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

Monday, October 24, 2022

Party Down Witches

Before Covid and continuing to the present, various organizations have hosted "Witches Balls" around Cincinnati, Ohio. Back in the pre pandemic days I was fortunate enough to have had a really good time at several of the parties. Most of the parties contained various mixes of people in costume, belly dancers and pirates. Along the way I managed to dress sexy for one of the big witches ball and even was hit on by one of the pirates. I don't know if it was a combination of what he was drinking or the low lights in the venue which worked to disguise my true gender to him. But either way I was flattered because I was more than a little drunk at the time also.

First Witches Ball with Liz
High Heels and all.

A year later I was actually able to work on the committee putting the event together. They all knew I was a transgender woman and welcomed the help I provided. I couldn't do much because I needed to sit down quickly most of the time. So the two "most mature" individuals in the group were assigned to a table

Second Witches Ball with Tom
On the left.


selling items which benefitted the coven putting on the ball. It wasn't as much fun as I had in the past but at least the sitting down didn't put a strain on my sore back.

As far as gender recognition went, I was striving for more of a more authentic witch look more than any sort of sexy costumed appearance. By this time, I had transitioned away from the need to try to be sexy into a more appropriate well dressed woman. Hoping to blend into the crowded venue more easily. 

I can't tell you I had more fun but deep down I realized I was changing from needing Halloween to being such a major event for me.  One thing was for certain, my feet were more comfortable after I relaxed my "costume" requirements and started to wear flats to the venue. You can't see what I was wearing from the waist down in the second picture but I chose soft flowing legged pants along with my black flats. 

I still have one final fairly dramatic Halloween post which I have been saving for the end. In the meantime, the Witches Balls I attended played a major role in me transitioning from being a cross dresser into my authentic life as a transgender woman.

       

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Just a Series of Walls

As I pause this month to look back on everything I experienced and learned from during my Halloween public experiences, in many ways, the experiences served to be predecessors to my future gender discoveries.

Wedding Photo with my daughter on the
left and Liz's son on the right.

At first I was all about my appearance, not  thinking how I looked would only take me so far in my quest to live a feminine life. Especially when I decided I was indeed a transgender woman. Not a cross dresser anymore, I decided to move forward again and transition into being a transgender woman. I realized at the time (finally) I wanted to be a woman, not just look like one. When I take the time to look back to the earliest days of blogging I can easily read how obsessed I was with appearance. One of the posts I remember was when one Saturday night I sat out to go to a local downtown festival in nearby Dayton, Ohio. I was very detailed into how I looked and how the public responded. I went before the sun went down and even went as far to wear sunglasses so I could judge reactions to me. Both positive and negative.

During this time I was unknowingly preparing to perhaps climb the biggest wall of all, the power to exist in a world which I knew ran onto the often invisible power of woman. Mixed in with the obvious draw of male privilege. Fitting in to this new world was a challenge which was difficult but one I desperately needed to face. Surprisingly to me, I had to climb this wall quicker than I thought I would. People (mostly other women) were quick to observe me more completely when on the other hand, men had a tendency to ignore me. As I made it to the top of the wall, the view I observed was at once terrifying and equally exciting all at the same time. 

It was about this time I was forced to face the fact other people wanted or needed to talk to me. Mainly from the time I spent when I began to leave the malls and clothing stores which for the most part were too easy and begin to stop for lunch. Which caused me to do my best to develop a feminine sounding voice quickly. Something I am still working on to this day. Yet another wall I have not totally climbed. 

Perhaps the final wall I have to climb will be what will happen when I die. Since Social Security just announce they would now honor gender changes, which may be a small benefit to us all. Even still, as I always write about if the final paranoia I feel when or if I have to be sent to an assisted living facility and/or a nursing home. I feel my problems could be magnified by the choice I made to have had no surgeries regarding my gender. I am also paranoid of what will happen to me if I am directed to stop taking my hormone replacement therapy medications.

As I look ahead to the wall ahead, I have decided to live my life to it's fullest the best I can. Even though I may be out of walls to climb.  

Friday, October 21, 2022

A Night at the Theatre

 This is yet another Halloween experience which helped me to break out of my gender closet and experience a possible life as a transgender woman. 

Image by Danie Franco
on UnSplash

Years ago Columbus, Ohio completely restored a very elegant classic vintage theatre downtown. With interest I learned the new venue would be hosting a late night Halloween horror show silent movie complete with accompanied music from the restored theatre house organ. Aside from being a total restoration geek, I immediately sensed an opportunity to extend my feminine Halloween adventures. From there the evening began to come together quite nicely. Little did I know how much fun I would have. 

The first thing I had to do was get four tickets. Two for my first wife and I and two for two other close friends I wanted to go with. Then I needed to put together a "costume" for the evening. Actually, back in those days, my options were as limited as my wardrobe. Following several unsuccessful trips to thrift stores, I settled on a mini dress which I had even worn on another Halloween adventure but with different people. Supposedly, changing up what I wore would keep people from guessing how serious I was concerning how I was perceived as a woman. The last thing I wanted to do was however was try to be an obvious jokester of a man in a dress. 

As it always happens, the time coming up to the Halloween evening seemed to go so slowly as this was the only time of the year I could escape my self imposed gender closet and explore. Before I could explore I had to decide if I was going to throw caution to the wind and go all out to appear as a sexy woman. Back in those days, shaving my legs was a rare and often wonderful experience and I decided to do it for the evening. Shaving of the legs is the one biggest giveaway I think between someone dressing as a woman as a joke and someone who is a serious cross dresser. In other words, going all the way for me was the only way to go. 

