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

Monday, August 8, 2022

A Complex Life


No matter how you live it, a human life will undoubtedly turn out to be a complex affair. Family and friends come along to complicate our best laid plans. Just when you think you have it all figured out, something comes along to change everything. If we ever figure a portion of life unfortunately we die.

All of this begs the question, if life is so complex, why would we make it worse by attempting to change our gender. Plus I have always felt cis women live a much more complex life than men, so there is more to process and comprehend. For all who say being transgender is a choice, this is yet another reason to believe they are wrong. Who would choose this life if they had a choice? Most certainly my moments of transgender euphoria don't in any way come close to being equal to the torment I experienced from my gender dysphoria. In other words, all the miserable days I went through wondering if I was the only human on earth who wanted to be the other binary gender. It also doesn't cover all the tears I shed when I was laughed at in public. 

I discovered also how much more complex and difficult what I attempting was. So much more than I had anticipated when I was in the initial stages of admiring myself as a girl in the mirror. As I began to step out in the world more and more my feminine side was challenged to keep up. I couldn't just get by on my perceived wonderful feminine appearance. Looking back now on the entire experience, I think most of the people I encountered just didn't care, were intrigued or just didn't know. Just didn't know was my favorite reaction but again, I was very biased. I wanted so badly to "pass" as a woman I still didn't realize how complex the entire process could be. 

Quickly the whole process of communicating in the world became a priority. I recently wrote how I would use my "parrot" method of mimicking another woman I was talking to but what happened when I was trying to talk to a man. My best laid plans of succeeding at communication would come to a screeching halt. I found women did communicate on a different scale than men and it was on purpose. Meaning over time women communicate less on verbal cues than non verbal visual ones. 

All of a sudden life began to be so much more complex than just deciding on which lipstick or wig to wear. People were beginning to see the same feminine me on a regular basis so I needed a name to go with my new self. Plus there was the huge issue of my sexuality. I had never been close to being with a man during my male life so it all was such a foreign concept. I felt at the time just dating a man would validate me being a woman but sex was such another topic. As I began to be validated by other cis-women, the whole issue of sex with a man was a mute point.  Sometimes life takes us in unsuspecting directions as mine did. 

Complex? yes. Difficult at times. most certainly. But my choice? I'd have it no other way.  

Sunday, August 7, 2022

She's Back!

Photo courtesy Connie Malone

 After battling Covid as well as going through a very serious operation, my friend Connie is recovering and has sent in a comment into the blog. It concerns the post I wrote on transgender feminine vocalization. It means quite a bit more to Connie since she is a musician.

Here's the comment:

"I've never liked my speaking voice - never. I did learn to like my singing voice, though. The problem with that, however, is that I haven't sung as a male vocalist in many years. My vocal range is definitely within the male spectrum, even at 3 1/2 octaves, but you'd never hear me sing a "Journey" or "Queen" cover. As hard as I may have tried to sing like Steve Perry or Freddie Mercury in the past, I just couldn't reach those higher registers. I've even lost whatever falsetto, or head voice, that I once had, so I can't even fake it. So, what do I do? I have simply stopped faking anything about my voice.


When I sing in public these days, I use only the higher half of my vocal range, which makes me a lesser singer, as I don't feel comfortable presenting as the woman I am while thumping and rumbling out low notes that might make Trace Adkins take notice. That's somewhat limiting (to me), but I've accepted it as just another of the sacrifices I've had to make along this gender transition process. Therefore, I am not the singer I used to be when I presented as a man, but I'm all-the-more a woman when I sing now, even if a more average singer.

Just like most other things in my trans life, it has not been so much adding more femininity as it's been erasing the masculinity.

Of course, I could go on and on about using the phone, which will never be my forte. The technology (or lack thereof) that compresses and distorts the quality of the sound in cell phones makes it nearly impossible for me to sound like a woman."

Thanks for the comment and it is great to have you back!

Saturday, August 6, 2022

On the Teeter Totter

 

A Photo of me on the gender
Teeter Totter

Along the way, following the path to change one's gender presents many challenges. In fact, many times the process can be compared to life on a playground. Especially when we are in the midst of deciding which binary gender we will be a part of.

Here in the blog, I have compared the process to sliding down a very slippery slope. When I consider it, perhaps attempting to do a gender balancing act may be more appropriate.

The photo in this post represents my life trying to balance a life between the male and female genders. In the picture my hair was a wig, my breasts were not mine and even my hips were fake.

 So naturally my life was not the most pleasant. The ride up when I was living as my feminine self was quite the high. But the trip down to my cross dressing male self was a real downer. I was depressed for days until the next time I could dress up in my feminine apparel. During this period of my life I was so confused I wouldn't have wished my existence on anyone.

Finally I found the view from the upper feminine spot of the teeter totter to be so natural I wanted to take the high road and take on the fulltime life of a transgender woman. Of course  just writing about it diminishes the level of difficulty of just arriving at a spot where I could even attempt to live a feminine life. It was extremely difficult to the point of even becoming dangerous when I ended up on the wrong end of a couple ill advised adventures as a novice transgender woman. More on that in another blog post.

