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

Thursday, May 26, 2022

She's a Doll! Literally

 The Laverne Cox Barbie is the fourth in the Tribute Collection that "celebrate visionaries for their incredible contributions, impact, and legacy as trailblazers." Cox is a four-time Emmy nominated actress, Emmy winning producer, and the first transgender woman of color to have a leading role on a scripted TV show.

Laverne Cox with her Barbie

Wednesday, May 25, 2022


 This morning on a couple of my social media accounts, I noticed two transgender women thinking about reversing all the time and effort they had put into transitioning into the feminine world. To coin an old term, I was in "shock and awe" they would even consider such a move. 

Looking back I began to think of why I moved forward through the dark days of my own MtF gender transition. All the days I was stared at, laughed at and even singled out for pictures. I have written many times concerning the times I returned to the safety of my own home and collapsed on the bed in shame. Somehow, each time I was able to pull myself together and try to improve my feminine presentation.

Transition Picture
Jessie Hart

Through it all, I searched deeply internally for signs I was doing the right thing. The stakes were high. The possibility of losing family, friends and a great job was a huge burden. Surely, many times, the thought of going back to living exclusively as a male was a wonderful proposition. No matter how many times I tried to "purge" myself of my feminine clothes and makeup, in a short period of time I couldn't help replacing my "supply" and starting again. My over-riding thought was I would find the magical clothes and become so good at makeup I would become the beautiful, attractive feminine being I dreamed of being. Of course it never happened the way I dreamed it would be. The best I hoped for was I did become better at choosing better clothes and I did become proficient at applying my makeup. Even though I did receive help on occasion by being courageous and subjecting myself to a makeover at a transvestite mixer I attended. The makeover led to a magical evening on the town.

It was evenings such as the makeover night which led me through quite a few really dark times during my transition to the full time feminine world. Deep down I knew I could accomplish the easy part which was perfecting my appearance as a transgender woman. Later on, I was to discover the harder part was to learn all the layers to exist in the world. Life in the girl's sandbox for me provided several miserable outcomes until I learned how to play the game. 

During this time, as I was doing all my gender "soul searching" one thing kept me going towards my transition during the dark days. When all else failed, the fact remained I just felt more natural in the feminine world as a transgender woman. At the same time I was able to establish a fun, tight knit group of new friends who accepted me as my autunitic self. In a comparatively short period of time I was able to put any thoughts of cross dressing as a man behind me for good.

Unless you are the rare person who has tried a gender transition and found for whatever reason the whole exceedingly difficult process wasn't for you, I can't imagine going back. Life can't be much fun on a gender roller coaster like that.     

Monday, May 23, 2022

The Power of being Impatient

 I don't see myself as a patient person, even though I am mellowing with age and understand many things happen if you are patient enough to wait. An example I can use is the time I spent in the Army. Looking back on the entire experience, it only took three years out of my life and in return I was able to see three continents. Most importantly I can thank my Army contacts for my beloved daughter. Who is my only child. 

Looking back I can remember how I counted the days until I "served" my time and was honorably discharged. Through it all in the back of my mind were my noticeable (to me) gender issues. I can safely say my issues dominated my thinking. The problem back in those days in the 1970's there was precious little information concerning transgender issues at all. Even the term "transgender" was new. According to Wikipedia transgender became a umbrella term in the mid 1970's.  Regardless, I was desperate to learn more about my gender issues. My impatience caused me to try to outrun my issues. Leading to moving my wife and I several times along me changing jobs numerous times. Due to self destructive behavior impatience caused me to flirt with alcoholism. 

Photo Courtesy Jessie Hart

During the years I was able to redirect my gender frustrations into being able to carve a nice career in the commercial food management business. On the other hand I wish I could reclaim the energy I lost to wanting to become a transgender woman and manage to do it on a full time basis. No such luck and along the way again I overcompensated as a macho male. Heavily into sports and drinking. It worked too well. Except on a few occasions when I was cross dressed as a man and someone would refer to me as a "she" I passed as a guy well. Testosterone over the years had served me well...against my deepest wishes.

I found for me, the most effective way to overcome the effects of testosterone on my body was to begin hormone replacement therapy when I was in my early sixties. As I began the therapy, I was aware a few of the changes would occur over a short term of time but overall, I would have to be patient and wait for other changes. Also age and health was a factor in my medical decision to begin HRT. Fortunately I was cleared medically and I was able (as I saw it) to begin my gender transition from cross dresser to transgender woman. Later on I came to realize switching my hormone balance to the feminine side would aid in my exterior presentation to the world but no matter what I still was transgender. No amount of patience or hormones could change that. In other words, I was correct in assuming mentally I was a girl. 

Having written all of that, I am still extremely impatient when it comes to my hormone replacement therapy. I finally was able to find out my estradiol levels this week, so it is possible I may be in for a slight increase in dosage. On the other hand, I am aware breast size is determined not so much by the amount of hormones but by hereditary history. Also, since all of the sudden I am experiencing growth in my hips, I probably will stay on the Estradiol dosage I am on and not risk any negative health situations.

