Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Knife Behind the Back

A friend of mine from one of my cross dresser - transgender support groups recently got fired unexpectedly from her job. She started HRT approximately six months ago and did talk about the point of "no return" on her job, when she would have to come out as her true self. She was reasonably positive nothing would happen following a few preliminary discussions with fellow employees. I have not seen her yet, to hear her side of the story.

Speaking of losing one's livelihood because she came out as trans, check out this post from Buzz Feed News:

"When showrunner Scottie Madden first came out as a trans woman to an executive at Discovery Inc.’s Animal Planet in January 2015, she felt relieved. “If my top-level client is OK with this, then I'm going to be OK,” she’d told herself. Before transitioning, she had worked with the network to develop Dude, You’re Screwed, an adventure reality series that ended up airing on the company’s flagship network, Discovery Channel. As Madden recalls it, the executive had been “so blown away and happy and accepting.” From there, the showrunner proceeded to come out to all her colleagues in reality television. Their acceptance, Madden said, bordered “on the verge of surreal.”
But Madden’s optimism was misplaced. Now, more than three years after coming out, Madden says that neither Discovery, nor any other network or production company, has hired her to run another show.
“I never know if [an executive’s] not calling me back because I’m transgender, because she doesn’t have anything for me, or because she no longer works there — you never know,” Madden told BuzzFeed News, describing the often ambiguous nature of show business. “When you work for hire, you serve at the mercy of somebody's whim. The phrase you always hear is, ‘It just didn’t work out.’ And that covers all manners of things.” As showrunners, Madden explained, “Our clients are both the network and the production company.” As the linchpin between the two, they pitch ideas, help TV executives develop shows, and officially get the job when and if the show gets bought.
Onscreen transgender representation in Hollywood is severely lacking; the GLAAD Media Institute found that across broadcast, cable, and streaming television series that aired during the 2017–2018 season, only 17 regular and recurring characters were trans. The statistics aren’t any better for trans people behind the camera, with a few exceptions like Shadi Petosky, who created Amazon’s Danger & Eggs animated series after working for eight years as an animation supervisor on Nick Jr.’s Yo Gabba Gabba! Like most showrunners, Madden had worked steadily in television before running a show. But since she came out as transgender, Madden says the job offers have dried up. "

For more, go here. and always remember, keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Vampires

I wish this was more of a glamorous post, complete with fun stories of enjoying the summer weather in lite and breezy summer clothes...but it is not. First of all, Monday night, I missed one of the monthly meetings of my cross dresser - transgender groups and then got gently chided about it on Facebook. Some of the other participants don't realize I have a life I guess.

Then Tuesday, was what I call "vampire day" at the VA hospital. I have a disease which causes my body to create too much iron and every three months (if needed) they have to take out a pint of my blood. (Phlebotomy)  Plus, I have to have my blood labs done.

While I have grown accustomed to the discomfort involved with both procedures, I have not gotten used to the circumstances which accompany the day.

For example, I have to take a short elevator ride up to the labs section of the hospital and more or less get to be stared at by a whole room of mostly grizzled older, men when I get off the elevator and go get my number to wait. I guess it's just part of being a woman but I still get a little paranoid about my presentation every time I go. I keep thinking, did I know I was signing up for this as I debarked down the transgender road.

If my iron is too high, then I get to go to hematology to see the real vampires. Seriously, my only problem is with one of the nurses who can't seem to get the "he" word out of her noggin when and if she deals with me. She is not very good and I hope I never get her but I do every now and then.

Past all of that, the day was very routine and hot! It looks like we missed Spring all together this year. Who knows though, maybe we will have some cool spots in June!

Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day Weekend

If you are located in the United States, it is Memorial Day Weekend. Unfortunately, many of us just celebrate the time as the start of summer and/or a three day weekend.

The true meaning of the holiday is, as described by the Google Dictionary: "a day on which those who died in active military service are remembered, traditionally observed on May 30 but now officially observed on the last Monday in May.."

 I am sure many of you have a relation or two who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. 

It's time now to put down your grille tongs and/or adult beverage and remember those who couldn't make it to your party. Especially, the transgender ones. Just think how many served in silence!

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Lost in Transition

The "TLC" Network has started it's "Lost in Transition" summer series. The show focuses on several couples going through a Mtf transgender transition. Before we get into my ideas concerning the series, I need to put in a disclaimer about any or all links I share. For example, if you are one of our international readers, I don't know if you can get an episode somewhere on line, or not.

Now, onto the show.

The first thing I noticed was none of the transgender women were a "natural" although "Leslie" was close and the others haven't really emerged yet in the show. Here is another link you can try, which describes the four couples.

One couple really got to me on an extreme personal level. Spoiler alert!

One of the wives (and her best friend) ganged up on one of the transgender women. The wife was struggling mightily with her spouse going through the transition. Her name as well as how she reacted took me back to the issues I experienced with my deceased wife. All of the sudden, I was back to feeling all the dread and confusion I felt during our relationship. My whole equilibrium was thrown off for almost the rest of the day.

My heart also went out to another of the couples who happened to live in a very rural area. The trans woman's spouse was pregnant with their second child. While the wife accepted her trans spouse, it has yet to be seen on the show if they can survive in a small conservative rural community.

My final recommendation on the show is, so far, it is not bad and even balances out accepting and un-accepting spouses. Which is reality in our world.

As I said, I have only seen one episode,so it will be interesting to see how the featured transgender lives play out. 

All Frills for the Weekend

Well, summer has arrived around here, complete with the heat and humidly.

