Monday, December 31, 2018

New Years Eve

Since I have written very extensively about what I am doing on New Years Eve...here is wishing you the best too!

If you are planning to go to a party, or just a quiet evening with friends, I hope you enjoy your time!

By all means, be safe!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

I Love It!

Yesterday, even though we were just going to run errands at the grocery store and other places, I decided to wear my new boots and one of my new sweaters.

I paired them with my paisley patterned leggings and black leather jacket. It was one of those outfits (rare) I felt really felt good in. The sweater and the leggings actually gave me some shape.

The only problem I had, was trying to get my hair to look halfway decent at all. It might be time to consider getting it colored again. As you may (or may not) remember, my hairdresser and I are letting my hair go back to it's natural color.

As the red fades, I think some sort of soft blond color might be an ulterior motive, I may have thought of.

I am still about three weeks away from my next salon appointment, so I have some time to think about it.

In the meantime, Liz and I seem to be on the rebound from nasty colds we have had, so New Years Eve seems to be a great go. The weather is supposed to be unseasonably warm but with rain.

I'm thinking about wearing my new fave outfit! 

Friday, December 28, 2018

Have a Transgender New Year?

New Years Eve is obviously right around the corner. Liz and I do have plans this year, rather than endure another stay at home evening as another year comes to an end.

We are going back to the venue where we celebrated our second New Years Eve together here in Cincinnati. Which was four years ago.

I always have liked celebrating the New Year because it gives us a chance to look back over the year just passed and ahead to a new year. Having said that though, I have never been a person to set huge goals. Obviously I wish for continued good health, for myself, family and loved ones. What I should resolve is to get to work putting together my second book and to become more active as I head towards my 70th birthday on this planet.

It's not like I am going to resolve to go full time as a trans woman, or anything like that. I do need to talk to my endocrinologist this year about the possibility of increasing my Estrodial. I feel like I have hit the wall so to speak with my feminine development. None of that happens until April. 

At this point in time, I need to figure out what I am going to wear. We are actually going to two or three places (time permitting). All are upscale casual, so I'm not expecting to have to really dress up. Probably, I will opt out for some sort of combination of new boots, leggings and sweater.

We plan on using the Uber taxi system to get downtown, then use the streetcar to get around from there.

All in all, I'm hoping for a great time!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Transgender Sexuality

When we transition from male to female, naturally enough, the world is driven to it's own conclusions over our sexuality.

If and when, I am given the chance, I love to insert my well worn phrase "Sex is between the legs, Gender is between the ears. I started to think about all of this again recently because of two recent happenings...one of which I wrote about here in Cyrsti's Condo, during the "Space Invader" post.

Very simply, the post was about another woman who wouldn't leave me alone. I don't like it when I am needlessly poked or prodded. Now, I'm not saying the whole thing was anything sexual but then again, I don't know. I am aware too, women are allowed to touch each other when men normally never do. One way or another, the advances were not liked or returned.

Of course too, we transgender women have the stigma of being promiscuous. Which comes from drag queens and fetish cross dressers.  I think if I see one more 50 ish crossdresser poured into a plaid mini skirt on other social media, I am going to scream.

Then again, going back to the original point, Connie has another idea:

"I dislike being nudged and poked, too. A gentle touch on the arm or hand is fine, as I enjoy platonic intimacy. Unfortunately, I am not prone to being the "toucher." I have a fear of having my affections misread as being sexual, just because my trans status may be misunderstood. This applies to both men and other women. Then, again, I have misread the touching by others as being platonic, only to discover that it was sexual. I have always been a bit naive, unable to readily recognize the difference between love and lust. I blame it, mostly, on the fact that I am a trans woman; a psychiatrist may have another take on it, though.

We, as trans woman, should have the same rights as anyone else to set our own boundaries, whether they be physical or verbal. You didn't deserve to be subjected to her invasions, but I doubt she knows that now any more than she did while she was committing them. Some people are always going to act in predictable ways. We can only recognize that fact and make the choice to either put up with it or stay away. Just know that it's her and not you". 

Especially now, in the era of the "Me Too" movement, it is especially important our boundaries are respected.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Post Christmas Blues? Or Blacks?

