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

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Playing in the Girls Sandbox

Very early in my transition into a feminine world. I discovered all was not all it seemed behind the scenes, Or what I called playing in the girls sandbox. In the beginning all seemed rosy. Sales clerks eager for my money met me with a smile. Plus, the servers where I went to eat and drink were happy to see me because I was nice and tipped well.

The deeper I went into how the sandbox really worked, I found flaws in the system. For example, it was re-enforced with me how women work in cliques while on the other hand, men form teams. Taking the example a step further, I found how I dressed could help me to fit in with a certain group of women.

Before I drifted into the Boho fashion craze, I found I could present convincingly as a professional woman. In fact, one of the first nights out I ever had was when I dressed in a professional woman's attire and went to an upscale bar frequented by other similarly dressed women. Looking back, I consider the night as the tipping point on my journey from being a cross dresser all the way towards being a novice transgender woman. Also I should point out I was terrified and sat in the parking lot for nearly a half hour before going in. I guess something was telling me this was going to be a key moment in my life.

Photo by Marcus Spiske
On Unsplash.

As it turned out, it was only a civilized introduction to the sandbox. As I drifted away from the upscale bar, I drifted into sports bars where I was often the only single woman at the bar watching sports or participating in games such as trivia. All went fairly well until I met up with several couples I began to be on a first name basis with. I learned the hard way to reject even the smallest amounts of acceptance from the men. When I did the smiles were replaced by claws or worse yet, knives in my back. Very quickly I learned where my place in the sandbox was.

As I did all of this, I was drinking copious amounts of beer which led me of course to needing to use the women's room. Or should I say, the litter box. The amount of alcohol I was drinking had the effect of being a double edged sword. On one hand it emboldened me to try to explore living as my authentic self but on the other hand, forced me into using restrooms I wasn't welcomed in. 

Of course I have written before about some of the more unpleasant experiences I had in the restroom. Overall, I was amazed how I could be seemingly accepted and socialized with until I had to use the litter box.

I was fortunate in  that I survived my early days in the girl's sandbox relatively unclawed. Perhaps it was becuase the feminine clique I landed in was unthreatening to most women. I didn't fit in with the cheerleading types. I tried my best just to be social and it must have worked.

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Another First

Not that I really do much of it, this won't be a post revolving around frilly heels and hose, Today kids we will be writing a short post about sports and this transgender woman.  Probably many of you know I used to play football instead of being a cheerleader like I always envied. However, I was never very good and took solace in the fact I really wanted to be a girl anyhow. But, to the topic at hand...

 Today is Super Bowl Sunday, the pinnacle of American football. 


Being a long suffering Cincinnati, Ohio sports fan, I have been through more years than not following teams that do nothing but lose. The only exception was The Ohio State Buckeyes. For years the standing joke was, the Buckeyes were the best professional team in Ohio. Better than the Bengals or the Cleveland Browns. 

This year times have changed and Bengal fans everywhere are super excited to be playing in only the third Super Bowl in the team's history.  

By now you are probably thinking so what? 

The biggest difference is I am now a fully out transgender woman.  So, I count this as my first Super Bowl. Even though the power of estrogen has leveled out my competitive edge, I am sure I still have enough edge to me to more than interested in the game.

However my authentic self still wants a Super Bowl trophy in Cincinnati! 

Who Dey think gonna beat dem Bengals!!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

The Good Old Days

Source Cyrsti Hart

 I have touched on the subject of my ex wife (the first one who is still alive) bringing up the story from my past when I wrecked a car. The wreck could have easily killed both my brother and I. My problem with my first wife was when she referred to me as "he" could have seriously injured both of us. It was one of those moments I wish I was quick enough to say something like "Yes HE did it but now HE is gone."

In the grand scheme of things, the most I would have gotten out of her was a weak apology. As I began to think of it, the entire wreck was systematic of my life back in "The good old days." In other words, the good old days weren't so good. In addition to my gender dysphoria issues, I had the military draft hanging over my head for most of my high school days into college. 

During this time I was very self destructive. As soon as I became old enough to drive, it seemed trying to kill myself behind the wheel was the way to go. In fact I began to think I had a guardian angel riding with me when I was going to try something stupid.

