Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Transgender History

J.M. Ellison 
One of the pleasant surprises this weekend at the Trans Ohio Symposium was the interest in transgender history. I guess rarely do I think of myself as a person who matters as an interesting link to our community's transgender past.

J. M. Ellison was the keynote speaker on Saturday. As I mentioned in a previous post, their presentation leaned heavily on transgender history. All of a sudden I was reliving my days of trying to follow the exploits of  Virginia Prince and her Transvestia Magazine.

The more I heard, the more I started to remember the Pre Stonewall Days when men could be arrested for simply dressing like women in public.  Remembering back, I had to have heard or read about the arrests during my pre teen years in the 1950's/early 60's primarily in Dayton, Ohio.

Of course, this was all before Al Gore invented the internet and any news concerning being a transvestite was extremely difficult to find.

As we (J.M. Ellison and I) spoke later, I went into my memories of my resultant Tri Ess mixers in Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. My earliest days (Late 1970's) of finally meeting others of like gender persuasions. To my knowledge Tri-Ess is still in existence today. One of my earliest learning experiences had to do with the "layers" of "cross dressers" I encountered. All the way from men in dresses smoking big cigars and wearing cowboy hats to ultra impossibly feminine creatures who I couldn't believe were ever male at all. Even back then, I had a difficult time figuring out where I belonged in this setting. These were the years before the transgender label was even used at all. One way or another though, I was always able to go when I could and learn more about my gender conflicted self each time.

Back tracking a bit to J.M. Ellison's interview with me, one of the more intriguing questions they asked me was...was I a feminist?

A question we will discuss in another Cyrsti's Condo blog post which involves us all!

Monday, April 29, 2019

Back in the Saddle

Well, the Trans Ohio Symposium weekend did not disappoint. The inclusion feeling of the Symposium was as incredible as ever.

To put it all in perspective will take several posts. Very simply put though, I partied way too hard, enjoyed my workshop immensely, was interviewed for a dissertation/ book on transgender history, sat way too long in hard back chairs listening to other workshops and was even hugged and kissed on by gay guys.

My workshop was well attended this year! My gender dysphoria topic seemed to resonate with the group well as did my military history. There were a couple of other veterans in the group who asked questions about my experiences within the VA.

The keynote speaker on Saturday was fascinating and they did a wonderful job explaining their (preferred pronouns)research into transgender history. Liz of course is much more outgoing than I am and insisted I talk to them about my Cyrsti's Condo blog and a bit of my past. They responded that we should get together for an interview concerning their project.

I will be writing more information about this later. As well as the other exciting times we had!

Saturday, April 27, 2019

On the Road

Today is finally my workshop day at the Trans Ohio Symposium. So this post will be very short.

I hope you all are well and having a great weekend!

Friday, April 26, 2019

Trans Dar?

Wednesday, as I was waiting for Liz to wrap up her Doctor's appointment and playing on my phone, this younger person walked in and sat down across from me. Of course, at my age, almost everyone is a "younger person".

Very quickly we engaged, much faster than I do with most people. Also my mind clicked into I am talking to another transgender woman. She was very presentable and was wearing a type of pink and blue necklace. As we conversed, I had an idea we both wanted to ask each other about being transgender but couldn't bring ourselves to be that bold.  She even mentioned the in house hospital gift shop was serving coffee from a local coffee shop which also has been known to host a monthly transgender meeting. So she was giving off all the right clues.

Later I began to think if I remembered Liz's Doctor  being mentioned as a trans friendly therapist in any of the groups I have been to. And it seems I have.

Damn, it's a small world!

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Final Plans

The Trans Ohio Symposium begins tomorrow (Friday) and it's finally time to take a final look at the weather and plan my wardrobe. Initially, the weather was forecast to be on the warm and dry side but of course that has all changed. The latest forecasts are calling for wetter and cooler weather. Lows at night are predicted to be in the low 40's.

Now I am back to "Plan B". Or, planning on wearing my lightweight sweaters and leggings. It won't matter that much though, since I am comfortable in those outfits.  Plus, as you all have probably guessed, I don't fall into the feminine "over dressed" category very many times. Since I have been living full time as a woman for so long now, I do quite a bit of the dressing to blend with the greatest majority of the other women I encounter.

