Saturday, June 30, 2018

PTSD?

Sometimes I wonder why I have any reservations at all about going to certain events like the parties we are going to this weekend.

After all, as I wrote previously,  both hostesses of the get together's have been extremely supportive in the past. I guess, I just still have past memories (good and bad) of past events. What I should be worried about is the car making it in one piece.

Perhaps, I just need something to worry about. For example, I am apprehensive about having things to talk about, to whomever wants to chat. Fortunately, the more nervous I get, the chattier I get.

Of course, I worry too about how I look and I wrote too about what I was going to wear. I always dread the "You weren't thinking about wearing that, were you??"

Enough of the paranoia! It's time to relax and have a good time!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Party Down!

This weekend is turning out to be one of the busiest of the year. My partner Liz and I are going to two parties. Then again, who does't need a transgender woman or two to lighten up the atmosphere! Although, I don't know of any other trans peeps coming. So...

Saturday night, we are heading North to attend an annual Fourth of July party, cookout and firework show at the house of one of my oldest friends who was instrumental in helping me come out so many years ago. I was actually introduced by her daughter, who was a bartender at a venue I visited frequently.

We are staying over at a motel in Xenia, Ohio and doing a bit of shopping in Yellow Springs, a very liberal and inclusive village in the area.

Sunday night, we are going to another party up near Dayton, Ohio, hosted by another really old friend who has known me since my earliest days of my Mtf transition. This party maybe will be more interesting in that I know most of her friends are very conservative. I will steer clear of any politics, but I wonder if I will get any "cold shoulders."

The host though has always been very supportive, so I doubt if there will be any problems. Plus, I will be wearing my "Stars and Stripes" top. Which happens to fit just fine!

Wish us luck!





Our Crowning Glory

It doesn't matter, if we are transgender, cross dresser or cis woman, hair means quite a bit to us. I still feel as if I caved into pressure a bit to get my hair cut much shorter than it was. It definitely is more age appropriate and more feminine. And yes Shelle, it is so much cooler!

Here were a couple more questions I received: Plus I added another picture with a bit more contrast.


  1. "Very nice! This is after the hair coloring, though? Maybe it's the red brick wall behind you that makes it hard for me to see."
  2. "I think that style suits you, and is actually a little more feminine than the flowing locks! I have been nervous of reverting to my natural colour because of the interim stages ~ For the next few weeks I will be sporting pink white and blue wash out stripes"
  3. Thanks to both of you! Actually this cut is without coloring. My stylist has suggested I go back to my original color because it brings my eyes out so well. We are going to be able to see more when I go back in August for my next appointment. Fortunately, my hair grows really fast and if the experiment does't go well, we can go back to coloring again. 
  4. Also, deep down inside, I have been wanting to lighten up my color anyhow!  As my stylist said, it may be a little less severe. 

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Thursday, June 28, 2018

We Got Mail!

Thanks to three of you girls who responded to my post on the Uni-Sex bathroom at the Cincinnati Pride:


  1. "Sounds like a good time was had despite the issue! And that everyone was tolerant... "

    Mandy
    They had no choice :) but I don't think some were happy about it! All in all, it was the great equalizer.
  2. "I have to agree about "T" being very evident at both the Polk Pride event and at the St Pete Pride. There were still a smathering of Queens in their getups but I saw an almost 50-50 mix of MtF as well as FtM."
  3.             Great!

  4. "It took a lot of pressure off..." So to speak. huh? :-)

    Here in Seattle, the big parade was yesterday. I chose, instead, to attend a "Celebration of Life" for an old friend of mine who passed away a couple of weeks ago. It seems that I could document my own transition along with the critical illnesses and deaths of family and friends over the last ten years. Each one has its own significance, and each one has led to my introduction to others who had never met me as I am (though, many of them had heard about my transition through the grapevine). Yesterday was no exception, and I guess I kind of had my own pride parade as I walked around the room with the purpose of introducing myself. Ya know, you have to have some pride in order to be able to do that!

    Getting the "You're so brave" comment from others seems to always come up. I try to explain that it's not so much bravery as it is the confidence I have in who I am, and, with thought of pride, I am also proud to be who I am. Some of the people I talked with would never even have considered attending a pride event, but they got a dose of it from me yesterday, anyway!

    The results of my efforts were mixed, but the worst I received was indifference. There was one man, a "born-again Christian," who was quite pleasant, albeit not totally accepting (I don't believe) of what I am "doing." That's fine with me, and I did receive a few hugs from others to make up for it.

