Showing posts with label trans man. Show all posts
Showing posts with label trans man. Show all posts

Monday, September 18, 2023

Mourning your Past

Image from the
Jessie Hart Archives

Is there ever a time when you miss your old gender self? 

Do you miss your old male privileges which seemingly gave you more rights?  Remember the old days when you survived with the myth of more intelligence and less mansplaining in any conversation with a man. While I remember the shock of my first times of interaction with a group of men who essentially were ignoring me, on the other hand I thought somehow I had arrived in the place I wanted to be. I was experiencing first hand the loss of the privilege's I had fought so hard to accumulate in a male world I didn't like. 

No matter how much you enjoy your new life as a transgender woman or trans man, possibly there could be times when you miss the good times? On my end, it is very rare when I miss the "good old days" which weren't so good. 

On a recent interview with a Veterans Life Insurance representative I experienced a brief glimpse into my past when I needed to explain my gender situation with the sales person. For the sake of insurance, since I have not undergone any gender realignment surgeries, I had to tell the person I was still biological a male,  even though I lived as a woman. Through the confusion, the only person who really suffered was my daughter who was rudely interrupted by an insurance call which referred to me as a "he". Since she has a transgender child and a is a fierce ally of the trans community, she was not happy. So I ended up calling the representative and asking what she was doing calling her at all. 

Other moments of surprise and a bit of shock occurred during the times when I had my personal safety challenged. The first time happened during a party I was attending in Columbus, Ohio with my second wife who was strongly opposed to the mini skirt I was wearing. Her fears for me materialized when during the party a huge cross dresser admirer cornered me in a narrow hallway. For the first time in my life, I was made to feel powerless about my body until I was rescued by my wife and he freed me. 

The second major time happened one night when I was leaving a late night urban gay venue on a lonely, dark street in Dayton, Ohio. As I clicked down the sidewalk in my high heels, I was suddenly approached by two men. Again I felt totally powerless and on the edge of panic. That night I was lucky when I was able to use my last five dollar bill and they went away to my relief. From then on, I learned my lesson and always tried to park in close well lit parking lots. The old days of just having more personal security were over but I knew they had to go.

Overall I looked at the whole privilege changing time as a challenge and one I needed to conquer. Through it all, I had no time or will power to mourn any of my past. The only time I have twinges is during football season when I remember a few of the intense past experiences I went through when my second wife (a big fan too) attended all the biggest The Ohio State Buckeyes football games. Admittedly most  were memorable times I would not trade like the birth of my daughter which I was present for. 

Being part of the two binary genders has made me an overall better person. Mourning was just a part of my life as is it is a part of any other life. I view the process as a plus as I tried hard to leave my old male past behind and begin a new life as a transgender woman.    

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Fun and Games?

 

Image from Itai Aarons 
on UnSplash



Far too many instances these days I read about someone saying being transgender or having gender dysphoria is a choice.

For those of us who have (or continue to) suffer through our own gender issues, we have never had a choice. The problems with our gender meshing with our authentic selves is much more than just thinking we could put a dress on us and the world would be so much better. If only it could be so easy. Quite early in life I learned just looking myself in the mirror as a girl was a fleeting idea. Not only did I want to look like one of the girls I envied so much, I wanted to actually be one of them. Such a radical idea was to lead me into a lifetime quest to live as a transgender woman. A term which still would be years away from being invented as I looked into the mirror. 

When I look back at the whole process, it was never fun and games because the pressure was on to conceal my cross dressing from my parents and only brother who was a couple years younger than I and very curious. Very few times I remember being able to actually relax and enjoy what I was trying to accomplish. Which brings up the question, why do it? The answer is simple, because I had no choice. Deep down, something kept me driving towards being feminine, at least in appearance, It would take me years longer to learn the finer points of moving around and succeeding in the world as a transgender woman. Most of the time, the process was very painful and very few times exhilarating. I was at once guarded and afraid and out and happy on others. The night I went out to see the Christmas light display at a nearby restored mill comes to mind. 

