Friday, August 31, 2018

Another Saturday Night?

If Liz feels up to it, we have been invited to another Saturday night out at an upscale Italian restaurant here in town.

Liz has had this persistent cough which is slowly but surely making it's way to me. With my luck, I think it will hit me at it's peak for my next voice therapy lesson next week, the day after Labor Day. Summer colds are the worst in my book.

As far as Saturday night goes, I am thinking of my "back in black" outfit. I have a long flowing embroidered black skirt. I think it will look nice with my black and cream tank top. Weather appropriate since the temperature is supposed to be near 90 degrees (F) during the day.

Since I am always reminded to "wear something nice" by the host cross dresser. I want to make sure I hold up my end of the bargain.

Relaxed

A couple of you observant readers mentioned how relaxed I looked in the recent picture I posted from Club Diversity. First of all, I thought it was probably the alcohol, or the fact I was surprised Liz was taking the picture so close to me. I just didn't have time or the inclination to tighten up.

What it could have been though was the venue. Whenever we go there, the whole place is just so inclusive and covers the whole LGBTQ spectrum.  So, anything from restrooms to ordering is pleasant. I am accepted for being transgender, no more...no less. In fact, I don't even feel trans there.

Also, for you who asked, the dress I was wearing was my empire waist maxi dress. The part you didn't see is the same green color with a black pattern mixed in. It is undoubtedly my most comfortable outfit and the most sensual.

It makes me wonder what took me so long to get here! Thanks for all the questions and comments on my good health! Without it I am nothing. 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Another Look at Priviledge

We received this thoughtful comment from Connie on our Cyrsti's Condo discussion of gender privilege:


"Earning privilege is what women do, while men are afforded it through social norms. Yes, I would rather be a strong woman who earned her privilege, rather than a weak man who attained his privilege at birth. In fact, that's what my transition has been all about. I always considered myself to be rather weak, as a man (although I did cover it up with a false bravado). I never really saw myself as having the power that my born-male privilege afforded me, as I could never even envisage myself as the typical male power figure.

I remember so well, after my father died when I was eight-years-old, all of the adult males who would offer their condolences to me by saying: "Well, you're the man of the house now, and you must take care of your mother and little brother." I never answered back aloud, but I would be screaming inside that I didn't want that job, and wasn't it bad enough, already, that I'd lost my father.

I grew up with only a mother, and I modeled myself after her. She became stronger after my father's death, and I held admiration for that. I also admired her wardrobe and her physical beauty, but that was just because I was trans. I believe I would have grown up with that acquired respect for women, even if I hadn't been trans, but being so raised its intensity, I'm sure.

There is power and privilege in womanhood, albeit, traditionally, in a subservient role to men. Men attempt to hold power over women, but they also do so with other men. Women haven't been so inclined to work that way, but that doesn't mean we can't take the lead with a different approach. I'm just sorry that I waited so long to put myself in a position to find success in applying that approach. Being an older woman now exposes me to another power/privilege problem: Ageism. But that's a different discussion, altogether."

I have always thought when some men feel their privilege is threatened, they lash out with violence. It's all some of them know.
Thanks for the comment. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Travel Day to the Doc

Well, travel day to the Veterans Administration hospital in Dayton, Ohio went very well for a change.

Traffic volume was surprisingly light back and forth.

First of all, I wore my "Stars and Stripes" top with a pair of tight fitting leggings.

My first stop was to get blood drawn for my extensive lab work due later in the day. As luck would have it, I ended up with a woman in the lab who has taken my blood for years. She said I truthfully was looking good, which got my day off to a great start. She made the point she wasn't just being polite. If she had known how to say it, I'm sure she meant I was transitioning nicely.

Since I had to fast for 12 hours (not eat) for the honor of someone sticking my arm and taking blood, I received a food voucher for lunch. I went down to the cafeteria and ordered a chicken salad sandwich. As I stood in line, a very rude woman making the sandwiches was barking out orders. I thought to myself if I make it past this with out getting mis-gendered I would be doing very good. And I was right, she ended up calling me "he". There was so much confusion going on, I couldn't be sure and just wanted my food. As I was starving.

Next stop was to my new blood doc and a ton of good news. My iron level in my blood was very good. So good, I didn't have to have a pint drawn out yesterday. Plus the Doc was very respectful and called me"her" several times. Also, the all important liver functions were normal according to the blood work.

As trips go, yesterday was a success!


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Raising a Man

Just as sure as a "female" is not automatically a woman, a "male" is not automatically a man. Both are the result of socialization.

