Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Back Home Again

Well, a couple of my busy days have come and gone now. Both trips to the Dayton, Ohio VA Hospital. Which is a two hundred mile round trip.

Both concluded with some bits of good news. First and foremost, my old car made the trips without incident (knock on my wooden head), and second, my blood iron levels were in line and I didn't have to subject myself to my least fave clinician to get abused again. Verbally by mis pronouning me, and or screwing up the whole process of getting my blood to come out. I hold her responsible, because the others I have had there have been so good.

Today, my visit to the therapist was less than normal time wise, because she was getting sick. So, we mainly talked about my decision to "volunteer" to do more outreach work with the transgender - cross dresser support group I am a member of here in Cincinnati. I was feeling a small amount of guilt because since I am retired, I could go in the daytime and help out. I had to laugh a bit when she asked if volunteering was a good idea for me. I have questioned it quite a bit too but have come to the conclusion, why not?

I most certainly don't have a problem with talking to groups and already have an outline of presentations I have used for my Trans Ohio Symposium workshops, and others.

My therapist is even thinking about going to the "providers" day presentations at Trans Ohio this year.

As far as what I wore, the only major change was the last couple of days, I wore my hair tied back. Which turned out to be a good move since it turned out to be very windy and warm one of the days.

So all is good!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Alone on an Island

On the rare occasions anymore when I get the question on how it is to be transgender, I reply, it used to be like being alone on an island.

Back in the day, in the pre internet dark ages, it was really the case. I know I felt so alone. I just had to be the only boy ever who wanted to cross dress and be a girl. Slowly but surely though, I found out other boys wanted to be Shirley too. When I discovered Virginia Prince (right) and the term transvestite.

One of the first "facts" I discovered was most transvestites were not gay. Much to my relief at the time. Little did I know, I was just not having sexuality issues, just gender ones.

At any rate, as soon as I could... when I got out of the Army, I paid for a subscription to "Transvestia Magazine." From the magazine I learned of an actual chapter within driving distance of me in Cleveland, Ohio. From there, I set out to actually meet other inhabitants of my island which I discovered wasn't so uninhabited after all. Plus I learned not all were so called heterosexuals either.

From the group in the days before transgender was even a popular term, I discovered there was a real cross section of inhabitants on my island. I met everyone from cross dressing bitches to guys in dresses smoking cigars. But most intriguing to me were the very few participants who just seemed so feminine and natural. It seemed, they had found their true calling in life as women. I often wondered at the time if I could (or would) ever be able to explore such a path.

The more I did explore, the more I found my little island wasn't so little anymore, and was full of very interesting critters.

Along the way, the search led me to more than a few twists and turns. Plus life turned out to be exceedingly difficult at times, but never boring. I came to like my island!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Sunday Final

Well, another week has come and gone, all too quickly.

On the positive side, I gained back my old friend, my lap top computer, I use to write with. Plus, I need to stop procrastinating and back up all my writing stored on the computer. One of these days, I am going to get serious and start in earnest my second book. The first one disappeared from Amazon when the company which published it went out of business.

This year, (knock on wood), I am in a tad bit of
Friday Night Get Together last month with Liz (left) and Jill
a better financial situation, so I hopefully can afford to buy some help with the book this time. To be sure, I won't know how to act...or write!

Also, this week, saw another trip to my transgender veteran support group, lots of rain around here and yet another break down of one of our old cars. The car has been repaired and is ready to go, for awhile. Such is life.

The fashion news here in Cyrsti's Condo revolved around the wearing of straight legged jeans. Some, I know some would not consider jeans very exciting, but for those of us who live a full time feminine trans life, jeans are a staple of our existence. Just like any cis woman.

Nationally, of course, our collective hearts were ripped out again by a senseless  tragic school shooting in Florida. The words sound hollow, but maybe this time, change will be fueled by a youthful backed movement. Not unlike the one which got us out of the ridiculous Vietnam War.

So it seems like anymore, there are no more non eventful weeks in this country. We all seem to be taking a deep breath as we wait for something else to happen. A serious problem with our lack of leadership.

All of a sudden, straight legged jeans seem very mundane.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Back Home

I am back on my lap top today. Never in my life did I ever think I would ever be so addicted to a technology device (except my cell phone.)

Now it's easier for me to import pictures and links, etc. Plus, as I have written before here in Cyrsti's Condo, I rely also on my spell check too!

Plus, it is much easier for me to transfer many of my posts to Facebook or Twitter.

All of this reminds me of my fave jeans, straight legged, which are starting to become fashionably threadbare from wearing and washing.

I know Connie wrote in after the Fabulous After 40 post on straight legged jeans, saying she has a pair of work jeans which are almost to the point of being "distressed denim" too.

Most certainly it's easier on a transgender woman for her jeans to absorb all the stress!

Busy Week on Tap

For some reason, this always seems to happen to me, almost everything backs up into one week. Next week is shaping up to be one of those.

For example, Monday is the transgender - cross dressers support group meeting I go to fairly regularly. I go, because normally something happens which is quite interesting from one person, or another. After all, where else could I have met a transgender woman who is registering legally pregnant from her blood tests?

And, speaking of blood, Tuesday is my three month regular appointment with the vampires at my hematologist. They check for excess iron in my blood and take a pint out if it is too high. I have a certain trepidation due to the fact the person doing the work last time was not very good. The two before her were excellent.  One way or another though, I will get through it.

