Showing posts with label femininization. Show all posts
Showing posts with label femininization. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Gender Boxes


Image from the Jessie
Hart Archives.

When I was very young, my parents did what so many others do. They constructed a gender box and forced me into it.

As I grew up, I had no choice. I was a boy and was expected to do boy things. Even to the point of receiving gifts on Christmas I did not really want. My primary example came one year when I secretly wanted a doll or kitchen set and I received a BB Gun instead. I was the opposite from the "Ralphie" character in the "Christmas Story" movie. For you that don't know, Ralphie wanted a BB Gun in the movie in the worst way.

 As I grew and began to gain confidence in cross dressing as a girl, my gender box became smaller and smaller.  On most days, it was a struggle to just exist in the world as I knew it. The worst part about it was I never had a choice. It was like I was a round peg being driven into a square hole and being told to like it. I didn't like it and my struggles led to a worsening of my gender dysphoria and mental health. Perhaps the worst part about my situation in those days was I had no one to talk to about it and knew no one with similar gender issues. I was so alone in my little gender box.

As I struggled forward in life, I discovered there were others who were in their own gender boxes and struggling with similar problems also. I like to refer to those days as my "Virginia Prince" and "Transvestia Magazine" days. First I could not believe there were so many other cross dressers in the world and they even had a regular publication I could subscribe to. Looking back, I think "Transvestia" came every two months and I could not wait until I received my new issue. Just reading and gazing at all the other pretty transvestites in the issue made living in my box a bit more bearable. Especially when I learned there were regular "socials or mixers" being held in a location I could actually drive to. I was dazzled when I went to my first mixer and saw all the different people who attended. All the way from weekend cross dressers to transsexuals' heading for gender surgeries. 

Even seeing all those different people in their own little boxes did not help me with mine. Deep down I knew I still didn't fit in with most of the cross dressers I met because I was way more serious and certainly not with the transsexuals because I wasn't serious enough. So I remained in my little box, mainly trapped until the transgender term made it's way into the mainstream consciousness in Ohio. Once I heard or saw transgender, I knew it described me better than anything I had ever seen. Finally, I could take a big marker and write proudly transgender on my box.

From there, it was a matter of connecting the dots and removing the box altogether from my existence. Of course, learning to live a new life as a new gender was a major process and not one which was to be taken lightly. To make matters worse, sometimes I tried to jump into new gender boxes and missed my step and had to retreat to try again. Even still, life had taught me by this time, nothing was going to be easy when it came to escaping being pounded into the square hole I was in but when I did, I could be happy. 

I was fortunate in that I lived long enough to escape my gender box and enjoy a new world as a transgender woman free from many worries I used to have. The process was difficult but worth it.  


Sunday, May 19, 2024

Dsyphoria is Never Pretty

Image from Jen Theodore on UnSplash.

It was years before I knew what gender dysphoria was all about and what it meant to me.

Essentially what it meant was understanding the depth of how far I wanted to go towards my feminization. I started out innocently I thought, similar to most of you, with explorations into Mom's wardrobe. and makeup. I wonder if she even noticed the fascination I had watching her put on her makeup. 

All along, I wondered what was going on with me and was I the only one who felt the same as I did. On those days, my gender dysphoria ran deep even though I still had no idea of what my future held. I looked in the mirror and saw a male even though on some days I felt decidedly I wanted to be a girl. In fact, if you had asked me then what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have said a successful woman. Sadly, there were almost no successful transgender women to model myself after, so I internalized my feelings and carved out a very tentative life as a male. In fact painful internalizing became a theme in my life and led to further gender dysphoria.

All of a sudden, as my life progressed and more gender information became available, my dysphoria became more in focus. I could see what the problem still was but I still wasn't in any position to do anything about it except cross dress my life away. I knew deep down, I did not want to harm anyone, especially myself. However, when I still saw my male self in the mirror in the morning, harm still came. The more I attempted to cross dress my dysphoria away, the quicker and stronger it seemed to return just wrecking my mental health.

The only thing which kept me on any sort of a feminine path was when I expressed my female side to myself, I felt so natural. I felt from that reason alone, I was doing the right thing which in turn positioned me in direct opposition with my male self and increased my dysphoria to the max. Because my male self was fighting back with all the tools he had. In those days, he held all the cards, making life miserable for me which sadly I passed along to those people closest to me. I did everything I could to relieve the stress and live a pleasurable life. 

As fashion and makeup became easier for me as far as going out and entering the world as a novice transgender woman but more difficult when I needed to re-enter the world as a guy. My job did not make it any easier because I was in a very male dominated profession. I would do quite a bit of day dreaming of my other life while I was working in my reality. I even was quietly embarrassed when someone would mistakenly refer to me as a woman when I was working as a man. I figured my "aura" was overpowering female on those days and tried to project female more when I was out in the world as a transgender woman. I believe projecting my gender became an important accessory to be added to present successfully. Which I still do.

Still my dysphoria persisted and does to this day. Some days I wake up and sneak a peek in the mirror and see a feminine person which makes me happy. Other days, I see the same old male person I had ever been and become depressed. From there I have learned to take the middle road, or nothing is as good or bad as it seems including my dysphoria. 

At my advanced age, I seriously doubt I will ever be finished with my transgender dysphoria. Since I have an aversion to any extreme facial femininization surgeries, there will be no radical moves to change what I have to face the world. Dysphoria be damned, I will do the best I can.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

On the Transgender Precipice

 

Image from Wira Dyatmika on
UnSplash.


As I followed a winding, difficult path to my dream of living as a fulltime transgender woman, I took years to climb the gender mountain.

Just one of the problems was  I was afraid of heights. The higher I climbed the rarer the air became because I had never been in all the situations I encountered. As I entered the world as a trans woman, there were so many situations I never expected to happen. I knew women led multi layered lives but not to the extent I encountered. Initially I thought if I had conquered all the fashion, hair and makeup basics, I had it made in the world. Needless to say, I was wrong. 

Even though my male self contributed to me feeling petrified as I climbed, I kept going. As I decided to leave the male gay venues I was going to and try lesbian and straight bars, I really needed to climb to a new level to survive. When I reached a new level, I paused to look around and see what I had accomplished if anything. What I did accomplish was a degree of acceptance from the venues I went to. Except for one evening when three guys kept playing "Dude Looks Like a Lady" on the jukebox over and over again, I begrudgingly held my spot and became an accepted regular in several places. As I did, my view of the world as a transgender woman became clearer and clearer. My gender dysphoric fog was clearing and increasingly all I could see was a future life living as a woman. 

At the same time, I was still a regular at the diverse mixers in Columbus, Ohio where I met a total range of people from cross dressers to transsexual women who were headed for gender realignment surgery or a sex change as it was known back then. By meeting and learning from all these people, I was able to chart my own path to my transgender precipice. 

