Showing posts with label male privilege. Show all posts
Showing posts with label male privilege. Show all posts

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.


 

Monday, March 4, 2024

Fight or Flight

 

Image from UnSplash

Perhaps you have heard of the "fight or flight" reaction when you are confronted with a potentially dire situation. Or do you stay and fight or get the heck out of there. 

In the military, no matter how well you could be trained to be in peak physical condition or shoot a weapon with accuracy, the powers to be knew there was nothing they could do about predictable you would be when you were subjected to actual combat conditions. 

By now you may be asking, what in the world does all this mean when compared to the strain of changing genders. Since I am an Army veteran, here are my conclusions. 

First and foremost,  you learn as a man to control your fight or flight reactions in many different ways, most difficult. I remember a black eye I suffered when I refused to back down from a potential future bully all the way to surprisingly winning half of a hand to hand contest with the biggest guy in the platoon. Never mind, I just managed to make him mad and he came back to get even. None of it mattered, because there was nowhere to hide. Especially behind a dress. From there on I learned to at least put up a good front when it came to confrontations with other guys. After the problem I couldn't just run home and take refuge in my small collection of girls makeup and fashion. 

Of course all my ideas and reactions to confrontation needed to rapidly change forever when I transitioned into the life of a fulltime transgender woman. The prime example I always used when I was cornered and was facing a forced molestation action by a much larger man. The lesson I learned was to never get myself into that position again if I could help it. I couldn't just fake my way out of a situation just because of my male privilege's. The other example I like to use was when I was naïve enough as a novice transgender woman to walk alone on dark sidewalks and parking lots. It took me being stopped late one night when I was leaving a gay venue to learn my lesson once and for all. When I went back, I made sure I had a friend go with me.

Once I realized women learn early in life to not put themselves in dangerous situations to start with then rely on masculine behavior to bail themselves out. My "fight or flight" mechanism had come full circle in many ways from my old unwanted masculine days. I started looking ahead for potential problems. Another example was when I prominently began to use my cell phone as a prop when I was out by myself as an unescorted woman in a bar or restaurant.  My thought pattern was, if a potential unwanted suitor was watching me, he would see my phone and think someone was coming to join me. Those were the many nights when I was going out to be alone.

In the meantime, the entire "fight or flight" idea was just another example of my lifetime desire to follow a transgender path. For some reason I was shocked how important the idea was to my safety and lifestyle. Learning to do my best to not put myself in compromising situations was the best thing I could do.   

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Upping your Game

 

Image from Brian Kyed on
UnSplash

As I followed my winding gender path towards living a life as a fulltime transgender woman, there were many times when I needed to up my game if I wanted to keep going.

Along the way, there were simply too many blind curves and dead ends to count. For some reason, I hitched up my new big girl panties and proceeded forward. Sometimes it was just a touch of gender euphoria I experienced which kept me going. For some reason, one of the euphoric experiences I felt was one of the nights I went to a diverse private gender party in nearby Columbus, Ohio. For the evening I decided to match up my black tights with my black shorts, loose black net sweater and red wig, I was aiming for an upscale casual look and was confident I achieved it. What escapes me now is what my wife was doing that evening because I am sure she would have disapproved. No matter what outfit I put together to wear. I just know for whatever reason, she was not there. Leaving me free to explore and explore I did.  

At the party, I was always used to upping my game because often there were the prettiest of the pretty people attending. I knew I couldn't out do them but just did not want to embarrass myself either. It turned out I didn't at the party which turned out to be a look into the future for me when it came to my sexuality. During the evening I met and got along with a lesbian who was attending for the first time. In fact, we got along so well, we decided to leave the party and go downtown to a well known lesbian venue I had been to many times. Nothing really happened between us and we returned to the party. The importance of the meeting was I proved to myself I could conceivably live a life as a transgender lesbian if I upped my game enough. If I did, I wouldn't have to ever worry about attracting a standoffish man again. Who, for the most part ignored me or treated me as some sort of a fetish object.  

As it turned out, just when I thought I had reached a successful stopping point to rest in my gender journey, something else came along and again and again I needed to up my game. I didn't realize until much later I was building a whole new person and needed all the help I could get. I found I was doing so much more than just doing my best to appear as a woman, I needed to communicate with the entire world as one also. On occasion, the only clarity I had was I knew I needed to keep going and some day I might be able to live my lifelong dream of living a feminine life. 

Ironically, I was able to find my way thanks to a close group of lesbian friends I found and was accepted by. In addition to my other life lessons I learned the basics of being a woman who did not need the validation of a man to thrive in the world. Thanks to them, I was able to keep upping my game and progressing along my gender path as I was losing all of my male privilege. 

Perhaps, most importantly, I didn't have to worry about my sexuality anymore and was able to eventually marry my wife Liz who identified as a lesbian also. She really helped me to up my game and succeed in life as a trans woman. 