First of all, I would like to send out my condolences to Jeni and/or any of the rest of you who had to spend Christmas by yourselves. As I wrote in yesterday's Cyrsti's Condo post, it is so sad when you are separated from your family for just being yourself.

As far as my Christmas went, it turned out to be in basic black. A couple weeks ago, I happened to mention to Liz I wanted just a basic black sweater. In fact, I even bought myself one not too long ago. Well, yesterday I got two more black sweaters (of different types) as gifts. Plus, a new pair of black boots. Amazingly enough, Liz ordered them on line and they fit.  So now, I have a new sweater and boots set to wear with my paisley patterned leggings.

One way or another, I was blessed with a great Christmas and clothes to wear through the Spring.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas

Let's face it, the holidays are a very lonely time for many in the transgender community.

I hope you all found a home or a new home to spend time with today (Christmas).

I was fortunate. My brother and his entire family pretty much jettisoned our relationship when I came out to him as trans. To replace it though, my daughter came through with her family (plus extended family), as did Liz.

Plus, around here at least, several LGBTQ organizations have their own holiday get togethers.

One way or another, I hope this post finds you with a family this holiday!

Monday, December 24, 2018

What Do you Want for Christmas?

As we approach Christmas, on occasion my thoughts drift back to when I was a kid. As so many of us LGBTQ youth, many years all I really wanted was a doll.

In my family though, any idea of a feminine present was totally out of the question. Instead, I received what "Ralphie" wanted so badly in the classic Christmas movie "A Christmas Story." I got a BB gun.

So much for growing up in a male dominated, patriarchal family. I also remember clearly how my heart would ache whenever I would see a girl I wanted to be like.

For example, I so resented my female cousins in their velvet dresses and cream colored tights at Christmas dinners. My gift was usually football related.

Fortunately now those days are over!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Shamed?

"I remember so well the sneaking around I did when I first ventured out of the house. I could write a parody of "A Tale of Two Cities" called "A Tale of Two Genders," based on those days: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...." That whole opening paragraph of Dickens' novel sums up the way I felt about myself. It was just a couple of months after my first outing, attending a meeting of the local cross dresser social group, that the holiday season came. I think I attended at least half-a-dozen parties and events with the group, thoroughly enjoying my newly-released feminine-self until I had to sneak back home. Then, I would feel horrible and depressed. It truly did make for a "winter of despair...."

"The shame I had felt for being a tran woman (or whatever I thought I was back then) was nothing, compared to how I felt with all of my conniving and deceit. I likened myself to an alcoholic or drug addict, feeling compelled to do what made me feel good, even at the expense of the love of family and friends. Or, alternately, I would feel as if I were cheating on my wife - with the "other woman" being myself. Even after most everyone else had figured out what I was doing, though, I continued my feeble game.

My game started to unravel completely one year later. I was performing with another trans woman at a New Year's Eve party. It was not unusual for me to be performing at a private party, so I didn't feel like I was really lying so much about what I was doing. Still, out of the guilt I felt for leaving my wife at home while I was celebrating by ringing in the new year, I called her during one of the breaks between sets. She asked, "Is everybody there all dressed up?" I knew then that she knew, just by the way she asked it. Two weeks later, she left a note on the kitchen counter that said she had left to stay with her sister, and she would stay there until I was ready to be honest.

Well, I thought, if she wanted honesty, I was going to give it to her! I called her to tell her that's what I was going to do, and she arrived home to see "the honest me" Sunday afternoon. Of course, in order to be honest with her, I had to be honest with myself. Instead of trying to wow her with my presentation, I dressed in jeans and a sweater, which is what I figured she'd be wearing. I was still not quite ready when my wife came through the door, so she sat down to watch the NFL playoff game that was on the TV. When I entered the room fifteen minutes later, I was surprised at her appearing to be showing more interest in the game than me and my "new look." In fact, I told her that we should wait until the game was over to start our talk! She agreed, and I proceeded to make nachos and a pitcher of Margaritas. All of a sudden, things seemed so normal (even if it was I who was willing to turn off the game, and not her). It was not so normal, really, but it was the beginning of normal. The elephant in the room was gone, and she was able to see me without having to look around it.

