Friday, March 31, 2017

More on Trans Feminism

Connie commented:

"I think that gender identity should have nothing to do with feminism, as a concept. If one is a humanist, s/he is a feminist by default. Problems evolve from the agendas people attach to the concept. For some, their approach to feminism may be centered on anti-misogyny, which is valid, but antagonistic nonetheless. Still, the concept of feminism remains available for anyone to follow - man, woman, or trans. The fact that it is women, cis or trans, who most often have a chip in the game may well lead to having a chip on their shoulders, as well. I look at feminism as inclusive rather than anti-anything, though, so a radical feminist would probably not view me so favorably. On a human level, we should all be considered to be equal, but our differences - as they correspond to our gender identities - should be celebrated at the same time. If there were not those differences, after all, there would be no trans people!

As far as a military draft goes, God forbid that we ever need to have one again. If we do, though, I wonder just how those radical feminists would react to the drafting of women (in equal numbers, of course), along with men. Thanks, again, for your service, btw, even if you might have been both at the same time.;-)"

Great points! Especially the one about the draft. I still carry some resentment towards the young women back in the day who said, they would go fight if they could. Knowing full well they couldn't back then. It was easy enough for them to hide behind their gender during a very unpopular war (conflict). I was (and am) a proponent of an universal draft where everyone has to do something. Male, female or transgender, there are enough major problems in our country to keep everyone busy.

Thanks for thanking me for my service :). At the least the three years gave me more time to run from the realization of who I really was. I knew somehow I was transgender and wanted to live as a woman, just had no idea of a good way to do it back in the early to mid 1970's.

Maybe a topic for another blog post: When I put my cross dressing toys aside!"


Jazz Returns

Jazz Jenning's show on the "TLC" is returning this June with Jazz facing the thoughts of gender realignment surgery. Check this video for more:

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Transgender Feminism

Cyrsti's Condo archive post from August 2013:

:Have you ever considered how feminism effects us as transgender women? Does it at all and are we accepted if we try to participate?

On some levels we are met with a resounding NO by the more radical of the feminists who view us as little more than impostors. On other levels YES by those who need whatever political clout we can offer.

Truly over the years I have believed in total equality between the genders. Back in the day when men of my age bracket were being drafted to fight in the non war no one wants to remember, I perceived the process of blatant gender discrimination. Men and women both should have been drafted! All in all though the process turned out to be another dose of my wonderful male privilege!

Of course I read loads of the feminist posts and do believe in equality but I wonder if once again as a trans woman how much really effects me? I just don't read much from genetic feminists mentioning the enormous injustices we are subjected to. Regardless of our birth genders the rift seems too wide to cross. Certainly we deserve the same amount of money as men for the same job...if we can get one at all.

Recently I received an invitation to a dinner/speaker local "Women in Government" meeting. The invite gave me a chance to consider if I wanted to shell out the 25 dollars to hear the speaker and the possible consequences if I went.  Per norm I certainly would have been the "one of a kind" person in the room with a chance to network the transgender culture. All the warm and fuzzies to be sure but would it have been the time to ask the women in government about their views of transgender feminism? Undoubtedly not what the participants would have expected I'm sure.

So, I didn't go and in some senses felt bad about not doing it. I do however have a couple other avenues I'm considering such as an youth LGBT group in town.  They of course are always looking for help.

In today's world, everyone tries to protect and build their own little hill of sand including the genetic feminists. It's another part of the girls sandbox I'm not sure of wanting to play in."

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Damn Mailbox

As I have written numerous times here in Cyrsti's Condo, the trip to the mailbox was one of my first ventures into the world as a cross dressed boy. Of course I stressed forever it seemed to be able to make that trip into the world.

All these years later, some days it seems nothing has changed. Even now I think I have to make sure I apply the basics of makeup just to go to the mailbox. The difference these days is I have several very close neighbors (most know I am transgender I am sure by now.)

How odd is it the more things change, the more they stay the same!

Gender Identity Conceptions and Misconceptions

Recently, CBSN weighed in on the difference in genders: This post may be a bit wonky...but if you follow the CBSN link to the video it will be worthwhile. (At the bottom of the page.) Here is a quick intro:

"It’s a common misconception that gender identity and sexual orientation are connected. If someone is transgender, for example, many people automatically assume that they must also be gay. That, however, is not the case. Gender and sexuality are different, and it’s an important distinction to understand.
“People often perceive that they intersect. But many of us are working very hard to unhinge one from the other,” said sj Miller, deputy director at NYU’s Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools. “They’ve been conflated for so long, and they’re completely different.” 


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Could I...Would I?

Around here, it's the time of the year when Girl Scouts jump up everywhere it seems to peddle their ubiquitous cookies. Including my granddaughter.

As I see them do it, I wonder how it must have been to have been able to join the Girl Scouts. Instead of my exceedingly short miserable stay in the Boy Scouts. Of course I will never know, just like not being able to take Home Economics in high school and learning to cook and sew, etc. Way before transgender, and LGBT were even words for the most part.

