Showing posts with label Transvestia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Transvestia. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Writing Euphoria

Image from the Jessie Hart

Every now and then I receive a comment which brings all the effort I put into writing a daily transgender blog into focus. 

When I started writing this blog over ten years ago, I set out to hopefully help anyone else with gender issues similar to mine. Back in those days, when I revisited my old blog posts, I mainly see an over riding interest with my feminine appearance and not much else. Of course when I transitioned into a fulltime life as a transgender woman, I discovered all the other challenges I was going to face. It was all much different than my life as a casual cross dresser. 

This is where the writer's euphoria comes in. I recently received this comment from Jennifer " Thank you for publishing your thoughts and experiences. I am an older, but not that wiser, transgender woman just starting out on the road to femininity. Your blog helps me much to understand the hurtles I am about to encounter. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and opening up to your experiences.

Thank you, Jennifer" You are welcome Jennifer and thanks for sharing such a wonderful comment. 

Somehow, along the way, the blog made it's own transition into looking at my life as a senior transgender woman. I found, being "more mature" in many ways had it's advantages. Primarily when it came to beginning gender affirming hormones. Because at my age, my testosterone level was already in a decline, the rush of new estrogen in my system seemed to be more natural. On the other hand of course, I needed to go through the medical screening process to determine if I was healthy enough to proceed on the program I was prescribed

As far as being "older but not wiser", I think I faced that aspect of my life also more than I could ever write about. For better or for worse, I had already went past and missed my formative feminine years and needed to master the mysteries of makeup and fashion on my own. There were no teen girls to critique my look and for me to return the favor. Plus, I spent way to much time alone with no girlfriends to shop at the mall with. 

I discovered too, there was a small niche of older transgender women who had lived through the dark and lonely pre-internet years. I am amazed how many readers still remember fondly the "Transvestia" publication along with Virginia Prince. But then again, it was all we had to provide any sort of light in our gender closets. 

These days, I am still committed to attempting to provide any guidance I can to anyone like Jennifer who needs it. After all, our gender journeys through life on one hand are so similar but on the other not so much. Each of us needs to navigate how we are going to shed a life of living male and begin all over again. And just when we think we have it made, we need to face the reality of being trans in retirement communities and/or assisted living. Regardless of all the negative publicity we receive from politicians, I still believe more people such as the "Alzheimer's Association" are researching ways to be more inclusive to the LGBTQ community. So, there is hope. 

Thanks again Jennifer, Jen (another reader) and all the others of you who join in with me here on the blog. You give me writers euphoria and improve my mental health.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

My Eyes are Up Here


Image from UnSplash

As I increased my knowledge of male to female cross dressing, I immediately learned the power of how my breasts appeared to the world. If I could attract the eyes away from my big shoulders to my breasts, I was successful. 

At that point I began to seriously experiment with how I could make my breast forms be as attractive as I could while on the very limited budget I was on. As I remember, stuffing my Mom's bra with socks was the only way I could go. Since my only feminine interaction was with the mirror in the hallway, having realistic breasts was mostly just in my imagination. It was about this time too, when I discovered and was very jealous of the teen aged girls around me who were suddenly sprouting their own breasts and wearing brand new training bras under tight sweaters. It was so unfair to me. So I set out to do much better with my own breast forms.

If my memory serves me correct, the next object I tried to use for breasts were foam nerf balls which were cheap and easy to come by. I still was far from satisfied with the results but it still was an improvement over rolled up socks. I needed to figure out what should be the next step in figuring out what to do about developing a better set of fake breasts. Along the way, I tried many ideas I read about mainly in the "Transvestia" magazine I received every couple of months. I know some of the cross dressers in the publication somehow were fans of using birdseed. Which I never ended up trying. Instead I went the water balloon route which went well until the predictable disaster happened to me when one broke. I really liked the balloon idea because they were cheap and I could use lukewarm water in them and approximate as close as I could to what I thought a real breast would feel like. Plus, I loved the way the balloons moved and bounced when I wore just the right bra. 

All was good with my new breasts until one night when I was headed to the women's room in one the venue's I was a regular in and unexpectedly one of my water balloons broke in the hallway leading to the restroom. The only good thing which came from it was no one else was in the hallway so I didn't have to explain to them I was pregnant and my water broke. I was able to pay my bill and quickly head for home. Finished with water balloon breasts forever.

