Showing posts with label self help. Show all posts
Showing posts with label self help. Show all posts

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Between the Transgender Rock and the Hard Place

 

Photo by Leio McLaren on Unsplash

Sadly, many of us in the transgender community have experienced losing a spouse as we continue our journeys towards living as our authentic selves. 

Equally as sad is the fact for many the trip turns out to be a selfish and solitary experience. In addition, our spouses all too often have front row seats as we slowly slip away. First there are the clothes and the makeup, then comes the occasional trips to test the public's eye and those turn out to be the simplest part. 

In my case I have written often how my second wife (deceased) accepted me being a cross dresser but rejected any ideas of me transitioning into a transgender woman. It led me to sneak out behind her back as much as possible and into huge fights when she caught me. All of the hostility led her once telling me to be man enough to be a woman. 

She unfortunately was gone before I transitioned and I will be forever interested in what she would have thought about the new person I became. I loved her very much and held on to the bitter end. Looking back, had she lived I am sure we could not have survived as a couple. The draw to live a feminine life was just too strong and felt all too natural. I can't imagine her accepting me changing my name for example. 

Having said all of that, I have several transgender women friends who have managed to hold together a marriage through a transition. Slowly and often begrudgingly spouses have decided to stay with their trans mates for any number of reasons, including children. Another subject totally. Some kids just seem to accpet more than others. 

I can't imagine if my spouse decided to transition to being a trans man. Of course I am biased and think there would be no problems but deep down I'm not so sure. Even though on occasion Liz is more masculine than I ever was even when I was trying to hide any toxic masculinity I ever had. 

The whole process certainly puts us all between the rock and the hard place when it comes to our gender transitions. Deep down we know it's something we have to do regardless of the number of years we have put into a marriage. I was at twenty five years and counting when my spouse passed away. We faced problems in the relationship when I was the girly girl of both of us. So much so, she asked me to help with her makeup on special occasions. 

The whole process for me was similar to a slippery slope. The more I did as a novice transgender woman, the more I wanted to do. As I was finally syncing up my feminine soul with my exterior and exploring the world, the better I felt...for awhile until the pressure to explore again began to build on me. It was then I began to feel I was between the rock and the hard place. Having someone who love but not as my authentic self. 

The whole process eventually led me to a suicide attempt. The rock and the hard place was a brutal place to be. As I looked over my gender cliff, I didn't know where I would land and how soft the landing would be. New friends made it all a success. 

  

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Legally Complete

Dinner with Liz on the right
Jessie Hart

Yesterday, Liz and I made the big step of going to the courthouse and obtaining a marriage license following eleven years of knowing each other. No need to hurry, right? 

After walking what seemed like a mile to me to get to the courthouse, we made our way by elevator to the tenth floor where marriage licenses are done. As I waited for the process, the more nervous I became. How would the clerk perceive us and would there be a bias. At the least we would be perceived as two women getting married and at the worst I would be outed as a transgender woman marrying a cis-woman. It turned out the only major problem I was going to have was my own fault. There was a pre-certification process I had to fill out before we went to pick up and/or do the licensing process.

For one, somehow I filled out the wrong question concerning my deceased wife and they had me as divorced at the time of her death. If all of that was true (it wasn't) I would have had to come up with a divorce decree. I was able to convince the clerk I filled the form out wrong and I was definitely still married to her when she passed away. 

Once I passed that hurdle, I had to go way back in my old noggin to 1978, to my divorce from my first wife. I was able to search county records on line from my hometown and actually located the file of our disillusionment I was looking for. Ironically the hardest part of the entire process turned out to be the part I did correctly because the clerk said all my information had been accepted.

From then on, it was clear sailing as we filled out the rest of the necessary paperwork and paid out the seventy five dollar fee. By the way, no bias was shown due to our gender situation. For all the clerk knew, we were two women getting married. Just the way I wanted it. The only thing that made it difficult was my own mistakes filling out the information.

We are all set now until the official wedding date of October 16th. Liz in particular is excited for her first marriage. 