The afternoon of the party, when I left work, I was able to leisurely prepare for my night on the town in "C-Bus" which was only approximately a half hour away. I drew a hot bubble bath and made sure all of the hated hair was off my legs before I was able to slide into a new pair of panty hose without ruining them with a run. Then came the makeup, mini dress, long blond wig and heels which I would regret wearing later. After downing a couple of "road pops" for courage it was time to head out, pick up our friends and go to the theater. 

These friends in particular had seen me before dressed as a woman so I don't think there was much of a surprise to them when they saw me. My wife always knew I was a cross dresser so I know for sure she wasn't surprised. 

The unfortunate part of wearing the heels I did came when I learned how far I was going to have to walk in them as parking was at a premium. Needless to say my feet weren't used to walking that far in heels and were protesting. I had to hitch up my big girl panties and pay the price for fashion. It all was so worth it once we arrived and saw all the other beautiful and creative costumes. For better or worse no one seemed to notice the tall blond in heels and mini dress. The movie with the background organ was wonderful.

Not as wonderful as my big night out at the Ohio Theatre.  

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Being a Woman is a lot of Work

 

Photo courtesy 
Jessie Hart

Recently I wrote a post about the cost involved with being a transgender woman. Now I am adding a companion post concerning the amount of work it takes to be a woman. 

On occasion I happen along a novice transgender woman who seemingly wants to look, act and/or be accepted in the feminine world immediately.. I usually try to tell her to be patient. The gender journey is not a race, it is a life long marathon. Once you think you have the process down it changes on you. 

Also the gender change process takes an immense amount of work. Lets start with clothes. Many, including me rush out and buy some frilly ultrafeminine outfits which naturally look wonderful on a beautiful  model. It takes time, energy and money to learn what looks good on an internet model may not flatter your testosterone infected body unless you are one of the rare few naturals who are able to transition into an attractive woman easily. 

In my own case I was able to take care of my skin long before I seriously started to gender transition. Which helped immeasurably when I was applying foundation following a close shave. Plus I did realize (like Stana says) shaving actually helped me because it got rid of old skin cells. After I began to become very serious about following the path to a feminine life, I decided I had to shed myself of most all of the extra weight I had gained over the years with pizza and beer. Amazingly I was able to lose nearly fifty pounds to get down to a much more manageable weight, Which meant a wider choice of fashions to wear. Also I became more adept at hiding my masculine broad shoulders and narrow hips by again wearing clothes which tried to not accentuate my shoulders. 

I mention all of this because it just scratched the surface of the work I put into becoming my authentic self and in my case the entire process took years to refine in the public's eye. I'm sure to a novice I am nothing more than an experienced confident transgender woman but they were not around when I was struggling to find my way in a new world. 

Along the way also I found out the hard way being the "pretty, pretty princess, as my wife called me was just not going to be enough to continue my path to living full time as a transgender woman. I found what I had always suspected deep down women were the more complex and often the stronger gender. To join them would require much more than just appearing as a woman in public. The process wouldn't take long because seemingly overnight I had to begin to interact more intensely with the public as my true self.

Were there mistakes? More than I care to count. The times I tried to wear ill fitting wigs to the wrong venue come  back to haunt me even more than my choice of wardrobe. 

My hope is that these days, in direct comparison with the past there are many ways a novice transgender woman can learn the feminine ropes. In many area's now there are strong LGBTQ organizations who offer social functions for all transgender women or men as well as cross dressers also. Plus the social media outreach can be a help if you can steer clear of the crazies. 

Bottom line, as any cis woman will tell you, it's takes a lot of work to be a woman. Be prepared.    

Monday, October 17, 2022

Now I am a Mrs..

 

Beaded Hair Clip by
Liz T Designs

Yesterday our wedding day turned out to be a beautiful fall day here in Southwest Ohio. We hosted the ceremony under the tree's and had reserved a nearby shelter house for a small celebration. The temperature under blue skies did not disappoint and turned out to be near 70 (F) with a slight breeze. It was good to see my daughter and her family and Liz's son. In addition, Josh, the Officiant did a wonderful job handling the ceremony itself and the vows. We exchanged rings and became wife and wife. I will have pictures after they are sent to me by my daughter. Liz did cut back my hair somewhat which had almost found it's way to my waist and painted my fingernails. I wore the rest of my hair up with a beaded transgender clip hand made by Liz. 

Afterwards we went to our favorite local Cajun restaurant to enjoy dinner together.  

A day later I don't believe it has all sunk in yet. Liz did call me her beautiful wife just before we settled in to sleep and I wondered what could have been if I had asked her to marry me sooner.  Looking back, my excuse was early on I was still so insecure about my gender transition, I needed extra time to "mature" into the whole process of being a new person. Plus I still had extra financial baggage I was still carrying from my old life I needed to take care of. Anyway you cut it, I still had a long way to go before I could commit to something as serious as marriage vows. 

I found out yesterday too how fortunate I am to be able to be healthy enough to do all of this. At seventy three I am easily the senior person in the extended family. I used to use patriarch now matriarch. As I was saying I learned the person closet to me in age just suffered a bad fall and is bed ridden and has to be fed through a tube or port. Plus my first wife's husband also was recently hospitalized due to reasons I am not sure of. Hopefully not another stroke. The news once again reinforced in me how precious health is to all of us.

