Showing posts with label stress. Show all posts
Showing posts with label stress. Show all posts

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Prom Time


Image from Amy Kate
on UnSplash

I graduated from high school way back in 1967 and where I went to school in Ohio, going to prom was a big deal.

I was very shy and as it turned out my junior year in high school prom was my first date with a girl ever. I didn't even really ask my date out, it was pre-arranged by her friends who knew she did not have a date nor did I. So I was set up for success. 

Of course success for me was scary. I had no idea how I could ever spend an entire evening with a girl. What would I say? How would I even communicate? The only real interactions with girls were with my Mom. All others just seemed to be up on a far away pedestal I had invented. Then my gender issues came crashing in to make my problems even larger. All I really knew was deep down inside, I wanted to be the one wearing the pretty fancy gown rather than the restrictive monkey suit called a tuxedo. Worse yet, I had to spend my own hard earned money to rent a tux. 

It turned out renting the tuxedo was only the beginning of my expenditures. I was fortunate at the time to have had a very well high school paying job so my parents did not have to contribute much to my initial adventure with a girl. In order to go all out for the evening, tradition was the guy paid for nearly everything from flowers, to dinner at a supper club, to tickets to the after prom which was a way to spend the entire night out. What I didn't factor in was how much my date had to spend on finding a dress, having her makeup and hair done and of course locating matching shoes. All of the processes the girl went through for prom to me felt like a labor of love to me I couldn't have waited to try. 

My date's parents were doctors so Dad even went the extra mile and let me borrow his car for the evening. Needless to say, I was scared to death in my tux when prom time approached. Somehow I managed not to blurt out anything stupid when I was introduced to my date and let her Mom put the corsage on for me on my date's spaghetti strapped gown which I loved and told her so. Just didn't happen to mention just why I loved her dress so much as I wondered how it would look on me. Fortunately, we were meeting another couple for dinner, so I didn't have to feel so stressed about carrying any sort of a conversation myself. So far so good, my first date was coming off without a hitch and ironically I was able to experience some sort of transgender revenge when I went to the old supper club when it became a gay venue. I was there one night and was able to use the women's room completing some sort of gender circle in my mind.

By the time my senior year rolled around, I was a seasoned prom pro and ended up going to two proms in one night. Since I was dating a girl who went to a competing high school, we decided to go to both proms. I even drove my own car since she was familiar with it and I didn't have worry about asking my Dad for his car. Overall, I managed to have a good time since I wasn't so frightened of the whole experience. For the rest of my life, my prom experience was over. For better or for worse. 

Probably, my parents were relieved I was finally dating girls. I on the other hand wasn't doing anything to relieve my gender dysphoria. I still wanted to be my girlfriends and live their lives. My cross dressing tendencies continued all the way until I was drafted into the military and had to stop for obvious reasons. By this time, I had more to worry about than how I looked as a girl. I was looking at surviving college so I could stay out of Vietnam as long as I could.     

Today I see the young high schoolers seem to view proms as less structured affairs than we did so long ago. It's all for the best.

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Trans Lost and Found


Lost woman from UnSplash

During a transgender persons' life, we experience many enormous periods of  lost and founds. 

Perhaps the biggest loss most of us face is with our families. In the transgender transition process, often many in families choose not to understand our journeys to living as our authentic selves. I am very familiar with the process when my brother decided to end all dealings with me when his family decided they did not want me at a family Thanksgiving dinner. We have not spoken since and that was over ten years ago. Needless to say, I am not happy about all I lost with my brother. As I always write is how fortunate I was when I found other family to fill the void. Between my wife's Liz's family and the acceptance I found from my daughter's in laws, I found more than I lost. 

Another major portion of our old male lives we have a tendency to lose is much of the old baggage we have to try to bring along. Interests such as mechanics and sports are stereotyped as male and are frowned upon back in the day when transsexuals were expected to go through gender realignment surgery and then move away and start a brand new life. I saw the whole process as one of the biggest obstacles of me potentially giving up everything which I earned to start all over again. I wanted in a large part to have my cake and eat it too. Could I really, transition into a feminine based life and keep most of my interests? 

I was stubborn and found out I could when destiny led me to a whole new group of friends who helped me into a new world. In essence, I found more than I ever lost, even though going through the separation from my old male life was very traumatic and stressful. More than anything, the finality of the loss off of many of my old male friends to death was tough to take, including losing my wife of course. Before the found began to flourish in my life, it seemed the losses would take over and they almost did. 

