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

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Feminine Envy

Many people assume the male of the binary gender spectrum  has a higher level of competitive spirit. Women are just not expected to compete on the same level. But I think they do, in their own ways. Similar to the differences in how men and women communicate, women are often not to up front on their comparative drive. 

Photo Courtesy
Jessie Hart

Take for example sports. While women are supposedly the fastest growing segment of sports fans, often they don't take it to heart the way men do. More importantly women compete intensely on family matters as well between themselves on appearance , among other things. Here is another example from me as a transgender woman.

I can't remember a day in my life I haven't been envious when I have seen an attractive woman walk by. I have so desired to have one day in which I possessed even a portion of her physical attributes. Then I begin to relax and think I am probably doing the same thing any other cis woman would do. I am sure even super models can find something wrong about their appearance on occasion. Plus they have a legion of followers to make sure their makeup and clothes are just right for the camera. 

I think too appearance plays a role in married relationships when a male spouse begins to transition into their authentic selves. When a wife sees her husband dressed as an attractive woman for the first time has to come as a shock and the shockwaves have a tendency to rock all she has ever felt about herself and her relationship. Did she do something wrong? How will her friends react to the fact she is now living with a transgender woman and what about family? Once her spouse gets a high heeled step out of the closet, it is nearly impossible to go back to a "normal" life. As I write about many times, my second wife who was fine about my crossdressing simply drew the line at any suggestion of me being transgender and starting hormone replacement therapy. She simply said she didn't sign up to live with another woman. The problem quickly became, as I progressed, like it or not she did sign up to be with another woman and not one she particularly liked. She called me the pretty, pretty princess for a reason. For the longest time before I learned more and more about the feminine world all I wanted to do was dress up as completely as I could, practice walking in heels and putting on makeup. On the other hand, she rarely wore makeup or heels of any sort. It's no wonder our feminine natures clashed.  

Before you assume I am portraying all women as being too shallow in their life lookouts, there are other aspects to consider. My examples are my former hair stylist Theresa and my daughter Andrea both of whom have transgender children. Both of them too are fierce allies of the transgender community as a whole and their children in particular. I am very proud to know both of them and know from previous experience how fortunate their transgender children are to have such understanding parents.   

Women for the most part live many layered complex existences  The process to learning to understand living a feminine life is often difficult and even lonely. Every door you open to a new life, seems to lead to another and another. The problem with envy is when desiring a another woman's existence leads to not improving your own. We can only improve ourselves by developing our emerging selves. The problem with envy in a relationship is it can result in destroying both parties. 

Monday, October 31, 2022

The Last Halloween

 Actually I should rephrase the title and write "My last Halloween Post". 


As I had previously promised, I decided to save my best Halloween experience for last. This Halloween occurred when I was a local disc jockey in Springfield, Ohio. The party invitation directed myself and any guests to an old restored Victorian mansion. I found one of my co-workers (a news person) and female was invited also. I love it when a plan comes together and now I just had to talk my first wife out of wanting to go. 

Of course I was beyond excited at the invitation and of course I needed to figure out exactly what my "costume" was going to be. By this time in my Halloween "career" I had progressed from glitzy to desiring to present as a cis woman at the party. Since I had arrived at this spot, it was much easier to rummage through my wardrobe to find something to wear. It was basically what I was wearing at the time when I went out on the rare times I could try out the feminine world. In a very short time, I knew exactly the outfit I was going to wear. 

On the much anticipated evening of the party I had gone through all the necessary prep work I needed such as shaving my legs, applying makeup and combing out my wig. Finally, it was time to meet my temporary date for the evening and we headed out to the old mansion where the party was being held. First it was the reaction of my "date" for the evening which got me started off on the right step. As she saw me, first she was incredulous at my transformation then she settled in with no problems. We were fortunate in that we arrived early and was able to find a close parking spot so my heels would not have a chance to bother me so much. 

The mansion itself looked tremendous. In addition to the natural beauty of the home, the decorations included a coffin with a real skeleton. Since I was was really into restoration in the town, the owners knew me quickly and similar to my companion for the evening were amazed at the feminine transformation. As far as I went, I was enjoying the attention I received. 

As the evening progressed, more and more new guests arrived. Including a couple I vaguely knew from his background as a local politician who was running for an office in Washington, D.C. He was with his wife who later approached me and said they had no idea I wasn't just a well dressed woman who stopped by the Halloween party. Naturally I was on cloud nine when the couple took it all a step further and asked me to go with them to another party. 

It was one of those times I wondered what would have happened if I had made the opposite decision. Because my "date" was doing the driving and I still was worried about abusing my wife's feelings, I said no. Who knows? Maybe a potential career in Washington was defeated with my decision.

Regardless, I achieved what I set out to do. For the briefest of moments be mistaken for a cis woman.

If you celebrate, I hope the Halloween season has been festive and fun for you this year!   

Sunday, October 30, 2022

The Greatest Insult

 Perhaps the biggest Halloween insult any transgender person has to endure is the comment of great costume when you are simply out being yourself. In the middle of all of the glowing posts (including mine) of Halloweens' past, what if you found yourself in the middle of a transphobes world wanting to destroy your world for no apparent reason. I'm writing this post indirectly for one reason and directly for another.

Photo Courtesy
Jessie Hart
First, the indirect reason. I have a transgender friend who on social media wrote on the torment of never having the freedom of being a cis woman able to exist in a world without transgender haters. The sad part is my friend who I met at the beginning of her journey from male to female, has blossomed into a very attractive woman. Her problem, similar to many of us, is we carry the effects of testosterone poisoning with us. No matter how much money you have, there is next to nothing you can do about your size. Even though I have managed to lose quite a bit of weight over the years of my transition, I am still big and have a thick torso. So I know completely where my friend is coming from. As far as dealing with unfeeling transphobes or people in general who open their mouths without thinking, I just try to stare them down and consider the ignorant source.