As with any other piece of playground equipment, warnings just don't resonate with the users. Primarily I didn't see any warnings about losing my male privilege's I had worked so hard to acquire. As my teeter totter rose to it's heights, ironically my intelligence declined. It quickly became so bad I was even being "mansplained"  by a tow driver towing my car how his wrecker worked and how he had a better idea of getting my car back to my house than I did. 

Through it all, the most important part of being on the higher plane of my gender teeter totter was the new view I had was so much more natural. I loved the new view!

Thursday, August 4, 2022

The "Softer" Hormone

Photo Courtesy 
Jessie Hart

 Years ago I started down my path of hormone replacement therapy or also known as HRT. As I began the process I had many expectations of what would happen when the feminine hormones began to be introduced into my body. Before any of the HRT could begin, I needed to find a doctor to pronounce me healthy enough to do it. Fortunately I was and I found a doctor who would start me on a minimum dosage to again find out if my body could tolerate the changes. My warning to everyone is to NOT begin HRT without consulting a doctor. Just recently I had an acquaintance who almost died from hormone induced blood clots. To make a long story short she had to stop the hormones to save her life. 

As I mentioned, none of that happened with me and within a small time I was allowed to increase my dosage. At the same time, definite changes were beginning to emerge. I was starting to "grow" breasts, my skin was softening and my hair was beginning to really grow. I think many of the increased changes may have occurred because I was older (60), my testosterone was in decline anyhow and perhaps I may have had a natural estrogen higher level to work from. I have no way of knowing that now.

All I know now is very quickly I was beginning to appear very androgynous. During that period of my life I was more into appearance than anything else. It was during the period of time I was transitioning from being a cross dresser to being a full fledged transgender woman. Also about this time was when I also became aware of the Veterans Administration's acceptance of transgender care for veterans up to and including HRT. So, being a veteran, I transferred all my gender treatment to the VA. When I did I was able to have my hormonal dosage increased so the changes did also. 

This time the changes began to take on a softer internal route. An example would be the night I was brought to tears when I was sitting on my porch watching an oncoming storm roll in. I don't know why I cried but I did. As it turned out, crying was just the tip of the iceberg. Very quickly I was becoming noticeably internally softer. My internal body temperature changed as I was colder than I had ever been in my life. Plus my sense of smell became more intense. 

You may think I found out the hormonal way that estrogen in reality did mellow me out and was much more than a method to femininize my body. Ironically too, the changes keep coming after all these years (7) on HRT. This morning I was marveling how feminine my thighs are becoming and how much better they will look this fall in my leggings. 

As I wrap this post up, I can only say hormone replacement therapy is a wonderful method to femininize yourself inside and out. But I know too, not all either think they need it or can't tolerate it medically. 

Whatever the case be careful.      

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

The Gender Blender

Photo from Unsplash 

Recently I have been binging on PBS cooking shows. In other words, Martha Stewart and her minions for some reason interest me because even though I can cook, Liz does most all of it for us. So  the same as most of the things I do in life nothing makes total sense. 

As I watched the shows though one of the things I noticed was the reliance all the cooks have for food blenders and/or processors. Then of course I started to think how my gender during my life has been affected by a huge blender.

Early on I seemed to add in (or sneak in) as much feminine life I could. As the blender turned, my old male self prevailed and I still tried my hardest to pursue a false life as a male. The solution was I began to add more and more feminine ingredients into the mix.

First it was just going out shopping as a woman. Then it grew into a much more serious path as I met and began to meet and establish friendships with those people who only knew my feminine side. Even with all of this happening, or maybe because of it, I started to add a bigger share of feminine ingredients into my gender mix. The more I added the better the mixture tasted. Even though I was risking the life of friends, family and male privilege I had worked so hard to establish. 

Finally, since my mixture was tasting so good and the results felt so natural, I decided to take the major step and add the hormone replacement therapy ingredients into the mix. Of course when I did it, the outward balance of my gender perception really began to shift to the feminine side. Plus  internally my emotional make up was changing also. 

The more I blended away my old male self, the more I didn't miss him. Life made it to a point where I barely remember him at all. Plus, I am so happy I made the choice to keep adding more and more feminine ingredients to my gender blender.

I am waiting now for a well known transgender chef to come up with their own cooking show and feature their own gender blender!

In the meantime, I can't thank all of you enough who subscribe, comment or clap for all my posts on several different writing platforms, it means everything to me and I even am able to retain a portion of your hard earned money if you subscribe. Thanks again!


Monday, August 1, 2022

Pic Nic Day

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

 I didn't think about it immediately but the picnic Liz and I attended yesterday was my first ever as my authentic self.  None of that mattered however, I was just looking to enjoy the day. 

I guess rule one with a picnic is having good weather and we were blessed with a close to perfect mid summer southern Ohio day. Rule two for me is having a place to sit down and eat. It is also important to note the picnic was hosted by the transgender - cross dresser group I am a member of. The majority of people attending I believe were transgender in various stages of transition along with a few spouses and cis women. 

