Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Crossing the Gender Divide

As I went back and read the "Double Edged Sword" post, I decided on a couple other thoughts I didn't mention.

Looking back at the decade which is all but over, I realized the enormity of what I was able to accomplish.

Of course the trip across the gender frontier wasn't all fun and games and I wonder if I would have made it at all without the help I received.

As I moved forward into the feminine world, I learned very quickly three lessons as my male privilege disappeared. One of which was my perception of how women treated other women changed. It didn't take me long to realize smiling faces sometimes held  knives just waiting to be stabbed into my back.  Passive aggression was often as harmful as a man's frontal assault.

Another big lesson came in the communication department. It seemed the better I became in my feminine presentation, the lower my IQ became. The first time happened when my car broke down and I had to call a tow truck. The whole scene was "helped" along when a well meaning sheriff showed up to help. To make a long story short, it turned out both of them had a better idea of how to get my car back to my house than I did. On the way home I finally just relegated myself to "dumb blond" status, as I was back in those days and started asking stupid questions about how the tow truck worked.

Even after that, I was a slow learner. Somehow, someway I would get myself into conversations with men in the sports bars I went into. I found out again and again how little I all of the sudden I knew.

Being invisible in a crowd became a reality too. One time several cis women servers from a place I frequented quite a bit invited me on a "girls night out" with them. I was flattered and went along. Soon I found out how the most attractive of the crew received all the attention. I figured beggars shouldn't be choosers though and relaxed to enjoy the gender banter.

Perhaps the most important lesson came in how I viewed my personal security. I was fortunate. One late night on the downtown streets of Dayton, Ohio I was semi accosted by two men looking for money. I got away with only giving them five dollars. From then on, I learned to check out my surroundings and always walked with a friend anytime I could. In fact one night when I went back to the same area (which contained several gay bars) my wonderful trans guy friend was nice enough to walk me to my car.

As I wrote in my last post, it was quite the decade. I wouldn't wish being transgender on my worst enemy. On the other hand, crossing the gender divide was at times a scary experience and at others a terrifically exhilarating one. 

Tomorrow, on my New Years Day post I will follow Stana's lead from Femulate and show you a before and after comparison.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Double Edged Sword?

Looking back at the decade which is almost over, I can't help but marvel at the changes which occurred.

Specifically, in 2010 I was struggling totally with my gender identity. The more I lived and experimented with living in a feminine world, the more natural I felt. Unfortunately though, the better I felt the harder it was to give up my male past. After all, there were so many huge questions to answer. Most of my immediate family (my parents) had passed away, as well as most of my closest friends. I only had to worry about my only sibling (a brother) and my only child (a daughter).

Both of them turned out to be my first sword. My daughter embraced me while my brother rejected me. I have written profusely concerning both. Essentially though, my brother refused to accept me while selling out to his right wing, red neck, in laws. I was fortunate in that I gained so much more than I lost.

Of utmost importance in the decade, was meeting my partner Liz. She basically found me struggling to find myself on a series of online dating sites. Ironically, Liz was looking for a woman when she found me.

On the sites, I was still struggling with my sexuality, thinking I needed a man to be a woman. As it turned out, I didn't. Before Liz came along, I was able to make friends with two lesbians who did more than they would ever know in helping me in my new explorations of the feminine world. All wasn't so rosy though as the sword swung again as I was kicked out of one place I frequented and had the cops called on me in another. On the other hand, I distinctly remember a spaghetti dinner I attended at Zena's (a cis woman friend) when I wore my black short skirt and heels.

As always though, the sword swung back during the decade and I found myself reaping the benefits of hormone replacement therapy. An old transgender friend once told me I "passed" out of sheer will power. So I needed every bit of help I could get in the transgender presentation department.  It seems impossible to me now it was over seven years ago when Liz and I went out on New Years Eve and I took my first small doses of estrogen. Years later I can thank the meds for softer skin, longer hair, breasts and on certain days, crazy emotions.

All in all, it has been quite the decade for me. As I look back on it, the decade has been right up next to the 1970's for me as a time of turmoil and discovery. The sword swung mightily in both decades teaching me that life is but a circle.

