Showing posts with label LGBT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label LGBT. Show all posts

Thursday, July 18, 2024

The Gender Waltz

Image from Clarisse Meyer
on UnSplash

Since the beginning of time, the two binary genders have done a special dance with each other. 

Being transgender, I have been fortunate to have seen and experienced dancing from both sides of the spectrum. Before I go any farther, I do need to say I am a terrible dancer. In fact, the only time I have tried to dance was when I was so intoxicated I could barely stand up. Sadly, there were recordings made of my dancing struggles.

Certainly, my struggles with dancing were with women . I still tried but since I was so shy, I had very few interactions with girls or women at all. No dancing for me outside of the lessons my Mom made me take. It made it worse as I was at the embarrassing age when many girls were taller than the boys. We learned such trendy dances way back then such as the Cha-Cha as I remember. The grand experiment failed and immediately, I tried to put the entire experience behind me.

Of course gender waltz's go way past just real live dances. Just one of the main ones is inter-gender communication. When the book came out called Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus and appeared on the book stands, I wondered where was I from? It took me years to figure it out. I was from neither. Regardless, it did not take a genius to figure out there are very big differences in the genders other than biological. It is the reason, men and women have such a difficult time understanding each other.

Interestingly, the differences between  the genders extend to what friends we choose. In my case, since I grew up with only other males in my neighborhood, early on all my friends were boys. However, as I grew older, the vast majority of my friends were with women and I had very few close male friends at all. I guess deep down, I was getting ready for my future. 

Recently, I read a post from another transgender woman how she vastly approved having men friends over women. Why? Because she didn't  really like the interaction with other women including the body language on how they crossed their legs  all the way down to how they were sitting. In addition, she didn't enjoy the feminine give and take very much. She much more preferred to talk to men. In my case, I waltzed in the opposite direction. I didn't like the reaction I was receiving from men when I talked to them as a transgender woman. So I resorted back to when I was a guy and was able to communicate the best I could with the women around me. It was all I could do to survive in a new gender world. 

None of my new dance was easy to do. Even though it felt more natural to me. With women, especially, I needed to try to judge what they were really trying to say to me, often in a round about way. Was a compliment really a compliment or merely an opening to try to find out something else about me. I learned the hard way how to dance in a new world not as a cross dresser but as a novice transgender woman. Who knows, maybe other women sensed my innocent approach and it helped me to be accepted. Until the newness of meeting a transgender woman wore off and life resumed. 

Outside of a few exceptions, I rarely had many interactions with men I sought out and was accepted into a world of women. I enjoyed my new dance so much and wanted it to go on forever and so far, without a few exceptions, it has. Maybe I was just trying too hard to dance the wrong way after all. 

  

 

Monday, July 15, 2024

Going Through the Motions

Image from Dibakatur Roy 
on UnSplash.

Looking back at my fifty plus years of life as a cross dresser, I wonder when and how I crossed the gender barrier into being a transgender woman.

Also, how many years did I spend just going through the motion to arrive at my destination. I started with going through what I call now my mirror worship period. During this time, I couldn't wait for any opportunity I had to slip away from my boring, unwanted male life to slip into what feminine fashion and makeup I could find which fit me. Invariably, the mirror would give me positive feedback until I could come back for more. 

I am guessing now but I think approximately twenty years or so went by before I was brave enough to leave the mirror behind and see what if anything the world had to offer a novice cross dresser. On the other hand,  I know it took me longer than the two decades to figure out my truth. I was just going through the motions as a cross dresser and my gender issues ran much more deeper than just wanting to put on a dress and walk in front of the mirror. After years and years of doing the same thing, for some reason something clicked in me which made sense but at the same time was very scary.

It was the time I decided to find out if I could go co-exist with a group of women as a woman in their own territory. Previously, I had scouted out the venue I wanted to go to and when I wanted to try out my idea. It was the "Friday's" I write about often and yes I was petrified for several reasons. What if I did not make it and was ridiculed or maybe worse yet, what if I did and my life would change forever. If I did make it, I knew I could never go back to just going through the motions of being a part-time cross dresser. I was so much more. 

Finally, I got in so deep with me thinking I was transgender I reversed all of my gender thinking. Primarily I wasn't a man cross dressing as a woman at all I was a woman cross dressing as a man. Or, I was just going through the motions of being a male because I was born into it and was just attempting to get by until I could change my life for the better and live as a transgender woman. It represented a seismic change in my thinking on how I was going to live my life. 

By the time I was sixty, I could not take all the self destructive behavior I was experiencing any longer and decided to cross the gender frontier and live as a transgender woman. I embraced all my new gender thinking and set out to discover all I had missed by living my life as a man. Since my inner feminine soul had been observing my life and struggles the whole time, surprises were kept to a minimum. It turned out she was plotting all along how she would live once she got the chance. 

The last major step my male self gave her was going to the doctor and getting approved for gender affirming hormones. HRT just helped to further sync up what I thought I needed to be with what I actually was. Or, I thought I needed any help I could with femininizing my body to help me blend in with the world.

Of course, now I feel as if I was robbed of my life when I was going through the motions of being a man. On the other hand, I made the best of an unfortunate mistake. I gained a daughter, built a solid career and even survived my tour in the Army, so it all could have been so much worse as I battled my own gender dysphoria. It turned out, being transgender just led me into going through more motions than most people.   


Sunday, July 14, 2024

A Trans Woman's Intuition

Anniversary Image 
from the Jessie Hart Archives

The world makes a big deal about woman's intuition, as they should 

I feel women as a whole have a deeper understanding of the world than men do. I have always believed women live a more layered life than men which leads to a need for more intuition. Not to mention a less secure life than men when it comes to personal security. Simply put, women have to learn at an early age the problems they could face dealing with toxic males. 

Add to all of that and you can imagine (or have experienced) the problems a transgender woman can face. We have to experience the impact of toxic men and toxic women also.  Lately it seems the anti-transgender societal atmosphere has made it a necessity for trans people to develop their internal intuition more effectively just to survive.

Early on, I was just so starved for male attention, I put myself into dangerous situations. I equated a man's attention into a validation of me as a woman. Fortunately, I was able to live through that portion of my life without any serious harm coming to me. Even though I barely escaped on occasion. I can not claim all of the credit for my escapes as I had other cis-women around me who helped. I can remember one night in particular when a man approached me at the bar in one of the regular venues I was a guest. When the server at the bar saw me and the man approach she did not say anything. Instead she just gave me a look which in no uncertain terms said to be careful. I took her advice, paid my bill and took off before he came back around to me. 

