Showing posts with label fashion. queer life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fashion. queer life. Show all posts

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Climbing the Gender Ladder

Image from Armand Khoury
on UnSplash

As I always point out, changing genders is an incredibly difficult and intricate task. For those of us who struggled for years just to fit in as part of the male world, undoing it all and joining the feminine side seems to be insane. Who would do that? Of course being a transgender woman or man, you would know the answer. We had no choice . All of it makes the thought pattern ridiculous to think we made a conscious choice to give up one life to transition to another. Again, we made the choice but often the decision involved a life or death situation. Which is what happened to me.  "JoannaS" recently commented on a similar idea I would like to share:

"What you are describing is incredibly common for a trans person as they advance into their identity. The focus on externals drops off and the internals become far more important. You have passed that awkward stage which is akin to another puberty and stabilize into every day living"

 Thanks for the comment! Looking back I think my advancement through another puberty and the stabilization process into living as a transgender woman was similar to climbing a ladder, then jumping off. At first it was difficult to shed all my male weight I was carrying around. Literally I took weight off to look better in my clothes and figuratively I had all the ingrained male responses to society I had picked up over my many years of living. An example would be I needed to replace the perpetual male scowl I had perfected to keep people away and replace it with a more feminine softer look. After all, the last thing I wanted to do was to have people think I was grumpy and/or unreachable. 

Through the process, as I climbed higher and higher on my new gender ladder, the more I understood again how I was afraid of heights. What would become of my life if I left all of my old male self behind and all the privileges I had accumulated. As, as Joanna said, when I finally was able to pass through another puberty, my thought processes cleared out and began to see what privileges a feminine life could offer me. The main benefit or privilege was I could feel natural in the world. Especially following beginning hormone replacement therapy, my universe went through a very real and welcoming softening. Sure my outward appearance softened with my skin but my inward feelings became more understanding to others around me as the effects of testosterone went away. 

What I couldn't understand was  why my male self was still fighting so hard to still hang around and control part of my life. The farther up I climbed along with my increasing ability to exist and communicate with my new world, still, there he was still tagging along. I needed to fight constantly to not dress for him but to blend in with the world was one example of many. Finally I climbed too high and was able to see my new feminine gender world for the wonderful future it offered. I just needed the courage to jump. What was left of my male self was telling me the landing would be a rough one and even result in a disaster. At the same time my suddenly stronger inner woman, emboldened by all her recent successes was pushing me to take the final leap of faith and jump.

You all know the rest of the story. I did summon up all the courage I could to live my life as a full time transgender woman. What I didn't realize how many new found women friends I had to help me into their world. It made me wonder again and again why I waited so long to jump off my gender ladder. 

Thursday, February 16, 2023

They Took my Cross Dressing Stash

Image Courtesy Anete Lusina 
on Unsplash

When I enlisted in the military rather than face being drafted during the Vietnam War era I ended up having an extra five months or so before I needed to report for basic training. This was back in the early 1970's. At that time also, I was working on a radio station near where I graduated college from in Urbana, Ohio. And, I ended up finding a job where a friend of mine was working in Bowling Green, Ohio. If you are not familiar, Bowling Green is the home of a fairly sizeable university, so there was a market for progressive rock radio as it was known back in those days. In order to take the job, I had to only move approximately one hundred miles north to Bowling Green. In the meantime, I found an apartment to live in with two other college students. I was up front with everyone about my having to leave in a couple months because of my date with Uncle Sam. 

The only problem I had was what was I going to go about my small but growing wardrobe /makeup of women's clothing.  Since I had my own room in the apartment so the issue became smuggling my "stash" out of my parents house and into it's new home in Bowling Green. I always say "Where there is a will, there is a way" and I was somehow able to accomplish doing the move without anyone noticing. Once I moved into my new apartment I was fairly careful to make sure I didn't leave out any of my cross dressing accessories for anyone to see. My plan worked well and when the college holiday break approached I planned to be able to pursue my past time in peace. All my other apartment dwellers were college students and they planned to be gone for nearly a month or so around the holiday season. 