For much of my life, I have envied the women around me who were able to pull out and wear their incredibly feminine and frilly summer fashions.

Even though, I have not yet reached my goal weight, I can comfortably wear the summer tops I purchased for this season. I just love a couple of the ones I have showed you all. My guilty pleasure with most of them comes when I don't have to wear a bra.

Now, here are my disclaimers:

My breasts just aren't that big to have to wear a hot close fitting bra.

I always try to remember at my age, my HRT can be given and/or taken away, so I try to savor the fashion moments given to me.

FYI, my tops are modest enough, not to show too much improper skin. 

At this point, I think I have enough tops and a couple pairs of fave distressed jeans to make it through the summer. I wish I could tell you I am going out quite a bit, my social life is just not that active! But I do see the same people quite a bit, so I do need different outfits.

Finally, on a different subject, I also have to still garner the courage to make a hair appointment to shape and thin out my hair.


Saturday, May 26, 2018

Patriotic Summer?

I reached a milestone of sorts this morning and ordered a piece of clothing on line.

Always before, I either didn't have the money, was unsure of sizing or just wasn't positive of how it would look on me.

This top caught my eye because I am a transgender veteran and I thought it would be fun to wear around the Fourth of July holiday weekend among others. Such as a summer combined picnic several Cincinnati cross dresser - transgender groups are working to put together.

It came from a site called Modlily. Com.

One of the problems is how long I have to wait to get it. About two weeks. I am a very impatient person!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Damn I Look Good!

Connie sent in this comment which jogged my ancient memory about one of my cross dressing experiences:

"I let out a deep sigh today, watching an older guy drive by me in a Miata with the top down. I was waiting for a bus. I may be an older gal, but I think that car would look a lot better with me in the driver's seat - and I would still look cute in it, too. Who needs AC, anyway?!?"

Many years ago, in another life, I had a very well paying restaurant job. In fact, my monthly bonus check were enough for me to buy a brand new Porsche Boxster. Even though I knew I would be playing with fire driving it around in my favorite blond wig, I kept thinking you only live once.

One night, I took it to a little lesbian bar when I was cross dressed in my tight jeans and top. I had just settled into my first beer when another female patron walked in and loudly exclaimed  "Who is driving that car?"  I politely explained I was and of course she then asked for a ride. It was at this point the whole idea became a little dicey. Very simply put, my wig wasn't attached very tight to my head and I was driving with the top down. I had a very real nightmarish idea my wig could come of in front of a stranger and fly into the night.

To make a long story short, my wig stayed where it should have been and the ride was very successful. I was just fortunate no one else asked for a ride.

Sadly, several years later when I lost almost everything else in my life, I lost the car too.



Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Sephora

This post came from the "Gay Star Business" site:

"Beauty retail giant Sephora will offer specialized makeup classes to trans and non-binary people.
Called ‘Bold Beauty for the Transgender Community’, the classes begin next month as part of Sephora’s Classes for Confidence program. The program’s aim is ‘to help inspire fearlessness in those facing major life transitions’.

Sephora’s official Beauty Advisors with specialized knowledge about the trans community will run the classes. Trans employees at Sephora helped created the workshops’ content.
One of the people teaching the class is Dominique Anderson, a color consultant at Sephora in New York City.  Anderson said they want to help people find confidence.
‘There was a time that I felt as a trans person I had no idea where I fit into beauty,’ Anderson told Them.
‘It was when I began shopping at Sephora that I knew it was a place where I was free to be myself. Sephora welcomed me with open arms and it’s why I work at this company.
‘During these classes, I hope to teach clients tricks that I use myself to soften up features and achieve certain looks.
‘I want to instill confidence in my clients so that when they walk out of Sephora, they feel comfortable letting the world know who they are.’
The classes will run for 90 minutes and will create unique skin care plans and product recommendations for each person. During the classes, advisors will teach people make-up application and foundation matching.
People of all gender expressions, friends, families, and allies are welcome to attend.

Free make-up workshops.

‘We stand with all members of the LGBTQA community and are committed to providing these individuals with the tools they want to feel confident and beautiful every single day,’ Corrie Conrad, the Head of Social Impact and Sustainability for Sephora told Hello Giggles.
‘At Sephora, we believe beauty is yours to define, and ours to celebrate. We are honored to be a beacon of support and part of each beauty journey through our new class offering.’
The free classes will run at certain stores across the United States."


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Off to See the Wizard

Or...at least off to attend another Veteran's Administration transgender support group meeting.

It will be interesting in a sense if I can relay what I learned at the Trans Ohio Symposium. Including feminizing vocal sessions and free wigs and breast forms. As I wrote before, with the increasing numbers of woman vets the VA is seeing now, wigs and breast forms aren't so surprising.

Hopefully, the meeting will be attended too by the person who always complains about the VA not doing more for it's transgender veterans. Basically, you can get help with HRT and not much else, such as surgery. I can hear her now...she doesn't need breast forms, has already bought a wig, so where are the make-up classes???

Regardless, I think I am going to wear my tight jean style leggings along with one of my new lightweight gauzy tops for the trip.

Plus, in case you are curious, the car is back and no (Connie) it isn't old enough to have the the side "wing" windows. It's a warm day though, time for the "270" air conditioning.   Roll down two windows and drive 70 miles per hour. I may have to wear my hair pulled back today!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Monday, Monday

Here it is, another brand new week and again I am starting it with no car. I think I told you Saturday, when I went to pick it up, the shop said it was fixed but they were kidding. Hopefully, it will get done today.

