Saturday, March 31, 2018

Another First

From Summit County, Colorado:

"In January, the Summit County Sheriff's Office operations commander and SWAT team coordinator, Lesley Mumford, was called into Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons' office for a sit-down. Undersheriff Joel Cochran was there, too, and it seemed like this was no ordinary meeting.
"I was quickly trying to recall anything that I might have done to get me in trouble," Mumford said. "I was at a loss, but it seemed like a very serious conversation was about to take place."

The pall was quickly lifted when FitzSimons told Mumford she had been accepted into the FBI National Academy, an elite, 10-week training course for law enforcement in Quantico, Virginia.


Mumford is one of roughly 200 law enforcement agents from across the country selected for the academy, a rigorous blend of classroom work and physical training at the storied FBI campus and the bank of the Potomac. Candidates are chosen every year through an extremely selective nomination and invitation process.
Mumford's selection isn't just an honor for her, though. It's also a groundbreaking moment for the FBI and law enforcement generally, as she will be the first transgender woman to ever attend the academy in its 83-year history.
"I think it's a pretty amazing thing, a historical thing," Mumford said. "It makes me feel that society is changing, it makes me feel that as individuals we do have the ability to change and influence the world around us."
For more, go here.

Transgender Day of Visibility

Well it's here, another TDoV, and it's time to ask what does it mean to you?

Obviously, you don't have to color your hair violet and hit the world head on, you can take a quieter route.

I will be interested today to see what the rest of the participants wear to the Cincinnati event which is rumored to be attracting around two hundred. I wonder if some of, or most of the table participants in my group will be rocking their usual 4 or 5" heels. Some with seamed stockings. I will definitely be doing my share with my hair! With the amount of hair I have, even it was the usual red color it's been, it attracts attention anyhow. Most certainly, a woman my age is not supposed to have this much hair. By now, I am sure you have all surmised, I don't care. I can tie it back to blend in too.

You can do whatever you decide  this year and it will be fine! At the least,  if you are firmly in the closet think about voting out the bigots who are trying to take our transgender rights away! Who knows, someday, you may need those rights.

Plus, even if you are "just" meeting a new person or two when you do go out, it's up to you to educate the public many times.

Finally, if you feel the need to rock those heels and seamed stockings...do it with Pride!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Finally!

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit challenging Ohio’s refusal to correct the gender marker on birth certificates for transgender individuals, for any reason, at any time. Ohio is one of just three states, with Tennessee and Kansas, that has yet to change the extremely regressive and outdated policy.
“This policy is not only archaic and out-of-step with the rest of America but also dangerous. Forcing transgender Ohioans to go through life with inaccurate birth certificates, a basic form of identification, unnecessarily exposes them to discrimination, harassment, and violence. It also denies them their very identity,” Lambda Legal Law Fellow Kara Ingelhart said. “In fact, government officials in Ohio know this, given that they allow transgender people to change the gender on their drivers’ licenses and state identification cards.”
“Ohio’s policy deprives transgender people who were born in Ohio of a birth certificate that accurately reflects their gender identity,” said Susan Becker, General Counsel for the ACLU of Ohio. It’s past time Ohio complies with the Constitution’s promise that all people have a right to live freely and openly in society as who they are, without fear of discrimination.”
Word is, it will take approximately one year for the case to wind it's way through the legal system. Go here for more.

Unreasonable Fear!

From the Stars and Stripes, prez rump strikes again:

"PYEONGTAEK, South Korea — Just nine months ago, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Lindsey Muller was feted as a guest speaker at an Army-sponsored LGBT pride observance at Camp Humphreys.
Now she’s worried she may lose her job after nearly two decades of honorable service because of a new push to ban most transgender troops from serving in the military.

Muller, a 36-year-old transgender aviator, is two months shy of beginning the lengthy process of retiring after what will have been 18 years of service. Even if she retires before the status of transgender servicemembers is finally resolved, thousands of others could be affected.
“I think they’ve proven their mettle in combat; they’ve proven their mettle in peacetime. They’re there for their peers when they need them, and I think to dismiss them would be a huge disservice,” she told Stars and Stripes in an interview Thursday."
Go here for more.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Yawn

It looks to be a real "yawner" coming up today.

Not much to do except color my hair and get some household chores done. To add insult to injury, it is a gray rainy day which even rained out the Cincinnati Reds opening day celebration and baseball game. It's one of the few games with hope attached,since they don't have a chance (yet) for another losing season.

As far as coloring my hair goes, I have to do a better job than last time. Somehow, I left a noticeable patch of hair uncolored on the back of my noggin. Naturally, this time I have to pay more attention. Plus, I am almost to the point of needling two boxes of color, because my hair is getting so long and thick.

I did find out too (from the Ginger Burr beauty blog) that Pantone has selected the 2018 color of the year and the winner is…ultraviolet. It is a beautiful shade of purple. Not as cool as periwinkle, but not as warm as some of the plums that are a little trickier to wear. So maybe my new hair color will fit right in!
Ultra Violet


I did get some good news from Liz yesterday, she wants to get our nails done Saturday before we good to the Transgender Day of Visibility, so far, we will be with five others taking care of the "Crossport Cincinnati" table, which is the cross dresser - transgender support group I belong to.