The food was good and even the diverse group of people managed to play well together without any of the "I am more trans than you" rhetoric or any other politics sneaking in. With me others know what side of the political fence I am on and they leave me alone if they wanted to or not. 

It was nice also to see a few acquaintances we haven't seen in awhile and of course look back on a few of the long gone gay venues in Cincinnati we happen to frequent on different occasions. I am not from Cincinnati so my visits were far fewer than others. Plus I had to really try to come up with excuses to use on my wife on why I was spending a night away from home. How I worked it out was my company's headquarters was in Lexington, Kentucky so Cincinnati happened to be about mid point in my trip from home. I only managed to find it and make it there twice. Instead of staying overnight in Lexington, I would stay in Cincinnati.

One of the visits was very memorable. I got all dolled up in my best tight short mini, black top, heels and blond wig and I was ready to go after applying my makeup. From my knowledge of gay male venues I was not expecting much attention but I got a real surprise. Fairly quickly I was attracting quite a bit of attention from a guy at the bar. In a relatively short period of time, he moved over close to me and started a conversation. 

It wasn't too long after that when he started to try to  touch me until this other woman showed up looking for him. Quickly I was thinking now what I did I get myself into. Then he made things worse in my mind when he aaid to her "Why don't you have legs like her (me)!" I just gave her a sign like I give up and walked away and luckily she did also. 

That was my share of picnic topics  while the other person was talking about having sex in cars with other guys. I guarantee our topic was spicier than the food! I can't speak for the rest of the thirty or so people that were there but I imagine their conservations were rated "PG". 

    

Friday, July 29, 2022

More Gender Euohoria

Gender Euphoria: Courtesy 
Jessie Hart

 For most of us, gender euphoria is difficult if not impossible to achieve. When it does happen it is normally a memorial experience. 

Gracie Rose wrote in and commented on her recent experience with gender euphoria:

"I take immeasurable pleasure when referred to as ma'am, she etc. I not only feel like I'm accepted, but it reflect how I have felt inside for over 50 years." Similar to you Gracie, I am also gratified beyond measure when someone calls Liz and I ladies. Thanks for the comment!

I believe my first and perhaps most important case of gender euphoria came when I went to the well documented visit to Fridays venue. For those of you who may not know, Fridays was the original restaurant/bar venue to accept single women. They spread quickly from their original locations in New York City and Dallas then opened one close to me in Dayton, Ohio. After "scouting" the venue many times as my male self, I decided to see if I could visit and be successful as my authentic feminine self. Even though I was terrified, I made it through and gender euphoria filled my soul. I knew from then on I could never go back to being just an everyday cross dresser (even though there is nothing wrong with that) again. 

We are fortunate when gender euphoria comes along to rescue our gender journey. I remember many times after I was reduced to tears following a particularly unpleasant experience with the public, I then found acceptance and/or kindness with others in the world. All the resultant euphoria helped me to keep going down my gender journey. 

During my journey also I was fortunate to be able to find gender euphoria in a many unlikely places. One of which was the NFL Monday Night Football game I was invited to by a very close friend. Of course I was terrified but managed to make it through a major new experience as a transgender woman. From lesbian mixers to just hanging out at the bar, good times were had by all. And perhaps most importantly I was learning how to play in the girl's sandbox. 

As I experience the world as a fulltime transgender woman, gender euphoria is more difficult to come by. I suppose it is because we don't get out as much as we used to, so we don't encounter many strangers. We are going to a picnic this Sunday but it is with the transgender - cross dresser group I am a  member of.  No strangers, no euphoria, I just hope to enjoy seeing some of them again plus it's supposed to be beautiful weather day. 

In the grand scope of life we deserve our share of gender euphoria. We earned it.  

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Digging a Hole

Photo from Karin Klosterman
on Unspash

 As I entered my second gender transition from cross dresser to transgender woman I considered it as sliding down a very slippery gender slope. For years I was paranoid about how I would negotiate a landing. Or, how would the world and people close to me accept the reality of my gender transition. 

Little did I know my paranoia would be wasted because of friends and most of my family accepted me with no problems. 

The hole I dug happened before all of that. As I attempted more and more to explore the world as a transgender woman, I became increasingly brave in how I was attempting to accomplish my goal. An example was how I was able to leave the house cross dressed so many times. Seemingly without exposure. I did most of it from an 1860's vintage brick house we were restoring. Since at one time in it's past it was a boarding house, it had several doors I could use to sneak out. Many times in the very beginning I was able to go out and walk around the block. Before I moved up to being brave enough to take the car and drive around  knowing full well I was risking a huge fight or even a divorce if my wife ever found out.

Still I worked hard to dig my gender hole deeper. I went as far as saving all the spare change I could find to augment my ever growing stash of clothing and makeup which I was able to hide in a spot she (my wife) never went. At one point of time I needed so much room I needed to expand to another rarely used closet in the house. If my wife who already knew I was a cross dresser ever caught on to my extra buying habits, she never let me know.

As I went deeper, it was increasingly difficult for me to turn back and try to find my way out. The problem was too, I felt so natural, I did not want to turn back. It was around this time I decided to bring out the big digging equipment and seek out more life as a transgender woman. Mainly to see if I could. The short answer was I found I could and positively loved it. The problem I still had at the time was my wife was dead set against it and I couldn't live as a woman and stay with her. 

