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

Monday, August 15, 2022

A Break in the Weather

 

Image courtesy Mike Tolliver
on Unsplash

The hot and steamy non airconditioned weather I have faced for most of the summer has finally given way to lesser humidity and lower temperatures. Oddly enough the climate change has helped to give me a break from my gender dysphoria, without an influx of gender euphoria. I rarely have very many moments of inner peace but have had a few lately. Perhaps it is just the lull before the storm.

When the VA gets it scheduled my Mammogram will be coming up relatively soon I hope. Plus, I also have my latest Covid booster shot coming up at the end of the month. 

Then there is the wedding to plan for. Between now and October 16th we still have quite a bit to do. What could be interesting is when we go to the courthouse to finish and submit the legal process. My mind tells me not to fully expect a flawless afternoon. Between the usual legal trip it will be interesting to see if my transgender status plays into the process at all. My legal documents all say female so we are attempting a same sex marriage, which in the City of Cincinnati "shouldn't" be much of a problem. After we celebrate with a cocktail (or two) it will be time to move on to what sort of ring do I want and what am I going to wear. Of course, Liz already has ordered and received her outfit. No pressure on me? Right!

Also I neglected to mention I have my birthday mixed in in October and sooner more than later I will have to check back in with my VA health clinic to set up an optometrists appointment and reset several prescriptions I have which are expiring. My only problem is the clinic itself. Overall, except for my last phone call which the person referred to me as "Ms. Hart",  not many others in the clinic have been gender friendly. As I have mentioned in a previous post, I have had enough and will start taking names and reporting people. At sometime also I have to pursue their (VA) help in obtaining a handicapped parking pass which increasingly I am needing. 

I know to those of you who lead regular non retired lives this perhaps doesn't sound like much but when you throw in the sometimes unexpected responses you get when you are transgender, life can become a little dicey. I am so fortunate to have such a "gender warrior" such as Liz by my side when the going could get a bit tough. She is quick to step in and correct the occasional person who refers to me with a male pronoun. 

In the meantime I have started up my walks again to attempt to build up my much needed physical stamina and will continue them as long as I can weather permitting.   

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Answer to a Transgender Guestion

Image from Unsplash 

Yesterday I wrote a post asking the question "What is a Transgender Woman." 

Today I received this wonderful response through my Medium writers format from Jas Martinez: 

"  Gender identity of a female? Not all females have a gender identity of a female. There has to be, there probably will be a better definition in the near future. There are trans people that label themselves trans women, however many of them are simply trans people that cross dress. I guess I am a gatekeeper is sorts. A trans woman is a trans person who lives full time as woman, has legally changed their name and is on HRT to be recognized or assumed to be a cis-woman. It’s the same as being a veteran.

To be recognized as a veteran one must have served in the military. To be recognized as a surgeon one must have graduated medical school, be licensed and actually perform surgeries. Label yourself any way you want but those are only words. To be a trans woman one has to live the part."

Thanks for the comment! There were so many to choose from. The only part I would disagree with is the portion which said HRT was a needed to be a transgender woman. I know several transgender women who live quite well as their authentic selves without going the HRT route. One in particular is Connie who can't because of medical issues and the other I believe is "Stana" from the Femulate blog.

On the other hand I agree not all females have the gender identity of a female. My partner (and future wife) Liz is way more masculine than I am and can't wait to call me "Mrs. Hart". I asked her the why's of being a transgender woman and she replied a trans woman was/is a person who knows where she came from and knows where she is going, even if she doesn't know the exact path.

Interestingly, Liz thinks too many transitioning novice transgender women have too difficult a time letting go of their old male privilege's. Growth doesn't happen over night and a person needs time to grow into their authentic selves woman or man.

Then Lauren added another comment:

"Yes JJ, gotta love the haters, it's really hard when they're family members who refuse to acknowledge or accept you. How do you reply to someone who says: "I don't understand and frankly, I don't want to understand, what you're doing is wrong!"

The answer, you don't really. you walk away and the relationship is over. Hard but necessary. They just can't get it through their thick skulls we are born this way and have been since we were children. It's just wrong."

Thanks to you Lauren and for the rest of you just to confuse everyone I decided to write Medium under my legal name change JJ or Jessie. Plus as far as haters are concerned, my very own brother falls under a person I just had to walk away from. Sadly.

I love comments and wish I could answer more of them in actual posts but it is difficult to do. Thanks again for those of who who do comment!


Thursday, August 11, 2022

Back to the Basics

 


Many times as you may have noticed I go way back to what I consider were my initial forays into cross dressing in girls clothes. The method to my madness is I feel those initial feelings were what shaped my future as a transgender woman.

I find it is interesting I don't share the same feminine tendencies as other transgender and/or cross dressers the same advanced age I am. I am a faithful follower of the Femulate blog and recently there was a post about wearing slips. I immediately thought Wow! I had even thought about wearing a slip in approximately fifty years. In addition, many times there are posts involved with other feminine under garments. I don't know exactly why it is but I never exactly followed my Mom's example of how she dressed all the time. She was a school teacher and dressed up for the job in what now would probably be referred to as business casual. 