Another problem with the good old days was I hadn't been diagnosed as bi-polar yet. Once I was years later when I was honorably discharged from the Army, suddenly many of my unexplained depressive episodes were explained. In fact, the first relevant gender therapist I visited told me there was nothing I could do about my desire to cross dress as a woman but there was help available for my destructive mood swings. Her advice went a long way into explaining why I struggled so hard with my life.

I wish I could say the overall self destructive experiences I had in the good old days were over. In fact, the more I tried to not risk going out in public as a woman, the more I did it. By this time I had divorced my first wife and married my second. Little did I know I would be setting off on a twenty five year odyssey  which would include many peaks and valleys. 

Through it all, I managed to go on a frenetic job journey which matched my urge to out run my demons. We managed to live in such diverse places as the NYC metro area all the way to an extremely rural area of Southeastern Ohio. My demons were relentless though and of course trying to outrun them was a waste of time and energy. 

The good old days had become a blur except for the strides I was making in my feminine presentation. Many of which put me in direct conflict with my wife. She knew of my cross dressing urges before we were married. She never agreed with any ideas of me being transgender and naturally was afraid of me being discovered going out. Nothing was good enough for me and I ended up going out as my authentic self as much as possible behind her back.

All the lying I did made the good old days less than pleasurable but still I had to do it. It's a shame such a time of discovery and learning in my life had to have such a unfortunate ending
.

So, I guess the good old days weren't so good after all. I'm just lucky I lived through them to experience my life now as a transgender woman. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

The Passing Lane

 


As far as I am concerned, the term "passing" as a woman has gone the route of so many terms describing cross dressers or transgender women such as transvestite. However for this post, passing fits due to the times I was referring to in my past. Also, while I am on the subject of terminology, the "You make a beautiful or at the least convincing woman" always used to set me off too. After all I didn't set out to "make" anything. Especially a woman. I was just trying to express my true self. 

As I was doing it, lessons were hard to learn and I have often written about the times I went home crying after being laughed at, or worse. Each lesson though taught me to survive and/or pass as my true feminine self. I could also refer to the process as aligning my interior with my exterior self. When I was able to balance the two was when I felt the most natural.

Perhaps you remember also the post I wrote about the little girl who taught me a huge lesson when she told her Mom "Look at the big mean woman." It turned out I had the hardest part down, she saw me as a woman but I lost the passing battle with the male scowl on my face. From then on, softening my facial muscles became a part of my makeup. 

Later on I met and became friends with another transgender woman who ended up giving me passing lane advice. Once a week we used to meet in a friendly tavern in a downtown Dayton, Ohio restoration district. Every now and then, a local lesbian group would meet there for a mixer. As luck would have it, I had a couple of friends in the group. Thanks to them or any number of reasons I was always accepted at the mixer. Even to the point of being asked to help one on my friends "pick up" another woman. Yes I was a "wing person" for the evening.

Normally, my trans friend didn't participate much in the mixer and I had the opinion she was more into men than I was. I loved any attention from a lesbian which came my way. Which it did on occasion. I discovered a kissing spot upstairs in the tavern by the rest rooms and was able to take advantage of a stray "smooch" on occasion. After one of them, my friend said I passed out of sheer will power.

I knew at the time, I didn't have her natural feminine looks but I did know I had the personality to overcome whatever I lacked. Ironically, as I learned to establish myself with lesbians, they gave me the confidence to move forward. Years later though I learned the hard way my acceptance wasn't permanent when my partner Liz (who identifies as a cis-lesbian) and I went to a Valentines Dance here in Cincinnati. When Liz went to get us some refreshments, a person went out of her way to make my life miserable with gender slurs. It took awhile for me to hitch up my big girl panties and get over it. But I did.

Overall I have been fortunate to have been able to straddle the gender frontier for as long as I could. Entering the "passing lane" wasn't easy for me since I had very few feminine characteristics. I got it done though. I made a path for my feminine self.  

Monday, November 22, 2021

Monday Inspiration

 This is especially directed to you cross dressers or novice transgender women struggling to find your way out of your closet.