As a matter of fact, I had to deal with the very same situation yesterday at the funeral of a friend my wife Liz and I attended. About three quarters of the way through the service I noticed someone giggling behind us which I thought was incredibly wrong due to the circumstances all of the mourners were going through. Finally through the laughing I heard that's a man. Perhaps I was just hearing things but I assumed the comment was directed towards me. After the service I didn't have any other dealings with anyone I assumed to be the source of the problem, so we paid our respects and left. It was time to rest my sore back and watch The Ohio State Buckeyes play football. 

Plus, my days of partying are nearly over and I myself have never been to a venue on Halloween which didn't have a serious Halloween party in progress. So I didn't put myself in a position for any out of the way comments concerning my gender. Very early in the Halloween "costume" process (as well as life in general) I learned the comment about how I presented as a woman was I looked good in a dress, for a man. I always remember the heartbreak, to this day, of how much of life I had missed by not coming out earlier or even never ever having the chance to ever be a cis female. 

Finally I decided to do the best I could with what I had to work with. Surely, hormone replacement therapy helped quite a bit but on occasion I still wonder what it would have been like to grow up as a girl.

As far as the world goes, they can take their unfeeling insults and shove it.  

Friday, October 28, 2022

The Good, the Bad and...

 Actually is there is no ugly in regards to this post.

Last night we finally were able to venture out for my birthday dinner. We decided on a venue I have been wanting to visit for quite awhile now. Liz is a little more reticent to go to new places so I had to throw the birthday card (I won't say rump card) to get her to go. 

The Turf Club Cincinnati

Once we arrived, in our casual clothes and all, we felt right at home with a crowd basically dressed in jeans and sweatshirts. Plus, seeing as how the Turf Club (where we were) had a brief visit from the network halftime network football crew who was doing the Bengals game, quite a few of the patrons were showing off their best football attire. Even though I am still a huge fan, I have not been able to afford any of the current up to date "fashion" so I just went with a simple sweater, jeans and knee high boots. 


I will finish my plug for the venue by saying it has been visited by Guy of "Diners, Drive ins and Dives" Food Network fame and I had the same half pound burger which he did. Well, not the same one but made the same. 

A Turf Club Burger

Probably, most importantly, no one seemed to notice the tallish transgender woman in the crowded restaurant. It was the second time this week I experienced gender euphoria. The first was when I was instructed on which frames were for the women earlier this week when I went for my new glasses. This was after I spent too much time worrying about if the eye glass receptionist would have any gender related questions for me. 

Finally, today was my therapy day. It turned out nearly the entire session was dedicated to  revisiting all my old Veterans Administration mental health paperwork in the system. So, for the second time this month I was asked how I identified by the VA. Again I dutifully replied, I am a transgender lesbian and I answer to the she and hers pronouns. 

On the plus side I found I was going to receive a new I-pad to enable me to better be served virtually by the VA. Of course it can only be used for veterans related needs. 

Actually I fibbed earlier. Liz and I are attending a close friend's funeral who committed suicide. I have only been to one funeral since I gender transitioned, so I have picked out my best black outfit for such a sad event. That's the ugly of a terrific week.    

Thursday, October 27, 2022

The Most Important Appointment

Today was my six month virtual visit with my endocrinologist. Quite possibly my most important appointment I have with all the various experts who attempt to keep me on the rails of life. Going a bit further, my endo prescribes and monitors my hormone replacement therapy medications. Without her support I would struggle to be outwardly the feminine person I am today.

Halloween Picture from
Columbus, Ohio Black Party
Courtesy Jessie Hart

HRT is always difficult to write about for several reasons. The first and main reason is that too many  having rogue unmonitored hormones can be extremely detrimental to your health. Estrogen can only take you so far in your outward feminine development before the tables turn. Which I have seen years ago in a couple transgender women at Trans Ohio meetings. Both of them were in ill health and blamed their problems on too much HRT.

On the other hand, under supervision, my years on hormone replacement therapy have for the most part produced magical results. I grew breasts, hair and hips while I went through the second major puberty in my life. But, it took me years to do it, often at minimal levels of added estradiol to my system. Most likely what aided in my progress was the fact I was older when I started around the age of sixty. So my natural testosterone levels were decreasing anyway. While I will always regret waiting so long to begin HRT, at least I could be confident I did the process the right way under medical supervision. To be sure, testosterone poisoning was something I still fight with but the memories of living in a toxic male world will always be with me too. 

Perhaps one of the biggest changes I didn't see coming were the internal ones which no one externally sees. I had heard the stories of emotional changes which occur with HRT but I can't say I was prepared for them when they came and became reality. Finally being able to unleash the emotions of my feminine inner soul was akin to lifting heavy weights from my shoulders. All of a sudden, for the first time in my life, I didn't have to be ashamed to cry. The whole experience was very enlightening. Once of the examples was when my body thermostat changed dramatically. Quickly I went from a person who was never cold to a person who always was. A shock when I found out all those years I thought women were faking it when they said they were cold. 

All of these reasons, plus several more I didn't mention all combine for me to consider my Endocrinologist appointment my most important visit. She checks all my extensive blood work to see if anything appears out of range, refills my Estradiol patches and Spiro and sends me on my way. With a promise to do it all again in six months. I take nothing for granted at my age and sadly am prepared to give it all up if my life depended on it. Which for many transgender women it does. After all gender is in your head. Not between your legs. 