These days in fact, raising a son into a man may be tougher than raising a girl into a woman. The question was raised by Cyrsti's Condo reader Shelle lles:


Just as confusing the very definition of what a Male is seems to be in serious flux as well.
Males are encouraged by some to be more feminized, the difference between Male and female is being blurred by the idea that males should no longer have any privilege I for one like that we are different.

Thanks for the thoughtful comment. I think anymore, it may be tougher also to raise a boy too because of the changes in what it all means in the gender binary system.

In fact, the whole idea of a strict binary may be slipping away...I hope. Plus, any privilege should be earned, not be automatically given to one gender...or another.

Monday, August 27, 2018

From the Bar

This picture was taken Saturday night by Liz after several "cocktails":


In fact, this was taken following a shot of Jager :)

As written before, we were at Club Diversity in Columbus, Ohio. One of the most inclusive venues around.

Plenty of transgender women, even more cross dressers and gay men.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Are You at Risk?

These days, the very definition of what being a woman is all about is in serious flux.

Of course, there are the issues of equality in the workplace, the #MeToo movement as as well as the issue of continuing violence against women.

In the midst of all of it, where does a transgender woman struggling to find her feminine identity fit in? It's a difficult question and different for each one of us. But, is it really? Even after all the years I have been full time living as a trans woman, I still find myself falling back into a default male spot when a man is accused of doing something to a woman. What I mean is, what happened to the woman could never happen to me anyhow. Then I begin to think, yes it could.

Plus, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the current person "in charge" of our country who can't seem to deal with women on an equal level at all.

Recently even, here in Ohio, we were all mesmerized in a negative way when The Ohio State University's very successful and very popular football coach came out looking very sleazy in a recent scandal over an assistant wife beating accusations. To make a very long complicated story short, the accused coach was a grandson of another OSU head coach and a mentor of the current head coach.

By now, you may be thinking, what does this have to do with me? Well, everything. As you transition you will be losing your male privilege and will need stricter protections someday to survive.

Let's take another look at the whole affair from Connie:



"Well, since you brought it up.......Urban Meyer (The Ohio State Coach) has shown himself to be somewhat of a slimeball, I think. He obviously lied, and then, when asked a direct question about the victim, deflected with a non-answer without anything close to a sincere apology. I think he's behaved in a much more egregious way then, say, Pete Carroll ever did. These coaches are put on impossibly-high pedestals and are paid obscene amounts of money. That doesn't mean they're absolved for their indiscretions, however. The "Good 'Ol Boys" clubs in sports, business, religion, and politics need to be taken down.

I would argue that this is really important to write about, even if it has nothing to do, directly, with transgender issues. Oh, wait! As transgender women, we should realize that it has everything to do with the way men treat and value women."

I love the last paragraph!

Friday, August 24, 2018

Confidence

One of most recurring themes here in Cyrsti's Condo over the years, has been the fact "confidence" is your number one accessory to any outfit. Not your dress, not your purse or your makeup. If you carry yourself as if nothing is wrong, most people will think that too. Essentially you will have perfected your own feminine mystique.

Of course, if you go overboard and wear a micro mini spandex skirt to the grocery next time, you will be certain to get your fair (and unfair) share of stares. Seemingly, something all of us novice cross dressers or transgender women have to go through on our paths to wherever we want to get to.

Personally, one thing that drives me crazy is when I see the mini skirt I mentioned above over ill disguised foam padding. The mirror must have been really lying to the cross dresser that day. I know, because I have done it myself. Over the years though, I learned from my mistakes, the stares and snickers (or Milky Way's) lessened and my confidence increased.

One of the hardest things for me to do was believe in myself that I could do this woman thing. As time went by, I hid my small feminine presentation mistakes with having the confidence to be who I was.

As you develop your transgender confidence, you will find slowly but surely you will have more bright days than dull ones!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Departure Time Comes Soon

In a couple of days, Liz and I make another trip north to Columbus for a short mini vacation. Once again, I am struggling on what to wear.

Of course I have the choice of my two maxi dresses now, so I could wear jeans for the drive and change into one of them for the evening. We are not planning on going anyplace very upscale, so one or the other of the dresses should work.

I have never posted a picture of the one green one on Cyrsti's Condo, so perhaps I can remember to ask Liz to take one on Saturday.

Plus, I wanted to try to get my nails done before we went again but I don't think time will permit us to do it. Oh well.

I keep telling myself this is the fun part of being transgender and transitioning into a full time woman. I know years ago, I would have killed for this privilege. Now it is more than a need than a want. Presenting feminine at my apex has become a passion for me again.

All facets of it. I can be a tom-boy in jeans one day and a girly-girl in a dress the next.

