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

Monday, May 9, 2022

The Dreaded "M" Word

 All was going relatively well during my visit to the local vampires to have my blood labs checked. When my name was called, no gender pronoun was attached to it. Such as the dreaded "Mister" word. The nurse simply came through the door and screamed my last name. In no way warm and fuzzy but effective which is all I really cared about. 

After they quickly took my blood samples I sat back down as directed and waited, and waited, and waited. Finally I followed the instructions on a sign in the waiting room which said if you waited more than fifteen minutes, go up and check in with the receptionist. I should have known trouble was coming when I had to interrupt her being on her phone. She then rapid fired questions at me asking who set up my second visit with my new primary provider. Then grew frustrated when I told her I didn't know who I talked to. At that point I should have known to be prepared for the worst. It turned out just not being seen by my new doctor right then wasn't going to be the biggest complaint I had. It came when she used the dreaded "M" word with me. In other words she called me "Mister".

Photo by Javier Martínez on Unsplash

When I promptly corrected her through her thick glass window, either she chose to ignore me , didn't care  or was doing it all on purpose because she promptly turned to the woman next to her and called me "him". Again I corrected her. 

It all ended up as my appointment was shifted to a video visit a little later on that day. The whole affair just turned out to be a trigger object for my impostor syndrome. As a long time, full time transgender woman it seems I am always waiting for the other shoe to fall as far as someone  not viewing me as a feminine person. 

Basically the entire situation just hurt my feelings. After a while though, of thinking all the years of trying to prefect what the world sees my gender as has been a failure. I decided to move on and redirect myself to my feminine self. Maybe during the shut in time during the pandemic I just grew too lazy and neglected my appearance, 

Then again maybe I was over-reacting to a woman who rarely see's any other women come into the VA health facility where she works. Maybe she didn't really even look at me and my voice is not the most feminine. 

One way or another, I fortunately don't have to go there much, so I won't have the opportunity to test her "gender reflexes" again. If I do and she fails, I will be writing a formal protest to her bosses.   

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Friday's and the Transgender Woman

Many of you know I have a history degree and consider myself an amateur historian of sorts. Along the way I have developed a deep respect of the historical past being able to predict the future. Somewhat similar to building blocks.

Many of you also know I have written several times about what I consider to be my first night out or history as a transgender woman, rather than as a cross dresser. The difference to me was, it was the first time in my life I was getting the chance to see if I could actually exist in a feminine world. If I was successful I felt I could actually move forward with my dream of living full time. 

In order to try, first I needed a venue to try it in. I had unsuccessfully tried in a number of gay venues and discovered I was only being viewed as yet another drag queen. Far from my goal of being seen at the least as a transgender woman. During the same period of time, a chain of casual bar/restaurants was being invented in NYC and Texas. They were called Friday's and were nearly the first to welcome, attract and serve single women. Before Friday's all bars were essentially were for men only. 

I came up with this information from a television show on food service on the "History Channel". I was instantly attracted from two angles. The second being I built a thirty plus year as a manager in the commercial food business. I ended up working everything from fast food to large casual dining food


operations. The first (and most important) reason was a Fridays in the Dayton, Ohio area was where I first went to see if I could be successful in blending in with and living as a single woman. In this instance, blending in with other women just getting off work from a neighboring up scale mall.

By now, you may recognize how the rest of the experience played out that night. Even though I was scared to death, I did my best to dress in feminine professional attire to blend in with all the other cis-women I knew would be frequenting the venue a little later from when I arrived. To this day I remember the black pants suit, flats and shoulder length blond wig I wore for the evening.

From my experience working in similar concepts, I knew once I made it past the hostess stand and to the bar, I stood a fairly good chance of being served and hopefully accepted. 

To make a long post relatively shorter, I was accepted. I wasn't laughed at by anyone and even though as terrified as I was, I was able to drink two drinks before I made my escape. Most importantly I was still afraid because deep down I knew I had touched a nerve and could possibly live my ultimate dream...a life in a feminine world. I loved it!

Of course Fridays went on to spawn a whole genre of spin offs.  But I will forever be grateful to one of the originals which helped me on my way to a life as my authentic self.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Transgender Desperation

 I believe during our gender journeys we have all experienced a form of desperation. The forms can take many different directions. From how we look as our authentic selves all the way to jobs and family acceptance.

A good example comes from a comment from Emma through "Medium" :

"I described how I felt shopping in my first year on HRT as like being a 14 year old girl with a credit card at her first shopping mall. Thank God I have tempered over time. I still have money left in my pension plan."