I believe now, the most important lesson I would have learned is how girls/young women interacted among themselves when boys were not present. Back in those days where I went to school, the genders were pretty much segregated. Girls to Home Ec, boys to Auto Mechanics. So of course I wanted to be in with the girls as a girl, not as a boy cross dressed as one.

Closets being what they were (and are still) I evaded much of the derision and bullying I would have had to put up with. I played sports, followed the college prep studies and went to proms. Or, I played the game enough to get by, get home and steal away some precious time to cross dress alone.

As time has a way of doing, it went so slow back then and seems like a blur now. Time though does not heal all, as I still wonder "what if." What if I had done more to express myself and had the courage to at least try to step out of the closet. I do know then, the life I had would have been seriously impacted under the harsh lights of an ignorant world.

So on and on I went and here I am finally where I wanted to be...almost. Yesterday was a good example of being called a "he" at one stop and treated like a star by a millennial at another.

Overall the "could" came true and the "would" provided me all I could ask for so far!

When Will They Ever Learn?

Despite Republican assurances that North Carolina's "bathroom bill" isn't hurting the economy, the law limiting LGBT protections will cost the state more than $3.76 billion in lost business over a dozen years, according to an Associated Press analysis.

Over the past year, North Carolina has suffered financial hits ranging from scuttled plans for a PayPal facility that would have added an estimated $2.66 billion to the state's economy to a canceled Ringo Starr concert that deprived a town's amphitheater of about $33,000 in revenue. The blows have landed in the state's biggest cities as well as towns surrounding its flagship university, and from the mountains to the coast.

North Carolina could lose hundreds of millions more because the NCAA is avoiding the state, usually a favored host. The group is set to announce sites for various championships through 2022, and North Carolina won't be among them as long as the law is on the books. The NAACP also has initiated a national economic boycott.

The AP analysis - compiled through interviews and public records requests - represents the largest reckoning yet of how much the law, passed one year ago, could cost the state. The law excludes gender identity and sexual orientation from statewide antidiscrimination protections, and requires transgender people to use restrooms corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates in many public buildings.

Still, AP's tally is likely an underestimation of the law's true costs.

For more, go here:

Monday, March 27, 2017

Christianity?

A very dear transgender woman friend of mine recently posted this and I thought it was worth repeating, and for once I had nothing to add. She said it all:

"My parents both graduated from Cedarville University. It is a Christian school. They teach a literal interpretation of the Bible. And they follow the Fundamentalist tradition of ignoring the message of Christ while focusing on small snippets of the Bible which they can take out of context and cite while preaching their message of bigotry.
My mother, God bless her ignorant soul, always updates Cedarville U. with my current address so that they can send me their quarterly newsletter. The Spring 2017 issue of Cedarville Magazine has an article about gender. It's a disturbing read.
And here is Greg Couser's sermon on the subject:
https://www.cedarville.edu/Chapel/Archive.aspx…
He says, "Here we turn to Matthew and Christ's teaching on sex and gender in Matthew 19:1-11 for some guidance."
This disgusts me. Greg Couser takes a passage about divorce and argues that it supports his anti-trans message simply because Matthew 19:4 says, "He which made them at the beginning made them male and female."
Are you kidding me? It says God "made them male and female."
It doesn't say, "Males are all born with a penis and having a penis is what determines whether or not you're male."
It doesn't say, "All females must accept that if they weren't born with a vagina then they aren't really female."
If you're a Christian, you believe that God created women as women and men as men.
You must also believe that God created all birth defects. God created conjoined twins. God created intersex babies. God created 0.2% of women with the wrong parts. And God created 0.2% of men with the wrong parts.
How dare anyone tell trans people they're not really the person they are because of the body they were born with?
What a sad, hateful human being."
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Noth

A Dream Come True

The first transgender couple to appear on Say Yes to the Dress in an episode Cosmo contributor Hannah Smothers called “historic.”

So now during a period of transgender history seemingly fraught with setbacks, yet another first for transgender women everywhere.

After fiancé Jaden proposed, (the gorgeous) Gabrielle Gibson applied to be featured on the TLC show, where brides skim through racks of dresses to find the special gown for their big day. Gibson was accepted onto the show shortly thereafter.
Although Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta featured a transgender bride in January 2016, this will be the first time that the original show features one.
Interestingly enough, Liz asked me if I had ever shared the "wedding dress dream" little (and big) girls have growing up. I said, not so much because I thought it was so far past my reach for several distinct different reasons, including financial.
Having said that, Liz and I are still thinking of being married in a "Handfasting" ceremony and I am thinking about some sort of a "boho" inspired peach colored dress.
Much of it depends on how much of a bitch I have been lately :).

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Another Year?

Doesn't seem possible but it is time again to register for another TransOhio Annual Transgender and Ally Symposium. This will be my fourth visit but the second I won't be holding my own workshop. Again this year I felt I would enjoy myself more if I wasn't tied down to a workshop.

