Showing posts with label gay. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gay. Show all posts

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Party Down in "C-Bus"

 The city of Columbus  in Ohio is known often as "C-Bus."  I grew up and lived for years approximately a half hour away in Springfield, Ohio. 

One of the first places I used to go to attend transvestite or cross dresser mixers were in Columbus. It is a much larger city than Springfield plus it offered me a place to go where no one would recognize me. It was at several of those mixers I started to try to follow in the steps of the group's "A" listers. I didn't want to adopt their attitude in anyway. They were similar to the ego trips most likely seen in the cheerleaders where I went to high school. 

What I did value was the chance to go out with them after the mixers were over. I tagged along when they left most of the group at the mixer and went out to various gay and lesbian venues to party. Needless to say I learned a lot about attempting to go out in the world as a novice transvestite/cross dresser. 

As time went on, the group who staged the mixers went away and many of the "A" group who lived in the area began to meet at one of the members houses. If you are familiar with Columbus at all, the house was in a fully restored brick home in the German Village historic district. In other words, it was a great place to have a party. 

One of the benefits of tagging along with the "A" listers was my wife and I received an invite to the parties which normally happened about once a month. Since I worked in the restaurant business, Saturday nights off were difficult to come by and the rare ones I did get were cherished. As you can imagine, my wife wasn't totally on board with spending one of our rare Saturdays with a group of men in dresses. I had to mix in a powerful mixture of  persuasion mixed with pouting to get her to go. Normally me going by myself was out of the question. I wasn't trusted to be on my own in other words and she was right. 

Normally the parties featured a wonderful who's who of gender dysphoric people on a rapidly developing gender spectrum. Being transgender was still a new idea but being a transsexual wasn't. It was still during the time when transsexuals were expected to go through what then was known as sex change surgery then disappear into society. Never to be heard from again. In fact, the person who organized the parties identified as a transsexual. 

What fascinated me were the number of different individuals who attended. All the way from male admirers to transsexuals considering surgery to all the questioning people such as me. One night, a question I never considered was presented to me in a way I would have never considered.

Photo of model in mini skirt
 by Edward Howell on Unsplash

On the night in question, my wife and I had the usual fight over what I was wearing. My dress was just too short for her liking. I hate to say it but she was right and her point was proven dramatically. One admirer (or a man who admired cross dressers) was a big guy, around  six foot four and probably approximately two hundred sixty pounds. I wasn't a small person but he towered over me. 

What happened was he caught me in a hallway of the house in a position I couldn't get out of. I learned quickly how tables could be turned on women in an instant as I was trapped. About the time I was starting to panic and he was reaching for my thigh I looked up and saw my wife looking at me from down the hallway. It turned out she had let the lesson play out as far as she thought it needed to and then loudly cleared her throat. When the admirer heard it, he quickly backed off and as I said my lesson was learned. 

Of course, I had to hear about it all the way home. Partying down in "C-Bus" would never be the same again and I knew how quickly all women could be put in compromising situations they can't escape from.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Pride in January?

 Pride month for the LGBT community should be a year around celebration.  Once you reach the certain point of your life when you are comfortable as your authentic gender self, it's time to celebrate yourself.  In other words the tipping point of having total confidence in yourself. Confidence of course was the topic of a recent blog post which Paula commented on:

" Confidence is key. It took me a while to inhabit the world confidently as a woman of mature years. We missed out on a lot of the learning process, we had to compress so much into such a short time. But now, I find that I have the confidence to do things I would not have before, because I am not just confident in my femininity, but in myself. " 

As always Paula,  thanks for the relevant comment.

Pride can be expressed in many different ways. You don't have to go watch garishly dressed drag queens strut around in heels to participate in Pride. 

You can dress in your favorite jeans or leggings depending on the season or you can be the occasional cross dresser in your local bar.  The important part is you are living your life as you feel natural doing.

I know also, many of you think you are impossibly stuck in your transgender/cross dresser closet and will never escape. There was a time when I felt that too. I was just able somehow escape the tragic situation I was in and sheer destiny led me out of my closet and into a feminine world. 

I will say though I had to work very hard to put myself in a position for destiny to find me. I searched high and low on dating sites looking for someone. Either male or female to spend social time with and was a miserable failure. My Pride comes from  from finally being persistent enough to find friends such as Kim and Nikki who I met in sports bar venues and had a great time. All the while I was learning valuable lessons on how to navigate a feminine world. Then there was Liz who responded to a online dating site, saying I had sad eyes.

Along the way, being a partier didn't hurt me when I did attend various Pride events as you can see in the second picture which was taken in a very busy gay venue in downtown Cincinnati several years ago. 

To make a long story/post short, have Pride in your journey. Even though it may consist of being able to exist in a very dark closet.

You deserve it.


Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Sing Like a Bird?

 Over the years I have enjoyed hearing and watching several of my transgender and/or crossdressing acquaintances perform on stage. No matter how small the venue. Most recently before the pandemic hit the transgender - cross dresser support group my partner Liz and I are part of met to watch or perform karaoke.  A couple turned out to be amazing singers, able to look and sound the part of feminine participants.

Photo by Nikola Duza on Unsplash

Before karaoke and before I became bored with the whole drag queen scene, I used to go to the occasional drag show. In fact, Liz and I's first date was a drag show in a gay bar. Regardless of the entertainment, the date must have gone OK because we are still together  ten years later. As I wrote though, the overall scene was becoming boring to me as you can only see so many cis-gay guys attempt to mimic the same songs so often. Plus, perhaps the most important reason I was becoming bored was the further I went into living my life as a transgender woman, the less I wanted to be compared with the drag queens on the stage. The opposite was true only if the performer appeared to be impossibly feminine. Then I was envious.

Ironically, over the years, I only had the chance to participate in one "pageant". It was put on in Cleveland, Ohio by one of the earliest transvestite groups I was a member of. Since I was a seasoned radio disc jockey used to being in front of groups, I thought why not? Well, I learned quickly the "why not" was because I had no rhythm what so ever and could not financially come up with a proper pageant dress. The best I could hope for was the consolation prize I earned. My stage "career" as a transgender woman was over even though I had an acquaintance in Columbus, Ohio who tried for years to start a "all cross dressing girl band." I was so bad at mastering any kind of a musical instrument I had to turn her down.  The best that could have happened was a guest shot on the Jerry Springer Show 

I suppose I just am envious on several fronts. I know Connie is a musician and I know a couple others who are singers. I have met some rather large drag queens who could do some dramatic moves in impossibly high heels without losing their wigs. My daughter's hair solon is co owned by a gay man who can cross dress himself into a beautiful blond woman. Along the way I have been "ordered" to sing a karaoke song of my choice by a butch lesbian with a cowboy hat (another blog post.) And, maybe most notably missed out on a group of women strippers visiting a lesbian bar.

We only live once. Maybe I should relax and stop looking so hard for the next adventure. 


Sunday, January 2, 2022

Last Years Triumphs - Trans Style

 Perhaps one of the best decisions I made in 2021 was my decision to share my posts I write here in Cyrsti's Condo on a writer's publishing site called "Medium". I enjoyed the other LGBTQ writers I saw and decided to share my experiences. Even though you have to pay a minimum yearly price (fifty dollars) to be a member, I quickly recouped the money I spent by getting paid for posting on the site. As an added incentive, I was even given an award for being one of their new LGBTQ writers. 

Photo Credit: 
Cyrsti Hart 

Also I was able to make new friends such as Jen who shared her unique experiences. Here is one:

"Trans women with men? Trans women? I have live 58 years and haven't seen one transwoman anywhere any time. Till 6-7 months ago and a chance meeting across a youtuber that somehow managed to attract her attention ,and after a month of trying to track me down finally contacted me. Long story short it was love at first type. but as you say fairly often ,that's a different story. My story seems to mirror your in a lot of ways . 

Though I never married a woman and after a few sexual experiences as a teen. Having sex with another woman kind of grossed me out. These were not ugly girls that wanted me ,some were the hottest thing in school but like you I want to look like them than have ,eew sex with them , my last girlfriend was smokin hot ,i came out to her and she proceeded to out me. so I outed myself ,figured that way i could have my side told first and so I opted for the gay option over the trans , because gay you might get your teeth kicked in but you would survive. I could have been pissed my last girlfriend did that but truth be told she introduced me to my first two boyfriends. That was all the convincing I need to know it that inner voice was a bunch of horse hocky. I was 16 100lb 5'5 with hair down past my butt . My hair was long than any girl in high school , Which I dropped out to move in with my boyfriend who was 10 years older than me. My mind was on transitioning 1981. It did work out."

Thanks Jen for sharing. I am glad it all worked out for you. As I have written, I believe these days the increase in social media usage has led to an increased awareness in the availability of other transgender women and trans men. In addition, in many areas there are transgender - crossdresser groups who further the attempts of novice individuals to get out of their closets and into the world. The best example I have is the group I am part of right here in Cincinnati. For most of the year, the group hosts socials at various restaurants where novice and experienced members gather. Before I became involved with this group I felt my relationship with my partner Liz was relatively unique. She identifies as a cis woman lesbian while of course I am a transgender woman. The diversity of the group was further personified when one of the transgender women married a cis man. 

So now I think almost anything is possible. Just part of last years thoughts at the beginning of a new year. In future I will be sharing other comments from Medium.      

