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

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Cyrsti's Condo "Sunday Edition"

KER PLUNK! Did you hear yet another Sunday Edition hitting your virtual front porch? The "Joe" is hot and brewing on cool fall morning here in Ohio-so here we go!

Page 1.- The Week Which Was-or Wasn't.  Last week here in the Condo, we didn't particularly head down any new paths but we did revisit a couple older ones. One came compliments of an old cross dressing friend of mine who purged back in the 80's and professed a certain amount of pride while hiding a ton of frustration. At any rate he delighted again in one of the rare stories about a transgender woman who went through SRS, only to learn she wasn't trans at all.  Which resulted in a better comment from Michellewhois than mine!
It's bad enough for a woman trying to make a living while competing with men let along trying to maintain some sort of semblance of sanity with all the rest of what women have to contend with. The one thing that I am amazed at is the amount of people that publicly state they want to go back verses the amount that either just blend into the background or are never heard from again. That was a discussion I remember back in the early 90's with trans women, "To stealth or not to Stealth". Next time your friend brings the subject up ask how many people he is talking about and how many of them he knows personally. Also ask him how many he knows personally that have completed their journey and are very happy with their lives.

Thanks Michelle! Ironically he does know two who went through SRS. The one who was incredibly well adjusted and successful before and after in her life-he doesn't mention.  The one who most likely should have not done it, is always brought up.  She was very a much an A-listed bitch as a cross dresser and as we know you can't surgically remove that.  The two are interesting MtF studies in that they were similar in age, friends and could both blend easily into the world. 

As far as the "girl's sandbox" goes, I agree with Michelle that as soon as a potential "transitioner" comes to the conclusion a woman's' life is so much more than pretty clothes plus sugar and spice and everything nice...then it's time to move forward.

But, when you put the store bought vagina ahead of societal adjustments of living as a genetic-then the problems begin. 

Page 2.-  "Give us a Head of Hair!  Doesn't really matter which direction we take to get there-a wig or our own natural hair, in order to put our best look forward in society, we are in the same boat as any genetic and maybe even more so.  I'm guilty as charged of dearly loving my hair but constantly remind myself of how fortunate I am to possess it.  Of course I couldn't if I worked almost any of the jobs I had in my life.  Ironically my hair was like a dormant seed waiting to grow. With a little fertilization from HRT-grow it did!  I know though, most of you can't do what I did but still need to do the best you can with what you have to work with.  These days there are many on line sites which sell wigs-in expensively-which I don't trust as much as seeing a potential purchase up close and in person.  I know it takes an incredible amount of courage to find a wig shop and shop there, but...the last thing you want to happen to you is what I observed on the cross dresser in the mall so many years ago.  She had her presentation nailed in so many ways, except her neck hair (and neck) peeking out from a very ill fitting wig.

Page 3.- Another Damn Label?  Yep! It's mine kids, but feel free to use it.  I became tired of using expansive often wasteful energy using labels just as female, baby makers, women, genetic women etc- so now here in Cyrsti's Condo I am going to refer to a human born with a vagina as a "genetic." Yes I know there are females born "vagina less"  so no, you don't have to bring that up to me!

The Back Page.- Damn! I'm Old!  It's official-I'm 65.  As I look back, there were several constants. Along the way, some sort of guiding force wanted me to get here.  I try to thank and repay that force daily.
Finally, I envisioned this grand party in step with my past party lifestyle.  The problems were finding enough friends who were still alive  and -staying awake myself!

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Monday, August 4, 2014

Curves Ahead!

No real secret the HRT feminization process adds curves and the Ftm transition adds angles.

I have been mentioning my trans man friend who just went through long awaited top surgery (well I understand!!!!) and how dramatically angular he is becoming.

The other day, I happened to find some ancient pictures of me which were actually proofs taken at one of those "specialty" photo places in a mall.    The paper and proofs quite naturally were in less than stellar condition, but the one thing which did stand out to me was how angular my face was then.

Just another example of how you have to look behind you to see how far you have come!

Monday, July 21, 2014

The "Meek" Shall Inherit What?

.yep!As we gender transition up and down this path we have taken, sometimes it is just too easy to jump back into the closet and hide. Done it myself, can't tell you how many times I went home and cried after a night out and that was before the days of emotions and HRT began to affect me the way they have.

I found this to pass along to you in Cyrsti's Condo which explains why the "Bitch" word can be a compliment and fits in very well with transgender women everywhere.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Back in my Mama's Underwear Drawer

Hows that for a title?

The reason I pulled it out of the archives here in "Cyrsti's Condo", is I sent away to the Ohio BMV for the ":Declaration of Gender Change Form."  Just having it "in the mail" was a huge move as I began to consider the ramifications of it all.