My workshops always revolved around "more mature" transgender women and men, so it will be interesting to see if anyone else handles the very important topic.

So far I have purchased tickets for Liz and I plus reserved a hotel room for one of the nights.

If you are interested, the symposium is held in Columbus, Ohio, Friday, Saturday and Sunday the 28th thru the 30th of April. Friday is mainly for "professionals" such as psychologists, psychiatrists, and other practitioners. Saturday and Sunday's are the days for workshops.

Also, Columbus is an incredibly diverse LGBT city.

If you happen to be going, let me know! Would love to meet in person.:)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

I Plead the 50th?

Actually Connie does: "IF I were to attend a 50th reunion (two years away for mine), I would choose to go to the one for the school I did not graduate from - the one where I had grown up with so many people. I did a pretty good job of not establishing relationships, other than with my wife, after moving to Seattle. Even though I had gained some notoriety on the football field, I played a position that was not so glamorous. My ending up at the bottom of a pile of humanity at the end of each play did little to endear myself to the humanity of my classmates in the stands - or in the halls the following Monday. Actually, the same was true at my old school; I planned it that way. I was trying to fly under the radar, and football was mostly a decoy. I have to laugh each time I think about it, as the kid who was the quarterback, and the best athlete in the school, I have always suspected to be gay. We were, by no means, close friends, but I could sense that he was keeping a well-guarded secret, just as I was. If there were only one person with whom I might have a reunion, it would be him. Our miseries would make great company.

A center of attraction? I admit to having that desire - at least my musical self does. I started my musical "career" behind a drum set (which is usually set up behind the rest of the band). Playing the drums was yet another decoy. My "hamming it up", though, eventually moved me to center stage. Over the years, I have often imagined myself stepping onto the stage with the band at a reunion. I could express myself there so much better than in any other way, and the edge of the stage is sort of a force field - one for which I have control. Standing above a crowd of vaguely familiar and aging faces - the men fat and bald, and they women wrinkled and gray - singing from my heart and soul, seems quite a satisfactory prospect.

None of this will happen. Why should I care that people see who the awkward, enigmatic, and somewhat withdrawn boy turned out to really be? Who I am now is of little note to anyone but myself, and any accolades for my "courage" to be myself now are unwanted. My courage was demonstrated by what I did to hide myself those many years ago, but I certainly don't need to reminisce on that. Besides, nobody hires bands for reunions anymore; just DJs. People are more interested in those things recorded long ago than what is live - and alive - in the present."

Thanks Connie (again)!

Monday, March 20, 2017

No Body Liked You Anyhow.

This happened to me several times after I transitioned and came out to several people. They told me they could see a friendlier more comfortable me. (Even though my insides were twisted in knots.)

It was like the weight of the world was taken from my shoulders. So I could relax into a life I was evidently supposed to have lived from the beginning.

Of course I had all this paranoia about how I looked when it seemed most everyone else was concerned with how I felt.

Then, I began to wonder how different my life would have been as a transgender woman if I had started to live it earlier? How different would my life had been if I had not been under the early cross dressing pressures or just worrying later about the ramifications of being transgender itself?

Night and day to be sure because I had this mean streak to me, along with a touch of crazy. Out running trans is tough. Looking for each and every macho way to prove a non existent masculinity.

So it's no wonder I didn't have many close friends ever, because I didn't allow myself any. Non one was allowed inside "the rock" that was me.

What a shame the cup was half empty during the years of my life I spent in hiding or half full that I finally learned the truth and turned my life around.

So I am proof a life can turn on a dime, sometimes you just have to stay on top of the dime for decades.

Jeepers Creeps II

Received plenty of response to my Jeepers Creepers post yesterday in Cyrsti's Condo. To refresh your memory the post was about a guy who was making me feel very uneasy at a restaurant the other night.

The first from Jeni: "I'm coming up with a different scenario.
The guy hates trans, and was staring at you, not sure if you were trans or not.
If he had made up his mind that you were trans, then trans hate crime murder jumps to the top of the list for outcomes."

Geeze I hope not!

The second from Mandy: "I hope the creep didn't follow you...I suspect I might have driven to the nearest police station."

Mandy, even though Liz wasn't watching to see if he followed, I was!!!!

The third from Connie: "I was shopping in a Wallgreen's one night, and a guy (unsuccessfully) tried to be discreet as he followed me around the store. I, of course, carefully ignored him. I wasn't about to leave the store until he was long gone, but he remained long after I had gathered my products for purchase. I decided to stop in front of the "incontinence" display (surely, that would make me appear to be unattractive, so I thought). He showed himself at the end of the isle, though, stared at me for a half-a-minute, and then approached me.

