Tuesday, March 31, 2020

An Egyptian Transgender Journey

You may be interested in checking out this moving transgender story from the Associated Press in Cairo, Egypt. Here is an excerpt:

"Malak el-Kashif left home on her birthday seven years ago. Walking into an uncertain future, she was underdressed for the weather and armed with little— except for some makeup, a few women’s accessories and 50 Egyptian pounds (at the time about six American dollars).
“I was afraid but I didn’t hesitate,” she said. “There weren’t any other solutions.”
That night, el-Kashif identified as a 13-year-old boy. She has since emerged as perhaps Egypt’s most outspoken transgender woman activist.

It’s a label that in a largely conservative and patriarchal society has meant battling a war on multiple fronts.
“When you declare you are different, you should get ready for war. A big war,” she said. “The society will stomp on you and treat you like you are the enemy.”
She has been ostracized by her family and scorned by some who accuse her of tampering with God’s creation. She has been attacked by others scandalized by her activism for LGBTQ rights. Legally, she still holds a male’s identity card."
There is much more to her transgender struggle and you can read about it here.


Monday, March 30, 2020

Planning Ahead

In these times of staying home and staying safe, I have found planning ahead is the best way for me to overcome the extreme boredom.

I am fortunate in a couple ways, to be able to do it. First of all, Liz has worked from home for quite a while now and we have learned to coexist quite well without killing each other. Secondly, I have been living full time as a transgender woman for so long with an accepting partner. So I don't need the reinforcement of being validated in public as a feminine person. I have long since made the gender jump back to the person I always should have been.

I am also using the extra time I have staying in to write on my second book again. Looking back on my life and how I transitioned back to my true self has helped me to better understand how far I have come and be better prepared to hopefully ride out the current corona virus outbreak which the experts now say may not peak here in Ohio for another month. Of course too, as all of this health drama is unfolding, spring has established a firm hold finally here too. Which means it is time to update my wardrobe.

Luckily, now more than ever before, it is easier to update your wardrobe from home. In fact, if you do have a few more dollars to spend, you can enroll in a paid course through Total Image Consultants. If you are like me and don't, most on line clothing sites now have a liberal return policy until you learn what fits you well and flatters you. Along the way you have to learn how to dress as your ideal woman and get the most out of your assets. It's a difficult path with many more errors than trials but one which is worth it in the end.

Ideally, as you wait for society to return to it's new normal, you can take the time to improve yourself.

It's been tough for me as I am more of a reactive rather than a proactive person. In the mean time, I am doing my best to plan ahead.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

The New Reality?

Recently, I wrote a post entitled "Selfish" here in Cyrsti's Condo. Under the new shelter in place rules here in Ohio, I have been stuck at home seemingly forever. In fact, the only big exciting trip out I have recently is a trip last night to the grocery store. Fortunately, most all of the had stock on them (except for the toilet paper)  So we couldn't be selfish and buy our two package minimum.

As you may or may not remember, the "Selfish" post wasn't about toilet paper and hopefully wasn't that bad of a post :).  Selfish was a post concerning gender transitioning and it's effects on those around you. In a short amount of words, is it a selfish pursuit to change your gender back to it's true self. Regardless of what many people think, we transgender women and men aren't really "changing" anything. We are simply beginning to live our reality.

Connie had this look at the post:

"It was more selfish of me when I was trying to compartmentalize my life - living a double life, really. Because I could not be "myself" with family and friends, I had gotten to the point where I was just carving out some time for them, rather than being there for them always. A therapist that my wife and I were seeing together made the suggestion that I ramp up the compartmentalization by scheduling my feminine-self. He used the analogy of an avid golfer, who compromises by agreeing to only play on Sundays, so that everyone agrees that nothing else should be expected on one day of the week. The trouble, though, was that I awoke every morning feeling every bit the woman I am, and, while golf is an activity, this was the very essence of who I was - every day. The suggestion was made from the therapist's ignorance of gender identity and dysphoria, and it would never have worked. However, it did provide the opportunity for me to explain why it would never work, and that's really when my transition began.

As I've often said, a gender transition starts with one being honest with self. As hard as that may be to do, the follow-up is to then to be honest with everyone else. In my case, my wife did not accept my cross dressing, but she has been so wonderful in how she has transitioned along with me. It's a different relationship, of course, but it is completely open and honest. Even if she had not wanted to deal with all of the drama of it, I know she would have still supported me. I postponed HRT for her sake, as she wasn't ready to accept breasts on me, but, when she had transitioned to the point of acceptance a couple of years later, I was hit with my first blood clot. After the second clot, I had to resign myself to the fact that HRT would never be part of my transition.

With the recent passing of Kenny Rogers, I can't help but to hear "The Gambler" in my head. Ha! "You gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em." It's interesting to think of that song from a trans view; transitioning is somewhat of a gamble, really. Fortunately, there is "time enough for countin' when the dealing's done."

Thanks for the comment!

