Showing posts with label Transgender Vet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Transgender Vet. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Be Thankful...Dammit

I have never been one to be satisfied. I was always rushing around the next corner to see what was on the other side. Looking back at the majority of my life, I have very few regrets. The one major one I do have is how my gender dysphoria drove me on at often was a frenetic pace. I believe the dysphoria plus perhaps my bi-polar disorder led me to always be on the outlook for a new job and/or a new place to live. Once I achieved a certain level of cross dressing it was never enough which always seemed to get me into more trouble with my wife and lead to more self destructive behavior. For the most part though, I was always able to outrun my self. 

Through the years, I ended up living in many different places such as the NYC metro area all the way to Appalachia along the Ohio River near Kentucky and West Virginia. My self stress ended getting me fired from one job and led me to nearly losing another but I survived. Finally with my share of therapy and by coming out of the closet to live as my true self...a transgender woman.

These days of course, I am seventy years old and have been grounded by choice. My partner Liz has provided me more support than I could ever ask for and I do my best to return the favor whenever I can. I believe thanks to my age and the effects of using the HRT hormones I have mellowed to the point where I can finally appreciate the power of a relationship and not take it for granted. Which I am thankful for. It seems the biggest problem I have these days is waiting for my stimulus check to show up so I can be "stimulated" by getting a letter from our idiot in chief president thanking him for giving it to me. The IRS portal finally told me it was sent out recently. 

So, unlike so many people, we as a family are fortunate to have a roof over our head, food to eat and compatible people I get along with. There are only three of us and Liz has been unemployed now for over a month and her 22 year old son who also lost his job. All he does is eat and sleep and plays video games, so we barely see him,

Even with all these positives though, it's been tough for me. I feel so sad for what has happened to the restaurant business which I spent thirty plus years in and can't wait to safely go out to eat again.

Finally, I do believe my experience as a transgender woman has given me the wisdom and experience to hopefully make it through this challenge unscathed.   

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Social Distancing

As the new reality continues and even becomes more ingrained in our lives, social distancing has become one of the words of the day. Plus more and more of us who are fortunate enough to have our own hair, are beginning to think seeing our hair dresser is an essential activity. Especially for those who have to have their hair colored. Thanks to the insight years ago from my former stylist, we decided to let my hair revert back to it's natural soft grey tones. So really, all I have to worry about is getting it trimmed and shaped once things get back to normal.

These days too, I notice the number of cis women commenting on their lack of hair maintenance and I understand. Following the first trip to an upscale hair salon my daughter gifted me when I first came out to her, I was hooked on going to a hair salon to be pampered and "touched up." 

Unfortunately, over the years I tried hair shortcuts such as trying to color my own very long and thick hair. I managed to get in trouble by getting color all over the bathroom walls and towels as I learned the hard way how hard it was to remove the stains. Plus, I also became very adept at missing parts of my hair when I was coloring it. 

These days, the only thing I worry about with my hair is it becoming too long and unmanageable. However, with people maintaining a safe distance from me I will automatically look better. Perhaps like when they turn the lights down in a pub for happy hour. And I am not the only one! Let's check in with Connie in Seattle:

"OK, the social distancing is already improving my looks. Ten feet might be even better, but viewing me from six feet away is much easier on others' eyes than from two feet! :-)

The countless hours I spent working on and improving my looks during my self-induced isolation, over years of closeted cross dressing, should have been more than enough. The trouble is, though, it wasn't until my fifties that I finally showed myself to the public. I am, by nature, a perfectionist, so I always have seen room for self-improvement. If I had the means to "turn back time," as does Cher, maybe I could improve on what age has taken from my looks. Sitting in front of the mirror now, during this Covid-19 isolation, primping and adoring myself, is not going to cut it like it did those years ago. In fact, these days, doing so seems a rather silly thing for me to do. Unless I had a special occasion that warranted a glam look, I now just spend as little effort and time in order to make myself less-than-perfect - but still acceptable.

