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

Friday, January 21, 2022

There is a World Out There.

Amazingly, my partner Liz got off of work at the right time. A time which gave us plenty of chance to get ready and actually could go to one of the cross dresser - transgender socials which have literally been scheduled for years. 

Photo Courtesy Cyrsti Hart 

I was surprised Liz wanted to go because  of the ongoing Covid threat and the fact the temperatures were in the teens (F). But she did, I jumped at the opportunity to get out of the house. Plus we have both been fully vaccinated and even had our boosters. So, I was excited! Two days in a row out of the house. 

After I found out I was going out, then I had to figure out what I was going to wear. I went with my normal fuzzy green scalloped sweater which extends down over my newly forming hips and in addition, is very warm. I wore the sweater with my black leggings and charcoal gray boots. After adding a light layer of eye makeup and lipstick, I brushed back and clipped my hair and was ready to go. 

Once we arrived, the "group" turned out to be just two other transgender women. Without being too blunt, the two women had social skills which was great.  Of course much of the conversation revolved around the coming out process and family Since most of my family (Liz) was there, it was easy to refer to her as being the main reason my MtF gender transition was as easy as it was. 

Along the way we also chatted about the influence our families had once we had come out. It turns out most all of us had lost a significant number of persons in our life (to death) and had a clean slate to start all over again. As Liz puts it, rarely does a human being have a chance at a "do over" so don't screw it up.  

Ironically, one of the other trans women who came has a transgender sister. It turned out also, all had accepting children  and the only person who had a parent who was still alive was accepting too. 

The nice thing about having a small group to me was the communication was better and I could even hear everyone at the table. 

It turned out also I ordered the Meatloaf not knowing the musical artist of the same name had passed away. Now I can eat a wonderful cold meatloaf sandwich in his honor.

Hopefully, it won't be as long again until we can get out of the house again as I enjoyed last night so much. Plus it was good to be around transgender women who all had positive stories. Perhaps the world out there is changing for the best. 

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Sometimes it Works

 On exceedingly rare occasions when I get up in the morning and look in the mirror it screams woman. Most of the time though, the opposite is true. In fact what I think is not printable. 

Yesterday was one of those rare days when the mirror said, I was doing the right things in the gender department to live easily in a feminine world. Of course I was dubious because the mirror has lied so many times to me in the past.

Plus, recently I have been so secluded from the world. who would know anyhow?  Because he was vaccinated Liz's son had a mild case of the Covid virus and came out of it fine. So after he served his time in quarantine, he was finally free to buy another car. That's where I came in. Since he hadn't much knowledge in the car buying world, Liz wanted me to go with him. As much as I am far from being a used car expert, I'm not sure I wanted to go at all. 

To make a long story short, I went and with no pressure (ha) agreed with Liz's son the car would be OK to purchase. I also was pleasantly surprised when the gruff looking man who sold him the car was nice to me. Maybe the mirror didn't lie to me after all. Maybe I had reached gender nirvana and I could finally take the trans out of my trans woman description. I know what you are thinking and I agree. He was being nice because he wanted to sell the car. 


In the end run, it didn't matter. The car was purchased and I had escaped yet another gender meeting I preferred not to do unscathed. Someday I will learn men in that kind of situation have a tendency to ignore women anyhow. Unless they want something. I hate to think I would be taken advantage of though. Just because of my gender. Just one of the problems of losing male privileges'. Or don't try to "mansplain" to me why a car "works". 

 Whatever it was, the guy gave me a shy wave and a grin . I hope all he saw was a woman  accompanying her son on a car buying adventure.

Who knows? The guy at the car place got his money, Liz's son got his car and in a off the wall way I got my chance to again conquer the world as a woman. 

Maybe I should relax and take mansplaining as yet another step I have to negotiate the feminine world. On the other hand, the whole process infuriates me as it negates  much of my life's experiences. What would my mirror say? Very simply, this is what you asked for and worked so long to achieve. And, as I was told so long ago, there was so much more to a woman's life than being the "pretty pretty princess."