For once I am going to have to put my impatience behind me.       

Saturday, May 21, 2022

The Soundtrack of my Life

 Recently I saw a post which asked which song the readers liked better, specifically Lola by the Kinks or Take a Walk on the Wild Side by Lou Reed. Those for the most part were main stream tunes and of course there were others. Such as in 2006 when Jayne Country sang Man Enough to be a Woman. I don't know if my

Jane County

wife's musical tastes went farther than I thought but she told me nearly the same thing one day when we were having a huge fight caused by my cross dressing when I was rapidly thinking of if I could make it as a full time transgender woman. She (my wife) accepted me as a cross dresser but never accepted any thoughts of being a transgender woman. 

Before I ended up in the commercial food service business, I was a disk jockey in college and in the Army. I also pursued it for awhile following my stint in the military until my daughter came along and I ended up buying my own pub/pizza parlor with a friend. Lola was actually released in 1970, two years before I was drafted. During the one radio show I was running at night while I was still in college, I had a guy who positively loved the Kinks.

One night he called me up in a panic and asked if Lola was really about what he had heard and thought it was. In other words was Lola  really a man. I couldn't hold back and told him yes, in reality Lola was really a man. He hung up in a panic and I never heard back if his beloved Kinks maintained their spot as his number one group.

Take a Walk on the Wild Side was released by Lou Reed in 1972. as a tribute to Andy Warhol's glamorous transgender ladies from his famous Factory days. In those days, I was taking my own walk on the wild side by taking on Army basic training. 

As I said, due primarily financial reasons, I left the radio business and stayed in the food service business after my pub closed. Perhaps I am missing other strong transgender and/or cross dressing music but the next I remember was Dude Looks Like a Lady which was released in 1987. Ironically the song was about Vince Neil of Motley Crue when it was released by Aerosmith.  It turned out the song wasn't meant to describe actual cross dressers or transgender women at all. Even though, it was the music which caused me the most amount of pain.

The more I began to sneak out in my medium sized town as a novice transgender woman, the more I would encounter the occasional person who would recognize me. I will never forget the night my wife and I attended a party of my store employee's and as soon as I got there the DJ played "Dude Looks Like a Lady."  I just ignored it and my wife didn't seem to notice it, so all turned out without a problem.

The problems with the Aerosmith music came a couple years later when I was out trying to live my new life in a feminine world. As I was sitting at the bar enjoying a drink with a transgender woman friend of mine, these guys decided it was cute to play the "Dude" song five times in a row. It got so bad we were asked to leave by a spineless manager. 

It all turned out in my favor nearly a month later when the manager was fired and the crew found me in a close neighboring venue where I was welcome. They invited me back, which I took advantage of. 

I'm sure you all my be aware of other cross dressing or transgender music I possibly missed. If so, please let me know. 

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Is It Time for Pride?

 With all the negative publicity and legislation regarding all transgender women and men, it may be no better time for all the Pride celebrations to take place. Several days ago, I wrote a post on the various Pride events around me and received a couple well thought out comments in return. 

Two of which I thought I would share with you. The first comes from the UK and Paula:

" With the situation we find ourselves in, both here in the UK and on your side of "the Pond" it feels to me that it is time for Pride to go back to being a protest! I am Chair of Croydon Pride, we expect around 10,000 attendees this year, I want them all to now about the attempts to limit the rights of first Trans people, and if "they" get away with that then LGB as well.

Photo courtesy Paula Godwin
Of course putting on an event for that number of people costs money, sometimes our budget frightens me! We couldn't do it without the money from sponsors and the stall holders, but we have to make sure
that those same sponsors have no influence over the program, the speeches, or and campaigning. It's not always easy, and not all Prides manage it. We have fully commercial Prides in Manchester and Brighton, London is a political mess ~ the essence of Pride these days seems to be with the smaller ones like my own Croydon event. I'll admit I do feel uncomfortable with some of our attendees ~ drag, bondage, puppies play etc. but if I'm going to campaign for inclusion then I too need to be inclusive!"

Great point Paula! I also believe it is time to be "out", loud and PROUD!

The second comes from Connie:

"Pride without dignity seems to be the bugaboo that keeps me away from Pride celebrations. Sure, I'm proud of who I am (finally), but I have also learned that being overly prideful about it is not in my best interest - nor would it be in the best interest of the whole lgbtq+ community. I am just not an in-your-face kind of person, and I don't
Photo courtesy Connie Malone

enjoy experiencing things or people all up in my face, either."

Thanks to you Connie. I agree with the "Pride without dignity" phrase. I assume so many have been oppressed with their lives for so long, they go overboard when they have the chance to express themselves. 

"Here in Seattle, we have a separate Trans Pride parade and event a couple of days before the main Pride Parade that takes place on the last Sunday of June. If I were to attend any event, it would be the trans one. I would probably consider, for a minute, wearing a tight dress and high heels if I did, too. ;-)"

Thank you Connie and I am sure many of us wish we could take advantage of having our own separate Transgender Pride event. 