Monday, December 4, 2023

Changing the Gender Locks

Image from Adam J
on UnSplash

It took awhile for me to change the locks on my old male self. He kept hanging on and on to the smallest reason not to go all the way with my gender border crossing.

Through it all, he was quite comfortable on occasion taking advantage of all the male privileges he had come to take for granted. He was used to taking personal security and even intelligence for granted. Age seemingly was the only prerequisite in gaining respect. When the locks were changed years ago, life changed with it. 

Changing ones' gender is nothing to be played with. I'm biased but I think transitioning as a transgender person (woman or man)is one of the hardest things a human can experience. All the cards are stacked against you as early in life you are forced into a square hole when you are certainly a round peg. Perhaps the interesting fact of the whole gender experience is when one door opened and you went through it, often it was slammed shut and locked behind you. You then had to be quick on your feet and learn what to do next. Surely mistakes were made but it was the only way to learn. Some would call it tough gender love. 

The farther I went in life as a novice transgender woman, the more locks I needed to change. The more I entered the world and was successful as a feminine person, I felt natural and couldn't wait to lock the old male door behind me. Even when it led me to potentially dangerous situations. I write often of the times I was on the verge of being seriously molested or worse in my early days of exploring the world. One night I was dressed way to skimpily and attracted the wrong set of man. My second wife needed to bail me out of the situation so I never heard the end of it. Even still I locked that door behind me and moved on with an important lesson learned. 

I was doing what I believed in so I was stubborn and any progress gave me hope. To follow in someone else's path would just have not worked. So I said to hell with the possible consequences such as losing my three "F's" family, friends and finances, I kept changing the locks behind me. I needed a huge lock as well as amazing amount of duress and thought before I decided to go through with donating all of my male clothes and deciding to live a fulltime life as a transgender woman. Also, hormone replacement therapy was in my future should I decide to explore the possibilities of furthering my femininity through HRT.

Along the way, I became very proficient at changing my gender locks and hiding them from the everyday world. Depending on the door, often I had to stop and look around at a totally new and exciting world. Once I did, I always decided to move on seeking a new door to go through.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

First Impressions

 

Picnic Photo, Liz on Right


Following up on my Halloween post from yesterday, I began to think of all the first impressions I noticed when I first went out in public as my cross dressed feminine self.

My biggest takeaway from the experiences came when I was interacting with men I knew. Nearly immediately I felt a rejection as if I had been excluded from the male club. Later in life, I would figure out I was just experiencing a loss of my male privileges. The better I presented as a trans woman, the quicker my male life went away. When I did, I learned I needed to live my public life with a perceived loss of intelligence and personal security among other things. I just didn't realize in those early days of public interaction exactly what I was experiencing. 

Along the way I also learned how the power of first impressions changes between the binary genders. Men seemed to concentrate on sizing other men up as more or less another threat while women were more accepting. To this day, I need to adjust to smiling first when I meet another woman and not to walk around with what is left of my old male scowl on my face. The problem I have is pre-judging the reaction someone else is going to have to me. You would think by now I would not be so affected by my thoughts anymore but I am. Most likely my thoughts still come from when I first started meeting up with the public. Halloween or not.

First impressions also involve how much confidence you have in yourself. When you can summon the courage to know without a doubt you are in the right place at the right time leads others to believe you are too. In her own way, my wife Liz encourages me to step forward as a confident transgender woman when we are interacting with the public in places such as restaurants. Even so, confidence in public can be a very fragile thing as I found out very early. Even when I was going out under the cover of having a Halloween "costume." 

The more parties I went to, the better I became at refining my outfits. I wanted to try my best to be mistaken for a genetic or cis-woman and not myself. The good news was it actually worked on occasion and the bad news was I needed to wait another year before I could build on my experiences and discover if I could really be able to ever live out in the world as a trans woman. Spoiler alert, I could but the process was to be a very difficult one for me. 

The first problem I had was figuring out which wardrobe I could choose to hide my testosterone poisoned male body. I started the process by losing nearly fifty pounds and finished by undertaking HRT or hormone replacement therapy. When I did, more and more I was pushed out of my old male comfort zone and into a new and sometimes terrifying feminine world. I had to learn all over again the power of first impressions and how to deal with people. 

For the most part, my life experiences now have been positive ones. The problem people I run into often have a negative world of their own which has nothing at all to do with me. I am merely invading their space. 

It is the best I can do!  

Friday, August 25, 2023

Living in Her World

 

Photo Compliments of Raquel who said I 
passed out of sheer will power,


Naturally, when I decided to go down the path of undertaking a Male to Female gender transition, I encountered many unexpected obstacles. 