Also, toxic men are attracted to transgender women because they somehow think we are desperate for male attention. Which is the reason so many lonely trans women react to scammers on social media sites. Conservatively, I think I receive two or three scam requests a week from generals and doctors who happen to be widowed. I laugh them off and quickly block them. It never takes much intuition to know where they are coming from.

It is a different story in the real world of course. When women as a whole are warned to be so careful just when they are out to socialize. These days, women have to protect their drinks and make sure they go out with friends. Just another example of how a woman's intuition comes in handy. 

I think when I transitioned into a woman's world, gender affirming hormones aided my progression. In fact, I just answered a question from my transgender grandchild about my favorite smells. During my answer, I made sure I brought up the influence of the femininizing hormones on my sense of smell. One of the first big inner changes I experienced on HRT was the better sense of smell I realized. I am interested to see what reaction (if any) I receive. 

Most certainly I learned a transgender woman's intuition was a priority in order to survive. My inner woman, who waited so long to live her life in the world, knew it also. I learned when she took control how easy it was to let her take the reigns of my life. Early on she proved she knew what to do when she had the chance. I also learned I needed to be better than the average cis-woman. I did not have any of the benefits of growing up as a young girl. Catching up on the fly was often very difficult to do. Little did I know I could benefit from my old male life and use the lessons to help me when I jumped into the girls' sandbox.

Knowing where guys were coming from helped me to get by in the dating world on the very few occasions when I decided to enter it. I found I needed any advantage I could hold to help my gender life along. Including a better knowledge of my transgender intuition. 

 

Saturday, July 13, 2024

More LGBTQ Outreach


Image from Brian Wangenheim on UnSplash



Recently I received a call from a therapist at the Dayton, Ohio Veterans Administration hospital. It turns out he is the replacement for my long time therapist who left some time ago. I was fortunate to have had her help for nearly a dozen years.

She was a huge help along the way in me being able to separate my bi-polar issues from my transgender ones. Not to mention all the assistance she provided with the paperwork I needed to change my legal markers from male to female with the government and the VA. Plus she talked me off the ledge more than once when I needed advice pertaining to my transgender lifestyle.

Another one of the legacies my therapist left behind was a series of LGBTQ support groups which invariably leaned towards being transgender dominated. Along the way, over the years, I ran across more than a couple unique transgender personalities.  Some of which I wonder what happened to them and some I didn't. 

It turns out now I may be able to have my chance to see them again in a new LGBTQ support group being put together by a therapist I have never met which will start in August. That means I will now have two outreach groups to participate in per month. The new VA group and the Greater Cincinnati Alzheimer's diversity council. I look forward to spreading the transgender word anyway I can to help anyone I can.

Now, more than ever before, with problem programs looming such as Project 2025, it is time for the trans community to be united before the election. In fact, I had quite the scary discussion with my daughter at last week's birthday party. During the festivities, I learned my transgender grandchild will be leaving The Ohio State University this winter with a degree in nuclear engineering and will be headed to Maine next year for her first job. So any hic-cups with a certain ex-president would not be welcomed. 

In the meantime, I get frustrated when all I can do is reach out to the groups I do and then write about it. Maybe through the other groups, I can finally network out and try to do more.   

Friday, July 12, 2024

Trans Peaks and Valleys

Image from the
Jessie Hart Archives.

Lifetime as a whole presents us with many peaks and valleys to negotiate.

Since I am transgender and always wanted to be a woman, my peaks and valleys often revolved around times when I came out as my authentic self in the world. Very early on, sadly, there were more frequent valleys than peaks as I learned to survive in the public as a novice cross dresser or transgender woman. I vividly remember too many times when I came home sobbing when I was laughed at. I don't remember now how I survived the dark times and continued to move forward. 

As I did move forward, there were other peaks in my life such as when my only child was born. When she arrived, my existence changed forever. Plus, I wondered how having a new person in the world would effect my gender desires. In many ways, I thought it was poetic justice when I had a girl. For some reason, deep down, I thought I could understand a girl better than a boy.  Since my daughter turned out the way she did, maybe I was right.

A big problem I had with my peaks and valleys was staying in one place long enough to actually understand if I was doing anything right. As I constantly changed jobs and moved my small family, I gave my second wife a hard way to go when I tried to chase myself. I am amazed we made it through twenty five years. 

Another problem I had was when I needed to come down off the gender peaks when I encountered them. Gender euphoria was so rare, I wanted to hang on to it as long as I could. When I couldn't I would become frustrated and ultimately mean around my family and co-workers. 

The more I progressed in my gender transition the more extreme the effort to climb out of the valleys became. The major problem was I didn't feel increasingly secure in my old male role and at the same time, I was feeling more and more natural as my femininized self. Which again caused me great frustration when I fell deeper into my valley. At several points I was so deep, I needed therapy to help me restore my mental health. Therapy on occasion did help me climb up to an acceptable level of a peak. When I was smart enough to actually take the therapist's advice. 

It turned out my fear of heights carried over to my transgender issues. The better I became at existing as a woman in public, I was scared. Primarily because for the first time in my life it seemed to be a real possibility I could reach my dream of actually living as a transgender woman. As I looked down on my previous male life, leaving it scared me. What would I do about  losing all of my white male privileges and then having to start all over again. At the time, the only female privilege I could see was a man opening a door for me. Which I later found to be false as there were other feminine benefits I had yet to experience as I climbed my gender peak. 

Finally, at the age of sixty, I could take the pressure of the climb no longer and I decided to stop all aspects of my old male life. I was taking gender affirming hormones to take me to the next step, my mental health was improving and for once I could see my life clearly as a transgender woman. So even though I needed to take a leap of faith off a cliff and transition, I found I had others around me who provided a soft landing. It turned out, I hadn't lost anything at all. 

My up and down life of trying to live as both binary genders was difficult at times to say the least. Near the end I found I made the correct decision on which peak to climb and it was not the male one.

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Transgender Control

Image from Charles 
Deluvio on UnSplash

Many times, resistance to transgender  women  or trans men comes from people who just want to control us.

Since so many people don't understand trans people, control for them seems to be the easiest way out to deal with us. On the other hand, I dealt with being ignored by men when I first came out in the public's eye. Most of it probably came from the presentation issues I dealt with. Examples included the times I started to talk to men concerning topics I knew quite a bit about and was roundly ignored. However there was the occasional man who tried to dominate the conversation with me. 