So true! Thanks!! I remember the often frenetic shopping trips I took when I first became very serious about living in a feminine world. Often it was the only time I could receive positive feedback on my appearance. Although, deep down I guessed the friendly store clerks were mainly interested in my money. Through it all I was desperate for next outfit which would be the one of my dreams. It was hit or miss until I finally was brave enough to try outfits on in the store  and have an understanding of the sizes which worked with my male figure I was trying to work with. 

Photo from Yasin Yusef on UnSplash

During most of this time I dealt with what seemed like an insurmountable amount of desperation and gender dysphoria. All I really knew was I was dealing with a male body while I was attempting to appear feminine. It took awhile but finally I got it through my thick noggin that sooner more than later I was going to have to take the steps other cis women were taking to improve their appearance. Two examples were diet and skin care. Relatively quickly I was able to shed twenty five pounds and began a daily cleansing/moisturizing routine I use to this day. None of it was easy but so worth it in the long run. 

Ironically, the more success I had with my outward feminine appearance the more desperate I was to leave the mirror behind and explore a feminine world outside of my closet. At times the pressure was intense as I was sure any discovery of my dark secret would lead to the collapse of my male house of cards. Built so carefully to maintain an image that wasn't the true me. 

The more success I found, the more humor I felt when I heard someone call being transgender a choice, a phase or a fetish. Here I was just wanting to live my authentic life as a transgender woman in my own feminine world. It was about this time extreme desperation set in and I attempted extreme self harm. Luckily I failed and went on to begin hormone replacement therapy and add another layer of satisfaction to my life. It felt so good when I began to sync up my feminine internal self with how the world really saw me. 

It was only then when it seemed like a huge weight was taken off my shoulders. My transgender desperation was on the decline and life was good again

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Sugar and Spice?

 Many years ago in my formative days I firmly believed in the old gender stereotype of girls being sweetness and light and everything nice. A big part of the problem was I didn't grow up with any girls at all, so I never had a chance to form realistic ideas of what being feminine at all was all about. The feminine gender existence was so mysterious and wonderful to me. So wonderful I couldn't wait to come home and become one of the "pretty, pretty princesses" I so admired. Evidently I retained the "princess" tag for years because my second wife called me it much later.

From the Jessie Hart Collection

It wasn't until I began to live more and more exclusively as a transgender woman in a feminine world did I understand what my wife was trying to tell me. My perception now comes from my learned experiences. It turns out all the years I spent on the outside looking in on women was wasted. Of course, the more femininity I experienced the more I learned "sugar and spice" when applied to the female gender was a huge misnomer.  

I referred to the whole process as playing in the girl's sandbox. When I jumped in to play I discovered quickly first how different it was from what I was used to and secondly how serious the whole process was. It turned out the women in the sandbox had their own issues and weren't afraid to share them with you...or should I say, punish you with them. Especially if you got in their way.

One of the main issues I learned was the idea of passive aggression being the way to fight. Long gone was the male idea of attacking someone head on. Even if wasn't a physical attack, you still knew where it was coming from if you dealt with another guy. It didn't take long for me to learn to be careful of my back when it came to other women. One of my first lessons was to make sure I was guarding my back in the girl's sandbox. Especially when it came to using the rest room. I could go (no pun intended) from being one of the girls to an outcast when nature called. 

Other times I had to be very careful about were the rare occasions when a spouse or boyfriend was being nice to me. I think the wife or girl friend most likely came after me first and then saved the worst for him later. One way or another, the claws came out and the woman in question became very territorial. Whatever the case, it didn't take me long to learn girls/women were not sugar and spice and everything nice. 

The entire process turned out to be a positive one as I learned my new gender boundaries. Perhaps, most importantly I learned what my wife was trying to say when she called me the "pretty, pretty princess." Reading between the lines she meant I really had very little knowledge of what a woman's life was all about. I was consumed with how I looked. Thinking appearance would go so far in allowing me to be feminine Plus in those days, I was locked into a fake male persona I hated, so I wasn't the easiest person to live with.

It wasn't until I spent some quality time with other women in the sandbox did I discover the truth. Sugar and Spice was a myth.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

What Would You Say?

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash


 I discuss being a senior transgender woman quite often. To my knowledge I have never discussed what I would have told myself during my stressful teenaged years concerning my future.  Of course I am aware it's a useless exercise because my crystal ball was broken. In fact, those of you who may remember the "Eight Ball" game, I would have been behind the eight ball more than in front of it. 

Looking back, I would try to advise my younger self to be patient. Easier said than done when you are advising a teen ager, or even  a later age. I often wonder how my life would have been different if it would have not been re-directed by my military service which was forced upon me during the  Vietnam War by the draft. 