In a fairly short period of time the issue resolved itself when she unexpectedly passed away from a massive heart attack at the age of 50. I was heartbroken but I saw my gender door open wide. With just a little more digging I could start hormone replacement therapy and seriously further along my feminine transition. I thought the whole hormonal process would be mainly a physical one but I was very mistaken when the internal changes occurred too. Which I will save for another blog post on HRT.

As I look back at the entire process of digging a gender hole, I know now I wasn't sliding down a slippery slope to living as my authentic self,  in reality I was climbing up a hill I never asked for to a life I always wanted.

















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Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Mirror Mirror

 

Mirror Image Courtesy 
Jessie Hart

Yesterday in my post I briefly mentioned my life in the mirror as a cross dresser. As I remember I wasn't giving the mirror enough credit for running my life.  Then ss I concentrated more and more on my feminine appearance, the mirror began to take on an increasingly  important role. So much so my mirror worship began to extend itself into the public eye. 

What happened was as I began to explore the world as a girl, I sought out the nearest mirror to critique my appearance and reinforce the idea I was finally escaping my gender closet. I found and located all sorts of mirrors to occupy my interests. Examples included numerous mirrors in clothing stores all the way to mirrors in craft or warehouse improvement stores. If there was a mirror, I found it. 

My all time favorite as I remember was a mirror in a coat warehouse store I used to frequent. Somehow I picked out a light blue wool beautiful winter coat I could never afford. The closest I could come was to admire how good I looked with that coat on in the mirror. I am surprised I wasn't kicked out of the store for never buying it. 

The huge problem with using mirrors as feedback is, it is only one way feedback and highly biased. I can't begin to tell you how many times I thought I looked fabulous only to be immediately laughed at when I went out. It took so many years for me to realize my strengths and weaknesses I had a problem too of trying to validate myself as a woman with men simply by pushing the standards of classy dress into the trashy category. It all led to the mirror leading me into more than a few screenful situations when I went out. 

Finally I made it to the point where I could trust the mirror to tell me the truth. I backed it up with how other women treated me, Finally I learned to cross dress to blend. My feedback became from how I was treated as a person as my closet door began to open more and more. As it did, society became my mirror and I was able to afford clothes which better highlighted who I was trying to become as a woman in society. The clown wigs went away and were replaced by more realistic wigs which better reflected who I was. 

Even now though I still fight the mirror. Most mornings when I wake up I always fight the temptation to look at myself in the mirror. Most of the time I think who is the old hag staring back. Then I think well at least I am a 73 year old feminine old hag nd maybe with a touch of makeup I can improve my image, 

At any rate, by now I should know to never trust the mirror anyhow. Take the best you may feel you look and combine it with the worst and believe you are seeing your truth.  

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Bi-Personality?



Photo Courtesy Jessie Hart

Along the way, of course I have read extensively on being Bi-Polar which I am and Bi-Sexual which I am not. 

Looking back, yet another of the "Bi's" I considered I was that I was Bi-Personality. Finally I determined all of it was just another phase I was going through to justify my gender issues. Along the way I had gone through a number of other "phases" or so I thought. One of the main ones was I cross dressed in feminine clothes temporarily to relieve the pressures of life. As I grew older and faced such pressures as college and the military, I would grow out of my need to cross dress. Wow! Was I wrong. The older I got the more I grew into my feminine self. Even to the point of coming out as transgender.  

One of the more extreme "phases" I went through was thinking I simply had two personalities, one male and one female. The more I considered it, the less simple it all became. What I refused to do was listen to my authentic feminine self causing great stress. Finally I could take the stress no longer and decided to begin hormone replacement therapy to start gender transitioning seriously. 

At this point I was interested to learn if my transition would have any serious positive effect of my Bi-Polar status. The short story was it didn't. I still suffered the same anxiety and depression I did before. So I could take that "Bi" off my list. Or one didn't explain the other. As it turned out, transitioning was going to solve another "Bi" in my life. Was I indeed suddenly sexuality attracted to men? Fairly quickly I learned I wasn't into men except in the rarest cases. Even though I felt a man's attention validated me as a woman, the final sexual result was not worth it. 

With the other two "Bi's" out of the way, the final one to be determined was I truly "Bi-Personality" or was one of the binary genders (male or female) more dominate. I am sure it is no surprise to all of you what the final answer turned out to be. The feminine side of me finally earned her chance to take over and run my life and essentially restored it from a very dark place. I have forever wondered just what I could have made of myself if I had taken the steps much earlier to live as my authentic feminine self. 

Perhaps of all the "Bi's" the personality one has been the most important. Of course the "Bi-Polar" made me miserable until I came to a place where understanding and medication helped to control it. Finally "Bi" Sexual was the easiest to solve.

In other ways also, the "Bi's" fit together in my life similar to a puzzle. I needed a therapist (which I found) who was willing to accept my "Bi Polar and Gender Dysphoria" were two aspects of my personality which didn't necessarily effect the other. And, my sexuality was left to me to determine. 

