Monday, June 26, 2017

My Behind

My apologies for being so behind again!

Been involved in an really down to the wire move for my father in law, who is in hospice now.

But to let you know I still love you, here is a quote to think about:

"Life is a bitch...until you become one." from all Trans Nazi's everywhere!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

In All Fairness...

Connie responded to my recent post about a supposed smoker and her recent SRS. In all fairness to her I should have said "alleged" smoker because she could have lived around others who smoked:

"I have to wonder about someone who gets the surgery while still needing makeup counseling. What kind of transition is it when you are dependent on the government to do it for you? I don't disparage anyone for taking advantage of available services, but I think of transitioning to be like earning a freedom. There's a lot of personal effort that is required to do it, and scoring free (or heavily subsidized) surgeries, services, and accessories is not enough. Also, all of the reputable doctors I know of would never prescribe HRT or perform a surgery for one who smokes - especially one who is of Medicare age. It all sounds as fishy as the seafood counter to me.

Having said all that, I am interested in what procedures (or hoops) there are to getting Medicare to sign off on SRS. I hear stories of it happening, but I never hear how to do it. Did this woman offer any useful information, or was she just bragging? By the way, I hope she only does her bragging to trans groups, because there are many people who would be pissed off to learn that Medicare is paying for SRS.

Is "DAME" an acronym? If so, what does it stand for? Not "Dykes Against Men Everywhere" I hope!"

As far as makeup counseling, I think this person is one who has taken the process (in my mind) totally backwards. Now that she has a working vagina, she still needs to get public approval of her femininity.  Plus she has not been treated well in the hair department and struggles mightily with male pattern baldness. My guess is she is like the rest of us financially and would need assistance with buying a wig. Similar to the assistance she received for SRS through Medicare. Ironic isn't it? Can get a 25,000$ vagina, but not a wig?

The next time I see her, I will see if I can get any useful SRS information from her and pass them along, except for her Doctor's name.

As far as the "Dykes" comment, I always have gotten along famously with many types of lesbians, I'm thinking the VA acronym could be quite exciting :).  The group could be another LGBT group within the hospital , and which group doesn't need a token transgender woman?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Love It When a Plan Comes Together

Plans coming together are so rare it seems when I have to connect so many dots on certain days.

Yesterday, as you may recall, was one of my transgender support meetings at the Dayton, Ohio VA Hospital.

It was a bit cooler, so I chose a lacy three quarter sleeve patterned top with a pair of my fave wholly, embroidered bell bottom jeans and set out on the three and half hour round trip in total comfort.

The meeting was a bit predictable except we had a couple new participants, which is always good and my super butch lesbian friend was there. For some reason, I have always tried to get some some of a flirt on with her. Which works until her partner shows up. One of the other attendee's just completed her SRS paid for by Medicare, as she so proudly told the group two or three times. While, repeating the need for VA financed wigs and makeup counseling, which I know won't happen in my lifetime.

I'm so opinionated though, there always has to be at least one person in the room I totally disagree with and it was her. I think her Medicare SRS is OK of course, but hearing about it so much is a bore. Plus she is a smoker, and reeked of cigarette smell, which I can't stand.

As it turns out, the best was yet to come. As I was leaving, I heard someone yelling my name across the parking lot as loud as they could. Turns out it was one of the nurses I see telling me she was trying to get information to me about a group they call "Dame" on the campus. And, would I think about coming to one or more of their get togethers! How nice was that! I will fill you in with more info when I get it the next time I go back up there. At the least, it's wonderful to be thought of. :)

Finally, when I got back to Cincinnati, I needed to stop and pick up dinner from the grocery. As I shopped the seafood counter, the guy was flirting big time with me. It was almost embarrassing!

I guess my outfit and hair worked better than I thought yesterday. One thing about being transgender and presenting as a woman, you are only as good as what you put into it.But when it all works, it is an experience I can't describe.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Headed Back to The VA

Today is my transgender support group meeting at the Dayton, Ohio Veterans Hospital and a chance to wear my latest fave top. Nothing real exciting to write about, unless something happens at the meeting.

