Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Another Trans Vet Center Opens!

From NPR:  "A Veterans Affairs hospital in Tucson, Ariz., is expanding treatment to a previously under-served faction of the armed services: transgender veterans.
It's one of the first VA hospitals in the country to open a clinic devoted exclusively to trans vets.

Now, more than 130 transgender veterans are receiving treatment at the Tucson VA. Due to the high demand for these services, the women's clinic at the hospital is now devoting one day a month to the expansion of care for transgender veterans.
"We have been flooded with phone calls since we've announced that the clinic will be opening — patients from all over wanting to know about it, to be able to take advantage of this opportunity," says Sonia Perez-Padilla, the women's clinic director. She's now also in charge of the transgender clinic, which includes a psychologist, social workers, clinical pharmacists and a therapist."
If you are a transgender vet. and you haven't had much experience in the system (V.A)- I think much is determined about where you are and how big your hospital is.
My belief is going forward, our future with approved procedures up to and including SRS will be tied into what happens with our active trans military brothers and sisters.
I have already heard them bitching  about the cost. But, when you consider all the other money the 'govnment' wastes in a couple hours, it's not much of an argument.
 Plus, I don't think I am going out on too thin of a limb when I am thinking all the changes better take place before any of those certain 'Repub' candidates happen to get elected.
Just 'guessin'

It's Fun Being A Girly Girl

YAY! Tomorrow night is New Years Eve. Yet another chance to look back on the dumb and smart things I did during 2015. Guess which out numbers the other? However, crashing through the world like a pin ball machine for me has nothing to do with being transgender.
Roebling Bridge

I am looking forward today to doing some real live girl stuff to prep for an evening out with Liz. This year we are going back to the Cincinnati Music Hall to hear the Cincinnati Pops do a Frank Sinatra tribute...then head down to the river to eat at one of our fave places with this view of the "Roebling Bridge" over the Ohio River. (If the architecture looks familiar-it's because Roebling went on to build the 'Brooklyn Bridge' in NYC.)

Of course, my usual jeans and sweater/boots outfits I wear most of the time won't work for the evening. So, I'm working with a couple outfit ideas I have thought of. It's a radical idea I know, but this year I am going to try them on ahead of time. I simply don't have the funds to go on a big shopping spree - or even a small one but I do have quite a few pieces in my wardrobe to work with. Plus I love to work with scarves!

To start with though, I have two big factors to think about. How cold is it going to be. Is the weather going to be dry and how will my weight fluctuations effect my outfit. The weather is going to be dry, down into the 20's and my weight is significantly down (still) from last year. (If I keep eating like I am-it won't be.)

The only real item of clothing I may have to work around is an old set of dress "culottes" I like to wear with a belted crochet style top. My other choice would be one I wore a couple weeks ago when Liz and I went out for dinner. I take a long fringed top, belt it at the waste and wear a black light sweater and leggings under it with ballet flats.

I think either outfit would work with my long wool coat specifically and my short leather maybe. Like I wrote, I will know by the time the afternoon is over.

Finally, I have my "Big Four"  of considerations to look at: 

  1. Does the outfit fit the occasion?
  2. Is the outfit comfortable to wear?
  3. Will the outfit fit the overall 'spirit' of the occasion (and not embarrass my partner?)
  4. Am I careful to not go "over the top" and look like a drag queen?
Assuming all those are a "go" I have another special treat planned for myself today after I wash and blow dry my hair-I I finally  have hands which are sufficiently healed to paint today and add some Jamberry decoration!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

What the 'Bleep???'

It's that time kids...The end of a year, which of course always forces us to think "What the Bleep?" Did I do that? 

As 2016 rapidly approaches, it's time to do just that...over a couple posts.

First things first though. Yesterday Liz and I attended the one year memorial of the tragic suicide of transgender teen  Leelah Alcorn. The tough subject was handled with class and dignity.

2015 for me also marked the most serious health scare of my life, which resulted in suspension of my estrogen until the Doc's tracked my liver/iron problems. Fortunately, the first new prescription (of two) came in the mail recently (as you probably read here in Cyrsti's Condo.) I never had to stop my testosterone blocker though.

Estrogen is a funny critter.  Over the years I have found many in the "community" have taken the hormone illegally to the point of injury. And, others have used the fact they were on estrogen mainly to brag and seemingly use it to hammer others. Something like "Whoo Hoo!" I'm on the 'Juice' -nadee-nadee-boo boo!

Then there is Maria!: 
Good luck, Girlfriend! I'm GG and they won't give me HRT (which I need due to a hysterectomy 25 years ago) because my mom had breast cancer. I am happy for you, though. For sure. Wishing you all the best.
Thanks Maria !! I had been on estrogen for approximately three years. Enough to feel and understand the changes I was going through. I think you need the full three to have any idea of the effects, or should I say the nuances on a male body.
My goal is now (as I begin again) is to be a quicker "study" of the feminine changes which will be happening again.
Finally, here is my usual HRT disclaimer: Just because I (or anyone) is on HRT does not mean I am a more accomplished transgender woman than anyone else. I'm not a Doc of any sorts, but for ME the balance of way less testosterone and way more estrogen in my body has been completely and totally dramatic. Consider too, you may be already have higher estrogen or testosterone levels to deal with.
In my next post we are going to look at the the boring but equally as dramatic world of gender markers and how they mesh with HRT. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Where is That Damn Mailman?