As far as my health is concerned, I was checking my recent blood lab work on a Veterans' Administration on line site (thanks Michelle) and to me most of my results seemed to be within the normal prescribed ranges. Except for the estrogen/testosterone check which always takes longer to come back. I have until the 27th before my endo visit, so I have time. 

What I don't have time for in my life is another serious relationship and/or marriage. I plan on making this one my last. In the meantime, I can't wait for the next time I have to choose which gender marker I want. It is now a resounding Mrs. Hart. 

   

Saturday, October 15, 2022

One Day



Tomorrow is Liz and I's wedding day.

Photo Courtesy
Jessie Hart

Yesterday we went to the store and bought cookies and beverages for the reception which is very small as I have written about before. I think our total expenditure was only around fifty dollars. Liz already had the table clothes, plates and cups for the event which helped with the cost. 

Along the way, Liz found a wonderful useable non copy writable beautiful set of vows to read. So far the weather is even on our side promising a beautiful fall day with temperatures near seventy degrees (F). 

Speaking of beautiful, I am set to have my mane of hair trimmed and my nails done. Don't know if I will be so beautiful but it will feel wonderful to "girl-up" for a special occasion. For my wedding outfit, I have chosen my long black embroidered skirt matched with my fuzzy teal green sweater and my charcoal grey boots. I even managed to see if my long unused earrings Liz made me still fit the long unused piecing's I have in my ear lobes.  

As you can tell, simplicity is the key to the whole wedding. As well as the long lasting love we have felt for each other over the past eleven years of being together. Plus I have written before, is the fact my transgender grandchild will be at the wedding with their partner. So nice to be a role model for both of them.

Later on today, we will be journeying forth into the grocery store world to buy supplies for the week and the beginning of Liz's diet plan. It's always interesting to me after all these years to see how I am received in the public's eye. After all this time nothing really negative or exciting has happened. I can even use the shopping cart as a form of a walker to help in my getting around. 

Through it all, I still can't believe it is happening to me. I went through all those years of having no one in the middle of a gender transition. It was after the time I lost my spouse of twenty five years and I was intensely lonely. Finally I managed to fid a new group of friends who provided a social outlet as well as an example of how I could live as my authentic self. Liz was in that group of people. 

As I look back at all the dark days I spent alone somedays I think all those days were just a test to see if I deserved to transition and find another partner as I aged. 

Tomorrow will prove I could. 

Monday, October 10, 2022

It's Wedding Week

Liz on the left. New Years Eve
Photo

It is here already.  This is the week Liz and I get married. As always, time flies when you are having fun. I can't say I was having fun the entire time but I can say I can't believe the time has gone by so quickly. 

You see, Liz and I have been together for eleven years now and we actually met on an online dating site. Literally, she reached out to me when I was desperately lonely. We quickly hit it off and started to seriously correspond. First by email and then by phone when I became brave enough to let her hear my voice.

Of course one of the major factors in getting together in person was the distance we lived apart. In those days I lived approximately a hour apart. I lived in Springfield, Ohio and she in her native Cincinnati. So we were within meeting distance. Another plus was I had always loved Cincinnati and deep down thought I would end up living there. 

Following a year or so of commuting back and forth I moved my dog, cat and myself to Liz's place in Cincinnati. Without much of a problem we managed to mesh as she had her son, a dog and two cats living there. Spiritually, Liz is a Wiccan and I lean towards the Buddhist faith so again meshing wasn't too difficult. Liz was way ahead of me when she said how deeply she felt the relationship was destined to succeed and flourish.

Fast forward eleven years and Liz and I are obviously still together and thriving even though I am twelve years older the relationship continues to grow. So out of the clear blue sky a couple months ago my daughter said why don't we and get married. I thought about it for awhile and asked Liz to marry me. She said yes and we moved forward and went to the courthouse and filled out the necessary paperwork. Then we had to make a few basic decisions on what would happen next. It is Liz's first wedding and my third so I left many of the decisions up to her. The only thing I didn't really want was a big wedding and I did not need a fancy wedding dress. None of my previous wives desired a fancy dress and neither did I. Then came the names.

Since I just changed my name legally a couple years ago, I didn't want to go through all of that again. Plus I still am proud of the last name I was born with. Liz on the other hand is eventually going to take my last name. But overall, she wants to be able to call me Mrs. Hart which is quite the change for me. As far as the wedding ceremony itself goes, just my daughter's family is coming plus Liz's son. So with the officiant we will be around ten people. We do have one special guest. I have a FtM transgender grand child who is going to bring their serious partner and I am honored.

What I want everyone to know is when this all started I had exactly no expectations I would ever again be in a serious relationship. I was extremely lonely and was searching in some of the wrong places. Out of sheer persistence I finally hit pay dirt. More on that in a later post. 

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Gender Euphoria's Backlash

This is an extension of yesterdays post which went into detail of one of the highly successful Halloween parties I went to. In recap, the evening turned out to be so successful gender euphoria ruled my life for several days following. 

Halloween with Kathy
Photo Jessie Hart

By the time this happened, I should have been able to predict it would occur again almost down to the day. Essentially the pressure of being unable to explore my feminine self became so great I nearly could not stand the pressure. The more pressure I felt, the harder to live or work with became. I was so jealous of any cis woman who I perceived was so fortunate to be born female and having the chance to grow into a woman. It was all a throw back to when I was young and woke up in the morning wanting to be a girl. 