Seeing as how I had lived in the male world all those years, I should have known it was coming. Even other men tried their best to control me over the years. With a few of them, like drill sergeants when I was in the Army. What I did was internalize my thoughts and outwardly listened to them. So I learned to get by in the world. Even when I was wondering how I would exist in the world as a transgender woman.

I was lucky I had good role models around me from the women I knew. My Mom started it all off because she existed quite well in the male dominated world she existed in. Then, much later in life, I worked in a profession where again I saw how the strong women around me survived well in life. Very few people controlled them. As their boss, I learned to work with them, not control them. In my dealings with men as a trans woman, all I wanted was the same. A man who would work with me not cut me off in mid sentence when we talked. In all fairness to the men I met before I began to be involved with my group of lesbians, I did meet a couple guys I felt I could be interested in.

My problem was I refused to be treated as a fetish item and required a man to meet me in a public place before we did anything else. Which stopped all of the crazies I met on line. For just a moment at least, I wanted my own transgender control. As my transition progressed, I found control was harder and harder to maintain, especially when I became quite fond of several women around me who accepted me for who I was. Control from a feminine viewpoint was quite different from all I had learned as a guy growing up. Primarily because there was more give and take.

Of course I embraced all the changes and willingly gave up several keys to my life. The biggest one came when I packed up my belongings, along with my cat and dog and moved in with my current wife (and longtime companion) Liz. Now it has been over twelve years ago and after quite a bit of give and take, our relationship thrives. 

All in all, learning control as a transgender woman  is a difficult process. Primarily because of the major differences in the binary genders. In order to survive in our male life, many of us had to learn to control the situation when it came to dealing with spouses, family and employment. While I can safely say I never really controlled my second wife who was a very strong woman, on occasion I tried because I was the man and it was what men do. Above all it taught me, it was NOT what men should do. Especially when I faced it as a trans woman. 

Again, thanks to the feminine role models I grew up with, I blossomed into a proud out transgender woman I am today. They all showed me the way and my inner female finished the deal. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Transgender Shape-Shifting

 

Image from the Jessie Hart Archives

Changing your unwanted testosterone damaged male body into anything which remotely resembles a female is very challenging. 

In order to be a gender shape-shifter you need to become a perfectionist down to the smallest detail. Plus, seeing as how most of us transgender women got a late start in our transitions, we spent quite a bit of time playing catch up to other genetic women our age. We did not have the peer pressure or Mom's influence to steer our way into the public's eye.

Some would argue also, we trans women had to be better than the average woman to survive. We had to be on point with our makeup, fashion and accessories to look good and in addition were able to still able to blend in with a society of women who increasingly did not seem to care how they looked.

Finding the middle point of presenting well in your cross dressing shape-shifting experience was difficult to say the least. Even so, some of us would consider the process of presenting as a woman as a labor of love. In my case, I was fond of haunting all my local deep discount clothing stores until I located just the right fashion item or accessory. I remember the thrill I felt when I finally summoned the courage I needed to use the changing rooms to see in fact if I had found a "treasure" to add to my wardrobe. 

Then there was the problem of learning how to put my shape-shifted self into motion. No matter how I looked was any good if I still walked like a linebacker and communicated as a man. I remembering working long and hard on discarding my male walk the best I could and picking up the unique movement of a woman. It was difficult for me because I was still working and living a portion of my life as a man and needed to be careful not to cross over the gender line at the wrong time. Even though I secretly loved to be called "ma'am" when I was working as a guy, I still needed to be very careful to maintain my carefully crafted male image. 

I came to the point where shape-shifting became too much for me to handle and I finally tried to be approved for gender affirming hormones to aid the process. I was helped along by the knowledge I had taken my femininization process along as far as I could without the aid of medical help. Since I never was the beneficiary of any natural help with my feminine appearance, I needed all the assistance  I could find. I discovered help when I started HRT under a doctor's supervision. My skin almost immediately began to soften which helped my facial angles soften which also allowed me to use less makeup and look more natural. In addition, my hair growing to the point of not needing to wear a wig anymore, along with growing my own breasts were just the beginning of my advanced search into being a gender shape-shifting human. 

Of course my final test, was how the public was responding to the new transgender woman me. For the most part I received positive feedback by getting no feedback at all. I was able to blend in with the world as my preferred authentic self and take a major step towards being happy in life. All along I was stuck in my dream of wanting to be a woman, or come as close as I could. It was all because I finally discovered my gender was coming from between my ears and not my legs.

Looking back on a shape-shifting life was certainly easier than living it on occasion when I think back on all the failures I went through to arrive where I am today. Supposedly learning from failure is the best way to progress in life and I believe it.

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Having it All as a Trans Girl

Archived image
after Beauty Salon. 


As we negotiate difficult gender journeys on the way to becoming our authentic selves as transgender women or trans men, we find it is tough to have it all in our lives.

Many times, as we give up much of the baggage we have accumulated in our old lives, we have to give up spouses, families and even employment. On the plus side, if we have the chance, we can build back better in our new lives. In fact, I was told once by a woman I knew, I had an unique situation. I was starting all over in life where as most other humans never have the chance to do. Before I could get there, I needed to do quite a bit of work.

Early on, I obsessed on my feminine appearance, wrongly thinking it was all I needed to do to make it in the world as a cross dresser or transgender woman. Seeing as how my wife was fond of calling me the pretty princess all the time and I knew nothing about being a woman. Now, I wish I would have listened closer to her. As it was, I did listen to the point where I really began to work overtime observing women to see what she meant and it was not enough. I still didn't understand and my male ego continued to get in my way when I happened to have a successful night out cross dressing. Like the evening I went to a transvestite mixer and was carded at the door to prove I was a guy and not a cis-woman. My defense was I had to know what a woman was if I had been mistaken for one the night before. Plus, somehow I held my gender dilemma against my wife because she would not help me,  As  I always mention, it seemed my wife and my male self ganged up on me to slow down my transition. Both had a losing stake in the process if I made it.

At any rate, I said to hell with them and set out to look behind the sacred feminine curtain to see if I could survive. Quickly, I learned not only could I survive but just possibly I could thrive as a transgender woman. In order to make my way behind the gender curtain, I needed to really learn the basics of communicating as a woman, mainly with other women. I found I had a curious audience of women wondering at the least what I was doing in their world and at the most, learning I was not any sort of a threat. For awhile, my life was moving fast and I was close to seeing what having it all might mean for this trans girl. It all became tantalizingly close. 