A great example was yesterday when I went with Liz to her Doctors' appointment. I wore a frilly, lacy blouse with jeans, light make up and tennis shoes and did just fine.

Also today, I have to finish up printing off my cover sheet and other papers I will need for my workshop. It will be interesting to see how many attendees I get since I am up against four other workshops. Plus, Liz seems to think the early starting time may effect the turnout too.

Finally, I just received a final reminder on my rental car we have reserved for the weekend. Knock on wood, but all the plans are moving forward well.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Mid Week Shuffle

Wednesday (today) is going to be spent doing errands and checking on the availability of the wardrobe I think I want to wear to the Trans Ohio Symposium coming up this weekend.

The weather seems to be cooperating with fairly warm temperatures and very little rain predicted. A couple years ago, it rained all the time seemingly.

Also, again this year, the Capital City Half Marathon will be running again on the main street in front of the Student Union of The Ohio State University where the Symposium is held. All of that makes it difficult to get across the four lanes of traffic to get into the venue. Essentially, you need to find a way in from behind the building through the campus.

We try to dodge that huge problem by getting the shuttle from our hotel to take us. Timing will be everything in that we are going to try to get there early enough to enjoy the complimentary breakfast/coffee and have plenty of time to set up for my workshop at nine.

Thursday, I am going to get more serious about putting together the outfits I would like to wear.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Great Memory

Last night, as I always do, I stopped for a cup of my fave coffee on my way to the transgender support group meeting. The manager has been there since I started to go in.

He is always nice enough to make small talk with me and ask about how my weekend was. Amazingly enough last night, he said isn't it about time for you (me) to head up to Columbus, Ohio for our party weekend. Otherwise known as our Trans Ohio Symposium Weekend.  I told him yes, it is coming up this weekend and I was amazed at his memory.

Somewhere along the way I must have made an impact with my barista!

Speaking of impacts, Leann wrote concerning my Easter Sunday/Mike Pence post here in Cyrsti's Condo:

"I did have a very holy Easter, thank you. Many so called Christians (and those like the woman who said Pence came from a good Christian family) are unwilling to acknowledge is that simply not violating the ten commandments in public does not make one a good Christian. Loving one's neighbor unconditionally is also required of a Christian. Pence and his ilk do not appear to be following this precept. Jesus tells us to love thy neighbor as thyself as part of the Great Commandment. This seems to be lost on far too many who claim to be following Christ. For these we should all pray for their conversion to true Christianity."

Thank you Leann, well put!

Monday, April 22, 2019

Trans Ohio Symposium

Since this Saturday at 9 AM is my workshop presentation at the Trans Ohio Symposium in Columbus, Ohio, I thought I better get started on my notes.

To start with, I'm going to pass out a cover page and paper which simply outlines the questions and symptoms of my topic. Gender Dysphoria.

It goes something like this:

                                                            Gender Dysphoria

               Sex?          Sexuality?           Gender?

          Stress...Tension...Anxiety...Withdrawal...Emotion...Suicide

Somewhere along the line, I may come up with an outline and/or brief bio to save me droning on about myself for a lone period of time.

For once, I am going to try to stay on point and organized which is always not so easy considering how my mind works!

Sunday, April 21, 2019

A Good Christian Family?

This post could be mistaken for an Easter Sunday religious sermon but it is far from that.

To start with, I am a highly spiritual but Buddhist/Wiccan leaning person. I believe in what Jesus Christ stood for and taught but see too many evangelical hypocrites talking out of both sides of their face concerning transgender issues. That is, if you are lucky.

Take last night for example. Our cross dressing "friend" was told the Mike Pence banana joke. Through a grimace/smile she managed to blurt out what a great guy Pence was (claims she knows him since both are both from Indiana) and came from a "good Christian family." I about threw up in my throat which was not a good feeling before dinner.

Backtracking a bit, the cross dresser did show up in all his feminine finery, along with his two delightful college age daughters. It's my fault but I did not pursue what could have been a very ugly pre-dinner conversation about current politics in our country. I realize of course, the cross dresser doesn't really have any serious "stakes" in the LGBT game. Since he never served his country, he doesn't have any knowledge of the torment caused by the Trump/Pence supported transgender military ban. Plus wouldn't coming from a "good Christian family" mean Pence would be more understanding? For sure, Trump is the furthest example of an anti-Christian we have ever seen in office.

