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

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Christmas Lessons

I have been saving a couple posts for the time when we came nearer to the Christmas holiday itself. All of them involved me taking advantage of the opportunities to gift shop for my wife. Essentially, I was doing the wrong thing by sneaking out behind her back for all the right reasons by finding her just the right gift. 


It just so happened she was into vintage gardening items so any trip to an antique mall was a great start into finding her a gift. Routinely I used to cross dress as my authentic self and make the trip to local and regional antique malls. I was fortunate in back in those days I brought home a good wage so I had spendable income to come up with a great gift or two.

What did I learn? Essentially two things. The first of which was the basic dress to blend plus I had to leave the heels behind for comfort when I was heading to the antique malls. However, on occasion I did go to an upscale mall over in Columbus, Ohio to shop for a new garden gift in a couple of  specialty garden stores. In fact, I often broke my own heels and hose rules. In my own way I was dressing to blend as many other women were dressed in a similar way.

Photo Annie Spratt (Unsplash)


One night which stands out in my memory was the time I ventured out to buy my wife an oak bookcase to match the roll top desk we previously purchased. My wife was working a closing shift  in the bookstore she managed so I could know where she would be and till what time. .For whatever reason, I chose my black pantsuit, flats, long blond wig, along with my full length black coat.  

As I headed back to Columbus, Ohio for my purchase, I knew exactly where I was going but my anxiety level was still at an all time high because I was fearing how I would be treated. 

I wondered on the other hand how I would ever be able to load such a large object in the car by myself. Little did I know I had nothing to worry about because the store had two young guys ready, willing and able to load my purchase.

I was treated to a thank you mam' and off I went with my purchase. I had to get it home before my wife returned from work. The trip took about a half hour one way and the best part was I was able to hide it in the garage away from prying eyes.

Maybe though, the best part was proving to myself I could exist successfully in a feminine world. Once again I had "survived" and could move forward again .

It turned out there were several other Christmas lessons to come.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Celebrity

 When I was first coming out into the world as a novice transgender woman. I did frequent several predominantly male gay venues. Both could have not been more different.

Photo Source: Cyrsti Hart
The one in my hometown was very little and contained a short bar and perhaps five or six tables in front of a stage they used for drag shows. The other was huge and was a former supper club in Dayton, Ohio called "Celebrity".  In the photo you see an overweight me on the left along with an acquaintance I made along the way.

I learned quite a bit in both venues. Both had pool (billiard) tables. It just so happened I was and still am terrible at pool. No, not just bad, terrible at pool. My Dad used to make my brother and I play it with him and literally always won. Since I always hated to lose, it followed I hated pool. 

None of that though stopped guys from urging me to shoot a game with them. It didn't take long for them to realize I wasn't kidding concerning my lack of ability and they left me alone. Except for one guy who wanted me to sit on a stool along the table and watch him play. It was very uncomfortable to balance while wearing a mini skirt, so the watching experiment didn't last long. All of this occurred after my wife had passed away. At that point I was single and had no time restraints. I suppose now, looking back at this time period of my life, I was trying to "pass" as an attractive woman in a male gay venue. Which was a contradiction in terms and/or goals. The reason being, very few cis women ever frequented gay venues so any one who resembled one was immediately labeled a drag queen. This was way before transgender women became recognized as a true part of the LGBTQ culture. 

Ironically, one of the reasons I enjoyed going to Celebrity's was being able to use the women's restroom. I mentioned before the venue was a supper club before it became a gay bar. It just happened to be the one I took my prom date to in high school. Of course, at the time I was completely envious of her being the one in the beautiful dress, with the corsage and heels. I could see no benefit of being in a tuxedo at all. At least when I went to Celebrity, I could use the same restroom she did that night. It was the only connection with prom I ever saw any positivity to at all.

I discovered also how little I enjoyed drag shows, except in a few minor cases when I made it a point to bring cash (remember that?) with me to tip the entertainers I did enjoy. Those were the ones who put together an impossibly feminine mystique.

Both of the male gay venues didn't last long with me. As I started to expand where I was going into other venues, the music and clientele just didn't fit with me. Finally I started to go to lesbian bars and even straight cis venues when I was starting to struggle to even getting served in the male bars.

All of those feelings will be written about in posts which are coming up.

  



Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Fun on a Motorcycle?

 Actually I didn't have any fun with my imagined wig hair (back then) blowing in the wind plus having my hands wrapped tightly around my new crush's waist. I was never able to beg my way into a ride and I never tried. I'm sure you remember the post I wrote about the experience. 