My next step forward in the breast form department came when a cross dressing friend of mine in nearby Columbus, Ohio decided to purge all of his feminine belongings which included a nice set of silicone breast forms. I eagerly accepted the gifts and immediately stepped up my breast game. I ended up using the forms until I finally had the opportunity to join the women around me and have my own breasts thanks to gender affirming hormones. 

These days, even though I think my bigger body shape could support bigger breasts than I have been able to grow with the hormones, I think at this point in my life, I will stick with what I have in the breast department. 

It's interesting to me how much breast surgeries are being done these days for transgender and cis-gender women. In fact, I see big billboards around Cincinnati for plastic surgeons who will do the procedure completely for less than seven thousand dollars. I have the money saved but I think I could use it in better ways.

As it stands now, when someone looks me in the eye, they really do it.

Friday, January 12, 2024

It's Your Journey


Image from the Jessie Hart

There are many different paths on our transgender journeys. Some are eerily similar some are very different.

On occasion, our paths align due to age considerations. We were the ones who grew up in the pre-internet days before it was invented as well as the social media which has become all so powerful. We are the ones who grew up in very lonely and dark gender closets which made it feel as if we were the only ones in the world who wanted to be another gender. At that point many of us chose to subscribe to Virginia Prince and then received our cherished and closely guarded issues of Transvestia. The magazine Prince published. 

Perhaps you are younger and experienced another journey through the internet. I remember vividly the days when my wife and I could afford our first computer along with the ultra slow dial-up internet. Almost immediately I found myself in trouble when my wife caught me corresponding with a like minded individual on a message board in a nearby town. She turned to be more computer savvy than me and learned to track my movements on our system. What I learned was, I needed to better hide what I was doing or stay off the message boards all together.   

At that point, I was using my issues of Transvestia to locate transvestite mixers close enough to me in Ohio so I could travel to them. When I did, I was able to see and meet other cross dressers who were following similar journeys as well as many who weren't. There were the ones who seemingly trying to out run their feminine desires by still acting super masculine in a dress and heels. I certainly didn't feel a part of that cigar smoking crowd. (Before cigars became cool for women). Then there were the future transsexuals on the other end of the spectrum. They were impossibly feminine and I felt were far out of my league as I was very insecure about my appearance as a cross dresser. Even though I wanted to be a part of their world, it was difficult to be admitted. I partially solved my problem with blatantly tagging along with the so called upper class when they normally would go out to gay venues and continue to party after the majority of the group had retired to their rooms in the hotel where we were meeting. 

It wasn't until many years later, after many errors and successes in the world as I tried the basics of living as a transgender woman did destiny set in and I was accepted by small groups of cis-gender women who allowed me to really learn the basics of existing in the feminine world. 

Over the years of writing a blog, I have been able to correspond with other trans women who were able to benefit from similar situations. Mainly when they were invited into "women only" spaces. It was during these times I learned the true essence of communication women use when no men are present. My obsession changed from appearing feminine to actually acting feminine. I learned how much I have changed when I go back to the earlies days of blogging to see what I was up to. 

Whatever your journey, I hope it has been a successful one for you. There are so many facets to consider such as family and spouses which lead to staying in some sort of a closet by choice. Which there is certainly nothing wrong with that. I will forever wonder what would have happened with me if my wife would have lived on. Would we have ultimately split up when she said she would never live with another woman or could have a compromise been reached for both of us. Pursuing gender affirming hormones for me was the breaking point which I was free to do after she passed. So as you can understand I am not putting myself up on any sort of a pedestal because destiny led my journey to living as a fulltime trans woman. Pedestals are very fragile and easy to break. 

Hopefully it has been your journey and you have been able to live it with a positive outcome.  

Monday, October 23, 2023

Welcome to Hell

Inside "Casa Susanna" A dream trip I never made. 

My early days of dealing with a severe case of gender dysphoria can only be described as being in hell.

For those of you who can remember the dark days of information before the internet and social media, you also recall the days of being completely alone in your dark gender closet. Since I was raised in a very male dominated family, I knew escaping my own closet was going to be difficult at it's best. I was forced to sneak around behind my family's back to steal away the time to cross dress in my small stash of girls clothes and makeup. I even resorted to storing away my clothes and a spare mirror in plastic bags in a hollowed out tree in the woods next to our house.