I'm sure though by the time my time has run out, hormone replacement therapy will have done it's part to take years off my life. I will just have to decide if it was all worth it to enable me more completely to live an authentic life I  waited so long to live.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Transgender Bravery versus Conviction

 Yesterday I virtually attended my monthly Veterans Administration LGBTQ support group meeting. Normally the meetings are fairly routine and I don't say much, plus the last get together featured an interesting mental exercise which everyone needed to be a part of if possible. The exercise started with a circle and then you had to add all the various important facets of your life. Examples would be privilege, family etc. 


After a few people stepped forward with their ideas, it became evident how important being a veteran was to all of us, as well as being transgender. Various privilege's came in a close third. Since we all happened to be white, almost everyone mentioned it. Mainly in a sense of how much privilege we lost when we gender transitioned into feminine lives as transgender women. 

Of course I write often and long concerning my own losses of male privileges when I transitioned. For the most part I felt them quickly and firmly. All of the sudden I had lost a significant portion of my IQ and were ignored when I was talking to men. I brought up the experience to the group when I needed to have my car towed and tried my best to explain to the tow driver and a sheriff where I needed to go. Once they heard the address they didn't need any other information from me. Since I was a blond that day, I finally just sat back and asked dumb blond questions about how the tow truck worked. Then I was "man-planed"  how it did. The best examples for me came when I was talking to men about sports which of course I knew quite a bit about. I found I was never taken seriously. Due to time constraints I was never really able to talk much concerning the real issue of losing control of your own safety when you transition to a transgender woman.

By far the best experience was shared by a transgender  man in the group who is completely presentable as a man and works as a nurse. He was saying he works with men from other countries who refuse to take any guidance from women and he has to go in and mediate between the two genders.

Other than that, perhaps the biggest topic from the group came when discussion started about being veterans and what it meant to us all, For me being a veteran was something I never wanted to do but was proud of myself for serving my time in an honorable fashion. Or at least I tried! :). Several others in the group managed to draw lines between being veterans and having the courage to pursue their lives as transgender women and men, 

Over the years occasionally I will be called "brave" when I describe a few of my coming out of my gender closet experiences. I prefer brave be saved for those who deserve it such as first responders. On the other hand my convictions led me to where I am today. As one of the participants said yesterday, as soon as she stepped foot into basic training, she had to stick with her convictions concerning who she really was. Plus I knew also, I just couldn't live a gender lie as a man. Somehow, someway I would have to find a way to live fulltime as a transgender woman.

There is no contest in my book in comparing transgender conviction to any sort of bravery. I rather leave the bravery to the ones who deserve it. Conviction is different. We all need it to survive in an often hostile world.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Passing the Eye Test

Since Liz is off this week, I convinced her to go with me to pick out new frames for my new glasses. My old glasses which you may have noticed in a few of my pictures were rather non-descript. So I decided to change my eyewear up to something more up-tempo or modern. Hoping to add glasses to my fashion accessory list plus knock out two birds with one stone. The other bird is being able to see better. 

A Girl in Glasses
Photo Courtesy Jessie Hart 

 Regardless, It seems no matter what I do these days brings with it a dose of transgender paranoia. You would think my internalized fear would be going away since I have been out in the publics eye so long. But it just hasn't. My fear this time revolved around being directed to where the men's glasses frames were on display. To add to my fear was we had to wait a half hour in a crowded Veteran's Administration waiting room to be seen. No one in particular seemed to pay us much attention until when I came out and they  were able to see how tall I am. Around five foot ten but my weight is down to 215 Lbs. So I hope to go below two hundred pounds probably for the first time since I was in the Army. Currently, no matter how you cut it I am still a big woman. 

As far as the glasses went, my fears were unfounded. The receptionist gave me a cheery good morning and said immediately the selection of women's frames were right behind me. Proving once again most all the worry and transgender anxiety I feel is unfounded. I know where it comes from. All the problems I encountered when I first attempted to come out. A transgender girl friend of mine said it best when she told me I passed in the world out of sheer will power. Which I did. It took me tons of times when I went back to the drawing board to try and perfect my feminine image. At the least the process left me with scars which linger to this day. 

I like my new glasses a lot. They are hard to describe except the frames are multi colored and according to Liz (my wife) they frame my face well and flatter my complexion. The only downside is I have to wait three weeks for the glasses to come in. Seeing as how the entire process is free, waiting is not such a big deal. Not to mention just seeing better will be a plus. I have a difficult time seeing the keyboard well when I type the blog. An example would be seeing more clearly the difference between a comma and a period.    

Since I have been wearing my current glasses for nearly six years, I expect the change to be fairly dramatic. I plan to slowly shorten the length of my hair also to enable it to be more age appropriate. Liz already trimmed six inches off before the wedding. 

I hope the new glasses become the fashion accessory I think they will. Small essentials such as writing a blog and being able to see a menu in a dimly lit restaurant will be a welcome relief.  

Monday, October 24, 2022

Party Down Witches

Before Covid and continuing to the present, various organizations have hosted "Witches Balls" around Cincinnati, Ohio. Back in the pre pandemic days I was fortunate enough to have had a really good time at several of the parties. Most of the parties contained various mixes of people in costume, belly dancers and pirates. Along the way I managed to dress sexy for one of the big witches ball and even was hit on by one of the pirates. I don't know if it was a combination of what he was drinking or the low lights in the venue which worked to disguise my true gender to him. But either way I was flattered because I was more than a little drunk at the time also.

First Witches Ball with Liz
High Heels and all.

