Showing posts with label Tri Ess. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tri Ess. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Blast from the Past

As I was "cramming" to get another chapter of my "Stiletto's on Thin Ice" book completed today, I was working on a section with a very unremarkable name- "Transition."  I have always wondered how each of us seemed to have our own personal "switch" as we decided to go down this road.  Some stayed as cross dressers and others went the route to SRS.  Why?

I'm certainly not smart enough to figure it out but do have assumptions like everyone else.  Today, as I was remembering back to the early Tri-Ess meetings I went to in the late 1970's, what I observed and how I thought I fit with the others around me.  Ironically, it's still tough to figure it out. Finally, I came to the conclusion that somewhere along the line back then, I walked two separate paths.  One path was living in the mirror as a girl and the other was more of a complex look into how a genetic woman lived.  I remembered too, the cross dressers in the room who I called the "A Listers". The small group just knew they were the most attractive critters in the room and they were.  Something was strangely missing though from how they acted. Sort of like you left the pepper out of your favorite recipe.  They just weren't real.  

Also,  there were always a couple of women attending who for all the world looked like one of the genetic spouses who came along but they weren't. Transgender or transsexual terms were just beginning to slip in to our vocabulary and it took me decades to get it through my thick noggin' - that was them.   The "A listers" on the other hand, went over the top to look the part but just quite couldn't tap into their feminine side-because there wasn't any.  I knew one in particular who (as she called it) went down the slippery slope of beginning electrolysis, hormones and then even SRS.  She turned out to be beautiful- but miserable.

So, I don't know, maybe for what ever reason, she never progressed past the mirror side of being feminine into the real world?  I think I did for a couple of reasons.  The most important one was my wife kept chiding me for knowing nothing about being a woman.  Never one to back away from a challenge, I began to do it which leads me to my second point.  When I did check out the "other side" I liked it a lot and it felt real.  

My problem was I could see both paths from the one I was on which led to the tremendous gender turmoil I experienced.  Being more stubborn than smart led me to do the natural male thing-internalize and fight.  I never do much crying over the past but the historian in me tells me there were certain points I really could have learned from.  Talking with the "real girl's" at the Tri Ess Meetings would have been soooo much more beneficial than wishing I could be an "A-lister."

In a companion post, we will discuss what determines how badly you want to flip the gender switch.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Leather Bikini's and Christmas Heels

Be warned kids, this Cyrsti's Condo post is coming from several different directions in my noggin.

First of all, most of you know I'm a regular visitor to Stana's Femulate blog. Thanks to January for sending in this comment:

Stana of "Femulate" fame reports that her desk has a photo of herself en femme. If anybody asked, it is simply a photo from a past Halloween, in the office. Very clever, that Stana.  I agree January, I think Stana is using the picture to get others at work around her "used" to the new person who could be there every day!

Most recently Stana asked the question :

When you’re out en femme, has another woman reacted negatively (or positively) because you looked better than her.  
The question didn't resonate much with me for several different reasons except to make me consider why. (Primarily because it hasn't happened to me much or at all for years.) Plus, at this stage of my tranisition, I don't consider myself out en femme but bless all that do!

But, at the very same time I was thinking about all of this, I happened to see a show on outlaw biker gangs. The show interviewed one woman who said she was attracted (like so many others) to power and danger and there was no better place to experience it than on the back of a Harley motorcycle.(Not to mention the sexual charge my genetic women friends say they experience on a bike.) By then,  I'm thinking why is this intriguing me so? Finally, I connected the dots to long ago Tri-Ess cross dresser Christmas parties, which I had no desire to go to. Instead, I was admiring the long haired boots and bikini women riding on the back of bikes heading into the giant party at Sturgis. To hell with a party dress! I needed a new wig.

Here's the kick. As a guy, I owned  muscle cars and sports cars but never a motorcycle of any kind. Plus, personality wise, I was pretty much too nice to attract any of the bad girls. I always resented the women who felt that way- so where the hell did all this come from? Who knows?

To be sure, the chances are very dim I will be riding into Sturgis with my D breasts (Beginning with acquiring them!) in a leather bikini top any time soon on the back of a Harley. But that's OK, I will live. In the meantime, embracing and exploring all my contradictions can be fun because fighting them can be hell.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Lessons in the Sandbox

I'm fond of referring to transition as "playing in the girl's sandbox." The process is the time of your life when appearing as a woman takes a back seat to living as one.  All sorts of sand is being kicked in your direction and it is hard to keep up!

