Showing posts with label transgender woman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label transgender woman. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

A Vocal Trans Girl

 

Image from Brooke Cagle
on UnSplash

The other night when we went out to eat, I needed to order what I wanted food wise loud enough to be heard above the noise of a busy restaurant. 

That meant projecting the best I could, my feminine voice to match my appearance. So many times in my past as a transgender woman and or serious cross dresser, I thought I had done a great job with my makeup and fashion only to destroy it all when I opened my mouth to talk. I could see the surprise in the other person's eyes when they discovered something was not quite right with the picture I was presenting. 

For the longest time, I tried to avoid talking to people all together. It seemed to be a good idea until I realized when I refused to talk, I was just coming off as being mean or standoffish...if I was lucky. Or worse yet, I was coming off as a bitch. So to preclude it from happening was I needed to improve my communication skills with the public. Mostly other women, since men had a tendency to leave me alone. At the least, I had only one gender to deal with as I was testing the world as far as my communication skills were tested. Initially, to sooth the panic I felt when I dealt with other women, I attempted to mimic their voices, which worked to an extent until the conversation became too intense. When it did, I was on my own to see if I could be the total package as a transgender woman in the public's eye. 

All was good, or so I thought, until I decided to go farther and farther in my femininization. I started with attempting to look close to the same as far as the wig I wore and the fashion choices I was wearing. No more trashy style as I attempted to blend in and build the woman I wanted to become. The whole process at time became too intense for me as people around me wanted to know more and more about me. Basically, what was I doing in a woman's world? To answer them, I needed to learn to communicate as a whole new person. I needed to put my straight forward often blustery male communication behind me and be more careful on how I chose my language. 

In order to aid in my vocal trans girl process, I even attempted feminine vocal lessons from an expert the Veterans' Administration assigned me. Of course my "coach" and I worked on how I formed my words but also more importantly addressed what I was saying. I learned the words women used more often to communicate what they are trying to say. During the course of my coaching, I had weekly homework I needed to work on diligently so I could do well the next time I went in for my vocal coaching. My goal was to attain all the extra communication knowledge I could from the help and move back into the world and try it all out. It has been difficult for me to judge how effective the vocal program was but I felt every little bit helped in my quest to communicate as a vocal trans girl.

Plus, I would be remiss if I did not mention the biggest gender flip of all, the switch from male active aggression to female passive aggression. The change to me meant, I needed to be more careful in how I chose any words I perceived to be negative when used with another woman. Which also meant, I needed to be on the outlook for hidden meanings when I was addressed by other women. Especially being told I was attractive...for a man dressed as a woman. 

Overall, I think being a vocal trans girl has been the most difficult part of transitioning for me. Since I was always shy, slipping back into being more or less and introvert was easy but not satisfying. I enjoyed the challenge of putting together the final big piece of my gender puzzle which was communication. Once I did, life became much easier when I could stand up again for my gender self. 

All my efforts at the least helped me to show other women who for whatever reason did not view my presence in their world as a negative and they helped me to succeed more than they ever knew. 

Friday, June 14, 2024

Trans Girls Dreams

Trans Ohio Archive Image from
the Jessie Hart Archives.




There were plenty of times when I thought living a transgender life was going to be impossible. 

All the days of staring into the mirror cross dressed in women's clothing come back to haunt me. As well as my poor attempts at the makeup arts when I turned out looking like a clown. Who knew being a woman was going to be as difficult as I was making it. But it was and took me years of work to come close to getting it right. 

Dreams of course can come during the night or day. As I was day dreaming my life away about being a girl/woman, I also tragically had the problem of dreaming of being a beautiful girl during my dreams. All my dreams, day or night, did was frustrate me even further. Most of the time, all my dreaming did was trigger my severe gender dysphoria. My cross dresser mirror visits were not doing any good and I couldn't see a way out of my gender issues. All the time shattering any hope I ever had of living life as a transgender woman. 

It turned out I was being a drama queen in many ways and was giving up a dream I really wanted way too early. What happened, all of a sudden I began to learn makeup and fashion skills so at the least I could survive in a world of women. It was a slow process to be sure but if I was ever going to achieve my trans girl dream, I just had to do it. Plus when I survived, I felt so natural and was elated at my progress. Perhaps my ultimate goal could be within reach after all. From then on, I still had a huge amount of work to do. As I delved deeper into the women's world I so admired, I then had to decide if I wanted to go all the way or not. Was the grass really greener on the feminine side? Again and again, I found it was as I tackled issues such as vocal training and just overall life surviving in the world as a trans woman. As I progressed, the light at the end of the tunnel turned out to be sunshine and not the train. 

Since I started my journey with no obvious feminine characteristics, I had a long way to go. I started my path by trying out Halloween parties initially dressed as a trashy woman, all the way to presenting as a professional woman at others. So I could see if I could indeed present as a realistic woman. Finding out I could led me to believe my trans girl dream could indeed be realized. At that point, my life became a blur as I attempted to live as both a man and a woman. All my attempts did was create a tremendous amount of pressure on me and essentially wrecked my mental health. With the help of a good therapist as well as several good friends, I was able to survive and once again re-direct myself towards my dream. Once I felt I was back on the right track, I started gender affirming hormones following an approval from my doctor and there was no looking back for me. 

I never considered I could make it as far as I have when I was the kid staring longingly into our full length hallway mirror at home so many years ago. Even though there were many rough patches along the way as I battled my gender dysphoria, along with waiting until I was in my early sixties to out myself to the world as a transgender woman, I still somehow made it. 

I guess the old saying is true, if you don't dream it, it will never happen. My dream of living a feminine life was the only goal I could think of when I was young and someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. Of course. I could not say a woman and ruin any life as I knew it, so I lied and said a lawyer or something more popular with my parents. I am sure many of you can relate to my story. 

Finally, after more failures than trials my trans girl dreams came through and somewhere within me there is an inner child who is rejoicing. 

Thursday, June 6, 2024

It's All a Big Transformation

Image from Ross Findom on UnSplash

Before we get started, I need to take a moment to remember the surviving military members of the D-Day invasion. It is important to remember how we arrived at the point of having to fight such a monumental war at all and hopefully learning our lesson to never do it again. My Dad fought in WWII but was not in Europe for D-Day. 

Now, on to the post: Anyway you look at it, life is nothing but a big transformation. We are born into a certain gender (right or wrong) and have our opportunities to grow into men or women. Not just males and females because it is a socialization process. Sadly for transgender women or trans men, we go through extra transformations in our life. Mainly because we need to escape from the initial gender declaration we were straddled with when we were born. Being forced into square gender holes when we were born as round pegs is cruel and unusual punishment. 