For a period of time I did actually predominately dress in the business casual feminine world. Those were the days of the business suits worn with short skirts and I loved them. Especially when I could find a pair of opaque panty hose which matched my outfit and helped cover the hair on my legs. I followed that fashion path for years until the Boho fashion trend began to become the  predominant force in fashion. Being a child of the sixties (and before) I was in the Army during the height of the Hippie Days. I felt as if I had a second chance of expressing myself which I had missed during my military days. 

Through it all I again found I had lost any real attraction I had for the feeling of the feminine clothes I was wearing. Even the early thrill I had from wearing panty hose was nearly gone. I was simply doing what I needed to do to blend in and live with other women. I guess if my fashion sense was given a title, it would be called "Mo-Boho". Anything Boho fashion wise still appeals to me. 

Before I seem to put myself up on a pedestal of any sort, I am sure many would disagree with my desire to have very long hair. It is very non age appropriate but to me I still love it and the world can get over it if they don't like it. The old Hippie Girl still lives! 

I guess if I can understand the foreign desire to wear a slip and other feminine under garments and put it in the same category of having long hair and wanting to feel the natural changes to my body. It's all good. I just wonder sometimes why I lost all my desire for silky feminine under garments. I used to have quite the collection of night time negligee and couldn't wait to have my own breasts so I could purchase matching bra and panty sets. 

Maybe the basics just what weren't they seemed to be.  

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Hello Ms. Hart



 Imagine my surprise when the phone rang and a pleasant voice from the Veterans Administration said "Good Morning is this Ms. Hart? " It was a surprise to me she referred to me with the proper pronoun because normally I need to correct them every call when they ask for Mr. Hart. Even though I didn't have any earth shattering (fortunately) health issues to discuss, it was nice to talk to a friendly voice who didn't start out miss-pronouning me.


I have told myself over the years, the VA receptionists just don't see many women at all, so they automatically revert to the default male pronoun. The whole process reminds me to to be on point with my feminine presentation and more importantly my voice. I have never been particularly successful at all on the phone. In fact, I go into every phone conversation prepared to defend my gender.  

We discussed getting signed up for the next round of Covid booster shots Which I did and how I could get referred for another Mammogram. I need to be scheduled for one every year since my maternal grandmother passed away in the 1950's from breast cancer. So over the recent years I have been through over four Mammograms. The first one I considered to be a sort of rite of passage for a transgender woman with her own breasts. Since then I know what is going to happen so the entire process is rather mundane. Only one time over the years have I had any remotely negative experiences. One time a nurse just had to ask questions about any operations "down below" which of course was none of her business. Following her question nothing more was said. 

After the conversation I had with my VA contact, I did realize I just experienced a gender euphoric highlight. Being referred to as "Ms. Hart" then discussing setting up a Mammogram. It doesn't get much more feminine than that. 

In the midst of my euphoria though, I forgot to set up an optometrist appointment or renew my gout medication. It will be interesting to see if I receive the same gender reception I received on my last visit. Since I will be going there in person for my booster in the not so distant future maybe I will run into the last person (woman) I encountered who refused to accept my correct pronouns. I believe they have personalized business cards to identify themselves. If she does, I will know specifically who to complain about. She needs to be told what a big deal pronouns are to transgender people. 

I need to point out also, over the years I have had very few problems with anyone at the VA. It is just at the closest satellite center I go to, they don't seem to care and represent the right wing population around the clinic. Maybe I can help to change it. 


Tuesday, August 9, 2022

In a Maze

 

Photo by Luemen Rutkowski on Unsplash

In many ways, this post is an extension of a recent post I wrote on living a complex transgender life. Looking back as well as forward in my life, I still think many times I am similar to a rodent in a maze. 

Just think of all the mini transitions we have to go through in our lives if we are transgender or not. Many of us go through marriages, have children and go through the deaths of those of us who are close. All of which leave positive or negative scars.

I remember when I was becoming an increasingly serious cross dresser, the mazes and walls I had to find my way around grew fast and furious. One prime example was when I was trying to perfect my feminine appearance, I thought I was doing it right until I would do something like tripping and nearly falling when I was trying to walk like a woman. I remember also the trials and tribulations of carrying a purse. For some reason when I was transferring all my important things plus still have room for feminine necessities such as lipstick and/or a hairbrush. Fast forward to today and I am like many other women when I can't begin to explain to you how my purse became so heavy and better yet what all is in it. I don't know what I have done to abuse the privilege of being able to carry a purse but I have done it. One thing I haven't done (yet) is forget my purse someplace. 

Other walls I had to face were how I was going to pursue trying to widen my feminine experiences. To do it I developed a mental checklist of sorts. When I first started to go out as a novice transgender woman, I would go to mostly mellow places such as malls, clothing stores and book stores. I learned the easy way store clerks were only interested in my money and couldn't care less if I was a guy dressed as a woman. Quickly I needed to find my way through the maze and find another challenge.

I found the challenge by beginning to stop someplace and eat lunch while I was out. This worked for awhile too until I needed new places to go. Finally I made my way to a point where it was time to transition again from a cross dresser to a transgender woman. The difference to me was I was taking another huge step forward from merely looking like a woman to actually being one. Little did I know I was simply syncing up my inner feminine self with a masculine exterior I never wanted. Even though I was still caught in the gender maze, every turn all of a sudden made me feel more natural.