Wednesday, November 17, 2021

When Life Gives You Lipstick

 


When life gives you lipstick, wear it!

Anyway you cut it, life is never fair for everyone. I'm biased but I think transgender women are dealt the most difficult hands in life. First of all, we have to do the difficult work of  figuring out who we are. Looking back I have written numerous times about all the mornings I woke up and immediately tried to figure out if I was a boy or a girl. What made matters worse was the fact this all happened before the internet and social media eras. Loneliness was extreme. I wasn't old enough to understand all that was happening to me and there was no one to explain the meaning of being gender fluid.

In the meantime I did the best I could to survive. I even tried to "come out" to a friend in high school (a guy) and was roundly rejected. Looking back, I had a total girl crush on another friend which I never let on to. It seemed life had dealt me a hand I couldn't win. 

Once I turned driving age though, I did get a small break.  On a couple occasions I was able to cross dress and sneak out of the house when my parents were away. I remember the trepidation I felt when I saw my reflection for the first time in a store's shopping center window. On the other hand, I felt a bigger sense of accomplishment. Other than those extremely rare occasions, high school wasa continuation of my gender frustration. The only relief I felt were a couple of school events I went to which featured a couple of very presentable boys in drag. Needless to say I was very jealous. 

The biggest setback I thought was coming was being drafted into the military. Along with the obvious reasons to dislike my upcoming service was the fact that women didn't have to worry at all about the military. Ironically this all turned out to be the time when life gave me a potential set back and I was able to turn it all around for the better. First of all I was given very little chance of  continuing my career as a radio disc jockey in the Army and I did just that in the American Forces Radio and Television Service. Then perhaps more importantly, I was able to finally come out of the closet toa few of my closest friends as a transvestite. Finally, the gift which kept on giving was meeting the woman who would turn out to be my first wife and birthed my beloved accepting daughter. 

Even with all those successes, I was still missing a huge gap in my life. Something was still wrong. Around this time life gave me the transgender term and the internet to research it. .All of a sudden I knew who I was. All those times I went to the transvestite mixers and didn't quite fit in made sense.

It all left me with the huge "what if" questions. Life had given me the answer to my gender issues but also left me the choices to settle my problems. Was I going to take the chances to give up all my male privileges and live full time as a transgender woman. After years of experimentation and soul searching the answer became clear and I took the gender plunge. 

At this point life gave me options. When my wife passed away, she was my biggest naysayer, so tragedy turned to a bittersweet triumph. Around this time also, the Veterans Administration began offering Hormone Replacement Therapy which I could take advantage of at a very low cost and I was old enough I could take advantage of early Social Security retirement and not have to worry about coming out at work.

It turned out life was repaying me for all the years of  turmoil and stress it put me through. 

Monday, November 15, 2021

Be Man Enough


 Actually the whole comment turned out to be "Why don't you be man enough to be a woman?"  The phrase was directed at me after another huge fight my second wife and I suffered. I don't remember now what the exact reason for the fight was but I assume I was coming down after cross dressing and was becoming a less than pleasant person. 

I was certainly stuck in a rut and rather than asking for her help, I made myself miserable. When I did that, I made her miserable also. To make matters worse I think, she knew about my cross dressing urges before we became married. Over the years she witnessed my slow slide to becoming my authentic self and living full time as a transgender woman.

It wasn't easy. Her Dad was an alcoholic and I was close to being one too. So she had to put up with that part of my toxic male personality. Why or how she stuck with me for all those years was a testament to our love and her strength. Indirectly my wanderlust due to trying to out run my gender desires led us to other adventures. For example, we moved to and lived in such diverse places as metro NYC all the way to a rustic house in the woods in rural Ohio above Marietta and the Ohio River. 

One of the pleasures of living just North of the city in New York was the Sundays we were able to take the train downtown and explore in a relatively mellow environment.  It was one of these trips along with another trigger moment which started the fight which led to the comment. 

First of all, I felt as if I presented well enough to take the trip on the train as my feminine self. Either she felt I didn't or wanted not to take the risk of being recognized as we left the house, I will never know because it never happened. 