Here in Ohio with the heavily leaning republican presence attempting to pass anti Anti LGBTQ legislation, I feel it is time for the democrats to step up their Pride presence. I am sure too that too many would be against politicalizing the process. The time is now to step up and out if you are out of the closet and can do it. If not, take the opportunity to consider your future and vote the right way to support it.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

While My Blog Gently Weeps

 As I was opening my email and Facebook accounts this morning I was shocked to see one of my favorite

Condo cover girls, Melonee Malone had passed away recently from a massive stroke in her sleep. 

Her wife Lisa wanted us all to remember Melonee by the words she repeated every morning. "I will be a better woman than I was the day before." Both her and Lisa helped to do just that by aiding novice transgender women in their native Wisconsin. 

Even though I never had a chance to meet Melonee or Lisa in person, they are the kind of good people I would have wanted to,

Rest in Woman Power! My best hopes for rapid healing powers go out to Lisa.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Pride Beckons

 LGBTQ Pride Month is June. Which according to my precise calculations is coming up in a couple of weeks. Yesterday, the transgender - cross dresser local support group I am part of has started to search for help with "manning" tables at several different local Prides. Even I am amazed at the number of Prides which have established themselves in recent years. In the Cincinnati metro area alone there are four separate events. It will be interesting to me to see how well (hopefully) trans persons or cross dressers turn out to help. Hopefully it will be better than the Transgender Day of Visibility event earlier this year. The group struggled to locate volunteers for their table.

The difference being, was the "TDOV" was during the week and the Prides are during the weekend. Potentially freeing up more people to help. By now you are probably thinking what does all this have to do with me. Actually nothing unless you choose it to. 

Pre Covid Pride 
Jessie Hart Collection

I know  this whole idea of Pride is under review. More than a few view Pride as a chance for big corporations to buy their way into the LGBTQ community for a couple days a year only to disappear when their help is really needed on key issues. While I recognize the truth in all of that, my concerns around Pride is the influence of drag queens. I can't begin to tell you the number of Prides I see around here publicizing the drag show they will have. Even though as a transgender woman I prefer to blend in with the crowd, even seeing a cross dresser in a ultra tight dress trying to make her way through with ultra high heels makes me cringe. Then I have to pull back and understand the cross dresser is using Pride to release her fantasies and may never again try to punish her feet and body like that again. If she is having a good time, who cares!

Cincinnati Pride, as has been the case as long as I can remember has a liberal sprinkling of the drag queen culture all the way to a baseball Reds Pride night plus their stage presentations this year will begin with an exotic women's burlesque' troop  

At this point I am undecided on what Liz and I are going to try to do this year as Pride returns to an in person event. Volunteering to work at the group table may be difficult because of the walk involved to get there. Plus, we would also love to attempt the Pride Pub Crawl that night. My problem again is avoiding excess walking which is very hard on me while at the same time be able to do as much people watching as possible.  Affording the whole deal will be an issue also because we live a distance from downtown where Pride is happening. At this point since we won't drink and drive we are looking into taking a bus going and returning via Uber. 

Whatever happens with us, I hope the group is able to staff it's table well with volunteers. It is so important to be able to tell and/or show our side of the Pride LGBTQ experience. 

Monday, May 16, 2022

Quiet Time

 This Monday morning Liz is off and since I am retired we took advantage of the cooler morning temperatures to take our walk. It was non eventful as always as we normally have to clean up after our dog who somehow needs to complete his morning "constitutional" in the neighbor's yard. The same neighbor who we saw this morning as she was leaving for work.

Photo by Hello Revival on Unsplash

We have lived beside her, her husband and daughter for years now and have never received a negative comment about a transgender neighbor. Whatever the occasion it is nice to be accepted. Following the walk, I returned to my morning coffee and to ponder what I could write about on such a quiet day.

Finally I decided to write about the rare pleasure (on my part) of having a quiet day. Given my mental makeup, I don't have many moments when I am able to set all my demons aside and just relax. I was fortunate when I found I was able to discuss my Bi-Polar anxieties with my therapist and not have them complicate further my life on the transgender interstate highway. I learned long ago my gender journey was far more than a was more like an interstate. Always busy and rarely quiet. Much like I am. If I am relaxed I am sleeping. 

Throughout my life it has been difficult to separate my anxieties from my gender dysphoria. In fact for years I thought they were intertwined. I have read and/or heard from others when they completed their gender transition, they were able to discontinue using their anti depressant medications all together. No such luck with me. Even though I was able to begin a full time transgender experience in a feminine world, my depressions and anxiety stuck around with me.  Again I am fortunate in that I have been able tolerate my medications for years. Giving me a chance to appreciate the rare quiet morning.

It does give me the chance to thank all of you readers on my long time Google blog and my relatively much newer Medium writers format which is growing dramatically. I completely appreciate all of you who read all my experiences and especially those who take the time to comment. Your input makes my whole effort so worthwhile. 