You regulars to my writing know I often mention quite a few walls I had to climb such as perfecting some sort of an appearance which I could present as well as possible in the public's eye. Often the best compliment I could go on was when a transgender woman friend of mine told me I passed out of sheer will power. In other words, to me, she meant I just went all in the public's eye doing the best I could with what I had to work with. To this day, I remember the comment. 

Once I conquered the appearance aspect of presenting in public as a woman the hard work started. Living in her world just began to become serious and more difficult. It was about this time I began to compare the process to being able to play in the girl's sandbox. I knew again I would have to do it out of sheer will power. At the time, I couldn't afford or have the willpower to undergo any facial feminization surgeries, so what the other inhabitants of the sandbox saw with me would be what they got. Many days and nights I would just have to rely on my inner feminine self to get by.

The problem was, my inner self, even though she was feminine, was still learning too. We both had to learn the power of passive aggression which even extended to severe backstabbing from more than a few of the women I encountered. I can't tell you how many times I came home wounded by claw marks on my back. In a relatively short time I began to understand more and more on how different living in her world was going to be. My prime example was when I was told I was a good looking woman, the person (woman) who was saying it was really thinking, for a man. Slowly but surely I overcame all of that and developed a very uneasy confidence of my ability to build a life as a transgender woman. 

Through a series of unexpected happenings, the doors seemingly opened wide and my dream of living as a trans woman finally happened after a half a century of working towards a goal. At that time. it became evident it was time to turn what was left of my old male life over to my inner feminine self who had waited so long to see the light of day. My gender roles flipped flopped increasingly when  I had to cross dress as a man, I felt completely out of place, I was ready, willing and able to give up all the male privileges I had built up over the years to live in her world.

The final push turned out to be the hardest of all. When I needed to discard or donate all my male clothes and begin to acquire a feminine wardrobe to live daily, it was a big step. All of a sudden, the whole process of cross dressing became a game I needed to quit. I could no longer run for cover in my sometimes comfortable old male life. I was able to do it though and have never looked back. I found I never missed anything at all. 

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Her World...Her Rules

Wedding Picture. My daughter on left, Liz
beside me on right with her son.
From the Jessie Hart
Collection

As I gender transitioned into a whole new feminine world, I discovered many more rules than I ever thought possible.

When I first started, I thought if I concentrated on how I looked, the majority of my work would be behind me. After all, I could immediately pad my body with falsie breasts and hips, then throw on a wig and have the process of looking like a woman very much behind me. All I had to do then was perfect my makeup and wardrobe then hit the world as my new self. Immediately, the problem I ran into was taking my mirror or photo image and putting it into motion. At that point I learned I had accomplished the easy part of her rules and she was laughing at me. Along with my second wife, who in no uncertain terms tried to tell me I had so far to go. 

I did the best I could as I took every opportunity when I was alone to walk femininely and most importantly attempted to remember to exchange the old male scowl on my face with a more pleasant expression. I wanted to try to make myself more accessible to other women and not scare them away by having them think there was something wrong with me. 

No matter how hard I tried (and still do), I still had to concentrate on her rules for me. No matter how much I didn't like it, there was still a double standard in the world for women. The better I presented in the world, the more I encountered it. It seemed my feminine inner person was saying welcome to her world. As my explorations into the world at large increased dramatically, the more male privileges' I lost. Especially in the area of personal safety. After a while though, I was able to discover and be accepted by a small circle of friends who provided me with a natural safety net as well as with other feminine needs.

Finally I had enough and I decided to enter her world full time and play by all of her rules. And, I still do to this day. An example was this morning when I went with my wife Liz to her Doctor's appointment. Before I went I had to make sure I was freshly shaved and had applied a small amount of makeup. After I tied back my hair, the easy part was done. Once we arrived at the office, I needed to do my best to move the right way and smile to other women along the way. Nothing out of the ordinary happened so I must have been successful.

Perhaps learning communication skills with other women was the most important rule I ever learned. At the least, it was the scariest and time consuming rule to undertake. It was certainly worth the effort.  

  

Monday, June 12, 2023

Losing. A Transgender Privilege?

 

Front Cover of Book by
Jan and Dianne DeLap

Is losing a privilege of being transgender? Without a doubt yes. Right now I am reading a book by "Jan and Dianne DeLap" called Living and Loving a Transgender Life Together. Briefly, Dianne is approximately the same age I am (74) and has shared many of the same experiences. Including losses.

Included in her experiences was losing her wife of many years who had transitioned with her and all the trials and tribulations of changing careers to earn a living. In other words, she writes about how much she had to lose to finally live a life as a transgender woman she always wanted. If you would like more information on Dianne's book contact me at Cyrstih@yahoo.com. Or her book is available on Amazon.