Around that time too, I somehow (think of this being years ago) became a transvestite pen pal with another cross dresser. We used to send scented letters back and forth along with the occasional picture. Somehow I came up with a photo of me cross dressed standing over a stove cooking. Another of the problems my wife had with me though I was never a "domestic goddess" and didn't overdo my share of the household duties. But the biggest problem she had was when she found a letter in the mail before I could get to it. Looking back at it, this was probably the first time I really had snuck around behind her back with my transvestite urges.

Of course the letter set off a huge fight. The problem with me fighting someone with words only was I didn't know how to hold back the emotions and often went too far. Unfortunately this no holds barred way of dealing with an argument did no good at all. It was during one of these moments when she turned to me and said "Why don't you be man enough to be a woman." 

Naturally I was taken aback and ended up giving quite a bit of thought to what she said. 

The problem was I couldn't or wouldn't give up my male life. It was simply still too much a part of my existence. Plus, no matter how hard I had studied women my entire life, I didn't feel I was ready yet to cross the gender frontier. I still had so much to learn plus I didn't want to face the probability of giving up my financial life as well as family and friends. Little did I know, waiting probably caused me extra pain and suffering before I actually made the decision to transition in my early 60's. 

It's so sad my wife passed on years ago now, so she couldn't see how I manned up and used my second chance at life to become a woman.  

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Walls or Closets?


 It was long ago it was when I first took the big steps and leaped into the feminine world as a full time transgender woman. To refer to it as only coming out of a closet was an over simplification.  It seems to me rather than coming out of a closet, I climbed enough walls to build a house. 

Of course, a closet is often small and dark and a house gives a person increased freedom to move around. When you are transgender, the house is never enough . The quest to being a woman is much more complex.

Examples? One of the biggest one I write about often is learning to look another cis woman in the eye and communicate. I learned quickly the subtle nuances of eye contact, vocal intonation and factors such as passive aggression. Lessons came fast and furious as I built the foundation to my authentic self. 

Even though as I built the foundation it felt natural, it was also terrifying. I was tearing down another house which contained the remnants of my male self. Over the years, I had worked so hard to cross dress and present as a macho male. I was successful. I gained a small family, a good job and all the trappings of a middle aged man. I was awarded the honorary title of "sir" whether I deserved it or not. I guess another example of impostor syndrome.

Now, lets get back to building a gender house. Obviously each wall involved quite a bit of work. Just moving from walking around and window shopping in malls evolved into interaction with clerks. From the shopping trips came having the courage to stop for lunch and attempt to order food and beverage. Looking back at the process now, it seems to have progressed fairly quickly. So quickly I decided for the first time to shed my inner image of being a cross dresser all the way to attempting to go to an upscale restaurant/ bar and interact as a woman. I will tell you jumping the wall was one of the most terrifying things I have done in my life. 

As I continued to build and expand my house, there always seemed to be the "what's next" problem. I was hanging out at a couple lesbian bars about this time. One was extremely non inviting, the other the opposite. The only reason I can see now for building this room was a desperation to be accepted which I wasn't in the male dominated gay venues where I lived. Very early on, I closed the drag queen room in my gender house. What's next quickly became going to large cis gender venues to watch sports and drink beer.  With my career in similar venues, becoming accepted by the staff was fairly easy. Be nice and tip well was my way to getting my foot in the door. In one of my regular stops I was even invited and went on a girls night out with several of the servers. Even though I was scared to death, I ended up learning key lessons interacting with other women.

Finally I came to a point where my house was built as far as I could get it. I had provided myself a quality second existence which rivaled my cross dressing male life. The next major wall I had to escape involved the major step of starting HRT or hormone replacement therapy. The problem was my wife of twenty five years who I loved deeply was deeply against it. Her rational was she didn't sign up to be with another woman. 

Then, in a prime example of life changing on a dime, I was destined to see the doors of my walls swing wide open and I could make the lifestyle moves I needed to do to fully transition and live in a feminine world. 

More on it later.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

The Path

Source: Cyrsti Hart

Over the years here in Cyrsti's Condo I have been amazed how many of the like minded transgender women I have encountered followed the same transition path as I did. Then again, I have ran into many trans women with totally different paths.

