Showing posts with label destiny. Show all posts
Showing posts with label destiny. Show all posts

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, April 1, 2024

Steps Forward and Back on Our Transgender Day of Visibility

 

Transgender Flag image from 
Alexander Grey on UnSplash.

During this week, we celebrated the "Transgender Day of Visibility." A time to be see and be seen during a time of great duress depending upon where you happen to live. It is also a time to remember and celebrate how those of us who are fortunate enough to have escaped our gender closets. Then were able to carve out a new life. 

In order to do the carving, you must have a sharp knife and be prepared to expect steps forward and steps backwards. In my early days in the public's eye, it seemed I couldn't get my feminine presentation together. It seemed on nights when I had my makeup and fashion together I then tried to ruin it all by slipping and almost falling in my heels or worse yet, just walking like a linebacker in drag. 

Of course I took a couple steps back when I left the comfort of my mirror and encountered the harsh reality of the real world. In many ways you could describe the process as the second act of my life. Of course the first involved working very hard to make it in a male world I never really wanted. Then I needed to work even harder to take the steps to leave it all behind. Even when I was struggling with the world at large by getting stared at, all the way to being the subject of out and out laughter, somehow I found the will to keep trying.

The problem I had was I sure I was trying to achieve the right goal. Could my dream of living a fulltime life as a transgender woman ever be a reality anyhow? Many dark days told me I was spending too much time, energy and even money on an unapproachable goal. The next step forward as I was in the darkness searching kept happening because everytime I saw the light in my closet, it felt it so natural. Deep down something was telling me to keep pursuing my journey.

The problem was, life kept getting in my way. First of all, my male self and my second wife had the idea any femininization I was thinking of would be totally wrong and cost me all chances at the life as I knew it. Even though I was at a disadvantage, I still knew deep down I had the courage to pursue more steps towards the point where I couldn't return. For me it meant beginning gender affirming hormones if I could be medically cleared to do so. I still could not take the big step until my wife passed away and I was cleared to begin. 

As with everything else in my life, hormones did shorten and lighten up the steps I was taking to living a transgender life. For any number of reasons, destiny opened my closet doors wide open. Tragically, when I lost so many friends and family who were dear to me, people I needed to come out to were few and far between. Other factors came into play also such as my age (sixty) which enabled hormones to take effect faster. At the same time, I wasn't too far away from being able to retire early and not have to worry about my finances when I was forced to come out on a job. Another plus came when the Veterans Administration health care system which I took advantage of started to accept transgender veterans like me and help with hormonal care.

As you can tell, destiny was urging me on to take the final step and live my life as a trans woman. Finally, I could take it no longer and took the final step and never look back. Taking the steps makes me proud to be a part of this year's Transgender Day of Visibility.   

Monday, March 18, 2024

Somewhere between Heaven and Hell

 

Image from Sara Kurfess
on UnSplash


Very recently I received a comment from "J" asking me about my experiences coming out to my immediate family. After giving the comment some brief thought and I came up with this explanation, my coming out to family was somewhere between heaven and hell. 

To begin with, I had it relatively easy coming out since most of the important members of my family who needed to know anything about my transgender issues were not around. My parents, as well as many of my uncles and aunts had all passed away, leaving me only my daughter and my slightly younger brother to tell my truth to. 

The heaven and hell came in with both of these two close family members, it seemed as if destiny was showing me both sides of coming out. To begin with, I chose telling my daughter first at one of our breakfast meetings we often scheduled to catch up with our lives. One very nervous, scary morning, I chose to tell her I was indeed transgender. I will never forget her reaction which initially was a resounding why was she the last to know. Keep in mind by this time in her life, her Mom was long divorced from me and her Step Mom (my second wife) had recently passed away. So I guess she resented neither one of them telling her the depth of my gender issues. It certainly wasn't their fault because even though they knew I was a cross dresser or transvestite, even I resisted the idea of me possibly being transgender. In the meantime I was trying my best to hide any feminine desires I had from the rest of the world. Evidently, I did a good job and I was also amazed the cross dressing subject never came up with her. When she asked me why was she the last to know, I had no answer.