Last night we celebrated by going to our favorite Mexican restaurant to have a Margarita and talked about our past, present and most importantly our future. Somehow I have always felt two is better than one so yes I am excited about the future.    

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

A Vacuum?

 

Photo by Lukas ter Poorten on Unsplash

Nothing happens in a vacuum. No matter how hard you try, there are always outside influences which effect the outcome of what we want to happen. 

This is especially true for transgender women and trans men. During our gender transitions we rely on others on occasion to show us the way. Recently, I have mentioned cis women such as Liz, Kim, my daughter and Min who provided guidance or even a shove to get me moving in the right direction. Liz in particular told me she didn't see any male in me at all, my daughter took me to her hair salon and Kim took me to a professional football game. All were totally instrumental in me becoming a full time out transgender woman.

Ironically, early in my transition I didn't believe in needing a cis woman to assist in furthering my own gender trip across the frontier. I went back to my much anticipated visit with my fiancé when she would completely dress me head to toe as a woman. Even though it was a thrilling day, deep down I wasn't impressed that much with the results. As far as the makeup went, by that time I had plenty of time to practice on my own over the years. Her improvement just wasn't that noticeable. As far as the clothes went, I picked out the outfit myself. I should have known she wouldn't do that good because she is the one who wanted me to say I was gay to dodge the draft. When I wouldn't she dumped me which turned out to be one of the best things to happen to me in my life. Nothing happens in a vacuum for sure.

Vacuums however are funny creatures. Without the women I mentioned above, there would have been no way I would have developed the confidence to go public and learn how to communicate with other women. I consider communication the most important hurdle I had to cross when I MtF gender transitioned. I say that because appearance wise I had reached a point where I didn't have much of a problem with the public but building a new life as my feminine self was something totally different. I needed to build a new person from the ground up plus I was in a vacuum on how to do it. 

Slowly but surely and again with the help of friends, I managed to find a place in the girls sandbox and after a few mishaps, survive. I made the mistake of trusting smiling faces who were holding knives behind their backs. I think when I surrounded myself with cis women friends, negative people couldn't get to me. Expanding on the vacuum theme a bit, essentially I expanded my vacuum to survive and thrive as a new person.  

I may be age biased but I believe older transgender women have a more difficult time coming out of their vacuums. Many lose family and friends and find it difficult to restart their lives. Many are content to let their lives play out as I was until Liz came along and changed everything. She found me in an on line dating group. Proving once again how wrong a vacuum can be.

Monday, August 29, 2022

What is Normal?

 

Photo Courtesy Jessie Hart

I love this question because the easy answer is nothing is normal. The more that transphobes and other haters like to say about it, the more they prove themselves wrong. Just because they think they are in the majority of hetero-straight humans, doesn't make it normal. 

On the other hand, during my life, I disliked being called "normal". If I was normal as compared to the rest of society I would have never succeeded in being accepted into the American Forces Radio and Television service when I was in the Army. Other lesser examples were how my daughter came along against the odds as well as various college changes kept me out of the military draft as long as I did. 

For the longest time in my life, I did my best to be a normal guy. In middle school and high school I did play sports, worked on cars and begrudgingly dated girls. In other words, I did what was expected by my family and society. Of course the entire process brought extreme confusion and often pain. My parents always were fond of telling me not to be into what other people said. But of course, all of that  ended when I wanted to be a girl. Then, normal, took a whole other turn in my life.

For the longest time I considered myself less than normal when I was dealing with the everyday public. I used it as an excuse to explain my cross dressing "habit" to myself. Somehow since I felt I had a different "hobby" I was less than normal. 

Once I started to increasingly explore the feminine world as a transgender woman, all of my thought patterns started to change. Slowly but surely I began to realize I truly wasn't normal. I had been doing my best to live a lie and exist in the male world. The more I transitioned into my authentic self the more natural I felt. Often how I was feeling was the only thing which kept me going during the dark hours I went through as I learned to play in the girls' sandbox. Even though it is painful to remember and write about, the tears were real and came too often. 