Not that don't think the mailman isn't the most sexy guy in the world normally, but yesterday he became even more desirable when he dropped off the first set of estrogen patches from the VA.

I have one more set coming (I hope) today then the plan is to restart my full set of HRT on New Years Eve.

Exactly three years since I started the first time in 2012 (New Years Eve).


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Why is a Transgender Person Like a Top?

First of all, do you know what a "top" is? Here is one definition: top is a toy designed to be spun rapidly on the ground, the motion of which causes it to remain precisely balanced on its tip because of inertia. Such toys have existed since antiquity (From Wikopedia).

Forget about the use of the word "toy" in this Cyrsti's Condo post and insert "Gyro" (seen to the left) If we can sync up our mental genders to our physical characteristics, then our internal gyro's are in sync. Of course, the opposite is true too.

I remember years ago, back in my "mirror worshiping" days, I would stare in the mirror any number of times or places just to catch a glimpse of the cross dressed me. The "ancient" pictorial example I am showing you.

I would look at the picture and in the mirror-head out the door and immediately get smirked at once I got out in the world.

My gyro was all messed up and it still happens today. 

Anymore though, I have been successful in keeping my gyro spinning fairly well by knowing where I am headed to with my external look. 

Starting with my hair, I am still learning how to get the products I use to give me the look I want-with the help of a hair dryer these days. I found out the hard way that without HRT, my hair would and could thin out the way I was brushing it. 

Moving down, my breasts have lost some plumpness (deflate-gate?) But, I am hoping when I start back on estrogen in a couple weeks, I will regain my losses. Body wise, my only other expectation for my wish list is to re-continue my skin softening an redistribution to the hips.

So, as you can read, I spend some effort in keeping my "gyro" spinning in sync. And, every once in a while I get it right. 

Advice? Use the mirror as a tool-not a voice. Dress to your strengths or/your soul-as a woman. Not what your male fantasy thinks it should be. And finally, no matter what Connie says this kind of Gyro is NOT a sandwich.

Cyrsti's Condo "Sunday Edition"

Ker Plunk! Listen closely! Another Sunday Edition is hitting your virtual front porch. I hope this finds you safe from all the terrible weather and nastiness sweeping our country. The West Coast is on fire, Oklahoma is hosting blizzards, Texas and the South -tornadoes. Rachel in particular, I hope you are good. Around here in Southern Ohio, we are still very warm but very rainy. We will be getting cold though and more than likely, low lying floods are in the Ohio River's future here. Enough of that, lets get a Cup o Joe (coffee) and get started:

Eddie Redmayne (right)
Page One: The Week that Was - or Wasn't: Of course another week has come and gone along with Christmas. The whole season touches a tender chord with all the transgender and GLBQ community who have been separated from their families-by ignorance. Elsewhere, The Danish Girl has/is hitting the silver screens.

I have not seen the movie yet. But when I do, I am going to try to put away any bias I may have had on who was chosen to play the role, in fact, I wanted to see an actor attempt to capture the overwhelming emotions/uncertainties of changing genders.

Page Two: Yesterday's Coffee - Opinion:  A year or so ago,  17 year old transgender girl Leelah Alcorn stepped out in front of a semi truck and committed suicide. Not far from Cincinnati, Ohio where I live. In memory of,
Cincinnati, OH, December 22, 2015 — The Transgender Community of Greater Cincinnati is holding a Press Conference and Call to Action at 10 am Monday December 28, 2015 on the steps of City Hall 801 Plum St, Cincinnati OH, 45202. 

The Press Conference and Call to Action will share the love, affirmation, and acceptance given to all attending the vigils held earlier this year to remember Leelah Alcorn. It will also outline what the immediate needs are for members of the Trans community most at risk: Trans youth and Trans Women of Color.

"Last January we gathered at Kings High School and the Woodward Theater to honor Leelah's life" said Lindsey Deaton, one of the organizers of those vigils. "This Monday we will be
 meeting again to remember her Spirit, answer her call to fix society and name the Trans communities lack of access to emergency shelter or housing, the lack of access to medical care, to drug and alcohol treatment and to job training".

‘There have been many positive changes in the ecology for Trans adults and children in Cincinnati,’ said Deaton. ‘With the leadership of City Councilmember Chris Seelbach, Cincinnati is now the first city in the United States to ban the kind of reparative conversion therapy experienced by Leelah’.

Liz and I will be there.