Through a series of fortunate circumstances I was able to continue my passion to work in the radio business as a DJ even when I was in the Army. The problem I continue to have was what would I do about my gender dysphoria while I served my time. Of course I was scared to death and wondered how I would make it through three years without so much as touching any of my feminine collection.

It's easy to say now but I should have known where there is a will, there is a way. In fact after approximately a year and a half of my three years of service, I was able to gather my courage to come out to several of my closest friends. I told them I was a transvestite following a Halloween party I went to dressed "to the nines" as a woman. Somehow my "dirty little secret" was never revealed to my superiors by anyone and I finished my three years without any incidents. 

Through it all, I still resisted any offers to re-up and extend my military service. My impatience was at a all time high and I couldn't wait to return to my civilian world. Little did I know, all I would do was begin a frenetic life's journey designed to try to outrun my gender dysphoria in my twenties. Perhaps the biggest warning came from my earliest gender psychologist who told me I was Bi-polar (which could be treated) but I would never get past my gender issues. 

I was seemingly doomed to continue down a path of alcoholic fueled activity. After buying (and losing) a small bar, I divorced my first wife and remarried and picked up and moved from Ohio to the metro NYC area. One of the reasons was I secretly felt I would be closer to a much more prolific and liberal cross dressing scene. I did take a partial advantage by going but it was short lived and my second wife and I ended up moving back approximately two years later. 

I wish I couldn't have gotten the point across to my younger self if I tried to relax and live my life as it played out everything would be fine. As it was I continued to chase my own tail by moving to other areas and countless other jobs.

What happened was, the world finally caught up to me in many ways. A prime example is the use and understanding of the use of the transgender word itself. Through my life I was able to witness a better idea of what gender dysphoria is and how it fits in with being transgender. 

As I enter my senior transgender years, finally I have been able to look back and say I should have relaxed and I was on the correct gender path. A path which would lead me to being able to lead a life as a full time transgender woman. I would have had a difficult time telling myself I would live long enough to do it.  

 

Friday, April 22, 2022

"Patch" Day

Today I administered my own hormone replacement therapy by applying the synthetic estrogen hormone Estradiol through patches. For my dosage, I apply four of them twice a week 0.1 per patch. I don't write often concerning HRT because everyone is different. Different dosages, different ways to administer the hormones and last but not least your age. 

I am fortunate in that at my age I was healthy enough to begin the therapy at all. Not all receive the same opportunity. Plus, as I always mention, do NOT try to administer your own HRT without medical supervision. Playing with your hormones can be dangerous. I have seen it in action a couple years ago when I attended a "Trans Ohio" seminar on hormones. They featured several different transgender women who abused their hormones by going on line. One was nearly killed. 

I receive my hormone replacement therapy meds  through the Veterans Administration Healthcare system. The process has it's benefits and drawbacks. The benefits include access to a free endocrinologist who monitors my overall bloodwork all the way to a co-pay system where I can purchase my medications at a discount. The drawback includes the VA is very conservative in what treatments and medications it covers. A good example is the Spironolactone medication I am on. It actually serves a dual purpose  of reducing my blood pressure and testosterone at the same time. I understand there are other medications which might do a better job and may be safer but they are n

From the Jessie Hart Collection

ot approved. 

Of course there are many ways to administer your HRT medications. All the way from pills, to patches, to injections.  Years ago I settled on applying patches because I was satisfied with the results I was getting. I have read and heard from numerous other transgender people who really love the changes they have gone through with their hormone injections, Regardless, my main point is, as long as you are doing HRT safely that is all that matters.

Then, there are always the questions. How soon will I begin to feel the gender changes and what occurred under what dosage. These questions have always been nearly impossible for me to answer. For several reasons. The first being the time which has passed since I started my HRT. Since many times I have a difficult time remembering what happened last week, something which occurred nearly ten years ago is impossible. Looking back I do recall how shocked I was because of the feminine changes I was starting to go through. An example was how quickly my breasts began to change and how fast my hair began to grow. Before I knew it, or even wanted it to happen, I had to locate my loosest fitting shirts and begin tying my hair back in a pony tail. All of the changes, not to mention the internal ones started to move my time table up to begin telling the few remaining friends and loved ones I had left the news I was transgender. 

The hormones also had a wonderful way of quickly softening my skin, all the way to me being pleasantly surprised how the angles of my face began to soften and change along with my body hair (except beard) thinning out. Through it all, I had to keep in mind I was in my early sixties and my testosterone would be naturally dropping anyhow. Making way for the new estrogen push. 

On patch day, I always try to pause and thank the powers above for my chance to experience this life the best I can. As far as your response to hormone replacement therapy, your results as I said can very widely on age, dosage and application. Good luck!