From then on, she gave me more support than I could have ever asked for. My daughter initially offered to take me on a shopping trip which I politely declined and then since my hair had magically grown to the point of being able to be professionally styled, she offered me a styling at her upscale spa and salon for my birthday. A gift I just couldn't turn down and after conquering my fears of going to the salon, I learned why women were so in love with their salon visits. I loved mine and I was in heaven. To the day, "J", my daughter has provided me with the heavenly acceptance I needed to make my male to female gender transition so much easier.

Now, the hell part comes in with my brother and his extended family. As luck would have it, I told my brother just before Thanksgiving over ten years ago. I wanted to know if it was OK if I attended as my authentic self or not. Before I asked out of respect, I knew the answer I would be given. My brother's in laws were all right wing leaning Southern Baptists, many of whom I always argued with during family get togethers. 

After some brief discussion with his wife, my brother sold me up the creek and said essentially it would be better if I did not attend the only family get together we planned for the whole year. The dinner was always the most important get together for my second wife and she did all the cooking a preparation for it for years after my parents passed away. So the rejection hurt a lot. I moved on quickly and haven't talked to my brother since. Which describes the end of my hellish experience of coming out to family.

Plus, I was lucky, I had my wife Liz and my daughter's extended family step in to fill the holiday void. And, I turned out better in the long term. 

I don't know, maybe destiny just wanted to show me the heaven and hell of coming out to family. While I didn't have the quantity of people to come out to as being transgender, I certainly was able to experience the quality of seeing both sides of the rejection/acceptance spectrum.

Thanks for the comment! I hope my experiences help. I value all your comments and questions! 

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Never Give Up

Image from Amin Rk 
on Unsplash

 Similar to so many transgender women or men, I live a fragile existence. Or I should say for the most part I lived a fragile life as a cross dresser.

These were the times I was fighting totally any feelings of being feminine. Naturally, my ingrained male self fought the entire idea completely. Several times when I was caught cross dressing in front of the mirror, I gave up and decided to "purge" (or throw out)  almost all of my feminine belongings. I say almost because every time I stopped purging, I stopped just short of throwing out my favorite wigs or dresses. I guess deep down inside I knew I would need the clothes or wigs again. And I did because I never gave up on my dream to live as a fulltime transgender woman. 

By never giving up, I had several obstacles to overcome along my gender path. Everyone goes through tough times in their lives and looking ahead, I could see many more on my horizon. Mainly because, I was far from a natural when I looked at myself in the mirror. How could I ever turn a rather gruff bearded overweight man into a presentable trans woman. 

First things first. As soon as I could the beard had to go along with the weight. The first part was easy but the weight wasn't. Fortunately, I was able to cut back on a few fattening items and let my still robust male metabolism do the rest. In no time at all, I was able to lose nearly fifty pounds which helped completely in finding women's fashion in my size. At the same time, I started to concentrate on my skin. After shaving, I made sure I used a good moisturizer to aid in the process. I learned how much better my foundation looked on my face when I cared for my skin, plus by shaving daily, I was exfoliating my skin very effectively. In my case, along with practicing "extreme" shopping methods for fashion, I was able to do better in presenting my feminine self to the world. I suppose you could say, the whole process was a labor of love.

On occasion, I am amused when someone thinks my gender journey into trans womanhood was an overnight success. They never saw or understood the "error and trial" methods I went through when I first began to explore the public as a novice cross dresser or transgender woman. The most important moral to the story is I never gave up. No matter how difficult and bumpy the path became. Why? 

The easy answer is no matter how hard life became, deep down I knew what I was doing made me feel so natural. I felt if I lived long enough, I could leave my old male self behind and finally live in the world as a trans woman. 

Destiny proved me right and I was able to fit into a life in the world, I had always only dreamed of. I learned the hard way to achieve any goal in life, you never can give up.

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Gender Preview

 

Image from Edward Howell
on UnSplash


For nearly a half a century (sounds old!), I considered myself a cross dresser or transvestite as it was known back in those days. 

Depending upon the so-called dressing cycle I was going through at the time, I thought I was just pursuing a more or less innocent hobby, all the way to wondering if I had a more serious gender issue. The main problem I kept having was no matter how good I felt following my cross dressing, very soon I was back in my gender depression. I even considered for a time my wanting to be feminine was an addiction which would go away if I could fight it long enough. The fight just ended up in me "purging" or throwing away my feminine clothes and vowing to go totally male again. 

