Saturday, February 29, 2020

Gender Euphoria

During the cross dresser - transgender support group meeting this week, we welcomed two new attendees. One was very young and confused. The other was in their 60's dressed in male attire with finger nail polish earrings and light make up. Both were able to contribute nicely in their own way.

Perhaps the most interesting question of the evening came in opening remarks from our new moderator who happens to be a life coach of sorts in her real profession. She helps corporations with dealing through gender issues. So she brings a definite professionalism to the meeting.

This week, her initial question to everyone was instead of gender dysphoria, what was everybody's moment of gender "euphoria."

As my noggin quickly rewound through the decades of my life, one defining moment of gender euphoria became very clear. It happened years ago on one of the nights I cross dressed and went out to one of my favorite venues to ostensibly be by myself. It was a dark period of my life, during which I knew deep down I was sliding down a slippery slope towards changing the way I lived by adopting a feminine lifestyle full time. Overall, my feelings were doing nothing more than causing extreme gender dysphoria.

Finally that evening, I considered the lonely life I was living since my wife of 25 years had passed on along with three of my closest friends. So, I really didn't have many close friends left and very few family members either. Also, it was around that time when the Veterans Administration was publicizing they were beginning to prescribe hormone replacement therapy hormones to veterans. I was already receiving health care from the VA, so it was a no brainer...even for me.

All of a sudden, the whole weight of the world lifted from my shoulders and I realized the impossible dream of living full time as a woman went past being possible all the way to being probable.

Adding to the whole idea was the fact I was nearing retirement age too, so I wouldn't have to worry about transitioning on the job.

So my gender euphoria evening was complete and I could then concentrate on building a new life as my true self.


Friday, February 28, 2020

Doctor Who Introduces Transgender Character

Rebecca Root
The Doctor is definitely in as the Doctor Who franchise will soon get its first transgender companion played by the trans actress and comedian Rebecca Root. She (Rebecca) is one of the few openly transgender actresses in Great Britain.

She stars as the character of Tania alongside Paul McGann, who played the eighth Doctor in the made-for-TV movie. It’s a role she’s thrilled and honored to play

 For more, go here.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Relevance versus Transgender Activism

Connie wrote in this comment in regards to the Cyrsti's Condo post on activism within the trans community. Or, at least on how it pertains to me:

"The subject of relevance was discussed a couple of posts ago. This post seems to fit right in with that subject. If the TOS was cancelled, do you think that it was done so because of its becoming less relevant in today's culture? Also, I can certainly understand how trans/cross dresser meetups might be less relevant to you these days.

I live in a state that has legislation protecting trans people's rights, for the most part. Still, there are bills introduced every session that are designed to strip some of those rights. It's more difficult to overturn current legislation, so I would hope that Ohio would also put more protections for trans people into law. Rather than just working to defeat the negative bills, maybe you could get involved in trying to get more protections in place. I think that it would have more direct relevance, anyway. Through your work on trans elder care, the opportunity to do that may well be the most relevant thing you could do.

The fact that I can live a fairly normal life, as a transgender woman, is largely the result of the laws that protect me. Still, it is my own ability to have control over my life that gives me the flexibility to choose, as well as avoid, those situations in which I place myself. Losing that control, and surrendering it to the institution that would be designated for my care, is my worst nightmare. I hear horror stories of how infirm individuals are mistreated, and I can only imagine how much worse they could be for trans people. I can picture myself lying in bed with a two-day beard growth, having my genitals wiped down by a caretaker, and then feeling helpless in my ability to convey my trans-woman status when even mis-gendered. My imagination only shows it getting worse from there.

There are so many more of us trans people who have been able to embark on a transition in gender at an older age now. Many of us have decided that the transition not necessarily include GRS, hair removal, voice therapy or surgery, or even HRT. I know that a successful social transition can be made without any of those things, because I have done it. It has not been without effort, on my part, however. Without the energy or physical ability to put in the effort, though, what success would I really have? We should all have a living will, directing how we would like to be treated, should we be unable to convey our wishes - most typically in the form of a "Do Not Resuscitate" order. Perhaps we should also have a stipulation that "I Am a Woman" be tattooed in a prominent place on the body (OK, that is rather drastic, I admit). Still, though, we would be at the mercy of our caretakers as to how we would be treated, in that regard, unless there is an actual law that could be as enforceable as a "Do Not Resuscitate" order.