I have written a number of times how I used athletics to cover up the fact I really preferred being a girl. For example, being a football player kept the bullies away. Enough said. Perhaps what I haven't written so much about was my military service. Unlike so many others, I didn't voluntarily join the Army to make me a man, I was drafted during the Vietnam War. Guess what,  my time served still didn't help me to stay in my male closet. It only helped to reinforce what I already knew, I had a woman lurking to experience the world. In fact, the military provided me the opportunity to come out of my closet to three close friends for the first time in my life. When I told them I was a transvestite. 

Now we can fast forward through all the years of Halloween parties being the only opportunity to leave the closet and experience the world as my girl self. 

In the 1980's was the first time I could be aggressive and force my gender closet open and sample the world as a woman. As with any other tremendously difficult endeavor, my path had it's ups and downs. I was frustrated when I felt I was taking one step forward then two steps back. For example, when I felt I looked the feminine part, I would do something such as twist my ankle in heels. 

Finally I decided I needed a plan for my path.  Instead of meandering without a plan, I decided to begin a process which would lead to a transition...or not. Here is what worked for me. Plus, I need to point out, it was a different time to attempt to come out of the closet, so stick with me.

What I did was try my hand at so called "easy" places to pass in. I went to bookstores and shopped at women's clothing stores where all which really counted to the sales clerks was the color of my money. Emboldened by my success, then I expanded my trips to stopping and eating lunch. I still remember two of my favorite outfits. The first was a pastel green "business style" suit which I pared with pastel green hose and heels. The second was a black dressy jump suit with black pumps. Both outfits were worn with my long straight blond wig I loved so much. The end result was I blended well in the upscale malls I chose to go to. 

Even with all the so called success I was experiencing, there were downfalls also. Most came when I tried to do too much and ended up looking like a drag queen. I can't tell you how many times I went home in tears.  One day I even learned my lesson from one young girl I estimated to be four or five in a women's clothing store. As I turned the corner through another rack of clothes, we startled each other and she shouted to her Mom  "Look at the big woman!" I quickly thought  at least she saw me as a woman. But there was more. The girl went on to say "A big mean woman." Lesson learned. Wipe that male scowl off my face.

I tried also to challenge myself to accomplish different goals as I experimented surviving in a feminine world. 

It turned out my path would take several different branches before I arrived where I am today. Living full time as a transgender world with a successful relationship and an accepting daughter. More on it later. 

Friday, November 5, 2021

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Bond Girl

 This week end my partner Liz and I are planning to see the newest James Bond film. Thinking of going has brought back memories of the "Bond girl who was born a boy":

Caroline Cossey, also known as Tula, made headlines as the first transgender model to pose for Playboy magazine. Prominent throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, 

Cossey worked with major fashion magazines and small brands, even appearing topless in denim ads. Her big break came with a cover spread for Playboy in 1981, which led to her role as an extra in James Bond’s film For Your Eyes Only

After being outed by a British tabloid in 1991, she made a comeback by posing for Playboy again, this time in a solo spread that dubbed her a “beautiful woman who was born a boy.”

Of course I couldn't wait to grab a copy of "Playboy" to get my glimpse of this impossibly beautiful transgender woman.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

October Already?


 It's difficult to believe but October has arrived again. Around here at least, for the most part, the weather has done her part to welcome in the Fall season. 

Most importantly, October brings with it the very important Halloween holiday. At least it's a holiday of sorts to most novice transgender or crossdressing women. It's a chance to break out of closets everywhere and experience the world as your authentic self. Who you were born to be. 

I know Halloween was very important to me in my progression out of the closet. Through my so called "costumes", I learned many things including if I dressed appropriately, other people would mistake me for a woman. It took me awhile to understand how deeply ingrained my desire to lead a feminine life was. Finally, I came to the conclusion all those years I was living as a cross dresser alright, just not as a woman. I was cross dressing as a man.

Throughout the month of October I will try to share the most impactful Halloweens I experienced. Very quickly my thrill in presenting as a convincing woman came full circle. I found my impossible dream of living full time as a transgender woman may indeed be possible. 