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Sister Power

From Remezcla .com:

"Marizol and Selenis Leyva’s inspiring memoir My Sister is the moving story of two Latinas who grew up in the Bronx in the nineties. Marizol’s perspective and coming out story as a trans woman is at the center of the narrative. Through their alternating chapters, Marizol and Selenis manage to create an expansive portrait of girlhood that includes and celebrates trans women of color.
Left to right: Selenis and Marysol Leyva
In the book, Orange Is the New Black star Selenis also explores the challenges she faced as a teen, being one of the few Latinas at LaGuardia high school in the nineties. Meanwhile activist and model Marizol shares some of her painful experiences as a trans Afro-Latina with little to no role models who looked like her.
“I had no trans mother figure,” she tells Remezcla. “I was often silent and living in pain.”
My Sister is an important and unique memoir that feels as though it should be required reading in Latinx literature classes. We spoke with both sisters about the challenges of reconstructing memory, co-authoring a book and the importance of increasing the representation of trans women of color in literature."
For more of the interview, follow the link above in the first sentence.

Friday, March 27, 2020

New Trans Kid Show

From the "Star Observer":

"Premiering March 30 on ABC Me, First Day, is a new children’s drama series about a transgender girl navigating her first year of high school.

Starring transgender activist and actor, Evie McDonald as Hannah Bradford, First Day will air as a four part, half hour episode series and will explore some of the difficulties transgender kids face at school.
First Day is McDonald’s first acting role, however, she has been involved in a number of transgender awareness projects including the 2017 campaign to remove the family court from the gender affirmation process for transgender children.
In an interview with Star Observer, McDonald discussed just how important visibility projects such as First Day are in changing social perceptions about what it’s like to be transgender.
“I want to help make it easier for other people to come out as trans in the future. Being transgender is not a choice – and we’ve been around forever,” McDonald told Star Observer."
For more, go here.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Inspiration

I thought you all may find this quote inspirational and achievable

It is especially relevant to older transgender women and men who wished they had transitioned earlier in life.


:

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Home Alone

This is quite the comment from Connie. It has to do with my comment concerning paranoia spending any real time alone due to the effects of the Corona 19 virus:

"I have a difficult time falling asleep without the TV on, myself. In fact, I have a difficult time staying awake while watching TV any time after 9:00 PM. Many times I've awoken to some infomercial being shown at 3:00 AM while I'm still laid back in the recliner. At that point, there is no sense going to bed, if it's a work day, since my normal wake-up time is 4:00 AM. If I were to retire to the bedroom to go back to sleep, though, I'd have to turn on the TV there in order to do it. Without the TV on, I can't turn my brain off. The trouble is that, when I should be sleeping, my brain will turn all-OC on me - rehashing everything that really only required a passing thought. The TV is just enough of a distraction to keep this from happening.

There are very few TV shows that are so good that I really regret missing the second half of them. I've often wondered if I might be finishing the plot lines in my own dreams, but I don't remember many of my dreams, anyway. Most of them are probably no more interesting than the show that had put me to sleep in the first place!

I'm trying very hard to resist the temptation of reflection these days. I have so many things that need my attention in the here-and-now, and the uncertainty of the world around me is out of my control. I've lost some work, my wife has been asked to stay at home without pay indefinitely, and our governor has announced that he is seriously considering mandating that anyone over the age of 65 not to work at all. I don't know how they would police that, and I already joked to my boss that I might have to start a half-hour later to give me more time on my makeup in the morning - I only need to look 64. :-) Geesh, I've been a trans woman so long that there was time I could have been arrested for presenting as a woman on the street. Now, that's OK, but I could still be arrested for being an old woman on the street. Without enough income, though, I may have to resort to living on the street (in which case, the police wouldn't even give me a second look in this city).

I am trying to live as close to what was familiar to me before this Covid-19 thing started. There's no way to keep up with the changes coming, sometimes by the hour. Having a job to get up for every morning helps, but I still will get up and ready for the day if the work goes away - maybe at 6:00 AM instead of 4:00, though. And I'll end the day falling asleep to the TV, too!"

 Indeed we have entered scary times. Our three income family just lost one income and our main source of money (Liz) maybe forced into part-time hours...or worse. My income comes from Social Security which these days has been under attack from the current administration. Fortunately I have not let it bother me to the point of being up all night watching the television.






Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Selfish?

As I touched on in the last Cyrsti's Condo post, the more I wrote, the more I thought about my ideas... the more I had. Of course it doesn't hurt with all of the virus's impact, I have had quite a bit of more time to look back at my life and re-discover the factors which have so impacted my life.

One idea I had came after I unexpectedly reached across my body to pet a very needy cat and ended up with a very uncomfortable twinge coming from my left breast. It turns out I had mildly pinched the newer breast mass I have been developing again recently. Then, along the way I began to think how selfish I was feeling.

It could be argued though the whole transgender experience is a selfish one. Especially when one embarks on a hormone replacement therapy routine.