I rather prefer the thought of being proactive than being reactive, if one is inclined toward activism, at all."

I don't know if I mentioned it but Ohio's bill regarding transgender rights is being debated currently. Supposedly this time it has a better chance of being passed because of backing from quite a few forward thinking major corporations in the state. Plus all of the major cities in the state have passed protection bills too. So, I am keeping my fingers crossed!

Thanks for the comment.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Carnival Transgender Taboo Shattered

Camila Prins Transgender Carnival Dancer
In Brazil transgender dancer Camila Prins became the first trans dancer to lead a large drum section of a major samba school in either Sao Paulo or Rio de Janiero. By doing so, she fulfilled a nearly three decade old dream! As you can see in the picture, she did well!

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Monday, February 24, 2020

"Wass-Up?"

It's been a minute since I have written here in Cyrsti's Condo on what has been going on in my day to day existence.

Currently, Liz and I are on the outs with the paranormal hunt group we used to be a part of. The break up occurred due to several reasons I will not bore you with. None of which had anything to do with me being trans.

In it's place, I am beginning to become more active in an organization called "Equality Ohio" which has organized to fight for the ratification of a key bill to further insure transgender rights and against the recently introduced anti trans youth bill. Coming up this Thursday is a happy hour get together I have been invited to.  It is being put together to celebrate a big suburban area of Cincinnati passing it's own pro LGBT protection bill. Ohio as a whole is a very divided state between progressive cities and rural right wing counties. The state is at a tipping point though of finally becoming a fairly progressive state. Maybe I can play a small part in it happening.

I have decided too to attend another cross dresser-transgender support group meeting to see what is going on. In fact I am thinking of going to the competing group too. All in all though, I probably won't go to more than one or two a month.

This week coming up is yet another quiet time for my medical appointments. The first week of March I have a couple therapist appointments coming up plus my annual hearing test.

So, outside of a few routine errands, life has been fairly routine.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Huong Giang

From the Vietnam website:

"Transgender singer Huong Giang’s latest music video (MV) has attracted more than 18.6 million views on YouTube, with other hits gaining fame as well. 


The MV, Tang Anh Cho Co Ay, is a production between the singer who wrote the lyrics and Hua Kim Tuyen, her partner, composer and producer. 

Produced by the singer’s company Huong Giang Entertainment, Tang Anh Cho Co Ay reached nearly 15.3 million viewers four days after its release on February 6."

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Activism?

Since the Trans Ohio Symposium has evidently been cancelled, I have decided to look for other avenues to be more active in the transgender community. I believe it is crucial now with the  onslaught of over two hundred anti LGBTQ bills now being attempted in state legislatures around the country. In fact, here in Ohio, one bill has been introduced which would punish doctors for helping transgender children with their medical treatments. Plus, it goes without saying, theses bills are Republican dominated efforts.

In my own small way, I am going to try to be more visible, volunteer more and even donate a portion of my very meager funds to efforts combating these bills when I can. As I have written about before here in Cyrsti's Condo, I am trying to get involved with an educational effort with senior care communities (or homes) in the Cincinnati area on how to care for transgender elderly patients.

Also coming up is the Transgender Day of Visibility, an event at Cincinnati State College and one ladies night out at the main Cincinnati Library.

Hopefully, in some small way, or ways, I can do my part to help the present and future needs of the transgender community.

I feel my attendance at the cross dresser-transgender support group meetings has almost run it's course and it's time to look for other things to do. 

Friday, February 21, 2020

Gone All too Soon

Nikki Araguz Loyd, a Houston activist known for her commitment to transgender rights in Texas, died in November from a mixture of substances that include heroin, ethanol and medication designed to treat anxiety and panic disorders, according to the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.

I remember Nikki from some of her earliest appearances on the day time reality show circuit.

The ones I dutifully recorded to watch over and over again. It was good to see she had made it to a point where she was an outspoken activist for transgender rights. Hopefully now she has found peace. 

Thursday, February 20, 2020

It's a Man's World?