OK, enough of my rant. As I said, it s my fault for letting him off the hook last night.

Finally, I hope all you devout Christians' are able to enjoy Easter Sunday for all the day brings to you!

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Saturday Night Lights

Tonight I will supposedly meet the two daughters of the cross dresser I am not really fond of.  You may remember, this is the one who is madly in love with Liz and has made the comment that all transgender women on hormones are bitches. One good way to make sure we are one is to come up with a sweeping stereotypical comment like that!

At any rate, I am looking forward to where we are going to eat and seeing if the cross dresser comes as his guy self, which he has done in the past. I am also interested to see if the daughters show up at all. If either happens, I don't know why we were invited at all.

I will let you know what happens!

Friday, April 19, 2019

Fierce

Last night was the third Thursday monthly social for cross dressers and transgender women Liz and usually attend.

At last nights' get together, seemingly, everyone had a good time and even had a couple of trans men attend. The venue we go to is normally very empty except for our group and last night was no different. We even have the same server.

All went well until it was time to pay and Liz was handling the credit card receipt to our server. For some reason, the server proceeded to call me "he" twice in the same sentence...to Liz. I found out if there is one thing more dangerous than misgendering me to me, it's doing it to Liz. In a split second, Liz fiercely set the server right. I was not a he! It all happened so fast I barely had a chance to comprehend what just happened.

I love her so much!

Liz and I at last years' Cincinnati Pride 
Changing subjects and going back to my endocrinologist visit a couple weeks ago, Connie had this to say:

 "I'm surprised that your endocrinologist didn't tell you about laying off bananas while on Spiro. Bananas (with peanut butter) has been my favorite mid-morning snack since childhood. I can even have withdrawal symptoms if I don't get my beloved banana boost. I'm sure that is why I took note of Spiro's effect of a potential potassium build-up when I was researching it many years ago. I would sacrifice my daily banana, though, for the lessening of my testosterone, but my levels have gone down with age, anyway. 

Speaking of bananas, have you heard that Mike Pence is so homophobic that he eats them sideways? :-)"

In all fairness to my VA Endo Doc, she seems to be over worked and under paid and remembering back not so long ago, my Veteran's Administration Medical Center didn't even have an Endocrinologist at all. I really have had no problem with the care I have gotten at the VA but on occasion you have to remember you get what you pay for and be patient...or be the patient. 

Ironically, it was a transgender friend of mine who reminded me about bananas when I started on Spiro.  And yes I have heard that about Pence. Saturday night, we are meeting up with a cross dresser friend of ours who knows Pence's brother over in nearby Indiana. It should make for an interesting dinner conversation! 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Cosmo Girl?

I have mentioned a couple times here in Cyrsti's Condo about how I was tricked into receiving a deeply discounted subscription to Cosmopolitan Magazine. What happened was when I was buying clothes one day, I was offered a "free" subscription. Of course, nothing is free and the subscription turned out to be only five issues which would automatically renew unless I followed a convoluted set of instructions to cancel it.

Amazingly though, I found plenty to interest me in a publication targeted mainly to "female identifying persons." Even more impressive is I found that definition in the editor's comments. For some reason my subconscious is tuned into anything remotely related to transgender issues when I read (or even scan) another article or post.
Elle Rose

Later on in the issue (May) I found out why the editor singled out "female identifying persons" for her mini editorial. It turns out Dove is running an advertising campaign called "#Show Us - beauty isn't binary" because 70 percent of women don't feel represented in media and advertising. Further more, model and trans activist Elle Rose of South Africa was featured in the ad.

#Show Us issued this statement March 28:The lack of true representation in the media of women of all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, and identities is glaringly obvious. ... Dove has undertaken a survey of women which found that 70 percent of them still do not feel represented in the media and advertising.

All of this takes me back to the photo album I was asked to pose for a year or so ago here in Cincinnati. 

It's about time we transgender women are included in the main stream media. As the Cosmo editor wrote so well, we are all "female identifying persons."

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

No Games

As promised,  this is part two of my previous post called no games.

It took awhile, but my endocrinologist requested blood tests came back on my levels of testosterone and estrogen.

It turns out my testosterone was very low and my levels of estrogen were as to be expected too. Also, the blood tests detected a slightly elevated of potassium. So, to counteract it, she (my Doc) is decreasing slightly my dosage of Spiro. I used to eat a banana a day, thinking it was good for me, until I found it wasn't and contributed to severe pain in my legs.