Sometimes a plan comes together and it does work. 

Monday, January 17, 2022

Another View

 The more I write about or feature other comments concerning attending sporting events as a transgender woman here on the blog, the more ideas I receive. Which is wonderful. The latest comes from Paula who puts together the Paula 's Place Blog:

Pride Photo Courtesy Paula

"
Here in the UK the crowds at different sports have very different characters. ON Saturday I watched my old Rugby club win an important league game, I may have caused a little confusion but everyone was very accepting and friendly, 

I recently watched an professional American Football game at Wembley, this is a vast stadium, but was very far from full, there was a great atmosphere, and everyone was happy chatting to their neighbours (I was surprised how little time they actually spent playing football though). 

At a Cricket match I think much depends where you sit, I usually manage a seat in the clubhouse as my Brother is a member of our County Club. On the other hand there is no way on God's earth that you would get me to go to a pro football (soccer) game. The crowds there are tribally partisan, and within the game there are still major problems with racism and homophobia, I just wouldn't risk it."

Self admittedly, I am not very familiar with Cricket or even Rugby but I do know enough about the European brand of pro soccer to very much agree. In fact. a few of the major sports bars feature the matches when they happen to time up correctly. Regardless, I can understand your point. 

Way back in the day during my novice transgender trips into the world. I stood the chance of being harassed when I would go to watch the games. Mainly if I tried to use the women's rest room. Which I always did anyhow. Of course all of that began to change when I started to build up my own circle of women friends who were happy to watch the games with me. There is nothing as protective as a supportive group around you. I always point out too they were lesbians so there was very little outside interaction with men at all. It all taught me I didn't need male validation to confirm my femininity. I was able to build my own personality doing what I liked in a circle of women. Since I had always struggled to establish close bonds with other men anyhow as I was attempting to exist as a man, the entire process felt so natural and at times easy. 

Thank you Paula for the insight to sporting events in the UK. Yes it is true how little time a football team uses to actually play the game. After all they have to sell commercials.

If you are considering a gender change and you love sports, I would encourage you to do it. Just be aware of your surroundings and venue. An untimely police visit can ruin your evening. Been there, done it.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Sports Crazy

 Recently I wrote a post called "Baggage" which questioned my desire to bring my love of sports with me as I transitioned into my life as a full time transgender woman. To make a long story or post short I concluded I could because as I looked around I discovered many other cis women who follow sports. I was thrilled when I found several other women friends who I could share a game in a sports bar with, along with a beer (or two, or three...) 

Photo courtesy of Paula
I also received a couple of other comments from regular readers who shared their sporting experiences. The first is from Paula in the UK:

"My sporting passion is Rugby, I used to play before there was a women's game, so when I start pontificating about a game I often get the "what do you know about it anyway" attitude from guys. Sometimes I fail to resist the temptation to tell them I played in the front row for nearly 30 years!

I've only been to a couple of big games since transitioning, one of the joys is these are at least one of the rare occasions when I'm not the one queuing up for the loo!"

The second comes from Connie :

"I’ve not changed my lifestyle much, at all, since the onset of my transition. I enjoy sports, just as I always have, and I’m not ashamed of sharing my sports knowledge with anybody. There are plenty of women who know more than I do, so I don’t feel any less feminine for sharing what I know. I do, however, usually refrain from adding my war stories from playing high school football to the discussion (even if they might be perceived to be first-hand expertise on the subject at hand). I don’t enter into these discussions in a competitive way, as I might have done in the past. I’m so relieved that I’m not expected to prove myself on such matters these days.