One of the first things I learned was when I entered the feminine world was how I lost almost all of my relevance when talking to men. I remember vividly jumping head long into a conversation one night with three men and getting totally patronized. I thought "Oh! Is this the way it is going to be?" Well, it was...and worse. Soon I learned I had lost most of my intelligence too.

After I had transgender transitioned into the world for awhile, I learned the truth. The idea men run the world is a myth, except for Washington. And, how is that working for us? As I absorbed what I needed to live as a woman, I learned the feminine rules I would need to survive in the real world. In other words what women did to talk around men or how they would bide their time until they got their way. The two "P's" of my new life became all too real. Passive aggressiveness and patience. Both were needed to get by in my new life.

So it may indeed be a man's world but women run it.

Sometimes I wonder what a person like Grae Phillips would think? Did he ever become so engrossed with being a female impersonator that he lost any perspective about being male at all. Or did presenting himself as a guy presenting as a woman provide him with the publicity to build a career? Since he does not read Cyrsti's Condo that I know of, I will never know.

Speaking of Grae, Connie had her own take on Phillips career being an entertainer herself:

" My guess is that his act is no longer relevant. Also, age is not a woman's best friend - especially in the entertainment industry. Shows like "Dragrace" have taken the novelty to an extreme, and this is (to paraphrase) no country for old queens. Not that Grae was ever really a drag queen, but that could be part of the problem of relevance today. Most likely, though, the whole act lost relevance for him. After all, he says that he only did the female impersonation because he was getting nowhere in show biz as a male performer.

As a singer, myself, I can only dream of having a voice in such a high register as Grae's. Still, unless I wanted to do a full-on drag act, there is not much call for a transgender woman singer these days. Of course, I don't see myself as anything other than a trans woman who sings, and I only want to be seen as that, as well. Even if I am, though, it's tough to be convincing when I'm a 68-year-old singing "Making Whoopie." I imagine that it would be the same for a female impersonator, too."

Good point! Thanks.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Heidi Phox

Back in the day, here was another fantastic Mtf transformation person I followed closely. I don't think I ever found out how she truly identified, as a cross dresser or transgender person but I marveled at her transformations. Here is one:

She still has her blog here is the link.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Eating Creole

Saturday night, Liz and I went out for our special Valentine's Day dinner. For the occasion, we went to our new favorite place to eat. A Creole restaurant which deals in all locally sourced products and features a chef trained in New Orleans. Fortunately, we placed our reservations during the week as the venue was packed.

For the evening, I went the "fuzzy" route with my over the hip green soft lace trimmed sweater, along with my patterned leggings and knee high boots. To combat the chill of the evening, I added my tan/brown fluffy faux fur sweater coat. If that is confusing to you, it is to me too! Let's just say it's warm and snuggly.

During the dinner and time we were there, we had a great time and if anyone noticed me being transgender, they didn't care or let on to the fact. Our server did a great job and the food was fantastic. I had the shrimp and grits.

All too soon, we finished our dinner and headed out the door through the crowded lobby and out into the chilly evening. Only one woman went out of her way to smile at me, I just smiled back and went on my way.

A good time was had by all. Can't wait to go back again.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Remembering

For some unknown reason, my steel trap noggin (which is seriously rusted) came up with a female impersonator from the past. Perhaps you remember too when cross dresser extraordinaire Grae Phillips took the daytime reality show circuit by storm. As I recall, Grae was a struggling singer in New York before he went the "Tootsie" route and started to perform as a woman.

I couldn't find any ideas on if he is still performing today.

If you know, please let me/us know.
 

Sunday, February 16, 2020

MJ Rodriguez

Striking a blow for inclusion and queer progress, actress MJ Rodriguez has announced her role as spokesperson for the beauty brand Olay Body. The news comes just ahead of the 5th Annual Diversity Summit in Washington DC this week, where Rodriguez will deliver the keynote address.
“Olay Body is leading by example for other brands by opening doors for trans individuals like myself,” the Pose star said in a statement of her new gig. “I am so excited to work with Olay Body on this campaign leading up to my speech at the Diversity Summit. This is officially my first ever beauty campaign — I am so thankful to have the opportunity to show other trans women of color everywhere that they are seen and that they are worthy.”