"Purging" is not a new concept in the novice transgender community and depending upon the individual  doesn't last very long. None of my "purges" lasted very long before I sought out the mental relief of dressing as a woman. During my time between "purges" I was still learning the basics of how I could enable myself to appear better when I approached my mirror. Slowly but surely over the years, I learned the basics of making myself up so I wouldn't appear so clownish. But, most importantly, I grew up in my wardrobe choices and away from trying to dress as a teen girl when I had the testosterone damaged body of a man. 

Slowly but surely I kept on going on my gender path until my ultimate goal began to come into focus. Once it did, it presented more issues than promises. It seemed all the time I worked so hard to present positively as a woman was working out. When it all came together and did, the question became then what. What if I could carve out a life as a transgender woman? Similar to several of the friends I found in the trans community. If they could make it, why couldn't I? Of course the answer wasn't that easy as I had family, friends and finances to consider. So, in the meantime, I kept treading water waiting to see what would happen with my gender future. The entire process almost pulled me under the water as I tried to exist in the middle of the two binary genders, male for three days and female for four. 

Following a suicide attempt, I knew I needed to choose a gender and my preview years came along to help me greatly. Early on, I was just basking in the glow of the mirror and experiencing gender euphoria for a short time. It was similar to the difference between lust and love in a new relationship. Once lust wears off, the true work of building a relationship begins. When I compared all of it to what I was feeling as a novice transgender woman, my gender world began to come into focus. I was building what it really took to live in a female dominated world. 

One of my final considerations to transitioning was I felt so natural as my feminine self and just didn't (and never had) as my male self. I so wanted to take away the three days a week he had of my life and give them to my inner woman who was gaining so much confidence. 

It turned out my gender preview worked for me, even though I wish now it didn't take so long. As I figured out life is very unforgiving and you only have one chance to make it a success. I took the chance and destiny made it the correct one. I learned there was never time to cry over spilled makeup. 

   

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Refining the Gender Lines

 

Photo from the
Jessie Hart
Archive

As I began to face the world as a novice transvestite, cross dresser or transgender woman, I discovered I had many blurred lines I needed to address. 

In other words, I needed much more work before I ever could understand completely the odds I was facing. The biggest problem I had was I was never naturally feminine, or so I thought. So I needed to begin from scratch to build my feminine self. I write long and often concerning all the public humiliation I suffered when I initially began to leave my gender closet and go out in public. At the beginning, I was ultra careful to go to dark places which were not well populated by the public. Something I learned the hard way later on not to do in my transition. 

One of the few good things I can say about that time in my life was, I had the time I needed to experiment with my presentation. I could secretly go to thrift stores and purchase clothes (at a bargain price) which I thought would look good on me and even fit properly. During my quest to improve my look, I was able to spend very little money and at the same time hide what I was doing from my wife. I remember saving every little bit of extra change I could manage and spend it during the thrift stores bargain or dollar days. Because of the experience, destiny was on my side and I was slowly able to improve my presentation. Especially when I really saved up and was able to purchase a fairly nice wig. 

Ironically, the more lines of my looks I was able to refine, the more I discovered I needed to work on. Back in those days I obsessed on having no hair on my legs, putting together a perfectly matched outfit and finishing it off with just the right accessories. I would spend hours shopping for just the right addition to my presentation. It was around that time when I finally was able to recognize and try my best to blend in with the women around me. I had acquired a business professional wardrobe to wear when I went to upscale malls as well as the new club venues I was trying out. On the other hand, I had other clothes which scaled my look back a bit for when I was first trying out going to large sports bar venues. My goal was to refine my myself so I would do my best to fit in.

The more I worked at it, the better I became and I learned if I didn't listen to my male self and try to dress too sexy and/or trashy, I actually could make a small place in the world for myself as a transgender woman. 

Even at that point, I discovered I still had a ton of refinement to go through as I progressed towards my goal. Primarily, I needed to learn to communicate with the new world I discovered as a feminine person. Quickly I was presented with public levels which went from those people who didn't bother to notice me at all, all the way to those curious types who wanted to know more about transgender women. I can only say making the transition was not easy. It seemed to me for awhile every stranger had their own potential questions to pursue. Finally, I learned they didn't and again life became easier when I discovered the whole world wasn't looking at me. Or, as my second wife told me, it wasn't all about me. 

Refinement in the gender world comes difficultly to everyone. Born female does not make you a woman, you need to grow into it. It just seems, refining our gender lines as a transgender woman or trans man comes as a much more difficult process. Because for the most part we didn't have any help. 