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Gender Euphoria

 During a lifetime of dealing with often severe gender dysphoria, every now and then I am blessed when the gender curtain rises. It is exceedingly rare but this morning I actually experienced gender euphoria. For no particular reason, I felt good about who I was. I didn't even wait to look at my reflection in the mirror. What did happen was, when I tied my long hair back, I was able to see my breasts silhouetted in my warm sweater. Since it is still cold around here. Finally this weekend it's supposed to become warm enough to wear my spring clothes.

For me, gender euphoria doesn't happen often. I can refer all the way back to my days as a youth when I woke up in the morning wondering what gender I was going to feel like during the day. Of course I could only guess what my desired feminine gender would feel like. I just knew I would feel better if I was a girl. Along the way I even questioned why I would want to feel that way at all. The guilt was monumental. The overriding question of "why me" was terrible. 

From the Jessie Hart Collection
Looking forward to Summer.

All of it leads me to the point of thinking now I deserve all the gender euphoria I can experience. Even now with all the positive feminine changes I have gone through with hormone replacement therapy, I still don't have the amount of euphoria I think I should have. Perhaps it is because of all the years of living under a gender rock. Too much repression for too many years. Or, too much paranoia from all the dark days I went through learning how to experience living as a full time transgender woman. I often write how difficult it was learning to play in the girl's sandbox. Along the way I often wondered why me and just wanted to sit in corner and cry. Little did I know how easy it would become after I started HRT. The difference was I started to cry tears of joy.

I understand the concept of "paying your dues" but on occasion I thought transgender women and trans men have too many dues to pay. Gender euphoria shouldn't be so rare and fleeting for so many of us. 

Then again it may make it so worth while when we can stand up  straight and proclaim to the world who we are. Or, if you prefer, just being able to blend in with the world and live your best life. Finally freed from the gender shackles you have been subjected to. 

For me, the gender euphoria allows me to take a deep breath and move forward with my life. The only regret I have is it took me so long to arrive here. If I could be granted one wish, I would hope to be given back just a small portion of the time and energy it took for me to continually battle my desire to be feminine. 

Since we only live once, even small victories can become larger as we progress in life. Happiness is fleeting. You need to find it when you can.

Monday, April 18, 2022

Why Not?

Years ago, as I had progressed to the point of no return as far as my transgender transition was concerned, I finally came to the conclusion...why not?

One night as I sat by myself at one of my favorite venues I frequented I finally decided to give up what was left of my remaining old male self and finish my dream of living a feminine life. By this point of my life what did I have to lose except a ton of male privilege , some earned, some not. By this time I was just over sixty years old and was fortunate enough to have lived an interesting and healthy life. The only drawback it seemed was the never ending desire to lead a feminine life. The whole process was very self destructive as many of you know. Through it all, my wife of twenty five years accepted me as a cross dresser but never approved of any idea of me taking the next step towards becoming a woman. Through it all we battled as I cheated with the "other woman" in my life who happened to be myself. Life became so difficult I became very destructive, all the way to attempting self harm or suicide . 

Little did I know at the time my life would change forever when she passed away suddenly from a massive heart attack. I found myself free to be me after the grief and suffering went away. I was given the rare chance to start my life over. A life I could only dream of for most if not all of my life. 

Needless to say, my decision was quick and predictable. I would start hormone replacement therapy and begin to feminize my exterior as soon as possible. Even though my doctor started me on a minimum dosage, very quickly I could tell the whole process was living up to everything I had hoped for and more. Before I knew it, my softening skin, budding breasts and longer hair were becoming  a definite give away to my rapidly changing gender. At the least I was a more androgynous person and faster than I ever dreamed possible, It was like my body was expecting the changes all along and just accepted them as a natural state of being. 

From the Jessie Hart
Collection

Also, my "why not" was easier to go through than many others crossing the gender border to play in the girls' sandbox. Probably, most important was my job. Back then, at my age, I was able to apply for and be able to live on an early Social Security check as I augmented it with selling a few collectibles on the side as I was careful to never go over the SS earnings limit. So I was able to scratch together a living and could retire from the prying eyes of a job which was certain to be hostile to me as I went through a MtF transition. In other words, destiny was swinging the doors wide open. My path was clear to achieving a life long dream of living a feminine life, full time as a transgender woman.

Of course the night I decided to finally live as my authentic self was not without a heaping portion of fear. It was then as it still is now on occasion the most exciting yet terrifying thing I have ever tried in my life. Over time though, the peaks have far exceeded the valleys as I have reached the age of seventy two. 