During my life many times I felt age would solve most problems. Of course it doesn't. Even though I am living my dream as a full time transgender woman. Now coming up before I know it my wedding date to Liz will be here. 

Then I am staring down finding out what is coming up during my final transition. My health will become a increasing priority. The maze never lets up. 

Monday, August 8, 2022

A Complex Life


No matter how you live it, a human life will undoubtedly turn out to be a complex affair. Family and friends come along to complicate our best laid plans. Just when you think you have it all figured out, something comes along to change everything. If we ever figure a portion of life unfortunately we die.

All of this begs the question, if life is so complex, why would we make it worse by attempting to change our gender. Plus I have always felt cis women live a much more complex life than men, so there is more to process and comprehend. For all who say being transgender is a choice, this is yet another reason to believe they are wrong. Who would choose this life if they had a choice? Most certainly my moments of transgender euphoria don't in any way come close to being equal to the torment I experienced from my gender dysphoria. In other words, all the miserable days I went through wondering if I was the only human on earth who wanted to be the other binary gender. It also doesn't cover all the tears I shed when I was laughed at in public. 

I discovered also how much more complex and difficult what I attempting was. So much more than I had anticipated when I was in the initial stages of admiring myself as a girl in the mirror. As I began to step out in the world more and more my feminine side was challenged to keep up. I couldn't just get by on my perceived wonderful feminine appearance. Looking back now on the entire experience, I think most of the people I encountered just didn't care, were intrigued or just didn't know. Just didn't know was my favorite reaction but again, I was very biased. I wanted so badly to "pass" as a woman I still didn't realize how complex the entire process could be. 

Quickly the whole process of communicating in the world became a priority. I recently wrote how I would use my "parrot" method of mimicking another woman I was talking to but what happened when I was trying to talk to a man. My best laid plans of succeeding at communication would come to a screeching halt. I found women did communicate on a different scale than men and it was on purpose. Meaning over time women communicate less on verbal cues than non verbal visual ones. 

All of a sudden life began to be so much more complex than just deciding on which lipstick or wig to wear. People were beginning to see the same feminine me on a regular basis so I needed a name to go with my new self. Plus there was the huge issue of my sexuality. I had never been close to being with a man during my male life so it all was such a foreign concept. I felt at the time just dating a man would validate me being a woman but sex was such another topic. As I began to be validated by other cis-women, the whole issue of sex with a man was a mute point.  Sometimes life takes us in unsuspecting directions as mine did. 

Complex? yes. Difficult at times. most certainly. But my choice? I'd have it no other way.  

Sunday, August 7, 2022

She's Back!

Photo courtesy Connie Malone

 After battling Covid as well as going through a very serious operation, my friend Connie is recovering and has sent in a comment into the blog. It concerns the post I wrote on transgender feminine vocalization. It means quite a bit more to Connie since she is a musician.

Here's the comment:

"I've never liked my speaking voice - never. I did learn to like my singing voice, though. The problem with that, however, is that I haven't sung as a male vocalist in many years. My vocal range is definitely within the male spectrum, even at 3 1/2 octaves, but you'd never hear me sing a "Journey" or "Queen" cover. As hard as I may have tried to sing like Steve Perry or Freddie Mercury in the past, I just couldn't reach those higher registers. I've even lost whatever falsetto, or head voice, that I once had, so I can't even fake it. So, what do I do? I have simply stopped faking anything about my voice.


When I sing in public these days, I use only the higher half of my vocal range, which makes me a lesser singer, as I don't feel comfortable presenting as the woman I am while thumping and rumbling out low notes that might make Trace Adkins take notice. That's somewhat limiting (to me), but I've accepted it as just another of the sacrifices I've had to make along this gender transition process. Therefore, I am not the singer I used to be when I presented as a man, but I'm all-the-more a woman when I sing now, even if a more average singer.

Just like most other things in my trans life, it has not been so much adding more femininity as it's been erasing the masculinity.

Of course, I could go on and on about using the phone, which will never be my forte. The technology (or lack thereof) that compresses and distorts the quality of the sound in cell phones makes it nearly impossible for me to sound like a woman."

Thanks for the comment and it is great to have you back!

Saturday, August 6, 2022

On the Teeter Totter

 

A Photo of me on the gender
Teeter Totter

Along the way, following the path to change one's gender presents many challenges. In fact, many times the process can be compared to life on a playground. Especially when we are in the midst of deciding which binary gender we will be a part of.

Here in the blog, I have compared the process to sliding down a very slippery slope. When I consider it, perhaps attempting to do a gender balancing act may be more appropriate.

The photo in this post represents my life trying to balance a life between the male and female genders. In the picture my hair was a wig, my breasts were not mine and even my hips were fake.

 So naturally my life was not the most pleasant. The ride up when I was living as my feminine self was quite the high. But the trip down to my cross dressing male self was a real downer. I was depressed for days until the next time I could dress up in my feminine apparel. During this period of my life I was so confused I wouldn't have wished my existence on anyone.