It took awhile but slowly and surely. I began to climb out of my valley and begin to climb again at the age of sixty. I shed (or lost) almost all the parts of my male life and even though I was scared of the future, I could at the least look ahead to better times ahead. Finding more than I lost became a fun goal for me as my life changed. 

I hear from so many other transgender women whose lives parallel mine. Either they continued with a skill they earned earlier in life or were able to meet others who made their gender transitions so much easier. One way or another,  the losses didn't feel as bad. Sadly, there are the other trans women and transgender men who never seem to not struggle with their loss of family or employment. It is just another example of how being transgender is everything but a choice. 

Perhaps, as being transgender continues to be better known thanks to the internet, everyone will have the chance to pick and choose with more confidence what is lost and what is found with their life. Then have a chance to cherish what is found.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Thanksgiving Day and Covid

Just before Thanksgiving I was scheduled to receive my latest Covid vaccination update. I have to go to my local small Veteran's Administration clinic to get a shot in the arm.

We shall see if their amazing transition into an inclusive environment continues. Over the years they used to repeatedly refer to me as "Mr. Hart" or even "Sir". It seemed nothing more than a formal complaint from me could change the way I was treated.

Before I could file a complaint, however the whole place started to change. When I was called to go back for my appointment, I went from "Mr. Hart" to my legal feminine name which is on file with the VA. Plus, now the VA even has a place on their intake forms for transgender individuals.  I don't know what really happened but the change was night and day. I am not for sure but perhaps they changed out head administers for the clinic. I don't really care, I just appreciate the difference.

In addition, I hope I don't have any negative reactions to the vaccine because my wife Liz and I are scheduled to go to a family get together with my daughter's in laws. In addition to great food, I always enjoy the gender affirming experience as I am accepted by everyone. Especially from my transgender grand child. 

This time of the year is always bittersweet for me. In the past my deceased second wife really went all out. From feeding a big family on her own to extensive Christmas decorations, she did it all. Our big pre-civil war era house was ideal for her to serve a big dinner as well as putting up all the decorations. Remembering all of her work makes up the sad part of my bittersweet existence as I had to sell all of my wife's decorations.   

On the bright side (or sweet) part of the season all began when I began to do most all of my Christmas shopping cross dressed as a woman. As the holiday season approaches, I will go into more detail how the entire process worked for me. In the meantime I will tell you it all worked out very well. Maybe too well because I found shopping for others as my feminine self turned out to be a very enjoyable experience. 

I even went out shopping on the infamous "Black Friday" mall day surrounded by many many crazy shoppers who the majority of were women. I learned in a potentially stressful situation in a crowd of people, it is easier to disappear. In the meantime, learning to dress to blend and for comfort became of the distances involved when I went out.

There is much more to describing my experiences as I grew into being a successful transgender woman and how the season helped me. 

In the meantime, I hope you have some sort of family whom accepts you and you can enjoy your Thanksgiving. 

Friday, October 25, 2019

Friday Night Puns

As the national holiday for cross dressers everywhere rapidly approaches (Halloween), I hope you have your costume ideas all together. I remember the extreme stress I went through. First and foremost, I wanted to try to come up with a costume idea similar to what a cis woman would wear. Then, I had to try to come up with a date I could be free so I could attend some sort of a party.

I worked in the restaurant business, so most of the time it meant working all weekends. Plus, getting all dolled up cross dressed for work was out of the question. After all I had my macho image to protect, primarily because of the white redneck kitchen crews I had to manage. One of the prime reasons I don't have more Halloween stories to share.

Also, not all of the experiences were positive. I remember the times when the high heels I wore killed my feet. Or for some reason the few parties I wasn't accepted well at. The times I was touched inappropriately come to mind too. I guess I learned the hard way what cis women go through when they dress a certain way.

But all in all, the good times out numbered the bad. Including the experience I shared about the politician and his wife.  Here is where the "puns" come in. Compliments of Connie (of course):

"Maybe it was the politician's wife who was more interested? Or, a ménage à trois that could lead to a raucous in the caucus? Or, something profunda in the rotunda? A congressional confessional? :-)"   Probably all of the above!

Before Liz and I go out tonight to a Halloween party at a local venue we are close to, I thought I would share a picture of both of us. Taken last winter. Maybe I will have a picture taken tonight if I think about it.

Also thanks to Connie for the political puns!

Liz and Jessie selfie taken last winter in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio

Workplace Issues

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