It's been all of what I have been missing all these years. Now I have to learn the hardest thing of all for me...being happy doing it!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Boring

The two meetings yesterday provided little blog content.

My first, was a regular appointment with the psychologist who monitors my meds and moods, seeing as how I am bi-polar. She asks questions such as have I thought about killing myself recently (no), or anyone else (NO!) not even in the brutal Cincinnati rush hour traffic. The only real drama was when a "fake" therapy dog in the hallway yelped a couple of times.

After taking the elevator down the seven floors for liquid refreshment from my fave coffee shop which operates a franchise in the hospital as part of the overall canteen. Once I got it, I went upstairs to attend the LGBTQ support group meeting. Unfortunately, the "on again-off again" SRS person wasn't there. She normally has something remotely interesting to say, even though it my not be true. There was one person there who shared his stories of attending San Francisco Pride days. Plus the moderator had even been to New York's Pride extravaganza.
Melissa

Our token lesbian talked of attending a "Dyke" party at a Melissa Etheridge concert at Lima, Ohio. If you are not aware of her, she is an out lesbian entertainer and an out spoken proponent of marijuana.

She has a gravely voice and could be an example for what I am trying to achieve.

Of course, my voice lessons did come out and another participant seemed interested in trying out the same program.

Sometimes it amazes me how much you can write about nothing really important.

Like, what is going to happen to the suspended The Ohio State University football coach Urban Meyer :)

Coming up next? Trying to figure out what to wear on my mini vacation this weekend in Columbus, Ohio. Now, that's important!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

I Passed!

At least, I got off to a good start with my voice instructor and passed my first homework assignment.

Some days I work harder on it than others naturally, so I had my doubts how it would go. So now I have progressed up from just words and sounds to full blown phrases already. I can only say it is one of the toughest things I have ever done and I suppose if you have any vocal (musical) training at all, you know what I am talking about...no pun intended.

Next I have to add a recommended voice pitch app on my phone to solidify my gains.

Not to pat myself on my back but the other transgender women before me must have been unable or unwilling to follow instructions to improve. I think that because of all the feedback I received.

As far as the other "passing" goes, I wore one of my loose sleeveless tops with a pair of "Jeggings" and tennis shoes for my long walk back and forth to the car. I received no feedback except for a "Hello Honey" from a stray guy.

So all went well.

Today I go back for my "pill pusher" appointment and my LGBTQ  veterans support group which is normally always interesting.

More to come tomorrow.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Travel Days

Coming up on Monday is my second voice lesson. We will see (or hear) how it goes. As far as my homework goes, I could have been more detail orientated but at the least, I have some idea of where to go and I can feel my vocal chords expand and contract. We will find out soon enough how much of a change I will experience with my new instructor.

Tuesday, is essentially a dual appointment. I need to see the person who monitors all my medications to make sure they are up to date. Then it's time for my VA LGBT transgender support group. I have added the LGBT to the title, because lately, we have had several gay men and the occasional lesbian visit.
Club Diversity, Columbus, Ohio

As I think abut it, "The Occasional Lesbian" could be a wonderful title for a book or movie.

Finally, later in the week, Liz (my partner) and I are taking one of our overnight get away's up to Columbus, Ohio. While we are there, we are planning to retrace our steps to one of our favorite hangouts, Club Diversity. If you happen to ever find yourself in Columbus, "Club D" is the place to go for a fine martini and a very inclusive environment.  In fact, the owner is transgender.

I still have to figure out what I am going to wear for the weekend. But, what the heck, I still have plenty of time to check out how the weather is supposed to be and work my way from there.

It's going to be a busy week!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Farewell!

All too soon it seems, it is time to say goodbye to the incomparable Aretha Franklin.

In comparison to all her other wonderful hits, her rendition of "A Natural Woman" for many of us, made the top all time lists of transgender hits.


Plus, for those of us who are more mature - :), her earlier hits such as R.E.S.P..E.C.T, set the standard for early woman's rights.  A fight which continues unabated to this day.

Aretha Franklin was also a great gospel artist to go along with her other attributes.

Rest in Power Aretha, you will be missed.

Friday, August 17, 2018

No Fun

After I finished my walk this morning, completed part of my vocal training homework and ate a bowl of some sort of cereal which had a strong resemblance to tree bark, I wondered how much of this I would be doing if I wasn't transgender and wanted to look my best. Of course, I would not be doing my vocal training but the rest, possibly.

Again and again, I am reminded of those novice cross dressers who say they will never pass without considering what steps need to be taken to have the best feminine presentation possible. Our skin comes to mind as another area of upkeep which needs extra attention. I make sure all my makeup is removed at night before applying my moisturizer/ wrinkle cream. As, I need all the help I can get for my nearly 69 year old skin.