"You're so beautiful, blah blah blah," he said. With a half-smile, I thanked him and then picked up a package of Depends, pretend to examine it. "I don't usually do this kind of thing, but I was wondering if I could buy you a drink," I heard from behind me. Without looking at him, I politely said "No, thank you," and moved down the aisle away from him. He followed me, keeping some distance, and I could tell he wasn't ready to take "No" for an answer. Before he could say any more, I turned around - still with the Depends in my hand - and said, "I've really got to get home now!" I don't know if he understood that maybe I was having a crisis situation, but he did stop following me. 

Then, I began stalking him, just to make sure he was leaving the store. I watched him as he went to the check-out counter to ask for a bottle of cheap whiskey. Was that what he meant by buying me a drink, I thought. Did he expect me to go out in the alley and share swigs with him before he got me drunk enough to give in to him? He was creepy enough that I thought he might have even been turned on by my expressed incontinence, and maybe he'd even like to be peed on. Anyway, the threat was over when I watched him leave with his bottle, crossing the busy street to a safe-enough distance so that I could get to my car parked in the lot. During my drive home, I came up with a better answer to his advances. I should have said that my husband was waiting for me in the car, and that he was probably already getting his temper up because I had been so long in the store. That's what I'll say next time, and it's a matter of "when", not "if", that it will.

BTW, I left the Depends on the counter; they were only a prop! The whole experience was worthy of peeing my pants, though - both out of fear and anger."

That's scary!

I always operate out of the possibility most guys know I am transgender and go from there. Plus, I am really fortunate these days to nearly never be alone much which gives me strength in numbers of course.

In a future post, I will have to pass along a few stories from the Witch's Balls I attended here in Cincinnati. Nothing dangerous because most witches don't have balls :) just fun interaction with a couple men.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Building Walls?

At the risk of erroneously lumping topics into one of interest. I have mentioned over the past week or so of being found by an accepting old friend. Obviously, all of that was good until I covered the subject again of not going to my 50th high school class reunion this year. My feelings have always been if they (classmates) didn't particularly want to see me then-why now? And, their are damn few I still want to see, let alone be some sort of center of attraction. For the wrong reasons.


As far as building walls, Connie wrote: "I understand the idea of distancing, and taking advantage of making a clean break. I had to move to another city just at the end of my junior year in high school. My plan was to not only leave everything and everybody behind, but also to be careful not to develop any close relationships in my new environment. It was my one and only purge, as I had also decided to break off with myself - insofar as my gender identity was concerned. 

Although my suppression of self lasted for seventeen years, my vow to avoid close relationships ended only four months later, on September 23, 1968 (I can still remember the exact place and situation, too), the day I met the girl to whom I would later be married. As it relates to my internal battle of suppression, it was the power of testosterone and social convention over my female brain to which I caved. Also, I just wanted to be loved by someone, and I could not see that happening had I been whatever I was trying so hard not to be.

I sometimes wonder where I'd be had I stuck with my original plan, but as badly as I've messed up lives of those I love over the past three decades, at least there is still some kind of love that has survived. As for the rest of the people from my past, the ones I managed to keep a safe distance from, I really don't care too much who they might think me to be today. For them, and with them, there was little investment in the first place."

Thanks again Connie for your insight!

"Jeepers-Creepers"

Every now and then I get a dose of heavy feminine reality. Friday night, Liz and I went out to eat at a slightly upscale family dining restaurant. Very rarely do I feel good about the way I look as a transgender woman, but I did Friday. Clothes, make-up, hair all seemed to be working together.

Let me say though, in no way will I ever consider myself to be a beauty queen candidate in this lifetime.

The place we went to had a small soup and salad bar which I ordered with a fish sandwich on rye. I am not Catholic, but seemingly almost everyone else in Cincinnati is and there are several good fish sandwiches available this time of year.

At any rate, I went to the soup bar for some corn chowder when out of the corner of my eye, I caught this creepy guy staring at me. I didn't think much of it and went back to sit down and eat my soup. Before my meal came, I went back to the "bar" for some salad items to eat with my sandwich and there he was again-staring.

By this time I was thinking I was his vision of loveliness or he was into trans women. Either way, I was beginning to feel more than a little creeped out. So I went back to the table and told Liz. We had a little chuckle and went on eating.

Finally, I figured he would be gone and I went back up to get some fruit for dessert, but no, he was still there and still fixated on me.

As we got up to pay our bill and leave, I noticed so did he. Plus he just happened to sit in his car until we left the restaurant.

I told Liz I had a stalker and wasn't kidding. He made me feel really uneasy as he was bigger than me and didn't seem to be all there (if you know what I mean.) Liz merely said relax we are leaving and obviously I attract only top shelf men (Haha!).

The moral or immoral to the story is, we have to learn again and again to develop a feminine sixth sense to keep us safe. No matter where we go anymore.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

In the Backseat of my Ol' 63.

On FB recently, someone posted a picture of a very nice 1963 Black Chevy Impala with the comment "Have you ever sat in one of these?"

In fact, back in the day, many more than one. My Dad of all people had the nicest one I had ever seen. A Gunmetal Blue Super Sport convertible. Which by the way was off limits for my brother and I to drive.

