Showing posts with label LGBTQ. Show all posts
Showing posts with label LGBTQ. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Fun on a Motorcycle?

 Actually I didn't have any fun with my imagined wig hair (back then) blowing in the wind plus having my hands wrapped tightly around my new crush's waist. I was never able to beg my way into a ride and I never tried. I'm sure you remember the post I wrote about the experience. 

Long time Cyrsti's Condo reader (and co-founder) Connie Malone does and commented:

I've known you long enough that I recall discussing with you what to do about the biker guy at the time. It was fun girl talk, with lots of anticipation. Although it wasn't a fairy tale ending, it still created much drama.


Photo Courtesy of
Connie Malone 


The banana thing never appealed to me (intended). I guess I'm penis- averse in general, and even more so concerning my own. I have been asked for dates a number of times, let alone the numerous hits I've had to endure - mostly on the unsavory side. I did meet with a fellow band member for dinner one night before a rehearsal, but it wasn't really a date. He was just a really nice guy who totally accepted me when I came out to the band (a whole story in itself), and we met as friends. I remember sitting with him in the crowded restaurant, amazed that he was so comfortable being with a trans woman in public. Of course, it was fairly early in my transition, so I wasn't really so comfortable being in public, myself. By all appearances, we must have been perceived to be on a date by others, and I was even more amazed that nobody was staring at us. It was one of those validating experiences that added to my confidence, at any rate.


Of course, having been faithfully married to my wife for 49 1/2 years has a lot to do with any choices I would make in the dating (or beyond) department."

Thanks Connie for the comment. I say in essence she was the co founder here is because I was sharing coming out experiences with her and she suggested I write a blog. Back in those days, I didn't even know what a blog was, so I had to research it.

In addition, I too had a couple dates with men who went out of their way to make me feel feminine. Outside of the sexual side of being with men, I tried to learn communication skills which would help me on a date. Naturally, I was scared to death but survived anyhow. One of the men in particular wasn't from the area which I lived, so he was just passing through (as I hoped I was) when we went on a dinner date. The other I left up to him to contact me if he wanted to but he never did. Ironically, I was a regular in the two places we went and received great service and knowing looks from the servers I knew. My rule of thumb always was have a good attitude and tip well and it worked.

Speaking or writing about male crushes, I was pleasantly surprised to be able to watch one of my all time favorite male screen crushes on Turner Classic Movies. For some reason, I always have been fascinated with the WWII era and earlier and Robert Mitchum was my male crush way before I knew I was allowed to have one.
Robert Mitchum
Of course, any ideas of having a male crush were stifled and mis-understood. To the point I couldn't even dream of him for fear of what was happening to me. It all makes sense now why I didn't really crush on any famous cis women celebrities. Of course I wanted to look like them but did not desire them sexually.  

It was all part of my gender puzzle I have written about in the recent past.

As far as motorcycles go, without a doubt I am sure Robert Mitchum would look great on one. Plus I am sure Connie was a suburb dinner date. As far as I am concerned, I was single during the dates I wrote about. So now I wouldn't even consider such a move.

It's always fun to consider the "what if's" of life and how everything turned on a dime (or quarter). 

Monday, December 13, 2021

Brave...or Smart?

 Recently GB responded to a post I wrote concerning coming out as "bravery" Which in turn came from an Anna comment. Confused yet? Don't be, here is the comment:

Unsplash image: Sharon 
McCutcheon


"Yes, I understand completely. How can it be bravery when we have no choice? And yet, coming from a typical social perspective, what we do as trans people is nothing but heroic, and yes, it is brave. Talk about strength. Trans people are the strongest people I know. When your core foundational identity is rocked as it is for all trans people, and you still manage to survive, sometimes thrive, it is a beautiful miracle.

And regarding your thoughts on giving up male privilege, I think there is a lot to explore here. I was with one of my longest female friends recently and we talked about white male privilege and what it meant to give that up as a trans person...and I have been wondering about this a lot as I meet people from different ages, races, creeds and seeing how they react to me...and what I am finding is that people who are oppressed are more encouraging to me on this journey than other white men.."

Thank you for the comment and I did neglect mentioning white privilege in the post. Indeed it is a huge part of what I was trying to write about. On the other hand, I don't feel I am qualified to write about pressing racial issues because I did grow up and later lived with my white privilege

I did enjoy your comment which said "When your core foundational identity is rocked as it is for all transgender people, and you still survive, sometimes thrive, it is a beautiful miracle." The only idea I could add is we transgender people are able to finally thrive is because we are finally able to live as our authentic selves. 