So far, I'm still allowed to work. In normal times, I work outside with hundreds of tourists all around me. This morning, I didn't get any closer than twenty feet from one person, and only noticed a few others further away. I still put on some makeup, though, along with a do-rag scarf on my head and old jeans. It's my Rosie the Riveter look - all the rage this Spring! :-)"

Sounds like fun :). Stay safe everyone.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Dispatches from Elsewhere

If you haven't seen the television show Dispatches from Elsewhere starring (among others) transgender actress Eve Lindley, now is a great time to see it or even binge watch it if you can. 

Without giving away any major secrets or spoiler alerts, the show deftly gives plenty of screen time to Lindley and dances around the fact she is transgender without ever coming out and saying far. I can also tell you the show is very different. But, as far as the trans angle goes it doesn't shy away from issues we face such as violence and acceptance.

To find the show, search your provider for the AMC Television Network, it is shown on Monday nights at 10 PM (Eastern Standard Time) 
 where I live here in Ohio.  Also, you can check out a picture of Eve Lindley below.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Up Close and Personal

All of a sudden, all my future appointments with the Veteran's Administration are coming due. For those of you who possibly don't know, I am a transgender vet and I get my health care through the VA.

Let me see now if I can remember everything they (VA) want to do. Sometime next week I need to have my ankle X-rayed and go through a colonoscopy pre screening on the telephone. They had no sense of humor when I asked if I could go through the whole thing on the phone.

Following all of that, the week of Labor Day, I have approximately four appointments. The first of which is a heart sonar test. Then I have three appointments up in Dayton, Ohio. One of which is in hematology blood work checkup and two mental health appointments.

To add insult to possible injury, I am still waiting to hear from the pulmonary lab who want to schedule another test on my lungs.

Hopefully, after all of this, nothing will be wrong.

But at the least, I am having it checked.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Where to go From Here

Independence Day has now come and gone, so now we have a fairly long stretch of summer coming up with very little happening. Plus, this run of brutal heat is continuing for at least another day before we have a respite this weekend.

Next week though, I have a transgender-crossdresser meeting on Monday, which should be fun because one of the trans moderators just got engaged this weekend. Then on Tuesday, I make the journey North to see my therapist at the Dayton, Ohio Veterans Administration campus. 

As far as summer fashion goes, I am pretty well set, so I should start looking ahead to the fall and it's new fashion trends. Perhaps I can find a deal or two on the racks where I shop.

Also, Liz and I want to take another "mini" vacation sometime in August. Most likely, back up to Columbus, Ohio. We might want to work it in before The Ohio State University gets back for it's fall session towards the end of the month. (August)

It's tough to wish time away at my age, so this time I will call it...advanced planning!

Friday, June 17, 2016

THE Reason For Me To Go Pride

Turns outs this S.O.B is supposed to be at Cincinnati Pride:
Back in my Army days. one of the prerequisites of Basic Training was complete knowledge
 of  the M-16. (automatic rifle) I hope this guy has some training and really knows just a little about love. I feel sorry too for the police who have to follow this hater around.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Just to catch up on a few political stories, North Carolina and the Feds are in the courts suing each other in a non problem which was made into one...transgender bathroom rights. North Carolina must be a rich state with plenty of money to lose!

Kristin BeckNow, in case you didn't hear, one of the most positive role models (who has come out recently) Kristin Beck, lost her election bid to win a seat in the US Congress over one of the strongest Democratic long term incumbents. If you don't know her story, Kristin is a former Navy Seal and a trans person I hope we hear a lot from in the future!

Finally, in the Philippines, Geraldine Roman on Tuesday celebrated overcoming "bigotry, hatred and discrimination" as results showed she had become the first transgender politician to win a congressional seat in the predominantly Catholic Philippines.

After her victory in Monday's election, Roman, 49, is being seen by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community as a source of hope in a country where Church influence means divorce, abortion and same-sex marriage are banned.
See more here.  To coin a term, the more the world tries to keep us in, the more out we have become!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Dr. Phil - Meet Kristin Beck

Liz is a bigger Dr. Phil fan than I am. So, I cringed when she couldn't wait to tell me the "Philster" was actually going to tackle a transgender topic today.

