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

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Re Boot

Photo from Eric Mcclean on Unsplash

Ironically, our entire internet went down when I was writing this post! I guess it fits it in many ways.

Transgender women and trans men are very used to the concept of rebooting their lives. It's just another reason I find it so humorous when someone says we had a choice when setting out to live as our authentic selves. Of course along the way, our lives our stopped (often destroyed) and then rebuilt. 

I'm assuming you all have had access to a computer at some point in time or you wouldn't be reading this and would know how sometimes infuriating ill timed reboots are when you are trying to work. In fact, Liz is fairly sure her IT department has it in for her and will schedule reboots at the worst time. Being retired I am lucky and the reboots I have to go through I know are the necessary evils of life. 

It is sad and sometimes even tragic when we have to choose our paths and have to uproot jobs, friends and family to re-boot and survive. Take my brother for example, I often wonder how he is doing but can't find out since we have separated due to me transitioning from male to female. Plus, during my transition I didn't have many friends to tell since they had all passed away, including a spouse who had always told me she would accept me as a cross dresser but would draw the line and reject any idea of me being transgender. I was also near retirement age so I didn't have to worry about a job. So compared to many others perhaps I had it easier. I hesitate to say any of us have it easy on our gender journeys. 

Similar to having to wait for my internet to return and wonder how I lived with out it, I had to wait to gradually transition. A process I called transitioning within a transition. I had to reboot yet again when I made the conscious choice to begin hormone replacement therapy and move from cross dresser to transgender. I saw the difference in going from wanting to appear as a woman to coming as close as I could to aligning my feminine soul with my exterior body. Once I completed this reboot, seemingly, magically my life came together and I had the opportunity to live full time as a transgender woman.

Even going full time had it's challenges. It is one thing to dress to the nines for the occasional special event as I was doing and another to wake up every morning without any male clothing and figuring out what I was going to wear. Very quickly I went casual on days I knew I was only going to see Liz. Plus casual became the way to go when the pandemic hit. Jeans, tennis shoes and casual tops became the way to go. The only times I was getting out was normally when we went to the grocery store. No problems in going there casual either. No other women were dressed up. 

Looking into the future, I see several future reboots in my future. Getting married in October will be one of course. Looking farther I see my paranoiac possible future in a nursing home or other assisted living. By now I have been through so many reboots they almost seem normal.

  

 

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Lets Get Comfortable?

 

Photo credit Jessie Hart

Yesterday was mammogram day. The price I pay for being on hormone replacement therapy. The actual treatment is very minimally painful. Getting there was the problem. I don't walk long distances well and had to park quite away from the hospital where my appointment was scheduled. Since I had been there before I knew exactly what to expect and knew there was a big ledge I could sit down on and rest before I actually went into the hospital to register. Once I made it there I figured I had it made. 

Registration was a little more complex than I bargained for as the hospital had to figure out how my Veterans Administration coverage worked into my procedure. Once that was figured out it was clear sailing to the location of the actual mammogram.

If you have never been, they ask you to strip to the waist and give you one of those stylish hospital gowns to put on. Open in front of course. From there they take you to the room where the big mammogram machine is located. I always find it humorous they are in such a hurry. Once I got undressed I was hurried  into a hallway which luckily was deserted. 

The procedure itself as I wrote is basically just a pinching of the breasts so somehow they can get a good X-ray. The unpleasantness to me came when I had to stand that long and contort my body to get a good "picture" Finally two nurses had to come in and assist in the procedure. To add insult to injury, I had to totally take off my hospital gown. Naturally I was more embarrassed than anyone else because I am sure they had seen it all before. 

Finally the procedure was over. They had gotten two X-rays on each breast and I was set free to put my clothes back on and leave. This was actually was my fifth mammogram, so I know what to expect. I am directed to have one every year because my maternal grandmother passed away from breast cancer way back in the 1950's. So I am always extremely concerned about the results of the mammogram tests. 

So far, I haven't yet received any news about the latest tests. As directed I do self examinations and have felt no lumps so I hope everything is all right. 

Now my week continues tomorrow with my latest virtual appointment with my therapist. Among other things I can explain how stressful a week it has been since also, my credit card was hacked and blocked before any significant damage was done. I had to go to my bank branch yesterday to get it settled and had to sit through a sales pitch for another credit card which I was ultimately turned down for because of my credit. Which I knew was going to happen since I am on Social Security and don't make much money. 

On the positive side, I needed the extra exercise and feel much better today because of it. I even went out early this morning to the huge grocery store we have nearby and found a few necessities we needed for the refrigerator. Plus, the rumor has it I stopped at Connie's favorite coffee chain for a couple of nitro/coffees for Liz and I.   It felt good to do it!     

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

An Inverted 71

Photo Courtesy Connie Malone

Connie recently wrote in and commented on my post "Comfortable in your Own Skin. As always she put her own unique twist to the post and I thought I would share it with all of you:

"  My big regret is that, by the time I found myself to be comfortable in my own gender skin, the skin had already begun to wrinkle and sag. 😒


I think that quite a few trans women go through a period of time dressing in a way that may be appealing to their own masculine desires of the kind of woman they think they want. I know that this idea borders on the myth of autogynephilia, but I still believe it to be true. I know that I made that mistake for a while, however, I never let it out of the closet.