Giving up our white male privilege is but a small price to pay to be able to achieve a gender transformation. There are those who argue there are female privileges' also and I think the future is female but in the meantime there are still too many male privileges' such as personal security to consider. In fact, you could be the brave one if you don't consider your surroundings when you begin to explore the feminine world for the first time. Just take the time to research the number of transgender violent assaults and use the numbers to be more careful. Cis women have the benefit of growing up with the knowledge of not having personal security and learning to the best of their ability to deal with it. I have my own personal experiences of being in the wrong place at the wrong time when I was first entering the feminine world. I will share them at another time but to make a long story short, I escaped with no violence and I learned. 

Finally, I believe many white men are feeling the potential loss of their shallow male privileges and are more likely to be less into supporting other transgender women who have "joined the other other gender team." Plus men are likely to have a more fragile idea of their sexuality and aren't brave enough to experiment with change. 

I know I have covered quite a bit of ground with this post but bottom line is don't confuse bravery with ignorance. Be careful, learn your lessons and build a new life.    

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Gender Puzzle

 Anna commented on Medium concerning my coming out experiences as bravery.  I have never thought my gender transition as having anything to do with bravery. Rather, it was something I had to do. Now I look at the process as more of solving a gender puzzle.

Photo-Ryoji Iwata

As I assembled my gender puzzle, I kept discovering more and more missing pieces. What happened  then was I needed to accomplish more and more in the public eye to prove I had it right. I have written in depth on many of my learning experiences all along with more and more I continue to discover as I follow this writing path.  Once I think I have it all figured out, something new comes along to prove I have not.

One thing I don't write about enough are my severe bouts  with gender dysphoria. Perhaps there was a level of bravery to overcome passive and active suicide attempts. I know I was scared to death to enter the world as my feminine self on more occasions I can count. I have often told you all about all the times I came home crying following ill fated attempts at living as my authentic self. Back in those days I was still of the opinion I was crossdressing as a woman. When, actually all those years I had been cross dressing as a man.

I need to add in also I have never been good at puzzles. I tend to approach them (puzzles) with my usual impatience. When a certain outfit didn't work instead of trying another, I allowed the mirror to lie to me and out I would go to fail again. Slowly I did learn not to force pieces of the puzzle together that didn't fit. At that point, I discovered I could have success in public with my external feminine appearance and learned it was only the beginning. In other words, I discovered a whole new set of puzzle pieces.  

Now, even I wonder how I managed to navigate all of the challenges I was to face. It seemed every piece of the puzzle I located and was able to find a place for created the need for another. An example is how women communicate with each other. I found they have a unique way to communicate when men are present or when they are not. I had several women who protected me from possible negative situations with men as an example. It wasn't just men though. Along the way I learned women specialized in passive aggression. Or where were the knives located when they met you. Those were the ones who said you looked good as a woman...for a man. (un said).

The biggest puzzle piece had to be what happened when I lost my male privilege's. I reached the point of my life age wise when the term "sir" had been bestowed on me, if I wanted it or not. Most importantly I found my personal security changed drastically as I tried to live a feminine existence. For the first time in my life I asked friends for help getting to my car at night when it was parked in a relatively unlit parking lot. Overall, the loss of male privilege deserves it's own post we will get to another time.

Over the space of life, I learned to respect my gender puzzle as just a extra special portion who I became as a human. After all, how many people get the chance to sample life from both sides of the gender spectrum.

I just hope I haven't lost any pieces as I complete my puzzle.




Friday, December 10, 2021

More Comments on Passing

 First of all, a big WOW and thanks to all of you who took the time and effort to write in and comment on recent posts. The first  comes from Connie:

Photo courtesy Connie Malone
"So, I went out to grocery shop to get my booster vaccine. I was quite presentable in my hair, dress and makeup, and was feeling even a little pretty. At the grocery checkout, though, there was a discrepancy in the total, and it took three employees to figure it out. During their discussion, among themselves, I was referred to as "he" twice. I guess that answers any question as to my passing. It had been over two years (maybe three) since I was last mis-gendered, but the sting still hurts and kinda messes up my day. The employee who mis-gendered me had always been so friendly and accommodating in the numerous encounters we'd had in the past. 