The top is a black tank with sort of a sparkly decoration and most importantly fits just well enough, I can wear it bra less and garner a little more attention without being totally trashy. Plus today, thank goodness, is supposed to be cooler (80 ish) and less humid, so the outfit should be totally comfortable for the drive up and meeting.

Also, I wore it last week around Liz and it didn't get rejected, so I guess it's OK.

Other than that, we continue to struggle with all the negatives associated with a parent (Liz's Dad) in hospice at the age of 91. Nothing ever good or rarely pleasant comes from any of that.

At the least, the situation makes life seem to be more cherished when you have your health.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Dad's Day

Every year here in Cyrsti's Condo, I try to remember my Dad on Father's Day. If you recall, he was a solid member of the "greatest generation" having lived through the Great Depression and World War II.

He never was one for emotion that my brother and I could see and rarely was too vocal in his feelings, but at the same time left no doubt how he felt.

As with my Mom, my feelings for him have mellowed over the years, as he was a great provider and dealt the best he could with the generational cards dealt to him. As it stood, his Dad passed away at a relatively old age in 1949 before I was born. So you can understand a little more where he was coming from.

He built his own house and pretty much was the stereotypical "self made man" which I guess is a fitting reference to me being a "self made woman."

Dad never had an inkling I think that I was transgender and many times I do wonder how he would have adjusted to it. Because, many times under a rough exterior. he was a complex man, simply a product of his times.

He was a weather man in the Army/Air force in WWII, but pursued a living as a banker after he was discharged.

Surprisingly enough, "Mr. Conservative" bought one of the first stereo's we could hear a train running from one speaker to another, and made sure we had a color television for the early broadcasts of Bonanza.

On the other hand, we went fishing in Canada the same place every year for more than a decade...for his vacation.

So Dad, more than you will ever know, I inherited your complexities coupled with Mom's spirit.

Thank you!  Your daughter Jessie.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Trans Pride!!!!

 Danica Roem to Battle LGBT bigot in Virginia for Congressional Seat! 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Some Like it Hot!

Then again some don't like it this hot. Our first heavy duty week of summer 90 degree plus temperatures and high humidity is upon us here in Southwestern Ohio. Which means of course everyone's most important beauty asset is skin.

I do the best I can with tank tops and a few lightweight t shirts I own, but I will need to get to the store soon to replenish my wardrobe. Here is a picture from last summer below. On the bright side, I don't think there is anything more feminine than feeling your hair brush the back of your neck.

I thank the Goddess I don't have to wear hot wigs anymore, but on occasion grumble because of all the hot hair I carry around now.

And, then, there is the infamous "under boob" sweat cis- women complain about. It's very real.

Finally, as I am done whining, about things I have brought on myself as a transgender woman, one of the trans women brought up a good point at the meeting the other night.

She said (a 30 something person) the big point of demarcation for her spouse and cross dressing was when she was able to grow her hair out far enough to quit wearing wigs. Somehow, someway, the wife felt the wigs gave her a "costume" look or feel. And her own hair made the whole process so much more serious.

I never thought of it quite that way, but when I was able to wear my own hair was the period of time I was able to really improve my transgender presentation.  Of course I know I am one of the fortunate trans women to have very little male pattern baldness.

I don't think summer will ever be my most favorite season of the year, but I guess I will live with it...
right? :)

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

In the Grasp

Connie wrote in with a well written comment on yesterdays' Cyrsti's Condo blog post about a transgender woman's not so wanted advances by a couple of men:

What's within my grasp is not for anyone else to grasp, unless I give my permission to do so. Unfortunately, the prospects of finding someone who would want to have that permission are greatly reduced in transition - even less than the chance of being pinched by some creepy misogynist.

