Showing posts with label Jessie Hart. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jessie Hart. Show all posts

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Is it Sustainable?

 

Image from the Jessie Hart
Archives

When I was cross dressing for myself in the mirror, it was easy to imagine me sustaining how I felt when I put on my small stash of feminine clothes. It seemed as if the feelings could go on forever. Then all too quickly I found I couldn't sustain my feelings of gender euphoria any more than a couple of days at the most.

At that point, I began to wonder about the feelings the clothes brought on to start with. I recognized at a very early age more was going on than just appearing pretty to myself in the mirror. I wanted to be the girl I had become, rather than just look like her. If I knew then what I know now, I would know my feelings would later lead me to discovering a transgender life. Perhaps if I thought it would be sustainable, I may have transitioned earlier.

One of the main problems with sustaining myself as a trans woman was maintaining a presentable feminine appearance. I worked hard to do it and when the mirror in the women's restroom I went to one night in a gay venue where I was meeting two lesbian friends told me I looked good, my confidence soared. It was summer and I was dressed all in black that night with  a sleeveless silky top with black flowing pants. I finished the outfit off with my favorite black sparkly sandals and long straight black wig. Fortunately by this time in my life, I learned the hard way my male privilege of personal security was gone so when I left, I asked my friends to walk me to my car which was parked in a dark urban parking lot. I had been there before and had been stopped by two men seeking money. Luckily a mere five dollars got me out of the bind I was in.

Keeping the appearance issue in mind, my biggest sustainability issue came from worrying how I would support myself if I transitioned. The industry I worked in, I knew would be very difficult  to succeed in if I suddenly changed my gender from male to female. So I knew I would have to find another way of financial support. What I came up with was getting old and just taking the early retirement option of Social Security. It wasn't a lot of money but it was enough to get me by and save me the extreme potential problems of trying to come out at a new job. 

So with all the help I discovered from my Veterans Administration health, doors opened for me which I never thought possible. The prime one was all the help I received when I finally decided to begin gender affirming hormones or HRT. A therapist was provided as well as my medication co-pay for all the meds I needed to really change my life. With those meds, at a price I could afford, my long term sustainability was secure. 

Perhaps the tragic aspect of all of this is almost all of my friends and close family had passed on. Leaving me with fewer and fewer people to come out to. However, times of potential gender trauma were greatly reduced and new doors were opened to me I never dreamed of as a transgender woman. The sustainability was there and so was I.  

Saturday, December 16, 2023

At the Crossroads

Image from the
Jessie Hart Archives

As I continued along my gender path to living as a fulltime transgender woman, I arrived at several crossroads. 

The first of which was finally deciding I was transgender at all. For years I considered myself nothing more than a very serious cross dresser. Perhaps the biggest positive aspect of staying a cross dresser was my wife knew of my gender pastime before we were married. She even grudgingly bought me gifts such as woman's clothes. In fact, we had a separate gift exchange at Christmas every year especially for my feminine self. 

On the other hand, my wife was totally against any idea of me being trans, saying she didn't want to live with another woman. I had no comeback for that argument since she did marry my male self. Still it did not stop me from exploring ever further the feminine world I thought I wanted to live in. As I did my explorations, the process felt so natural I just had to keep going. At the crossroads I decided I was indeed transgender and I was pursuing a lifestyle not just participating in a hobby. From the point forward my life changed and I had many new decisions to make.

Decisions such as how would I even structure a totally new life in a woman's world. Along the way, I learned the possibility of living as a trans woman meant so much more than just doing my best to present well in the world and blend in with the public. What would I do about the three "F's" as I called them, or family. friends and finances. At the time, I didn't have the answers to many of the questions so I kept searching. Of the three challenges, I decided to come out to my family first and see how it went. When I did, I received a fifty-fifty split in return. By this time in my life, my close/blood family had been reduced to two people. My daughter and my slightly younger brother. As it turned out, my daughter was very supportive and my brother was just the opposite. I tell the story often how I gained a family with my daughter's in laws and lost my brother's family at nearly the same time. Sadly, it all happened over a decade ago and things have never changed.

