Showing posts with label LBGTQ. Show all posts
Showing posts with label LBGTQ. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Doing What is Right


My wife Liz on left. Mother's Day this year.

During several high profile jobs I worked at, doing what was right was drilled into me by my superiors.

Even though it took me many years to finally realize I needed to do it, I came out of my gender closet and started a new life as a transgender woman. As I write about often, I am haunted on how much better my life would have been if I had come out earlier and did the right thing.

I should have known and if I had listened to my instincts, I would have done it. As it was, everytime I cross dressed as a woman I felt so natural and something was trying to tell me something big was wrong. It is no wonder, I struggled with my mental health and had anger issues when now I take all I was going through into consideration. Sadly, the person who bore the brunt of my frustrations was my second wife. Mainly because we had made a deal I could cross dress as much as I wanted as long as I kept it away from our home. I was even allowed to spend the money to go to a motel to get ready for a trip on the town if I wanted to. As it worked out, even that was not enough to satisfy my gender desires. Essentially what happened was I became better and better at my presentation skills and when I did, I enjoyed myself more and more.

As it turned out, we were similar to runaway trains on the same track. I was headed towards gender affirming hormones (HRT) and she was completely against them. Saying hormones broke the agreement we set up when we married. She was right and I ended up between the rock and a hard place before she passed away. Once again it seemed I was back to point zero again in my life but this time, I could not go back to cross dressing in front of the mirror. I was too far along towards my lifelong dream of living in a women's world to ever go back. Still, I had the problem of doing what was right and sticking with my promise to never leave the house as my transgender self. I became desperate and began to break that promise regularly which inwardly I was ashamed of.

Overall, my guy self still had enough influence to try to stop my slide into womanhood by putting up the same old barriers. Barriers such as internalizing all my feelings and trying to ignore my mounting mental health problems by drinking way too much until I could take it no longer and I went out to pursue my other new life as a trans woman. Then tried to be home before my wife and hide the whole evening from her. In the short and long term, my plan never worked because in part it was so difficult for me to remove the makeup I so painstakingly applied. I think now, most of the time she knew when I was out sneaking around and just made the decision not to press the issue.

Deep down, on my end, I knew I needed to press the issue. When I was out living my best life as a transgender woman, I couldn't go back to a life as a guy I never asked for. Doing what was right just seemed to be the fair and natural thing  to do. 

Now, if my story ended there, it would have had a happy ending but it didn't. Approximately six months before she passed away, my wife and I had a massive fight about my part time life as a woman and I decided to make one last ill-fated attempt at quitting my feminine life and purging most of my belongings. After nearly six months into growing a beard and gaining an immense amount of weight, as I tried to quit doing what was right, my wife passed away after twenty five years of marriage. Leaving me on my own to finally do what was right.

I did and decided I was not getting any younger and had followed the proper "prep" work to allow my feminine soul to take control. She did and without indicating any "I told you so." She took over my life life with goodness and control. I will forever wonder what would have happened if I had let her take over sooner because she was clearly doing the right things with my life. 

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Being a Woman is a lot of Work


Photo courtesy 
Jessie Hart

Recently I wrote a post about the cost involved with being a transgender woman. Now I am adding a companion post concerning the amount of work it takes to be a woman. 

On occasion I happen along a novice transgender woman who seemingly wants to look, act and/or be accepted in the feminine world immediately.. I usually try to tell her to be patient. The gender journey is not a race, it is a life long marathon. Once you think you have the process down it changes on you. 

Also the gender change process takes an immense amount of work. Lets start with clothes. Many, including me rush out and buy some frilly ultrafeminine outfits which naturally look wonderful on a beautiful  model. It takes time, energy and money to learn what looks good on an internet model may not flatter your testosterone infected body unless you are one of the rare few naturals who are able to transition into an attractive woman easily. 

In my own case I was able to take care of my skin long before I seriously started to gender transition. Which helped immeasurably when I was applying foundation following a close shave. Plus I did realize (like Stana says) shaving actually helped me because it got rid of old skin cells. After I began to become very serious about following the path to a feminine life, I decided I had to shed myself of most all of the extra weight I had gained over the years with pizza and beer. Amazingly I was able to lose nearly fifty pounds to get down to a much more manageable weight, Which meant a wider choice of fashions to wear. Also I became more adept at hiding my masculine broad shoulders and narrow hips by again wearing clothes which tried to not accentuate my shoulders. 

I mention all of this because it just scratched the surface of the work I put into becoming my authentic self and in my case the entire process took years to refine in the public's eye. I'm sure to a novice I am nothing more than an experienced confident transgender woman but they were not around when I was struggling to find my way in a new world. 

Along the way also I found out the hard way being the "pretty, pretty princess, as my wife called me was just not going to be enough to continue my path to living full time as a transgender woman. I found what I had always suspected deep down women were the more complex and often the stronger gender. To join them would require much more than just appearing as a woman in public. The process wouldn't take long because seemingly overnight I had to begin to interact more intensely with the public as my true self.

Were there mistakes? More than I care to count. The times I tried to wear ill fitting wigs to the wrong venue come  back to haunt me even more than my choice of wardrobe. 