The more I learned the more normal I felt. I can only assume it is because I am finally living my own feminine reality. As I face the world now, I have found my own normal 

I am now living a better life because of it. After all, normal is fairly simple. It is what you make of  it.

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Comfortable in your Own Skin


As transgender women and trans men transition into our authentic selves often we take longer to feel comfortable in our own skins. As with many others, it took me  many years to catch up and feel much better on the direction life was taking me. 

The first thing I had to do was to grow up and out of my teenaged girl years which of course weren't happening until I was in my thirties. I have documented many times how I went through a period of dressing more trashy than classy as I was trying to validate myself as a woman. Another way of saying I was desperate to feel comfortable in my own skin but was failing completely. Fortunately even I got it through my thick noggin what I was doing wrong. By this time I was learning to dress to blend and interact with other women. 

As I did, I began to seriously realize I could be successful in my new gender skin. Every now and then I am asked how I made it to this point. My answer was and is two fold. The first answer is to practice, practice and more practice. My second advice is don't become discouraged no matter how tough life becomes. Specifically when it comes time to attempt a few or all of the same things cis-women have to do to better their appearance. Examples include working to lose weight and taking better care of your skin. Remember, women, similar to Rome, weren't built overnight. If you are having problems with your makeup, don't hesitate to hitch up your big girl panties and go to a makeup store for help or keep practicing until you become better. 

At times you may feel the road you are on may never end. After all, women lead such layered and complex lives and once you escape your gender closet and see the light of day, it's natural to be terrified to the point of wondering if you will ever be able to live the life you dreamed of forever. Plus you never know how your future life may change and allow you  to better live as a transgender woman. It happened with me. I went from a bearded two hundred seventy pound life long cross dresser in a little over a six month period to a full time transgender woman. When my wife passed away totally unexpectedly. Although I don't  recommend what happened to me, the fact still remains it could happen.

Being comfortable in your own gender skin is a lot of work but completely worth it in the long or even short term. Much of the process involves having the confidence to do something about it, which we will discuss in an upcoming post.  

Thursday, August 18, 2022

How the Transgender Tree Grows

 

Image from Unplash

Most days I sit and ponder what I am going to write about today, I notice the same huge tree growing in the neighbor's back yard. Today for some reason I made a connection with growing up transgender with that tree. 

All of us at some point lay down our gender roots, transgender or not. Waking up in the morning more times than not I would wonder what gender I would be that day. Non of it included the pain when I had a very vivid dream of being a girl. Of course dreams like that made the whole situation worse and made the roots grow deeper. The problem also was I was trying my best to up-root my feminine leanings. Please keep in mind I grew up in the pre-internet era when there was very little information on gender dysphoria. 

As I grew past that time in my life, my feminine roots really took over. Especially when I began to discover others with similar outlooks plus information how to deal with it. No matter how much root killer I tried to use to kill my feminine instincts, nothing worked. In fact, as my gender tree grew the stronger it became. 

Then came the big growth spurts caused partially by me going to Halloween parties. It doesn't seem possible but the time of year for Halloween is rapidly approaching and it will time for me to once again do my Halloween "Greatest Hits" posts here in the blog. In the meantime I will say the entire experience did more to send my feminine roots deeper than anything else in my life, up to that point.In short I learned there was a possibility I could present well enough as a woman to survive in society. My roots had branched into a tree which started to bear seeds. 

Multiple seeds sprouted into more transgender trees and I reached several points of no return in my growth into living as a full time transgender woman. So much so, that finally the female seeds choked out the male seeds completely. 

