Showing posts with label Halloween. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Halloween. Show all posts

Friday, June 14, 2024

Trans Girls Dreams

Trans Ohio Archive Image from
the Jessie Hart Archives.




There were plenty of times when I thought living a transgender life was going to be impossible. 

All the days of staring into the mirror cross dressed in women's clothing come back to haunt me. As well as my poor attempts at the makeup arts when I turned out looking like a clown. Who knew being a woman was going to be as difficult as I was making it. But it was and took me years of work to come close to getting it right. 

Dreams of course can come during the night or day. As I was day dreaming my life away about being a girl/woman, I also tragically had the problem of dreaming of being a beautiful girl during my dreams. All my dreams, day or night, did was frustrate me even further. Most of the time, all my dreaming did was trigger my severe gender dysphoria. My cross dresser mirror visits were not doing any good and I couldn't see a way out of my gender issues. All the time shattering any hope I ever had of living life as a transgender woman. 

It turned out I was being a drama queen in many ways and was giving up a dream I really wanted way too early. What happened, all of a sudden I began to learn makeup and fashion skills so at the least I could survive in a world of women. It was a slow process to be sure but if I was ever going to achieve my trans girl dream, I just had to do it. Plus when I survived, I felt so natural and was elated at my progress. Perhaps my ultimate goal could be within reach after all. From then on, I still had a huge amount of work to do. As I delved deeper into the women's world I so admired, I then had to decide if I wanted to go all the way or not. Was the grass really greener on the feminine side? Again and again, I found it was as I tackled issues such as vocal training and just overall life surviving in the world as a trans woman. As I progressed, the light at the end of the tunnel turned out to be sunshine and not the train. 

Since I started my journey with no obvious feminine characteristics, I had a long way to go. I started my path by trying out Halloween parties initially dressed as a trashy woman, all the way to presenting as a professional woman at others. So I could see if I could indeed present as a realistic woman. Finding out I could led me to believe my trans girl dream could indeed be realized. At that point, my life became a blur as I attempted to live as both a man and a woman. All my attempts did was create a tremendous amount of pressure on me and essentially wrecked my mental health. With the help of a good therapist as well as several good friends, I was able to survive and once again re-direct myself towards my dream. Once I felt I was back on the right track, I started gender affirming hormones following an approval from my doctor and there was no looking back for me. 

I never considered I could make it as far as I have when I was the kid staring longingly into our full length hallway mirror at home so many years ago. Even though there were many rough patches along the way as I battled my gender dysphoria, along with waiting until I was in my early sixties to out myself to the world as a transgender woman, I still somehow made it. 

I guess the old saying is true, if you don't dream it, it will never happen. My dream of living a feminine life was the only goal I could think of when I was young and someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. Of course. I could not say a woman and ruin any life as I knew it, so I lied and said a lawyer or something more popular with my parents. I am sure many of you can relate to my story. 

Finally, after more failures than trials my trans girl dreams came through and somewhere within me there is an inner child who is rejoicing. 

Monday, June 10, 2024

Then I Went and Did It!

 

Trans Girl image from
Alexander Grey on 
UnSplash.

I played around for nearly a half a century being a very serious cross dresser. Sounds like a long time, doesn't it!

It was while I was doing it but now it seems like it was a blur. Most of it started with all the problems of sneaking around my home when I was growing up. I needed to use a ton of creativity to hide my cross dressing itself and not to mention the clothes I had accumulated. Somehow, I managed to do it all. Who knows, maybe it all made me a better person? I doubt it but at the least, the process helped me to be more creative with my life.

As I progressed slowly with my makeup art and improving my women's fashion choices by going to thrift stores, I found out I could do more. Then I went and did it by going out and testing the public's reaction to me as a novice transgender woman or at the least a skilled cross dresser. I found, the more I did it, the more successful I was and I felt so natural. To me, feeling natural was the best way I knew I was on the correct gender path and I wanted to keep going. Plus, feeling natural, gave me the confidence I needed to always push my gender envelope and try to do more and more. I even changed the way I viewed my Halloween costumes I was choosing. I started to go away from my trashy woman's look and then tried for a more realistic approach. I searched my brain for ideas which allowed me to try to present as a cis-woman at a Halloween party. Again, I went and did it when I succeeded at two parties where I was actually mistaken for a woman. Which in fact I was just learning I was.

By this time, it was too late to turn back and ignore my gender dreams. I was having so much success building a new life as a transgender woman, I just couldn't turn back. Even my sexuality was not a problem when I began to attract more attention from cis-women than I ever had as a man. I was validating myself as my own type of woman through my years of femininization and it felt so right. Then, I went and did it and jumped into the girl's sandbox and after a few bruises was successful. The claw marks I received on my back I felt were all learning experiences and I stayed and eventually held my own. 

All of this led me to my next transgender step of researching the possibility of beginning gender affirming hormones. Then I went and finally did by making my first appointment with a doctor who I heard would prescribe the hormones if a person was healthy. Thank the Goddess I was and the fun started. Like so many others, I needed to begin my hormonal journey on minimal dose of medication until my doctor and I could see how my body reacted. As it turned out, my body took to the new feminization hormones the way I hoped it would. It was like a big I told you so as my body changed. Inside and out. I needed all the help I could get in the appearance department and I was overjoyed when my facial angles softened and my hair quickly grew to a point where wigs became a part of my past. Luckily, my family history had no male pattern baldness for me to deal with. 

Since my overall appearance was becoming highly androgynous, I was loving it, I decided to give up on what was left of my old male life. I was to the point where none of my male shirts fit my breasts anymore, so rather than buy new bigger ones, I decided to go and do it. Give away what was left of my male clothes and live fulltime as a woman, transgender or not I was ready for the world. 

Since I had taken my time to make certain my gender decision was the correct one, I had no problems of never looking back. Many times now, I wish I had the courage to do it sooner and not have to worry about so many then I went and did its. 

Thursday, June 6, 2024

It's All a Big Transformation

Image from Ross Findom on UnSplash

Before we get started, I need to take a moment to remember the surviving military members of the D-Day invasion. It is important to remember how we arrived at the point of having to fight such a monumental war at all and hopefully learning our lesson to never do it again. My Dad fought in WWII but was not in Europe for D-Day. 