What I've learned is that one can't come out successfully until she's come clean. Honesty is really the best policy. Also, there is never a good time to be honest, but putting it off will not make it better or easier; it may well even make it worse.

This is my (Cautionary) Tale of Two Genders. "

Honesty is always the best policy, no matter how painful it is. I didn't practice what I preach though. For years I was dishonest with my deceased wife about what I was doing behind her back.  It's something I will take to my grave feeling terrible about. 
Her comment "Be man enough to become a woman" was one of the more profound phrases I have ever heard.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Space Invader

Yesterday turned out to be a busy day.

The day also wasn't particularly wonderful weather wise with a cold driving rain and winds up to 30 miles a hour. Not real good for a fashionable hair style of any kind but then again, I was facing again what any other cis woman was going through. As the day progressed, we managed to make it through a couple of packed grocery stores.

The final event of the day was going to an informal Yule social. At other socials, I became friends with a woman from Germany. We talked in depth about her homeland and my time there when I was in the Army. For some reason last night, she was rather frenetic. Not long after saying Hello, she said could she ask me a question. Normally that question is when did you know you were transgender or have you had any surgery. She asked me the "how long" question.

I answered without hesitation, most all of my life and I spent at least fifty years in denial as a cross dresser. All this time, she kept nudging me, which I have never particularly been fond of. Anymore, I almost never have to worry about it from a man but some women are just too touchy.

After the "Question and Answer"  session, she remained glued to my side and proceeded to comment on my hair which truthfully had looked better after coming in from the storm. She decided then my decision to let it grow out naturally (including the color) was a poor choice. By that time, I was tired of getting poked and comments which were none of her business, so I moved away from her. Which was tough, because we all were packed into a very small room.

As I moved away, the conversation had turned away from my hair, all the way to whose families migrated from where in the world. Since I haven't taken one of the DNA tests yet, I couldn't play with the cool kids.
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On the bright side, Liz and I made a pledge to join another man and his two daughters to head down to one of Cincinnati's German eating establishments for fun and beer. Ironically, one of the talking points was an Alaskan beer we both had discovered at our Christmas parties this week.

So, outside of the space invader's unwanted advances, I wasn't too bruised and managed to make it through the evening in one piece.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Christmas Party

Last night was the before mentioned cross dresser - transgender Christmas party. As I figured, everyone was wearing their holiday finest. I  so love it when most of them towered over me in their heels...including Liz. Although, Liz was just slightly taller than I.

We had an excellent time and the food was great.

The only comments we had when we left were how sad it was that many people in the room had to essentially sneak around to come to the party. Or, had limited support from their spouses.

Other than that, the event was well run and it pretty much ushered in the Yule season for us.

We hope you are ready too!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Very Boring...Plus

Very boring describes the first holiday social Liz and I went to last night. Outside of one shriveled up old bag staring at me, no one seemed to care there was a transgender woman in their midst. Also, if I was a betting person (which I am not), I was fairly sure there was a young trans guy who attended too. We ended up at a table with a group of teenagers who predictably were so into their own worlds, they didn't pay me any attention either.

I did compliment one cis woman on her hair color and finally did receive a little hint of appreciation before I left. Overall though, I kept my expectations low...and they were met.

The "plus" in this post comes from the Governor of Ohio (moderate Republican John Kasich) issuing an executive order protecting all state employees from discrimination, even transgender ones. The good news is he issued it, the bad news is he is leaving office and will be replaced by a much more conservative Republican. So I am fairly certain the new governor will find a way to repeal it.

You may, or may not remember, Kasich ran against resident rump for the Republican presidential nomination. Supposedly, he is planning to run again.

You also may remember, tonight is the big cross dresser - transgender group Christmas party. about forty attendees are expected as well as several spouses and even children. It should be interesting.

I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Social Number One

Tonight begins a series of three straight Holiday socials Liz and I are going to. We are beginning with her "pot luck" martial arts evening. As I explained before, a pot luck is when everyone brings a dish to share with everyone else. I am planning on plenty of dessert, since at least four have responded with desserts as what they are bringing.

Other than that, I don't know really what to expect. Other than knowing most of these people only by sight, I haven't much to say. Innately, I am very shy, so I don't want my silence to come off like a bitch.

