Showing posts with label life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label life. Show all posts

Friday, July 19, 2024

Finding your Happy Place

From the Jessie Hart Archives 

 As a transgender woman or trans man, it is often very difficult to find your happy place.

A happy place can often be called gender euphoria for all of us who suffer from gender dysphoria. If you don't know, dysphoria is the often evil process of hating the gender you were born in. After all these  years, I still dread the first look in the mirror every morning. Who will I see looking back? My same old masculine self, or a femininized version of him. Some mornings I land in my happy place and others I don't. I usually settle on a middle point until I am done with the mirror.  On occasion too, I suffer from having an impostor syndrome. When I think do I even belong here at all. Happily, the syndrome goes now away quickly because I know I have earned my place as a transgender woman.

Earning my place was never easy as I never inherited any feminine characteristics to start with. What I did have was a testosterone damaged body to work with. The only positives I had to work with were the compliments I received  on my freshly shaven legs at Halloween parties.  Then I had the tendency to overdue it when I explored feminine fashion. I thought I should emphasize my positives such as my legs and at the same time play down my body negatives such as a thick torso. All of it led to massive fashion mistakes before I learned to dress to blend in with the other women I encountered in public. I lived through all of those and found a happy place I could live with.

Around this time was when my happy place location started to change and move around. It shifted from appearance only into a personality based place. Mainly because, suddenly I was closely interacting with the public as a trans woman. It all meant so much more to me than my days as a casual cross dresser. All I know was I was up to the challenge and enjoyed my new happy place everytime it presented itself to me. Outside of a few instances of impostor syndrome, I was learning more and more I could indeed live my dream of being a transgender woman in the world. It turned out my happy place did exist in the feminine world and more and more I wanted out of my old boring male existence. 

Still I had a lot of climbing to do to rid myself of the old baggage I needed to lose to transition. I wondered at the time what I would do about everything I loved in life such as my daughter, (hobbies such as sports) and what was left of my business. It turned out destiny took it's own course with my baggage. My daughter supported me completely while my brother rejected me, so I was the recipient of the best part of the deal. As far as my business went, it mercifully closed due to a weakened economy and other factors, leaving me close to having an early retirement. As far as hobbies went, ironically I found a group of women who were as passionate as I was about sports, so I had friends to watch our favorite games with. So as you can tell, outside of the obvious gender issues, I was able to restart my happy place without a whole lot of extra effort. 

When I found my new happy place, it felt so natural I wondered why I did not pursue it earlier. I know early on I was into my appearance as a woman completely and often missed the basics of movement and communication to further my femininity. It turned out I did not have to worry because the deeper I delved into my new life, the more fluid and natural I became. Practice made perfect in so many ways along with the fact I became secure into who I was. When I did, I didn't care what others thought of me and my confidence as a trans woman increased.

It turned out, destiny took it's time but ultimately led me the right direction.    

Monday, July 15, 2024

Going Through the Motions

Image from Dibakatur Roy 
on UnSplash.

Looking back at my fifty plus years of life as a cross dresser, I wonder when and how I crossed the gender barrier into being a transgender woman.

Also, how many years did I spend just going through the motion to arrive at my destination. I started with going through what I call now my mirror worship period. During this time, I couldn't wait for any opportunity I had to slip away from my boring, unwanted male life to slip into what feminine fashion and makeup I could find which fit me. Invariably, the mirror would give me positive feedback until I could come back for more. 

I am guessing now but I think approximately twenty years or so went by before I was brave enough to leave the mirror behind and see what if anything the world had to offer a novice cross dresser. On the other hand,  I know it took me longer than the two decades to figure out my truth. I was just going through the motions as a cross dresser and my gender issues ran much more deeper than just wanting to put on a dress and walk in front of the mirror. After years and years of doing the same thing, for some reason something clicked in me which made sense but at the same time was very scary.

It was the time I decided to find out if I could go co-exist with a group of women as a woman in their own territory. Previously, I had scouted out the venue I wanted to go to and when I wanted to try out my idea. It was the "Friday's" I write about often and yes I was petrified for several reasons. What if I did not make it and was ridiculed or maybe worse yet, what if I did and my life would change forever. If I did make it, I knew I could never go back to just going through the motions of being a part-time cross dresser. I was so much more. 

Finally, I got in so deep with me thinking I was transgender I reversed all of my gender thinking. Primarily I wasn't a man cross dressing as a woman at all I was a woman cross dressing as a man. Or, I was just going through the motions of being a male because I was born into it and was just attempting to get by until I could change my life for the better and live as a transgender woman. It represented a seismic change in my thinking on how I was going to live my life. 

By the time I was sixty, I could not take all the self destructive behavior I was experiencing any longer and decided to cross the gender frontier and live as a transgender woman. I embraced all my new gender thinking and set out to discover all I had missed by living my life as a man. Since my inner feminine soul had been observing my life and struggles the whole time, surprises were kept to a minimum. It turned out she was plotting all along how she would live once she got the chance. 

The last major step my male self gave her was going to the doctor and getting approved for gender affirming hormones. HRT just helped to further sync up what I thought I needed to be with what I actually was. Or, I thought I needed any help I could with femininizing my body to help me blend in with the world.

Of course, now I feel as if I was robbed of my life when I was going through the motions of being a man. On the other hand, I made the best of an unfortunate mistake. I gained a daughter, built a solid career and even survived my tour in the Army, so it all could have been so much worse as I battled my own gender dysphoria. It turned out, being transgender just led me into going through more motions than most people.   


Friday, July 12, 2024

Trans Peaks and Valleys

Image from the
Jessie Hart Archives.

Lifetime as a whole presents us with many peaks and valleys to negotiate.

Since I am transgender and always wanted to be a woman, my peaks and valleys often revolved around times when I came out as my authentic self in the world. Very early on, sadly, there were more frequent valleys than peaks as I learned to survive in the public as a novice cross dresser or transgender woman. I vividly remember too many times when I came home sobbing when I was laughed at. I don't remember now how I survived the dark times and continued to move forward. 

As I did move forward, there were other peaks in my life such as when my only child was born. When she arrived, my existence changed forever. Plus, I wondered how having a new person in the world would effect my gender desires. In many ways, I thought it was poetic justice when I had a girl. For some reason, deep down, I thought I could understand a girl better than a boy.  Since my daughter turned out the way she did, maybe I was right.

A big problem I had with my peaks and valleys was staying in one place long enough to actually understand if I was doing anything right. As I constantly changed jobs and moved my small family, I gave my second wife a hard way to go when I tried to chase myself. I am amazed we made it through twenty five years. 

Another problem I had was when I needed to come down off the gender peaks when I encountered them. Gender euphoria was so rare, I wanted to hang on to it as long as I could. When I couldn't I would become frustrated and ultimately mean around my family and co-workers. 