Now, on to the post: Anyway you look at it, life is nothing but a big transformation. We are born into a certain gender (right or wrong) and have our opportunities to grow into men or women. Not just males and females because it is a socialization process. Sadly for transgender women or trans men, we go through extra transformations in our life. Mainly because we need to escape from the initial gender declaration we were straddled with when we were born. Being forced into square gender holes when we were born as round pegs is cruel and unusual punishment. 

Over time, if we are lucky, we are able to climb out of our gender closets and thrive in the world but to get there, often it takes several separate transformations to arrive at our goals. For example, the first transformation I went through was when I was able to look at myself in my Mom's clothes in the hallway mirror. From there, I went even further by raiding her makeup and basically looking like a clown before I improved. At the time, I compared my expertise to painting a model car which were so popular at the time. It took awhile but I did get better with both at the same time. With no guidance from anyone, I needed to start from scratch.

Along the way, somehow I did manage to catch up partially with other girls of my age who I was watching closely. Another problem I had was having any income at all to purchase any feminine items of my own because I was rapidly out growing all my Mom's clothes so I took on a news-paper route to augment my meager allowance and buy a few items. In order to do so, I needed to visit my Grandma who lived very close to the downtown area which back in those days was a thriving business district. I snuck out, spent my money while being scared to death I would run into my Dad who worked nearby. Then sneak all my purchases back home and into my regular hiding places. By doing so, I was helping my transformation along.

The older I got, the larger my transformative steps became. Starting with going to Halloween parties dressed as a woman and then sneaking out of the house cross dressed, I knew each time I was successful, I could not go back to my unwanted, boring male life. Yet I needed to because I was still the round peg struggling to get out of her square hole and enjoy an authentic life as a novice transgender woman. Most importantly, it was looking as if I could defy all odds and do it. All because of the evenings I went out as a trans woman to be alone and ended up socializing with the world. Granted, it was a huge transformation to climb out of the male life I was in and make it into the dream world of women I always wanted to be part of but I made it.

Perhaps the biggest transformation came when I began gender affirming hormones. In addition to feminizing my body, I also feminized the world as I saw it. Finally I didn't have to play the old macho male game and was able to cry when I needed to. Surprisingly to me, my body even became more sensitive to changes in temperature and smell as my world softened.

I look at myself as being so fortunate in that I lived long enough to sense and go through several big transformations in my life. All the way from being able to father a child I love to living a fulltime life as a transgender woman with a woman I love, in many ways I feel I have received more than I deserved.  

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

My Gender Clock never Stopped

Image from the Jessie Hart 
Archives. Ohio River in back
ground.

 Although it is difficult to remember my thoughts when I first viewed my girlish image in the hallway mirror growing up, I am certain I had a mixture of emotions. 

Probably, my biggest emotion was elation and from that point forward, something within clicked and a new gender clock was set and running. From then on I had a new goal and possibly a new life to consider. One of the things I needed to figure out was how deep my gender leanings were running. My young mind needed to consider was I just trying to look feminine or was there something much deeper going on. At that point, my clock dramatically entered the picture. Within a relatively short period of time, everytime I cross dressed, the "buzz" would wear off and I needed to try to sneak around and dress as a girl again and again. Something just wasn't right and my young mind was feeling it. Looking back, my clock issues with cross dressing could be easily explained away. I was in the earliest stages of considering I was transgender, which I ran from for most of my life.

As I grew older, I grew braver in my gender outlook and I began to search for ways to open my closet door and see the world. Sometimes I was successful and other times I wasn't. The successful times when I was able to negotiate the world as a novice transgender woman essentially set my gender clock forward a few minutes. When I wasn't, my clock was set back when I needed to head home and attempt to figure out what I was doing wrong. For some reason, I wasn't able to complete what was going on with my gender puzzle. On occasion, when my feedback was quick and brutal, my clock had more than it's shares of setbacks.

On the bright side, as hard as I tried to wreck my male life as I knew it, I was never successful as I searched desperately for my truth...could I really or ever live a life as a happy fulltime transgender woman. Since happiness was always difficult to define in my family growing up, I often wondered if gender was the missing ingredient for me to survive. 

Then there were the times I needed to put my gender clock on hold due to many major life changes such as going away to college and serving my time in the military. Essentially, again to survive, I needed a safe spot in the back of my head to store my clock until I could put it into use again. Thanks to several well attended Halloween parties I went to and tested out my prowess at being a novice transgender woman, I was able to set my clock forward to some sort of version of gender savings time. Because, at the same time I was watching the time, I was saving my life for the future. 

As I set the time forward, my life as a cross dresser became so intricate, I needed to seriously consider making a change. Finally, I came to the conclusion I was a woman cross dressing as a man and I needed to perceive myself in a different way. The different way involved me seriously considering if my gender clock wouldn't stop until I started to live more and more on the feminine side of life. At that point, my gender clock went into overdrive. I quickly started to develop a new life as a woman where very few people knew the old male me and I made the major decision to begin gender affirming hormones. 

Luckily, all this activity made my mental health better and my gender clock stronger. To this day, it has never stopped. Plus, if the world didn't like me, it was their problem, not mine.

In another side note, I received comments from "Sunshine Jen " and others on my health situation. So far I just found the main Cincinnati Veterans Hospital wants to take a further look at the spots on my head. So we are still in a wait and see place. Thanks for asking!

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Gender Truth

 

Ripley, Ohio Image from
the Jessie Hart Archives

Following years of living a huge lie, I decided to live my gender truth. All along, I should have never been a male and felt so natural and alive when I was being feminine. 

As with any lie, you need to be more and more skillful to keep the ball rolling and not be discovered. The process all started when I was a kid and was carefully hiding away my small collection of girls clothes and makeup. Some of the items, I "borrowed" from my Mom when she discarded them and others I was able to purchase myself with funds I earned doing odd jobs around the house and from my newspaper route. I will never forget the first trips I had made to stores in nearby downtown Springfield, Ohio to buy makeup. I was scared to death since my Dad worked close by and I thought for some reason he might catch me there. Even though, it was my money and I was spending it the way I saw fit, I still felt guilty. The truth of my life still escaped me as I did my best to live in the male world. 