Even when I was a teenager (pre-teen, really), I just wanted to be a woman. As difficult as it may be for a girl to make that transition, it eventually dawned on me that transitioning from a pubescent boy to a woman was most likely impossible (especially back in the 60's). That's why I went into a deep suppression of my feminine self just before I turned 17. That lasted for another 17 years of my life, only to find myself spending another 17 years practicing my femininity through frequent closeted cross dressing. I didn't really need the practice, though, as I pretty much picked up right where I had left off.

Now that I'm 71 (an inverted 17?), I may have wrinkles in my skin, but I've pretty much ironed out the wrinkles of transition." 

Thank you for the informative post, As many of you know, I am nearly the same age as Connie (72) and shared the same trials and tribulations  of growing up as a teenager in the pre internet "dark ages". Then going through what only could be described as nearly a half century of cross dressing before I finally felt secure enough to fully come out of my closet. Looking back, telling myself I was transgender was much more difficult than telling anyone else. It was easier to just put those non supporters in my rear view mirror than it was to do it to myself, mainly because I had been pushing my authentic feminine self into the background for all of those years. It was so enlightening when I finally discovered I had not been cross dressing all those years as a woman when in reality I had been cross dressing as a man.

For another month or so, if I invert my age, I would be a spry 27. I shouldn't say it but I am...If I only knew then what I know now. 

Monday, August 22, 2022

Always on Stage

 

Photo Courtesy Jessie Hart

This morning I had the radical idea I would go out to the curb and bring in the two large trash cans we have. Of course I didn't put much effort into the process. Didn't shave and wore no makeup. Who would I see of importance anyhow? I knew from experience the two neighbors I do know I almost never see them at the time I was out anyhow. As luck would have it, this morning the neighborhood was positively completely packed with strangers walking their dogs, just walking or heading to the school bus stop on the corner, Without any fanfare I timed my trip to the curb and brought the two cans back up to the house. 

As I came back into the house I wondered why it is I feel as if I am always on stage when I am out doing even menial tasks that very few cis women would give a second thought to. Unless they were on their way to work, I see very few neighborhood women bringing in their trash cans in heels and hose. In fact, I can;t tell you the last time I have seen a ultra well dressed woman in this neighborhood at all. Perhaps the closest comes to me when I do my version of dressing up to go ot with Liz to dinner. 

I suppose the whole "on a stage" aspect of life extends to all women if they like it or not and especially transgender women. We are under increased pressure to appear feminine while at the same time blend in with the other women around us. Plus as we begin our gender journeys, we are playing catch up to the cis women who had the benefit of mother and peer input on necessary items such as clothing and makeup. 

Many of us also who didn't have the benefit of an easier gender transition due to feminine looks. We had to suffer (or are suffering) from the ravages of testosterone poisoning. It made or makes for too many stares or even rude comments from uncaring, nosey civilians It's no wonder we transgender folks are always looking over our shoulders. 

Then there is the other side. My deceased wife used to tell me it was not all about me when the tables were turned and I thought I was being unfairly singled out as a novice transgender woman. Often she (my wife) would go on to call me the "Pretty, pretty princess" when it all happened and said all the uproar may have not had anything thing to do with me at all. My feminine ego which was still deeply intertwined with my male ego made the whole process so confusing. 

It became ingrained it was all about me. Until I could free my strong inner feminine self, it turned out I had to be selfish to do it. Once I was able to discover who my authentic self really was, then I could set out to love others. Suddenly my selfish side was gone and I could see the world in it's truer form...good or bad, 

Regardless, as an full time transgender woman, I am certainly not the "Pretty, pretty Princess" anymore following my decidedly unfeminine trips to male dominated areas such as junk yards. As with any woman, part of our existence in being on stage. One way or another. 

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Confidence?

Photo by syndey rae on Unslash

Often I have written about the power of confidence in the lives of transgender women and transgender  men. Without the confidence to pull it off, the nicest, fanciest dress in the world couldn't be worn. Sadly, confidence is similar to seeking a new job. First the employer tells you that you need more experience  then you can't get the experience  if no one gives you the chance. 

Novice transgender people face the same struggle. We need the confidence to pursue our new lives in our authentic genders but finding it can be so fragile, One day you are making it in the world and the next we are back in our closets crying in failure. It is very difficult to say the least. As time goes on, we have so many questions to figure out. Examples would be how far do we want to go in how we are presenting to the public. Will we be trying a business professional look or something much more casual. Are we more gender fluid than transgender and what about that pesky subject of sexuality. When all is said and done will you stay with the gender you always thought you preferred or will you begin to find the opposite binary more attractive. 

Better yet, what does any of this have to do with building confidence. Quite a bit, it turns out. No matter how you slice it, every little bit you accomplish adds to your well being as your authentic self. All of a sudden, life becomes easier. When you are able to own who you are, you automatically look better in that  fancy dress you bought along with new jewelry and even a new matching purse. It all looks great and so do you.

Keep in mind though, no matter how much confidence you have build up, there is always the chance a stray civilian will come along and "clock" you. Meaning somehow, someway the person has punctured your gender persona and ruined your day. Don't worry, they will go on their nosey ways soon enough and leave you alone. 