More precisely, the show was about a former trans military cop who was cutting a wide swath through her family as she transitioned. Her step Dad at the beginning of the show was so upset he was shaking and I was afraid he was going to hyper-ventilate. Her wife? Seemingly without much warning, the transgender woman said she now liked men and wanted out.

No surprises right? Dr. Phil is going to rush in and tell the newly minted trans woman to stop or at least slow down. 

Wrong...spoiler alert...former Navy Seal Kristin Beck was called in. (Transgender herself) -To add perspective and perspective she did. Her main point with Step Dad was being transgender is not a choice and Dr. Phil backed Kristin 110 %! Kristin also told the trans woman to "slow down" with her transgender "puberty" and don't destroy all of those who love her.

Dr.Phil did a wonderful job of asking Step Dad if he could even consider a person could be "hardwired" into a non birth gender. After miss pronouning Kristin to the point of calling her an "it", Phil finally made it through-with a final warning-never call a Navy Seal an it!!! He could get kicked over the building.

Liz made me swear I would not tell any of you how impressed I was with this the point of tears.

So I won't. Except to say follow the link above to find it!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Training the Therapist?

Well, what turns out to have been my last VA therapist visit for awhile, went very much without any amazing results.  I don't think therapy in essence is designed to have instantaneous mind blowing results. (No pun intended-yes it was!)

In yesterday's Cyrsti's Condo post, I mentioned perhaps offhandedly about not thinking my therapist may be qualified to talk to me.  Michellewhois (Thanks!!!) mentioned in a comment, I could request another. It turned out my therapist is leaving the VA for greener pastures and I didn't have to-if I wanted and she offered. I respectively declined. Historically, for the most part, I have been able to balance the many facets of my life without therapyPlease remember though, to each their own as far as therapy goes.

Perhaps the most meaningful part of the visit grew out of when she told me "I seemed 'more grounded.' (Remember, I did my first session with her in guy drag.) I just said, I am more grounded now because I have very simply "synced" my gender with my outside self.  The conversation "morphed" into perhaps I had a bit of an easier time of transitioning into a feminine lifestyle because of my previous experiences working with groups of generics.  Specifically, power structure differences between the genders. 

All of this lead us into coming up with her three major male gender influences-or what men really care about (other than sex). I don't remember her other two, but I added power to her list. After all, it has been a very relevant topic following the release of the "Fifty Shades of Gray" movie.  I just told her, like so many aspects of a guy's life, power is a much simpler concept than a woman's. Just toss in equal parts of physical and financial powers and pretty much you got it.  The sublets of athletic prowess and looks fall into the physical parts and the financial speaks for itself.  Yet another benefit of working through a MtF gender transitioning I told her, was watching men. Interact in their world-one which is no longer mine.

So, that was it.  On another bright side, my primary doctor's lead nurse literally ran into me in the hall and she was able to update all of what has been happening with me within the VA.-a highly desirable deal!!  Before the day was over however, people watching was very much back into my thoughts. Not with men though, but with a generic (I assume).  More coming up!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Transgender Vet Follow Up

Marcia was suggesting a trans vet roll call of sorts and I was sent one (thanks!). Here on Susan's Place. Or, you can find it on my list of links too!  Thanks J!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Cyrsti's Condo "Sunday Edition"

"Ker Plunk!" it's time for another issue of the Sunday Edition in the Condo.

Page 1.- Courage.  Just to be different this morning, I'm going to go a bit out of order with how I structure the edition and go with a comment I received from Jen Smith.  It concerned the experience last week I had last week with a guy who called me "Sir".  To catch you up, I simply lost it and asked the guy "WTF" did you call me?   Jen wrote:

This is an amazing story to me. You must be one special person, so brave, to handle a situation like this. You were in the military with him? I would have probably gone into shock at how to react in a situation like this. It seems like you have tons of confidence! Take care! jen

Thanks so much Jen!  As far as "brave" goes, I think I had my split second angry reaction covered in my brain before he did it.  It wasn't like I was in a situation where I would face physical harm with some redneck guy and his friends-this guy knowingly or not - gender trashed me for years.  I just had had it.  For some reason I turned on him before I knew it.  No, we weren't in the military together.  He was in the Marines and I was in the Army and the only common ground we have is we were both in Vietnam.  He served an entire tour there while I was just passing through (thank goodness!)