Thursday, December 16, 2021


 Connie wrote in and commented on the recent Cyrsti's Condo post called "Celebrity": 

Gay Bar

"I never felt as though I belonged in gay venues, nor was I even comfortable enough to even try to enjoy the experience. The last time I was at one, I had to physically fight off a large drag queen who was attempting to molest me right at my table. I was out with three cross dressers that night - none of , whom even said a word or lifted a finger to help me (their laughter just egged the drag queen on, in fact). So, that was the last time I went anywhere with cross dressers, too. 

I'm not saying that all drag queens and cross dressers are worthy of avoidance, but I am not of their mindset. I've stuck to going to more mainstream venues since then, and have been more comfortable and felt more free in doing so. Besides, there are far fewer gay venues around than there used to be (even if they may be more friendly to the T in LGBT these days)."

I agree there seem to be fewer gay venues and lesbian places have all but disappeared.  It was my experience the lesbians were for the most part passive patrons who didn't drink much. Taking up tables for card tournaments just didn't make for positive cash flow. My biggest missed opportunity in a lesbian bar came when they were expecting a group of exotic dancers to show up. I really wanted to see how that played out but they never showed. 

The only time I went out with a group of cross dressers was a night after one of the transvestite mixers I went to in Columbus, Ohio. Along the way a few of them managed to behave like a teenage drunk. Even to the point of getting all of us banned from the women's restroom. Even though I tried to distance myself from the rowdies, the damage was already done.

As far as drag queens go, I never have had any personal negative dealings with them. I just don't respond well to what I consider is a caricature of a woman. Something I have tried diligently to distance myself from. Just because an effeminate cis gay man puts on a dress and makeup doesn't mean anything to me. 

It's been years now since Liz and I have been to a gay venue. Not specifically because we were trying to avoid them, it's just because we enjoy the mainstream venues more.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021


 When I was first coming out into the world as a novice transgender woman. I did frequent several predominantly male gay venues. Both could have not been more different.

Photo Source: Cyrsti Hart
The one in my hometown was very little and contained a short bar and perhaps five or six tables in front of a stage they used for drag shows. The other was huge and was a former supper club in Dayton, Ohio called "Celebrity".  In the photo you see an overweight me on the left along with an acquaintance I made along the way.

I learned quite a bit in both venues. Both had pool (billiard) tables. It just so happened I was and still am terrible at pool. No, not just bad, terrible at pool. My Dad used to make my brother and I play it with him and literally always won. Since I always hated to lose, it followed I hated pool. 

None of that though stopped guys from urging me to shoot a game with them. It didn't take long for them to realize I wasn't kidding concerning my lack of ability and they left me alone. Except for one guy who wanted me to sit on a stool along the table and watch him play. It was very uncomfortable to balance while wearing a mini skirt, so the watching experiment didn't last long. All of this occurred after my wife had passed away. At that point I was single and had no time restraints. I suppose now, looking back at this time period of my life, I was trying to "pass" as an attractive woman in a male gay venue. Which was a contradiction in terms and/or goals. The reason being, very few cis women ever frequented gay venues so any one who resembled one was immediately labeled a drag queen. This was way before transgender women became recognized as a true part of the LGBTQ culture. 

Ironically, one of the reasons I enjoyed going to Celebrity's was being able to use the women's restroom. I mentioned before the venue was a supper club before it became a gay bar. It just happened to be the one I took my prom date to in high school. Of course, at the time I was completely envious of her being the one in the beautiful dress, with the corsage and heels. I could see no benefit of being in a tuxedo at all. At least when I went to Celebrity, I could use the same restroom she did that night. It was the only connection with prom I ever saw any positivity to at all.

I discovered also how little I enjoyed drag shows, except in a few minor cases when I made it a point to bring cash (remember that?) with me to tip the entertainers I did enjoy. Those were the ones who put together an impossibly feminine mystique.

Both of the male gay venues didn't last long with me. As I started to expand where I was going into other venues, the music and clientele just didn't fit with me. Finally I started to go to lesbian bars and even straight cis venues when I was starting to struggle to even getting served in the male bars.

All of those feelings will be written about in posts which are coming up.


Friday, December 10, 2021

More Comments on Passing

 First of all, a big WOW and thanks to all of you who took the time and effort to write in and comment on recent posts. The first  comes from Connie:

Photo courtesy Connie Malone
"So, I went out to grocery shop to get my booster vaccine. I was quite presentable in my hair, dress and makeup, and was feeling even a little pretty. At the grocery checkout, though, there was a discrepancy in the total, and it took three employees to figure it out. During their discussion, among themselves, I was referred to as "he" twice. I guess that answers any question as to my passing. It had been over two years (maybe three) since I was last mis-gendered, but the sting still hurts and kinda messes up my day. The employee who mis-gendered me had always been so friendly and accommodating in the numerous encounters we'd had in the past. 