Another important thought to remember is we all as human beings have an unconscious aura we project to others. When I am in new or challenging situations, I try to specifically project female to the people I am interacting with. I try to take every idea I can to present authentically as my authentic gender. Believe me when I say I have had my confidence shattered too many times not to. 

My only advice is always be positive and expect the best and not try to put yourself in the worst possible situations. Perhaps you have seen the commercial on television from  one of the well known bourbon liquor distillers which says where ever their bourbon is served, you are welcome also, Now, we all know how many red neck bars we transgender folk would not be welcomed in. The moral to the story is do not go overboard where you try to go. Take it easy and gain your confidence in mellower venues. 

Remember diamonds are not a girls best friend, confidence is.     

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Comfortable in your Own Skin


As transgender women and trans men transition into our authentic selves often we take longer to feel comfortable in our own skins. As with many others, it took me  many years to catch up and feel much better on the direction life was taking me. 

The first thing I had to do was to grow up and out of my teenaged girl years which of course weren't happening until I was in my thirties. I have documented many times how I went through a period of dressing more trashy than classy as I was trying to validate myself as a woman. Another way of saying I was desperate to feel comfortable in my own skin but was failing completely. Fortunately even I got it through my thick noggin what I was doing wrong. By this time I was learning to dress to blend and interact with other women. 

As I did, I began to seriously realize I could be successful in my new gender skin. Every now and then I am asked how I made it to this point. My answer was and is two fold. The first answer is to practice, practice and more practice. My second advice is don't become discouraged no matter how tough life becomes. Specifically when it comes time to attempt a few or all of the same things cis-women have to do to better their appearance. Examples include working to lose weight and taking better care of your skin. Remember, women, similar to Rome, weren't built overnight. If you are having problems with your makeup, don't hesitate to hitch up your big girl panties and go to a makeup store for help or keep practicing until you become better. 

At times you may feel the road you are on may never end. After all, women lead such layered and complex lives and once you escape your gender closet and see the light of day, it's natural to be terrified to the point of wondering if you will ever be able to live the life you dreamed of forever. Plus you never know how your future life may change and allow you  to better live as a transgender woman. It happened with me. I went from a bearded two hundred seventy pound life long cross dresser in a little over a six month period to a full time transgender woman. When my wife passed away totally unexpectedly. Although I don't  recommend what happened to me, the fact still remains it could happen.

Being comfortable in your own gender skin is a lot of work but completely worth it in the long or even short term. Much of the process involves having the confidence to do something about it, which we will discuss in an upcoming post.  

Friday, August 19, 2022

You Know Your Old When...

 


When I wake up in the morning I look ahead to just exactly what my schedule looks like. This morning I realized the great majority of my appointments coming up next week or so are all medically related. For the sake of clarity, I include my mental heath appointments as medical visits. 

Here is an example. On Tuesday next week I have a LGBTQ group meeting scheduled virtually if the Veteran's Administration is able to finally get all their necessary ducks in a row so it all comes off correctly. Wednesday is my Mammogram at one of the University of Cincinnati hospital branches. I don't mind the process as a necessary inconvenience to make sure I don't develop breast cancer as it runs in the family. Friday I have my regularly scheduled visit with my long time therapist which is also a virtual affair which normally comes off without a hitch. Then a week from Wednesday I have my Covid booster scheduled again close by me in suburban Cincinnati. Since I am scheduled for every other week therapy visits, it won't be too soon until the cycle repeats. 

Perhaps you, like me have noticed a definite lack of "fun" time mixed in with any of this. To add insult to injury Liz couldn't make it to the monthly transgender - cross dresser group socials which was last night. Perhaps I can convince her to go out with just me one of the upcoming weekend nights. 

In the meantime I need to totally appreciate the fact that as I rapidly approach my 73rd birthday I seem to be in pretty good health. I am again walking everyday along with my writing. My Dad passed on from Dementia when he was 86 and he sadly faded away watching hours of the Animal Planet on television so I try to keep my mind active with my writings. I still hope I can assemble my work for another book in the future. My Mom, who passed away when was 77 from a bad heart. Since I resemble her side of the family I hope to stay active and keep my heart healthier. 

By now you may be asking what does any of this had to do with being transgender. The truth of the matter is not much but then again everything. My posts represent my life as a transgender woman which means we face the same trials and tribulations than any other cis woman. We have health or family issues the same as anyone else. We are no difference than anyone else except we decided to cross the gender frontier and live as our authentic selves. 

Certainly there is nothing I can do about the point in life I am in except to make the best life I can.      

Thursday, August 18, 2022

How the Transgender Tree Grows

 

Image from Unplash

Most days I sit and ponder what I am going to write about today, I notice the same huge tree growing in the neighbor's back yard. Today for some reason I made a connection with growing up transgender with that tree. 

All of us at some point lay down our gender roots, transgender or not. Waking up in the morning more times than not I would wonder what gender I would be that day. Non of it included the pain when I had a very vivid dream of being a girl. Of course dreams like that made the whole situation worse and made the roots grow deeper. The problem also was I was trying my best to up-root my feminine leanings. Please keep in mind I grew up in the pre-internet era when there was very little information on gender dysphoria. 