Looking back, perhaps I should have an added a "don't try this at home" tag to this post.  I also should point out, I essentially transitioned in front of the regular head bartender in this sports bar. It's down the way from where my wife worked before she passed and both of us stopped in when I was a guy way back then.  She got a kick out of when I verbally "swatted" John because he so deserved it.  I suppose my shock set in Jen, when I got to meet his wife and daughter who were so nice.

Page 2.- Trans Ohio Finally finished all the registration work and overnight lodging reservations for the Trans Ohio Symposium in a couple of weeks.  The problem was (if you are a golfer) the Memorial PGA Golf Tournament is going to held in roughly the same area of Columbus that same weekend.  The Symposium this year is going to be held at The Ohio State University (also roughly in the same area) so I didn't know how that would effect getting a room.  Last year, the event was held in one spot but his year we are encouraged to stay at a nearby hotel with a shuttle.  I lucked it out and took the last room though and booked a 4 star room for less money right off campus-come on Expedia!  The whole weekend should be more interesting if the primarily cross dresser group still has their mixer that Saturday night at a place called Club Diversity .  In the past the CD group (which has it's share of cross dressed sharks) has manged to act up and get kicked out of there. Regardless of the little spice they add,  I have always loved the place and it is diverse in it's clientele.  Plus I believe it's co-owned by a trans person.

Page 3.- "Book 'em Danno!"  Of course my deadline to hit the button with Vook and publish my "Stiletto's on Thin Ice" is this Friday.  So this week I will be kicking my virtual butt because I didn't get more done before now.  In my past there were those who thought I worked better under pressure, so I will find out again as I dig out literally from years of procrastination! (Book 'em Danno! is a vintage saying from the Hawaii Five-O television show.)

Back Page.- Last week brought all kinds of enticing news to the transgender community.  Reports surfaced the Pentagon and Defense Secretary Hagel were going to reopen the un American ban on transgender military service-finally!  On a lesser scale Tyra Banks felt the need to produce an upcoming show of some sorts on a group of transgender women in Chicago.  Called me jaded, but the whole project sounds a little too "fierce", glossy and profit driven to mean much to me here in small town Ohio. There is hope though if Carmen Carrera (left)  is heading up the project.

Well kids, that's it for this week's edition. Hope all is well for you in your part of the universe and we can get together again next week to do it again!

Monday, April 7, 2014

My Behind

I have been behind it seems this time, for the past several days.  When that happens, I rediscover posts I wanted to pass along to you here in Cyrsti's Condo.  One is from Brynn Tannehill in an article she wrote for the Huffington Post called "Paper's Please"  If you don't know, Byrnn is a transgender vet and Director of Advocacy for SPART*A.  

Her very detailed post follows the incredibly convoluted path transgender and transsexual women and men follow in their lives-in and out of military circles.  Here's an excerpt and you can follow the link above for more:

Imagine for a moment you work at a U.S. military base as a contractor. You step out of a bathroom after using it, and are immediately confronted by someone with base security. He demands you present identification proving your gender, otherwise he will arrest you. Your mind races, blood pounds in your ears, flight or fight kicks in -- being arrested will probably cost you your clearance, your job and any chance you have of working in your career field again.

It's no surprise to those of us who spent a significant amount of time in the closet, how scary all of this can be-and kept us in the closet.   Then I began to wonder about those overly ignorant human's who think we trans folk had a choice in all of this?  I constantly remind myself that no matter how much I enjoy where my gender life is now, if I had a real live choice to never go on this journey-would I? No I wouldn't and it's very difficult to explain to my friends what a luxury it would have been to have known what gender I was when I woke up in the morning. That's usually a real conversation stopper!

The "choice" idea is nearly as ludicrous as the occasional on line "genius" who tells me HRT must be great since I have my own boobs to play with.  Tough to explain to such a suave guy, yes it is nice to have my own breasts as an expression of my femininity.