So, the weekend should be fun!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Off the Road Again

Two days this week (as I have previously written about here in Cyrsti's Condo), I found myself at yet another cross dresser- transgender support meeting and a visit with my therapist.   This week at the bi monthly meeting, we had a new attendee, a high school aged trans guy and his mother.

All went well, with plenty of feedback from both ends until one of the cross dressers opens his mouth and blurts out (again), he has to be a cross dresser because he likes women. Every time he says it, I correct him by saying his ultimatum does mean anything because I am transgender and like women too. I then went on to explain to the Mom, the difference between gender and sexuality. And how both operate on the LGBT continuum. Besides, I have met cross dressers who like men.

For everybody, I kept my speaking to a minimum on the subject. It's just that I get so sick and tired of him bringing it up and I think he might just be protesting too much!

At the meeting also, I was invited to join in at an outreach day for transgender veterans at the Cincinnati VA hospital campus. As a point of clarification, I go to the Dayton, Ohio center, so it will be interesting to see how it all works out. As it stands now, we have three trans vets involved in our group, plus another moving here from Tennessee soon.

As far as meeting with my therapist went, we didn't spend much time talking about me, since I was asking questions I needed to know about an upcoming interview I'm doing for our group's monthly newsletter. It should be interesting since another trans woman vet is joining in for her views too. We both go to separate hospitals for our care, it will be interesting to see the differences. She is the one whose hormones became so out of whack, her blood tests showed her to be pregnant. So, she has a lot to say! 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Violets in the Spring?

Years ago, I colored my hair a violet shade and received a lot of compliments, so I have decided to try it again.

In order to do it, I have to get this huge amount of hair that I have really clean, then leave it for one to two days before I color it. I have become more detailed orientated over the years when it comes to my hair but I still really have to concentrate on doing the whole process correctly.

My hair is a little longer than the model shown to the right (on the color box) and comes up with red highlights instead of the black shown here.

As you can see, it is quite the process!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Monday, Monday

So far, it looks like a fairly active week is shaping up so far. Tonight I have one of my cross dresser - transgender support group meetings. Normally something happens to get me riled up.

At the least though, it gives me something to write about here in Cyrsti's Condo! For example, last meeting, one member was pushing two new ones to "help" them go out shopping, etc. They seemed embarrassed by all the attention.

Tuesday is my monthly trip to my therapist, where I will have a chance to talk (no pun intended) about the possibility of going to a VA voice therapist or another. As I have mentioned, the voice problems I have, I consider to be one of my "gender transition" walls. When I brought it up to my partner Liz, she politely differed from saying anything real negative, which means she was holding back. I think, I can speak in "short bursts" well, but then lose it after I talk for anything length of time. Or, try to increase my volume much. I will see what my therapist says.

This also "hair week." I need to get this "mane" of hair I have colored again, before the Transgender Day of Visibility event Liz and I are going to on Saturday of this week. As I have written, I will be helping out on the Crossport Cincinnati information table we are setting out. I look forward to the event, and the week!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

The Week in Review

Looking back on the week that has just passed, again I wonder where the time has gone. Last week in particular, went all too fast. Thursday, congratulations (and a nice upscale dinner) were in order as my partner Liz celebrated twelve years without smoking. As always, getting a little more dressed up and having a good time out and about was nice. It seems, the nicer the venue, the more unlikely it is I ever get any push back from being transgender.

Other than that, the week was very uneventful due in part to weather complications. We had a couple storms pass through which led me to canceling my Veterans Administration support group meeting.

Plus, while I am on the subject of transgender military troops, which is near and dear to my heart since I am a trans veteran; last week, President dump took on another attempt to ban transgender service members.

Fortunately, it's not a done deal with four cases in the court system fighting the ban. I think, if the truth be known (which it is rarely is), dump is again just trying to divert attention from all his other considerable problems. Discriminating against the transgender community is just an easy thing for him to do.

Also, the facts are exactly clear the Pentagon approves at all of a trans ban. I ran across a post in the Military Times which contains a couple of the memos. If you would like to read them, go here.

This week, slow down and have a great week!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Putting a Roof on Your House

Since we have been spending all this time in Cyrsti's Condo discussing the walls we have to climb as we attempt one of the most difficult transitions a human can make...changing genders. It's time to move on.

Let's assume now, we have built and climbed our four walls, and now it's time to build a roof to keep the rain (or tears) off our bodies.

Hopefully all your doors and windows work well and the light is finally illuminating the dark closet you have been living in.

One thing about our transgender transition is, it never seems to be over. As we build our roof, it's time to decide to change our gender markers. Changing your gender markers varies deeply from state to state and country to country (for you international readers.)

Old Halloween picture ...super red drag wig and dear friend!
For example, here in my native Ohio, most gender marker changes were relatively painless and simple...until you get to Ohio's ridiculous rules on birth certificates. Here, we are not able to change our birth gender at all. I do know one person who is threatening to take the system to court because she was declared pregnant by the Veteran's Administration following her blood tests. I will let you know how it goes.

Speaking of the "VA", even the system there wasn't too hard to work in my advantage and now I'm listed as "female" in the system.

So, if you consider gender markers being my transgender roof, I have gone as far as I can in getting things done and secure. Every once in a while, my dead name will show up on something, but not often.