Finally I found the view from the upper feminine spot of the teeter totter to be so natural I wanted to take the high road and take on the fulltime life of a transgender woman. Of course  just writing about it diminishes the level of difficulty of just arriving at a spot where I could even attempt to live a feminine life. It was extremely difficult to the point of even becoming dangerous when I ended up on the wrong end of a couple ill advised adventures as a novice transgender woman. More on that in another blog post.

As with any other piece of playground equipment, warnings just don't resonate with the users. Primarily I didn't see any warnings about losing my male privilege's I had worked so hard to acquire. As my teeter totter rose to it's heights, ironically my intelligence declined. It quickly became so bad I was even being "mansplained"  by a tow driver towing my car how his wrecker worked and how he had a better idea of getting my car back to my house than I did. 

Through it all, the most important part of being on the higher plane of my gender teeter totter was the new view I had was so much more natural. I loved the new view!

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

The Gender Blender

Photo from Unsplash 

Recently I have been binging on PBS cooking shows. In other words, Martha Stewart and her minions for some reason interest me because even though I can cook, Liz does most all of it for us. So  the same as most of the things I do in life nothing makes total sense. 

As I watched the shows though one of the things I noticed was the reliance all the cooks have for food blenders and/or processors. Then of course I started to think how my gender during my life has been affected by a huge blender.

Early on I seemed to add in (or sneak in) as much feminine life I could. As the blender turned, my old male self prevailed and I still tried my hardest to pursue a false life as a male. The solution was I began to add more and more feminine ingredients into the mix.

First it was just going out shopping as a woman. Then it grew into a much more serious path as I met and began to meet and establish friendships with those people who only knew my feminine side. Even with all of this happening, or maybe because of it, I started to add a bigger share of feminine ingredients into my gender mix. The more I added the better the mixture tasted. Even though I was risking the life of friends, family and male privilege I had worked so hard to establish. 

Finally, since my mixture was tasting so good and the results felt so natural, I decided to take the major step and add the hormone replacement therapy ingredients into the mix. Of course when I did it, the outward balance of my gender perception really began to shift to the feminine side. Plus  internally my emotional make up was changing also. 

The more I blended away my old male self, the more I didn't miss him. Life made it to a point where I barely remember him at all. Plus, I am so happy I made the choice to keep adding more and more feminine ingredients to my gender blender.

I am waiting now for a well known transgender chef to come up with their own cooking show and feature their own gender blender!

In the meantime, I can't thank all of you enough who subscribe, comment or clap for all my posts on several different writing platforms, it means everything to me and I even am able to retain a portion of your hard earned money if you subscribe. Thanks again!


Monday, August 1, 2022

Pic Nic Day

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

 I didn't think about it immediately but the picnic Liz and I attended yesterday was my first ever as my authentic self.  None of that mattered however, I was just looking to enjoy the day. 

I guess rule one with a picnic is having good weather and we were blessed with a close to perfect mid summer southern Ohio day. Rule two for me is having a place to sit down and eat. It is also important to note the picnic was hosted by the transgender - cross dresser group I am a member of. The majority of people attending I believe were transgender in various stages of transition along with a few spouses and cis women. 

The food was good and even the diverse group of people managed to play well together without any of the "I am more trans than you" rhetoric or any other politics sneaking in. With me others know what side of the political fence I am on and they leave me alone if they wanted to or not. 

It was nice also to see a few acquaintances we haven't seen in awhile and of course look back on a few of the long gone gay venues in Cincinnati we happen to frequent on different occasions. I am not from Cincinnati so my visits were far fewer than others. Plus I had to really try to come up with excuses to use on my wife on why I was spending a night away from home. How I worked it out was my company's headquarters was in Lexington, Kentucky so Cincinnati happened to be about mid point in my trip from home. I only managed to find it and make it there twice. Instead of staying overnight in Lexington, I would stay in Cincinnati.

One of the visits was very memorable. I got all dolled up in my best tight short mini, black top, heels and blond wig and I was ready to go after applying my makeup. From my knowledge of gay male venues I was not expecting much attention but I got a real surprise. Fairly quickly I was attracting quite a bit of attention from a guy at the bar. In a relatively short period of time, he moved over close to me and started a conversation. 

It wasn't too long after that when he started to try to  touch me until this other woman showed up looking for him. Quickly I was thinking now what I did I get myself into. Then he made things worse in my mind when he aaid to her "Why don't you have legs like her (me)!" I just gave her a sign like I give up and walked away and luckily she did also. 

That was my share of picnic topics  while the other person was talking about having sex in cars with other guys. I guarantee our topic was spicier than the food! I can't speak for the rest of the thirty or so people that were there but I imagine their conservations were rated "PG". 

    

Sunday, July 31, 2022

And the Process Begins

 

Liz on left and I. Photo courtesy Jessie 
Hart

After nearly eleven years, my partner Liz and I have decided to "tie the knot" and get married. No need to hurry, right? 

This morning I was able to fill out the necessary paperwork forms on line here in Cincinnati. 

Overall, we are looking to have a very small wedding in October with Josh our "officiant" my daughter and anyone who wants to come from her family plus her son AJ.