Thanks to all of you again and I hope you can have your own "quiet" time away from all the pressures the world tries to burden us with. Adding gender to those pressures is similar to adding cruel and unusual punishment to your world.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Achieving a Transgender Goal

 Similar to other human beings, we transgender folk follow a long path to hopefully discovering our  true selves. 

Even though we face a difficult and often cruel journey to arrive where we are heading, others are not immune from going through similar yet different struggles. It is my belief that even though cis women and men are just born female or male they have the chance to hopefully grow in life to be quality women and men. I see the same struggle with transgender women and men as they grow into their authentic selves. 

Connie and I used to refer to them as "trans nazi's" back in the day. They were the ones who seemingly held the number of gender surgeries you had or didn't have against you. More than likely another version of "I am more Transgender than you" movement. How sad is it any of us have had to go through anything like it. 

Early Cross Dressing Picture
Jessie Hart Collection

My earliest remembrances go back to my first visits to "transvestites' mixers" in Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Out of all the different types of cross dressers in the room, the ones who perhaps influenced me the most were the ones I called the "A" Listers. The attendees who were impossibly feminine and attractive. Unfortunately, they were the biggest bitches in the crowd. I didn't want to act like them, I just wanted to look like them. With the help of practice and a timely makeover, I finally earned my right to go out with them and party after the mixer was over. 

Slowly but surely, I was achieving a transgender goal I didn't really know I had. Ironically, I never did fit into a niche group there either. I wasn't one of the "A" listers, nor was I a so called run of the mill  cross dresser. Finally, the term transgender came along to save me. I found my niche. 

Overall though, goals are difficult to achieve for many transgender women and men. We have huge hurdles to overcome when we come out to friends and family. Many times, those same friends and families don't understand they have to transition also. Rarely do we stay the same as we make the journey across the gender frontier. Hormone replacement therapy alone takes awhile to fully set in so transitions are far from complete when a trans person comes out. 

Then there are the gender surgeries. All the way from breast enlargement, to facial feminization, to gender realignment it's often a difficult and painful path to take. It takes a special friend or family member to understand and follow one through such a drastic journey.

Perhaps the most cruel goal of all is the conscious desire to forsake any gender privilege you may have built up over the years living as your non authentic self. Depending upon your age, you had potentially accrued the so called right and knowledge to live a certain way. I was to the point in my life when I had earned the hated "Sir" word. If I was deserving or not. 

I'm fortunate in that I have been able to achieve my transgender goals but I have had plenty of help along the way. I can't forget any of them.   

Friday, May 13, 2022

Sing Like a Bird

 It has been awhile it seems since I have written on any of my past experiences which directly led to my coming out of my closet and into the world as a transgender woman. Several happened in small lesbian bars which seem to be disappearing these days. 

One of the bars was basically a hard core biker bar and they did not like me, To put it mildly but on the other hand they still took my money and served me. I was just stubborn enough to keep going back and even playing Shania Twains' I feel like a Woman on their jukebox, I found it humorous when they found no humor in my musical tastes. Through it all, I was never asked (or told) to go. So I kept going back until I found another venue.

The second place turned out to be a much more welcoming spot. Part of it was it turned out my male self knew one of the bartenders and to my knowledge she never shared my secret life with anyone. Even to a few of the other customers. I always assumed everyone knew I was a cross dresser but never volunteered the information. Along the way I had several very interesting encounters. 

For this post I have added a very old picture showing a little how I looked when all of this was going on. Normally I wore tight jeans, a nice top with heels or boots depending upon the weather. Topping it all off was my favorite blond wig. I guess I was trying my best to an "lipstick lesbian" look.

One night it worked when I was approached by a woman every bit as tall as I and she bought me a beer. Then she said she should take me home with her. I quickly panicked and thought what was I going to tell my wife who was still very much alive at that time. She was working a night shift that evening so I only had a certain amount of time to have my fun and head home. Then once I got home I had to try to remove any stray makeup so presumably she wouldn't know I was out again leading my double life as a novice transgender woman.  I figured she wouldn't buy the excuse I was kidnaped by a scary/ vicious lesbian. 

It turned out to be another night when  I seemingly could have been forced into doing something against my will. Before I get into what happened, here is my disclaimer. I am a terrible singer and don't subject myself or others to the torture of my singing. One night though when a very stout, butch lesbian in a cowboy hat came in the bar during karaoke night and picked me to sing with her. Of course I tried to politely decline but she wasn't really giving me a choice  Again I panicked and wondered what I had gotten myself into. The only saving grace I had was my new "cowboy" friend was giving me the choice of songs I wanted to try to sing. The only karaoke song I had ever tried was a David Allan Coe  tune called "You Never even Called me by my Name." If you are familiar, Coe can't sing well either. 

Having chosen my ballad, we did actually sing. Which is probably an insult to the sing word. Having finished she turned to me and said my voice was actually lower than hers. About that time, I saw my chance at freedom. She went for another beer and I paid for mine and vacated the venue quickly. As luck would have it, I never saw her again. I also never sang again.