I wore my fuzziest, warmest sweater along with leggings and boots and out I went to test what it would exactly be like to see the lights as a woman. Along the way, I even became brave enough to stop and order a cup of warm hot chocolate to thaw out. The whole evening turned out to be very satisfying because everyone I encountered seemed to be nice to me but even still wasn't what I called fun and games.  Plus, the twinkling lights were brighter and certainly more fun to see. 

It is also not fun and games when you have to deal with the up's and down's of having gender dysphoria. Often the process was similar to taking a continual ride on your favorite roller coaster. You spend so much time effort and money to prepare your image as you climb to the  top of the coaster. Then you feel the exhilaration on the first steep downward slope only to hit the bottom and be depressed again. After all, gender dysphoria is a deep dark place place to be. Especially when you combine it with a bi-polar disorder like I did. Often my mood roller coaster spent way too much time at the bottom until I reached out for help.

Just once I wish someone who thinks being transgender is a choice would have to experience our existence. Why would a person give up the gender privilege's they worked so hard to accumulate during their lives? The partial answer is it takes a person who can grasp a complex situation to accept a trans woman or man. Often we are still trying to understand our selves.

One thing is for sure, the journey for us has never been easy, is not a choice and is never fun and games.


Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Refining the Gender Lines

 

Photo from the
Jessie Hart
Archive

As I began to face the world as a novice transvestite, cross dresser or transgender woman, I discovered I had many blurred lines I needed to address. 

In other words, I needed much more work before I ever could understand completely the odds I was facing. The biggest problem I had was I was never naturally feminine, or so I thought. So I needed to begin from scratch to build my feminine self. I write long and often concerning all the public humiliation I suffered when I initially began to leave my gender closet and go out in public. At the beginning, I was ultra careful to go to dark places which were not well populated by the public. Something I learned the hard way later on not to do in my transition. 

One of the few good things I can say about that time in my life was, I had the time I needed to experiment with my presentation. I could secretly go to thrift stores and purchase clothes (at a bargain price) which I thought would look good on me and even fit properly. During my quest to improve my look, I was able to spend very little money and at the same time hide what I was doing from my wife. I remember saving every little bit of extra change I could manage and spend it during the thrift stores bargain or dollar days. Because of the experience, destiny was on my side and I was slowly able to improve my presentation. Especially when I really saved up and was able to purchase a fairly nice wig. 

Ironically, the more lines of my looks I was able to refine, the more I discovered I needed to work on. Back in those days I obsessed on having no hair on my legs, putting together a perfectly matched outfit and finishing it off with just the right accessories. I would spend hours shopping for just the right addition to my presentation. It was around that time when I finally was able to recognize and try my best to blend in with the women around me. I had acquired a business professional wardrobe to wear when I went to upscale malls as well as the new club venues I was trying out. On the other hand, I had other clothes which scaled my look back a bit for when I was first trying out going to large sports bar venues. My goal was to refine my myself so I would do my best to fit in.

The more I worked at it, the better I became and I learned if I didn't listen to my male self and try to dress too sexy and/or trashy, I actually could make a small place in the world for myself as a transgender woman. 

Even at that point, I discovered I still had a ton of refinement to go through as I progressed towards my goal. Primarily, I needed to learn to communicate with the new world I discovered as a feminine person. Quickly I was presented with public levels which went from those people who didn't bother to notice me at all, all the way to those curious types who wanted to know more about transgender women. I can only say making the transition was not easy. It seemed to me for awhile every stranger had their own potential questions to pursue. Finally, I learned they didn't and again life became easier when I discovered the whole world wasn't looking at me. Or, as my second wife told me, it wasn't all about me. 

Refinement in the gender world comes difficultly to everyone. Born female does not make you a woman, you need to grow into it. It just seems, refining our gender lines as a transgender woman or trans man comes as a much more difficult process. Because for the most part we didn't have any help. 

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Living the Gender Lie

Photo from the Jessie Hart
Collection

At some point in our lives as transgender women or trans men, many of us come to the point of telling ourselves enough is enough. Doing it is so very difficult because we tried so hard to live a lie. A lie is a lie. Once you begin to lie, you have to build in other lies to support the original one. In time, the original lie becomes unbearable.

