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

Monday, July 18, 2022

Growing up Dysphoric

I may be biased but I can't think of anything worse than growing up with a massive case of gender dysphoria. Of course the problem was compounded by growing up in the pre-internet, pre social media era. Unless you were fortunate enough to discover and subscribe to Virginia Princes' Transvestia magazine, you were basically cut off from the rest of the gender dysphoric world. In other words, the dark ages of locating any gender support at all. Dark times indeed for those of us stuck in our closets wondering if we were the only one anywhere who wanted to express themselves as the other binary gender.

Through it all, I felt I wouldn't wish my gender dysphoric impulses on anyone. There were so many times in my life I wished I could go back to being a man full time. After all I had spent so much time and effort to survive as something I wasn't, it seemed so unfair I couldn't enjoy any of the fun aspects of being a man. As time went on, the more time I tried existing as a man I was suffering from a severe case of impostor syndrome. The more time I spent discovering my authentic feminine self, the more natural and detached I felt from the masculine self I had tried so hard to become a part of. Try as I might I just couldn't feel natural around a group of men doing stereotypical men things.

I tried along the way to live with a foot in each of the binary genders or how I could exist and live equal time as a man and a woman. Naturally it didn't work as I encountered all sorts of problems remembering which gender I was operating as. Plus another problem arose when I began to feel much more natural as a woman, which led to me having an extra amount of resentment towards having to try to be a man at all. To make a long story short the whole ugly process led me to attempt a self harm attempt (suicide). It obviously wasn't successful and ultimately forced me down the path of least resistance...a path to being a full time transgender woman.

Even though I eventually reached my feminine dream I still have to live with the scars of growing up with gender dysphoria. I still wake up every morning seeking the reassurance of having my own long hair and breasts. Every little bit helps to remind me I am finally living my dream. Even still, I still wonder what it would have been like to grow up as a guy who didn't want to become a woman. 

It will be a secret I won't know until I make the final transition to the other side. Maybe then I will find out why I was chosen to learn how both genders live and exist. Maybe I was blessed or cursed.    

Friday, July 15, 2022

What Now?

 It's finally fully sinking in I have severed my final ties to my old male life by selling my property in my old home town. 

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

The pressure is off meeting any strangers who may be curious about my transgender stature. Over the years I had grown so worry of so called proving my femininity again and again. I guess I will always will have to face it. To add insult to injury Monday Liz and I had the time to "tour" my old hometown. Even though many of the old physical memories had been torn down, many memories of my attempts to transition there in such a conservative atmosphere remained. Now it seems, I won't have to visit again.

All of this new found mental freedom brings up the question of what now?  Perhaps I have spent too many years of my life wondering what was beyond the next corner to simply give up the habit. Of course being transgender has given me many opportunities to wonder what was around the next corner as I strived to discover if I could actually live my dream as a full time transgender woman. Along the way I considered I actually survived two major gender transitions in my life. The first of which happened when I managed to get out of the mirror and discover the truth about myself. In other words, cross dressing wasn't just a fad which made me feel good, wasn't destructive and may be a phase or a fad I was going through. 

All of the discoveries I was going through on my gender journey finally led me to an unmistakable truth, cross dressing turned out to be little more than a gender pressure reliever and most certainly was much more than a phase I was going through. 

Finally I relieved myself of most all the pressure I was feeling because of my gender issues and decided to begin hormone replacement therapy. From that point forward I considered myself a transgender woman. Before I was fully ready to meet the world as my authentic self there were many "What Now" moments. Several of the most major included how to react when my male privileges were suddenly threatened or taken away all the way to communication issues between the genders as I struggled to fit in as a transgender woman.

Now as I face what only be called my senior years, what now revolves mainly around me being able to hang on to my relatively good health. Or try to maintain myself to the uninvertible a trip to an extended living facility. 

My next step is to erase all thoughts of what could happen in the future and try to be more present in my thinking.  

Sunday, July 10, 2022

All the Gender Boxes

 When we are born we are placed in a gender box. Most of us in a blue one for boy or a pink one for girls. From that point forward in our lives the problem begins. What if we don't fit neatly into one of 

Photo by Kadarius Seegars on Unsplash

the main gender binary boxes? Most of us know our small restrictive box becomes an equally restrictive closet. We begin to refer to ourselves as cross dressers or transgender people. Plus, these days there are beginning to be an increasingly number of different gender boxes identified. An example would be non-binary individuals. 

As life goes on hopefully it becomes easier to escape your gender box and live as your authentic self. To accomplish your escape, often you have to live through several gender boxes. Taking me for example, I felt I was living as a relatively accomplished cross dresser for decades before I finally jumped into the transgender box. At the time I became extra serious about my feminine presentation and started hormone replacement therapy. Ironically, many changes from the feminine hormones resulted in internal changes also. So many it would take me another blog post to explain them all.

Even still, I found an amazing number of strangers didn't care exactly what gender box I was attempting to escape. Naturally, they all had their own lives to deal with and stayed out of mine, for the most part. The others provided interesting all the way to terrifying experiences which I remember to this day. Perhaps the most important lesson I learned was to get out of my own personal gender prison box, I had to learn to blend and live in a cis-gender world as a transgender woman. There were many times I considered returning to my cross dresser gender box rather than give up on all of my male privileges I had worked long and hard to obtain. But my life in my new box as a transgender woman just felt too natural to let go. It was better to pursue the more difficult road and transition into a full time transgender woman. 

You could suggest too life itself is but a series of boxes such as school, marriage, parenthood etc. It just seems those of us who found ourselves in the wrong gender box from the very beginning of our lives were dealt a bad deck of cards.

Hopefully you can shuffle your gender boxes and be able to live your best life.


Monday, June 20, 2022

Dad's Day

 A little late with this post but in many ways it's  a relevant look at my past. Even though  I have never taken any sort of real survey. It seems to me from my many years following other transgender women or cross dressing blogs, our Mom's receive most of the credit and or blame for our gender issues. From makeup to fashion many of us followed our Mom's lead. 