Over time, if we are lucky, we are able to climb out of our gender closets and thrive in the world but to get there, often it takes several separate transformations to arrive at our goals. For example, the first transformation I went through was when I was able to look at myself in my Mom's clothes in the hallway mirror. From there, I went even further by raiding her makeup and basically looking like a clown before I improved. At the time, I compared my expertise to painting a model car which were so popular at the time. It took awhile but I did get better with both at the same time. With no guidance from anyone, I needed to start from scratch.

Along the way, somehow I did manage to catch up partially with other girls of my age who I was watching closely. Another problem I had was having any income at all to purchase any feminine items of my own because I was rapidly out growing all my Mom's clothes so I took on a news-paper route to augment my meager allowance and buy a few items. In order to do so, I needed to visit my Grandma who lived very close to the downtown area which back in those days was a thriving business district. I snuck out, spent my money while being scared to death I would run into my Dad who worked nearby. Then sneak all my purchases back home and into my regular hiding places. By doing so, I was helping my transformation along.

The older I got, the larger my transformative steps became. Starting with going to Halloween parties dressed as a woman and then sneaking out of the house cross dressed, I knew each time I was successful, I could not go back to my unwanted, boring male life. Yet I needed to because I was still the round peg struggling to get out of her square hole and enjoy an authentic life as a novice transgender woman. Most importantly, it was looking as if I could defy all odds and do it. All because of the evenings I went out as a trans woman to be alone and ended up socializing with the world. Granted, it was a huge transformation to climb out of the male life I was in and make it into the dream world of women I always wanted to be part of but I made it.

Perhaps the biggest transformation came when I began gender affirming hormones. In addition to feminizing my body, I also feminized the world as I saw it. Finally I didn't have to play the old macho male game and was able to cry when I needed to. Surprisingly to me, my body even became more sensitive to changes in temperature and smell as my world softened.

I look at myself as being so fortunate in that I lived long enough to sense and go through several big transformations in my life. All the way from being able to father a child I love to living a fulltime life as a transgender woman with a woman I love, in many ways I feel I have received more than I deserved.  

Thursday, May 30, 2024

The Quiet Trans Girl

Image from Linkedin on UnSplash.

Growing up, I lived under the double edged sword of not wanting to live in a male dominated world which was my family. So I did what I was taught to do, I internalized my thoughts and never mentioned them to anyone.  I became a very quiet trans girl until when I was in my early twenties and came out as a transvestite to a few very close friends. In the Army, of all places. 

In fact, internalizing my feminine desires became my main theme to my life. On many days, when my gender dysphoria was at it's highest, I had no idea how I was going to make it through another day in a male world. Somehow, without the help of anyone else I made it and continued to live a very quiet life with a few male dominated activities included to throw my gender doubters off the beaten track. Somehow I managed to join up with a small group of hell raisers who I stayed friends with through high school and the military.

Staying hidden in my closet had a negative effect when I first took my tentative steps in the world as a novice cross dresser / transgender woman. When I made my entrance into the real world away from gay bars and clothing stores where everyone could be accepted, I was petrified when someone attempted to communicate with me. What would I say and more importantly how would I say it. Nothing in my life had prepared me for what I was about to face. 

I began the process with simply trying to mimic the voice of the woman who was trying to talk to me, which seemed to work out fairly well until I needed to talk to a man. So I tried to do the next best thing and not talk at all. Not talking worked fairly well until I began to see people again. For the most part, I was easy to remember and more people than I care to mention wanted to know more about me. Particularly women, who in their own feminine way wanted to know why I wanted into their world. To further my communication success, I then decided to attend vocal classes at the Veteran's Administration in Dayton, Ohio. By doing so, I was able to learn the basic differences the male and female binary genders use to communicate in the world. The training went much farther than just the basics of vocal range and I learned a lot. 

Perhaps the biggest improvement I learned was I could now have the confidence to hold my own, one on one with another woman. I was no longer coming off as unfriendly or worse by not wanting to talk. I used to say I was going out to my favorite venues night after night to be alone but it was not true any longer as I was out to be social. 

Ironically, the better I became at being social with other women, the more I was kicked out of my old men's club which I had become so adept at surviving in. I learned quickly my male privilege of discussing topics of interest with other guys was a waste of my time when I was rejected for being a woman. Transgender or not. Like it or not, once again I had became the quiet trans girl. 

It wasn't until I began to build a new circle of women friends did I finally discover I didn't need a man's validation to be a person at all. I could stand on my own two feet and flourish in the world but it wasn't easy to get there. I had more failures than successes when I first started the communication process in the world as a transgender woman. The feminine nuances of non verbal communication women use initially was very difficult to learn. It did not take me long though to grasp when a friendly woman behind the bar was trying to tell me when a drunk guy was a huge red flag and I should vacate the premises.

More than anything else, my new communication skills brought the quiet trans girl out of her shell. When I moved in with Liz in Cincinnati, we began to go to "Meetup" social groups which helped immeasurably with my communication skills. Sure, probably, most of the others attending knew I was trans but I was different and even exotic to a few, so I stood out from the group. I needed to accept the fact and finally began to thrive on my reality.

I know my reality isn't for everyone and my journey could be different than all of yours. The main thing is we are all on the same journey at various points in our lives and can learn from each other. When we do, we can come out of our deep/dark gender closets and live a meaningful life. 

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Flashing a Trans Girl

From the Archives. Club Diversity
Columbus, Ohio.

Before you think I am preparing to write a post about me "flashing" another person. No my skirt was not too short or anything else on that occasion. I was wearing my typical fall fashion, boots, jeans and sweater. 

In truth and as boring as it may seem, the only person  who was flashed was me and I don't think anyone else noticed. At least, I hoped not. As it was, my flash occurred just after I increased my dosage of gender affirming hormones. On the evening in question, I was out doing what I normally did, trying to enjoy myself with a drink at one of the venues I regularly went to. 

Suddenly out of the clear blue sky, I felt my face flush and I felt as if I was internally combusting. As I attempted to slyly look at the patrons around me, I was surprised and please to note, no one was rushing towards me with a coat or blanket wanting to put out the flames. Then, as quickly as it came on, my first hot flash as a transgender woman was over and I went back to my drink. I can not say the whole experience was as unpleasant as much as it was unexpected. Up to that point, my gender affirming hormones had ushered me into the second puberty of my life...a feminine one. 

While I could not go back and totally erase all the unwanted benefits of my first puberty which I called testosterone poisoning, my new HRT could help me into a new world. As my breasts and hair grew, my skin softened, along with my facial contours. Not having to wear wigs anymore as well as using less makeup helped my feminization in the public's eye as well as giving me a new found confidence. What I missed the most was having anyone to talk to about my second puberty. When I did bring up the facets of changes I was going through, my female friends just said welcome to their world. Little did they know how long and how much I wanted to be in their world. 