The more I progressed in my gender transition the more extreme the effort to climb out of the valleys became. The major problem was I didn't feel increasingly secure in my old male role and at the same time, I was feeling more and more natural as my femininized self. Which again caused me great frustration when I fell deeper into my valley. At several points I was so deep, I needed therapy to help me restore my mental health. Therapy on occasion did help me climb up to an acceptable level of a peak. When I was smart enough to actually take the therapist's advice. 

It turned out my fear of heights carried over to my transgender issues. The better I became at existing as a woman in public, I was scared. Primarily because for the first time in my life it seemed to be a real possibility I could reach my dream of actually living as a transgender woman. As I looked down on my previous male life, leaving it scared me. What would I do about  losing all of my white male privileges and then having to start all over again. At the time, the only female privilege I could see was a man opening a door for me. Which I later found to be false as there were other feminine benefits I had yet to experience as I climbed my gender peak. 

Finally, at the age of sixty, I could take the pressure of the climb no longer and I decided to stop all aspects of my old male life. I was taking gender affirming hormones to take me to the next step, my mental health was improving and for once I could see my life clearly as a transgender woman. So even though I needed to take a leap of faith off a cliff and transition, I found I had others around me who provided a soft landing. It turned out, I hadn't lost anything at all. 

My up and down life of trying to live as both binary genders was difficult at times to say the least. Near the end I found I made the correct decision on which peak to climb and it was not the male one.

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Transgender Control

Image from Charles 
Deluvio on UnSplash

Many times, resistance to transgender  women  or trans men comes from people who just want to control us.

Since so many people don't understand trans people, control for them seems to be the easiest way out to deal with us. On the other hand, I dealt with being ignored by men when I first came out in the public's eye. Most of it probably came from the presentation issues I dealt with. Examples included the times I started to talk to men concerning topics I knew quite a bit about and was roundly ignored. However there was the occasional man who tried to dominate the conversation with me. 

Seeing as how I had lived in the male world all those years, I should have known it was coming. Even other men tried their best to control me over the years. With a few of them, like drill sergeants when I was in the Army. What I did was internalize my thoughts and outwardly listened to them. So I learned to get by in the world. Even when I was wondering how I would exist in the world as a transgender woman.

I was lucky I had good role models around me from the women I knew. My Mom started it all off because she existed quite well in the male dominated world she existed in. Then, much later in life, I worked in a profession where again I saw how the strong women around me survived well in life. Very few people controlled them. As their boss, I learned to work with them, not control them. In my dealings with men as a trans woman, all I wanted was the same. A man who would work with me not cut me off in mid sentence when we talked. In all fairness to the men I met before I began to be involved with my group of lesbians, I did meet a couple guys I felt I could be interested in.

My problem was I refused to be treated as a fetish item and required a man to meet me in a public place before we did anything else. Which stopped all of the crazies I met on line. For just a moment at least, I wanted my own transgender control. As my transition progressed, I found control was harder and harder to maintain, especially when I became quite fond of several women around me who accepted me for who I was. Control from a feminine viewpoint was quite different from all I had learned as a guy growing up. Primarily because there was more give and take.

Of course I embraced all the changes and willingly gave up several keys to my life. The biggest one came when I packed up my belongings, along with my cat and dog and moved in with my current wife (and longtime companion) Liz. Now it has been over twelve years ago and after quite a bit of give and take, our relationship thrives. 

All in all, learning control as a transgender woman  is a difficult process. Primarily because of the major differences in the binary genders. In order to survive in our male life, many of us had to learn to control the situation when it came to dealing with spouses, family and employment. While I can safely say I never really controlled my second wife who was a very strong woman, on occasion I tried because I was the man and it was what men do. Above all it taught me, it was NOT what men should do. Especially when I faced it as a trans woman. 

Again, thanks to the feminine role models I grew up with, I blossomed into a proud out transgender woman I am today. They all showed me the way and my inner female finished the deal. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Having it All as a Trans Girl

Archived image
after Beauty Salon. 


As we negotiate difficult gender journeys on the way to becoming our authentic selves as transgender women or trans men, we find it is tough to have it all in our lives.

Many times, as we give up much of the baggage we have accumulated in our old lives, we have to give up spouses, families and even employment. On the plus side, if we have the chance, we can build back better in our new lives. In fact, I was told once by a woman I knew, I had an unique situation. I was starting all over in life where as most other humans never have the chance to do. Before I could get there, I needed to do quite a bit of work.

Early on, I obsessed on my feminine appearance, wrongly thinking it was all I needed to do to make it in the world as a cross dresser or transgender woman. Seeing as how my wife was fond of calling me the pretty princess all the time and I knew nothing about being a woman. Now, I wish I would have listened closer to her. As it was, I did listen to the point where I really began to work overtime observing women to see what she meant and it was not enough. I still didn't understand and my male ego continued to get in my way when I happened to have a successful night out cross dressing. Like the evening I went to a transvestite mixer and was carded at the door to prove I was a guy and not a cis-woman. My defense was I had to know what a woman was if I had been mistaken for one the night before. Plus, somehow I held my gender dilemma against my wife because she would not help me,  As  I always mention, it seemed my wife and my male self ganged up on me to slow down my transition. Both had a losing stake in the process if I made it.

At any rate, I said to hell with them and set out to look behind the sacred feminine curtain to see if I could survive. Quickly, I learned not only could I survive but just possibly I could thrive as a transgender woman. In order to make my way behind the gender curtain, I needed to really learn the basics of communicating as a woman, mainly with other women. I found I had a curious audience of women wondering at the least what I was doing in their world and at the most, learning I was not any sort of a threat. For awhile, my life was moving fast and I was close to seeing what having it all might mean for this trans girl. It all became tantalizingly close. 

So close, I kept moving forward as fast as I could, especially when the forces which were holding me back began to weaken and disappear.  It became easier and easier to toss my old male baggage in the trash and acquire new feminine luggage, The turmoil I experienced at once was the toughest, saddest moment of my life coupled in with a few of the most exciting times I had ever experienced. 

Even with all of my changes I was going through as a transgender woman, I still didn't think I was ever on the edge of having it all. Life is just not built that way. Primarily with the help of a small group of very accepting women friends, I was able to come close and open gender doors which were previously closed to me. I was able to never look back at a male life I never really wanted.


Friday, July 5, 2024

Independence Day?

 


On this Fourth of July weekend, many think there is a possibility this will be the last we will ever be able to celebrate as transgender women, trans men or otherwise. Since the Supreme Court recently installed the president as a king, the coming election looms as a scary proposition. As the former president has already indicated he will never be unseated if he wins again. Plus, if you doubt me, google Project 2025 and read it. The entire LGBTQ community is in danger.

Regardless, this post is not going to be political in nature as most of you know who I support for the presidency and I will never change anyone else's mind. Plus, I don't see it as a done deal President Biden will run again.

This post is about my own independence day from the bonds I suffered when I was living as a man. 