If you are not familiar, Spironolactone is used to lower testosterone and lowers blood pressure as a side result, among other things. (Or, vice versa.)

At any rate, one of the side effects of taking Spiro is it makes you lightheaded and/or dizzy, both of which I have been experiencing more of lately.

Initially, I was upset at the diagnosis, fearing my testosterone would increase and would not be counter balanced by a higher dosage of Estradiol .

Then I came back to my senses (what's left of them) and realized I was going against one of my basic principles...my health comes first.

This is definitely not a game! Plus, I have another blood test scheduled in May and another appointment in four months, so nothing is permanent.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

No Choice...No Game

Yesterday's mammogram and today's call from my endocrinologist have proven to me again how my transgender journey came from having no choice and is definitely no game.  I have always been humored in a negative way by those who think any of us had a choice to go down this road.

Even though I chose the newer 3-D method of mammogram (thanks Michelle), the procedure was no walk in the park. For those of you who don't know, a "3-D gram" provides a better look at denser breast tissue, normally associated with transgender patients.

The technician was different in how she phrased the question most civilians want to know, when she innocently asked if I had completed my Mtf transition or still was expecting work to "move things around." I had a notion to say it was none of her business until I thought ahead and realized this person was going to cause me some potential discomfort. So I just replied I thought I was close to being done. Our local Transgender community was recently shocked by a trans woman who passed on (in her 40's) from complications when she went through breast augmentation, facial feminization and gender realignment surgery in the same procedure.

As we were finishing up and walking down the hall to leave, she was pleasantly telling me her about her love for upscale purses and then never carrying them.

So hopefully I will be done with mammograms, which I call a rite of passage, until next year.

The game part of this post will be coming up in my next Cyrsti's Condo offering, as this one is getting a little long. Stay tuned.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Monday Monday

Starting off a brand new week for me means it's time to step back and take a brief moment to what is going on.

First of all today I have my much procrastinated mammogram which should have been scheduled in January. The reason I put it off wasn't the procedure itself, which only provides some minor dis-comfort, more so was where I had to go to get it done. Then, after all the putting off, I found the hospital now offers a new imaging center which is much easier for me to get to. So, my appointment is at two today.

I also was able to refill my Spiro this morning without any hassles. It's the drug I take to keep my testosterone low as well as my blood pressure. It was nice I didn't have to go to any convoluted moves to get it done when I called the pharmacy. The woman said it had already been taken care of.

The rest of the week is fairly quiet except for Thursday when we have a social dinner with my transgender - cross dresser group. This will be the fourth time we have went, so I am learning who to avoid. If I can. At least with a few of the attendee's. we have moved from what gun they are carrying in their purse, to seeing endless pictures of their kids.

Since this weekend is a week before the Trans Ohio Symposium, we probably won't do much except maybe go ahead and get our nails done.

Not much else is happening!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Good Morning Trans Ohio!

I have decided to open my Trans Ohio Symposium  workshop with a blast from my past and borrow a line from Robin Williams in the movie "Good Morning Vietnam." If you are not aware, Williams played American Forces Vietnam disk jockey Adrian Cronauer.  Williams in the movie opened his morning radio show with a hearty "GOOD MORNING VIET-NAM!!!

Adrian Cronauer (left) Robin Williams (right)
I was on the radio in Thailand not long after Cronauer and hosted the "Ozone Theater." It was quite the experience being the only tie in to home for thousands of lonely Air Force troops on a combat base.

I feel like since I have one of the earliest workshops at the symposium, Saturday morning at nine after breakfast, having someone yell GOOD MORNING TRANS OHIO!!! will at the least wake everyone up.

It also will be a great lead in to my topic "Gender Dysphoria, from Army Tough to a Feminine Life."

I guarantee I will wake everyone up! Then, my major task will be to keep them interested.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Shopping Trip

Today was the usual Saturday, with a not so quick shopping trip thrown in.

I started with my hour long stop observing Liz's martial arts class. Then, we went to a nearby store to pick up what I refer to as grocery non-essentials. Mainly grocery items we can get cheaper than at the main huge grocery store.