Which brings me full circle to the place I am today. From my initial explorations in my Mom's clothing what seems like it was a hundred years ago to going to my next Mammogram on Wednesday my roots have grown a strong transgender tree. Even with me trying my best to destroy them by destroying myself. I just hope my roots can remain as strong through an upcoming marriage and my later years in life. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

A Closer Look at HRT

 

Photo Courtesy Connie Malone

Several days ago I wrote a post called "Comments" which ultimately came from a post which dealt with hormone replacement therapy. The post turned out to be one of the most commented posts I have written in a while. Mainly because to some HRT is the main gateway when you transition from cross dresser to transgender woman or trans man. As I wrote there are more dangers from the extra hormones to many people than are known. I also wrote about Connie being one of those individuals. She faces dire medical circumstances if she would attempt HRT. Here is the comment in reply to Jas:

"As you stated, in answering to Jas's comment, I have not been able to enjoy the mental, emotional, or physical effects that HRT may have had on me. Actually, though, at my age, my hormone balance is not so different than most 71-year-old cis women. That many people have expressed their assumption (of my consumption:-) of HRT for me is both gratifying and frustrating. I can, at the same time, think well of myself for "pulling it off" and also be offended that someone could say such an inappropriate thing to me. I suppose, then, that the next assumption would be that I have had all the surgeries necessary to "womanize" myself (and some have expressed that, as well).

One saying they are dying to be a woman is fine, but not very many would mean that literally - myself included. I also reject the statement made to me years ago that, because I suffered from male pattern baldness and could not (I think they said would not) take hormones or have surgeries, I could never be more than a "professional cross dresser."

Even though I have been on hormone replacement therapy for going on eight plus years now and live fulltime as a transgender woman, I have not undergone any surgeries. I suppose in more than a few critical transgender circles I too would be considered a "professional cross dresser." Then again, like Connie, I didn't begin this life long gender journey if I cared what most others cared about me. In fact it was years ago when I met Connie we found we thought alike when we harassed so called transgender nazi's who made a big deal out of how many surgeries they had under gone. 

These days, for the most part, I think the barriers within the transgender community are coming down. I am seeing more and more younger people identifying as non binary. Even still, I see the "I am transer than thou" raise it's ugly head entirely too often. 

As I have written many times, I am so fortunate to be able to begin and tolerate a hormonal replacement therapy at my advanced age. Anymore it is such a part of me I would hate to see it go. So far, so good but I am always prepared for the worst but HRT no longer defines me as a transgender woman.    

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Answer to a Transgender Guestion

Image from Unsplash 

Yesterday I wrote a post asking the question "What is a Transgender Woman." 

Today I received this wonderful response through my Medium writers format from Jas Martinez: 

"  Gender identity of a female? Not all females have a gender identity of a female. There has to be, there probably will be a better definition in the near future. There are trans people that label themselves trans women, however many of them are simply trans people that cross dress. I guess I am a gatekeeper is sorts. A trans woman is a trans person who lives full time as woman, has legally changed their name and is on HRT to be recognized or assumed to be a cis-woman. It’s the same as being a veteran.

To be recognized as a veteran one must have served in the military. To be recognized as a surgeon one must have graduated medical school, be licensed and actually perform surgeries. Label yourself any way you want but those are only words. To be a trans woman one has to live the part."

Thanks for the comment! There were so many to choose from. The only part I would disagree with is the portion which said HRT was a needed to be a transgender woman. I know several transgender women who live quite well as their authentic selves without going the HRT route. One in particular is Connie who can't because of medical issues and the other I believe is "Stana" from the Femulate blog.

On the other hand I agree not all females have the gender identity of a female. My partner (and future wife) Liz is way more masculine than I am and can't wait to call me "Mrs. Hart". I asked her the why's of being a transgender woman and she replied a trans woman was/is a person who knows where she came from and knows where she is going, even if she doesn't know the exact path.

Interestingly, Liz thinks too many transitioning novice transgender women have too difficult a time letting go of their old male privilege's. Growth doesn't happen over night and a person needs time to grow into their authentic selves woman or man.

Then Lauren added another comment:

"Yes JJ, gotta love the haters, it's really hard when they're family members who refuse to acknowledge or accept you. How do you reply to someone who says: "I don't understand and frankly, I don't want to understand, what you're doing is wrong!"