The one thing that is common among cis people is that they don't very often give their gender much thought at all. I have been getting myself to that point, as well, but it's taken many years so far. As confident as I have become with myself, though, I guess I've not attained everything I've worked to achieve. 

The only positive here is that the hurt does not last as long as it used to. Big girl panties may not be enough; at my age, I should probably be in granny panties. I did get some redemption when the immunization coordinator at the drug store did not hesitate to check the female gender box on the form. The only bad thing about the experience there is that I ended up having a bad reaction to the booster, and I've been awfully sick for the past two days. Or, maybe it was the first experience at the grocery store that made me sick? :-("

That is unfortunate! I think sometimes when I think I am most presentable is when I let my gender guard down and cis people mis-gender me. I am a strong believer in the "aura" a person gives off in everyday life. So in situations with strangers I try to remember to input feminine on them. Seems to work for me.

The second comment comes from Emily:

"I came upon your writings through Femulate. Really appreciate your acknowledgement that some of us pass most or all of the time.

Some sites claim that is impossible which causes a turn-off for newbies. It also indicates a lack of self confidence on the part of the author and/or laziness to do the work.

Some of your other writings discuss friendships with women --I have found that most come around very quickly. Most men remain turned off"

Thanks Emily and welcome. Yes I have always thought the great majority of us can "pass" most of the time if they put a little work into doing it. What I mean is, take the time to learn a little of the feminine arts such as makeup and clothes. Maybe attempt to lose a little weight and strive for the closest possible shave. It's never easy but is worth it. Others may not take into consideration the years of error and trial which went into being where we are today. 

Photo Courtesy Paula  

The third comment comes from Paula : 

The whole question of passing will never go away. Not even just in the trans world, I hear my gay friends talking about passing as straight, and friends with Asian heritage as passing as white. Does this mean it's about claiming inherent privilege we are not entitled to?

On a personal level I am quite sure that I never pass, especially as soon as I open my mouth! Having said that the vast majority of the time I am not noticed, these days I have a self confidence I have NEVER had before, now I just go about my business as me and nobody notices. I fear it is when we try too hard that we get noticed and give ourselves away. It is only when I glam up that people notice, that I start to get the comment like "You've got great legs" with the unspoken "for a man".

I suspect that the situation may be different here in the UK with very many staying with support groups long after their own transition, It is a sorrow to me that I will be missing two meetings in a row due to other, work commitments.

Thanks to you Paula. I agree once you can get to the point of being able to just live your life as your authentic self, most of the other pieces of the gender puzzle come together. Which could be a topic for another post!




Thursday, December 9, 2021

We Got Mail




 I am sorry it has taken me so long to respond to several comments on my "Passing" post as well as others. I simply have been to busy this week to contribute much to Cyrsti's Condo. So, in no particular order, here are several of the comments. Tomorrow I will add more.

Ironically, Georgette commented she was surprised by the lack of response:

"I was hoping to have some others comment on your reflections,

Back in the Dark Ages, The other TW I knew were much older than me, Age 23-27 vice their 50s-60s, Had never knowing any TM,

I can't recall we called it Passing but was learning to just Blend in with other women in our age groups, Couldn't really go stealth as my entire family has accepted me, And where I transitioned at the same place of work,

To go wherever women would be and see what they were wearing and how they conducted themselves,

I guess for me as a youngish woman I did have the advantage of youth,

For those older TW they just settled into a more comfortable look, Nowadays I see so many late-in-life still want to look like those younger women, I keep my opinions to myself as most don't want advice just affirmation, I have been blocked or un-friended when giving some advice/criticism, Even here on Medium I was blocked with no reason given.

When I decided to come back out to this new LGBT+ world, I looked at a lot of women in their 60s and decided I didn't want to look like them, My style is a more comfortable woman but still not ready to give up on being attractive, Most times people don't believe me when I give my age as 71.

But sometimes I wonder if going back to be mostly stealth would be easier, In the General non-LGBT+ world I am."

Thanks for the  comment. As you all can probably tell, the number of active commenters I get in relation to the overall number of hits I receive on the platforms I write on are in a small minority, which is fine. Back to the comment. Georgette, I am of the same age as you and do my best to dress to blend in with. Fortunately I lived through my attempts at not dressing age appropriate.  On the other hand, I try to make sure my minimal make up is properly done and my hair is brushed.  I think it is slightly humorous when my partner Liz always runs to put on makeup when I do when we go out. I tell her she wears makeup because she wants to and I wear it because I have to. 