I'm wearing my cream colored long sweater which contains just a bit of a gold thread to give it a little Holiday flair. With it, I am wearing my patterned tights and black flats, since the weather is supposed to be un-seasonably warm

The whole affair is only supposed to last a couple hours, so I am sure it will be over before I know it.

I'm sure thinking about it will cause more anxiety than the social itself. Especially if I can find a way to be social!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

What Came First?

For nearly a half a century I considered myself a cross dresser rather than a transgender woman. Part of my excuse was the term transgender wasn't even used for most of the referred to half century. However, the biggest part of the blame is on me for refusing to realize the person I truly was...a trans woman. Also, I never really agreed with the old school idea of transsexual women having to have "the surgery" then disappearing into the world with all their knowledge and life lessons. Thus, the beginning of the term, "trans nazi."

For another idea, let's check in with Connie:

 
"Maybe the spark has to come first, and not from the expression or presentation itself. As trans women, many of us spent a lot of time living a male-oriented life, cross dressing as time and situation allowed. The spark that leads to cross dressing is the anticipation of the feeling of the end result. Cis women don't see it that way, and I believe that transitioning trans women eventually reach a point where their perspective is closer to that of a cis woman. That is, femininity is not so much a feeling as it is another aspect of their womanhood.

It seems that the binaries of male/female, man/woman, and masculine/feminine all are bookends for their respective spectra. They are not mutually exclusive, and the possible combinations are endless. I think that many trans women - especially those who are satisfied with being occasional cross dressers - are often more in search of that "feminine feeling" from the perspective of their male-selves. We may well be picturing what we see as the ideal of femininity, and then we proceed to try to mold ourselves to fit that ideal. For some, that act can lead to not only good feelings, but outright euphoria. Then, there are those of us who have come to a point where the thrill is gone. It's just not realistic or sustainable on a day-to-day basis.

I was never secure in my masculinity. For most of my life, I tried to feel good about myself by looking and acting in what I thought to be was an acceptable (if not ideal) masculine way. The results of my efforts were never satisfactory because the premise was wrong. Suppressing my innate femininity simply could not make me masculine. Now that I've shed any expectations of masculinity, however, I have become more secure with my femininity (even while doing things that may be considered to sit more toward the masculine end of the spectrum). I don't need to get all dolled-up to feel feminine, but doing so often makes my feminine-self feel good.

This past weekend afforded me that opportunity for three different events. I felt happy about my physical expressions of my femininity, but I don't really think I felt I was more feminine because of them. In fact, because we had quite a wind storm Friday afternoon, we arrived at the home of our hostess to find that she had been without electricity for three hours. Not only had she not been able to, as she called it, "swank herself out," the light from the fireplace and a few candles was not enough to reveal our efforts, either. Yet, I don't think anyone felt any less feminine. My wife and I laughed on the way home about how we'd gone to so much trouble for nothing. I joked that we had literally left our hostess in the dark, but there was little doubt about our femininity. "
I like the term "swank herself out!" Thanks for the comment :)

Monday, December 17, 2018

Monday-Monday

Actually this Monday is the beginning of a very busy week.

Yesterday, we went to a newly opened nail salon, my nails are a festive shade of red to match the season and I am ready to go! By the way, I was happy with the new salon. All the people I interacted with were nice and I could almost understand all of their broken English. Which I can assure you was better than any attempt I might have at their language. So, for the first time ever, I was able to relax and enjoy the overall experience.

Back to the upcoming week. Wednesday evening, I am going to Liz's martial arts instructor Christmas get together "potluck." A potluck is when everyone brings a dish and if you are lucky most of them are great!

Thursday is the transgender-cross dresser Christmas party. It is semi formal and is being held at a very nice restaurant this year. Approximately forty have laid down their forty dollars a piece to attend. At the least, seeing what everyone wears should be worth the price of attendance. As we get closer, I will describe in more detail what I am going to wear.

Finally, Friday, is a small Yule get together with a group we are part of.

Monday is kicking off a very fun week!

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Transgender Femininity?

On occasion I feel, people in the community place too much emphasis on looks. An example would be, equating how feminine you feel by how good you look. Having written that, I am the first to point out there is nothing better than feeling you are looking your best.