The only other time I wished I could have stayed for was when the owners arranged for several exotic dancers to visit the bar. I waited as long as I could to check out the fun but had to leave before the dancers arrived.

Sadly, small lesbian venues seem to be disappearing everywhere leaving one less place to go and have a good time. Or, sing like a bird. 

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Now What? A Transgender Odyssey.

My life as a transgender woman has certainly produced it's share of peaks and valleys. As I look back on it, I remember so many times I seemingly hit a wall with my male to female gender transition. Along the way I became very good at either climbing the wall or finding a way to go around it. 

I have plenty of examples. Perhaps one of the bigger ones occurred when I was very young. Even though I didn't really understand at the time my gender problems really had very little to do with the clothes I was collecting to at least outwardly present myself as a girl. Very quickly the thrill of looking at myself in the mirror faded and I was left with the same old feelings of gender dysphoria. Of course then, I had no idea of what gender dysphoria even was. I simply went around the wall and kept dressing in my feminine clothes hoping to relieve the pressure I was living under.

Incredibly I lived with this pressure for years until I began to take my first tentative steps out of the closet in the late 1970's through the early 1980's. During this period of my life I felt as if I was in some sort of a gender maze. I would be successful during a few of my trips out as a feminine person. One day I would experience little or no problems in the world only to be confronted with laughs and giggles other times. It took me awhile to get to the point when I finally figured out I was building my own walls. Primarily from attempting to dress too trashy. Once I finally learned my lesson, my transgender odyssey began to calm down and be more productive. By productive I mean I was experiencing fewer stares and laughing and was beginning the very first stages of establishing a whole new life in a new gender. Gone were the days of just obsessing on my looks and mannerisms and all of a sudden needing to really consider what the new person i was becoming would be. 

Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash

By this time, the walls were coming fast and furious. Just when I thought I had a handle on my new feminine self, new challenges came along. As I developed a whole new set of friends, they expected me to come along when they did fun things. I found myself going to lesbian mixers all the way to a NFL football game. Even with all this new excitement going on in my life, I still had to keep one foot in the male world. Which led me to continually be in the gender maze. 

It wasn't until later on I finally was able to climb all the walls and escape with my life. Perhaps my biggest miscalculation was not understanding how much more complex feminine lives are over what a man experiences. When I transitioned I had to unlearn all the male privilege power structures and relearn what a women has to do to survive and even flourish. 

Ironically, even though I have negotiated the gender maze fairly well, larger challenges still await me. Yes I am afraid of the increasingly malevolent attacks on women of all types and I wonder what it will mean to me in the future. Primarily if I need to go to a nursing home. 

It looks as if my transgender odyssey is far from over,   

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Normal? Archive Post

 Today was therapy day so I have limited opportunities to post. So I decided to go back to the Fall of 2020 for this post:

 As transgender women and/or crossdressers, we spend much of our lives wondering how we ended up being a person who has such non normal urges. Or so we feel. I know I lived so many years wondering how I was the only one I knew who had the peculiar habit of wanting to cross dress in clothes of the opposite sex (women). Then, first I learned through magazines such as "Transvestia" which was started by "Virginia Prince" in the 1960's and later through the internet, I was far from being alone.

However, the feelings of normalcy persisted. I finally learned no one was truly "normal" and I learned to embrace my true self. Last night, during another virtual meeting of the transgender/cross dresser support group I am part of, I found out once again how normal I wasn't. Out of the ten or so attendees last night, I was the only one who made it to the point where I live full time as a transgender woman. Many of the others were really bemoaning the fact their weekend trips out as a cross dresser had been seriously curtailed, or stopped all together by the virus. I too, don't like it but the fact remains I know what gender I am when I wake up in the morning. 

To look at the process from a different angle, let's bring in Connie:

"I was reminded of Transgender Week of Awareness last Friday, when a local newscast mentioned it. At first, I thought it was funny to start a week on a Friday, but then I realized it is so that it would culminate on the third Friday of November - which is Transgender Day of Remembrance. I actually joked to my wife that it was a good thing for the news to remind me that I was trans, and needed to be made aware of it. Really, though, I don't think there are any activities in Seattle until tomorrow - TDOR. That will be virtual this year.

By the way, about that joke I made to my wife: She said that she doesn't think of me as trans very often, anymore. I guess that maybe one can be so aware that it just becomes the norm. As I like to say: When the extraordinary becomes ordinary, that is truly an extraordinary thing!"

Indeed Connie, it is an extraordinary thing. I'm sure the two of us are not the norm in finding spouses who accept us so totally. The norm becoming the norm is truly an extraordinary thing.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Cover Girl

I have chosen to feature another photo from one of my favorite Facebook transgender woman acquaintances. This is Melonee Malone before her and wife Lisa went to an upscale country club party. Not to be outdone, Melonee decided tp go all out to impress.

I'm sure you will agree, she probably did not disappoint!


Sunday, May 8, 2022

Happy Mom's Day

 I was going to be lazy today and simply reuse one of my former Mother's Day posts. Then I began to consider how my thoughts about my Mom have changed over the years. 