Sunday turned out to have it's interesting ups and downs. We ended up having our monthly Witches Ball meeting at a large well known fast food place since the park we go to was closed for construction. After Liz and I ordered, the cashier said "thanks ladies." which was nice.

Not to be out done though was this red neck jerk at the grocery store who couldn't/wouldn't stop staring at us. For once, I was in my little world (it's nice there) and missed it. He could have been staring too, because Liz and I were holding hands and he could have been homophobic not transphobic. Not that one is better than the other.

Other than those two incidences, the day was very mediocre and summer like. I was able to wear my new gauzy two layered top which I dearly love!

Maybe I can sneak in another wear tomorrow when I go to another of my support meetings at the VA.

Breaking Necks?

I know in the public's eye, at the least I am a big woman. Transgender, cis, or whatever.

Plus I know I have privilege in the fact I am white and live in a fairly liberal part of Ohio. Also, my partner happens to be a cis woman and like it or not, she provides a sense of security. Every once in a while though, I do journey out of my comfort zone and check out reality.

Mine came this Saturday at Liz's karate tournament. The event is held in a Northern Kentucky middle school and approximately 500 people attend...including many kids. To put  it in perspective for you,  the school and the territory we were in was getting into the heavy red necked area of Kentucky. Out of the area just south of Cincinnati across the Ohio River is fairly liberal.

Once we got into te venue, my goal was to find a seat and try to make myself as small as possible. Initially I did fairly well. I was able to move about the venue with very little notice from the other participants. Not many people were turning to stare so fast I thought they were going to break their necks. My confidence was growing.

As we were leaving though, I experienced a dose of reality from ignorant bigots on their way into the venue.

A group of four cigarette puffing Kentucky rednecks walked right towards me. I had no where to go as they about stopped to snicker and stare.

I suppose the silver lining was I needed the reality of how the world can really be.  And, how fortunate I have it.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

That Pesky Sunday

Before I know it, it's Sunday and another week has come...and gone.

It was very much an active week, as you may recall. It started Monday with a visit to one of my cross dresser - transgender support group's "beauty" meeting. It included visits from a skin, hair and make-up experts.  I especially liked the hair and make-up ladies. In fact. I have found the salon where the hair person works, so I can schedule and appointment. Plus, I am working to to get an individual appointment with the make-up person. I especially like her because she does not try to sell you anything, only recommends.

Monday was also travel day, when I went to my two therapists at the VA in Dayton. Ohio...a total mileage trip of approximately 250 miles. It turned out, all I really did with both appointments was answer a ton of questions about myself for a new VA computer program.  It will be interesting to see if I ever get any feedback in the future.

One day on the blog, we found ourselves in a mini alphabet quandary over the LGBTQ mythical umbrella and it's relation to cross dressers.  You can find it here.

The rest of the week was quiet in part because of not having a car to drive. Until Saturday, which was a whole other case.

Which I will discuss in a future post.


Friday, May 18, 2018

A First in Guam

From the Kuam News:

"Lasia Casil is ready to run. As Guam's first transgender candidate for public office, Lasia says she knows that the road to where she stands now hasn't always been easy to travel on.
 “I was met with discrimination, bullying, violence – for the person that I am, for identifying as transgender,” Casil said.
Casil says she has gotten used to dealing with it, but she's concerned that Guam's youth are more vulnerable – especially since many of them feel pressure to conform to society's so-called norms."
"If Casil has a familiar face, it's because she's made headlines for her work with Save Southern Guam – an environmental group calling for responsible development. She's also the founder of Guam Pride – an LGBTQ pride and rights group teaming up with GVB to tap into the region's billion-dollar LGBTQ tourism market.
As a Democrat, Casil hopes her platform of progressive values will help the party retain the Legislative majority.
“People want a change,” Casil said. “A real change. I'm here to work for the people, with the people. I've already been doing it – I've been very active in advocating for land rights, for LGBT rights and equality.”
“I advocate for women's rights, the #metoo movement – all these people, they're our resources here on our island – and they need to be protected."
For more, go here.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Wiggy?


Of course, the best way to ruin the wonderful outfit and make-up look you have carefully crafted, is by having a less than attractive wig.  Back in my wig days, I am sure I tried all the wrong wigs before I settled on a couple I wore quite a bit. The one I wore most was a long straight blond wig, which I actually have a couple pictures of to pass along.  (Circa early 2000's))

I am far from the expert to ask but I know I always washed my wigs in baby shampoo and was careful to make sure the caps were dry and they were properly brushed out before I wore them again.

Another friend who knows much more about wigs than I wrote in to pass along her ideas:

I might add that, as far as wigs are concerned, a good, moderately-priced wig will last just as long as an expensive one if it is properly maintained. All synthetic wigs will wear out and start to frizz at the tips after some time. Just as the fibers in clothing break down, wig fibers will, too. Imagine how long a T shirt might last, if worn every day (I hope you'd have to only imagine that). A cheap one from Old Navy might not hold up well to the everyday wear and the washings it would require. A good shirt will fair much better, but not any better than a designer T shirt.

