Showing posts with label cross dresser. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cross dresser. Show all posts

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Trans Girl Vacations

Archive Vacation Image from Kansas.





Since it is summer time, it is vacation time around here. Spoiler alert, this post is not about flying these days as a transgender woman or making it through airport check points unscathed. It is about ground based transportation. I did all the flying I wanted to do at an earlier period in my life when the military flew me all over the world.

My problems with going on any sort of vacation at all began when I was cross dressing as a man on a vacation to Michigan one year with my second wife. Very early on, I began to feel the pressure coming on when I couldn't go out in the world as a novice transgender woman. Then, I began to resent the fact I needed to be a guy at all and I wanted to be a woman with all my being. By doing so, I started to grow quiet and introverted which alerted my wife that something was wrong with me and she started to pry. After all, we were on vacation from two successful jobs we liked, were blessed with my daughter we both loved and a 1860's restored house we lived in. Ideally, we shouldn't have any problems but I did. 

As I internalized my gender issue, I never answered her questions as to what was wrong. There was no way I was going to tell her I would rather be spending my vacation time as a woman rather than my male self. So I shut up and did my best to change or hide my feelings. By doing so, I was able to salvage what was left of my vacation. 

When I met my wife Liz, she had a passion for travel and we decided on several rather lengthy bus tours to places such as the Southwest, Maine and even Mardi Gras. The major problem I had except for the often brutal bus rides to my back was the fact the bus's restroom was off limits except for major emergencies. Which meant I needed to stand in line with a group of other women at mostly road side rest stops along the highway. Since there was no way I could hold my business an entire day, I needed to quickly learn what it was like to stand in line to use the rest room. Seemingly, either I became used to it in a hurry or the other women on the bus became used to me being there because they didn't seem to care I was there. 

Even with all of my acceptance, I still felt potential issues coming up when we traveled through deeply conservative states such as in the deep south. In fact, I received a real fright during a rest stop on the Alabama-Mississippi state line. To start with, in addition to the long line waiting to use the facilities, there was the faint smell of sewer gas and all I wanted was to do my business, wash up and get out. On this trip however, there were two women glaring at me when I left the stall, so I immediately thought the worst was going to happen and they were going to attack me. Thankfully, they didn't scream out there was a man in the woman's room so I did get out and hurried my way with Liz to the bus. Once we were safely back on the bus, my paranoia set in and I kept looking for a southern cop trying to pull the bus over. It never happened either and the next stop was a huge truck stop just outside of New Orleans where the bus needed to refill. This time, I didn't have to go and just had to wait for Liz in the so called souvenir shop. The only challenge I received on the trip was when we stopped to eat in a big venue just outside of the "Big Easy."

In the restaurant, I waited as long as I could for the restroom to be empty and took my chances. When I did, one of the women on the trip entered the room with me. She was very civilized and I didn't expect any problems and didn't when she look surprised and just said Oh! you use our restroom. She ended up sitting right across the big table from us and didn't say anything else. 

Our trip to West Virginia to check out local short line railroads we could ride proved to be fun and easy and proved to be a great beginners trip since it was relatively short distance from our native Ohio. Our trip to Maine was a fun trip also since for the most part we were passing through transgender friendly states, so I did not have to worry about harassment. Plus the Maine lobster (or Lobsta) did not disappoint. Finally the trip out west to Colorado was just too long although I did really enjoy the train rides we took out there, especially in Durango. 

Recently, we have not been able to find or afford any more tours so Liz and I have had more "stay-cations." Plus I don't have to worry about my gender when we go or what to do about restrooms. As the years have gone by, I have grown so much more confident about my presentation as  a transgender woman.

Can't wait for our next adventure.


Friday, June 14, 2024

Trans Girls Dreams

Trans Ohio Archive Image from
the Jessie Hart Archives.




There were plenty of times when I thought living a transgender life was going to be impossible. 

All the days of staring into the mirror cross dressed in women's clothing come back to haunt me. As well as my poor attempts at the makeup arts when I turned out looking like a clown. Who knew being a woman was going to be as difficult as I was making it. But it was and took me years of work to come close to getting it right. 

Dreams of course can come during the night or day. As I was day dreaming my life away about being a girl/woman, I also tragically had the problem of dreaming of being a beautiful girl during my dreams. All my dreams, day or night, did was frustrate me even further. Most of the time, all my dreaming did was trigger my severe gender dysphoria. My cross dresser mirror visits were not doing any good and I couldn't see a way out of my gender issues. All the time shattering any hope I ever had of living life as a transgender woman. 

It turned out I was being a drama queen in many ways and was giving up a dream I really wanted way too early. What happened, all of a sudden I began to learn makeup and fashion skills so at the least I could survive in a world of women. It was a slow process to be sure but if I was ever going to achieve my trans girl dream, I just had to do it. Plus when I survived, I felt so natural and was elated at my progress. Perhaps my ultimate goal could be within reach after all. From then on, I still had a huge amount of work to do. As I delved deeper into the women's world I so admired, I then had to decide if I wanted to go all the way or not. Was the grass really greener on the feminine side? Again and again, I found it was as I tackled issues such as vocal training and just overall life surviving in the world as a trans woman. As I progressed, the light at the end of the tunnel turned out to be sunshine and not the train. 

Since I started my journey with no obvious feminine characteristics, I had a long way to go. I started my path by trying out Halloween parties initially dressed as a trashy woman, all the way to presenting as a professional woman at others. So I could see if I could indeed present as a realistic woman. Finding out I could led me to believe my trans girl dream could indeed be realized. At that point, my life became a blur as I attempted to live as both a man and a woman. All my attempts did was create a tremendous amount of pressure on me and essentially wrecked my mental health. With the help of a good therapist as well as several good friends, I was able to survive and once again re-direct myself towards my dream. Once I felt I was back on the right track, I started gender affirming hormones following an approval from my doctor and there was no looking back for me. 

I never considered I could make it as far as I have when I was the kid staring longingly into our full length hallway mirror at home so many years ago. Even though there were many rough patches along the way as I battled my gender dysphoria, along with waiting until I was in my early sixties to out myself to the world as a transgender woman, I still somehow made it. 

I guess the old saying is true, if you don't dream it, it will never happen. My dream of living a feminine life was the only goal I could think of when I was young and someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. Of course. I could not say a woman and ruin any life as I knew it, so I lied and said a lawyer or something more popular with my parents. I am sure many of you can relate to my story. 

Finally, after more failures than trials my trans girl dreams came through and somewhere within me there is an inner child who is rejoicing. 

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Trans Girls in Women Only Spaces

Archive Image, Girls Night Out.
I am on the Bottom Left.

First, we have to describe as women's only spaces as primarily rest rooms but there is so much more to consider. For example, girl's nights out, trips to beauty salons or any other spaces dominated by cis-women. 

To consider being  in women's only spaces, we also need to look at the impact of impostor syndrome. Or, when you think you have arrived at your destination, only to think you are an impostor and don't belong there at all. Often the syndrome stops you from enjoying your dream of being out with and being accepted by a group of women.  