At least that is how the process worked for me. As a kid and into adulthood I did all the right things I thought it took to be a man in a man's world. I played sports, served in the military, became a father and supported my family. It seemed the more I did to be a man, the more frustration I experienced. Perhaps it was because I was growing as my feminine self (or trying) at the same time. Being a railroad fanatic I can compare the process to two runaway trains approaching each other on the same track. A collision was not an if, it was a when. 

As I lived the process I also lived the pressure of such as an existence.  I am sure many of you can sympathize since you have gone through the same gender issues. Living the gender lie is a very real existence and it is no fun as a few transphobes would like the public to think it is. The life we live as transgender individuals is as diverse as any other so called "normal" humans and were definitely not just a lifetime phase we are going through. 

When you live a lie, you have a tendency to go overboard to protect the lie. When you are a transgender  woman that means often you have to over masculinize yourself. The result is an increased level of trans women in activities such as sports and the military. Anything to throw the outside world off the true track we are on concerning our hidden gender goals. Perhaps before we even know we had gender goals. Once I decided I needed or wanted goals, I finally decided to use them to do away with my gender lie once and for all. Since I was always a very much not a goal orientated person in my male life, it was quite the change for me. I had quite the motivation as my feminine person continued to grow and demanded more and more of a life. The more she wanted, the more pressure she created. 

In my case, pressure created results. In true feminine fashion my dominant self pushed and pushed until she finally got her way. Once she did, in dominant fashion , she never looked back. Most likely, the most ironic aspect of my MtF transition was my feminine self employed a decidedly male style push when she had the opportunity to be out in the world. Once she was out, she wasn't coming back. She was mocking me with a mental "I told you so" when it came to me living a gender lie. In addition she was very smug when I was very surprised with how well she did when she was given the chance to run my life. 

It's no wonder living a lie is not good for you no matter what lie you are trying to live. I can't begin to tell you the freedom I felt when I finally decided to take a major step and live full time as a transgender woman. It seemed the weight of the world was off my shoulders. It seemed my parents were right about not lying. Except when it came to severe gender issues they would never been able to understand.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Now What? An Adventure in Sexuality

 


Way back when, even though I was trying completely to transition into a transgender woman, I had never given much thought to any potential changes in my sexuality. I couldn't see myself being with a man except if he was validating me on his arm as a woman. All of those thoughts changed when I met the guy and his bike. For you purists I think he owned a classic Indian Bike. 

I'm sure through out the years I had some sort of tunnel vision about my feminine appearance. Even though I wanted male validation from how I looked, I could never imagine really being with a guy.

Of course gender and sexuality are two separate terms. For simplicity, gender is how your perceive yourself as a woman or a man (or somewhere in between.) Sexuality is which of the binary genders you wish to have sex with. Again allowing for desiring both genders is a possibility. 

Somehow growing up wanting to be a girl rather than just look like one didn't allow me the idea of being sexual with my own gender. Looking back at my high school and early college years though, I think I did have a crush on one my closest male friends. A crush which would forever remain a secret. 

As life progressed and I interacted with my second wife while cross dressed as a woman, I had a  chance to experience what gender life would be like from the feminine side. On one of the trips we made together to a transvestite mixer we decided to stop at a tavern for a drink before we went. As we sat at the bar, a guy parked his Harley motorcycle by the front door and ended up sitting down next to my wife. He ended up having quite the conversation with her and ignoring me. So much so I wondered if she would end up leaving with him to ride on his bike. Of course I was helpless to do anything and let her take control of the situation. It was a feeling I would never forget when she didn't go anywhere with him. Ironically, years later I would another interaction with a man and his motorcycle of my own.

I have written how quickly I arrived at the "now what" moment with him too. He was as sensitive as he was gruff looking and totally validated my desire to be a woman. I remember wishing at the time I didn't have a wear a wig (and had my own hair) so I could beg a ride with him. But the wig I wore just didn't fit that tight. I could only fantasize what it would be like to ride with my hands around his waist. But a fantasy would all it would ever be with him.