I just like to know I am doing my best to look good because again, I need all the help I can get. And yes, that includes looking at some of my most unpleasant parts of my body. For another "tongue in cheek" look, let's check in with Connie and her comment on checking for your skin tone, by looking underneath your wrist:

 FABULOUSCONNIEDEEAugust 16, 2018 at 1:29 PM
"So, you're asking me to look at one of my most unfeminine physical parts to determine which color I should wear, are you? Not only are my wrists large, I have an ugly scar from a botched surgery after a work accident left me with two severed tendons to my thumb. Add the fact that my veins (no matter their color) tend to pop out in a masculine way, either from the heat or from strenuous physical activity, and the underside of my wrists are really dysphoria triggers. Nevertheless, my veins are blue, and I am as cool with my femininity as the colors that look good on me! :-)"

Cool!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Fall Colors

As August begins to fade, September of course ushers in a fresh fashion palette for us all. One of the prime times to have fun being a girl.

To help, I have added a "Trendy colors" chart from Deborah Boland and the "Fabulous After 40" fashion blog.

Some of these colors go better with a warm skin tone...some with a cool skin. If you struggle with which tone you have, here is more help:

Warm undertones range from peach to yellow and golden. Some people with warm undertones also have sallow skin. Cool undertones include pink and bluish hues. If you have a neutral undertone, this means that your undertones are roughly the same color as your actual skin tone.

How do you determine which undertones you have? Look on the inside of your wrists for a vein or two. If they look blue or purple, it means you have cool toned skin. If green you are warm toned. If you have a hard time telling, you are a nuetral skinned person. 

All of which leads us back to the chart above and the colors you will look best in. For example, I am a warm skinned person, so I lean towards the reds, yellows , oranges and olive greens. If you are a cool toned person , you look best in the blues, purples and emerald greens. Finally, neutral toned transgender girls can rock all the colors.

You see, when you break down all the different standards cis women go through to look effortlessly good, it's not that difficult. 

Being transgender though, means we have to do it better. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Winner!

Perhaps you have read or heard of Christine Hallquist. To refresh your memory, she won the Vermont primary, becoming the first transgender woman to win a major party nomination for a state governor.

Of course any story of how a trans person can accomplish such a feat is amazing, but here is a bit of Christine's:

In the fall of 2015, the thought of running for office was not even in the “realm of possibility” for Christine Hallquist, she said in an interview with The Washington Post.
Hallquist, then CEO of Vermont Electric Cooperative, was in the midst of 
coming out professionally as a woman to her employees and worried they might not accept her. The company’s website still indicated that the firm was led by a man, Vermont alternative weekly Seven Days reported at the time. Her emails were still signed by her former name.
“Here I am, the transgender CEO of one of the most macho businesses,” Hallquist told Seven Days.
Just three years later, Hallquist could become the country’s first transgender governor.
Of course, there is so much more to her story. 
Such as, Hallquist faces a steep path to the governor’s office. Republican Gov. Phil Scott remains popular in the state, even among Democrats. He has signaled a willingness to work with Democrats on issues such as gun control legislation, which he signed in April. He also has history on his side: No incumbent governor has been unseated in Vermont since 1962.


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Bag Lady?

All of a sudden, I seem to have an over abundance of purses. I could say I don't know where they came from but that's not true. Liz bought me one and I bought the other two. One has a nice fringe, one has my initials and one is supposedly a "one of a kind" recycled canvas purse I bought at a show. It is my favorite. The fringe bag I should be wearing more mow since it is a summery cream color and I save my initialed bag for special occasions...mostly. Maybe it's because I have never been much of a purse fanatic, so it seems like a lot!

Moving on, yesterday was a travel day with a trip up north to see my therapist and a visit here in town to one of my cross dresser - transgender support group meetings. My therapist and I discussed my voice lesson and the fact she was moving her office. I feel a certain draw to the place because it is where I have been going to see her for years and, so much good has happened there. Mainly where I received all my necessary documentation to begin changing my gender markers.

On a lesser, perhaps not so important level, the building the whole unit is moving to does not have a certain outlet of a well known coffee shop I go to. Sacrifices!

The CD-trans meeting last night was fairly calm. A couple new people showed up, which is always interesting and one was even a transgender veteran. Most everyone else was predictably boring...including me. One of the other attendee's noticed finally I had gotten my hair done. She probably did because she has a great head of hair too. She is so fortunate!