Long time Cyrsti's Condo reader (and co-founder) Connie Malone does and commented:

I've known you long enough that I recall discussing with you what to do about the biker guy at the time. It was fun girl talk, with lots of anticipation. Although it wasn't a fairy tale ending, it still created much drama.


Photo Courtesy of
Connie Malone 


The banana thing never appealed to me (intended). I guess I'm penis- averse in general, and even more so concerning my own. I have been asked for dates a number of times, let alone the numerous hits I've had to endure - mostly on the unsavory side. I did meet with a fellow band member for dinner one night before a rehearsal, but it wasn't really a date. He was just a really nice guy who totally accepted me when I came out to the band (a whole story in itself), and we met as friends. I remember sitting with him in the crowded restaurant, amazed that he was so comfortable being with a trans woman in public. Of course, it was fairly early in my transition, so I wasn't really so comfortable being in public, myself. By all appearances, we must have been perceived to be on a date by others, and I was even more amazed that nobody was staring at us. It was one of those validating experiences that added to my confidence, at any rate.


Of course, having been faithfully married to my wife for 49 1/2 years has a lot to do with any choices I would make in the dating (or beyond) department."

Thanks Connie for the comment. I say in essence she was the co founder here is because I was sharing coming out experiences with her and she suggested I write a blog. Back in those days, I didn't even know what a blog was, so I had to research it.

In addition, I too had a couple dates with men who went out of their way to make me feel feminine. Outside of the sexual side of being with men, I tried to learn communication skills which would help me on a date. Naturally, I was scared to death but survived anyhow. One of the men in particular wasn't from the area which I lived, so he was just passing through (as I hoped I was) when we went on a dinner date. The other I left up to him to contact me if he wanted to but he never did. Ironically, I was a regular in the two places we went and received great service and knowing looks from the servers I knew. My rule of thumb always was have a good attitude and tip well and it worked.

Speaking or writing about male crushes, I was pleasantly surprised to be able to watch one of my all time favorite male screen crushes on Turner Classic Movies. For some reason, I always have been fascinated with the WWII era and earlier and Robert Mitchum was my male crush way before I knew I was allowed to have one.
Robert Mitchum
Of course, any ideas of having a male crush were stifled and mis-understood. To the point I couldn't even dream of him for fear of what was happening to me. It all makes sense now why I didn't really crush on any famous cis women celebrities. Of course I wanted to look like them but did not desire them sexually.  

It was all part of my gender puzzle I have written about in the recent past.

As far as motorcycles go, without a doubt I am sure Robert Mitchum would look great on one. Plus I am sure Connie was a suburb dinner date. As far as I am concerned, I was single during the dates I wrote about. So now I wouldn't even consider such a move.

It's always fun to consider the "what if's" of life and how everything turned on a dime (or quarter). 

Monday, December 13, 2021

Brave...or Smart?

 Recently GB responded to a post I wrote concerning coming out as "bravery" Which in turn came from an Anna comment. Confused yet? Don't be, here is the comment:

Unsplash image: Sharon 
McCutcheon


"Yes, I understand completely. How can it be bravery when we have no choice? And yet, coming from a typical social perspective, what we do as trans people is nothing but heroic, and yes, it is brave. Talk about strength. Trans people are the strongest people I know. When your core foundational identity is rocked as it is for all trans people, and you still manage to survive, sometimes thrive, it is a beautiful miracle.

And regarding your thoughts on giving up male privilege, I think there is a lot to explore here. I was with one of my longest female friends recently and we talked about white male privilege and what it meant to give that up as a trans person...and I have been wondering about this a lot as I meet people from different ages, races, creeds and seeing how they react to me...and what I am finding is that people who are oppressed are more encouraging to me on this journey than other white men.."

Thank you for the comment and I did neglect mentioning white privilege in the post. Indeed it is a huge part of what I was trying to write about. On the other hand, I don't feel I am qualified to write about pressing racial issues because I did grow up and later lived with my white privilege

I did enjoy your comment which said "When your core foundational identity is rocked as it is for all transgender people, and you still survive, sometimes thrive, it is a beautiful miracle." The only idea I could add is we transgender people are able to finally thrive is because we are finally able to live as our authentic selves. 