From there we went a couple stores down to a deep discount clothing store to look for spring/summer clothes I can possibly wear to the Trans Ohio Symposium this year. Which is coming up soon at the end of the month. Time flies when you have to consider seasonal wardrobe changes!

I did find three tops and a pair of tan belted culotte pants, very close to the picture of the model to the right.

Due to blood sugar issues from not eating breakfast, I nearly did shop till I dropped and had to stop. I did, however, spend nearly all of the gift card I had been saving for special occasions.

Finally, we finished our day by going to the big grocery store and taking care of the rest of our food needs for the week.

A fun time was had by all, as I was even motioned to the women's dressing room by the attendant.

Even more so when I got my blood sugar back up.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Mammogram

Well, I finally got off my rear and scheduled my mammogram appointment for Monday. It's actually in an easier hospital to get to for me and I don't have to navigate the congested maze of hospitals located around the downtown medical center. Plus I won't have to walk as far.

Yesterday, I also left a message with my endocrinologist asking her if she ever received my blood test labs which measure the estradiol (synthetic estrogen) and testosterone levels in my body. I have not heard back yet from her. One way or another it's not earth shattering because I am not trying to do anything very dramatic. Also, going through my Doc is the safest way to go.

Changing subjects here, the very crowded Democratic primary seems to keep adding people many of us have never heard of. Certain groups through are attempting to sort through all the political BS to give us a deeper look into the candidates. In fact, Democratic candidates will be facing off on LGBTQ issues in a forum this fall. It's a long read, but you can go here to check it out. It helped me to at least put ideas with names for a change.

The event is scheduled for October 10th, which coincides with the "National Coming Out Day."

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Doctors and More Doctors!

Yesterday I went with Liz to her Doctor's appointment and felt good. The wait is normally short and I fool around on my phone and people watch.

For a change, my Mtf Gender Dysphoria was at a low point, so I felt good about myself presenting as a trans woman in public. One would think, as much and as long I have lived full time, all anxieties would begin to diminish. And, for a change, they have.

For the most part yesterday, my interactions were all with other women since Liz's Doctor is in a University of Cincinnati women's health center. For all I know they could have thought I was there for any number of issues except pregnancy. However,  if I don't continue to walk and control what I eat, I might be looking like I am pregnant anyhow.

Speaking of women's health issues, I better get my mammogram scheduled. My maternal grandmother passed from breast cancer in the 1950's so a precedent has been set in my family to get it done. My latest excuse is we are down to one car and I have to be careful to schedule it around my other medical appointments, as well as Liz's.

Again the whole deal is part of being a woman and I need to get it done.

Finally, I have not heard back from my endocrinologist concerning the possibility of increasing my HRT.  I did how ever, receive an extra dosage of Estrogen (Estrodial)  patches from the VA, so maybe I have been approved but just not told yet.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Shrink Wrapped?

Yesterday as I mentioned before here in Cyrsti's Condo, was my monthly visit to my therapist. The session went as expected with extra emphasis on Veteran's Administration mandated surveys they are over prone on occasion to give out. The surveys basically delved into potential depression and it's results.

We also went into the Trans Ohio Symposium information I recently received and I am scheduled to present one of the first workshops on Saturday morning. I laughed I would potentially still be hung over from the attendee mixer the night before which we always attend at Columbus, Ohio's Club Diversity. Liz and I always safely Uber about the city on our pre-destined trips to alcoholic venues.  

My therapist and I also talked about my trip to visit my vacant property in Springfield to pick up any litter as needed. It turns out no upkeep was needed.

As it turned out, when I checked out comments to the blog this morning, Connie had a different idea of the visit:

Picture taken at last summer's Cincinnati Pride Day
"Maybe I can save you a trip to the therapist (or give you something to talk to the therapist about). Have you considered that the littered vacant lot could represent your past - experiences you lived, but now wish would just go away?

I think, when we transition, we may be anxious to be rid of the male persona in favor of a new totally-feminine existence. All of our past experiences culminate into who we are, though. In the (long) process of transitioning, I believe that it's impossible to vacate our pasts, but we do begin to view them from a different perspective. Although there may be much that litters our past, the important things, like close personal relationships, can't be ignored. 