The one thing that is common among cis people is that they don't very often give their gender much thought at all. I have been getting myself to that point, as well, but it's taken many years so far. As confident as I have become with myself, though, I guess I've not attained everything I've worked to achieve. 

The only positive here is that the hurt does not last as long as it used to. Big girl panties may not be enough; at my age, I should probably be in granny panties. I did get some redemption when the immunization coordinator at the drug store did not hesitate to check the female gender box on the form. The only bad thing about the experience there is that I ended up having a bad reaction to the booster, and I've been awfully sick for the past two days. Or, maybe it was the first experience at the grocery store that made me sick? :-("

That is unfortunate! I think sometimes when I think I am most presentable is when I let my gender guard down and cis people mis-gender me. I am a strong believer in the "aura" a person gives off in everyday life. So in situations with strangers I try to remember to input feminine on them. Seems to work for me.

The second comment comes from Emily:

"I came upon your writings through Femulate. Really appreciate your acknowledgement that some of us pass most or all of the time.

Some sites claim that is impossible which causes a turn-off for newbies. It also indicates a lack of self confidence on the part of the author and/or laziness to do the work.

Some of your other writings discuss friendships with women --I have found that most come around very quickly. Most men remain turned off"

Thanks Emily and welcome. Yes I have always thought the great majority of us can "pass" most of the time if they put a little work into doing it. What I mean is, take the time to learn a little of the feminine arts such as makeup and clothes. Maybe attempt to lose a little weight and strive for the closest possible shave. It's never easy but is worth it. Others may not take into consideration the years of error and trial which went into being where we are today. 

Photo Courtesy Paula  

The third comment comes from Paula : 

The whole question of passing will never go away. Not even just in the trans world, I hear my gay friends talking about passing as straight, and friends with Asian heritage as passing as white. Does this mean it's about claiming inherent privilege we are not entitled to?

On a personal level I am quite sure that I never pass, especially as soon as I open my mouth! Having said that the vast majority of the time I am not noticed, these days I have a self confidence I have NEVER had before, now I just go about my business as me and nobody notices. I fear it is when we try too hard that we get noticed and give ourselves away. It is only when I glam up that people notice, that I start to get the comment like "You've got great legs" with the unspoken "for a man".

I suspect that the situation may be different here in the UK with very many staying with support groups long after their own transition, It is a sorrow to me that I will be missing two meetings in a row due to other, work commitments.

Thanks to you Paula. I agree once you can get to the point of being able to just live your life as your authentic self, most of the other pieces of the gender puzzle come together. Which could be a topic for another post!

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

The A List

 As I was writing this post I considered calling it the "Alpha Female" At any rate, the whole post goes back to my earliest remembrances of coming out and interacting with like minded cross dressers. Or at least I thought they were. 

What I naively thought was all sp called hetero cross dressers would be one big happy family, happy to mingle with others in their feminine finery. I was in for a rude awakening. 

First of all, there were what I call now the "deniers" . I saw guys in dresses and heels topped off with a cigar (before it was cool) and a cowboy hat. They were doing their best to dissuade anyone they were fond of their feminine selves. I learned quickly I didn't fit in with their group. I was serious in putting my best foot forward. Normally in heels back in those days. More on that later.

In the meantime, I was fascinated with the other attendees to the "mixer". The group ranged from the cowboy hats (not Urban Cowboy) types all the way to impossibly feminine types who I didn't detect any masculinity in at all. Ironically, even though I am impossibly shy around people I don't know, I didn't feel I really fit in with any of the small groups I was observing. Except for possibly one.

The group I didn't mention was who I call the "A Listers". Or they considered themselves to be the best in looks and the best in social activities in the group. While the majority of the group stayed huddled in the hotel, the "A's" went out to gay venues to entertain themselves. Even though I didn't perceive myself to be their equal in appearance, I certainly wanted to tag along when they went out. I was determined even back in those days to allow my feminine self to sample the world whenever I could. So I did.

For the most part, excuse the term, they were bitches and didn't accept me much but I didn't care. I was there for me, not them.

Ironically all of my tagging along worked one night. Earlier in the evening the main group brought in makeup experts for advice to anyone who wanted it. I through my makeup to the wind, pulled up my big girl panties and volunteered. The guy who worked on my looks performed wonders! Easily he did much better than I could have ever imagined. I thought now, bring on the "A's".

It turned out I tagged along per norm to the first gay venue we always went to then, even went to a second. The second place was more subdued and was more like the neighborhood taverns I was used to. As the "A's" positioned themselves at the bar, I headed for the pinball machines. As luck would have it, It was time for Cinderella to turn in her heels and head back to the hotel. 