Somehow I was able to hide away all my clothes and makeup and even managed to shave away the hated hair which appeared on my legs when I became a little older. Probably, I was shaving my legs earlier than some of the girls I knew with strict Mom's who wouldn't even allow them to use lipstick. Looking back, I am sure I would have had the same problems with my Mom had I been born female. I just know she would have tried to restrain me the same way she did when I was her oldest son. All she really accomplished was enabling me to be more skillful in hiding my truth. I think. At the least, nothing was ever said to me by either of my parents.

As I cross dressed my way through college and my post military days, hiding my gender truth became increasingly more difficult. Primarily because I was slowly doing more and more in the public's eye as I left my closet to explore the world. The new truth I needed to face was how or if I was going to tell potential spouses who crept into my life. Even then, it seemed to be extremely unfair to both of us to not come clean from the very beginning. Except for my first fiancé, none of my future wives held my gender truth against me. Primarily because of a Halloween party, my first wife attended also, she was around when I confessed to a very small group of friends my costume was more than a casual fling to dress as a woman. As the years progressed and I became more assured of my gender truth, I decided I needed to tell my second wife also before we became married.

The problem became with my second wife was when I though I was telling her my gender truth about being a cross dresser, I wasn't. All along I was lying to myself and I was really transgender, not a cross dresser. Which was always a major problem for my second wife. She didn't care about the cross dressing but drew her line in the gender sand when it came to any idea or discussion of beginning any gender affirming hormones. Which, had she lived, would have probably ended our relationship.

Years later, at the age of sixty, I thought I was done with anymore serious relationships and wives is when several other friends came along, including my current wife Liz. With them, I basically had the opportunity to go full circle with my gender truth. Specifically, with Liz who told me at the time, why didn't I just leave the rest of my male life behind because she didn't see any man in me at all. 

Her push was all I needed to throw out what was left of my male clothes and concentrate on living my gender truth. The only problem I had with how it all worked out is why I waited so long to see it and live my gender truth. 

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Running as Hard as I Can

Image from UnSplash

Throughout my life, I frenetically ran from one thing to another.

In theory I was never much of a runner and only ran  when I was forced to during times I was in the Army and/or played football. So running never came naturally to me. for some reason though, when I was discharged from the military was when I free to face the world again would I settle down or run again. My answer started to emerge. It didn't take long as  I remembered when I was discharged and was heading home to Ohio from Ft. Dix in New Jersey. Before I arrived home, I had the entire Pennsylvania Turnpike to drive. Before I did so,  I paused for a second to ponder what I was going to do with my life. Surprisingly, at that time gender played just a small part of my future. Perhaps I was saving my gender issues for the future. 

Possibly also, at the time, I was still basking in the glow of coming out as a transvestite or cross dresser to three of my closest friends in the Army. Included in the group was a woman who was also in the Army. We had worked out she would meet me following her discharge and we would decide what would come next in our relationship. After we decided to visit her parents in California from Ohio, we decided to get married and as I said, she was fully versed in my gender issues. At least to the point which I considered them to be. At the time, I considered myself a serious cross dresser and I had a long way to go to being transgender.

As time went by, I switched professions from being a commercial radio disc jockey to the restaurant industry which at the time was expanding rapidly. To support my new family (daughter), I needed to be able to make more money. During the same time, I wedged in buying a small bar with a friend which eventually became a fairly successful pizza and beer restaurant. To make matters worse, I was beginning to feel the gender pressures I would need somehow to learn to live with. Even though I managed to dress in drag on various Halloween parties I went to, the rest of the time, I lived in my dark lonely gender closet knowing the next day I would be back in my male drag. 

To make up for my issues, I tried to offset my thoughts by moving our home as well as switching jobs. In addition, when I could, I tried to participate in civic groups which gave back to the community. Anything it seemed to take my mind off my desire to be feminine. Along the way my second wife and I moved from our native Ohio to the New York City metro area and then back to a new very rural area of Ohio which bordered on West Virginia. In the space of a couple years we went from living in very upscale Westchester County, New York to living in a farmhouse near the Muskingum River in Ohio where we heated with wood and needed water trucked in during times of the year which were drier than others. I was running from my problems as fast as I could.

The end result was I finally had enough and I needed to face my problems head on. One lonely night, I realized I had experienced enough of living a transgender life, I wanted to live it full time. My old male self had lost the battle and my new life felt so natural. 

It turned out I was never very good at running to start with. 


   

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Ode to Halloween

 

Halloween image from
the Jessie Hart Archive (Tom on
Left)

I have lived long enough to experience Halloween coming full circle.

Early in life I experienced the urge to wear a feminine costume but never had the courage to break out of my gender closet and do it. Plus I lived in such a small rural area, there weren't too many kids to go around and once you were pigeon holed into a certain category with your peer group you couldn't get out.  Examples included friends who were good or bad students as well as those who were always the outstanding athletes in the class. There was never any space for a stray boy who wanted to be a girl.

So I had a deeper reason never, ever express my feminine longings at all on Halloween. On top of all of that, I never saw any other boys who were dressed as girls. No cheerleaders, princesses or any of the stereotypes from the female world. The only time I can remember ever seeing a fellow male in drag or cross dressed was for selected festivals in high school. I was amazed at their male to female transformation. Plus I did hear the gossip concerning another guy in school I didn't really know who was dressed in his sister's clothes for his "costume" as the rumor went. I was so envious!

Once the years progressed and I naturally achieved more freedom to be my own person, I was able to pursue more courageous goals as far as Halloween went. I tentatively used the holiday to sneak out of my closet and explore. Could I dare make it in public as my feminine self. Very early I learned lessons I could take with me for years as I transitioned. I found if I dressed more conservatively at Halloween I indeed could have a chance to present well in the public's eye as a woman. As it turned out, all of this would be just the beginning of what I could learn on my ever rocky gender journey. 

Halloween made it possible for me to understand I could indeed live a life as my authentic feminine self. The only real problem came when I could only experience my terrifying yet exciting new life once a year. I was increasingly forced into the real world to learn my new gender lessons. All of which were made possible by Halloween.