I've written here in Cyrsti's Condo many times of my "sandbox experiences" which by the way are far from over. Ironically, as I do transition, I look back and remember experiences which were more important than I gave them credit for initially.

Here's an example:  Years ago, my second wife accompanied me to a Tri-Ess meeting before we were actually married.  We drove quite a distance but still arrived plenty early before the nightly meeting/mixer. Instead of hanging out in our hotel room, we decided to get out and explore a little bit as two girls. We found that not too far away was a sort of a neighborhood tavern that advertised a mixed crowd and even drag shows on occasion. We sought it out and went in for a drink.

Not long after we sat down, a guy literally rolled up to the door on his Harley motorcycle and sat down a couple seats down from my future wife and began to flirt with her. My first thought was a feeling of being powerless in the situation, I had no control as a man or a woman.. I had the sinking suspicion she was going to prove to me I was a mirror "Princess" and knew nothing about being a real woman.. I was right.

Before long she was returning the flirt ever so slightly and the first time he looked past her to me I could see the change in her eyes. I ceased to be her guy in a dress and became a feminine competitor for the attention of this guy and stay the hell out of it. Believe me, I was in way over my head and she could have rode off with him - I was powerless anyhow but in no uncertain terms I knew what she meant. Then almost as fast, she snapped back and he took off,  leaving me with a rather scary first experience with feminine competition in the sandbox.

The problem became, I was way too early into my transition to understand what had just happened.  I never experienced a similar situation with her again.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Donahue and I

"Lots O Comments" concerning the Phil Donahue/Tri Ess?/JoAnn Roberts post.

Francine's allows me to answer a good question:

"Thanks for posting this. I remember those days and later when the internet helped us all realize we were not alone. We were not crazy. By the way, How do you pronounce your first name? the spelling is different, so I have trouble."

Francine, my name is pronounced the same as "Kristi", or Christy. I just wanted to add a little "pizzazz" to it!

Paula's commented: "Yes in some ways we have come a long way, in others nothing has changed at all" Unfortunately, Paula, that is true but that show to me was a great example of the attitudes towards us "back in the day" where I lived.  Speaking only from my perspective.  I don't see that kind of ignorance and dislike anymore, thank goodness!

Finally, Mandy commented "Interestingly, I remember seeing that Donahue show when it was aired "back in the day." And, the "girl inside" has been peeking out of the closet ever since..." Mandy, I believe you speak for many here in Cyrsti's Condo and thanks for commenting!

I have commented before I'm partial to Donahue because he got his talk show start on a local TV station close to where I live (Dayton, Ohio).  I actually went to one of his shows in Dayton concerning the Vietnam War back in the late 1960's before he went national in Chicago.

Later on, one of Phil's shows focused on a former "biker" from Middletown, Ohio who basically came home, told his wife he wanted to be a woman so he cut his beard and off they went to K-Mart for makeup. She was one of the first transsexual guests I remember him having and of course she was much different than the Tri-Ess cross dressers.

I'm trying to find the video clip of her but basically she transitioned into a relatively shy long blond haired "good ol girl" which are so prevalent in my part of the world. The word was, she used to frequent a gay bar in Monroe, Ohio which I had been to a couple of times but I never saw her.

Another episode which stands out in my mind is this interview with an 18 year old Angie Roberts who now claims to go by  Angelina Roberts:

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cyrsti's Condo Featured Trans Woman of the Day

There is no way I could simply call Veronique Renard our Cyrsti's Condo Cover Girl of the day.  She is so much more!

Read on! (From Wikipedia)

"Véronique Françoise Caroline Renard (born 26 May 1965 in Jutphaas, the Netherlands) is a Dutch author and visual artist. She is also known as Pantau, a name that was adopted after meeting the Dalai Lama at an audience at his home in McLeodganj, Dharamsala, India in 2000.

In 1982, at the age of 17, Renard transitioned to being a trans woman with the support of her family, friends and people in her hometown. Renard's mother renamed her Véronique. In 1983, Renard was granted permission by a court in Utrecht to change her legal name, she added her second name Françoise (after her best friend), and third name Caroline (after Caroline Cossey, a British model who appeared in the 1981 James Bond-film For Your Eyes Only with Roger Moore).