As with any structure though, your work and upkeep seems to be never ending. I'm sure we will have more to come!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Spring on the Mind

Even with a winter weather advisory for our area here in Ohio for tomorrow, today's bright sunshine and mild temperatures have me thinking ahead towards Spring.

Now I have the "Transgender Day of Visibility" and "Trans Ohio Symposium" to plan ahead for. Even though "TDoV" is only a week away, I am still planning on attempting to put together new outfits for both.

This morning, as I sometimes do, I received another spring fashion update from one of my fave sites, "Fabulous After 40'"

I loved this ensemble and thought I would pass it along:

Here is your link for more!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Listening With Your Eyes?

Referring back to the Cyrsti's Condo post "Is It Time", Connie brought up a good point about how people listen with their eyes. I would only add women are more apt to listen with their eyes than men.

Connie's idea started me thinking about how often I mention women deal in more non verbal communication skills than men. Eye to eye communication is a big part of it. If not all of it on occasion.

I remember quite clearly (for once), the times when I was going out cross dressed by myself and a man approached me, for whatever reason. Many times, I was "warned" by one of my cis women friends to steer clear of a potentially bad situation.

As I have often written about too, I learned often a cis woman's verbal comments don't always match what she is thinking and to be careful of where the knife is going to hit your back. Until I began to develop my own sense of confidence and being as a transgender woman, the "phantom" attacks used to bother me more. Until I became accustomed to the more complex sense of community women have.

For more of Connie's comment, follow the link above, then down the post to "comments".

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Devil Made me Do It!

The farther along a person travels down their transgender road, the more they learn about the devil (or angel) being in the details. Forget just how you look, every step or mis-spoken communication carries the possibility of an unpleasant experience. An example would be the times I have written long and often about here in Cyrsti's Condo concerning my major learning experiences in woman to woman communication as I Mtf gender transitioned. Briefly, I found myself in a (sometimes) brave new world. On occasion, the whole experience was just brutal as I was more stubborn than good.

As often happens around here, Connie has a current different perspective to pass along:

"Coming home from downtown, today, I couldn't help but stare at a teenage boy as he stepped off the bus. It wasn't so much that I was staring in judgment, but I was just in amazement that he could move at all with his jeans belted around his thighs. I'll admit that I don't understand why he'd want to dress that way, but I suppose there are plenty of people who can't understand why I dress the way I do. In a way, I think he and I are helping each other, in that the more of us who are deemed "non-understandable" and are visibly just going about our lives, the more we are apt to be tolerated - or, better yet, acceptable.

My bus ride on the way downtown this morning was also interesting. There were few seats available where I could sit alone when I boarded, and, while I'm always hesitant to sit down next to someone in order to avoid a possible negative confrontation, I'm always happy to make room for someone to sit next to me.

As the seats filled up with each stop, a young woman, who had been sitting on one of the side-facing seats at the front of the bus, got up and came back to sit next to me. I had actually been trying not to stare at her earlier; she was a beautiful young black woman with magnificent dreadlocks of black and pink. Unbeknownst to her, though, she had saved me from a potentially awkward situation. An old "friend" of mine boarded the bus, and he took the seat she had left. I avoided eye contact with him the whole trip to downtown, hiding partially behind the woman's voluminous dreads.

Why was I hiding from this guy? Well, since coming out to him years ago, he has almost always misgendered and dead-named me. It was always hard enough to put up with when we were alone, but I'm not about to give him the opportunity to embarrass me in front of a whole busload of people!

There's the one you don't know and the one you know, but one needs to be aware that the devil can be found anywhere. Every once in a while, though, you can also find an angel."
Thanks!

Is It Time?

I was recently reading a Femulate  post in which Stana relayed several of her most asked questions along. One of the questions revolved around establishing a female voice...not just a feminine one.

It is true, no matter how feminine you look, your voice can give you away instantly.

To begin with, I have constant problems with my voice to start with. It is very raspy. Coming from many years working as a disc jockey "back in the day." If I had my choice, I would/could develop a voice which sounds like Jacqueline Bisset.  ( Right)

My problem is I am voice lazy too. Being full time, it is easy to relapse into old voice habits and then try to bring out a more feminine tone when I am out in public. Sometimes I  think I am more successful than others but it doesn't really matter if I am just guessing...does it?

At any rate, I have a couple options. One would be to have Liz help me, or it's possible to schedule an appointment with a VA voice therapist, or finally take a course such as the one Stana recommends called "How to Develop a a Female Voice" by Melanie Anne Phillips.

The only benefit of the first two options are they are free. But then again, you get what you pay for.

My next step is to ask Liz about her opinion and ask my VA therapist if she has heard anything about the in house therapist there. I know she has outside recommendations, but as always, there are financial considerations to look at. Plus, Melanie's course is not that expensive.

I know one thing for sure, the voice status quo is getting old and it's time to do something about it. Instead of my voice being a liability to my transgender presentation, it's time to work on making it a positive.


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Spooky

One of our old cars seemingly knows when we have some extra money, so it can break down. So today I had to cancel going to one of my transgender support groups. It wasn't such a difficult decision since the weather forecast is calling for a possible mix of rain and snow all day today. Plus a chance of the dreaded freezing rain.