Wednesday, is my monthly meeting with my therapist. At which time, I will bitch about being mis-gendered from the incompetent clinician from the day before. Being the comprehensive therapist she is, she will commiserate and tell me to call her out...regardless of the needle in my arm.

Friday, is another scheduled  karaoke night get together with the trans-cross dresser support group. I have to give a couple of them credit for getting up there and trying to belt out very difficult songs. I understand the whys, but not so much the hows. For example, I don't think I will ever be able to listen to The Rose by Bette Midler the same again.

Finally Saturday, is our usual day to run errands and go to Liz's karate class.

Years ago, if anyone had tried to tell me my life as a transgender woman would be this active, I wouldn't have understood how it could.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Straight Leg Jeans

If for one reason or another, you have never been able to wear skinny jeans, good news is coming for the Spring. New, straight leg jeans are in, according to Debra Borland and the Fabulous After 40 fashion blog.

If you are like me, you may have asked what's the difference?  According to the blog:

"The main difference is basically the width of the leg opening. Skinny leg jeans have a closely tapered fit that hugs the thighs and calves and continues all the way to the ankle.  Straight leg jeans fall straight down from the hip to  ankle. Although snug through the thighs, there’s more breathing room through the knees, calves, and ankles."

And, more importantly:

"Straight leg jeans are considered a classic and look good on everyone because they’re more forgiving than skinny jeans. They’re particularly flattering on pear-shaped gals and inverted triangle bodies because the wider leg opening helps balance out these body types. Hourglass figures can also rock a pair of ladies straight leg jeans and gals with wide calves appreciate the extra width through the lower leg area."

Follow the link above for more information on making your transgender or cross dresser presentation even better!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Heads Up? Or Down?

I recently revisited experiences I have had being mis-gendered, mostly in medical situations.  Very simply, I have basically have given myself only a couple alternatives when I respond.

My one hard and fast rule is to be very kind to anyone who is about to stick a needle into me. My second rule is to call anyone else out on their blunder. I feel it is up to me to educate people on what to do when they encounter a transgender woman or trans man.

Connie wrote in and took her rules to a different level:

"When I've been mis-gendered or had my dead name used in the past (it hasn't happened since changing my name and gender markers), while in a waiting room, I would always stay seated for a few seconds and not respond to the call. People in waiting rooms tend to look up upon hearing anyone's name, but they go back to their magazine within a few seconds. I always figured that I would be contributing to the outing of myself had I responded immediately, and waiting just those few seconds allowed me to discreetly answer the call. Of course, timing is everything, as I needed to also make eye contact with the caller before she or he repeated. After we were in a private place, I would correct them politely. 

My spouse works in a dentists office. They are careful to be respectful of trans patients, and they clearly mark charts pertaining to preferred name and pronouns. Just a couple weeks ago, though, there was a new assistant in the office for a one-day "working interview." While calling the trans woman patient to the back, she did use the proper name, but she blew the encounter - and her interview - by proclaiming: "You don't look like a man at all!" I think she meant it as a compliment, but it just goes to show that even the well-intentioned can be ignorant, misinformed or uninformed. Of course, there are plenty of people who are just plain stupid, as well."
Good point! Thanks Connie.

Karate Banquet

Sometime ago here in Cyrsti's Condo, I wrote about going to a karate banquet held by Liz's organization.

I finally did get a picture of us to send along:

As you can tell, it's time to color my hair again!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Transgender Support Group

Yesterday was my Veteran's Administration trans support group meeting. This time, there were no new attendees. So, everything went according to plan, which is rather boring.

What I did find out, and contributed to, was a future date when the entire hospital would be subjected to a LGBT sensitivity day.  When asked what I would add, I simply said two things. The first of which was, we are real, not just something you may happen to read about.  We may be exceedingly rare in your mind, but try to hold it together. After all trans people are just people too.

My second point was, when you do encounter a transgender person, one of the most important thing not to do is mis-gender us. At the least take the time to call us by our first name.

The problem I used to encounter before certain medical units began to know me, was someone screaming out "Mr. Hart" when announcing I was next to be seen.

We will see if anything gets done, although the hospital is pretty good now with it's LGBT sensitivity issues.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Daniela Vega to Make History

From Remezcla comes a good news - bad news story:
The upcoming Oscar presenters list included familiar faces like last year’s winners, Viola Davis, Mahersala Ali and Emma Stone,  Marvel’s newest heroes Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther) and Tom Holland (The Amazing Spider-Man), and awards season staples like Laura Dern, Jennifer Garner and Margot Robbie. But one name had us giddy with excitement: Daniela Vega. The star of Chile’s Oscar-nominated film A Fantastic Woman, unfortunately did not make history by becoming the first trans performer to earn a Best Actress nod as many predicted, but she’ll get to grace the Oscar stage regardless. In a year when Sebastian Lelio‘s film celebrates the strength and stamina of a trans woman and trans director Yance Ford earned a Best Documentary nomination for Strong Island, Vega’s presence on the Dolby Theater will feel all the more historic — a sign, one hopes, that Hollywood is ready to embrace and tell more authentic stories about the “T” in LGBT. 

And, a strong sign transgender women are beginning to gain acceptance as women too!