Probably the only regret I have is not transitioning from cross dresser to transgender woman earlier in my life. I should have asked the "why not" question much earlier.



  

Friday, April 15, 2022

A Transgender Change of Pace

Last night my partner Liz went to bed early taking the dog with her and leaving me with the cat to be entertained. Predictably following a good dinner I soon fell asleep watching the television with the cat on my lap. I didn't really mean to do it because the whole deal would make it harder for me to fall asleep later on. Instead of staying downstairs with the cat, I decided to get ready for bed anyhow.

Of course, as soon as I hit the bed I was wide awake and my anxieties were closing in quickly. After an hour or so I finally quit fighting my phantom fears and decided upon a change of pace. I thought about all the pleasant memories Liz and I have had in the past when we went on mini vacations north of Cincinnati in Columbus, Ohio. 


We began to explore certain venues in Columbus when I was participating in the statewide Trans Ohio Symposium. For several years I presented hour long meetings on subjects such as transgender veterans all the way to the needs of elderly transgender women and trans men. After the seminars were over, we took the opportunity to party.  And party we did! 

One of our favorite venues is called Club Diversity which is located just a short Uber drive south of downtown. It's a unique place in an old Victorian house and even featured a live piano player on most of the nights we were there. The picture was taken at the bar. 

As much fun as it was getting hit on by gay guys at Club Diversity, equally as fun was eating a famous burger up the street at Thurman's Café. Their burgers are so good they have been featured  on the Food Channel television network. 

Unfortunately the Trans Ohio Symposium doesn't exist anymore so Liz and I have to save our precious pennies to make the trip up to Columbus for more fun and games all on our own. Columbus is a progressive LGBTQ community with a huge Pride parade so good times were had by all and I know I can't wait to go back. 

I need a transgender "change of pace!"


Saturday, April 9, 2022

Transgender Tetherball

 Do you know what the game "Tetherball" is? Basically it is a ball secured by a rope to a pole. When the ball is hit by a hand it comes back round to you. Of course it can be played by more than one person.


When I heard the game discussed briefly this morning on a PBS television show I was watching, I thought of what it meant in relation to a transgender woman or trans man.  

I was intrigued and thought of gender replacing the ball in our game of life. For awhile we can be fortunate and the gender ball smoothly comes right back to us. During it's circle there was no one to stop it by saying the wrong thing and ruining your day. The problem is it can be so much more than just an outsider who can destroy the smooth rotation of the gender tetherball as it swings back to us.

Take for example, the gender dysphoria many of us suffer from. Through no fault of anyone other than ourselves, we can have our lives turned upside down when we have to live through the gender hell of not having our feminine souls sync with who the world sees us on a daily basis. Recently my gender game has been relatively smooth because I think my inner gender has been syncing up with who the world has been seeing. However, those feelings can be destroyed in an instant by ill advised side look in a mirror. It's similar to the gender ball hitting me in the face. 

Seemingly the only way I can correct the problem is by going out in the world and proving to myself I can present myself as a feminine person. Once it happens (or if it does) I can get back in the game until it happens again. My gender dysphoria has proven to me time and time again it will. 

An example happened to me this morning when I went to visit the vampires at the Veterans Administration clinic to have my blood labs taken. During the brief time I was there, I happened to look up in the waiting room and see a man waving at me. Also the tech who drew my blood took the extra time to "mansplain" to me all the tests he was doing. A sure sign they were booth reading feminine when they interacted with me.

All it really matters is the realization I am tethered to being transgender the rest of my life. Of course it is not a blinding sense of reality to figure out something I should have known years ago. 

Oh well, living in the past is just another case of getting hit in the face by the ball. One thing for certain is "Transgender Tetherball" is not a fun game.

Friday, April 8, 2022

Transgender Writers Block

 You regulars know I have very few days when I don't have a post to share with concerning the transgender world at large. Every once in a while I need a day off from my writing to step back and consider where I am with my writing. 

First of all, the one thing I don't do nearly enough is thank all of you who read my work here or on the several other social media platforms I write for. An extra thanks goes out to all of you who participate on my posts by commenting. It all means the world to me. 

Photo Jessie Hart Collection

My last "day off" from writing a post came after my latest therapy session. Since I have to complete my session in private on my lap-top, the battery is nearly drained following every session. So, I have to wait until I can recharge the lap-top before I can write again. 

While it is true I could write ahead and schedule posts to be active, lately I haven't thought I had enough material to bother trying. 

Sometimes I wonder also how much material is there to write about at all?  If the truth be known, there should be plenty to write about. In many states including my native Ohio, politicians are trying to potentially erase our very existence. Since so many of us face the problems of coming out at all, I am hesitant to keep mentioning the obvious. 