I have plenty to celebrate since I took over a half a century to shake free of all the unwanted male life style I inherited, if I wanted to or not. Over my half century, I played all the male games presented to me such as sports and service in the military. Secretly hoping one or both would help me to just settle into a male life. Even becoming a father didn't help. I was stuck as the round peg being hammered into a square hole.

The longer I lived as a man, the stronger my ties became to the gender I never really wanted to have anything to do with. Especially difficult to break were all the male privileges I accumulated when I became a fairly successful middle aged white man. If I liked it or not, I became an automatic "sir" to the public I encountered. 

All the years it took me to sever the male bonds I had were worth it as I began to live as a transgender woman. Sure, it was different to live under a different set of gender rules but each one made sense when I did it. Major changes included being excluded from male conversations since seemingly I had lost a large portion of my intelligence, all the way to learning the all important rules of being a woman in public and how the security would change me forever. There were more changes to be sure but those were the big ones.

When I got up this morning, my wife Liz said "Happy Independence Day" and I don't mean the national one. I didn't have to think long and feel very positive about what she said about me coming a long way in my life. After all, she was one of the main influences when I finally put what was left of my male existence behind me. She told me she had never seen any male in me at all which was all I needed to hear to transition totally.

I had a question from a reader the other day which asked me did I think women were the most accepting of a transgender person. I said, in my opinion yes, by far I had been supported so much more by the women in my life and would have had a much more difficult time playing in the girl's sandbox without their help. I learned among other things, there was so much more to a woman's life than makeup and fashion. Which I had to learn to move forward to live my gender dream. Thanks for asking!

My independence day turned out to be one worth celebrating more than I ever considered.


 

Thursday, July 4, 2024

Finishing What you Started

Dinner with my wife Liz on Left

My parents always pushed me to finish what I started. 

Little did they know how their priorities for me  would influence me in my future years. As I began my early years as an innocent cross dresser just trying to justify my new gender feelings. The more I went in front of the mirror, the less I could un-see what I imagined myself to be if I was an actual girl. Seeing as how I was in a shared space with myself, my imagination was key to survival. Often I spent hours at school dreaming of rushing home ahead of my family and cross dressing with the feminine clothes I managed to accumulate. I made very little money with my allowance I earned along with what I earned on my newspaper neighborhood route I took on. I think my parents were surprised when I was so good with doing my job delivering papers, not knowing the real motivation I had. Which was, I needed the money to buy more make-up or clothes if I could find them.

I was well on the way towards finishing what I started the older I became. What happened was the mirror became reality when I started to leave my closet and journey into the world. Plus, for years, I wondered if I was ever able going to attempt to finish what I started. Was it even possible? To finish, I would have to completely overcome the challenges equated with changing out family, friends and even employment. The more I went forward in the world as a transgender woman, the more sense I felt in my life as I knew it. For a change, I actually thought I could make it towards my dream goal of being a woman, transgender or not. Mainly because of the times I was actually being accepted in the world as my authentic self. From shopping, to eating out to making special trips to Christmas activity, I was doing it all. 

The problem became I became too good in my new life. I can't say it enough how natural I felt when I was finishing what I started so I kept pushing myself to do more. That meant nothing feminine was off limits for me. Except for the occasional redneck sports bar I went into to enjoy a drink and an appetizer, I did not have any major problems at all. The exception was the one venue I went to when the police were called on me for using the restroom. I never finished what I started there and never went back as I had several other venues I was welcomed at. I realized I should spend my money where I was welcomed. 

Eventually, I knew to come closer to finishing what I started, I would need to research gender affirming hormones. If I was approved for HRT, I felt I could come closer than ever before to femininizing my exterior body to match my feminine inner gender. I was medically approved and before I knew it, the hormones had produced a very androgynous body for me. So much so, I needed to move up my timetable of when I planned on going fulltime as a transgender woman. My skin was softening so much, my breasts and hair were growing so fast, I could not turn back. Perhaps, most surprisingly to me were the internal changes which were taking place. My world was softening and for the first time in my life, I could have an emotional cry. 

Even though I have been successful in mostly finishing what I started on my gender journey, as I nearly reach the age seventy five. Three quarters of a century has taught me what Yogi Berra said is true. It's not over till it's over. I never make a secret of the paranoia I face over facing my final years fighting for my gender in an assisted  living facility. I have finally been able to tell myself I will face that hurdle when I come to it.

Fortunately, I have survivors such as my wife Liz and daughter who respect my gender wishes and won't have a huge family argument when I die. A problem  I see so much of in the transgender community when a family disapproves of a person living as their authentic self. Who would have ever thought finishing what you started would be such a time consuming and difficult process. I certainly didn't when I first got a glimpse of myself all those years ago.    

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Back from the Brink

Picnic with my wife Liz on right. 
 

As I changed out my estrogen patches this morning, I thought about how far back from the brink I have come over the years towards my dream of becoming a full time transgender woman. 

Along the way, it became evident to me I needed to streamline my life If I was ever going to succeed in my goals. I carried way too much old male baggage with me and if I ever expected to actually to succeed, I needed to determine what I needed to leave behind. Since I was attempting a later aged MtF transition, I had a truck load of baggage to consider such as family, friends, employment etc. As it turned out, I received an even break with my family as I retained my daughter in my life but lost my brother along with his extended red-neck family. So, I considered I did well, all things considered. As far as close friends went, I never made many which probably due to the fact I always thought someday I would have to disclose my gender issues to them. But first, I needed to be truthful to myself and realize my dreams went far beyond just looking and cross dressing as a woman. I wanted to be one, a huge difference when it came to telling another person. 

My issue with telling other friends became a non issue when sadly, most of my other close friends passed away. Leaving me on the brink by myself and looking down a very steep gender cliff. During this time, the pressure was continually building to make a decision on how my life was to be lived. Would the status-quo be good enough to get by, or did I need to make a radical change and hope for the better. By this time also, my second wife had passed away, leaving me with no real relationship obstacle to hurdle. Essentially, I had free reign to do as I pleased. If I wanted to take my feminine self to a downtown festival or an outdoor concert I did it.  The whole process helped my to decide my gender future as I continued to feel so natural. Even though I was on the brink.

In the meantime, I was slowly shedding as much of my old male baggage as I could. If I could help it, I never bought any male clothes as I expanded my feminine wardrobe. If and when I stood on the brink of my cliff, I wanted to look as feminized as possible. It worked as I was able to interact in a whole new world to me. 

Eventually, what happened , my new friends shoved me off of my brink and at the same time provided me a safe, soft landing. They took me at face value as a transgender woman and did not want to know anything about my male past, so I was happy beyond belief, I couldn't figure out why I had such good fortune but could only surmise it was because of all of the years of gender struggle I spent getting to the brink. My world was finally coming full circle.

I also need to mention women such as Kim, my wife Liz and my therapist Dr. "C" who helped me negotiate me coming back from my brink. Plus, as I write this, I realize I never came back from the brink, I made my way through it. 