I have a wig on my head about twenty hours of every day. I usually wear a worn-out one to sleep in, as I am too vain to be seen with my naturally bald head. I am fairly active during the day, so I literally glue my wig to my bald head. I started doing that after an incident where a low tree branch grabbed the hair off my head while I was getting out of the car in front of a busy Starbucks. The glue residue takes about a week off of the life expectancy of my wigs, but it's a small price to pay for the security. Normally, a wig will last six weeks for me before it starts to frizz and lose it's soft texture. Of course, I would recommend having two of the same style, and to rotate them between washings. When I can afford to do so, I keep a third wig to wear for special occasions, and then put it into the daily rotation after about 10 wearings. I usually wash mine every 5-7 days of wear. Putting product into a wig will make it dirty faster, and perspiration is a texture killer.

The wig style I am wearing these days is $60.00 when on sale. Ten dollars a week is a bargain when compared to keeping ones real hair colored, cut and styled. I'd gladly pay more to have my own real hair, but it was not my fate (damn testosterone poisoning).

BTW, use Woolite to wash your wigs. It's much cheaper than wig shampoo.

Thanks Connie and if anyone else would like to share their wig story, please make sure you send it in!
I might mention I finally found the salon location of the woman I want to cut my hair and she donates twenty percent back to a prominent transgender organization here in Cincinnati.  Now I have to get up the courage to go and do it. Back in my wig days, I also lost my wig to one of those pesky tree branches. Didn't do much for my confidence!

Damn! That's a Lot of LGBTQ!

I must admit, I saw another short post I wanted to comment on. It comes from Terri Lee Ryan (Shades of Gender) on cross dressers and their chances of being added to the "Q" of LGBTQ.  "Q" by the way, stands for "questioning."

I for one, think cross dressers should include themselves within the "Q." Why not? I agree with Terri Lee, there have to be more cross dressers out there struggling with their gender identity than trans people.

After all, unless your crystal ball is better than mine, it doesn't stay real clear  Who can really tell what tomorrow is going to bring anyhow? Someday you may wake up and think it's time to fully transition into the transgender world.

Which leads me to one of my favorite soapbox speeches: we all should attempt to vote for pro transgender or LGBTQ candidates. Why? What if you decide years from now you are transgender and need better laws to protect your rights? Those pesky non discrimination laws could come in quite handy for you if your job is at stake! Or if you want to enlist in the military or even have health insurance.

For many, many years, I considered myself a cross dresser before the "Q" category was added to the LGBT. As I was searching as hard as I could for solutions to my gender issues. When I started "HRT", I finally thought I had joined the "T.s"

It's just too bad the "Q's" can't be more visible and no, I don't have anymore letters to add to this post!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Hair and Make-Up Visit?

Finishing off Monday's fun and games was the nightly meeting of  the cross dresser - transgender support group get together I go to. I made it fashionably late in time to hear a skin expert speak and later a hair person, followed by a make up expert.

I found I do about half of a required skin care regimen required to help my skin. I am always careful to cleanse at night and apply a moisturizer. As of yet, I have not yet delved into the scary/wonderful world of items such as serums.

In the "should have - could have" department, I should have taken less time watching the make up person perform her miracles on the two youngest attendee's and sat down with the hair person. In fact, she asked me why I didn't. The reason I didn't do it was, I was ashamed of the way my hair looked after a day in the car. I didn't even have a chance to brush it out. I was shocked when she asked me why I didn't do it!

As far as writing about hair or make-up, it was evident to me, both are too personalized to make many generalizations. An exemption was the ideas the hair person passed along about the care and maintenance of synthetic hair wigs. How often should you wash them, etc. Plus, how you should never try to color a synthetic wig or use any heat over 325 degrees (F) to style it. A washing regimen of course is based largely on how oily your original hair is and how long and often you wear the wig. So, even the care of wigs is highly personal.

As I understand it, both women are going to try and return for another meeting and perhaps even set up individual appointments. I already told the make-up person I would be interested and definitively the hair person too.

My statements to both will be, since I have been living in a feminine world for so long now, I need to learn how to do it easier and better.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Such a Monday!

Yesterday was one of those days when all I seemingly did was run all out in a hurry to wait. One of our cars is being repaired and I had to take Liz to work and pick her up. Which added extra stress driving in the Cincinnati rush hour traffic, the worst in Ohio. Not to worry right? The other car would be ready by the evening but, of course it wasn't.

In the meantime, my day was filled with driving the 300 mile round trip to Dayton and Springfield for my VA appointments. On a very hot/humid day in an non air conditioned car. I did of course have my "2-70" air to relay on. Roll two windows down and drive 70 miles per hour. Not good for my mane of hair which I forgot to bring anything to tie it back with.

Once I got there, not to be outdone by the rest of the days hassles, both of my sessions ended up answering a full appointment's worth of time  answering computer questions about myself. Including fun questions about suicide and depression. Not to be totally squeezed out from my appointment time though, I made it a point to tell my therapist about her supposed ability to put in a voice referral for me and I told her about the VA's ability to provide a wig and breast forms to veterans. When you think about it, it is not so strange with the increasing role the Veteran's Administration is taking with women veterans health care.

All to soon, both of my sessions were over and I was back on the road again to Cincinnati, with plenty of time to think of all my answers I gave the computer. I wondered though since I answered truthfully about my suicide attempts and the amount of low level depression I normally fight all the time, will the powers to be want to see me more.

I have fought hard to balance my demons and am not looking for extra guidance at this time. After all, balancing being bi-polar and transgender at the same time has never been a field day. I find it interesting when someone says as soon as they came out, the depression went away. It sure didn't work that way for me.

There was still more to yesterday I will pass along in another post!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day!

Just a simple post today. I am wishing all of you the best. Hoping you and your Mom have found some common ground...if she is around to still do it!