Page Three: Oh No She  'Dint!'  I have passed along the story of when I was called a "Sir" when picking up a ham for Christmas dinner this week. I promptly emailed the company and getting a response back from the company the next day.

What I haven't passed along though, is how this morning I came out to one of the few long term friends I have left. (By email as she isn't that close.)I will give you more info and how it all worked out-if I hear back!

Page Four- The Back Page: By this time next week, we will be into 2016. Here's hoping your find the rest of 2015 a safe one! Thanks for stoping by Cyrsti's Condo - Love you all!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Green Eggs and Trans Ham?

I hope you all had a festive and merry holiday yesterday and you were able to dodge the out of control weather which is sweeping the U.S and the UK to some extent also. Don't worry about that pesky global warming when the lawns in Ohio are turning green in December and the trees are trying to bud. As nice as no ice and snow around here is-or flooding (yet) or tornadoes (yet) I shudder to think what's coming.

Getting down to the subject matter, you may remember my post a couple days ago about being "mis gendered" at a local upscale meat chain store down the street. It was busy and a young cashier called me "sir." I pretty much have had it these days with instances such that and wheeled on her - asked her what she called me-then called her on it and left.

Later, when I got home, I looked for the omni present coupon/survey companies have on their sales terminal tapes. Example? A free bee or discount on a future purchase. I found the coupon info and filled out the obvious-at least one of their employee's may need a dose of sensitivity training when they are faced with dealing with a transgender guest in their store. It's not 'neat' or humorous and totally serious to the trans person - totally.

Of course the manager sympathized with me  and asked if I caught the name of the cashier? I said no I didn't and I knew the store was very busy and I didn't want anything but for the crew to know I knew and stop it.

The next transgender person after me may not be so understanding and I didn't think his store would want to be known for hiring transphobic employees.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Clean Up on Aisle 5!!!!!

Yesterday, when all the Christmas dinner shopping was tossed  on my lap, I was reminded of how it is to live in a land of plenty (bordered by the second highest child poverty rate on one side of us (Liz's house) and a rural drug epidemic only a few miles to the east. 

I didn't have much time to ponder the situation yesterday as I had been trusted to prepare and pick up the shopping list...Wow! Power! Fear!

We live off a really busy shopping street so I got an early start and made it to a store where we had a coupon for a very good ham. I was still very much buzzed from my successful name change and felt really good until I stepped up to pay and the cashier said "can I have your phone number sir?" GRRRR- I ignored her. Finally she said "Can I have your phone number?" I just said "What did you call me???" I don't think the little bitch did anything but smirk and there were 20 some people in line behind me, so I paid and when on my way. It turned out, I had bigger fish to fry-disguised as women in upscale Cadillac or BMW SUV's trying to jam them in small spaces. I was lucky, I found a spot six miles (it seemed) from the store.

From there, all bets were off. I was not to be trusted with my steel trap but slightly rusted mind and was given a partial shopping list to build from. The store was so big and so busy, if they were out of something (like eggs), all I had to do was seek out something else I was looking for and come back. The eggs would magically reappear. Wow!

Inside the store, the gender minority (men) took over the insanity and ran with it - really ran with it. Guys with carts determined to cut a half hour shopping trip into 15 minutes. Dangerous and made even more so when the inevitable interaction with an old folk or two occurred. 

Amazingly enough, I made it and for of those of you who want to know -or care if I got called "sir" anymore - no I didn't. The crazy peeps in the store wouldn't haven't cared if I was a Martian, just get the hell out of the way.

I did get out and escaped the pre Christmas shopping fun that cis women have had fun with for years. Gee-I guess like changing diapers, I am now a step closer to reaching some sort of stereotypical transgender nirvana. Wow!

Merry Christmas

First of all Merry Christmas to all you Cyrsti's Condo readers who celebrate the holiday! I hope this post finds you with friends or family today. Although giving is supposed to be the base of the celebration of Jesus's birth, we are conditioned at a very early age to receive. That is another story, try to make this day a haven from a very contentious world!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Cyrsti's Condo "From the Heart"

Suburban Sprawl is like a piece of white bread - it's all the same until you change the topping.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Jess I Am

Well, I can't remember the day I was born the first time, but today was as close as a person could come to being born again- (although some believe a religious experience can get them there.)

If you stop by Cyrsti's Condo much I'm sure you have read this was a huge day for me. At 10 o'clock this morning, Liz and I were meeting in front of a probate court judge to get "Jessie Jeanne" legalized as my new name. Before you have your own idea's of a naming ceremony-the name represents a combination of family names. (Another blog post-as well as name progressions, or regressions during my life.)

Mind you, we had to make the nearly two hour drive to my old home town to do it. Following the "ceremony" we had to keep moving and stopped at my old building for another load of old clothes we are putting together to give to homeless shelters around here and then headed over to Dayton to the VA Center. Very quickly, we were able to interrupt the VA officer handling my gender/name changes and give him the newly "minted"name change papers - to get the gender process completed there.