To finish off this post, should I say "Bi-Bi"?  

Friday, July 22, 2022

Bucket List

 

Jimmy Buffett Courtesy Sony Pictures

It's Jimmy Buffett day here in Cincinnati. Jimmy's concert has been an entertainment mainstay for years with people camping out a day early along the Ohio River venue to insure a good seat or view of the festivities. 

Every year the concert was one of the must do activities for my deceased wife and I to do. No matter what the cost I purchased tickets as close to the stage as I could. Plus we would gladly make the hour trip (one way) to get there. Of course all of these trips I made were as my old male self. I remember vividly being distracted at the concert by the other cis women and their clothes which sometimes bordered on the skimpy. My heart broke when I couldn't join them.

Ironically, in the present, since I moved to Cincinnati with Liz we only live approximately twenty miles from the venue where Jimmy is entertaining. Also the fact remains I have transitioned into a full time transgender woman so the opportunity to cross a Jimmy Buffett concert off my transgender bucket list should be one I could mark off my list...if I had one.

That's right, I don't have a bucket list. Throughout my life I have been able to finally find a way to do most everything I wanted to do. Most of it is to do with my major goal of becoming a full time functioning feminine person. My example is when I was growing up and someone asked me what I wanted to be later in life, my secret answer was always a girl. My thoughts continued all the way through adult hood till my deceased wife and I went on a vacation and it wasn't long until she started to ask me why I was miserable. Being the man I always tried to be, I apologized and didn't tell her the truth, I wanted to be on vacation with her as a woman. Very quickly my so called bucket list was history. Mainly because I knew I couldn't move forward and transition to a woman and preserve my marriage, job and many other aspects of my life. 

In many ways I felt I was swimming with sharks not unlike the central figure in Jimmy's Fin's song. If I varied my path one way or another, the sharks were waiting for me. 

Regardless, I still don't have much of a bucket list as I approach 73 years of age. Most I have are involved with staying healthy later in life. Long gone are the ideas of going to Kathmandu as we had a chance to do when I was in the Army in Thailand. Sadly, I know for certain my friends I was trying to go with have passed on. 

Perhaps you could also say my bucket has just rusted out. I keep thinking next year maybe the one I magically become healthy enough to brave the crowds and see Jimmy Buffett performing in Cincinnati before he retires. 

  

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Lessons Learned





"Club" Photo Courtesy Cyrsti Hart 

Years ago there used to be a venue in Dayton, Ohio called "Celebrity". It was a huge converted super club which I happened to patronize a couple of times when I took a date to a prom. 

Years passed by and I advanced my feminine technique far enough I couldn't wait to make the short trip to return. When I did make it, I was fascinated with all the opportunities.  The club featured a wide variety of gay men to drag queens to cross dressers and the occasional sprinkling in of "admirers" or those men who desired men dressed as women. 

Perhaps the earliest lesson I learned was how different I was from the drag queens who frequented the venue. While many were totally attractive there were just as many who came off as caricatures of cis-women. 

Through it all, I was intrigued by the attention I received from the occasional admirer. Mostly they wanted me to shoot pool with them. Probably so they could watch me navigate the table in my short tight mini skirt I was fond of wearing. Back in those days I felt trashy or so called sexy clothing was the way to validate myself as a woman. Plus everyone told me I had great legs, why not take advantage in the way I felt. The problem arose when I had to learn to wear the mini skirts. I found out one night first hand when a man insisted I watch their game when I refused to actually play. He pulled up what amounted to no more than a bar stool for me to perch on during the pool match. It only worked for a short time until I became uncomfortable and moved on. 

All in all the whole experience left me mostly confused. I was in the early stages of realizing I wasn't looking from attention from a man but loved it when it came from a woman. It was rare there were any other lesbians in the venue so I had very few opportunities to find any other women to attempt to interact with. 

Celebrity Signage

There were a few other cross dressers and/or transgender women who frequented the venue. Many of them were from a Dayton group who were decidedly unfriendly. So I left them alone. Another lesson learned. Just because others shared my desire to be feminine didn't mean their attitudes changed for the better. 

Most likely the highlight of going to the venue had to do with using the ladies room. When I did, I was fairly sure the décor hadn't changed since my prom date did years before. For whatever reason, the experience made up for my other resentments. after all  she was the one who was able to wear the beautiful dress and wear the fresh corsage. 

The whole experience helped me to grow past the initial steps of coming out in a feminine world. Little did I know then how many more there were to come.  

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Parental Guidance

Can you imagine your transgender life if years ago you had the benefit of positive feedback from your parents? 

Photo from Noah Busher
on Unslash, Not of the author.

Most certainly it didn't happen with me. My parents  of the "greatest generation" age group did not have the knowledge tools and/or the emotional background to handle a gender dysphoric child. You have to remember also I was born in 1949 which lends a reference to the time period I am referring to. I can't speculate on what my Dad may have thought since I never had the courage to tell him. As I have mentioned many times, the only time I told my Mom was when I was out of the Army and she told me they would help me with psychiatric care. I found the whole idea to be totally wrong and distasteful to me because not long ago I had come out to a few close friends as a transvestite. I found the experience to be totally liberating and the last thing I wanted to do was go back. In typical form, the night we talked was the last time Mom and I discussed my gender issues the rest of her life.