Other than that, I for one,  don't believe in picking up the "Mom" tag. I have stuck with the "parent" tag between my daughter and I. It has seemed to have worked well.

No matter the labels you attach to the day, I hope you have a good one!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Here Comes Summer?

All of the sudden, a very brief spring has turned into summer. Temperatures have soured into the mid to upper eighties and the dreaded humidity has started to rise too. I am back to my love/hate relationship with all this hair I have. I will have to start pulling it back more in the hot weather. This weather also is when I have to start to consider what kind of foundation I am using and the amount. I am lucky, HRT has softened my skin and I am careful to take pretty good care of it. So when I "melt", it hopefully won't be so noticeable.

All of this could change though, after Monday night. The day is shaping up to be quite busy with an appointment with my therapist early in the day and a special meetup group Monday night. The support group will welcome in three different "help" experts. One for hair, one for make-up and one for both. Instructions have been very vague, ranging from "models needed" to group instruction.

I'm selfish. I would love to score some individual attention. Eyes, foundation and contouring all the three things I need more expertise on. Overall, I feel like I am in a rut...HELP!

Just in case, I'm loading down my purse with a couple of the make-up items I am guilty of using all the time. Plus, I will be adding in the make-up skin wipes I use every night to remove my make-up. Hopefully, with all of that, I can cover all the bases.

Including my hair!

Friday, May 11, 2018

A "Quiet" Weekend?

It's looking to be a quiet Mother's Day weekend coming up around here. Both of our Mothers have long since departed so there are no visits to be scheduled. It would have been very interesting if my Mom would have still been with us, to judge her reaction to my feminine transition.

I think, after an initial negative blast, she would have learned to live with her new daughter. Probably after she did quite a bit of soul searching to figure out what she did wrong. Once she did figure it out, the answer would have manifested itself as guilt. Then the guilt would have somehow became my fault.

Once she figured though there wasn't anything thing she could do about my transgender decision, she would have settled down to accept it. I figure the whole process would have taken about six months.

So it could be getting one of our cars fixed could be the highlight of the weekend.

Vocalizing?

 After I tried to set a routine of adjusting my vocal chords upward into a more feminine pattern, I developed a minor sore throat. So maybe I should have waited on a professional diagnosis on what is going on with my very raspy voice. Certainly, there is a possibility I may have some other kind of problem going on.

Also, I have developed a minor cold which could be allergy related. Either way, I have suffered too from excess sinus drainage, Which isn't helping my voice either.

Monday, I have an appointment with my therapist who can refer me to a voice therapist at the Veterans Administration. So, we will see what happens! 

Speaking of the VA, interestingly enough, the Cincinnati VA is having a Pride Day this year. Being a transgender vet myself, as most of you know, I went ahead to help "man" a table. Or should I say "person" a table.

Also, a little later in June, I will be helping with our Witches Ball tent at the main Cincinnati Pride. The early part of the summer is shaping up to be busy.
 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

The "C" Word?

Along the way here in Cyrsti's Condo, we have mentioned several "C" words quite a bit. First and foremost, confidence comes to mind. Take Stana over at Femulate for am example  Every once in a while, some one will take her to task for wearing her skirts too short and not covering up those world class legs of hers. She obviously has developed the confidence to wear what she looks best in. 

Another "C" word you see a lot around here is "Connie" and here is her confidence experience:


"I don't see your hair as being not age-appropriate. It fits your general style and personality, which is much more important in determining "appropriateness." My own hair (which is my own because I paid for it) is colored to be blonde with darker roots. At my age, this would be almost impossible to achieve naturally, as the roots would actually be much lighter (grey or white) than the blonde color. I find it humorous that this doesn't even occur to others when I point this fact out. They will usually just respond that it suits me, anyway. I chose this style, as I thought it helped to make it look less "wiggy." So, I pull it off (unless I literally pull it off!).

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a fancy semi-formal affair honoring my sister-in-law for her 70th birthday. I wore a body-con black dress that was knee-length and modestly low cut on the top. I felt it to be totally appropriate to my age and body, and I received many compliments from the mostly-older crowd, as well as one from one of the younger women there. I did throw caution to the wind by wearing a pair of 4 1/2" open toe shoes (and still, I was not the tallest woman there!). I liked the way I looked that night, and my attitude and demeanor showed it. I wasn't trying to look younger, even if a younger woman could have worn the same outfit successfully, as well.

I think that the main thing to remember is that it is not the clothing, hair, and makeup that should define us. Rather, those things are enhancements and extensions to and of ourselves. We should want to look for ways to present ourselves that show who we are, and not, necessarily, who we'd like to be. Dare I say that old "C" word again? Confidence!"

Overall, like you said, the key is being yourself and every woman (cis or not) has to find their niche. As transgender women, it just takes us longer to find our confidence. Although I don;t know a single cis woman who hasn't confided a time or two having a little insecurity about a big night out.

Casting My Vote

Tuesday was primary election day here in Ohio. On top of doing my duty and voting, the day was another special one for me, because I could again use my relatively new feminine driver's license. I have never really been a proponent of making my legal gender marker change a birthday of sorts. I guess I may have to rethink it.

You Cyrsti Condo regulars probably won't have to wonder how I voted. Lets just say Ohio is a heavily Republican state and not much else has changed during this turnout. I think much has to do this year with what who was on the primary ballot. In November, the state has a clear cut choice between a "so called" rock solid conservative republican governor candidate and a much more liberal Democratic choice. The republican vote is always more predictable number wise around here I think because of the huge number of elderly who automatically vote "Red" (Repug) every time. So much for politics!