The sword of course is just another mystical symbol. Life is also directed by destiny. If you don't take chances, it may never find you.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Jamie O'Neill

From Golf Week:

"Jamie O’Neill played golf for the first time in six years as part of a team-building exercise with her new employer, an engineering firm.
Her first tee shot went straight down the fairway for 280 yards. “With that one shot I was hooked on playing golf again,” O’Neill wrote in a story for Outsports.com.
O’Neill, who is a 43-year-old transgender woman, shared her story of chasing her dream to compete in World Long Drive Association events.

She began her transition from male to female at age 34 in 2010. Deciding to transition was not easy, O’Neill writes. “I was prepared to lose my family, my friends, my career, but what I knew was I was not going to lose my life.”
O’Neill underwent facial feminization surgery and then spent hundreds of hours on electrolysis for hair removal, voice therapy and breast augmentation before having sexual reassignment surgery."
For more, go here. Thanks to "Zena" for sharing!

Saturday, December 28, 2019

It Takes Time

I went to a very sparsely attended cross dresser - transgender support group meeting recently. Due to the holidays, only eight attended. Out of the eight though, I was amazed at the diversity represented under the trans umbrella.

We had one person who attended who is is only three weeks away from going under the knife for genital realignment surgery on one end of the spectrum, all the way to a gender fluid person who still is exploring which way she wants to lead her life. I used the feminine pronouns because she did when I saw her.

Then there was one of the board members who is slowly coming out to her family accompanied by another who described herself as a stay at home house wife, who brought Christmas cookies. Of course there was me. I live full time as a woman but have no desire to have any surgery done in my future.

Finally, there were two first time attendees. One of which is moving to Cincinnati from the Phoenix area and the other who I can only describe as a grumpy old man. Along the way he tried to pull the age card which didn't work with me. It turns out we were the same age and he was another Viet Nam war era vet. I wondered just why the hell he was there until he said he was looking for a surgeon to do GRS on him. Chances might be dim though since he just went through open heart surgery.

I wondered how much time he has spent living in the feminine world. You may remember you used to have to prove you had lived as a woman for two years before surgery would be considered. I don't see the need for that but then again I would think a person would want to try a gender "test drive" before going to the extreme of changing the equipment.

Not long ago I wrote a post discussing my own progression from cross dresser to transgender woman and Paula commented:

"There is so much difference between dressing up glam to go out and have fun and living a regular every day life. I will admit to missing some of the thrill of going out cross dressed. Sure there was an element of fear in that excitement, but was so much fun.

I thought I would never be free of the compulsion that drove me to cross dress, but it is nearly six years since I last cross dressed, I can in all honesty say that since I first "went full time" I have felt no inclination to furtively buy a pair of brogues dress up in masculine clothes and sneak out hoping the neighbors won't see me." 

I agree with you Paula. I believe when you go "full time" you really join the cis women of the world. An example would be my partner Liz, who is a cis woman. She works at home and spends most of her time in jeans and sweaters as I do. On the other hand it is great fun to get dressed up for a holiday party. The party was a reminder too of my long ago cross dressing days when get dressed up was mandatory.

Learning life as a trans woman just takes time!


Thursday, December 26, 2019

Is Cross Dressing an Addiction?

Back in the day, I did consider the allure of cross dressing to be an addiction. Seemingly, the more I admired myself in the mirror, the more I wanted to do it. If it was only an addiction though, why did it lead to leading a full time life as a transgender woman?

As with anything else which happens when you tinker with human gender, all of this gets very complex. In my case I think gender dysphoria played a major role. When I cross dressed for a brief amount of time, I was able to relieve the gender pressures I was experiencing but only for awhile. When I "rebounded" back to my day to day male existence I was usually depressed and often mean.

It literally took me years to understand what was really going on in my life. Slowly but surely as I continued to become a more accomplished cross dresser and explore a feminine public existence, I began to feel more natural as a woman. Ironically, at the same time, more and more information on being transgender was becoming more accessible. It seemed, gender doors were being magically being opened for me when I was ready for them.

All of this became even more intense the closer I came to coming out full time. Factors such as the extremely tragic passing of my wife coupled with the Veterans Administration suddenly deciding to accept and treat transgender veterans allowed me more opportunity than ever before to attempt a Mtf gender transition.

As they say, the rest turned out to be history. I succeeded far better than I ever could have imagined.