Now, lets start with the most problematic space at all, the women's rest room. Depending on where you live, just using the women's room for it's intended use is becoming against the law. Even if it is not, just becoming adjusted to the new etiquette of using a completely new rest room can be a problem. Even though many of us have used the women's room for years, there are still basics to remember. First and foremost don't forget to look any other women you may encounter in the eye, smile and speak. It's OK to do this, although it is completely opposite to do in the men's room. Other "musts" include always remembering to never put your purse on the floor, and always be careful to look before you sit down for stray moisture left behind by a previous occupant.

Perhaps one of the biggest actions to always remember is to stop and wash your hands even though you might think you have been "discovered" by another woman and are doing your best to vacate the room.  Back in the day when I was much younger, I even went to the point of carrying an extra feminine hygiene product in my purse if I was approached by a suspecting woman who was testing me. Even though, this list may seem excessive, I am sure there are those of you who could add to it. Such as the obvious. Such as always sitting down to pee and diverting your flow the best you can to match the woman in the next stall over. I think a larger portion of cis-women have used a restroom with a transgender woman in their life and not known it or even cared. IF the trans woman followed all the rules. 

One women's only space I was challenged in was when my daughter gifted me with my first trip to her upscale beauty spa. Since my hair had grown to a point when I could have it styled, she thought it was time to have it styled and colored. Of course I immediately agreed even though I was scared to death of the unknown. Plus, I was extra embarrassed when she met me there and it was the first time she had seen me in all my glory as a feminine transgender woman. Looking back, there were a line of chairs with stylists which went on forever in a long straight room and the only other man in sight was one of the owners who I already knew as one of the local famous drag queens. So the estrogen level of the place was at an all time high. Before I knew it, I was shown samples of hair color and styles which I had to try to decide on. Somehow I managed to decide on a streaked, layered reddish blonde look and I was amazed at the result. I knew right then why so many women make a hair maintenance stop as a regular appointment in their beauty routine. When I relaxed and started to enjoy the pampering I was receiving, I had never felt so feminine in my life and could not wait to make my next appointment in my new unique woman only space.

Along the way, I was able to join in with various invitations to girls' night out get-togethers. They ranged from women in my approximate age range to those who were much younger. Although I never reached the pinnacle of feminine acceptance such as bridal parties or baby showers, I still immensely enjoyed my experiences...once I overcame my bouts of imposter syndrome. 

All of my experiences in women only spaces helped me to improve my confidence as a transgender woman and deepened my belief I was much more than a part time cross dresser. I had reached a point in my life I had always dreamed of and never thought I could make it. Plus, because of the length of this post, I won't mention again the lesbian impact on my life once I was included in their spaces. I will save it for a later time.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Why Me?

Image from Emily Morter on UnSplash.





I can't remember how many times in my life I have thought of the idea of why me? Why did I have to have all these gender issues.

It wasn't until much later in life did I learn it was OK to be different and in fact sometimes I preferred not being part of what was called "normal." Then I learned nearly everyone had their skeletons in the closet and many people just were able to make the skeletons dance better and faster. These days, we often see many public figures whose skeletons ran out of gas and are exposed. For some reason, I even feel sorry for some of them because they needed to hide their so called problems for so long. Mainly because I suffered so many years in my own gender closet.

Plus, as I negotiated the complex path I followed to living my ultimate dream of living life as a woman, there were still many times I questioned all I was doing. On one hand, my job choice was proving to be successful while on the other hand, my self destructive self was trying to destroy it all. I was having huge why me moments. In other words, I was being a complete victim. Over the span of my life, I ran and hid behind my skirts and dresses anytime I encountered any rough patches in my male life. I always figured I never wanted to be a part of the male world anyhow, so it worked well for me to hide. 

In time, the pressures in my life increased and finally I needed to stop thinking why me and face them head on. The major issue I needed to face (and did not) was rather or not I was much more than a causal weekend cross dresser and in fact a novice transgender woman. At that point, I decided to find out if I was indeed a trans woman. It was then, I began to explore the world in any way I could to see if my gender skeletons could still dance with the best of them. At the same time I was dancing, my why me began to fade away. I had no more time to wonder why I had gender issues when so many seemingly did not. I found their closets were just deeper and different from mine. 

Then, I started to embrace my transgender status as a positive. Very few humans ever have the opportunity to explore and live in both binary genders, male and female. All of a sudden, when I was out in the world, I could see and understand all the games the genders played around me. I even knew I was succeeding when virtual strangers I met would ask me questions concerning their spouses or boy friends as if I would know. Which often I did. I just hope they took my advice as free advice and took it with a grain of salt. 

As you can tell, probably being a victim was a bigger issue for me earlier in my life versus the why me question I was always falling back on. The process took all the courage I could muster to overcome my problems. Ironically, hiding behind my skirts and dresses became the focal point of my new found confidence in the world. When I was able to dress to blend in the world as any other woman, my skeletons cheered me on. Since I had always been a terrible dancer, I never danced in the world but just kept it in mentally. 

One way or another, why me was becoming why not? It was time for me to take the gender issues I was born with and run with them. No more wondering what my life would have been like if I was born into a world the men around me faced. I was similar to a big piece of clay which was just waiting to be worked into a new unique human. Why not?

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Did I Get it Right?

Out to eat with my wife Liz on left. 

I make no secret of the amount of major moves I needed to make to how I arrived to live my life as a transgender woman. Now at my advanced age of seventy four, I wonder if did I get it right.

Of course like most of you, I needed to give up much more than my unusual white male privileges to transition. Along the way, there were marriages/ spouses, friends, family and job losses to deal with. In other words, many sacrifices to make to follow my gender path. In other ways, destiny and years enabled me to transition to a feminine life. My one big deterrent was my relationship with my second wife who in no uncertain terms was telling me she did not want to live with another woman. In fact she made it abundantly clear she didn't like my woman self at all. Except when she needed help with her make up. What could I say? She was correct when she said she didn't sign up for all the gender issues she was now dealing with in our marriage. 

Most of you know she died suddenly from a massive heart attack. The tragedy freed me up to do my own thing. My own thing turned out to be I quickly turned to my own woman for comfort. I discovered almost immediately, I got it right as I was having the time of my life as I explored a new world as an out transgender woman. 

I also found I got it right when I discovered other women in the world who would accept me without having any knowledge of my old male past. When I did, I was able to really begin to live a new life of my dreams. I also did it right on how I was able to raise my daughter who ended up being one of my biggest supporters to this day. However, I didn't get it right with my brother and his in-laws who roundly rejected me. Sadly, by this time, most all of my very few real friends had passed away so coming out to many people was not a problem. 

So, by waiting so long to complete my male to female gender transition worked out right to me plus, even though I was not enjoying my old male life anymore, I still took advantage of the male privileges I would lose. It finally got to the point it was ridiculous to continue a life anymore split between the two major binary genders. The stress and tension became too much for my mental health to sustain and I tried alcohol to solve my gender problems.

I did it right and stopped drinking as much as I did before I permanently injured my body and when I moved to Cincinnati to live with my future wife Liz. Liz encouraged me to permanently leave my male life behind and live fulltime as a woman with her when she told me she never had seen any male in me at all. Even when I was trying to be.