Later I learned my all too brief trips into cross dressing as a woman just wouldn't last. My gender backlash would soon be back to haunt me. I also found out, the more intensely pleasurable the cross dressing experience was, the stronger the need to repeat the process. As knowledge of gender became more well known, what I was going through was gender euphoria versus gender dysphoria. In scientific terms, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  

In the case of the Halloween party I wrote about, the euphoria I felt from feeling I was able to compete appearance wise with the other women I was with was intense. In the days following my adventure, it didn't take long for my gender dysphoria to set in. When it did set in, it did it with a passion. I couldn't stand to look at my male face in the mirror in the morning and my day automatically started on the wrong foot. Once again I was stuck wondering why I couldn't live a feminine life more often. My inner self who was feminine in nature was screaming to get out. 

My entire reason in writing this post was my desire to point out no matter how pleasurable to finally burst out of my gender closet it was during these Halloween adventures, finally learning I had a deeper need to be a transgender woman was slowly but surely ripping me apart. When I say was nasty coming down off my gender euphoria I mean it. I was fired from one job for how I treated my employees and almost lost several others. Finally I had to tell my bosses I was undergoing anger management training when in fact I was going to a gender psychologist. It saved my job and helped somewhat with my dysphoria. 

Halloween was such a learning experience for me, I craved the euphoria when I achieved it which was not always the case. Some Halloweens were more special than others and if I knew then what I know now, I would have recognized the true depth of all my gender issues. Putting on the feminine clothes was all well and good but it turned out the clothes were just the tip of the gender iceberg.  One thing is for sure, I would have understood the negative aspects of  backlash better.

Friday, October 7, 2022

Party Time

 My Halloween posts this month will not be in chronological order. This evening happened while I was living with my wife in an apartment in the NYC metro area. In the early to mid 1980's. 


At the time I was managing a Wendy's near the Bronx and knew few people outside of my fellow managers and workers.  So when Halloween rolled around I thought I would be left out of a party again that year. Since in those days, Halloween was basically the only day of the year I could break out of my gender closet and explore the feminine world. As it turned out that year I was "rescued" by a fellow cis woman manager who took pity on me and invited me to a party she and her friends were going to at a nearby venue to her.

Needless to say I was excited and found out where I had to go to meet up with her and her friends. Then I had to stress out on what I would wear and what would my wife say. I knew for certain she would not approve of what I was planning to wear. In fact, she was so against my outfit she refused to even tag along. Leaving me on my own, which is normally not a good idea.

First of all I chose my outfit which attempted to be sexy as well as realistic. In other words, the same way many other cis women try to dress for Halloween. I chose a short mini dress, hose and heels along with my favorite wig for the evening. Since I couldn't sneak out without my wife seeing me, I had to put up with her disapproving stares and or glares. Once I left the apartment I was in heaven. I loved the feel of the cool autumn air on my freshly shaven legs and the sound of my heels as I walked down the sidewalk. Even still, the anxiety mounted as I followed my directions to where I was to meet the others going to the party. 

Once I made it and knocked on the door, I was amazed to find and pleasantly surprised to learn all the other people going were women. In addition they were all tall and beautiful and dressed like me. It was funny when I entered the room all conversation stopped as the other women looked me over. Only this time I was not met with the same disapproval I received from my wife. After brief introductions, we went out the door and made the short (thankfully) walk to the small tavern where the party was taking place. One memory I will never forget was when we all had to cross the street together and here I was holding my own with other women.  My heels didn't even bother me. It was as if I was walking on air. 

Once we arrived in the venue, the women scattered to meet other friends and I was left on my own to see what happened. Along the way, I managed to locate a vacant table until an older man came along and joined me. Of course I didn't know if he knew my true gender so I resisted any of his attempts to buy me a drink or more importantly dance with him. Before I knew it the evening was over and it was time to leave. 

What I didn't recognize until much later in life was the night was actually my first girls night out. I hadn't learned yet that so called girlfriends come in second place when it comes around being around men and essentially everyone is one their own.

Finally, amazingly to me, I received very little feedback at work concerning my so called "costume". Perhaps living in a more liberal world helped. One way or another it turned out to be an evening I will never forget. I wish I had pictures but I don't. This all happened way before the "selfie" days and cell phones.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Transgender Dreams

Dream Photo
Courtesy Jessie Hart
 
When I was much younger I used to look forward (then hate) the times I went to sleep and had vivid dreams of being a pretty girl .I awakened depressed when I learned it was just all just a dream. 

These days, curiously, my dreams have changed. Some times I am my feminine self and other times I revert back to my old male self. Neither one of which makes much of a difference to me when I wake up.

Maybe I should just call my dreams "gender fluid" using a more current term. Also maybe I am not being very realistic as far as my subconscious mind is concerned. After all I did live most of my life trying to survive in a male dominated world in a life I never wanted. Perhaps it will take time to establish a backlog of feminine or transgender existence to draw from when I dream. Usually I can experience both genders in one night. When I wake up, I just think Wow! How different was that. 

On rarer occasions, I seem to hit a middle road when I am back to wearing wigs and interacting more with cis women I didn't know. I even had a dream of the night I had to invade the women's room of one our favorite LGBTQ friendly bars we went to, Once I went in there were several evil looking women glaring at me. Once I finished with my business and washed my hands I needed to use the hand dryer. One of the women glared at me again and barely moved from in front of the dryer. Being the alpha bitch I was becoming, I simply reached around her and turned the dryer on and it really messed up her hair. I was amazed how the details of the experience came back to me in a dream.  

