Showing posts with label female gender roles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label female gender roles. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

A Brave New Gender Path


In essence, every turn we take down the path can involve us making our way into a brave new gender world. Little did I know how long the path would be or how many twists and turns it would take. Often I think I should have known more about the gender change process before I started. On the other hand, I was deeply protected from the world in my very dark and isolated gender closet. Even though I was dealt many setbacks as I tried to appear feminine, I was able to experience just enough gender euphoria to help me continue on my journey .

Very early in my life I found I could run my own newspaper route and save my allowance from doing odd jobs around the house to save money to buy my own feminine items such as makeup, hose and even shoes. Then I discovered saving the money was the easy part. Just exactly how was I going to be able to get to a store to spend it because I was still of pre-driving age and only had my bicycle to try to make it into town. I found where there is a will, there is a way when you are dealing with the powerful urge to cross dress and look like a girl. Since my Grandma lived in our nearby city very close to downtown, I could make an excuse to want to go in a see her for a day when I had the chance. From her house I could easily walk downtown to several stores who specialized partially in selling makeup and other women's items. 

Once I summoned the courage to try to shop for the first time on my own, I needed to be extremely careful because my Dad also worked downtown and it would be hell if I was ever discovered.  Little did I know, being discovered by Dad would not be the only hell I would face. Once I found the cosmetic section, I was ill equipped to be prepared for all the different products and brands I was suddenly faced with buying. I remember to this day the panic I felt when for the first time in my life I picked out a few select makeup items and even a pair of my own panty hose. I was flying blind for the most part on what shades of lipstick or foundation to buy but the panty hose decision was much easier since I could buy the largest size the store carried. 

In what seemed like an eternity, I made my selections and gathered my courage to take them to the checkout line. My nervousness I felt would give me away and a suspicious clerk would ask me what I was doing with all the items I had hurriedly selected. All my nerves proved to be wrong and I think the bored clerk never even looked up to see who she was checking out. I paid my hard earned money, looked around again for my Dad and headed back to my Grandma's where I easily hid my purchases. Like it or not, my brave new gender world was beginning to change. During the course of the next few decades I began to learn how deep my gender dysphoria would go into my soul and how far I would go to try to satisfy a  journey often filled with terror and euphoria as I followed the best I could all the gender mileposts. Mileposts which led me finally to a brave new gender world. I am sure I will write more on the subject in later posts. 

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Transgender Runners

Photo from the 
Jessie Hart Archive

Rarely in my life have I ever considered myself a runner in any shape or form. In fact, the only times in my life I have done any sort of serious running were when I was in the Army or playing football. These days I think of myself as another sort of runner.

When I look back at all of my frenetic job moves to various parts of the country, I wondered why I pursued such a different path than say my Dad or younger brother who in the case of my Dad lived in the same town his entire life and worked the same job most of it. My brother followed the same path since in his formative years he was able to escape any military training.  I can't blame my vastly different path exclusively on being transgender but it certainly helped.

I started my path to separating from home when I went away to college and ironically the dramatic cutting from home ties caused me not to think anything about my gender issues for six months or so. In the long term scope of things, not a dramatic long term pause but significant in that it was one of the few times in my life I quit worrying about my gender. Moving forward, the process of moving out and meeting new people helped my well being when I had to find my way in the military. Which, by the way, did absolutely nothing to suppress my gender dysphoria. In fact, if anything, the process of military training made everything worse because I resented having to be there at all.

After I was honorably discharged from the Army, my gender issues increased as I had the freedom to explore more deeply how far my femininity went. At the same time my running increased also. I tried moving from my native Ohio to the urban jungle of NYC, then back to the heavily rural area of Southern Ohio. All of the sudden I was doing the grocery shopping (unknown to my wife) dressed completely as a fashionable woman of the 1980's. With big hair and short skirts. One day I did so well, I drove a grocery bagger boy to stutter and asked me if I needed help to my car all the way to when I encountered by accident my wife's boss in a parking lot outside of a big box store. A venture I came to regret when he mentioned seeing a "big redhead" that day when he went to the store. She of course mentioned it to me and asked if I was out sneaking around.  It took awhile for all of that crisis to blow over. Finally it did and I sought out another job and indirectly more transgender adventures somewhere else. This time I settled on fairly nearby Columbus, Ohio. In the recent past I had several fond memories of cross dresser and/or transgender mixers I attended and wondered if I could have more. Plus, Columbus was close enough to my wife and I's hometown so I could move my wife back home. 

During this portion of my life you could say I was trying to outrun my gender issues. By going to NYC and even Columbus, I was attempting to help myself by moving to more liberal situations with more to do. 

Finally, I learned to live with myself and I quit running. Even though my life of running led me to many interesting situations, mostly positive, I grew tired of the process and my transgender running ended.