Before we left though, a guy approached me at the pin ball game and asked if he could buy me a drink. I ended up telling him no but the "A's" noticed and that was important too. I was accepted by at least one of them for the very few times I could attend another mixer in the future. I ended up attending several parties at her house in Columbus, Ohio. Most of which with my wife so she kept track of me. All material for another blog post.

It is important to say I never felt a part of the "A's" and as time progressed I learned why. The so called LGBTQ community doesn't have much to do with the transgender part of group. In fact I learned the hard way how many of the trans group have a hard time dealing with each other.  Indeed we are a multi faceted group.

One thing is for sure all these years later, I just couldn't fit in with the "A's" and it's one of the reasons I try to be accepting of both cross dressers as well as trans women.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Another Transgender Crush


A central figure in many episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Carmen Carrera first appeared on the show in its third season, and was the second contestant in the show’s history to rejoin the cast after being eliminated. 

She also appeared as a drag “professor” in the spinoff series RuPaul’s Drag U. Carrerra presented as male during the third season of Drag Race, and came out as a trans woman the following year, in 2012. 

Since then, she has appeared in many magazines, including the cover for the fifth anniversary edition of Candy, and is involved with AIDS activism and advocacy.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Being Gender Fluid

 On occasion I feel as if the term "gender fluid" is a relatively new term. In fact those of us in the more mature age range remember when transvestite was one of the only words we could use to describe ourselves except maybe cross dresser. Then, along the way, the transvestite term was shortened to "tr_nny" which became a gender slur in some parts of the world. 

The reason I bring up the gender fluid term in today's post is I heard it re
cently from an eleven year old person on national television. They said they didn't know what gender they were. I quickly flashed back to my youth and knew I felt the same way. In fact, I have written extensively in the past the number of mornings I woke up not wanting to be a boy anymore. On the other hand when I was successful doing "boy" things I enjoyed it. Definitely gender dysphoria at it's most severe. From a time before gender dysphoria was even a term. Plus, I can't even imagine having such an understanding and supportive set of parents.

As I grew, served my time in college and the Army I prefer to think I "grew" into the transgender term too and out of being gender fluid. Once I experienced being around other so called heterosexual cross dressers, I learned there was a whole other level of individuals who loosely identified as transvestites. These persons were the impossibly feminine visitors to the mixers I went to. They just didn't fit. Somehow they were out of place.

Soon I discovered I felt out of place too. I certainly didn't fit in with the ultra masculine men in a dress crowd and barely tried to hang out with the "A" listers as I called them. I tagged along on the adventures they embarked on after the regular meet ups. I discovered a wonderful world of gay clubs along with the chance to live my life as a feminine being.

All of this decidedly terminated any chance of my gender fluid tendencies but not quite. Even though being feminine felt so natural, going out with friends cross dressed as a man felt good on occasion also. I guess you could say any traces of gender fluidity for me was becoming toxic.    

Finally, I couldn't take it any longer and took advantage of several drastic changes in my life. I put my suicide attempts behind me and started hormone replacement therapy. Which once and for all forced my male self into his closet.

It also ended any lingering ideas of being gender fluid. 

Sunday, August 15, 2021

I Escaped!

Summer Maxi.
Credit Cyrsti's Condo

 For some reason the heat and humidity all went down here in Southwestern Ohio yesterday, just in time for a shopping day out Liz and I had scheduled with a friend of ours who happens to be gay. Similar to Liz, he is heavily into the Wiccan and Pagan culture. 

When meeting someone new in person, my gender dysphoria always kicks in until I can look someone in the eye for a reaction. In yesterdays case, I saw the briefest realization (I thought) of my transgender status but no negative reactions. 

Ultimately there were two stores we were heading to. The first was staffed by two clerks who paid me no mind as I wandered aimlessly about. Finally I took a spare seat to save my back as I waited for the other two to shop. I was in the market for a pair of ear rings but the prices were too steep for me. The only point of interest for me was a mirror in front of the jewelry. I couldn't resist and took a quick look at what I could see of my image. I was so excited to see a distinctly feminine figure looking back at me. Plus, I was wearing my form fitting ribbed tank top along with my flared distressed jeans. All of which gives me the image of having more pronounced hips than I have. 

Then again too, the diet is working. Over the past three plus weeks I have lost (or released as they said) nearly 14 pounds. The ego trip passed quickly and soon we were off to the second shop which turned out to be close to an hour away in crummy traffic.

In direct difference to the first shop, the second one was much more reasonably priced than the first and was operated by two gay men. One was very sociable and even welcomed us at the door. I purchased a couple of inexpensive rings as well as a crystal necklace. There were no mirrors to distract me and, as I said was welcomed warmly. 

All too often, the afternoon was over and even though I was hoping for a lunch stop. We decided to head on home and eat.   