In many ways, HRT is a no return situation unless you just hate the changes or the Goddess forbid, you run into health issues. Take sex for example. Unless you are one of the very few, under the influence of HRT, you are chemically castrating yourself. Even though the process may not bother you, it is a definite impact on a spouse who has been by your side for years.

As I have written about many times, I faced the process with my deceased wife who accepted me as a cross dresser but never as a transgender woman. Even back in those days it was a terrifically tough internal struggle for me. After all, how selfish was I being to only look after my needs.

Finally after a failed suicide event, I had to decide to take the path for me...self survival.

So, ideally, you can say HRT was the ultimate in selfishness for me and had she lived I am sure it would have ultimately led to our breakup as a couple. As she so concisely put it...she didn't set out to be with a woman. Little did she ever know, the person she spent twenty five years with was a woman internally all the time.

I cherish all that I have become and I paid heavy dues to get here.Every morning when I get up, I thank my Goddess for the chance to experience softer skin and my own breasts.  Sadly, if I had the information and courage to have gender transitioned decades ago most certainly, I wouldn't perceive this portion of my life as being selfish.

Maybe it was though. I deprived the people closest to me of my real self. It would have been up to them to accept me or not. 

Monday, March 23, 2020

I'm Such a Boob

One topic I don't write about much is hormone replacement therapy (HRT.)  I don't cover it much because of a couple reasons.

First and foremost, I know for medical reasons many transgender women can't take on HRT. Secondly,I also know , many trans folk attempt the dangerous route of attempting to do the whole process without securing medical professional help. Doing that just opens yourself up to many very terrible health issues. Finally, I am always paranoid about giving any indication of me putting myself up on a "transer than thou" pedestal.

Now my warnings are behind us and we can get to the real reason for this post.

You may recall, approximately three months ago, I was able to increase my dosage of estrodial by half after many medical tests. Now I am beginning to feel changes again in my body. Of course what most want to know, does that mean bigger breasts. In my case yes it did, plus I was able to add more volume to my thighs too.

Now, keep in mind, I have been on HRT for over six years, with time off for medical reasons. Plus I spent at least the first six months on a very minimum dosage. I started that way to see how my body reacted to the hormonal changes.

I know too, quite a few individuals who have just started (or are considering starting) HRT for the first time want to know what to expect. Again, I don't write about it much because the results vary so much depending on the age and dosage of the recipient.

In my case, it wasn't very long before I began to feel sensations in my breasts, hot flashes and emotional changes. Then I went years before I went through any other definite changes until I was allowed to increase my dosage. To put it into perspective, my breasts became easily noticeable but not really large enough in my mind to wear a restrictive bra. Now, as summer approaches and hopefully restrictions from the virus lift, if I wear any sort of tight tank top I will need to wear a bra.

Plus, I have a series of appointments coming up early in April which will hopefully confirm I can stay on my current hormonal course. Most importantly to me is the emotional well being I have achieved on my current HRT dosage.

I just hope I am allowed to maintain it. 

As I wrote this, I thought about other like minded ideas to write about and will continue this post tomorrow.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Introspection

With the advance of the Corona Virus 19, most of us have had been forced to stay home. With the extra time alone many of us have had the chance to reflect on our lives.

Reflection is tough on many people, including me. A totally quiet room is often my worst enemy and I even sleep all night with the television on. (Thanks Liz! who is my partner and only mildly protests.)

It could be much worse. I think back to the days when I was first exploring the feminine world and was out and about as much as I could to do it. The very essence of my being revolved around how and if I could make my way in the world as a woman. The very places I went to do it...restaurants and taverns are all currently closed around in my section of the world because of the virus. In so many ways, my femininity was based on what others thought of me. Looking back on that time of my life, I know I would have been strongly affected by the experience. Not to mention being mostly unemployed because I was a restaurant manager.

Timing is everything though. After all these years, I don't need to put on all the feminine finery to feel like a girl. In fact, I am a fairly "plain Jane" type woman. I guess my feelings go back to my very early days as a cross dresser when the clothes lost their appeal. What replaced the "urges" was an over powering desire to be a girl, not just look like one.

These days, I am so fortunate to have a solid base of gender support around me. Family and friends who look past my transgender lifestyle and instead see the true me. The true me is a happier more satisfied person than many of my family knew before. I have found through much trial and error happiness may still be impossible to find for a person such as me but joy isn't.

Since we are all stuck in this current crisis together, please do your best to keep yourself safe. I know many of you may look at this as a form of being forced back into your closet. Also, I have a dear friend who is really upset her genital realignment surgery has been postponed from March 31st. My thoughts go out to her.

Reach inside yourself and find your inner woman and use the time to cherish her. Hopefully, all of this will be over before we know it and your woman will flourish again.