As I grew past that time in my life, my feminine roots really took over. Especially when I began to discover others with similar outlooks plus information how to deal with it. No matter how much root killer I tried to use to kill my feminine instincts, nothing worked. In fact, as my gender tree grew the stronger it became. 

Then came the big growth spurts caused partially by me going to Halloween parties. It doesn't seem possible but the time of year for Halloween is rapidly approaching and it will time for me to once again do my Halloween "Greatest Hits" posts here in the blog. In the meantime I will say the entire experience did more to send my feminine roots deeper than anything else in my life, up to that point.In short I learned there was a possibility I could present well enough as a woman to survive in society. My roots had branched into a tree which started to bear seeds. 

Multiple seeds sprouted into more transgender trees and I reached several points of no return in my growth into living as a full time transgender woman. So much so, that finally the female seeds choked out the male seeds completely. 

Which brings me full circle to the place I am today. From my initial explorations in my Mom's clothing what seems like it was a hundred years ago to going to my next Mammogram on Wednesday my roots have grown a strong transgender tree. Even with me trying my best to destroy them by destroying myself. I just hope my roots can remain as strong through an upcoming marriage and my later years in life. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

You Did What????



When I look back at all the crazy things I attempted when I first started to explore the world as a novice transgender woman, I wonder how I survived at all. One of the first things I remember was having the lack of a quality reliable vehicle. This led to several impromptu tow's and my first one on one involvement with tow truck drivers. Most were barely respectful when I needed to ride back with them with one bordering on being downright hostile. I experienced everything from flat tires to complete failure to start from a few of my cars. Often the problem I ran into was I was on a sort of a curfew and had to be home before my wife arrived from her job. To make a long story short, I needed to get out so badly and explore the world, I would risk having a major fight or worse. 

As my finances improved, I was able to afford better vehicles and my focus shifted to which venues I tried to frequent. Very early in the process I learned I wasn't really welcomed or satisfied with going to the male gay venues. The venues didn't come close to satisfying any of my needs when I went there. For the most part I didn't prefer the music and especially hated the idea everyone would refer to me as a drag queen which of course was the farthest thing from the truth. Finally I took my business to venues where I at least more comfortable. Places I often wondered how it would be to patronize as a transgender woman. Surprisingly I was accepted better than the gay venues I went to. It took awhile but it was in those venues I met several dear friends I have to this day.

Then, there were the lesbian venues. Back in the day, several small lesbian venues sprung up in the Dayton, Ohio areas. They provided me with a whole other world of possible experiences. Primarily, since I failed in experiencing any pleasurable time in male gay bars, I thought I would try women and see what happened. In one of the lesbian bars they were very radical and hated me but in the other it was much more mellow and I even discovered I knew one of the bartenders from my male life. This was the establishment where life became a little too exciting on a couple of occasions. 

One evening in particular times became a little more intense when just before I had to leave in order to beat my wife home, I had a lesbian come up to me and buy me a beer. When she did so, she also said maybe she should take me home with her. I briefly thought Oh No! How would I tell my wife I was abducted by an alien lesbian in a space ship. No story would have worked. Then, there was the well documented time (here) when I was basically strongly coerced into singing karaoke with a very big and masculine lesbian. Somehow I was able to "sing" with her and slip away when she moved on to another conquest. 

Through it all, at times I was terrified, excited and downright relieved when I pulled off whatever I was attempting. I look back and wonder how I summoned the courage to do it at all.   

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

A Closer Look at HRT

 

Photo Courtesy Connie Malone

Several days ago I wrote a post called "Comments" which ultimately came from a post which dealt with hormone replacement therapy. The post turned out to be one of the most commented posts I have written in a while. Mainly because to some HRT is the main gateway when you transition from cross dresser to transgender woman or trans man. As I wrote there are more dangers from the extra hormones to many people than are known. I also wrote about Connie being one of those individuals. She faces dire medical circumstances if she would attempt HRT. Here is the comment in reply to Jas:

"As you stated, in answering to Jas's comment, I have not been able to enjoy the mental, emotional, or physical effects that HRT may have had on me. Actually, though, at my age, my hormone balance is not so different than most 71-year-old cis women. That many people have expressed their assumption (of my consumption:-) of HRT for me is both gratifying and frustrating. I can, at the same time, think well of myself for "pulling it off" and also be offended that someone could say such an inappropriate thing to me. I suppose, then, that the next assumption would be that I have had all the surgeries necessary to "womanize" myself (and some have expressed that, as well).

One saying they are dying to be a woman is fine, but not very many would mean that literally - myself included. I also reject the statement made to me years ago that, because I suffered from male pattern baldness and could not (I think they said would not) take hormones or have surgeries, I could never be more than a "professional cross dresser."

Even though I have been on hormone replacement therapy for going on eight plus years now and live fulltime as a transgender woman, I have not undergone any surgeries. I suppose in more than a few critical transgender circles I too would be considered a "professional cross dresser." Then again, like Connie, I didn't begin this life long gender journey if I cared what most others cared about me. In fact it was years ago when I met Connie we found we thought alike when we harassed so called transgender nazi's who made a big deal out of how many surgeries they had under gone. 