As far as reaction to me at the polls, I seemingly get an extra nice reception every time from the elderly (more than I) women who normally run everything.

I also had to go out of my comfort zone and go to pick up some legal paper work from the Hamilton County (Cincinnati) court house downtown. My trusty GPS got me there in good shape and I even found a favorable parking spot. Once I got into the courthouse, I had to basically go through two security checkpoints to get to where I was going. At one, I even was requested to show my driver's license again. At neither spot did I encounter any problems except my belt setting off the metal detector.

I don't know if I expected any trans resistance, but I didn't get any. Plus, surprisingly enough, one of the sheriff's deputies I encountered was very androgynous.

So once again, any fears I had were groundless. Dressing to blend got the jobs done!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Is She Serious?

I suppose if you live in Maryland, or are staying up better with your transgender politics than even I do, you may have lost track of Chelsea Manning. If you have, here is a look at what she has been up to a year after President Barack Obama commuted her sentence. This story comes from the Washington Post:

"Manning, who became America’s most famous convicted leaker isn’t taking an extended vacation. Far from it: The Oklahoma native has decided to make an unlikely bid for the U.S. Senate in her adopted state of Maryland.

Manning, 30, filed to run in January and has been registered to vote in Maryland since August. She lives in North Bethesda, not far from where she stayed with an aunt while awaiting trial. Her aim is to unseat Sen. Ben Cardin, a 74-year-old Maryland Democrat who is seeking his third Senate term and previously served 10 terms in the U.S. House.

Manning, who also has become an internationally recognized transgender activist, said she’s motivated by a desire to fight what she sees as a shadowy surveillance state and a rising tide of nightmarish repression."


Here is her platform:


"Close prisons and free inmates; eliminate national borders; restructure the criminal justice system; provide universal health care and basic income. The top of her agenda? Abolish the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a federal agency created in 2003 that Manning asserts is preparing for an “ethnic cleansing.”

Manning ticks off life experiences she believes would make her an effective senator: a stint being homeless in Chicago, her wartime experiences as a U.S. Army intelligence analyst in Iraq — even her seven years in prison. She asserts she’s got a “bigger vision” than establishment politicians.

But political analysts suspect the convicted felon is not running to win.

“Manning is running as a protest candidate, which has a long lineage in American history, to shine light on American empire,” said Daniel Schlozman, a political science professor at Johns Hopkins University. “That’s a very different goal, with a very different campaign, than if she wanted to beat Ben Cardin.”

Manning’s insurgent candidacy thus far has been a decidedly stripped-down affair, with few appearances and a campaign website that just went up. In recent days, she approached an anti-fracking rally in Baltimore almost furtively, keeping to herself for much of the demonstration. But when it was her turn to address the small group, her celebrity status was evident. People who never met her called her by her first name and eagerly took photos."


For the record, I don't think what Manning did was right and did the entire transgender community a dis-service (not to mention the country) when she did it.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Age Appropriate?

One of the more frustrating facets of growing "more mature" is trying to fight off the ravages of a lifetime of testosterone poisoning.

No one ever said life ever had to be fair but finally arriving at the point in your life when you can express your true gender comes at a frustrating time when you can't experiment with many of the new fashion trends you see.

Although, if you are at the top of your transgender game, you would know there are still sties to visit where you can  do your best to compete in the world with fashionable cis women. Fabulous After 40 is one of those sites.  "Fabulous After 40" can show you how to walk the fine line between "classy" and "trashy" or at the least being age appropriate.

Speaking of age appropriate (and another reference to Popeye), lets check in with Connie:

"I would guess, from my observation, that many women in their 60's have given up learning or crafting their presentations. For those of us who got a late start, though, it seems appropriate that we try a bit harder. I'm familiar with a number of trans women who, having missed their chance when younger, attempt to model their presentations after much younger women - which is a mistake, trans or not. I often, figuratively, roll my eyes at older cis women who are obviously wearing the same style of clothing and doing their hair and makeup the same way as they did some time back in their youth, when they thought they looked great (and they probably did.....then).

Maybe it's not a checklist that we need, but a reality check!

As Olive Oyl once asked Popeye over the table during a romantic dinner, "Do I have spinach in my teeth?" :-)"
Agreed, reality checks are always good but it's tough sometimes to get a "real" reality check!  I know I don't wear "age appropriate" hair but since it's all mine and I enjoy it so much, I am telling the world to go to hell. Having said that though, it is time to get my hair "shaped" and trimmed. Which I plan on doing before this summer really gets underway!

These days, I also find larger selections of plus size clothing to choose from, which makes staying "clothing current" easier.

Friday Night Karaoke Lights

A picture turned up of Liz and I partying Friday night.

It was a very special night for her as she was celebrating losing one hundred pounds!

The purple burst of light emitting from my noggin, provided a rather unique surreal special effect.

Unless I look that way all the time when I think too hard!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Checklist


Recently here in Cyrsti's Condo, we have been discussing the gender "teeter totter" or the gender fluidity of who we are as human beings.  Along the way, Emma Gray sent in an interesting comment:

Emma GrayMay 5, 2018 at 2:23 AM
" Indeed, I started off wishing that if I did enough, checked enough boxes, that I’d become female for all intents and purposes. It was like trying to hold my finger in the dyke only to always find more leaks. Slowly, incrementally, I started liking myself as I am, a woman whose just trying to be myself. I do continue to learn and craft my presentation, like most women I suppose. Regardless, like Popeye said, “I ams what I ams!”
"Popeye"

I agree Emma and had a similar "checklist" myself. I started out finding "safe spots" I could go all the time, where I would not be challenged at all. Shopping certain stores for clothing and bookstores were great locations for me. From there, I built my confidence and started to stop for lunch and even tried to use certain restrooms. Fast forward and I became the transgender person I am today...gradually.