    The last time I saw my departed friend was just a few days before he died of the terrible cancer that had ravaged his body. He was so frail, yet he made the effort to stand up and give me a big hug as I was leaving his house. This surprised me, as we had only seen each other once before since I began transitioning. Prior to that, he had had no desire to even see me. We were friends for forty years, but when he heard that I was transitioning, he apparently envisioned something disgusting and repulsive. When we did finally meet a couple years ago (at another funeral, by the way), I heard later that he'd told his wife, "Well, that was sure anticlimactic." Very shortly after that, he was diagnosed with the cancer that eventually took his life, but we still didn't meet again until just before his death. That hug we shared, though, made up for all the lost time.

    If there's a moral to this recounting, I think it's that we need to remember that pride is so much more than a yearly event. Being proud oneself shows through to others every day of the year, and the icing on that cake is when you learn that someone else is also proud to know you....just the way you are. "
  5.             Sorry for the loss of your friends!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Light Headed

Not "dizzy" like I am accused of quite a bit...but light headed after my visit with the hair dresser.

My new "do" is quite the change from the old one and I am minus quite a bit of hair. Of interest was a mutual decision to go back to my original hair color which by now contains a lot of silver gray. The hair dresser thought it would help to bring out my eyes more and if we didn't like it, it could always be colored again.

All in all, she said my hair was very healthy, wavy and even finer than I thought.

With a little luck, I will have a picture for you tomorrow!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Uni Sex Bathroom

Liz and I at Cinci Pride
Thanks to an unnoticed hornets nest, one of the sets of free standing bathrooms suddenly became unisex at Pride Saturday when the women's room had to be shut down. The sudden debacle was taken in stride by the line of mixed genders waiting to use the only bathroom available. Unless you wanted to walk the whole length of Pride to get to the other one. Humorously, a big roll of toilet paper was passed up and down the line for those in need.

The bathroom itself, had two stalls and three urinals. After much consideration, I decided to "take one (or give one) for the team and use an urinal for the first time in years. That way a cis woman would have a slightly quicker chance at a stall. As it turned out, no one would or could say anything anyhow.

It took a lot of pressure off and made me feel a little privileged that I still had two choices in an emergency.

As I said in an earlier Cyrsti's Condo post, the transgender "T" in LGBTQ was very evident and present at this Pride event. Paula Goodwin checked in with her perspective from "across the pond" in Britain:

 
So glad you had a good Pride and so happy to hear that Cincinnati manages to put the T in LGBT+. London is trying but Brighton definitely doesn't; I hope that Croydon where I chair the trustees really does include the T!

Thanks Paula!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Pride 2018

All too quickly, the Cincinnati Pride Week has come and gone.

Yesterday, my day at Pride started around 6 AM and ended well after midnight. Of all that time, approximately 11 to 9 PM was centered around our Witches Ball Booth at Pride itself.

This picture was taken just behind our tent along the Ohio River.

The main thing I noted at this years event was the sheer numbers of transgender women. Seemingly just the opposite of years ago, when all you saw were garish drag queens and the occasional cross dresser teetering around uncomfortably on impossibly high heels. At this pride the "T" in LGBTQ was very visible.

Also a big surprise happened to me when a fairly new acquaintance of mine had an extremely long chat with me about her new experience with her transgender daughter. In fact, her daughter wore a dress for the first time ever in public. She was very accepting!

Weather wise, we lucked into a very nice day. It did rain early during the parade but cleared off with highs near 80. Unfortunately, I did get a little too much sun, which my doctors tell me not to do.

So, Pride again was an all inclusive very positive experience which provided me with a very positive view of the transgender future.



Saturday, June 23, 2018

Pride is Here!

At least in Cincinnati, Ohio that is. Over the years I understand, it has grown into the major event I know and this year they are expecting another record turnout. Like so many cities, LGBT Pride has turned into a week long event. Even the Cincinnati Reds (sometimes accused of being a major league baseball team) got involved.

The weather even is cooperating fairly well. High's will be in the low 80's, with the typical chance of thunderstorms. Due to my inability to stand for long wait times and then walking for over a mile, I get a privileged seat in our Official Cincinnati Witches Ball booth. Last year, I experienced tons of fun and positive interactions with the public...except the guy who thought I was Ozzy Osbourne. Over the duration of the party, we pass out information about the "Ball" which is actually a big Halloween Party and our organization as a whole.