Giving up our white male privilege is but a small price to pay to be able to achieve a gender transformation. There are those who argue there are female privileges' also and I think the future is female but in the meantime there are still too many male privileges' such as personal security to consider. In fact, you could be the brave one if you don't consider your surroundings when you begin to explore the feminine world for the first time. Just take the time to research the number of transgender violent assaults and use the numbers to be more careful. Cis women have the benefit of growing up with the knowledge of not having personal security and learning to the best of their ability to deal with it. I have my own personal experiences of being in the wrong place at the wrong time when I was first entering the feminine world. I will share them at another time but to make a long story short, I escaped with no violence and I learned. 

Finally, I believe many white men are feeling the potential loss of their shallow male privileges and are more likely to be less into supporting other transgender women who have "joined the other other gender team." Plus men are likely to have a more fragile idea of their sexuality and aren't brave enough to experiment with change. 

I know I have covered quite a bit of ground with this post but bottom line is don't confuse bravery with ignorance. Be careful, learn your lessons and build a new life.    

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Masks

 Another Cyrsti's Condo reader I have been in contact with over the years wrote in and commented on her feelings about applying makeup. Her name is Mandy and she lives on the East coast of the United States. Over the years she had been able to survive balancing her life in a feminine world along with living with a spouse and having young grand children.  

In the comment (thanks), she said she viewed the whole process as applying a mask. Admittingly I think she is right in many ways. I know back in the day when I first started experimenting with basic makeup skills it was a process. Something I had seen my own Mom do so effortlessly with her own makeup proved to be so difficult. Of course there are no pictures but I am sure "clown like" would be applicable. 

Photo credit: Chalo  Garcia (Unsplash)
Cis model with mask

Still I endured, bought my own makeup and embarked on a process of improving my makeup skills. Slowly but surely I was able to improve my "masking" skills. 

When you think about it, all women (cis or transgender) use makeup as a mask. These days, much to the chagrin of many transgender and/or crossdressers, women have moved to a more natural look. Which means much less makeup. I noticed an example as another much younger woman stood in line ahead of me at the dentists' office. She was wearing very little makeup except mascara and perhaps lip gloss. Of course with her youthful flawless complexion she didn't need any mask. Her whole demeanor screamed female. I was envious in that I had to put much more work into my feminine presentation. 

Unknown to me however was what kind of skin care routine she used. I am fortunate in that I was able to "sneak" in my own personal skin care routine. The act of shaving probably provided me the greatest benefit when I was able to exfoliate old skin cells and replace them with new ones. Then I was able to convince my wife I needed a moisturizer to help me with razor burn. In fact, one of the biggest recommendations I can make to novice transgender - cross dressers is take care of your skin. The second is watch your weight. It is a real possibility you will be able to present better as your feminine self if you follow those rules. Your "mask" will come along with practice.

These days locating help with your mask is easier to find. If you live near big urban areas at all, makeup specialty stores often are happy to help you with tips. There is so much to consider with contouring and color.

I was fortunate enough also to be able to undertake hormone replacement therapy, which really helped to smooth out and soften my skin. Plus age alone aided my transition. I was of the age where the binary genders have a tendency to blur. 

Whatever your case , I hope you can adapt to wearing a makeup mask and it helps you lead a quality life. If not, remember it's a marathon not a sprint. Just keep working and don't get discouraged.      

Friday, December 10, 2021

More Comments on Passing

 First of all, a big WOW and thanks to all of you who took the time and effort to write in and comment on recent posts. The first  comes from Connie:

Photo courtesy Connie Malone
"So, I went out to grocery shop to get my booster vaccine. I was quite presentable in my hair, dress and makeup, and was feeling even a little pretty. At the grocery checkout, though, there was a discrepancy in the total, and it took three employees to figure it out. During their discussion, among themselves, I was referred to as "he" twice. I guess that answers any question as to my passing. It had been over two years (maybe three) since I was last mis-gendered, but the sting still hurts and kinda messes up my day. The employee who mis-gendered me had always been so friendly and accommodating in the numerous encounters we'd had in the past. 

The one thing that is common among cis people is that they don't very often give their gender much thought at all. I have been getting myself to that point, as well, but it's taken many years so far. As confident as I have become with myself, though, I guess I've not attained everything I've worked to achieve. 

The only positive here is that the hurt does not last as long as it used to. Big girl panties may not be enough; at my age, I should probably be in granny panties. I did get some redemption when the immunization coordinator at the drug store did not hesitate to check the female gender box on the form. The only bad thing about the experience there is that I ended up having a bad reaction to the booster, and I've been awfully sick for the past two days. Or, maybe it was the first experience at the grocery store that made me sick? :-("

That is unfortunate! I think sometimes when I think I am most presentable is when I let my gender guard down and cis people mis-gender me. I am a strong believer in the "aura" a person gives off in everyday life. So in situations with strangers I try to remember to input feminine on them. Seems to work for me.