 

Friday, March 20, 2020

A Trans Milestone in Argentina

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Diana Zurco did not attend her high school graduation because she refused to receive a diploma with her birth name. At 17 and considered a boy by school officials, she grew her hair long and adopted the name Diana after the alien character on the show “V” about an extraterrestrial invasion.
Now 40, she recalled her youthful rebellion while sitting in a comfortable chair in the studio of Argentina’s public television station ahead of her debut as the country’s first transgender newscaster, a milestone for an excluded community that is often the target of violence and has a life expectancy roughly half that of the rest of the population."
Of course there is much more to her story and you can see it here.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

More on Jenner

In response to a recent post here in Cyrsti's Condo concerning the influence over the years of Caitlyn Jenner on the over all transgender community, Connie submitted this comment:

"Jenner never impressed me, except as an athlete. Nevertheless, she provided me with the means for one of my best comeback lines, back when she was first coming out. While I was standing in line at the meat counter, I struck up a conversation with another woman. An older man in line ahead of us turned around to look at us, subsequently clocking me (probably from my voice). He interrupted our conversation by asking me, "Are you like that Bruce Jenner guy?" Without hesitation, I answered back, "Well, I don't really like to talk about my gold medal." I guess I could have said that I wasn't a Republican, but I think the gold medal line was my best choice. :-)"


What a great comeback! 

As most of you know, I have never been a big fan of Jenner either but supposedly she has now rejected her "love" affair with rump. I hope it is true. 

On another note, I discovered a post you may be interested in while checking in with one of the blogs I follow called "Mybookworld24". The post critiques five current transgender books. Go here to see it. 


Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Rubies

From the "Daily News" : "A father proved that necessity is indeed the mother of invention.A Toronto-based super dad who created a swimwear line for his transgender daughter now wants all trans girls to be confident and comfortable in their clothes.
Jamie Alexander, a serial entrepreneur and tech adviser, had to get creative to help his daughter Ruby feel as feminine and fun as all girls of her age.
“As a father of a transgender girl I want to make the world a safer place for every girl,” he said in a statement, when he launched his latest project, an online store called Rubies.
“We design form-fitting clothing for trans girls and their friends — so that they never stop being active and being girls, no matter where their day takes them. We believe that every girl should be able to enjoy the same level of comfort and confidence as her friends — whether it’s the beach, ballet, gym or swim,” Alexander added."

Follow the link above for more.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Transgender Protection in Death

As you Cyrsti's Condo's regulars know, I am not getting any younger and my future in an assisted care facility is one of my re-occurring unpleasant fantasies. But what if I pass on before I have to worry about it? I shouldn't have to worry because my two closest next of kin people are firmly in my corner of acceptance. But...

Depending upon what your final wishes for a funereal might be, once again you can face the danger of being denied being viewed as your true transgender self in death. Seemingly, the final lack of gender dignity would be the worst indignity of all.

Here is a rather lengthy video from You Tube on the subject  I thought may interest you:


Monday, March 16, 2020

Transgender Mexican Wins

Mexican contestant Valentina Fluchaire was crowned Miss International Queen in a beauty pageant for transgender women held in Pattaya, Thailand, on Saturday.
Valentina Fluchaire
The native of Colima state received the crown from the previous year’s winner, Jazell Barbie Royale, from the United States.
“I have no words. … I have worked so hard to get here. I don’t want to get sentimental, I don’t want to cry,” said Fluchaire, who added that she will wear the crown with “much respect and responsibility” and that she will work to benefit transgender people and other social causes.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Caitlyn Jenner's Transgender Influence?

To be certain, Ms. Jenner's polarizing influence on the trans community has been well documented. But, how has she fared outside of the LGBTQ world?

I found a fairly decent post on the subject to share with all of you. It's written by Patrick Miller, an associate professor of political science at the University of Kansas. Here is an excerpt:

"The Politics of Being 'Cait': Caitlyn Jenner, Transphobia, and Parasocial Contact Effects on Transgender-Related Political Attitudes" appears in the current issue of American Politics Research.
"The entire question of celebrities in politics is vastly understudied," Miller said.
"Politicians seek their endorsement. Brands obviously pay them a lot of money to endorse their products. We have the sense that they're important but—especially in political science—we have not appreciated enough just how important they can be."
That importance is reflected in the opinions of Americans who followed Jenner when she revealed her transgender identity in 2015. Examining how age, partisanship and transphobia impacted engagement with the Jenner story, Miller found it shaped attitudes toward  in unexpected ways.
Caitlyn Jenner
"What's interesting about the Jenner case is the people who she seemed to influence are the older, more conservative type—those who probably became vested in her back when she was Bruce Jenner competing in the Olympics and appearing on Wheaties boxes," said Miller, who co-authored the article with KU's Don Haider-Markel along with Andrew Flores, Daniel Lewis, Barry Tadlock and Jami Taylor.
Conducted in 2015 shortly after Jenner came out, Miller's survey reveals that among the respondents who followed her story, those who were both older and more transphobic were less likely to see it as reflecting negative social trends compared to  who were equally anti-transgender. And this same group was more likely to support pro-transgender policies if they interpreted Jenner's story less negatively.
"She didn't appear to have any effect on the younger people who might have been more attuned to "Keeping Up with the Kardashians." So, in that sense, her audience seemed rather durable, despite her rebranding over time," he said."
Find more on this post here.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

From Russia With Love

Tatler has become Russia’s first magazine to feature a transgender woman on its cover, the society magazine announced as its April issue hit newsstands Wednesday.