Later in my transition, I did have a few other opportunities to date other men. In fact one of my first dinner dates with a guy was with a trans man friend of mine. A couple other dates went relatively well but overall I had a difficult, even miserable time finding a date with a man. On the other hand it seemed I was finding my interest from women was reaching a all time high. At first it confused me until I learned to relax and enjoy it. I have written in depth about my success (to this day) with lesbians. On the other hand I was able to befriend several women and their husbands too. I suppose being a gender hybrid has it's advantages.

To this day, now what never became a reality as I have never been with a man. Years ago I had a cis woman friend of mine who said get a banana and practice. Rumor has it, I did just in case. Or should I say "Justin Case". I only know Justin wasn't riding a motorcycle. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

I "Doesn't" Know It

From my Dating Days
Credit Cyrsti's Condo

 The title above is a phrase from a former Hall of Fame Cincinnati Reds baseball announcer, used when he didn't know something. I borrowed it from him as I thought about today's Cyrsti's' Condo post. My idea was to write about dating while transgender. 

Way back in the day in my earliest days of coming out of my closet into a feminine world, I had to decide who I was going to date since I had abruptly became single at the time and a widow. Very quickly I faced the differences between gender preference and sexual preference. At that time I had never even kissed another man. 

As it turned out, it would be a while longer before I did. I craved being with a man because it would validate my femininity in public but it seemed destiny  had another path charted for me as far as my sexuality was concerned. I did have a very few dates with men and a couple I enjoyed immensely when I sensed they were treating me as a woman. However those dates were few and far between.  

In the meantime, my contact with women continued. My first dinner out was with a friend who eventually came out as a trans man but was still undecided (?) when we went out. I hung out in lesbian bars and even left a mixed party I went to one night with a lesbian and went to an upscale club. Destiny has a funny way of hiding around corners when lifestyle changes are considered.

Through this all, I really had very little knowledge of how to date while transgender. In fact, I was still on the gender fence as far as which way I would go. I just knew my attraction to women had not changed during my transition. 

All of this leads me to my final attraction to and acceptance by a group of lesbians I met in a sports bar. Including my current partner of ten years Liz.

I have led a sheltered dating life. 

These days I see on social media many more alternatives to dating between various groups such as transgender women. Even now though I still see very few trans women with men. It seems to be the last frontier of dating. At times it puzzles me because transgender women are uniquely qualified to be with men. After all, we understand what men go through in life. 

As with so many other things in life, I know most men have a very fragile sexual ego. So I do know this one.

Monday, March 15, 2021

More on Transgender Attraction

 Connie commented on the Cyrsti's Condo "Attraction" post:

"As I approach both my 70th birthday and 49th wedding anniversary, attraction is quite different than it was before. While I don't feel lonely, I do feel a loss. I was lucky that my transition to living as a woman was accepted by my wife, but the relationship changed. We were friends before we married, and, while that part has only strengthened over the years, romance was placed on the back burner years ago. Of course, it's much more complicated than just that, as there are other factors (many of them having to do with health) that I won't divulge here. Love and companionship create a bond that can be so much stronger than physical attraction.


I could write of a multitude of occasions when someone was attracted to me as a trans woman. It has never been the case that I consciously attempted to cause any of them. I have been "hit on" by men (both gay and straight), women (both cis and trans), and even a trans man. In each case, I have asked myself what it was that attracted them to me. As far as I know, none of them could have been sure of my genitalia or the "authenticity" of my breasts. In at least a couple encounters, I'm not even sure they knew I was a trans woman. I'm not naïve enough that I believe they were all attracted to my sparkly personality, either.

I decided long ago that, although I can adeptly create the illusion that there is a female body beneath my clothing, it doesn't matter - because I know there is not. The only way, now, that I would feel sexually attractive would be if I had female genitalia and breasts. The fact is that if I don't feel attractive the way I am, then I wouldn't be interested in anyone else who might be attracted to me this way, either.

I know it is largely due to my dysphoria that causes me to feel the way I do. Thank God I have a wife who values our love, companionship, and close friendship as much as I do. Those are pretty attractive qualities, in themselves, after all."

Thanks for the comment! 