Photo Courtesy Connie Malone

My wife had grown to enjoy sports over the years, and so we continue to watch football and baseball together. I’ve even enjoyed watching figure skating with her without feigning disinterest (as I used to do). I always get a little chuckle, recalling my official “coming out” to her:

My dysphoria had gotten the best of me, and I’d reached the point of finding my male life intolerable. I had locked myself in my basement office for two full days, and my wife had had enough of it. She left the house that Saturday morning, and, having heard her go out the door, I felt it safe to come out from hiding. The letter she’d left for me on the kitchen counter was an ultimatum, and I knew that I had to finally confront her. She knew what I had been doing (cross dressing), but she didn’t understand anything about it (I can tell you that explaining the X’s and O’s of football is easier than explaining the XX and XY of gender identity). So, I responded to her letter with a short note stating that I could only be completely honest with her, and that I had to do so as the woman she’d never seen or met. I then went about the business of cleaning myself up as preparation for her return home (she hadn’t taken the large suitcase, so I knew she’d be back before the weekend was over).


When my wife came home on Sunday afternoon, I was in the bathroom finishing my makeup. After she’d read my note, she asked me, through the door, if I was coming out of the bathroom soon. I said back that I would be out soon, and asked if it were OK that I did so in complete honesty. She answered, “Yes,” and then turned the TV on to watch the NFL playoff game. When I appeared to her, it was as if nothing was really different. I knew that she was playing it cool, and she wasn’t about to give me the satisfaction of receiving a big reaction to my big reveal. As I began to try to explain myself, she seemed to be distracted by the game on the TV. I finally said that I would just wait until half-time to try to talk to her, since the game seemed to be more interesting than what I had to say (a little passive-aggressive on both our parts). I then proceeded to prepare some nachos and a batch of Margaritas. By the time the second half of the game began, I’d made her understand that I had to live as a woman, and that I would never hide from her again. She made it clear to me that she was not a Lesbian. Then we both enjoyed the game together, just as we always had done before. I think that the Margaritas helped a lot, even if the second blender-full didn’t lead to a sexual encounter (as it might well have done in the past). :-)"

Thank you both for the enlightening comments! As I have written about in the past, and will in the future my very scary yet thrilling trip to a Monday night pro football game here in Cincinnati as a woman. Since enthusiasm is building to a fever pitch around here for the big Bengals/Raiders pro football Saturday, I have decided to save the post as we get closer to the game on Saturday.   


 

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

It's "Patch" Day

Twice a week I apply new synthetic estrogen patches which help me to match up my exterior with my feminine interior.

 Approximately eight years ago I started my transgender transition journey very seriously by being able to begin hormone replacement therapy. Even though I was still living part time in both binary genders. Specifically, I was attempting to balance my old life as a man with my new life as a woman. Needless to say the entire process was very difficult for me and led to many other problems. I was miserable. Deep down I knew the answer was I couldn't continue to live as a man any longer. Finally I faced reality and sought out medical help to start my hormonal journey.


As I write this post, or any others on HRT I urge anyone and everyone to seek medical advice to make sure you are healthy enough to do it. 

Of course I had many questions I attempted to have answered as I started my journey. I learned of a nearby doctor in Dayton, Ohio who would prescribe hormones, was accepting new patients and didn't require a therapists' approval. I made an appointment and nervously showed up in the office.

Very soon I had a prescription for the minimum dosages of Estradiol and Spironolactone which would inhibit my testosterone. As I remember, the only real advice the doctor had for me was I would grow breasts, my hair would grow on my head and my sex drive would go away. I accepted all of that and off I went to the pharmacy. I think now I was more nervous in the pharmacy than the doctors office. Especially after the one time the pharmacist made it a point to loudly point out did I know what taking Estradiol would do to my body. Regardless of her transphobic mini rant, at that point of time I didn't fully understand all of the changes which were coming.

The biggest change came when the Veteran's Administration announced it would begin helpomg veterans with their HRT needs. Since I am a veteran and use VA health, I researched what I had to do to qualify for the program. Even though I disagreed in principal, I had to go through a VA therapist to be initially approved. I was fortunate. My assigned therapist had a knowledge of  transgender issues and we are still together today. From that point forward I was able to purchase my meds through the VA and save money.

Since I was on a minimum dosage my changes were supposed to me minimum too. Except they weren't, for the most part. Very quickly it seemed I was developing very feminine breasts, my body hair was thinning and yes the hair on my head really started to grow. It was time to quit wearing all my old guy clothes and start my life as a fulltime transgender woman which I was so ready to do. Except it was still so scary. You know what is said about the unknown.