Plus while we are on the subject of hair, if you remember the picture I posted the other day of Janis Joplin, Connie suggested I could rock a hairstyle similar to Janis. At one point of time I could and might in the future if I let it grow out again!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Sunday Recap

Seemingly, last week here in Cyrsti's Condo, we spent quite a bit of time discussing the power of expressing yourself in a feminine manner and the destructive influence of Mtf gender dysphoria.

Not much else to say except recap a feminine voice could be enough to protect you in a potentially negative situation. Some people will attempt to start a conversation just to satisfy their curiosity concerning your gender. Plus, once you have reached a certain level in your feminine presentation, why not take it a step further? Enough said.

Dysphoria speaks for itself (no pun intended). Like it or not, most transgender women or trans men are born with it. Along the way, it tortures us into acceptance...one way or another. The sooner we accept the fact we are dysphoric the better.

The week in review also included a couple blogs I follow and I hope I didn't leave anyone out...thanks to my steel trap mind being a little rusted on occasion.

Now is a great time to thank all of you who stop by the "Condo" on a regular basis! It makes it all worthwhile :)

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Special Message...J&J

This is for Michelle Hart (no relation!).

She reached me on Google Plus and said if I called "Jager" Jagermeister, I had to buy the first round.

No problem! And yes, I will have to sacrifice sounding like Janis Joplin! Thanks Connie! :)
Janis

Jager

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Euphoria

As we cross the transgender frontier, so often we encounter the "one step forward, two steps back" phenomenon.

Of course, the euphoria comes when we seem to build momentum and keep moving forward. My latest success came today at a coffee shop Liz and I go to occasionally. The young woman at the counter (not the barista) kept complimenting me on how nice my new hair style looked. I was walking on cloud nine for the next hour of so until we got back home.

If you follow any of the same blogs I do (or Connie, here) you will understand the concept of gender freedom, or euphoria. Stana, Mandy Sherman and Paula Goodwin come to mind. All of their blogs can be accessed on my blog list. At one point of time or another, each has written about their successful forays transitioning into their non birth (but desired) gender.

Being selfish, I feel as if any step forward is/was earned the hard way through more error than trial. I remember quite well, the days of being stared at (at the best) or snickered at (at the worst).

I have made myself a solemn promise I will never take any of my steps forward as being "more trans than thou." It's incredibly bad karma. After all, I too (like Connie) have the big wrists, which at one point in time were good for swinging a baseball bat. Plus, I am stuck with a big boned larger body.

So, I will take my positive strides when I can get them and I hope you can too.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Let's Be Careful Out There!

It's relatively difficult to write a post like this just after getting back from such an affirming appointment I just had at the hair dresser. Again, I had an excellent experience talking about her transgender son and gossiping ever so slightly about a couple girls we both know from the cross dresser - transgender support group. Plus, I witnessed one of those ultra female moments when another woman stuck her head in the room and went wild with her family news. My hair dresser was so polite, until she left. Then proceeded to tell me she never manages to make her appointments right and is always begging to be fit in.

I also found out one of the girls in the group had a falling out with my hairdresser when she told her she didn't style synthetic wigs. Group girl is also the one who carried her "holier than trans" attitude into a tire store and got mis gendered.  She was the first to say she had never had any problems. I'm here to say, unless you have transitioned very well, problems can await you.

As Connie points out, one can never be too careful. She references this post:

"As I pointed out in my comment (that you so graciously re-posted the other day), it only takes one bad apple to have a potentially dangerous situation occur. Seattle is about as liberal and pro-LGBT as you can find. I've been told that I have "passing" privilege by many, albeit mostly from other trans people. Even my voice "passes" much of the time, but it is not passable enough to overcome some of the other telltale signs of my prior male existence. My thick hands and wrists (Scandinavian fisherman's hands), along with a muscular neck (developed from playing football) that holds up my big head (seemingly getting bigger with every pound I lose), are giveaways enough. My voice isn't so perfectly female, so the cumulative effect can easily lead to scrutiny.

I believe that the man in the story I told about at the bus stop asked me if I were on my way to work in order to just hear my voice, as he, most likely, was questioning my gender/sex by only looking at me. While 99% of the people I come across in my city don't seem to care about my "truth" as it relates to their "scientific analysis," this creep was probably looking for confirmation of his suspicions so that he could take advantage of the situation and give me all sorts of shit. I doubt that he would have tried it had there been other people around. So, no matter how well you've honed your presentation, whether in look or voice, you should always be prudent and vigilant, especially in one-on-one situations.