As I have said many times, my major contact with genders when I began to come out as a transgender woman came from cis women, mainly lesbians although one of my first dates was with a trans man. Although I like to deceive myself into thinking the majority of attraction came from how I presented myself, the reality was my attraction came from the fact I was different. I am a firm believer in most cis women aren't as grounded in a strict gender binary as men are. So my gender blurring was a plus to them.

Plus my attraction could have been my desire to live an authentic life on a cis woman's side of the gender spectrum. 

To be certain there are no easy answers.


Friday, October 2, 2020

Your Inner Child

 Perhaps, one of the most difficult ordeals we go through as transgender women or trans men is taking care of our inner child. I have, like most of you, vivid memories of my earliest experiments with women's clothing when I explored my Mom's wardrobe. Back in those days, I was somehow able to shave my legs and remember the thrill of sliding nylons up my legs. It was all so thrilling but just didn't last.

My inner child was telling me there just had to be more to all of this. In fact, if I had been listening, or had the knowledge, my inner self was trying to tell me I was transgender. Back then, the phrase was years away from even being used. I am referring to the early 1960's. 

Not understanding everything which was going on, of course I reverted back to the male dominated culture I lived in and kept suppressing my inner child. Many times with dire circumstances. I wish I could retrieve and recycle all the time I wasted. I remember all the time I spent daydreaming in study halls about all of the sudden becoming one of the girls I so admired. I erroneously thought the girls possessed all the cards. They didn't have to worry about asking someone out, being a successful athlete or being drafted into the military. I took me years to realize the girls had their own set of problems to worry about.

None of this though,  could sooth any of the tensions my inner girl child was causing. The only thing which did work were the brief times I was by myself and could cross dress and parade in front of the mirror. 

Unfortunately, there was no way to suppress her as I grew older. The more I explored the feminine world and the more accomplished I became doing it, the more I realized I could fulfill my dreams and release my inner girl child.

It turned out to be the best move I ever made.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Crossing the Gender Divide

As I went back and read the "Double Edged Sword" post, I decided on a couple other thoughts I didn't mention.

Looking back at the decade which is all but over, I realized the enormity of what I was able to accomplish.

Of course the trip across the gender frontier wasn't all fun and games and I wonder if I would have made it at all without the help I received.

As I moved forward into the feminine world, I learned very quickly three lessons as my male privilege disappeared. One of which was my perception of how women treated other women changed. It didn't take me long to realize smiling faces sometimes held  knives just waiting to be stabbed into my back.  Passive aggression was often as harmful as a man's frontal assault.

Another big lesson came in the communication department. It seemed the better I became in my feminine presentation, the lower my IQ became. The first time happened when my car broke down and I had to call a tow truck. The whole scene was "helped" along when a well meaning sheriff showed up to help. To make a long story short, it turned out both of them had a better idea of how to get my car back to my house than I did. On the way home I finally just relegated myself to "dumb blond" status, as I was back in those days and started asking stupid questions about how the tow truck worked.

Even after that, I was a slow learner. Somehow, someway I would get myself into conversations with men in the sports bars I went into. I found out again and again how little I all of the sudden I knew.

Being invisible in a crowd became a reality too. One time several cis women servers from a place I frequented quite a bit invited me on a "girls night out" with them. I was flattered and went along. Soon I found out how the most attractive of the crew received all the attention. I figured beggars shouldn't be choosers though and relaxed to enjoy the gender banter.

Perhaps the most important lesson came in how I viewed my personal security. I was fortunate. One late night on the downtown streets of Dayton, Ohio I was semi accosted by two men looking for money. I got away with only giving them five dollars. From then on, I learned to check out my surroundings and always walked with a friend anytime I could. In fact one night when I went back to the same area (which contained several gay bars) my wonderful trans guy friend was nice enough to walk me to my car.

As I wrote in my last post, it was quite the decade. I wouldn't wish being transgender on my worst enemy. On the other hand, crossing the gender divide was at times a scary experience and at others a terrifically exhilarating one. 

Tomorrow, on my New Years Day post I will follow Stana's lead from Femulate and show you a before and after comparison.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Hormones and the Boot

After a fun filled visit the the VA Clinic, I established a couple more firsts in my life. I ended up taking my first ambulance ride and being fitted for a decidedly unfashionable orthopedic boot for my left foot.