Even still, being at the brink for all those years was  the mental challenge of a lifetime and without all the help I received from the women around me, I am not so sure I would have made it. Or, at the least I would have been a different person today.  

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Transgender Truth

Image from Ava Sol
on UnSplash

Often as a transgender woman or trans man, we have a hard time find finding out our personal truths. 

Our truths can be hidden behind a maze of society issues which we have to work our way through. In other words, is what we are thinking a real truth or something acting like one. Did I really want to be a girl or just temporally look like one? I struggled to figure it all out. 

Worse yet, was the fact I needed to hide my emerging truth from the world. How was I ever going to discover if my gender life as a guy was indeed a lie unless I was able to take on the world as my own sense of femininity. Was it all an act or was it real, who knew? Little did I know, I was embarking on a lifetime trip to determine how true my gender issues were. As I went along, hiding became less and less of an alternative because I was finding out how natural I felt when I was playing in the girl's sandbox. All the bastions of sacred femininity were suddenly opening to me in the forms of being invited to girl's night's out and earning my way into having women's rest room privileges. 

When I did, the pressure started to mount to live my life more and more as a transgender woman. Every time I had to interact with the world as a man, I felt as if I was somehow an impostor and I was just going through the motions. Plus, my obligations to spouse, family, friends and work started to weigh heavily on my mental health. I did my best to enlist the aid of a qualified gender therapist to help me. There were very few of the therapists in those days who knew anything at all about gender issues, so mine was hard to find. Looking back, I think I saw her advertisement in an issue of "Transvestia" Magazine. When she saw me after a couple of appointments, she told me her truth which I did not listen to. She said, there was nothing she could do with me wanting to be a woman and somehow I would have to learn to live with it or accept it. Like I said, I ignored her advice and continued to ignore my basic truth.

Speaking of truth, currently, I am writing a book gift which was given to me on Mother's Day this year by my daughter. It is a year long project designed to answer questions from my family. The book will be given  to me after I am done and then passed on so others can understand my life and truths after I am gone. One of the questions from my trans grandchild is what has been the most ill-advised thing you (me) has ever done and I think ignoring my therapist's advice may have to be up around the top. Had I listened to her and told my second wife the truth, I would have saved myself so much turmoil over the years and I would have faced my truth. How bad could have it have been. I would have had to find other employment and new friends but rebuilding my life then could have been easier. 

I was stubborn and held on to my idea I ever was male for way too long and it cost me years of alcohol abuse and mental health problems. I was so fortunate I found and was accepted by women who I admired so much who embraced my idea of what an ideal woman would act like. Ironically, the evil TERF's were few and far between. I was allowed to flourish as I learned so much from the women around me who accepted me for what I was for the first time in my life. 

My truth was finally evident to me. I had never been meant to live a male existence and I just wish I had faced my transgender truth earlier than the age of sixty. Sixty is when I gave in and gave up any hope of ever living as a male again. In addition, I am so proud of my college aged transgender grand child for coming out so early in her life. Hopefully, my existence helped hers.

Monday, July 1, 2024

A Transgender Marathon

Archive Image

 I'm sure you have heard the saying it's a marathon, not a sprint. This is especially true for transgender women and trans men.

Yesterday, I read a social media post from a first time transgender woman going out in public for the first time. In the post, she was bemoaning the fact after applying her makeup and seeing pictures, she did not look as good as she thought she did. My heart went out to her and I mentioned I went down the same path. Learning the art of makeup is just the first part of a transgender marathon into understanding yourself. 

Others who read the post chimed in with similar thoughts and even expanded it into impostor syndrome as a future possible reaction the person might have to face. 

Looking back, I could remember vividly how badly I felt when I first started my visits out of the house and into the public's eye. Back then, pictures were difficult to come by and were mainly only accessible by the old "photo kiosks" and drug stores. Only one time get I get brave enough to take a roll of film to one of the kiosks to see how I looked on film. I was shocked, and not in a good way, I obviously looked like a cross dresser and a bad one at that. The worst part was, the person who developed and gave me my pictures knew me and even worse yet, his Dad worked with my Dad. My marathon was almost over before it started. If I liked it or not. 

As it turned out, I moved back into the mirror and did my best to remove the negative self image I still had from the ill advised pictures. It actually took me years to try to attempt more pictures as my marathon moved on. As with anything else, the more you work on something, the better you become. Also technology was on my side with better cameras, which offered more than the very expensive Polaroids giving instant pictorial feedback. I was fascinated with my first cell phone which took pictures and better yet I had my first computer that I used to upload cross dressed pictures of myself. By doing so, I attracted attention, flattering to begin with in chatrooms until my wife caught on. She learned the computer skills faster than I did, so I needed to try to catch up as fast as possible. 

My marathon marched on, I gained more and more confidence until I reached increasing problems with my gender dysphoria. It seemed, no matter how much effort I put into my feminine appearance and deportment, the more I felt like a guy in a dress. To survive, I finally had to come to a basic conclusion. I was not as good looking as a woman I thought I was, or as bad. There was always the middle point I needed to shoot for. Finally, I knew who I was and I had the confidence to move on from new problems such as impostor syndrome. 

Again, I needed to come to a middle point where I could survive as a person. While I could never reclaim a girl's childhood experiences, or the problems associated with having periods or pregnancies, I had to go through my own set of experiences which presented their own problems. For example, I needed to try to escape my own gender demons which everyone in life seems to have, male or female, trans or not. I finally had to end the part of my marathon I agonized over for so long and claim my own brand of womanhood. Somehow I always found a way to survive and found a path. I was able to chase it and find success...in my own way. Which turned out was all I could do.

Going all the way back to the person who was just starting their public journey as a transgender person, try to make your marathon as easy as you can, Roll with the punches and move along as quickly as you can but always remembering the entire process is a marathon, not a sprint and sometimes, you are your own worst enemy. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

A Vocal Trans Girl

 

Image from Brooke Cagle
on UnSplash

The other night when we went out to eat, I needed to order what I wanted food wise loud enough to be heard above the noise of a busy restaurant. 

That meant projecting the best I could, my feminine voice to match my appearance. So many times in my past as a transgender woman and or serious cross dresser, I thought I had done a great job with my makeup and fashion only to destroy it all when I opened my mouth to talk. I could see the surprise in the other person's eyes when they discovered something was not quite right with the picture I was presenting. 

For the longest time, I tried to avoid talking to people all together. It seemed to be a good idea until I realized when I refused to talk, I was just coming off as being mean or standoffish...if I was lucky. Or worse yet, I was coming off as a bitch. So to preclude it from happening was I needed to improve my communication skills with the public. Mostly other women, since men had a tendency to leave me alone. At the least, I had only one gender to deal with as I was testing the world as far as my communication skills were tested. Initially, to sooth the panic I felt when I dealt with other women, I attempted to mimic their voices, which worked to an extent until the conversation became too intense. When it did, I was on my own to see if I could be the total package as a transgender woman in the public's eye. 