We still managed to go out to dinner last night after dropping the car off at the mechanic's place. Nothing spectacular happened out of place as the place was nearly empty and we have been there many times before. I was wearing one of my sweaters and jeans and light makeup since I wasn't planning on going there anyhow. Close to what I was wearing a couple nights ago when we went into pick up Liz's son at the drugstore where he was getting off from work. Where something did happen.

At the front counter, was a guy and his teen aged son checking out and he nearly broke his neck turning around to look at me. He felt the need to turn completely around to stare at me. I looked, and per norm, his much younger son was paying me no attention at all. I thought the old man was going to say something but he didn't.

On the positive side, I finally had the chance to meet the transgender guy who works there and that was fun. He is the one who has the "he and his" pronouns written on his name tag.

Such is life!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Spring?

Old picture with short hair.
Well, March is up to her old tricks. A couple days of positively beautiful Spring weather, followed by a couple of days of rain and/or snow. What it does do though, is get me moving in checking out my seasonal wardrobe. I do have some serviceable pieces left over from last year and they provide a great starting point for this year.

I have also saved back my birthday gift certificate to use. I plan on abusing it for a couple items to wear to my workshop at  the Trans Ohio Symposium and at the Transgender Day of Visibility event Liz and I are helping at. It's coming up in a couple of weeks, so I can't keep putting off doing my shopping.

Getting my nails done is also a priority for me this year and I have to S&S for them. Save and Schedule.

Tomorrow I have another support group meeting at the Dayton, Ohio Veterans Administration  which I might have to miss due to a forecast of everything from rain, to ice, to snow.

Such is life around here (Ohio) in the Spring! 

Cyrsti's Condo Quote of the Day

"To become the woman I am,
I had to murder the men in me."
Jessica Semaan 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

When You Fall Off the Wall

We have been writing about climbing transgender walls here in Cyrsti's Condo recently. Of course when and if you climb walls, you can expect set backs and even falling on occasion. Falling though, often is how you learn and discover how badly you want to transition. After all, it's quite OK to enjoy being a cross dresser and not transition any farther.

Long ago, a close friend said I "passed" out of sheer determination. While I never figured out if it was a compliment, I felt it did describe me to a "T." No pun intended.

Two of our regulars were kind enough to send in more comments on their personal "walls."

Climbing a wall is one thing; repelling the other side, another. That point where your little voice was telling you something was wrong probably first started as you had reached close enough to the top of the wall to peep over to the other side. Eventually, it spurred you on to reach the top, and spoke to you as you sat, straddling the wall. Dare I say that this is the place that separates the cross dresser from the transitioning transgender woman (or man)?

For me, balancing my life atop that wall was terrifying and exhausting. I know, and know of, many trans women who find it to be terrific and exhilarating there, though. To them, acquiring a lifestyle of playing both sides, the masculine and the feminine, is part of the game they desire. I had grown so weary of playing the game, because my desire was to have a life - not a lifestyle. Rather than living out my femininity by individual experiences and events, I had to commit myself to taking the ultimate leap to the feminine side, and experiencing fully the good and the bad of it.

Life on this side of the big wall does require facing even more of them, but I've found many of these walls to be lower and easier to climb. In fact, some of my walls, now, can be merely stepped over. "

I think that stage of trying to work out whether you are a cross dresser or need to go "full time" is often a question not so much of do I need to change, as can I bear not to. Certainly for me there can a stage when the wall was behind me and it was going back to trying to be "Him" that felt like climbing the wall. Eventually it just became easier to stay on the female side of that particular wall, of course that then meant another wall was in front of me."

Thanks! All you fellow climbers.




Sunday!

Again! Another week has flown by. Very much a typical one on the home front.

No trips to the doctors or therapists this week, except for my recent hearing test, it looks like I will be around for awhile at the least. I hope so, I still have quite a bit to do!

I did read a couple interesting links from Bob and did send a message to a nearby LGBT organizer in Dayton, Ohio, so I can pass along his ideas. Recently, his posts have been very pro - transgender in the LGB spectrum, so we will see what will happen.

The link from Bob was called "What Do We Do About Women With a Penis?" by Cassie Brighter. It leads off with: "The Penis in Women's Spaces, the Cotton Ceiling and the Definition of Womanhood. It's a very long and well written post with several intriguing ideas from which I am going to try to pass along. Or, you can follow the link above to read it yourself.

One paragraph starts with a circle of women all cis except one transgender who become nude in a circle:

"Nineteen of these women are vulva-clad, vagina-equipped natal, cisgender women. One of these women is trans. While she might not refer to her genitals by the words 'penis' or 'testicles,' that’s what they are anatomically. And, though transformed by several years of female hormones, her genitals are likely to be understood as "male genitals" by most women present.
This is the challenge we face: Do we allow the trans gal to participate in the exercise (which includes shedding all clothes and touching one’s genitals), or do we specifically exclude her, for fear of triggering one or more of the other women?" 
The post goes on to explain an answer, or answers to this complicated idea. Also, if you are wondering what the term "Cotton Ceiling" means, here is your answer:
"The term "cotton ceiling" was coined by porn actress and trans activist Drew DeVaux in 2015. It’s been used to refer to the tendency by cisgender lesbians to outwardly include and support trans women, but draw the line at considering ever having sex with them."
Finally, as I try to break this down for you, the post goes into the trans woman in "women's spaces." She (Cassie) writes:
"I beseech you, please show up with humility and patience. If a cisgender woman talks to you from privilege, acting entitled and expecting you to "mind your place," resist the urge to get mad. It might not be malice, it might just be ignorance. Be gentle in correcting pronouns, explaining trans basics, correcting misperceptions."
Later on in the post, we transgender women are referred to as "refugee's" in women's spaces.
As you can tell, there is a lot of ground covered here. Thanks Bob for sharing!