As I grew up, I did have a vague understanding of the difficult journey my Mom went through before she finally was successful in birthing me. She went through three still births that I know of before I came along. It turned out I was the first of two boys as my brother was born two years later.

As the years went by, it was increasingly obvious I not only resembled my Mom, we had the same personalities. 

None of this meant I was ever allowed to show any sort of a feminine side with her. I had to be a study from afar when it came to secretly watching her put make up on all the way to her mannerisms. 

It took me a long time to attempt to come out to my Mom. For some unknown reason I was able to successfully hide my stash of girls clothes and makeup I had acquired over the years from her. Or, as I have considered also she had decided to ignore my desire to dress as a girl simply as a phase. Of course we all know it all turned out to be much more than a phase, it turned out to be my life.

It took me until my Army days to begin to accept my authentic transgender self. In fact, way before there was even a term for it. In those days, I referred to myself as a transvestite and became brave enough to come out to a small group of very close friends following a Halloween party when I showed up as a woman. It was such an enlightening experience for me that I ignored the potential disaster which could have come to me if my superiors had found out. 

The whole process emboldened me to come out to my Mom once I was discharged from the military. One night after a hard evening of partying she was still up when I returned home. All too soon the topic somehow turned to my time in the service. Before long I told her the truth, I was a transvestite and I had felt so much better. The entire process was similar to a huge weight being taken off my shoulders. Somehow I was naïve and expected the same result from her.

What I received in return was she was in shock and disapproved to the point she offered to put me through therapy. Electro shock as I remember. Of course I not so politely refused and the topic was never brought up again the rest of her life.

I used to deeply resent her for her feelings but over the years I have mellowed after I considered the sacrifices she went through to bring me into the world. Age also helped me to understand many topics we clashed about were simply because we were so similar. Along the way she taught me important lessons such as determination and reliability. 

When I set out to legally change my name, I decided to adopt her name as my new middle name not so much to honor her but to show her in the end I had won my battle to live a feminine life as a full time transgender woman.  Now I feel even that idea has changed.

I'm glad I adopted her name now and view the whole process as honoring her. Thanks Mom! Of course she has long since passed on, so this is the best I can do. I hope your Mom is still with you and accepts your reality.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Friday's and the Transgender Woman

Many of you know I have a history degree and consider myself an amateur historian of sorts. Along the way I have developed a deep respect of the historical past being able to predict the future. Somewhat similar to building blocks.

Many of you also know I have written several times about what I consider to be my first night out or history as a transgender woman, rather than as a cross dresser. The difference to me was, it was the first time in my life I was getting the chance to see if I could actually exist in a feminine world. If I was successful I felt I could actually move forward with my dream of living full time. 

In order to try, first I needed a venue to try it in. I had unsuccessfully tried in a number of gay venues and discovered I was only being viewed as yet another drag queen. Far from my goal of being seen at the least as a transgender woman. During the same period of time, a chain of casual bar/restaurants was being invented in NYC and Texas. They were called Friday's and were nearly the first to welcome, attract and serve single women. Before Friday's all bars were essentially were for men only. 

I came up with this information from a television show on food service on the "History Channel". I was instantly attracted from two angles. The second being I built a thirty plus year as a manager in the commercial food business. I ended up working everything from fast food to large casual dining food

operations. The first (and most important) reason was a Fridays in the Dayton, Ohio area was where I first went to see if I could be successful in blending in with and living as a single woman. In this instance, blending in with other women just getting off work from a neighboring up scale mall.

By now, you may recognize how the rest of the experience played out that night. Even though I was scared to death, I did my best to dress in feminine professional attire to blend in with all the other cis-women I knew would be frequenting the venue a little later from when I arrived. To this day I remember the black pants suit, flats and shoulder length blond wig I wore for the evening.

From my experience working in similar concepts, I knew once I made it past the hostess stand and to the bar, I stood a fairly good chance of being served and hopefully accepted. 

To make a long post relatively shorter, I was accepted. I wasn't laughed at by anyone and even though as terrified as I was, I was able to drink two drinks before I made my escape. Most importantly I was still afraid because deep down I knew I had touched a nerve and could possibly live my ultimate dream...a life in a feminine world. I loved it!

Of course Fridays went on to spawn a whole genre of spin offs.  But I will forever be grateful to one of the originals which helped me on my way to a life as my authentic self.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Transgender Health Care

 Another potential problem we face as transgender women and men is finding and using quality health care. I read too many experiences from trans women in particular I know who ran into  problems with doctors. Specifically, the docs were dragging their feet with treating transgender issues such as hormones.

Fortunately,  we have a relatively larger medical entity in our area which is dedicated to helping transgender patients with their health care. They are doing a wonderful job helping those in need with their health care.