Attire for me will be comfortable and cool, to match the weather. I plan on wearing an embroidered black tank top I have along with a pair of my distressed jeans or maybe even "Jeggings". (Legging's which look like jeans.)

Ironically, the only part of the event I dread is using the rest room. The restrooms are in a free standing building with stainless steel prison style toilets. As the day goes on, the women's room gets really gross. I keep thinking "Suck it up, Buttercup!"

All in all, if you have never been to a Pride, be sure to get to one if one is near enough to you. Times are a changing and they are as inclusive to transgender women and trans men as they once were to only garish drag queens. What I don't understand are those who complain about police being present at the Pride events. I will never forget hearing the Cincinnati Police Officer explain how last year, with the help of the Ohio Highway Patrol, they headed off a possible conflict with a man with stated goals of possible harm. It turns out he was carrying an automatic rifle.

The way I look at it though, these days, there is always a chance for some crazy to try to ruin an event and it isn't going to destroy my life!

Either way, enjoy your chance to be in an inclusive environment and enjoy yourself.





Friday, June 22, 2018

The Name Game.

Lately it seems, every time we turn around, someone is adding another letter to the LGBT moniker.

LGBT has become LGBTQ and beyond even, which I am not going to mention in this post. Oh well, why not. There is also LGBTQIA. If you wonder what all that means, "Q" is for questioning "I" is for intersex and "A" is for ally or asexual.

I still wonder though, what happened to the "C" for cross dressers?

Maybe you have to complete some sort of reality school to "graduate" up into the main lineup of letters? Also what happened to transsexuals? Remember when the all powerful Transsexuals "ruled" the roost after they climbed the gender dysphoria ladder to surgery and then disappeared? Maybe some still do, but almost all of the trans women who have gone through surgery I know these days are nice and mellow women.

Then there are the poor transvestites. Remember them? I remember explaining to a few key people in my world what the term meant. It seems pretty harmless these days. All I wanted to do was to dress like a woman. Of course, all of that started to change when the transgender term came along.

Every once in a while, I take a look at the other letters to see what they still mean to me. Although I know it drives many lesbians crazy, I consider myself a lesbian because I am a woman and live with a cis woman. I was gay "questioning" but never saw the need or desire and "Bi" is pretty self explanatory.

Finally, I am not intersex and I live with an ally.

Hopefully, I covered all the bases...I think I feel better!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Donation!

Actually, we mentioned this sometime ago here in Cyrsti's Condo but it is so big, I thought I would pass it along again:

Jessica and Chris Cicchinelli announced a $2 million donation Wednesday to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center', money that will go toward training doctors and nurses to care for transgender patients.

Cicchinelli, the CEO of Pure Romance, and his wife launched the Living with Change Foundation in January, which is dedicated to providing education, resources, and financial assistance to the families, friends and teachers or transgender people.

It grew out their experience with their 10-year-old child, LC, who is transgender. Children's Adolescent and Transition Medicine Clinic helped them accept her as a girl.


Pure Romance, if you are not familiar, has been in business for twenty five years making "romantic aids" for women and men.  Plus, the Cincinnati Children's Hospital has an outstanding  regional center for transgender children. A match worth mentioning again during LGBTQ Pride Month. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

How Much "Fluid" do you Have in your Gender?

Like it or not, most humans have a certain amount of male and female built into us. Gender, like sexuality is on a spectrum. It's only the very rare few who have the chance to embrace and enjoy their "gender fluidity."

Of course Connie has another look, compliments of Cathy and the Cyrsti's Condo "Ultimate Cross Dresser post.


"She Cathy) was thinking more and more about adopting the "gender fluid" label. Some days she feels like a girl and some she doesn't".

I immediately started singing the old candy bar jingle after reading this.

Sometimes, I feel like a nut,
Sometimes, I don't.
Almond Joy has nuts,
Mounds don't.

(And then some of us have both mounds and nuts at the same time)

I'm not clear on what gender fluidity really is. In my mind, all humans are, at least, somewhat gender fluid. I think it's more of an instant by instant sort of thing, though, rather than day by day. Maybe some of us are more viscous in our fluidity than others?