Also, if you have a Halloween story, please send it along!

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Jayde

Photo Credit Jayde
 It's not often I get to feature a local transgender woman here in Cyrsti's Condo. This is Jayde and she lives in the Cincinnati metro area:

 

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Transgender Ally's

Saturday was National Daughters' Day. Along the way here in Cyrsti's Condo, I have not been shy writing about my daughters acceptance of her transgender parent. 

Liz (left) and my daughter. Credit Cyrsti Hart
I was fortunate when not only did my daughter accept me, she wanted to help me. On occasion she tried to go too far. She was going to help me with my wardrobe and appearance. As I recently wrote about, she gifted me an appointment to her decidedly upscale hair salon. As I said before she came with me and added another layer to me being equally excited and terrified. I distinctly remember the second time I went back for a cut and color and suffered the "sticker shock" of being presented a bill for 175 dollars, not including tip. Due to financial considerations, it was my last visit there! Plus, I moved away. 

Of course my most influential dealing with allies came when I started to actually present my feminine self to the world. I made a couple of cis woman friends through my dealings at a local sports bar I went to and met my current partner Liz on an on line dating site. Liz essentially became my most influential ally when she told me to live totally as a transgender woman because she had always seen me as a woman. 

Over the years though, not unlike almost everything else in the transgender world, allies have come under scrutiny. It's become more difficult for potential trans allies to comprehend the intricacies of pronoun usage as an example. Plus just imagine if you were on the outside looking in and trying to understand the always evolving alphabet in the LGBTQ+ spectrum. Then again, what if your child is trying to tell you they are gender fluid? 

Somewhere along the way I think we have lost some of our perspective on what an ally actually is. As in everything else in our world, being an ally evolves too.

In the meantime, I love my daughter Andrea and my partner Liz very much! 
  

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Fall has Fallen

 Finally it looks like what is called Indian Summer around here has come and gone. Indian summer describes the last gasp of summer like weather. It's always been a pleasant time for me, as it's the time I take to re-assess my fall wardrobe of light weight sweaters, leggings and even boots. 

Early Denim Skirt Picture
Credit: Cyrsti Hart
Early looks into my wardrobe tell me it's time to do some shopping. Not only do I need some new key pieces, I need some new jeans in a smaller size. The diet is working plus my hips are continuing to change due to hormone replacement therapy. Since my very early days of transgender transition, I have never liked the idea of extensive shapewear, Relying totally on the what you see is what you get theory. For the most part I think it worked. Plus my favorite outfit was a long patterned top paired with a jean skirt. Since everyone told me I had good legs it made sense to show them off. 

Even back then, I was doing dieting and managed to shed nearly fifty pounds from the 275 I weighed when I started to seriously transition, 

All of this takes me back to my current dilemma of having a fall wardrobe deficit. Thanks to my cats claws, she has effectively ruined several pairs of leggings which I wear. Leggings fortunately, are a relatively inexpensive replacement item. After deeper inspection, I found I could use a couple more sweaters to wear.  Since I am a big thrift store shopper, it may be time for another trip. 

Seasonal wardrobe changes have always been fun for me. One of my favorite times to be a transgender woman. Being full time as long as I have been now just adds to the challenges.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Transgender Talent

 Transgender Talent, the transgender owned and operated management and production company, is looking to help Hollywood get better at portraying transgender and nonbinary characters on screen with the launch of a new consulting arm.

The company, which represents talent including David Makes Man’s Jamie K. Brown and The Craft: Legacy’s Zoey Luna, has opened the consulting business to assist the entertainment industry’s drive to increase diversity and inclusion both in front of and behind the camera.

Run by Ann Thomas,(above) an activist, and second-generation transgender person who has worked on HLN series’ Transgender in America, the division is an expansion of its medical education division which educates and advises UCLA medical students on transgender patient care.

 

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

It's a Material World

And, as Madonna would say, I am a material girl. Then again, don't all of us have to be one way or another? Unless you are living off the grid and probably aren't reading this at all. 