So close, I kept moving forward as fast as I could, especially when the forces which were holding me back began to weaken and disappear.  It became easier and easier to toss my old male baggage in the trash and acquire new feminine luggage, The turmoil I experienced at once was the toughest, saddest moment of my life coupled in with a few of the most exciting times I had ever experienced. 

Even with all of my changes I was going through as a transgender woman, I still didn't think I was ever on the edge of having it all. Life is just not built that way. Primarily with the help of a small group of very accepting women friends, I was able to come close and open gender doors which were previously closed to me. I was able to never look back at a male life I never really wanted.


Sunday, July 7, 2024

Trans Girl in the Big Easy

 

Mardi Gras woman by 
Jeremy Brady on UnSplash. 

For those of you who may not know the "Big Easy" is a nickname for the city of New Orleans. 

Since I live in far away Ohio, a trip to the Big Easy was and is a special undertaking. During my long life I have been fortunate enough to have been there two times. Once as a cross dresser and once as a transgender woman. Naturally, my visit as a cross dresser came way before my arrival there as a trans woman. 

To go as a cross dresser in many ways required much more work than my second trip. One of the big reasons was I needed to hide the fact I was taking a very small stash of feminine clothes, a wig and makeup from my second wife and I was flying down there. Which meant I had limited space to plan for as far as my luggage was concerned. I am amazed now how I was able to pack and hide my essentials from the prying eyes of my wife but I did.

I was going to New Orleans for a AFTN Network reunion. AFTN stands for the American Forces Thailand Network which I was a broadcaster for when I was in the Army back in 1972. The reunion itself was well attended and once I was there I needed to figure out how I was going to escape my friends, apply my makeup, put on my clothes and discover a venue to go to. I was lucky when my friends decided to call it a night not long after dinner and I was on my own. So shortly, I made my way out of the hotel into the hot and humid Big Easy night. Melting down and saving all my makeup was not making my night life any easier. 

I finally found my salvation in the form of an air conditioned gay venue. In the venue I was able to see several impossibly feminine and beautiful transgender women. So much so, I did not think they were drag queens. As I enjoyed myself immensely and all too soon my time was up, I needed to find my way back through the night to my hotel room where the air conditioner struggled to keep up with the summer temperatures of New Orleans. From there, the next day was made up of memories made in Thailand and it was off to the airport for the return trip to Ohio. 

Similar to the trip down, I was able to hide my extra cross dressing wardrobe from my wife when I unpacked when she was not around. I had a great time at the reunion and even discovered another transgender participant at the festivities. She was very shy and I did my best to open lines of communication with her which naturally I wished I could have as there would be no more reunions.

My second trip to New Orleans was on a bus tour to "Mardi Gras" many years later with my current wife Liz. The extended time we spent on the bus which seemed as if it would go on forever was more than made up for with the party excitement. Our hotel turned out to be a classic restored property within walking distance of the famous Bourbon Street district. Looking back, I would not do it again but on the other hand, since I did it, I would have not to do it again. 

Highlights of the evening we spent at the huge party was when we discovered a food venue we could get into just a block away from the main event and enjoyed a light dinner of appetizers and sandwiches. More importantly, by this time in the evening, we had access to a single stall women's bathroom on the venue patio we were sitting at. Still being restroom shy at the time, I waited for the line to disappear before I went in the tiny space to take care of business. The problem was, I had been in better "Porta Potties" than this restroom. It reeked of sewer gas and I quickly finished, washed up and left. When I opened the door, a line of women had formed and the first woman was glaring at me. I simply smiled and said good luck to her and returned to our nearby table. The only other stop of note we made was to the supposed oldest gay venue in New Orleans. On that night at least, the place was full of male gay "bears" along with a few scattered cross dressers in their mini skirts and heels. 

As the evening wound down, it was time for us to return to our hotel and rest for the evening, knowing it was a great time but not one we would likely be making again. 

Now we are looking at the possibility of going back to the Big Easy during hopefully not during the summer months on our own so we are free to go to the spots we want to go. Finances and health permitting we hope to do it again.

Trans Acceptance

 

Liz on Left, Daughter on Right.

Today, my wife Liz and I are heading north to Dayton, Ohio for a family birthday party. The party is for my youngest grandson and my daughter's father in law. 

The get together of my daughter's extended family has always been a different experience for me, as a man or a woman. Per norm, my visits as a man were ego driven with battles with my son in law in particular. They were nothing as compared with any other macho activities I faced with the family.

When I completed my male to female gender transition, I wondered how I would be accepted. If at all. It turned out as my daughter led the way, the rest of the family followed. As most of you regular readers know, my kid was wonderfully supportive from the very beginning. However, as her family expanded to three grandkids for me, what would they think of my gender issues. Spoiler alert, all three took my transition in stride and my oldest grandkid even came out as transgender before "they" left high school. They (chosen pronouns) were always leaning that way, so I was not really surprised.    

As time and events went by, my feminine self was still chosen to stand up in front of a temple and actively participate in one of the bar mitzfah ceremonies since my daughter converted over to the Jewish faith. Her decision led me to a whole other level of acceptance I never knew existed. From the Rabbi, to cousins I never knew before, I was accepted as an equal person. No one cared.

Now when we make the hour trip to the birthday party, I have nothing but good feelings. At the least, transgender acceptance as a person helps my gender euphoria, at it's best I get to see my trans grandchild again. Plus, I get to moderately dress up for my first wife who usually attends as she is the mother of my daughter. Recently she gave me a complement which literally left me speechless. She mentioned how good I looked and how far I had come along. Now I feel bad, I couldn't come back with anything else than a mumbled thank you. She went way back with me to the Army and she knew I was a cross dresser before we got married.

Since now I am close to the oldest person in the room, never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would ever become a matriarch.   

Saturday, July 6, 2024

Is Being Trans all About You?

Image from Caroline Hernandez on UnSplash

 As I was embarking on a struggle with my second wife concerning me coming out as a transgender woman, we encountered plenty of problems. It was  during this time, she was fond of telling me my gender issues were not all about me.

Ironically, for the most part she was right. As I ventured more and more into the public's eye, all I thought about was the next opportunity I would have to go out as a woman. Then, when I had to go out as my boring, unwanted male self, I would become upset and get mad when I tried to internalize my thoughts. I have written before about the vacations I ruined when all I thought about was how I would spend them as a woman. 