Through it all what about Dad? In my case I still stand in awe of all he accomplished in his life. In addition to surviving the Depression and World War II, he took his high school education, built his own house and rose to being a Bank Vice President. It broke my heart when he developed dementia and slipped away. 

Sadly I was never able to talk to him concerning any of the important issues in my life. Especially my questions about gender. While he exceeded my expectations at being a provider, he was sadly very deficient in being emotionally available. 

It took me years to come to terms to my up bringing as a white privileged kid being raised in a semi-rural area in Ohio. I hit the ground running in 1968 during my first year of college when the Vietnam War was surging and I always thought my Dad was pro Nixon. I remember his disliking of when my hair started to creep over my ears and collar. His crew cuts and burr haircuts became a thing of the past to me. Even still, my Dad managed to not say much to me about his feelings.

During that time, my Mom had no problems filling the void, she was very vocal about "not wasting" the money they spent on my education if I was killed in Vietnam. True story. 

Sadly, my parent's relationship grew toxic as they reached fifty years of marriage. From the outside looking in I think my Mom grew restless about my Dad's increasingly sedentary lifestyle. There was only so much time she could sit around watching television. Even in their dream condo.

The older I become, the more I am curious to what I inherited from both of my parents. My Mom is the easier one to explain. I inherited her fire and ability to change which she had to do when she graduated from a fairly prestigious state university in Ohio and went against her family's blessings and married an high school grad with no real occupational direction. She wore her emotions on her sleeve so she was easy to figure out.

Dad was the exact opposite. It wasn't until much later in life did he let any of his feelings be known concerning his standing with Mom's family. Also sadly, I still have a very difficult time showing any emotion. In fact, I didn't begin to cry at all in my life until I began to feel the effects of hormone replacement therapy. 

Many of you know I made final peace with my Mom when I legally changed my name and chose her first name as my middle name and her father's name as my first. I did not forget my Dad by keeping my last name the same. 

It took me years after both of their passing for me to come to terms with how I was raised. Now I realize they did the best they could with what they had to work with. Times changed on them and they had a difficult time changing with them. A challenge I try to keep up with daily. 

In the meantime, thanks Dad and Happy Father's Day. I love you!   

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Impostor's Syndrome?

 Are you kidding me? Yet another transgender phrase I have to worry about? Just what does "impostor syndrome mean to you...if anything. 

To me it means when I am walking through a busy restaurant my partner Liz and I go to on a regular basis, will I be "exposed" as a transgender woman or all I am not seem to be. For Connie's benefit I used the "exposed" word sensing she is ready to pounce. 

Regardless of all of that, I do suffer from impostor's syndrome. I also wonder who was smarter or more creative than I and came up with the phrase. I used to refer to it as "transgender PTSD" or transgender post traumatic stress disorder. Mine was brought on early in my formative years when I was attempting to live as my authentic self. Of course most of my failures came as I was just learning the basics of gender presentation in public. All too often I tried to wear ill fitting clothes to match my clown wigs. In a sense I spent too much time being trashy rather than classy. All of my ill fated attempts led me to being laughed or snickered at and even having the police called on me when I used the bathroom. I suppose you have to be transgender or even a cross dresser to understand the mental trauma it causes.

I guess new phraseology and alphabet letters are the rule rather than the norm in todays LGBTQ society probably coming from all the new people discovering their new gender realities. Even locally in the small transgender - cross dresser support group I am a part of, there seems to be a rather sharp division between the younger and older members of the group. It's rather sad to me that so many get their "panties in a bunch" over situations we all should be united behind. Especially in today's society where so many people are attempting to erase us totally. 

So, when push comes to shove, I will have to accept yet another phrase as a part of my gender vocabulary. I believe also, resistance to change is often a sign of age. I am sad when I lose contact with several members of our group because they got their feelings hurt by someone else.

Virginia Prince

We need every person to be as united as possible to propel us into the future. Similar to me standing on the shoulder's of the Virginia Prince's of the cross dressing world, it would be wonderful if just one person could see me in the same light.

At that point I wouldn't have to worry about "impostors syndrome" again. Maybe I will have to wait to see what happens in my later years when or if I have to be admitted to an extended care facility. 

Perhaps I will never have to worry about it and the final transition will come peacefully. That's all anyone could ask.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Back in the Saddle

 The first big holiday and the official kick off for summer has happened and moved on. It was also Memorial Day which I believe is not celebrated for the right reasons by too many people in the United States. They are more concerned with having a good time, rather than remembering all of those who lost their lives in any of the seemingly endless wars we as a country become involved in. None of that matters to all of those who served and paid the ultimate sacrifice.

 Putting all of that behind us, summer is finally here around where I live in Southwest Ohio, Cincinnati, USA. On cue, the temperatures have risen and it's time to pull out all of my tank tops and T shirts out of my wardrobe and wear them again. Seasonal changes around here to me allow me one of the fun things of being a transgender woman. Back in the day when I was a cross dresser before I transitioned, I couldn't wait for certain seasons to roll around. Specifically fall when I could wear my leggings and sweaters. Back then I had considerably more to cover up. Examples would be my hairy arms and legs.

These days of course hormone replacement therapy has reduced my body hair to a fraction of what is was and my breasts are large enough to notice in a tank top or tee shirt. I am so fortunate to finally be able to tie my hair back in a long pony tail wear no makeup and take the dog for a walk. All those years of being so envious of other women are nearly totally in my past. One of first things I noticed about HRT was when my body's thermostat had changed. All of a sudden I felt colder than I ever felt before. Quickly I understood all the women I secretly made fun for being cold weren't kidding. Most certainly my new thermostat does help in the warmer months of summer time.