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Transgender Habitation

Image from Kyle on

 Every so often I receive a comment to a post so profound I just have to share it. This is one of those comments from "Mdanastrauss" concerning the "Transgender Trial by Fire" post which should be repeated:

"The goal of attaining womanhood is not solely or even for the most part about clothing or mannerisms. It is about how you feel about your inner self and how we are mirrored by others as women. This can take years to fully inhabit your womanhood and can be just as daunting."

To take you back, the post partially dealt with the process of coming out in the world as a transgender woman. Or a person needs to walk a mile (or so) in those high heeled shoes before deciding they want to make such a bold move. As the quote said, transitioning to your authentic self  is so much more than walking in heels or finding that perfect dress. 

I can not repeat enough how females are not born women. The same as trans women they are socialized into it, as are men also. In my case, everytime I thought I was successful in my goal of being a quality presentable trans woman who could take care of herself, another wall became a priority to climb. One of the walls I had to climb was learning how to judge a room as a trans woman. Yesterday for example when I went with my wife Liz to her doctor's appointment, I was invited to go back with her to an in-take room staffed by women only. When I first got there I felt I needed to look each one of them in the eye and see if there was any negative reaction to me.  Once I was satisfied there wasn't, I could concentrate on what they were telling Liz. 

Then there was Thanksgiving last year when my first wife got me aside and told me I was really progressing in my transition. I totally appreciated her compliment since she knew me from my earliest cross dressing days as a self professed transvestite. Then there were the wonderful days when the hormone replacement therapy began to show results. Surely I thought, growing my own hair, breasts along with the softening of my skin would further all my feminine goals. Of course the answer to that was no it didn't help achieve my goals of living full time as a transgender woman. Hormones didn't help at all with learning to communicate with either gender as a woman. Nobody really warned me, nor did I give it much thought what would happen to me when I lost all my male privilege's. The only one privilege I had any idea about losing was the one pertaining to my personal safety. In my cross dressing days I encountered several occurrences when my well being was in question and I was lucky to escape unscathed.

I also have known several other transgender women and men over a period of time to the point when I could see firsthand how they developed the confidence following making the plunge to live as their authentic selves. Referring back to the comment, it took years to fully habitate their transgender selves. 

Saturday, January 28, 2023

A Brave New Gender World

 Recently I wrote a post describing briefly how big a deal gender actually is.  Coming out from one gender and living in another can only be described as a shock to the system which also takes a lot of work. I remember completely how many times when I first was exploring the feminine world, I was a dismal failure. No matter how many times the mirror told me I was doing well with my presentation, I found there was so much farther to go. 

Photo from the Jessie
Hart Archives 

One of my problems was putting my feminine image in motion. Walking the walk was very difficult for me. I needed to practice many many times walking in heels and/or other female footwear before I finally began to feel comfortable. Lessons learned included nearly breaking my ankle in a mall one day when my stiletto heel became stuck in a sidewalk crack. Luckily, no one else seemed to notice my complete embarrassment. Other times I practiced included walking around home and even late at night in deserted big box stores. I was trying so hard to develop a walk which fit what I was wearing without appearing too outlandish. 

Other problems I encountered were (as I always bring up) dressing to blend in the world. Once I did my life in my new chosen gender began to change. It was difficult deciding which wig I wanted to be my primary hair style. Which became ultra important as I began to see the same people over and over again. I was amazed how outgoing the world in general and other women specifically became when I saw them. During that same period of time also was when I had to seriously consider what to do about my voice. What happened was, I became bored with going to the same stores and malls where there was no real challenge to being accepted as my new authentic self.  What I did was begin to take the extra steps and began to stop in places for lunch. Once I did, after I behaved myself and tipped well, I fairly quickly became a regular. As a matter of fact too quickly in many cases. I simply was not prepared for the interactions I was finding myself in. My problem was I wanted to be friendly and learn more if I was doing my "woman thing" correctly. I needed to learn feminine communication skills along with trying to do the best I could with my voice as soon as possible. 

As far the voice went, I tried my best to mimic the range and tone of the person I was talking to. Then try to remember it the next time I tried to communicate with anyone. I tried to make the whole process habit forming which was all well and good until I had to go back to my old boring male self. Years later I did take professional vocal lessons at the VA (Veterans Administration) which I still use till this day to improve my speaking skills. Little did I know, just learning how to sound more like a cis woman when I was talking was only the beginning. As with nearly everything else they do as humans, women communicate in a much more layered, complicated system than men. I needed to go back to communication 101 and learn all the nuances of feminine communication. Including non verbal communication all the way to dealing with passive aggressive personalities. I knew going in to all of this brave new world I was facing, what women said versus what they meant were often two different things. Now I was seeing a whole different view of the process.

I can't begin to say how terrifying yet exciting my journey into a brave new gender world was. I believe I am a better person for the experience and certainly much wiser.  