The two main things I remember are how desperate I was for information on my gender issues and how scared I was of receiving an answer. Was my therapist right and I could do nothing about my feminine desires? If so, I had reached a precipice in my life and I needed to make a decision which would change my life forever. Of course my spoiler alert is, from my gender view, I could see a wonderful if not difficult future ahead as a trans woman. What happened was, as I built a new circle of women friends who never knew me as my past male self, I kept pushing and pushing myself to the edge of my transgender precipice until I fell down the cliff. 

Unknowingly, for the most part, I had set myself up for a soft gender landing. I gave away the remainder of my male clothes and set out to quit climbing and live a new life. What a relief it was to stop expending all the energy I was using to live two gender lives. The process exhausted me and ruined my fragile mental health. My friends helped me through this difficult time of my life more than I can ever say.

With my fears of gender heights behind me, I met my wife Liz and she helped me seal the deal and live my life as a transgender woman. That was fourteen years ago and we have been happy ever since. I don't think I could have ever envisioned I would meet up and marry another woman in my long life but I did. I guess the fog on my mountain was hiding my future.  

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Down the Transgender Rabbit Hole

 

Image from Benoit Baumatin on UnSplash.

Long ago, I sought out a rabbit hole I found I did not want to escape.

In the beginning, I did not go deep into the hole so I could supposedly easily escape if I wanted to. The farther I went, the harder it was to escape even I wanted to. What happened was gender euphoria set in and the entire cross dressing experience became increasingly pleasurable as well as feeling incredibly natural. The problem I faced was how to cover the entrance to my rabbit hole so no one else in my family could discover it. Very early it was easy when I could attempt to borrow select clothes from my Mom's closet which ended when I became too big to wear them. Then I had to rely on my own limited financial resources to buy fashion and makeup accessories. 

For awhile, the pressure to go away and cross dress became so intense I needed to find a spot away from the house to establish another private rabbit hole. I found the best spot in a quiet wooded area next to our rural home. I was able to protect my secret collection of feminine clothes in plastic bags and hope they would be protected enough as well as not be discovered. I did well, because they never were and I was provided another place to go to cross dress. If even for a short period of time. 

The better I became at perfecting the "art" of fashion and makeup, the more I wanted to leave my novice transgender rabbit hole and look around at the world. At first, the world proved to be a very difficult place to be. After too many public failures I was sent scurrying back to my rabbit hole to seek comfort and try to figure out what all I was doing wrong with my feminine presentation. The entire feminization process for me proved to be a difficult one as my entrenched male self fought for his dominance and kept on trying to cover up my rabbit hole with ill advised purges. Very quickly he found out the gender purges I was going through were a complete waste of time and money. 

Once I reached the middle portion of my life, my rabbit hole needed to be expanded from a crossdresser rabbit hole into one large enough to contain a full fledged transgender woman. I needed room for more wigs, shoes and women's essentials to survive in the world. As I was entering a new exciting yet scary world without my white male privilege, the sunlight outside my rabbit hole was at times blinding. Even more so when the world all of a sudden expected me to communicate with them when at the least, I had to order face to face with servers or bar staff trying to take my order. What was a novice trans woman to do? What I attempted to do was make the best of a potential destructive situation. Very early in the game, I came to the conclusion the world knew I was transgender for the most part and those who cared, could just get over it because I was just living my truth.

Of course, once I was able to leave my rabbit hole in my past and live, I had no desire to go back to it's dark confines. Each time I was successful in the feminine world, my male self lost more and more of any control he had left. 

The writing was on the rabbit hole wall when I started gender affirming hormones. I knew I had made the correct decision when my body and mind took to the new hormones so naturally. In addition to all the bodily changes which took place, I cherished the new emotions I felt. Being able to cry for the first time in my life was quite the experience. 

Perhaps, most importantly, was when I discovered the lack of predators I really had when I left my rabbit hole. Of course dealing with the occasional man was a problem but with my circle of lesbian women friends, not so much as they taught me true validation as a person. Once I learned to validate myself, I was freed from my old male rabbit hole for good and jumped into the sunlight.

Monday, May 13, 2024

It's Complicated

Image from 
Alexander Grey
on UnSplash.


To begin with, I would like to mention a comment I received from "Pammie". In essence she challenged my daughter and son in law's idea of me earning a "Mother's Day" title. Pammie is the mother of four and I completely understand her position. I simply said, I did not seek out the title and I was not bragging. Being bestowed with what I consider the highest honor possible is amazing and I cherish it .Thanks for the comment which brings me to the subject of this post.

Anyway you cut it, being transgender is the ultimate in living a complicated life. It's no wonder many "civilians"  in the world don't understand what a trans person is when we often don't understand it ourselves. I know it took me years to come to a conclusion I was transgender and what it meant. Obviously when I did come to the conclusion I had been avoiding all my life, I needed to explain I was transgender to those closest to me. Destiny seemed to follow me once again (as it so often did) when I was completely accepted by some and totally rejected by others. More precisely, my daughter came out as a fierce ally and on the other hand, an embarrassing rejection from my only sibling, a younger brother. Essentially, he sold me out to appease his right-wing religious in-laws. I knew it was coming, so I moved on and haven't seen him in over a decade.

The problem is each gender's life is considered to be a given to the lucky majority who never question it. To the unlucky minority who for whatever reason we don't often know, we are stuck trying to determine which gender we are. Even to the point of accepting a relatively new term called "gender fluid." If the term had been around during my youth, it would have solved so many issues I went through. All the days I woke up wondering if I was a boy or a girl could be put behind me. 

Then it comes to the basic point of telling other humans of our plight, it becomes very complicated. How do you even attempt to explain your transgender needs to an elderly parent such as I did, or a family worth of offspring who have always viewed you a certain way. A way you carefully crafted all those years to hide your deepest darkest secret. You are not and never were the gender you appeared to be. I know life throws you many unexpected challenges and I am biased but I can't think of anything else which is so complicated to explain. 

Years ago, when my daughter was struggling with her oldest child coming out as transgender to her. One day she said to me how did I know I was trans and then answered her own question by saying I had always known. Which was true, I had always known something was different about me. I just didn't know how to express it. It seemed to be so unfair to me when I needed to address my complicated issues surrounding my gender which my friends did not have to face. 

Over the years and especially when I started blogging, I did expect push back on my transgender ideas but have received relatively few. One of the best comments I can recall when a person called me just another old guy on hormones. I received quite a  chuckle from that. I laughed because once again I had encountered another person who did not understand how complicated our lives are. Most don't understand it is a life time of effort to transition into another gender. For example no one understands in order not to back track on how I perceive myself as a transgender woman, I need to be on gender affirming hormones for life.

Of course I would be remiss if I didn't mention the end of life situations trans people face. I am fortunate to have several transgender allies in my life so I don't have to worry about having my gender questioned at death. One way or another, the entire death process represents the complicated life we face. 