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

It's Pride Month

Just more Drag Queens
 June is LGBTQ Pride Month. Of course (per norm) I watched the local morning news  and almost the first story I saw was promoting two of the local Pride activities coming up this weekend. This year, the biggest local event (Cincinnati) was again canceled due due pandemic considerations. Even still, the television station used old footage of drag queens' in convertibles for the story. Which leads me to this:

One of my biggest problems with the various events is the number of drag queens which are featured. 

My dislike for all the attention drag queens garner goes all the way back to my earliest days of  coming out into a feminine world. A world I desperately wanted to succeed in. The mistake I made was going to male gay venues...places which were nearly impossible to exist in as a novice transgender woman. I ultimately learned  I could be accepted much more easily in straight venues.  At the same time, I began to grow bored of the same drag queens performing the same songs. 

All of this brings me back to Pride. My earliest trips to Prides were immersed in the usual garishly dressed queens followed close by by cross dressers teetering by in their high heels and tight dresses. Very little appealed to me. I will say though, as the years have gone by, I have noticed more and more transgender women and men enjoying the day. 

Interestingly, the Trans Ohio organizers who are hell bent to put on a virtual event of their own, have a whole other take on why Pride does not represent trans people as a whole. Their take is the money these big Pride events bring in.  The big corporations who are lining up as sponsors are spending money in the wrong areas to truly help the immensely needy segments of the LGBT community. Too much of the money goes to support the event itself or back to the cis male gay groups whole are already doing well in the financial areas.

At any rate, Liz and I can't attend any of the regional Prides this year for several reasons and even though I don't like the attention the queens get, I still like to "people watch" the rest of the crowd. 

Friday, March 12, 2021


 Unfortunately, too many transgender women and/or trans men are very lonely. Along the way on our transgender path we face obstacles from family and spouses which causes us to break up relationships. Also, transitioning later in life adds to the pressure of restarting our lives as another gender. So many  transgender women  face the daunting task of overcoming years and years of testosterone poisoning. All of a sudden, the bodies which have served us so well (even though we hated them) are no longer wanted or needed.

I started my search to gender transition in my early sixties after putting myself through an intense process to determine if I really wanted to undertake such a  serious project. I have always believed changing genders is one of the most difficult and/or painful undertakings a human can attempt. 

As I explored the feminine world, the more natural I became and I decided to move forward into what I referred to as the high maintenance gender. More than likely I was fortunate in that I was on the cusp of being able to pass in the world.

After a painful period when I tried to live a dual gender life, which ultimately led me to a suicide attempt, I decided enough was enough and I left my male self behind. Then I jumped off the deep end and started hormone replacement therapy.

All of this brings me back to my attraction topic. As I transitioned, I was very lonely too. Not to mention confused. Was I supposed to reject a lifetime of being attracted to women and switch to men? The answer came quickly for me as I explored several dating sites and continued my routine of going out to non gay venues. Even though I did have several interactions with men, for the most part either stood up by guys or treated as sort of a curiosity. 

On the other hand, I found many more women were attracted to me in my new gender than ever were when I was a man. Ironically, it was two lesbians who helped usher me into the feminine world and another lesbian who I still live with nine years later. 

As I indicated, I was fortunate for  the wrong reasons. For instance, I was so lonely because my wife of twenty five years passed away very suddenly. So I had no disapproving spouse to worry about.  I was on my own.

Over the years, I have been asked how I rebounded to where I am today. The answer is I flooded the dating sites and kept on trying. I had my fair share of trash as I would change my profile from seeking men to seeking women as a transgender person. Finally I hit pay dirt and was rewarded with another relationship I never thought I would be part of again this late in life. (71)

I am also on occasion slightly amused by the transgender women  who are looking for a "good man" not realizing they are in competition with the majority of all cis women in society. 

Indeed, attraction is a fickle beast, especially when it involves transgender humans.   

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Life is too Short

 I was shocked recently to learn of the unexpected passing of Jerry Mallicoat. I know most of you have probably never heard of him and up until fairly recently I hadn't either. 

It wasn't so long ago though he reached out to me to work on the Elderly Alliance LGBT Board of Greater Dayton, Ohio. He was also instrumental in me receiving the LGBT Veterans award. 

Jerry was happily married to John and they lived together in Dayton.

I was fortunate to have been able to participate in several of Jerry's seminars on LGBT aging. I was pleasantly surprised how well he was able to explain the differences between transgender seniors in relation to lesbian, gay or even drag queen individuals. Jerry went out of his way to explain why RuPaul was in no way ever a woman. 

This short blip comes from NBC News a year or so ago:

"Jerry Mallicoat, 58,  fought for LGBTQ rights in Ohio his entire adult life. Now, he’s helping LGBTQ elders lead active and fulfilled lives.

Mallicoat co-founded Rainbow Elder Care of Greater Dayton, which provides advocacy, educational resources, support and referral services to the elder lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community."