All was good, or so I thought, until I decided to go farther and farther in my femininization. I started with attempting to look close to the same as far as the wig I wore and the fashion choices I was wearing. No more trashy style as I attempted to blend in and build the woman I wanted to become. The whole process at time became too intense for me as people around me wanted to know more and more about me. Basically, what was I doing in a woman's world? To answer them, I needed to learn to communicate as a whole new person. I needed to put my straight forward often blustery male communication behind me and be more careful on how I chose my language. 

In order to aid in my vocal trans girl process, I even attempted feminine vocal lessons from an expert the Veterans' Administration assigned me. Of course my "coach" and I worked on how I formed my words but also more importantly addressed what I was saying. I learned the words women used more often to communicate what they are trying to say. During the course of my coaching, I had weekly homework I needed to work on diligently so I could do well the next time I went in for my vocal coaching. My goal was to attain all the extra communication knowledge I could from the help and move back into the world and try it all out. It has been difficult for me to judge how effective the vocal program was but I felt every little bit helped in my quest to communicate as a vocal trans girl.

Plus, I would be remiss if I did not mention the biggest gender flip of all, the switch from male active aggression to female passive aggression. The change to me meant, I needed to be more careful in how I chose any words I perceived to be negative when used with another woman. Which also meant, I needed to be on the outlook for hidden meanings when I was addressed by other women. Especially being told I was attractive...for a man dressed as a woman. 

Overall, I think being a vocal trans girl has been the most difficult part of transitioning for me. Since I was always shy, slipping back into being more or less and introvert was easy but not satisfying. I enjoyed the challenge of putting together the final big piece of my gender puzzle which was communication. Once I did, life became much easier when I could stand up again for my gender self. 

All my efforts at the least helped me to show other women who for whatever reason did not view my presence in their world as a negative and they helped me to succeed more than they ever knew. 

Monday, June 24, 2024

Dealing With Trans Rejection

Image from Jakayla Toney
on UnSplash.



Similar to so many transgender women or trans men, I have dealt with my share of rejections. 

My first major rejection came when I tried to come out to a friend when I was young. Instead of accepting me in anyway, he seemed to be embarrassed, shook his head and walked away. With that, I was forced again into my lonely, confused gender closet. I learned the hard way my friends did not want anything to do with a cross dressed companion. 

Little did I know, I needed to become used to rejection in my life. Somehow I needed to grow a thicker skin. Then again, all of my rejections did not come from outside sources. Sometimes rejection came from within as my male self became quite the transphobe. He did not want to give up any of his white male privileges plus being made fun of when I first started to try to out myself into the real world. Ironically, my male self tried to team up with my second wife to reject any ideas of a transgender life for me. To be fair, my wife was always OK with me being a cross dresser but drew the line at any idea of me going any further towards being a trans woman and to be fair to me, she knew I cross dressed before we were married.

Skipping ahead again to the times I was rejected when I tried to go out and test the public waters as a novice gender divergent person, there were plenty of times when I was rejected. Sometimes, it was merely being stared at, other times people being rude and asking for pictures, all the way to be out and out laughed at. All of the negatives led to me coming home in tears and laying down on my bed and sobbing. For some reason, after my tears, my basic stubbornness kicked in and I began to look at ways I could improve my presentation. Slowly but surely, I did improve but the rejection scars remained behind to haunt me. Mainly, my confidence was affected leading to even more unwanted rejections. I was just too timid when I was a novice transgender woman. Many times, I gave myself away.

The worst time I ever had was when a woman followed me into the women's room in one of the regular venues I went to. As always, I chose a stall, completed my business and had started to wash my hands when I turned around and faced a red faced woman who immediately started to scream at me. When she called me a pervert, I said enough is enough. For some reason I don't remember now, I learned she was a hair dresser, so I asked her if she had a business card. She asked why and I said I wanted to pass it along to our local LGBTQ organization so they could publicize her bigotry in their monthly news letter. With that, she turned around and stormed out of the woman's' room  and we went back to our seats. My reaction to her slur must have worked because she refused to even look at me when we had the chance to closely pass each other in the venue. 

Even though I was semi successful (I think) in backing down the bigot, I am still scarred by the incident. Especially these days when politicians in my native Ohio are attempting to make the simple act of using the restroom of your choice would become a crime. So far, they have been unsuccessful because of issues of enforcement. 

Perhaps, rejection is just a part of the transgender pathway we all have to follow and the ones who are successful in our journey are just the people who deal with it the best. Then again do rejections just scar us to the point of never properly recovering. Much like all the times I was turned down when I asked a girl out ended up how I viewed the the entire world of women. I let a few skew my feelings of the many. which is sometimes what happens with transgender women or trans men. When we are painted with broad strokes like that, often it can lead to rejections. I wonder if my friend I came out to so many years ago still remembers the one he met. Did I make any sort of a good impression or did I ruin it for any trans women he may meet now. There is no way to know but sometimes I find it fascinating to think about. 

I am happy to say, I came out of my years of hiding and dealing with rejection relatively unscarred and equipped to live a positive life.  

Sunday, June 23, 2024

A Breath of Fresh Air

Out to eat with my wife Liz on the left.

Even though we are among the millions of other Americans stuck under the infamous "Heat Dome" and temperatures near one hundred, last night I was able to take a breath of wonderful fresh air.

To do it, I needed to get out of the air conditioned house long enough so Liz and I could make the short trip to our favorite Mexican restaurant. Fortunately, the venue's air conditioning was working fairly well and we were seated under a ceiling fan. So we were comfortable even though the place was very busy. 

For the evening out, I chose a lacy pink and black top I have not worn in ages. Along with my dark blue leggings with tennis shoes so I was very much at ease. It was also fun to shave very close and apply a light foundation coat of makeup before I did my eyes and contouring finally finishing up with lipstick before I brushed back my hair. My goal, which I think I achieved, was a soft feminine look. I helped myself by clipping my hair loosely in the back, allowing long straight strands to fall on both sides on my face. The whole effect, served to lengthen and femininize my face.  

At any rate, the most important part was how the public perceived me. Even though I wasn't dressed in the shorts and light dresses the other women were wearing around me, I thought my flowing outfit fit in well. It helped too I was with my wife Liz and her son who has accepted me since he was a teenager. I was set up for success. 

The best part was, no one gave me a second look and I was able to feel as if I was the "normal" woman out into the world. Even little kids ignored me. Along the way, I did have the opportunity to pause in my mind and think back to all the work it took to come to this point of gender acceptance in my life. All the times I was stared at or worse as I tried to make my way in a new uncertain world out of the mirror. In many ways my dreams were answered. All it took were years of struggle to finally achieve the success I found last night. 