Good News

Amidst the usual bad news surrounding the transgender world, comes a bright story:

A trans teen will be under the care of his supportive maternal grandparents after an Ohio judge denied custody to the child's transphobic parents, the Associated Press reports.

The 17-year-old was suffering from depression and anxiety, and was deemed a suicide risk, possibly because his father refused to accept his gender identity nor allow his transition. A juvenile court judge in Cincinnati ruled on Friday that the child should be under the care of his maternal grandparents, who support his transition and are prepared to allow him access to hormone therapy. The judge did rule that the youth must see a psychologist before he can begin hormone treatments."

Hopefully, more successful cases such as this will follow!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Happy Sunday

Well, it has been quite the week, for a relatively quiet one.

As I wrote about here in Cyrsti's Condo, I am working on a borrowed computer until I can get the laptop I normally use up and running. Hopefully, it is something minor. I miss my normal spell check as well as other things I am used to, such as adding links. Oh well!

Again this week, I made another trip North to see one of my doctors at the VA in Dayton, Ohio. I narrowly missed seeing a transgender psychiatrist, I don't normally see. Not a big deal, except it is always nice to talk to another trans person. Who, by the way, is Mtf transitioning nicely. I can really notice a positive change. I know she transitioned into the VA out of the military, so I can only guess the courage and difficulty in what she is doing.

Yesterday, we hosted a birthday party here at the house for Liz's (my partner) brother.  He was fairly talkative for a change, and actually said a few things to me. So, the afternoon was pleasurable, I went with light makeup, a sweater and jeans. Since he has seen me many times before.

Also, I wrote about my desire to lose a few pounds here and there (mostly here) before Spring/Summer. I mentioned I have read HRT will make losing weight more difficult, as it changes your metabolism into a more feminine mode. Regular blogger Paula Goodwin wrote in and commented old age has something to do with it too. Thanks Paula! I think :).

Other than that, it was a very mundane week except for yet another tragic school shooting in Florida. I am taking this chance to send out my condolences to all of those directly affected by this senseless tragedy. I wish I could even begin to speculate where this is ever going to end. It's crazy I have to fear for my grand kids in school.

I hope your week was good also!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Spring Has Spung?

This is the time of year, here in Southwestern Ohio, when every once in a while, Momma Nature decides to tease us with a touch of Spring.

Of course we natives know, we have a long way to go before Spring weather arrives for good. The delay, though, does give us time to consider what wardrobe we have left and what we will need to face the season.

I'm thinking, I am about half way there, and need to do some discernible shopping to get me into the summer months.

Fortunately, I am hearing very good reports about a Dilliards Outlet Store in a nearby mall. If you are not familiar, Dillards is an upscale department store. I most certainly will be headed there to look, plus I am a confirmed "thrifter", and on occasion love to shop a couple of nearby thrift stores. I plan too on taking a few items of clothing to the exchange which is being planned for our cross dresser - transgender support group. Maybe I can pick up an item or two there.

Summer time Pic.
Also, weight has a lot to do with my Spring/Summer plans. So far, I have taken off the first four pounds of a planned twenty pound goal. We will see, how much harder weight loss will be for me now since I have been taking transgender HRT meds for over three years now. I have always heard, as a trans girl begins to pick up the body characteristics of a cis woman, it is harder for us to lose weight too.

I can only say, I have a long way to go.

Hopefully, Spring will have sprung around here by then, and I will be ready. Easily, I have until April to do it.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

She's Baaack!

Once again, my lap top started dong crazy things and kicked me off. Luckily after a couple days of losing arm wresting with it, I was able to commandeer another computer to post with.  Hopefully the problem with the lap top is finding an obscure back up password which Liz has tucked away.

In the meantime, the only thing of note which has happened was another trip to the Dayton VA. I wore my new Red softy sweater, jeans and walking tennis shoes. Not very sexy, but very comfortable for a normally very long hike across the parking lot.

I had to have my blood labs taken, which normally isn't a bad deal, but this time I was unlucky enough to be a pin cushion for a brand new student.  She stuck the syringe in and nothing happened. Then she panicked and wildly began looking around for help from her "teacher" who was out of the room bitching about some sort of other problem.

Finally she found help and after profuse apologies, managed to take my blood. I think I only was called a mumbled "he" once. I have a hard and fast rule to not aggravate people who are sticking needles in me though, so I didn't say anything. Plus, I couldn't be sure if I didn't make it up.

My next appointment, was a rare one with the transgender psychiatrist I see every now and then. My regular therapist is a psychologist. Unfortunately, she wasn't there yesterday and I saw someone else.

So, all in all, a pretty uneventful day!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Reliving the Past

Perhaps you recall me telling you about my new friendship with a transgender woman who is now starting more and more to find her way in a feminine world.

Much of what we talk about has to do with her "dating life" or, the attempts to establish one.

From her, I understand now there is a trans LGBT dating appt and, why wouldn't there be. I know back when I was seriously seeking dates from mainly men, there wasn't such a thing. If there was or wasn't, according to my friend, her initial results are largely the same as mine.

For example, one guy wanted her to dress up like a ten year old girl and another just wanted to wear her panties.

Of course I told her to be very careful and she said she always insists the guy wears a rubber. I said well, that is all well and good but make sure you don't get get caught off guard and basically raped or molested. Don't assume all of your old male privilege against it still exists.