Hope the rest of you had a great week!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Transgender Day of Visibility

This year I am determined to not miss the Trans Day of Visibility. I can't remember why I missed it last year but I did.

The day is held on March 31st and this year, it will be held in the Cincinnati Zoo campus auditorium.

As part of my new desire to volunteer more within my larger (non VA) cross dresser, transgender support group, I volunteered to help with an information table.

It's interesting to note also, this years event is being hosted by "Living with Change." It has been set up thanks to the generous donation from the CEO of the Pure Romance Company.. "Generous" to the tune of two million dollars. The CEO just happens to have a transgender daughter and it's worthwhile reading the story by following the first link above.

Of course I asked my partner Liz to go and help too, so we are planning to have a great time!

Friday, March 16, 2018

More Walls

As we get ever closer to my workshop at the Trans Ohio Symposium, the impetus to "fill in" my topics gets stronger.

Thanks to you Cyrsti's Condo readers, I am settling in on the walls we have to climb over to successfully negotiate a Mtf gender transition (and trans guys too). The first wall I described was cross dressing. As soon as we feel secure enough in the mirror, many times, our thoughts turn to going out in the public's eye.

The second wall we face, is what happens to us when we do it. Much of the excitement we felt looking into the mirror and seeing a girl look back, has a tendency to turn into utter fear as we go out. I know when I first started to live a feminine life, I would look for any semblance of a mirror to reassure myself. Slowly but surely, I became relatively comfortable walking around as a feminine cross dresser.

Then, a little at a time, a voice was telling me, something was still wrong. I was tired of just feeling like I was a guy walking around cross dressed as a woman, I wanted to live more like a woman. At that point, the  real fear of loosing what was left of my masculinity set in. Did I really want to keep going down the road I was on. All of a sudden, labeling myself as a transgender woman was very scary.

As we have discussed though, fear is a powerful motivator and I sat out to do the best I could to co-mingle with cis women and see if I was accepted. This wall was as tough to climb as any previous walls because I had to communicate with the public and often the same ones. It was during this time period I settled on yet a new name and one wig, so I could look the same.

As I made it to the top of this wall, I could look around and see the world as a more feminine person. Most importantly, after the fear subsided, I found I felt really natural. Plus the more natural I felt, the more people around me were beginning to feel it too.

It was about this time, tragedy struck my life and ironically opened the doors wide to consider the next wall. Living my life full time as a trans woman and sacrificing all of my male privilege.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

It's All in the Smile!

It turns out, science has now mapped out the specifics of how each gender smiles:

"The dynamics of how men and women smile differs measurably, according to new research, enabling artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically assign gender purely based on a smile.
Although automatic gender recognition is already available, existing methods use static images and compare fixed facial features. The new research, by the University of Bradford, is the first to use the dynamic movement of the smile to automatically distinguish between men and women.
Led by Professor Hassan Ugail, the team mapped 49 landmarks on the face, mainly around the eyes, mouth and down the nose. They used these to assess how the face changes as we smile caused by the underlying muscle movements -- including both changes in distances between the different points and the 'flow' of the smile: how much, how far and how fast the different points on the face moved as the smile was formed.
They then tested whether there were noticeable differences between men and women -- and found that there were, with women's smiles being more expansive.

The article goes on to say:
Lead researcher, Professor Hassan Ugail from the University of Bradford said: "Anecdotally, women are thought to be more expressive in how they smile, and our research has borne this out. Women definitely have broader smiles, expanding their mouth and lip area far more than men."
The team created an algorithm using their analysis and tested it against video footage of 109 people as they smiled. The computer was able to correctly determine gender in 86% of cases and the team believe the accuracy could easily be improved."
A smile maybe more than your best accessory...it may be your most important one, as a transgender woman. 
Read more here from Science Daily.


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Phantom Waists

One of the many fashion problems we transgender girls face (and cross dressers too) is creating a waist line.

From Fabulous After 40 comes a spring and summer chic idea to help us all out!

I am soooo happy to see this fashion trend return. I used to love it!

Follow the link above for three ways to wear this fashionable figure flattering top!

Those "Pesky" Cross Dressers!

Our recent posts here in Cyrsti's Condo concerning the dressing habits of the average cross dresser versus transgender woman continue to garner interest. Here are a couple more comments:

  1. "You're note alone, hon - I've noticed the same thing. There are 2 trans support groups in my area, and I felt guilty for the longest time about noticing the same thing.

    There would always be one side of the room wearing beautiful dresses, with their hair and makeup done, looking happy to be among friends. Then there's the other side of the room, looking like they just threw on a pair of sweatpants and an old t-shirt, looking bored or exasperated.