A year later I was actually able to work on the committee putting the event together. They all knew I was a transgender woman and welcomed the help I provided. I couldn't do much because I needed to sit down quickly most of the time. So the two "most mature" individuals in the group were assigned to a table

Second Witches Ball with Tom
On the left.


selling items which benefitted the coven putting on the ball. It wasn't as much fun as I had in the past but at least the sitting down didn't put a strain on my sore back.

As far as gender recognition went, I was striving for more of a more authentic witch look more than any sort of sexy costumed appearance. By this time, I had transitioned away from the need to try to be sexy into a more appropriate well dressed woman. Hoping to blend into the crowded venue more easily. 

I can't tell you I had more fun but deep down I realized I was changing from needing Halloween to being such a major event for me.  One thing was for certain, my feet were more comfortable after I relaxed my "costume" requirements and started to wear flats to the venue. You can't see what I was wearing from the waist down in the second picture but I chose soft flowing legged pants along with my black flats. 

I still have one final fairly dramatic Halloween post which I have been saving for the end. In the meantime, the Witches Balls I attended played a major role in me transitioning from being a cross dresser into my authentic life as a transgender woman.

       

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Just a Series of Walls

As I pause this month to look back on everything I experienced and learned from during my Halloween public experiences, in many ways, the experiences served to be predecessors to my future gender discoveries.

Wedding Photo with my daughter on the
left and Liz's son on the right.

At first I was all about my appearance, not  thinking how I looked would only take me so far in my quest to live a feminine life. Especially when I decided I was indeed a transgender woman. Not a cross dresser anymore, I decided to move forward again and transition into being a transgender woman. I realized at the time (finally) I wanted to be a woman, not just look like one. When I take the time to look back to the earliest days of blogging I can easily read how obsessed I was with appearance. One of the posts I remember was when one Saturday night I sat out to go to a local downtown festival in nearby Dayton, Ohio. I was very detailed into how I looked and how the public responded. I went before the sun went down and even went as far to wear sunglasses so I could judge reactions to me. Both positive and negative.

During this time I was unknowingly preparing to perhaps climb the biggest wall of all, the power to exist in a world which I knew ran onto the often invisible power of woman. Mixed in with the obvious draw of male privilege. Fitting in to this new world was a challenge which was difficult but one I desperately needed to face. Surprisingly to me, I had to climb this wall quicker than I thought I would. People (mostly other women) were quick to observe me more completely when on the other hand, men had a tendency to ignore me. As I made it to the top of the wall, the view I observed was at once terrifying and equally exciting all at the same time. 

It was about this time I was forced to face the fact other people wanted or needed to talk to me. Mainly from the time I spent when I began to leave the malls and clothing stores which for the most part were too easy and begin to stop for lunch. Which caused me to do my best to develop a feminine sounding voice quickly. Something I am still working on to this day. Yet another wall I have not totally climbed. 

Perhaps the final wall I have to climb will be what will happen when I die. Since Social Security just announce they would now honor gender changes, which may be a small benefit to us all. Even still, as I always write about if the final paranoia I feel when or if I have to be sent to an assisted living facility and/or a nursing home. I feel my problems could be magnified by the choice I made to have had no surgeries regarding my gender. I am also paranoid of what will happen to me if I am directed to stop taking my hormone replacement therapy medications.

As I look ahead to the wall ahead, I have decided to live my life to it's fullest the best I can. Even though I may be out of walls to climb.  

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Inspiration

First Wedding Kiss

Today we were sent our wedding pictures by my daughter who along with my grandchild is an amazing photographer. 

Sadly, I don't think just one picture can convey the emotions I feel when I see it. Even though hormone replacement therapy has mellowed me out from copying the no emotion persona I inherited from my Dad. During the wedding ceremony, I barely made it through my prepared vows I made on my own without becoming emotional and began tearing up,

What I was trying to say was how much I loved all of the various things my new wife Liz did for me back when we first met. 

Outside of the major questions concerning my gender issues, Liz was instrumental in me coming out of a very dark time of my life. Essentially I had lost everything dear to me and for some reason came to believe I deserved it. Anytime I came close to drifting in the self detrimental decisions I somehow found myself getting into, Liz would pull me out of my funk. Obviously she (Liz) faced quite a bit of work she never backed away from.

Of course outside of my moody issues, my gender dysphoria came in a close second on occasion, or even took the lead on others. Life could be very difficult and I was difficult to live with. How did Liz handle it? She told me she had only ever seen a woman in me. Keep in mind also, at that time I was still working on transitioning from being a serious cross dresser to a novice transgender woman. In fact she was with me the night I took my first estradiol pills. Needless to say, a big moment in my life. 

As you can tell, Liz was and is pure inspiration to me and everyday I thank the powers to be in the universe for bringing us together. We met in the most unlikely way possible. In an relatively obscure on line dating site when against all odds Liz responded to my "sad eyed" picture and the rest as some would say is history. 

Finally, I would thank all of you who went out of your way and take your valuable time to congratulate us. It means a lot!     

Friday, October 21, 2022

A Night at the Theatre

 This is yet another Halloween experience which helped me to break out of my gender closet and experience a possible life as a transgender woman. 

Image by Danie Franco
on UnSplash

Years ago Columbus, Ohio completely restored a very elegant classic vintage theatre downtown. With interest I learned the new venue would be hosting a late night Halloween horror show silent movie complete with accompanied music from the restored theatre house organ. Aside from being a total restoration geek, I immediately sensed an opportunity to extend my feminine Halloween adventures. From there the evening began to come together quite nicely. Little did I know how much fun I would have. 