Then, I related the story about the night I was cornered at a party by a man much larger than I, so quickly, it made my head spin. If it wasn't for a cis woman bailing me out, chances of my mini skirted rear making it out of the situation may have been dim. I am enclosing a picture of a close proximity to what I was wearing.

From that point on, it has been lesson learned. I have discovered I must be aware of what it going on behind my back...with men and women. I discovered early on too, a woman can smile to your face, while at the same time, stab you in the back.

I also told my friend to look at the dating process this way, she is just going through the same process every cis woman does!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Ponies in the Olympics

If you are an admirer of the feminine figure, many times, there is not a better place to view finely tuned bodies than the Olympics. Even though the winter games don't provide as many chances as the summer games do, many gorgeous women such as Lindsey Vaughn (right)  still compete.

As you can see, Lindsey has her long blond hair tied up in a high pony tail in the picture, which was the topic of a recent Cyrsti's Condo blog post.
As you know I do, I love to provide a different take on the subject, which often comes from Connie:

"If you've been watching the Olympics coverage of the figure skating, you've seen many high pony tails, especially on the ladies on the ice dancing teams. The twizzles, twirls, and lifts really are accentuated by their pony tails flying in all directions. It's all far beyond my abilities, but fun for girl to dream of doing it. I may never be able to put myself in their skates, but I have managed to wear my "Stilettos on Thin Ice" (it's not shameless for me to make a plug for your book, is it?). :-) "

No! It's not shameless to plug my book except it's nearly impossible to find now that the publisher has gone out of business! Shame on me though for not working harder (or at all) on my second or third book. Seeing as how I have most of all the writing done. It just needs to be compiled. Plus, it is very expensive to find someone else to do a good job of publishing your book and I simply haven't the energy to find another "self publisher".

Finally, a girl has to dream...doesn't she? Without dreams, she has nothing!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Almost Heaven

I am sooo fortunate to have been able to grow out my own hair. No sensation is as heavenly for me than to wear a pony tail in the summer and feel my hair brush against my bare back. I guess sensual would be the best descriptor.

Of course I know, most transgender woman can't have their own long hair, for any number of reasons.
Now, let's check in with Connie, on hers:

"I have always envied girls and women who could wear their hair in a high pony tail. In my more athletic days, I could only imagine the feeling of a pony tail bouncing and swaying as I ran. Of course, the undoing of the band afterward, allowing the hair to fall with a shake of the head was just plain alluring. My reality is that I am limited athletically these days, and I have no hair anyway. All I can do is to have a few wigs with different styles, but a high pony tail just doesn't happen to be one of them. The feeling could never be the same, and the look would be so obviously "wiggy."
Old Pix of my hair pulled back.
It is longer now. Beading by LizTDesigns

I know when I wear my hair tied back, I do so love the guilty pleasure of "fooling" with my pony tail. I usually hope no one else has noticed!  Plus there is a certain commercial on television now with a red headed woman wearing a high pony tail, I am so in love with.  I hope someday I will get as good as when she effortlessly pulls hers' back!
She is also driving a classic International Scout, all of which were made in my hometown. But Connie said it best!
Thanks (as always) for your perspective.


Old pix, circa 2008
When I have absolutely nothing to write about, I often ask my partner Liz for ideas (so you can blame her!)

Today she asked if there were any transgender perspectives which may have changed with me recently, or long term.

In the short term, it's hard to say, because trans life is so reactionary to me. After all these years, I still have a certain trepidation when I think about going out. Such as what am I going to wear to blend in and will I encounter any potential rest room issues. Sometimes I think these will carry with me forever and I also suppose what I'm going to wear is a normal response.

Over time though, I have experienced many changes. Most I have written about here in
Cyrsti's Condo before. 

The biggest one is how I perceive what I wear and the importance I attach to it. When I look back on all my earliest blog posts, often I am amazed how attached I was to every small detail of what I was wearing. Indeed, every trip out in the trans feminine world I made, success or failure was determined about how well I "passed".

Now I realize, over the years, it took awhile to settle into my own style. Then I took extra time to  mesh it with the real world of cis women.  Learning (often the hard way) confidence not passing did equal privilege.

So, I did learn and change. I guess you can teach an old girl new tricks!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

More Privilege?

I received two excellent comments from the passing versus privilege post here in Cyrsti's Condo. Here they are:

  1. Sure, there is some privilege for one who may pass. The truth is, though, that very few trans women actually pass - especially those who have had to experience their male puberty. It was my thought that I couldn't pass that kept me in the closet for so many wasted years. What I finally learned is that I don't have to pass as a woman, but I do have to pass muster. That is, if I present myself with style, grace, and confidence, people are more apt to be accepting of me - if not as a true woman, at least as a true human being.

    Whether one is cis or trans, men and women are sized up by others all the time (rightly or wrongly). First impressions have always been important, and those who can make a good one are more destined to be received favorably, i.e. passing muster. I have found that living under this premise has made my life so much easier. I even end up actually passing sometimes, and I take those incidences as pleasant surprises rather than accomplishments of a goal.