Worst yet, I was jealous of the fact she had the body and life I wanted to have. I wanted her curves and soft skin and wanted her to make love to me as another woman. Which for the most part never happened. The whole process carried over into my life as a cross dresser or novice transgender woman. When ever I went out into the public, I felt as if every eye was on me. Which for the most part, was not the case. I found most of the public was just going about their everyday lives and could not care less about me and my issues. It took me years to learn I could just blend in for the most part into a feminine based society and basically just disappear

First, I had to work my way around the fact my male ego still controlled the way he wanted me to look. He wanted me to dress to thrill, which just turned out trashy and attracted unwanted attention. It was quite the learning experience and took awhile to accomplish because of one big reason. I wanted so badly to be a pretty woman but just couldn't accomplish it primarily because of my testosterone poisoned body. As far as anyone had ever told me, my legs were the only feminine part of my body I had to work with and my wife was no help because she never helped or complimented me on anything I did. Once again saying my attempts to be pretty were all about me.

When I could not disagree, I just became more frustrated and the pressure was on to do better as a femininized person...with or without her. It was at that point, I did my best to escape the house without her knowing and see the world through the eyes of a transgender woman. I was modestly successful and when, on the other hand, when she discovered what I was doing, huge fights happened. Fights, I never won, because I knew she was right. I was risking everything we had built to experience a new exciting but scary world. After I figured for sure I was indeed transgender, the pressure on me really began to build. On one hand, I suddenly could see a dream I wanted my entire life may be accessible but on the other, I would have to lose everything I had worked so hard for to grab it. It seemed life was so unfair but I could hear my parents telling me, no one ever said life had to be fair and I moved on.

Sadly, my wife passed away before I faced my truth with her and she knew it more than I did. On more than one occasion following a big fight she told me why did not I do us both a big favor and transition. For some reason, I followed the male way out and tried again and again to internalize my feelings until I was intensely unhappy. It seemed being trans was all about me until I finally came out and accepted myself.

When I did accept myself as transgender, I was able to see the world from a different viewpoint and learned to love the world and others more deeply than I ever had before.

Friday, July 5, 2024

Independence Day?

 


On this Fourth of July weekend, many think there is a possibility this will be the last we will ever be able to celebrate as transgender women, trans men or otherwise. Since the Supreme Court recently installed the president as a king, the coming election looms as a scary proposition. As the former president has already indicated he will never be unseated if he wins again. Plus, if you doubt me, google Project 2025 and read it. The entire LGBTQ community is in danger.

Regardless, this post is not going to be political in nature as most of you know who I support for the presidency and I will never change anyone else's mind. Plus, I don't see it as a done deal President Biden will run again.

This post is about my own independence day from the bonds I suffered when I was living as a man. 

I have plenty to celebrate since I took over a half a century to shake free of all the unwanted male life style I inherited, if I wanted to or not. Over my half century, I played all the male games presented to me such as sports and service in the military. Secretly hoping one or both would help me to just settle into a male life. Even becoming a father didn't help. I was stuck as the round peg being hammered into a square hole.

The longer I lived as a man, the stronger my ties became to the gender I never really wanted to have anything to do with. Especially difficult to break were all the male privileges I accumulated when I became a fairly successful middle aged white man. If I liked it or not, I became an automatic "sir" to the public I encountered. 

All the years it took me to sever the male bonds I had were worth it as I began to live as a transgender woman. Sure, it was different to live under a different set of gender rules but each one made sense when I did it. Major changes included being excluded from male conversations since seemingly I had lost a large portion of my intelligence, all the way to learning the all important rules of being a woman in public and how the security would change me forever. There were more changes to be sure but those were the big ones.

When I got up this morning, my wife Liz said "Happy Independence Day" and I don't mean the national one. I didn't have to think long and feel very positive about what she said about me coming a long way in my life. After all, she was one of the main influences when I finally put what was left of my male existence behind me. She told me she had never seen any male in me at all which was all I needed to hear to transition totally.

I had a question from a reader the other day which asked me did I think women were the most accepting of a transgender person. I said, in my opinion yes, by far I had been supported so much more by the women in my life and would have had a much more difficult time playing in the girl's sandbox without their help. I learned among other things, there was so much more to a woman's life than makeup and fashion. Which I had to learn to move forward to live my gender dream. Thanks for asking!

My independence day turned out to be one worth celebrating more than I ever considered.


 

Monday, July 1, 2024

A Transgender Marathon

Archive Image

 I'm sure you have heard the saying it's a marathon, not a sprint. This is especially true for transgender women and trans men.

Yesterday, I read a social media post from a first time transgender woman going out in public for the first time. In the post, she was bemoaning the fact after applying her makeup and seeing pictures, she did not look as good as she thought she did. My heart went out to her and I mentioned I went down the same path. Learning the art of makeup is just the first part of a transgender marathon into understanding yourself. 

Others who read the post chimed in with similar thoughts and even expanded it into impostor syndrome as a future possible reaction the person might have to face. 

Looking back, I could remember vividly how badly I felt when I first started my visits out of the house and into the public's eye. Back then, pictures were difficult to come by and were mainly only accessible by the old "photo kiosks" and drug stores. Only one time get I get brave enough to take a roll of film to one of the kiosks to see how I looked on film. I was shocked, and not in a good way, I obviously looked like a cross dresser and a bad one at that. The worst part was, the person who developed and gave me my pictures knew me and even worse yet, his Dad worked with my Dad. My marathon was almost over before it started. If I liked it or not. 

As it turned out, I moved back into the mirror and did my best to remove the negative self image I still had from the ill advised pictures. It actually took me years to try to attempt more pictures as my marathon moved on. As with anything else, the more you work on something, the better you become. Also technology was on my side with better cameras, which offered more than the very expensive Polaroids giving instant pictorial feedback. I was fascinated with my first cell phone which took pictures and better yet I had my first computer that I used to upload cross dressed pictures of myself. By doing so, I attracted attention, flattering to begin with in chatrooms until my wife caught on. She learned the computer skills faster than I did, so I needed to try to catch up as fast as possible. 

My marathon marched on, I gained more and more confidence until I reached increasing problems with my gender dysphoria. It seemed, no matter how much effort I put into my feminine appearance and deportment, the more I felt like a guy in a dress. To survive, I finally had to come to a basic conclusion. I was not as good looking as a woman I thought I was, or as bad. There was always the middle point I needed to shoot for. Finally, I knew who I was and I had the confidence to move on from new problems such as impostor syndrome. 