Perhaps, as the new life I have chosen to live continues to build experiences, it will be interesting to see if my dreams change more to a feminine side. Since my earlier life was more intense in many ways than my current one, I doubt if will happen. But it will be interesting to see if it does.


Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Now What?

 


After writing my post yesterday trying to separate my Halloween experiences, I laid awake last night attempting to think of a follow up post. Naturally it was difficult to do. Then I started to think of one of the powerful responses I received to one of my "costumes". It happened during a party I went to with friends when a couple of the wives cornered me and said something to the affect if I ever decided to go that way (and be a woman) I wouldn't have to worry about how I looked. I was immediately at a loss for words and finally came up with "A lot of good it does me." At that point in time during my life, I saw very little hope I could ever live a life in a feminine existence. I don't remember for sure but all of this may have happened before the transgender term was ever used. 

So here I was feeling strangely vulnerable in my long hair, mini dress and heels wondering now what. Looking back it was the beginning of understanding I couldn't continue to cross dress as a woman and continue to reap the benefits of white male privilege. How times have changed. Today we seem to have so more how gender works and the attached benefits or restrictions each gender seemingly has to experience. 

Yesterday I was watching a talk show on television which featured a beautiful transgender woman and her supporting fiancĂ©. Sadly even though she had it all in the looks and voice departments, she said she still wanted facial femininization surgery because she couldn't feel at ease with herself.  She still saw the same old male face. Even though she benefitted from an early start on her transition and had an understanding family, which I didn't, I could still feel for her situation. In many ways she was still searching for her own now what. 

Unfortunately, as I approach my seventy third birthday, my now what turn to much more overall negative thoughts. Such as what is going to happen if I live into my later eighties and face the same fate as my father who passed away from dementia. Plus what is going to become of all the dire warnings about Social Security which is nearly my only source of income. And last but not least, what will happen if I have to go into an assisted living facility With all these negatives swirling around, often it is difficult to maintain positive thoughts and try to live my life to the fullest while I can.

As I have aged, I have tried harder to mold myself into a positive way of life. Along with it I try to look back at all of my now what's to see if I can still learn from what I messed up. Even still I will miss some of the early excitement I felt when I went to several Halloween parties, I still have to remember the aftermath when I was haunted by the memories and became  terrible to live with.

In the spirit of Halloween, I guess I can say, my now what's were haunting me. I so badly wanted to let my transgender woman out of the closet  I was miserable and mean to those around me. Naturally it took me years to get over the process. Once I did, my now what became clearer and life became easier.

Monday, October 3, 2022

It's October

Photo Courtesy
Jessie Hart

October has arrived and it is time to celebrate my former favorite holiday Halloween. During the month, as promised (or threatened) I will spotlight several special evenings I spent on Halloween exploring if my feminine self could actually have a life in the public's eye.

Before I start the experiences, it is important to note several key feelings or happenings. As it turned out the yearly experiences started to vary with the number of times I tried getting out of my gender closet.

An example comes from my first big Halloween adventure, a party when I was in the Army in Germany. As the evening approached the mixture of trepidation along with elation was almost too much to bear. The closer Halloween got, it seemed it was difficult to keep my mind on anything else. 

The problem I had with Halloween was it only came once a year and I would have to wait another whole year to break out of my closet. The pressure affected how much fun I could have.  As I began to have more and more Halloweens under my panty hose, I began to be able to separate which party might be more fun and for what reason. Another example came the night I dressed very glitzy for a bunch of friends and ended up feeling very shunned by my male friends all night long. It turned out the whole process would be a look in how my future would turn out once I began to transition into a full time transgender woman.

It turned out, my favorite Halloween adventures occurred around and with people I didn't know. Probably because I went into the evening with radically different objectives. When I was with friends, primarily I was just fishing for compliments about how good I looked. When I was with strangers, it gave me a chance to see if I could truly present as a woman in public. Once I learned the lesson, I radically changed the way I chose what I was going to wear. I toned down the glitz and tried to turn up the reality and be mistaken for a cis woman, nicely dressed.

There were in between parties I became caught up in which I will explain along the way. One of which when I just happened to glitz my costume up and became part of group of tall women doing the same thing.

Of course October means so much more this year other than Halloween. I have my 73rd birthday coming up soon as well as my wedding, so there is plenty to look forward to. Regardless, even though I don't do any Halloween patties anymore, the holiday will always be special to me as the one day a year I could try life out of my gender closet.  

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Going Back?

Photo Courtesy 
Jessie Hart

 Every now and then I read a post about some transgender person who is considering reversing courses and going back to their original gender. Often I think how easy it would be to do just that. Then I realize how I could never de-transition myself. For several reasons.

One of which and perhaps the most important is the fact once I arrived at my goal of being a full time out transgender woman, I felt so natural. In other words, for the first time in my life, my internal feminine soul was able to be freed from its dark closet and take over my former masculine exterior. This all led to me never wanting to give up and return to my previous life as a white privileged male. 

The struggle however was real. I was deeply involved in my sometimes toxic male existence. It involved stages of growth as I learned the true meaning of what I was attempting to do. It was an all encompassing path I found myself on as I traveled a route to be a transgender woman. 

Regardless, I understand others who struggle with the urge to go back to the safe gender life they led before. Many had to battle unaccepting family and friends and made the decision so much more difficult. Even still, easy is not the best course in many cases. Especially when it comes to deciding who your authentic self is then trying to live the life you were always meant to live.