The path to transgender self discovery and self fulfillment indeed is a marathon -and a rocky one.  Once you are fairly comfortable "existing" in your chosen gender, then it's time to legally begin a sex change.  I'm fortunate in that (although he doesn't know it yet), I will be knocking on the door of my trans man friend for guidance.  By the way, he is less than a week away from his long awaited "top surgery" and I wish him the best.  In many ways, we started down out gender transition paths about the same time but he has changed all his gender markers already.

As it turns out, the latest family person I have come out to is actually my former sister in law.  Meaning, she is the sister of my deceased wife.  Occupying that lofty position (she believes) gives her more input into my MTF transition.  Like my daughter, they sort of recoil at my name.  In my true form though, I tell them, I really don't care what they think, plus I'm changing it again for my gender markers anyway. Freedom, right? Let me point out, both have been exceedingly supportive of me.

How does Mom's underwear drawer fit into all of this you may ask?

I believe if you live long enough, life becomes a series of interlocking circles which hook up to your basic birth to death circle.  If you are going to be born-at some point you are going to die.  We could compare it too, to a charm bracelet which the circle is simply around your wrist. I guess you could say my first "charm" was Mom's undie drawer.

Then, I thought back to the days when I "found" the drawer of Mom's undies and what was really going on in my noggin. Before you jump off the bridge and want to toss me into the fetish cross dresser niche, this phase for me was all too short and unfulfilling. Surely, I felt some of the "fetish" pull but deep down inside, but a predetermined switch was surely thrown. Unfortunately, I spent 50+ years of my life trying to turn it back off- to no avail.

For any number of reasons, my Mom chose to turn a blind eye to my excursions and of course never talked to me about it.  She probably hoped it was all a phase and would disappear-which it did, for her.  I began to save my paper route money, combined it with my allowance and found ways to build my own "stash" of clothes, make up, etc.

After I finished my phone call to the BMV, for the briefest second, I was that little boy fascinated with my Mom's undies. I realized this part of my circle had closed.  The mystery is gone and reality is here.  At that point I realized how far that I have come and how far I still have to go.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Cyrsti's Condo "Cover Girl" of the Day

Kim PetrasOur feature cover today is the German  MtF transsexual entertainer Kim Petras.  If you haven't followed Kim's past, she was able to transition and complete SRS at a very young age. (16).

She was one of the earlier publicized examples of how gender dysphoria starts very early in life and is not a phase.  Kim Petras seems to be a "natural".

Saturday, March 1, 2014

It's a Small World After All!

I was over at my ex wife's house (no misprint) with my daughter to lend what ever expertise I have to a couple of small house renovation projects.  To be clear, we all get along well and with or without my gender issues I was easier to live without.

I have mentioned here in Cyrsti's Condo that I am totally out to my daughter and amazingly enough, my ex wife never told our daughter about me and my gender struggles. Now my question is, has my daughter updated her Mom?  Truthfully, I really haven't given it much thought. If I'm not directly affected, I don't bother with it.

What led me to believe my ex and her husband do know is the conversation which magically appeared over a cup of coffee.  It turns out her husband has a nephew who is a trans man and I was told, was going "all the way."  They went on to say how supportive his parents were of the process. (His Dad has since passed.)

Rarely, am I at a loss for words but I was then. I finally blurted out how special it was and is for parents to support totally a transgender child. As it is and the conversation moved back into other mundane areas. Obviously it would have been the ideal time to not so casually mention the obvious-I too am going through the gender transition process. After all these years, I find it frustrating as of yet, I have yet to come to terms with telling the truth about myself. But I didn't.

I'm also fascinated by the numbers of trans individuals who turned up in a very small sampling of people I knew "back in the day".  Way back before I went into the Army in 1972, a woman I was engaged to's sister was very butch. I remember once they managed to dress her up as a girl and I thought even I would have looked better in that dress. Years later, she was living her life as a man, but I never knew if she identified as a transgender man.  Now it turns up there was another trans person in the works.

Before I sound like Jerry Springer, no, these two families are not related and never interacted at all. They are only tied together with me because I knew both of them.  I only found it interesting there were so many of us "bunched" together in such a small sampling of people I know. Maybe there are many more transgender women and men in the world than anyone knows about?  That idea, led me  to be a believer in the latest Facebook attempt to open themselves to different gender options.  I (for one) was sick of the simple outmoded male and female binaries and hoped the Facebook move would be more of a "census."

Regardless of all of that, I think I'm moving into yet another level of coming out to others.  They knew but were waiting for me to tell them.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

It's Never Easy

It's very obvious I'm transitioning towards the end of my life.  What may not be so obvious is the amount of interaction I have had with other younger transgender women considering their transitions. The only constant is, a gender transition is never easy.  While a younger person may have the benefit of building a life from scratch in their chosen gender, in fact an older person may be close to or in retirement and not have to worry about a work transition at all.

Then, there is the ever important "appearance" factor which seemingly benefits a younger trans person who doesn't have the effect of living years and years in an unwanted gender. However, with out being too derogatory, later in life women begin to gain heavy features and sag when men lose their "T" naturally and start to soften.

