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

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.     

Monday, May 23, 2022

The Power of being Impatient

 I don't see myself as a patient person, even though I am mellowing with age and understand many things happen if you are patient enough to wait. An example I can use is the time I spent in the Army. Looking back on the entire experience, it only took three years out of my life and in return I was able to see three continents. Most importantly I can thank my Army contacts for my beloved daughter. Who is my only child. 

Looking back I can remember how I counted the days until I "served" my time and was honorably discharged. Through it all in the back of my mind were my noticeable (to me) gender issues. I can safely say my issues dominated my thinking. The problem back in those days in the 1970's there was precious little information concerning transgender issues at all. Even the term "transgender" was new. According to Wikipedia transgender became a umbrella term in the mid 1970's.  Regardless, I was desperate to learn more about my gender issues. My impatience caused me to try to outrun my issues. Leading to moving my wife and I several times along me changing jobs numerous times. Due to self destructive behavior impatience caused me to flirt with alcoholism. 

Photo Courtesy Jessie Hart

During the years I was able to redirect my gender frustrations into being able to carve a nice career in the commercial food management business. On the other hand I wish I could reclaim the energy I lost to wanting to become a transgender woman and manage to do it on a full time basis. No such luck and along the way again I overcompensated as a macho male. Heavily into sports and drinking. It worked too well. Except on a few occasions when I was cross dressed as a man and someone would refer to me as a "she" I passed as a guy well. Testosterone over the years had served me well...against my deepest wishes.

I found for me, the most effective way to overcome the effects of testosterone on my body was to begin hormone replacement therapy when I was in my early sixties. As I began the therapy, I was aware a few of the changes would occur over a short term of time but overall, I would have to be patient and wait for other changes. Also age and health was a factor in my medical decision to begin HRT. Fortunately I was cleared medically and I was able (as I saw it) to begin my gender transition from cross dresser to transgender woman. Later on I came to realize switching my hormone balance to the feminine side would aid in my exterior presentation to the world but no matter what I still was transgender. No amount of patience or hormones could change that. In other words, I was correct in assuming mentally I was a girl. 

Having written all of that, I am still extremely impatient when it comes to my hormone replacement therapy. I finally was able to find out my estradiol levels this week, so it is possible I may be in for a slight increase in dosage. On the other hand, I am aware breast size is determined not so much by the amount of hormones but by hereditary history. Also, since all of the sudden I am experiencing growth in my hips, I probably will stay on the Estradiol dosage I am on and not risk any negative health situations.

For once I am going to have to put my impatience behind me.       

Sunday, May 22, 2022

A Musical Expert

 When I asked for more input on other transgender or cross dresser related music, I forgot to think about Connie who in many ways is our musical expert around here. 

Here are her additions to our trans musical list:

"Not counting the 50+ trans-themed parodies I've written and performed, there are two Beatles songs

Photo Courtesy Connie Malone

that come to mind. There is speculation whether or not either of them was purposely trans related, but their lyrics certainly grabbed the ear of this trans girl. The song, "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da," has that mixed-up verse where Desmond does his pretty face, and at night she is a singer with the band (instead of it being Molly, as in an earlier verse). Did John really just mess up the lyrics there, or was he saying that Desmond was trans or a female impersonator? Since I have done just exactly that many times, it's the only way I picture it, myself. In "Get Back" there is that talk of Sweet Loretta, who was a man who thought she was a woman. There are all sorts of theories about that song, but, of course, my interpretation has always been influenced by my own gender identity.


I've also been subjected to the "cleverness" of an idiot who laughed with his buddies after putting "Dude Looks Like a Lady" on the jukebox. I don't get it, cuz I've never been anything like a "dude." :-) Then, there was the a-hole at karaoke who arranged, privately, to sing "Lola" and then asked me to go up with him for "support." People often ask me to help them, so it didn't bother me until I was on the stage and the intro to the song started playing. I walked right off the stage, and later gave the karaoke host the what-for - to which she replied that it hadn't even occurred to her that it might have been a joke at my expense. We can't help but be sensitive to these things, but they are usually not worthy of anything more than an eye-roll. As Amy Schneider, the recent Jeopardy! champion, said of the negative comments she was receiving, nobody could ever come up with anything she hadn't thought about herself countless times over her lifetime"

Thanks for the extra input! Amy Schneider was certainly correct in that no one could say anything more negative about ourselves than we have ever thought. I know with me, "Dude Looks Like a Lady" still resonates when I look in the mirror on certain mornings. On those occasions anymore, I remember the number of times in the past when the mirror has lied to me and simply move on with my life. 

I just wish I was musically inclined enough to write my own retort to "Dude". 

Friday, May 20, 2022

A Rare Event

 For me, gender euphoria is a very rare happening. Of course it is the opposite of the gender dysphoria I have lived with most if not all of my life. Just a guess but I think I can trace the beginnings of my gender issues to the days when as a youth, I made exploratory searches into my Mom's clothing and makeup. Somehow someway I realized just clothes didn't make the girl. The urge came from much deeper inside. So I pursued my urges. 

Jessie and Liz

Over the next half century I met with much more gender distress than euphoria. The days of being stared at, laughed at and made fun of felt as if it would never end. Following a steep learning curve of gender knowledge it finally did and I was able to assume a life as a full time transgender woman when I was in my sixties. Which gives you some sort of an idea how slow a gender learner I was. 

The amount of time and effort expended makes it all more worthwhile. Last night was an example.  

Liz and I attended the only transgender - cross dresser monthly social we ever go to anymore. It is fairly close and is held in a venue where we enjoy their food and service. Overall sound levels were low so we could easily hear each other speak. 

Perhaps the best part was the other attendees were respectful and entertaining. I was able to enjoy my time.

By enjoying my time, it was nice to be able to converse with other transgender woman (mostly, except for Liz) and to learn more about their lives. As the evening progressed I felt even more comfortable in my role as a transgender woman. Perhaps this rush of gender euphoria is just coming from being able to get out into the world as my authentic self. Being able to just walk in and out of the venue without being stared at was a gender victory of sorts. It was also vindication of all the years I worked to get to this point was worth it after all. 

Unfortunately, financial considerations tied in with the ever increasing effects of rising inflation are making our public trips less frequent. Actually one per month. 

Perhaps the rare occasions of being able to be out in the public's eye is one reason my gender euphoria is so powerful and wonderful. Also I suppose you can't have one end of the gender spectrum without the other. 

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.