The answer, you don't really. you walk away and the relationship is over. Hard but necessary. They just can't get it through their thick skulls we are born this way and have been since we were children. It's just wrong."

Thanks to you Lauren and for the rest of you just to confuse everyone I decided to write Medium under my legal name change JJ or Jessie. Plus as far as haters are concerned, my very own brother falls under a person I just had to walk away from. Sadly.

I love comments and wish I could answer more of them in actual posts but it is difficult to do. Thanks again for those of who who do comment!


Sunday, July 3, 2022

Grounded

 Perhaps if you are similar to me you also have to "ground" your transgender feelings. 

Liz (left) and I during a night out.

Over the years it mainly meant I had to uncover my "collection" of feminine clothing and makeup then find the nearest mirror to examine my handiwork. The problem quickly became when I started to explore the world as my feminine self, I encountered many people who didn't share the mirror's idea of how I looked. It was after these occasions of being rejected I had to go back to the drawing board and attempt to ground myself again. 

As I progressed down my transgender journey, becoming grounded became more intricate. For example, when I advanced to the point of properly presenting myself as a feminine person, the time came to form a whole new personage. All too quickly it seemed people wanted to actually talk to me. Staying grounded while I learned to communicate as a woman was difficult. Especially when I began to understand the nuances of communication between the genders. After a day, or even part of a day, it was exceedingly difficult to adjust my grounding back to my non authentic male self. The stress of attempting to exist part time in both of the binary genders was intense and one I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. 

All of the stress finally led me to another suicide attempt and I decided to take the path which was more natural to me and attempt to live fulltime as a transgender woman. Once I achieved my goal, unfortunately the stress of being grounded as my authentic self didn't cease. Even though I felt I might have it better than the average transgender woman I encountered in support groups, I still had my moments of not feeling grounded. Perhaps it is because I still took all of a half a century to fully transition. Perhaps it has just taken me a bit longer than I wished to lose all the figments of who I was,

Now I am fairly sedentary and still don't get out much even after Covid. During the time I have learned to finally accept myself for who I am. I am no longer fighting to be a false male self . Even still, when we can, I cherish the times Liz and I can go out to eat. It's a time I can reestablish my feminine self and get grounded again as my true authentic self.

Hopefully your path has been easier than mine and you have discovered and live as you please.    

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Parental Guidance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Definitely positive parental guidance should be praised and cherished.     

    

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Friends

 What are friends for? Right? As far as transgender individuals are concerned, friends mean quite a bit. 

Many of us go through a portion of our lives when we desperately seek out "replacement" friends to help us with how we look or even how we move as we attempt to live as our authentic selves. I remember many times in the blog when others have mentioned how badly they needed a cis woman to do their makeup. Over the years I found I was mostly self taught which sometimes showed until I learned how to not look like a clown. I say mostly because on a couple of occasions I did take advantage of a free makeover. Even then with my ego, I had to "face" the makeup person with absolutely no make up and more importantly try to understand exactly what he was trying to tell me about applying makeup.

Years before I sought professional help, I did beg my fiancĂ© to help me totally cross dress as a woman. It turned out to be one of the most exciting times of my life yet one of the worst decisions I ever made. Later on I had to endure a very messy breakup with her before I went into the military. She told me to tell them I was gay and not be drafted or we were finished. It turns out she was holding my cross dressing desires against me. The wonderful end to the story is getting rid of her was one of the best decisions of my life. 

These days there are many ways to seek out help with cosmetics. Depending upon your finances, there are larger makeup chain stores to help you. I say finances because naturally, they will try to sell you many products. Some of which you may not need. 

Girls Night Out Photo. Courtesy Jessie Hart 
I am bottom row far left. 
Of course there are many other ways friends can help you down your path to living as your authentic self. I was fortunate to find several close cis women friends early in my transition when I was going out to be alone. In other words, I was desperately lonely so I still went out as my authentic self to enjoy what I had of life. Also I had recently gone through the loss (death) of my wife and several close friends, so I felt what else did I have to lose. 