    The man for whom I work during the summers is my next door neighbor. I had known him for a year before he hired me, and I never expected that I was passing to him. He had seen me when I was all gussied up and leaving to go out for the evening a few times, but our interactions were more often discussions over the back fence while I was working in the yard or taking the garbage out. I certainly was not concerned with passing on those occasions, but I was mindful of being a good neighbor and human being. After about a week into my employment, I needed to bring up a problem I was having with his designated supervisor, who had been mis-gendering me. When my neighbor gave a puzzled look to me and my complaint, I started thinking the worst, and that he was not sympathetic to my dilemma. I restated my concern, and began explaining how hurtful it is for a trans person to be mis-gendered. He then stopped me and said, "I didn't know that. I always thought you were a tall woman with a low voice."

    As remarkable as that revelation was to me, I also learned later that I was the first woman he had hired to have successfully done this job in his 30 years of business. Since he hired me, he now has three other women in his employ. Maybe I am a sort-of advocate, after all! The disappointing thing, however, is that his solution to my problem with the supervisor was to keep us away from each other as much as possible. At least I've experienced no further mis-genederings during our short and infrequent encounters.
  2. Fully agree that no one is more trans or above any others. We are each on our own journeys, and all are valid.

    I’ve also contemplated the problem for all trans that passing privilege perpetuates. Of course, this intersects with those for whom achieving a high level of passing is of utmost importance.

    And then there are these youngsters who’re receiving puberty blockers and, later, HRT, and just entering their lives as the gender they are in their hearts. By definition almost they will disappear into society.

    In the meantime I am what I am. I just try to look nice and appropriate, behave as a nice woman, and smile. Maybe that helps in a small way to normalize our transgender presence, validity, and awareness.
Thanks to Connie and Emma for your comments. As we have said here many times, every time we interact with the public, many times we are carrying the load of the entire transgender community with us.  As both of you said, if we all present ourselves with some sort of grace and behavior, which does provide us all with more LGBT privilege. 

Pull It Back

Today for some reason, I decided to pull back this wild mane of hair I have into a pony tail which reaches halfway down my back. Liz and I had three shopping stops to make plus her karate class.

As the day progressed, per norm I didn't seem to cause any unwanted or unneeded attention. But I did notice the number of other women whom I assumed were "cis", who had their hair pulled back too...which gave me a certain amount of security, somehow.

As far as shopping went, Liz and I went to a huge thrift store, which was having a half off sale on everything in the store. She found items she could use the fabric from for her sewing projects. I found two more nice sweaters. A black one and a longer red one, both nice and soft!

Other than the sweaters, nothing else (as I wrote) really happened except three real positive interactions with other clerks and/or cashiers, who I don't think took me for anything else than another woman shopping.

I am going to have to get on the selfie craze and try to get a picture or two to pass along here on Cyrsti's Condo, with my hair pulled back. The closest picture I have is the one I shared with you on a recent post. It was taken on a "day vacation" Liz and I went on a couple summers ago.

Friday, February 9, 2018

How to Dress for Your Sign

This time I am not talking about a stop sign!

I am referring back to Fabulous After 40 and their series about dressing for your astrological sign.

Deborah from Fabulous is doing a fun feature based on when we were born. Here is my sign, Libra, plus a few famous Libra women. Also, I'm sure you will enjoy all the other fashion tips and more you will discover by following the link above.


   I hope you’ve been enjoying   my How To Dress For Your  Zodiac Sign series. 
   Today I’m featuring the Libra woman, born between September 23rd and           October 22nd.
Susan Sarandon, Marie Osmond, Gwyneth Paltrow, Catherine Zeta-Jones
  Libra women are known for being balanced. They are an interesting mix of logic and   emotion, seriousness and playfulness.
  People are naturally drawn to the Libra woman and it’s no   wonder. She is charming,   tactful and diplomatic. The Libra woman is also efficient and known for getting things   done.
Romantic, intelligent, peaceful and fun all describe the Libra woman.


  • Easily takes their style from day-to-night
  • Likes classics, with a twist
  • Easily balances high and low fashion, bold and soft colors, and sexy and modest silhouettes
  • Goes for lush fabrics like silk and suede
  • Wears a variety of looks
It's fashion sites such as Fabulous After 40, which help transgender women and cross dressers help compete in a very competitive feminine world! 

Does "Passing" Equal Privilege?

If you are fortunate enough to have (or are transitioning) favorably, does that give you the right to say you are more trans than another, or worse yet, turn your back on the entire LGBT community? Well, first of all, no one is more trans than another. Where does that even come from?

All of you of a certain (more mature) age, may remember that "back in the day" you were expected to go all the way to genital realignment surgery and then disappear into society. The problem of course was, we (as a community) lost all of our possible activists or advocates.

Old picture from two summers ago, overlooking the
Ohio River...Ripley, Ohio
These days, of course, the times may be "a-changin' ". One can easily see, with the number of new transgender politicians alone, the amount of trans activists is increasing.

Being under the so called "transgender unbrella" where we are so good at eating our young though, unity is still hard to come by. I am still waiting to read about some IQ-45 supporting trans women taking to task the rules being changed to support her. I haven't yet, although Jenner came close and I know a few trans women who still support t-rump. And I'm off subject!

It used to be, simple "passing" just meant relief from transphobic or homephobic remarks. Now, it's supposed to be relegated to a lesser problem with societies' new found understanding of the differences within the LGBT community.

Dare I say, anymore passing now, is not as much a product of protection, as one of vanity. Take my case as an example, I have worked damn hard to get to where I am, and I don't want to give it up and will fight to keep it. Vanity, or not.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Are You Welcome Where?