For myself, gender fluidity is soluble. That is, any masculine traits I have retained are totally mixed in with the feminine. Allowing my feminine-self to take precedence, just as I was always meant to do, means that I now live as a woman who chooses which of the more-masculine traits to be mixed into my femininity. This is so different from the way I used to live, taking great care to both exaggerate the masculine and hide the feminine. It was simply unnatural for me to see or present myself as a man with some feminine traits, but that may work just fine for many others. My flow is most definitely running toward the feminine side, but I do still have some masculine undercurrents.

I do know that I will never allow myself to go back to the gender whirlpool of dysphoria, or even the paddling against the currents of shit creek without a paddle. "

Thanks for your insiight and candy bars.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Ultimate Crossdresser?

This previous Wednesday, when I went to the Cincinnati LGBT Veterans Pride Day, I had the opportunity to chat with the group organizer, Cathy. She is the one standing in the middle in the picture.

Somewhere in the conversation, the topic turned to one of the other members of the group we were supporting.

Since I was never sure how she (Cathy) identified herself, I simply quoted the other member and said Wendy had referred to Cathy as the "ultimate cross dresser." Meaning (I think), that she is a very accomplished cross dresser.

I was a little surprised (then again not) when Cathy paused slightly and said, she was thinking more and more about adopting the "gender fluid" label. Some days she feels like a girl and some she doesn't.

I thought it was a great answer and thought I might pass it along to some of you Cyrsti's Condo readers who may be struggling with your gender identities!


Monday, June 18, 2018

Good Hair Day

Yesterday,(Sunday) all we seemed to get done was run around. It was even a two outfit day for me, which rarely happens.

First of all, we went out to a nice steakhouse for lunch, and then headed to the cemetery to honor Liz's Dad who passed away about this time last year. During a fairly brief trip on the Interstate, I decided to let the air have it's way with my hair. For better or for worse. To my surprise, it was for the better and a good time was had by us in the restaurant. I simply wore one of my new tops and a pair of culottes. 

Once we arrived back home. I changed into a black tank top I am able to wear around the house without a bra and not getting complaints from Liz. When she asked if I wanted to go with her, I not so slyly asked did I have to change clothes. To my surprise she said I didn't, it was hot outside and I could go with what I had on. So I was ready with my wind blown hair, black tank top and culottes. It made the day more enjoyable.

Now I am trying to figure out what I am going to wear to Pride coming up on Saturday. More on my choices coming up later.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

It's Father;s Day

Father's Day means many different things to most of us. For some, it brings back memories of our own father's, living or passed on. This is far from a scientific survey but I think for the most part, fathers of transgender women were emotionally distant from their children. My Dad was an excellent provider but was an emotional rock. He rarely let anyone into his inner self. Then again, he was a survivor of the Great Depression and World War II.

Also, you have those of us who have children of our own. Unfortunately, too many of us are disowned by our children. A true shame, the off spring never took the chance to learn the true selves of their father.

My daughter accepts me totally and many times I think I am one of the most blessed people in the world.

Early in my Mtf transgender transition process, we came to several mutual decisions including how she and my three grand kids would refer to me. My dead name went away and my new name was accepted without question. Also we solved the complex question concerning me becoming a "grand parent" not a grand dad. My daughter and I are cool with her referring to me as "Dad" in private and "Parent" in public.

I hope, as I do every year here in Cyrsti's Condo, this Father's Day finds you safely in touch with your family, or have reached out to a new one in the LGBTQ community.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Another Look.

Perhaps you may have missed it but along the way here in Cyrsti's Condo, we have been discussing the TLC, television show "Lost in Transition." Also, you may remember, one of the couples live in Washington State and went on their anniversary to Seattle, where blog regular Connie lives. During the episode the transgender woman was made fun of and mis-gendered in a nail salon.  It turns out, Connie specifically knows the area and even the salon:

"OK, I finally recorded and watched the third episode - the one you are referring to here. I was really only curious about the couple from my neck of the woods, only to find them visiting the very place that I work five days a week! If you watch them walking around the Seattle waterfront, and down the pier, you can see some of the beautiful hanging flower baskets that I tend to. Had they filmed earlier in the day, I may have been on the show, as well!

I found it of interest that they visited that particular nail salon, as I walk by it a couple of times a day. I have been on the search for a new salon since my old manicurist retired last year, and I was considering trying this salon. Was it a coincidence that I was never getting a good vibe looking into the windows as I walked by? After seeing this episode, I guess I was right in not going in. Being outed by another customer is one thing, but I hate doing business with someone who misgenders me. To be fair, though, I think that the giggles were dubbed in, and did not come from anyone in the salon.