Finally, I really did it right when I was medically cleared to begin taking gender affirming hormones. My body accepted the changes easily and I loved them. So all in all, I did it right when I decided to transition into a full time transgender woman. Destiny was leading the way the whole time and the only mistake I made was when I tried to get in it's way.

  


 

Monday, June 10, 2024

Then I Went and Did It!

 

Trans Girl image from
Alexander Grey on 
UnSplash.

I played around for nearly a half a century being a very serious cross dresser. Sounds like a long time, doesn't it!

It was while I was doing it but now it seems like it was a blur. Most of it started with all the problems of sneaking around my home when I was growing up. I needed to use a ton of creativity to hide my cross dressing itself and not to mention the clothes I had accumulated. Somehow, I managed to do it all. Who knows, maybe it all made me a better person? I doubt it but at the least, the process helped me to be more creative with my life.

As I progressed slowly with my makeup art and improving my women's fashion choices by going to thrift stores, I found out I could do more. Then I went and did it by going out and testing the public's reaction to me as a novice transgender woman or at the least a skilled cross dresser. I found, the more I did it, the more successful I was and I felt so natural. To me, feeling natural was the best way I knew I was on the correct gender path and I wanted to keep going. Plus, feeling natural, gave me the confidence I needed to always push my gender envelope and try to do more and more. I even changed the way I viewed my Halloween costumes I was choosing. I started to go away from my trashy woman's look and then tried for a more realistic approach. I searched my brain for ideas which allowed me to try to present as a cis-woman at a Halloween party. Again, I went and did it when I succeeded at two parties where I was actually mistaken for a woman. Which in fact I was just learning I was.

By this time, it was too late to turn back and ignore my gender dreams. I was having so much success building a new life as a transgender woman, I just couldn't turn back. Even my sexuality was not a problem when I began to attract more attention from cis-women than I ever had as a man. I was validating myself as my own type of woman through my years of femininization and it felt so right. Then, I went and did it and jumped into the girl's sandbox and after a few bruises was successful. The claw marks I received on my back I felt were all learning experiences and I stayed and eventually held my own. 

All of this led me to my next transgender step of researching the possibility of beginning gender affirming hormones. Then I went and finally did by making my first appointment with a doctor who I heard would prescribe the hormones if a person was healthy. Thank the Goddess I was and the fun started. Like so many others, I needed to begin my hormonal journey on minimal dose of medication until my doctor and I could see how my body reacted. As it turned out, my body took to the new feminization hormones the way I hoped it would. It was like a big I told you so as my body changed. Inside and out. I needed all the help I could get in the appearance department and I was overjoyed when my facial angles softened and my hair quickly grew to a point where wigs became a part of my past. Luckily, my family history had no male pattern baldness for me to deal with. 

Since my overall appearance was becoming highly androgynous, I was loving it, I decided to give up on what was left of my old male life. I was to the point where none of my male shirts fit my breasts anymore, so rather than buy new bigger ones, I decided to go and do it. Give away what was left of my male clothes and live fulltime as a woman, transgender or not I was ready for the world. 

Since I had taken my time to make certain my gender decision was the correct one, I had no problems of never looking back. Many times now, I wish I had the courage to do it sooner and not have to worry about so many then I went and did its. 

Sunday, June 9, 2024

Gender Puzzles

Image from Norbu Gyachaung 
on UnSplash



At what age can we act as if we understand our gender issues or dysphoria? Or will it forever be a big gender puzzle.

I suppose I can say, I never really understood exactly why something clicked with me the first time I tried on my Mom's clothes. The whole process caused me to finally understand I put so much into a process of dreaming of a feminine life which turned out to be so big, yet so small. The big view of course was having the success to go forth and conquer a sometimes negative world who was not used to gender explorers. The small view was thinking of all the pieces of the puzzle which allowed me to break out and break free in the world as a transgender woman. Just trying to remember all the facets of living as I do right now sometimes is very intimidating to me. 

Often, I just have to go back to pieces of the gender puzzle I was able to piece together so I could get a glimpse of how the final picture may look like.  I should have saved my energy since I am still putting together the puzzle. Since I don't have the patience for puzzles anyhow, it never mattered to me.  Through it all, the key word was outrageous since I never knew exactly what I was ever doing as I blindly followed my gender dreams. First I had to learn to not be outrageous in my dress and fashion and dress to blend with other women in the public's eye. Not what I thought I looked good as. I could also not be overstated or outrageous in how I acted. Again not to invite unwanted attention to myself. As a male I never liked crowds, so I had to learn all over how to conquer all my fears when I was out in the world with all my male/white privileges stripped away from me. So, outrageous to me at that time in my life was knowing I could indeed make it in the public's eye as a transgender woman.

Then I was back to the damn puzzle. It seemed when I was successful at piecing together one piece of the gender puzzle, I just could not figure out the next piece. Just when I thought I had made it, I was rudely awakened by a gender bigot telling me how much farther I had to go. My biggest example was the night when my wife Liz and I were at an lesbian Valentines Party. At one point, Liz left me alone for a couple of minutes to go get something to eat and in that brief time a lesbian TERF attacked me. She rudely asked me what my "real name" was and was extremely hard to dissuade from attacking me any further until Liz came back to save me. It taught me how far I still had to go in life since I essentially "raised" around accepting lesbians and was na├»ve when I was confronted.  I found in my new life I was young again and never too experienced to learn.

I was fortunate to finally having the basic resources to piece my life's puzzle together. I learned I could step into the feminine universe briefly then make my way into the larger universe of women eventually. All the nights with friends at the diverse mixer/parties I went to in Columbus, Ohio helped me to see and interact with all levels of the transgender and LGBTQ communities. By doing so, I learned where I belonged with my ongoing puzzle issues. I just knew I was excited often with how my journey was progressing. The problem I was soon experiencing was one which many other of you trans women have. What to do concerning  an unaccepting spouse. Sadly, too many marriages reach the end of the line when the gender rock meets the hard place with a trans spouse when the pressure becomes unbearable.

For the first time in my life, I had to have the patience and resilience to put my gender puzzle together. Now I am down to the final pieces as I reach the final stages of my life. All I can hope for is to pass on to the other side as painless as possible and I hope you are as successful with your gender puzzle as I managed to be. 


Saturday, June 8, 2024

Strong Women Role Models

Hand Beaded Transgender Hair
Barret from Liz T Designs on
Etsy 

 I am speculating most transgender women or even trans men have experienced at least one or more strong women in their lives.

For any number of reasons, women have been forced to be strong and carry the load for weak men. For many, their first entrance into true womanhood comes with having children. With current economic conditions the way they are, the days of the old fifties version of Mom staying home to raise the kids and take care of the house is long gone. To barely make it financially, both partners have to work.

Problems then arise when the man still wants to follow the old outdated male standards of doing very little around the house to help out. 