Again, I needed to come to a middle point where I could survive as a person. While I could never reclaim a girl's childhood experiences, or the problems associated with having periods or pregnancies, I had to go through my own set of experiences which presented their own problems. For example, I needed to try to escape my own gender demons which everyone in life seems to have, male or female, trans or not. I finally had to end the part of my marathon I agonized over for so long and claim my own brand of womanhood. Somehow I always found a way to survive and found a path. I was able to chase it and find success...in my own way. Which turned out was all I could do.

Going all the way back to the person who was just starting their public journey as a transgender person, try to make your marathon as easy as you can, Roll with the punches and move along as quickly as you can but always remembering the entire process is a marathon, not a sprint and sometimes, you are your own worst enemy. 

Sunday, June 30, 2024

Good Together

 

Image from Columbus, Ohio
from the Archives.

As I grew into expressing my authentic self, I felt the pressure of attempting to placate what was left of my male self while I was increasingly living as a transgender woman. 

Increasingly, I felt as if I was living with a stranger when I tried to express my male self. He was fading quickly into my past, much quicker than I thought possible. Who was this man who controlled my life for so long? It took me so long to have the courage to figure it out. As I always point out, the answer was an easy one. I never was a man cross dressing as a woman, I was a woman cross dressing as a man. Once I figured it out, my life became so much easier. 

Sadly, my male and female sides never were good together. My second wife was fond of teaming up with my male self against my femininized insecure self. When she needed help the most, it was extremely difficult to find. Fortunately, I was stubborn enough to mentally tell them to go to hell. Mainly, because I felt so natural when I was following my transgender instincts. 

Instincts led me to improving my natural presentation as a woman including fashion and make-up arts. Maybe as I improved, my wife and male self became more and more scared. Somehow they saw me glimpse my reality and they did not like the future they saw. Specifically, the very few nights, my wife actually went out to eat with my femininized self, she made it painfully obvious she did not like me. More than anything else, her attitude hurt my feelings since I had attempted to dress down to meet her standards of wearing jeans, boots and sweaters. My next step down for me was to wear no makeup at all which would have defeated the purpose of going at all. Essentially, I gave up on any idea of us co-existing as women of any type. We were never good together. 

All I really wanted was an even break, or so I thought. The more I ended up exploring the world as a novice transgender woman, the more I wanted to do. Eventually, I could take it no longer and took the only way out I had. I went the gender affirming hormone route and decided to pursue a life as a trans woman and the rest of the story is relatively easy. The more life I lived, the more I felt more relaxed and good together with myself. 

Life was good again as I had come full circle from the dark days of death and gender dysphoria. 

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Trans Night at a Drag Show

 

The "Rubi Girls", Dayton, Ohio

After I came out of my closet to reveal my authentic feminine self to my daughter, she took me at face value and kicked me firmly out of what was left of my old male life. 

For my birthday, my kid took me to her upscale beauty salon for a color and cut then pulled the biggest surprise of all, an invitation to join her woman friends to a night out at a drag show. This was no usual drag show, this was an annual show put on by a drag troupe called the "Rubi Girls" in Dayton, Ohio. The group is so successful in the area, they have raised literally millions of dollars for AIDS research

For the evening, my daughter had invited approximately five or six of her Mom friends to go along to the show so essentially going with them was my official first girl's night out. Needless to say I was petrified of going but accepted my invitation. As I was going, I was determined to do my best to stay in the background and only interact when I was spoken to. My daughter warned me ahead of time who the potential problem people were so I could be forewarned who not to interact with. On the other hand, there were a couple other women who previously knew me as my male self and they turned out to be very approachable

The show itself was a riot and the drag queens lived up to their billing as being the best in the area. Even better was the fact one of the stars was my oldest grandson's fourth grade teacher. When we arrived and found our seats, for some reason, my daughter left me on my own and I finally needed to reach out and interact with another woman or two we went with. It could have been the two drinks I had to relax me or not but I didn't have any problems with either woman. I even warned them the show would certainly be "X" rated. The venue was packed and everyone seemed to have a great time and most importantly, I survived going out with a group of my daughters women friends. In addition, I learned being with women was everything I hoped it would be and since I was a novice, it was even better no one wanted to question me concerning my gender or relationship to my off spring. 

After the show was over, we all piled into my daughter's van for the short trip home and I enjoyed listening to all the comments about the drag show. Better yet, I had the chance to stop at one of my favorite venues to wind down and think about what I had achieved. For one thing, being forced out of my closet totally was wonderful, once I recovered from all my fear. I was able to do what women do to loosen the conversation such as compliment each other on articles of clothing. In fact, I still remember complimenting Sandra on her boots. She was one of two other women who knew me as my kid's parent. I can't say the process was easy but very soon, it all became so natural I knew I never wanted to go back into my male closet.

Transgender night at a drag show may have been just me as the very few transgender women in the audience. It was difficult for me to judge but I think the venue held around one hundred fifty people and naturally I did not go around asking if anyone else was trans. It was no big deal for me anyhow since normally I was alone in the venues I went in unless my transgender friend Racquel was there with me. Plus, all of this happened way before I met and was accepted by my own small group of lesbian friends. 

I look at it all now as a big learning process which helped me to come out to my grandkids. When my eldest grandson learned I was crossing the gender border to play in the girls sandbox, he equated me with being the same as his teacher. Then his mother had to go back and explain the difference in gay and transgender to a fourth grader. Which she did. 

As far as I am concerned being forcibly kicked out of my closet and made to walk and talk my transgender self was one of the best things which could have happened to me. Being with other women and surviving or even thriving just reinforced my thoughts I was doing the right things and was on the right path. From there I researched gender affirming hormones and never looked back.

Friday, June 28, 2024

Young and Dumb

 

Banquet image with Liz on left. 

I often wonder how wise I was when I decided to follow my gender path to becoming a full time transgender woman. In many ways, I am referring to the good old, if I knew then what I know now, would have I done it.

The short answer is most certainly I would have tried my best to follow the same path because I had no choice. Either I transitioned or I died. I made it so simple even the most extreme transphobic person could understand.  

Transgender or not, we all go periods in our life when we are young and dumb. Fortunately, most of us live through this process and learn from our mistakes. This is especially true for transgender woman or trans men as they go through an assimilation process leading to living as their authentic selves . In many blog posts, I document more than a few of my fashion and makeup  mistakes when I first started my journey out of my dark gender closet. It wasn't until years of experimenting with my makeup did I seek out professional help which happened at a cross dresser - transgender mixer I happened to go to. I put my ego aside and volunteered for a professional to redo my makeup. He did a tremendous job and even explained what he was doing so I understood as he went along. I was very impressed with the results and basked in the praise I received from others I met. I went from a casual believer in the power of makeup to a total devotee.