The cynical side of me (OK, the largest part of me) was disturbed by everyone in this show - the transgender women, their spouses, and the rather judgmental looks by the others who had just been informed of the transitions. As I have learned the value of "practice, practice, practice" from athletics and music, I don't understand how one can just decide to do, or be, something, and then expect others to be accepting. Of course, my perfectionist personality was responsible for about fifteen years of delay in my own transition. There may be as many right ways to transition as there are those transitioning, but there are plenty of wrong ways to do it, as well. I think that all of the people in this show would do well to read your blog before going any further. But, then, this show was filmed last year, so that advice is probably too late."
I agree with you on almost all you wrote. In all fairness to the producers of this show, they may have found they had waded into a subject with an immense expanse of material. Plus they are saddled with having to make ratings.
Again and again I would warn anyone about just deciding to announce they are transitioning without doing quite a bit of in depth research. Which, for the most part, does not include watching a television show on the subject.
Thanks for the comment and reference to the blog! 

Dammit!

As my hair appointment grows ever closer and the hotter it gets around here, the more I am thinking about asking my stylist to thin out my hair a little more than I originally thought.

I still know I want her to trim my bangs, so they are actually functional. You can see in this picture from the Cincinnati VA LGBT Pride day, what I mean about my hair and no bangs.  As far as the color goes, Liz is going to help me color it before I go for my appointment.





Coming up on the Pre- Fourth of July weekend,  two parties are coming up we have been invited to, so I definitely want to look my best. My "Stars and Stripes top arrived and it fits, so I know what I have to wear. I haven't seen these friends for awhile, so I think my look may work well! At the least, I can give it my best shot and maybe even get my nails done too.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Why Me?

During my walk this morning, I happened to encounter one of the neighbor's older daughters as she was leaving the house.

Per norm, she barely looks at me,which is fine too. She fits the norm child in the neighborhood. Blond, slim and pretty.

For a second I flashed back to my teen aged days (a large flash :) and wondered what my life would have been like if I had been able to live the way I wanted. I graduated high school in 1967, in the middle of the Vietnam War and I have written many times here in Cyrsti's Condo concerning the amount of angst I lived through about being drafted. I didn't have wealthy parents or bone spurs to keep me out of the draft but I did have the where with all to go to college and earn a four year deferment. None of which really helped me with my gender dysphoria.

Four years later, my deferment ended and I was drafted.  I figured my little stash of female clothes wouldn't be accepted during basic training at Ft. Knox, so I purged before I went. Again I was getting farther and farther removed from my dreams of ever living like a girl. I persisted though and the world began to slowly catch up to me.

I learned there were others who yearned to live like me and even stumbled upon a new term...transgender. Slowly and all too surely, I finally came to the conclusion I was indeed transgender.

Now at least, I could achieve my goal of living my life out as a woman. I learned the hard way again what it truly meant to cross the gender frontier.

It's still tough to do but when I see another woman, I can think I finally made it.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

VA Pride Day

"LGBT Pride Day" at the Cincinnati Veteran's Administration hospital campus, turned out to be a well attended quality affair. I would estimate approximately two hundred peeps wondered through. Only a couple were remotely negative to the three of us who attended to our table. One fool was enjoying call us "you guys" a little too much. Some people shouldn't be allowed to get out much I guess.

On the positive side, we had one person who came up and said he was deeply closeted but was looking for alternatives to come out. He took a ton of the information we were offering. There were also several others who said they had transgender members in their family.

The part of the event which really stood out to me, was a brief performance of "Muse", a woman's a capella chorus. They were wonderful and truly represented the feminine spirit.

Finally, I believe nearly all LGBT Pride events paint a too rosy overall picture of the transgender lifestyle. While (even with the current presidential administration which is dedicated to taking all our gains away), things are getting better for our trans sisters and brothers. On the other hand, I think of the two (out of an approximate twenty) transgender women in one of my support groups who have been fired from their jobs recently.

All in all though, it was a nice event and I received another invitation to yet another monthly support group.


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

What Does it Mean to Me?

For some reason, in the waiting room I use when I visit my therapist at the Veteran's Administration always carries the latest issue of Glamour Magazine along with an incredible collection of boring male adventure issues.  It has occurred to me there must be several transgender women besides myself who use this waiting room.

Today, as I was looking through it , it occurred to me, what did it all really mean. After all, it seems to be focused on the millennial female market.