All ages agree medical coverage availability and legal rights are huge injustices.  I have talked with several young transgender women who are just incensed they have to go to a therapist for permission to even start HRT.  On the other hand, I just don't want to face the day when I'm taken to the hospital with this highly androgynous body I'm developing especially with new gender markers.

Ironically, it was my generation (the baby boomers) who could have made a serious impact with all of this but just didn't get it done for what ever reason.   Just as ironic is I picked up this story from Al Jazeera America:

In the end, living an authentic life is a financial risk for transgender individuals. A 2013 study found that transgender workers report unemployment rates two times higher than the population as a whole, and are generally underemployed, more likely to have lower income and more likely to be in an unstable housing situation. But there’s always retirement, right? Not always. As more and more transgender individuals get older, the unique challenges they face are becoming apparent. Shortfalls in health care could mean the difference between life and death for some. Discrimination in retirement communities or assisted-living facilities could tarnish the golden years, and a later-in-life transition could leave some ostracized from the families they’ve loved their whole lives.  


But just when you think all is lost, there are beginnings of hope here and there, such as the group Forge which is described as a transgender support group with a focus on aging.

As I said, no one has it easy and the younger trans generation seems to have the task well in hand of changing the world from their end.  We old-timers need to do the same!

Follow the links above for more information on all of this!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Ari South

"Project Runway" Season 8 fan favorite Andy South is back — with a new name and a new look. Now known as Ari South, the Hawaii native is competing on "Project Runway: All Stars" as a woman after completing a gender transition. A lot has changed for South since finishing in third place on Season 8 of the reality series but one thing hasn't changed: Her skill and taste as a designer. She chatted with Yahoo TV about the very competitive season, the cast's reaction to her transformation, and the two celebrities she'd love to dress.

For more, go here.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

It's the Time of the Season

In my part of the world prom and graduation season has almost come and gone. But has it really? With increased frequency we are seeing more and more transgender youth challenging the system. Standing up for the right to enjoy activities such as prom or graduation as the trans women and men they really are. The effect of each and every one of these youth will certainly be felt for years-until all the gender walls come down.

In the meantime though, there is much to be done encouraging youth in the closet to enter the world- on their own terms. How much of course depends upon where you are. Here's an example from the television show , What Would You Do?, who decided to find out what people would do if they witnessed a boy undergoing gender transition trying on a prom dress:



 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Let's Talk About It

For me at least, one of the most difficult thresholds I have been unsuccessful in achieving is what I think is an acceptable feminine voice.
At times I think my voice is passable (no pun intended) but most of the time...not.
It's my own fault. Over the years I have read quite a bit about the voice dynamics involved in feminine speech. My most difficult task is continuing to talk like a woman over an extended period of time. I guess I lose concentration or just get lazy.

As with anything transgender, there is help available if you can afford it or if it is available near you. With interest I ran across this post from The Times Union.com about the  College of Saint Rose Transgender Voice and Communication Program. They have served 50 or so clients and supervised 70 or so graduate students over the past 5 years.

One of my strongest beliefs is how inherently different the world reacts to us as women and often how our reaction is as important as our looks.  Too many novice cross dressers and trans women want to concentrate totally on looks.

Jack Pickering PHD, is the driving force behind this effort and says "In addition to biology, there are gender differences in speech, language, and non-verbal communication that are cultural, learned and reinforced from a very early age. Therefore, we focus on aspects of communication like gestures, word choice, and enunciation. Lessons in these areas frequently lead to discussions of transgender issues and the challenges faced during gender transition, such as ridicule, harassment and discrimination when there is a perceived gender mismatch between how someone looks and how someone speaks, gestures, or moves. I think about how our transgender guests have changed me, my program, the college, and clinical practice in voice and communication. I have a much better understanding of what gender is (and is not) and an increased sensitivity to an aspect of cultural diversity I knew very little about."

Of course this is just an excerpt from the post. Read the rest here.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hi Naomi

I just added "What about Naomi" to the blog roll here in Cyrsti's Condo.
Welcome Naomi! Her blog features a real life look into the complex gender transition process.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Trans Design

Project Runway Season 8 finalist, Andy South, sat down for an interview exclusively with NewNowNext to talk about the new flagship store he’s opening in Honolulu’s Chinatown and opened up about her gender transition. Andy on Project Runway // Photo Courtesy Lifetime Turns the uber talented designer and fan favorite from the season that featured the likes of Mondo Guerro, Michael Costello, and Gretchen Jones (the eventual winner) started her gender reassignment therapy before going on the Lifetime show. But when shooting started, she set the hormone pills aside. Now that she’s home in Honolulu, successful with her budding designer career (her label — Andy South — is carried by Nieman Marcus), the 25 year-old, beloved Hawaii native has started living her life as Nong Ariyaphon Southiphong.

The Gender Waltz

Image from Clarisse Meyer on UnSplash Since the beginning of time, the two binary genders have done a special dance with each other.  Being ...