When I think of all the moments in my life when I was trying so hard to find my true gender self, I wish I could have the chance to reclaim just a portion of the time and energy I spent. I took it so far with my nasty mood swings when I couldn't cross dress myself to relief, I nearly lost jobs. . Even further, was the guilt I felt when I was essentially cheating on my wife with another person who turned out to be myself. All of the transgender ripping and tearing I was feeling led me to many self destructive experiences and eventually a suicide attempt. Sadly she (my wife) passed away before we could come up with the final solution to my gender issues. She held her line at never wanting to live with another woman. On the other hand, I went through my only attempt ever to seriously de-transition. I went as far as to grow a beard. Naturally I was miserable.

From the moment she passed on I knew I was free to live my life as I pleased, in whatever gender I chose. Once I did, soon I flourished as my authentic feminine self. 

From that point forward I knew I had found my true gender home, the one deep down I was always knew I was meant to live. From then on, I knew I was never going back to my cross dressing male self. I went as far as I could with hormone replacement therapy to help femininize what the public saw. The HRT really worked with external as well as internal changes such as emotions. I cried more in the first six months as the result of sadness and happiness than I had in my entire life. 

I especially don't understand how a transgender person who has gone as far as HRT could ever go back to another gender universe but in a world where anything can happen I'm sure I will read about someone de-transitioning again. The current anti LGBTQ atmosphere in more than a few area's doesn't help those who want to gender transition into their authentic selves. It's a difficult path to follow.  

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Taking the Gamble

Photo Courtesy
Jessie Hart

 I have never been good at or desired to be good at any form of gambling. However taking a gamble was completely the case when I decided to play my gender cards and transition into a transgender woman. 

Since it took me nearly a half a century of being a very serious cross dresser, I had plenty of time to consider my next move before I made it. Over the past, I have given more than a few examples of my many failures attempting to break out of my gender closet, as well as successes also. One of my examples of success was the night I was by myself in Columbus, Ohio attending a party at a transgender friends house. For whatever unknown (now) reason, I decided to go all in black. I wore a pair of shorts which were not short with black tights, flats and a black sweater. A dark wig completed my outfit. I looked at myself in the mirror and decided my looks were attractive enough without going overboard and out the door I went.

Once I arrived at the party, I found everyone on the patio because it still was a warmish fall evening and found I had dressed appropriately for the evening. After awhile, a single woman approached me who I presumed to be a lesbian. Our conversation moved along smoothly until we decided to leave for awhile and go to a well known large lesbian venue in the nearby downtown area. I gambled and said yes since I knew my way around Columbus and could return if I needed to. Later on in the evening, we went on our separate ways and I never saw her at any other parties.

Another time I gambled in the opposite direction and didn't go/stay with a guy in a bar in Cleveland, It happened after I submitted myself to a professional makeover and couldn't believe the change, It was so dramatic I was invited to tag along with the transvestite groups "A-Listers" or the self perceived prettiest cross dressers. They were shocked when a man approached me to stay and play pin ball with him. I was flattered but told him no because I didn't know if he knew the gender truth about me and if something negative happened, I didn't know the way back to the hotel where we were staying. I left forever wondering what would have happened if I gambled and stayed. 

Overall, the biggest gamble I ever took was when I came out as a transvestite to a few close friends in the army. This was way back before the so called more liberal LGBTQ "Don't ask Don't tell" days in the military. I worked in a very public job as a radio disc jockey position in Stuttgart, Germany. I could have lost it as well as being dishonorably discharged if the wrong people found out. Which they never did. I went on to marry one of the friends I came out to and she is the mother of my beloved supportive daughter. My gamble really paid off.

These are just a few of the gambles I took in my life. I do believe if you don't take some gambles you won't get ahead in your life. Plus just living pushes you into taking gambles. Regardless, I always tried to play my cards the best way I could. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Pushing too Hard

Jean Skirt Look
Back in the day
Over the many years I spent trying to find my way into a feminine world, often I was guilty of pushing too hard. A primary example was when for once I was able to put my cross dressing act all together. In other words I was able to walk without falling in sidewalk cracks plus I felt my makeup, outfit and hair all looked as good as possible. I felt good and the whole experience was a positive one. 

The next time I went out I thought I would build on the last experience but didn't quite do it. In those days I was still validating my life as a cross dresser or transvestite by what men thought of me. It wasn't until much later when I learned it was so much more important to me to be judged and validated by other women around me. So, to make a long story short, I went overboard in my dress, makeup and especially hair. The end result was similar to a matador waving a red cape at a bull. I stood out like a sore thumb wherever I went. In addition, many times I was thrown back to square one and had to start all over with how I dressed myself. 

It took awhile of tough loving my feminine self but I finally learned all my trashy outfits and crazy wigs weren't working, I finally settled into a more or less everyday persona of who I would eventually become on an everyday basis. I substituted too short and tight mini skirts for more proper yet flattering jean skirts and I used flowing fun blouses/tops to help disguise my all too hated male figure. In essence I ended up killing two birds with one stone. My appearance was still on the cutting edge of having fun without going so far I was attracting unwanted attention.

Also around that time was when I quit pushing so hard and began to relax on most fronts. Now I could pay more attention in rounding out more of my total self. The way I moved, the way I talked began to come together, From then on pushing harder was out and a new confidence was in. I even settled on the same wig which I nearly wore out. 