    I stopped going to the one meeting because there was far too much scorn and condescension going both ways. I know it shouldn't matter what we wear, and I get the mindset that some girls don't feel the need to impress anybody anymore, but I look at those meetings as an event, much like going out to dinner with friends, and I appreciate a little effort."
  2. "I had a cross dresser friend up until a couple of years ago. Replies from her/him (we knew each other as both) to my calls and emails ceased a while after I decided to live full-time as a woman. Prior to my decision, we spent many hours discussing our respective "conditions," and one night I did some math to put some quantity to what we felt was our "quality time" presenting as women. Between the weekly CD social club outings and about one weekend a month, multiplied by the number of years we thought we had left to be able to present (maybe just the ability to walk in high heels?), I came up with a total of 10,000 hours (500 hrs/yr X 20 years).

    The difference between us was, mainly, our respective definitions of "quality time." To her, it was to be dressed to the nines, where I felt that the ability to just be who I was amounted to quality for me. My 10,000 hours have long since been used up, even when only considering waking hours of each day. Had I tried to dress to the nines for all of them, though, I probably would have permanently damaged myself in those high heels! I do love to dress up when the occasion calls for it, but I don't need to do it to feel complete. I think that when one has to rely only on their allotted 10,000 hours (or whatever can be arranged), she wants to get as much out of it as possible.

    Which one of us, though, might have something to prove? Going for full-blown glamour may be an effort to prove something, but I think that presenting oneself minimally could also be an attempt to prove something, as well: "See, I am a woman no matter what I wear or how I present!" Then, we must also ask ourselves the question as to whom we are offering the proof. Is it to others, or is it to ourselves?"
  3. First, on Sally's comment. I agree with the "scorn" comment. In fact, since two or three of the most abrasive members quit coming to the larger group I go to, (all trans women), meeting attendance has started to go up, although another transitioning woman seems to have the ability to step into the void on occasions and be over bearing. 
  4. Connie, of course I think the proof of being a woman lies within each of us. Over the years, I too have lost contact with several acquaintances who went on to have genital realignment surgery. It could be we grew apart because I was too involved in my own transition and I felt somehow they had arrived and wouldn't  care about me. Now I'm not so sure.
  5. As far as presenting to the groups I go to now, I try to wear tasteful but still fashionably strong makeup but I normally never wear anything other than jeans or leggings, with a nice sweater. My look represents the woman I have become.
  6. Thanks to Connie and Sally for your comments.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Transgender Versus Cross Dressing

Recently here in Cyrsti's Condo, I wrote a post somewhat comparing what cross dressers wear to my support meetings, in comparison to transgender women. Although I don't attach any significant positive or negative ideas to the idea...cross dressers just seem to out dress the trans girls normally. For a number of reasons, probably.

First and foremost, the trans girls don't really have anything to prove by going the extra distance to dress up for a casual meeting. Secondly, and just as important, cross dressers just don't have the overall time and experience to think, well, I will have plenty opportunities in the future to dress up, if desired. Finally, thirdly, most cross dressers are just learning their way in a feminine public world and still haven't settled into the woman they still are to become.

Interestingly, I received two comments from our regular readers on the same subject:

  1. "It is quite noticeable at the group I attend, that it is those who have transitioned who most dress down, and those who have to make the most of their rare opportunities who are the most "Glamorous" this last week end there were at least two of us there wearing jeans and a sweater and with no make up at all."
  2.            Paula! I agree with you. Thanks for the input and writing it better :)
  3. "Well, if you haven't upgraded your style to the cross dresser level, at least you're buying your coffee at a coffee shop instead of a gas station now. :-)

    Speaking of deciding what to wear to a meeting, I have come to the conclusion that I don't care what the rest of them (be they cross dressers or SRS transgender women) are wearing. I choose from my wardrobe just what I feel like wearing for the day (or evening). If I'm going to err at all, I would rather it be at such a meeting, rather than how I might be seen by the general public. I used to care too much about how other transgender women might be sizing me up. That is simply ridiculous, when you think about it, yet I have felt more judgement on my presentation from the trans community than I have from the general public. Around here, though, the cross dressing organization and the transitioning group generally keep away from each other. I have attended meetings for both, and I've worn jeans and a t-shirt to the CD meetings or a dress and heels with the other group. I may get a few looks with either, but I think they have a better idea of who I am by the time the meeting is over. The truth is, after all, that most of us just want to be who we always saw ourselves to be. So, that's what I do!

    It's what we often talk about - all in the confidence you show; not in the clothes you wear."
  4. Thanks to you both! 
  5. Connie, much of my coffee snobbery comes from the fact I now live in a major metropolitan area with coffee choices outside of gas stations and Tim Horton s! Ironically, confidence was one of the main topics with the cross dressers at last night's meeting.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Monday, Monday

Being retired, on occasion, the days always have a tendency to crush together, except Monday's, it seems. Today, I have to deliver a package I'm shipping to the local post office, write a blog post and take care of other essentials. Past that, seemingly, negotiating around a very needy cat, who wants to help write the blog post is the main problem. I am not the best typist in the world and even more challenged when a cat is laying on one arm. Then again, maybe I should let her write the post

I do though, have a cross dresser - transgender support group meeting tonight. I plan on volunteering to do more outreach work with the group, which should meet with mixed results, on my part. Sometimes I'm up to the challenge, sometimes not so much. I do know some of the trans women who did it in the past from the group and technically I know I can hold my own.