My hope is that these days, in direct comparison with the past there are many ways a novice transgender woman can learn the feminine ropes. In many area's now there are strong LGBTQ organizations who offer social functions for all transgender women or men as well as cross dressers also. Plus the social media outreach can be a help if you can steer clear of the crazies. 

Bottom line, as any cis woman will tell you, it's takes a lot of work to be a woman. Be prepared.    

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Time in a Bottle


Photo Courtesy Nickolas Horn
on UnSplash

With all due respects to Jim Croce who wrote the song "Time in a Bottle", I decided to title this post by the same name.

The bottle I am referring to is the alcoholic one. I grew up in a home where my Dad used alcohol regularly so it wasn't much of a surprise when I became of age I started to drink alcohol also. Along the way, I developed the habit of being able to hold my liquor well. If my friends and I could somehow get around the age limits to buy it. As with any other potential vices, we found ways to do it. 

By the time I got to college I was well versed in drinking with everyone else. Even if I was still underage due to Ohio's liquor laws. I guess you could say I was ahead of the curve when it came to alcohol.

Then came the military. Of course my time in basic training took me away from any drinking activities as did my time in Thailand. Due to the lack of drinkable beer. But then came the exact opposite when I was sent to Germany who really take pride in their quality beer and wines. Very quickly I acquired a taste for our locally produced beer and a few wines.

Fast forward to what any of this had to do with being transgender. As most of you probably know, alcohol often brings out the best or the worst in a person. People often become braver in many areas of their lives. Ultimately liquor enabled me the courage to first come out as a transvestite to my friends after a Halloween party. Which could have gotten me into any number of problems in the pre "Don't ask-Don't tell" era of the military. Here I was coming out in plain view to a few of my friends and risking a less than honorable discharge. All because of alcoholic infused bravery.

All of this turned out to be just the beginning. I tried to come out to my Mom after a night of drinking and was soundly rejected. But I kept trying. 

When I first started to try out the world as a feminine person, the bottle proved to play a major role in the process. When I gathered the courage to stop for lunch, I would always order a beer to steady my nerves and later give me the courage to try out new and exciting venues. Of course the further I went, the further I wanted to go. 

As I went further and further into the feminine world, I chose large sports venues and small lesbian bars as my favorite places to go. It was very difficult for me to conquer the fear of rejection I was feeling and my use of alcohol helped me. Even though it was only beer I was drinking, I was emboldened to continue. After a period of time, it was difficult for me to separate my desire to become a transgender woman with my desire to drink.

Finally I came to the point I didn't need it. About that time I had a scare concerning my liver so anymore recreational drinking was over. Without hesitation, my time in a bottle was over. Plus, I didn't need to find the courage to live the way I had always dreamed of, as a woman. I had arrived and now my alcoholic consumption is approximately two beers a month.  

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Witches Ball

What a night! Liz went approximately two days without sleep getting decorations ready. The good news was we filled the venue and made a nice amount of money for the two charities we give to.

As far as a costume goes, in a moment of panic, the two outfits I was planning on choosing from didn't work. I finally decided on my long flowing black embroidered skirt and black and white print blouse/top. I also bought a lighter foundation to give me a more "witchy" look. Finally I added the sparkly witches hat Liz bought me with a big spider on the side.

The reactions were varied and took me back to previous Halloweens. Of course I received quite a few looks and one compliment from the best looking cis woman in the crowd. I believe she was biased though because she has known me for a while now. She is obviously a big fan of transgender people. Still, a compliment is a compliment!

Anymore, Halloween is a different type of evening for me.  I have nothing to prove anymore with a feminine costume. In fact, I think the whole evening tends to get me clocked.  I am always aware of the compliment "you look beautiful"...for a man in a dress. Oh well.

Since we decorated the venue, we had to clean it up.  All of a sudden, a late night turned into an early morning. We had to be out by one o'clock and made it by five minutes.

By the time we finished loading and finally were done chatting it was around two in the morning.

The trip home was unremarkable outside of me getting my skirt stuck in the door. You could tell I don't wear a skirt much.

The major problem we encountered was stopping at a certain 24 hour hamburger chain I'm sure you would recognize if I told you. Every time I go there, I come away with the feeling being hungry was a better bet than eating there. So shame on me.

At least the employee at the drive thru window kept referring to us as "ladies" as she apologized for how long the order was taking.   

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Happy "Parent's Day"

Today is Father's Day, or Parent's Day as my daughter prefers to call it.

As far as my Dad was concerned, he seemed to follow a trend I saw this morning on the news. Current Fathers spend three times the amount of time with their kids as Dad's did back in 1965. I would have been approximately halfway through high school.

I respected my Dad but I can't say we were ever able to express any love between each other. Our roles seemed to be deeply predefined.  Plus we were deeply divided on what was going on in the country in the 60's.

He was a child of the Great Depression and a survivor of World War II. Very much the self made man.

He passed on years ago and to my knowledge never had any idea of my gender problems.

Happy Father's Day Dad!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Gender Dysphoria

Saturday Liz and I went out to eat with her brother to celebrate two birthdays...hers and her son's. The steakhouse we went to is very familiar to me and really, I have never had any problems there. So, I couldn't understand why my dysphoria was giving me fits. It can only be described as a deep seated groundless anxiety.