Even when I was young and dumb, I tried to conduct myself with some sort of grace and decorum. I made sure I distanced myself from the other trans woman who was flashing others at the Andy Warhol show we went to in Columbus at The Ohio State University as well as making sure I did not abuse the rest room privileges other cross dressers did at a gay bar we went to. Leaving the toilet seat up and urinating all over the toilet in the women's room was certainly not cool and was nothing I wanted to be associated with. It wasn't too long after that when the sign went up on the door...real women only.

On the other hand, I still did quite a few dumb things which could have gotten me into trouble when I was in my formative cross dressing years. I drove way too much after I consumed vast amounts of beer was my main sin as well as how I dressed when I first came out into the world. My trashy fashion sense was just screaming look at me when the best policy was just to blend in with the world. My other problems I was lucky to escape happened when I ignored my new personal security needs as a transgender woman. No longer could I fall back on my departed male safety privilege and I needed to watch where I parked and what I wore around certain people. I was bailed out of one close call by my second wife and another time, I was able to buy my way out of trouble with two men I encountered on a dark urban sidewalk when I was leaving a gay bar.

I always have been a believer in that I have always had some sort of a guardian angel looking over me and she was certainly helping me out during my self destructive coming out days. I am sure, many times she was shaking her head and saying not again. How I was driving in those days alone many times could have resulted in a very serious injury. 

As with anything else, if you are transgender, life has given you extra layers of existence to work your way through. You need to deal with life's normal problems along with a whole new set of others which often are completely unexpected. Crossing the gender border can often be brutal at the hands of the public which chooses not to support us at all. Which we will find out again with yet another major Supreme Court decision coming up soon. Too many people didn't make it through the young and dumb period of their lives and are now old and dumb. 

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Instilling Transgender Confidence

Image from Wesley Tingey
on UnSplash.
 
More than likely, many of you have suffered through a lack of confidence in your transgender lives.

We suffer fashion mistakes as well as learning the art of make-up and hair before we can even attempt to enter out into the public eye. The biggest problem we faced was catching up to the other women around us who had the benefit of growing up as young girls who had the chance to experiment with their friends and Mom's on applying make-up and trying on clothes. We had very little chance to improve our confidence.

Gender dysphoria destroyed for years any hope I had of establishing any confidence about ever being able to present well as a transgender woman. It was a rare day which I didn't see a guy wearing make-up staring back at me from the mirror. For some reason, I put all my misgivings behind me and still went out to see what the world was going to be like as the person I always dreamed of being. 

Any way I look at it, I took a long, long time to work my way through rejection and begin the basics of building confidence as a novice trans woman. I began by taking small steps. I took into consideration where I was going until I found certain venues to be untenable. For example the male gay venues which made me feel uncomfortable. When I left them to find a better more accepting world I did in straight venues I was used to going to as a guy as well as a lesbian bar I frequented. As I became a regular in my new homes, I was able to increase my transgender confidence. I did not expect to be mistaken for a cis-woman but I did expect to be treated with respect anyway since I was treating everyone else with respect. 

As luck would have it, I started to build my small circle of friends who helped me build my confidence in a big way. The women I met were mostly all lesbians, so I was not under any huge pressure to be more exacting with my make-up and my fashion. It needed to be just good enough to blend in with the group. The times I was not with women were rare and I needed to step up my feminine game to look the best I could. I wanted to look nice without appearing as if I was trying too hard. I knew I was succeeding when my wife even asked me to help her with her make-up. 

The problem I still had was how I moved and communicated as a woman, trans or not. I did not factor in the huge jump I would have to take in order to keep building my confidence. What good did I have applying a wonderful make-up job,  if I walked and talked as a linebacker, I found I needed to be present in the moment. For example, when I needed to walk a fairly long distance to my seat in a venue. Instead of worrying about getting there without attracting attention, I needed to worry about how I was getting there. Then, in most cases, I just had to rely on one of my friendly servers to help me out with the rest of my visit. As I mentioned in a recent post on the Vocal Trans Girl, communication basics were such a huge part of my past transition, they needed their separate post. 

Once I became more comfortable talking to the public as a transgender woman, I was able to do more and more to increase my confidence. I felt as if I was doing nothing wrong and if the other person did not like me, it was on them to fix the problem. I was being the authentic me as my shyness went away. 

If you are just starting, or in the middle of your gender journey, confidence is often one of the more difficult stages you will go through. Once you think you have it, it can slip away with just an ill fated encounter with a transphobic person. The only words of advice I can offer is believe in yourself and eventually you will win the battle to live as you please. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Transgender Whirlwind

 

Early Archive 
Image. Jessie Hart

Looking back, there were certain decades of my life which seemed to shoot by faster than others.

When we hit the new century, my life seemed destined to speed up without me even knowing it. First, my Mom passed away, leaving my elderly Dad by himself and before he was diagnosed with dementia. Fortunately, my suddenly smaller family bonded together to take care of Dad. My brother and sister in law took care of all his meds and my wife and I fed him. The situation worked well until the very sad day when he needed to go into assisted living. If you are not familiar with Dementia, it is a very sad and ugly disease which towards the end robs the patient with all of their integrity, making them a child again or worse.

Then I used my inheritance to buy a restaurant which after a good start hit the skids when the town I was in was deeply affected by a severe economic downturn. My whole move was similar to pushing all my chips to the center of the table in a poker game and hoping I would win. Which I didn't. Regardless of all of that, life was dealing me death cards right and left. To begin with, I lost nearly all of my few close friends to cancer then in 2007 I lost my wife of twenty five years to a massive unexpected heart attack. I was in shock and ended up taking the only sure route I could to saving myself, falling back on my feminine self. In her, I took solace and knew I could make it through my dark times. 

The problem I had was, I needed to catch up with my fashion, makeup and everything else it would take me to present in the world as a transgender woman. The best part was I was all by myself and could basically do whatever I needed to achieve my goal. Which was seeing if I could indeed jump the binary gender frontier and see if the grass was greener for me. The more I explored the world, the more I discovered I could indeed carve out a new life, if I wanted to bad enough. 