From there we headed back to Cincinnati. Liz picked up some yarn for a project she was doing and I completed the forms to send over to the state BMV to begin the process to change my drivers's license. 

By this time it was time for dinner.

Afterwards, I was able to beg my way into having her helping me set up the new lap top and- here I am!

Such a day ! Details to come.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Girl Interrupted

More great news yesterday! My estrogen was found not to be the basis of my liver problems this summer...and I am allowed to resume my dosage ASAP. 

Estrogen is like a snowflake, for the most part  the hormone effects each trans person different. 

Yes there is the breast development-which is tied in with your feminine family genetics and normally never up to the expectations of the person on HRT. (Many cis women aren't satisfied with their breasts, so we are in good company.)

Yes there is the emotional aspect-which I think is the biggest part. You do get "weepy"and experience "hot flashes" -which are different animals unto themselves. As close as I can come explaining one is during my first one, I thought I was internally combusting!

The part of Estrogen effects (so far) I have never been able to explain to anyone (man or woman) is how my world softened internally. Somehow I was more perceptive to the world around me. Cis men don't experience it and cis women are born with it-so they don't understand. That's OK!

Finally, I look forward to a couple exterior changes. My hair will thicken again and my skin will soften-bringing out curves.

Poor Liz (my partner) she gets to live through another MtF gender puberty of sorts. She wasn't around for my first. She was with me as I started HRT the first time and a form of transgender menopause when I stopped. 

And now, here we go again!!! YAY!!!

It's in The Stars?

Venice ast sm.jpg

Connie commented on my upcoming legal MtF name change

:Nice Job! Although the resident Wiccan around here (my partner Liz) won't admit it - she may have missed this one!!

"It appears that your name change date falls just about midway between the Winter Solstice and a full moon. I don't know what implications that may have, but Happy Winter Solstice, Recognition, and Full Moon Days to you! There are so many celebrations for people this time of year, depending on their beliefs. No matter what each of us celebrate, though, may we all learn to appreciate and believe in each other as the individual human beings we are. Also, I'd like to add a Happy Chaka Khan, cuz I like the way it sounds. :-)"

I love "Chaka" too!  Especially her hair color!!!! 
Chaka Khan

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Cyrsti's Condo "Sunday Morning Edition"

Ker Plunk! Welcome to another Cyrsti's Condo Sunday Edition. Get yourself a hot "Cup o Joe" and lets get started! It's cold here in Cincinnati, Ohio. Which indeed it should be during the Christmas season. Lets get started!

Page One :The Week that Was - or Wasn't:  Much to the chagrin of the anti-transgender movement strides continue to be made in the world from the LGBTQ community: 
Such as this week when Canada’s first transgender judge was been appointed to provincial court in Manitoba.
Kael McKenzie, a Crown attorney from Winnipeg, was designated a judge on Dec. 17 and will begin his new job immediately.With his appointment to provincial court, Mr. McKenzie becomes the third openly trans judge now practicing in North America. The first, Victoria Kolakowski, of Alameda County, Calif., was appointed in 2010.Many are calling Mr. McKenzie’s appointment “a Canadian milestone.” (Thanks Bobbie)
For me, as I have written-this Wednesday is legal name change day!
Page Two: Yesterday's Coffee - Editorial Opinion: One of the blogs I follow is TransGriot which is moderated/written by Monica Roberts. Monica is a transgender woman of color who is never short on opinion - most of which even I agree with. Monica is also from Houston, Texas where the trans- rightist- conservative bigots banded together to shoot down HERO 

Monica wrote: 

"The problem I have with it along with many of our allies is that the taping (of another 'I am Caitlin' show) had no Houston trans representation, and especially Houston trans people of color leaders to discuss on camera an issue that we have been all in about and are the experts at discussing in HERO. In Dee Dee Watters and my cases, we have been fighting to pass our human rights ordinance since January 2014."

Follow the link above for Monica's thoughts on many transgender issues-especially from the point of color!

Page Three: Entertainment: This Holiday Season we have the premier of the "Danish Girl." and the announcement of  Amazon's new kids show co produced by transgender woman Shadi Petosky . The show is called " Danger and Eggs." 

Shadi Petosky
As Variety and Entertainment Weekly reported, Petosky learned Friday that Danger & Eggs, the animated children's show she co-created with animator Mike Owens, has been green lit for 25 episodes by Amazon, along with two other shows aimed at kids. 

Page Four: The Back Page: Doesn't seem possible but this will be the last Sunday Edition before Christmas. I know that so many of you will be traveling to see families and many of you who have families who don't want you in their lives anymore. Either way, take care of yourselves and be safe! You are always loved here and thanks for stopping by Cyrsti's Condo! Merry Christmas and Blessed Yule!!!!

Stay Out of Red Neck Bars if you Ain't a Cow Girl or a Sheep

Over the recent years here in Cyrsti's Condo, many have asked me how I finally began to make a transition into a quality feminine lifestyle. First and foremost, I have been able to balance a lack of movie queen looks with a group of cis women dedicated friends. Normally one balanced the other until I gained confidence to "step out" on my own. Look at it this way, instead of hiding in the back of the line, I became an active partner.