The second comment comes from Emily:

"I came upon your writings through Femulate. Really appreciate your acknowledgement that some of us pass most or all of the time.

Some sites claim that is impossible which causes a turn-off for newbies. It also indicates a lack of self confidence on the part of the author and/or laziness to do the work.

Some of your other writings discuss friendships with women --I have found that most come around very quickly. Most men remain turned off"

Thanks Emily and welcome. Yes I have always thought the great majority of us can "pass" most of the time if they put a little work into doing it. What I mean is, take the time to learn a little of the feminine arts such as makeup and clothes. Maybe attempt to lose a little weight and strive for the closest possible shave. It's never easy but is worth it. Others may not take into consideration the years of error and trial which went into being where we are today. 

Photo Courtesy Paula  

The third comment comes from Paula : 

The whole question of passing will never go away. Not even just in the trans world, I hear my gay friends talking about passing as straight, and friends with Asian heritage as passing as white. Does this mean it's about claiming inherent privilege we are not entitled to?

On a personal level I am quite sure that I never pass, especially as soon as I open my mouth! Having said that the vast majority of the time I am not noticed, these days I have a self confidence I have NEVER had before, now I just go about my business as me and nobody notices. I fear it is when we try too hard that we get noticed and give ourselves away. It is only when I glam up that people notice, that I start to get the comment like "You've got great legs" with the unspoken "for a man".

I suspect that the situation may be different here in the UK with very many staying with support groups long after their own transition, It is a sorrow to me that I will be missing two meetings in a row due to other, work commitments.

Thanks to you Paula. I agree once you can get to the point of being able to just live your life as your authentic self, most of the other pieces of the gender puzzle come together. Which could be a topic for another post!




Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Now What? An Adventure in Sexuality

 


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 2, 2021

The Funniest Transgender Mean Girl

 

If you don’t have Peacock, there’s a good chance you’ve missed out on one of the best high school shows on TV right now: Saved by the Bell.

The reboot of the classic teen sitcom not only features most of the original cast, now as adults, but has a great cast of young actors playing current Bayside High students. One of those is Josie Totah, a young actress you might recognize from the film Moxie or Big Mouth. She plays Lexi, a popular girl and cheerleader at the school who is also trans.

Totah’s character is easily the funniest on the show, which is filled with hilarious characters and young actors. The series really knows how to balance her bitchy, mean-girl attitude and privilege with hilariously self-aware trans jokes.

Another highlight of the show is Lexi’s relationship with her boyfriend Jamie (the son of original Saved by the Bell character Jessie Spano). The two have been best friends since childhood, and Lexi regularly has to face her insecurities about the relationship.

The new season is currently streaming on Peacock.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

No Diet Saturday

Yesterday was one of our trips up north to Dayton, Ohio for what amounts to my daughter's Thanksgiving get together. It actually is put together by her Mother in Law.  Since the family get together is not my first rodeo, I knew what to expect. Fortunately, I am nearly totally accepted by everyone. Including my first wife who I maintain a cordial relationship with. 

With the embarrassing spread of food and the holiday, both Liz and I called off the strict diet we have been strictly following. I called it short term pleasure because it will be so much harder to resume the diet which we have pledged to do after the left overs are gone. 

However, thanks to the diet I think I was able to present myself well in my boots, leggings and form fitting black blouse.  I was able to only be miss-gendered one and a half times during the long afternoon. The mother in law seems to always comes up with the infamous he...she comment. At least she corrects herself in mid sentence. Always. The other time came from my first wife when she was describing a wreck I had which nearly killed my brother and I. I just let that slide because she is a little ditzy. 

Then there were the grandkids who accept me totally. What a treasure! I have three. One of which is highly androgynous and is a sophomore at The Ohio State University who took an exceedingly rare football beating from rival Xichigan. 

On occasion there are pictures which surface later. If there are I will share them with you. 

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Giving Thanks


For many in the United States Thanksgiving is a bittersweet holiday. Especially in the transgender community. I am an example.

Over the years my deceased wife hosted the family for a Thanksgiving feast. Our door was open also to my employees who may not have a family to celebrate with. To put it all in perspective, one big turkey was never enough. Through it all, after my parents passed away, my extended family was my brother, his two sons and the kids of theirs (and mine) who followed. We had a big house I was restoring so we had a large space to set up in and all were still welcome.

