Showing posts with label AFRTS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label AFRTS. Show all posts

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Can't Means Won't

Image from Moritz
Mentgez on Unplash 

Often when I read someone say they can't transition, it means they won't. 

I most likely remember hearing a saying similar to that way back in my days when I was playing sports and a coach quoted it to me when I wanted to quit. On the other hand, there are many reasons someone deep in their closet can't transition. I am not putting myself up on any sort of pedestal because I spent so many years trying to decide if and when I could complete a MtF transgender transition. 

My first big roadblock was attempting to improve my presentation to the point where I could blend in on even a minimal basis in the public's eye. Once I began to basically be successful, I began to be encouraged to the point I may be able to live out a life long dream of living as a woman. Little did I know that just trying my best to look like a woman would be just the beginning, There turned out to be so many other twists and turns in my journey which I often write about here. Many times along the way when I considered thinking I can't do that, it was a sure sign I couldn't. 

Perhaps my biggest roadblock which may have turned out to be a positive was the twenty five year long relationship I had with my second wife. She was the wife who passed away without ever accepting my desire to transition into a transgender lifestyle. For all the wrong reasons I ended up sneaking around behind her back and tried to explore more and more if I could indeed live as a woman. The positive was the entire process I was caught up in as a very serious transvestite or cross dresser taught me very explicitly what I would be facing if indeed I decided to transition. Each time I entered the feminine world it seemed I learned a new and important lesson. Primarily when I needed to communicate with another person (primarily women), I discovered why men and women have such a difficult time understanding each other. If men are from Mars and women from Venus, I turned out to be some sort of a space traveler in between. 

Through it all, my basic desire to keep going kept me pursuing my feminine gender dreams. Similar to being told I could never have a job working for the American Forces Radio and Television Service when I needed to serve my military duty, I found a way around the obstacles and was successful. I did manage to serve out my three years in the Army working for AFRTS. For once in my life by pushing forward against the odds, I felt I could be successful.

Can't meaning won't didn't work for me either in several ways. Immediately, when I started to seriously transition, I began to diet and took off nearly fifty pounds. In essence, I was doing what any woman would do to look as good as I could. In addition, for several years previous, I was taking extra care of my skin which helped also. I again, similar to any other woman, was doing my best to work with what I had. If I was still going to travel between Mars and Venus, I was going to try to make the journey as easy as possible.

No matter how hard I tried, I kept running up against obstacles such as family acceptance and employment. My brother and his family were completely lost to me when I finally transitioned and started hormone replacement therapy but I was fortunate when my only child (a daughter) completely accepted me. As far as employment went, I was close enough to retirement age to go ahead and retire. Suddenly, the gender doors which I had been knocking at all those years opened and my life changed. 

The reality of my situation was  when I listened to my high school coach who said "Can't means won't" I learned he was right. What he never said was how long it might take to happen. We never know what the future may bring.       

Monday, April 17, 2023

Was the Transition Risk Worth It?

Image from Sammie Chaffin
on UnSplash

 The answer to this question most likely depends on where you may be in your gender transition. If you are just beginning, the risks coming fast and furious these days may seem to be to much to handle. Until recently with the barrage of anti transgender political bills, I considered the era I transitioned in to have been more risky. Now I am not so sure.

As I remember, the biggest problems I faced were of my own doing such as my well documented fashion errors which led to me being rejected by the public. Once I conquered being able to present properly as a woman, I could then move on to other problems. The main one was the sudden possibility I could carve out a new relatively successful life in a feminine world. The main things which were holding me back were the extreme risks involved with following my gender dream. In my life up to that point I had achieved success in going against the odds and taking risks. The main example I can recall was when I was drafted during the ill-fated Vietnam War. Instead of serving the two year draft time, I chose the three year enlistment time and set out to see if any branch of the military offered anything close to my career in radio broadcasting. It turns out the Army did  and with the help of a US Congressman I was able to be accepted into the American Forces Radio and Television Service and then served in Thailand and Germany. You might say I was successful. 

As the years went by, I left the broadcasting business and entered the food service industry which was expanding rapidly. I was able to increase my income substantially and begin a love/hate relationship for the next thirty plus years.  The problem was, I became so adept running restaurants I was paid more handsomely for my efforts. Taking chances with my feminine life became more and more of a problem. The more successful I became in the male dominated world I was in, the more I lost if I suddenly left it. I tried desperately to exist in both gender worlds to no avail. The process became so apparent, the more I did in my new and exciting feminine the more natural I felt. The more natural I felt, the easier it became to take on the new risks I was experiencing even though I was overall terrified about the path my life was taking. 

I never attempt to speak (or write) for anyone else but for me the risk I took to stop my male life and rebuild a new one as a transgender woman was worth it. Especially when I began hormone replacement therapy which I understand has a new name these days. Regardless I look at the point when I started HRT as the point of no return for my old unwanted male self. I was ready to take the final risk to begin a new natural gender life. If, on the other hand if you are still in your gender closet, don't despair because you never know when doors may open for you to explore the world. One never can tell the future and often destiny can lead in unexpected directions. 

Sadly, though, the longer we wait, the more risks we transgender women or trans men have to take when we transition. We develop family, friends and employment to navigate. When the risk became no choice as it did in my case, it was time to take another key step in my transgender transition, throw away all my male clothes, become femininized by the hormones  and start a new life.        

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

The Sugar Daddy and the Endocrinologist

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cha-ch Changes

  Vote BLUE! After many years of keeping the blog title the same, I have decided to modernize it to reflect the name I adopted as my legal m...