Also Georgette's comment comes from the Medium writing platform I post to. I'm humbled and flattered to have received an award from them as being one of their top LGBTQ writers. If  you are interested, go to Medium.com for details on their service. 

As I wrote, there is much more to this post coming up from Connie, Paula, Emily and more. Thanks for your patience.


Saturday, December 4, 2021

Feminine Socialization 201

 Essentially this is a continuation of my recent post describing portions of my early feminine socialization. Included  in the post, I wrote about almost being included in a bachelorette party get together. I say almost because I was briefly invited then heard nothing more about it. I didn't give it much more thought because the marriage only lasted approximately one week. 

The entire situation started when I expanded where I was going to socialize, or try to. If it sounds as if I was doing quite a bit of drinking during this period of my life, it was because I was. It is important to note I rarely drink alcohol at all now. Back then though I used it as a crutch in numerous ways. When I drank I was braver to go and try to socialize with others. To basically dive into the girls sandbox and see what happened. 

What happened was I found I was accepted into a small group of acquaintances who were socially interesting. Especially the exotic sister of one of the bartenders. She was truly exotic in that she was a dancer as well as being a hair stylist. This was in addition to her being a well tattooed dark haired beauty. To say I was envious is an understatement. She always threatened to work on my hair but I wasn't sure how that would work back in those days when I was wearing a wig. It turned out it never really mattered. The rest of the group included me (the transgender woman) a lesbian, the bartender and her husband as well as others who drifted in and out. 

How I looked back then.

Very quickly it seemed our little group of acquaintances who gathered in the venue for drinks grew. Included in the group was a big teddy bear of a man who worked in a local lumber yard  and rode a classic Indian motorcycle. He fell in love with the exotic one and they decided to get married at the spur of the moment. Ironically, I think most of the group thought it was the wrong move to make. I know I did.

We all were right because the marriage only lasted one week. After it was over, it turned out my feminine socialization was to take another turn into new territory. I was becoming attracted to a man who was paying some sort of attention to me. It all started when the marriage had dissolved. The poor guy still kept coming into the venue and I thought was treated rather poorly by most of the group. I felt sorry for him and let him know. By knowing both of them the short time I did, I didn't think the two were a match made in heaven. 

At any rate the group began to go in separate directions but I kept coming in the venue as did he. Surprisingly to me, he chose to sit next to me at the bar and all of the sudden I had the ultimate validation of a novice transgender woman...a man at my side. Especially a bearded one who rode a motorcycle. I always fantasized about how it would be to ride with him but never got the chance. Very quickly he took another job and moved away from the area.  

What did I learn? Even though I was having a difficult time being attracted to male companionship, I proved it wasn't totally out of the question. Also knowing the lesbian in the group was my introduction into knowing anyone who identified as a cis gay female. 

Most importantly I gained another level of confidence. I found I could socialize with a diverse group of other people.

I had graduated to another level of life on my transgender path and it was looking more and more as if there was no turning back.    

Friday, December 3, 2021

Feminine Socialization

Over the years I have mentioned all the obstacles I had to overcome on my path to becoming a full time transgender woman.  Many don't realize just because they were born a certain gender, the path towards becoming a woman or a man often is not assured. For transgender woman and men the path is infinitely more difficult because we have to tear down one life and start all over.

I have mentioned the losses of male privilege, gender communication as well as appearance in my transition. One thing I have left out was socialization. For me, becoming socialized or as I call it, being allowed to play in the girls sandbox was key to being able to live a feminine life. Overall it was a gradual process.  

What really aided me in the process was when I was invited along on several girl's night outs. The first was relatively easy as it was a Halloween party. I also had the benefit of having one of the other attendees go along who was every bit as big as I was. So, even with my attempt at a sexy outfit and big hair, she was right there competing with me. I am happy to say it was a friendly competition and was even more fun when we went to a straight tavern  for the party. It turned out the place was owned by Liz's (my partner) boss. I didn't know what to expect but had very little anxiety since after all  it was Halloween. Ironically I was asked by one woman if my big hair was my own. On the other hand, the evening still didn't provide the real feeling of a girl's night out.

My second and third tries at feminine socialization did. 