Ironically, the more I learned from my initial experiences, the more I found the lessons would serve me well when I transitioned into a world ran primarily by women. If I could get other women to accept me, the better and easier I would have it. I also learned the hard way the process I would need to go through with men to attempt acceptance. Along the way, when I learned the better I presented at Halloween parties as a woman, the more of my male privileges were lost. Almost instantly, my old male friends began to leave me alone with the rest of the women. 

These days I have gone full circle with Halloween. It has served it's purpose of launching my journey down a path to be a full time transgender woman. So I don't have any need to go to any parties with elaborate costumes. I have done all of that and it is time to sit back and recognize Halloween for all the amazing experiences I was provided.

Thursday, October 5, 2023

Impactful Month

 

Image from Stories
on UnSplash

The rest of October will be very busy for my wife Liz and I.

Towards the end of the month she has two surgeries coming up which could entail spending a couple of days in the hospital. The operations are so intense we have to go today to go over all the details of the surgeries. Plus, the pre-opt work on Liz's side starts next week. 

As far as I am concerned, I am deeply involved in the process and will accompany her to all the pre-surgical consultations. It means facing a whole new set of people I have never seen before, which sets off my interior shyness. However, I have resolved myself to stay strong primarily because I am so worried about anything going wrong. 

As you regulars know I write often about losing my spouse of twenty five years and I do not want to go through the trauma and pain of doing that again. 

Of course what I am wearing to the pre-surgical visits is a no brainer. I am wearing my good jeans and light green sweater along with a light application of makeup and my hair tied back off of one shoulder. 

Plus, before all of Liz's work happens in the latter part of October, next week I have my twice a year in person appointment with my primary provider at the Veteran's Administration. A primary provider is similar to having a family doctor. Since I was trying to save a trip, I requested my provider approve my pending blood labs for another VA provider and (if they can) set me up for my flu and Covid shots the the same time. Since I put my requests in on the VA online system, I haven't heard back yet if they have been approved. 

All things considered, recently during my last several visits to my local VA clinic, I have been treated with respect, which wasn't always the case so I am pleased. Sadly, the personnel changes so rapidly at the clinic, you never know who you will or won't see again.

One way or another, October will be an impactful month because it also contains our first wedding anniversary after being together for over ten years. Just a lot to keep track of! And I can't forget all the impactful Halloween memories I would love to re-share. Plenty of posts to come. 

Monday, September 25, 2023

From Dreams to Reality

 

Image from the Jessie Hart
Collection


Very early in life, when I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I never told the truth. I would fall back on the politically gender correct answer and say the usual such as a lawyer, doctor etc. The reason I say politically correct is because how I really wanted to answer was with the truth. All along I wanted just to be a woman when I grew up.

I do think, at the time, I did know what a difficult proposition being feminine was all about. Primarily against my will, all along I was becoming more entrenched in a male lifestyle I never wanted. When I was being the square peg being pounded or forced into societies' square hole, I hated it. Even then I put up a brave front and liked the popular male things such as sports and cars, in reality I wanted to be the kid with the new doll baby at Christmas rather than the BB Gun I was gifted. But, life went on along with a pending meeting with the military along with the Vietnam War. I outran the war as long as I could. Finally it caught up with me and I enlisted for three years in the Army, rather than being drafted and insuring me a sure date with Vietnam. 

I dreamed of pursuing a goal of pursuing my early career in the radio broadcasting business while I served my military service for my country. Sure it was all a long shot but the long shot suddenly became a reality with the help of a local congressman whose radio station I worked for. With his backing, I was able to work a year in Thailand for the AFTN Radio and Television Network and then against all odds, managed to end up in Germany working a year and a half for AFN or the American Forces Network Europe. In doing so I was able to experience new cultures on different continents while I tried to keep my eye on the goal I couldn't seem to lose, the desire to be a woman.   

As we approach Halloween season, it is important to note how important Halloween was to me. Primarily because the parties I attended in "costume" as a woman allowed me to experiment on how far I was advancing  my feminine presentation and more importantly could I exist in the public's eye as my dream  woman. I have plenty of posts I will be sharing as we come closer to the actual day of Halloween. 

Spoiler alert, of course I finally did overcome all my doubts of ever being able to live out my dream but found I still had a long distance to go on my gender journey. Every time I think I was making progress, I found I still had so much farther to go.  As destiny directed me, I painted myself into a gender corner I couldn't delude myself to continue. I was ready to take the final step and live my dream of being a full time transgender woman. No more of just thinking I was just a weekend cross dresser, I needed more.

When I did, the final step was till more scary and ambitious than I ever imagined. I still remember the day I gave what was left of my male clothes to the thrift store and resolved to never look back on my old male life. No more just hiding behind my cross dressing until I could escape back to my comfortable world of male privileges. Through it all, my HRT or hormone replacement therapy helped to alter my male body enough to help my difficult attempt to present convincingly as a woman. 

From dreams to reality, the long twisting gender experience was worth it. My lifelong dream was a true one and I learned I was not making anything up. I was living how I wanted. 

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Transgender Recipe

Image from Callum Hill
on UnSplash
Every now and then I am asked how I negotiated a difficult and often impossible gender journey. 

As I have been able to sit back and look at my path, I know my recipe for success is in some cases very different from other transgender women  but at the same time eerily similar. An example would be those of you of an age close to mine (73) needed to endure years in a very dark and isolated closet in the pre-internet and social media era. For years, I was convinced no one else shared my own gender issues. My own recipe for success as a novice cross dresser or transvestite (or whatever you happened to call it) turned into a recipe for survival.


Through all the down days of questioning what gender I was, life went on as I built into my recipe different ways to survive in a male world I wanted no part of. I mainly resorted to existing in a very lonely life as the girl in the mirror. The major problem was the girl in the mirror always provided positive feedback no matter how poor I really looked. The learning curve proved to be a challenge since I had no real peer influence to help me. 