The visit with her (the Doc) didn't go so well. She didn't like the fact my left ankle was swollen and they couldn't get a clear EKG on me for some reason. Then, due to my age and the fact I am on hormones, she recommended they call the squad and take me to a nearby hospital. Of course I panicked and saw my life as I know it start slipping away.

To make a long story short though, after having an X-ray on the ankle  and vascular (vein) tests done on my legs, no blood clots were found and all I had was a slight break in the ankle which was swollen.  So I was fitted with a walking boot and kicked out.

Happily, my whole hospital experience came off wonderfully, I was treated with respect and pronouned properly. For some reason a former visit to another hospital years ago showed up on their records. A woman came up to me with a sheepish look on her face and asked if I used to go by a different name and then said my old dead name. Of course I told her the truth and she said someone would be by to change my records. Ironically, a very androgynous person came to do it. Possibly a transgender man.

So, for the time being, my hormone usage is safe until I start rounds of  tests on my heart possibly next week. Hopefully we will discover why I am so lethargic all of the sudden. Perhaps one of my bi-polar meds needs adjusted.

We will see. One way or another it has been one out of the ordinary week which started with a paranormal hunt and will end up with a trip to my hair dresser tomorrow.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Naked and Transgender?

From the New York Times:
Quince Mountain 

"Quince Mountain is the first openly transgender person to be on “Naked and Afraid,” Discovery’s reality TV show in which participants try to survive 21 days in the wilderness. His episode debuted this month"

Here's an excerpt:

"I’m lying under an uneven canopy of foliage, sharp gravel digging into my back. I try not to think of the jungle rain as unceasing. I try to feel it, drop by drop. Sometimes a drop hits a spot where my skin is cut or burned away, and I feel a little thrill.
I am camped along the bank of the Corinto River, in a rain forest in Atlántida, Honduras, and have been for nine days. I’m alone: the partner I started this 21-day challenge with went home five days ago.
This is miserable, but I feel fortunate. Growing up knowing I was a boy when everyone around me considered me a girl — and not a very good one — already taught me how to survive alone. Being naked in this remote jungle is a relief. The wilderness couldn’t care less who I am."

"It’s a big deal to be a trans person out in the public square who is able to act rather than simply being acted upon. In appearing on “Naked and Afraid,” I want to show what I can accomplish, without having to deal with people questioning my credentials. I want to show what trans people can accomplish. With new laws restricting access to bathrooms, locker rooms and shelters, physical attacks on trans people on the rise, according to advocacy groups, and federal legislation threatening safeguards for the transgender rights that do exist, I want to shout: “Just leave us alone!”

Obviously, the more exposure we get as a transgender community, the better!

Friday, May 31, 2019

Booth Girl

Wrapped around a visit to my daughter's picnic/party this weekend, is a nearby village wide yard sale our group is setting up at . We are using it to raise funds for this year's annual Cincinnati Witches Ball. The big Halloween Party we host every October. This summer we are selling home-made canned and baked goods.

Any sort of affair my daughter puts on is very inclusive all the way to having another transgender person there. One of my ex wife's in laws is a trans man. I don't anticipate anything other than a good time.

The village where we are having the garage sale is much different. Very small and very redneck are the best descriptors I can come up with.  We are only supposed to be there about four hours on Saturday and Sunday, so I figure I can provide a helping hand without being too conspicuous. 

One way or another, it should be interesting.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Doctor Time

Yesterday I went with Liz to two of her doctor's appointments.

I decided to dress "down" for the occasion. I wore my black jeans, sweater and tennis shoes with very light makeup and a fleece jacket.

Nothing really happened except with one guy in one of the doctor's offices. From his mannerisms and voice I immediately thought he was gay. At any rate, he kept trying to make contact with me. Who knows? Maybe I should have made contact. Perhaps he was another transgender person, even a trans man.

I didn't though, so maybe it was yet another opportunity missed.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Victory March?