Initially unaware of the phenomenon of transsexualism and gender reassignment surgery (GRS), Renard conveyed in her 2007 memoir that the international media attention around Cossey in 1982 regarding her transition helped Renard to self-diagnose her own gender dysphoria. The day after reading about Cossey in a Dutch tabloid, Renard consulted her doctor and shortly after, the Amsterdam Gender Team. Renard was diagnosed with Klinefelter's syndrome, having 47 chromosones (XXY). Females have an XX chromosomal makeup, and males an XY. Renard started hormone replacement therapy soon after. She completed her physical transition 18 months later in 1984."

As a side note, for some reason the picture of Veronique in the bikini took me back to yet another Cleveland, Ohio Tri-Ess meeting I attended so many years ago.  One of the main "gossips" of the evening centered around a member who wasn't there who was reported to be so accomplished that she could wear a bikini to the beach with no problems. She was also "rumored" to have been on the verge of "going all the way" and transitioning into a full time woman. But the story went on she had found the love of her life, an understanding genetic woman and now she had put her decision on hold. Plus there was another very accomplished and attractive "participant" at the meetings who for all intents and purposes put the rest of us to shame in the looks department. The last time I saw her at a meeting, she too was telling everyone she had met a genetic woman and was "hanging up the dresses."

I have always wondered what happened to the two of them. Were they actually able to "pull back" from the transition brink and lead lives as guys?  More than likely I will never know but I have theories.  I believe whatever gender switch is thrown in our noggins can never be turned completely off.  Of course how far the switch is thrown, say from cross dresser to transsexual sex change does vary. But in one way or another the "urge" is always there.

Speaking Of "Tri-Ess"

If you are a bit younger, check this vintage (circa 1989) Phil Donahue video with Tri Ess cross dressers on the Cyrsti's Condo big screen, JoAnn went on to be an influential member of the transgender community and was a founding partner of the Transgender Forum.  She passed away in June of 2013 but "TG Forum" is still going strong.

This video does give an idea of how far we have come thanks to people like these who were brave enough to step out of their closets and educate the world.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Rocking the Denim Style!

I have told the story many times around here in Cyrsti's Condo of when I was taken to task years ago for wearing slacks and/or jeans to my early Tri-Ess meetings.  Why would I wear pants when I could wear them the rest of my life?

The fact of the matter was, I liked what I wore and was still too new into my style process to understand totally why. These days I've come to a "Boho-Tomboy old Hippie" style to describe me. I know it sounds kind of a loose "tossed together" style but actually I know exactly what I want to wear.

Of course denim fits in exactly and I do I have two or three pairs of favorite jeans plus a pair of denim leggings. Recently I found an example to pass along to you from "Just Fab" called "Real Women Denim."  Of course as with any other fashion style I see, my primary concern is if I can adapt it to my body style.

Here's an example.  My denim leggings are very close to the style on the right. I'm fortunate enough that HRT is just beginning to give me a basic feminine shape in my hip/butt area.  I wear the leggings with a long sweater which drapes over my hips and a pair of slouch boots. Similar to the ones shown to the left..

My goal is to minimize my large upper torso and bring more attention to my hips and thighs which I consider is a plus for me. I have also seen quite a few women do the same look with a long blouse rather than a sweater. I also love to add a bright color fuzzy scarf for fun.

The look also works for me in other ways too.  First it's a comfortable style which can be sort of dressed up or down slightly. Plus,  since I'm increasingly seeing the same peeps on a routine basis I can't be wearing the same thing continually but want to stay within my style parameters. Different sweaters, skinny jeans and a couple other pairs of leggings and I have increased my wardrobe dramatically without killing my budget.

Such is life for a transgender gal trying to make up for years of lost time!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Been There...Done It

One of the most frustrating, destructive and disappointing times of my life were what I called the "middle years".  If I was to put a date on them, I would say from the time I was 25 to approx 50.  I fought as hard as I could to do anything to stay firmly in the closet and not face the truth about how I identified. Was I a cross dresser, transgender person or transsexual? I would not wish the process on my worst enemy but looking back, I can simply tell you, I got through it- worse for wear.