For the most part these were fond memories until I transitioned. By this time my wife had passed away and the dinner had moved to my brother's house. Before I showed up as my authentic self for Thanksgiving, I called and talked to my brother. He said in essence he would always refer to me as my old self and he would get back with me concerning having an invitation at all. He never did and I never looked back. After all his in-laws were all right wing Southern Baptists. I guess he didn't want to stand up for me.

As I said, I never looked back. I found myself firmly entrenched in my partner Liz's family plus I was welcome in my accepting daughter's extended family. 

I know so  many in the LGBTQ community aren't so fortunate. Too  many are ostracized from their families and previous friends. Now it's not uncommon to refer to other "non-blood" folks as new family.

Whatever it takes, I hope you all are able to take a moment and celebrate your blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for stopping by Cyrsti's Condo! I truly appreciate it.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

The A List


 As I was writing this post I considered calling it the "Alpha Female" At any rate, the whole post goes back to my earliest remembrances of coming out and interacting with like minded cross dressers. Or at least I thought they were. 

What I naively thought was all sp called hetero cross dressers would be one big happy family, happy to mingle with others in their feminine finery. I was in for a rude awakening. 

First of all, there were what I call now the "deniers" . I saw guys in dresses and heels topped off with a cigar (before it was cool) and a cowboy hat. They were doing their best to dissuade anyone they were fond of their feminine selves. I learned quickly I didn't fit in with their group. I was serious in putting my best foot forward. Normally in heels back in those days. More on that later.

In the meantime, I was fascinated with the other attendees to the "mixer". The group ranged from the cowboy hats (not Urban Cowboy) types all the way to impossibly feminine types who I didn't detect any masculinity in at all. Ironically, even though I am impossibly shy around people I don't know, I didn't feel I really fit in with any of the small groups I was observing. Except for possibly one.

The group I didn't mention was who I call the "A Listers". Or they considered themselves to be the best in looks and the best in social activities in the group. While the majority of the group stayed huddled in the hotel, the "A's" went out to gay venues to entertain themselves. Even though I didn't perceive myself to be their equal in appearance, I certainly wanted to tag along when they went out. I was determined even back in those days to allow my feminine self to sample the world whenever I could. So I did.

For the most part, excuse the term, they were bitches and didn't accept me much but I didn't care. I was there for me, not them.

Ironically all of my tagging along worked one night. Earlier in the evening the main group brought in makeup experts for advice to anyone who wanted it. I through my makeup to the wind, pulled up my big girl panties and volunteered. The guy who worked on my looks performed wonders! Easily he did much better than I could have ever imagined. I thought now, bring on the "A's".

It turned out I tagged along per norm to the first gay venue we always went to then, even went to a second. The second place was more subdued and was more like the neighborhood taverns I was used to. As the "A's" positioned themselves at the bar, I headed for the pinball machines. As luck would have it, It was time for Cinderella to turn in her heels and head back to the hotel. 

Before we left though, a guy approached me at the pin ball game and asked if he could buy me a drink. I ended up telling him no but the "A's" noticed and that was important too. I was accepted by at least one of them for the very few times I could attend another mixer in the future. I ended up attending several parties at her house in Columbus, Ohio. Most of which with my wife so she kept track of me. All material for another blog post.

It is important to say I never felt a part of the "A's" and as time progressed I learned why. The so called LGBTQ community doesn't have much to do with the transgender part of group. In fact I learned the hard way how many of the trans group have a hard time dealing with each other.  Indeed we are a multi faceted group.

One thing is for sure all these years later, I just couldn't fit in with the "A's" and it's one of the reasons I try to be accepting of both cross dressers as well as trans women.


Stairsteps

 Over the years I have thought about my transgender transition as climbing a hill. then sliding down. Recently though, I have began to consider it as more of a trip up  a gender stairwell.

My first steps could have been the hardest. I had to live through the unmistakable urge to try on any or all of my Mom's clothes I could squeeze into. This step produced many feelings including confusion, fear and elation. This step was destined to last many years as I desperately tried to understand ad hide my inner feelings'

The next step brought with it the realization I wanted to be so much more than look like that girl I was seeing in the mirror. I didn't understand it fully at the time but I wanted to be the girl  staring back at me. All of a sudden, the feeling of wearing the clothes and the makeup faded away and a new deep longing settled in. 

Ironically the next several steps became steeper and blended in. As I became more experienced in the makeup arts and was able to build my own small collection of women's clothing, I am of the opinion I paused on these steps to look around and see where I was located. I did know, as far as my gender issues were concerned, not one thing had improved. I still would wake up in the morning wondering if
I wanted to spend the day cross dressed as a male or enter m more natural gender (feminine). Unfortunately, there was little I could do about it.