At last night's transgender - cross dresser support group meeting, it occurred to me how long and drawn out process the journey is to cross the gender frontier and live with your gender dysphoria.

Last night, the full range of people were there. We had everyone from a total beginner to gender fluid individuals to full time trans women and a trans man.

As the beginner struggled with his/hers emotions and talked to the group, I remembered back to my ancient transvestite days when I first came out to a small group of friends. Rightfully so, it seems like it was long ago.

As most of you Cyrsti Condo regulars know, my journey includes several suicide attempts. One active and a couple passive ones. That is why I consider my path a victory march

I can't ever tell you it gets a whole lot easier but then again, life becomes so much more satisfying. A victory to be sure.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Road Trip

Yesterday was my monthly LGBT Veterans support group meeting and my voice lesson at the Dayton, Ohio veterans hospital.

The trip north was fairly pleasurable under a bright cool fall day.

Since I have been working on my vocal homework after last month's embarrassing appointment, I think I moved my overall score up from a "F" to a "C". At least I earned the chance to move up again and work on phrases, breathing and overall vocal presentation. I still have to work on a daily basis to smooth out my voice, use my breath more to enunciate my words and still speak in a more sing song voice. I have been trying to temper my expectations on myself to keep them realistic. 

An hour later, it was time for my LGBT support group meeting. As I was waiting, an obvious butch lesbian showed up early for her appointment. As it turns out, she has the transgender VA Doc monitor her meds.

As we were talking she noticed my rainbow "VA Serves LGBT Veterans" bracelet. It was cute when she said "I'm the "L", so I replied I am the "T".

The waiting room was very quiet so ironically at one point when the trans doc came out, there were two transgender women and one lesbian in the room. Later, when more members of the group showed up, there were three lesbians and three transgender people. Including a trans guy who had just decided to come out of the closet. He was delightful too, so we enjoyed a nice meeting.

All in all, a successful road trip and it's nice to know I still haven't lost my touch with some of the lesbian community.

Plus, for once, the ride home in rush hour was almost livable.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Dysphoria

Recently, I happened along a couple of close acquaintances who were commenting on their gender dysphoria "raising" it's ugly head again.

I got to thinking about it and whose doesn't?

I thought back to the days (especially when I wake up) and look in the mirror and see male. Then again, other times, I see female, or a mixture of the two.

As negative as it seems, I am trying to prepare myself for the prospect I will always be gender dysphoric.

I might point out too, at least one of the people I know has gone through genital realignment surgery. She thought surely going through the procedure would relieve the problem.

I would suppose the only words of wisdom I could give anyone seeking to travel a similar transgender path as I have is...be prepared to never quite lose your sense of gender dysphoria.

Just use it to make yourself a better trans woman...or trans man. 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Life Through a Mirror?

Most of us start this journey as a transgender woman, trans man, or cross dresser the same way...with trips to the mirror.

For most of us as well, we begin to separate from the mirror and have a tendency to want to try our hand living out in a brave new world. One of the opposite gender. When we do, at least we think we are moving away from the mirror.

When you think about it, all of our lives revolve how we see the world, or how it sees us. Crossing the gender frontier becomes so difficult when we already have specific gender ideas ingrained within us and something is screaming, wait!, that's not right. As we begin to live in the proper gender, often, the first thing we do is to do our best to at least look the part of our chosen person.

From there, the mirror gets much more intricate. Not only should you do your best to present your gender properly, you have to learn how to read others. A keen observation of whom you are dealing with can take you a long way. Especially, if you think you may be finding yourself in an unpleasant situation.

I guess you can say, a trans life could become truly one of smoke and mirrors but then again it doesn't have to and I am sure you know a cis gender person or two about whom you could say the same thing. Or, your life could be entering an extraordinary phase. Even phases though must come and go...and the extraordinary becomes mundane, as Connie says:

" Finding the extraordinary to now be ordinary. Then, when you think about it, life can truly be extraordinary by that very shift. As we transition to womanhood, we move past living through experiences on to discovering that we are free to experience life."

So true. and when it happens, the freedom is wonderful.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Heads Up? Or Down?