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Destiny as a Transgender Person

 

Image from Abbas Tehrani 

Throughout our lives transgender women as well as trans men suffer from everything from intense anxiety to full out gender dysphoria. 

Along the way we never consider none of being transgender was ever our fault. We were destined to be this way. Also, history tells us transgender people have been around since the beginning of time, so no whatever pressures society in some areas put upon us will not work. The transgender tribe will find a way to survive. How is the question for many of us locked in our dark and very lonely gender closets. If you are similar to me, I started by hiding my cross dressing from the world and then slowly expanding out into the world. Slowly but surely I was leaving my old boring male life behind as I was following my life's destinies. 

I can't say much of the process was ever easy because I was so entrenched in attempting to live a macho male life. Through it all, I kept trying to refine my femininity until I finally was able to blend in and exist in the world as a transgender woman. 

What I never factored in my life I was facing was I never had a choice to begin with. Every now and then, I write about the possibility of my Mom being on the "DES"" medication which was routinely prescribed to mothers who had the problem of poor pregnancies' which often resulted in mis-carriages and still births. My Mom suffered through three still births before I came along.  My research into "DES" says it was a synthetic form of estrogen which was later banned because it caused cancer in young girls and women. In addition, the medication was prescribed between 1940 and 1971 and I was born in 1949.  So, the question remains for transgender women is was the extra estrogen prescribed to our mothers while we were in her womb contribute to our gender issues later in life.   

As my life went by, I was fortunate in that I was able to barely satisfy my desires to explore the world as a transgender woman . Even when I reached the suicidal depths I suffered, a little voice kept telling me to keep trying and learning because everything was going to be alright. And it was. 

All of a sudden, the years of gender rejection turned around. Often for all the worst reasons. Within a couple years time nearly all of my small group of friends passed away including my second wife of twenty five years. By this time, I was mostly alone in the world as I was faced with rebuilding my life. The negative was I had to do it at all but the positive was I could do it as my long neglected feminine self. She seized the opportunity and never looked back.  In addition, she was helped along by the new acceptance of VA (Veterans Administration) of transgender veterans. All of a sudden I had access to relatively inexpensive care for my hormone replacement therapy. 

It seemed all the long closed gender doors were opening for me. Destiny was calling and all I needed to do was seize the opportunity. I couldn't believe it was all finally happening.  

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

I "Doesn't" Know It

From my Dating Days
Credit Cyrsti's Condo

 The title above is a phrase from a former Hall of Fame Cincinnati Reds baseball announcer, used when he didn't know something. I borrowed it from him as I thought about today's Cyrsti's' Condo post. My idea was to write about dating while transgender. 

Way back in the day in my earliest days of coming out of my closet into a feminine world, I had to decide who I was going to date since I had abruptly became single at the time and a widow. Very quickly I faced the differences between gender preference and sexual preference. At that time I had never even kissed another man. 

As it turned out, it would be a while longer before I did. I craved being with a man because it would validate my femininity in public but it seemed destiny  had another path charted for me as far as my sexuality was concerned. I did have a very few dates with men and a couple I enjoyed immensely when I sensed they were treating me as a woman. However those dates were few and far between.  

In the meantime, my contact with women continued. My first dinner out was with a friend who eventually came out as a trans man but was still undecided (?) when we went out. I hung out in lesbian bars and even left a mixed party I went to one night with a lesbian and went to an upscale club. Destiny has a funny way of hiding around corners when lifestyle changes are considered.

Through this all, I really had very little knowledge of how to date while transgender. In fact, I was still on the gender fence as far as which way I would go. I just knew my attraction to women had not changed during my transition. 

All of this leads me to my final attraction to and acceptance by a group of lesbians I met in a sports bar. Including my current partner of ten years Liz.

I have led a sheltered dating life. 

These days I see on social media many more alternatives to dating between various groups such as transgender women. Even now though I still see very few trans women with men. It seems to be the last frontier of dating. At times it puzzles me because transgender women are uniquely qualified to be with men. After all, we understand what men go through in life. 

As with so many other things in life, I know most men have a very fragile sexual ego. So I do know this one.

A Vocal Trans Girl

  Image from Brooke Cagle on UnSplash The other night when we went out to eat, I needed to order what I wanted food wise loud enough to be h...