My new found friends helped me to find life again and more importantly accepted me as my authentic self. As with most everything else in life, time moves everything in a circle if you live long enough. In my case I was able to finally replace the few long time friends I had acquired as a cross dressing man with equally as close friends I could socialize with. Being social again brought my life back to a place I could ever imagine.  

Transitioning certainly means more than coming out to family. No matter if you are able to find new friends through local LGBTQ groups or wherever, establishing a new world as your authentic self is often key to a healthy existence. 

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Therapy

 My experiences with therapy started years ago. So long ago I barely remember when. However I do remember I built up the courage to tell my first therapist (a man) that I liked to cross dress as a woman. I remember too he basically glossed over my admission and began to write me prescriptions for such mind altering medications of the day such as Prozac and Lithium.  I don't remember much about the

Jessie with Brutus Buckeye

side effects of Prozac but I know I didn't like or tolerate Lithium well at all. Through it all, the medications didn't have an affect one way or another on my cross dressing. Plus, I felt the doctor must have felt worse talking about it than I did, because he never brought it up again.

Around that time was when I picked up my small family and began to move to various places around the country trying desperately to out run my gender problems. Following a year and a half stay in the NYC Metro area, we bounced back to our native Ohio, to a largely rural area along the Ohio River.  Near that time was when I began to seriously explore the world as a cross dressing woman. My wife knew of my cross dressing desires but never approved of me going out from our house which happened to be in a very rural area. Of course, the more I snuck out the more I wanted to. Which led me to being on a collision course with being caught by her. Every time it happened a huge fight between us took place. One time after a particular nasty altercation, I volunteered to schedule an appointment with a therapist who specialized in gender difficulties or dysphoria, I believe I discovered her information in an issue of "Transvestia" magazine. To do it at all was quite a task because of where she was located an hours drive north of us in Columbus, Ohio. 

Ironically she was a successful trip for all the wrong reasons. Fairly early in our visits, she told me there was no way she could help me with being a cross dresser or transvestite as it was known back in those days but she could help me with the vicious mood swings I was going through. In other words, she was the first therapist to diagnose my Bi-Polar disorder. Through it all, every visit I managed to take, I was prolonging the inevitable next fight with my wife. So all in all, my experience with this therapist was a success. At least the next time I was caught out and about cross dressed by my wife I could say I was trying to do something about it.

My next experience with a therapist came years later when I began my care under the Veterans Administration health care system. One of the main reasons I sought out their help was because I was severely financially challenged and unable to purchase my Bi-Polar medications on my own. Of course in order to be prescribed through the VA I had to be seen by a therapist. This was near the same time my wife had passed away and I was considering starting hormone replacement therapy, so in essence invisible doors were beginning to open for me since this was all in the early days of the VA accepting HRT work also. 

I was really fortunate. The therapist I was assigned is still with me today. A near impossibility in the VA system as I know it. More importantly too, she was willing to listen to me and accept the fact my transgender issues were completely separate from my Bi-Polar issues. She kept me on the medications which had been a success for me in the past and approved me for HRT meds. Fairly quickly she became one of the most important people in my life.

I am aware I could be the exception to the rule when it comes to therapy and many transgender persons resent the idea they need therapy before they can start HRT.  I know also several trans persons who either had a difficult time finding a therapist who deals with gender issues or being able to feel comfortable doing it. 

Hopefully if you have sought out therapy you have been successful finding one who helps you with your gender dysphoria or any other issue you may have,   

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

What If?

 Why does it always seem there is a "what if" to every transgender question. Examples are many. Lets explore a few.

What if I had never went exploring in my Mom's underwear drawers and discovered the luxury of silky hose and panties. Would I have still had the same internal idea somehow I wanted to be a girl just because I wanted to wear feminine clothes. The answer was an easy one because very soon while I was still wearing the clothes of a girl I found the clothes were a stop-gap measure, I really was more interested in being the girl. Not just looking like one. In actuality proving to me I was a transgender woman not a cross dresser.