My recipe didn't really change for years as I basically just bided my time until I graduated high school and college. Then waited for the military to draft me into their world which shattered any of my possible future cross dressing ventures. They would have to be on hold for my three year enlistment. Surprisingly my recipe did not include my first adventure in letting others in (or coming out) to a select few others. I write often about the Halloween party I went to in Germany when I had approximately a year left to serve, as a prostitute. Weeks later, when my "costume" came up among friends. over many quality German beers I admitted I was not wearing a "costume", I was a transvestite. Even though I felt as if the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders, I then had to begin to worry about being outed to my superiors and being ushered out of the military with a dis-honorable discharge. Fortunately, I wasn't. I served out my final year and was honorably discharged. With my gender issues safely hidden away.

Following my return to the civilian world, my interaction with others as a transvestite revolved basically around the various Halloween parties I went to as a woman. During the parties I was able to mix in interacting with the world as a novice transgender woman into my recipe. The lessons learned are basically too many to share in this blog post but the most important ingredient I added to my gender recipe was the fact I just may be able to exist in the feminine world as a full time transgender woman and most importantly how much I enjoyed it. 

From there my life became much more complex as I enforced my ever-evolving gender recipe. I was at once elated but  at the same time terrified to be giving up what was left of my male life. I suspect those of you followed a somewhat similar path as you wrote and followed your own recipe for gender success. It remains amazing to me how far I have come since the deep dark days in the closet I survived years ago. 

Friday, August 4, 2023

Stages

Image from the
Jessie Hart Collection.

 Our topic today in my Veterans Administration group concerns the trials and tribulations of coming out, or letting others in to our authentic selves.

When I think back to my process of letting others in to me, I have a tendency to just zero in on two people, my daughter (only child) and my only sibling, a brother. To make a long story short, my daughter was very accepting and my brother was the opposite. In fact, I have not talked to him to this day. Sad but true. Overall, the real staging process came way before I came out or let some one in. 

In truth, I came out in stages when I experimented with testing the public as my novice feminine self. Thinking back, my first attempts at "showing off" came during Halloween parties. I started, predictably enough, with trying to dress as sexy as I could and telling everyone my "costume" was a prostitute. Over the years of trying, I slowly evolved into just trying to present well enough at the parties for others to think I was a cis-woman. As even that worked for me, it was time to consider my next move or stage I was going to.

What I decided on was I couldn't stand to wait another year to be in the public's eye as whatever label you wanted to attach to me. Cross dresser, transvestite, or even novice transgender woman were all possibilities What really mattered was I was finally beginning to adjust to living in a new gender world I had only dreamed of. Once I made it to one stage, I always thought I could make it to another. I was successful in doing the grocery shopping all the way for shopping for the Christmas gifts I was going to give away. As my new self. It was as scary as it was exciting.

It turned out the more stages I was successful on, the more I needed to be. Which led me on a collision course with my old worn out male life. Even though I was fairly successful living as a man, he could tell his time on my stage was coming to an end and did not appreciate it. It was around this time also when I hit the darkest time of my life. In the several years when my second wife passed away, I also lost nearly all of my very few male friends I had to death also. I was extremely lonely and turned to my feminine self to fill the void. I would cross dress to blend and go out to treat myself to a drink in one of the venues I had become a regular in. Since I really wasn't seeking companionship, I guess you could say I was going out to be alone.

Through it all, this stage of my life proved to me I could live as a transgender woman. All the other stages of my life all of a sudden became clear and I knew all the years of living on a male stage had been mostly a waste of time. The main thing that wasn't was the birth of my very supportive daughter. Which I would never have achieved if I wasn't on the male stage. 

Today, I won't have a very long time to explain the slow route I took to letting others into my true self.  Hopefully, writing about the process ahead of time makes it clearer to others.

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Come On In!

Image from A Zuhri

 I mentioned this comment briefly in yesterday's post. Recently, in my newest Veteran's Administration LGBTQA+ group session. The moderator brought up a new concept, instead of coming out, in reality we transgender folk are inviting others in.

This is a fairly radical idea when you take into consideration all the anti-transgender legislation which has been unleashed upon us by a certain political party not called the Democrats. Even still. the entire idea has a positive ring to it. Imagine having the comfort level (and/or confidence) to invite friends and family in to share your deepest darkest secret. The inner secret you have carried around your entire life. I know when I came out to others for the first time, I was in some sort of a gender free fall. In essence I had been stripped of all my old male reactions to any adversity. I needed to learned quickly the different gender path I would need to take to survive.

Truth be known, cis-women have known the alternate path for years. Often, in their own way, the women said to others come on in and then they needed to sort out the fall out from there. It doesn't really matter because in everyone's life, we have to sadly face it's ups and downs. Relationships of course are included. My coming out example was very unpleasant in it's own way. It happened way back when I talked my first fiancé into dressing me head to toe as a woman. Then proceeded to still do it weeks and months later. She eventually held it against me when Uncle Sam and the military draft came a knocking when I graduated from college. She fully expected me to try to escape serving by telling the world I was gay. Which was wrong. I knew I was learning how much I didn't want to be a man but I wasn't sure I wanted to change my sexuality.

The entire series of events turned out to be an extremely beneficial  part of my life. My fiancé and I broke up and I moved on to serving three years in the Army. Ironically, the first people who I ever invited into my gender world occurred after a Halloween party I went to when I was serving in Germany. The woman who eventually ended up being my first wife and mother of my daughter essentially met me there at the party. So she was one of the few I let in. Ultimately, one of the biggest success stories of my life.

Even though I thought I was fighting the best I could letting anybody in, in truth I was pressuring myself to come out. All the Halloween parties I went too in my feminine "costume" just served notice how badly I wanted to let others in. During the parties, I  secretly rejoiced when anyone else told me how convincing I was. Later on, I pushed the gender envelope even farther by leaving the house during the day fully cross dressed as a woman. Putting everything I knew in life into jeopardy. Deep down I wanted to be caught.

Finally the whole intricate process came tumbling down. Call it what you want coming out, or letting in. It had to happen before the gender ripping and tearing nearly killed me. 

  

Monday, July 17, 2023

Her World

Image from Daniel 
Gonzalez on UnSplash

I live in her world and I am grateful to do so.