In later years, I acquired another less impressive Impala whose back seat served as a weak drive in training ground for my teen aged girlfriends. Over the years, I wonder what the girls thought and more importantly what it would have been like to switch places with them. Along the way, I thought my awkward moves may have sent a couple of them to the lesbian side of the ledger.

Regardless a few of them allowed us to "cuddle" in the back seat, away from those pesky bucket seats and gear shift handle. Although, if the girl was sitting too close, sometimes you could be "sly" and touch a little leg when your hand "accidentally" slipped off the shift knob. I am sure through all of this the girls knew exactly what was going to happen. Although similar to a cheap adventure show, no one was sure when or what was going to happen.

My only two car claim to fame's came when I bought a 67 GTO (used) and a 63 Cadillac Hearse (used) to drive a short distance back a forth to college. Obviously, gas for both was much cheaper back in the day. The Hearse of course was some sort of a chick magnet...or the opposite. I ended up selling the GTO when I went away to the Army and blew the head gaskets out of the Hearse and junked it.

I wish I could say I had this wonderful sexual mosaic to write about, but I just don't. I think I had too much respect for women and put them too high on pedestals to think about what I was doing. Regardless of my conquests, I ended up moving on or being someone's possible best friend.

Of course it all came to an end when I had to take off three years for the Army's fun and games. At that time I made a real effort to have a clean slate and not have any "girlfriends" when I left. Looking back now, I think I was distancing myself from others because of my gender dysphoria.  The fewer people I had to tell in the future the better.

Fortunately, I have no way of even seeing or contacting those girls of so long ago. The only way would be my 50th year high school reunion this year. Which I am not going to.

We will get to why, in a later post.


Friday, March 17, 2017

No Pressure Here?

Well, once again yesterday, I experienced a major malfunction with my lap top which has all sorts of far reaching implications. In fact yesterday's post was completed on another computer.

As luck would have it and I really don't know why (knock on wood) so far we are up and running today. Under pressure to complete another post before the bottom can
fall out. Sometimes I don't know how I could feel much pressure after Mtf transitioning. After all, could there be any more pressure packed feelings than venturing out in the world as a member of the opposite gender?

I guess pressure is what you make of it though. It is like my trips to the auto repair center which positively drive me up a wall. The same wall as my name is probably written on there. For example, the last time my car was picked up, Liz went in to get it and barely had enough time to get my name out before the guy behind the counter did.

Most certainly, at the least, people remember me. Good I hope! I am positive I have never had a drink with the guy before :).

Perhaps we transgender women are similar to athletes in that we grow into, or even thrive on pressure. It drives us on to better presentations.

As far as pressure goes, I am going to wrap this post up while I can!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Here's Waving at 'Ya' Kid!

I keep thinking after all this time of Mtf gender transitioning, all the nuances would be lost on me, but fortunately they are not.

Last night for example, after I washed by hair, I lightly brushed it out wet rather than applying mousse and letting it dry. I found what it got me were long waves instead of tighter curls which I could pick out with a "pick".

This morning when I woke up, I was amazed at the results. I guess it doesn't take much to get my attention. Or, as Connie said "Oh! You girls and your hair." The proof to me though will be if I can keep it a couple days before the waves go out as it is almost time for another coloring.

It's always about this time in my hair cycle when I see what women see in the value of wigs and weaves to keep bad hair days down to a minimum.

The picture I have added was taken with a wig which matched my natural hair color.

While I think when I was able to wear my own hair was an enlightening point in my transition. Sometimes I miss my wigs from "back in the day."

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

LGBT Privilege?

Privilege? We haven't discussed it for awhile here in Cyrsti's Condo, so pull up a chair and have a seat.

Lets take for granted you were raised as a boy. What privilege did you feel over your girl counterparts? First of all, how do you define privilege? I define it as something you enjoy (or don't) over another person. For example, I was raised in a solid white middle class family. Once you get to that point, you can begin to make a true "apples to apples" comparison.

If you read my posts much, you all know I was thrust into a loving sports existence which kept me "safe" from prying folks for years. After all, how could a football player want to wear a dress and miss out on the adulation of playing? No one ever considered I really wanted to be a cheerleader. Ironically, the grass always looks a little greener on the other side of the privilege pasture because it wasn't till much later in life I experienced true female on female competition. Which can be as intense (or more so) than men.

Then, I thought if I could just wear pretty dresses to school everyday, how much better life would be if the boys were looking at me and asking me out. I had just the slightest concept of how frustrating it must be to try to pick out and afford all those clothes, then wait for a suitable boy to ask me out.

My biggest privilege misconception was that girls had no pressure. Back in those days, for the most part, the girl held all the sexual keys. And if they screwed up, no pun intended, they paid the big time price of having a child without the help of a immature guy.


I guess the true equalizer where I lived was scholastic. Both girls and boys were encouraged to achieve. And, as I remember, there was no insult to get "beaten out" by a girl.