Secondly, I began to be more selective on where I went and quit taking chances so to speak. Here's an example: Today Liz and I along with a few acquaintances toured a working artist gallery in an old factory building in downtown Cincinnati. I am not the biggest art expert in the world but I do admire and respect more than a few of the artists work which I met today. And, DUH!!! I was welcomed and Oh-Gee there weren't any of those pesky gender specific restrooms.

Stilettos on Thin Ice!So my advice to the novice cross dresser or transgender woman heading out into the public eye for the first time is - go to someplace percent wise that you can relax and enjoy the world. If you can and I know it is tough. I tripped through malls in heels and short skirts and most definitely found my way into some wrong drinking establishments. I was no angel.

In fact, one of my goals for next year is to finally e-pub my second book which details most of my dumber moments in the world. My first literary effort "Stilettos on Thin Ice" was much more of a personal look of how I survived growing up transgender.

Spoiler alert: I may have lived through my visits to a few red neck bars and I had a real tough time passing as a "cow girl" or a sheep. Depending on who who talked to!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Dancing Skeletons and Swerving All Over the Road

We chat around here quite a bit on occasion on when someone protests too loudly about a transgender person and their rights-a LGBTQ skeleton of sorts may be dancing loudly in their closet.

Sadly, an overwhelmingly large amount of us over compensate over our lives for the gender dysphoria we suffer. Certainly, I am not covering new ground. You may have recalled Connie and I discussing a few of the reasons we played sports and/or joined the scouts or-or-or---blah, blah blah.

Last night, Liz and I went to another of our meetup group's get together. During the course of the evening, I was amazed to the point of even being shocked that two people out of a group of approx 12 have trans questioning offspring/relation. Both of course are into the struggles we all went through as we were sorting out who we were.

Amidst all of this comes the news that an ignorant, snake worshiping religious right group is fighting Cincinnati's ban on LGBT conversion therapy. I wonder if those are the ones who go home and pull out the gay porn. Plus, the proponents of the "conversion therapy" are quick to point out they should have the right to choose.

Of course I offered any and all support I could come up with - plus this group provides a natural huge welcoming set of arms. I am so happy to be a role model of any sorts. 

Particularly at this point of time (with the political "bantering/bashing" going on) I wonder how it all affects the younger transgender girls and guys like were talked about last night.

I really believe Trump could give a "rat's arse" since he gets more press going after the Muslims. But for any number of reasons (including basic transgender rights) Cruz and Rubio in particular are very dangerous.

I used to be basically a third party person but this election is shaping up to be a no brainer.. Then again, there is a long way to go. 

Hopefully the right skeletons will dance their way out of the right closets!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Cyrsti's Condo Remember?

New York Magazine photo of Tracey "Africa" Norman - first black transgender modelFrom CNN:  Before there was Caitlyn Jenner, Laverne Cox or Jazz Jennings, there was Tracey “Africa” Norman.
In the mid-1970s, Norman was the face of Clairol’s Born Beautiful hair color (No. 512, Dark Auburn). She had an exclusive contract with Avon. She did several photo shoots with Essence. She was a house model in Balenciaga’s Paris showroom.
She had also been born male, although almost no one knew her secret, a story she told in the latest New York magazine.
An African-American model already facing discrimination based on her skin color, she knew that any hint that she was also transgender would have ended her career and could have led to her death.
When word did eventually get out, the work dried up.
“I was a model, so males and females were attracted to me, and when they find out that I’m not what they perceive me to be, it freaks them out,” she told the magazine. “That’s what I’ve experienced in my life, what I was getting from straight women and straight men.”
Read more of her story here.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Be Careful What You Say

jackie-ryan-1Jackie Ryan was in high school when she first got involved in politics.
During a school board discussion in her small town of Sturbridge, Massachusetts, Jackie heard one of her representatives call transgender students—like her—a threat to their peers.
“I immediately sent him an email," she says, "and told him that what he was saying was completely untrue.”
When the representative ignored Jackie’s email, she decided to run for a seat on the school board.
“I think I originally got into it because I wanted to show him why my voice needed to be heard, but very quickly I realized that my campaign was about more than him—or me. It was about the Tantasqua school district.”
Jackie won her campaign, beating out a five-year incumbent for her seat.
Thanks Bobbie!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A "Red Ryder" for Christmas?

I am still being gentle with Liz about when the lap top will be "entrusted" to me to "rock and roll" on the web. Until then, I am moving fast in short bursts with posts! 

Recently, I posted about hearing an excellent live performance of Bob Seger's "Turn the Page" and received a couple wonderful comments back, believe me - I will get to them-thanks.

In this post I am turning to one of the all time Christmas Classics from 1983 "A Christmas Story."