These days, for the most part, I think the barriers within the transgender community are coming down. I am seeing more and more younger people identifying as non binary. Even still, I see the "I am transer than thou" raise it's ugly head entirely too often. 

As I have written many times, I am so fortunate to be able to begin and tolerate a hormonal replacement therapy at my advanced age. Anymore it is such a part of me I would hate to see it go. So far, so good but I am always prepared for the worst but HRT no longer defines me as a transgender woman.    

Monday, August 15, 2022

A Break in the Weather

 

Image courtesy Mike Tolliver
on Unsplash

The hot and steamy non airconditioned weather I have faced for most of the summer has finally given way to lesser humidity and lower temperatures. Oddly enough the climate change has helped to give me a break from my gender dysphoria, without an influx of gender euphoria. I rarely have very many moments of inner peace but have had a few lately. Perhaps it is just the lull before the storm.

When the VA gets it scheduled my Mammogram will be coming up relatively soon I hope. Plus, I also have my latest Covid booster shot coming up at the end of the month. 

Then there is the wedding to plan for. Between now and October 16th we still have quite a bit to do. What could be interesting is when we go to the courthouse to finish and submit the legal process. My mind tells me not to fully expect a flawless afternoon. Between the usual legal trip it will be interesting to see if my transgender status plays into the process at all. My legal documents all say female so we are attempting a same sex marriage, which in the City of Cincinnati "shouldn't" be much of a problem. After we celebrate with a cocktail (or two) it will be time to move on to what sort of ring do I want and what am I going to wear. Of course, Liz already has ordered and received her outfit. No pressure on me? Right!

Also I neglected to mention I have my birthday mixed in in October and sooner more than later I will have to check back in with my VA health clinic to set up an optometrists appointment and reset several prescriptions I have which are expiring. My only problem is the clinic itself. Overall, except for my last phone call which the person referred to me as "Ms. Hart",  not many others in the clinic have been gender friendly. As I have mentioned in a previous post, I have had enough and will start taking names and reporting people. At sometime also I have to pursue their (VA) help in obtaining a handicapped parking pass which increasingly I am needing. 

I know to those of you who lead regular non retired lives this perhaps doesn't sound like much but when you throw in the sometimes unexpected responses you get when you are transgender, life can become a little dicey. I am so fortunate to have such a "gender warrior" such as Liz by my side when the going could get a bit tough. She is quick to step in and correct the occasional person who refers to me with a male pronoun. 

In the meantime I have started up my walks again to attempt to build up my much needed physical stamina and will continue them as long as I can weather permitting.   

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Answer to a Transgender Guestion

Image from Unsplash 

Yesterday I wrote a post asking the question "What is a Transgender Woman." 

Today I received this wonderful response through my Medium writers format from Jas Martinez: 

"  Gender identity of a female? Not all females have a gender identity of a female. There has to be, there probably will be a better definition in the near future. There are trans people that label themselves trans women, however many of them are simply trans people that cross dress. I guess I am a gatekeeper is sorts. A trans woman is a trans person who lives full time as woman, has legally changed their name and is on HRT to be recognized or assumed to be a cis-woman. It’s the same as being a veteran.

To be recognized as a veteran one must have served in the military. To be recognized as a surgeon one must have graduated medical school, be licensed and actually perform surgeries. Label yourself any way you want but those are only words. To be a trans woman one has to live the part."

Thanks for the comment! There were so many to choose from. The only part I would disagree with is the portion which said HRT was a needed to be a transgender woman. I know several transgender women who live quite well as their authentic selves without going the HRT route. One in particular is Connie who can't because of medical issues and the other I believe is "Stana" from the Femulate blog.

On the other hand I agree not all females have the gender identity of a female. My partner (and future wife) Liz is way more masculine than I am and can't wait to call me "Mrs. Hart". I asked her the why's of being a transgender woman and she replied a trans woman was/is a person who knows where she came from and knows where she is going, even if she doesn't know the exact path.

Interestingly, Liz thinks too many transitioning novice transgender women have too difficult a time letting go of their old male privilege's. Growth doesn't happen over night and a person needs time to grow into their authentic selves woman or man.

Then Lauren added another comment:

"Yes JJ, gotta love the haters, it's really hard when they're family members who refuse to acknowledge or accept you. How do you reply to someone who says: "I don't understand and frankly, I don't want to understand, what you're doing is wrong!"

The answer, you don't really. you walk away and the relationship is over. Hard but necessary. They just can't get it through their thick skulls we are born this way and have been since we were children. It's just wrong."

Thanks to you Lauren and for the rest of you just to confuse everyone I decided to write Medium under my legal name change JJ or Jessie. Plus as far as haters are concerned, my very own brother falls under a person I just had to walk away from. Sadly.

I love comments and wish I could answer more of them in actual posts but it is difficult to do. Thanks again for those of who who do comment!


Saturday, August 13, 2022

What is a Transgender Woman?

 

Image from Unsplash

Talk about a question which goes right to the basics, this is it. 