As most of you may know, I am a trans veteran who receives health care through the Veteran's Administration system. Years ago during a time of great need I needed to take advantage of nearly free benefits which were available. It turned out to be one of the better choices I had ever made in my life. It was so long ago, I was still in a state of shock over my wife's death and was even way before I embarked on my hormone replacement therapy. My therapist at the time (and still is) was instrumental in helping me start HRT. 

National Cancer Institute from Unsplash 

Back in the day, as the world was catching up to what a transgender person even was I found myself educating every medical person I encountered at the VA. To be fair, none were really negative with me but just didn't seem to know very much. Plus, during those years the Dayton, Ohio VA was conducting transgender seminars with their staff educating them to our needs. 

The point of this post is tomorrow I get to break in a new primary provider. A primary provider in the VA is the equivalent to a person's family doctor in the civilian world. The only thing I know about her is her gender which I definitely prefer. For some reason I have always felt better seeing female physicians and nurse practitioners. Maybe it goes back years ago to the one male doctor I had who always wanted to see my breasts as an "educational" exercise to the residents following him around. Whatever his intentions were, since that time I have always liked female medical people better. 

Looking forward to tomorrow, I don't see any potential problems coming up. In fact, now I can have my endocrinologist blood work done at the VA clinic closest to where I live and not have to drive nearly an hour north to have them done. To be fair, it was my fault because I wanted to keep the Endo doc I had in Dayton and not transfer everything to Cincinnati. Now though, the VA computers have caught up to extent where Dayton can read Cincinnati results. So my blood work tomorrow will be checking my all important estrogen (estradiol) and testosterone levels.

I hope no matter where you are you have been able to locate and take advantage of quality transgender health care. If you can't, my suggestion would be to contact your local LGBTQ center for available resources. I know too not all VA centers are created equal and hopefully your overall experience has been as positive as mine. 

All of us deserve quality transgender health care to help us down our journeys to our authentic selves. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Transgender Desperation

 I believe during our gender journeys we have all experienced a form of desperation. The forms can take many different directions. From how we look as our authentic selves all the way to jobs and family acceptance.

A good example comes from a comment from Emma through "Medium" :

"I described how I felt shopping in my first year on HRT as like being a 14 year old girl with a credit card at her first shopping mall. Thank God I have tempered over time. I still have money left in my pension plan."

So true! Thanks!! I remember the often frenetic shopping trips I took when I first became very serious about living in a feminine world. Often it was the only time I could receive positive feedback on my appearance. Although, deep down I guessed the friendly store clerks were mainly interested in my money. Through it all I was desperate for next outfit which would be the one of my dreams. It was hit or miss until I finally was brave enough to try outfits on in the store  and have an understanding of the sizes which worked with my male figure I was trying to work with. 

Photo from Yasin Yusef on UnSplash

During most of this time I dealt with what seemed like an insurmountable amount of desperation and gender dysphoria. All I really knew was I was dealing with a male body while I was attempting to appear feminine. It took awhile but finally I got it through my thick noggin that sooner more than later I was going to have to take the steps other cis women were taking to improve their appearance. Two examples were diet and skin care. Relatively quickly I was able to shed twenty five pounds and began a daily cleansing/moisturizing routine I use to this day. None of it was easy but so worth it in the long run. 

Ironically, the more success I had with my outward feminine appearance the more desperate I was to leave the mirror behind and explore a feminine world outside of my closet. At times the pressure was intense as I was sure any discovery of my dark secret would lead to the collapse of my male house of cards. Built so carefully to maintain an image that wasn't the true me. 

The more success I found, the more humor I felt when I heard someone call being transgender a choice, a phase or a fetish. Here I was just wanting to live my authentic life as a transgender woman in my own feminine world. It was about this time extreme desperation set in and I attempted extreme self harm. Luckily I failed and went on to begin hormone replacement therapy and add another layer of satisfaction to my life. It felt so good when I began to sync up my feminine internal self with how the world really saw me. 

It was only then when it seemed like a huge weight was taken off my shoulders. My transgender desperation was on the decline and life was good again

Monday, May 2, 2022

In the Passing Lane

 Today I went through more old posts from last year and came up with this one from early 2021. It seems this topic never gets old in the  transgender and or cross dressing communities. After all, the importance of  syncing up our internal and external selves can never be understated.  At the least, it gives us the confidence to leave our dark gender closets and go forth in the world as our authentic selves.  This post includes a comment from Connie:

I do agree that, for me, "blending in" is not really my desired goal. I had always been pretty quiet and rather shy as a man, while my feminine side wants to be much more social and involved. I have often joked that all I really want is to be the most beautiful girl in the room - which is only a joke if I really think that I ever am. Still, I'd much rather shine than blend. I can't make my feminine appearance be as good as Phaylen's (highly filtered and possibly photo shopped) pic portrays, but I have learned that there is so much more to "passing" than the way I look. It's much more about the self-confidence and living in truth. Although it took much longer than it should have, I finally realized that I belong and have every right to be anywhere I choose to be, as does anyone else. I want to pass as a person (the person I really am) more than an illusion I may have created."