After we finished our drinks and dinner, the three of us decided to try a different venue the next time we go out. Which presents another challenge when I present to the world. Plus, I know both my wife Liz and I need to get out of this house and everytime we do, it seems to improve our mental health for any number of reasons. Every time I am "ma'amed" at the table automatically adds to the tip and sends my brain soaring.  I was last night and the tip reflected it without the server (a man) even knowing why.

Perhaps the best point is the resultant gender euphoria I felt after we arrived back home and into the next day. Today I still feel the pleasure of finally arriving more or less where I wanted to be years ago when I was a confused kid. Of course I know there will still be many challenges ahead in my gender journey, I feel satisfied so far with my long term progress. I even call the transgender process, working at my craft. It is the only way I can look at all the gender changes I needed to make to jump across the gender border to see if the grass was indeed greener. For me it was and I decided to never turn back into an unwanted male life. 

Nights such as last night are always a re-enforcement of all the work and effort I put into my transition.  I need all I can get. 

Thursday, June 20, 2024

A Spectator in my Own Life

 

Ohio River Image from
the Archives.

Many times during my life, I felt as if I was just a spectator in my own life, not an active participant.

Included were the times I fell in love with myself over the new feminine self in the mirror at home. The whole experience for years  was similar to the impossible dream I could never achieve.  The older I became, changes began to take place in how I viewed myself. Perhaps, some of the biggest ones came about when I began to meet other diverse people in the cross dresser or transgender community. At the time, I barely knew a transgender or transsexual person even existed and here I was actually meeting real life people I could learn from. I especially wanted to see and understand how two women I knew were going to go through the entire surgical gender surgeries to complete their gender journeys. I wondered if I could ever make the ultimate sacrifice to change my body or, did I even need to. It was until much later in life when I fully learned gender was between my ears and not my legs and living like a woman was good enough for me.

As I was initially out in the public's eye trying to survive as a novice trans woman, often I felt as is I was a spectator in my own life. The pretty girl in the mirror just couldn't be me but she was and what would happen next. What happened was, I immediately wanted to do more in my new exciting femininized life. In order to do so, I needed to begin to communicate with the world if I wanted to go any further. At that point I thought my spectator issues would go away but it did not.

The prime example with me being a spectator happened on the night I went to a sports/restaurant venue to see if I could blend in successfully with other single professional women. Despite being scared to death, I managed to survive even though I still felt like a spectator in my own life. Who was this person?  By this time, I was wondering if my spectatorship would ever go away and I could lead a so called "normal" life as a transgender woman. 

The answer came from repetition.  The more I was out in the world, the more I felt as if I belonged and my authentic self took charge. I no longer felt as if I was a spectator looking in on my own life. I suppose much of my change had to do with the balance of living over half a century trying to exist in a male world, with much a smaller percentage of time learning to exist in a world often not accepting to transgender women. Through trial and error, I was able to see what was working and set out to fix it. I am very stubborn and the same effort I put into my transition often slowed my progress down when I hit a rough patch. Such as how I was dressing. I needed to adjust my fashion away from what my old male self liked into what my feminine self thought was proper and then I started to blend and succeed in the world. At the same time, I felt less and less as a spectator and more and more as a participant.

Being a participant was impactful and fun and made me feel as if I had a real say in my everyday life into my future for the first time ever. It seemed living a life as a transgender woman was within my grasp and I started to understand what my acquaintances so long ago felt, except for the major gender surgeries of course. 

Then there was the major waste of time I needed to face in my life. I always say, if I could have just a small amount of time back when I was day dreaming of being a girl or woman, where would have my life taken me. If I had not been a spectator and took control could I made a bigger success of my male life, or would something else have happened to keep me on the same path I was on. Ironically, age brings on many questions and very few answers except for at the least, I ended up trying to change for the better. 

Maybe we all are spectators in our own lives and never realize it until it is too late. It seems transgender women and trans men just have better seats on occasion  Especially all the times we had to tear down our old life and rebuild anew. .

  

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Outing Yourself

 

Image from Simon Humler
on UnSplash

Years ago, as I sometimes I suffered from strong impostor syndrome, when I was actually fitting in with a group of women, sometimes,  I accidentally outed myself. Then I needed to forgive myself for doing it.

I remember vividly one night on vacation when my wife Liz and I were having dinner with a single woman we had be-friended on our trip. I don't remember how the topic came up about the friendliness of some of the other travelers, or lack of from others. For some reason I blurted out in our case, the reason for other people being standoffish was because I was transgender. The woman looked surprised and I immediately wondered if she had known but by that time it was too late to turn back and the conversation continued fortunately as if nothing happened. 

From that point forward, I conditioned myself to letting all other people come to their own conclusions about me. It helped because I was gaining the confidence in myself to not care one way or another what someone else thought of me. But still, I had to battle to judge others and let them make the first move. Like the evil cis-woman with her friends in a restroom I had to use one night at a mixed venue in downtown Cincinnati.  When I entered the small women's room, I needed to make my way through the gaggle of women to a stall to do my business. As I finished and came out, I headed for the sinks to wash my hands and check my makeup in the mirror. In the meantime, the one woman who had glared at me earlier had positioned herself near the only hand dryer which happened to be fastened high off the wall. As I moved to use it, she continued to block my way, so I reached behind her and pushed the button which ruined her hair for the time being. She jumped and moved quickly out of my way and I had complete access to the hand dryer. I then finished drying my hands, glared at her at exited the ladies room. 

I was proud of myself and remembered the number of years it took me to arrive at a point where I never outed myself. If someone else had a problem with me, it became their problem. If I was eating my fair share of a "Lobsta" bake in Maine or eating pizza with my friends at a venue in Columbus, Ohio, I was just me and even though I was always trying to improve the new femininized me, it had to be a better version than the old miserable male person I used to be. 

When I finally escaped all the nervousness of being out in the world as a transgender woman, I used what I learned to stop any idea of ever outing myself again. As it turned out, my inner female who had waited my whole life to be in control finally made it into my light of day and she knew how to make the best of her situation. She made it clear I had always been a woman cross dressing as a man and not the opposite I always thought I was. I guess, all those years when I was secretly hoping I would reveal my secret to the world, I had it all backwards.

Since I did, it was difficult for me to forgive myself and all the phantom ideas I had about letting my family and parents down. Including years of therapy and help from key friends, I managed to make it. Plus make up for lost time while I was doing it. 

 

Monday, June 17, 2024

My Wheel had a Flat Spot

Date Night with Liz
from the Archives.



I am fortunate to have lived a long life (so far) as I am looking at my seventy fifth birthday coming up this fall. 

When you live a long life, often you are able to see many things come full circle to fruition. On the other hand, especially when you are leading a transgender life, you discover your circle or wheel may have developed flat spots. You could be moving along in life when all of the sudden flat spots show up to derail you. 