Thursday, January 26, 2023

The Second Supportive Circle

Recently I wrote a post or two concerning the individuals who helped me cross the gender frontier to live a life as a full time transgender woman. As much as I learned and appreciated their input, there was another group of cis women who accepted me plus helped me move even further into the feminine world. 

From the Jessie Hart Archives:
Min on left with myself and Kathy

More precisely, these women helped me to build upon my initial gender change results and took me to levels I never thought I could achieve so fast. Once I discovered the basics of communication, there were women such as Min and Kathy who started to invite me to girls nights out for special events such as birthday parties. Through it all, I was scared or terrified I would make a fool of myself but on the other hand, I wanted to desperately learn what all went on behind the feminine curtain. After all, I had waited my entire life to arrive at a point where I could be accepted as one of the girls on their special evening.  What I discovered was there was not much of a secret to be told. The women I were around were predictably more family orientated than men and of course didn't operate with the same amount of bravado. Looking back also, one of my biggest challenges also was to dress to blend with the women I was going with. 

Along with Min and Kathy, there were several more women who accepted me and helped me transition more than they ever knew. The Kim's, Jen's and Debra's (to name a few) made me feel at home in their worlds. During this period of my new life, I compared my gender learning curve to building a new house. Once I had established a firm foundation, I could enable my strong inner feminine self to do the rest. All of a sudden just getting out on Halloween parties became a thing of the past although I still went to them. 

Then there was the spiritual side to my existence. When I moved in with Liz, I followed her Wiccan path. In Debra's circle I was accepted by people such as Trish and Ed, who in turn introduced me to their friends and acquaintances. Very few people were even stand offish to me as I continued to build a circle of people who had never known my old male side at all. 

The second supportive circle even extended to the Pride celebration in Cincinnati where I helped yearly before Covid with a booth of information. Today as I look back I can't say enough good concerning all the people who accepted me as my new authentic self. Of course they knew I was transgender but none of that mattered. I was so fortunate.

Monday, December 17, 2012

"Speaking to the Choir"

Blurred Youth: Cross-dressing’s dirty laundry: Clothes do not define sexuality.
This is the title from The Daily Titan which is the student voice of the University of California, Fullerton.

The article does not delve into issues such as transgender or transsexual women and men but instead takes a look at more than a couple powerful constants: The history of gender choices and the societal impact today.

Here is a historical excerpt:

"There have been many instances in which society hasn’t placed so much emphasis on clothes in relation to sexuality. Historically, there have been the “two-spirit people”: Individuals within indigenous Native American tribes who lived harmoniously through their blurred sense of gender. They wore clothes and did work that were typically associated with the opposite gender, yet the majority of these people were explicitly heterosexual. In modern terms, countries such as Japan, while essentially holding LGBT rights on the same legal level as the United States, is a bit more lenient in terms of cross-dressing in popular culture. Some of this can perhaps be attested to the historical idea of bish?nen, which refers to youthful men whose beauty transcended that of gender or sexual orientation. The hijra of South Asia are another example, men whose physiological state is that of a male, but who take on female gender roles. Their history is also rich, tracing back to the inception of the Kama Sutra. It was during British rule of India that these people were sought out to be eradicated, further displaying a sense that Western “morality” has consistently been a looming threat over previously relevant gender associations."

And a more current observation:

"Most of the problem people have with cross-dressing seems to not be so much about the person who is dressing, but rather personal insecurity and a fear of being dominated. What this means is that men in our society are afraid to be treated like women, much like the way they sexualize and demean women themselves. This means that when a man encounters a gay man, he assumes that he has become an object of sexuality, and that this gay man is going to try and show dominance over him. Being that many cross-dressers are typically perceived as being gay, this situation is relatable to myself. The initial reaction I encounter with men who are at first convinced that I’m a girl is one of shame, as if they should have known better. However, I find such hindsight to be a poor justification in initially finding someone attractive. Many claim that cross-dressers and transsexuals should not “trick” straight men with their appearance, but perhaps it is actually straight men that are confused about their own sexuality and are tricking themselves. I simply dress the part of a woman and that is all. I am not trying to sleep with you, nor do I find you remotely attractive. The only one who does is you. From that point, the situation continues to take on either one of two forms. The first is that the man feels uncomfortable, much like the aforementioned “gay encounter.” The other is that the man begins to openly treat me like a woman. As much as compliments like, “I would still have sex with you,” reinforce how much I can pull off my appearance, I can’t help but think how such comfortable demeaning mannerisms truly display the general attitude men posses towards women in our society. It’s sickening and, quite frankly, I’m really not that turned on. Cross-dressers are seldom seen as straight men, and until society is able to realize that is not entirely true, then we refuse to let go of irrational judgments based on simple things such as clothing. Ultimately, a piece of clothing is not always a sexual preference; it is a choice of taste and expression."

The post was written by Julie Nitori and you can go here to read more.