The next step I needed to consider at my crossroads was what would I do about what friends I had left from my old male life. Again, sadly, I had very few close male friends and had lost most all of them to death in a very short period of time. So I had very few friends to tell. No worries since I had never been able to make since seemingly I kept pushing people away my entire life because of my gender issues. I thought the fewer friends I would have to tell, the better off I would be. 

On I went at my crossroad when I came to the third "F" which was finances. I obsessed on what I would be able to do to support myself. I had built myself into a successful well paying job which I knew would be impossible to transition genders on while I worked it. What did work in my favor was my age. I was close enough to to retirement age to consider taking an early retirement. Which meant all I had to do was work a couple more years and then not have to worry about transitioning on the job. 

What ended up happening was, I painted myself into a corner I couldn't get out of. The pressure grew so intense as I tried to live both as my old male self and my new feminine self. It literally tried to kill me before I said enough was enough. One night as I sat alone and pondered what I was going to do, I finally decided to do the right thing and give up totally my old male self and live as a transgender woman. 

From that point forward, I felt as if a giant weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I had made the correct turn at the gender crossroads and was able to move on with a new life. I waited for the paint to dry in my life and gently learn to live as my authentic self.   

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Veterans Weekend

 

Civil War Cemetery image from 
the Jessie Hart archives.  

Since I am a veteran of the Army during the Vietnam War era, I feel as if I can expand the observance of Veterans Day to more than one day.

Veterans I think should be recognized for their service as well as their sacrifice. It should be noted many vets joined the military to try to outrun their gender issues. Or, the well worn, the military will make me a man theory. More than a few transgender people tried the same method by getting married and having children. In my defense, I did neither. I was in essence drafted into the military and decided to get married to my first wife just ahead of the birth of my only child. 

Interestingly, since I now live as a transgender woman, most of my friends and acquaintances don't remember at all that I am a veteran. As such, I receive very few thanks from anyone for my service. Then again, it fits right in with my experience as a Vietnam Vet. For those who don't remember or aren't old enough, the war was very unpopular. Even to the point of taking it out on the people who served. I gave my Army uniform to my Mom while telling her I never wanted to see it again. In the years following, I reclaimed it as memories started to fade.

It always bears mentioning, the number of in the closet transgender veterans who never had a chance to escape their gender closets and ended up paying the ultimate cost for their country is tremendous. Veterans Day is just one of several days of the year we should pause to remember those service men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country. And what would we have without their service. 

Also, I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the other veterans who I know read this blog.  Thanks for your service.

Friday, November 10, 2023

Gender Equity

Photo from the Jessie Hart
Archives 


In our lives as transgender women or trans men, we can't help building gender equity.

What I mean is when you are forced into a gender lifestyle you really don't accept, you have no choice to adapt and survive. In my case, it meant doing my absolute best to play sports as well as doing other boy things. I put together model cars, was gifted a BB Gun (when I really wanted a doll) as well as other male type activities. None of which I was ever very good at, probably because I did not really buy into participating entirely.

Even still, as much as I didn't want to, I was still building equity being male. Of course I learned how to interact one on one primarily with other guys. Sadly never having much of a chance to see and know any girls at all since I was painfully shy. To survive, I needed to study all the femininity around me from afar and do the best I could.

As life progressed, I needed to fall back on my male equity more and more. It was especially important when I served my three years in the Army during the Vietnam War. Specifically during basic training, I needed to learn how to act like an alpha male and how to deal with all the ones I faced. Again, even though I was successful, I didn't really want to be. Also, I knew the more equity as a man I acquired, the harder it would be to some day give it all up.