Up to the point of my flash, I had never cried in my life, even during the passing of both of my parents. The best way to describe the new me who could cry was when my testosterone was driven down, the hard edges were taken off my life. All of a sudden, my first good cry occurred one evening when a thunderstorm rolled through my Ohio town and I quietly mourned the loss of my male self. I took no real pity and for the first time, I was able to understand the difference between a good cry and a bad one.

As you can imagine, I was elated with the results of my second puberty in life which did not occur until I was in my sixties. Even though, if I had it all to do over again and transition earlier, I would not have wanted to miss out on the times of accomplishment and fun I had carved out as my old male self. He had taken me a long way in life on a basically successful journey which gave me highlights of having a daughter who supports me to this day, all the way to living with wives/women who helped me unknowingly be a better transgender woman. 

In a nutshell, very few humans have the opportunity to go back and try again. By going through a second puberty and flashing myself, I had the rare chance to not screw it up and be a better person. While I consider my hot flash learning experience as one of the top moments in my life, I also consider the process part of my passage into my unique womanhood. Not unlike having a mammogram. I am just glad, no one else noticed I was on fire one minute and reaching for my coat the second because my thermostat was broken and I was freezing. All part of my second puberty.

See, I told you this post wasn't going to be part of a sensual flash in anyway. Sorry! 

Thursday, May 16, 2024

On the Transgender Precipice

 

Image from Wira Dyatmika on
UnSplash.


As I followed a winding, difficult path to my dream of living as a fulltime transgender woman, I took years to climb the gender mountain.

Just one of the problems was  I was afraid of heights. The higher I climbed the rarer the air became because I had never been in all the situations I encountered. As I entered the world as a trans woman, there were so many situations I never expected to happen. I knew women led multi layered lives but not to the extent I encountered. Initially I thought if I had conquered all the fashion, hair and makeup basics, I had it made in the world. Needless to say, I was wrong. 

Even though my male self contributed to me feeling petrified as I climbed, I kept going. As I decided to leave the male gay venues I was going to and try lesbian and straight bars, I really needed to climb to a new level to survive. When I reached a new level, I paused to look around and see what I had accomplished if anything. What I did accomplish was a degree of acceptance from the venues I went to. Except for one evening when three guys kept playing "Dude Looks Like a Lady" on the jukebox over and over again, I begrudgingly held my spot and became an accepted regular in several places. As I did, my view of the world as a transgender woman became clearer and clearer. My gender dysphoric fog was clearing and increasingly all I could see was a future life living as a woman. 

At the same time, I was still a regular at the diverse mixers in Columbus, Ohio where I met a total range of people from cross dressers to transsexual women who were headed for gender realignment surgery or a sex change as it was known back then. By meeting and learning from all these people, I was able to chart my own path to my transgender precipice. 

The two main things I remember are how desperate I was for information on my gender issues and how scared I was of receiving an answer. Was my therapist right and I could do nothing about my feminine desires? If so, I had reached a precipice in my life and I needed to make a decision which would change my life forever. Of course my spoiler alert is, from my gender view, I could see a wonderful if not difficult future ahead as a trans woman. What happened was, as I built a new circle of women friends who never knew me as my past male self, I kept pushing and pushing myself to the edge of my transgender precipice until I fell down the cliff. 

Unknowingly, for the most part, I had set myself up for a soft gender landing. I gave away the remainder of my male clothes and set out to quit climbing and live a new life. What a relief it was to stop expending all the energy I was using to live two gender lives. The process exhausted me and ruined my fragile mental health. My friends helped me through this difficult time of my life more than I can ever say.

With my fears of gender heights behind me, I met my wife Liz and she helped me seal the deal and live my life as a transgender woman. That was fourteen years ago and we have been happy ever since. I don't think I could have ever envisioned I would meet up and marry another woman in my long life but I did. I guess the fog on my mountain was hiding my future.  

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

A Night at a Concert



Image from the Jessie Hart Archives

Following the time when my wife passed away, I actually tried to date another cis woman, once.

During this brief period of my life, my old male self was still desperately hanging on to the idea he could still exist at all. At that time, one of my servers came into my restaurant with her very attractive Mother. After several inquiries I found her Mother was single and she would ask if she would go out with me. She did and we started our very short history of dating. 

Right from the start I found she was a bit of a prima donna when we met on a date in downtown Cincinnati. I suggested stopping at a micro brewery for a quick appetizer when she wanted to go to an upscale steak house on my dime. I should have known then she was out of my league but I kept on trying anyhow. In a very short period of time, I told my daughter I was dating again. In response, she came up with two tickets to a local park pavilion near her house. The concert performer was Joe Cocker, so I could not wait to go. I even asked the new woman I was dating if she wanted to go and she initially said yes and the date was on, or so I thought. A couple days later and a week before the concert in the park, she called me and broke up our brief affair. I was slightly shocked but then again not so much as I began to consider what I would go with an extra ticket to see Joe. 

At the time, I was increasingly exploring the world as a transgender woman, so I thought why not take myself on a date in the park. I knew exactly what I would wear .My long silky black slacks with my black matching sleeveless top and black flats for comfortable walking. I then applied my makeup and topped my outfit off with my long black straight wig and I was ready for the half hour drive to the venue. By this time all of this happened, I was becoming very comfortable with my feminine self so I was really looking forward to the evening as it approached. I had spent many a evening being alone with myself. I wasn't very nervous as much as excited by the expectation of having a good time. 

The evening of the concert turned out to be ideal weather wise, a beautiful warm but not too humid Ohio summer evening. I showed my ticket and was admitted to the venue without a problem. Before I went to my seat, I decided to buy a drink and then headed to sit down. Again I experienced no problems with anyone in the venue in my section. I was able to enjoy my drink and relax even further before the music started. I especially enjoyed the silky sensation of my clothes in the summer evening air.

I was glad I went because I had been a Joe Cocker fan since the Woodstock concert days and it wasn't too long following the concert, he passed away and I was still able to be completely enjoy his performance before it was too late.

As far as I was concerned and as selfish as it may sound, the whole exciting evening was more fun for me than taking a woman I barely knew. Plus my experience even further increased my confidence as a novice transgender woman. Even to the point of coming out to my daughter who I told that I enjoyed the concert very much but never added who my "date" was. 

The night at the concert was one of those lifetime experiences I will never forget. It was the last time I ever tried to date as a man and the first time I was ever to seriously explore my life as a transgender woman. Once I did, the more I understood it was the life for me. 

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Living in Your Own Prison

 

Image from Engin Akyurt
on UnSplash

When someone says living a life as a transgender woman or trans man is a choice I get a huge chuckle. 