Since I have been retired for a couple years now, I have found I have very specific routines which are tough to break. For example, today I have to apply at least basic makeup to go to the post office earlier, then refine it for the meeting. As far as clothes go, I try to change up my outfits for the meetings, which are basically casual.  Since many have had SRS and live full time, they have a tendency to not dress up as far as the cross dressers who attend. Plus, I do always try to stop at my favorite coffee shop on the way to partake of one their special "blends" for the evening.

So you have a look into my very "normal" transgender life.

Oh, by the way...my cat says Hi!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Sunday Special?

Rude Paul upside down, just because!
Another week has come and gone, all too fast it seems.

Personally, my week was pretty quiet. I did get my formal acceptance from the Trans Ohio Symposium for my workshop.

Coming up during the week, I will be working through some of my ideas on climbing transitional walls as transgender women.

Last week, a couple of my least favorite critters, "Rude Paul" and Jenner made news. Paul once again stirred up the trans pot by saying trans women had no place on his "Drag Race" show. Supposedly, he had to quickly back off and apologize for his comments, because now he is reaching a wider audience on a different network.
Two more of my least fave people.

Perhaps you have heard too, Caitlyn Jenner announced her "love affair" with t-Rump is over and he (45) has set back the transgender community 20 years. Well..."duh!"

Finally, Saturday turned out to be a very busy day for me. First, I went to Liz's karate class and then we went shopping for groceries. The only thing of note happened when I startled our 40 something bagger. She ended up looking me over from head to toe. It's been awhile since that has happened.

During the afternoon, it happened again with two male employee's in one of the huge big box home improvement stores. As it turned out, I more than doubled my projected walking steps, so I hope I furthered my weight loss gains.

So the week went all too fast! 

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Fear Factor?

We have been discussing climbing walls as we gender transition here in Cyrsti's Condo recently.

I have felt fear many times provides a major push to climb a wall, in the everyday and transgender world. The Army of all places taught me the power of overcoming obstacles in Basic Training. There was no way in hell, I wanted to fail myself and my fellow soldiers during training.

Perhaps it was just that attitude which helped me overcome the paralyzing fears when I first began to test the waters as a woman.

Turns out, I am not alone, check out these two comments from Connie and Paula:

  1. FABULOUSCONNIEDEEMarch 8, 2018 at 12:42 PM     "I think most of the walls we climb are ones we have built with our own hands (or minds). These are walls of fear. I know that I was not only afraid of people's immediate response to me, but I feared even more what they might have been thinking of me. I imagined, after I had departed, people would be talking about me, possibly laughing at my appearance or, even worse, my deviant behavior. These were just strangers, though, so I had to convince myself that it didn't matter what they thought (Your opinion of me is none of MY business). 

    The fear of being recognized by someone I knew was a more ominous wall. The more time I spent over the first wall exposed myself to that possibility, and just getting past the neighbors without being caught required so much of my energy.

    Fear of causing pain to family and loved ones was the wall with the biggest challenge in my mind. Like you, I had already come to the conclusion that I was not seeing myself as a man who enjoyed cross dressing, but a woman who was presenting as the man I was expected to be. In coming out to the family, I knew that I had to be totally honest with them, but that required my being honest with myself, first. I suppose that I could have made a bargain, and compromised by getting them to allow me to cross dress occasionally, but it would have been disingenuous on my part. This was not a wall for me to climb, but one that needed to be torn down. I had built it with the thought that I was protecting those whom I loved, but, in truth, building it mostly served to shut them out.

    I avoided a wall that many others need to climb. I had arranged my work-life, by being self-employed, so that I could control the amount of time for me to be "me." Of course, that eventually became detrimental to my income, and so was a wall in itself. I didn't have to come out at work, a wall that many consider negotiating, but I had to make the decision as to how to rectify my income capabilities with my being honest with myself - if not being true to myself. Therefore, I have only sought out employment as my true self, and I have found that to be difficult, but so much more affirming and satisfying when I've attained it.

    Overall, I have to say that building and maintaining the walls in my life have cost much more of my energy than it has been to climb or tear them down. The other walls, those which society had built, are much lower these days. I can only hope that the younger generation will take advantage of that, and not build their own walls, as I thought I had to do over my lifetime. If I've learned anything, it is that, whatever the fear that holds one back, waiting to face them by building walls does not make it easier for anybody; for oneself or whomever."


  2. "Those walls are scary aren't they! I remember that first time out in public as being both wonderful and terrifying. A lot of cross dressers unintentionally put themselves in dangerous situations as they feel the need to go out, but try to stay in the shadows, to not be obvious, but in that very attempt to hide make themselves vulnerable."
  3. Thanks to both of you!





T

Friday, March 9, 2018

International Woman's Day

Sisterhood with cis women? What exactly does that mean to you?

For me, it means several things. I know I share a sisterhood because cis women made it possible for me to play in their sandbox. Although, some never knew to what extent and some did  not so willingly.

Cis women also taught me how to communicate in their feminine world, often with non verbal communication.  Indirectly. women taught me how to dress to fit in with their world also.