More exactly, I am a retired transgender veteran senior citizen who waited most of her life to finally fully come out to the world. Why I waited so long to live in her world, is a complicated matter which involved a semi successful male life which was difficult to give up. Not to mention the potential to lose what remained of my family and friends. By living an extended period as a man, I learned the hard way what I didn't like about the male gender. Even still, I wasn't sure I could ever achieve my goal of living as a fulltime transgender woman. Early on I was naïve and thought success as a woman only came when I did my best to appear as one. 

As I started my early emergence into her world, I found the process was going to be so much more complicated. How was I going to survive financially as well as get used to communicating with the public from the viewpoint of an all new gender perspective. I discovered quite quickly which gender stereotypes were true and which ones were false. I always play the intelligence card when I learned I lost a major amount of my intelligence with men when I completed my MtF gender transition. I found I needed to get used to the changes quickly. 

The more I changed, the more prominent her world became to me. Before I totally gave in to her, I made the ill-fated attempt to hang on to what was left of my old male life while I tried to live part time as a transgender woman. It was becoming increasingly evident to me I was so much more than a transvestite or part-time crossdresser. The relatively new transgender term I found, described me more completely. As I decided, I was able to leave more and more of the old male pressure behind me but not before an ill fated suicide attempt. When the pressure became too much to bear. The moral to the story, my inner woman had gone too far to ever return and I needed to realize it. 

These days, through the miracle of modern medical science, thanks to HRT (hormone replacement therapy) I am able to wake up every morning with all my hair, soft skin, breasts and expanding hips. All the physical signs I need to reinforce I am living in her world. Long ago I decided I did not need or could not afford any major gender surgeries to help me along at my age. My gender was securely entrenched between my ears, not between my legs. I could face the world with what I had.

The only drawback is when my gender dysphoria gets the best of me when I take a look at myself in the morning mirror. It's the time when certain days I dream of completing facial femininization to look even more feminine. Then I have to put my vanity behind me and move on. Also, I would be remiss if I didn't mention how internal her world is. The more I transitioned into her world, the more emotional I became as the world around me softened noticeably. Of all my favorite aspects of moving into her world, this was my favorite aspect.

I always say the only regret I have is not transitioning more completely earlier in my life. Perhaps destiny was telling me I had to live through certain learning times in my life. Such as serving in the military, graduating college and having my daughter. Without all of those, I would have missed out on so much of my life. Perhaps I shouldn't  have worried, all along I was living her life anyhow. I was just too stubborn to realize it. One time I had a close cis-woman friend tell me after a Halloween party suddenly tell me if "I ever decided to go the other way" (as a woman) I wouldn't have to worry. I finally listened and made the move into her world.

Saturday, June 3, 2023

Transgender Discovery

Pride Photo from past with Ohio
River. From the Jessie Hart
Collection

Recently on the day that Pride began, I guess it was fitting one of my long ago male friends found out the changes I have gone through. 

I wasn't there to witness how he learned my name had changed and I was living as a woman a distance away in Cincinnati, Ohio. What happened was my daughter and first wife were attending a funeral for my friend's nephew. After the ceremony my friend from way back in my high school and Army days asked innocently enough how (my dead name) was doing.  Keep in mind I haven't seen or heard from him in nearly forty plus years. He served some very difficult duty in Vietnam and for all intents and purposes became a hermit. 

Amazingly, after he asked my ex wife about me by my old dead name, she said "Who?" By this time my very supportive daughter was listening intently. The next thing that happened was my ex wife told him the whole truth concerning my gender transition to which he seemed to be very confused according to my daughter.  I'm a little surprised he was confused with the transgender concept because he has another nephew who is a transgender man. Perhaps it was because when he knew me I was in a macho overdrive attempting to cover up any feminine tendencies I may have had. Except when I went to one Halloween party with him and his soon to be wife dressed as my attempt as a sexy woman. I guess I was too good at hiding I was macho through my feminine outfit I was enjoying so much.

The biggest surprise I had from the entire episode of coming out with someone I hadn't seen for decades came from my wife Liz. Once I told her what happened, she asked if I was mad at or disappointed with how my ex wife handled the whole thing. I immediately said no. Most certainly I don't care if any of the very rare individuals from my past know I am now living as a transgender woman. In fact, I can't remember anyone I haven't told if I had any contact with them at all. As I always have said, I had such a small circle of male friends it is easy to remember any I never told my deep dark secret. In fact I never had to because nearly all of my old male friends passed away before I transitioned to a fulltime transgender woman. It seemed though, one previous friend I hadn't even considered slipped through the cracks. 

I also think if he had been paying attention, I was/am not the only transgender person in his immediate family or previous acquaintances. As I previously written, he has a nephew who is trans as well as my daughter's child who is trans also. Since it has been decades since I have seen him I have no idea of how he is reacting. 

Positively I hope.   

Monday, October 31, 2022

The Last Halloween

 Actually I should rephrase the title and write "My last Halloween Post". 


As I had previously promised, I decided to save my best Halloween experience for last. This Halloween occurred when I was a local disc jockey in Springfield, Ohio. The party invitation directed myself and any guests to an old restored Victorian mansion. I found one of my co-workers (a news person) and female was invited also. I love it when a plan comes together and now I just had to talk my first wife out of wanting to go. 

Of course I was beyond excited at the invitation and of course I needed to figure out exactly what my "costume" was going to be. By this time in my Halloween "career" I had progressed from glitzy to desiring to present as a cis woman at the party. Since I had arrived at this spot, it was much easier to rummage through my wardrobe to find something to wear. It was basically what I was wearing at the time when I went out on the rare times I could try out the feminine world. In a very short time, I knew exactly the outfit I was going to wear. 

On the much anticipated evening of the party I had gone through all the necessary prep work I needed such as shaving my legs, applying makeup and combing out my wig. Finally, it was time to meet my temporary date for the evening and we headed out to the old mansion where the party was being held. First it was the reaction of my "date" for the evening which got me started off on the right step. As she saw me, first she was incredulous at my transformation then she settled in with no problems. We were fortunate in that we arrived early and was able to find a close parking spot so my heels would not have a chance to bother me so much. 