The Kazakh-born, Paris- and Moscow-based socialite Natalia Maximova came out to her Instagram followers in December. In the interview with Tatler’s chief editor, Maximova said she “never had the need to come out” until she witnessed and intervened in a confrontational scene in Belgium.
“I understood then that I have no right not to defend others. I have no right to stay silent,” she said.
Tatler, a Condé Nast publication in Russian circulation since 2008, said it hoped Maximova’s interview “will give hope to those who need it.”
“I want to dedicate [the cover] to those who fight, to those who love and to those who made their choices or [are] on their way to [making] a decision,” Maximova wrote.
At least half a dozen major magazines around the world have featured transgender models on their covers.
For more, go here.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Nobody Made Me

I do quite a bit of skimming of my email feeds to try to seek out topics to write posts about. Naturally, sometimes I run into quite a bit of interesting material, then again on days like today, not so much.

The closest I could come was a post I read which referred to being "made" into a transgender person. The post referred to some sort of a deep dark trans force which seized us and made us the way we are. It is still difficult for many people in everyday society to understand we didn't have a choice the way our life has unfolded. Many people still don't know if we continue to live in the gender we were born in either leads to a life of misery as a best case scenario or suicide at it's worst. To be sure we did not "choose" such a life.

Years ago, after one of my all out Halloween "costume" attempts, two of my close cis women friends brought up the party and said "I made a good looking woman." For one of the few times of my life I was speechless.  Finally, I blurted out something like "a lot of good it did me."

What really happened was for a change I had aligned my inner self with how I projected my gender into society and it worked. Looking back on it years later, I wish I had thought of saying I wished I had a power to make someone.

It's also true though, I shouldn't have looked a gift horse in the mouth (or other places of it's anatomy) and just accepted the compliment. In all fairness, I still had decades of growth and learning in a feminine world to be able to know how to conduct myself. So, if I was "made" as a woman. So be it.

Unfortunately, the times I had to try to show my feminine side in public were limited to once a year at Halloween. Plus, when I started to experiment more and more in the feminine world, I was made as a man in a dress.

I do feel these days, the tide is slowly changing (even with the current administration in Washington) and transgender women and men are beginning to be viewed with some sense of normalcy.

Perhaps now people will understand we trans folks were born this way and didn't have a choice. More respect should follow.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Nikey Chawla

From India, this in an excerpt from an interview with transsexual star Nikey Chawla:

"first of all, I would like to educate others that the Trans community is vast. People in Western countries have different definitions of Transgender than people in India.
I have gone through proper medical treatment and support. All my documents have been changed and updated. I am a transsexual, a female soul who was trapped in a wrong body, but with hard work and medical help I got a SRS (Sex Reassignment Surgery) done. The Indian Government also supports this under Medical Term.
Nikey Chawla
I turned my weakness into my strength. People who said ‘No’ to me, who denied me work as they found me different and not acceptable by society, are now the ones who give me opportunities, love and respect. When I chose To Be ‘Me’ I got recognition. I believe be yourself with pride and the world will accept you. Yes I have many problems but someone had to take initiative. I took the initiative and became the voice and the face of transgirls openly. Now, I feel proud that in last 10 years a lot of new transgirls and transboys are showcasing their talents proudly and living the life they want. I feel proud."
For more of the interview go to the "We for News" site here.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

The Binary Blues?

Recently I received a thought provoking comment concerning binary or non binary transgender women. A subject I don't think we have ever discussed in the long history of the Cyrsti's Condo blog. The question was brought up by Connie:

"I'm not so much confused about  Non-Binary individuals, or the portrayal of them, as I am feeling a little discounted for being a Binary Trans Woman. It's as though the media have highlighted enough of the transgender women , like Lavern Cox - or even Caitlyn Jenner - and now it's on to the trans du jour of non-binary. Just when I was feeling comfortable living my "authentic self," and knowing that there were enough people in the world who
Laverne Cox
had some degree of understanding and acceptance for me, the relatively new concept of "Non-Binary" changes the game. Most people still think along binary lines, and it is much easier, I think, for them to look at me and have some idea, at least, of how I may fit in. Of course, I try to leave as little ambiguity for my gender expression as possible. However, can I  expect that I won't even be mis-gendered, when there are those who are presenting and expressing one gender, while still demanding that they be referenced as another (or neither....or both)?

I don't know if I'm being pushed out of the transgender umbrella or crowded into the middle of it, these days." 