I think it's safe to say, it's still tough to assume we transgender women and trans men for the most part are "welcomed" in the rest rooms of their choice.

Going back to the casino story here in Cyrsti's Condo, Connie commented on her experiences in a casino restroom, which happen to be close to mine, except I was not with a cross dresser -transgender group:

FABULOUSCONNIEDEEFebruary 7, 2018 at 12:15 PM
It would be prudent to be aware that Native American casinos do not always have to follow the same rules or laws that you may be used to off the Reservation. I think that most of them try to be accommodating (they want as many people to come in and lose their money as possible, anyway).

A number of years ago, the trans social group I have mentioned before went, en mass and en femme, to a nearby casino. While a couple of them were using the ladies room, they were detained by security (sans cuffs) in much the same way. This casino, however, came to an agreement with the group that allowed them to use the family-friendly restroom (which this group so femininely call a "single holer") at the far end of the casino. I have been to that casino a couple of times, but not with that group. I disregarded the rule, though, and used the ladies room without incident. I imagine it could have much to do with being discreet, but there are always many eyes watching you in a casino - no matter who you are."
Plus, the casino I was in at the time, was not Native American owned. 
On a larger scale, Paula Goodwin, checked in on how it is to live in London (UK):
I feel very blessed to live in busy, liberal, accepting London (UK) and have very little acknowledgement never mind issues! I usually find that the most frequent reaction to my presence is simply to ignore. Since this is the way everybody gets treated in London that's fine by me.

I suspect that generally the UK is more liberal and accepting than the US, however that does not mean we all have it easy, I have recently been hearing of the major problems I trans woman is having in a nice bit of Berkshire with frequent unwanted sexual advances/ on street abuse. I know that in some places this is simply the nature of being a woman, but in Berkshire! ~ I had expected better."
Paula, I can't speak to Berkshire and to excess sexual advances, but overall, I think it is safe to assume in the United States, your larger metro areas have a real tendency to be more liberal and LGBT friendly.
Thanks to both of you, for your comments.

Andrea Marra

Joining a record number of transgender candidates this year is New York's Andrea Marra according to the Gay Star News:

Andrea Marra, an activist and transgender New Yorker, has announced  her candidacy for the New York State Senate.
She’s running for District 13, representing the borough Queens and neighborhoods like Astoria and Jackson Heights. Per the press release GSN obtained, 60% of residents identify as immigrants and there’s also a vibrant LGBTQ community.

In the race, she’s challenging Democrat incumbent José Peralta. He’s a member of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), a group of Democrats who support Republican leadership in the Senate.
Marra describes Peralta as a ‘turncoat’.
‘We need new, honest leadership to protect and expand affordable housing; modernize the broken MTA; deliver the funding our schools need and deserve; and invest in New York’s overburdened public hospitals, including Elmhurst Hospital,’ she stated.
There is more to this story, to follow it, go here.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Just When You Thought it Was Safe

Following the Cyrsti's Condo post about Walgreens and the trans woman who was denied access to the woman's restroom who sought relief from the ACLU (Successfully)...comes another transgender rest room experience:

The transgender woman who claims she was harassed, handcuffed, and detained for using the women's restroom at Fantasy Springs reaches an agreement with the casino.

The woman described the experience as making her feel "sub-human" and the handcuffs even left bruises on her wrists.

The casino in question is in California and "Ella" was released when she told deputies she had done nothing wrong.

Details of the settlement were not released.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Where Are You From?

Off the top of my flat head, a couple people I know read Cyrsti's Condo are fortunate to live in LGBT friendly areas of the country. They would be Connie and Stana from Femulate. Stana, I believe, lives in Connecticut. I am right in the middle here in Ohio which has pockets of acceptance around the big cities, combined with non acceptance in the rural areas. Plus, I live in a relatively liberal Cincinnati, Ohio suburb, and normally don't have any problems.

I know too, so many of you aren't fortunate to live in to a "liberal, accepting" transgender area. Even if you don't though, rest assured all of us have to deal with the occasional idiot/bigot.

Here's Connie's take:

"I can't argue that there is a cruel world out there, some of it more cruel than others. I know that I am fortunate to live in Seattle, which may be the easiest place for a transgender woman to live. Sure, there is still some cruelty to be found here, but it is tempered by an overall atmosphere of tolerance, even if much of it is due to political correctness. 

I am not a big fan of political correctness, but I do believe in tolerance. I feel that I must allow myself to have as much tolerance for others as I expect them to have for me. In doing so, I guess that I have to trade some warm and fuzzy for a little nitty gritty. This does not mean that I need to accept any intolerance displayed by others; I don't have to give it credence, either.

I was the victim of bullies more often in my youth than I am today. I was a weird kid who was trying so hard to hide my gender confusion that I just oozed a lack of self confidence. I was an easy target, the bullies thought, because of this. I learned, though, that the bullies were often even less self confident than was I, and a few well-placed words were more effective than allowing myself to buy in to their game. 

I am now living as a more confident person - the woman I have always seen myself becoming. I purposely put myself out in the world, both to test myself and a world with which I must be a part. In doing so, I grow as a person and as a woman, even if much of the world may still see me as a freak and as a "transgender' woman. I won't allow those monkeys to define me, however. I may have been born with a penis, but then we were all born with an asshole - it's none of my business that there are those out there who identify themselves by a body part they possess, and it's none of theirs how I identify myself."