The obvious should be, a sizeable amount of transgender women and men are out and finding ways to carve out a new life.

So, when I am suffering from a transgender writers block I try to remember all of you who have been kind enough to comment on my previous posts, Hopefully my mistakes will help you  not make as many. I  highly regret the days when I was a thirty something cross dresser trying to pass myself off by dressing as a teen aged girl  My excuse is it took me awhile to learn true public validation as a feminine transgender woman came from other women. Not men. 

Through it all I became a "gender sponge". Everything, no matter how small became important to me. Finally, my :studies" led me to am impossible situation. I was trying to live with one foot in my pretend male life and the other in my more increasingly more natural life in an expanding women's world.

By now you may be thinking where was the transgender writers block? It actually occurred a couple days ago. All it took was a day away from writing to cure it.   

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Red Heads Have More Fun?

 Yesterday I watched the vintage movie "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" with Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell. Of course Marilyn played the dumb blond  and Jane the brunette played her more sensible friend. 

One of the benefits of being a woman is you are able to change your hair color on occasion and in fact I spent years as a red head before my hair stylist suggested I let it grow out to it's natural shade.  

So as we were checking out two of the major types of women with major hair color differences yesterday, it just so happened, the redheads checked in yesterday also.  You may recall I have featured Jayde Dent here on the blog before. She is a local transgender woman from the Metro-Cincinnati, Ohio area who is fortunate to have married a woman who essentially transitioned with her.

Here is Jayde as a redhead:

Photos Courtesy Jayde Dent

And as a blonde:


You can choose your favorite!

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Fear as a Transgender Motivator

 Recently I wrote on the subject of how difficult it was during my MtF gender transition. Every time I thought I had taken a step or two forward, I was sent backwards when my high heeled pump became stuck in a sidewalk crack and ended up sending me into a decidedly unfeminine situation. 

Through it all I was so alone and left on my own to judge my appearance and mannerisms. Similar to so many of us crossing the gender frontier, all I had was a mirror which seemed to never want to tell me the truth. Looking back, fear and trepidation of what the public was going to think of me curiously kept me going. When I was laughed at or even asked to leave a venue, my setbacks just led me to try harder to be successful. 

The entire process was exciting yet terrifying. Interestingly, we transgender women and men all shared similar but all so different experiences. Take Connie for example:

" By the time I finally made it out to be a visible part of the outside world, I had become so afraid of the thought of never leaving the safety of my locked room that going out was more a relief than anything else. The scenarios I'd imagined would surely come to fruition turned out to be much worse than anything I've ever actually experienced.

Connie Malone

 Of course, I really did know that would be the outcome. I'd read Dale Carnegie books, and I was fully aware that 99% of the bad things you think are going to happen never really do. I was also familiar with the Al Franken character, Stuart Smiley, and his inept life coaching tagline, "You're Good Enough, You're Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like You." Throw in a favorite quote of mine from Oscar Wilde - "Life is too important to be taken too seriously" - and my fears were subsided by the thought that I'd rather have died laughing (even being laughed at) than having been found, alone in my locked basement room, dead in a pool of my own tears.


As I like to say: If ya can't leave 'em laughing, at least leave 'em guessing. That's how I relax and enjoy the ride! :-)"

I agree 99% of the bad things never really happen but it was the one percent which kept coming back to haunt me. 

I finally figured out most of the percent I was failing came from setting myself up for failure. A prime example was one venue I tried time and time again to visit where I knew I wouldn't be welcome instead of going to another venue close by where I had already established myself.  The whole process led to the time I had the police called on me just for using the restroom. 

As I eventually became wiser to where I could go, I was able to begin to relax and build the new feminine person I was always destined to become on a firm foundation. From there forward I didn't have to rely on fear to motivate me.


Monday, April 4, 2022

Monday Uplift

 One of the very few transgender women I feature on a semi regular basis is Melonee Malone who I always write is no relation to regular contributor Connie Malone.

Most certainly, as you can see, Melonee needs plenty of uplift in her latest picture on Facebook.



Maybe this picture should be captioned "My eyes are up here!"


Friday, April 1, 2022

A Brisk Day Downtown

 Another Transgender Day of Visibility has come and gone. As I previously wrote about I helped "man" the table for three hours for the Transgender - Cross dresser support group I am part of. It was held at the downtown campus of the county library. A portion was set up in the library and a portion was set up outside in the parking lot. 

Weather wise, the day was less than ideal. To say the least, the weather was brisk. Regardless,  there were plenty of participants who attended from the community. In addition,  there also were speakers and several entertainers. 