Then what if years later I had been completely recognized when I was surprised by my wife's boss in a store parking lot. Here was I dressed in a tight mini skirt, flats and wig feeling totally on my own in my chosen gender. I ended up throwing my shoulders back, standing up straight and walking past him without making any eye contact. I say I wasn't completely recognized because he made a point later of telling my wife of the large "red head" he saw in a store parking lot. Of course she made it a priority to tell me knowing full well I owned a redheaded wig and it was my favorite,

There was more "what if" to this experience. What if I had never decided to try to accomplish more day to day womanly tasks such as doing the grocery shopping. If I didn't I would have never

 
encountered a young grocery bagger who was totally flustered waiting on me. Of course it will be forever one of those endearing ego based mysteries. Was he flustered because of how I looked as a cross dresser or was it all because I was a cross dresser to start with. Either way, it was another lesson learned when a woman mentally over powers a man.

Perhaps my biggest "what if" has to with the night at the Fridays restaurant/bar when I decided enough was enough. What if I quit going out doing my best to "fool" the world into thinking I was a woman and see if I could actually exist as one in a feminine world. What if I had actually backed out of the idea after I had sat in my car positively panicked waiting for a half hour for just the right moment to go in. Of course now it is all ancient history what happened. I wasn't laughed out of the venue and ended up establishing myself as a regular for years to come. All as my authentic self.  

From there the dominoes began to fall as I began to explore the possibilities of living a feminine life I had barely dreamed of ever living. Leading me to a huge "what if" I had the determination and the perseverance to begin hormone replacement therapy. Again I made the commitment to "do the meds" and the rest is history as I love it.

In a transgender life there always seems to be more questions. I am nearly seventy three years of age and now it is time to look my final "what if" head on. My biggest fear continues to be what will happen to me if I ever have to go into an assisted living and/or nursing home situation. At this time in my life I keep telling myself not to worry about jumping off that bridge until I come to it. 

In the meantime I am setting my sights on being able to enjoy the up coming Cincinnati Pride Pub Crawl.   

Monday, May 16, 2022

Quiet Time

 This Monday morning Liz is off and since I am retired we took advantage of the cooler morning temperatures to take our walk. It was non eventful as always as we normally have to clean up after our dog who somehow needs to complete his morning "constitutional" in the neighbor's yard. The same neighbor who we saw this morning as she was leaving for work.

Photo by Hello Revival on Unsplash

We have lived beside her, her husband and daughter for years now and have never received a negative comment about a transgender neighbor. Whatever the occasion it is nice to be accepted. Following the walk, I returned to my morning coffee and to ponder what I could write about on such a quiet day.

Finally I decided to write about the rare pleasure (on my part) of having a quiet day. Given my mental makeup, I don't have many moments when I am able to set all my demons aside and just relax. I was fortunate when I found I was able to discuss my Bi-Polar anxieties with my therapist and not have them complicate further my life on the transgender interstate highway. I learned long ago my gender journey was far more than a path...it was more like an interstate. Always busy and rarely quiet. Much like I am. If I am relaxed I am sleeping. 

Throughout my life it has been difficult to separate my anxieties from my gender dysphoria. In fact for years I thought they were intertwined. I have read and/or heard from others when they completed their gender transition, they were able to discontinue using their anti depressant medications all together. No such luck with me. Even though I was able to begin a full time transgender experience in a feminine world, my depressions and anxiety stuck around with me.  Again I am fortunate in that I have been able tolerate my medications for years. Giving me a chance to appreciate the rare quiet morning.

It does give me the chance to thank all of you readers on my long time Google blog and my relatively much newer Medium writers format which is growing dramatically. I completely appreciate all of you who read all my experiences and especially those who take the time to comment. Your input makes my whole effort so worthwhile. 

Thanks to all of you again and I hope you can have your own "quiet" time away from all the pressures the world tries to burden us with. Adding gender to those pressures is similar to adding cruel and unusual punishment to your world.