Before I get started, here is a look at a definition of a transgender woman from Web MD:

"A transgender woman was labeled as male at birth but has the gender identity of a female. A transgender man was assigned female sex at birth but identifies as male. Some transgender people don't identify with one gender exclusively." 
I agree with this definition but coming from a person who has lived the definition I would naturally take it to a much deeper level. These days, many times through the power of social media, I have seen the wrath of transgender haters who say it is impossible for transgender women or men to be able to live as  our authentic genders. 
My favorite comeback is birth gender doesn't guarantee a person will able to achieve  the title of woman or man. Also there is the bogus idea that being able to give birth is the only way to claim the title as a woman. What about all those females for what ever reason don't want or can't have children. Most if not all struggle to have a rational answer but of course never give up their ideas but at least I probably gave the transphobes something to think about.  Furthermore I think most transphobes just can't comprehend the concept of being transgender. Either that or they decide to hide behind some sort of bogus religion. 
As I attempt to come up with my own definition of what is a transgender woman (or man) I normally think of what my daughter recently asked me when we discussed the possibility of one of her children coming out as trans. She asked something to the fact that I had always known I was transgender. After a little thought I added it to my definition. Indeed knowing I always knew I was struggling with my true gender but didn't have the tools at the time to understand what exactly I was going through. 
What I was going through was similar to what any other girl goes through as they mature and hopefully make it to womanhood. To put it another way the whole process to achieving trans womanhood gives me the right to claim the womanly status. 
So, that is my definition of what is a transgender woman.  


Thursday, August 11, 2022

Back to the Basics

 


Many times as you may have noticed I go way back to what I consider were my initial forays into cross dressing in girls clothes. The method to my madness is I feel those initial feelings were what shaped my future as a transgender woman.

I find it is interesting I don't share the same feminine tendencies as other transgender and/or cross dressers the same advanced age I am. I am a faithful follower of the Femulate blog and recently there was a post about wearing slips. I immediately thought Wow! I had even thought about wearing a slip in approximately fifty years. In addition, many times there are posts involved with other feminine under garments. I don't know exactly why it is but I never exactly followed my Mom's example of how she dressed all the time. She was a school teacher and dressed up for the job in what now would probably be referred to as business casual. 

For a period of time I did actually predominately dress in the business casual feminine world. Those were the days of the business suits worn with short skirts and I loved them. Especially when I could find a pair of opaque panty hose which matched my outfit and helped cover the hair on my legs. I followed that fashion path for years until the Boho fashion trend began to become the  predominant force in fashion. Being a child of the sixties (and before) I was in the Army during the height of the Hippie Days. I felt as if I had a second chance of expressing myself which I had missed during my military days. 

Through it all I again found I had lost any real attraction I had for the feeling of the feminine clothes I was wearing. Even the early thrill I had from wearing panty hose was nearly gone. I was simply doing what I needed to do to blend in and live with other women. I guess if my fashion sense was given a title, it would be called "Mo-Boho". Anything Boho fashion wise still appeals to me. 

Before I seem to put myself up on a pedestal of any sort, I am sure many would disagree with my desire to have very long hair. It is very non age appropriate but to me I still love it and the world can get over it if they don't like it. The old Hippie Girl still lives! 

I guess if I can understand the foreign desire to wear a slip and other feminine under garments and put it in the same category of having long hair and wanting to feel the natural changes to my body. It's all good. I just wonder sometimes why I lost all my desire for silky feminine under garments. I used to have quite the collection of night time negligee and couldn't wait to have my own breasts so I could purchase matching bra and panty sets. 

Maybe the basics just what weren't they seemed to be.  

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Hello Ms. Hart



 Imagine my surprise when the phone rang and a pleasant voice from the Veterans Administration said "Good Morning is this Ms. Hart? " It was a surprise to me she referred to me with the proper pronoun because normally I need to correct them every call when they ask for Mr. Hart. Even though I didn't have any earth shattering (fortunately) health issues to discuss, it was nice to talk to a friendly voice who didn't start out miss-pronouning me.


I have told myself over the years, the VA receptionists just don't see many women at all, so they automatically revert to the default male pronoun. The whole process reminds me to to be on point with my feminine presentation and more importantly my voice. I have never been particularly successful at all on the phone. In fact, I go into every phone conversation prepared to defend my gender.  

We discussed getting signed up for the next round of Covid booster shots Which I did and how I could get referred for another Mammogram. I need to be scheduled for one every year since my maternal grandmother passed away in the 1950's from breast cancer. So over the recent years I have been through over four Mammograms. The first one I considered to be a sort of rite of passage for a transgender woman with her own breasts. Since then I know what is going to happen so the entire process is rather mundane. Only one time over the years have I had any remotely negative experiences. One time a nurse just had to ask questions about any operations "down below" which of course was none of her business. Following her question nothing more was said. 

After the conversation I had with my VA contact, I did realize I just experienced a gender euphoric highlight. Being referred to as "Ms. Hart" then discussing setting up a Mammogram. It doesn't get much more feminine than that. 

In the midst of my euphoria though, I forgot to set up an optometrist appointment or renew my gout medication. It will be interesting to see if I receive the same gender reception I received on my last visit. Since I will be going there in person for my booster in the not so distant future maybe I will run into the last person (woman) I encountered who refused to accept my correct pronouns. I believe they have personalized business cards to identify themselves. If she does, I will know specifically who to complain about. She needs to be told what a big deal pronouns are to transgender people. 