My point is an example from last night. I wore the outfit I described in the last Cyrsti's Condo post and felt just OK but nothing dramatic. Did I feel any less feminine? No, I didn't. Then again, I didn't feel any real spark from the outfit.

Perhaps I have crossed the transgender boundary into womanhood. I don't believe most cis-women live or die about their daily outfits. There simply isn't the time to do it.

If you are curious (as I was) the cross dresser who sets up the dinners, is now a "former" cross dresser. He said he was going back to the permanent male side because he can't find any women to hang out with. It was pointed out to him by another trans woman, he was perpetuating the fact that doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results is the true sign of insanity. By spending time with us, there was no chance of finding a friend to share his life with.

At any rate, despite his constant advances on Liz, I didn't have a bad time and yes I did enjoy my transgender femininity, despite feeling I could have looked better.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Legging It Out

We just got home from a whirlwind day, doing errands and sitting through a couple of Liz's appointments. Nothing out of the ordinary today except a nice conversation with a middle aged man about a wonderful restored hotel in French Lick, Indiana. It's relatively close to where we live.

Now I have a short break until it's time to re-invent my makeup and change my clothes before we go out tonight.

Today I wore my black leggings, boots and green speckled cowl neck long sweater. Tonight, I am going to change into my patterned leggings, black flats and fuzzy lace trimmed olive green sweater for dinner.  As I have written before, we are going back to an upscale Italian Restaurant we frequent quite a bit. It will be interesting to see if the cross dresser who invited us comes as a guy or a girl.

Now, all I need to hope for is for all the rain we have been having to stop!

Friday, December 14, 2018

Nailed It

Yesterday in Cyrsti's Condo, I wrote about the basic differences for me going to a nail salon versus having my hair done. Basically I have always loved the hair experience and found the nail experience to be rather mechanical and impersonal. Admittedly though, much of it is my fault because of where I go to get my nails done. Due to financial considerations, I am fairly sure I am sacrificing personal service for cost. I only have a basic cut, trim and polish done and it costs around twenty five dollars, including tip.

As I also discussed yesterday, I have a problem too with the language barriers I encounter in the salon where the main spoken word is Vietnamese. If it was in Thai, it's possible I still would remember a few words from my old Army days. One way or another it would be more fun as I always like to converse more. As it turns out, clear out in the Pacific Northwest (from me), Connie has some of the same problems:

"It's definitely more fun to go into a nail salon with someone else. Otherwise, there usually is nobody with whom you can have a conversation. It is a bit unnerving, though, when the women who work in the salon speak a different language, and have their own conversations going on around, over, and through you. If their conversation is about you, though, I suppose it's best that you don't understand it. I often have to remind myself that I have no control over someone else's thoughts, and if they are thinking ill of me, it really is just a waste of their time; I'm never changing myself for their sake, anyway.

I'm going to try to get acrylic nails again tomorrow. It's getting harder to find a salon that does them anymore, especially one that does a good job at a reasonable price. It seems that every time I find one I like, the technician either retires or moves on to a different salon. My own nails have all been smashed at one time or another over the years, so that they grow all gnarly and bent. The only option, then, is to have acrylic nails if I want them to look good. Then, I have to schedule two-hours of time every three weeks to keep them looking good. Oh well, it's worth it...because I am worth it! (no matter what they're saying in Vietnamese)"

I guess I am fortunate enough over the years to have worked basically non manual labor jobs, so my nails aren't in bad shape. Liz gets the acrylics though and some day I am going to try them!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

More Holiday Parties

The closer we get to Christmas, it seems, the more holiday invitations we receive. In fact, yesterday, we got two more.

The first, is a small get together at the restaurant we go to regularly this Saturday night. The second is a bring your own dish affair after Liz's martial arts class Wednesday night. Which means we will have places to go three nights in a row next week. Two not fancy and one really fancy.

Looking ahead (for once) we have decided to get our nails done in advance this weekend, while we have the opportunity.

I don't get the feminine kick which others do going to the salon. I guess it partially comes from not understanding the language which is being spoken. If someone has something to say about me, I want to know it. Then again, I might be making the whole thing up...which is worse. 