By now, you may be asking what does this have anything to do with being a transgender woman. With me, at least, it means a lot. My Mom worked out a deal with my Dad in the sixties. If she went back to work as a school teacher and used her college degree, my Dad would help her out with hiring a part-time housekeeper. Even with the help, Mom had a lot to do with two sons in a very male orientated family. Even though I admired my Dad for being a self made man coming out of the Great Depression and WWII, I had more on hands experience with my Mom who was very headstrong. Who knows, maybe that influence with her had more to do with me being transgender than anything else. Later I was to learn my gender issues ran deeper than one person outside of myself.

Even so, I still searched for the perfect woman to model myself after. I wanted to appear as the confident women in the world I saw moving around in their lives. The older I became, the more I learned the perfect woman did not exist and many women were hurting themselves attempting the be a successful person in the world as well as on the home front. Not to mention, the overwhelming problem of appearance. Until recent times, aging has not been kind to most women who among other things suffer from extended menopause. 

All of these factors contribute to why I have such a high opinion of strong women and how I think the world is changing quickly as many more young women seize the new opportunities in the world around them while young men play video games. 

With all the changes, it is important to figure out how a transgender woman can fit in at all. Certainly, we have to be a better woman to do it at all. Which means understanding all the layers of a woman's life. That is once of the reasons some women resist letting trans women play in the girls sandbox at all. As my second wife always told me in no uncertain terms, I needed to earn my way in. Maybe that is why I never considered her a strong woman role model for me at all. My Mom on the other hand, was a strong role model for me. From how she applied her makeup to how she battled me for my future, I appreciated all she did for me. Including of course, birthing me. She remained my role model even though she rejected me when I came out as a transvestite to her. She immediately said she would pay for a psychiatrist which I rejected. Since I didn't have a mental health problem because of my gender issues. 

We never mentioned my desire to change my gender the rest of her life but even so I decided to adopt her first name as my legal middle name when I transitioned and legally changed my name. It was the biggest honor I could think of for all the things she did for me. The most relevant thing she did for me was to show me what a strong woman was and how to be one. A trait I would really need as I followed all the ups and downs of following a new gender path.

It is ironic to me, the strongest women I know like Liz or Kim have very little idea of how much they have helped me along and the most frustrating part is I don't think I can ever repay what they have done for me. 

Who knows? You might be an offspring of the very few strong women like my daughter. She had to became an ally for her trans child and was then able to take advantage of helping her child at an early age. Maybe your Mom realized your authentic gender self and became an ally rather than the cruel opposite.  If you didn't, you were forced to do what the rest of us did. Study strong women close up and do your best to join their ranks. I was fortunate enough to be able to work professionally along side several strong women who I learned from. The women seemed to combine strength and humility seamlessly to forge a successful business career. 

There are so many variations on how to become a successful strong trans woman it is difficult to mention them all. We all need to the do the best we can to force our way into a world where sometimes we are not wanted.

Friday, June 7, 2024

Last Chance

The Ohio State Student Union
with Brutus Buckeye


In  a recent post, I discussed the problem of waiting through years of cross dressing before I could finally transition into fulltime transgender womanhood. 

Then when I came out, I faced certain people who somehow didn't think I was deserving of the transgender title because I took so long to do it. Of course in my usual way, I thought to hell with them, we all are different in how we are able to transition. In most cases, the younger trans people who were saying all of this, had no knowledge of the conditions we faced in our younger days before the internet and social media. Our closets were potentially darker and more lonely than the days after the internet. 

Enough complaining, reality set in for me as did my age. All of a sudden, all those years I spent supposedly preparing myself to come out of my closet had taken me to the age of sixty and I was facing a now or never proposition as far as undertaking my final transition. In addition, I had never worked on anything as hard as I had to cross the gender border to see if the feminine side was indeed greener. Slowly but surely, I found the grass was greener and I was much happier there. Once I did, my age became a major consideration. Being sixty meant I had more life behind me than ahead, so I had to act. Being the original great procrastinator I was, I needed to change that aspect of my life  and do something about my overwhelming gender issues. 

It all happened one night when I was sitting alone in one of my favorite venues pondering my future when a clear thought came to me. The thought was so simple, I wondered why I did not think of it before. Enough of my drama queen existence.  It was time for my male self to go completely away and I could live in the greener feminine grass for the rest of my life. Plus, the doors of destiny were opening for me so I could. First of all, I was single and did not have an unapproving spouse to worry about. Secondly, I felt I was ready appearance wise to present well enough in public to get by. And finally, my Veterans health care system was starting to approve basic care for trans veterans so I could take advantage of low cost gender affirming hormones which I had long dreamed of taking. As you can tell, I had no real reason not to change my life. I was even old enough to consider early retirement so I didn't have to worry about coming out on a job.

Once I decided my course was clear, now it was a now or never moment I had to act on it. In my mind, I had connected all the male to female gender transition dots I could, so it was time to quit running from my truth and start a new life. As the hormones feminized my body inside and out, I found I had made the right decision. It was my last chance to live my dream and I better take it. I guess I was fortunate in that my choice was crystal clear. I had been transgender all my life and at the least I had lived long enough to live a life immersed in both binary genders. It certainly was not the easiest way to live and I would not wish it on anybody but at the least, my life was never boring. 

Boring or not, I needed to play all the cards I had and take the last chance I had to live my dream. Thanks to a small circle of women friends, who helped me more than they ever knew, my last chance gender gamble was a good one and I made it a success.    

Thursday, June 6, 2024

It's All a Big Transformation

Image from Ross Findom on UnSplash

Before we get started, I need to take a moment to remember the surviving military members of the D-Day invasion. It is important to remember how we arrived at the point of having to fight such a monumental war at all and hopefully learning our lesson to never do it again. My Dad fought in WWII but was not in Europe for D-Day. 

Now, on to the post: Anyway you look at it, life is nothing but a big transformation. We are born into a certain gender (right or wrong) and have our opportunities to grow into men or women. Not just males and females because it is a socialization process. Sadly for transgender women or trans men, we go through extra transformations in our life. Mainly because we need to escape from the initial gender declaration we were straddled with when we were born. Being forced into square gender holes when we were born as round pegs is cruel and unusual punishment. 

Over time, if we are lucky, we are able to climb out of our gender closets and thrive in the world but to get there, often it takes several separate transformations to arrive at our goals. For example, the first transformation I went through was when I was able to look at myself in my Mom's clothes in the hallway mirror. From there, I went even further by raiding her makeup and basically looking like a clown before I improved. At the time, I compared my expertise to painting a model car which were so popular at the time. It took awhile but I did get better with both at the same time. With no guidance from anyone, I needed to start from scratch.

Along the way, somehow I did manage to catch up partially with other girls of my age who I was watching closely. Another problem I had was having any income at all to purchase any feminine items of my own because I was rapidly out growing all my Mom's clothes so I took on a news-paper route to augment my meager allowance and buy a few items. In order to do so, I needed to visit my Grandma who lived very close to the downtown area which back in those days was a thriving business district. I snuck out, spent my money while being scared to death I would run into my Dad who worked nearby. Then sneak all my purchases back home and into my regular hiding places. By doing so, I was helping my transformation along.