Through it all though I don't want to give the idea that anything was a pushover when it came to my gender transition. It was just like I could start on starting on settling more of the more mundane problems I was experiencing. One of which was not so mundane was using the women's restroom which is a topic I revisit fairly often in my posts. It is no secret I like to drink beer and beer doesn't stay with you long so I had to use the women's room frequently. Often it was the ultimate answer to how I was presenting as a transgender woman. I found in many venues other patrons would draw the line and complain if I needed to pee. Having the cops called on me was a decidedly unpleasant experience

Another small thing I did to try to normalize being a single woman in a hetero bar was to use my cell phone as a prop. I would sit down, order and act like I was texting someone else to join me. As you can tell I was trying every little thing I could to make it in feminine world and earn my right to play in the girl's sandbox.

When I quit pushing so hard, the easier it became. 
      

Monday, September 26, 2022

Girls Night Out



Girls Night Out #1 
I am on the left.

As I was first attempting to survive in the feminine world without the "Ha-Ha" moments Connie mentioned in a recent comment on my :Ah-Ha" post, I craved any opportunity I had to join a women's night out. In a relatively short period of time I was fortunate and was invited to four, One of which was even a bachelorette party which sadly was cancelled. Two of the remaining invites were with a group of cis women friends I became close to until similar to many women they got married and moved away from the group. Children were involved also.

Perhaps the most exciting was my first invite because I had no idea of what to expect seeing as how there were going to be a couple other women attending who I didn't know. How would they accept a transgender woman? The answer was one didn't seem to care and the other rejected me quickly.  

My first issue was what to wear of course. I wanted to appear as attractive as I could without over-dressing the other women. As you can see in the picture, I think I achieved the desired effect. My second issue was what would the conversation be when no men were present and again how would I fit in. The whole process (per norm) turned out to be just a whole lot of worry about nothing. Most of the conversation dealt with family and children so I just inserted my daughter's examples when I could. During the space of the evening I even forgot to worry about my voice. Everything must have worked out fine because shortly after the first night out, I was invited to another before I moved away with Liz to Cincinnati.

Perhaps the most surprising girl's night out occurred when I was invited by a group of servers from one of the venues I was going to on a regular basis to join them for a get together at another trendy venue. I was terrified when I said yes. How would I react to going with a group of younger, more attractive women to a venue I had only been to a couple of times. This time there wasn't much conversation because of the amount of guys the rest of the group attracted. It turned out to be like I was almost invisible as the night went on. Lesson learned.

As far as other lessons learned, I discovered no new earth shattering gender secrets when women gather.  Naturally, it was no big surprise when the younger women I was with got their flirt on with men and forgot about the group all together. Even though all of that happened I was pleased I survived the evening without doing anything gender ignorant.

Overall, all of the girls nights out I was invited to were fun and learning experiences. I was happy to accept the invitation. 

  

Sunday, September 25, 2022

A-Ha Moments

Beaded Trans Hair Piece by
Liz T Designs 

 This is an extension of several recent posts I have written about  my gender transition but few of them were about a-ha moments along the way. I guess you could call them rare moments of gender euphoria before I ever thought of such a phrase which I of course didn't invent. 

The first a-ha moment I had was early in life when I realized dressing up as a girl wasn't enough. Being a girl was the best idea. There was no way I could know this was the first indication I was transgender and not a cross dresser. 

Fast forward several years of gender struggle, my next moments of gender euphoria could all be wrapped up in all the Halloween parties I went to. Through them all I learned the power of dressing as a woman was real and I loved it all. Especially the parties when I was mistaken for a well dressed woman not in costume. More on those parties when I spotlight Halloween in my October posts.

In essence Halloween taught me there was a chance I could pursue farther the idea of living my life in a feminine world and survive. 

Finally Halloween became just another day for me and I moved on to other a-ha moments came when I decided male dominated gay venues weren't working for me. I became quite frustrated when I was treated like a drag queen or when I was completely discriminated against for simply being myself. When I learned I could frequent large sports bars or the occasional small lesbian bar and be much happier.  Often I learned the hard way I could live in the world and play in the girls sandbox. The more I did it, the more I wanted to do to expand my knowledge of being an out transgender woman. Which in itself was a true revelation.

About this time a-ha moments came fast and furious as I learned the hard way how to exist and communicate with other women. For the second time in my life woman's fashion took a back seat to more important functions such as establishing myself as a brand new feminine person. All of the sudden I was completely immersed with communicating with the world as a transgender woman.

Perhaps the biggest a-ha moment in my transgender life came when I started hormone replacement therapy. For once I was syncing up the inner woman who I strongly felt needed to live with my external testosterone poisoned exterior self. In a short period of time, my breasts and hair grew wonderfully along with a softening of my skin and features. Perhaps most surprisingly were the changes to my emotions. I became decidedly less aggressive when dealing with world. I guess you could say HRT softened my world.

Of course there are many other a-ha moments which may come along in your life such as passing a mirror and noticing a woman looking back at you. Hopefully your positive moments out number your negative ones.  

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Living the Dream

 



Photo Courtesy
Jessie Hart

For so many years I lived with what I thought was the impossible dream. That dream of course was wondering if I could ever live a life as a full time transgender woman. Although for the longest time I didn't see how I was ever going to make it to my goal, slowly but surely I kept moving towards it. 

I like to say I was a serious cross dresser for fifty years of my life. During the half century I made a few strides in makeup and fashion only to find myself headed back to the cross dressing drawing board time and time again. The only positive aspect of the experiences were I tried to learn from each one. What worked and what didn't. Every positive gave me hope for the future. 