But, let's face it, the world will always have it's share of those who are just innocent ignorant.  They just don't know much about transgender individuals and we should be able to educate them.  The ignorant bigots are the tough crowd and some how some way we need to keep fighting to beat them down.  Hopefully, along the way the gender marker problems will go down with them.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Birthday Dreams 2011

This is another Cyrsti's Condo archive post from my birthday in 2011, which turned out to be quite the day and gives all of you a glimpse into my life a couple years ago.  As I look back I thought, "Has it only been two years ago?"

Today had to be my best birthday ever! My third visit to the VA therapist seeking a hormone permission letter was late in the afternoon. As I got ready to meet my daughter for a birthday breakfast, I received a text from a long time female friend who I have progressively come out to over the past couple months. She wished me a good birthday and a positive trip to the "Doc" which meant a lot!

My breakfast with my daughter was very different. Almost immediately she asked me if I knew one of the performers in one of the top drag queen acts in the area. They are known as the "Rubi Girls" based out of Dayton, Ohio. As it turns out I had seen their act (impressive) and actually knew one of the performer's employees. As surprising as this was, more surprising was the fact I was having the conversation with her at all. The rest of the breakfast was equally as good and I'm still not sure how I did so well in the daughter department.

On to the therapist appointment. We exchanged the usual "how's life" questions before I asked the magic question: "what reservations did she have about writing a permission letter?" She didn't hestitate and said she expected the question and pulled a file folder off her desk The folder contained the "Harry Benjamin Gender Dysphoria Care Standards". As we went through the highlights it seemed I met most all of the criteria. (I'm not exactly sure anyone but Harry understood them all.) She was very positive and said she would like to take one more step before writing the letter. The step was a final consultation about me with a very experienced gender specialist in Columbus. Ironically she is the same person I went to for help over 20 years ago. I know "nothing is over until it's over" but I'm cautiously optimistic I will have the letter in two weeks at my next visit.

My last (but far from least) stop of the day was a lite dinner date with a GF down in Cincinnati. Without getting too personal, it was a wonderful ending to a special day. On the trip home I was going pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming but I have a real aversion to pain and just made sure I wasn't driving up I-75 in a dream. I can guarantee you I-75 between Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio is no place to be dreaming behind the wheel and I wasn't. The day was all so real and so wonderful!"

WOW I was busy!

Friday, August 30, 2013


Any of you who have spent anytime around Cyrsti's Condo know I'm a transgender veteran and a huge fan of trans vet Autumn Sandeen.  Autumn is always modest enough to play down her role as a transgender veteran trail blazer within the VA. But she IS and uniquely qualified to speak on navigating the VA system. Often very different than "civilian health care".

Recently she wrote a post called Transgressive Health Care for the San Diego LGBT Weekly, centering of course on the VA and trans vets. Here's an excerpt:

"Even though I’m a kind and joy-filled person, I’m always prepared to deal with inappropriate comments or behavior from the government-employed health care services workers. I’m always ready to ask why a medical doctor, nurse or technician’s bigotry is getting in the way of treating a veteran with respect to their service. Yet, I’ve never had even one treat me with anything but the purest of professionalism at the Veterans Health Care Administration (VHA) or at the Navy Medical Center, and I’ve never had to challenge anyone on their bigoted speech or behavior.
Here in San Diego, I just haven’t experienced that kind of inappropriate behavior. That I’ve never had difficulties with those who provide health care services to veterans, that I’ve never had anything but positive experiences with those health care professionals, actually makes me a bit proud of those VHA and of those Navy Medical Center, San Diego employees. Here in our city, these folk have all served me as a retired and disabled service member with honor, respect and professionalism."

I agree with Autumn's description of the system. My VA center (Dayton, Ohio) is probably much smaller in scope than some. Because of that my only problems have come from Dayton not having a full time endocrinologist in the center.  I had to get permission to go outside the system.  My dealings with the people have been remarkable. I do know that all you trans vets do not have the same story.

Autumn's latest post was very important to me as it describes her experiences with a mammogram. You can read it by following the link above. A mammogram needs to be in my future because my maternal grandmother died from breast cancer.