Friday, May 10, 2024

Transgender Closure?

Image from Nick Bolton
on UnSplash.




 Sometimes it seems as if closure to a transgender woman never comes.

In the very early days in the mirror as I cross dressed, I thought I had reached closure when gender euphoria kicked in when I admired myself. It did until the pressure built to cross dress again and again. Predictably what happened was, I became so frustrated with the process of moving back and forth between the male and female binary genders, I decided to purge (throw away) all of my feminine belongings and go back to a male life. The problem was, deep down I knew purging was not going to solve my transgender issues. Plus very certainly, I was getting no closure and I would always go back to the mirror.

Through it all, I was very naïve and thought closure was around every corner as I continued along my gender path. It turned out, all the small victories I celebrated had nothing to do with winning the war and having any closure at all. The prime example I can recall came when I decided to transition from a cross dresser to a transgender woman. When I was beginning to be successful, I thought I finally had it made when something came along and changed my mind. Foremost among life changing closure experiences occurred when I learned what my second wife warned me about. I really had no idea of what a woman went through in life and I had to learn before I could be accepted. 

I needed to lose my impostor feminine syndrome on several levels. Even though, I couldn't have things such as periods and pregnancies, I had other problems to deal with as a transgender woman to pay my dues. Primarily, losing all my male privileges was what I gave up first to join the world of women. I didn't expect any special privileges to be let in, I just wanted to be given the chance to let my feminine inner soul flourish in the world. She waited nearly a half a century to live and had learned a lot. Even still, I was viewed with a certain amount of mis-trust by several women who I think thought I could run home and go back to my old male life. There was no easy way to prove to them I had given all my male clothes away and there was no turning back for me. 

Once I broke down gender doors thanks to the help of certain close friends, I was able to enjoy more and more activities such girls nights out without impostor syndrome setting in. Finally, I was feeling more and more closure from my old male life. In many ways, I had insulated him from myself altogether. Even more so when I started gender affirming hormones and started to feel the full effects. I started to understand aspects of a woman's life such as emotions all the way to simple things such as the influences such as temperature changes on the body. Suddenly, I discovered women were not just being sissies when they said they were cold all the time except when they were having hot flashes which I went through also. 

As I was going through all the changes in life hormones sent me through, closure set in and I knew there was never going to be any going back. It took me awhile to realize the closure I was attempting represented the most intelligent decision I ever made with my life. I didn't have to worry about any more impostor syndrome because I knew I had paid my dues. 

Now the closure I need to look forward to is doing whatever I can to insure my final years are as smooth as possible. Much of it will be out of my control so I will just have to do the best I can try to pay it forward with organizations such as the "Alzheimer's Organization." My Dad passed from a very ugly case of Dementia years ago, so I hope I won't have to put my loved ones through the same thing. The rest, however is mainly out of my control with no chance at closure. 

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Poor Executuion equals a Hot Mess

Image from Author, Columbus, Ohio.

More times than I would care to remember, evenings when I went out to explore the world as a cross dresser or novice transgender woman turned out to be a hot mess. 

Particularly frustrating were the evenings or days when I thought I had planned everything out so well. I picked out the perfect outfit and applied my makeup just right and was ready to go. Perhaps my biggest issues had to do with figuring out where I was going to go and when I needed to be back before my wife returned home. Did I have a relatively long time to explore the world, or a short time to visit a few of my favorite venues and be back in time to remove all vestiges of my makeup and attempt to return to my male life. 

In the beginning, big mistakes would appear to ruin my time and turn it into a hot mess. I did not understand because I thought I was doing my best to put my new feminine cross dressed image to the public test. Some of my problems came from taking too many chances and others came from just purely being new to the world. Examples of taking a chance came when I used water balloons as breast forms, knowing full well how fragile they were. Predictably, one broke when I was out in public, making a huge mess in a rest room I was in. The only good thing which happened was, the room was empty except for me and I was able to clean up my mess and exit before anyone else came in.  From there, I learned the hard way to invest in silicone breast forms which I was able to use until I was able to grow my own breasts with gender affirming hormones. 

Other mistakes I would put under the title of ill-advised were the times I was simply having too good of a time and lost track of what time it was. Those were the evenings, I came home and ran directly into my second wife who was not amused. A huge fight always ensued until she settled down days or even weeks later. The whole process was not pleasant and just kept repeating itself essentially until just before she passed away. Finally I decided to purge my trans-feminization self and grew a beard for the last six months of her life. During this time, I didn't know she was as sick as she was and she passed totally unexpectedly and I often wondered if we could have stayed together for any length of time had she lived. All I do know was, I was making a hot mess out of our life because of my transgender issues. 

During this time also, I was desperately trying to catch up with all the small issues a woman has done to live her life. I did so many things such as wedging my heels in sidewalk cracks, which of course destroyed any image I was doing my best to project as a confident well dressed professional woman. 

Through it all, my wife still prodded me on by telling me I still didn't know anything about really being a woman. I wasn't able to learn until later how correct she was. My excuse is I wasn't allowed to play in the girl's sandbox until I earned it. I compare the process to being able to land a job by finally having all the qualifications needed. Until someone gives you the chance to move up, you have to earn your way or you never get the chance. I was always under qualified to play with the rest of the girls until I forced my way in.

Getting there wasn't easy. I needed to find a group of women I could learn from and not be judged at every turn. I also need to locate women who had no knowledge of my previous male self. He was never mentioned and most certainly, I never brought him up. When I did my life became so much easier. I did not have to worry about my transgender execution and hot messes became increasingly a part of my past.

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

A Night at a Concert



Image from the Jessie Hart Archives

Following the time when my wife passed away, I actually tried to date another cis woman, once.

During this brief period of my life, my old male self was still desperately hanging on to the idea he could still exist at all. At that time, one of my servers came into my restaurant with her very attractive Mother. After several inquiries I found her Mother was single and she would ask if she would go out with me. She did and we started our very short history of dating. 

Right from the start I found she was a bit of a prima donna when we met on a date in downtown Cincinnati. I suggested stopping at a micro brewery for a quick appetizer when she wanted to go to an upscale steak house on my dime. I should have known then she was out of my league but I kept on trying anyhow. In a very short period of time, I told my daughter I was dating again. In response, she came up with two tickets to a local park pavilion near her house. The concert performer was Joe Cocker, so I could not wait to go. I even asked the new woman I was dating if she wanted to go and she initially said yes and the date was on, or so I thought. A couple days later and a week before the concert in the park, she called me and broke up our brief affair. I was slightly shocked but then again not so much as I began to consider what I would go with an extra ticket to see Joe. 