Surprisingly, even with the gray cold day attendance was still good. Although after the presentation most of the group moved to a warm place inside the large library where they had catered refreshments for us. I went in with a friend and as we thawed out As we chatted, it was difficult not to notice the complete diversity of the group.

My friend and I were on the older (more mature) end of the spectrum but it ranged from several pre teen transgender girls and boys all the way through many in their teens to us old people. As we enjoyed the food and warm friendly climate, my friend looked around and said how wonderful it was to be part of a majority for a change. So true!

To further the thought, the library even had a feature of the several "scary" books alt right politicians and preachers would like to ban. Of course it was wonderful to see such an outpouring of support. 


If you know anything about the politics of my native Ohio, it is important  to note the state has pockets of LGBTQ support. Take Cincinnati where I live for example. For the Day of Visibility, the transgender pride flag was flown over City Hall. 

I am not going to ruin this positive post with all the negatives which still face the transgender community. Even though the weather didn't cooperate, the people did.

It was good to be out and proud. And by all means...visible! I think many times when I am out with my partner Liz, I blend too well and end up not representing the transgender community at all. I guess you could call it a version of stealth. It's one reason why on occasion I prefer on occasion being an example of what can happen if you are able to live long enough to accomplish your gender goals and live as your authentic self. 

I fear some people just see the end result with me and not the fifty plus years to get here. 

A brisk day downtown brought it all back into focus for me. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Journey to Where?

 Just when I think the transgender community is making strides forward, there comes a giant step back. 

Photo Courtesy Google

This time it is Florida trying to out do Texas (as well as a few other states I won't mention) as the most anti LGBTQ state in the union. By now I'm sure you have heard Republikkan governor DeSantis of  Florida signed the "Don't Say Gay" bill yesterday. In essence, the bill tries to restrict schools from teaching any sort of LGBT material at all. 

It's sad the number of bills being introduced around the country which will eventually try to inhibit our right as transgender women and men to exist at all. Obviously a very un-American idea.

It's also tragic the number of all transgender or gay/lesbian people this will drive back into their closets. Growing up with any sort of gender or sexuality disorder is difficult to begin with. Being in a dark closet makes it worse. 

The only positives I see are the various pro LGBT organizations which exist on a national level which are powerful enough to fight these bigoted bills in court. Once the transgender cat is out of the bag, one way or another it will be difficult to force it back in.  

It's also difficult for me to write about what's left of the political system. Somehow over the years we have let the educational system decline to the point of just "dumbing down" large portions of society. Then, some are influenced by out right lies by a major news network I won't bother mentioning. 

This Thursday is the "International Transgender Day of Visibility." I will be writing in depth on what I will be doing to be extra visible. I know also so many of you are still in your closets and are unable to get out and be seen. 



In the meantime as I will mention again and again it is so important to know who you are voting for. Even it's just for a school board seat. It's going to take a grass roots effort on our part to maintain any gains we have made.

By doing so we can tell the world not only is it OK to say Gay, it's also OK to say transgender. 

It will make our journey to where, a successful one. Where you can lead a safe life.  

Monday, March 28, 2022

A Piece of Clay

Through out life there is the argument of nurturing versus nature being the major influences on how we develop as human beings. In other words, an example could be which parent did you more closely identify with and did that decision have an impact on your gender decisions later in life. So many of us in my age range grew up with distant fathers whose generation leaned towards more of a provider roll, versus an emotional one. For example, my Dad was always a wonderful provider but emotionally distant. 

My Dad was also very much a self made man rising from the depths of the depression,  serving in WWII all the way to retiring as a bank vice president. What does this have to do with nurturing as a parent, he just wasn't able to embrace that part of parenthood which left my Mom to do it. Perhaps at that point I became more interested in how she applied her makeup and presented herself to the world rather than being allowed to tag along with my Dad as he built his own house. 

All of those reasons sound like an oversimplification to me. I'm sure my slightly younger brother as well as the rest of the neighborhood boys one way or another were raised the same way and didn't turn out to be transgender, or at the least have gender issues. 

My First Girls Night Out, I'm on the top left.

On the other hand, our highly unique lives have given us a chance to see both sides of the binary gender spectrum. As difficult as it was to carve out a fairly successful life as a pretend man, in many ways it was terrifying to make the transition to live full time in a feminine world. The more I did, the more I learned I had so far to go. Partly because I felt men were basically much more simple to figure out than women. Men dealt in power systems built on job successes all the way to athletic ones while women dealt with complexities in life revolving from personal relationships all the way to family issues. As I was invited along to my first "girls nights out" I truly discovered how the genders operate on different ever changing  ways.