In the show, "Ralphie" on the left in the glasses was peeing down his frozen leg (literally- the movie was shot on location in Cleveland) wanting a Red Ryder BB Gun. 

Didn't every boy???

Well no, I didn't and vividly remember trying to feel like I should in the 1950's. Something was wrong.

If you haven't seen the movie, it is a hilarious look at a family circa 1940's.

One of the best things to come out of the movie for me was the very simple imagery I can use from it to pass along to the transgender "uninitiated." I simply ask if they remember "A Christmas Story"   when every red blooded American boy wanted a BB gun.

I guess I should have accepted then, I was not going to live up to the standards of being that boy, and you know some of those girls clothes looked to be lots of fun! 

Oh well! Making up for lost time now.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Stand Up Straight Dammit!

One post we haven't readdressed here in Cyrsti's Condo is the power (and passing privilege) you can bring to your public presentation by simply standing up straight. 

I know in the early days of my cross dressing experience, I was increasing my height by wearing heels-then hunching over to hide it.

By the time I realized hunching over was hurting my confidence and presenting as a trans woman-wearing heels was pretty much out of the question. 30 plus years pounding concrete restaurant floors has pretty much taken any "resilience" out of the bottom half of my body. Plus the cis-women I am around just don't wear heels much. So I am OK being a couple inches short of six feet tall in boots or flats.

I am also very much OK with the increasing number of tall girls I see wearing heels and I don't have to worry about being the tallest in the room.

What I do have to worry about though is the thick upper man's torso I have. If I don't concentrate on standing up totally straight, I am exponentially cutting my chances of being busted as being born male. 

Now, if I use Friday night as an example at the restaurant we went to, no one gave me a second look. Just the owner and possibly our server knew I was transgender. Plus, I truly believe in some situations, certain owners consider it a compliment if "one of us"  chooses to make their operation a bit more diverse.

So, as we head into the holidays kids and no matter what you are wearing- remember what your "Mama" said "Stand up Straight Dammit!"!!!!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Turn the Page

No matter how I look at it-or want to do it-I feel like a kid again who can't wait for Christmas. This year though, barring pestilence and an/or extremely bigoted judge, I won't have to settle for the boys toys anymore.

Which brings me to the title of this post "Turn the Page"- a very popular song was done in the 70's by Bob Seger. Here is a little background from Wikipedia:

"We had been playing somewhere in the Midwest, or the northern reaches, on our way to North or South Dakota. [Guitarist] Mike Bruce was with us. We'd been traveling all night from the Detroit area to make this gig, driving in this blinding snowstorm. It was probably 3 in the morning.
Mike decided it was time to get gas. He was slowing down to exit the interstate and spied a truck stop. We all had very long hair back then – it was the hippie era – but Skip, Mike and Bob had all stuffed their hair up in their hats. You had to be careful out on the road like that, because you'd get ostracized. When I walked in, there was this gauntlet of truckers making comments – "Is that a girl or man?" I was seething; those guys were laughing their asses off, a big funny joke.
That next night, after we played our gig – I think it was Mitchell, S.D. – Seger says, "Hey, I've been working on this song for a bit, I've got this new line for it. He played it on acoustic guitar, and there was that line: "Oh, the same old cliches / 'Is that a woman or a man?' " It was "Turn the Page."[1]"

If any of you have been through that part of the country, you can understand why the lyrics hit home. Hell in my hometown then, long hair (hitting the top of your collar) could get you shot in the wrong redneck bar.

Bottom line is my friend Ed from "Nighthawk" did a fabulous job with the song but I am sure little did he know exactly HOW much the music meant to me Friday. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

A Glass of the "Bubbly"

Not quite-but Friday night Liz and I went out to a local Cincinnati Winery to hear a friend play acoustical tunes and celebrate the very beginning of my gender marker changes. 

It was cool getting to dress up for the evening, enjoy a very tasty entree and my first taste of alcohol of any kind since the middle of last summer. It was even cooler to be called "ladies" by the owner and servers etc. Plus interestingly, the owner seemed to be overly entranced he had a real live transgender woman in his restaurant.

Perhaps though, the "bestest" part of the evening was when I went to the ladies room after dinner and all so briefly thinking Wow! In an so enticingly short period of time, my "M" will be wiped off my ID's and changed to "F". 

Now, I know my journey is far from over and most certainly I can be my own most paranoiac enemy but in the mean time when I saw the "Woman" sign on the door-I felt I had really arrived.

Then, I had to really go!

Cyrsti's Condo "Sunday Edition."

Ker Plunk! Listen up! Another Sunday Edition is hitting your virtual front porch. Just a mile or so of the Ohio River we are experiencing record warm temps and no violent weather-for awhile. Example? The Bengals/Squeelers Football game here in Cincinnati today is expected to be dry with highs near 70. For all of you who aren't so fortunate, I am sending all the good vibes I can! Now, let's get started.