At any rate, the prices are reasonable and Liz has been going there for years, so all is good.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The Anti "PTSD"

My last blog post here in Cyrsti's Condo revolved around Transgender PTSD and how I experienced it Sunday. As luck would have it, the pendulum swung and today was absolutely wonderful.

I accompanied Liz to three of her doctors appointments and encountered several nurses/doctors who I realized have met me several times over the past several years. They were very nice as always. But, it was the other patients and nurses we encountered who made the difference in the day.

I don't know why yet but if I get a good start on the day and feel good about my overall presentation, the day just goes better. It is easier said than done, I know I should attempt to get off to a good start all the time, then again any woman feels better on different days.

Today on elevators (another of my biggest paranoia's) I even participated in conversations with other women, two of whom called us "ladies."

There is no worse feeling than gender dysphoria going wrong for a transgender person, and no better feeling when you don't have to worry about it.

If you remember my last blog post about dysphoria gone wrong in the ladies dressing room, Connie had another take on hearing heavy footsteps:

 FABULOUSCONNIEDEEDecember 11, 2018 at 5:04 PM
"Heavy footsteps may have made me wonder if there were a cross dresser in the next stall.

One of the rules (written into the bylaws) of the local cross dresser social club is "no talking in the ladies room." Of course, if you have your feminine voice perfected, that wouldn't be an issue.... unless a baritone voice answers back. :-)

As I've often said, there is always something on any given day that will burst the bubble, reminding one of her transgender status. Fears we have from the past, whether real or imagined, can be triggered by the smallest thing. I'm glad you were able to shake it off and compose yourself in the moment."
That's a great idea! I should have stayed around to find out! 
As far as my voice goes, some days I think it "passes" better than others.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Transgender PTSD

Sunday, when we went to pick out Liz a new outfit for her Christmas parties, I experienced a feeling I hadn't went through for awhile...Trans-PTSD.

If you don't know what PTSD means, here is a short definition from the "National Institute of Mental Health" :

"PTSD is a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event.
It is natural to feel afraid during and after a traumatic situation. Fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to help defend against danger or to avoid it. This “fight-or-flight” response is a typical reaction meant to protect a person from harm. Nearly everyone will experience a range of reactions after trauma, yet most people recover from initial symptoms naturally. Those who continue to experience problems can be diagnosed with PTSD."
It's been awhile since I have experienced a short time like I did Sunday. To start with, Liz picked out five dresses to try on. As she was going back to the women's dressing room, I was prepared to stay out side in the store until she (Liz) said, get back there with her to tell her how she looked.

Without hesitation I followed her back without even a look from the girl monitoring the rooms. I felt OK until I heard heavy footsteps coming into the stall beside us and all of the sudden, I was expecting a knock on our door asking what we were doing in there. For an instance all the ancient memories of rest rooms past came flooding in on me. To the point I could barely take a breath! After a moment though, my panic subsided and I felt so relieved (as well as a little silly). 

I just don't know after all these years without a problem, I would still feel this way. Perhaps I always will.

Monday, December 10, 2018

"Mo" Privilege

Gender "privilege " is a difficult subject to write about.

First of all, I am going to get to Connie's comment:

Well, had you had male privilege, I imagine your haircut would have cost at least half of what it did!

Trans privilege? That may be an oxymoron. However, hard work and effort, along with some smarts, can get one more advantages than can any privilege alone. For those of us who are mtf, at least we have the advantage of knowing what male privilege can really offer (and it's not necessarily all that women might imagine it to be)."

You are right about the price! And, speaking of price, the State of Ohio just repealed it's very discriminatory "Pink Tax", which added tax on feminine hygiene items as well as other items used almost exclusively by women.  
I have always used an over simplification of male privilege. To me, privilege among men exists mainly from strength, looks, material possessions and/or athletic prowess. Possess one of the tour and you have a better chance of an easier life among your peers.
As easy as that sounds (or doesn't), all is not what it seems. Until you walk the proverbial mile in one gender or the other's shoes, you don't know how many football players would rather wear a cheerleader's uniform or how many powerful men would rather be a soft woman. 
Knowing "Mo" Privilege is often not as easy as it seems.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Male Privilege

During the last hair stylist appointment, I told Teresa (my stylist) about the Cyrsti's Condo blog and she suggested a post about male privilege.