It's probably just me but I think most of the "non binary" emphasis is a more recent phenomenon brought up by the younger segment of the transgender community. It's just an easier way to say we don't fit. 

However, in my travels, I have encountered more and more individuals who didn't fit a gender binary. I find it encouraging the people I have known (even on a limited basis) have had the courage to live a life somewhere outside the lines of the traditional gender binaries. 

As for me, my authentic self is much like Connie's. I live as a binary woman. I do my best to present to the world as one and expect to be treated with respect as one. 

I also think we are not being pushed out from under the transgender umbrella, we just need a bigger umbrella.  

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

International Women's Day

International Women's Day was Monday March 9th. A time for transgender women to pause and reflect on where we belong in the feminine community. Of course there are plenty who think we don't belong at all.

Despite what they think, we do belong. Our journey to womanhood just took a different path than most of the cis women I know. Plus I know several females who never made it to womanhood at all. Being a woman is a social construct, not merely a physical one. 

To better commemorate Women's Day, here is a quote from Rosa Parks:


Monday, March 9, 2020

Cancellation

Recently I received this email from the people at Pennsylvania's big Keystone Gender Conference:

"It is with extreme sadness that we must cancel the 2020 Keystone Conference due to increasing concerns over the COVID-19 Corona Virus. This has been a very difficult decision to make, but is the most prudent in light of too many intangibles and the high element of uncertainty surrounding this outbreak. Our first concern is the health and well-being of Keystone’s devoted participants, dedicated staff and volunteers, and you, our most faithful attendees.

As many of you know, we draw attendees from all over the United States and internationally—a fact that we are both humbled from and very proud of. Nevertheless, this amazing and wonderful diversity of people brings with it added anxiety under the darkening shadow of this outbreak. Keystone is about coming together, celebrating our differences and embracing both old and new friends. Unfortunately, with even the most benign sneeze or innocuous cough, worry and fear will only be fueled at a stressful time like this.
This decision was made after consulting several medical professionals and thoroughly reviewing information from and recommendations by the CDC and other respected agencies"
The conference on gender diversity was to be held on March 25th-29th.

More Work Stories

In response to the Cyrsti's Condo "transphobia" work post concerning the mis-treatment of a transgender acquaintance of mine. You may recall she ran into an intensely hate filled interaction when she dropped off a couple skids of freight. She is a short haul truck driver. It turns out we have another former trucker who reads the blog and commented. Here is Michelle:

I can emphasize with your friend who had to endue an A""hole like that. I was a long haul driver and found that I had to very careful while on the road. Not only at the delivery points but at truck stops. Several times I was glad that I always fueled up before finding a spot for the night. For the most part, I stayed away from everyone but there were several times that ugliness reared it's head when eating or trying to get a shower. It was scary to say the least."

Thanks Michelle, glad you "survived!"

The other comment comes from Connie who works in her life as a full time transgender woman:

"I have taken a temporary job with the 2020 Census, which will begin in a couple of weeks. I worked the 2000 Census, as my old male self, so I have an idea of what the work will entail. I will be interviewing people who either could not, would not, or simply did not fill out their questionnaires, as required by law. Some of these people are reluctant to talk to a "government official," even in this sanctuary city of Seattle. I imagine that some of them may be reluctant to talk to a transgender woman, as well. I am expecting to experience some negative reactions, at any rate.

I am cognizant of the fact that, no matter how nice someone else may be to me, there are those who will turn around and tell someone else about the tr..ny they just met, after I've walked away. Even years before I ever went out in public, that was the best of scenarios I could imagine for myself; the thought of someone holding such disregard or hate for me was my paranoia. Laughing at me behind my back seemed to be worse than anything someone might say to my face. I really feel much the same way now, to tell the truth, but I have learned to put the thought out of my mind. Whether to my face or behind my back, however, I have to remember that what anybody else may think about me is none of my business. To be a confident, gracious, and friendly woman is my business, though, and that's the best I can do. As we've discussed many times, being out as a trams woman is not for the faint of heart. I have chosen to push my limits, rather than to allow my paranoia to hold me back and to play it safe.

I not only work for the US Census, I count just as much as anyone else! :-)"

Connie is a great example of how you can survive as a working transgender woman! 

Personally, I am so fortunate enough that I was able to scrape by and retire on my meager Social Security plus what ever vintage items I could sell. So I never had to worry about coming out to anyone on a job. Plus, every now and then there is a great story around here in Cincinnati about companies who are LGBTQ friendly such as Kroger and Fifth Third Bank versus ones who are not such as Western and Southern Insurance. Also Procter and Gamble is friendly to us too.Maybe a little information to influence your buying habits.

And finally, there is Mandy who ran into a problem when she went to pick up a prescription:

"Been there done that...had an incident a while back at the local pharmacy.
The male clerk took exception to my women's stirrup pants and blouse outfit, and made a Big F------ Deal out of it. I handled him tactfully and appropriately, but his only problem was that both a female peer (who was offended by his rant) and his female manager heard him. He was fired shortly thereafter, and I ended up with a nice gift card from the manager. Quick Karma Indeed.
Interesting thought about "wondering if he might have a few dresses in his closet!"
I am glad your hassle was resolved and he was fired! Thanks for sharing! 