Today is my first daughter's 40th birthday (how can that be, when I am still in my 40's?). :-) I have been reminiscing about her this morning, and, although I wouldn't ever want to forget anything about her, there are some not-so-great things that litter my memories - the time when she was about eleven, and accidentally caught me cross dressed, being one of the most regrettable. We can't erase anything, but we can pick up the pieces and try to put them into a new perspective.

There are plenty of other things from my past - good and bad - that I will never forget, but I certainly don't talk about them as I might have years ago. Sitting around with a bunch of guys (even if they are in dresses), trading stories in a one-up-man-ship manner, is just not appealing to me these days. It only ever was because I was so into the overcompensation game of hiding my femininity with demonstrations of hyper-masculinity. Oh, how silly I now see myself to have been!

I often refer to the AA Serenity Prayer, because it seems to sum up my transgender existence:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference."


Thanks!!!

Monday, April 8, 2019

Girls Afternoon Out

I had a pleasant surprise yesterday. My partner Liz and I were invited out for "Happy Hour" Margaritas with a woman friend of hers at a nearby Mexican Restaurant. 

The invite turned out to be a happy two hours of chit chat. We basically talked about the direction of the spiritual social group we are in. Which included future meetups, Cincinnati Pride and the Witches Ball.

All went well and I enjoyed being included in "How are you ladies doing today." And being called "Mam" by the male server. I don't think it will ever get old.

Changing the subject, tonight is the support group meeting of Crossport , the transgender - cross dresser group I am a member of. Normally, always something interesting comes fro it. Tonight is the big preparation night for Friday's clothing swap which we are doing in conjunction with another transgender group here in town. Last year I found a leather fringed purse I gave to Liz since her favorite color is purple. It will be interesting if I can find anything nice this year.

What I really want to say tonight is (and I won't) can certain members stop the stories of their old male muscle car antics. Or at least come up with some new ones. I just don't understand why some of these people want to glorify their old male existence as much as they do. A percentage of them though are cross dressers who still live in the male world. Perhaps it helps them to keep one foot in that world even though they are dressed feminine. I know years ago when I was exploring the impossible dream of coming out of my closet, I did close to the same thing.

Now I just want to forget most of what I did back then would just go away.

Speaking or going away, tomorrow is my monthly therapist visit. On the way, I am going to stop by the old vacant lot I still own to see if anyone has been littering it. I have been putting it off, so it's finally time to take care of any issues which may have cropped up. If I can.

Finally, before I forget. I hope you all have a great week!

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Charlotte Clymer

Unless you are considerably better read on transgender affairs than I am, you probably don't recognize the name. I didn't until she burst into my conscience this morning on the CBS Sunday Morning Show.

As I was getting ready to undertake my Sunday morning chores (including a blog post...a fun chore) I paused to watch the "Opinion" segment of the show.

All of a sudden, host Jane Pauley was talking about resident rumps' position on blocking transgender troops from serving. Then, she introduced Charlotte Clymer, a real transgender veteran.
Trans Vet Charlotte Clymer

I probably don't have to tell you what happened next.  Charlotte proceeded to lay out her military experience explaining how when she folded a flag as an honor for a troop who paid the ultimate sacrifice, it didn't matter if the person was white, black, gay or straight and finally transgender or not.

Of course she went on to point out "commander bone spurs" (rump) didn't serve at all. Plus, rump was going against some of his top military generals who favored trans service.

I saw this literally about an hour ago. Approximately 10:15 AM, Eastern Standard Time.

I am also offering a video link to watch it, if it is still available,

Obviously, positive/strong opinions like Charlotte's are hard to come by and so needed!

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Response

In response to my "Transgender for Dummies" post yesterday, Connie had this comment:

"Well, it's for sure that Clare Flourish is not "Transgender for Dummies." I read her blog regularly, and I don't think I've gotten through a single post without having to visit Dictionary.com to find the meaning of a word she has used. She certainly offers something for which I can contemplate in most every post.

Speaking as one who must endure a transition without the "assistance" of HRT, I have only been an interested observer of my trans sisters who have been able to experience the effects of female hormones on their bodies and minds. Having fathered two daughters, and having more than just a passing interest as they have grown through puberty, pregnancies and motherhood, has taught me how I might fit into the world of the feminine mystique as a trans woman, as well. There is much to which I can't directly relate, but I, at least, have been able to create a personal mindfulness.