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Eat Like a Girl Part 2

Recently I posted here in Cyrsti's Condo concerning eating as a transgender woman and/or cross dresser. As far as I am concerned it is one of the true nuances of crossing the gender frontier. In other words don't sit there and shovel in your food like guys are known to do. I grew up in a small household of my brother, myself and two parents. Eating was very much a competitive sport between my brother. my Dad and I. We had a "Lazy Susan" in the middle of the dining room table. If you are not familiar, a Lazy Susan is a device to put bowls of food on and it turns past each person at the table. At our house, once it went past you, it was probably never coming back with food on it again. If you didn't get your share, you were just out of luck. You see, that is my problem with eating to this day. It is not a competitive sport.

To take a look at a whole other way to eat, let's check in with Connie:

"As far as I know, proper table etiquette does not discriminate between genders. The same rules apply to both men and women (or, I should say, "gentlemen and ladies"). Women may, generally, find adhering to the rules more natural than do men, but a slob can be of either gender (or anybody, at any place along the gender spectrum).

My mother was a stickler for manners, and my brother and I followed proper table etiquette out of fear of condemnation. My father grew up in a military school, and taught my brother and me how to eat "square" when we were very young (fork, level and straight up from plate to mouth-level, then turned toward mouth at 90 degrees, then repeated in reverse to take the fork back to the plate). At least my father stopped short of having us have to eat that way in unison, but we didn't dare ever take another bite until we had swallowed the previous one. I remember the trauma I experienced on my first day of school, when all of the other kids had gone out to the playground after lunch, and I was still in the lunchroom when the bell rang. A teacher had to console me, as I sat there crying. I was so afraid that I could not follow the school rules if I also ate the way I had been taught at home. The other cardinal rule, in those days, was that one eat everything on their plate, and that was what made for my dilemma. I just couldn't do it all!

Anyway, we learn to adapt. I'm not referring only to eating here, as this applies to anyone who is living, and trying to navigate, a transgender existence. Societal rules on gender-shifting may have become more relaxed in recent years, but, let's face it, being an out-trans woman is still seen as breaking a big rule by many people. We can adapt and mitigate through our behavior, though, and proper etiquette can only help to do that. I know that my world became so much better when I stopped being fearful of being seen as "a man in a dress," and began being seen as a good and polite person who just happens to be a trans woman. It's all I can do, even if I can't do it all.

BTW, a good way to practice more-elegant eating is to switch hands. If you're right-handed, hold the fork in your left hand. You'll find yourself being much more mindful of how you're eating, as well as slowing down the process to a less-slovenly level (and, yes, use that fork to eat a pulled pork sandwich!). ;-)"

Thanks for the idea but I am so clumsy, I would be guaranteed to toss food everywhere if I switched hands! 

Friday, February 14, 2020

Happy Valentines Day?

Valentines Day as a whole presents unique problems to those in the transgender or the cis community. To begin with, this holiday is one of those "manufactured" special days which benefit the greeting card industry as well as jewelers and candy makers. Plus, of course, let's not forget the restaurant industry.

As far as the transgender community is concerned, Valentines Day represents yet another lonely time. It's also a remembrance of relationships lost due to trans issues. Sometimes though, if you are fortunate enough to live close to quite a few LGBTQ centers, they offer some sort of Valentines mixers. If you are brave enough to go.

For the most part, Liz and I are going to miss the rush and go out tomorrow night to our favorite Creole restaurant for dinner. There is nothing more romantic than sharing a big bowl of shrimp and grits...right? :) As I think about it, due to my ongoing struggle with my weight, I will order my own bowl and bring part of it home.

At any rate, I hope you have a Valentine's Day which is memorable. If you even care.

If you do celebrate at all, good for you. You are doing your own small part to keep the economy moving!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Be Careful What you Eat

Anymore, I try to consider what I am ordering to eat at restaurants. In other words, I try not to order bone in chicken wings which I have to pick up and eat like a guy.

Last night though I ended up with a sticky situation in a BBQ restaurant we go to often. If I am just with Liz, I don't care so much since I already know I am already totally accepted but with others I try to do better.

I did break down and order a pulled pork brisket sandwich which of course I had to add extra sauce. At that time, the only other person eating with us was another woman who knows and accepts me well. So, I thought I could eat most of my dinner before a man I didn't know joined us later. 

