans think it's been an amazing year for transgender rights," said Mar

Putting Your Money Where Your Beliefs Are?

This story actually is from last summer but is still very current of course and maybe more so as time goes by. There is one thing about being transgender, another thing about being wealthy and yet another to use your wealth to attempt to effect real  change. (Caitlin Jenner?) On e of the wealthy heirs of the Pritzker hotel fortune — a former lieutenant colonel in the Illinois Army National Guard — came out as transgender recently. Jennifer Natalya Pritzker — formerly known as James Pritzker — is part of the prominent Chicago Pritzker family that founded the Marmon Group and owns the Hyatt hotel chain, the TransUnion credit agency and other businesses. She (Jennifer) enlisted in the Army in 1974 and earned a commission as an infantry officer in 1979, serving with the 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions before moving to the Illinois Army National Guard. She retired from military service in 2001. According to Buzz Feed :   in July  Pritzker’s Tawani Foundation — a charitable orga

Cyrsti's Condo "Sunday Edition"

Ker Plunk!  Listen closely - another weekend edition is hitting your virtual front porch. The front porch here at is chilly, but all the snow went North and West of us. So, lets grab a hot "cup o joe" (coffee) and get started! Page O ne-the Week that Was or Wasn't: November 20th marked the 16th "Transgender Day of Remembrance." A somber day to be sure and a chance to inform the world the trans culture is more than pretty heels, dresses and  makeup-it's depressing and dangerous. The stats lean heavily towards transgender women being the targets of violence and even more being of color. Please take a moment to remember and consider what you can do to help this dire, tragic statistic in the future.  Every little bit helps. Around here in the Cincinnati, Ohio area it's time for us to celebrate the very short misunderstood life of Leelah Alcorn who took her life about this time last year. As a point of reference, she (Lelia) was never understood by he


I get many questions asking my opinion on how to pursue a mystical MtF gender transition. You regulars around here in Cyrsti's Condo know, I disagree with some and place appearance as the second or even third most important transition factor for a transgender person. Learning the lifestyle of one's non birth gender-better be a bigger priority.  To get to appearance though, one has to wade through the complex and murky world of style.  My definition of style is "understanding the direction you want to take at any certain occasion. Once you do, factor in budget and buying constraints to present the most consistent, attractive self  you can- without acting as if you are trying. So, there you go, I'm sure when you look at the number of different styles the cis women of all ages in the world are consumed with-you can find your niche! Good Luck!

The Worst Person

Last night I was turned loose to go a small party at one of our friends house - without Liz. It was a small group of about a dozen couples-mostly straight.  One of the newer couples is positively fascinated with me. (So am I on a  good day.) She wants to know more about my upcoming legal name change, etc-but positively loves my choice of hair color. (Power Violet.) (See box to left.) Even though my hair seriously looks as ratty as it has forever, the woman loves my hair color to the point of wanting me to recommend what color would look good on her. Perhaps some of her "trust" in me comes from the fact I am transgender and may have "inherited" some of my style sense from my gay LGBT "brethren". Perhaps you have heard the comment "too much style for one gender?" I'm certainly flattered, and it's true I arm wrestled Liz at the hair color store aisle for the chance to "go violet", I am the WORST person to ask about what col

We Got Mail

Well, maybe not mail-but comments on one of our fave transgender women, Caitlin Jenner. She continues (it seems) to be a lightening rod of opinion within the trans community. Perhaps more than the so called outside world.  I agree with this comment from "Shelli Anne Mulka": "I feel rather sad looking at those such as Caitlin who literally spends ten of thousands of dollars on cosmetic surgeries BEFORE starting HRT to create a "Barbie Doll" image of what they perceived being feminine is all about. Those of us who go the slower route of HRT naturally changing our bodies over many months are so very much more in tune with natal females maturation.  I feel the Caitlins of the world are missing out on a large amount of the total female experience, never knowing the experience of a second adolescence and all it entails."Real" women are grown, not manufactured ." In many ways too, this idea of "feminization" (over a space of time) is t

Wish List?

It's fairly obvious to me that I won't benefit from the "Caitin Jenner" no expense spared transition fund-  so, what would be mine? Actually, it's a very simple "short list" I want my HRT estrogen back. Maybe very possible. Soon. .Breast augmentation-before next summer. Facial feminization surgery in some form. Truthfully, the only way I will be able to accomplish much of my "wish list" is if the VA rules change on approving any corrective transgender transitional surgeries at all. My wish list will remain just that. But that's cool too! I think I can survive!!!

What You See is Not What you Get?