Along the way, even back in the day I did find a beacon of hope called Tri Ess. The organization which was so instrumental in getting me out of the closet has faded away for me but every once in awhile, one of you passes along a comment about "Tri Ess".. Recently,  Pat brought them up with this comment on her name:

"I sort of backed into my name when I joined Tri-Ess some 20 years ago. When sending in my paperwork I was surely not going to disclose my real name. After all before even sending them a letter of inquiry I went an set up a post office box for my T mail. When they asked for my name I simply looked at my initials and went with that as a first name and the name of a co-worker as a last name. When I first became active on the internet I picked a name based on what I saw in front of me at the time"

And Dear Abby, referenced them in this answer to a transvestite getting busted by his neighbors:

"Dear Abby: I am a happily married, heterosexual cross-dressing male. My wife understands and is supportive, and we have a wonderful life together. During the past week I have been caught unexpectedly by three different neighbors, and we are now in a state of panic. We're not sure what to do. If you have any suggestions, we are all ears. — CAUGHT IN A PANIC

 Dear Caught: Because you would prefer to keep your cross-dressing private and this is October, you could tell your neighbors your female attire is what you'll be wearing to a costume party. It's plausible. However, when someone is "caught" engaging in a private activity once — that's an accident. When it happens three times in one week, I can't help but wonder whether on some level you would like to be more open about your lifestyle.

 If you're not aware, a resource, The Society for the Second Self (Tri-Ess International), offers support for heterosexual cross-dressers as well as their spouses, partners and families. It has been in my column before and is the oldest and largest support organization for cross-dressers and those who love them. It promotes cross-dressing with dignity and decency, and treats spouses on an equal basis with their cross-dressers. You can learn more about it at"

The part of the answer which said,  "perhaps on some level you want to be more open about your lifestyle" definitely resonated with me.  I was crying out for help and no one was listening, not even me.

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.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Where Have All the Sisters Gone?

A friend who I have mentioned more than once here in Cyrsti's Condo found ourselves in the middle of a pretty interesting chat/question recently concerning the seeming "non availability" of other trans sisters in any segment of the culture.

My friend and I go way back to the early 80's and actually met indirectly through one of the old Tri Ess chapters in Cleveland, Ohio. Through those "get together's" in discreet motels, we came to the conclusion we got to meet and know more people than in the present social media dominated society.

Why? I believe the in culture social stratification between the so called "haves and have not's" is a huge culprit.  Cross Dressers, Transgender folks and Transsexuals all have managed to exclude each other on one level or another.

Identifying transgender as I do, I feel the pressure from both sides. The cross dressers prejudge me as someone who looks down on them and I'm guilty of feeling that way about transsexual women judging me. "Back in the day", the prettier cross dressers did form their own cliques but we were still too naive to know the process would go so far past the immature high school antics. Way past!

Taking the process a step further, it's interesting to me how seemingly rare we are to ourselves. If you take me for an example (again) in the past five plus years of being really out - I have developed friendships with only two other transgender folk, one male, one female. Only 2. I won't bore you with how many different ways I was out looking- just for a friend or two. The positive twist on the story is I found them and they weren't trans.

I've always have been fascinated by the very few CD/TG/TS women I have seen over the years. I'm going to leave trans men out of this for a second. I can go back as far as 20 years in my mind and think maybe 5? Say what you will about maybe I missed more than a couple top notch presenters which is true but how about the girls like me just trying to "learn the ropes" 5?

I left the trans guys out of this for a reason. The reason is where I live these days I am seeing more and more individuals who I could possibly categorize in the trans man status.  But that is an entire other subject for another time. Just don't give me the BS it is easier for a trans guy to negotiate society. The demeanor of the person in with a Mo Hawk haircut in a big loose sweatshirt just didn't seem to indicate that was true.

Finally, I'm not going to be naive here and ignore the sexual component of meeting others in our culture.  For good or bad, sexual questions can be asked, accepted or rejected early in the game with the impact of social media. So those of us who feel that's a none of your business intrusion find our way to the social curb quickly.

So there you go, a few theories of why it's a lonely world in our culture...still.

Here is an example months ago when I saw this question on another site I go to on occasion:  "I want to meet a transgender person" After two months or so, I was one of two replies. I simply said I guessed no one really did. Even if they are transgender themselves.

Trans Peaks and Valleys

Image from the Jessie Hart Archives. Lifetime as a whole presents us with many peaks and valleys to negotiate. Since I am transgender and al...