Page One-the Week that Was - or Wasn't: Selfishly, the week for me was one of ups and sniffles. Been feeling under the weather, but mixed in with all of that was a trip to the VA and discovering somehow they had been keeping my gender change a secret. However, being the VA-they changed my gender but not my name so I became sort of a reverse of the old Johnny Cash song "A Boy Named Sue." - a girl named a boy's name. However, the whole problem is expected to be fixed when I get my legal name change completed December 23rd. Which brings us to Page Two:

Page Two-Wiping the Slate Clean: Obviously it is a huge deal to have your gender markers changed. A move which has become (more and more) one of choice and not of expensive/painful surgery which was/is out of most of us's reach - if we wanted it or not. Now increasingly, stories of legal gender liberation are becoming part of the public consciousness. Here is Connie's:

"As of yesterday afternoon, I have finally jumped through the name-change hoop, myself! I was approaching it like just another hoop, anyway, but the judge was more emotional about it than I - treating it more like a ceremony than a legal formality. In fact, the whole courtroom broke out in applause as I exited! I managed to hold back the tears until half-way across the parking lot. I had intended to go directly to the Dept. of Licensing to get my new driver license, but I'd totally ruined my makeup before I made it to my car, and there was no way I was going to have that face on my new license. I can't believe that I waited so long to do this, but at least I didn't wait until I was as old as you are, Cyrsti (or whatever your new name is). HaHa. I have to say that this is all pretty cool - don't you think? BTW, I did not include the "fabulous" for my new legal name, but it sure makes me feel that way. :-)"

OK!!!! YAY! I am so happy for you Connie!!! (Regardless of the cheap shots!)  FYI The outgoing judge I am seeing also has refused to sign same sex marriage licenses like the snake woman down in Kentucky but Ohio for once has figured how to sweep it under the rug-or his robes. And, the court "room" has about 15 seats and my "case" should be about the last before they shut down for Christmas.

Page Three-Looking Back and Forward: Looking back, I have always "blamed" Connie for the Cyrsti's Condo blog. We "met" on the same "social" blog which was heavily dominated by who I used to call the "trans nazi's" or purists. I used to write about my crazy stories as I sought my true gender and got "bashed" by more than a couple of them. What?? Have fun??? How dare you??? And when is your surgery scheduled anyhow?

It was Connie who suggested I write my own blog. I asked how it was spelled? 

Finally Connie, either at your age you have a great memory (or were guessing), my legal name will be a mix of my maternal grandfather's name and my Mom's. Being rather superstitious, I have been very guarded about telling anyone what it will be. Ironically though, I have sort of painted myself into a corner because my whole life now is built around peeps who have always known me as Cyrsti. Never was a good painter though!

Page Four-The Back Page: Well, got to go kids. Thanks for stopping by Cyrsti's Condo!! Love you all!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Nikki's Long Journey

Connie passed along this story of a transgender veteran's life of being terribly discriminated against following a decision by the U.S Military- which began in 1967.

Few remember the pressure the military could bring on your life back then if you didn't "do your duty" - stay firmly in your closet and earn an honorable discharge. For the greatest majority of the transgender troops (still basically unknown) in those days- we could and were dumped into the "gay" category and discharged-at the best with a general discharge. Let's get back to the present and Nikki's story:

"Nikki never dreamed that she would be buying a house in Salem, Oregon with a loan from the VA: “At 72, I didn’t think I would ever see the day that I received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force. In 1967, I was outed as gay and given a ‘general discharge under less than honorable conditions.’ It took them 48 years to recognize the contributions of this bisexual, bigender veteran.”
Nikki had been the internal information officer who was in charge of the Air Force base’s weekly newspaper and coordinating the commanding general’s monthly “Commanders’ Call” bulletins and speeches. She* received accolades from the Pentagon for this monthly work.
One night in 1967, she was pulled into a dark hallway by two members of the Air Force Office of Special Investigation. They threatened Nikki, telling her they knew she was gay and trying to pressure her to admit it. These psychological games continued, and Nikki was terrified of what would happen to her.
When it came to a head, her commanding general gave her the choice of being officially charged with being gay, facing a court martial, and having that be on her permanent record, or signing a paper that resigned her commission “for the good of the service.”
Nikki signed.

Take a look at the rest of her story here: written by Katie Carter.
Just another example of how the US military system just may have kicked their best fighters out of the system

Friday, December 11, 2015


Finally, Liz and I shamed a certain "big box" electronics store into completely replacing the piece of sh-t laptop she bought there with a warranty - and it was haunted.

It was guaranteed to break down in my hands every two months or hated me.

So sometime this weekend I should get back to working on regular blog posts, my next book and my collector's shop. 

Can't wait!!!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Gender Marker "Dominoes"

In the last post, I promised to pass along what I like to describe as my Mtf transgender legal marker progress as my own game of Dominoes

Once one Domino falls, the process really gets moving...Or should.

Two disclaimers though. The first is I have never been through this process before and secondly, where you are the process my be different.