At the time, I was increasingly exploring the world as a transgender woman, so I thought why not take myself on a date in the park. I knew exactly what I would wear .My long silky black slacks with my black matching sleeveless top and black flats for comfortable walking. I then applied my makeup and topped my outfit off with my long black straight wig and I was ready for the half hour drive to the venue. By this time all of this happened, I was becoming very comfortable with my feminine self so I was really looking forward to the evening as it approached. I had spent many a evening being alone with myself. I wasn't very nervous as much as excited by the expectation of having a good time. 

The evening of the concert turned out to be ideal weather wise, a beautiful warm but not too humid Ohio summer evening. I showed my ticket and was admitted to the venue without a problem. Before I went to my seat, I decided to buy a drink and then headed to sit down. Again I experienced no problems with anyone in the venue in my section. I was able to enjoy my drink and relax even further before the music started. I especially enjoyed the silky sensation of my clothes in the summer evening air.

I was glad I went because I had been a Joe Cocker fan since the Woodstock concert days and it wasn't too long following the concert, he passed away and I was still able to be completely enjoy his performance before it was too late.

As far as I was concerned and as selfish as it may sound, the whole exciting evening was more fun for me than taking a woman I barely knew. Plus my experience even further increased my confidence as a novice transgender woman. Even to the point of coming out to my daughter who I told that I enjoyed the concert very much but never added who my "date" was. 

The night at the concert was one of those lifetime experiences I will never forget. It was the last time I ever tried to date as a man and the first time I was ever to seriously explore my life as a transgender woman. Once I did, the more I understood it was the life for me. 

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Transgender Expectations

 

Picnic Image. My wife Liz on the right.





When I began the long and very difficult transgender journey I decided to take, I had many expectations.

At the time, I was still entranced with wearing all the pretty clothes a woman had access to. I could not wait to have my own wardrobe which would match any occasion from casual to formal. I was very naïve back in those days and thought a woman's life was all about how she looked. I was so wrong as I discovered as I explored more and more of a transgender woman's life. In addition to the layers cis-women went through in their lives, trans women face all of those and more. To begin with, we don't have the benefit of growing up around other girls and learning from them. Making our own way was difficult when the only input was coming from the mirror. 

Loneliness ruled my feminine side all the time my male side was trying his best to survive in the world he never really felt comfortable in. As I observed all the girls around me, my expectations of what their life was all about just increased. The problem was I had a distorted view of everything feminine. One example was I was shy and never liked having to ask a girl out on a date. I thought the whole process was so unfair just like worrying about serving in the military and getting shipped off to Vietnam. 

What I did not realize was the gender grass was not always greener on the feminine side. Was it easier to be the one asking someone out, or waiting for someone to ask you out. As far as the military went, there was nothing I could do about it, so I tried to hide my resentment and move on. 

As I did move on, I discovered many other expectations I never planned on. Communication was one of the major hurdles I needed to overcome before I could learn to live a quality life as a transgender woman. I was blindsided quickly when the public wanted to talk to me faster than I was ready to respond. Initially, before I went through vocal lessons, I tried to just talk in a soft background voice and hope for the best. Trying to match the voice to my appearance was not an expectation I planned on but it happened. It was just all a part of moving out of the mirror and into the world. 

As I matured as a trans woman and started to communicate with other women, I learned the grass was certainly not greener on the feminine side of gender. As I thought back to the Christmas envy I had because of my two girl cousins who were dressed in their new dresses and white tights. Liz ruined my illusions of pleasure when she told me stories of getting in trouble for getting her tights ruined by playing with the boys. 

Even though I found the grass was not greener on the other gender side, the more I learned of the gender differences I faced, the more I wanted to continue my journey. It seemed the more I experienced, I more I felt I had paid my dues as a transgender woman. More or less, as a rite of passage such as a mammogram. 

Since females are not born women but rather socialized into womanhood, transgender women have to go through the same process. By following all those expectations all those years, I finally arrived. The path I followed was difficult but in many ways the same as other women, transgender or not. 

Monday, April 29, 2024

Take Your Pleasure Seriously

 

Ohio River image from the
Jessie Hart archives. 


For a gender dysphoric person, the scale seems to be balanced against experiencing any gender euphoria.

 In my case, destiny allowed just enough gender euphoria for me to continue down my gender journey. As I questioned what I was doing, the "why" of it never really came into question. I just knew deep down I was on a process I could not control. It would control me. Deep down inside, regardless of any doubts I may have had dissolved when I felt so natural when I was dressed as a girl. In other words, I was home when I was away from my unwanted heavy male self. 

Still I persisted and tried to find my way in the male universe, I was taking my pleasure seriously when I was dressed head to toe as a woman. I found following one dream (feminine) didn't mean giving up on the other (masculine.) I often wonder, if there was any help available to me back in the pre-internet dark ages would I have had the courage to seek it out. One problem was back in those days we who existed with gender issues were still considered to be mentally ill. Which I knew I wasn't.

The gender unrest I lived through and with was to continue until much later in life. Nearly a half a century to be exact, I gave up any hope of ever returning to a male life and never looked back. Riding a wave of gender euphoria was something I had never experienced before. Living as my authentic self was amazing and even though my male self was still fighting to be recognized. He was to be denied and my life went full circle back to the earliest days of wondering what gender I really was.

By going full circle, I had a lot of ground to cover. In many ways, the world caught up with me. I was able to follow the progression of a term which would describe me and in a very small way enabled me to be a part of a transgender community. Along the way many things changed. Primarily in the terminology which began with what was transgender anyhow and went all the way to the LGBT label which has grown these days to include other letters which includes other communities. Including gender fluid people which on occasion, described how I perceived myself all those years ago. 

During my full circle journey, I learned to take my pleasure seriously. Different than most transgender women and one I don't necessarily recommend, I learned the so called "ropes" of being a single woman (trans or not) in alcohol serving venues. All of the sudden, I found myself in situations where I was the single woman. The positive side of taking my pleasure seriously was when I discovered a small community I could thrive in. The negative side came when I was approached by intoxicated men not in control of themselves. Early on, when I needed some sort of protection, I used my cell phone. Making a big show of acting as if I was talking to another person on the phone who was coming to join me and fill the empty seat beside me. Of course after I gained my small group of lesbian friends, I was nearly completely insulated from the world of men. Also my ideas of sexuality were determined for good. I had way more interaction with women than I ever had as a guy.

Along the way, my new found gender euphoria as I learned to live as a transgender woman began to put my unwanted male life behind me, I had managed to live through the down points in my life and come full circle into a new day. I don't know if the ups have ever equaled the downs but at the least I was never bored.  

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Opening Transgender Doors

Image from Nathan Wright 
on UnSplash


What is the old saying, "When one door closes, another one opens." I think the saying is especially appropriate for transgender women or trans men.

Along the way, I have documented several substantial times when I slammed doors during my past and opened new doors. 