I wish the people who think my life was a choice, needed to live a small time in my shoes and  then they could truly decide my life was never a choice. I was living in my gender prison. In many ways, I could describe my confines to a bigger version of what was called my personal closet. Either way, I was stuck in a very dark and isolated space where I was all alone. Especially in the pre-internet days when I was living.

When the internet came along with social media, I was able to locate a few others who were cross dressers or transgender women , which made life a little easier in my prison. My biggest problem then became hiding my new on-line contacts from my wife who was more tech savvy than I was. Let's just say I needed to learn the hard way when my wife found a discussion I was having with a person in nearby Indiana and I had to become much too comfortable with.

Looking back, I could call the few, brief times when I tried to purge my feminine wardrobe and be a full time man as being out of my prison on parole. The problem was deep down I knew what I was doing was wrong and the pressure would build to build a new feminine wardrobe and try again in front of the mirror. I could almost predict when I would go back to my gender prison. 

Yet another casualty of me serving time in my closet was one I always mention, my mental health. Since it was already fragile and I was going to therapy for help, I didn't need any extra problems to push me closer to the edge.  I was becoming a hot mess as I took more and more chances when I left the house as my novice transgender self and explored the world. The problem became, I was feeling more and more natural when I escaped my prison. Even still, the process was not easy and involved too much scary trial experiences when I first went out. 

The entire process became all I thought about and when I was in my my male mode I caught myself thinking too much of the next time I was going to be able to experience life as a transgender woman. Plus, at the least I was busy studying the mannerisms of all the cis-women around me. I was locked in to one thing only and it was being a woman myself. It was a good thing I had my therapist to talk out my exploding feelings about my gender. 

I guess the only frustrating part of trying to explain to the outside world what it means to be transgender is there was no choice. If I would have continued in my self destructive male ways, I would have killed myself and become yet another statistic. Fortunately, destiny had other ideas for me when I escaped my gender prison and started to live an authentic life as a trans woman. Similar to so many others in the transgender community I was a survivor and thrived when I was free to do so. 

Friday, May 3, 2024

Bad Gender Decisions

 

Image from unknown origin. 

I often wonder if during all the writings I do, as I  describe how I succeeded in living my dream as a transgender woman, do I emphasize the bad decisions I made. 

Needless to say, I made plenty of choices I wished I had back to try again. First of all, I suffered from the same problems nearly all novice cross dressers or transgender women go through. Unlike cis gender girls our age, we didn't have the peer pressure or knowledge to help us be girls or women. We were not invited to the sleepovers where the girls experimented with makeup and clothes and it showed. I equated the whole makeup process to painting model cars when I was growing up. It took lots of practice to get the basics right. In the meantime, as I learned, many times I made bad decisions and came out looking like a clown. This was especially true with the clothes I chose to try to wear. I tried way too long to force my male body into clothes designed for sexy teenaged girls and I paid the price when the mirror lied to me and I tried to go out in the public's eye. 

When I was laughed at in public, I knew my feminine life had to change for the better if I was ever going to be able to survive. I just could not keep coming home in tears after another night out making bad decisions. Certainly. the process was not improving my deepening gender dysphoria. In desperation I sought out help from one of the only known gender therapists in Ohio at the time which was a good decision. The bad decision came when I decided to not listen to what she told me. She told me there was nothing she or I could do concerning my deep seated desire to be a woman. I would have to learn to live with it. If I had not been so hard headed and stubborn, I would have taken her advice and prepared myself for a life as a transgender woman. 

Once I started to really explore the feminine world, I made plenty of bad decisions. The primary example was when I became comfortable in presenting in places such as clothing stores, book stores and malls, I would always challenge myself to do new activities as a trans woman. Activities where I had to face the public and communicate one on one with the world. By doing so, I knew sooner or later I was going to have to challenge myself and use the women's restroom. Nature was calling and I knew I needed to answer the call. 

I started the process innocently enough by using the women's room in one of the bookstores I went to on a regular basis. I would do my best to make sure the room was empty before I went in and took care of my business. I was fortunate in that I read about and knew quite a few basics women follow when they gather in the restroom. I also knew from my experience in the restaurant/bar business women were not always the pristine gender they are known to be but that is another story. As well the other basics I needed to learn such as looking other women in the eye, washing my hands and stopping to adjust my hair and makeup. 

For the most part the only bad decisions I ever made as far as rest room usage was concerned was which rest room venue I decided to use. On a typical night, I would plan to go to my regular venues  plus maybe try out a new place. By this time, I was becoming fairly secure in my presentation to the point I wanted to try to challenge myself. I decided to go to a borderline redneck venue, order a couple of beers and try to use the restroom before I left. Before I knew it, someone had called the police on me and I was told to leave. Which had to be the worst decision I ever made. From there I went back to my usual regular venues and everything was back to normal.

Normal for me was difficult to change. I was so use to pushing my boundaries as a novice transgender woman, I had a difficult time adjusting my life when I no longer had to push so hard. I was enjoying the fact I did not have to face making bad gender decisions to begin with.

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Opening Transgender Doors

Image from Nathan Wright 
on UnSplash


What is the old saying, "When one door closes, another one opens." I think the saying is especially appropriate for transgender women or trans men.

Along the way, I have documented several substantial times when I slammed doors during my past and opened new doors. 

Probably the first time I closed a door was when I was going out with a certain set of party friends who ranged from cross dressers to transsexuals who were planning their genital realignment surgeries. I wasn't very interested so much in the cross dressers but on the other hand, I was very interested in the women who were going "all the way." I wondered if I could ever slam the door on the male life I had fought to live and open a new door into a feminine world. 

Luckily I was able to see different sides of the gender coin so to speak. One friend in particular was a firefighter in Columbus, Ohio who was gorgeous and near retirement. So she had the financial risk of a gender transition covered as did the other main transsexual woman I knew at the time. She also was gorgeous and had a very secure job as an electrical engineer. She was so good at living a woman's life, she regularly went on snow skiing trips, spending whole weeks as her authentic self. So, as you can tell, I had lofty role models to try to live up to. I knew they would be difficult to match up to as far as appearance and income plus neither one had a spouse to deal with. I loved my spouse very much and wasn't sure I was able to close the door on my relationship with her. 

Even still, I continued to observe and learn as well as set out to open my own transgender doors. It just took me longer than others to find a path of my own. I know all too many of our gender journey's are similar yet so far apart. It is difficult to leave the first door in our closet and find the other doors in the darkness. Once I was able to find the light and it wasn't the train at the end of the tunnel, I was able to progress quite nicely but not without trepidations. Of course I still had to deal with the usual problems transgender women and men have to deal with when they transition and close the big door. Sometimes closing the door is the easy part compared to opening the doors to different living situations with family, friends and finances. 