Picture after first hair appointment
Credit: Cyrsti Hart
Actually, I am a very basic transgender woman. Give me a comfortable pair of jeans or leggings, add a tank top and tennis shoes and I am happy and secure as the transgender woman I am. Ironically as basic as I am, I still dress more femininely than my partner Liz who is a cis gender woman. Meaning she was assigned female at birth.

Backtracking a bit, when I first began to explore the feminine world in public, I was much more materialistic. All my accessories such as jewelry, purses, shoes etc. were so much more important to me. All my attention to detail worked too when I was complimented on my appearance by other women. 

All went well until I really started to transition, aided by the effect of hormone replacement therapy. One of the first changes that happened was I was fortunate and my hair really started to grow. So much so that my daughter gifted me my first visit to her upscale hair salon as a birthday present after I had come out to her. The visit remains in my mind as one of the most exciting yet scary experiences of my life as I crossed the gender frontier. Having to walk the "gauntlet" of women who had nothing else to do but to watch and judge me was amazing pressure to say the least. 

I learned too, it was a material world when all of the sudden I was paying to have someone else take care of my hair. My old twenty dollar haircuts at a barber shop were long gone. Also when I was going out, I had to learn there was a back to my head also. All those years of wearing a wig had spoiled me. Of course I could simply turn the wig around on it's stand and brush it out. 

Another of the main problems I faced as I MtF gender transitioned was the cost of trying to maintain two wardrobes. Along the way I was biased because shopping for the feminine side was so much more fun and satisfying. Once I settled into my feminine natural role and quit cross dressing as a guy, of course the costs went down.

I suppose it could be argued we all live in a material world. Transgender women may experience it all in such a unique way.
  

Saturday, September 4, 2021

One of my Faves

 Out of the many invisible Facebook friends I have, one of the ones who is not and I am absolutely fascinated with is Melonee Malone (no relation to Connie). In addition to being beautiful, she adds uplifting inspirational posts about surviving life as a transgender woman.

On this Labor Day weekend, here is Melonee: on a rainy morning in her native Wisconsin. 

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Life

9th Anniversary Dinner. Photo Credit Cyrsti Hart
 Looking ahead to the week I have coming up,  I began to think of my life as a whole. As I have mentioned before, I have two specifically female related medical procedures coming up. A mammogram and a bone density scan. Hopefully, I will have no issues. If I do with my breasts, I am sure my days of dealing with hormone replacement therapy are over.

But when you come right down to it, it's all part of life. Since I have nearly reached seventy two years of age, it is easily to realize life is but a circle. For all the lows, there are highs. 

Some would argue transgender women and men add a unique struggle to their lives. Of course I am biased and would totally agree. Crossing the gender barrier is brutal for the greatest majority of transgender people. It's not beyond life to throw you a curve ball. You have to start all over with a new life without your former family or even job.

It's no wonder I receive so many comments praising me on my "bravery". When I wasn't brave at all, I was just doing what I had to do to survive my life after a suicide attempt. I will say though, life became much easier after I managed to match my external cross dressing desires with my internal feminine being. It turned out all those years of thinking I was a guy cross dressing as a woman, the opposite was true. I was a woman cross dressing as a man. My only regret was it took me so long to accept the truth.

As I enter the twi-light of my life, I know I am blessed to have had a couple women along the way who guided my life. Especially my second wife who once told me to "Be man enough to be a woman." I wish I had been profound enough to say it as I was busily trying to destroy our relationship. Then there was my partner Liz who finally kicked me out of my closet.

Of course, one of the less profound things we humans do...is die. 

I just hope the funeral directors get my pronouns correct.



Thursday, August 19, 2021

Tracey "Africa" Norman


 “I’ve always said that the person that walks through the door first leaves the door cracked,” said Tracey Norman, the first African-American trans model to achieve prominence in the fashion industry.

 After a six-year tenure during the 1970s as the face of a new hair dye for Clairol, Norman changed her last name to Africa. She went on to model for major fashion magazines and beauty brands such as Avon and Ultra Sheen. In 1980, she was outed during a photoshoot, causing her career to hit a standstill. She has since made a resurgence in the drag ball industry and rejoined Clairol in 2016.