So, there you go. The grass on the other side, may not quite be that greener. Thanks Connie.

Change Is Possible

From the LGBTQ Nation:

"Walgreens has announced it will change its bathroom policies after a transgenderwoman was discriminated against while trying to use the women’s facilities in Hollywood last year.

While on her way to LA Pride, Jessie Meehan stopped into a Walgreens store and asked an employee if she could use the bathroom. She said she was told she would have to use the men’s facilities because she “looked like a man.”

The ACLU of Southern California supported Meehan in her attempts to affect change, and it announced in a press release today that those efforts have been successful.
“Meehan ended up having to use a stall in the men’s room,” the statement recounts. “She was humiliated and upset. Afterward, she sought a change in the company’s policies.”
“Through her efforts, with the backing of the ACLU of Southern California, the Walgreens pharmacy chain with more than 8,000 stores nationwide adopted a policy to address bathroom discrimination,” it continues. “As part of a directive to employees, the company stated: ‘All individuals have a right to use restroom facilities that correspond to the individual’s gender identity.'”
This is of particular importance to me since Liz's son works at a Walgreens and a particuarly abrasive manager on occasion has referred to me as "he" on occasion. However, I have never had to use the restroom there. 
You may recall in a former Cyrsti's Condo post , the same Walgreen's does have a trans man employee, complete with his preferred pronouns on his name tag. Plus, Walgreens as a company normally is ranked with very good to perfect LGBT ratings. 
It proves once again, it only takes one to spoil the soup. There is more to this story. Go to the LGBTQ link above.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Cyrsti's Condo "Quote of the Day"

"It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation."
-- Herman Melville
Or, have the courage to be yourself!

A Quiet Week?

So far, after a fairly busy week last week, this week is shaping up to be pretty mellow, and normally it means really struggling to find what I consider to be quality blog materials.

In fact, when I talked to the transgender woman novice the other day, she said she was thinking of starting her own blog. I told her cool, but don't get hooked. Some days words come so easy and some days they don't come at all.

Writing about going out to the cross dresser, transgender social and another non related social event Liz and I went to Saturday help of course.

Plus, while we are on the subject of blogs, if you have a non spammed blog you want to trade links with, just let me know. If you remember the post here in Cyrsti's Condo that I had to delete after I wrote a welcome post when all of the sudden my anti virus software went nuts, that's why I say "non spam."

To kind of fill the gap, and post a few pictures, I found a few I haven't posted in awhile, deep in the dark recesses of my computer. Of course the one I really wanted to find, I haven't. I believe it to be the oldest picture I have...if I can find it.

The picture today is from my first trip to the beauty salon approximately four years ago. I am amazed how much my hair has grown!

At the time, I had just decided to come out to my daughter as trans (who is very accepting) and the salon visit was a gift.

Plus, since I never say this enough...thanks sooooo much for making Cyrsti's Condo your regular stop :)

Sunday, February 4, 2018

More "Scratching the Surface"

After reading comments from me and readers like Connie, you might think the confidence we share comes naturally...but the opposite is true:

"FABULOUSCONNIEDEEFebruary 2, 2018 at 2:12 PM
Early picture. Blond in sunglassess.
I, like many of us, spent a lot of time dressed up in front of a mirror all alone. I was always, and still am, my own biggest critic. There's not much that another person could say or do to me that I haven't already imagined and run through in my mind. I have been studying my own dichotomy for so many years that I am conditioned to see both sides of just about everything else in the world. That's why I can, more often than not, come up with a witty retort to another's words or actions. I've found that to be more disarming and effective when dealing with bullies; turning their own words or actions around can twist them to their knees. To argue with them or to say some random mean thing back only serves to escalate, and showing weakness by expressing the hurt only gives them permission to continue. Short of that, or when the right words don't come immediately, I have learned that I can - and have the right to - keep my head held high and walk away from the situation.

Of course, there have been many times, after an unpleasant incident, when I've cried my way home, alone in the car. I must also say that I don't do that nearly as often these days.

It's been said that one monkey don't stop the show, but I've found that making a show of the monkey can stop the monkey. This is my show - the one I had kept under wraps for way too many years. I have no time to waste on the monkeys of the world, yet I am prepared to come across one of them at any given time."
I too can not count the amount of tears I have shed over the years. What gets to me is when I am off in my own little world (which is warm and fuzzy) and someone comes barging into shatter it. That's when I get taken by surprise to the point of not having a good or great retort.
These days, I have decided to not have the problem and keep the cruel world out...when I can. Being in the LGBT transgender tribe is tough though, as we know.

Living in a Woman's World

Yesterday, I spent an hour plus talking to a friend's sibling who was struggling with questions as to coming out as a transgender woman.

Along the way of course, she asked what my definition of a cross dresser versus a transgender woman is. You Cyrsti's Condo regulars know I feel the difference is a cross dresser wants to look like a woman, while a trans woman wants to be a woman.

From there, my new friend said she probably belonged in the transgender category.

As the conversation continued, we crossed into the area of sexuality. I said, I wasn't really attracted to men, but had dated a few...with no substantial results. On the other hand, she seemed to be attracted to men...which is absolutely fine.

Old Halloween Picture with Cis Friend
I did tell her to see if she could tell if her attraction was real, or simply a mode of validation. I used to be a believer being on a man's arm was the fool proof method of passing in the world as a woman.