I think too many potential transgender folk believe the transition itself will cause the life problems to go away and they haven't thought enough about the all the situations they would have to face now when spouses and/or families want to leave them behind. Not to mention the prospect of losing long term employment and friends. All of the process led to opening very heavy doors and not having much of an idea what the future held. 

I was fortunate when I finally had the courage to open my final transgender doors and face the world. As I did, I could look back at all the times I was petrified to try a new life as a transgender woman. Every time I was so scared it seemed I made it OK which felt so natural and gave me confidence to move forward and look for new challenges. I don't think I ever forgot the two early gender role models I had in Columbus, Ohio so many years before but similar to my male life, I was able to carve out my new life as a fulltime transgender woman so different from theirs.

Even still, I have my doors to open as I face a challenging future with end of life issues. I am still paranoid concerning facing the problems associated with nursing care or assisted living. It will be quite the journey as I face the final door we all have to open and see what is on the other side.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Being Afraid to Try

 

Image from Jas Min on UnSplash

Since it took me nearly a half a century to fully leave my dark lonely gender closet, I have to assume there was an extraordinary amount of fear which was holding me back.

As life progressed for me and I became more and more entrenched in a male lifestyle I never really wanted, it was harder and harder to let go. I had a family and spouse who I loved plus a job I was progressing in. So it was not an easy decision to give it all up. 

It all finally came down to what my wife told me after one of our gender based arguments. She told me why didn't I man up and become a woman if I was so enamored with the idea. Had I followed her advice, I would have saved both of us so much turmoil over the years to come. By now, you know the story. I was stubborn and tried to live with one foot in the male gender world while at the same time learning if indeed I could live as a transgender woman. 

Through it all, even since I was taking small steps in my gender journey, the fear of not being able to make it as a full time transgender woman kept creeping back into my life. My scope became so much larger than just admiring myself cross dressed in a mirror to attempting to try the world in costume as a woman during Halloween parties. What kept me going was I felt so natural as my feminine self and then wanted to experience more and more. 

I write extensively about my experiences as a novice transgender woman. Even if I was petrified to try new experiences in the world, I pushed myself to still do them as my age was catching up to me. I wasn't getting any younger and all of a sudden, family and close friends around me began to pass away. Making my mortality even more of a reality than my gender dysphoria. Finally, when I reached the age of sixty and was exploring my life increasingly as a trans woman, it was time to act and put my fears behind me. Realistically, I knew I wasn't going to have a better chance to transition so I better do it. Setting all my fears aside and living in a feminine world turned out to be the best move I could make. I lifted a ton of weight from my shoulders when for the most part, my life restarted again. It was around this time when my new gender affirming hormones (HRT) were starting to change and control my body. Along with developing breasts and softening skin, my whole world softened and I felt emotions I never knew I had.

Now, I am so glad I wasn't afraid to try. My only disappointment is I waited so long to do it. Fear finally turned out to be a powerful motivator for me as it turned potential panicked situations into  successes. Rest rooms were a prime example of success or failure. 

This blog itself is another example. Way back when I was given the idea to write about my new experiences in this world, I didn't even know what a blog even was. Now with well over seven thousand posts and four million hits, it is time to stop and thank all of you for taking your time to stop by Cyrsti's Condo to visit. I have always embraced and enjoyed your participation and all I can say is I am humbled and flattered. 

 

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Ownership, Skeletons and Politics?

 


My daughter's favorite saying used to be something to the fact if you have skeleton's in the closet you better make them dance. Which could describe many politicians in Washington DC.

This post however is not another rant on my part about politics. If you follow me at all you know I am solidly behind the Biden-Harris ticket and believe tRumpt and his cohorts want to erase transgender people everywhere. As well as do away with our democracy. But, as I said, this post is not about politics, it's about my life. 

In my case, I spent most of my life trying to change the inevitable. I was transgender and should just relax and make the best of the situation I found myself in. By cross dressing my life away, the only positive I can come up with is all the practice I put into the art of feminine makeup and fashion. It wasn't until I left the mirror and started exploring the world, did I begin to own it. The whole process turned out to be a blur and actually happened faster than I dreamed it would. In other words, by interacting as a transgender woman in public, I was teaching the skeletons in my closet to dance. 

The dance moves became more and more intense when the public wanted to invade my little private world and know more about me. First of all, when I finally moved from the easy clothing stores in the malls I used to shop at and into food venues where I would stop to eat. Then I found myself needing to communicate with servers and bartenders one on one as I was scared to death. At first I tried to mimic the range and tones of the women I was speaking with until I found I could take advantage of feminine vocal lessons at my local Veterans' Administration hospital. Slowly, I gained enough confidence to get by in the world. I was coming to realize I could not change who I truly was, so I better learn to know her better. When I did, I enjoyed the person she was, My feminine inner soul went way past just trying to look good in the mirror and do a better job with my makeup and fashion. I found I could just let her go and I could set back for a change, watch my skeletons dance and enjoy the show. For the first time in my life I did not have to feel guilty about the person I was becoming.

In addition to having less guilt, I was having the time of my life. For the first time, I was making new friends who had no connection at all with my old male self. My small core group of mainly lesbian women friends taught me more about owning who I was than they ever knew. I was validated as a transgender woman through them mainly because they saw me as me. The freedom was remarkable. 

Perhaps I could say I transitioned to my authentic self  not so much because of my friends but on the other hand, I started to own my life and live it with my friends. I was teaching my skeletons all new dances when I let them out of the closet. As always my old male self was resisting losing his grip and it took my wife Liz to send him away. When we first met, Liz barely knew what was left of my former self and she told me she never saw anything remotely male about me. That was it and from then on I went all out to own who I really was. 

See, I told you this was not going to be a political post, Now if you will excuse me, my skeletons are dancing for the public to see.  

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Close Encounters of the Transgender Kind

 

Image from the 
Jessie Hart Archives.

Very early in my life, similar to so many of you, I suffered many close calls when it came to being caught in my feminine clothes by my younger brother or worse yet my parents. 

As with most inquisitive younger brothers, if I was out of his sight for any length of time, he wondered what exactly was going on. To make matters worse, we were just a couple of grades apart at the same school, so we rode the same bus home and arrived at the same time. Leaving me very little time to cross dress and admire myself. I even had to hide out in the woods when the weather was good to dress up.