So, as I look back on it, privilege was a pretty shallow animal until I became older. At that point, just achieving a certain age and look earned you the "Sir" title. Women at the same time ended up earning less money and less respect along the way. I distinctly remember the first couple of conversations I had with men. I was naive and shocked when I received a total lack of respect. Privilege then became a very big deal, tipped to the male side.

Finally, there is security privilege or the right to go where you want to, when you want to. Of course women have tremendous problems in this area, cis or trans. It was one of the biggest danger hurdles I had to face and cross.

It seems, for the most part, privilege is what we make of it, within reason. Each gender has it's ups and downs. The problems come when we try to see and negotiate the differences.

Just Exactly What Does it Mean to Me?

Not long ago I ran a post and picture of the most recent winner of the famous Thai beauty contest. I had several of you respond with (I paraphrase) that's nice, but what does it mean to me? Well, of course not much and that's why I entitled the post "Eye Candy."

In the comment section of the post, Connie and I began a brief give and take about the subject and the famous (infamous) area of Thailand where the contest is held yearly. She said: "From the article: "The contest, in its 12th year, was held at the Tiffany's nightclub in the Thai seaside town of Pattaya, which is famous for its transvestite cabaret. Like other beauty pageants, contestants paraded in national costumes, evening gowns and swimsuits." 

Transvestite cabarets and parading around are two things that do not make me feel like I am being accepted by society - not how I want to be, anyway."

As luck would have it, I passed through (no pun intended) the little seaside town of "Pattaya" when it was dominated by a big B-52 AFB over forty years ago. Back then, Thailand did have it's share of "lady-boy" bars and "girls" working the streets but then again there were the "Kathoey's" as defined by Wickopedia:
Nong Tum, internationally recognized Thai Kathoey kick boxer. 
"Kathoey or katoey (Thai: กะเทย; rtgsKathoei  [kàtʰɤːj]) is a Thai term that refers to either a transgender woman or an effeminate gay male in Thailand. A significant number of Thais perceive kathoeys as belonging to a third gender, including many kathoeys themselves, while others see them as either a kind of man or a kind of woman.[1] However, when considering transgender women (MtF) as a group in Thai society, most refer to themselves as phuying (Thai: ผู้หญิง "women"), with a minority referring to themselves as phuying praphet song (a "second kind of woman") and only very few referring to themselves as kathoey.[2] Related phrases include phet thi sam (Thai: เพศที่สาม, "third gender"), and sao praphet song or phu ying praphet song (Thai: สาวประเภทสอง, ผู้หญิงประเภทสอง— both meaning "second-type female"). The word kathoey is of Khmer origin.[3] It is most often rendered as ladyboy or lady boy in English conversation with Thais and this latter expression has become popular across Southeast Asia.

It was in Thailand when I first was exposed to the concept of a "third gender."

My only point is. while the glamour queens get all the press (per norm) there are plenty of everyday Thai transgender women struggling to make it in society. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

What Goes Around-Comes Around

"RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's former governor says he's had trouble finding a job, even part-time teaching positions, because of backlash from legislation he signed involving transgender rights.
Pat McCrory said in a recent podcast with God's World Publications in Asheville that some potential employers are reluctant to hire him.
The ex-governor told The News & Observer of Raleigh (http://bit.ly/2mIhZh7) Monday he's doing consulting and advisory board work but some universities are reluctant to hire him amid fears of student protests.
The law he signed last year struck down local nondiscrimination ordinances and required transgender people to use public bathrooms matching the gender on their birth certificates. The backlash prompted cancellation of some sporting events and concerts in North Carolina."
For more, go here

It Caught Me Again!

Our Springlike weather for one week and back to winter the next caught me this time. If you listen closely you can hear my very horse voice. Needless to say, I hate it but I seem to be coming out the other side of it now, finally.

Plus, the "Rolls" broke down again this weekend and is in the shop again. Plus, the VA all of the sudden wanted money from 2016 which I thought I had been making payments on. Obviously Uncle Sam needed the 150 bucks worse than I thought I did.

Waah!!!! March does this every year to us, so Spring is about a month away! This year I even have some new wardrobe items!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

"Mo Nouns"

More on the pronoun post which made a nice turn into privilege. From Connie:

"I don't think it's wrong to bitch about pronouns, as long as we don't forget those who are in less-fortunate situations. In other words, we need to advance our cause from where we stand, so as to set a standard for others. I've always thought that the best thing I can do is to lead by example. It is not only my responsibility, it is something I am afforded the privilege to do. 

My privilege may come from living in a liberal environment, but it's still taken time - and a lot of effort from trans people before me - for a more-accepting attitude to develop. I don't know that there are fewer haters here, nor do I think our efforts should be directed at converting them. However, by continuing to show the majority that we can fit within its norm, we diminish the haters' (misguided) perceptions of having permission to attack trans people. The haters will always be among us, no matter where we live. Our demands for respect serve to send them back to their own closets - even if our demands are simply to be referred to with the correct pronouns.