The first thing I had to do was get four tickets. Two for my first wife and I and two for two other close friends I wanted to go with. Then I needed to put together a "costume" for the evening. Actually, back in those days, my options were as limited as my wardrobe. Following several unsuccessful trips to thrift stores, I settled on a mini dress which I had even worn on another Halloween adventure but with different people. Supposedly, changing up what I wore would keep people from guessing how serious I was concerning how I was perceived as a woman. The last thing I wanted to do was however was try to be an obvious jokester of a man in a dress. 

As it always happens, the time coming up to the Halloween evening seemed to go so slowly as this was the only time of the year I could escape my self imposed gender closet and explore. Before I could explore I had to decide if I was going to throw caution to the wind and go all out to appear as a sexy woman. Back in those days, shaving my legs was a rare and often wonderful experience and I decided to do it for the evening. Shaving of the legs is the one biggest giveaway I think between someone dressing as a woman as a joke and someone who is a serious cross dresser. In other words, going all the way for me was the only way to go. 

The afternoon of the party, when I left work, I was able to leisurely prepare for my night on the town in "C-Bus" which was only approximately a half hour away. I drew a hot bubble bath and made sure all of the hated hair was off my legs before I was able to slide into a new pair of panty hose without ruining them with a run. Then came the makeup, mini dress, long blond wig and heels which I would regret wearing later. After downing a couple of "road pops" for courage it was time to head out, pick up our friends and go to the theater. 

These friends in particular had seen me before dressed as a woman so I don't think there was much of a surprise to them when they saw me. My wife always knew I was a cross dresser so I know for sure she wasn't surprised. 

The unfortunate part of wearing the heels I did came when I learned how far I was going to have to walk in them as parking was at a premium. Needless to say my feet weren't used to walking that far in heels and were protesting. I had to hitch up my big girl panties and pay the price for fashion. It all was so worth it once we arrived and saw all the other beautiful and creative costumes. For better or worse no one seemed to notice the tall blond in heels and mini dress. The movie with the background organ was wonderful.

Not as wonderful as my big night out at the Ohio Theatre.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

I Was Never a Crossdresser?

 

Image from Alexander Grey
On UnSplash

A couple days ago I read with interest a post from a person saying they were transgender but had never been a cross dresser. Further more, cross dressers were an embarrassment to all transgender women. I wish I could provide just a few of the many derogatory comments which followed. Nearly all of the comments were against the idea of the transgender woman claiming to never have been a cross dresser. The whole post to me sounded like a "I'm transer than thou" attitude. Perhaps even to the point of the poster having internal transphobia.

I freely admit to being what I call an increasingly serious cross dresser. Before I ever admitted to being transgender, I needed to research if such a big move was a fit  for me. Most certainly, the possibility of losing an entire life and beginning a new one from scratch was intimating. Plus, by definition, I was crossdressing from one binary gender to another. Much later on in life I finally realized I was doing my cross dressing as a guy, not a woman although all those years I thought I was attempting the opposite. Doing my best to feminize myself. 

Ironically, the person who posted the comment also came out against cross dressers who come out of their closets at Halloween. This comment went totally against everything I had ever felt and learned from my Halloween experiences. I believe my very short time out of the gender closet provided me so much experience and confidence to move forward in life. All in all, the only time I can think I ever found cross dressers to be distasteful was at the various Pride celebrations I went to when I saw several cross dressers (not drag queens, which is another subject) teetering around on high heels while squeezed into impossibly tight or short dresses. I thought to each their own and they were probably just out of the closet novices. The drag queens to me provided much more of a threat to the visibility of transgender women.

We all have to arrive at a point when we can accept ourselves as being transgender. If being a cross dresser through a portion of your life is needed to do it, then so be it. Over the years, I knew another transgender woman who said she was never a cross dresser and stuck her nose up in the air when she said it. Again I don't understand how a person who at first had to get dressed in her car before meetings could say such a thing. But she did I questioned her on it during one meeting and was soundly rejected for my comment so I just shut up for once. 

I view my life as a cross dresser as going through a series of closed doors. Once I had established myself behind one door, I just had to see what was behind the next door and open it. Finally I found my way to where I am today. Living life as a newly married full time transgender woman. I would guess more than a few "surgically corrected" trans women would pull the no surgery card on me (since I don't desire any) and say they are more transgender than I am. Which I think is truly a shame. 

I am not ashamed to say my decades as a cross dresser in a gender closet most of the time made me what I am today. I transitioned from being a cross dresser to a transgender woman at the age of sixty. So I was very much a cross dresser which helped me to find my way to where I have arrived today.   

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

All I Ever Wanted

 
Back when I was young I always struggled with which gender I would wake up to be. Of course and sadly the answer was always the same. I never changed and yet again I would have to face the day battling the male gender I never wanted to be a part of. Regardless I learned the rules on how to be a boy and grudgingly survived in the world. 

Photo Courtesy 
Jessie Hart
Against my deep seated desires to be a girl, I learned and played on athletic teams throughout school up to the end of high school. The example I always give is how I yearned to be a girls' cheerleader when I was playing defensive end on the football team. Again, all the yearning in the world couldn't help me jump the huge gender divide I was looking at. The only thing sports did was keep the bullies off my doorstep. It was all so frustrating. 

Also very frustrating was knowing I probably would have my life as I knew it interrupted for several years by military service. No longer could I use my small collection of  shoes, clothes and makeup to relieve the gender stresses I felt. Somehow I made it through Army basic training and was fortunate when my request to be accepted into the Defense Information School was accepted. The next two and a half years of my life turned out to be the most interesting of my life but still didn't bring me to my ultimate goal of living a feminine life. I'm always careful to say a "feminine life" because deep down I knew I was a woman but just couldn't live it to the fullest for obvious reasons. On the rare occasions I was discussing my entire gender situation with transphobes or TERF's, I was always careful to explain females were born but women are socialized. Plus the age old argument that that only women can birth children is not true because of the number of women who can't forever what reason bear children. Others try to make the whole process more complex but I just gave you my simplified approach. 