Sunday, March 8, 2020

New Transgender Screen Love Interest

From the Advocate:
"Jason Segel recently confessed to Rolling Stone that Simone, his character Peter’s love interest in the new deliciously surrealist AMC series Dispatches From Elsewhere, was not originally written as a transgender character. This is, until he met captivating Hollywood newcomer, Eve Lindley.
Jason Segel and Eve Lindley
“The only other time this has happened was when Russell Brand came in to read for [Forgetting SarahMarshall. I’d originally written his part to be a straight-laced British author, like a Hugh Grant type. Then Russell came in, and gave me something entirely better,” Segel told RS. “I felt the same way about Eve when she auditioned — Simone was not written as a trans character. She made Simone so much richer, more complicated, gave her so much more depth. It changed the whole project. The love story that emerges between Peter and Simone is…it’s one of the things I’m most proud of with the show. And that’s all due to her. But I didn’t want to make her gender identity her defining characteristic. It isn’t that way for Peter, or Fredwyn, or Janice, so why should it be for her?”
Follow the link above for more.



Friday, March 6, 2020

Transphobia Lives On

Recently I read a story on Facebook from a person I know who is a transgender short haul truck driver. I have been fortunate enough to have been around her since her earliest struggles with coming out during the cross dresser - transgender support group meetings I have attended on and off for years now. I have seen her tentative steps out of the closet and into the world. It turns out yesterday, she had a very traumatic experience at one of her stops where she was delivering freight.  Being as family orientated as I can, the guy checking in the delivery went off on a loud tangent to other workers on how there was a tr-nny in the office who wanted to perform some sort of sex act on him.

My friend Vennessa  definitely  took it better than I could have. She calmly finished her business and left. I am fairly sure I would have asked to talk to his boss.

It's a shame transphobia still has to exist in the world today and I know I am speaking to the choir by bringing it up in the blog. Plus, it's probably true the guy in question also had a few dresses stashed away in his closet or watches gay porn.

As I go about my life in the little cocoon I have constructed, I am so fortunate to be accepted as my true self. It's rare when I go out without my partner Liz who contributes to some sort of normalcy to the general public. It's exceedingly rare when we encounter anyone who questions my genderality. Plus the groups of people we are involved with all accept me for who I am.

Even still, I am always on guard for the time again when I will encounter the hate of gender transphobia.

Phia Menard

From France:

Phia Ménard founded the Non Nova company in 1998. The name comes from two words of a Latin quote that is her motto: “We invent nothing. We just see things differently.” Her earliest works, halfway between juggling, the discipline in which she initially trained, and dance, which she gradually embraced, were immediately open to the world. But the decisive turning point came in 2008, when the piece PPP, for Position Parallèle au Plancher (“Position Parallel to the Floor”) premiered at Subsistances in Lyon. Phia Ménard called this solo, which she performed herself, her “first work about ice and identity”. Based on the transition of a natural element (ice into water), it was an artistic bombshell


I love the quote! "We invent nothing, we just see things differently."

Recently, Phia was at the center of a storm of controversy when her show was cancelled to make way for tRump's main Uncle Tom, Kanye West's so called prayer service. 

Thursday, March 5, 2020

On the Edge

Recently here in Cyrsti's Condo we have been discussing the ramifications of coming out as a transgender woman. Mmarsha in particular has commented on her struggles in deciding to come out or not. Obviously, there is no easy answer for attempting one of the more difficult journeys a human can attempt. While it's true the final decision may come down to transitioning or the grave (in my case), even that can turn out to be an oversimplification. After all, in many transition cases there are families and jobs to consider. At the least, it's a daunting journey for anyone to take. Perhaps the worst part is when it takes years for wins for anyone can appear. After all, any way you approach it, a gender transition is not an overnight experience. It is definitely a marathon, not a sprint.

Speaking of transgender marathons and journeys, here is Connie's take on her trip: 

"Of course, my trans journey has involved a self-sabotage to my income, through my yielding to my gender identity over taking care of my business. The stress of trying to live a balanced life between the two, with the added stress from the fear of being outed, finally became impossible. My business would have suffered a quick death, had that fear become reality, but I realized that a slower death of the business was taking place with the distraction of my dysphoria. It could have resulted in my own death, as well. Ultimately, I chose to be a woman of very modest means instead of the moderately successful businessMAN I was. I still hold hope that I may, someday, become a moderately successful businessWOMAN, however. Nevertheless, I am still a woman alive!

My congratulations, or sympathies, go out to those who are doing their balancing acts. It depends on their own aspirations as to which of those I may extend. For me, though, "Lord, I can't go back there!""