Yesterday, it all seemingly came together when my partner Liz and I were invited to her son's new apartment for supper. On the way over, we stopped at a convenience store to pick up beverages and ice cream. It was fun and satisfying to be referred to as "ladies" twice when we were in the store. Of course the men who called us "ladies" had no way of knowing how long and hard I had worked to earn that title.


Other than that, the weekend was very uneventful for us. I am still trying to build up my endurance to see if I can attempt the "Cincinnati Pride" pub crawl which returns this year following it's Covid hiatus of two years, It's coming up in approximately three weeks, so I still have a little time to work on it. 

In the meantime, I am attempting to change my walks around to not having to face the hot/humid weather we have right now. 

Sunday, May 22, 2022

A Musical Expert

 When I asked for more input on other transgender or cross dresser related music, I forgot to think about Connie who in many ways is our musical expert around here. 

Here are her additions to our trans musical list:

"Not counting the 50+ trans-themed parodies I've written and performed, there are two Beatles songs

Photo Courtesy Connie Malone

that come to mind. There is speculation whether or not either of them was purposely trans related, but their lyrics certainly grabbed the ear of this trans girl. The song, "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da," has that mixed-up verse where Desmond does his pretty face, and at night she is a singer with the band (instead of it being Molly, as in an earlier verse). Did John really just mess up the lyrics there, or was he saying that Desmond was trans or a female impersonator? Since I have done just exactly that many times, it's the only way I picture it, myself. In "Get Back" there is that talk of Sweet Loretta, who was a man who thought she was a woman. There are all sorts of theories about that song, but, of course, my interpretation has always been influenced by my own gender identity.


I've also been subjected to the "cleverness" of an idiot who laughed with his buddies after putting "Dude Looks Like a Lady" on the jukebox. I don't get it, cuz I've never been anything like a "dude." :-) Then, there was the a-hole at karaoke who arranged, privately, to sing "Lola" and then asked me to go up with him for "support." People often ask me to help them, so it didn't bother me until I was on the stage and the intro to the song started playing. I walked right off the stage, and later gave the karaoke host the what-for - to which she replied that it hadn't even occurred to her that it might have been a joke at my expense. We can't help but be sensitive to these things, but they are usually not worthy of anything more than an eye-roll. As Amy Schneider, the recent Jeopardy! champion, said of the negative comments she was receiving, nobody could ever come up with anything she hadn't thought about herself countless times over her lifetime"

Thanks for the extra input! Amy Schneider was certainly correct in that no one could say anything more negative about ourselves than we have ever thought. I know with me, "Dude Looks Like a Lady" still resonates when I look in the mirror on certain mornings. On those occasions anymore, I remember the number of times in the past when the mirror has lied to me and simply move on with my life. 

I just wish I was musically inclined enough to write my own retort to "Dude". 

Saturday, May 21, 2022

The Soundtrack of my Life

 Recently I saw a post which asked which song the readers liked better, specifically Lola by the Kinks or Take a Walk on the Wild Side by Lou Reed. Those for the most part were main stream tunes and of course there were others. Such as in 2006 when Jayne Country sang Man Enough to be a Woman. I don't know if my

Jane County

wife's musical tastes went farther than I thought but she told me nearly the same thing one day when we were having a huge fight caused by my cross dressing when I was rapidly thinking of if I could make it as a full time transgender woman. She (my wife) accepted me as a cross dresser but never accepted any thoughts of being a transgender woman. 

Before I ended up in the commercial food service business, I was a disk jockey in college and in the Army. I also pursued it for awhile following my stint in the military until my daughter came along and I ended up buying my own pub/pizza parlor with a friend. Lola was actually released in 1970, two years before I was drafted. During the one radio show I was running at night while I was still in college, I had a guy who positively loved the Kinks.

One night he called me up in a panic and asked if Lola was really about what he had heard and thought it was. In other words was Lola  really a man. I couldn't hold back and told him yes, in reality Lola was really a man. He hung up in a panic and I never heard back if his beloved Kinks maintained their spot as his number one group.

Take a Walk on the Wild Side was released by Lou Reed in 1972. as a tribute to Andy Warhol's glamorous transgender ladies from his famous Factory days. In those days, I was taking my own walk on the wild side by taking on Army basic training. 

As I said, due primarily financial reasons, I left the radio business and stayed in the food service business after my pub closed. Perhaps I am missing other strong transgender and/or cross dressing music but the next I remember was Dude Looks Like a Lady which was released in 1987. Ironically the song was about Vince Neil of Motley Crue when it was released by Aerosmith.  It turned out the song wasn't meant to describe actual cross dressers or transgender women at all. Even though, it was the music which caused me the most amount of pain.

The more I began to sneak out in my medium sized town as a novice transgender woman, the more I would encounter the occasional person who would recognize me. I will never forget the night my wife and I attended a party of my store employee's and as soon as I got there the DJ played "Dude Looks Like a Lady."  I just ignored it and my wife didn't seem to notice it, so all turned out without a problem.

The problems with the Aerosmith music came a couple years later when I was out trying to live my new life in a feminine world. As I was sitting at the bar enjoying a drink with a transgender woman friend of mine, these guys decided it was cute to play the "Dude" song five times in a row. It got so bad we were asked to leave by a spineless manager. 

It all turned out in my favor nearly a month later when the manager was fired and the crew found me in a close neighboring venue where I was welcome. They invited me back, which I took advantage of. 

I'm sure you all my be aware of other cross dressing or transgender music I possibly missed. If so, please let me know. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Pride Beckons

 LGBTQ Pride Month is June. Which according to my precise calculations is coming up in a couple of weeks. Yesterday, the transgender - cross dresser local support group I am part of has started to search for help with "manning" tables at several different local Prides. Even I am amazed at the number of Prides which have established themselves in recent years. In the Cincinnati metro area alone there are four separate events. It will be interesting to me to see how well (hopefully) trans persons or cross dressers turn out to help. Hopefully it will be better than the Transgender Day of Visibility event earlier this year. The group struggled to locate volunteers for their table.