I need to point out also, over the years I have had very few problems with anyone at the VA. It is just at the closest satellite center I go to, they don't seem to care and represent the right wing population around the clinic. Maybe I can help to change it. 


Tuesday, August 9, 2022

In a Maze

 

Photo by Luemen Rutkowski on Unsplash

In many ways, this post is an extension of a recent post I wrote on living a complex transgender life. Looking back as well as forward in my life, I still think many times I am similar to a rodent in a maze. 

Just think of all the mini transitions we have to go through in our lives if we are transgender or not. Many of us go through marriages, have children and go through the deaths of those of us who are close. All of which leave positive or negative scars.

I remember when I was becoming an increasingly serious cross dresser, the mazes and walls I had to find my way around grew fast and furious. One prime example was when I was trying to perfect my feminine appearance, I thought I was doing it right until I would do something like tripping and nearly falling when I was trying to walk like a woman. I remember also the trials and tribulations of carrying a purse. For some reason when I was transferring all my important things plus still have room for feminine necessities such as lipstick and/or a hairbrush. Fast forward to today and I am like many other women when I can't begin to explain to you how my purse became so heavy and better yet what all is in it. I don't know what I have done to abuse the privilege of being able to carry a purse but I have done it. One thing I haven't done (yet) is forget my purse someplace. 

Other walls I had to face were how I was going to pursue trying to widen my feminine experiences. To do it I developed a mental checklist of sorts. When I first started to go out as a novice transgender woman, I would go to mostly mellow places such as malls, clothing stores and book stores. I learned the easy way store clerks were only interested in my money and couldn't care less if I was a guy dressed as a woman. Quickly I needed to find my way through the maze and find another challenge.

I found the challenge by beginning to stop someplace and eat lunch while I was out. This worked for awhile too until I needed new places to go. Finally I made my way to a point where it was time to transition again from a cross dresser to a transgender woman. The difference to me was I was taking another huge step forward from merely looking like a woman to actually being one. Little did I know I was simply syncing up my inner feminine self with a masculine exterior I never wanted. Even though I was still caught in the gender maze, every turn all of a sudden made me feel more natural.

During my life many times I felt age would solve most problems. Of course it doesn't. Even though I am living my dream as a full time transgender woman. Now coming up before I know it my wedding date to Liz will be here. 

Then I am staring down finding out what is coming up during my final transition. My health will become a increasing priority. The maze never lets up. 

Monday, August 8, 2022

A Complex Life


No matter how you live it, a human life will undoubtedly turn out to be a complex affair. Family and friends come along to complicate our best laid plans. Just when you think you have it all figured out, something comes along to change everything. If we ever figure a portion of life unfortunately we die.

All of this begs the question, if life is so complex, why would we make it worse by attempting to change our gender. Plus I have always felt cis women live a much more complex life than men, so there is more to process and comprehend. For all who say being transgender is a choice, this is yet another reason to believe they are wrong. Who would choose this life if they had a choice? Most certainly my moments of transgender euphoria don't in any way come close to being equal to the torment I experienced from my gender dysphoria. In other words, all the miserable days I went through wondering if I was the only human on earth who wanted to be the other binary gender. It also doesn't cover all the tears I shed when I was laughed at in public. 

I discovered also how much more complex and difficult what I attempting was. So much more than I had anticipated when I was in the initial stages of admiring myself as a girl in the mirror. As I began to step out in the world more and more my feminine side was challenged to keep up. I couldn't just get by on my perceived wonderful feminine appearance. Looking back now on the entire experience, I think most of the people I encountered just didn't care, were intrigued or just didn't know. Just didn't know was my favorite reaction but again, I was very biased. I wanted so badly to "pass" as a woman I still didn't realize how complex the entire process could be. 

Quickly the whole process of communicating in the world became a priority. I recently wrote how I would use my "parrot" method of mimicking another woman I was talking to but what happened when I was trying to talk to a man. My best laid plans of succeeding at communication would come to a screeching halt. I found women did communicate on a different scale than men and it was on purpose. Meaning over time women communicate less on verbal cues than non verbal visual ones. 

All of a sudden life began to be so much more complex than just deciding on which lipstick or wig to wear. People were beginning to see the same feminine me on a regular basis so I needed a name to go with my new self. Plus there was the huge issue of my sexuality. I had never been close to being with a man during my male life so it all was such a foreign concept. I felt at the time just dating a man would validate me being a woman but sex was such another topic. As I began to be validated by other cis-women, the whole issue of sex with a man was a mute point.  Sometimes life takes us in unsuspecting directions as mine did. 

Complex? yes. Difficult at times. most certainly. But my choice? I'd have it no other way.  

Sunday, August 7, 2022

She's Back!

Photo courtesy Connie Malone

 After battling Covid as well as going through a very serious operation, my friend Connie is recovering and has sent in a comment into the blog. It concerns the post I wrote on transgender feminine vocalization. It means quite a bit more to Connie since she is a musician.

