I had a former boss who called Columbus, Ohio "C-Bus". I used to attend regional management meetings at his office in Columbus. Ironically, I had a difficult time keeping my mind on the business subjects because I was so happy to be back to where I had so many experiences coming out as a novice transgender woman.
|Jessie Hart Columbus Photo|
Very early I was able to attend what were referred to as transvestite mixers in "C-Bus". I learned the true value of the mixer label when I met a number of new acquaintances throughout the gender spectrum. Anywhere from crossdressers who were fighting the urge to dress as women to impossibly beautiful and feminine transgender women carefully considering their next step. In other words to explore surgery and live full time lives as an out transgender woman. Most importantly I needed to discover more and more about where I wanted or needed to go with my gender dysphoria. I was stuck in the middle of the two gender binaries.
As I have mentioned, about half of the time, I was able to attend these mixers alone. Either my wife had to work or just didn't want to go. Plus the mixers had decreased in size to exclusive parties at one of the transgender woman's houses. She owned and lived in a restored brick house in the "German Village" restoration district just south of the downtown business district. The nights I was alone allowed me to explore several of the "what if's" of my transition.
Perhaps one of the biggest back then was the need to be validated as a woman through a feminine appearance. It was all well and good until one night I was cornered by a much bigger "admirer" who used to attend the parties to admire the other guests. By my own admission I was dressed more trashy than classy and he cornered me in a hallway. I found out very quickly how a woman can get into trouble.
Other times I did tone down my appearance and was able to flirt my way into perhaps interesting situations. I say interesting because I knew deep down I would never cheat on my wife. (I never did). Another night with an interesting outcome came when I casually met up with one of the lesbians who were checking out the mixer with a friend. I flirted my way into taking off and going to a nearby predominately lesbian club with her. Predictably that was about as far as it went.
As I look back on all my experiences at the mixers, I see them all as a giant learning experience. Through it all I was desperately searching for my true gender identity. The early mixers in C-Bus were both frustrating and inspirational. Frustrating in that I knew I was light years away from coming to a gender decision but at the same time, my successes were propelling me forward into always seeking more
To this day when we can afford it, my partner Liz and I always still love to "Bust it Out in C-Bus."