Very definitely, it didn't take reading Dianne's book for me to realize when you are transgender you have to realize you may lose some or all of the major facets of your life. Such as losing family, spouses, employment and even housing. You regulars know I write about all the possible losses you may experience from changing your gender often. I use the losses as a way of describing what we do in our lives is in no way a choice. We needed to complete a transition to live. 

As we become more and more involved in a gender transition as a transgender woman, we find out quickly we are kicked out of the "boys club" as we lose our male privileges. It's no secret just one of the main privilege's we lose concerns personal safety. Cis-women grow up with the knowledge of trying to insure their personal safety by not finding themselves in questionable situations. Such as not being alone at night in the dark,  in isolated situations or trying to sense which men may be toxic and dangerous. Transgender woman face the task of catching up to what cis women are taught at an young age to be careful of. I was lucky when I learned the hard way, danger as a trans woman could come my direction also. I wasn't injured but could have been.

One aspect of transitioning I don't write about enough is when we win as transgender women. Many times we win just because we have achieved living a life as our authentic selves. Referring back to Dianne, her life (similar to mine) revolved learning all the aspects of who we were as we continued to slowly understand our true selves. Slowly but surely the realization came to me if I didn't transition I would die. I needed to make the choice before living any life as my old unwanted male self precluded me living at all. At that point, I realized I needed to trade in all my male privilege to simply earn myself a way to continue to live.   

When I finally did summon the courage to follow my ultimate dream of living fulltime as a transgender woman, I began to reap the benefits.  Primarily, my long diagnosed Bi-Polar depression began to  decrease in it's intensity and on occasion, I was even able to locate and enjoy brief moments of happiness which had been noticeably absent in my life. 

So there are ways to recoup the losses I sustained in life when I transitioned. Although I do think my ultimate gender transition will not happen until I pass away. Because I am still living and learning. Most certainly losing is but one aspect of our lives as transgender women and trans men but gaining our lives is worth it. 

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Climbing the Transgender Mountain

 

Photo from the 
Jessie Hart Collection

As time has gone by, I have began to think of my transgender journey as being some sort of a mountain climb.

Problems occurred along the way as I became greedy. I found the more I accomplished along my path, the more I wanted.  Many times I was guilty of trying to push the envelope too far and suffered negative responses from the public when I did. Those were the days of not knowing who I was cross dressing for and not having the skill to attempt to blend in with my feminine appearance. I was trying to dress sexy for the men in the world and failing miserably.  Climbing the mountain in those days was very painful and slow. However, destiny was playing a part in my climb because mixed in with the failures were just enough successes to encourage me to keep moving towards my impossible dream of living a life fulltime as a trans woman. I equate it to reaching a certain summit then looking around and deciding you can never go back.

Those were the days when I finally decided I was so much more than a casual cross dresser and when I was successful in my public presentation as a woman, I felt so natural. The best example I can remember is the night I went out on my own to get a drink at an upscale pub/tavern as a woman...not as someone pretending to be one. A huge difference to me at the time. The whole evening worked out so well for me, somehow I just knew I could never go back to my male lifestyle as I knew it at the time. The entire process was terrifying and exciting at the same time. After all the years of trying, I had reached a lower peak of my climb. A place where I could see clearly where I had come from and could see vaguely where I might have the chance to go. If I continued to climb upward.

Even though I am extremely fearful of heights I did continue my upward climb. Fighting me along the way was my increasing fear of totally giving up the male life I so desperately fought to keep over the years. I was just getting to the "Sir" stage of my life when privileges came from just surviving as long as I did as a white male. Even so, my feminine soul was calling me to move ever upward to my dream. 

As I often mention, my second wife of twenty five years was dead set against living with another woman. Especially if the other woman was me. When she unexpectedly passed away at the age of fifty, the  door was open for me to climb another peak in my gender transition and begin hormone replacement therapy or HRT. At that point, I couldn't or wouldn't turn back as miraculous changes began to go through my male body. In no time at all, I made the jump from macho male to androgynous person to looking feminine with softer skin, breasts and hair. I can equate the entire process to climbing my own personal Mt. Everest. 

Once I did scale my tallest gender mountain, I found the view to be breathtaking and at that point I was happy I made the climb. More importantly, I never wanted to go back.   

 

Thursday, January 19, 2023

A Gender Threat?

Photo Courtesy Linkedin

Recently I wrote a post concerning a communication with the public as a new transgender woman. When I did the gender transition, I did it and surprisingly learned I could communicate with women better than I ever had before. After reading the post, Paula from "Paula's Place" blog, checked in with this comment:

I have actually found it easier to engage with strangers as a woman than I ever did when the world was experiencing me as a man. Being seen as man often equates to being seen as a threat. Being seen as a woman I am "safe" I can now indulge in the casual conversations with strangers that used to annoy me so much when my Mother did it." 