The second time I was invited along to a girl's only birthday party at a local restaurant. I did experience some anxiety before going. Of course I had to figure out what I was going to wear so I blended in with the other women which didn't turn out to be much of a problem. More importantly I had to figure out what I was going to say along the way. I was afraid just to sit there and not try to communicate at all would portray me as some sort of a bitch. The last thing I wanted to do. It turned out I didn't have much to fear as the conversation flowed smoothly enough  and I added in when I could. Only one of the other woman seemed to hold it against me that I was transgender. I figured one out of six wasn't bad. I ended up having a good time and made sure I expressed my appreciation to the person who invited me. 


It turned out my first invitation out with the girls shortly led to another in the form of cookout. I have added a picture to your left of the evening. I am in the bottom row, left hand side.

Not shown were the two or three men who showed up who had very little to do with me. Fortunately, several of the other women did and I had a good time. The lesson I learned was there was no huge mystique women go through when there are very few men are around. They do have a tendency however to talk more about family than men do. No surprises. 

Along the way, I did miss out on going to a bachelorette party I was "sort of" invited to, then not. Truthfully I don't know if it happened or not since the marriage only lasted one week. Which is another experience for another time.

The last meaningful girls night out I was invited to came several years later. I had became a regular at a couple large venues which served food and adult beverages. One of them was having a small get together with a few servers and bartenders at another nearby venue. Surprisingly I was invited along. This led me to quite a bit of anxiety since I needed to step up my feminine game. The other women were all younger and more attractive than I could ever hope to be. I went along I tried my best. I wore my long black skirt with the deep slit, black tank top and long dark wig. As it turned out, nothing seemed to matter. We naturally walked in together and no one seemed to notice me at all and I was especially not noticed by any of the guys who were trying to come on to the much younger and prettier group I was with. 

Over all I am just thankful for the women who invited me along to play in the sandbox. It did so much for my feminine socialization.

Monday, November 29, 2021

Doors


Or, in the gender out door.  It seems all my life I have been trying to force my way in the out door when my gender has been involved. 

Of course, similar to many of you, my earliest explorations into a feminine life involved diving into my Mom's clothing and makeup. The more I did, the more I felt the gender door I was trying to go through was closed to me. Still I persisted against all odds. The harder I pushed against the out door finally it seemed I could see just a little of what was beyond the door.  I guess you could say there was life outside of my gender closet.

The more I pushed, the harder the out door was to open. Looking back, I believe now the problem was I was still taking the whole process of transitioning into a feminine world too lightly. Even though I considered myself a student of watching the cis women in my life, my view was still clouded. I was so envious of their lives I couldn't see the forest for the trees, so to speak. The prime example is how I was so self centered on the appearance factor of being feminine, I missed the true layers of being a woman.

I then came to a point of no return. I was cross dressing as a man close to the amount of time I was spending as my authentic self. Most importantly I realized I was not challenging the out door enough and resolved to push through it and see if I could live my gender dream. I still remember the first night I resolved myself to seeing if I could blend in and present well in a venue I had frequented many times as my male self. 

To say I was terrified is an understatement. Literally, time stood still as I approached the door of the upscale restaurant/bar I chose for my personal coming out party. I am fond of writing an oxygen tank would have been my best accessory for the evening. Through it all, I was accepted and was able to find a seat at the crowded bar with several other women who were just getting off of work from their jobs at a nearby mall. Once I started to breathe normally I began to feel so normal. Once I had pushed the gender out door this far I felt I would never be able to return. 

I never did return. From that point on I set out to build a feminine life I thought  would never be possible. I made new friends who accepted me as my authentic self. My closest transgender friend even said I "passed" out of sheer will power. Which is the subject of another blog post. 

To make a long story short, I was able to shatter my gender out door and eventually start hormone replacement therapy. 

It was a long and difficult struggle. It took me over a half a century to get through the gender door but I made it.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

No Diet Saturday

Yesterday was one of our trips up north to Dayton, Ohio for what amounts to my daughter's Thanksgiving get together. It actually is put together by her Mother in Law.  Since the family get together is not my first rodeo, I knew what to expect. Fortunately, I am nearly totally accepted by everyone. Including my first wife who I maintain a cordial relationship with. 

With the embarrassing spread of food and the holiday, both Liz and I called off the strict diet we have been strictly following. I called it short term pleasure because it will be so much harder to resume the diet which we have pledged to do after the left overs are gone. 