After discovering gender euphoria, at the same time I began to day dream my life away until I could cross dress and admire myself in front of the mirror again. So, no matter how hard I tried, getting back on track in a male life I never really wanted was very difficult. At that point, I held nothing but resentment at the flat spots in my life. Why couldn't I be like everyone else in my small circle of friends. Since being similar to the rest of the crowd, I needed to find away around it. At first, I survived my dark gender closet by cross dressing as often as I could, dreaming I appeared as a pretty girl. The older and more sophisticated I became, the more I needed to put effort into smoothing out my flat spots which could provide me with quite the gender jolt. 

I am not proud of the fact of the amount of sneaking around, all the way to out and out lying I needed to do to try to live a life as a transgender woman which I was finding more and more about. For the most part, I thought I was becoming quite agile at dodging the flat spots which came along in my life when all I wanted to do was run and hide behind my skirts and dresses. Each time, I found I wasn't quite as good as I thought I was when my wife caught me cross dressed again. 

As it turned out, regardless of the hell I put our marriage through, I indeed was in the middle of coming full circle in my quest to lead a feminine life. There were so many times when I was stuck in a flat spot of my wheel, I did not know how I was ever going to get out of it. My lowest point came when I tried a suicide attempt years ago with pills and alcohol. From that low point forward, my life began a slow trajectory forward and upward as I was forced to see who I truly was. Fighting to maintain a male life which wasn't worth it increasingly did not matter anymore as I femininized myself everytime I saw a flat spot coming on. 

I realize having flat spots in life is a human experience we all have to go through but (I'm biased) and think we transgender women and trans men have more than our fair share to deal with. Especially when it comes to having accepting families and friends. Or losing successful jobs and other male privileges. You name it and many of us have had the chance to lose it during the flat spots in our life as we struggle to come full circle. 

The older I became, the closer I came to seeing what a full circle could look like to me. Plus I had the feminization effects of HRT working miracles on my male body. I had been through a lot and was excited to see the work I had put into my flat spots behind me. 

Little did I know, I actually hadn't put all my flat spots behind me after all when I started to look ahead to my end of life options. Needless to point out, I am worried about my future but my goal now is to be positive about anything which may happen.

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Do We Have a New Neighbor?

 

Image of Porsche Boxster. 

Similar to so many of you, I struggled for years trying to figure out how to get out of my house without the neighbors noticing.

I was unfortunate in that I lived in a medium sized city on a very busy street. On the other hand, I was lucky my house was ancient and had many doors which I could escape out of if I was just trying to escape for a quick walk. Once I was able to cross the busy three lane street in front of the house, a quiet neighborhood awaited me with limited chances for even seeing anyone. 

From my walking adventures, I very soon wanted to get to my car and drive. At the same time, I needed to be ultra careful I didn't get caught by my second wife or any of her friends. The problem was, one of the only deals I made with my wife who knew I was a cross dresser was I could never leave the house and here I was doing just that. Plus, I had the additional problem of being seen at Halloween parties cross dressed by several friends who could connect the dots if they saw me again. Needless to say, the whole process was risky. 

For the longest time, I was able to park my car on a side street and hurry into it's temporary safety without being noticed. At least I hoped so. From there, I could leave the town in head out on the interstate where I could tease truck drivers in my mini-skirts which somehow validated me as a woman. Finally, I grew bored of truck drivers and concentrated on improving myself as a new novice transgender woman. I had issues such as moving and communicating in a new world, I needed to work on if I was ever going to be successful in achieving my gender dreams.

Still I was reckless in my quest to not be discovered by my neighbors. My prime example is the new car I was able to buy with my restaurant monthly bonus money which happened to be very successful. I had always wanted a new Porsche following my days in the Army when I was stationed near the company's headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany. I was able to afford a low end (for a Porsche) Boxster which I dearly loved. By buying the car, any ideas of driving a car the world would not recognize went out the window. Very early when I finally took ownership of the car, my thoughts turned to being the blond behind the wheel of a fancy sports car. 

I couldn't take it any longer and ended up compromising on the how's and why's I was going to drive my dream car as my dream woman. I started by cross dressing as far as I could except for my wig, Putting the top down and heading out of town. I needed to not wear the wig also because I was afraid of it blowing away in the air when I was driving. Very soon I found out how popular the car was when the first night I drove it to the lesbian bar I always went to. As soon as I arrived and ordered my first drink, another woman walked in and loudly said, who does the car belong to? I want a ride, so out the door I went wig and all to show off my dream. The woman was thrilled, as was I and my wig stayed put.

By this time, I didn't really care what anyone thought about me and I enjoyed being the blond in the Boxster for as long as I could before my restaurant went under during a huge economic downturn it could not survive. Sure I had the negative responses I had anticipated but it was increasingly not important as I was living my truth. As far as the neighbors went, they moved away and the new tenants basically either did not know me at all or did not seem to care what I was doing. Which was exactly the way I wanted. 

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Trans Girl Vacations

Archive Vacation Image from Kansas.





Since it is summer time, it is vacation time around here. Spoiler alert, this post is not about flying these days as a transgender woman or making it through airport check points unscathed. It is about ground based transportation. I did all the flying I wanted to do at an earlier period in my life when the military flew me all over the world.

My problems with going on any sort of vacation at all began when I was cross dressing as a man on a vacation to Michigan one year with my second wife. Very early on, I began to feel the pressure coming on when I couldn't go out in the world as a novice transgender woman. Then, I began to resent the fact I needed to be a guy at all and I wanted to be a woman with all my being. By doing so, I started to grow quiet and introverted which alerted my wife that something was wrong with me and she started to pry. After all, we were on vacation from two successful jobs we liked, were blessed with my daughter we both loved and a 1860's restored house we lived in. Ideally, we shouldn't have any problems but I did. 

As I internalized my gender issue, I never answered her questions as to what was wrong. There was no way I was going to tell her I would rather be spending my vacation time as a woman rather than my male self. So I shut up and did my best to change or hide my feelings. By doing so, I was able to salvage what was left of my vacation. 

When I met my wife Liz, she had a passion for travel and we decided on several rather lengthy bus tours to places such as the Southwest, Maine and even Mardi Gras. The major problem I had except for the often brutal bus rides to my back was the fact the bus's restroom was off limits except for major emergencies. Which meant I needed to stand in line with a group of other women at mostly road side rest stops along the highway. Since there was no way I could hold my business an entire day, I needed to quickly learn what it was like to stand in line to use the rest room. Seemingly, either I became used to it in a hurry or the other women on the bus became used to me being there because they didn't seem to care I was there. 

Even with all of my acceptance, I still felt potential issues coming up when we traveled through deeply conservative states such as in the deep south. In fact, I received a real fright during a rest stop on the Alabama-Mississippi state line. To start with, in addition to the long line waiting to use the facilities, there was the faint smell of sewer gas and all I wanted was to do my business, wash up and get out. On this trip however, there were two women glaring at me when I left the stall, so I immediately thought the worst was going to happen and they were going to attack me. Thankfully, they didn't scream out there was a man in the woman's room so I did get out and hurried my way with Liz to the bus. Once we were safely back on the bus, my paranoia set in and I kept looking for a southern cop trying to pull the bus over. It never happened either and the next stop was a huge truck stop just outside of New Orleans where the bus needed to refill. This time, I didn't have to go and just had to wait for Liz in the so called souvenir shop. The only challenge I received on the trip was when we stopped to eat in a big venue just outside of the "Big Easy."