Thanks for the comment! I agree being seen as a man does equal being seen as some sort of a threat. Plus, there is also the sexuality facet which needs discussed. How many men want to approach a woman from a sexual aspect. Women on the other hand, especially attractive ones have grown up suspecting men because all they want is sex. Or men too, appreciate the chase of a woman and grow restless after they have "won" the "battle" for the woman they were approaching. During my dating years, I was most likely too timid in my approach to women. I didn't want them to think I was only into them for the sex. When in reality I just wanted to be just like them. I wanted to be the hunted not the hunter in a relationship. I thought life would be so much easier if for once a girl would have to ask me out, rather than me going through the torture and the nerves asking a girl out. As you can guess, I was often rejected and most of the dates I went out on were set ups by friends. Actually having a date on my arm helped solidify my standing in the guy community. The date went right along with me driving the best car I could and playing as many sports as possible. All of which were covering up my deepest, darkest secret. All I wanted was to be a girl. 

When we cross the gender frontier and earn the chance to have casual conversations with other women, as Paula said we essentially learned a lesson in gender communication. We are now "safe" and have escaped the rigid boundaries of gender discussion. It is no longer forbidden to compliment another woman on the simplest thing such as her earrings. I learned very early, a simple compliment could open the door to knowing another woman so much better. The more we talked, the more I learned about what the other woman may be thinking about me being transgender. 

The only time (and it was rare) I was perceived as some sort of a threat was when another woman's man entered the picture. I said it was rare because most all men had the tendency to leave me alone. It was when they didn't, the claws began to come out and I had to retreat. As far as I knew her man was just being friendly and was attempting to insert himself into our feminine communication which Paula alluded to. 

Sadly in this day and age women of all types are being subjected to more gender threats. If and when a transgender woman achieves a completely passable image, then she is faced with "surprising" a so called unsuspecting man. Violence could follow which leads to the very high rate of transgender murders. Very luckily in my case I was able to nearly avoid brushes with violence when I lost my male privilege of safety. I learned the hard way and was able to move on unscathed. I was neither the hunter anymore or the hunted. I wasn't a gender threat and it opened many doors I never expected to see behind. The trip was worth it. 

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Building on Success

Image from Our Life in Pixels on
Unsplash

I have written often on the times I was a dismal failure when I first came out of my gender closet. The times I went home crying following encounters with the public. To make a long story short, I was stared at all the way to being out right laughed at. Similar to many of my novice crossdressing or transgender sisters, teen aged girls were my worst enemy. During this time I kept asking myself why would I leave my fairly comfortable male world I worked so hard to build and survive in for a new existence in a feminine world. I had a long way to go because I had put so much effort into hiding any female mannerisms I may have had. In nearly all ways, I was (or tried to be) a man's man. It worked because I was rarely bullied or had my gender questioned at all except the one time my evil nephew thought he was hurting my feelings when he said I threw a football like a girl. I just replied thanks and moved on.

During all of the setbacks I did seem to have just enough positive feedback on my gender journey to keep moving forward. It could have been because my feminine inner self was starved for attention and wanted her chance to enjoy the spotlight of life.  Very early in my transition, success came when I wasn't laughed at and merely blended in with society as a whole as a woman. Very quickly I learned just blending would not be enough. I found others, mainly women, wanted to talk to me so I needed to quickly develop some sort of a feminine persona. An example was when I kept encountering a long dark haired beauty in not one but two of the venues I frequented. At first when she approached me she was very standoff-ish so I wondered why she even bothered. After a while though she started to warm up and we were able to chat awhile. Who knows, maybe she was just intrigued by the fact she was really interacting with someone who wanted to give up all their male privilege's and enter her world. All too soon, for whatever reason I never saw her again. 

Having success with women such as her led me to open my feminine self up to the world even farther. It proved to be easier than I thought the gender frontier process would be once I started. Looking back at the process, my inner previously hidden feminine person was finally getting her  chance to live. She was building upon her success and loving it. From then on it was a struggle with what remained of my old male self. After all. he provided years of success to my life's equation. It was difficult to finally totally let go of him but I had to if I wanted to keep living at all. Both of my genders were in a vicious struggle for survival. 

As I continued to build upon my feminine successes, I found not only could I play in the girls sandbox but I deserved my place as well as the next woman. Of course I was not able to benefit from growing up as a girl but again I put in as much time and effort as I was allowed to seeing how girls interacted with society. Finally, once I was able to go fulltime as a transgender woman, I learned so much more on how women exist in the world and how strong yet layered their existence is.  My path to success was slower than most but worth the wait. 

Sunday, October 9, 2022

You Win Some - You Lose Some

Very early in my gender transition I felt I was successful if I "fooled" another person into thinking I was actually a woman. Little did I know how wrong I was. An example was I would recoil at the mention I "made" a good looking woman. I felt I wasn't making anything, I was just becoming my natural self. Perhaps I was being hard on myself because in reality I was working very hard to perfect my feminine new transgender appearance. By doing so I was encourage myself I could actually survive in the world as a woman.