My parents were partially a different story. My Dad was a banker and Mom was a high school teacher, so they arrived home usually in time to sit down to dinner. If you remember those days. My point being, seemingly for weeks at a time I couldn't find a way to explore my gender closet at all and the pressure to do it just increased to the point of no return. Which meant I needed to take risks. We had two bathrooms in our house and sometimes I could barricade myself into the one which contained most of my Mom's makeup. When I combined her makeup with mine, I had plenty to experiment with. 

On the exceedingly rare days I was left all alone, I went all out. Even to the point of being able somehow to get away with shaving my legs. I was completely in love with how wonderful the air felt on my freshly shaven legs when I took the chance to walk to the mailbox which was some distance away. No matter how good I thought I looked, the biggest problem I had was with my hair. In those days, I was stuck with either the ultra short burr haircut my Dad had or the equally as bad crew cut. A wig of any kind to me in those days just seemed like the impossible dream and it wasn't until my college years when I could afford to buy a nice wig I cherished for years. I even hid it, as well as other cross dressing necessities away when I went away to the Army. Hoping they would not be discovered. They weren't. 

Even with all my precautions, I still ran into the times when I had to hurriedly wipe the makeup off my face and change my clothes when my parents came home early. I don't know how but I somehow survived without a gender confrontation which would have been a disaster. At the time, I thought when I became older I would have more control over my cross dressing desires and life would be better. In no way did I feel as if all of the sudden I would wake up with no gender dysphoria and life would be much better. On the other hand I still felt I would not have to hide my true self to others. To compensate, I developed a very macho exterior self and avoided making very many friends who I may have to come out to later. A process I would come to regret later in life.

It turned out, mainly because of my wanting to not come fully out as a transgender woman, hiding away my true self from a loved one would reach new heights of desperation. The loved one I am referring to is my second wife who knew from the beginning of our relationship I was a cross dresser and accepted it. Everything in our relationship was good until I finally faced the truth of me being transgender, which my wife soundly rejected. Increasingly, when she was working nights, I was out exploring the world as a trans woman to primarily see if I could make it or not. When I found I could, I began to go out more and more which led me to having more chances of being caught. All of which led to huge fights when I came home as my feminine self and she was waiting for me. It was like I was a kid again and resented the process completely but it was like a train wreck waiting to happen.

Our relationship became so strained, my wife told me things like why didn't I just man up and live as a woman. A great point which I never did while she was alive. Somehow, it was similar to me trying a last gasp attempt at saving what was left of my manhood at her expense.

When she did unexpectedly pass from a massive heart attack, at the age of sixty, I finally was able not to worry about any close gender encounters. I had paid my dues and was so happy to fully come through an often very uncertain life and live in the world as a fulltime transgender woman with no negative people in tow. A dream I thought I could never achieve.   

Friday, March 29, 2024

It's Game Day

 

Red Wig Image from the 
Jessie Hart
Archives and the game...


Recently, the Cincinnati Reds kicked off their latest professional baseball season. Opening Day is a big deal here complete with a parade and sell out crowds at the game. 

As a guy, I somehow managed to secure a ticket or two to the game because the company I worked for knew I was a huge sports fan and it was their way to keep me happier. As a transgender woman, I also managed to go to a few games but never opening day. As I aged, the problem became when I was unable to walk long distances to get to the ballpark and had nothing to do with me worrying about being accepted by the other fans in the stadium. Plus what remained of seeing the whole sporting experience in person as a woman just reinforced the fact I could take my love from one gender to another. 

I was lucky when I found and was accepted by a small group of women who were passionate about sports also. We regularly gathered at sports bars to watch our favorite teams play while we drank quantities of good cold draft beer. Good times were normally had by all, even though our teams lost. Perhaps the best part was, since I was part of a group of other women, no one questioned my gender at all. I had my validation as a person I so desperately sought. 

With one of my friends (Kim) a friendly competition developed over which professional football team we were fans of. Her family is from Pittsburgh, so naturally she is a Steelers fan which collided head on with me since I am a Cincinnati Bengals fan. Along the way, we became so close she invited me to go along with her family to a Monday Night Football game in Cincinnati. All of a sudden, I realized what such a major deal going to a real live National Football League game was when it came to my gender transition timetable. For most of my life, I wondered what it would be like to attend a game as my authentic transgender self and all of a sudden, the time had come. 

Back in those days, I had not started gender affirming hormones yet so all I had to wear was a barely fitting wig Kim and her daughter Hope had always seen me in. Hope was a bar tended/server at one of the venues I became a regular in and initially set up a meeting between her lesbian mom and I. Needless to say, I was terrified yet still excited to take another major step along my gender path. The door to my closet was opening faster than I had ever dreamed it would. Once I made it to the stadium, it was dark which helped my presentation and I went through the initial stadium security check points with no problems and my confidence began to build. We made it to our seats and no one gave me a second look, so I was happy. After all, everyone had paid a premium price to watch a football game, not a stray transgender fan in the stands. 

The only perceivable problem I was going to have was how much I could drink. I didn't want to chance going to the women's room if I could help it but I couldn't risk having to go during the long road trip home if I had to. So I compromised and just had two beers and made only one trip to the rest room where nothing happened. I got in, took care of business, washed my hands and got out. 

Per norm, the Bengals lost to the Steelers that night, so I took some abuse from the others in the group. Little did they know how just going was a complete victory and confidence builder for me and to this day, I can't thank Kim enough for including me.

These days, the Cincinnati Reds have a young exciting team who are fun to watch and my dream is to build myself up to the point where my wife Liz and I can see a game or two this summer. 

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Walking the Transgender Tightrope

 

Image from Johannes Plenio on 
UnSplash




I have never been accused of being coordinated at all which completely held me back when it came to me being able to participate in any sort of athletics except for football which often meant dealing with brute strength. 

Little did I know, I would have to develop my own sense of gender coordination to deal with my gender dysphoria. It turns out the better I became navigating the world as a novice transgender woman, the more balance I would need to survive in life. What happened was, the better I became with makeup and fashion, the more confidence I felt and in addition I was gaining the all important confidence to try more and more exciting yet terrifying experiences as my feminine self. 

Doing the more I could possibly hope for led me to trying to walk part of my life in my old male gender and part in my newer female one. My second wife even approved of a plan where I could have three days a week to leave the house dressed as a guy, go to a motel, cross dress as a woman and basically do whatever I wanted. Then dress back into my boring drab male clothes and come home. It didn't take long for me to become bored with this arrangement and I began slipping out of the house behind her back when she was working. Out of sheer willpower I needed to begin being more coordinated in how I was trying to run my gender conflicted life. There was really only one thing I knew for sure, I loved my feminine side and wanted to do more and more to let her out. 