Here's the comment:

"I've never liked my speaking voice - never. I did learn to like my singing voice, though. The problem with that, however, is that I haven't sung as a male vocalist in many years. My vocal range is definitely within the male spectrum, even at 3 1/2 octaves, but you'd never hear me sing a "Journey" or "Queen" cover. As hard as I may have tried to sing like Steve Perry or Freddie Mercury in the past, I just couldn't reach those higher registers. I've even lost whatever falsetto, or head voice, that I once had, so I can't even fake it. So, what do I do? I have simply stopped faking anything about my voice.


When I sing in public these days, I use only the higher half of my vocal range, which makes me a lesser singer, as I don't feel comfortable presenting as the woman I am while thumping and rumbling out low notes that might make Trace Adkins take notice. That's somewhat limiting (to me), but I've accepted it as just another of the sacrifices I've had to make along this gender transition process. Therefore, I am not the singer I used to be when I presented as a man, but I'm all-the-more a woman when I sing now, even if a more average singer.

Just like most other things in my trans life, it has not been so much adding more femininity as it's been erasing the masculinity.

Of course, I could go on and on about using the phone, which will never be my forte. The technology (or lack thereof) that compresses and distorts the quality of the sound in cell phones makes it nearly impossible for me to sound like a woman."

Thanks for the comment and it is great to have you back!

Saturday, August 6, 2022

On the Teeter Totter

 

A Photo of me on the gender
Teeter Totter

Along the way, following the path to change one's gender presents many challenges. In fact, many times the process can be compared to life on a playground. Especially when we are in the midst of deciding which binary gender we will be a part of.

Here in the blog, I have compared the process to sliding down a very slippery slope. When I consider it, perhaps attempting to do a gender balancing act may be more appropriate.

The photo in this post represents my life trying to balance a life between the male and female genders. In the picture my hair was a wig, my breasts were not mine and even my hips were fake.

 So naturally my life was not the most pleasant. The ride up when I was living as my feminine self was quite the high. But the trip down to my cross dressing male self was a real downer. I was depressed for days until the next time I could dress up in my feminine apparel. During this period of my life I was so confused I wouldn't have wished my existence on anyone.

Finally I found the view from the upper feminine spot of the teeter totter to be so natural I wanted to take the high road and take on the fulltime life of a transgender woman. Of course  just writing about it diminishes the level of difficulty of just arriving at a spot where I could even attempt to live a feminine life. It was extremely difficult to the point of even becoming dangerous when I ended up on the wrong end of a couple ill advised adventures as a novice transgender woman. More on that in another blog post.

As with any other piece of playground equipment, warnings just don't resonate with the users. Primarily I didn't see any warnings about losing my male privilege's I had worked so hard to acquire. As my teeter totter rose to it's heights, ironically my intelligence declined. It quickly became so bad I was even being "mansplained"  by a tow driver towing my car how his wrecker worked and how he had a better idea of getting my car back to my house than I did. 

Through it all, the most important part of being on the higher plane of my gender teeter totter was the new view I had was so much more natural. I loved the new view!

Thursday, August 4, 2022

The "Softer" Hormone

Photo Courtesy 
Jessie Hart

 Years ago I started down my path of hormone replacement therapy or also known as HRT. As I began the process I had many expectations of what would happen when the feminine hormones began to be introduced into my body. Before any of the HRT could begin, I needed to find a doctor to pronounce me healthy enough to do it. Fortunately I was and I found a doctor who would start me on a minimum dosage to again find out if my body could tolerate the changes. My warning to everyone is to NOT begin HRT without consulting a doctor. Just recently I had an acquaintance who almost died from hormone induced blood clots. To make a long story short she had to stop the hormones to save her life. 

As I mentioned, none of that happened with me and within a small time I was allowed to increase my dosage. At the same time, definite changes were beginning to emerge. I was starting to "grow" breasts, my skin was softening and my hair was beginning to really grow. I think many of the increased changes may have occurred because I was older (60), my testosterone was in decline anyhow and perhaps I may have had a natural estrogen higher level to work from. I have no way of knowing that now.

All I know now is very quickly I was beginning to appear very androgynous. During that period of my life I was more into appearance than anything else. It was during the period of time I was transitioning from being a cross dresser to being a full fledged transgender woman. Also about this time was when I also became aware of the Veterans Administration's acceptance of transgender care for veterans up to and including HRT. So, being a veteran, I transferred all my gender treatment to the VA. When I did I was able to have my hormonal dosage increased so the changes did also. 

This time the changes began to take on a softer internal route. An example would be the night I was brought to tears when I was sitting on my porch watching an oncoming storm roll in. I don't know why I cried but I did. As it turned out, crying was just the tip of the iceberg. Very quickly I was becoming noticeably internally softer. My internal body temperature changed as I was colder than I had ever been in my life. Plus my sense of smell became more intense. 

You may think I found out the hormonal way that estrogen in reality did mellow me out and was much more than a method to femininize my body. Ironically too, the changes keep coming after all these years (7) on HRT. This morning I was marveling how feminine my thighs are becoming and how much better they will look this fall in my leggings. 

As I wrap this post up, I can only say hormone replacement therapy is a wonderful method to femininize yourself inside and out. But I know too, not all either think they need it or can't tolerate it medically. 

Whatever the case be careful.