Of course, it started to settle down as once again, outside of a couple looks, I didn't receive any negative attention. Even when I used the women's restroom.

I suppose I might as well just get used to it. Being transgender brings with it the inherent need for feminine acceptance and often, the acceptance is very hard to find in a world out to justify it's own acceptance.

On many occasions, I refer to my dysphoria as a form of PTSD. Which could be true too. I personally have never met any trans women who haven't experienced it. Some to the extent of subjecting themselves to seemingly endless painful medical operations.

I just went through too much error, in the "trial and error" cross dressing period of my life and, when you think of it, lasted much longer (so far) than my full time out and about years as a trans woman.

It's ironic too that I haven't experienced any significant public problems in years, so I can't justify the way I feel. At all. Perhaps I might as well just get used to it!

Friday, January 26, 2018

Laverne Cox

From the LGBTQ Nation:

"Laverne Cox is making magazine cover history yet again.
Cox, who appeared on the cover of Time in 2014, is the first transgender woman to appear on the cover of Cosmopolitan.
The trans actress and activist graces the cover of Cosmopolitan South Africa, which has been given an LGBTQ makeover for a special “Say Yes To Love” issue.
Inside the covers of the magazine, readers will find a handwritten note from Cox."
Now, how about an issue from the U.S?
Reportively, understanding and support from the state side population has declined for the LGBT community, and we need the most positive feedback we can get from transgender women such as Laverne Cox.
I have to say, with the current attacks on us by the administration in Washington, a decline in support is no surprise. Yet, I still see trans acquaintances I know still support t-Rump. Sad. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Jazz is Back

 From Wikipedia:
"Jazz Jennings (born October 6, 2000) is an American trans womanYouTube personality, spokesmodel, television personality and LGBTQ rights activist. Jennings is notable for being one of the youngest publicly documented people to be identified as gender dysphoric, and for being the youngest person to become a national transgender figure. Jennings received national attention in 2007 when an interview with Barbara Walters aired on 20/20, which led to other high-profile interviews and appearances. Christine Connelly, a member of the board of directors for the Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth (BAGLY), stated, "She was the first young person who picked up the national spotlight, went on TV and was able to articulate her perspective and point of view with such innocence,"

The new season of her show is starting now on TLC, check for a link here to see if you can get it! For those of you who think looks is an end all/be all to achieving trans happiness, this show will set you straight.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

While My Blog Gently Weeps

As Liz and I were watching the Cincinnati evening news last night, one of the lead stories was the all too familiar tragic story of a young transgender girl ending her life-essentially before it started. This is so frustrating and sad, I'm crying as I write this post. NOT a post I wanted to write on New Years Eve:

Quoting the USA Today and Sharon Coolidge of the Cincinnati Enquirer: 
Leelah's suicide and the conversation her note inspired has rocked families in the Ohio region, becoming part of a national conversation. Here, we share the facts and report what happened.

In life, Leelah Alcorn felt alone. Born male, she feared she would never be the woman she felt like inside. In death, the transgender 17-year-old -- born Josh Alcorn -- wanted to make sure others never felt that way she did.
"The only way I will rest in peace is if one day transgender people aren't treated the way I was, they're treated like humans, with valid feelings and human rights," Alcorn wrote in a post on Tumblr.
Her parents, she wrote, wanted her to be a "perfect little straight Christian boy."
"My death needs to mean something," she wrote in the post, which she scheduled to appear the day after her death.

"My death needs to mean something," she wrote in the post, which she scheduled to appear the day after her death.
Her final public words: "Fix society. Please."
On Sunday, just before 2:30 a.m., Alcorn was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer on I-71 in Ohio, about four miles from her home in Kings Mills.

No charges have been filed, and the State Highway Patrol continues to investigate. Her body was sent to the Montgomery County Coroner for an autopsy, which will take several weeks.
"She was super bubbly and upbeat with a really brash sense of humor; she could make anyone laugh," said Abigail Jones, 17, one of Alcorn's co-workers and friends. They were caricature artists at Kinds Island, an Ohio amusement park.
Jones even drew Alcorn as Elsa from Frozen, "her favorite thing ever."
The duo was close -- going to see movies, getting ice cream and texting. In July, Alcorn told Jones that she was transgender.
Alcorn's family declined to comment to The Enquirer. In a statement via the Kings Local School District, they requested privacy. According to the statement, Alcorn was most recently enrolled as an 11th grader at the Ohio Virtual Academy, an online school.

There is more as you follow the link but Liz and I's question was can Leelah's conservative Christian family learn too late from their daughter's death?  (I'm saying no.)

One way or another, her death is another hell the preachers make their money sermonizing on. 

Another tremendous sad shame is around here in Cincinnati and increasingly in other locations, LBGTQ groups provide outreach education to youth. In my area of the world there is GLSEN  in Cincinnati and the Dayton LGBTQ center has reached out to several transgender women and men (including me) to establish an outreach.
I'm not saying you should use me as an example but even if you have to wait a long time-it does get better.

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...