Of course I told her we have discussed it many times but it seems to always be a current topic. An excellent example was how the transgender - cross dresser social Friday night quickly turned from being a girls night out for some of us, to a man dressed as a woman social. I suppose it is a natural reaction from those of us who try to cross the gender frontier (and return) frequently.

I always try not to be too flippant when writing about privilege though.

Mainly, it is a very serious topic when it comes to male privilege and potential violence. Men just don't grow up with the same problems with potential personal violence threats as women do. I learned very quickly the gender differences when I began to journey out of the closet and into a feminine existence. I was lucky, I escaped a couple potentially dangerous situations by simply not paying attention to my surroundings. 

Other privilege situations of course happened when I discovered I had become a second class citizen when conversing with men and had lost much of my perceived intelligence.   

I am proud to say, now, with much prodding from my partner Liz, I have been encouraged to regain a good part of my social interaction with the public.

I guess you could call it "trans privilege".

Thanks Teresa! 

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Friday Night Lights

I did remember to get Liz to swap pictures last night with me after our latest adventure out to the cross dressers - transgender karaoke party. Once again I was dazzled about how so many of the attendees have not lost any of their male privilege. for the most part, I have always thought if you go to the time and effort to look like a woman, you should try to act like one too.

But, I can contradict myself too.  As most of you know, I am as current on most of sporting happenings but am careful to let it not dominate my conversation. My example was last night, two of the cross dressers carried on a very boring two way conversation about coaching little league teams and jobs. I had to keep reminding myself, they were cross dressers and less involved in the total
feminine experience.

I also found it interesting only one of the gender fluid folks even commented on my hair...pro or con. While three of the cis-women mentioned it.

Liz also got her hair styled and she deservedly stole the show. I was so happy for her. The new "style" really suits her continued weight loss of over 110 pounds.

My partner Liz

Friday, December 7, 2018

It's a Wonderful Life?

Last night, Liz and I watched the 1946 Jimmy Stewart/Donna Reed Christmas movie classic "It's a Wonderful Life"

The movie was also a holiday feature for my deceased wife, so it brings back many memories. To make matters worse the deal to rid myself of the property we owned was finalized yesterday.

Moving on often is such a bittersweet deal.

On one hand I can remember the good times but then again I remember the tragedy of having terrible gender dysphoria.  As I often written, I wouldn't wish the experience on my worst enemy.

One of the lessons learned in the movie is how your life effects so many others and once again I flashed back to my own life. One of the treasures I would have missed out on would have been my accepting daughter and her family (including three grand kids). 

So once again, I realized last night how life is but a circle. If you are fortunate to live long enough. Here I am, living my dream as a full time transgender woman. Often, the script isn't what I wanted it to be but that is life as we all know.

All in all though, I'm loved, well fed and warm. It is a wonderful life!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

A Fun Weekend?

It should be a very nice weekend coming up.

First of all. Liz took Friday off so we could both go to my hairdresser. As you may remember, my hairdresser is the one with the teen aged transgender son, so it's always good to get caught up with his news. I'm sure with the holidays approaching and a un-approving father, there will be something to say.

Probably after getting our hair done, we will have to have a girls lunch somewhere close to the salon.

Friday night (already) is another monthly karaoke night out. I plan on wearing my new patterned leggings with one of my long sweaters whose colors match the leggings. I will also plan on wearing my black flats.

It's hard to believe but the Christmas party my transgender-cross dresser support group hosts is coming up in less than two weeks. I have several ideas on what I am going to wear, but have not decided yet.

I am fortunate to only have such earth shattering decisions to make! 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

A Visit With the Vampires and Beyond

Yesterday was my three month hematology appointment. You may remember several years back, I had a problem with too much iron in my blood.  To keep it under control, every so often I have to have a pint of blood drawn. Yesterday I was fortunate and my iron level was low enough, the only blood I had to give up was the minimal amount for lab work.

So, the toughest part of the whole experience was fasting for the labs or not eating for twelve hours.

The nicest part was being able to wear my new black cable knit sweater. It has a cute cut out around the neck area as well as other openings down the sleeves. I paired it up with my tight black jeans and dark gray boots.

So the whole experience was very uneventful!