The mansion itself looked tremendous. In addition to the natural beauty of the home, the decorations included a coffin with a real skeleton. Since I was was really into restoration in the town, the owners knew me quickly and similar to my companion for the evening were amazed at the feminine transformation. As far as I went, I was enjoying the attention I received. 

As the evening progressed, more and more new guests arrived. Including a couple I vaguely knew from his background as a local politician who was running for an office in Washington, D.C. He was with his wife who later approached me and said they had no idea I wasn't just a well dressed woman who stopped by the Halloween party. Naturally I was on cloud nine when the couple took it all a step further and asked me to go with them to another party. 

It was one of those times I wondered what would have happened if I had made the opposite decision. Because my "date" was doing the driving and I still was worried about abusing my wife's feelings, I said no. Who knows? Maybe a potential career in Washington was defeated with my decision.

Regardless, I achieved what I set out to do. For the briefest of moments be mistaken for a cis woman.

If you celebrate, I hope the Halloween season has been festive and fun for you this year!   

Sunday, October 30, 2022

The Greatest Insult

 Perhaps the biggest Halloween insult any transgender person has to endure is the comment of great costume when you are simply out being yourself. In the middle of all of the glowing posts (including mine) of Halloweens' past, what if you found yourself in the middle of a transphobes world wanting to destroy your world for no apparent reason. I'm writing this post indirectly for one reason and directly for another.

Photo Courtesy
Jessie Hart
First, the indirect reason. I have a transgender friend who on social media wrote on the torment of never having the freedom of being a cis woman able to exist in a world without transgender haters. The sad part is my friend who I met at the beginning of her journey from male to female, has blossomed into a very attractive woman. Her problem, similar to many of us, is we carry the effects of testosterone poisoning with us. No matter how much money you have, there is next to nothing you can do about your size. Even though I have managed to lose quite a bit of weight over the years of my transition, I am still big and have a thick torso. So I know completely where my friend is coming from. As far as dealing with unfeeling transphobes or people in general who open their mouths without thinking, I just try to stare them down and consider the ignorant source.

As a matter of fact, I had to deal with the very same situation yesterday at the funeral of a friend my wife Liz and I attended. About three quarters of the way through the service I noticed someone giggling behind us which I thought was incredibly wrong due to the circumstances all of the mourners were going through. Finally through the laughing I heard that's a man. Perhaps I was just hearing things but I assumed the comment was directed towards me. After the service I didn't have any other dealings with anyone I assumed to be the source of the problem, so we paid our respects and left. It was time to rest my sore back and watch The Ohio State Buckeyes play football. 

Plus, my days of partying are nearly over and I myself have never been to a venue on Halloween which didn't have a serious Halloween party in progress. So I didn't put myself in a position for any out of the way comments concerning my gender. Very early in the Halloween "costume" process (as well as life in general) I learned the comment about how I presented as a woman was I looked good in a dress, for a man. I always remember the heartbreak, to this day, of how much of life I had missed by not coming out earlier or even never ever having the chance to ever be a cis female. 

Finally I decided to do the best I could with what I had to work with. Surely, hormone replacement therapy helped quite a bit but on occasion I still wonder what it would have been like to grow up as a girl.

As far as the world goes, they can take their unfeeling insults and shove it.  

Monday, October 24, 2022

Party Down Witches

Before Covid and continuing to the present, various organizations have hosted "Witches Balls" around Cincinnati, Ohio. Back in the pre pandemic days I was fortunate enough to have had a really good time at several of the parties. Most of the parties contained various mixes of people in costume, belly dancers and pirates. Along the way I managed to dress sexy for one of the big witches ball and even was hit on by one of the pirates. I don't know if it was a combination of what he was drinking or the low lights in the venue which worked to disguise my true gender to him. But either way I was flattered because I was more than a little drunk at the time also.

First Witches Ball with Liz
High Heels and all.

A year later I was actually able to work on the committee putting the event together. They all knew I was a transgender woman and welcomed the help I provided. I couldn't do much because I needed to sit down quickly most of the time. So the two "most mature" individuals in the group were assigned to a table

Second Witches Ball with Tom
On the left.


selling items which benefitted the coven putting on the ball. It wasn't as much fun as I had in the past but at least the sitting down didn't put a strain on my sore back.

As far as gender recognition went, I was striving for more of a more authentic witch look more than any sort of sexy costumed appearance. By this time, I had transitioned away from the need to try to be sexy into a more appropriate well dressed woman. Hoping to blend into the crowded venue more easily. 

I can't tell you I had more fun but deep down I realized I was changing from needing Halloween to being such a major event for me.  One thing was for certain, my feet were more comfortable after I relaxed my "costume" requirements and started to wear flats to the venue. You can't see what I was wearing from the waist down in the second picture but I chose soft flowing legged pants along with my black flats. 

I still have one final fairly dramatic Halloween post which I have been saving for the end. In the meantime, the Witches Balls I attended played a major role in me transitioning from being a cross dresser into my authentic life as a transgender woman.

       

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

The French Girl

 

Photo from Jonathan Borba
on UnSplash

As October progresses it is time for yet another Halloween post. This one also happened several years (or decades) ago when I was desperately searching for my true gender identity. 

As Halloween approached, once again I was torn between wearing something trashy or toning it down several notches and trying to present as a cis woman out for a good time at the party. Earlier I had decided to go to one of the biggest parties in town at a nearby venue in a convention center. Further more I knew my first wife wouldn't want to go so I would be on my own. Which gave me more freedom in my decision of what to wear. 

Since I was perpetually short on funds, plus had a small wardrobe, I needed to be creative when coming up with a "costume". 

After quite a bit of thought and a little luck I happened upon a black beret at one of the big local box stores I shopped at. Quickly I became brave enough to try it on and amazingly it fit well. The price was right and I had discovered the beginning of a party outfit to wear. One which had a theme and wasn't too trashy. Ironically I was able to put together the "costume" from the beret down and go as a French woman (not a maid). 

Since I was partial to black as it minimized my size, I had plenty of the color in my small wardrobe to work with. I started with a leotard top, added a black short skirt I had, added black tights and my black flats and was happy with the result after I added my blond wig. Included in my make up. I made sure to highlight my lips with a red lipstick and I was ready to go  For once fairly confident in how I looked and eager to experience the feedback from others. 