I have been on the receiving end (pun intended) of unwanted touching, grabbing, and even groping many times. I will admit to having been a bit flattered by some of the earlier ones, but still with the accompanying creepy feeling of being violated. I have yet to slap a man in the face for his egregious act, but I have gotten to the point where I could muster up the nerve to do it soon - if not the very next time. Shouldn't slapping a man in the face be considered to be a woman's rite of passage, as well?"
I agree, at the least backing a man down should be a "woman's rite of passage." Plus at some point, every cis woman has to face the barrier of looking attractive and possibly then garnering the wrong sort of attention for her work.
It's a another lesson cis girls learn at a young age plus have the added pressure of their peer groups to deal with.
Then again, we have all known guys that are just creepy. When we were guys, or after we transitioned into transgender women. And what is worse is when we are considered some some of an "easy" mark to hit on for a guy as a trans woman.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Be Careful What You Wish For?

Yesterday I went to a sparsely attended CrossPort meeting for transgender and cross dressed women. Probably due to to some intense summer heat, attendance was down.

All the attendee's were trans and at least on HRT except for one who was planning on starting soon. Two had already completed SRS.

One of the younger attendee's was commenting on a recent experience she had in which she has some off color comments from men and even butt grabbed. Most of the group viewed the experience as a rite of passage of sort. I think the differences are if the person viewed the experiences as a validation of their femininity or a form of bullying.  

The trans woman in question is in the process of transitioning well and in fact is almost undistinguishable  as a former man. And, as someone in the room pointed out, got her butt pinched because she had a "nice one." So much for the toxic male male influence leaving that person!

Another problem the person spoke of was the sudden friction she was experiencing between her formerly understanding wife and her. It seems (among other things) her job has turned around unexpectedly to the point of offering SRS insurance next year. So, perhaps, when push is coming to shove, the wife is feeling the pressure of losing her former husband to a totally attractive passable woman. Stressful to be sure for any relationship.

I'm sad, because together, they make a delightful couple but not one which is destined to go long term.

Plus, too many of us still put too much emphasis on looks. And, the specter of finding a mate for the rest of your life has to be intimidating for the average trans person. No matter how well they have transitioned.

So, be careful what you wish for. It could be within your grasp!

Monday, June 12, 2017

She's "Baaack!"

I did hear from Connie: "Well, you do have my personal email address, if you wanted to elicit an "off the wall" comment from me (maybe even to elicit an illicit comment). The truth is, though, that my modem bit the dust over a week ago, and I only just installed a new one last night - so I had not checked my emails during that time, either. The fact that I had well over 200 emails in my inbox, most of them not worth staying up all night to read, tells me I must waste quite a bit of time on a daily basis (I would have read one from you, whether it had turned out to be a waste of time or not :-).

Not having access to the internet is not so bad. Without even thinking about it, I almost forgot that I was a transgender woman at all! I suppose that speaks toward your post about being "natural." I had already been aware that I will never be able to go back to my old self, even for a few minutes, but taking a break from even the awareness of "transgender" felt good. It was like taking a vacation, really.

The funny (not really funny) thing about my little vacation came when I had to call Comcast for tech support. Apparently, even though I had changed my account to be in my new name long ago, the guy on the phone did not have that information. He would not give me (Connie) any information because I (Connie) had not been authorized by him (dead name). I was pissed, but I was unwilling to explain to him who I was. The result was that I had to go to the Comcast service center in person, and I brought my court papers with me to show my name change. That proved to be unnecessary, as the customer "service" rep already had the change on her computer. Still, I had to go through another mini-outing episode just to re-validate my own existence. So, "natural" is relative, and it still falls short of being a vacation."

While it's true I do have your personal email address, somehow time got away from me before I could use it. 

Either way, I am glad you are OK!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Connie, Where Art Thou?

In the transgender/crossdressing community, I know it is not uncommon for on line friends and acquaintances to "fall off" the beaten path and leave the "grid" so to speak.

Connie, though I am concerned about, since we go back so far and of course I have come to love most of her sometimes "off the wall" comments. Tied in with many very relevant ones. 

To make a long story short, if you wonder why I haven't passed along anything from Connie, it's because I haven't heard anything.

I hope she is well and I know she would say, "Leave Art out of it!"

I "Doesn't" Know It!