I recently revisited experiences I have had being mis-gendered, mostly in medical situations.  Very simply, I have basically have given myself only a couple alternatives when I respond.

My one hard and fast rule is to be very kind to anyone who is about to stick a needle into me. My second rule is to call anyone else out on their blunder. I feel it is up to me to educate people on what to do when they encounter a transgender woman or trans man.

Connie wrote in and took her rules to a different level:

"When I've been mis-gendered or had my dead name used in the past (it hasn't happened since changing my name and gender markers), while in a waiting room, I would always stay seated for a few seconds and not respond to the call. People in waiting rooms tend to look up upon hearing anyone's name, but they go back to their magazine within a few seconds. I always figured that I would be contributing to the outing of myself had I responded immediately, and waiting just those few seconds allowed me to discreetly answer the call. Of course, timing is everything, as I needed to also make eye contact with the caller before she or he repeated. After we were in a private place, I would correct them politely. 

My spouse works in a dentists office. They are careful to be respectful of trans patients, and they clearly mark charts pertaining to preferred name and pronouns. Just a couple weeks ago, though, there was a new assistant in the office for a one-day "working interview." While calling the trans woman patient to the back, she did use the proper name, but she blew the encounter - and her interview - by proclaiming: "You don't look like a man at all!" I think she meant it as a compliment, but it just goes to show that even the well-intentioned can be ignorant, misinformed or uninformed. Of course, there are plenty of people who are just plain stupid, as well."
Good point! Thanks Connie.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Change Is Possible

From the LGBTQ Nation:

"Walgreens has announced it will change its bathroom policies after a transgenderwoman was discriminated against while trying to use the women’s facilities in Hollywood last year.

While on her way to LA Pride, Jessie Meehan stopped into a Walgreens store and asked an employee if she could use the bathroom. She said she was told she would have to use the men’s facilities because she “looked like a man.”

The ACLU of Southern California supported Meehan in her attempts to affect change, and it announced in a press release today that those efforts have been successful.
“Meehan ended up having to use a stall in the men’s room,” the statement recounts. “She was humiliated and upset. Afterward, she sought a change in the company’s policies.”
“Through her efforts, with the backing of the ACLU of Southern California, the Walgreens pharmacy chain with more than 8,000 stores nationwide adopted a policy to address bathroom discrimination,” it continues. “As part of a directive to employees, the company stated: ‘All individuals have a right to use restroom facilities that correspond to the individual’s gender identity.'”
This is of particular importance to me since Liz's son works at a Walgreens and a particuarly abrasive manager on occasion has referred to me as "he" on occasion. However, I have never had to use the restroom there. 
You may recall in a former Cyrsti's Condo post , the same Walgreen's does have a trans man employee, complete with his preferred pronouns on his name tag. Plus, Walgreens as a company normally is ranked with very good to perfect LGBT ratings. 
It proves once again, it only takes one to spoil the soup. There is more to this story. Go to the LGBTQ link above.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Nothing Happens in a Vacuum

2017 marked a huge year for transgender candidate's nationwide. Most of those victories just didn't happen in a vacuum.

Here is more from The Advocate:

"In the wake of the 2016 elections — and subsequent attacks on transgender rights — a group of pioneering trans activists decided that getting more trans candidates on the ballot would be more impactful than checking one off. Together they formed the Trans United Fund, the first and only national political advocacy group focused on empowering trans and gender expansive people. Its Breakthrough Fund is the first bipartisan transgender political action committee (PAC) and was designed to help a handful of key political candidates by providing funding or other resources — sometimes both.
In the 2017 elections, TUF won big: Virginia’s Danica Roem became the first transgender woman in the United States to win a seat in a state legislature, and two trans candidates were elected to the Minneapolis City Council. Andrea Jenkins became the first out trans black woman, and Phillipe Cunningham became the first out trans black man elected to public office.
If it weren’t for the money TUF raised, the connections and resources it provided, or the voter mobilization it spearheaded, it’s quite likely these trans candidates would not have won"
For more, go here.

Much More than a Phase

  Civil War Cemetery image from the Jessie Hart Archives.  When I was first experimenting with wearing woman's clothing, I worked long a...