The difference being, was the "TDOV" was during the week and the Prides are during the weekend. Potentially freeing up more people to help. By now you are probably thinking what does all this have to do with me. Actually nothing unless you choose it to. 

Pre Covid Pride 
Jessie Hart Collection

I know  this whole idea of Pride is under review. More than a few view Pride as a chance for big corporations to buy their way into the LGBTQ community for a couple days a year only to disappear when their help is really needed on key issues. While I recognize the truth in all of that, my concerns around Pride is the influence of drag queens. I can't begin to tell you the number of Prides I see around here publicizing the drag show they will have. Even though as a transgender woman I prefer to blend in with the crowd, even seeing a cross dresser in a ultra tight dress trying to make her way through with ultra high heels makes me cringe. Then I have to pull back and understand the cross dresser is using Pride to release her fantasies and may never again try to punish her feet and body like that again. If she is having a good time, who cares!

Cincinnati Pride, as has been the case as long as I can remember has a liberal sprinkling of the drag queen culture all the way to a baseball Reds Pride night plus their stage presentations this year will begin with an exotic women's burlesque' troop  

At this point I am undecided on what Liz and I are going to try to do this year as Pride returns to an in person event. Volunteering to work at the group table may be difficult because of the walk involved to get there. Plus, we would also love to attempt the Pride Pub Crawl that night. My problem again is avoiding excess walking which is very hard on me while at the same time be able to do as much people watching as possible.  Affording the whole deal will be an issue also because we live a distance from downtown where Pride is happening. At this point since we won't drink and drive we are looking into taking a bus going and returning via Uber. 

Whatever happens with us, I hope the group is able to staff it's table well with volunteers. It is so important to be able to tell and/or show our side of the Pride LGBTQ experience. 

Friday, May 13, 2022

Sing Like a Bird

 It has been awhile it seems since I have written on any of my past experiences which directly led to my coming out of my closet and into the world as a transgender woman. Several happened in small lesbian bars which seem to be disappearing these days. 

One of the bars was basically a hard core biker bar and they did not like me, To put it mildly but on the other hand they still took my money and served me. I was just stubborn enough to keep going back and even playing Shania Twains' I feel like a Woman on their jukebox, I found it humorous when they found no humor in my musical tastes. Through it all, I was never asked (or told) to go. So I kept going back until I found another venue.

The second place turned out to be a much more welcoming spot. Part of it was it turned out my male self knew one of the bartenders and to my knowledge she never shared my secret life with anyone. Even to a few of the other customers. I always assumed everyone knew I was a cross dresser but never volunteered the information. Along the way I had several very interesting encounters. 

For this post I have added a very old picture showing a little how I looked when all of this was going on. Normally I wore tight jeans, a nice top with heels or boots depending upon the weather. Topping it all off was my favorite blond wig. I guess I was trying my best to an "lipstick lesbian" look.

One night it worked when I was approached by a woman every bit as tall as I and she bought me a beer. Then she said she should take me home with her. I quickly panicked and thought what was I going to tell my wife who was still very much alive at that time. She was working a night shift that evening so I only had a certain amount of time to have my fun and head home. Then once I got home I had to try to remove any stray makeup so presumably she wouldn't know I was out again leading my double life as a novice transgender woman.  I figured she wouldn't buy the excuse I was kidnaped by a scary/ vicious lesbian. 

It turned out to be another night when  I seemingly could have been forced into doing something against my will. Before I get into what happened, here is my disclaimer. I am a terrible singer and don't subject myself or others to the torture of my singing. One night though when a very stout, butch lesbian in a cowboy hat came in the bar during karaoke night and picked me to sing with her. Of course I tried to politely decline but she wasn't really giving me a choice  Again I panicked and wondered what I had gotten myself into. The only saving grace I had was my new "cowboy" friend was giving me the choice of songs I wanted to try to sing. The only karaoke song I had ever tried was a David Allan Coe  tune called "You Never even Called me by my Name." If you are familiar, Coe can't sing well either. 

Having chosen my ballad, we did actually sing. Which is probably an insult to the sing word. Having finished she turned to me and said my voice was actually lower than hers. About that time, I saw my chance at freedom. She went for another beer and I paid for mine and vacated the venue quickly. As luck would have it, I never saw her again. I also never sang again.

The only other time I wished I could have stayed for was when the owners arranged for several exotic dancers to visit the bar. I waited as long as I could to check out the fun but had to leave before the dancers arrived.

Sadly, small lesbian venues seem to be disappearing everywhere leaving one less place to go and have a good time. Or, sing like a bird. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Voting Day

Tuesday was election day here in Ohio. We only voted on our own party's candidates. Some of them at least. Ohio is mired in a court ordered voter district gerrymandering case. In this state the Republicans for years have attempted (and succeeded) in carving the state into often ridiculous districts which benefit the Republican candidate. An example continues to happen in a nearby congressional district to where we live in the metro Cincinnati area. The voting lines were drawn years ago to benefit a conservative Republikkan candidate and to insure the more liberal Democratic candidate lost. It worked but so far the state supreme court has ordered the conservative repug legislature to draw new districts. 

By now you may be asking what does this mean to the average transgender or even cross dressing person. Actually, it means quite a bit, especially in today's world where our rights are being threatened as never before. I am sure by now you have heard or read about the Supreme Courts' leaked document stating they were leaning towards striking down the Roe vs Wade anti abortion ruling. No matter how you feel about abortion, it doesn't take a visionary to figure out that after the conservatives have come after abortion, LGBT rights are next. All of a sudden, all of those comfortable cis gay or lesbian people need to rethink their stance on the Transgender in the often shredded LGBT alliance. We are much stronger together. 

If you are deep in your closet and need to make a statement in private, voting can still do it. Think of it this way, even though you are in the closet today does not mean you will be stuck there forever. Someday you may need the rights a conservative court or politician took away.