I was reading with interest Mandy Sherman's  latest blog post concerning her spouse and clothing Mandy wanted to wear. More specifically, a pair of white sandals. I'm paraphrasing now, but Mandy's wife all of a sudden was against her wearing the sandals which in the past had met and passed inspection. Obviously, Mandy was a bit confused.

I guess, no matter how far we transgender women journey to play in the women's sandbox, we still never come to the understanding of how a cis woman's thought processes work.

I face the same things with my partner Liz, and finally come up with I have a 50/50 chance of being wrong (which I am a lot!)

In my case, trying to get away without wearing a bra comes to the top of the list. It's like passing inspection from Mom on the way out the door with the best passive aggressive remark being, "You aren't really thinking about wearing that, are you?" I'm to the point now, I immediately turn around and pick something else to wear.

And then there is the "no comment" remark which is even worse. I ask her about my hair or clothes and hear nothing in return. So normally, I force her hand and go my merry (or not so) merry way because I know deep down I will hear about it later.

I believe the whole issue with most transgender women and/or cross dressers is we never had the in depth "training" cis-girls grow up with. In fact, I am more than a little envious I never had the chance to learn from an early age what it was like to grow up in the girl's sandbox. My feeling is, cis-girls are more affected by the mean girls before they form their own cliques to survive.

As I was Mtf transitioning one of my biggest lessons was, never totally trust a cis-woman's smile because often it hides a knife behind the back. As time has passed though, I have become quite adept at dodging most blows, or at the least, not letting them bother me.

Cis- women too I feel, use the changing of the mind to throw shadows which they learn at an early age. Flip the gender and wonder what it would be like to be growing up as a girl around brothers and figuring out ways to survive.  Hey! Changing my mind will and did confuse them.

But since I did not benefit from growing up as a cis-girl, I can say I don't understand it. But then again, I can change my mind and say I do and Mandy good luck with those white sandals!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Cyrsti's Condo "Archive Post"

From 2014: "It's fairly bad when I encounter others who know just a little about the transgender community but then ask why there are so many mean peeps who love to eat their young.

On one hand I think I know and on the other I'm just as clueless as they are.  I do know way back in the day, I experienced a form of it in the earliest transvestite "mixers" I attended. Those times of course were in the "social media dark ages." Now of course, anyone with the basic knowledge and the equipment can "spread their gospel" or "grind their axes" or just comment on others.  Including me of course.

Fortunately, I am mellowing in my old age and take most of what I see and read from the so called self anointed "experts" in our community with a grain of salt.  Then again, I do have a few old wounds which still haven't healed.

It's a pretty simple deal with me.  If someone lodges a personal attack "just another old guy on hormones" rather than "Cyrsti, I hate your stupid ideas", I react differently.  .Certainly the first person needs to just go away- but the second- sure, they could be right! I always have to be careful though that I attribute the ideas I just pass along and if you and I were chatting over an adult beverage in person, I may say some things I don't totally embrace just to see your reaction and a discussion.  Can't do that with the written word easily!

 "Cyrsti's Condo" may have started life as a rather one dimensional look at many of the crazy things I did as I searched for my identity.  But quickly though, it grew to opinion and news.  More so even, than my trials and errors with style, fashion, make up and hair.

Finally, after all these years, I'm pretty fearless when I do wade into the T-girls sandbox.  The only real reason is I am increasingly secure in my own body and skin. I attempt to constantly remind all of you I write about it as a process- not bragging and if you have read my "Stiletto's on Thin Ice" book, you know why I don't put myself on any pedestals. For most of my 65 years, the ice was damn thin!

But! For "kicks and giggles" here are some of my negative thoughts of why a trans terf (or Nazi) may not like you:

  1. You haven't lived as long as a transgender person as they have.
  2. You don't have as many operations as they have, or have taken as many HRT meds.
  3. You don't look as good as them.
  4. You haven't carried your male ego with you transitioning like they have
  5. You made the right decision and they didn't.
  6. Finally, NEVER act like you are enjoying your life-they will be jealous!"
It's amazing how some things never/haven't changed.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

All Quiet?

Not much to pass along from here in Ohio, U.S.A. except for government turmoil which I am not going into.