This will actually be my  third marriage and none of the others were really fancy affairs. On the other hand, it is Liz's first marriage so I am leaving the planning up to her. At this time I don't anticipate donning a fancy white wedding dress for a number of reasons. For one white should be out because I am far from a virgin. Secondly I can't see spending the money on a dress I would only wear once and finally none of my other weddings were "dress up" affairs so there is no reason for this one to be either. 

There are several other decisions we have had to make ahead of time. One of which was one of us who would naturally migrate towards the wife's role and that would be me. So you could say Liz put a ring on it after eleven years. The second major decision was who was going to change names (if either). To make things easier on me, Liz has agreed to take on my last name. 

I am sure as we grow closer to the actual marriage date there will be other hurdles to jump. In the meantime I am going to try to enjoy this latest chapter to my life. 

Saturday, July 30, 2022

The Broadband Gender

 

Photo by Compare Fibre on Unsplash

"Wikipedia" defines broadband as "In telecommunications, broadband is wide bandwidth data transmission which transports multiple signals at a wide range of frequencies and Internet traffic types, that enables messages to be sent simultaneously, used in fast internet connections."

For this post I am attempting to equate a transgender person with having a broadband look at gender. Even though we have our peaks and valleys of transitioning, the end result is we still have the chance to live as one gender or another during your life. 

Going back to the definition, the ability to transport multiple signals also describes many transgender women and men. Rather if we like it or not, along the way in our life we learn the hard way (in my case) to live as a male cross dresser. It took me years to finally come to the conclusion that all along I wasn't cross dressing as a woman but doing the exact opposite. 

When I transitioned into a feminine world and started to try to date men, I found I was left out in several areas. I was biased but I felt a transgender woman had a lot to offer a man in a relationship. After all I had spent enough years on the other side of the gender border to have an idea of what a man would want. My only drawback was I was woefully unprepared sexually. I was prepared to learn though. As my life would direct me, I would meet and stay with other women mostly so I never had to explore further being with a man.

For the longest time, I couldn't understand why more women were interested in me as I was transitioning than before. Maybe it had to do with the fact I was obviously not living a lie and sexually women weren't as uptight as men. So they were not so shy to be seen with me. Through it all I was able to become the "broadband gender." All the time I was spending with women allowed me to learn, communicate and live my way into a life I only ever dreamed of living. 

Sometimes I think much of society which is against the transgender population is jealous of us. We are the select few who somehow negotiate the often perilous journey to finding our true gender selves. How many of the gender bigots secretly wish they could live just a portion of our lives. Then there are the cis women who will always refuse to accept transgender woman just because at sometime in our lives they think we were men. 

Either way, it is a steep path to where we can take advantage of being a part of the broadband gender. In many ways it can be described as reaching a sort of gender euphoria. Was it singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell who wrote the song "Both Sides Now".  The song itself is about love but has a couple verses which can lend themselves to a transgender life:

"I've looked at life from both sides now

From win and lose and still somehow

It's life's illusions I recall

I really don't know life at all"

Maybe being the broadband gender we do have an idea of life from both sides of the gender spectrum. 

Friday, July 29, 2022

More Gender Euohoria

Gender Euphoria: Courtesy 
Jessie Hart

 For most of us, gender euphoria is difficult if not impossible to achieve. When it does happen it is normally a memorial experience. 

Gracie Rose wrote in and commented on her recent experience with gender euphoria:

"I take immeasurable pleasure when referred to as ma'am, she etc. I not only feel like I'm accepted, but it reflect how I have felt inside for over 50 years." Similar to you Gracie, I am also gratified beyond measure when someone calls Liz and I ladies. Thanks for the comment!

I believe my first and perhaps most important case of gender euphoria came when I went to the well documented visit to Fridays venue. For those of you who may not know, Fridays was the original restaurant/bar venue to accept single women. They spread quickly from their original locations in New York City and Dallas then opened one close to me in Dayton, Ohio. After "scouting" the venue many times as my male self, I decided to see if I could visit and be successful as my authentic feminine self. Even though I was terrified, I made it through and gender euphoria filled my soul. I knew from then on I could never go back to being just an everyday cross dresser (even though there is nothing wrong with that) again. 

We are fortunate when gender euphoria comes along to rescue our gender journey. I remember many times after I was reduced to tears following a particularly unpleasant experience with the public, I then found acceptance and/or kindness with others in the world. All the resultant euphoria helped me to keep going down my gender journey. 

During my journey also I was fortunate to be able to find gender euphoria in a many unlikely places. One of which was the NFL Monday Night Football game I was invited to by a very close friend. Of course I was terrified but managed to make it through a major new experience as a transgender woman. From lesbian mixers to just hanging out at the bar, good times were had by all. And perhaps most importantly I was learning how to play in the girl's sandbox. 

As I experience the world as a fulltime transgender woman, gender euphoria is more difficult to come by. I suppose it is because we don't get out as much as we used to, so we don't encounter many strangers. We are going to a picnic this Sunday but it is with the transgender - cross dresser group I am a  member of.  No strangers, no euphoria, I just hope to enjoy seeing some of them again plus it's supposed to be beautiful weather day. 