If a hairdresser ever suggested that I go back to my original look, I'm afraid I'd have to try to channel Sinead O'Connor in her clean-shaven days. Talk about adding scrutiny to my gender presentation! :-)"
Thanks! Just another reason I am working to make my voice a priority!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Hairdressing

Tomorrow is my second visit to my new hairdresser. In addition to taking a look at the progress/regress of my hair color. We have plenty to chat about.

If you may, or may not remember, it was the expert's idea to let my hair return to it's original color. I don't think the original idea will work but we will see. Plus, from there, we can go to another shade or color which might work better. Either way, it will be a fun visit with a person who has a transgender son (FtM) of her own. Her son has been going to one of those East coast trans kids camps this summer, so I will be interested to see how it went. The goal is to get him hired as a counselor in the future.

I am sure too, she will bring up my voice training, although it is too early (I think) for many real results. The point most miss about vocal training is the safety factor. Potentially, if you find yourself in a sketchy situation, your voice could be the tipping positive factor. One never knows. Not all of us are fortunate enough to live in a liberal, pro LGBTQ area. Or have plenty of "passing" privilege.

Regardless, outside of a screwed typical Cincinnati detour to get there, I'm looking forward to a fun morning.


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Can You Help?

Last night at one of our group picnics, one of the other members I have known for a couple years  came up to me and asked if we could talk.

Already, by that point, I knew what was coming. And, there it was, she said she has a 20 something MtF transgender niece who has just decided to begin the coming out process. It sounded as if the transgender millennial has had a fairly positive coming out process, except for a very religious father who still doesn't know.

Fortunately (or not) I am becoming increasingly experienced in having conversations such as these. In the approximately past three months or so, I have had three.

Now, more than ever, I don't sugarcoat the process the transgender person is facing. First of all, attempting a gender transition is a marathon...not a sprint to the finish line. Expect a long difficult path. Secondly, the family has to be very understanding with things such as pronouns and names.

Finally, I said, in a very over simplified discussion, expect many changes along the way, excluding the obvious.

Last night, the woman showed me on her phone, quite possibly one of the best reasons to transition I have ever read.  Very elegantly, the young transgender woman stated the case for transitioning coming down to one simple fact, dysphoria. (Where have we heard that word before?) She explained to the world how she just couldn't live as a male anymore. Plus, it wasn't a choice, she and any other transgender or LGBTQ person was born this way.

Of course, I offered my shoulder to cry on, plus a couple of groups here in the Cincinnati metro area which could be of assistance. Then finished the conversation with each transition is different but I would be glad to help however I could.

It's nice to be wanted.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Dysphoric Hell

Following my recent post concerning transgender gender dysphoria, Connie wrote in this comment:


"There are so many triggers that can bring on gender dysphoria - internal triggers and external ones. Waking up in the morning with a scratchy face from the overnight beard growth sometimes gets to me. Even the act of shaving can feel so unfeminine. 99% of the time, I can ignore it, knowing that, once I've completed the unpleasant task, my face will be all smooth again - ready for makeup and the day ahead. The other 1% usually occurs when I've overslept, and really don't have time to spend on a close shave before heading off to work. Still, I'll be late before I'll ever go a day without shaving, but even the feel of stubble (though not visibly detectable) at the end of the day is often a source of misery.

External prompts that can bring on the dysphoria can come from a mis-gendering or even a sideways look from someone. Developing a thick skin reduces the dysphoria, but it doesn't block it off completely. Fortunately, these things happen quite infrequently to me these days. Last week, however, I was accosted by a man like I've never experienced before.

It was early on a Saturday morning, as I waited, alone, for a bus to work. A middle-aged man with an aluminum suitcase appeared from the intersection, and I went into my vigilance mode, clutching my purse and fumbling inside it for the metal nail file I always carry. He walked by me, but turned and came back to ask me if I were going to work. I answered affirmatively with a polite smile. He followed up with asking me where I worked, and, still trying to be somewhat polite, I told him that I worked on the pier (there are 91 of them, so I felt safe enough saying that). By this time, he had ascertained that I was probably trans, and so he just had to say so with another question: "Can I ask you a question? Were you born a man and then became a woman?" I looked away at that question, grasping my nail file so tightly that I'm sure my knuckles were white. He persisted until I finally told him that I am a woman, and how I "became" one was no concern of his. I so wanted to ask him if he were born a boy and then never bothered to grow up to be a man, but there was no-one close enough to even hear my scream had he decided to get physical.