So I can't even imagine having the opportunity to have been "Daddy's little girl" Or being able to play in my Mom's makeup without the fear of being in trouble. What if I was allowed to receive the doll I wanted as a gift for Christmas instead of the hated BB Gun. Furthermore what if I had benefited from the guidance a mother can offer to a daughter growing up. Could I have separated the good from the intense pressure I am sure I would have encountered as Mom wanted me to conform. It was bad enough as a cross dressing  boy. I am sure the grass would not have been always greener on the other side of the binary gender pasture. 

The other day when my daughter and I were enjoying breakfast, she asked me if I had always known I was transgender. I told her, from all indications yes. The problem was the knowledge of the term or even the invention of the word itself was far from being a household term when I was growing up. The whole idea was so foreign to me it took years to figure out yes indeed I checked all the transgender boxes and finally I had found something which I felt as if it fit me. 

I don't really know why but even with her complete acceptance I still am slightly shy when she asked me questions concerning my gender issues. Possibly it is because a portion of me still doesn't pull back the macho man curtain to her and let her see the true me. One of the remnants of what my Dad taught me. 

These days I am so envious of the transgender youth who are fortunate enough to have understanding parents. Some to the point of even being willing to move to areas of the country which are more transgender friendly. This extends to all the sympathetic spouses who are willing to transition with their loved ones. 

Definitely positive parental guidance should be praised and cherished.     

    

Monday, June 27, 2022

For the Kids

 Another reason I write is my hope a few of my ideas might find their way to a stray transgender youth. At my age, youth includes twenty somethings or even younger. I do realize however to most of them I a

Photo Credit Jessie Hart
m a dinosaur. What I went through in my transformative transgender years is so different from theirs I understand it does not matter. For instance, the idea of  not having an internet or any social media is completely foreign to younger transgender women and men. What it meant was we had to contend with darker closets where we felt totally alone. 

Over the recent years I have had the opportunity to experience the feedback of younger trans individuals. Predictably most don't want or need my ideas and that is all good. 

Recently though, I was mildly surprised when a close family member who just turned 21 is attempting to come out as a transgender man. I say mildly surprised because they (preferred pronoun) have matured into a very androgynous individual. At first I was speechless when I was presented with the idea. Quickly I recovered and asked did they understand what all they were getting themselves into. I am fairly certain they do yet they don't. The power of youth allows us the luxury of making mistakes and then going back and correcting them. My example is another young local person I know who announced not long ago they wanted to be a boy.  She tried it and went back to being a girl. 

My problem with my relation is they are talking about pursuing gender realignment surgery. My thought is they need a chance to live as their preferred gender and then make the decision to go through such a major surgery. Plus there is the question of having insurance (which they do) and finding a skilled and reputable surgeon. 

Maybe I am over cautious because it took me so long to give up my cross dressing in a toxic male world and fully transition into a full time transgender woman. Many of you have read my excuses of why I didn't transition earlier and as a matter of fact I wish I had pulled the plug on my male life much earlier in my life. Most of my past just doesn't lend itself to current transgender individuals but then again a few key points still do.

The fact still remained deep down I knew I felt more natural as my feminine self. Advice is like a certain rear part of your body...everyone has one. I still ended up telling the person closest to this post's subject to put them in touch with me if they wanted to talk. I believe they will have a slightly easier chance of transitioning into a male world. Most of the trans men I know are completely passable as their authentic selves.   

As we all know, the transgender journey is never an easy one. Especially for those just starting down the path. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

It's Never Easy

Some days I think it is never easy being  transgender. Now I am involved in selling a property I have owned for years in my native town I grew up in. The problem being I will probably have to go through an attorney to do it. Most likely that means interacting with a whole new set of people who perhaps

have never seen another transgender person before. Fortunately I might be able to go back to the attorney I used years ago to probate the property into my name. This happened when I was first coming out and even then I didn't have any problems with the cis female attorney I went through. So, I guess it is just the point of having to do it again.

On the bright side, I am meeting my daughter for breakfast later this week. It's been awhile since we have been able to do our "parent/daughter"  meet up to just connect for a short time and enjoy each other's company. I have to keep reminding myself how fortunate I am to have such an accepting daughter and grand kids. It is so easy to take for granted. 

Going out with her and people such as my partner Liz helps me to regain any recent confidence I have lost, mainly since all of a sudden I am so vain about my appearance. It's ridiculous because it is now all age related . Since I am almost seventy three, there is little I can do now (except my regular skin routine) to randomly reverse the wrinkles I have earned.

All in all, it's just my internalized transphobia sneaking up on me. I had all those covid related years when I didn't have to worry about little if any interaction with the public. So now I have to hitch up my big girls panties and do it again, I have to regain my footing. 