My plan was to get my legal name change completed. I am due in court on the 23rd. Plus I live in an area where the court costs are still relatively reasonable, so I could afford it. Assuming my name change goes through, as I wrote in the last Cyrsti's Condo post, I can complete my Veterans Administration identification process.

At the same time, I will need to get my paperwork into the State of Ohio BMV (Bureau of Motor Vehicles) they say I should hear within 10 days or so about my approval for a new license. Ohio is a little tricky though because you have to have irrefutable evidence (letter) from your physician/ therapist that your change is permanent. If not, they will tell you to change back or repeat the process in the future. I have that covered, but again must wait for the legal name change to send the paper work in.

Now, Social Security supposedly can be done on line or by mail-but I would rather take my chances spending a very boring day at a local SS office. Let's point out Social Security could care less about your gender change (unless you get a rogue clerk) but does care about your name (of course.)

By this time, I will have to make certain nothing in my bank's system will screw up my monthly stipend from Social Security-which is electronically deposited.

So, there you go. My own very personal game of gender marker Dominoes. We both know the best laid plans of transgender women and men everywhere can go awry in this process. Plus I know there are many more markers which need to be changed we don't even think of. I read sometime ago of a trans woman running into problems at her veterinarians office of all places. 

I will keep you posted on my game! 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The First Domino Fell!

As I wrote of before here in Cyrsti's Condo, today was endocrinologist day at my Veteran's Hospital. To say the day went relatively well is an understatement! 

First of all, my initial blood labs came back well enough that the Doc is prepared to let me back on estrogen if one more test on my blood comes back positive. Then, I didn't have to even give a pint today to hematology because my iron readings are back to the normal range.

So, all of a sudden Liz and I had extra time to seek out the office of the VA Privacy Officer who (as you may remember) holds the key to getting my gender markers changed within the VA-so I don't have be called "Mr.Hart" anymore.

I have tried and my psychologist has tried to tie this guy down as to what was going on with my case. Today (which is nearly unheard of) we found the building-we found his office and we found him!

He jumped right to it and started wondering to himself what the hell was going on and pulled my change request up on his computer screen. As we read it my heart sunk when it still had my male name on it but soared when the gender read-Female! 

Literally, as he tried to figure out why the gender was changed and not the name-my life flashed in front of my eyes. It was a true surreal experience. I'm sure what was only a couple of minutes seemed so much longer.

What we finally came up with on the formal name change was when I get the formal court name change on the 23rd- bring it straight to him.

At that point, what I call gender marker "dominoes" really begin to fall. More on that later!

A Tribute to Leelah Alcorn?

Most certainly one of the main ideas Leelah Alcorn wanted to pass along before the young transgender teen girl committed suicide almost exactly a year ago close to Cincinnati, Ohio was- to have her death mean something.

If you don't remember, Leelah's parents were devout conservative Christians and subjected their daughter to conversion therapy. Now it seems, Leelah's message is coming through-here in Cincinnati at least:

"The Nati" again stands to become a national leader in LGBT rights as debate isscheduled Monday on a measure that would ban preoperative or conversion therapy for LGBT youth

City Council Member Chris Seelbach said Thursday that at Monday’s meeting of the council’s law and public safety committee, he will propose an ordinance that would impose a $200-a-day fine on a therapist or counselor practicing the therapy that aims to “change” lesbians, gay men, bisexuals or transgender people from their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Passage apparently would make Cincinnati the first major U.S. city to ban reparative or conversion therapy. The Movement Advancement Project, an LGBT organization in Denver that tracks legislation nationwide on reparative therapy, has no record of a city passing an ordinance that would ban the practice.

Cincinnati has pioneered other official moves to embrace LGBT citizens, including offering health benefits to transgender city employees and setting aside a City Hall bathroom as gender-neutral.

As promising as it this all is, the problem of Evangelical Christians doing their own "therapy." Still under the radar and in the same room with the snakes.

Plus, in Leelah's case, her church I believe was across the Ohio River-out of reach from those "pesky" regulations forbidding brainwashing your LGBTQ child. 

But the resolution is a great start!!!!

Monday, December 7, 2015

R.I.P. Holly Woodlawn

At my age one of the moments of knowing I wasn't alone in the closet with my gender dysphoria was when Lou Reed crooned "Take a Walk on the Wild Side." It started like this:
Holly came from Miami F-L-A,
Hitchhiked her way across the U.S.A.,
Plucked her eyebrows on the way,
Shaved her legs and then he was a she.
Very soon, Ms. Woodlawn took her place in the Warhol pantheon alongside two other freshly minted stars, the transgender actresses Jackie Curtis and Candy Darling. Together, they brought a daffy, deadpan style to Mr. Morrissey’s next film, “Women in Revolt,” also produced by Warhol, a satire on the women’s liberation movement, with Ms. Woodlawn playing a nymphomaniac fashion model who detests men and joins the militant organization P.I.G. (Politically Involved Girls).
Thanks Holly! Rest in Peace.