In the meantime, yes, we must be aware of our surroundings, just as any woman should. Any privilege we've been afforded to be out among the masses should not slip into complacency. Perhaps, a stupid little pronoun every now and then is a good thing, then. It reminds me to be vigilant, and to pray for those who are much less fortunate. Demanding that the pronoun be corrected, though, may well be a part of the answer to my prayer. "

Thanks!

What's in a Name?( Cyrsti's Condo Archive Post)

You can call me Ray, or you can call me Jay, just don't call me he, sir or buddy and by the way my male name was not Chris!

Over the past couple of years the name game became "uber" important to me as I reworked my life and gender. Following a couple false starts with Cyrsti's Condo (Transnation), I finally said to hell with it and called this production a condo.  If you must know, the condo is actually a big 1860's vintage brick ex commercial building which has housed saloons, general stores and boarding houses over the years. Somehow I didn't think all of that would make for a catchy name!

I also faced the bigger decision on renaming myself to reflect my transitioning status from cross dresser to transgender woman. I was positive my long blond wigs and the name Roxie had to go.   Looking back on my decision, the only mistake I made was I really didn't give Cyrsti enough thought. Essentially,  I was looking for a middle of the road feminine name so I adopted Kristy and changed the spelling but "Jessie" would have been a better personal choice because it was a family name and I loved the sound of it.

The whole name game is one of the most interesting and important facets of our transitions.  In reality it matters not if you feminize your male name, borrow an old girlfriends, or adopt a family name. My only warning is to be careful, you may be surprised how quickly your new name can become entrenched in the world! Quickly, There became no way possible I could ever switch to Jessie!

Never say never, because I did it anyhow!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Eye Candy

 Thai contestant Jiratchaya Sirimongkolnawin was crowned Miss International Queen 2016 on Friday at a contest billed as the world's largest and most popular transgender pageant.
The 25-year-old beat 24 other contestants for the crown, with the second and third place going to contestants from Brazil and Venezuela, respectively.
The pageant, which brings together transgender people from around the world, was launched over a decade ago to help transgender women feel more accepted by society, 
For more, go here.

Are We Really Disposable?

This year so far at least seven transgender women have been reported killed. The fact remains in some areas of this country and the world, trans women seem to be deemed disposable.

In a recent post, I mentioned how small a deal being miss-pronouned is compared to being killed as echoed in this comment from Paula:

"The last couple of days I too have been thinking about how easy I have it compared to some others, I am self employed, live in the civilized capital of a civilized country, and can still claim my White, Middle Class, Middle Age privilege. Young trans people of all colors in many countries put their lives at risk on a daily basis, and I bitch if someone gets a pronoun wrong!"
The problem we are seeing in this country of course is a rise in hate crimes as seen in the antisemitism attacks everywhere. And, as Paula alluded to, not everyone is fortunate enough to live in areas which are more liberal and civilized. So many under educated and under employed transgender individuals are pretty much stuck, waiting for change which may never come for them. Especially trans people of color.

I wish I had an answer to the carnage except it is yet another reminder of how we all have to learn the lessons of cis women everywhere, be very careful where you go and beware of your surroundings. 





Friday, March 10, 2017

All Quiet on the Midwestern Front?

When we last visited, I was chatting about taking my car into the repair shop. Well about 400 dollars later, a couple bearings have been replaced and the "Rolls" is back on the road. I shouldn't complain, have of the work was under warranty so it could have been a lot worse.

Interestingly, one of the younger guys I deal with there was on duty and took care of checking me out. (Taking my money.) He is pretty cool and just said "Hi Cyrsti" and took care of everything. From there we stopped at a grocery store and came on home. Such is life?

Every once in a while I do flash back in my mind to the days when I was considering going 24/7. Was I indeed more than a cross dresser and was there anything wrong with that? (No!) Even still, the thought of never wearing male clothes again was at the same time scary and exhilarating. For me, the choice wasn't completely clear until I took a leap off a cliff and tried it.

After I did of course and settled into a feminine lifestyle, I knew I had made the right choice but I had it easy. I took and early retirement and didn't haven't to worry about Mtf transitioning on the job. For the most part too, I had a tight knit set of friends and family who accepted me as a transgender woman. So I didn't have to totally restart my life again.

So, when I bitch and moan about the small things like being mis-gendered here and there, I have to step back and remember how good I really have it.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood-Almost

Yesterday I had to take my Rolls Royce into one of my least fave places to visit, the auto repair shop.

The visit started well enough when the guy called me "mam' and I immediately felt more at ease. But as usually happens, in the middle of the conversation, he became gender confused with me. This time I even tried to stay ahead of the curve and project a feminine aura.(To make sure I wasn't projecting any male vibes subconsciously) Which didn't seem to work either. I guess sooner or later I will have to get used to the fact that when I get up close and too personal with most of the public, I will be read as transgender.