Not that I'm surprised but when she went in for the mammogram, the questions such as "when was your last period" or " how many times have you been pregnant" , had no other options than a number.  By the time she left though Autumn had voiced her concerns about not including options for transgender or intersex persons and she was getting the form changed.

Indeed I probably will face the same issues with the intake form when I go for a mammogram and I will make the same suggestions.

In my own small way, my goal is to try to change the system for the future.  From the way it's looking, there could be many more trans vets coming soon!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Autumn Sandeen On Transgender Vets and More

All you regular peeps here in Cyrsti's Condo know I am a transgender vet and follow Autumn Sandeen's (left) views on the subject with great respect.
Following transgender Navy Seal Kristin Beck's coming out party and book, I was anxious to read Autumn's take on the whole situation. To fill you in, Autumn is truly a ground breaking trans vet fighting what often I'm sure looked like a very lonely fight.

Here's an excerpt of what she said:

"I’d like to comment on instead is the implications of her story on the broader movement toward open service for trans people. One of the many arguments that were made by the LGBT public policy organizations, such the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), was that we wouldn’t want to discharge hardcore fighting corps, such as SEALS and Army Rangers, just because they were gay. America would be removing tough, smart, well-trained soldiers out of America’s special forces for a reason that had nothing to do with whether or not they were effective at doing their jobs.

That’s an effective narrative, but the LGBT community never had any former SEALS or Army Rangers it could point to and say, “And this is the kind of special forces soldier you’ll kick out of the military if they said they were gay on active duty.” In the trans community, we do have such a soldier now. We can now point to Kristin Beck and say, “If Senior Chief Beck came out as transgender while she was in the Navy SEALS, she would have been kicked out for a reason that had nothing to do with whether or not she were effective at doing her job. Is that what America really wants?” And is it?"

Allow me to paraphrase and get you to her actual statement but Autumn points out there are questions for an open trans military service AND the the preliminary work has been set in motion for a national discussion. Such as (from her previous column) the narratives of trans Department of Defense (DOD) contractors and civilian employees who’ve recently served in Middle Eastern combat zones – narratives such as those of Nicole Shounder, Rachel Bolyard and Erika Stetson.

Then there’s (Autumn's) narrative about her historic fight to have her recorded gender changed in the DOD databases. Huge, in that it showed that the DOD  acknowledged that trans servicemembers and veterans even did exist. Fortunately, this seems to be just the tip of the iceberg and hopefully the hypocritical transgender ways of the Pentagon have first class seats on the Titanic!

As you can read much is happening on this front. For more on the story go here

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

BCGT 101

You transgender vets know the abbreviation "BCT" stands for basic training or used to. I just tossed in "G" for girl because we are so fond of labels and abbreviations in the transgender culture.

Earlier this morning I was out buying shipping supplies to send out a couple of my sold collectibles and found myself in familiar/unfamiliar territory.
As I was walking through the store, I unconsciously was moving from my hips and thus taking smaller steps. Finally my muscle memory and not conscious thought was moving me into the increasingly more familiar feminine movement territory. As with most anything else related to transitioning gender, there is a ton of information on how to adapt to feminine movements. And as with everything else in my life, I have a very difficult time reading directions plus god forbid following them. I did find a simpler down to earth link though I thought I would pass on called "Differences in Walking in Men and Women.".

Here's an excerpt:

"Men, for the most part are larger than women; their bodies are built for physical work. Walking for men, from a physiological stand point, is utilitarian. The purpose of walking is to achieve a specific function, get from place to place. As such, the walking movements of men tend to be straight and linear. Women tend to move more gracefully, swinging their hips and taking shorter "feminine" steps. The legs rarely go very far apart in long strides, even when walking swiftly. Women still walk to get from point a to point b, but their movements and walking style are influenced by years of evolution. From an evolutionary standpoint, walking style for women has served to attract men and get a mate. Shoes The kinds of shoes that men and women wear also influence the way they walk. For example, men who wear work boots will have added bulky weight on their feet. This results in a sloppier walk with less precision and control. Women who wear high heels would find it difficult to walk in heels if they did not control the exact movements of each step."

