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

Friday, February 10, 2023

Getting Dizzy on the Transgender Merry Go Round

Photo from the
Jessie Hart Archives
In a recent post I compared coming out of a gender closet to trying to jump aboard a Merry Go Round which is spinning way too fast. It is difficult to catch up to the established gender you are trying to live as. Otherwise known as desiring to live as your authentic self, a transgender woman or a transgender man. As an extension of the post, today I will attempt to look at what happens once you are able to secure yourself a spot on the Merry Go Round. 

First of all, often you are made painfully aware a portion of the other riders don't want you there at all. Gender bigots or TERF's are everywhere trying for some reason to "protect" their gender from those wanting to live a life of their choice in the world. One of the initial ways they can spot you is from your appearance. Sadly, many of us have to deal with testosterone poisoning which gives our body and facial figures distinctly male looks. As we trans women learn the hard way, there are ways we can camouflage torso's which are too thick with certain items of female designed clothing. The same can be said for makeup which is also an appearance crutch for all women, trans or not. The fact of the matter is, women come in all shapes, sizes and appearance. We have to do our best to fit in. 

Once you have jumped aboard the Merry Go Round, sometimes it is difficult to stay there. My example comes from a lesbian social group I tried to join years ago with Liz. Liz identifies as lesbian and back in those days most all of my friends were also. I was na├»ve and thought I could join Liz's group but was quickly rejected. The rejection probably came from a woman who rudely approached me at a lesbian Valentine's Dance. She kept asking me drunkenly what my "real" name was. She was mean and nasty and it took me a while to calm down after I relocated Liz who was getting us food. Following the experience, it took me awhile to push my way back on to the Merry Go Round. But push I did. 

I compare the experience I had one time when a friend of mine and I (as males) were in Chicago and took a subway to Wrigley Field to see a baseball game. Being new to the experience, I wasn't quite ready for the rush of humanity which pushed their way into that subway car. Looking back, I was in the same situation many times when I explored my gender change path. From being completely rejected by a lesbian social club all the way to being cornered by a huge cross dresser "admirer" one night in a narrow hallway at a party I was attending with my second wife, I thought I had seen it all. I paid the "I told you so" price with my wife who saved me from my entrapment. Of course she didn't approve of the short mini dress I was wearing and blamed me for attracting the man. 

Through it all, I found once I had earned my seat, I wasn't giving it back to any narrow minded person who didn't like me. I deserved my spot as much as they did and I had to give up my hard earned male privilege's to get it. Plus I certainly wasn't trying to infringe on anyone else's rights. Even though the Merry Go Round was still spinning too fast on occasion, I learned to sit back and enjoy it.       

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Transgender Merry Go Round


Image from Kitae Kim on Unsplash

Every once in a while, I am fortunate enough to write a post which elicits several wonderful insightful comments. "Trans Reflections and Woman Illusion" posts were examples. First, through the Medium writing format Abbie wrote in and said:

"I've only just realized in the last couple years how far behind the 8 ball I am on this front. After 50+ years trying to fit in as a man I'm now trying to catch up with women and I barely know where to start. Obviously I'm going to miss out on some biological functions but all the relationships, ads directed at women, fabulous but too sexy for my age clothes, even the misogynist/glass ceilings and other garbage. How do us older girls make up for all that lost time?"

The comment started my thought processes which took me back to my early days of coming out in the world as a transgender woman and come up with an answer.

First of all, I view coming out as an older woman is similar to trying to jump on a merry go round which is going too fast. One question I do have is how long did Abbie pursue being a cross dresser before she decided to come out of the gender closet. In my case I was a serious cross dresser for nearly half a century which gave me plenty of time to practice, practice, practice my feminine crafts such as wardrobe and makeup. By the time I was trying to jump on the women's merry go round I was fairly proficient in both crafts. So much so, my second wife was asking me tips on doing her makeup. If I was new to the world today as a woman, I would take advantage of "You Tube" tutorials or go to in person events at some of the big makeup stores such as "Sephora". I know going to a store takes a lot of courage but the benefits are worth it. You just have to be careful of how much money you have to spend. The process can be expensive if they try to sell you items you don't really need.