The older I got, the larger my transformative steps became. Starting with going to Halloween parties dressed as a woman and then sneaking out of the house cross dressed, I knew each time I was successful, I could not go back to my unwanted, boring male life. Yet I needed to because I was still the round peg struggling to get out of her square hole and enjoy an authentic life as a novice transgender woman. Most importantly, it was looking as if I could defy all odds and do it. All because of the evenings I went out as a trans woman to be alone and ended up socializing with the world. Granted, it was a huge transformation to climb out of the male life I was in and make it into the dream world of women I always wanted to be part of but I made it.

Perhaps the biggest transformation came when I began gender affirming hormones. In addition to feminizing my body, I also feminized the world as I saw it. Finally I didn't have to play the old macho male game and was able to cry when I needed to. Surprisingly to me, my body even became more sensitive to changes in temperature and smell as my world softened.

I look at myself as being so fortunate in that I lived long enough to sense and go through several big transformations in my life. All the way from being able to father a child I love to living a fulltime life as a transgender woman with a woman I love, in many ways I feel I have received more than I deserved.  

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Owning Who you Are

Image from the Jessie Hart
Archives.

During Pride Month, it is extra important to to own who you are. Just as much as it is anytime but Pride may give you the little extra confidence to get by. 

To a large part, confidence in yourself, plays a huge role in you being able to own who you are as a novice transgender woman or trans man in the world. For me, it took many setbacks before I gained the confidence in myself to enter the public's not so accepting world. Just learning the basics of fashion and makeup was a major undertaking for me since like so many of you, I was starting from scratch. Slowly but very unsurely I was able to learn the basics enough to get by. In order to do so, I needed to learn to blend in with other women and not try to be sexier, which was a dismal failure. Stuffing a male, testosterone poisoned body into an ultra short mini skirt or dress just didn't work anywhere except for shock value at Halloween parties. 

Once I began to develop a slight amount of confidence in myself, I still learned the hard way that the sky was not the limit when I came to exploring a new life as a transgender woman. In one venue ( a  TGIF Friday's) I found myself becoming a part of a small diverse group of strangers who knew nothing of my old male life. The group was a mixture of a lesbian and her friends which included a beautiful exotic  dancer who drew the interest of a big bearded guy who owned a motorcycle and managed a lumber yard just down the street. Against the wishes of the group, he shocked everyone by proposing to the wild dancer and found himself in a short lived ill fated marriage. Ironically, I was the only one who showed him any sympathy in the group and we became close, before he moved on with his motorcycle to another job. The whole episode gave me confidence in the fact that men were not as off limits as I thought they were. Even though they were not knocking my door down to date me.

I found out quickly my sexuality did not change as I transitioned from male to female and even was enhanced when I learned all the attention I could get from other women. Most importantly, I did not need the validation from a man to give me the confidence to be myself. Even though I was prepared to see if there was any sort of a sexual spark between the authentic trans me and men, there just wasn't. I was busy owning who I was and she was doing a quality job during the process. As it was, the process led me down many different paths. Many turned out to be good and others were dead ends but my new found confidence helped me to continue to search.

Owning who I was also meant forcing my old, unwanted male self into the closet where my authentic gender self lived for years just existing by cross dressing in front of the mirror. Of course, he put up quite the battle before losing and nearly wrecked my mental health on the way. With the help of a key group of women friends and a loyal, dedicated therapist, I survived on my gender path and eventually thrived. I just had to muster up more courage than I thought I had to do it. To those of you who would ask why I would risk so much to transition, I can only say the process along the way felt so natural and saved my life. 

Some would argue I am less trans than the next person because I waited so long to come out in my life. That is ridiculous because I always knew I had gender issues but did not grow up in an easy time to express them Plus, I would not give anything to have missed out on certain moments of my male life, such as my daughter. Who has led me to having three grandchildren I love very much. So you can see why I don't consider my entire male life to be a waste of time because I learned so much from it. 

On the other hand, switching gears after being deeply embedded in a male world wasn't easy. The process took me many years before I could come up to speed in a new world which was and is constantly changing for women, transgender or not. In fact, it could be argued, catching up is more difficult for a trans woman because we have to start from scratch and often be better in the world than other women just to survive. Having the confidence to own who you are is the only way to do it. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Life in Her World

Image from the Jessie Hart
Archives

Once I was preparing to live as a transgender woman, I needed to figure out what to do with my new life. . 

As it turned out, even though I had worked for years to figure out my ultimate gender puzzle, I found I still had a long way to go. When everything ceased to be in my mind and into the world, I faced the formidable task of rebuilding my life as a trans woman and leaving my male past behind. The first major problem came from my old male self accepting any of the idea at all. He kept reminding me of all the risks I would be taking if I transitioned. What would happen to my family, friends and employment if I entered my new exciting world. What I did for the longest time was attempt to live with one foot in one gender and one foot in another. Of course, my less than wonderful idea did not work and the pressure to move into her world fulltime became unbearable. I finally realized I did not have a choice and  I just had to complete my transition. I emphasize I had no choice because some transphobic individuals think I did. I would like them to live just a small time in a transgender life to permanently change their minds.

Another problem I had was the longer I lived in my new trans life, the more routine it became.  I found myself slipping back into my old male bad habits which were long gone. When my white, male privileges disappeared, I had no where to turn when life turned the tables on me. A primary example came on the occasions when my personal security was threatened as a novice transgender woman just learning the world. I discovered I could not just bluster or bluff away problematic situations which arose in the world. In many situations, like every other woman,  I needed to work hard to distance myself from the problem and try to learn from it.  Every time I slipped back into male mode, I was rudely reminded of what I did and quickly adjusted.  

Just moving around became a priority for me. I needed to unlearn the male walk and talk and learn to try to flow like a woman. I practiced everytime I could until I thought I had achieved a basic successful walk so I would  not look like a line backer in a dress. The whole process became easier when I finally realized I needed to put my male self away and adopt the feminine one forever. Without totally knowing it, I had moved away from my cross dressing days into a life in her world as a transgender woman. As far as talking was involved in the process, I write about the feminine art of communication often. As a male my habit of frontal aggression needed to go away as I found myself in a world dominated by passive aggression. All too often, I suffered the pain of claw marks on my back when I thought I knew what another woman was thinking or doing. Instead of making the first move in situations, I learned to lay back and let the other woman make the first move and then go from there.

Life in her world then became a question of how confident I had become. I came to realize even though another woman realized my path was different than hers, I still could be accepted as an equal. When I reached this moment of confidence, my life changed forever and I knew I could live the life I always dreamed of. In her world where I always belonged. 

In order to do so, I needed to finally trust my inner feminine soul to take over and run my life. She did a wonderful job since she had waited so long to do it. I was able to become a well rounded person in her world.


Sunday, June 2, 2024

A Zig-Zag Trans Life

Party night at Club Diversity
Columbus, Ohio.

 Maybe I should have called this post I should have zigged when I should have zagged. Or vice-versa.