All right. Enough of my rant on voting. On the positive side, voting to me brings back extra memories of the first time I voted as my authentic self. In order to vote here in Ohio you need to present a state issued identification card with a picture. In my case a driver's license. I will never forget the pride I felt when I showed them my I.D. complete with my new legal name and gender changed to the magical "F" for female. 

It's been nearly five years ago since I was able to change most all of my legal markers here in Ohio except my birth certificate which I have been putting off. 

For any number of reasons, voting still gives me a huge sense of satisfaction. Hopefully I can help the LGBTQ cause anyway I can.


Saturday, April 23, 2022

Life AS A Transgender Foodie

 One of my favorite things to do is to go out to eat with my partner Liz. In addition to the food, I am very much a critic of the entire operation due to my long history working as an owner and manager in the food service industry. If you are curious, I always support the restaurant for the most part when something goes wrong. 

Thursday night, when  Liz and I attended the transgender-cross dresser social dinner noting really went wrong.  The venue has always been very accepting and I am happy to say outside of one boisterous newcomer, no one acted out of line. In other words, did nothing to embarrass the rest of us. I only mention it because over the years I can't say the same thing.


I have vivid memories of misled cross dressers abusing their restroom privileges for the women's restroom. Their thoughtless antics led to messages on the door warning non birth females to stay out. Perhaps the worst case of a person acting badly was when a transgender person on an escalator in a museum we were visiting grabbed both sides of the "moving steps" swung out and flashed the people in front of her. Really? That fortunately was the last time I ever saw her. I do know she went on to go through a genital realignment surgery. Hopefully she learned not to show it off.

I know the moral to the story is if you had any morals as a male person, you will have the same morals as your feminine self. 

Forgetting my rant, I am almost to the point of remembering to take a picture or two when Liz and I go out. This photo was actually taken a couple weeks ago when her son treated us to dinner. In my mind (which is the only one I have), no matter how much I dislike pictures, they help bring life to whatever experience I am writing about. 

Unfortunately, I have to look far ahead to our next night out. Financial circumstances will limit any potential "adventures" for at least another couple weeks until the "eagle lands " and my Social Security payment comes again. On the good side, Cincinnati continues to be a  wonderful place to explore if you are a "foodie" at all. 

Especially a transgender foodie. It's wonderful when gender ceases to be a problem where we go. How good the food is becomes the issue.

  

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Another Look

 Recently I wrote a post concerning the rash of anti transgender bills around the country. Especially Florida's so called "Don't Say Gay" legislation. Through out the post I didn't even mention the backlash against transgender athletes. The cases in so many states against the athletes are so ridiculous because the legislation is started and backed by politicians who have never met a transgender person in their lives. Plus, even rarer is the person who has gone through, or is going through hormone replacement therapy and knows the drastic changes HRT can cause to the body. I know in my case, subtracting the testosterone and adding synthetic estrogen has had a dramatic effect on my strength and muscle mass.

Lia Thomas. Trans swimmer

I never was a completive swimmer but I can only imagine the differences hormone replacement therapy would have on my overall performance.  Of course none of that seems to matter to the gender bigots who are fighting to keep transgender athletes from competing. Where it all will end is anyone's guess. 

As it turned out, trans athletes weren't the only part of the equation I missed. Here is Connie's take on the subject: 

"Those of us who belong to the genus, Transasaurus Wrecks, are not given much attention these days. Other than bathroom bills that usually fail to become law, there are not many of these legislations that pertain directly to us. Of course, this doesn't mean that we are not affected by what is trying to be done to young trans people.


For a while, after hearing stories of young trans people who are comfortable in declaring their gender identity and who have accepting parents and schools, I was so envious and happy for them. I couldn't have even thought of being able to do that at their age. However, despite the pain of growing up thinking I was some kind of freak, I don't know that I could have lived with having such freedom, only to have it then taken away (or even having to live with the threat of it being taken away). In fact, even at my advanced age, I know that I would end my life, rather than have to go back to living a male existence. Long-term care facilities scare the hell out of me. I suppose I might do as my mother did over the last year of her life, rationing morphine so that she had a stockpile large enough to kill an elephant. She didn't want to go to a nursing home to die, either, although not exactly for all the same reasons as I do.

Along with what you said about the cat out of the bag, the same applies to us individually as it does for us as a community."

Thanks for the comment!  As you regular readers know, I also am scared to death of being forced into an unforgiving gender situation in a nursing home. Being placed in a situation of going back to living as a male may drive me to a morphine solution also. 

In the meantime, I have a lot of living to do and this week which contains the "Transgender Day of Visibility" means a lot to me. Tomorrow I am one of a very few volunteers to help my Transgender - Crossdresser support group during the formal observance. It's my chance to be visible and take another look at the trans community around me.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Are You a Role Model?

 With the Transgender Day of Visibility rapidly approaching, it is time to think of why you might be visible or have been during certain periods of your life. There is also the chance when you were visible you may have been a role model to someone. 

I wish I could use Georgette as an example. She has led an incredible life of being a transgender woman and commenting about it to me. Without all of the facts in front of me, I can only say along the way she has been living as a stealth woman all the way to being out.  I am sure during her journey through life she has been a role model to someone. 

In my case, I have tried to be a role model in my writings as well as my current infrequent visits to the local transgender - cross dresser support group meetings. 

Photo Courtesy 
Jessie Hart

You may argue being a role model is possible by simply outlasting the next person in life. If you do, you are right. On the other hand, you never know who is considering coming out in their own life as transgender and you impact their life. The very same thing happened with me not long ago when a friend of Liz and I child came out as a transgender man. I knew her growing up but had no clue he was going to join the "tribe". 