Actually, with the help of a fork, the dinner didn't go too badly. I managed not to slop BBQ sauce all over myself and since I wasn't wearing much lipstick at all, I didn't have to worry about that. Thank goodness for Chapstick tinted lip gloss.

In some ways I consider eating like a woman is one of the last transitional transgender frontiers. After all you have to be good enough to get to your seat in a venue without half the world staring. For the most part I am past all of that paranoia and simply try to stand up straight and walk to my seat. And, as I always write...confidence is a trans girls best friend.

Once you get to your table though, don't forget to give yourself a break and don't be a slob. Be careful what you eat and don't get BBQ sauce all over your new sweater!

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Melonee Malone

Another wonderful dare I say sexy picture from one of my Facebook acquaintances Melonee Malone.

I don't think she is any relation to Connie Malone. Connie lives in Seattle and Melonee in Wisconsin. One thing is for sure though, those Malone girls have good transgender genes!

Monday, February 10, 2020

Body Image and the Trans Girl

As I continue to write bits and pieces in my book, the topic of body image keeps coming up. As referenced in yesterdays Cyrsti's Condo post, cis women often have the same problems with feeling secure in their own skins as we transgender women.

Through the years we have to struggle through the dazzling yet scary arrays of makeup and fashion to desperately try to find our spot on the world. The ancient stereotype of the cross dresser squeezed into a mini skirt and heels waltzing through a mall somewhere is my scariest vision and one I am afraid I tried too. Fortunately, there are no pictures :).

Then there is/was makeup to contend with. In the looking like a clown department, I was lucky I had quite a few chances to experiment when I was younger with makeup...even to the point of convincing my first fiance to apply it for me.  As far as my body image was concerned though, I didn't really have one, except an unrealistic view of how I thought I should look. Again and again, the wrong use of mini skirts did me no favors. I was over reacting to the rare occasions people saw me in a short skirt and saying I had good legs. The problem was I had no idea of how to properly showcase a feminine asset. In fact, I went the opposite direction.

In the 1970's I became enamored with the hippie boho look, complete with bell bottom jeans etc. So, I began to try to dress myself in those fashion directions (which I still like to this day). In fact, I used to get asked at the transvestite mixers I went to how I could not possibly wear a dress. During that time I was slowly beginning to discover my inner woman's body image I have today.

I still rarely wear dresses or skirts. Relying instead on leggings and sweaters during the cold seasons and lightweight culottes with tank tops in the summer. I do have a couple maxi dresses for the hottest days.

The fun part is, women can be different and that is OK...to a point. The hard part still is getting to a point where your inner woman tells you what she wants to be.

These days though, there are getting to be numerous places one can go to for help with your body image. Take Ginger Burr's Total Image Consultants for example. Leann wrote in and said Ginger runs a very trans woman friendly business. Plus around here (Cincinnati) there are a couple of the big specialty makeup stores which are more than happy to help a novice with her makeup needs.

Look, I know the vast majority of us will always struggle with the testosterone poisoning we went through or still going through. On the other hand, options are becoming more accessible to help with your body image problems as you attempt to sync up your internal and external selves.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

It's Not Just You

As you stress out on a daily basis on what you are going to wear to best express your feminine self, I bet along the way you have thought it must be wonderful to be a cis woman and not have to worry so much.

If the truth be known, the only advantage cis women have over transgender women and/or cross dressers is practice and feedback. Of course they have years of practice dressing feminine and plenty of feedback if they happen to do it right or wrong. Usually, by the time we get to live as our authentic selves, we have quite a bit of catching up to do.

I can attest it is easy to get into a rut once you start to live full time for an extended amount of time.

Imagine my amazement when I saw my life in writing on the "Total Image Consultant" blog which to my knowledge has nothing to do with the transgender world at all:

"Dear Cyrsti,

As a business woman with a full schedule, I get it - how easy it is to shift into autopilot, put on the same top and pants each week, day after day, and go about your tasks without ever checking in on yourself and your true desires.

Have you ever had that feeling that who the world is seeing on the outside is not the woman you truly are on the inside?

Years ago I struggled with this a lot. I didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin. I felt different from others, but also wanted to blend in and feel accepted, but nothing I did worked. I tried dressing like the women I saw, but somehow they always looked better. It took me a while, but I finally realized that trying to be a poor imitation of another person was not going to help me feel fulfilled and authentically me! That was a big awakening and I also knew I had to learn HOW to express my own brand of uniqueness. Ahhhh, what a difference that made!