And one day it all did come crashing down. I was looking at giving up what I called the "three F's" or family, friends and finances. The reality was I was going through a stressful time in my life when I was going through gender ripping and tearing as I was seriously considering living fulltime as a transgender woman. It meant giving up all my male equity or privileges I had worked so hard to obtain. I had already faced several of my privileges being taken away such as intelligence but I was ill prepared when I had to face other issues such a personal security when I tried to live a public life as a trans woman. Even with all the changes and new pressures, I knew it was still worth selling my equity to live a feminine life.

The pressure to sell became so great, I finally broke down, embraced my new life and decided to transition into a new life I had only ever dreamed of. Little did I know, deep in the background of my life my feminine person had been watching and learning also. She was just biding her time until she had a chance to live. She was building her own equity which made the entire gender transition so much easier. 

I am fortunate in that I was able to cash in to what was left of my male equity and transfer the proceeds to my existing (hidden) feminine self. Between the two, I was able to move on and never look back.   

 

 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Cyrsti's Condo "Sunday Edition"

Hello again "Condo-ites", ker plunk! (As Wendy would say) the Sunday Edition just hit your front door!

Page 1.- AKA Jessie.
Not long ago I wrote about thinking of changing my name again as I enter the gender marking phase of my transition.  For some reason, I had the opportunity this weekend to be around people who didn't know me at all.  My partner Liz went to a meeting Friday night and the first thing they did was go around the room and ask for names and I said Cyrsti Hart.  Later on that night before I went to sleep, I thought a second unrelated meeting in the morning may be a time to "try out" my family name of Jessie on for size to see how it felt.
The next morning, I did just that and really surprised Liz, who had no idea I was going to take the step.  I introduced myself as Jessie Hart.  You may ask, "How did that work for you?"  Strangely (even for me) after I said the name in public, I felt a rush of belonging.  It's a fun androgynous name to start with and as I said, is part of my past.
Later on in the day I used it again to order a pizza and began to think of the enormity of what I'm doing- yet again.
Then again, isn't the transition process enormous in itself?

Page 2.- Memories.  I already mentioned Wendy above but I didn't mention a further chat we had about our past which happened to include having paper routes.  I don't think anymore, many kids have paper routes. Some would say kids aren't motivated enough to work a route and some would say it is not safe for them to do it. I would think the latter.
Over the decades, I lost touch with how I had the financial means to buy my own "stash" of girl's clothes and makeup.  I forgot my paper route.  Between the route and a weekly allowance I received from Mom and Dad, I began to have a real reason to make money-I needed new make up!

Even better, I had the opportunity to spend my income (the American way!).  My Grandma lived a mere four or five blocks from a real live thriving downtown in the town I lived just outside of. It was a match made in heaven, I'm sure my parents were just as eager to get rid of my 12 year old behind, as I was to spend my money on wondrous new girl stuff.  Once I got to Grandma's it was certainly OK if I walked downtown and got out of her hair too.  Once I was down there,  a couple of the old "five and dime" stores became my favorite place to get scared to death, rush in, try to buy the best makeup I could and escape back into the world.  Makeup wasn't my only purchase either.  One magical day, I found my first pair of women's shoes that actually fit and I could afford.

As Wendy proved I wasn't the only kid of our age demographic who worked a "route".  It taught us the power of money and how to be entrepreneurs (I couldn't wait to expand my route into a new housing development.)   What differentiates us was exactly what we were using the money for.

Page 3.- Week in Review.  This past seven days saw no more new dramatic interviews with transgender icons but plenty of rumblings still reverberating.  As they should.  Plus a few more barriers were crashed in places such as Virginia who approved the rights of transgender athletes to participate in the sport they desire, as their chosen gender.

Finally, on a negative note we addressed the needs of senior trans  women and men.

Back Page...as always our time passes so quickly.  Thanks to all for stopping by "theCondo"

Finding your Happy Place

From the Jessie Hart Archives   As a transgender woman or trans man, it is often very difficult to find your happy place. A happy place can ...