In the grand scope of life we deserve our share of gender euphoria. We earned it.  

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Mirror Mirror

 

Mirror Image Courtesy 
Jessie Hart

Yesterday in my post I briefly mentioned my life in the mirror as a cross dresser. As I remember I wasn't giving the mirror enough credit for running my life.  Then ss I concentrated more and more on my feminine appearance, the mirror began to take on an increasingly  important role. So much so my mirror worship began to extend itself into the public eye. 

What happened was as I began to explore the world as a girl, I sought out the nearest mirror to critique my appearance and reinforce the idea I was finally escaping my gender closet. I found and located all sorts of mirrors to occupy my interests. Examples included numerous mirrors in clothing stores all the way to mirrors in craft or warehouse improvement stores. If there was a mirror, I found it. 

My all time favorite as I remember was a mirror in a coat warehouse store I used to frequent. Somehow I picked out a light blue wool beautiful winter coat I could never afford. The closest I could come was to admire how good I looked with that coat on in the mirror. I am surprised I wasn't kicked out of the store for never buying it. 

The huge problem with using mirrors as feedback is, it is only one way feedback and highly biased. I can't begin to tell you how many times I thought I looked fabulous only to be immediately laughed at when I went out. It took so many years for me to realize my strengths and weaknesses I had a problem too of trying to validate myself as a woman with men simply by pushing the standards of classy dress into the trashy category. It all led to the mirror leading me into more than a few screenful situations when I went out. 

Finally I made it to the point where I could trust the mirror to tell me the truth. I backed it up with how other women treated me, Finally I learned to cross dress to blend. My feedback became from how I was treated as a person as my closet door began to open more and more. As it did, society became my mirror and I was able to afford clothes which better highlighted who I was trying to become as a woman in society. The clown wigs went away and were replaced by more realistic wigs which better reflected who I was. 

Even now though I still fight the mirror. Most mornings when I wake up I always fight the temptation to look at myself in the mirror. Most of the time I think who is the old hag staring back. Then I think well at least I am a 73 year old feminine old hag nd maybe with a touch of makeup I can improve my image, 

At any rate, by now I should know to never trust the mirror anyhow. Take the best you may feel you look and combine it with the worst and believe you are seeing your truth.  

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

One Little Word

 

Photo Courtesy
Jessie Hart

Often I wonder how one little word gained such power in my life. That one word of course is "she." 

From my youngest days I also wondered how magical it would be to be called the she word. It never happened. As life went on and I became a little more advanced in looking feminine, I dreamed of getting out of the mirror and into the world as a feminine person. Many, many times the mirror would lie to me and not let on to me how much farther I would have to go to achieve my goal. Plus the only time I was sneaking out of the house as a girl was when I snuck out a few times to walk down our longish driveway to the mailbox. 

Time went on and I stubbornly kept working on my craft...applying makeup and finally in my college days I gathered my courage to leave the house at night and drive to a local shopping center to see if I could see my reflection in the windows of the stores. A few I could and I was thrilled and encouraged at the sight. Still though, it was a lonely experience and there was no one to call me "she". I would have to wait many more years for it to happen. 

Next up were my Army days and it wasn't in the drill sergeants' vocabulary to call me she. Even my rather successful Halloween appearances as a woman weren't good enough to earn me the title. 

It wasn't until I began to become very serious about my appearance and experimenting with going out in public more and more did the she word become tantalizing close. What happened was the public I was increasingly interacting with indirectly was demanding I be more feminine. 

The tipping point came when I started hormone replacement therapy (HRT). I always considered HRT was the dividing point between my first and second gender transition. The first was when I was a cross dresser and the second was when I went down the transgender path. Finally the changes I was experiencing under HRT demanded she would enter the vocal format when it came to me. In no way shape or form I was a "he" anymore. 

Approximately during this same time period HRT made it much easier to transition my main pronouns from he to she. Relatively quickly I became so androgynous the public was becoming confused when they met me. 

It may have taken me fifty years to do it but people started to finally call me she. My authentic pronoun. I did discover also I was correct when I was young it would be a wonderful magical experience to be called "she". 

Monday, July 25, 2022

A Strong Woman

Female Body Builder. 
Photo by Ryan Snaadt on Unsplash

 Recently I have noticed a rebirth of the posts asking what is a woman. As always I see the entire subject as essentially unanswerable. A woman to me is a highly personal subject which depends on the socialization of the person. I believe no one is born a woman, or a man. In both cases, life socializes both genders into whatever life they end up living. 

Currently, especially with the latest Supreme Court decision there are different pressures on women. Perhaps now, more than ever it is more difficult to be a strong woman. And, as always being a transgender woman becomes even more tougher. 

In some circles, we transgender women are rejected by cis-women as somehow being bogus. Surely our route to womanhood is very different than theirs but who is to say it is a wrong one, or even a dead end. Reading all the experiences on Medium has helped me to reinforce my belief in following the transgender pathway as a true gender journey to becoming a woman. Often a stronger woman due to all of the life experiences we have faced. Following a path we have no real choice but to follow, we have to fight the effects of testosterone and the loss of male privilege. 