And, that’s why I was thrilled when my friend (and conscious fashion stylist) Amanda Weil told me she was hosting an interview series all around this topic and weaving in personal style as a way to embody your true self and feel seen, valuable, and ALIVE. Even more exciting, I’m one of the experts she’s invited on the series to help guide you to embody your true self!"

Wow! I don't believe I have ever read something a "civilian" wrote describing me so well! I hope you got as much out of it as I did!


Saturday, February 8, 2020

It's a Process

I love it on the days I don't have to write a Cyrsti's Condo post. On occasion it is so difficult to write a daily blog!

Thanks to Connie, we all can enjoy a great post today:

"Transition is a process. The reason I had to engage in the process was that I had gotten to the point where I felt I was a fake, no matter what gender I was showing. Whether I was really an impostor or not could be debated, but I still felt that way when I would jump, back and forth, between being seen as a man or a woman. Ultimately, I chose to be seen as a feminine being who possessed some masculine traits, rather than what I had been fighting most of my life - being the man who was hiding feminine traits behind a more-macho facade. I don't think I made for a terrible man, but I never could see myself as living up to expectations of what a proper man should be.

There's a difference between being a gentleman and being a gentle man. I was always happy to be seen as a gentleman, as even the most manly of men could be one. I was never happy when I thought people were perceiving me to be a gentle man, however, as I felt weakened by it. Had I really been secure in my manhood, though, I don't know that I would have felt that way. My gentleness has always been rooted in my femininity, so I was never going to feel secure about anything as long as I was seen as a man.

Living as a woman for the past few years has finally brought peace, and I am happy to be seen as a woman who possesses some masculine traits. While being seeing seen as a gentle man was disturbing to me, being seen as a strong and capable woman delights me. The advantages that came with my male privilege in the past have helped me to be who I am. The difference, though, is that my transition has caused me to use a different filter - a feminine one. The intuition was always there, but I had been using the wrong filter. Sifting through everything with the proper filter has been my transition, and seeing what comes out the other side is just as it should be (even if I must continue to run much of it back through regularly)."

See, I told you it was a great post!


Friday, February 7, 2020

You Make a Terrible Woman

This post is very much a continuation of yesterday's Cyrsti's Condo post on trans woman intuition. We have quite the chance to develop an amazing gender intuition because we live on both sides of the gender frontier.

Years ago, when I was exploring jumping genders my deceased wife and I became embroiled in a huge fight over how much I wanted to cross dress. Basically, it wasn't how much I wanted to do it, it was where. Once I had started to venture out of the house, the more I wanted to. In fact, I was still on a huge ego roll from the night two women tried to keep me out of a transvestite mixer. They thought I was a "real" woman.

During the fight, my wife shot me down by telling me I would make a terrible woman. I told her how could that be after my encounter recently? She promptly told me my appearance was not what she was talking about and I had just made her point. Being a woman was indeed so much more than looking like one.

From that point on, I set out to find out what she was telling me. I did my best to develop my own idea of what women went through as they lived their lives. You might say I was learning my own version of trans woman intuition. It wasn't easy though as I had a strong male ego to work away from.

After all these years, I can't tell you I am where I want to be in life. To be more spiritual and intuitive may make me a more stereotypical feminine person but it also makes me a better human too.

I am far from getting to my goals. Then again when I arrive I probably will have crossed over to the other side.

Hopefully then, I won't be considered a "terrible woman,"


Thursday, February 6, 2020

Masculinity and Trans Woman Intuition

Recently I have been seeing again a few posts here and there about the effects of masculinity. After reading one of them, I began to think of my own up bringing. I have written many times here in Cyrsti's Condo about the macho-centrist family I grew up in. Between my other brother, my Dad and I, I don't know sometimes how my Mom made it. In our house, sports dominated along with a liberal amount of fishing and some hunting thrown in. We lived in a rural area and there were very few girls even in the neighborhood.

During this time I had discovered the allure of feminine finery in my Mom's closet and even tried it on when I had the rare chance to be alone. I even had a minimum income source to buy a few makeup items and clothes from my paper route and mowing grass.