Now, as I like to do, is present another viewpoint on cross dressing addiction from Connie:

"Remember that old cigarette commercial, with the slogan: Are you smoking more, and enjoying it less? Well, for many - including myself, at one time, the question might be: Are you cross dressing more, and enjoying it less? Not that cross dressing is an addiction, but it can certainly be intoxicating. For myself, it was not the act of cross dressing that seemed an addiction, even if I did spend a lot of time considering the possibility that it was. My addiction, though, was actually all of the conniving I did in order to cross dress. I was only fooling myself into believing that I had everything under control, when, in doing so, I was destroying everything and everybody important to me. That's probably the top indicator of any kind of addiction, and my transition really began when I finally realized what I was doing; I'd reached my "rock bottom." I dislike labeling and defining stereotypes, but I never was a cross dresser. I cross dressed to survive, and then I transitioned to thrive. While I may still hold some admiration for cross dressers who can easily compartmentalize their male and female lives, it just is not who I am. I also admire those who realized early-on that transitioning was what they needed to do. I don't recommend doing it the way I did, as my "transition within a transition" truly came down to "cross dressing more and enjoying it less."

As always thanks to all of you for taking the time to visit Cyrsti's Condo and to Connie for the comment!

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas!

I hope this holiday season finds you with your blood family or chosen family and you are not alone.

If you are be sure you can change your life for the better. Reach out to the nearest LGBTQ center and see if they can help!

Thanks for stopping by the blog and I wish you the best of the season!

Cyrsti

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

A Natural Woman?

Anita Noelle Green is the current title holder of Miss Earth Elite Oregon and a 2018 Miss Montana contestant. She’s also transgender, being the third openly transgender woman ever to compete in a Miss Universe pageant program, the first in the Montana edition’s history.

When Green prepared to compete in the Miss Oregon contest, a United States of America Pageants event, she learned that her application was being rescinded and her entry fee was being returned, with their director, Tanice Smith, telling Green that ‘this is a natural pageant.’
It's not surprising ridiculous statements such as "natural" still apply to transgender women or trans men. 
Without being very in depth, there is no such thing as a "natural woman" all women are born female.  Transgender women are no different than cis women.  We were just born a different way. 
Green has filed a federal lawsuit in Portland, Oregon.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Don't Try This at Home

This comes to us via Connie and the New York Post:

"He’s a real momma’s boy.


A man was arrested in Brazil for dressing up as his 60-year-old mother in order to take her driving test for her, reports said.

The driving instructor realized the person in front of her was Heitor Schiave, 43, in a floral blouse, painted nails, make-up and a wig — and not his mom, Maria.
“He tried to be as natural as possible. He wore lots of make-up with his nails nicely done and wore women’s jewelry,” instructor Aline Mendonca told Brazilian outlet G1, according to the BBC.
Schiave apparently decided to step into his mom’s shoes after she repeatedly failed the driving exam."

Already?

I  spent a sleepless night recently thinking about many topics. After a while, my mind came to thinking about this upcoming years' Trans Ohio Symposium. After making the initial determination I was going to apply again to be a presenter, I began to think about the all important topic.

The title of the topic is so important because it draws people into your workshop. You normally compete with four others for people. If the topic sounds boring you can expect quite a few less visitors. An example was two years ago when the organizers put me in a huge round room and only five people showed up. Last year though, my workshop was in one of the smaller rooms and it was nearly full.

Very early in the process, I am thinking of doing something like this, "A transition within a transition. The cross dresser to transgender experience." I am going to the trouble of writing it down now so I won't forget it.

By the way, the Trans Ohio Symposium doesn't happen until May but the committee in charge asks for submissions early in the year.

It's probably time to get started.


Sunday, December 22, 2019

Alexandra Grey

Yet another transgender woman making a difference!

From Wikipedia:

Alexandra Elisha Grey (born January 4, 1991) is an American actress and musician, best known for her role as Melody Barnes in the Fox television series Empire (2015–present). She also had recurring roles on Amazon's Transparent and currently plays Denise Lockwood on the NBC TV medical drama Chicago Med.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

A Wealth of Riches

It seems recently I have been overwhelmed by the possible amount of material I have received for my Cyrsti's Condo blog. Believe me though, I am not complaining. Often I go weeks on end trying to come up with something to write about. Over the years I have somehow come up with over six thousand posts. Thanks to all of you such as Connie, Paula and Mandy who help out with content too. Then there is everyday life.

For example, Thursday night Liz and I went to the Christmas party for transgender-cross dressers and their families. I had a very good time as most of the people around our table I had known for quite a while, Several were cross dressers from small towns in Indiana who were complaining how hard it was to remain in the closet where they live. On the other hand, we were able to sit close to the very accomplished 80 year old role model I have mentioned in the blog before. She has done an amazing job of being accepted in society as her true self.