How the entire process works in positive ways for many transgender women and men is that we have a chance to re-invent ourselves. How many humans have an opportunity like that? It's similar to the cup being half full or empty. Sure it's painful to lose old family or friends but the opportunity to build new relationships (and better) ones is always a possibility. In the end we are just a big piece of clay to work with. 

How we work that clay of course is up to each of us. In many ways we are gender hybrids which is the reason so many people don't understand us as transgender women and men.  If we work our clay right, maybe they will. 

Monday, March 14, 2022

Gender Transitions

 Recently I wrote on the aspects of hormone replacement therapy and how I considered beginning HRT as the line I crossed when I went from being a cross dresser to a novice transgender woman. At the time I thought crossing the line would be the only gender transition I would undertake. Needless to say, I was really wrong. 

Basically what happened was, the more I learned about existing in the feminine world, the more natural I felt and the more I wanted to learn more. In a relatively short period of time I was able to begin a life as a fulltime transgender woman. Before I could, I found there were other transitions I had to make. 

The first was deciding the basic idea of exactly what I was. Was I truly a woman or a transgender woman. For the longest time I was content in thinking of myself as sort of a gender hybrid. As the years went by and I lived more and more, I finally decided I deserved the "woman" label as much as the next person who was socialized into it. Just because they were born female. I too went through the comments here on the blog regarding the description of a woman was somehow tied into childbirth. I knew that to be so much trash talk because many women can't have children medically, or want one such as my second wife. Did it make her any less of a woman? I don't think so. 

As time went by also and I was approaching the point when I conceivably could go "stealth" I transitioned to the point where I didn't really care what most anybody thought about my gender anyway. Outside of a few very isolated circumstances, I had transitioned into what I thought was gender nirvana or the ultimate confidence of believing who I am. 

Photo by Faris Mohammed on Unsplash

The nagging  question remained though was I done with my gender transition. The answer is a resounding no. The farther I went, it seems there were always steps to climb or a wall to scale.

Perhaps regular reader Paula said it best when she wrote in and commented she essentially had passed the point of just considering herself a woman. All the way to believing in herself as a person.

In other words, Paula is just herself along with her many interests such as being a musician. When you are yourself, it leaves others to have no choice but to believe in you too. If they don't...buh bye. 

Call a gender transition what you like. A series of challenges, stairs to climb or even walls to scale. It's all dealing in semantics but then again so real to a transgender woman or man. 

As I reach this point of my life (72 years old) my biggest blessing is to have my health for the most part which allows me to continue on my HRT. Syncing my inner female who has always been there pushing to live with my external self which the world sees has helped me tremendously.

Hopefully I can continue this gender transition I am on as I reach the point of the final transition. 

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Sports and the "Big T."

 As football season winds down, for the first time in over three decades the Cincinnati Bengals are playing the Kansas City Chiefs for a chance to play in the Super Bowl. Kansas City is a tough talented team so they will be difficult to defeat


None of that hurts my enthusiasm. In my long life of 70 plus years, I have witnessed only two visits to the Super Bowl by the Bengals and both were heartbreaking defeats. On one occasion I even suffered a broken bone in my foot trying an ill advised leap during a touchdown run. I have written before how I had to make up a weak excuse for my boss why I worked the next several days on crutches.    

During todays' game you can bet I won't being trying any leaps. In fact with my testosterone levels so low and my estrogen so high, I'm definitely aren't so passionate anymore. I used to be so competitive I had a difficult time playing any sort of a game because I hated to lose. On the other hand, I am a better fan. I watch the games with more nuance. Maybe why there are so many more women these days who are sports fans.  

On another topic away from football, I received several great comments on my post "What's in a Name". The first is from Lisa :



"I completely understand. I went through several names before settling on Lisa, but it is a diminutive for Elizabeth, which is what I plan to use on my birth certificate, if I ever change it. I too have the grandkid issue, and have thought of putting my current first two initials as my middle name so they can use that. Not too different from your solution. "Great minds think alike!"

Thanks Lisa! And, another from Paula:

"It is a revelation to many that anyone can change their name, like you I went through a lot of names, more or less exotic. But when I realised that this was for keeps I went for the pragmatic answer, and the one that meant I didn't have to change my signature!


We grow up with the name our parents gave us and it becomes a part of our identity, so when we choose a new name we have to make sure it is one we are going to be happy taking as part of our identity. A while back my name was printed in a concert program as "Pauline" I was horrified as I though "No, I could never be a Pauline!"

As always thanks Paula! 

Finally GO BENGALS!!!!!

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Party Down in "C-Bus"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of model in mini skirt
 by Edward Howell on Unsplash

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

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

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