I often wonder if these were the formative years when I learned how I had to be as ultra masculine as possible to get by. Of course I was scared to death my Mom would discover my "secret." I knew there would be no "understanding" of any desire to be a girl.

Overwhelmingly I hung out with a group of guys and girls were just the impossible dream. Impossible to figure out and even harder to date. For the longest time I considered I was taking the easy way out by creating my own girl.

On the other hand, by nature, I was shy and sensitive. Not male traits in my family, so I hid them too. Through sports and cars I was able to effectively disguise my growing feminine desires and show the public a macho male outward persona. 

To put it mildly, it was hell trying to maintain such a life, plus by that time I had the Army to look forward to. It seemed my masculinity was never going to let me go. And, after years of gender dysphoric struggle, I finally gave up and tried to commit suicide.

So masculinity was tough on me, even though I was able to live the lifestyle without many struggles. On the positive side , I still am easily able to judge a man's reaction to many different scenarios.

Call it trans woman intuition. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Volunteered

Yesterday turned out to be a travel day. First, I had an appointment with my long time therapist. As always, it went predictably well and in a relatively short period of time she determined I wasn't a threat to others, or myself :). Approximately an hour later, I was sent on my way.

Perhaps you remember I was also going to meet one of the board members of the Dayton, Ohio Rainbow Health Alliance. He wanted to talk to me concerning doing any outreach programs they may be invited to in the Cincinnati area. It all worked out very well.

I told him of my transgender "nursing home paranoia". In other words, being forced back in the closet at one of the most fragile times of one's life. Or run the risk of just being abused.

Ironically. he said he was trying to work out a "training" conference currently with at least one nursing home in the Cincinnati area. I told him I would be interested in helping.

Then we talked about the importance of just being visible for transgender women and trans men. Especially during an era when so many republican administrations are trying to take away our rights across the country.

Plus,it was neat when he said the restaurant was "family" owned. Meaning it was owned by LGBT people. I noticed it immediately when I came in because of a huge rainbow flag which was in a corner. 

So, the deal was sealed over a great Italian lunch. I will help whenever I can with any transgender training sessions he schedules. Hopefully, any good karma I can build up will come back to help me in the future!

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Sports and the Transgender Woman

It's Super Bowl Sunday and it's time to look back at my former love affair with the NFL. I say former because following the futile games of the Cincinnati Bengals has nearly broken all interest I had concerning pro football. I feel much different of course when it comes to The Ohio State Buckeyes and college football. It could be argued the Buckeyes were the best football team in Ohio last year when compared to the Cleveland Browns and the Bengals.

Along the way as I transitioned, I wondered if or why I would/should maintain any interest in sports at all. Then, as I established a new set of female friends, I learned they were as loyal and knowledgeable sports fans as I was. I found out I could bring my love of sports with me. The whole deal was as I was building the new me, I found out she wasn't the girly-girl type I thought at one time I would have to be. I could as easily sit at a bar with other women and drink beer as well as some fruity feminine drink.

I even was invited to tag along to a NFL Monday Night Football game in Cincinnati years ago. Sure I was scared to death but I went. Another lesson learned how sports didn't have to have a gender.

It does help I played quite a bit of football and baseball when I was young and understood the games strategies as they play out. In my past it was humorous on the rare occasions I became involved in conversations with men on sports, I had to dumb it out in order not to hurt their precious male egos.

The moral to my story is you can bring your loves with you as you transition. You don't have to adhere to the gender norms society lays on us.

Of course if you decide to go to a Super Bowl party today and really don't care who wins, you can watch the game for the commercials and the half time entertainment. As many women will do. Just have a good time!

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Good News

With all the recent Republican bills designed to erase the already limited rights we transgender women and men have in many states, at least the legislature in the State of Iowa has restored a touch of sanity to the process:

A bill proposed by a group of Republican lawmakers on Wednesday that would have amended the Iowa Civil Rights Act by removing protections against discrimination for transgender people is dead, a powerful committee chairman said.
Nine Republican House members sponsoring the bill introduced it Wednesday morning but by evening Republican Rep. Steven Holt, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee to which the bill was assigned, said he wouldn’t allow it to move forward to a subcommittee hearing.
Also, there is finally an official transgender flag emoji for those of you who are into such things!