Along the way, I learned I could and did get socialized as a woman. It meant giving up all of my hard earned male privileges as a beginning and then learning to communicate with the world as a woman. Which meant, as I am fond of saying, I earned my chance to play in the girls sandbox. I was laughed at, threatened and stabbed in the back many times before I finally learned my hard earned lessons. 

Through it all, my journey never waivered. All I ever really wanted was to be a woman. The whole process made me to difficult to live with, I don't understand how my first two wives put up with me. Here is an example.  My second wife and I often used to try to out-run the late summer Ohio heat by vacationing in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. On one such trip, when I had a good job, a loving wife and seemingly all the positives my life could offer I was still miserable. My wife sensed it of course and kept pushing me for what my problem was. I never did tell her my issue was a wanted to be making the trip as a woman. 

Giving up all the hard earned male privilege's I earned was in a word "difficult" but so worth it. With the help of hormone replacement therapy I have been able to feminize my external body to match my feminine soul as well as add more emotional awareness to my life. I never thought I would make it this far and the whole journey was so worth it. It's all I ever wanted.  

Monday, October 17, 2022

Now I am a Mrs..

 

Beaded Hair Clip by
Liz T Designs

Yesterday our wedding day turned out to be a beautiful fall day here in Southwest Ohio. We hosted the ceremony under the tree's and had reserved a nearby shelter house for a small celebration. The temperature under blue skies did not disappoint and turned out to be near 70 (F) with a slight breeze. It was good to see my daughter and her family and Liz's son. In addition, Josh, the Officiant did a wonderful job handling the ceremony itself and the vows. We exchanged rings and became wife and wife. I will have pictures after they are sent to me by my daughter. Liz did cut back my hair somewhat which had almost found it's way to my waist and painted my fingernails. I wore the rest of my hair up with a beaded transgender clip hand made by Liz. 

Afterwards we went to our favorite local Cajun restaurant to enjoy dinner together.  

A day later I don't believe it has all sunk in yet. Liz did call me her beautiful wife just before we settled in to sleep and I wondered what could have been if I had asked her to marry me sooner.  Looking back, my excuse was early on I was still so insecure about my gender transition, I needed extra time to "mature" into the whole process of being a new person. Plus I still had extra financial baggage I was still carrying from my old life I needed to take care of. Anyway you cut it, I still had a long way to go before I could commit to something as serious as marriage vows. 

I found out yesterday too how fortunate I am to be able to be healthy enough to do all of this. At seventy three I am easily the senior person in the extended family. I used to use patriarch now matriarch. As I was saying I learned the person closet to me in age just suffered a bad fall and is bed ridden and has to be fed through a tube or port. Plus my first wife's husband also was recently hospitalized due to reasons I am not sure of. Hopefully not another stroke. The news once again reinforced in me how precious health is to all of us.

As far as my health is concerned, I was checking my recent blood lab work on a Veterans' Administration on line site (thanks Michelle) and to me most of my results seemed to be within the normal prescribed ranges. Except for the estrogen/testosterone check which always takes longer to come back. I have until the 27th before my endo visit, so I have time. 

What I don't have time for in my life is another serious relationship and/or marriage. I plan on making this one my last. In the meantime, I can't wait for the next time I have to choose which gender marker I want. It is now a resounding Mrs. Hart. 

   

Sunday, October 16, 2022

The Million Dollar Girl

Image from UnSplash

Anyway you cut it, being transgender is an expensive situation. Most of us don't have a problem looking back, or currently are going through, changing gender wardrobes. I remember vividly trying to hide small amounts of money from my wife to add to my feminine wardrobe. Changing how you look externally can be expensive if you are a transgender woman or a transgender man. 

As it turns out, clothes are just the beginning as then the need for makeup came along. Again I remember sneaking out with my paper route money and buying lipstick and eye shadow. It was all so intimidating and managed to consume my meager funds, in a hurry. Even faster than I was trying to buy my treasures and get out of the store. Plus, don't get me started on the amount of money I spent on panty hose. Get them home and have them run on me almost immediately. 

Of course, the older I became, the need for and the resources for the best wigs I could find became a priority. The better clothes I could afford, the better I could look and blend in with my desired niche in society. For years I was mainly into business woman mode with heels and hose. I wouldn't leave home with out it. Finally I shifted gears and entered my boho fashion mode which was fun and natural as it brought back many of my fond memories of hippie girls during my days in the Army. 

As transgender became a term and surgeries became more mainstream, the cost of medical care was amazingly expensive. Years and battles would have to go by before various insurances began to help cover costs. Which to this day still is an issue. Surgeries became more frequent as well as complex, adding to the already expensive processes. All of a sudden, breast augmentation surgery became increasingly popular with cis and trans women alike. And, on the other side, transgender men were going through their own form of top surgery to remove unwanted breasts. 

After all of that, many decide to go through facial femininization surgery to permanently change the way they appear to the world. Naturally, it is very expensive and often painful too. When you add it all up, it is incredibly expensive to go through these major operations which are becoming more common with the people I know.

Myself, I decided long ago not to go with any surgery. The world would just have to adjust to who I was and I was secure in who I was. 

All in all, the entire process is yet another proof being transgender is not a phase or a choice. It takes a lot to be the million dollar girl...or man.     

Saturday, October 15, 2022

One Day



Tomorrow is Liz and I's wedding day.