I too empathize with those doing the balancing act. Like Connie's reference to the old "R. Dean Taylor" song about Indiana and the law, I can't go back there either. 

I found my true home after crossing the gender frontier. It was far from easy but worth it in the long term. Then again, I learned I never had much of a choice. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Bond Girl

"Back in the day", I remember distinctly looking for more information anywhere I could find it when I learned there was a transsexual woman who landed an acting job as a James Bond girl. Of course I found out her name was Caroline Cossey.  She appeared in the 1981 James Bond film "For Your Eyes Only." Following her appearance in the film, she was outed in the tabloids and ended up as the first transgender woman to pose for "Playboy" in 1991.In 1992 Caroline Cossey married Canadian David Finch and they currently live in the Atlanta, Georgia area. As far as I can tell from the information I can find.

She still has an active Twitter account which you can follow if interested. It should be remembered after Cossey was outed and lost her career, she became a true pioneer fighting for transgender rights.

Caroline Cossey

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

With a Little Help from my Friends

Recently, Mmarsha has been writing in with comments to a Cyrsti's Condo post from 2018. The post was called "Sink or Swim" Without going to deep into the post, it revolved around a lonely forlorn transgender woman who was coming to the support group meetings. Then Connie added her comments in also, providing other fascinating looks into life under the "transgender umbrella" which often leaks badly.

Here is one of Mmarsha's comments: "Is it possible that we are all a little different in our sexuality no matter how much we think we are like somebody else or think they are like us. In other words you just have to be you and you probably will change over time some people a little more than others. Lets celebrate our diversity and make that our strength. xoxox Mmarsha" 

For sure our sexuality is on a spectrum as broad as human existence itself. As far as my own sexuality is concerned, I experimented briefly with men before I just happened to land firmly into a group of lesbians. One of which I am still with after eight years. Even though my experimentation only went as far as heavy kissing, I often wonder what would have happened if I had ever been more deeply involved with a guy. I'm biased of course but I still feel more men could benefit from the companionship of a transgender woman. For the most part because we have been on their side of the gender fence and can understand their needs more completely. But again, that is just me.

As far as celebrating our diversity, it seems sometimes the Washington administration is trying to make it as difficult as possible to do, although in many local situations trans women and men seemingly are making strides. 

Connie's ideas as always reflected a little different look at the situation: "So much has changed in the trans community since the original post. Acceptance of diversity is not just something we are expecting from the general society, it is also expected of trans people toward each other more than it was before. Especially when considering Non-binary gender expression, things have moved far beyond the relatively simple concept of "Transer Than Thou" attitude that many of us fought in the past. Although I consider myself to be, strictly, a Binary Trans Woman, I often have to remind myself that being so is not the ultimate goal of many other trans women. I keep learning that it's not my job to "fix" anyone else, but I'm happy to give advice, when it's asked of me. I think that I still carry a bit of internalized transphobia, and, if anything or anyone needs "fixing," it's me."

Finally, Mmarsha and I discussed the idea of how difficult it is to initially come out at all: "Yes your right just get out and do it. I am just so intimidated by the prospect of coming out. Some days I don't want to some days it seems if the right chain of events took place it would happen."

It's a huge topic and one which begs for it's own blog post. 

If you would like to see all the comments, go here. As always, thanks for the comments!

Monday, March 2, 2020

Out...to Dinner

Saturday night we met with a few old acquaintances for dinner at the upscale Italian venue we normally go to.

I got dressed up as far as I normally do with my fancy patterned leggings along with a nice sweater and a new knitted neck cowl Liz just made for me. As we entered the crowded restaurant, I received the usual amount of attention my arrival usually attracts. No matter how you cut it, I am not the tallest woman in the room but there is very little I can do about my big boned body. To make matters even more interesting, for dinner I washed and moussed my hair with a different hair product which adds volume as well as curls. Seemingly my hair took on a life of it's own. I had plenty of volume and curl.

Dinner proceeded smoothly until the very end until it was time to pay our bills. We had a new server who was struggling through our maze of orders and demands. Then, to add insult to injury our server had to try to decipher the different discount cards everyone carried. Liz and I had a ten dollar off email coupon she had emailed to her. It took the server two tries to get it right. In the meantime, we all noticed we had the same male name on our checks. It turned out he ran all the checks discounts under the name of the person at the table who very much didn't want to be outed. It was humorous as the other very out transgender woman kept asking who it was.

Needless to say the outed person was very upset but is such a basket case anyhow, so I for one didn't care how successful or who he was in his male life. But Liz couldn't help herself and came home and researched the cross dresser on Google. What Liz found out made sense. The person is from a small Indiana town and is active as an oil company owner and developer. It's no wonder he makes a big deal of knowing the most closeted gay guy in America, Vice President Mike Pence who is also from Indiana.

So, all in all it turned out to be an interesting evening. As I said before though, He doesn't have to worry about me outing him. As you noticed, I didn't even use his name in this post.

To each their own. As long as they don't hurt me.