Liz did manage to take one selfie to share. I know it's not the best quality but it is all I have.

Also on the plus side, Liz managed to win the "split the pot" lottery which everyone could pay to take a chance at. So we were able to recoup the forty dollar per ticket amount.

This is just a small amount of items I want to share with you all and we will get to a couple new transgender women who are making a difference.

Plus, we have another couple of events coming up this weekend, one never knows what will happen to write about!

Friday, December 20, 2019

Alexandra Billings

From Wikipedia:


Alexandra Scott Billings is an American actress, teacher, singer, and activist. Billings is among the first openly transgender women to have played a transgender character on television, which she did in the 2005 made-for-TV movie Romy and Michele: In The Beginning.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

The Past

As impossible as it is to dwell on any changes one could have made to change a life, we transgender folk seem to always do it.

Take away the fact we are trying to do one of the most impossible things to do in a life (changing a gender) and it turns out we trans people are always trying to figure out a way to have done it better.

One example is timing. Those who transitioned later in life, like me, always have the nagging ideas such as what would have happened if we would have attempted the big move earlier in life.

The easy answer for me is I probably could have accomplished so much more. I spent so much energy and torment trying to live with my gender dysphoria.

When you factor in all the outside factors such as family, society, etc, it just hurts my noggin to even think about it.

My example is if I would have followed my first finance's lead and told the Army I was gay when they came a knocking during the Vietnam War draft. She gave me the option of serving or her. As painful as it was at the time, if I had chosen her, I would have missed out on such tremendous life experiences as having my daughter and traveling over three continents in three years on Uncle Sam's dime. Now I'm happy I didn't choose her!

Still it wasn't good enough. At times I resent the years I spent just trying to live up to the macho code. I can rationalize it all now though by thinking I was just ahead of my time. I was just waiting for the world to catch up. As far as transgender community goes, the good "ol" days weren't so good. After all, I remember men being arrested for just dressing like women.

I could go on and on about the torment of growing up as a boy wanting to be a girl but none of that does any good anyhow.

Maybe I should just keep thinking about how things are, not how they should have been. I am happy where I am now. If you ever would have asked me how it all would end up to this point, I would have not believed you anyway.

Dwelling on the past is useless anyway.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Just Smile...Dammit

Do women smile more than men? And if they do, what does it mean to you?

Obviously, if you are trying to insert yourself into a feminine world, you should learn to smile more. Think about it, once you have perfectly thought of every feminine detail concerning your outfit, makeup and hair...don't forget to smile. It's the perfect accessory.

However, as with anything else which has to do with the human gender, this idea gets very complex too. I initially thought of the idea for this post after seeing a handwritten sign in my local coffee shop which said something like women smile eight times more than men. I researched and couldn't find that number but I did find an interesting article to share with all of you. It's from Slate and here is an excerpt:

"Women have to be nice. “Show me a smile” is a staple of street harassment (the ur-creep of the genre being Heath Ledger’s Joker, a lank-haired greaseball leering, “Why so serious?”) And when they are not, when they are merely impassive or thoughtful, they can be held up for mockery and branded as rude.
To ask why is to step into the laser grid of unspoken rules governing the arrangement of male and female faces—the gendered ways we police social performance. (If you’re a woman who thinks this sort of policing doesn’t happen in real life, consider whether a friend has ever yanked you from an introspective haze by asking “Are you mad at me?” She probably meant: Why aren’t you smiling?) We’ve tangled up so many notions of gender in our smiles that the presence or absence of a grin has come to imply a distinction between male and female. In one study, babies dressed in green and yellow were paraded before a group of onlookers. When the infants cooed, gurgled and smiled, the observers tagged them as girls; fretters and criers were assumed to be boys. The effect persisted when a different group of participants was presented with images of cheerful or angry adult faces. People readily identified smiling women as female and wrathful men as male, but they took longer and stumbled more often when confronted with furious female countenances or beaming male ones."
For more, follow the link above to Slate and remember, the next time a woman smiles at you when you are out and about in your cross dressed best, perhaps she is doing what comes naturally. 
You should too.


Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Russian Bride

From the Moscow Times:

"Authorities in Russia have registered one of the first transgender marriages in a country that positions itself as a bastion of traditional family values.
Erika Askarova and Viktor Manuilin’s otherwise ordinary wedding made national headlines after the
two posted photographs from the registry office in the city of Kazan on Dec. 12. Askarova, 30, and Manuilin, 20, told news outlets that they decided to make their relationship official months after they both changed their gender."
Reportively, Russia still classifies transgender people as mentally ill.

"Mo" "Mo" "Mo"

No, it's not the beginning of a new Christmas song, it's my version of saying "more, more, more." Why you may ask? It's because of my posts entitled "Are There more Trans People?" and"Integration." Both Connie and Paula responded with comments.

Connie's comment included background on the picture she shared from ten years ago which you can see again by going to the post. And much more:

"When I went to your site, this morning, I scrolled down the page, only to see a large, old pic of me in-between pics of Janet Mock and Angela Ponce. All of a sudden, that old Sesame Street song, "One of These Things is Not Like the Other" started playing in my head. Then again, maybe I have more in common with them than I give myself credit for.

When the picture of me was taken, Janet was in her mid-twenties and Angela was still a teenager. While I, in my late fifties, was still only contemplating the possibility of my own transition, the two of them were already well on their ways. I doubt that their individual gender dysphoria were any greater than my own, though. What they did have was more opportunity and, may I say, privilege to express themselves than did I at a young age. Those of us trans women who waited until a much later age to come out may have been inspired by a younger generation, but the baggage we accumulated along the way has made it more difficult to do so. How many of us have dealt with the woulda-coulda-shouldas when we look at these beautiful young trans women who have gained such status? I would have to guess that there are still quite a few older trans women who are still in the closet, contemplating that very thing.

No, I don't think there is a higher percentage of transgender people in the world. There might be a case for more, if non-binary individuals are taken into account, but that is a subject for another discussion. When it comes to those who are assigned a gender at birth but who identify as another, the only difference I see is that they are more able to express themselves now than could be done in the past. As for myself, I can say that, had my earliest attempts at expressing my true gender identity not been quashed by my mother, the world could have known of one more trans person sixty-five years ago. I didn't stop being a trans person, though, even if it took me another half-century to begin to show the world that I was - and, more importantly who I was.

Another topic for a different discussion is the claim that there is a trans movement designed to turn children toward being trans. These people, making that claim, would tell you that this is, at least in part, the reason for an increase in the number of trans people."

It is my opinion, the earlier trans kids can begin their transitions the better, because they are able to take puberty blockers which enables them to "blend" in easier as their preferred gender. However, I do take into effect it's very early in life to being making such a huge decision. It is also my understanding though the effects can be reversed if the treatment stops. It's a difficult, complex subject. 

Paula's comment is slightly different:

"I think you're right in that it is not so much that there are more of us, but that we are more able to be out, and are more visible. At a recent training session I was surprised to find that in the UK there are more trans men than trans women, and more non binary people than either. We are experiencing a lot if attacks on trans women, but need to move our own campaign to focus more on getting rights and recognition for all."

It is probably just a matter of time before non binary people receive a higher level of visibility and acceptance. 

Thanks to both of you for your comments.




Monday, December 16, 2019

Struggling

I am sure you regulars have noticed the new Cyrsti's Condo blog format. It is because I am struggling with Google over a couple of issues of running ads, or not.

The basic problem is I don't have the expertise to know exactly what is wrong and Google's tutorials don't do me any good if I don't understand them. There is quite a bit I don't like about this new format, so if and when it changes again, don't be surprised.

Other than that, winter has firmly settled in around here in Cincinnati. We had snow mixed with some rain last night and we are expecting more tonight. Since I am retired, the only real problem I have is finding a pair of boots in my closet which somehow have been lost.

Hopefully the snow/slush will be mostly gone by Thursday and the weekend. Thursday is the semi formal Christmas Party the cross dresser - transgender group I am a part of is hosting. The tickets were semi expensive so I hope the food and company meets my expectations. As it stands now, I am putting together an outfit of my black patterned print three quarter sleeve top with a pair of wide legs black slinky pants. The biggest decision comes with how I will decide to wear my hair. I can either brush it out after washing for more of a straight look, or mousse it heavily for a more curly look. As it stands now, it will be a game time decision.

As it turns out, Thursday may be the start of a three day stretch of going out for Liz and I.

Friday is a Yule celebration we are thinking of going to and Friday is the final performance at a local winery for a friend of ours who plays music.