Cincinnati Pride is still a couple weeks away, so all of that is pretty well settled already. These days, more than ever before, I think it is time to be out and transgender (LGBT) proud. Especially at a time when I keep hearing of deepening rifts under the LGBT umbrella. I feel some of the problems stem from growing pains as more and more transgender people come out.

All of a sudden we are a force to be reckoned with, within the community. And, at Prides everywhere it's important to be seen as a real alternative to drag queens.

As always, I will be interested  how many other trans women I see at this years' Pride event. Many more, I hope.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


Well, time has flown by so fast, I have to seriously consider getting another manicure.

Fortunately, I found a bottle of almost the exact color to repair my nails recently, but my finances will improve enough next week t get them done the right way.

I go to the same salon Liz has gone to for years and it will be interesting to see if I get a male stylist again. As I did my first two times. Although it seems to be a bit sexist or even transphobic, I really don't care as long as my nails look good...which they did both times.

I also tipped well, so I don't know if that helps or hurts who I get.

Such is life for a transgender woman in the world. Never a dull moment.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Is Transgender Natural?

Yes! And trans women and men have been around since the beginning of time...or at least the ancient tribes.

More importantly, how do we get to the place where being trans feels natural to each of us. Of course I can only answer the question for myself.

I know from my earliest days of dawning dresses and makeup, I always knew deep down there had to be more. I called it losing my buzz and searching for what my soul was trying to tell me. Then ignoring it, which was the worst thing to do.

The difference was as I continued to experiment down my own version of a LGBT path, certain activities felt more natural than others. So natural in fact, I knew I couldn't live without them. No matter how many times I was going out cross dressed, it was never enough.

Some of the search was fun looking back on it, but even more seemed to be hell. The further I progressed though and I began to accept the fact I was indeed transgender, the more natural my life became.

My path lessons soon became my mantra I would tell others when asked. Follow your own paths and see if they become natural, even to the point of HRT. Which doesn't have to be permanent. I for one though would hate to live without my breasts, soft skin and hair. But I could if I had to because of health concerns.

So, I think it is a dis-service to any transgender woman or man to say it's not natural, because it is.

You just have to seek it out for yourself.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Cyrsti's Condo "Quote of the Day"

"I used to be important, now I am just impotent."

Jessie Hart

Transgender Acceptance...Part II

Thanks to Paula and Chris for checking in on the Cyrsti's Condo post from Saturday concerning the relative ease of acceptance from cis-women or cis-men.

Paula had a couple good observations I would like to re-share: "I have certainly found women to be more accepting into their confidence, and "sisterhood", I suspect that has more to do with threat levels than anything else. As a trans woman I no longer represent any sort of threat to Cis women, but I now constitute a different type of threat to Cis men, somehow by rejecting my own masculinity some men will feel that I am undermining theirs."

It's so true that when you attempt to remove any sexual tension between the binary genders, communication and even attention flows more smoothly. 

I do believe too though, some women are surprised they are still attracted to us and/or vice versa. Sometimes there must be something about a feminized man that is a turn on. Outside of the fact we transgender women and men are living our lives as we desire. Something the great majority of the world can't seem to do. 

Plus, back in my out and about social days, it was not uncommon for a cis-woman to confide in me problems she was having with her man and asked for any insight I might have as I straddled the binary genders.

As for cis-men, you are exactly right. They re afraid that dress in their closet may beckon too strongly.

Finally, meeting one of the rarest transgender members of the LGBT umbrella does have it's draw for some civilians.

Let the Sun Shine In!

Just as I was down today, I received a txt message from an old friend who hadn't seen me since I started to transition. And, I knew accepted it 100%.

She was coming to Cincinnati today and wanted to know if I had time for a quick cup of coffee. About two hours later we were able to meet up at a coffee shop with her daughter and two grand daughters which sort of made the afternoon a girls day out.

After she commented on my head of dark auburn hair, we got down to chatting about people we knew in the past. A pleasant time I think, was had by all as the "tweener" grand daughters of course were busy on their cell phones.