Slowly but surely though, my noggin began to realize in trans years, I am a millennial. Even though I still can't even come close to the makeup and clothing styles I see, all the other articles about the future of women in society and their overall attitude, mean everything. I began to notice the  extra amount of material which focused on feminine attitude and success.

It was worth the read.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Gender Fluid Ballerina

32 year old Chase Johnsey has made history by becoming the first "genderfluid" dancer to star in a "woman-only" dance troop in London. (English National Ballet)

Chase Johnsey
Johnsey, who uses male pronouns and identifies as gay, won the title of best male dancer at last years National Dance Awards. Johnsey went on to say he learned how to do his makeup from drag queens and enjoys performing as a girl ballerina even though he lives as a boy.

It's quite the story and you can read more here, in the Pink News.

Monday, June 11, 2018

You Might be a Crossdresser If...

Tonight is the larger of my two cross dresser - transgender- LGBTQ support groups. I added the extra "Q" because lately, we have seen several more questioning individuals. At the least, they add quite a bit more interest to the groups.

Of interest, in the group tonight is the person who is a fetish cross dresser. He finally has cleared divorce proceedings and is deciding his sexuality may not be as specific as he once thought. Which is completely fine with me. He is the one who always proudly proclaimed he had to be a cross dresser because he is only into women. Now it seems, he "could" be into a guy if he was forced to cross dress in front of him. Again, nothing so rare about any of that.

Divine
What I think is slightly humorous is he thinks he is so ugly as a man, or woman. He finally is posting some pictures and in them he looks quite a bit like Divine out of drag.

If he comes tonight, I am thinking of bringing it up to him. At the least I can try to tell him to take the "drag queen effect" away from Divine and zero in on the fact they have basically the same rounded facial features.

At the least, it should be interesting and I will let you know how it goes.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

John or Joan Q Public

I was out and about in several busy stores and a restaurant today.

Initially I was surprised by a couple of smiles I received by a couple women and one man while we were shopping at the grocery store we visit regularly. Exchanging smiles with cis women isn't so unusual because women are allowed to greet each other without knowing one another. The man, on the other hand was intriguing, because I normally don't get much response from my old gender.

Other than that, nothing out of the ordinary happened, even with the few kids I ran into.

As far as the restaurant went, I have been there several times before and tip really well, so we got the same server and she remembered us. During this food venue visit  I had to use the rest room and my potty PTSD kicked in. Nothing happened though, as I walked right by two servers and went into the women's room. My only worry was a big "red neck" looking very non personable manager who was "running the place. Again, no problems.

No body screamed "Hey! that's a man in the women's room." Actually, that hasn't happened to me in a long time. You would think, I would be working my way through it. But I haven't.

So, all in all, I had a fun day in the public's eye. Now, if I knew what that guy was thinking...

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Rest in Peace

Last week, we lost two celebrities to suicide. Kate Spade of the hand bag fame and famous chef Anthony Bourdain. I was never in the financial position to purchase a "Kate Spade" bag, but, especially after my career in the restaurant business, I loved Bourdain. To the point of reading one of his books.
Kate Spade

Needless to say, I was in shock, then again not so much.
Anthony Bourdain

I have my own suicidal demons which are addressed with my therapist when they get too loud. Sufficient to say, my demons will be brought up this Tuesday during my next therapist visit. I am betting I will have to bring up the fact I am entranced not so much of the whys of their suicides (which I understand) but of the hows. The problem is I have learned to cover for my demons over the years.

Some even assume since I have been able to Mtf gender transition, it is all I live for.

Naturally, suicide is a very personal and complex issue and it is easier for me to write about it than speak to anyone about it. Plus, I know I have almost instantaneous access to various suicide hotlines. Including a Trans Vet Hot Line.

Also, in a sense, I suffer from going through three very personal suicides when I was younger, so I know the cost involved to the ones you leave behind. The guilt just builds.

Finally, thanks to all for reading my vent. I am OK and it means a lot I can write about something this personal.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Creating a Vocal Identity

Every once in a while, I need to revisit my quest for a more feminine voice here in Cyrsti's Condo.

Over the past month, I have pretty much had to stop my vocal exercises due to a bad throat cold which makes me sound like a frog...not a girl.

However, during my therapist's appointment on Tuesday, she owes me an explanation about what she has been doing to hook me up with a VA vocal therapist. I am betting she has done nothing until I force the point. Which I will.