In many ways, I see all sorts of transgender women or trans men in the same situation. I started at a very young age when I would zig away from my younger brother when we were home alone and I was able to get away from him when I cross dressed by locking myself in the bathroom. Fortunately, I never needed to zag because somehow, he never caught me and told my unapproving parents.

Somehow I thought when I got older, my life would improve. The first thing I learned was my urge to be or at least cross dress as a girl my age would not magically disappear. In fact, it became stronger when I learned it was not just a phase and I began to understand my gender dysphoria better. At that point, I really had to start zigging and zagging just to maintain my fragile mental health. When I was old enough, I even began taking myself to therapists to seek out help. My only main success which came out of it was when I was diagnosed with a bi-polar depressive disorder. It had nothing to do with my gender issues at all. As far as zigging or zagging, I was able temporarily save my marriage and received my money's worth when my gender therapist told me the truth. She could do nothing about me wanting to be a woman. Overall, my desires should not be a problem and I should face my truth. Of course, I wasn't smart enough to follow her advice and resumed all the zigging and zagging. 

It took me years and years to grow up and away from my male self and settle into a life as my authentic feminine or transgender self. By this time, I was growing so tired of all the zigging and zagging I was going through. Even though the whole process was an exciting time of my gender life, I was still becoming fatigued by my life the way it was. Ironically, when I was, I settled into a long term set of appointments with a very understanding therapist. She talked me off the ledge several times and along the way helped me secure gender affirming hormones and the paper work I needed to change all the legal gender markers I could. All of a sudden, I was able to visualize myself living my dream as a full fledged transgender woman. With my daughter's help, we were even able to come up with a new legal name which would reflect my family history and would be easy for my grandkids to use.

Finally all my exhaustion came to an end and I was able to live how I pleased. All the zigging and zagging had worked. All the times I hurried to hide myself away from friends and family, were put behind me. Through it all I learned one difficult lesson. If you can somehow believe in yourself, you can live your best life. Even though you may (like me) take years and years to evolve into your authentic self, the trip is usually never boring as you lead a zig-zag trans life. Overall, it takes a ton of effort to weave your gender issues into a life of family, spouses, jobs and friends. You learn to be forever vigilant in protecting yourself and end up internalizing way too much of your life. It seems the entire process is just ingrained as part of a transgender life as breath itself. We just have to finally zig to get around it. Then zag to adopt your new life as a trans woman.

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Transgender Stairsteps

Image from Reinaldo Kevin
on UnSplash

As I progressed through life, the idea of me being transgender took up more and more space. 

When it did, I had to create my own steps to arrive at the next level and negotiate all the many stop signs which impeded my progress. For awhile, I was so engrossed in my own appearance, my second wife called me the "Pretty, pretty princess." Mainly because she did not use much makeup and was not very girly herself. I did get my revenge on the occasions we were going out and she had to ask for my assistance with her makeup. It was all I could do to not say something like did she all of a sudden need the "Princess's" help but I didn't.

Little did I know, presenting the best I could as a cross dresser or novice transgender woman was just the beginning. As I was attempting to learn as much as I could about the next step I was stonewalled by my wife who did not want me to go any farther as a trans woman. Not to mention my male self, who was doing his best to derail my gender journey the best he could. It was obvious, he wanted nothing to do with giving up any of his power over me. 

With or without either my wife or my male self, my path was set and I was intent on finding and climbing the next steps towards living as a fulltime transgender woman. Now I shouldn't get  too far ahead of myself because of all the steep stairsteps I still had to climb. The first step was to determine exactly what my gender identity was. Which included my all important sexuality. Since I was planning on living a feminine lifestyle, would I be expected on changing my sexuality as well. This time of my life was very exciting and scary at the same time. When I made it to my next step, I needed to maintain my balance before I could even think about going forward to another.

Once I maintained my balance and was able to look around in my new feminine world, I loved where I was and could not wait to go on. After all, I was showcasing my new skills at blending in with other women as well as experiencing more and more communicating with other women which I went into in yesterday's post. I can safely say my communication experience was one of the most difficult things I had ever done. The next step seemed to be an impossible distance away. Somehow I made it anyways and the next move was seeking out the availability of gender affirming hormones or HRT. I did get approved by a doctor to begin the hormones and the next step was a huge one. Mainly because I had some sort of an idea of the physical changes I would be going through but had no idea of the internal ones.

All of a sudden, I was a different person. I could cry when I never could before as well as undergoing other inner changes. The step of hormones turned out to be worth the wait and all the anticipation. In fact being afraid of heights and climbing too high was worth it also. Maybe it is the excuse I can use to rationalize to myself why it took me so long to realize my transgender life long dreams. 

Before I go, I would like to wish a Happy Birthday to my oldest Grandchild who is graduating from The Ohio State University in December. My Grandchild also happens to be trans and identifies as "They/Them" and I am so proud!

Friday, May 31, 2024

Trans Girl Passing Privilege

 

Witches Ball Image. Tom on
left.

Passing privilege has been one of my biggest gender paranoia's over the years. Many because I did not begin my journey with any feminine characteristics I could see. Testosterone poisoning had essentially ruined my life when it came to establishing passing privilege. 

As I began to add angles to my body along with unwanted body hair and muscle mass, I began to think ever presenting well as a cross dresser / transgender woman would be impossible. In order to make my gender dream possible, I needed to look around at the other women my age and try to blend my style with theirs. The whole process was difficult and I made many fashion mistakes along the way. Even though I did, I managed to survive in the world as a novice transvestite on my own and move forward. Mainly thanks to brief moments of gender euphoria which always propelled me forward. To do so, I learned how important for me it was to blend in with other women. All I knew was, I enjoyed it immensely when other women would take the time to talk and communicate with me as an equal.

Through it all, I learned that even if I was not the most beautiful woman in the room, many other cis-women were not either. Since women operate on a more layered existence than men, there were many other possibilities to be successful in the world other than just being attractive. In fact, being transgender gave me an extra quality to my existence which many women were drawn to. As I crossed the gender frontier into a new feminine world, ironically I found I had more interest from women than I ever did when I was a man. 

Probably, one of the more profound statements I was ever told was when my transgender friend Racquel told me I passed out of sheer willpower. Which I took to mean (again) I was not the best looking woman in the room but went out into the public's eye anyhow. Together, we went to many so called straight venues together and had a great time with very little public push back, Even if I was passing out of sheer willpower, I was doing it successfully. Which was all that mattered. 

It mattered even less, when I was able to expand my small circle of lesbian friends who put the icing on the cake so to speak when it came to passing privilege. We were able to attend several lesbian mixers in Dayton, Ohio at several different venues. Even though I was initially very scared to go, I was quickly put at ease when I found I could blend in with the group in the venue. Sometimes the venue would be gay and sometimes straight which added to the excitement. All I know is one night, I was asked to be a lesbian wing person for my friend who was too shy to approach another woman and ask for her name. I even was able to steal a few kisses on the side one night from another woman I met. Willpower passing was great. 

I don't have enough power to do it but I think "passing" should be changed to "blending". With blending, you have the choice to dress with the other women you are going to be around and you have the choice not to if you like. In my case, I always wanted to do the best I could to enter the world as a transgender woman and blend in with the other women who were going to be around me. On the other hand, I understand also it is a trans woman's privilege to go to the grocery store in her heels and hose to do her shopping. It is all part of the fun of entering the women's world. 