In other ways, being a role model can simply be a reaction to being in the right place at the right time. I know when I was growing up I would have been so impressed if I could have been able to know another person with similar gender dysphoric needs. As a tribe, we transgender women and men are still relatively scarce and not immune to harassment.  In fact I was just reading on Facebook of when a close acquaintance of mine and her wife were made fun of when they went out to eat a brunch yesterday. It's so tragic example of how all is not well for transgender people everywhere. Ironically, she lives quite close to me but across the "border" where liberal acceptance to anything remotely different is rare. Even though all eyes were on her, she probably will never know whose life she may have impacted. One never knows when a questioning transgender person is watching you. 

Being a role model does not have to be a complex experience. You don't have to volunteer for anything, you just have to be in the present. Of course the more you have transitioned and the more you "fit" into your authentic self there is the chance not many people will notice you anyhow. Unless you are in Seattle where Connie joked if you see three women together in dresses, they must be cross dressers. That's all good too. You can be a cross dresser and be a positive role model also. 

Don't stress out being a role model, just live your life being as positive as possible and good things will happen. You just never know when. 

Saturday, March 12, 2022

The Point of No Return

 Yesterday was one of the days I was scheduled to change my synthetic Estrogen patches. Every now and then I pause to remember all the changes I have gone through over the years. 

I usually hesitate to write about the HRT process because hormone replacement therapy is such a unique topic. In other words, it can vary so much between individuals. Age, dosage and current physical condition all factor in. HRT is certainly not for everyone and should not be undertaken without the help of a medical professional. As I set my usual disclaimer aside, it's time to describe my own personal hormonal gender journey for those of you who may be considering it. 

At the very beginning, I can only describe myself as a very serious cross dresser. I normally tried to sooth my extreme gender dysphoria by dressing as a woman two or even three times a week. Through all of it deep down I knew living with feet in both of the binary genders was never going to be a long term solution to my gender questions .I also knew adding synthetic estrogen to my body was going to be my next logical step towards rebuilding my life as a novice transgender woman.

Before I did I had to be checked out by a family doctor who I heard of through the grapevine. He was   a LGBT friendly physician in the Dayton, Ohio area. By this time, my wife had passed away and I was free to take what gender action I wanted to transition or not. Of course you know that I did and the appointment was made. 

Photo Courtesy: During my CD days
Jessie Hart

The doctor's visit itself was very straight forward and simple. He asked me if I knew my breasts would grow along with my hair and my sex drive would for the most part go away. When I accepted all those possibilities, he wrote me the magical prescription I had long dreamed of. The meds were pills with synthetic estrogen along with a med which would decrease my testosterone. By mutual agreement, we decided to begin my HRT on a very minimum dosage to determine how my body would react. Happily, I had no adverse reactions and was given a slightly higher dosage. All in all, I was still impatient for all the feminizing changes I was expecting. I could feel my breasts starting to change and I never had a problem growing hair, so I wanted more.

More would come. This time compliments of the Veteran's Administration. At this time, I was experiencing severe financial problems and had lost my regular health insurance. I desperately needed the health care the VA offered. For the most part, free to me for my service in the military. To continue my hormone replacement therapy with the VA, I had to go back through the process of seeing a doctor, including a therapist. I was fortunate in that the therapist who was assigned to me had a basis of knowledge of transgender and/or gender dysphoric individuals. She promptly wrote me a letter of acceptance and it was up to me to do the rest. 

I did have a bump in the road when the VA hospital I was a patient of did not have an endocrinologist to monitor my meds. It took awhile but I finally received approval to see an Endo doc outside of the Va which they would pay for. Once I got used to seeing him, I was able to move back into the VA system for monitoring until I was diagnosed with a liver problem and again was taken off my hormones. 

The liver problem was conquered and I was allowed to resume my HRT. The good news was I was able to increase my dosages and change to patches to save extra wear and tear on my liver. 

The increased dosage began the changes I had longed hope for. My face began to soften along with my skin. Body hair started to thin (except for my beard) and my breasts really started to grow. All of those changes couldn't compare with my inner changes. I will never forget my first hot flash when I was sitting in a sports bar sipping on a beer. I was sure I was going to internally combust! Then, there were the tears. During my male life, I rarely, if at all ever cried. Now I can cry over bad and good things. What a change.

As I look back, I still consider hormone replacement therapy was the second of several major gender transitions I went through.  Just when I thought there were only two transitions, I found myself going through another. 

More on that later in another post.

Monday, February 7, 2022

Are You a Transphobe?

As I search through a few of my past archives from a couple years ago, every now and then a post jumps out to me as still being very relevant today. This post seems to be a contradiction in terms...except it is unfortunately not. 

First of all here is the post: 

" Even though it sounds like a contradiction in terms but in the transgender community you can definitely think transphobia is possible. It could come from two sources.


The first of which are left over male vestiges from a Mtf gender transition. Take Caitlynn Jenner for example. Knowing fair well the incoming Republican candidate was anti trans, she still supported him anyhow. She couldn't do away with all her previous male life, even if it meant protecting future transgender rights. Most certainly cis women support Republican ideas too but does their phobia's come from different places than men. Most people think women are the kinder and more gentle gender aren't always correct. I have known too many trans women who still can't leave their male past behind for any number of reasons. 

I think too, much of this relates to the "I'm more transer than thou" attitude, another reflection of latent transphobia. 

In our earliest cross dressing days, many of us (including me) fixate so totally on looking feminine, we do lose fact of what being feminine is all about. However, all the operations in the world, can't "teach" you how to be a cis woman. You have to live it, like they did. At this point, good old male competitiveness sets in. More operations and/or a nicer wardrobe make you more of a "woman" than the next trans woman.  Maybe the people who still advocate for going stealth to escape the community are right. 