Sadly, the whole process of trying to balance the two genders fighting for dominance within me was destroying my already bi-polar fragile mental health. I tried therapy and for years had only one therapist tell me the truth...there was essentially nothing I could do about wanting to transition into a transgender woman. I was what I was and I should accept it. Of course I wasn't smart enough to take her advice. I still wanted to save what was left of my long term marriage to my second wife while at the same time exploring what could be possible if I actually had the courage to transition into a fulltime world as a transgender woman. 

Finally, after falling off the tightrope more times than I can say, I could take the mounting gender pressure no longer and tried suicide as a solution. Just before my wife passed away from a massive heart attack, I thought I "purged" for the final time and got down from my tightrope. I grew a beard, gained a bunch of weight and overall was miserable but I gave it my best effort. 

I proved to myself I wasn't coordinated enough to navigate something complex enough as a gender tightrope and moved on to living a life as my authentic self. I am not one for regrets but if I allowed myself one, it would be I would have had the courage to transition earlier in life (before the age of sixty.) I would have saved myself so much time, effort and frustration as I attempted to balance my gender tightrope.      

Monday, March 18, 2024

Somewhere between Heaven and Hell

 

Image from Sara Kurfess
on UnSplash


Very recently I received a comment from "J" asking me about my experiences coming out to my immediate family. After giving the comment some brief thought and I came up with this explanation, my coming out to family was somewhere between heaven and hell. 

To begin with, I had it relatively easy coming out since most of the important members of my family who needed to know anything about my transgender issues were not around. My parents, as well as many of my uncles and aunts had all passed away, leaving me only my daughter and my slightly younger brother to tell my truth to. 

The heaven and hell came in with both of these two close family members, it seemed as if destiny was showing me both sides of coming out. To begin with, I chose telling my daughter first at one of our breakfast meetings we often scheduled to catch up with our lives. One very nervous, scary morning, I chose to tell her I was indeed transgender. I will never forget her reaction which initially was a resounding why was she the last to know. Keep in mind by this time in her life, her Mom was long divorced from me and her Step Mom (my second wife) had recently passed away. So I guess she resented neither one of them telling her the depth of my gender issues. It certainly wasn't their fault because even though they knew I was a cross dresser or transvestite, even I resisted the idea of me possibly being transgender. In the meantime I was trying my best to hide any feminine desires I had from the rest of the world. Evidently, I did a good job and I was also amazed the cross dressing subject never came up with her. When she asked me why was she the last to know, I had no answer.

From then on, she gave me more support than I could have ever asked for. My daughter initially offered to take me on a shopping trip which I politely declined and then since my hair had magically grown to the point of being able to be professionally styled, she offered me a styling at her upscale spa and salon for my birthday. A gift I just couldn't turn down and after conquering my fears of going to the salon, I learned why women were so in love with their salon visits. I loved mine and I was in heaven. To the day, "J", my daughter has provided me with the heavenly acceptance I needed to make my male to female gender transition so much easier.

Now, the hell part comes in with my brother and his extended family. As luck would have it, I told my brother just before Thanksgiving over ten years ago. I wanted to know if it was OK if I attended as my authentic self or not. Before I asked out of respect, I knew the answer I would be given. My brother's in laws were all right wing leaning Southern Baptists, many of whom I always argued with during family get togethers. 

After some brief discussion with his wife, my brother sold me up the creek and said essentially it would be better if I did not attend the only family get together we planned for the whole year. The dinner was always the most important get together for my second wife and she did all the cooking a preparation for it for years after my parents passed away. So the rejection hurt a lot. I moved on quickly and haven't talked to my brother since. Which describes the end of my hellish experience of coming out to family.

Plus, I was lucky, I had my wife Liz and my daughter's extended family step in to fill the holiday void. And, I turned out better in the long term. 

I don't know, maybe destiny just wanted to show me the heaven and hell of coming out to family. While I didn't have the quantity of people to come out to as being transgender, I certainly was able to experience the quality of seeing both sides of the rejection/acceptance spectrum.

Thanks for the comment! I hope my experiences help. I value all your comments and questions! 

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

What is Holding you Back?

My Hair. Beaded Trans Hair Clip
by Liz T Designs on Etsy

If you are still in your gender closet, tentatively looking out, what is holding you back is a big question. 

By now you are thinking there are very many big variables holding you back from leaving your closet behind and living as your authentic self. Examples include the possibility of losing spouses and or family, jobs and finances and even your home. Any way you cut it all the chances are major losses which can become lifetime setbacks. Been there, done it. 

The worry concerning all of the variables I mentioned kept me in the closet for over a half a century so I am no stranger to having one foot in my closet for years. It is the one big regret in life I have is I spent so much time and energy on my gender issues. In addition to losing portions of my life I could never get back, the whole time I was engaged in a terrible struggle with my mental health which I attempted to resolve with medication and therapy. Not to mention the time and money I spent trying to over medicate myself with alcohol. Many times when I was drinking, I felt over confident with how I was appearing to the public when I flipped my cross dressing script (in reality I was a woman cross dressing as a man) and went out in public thinking I was a man cross dressed as a woman. It took me years to figure it all out.

My excuse was I was still experiencing some sort of benefits from keeping one foot planted firmly in my male life. I had a good marriage, a loving daughter and a job with increased potential. In other words, I was living a very good example of the ideal male dream. The problem was becoming the more I gained, the less I liked the idea of what I was doing. But, even still, it was enough to hold me back as I dreamed of the possibility of someday living a life as a fulltime transgender woman. 

As with any thing else, success often comes with pressure and I was feeling it from several different sources. At the time my second wife was against any idea of me beginning a transgender path on gender affirming hormones, my job was adding pressure to do better continually and make the company more money. At the time, the pressure became so much I couldn't take it anymore and I tried the suicide I write so much about. I tried to take an overdose of my bi-polar medication and it luckily didn't work. 

From there I tried to retreat and live again totally as a man and bought my own restaurant. Both ideas turned out to be a total failure as my close friends and my spouse all died around me. All of a sudden, with nothing to lose, I found myself with nothing holding me back from my transgender dreams. I had reached the age of sixty and really was at a crossroads again in my life. I could go on living an unhappy male existence or begin a life I always wanted. 

For once I took the right path and started hormones so there would be no turning back in my decision. Plus, I wasn't getting any younger, so the time was right for me to make the jump off my gender cliff and see what happened. It turned out, the only thing holding me back was myself and the fear I head of rebuilding a new life as a transgender woman. Even though I thought I had completely thought out all the possibilities of such a move, it turned out there were many I didn't consider which is a topic for another post I will be writing soon.   

 

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Live Action Week

 

Alzheimer's LGBTQ Shirt 

For some unknown reason, I have had several scheduled and unscheduled appointments come up this week. One on top of each other. 