My bus was not due for another ten minutes, and I was a captive for his lecture the whole time. He went on about how it was a sexual thing, and kept trying to get me to answer questions about my sexual preference and such. I finally had had enough, and I told him, in a voice that I realized was a channeling of my mother's sarcastic tone, that his questions were highly personal, inappropriate, and totally based on misinformation. He tried to argue with me, but I refused to say anything else except that he had no right or basis to presume that he knew who and what I was when I've been living with who I am for over six decades - longer than he'd been alive. As the bus appeared down the block, I stood up and told him that I had to go. He followed me to the curb, asking if I knew anything about spirituality, karma, or vibes. Just as I stepped on the bus, I left him with my parting words: "Yeah, I'm getting a bad one right now."

Despite my satisfaction at getting the last word with a pretty good zinger, the incident stayed with me and affected my whole day. It's been over a week now, and I can recall it quite vividly, still. My battle with dysphoria has been to think of myself as a woman - not a trans woman or whatever anyone else would like to label me as. Knowing that there are others out there who do not see me the same way as I see myself is as bad as the itch of my growing whiskers, and such incidents can leave me with a lingering feeling worse than a full-blown beard on my face. If only it were as easy to zap away the jerks of this world as it is to zap away whiskers with electrolysis - which is not even that easy, really."

Thanks for sharing! I keep wondering when something similar will happen to me.

Voice Training Day One

All the angst surrounding my first day of voice training has come and gone, mixed in with a liberal amount of excitement.

As I waited, I had myself convinced the person doing the work wouldn't have any experience at all with a transgender women going down the same path as I. As it turned out, a totally unfounded fear since the first thing she asked me was how long I had been out. And, what pronouns I preferred!

Then, we embarked on an hour's worth of measuring my voice on a neat little machine with a microphone and blue lines with solid gray ones. The closer I could get my blue lines to the gray ones the better.  It turns out too, my natural voice isn't so far off a feminine range, which should make the whole process easier. I thought all in all the session went pretty successful.

My vocal problems seem to come from trying to do too much. For example, when I try to raise my voice too high, it cracks. Then becomes scratchy.

All of that is the good news, the bad news is my instructor just finished up her masters from Ohio University and is headed South to Charleston, South Carolina, so I have to start all over with a new person in two weeks when I go back.

In the meantime, I have daily homework assignments to do to designed to stretch my vocal cords more or less permanently.  Plus, I have to work on reversing fifty plus years of male style talking. Men have a tendency to speak more forcefully. I have to work how I approach my sentences and attempt to speak in a more "sing-song" pattern.  I have to do it until it becomes natural.

The things I have on my side are time and enthusiasm.

I just hope my next instructor is as good!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Dysphoria

Recently, I happened along a couple of close acquaintances who were commenting on their gender dysphoria "raising" it's ugly head again.

I got to thinking about it and whose doesn't?

I thought back to the days (especially when I wake up) and look in the mirror and see male. Then again, other times, I see female, or a mixture of the two.

As negative as it seems, I am trying to prepare myself for the prospect I will always be gender dysphoric.

I might point out too, at least one of the people I know has gone through genital realignment surgery. She thought surely going through the procedure would relieve the problem.

I would suppose the only words of wisdom I could give anyone seeking to travel a similar transgender path as I have is...be prepared to never quite lose your sense of gender dysphoria.

Just use it to make yourself a better trans woman...or trans man. 

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Dressing for the Troops?

Shelle lles sent in a great comment concerning my seemingly constant quandaries about what I wear to certain events, especially around other trans women or cross dressers: (the troops)

"You are a dear friend so I hope you won't take this the wrong way, but I notice that most of the events you attend are with other transgender people or dressers.
Which may or may not drive your choice of wardrobe at these events.
I mainly go to just regular people events so I observing mostly cisgender lady's I tend to dress more like what I observe in a more or less normal type situation so I don't worry as much about makeup and that kind of thing because the women I'm around mostly don't do it. Of course I do enjoy having nice nails, hands and feet and some jewelry, but for the most part I'm pretty natural.
Just offering a slightly different perspective here.
I as I look at my life I have come to realize that I really didn't set out to be a Transgender, I just knew I was always a woman and not so much anything else. I guess being a transgender was never my goal, even though that's what I would be labeled by people on that side of life. I live in the regular world as a woman which is where I think I belong best."

To be certain, some of the events I go to are dominated by transgender women and or cross dressers. However, just as many aren't. For example, the picnic I am going to Sunday, I probably will be the only trans woman there. Plus on karaoke nights, the group meets in a very straight bar and I loath thinking I would stand out like a clown. Several of the "girls" manage to do it every week when they try to sing, or worse yet dance. I keep telling myself there is a place in heaven for a six foot two person in three inch heels trying to find rhythm  and then dance. Oh well, at least they are having fun, I just couldn't subject myself to that.
I like your perspective and attempt at all times to dress to blend. Sometimes though, it's fun to just try to show off. Being the bitch I can be (and I never say anything) I can't help but notice how many of the other "attendees" may spend a little too much time in the thrift stores.
One of the bigger compliments (I think) I have received in a while was last night, when Liz asked me if I was going to finish my make-up and I had previously. I too agree, iand as much as I can, I go the natural route. 
Thanks for the thought provoking comment!  