At the Park
Photo by Jessie Hart

When I first began to notice I was succeeding in my feminine quest was when I was shunned by male friends I knew when I dressed as a woman for a Halloween party. My "costume" was way too serious to be mistaken as a casual excursion into the feminine gender. Maybe among all the other clues, shaving my legs for the evening gave me away. 

It wasn't until years later I realized I had witnessed the first vestiges of losing my male privilege. In other words when I was successful at presenting as a woman, I was kicked out of the boys club I had worked so hard to be accepted in. I was naïve in thinking I could to try to live part time in each binary gender. The entire process nearly cost me the ultimate loss when I tried suicide in addition to a very self destructive existence.

As I transitioned into a fulltime life as a transgender woman, I began to understand exactly what I was winning and what I was losing. Naturally what I was winning was a life as my feminine authentic self when I finally let her out of our gender closet. On the other hand, I was out of the boys club forever and needed to adjust my thinking. I learned the hard way, I had become in essence a second class citizen in the world of men. Long gone were the days when my opinion actually mattered in a group of men. Even though I knew more about the subject than they did. It was humorous to me when I was "mansplained" about a sporting comment. I lost the battle in society but won the war personally. 

I also learned the hard way how losing my male privilege could be dangerous. I write often how I was cornered at a party by a much larger man and suddenly found how vulnerable women could feel. To make matters worse I needed to be rescued by my wife. Yet another instance when losing my male privilege nearly led me to harm occurred during a late night excursion to a gay bar in downtown Dayton, Ohio. When I left the relative safety of the bar and headed down the dark sidewalk to my car I was suddenly stopped by two men. Luckily I was able to escape with no harm when I gave them my last five dollars. Never again did I walk that sidewalk alone. 

Even though there is no way I would give up my feminine privilege which included my new cis woman friends, it still is amazing to me the white male privilege so many men take for granted. 

I certainly won more than I lost.       

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Living the Dream

 



Photo Courtesy
Jessie Hart

For so many years I lived with what I thought was the impossible dream. That dream of course was wondering if I could ever live a life as a full time transgender woman. Although for the longest time I didn't see how I was ever going to make it to my goal, slowly but surely I kept moving towards it. 

I like to say I was a serious cross dresser for fifty years of my life. During the half century I made a few strides in makeup and fashion only to find myself headed back to the cross dressing drawing board time and time again. The only positive aspect of the experiences were I tried to learn from each one. What worked and what didn't. Every positive gave me hope for the future. 

Along the way I have written concerning the gender maze I found myself in. I felt everytime I achieved one goal and turned the corner, I found another corner to deal with. Almost all with no positive intervention from any other person. Even though my wives knew of my cross dressing activities, they were rarely participants. And, if the truth be known, many times I didn't want to follow the ideas of what a woman meant to them. Even to the point of trying my best to dress to blend when and if we ever went out together as girlfriends. Examples were when my second wife and I used to journey to Columbus, Ohio to eat at a LGBT friendly restaurant. It got the point of me wearing jeans and a sweater and she (my wife) still didn't like the way I looked. Deep down I knew I was struggling to find my feminine identity and I stayed on course with what I wanted to wear. 

Slowly but so uncertainly my small successes added up and my dream of living full time became more than a distant reality. After the fewer and fewer setbacks I had, I righted the gender ship and realized yet again how natural my feminine side felt. When I went out as a novice transgender woman I felt the world was in the right place and I even went as far as feeling out of place when I went out as a guy. 

Finally even I could not deny it any longer, I was meant to live as a transgender woman. I started hormone replacement therapy and started to transition my exterior as close as I could to match my feminine soul. It all worked so well and I was left no alternative to living my dream. The hormones fueled the fire which burnt my final bridge back to any male life I had left. 

After I made the commitment to giving away all of my male clothes, a new voice inside of me was asking what took so long. My only answer was I was stubborn and wanted to hang on to whatever white male privilege as long as I could. Most certainly giving it all up was one of the best decisions I ever made.

My biggest lesson from my lifetime of experience is, not trying at all is the biggest disaster.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Loss of Status

I have written numerous times here in Cyrsti's Condo concerning how crucial it is to be careful when you first begin to explore the feminine world. 

You lose many things when you cross the gender frontier and lose your male privileges.  The most important one to consider is your own personal security. In society, the feminine gender is simply the one which becomes the target for physical and emotional abuse.

My idea's on the subject were brought up again when I read a post from Mandy and her experience in a coin shop. To make a long story short, she encountered a questionable man who was trying to buy her coins instead of the store. Mandy has her own very long hair, painted nails and has no problem "passing" as a woman. On this occasion, perhaps "passing" could be the least of her problems. Fortunately the store clerk got rid of the man in question and Mandy even noted his license plate when he left.