The biggest problem with trans girl passing privilege is the amount of stress and attention put into appearance by the media and the outside world. The competition to look better seems to get stronger with each generation with the internet and social media being the major culprits. When the stress goes up for ordinary women to look better, it follows the pressure to be even better is real for transgender women and their quest to blend in with the public. 

At least now, there are plenty of self help makeup videos to help the novice trans girl along plus several of the big makeup stores offer advice and products too. Many more places than transgender women such I had when I was first coming out. Maybe it all equals out. 

Thursday, May 30, 2024

The Quiet Trans Girl

Image from Linkedin on UnSplash.

Growing up, I lived under the double edged sword of not wanting to live in a male dominated world which was my family. So I did what I was taught to do, I internalized my thoughts and never mentioned them to anyone.  I became a very quiet trans girl until when I was in my early twenties and came out as a transvestite to a few very close friends. In the Army, of all places. 

In fact, internalizing my feminine desires became my main theme to my life. On many days, when my gender dysphoria was at it's highest, I had no idea how I was going to make it through another day in a male world. Somehow, without the help of anyone else I made it and continued to live a very quiet life with a few male dominated activities included to throw my gender doubters off the beaten track. Somehow I managed to join up with a small group of hell raisers who I stayed friends with through high school and the military.

Staying hidden in my closet had a negative effect when I first took my tentative steps in the world as a novice cross dresser / transgender woman. When I made my entrance into the real world away from gay bars and clothing stores where everyone could be accepted, I was petrified when someone attempted to communicate with me. What would I say and more importantly how would I say it. Nothing in my life had prepared me for what I was about to face. 

I began the process with simply trying to mimic the voice of the woman who was trying to talk to me, which seemed to work out fairly well until I needed to talk to a man. So I tried to do the next best thing and not talk at all. Not talking worked fairly well until I began to see people again. For the most part, I was easy to remember and more people than I care to mention wanted to know more about me. Particularly women, who in their own feminine way wanted to know why I wanted into their world. To further my communication success, I then decided to attend vocal classes at the Veteran's Administration in Dayton, Ohio. By doing so, I was able to learn the basic differences the male and female binary genders use to communicate in the world. The training went much farther than just the basics of vocal range and I learned a lot. 

Perhaps the biggest improvement I learned was I could now have the confidence to hold my own, one on one with another woman. I was no longer coming off as unfriendly or worse by not wanting to talk. I used to say I was going out to my favorite venues night after night to be alone but it was not true any longer as I was out to be social. 

Ironically, the better I became at being social with other women, the more I was kicked out of my old men's club which I had become so adept at surviving in. I learned quickly my male privilege of discussing topics of interest with other guys was a waste of my time when I was rejected for being a woman. Transgender or not. Like it or not, once again I had became the quiet trans girl. 

It wasn't until I began to build a new circle of women friends did I finally discover I didn't need a man's validation to be a person at all. I could stand on my own two feet and flourish in the world but it wasn't easy to get there. I had more failures than successes when I first started the communication process in the world as a transgender woman. The feminine nuances of non verbal communication women use initially was very difficult to learn. It did not take me long though to grasp when a friendly woman behind the bar was trying to tell me when a drunk guy was a huge red flag and I should vacate the premises.

More than anything else, my new communication skills brought the quiet trans girl out of her shell. When I moved in with Liz in Cincinnati, we began to go to "Meetup" social groups which helped immeasurably with my communication skills. Sure, probably, most of the others attending knew I was trans but I was different and even exotic to a few, so I stood out from the group. I needed to accept the fact and finally began to thrive on my reality.

I know my reality isn't for everyone and my journey could be different than all of yours. The main thing is we are all on the same journey at various points in our lives and can learn from each other. When we do, we can come out of our deep/dark gender closets and live a meaningful life. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Doing What is Right

 

My wife Liz on left. Mother's Day this year.

During several high profile jobs I worked at, doing what was right was drilled into me by my superiors.

Even though it took me many years to finally realize I needed to do it, I came out of my gender closet and started a new life as a transgender woman. As I write about often, I am haunted on how much better my life would have been if I had come out earlier and did the right thing.

I should have known and if I had listened to my instincts, I would have done it. As it was, everytime I cross dressed as a woman I felt so natural and something was trying to tell me something big was wrong. It is no wonder, I struggled with my mental health and had anger issues when now I take all I was going through into consideration. Sadly, the person who bore the brunt of my frustrations was my second wife. Mainly because we had made a deal I could cross dress as much as I wanted as long as I kept it away from our home. I was even allowed to spend the money to go to a motel to get ready for a trip on the town if I wanted to. As it worked out, even that was not enough to satisfy my gender desires. Essentially what happened was I became better and better at my presentation skills and when I did, I enjoyed myself more and more.

As it turned out, we were similar to runaway trains on the same track. I was headed towards gender affirming hormones (HRT) and she was completely against them. Saying hormones broke the agreement we set up when we married. She was right and I ended up between the rock and a hard place before she passed away. Once again it seemed I was back to point zero again in my life but this time, I could not go back to cross dressing in front of the mirror. I was too far along towards my lifelong dream of living in a women's world to ever go back. Still, I had the problem of doing what was right and sticking with my promise to never leave the house as my transgender self. I became desperate and began to break that promise regularly which inwardly I was ashamed of.

Overall, my guy self still had enough influence to try to stop my slide into womanhood by putting up the same old barriers. Barriers such as internalizing all my feelings and trying to ignore my mounting mental health problems by drinking way too much until I could take it no longer and I went out to pursue my other new life as a trans woman. Then tried to be home before my wife and hide the whole evening from her. In the short and long term, my plan never worked because in part it was so difficult for me to remove the makeup I so painstakingly applied. I think now, most of the time she knew when I was out sneaking around and just made the decision not to press the issue.

Deep down, on my end, I knew I needed to press the issue. When I was out living my best life as a transgender woman, I couldn't go back to a life as a guy I never asked for. Doing what was right just seemed to be the fair and natural thing  to do. 

Now, if my story ended there, it would have had a happy ending but it didn't. Approximately six months before she passed away, my wife and I had a massive fight about my part time life as a woman and I decided to make one last ill-fated attempt at quitting my feminine life and purging most of my belongings. After nearly six months into growing a beard and gaining an immense amount of weight, as I tried to quit doing what was right, my wife passed away after twenty five years of marriage. Leaving me on my own to finally do what was right.

I did and decided I was not getting any younger and had followed the proper "prep" work to allow my feminine soul to take control. She did and without indicating any "I told you so." She took over my life life with goodness and control. I will forever wonder what would have happened if I had let her take over sooner because she was clearly doing the right things with my life. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Time Waits for No One if you are Trans

Image from David Cohen
on UnSplash.


Sometimes I look back at my nearly three quarters of a century of life and wonder how I made it.