Years later, I was able to take giant steps and actually climb up and see if living a more natural life for me in a women's world was possible at all. It was around this time the internet was taking hold and I discovered new exciting terms such as transgender. It was on this step also when I began to attend "transvestite" mixers and actually learn from people who were close to being just like me. I remember awaiting my new copy of "Transvestia" magazine. What turned out from this step was a deep encouragement to take another. 

The next steps were the Halloween parties I attended. They all taught me yes I could present well enough as a woman to possibly get by in society. I have written in depth about them here in the past but briefly I can write all these steps were doing were creating more doubts about my ability to continue living a false life as a guy at all.

As I continued up my stairs, the newest landing, found me increasingly exploring the feminine world. I was leaving behind any ideas of being "just" a cross dresser and began exploring again the wild wonderful world of living as my authentic self. Although there is nothing at all wrong with being a cross dresser. At this point,  new steps brought me into a new feminine world of communication as well as losing my male privileges. As I reached these lofty gender heights, I had many fears of losing what remained of my life. Through it all, it seemed I had built a back stairway to use as a gender escape back to my old male life. Which made things worse and life unlivable at times. 

This all brings me to my final step which happened nearly seven years ago. I decided to give up my partial male cross dressing and live my life full time as my authentic self...a transgender woman. It was around this time too I started hormone replacement therapy to transform my body.

Finally after years of severe gender dysphoria I was able to tear down my back stairway and never looked back.  

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

And the Winner is Transgender

 

Amy Schneider, a trans woman from Oakland, will make her fourth “Jeopardy!” appearance Monday after winning three games last week during Trans Awareness Week

.After her victory on Friday’s show, she told Newsweek that she had been trying to get on the show for over a decade. 

“I’m not sure quite how long [ago I first applied], but I remember trying out when I still lived in Ohio, and I’ve lived in Oakland since 2009, so it has to have been at least that amount of time,” she said. 

Schneider also explained how her transition in 2017 might have helped her finally get a spot on the show. 

“The reality is that for the first few years of that, when I was trying out, I was, as far as any of us knew, a standard white guy,” she told the magazine. “And there’s just more competition for those slots on Jeopardy! They’re making a TV show, they don’t want everybody to look the same, and I looked a lot like many of the other contestants, and I think that definitely made it a little tougher for me at that time. I would have got on eventually — I was never gonna stop trying!”

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Tennis Anyone?


This is another of my continuing series of posts revolving around chances I took cross dressing my way into becoming a transgender woman and living fulltime in a feminine world. 

In the restaurant/bar I used to manage, two cis women who I presumed were in their fifties, came in several days a week to enjoy a cocktail or two. During the warmer months they used to stop by after their tennis matches in their tennis outfits. Of course I was jealous of the fact I didn't have an outfit to match theirs.

Around the point in time I am writing about, the stores I loved to shop in started to carry short thin ribbed flared dresses in larger sizes. Perfect to put together a tennis outfit. All I needed to do was find a white one. As luck would have it, I found one in my size. I then set out to complete my "outfit". The problem I had was finding items and then hiding them from my wife. As luck would have it, we had a rarely visited other closet where I could hide an item. Often in plain sight. 

Now, back to the outfit. Finding a pair of white tennis shoes in my size actually proved to be fairly easy too. Now I had to figure out what to do about my legs. Even though I was able to shave my legs back then I added a pair of Leggs pantyhose and even added a pair of white thigh highs which didn't exactly fit the idea of what a cis woman would wear with a tennis outfit but still added some pizzaz to the whole image. After all, I was reliving my non existent teen girl years I missed. 

I finished off the whole tennis image with my long straight blonde wig.

Let me add in here, I had rarely even touched a tennis racket in my life so I would be without one when I went out.  Once I was secure (the best I could) in my tennis woman outfit, I headed out to one of my favorite up scale malls. My wife was working that day so I had free time on my hands. Once I arrived at the mall, I was able to semi relax and feel the air on my legs and I found also I attracted quite a bit of attention from the older men who seemingly were there to supposedly walk but probably to look at women too. 

The whole situation was I equated being stared at as validation as a woman. I was  to learn later in life it was so wrong. There is a thin line between being classy and trashy when you are first cross dressing in public. I'm afraid I crossed the line into trashy in my early days of journeying into a feminine world. If my tennis outfit crossed into trashy I can't tell you. It was so long ago.