If you are in a similar beginning situation as a cross dresser or novice transgender woman, I would recommend the same path. Plus, depending upon where you live, civilians are having an easier and easier time accepting our culture. Just be prepared to go back to the drawing board any number of times to help learn the basics of living as your non birth gender. After all, girls have spent their whole lives perfecting (or trying to) being women.  After a time you can reach that magic point (like Emma) when you too can quote "Popeye."

Before you know it, you will find yourself at a point where you have discovered who you were meant to be all along and have a chance to enjoy it!  We only live once.

At the least, it is a daunting task for anyone and I find it humorous when anyone thinks we have a choice being trans. Or, anyone else in the LGBTQ spectrum.  It's a life or death decision for many of us transgender individuals.

Thanks Emma! I have included a shot of "Popeye" himself for those of you who are too young to remember the classic cartoon character. Now, eat your damn spinach...like Popeye.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Weekend Update

Over the past year or so, I have become re-addicted to the political satire of Saturday Night Live. Last night's opening was one of the best I have seen. Including the surprise visit of Stormy Daniels. I have liked the opening credits since I lived right above NYC in the early 1980's. The energy of the "Big Apple" was incredible.

During my two year stay there, I managed to have several fun adventures. One in particular on Long Island during my cross dressing days. I have passed along the story here in Cyrsti's Condo about the night at a "transvestite mixer" where I "passed well enough to at first being denied admittance because no cis-women were allowed...un-escorted.  The CD "ego blast" from the whole episode ended up causing a number of huge fights afterwards with my wife. During that time also, I found I still wasn't cut out to be a stay home girl and doing the cooking and cleaning. I did get caught though sending a perfumed letter and picture of me standing over the stove through the "snail mail" to an admirer. The whole episode didn't set well the day my wife beat me to the mail.

After the two years though, it was time again to try and out run my gender problems by moving my wife and I back to Ohio.

Seemingly, the two year intervals were about all I could take because approximately two years after that, I accepted a job opening fast food restaurants in Southern Ohio along the Ohio River. For those of you who don't know, the State of Ohio is actually a very diverse state. With a mixture of urban, agricultural and rural areas.

I often wonder what could have been during this time of my life, if the gender demons weren't chasing me.

When I think about it more, I was just starting my transgender check list, which thanks to a comment from Emma, we will discuss in our next post.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

The Gender "Tipping Point" Part Two

Recently I wrote a post here in Cyrsti's Condo concerning my Gender Tipping Point. Connie wrote in and added:

"In my case, my rising femininity was more a matter of dropping the dead weight of the masculine facade I had been carrying around for so many years. I guess I'm one of those for whom being feminine has always been easier, but I began transitioning because I could no longer compartmentalize my gender expressions (masculine and feminine) in living as two separate personas. 

Interestingly, setting myself free to live authentically has led to my giving less and less thought to my gender at all. We are all really a combination of gender traits, yet the transgender person is so much more aware of her, or his, own gender than is the average cis person. My own dream is to achieve that kind of balance, unconcerned with tipping whatsoever."

Thanks for the comment! I too give less and less thought to gender as I live as me. Plus, the more I hear (primarily from the younger set) about "gender fluidity", the more I like it too. I agree we are all a mix of genders anyway.

Unfortunately, society still dictates a strict gender binary be followed in most all circumstances, as seen by the number of transgender or gender queer kids who end up estranged from their families on the street.

I think too, the amount of time I spent falling off the balance beam (or "she saw" as Connie called it), could have been spent so many other ways. I am saddened on what could have been.

Then again too, crying over "spilled make-up" is a waste of time too.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Another Victory!

This one came in New Hampshire this week. From "Slate.Com":

On Wednesday, the New Hampshire Senate passed a landmark bill outlawing discrimination against transgender people in housing, employment, and public accommodations. The state House of Representatives has already passed the measure, and Gov. Chris Sununu has confirmed his intent to sign it. What’s remarkable about this victory is that Sununu is a Republican, and both houses of the state legislature are controlled by the GOP. Democrats pushed hard for the bill and supported with near-unanimity. But it was Republican legislators who carried it over the finish line.
This bipartisan triumph for transgender equality contrasts sharply with Donald Trump’s unrelenting assault on transgender rights. Indeed, it should be been seen as a rebuke to his persistent attacks on LGBTQ Americans. The Trump administration has revoked federal guidance protecting transgender studentsemployees, and homeless people. It is poised to attempt to repeal nondiscrimination protections for transgender patients under the Affordable Care Act. And, of course, it is striving to ban open transgender military service by arguing that trans people are mentally unstable deviants. Vice President Mike Pence and Attorney General Jeff Sessions are the driving force behind the onslaught: Pence intervened behind the scenes to overrule Secretary of Defense James Mattis’ support for trans service, while Sessions has issued a stream of directives designed to undermine LGBTQ rights under federal law

Thursday, May 3, 2018

The Gender Tipping Point

As we transgender women (and cross dressers too) go through life attempting to cross the gender frontier, there comes a point when you can "tip" the gender balance.

