Showing posts with label transphobia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label transphobia. Show all posts

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Smiles Equal Confidence

 

Go Ahead and Smile from the
Jessie Hart Archives. 

Where ever I go in public, I try to lead with a smile to ultimately disarm any potential transphobic individuals. 

I have to remember also I look better when I soften my face which still has a tendency to go back to my old male scowl if I am not careful. A male scowl in my world always comes off as a bitchy look which I normally am never feeling. 

The whole process goes all the way back to the days when I was cross dressing my way to the front of the mirror. Since all the ups and downs which followed, I needed to learn to put my feminine image in motion if I was to succeed in following my transgender dreams. Since recently I have been getting out into the public's eye more and more again, I have needed to reinforce wearing a smile to boost my confidence as a senior trans woman. This morning was no different when I went with my wife Liz to her eye doctor visit. 

After I applied a light amount of makeup to go with my casual outfit, I thought for once I looked presentable for the world. I even tripped off my gender euphoria for a brief second. My euphoria lasted until I went through the door into the doctor's waiting room. For the briefest of time the two receptionists just stared at me and finally said how could they help me. Not the friendliest of greetings and I became worried about my presentation. Since I had quite a while to ponder the situation, I came up with the problem and it was all me.

I had forgotten the most important part of my presentation which is my smile. For the greatest majority of the public I face, a smile disarms them and allows me to communicate with them on a one on one basis. Plus when I am smiling, I am showing the confidence I need to enable the people in my world to be more friendly also. Most importantly, a smile is my best accessory when I use it properly. Not using it at all takes me back to the day when I was shopping for clothes and suddenly nearly ran into a girl child who was darting between the clothing racks. When she stopped and saw me, she exclaimed to her Mother "Look at the BIG woman." I had long enough to consider the kid at least called me a woman. Then she ruined the feeling by calling me a "BIG Mean woman." From then on I resolved to try to put a nicer look on my face and not scare the public with my bitchy look. 

After living a long unwanted life trying to exist in a male world, some habits are still hard to erase. Putting a smile on my face shouldn't be such a big deal but it is. So big, the whole process is as big as makeup, fashion and hair. Putting the whole image into motion is what counts for me to be truly successful as a full time transgender woman.  

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Gender Patterns

 

Witches Ball Image, I am on the 
Left from the Jessie Hart 
Archive

It is very easy if you take the time to listen to certain transphobic people who want to simplify the whole concept of human gender to know they are all wrong. It's the old men are men and women are women argument. As with any gender argument, there are grey areas which come up to cloud any discussion.

Take birth certificates for example. Sometimes it is not so cut and dry when the birthing doctor has to decide which gender a baby is when they are born. Intersex babies are left completely out of the decision process and are often left on their own to struggle later in life. The problem becomes when the child is forced to live a life they don't ever feel natural in. Or being the round peg forced into a square gender hole. The process begins early in life with pink or blue clothing all the way to ill-advised gender reveal parties. A child is doomed from the start to accept the gender pattern which is forced on them.

The pattern I described very much was how my early life turned out. I was born into a very male dominated family where my only other sibling was a slightly younger brother. So we did all the boy things like sports and playing in the woods. Plus I was raised in the 1950's to "greatest generation" parents who survived the great depression as well as World War II. They very much wanted boys and even though I resisted receiving gifts such as trucks and BB Guns, I received them anyhow instead of the dolls and toy kitchens I always wanted. 

Again and again, I desperately needed to hide my feminine self.  In order to just survive, I needed to develop methods of survival in a male world. I did the best I could to compete in sports and work on model cars. It seemed, the harder I tried, the worse I did. Even so, I was successful enough to keep the bullies away as I worked on the gender patterns I never really wanted. 

Until I really started to transition, I never completely realized how deeply entrenched I was in my fake male gender pattern. In the beginning, it was a simple as mastering makeup or trying my best to move like a woman. Then when I realized I was transgender my world needed to undergo a major change. Was I still going to keep fighting my trans urges or give in and lose all contact with the male patterns  I worked so long and hard to establish. 

In the end, I think no matter how hard I tried, I ended up being some sort of a gender hybrid. I was feminine enough to be accepted to play in the girl's sandbox, while at the same time just retaining just enough of my old male self to make me intriguing enough to the world to again just get by. Also, what the women around me never realized was how much I was watching and learning from all of them. It all went back to the days years ago when my second wife challenged me by saying how much I didn't know about women. She was right and it took me years to realize what she meant. To simplify her thought pattern (I think), she meant I would have to give up all of my male privileges' and start all over again as a transgender woman. Years later I made it.