I also saw additional information from my news feed which includes vocal information from nearby Ohio University (not Ohio State).


"For individuals who are , voice is a very high consideration although it probably isn't an area of practice people think about first," said Sarah Taylor, M.A., CCC-SLP, clinical supervisor of Speech-Language Pathology in Ohio University's College of Health Sciences and Professions. "Vocal cords are tiny and picky. We help create a voice that reflects the individual, but is also safe to produce."
As the individual treating the majority of adults within the Hearing, Speech and Language Clinic, referrals for  looking to alter their voice came to Taylor who said, "The clinic's commitment to Safe Space and service availability as well as an interest in voice evolved into the current programming offered here. The hope is that these services will expand."
With speech therapy, altering a voice to a different pitch is possible although the time frame greatly depends on the individual. Time has to be spent changing the "muscle memory" of the cords while time is also spent on identifying the sound the person is seeking to achieve

For more, go here.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

A Busy Week?

This week, my entire week starts on Sunday.

We have our monthly Cincinnati's Witches Ball meeting on Sunday. Then on Monday, I have a cross dresser - transgender support group meeting at 7:30. Tuesday is my session with my therapist. Finally, Wednesday is VA Pride Day at the Cincinnati hospital main campus.

Outfit wise, I am pretty well set, even to the point of hoping my "patriotic" top gets here on the early side of it's shipping date, rather than the later side. With my luck, it won't.

My only problem is my nails are needing a touch up, or it's time again to take all the polish off and start over.

All in all though, it's a busy week coming up, which is fun!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Jazz Jennings

I picked this up from my Yahoo News Feed this morning:


Nearly a year after reality TV and YouTube star Jazz Jennings revealed that she plans to undergo “bottom surgery,” the transgender activist has a big announcement to share with fans: She’s going to have the surgery later this month.
Jennings, 17, shared the news on her YouTube vlog on Monday. “I’m so looking forward to it. I’ve been looking forward to this my entire life,” she said. Jennings said that it’s important for her to share her journey with the public to help educate others about the process. “If I put out this information for people to see, they won’t need to ask any more questions.” She continued, “And also, it’s educational within the community as well. A lot of parents who have transgender kids are like, ‘What do I do? I don’t know much about this process.’ And seeing our show kind of helps them figure out what steps they could take to help their kids and what the journey might look like in the future.”
While it's great Jazz is getting to achieve her goal of going through the surgery, it is also worth noting most transgender youth don't enjoy the amount of parental, financial and passing privilege Jazz has.

Appointment Made

I finally summoned the courage to get a real live professional to work on my hair, or should I say, she got the courage!

The appointment is not until June 26th, time enough to have my hair colored again. Which it needs. The stylist donates 20 percent of what ever I pay to one of the transgender charities here in Cincinnati and even has a transgender child herself. My goal is to look my best for one or both of the Fourth of July parties we have been invited to.

Years ago, I used to go to a stylist when I first went full time and absolutely loved the overall "estrogen" laden experience of being in a cis women's hair salon. Due to moving and financial considerations, I have not made it back.

My new stylist is here in Cincinnati and I should be able to set up regular six week appointments with her.

Maybe she can tame down this wild mane of hair. I think I have transitioned past the point of seeing how well (and long) can it grow, to trying to look better. I want to experiment with  bangs and get my hair in the back evened out.

Should be a fun and interesting time!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Lost in Transition

I don't know if you have had a chance to watch (or even like) the transgender based TLC reality show which follows several married couples as the spouse comes out as trans.

The show does have it weaknesses of course but overall does a good job at covering many of the gut wrenching situations we as transgender women go through. Examples include the torment one of the couples goes through as the trans spouse is loudly mis-gendered and mocked in a Seattle nail salon all the way to the joy experienced by another of the spouses the first time she sees herself in a new "sewn on" permanent wig.

Other situations include one person coming out to her wife's neighborhood "girl's night out group", all the way to another of the novice transgender women's reaction to going to a "transition" makeover expert in Los Angeles.  If I had to guess ahead of time, I think this person will be the one out of the group to back out because her wife does not approve and she is doing the transition trip all wrong. I have written it here in Cyrsti's Condo before, a MtF gender transition is tough and may not be for everyone. You may want to experience living a feminine lifestyle a little (or a lot) before you sell your life up the creek to live it.