Good News!

 During the week of July 23, three federal courts issued welcome rulings about restroom access by transgender students at public schools — in Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Florida. In each case, the court agreed that schools are or may be obligated to allow transgender students to use restrooms consistent with their gender identity, and rejected arguments that allowing trans students to use those restrooms violated constitutional or statutory rights of cisgender students sharing facilities with them.
The most significant of the three rulings came from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals based in Philadelphia. In May, a three-judge panel of that court had unanimously affirmed District Judge Edward G. Smith’s decision to deny a preliminary injunction sought by cisgender students and their parents who objected to the Boyertown Area School District’s policy of letting trans students use facilities consistent with their gender identities.
The case was so clear-cut to the appellate panel that they issued a one-paragraph ruling shortly after the oral argument, indicating they would follow up with a full opinion later. The full opinion, written by Circuit Judge Theodore McKee, was issued on June 18, and was joined by Circuit Judge Patty Shwartz and Senior Circuit Judge Richard Nygaard. McKee was appointed by President Bill Clinton, Shwartz by Barack Obama, and Nygaard by Ronald Reagan.
In today's  political climate, I thought any news such as this was worth passing along.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Picnic

For some reason I pushed the wrong button and deleted Connie's comment by mistake. It concerned the outfit quandary I was experiencing as I planned on attending a couple of events this weekend.

In the comment, Connie mentioned the possibility of me singing at karaoke following a few voice lessons. My reply was, there wasn't enough Jagermeister in the bar to help me sing. :) Well, maybe not anymore. Connie also questioned my torn jeans. Yes, the tears were earned, not purchased. One good suggestion came when she (Connie) said picnics were great for going barefoot, if my flats became uncomfortable.

And Mandy Sherman, thanks for your comment. I'm sure a good time will be had by all!

Finally, for those of you who don't know, Jagermeister is a German hunting drink with a heavy licorice flavor. Some unceremoniously compare it with a certain cough syrup. I acquired a taste for it when I was stationed in the Army in Germany.


Thursday, August 2, 2018

More Fun?

I forgot a couple of picnics we are hoping to go to in August. One of which is this Saturday.

Now, it gets down to what I have to wear. Since Friday night is karaoke night, I could wear one of my maxi dresses, because most of the attendee's have never even seen me in a dress before at all.

Then, I thought on Saturday, I could come back with my long black embroidered skirt and black and cream edged tank top, which you can see on the right.  My only problem is. I don't know how far I will have to walk in my flats. They are comfortable for awhile, but then get a bit iffy.

Also. I think the picnic is a little too causal for one of my "maxi's".

I guess, having all this social time is a good problem to have.

I'll Take the Rocket

One of the blogs I follow is "Emily's virtual rocket". The blog is a little different in that it revolves around transgender news issues. Why don't I let Emily explain herself:


"Cyrsti:

I am writing to you to let you know about Emily’s Virtual Rocket. It is a news blog to keep people informed regarding transgender issues. In addition, gay, lesbian, and/or bisexual issues are also covered. Here goes:

Emilysvirtualrocket.blogspot.com

Thank you very much!

Sincerely,

Emily Shorette"
Thanks Emily!  And, all of you can follow her blog on my list of blogs to the right hand side of the page.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

August Fun?

It doesn't seem possible, but July has come and gone. It's time again for the first Friday of the month when Liz and I normally meet an eclectic blend of transgender women and the occasional cross dresser for a night of karaoke "merriment."

Probably, the most positive part of the evening is it's an excellent chance for first time girls to come out in public and just begin their feminine journey's without a whole lot of potential hassles.

Of course, the biggest potential problems come from the petty in-fighting within the group. Sometimes it gets so bad, even I am embarrassed.

On the bright side, the month of August will be very busy for me. I have five medical appointments, including my first voice visit. I also have three support group meetings and one with my hair dresser, at which time, we make a decision on whether to keep my hair the color it is or let it keep progressing  (or regressing) back to it's original color. My secret hope is to some day get back to some sort of a blond shade but we will see...literally.

Also during the month, we are taking another mini vacation up to Columbus to revisit some of our fave spots there.

Mix in several other mini trips with Liz and August is turning out to be a busy month!