Over the years I have noted my own close calls with the public when I first began to come out. In particular, I wrote about the near altercation I had with two men outside a gay bar late one night in downtown Dayton, Ohio. I paid my way out of that with the last five dollars I had in my purse. The next time I went to the same area in my long black skirt with a deep slit, matching sleeveless tank top and long straight flowing dark wig, I asked for support when I left. I was meeting two lesbians and I asked them to walk me to my car. Which they gladly did.

All transgender women should learn quickly to park in lighted areas, as close as possible to your destination. In other words, do not make yourself a target. It's a double edged sword because if you look too good you could be a target. Or, if someone clocks you as a transgender woman, trouble could erupt again.

Some trans women I know, as well as cis women too go to the drastic step of carrying self protection. From pepper spray to fire arms I have heard it all. My partner Liz (who has martial arts training) has purchase long pointed objects to go on our key chains in case something happens. 


Also, bars and taverns around the country are placing warning signs in the women's restrooms to provide possible help to women in need.(left)

How sad is it any of this has to happen. Or sadder yet I have to write about it.

Just be aware when you transition, your greatest privilege loss could be your personal security. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Michelle's Maintenance

 Recently I wrote a post here in Cyrsti's Condo revolving around the concept women are definitely the high maintenance gender. Being the hard headed person I am, it took me years to learn exactly that. As my wife at the time kept referring to me as the "pretty, pretty princess" in my makeup heels and hose, no amount of feminine presentation could help me to understand exactly what she meant. It wasn't until years later as I seriously started my Mtf gender transition did I understand.

Let's check in with Michelle and her feelings on the subject:

"I see that you, as well as so many of us have discovered, that being a woman requires many years of life lessons learned while growing up.

Females start very early in life learning so many skills, that men would never even think of, like communication, relationships, mannerisms and dealing with the trials and tribulations of dealing with the female body. It's one thing to learn how to apply makeup and clothes styles but women don't really get those lessons till early in their teens. Women start early learning that the somewhat care and feeding of their bodies will follow them throughout life.

Men on the other hand only deal with learning to (as my partner once put it) grunt, fart and learn how to somewhat intimidate the people they come in contact with. For women, life's lessons are almost harder in the long run then men will ever know.

Women have to learn, starting very early, how to deal with so many aspects of their bodies and minds that can be both scary as well as rewarding. Men on the other side of the coin only have to learn only what puberty brings them. It's more of a one shot deal for men. Women have to deal with it all their lives. "

Thanks for the comment!

I have always thought cis women have precious little time to design their lives around their bodies. After all. girls go through puberty earlier than boys to face years of having babies and monthly periods before their bodies then go through menopause. Through it all, women face the lack of gender privilege which men take for granted. 

Again, thanks for the very perceptive comment. 

Monday, October 12, 2020

Coming Out Day and Safety

 Another LGBTQ coming out day has come and gone. Surely, it is for those of us who have been out and living a full time transgender life  for years, easy to say just get out of the closet and do it. 

Realistically though, there is so much to consider to do it. There are family and financial considerations to encounter and work your way through. And normally  this is just the beginning of a coming out process. If you are a transgender woman or a trans man, you have to figure out the intricate nature of transforming your physical self the world sees so it syncs up with your inner gender self. Ideally, once you accomplish all of that, your life will become better. For some, many expensive, painful procedures and operations follow just to help accomplish the gender syncing process.

Of course there is another important lesson to learn when you transition into the feminine world. You lose your male privilege. When I first transitioned, I learned the hard way. I lost some of my basic intelligence and that was the easy part. I was lucky in I escaped the physical dangers I encountered when I ignored the fact I wasn't a guy anymore. I have written before here in Cyrsti's Condo about the night I was nearly over powered by an over zealous admirer all the way to the night I was caught walking down the the street late at night in a downtown urban environment by two guys wanting money. 

All of this leads me to the most sobering truth of this post. As of now, over thirty transgender women (that we know of) have been killed this year. In the USA alone.

All of the statistics point to the fact when you enter the feminine world, you have to learn quickly what cis women know...be careful out there!    

Monday, November 18, 2019

Does a Dress Change a Man?

It seems like everytime I turn around I run into another rump supporting old cross dresser on Facebook. The ones who always are so into showing only leg and crotch shots on their profile pictures. 

I guess I shouldn't get so upset. Not to aggravate any cross dresser more than I have already done, really you don't have a dog in the transgender discrimination race. After all, you have a vested interest in keeping your white male privilege alive as long as you can. Ignoring completely the future problems of transgender citizens under a thoroughly negative administration in Washington.