Hopefully, the end of the week won't prove to be a struggle at all!

Friday, December 13, 2019

Are There More Trans People?

Sometimes it seems to me there are more transgender women and men these days.

I back up my theory with two reasons. The first is due to the impact of social media and the internet. I still am amazed about the amount of material I run into as I research possible blog topics. Of course, at my age, I go way back to the days of Virginia Prince and her Transvestia Magazine being nearly the only sources of information for novice transvestites. Now of course, there are nearly too many outlets to mention where you can find information on trans people, 

Janet Mock
As an example, I just Googled "transgender" and received 173 million results. One of which one of the top trans activists Janet Mock. Indeed we have come along way!

Another example I can use is Angela Ponce who we featured a couple days ago here in Cyrsti's Condo.  She competed in Miss Universe in 2018 as Miss Spain. I can only imagine some of the feminine back stabbing going on behind the scenes with such a gorgeous contestant competing who was also transgender.

My second reason is an extension of the first. Overall, we are so much more visible because we all have a better idea we are not alone. Plus, as we have pointed out in the blog, it is increasingly easier to carve yourself out a place in the world.

So, there are probably not more transgender people in the world. Just more who are visibly finding their way.  No longer do we have to worry about transitioning and disappearing.

None of this though takes anything away from how difficult a gender transition can be. Let's not forget how gender dysphoria can tear away at a soul and how the whole process of learning another gender can tear relationships (family) and employment apart. 

Maybe, just maybe, if there are more trans people, they can have a chance to be happier.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Integration

Every once in a while I giggle (to my self) when I notice one of the cross dressers I happen to be around becoming a little too "outgoing" with an outfit or actions. I add "to my self" because in the past I have gotten into trouble with my thoughts. Why?

Years ago, I was told by my deceased wife I didn't have any real idea of what being a woman was all about. All I wanted to do was to be the "pretty, pretty princess."  You know what? She was right.

My disclaimer here is...it's fine to be the pretty princess but don't think it is representative of living in society full time as a transgender woman. It just isn't.

Fortunately these days, there are many paths opening up which can aid your integration into mainstream society.

Both Paula and Connie have comments.

From Paula:

"I fear that all too many of us spend way too much time with other trans people. I didn't go through all this so I could join an exclusive club! I want to enjoy my life as a woman out in general society; making music with my friends, watching some Rugby and just generally getting on with life."

I agree, I know now I spend the majority of my "social" time with non trans people. 

And now from Connie:

"I would encourage anyone who wants to put themselves in the mainstream to find a Meetup group in their area. Just about any subject or activity that may interest you has a group you can join. The first one I joined was a women's dine-out group. I messaged the organizer, beforehand, just to let her know that I was trans. She thanked me and said that it was OK with her. I did then ask her to not tell the others, because I wanted to attend without any preconceived notions. I proceeded by joining other groups that were not gender-specific. There are lgbtq groups, as well, but I avoid them. I would rather come across another member of the lgbtq community among a mainstream group. Over the years, there has been only one woman who objected to my being a part of the group. She expressed this to the organizer, who told her not to attend if she didn't like being in the same room with a trans woman. Her loss, not mine!

Volunteering is a great way to find acceptance within a group. Kandi tells of many experiences she has through volunteering in her Kandi's Land blog. I've not done as much volunteering as I'd like, but it's not because I'm worried about my trans status - maybe a little laziness, though.

Finding a job may be more difficult than working one, but I don't think there has been anything more affirming than gaining the trust and appreciation of an employer, not to mention that I work totally integrated with the public.

The day I made the decision to live totally as my true-self, I did just that. Part of that decision was that I needed to stop doubting myself, if I were to expect anyone else to not doubt me. Of course, I was totally cognizant that some may doubt my womanhood, but the onerous is on them to either accept me or stay away; I exist, and I have the same right to be anywhere and do anything as do they.

There is a process involved in getting oneself to be confident enough to begin a transition, but I think that, unless one is willing to jump in all-the-way, the transition (at least, socially) may be unnecessarily fraught with pitfalls. I enjoy living in the mainstream now. All I can say is: Jump on in; the water's fine! :-)"

"Meet Up" groups are a great way to go! Liz and I have been to many. I have only been refused once. To a lesbian only group. Like you said, their loss, not mine. 