Plus, it is exceedingly difficult to cross the gender frontier and it takes more than a little internal fortitude to do it. If you able to come through it unscathed as a human being, you have done well. As we all know too, there are so many different layers to being a cross dresser all the way to living full time as a transgender woman. I am one myself as I am relatively rare in the circles of people I know. I have been able to carve out a successful life living in a feminine world. Without the expense or pain of any operations. To each their own though, I have one dear friend who had her genital realignment surgery postponed at the last possible minute because of the Ohio Covid Virus restrictions on elective surgeries. Daily, I hope for the day she can finally realize her dream of have the gender confirming surgery. Like her, it is easy to get stuck in the complex layers of who we are. 

Before we know it, if we are not careful, we can become transphobic without even realizing it. "


I know I happen across feeling transphobic on social media quite a bit. Especially when I see a series of heavily filtered or doctored up pictures of a certain individual.  Then I step back and realize it was society's pressure on women as a whole to present a good a picture as possible.

Plus I was guilty of the same thing when I was a novice transgender woman.  The picture you see here was one of my earliest attempts at using filters. Even though my main "trick" was to take a picture of myself in a mirror with (as you can see) a lot of hair.

So, as you can tell, I have to look closely at my own feelings when it comes to internalizing my own transphobia.  If I am not careful, bits and pieces of my old male self can bleed through. Recently I have had to force myself into reestablishing my connections with the transgender - cross dresser group I am a member of as well as rejoining a veterans LGBTQ group I was once a part of.  By doing it I can re-engage myself to new people and ideas. In his later years, my Dad essentially became a hermit and I don't want any of that. 

Maybe also you can be a transphobe and not realize it. If you catch yourself thinking you are transer than another person, it's time to take a look at yourself and change. 


Friday, February 4, 2022

Across the Gender Border

 I always argue crossing the binary gender border or frontier is one of more difficult journeys a human being can attempt. In fact, it was so difficult to me, I took over fifty years to do it. 

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Also I always use the excuse during the early stages of my life, finding and experiencing anyone else with the same cross dressing desires as I was nearly impossible. Until the internet came along with chat rooms, information and finally the flood of social media. Even when the world began to open up did I finally begin to sense I was much more than a cross dresser. In other words, I needed to do more than look like a woman, I had to live as one too. 

Once I figured all of that out, I had to figure out how to do it. All of sudden, just being a student of the cis women I interacted with wasn't enough.  

I started my journey innocently enough by going shopping in store and malls. It took awhile for me to realize I wasn't being accepted for my new gender as much as I was being accepted for the power of my money.

Whatever the case, I learned and moved on. Looking back on the process now, I think I had plenty of opportunity to refine my feminine appearance but was scared to death to really communicate with anyone else. One of the biggest problems I had as I attempted to cross the border was learning the differences in how the genders communicated. The more in depth I went, the more I learned how true it was that Men were from Mars and Women were from Venus and where exactly did it leave me as a novice transgender woman. 

Where it left me was, knowing I possessed a unique skill of knowing what each of the binary genders was trying to say. In fact I was flattered when casual female friends would ask me for advice about their men. The process made it easier when I learned the difference between a hard no and a maybe plus the importance of non verbal and visual communication between women. It was a tremendous learning experience period in my life.

Photo by Serhat Beyazkaya on Unsplash

What made the time extra unique was everytime I thought I had arrived at the other end of the gender frontier, I still had farther to go. Then I begin to think of the entire process as climbing walls. Sometimes the walls were short and other times they seemed to be very tall. At the least, my trip through the gender border was anything but easy and is far from over.

Ironically, I feel the last wall I will have to climb will happen if I live long enough to be placed in an assisted living facility and/or nursing home.

I am very paranoid I will have to de-transition to even exist. To combat all of that, I try to stay active in any groups I can possibly join to raise awareness for senior LGBTQ people. 

Just passing to the other side may not be enough when stray bigoted individuals are trying to take away my hard earned gender status.

Fortunately I have a strong support family around me to protect me.

Thursday, February 3, 2022

If You "Gotta" Go...

It turns out the Cyrsti's Condo post on using the women's rest room received plenty of reactions.

The first comes from Emily

"Using restrooms--confidence is the key. I forced myself to pursue crowded ladies rooms to build that confidence-not easy-takes a long time. do not be furtive as that is a dead giveaway. Emily"  

I definitely agree confidence is the real key to using the restroom. Thanks for the comment!

The second comes from Paula who writes Paula's Place Blog : 

Photo Courtesy Paula

"I have never had any incidents involving rest rooms, but I do have a couple of stories, the very first concert my band played after I transitioned we found that we had two changing rooms, one was allocated for men, the other for women, out of a blend of modesty and embarrassment I was trying to find a loo to get changed in, I must have looked a bit lost and confused because as I walked past a couple of the girls in the band lent out of the changing room grabbed me and told to come in and get changed!


The other was at the "local" of my best friend I had been going in this pub for years before my transition when of course I used the appropriate facilities, afterwards I started using the ladies rest room, nobody ever said anything to me, but I found out later that a couple of people did query this with the landlady ~ who straightened them out after all what man wants a woman trans, or not, Walking through their loo wearing heels and a dress while they're at the urinal? The next time I was in that pub the landlady bought me a drink and came and sat with us, just to shut everyone up."

What a great experience! Common sense such as your landlady showed is all too rare. And finally for this set of comments is Connie's experience:

Photo Courtesy Connie

"
I've never had a real problem using the ladies room. The first night I was out in the public, I was with about eight cross dressers from the local trans social club. They decided it would be funny (my initiation?) to have the female server follow me, a few minutes later, into the ladies room and yell out, "There's a man in the ladies room!" I just ignored it, and went about my business. I was pretty sure it was a joke, but I figured it was where I belonged - no matter what anyone else might have thought. When I returned to the table, everyone was laughing at me. I gave them some time to get their yuks, and then asked if anyone there knew where my table was - the one where the ladies were sitting.