However, thanks to the diet I think I was able to present myself well in my boots, leggings and form fitting black blouse.  I was able to only be miss-gendered one and a half times during the long afternoon. The mother in law seems to always comes up with the infamous he...she comment. At least she corrects herself in mid sentence. Always. The other time came from my first wife when she was describing a wreck I had which nearly killed my brother and I. I just let that slide because she is a little ditzy. 

Then there were the grandkids who accept me totally. What a treasure! I have three. One of which is highly androgynous and is a sophomore at The Ohio State University who took an exceedingly rare football beating from rival Xichigan. 

On occasion there are pictures which surface later. If there are I will share them with you. 

Friday, November 26, 2021

A Holiday Reminder

 I am sharing this post I found on the "Kira Moore" WordPress  blog which spotlights the problems and loneliness many transgender women and men feel. Especially during the holidays when they have been ostracized by their families:


  

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

The A List


 As I was writing this post I considered calling it the "Alpha Female" At any rate, the whole post goes back to my earliest remembrances of coming out and interacting with like minded cross dressers. Or at least I thought they were. 

What I naively thought was all sp called hetero cross dressers would be one big happy family, happy to mingle with others in their feminine finery. I was in for a rude awakening. 

First of all, there were what I call now the "deniers" . I saw guys in dresses and heels topped off with a cigar (before it was cool) and a cowboy hat. They were doing their best to dissuade anyone they were fond of their feminine selves. I learned quickly I didn't fit in with their group. I was serious in putting my best foot forward. Normally in heels back in those days. More on that later.

In the meantime, I was fascinated with the other attendees to the "mixer". The group ranged from the cowboy hats (not Urban Cowboy) types all the way to impossibly feminine types who I didn't detect any masculinity in at all. Ironically, even though I am impossibly shy around people I don't know, I didn't feel I really fit in with any of the small groups I was observing. Except for possibly one.

The group I didn't mention was who I call the "A Listers". Or they considered themselves to be the best in looks and the best in social activities in the group. While the majority of the group stayed huddled in the hotel, the "A's" went out to gay venues to entertain themselves. Even though I didn't perceive myself to be their equal in appearance, I certainly wanted to tag along when they went out. I was determined even back in those days to allow my feminine self to sample the world whenever I could. So I did.

For the most part, excuse the term, they were bitches and didn't accept me much but I didn't care. I was there for me, not them.

Ironically all of my tagging along worked one night. Earlier in the evening the main group brought in makeup experts for advice to anyone who wanted it. I through my makeup to the wind, pulled up my big girl panties and volunteered. The guy who worked on my looks performed wonders! Easily he did much better than I could have ever imagined. I thought now, bring on the "A's".

It turned out I tagged along per norm to the first gay venue we always went to then, even went to a second. The second place was more subdued and was more like the neighborhood taverns I was used to. As the "A's" positioned themselves at the bar, I headed for the pinball machines. As luck would have it, It was time for Cinderella to turn in her heels and head back to the hotel. 

Before we left though, a guy approached me at the pin ball game and asked if he could buy me a drink. I ended up telling him no but the "A's" noticed and that was important too. I was accepted by at least one of them for the very few times I could attend another mixer in the future. I ended up attending several parties at her house in Columbus, Ohio. Most of which with my wife so she kept track of me. All material for another blog post.

It is important to say I never felt a part of the "A's" and as time progressed I learned why. The so called LGBTQ community doesn't have much to do with the transgender part of group. In fact I learned the hard way how many of the trans group have a hard time dealing with each other.  Indeed we are a multi faceted group.

One thing is for sure all these years later, I just couldn't fit in with the "A's" and it's one of the reasons I try to be accepting of both cross dressers as well as trans women.


Tuesday, November 23, 2021

And the Winner is Transgender

 

Amy Schneider, a trans woman from Oakland, will make her fourth “Jeopardy!” appearance Monday after winning three games last week during Trans Awareness Week

.After her victory on Friday’s show, she told Newsweek that she had been trying to get on the show for over a decade. 

“I’m not sure quite how long [ago I first applied], but I remember trying out when I still lived in Ohio, and I’ve lived in Oakland since 2009, so it has to have been at least that amount of time,” she said. 

Schneider also explained how her transition in 2017 might have helped her finally get a spot on the show. 