Deep down I always knew my transgender journey wouldn't be easy. This should come as no surprise that you can run but you can't hide if you are transgender. As I am always fond of writing, crossing the gender binary is one of the most difficult tasks a human can undertake. In fact, from birth to the undertaker. our lives are so complex. 

So, as I read back over this post, I am just being a cry baby taking my frustrations out on all of you. As always, I appreciate all of you who read, subscribe and or comment on my posts!

Years ago, I knew what I signed up for and knew it wasn't going to be an easy path to take becoming a full time transgender woman. Every now and then I am human and it gets me down. But it's only temporary. 

Monday, June 13, 2022

It's Going to be Hot

This week where I live (in Southwest Ohio) we are trying to make a run at the extremely hot temperatures in the Southwestern part of the country. Tuesday thru Friday our heat index's will be over one hundred degree (F) with the usual local  oppressive humidity. We don't have an air conditioned house so a fan will be my best friend.

This morning I was feeling sorry for myself when I took the dog on his morning walk until I began to think of my life before I transitioned. Those were the days I couldn't even consider wearing a sleeveless top because of the hair on my arms. On the other hand, I could still shave my legs so cooler short skirts were still my favorite. 

Plus, one of my favorite parts of being a cross dresser was shifting my fashion to meet the changing seasons we live with around here. You have to take the good with the bad as far as the seasons are concerned. I believe overall Fall is my favorite season. The leaves change color, the days become cooler and it's time to go through the wardrobe and find items I can still wear such as leggings, boots and sweaters. It was fun being a cross dresser. 

When hormone replacement therapy came along, it basically changed everything. Fairly quickly one of the larger internal changes I noted was when my internal thermostat changed. All of a sudden, I was always cold when the weather changed. It became evident to me all the years I had doubted women when they complained about being cold were not making it up. I know I wondered at the time how HRT would work when the weather became hot and summer like.


This summer is not my first rodeo in the heat and I know now during the hot days I won't automatically feel cooler because of my years on HRT. The only thing it does do is drastically cut back on the body hair I have which helps me to wear comfortably summer feminine fashion. I have gone through my wardrobe  to find missing summer pieces to add to my wardrobe.   I have added a photo of one of those tank tops.

I would be remiss also if I didn't mention the power of HRT on how much make up I use. I vividly remember the bad old days of sweating the makeup off nearly as fast as I applied it, Once my skin began to soften due to the hormones' and my beard lightened with age, I found I could try to wear less makeup.  In fact now I only wear eye makeup, mascara and lipsticks. 

On the bright side we are supposed to get a short break from the heat this weekend. Which happens to coincide with our LGBTQ Pride event and the pub crawl Liz and I are considering going on.

To all of you who may live in the drought/heat stricken parts of country or world, I hope you can stay cool.

Monday, June 6, 2022

The Path

 The transgender path is definitely a path less taken by most human beings. However as more and more is learned about the transgender population and the more prevalent social media has become, the easier it is to understand the whys and how's of  embarking down a lifetime journey or path .All of which can even become more dangerous to the person taking it. Plus all of the current publicity could be emboldening more and more trans people to open their closet doors and explore the world. 

Exploring  the terror of a dark path often is a major problem, especially when anticipated gender euphoria never materializes. Or doesn't meet your expectations. I remember vividly when my gender path came to a fork in the road and I had to (or thought I had to) accept I would all of the sudden be attracted

Photo by Burst on Unsplash

sexually to men or continue to seek out the attention of woman. Even though I did go on a few dates with guys, I still didn't feel any particular sexual energy. Plus it didn't help when a creepy guy I also knew as a guy kept trying to approach me. I knew he made a yearly trip to Thailand so he probably was very aware and was attracted to "Lady-Boys". It didn't take me long to ignore him, just like all of those men who supposedly wanted to meet up for a drink and then never showed when I insisted on meeting in very public places. Plus, to top it all off I had a guy who managed to meet me a couple times before I found out he was married. As I was building my new woman, I most certainly didn't want anything to do with any of those guys.

Ironically, at the same time, I was finding I was getting along better and better with other women. Perhaps a portion of my success came because I was "mirroring" the others whose gender I desperately wanted to be as my authentic self. As I learned I had to first learn how to communicate on a feminine level. I thought I already did a good job from all my days dealing with women in the work world. But little did I know what I was missing when I climbed into the girl's sandbox. Sadly I didn't come out unscathed but I did come out successful. 

Today I do feel (and hope) the world is a kinder and gentler path for all LGBTQ people to follow. Just beware of the number of different side detours you may have to take to achieve your goal of living as your authentic self. Many will make your trip more interesting.  

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Looking Back

 This comment comes from Connie based on my recent "Memorial Day" post:

"Thank you for your service, and thank God you survived it.

At the time I entered college (1969), student deferments were in effect. So was my gender dysphoria deferred, through pure will power and suppression. When the government decided to drop the student deferments and institute a lottery, I became fearful of being drafted with a lottery number of 122. At
Photo Courtesy Connie
Malone

first, I thought I could go over to the ROTC building, register, and then complete my education. Talking with some vets in my dorm, though, I learned that doing so would make me a 
2nd lieutenant, and being one would put me in a higher casualty position than if I were just inducted as a private. OK, I thought to myself, maybe this would be a good time to come out (suppression doesn't work 24/7, but it adds an extra door or two to the closet your in). I figured that it would be the ace up my sleeve, anyway.