One night, unannounced another guy who didn't go home for the holiday's showed up at the apartment. A night I had planned for myself to shave my legs, slide on my panty hose, dress, makeup and wig and enjoy the evening. As the evening progressed with this guy and after a few beers, I started to wonder if he would be totally degusted if I dressed in front of him. I finally decided to try it, secretly hoping he would find me so attractive he would want to take me out to one of the college bars downtown. After making sure he knew where the beer was, I slipped away to get ready. After I got my courage up and finished shaving my legs I went searching for my "stash" and discovered to my horror, most of it was gone. So much for any planned seductions I had planned. 

I never did find out which of my apartment "friends" or their girlfriends stole my cross dressing stash. The closest idea I could come up with was someone got into my room when I was home a couple days for Christmas. When everyone returned from their breaks I didn't have enough courage to confront the group about what happened. I should have because my mind set at that point in time was what was the worst that could happen? In a month I would be gone to the Army anyway. It was just another one of those "what if" moments in my life, 

What if I had the courage to cross dress as a woman in front of a stranger for the first time in my life and what if he liked it. I will never know because they took my cross dressing stash.    

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Being a Woman is a lot of Work

 

Photo courtesy 
Jessie Hart

Recently I wrote a post about the cost involved with being a transgender woman. Now I am adding a companion post concerning the amount of work it takes to be a woman. 

On occasion I happen along a novice transgender woman who seemingly wants to look, act and/or be accepted in the feminine world immediately.. I usually try to tell her to be patient. The gender journey is not a race, it is a life long marathon. Once you think you have the process down it changes on you. 

Also the gender change process takes an immense amount of work. Lets start with clothes. Many, including me rush out and buy some frilly ultrafeminine outfits which naturally look wonderful on a beautiful  model. It takes time, energy and money to learn what looks good on an internet model may not flatter your testosterone infected body unless you are one of the rare few naturals who are able to transition into an attractive woman easily. 

In my own case I was able to take care of my skin long before I seriously started to gender transition. Which helped immeasurably when I was applying foundation following a close shave. Plus I did realize (like Stana says) shaving actually helped me because it got rid of old skin cells. After I began to become very serious about following the path to a feminine life, I decided I had to shed myself of most all of the extra weight I had gained over the years with pizza and beer. Amazingly I was able to lose nearly fifty pounds to get down to a much more manageable weight, Which meant a wider choice of fashions to wear. Also I became more adept at hiding my masculine broad shoulders and narrow hips by again wearing clothes which tried to not accentuate my shoulders. 

I mention all of this because it just scratched the surface of the work I put into becoming my authentic self and in my case the entire process took years to refine in the public's eye. I'm sure to a novice I am nothing more than an experienced confident transgender woman but they were not around when I was struggling to find my way in a new world. 

Along the way also I found out the hard way being the "pretty, pretty princess, as my wife called me was just not going to be enough to continue my path to living full time as a transgender woman. I found what I had always suspected deep down women were the more complex and often the stronger gender. To join them would require much more than just appearing as a woman in public. The process wouldn't take long because seemingly overnight I had to begin to interact more intensely with the public as my true self.

Were there mistakes? More than I care to count. The times I tried to wear ill fitting wigs to the wrong venue come  back to haunt me even more than my choice of wardrobe. 

My hope is that these days, in direct comparison with the past there are many ways a novice transgender woman can learn the feminine ropes. In many area's now there are strong LGBTQ organizations who offer social functions for all transgender women or men as well as cross dressers also. Plus the social media outreach can be a help if you can steer clear of the crazies. 

Bottom line, as any cis woman will tell you, it's takes a lot of work to be a woman. Be prepared.    

Dealing With Trans Rejection

Image from Jakayla Toney on UnSplash. Similar to so many transgender women or trans men, I have dealt with my share of rejections.  My first...