In the restaurant, I waited as long as I could for the restroom to be empty and took my chances. When I did, one of the women on the trip entered the room with me. She was very civilized and I didn't expect any problems and didn't when she look surprised and just said Oh! you use our restroom. She ended up sitting right across the big table from us and didn't say anything else. 

Our trip to West Virginia to check out local short line railroads we could ride proved to be fun and easy and proved to be a great beginners trip since it was relatively short distance from our native Ohio. Our trip to Maine was a fun trip also since for the most part we were passing through transgender friendly states, so I did not have to worry about harassment. Plus the Maine lobster (or Lobsta) did not disappoint. Finally the trip out west to Colorado was just too long although I did really enjoy the train rides we took out there, especially in Durango. 

Recently, we have not been able to find or afford any more tours so Liz and I have had more "stay-cations." Plus I don't have to worry about my gender when we go or what to do about restrooms. As the years have gone by, I have grown so much more confident about my presentation as  a transgender woman.

Can't wait for our next adventure.


Friday, June 14, 2024

Trans Girls Dreams

Trans Ohio Archive Image from
the Jessie Hart Archives.




There were plenty of times when I thought living a transgender life was going to be impossible. 

All the days of staring into the mirror cross dressed in women's clothing come back to haunt me. As well as my poor attempts at the makeup arts when I turned out looking like a clown. Who knew being a woman was going to be as difficult as I was making it. But it was and took me years of work to come close to getting it right. 

Dreams of course can come during the night or day. As I was day dreaming my life away about being a girl/woman, I also tragically had the problem of dreaming of being a beautiful girl during my dreams. All my dreams, day or night, did was frustrate me even further. Most of the time, all my dreaming did was trigger my severe gender dysphoria. My cross dresser mirror visits were not doing any good and I couldn't see a way out of my gender issues. All the time shattering any hope I ever had of living life as a transgender woman. 

It turned out I was being a drama queen in many ways and was giving up a dream I really wanted way too early. What happened, all of a sudden I began to learn makeup and fashion skills so at the least I could survive in a world of women. It was a slow process to be sure but if I was ever going to achieve my trans girl dream, I just had to do it. Plus when I survived, I felt so natural and was elated at my progress. Perhaps my ultimate goal could be within reach after all. From then on, I still had a huge amount of work to do. As I delved deeper into the women's world I so admired, I then had to decide if I wanted to go all the way or not. Was the grass really greener on the feminine side? Again and again, I found it was as I tackled issues such as vocal training and just overall life surviving in the world as a trans woman. As I progressed, the light at the end of the tunnel turned out to be sunshine and not the train. 

Since I started my journey with no obvious feminine characteristics, I had a long way to go. I started my path by trying out Halloween parties initially dressed as a trashy woman, all the way to presenting as a professional woman at others. So I could see if I could indeed present as a realistic woman. Finding out I could led me to believe my trans girl dream could indeed be realized. At that point, my life became a blur as I attempted to live as both a man and a woman. All my attempts did was create a tremendous amount of pressure on me and essentially wrecked my mental health. With the help of a good therapist as well as several good friends, I was able to survive and once again re-direct myself towards my dream. Once I felt I was back on the right track, I started gender affirming hormones following an approval from my doctor and there was no looking back for me. 

I never considered I could make it as far as I have when I was the kid staring longingly into our full length hallway mirror at home so many years ago. Even though there were many rough patches along the way as I battled my gender dysphoria, along with waiting until I was in my early sixties to out myself to the world as a transgender woman, I still somehow made it. 

I guess the old saying is true, if you don't dream it, it will never happen. My dream of living a feminine life was the only goal I could think of when I was young and someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. Of course. I could not say a woman and ruin any life as I knew it, so I lied and said a lawyer or something more popular with my parents. I am sure many of you can relate to my story. 

Finally, after more failures than trials my trans girl dreams came through and somewhere within me there is an inner child who is rejoicing. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Why Me?

Image from Emily Morter on UnSplash.





I can't remember how many times in my life I have thought of the idea of why me? Why did I have to have all these gender issues.

It wasn't until much later in life did I learn it was OK to be different and in fact sometimes I preferred not being part of what was called "normal." Then I learned nearly everyone had their skeletons in the closet and many people just were able to make the skeletons dance better and faster. These days, we often see many public figures whose skeletons ran out of gas and are exposed. For some reason, I even feel sorry for some of them because they needed to hide their so called problems for so long. Mainly because I suffered so many years in my own gender closet.

Plus, as I negotiated the complex path I followed to living my ultimate dream of living life as a woman, there were still many times I questioned all I was doing. On one hand, my job choice was proving to be successful while on the other hand, my self destructive self was trying to destroy it all. I was having huge why me moments. In other words, I was being a complete victim. Over the span of my life, I ran and hid behind my skirts and dresses anytime I encountered any rough patches in my male life. I always figured I never wanted to be a part of the male world anyhow, so it worked well for me to hide. 

In time, the pressures in my life increased and finally I needed to stop thinking why me and face them head on. The major issue I needed to face (and did not) was rather or not I was much more than a causal weekend cross dresser and in fact a novice transgender woman. At that point, I decided to find out if I was indeed a trans woman. It was then, I began to explore the world in any way I could to see if my gender skeletons could still dance with the best of them. At the same time I was dancing, my why me began to fade away. I had no more time to wonder why I had gender issues when so many seemingly did not. I found their closets were just deeper and different from mine. 

Then, I started to embrace my transgender status as a positive. Very few humans ever have the opportunity to explore and live in both binary genders, male and female. All of a sudden, when I was out in the world, I could see and understand all the games the genders played around me. I even knew I was succeeding when virtual strangers I met would ask me questions concerning their spouses or boy friends as if I would know. Which often I did. I just hope they took my advice as free advice and took it with a grain of salt. 

As you can tell, probably being a victim was a bigger issue for me earlier in my life versus the why me question I was always falling back on. The process took all the courage I could muster to overcome my problems. Ironically, hiding behind my skirts and dresses became the focal point of my new found confidence in the world. When I was able to dress to blend in the world as any other woman, my skeletons cheered me on. Since I had always been a terrible dancer, I never danced in the world but just kept it in mentally. 

One way or another, why me was becoming why not? It was time for me to take the gender issues I was born with and run with them. No more wondering what my life would have been like if I was born into a world the men around me faced. I was similar to a big piece of clay which was just waiting to be worked into a new unique human. Why not?

Sink or Swim

Image from Trans Wellness Event.  Jessie Hart Archives.  Many times when I first entered the world as a new cross dresser or femininized mal...