If I were able to go on HRT, I wonder if my mindfulness would be overcome by emotional mood swings. I have observed trans women who had little mindfulness before HRT, and most of them have shown themselves to be emotional messes at times. Cis girls certainly have little mindfulness as they go through puberty, but they do have their peers (and, if fortunate enough, a caring and wise mother) to help them through the trials and tribulations. Trans women don't usually have that luxury, and learning to deal with the changes brought about by powerful hormones must be daunting. I would like to think that I would be better prepared, myself, but I think that there would be only one way to find out. Still, I have been around trans women who began HRT with the thought that it would be the be-all-end-all of their transitions without much support or education. This is why I've often said that HRT can either fuel you or fool you. That's only from my position as an observer, of course.

For whatever reason, I've always been a pretty sensitive person. Being raised as a male, with the assistance of testosterone, had been enough to keep most public demonstration of my sensitivity to a minimum. When I finally declared that I was going to live the rest of my life as the woman I know I was born to be, I found much relief in being allowed to express my emotions more freely. I tend to shed tears at the, seemingly, most silly little things. The only reason I might try to gain control over them, these days, is to keep from messing up my makeup! :-) "

I would agree Clare Flourish is no dummy! Didn't mean to imply she was. More precisely, I was trying to say I was the dummy. 

My view on HRT is it is a stepping stone. In many instances such as I, it has provided me a much needed edge in be able to to present more favorably as a trans woman. I was far from a "natural."  So, as far as I am concerned, HRT fueled me to where I wanted to go. On the other hand, HRT is far from the miracle worker many perceive it to be. As with any other medical procedure, it all needs to be kept in perspective. 

I know a couple novice transgender women who are so convinced HRT is the magic stepping stone to bottom surgery, they have it all laid out in their minds how quick  it all can happen. Both have barely taken the time to live a feminized existence. 

Needless to say, it is a radically different deal when you start to live full time.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Transgender Guide for Dummies

I wish I had the time and the patience to write a book on this subject. Since I don't, I decided to steal an idea from a Word Press blog I follow by Clare Flourish  on emotions, which would be one chapter. I read the post with interest since lately I have been over emotional and afterwards put myself  firmly in the "dummy" category.

Why? Because I have been on HRT for about five years now and have more than a little idea how they effect ones existence. In fact, I think outside a a few physical changes, emotions are your biggest change, Like any woman, your emotions can be happy or sad, or a curious combination of both.

An example for me came this weekend when Liz and I went to a well known German Restaurant here in Cincinnati after the Transgender Day of Visibility. Since I served for a year and a half in the Army for AFN in Germany, I still love the atmosphere, food and of course the beer of Germany.

As we were led to our seats, I felt this overbearing sense of sadness mixed with anticipation. Fortunately we made it to our seats before I started to tear up. I was just so happy to have a chance to relive the past. Hell, I even teared up this year during the Cincinnati Reds opening day baseball ceremony. Some would say I should because of the teams they have put on the field lately but my emotional outbreak had more to do with the baseball fun I had as a guy...which was so bittersweet.

The hardest part I have with emotions is the desire to hold them in as I always did (of course) as a guy. Once again, I am being the dummy and Liz always notices me tearing up anyhow.  So, why bother?

I know also, in today's complex male/female gender interactions, women too are coming to view crying as a sign of weakness.  I don't know how they do it. Once I feel a wave of emotions coming over me, there is not much I can do about it.

Back in the day as I was first coming out in the world as a trans woman, my cis female friends always took delight in telling me "Welcome to our world." It's taken me years to understand the layers and richness emotions (among other things) have added to my life.

I was always "the dummy."

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Accepted!

I just received a message my workshop proposal for the Trans Ohio Symposium has been accepted. The symposium takes place this year again at THE Ohio State University Student Union center from April 26th through the 28th. I will find out later in the week when my workshop is scheduled.

As you may (or may not remember) my subject matter will center around my navigation through severe Mtf Gender Dysphoria.

The whole weekend is beginning to come together for Liz and I. A week ago we secured a hotel reservation at a nice venue close enough to the campus to provide a free shuttle service. Then, a couple days ago reserved a rental car for the two hundred mile trip to and back from Cincinnati to Columbus for the symposium. Which saves extra wear and tear on the only high mileage car we have left. The other self destructed a couple weeks ago when the timing belt broke. Plus, we won't have to worry about an untimely breakdown on the trip. 