Along the way I have written concerning the gender maze I found myself in. I felt everytime I achieved one goal and turned the corner, I found another corner to deal with. Almost all with no positive intervention from any other person. Even though my wives knew of my cross dressing activities, they were rarely participants. And, if the truth be known, many times I didn't want to follow the ideas of what a woman meant to them. Even to the point of trying my best to dress to blend when and if we ever went out together as girlfriends. Examples were when my second wife and I used to journey to Columbus, Ohio to eat at a LGBT friendly restaurant. It got the point of me wearing jeans and a sweater and she (my wife) still didn't like the way I looked. Deep down I knew I was struggling to find my feminine identity and I stayed on course with what I wanted to wear. 

Slowly but so uncertainly my small successes added up and my dream of living full time became more than a distant reality. After the fewer and fewer setbacks I had, I righted the gender ship and realized yet again how natural my feminine side felt. When I went out as a novice transgender woman I felt the world was in the right place and I even went as far as feeling out of place when I went out as a guy. 

Finally even I could not deny it any longer, I was meant to live as a transgender woman. I started hormone replacement therapy and started to transition my exterior as close as I could to match my feminine soul. It all worked so well and I was left no alternative to living my dream. The hormones fueled the fire which burnt my final bridge back to any male life I had left. 

After I made the commitment to giving away all of my male clothes, a new voice inside of me was asking what took so long. My only answer was I was stubborn and wanted to hang on to whatever white male privilege as long as I could. Most certainly giving it all up was one of the best decisions I ever made.

My biggest lesson from my lifetime of experience is, not trying at all is the biggest disaster.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Trans Dar?

Photo Courtesy Jessie Hart

 Trans Dar to me means recognizing another transgender woman. All of it seems so simple but it is not. 

First, you have to decide if your transgender instincts are correct. An example occurred when I was arriving I saw another woman who arrived just ahead of me for our recent transgender - cross dresser group dinner. She was well dressed in a summer dress with low high heels. More than likely, if I had just been coming to the venue on a regular night, I may have not given her a second glance. But she was by herself and she set off my Trans Dar. She beat me to the table and later I found she was a self professed cross dresser. 

Approaching another transgender person for me has never happened. Back when we used to shop regularly at a couple grocery stores I used to see on occasion a couple of women I perceived to be transgender. The most I did do was try to get a closer look to see if I could be correct if she was another transgender woman. On occasion I wished I had the courage to speak to them but I didn't. The main reason was I was afraid I could be wrong. How rude would it be for me to try to strike up a conversation with a stranger for no specific reason. 

Another reason for not approaching another transgender woman is many don't want to be read as trans and approached. Normally anymore I am in my own little world and would be really surprised if I was ever approached. Also I would have to examine what I was doing wrong with my presentation as a feminine person to blend in with the public. Which is something I didn't always do.'

I am sure when I went to many venues such as grocery stores or big box stores, I was the one who didn't blend in my tight short skirt with heels and hose. I was the one who went to a mall in a tennis outfit I put together. Which did get quite a bit of attention from the old men who were exercising in the mall. It all led to a heightened sense of Trans Dar whenever I saw an overdressed woman in a store where nearly all women dressed very casual.  

Whatever the case, Trans Dar is a difficult topic which does it part to keep our transgender community apart. I go back to the example of the cross dresser I met for the first time the other night. If it wasn't for the dinner, I would have never had the chance to meet her. 

To start with, we transgender tribe members are an exceedingly rare part of society and need all the companionship we can get. Sadly Trans Dar is not the way to do it. 

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Count Your Change

Photo by The DK Photography 
on Unsplash 

 I vaguely remember the days when I used cash to purchase my needs. Those were the days I used to accumulate quite a bit of change. On the other hand, my wife was a bookkeeper and kept track of all of our finances. 

About that time was when I started to explore the world as a novice transgender or an experienced cross dresser and needed feminine clothes. Which was easier said than done. First I had to decide where to go for the best deals and better yet to try to figure out which size would fit me and flatter my masculine figure. 

Money was hard to come by as I attempted to put together a feminine wardrobe. Not only did I have to sneak out, I had to slowly accumulate the money to shop without my wife wondering where the cash was going. 

About that time is when I really discovered thrift stores. In the stores, I had the freedom to shop to my heart's content without anyone to bother me. I could also purchase clothes at bargain basement prices which I could experiment with. Fashion attempts could be kept at more of a minimum thanks to thrift store shopping. Also, once I learned what I could wear I could go to a more upscale clothing store and buy a similar fashion item. 

It was about this time when I learned the etiquette of using the changing rooms. Of course at the beginning I was very paranoid about even asking to try clothes on. As time went on, I hitched up my big girl panties and asked for access to the changing rooms. I am happy to say I never received any negative feedback about using the women's changing rooms. Nothing from the clerks I encountered and nothing from other women. I don't know what would happen today with the advent of "Karen's" or self entitled people who take it upon themselves to police others. Plus, today I always have Liz with me to "clear the way" for any potential negative circumstances.

My fashion life has become so much easier now that my male past is behind me and I don't have to worry about maintaining two wardrobes. I have only my full time feminine clothes to worry about. And currently my biggest problem is rediscovering all my fall clothes. Most of which still fit since my size hasn't changed that much. Along with my eyes which I had recently checked. I still have the beginnings of a cataract in one eye which doesn't require surgery yet. So new glasses will soon be my new fashion update. 

Even though I use my bank card for almost everything I buy, I don't have to count my change anymore to buy my clothes. Plus one thing I forgot to mention was on line shopping . Liz is a huge fan but I am not so much. Having to return something because it is the wrong size is such a hassle. I still appreciate going to a store and shopping.