Through it all, I knew the whole process of dressing as a girl made me feel better but somehow would have to be enough to get me by. I followed the vicious cycles of feeling the gender euphoria of being feminine in my mirror with deep depression when I was denied access to my clothes. I learned very early I wanted to do more than look feminine, I wanted to be feminine. Way before the term transgender was ever invented. to put the date in perspective, I would have been in the 1960's before I hit my teenaged years and still years away from my military duty and discovering Virginia Prince and her "Transvestia" publication which only dealt with so called heterosexual cross dressers or transvestites. I mention "Tranvestia" again because it was my first link to other like minded people. 

From then on, I knew I wasn't alone and could even go to transvestite mixers which were within driving distance of me. Even though I had discovered others, it turned out I was still dealing with my own personal hell. I still needed to be able to deal with the gender euphoric times followed by longer periods of gender dysphoric down times. Ironically I brought much of my hell on myself by not knowing the best ways to dress and apply makeup to best present my inner female to the public world. I had a difficult time dealing with all the stares, all the way to laughter when I tried to take on the world. Once I began to learn how to best handle the public, along came the Army to disrupt my life. As much as I didn't really want to experience military life at all, specifically I didn't know how I could exist three long years without having a chance to express my feminine self. For years, as I waited for the Vietnam War to draft me, I went through hell considering it's ramifications to me.

One way or another, I made it through the three years and couldn't wait for the relative freedom I had to escape my own personal gender hell, no matter how briefly. 

My big escape came when I made the highly personal decision to stop considering myself a cross dresser when I went out and I transitioned into thinking of myself as a transgender woman. Semantics to be sure but a huge move for me mentally. By mentally transitioning I was able to take a huge step out of my own personal gender hell. In many ways, I entered my golden years of MtF gender transition by leaving much of my hell behind and be able to increasingly explore the world. 

From then on I was able to free myself from my gender dysphoric hell and start to live my dream life as a transgender woman. Although I want to say the process was worth it, I wouldn't wish my journey on my worst enemy.

Friday, November 4, 2022

Do Clothes Make the Woman

Photo Courtesy
Jessie Hart
Early in life when my only feminine experience was with the mirror, I learned quickly my quick visits with my new friend did not last long. Within days I found myself right back where I started. Mostly very confused concerning my gender. None of what I was doing helped me with my youthful desires to be like the other girls my age. Years later I finally learned how I was beating my head against the wall. In reality I was just trying to look like a girl not be one. All of this was occurring way before the internet and social media and in fact long before the term transgender was ever invented. So I was very much on my own except for the occasional issue of "Transvestia" I received in the mail. It's founder Virginia Prince was very much into the theory of all transvestites should be heterosexual to be a member of her organization. 

Which in many ways was alright with me since I considered myself hetero at the time and was until my sexuality did come into question until I was transitioning. None of this helped me to understand clothes do not make the woman. 

It took me years longer to why I felt this way. First of all, I had to look at what I felt made a woman. It turned out, nobody makes anything such as a woman or a man, While it is true most of us are born into one or the other of the binary female or male genders, over the years we have the chance to socialize ourselves and grow into women or men. Secondly as we grow into women or men, clothes are just a way to better present ourselves to the world at large. Early on we transgender women or men learn the more proficient we become at presenting as our authentic selves, the easier our path is when we actually find our way out of the mirror and into the world. 

As I went through the often painful process of separating myself from the mirror, I still was having a difficult time understanding why just presenting well as a woman didn't come close to me having any sort of an idea of what a woman was. In other words, clothes for me were not making the woman. Following many more years of hard earned research and learning, I finally came to the conclusion gender was between the ears for me and likely had been my entire life. Clothes were just an extension of my inner feminine soul. 

Similar to any man attempting to hang on to his frail masculinity, I fought the feelings as long as I  could. Finally one night I decided to let my feminine self have her way totally. Now I wish I would  have manned up and did it years ago. 

I found out the hard way clothes do not make the woman. You do. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Transgender History

One never knows when simply being older than everyone else could be a positive.

One of the questions at last night's transgender - cross dresser support group meeting was what was your earliest remembrances of obtaining any information at all concerning your gender differences.

Being the oldest in the group, I was the only one to remember Virginia Prince , her  Transvestia Magazine and The Society for the Second Self... for male heterosexual cross dressers. The last issue was in 1979.