Now I have to concentrate on "fleshing" out the workshop proposal I sent. Fortunately, a trans friend of mine brought back a helpful little booklet I could use from the "Keystone Conference" in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania not long ago. It's a great "cheat sheet" or for those of you who remember, a version of"Cliffs Notes" on transgender issues.

I really need to do a better job of presenting this year than last year...no crying!

Before I conclude this post, I would like to say hello to Angie in Kentucky!

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Weekend Transgender Fun

Or, things to do while I happen to be transgender. Mentally, I don't make the separation much anymore. To me, I am just me, presenting feminine after so many years in gender hell. On occasion though, I will pause and look back on what a long strange trip it has been. I even considered posting my one and only "before" picture with this post but I won't since it causes me to remember back to so many painful days.

At any rate, we are supposed to have a good Spring weather weekend around here for a change, so it's time to dig through my wardrobe and pull out a few suitable
cross dressing pic... circa 2009
outfits.

Friday night is the monthly dinner and music social with the cross dressers - transgender group. I will have to check the weather but I might be able to get away with just a light sweater with jeans or leggings. I have a powder blue sweater Liz gave me that goes great with leggings and actuates my figure. I may have to break down and wear a bra with it though because it gets a bit "nipply" if you look at me from the wrong angle. I just don't like to wear bras, preferring a more "natural" feel. The lighting where we go is normally low, so I should be able to wear the outfit without a jacket and do fine.

Saturday (as always} is errand day. We start with Liz's martial arts class where she just became a recommended black belt and then go to the grocery store. This week though, we have another meeting for the Witches Ball Committee, which should be interesting because the head person quit in protest. So everyone will have to step up and take more responsibility. So far, my deal is being in charge of our Cincinnati Pride table. Not too bad.

Finally Sunday, we hope to get a head start on the yard and work outside. Boring but needed activity.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

The Sugar Daddy and the Endocrinologist

My trip to the endocrinologist was certainly uneventful, until I met my sugar daddy afterwards. My Doc was OK with my request to increase my estrodial and perhaps decrease my testosterone. As we talked, I said I was satisfied where I was with my feminization process but then again feel like I hit a wall. So, her (the Doc's) answer was maybe my testosterone was creeping up again and let's get it checked. So, off I went to get the proper blood labs done.

I knew my day was going too good when the 75 mile trip up to the medical center was very easy for a change, I found a parking spot and the wait was minimal. By this time, it was past noon and I hoped the wait at the blood labs would be minimal too...wrong, the room was packed, standing room only almost for a seat. I settled in to lose an hour of my life I would never get back.

As I sat there, a short time later, an older gentleman, well dressed with a straw hat sat down across the room. I didn't give him much thought except you don't see many guys at the VA who bother to dress up at all.

Approximately fifteen minutes later, he got up to go to the restroom and lost his seat. He then ended up sitting across from me. He was busily talking to a couple of other guys about the March Madness basketball games and was leaving me alone, for awhile. Then he said "Mam" what branch of the service did I serve in? I told him the Army and the chat was on. I found out he served in the Army in the mid 60's in Panama, was 75, retired but still flipped houses for a living.

By that time, he had decided to quit talking to the other guys and turn his attention to me and all the time used the proper pronouns so I felt secure in the conversation.  I had to be careful though not to out myself.

If I mentioned at all I was drafted, that would do it. Of course women weren't drafted into the service. On the fly I needed to make up a story about how I got into the military, or slightly twist the facts. Or shut up. I chose the latter but on the way home came up with a more palatable way of explaining what I did in the military.

To start with, some of you Cyrsti's Condo regulars know, I was assigned to the American Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS). So, I actually worked for the Air Force for one year and the Army for two years. So, I could say I was almost a contract worker for the military. At least it may work in a pinch when I get into an in depth conversation with someone who I don't want to automatically out myself with.

I must be getting dramatically better with my over all transgender presentation though. This makes the second time in a row men have called me by the right pronouns and wanted to talk while I was waiting to give blood. Years ago, I was called a "fagg--t" in the same room.

Times do change, and if my blood comes back the right way, maybe I can change it a little bit faster.

Finding your Happy Place

From the Jessie Hart Archives   As a transgender woman or trans man, it is often very difficult to find your happy place. A happy place can ...