Probably the first time I closed a door was when I was going out with a certain set of party friends who ranged from cross dressers to transsexuals who were planning their genital realignment surgeries. I wasn't very interested so much in the cross dressers but on the other hand, I was very interested in the women who were going "all the way." I wondered if I could ever slam the door on the male life I had fought to live and open a new door into a feminine world. 

Luckily I was able to see different sides of the gender coin so to speak. One friend in particular was a firefighter in Columbus, Ohio who was gorgeous and near retirement. So she had the financial risk of a gender transition covered as did the other main transsexual woman I knew at the time. She also was gorgeous and had a very secure job as an electrical engineer. She was so good at living a woman's life, she regularly went on snow skiing trips, spending whole weeks as her authentic self. So, as you can tell, I had lofty role models to try to live up to. I knew they would be difficult to match up to as far as appearance and income plus neither one had a spouse to deal with. I loved my spouse very much and wasn't sure I was able to close the door on my relationship with her. 

Even still, I continued to observe and learn as well as set out to open my own transgender doors. It just took me longer than others to find a path of my own. I know all too many of our gender journey's are similar yet so far apart. It is difficult to leave the first door in our closet and find the other doors in the darkness. Once I was able to find the light and it wasn't the train at the end of the tunnel, I was able to progress quite nicely but not without trepidations. Of course I still had to deal with the usual problems transgender women and men have to deal with when they transition and close the big door. Sometimes closing the door is the easy part compared to opening the doors to different living situations with family, friends and finances. 

I think too many potential transgender folk believe the transition itself will cause the life problems to go away and they haven't thought enough about the all the situations they would have to face now when spouses and/or families want to leave them behind. Not to mention the prospect of losing long term employment and friends. All of the process led to opening very heavy doors and not having much of an idea what the future held. 

I was fortunate when I finally had the courage to open my final transgender doors and face the world. As I did, I could look back at all the times I was petrified to try a new life as a transgender woman. Every time I was so scared it seemed I made it OK which felt so natural and gave me confidence to move forward and look for new challenges. I don't think I ever forgot the two early gender role models I had in Columbus, Ohio so many years before but similar to my male life, I was able to carve out my new life as a fulltime transgender woman so different from theirs.

Even still, I have my doors to open as I face a challenging future with end of life issues. I am still paranoid concerning facing the problems associated with nursing care or assisted living. It will be quite the journey as I face the final door we all have to open and see what is on the other side.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Being Afraid to Try

 

Image from Jas Min on UnSplash

Since it took me nearly a half a century to fully leave my dark lonely gender closet, I have to assume there was an extraordinary amount of fear which was holding me back.

As life progressed for me and I became more and more entrenched in a male lifestyle I never really wanted, it was harder and harder to let go. I had a family and spouse who I loved plus a job I was progressing in. So it was not an easy decision to give it all up. 

It all finally came down to what my wife told me after one of our gender based arguments. She told me why didn't I man up and become a woman if I was so enamored with the idea. Had I followed her advice, I would have saved both of us so much turmoil over the years to come. By now, you know the story. I was stubborn and tried to live with one foot in the male gender world while at the same time learning if indeed I could live as a transgender woman. 

Through it all, even since I was taking small steps in my gender journey, the fear of not being able to make it as a full time transgender woman kept creeping back into my life. My scope became so much larger than just admiring myself cross dressed in a mirror to attempting to try the world in costume as a woman during Halloween parties. What kept me going was I felt so natural as my feminine self and then wanted to experience more and more. 

I write extensively about my experiences as a novice transgender woman. Even if I was petrified to try new experiences in the world, I pushed myself to still do them as my age was catching up to me. I wasn't getting any younger and all of a sudden, family and close friends around me began to pass away. Making my mortality even more of a reality than my gender dysphoria. Finally, when I reached the age of sixty and was exploring my life increasingly as a trans woman, it was time to act and put my fears behind me. Realistically, I knew I wasn't going to have a better chance to transition so I better do it. Setting all my fears aside and living in a feminine world turned out to be the best move I could make. I lifted a ton of weight from my shoulders when for the most part, my life restarted again. It was around this time when my new gender affirming hormones (HRT) were starting to change and control my body. Along with developing breasts and softening skin, my whole world softened and I felt emotions I never knew I had.

Now, I am so glad I wasn't afraid to try. My only disappointment is I waited so long to do it. Fear finally turned out to be a powerful motivator for me as it turned potential panicked situations into  successes. Rest rooms were a prime example of success or failure. 

This blog itself is another example. Way back when I was given the idea to write about my new experiences in this world, I didn't even know what a blog even was. Now with well over seven thousand posts and four million hits, it is time to stop and thank all of you for taking your time to stop by Cyrsti's Condo to visit. I have always embraced and enjoyed your participation and all I can say is I am humbled and flattered. 

 

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Transsexual Harassment

 

Pow Wow Image from the
Jessie Hart Archives. 

In a previous post I promised to write about the times I was sexually harassed as a transgender woman. 

The first time I experienced harassment came when I attended a nearby mixer/party with my second wife in Columbus, Ohio. The parties were relatively small but very diverse group. Anyone from cross dressers to transsexuals headed for gender surgery to male admirers attended. 

To begin with, my wife did not approve of the outfit I was wearing, saying it was way too short to start with. Of course I did not listen to her and went with the dress I wanted to wear anyway and yes it was very short on me. Even to the point of making it very uncomfortable to sit down even though I had freshly shaven legs and new panty hose.

Once we arrived at the party, I grew restless and needed to move around. Space was limited in the small house of the host so everyone was basically confined to the living room. There was also a hallway which led to a bedroom and bathroom. When I did get up, I didn't notice one of the male cross dresser admirers got up to follow me also. I was/am a big person and had never experienced any problems with my size before and was shocked when I saw how big the person who was suddenly stalking me was. Before I knew it, he had me cornered in the hallway and for the first time in my life I felt helpless. I didn't know what I was going to do until I looked up and saw my wife glaring at both of us. He saw her too and immediately backed off and the threat was over but not before my wife gave me the I told you so lecture concerning what I wore. Even though deep down I knew my wife was right, the deeper meaning of what happened to me never went away.

From that point onward, I knew how a woman could be overpowered and sexually assaulted by a man. I found out the difficult way, once I put on heels and hose and cross dressed as a woman, my male privileges changed forever. Gone was the idea I would not be stalked and attacked on a dark lonely city street or parking lot. Of course I needed to learn the safety lesson the hard way too. 

When I first came out of my gender closet, I frequented my share of three male gay venues clustered together on a city block in downtown Dayton, Ohio. Once I made into the venues themselves, I normally did not have any problems. It was when I was going back to my car one night, I ran into problems.  As I was walking down the sidewalk, I was approached by two men who ended up stopping me. I was lucky that night and was able to "buy" them off with the last five dollars I had. 