I met an example a couple nights ago I met in person a Facebook acquaintance who is also a part of the transgender-crossdresser group I am part of. She works in the healthcare industry and carries herself as a confident young (to me) woman. I couldn't help but be confident our transgender future is in better hands with people such as her in existence. 

It's easy to point out a woman is the stereotypical gentle mother figure. The glue who holds the family together. The truth as we all discover, a woman is so much more. It took me a while to learn what my wife was trying to tell me when she said I had no idea what being a woman was really all about. In fact it was just a couple days after I was mistaken for a cis-woman at a transvestite mixer I went to. I was on a cross dresser ego trip when she brought me down saying I made a terrible woman. I replied how could that be when I was almost denied admission to a mixer I went to without her. She immediately said she wasn't talking about how I looked, it was how I acted. It wasn't until much later when I really began to live a feminine life did I know what she meant.

I learned the hard way women live a much more complex life overall than a man. Everything from raising children to communicating a different way within their own gender. A strong woman has a lot to learn and keep up with. 

I have been fortunate to have known, loved and even learned from some of the best.    

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Bi-Personality?



Photo Courtesy Jessie Hart

Along the way, of course I have read extensively on being Bi-Polar which I am and Bi-Sexual which I am not. 

Looking back, yet another of the "Bi's" I considered I was that I was Bi-Personality. Finally I determined all of it was just another phase I was going through to justify my gender issues. Along the way I had gone through a number of other "phases" or so I thought. One of the main ones was I cross dressed in feminine clothes temporarily to relieve the pressures of life. As I grew older and faced such pressures as college and the military, I would grow out of my need to cross dress. Wow! Was I wrong. The older I got the more I grew into my feminine self. Even to the point of coming out as transgender.  

One of the more extreme "phases" I went through was thinking I simply had two personalities, one male and one female. The more I considered it, the less simple it all became. What I refused to do was listen to my authentic feminine self causing great stress. Finally I could take the stress no longer and decided to begin hormone replacement therapy to start gender transitioning seriously. 

At this point I was interested to learn if my transition would have any serious positive effect of my Bi-Polar status. The short story was it didn't. I still suffered the same anxiety and depression I did before. So I could take that "Bi" off my list. Or one didn't explain the other. As it turned out, transitioning was going to solve another "Bi" in my life. Was I indeed suddenly sexuality attracted to men? Fairly quickly I learned I wasn't into men except in the rarest cases. Even though I felt a man's attention validated me as a woman, the final sexual result was not worth it. 

With the other two "Bi's" out of the way, the final one to be determined was I truly "Bi-Personality" or was one of the binary genders (male or female) more dominate. I am sure it is no surprise to all of you what the final answer turned out to be. The feminine side of me finally earned her chance to take over and run my life and essentially restored it from a very dark place. I have forever wondered just what I could have made of myself if I had taken the steps much earlier to live as my authentic feminine self. 

Perhaps of all the "Bi's" the personality one has been the most important. Of course the "Bi-Polar" made me miserable until I came to a place where understanding and medication helped to control it. Finally "Bi" Sexual was the easiest to solve.

In other ways also, the "Bi's" fit together in my life similar to a puzzle. I needed a therapist (which I found) who was willing to accept my "Bi Polar and Gender Dysphoria" were two aspects of my personality which didn't necessarily effect the other. And, my sexuality was left to me to determine. 

To finish off this post, should I say "Bi-Bi"?  

Friday, July 22, 2022

Bucket List

 

Jimmy Buffett Courtesy Sony Pictures

It's Jimmy Buffett day here in Cincinnati. Jimmy's concert has been an entertainment mainstay for years with people camping out a day early along the Ohio River venue to insure a good seat or view of the festivities. 

Every year the concert was one of the must do activities for my deceased wife and I to do. No matter what the cost I purchased tickets as close to the stage as I could. Plus we would gladly make the hour trip (one way) to get there. Of course all of these trips I made were as my old male self. I remember vividly being distracted at the concert by the other cis women and their clothes which sometimes bordered on the skimpy. My heart broke when I couldn't join them.

Ironically, in the present, since I moved to Cincinnati with Liz we only live approximately twenty miles from the venue where Jimmy is entertaining. Also the fact remains I have transitioned into a full time transgender woman so the opportunity to cross a Jimmy Buffett concert off my transgender bucket list should be one I could mark off my list...if I had one.

That's right, I don't have a bucket list. Throughout my life I have been able to finally find a way to do most everything I wanted to do. Most of it is to do with my major goal of becoming a full time functioning feminine person. My example is when I was growing up and someone asked me what I wanted to be later in life, my secret answer was always a girl. My thoughts continued all the way through adult hood till my deceased wife and I went on a vacation and it wasn't long until she started to ask me why I was miserable. Being the man I always tried to be, I apologized and didn't tell her the truth, I wanted to be on vacation with her as a woman. Very quickly my so called bucket list was history. Mainly because I knew I couldn't move forward and transition to a woman and preserve my marriage, job and many other aspects of my life. 

In many ways I felt I was swimming with sharks not unlike the central figure in Jimmy's Fin's song. If I varied my path one way or another, the sharks were waiting for me. 