As I fast forward till today, my experience with HRT has been a magic carpet ride. Over the years, my world has developed into a much softer place. Sure my breats have developed too as well as my skin has softened. I am more emotional and have a tendency to cry even when I am happy.

Overall, it's been a fun journey I have been blessed to take. I used to think my bi-polar meds were the most important meds I take to maintain who I am. 

Now I think it's the Estradiol.

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Dreams

 I have been curious, as I add to the years I have lived as my authentic self , how long would/will it take for my dreams to switch over to being exclusively feminine in nature.  Right now nearly all of my dreams are from my male past.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

I guess living nearly sixty years struggling to live in a male world completely imprinted my subconscious. As much as I dislike it, I seem to bypass the times I spent with my first wife (seven years) and current partner of ten years and go straight to my deceased wife of twenty five years. 

As much as I feel frustrated my dreams are still masculine in nature, obviously it seems there is nothing I can do to flip the switch and be feminine. Perhaps as time goes by and I compile more experiences as a transgender woman, all of this will change. 

I also know in the scope of life, dreams are less of a priority. Just getting by in the world is just more important. 

For example, today Liz and I have several errands to run including her getting a booster vaccine.  It would be a poor time to get harassed over living as my authentic gender. Since I will be wearing a mask, chances are slim. 

Speaking or writing about Liz, she is more of a believer in the power of dreams. So I asked her what she thought of my dreams. She said several things. The first suggestion was did I have specific dreams of being a guy or was I dreaming of being in a male environment. An example would be the time I spent in Army basic training. I rarely if ever dream of being back in basic, instead I dream of re-enlisting. Over and over again.

The second point she brought up was how early in life we become gender objects. In other words, the time our parents begin to make sure they pound us into gender stereotypes. Transgender women and men are unlucky enough to be round pegs pounded into square holes. This process can affect us for life. Including our dreams. 

Finally Liz said I could shape my dreams by training my mind before I went to sleep by thinking feminine thoughts. Of course, as she told me all of this, she couldn't help but tell me when I sleep with the television on (which I do) does me no good. She didn't think I had anything to worry about.

Now I can focus on the present, not the past.


Thursday, January 6, 2022

Gender Baggage

 It's no real secret we transgender women and men carry a ton of baggage with us as we cross the gender frontier. Even though the amount of baggage we carry varies, we all seemingly have our share to bring along. 

Photo by Caroline Selfors on Unsplash

The older we are, perhaps the more baggage we have to bring along. In many cases we have years of building families, jobs, friends and lives in general to deal with as we transition. 

By the time I was able to transition I could cross a couple of the items off the list.   First of all, at my age nearly all of the few close male friends I had passed away. Secondly I was newly single and of the age I could consider an early Social Security retirement. Finally, my family was mostly distant and really only consisted of my daughter and brother. 

Tragically as I look back I wonder how much life I lost by not embracing my gender dysphoria and doing something about it. My excuse is my fear of transitioning held me back and I tried to not get close to many in the outside world.  After all I didn't know how many would accept the true me.

Years later, as I began to transition in earnest, I learned most of my fears were not grounded in reality. Looking on the bright side, I found I was presented with another opportunity to rebuild myself...from scratch. An opportunity many humans never have. As I was approaching my new gender challenge I learned I was experiencing a true void. The biggest example was my love of sports. How was I ever going to watch and enjoy sports again. My stereotypical brain told me cis women just didn't delve into sports as much as I did. Plus on the rare occasions I encountered a man who wanted to talk sports, I would have to "dumb" myself down and act as if I knew very little.

What really happened was I found three cis women who shared my passion for sports. All of a sudden we began to gather in big sports bars to watch key games. We even went to a women's roller derby event in Cincinnati. The biggest thrill (and scariest) was when I was invited along to a pro football game which I will go into in another post. 

All of a sudden I was just one of the girls and since two of the others were very outgoing I didn't have to worry about interacting with any men. The guys always took aim for them.