It seems too little to say but Jerry's very sudden passing proves life is too short and you should do your best to make a difference like he did. 

Rest in power Jerry, you did a great job in life. 

Friday, January 8, 2021

Yet Another Transgender Reveal

 Fashion designer Saisha Shinde has announced she is transgender. She shared the news in a statement on Instagram writing,

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Say What?

 Somewhere in the past I remember hearing that any publicity is good publicity. Most certainly the idea is not true when it comes to the transgender community. I was going to add the entire LGBT community into the idea but decided not to. After all most of them decide to ignore the trans part of the gay, lesbian and bisexual communities until they suddenly need us for something. In fact, I don't know how we began to be included in the first place. It probably came from the days when cross dressers and transgender women went to gay bars for "safety."

Then again, there are the lingering affects of the Jerry Springer type shows which did damage to an already fragile transgender image.

This quote which comes from "The Age" in Australia sums up to a differing degree what trans folks are facing now with the seemingly flood of new transgender stories:

"  We trans people are endlessly spoken about, as though we were children or animals rather than fully-fledged humans expert on our own lives. The ‘trans issue’ is reduced to what cisgender people feel about transness, leaving little room for trans knowledge and experience. This is similar to the centering of white people – at the expense of Indigenous and Black voices – that too often characterizes conversations about race. Again and again, discourse about marginalized communities remains dominated by the instigators of that marginality.

It’s not that cis people can’t be useful trans allies; cis folks can and do use their platforms to advocate for trans rights. This is valuable work. The problem comes when cis voices become a deafening chorus that drown out trans perspectives."

Ironically, other problems can occur when a transgender person becomes too comfortable and decides to for all intents and purposes goes stealth. Every voice in the chorus is needed to present the trans perspective.

After all, we worked so very hard to arrive at the place we are. 

Thursday, December 3, 2020

A "Passing" Game

 If you follow American professional football at all, you probably have heard of the frustrations over the years from the hapless Cincinnati Bengals. This year, once we drafted Joe Burrow our passing game dramatically improved until he suffered a major injury and is out for the remainder of the year. In other words, their "passing game" went away.

The same can happen to transgender women as they work their way through life. Early in my life, as a prolific cross dresser, I had various levels of success and failure when it came to my appearance. When I came out as a transgender woman in my sixties, I relied on any natural success I acquired cross dressing along with the changes brought along by hormone replacement therapy to mostly succeed at presenting as a transgender woman.  

Along the way, I received several comments on the passing post. Ironically, the last thing I wanted to do was try to fish for compliments on whether I passed or not. At this point in my life I am way past all of that. If I can't get by in the world the way I am now, I never will.

As a change of pace in this post, I have decided to pass (no pun intended) along a couple comments.

The first is from Connie:

 Gee, the way you started this post, I thought you were referring to a Hail Mary Pass. ;-) Self-deprecation does not become you, sweety.

If one looks at passing as a last-ditch effort or a win/lose proposition, it rarely works out favorably. Desperation is more telling than one's actual physical presentation. In continuing the football metaphor, I am a Seahawk fan who has learned that attempting to force a pass (as in a certain now-infamous Superbowl play) can lead to disaster. :-)"

If you don't know, the Seahawks were basically on the goal line attempting to score the winning touchdown with time running out. They pulled a Bengals and tried a pass which was intercepted in the end zone as time ran out. No "passing privilege" for them!

And now, here is another comment from Emma Gray:

"I love your self-description of yourself: "a woman of transgender experience." I use that a lot for myself too.

As for "passing": I know it's the common lingo and although I've tried I haven't come up with an alternative. The thing is, I don't care for that word because it implies that I'm like a secret agent, passing within society for something I am not. I thus worry that it could reinforce unsupportive cis people's ignorance. Anyway...

I also like Rachell Brindell's quote. I've wondered that myself, for me, but especially for trans children who are increasingly being raised with pubertal hormone treatment that supports their authentic gender. So, they won't be identified as trans until and unless they disclose. I suppose there will always be post-pubertal transitioners so we won't disappear per se.

Then again, it seems to me that gay people are not nearly as identifiable as they were in the 70s and 80s when they needed to establish pride, self-esteem, and community identification.

The worst situation IMHO is for non-binary (NB) people. My therapist is AFAB NB. Visibly feminine, they are consistently triggered by well-meaning people using the wrong pronouns and gender for them. And there's nothing they can do. Should they wear a sign? I certainly don't think so as it brings the Nazi treatment of Jews to mind.

Anyway, being identified as a woman without qualifying adjectives is delightful isn't it!"

It is indeed! I look at it as a payback for the years of harassment I went through! Thank you all.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Good News...Almost

This holiday season, for the first time ever, LGBTQ characters are beginning to show up in made for television movies on major networks such as the "Hallmark Channel." Overall, seven were mentioned in the post I read. The photo below comes from the "Christmas House." 