Changing gears now, I can imagine though what would be less than uneventful would be working in a construction atmosphere with a bunch of men. However, I do have an acquaintance who transitioned as a union carpenter to a woman on the job here in Cincinnati and by her own admission has experienced very few problems.

But, not all contractor or construction transgender transitions are that smooth according to  Connie:

"When I had my business, I spent most of my time dealing with contractors, either selling my services or actually working along side them on the job site. Yes, you probably wouldn't want to have heard what they might have said afterward. While they may have toned down the misogyny and dirty jokes a bit when there was a woman working on a job site, a woman still had to put up with a lot of crap from some of the guys. This may have changed somewhat over the past twelve years, but I would bet that their talk is still quite egregious when it's just guys only.

I used to wear knee pads while I worked (I didn't want rough and calloused knees when I went home and slipped into a dress), and I got so tired of hearing the "down on your knees" jokes. I knew that I would never be able to continue my business if I had transitioned, because the tension would have been unbearable for me. I also would not have been able to make enough sales to stay in business, anyway. A severely torn rotator cuff led to my demise before I had to make that decision, and I used the downtime to begin the early stages of my transition. Although I am still hampered, physically, I have retained all of the skills to do my old work. Aside from the trivial worries of something like breaking a nail, though, I just wouldn't want to have to put up with the jokers.

Wishing it was summer pix!
When I walk into a building store these days, I am usually offered help without solicitation. I often already know as much, if not more, than the employee does. I have learned to play a little dumb; not like I used to do, trying to impress the employee with my knowledge and expertise. There are still a lot of guys who don't appreciate it when a woman upstages them, even if it's a trans woman (or maybe, especially if it's a trans woman). There's more to being a "big girl" than our size, after all. ;-) "

Thanks for the reference to my "The Big Girl" post.

Monday, December 3, 2018

The Big Girl

"Big Girl" Picture by the Ohio River
I have always written about going out when MtF transition to places most likely to make you feel uncomfortable. For example, having to go to an auto parts store rather than a dress shop. Most certainly, the dress shop would be more fun but sometimes the auto parts store is the necessity.

So far, in my relatively short transgender life, I think the most macho place I found myself in was a junk yard with Liz, trying to get a used mirror for our car. It was difficult to dress to blend for a junk yard. But, the fact remains, if you are going to attempt to live a feminine lifestyle, there are going to be times when the "sugar and spice and everything nice" stereotype is not going to cut it.

Sunday, quite by accident, I found myself all so briefly in one of those testosterone macho situations.

Liz and I went to one of the big hardware box stores to look for and have lumber cut for her martial arts class. I didn't think much of it because there are always quite a few women in these stores and it is difficult to find someone to  help you, even if you want to.

Yesterday, to save time and extra steps, we decided to use the contractors entrance nearest to where the lumber is sold. As we came through the sliding doors, I found myself surrounded by a group of men checking out with their construction purchases. I had no choice but to hold my head up high and walk through them.

As I did, I heard a couple of them talking about the "big girl." I thought to myself, I will take it because I am a "big girl." Of course I didn't hear what they said after that. Which was probably a good thing!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Singing in the Rain?

Well, not really. I will not subject anyone to my singing.

As far as the rain goes, we had plenty of it Saturday. Plus, we had plenty to do. For some reason, I am allergic to umbrellas and my hair took the brunt of a rainwater drenching. Seemingly, the rain would let up enough to get from one place to another and my hair would dry up enough to bring curls and friz, then pick up again and drench it.

After about the third time it happened, I gave up and even didn't care much when we went into one of my least liked places...an auto repair shop. By that time, I wanted to get everything done and get back home to watch football.

At least I was fortunate enough to be able to dress for the weather, sans umbrella. I wore a gray sweater, black jeans, gray boots and my scarlet and gray hand knitted scarf, compliments of my partner Liz. The colors by the way, are the same as my fave team The Ohio State Big Ten Champion Buckeyes.

Fortunately, my well worn black leather jacket is still hanging in there and kept me dry too.

So, since I didn't have to sing anywhere and the car was under warranty, a little (or lot of) rain didn't hurt me. At least we didn't get any of the severe storms the system produced to the West of us. And to hell with that umbrella. :)