As we move down the path, often we learn the more we know, the more we need to learn.

Examples would be, as novices, we strive to perfect a feminine "illusion" thinking it will be enough to sustain our gender desires. Then we find, no matter how good the illusion looks, nothing is good enough. You have to move around and even create another persona to exist.

The more serious you become about succeeding in a feminine lifestyle, the more you learn about the razor thin "gender tipping point." Studies indicate fellow humans make gender decisions within a matter of seconds.

Getting better and better has to become an obsession to succeed. I always read with some humor a negative person who thinks no cis men can ever do the work to become a convincing woman. Do they not want to do the weight and skin work, not to mention the makeup and fashion expertise which is needed? Any cis woman would tell you the same thing. Being a woman is definitely being the high maintenance gender.

Visualize if you will, a transgender person jumping up and down on a teeter totter. After a while some (quicker than others) will learn moving up the board to the center is a more effective way of  getting where you want to go.

All of a sudden, you feel natural as your chosen gender and you start to reach out for better hair, voice, or whatever you feel makes you feminine.

As the teeter totter begins to flip your way, you begin to feel more and more natural and life can become better than you ever thought.

Sometimes though,we slip and fall off the "trans teeter" and it is extremely painful to try again. As with anything else which is worth it though, the ups and downs of your ride can be worth it as you live your new life.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

A New Boob?

We received several comments concerning recent posts I have decided to pass along here in Cyrsti's Condo. One of which center around vocal feminisation for transgender women:


  1. "Hi Crysti

    At the moment I’m listening to and doing while driving the Melanie Anne Philipps voice feminisation course as mentioned by Stana. She’s at http://heartcorps.com/page33.htm I feel that I am making a lot a progress. She covers the points covered in your last but one para.

    Best wishes

    Melissa"
    Yes! I have heard the demo and the difference is startling (as was the person I saw in person)! Thanks for sharing.
  2. " The VA in some situations will provide one wig and one set of breast forms a year." This made me chuckle. Do they pass them out the same way you got your government issued uniform and other necessities when you went to basic training? I wonder just what kind of wig and breast forms they'd supply. :-)

    Seeing yourself as you practice your voice is important. You need to combine the non-verbal communication with the vocal. I made videos of myself so I could analyze it later, because I learned a long time ago that what I might have thought I was seeing in the mirror was not necessarily what was really there!"
  3. As I understand it, the VA will pass out the breast forms through their "Prosthetic" Department. The VA also has a very active "Women's Health" department, so I'm sure the program originated there. More than likely, the same thing happens with wigs. I will ask "my people!" 
  4. And thanks for sharing the video/mirror idea!
 

Arrival

First of all, I am pretty much a technologically challenged old geek. Thus, one of the weekend challenges was learning how to navigate around Columbus, Ohio using the Uber car service. After I learned how easy and relatively inexpensive it was, I found I could relax much more seeing as I didn't have to worry about drinking and driving.

Club Diversity, Columbus, Ohio
Every year, Liz and I make it a point to going to a venue called Club Diversity. It's in a old Victorian style house just south of Downtown Columbus. "Diversity" is unique in that it is owned by a transgender woman and has a truly unique clientele.

Saturday night featured a packed house, made up by gay men, lesbian women, straight couples mixed in with the occasional transgender woman or even a cross dresser or two.

As Liz partook of several of their fabulous martini's, I was able to sip my beer and Jagermeister and survey the room to see who may have been surveying me.

It was fun! I had my usual visual contact with a butch lesbian, all the way to a gay guy who was doing his best not to be too noticeable looking at me. I didn't try to hide any of my narcissistic entertainment from Liz, who finally said "You have arrived." I said yes, Compliments of Uber and a lot of HRT :).

 Finally, I wore my fuzzy green sweater and leggings for the evening, which turned out to be unseasonably cool. Jagermeister though, is custom made to warm you up as it originated as a German hunting drink. I first made it a friend when I was in the Army in Germany.

I am riposting a selfie picture I took in the hotel after the trip back. A good time was had by all!

Also, I would be remiss in not writing about our stop for a famous "Thurman's" Hamburger before we went to Diversity. What is amazing to me, is they remember us year after year and we normally end up with the same server. We did well this year, the wait time was only about 45 minutes.

It's time to wrap this post up before I become accused of working for the Columbus Chamber of Commerce!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

I See Girl!

Saturday was quite the long day, which of course revolved mostly around the Trans Ohio Symposium in Columbus, Ohio.

First of all, we had to get an early shuttle ride from the hotel to the Symposium venue since many streets were going to be closed off for a huge half marathon. So I had to grab a quick breakfast and shake off the party cobwebs from the night before relatively quickly. My workshop was at 10:15. All went well during my presentation and at one point one cis woman said all she saw in me was "girl." Which of course was nice!

During my workshops however, I always have to make the point of the person you see now didn't just happen. She took a lot of work and more error than success and even resulted in me trying one very active suicide as well as several ongoing "passive" attempts. Even though my workshop was sparsely attended I thought, it still went well and I was pleased.

The rest of the day, my partner Liz and I attended other workshops and key note speaker presentations. The Symposium was well attended and set a record this year with over three hundred attendees.

Of course lunch was served as well as a mid afternoon snack, which gave us the time to check out all the "vendor" and organization tables which were set up.

The breakdown of attendees this year seemed to favor more transgender women in various stages of transition and a fewer than normal amount of transgender men.

All too soon the day was over and it was time to take a quick breather before we began the night's activities on our own.

More to come in the next post!