I know too, a number of cross dressers and/or early transgender women who wanted into the sisterhood so bad, they were sure they needed a cis woman to make them up to be the beautiful creatures of their dreams. Most never made it and learned on their own. For me, ironically, it was a cis male make up artist who helped me out with my makeup the first time so many years ago.

And speaking of men, their attitude towards transgender women (for the most part) is one of distrust while women have a tendency to be more curious. Again, lending a welcome hand to the sisterhood.

I know my time in a feminine lifestyle makes me far from an expert but it has shown me very emphatically what cis woman go through in their lives. From employment, to being talked around (or down to), all the way to feeling physically threatened, I have been in the sisterhood.

Although it is never as easy as it seems, my hope for the future is women continue to advance in all key areas of society. Perhaps finally, they can bring some sanity to the world as we know it today.

Such is my salute to International Women's Day. It's great to finally be part of the "sisterhood."

The Future is Female!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

To Be or not To Be

During our Cyrsti's Condo discussion on Mtf gender transitional walls. I am considering using this one as my second wall.

I am using cross dressing as my first wall. After a point (which differs in all of us) a transgender person feels comfortable enough with her make up and clothing to consider the next step...going out in public. Or, should I say, uncomfortable enough. I know in my case, just dressing up for the mirror wasn't enough. There had to be more.

Once I opened the door and began to climb the public wall, I found out people wanted to interact with me and what was I going to do then? Essentially, dealing with the public pushed me off the wall and towards the next one. Interaction meant learning more than looking like a woman, I had to learn to communicate as one too. Since I had the benefit of working with many primarily cis women populated employees over the years, none of this was too difficult to relearn.

Something else I had to learn was in most all situations, other women read me for what I was, a transgender woman or cross dresser. Passing at this point became "personality." I found when and if I returned to the same location, people would have the tendency to remember me. So, to not be friendly labeled me as a bitch. Or worse yet, someone who was doing something wrong.

I found too, scaling this wall turned out to be easy, compared to the walls I would face in the future. After I became more comfortable in my feminine role, I found more and more I didn't want to go back. This also was the point in my life the term transgender was appearing for the first time and HRT was beginning to become more available.

In the distance, I could begin to see my next wall to climb and it was a scary one too! Going full time as a trans woman.

Could I or would I? Increasingly, my feminine lifestyle told me I could and the naturalness of how I felt told be I probably would have to.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Rest Room "Groupies?"

Recently, I saw this story about a gender fluid LGBT activist using the women's room at the Oscars.

From the Los Angeles Times and reporter Robin Abcarium: 

"On Sunday night, in a restroom at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, I was washing my hands when someone in a crimson ballgown swept past me toward the stalls. There was something about this person's energy that was different than that of other women who were milling around, redoing their lipstick, chatting about the Oscars show.
I felt I knew this person in the crimson gown. Or had seen them somewhere before. So I left the bathroom and waited outside, in the lobby. And when this person left the ladies room, I stopped them to chat.
Sure enough, it was Sam Brinton, 29, an unforgettable, gender-fluid LGBTQ activist whom I'd met almost four years ago at a conference in Las Vegas for educators who work with LGBTQ students. There, Brinton spoke about the degrading experience of undergoing reparative therapy as a teenager.
Today, Brinton, who has a master's degree in nuclear engineering from MIT, works for the Trevor Project, a suicide prevention group for LGBTQ youth."

For more on the story, go here.

The story reminded me of the "old days" when I would go out to the same venues (mostly straight) and normally always attracted the attention of a cis woman or two who were curious and/or just wanted to chat. Plus, from socializing with the other transgender women in one of my support groups  and hearing their conversations, I know the same thing still happens with them.

The reason why, I think, is very complex but mainly revolves a cis-woman's natural curiosity concerning why we trans women would ant to play in their "sandbox" at all.  Any other reasons would take another blog post to go into now!


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Historical Moment!

As you have probably heard by now, Daniela Vega made history this weekend at the Oscars:

The star of Oscar-nominated film Una Mujer Fantástica (A Fantastic Woman), Daniela Vega, made Academy Award history Sunday night, when she became the frist transgender actress to take to the stage as a presenter at the ceremony. The Chilean introduced Sufjan Steven’s performance of “Mystery of Love,” which features on the soundtrack of Call Me by Your Name. “I want to invite you to open your hearts and your feelings to feel the reality,” she told the audience. “To feel love. Can you feel it?”

From El Pais:

The triumphant moment could not have been further from how things were when, as a 14-year-old, her life split in two, and she began her transition from a man to a woman. Once in her new female body, Vega did not know what path to follow – acting or singing – nor whether the artistic world would accept her.

"You learn and grow from pain,” she told EL PAÍS in February, hours before A Fantastic Woman took the Best Film award at the Goyas, Spain’s answer to the Oscars. “Transgender people are marginalized. You suffer a lot in the transition. And this pain makes us strong, hard, and can even make us bad tempered,” she explained, while Juan de Dio Larraín, the co-producer of the film, brought her a beer. With the support of her family, Daniela broke with social convention and assumed her identity as a trans-woman. “I have a lot of hope in the future generations in Chile, [society] is opening a great deal.


For more, go here.