“The reality is that for the first few years of that, when I was trying out, I was, as far as any of us knew, a standard white guy,” she told the magazine. “And there’s just more competition for those slots on Jeopardy! They’re making a TV show, they don’t want everybody to look the same, and I looked a lot like many of the other contestants, and I think that definitely made it a little tougher for me at that time. I would have got on eventually — I was never gonna stop trying!”

Monday, November 22, 2021

Monday Inspiration

 This is especially directed to you cross dressers or novice transgender women struggling to find your way out of your closet.



Saturday, November 20, 2021

As My Blog Gently Weeps...Again

Sadly, it's time for remembering all our transgender sisters and brothers who have perished. For those of you who don't know:

 Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is an annual observance on November 20 that honors the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.

"Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence. I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transgender people -- sometimes in the most brutal ways possible -- it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice."
- Transgender Day of Remembrance founder Gwendolyn Ann Smith
46 trans & gender non-conforming have been killed this year making it the deadliest since this started being tracked back in 2013. These are their names...Tyianna Alexander, Samuel Edmund Damián Valentín, Bianca "Muffin" Bankz, Dominique Jackson, Fifty Bandz, Alexus Braxton, Chyna Carrillo, Jeffrey "JJ" Bright, Jasmine Cannady, Jenna Franks, Diamond Kyree Sanders, Rayanna Pardo, Jaida Peterson, Dominique Lucious, Remy Fennell, Tiara Banks, Natalia Smut, Iris Santos, Tiffany Thomas, Keri Washington, Whispering Wind Bear Spirit, Sophie Vásquez, Danika "Danny" Henson, Serenity Hollis, Oliver "Ollie" Taylor, Thomas Hardin, Poe Black, EJ Boykin, Aidelen Evans, Taya Ashton, Shai Vanderpump, Tierramarie Lewis, Miss CoCo, Pooh Johnson, Disaya Monaee, Brianna Hamilton, Kiér Laprí Kartier, Mel Groves, Royal Poetical Starz, Zoella "Zoey" Rose Martinez, Jo Acker, Jessi Hart, Rikkey Outumuro, Marquiisha Lawrence, Jenny De Leon, Jahaira DeAlto.
Each and every name read and recognized on the Trans Day of Remembrance represented a full, rich life that did not deserve to be cut short. The rhetoric and stigma aimed by anti-equality political leaders and public figures at transgender and non-binary people have led to an unprecedented level of horrific violence against our transgender community. We must fight for change. We must dismantle this stigma. We must bring this epidemic of violence to an end.
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Friday, November 19, 2021

Well, It was a Good Idea

 As I previously wrote about, yesterday was the day of the college class I was supposed to attend with several other LGBTQ board members of the group I am part of. 

As it turned out, I drove an hour and fifteen minutes one way to not ever locate the classroom I was looking for. 

Needless to say, I was deeply disappointed. 

Better luck next time.

Friday, November 12, 2021

Another Transgender First

 

 Nevada Democrat Kimi Cole wants to become the country's first openly transgender politician elected to a statewide office.

Cole, who chairs the Nevada Democratic Rural Caucus, announced plans to run for lieutenant governor in Nevada on Wednesday at an event in the state capital.

“I don’t want to make a big issue about my background as such,” Cole said Thursday in an interview with The Associated Press, noting the barrier-breaking potential of her candidacy. “We have really pressing issues in this country. To be able to assess them, address them and take care of them is going to take a lot of conscientious effort.”

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Baggage

Photo courtesy Cyrsti Hart
 In a recent post I mentioned sports as one of the items of baggage I took with me when I crossed the transgender gender frontier. Obviously, undertaking such a difficult journey requires planning and experience to attempt a smooth trip.

The first lesson I learned was relying on an obsession with appearance was not going to work. Certainly projecting a feminine appearance helped open gender doors but didn't accomplish much when I was faced with one on one interactions with the public. In order to survive, I had to pack gender communication skills as well as trying my best to achieve a feminine voice. To this day, I am not sure I ever made any real strides with my voice. Even after attempting vocal lessons. 

I guess you could say I was traveling light and learning as I went during the early part o
f my journey. I discovered the hard way how women lead a multi layered experience. 

One of the biggest lessons I learned was losing my male privilege. I lightened my baggage extensively and quickly. All of a sudden I was excluded from male conversations. Even to the point of supposedly not knowing the quickest route to where I lived. All of that was easy compared to the danger I encountered when I made in roads to areas where cis women knew not to go. I was fortunate to have not been subject to violence. I learned quickly to park in lighted areas and not be cornered by over aggressive admirers in narrow hallways. 