 I did have an incident during intermission at the theater, where I felt pressure (intended) to hurry in deference to the other ladies who were waiting in line. In my haste, I had tucked the back of my dress into my pantyhose. Another woman kindly, and discretely, let me know of my faux pa, and everything was just fine......until I noticed the string of toilet paper stuck to the heel of my shoe as I walked back into the lobby.

You can really find who your friends are while using the ladies room. ;-)"

I too have had the toilet paper on the shoe experience and fortunately had another kind woman point it out to me before I left the restroom. I always assumed it was a right of passage for all women.  

Pride Photo
Courtesy JJ 
Hart

One of the great restroom equalizers I have seen occurred during a pre-Covid LGBTQ Pride festival in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio.  The park where it was being held had a free standing, permanent restroom for both genders. On the day of Pride, it was discovered hornets had taken over the men's side leaving only the women's side for everyone to use.  All of a sudden everyone had to put their restroom biases aside and go to the same room. It was comical for me to see all the various personalities "mix it up" while they waited for toilet paper to be passed up and down the line. For once I had been on both ends of the restroom spectrum and didn't care.

It always amazes me how the most basic need of using the restroom stirs up so much passion.



Thursday, January 27, 2022

What's in a Name?

 2016 it turns out was a big year as I progressed through my MtF gender transition. It was the year I completed my legal gender name change,  My process turned out to have a couple different layers of paper work I had to go through because I needed to include the Veterans Administration in the process. Which meant I needed the help of my VA therapist to do it. She provided the timely paperwork to insure certain medications crucial to my transition continued, especially my hormone replacement therapy needs. 

I vividly remember the day I was able to erase the "M" on my Ohio driver's license and replace it with a "F". Second only to the first time I needed the license to vote. The only legal document I have not gotten around to changing yet is my birth certificate which only fairly recently became legal to do here in Ohio. It's my fault for procrastinating because the whole process turned out to be fairly simple after the gender bigots quit fighting it.

Over the years, my feminine name has proven to present quite the challenge. Early in life I chose the name of girls who I admired such as the one who sat across from me in study hall. Not that is as important today, her name was Karen which of course is not the most popular name these days. Anyhow, Karen had a short lived time in my life because there always seemed to be another girl/woman I was to become enamored with and adopted her name. For awhile.

Just before I settled into a steady feminine persona as I entered the feminine world, the name game became a little crazy. In fact I would buy wigs to match a certain name. An example was Roxy was always a blond while Darcy was always a red head. After realizing I was defeating the chances to establish myself as one unique person in public, I settled into using Cyrsti as my name. It was pronounced the same as Kristi but was spelled different to reflect light going through a crystal. This was all well and good as I began to be able to exist in the woman's sandbox and the Cyrsti's Condo blog was born.

Cyrsti was destined to be part of my life for many years, in fact all the way to my early sixties when I came out to my daughter. Her only real concern after wondering why she was the last to know I was transgender to what was up with the name (she disliked it) and what would the three grandkids call me. Since I was close to choosing a legal name change anyhow, the time was right for a revision.

This time I decided to stay within the family history for my new name. I chose my maternal grandfather's first name (Jesse) and just spelled it different and added my Mom's first name as my middle name (Jeanne). That way the kids could just call me "JJ".

At that point, the biggest question was what would happen to the blog. Should I sacrifice all the years of posts and millions of hits I had and change the name? I decided not to and kept Cyrsti as sort of a "pen name" Just to confuse the issue more though I decided to use JJ Hart fairly recently when I began to publish on the Medium writers platform. 

In the future, my goal is to retain a professional to help me with my blog ideas. When I can afford it. Perhaps they could advise me on what to do with my pen name versus my legal name. In the meantime, I'm afraid my schizophrenic name use will continue. 

Sunday, December 5, 2021

A Good Question

 


Recently I wrote a post concerning the term "passing" and it's relevance to transgender women and/or cross dressers today.  Georgette wrote in with this response:

"I'm not sure the idea of "passing" will ever go away. I see so many on-line posts of Trans People still asking/worrying about it.  And it is not just transgender women, many younger trans men are asking the same.  The ones that give up and say they will never pass  say that's OK as I will own being a transgender woman. But I wonder if they could pass would they still own being a trans woman."


First of all, thanks for the comment. In my experience, most all of the transgender women I knew who readily passed, all went stealth and were never heard from again. Of course, my disclaimer is my examples came from "back in the day" when going stealth was the only way to go. In other words, stealth meant being invisible to the public than being anything other than a cis woman. 

I have two specific examples of trans women who closely followed each other in their transitions. In fact, I think their genital realignment surgeries came in the same year. Both of them had an advantage in that they had natural feminine tendencies and passed very easily. Yes, I was quite envious as I struggled to work with the qualities I did have to get by  Through it all, as I tried to come to grips with my gender identity, I was able to essentially "carve" out my own little niche. 

These days, I find myself  struggling with going stealth myself. In fact if the truth be known, I am an estimated  ninety per cent in the world as a cis woman. When I refer to this, I need to explain for the most part it has little to do with appearance and more to do with confidence. Much of my confidence comes from having Liz by myside. She has my back when/if anyone miss-pronouns me. Ironically, I think we get more public push back from those thinking we are lesbians. 

In addition, I have pulled back from most of my participation in the transgender - cross dresser support group I used to be fairly active in. I just don't feel a part of it anymore. Being a full time participant in a feminine world has eliminated the need to get all dolled up to be with other like minded individuals.  If I truly thought I had anything to add, I would go. Many of the other attendee's are much younger so there is an age gap to consider also.

Still,  I do think I carry the stigma with me of wanting to "pass" as a cis woman. Too much time , effort and worry went into during my gender transitional years. I can't forget also how much the femininization affects of hormone replacement therapy helped me align my inner and outer selves. Finally I  learned none of it still matters totally. An example was the Thanksgiving debacle I went through with my daughter's in laws. My excuse for their miss-gendering was how well I imprinted my maleness on them earlier in my life.

It's a good question.