My number did come up, right at the end, but I was never "asked" to report for anything (and so was able to keep my suppression active). I don't know why I wasn't called, and I don't much care. For many years afterward, though, I wondered how many of those who had had my same lottery number never made it back home alive. It was a source of guilt for me, until I had a talk with my brother-in-law, who had been drafted, and then served in the infantry earlier in the war. He helped to relieve my guilt by letting me know how lucky I was to have missed out on the whole thing. Although relieved and happy to have made it back alive, he was haunted by things he had seen and had been forced to do. He passed away from cancer a few years ago, a cancer his doctor was sure had been caused by his earlier exposure to Agent Orange.

As I put the flag up for Memorial Day, I do so with a reverence and respect for all who have served and have died in protecting the rest of us. Even those who make it back alive surely have had something die within them, as a result of their experiences. My brother-in-law loved to barbeque, so I will add a little prayer for him when I fire up the grill later today."

Thanks for the comment. I was one of the few I knew who were able to make a potentially dangerous situation livable, I know regular reader Georgette was another. The fact remains though most were not so lucky. 


Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Confidence and the Lack of It

 One of the easier subjects to write about is how confidence is one of the most important accessories a transgender woman or man can have. The problem we all face is the human animal is an apex predator and similar to a shark will sense out the weakness in another person. Often this leads to early bullying in our

"Attitude"
Photo Jessie Hart
lives, simply because we are different. 

As we attempt to gender transition into our authentic selves, often we are led down a path of appearance obsessions'. In other words we are so into trying to match our exterior images with our authentic selves we neglect to see and experience how the other gender really lives.  When we begin to actually have a chance to look another person in the eye a transgender person starts down the long and winding road to establish a place in the world. 

Even though I have been able to live full time as a transgender woman, I still have issues with confidence. For some reason though I find it easier to look another woman in the eye than I do with a man. Maybe it has something to do with a version of impostor syndrome. Through it all, deep down I still have a fear of gender rejection. 

Ironically, I have lived with the gender fear my entire life. When I was cross dressing ss a guy, I was always desperately afraid of my "girl side" being discovered. My male impostor syndrome was high and probably was to blame for my relative lack of male friends. The fewer I had the less I had to try to meet and maintain. 

It's so easy to say. Just carry yourself as your authentic self and  many of your gender struggles will be over. All it takes is one halfway negative life experience and it seems you have to pick up the pieces and start all over again.

Fortunately life moves so fast we are presented with more chances to prove ourselves in the world. When positives happen, we get the opportunity to rebuild what we lost and enjoy a new level of confidence. Before you know it you are feeling so strong about yourself the sharks stay away. 

After all, there is nothing wrong with you at all.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

De-Transition?

 This morning on a couple of my social media accounts, I noticed two transgender women thinking about reversing all the time and effort they had put into transitioning into the feminine world. To coin an old term, I was in "shock and awe" they would even consider such a move. 

Looking back I began to think of why I moved forward through the dark days of my own MtF gender transition. All the days I was stared at, laughed at and even singled out for pictures. I have written many times concerning the times I returned to the safety of my own home and collapsed on the bed in shame. Somehow, each time I was able to pull myself together and try to improve my feminine presentation.

Transition Picture
Jessie Hart

Through it all, I searched deeply internally for signs I was doing the right thing. The stakes were high. The possibility of losing family, friends and a great job was a huge burden. Surely, many times, the thought of going back to living exclusively as a male was a wonderful proposition. No matter how many times I tried to "purge" myself of my feminine clothes and makeup, in a short period of time I couldn't help replacing my "supply" and starting again. My over-riding thought was I would find the magical clothes and become so good at makeup I would become the beautiful, attractive feminine being I dreamed of being. Of course it never happened the way I dreamed it would be. The best I hoped for was I did become better at choosing better clothes and I did become proficient at applying my makeup. Even though I did receive help on occasion by being courageous and subjecting myself to a makeover at a transvestite mixer I attended. The makeover led to a magical evening on the town.

It was evenings such as the makeover night which led me through quite a few really dark times during my transition to the full time feminine world. Deep down I knew I could accomplish the easy part which was perfecting my appearance as a transgender woman. Later on, I was to discover the harder part was to learn all the layers to exist in the world. Life in the girl's sandbox for me provided several miserable outcomes until I learned how to play the game. 

During this time, as I was doing all my gender "soul searching" one thing kept me going towards my transition during the dark days. When all else failed, the fact remained I just felt more natural in the feminine world as a transgender woman. At the same time I was able to establish a fun, tight knit group of new friends who accepted me as my autunitic self. In a comparatively short period of time I was able to put any thoughts of cross dressing as a man behind me for good.

Unless you are the rare person who has tried a gender transition and found for whatever reason the whole exceedingly difficult process wasn't for you, I can't imagine going back. Life can't be much fun on a gender roller coaster like that.