From that point forward, I told myself I would be safer where I went. I made sure I parked in lots which were safely lit and park as I could to where I was going. I even would ask friends to follow me to my car when I was out. I was lucky to escape any actual harm when I first ventured out of the closet as a transgender woman. I discovered negative harassment in no way validated me as a woman. All it did was put me in danger. In fact, it wasn't until I began to hang out and visit my lesbian friends did I learn I didn't need a man at all to validate my existence, transgender or not. 

Once I learned losing my personal safety as a former man was behind me, I could move forward and recognize what being an out and proud trans woman was all about. Transsexual harassment became an unwanted and unneeded determent to my life.   

Friday, April 19, 2024

A Toxic Male?

Image from Jurien Huggins
on UnSplash.

As I transitioned from a male to a feminine life, I often looked back at my life as a guy to determine if indeed I was a toxic male in any way. 

Of course I immediately mentally recoiled when I thought I could be toxic towards women in any way. After all I had spent a considerable amount of time worshipping the women around me, wondering how it would be to experience just for an instance being a girl. How come I couldn't wear the pretty clothes and be the gender who was so admired by the other. The problem with me was, I went way past just admiring a girl sexually, all the way to wanting to be a girl physically.  

Did any of it make me a toxic male? No, I don't think it did. In fact, I think the opposite happened as I put women up on some sort of an impossible pedestal. By doing so, and adding the fact I was extremely shy, I never had much of a chance to interact with girls or women growing up at all. From my perspective, the feminine grass always looked so much greener. 

Since I was forced into the male camp, I needed to learn to exist and had to put up with sexist comments directed towards women from many of the guys I grew up with all the way to adult hood. Mixed in too were the bullies I needed to somehow co-exist with. I learned to bluster my way around the bullies without jeopardizing my inner transgender self to ridicule or worse. In order to do so, I participated in as many of the male activities of the day as I could such as sports and cars. It worked and I was left alone for the most part and I even dated a few girls along the way. Since it is prom season around here, I am always reminded of the two proms I went to in high school. Even though I was the perfect gentleman at the proms, I wonder if my dates thought perhaps I was a little too timid and took it personally. I will never know because one of my dates and first serious girlfriend before college later in life committed suicide years later when her husband left her. What a shame. 

As I started college and started to date more regularly, I really began to see the results of toxic males around me. Especially in the fraternity setting I was briefly in. Certain fraternities were expected to co-mingle and party with certain women and sororities only where I went to college. I found out very quickly I did not fit in with the frats social system. Which was a forerunner to me not fitting in with the strict layers I encountered at the first cross dresser - transvestite mixers I went to. I felt so out of place and the only toxic people I saw were the "A" listers who were doing their best mean girls high school impressions. Maybe their male toxicity was bleeding through. 

I completely learned how not to be a toxic male when I settled into a career in the restaurant business. Along the way, as I progressed into higher management positions, I needed to coexist increasingly with women. Both crew members and managers. I learned quickly female crew members had the tendency to build cliques (not teams like the men) to be successful and the women managers I knew had to be tough but fair to survive. I on the other hand needed to be on their side when it came to battling any toxic males at all. Looking back, I think male toxicity was the prime reason for letting someone go. Which included sexual harassment which is a topic for another blog post.

My only regret was I wasn't a more vocal advocate for women my entire life as a man. I could have certainly spoken up when another guy joked about a woman. My only excuse is I was so intent on hiding my interior feminine self, I was afraid to do more. Transgender women and trans men speak of the importance of allies speaking up for us. I feel the same way about standing up for women before I transitioned. 

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Being Prepared for a Transgender Future

Image from Chad Walton
on UnSplash.





For nearly a half a century, I hid behind the idea I was nothing more than a cross dresser who liked to wear women's makeup and fashion. What harm was I really doing? The answer is, the only harm I was doing was to myself.  

Had I known all I was doing was to prepare myself to transition into a transgender woman later in life, I may had approached the process in a different light. The problem was, everything seemed to be so life and death serious. Primarily since I was locked into a very lonely, dark gender closet. I had no role models around me to prepare for a highly uncertain future. No one to tell me my make up looked clownish and my skirt was way too short. I only had my old male ego and a mirror who were teaming up to make my life miserable. 

I really learned how miserable I could be when I began to leave my closet and explore the world.  Being stared at and laughed at to my face taught me the mirror could lie to me and the way my old male self was telling me to dress was all wrong. I was going back to my cross dressing drawing board too many times before I learned what I had suspected all along, becoming a part of the feminine gender was going to take a lot of work. I needed to go so far to finally understand all along I was a woman cross dressing as a man and not the opposite. 

The more I began to understand where I was in life, the more the future came into focus and preparations for major upcoming decisions became important. As I was exploring and building a new life as a novice transgender woman, it became clear to me I could indeed live my dream of living as a woman. Before I could arrive there, I still had heavy preparation work to do. There were major issues of coming out and telling what was left of family and friends I was a trans woman. Once I did, there would be no more running home and hiding in the mirror wearing a dress, The first person I told was my only child (my daughter)  went very well and I was emboldened to tell more people such as my only sibling ( a brother). He accepted my transness terribly so I ended up with an even split in salvaging any of the family life I had left since my parents had long since passed away.

The next crossroad I needed to navigate was what was I going to do about supporting myself in my new world. Following quite a bit of planning and preparation, I decided I was close enough to being able to take an early Social Security retirement which back in those days was sixty two. To get there, all I had to do was work another two years. Ironically, during the two years, I was able to prepare even further for my future when the Veteran's Administration Health Care System I was part of suddenly began to accept HRT or gender affirming hormones for veterans. So, the extra two years gave me the time to further prepare for a future which included changing all the legal gender markers I could including a new legal name. 

Since I was newly single again following my second wife's sudden passing, I really could use the time to prepare for the final transgender transition into a new life I had been preparing for since I was born.  

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Saving my Own Life

Image from Alysha Rosly 
on UnSplash
 
 
I make no secret of my Bi-Polar mental condition which went undiagnosed for a good part of my younger life. 

Ironically, it was my first gender therapist who connected the dots and determined my condition when I told her I often spent days struggling to even get myself out of bed. I just thought I was riding the waves of gender dysphoria  which kept me so depressed or elevated when I was experiencing brief moments of gender euphoria. During this time of my life, I was far from being the easiest person in the world to live with. At the least, I was prescribed medications which evened out my moods. The meds also helped me sort out my gender issues and finally figure out one mental issue had nothing to do with the other. In fact my gender dysphoria was not a mental issue at all but instead an organic one. Had I listened to my therapist, she was trying to tell me all of that but I was unwilling to listen. Primarily because at the point of my life I was in, I was still a novice transgender woman and didn't know if I could live my dream life.  There were still too many gender bridges to cross such as telling family, friends and bosses I was transgender. 