Again (as many of you know), as I transitioned, my first three strong friends, and later my partner of seven years, all just happened to be cis woman lesbians. So, I didn't really have to worry what most men thought of me, since I didn't need them anymore for my validation as a trans girl.

All in all, the hour and ten minute conversation turned out to be a really educational experience for me, as I mostly just sat back and listened. I only really reacted when asked a question.

It was good to help and by the way, from her pictures, she is a Mtf transition natural.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

I Made It

The "night out" went OK. The place was packed to start with with mainly a big party of millennials. However the overall mix of people was pretty evenly mixed.

As we came in and waited for the hostess to try to find our party, I did get a few looks, but nothing out of the ordinary.

We finally found our group and settled in. For once I didn't say anything real stupid and got a picture.

To the left, you will see Liz and I with Jill. I was geeking all over her because she is a retired train engineer. I am a huge train fan.

Liz somehow came out looking like a ghost, much to her chagrin. She has a pale complexion anyhow and the lighting made her look like a witch...which she is anyhow. :)

Some of the group even "sang" Karaoke. All I can say is they are much braver than I!

Although Liz and I had to leave fairly early, everyone in the group seemed to conduct themselves in a proper manner. I was pleased! 

The "Good Doctor" Gets a Lesson

From TV Guide:

"The Good Doctor's star physician is going to be a bit perplexed when he encounters his first transgender patient in Monday's episode. For Shaun (Freddie Highmore), who likes exact scientific definitions, it's difficult to understand the full spectrum of gender identity when he had been raised to think of it as a binary.
Over the course of the episode though, the patient, Quinn, will teach Shaun a thing or two about being misunderstood, and he'll see that the two of them have more in common than he thought. So many people try to put Shaun in a box, but when Quinn explains that she's only ever been able to be herself, something clicks deep within Shaun.
While this new perspective will be a healthy thing for Shaun, he's still going to ask some cringeworthy questions along the way as he tries to understand Quinn better. Luckily, the young patient is pretty wise and is ready to swing curveballs back."
The "Good Doctor" is on Mondays at 10:00PM EST on ABC.  Follow the links above for more.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Social Girl?

Well, tonight, Liz is going with me to the cross dresser - transgender social get together. I hope it goes well for her especially. She actually is more forgiving than I am in many situations, so I am sure all will go well.

I even have a new sweater to wear with leggings and boots. It's a cream colored hip hugging turtle neck with just a bit of sparkle to give it some pizzazz. The group's "social director" always comes early to get it set up and volunteered to meet anyone in the parking lot, who was a little afraid (or really afraid) to come in alone.

The offer brought back remembrances of my past, when I would have taken someone up on such an offer.

Liz and I plan on eating and having a drink, but are coming early. So, I doubt if we will see the whole group. Or, stay long enough to see if anyone embarrasses themselves.

I will let you know here in Cyrsti's Condo.

The "Dating Pool"

I think it is so terrible we transgender women aren't given a fair shake when it comes to dating. After all, we have so much more to offer the typical cis man. I know years ago I could come up with a number of points, but as my memory serves me today, I can only come up with a couple of the most major ones.

Most importantly, I think, trans women like to be more traditional than cis women do these days. Plus transgender women have a tendency to have a deeper appreciation of the same subjects as men like.

For example, back in the day, I was very enamoured with a big teddy bear of a guy who rode a very nice classic "Indian" motorcycle. As I look back, if I was able to have grown out my hair, I may have tried to flirt my way into a ride. As it was though, I was able to understand on a deeper level, his feelings for his motorcycle. As destiny would have it, he got transferred to a different location and I never saw him again.

Along the way, I did have a couple other men who I went out with whom I really liked. Again, they weren't local and moved away. From then on, cis women were the answer for me and the men I continued to encounter were less than stable.

Let's check in with Paula Goodwin for her ideas:

"Sound advise, I suspect that most of us have found ourselves in "unfortunate" situations my few attempts at dating led me to the conclusion that I was fishing in a very limited gene pool; and that all the men (with one exception, but he turned out not to be available) I met were creeps only after one thing. Strangely the longer I am on HRT the less that matters,~~~ but I would like some male companionship."
And, from Connie:
"I think that the dating process may be the same in one way, although it is made different by the type of "suitors" a trans girl may be more apt to attract. We can go around declaring that gender is between the ears and sex is between the legs all day, but the truth is that, for men especially, there is an awful lot of sex going on between the ears, too. As trans women, we are seen to be attractive by others whose minds may be swirling with ideas of sex much different than our own. 
I may be old-fashioned, and even a bit of a prude, but I am not naive. I'll admit to allowing a man to go too far with his advances toward me - to the point, I imagine, he thought he had been given permission by me to use me any way he wished. I was a young 50-something trans woman at the time; not really young, but new at being an out trans woman. I was flattered by the attention, but I had no interest in a sexual encounter with this man, or any man. 
The privilege any woman should have is to have NO taken for an answer, but this can definitely not be an assumption. Whatever her reason for wanting to end the pursuit of her, a woman should be prepared to make her NO be clear and final. Before doing so may require physical means or the defensive tactics of pepper spray, though, a woman needs to learn to read the signs beforehand. A trans woman also needs to learn a few other signs than does a cis woman, I believe."
Thanks to both of you for your ideas!