Over the years,  Virginia finally has began to receive the credit she deserved for being one of the pioneers of the cross dressing movement all the way to the beginnings of understanding the transgender movement. She came from a socially prominent family in Los Angeles and like so many of us struggled (and lost) a marriage because of her cross dressing. She began cross dressing when she went to a church Halloween party dressed as a woman and no one knew. So, again, many of us followed the same path as her.

I know I first obtained a copy of one her books "The Transvestite and His Wife" (1967) and immediately read it approximately three times. I also subscribed to "Transvestia" for awhile. Plus, my first dealings with other transvestites came from a Virginia Prince connected group in Cleveland, Ohio. So I owe a lot to her as a pioneer.

Virginia Prince
Virginia passed away in May of 2009. Follow the link above for more.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Life Turns on a Dime Part Five

 Image result for virginia princeFor me these were the days shortly after Virginia Prince and her Transvestia publication burst upon the scene. I was still amazed others in the world felt the same way I did. So, I ordered several issues of Transvestia and discovered a group of hetero sexual transvestites who held mixers through out the country. The closest to me was a very drive able Cleveland, Ohio so I paid my dues and headed to my first of several mixers.  

From those mixers I learned several important lessons including a much closer chapter forming in much closer Columbus, Ohio. 
Other lessons learned were some there were hetero questioning or as I called them "admirers in drag" cross dressers, and even a few who were on their way to perhaps a stealth (SRS) transsexual full time existence as a woman.
What Virginia never wrote about though was the difference internally was between a male who could pass as a female and one who had a feminine soul. So I know Virginia and others considered her a transgender pioneer but I am one of those who is not so sure.
I also discovered a very distinct social system as distinct as the one high school girls had. Very quickly I called them the "A" listers  because of their "mean girl" style social clique. You definitely had to look a certain way to be invited into the group. Which of course I didn't. However, these also were the ones who left the motel/hotel to go party elsewhere later in the evening. Later on I would attach the "trans-nazi" label to them but still tagged along-invited or not.
Other notable exceptions to the norm were the guys in their fancy dresses and smoking cigars as if to not let too much of their male self go.
Two dimes were dropped on me during these mixers in Cleveland. One, was an invite to join the group in Columbus and the other thanks to a free makeover at a mixer.
I pulled up my big girl panties and let a makeup artist take all my war paint off and start over. The results were startling. I was even invited to go along with the "A" listers without having to invite myself. Most importantly though as the night was beginning to wind down (right in front of all of them, a guy who seemed real nice invited me to stay over for a drink. I often wondered what would have happened had I said yes?
As promised though, I discovered an even smaller incredibly diverse group to learn from in Columbus as time marched ever forward.
Coming up next, German Village.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Transphobic Pioneer?

For those "more mature" girls here in Cyrsti's Condo, the "dark ages" of information during our youth and longer is hard to remember. How did we exist back in those days without our cellphones and all the other electronic info devices we have today.  The answer is simple, unless you lived in a major metropolitan area, obtaining any information concerning your gender identity issues was tough to come by.

One of the first persons I discovered was Virginia Prince (left). As with most issues in our community Virginia is thought of in many different ways. On one hand she lived nearly 40 years as a woman but denied being a transsexual, which today could be considered transgender but also was perceived as being homo and transphobic.

None of that really mattered to me as I eagerly read her first couple of books including the "The Transvestite and His Wife"- and never showing it to my wife who knew I was a cross dresser.  Shortly after that in the early 1990's I began to attend far away Tri Ess meetings, a  nearly 150 mile one way trip and subscribed to Transvestia. Published by Virginia.  Ironically, I benefited so much from many of the exact problems she had with others. Transsexuals in particular.

Very quickly I found there were several groups within a group at the so called hetero cross dresser "only" meetings.  One of the "groups" would always separate from the main bunch in the hotel we met at and go to the nearest gay venue. Those evenings included some of my first contacts with the diverse subculture I was in including transsexuals and drag queens. Let's just say I had a fairly good idea a portion of the group were not completely "hetero" cross dressers. I loved the diversity of the group.

Then as today, I do think of Virginia Prince of one of the gender pioneers in my life. She opened my world, although I did view her as a throwback to my stodgy old grandmother.

If you don't know much about her, Dallas Denny has written an excellent in depth look at her life. To take a look, go here.

Outing Yourself

  Image from Simon Humler on UnSplash Years ago, as I sometimes I suffered from strong impostor syndrome, when I was actually fitting in wit...