To give Connie (who lives in Seattle) equal time, there also is a family from Ohio on the show but so far, not much as been shown of her going out in public and living as a new person. On the negative side the person describes in tears her experience of going through a religious conversion therapy session with a priest.

All in all, I continue to find the show interesting enough to watch on a continuing basis. So far it has kept my interest by weaving many of the complex threads we face as transgender women in it.

We will see how it goes in the future.

I provide links to it, if you would like to stream some episodes. Lost in Transition.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Pride

June is "Pride" month and the days long celebrations and parties are underway.

Not so long ago, transgender women and trans men had little or no representation during these events. Now, even the local Veteran's Administration Centers around here show up and have a presence during the Pride days. Not so long ago the celebrations were known as "gay pride" days and the "T" in LGBT was largely silent.

Now, it's good to see no longer only drag queens have a presence and we can be seen for what we are...proud transgender folk. 

I know my local cross dresser-transgender group, as well as Trans Ohio will be setting up during the large Cincinnati Pride event, June 23rd. Let's hope for good weather again this year! Last year, it was gorgeous!

Individually, Pride month just means the obvious to us all. It's a month to stand together and stand a little prouder knowing we are not all alone. Even for those of you still deeply in the closet, the month can provide a beacon of hope for the future. After all, the world can change over the years. I am proof of that!

For this post, I have added one of my fave Pride month pictures from the days when I really started to live my authentic life as a trans woman.

Hopefully, you live around a town or community large enough you can get out and enjoy a Pride experience. Every year a new celebration shows up in a town around here.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Sunday!

Again, a week has gone by all too fast.

Friday night as I wrote about, Liz and I went out to meet the cross dresser - transgender group I am part of. All went well except for one person dressed in a skin tight ultra short mini dress. I was watching the reaction from other patrons in the otherwise straight venue. Predictably, there were a lot of unwanted glances. I will say though, most everyone else in the group does a great job in doing a feminine presentation.

We also made a new friend and fellow transgender vet. Krissy, I would like to welcome you into Cyrsti's Condo! Enjoy!

Saturday. Liz and I went to her karate class and then stopped to shop at one of our fave discount stores. The only point of interest was when one of the sales girls on the floor stopped to look me up and down before we settled into a brief uneventful conversation.

Also last week, I finally gathered enough courage to call the hair stylist who came to one of the support group meetings. I left a message for her to call me, let's see if she has enough courage to call back :).

Other than that, the week went on by in a hurry, complete with a visit to my vampire doctors at the VA.  As written previously, I didn't get to see the nurse who can't seem to stop calling me "he", so the usually slightly painful experience went better.

I hope your week went well and was productive.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Karaoke Night

Tonight is the night I go and hear others sing. Some well...some not so well...me not at all. Hopefully tonight I will get a chance to wear one of my new tops which I have showed you examples of here in Cyrsti's Condo. I am going to try the top with either my light weight leggings, or distressed jeans. (To match a few of the singers.)

I am hoping to catch the gossip on why one of the group's members lost her job. It's intriguing because she was fairly confident she wouldn't. Of course losing a job for the most part is never good and Connie has another take on the matter:

 FABULOUSCONNIEDEEMay 31, 2018 at 1:58 PM
"Even if ones job may be protected, by law, as it relates to her or his trans status, an employer can find some other reason to terminate employment. It may not be that the employer is averse, personally, but there could be a feeling that a trans person may not be as productive (especially, if the job involves dealing with the public). If nothing else, an employer may just want to eliminate the potential drama in the workplace. There is a lot of difference between being accepted, even supported, in ones transition on a personal level and how others see it when profits are considered.

Personally, I would not want to work for someone who had doubts about my ability to perform at a high level. Transitioning is difficult enough without having to always be feeling scrutinized by the boss. Beyond that, being MtF myself, I can attest to the lowered expectations and pay that women experience.

I've heard from other trans people who advocate securing a job before transitioning. I'll agree to that only if one were going into that job before really knowing that she or he would be transitioning. The decision to transition begins with being honest with oneself and her/his own gender identity. The next step is to be honest with others. I would much rather go into something as my genuine self, and to be accepted or rejected based on that honesty. For me, it's "what you see is what you get." Not to say that makes it easier to find employment, however, but I can start - and proceed - entirely based on who I am - not what I may be perceived to be."
Ohio is in the  process of beginning to protect LGBT employment but like you said, there are so many "gray" areas to consider. 
Thanks for the comment.