Somehow, I think all the years I had spent carefully watching women came back to really help me when I set out to establish a new feminine gender pattern. I needed to factor in the reality of being out in the world which made my life so much more fulfilling. 

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Supporting Casts

 Recently I wrote a post concerning (among other things) the power of having cis-gender women friends to help your transgender transition along at key times. If you are similar to me, you started your gender journey in the mirror and dreamed of the day when I could enlist another more experienced woman's aid with my wardrobe and makeup. 

In response, I received this comment from "Anonymous" : " It’s nice to see the positive side, the genuine sense of joy in transition. I know I have felt euphoria as I have gained the confidence to comfortably present myself authentically to the outside world. It’s interesting that you mention feeling more comfortable in the company of women. That has been my experience. I am not attracted to men physically. Frankly, I prefer women as friends or if given the opportunity, as intimate partners." 

Thanks for the comment! 

For some reason, during my life I have always felt more comfortable around women, even though there were very few girls in the neighborhood I grew up in. In order to survive, I needed to develop strong masculine tendencies to basically keep the bullies away. Even though I was successful, I still for whatever reason, never really had many close male friends Maybe, it was a result of my inner feminine self. Or an overreaction to thinking I maybe gay. My own inner form of homophobia. In later years I wondered if the fear of my own sexuality would carry over into my own inner transphobia. Essentially when I feared what would happen if I went too far into living as a fulltime transgender woman. 

In passing the other day, I mentioned certain early cross dressers or transvestites' who were seemingly using cigars to back up their reliance on so called male stereotypes. to which I received this partial comment from Georgette who happens to still smoke cigars, even though she has transitioned:

" Why do so many people break everything down to a Masculine or Feminine thing, I get a laugh or no response from many part-time CD/TV that will say that they still enjoy all those "Manly" things, I started smoking cigars in my teen years and still do. It is a world of difference from smoking in general."

Thanks to you Georgette  for the comment!  I think too many people over-simplify the masculine and feminine thing. Including me. Sometimes I get lazy when I write and get ahead of myself. On the other hand, describing the differences between the two main binary genders becomes very tedious for me. As far as cigars go, they were part of my life when I needed to out macho another man, or at least connect with him. Before I transitioned and grew away from them, a good cigar was a priority of me so I understand where Georgette is coming from in her comment. 

As far as comments go, I always invite any of you to participate in the blog by commenting and I will try to add in your input when I can, Sometimes it is applicable, sometimes not. The same way I felt I couldn't use the makeup advice I was given very early on when I was a novice crossdresser. If the truth be known, I probably had more experience with makeup than some of the women I was with. Later on was when I discovered how much I could learn from the women around me about really being women. As Georgette said going much farther than simply breaking down life to a masculine versus feminine existence. 

It took me awhile to finally learn my second wife was trying to tell me the same thing when she said I made a terrible woman. Perhaps my problem was I was making a terrible person to begin with. It took the emergence of my inner female to recognize the difference with the help of a strong supporting cast.  

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Fear as a Motivator

 

Image from Amanda Jones
on UnSplash

Most of the time I can't remember the number of times I was paralyzed with fear as I pursued my gender path from a serious cross dresser to novice transgender woman. 

Examples include nights I sat in my car sitting in fear trying to figure out if I would go into the venue at all. Some decisions were easy such as entering gay venues but others were much more difficult.  Along the way also I made poor choices on which venues I was trying to go into which caused me to have more fear in the future. Mainly when I tried to visit redneck-ish places to see if I could present well enough to be accepted. The end result a couple of times were not good when I had the police called on me. I learned my lesson and was much more selective on where I went. It worked and the power of my fear was ultimately rewarded when I discovered venues where I could relax, have rest room privileges and become a regular patron.

There was a time when I considered the rush I received when I conquered my fear was a primary reason I cross dressed at all. Of course I finally realized fear was not why I wanted so badly to be a woman. The entire process went much deeper than all of that. What it did do was encourage me to go farther down my gender path. I set up goals I wanted to achieve. When I considered fear as a factor in future cross dressing decisions, it soon was reduced to just being nervous. Ironically, being nervous still sticks with me to this day. I need to push myself to certain restroom decisions because years ago, choosing the women's room was the primary reason I became a target of the public. By years ago, I mean the last time I experienced any restroom problems was nearly three decades ago but then again I am still nervous even though I know my way around the etiquette of using the women's room.  

Eventually I began to understand fear and used it as a powerful motivator. When I was considering not going to a party or a new venue I use fear as a reason to move forward. Of course now since it is rare I go anywhere without my wife Liz, we make a couple which keeps most transphobes at bay. 