Follow the link above for more very simple but then again a very basic look at gender differences.

While we are on the subject of basics allow me to climb up on my soapbox and mention three of my transition basics:

!.- Diet
2.-Skin Care

Diet is self explanatory although I'm not saying go out and start a "super model" starvation diet. If you can't control that man's beer belly of yours with pair of industrial strength "Spanx" then you have a problem.
Skin care is so basic! The more you take care of your skin the better canvas you provide for your makeup. The less is more makeup principal takes it from there.
Research we always talk about here in Cyrsti's Condo. There is such an enormous amount of information in certain medias these days, there is no excuse not to get ideas.  The problem is sorting out the fantasy from the real woman info.

Finally I have a version of what is essentially a fantasy look at women coming up in my next post.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

How Mentally Ill Was I?

As I am fond of saying, if I was or am the diagnosis certainly has nothing to do with my transgender identification.
The was I'm referring to was the time I served in the U.S Army.
As a transgender vet, one of my favorite blog stops is Outserve Magazine and Brynn Tannehill.

Over the next few weeks, she is going to be writing several articles concerning the question of open transgender service. This first excerpt comes from her views of the policy trans men and women can't serve because of the now hopeless outdated mental illness questions:

"For 45 years there have been transgender individuals who have functioned at the highest levels of their fields. Lynn Conway is one of the people most responsible for the microprocessor revolution of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. She was also on Board of Visitors at the United States Air Force Academy, and a civilian two-star equivalent at DARPA. Dr. Christine McGinn was an astronaut qualified flight surgeon in the Navy. Amanda Simpson is a Presidential appointee to the position of Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Army. Dr. Chloe Schwenke is a Presidential appointee to a director’s position at USAID. The list goes on and on, but it puts to rest the notion that gender dysphoria is a debilitating mental illness. It’s a medical condition that doesn’t prevent people from doing their jobs, and often those people are doing them extremely well. Being trans hasn’t been an adverse indicator for security clearances since the mid-1990s. Given that, the government has tacitly recognized that gender dysphoria doesn’t imply an inability to function, nor does it imply a dysphoric person is untrustworthy. It also begs the question: if the U.S. government was and is willing to trust Lynn and Amanda with the highest levels of decision making and responsibility for national security, why is it also unwilling to trust a gender dysphoric culinary specialist third class with making sloppy joes? While the Associated Press and some LGBT media outlets picked up this story, there are few outside the trans community aware of this shift. The paradigm among the public, and even amongst some members of the LGB community, remains that trans people are mentally ill or dysfunctional. This is not altogether different from how the public saw the APA’s decision to remove homosexuality from the DSM in 1973: it took a long time for this position to become the conventional wisdom as well."

Follow the link above for the entire post!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Transgender Vets and the Veteran

Yes I am a transgender vet and yes I have posted nearly every story I can find on the subject.
My experience with the Veterans Administration (VA) has been overall positive but unfortunately other transgender vets (even in my own state of Ohio) have not fared as well. The VA centers seem to operate on their own agendas, perhaps not to the extent of denying directed care for transgender veterans as much as the respect shown in the process.
The latest story I found is a very positive one from CBS in Minneapolis, Minnesota and involves the story of a trans man who served as a woman in the Marines:

"There is a program available at the VA hospital in Minneapolis that’s serving an often hidden population — transgender veterans. Peter Klicker served in the Marines as a woman, Karin Klicker. Years later, the veteran says he’s finally found the help he’s hoped for. Klicker grew up in a house full of older brothers in the ’60s and ’70s. And, one summer, the then 7-year-old Karin convinced a group of guys she was a boy, so she’d be able to play baseball. “When you’re seven, you don’t really think about that foresight,” Klicker said. “My mother made me wear a dress on the first day of school.” Jan James, a nurse practitioner at the medical center, has taken it a step further. As part of her doctorate program, she had to identify an underserved patient group. As part of her plan, the clinic now offers hormone therapy and counseling services to transgender veterans, so they’re not forced to find black-market alternatives. “My mission is not just to identify that group, but to give them a voice within the VA system,” James said.

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