All in all, it was a terrifying yet exciting time in my life.

So, what do you pack? What about your sexuality? In my case, I ended up with women anyhow so it didn't matter. On the other hand, these days, I know several transgender sisters who have made the journey and found men to live with. Plus with all the information available today I know several transgender individuals who were able to make the transition journey with their spouses. Finally, with all the surgeries and insurance becoming available, I know too several trans women who have found and established relationships with other transgender women through the increasing influence of social media.

Even though the gender crossing won't be easy with many hills and valleys along the way, the most important item to pack is your desire to make the journey. Otherwise, if you aren't willing to add or discard items along the way, the trip will be so much more difficult.   

Saturday, July 17, 2021

That's all Good...But...

 Perhaps, by now you have heard the good news "Mj. Rodriquez" (left) transgender lead in the Pose television series was nominated for an Emmy. This of course is a first for a transgender actor or actress. 

However, the trans entertainment news is not all good. 

This is from EW.com:

"The LGBTQ media organization acknowledges the past year resulted in a unique situation for theatrical movies, but it still went ahead with its 2020 Studio Responsibility Index, their report card for sorts on how well Hollywood's major studios brought LGBTQ representation to the screen. GLAAD found that, out of the 44 films released by those entities, none of them included trans or non-binary characters.

In fact, this is the fourth year in a row where this has happened. By GLAAD's own estimates, that's zero trans characters out of almost 400 films since January 2017. The last time a transgender character was included in a major studio film — Disney, Warner Bros., Universal, Paramount, etc. — it was an "offensive caricature," as GLAAD dubbed it: Benedict Cumberbatch's All in 2016's Zoolander 2."

Thanks Bobbie for sending this along!


Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Transgender Confidence?

 Emma wrote into Cyrsti's Condo with a wonderful comment on how to go about achieving confidence as you enter the feminine world:

" Indeed, I agree completely that confidence is our best accessory. But how does one gain confidence? For those of us who're used to just living authentically what can we advise others?


I think there are a couple of things:
1) As you progress through the world, grocery shopping, doing the mundane things, look around and notice, especially those who you wouldn't normally pay attention to. I know I'm drawn to those I admire, such as pretty, small, young. The truth is that the world is full of a huge variety of people. The message: people just don't notice most others.

2) Do you remember the song "Almost Cut My Hair" by Crosby, Stills, and Nash? In it they sing about letting their "freak flag fly." While we're certainly not freaks it's fair and okay to just put ourselves out there and be, as we are.

3) For most of us, no amount of makeup, padding, and other stuff is going to make us blend in seamlessly. So, get over it. Lose the excessive makeup. No one wears it, and just having all that on your face calls unwanted attention. Again, pay attention to the women you see and present in a similar way according to your own taste.

4) When it comes down to that moment of taking the first step out, consider this mantra that I used to repeat to myself:

"Whenever we feel fear, it means we’re up against some kind of wall … on the other side of the wall is some kind of freedom."

Get to the freedom. It's worth it."

As I said, a wonderful comment! Thanks Emma!

Once you get to the freedom, there is nothing like it. 

Monday, June 28, 2021

More on Transgender Veterans Care

 


Michelle sent in an update on the recent announcement by the Veterans Administration (VA) approving gender realignment surgeries:

Here's un update on the VA. I talked to several friends that work for the VA and help run clinics for trans people. One stated that it is in the rules and regulations that full trans care has been approved but will take time to get it written into the operating procedures. Apparently, several of the clinics here in Florida already have the personnel that specialize in trans care but the problem is that no formal trans exclusive clinics are set up. My friends say that it may take up to a year to get everything fully established. Here's hoping it won't take that long, but then again it's the government."

Thanks for the update!

As I have written before, a few of my dealings with the VA in the past have resulted in me being referred to an outside provider.  Which leads me to this point, where you are will probably dictate how fast the VA can react to this new ruling. 

For example, I know of two experienced hospitals here in Ohio which do SRS. Perhaps it would be easier for the VA to refer cases to them. 

We shall see. As you said Michelle, it's the government. Personally,  as far as I am concerned, I am fortunate in that I don't desire any radical surgeries to reaffirm my femininity..