During this time, which would have been around the year 2010, my life was moving towards being a whirlwind of transgender experiences. I equated it to sliding down a wet hill towards a steep cliff which I had no idea of steep and long it was. What I did not realize at the time, I was losing all of my male privileges and starting to panic. Still I persisted until I learned what female privilege meant to me. Finally I learned being a trans woman meant so much more to me than having doors opened by men. It meant freedom of expression for me. My inner female finally had her chance to live and was taking full advantage of her opportunities. Even still, it seemed every day, I was facing the differences in life I had only dreamed of. All the way to going to male dominated spaces and seeking service which was something I had to do to live the existence I wanted.

Even though life finally did begin to slow down and I became more and more comfortable with my life as a transgender woman, there were still surprises. Since I had survived the gender transition whirlwind, the surprises were easier to overcome. Plus, seeing as how I had survived all the dark years of death I went through in my life, I became more appreciative of the life I was still living. Especially since I was able to transition at the same time.

Monday, June 24, 2024

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 major rejection came when I tried to come out to a friend when I was young. Instead of accepting me in anyway, he seemed to be embarrassed, shook his head and walked away. With that, I was forced again into my lonely, confused gender closet. I learned the hard way my friends did not want anything to do with a cross dressed companion. 

Little did I know, I needed to become used to rejection in my life. Somehow I needed to grow a thicker skin. Then again, all of my rejections did not come from outside sources. Sometimes rejection came from within as my male self became quite the transphobe. He did not want to give up any of his white male privileges plus being made fun of when I first started to try to out myself into the real world. Ironically, my male self tried to team up with my second wife to reject any ideas of a transgender life for me. To be fair, my wife was always OK with me being a cross dresser but drew the line at any idea of me going any further towards being a trans woman and to be fair to me, she knew I cross dressed before we were married.

Skipping ahead again to the times I was rejected when I tried to go out and test the public waters as a novice gender divergent person, there were plenty of times when I was rejected. Sometimes, it was merely being stared at, other times people being rude and asking for pictures, all the way to be out and out laughed at. All of the negatives led to me coming home in tears and laying down on my bed and sobbing. For some reason, after my tears, my basic stubbornness kicked in and I began to look at ways I could improve my presentation. Slowly but surely, I did improve but the rejection scars remained behind to haunt me. Mainly, my confidence was affected leading to even more unwanted rejections. I was just too timid when I was a novice transgender woman. Many times, I gave myself away.

The worst time I ever had was when a woman followed me into the women's room in one of the regular venues I went to. As always, I chose a stall, completed my business and had started to wash my hands when I turned around and faced a red faced woman who immediately started to scream at me. When she called me a pervert, I said enough is enough. For some reason I don't remember now, I learned she was a hair dresser, so I asked her if she had a business card. She asked why and I said I wanted to pass it along to our local LGBTQ organization so they could publicize her bigotry in their monthly news letter. With that, she turned around and stormed out of the woman's' room  and we went back to our seats. My reaction to her slur must have worked because she refused to even look at me when we had the chance to closely pass each other in the venue. 

Even though I was semi successful (I think) in backing down the bigot, I am still scarred by the incident. Especially these days when politicians in my native Ohio are attempting to make the simple act of using the restroom of your choice would become a crime. So far, they have been unsuccessful because of issues of enforcement. 

Perhaps, rejection is just a part of the transgender pathway we all have to follow and the ones who are successful in our journey are just the people who deal with it the best. Then again do rejections just scar us to the point of never properly recovering. Much like all the times I was turned down when I asked a girl out ended up how I viewed the the entire world of women. I let a few skew my feelings of the many. which is sometimes what happens with transgender women or trans men. When we are painted with broad strokes like that, often it can lead to rejections. I wonder if my friend I came out to so many years ago still remembers the one he met. Did I make any sort of a good impression or did I ruin it for any trans women he may meet now. There is no way to know but sometimes I find it fascinating to think about. 

I am happy to say, I came out of my years of hiding and dealing with rejection relatively unscarred and equipped to live a positive life.  

Sunday, June 23, 2024

A Breath of Fresh Air

Out to eat with my wife Liz on the left.

Even though we are among the millions of other Americans stuck under the infamous "Heat Dome" and temperatures near one hundred, last night I was able to take a breath of wonderful fresh air.

To do it, I needed to get out of the air conditioned house long enough so Liz and I could make the short trip to our favorite Mexican restaurant. Fortunately, the venue's air conditioning was working fairly well and we were seated under a ceiling fan. So we were comfortable even though the place was very busy. 

For the evening out, I chose a lacy pink and black top I have not worn in ages. Along with my dark blue leggings with tennis shoes so I was very much at ease. It was also fun to shave very close and apply a light foundation coat of makeup before I did my eyes and contouring finally finishing up with lipstick before I brushed back my hair. My goal, which I think I achieved, was a soft feminine look. I helped myself by clipping my hair loosely in the back, allowing long straight strands to fall on both sides on my face. The whole effect, served to lengthen and femininize my face.  

At any rate, the most important part was how the public perceived me. Even though I wasn't dressed in the shorts and light dresses the other women were wearing around me, I thought my flowing outfit fit in well. It helped too I was with my wife Liz and her son who has accepted me since he was a teenager. I was set up for success. 

The best part was, no one gave me a second look and I was able to feel as if I was the "normal" woman out into the world. Even little kids ignored me. Along the way, I did have the opportunity to pause in my mind and think back to all the work it took to come to this point of gender acceptance in my life. All the times I was stared at or worse as I tried to make my way in a new uncertain world out of the mirror. In many ways my dreams were answered. All it took were years of struggle to finally achieve the success I found last night. 

After we finished our drinks and dinner, the three of us decided to try a different venue the next time we go out. Which presents another challenge when I present to the world. Plus, I know both my wife Liz and I need to get out of this house and everytime we do, it seems to improve our mental health for any number of reasons. Every time I am "ma'amed" at the table automatically adds to the tip and sends my brain soaring.  I was last night and the tip reflected it without the server (a man) even knowing why.

Perhaps the best point is the resultant gender euphoria I felt after we arrived back home and into the next day. Today I still feel the pleasure of finally arriving more or less where I wanted to be years ago when I was a confused kid. Of course I know there will still be many challenges ahead in my gender journey, I feel satisfied so far with my long term progress. I even call the transgender process, working at my craft. It is the only way I can look at all the gender changes I needed to make to jump across the gender border to see if the grass was indeed greener. For me it was and I decided to never turn back into an unwanted male life. 

Nights such as last night are always a re-enforcement of all the work and effort I put into my transition.  I need all I can get. 

Sink or Swim

Image from Trans Wellness Event.  Jessie Hart Archives.  Many times when I first entered the world as a new cross dresser or femininized mal...