I have read people determine gender on others  very quickly. Thus,most think  it is/was incumbent for us as crossdressers/transgender women to look the part of our non birth gender-to the point of obsession with some. For some reason, Connie's friend who claims to be a crossdresser on HRT fits into this post. First of all, let me point out-most assuredly Connie's CD friend is not the first to follow the hormonal route to look more feminine. In fact, I had an acquaintance years ago whom I am a firm believer followed the narcissistic feminine route all the way to the SRS table.  Again, not a problem.To each her own.  These days (and in this post!) I am even going to give the much maligned (by me) Caitlin Jenner some props. What she does for me is when I am out in the world and get read as a transgender woman, all of a sudden that is not such an evil thing. Not that Jenner deserves all the credit. I have my personal theory of how people perceive me breaks down something li

Rent a Gender?

One of the "fluff" stories on the evening news tonight was the new "trend" among millennial fashionistas was renting high end fashion accessories like glasses to complete outfits. I thought what if you could rent your gender? If you could take the "magic" pill and transform yourself to the person you always perceived yourself to be-would you?  The base for many great stories, I am sure. The problem would be of course would be how the insiders (transgender individuals in particular) would perceive the option versus the civilians of the world. An idea for another post. A pill for the ultimate cross dresser perhaps? Or an idea for a "Twilight Zone" episode? Also an idea would be to write a short speculative transgender piece for the "Topside Press": "Topside Press is now accepting submissions for an anthology of short speculative fiction by self-identified transgender writers. Speculative fiction can include science fiction, h

The Colors That I See

Today was appointment day with my VA psychologist. After the usual "small"talk about how I was feeling about going into the holiday season this year, and I couldn't change the subject to the guy causing a ruckus down the hall- I said I was entering the season with care this year. For several different reasons, last year was rough-real rough. Along the way today she asked me about my hormones and I said the next decision date was coming up December 8th. She asked exactly what they (the HRT) meant to me. I said not so much with my appearance/etc but since I now know what I am missing-I told her I miss the colors. Of course, cis-women have very little of the concept as they were born into it. Plus, colors are different than senses. Example, women have a heightened sense of smell over men. Sometimes, I hate to be the trainer with her! (kidding) She also told me to quit being such a "guy" and ask for help from family, friends and her.


Did I still spell it right? Or more importantly, do  I know what it means? Sometimes I do - I think. Until someone asks me. Then I am not so sure. It's like Friday night when the transgender man (at the meeting I was at) who took a moment to point out Caitlin Jenner was not a good example of the overall transgender community. As we all expected Jenner will look the part increasingly as a very attractive woman, but how  much true transition Caitlin has experienced in her gilded trans closet remains to be seen. Then, later on in the evening (of course) the biggest elephant in the room was heard from- what about the rest room gender issues we are suffering from? The trans man spoke to the fact  that transgender women seem to have a tougher time with the restrooms. A woman (cis) asked what restroom he used. The reply was the men's room and of course when the topic came around to me-I said the women's. I added that even though I felt my choice was the right one to make moral

Cyrsti's Condo "Sunday Edition"

Picture compliments of Robbie Lewis, The Ohio and what I call a "trans" themed sunset. Ker PLUNK!   Another weekend edition is hitting your virtual front porch! Here on the banks of the Ohio in Cincinnati, we are enjoying a chilly, sunny fall morning with temperatures expected to rise. Perfect for a hot "cup o joe"!!! Page One-The Week that Was - or Wasn't: By far, two events overshadowed any of my mere existence last week: the tragedy in Paris and the presentation I heard Friday from a transgender man at a " Love Must Win Inc ." meeting. Both nearly beyond the power of words. The week for me marked the beginning of yet another stage of my long gender journey. Page Two- Bureaucracy and the Trans Girl:  With everything else which has been going on, I have neglected updating you all on the process of realigning my legal gender "markers" with how I am living my life. Since I do have a letter from my psychologist, stating I was

While My Blog Gently Weeps

In the midst of all we do in our lives - no matter where we live- it''s impossible not to be extremely saddened and angered by the senseless attacks in Paris. Let's take a moment to send extra thoughts and prayers to the survivors and families of the attack.

Here's an Idea!

Last night Liz and I went to another "safe place" meeting of "Love Must Win Inc. " The speaker of the evening was Jay - a FtM transgender person.  Upon arriving, little did I know I was in store for one of the most inspiring and scary stories of survival I have ever heard/read of. As you probably can infer ahead of time, his story was one of drugs - prescribed/alcohol and suicide. He was - is part of the 41% of all trans people who try killing themselves as the ultimate option.  What I wasn't prepared for was when he said his ultimate attempt at resolving his gender struggles (and proving his femininity) was to have a child.  No military, no sports, no macho stunts - become a mother. And, in his case, in the long term the only move which kept him alive. Wow! Thanks for the experiences. Now he is a teacher, in a happy relationship, with a good relationship with his family. Quite the survivor.