Often I think I could have made it easier on myself if I had been able to muster the courage to come out much earlier and live the authentic feminine life I always wanted to live. It is difficult to imagine exactly how it would have worked out, because the world has changed so much for transgender women and men. It is always worth mentioning the pre-internet/social media days when trans people were so much more isolated in their dark gender closets.

Timing always has quite a bit of influence on how anyone is able to attempt joining the world as an out transgender person. As anyone becomes older, they have a tendency to accumulate life experiences, material or not. Families come along for many, making the gender shock of changing genders so much more of a problem. Baggage continues to increase when we undertake better employment and secure better housing. Both of which can be very difficult to give up.

Time keeps on moving, which often is the only definite and when it does, the pressure builds to do something about it. The older we become, the more the reality of our mortality sets it and we lose the recklessness of youth. I was certainly much more reckless when I was younger and tried more self destructive acts such as consuming too much alcohol and driving way too fast. Also, as the pressure mounted, my mental health which was already shaky was put to the test repeatedly. Anything I tried seemed to take me farther and farther away from any potential answers I could think of.  

The problem was I couldn't see the forest for the gender trees. Similar to any other woman, my biological clock was ticking away and the older I got, the louder it became. I tried everything to run from my clock but of course nothing worked. Finally, when I turned sixty, I could take it no longer. On one momentous night after years of struggle I gave up my male self and gave in to living fulltime as a transgender woman. I put all the years of experimentation as a cross dresser behind me, dis-carded the remainder of my male clothes and set out to live my dream. Sure, it was scary but all the preparation I put into the move made it more natural and successful from the beginning. Primarily my inner woman was overwhelmed by finally having the final say in my life. 

At the time, I was viewing the entire process as jumping off a gender cliff and hoping for a soft landing. As it turned out, all my prep time when I was actually trying to play in the girl's sandbox worked well for me because I had a chance to build up a close circle of women friends who helped with the landing and even welcomed me in. 

I knew too, I wasn't getting any younger and if I put off a gender transition much longer, I would likely never have the chance again. I was close to retirement age, had no spouse to worry about, and had a limited amount of family and friends to come out to, so even I didn't have a good reason to stay in my gender closet any longer. 

In my case, for whatever reason, I was able to wait out time to the bitter end and come out positive in the process. I wish now, I didn't wait so long to live as my authentic transgender self and put so much prep work into it but no one goes back and gets a second chance to rewind the clock.  

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Trans Displacement or an Impostor?

Image from Tengyart
on UnSplash.

Sometimes, even when I am successful living the life of a transgender woman in a space I had always could ever dream of, I wonder if I am merely an impostor.

Am I taking the place of another cis-woman who could be living in my place? And did I deserve to be there. Then, I come to my senses and think no, all of that is crazy. Instead of taking another woman's place, I was replacing a man who did not approve of his lifestyle at all and wanted to change it. The only displacing I was doing came at the expense of myself.

I certainly paid my dues learning what I needed to do to complete the process. My life was made up of too many blind corners to count. Once I conquered one blind corner, seemingly another would magically appear. Many, I had no idea of what I needed to face to move forward. When I did become relatively successful in my quest to change my gender, perhaps the cruelest joke at all came along. It happened when I began to suffer what is called "impostor syndrome" or ending up in the middle of a girls night out party feeling as if I was out of place. Finally, I overcame my reservations and was able to enjoy myself. I deserved to be there as much as the next woman and I was not displacing anyone. 

Sadly, there were more blind corners than I can remember but I managed to keep my life together and proceed as fast as I could. I still had too many self destructive moments. Mostly, when I did all I could to try to out myself and ruin all I knew of my male life. I drove too fast and drank way too much and even went into the restaurant I managed cross dressed because I thought I could get away with it. Long story short, I didn't and I put my very good employment in jeopardy. I wasn't satisfied going to the established venues I was going to out of town and wanted more and more. All along, I was doing more and more and didn't realize it. I needed to learn all the nuances of being a successful transgender woman in the world but wasn't patient enough to do it. Mainly, my communication skills in all the various worldly situations I could put myself in needed improvement. 

It was frustrating when I thought life was good and the idea of me being a gender impostor snuck in. Why was I out in the world trying to be a woman in a space inhabited by cis women. Many of whom did not appreciate my being in their world. I developed a thick skin over time and finally decided the women who did not like me for no apparent reason (other than the obvious) had problems of their own which did not include me. Once I developed my thick shell, my confidence as a transgender woman increased and life was better.

After a lifetime of experience, I made it out of my own head and into the world. When I did, I was able to put any ideas of trans displacement behind me. In no way was I an impostor and I had earned my position as a woman as much as any other cis-woman. Females aren't women at birth and they are socialized into the experience the same as I was. I just happened to take another path. One of which often gave me more insight into life because I lived a life on both sides of the gender border. I even found myself giving advice to other women on how to communicate better with their men. I was flattered and any idea of me being a gender impostor began to disappear. 

At the same time, I finally stopped encountering any idea of displacement and went on living my dream life I never thought I would ever get to. It was always my impossible dream to live as a woman (trans or not) and I began to ignore the naysayers. Life became more livable and pleasurable and all imposters turned out to be other women in my world.

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Trans Girl in the World

Downtown Cincinnati archive
image. Ohio River in the
background.

Recently, the day came when my wife Liz and I were able to get out of the house and run a few important errands. Of course it was also a rare chance to see and be seen in the public's eye. 

The first thing which had to happen was to decide what I was going to wear. Since we were not going anywhere fancy, I did not have to over do it. We were just going to the county treasurer's office to pay our taxes and make a possible coffee shop stop, so I felt my leggings and lightweight lacy top would do, along with tennis shoes in case we needed to walk any distance. The treasurer's office was downtown.   

Since we were trying to beat the rush, we decided to try to get an early start, so I needed to be up early (for me) so I could apply a light coat of makeup and brush then tie back my hair which is due for it's summer trim. Once we arrived at the treasurer's office, we were lucky that the set up for the weekend "Taste of Cincinnati" celebration (which draws over a million people) did not interfere with finding a place to park. 

From there it was a matter of going through the guard screening to get into the building. When we did, the guard called us "ladies" so I was happy. Once we arrived at the office we were looking for, the clerks who waited on us were as predictably detached as I thought they would be, so I did not encounter any stares or pushback from anyone. The worst part of course was actually paying our tax bill before we were on our way. 

On the way back home, we decided to just use the drive thru at our favorite coffee shop and spend even more money we didn't really have but we managed to order a light breakfast and coffee and be on our way.

As I often write about, we just don't get out much, so even such a mundane trip was interesting. I often have the chance to relax and reflect on how far I have come as a transgender woman. It wasn't so long ago I would have been petrified to make the short trip I made this morning.

Since we are entering the Memorial Day weekend and I am veteran, I will have my usual post coming up reminding everyone to remember the true meaning of the holiday.

In the meantime, thanks always to all of you who have followed along with all my experiences. Your participation makes it all so worthwhile.

Sink or Swim

Image from Trans Wellness Event.  Jessie Hart Archives.  Many times when I first entered the world as a new cross dresser or femininized mal...