Photo Courtesy
Jessie Hart

Yesterday we went to the store and bought cookies and beverages for the reception which is very small as I have written about before. I think our total expenditure was only around fifty dollars. Liz already had the table clothes, plates and cups for the event which helped with the cost. 

Along the way, Liz found a wonderful useable non copy writable beautiful set of vows to read. So far the weather is even on our side promising a beautiful fall day with temperatures near seventy degrees (F). 

Speaking of beautiful, I am set to have my mane of hair trimmed and my nails done. Don't know if I will be so beautiful but it will feel wonderful to "girl-up" for a special occasion. For my wedding outfit, I have chosen my long black embroidered skirt matched with my fuzzy teal green sweater and my charcoal grey boots. I even managed to see if my long unused earrings Liz made me still fit the long unused piecing's I have in my ear lobes.  

As you can tell, simplicity is the key to the whole wedding. As well as the long lasting love we have felt for each other over the past eleven years of being together. Plus I have written before, is the fact my transgender grandchild will be at the wedding with their partner. So nice to be a role model for both of them.

Later on today, we will be journeying forth into the grocery store world to buy supplies for the week and the beginning of Liz's diet plan. It's always interesting to me after all these years to see how I am received in the public's eye. After all this time nothing really negative or exciting has happened. I can even use the shopping cart as a form of a walker to help in my getting around. 

Through it all, I still can't believe it is happening to me. I went through all those years of having no one in the middle of a gender transition. It was after the time I lost my spouse of twenty five years and I was intensely lonely. Finally I managed to fid a new group of friends who provided a social outlet as well as an example of how I could live as my authentic self. Liz was in that group of people. 

As I look back at all the dark days I spent alone somedays I think all those days were just a test to see if I deserved to transition and find another partner as I aged. 

Tomorrow will prove I could. 

Friday, October 14, 2022

Gender Embarrassment

 
Yesterday was a big day for several reasons which involved my first visit to my Veteran's Administration primary provider. A primary provider role in the VA is similar to a family doctors in the civilian world. The significance to me was once again I would have to break in another medical provider into what makes me who I am.

Who I am of course can become quite complex to the average person if they allow it to be. Yesterday I was really surprised when one of the first questions I was asked by the nurse checking me in was how I identified. I knew the VA was attempting to learn more about transgender patients so I answered "transgender lesbian" and then added she and her as my pronouns.  From there we settled into the real reasons I was there.

Jessie Hart in Civil War 
Cemetary

As I have attempted to explain before, not only are my gender issues a point of separation between me and the "normal" other patients the staff may see but also trying to explain why my care is separated between two VA hospital centers. Add in the fact I am bi-polar and questions can become a little personal. Yesterday I needed two issues resolved above all others. One of which was getting my bloodwork done here in Cincinnati which saves me a trip to Dayton, Ohio to get it done. Fortunately after I learned each center has different systems, it would take some work and patience to accomplish the relatively simple task of blood letting. Then the major problem became was what was this estrogen and testosterone test for anyway. To make matters worse, to get it done, they had to ship it out to somewhere else. I lucked out and was assigned to a tech who stuck with the process, made a few calls and finally ended up drawing eight vials of blood. It seemed everyone wanted a sample of my blood.

Now, where the embarrassment came. Finally when I was able to see my provider for the first time, she and the nurse did a fairly decent  job of using my name in place of pronouns. Then in rapid order they screwed up twice and called me the hated "he" word. They apologized completely. So much so I was embarrassed for them. Plus I didn't want to be too much of a pain because I knew I still had two shots coming. One flu and one pneumonia plus I had another big favor to ask. I held my sharp tonged response back and mumbled something similar to it's all right. Which of course, it wasn't. 

The other favor I asked was admitting I was old and I needed a handicapped sticker to place in the windshield of our car when parking spaces are sparse and far away from where we are going. Of course all the worrying I did was for nothing as in five minutes later I had a legal document from the VA to take to the motor vehicle office to apply for a window placard. 

What seemed like hours in the clinic was finally over in probably a half hour and oh yay, I was tagged to for needing another colonoscopy. I was let free to stop at our favorite fast food chicken place NOT called "Fil A" and picked up lunch.

Now it is on to finishing up our wedding prep and picking up a new member of our feline family to replace the two who passed on last year. Hopefully, all the blood work will come back fine and my providers won't have to live through their self imposed gender embarrassment again.  

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

The French Girl

 

Photo from Jonathan Borba
on UnSplash

As October progresses it is time for yet another Halloween post. This one also happened several years (or decades) ago when I was desperately searching for my true gender identity. 

As Halloween approached, once again I was torn between wearing something trashy or toning it down several notches and trying to present as a cis woman out for a good time at the party. Earlier I had decided to go to one of the biggest parties in town at a nearby venue in a convention center. Further more I knew my first wife wouldn't want to go so I would be on my own. Which gave me more freedom in my decision of what to wear. 

Since I was perpetually short on funds, plus had a small wardrobe, I needed to be creative when coming up with a "costume". 

After quite a bit of thought and a little luck I happened upon a black beret at one of the big local box stores I shopped at. Quickly I became brave enough to try it on and amazingly it fit well. The price was right and I had discovered the beginning of a party outfit to wear. One which had a theme and wasn't too trashy. Ironically I was able to put together the "costume" from the beret down and go as a French woman (not a maid). 

Since I was partial to black as it minimized my size, I had plenty of the color in my small wardrobe to work with. I started with a leotard top, added a black short skirt I had, added black tights and my black flats and was happy with the result after I added my blond wig. Included in my make up. I made sure to highlight my lips with a red lipstick and I was ready to go  For once fairly confident in how I looked and eager to experience the feedback from others. 

Predictably, most of the other party goers were too wrapped up in their own times to notice me but I did have a few unwelcome pinches to my rear area. I wonder if they knew all they were feeling was foam rubber. After a while, this person in a full robe and mask comes up to me and abruptly says "I know who you are." I was shocked until he lifted his mask and explained. He said he knew me because we grew up together and I looked like my Mom. Of course once I saw him, I did know him from my time growing up. In fact he taught me how to drive his car when I was fourteen. 

For the longest time I didn't know how to react to being recognized.  Finally my ego told me to be flattered because literally I knew I had always looked similar to my Mom and that night someone else had seen it also. Following the "outing" the person involved and I went back to rarely seeing each other so the incident never had a chance to be revisited again. 

Perhaps I was lucky it was never revisited because I learned the person who I interacted with turned out to be a huge transphobe. So I am sure the conversation wouldn't have been cordial. But in the long run I learned who cares anyway.

As far as the party went, I had a wonderful time and enjoyed immensely how the evening went along. Sadly I would have to wait another year for a re-run.  

Sunday, October 9, 2022

You Win Some - You Lose Some

Very early in my gender transition I felt I was successful if I "fooled" another person into thinking I was actually a woman. Little did I know how wrong I was. An example was I would recoil at the mention I "made" a good looking woman. I felt I wasn't making anything, I was just becoming my natural self. Perhaps I was being hard on myself because in reality I was working very hard to perfect my feminine new transgender appearance. By doing so I was encourage myself I could actually survive in the world as a woman.

At the Park
Photo by Jessie Hart

When I first began to notice I was succeeding in my feminine quest was when I was shunned by male friends I knew when I dressed as a woman for a Halloween party. My "costume" was way too serious to be mistaken as a casual excursion into the feminine gender. Maybe among all the other clues, shaving my legs for the evening gave me away. 

It wasn't until years later I realized I had witnessed the first vestiges of losing my male privilege. In other words when I was successful at presenting as a woman, I was kicked out of the boys club I had worked so hard to be accepted in. I was naïve in thinking I could to try to live part time in each binary gender. The entire process nearly cost me the ultimate loss when I tried suicide in addition to a very self destructive existence.

As I transitioned into a fulltime life as a transgender woman, I began to understand exactly what I was winning and what I was losing. Naturally what I was winning was a life as my feminine authentic self when I finally let her out of our gender closet. On the other hand, I was out of the boys club forever and needed to adjust my thinking. I learned the hard way, I had become in essence a second class citizen in the world of men. Long gone were the days when my opinion actually mattered in a group of men. Even though I knew more about the subject than they did. It was humorous to me when I was "mansplained" about a sporting comment. I lost the battle in society but won the war personally. 

I also learned the hard way how losing my male privilege could be dangerous. I write often how I was cornered at a party by a much larger man and suddenly found how vulnerable women could feel. To make matters worse I needed to be rescued by my wife. Yet another instance when losing my male privilege nearly led me to harm occurred during a late night excursion to a gay bar in downtown Dayton, Ohio. When I left the relative safety of the bar and headed down the dark sidewalk to my car I was suddenly stopped by two men. Luckily I was able to escape with no harm when I gave them my last five dollars. Never again did I walk that sidewalk alone. 

Even though there is no way I would give up my feminine privilege which included my new cis woman friends, it still is amazing to me the white male privilege so many men take for granted. 

I certainly won more than I lost.       

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Gender Euphoria's Backlash

This is an extension of yesterdays post which went into detail of one of the highly successful Halloween parties I went to. In recap, the evening turned out to be so successful gender euphoria ruled my life for several days following. 

Halloween with Kathy
Photo Jessie Hart

By the time this happened, I should have been able to predict it would occur again almost down to the day. Essentially the pressure of being unable to explore my feminine self became so great I nearly could not stand the pressure. The more pressure I felt, the harder to live or work with became. I was so jealous of any cis woman who I perceived was so fortunate to be born female and having the chance to grow into a woman. It was all a throw back to when I was young and woke up in the morning wanting to be a girl. 

Later I learned my all too brief trips into cross dressing as a woman just wouldn't last. My gender backlash would soon be back to haunt me. I also found out, the more intensely pleasurable the cross dressing experience was, the stronger the need to repeat the process. As knowledge of gender became more well known, what I was going through was gender euphoria versus gender dysphoria. In scientific terms, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  

In the case of the Halloween party I wrote about, the euphoria I felt from feeling I was able to compete appearance wise with the other women I was with was intense. In the days following my adventure, it didn't take long for my gender dysphoria to set in. When it did set in, it did it with a passion. I couldn't stand to look at my male face in the mirror in the morning and my day automatically started on the wrong foot. Once again I was stuck wondering why I couldn't live a feminine life more often. My inner self who was feminine in nature was screaming to get out. 

My entire reason in writing this post was my desire to point out no matter how pleasurable to finally burst out of my gender closet it was during these Halloween adventures, finally learning I had a deeper need to be a transgender woman was slowly but surely ripping me apart. When I say was nasty coming down off my gender euphoria I mean it. I was fired from one job for how I treated my employees and almost lost several others. Finally I had to tell my bosses I was undergoing anger management training when in fact I was going to a gender psychologist. It saved my job and helped somewhat with my dysphoria. 

Halloween was such a learning experience for me, I craved the euphoria when I achieved it which was not always the case. Some Halloweens were more special than others and if I knew then what I know now, I would have recognized the true depth of all my gender issues. Putting on the feminine clothes was all well and good but it turned out the clothes were just the tip of the gender iceberg.  One thing is for sure, I would have understood the negative aspects of  backlash better.