(The "Phaylen" Connie is responding to is an LGBTQ activist and actress and does have passing privileges' probably due in part to advanced makeup and photography techniques many of us don't have access to. See below:)

More Connie: "I suppose that I have some "passing privilege" - at least, I have been told this many times. My dysphoria keeps me from recognizing this allegation, however. Beyond the primary, my secondary (male) sex characteristics add up to be a real challenge for me. Sure, there are cis women who are taller, or with broader shoulders, or with large hands, or with big heads and necks, etc. - but very few of them possess all of them together. Nevertheless, these are things that I do possess, and that I can never change. I have managed to change my attitude, though, and that has gone more toward achieving any passing privilege I have than has anything else."

Connie. Making Seattle beautiful. 

Perhaps my emphasis on blending in has to do with my intense interaction with other women over the years. Even though I had to act as if I were a man, I interacted as if I were a woman. My gender dysphoria has told me over the years I couldn't be the best looking woman in the room and just being perceived as a woman in the room was good enough. 

Anything else will have to wait until my next life. In the meantime, I just have tried my best to exist in the passing lane.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Gender Dreaming

 Do you dream in gender?  In other words during your dreams are you just you or are you distinctly one of the binary genders.

As I have progressed through life into finally being able to live as my authentic self as a transgender woman, I believe my dreams have began to change. Early in life I remember the elusive (even cruel) dreams when I was the girl. When I woke up I was severely disappointed. This went on for years until I was able to find my way out of the closet and live in a feminine world. As my dreams began to transition in their own way, so did I.

Photo by Randy Tarampi on Unsplash

When I went out more and more I was nearly completely entranced with my appearance. I would spend hours shopping for what I hoped would be the perfect outfit. The amount of effort I was putting into transforming my external self must have been seeping into my subconscious being when I was asleep. My dreams went from just being a girl to being an attractive woman. Either way, I was waking up severely disappointed.   

As time went by, slowly my gender dreams started to change. 

Along the way I spent many hours wondering why I was living in a feminine world, living relatively successfully as my authentic self. I thought my dreams should be changing also when I had dreams which I knew specifically I was returned back to my hated male self in more than a few of my dreams. 

I am far from an expert when it comes to dreams and what they mean and I am aware I may be putting too much worth to the whole process. My partner Liz  is much more knowledgeable on the subject and says simply I have lived too many years in a male world. My subconscious mind just has not caught up yet. 

She may be correct because recently I have been dreaming in situations where I am the feminine person. Perhaps my gender dreaming is catching up with my everyday life. For whatever reason it is important to me. Small wins I guess for small minds. But then again the entire process is just another indication of how important the transgender life process is to us. 

Dreams can come true!

Friday, April 29, 2022

It's Prom Time

 Spring has finally sprung around here and with it comes prom season in the local schools. With prom comes most every young novice cross dresser or transgender girls dream of being the lovely girl in the fancy dress enjoying a night out. Excluding those who write cross dressing fiction, dreams are all the envious boys will experience.

Photo by Amy Kate on Unsplash

Way back in the day, I ended up going to my high school's junior prom one year followed by actually going to two proms (with the same girl) my senior year in high school. It was because we actually went to competing high schools. So all in all, I was able to experience too much prom for my own good. Ironically I had to spend my own hard earned money on something I was so envious of. Instead of me being restricted to a tuxedo, I had to present a corsage and purchase dinner for my finely dressed prom dates. 

The only positive I could see coming out of the whole evenings was for the first time I was actually going out with girls. Leading up to that point, I was so shy and confused about my own gender, I still could barely talk to girls at all. I continued to place them all high up on an impossibly high pedestal. The pedestal included being jealous on my end of a date in a pretty formal with professional makeup and hair. So badly I wanted to be her. 

The closest I ever came was years later when the supper club we went to eventually closed and changed into a gay venue. It took awhile but at least finally I made it into the same rest room/powder room my date went to. A small victory to be sure but at the least a small amount of satisfaction of the fact finally I was making strides in the right gender direction.

Today, from the outside looking in, times seem to be better for an increasingly larger number of young transgender girls. Every now and then I read about a trans girl being elected to her schools' homecoming court etc. Plus there doesn't seem to be the social pressure for actual prom dating. I remember how my first date was set up through in betweens.  In other words friends of the girl who turned out to be my first date set her up with me because they knew I didn't have a date .Being so far removed from the school scene these days I can't even speculate on current proms.

I do know an increasingly number of LGBTQ organizations around here are organizing "adult proms" for those who for whatever reasons never had a chance to go to a prom. Plus I know of a couple of places locally who deal in used discount prom dresses for those who need them. 

The closest I have come to needing anything remotely formal to wear was several years ago when my partner Liz and I attended a holiday performance of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra I think I was as scared going to the performance as I was so long ago on the first prom. For the evening I managed to pair a long flowing pair of black pants I owned for awhile with a black sparkly sweater top I located in a thrift store, belted at the waist. A beaded small black purse completed my outfit.    

Hopefully, during this prom season you can do something such as attending an  adult prom to see what if anything you missed.