Once again, I paused to reflect on my Mtf transgender transition and how fortunate I am to be accepted by loads of people. All except my only brother's red neck Southern Baptist in laws which he doesn't have enough backbone to stand up to.

Her trip today was way too short for very many of my inane stories. I was able to pass along how bad it was for me to have to stop on the Alabama/Mississippi line to pee on the bus tour to Mardi Gras we were on.

I am going to have to save a good one for every time she comes I guess so I don't bore her. I think the night I helped blow dry a fellow bitch's hair who wouldn't move from in front of the only hand dryer in the woman's room would be a good one! She was short and very neatly fit almost under the dryer. Plus she had it coming.

The problem becomes I have accumulated too many experiences over the years not to bore civilians with my exploits.

She did have one profound thought. In years past when she thought I was being bitchy. How right she was!  

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Is It Easier to gain Transgender Acceptance from Men or Women?

Without question for me, cis-women have been the easiest to gain acceptance from. Followed by cis-men and lesbian women. Ironically though, a cis woman lesbian has been my partner for five years now.

For some reason, I think cis women have less to lose knowing a transgender woman, unless one of us used to be her boy friend or spouse. At that point we are playing in their sandbox and open to their life's lessons. We can exchange makeup and fashion tips quite easily. Having been down the same path and I think many cis-women are pleasantly surprised. Plus, it has always been great fun for me!

Men on the other hand are so sexually insecure, it is difficult to find one or any who will truly accept a trans woman. Although I know it happens because as a group transgender women provide an unique, even exotic look into sexuality for some cis-men. Those are the "admirers" who wouldn't want to bring you home for Thanksgiving dinner.

I my past, I have been alternately blistered or more often ignored by cis women lesbians. One of my worst gender slurs ever came at the hands of a butch lesbian at a big party. It was one of the few times I have let anyone get to me.

So, there you go. My personal look at public acceptance of transgender women. Especially important these days as we try to separate ourselves from the LGBT umbrella, be public and tell our story.

I'm Just Sad

There is no other way to put it this beautiful morning in Ohio, I'm just sad.

I have a few alt right contacts on FB and one is a dear friend whom I respect her right to feel the way she does because I think it comes from a good place. A couple of the others, I feel their views come from a racist background..."Make America White Again."

I suppose my thoughts come from growing up in the 60's and 70's when the Vietnam War and Nixon were tearing the country apart. Somehow I thought my generation would do a better job going forward.

But, here we are again. And, I am not ashamed to admit it, I too vote for my special interest...LGBT causes. I just hate to see our hard earned gains swept away so fast in the first 100 or so days of the new administration.

For once, I am not going to rant on 45 (Trump) but go straight to his appointee's Steve Bannion and Attorney General racist Jeff Sessions. Sessions' record speaks for itself coming out of Alabama. He is just waiting for any LGBT issue coming his way to block us, I get the feeling.

The main problem is, being transgender, we are the most visible part of the gay,lesbian and bi community. As I heard once, it's easy to hide gay, not trans. Plus, I am really paranoid about violence this year at one or more of the LGBT Pride celebrations.

So where does our country go from here? I don't know but I am not sure what I am going to tell my grandkids.

Hopefully, I am just over reacting and shouldn't be so sad.

Friday, June 2, 2017

It's LGBT Pride Month!

With all the happenings around the world, it is easy to forget it is LGBT Pride month. Around Ohio at least, that means celebrations in cities of any size around Ohio.

It used to be Pride Parades seemingly were meant for gaudy drag queens melting in the sun. Now it seems the transgender "T" is becoming more visible. All of a sudden, trans people aren't afraid to come out of the closet and be seen.

Around Ohio at least, Columbus continues to lead the way with the most entertaining Pride week. For me, my new hometown of Cincinnati will be where I attend the Pride festivities. I plan on dressing comfortably because as of now the event is still several weeks away and hopefully the weather will be dry.

Ironically enough, I have the opportunity to connect with several interested parties at Pride.  Because of previous commitments, I will be helping our Ohio Witches Ball committee. We will be passing out brochures promoting the Halloween event.

I look at it this way, what is better than having a real transgender woman helping to promote their event :)