The furthest I had come at that point was telling approximately five close friends and spouses I was a transvestite. A long way from living as a transsexual with all the resultant rules I would seemingly have to follow Such as major gender operations, moving away and then starting all over again. To make matters worse, I hadn't even thought much about my sexuality. Would I suddenly desire men sexually? I was overwhelmed with all the big questions and just continued my life as a very serious cross dresser. At the least, I was able to work on my presentation as a woman and go from there.

Even though, my solution was far from perfect, I was saving my life the only way I knew how. The problem kept reappearing when I started to go out more and more behind my second wife's back. When I did, I fairly quickly began to build up a robust life as a transgender woman. Every step I took, the more natural I felt when I could never see how I could go back to living a male life. The whole process created tremendous pressure on my already fragile mental  health. I became increasingly self destructive, all the way to an unsuccessful, ill advised suicide attempt. Essentially, from the point of suicide, I purged most of my feminine belongings and even grew a beard to prove to my second wife I could do it. By doing so, I was intensely unhappy for the short time she lived until passing away from a massive heart attack. I often wonder what would have happened with us had she lived.

Following the tragedy in my life, over a short period of time, I regathered myself and refocused  on a new feminine life. I quit dwelling on death and began living a preferred life as a transgender woman. By doing so, I was all of a sudden needing to quickly learn more than I ever imagined about my new life. Throwing out or giving away all my male clothes was at once liberating and  on the other hand, very scary. I had never purged my male self my entire life and he resisted. 

Regardless, scary or not, the process of a gender transition saved my life. Over a space in time, my mental health has stabilized and with the help of gender affirming hormones, for the first time in my life, my body and mind are beginning to mesh. The entire process took me a lifetime to figure out but as I always say, it all was so worth it. 


Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Gender Euphoria

Image from Mohammed Nohassi 
on UnSplash.

During my circle of life which I am fortunate to still be living, there have been tines of intense gender euphoria. Those times seemed on occasion to correspond with  my severe bouts of gender dysphoria. 

Examples of euphoria came when I gathered the courage during a cross dresser-transvestite mixer I attended to have my makeup applied by a professional makeup person. He ended up working miracles on my face and I looked great (in my humble opinion) which was to be proven later that evening. What happened was I ended up tagging along with the "A" list cross dressers or transgender women in the group who always continued the party at an outside venue after the main mixer closed down. The first venue we went to was a large gay and lesbian dance club which I never really liked but I went anyhow. 

During the evening, the group broke up even further and we went to a much smaller venue which I couldn't tell was gay or not. All I knew was I enjoyed the music better and the place had pinball games I could entertain myself with. In a case of timing wasn't everything, about the time the remaining "A" listers wanted to call a cab and leave, I was approached by a handsome man who wanted to buy me a drink and play pinball. It turned out to be one of the pivotal moments of my cross dressing life when I politely declined his invitation and left. I was then forever caught wondering what would have happened if I would have stayed. Primarily I didn't because I would have been stuck in a strange city which I had very little knowledge of with a man I didn't know. On the positive side, I was the only one in the group who was approached by any other patron at all. In that moment my gender euphoria reached one of it's peaks. Perhaps the best part of the experience were the advanced makeup tricks I was able to understand and remember later. 

Of course there were other moments of intense euphoria such as the night I needed to show my male drivers license to be admitted to another transvestite mixer I went to. The greeters at the door thought I just had to be a cis-gender woman. Sadly, with every success I had with these cross dressing experiments, there were the downsides also. Mainly because of my ego which still in many ways was dictated by my old male self. For lack of a better example, every up comes with a down and when I crashed over a gender euphoric high, I was not an easy person to live with. To make matters worse, my crash was so bad, I couldn't keep my mind on anything other than the next time I could cross dress and go out as my feminine self. None of which my second wife approved of. Looking back, I don't see now how our twenty five year relationship survived. 

Regardless of these few and far between gender euphoric moments, I can safely say gender dysphoria ruled my life. Starting with the days when I was a kid wondering if I was a boy or a girl and continuing into and with daily combat with my mirror. Again and again I suffered the gender torment of seeing feminine in the mirror one moment and masculine the next. It was during my darkest moments when I found I could indeed lead a life as a transgender woman that got me by in life, barely. 

By the time I had reached my sixties and had started HRT, I knew I would never have wished my life's journey on anyone else. Going behind the gender curtain and learning life from both sides of the binary gender spectrum had certainly taken a toll on me. On the other hand, the experiences I went through taught me to be a better human being. 

Balancing gender euphoria with massive gender dysphoria in life can be a daunting task and one which should not be taken lightly as it can effect a person's overall mental health. Gender is one of the deepest emotional issues a human can have. It can never be taken for granted it seems with a transgender woman or trans man, unlike a large portion of the rest of the population. Which could be a topic for a future blog post.  

Monday, April 8, 2024

Growing into the Problem

Image from Karla Hernandez 
on UnSplash.



 Back in the day when I was growing up as a young gender dysphoric person, I felt I had been able to hide my femininization efforts from the rest of the family.

For years and years, I lived under the impression I was successful. After all, I was doing my best to compete in all the basics I needed to fit with a demanding, unwanted male world. I was born into an extended male dominated family, so there was considerable pressure to conform as one of the oldest sons of three competitive uncles. 

Along the way, my main goal was to properly hide my small but growing collection of feminine clothes and makeup. I used every cent of my allowance money plus money I earned from delivering the local newspaper to rural neighbors. I thought I was successful because I was never confronted by primarily my Mom about what was going on with me. Remember also, this all occurred during the late 1950's and early 60's. Information on gender issues was for the most part non existent and was considered to be a mental illness which was even worse. 

I think now, if indeed I was ever "discovered" as a truthful cross dresser, my Mom who essentially took on the major role of raising my brother and I, just decided I would just grow out of it. Plus, she may have thought I had some sort of fetish for woman's clothes rather than the deeper issue of wanting to be a girl. It could be described as kicking the rock or can down the road just hoping it would go away.

Instead of going away for me, I grew into the problem but it took me years of wasted time and effort to take advantage of my gender growth spurts. I say "spurts" because of the time I took fighting my transgender issues at all. Keep in mind too, I am referring to at over a half century of my life. Quite a bit of time to consider mistakes and successes when it came to accepting and then growing into my considerable gender dysphoria. For me, gender dysphoria could be described as looking in the mirror one day and seeing a feminine face then the next seeing a masculine one. The whole process just destroyed my fragile mental health. At the point, I sought out therapy to help me. Which provided me with various amounts of relief. 

I had one male therapist who told me to ignore the problem, all the way to a gender therapist who told me the truth. I needed to learn to live with being transgender because it wasn't going away. Easier said than done for me because I was too stubborn to listen to the advice I was paying for. 