That's all well and good as the "G" is featured as a subplot in the show, the "T" in all the shows featured for their diversity, only one had a transgender character, Candis Cayne..  (below). It's called "I Hate New Years"

I suppose it is a start. Of more interest to the transgender community would be a story of how a trans character gathered her courage and came out to her family during a holiday family get together. My confession is I never had the courage to do it. When I told my brother and sister in law who inherited the annual dinner by default when my wife died about me being transgender, they basically told me not to come as my true self. That was it, I haven't seen them since. On the other hand, here is Connie's experience:

" It was a Thanksgiving Day, more than a few years ago, that I made my physical appearance as my true self to my family. My "secret" had long been let out by that time, but it was also past time that I should have normalized myself to those most dear to me. For myself, it had become abnormal to keep my female and male selves separate - because they had actually become melded into the person I am. As normal as I felt my womanhood was to me, it would never be normalized until it could be perceived as normal by others - especially by my family. While it is one of the regrets I have that I never made an attempt to normalize the relationship with my mother as her daughter, it was my desire to not have further regrets, after her death, that I felt the need to be completely open with the rest of my family."

Thanks for the comment! 

Maybe next year, The Hallmark Channel will feature a story like Connie and my story will be much different.  The "T" will be better represented in the LGBTQ community.

Friday, November 20, 2020

The Aging Summit

 Three days of this week I was involved in watching and learning from the LGBT Aging Summit which was held virtually this year.

After I finally received the proper link to sign in, I had missed the keynote speech from an acquaintance of mine...a transgender woman of color. I did however after a fair amount of prodding, made it in for the next webinar on the current state of LGBT elderly residents when they come to the point of needing assisted care living. I wish I could write something positive about the prognosis but I can't. At least, here in Ohio, the current laws do nothing to protect elderly LGBT women and men from possible abuse. 

Imagine for a second if you were in a nursing home and a "well meaning" subordinate begins to show up in your room with a bible and explains she or he is giving you time to repent before it is too late. Or when you begin to be ostracized by the other residents. 

As you can tell, nothing in the webinar gave me much hope for the future except for the people involved who were involved in positive changes. 

The second webinar I "attended" was actually a viewing of the documentary "Gen Silent." It's actually a decade old now and includes looks at the lives of a transgender woman slowly dying of lung cancer, an elderly lesbian couple who describe the early days of navigating life together in Boston, as well as a gay couple which features one in an assisted living situation with dementia. 

By now, you understand the documentary didn't provide much joy and happiness for the future. Especially for me because my Dad passed on from dementia. It was hell.

Perhaps the biggest problem is, things haven't changed that much for the LGBT community over the past decade when it comes to aging. We need all the advocates we can get!

After watching "Gen Silent" I felt extremely blessed to be in a relationship with my partner Liz. The transgender woman who was passing away was sadly dying alone after being shunned by most of her family. 

If you decide to follow the link and watch "Gen Silent" you may want to have some tissues handy.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Why Are Men Scared of Women?

 It's easier to say why are men so scared of transgender women but it goes so far past all of that. 

To begin with, many men have a frail grasp on their sexuality. Trans women represent the idea to men they may be gay. Plus, since we have spent time on their side of the gender spectrum, we may know more of the so called "tricks" they pull. The farther I transitioned, the more I wondered if I was as transparent in my dealings with women as men were being with me. I found out quite early in my transition how to "dumb" myself down if I was talking about a sports topic with a man. 

Men have a much narrower social structure than women. While women are building their lives around children they have and a man they love, men are building their lives around power structures such as money, sports etc.  All too often, a woman is looked upon as an acquisition of sorts. She must look nice in a car or on the back of a motorcycle. Then in mid life, women can be cast aside for a "new model."

Rather if it evident or not, men know women ultimately hold all the cards. Women have the children and potentially have the ability to live longer. Recently, more and more "glass" ceilings have been shattered. Including in previously male dominated areas such as sports. 

In baseball, the Marlins announced Kim Ng would be the first woman to lead a professional baseball team and more and more in football you are seeing female officials on the field. Then several years ago there was Patti Dawn Swansson, below the Canadian sports writer who transitioned on the job in Winnipeg (Thanks Bobbi). 

Unfortunately, many men are violent humans as cis women learn early in life which effects transgender women as we transition. Shielding ourselves from violent men is a priority when it comes to losing a big part of your male privilege. It's tragic when you consider all the trans lives which are lost each year due to senseless murders. Deep down, the men are threatened by the sexual control women, cis or transgender, have on them.

Finally, men at all levels of society have had to adjust to the push of women to succeed. Sowing the seeds of insecurity. With insecurity comes fear.