Regardless, I still don't have much of a bucket list as I approach 73 years of age. Most I have are involved with staying healthy later in life. Long gone are the ideas of going to Kathmandu as we had a chance to do when I was in the Army in Thailand. Sadly, I know for certain my friends I was trying to go with have passed on. 

Perhaps you could also say my bucket has just rusted out. I keep thinking next year maybe the one I magically become healthy enough to brave the crowds and see Jimmy Buffett performing in Cincinnati before he retires. 

  

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Mardi Gras

 

Photo by Ugur Arpaci on Unsplash


Several years ago, pre Covid, my partner Liz and I decided to take a bus tour down from our native Ohio to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. We had done a couple other bus trips in the past so I was ready for the rest room challenges I would face...I thought.  

Very early on I learned  the toilet on the bus would be off limits to all except those in dire need. Which meant the bus would make scheduled stops at certain rest areas. My first learning experience came when I stood in line with approximately twenty other women waiting to use the bathroom. At the time I thought I never signed up for this but the first couple places we stopped were in rural areas, so everything went fine. So, at that time I started to gain confidence that no one on the bus would complain a transgender woman was using the wrong rest room.

On the way down to New Orleans, things began to change. The rest stops turned into truck stops and other stops along state lines in deep southern states. The worst by far came when we stopped on the Mississippi/Alabama line. I was petrified but had to go so I had no choice to join the waiting line of women. Even then, all went fairly well until I was coming out of the stall I used and came face to face with two obviously disapproving women. I tried to speed up the process and get my hands washed and leave the bathroom before I happened to run into those women again. I was so scared I was worried about a state patrolman or local sheriff pulling the bus over for a check. Fortunately nothing like that happened  and the bus rolled on without incident. 

Ironically, the only push back I received from anyone on the bus was when we arrived in New Orleans and stopped to eat at an upscale seafood restaurant. After dinner I excused myself  to use the Ladies Room and when I stepped in the door, one of the other passengers was washing her hands. She looked at me and said with a little surprise "Oh you use the same bathroom we do." She did not refer to the experience again and life on the bus went on until we arrived at our destination. A beautiful restored hotel within walking distance of Bourbon Street and the French Quarter. 

We then took full advantage of the two unplanned days we had to take advantage of the "Big Easy". Also most ot the pressure of using the rest room was  taken away. Until the night of Mardi Gras itself. Since rest rooms were at a premium, venues were requiring a purchase to use theirs. We did make our way through the madness of Bourbon Street to finally learn a couple of the venues we could eat and use the facilities at were just a block off the strip. One turned out to be the oldest gay venue in the city which we stopped at and the other a tavern which served food which had a patio style courtyard  where we could eat. 

Before it was time to turn around and go back, I decided to use what could only be described as an out house with a flush toilet. It reeked of sewer gas, so I hurriedly took care of business and started to leave. Of course when I opened the door, a line of women had formed on the other side. I felt bad if they thought I had caused the odor, but it was time to face the long walk back to the hotel. 

As far as the entire Mardi Gras experience went, I wouldn't trade it for the world but it is certainly designed for a younger person than me. It's definitely the party to go to if you are worried about presenting as an out transgender woman. Obviously nearly anything goes. 

Restroom availability and usage are a different story. At some point you are going to have to pull down those big girl panties and go for it. You haven't lived until you have waited in a line of women at a rest room. Mardi Gras or not it is a rite of transgender passage.  

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

I "Doesn't Know It'

Photo by Simone Secci on Unsplash

The phrase "I doesn't know it" was often used by the Cincinnati Reds baseball Hall of Fame announcer Marty Brenneman.

I have borrowed it for this post to explain how I feel when someone feels like we had a choice to be transgender .For the life of me I can't understand why someone would think anyone would just pick  such a gender path because the whole journey would be so much fun. Maybe the person thinks we transgender folk are just trying to sneak behind the gender curtain to see how the other half lives.  

Somehow, they don't realize the danger we sometimes face as we just go about our daily lives. In fact locally to me a transgender man was just beaten up severely for just using his chosen restroom in a state park. I am fairly certain he didn't choose for that to happen just because he was having fun. 

Unfortunately, rest room abuse is not the only problem transgender women and men face during their lives. Personally, back in the day, I encountered everything from snickers and stares to strangers wanting to take my picture while I was minding my own business shopping. Plus I have documented my own issues using the rest room (ladies) of my choice. 

So, I doesn't know it when confronted by someone who considers being transgender is a choice. Maybe I could show them some sort of a measurement of the valleys of gender dysphoria don't come close to equaling the peaks of gender euphoria. Plus it is very difficult to explain the extreme problem of  just waking up in the morning trying to figure out what gender you (I) will want to be that day. 

All in all I am puzzled why anyone would even approach the subject of why I "chose" to be transgender and it has been years since I have been approached about the subject. As I think about it, being asked why I had the choice to be transgender is better than being threatened with physical harm. There are too many violent people in this country as evidenced by what happened to the trans man in the restroom.

I am biased but there seems to be more important concerns in society than bullying or terrifying transgender women or men. I doesn't know it how the issue will ultimately be settled.