True gender growth for me didn't really begin until I started to escape my dark closet and began to explore the feminine world. Of major importance was the fact I finally outgrew what I call my cross dressing fashion adolescence. In other words, I stopped trying to dress as a teenager who was able to wear revealing or even sexy fashions. On the other hand, I just looked ridiculous or even trashy. Once I learned to dress for my age and body style, my presentation as a novice transgender woman improved and my new public life improved dramatically. I was growing into my so-called gender problem. I grew so fast, plus with the help of others, I discovered I didn't have a problem at all. 

Once I grew into my "problem" I discovered a wonderful world I had only dreamed of. I was even able to bring a substantial amount of my old male life with me and carefully weave it into a new existence previously dominated by my old male self but then taken over by my new feminine one. She quickly proved to me, she knew what she wanted in life and had learned from all those years of  rejection. She was like I told you so. 

Now I am not sure all the time and effort I took to grow into the problem was worth it. Many times I wish I wasn't so stubborn and had taken the time to listen to my feminine reality and just went ahead and transitioned into a transgender world.  

As always, thank you for following along with all my experiences here on the blog! I appreciate your time!  

Friday, April 5, 2024

Doing the Heavy Lifting as a Transgender Woman

My wife Liz on left
from the Jessie Hart
Archives


 Even as a young novice cross dresser, on occasion I felt I was doing the heavy lifting as far as looking the best I could in front of the mirror.

Little did I know, the real heavy lifting was still to come if I ever wanted to achieve my dream of living a fulltime transgender life as a woman. All I knew at the time was I wanted to mimic all the girls  around me in their colorful, pretty clothes and fashions. I never considered how complex a woman's life really was and how much more I would have to learn before I could gain my chance to fully play in the girls' sandbox. 

During my life, at least two opportunities to grow as a transgender woman came quicker than expected. The first happened when I came to the conclusion I wanted to be more than the "Pretty, pretty princess" as my second wife called me. In essence she was referring to the correct fact I lacked the socialization in the world to earn womanhood. She resented the fact, if I put on a dress and looked attractive I thought I had arrived. To make matters worse, she did not want to lose her husband to another woman. Especially if the woman was me. 

To prove her wrong, I set out to discover what she was talking about. Through more error than trial, I found out the hard way about dealing with men from a woman's viewpoint. For awhile, it seemed everytime I turned around, I was facing a new struggle like the time I was cornered at a party by a huge transvestite admirer who was trying to move in and have his way with me. All the way to the motorcycle rider my wife started a conversation with when we were in a bar one afternoon waiting for a cross dresser mixer to begin. For the first time, in both situations I felt helpless to do much of anything about what was going on. What was I going to do if the motorcycle guy asked my wife to go for a ride and I was left behind as the "princess?" All my male power privileges' were gone and I had nothing to fall back on. 

These were the days before I found the small group of women friends who helped my socialization process and very much jump started my femininization past any point I thought was possible at the time. In addition, validation and confidence became key components of my personality. My new lesbian friends validated me and gave me the confidence I needed to exist in my new life. It wasn't so much they accepted me as another woman but did just accept me as me. Which was all I asked. 

Through it all, there were predictably good and bad times. An example came one night when my wife Liz and I went to a lesbian Valentines dance she was invited to through a group she was in. When Liz got up to get us some refreshments, I was basically attacked by a transphobic woman who wanted to know what my real name was. Like it was none of her business. Which is exactly what I told the hater. For the most part, I was lucky and escaped unscathed on most occasions. I thought I was going to have some problems one time when we all went to a women's roller derby event in Cincinnati and received a few evil looks but no one said anything and the dollar beers were great!   

The other quicker than expected moment of my trans life occurred when I needed to learn all over again how to communicate with the world. I found if I looked the part of a woman and wanted to interact as one, there were many basic differences I needed to learn. There were to be no more frontal male verbal assaults, only passive aggressive, often behind the back comments which were only the beginning. I even took feminine vocal lessons to improve my communication skills in the world. 

One of my biggest regrets is my second wife did not live long enough to see my development as a transgender woman. Even though I doubt if we could have stayed married, I hope we could have stayed friends. After I did most all of the heavy lifting away from being the "Pretty, pretty princess" as she called me.  

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Living in the Transgender Present

Image from Alexander Grey
on UnSplash.

As I lived and constantly thought about escaping my unwanted male world, I daydreamed major parts of my days away.

It became very difficult to stop looking ahead and live in the present when all I could think of was the next time I could cross dress as a girl or woman. Over the years, I wish I could reclaim just a bit of the time I lost due to my day dreams of being a woman. The problem I ran into was when I started to journey away from my dark gender enclosure and was successful, the more natural I felt and the more I wanted to challenge the world as my authentic self. My overall life became more and more complicated and further disrupted my already fragile mental health. At the time, I was seeing one of the few therapists in my native Ohio who dealt with transgender issues at all. Along the way, during one of my sessions, she (my therapist) told me the truth. There was nothing she could ever do about my gender issues and somehow, someday I would have to deal with them. On the positive side, she also diagnosed my bi-polar depression for the first time and was able to separate my two main issues, mental health and gender. 

Then I reached a  point  where I had to decide how to exist in the present dealing with two major issues. I was prescribed several different medications to deal with my mental health issues but as we all know, there is no magic medication to deal with being transgender. The only positives which ultimately came from seeing the specialized therapist came from my wife. She thought I was trying to help the problem she saw in our relationship which back in those days was considered cross dressing or being a transvestite. Which still was a long way from just being viewed as a guy who liked to dress as a woman for Halloween. Naturally, my wife was afraid of what our friends might say. During it all, we hoped seeing a therapist would help. I can only imagine, if I had listened to my therapist about the long term life expectations of being transgender would be, how much different my life would have been.

With each experience, as I started to explore the feminine world more and more, I began to begin living in my transgender present. Every time I was successful in the world, the more confidence I began to experience and maintain. My whole world essentially flipped. When before I day dreamed about being a woman, now I was dreaming in a negative way about going back to a male life I increasingly did not want. To help even more, I had a new therapist who helped me keep my two main life issues separate and even provided crucial assistance in aiding my search for gender affirming hormones. 

In my mind, the hormones, or HRT as they were called then, helped me to cement where my life had become. I loved the external and internal changes the hormones had aided me in achieving. In a short period of time, I had come so far I asked my therapist for her help in changing my legal name and other gender markers. She came through with flying colors and with the help of my daughter, I came up with a new family based name which reflected my heritage. I chose the name of one of my maternal grandparents as my first name and my Mom's first name as my new middle name so my initials would be easier for my three grandkids to remember and use. 

From there on to the present, I have gone all out to live in my transgender present and make up for all the lost time I had in my life daydreaming away for my next trip in the cross dressing mirror. 


Sink or Swim

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