The next big move I would make is a repeat of a recent post I wrote detailing my early love of thrift stores. In certain thrift stores I was able to partially work my way out of my "teen" cross dressing years and discover a wardrobe which fit me and was much more flattering for a fraction of the money I would have spent in regular retail stores. Plus, once I had settled in on what sizes fit me, I could then begin to order on-line sale items.

Another huge move I made when I was trying my best to come out of my dark/lonely closet was when I went to a doctor and was checked to see if I could undergo feminine hormone replacement therapy at my age of sixty. I could and from then on there was no looking back. Somehow, someway, I had to slow that merry go round down to where I could jump on. When my facial features and skin began to soften and my hair really began to grow, I knew my changes were real and imminent.

Then there were the small things I did to improve my feminine image and present better in the world. Even with the hormones which were supposed to cause me to gain weight, I went on a diet of sorts and ended up losing nearly fifty pounds. I thought of the process this way, if I was going to be a woman, I had to give it my best shot by doing extra things such as taking better care of my skin.

Abbie, doing all of this slowly but surely should get you on the merry go round also. While you can never make up for lost time, you can still build a gender future and enjoy who you have become. Thanks for the comment and I hope any advice I can add helps. Plus when you make your way to the gender of your choice there is always the chance to be able to communicate with the world as your new self. It's a terrifying but exciting journey very few are able to take.

There are other comments I will try to address later in the blog.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Time in a Bottle


Photo Courtesy Nickolas Horn
on UnSplash

With all due respects to Jim Croce who wrote the song "Time in a Bottle", I decided to title this post by the same name.

The bottle I am referring to is the alcoholic one. I grew up in a home where my Dad used alcohol regularly so it wasn't much of a surprise when I became of age I started to drink alcohol also. Along the way, I developed the habit of being able to hold my liquor well. If my friends and I could somehow get around the age limits to buy it. As with any other potential vices, we found ways to do it. 

By the time I got to college I was well versed in drinking with everyone else. Even if I was still underage due to Ohio's liquor laws. I guess you could say I was ahead of the curve when it came to alcohol.

Then came the military. Of course my time in basic training took me away from any drinking activities as did my time in Thailand. Due to the lack of drinkable beer. But then came the exact opposite when I was sent to Germany who really take pride in their quality beer and wines. Very quickly I acquired a taste for our locally produced beer and a few wines.

Fast forward to what any of this had to do with being transgender. As most of you probably know, alcohol often brings out the best or the worst in a person. People often become braver in many areas of their lives. Ultimately liquor enabled me the courage to first come out as a transvestite to my friends after a Halloween party. Which could have gotten me into any number of problems in the pre "Don't ask-Don't tell" era of the military. Here I was coming out in plain view to a few of my friends and risking a less than honorable discharge. All because of alcoholic infused bravery.

All of this turned out to be just the beginning. I tried to come out to my Mom after a night of drinking and was soundly rejected. But I kept trying. 

When I first started to try out the world as a feminine person, the bottle proved to play a major role in the process. When I gathered the courage to stop for lunch, I would always order a beer to steady my nerves and later give me the courage to try out new and exciting venues. Of course the further I went, the further I wanted to go. 

As I went further and further into the feminine world, I chose large sports venues and small lesbian bars as my favorite places to go. It was very difficult for me to conquer the fear of rejection I was feeling and my use of alcohol helped me. Even though it was only beer I was drinking, I was emboldened to continue. After a period of time, it was difficult for me to separate my desire to become a transgender woman with my desire to drink.

Finally I came to the point I didn't need it. About that time I had a scare concerning my liver so anymore recreational drinking was over. Without hesitation, my time in a bottle was over. Plus, I didn't need to find the courage to live the way I had always dreamed of, as a woman. I had arrived and now my alcoholic consumption is approximately two beers a month.  

Workplace Issues

Image from Gabrielle Henderson  on UnSplash. Sadly, many transgender women and trans men still get discriminated against when they seek out ...