It could be and has been worse though. At least no one has been outwardly cruel to me.

Plus every time it happens, I take the time to "go back to the drawing board" and examine what I can do to make my presentation a little bit better!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

International Women's Day

Ironically, most of the cis women I know can't afford to take the day off, for whatever reason. Many of course simply can't afford it.

Certainly we all know women who have done super human jobs raising families as single Moms. Plus most have had to put up with several men in their lives who are certain to complicate matters.

My complete respect goes out to all cis women everywhere and transgender women too.

Although many would try to exclude us from the socializing process which makes a female a woman, of course I don't.

Why? Because our femininity ascent was certainly not a walk in the park and often just the opposite. When cis-women were raising families, many of us were excluded from ours through no fault of our own.

So, all you transgender women, enjoy your day too-if you can!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Transgender Candidate Running for Governor

From Connecticut:  Jacey Wyatt from Branford, who grew up as John Christian Pascarella before undergoing gender reassignment surgery in 2003, is running for governor as a Democrat.

The post was a bit confusing to me as Wyatt said she was born with “both sexes,” but has always identified as a woman.
“I grew up with Barbies,” Wyatt said. “I didn’t go to the bathroom at the school. I went home.”
Wyatt said she was fortunate to have the money and support to undergo gender reassignment surgery at the University of Connecticut, including breast augmentation and hormone therapy.
“I’m a legal female,” Wyatt said. “I will never, ever, ever have a situation that I can’t go to the bathroom in North Carolina. (But) there’s somebody that maybe can’t afford what I had done.

 Go here for more.


Are There Coincidences?

Yes! Here is one from Connie:

"What a coincidence! Today is the birthday of a (lost?) friend of mine. We met many years ago at a local transgender social group meeting - the very first night I found the nerve to venture out. We had much in common, and our mothers were each struggling with their terminal cancers. We helped each other deal through some heavy times. 

Then, one day, I separated myself from any notion of a cross dresser's lifestyle, never to pretend to be a man again. I can only guess that our friendship drifted apart because, although I was accepted, I was not "fun" anymore. I never judged her/him (I knew both) for being "just" a cross dresser, but I imagine I was perceived to have. It pissed me off one day when I was told that I could have been hired to do a job, had I been willing to butch-up for it. Transphobia exists under the transgender umbrella! Still, I am a forgiving woman, and I will send a short birthday wish. I don't expect to receive a thank you, but I'll be damned if I will be the one who is afraid to reach out."

Thanks Connie!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Old Friends Are Hard to Find!

As with so many other transgender women and trans men, when I transitioned I gave up contact with several old friends who I thought refused to accept me. One it turns out was too quick.

I came out to her and her comment was she was shocked, "I was the most macho man she had ever known." Guess I played the part well. At any rate we went our separate ways in separate cities. She craves very rural areas with no neighbors while I have always liked medium sized big cities such as Cincinnati or Columbus.

As days stretched into weeks, months and years, I just figured she had refused to accept me and moved on like a few of my other friends.

I was wrong. Saturday night out of the clear blue sky I received a text which merely asked was this (my old male name.) Understandably I proceeded slowly since I didn't recognize the number. We exchanged a few more texts before she finally gave herself away and told me who it was and...

Told me she didn't abandon me, she lost me. 

It turns out all this time, she did accept my Mtf gender transition and had lost my phone number information. Plus, I didn't have hers so there was no way we could connect. Plus, ironically, it turns out she is originally from the area of Cincinnati Liz is from and they knew some of the same people growing up. It is truly a small world!

We ended up calling each other and chatting for over an hour when she told me she had even talked to my daughter about my transition and I was obviously the last to know.

She lives about a hour or so east of us near the Ohio River, so getting together in person is very feasible.

I can't wait and it does my heart good to know and old dear friend didn't desert me!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

"Transer Than Thou?"

in response to my post on "Hell" Connie wrote:" I never hear you say the phrase that you used to use anymore, and, out of respect, I will modify it to "Transer than thou". It seems that many trans women fall back on their male need for competition to find validation. Whether one spends 5 minutes or 5 hours on her makeup is like bragging about the length of ones penis. The only difference is that it varies from person to person whether longer is better or worse. Let's face it (pun wasn't intended, but now that I've written it....), most of us need the makeup for the purpose of femininization, as we don't have a chance of presenting well without it. 

Dolly Parton has admitted to patterning her look after the harlots she would see in her youth, and compares her presentation to that of drag queens. She is also intent on maintaining her made-up look, even as she sleeps, so that only she would see herself without it in her private mirror. Still, we know that she sees a feminine face there, and, after she has spent whatever time it takes to reapply her makeup, is she any more or less a woman because of it? Some may argue that she's putting herself through hell in the process, though. If she is (and I don't believe she thinks she is), then it's for her, alone, to decide. I think it's the need to compete, with which the Devil uses, that leads us to our own hell."

Thanks!