One of the scheduled appointments was today when my wife Liz and I had our yearly maintenance taken care of on our fairly new heat pump and hot water tank. Since the equipment is new and the work is already paid for in our contract, we did not expect many worries/.Which is exactly what happened. What I did not expect was the work which showed up without notice in our front yard this morning. It turns out, our internet provider picked today to replace service on our street which is all underground. 

To prepare to face all these expected and unexpected workers in our world this morning, I went ahead and shaved closely last night. The only other thing I was going to do was tie my hair back and try my best to be out of the way the best I could. It worked fairly well, since the two workers who needed to come in the house were courteous and did not mis-gender me one way or another.

Coming up in a couple of days, I will have the opposite happen to me when I need to go to my local Veterans Administration clinic to have my hearing checked. For the visit I plan to try out the new makeup I just purchased and do the best I can to present well as a transgender woman. Since I have had no real problems at the clinic recently, I don't expect any this time either. It will still be interesting since I need to interact closer with a receptionist to make another appointment with my primary provider, which is what the VA calls my family doctor. I have blood work to request for my endocrinologist and another nurse practitioner who monitors my psych medications. It seems like every six months or so everyone wants a shot of my blood to examine so I might as well get a head start on the process. 

Finally, for this month I have another Alzheimer's diversity committee meeting coming up and for the time being, it will be another virtual get together which is much easier for me. As always, I urge you to contact your local chapter if your are having potential or current dementia problems in your family. I have found the Cincinnati/Dayton groups to be very pro-LGBTQ+ friendly in their approach to me. 

I am sure I will have more to add to this post after my upcoming visit to the VA but for now, I hear the equipment working in the front yard so I don't have much faith in the internet staying on. 

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Being a Gender Victim

 

Image from UnSplash

Many years ago during my years of searching for my true gender self, I spent many hours and days being a victim of my circumstances.  In other words, I felt sorry for myself wanting to follow a feminine path in life. 

Primarily, thanks to input I received from my second wife, I began to pull myself out of the victim category and accept the way I felt. My wife kept telling me I didn't know anything about being a woman (which I didn't) so I needed to find out what she meant because she was not offering any help. Sadly it wasn't until many years later following her passing away, did I learn what she meant. Obviously, since she can not speak for herself, I think she was expanding on the times when she called me "The pretty pretty princess." Those were the days when I obsessed on how I looked as a cross dresser and not how I felt as a novice transgender woman. Had I not been so narrow minded in my quest for femininity, I think now I would have spent way less time feeling sorry for myself. Why couldn't I have hobbies such as golf rather than dressing as a woman.

My life turned out to be a double edged sword about that time. Not only was I facing pressure on the home front to learn more about the basics of being a woman, at work through promotion after promotion, I was feeling increased pressure to perform there also. To help me along, the many managerial training sessions I attended gave direction on how not to be a victim.

Finally, I slowly learned to attack my problems head on and not run from them. Often by putting on a dress and feeling sorry for myself. Slowly but surely, thanks to no small part to the women I worked with, I began to look beyond how they looked into how they acted and reacted with life. The whole process made me a better person and prepared me for a future living life as a transgender woman. I was becoming so much more than "The pretty pretty princess." At the same time, not being a victim was making life so much more complex. On one hand I was making strides with my makeup and fashion and on the other I was becoming very successful in my work. In fact, it was not becoming unusual for my wife to ask for my help with her makeup when we were going out to an upscale event.  Usually, after I did help her, she felt better and I was jealous I wasn't the one in the pretty dress. 

Throughout the entire process, I found I had more courage than I had ever thought possible. Perhaps the time I spent in the military prepared me with the confidence I needed to move forward and not be a victim to my gender issues. Every time I conquered a goal I thought was unachievable, I felt more natural with my life and my mental health improved. 

I put being a victim behind me and set out to be an out and proud transgender woman.

Friday, February 23, 2024

Mom Approved

Image from Kelly Sikkema
on UnSplash
 
Very few transgender women or trans men have the benefit of an approving Mother. I can't imagine my Mom ever providing me the fashion or the help to become the girl I strongly wanted to become. 

My parents were members of the "greatest generation" who went through the great depression and WWII. Both of those major events certainly shaped them into individuals who were strong on providing for a family and weak on emotional support. Which was exactly what I needed. My Dad's family was very male dominated and my brother and I were expected to follow in his footsteps. Wanting to be feminine at all did not fit in to the advance family plans my parents had for their eldest son. I was expected to grow up, go to college and marry into my social class or higher. Quickly I was discovering, I had different ideas.

Even though I was busy playing sports and working on other male activities. I can't say I excelled at any of them but I tried my best. One thing is for sure, I was on my own because there was no way I could ever bring up my true gender feelings to my parents. Especially my Mom, who often took the lead in raising my brother and I. So, I was solidly hidden away in my dark lonely closet until I could break out much later in life. 

Through it all, I still sought out my parents approval. My Dad was very difficult to out due because he was very much the stereotypical self made man. He built his own house and rose to a bank VP position with a high school diploma. He served in the Army Air Corps in WWII, so at least my military duty in many ways corresponded to his. My brother on the other hand thanks to a high draft number, never had to serve at all. It took until I was out of the Army for me to try to come out to my Mom. One night after drinking with my friends, she was waiting up for me (before I could move out into my own place) and I blurted out I was a transvestite. I don't know what kind of a reaction I thought I would get but it was anything but the negative one I received. She recoiled and immediately volunteered to pay for therapy which in those days was the approved method for dealing with gender dysphoria. I basically said go to hell and that was the last time it was it ever brought up to her. And I never came out to my Dad either before his death at the age of 86. 

It took my daughter to break the chain of family disapproval of transgender issues and help with our over all family mental health. Growing up, my oldest grandchild (a girl) kept showing signs to my daughter she was having issues with her gender. When she was mad at Mom, she would say things such as what if I liked girls instead of boys. Since all three of my grandkids knew I was transgender, threatening my daughter with gender issues was pointless. Now my eldest grandchild goes by the "they" pronouns, has a partner and goes to The Ohio State University. Needless to say, I am so proud of my daughter and her family. It shows how much can change in a generation or two in a family. 

Even though my Mom never approved of my feminine soul and I never had her input on my cross dressing desires, I understand now she was just a product of her generation. During her later years, she was a little difficult to deal with, so as I said, we never discussed my gender issues again. I wish now I would have given her the opportunity. 

To make up for it, I adopted her first name as my new legal middle name when I changed my gender markers years ago. It was the best I could do to bury any lingering resentment I may feel. Maybe somewhere now, I am Mom approved as the daughter she never had.   

A Vocal Trans Girl

  Image from Brooke Cagle on UnSplash The other night when we went out to eat, I needed to order what I wanted food wise loud enough to be h...