Plus, while I am on the subject of you (Connie), here is your picture from a decade ago!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Ghost Hunting

Liz and I went back to Roh's Opera House in Cynthiana, Kentucky Saturday night for another ghost hunting adventure. If you are a fan, you may know Cynthiana is the home of the "Walking Dead" television show writers.

The Opera House itself is an interesting blend of spirits, for the most part positive which is why I like to go there. Staying up all night is another story. It normally takes me a couple days to regain my equilibrium. In fact, I ended up missing one of the cross dresser-transgender support group meetings I go to.

I will be making up for that by going to the Christmas party with Liz this year. It is the only evening I really concentrate on getting all dressed up for.

Of course, Saturday night was all casual, with jeans and tennis shoes. I also like to go because I automatically get addressed by all the right pronouns. During four trips with the group, I have only had to correct one guy...once.

For all of you who want to become more accomplished in the world as a transgender woman (or cross dresser) you may want to consider joining a group of civilians and establishing yourself. By civilians I mean a group that has other interests in mainstream society.

The best example I can think of is a cross dresser in the group I am part of. I have never heard her refer to herself as transgender and is close to 80 years old. As a woman she is a deacon of her church and serves on the board of directors of the Cincinnati Reds baseball team women's auxiliary. She is simply amazing.

Others I could mention are Connie who works as her true self, Paula the musician and Mandy the traveler. I am sure they would all agree, it is a process and something normally doesn't happen over night.

As far as my overnight experience went, I wasn't miss-gendered by a spirit. So I guess it was a success.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Laverne Cox Has been Busy!

Perhaps you have noticed the ultra gorgeous transgender woman Laverne Cox on any of the Smirnoff Vodka holiday television commercials.

As I understand it, this is actually the second year she (Laverne) has been in Smirnoff commercials. The brand also happens to be a big LGBTQ supporter.

In addition to her commercials, Laverne has been named beauty ambassador for the Matrix hair product line.

What a great ambassador she has become for transgender women everywhere!

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Non Binary Future?

Rain Dove just may represent the androgynous future of human gender:

The Essence of being Transgender

This week I had an appointment with the doctor who prescribes my bi-polar medications. She is normally very pleasant, business like and the visit only lasts approximately 15 minutes.

On this day though, she had a student with her and I guess needed the extra time with me.  I am happy to say I haven't had many problems with depression or anxiety lately. She surprised me when she brought up my Mtf gender dysphoria being a factor in feeling better. Undoubtedly I said it was.

Then she questioned dysphoria as being a part of the essence of being transgender. About this time, I noticed the student staring intently at me waiting for an answer. Sensing a time to educate two civilians, I used part of my time to explain my problems with gender dysphoria during my life. Quickly I decided  trying to reflect totally on the true essence of being transgender would have bored everyone in the room. Plus, the truth of the matter is all of our essences are different. An example would be, we have two new attendee's in our support group who are just coming out of the closet. Just think of all the exciting yet terrifying times ahead for them.

I also told her the experiences I have had recently with compliments on my hair. And how Thanksgiving for me was a time to step back and reflect on the good things in my life.

Finally, I pointed out I haven't had any extreme surgery and aside from my HRT hormone regimen, what you see of me is what you get. Even though it has literally been years since I have received any negative feedback from the public, I still have a tinge of paranoia in certain situations and probably will have till I die.

In order to wrap this up as simply as I can, I feel the essence of being transgender is living with the knowledge of being on both sides of the gender fence. As my doctor said this week, undoubtedly I have seen a tremendous amount of living in my life.

Over the years, recently I have come to appreciate it!

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Another Transgender First!

A 24-year-old woman named Hera Jay Brown has been announced as the first out trans woman ever to be named as a Rhodes Scholar during its 117-year history.
The Rhodes Scholarship is a prestigious post-graduate award that pays for two years of study at Oxford University in England. Rhodes Scholars can also get additional research grants and are generally regarded as some of the world’s foremost academics seeking to do good in the world.

Friday, December 6, 2019

From 2010

By accident I just found this ancient picture of me from all the way back in 2010. Again in one of my favorite wigs.

The more I started to go out to the same places though, the more I found the need to settle down to one basic look. The public needed to see me the same way to give me positive feedback in my Mtf gender transition.