Predictably, most of the other party goers were too wrapped up in their own times to notice me but I did have a few unwelcome pinches to my rear area. I wonder if they knew all they were feeling was foam rubber. After a while, this person in a full robe and mask comes up to me and abruptly says "I know who you are." I was shocked until he lifted his mask and explained. He said he knew me because we grew up together and I looked like my Mom. Of course once I saw him, I did know him from my time growing up. In fact he taught me how to drive his car when I was fourteen. 

For the longest time I didn't know how to react to being recognized.  Finally my ego told me to be flattered because literally I knew I had always looked similar to my Mom and that night someone else had seen it also. Following the "outing" the person involved and I went back to rarely seeing each other so the incident never had a chance to be revisited again. 

Perhaps I was lucky it was never revisited because I learned the person who I interacted with turned out to be a huge transphobe. So I am sure the conversation wouldn't have been cordial. But in the long run I learned who cares anyway.

As far as the party went, I had a wonderful time and enjoyed immensely how the evening went along. Sadly I would have to wait another year for a re-run.  

Friday, October 7, 2022

Party Time

 My Halloween posts this month will not be in chronological order. This evening happened while I was living with my wife in an apartment in the NYC metro area. In the early to mid 1980's. 


At the time I was managing a Wendy's near the Bronx and knew few people outside of my fellow managers and workers.  So when Halloween rolled around I thought I would be left out of a party again that year. Since in those days, Halloween was basically the only day of the year I could break out of my gender closet and explore the feminine world. As it turned out that year I was "rescued" by a fellow cis woman manager who took pity on me and invited me to a party she and her friends were going to at a nearby venue to her.

Needless to say I was excited and found out where I had to go to meet up with her and her friends. Then I had to stress out on what I would wear and what would my wife say. I knew for certain she would not approve of what I was planning to wear. In fact, she was so against my outfit she refused to even tag along. Leaving me on my own, which is normally not a good idea.

First of all I chose my outfit which attempted to be sexy as well as realistic. In other words, the same way many other cis women try to dress for Halloween. I chose a short mini dress, hose and heels along with my favorite wig for the evening. Since I couldn't sneak out without my wife seeing me, I had to put up with her disapproving stares and or glares. Once I left the apartment I was in heaven. I loved the feel of the cool autumn air on my freshly shaven legs and the sound of my heels as I walked down the sidewalk. Even still, the anxiety mounted as I followed my directions to where I was to meet the others going to the party. 

Once I made it and knocked on the door, I was amazed to find and pleasantly surprised to learn all the other people going were women. In addition they were all tall and beautiful and dressed like me. It was funny when I entered the room all conversation stopped as the other women looked me over. Only this time I was not met with the same disapproval I received from my wife. After brief introductions, we went out the door and made the short (thankfully) walk to the small tavern where the party was taking place. One memory I will never forget was when we all had to cross the street together and here I was holding my own with other women.  My heels didn't even bother me. It was as if I was walking on air. 

Once we arrived in the venue, the women scattered to meet other friends and I was left on my own to see what happened. Along the way, I managed to locate a vacant table until an older man came along and joined me. Of course I didn't know if he knew my true gender so I resisted any of his attempts to buy me a drink or more importantly dance with him. Before I knew it the evening was over and it was time to leave. 

What I didn't recognize until much later in life was the night was actually my first girls night out. I hadn't learned yet that so called girlfriends come in second place when it comes around being around men and essentially everyone is one their own.

Finally, amazingly to me, I received very little feedback at work concerning my so called "costume". Perhaps living in a more liberal world helped. One way or another it turned out to be an evening I will never forget. I wish I had pictures but I don't. This all happened way before the "selfie" days and cell phones.

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Now What?

 


After writing my post yesterday trying to separate my Halloween experiences, I laid awake last night attempting to think of a follow up post. Naturally it was difficult to do. Then I started to think of one of the powerful responses I received to one of my "costumes". It happened during a party I went to with friends when a couple of the wives cornered me and said something to the affect if I ever decided to go that way (and be a woman) I wouldn't have to worry about how I looked. I was immediately at a loss for words and finally came up with "A lot of good it does me." At that point in time during my life, I saw very little hope I could ever live a life in a feminine existence. I don't remember for sure but all of this may have happened before the transgender term was ever used. 

So here I was feeling strangely vulnerable in my long hair, mini dress and heels wondering now what. Looking back it was the beginning of understanding I couldn't continue to cross dress as a woman and continue to reap the benefits of white male privilege. How times have changed. Today we seem to have so more how gender works and the attached benefits or restrictions each gender seemingly has to experience. 

Yesterday I was watching a talk show on television which featured a beautiful transgender woman and her supporting fiancé. Sadly even though she had it all in the looks and voice departments, she said she still wanted facial femininization surgery because she couldn't feel at ease with herself.  She still saw the same old male face. Even though she benefitted from an early start on her transition and had an understanding family, which I didn't, I could still feel for her situation. In many ways she was still searching for her own now what. 

Unfortunately, as I approach my seventy third birthday, my now what turn to much more overall negative thoughts. Such as what is going to happen if I live into my later eighties and face the same fate as my father who passed away from dementia. Plus what is going to become of all the dire warnings about Social Security which is nearly my only source of income. And last but not least, what will happen if I have to go into an assisted living facility With all these negatives swirling around, often it is difficult to maintain positive thoughts and try to live my life to the fullest while I can.

As I have aged, I have tried harder to mold myself into a positive way of life. Along with it I try to look back at all of my now what's to see if I can still learn from what I messed up. Even still I will miss some of the early excitement I felt when I went to several Halloween parties, I still have to remember the aftermath when I was haunted by the memories and became  terrible to live with.

In the spirit of Halloween, I guess I can say, my now what's were haunting me. I so badly wanted to let my transgender woman out of the closet  I was miserable and mean to those around me. Naturally it took me years to get over the process. Once I did, my now what became clearer and life became easier.

Dealing With Trans Rejection

Image from Jakayla Toney on UnSplash. Similar to so many transgender women or trans men, I have dealt with my share of rejections.  My first...