Perhaps too, I should look at it the same way a dear transgender man friend puts it: He says they are wearing their wigs too tight which is cutting off the circulation to their brains. 

It proves once again you can put an old white man in a dress but you can't make him think like a woman or care about the LGBTQ community.

Enough of my rant.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Don't be a Heroine

No matter how you figure it, just being a woman and losing your male privilege can bring possible safety problems. I have written a number of times here in Cyrsti's Condo about potential problems I ran (or walked) into as I began to transgender into a more feminine lifestyle. Very quickly, I was corned at a party by huge admirer and had to be bailed out by my deceased wife. The other happened late at night on an urban downtown sidewalk in front of a gay venue. Both were really ill advised but I managed to escape unscathed with a new admiration for what women go through. I hitched up my big girl panties and always asked for help in getting to my car.

How this post came about though mainly comes from my group's moderator calling a bigoted hater an ass when he called her an "it" and a freak. This all came in a bar and very easily could have resulted in creased violence to her (the moderator).  Finally, it all finished up with him being arrested and being barred from the pub. She was lucky and the band even stopped briefly to see if she was alright.

Another person with a background in entertaining the public in a band in bars is Connie. Here is one of her experiences which came in reference to my post "Back in the Day."

"Speaking of "back in the day," I remember one time (mid-seventies) when I observed a disagreement - turned knife fight - in a bar, as I was playing music on the stage. We didn't stop playing, though, even as the EMTs came in to care for the guy lying in a pool of blood. Like with the band on the sinking Titanic, we were urged, by the manager, to keep playing - as if everything were normal. We learned, later, that the stabbing victim had been pronounced DOA. This whole event has been etched into my mind, and, although I keep it in the back, I know that it has come to the front every time I have had to deal with some jerk who has a problem with my gender status. I would never take it for granted that anyone else would step up or step in to protect me, so I do my best to keep negative confrontations from escalating. I want to ensure that my music keep going, after all".

Self preservation should always be our goal! I know in my case, HRT has taken a toll on my old body anyhow and I better be able to get out of situations with my wits not my brawn. Which any woman learns at a young age anyhow. 

As I said earlier, I was fortunate to learn it all tje relatively easy way!

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Friday Night Lights

I did remember to get Liz to swap pictures last night with me after our latest adventure out to the cross dressers - transgender karaoke party. Once again I was dazzled about how so many of the attendees have not lost any of their male privilege. for the most part, I have always thought if you go to the time and effort to look like a woman, you should try to act like one too.

But, I can contradict myself too.  As most of you know, I am as current on most of sporting happenings but am careful to let it not dominate my conversation. My example was last night, two of the cross dressers carried on a very boring two way conversation about coaching little league teams and jobs. I had to keep reminding myself, they were cross dressers and less involved in the total
feminine experience.

I also found it interesting only one of the gender fluid folks even commented on my hair...pro or con. While three of the cis-women mentioned it.

Liz also got her hair styled and she deservedly stole the show. I was so happy for her. The new "style" really suits her continued weight loss of over 110 pounds.

My partner Liz

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Drafted to the Losing Team?

Here is a topic we haven't delved into in a long time here in Cyrsti's Condo- male privilege. Truthfully, I ran back across the subject from an unexpected source: MarieClaire.com. In fact the site is running a whole transgender series called "Trans(form)". There is quite a bit of wonderful information in the post so I will pass along some of the highlights.  Including a book which hits home on the subject with the obvious and then goes farther, much farther:


Julia Serano
"A lot of trans women are aware that there is male privilege before we transition–that women are not treated with as much respect as men," says Julia Serano, author of Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity. "But there's a big difference between knowing privilege exists and the literal experience of losing it."  For Serano, the sexism hit her all at once. "All of a sudden, the world is, to a certain degree, a lot more dangerous or precarious," she says of discovering her new reality. 
The transgender women we (the author) spoke with cited a litany of new challenges on the other side of their transition, which will be painfully familiar to the cisgender women reading it: getting talked down to, getting talked over, getting catcalled in the street, getting dismissed in the workplace, and so on. "I would be talking about a patient, and a male medical student would be kind of glazed over, staring at my breasts," says Dr. Marci Bowers, the first transgender surgeon to ever perform a gender-reassignment procedure."

Dr Bowers though went on to say: "With their unique perspective of gender relations, some in the trans community actually find themselves sympathizing with men. "I think there's a lot of what I'd call female privilege, too," Dr. Bowers adds. "A man is never trusted like a woman is trusted: by strangers, children. When men deal with each other, there's a certain distance they keep. There's a sisterhood and a safety among women, and it's a very helpful feeling."

I always felt being admitted to the "girl's sandbox" was far from a "given" but once I was trusted and admitted, I did feel the strength of the"circle" as I had never did with men during my life.  I think I was drafted to the winning team!

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Finding your Happy Place

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