My story is I was doing nothing different  than other cis women I had mentioned above. It was only another attempt to be just like them. 

Tennis was just an excuse.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

As My Blog Gently Weeps...Again

Sadly, it's time for remembering all our transgender sisters and brothers who have perished. For those of you who don't know:

 Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is an annual observance on November 20 that honors the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.

"Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence. I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transgender people -- sometimes in the most brutal ways possible -- it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice."
- Transgender Day of Remembrance founder Gwendolyn Ann Smith
46 trans & gender non-conforming have been killed this year making it the deadliest since this started being tracked back in 2013. These are their names...Tyianna Alexander, Samuel Edmund Damián Valentín, Bianca "Muffin" Bankz, Dominique Jackson, Fifty Bandz, Alexus Braxton, Chyna Carrillo, Jeffrey "JJ" Bright, Jasmine Cannady, Jenna Franks, Diamond Kyree Sanders, Rayanna Pardo, Jaida Peterson, Dominique Lucious, Remy Fennell, Tiara Banks, Natalia Smut, Iris Santos, Tiffany Thomas, Keri Washington, Whispering Wind Bear Spirit, Sophie Vásquez, Danika "Danny" Henson, Serenity Hollis, Oliver "Ollie" Taylor, Thomas Hardin, Poe Black, EJ Boykin, Aidelen Evans, Taya Ashton, Shai Vanderpump, Tierramarie Lewis, Miss CoCo, Pooh Johnson, Disaya Monaee, Brianna Hamilton, Kiér Laprí Kartier, Mel Groves, Royal Poetical Starz, Zoella "Zoey" Rose Martinez, Jo Acker, Jessi Hart, Rikkey Outumuro, Marquiisha Lawrence, Jenny De Leon, Jahaira DeAlto.
Each and every name read and recognized on the Trans Day of Remembrance represented a full, rich life that did not deserve to be cut short. The rhetoric and stigma aimed by anti-equality political leaders and public figures at transgender and non-binary people have led to an unprecedented level of horrific violence against our transgender community. We must fight for change. We must dismantle this stigma. We must bring this epidemic of violence to an end.
No photo description available.



Friday, November 19, 2021

Well, It was a Good Idea

 As I previously wrote about, yesterday was the day of the college class I was supposed to attend with several other LGBTQ board members of the group I am part of. 

As it turned out, I drove an hour and fifteen minutes one way to not ever locate the classroom I was looking for. 

Needless to say, I was deeply disappointed. 

Better luck next time.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

More Makeup Magic

 

Photo: Cyrsti Hart

Georgette wrote in and commented on my recent "Makeup Magic" post which delved into powerful memories of shopping for and trying to use my own makeup which I had saved up for from my meager allowance as well as my paper route money:

"I remember those days of going thru my mother's dresser drawers, And wondering what some of it was for, My mother hardly ever used much makeup, I don't know what they put in them but the red lipsticks didn't easily wash off, I developed a habit of biting my lips to have an excuse of why they were reddish.

My first time buying something for myself was in the mid 60's. My mother only wore stockings and so many of the other girls in my age were into some of the newer pattern pantyhose. That first store bought item of MINE. I had also gotten a plain pair of flats shoes. I was so happy and proud as they were mine and not borrowed from my mother. "

Thanks for the comment! As luck would have it, I was able to find a pair of women's shoes which fit and I cherished them for as long as I could before sadly I outgrew them. 

I also distinctly remember having my own wig was the impossible dream and it would be years before I could do anything about it. In fact, there were several "impossible dreams" I conquered on my path along the gender divide which I will write about in another post.


Friday, November 12, 2021

Another Transgender First

 

 Nevada Democrat Kimi Cole wants to become the country's first openly transgender politician elected to a statewide office.

Cole, who chairs the Nevada Democratic Rural Caucus, announced plans to run for lieutenant governor in Nevada on Wednesday at an event in the state capital.

“I don’t want to make a big issue about my background as such,” Cole said Thursday in an interview with The Associated Press, noting the barrier-breaking potential of her candidacy. “We have really pressing issues in this country. To be able to assess them, address them and take care of them is going to take a lot of conscientious effort.”

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

All Quiet

 For once I am happy to write it's all quiet on the gender front around here. It's like I am some sort of vacation.

Yesterday I had my virtual therapist appointment and we talked about almost everything but my gender dysphoria. Rarely do I feel comfortable in my own skin, now it seems I have a brief respite from my gender dysphoria. Finally a chance to breathe deeply and recharge myself. 