Some of you long time readers of the Cyrsti Condo blog may remember.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Kim Petras

Take a look as transgender pop singer Kim Petras trolls Westboro Baptist Church protesters outside her recent concert in Kansas City:

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

We Got Mail

I received two great comments about the Cyrsti's Condo post yesterday which primarily revolved around accepting compliments and hair. The first came from Paula across the pond in the UK:

"I found that it was only when I abandoned the wigs that I began to truly be me, before that I was always playing a part, maybe it was two different parts, but still playing acting. When I could start wearing my own hair it became real!

I think the thing about compliments of common to a lot of Trans women; we were programmed like men, we were expected to give compliments not to receive them, it goes against all our conditioning to simply accept the compliment and say "Thank you".

Excellent points Paula! As I wrote before, I was exceedingly bad at attempting to buy the right wigs. For the most part, I was either trying to go more blond or with more hair than I could pull off. 

Now, let's check in with Connie:



"I was once told by another trans woman that I would never be able to transition successfully because I wear wigs - no better than a "professional cross dresser," she said. Having a good head of hair is definitely a luxury for a trans woman, but it's certainly not a necessity. I know that I am, at least, more of a lady than she is, and some people may be no better than a "professional bitch," I suppose.

I receive compliments on my hair from time to time. Some may not know that I'm wearing a wig at all. A friend I've known for five years did not realize that I wore wigs until just a few weeks ago. She had invited me to spend a girls' weekend with her at a nearby casino, and I must admit that I accepted the invitation with some trepidation. I was flattered that she felt accepting enough to be sharing a hotel room with me, a trans woman, not to mention that she also felt safe enough to be doing so. I wasn't sure how I was going to conceal all of the causes of my dysphoria, including my bald head, and her touting the wonderful pool and spa that we could use did not help. I finally told her that I don't swim because of my wig, and I don't think she thought any less of me for wearing one.

It's been years since anyone has seen my bald head. Even I will spend as little time as possible looking at it. If it's not a wig on my head, there's almost always something covering it - whether it's a turbine or just a towel wrapped around it. I will sleep in a wig if there is a chance that someone may see me. I did it with my friend in the room, and I even left my eye makeup on for good measure. Everything else was covered up, too. ;-)"

Thanks Connie! I think Stana of Femulate  blogging fame is another transgender woman  who does an excellent job with her hair and shows having your own hair is not a necessity for a successful Mtf transition. In fact it sounds like one of those "I'm more trans than you" statements. 

I'm sure too, since I have opted not to have any genital surgery some would think I am no better than a professional cross dresser too. Regardless, I have decided to do the very best I can! 

The picture to the right is one of me in one of the few wigs I bought I really liked.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Maybe I am Getting Better?

It all started with the compliment I didn't know what to do with from my ex wife on Thanksgiving. It continued with Connie thanking me for the compliment I gave her after the picture she sent in. And, I was complimented on my hair today by my therapist.

I am guessing but I think my inability to respond to compliments or give them goes back to my parents. Growing up, I can not remember a time when I received a compliment which wasn't tied to a qualifier. In other words, you (me) did good, but...

I think also, I have a difficult time with feminine based compliments because I think the "qualifier" is still there. An example would be looking good as a woman for a transgender person or a man.

Truthfully though, I am on cloud nine (where ever that is) following all the compliments I have received on my hair. The qualifier this time is being fortunate enough to still have a full head of hair to not have to deal with wigs anymore. Unlike Connie, who looks great, I was usually hit or miss in the wig department. Mostly miss from quite a few fashion mistakes. I have always believed I was really able to navigate the feminine world as a transgender person after I began to grow my own hair.

Plus, I feel as if I am being repaid hair karma from my time in the 70's when I was in the Army and had to have short hair when everyone else I knew had longish hair. Of course I also completely envied the hippie girls with all of their long hair.

If I knew then what I know now, I would have complimented more women on their hair. I have come to the understanding now why so many women rely on their hairdressers for an occasional boost. Figuratively and literally, it makes us feel better about ourselves.

The bad news is now I will have to find a new stylist to do my hair. My current one had to retire due to carpal tunnel hand problems.

I will miss the pampering I received every two months when I went to the salon and all those pesky compliments which came my way.

Life is nothing without change though and finding a new stylist will be exciting in it's own way.

New life based challenges are good too when you are 70 as I am. There is still plenty of time to get better. I hope!

Sunday, December 1, 2019

If You Care

I thought I would pass this along since I really don't have anything else to post about today. Caitlyn Jenner with her rumored partner trans woman Sophia Hutchins: