Showing posts with label Paula's Place. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paula's Place. Show all posts

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Paula's Place

 Recently here in Cyrsti's Condo, I shared a comment from Paula and her thoughts on being a transgender musician. After going back and checking the post I noticed the link she shared to her blog didn't work for me at least. Back in another Cyrsti's Condo platform I always had her blog in my "Wanna Hook Up" linking section. 

To straighten things up, I re-added her link for you all to find. Here is the link: and she currently has a great post called "A Bad Year for Showoffs" you may want to check out.

In the meantime, here is a excellent picture of Paula.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Disappearing CrossDresser?

Saturday I was supposed to meet another of the 'family' for lunch. To be fair, I don't how she identifies; crossdresser, transgender, or "gurl". We were to meet in a very well known coffee and sandwich shop (not called Starbucks)  but for whatever reason, coffee with her never happened.

Since I had arranged my day to meet her, yes I was more disturbed than I normally am. If you are backing off-tell me. Won't be the first time. Saturday's deal is not the point of this post though.

I began to wonder how many under the LGBT - CD umbrella over the years I have met (even if on Facebook or comments to Cyrsti's Condo) who have faded away. Or abruptly disappeared. 

Of course I have several ideas like:

  1. Ill health or death
  2. The wife or family found out
  3. They grew tired of the fantasy of being the second coming of Marilyn Monroe
  4. The sheer amount of work to make a transition got to be too much
  5. Financial resources
I could probably go on, but you get the point. Plus, I need to say I only really know in person a couple trans people-one woman-one man. Then, here on line, I can claim several more like Connie, Shelle, and Stana (who I have met once) and Paula. Then, there are the transgender veterans like Carla Lewis who I share an extra bit of history. (Shelle again too.)

I guess I should look at the point of this blog as a positive influence on potential LGBTQ family members. If I can shed any light on the process, my work is complete. 

Just one thing, if you want to meet me for coffee-don't stand me up-please. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Coffee With Paula?

Paula's Place blog (Paula Goodwin), is one I keep up with as much as I can. It has always been interesting to me how similar on occasion our transgender experiences can be - even though we are an ocean apart.

Recently she posted her transition ideas along with a drawing from Hannah's McKnight's illustrated transgender blog.

The key point to a transition is when you don't think about gender. You are simply you. An example from me was one of the last meetings I went to. The group issued name tags asking for preferred pronouns. I put down her, she and me (not really). On the other hand one my preferences is not to be ever called a "female" which I consider a physical birth issue.

So, I agree with Paula and Hannah totally and ironically picked up on the barista word from Hannah. 

The other night I was waiting in line for a coffee from the "big time" coffee chain who currently is in trouble from the "radical right" for what they are putting on Christmas themed coffee cups. (Get a life.)

I waited, I waited and I waited some more for only two people ahead of me. The first guy, I don't know what his deal was, except he ordered some special blend from the peak of Mt. Everest and never shut up. The person in front of me had a visitor while we were in line waiting to celebrating another birthday and then again on the phone while she was ordering. What the hell! Did she forget the order?

By the time it was really my turn to order, I was thinking death may be an improvement over a cup of coffee. The barista said "how can we start you off?" my mind translated "how can we help you sir." I said "excuse me?" and she repeated what she really said. (no sir)

The happy ending was I was able to order a simple cup of coffee, not celebrate a birthday and get to my meetup on time.

And yes, the lead "barista" apologized for the peeps ahead of me-not mis gendering me-which she didn't anyhow.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Full Time Is In the Mind of the Transitioner?

Paula (left) of Paula's Place came up with a wonderful blog post the other day, essentially revolving around going "full time" as a transgender woman.  Here is an excerpt:

"Without any conscious decision being made I have found that over this last week I have in effect gone full time.   Last week I went to both a rehearsal at my Church and a CIWM meeting authentically,   I also came out to my RSCM committee and the All Soul's Orchestra and have received nothing but support.

Then on Sunday evening I was scheduled to be playing with the worship band for our evening service, when it came to it I just couldn't bring myself to "butch up" and so didn't bother getting changed, just refreshed my lippy and went.   While in no way was I particularly flamboyant I would say that I was pretty obviously presenting female.   I don't know what I was expecting or indeed what I feared, but there was no drama, no lightening bolts, and not even any comments.   I suspect that my being trans in now such old news that everyone was just waiting for it happen!"

For some time now, I think my life has paralleled Paula's in that I am not screaming to the world I am transgender, but in the unforgiving winter weather we are experiencing, and with minimum feminine upkeep , the world still knows something is amiss.  I just don't fit in their comfortable binary gender category.  I know though, I am retired and have not faced the terror of coming to work one day as one gender and the next as another. However, as Paula said people around you have to be pretty dense to not notice any transitional changes, going on with you.

One way or another, I love it when someone else writes a blog post for me!!! Thanks Paula! Follow the link above to her blog.

Rest assured, should you decide to make the transitional gender journey, no matter how you do it-the peaks and valleys and twists and turns will keep you guessing!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


As we approach the Halloween costume and party season, the chances for our "trans-dar" senses to emerge will be even more frequent.

The "trans-dar" concept of course is with us 24/7 anyway.  I read about it most recently on Paula's Place but have seen Stana on Femulate pass along her experiences, as well as Mandy. Plus, Pat's comments here on the Cyrsti's Condo blog.  (I'm sure my old addled noggin is missing out on more of you I can't remember at the moment!)

Why "Trans-dar" at all?  I think our excursions into the girl's sandbox, no matter as a cross dresser or transgender woman, make us naturals.The only more natural "trans-dar" folks are genetic women.  Of course they have "lived" what we are attempting to live from day one. If they are true women and not just female baby makers, their "trans-dar" is even better. They know the effort it takes to have pride in your appearance and style while all the time making it look natural and effortless.

Here's a question, how many of us have actually acted when our "trans-dar" went off?  If you have, please tell me!  I can never remember hearing or reading of anyone who actually spoke to a cross dresser or transgender woman in public they didn't know. The chances have been slim for me.

I can't ever remember ever seeing more than ten or so individuals I thought may be a "sister of the cloth." Here are my excuses for not making contact: I wasn't totally sure, I couldn't get close enough to them, or they looked so scared and jumpy, I was afraid they would fall in their heels and hurt themselves running away.  My plan now is simple and one I wish I would have thought of years ago.  Just make eye contact and say "hi". That way I won't have to feel guilty about doing nothing.

Revisiting Halloween, it's the time of year for closeted CD's to get out and "strut their stuff!"  Similar to when I look at womanless pageant contestants- I am on the outlook for the level of "expertise".  I look for shaved legs, the probable expense of the "costume"  and how comfortable the person wearing it is.  Think of it as Cyrsti's version of "he might be a cross dresser-if."

Ironically, (as we will visit a number of times as Halloween approaches) much of the actual "fun" has gone out of the season for me as I have transitioned.  This year though, my partner Liz is working hard to put the fun back in Halloween and more!  She is also keeping her idea extremely secret.  I will tell all of you- when we all make it past the "need to know" basics.  I can only say I think I won't be setting off anyone's "trans-dar" in my female based costume-but a ton of "scare-dar."

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Award Winning

This morning, being the radical person I am, I changed up my routine while the joe (coffee) was brewing, instead of burrowing into my email accounts, I just had to pass along this post from one of the few Tuba playing, super gardening transgender women on the planet....Paula Goodwin.  It comes from her Paula's Place blog and is called "Who am I?"  The subject is what makes a blog a "gender blog?":
Paula (on the right)
Here is an excerpt:  The other day I noticed a comment on Stana's Femulate which made an observation about "Gender Blogs", now it is usually the poss on blogs that get me thinking but this comment made me wonder, what is it that makes a "Gender Blog"? and is this one?

It seems that I'm not the only one thinking along these lines at the moment, Cyrsti noted on her Condo that she had made a few "genderless posts" and the wonderful Hanna wondered of she should be writing about more than just clothes and makeup, I enjoy these blogs and would say to them both, don't try to change, just carry on doing what comes naturally.

And more:

Certainly it was my gender issues that made me start the blog, it soon became a safe place for me to note my thoughts and feelings, and occasionally get some feedback from people who had walked this path before me.   It was a chance to talk about my outings, discuss my latest clothing purchases and talk about makeup.   But soon the rest of my life leaked in.   I am not just transgender but many other things as well, so I hope that is reflected in my blog, I know the blogs I enjoy reading most are reflect the whole person, not just their gender identity.  

First of all I was flattered to be included in Paula's thoughts and two, the excerpts above are just a portion of her thoughts. (Follow the link above for the whole post.)   

Finally, my feelings on the matter of writing a "gender blog" is this.  When I started Cyrsti's Condo, it even had a different name and was a suggestion of an on line acquaintance who I had shared my  cross dressing experiences with.  More than several people seemed to be be interested in my antics and wanted to read more.  Then my orientation began to change with HRT and living more and more as a transgender woman- and I kept writing.  So to this point, you all have transitioned with me to the point of even buying my book "Stilletto's on Thin Ice." - if you wanted the in depth version.

So I suppose, in many ways I'm beginning to feel the same way as transgender women such as Laverne Cox and Carmen Carerra do:  I am actively merging all my social media accounts involving my non gender related business and interests into one account on Twitter, Pinterest, etc...I do all of this and I just happen to be transgender too. An example is,  if you go to my Pinterest page you will see boards reflecting my love for vintage items and "ambiance" home decorating ideas as well as the usual plethora of cross dresser, transgender pix.

Who knows? Maybe as I merge everything I love into one person and project it into the world, I won't be writing a "gender blog" anymore.  But that is another topic for another post and thank you Paula!

Monday, August 11, 2014

We Got Mail!

In a recent Cyrsti's Condo post I referred to an experience I enjoyed when I met Stana of the Femulate blog fame - and as it turned out leg fame.  The post simply mentioned how her legs had guys bumping into walls.  I did make one mistake though in the post, she (Stana) is 6'2" without heels!  She is living proof you can be older -more mature :)- and tall and sow off those dynamite legs of yours if you do it right...
Here's Stana's comment:  Thank you for the very kind words, Cyrsti! And by the way, I am 6'2" 
without heels!

I "calls em like I sees em Stana!" Speaking of "sees em."  For years I used to play the game of positioning myself where I could see over my wife's shoulder and still make eye contact with her when needed.  Of course she knew that too and it became sort of an a "cat and mouse" game.  When I met Stana, I just happened to be in a situation where the same thing happened!

Some time ago I posted a rhetorical question asking which transgender model would break the Victoria's Secret "trans barrier." Would she be Carmen Carerra or Andreja Pejic? (below)  Mandy Sherman's vote was-

Both are gorgeous...but my vote's with Andreja. Just because...

I don't know Mandy but have a notion to lean with Andreja also.  Only because of her enormous amount of modeling experience, name and body style.  I think Carmen deserves it because she has worked harder at getting it but is blessed with a curvier feminine body which doesn't necessarily "mesh" with what Victoria Secret's marketing audience is.

Unfortunately, like everything else, it's as simple as "following the money."  Would signing either help their (Victoria's) bottom line?

Continuing my continuous quest to not keep putting my foot in my mouth (before someone else but their's up another part of my body) - at one point I did go back a change my reference to Stana's age as "more mature." Along the way I also made an attempt to refer to Paula's interests as "more unique."   She responded:

I like that "unique tastes"! Doesn't everybody like Gardens and Brass Bands?  Why yes Paula! I'm sure they do! (wink)

Finally, Linda Marie Daniels commented on Woman less pageant participant Spencer:

Spencer looks amazing! Really a natural. I'd be surprised if this was the first time Spencer wore a dress.

Yes! He certainly didn't just "throw this on" on hit the runway!  What really got me were his "poses".  He was either heavily coached or self taught to throw the shoulders back, rock the legs and work the runway.  Who knows, maybe his favorite show was Tyra Banks Top Model ?

LADIES! Thanks for the comments! Love em and you!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Cyrsti's Condo "Sunday Morning Edition"

Hello, all! Hope the "Joe" is brewing and you have a bit of time to sit down and enjoy our "Sunday Edition."

Page 1.-  "Terf Balls"  The never ending battle between the radical feminists or woymn and the radical transgender seemed to come full circle and out again this week.  Perhaps, it all coincided with the time of the year "Michfest" happens in Michigan. It's the festival famously known for it's exclusion of trans women by woymn born woymn.  If you read the never ending war of words between both sides, the discussion ranges from the ridiculous to the pathetic - sadly.  In my simplistic ways of thought, the woymn can stay in their little corner of the girls sandbox and use some sort of "original equipment" genitalia requirement to be there.  Flip the coin, it's the same idea as the males who think they are men because of how many kids they have with how many different women.  The females Terf's have just come up with a fancier name for their little clique in the sandbox.

Page 2.- "Feminism and the Trans Girl."  Ironically this subject "bounced back" to me here in the states, Canada, from a Janie Black post, and from the U.K and Paula.  To me, feminism can be defined as human rights-pure and simple.  To exclude transgender women from the battles other women have been fighting for years is totally ludicrous to me.  First of all, we trans girls bring a unique aspect to the fight which is needed and we bring numbers.  Perhaps it goes back to the basic gender theory that women form cliques and men form teams.  All that really matters is, from the Hobby Lobby supreme court case to the upcoming same sex marriage case (in the supreme court) - the big court is seemingly listening to the public will.  Which, unfortunately is tied into who will scream loudest.  Also, what is swept under the carpet around the country is the amount of violence against domestic women.  Somehow you would think the Terf's and Trans Nazi's alike would get their minds off of original equipment genitalia and help scream in unison.

Page 3.- "Top 5 Things Trans Girls Wish Guys Knew"  We did a fun post recently which was a spin off from a college woman's site.  To which Michellewhois commented:  I loved this! You hit the proverbial nail squarely on the head.  If you haven't read it, just follow the link above-back to it.

Page 4.- "Coming Out-Everywhere."  From Paula's Place :"The big breaking news here in the UK this morning is the transition of Boxing Promoter Frank Maloney, now known as Kelly."  Should I say "News from the World Wide Transgender News Network? Thanks Paula!!! News like this brings up an ancient Cyrsti Proverb (sorry Confucius!) "If you can't beat us, understand us or join us, we certainly aren't going away!"

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Didn't We All?

I loved this comment from Paula concerning our Cyrsti's Condo "Skirting the Issue"post for a couple of reasons.

You're right I think we have all gone through (or got stuck in) the "Leg Phase" I am tempted to say that it is all part of growing up. Since many of us didn't start going out wearing complete outfits until we are of more mature years we end up making the mistakes our daughters make in their teens in our forties. I am sure that I am not your only middle aged reader who now regrets the leather mini skirt and thigh boots, yet somehow I still find it difficult to discard them.

I so agree with the "growing up" idea and I so remember my conservative wife telling me how she passed her Mom's inspection on the way out the door to school and then proceeded to roll up her skirt to more of a mini skirt length before she got to school. Then there is Stana.  She is a role model of how a more mature transgender woman can showcase her legs.  She is tall (6' 2" I think in heels) and I vividly remember when we met. She was wearing the outfit on the left. Soon, I ended up sitting and then standing where I could see the men checking her out over her shoulder...bumping into things! 
But, the point needs to be made she is fortunate enough to be able wear that outfit.  If I had her legs-I would too. Almost all of us male structured body types though,  have some sort of redeeming feminine values, if we look for them. Example? For the most part we have the "inverted triangle figure" going on (below) and have to work around our shoulders.
Before HRT took over, my triangle wasn't quite so dramatic because I had sort of a rounded proportioned guy deal going on.  I could add a little hip foam to equal the width of my shoulders, played with my breast side and learned the hard way to make myself as presentable as I could.

Also, I can have a little fun with my legs, especially with cooler times coming up around here.  I positively love the feel and look of leggings and what you can wear them with!

Before we go, I must leave you with a classic British quote from Paula:
Remembering the famous line about "not doing it in the street and frightening the horses" I now always check myself in the mirror and ask myself the question "Will I frighten the horses?"

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

We Are NOT Related...But...

 Referring back to the recent Cyrsti's Condo post I wrote about my interaction with the young gay boy the other night, I received a quick comment from Paula of Paula's Place  concerning her first visit to a local Pride event and thinking almost the same thing. She said: I was in Brighton for the biggest Pride event in the UK at the weekend, and there were an awful lot of boys there (Gay and Straight) who could do with learning that lesson... (left).

As I always do, after my impulsive outbursts die down along with the emotions and passions- my biggest misconception continues to be that in any way I am "related" to the rest of the gay and lesbian community.  I suppose dots could be connected between how I identify as my  gender and my relationship with a lesbian woman but that's it.

"Back in the day" I'm sure, we as the transgender community had to be lumped into a bigger group for identification and political reasons.  We became the "T" in the LGBT which is populated now with lots of other letters.

I suppose what I don't understand about the human critter and groups in particular is why when the groups become successful,  they forget their origins and become inclusive or even enabled

Of course the most "enabled" group of all are the cis gay males.  For the most part they are working the system wonderfully to their advantage (good for them!) but like any cis man- just don't have the empathy to reach out to those they don't understand.  The other night, It did my soul good to watch gay television personality Andy Cohen use the transgender word with Laverne Cox. Perhaps with enough exposure my "little buddy" from the other night will learn - I wasn't cross dressed any more than Laverne Cox was.

I guess I shouldn't be so surprised - of the the town I'm from and unfortunately still live in part time. Yes, it's the same city only 50 some miles from Columbus where I had to introduce myself to the local Equality Group as the only transgender woman  They only use the words gay and lesbian and the newly elected female black city commissioner is now the deciding vote to keep  discriminatory TGBLQ laws on the books in the 6 th largest city in Ohio.

Maybe I'm asking too much?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

All Cross Dressed and Broken Down!

Unfortunately, I learned quickly in my cross dressing experience-my car wasn't the safe extension of my bedroom mirror at home.  First I had to get to it, potentially drive it past people I knew and hoped it didn't break down.

Again, I wasn't alone and not even on the same continent as we will read from Paula: (Paula's Place)

 A good while back (while Dinosaurs still roamed the Earth) I learned that a car is not a private safe place, I was dressed extremely inappropriately, high heel boots, leopard print tights and leather miniskirt (I know but have got better) not only was I deep in the closet at the time, I was so deep that I also sported a beard! I thought hat I was in a safe private place where I could indulge my little "hobby", and all was fine until I was stopped by the Police and asked to get out of the car so that I could see my tail light was out. The Constable who talked to me was good as gold, but his "mate" in the car behind was wetting himself laughing. Lesson learned!

Damn Paula! with all the love I can muster, rarely do I read of a person who has outdone me in the cross dressing crazy department! I am sure I have been the "butt" of many post "pull overs" police department stories.  Never did catch them laughing to my face!

However, you do bring up a great point.  Before you go into the world trying out all your "girl toys" you need to plan ahead least with a story.  When I was doing drag at gay venues, it was pretty easy for me to tell any questioning cops what I was-doing -drag! If I stopped at a so called straight venue on the way home and got picked out of the crowd as a CD...same story. Most just figured I was a gay guy anyhow in a dress and makeup and left it at that. Those were the days I did though, get approached by quite a few curious genetic women.

I don't think it ever gets easier but now I mostly confuse a lot of people as I transition (next post) and my drivers license picture even looks very androgynous (says male) but is clearly me.  So first and foremost the police know I'm not doing anything terribly bad.  Usually just being stupid.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Cyrsti's Condo "Mail Bag"

One of the new bags given to me recently!
Plenty of comments to get to today in "the Condo" which is great!!!

Let's go "across the pond" first, to Paula in the UK...She commented on our "End of Cross Dressing" post:

Basically the post commented on the blurred lines between "hetero sexual" cross dressers and "straight men".

 I now identify primarily as a hetro trans woman, but working out what that means is complicated. Testosterone still flows and the bloke will still "look" at the the girls, but the woman checks out the guys, of course we get confused. I say I am hetro because I have no wish to make love with woman as a woman, or a man as a man. Sometimes I question myself as to whether it is my sexuality that drives my trans,or the other way round, other times I just have a glass of wine.

Thanks Paula!  A great answer to a complex personal issue!  Seemingly we face too many "chicken or the egg" discussions as cross dressers, transgender women and men on our journey of self discovery!

Paula also commented in the same vein on the "Trans Dar versus Trans Nazi" post:

It slowly dawned on me that to most Gay people I am asexual, the girls know I am a bloke so are simply not interested, and the blokes now that I am a girl and so they aren't interested either, interestingly this makes an excellent basis for really good friendships.

Surely Paula, we do make interesting friends because of how we see the world and the shift of sexual tension in the human critter.  My "take" on it is- the more feminized I become, gay guys have less interest in me than they never had anyway.  AS, they are so fond of saying anyway, "If they wanted a woman, they would have had one by now."  The women know I'm not genetic but I live in their world and they are for the most part intrigued.  The more the HRT changes me though, the less that is true to the casual observer. 

As far as lesbians go, I found that after I got used to how "gruff" many were, I thrived with some, strongly identify with and thoroughly enjoy their unique culture.

The "blokes" of course are the challenge.  To many, I'm simply invisible, to others I carry some sort of plaque they may catch and die.  The very few who take the time to know me do respond to my take on the world. It's no secret, I do like an intelligent, traveled, mildly opinionated man and I respond intellectually  to them. Sadly as I am arriving at a point, that at the least I can interact with a man as a trans woman, I have not yet been able to do much.  But I understand why.

It's a crazy world we live in, but not necessarily a bad one unless we make it that way! One of the biggest mistakes I made was "back in the day" when I began to come out was hiding in my shell-once I hit the world.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Taking It All for Granted?

I read a post this morning from the Paula's Place blog which I visit regularly.  Here's an excerpt which caught my eye and heart.  She has being doing an alphabet blogging challenge which explains her reference to the "R post."

My life is at a point of flux and I am uncertain which way it is going to go. A few days ago under my R post I said I was Ready, well I am but I am also uncertain, and just a little frightened. I am aware that this is a one way journey, and that I am getting close to a point of no return, and I need to consider how this will affect other people as well as me. 

 Many of my friends are telling me that I should only consider myself, but I believe I need to consider my daughter in all my actions, how will what I choose impact on her life. She is stridently inclusive in her outlook, but these things can often be different when they are personal, when it is your own father. I am also uncertain about my wife, my Church, and my customers. At some point I will need to make these decisions but not just yet.

Of course I was in Paula's shoes for literally decades.  Now, I try never to take my situation for granted because as I have said a zillion times here in Cyrsti's Condo, the path to my transition was made easier by several very sad events in my life.  Here's an example:  Through Frock Magazine, I recently learned of a film company which was searching for participants to work with them on a transgender documentary.  Being the curious critter that I am, I contacted them to learn what they were looking for.  It turned out they were looking for transgender persons who were in the process of actively coming out to others-which pretty much left me out.  I told her my story of almost everyone of substance in my life fooling around and dying on me in a two year period. (Except my parents who passed years ago.) With a clean slate, I just started over and formed a circle of friends who never knew the old me to start with and came out to my only child, a very accepting daughter. It was clear, I didn't really fit what she was looking for.

So while I can understand Paula's dilemma's, as the days pass, I have to be careful I don't lose my empathy for her and so many like her.  Not having a job to worry about transitioning in, a wife who passed years ago who never accepted me being more than a cross dresser and an accepting religion-I'm certainly in the right place for the sad reasons.

At the end of each day and at the beginning of each new day, I must make sure I never take any of my life for granted and Paula, follow your soul girl friend!

Workplace Issues

Image from Gabrielle Henderson  on UnSplash. Sadly, many transgender women and trans men still get discriminated against when they seek out ...