As you can tell, I was fortunate when I transitioned. I brought my love of sports with me and was able to shed most of my old male baggage. I give credit to my hormone replacement therapy also as the world seemed to soften around me. 

Whatever the case I was able to pick and choose what I wanted to keep in my new feminine life and move forward in life. The whole process leaves me wondering why I waited so long to do it. Which is also a topic for another post.  

Monday, January 3, 2022

Welcome

 Just a quick post to welcome a fellow blogger I happened to meet om Facebook last night. 

Photo Courtesy 
A Woman Called Sophie 

  Her blog is called "A Woman Called Sophie". Even though you wouldn't know it from most of her  posts, she is actually an accomplished transgender woman who is perusing her PHD  Degree from Penn State. 

You can follow the link on the blog here to her posts. 

Also if you have a blog and want to share links, just let me know in the comments section.

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.      




Saturday, January 1, 2022

A New Year?

 2022 is here and once again it's time to consider coming up with resolutions. I say consider because I have in the past not really believed in resolutions. Perhaps the closest I have come to having a resolution for a new years was when I started hormone replacement therapy eight years ago. Back in those days I was on pills so my partner Liz and I went to a special venue I liked and I took my first doses of estradiol and spiro which helped to suppress my testosterone which was on the decline anyhow because of my age (early 60's). 

Photo by Artturi Jalli on Unsplash

One way of another, the beginnings of HRT would be in many ways the ultimate resolution. To me it represented a point of no return on my transition journey. From that point on, I was firmly in the transgender camp. 

Unfortunately the holiday message remains the same for far too many LGBTQ individuals. Especially the transgender portion of the population. Tragically, 2021 witnessed another record number of transgender fatalities. 

On a personal level again, so many transgender women and men are alone after being rejected by their family and friends. Again and again I write on how fortunate I am to have a solid family support system around me.

Before all of that support came along though, I suffered from being desperately lonely. At my age (early 60's) I thought another long term personal relationship was completely out of the question so I was prepared to go it alone.

It was at that point when I started to explore the feminine world seriously for the first time. I called the whole experience as going out to be alone. On the rare occasions I was approached, I was learning how not to be alone. I just didn't know it. 

My "Sad Eyes" Photo 

In addition to my favorite venues I went to and was accepted, I tried many of the on line dating sites. Predictably, I encountered much more trash than treasure. I went so far I was ready to give up when Liz came along. Truly, by her own admission, she found me. She said I had "sad eyes" and we started to correspond with each other. I was too paranoid about my phone voice for the longest time to be brave enough to talk in person. I finally overcame the vocal obstacle and the rest was history. We have been together for ten years now. What made the process easier was we lived only approximately seventy miles apart. Also to be clear, I was still trying to live on both sides of the binary gender spectrum.  

To make a long story short, I had hit a personal jack pot with Liz  as she was instrumental  in kicking me out of the closet into a full time feminine life. It can happen to you too when you least expect it.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Transgender Number

One of our regular readers and a very good friend of mine followed up my "Transgender Number" post with a couple well thought out comments.
Here is one:

"In some twisted way I find humor in this. If science doesn't understand something it becomes a disorder. I think the only disorder about things is that we can't realize that somethings just are. There doesn't have to be a reason. I don't think it was a mistake of nature or anything like that. I think it is merely a path that we have to take in our existence in order to grow our spirit.

It doesn't matter what your religious following is, we all believe in a higher power regardless of what name you use for it. If that power encompasses all of us then it only makes sense that we would have to take this path at sometime. I think we are meant to grow to better understanding. Let's just follow this path and see where your heels and my wingtips take us." (Draco is FtM)

Thanks Draco for your thoughts and I sooooo agree!
Without getting too deep into religion, if you do believe in an inner spirit or soul of any kind it is not a huge reach to attach a basic gender to it.
If indeed that spirit does not match the body, then the problems appear with society trying to pound us into our "proper" gender roles.
You my friend are far overdue in setting your inner spirit free!