Of course I have asked the question why now? I feel as if several factors are coming into play. The first of which is I feel good with the path my hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has taken me. My hips are continuing to develop as I have taken the torso mass down with the diet Liz and I are on. To refresh your memories, the diet is no joke as it cuts out all sugar and flour from our diet. Conservatively, I have taken off twenty five plus pounds. Liz and I are heading to my daughter's in laws for Thanksgiving, so I am anxious to show off my developing feminine figure. My first wife will be there and she has become quite heavy so I want to show off for her. I shouldn't be too evil though because the last time I saw her, she commented how good I was looking. 


As we all know, looks aren't everything when it comes to gender dysphoria. As I told my therapist, I am feeling better because of my interaction with the public. The last time we went out to dinner, I had no problem communicating with the server and he didn't seem to have any negative problems with me. Of course we don't go out much anymore and most of the time we still wear a mask so the chances of interaction are slim. In a couple weeks I will be part of a group presenting to a master's level sociology class at nearby Miami University of Ohio. So I will have the chance to really get out in public. 

The problem I have is waiting for the other shoe to drop. What I am referring to is waiting for my dysphoria to return. I have lived with it for most of my long life and it has become a part of me. Plus I have never been one to face life on it's own terms without questioning what is around the next corner.

Perhaps also I am moving past gender dysphoria into some sort of impostor syndrome stage of my life. Deep down do I feel even though I may look/act the feminine role, have I earned the right to be here. To be clear, I have because I went through all the changes which cis women experience, Mine were just different. I have always felt women just didn't become women because they were born into it. They had to grow and become women. Just like some boys actually become men. 

All in all, it's too early to speculate if I have any impostor's syndrome. In the meantime, I am going to try to enjoy my quiet period the best I can.   

Monday, November 8, 2021

The Magic of Makeup


 Most certainly one of the most bewildering ,yet on occasion fun part in a transgender woman's transition is making yourself up. Of course, very early in the transition game, the importance of attempting to align your external source with your authentic self becomes very important. 

I remember back to the earliest days of rummaging through my Mom's makeup drawer and "borrowing" certain items I had seen her use such as lipstick and eye shadow. The challenge always was to use the items and put them back so well she would never notice. She never mentioned it, so perhaps I was careful enough to get by. 

All of this took place during the 1950's and I lived in a rural area where I was able to deliver news papers for extra money. I saved my paper route money and combined it with the small allowance I received for doing chores around the house and actually had enough money saved to purchase my own makeup. Having the money was one thing but finding a place to spend it and buy makeup was another.

Those days were way before the advent of any makeup specialty stores. The closest I could afford and find away in town to go to were a couple of the old "five and dimes" department stores. They featured a small selection of many items (including makeup) a lunch counter as well as other items. I was even able to find me a pair of women's shoes I cherished on one of my shopping excursions. 

Another problem I encountered was how was I going to get to the stores I wanted to shop at plus once I was there, having the courage to actually go in and search for makeup. I was able to overcome the transportation issue by spending the night at my grandma's house. She lived very close to downtown where the stores were located. I could walk and pick out my hard earned treasures. 

As I wrote, I vividly remember the fear or out right panic I felt the first time I gathered the courage to go in the store and shop. I ended up feeling very relieved when I finally reached the makeup section...until I saw the selections which were available. I thought, now what? My plan had been to briskly walk in, pick out a couple makeup items, head back to the checkout counter and leave. My plans did not include a lengthy stay to shop. 

Through it all, I stayed the course and purchased a couple of items. I was certain the whole world was staring at me but they weren't. I survived the checkout counter and headed back to my grandma's.

Little did I know  from my humble beginnings at the makeup counter, I would have many more occasions to feel nervous. Over the years I would have much more error than trial when it came to applying my own makeup. Finally the internet came along and I was able to study makeup tutorials and improve my craft. 

Ironically I became so skilled my two wives (who wore very little makeup) would come to me for advice when they wanted to dress up. 

When I became very serious about transitioning was when I attempted to take my makeup to another level,. During this period I was desperately trying to blend in with the professional woman and proper makeup was a necessity. 

These days I have basically gone full circle with my makeup. Thanks to the results of hormone replacement therapy and age, my skin has softened and the angles of my face have rounded, Naturally, I need less makeup when we go out although I still wear more than Liz. Since Liz is a former "Avon" makeup sales person, she still retains a knowledge of the artform.

She has been threatening to do a makeup job on both of us before we go out. I can't wait for her to work her magic.