Since I am mentally predisposed to having anxiety, I still have a tendency to worry about things such as me being mis-gendered again at my upcoming colonoscopy. Even though I keep thinking if that is all I have to worry about, I really don't have any issues at all...relatively speaking. I better begin to worry about the results of the exam as well as the unpleasant prep process I will have to go through before hand. 

It has occurred to me also, maybe I should have done a better job separating fear with excitement. My earliest days of exploring the world as a transgender woman were very exciting and the fear on occasion was a powerful motivator to conquer the gender anxiety in my life and move on. Plus, overcoming my fears gave me the all important confidence to move into a transgender life.  

Sunday, November 19, 2023

The Audacity of It

Image from the
Jessie Hart Archives


When you view the transgender community from the outside, I'm sure more than a few people, other wise known as transphobes, think we are nothing more than a group of people asking for audacious demands. 

I know with me, I often felt audacious in my demands on my wives as I transitioned towards being a transgender woman. After all, my wives were seemingly making all the sacrifices in the relationship as their man faded away. Through it all, yes I did feel guilty but at the same time, there was nothing I could do. Gender change was impossible as I journeyed along the path to eventually leaving my male self behind. Since deep down I knew there was nothing I could do about my gender issues (and or cross dressing), I knew my wives would eventually have to get over their misgivings and I would get my way. 

Also, I need to say both my first and second wives knew I was a cross dresser before we were married. I don't think either woman really cared until it came to me becoming more serious about living increasingly fulltime as a woman. My first wife was very easy going and never really pressured me before we broke up. My second wife was much more opinionated and did participate somewhat with my transgender self but never really liked my feminine self for whatever reason. From the beginning and all the way until she passed away, she drew the line at me starting hormone replacement therapy and taking another giant step along my gender path.

The audacity of it all came when she said she didn't sign up with me to be with another woman and she was right. There was nothing I could say. I will forever wonder if she ever would have come to get along with the woman I always was before she died. Of course I will never find out.

Then there are all the transgender haters or transphobes who have the ability to change our lives in the real world or as keyboard cowards (as I call them.) The audacity of all of them to intrude upon our lives speaks for itself. The only defense I can think of is, the transphobes can't and won't take the time to understand trans women or trans men. The unfortunate part of it is that just consider how long it takes most of us to understand our own gender issues. I know in my case, it was a real struggle to come to any understanding of what was going on in my life. 

The biggest audacity for me now is the fact I don't care what the world thinks of me. Especially transphobes and/or TERFS. Now I can face the world as my authentic feminine self with a tight knit group of family and friends around me. Plus I am a role model of sorts for my transgender grand-child. 

Being audacious all those years when I was struggling to learn the world as a transgender woman left me with so many scars. I learned the hard way to develop a thick skin and keep learning all the important lessons I needed to discover. The whole process was terrifying but all so satisfying.    

Friday, April 14, 2023

Transgender Fun?

 

Photo from the 
Jessie Hart Collection

I am sure there has been a transphobic individual (or several) who have suggested being transgender is some sort of a phase or worse yet is pursued as some sort of a fun pastime. Perhaps for a brief time when I considered myself a serious cross dresser, the times I was able to pull out my feminine wardrobe and briefly tried to enter my dream world of being a girl/woman I was having fun too.  The problem was in a very short period of time (a matter of days) I would be back to resenting the male world I was being forced to live in. 

In those days, so called fun was difficult to come by. Perhaps a few of the Halloween adventures I managed to find fun, after I calmed down and was able to live just a moment of my true reality. In the moment it was fun to listen to the compliments I received on my pretty legs or "costume".  Again, all of the fun turned to frustration as I looked ahead to another year of hiding out in my gender closet before I could test my appearance in public. I couldn't comprehend how I could wait one more year until another Halloween rolled around. 

As the years went by and I began to understand more completely my total gender dysphoria, the more I understood the true complexity of the issues facing me. I was heavily influenced by the new friends I met when I was able to free myself up to attend special small mixers in nearby Columbus, Ohio. More precisely I was able to meet levels of people who spanned the gender spectrum from transvestite "admirers" dressed in their male clothes all the way to transsexuals who were preparing themselves for sex change surgery, as it was called back in those days. In many ways, as I explored where I fit in, I found I glimpsed my future. Examples included the rare times a few lesbians attended and I was attracted to them and a couple of times they were attracted to me. As well as the night I was put in a compromising position when a huge admirer made advances on me in a hallway. To my chagrin, my second wife had to bail me out of the situation. Sadly, what I never had a chance to do was communicate with a couple of the transsexual women I knew after their surgery to learn how life was treating them. Basically they followed the path of trying to disappear and restart their lives totally and I lost touch.

If all this learning was fun, then I had my share. I basically learned truths about myself which took any light heartedness out of my developing gender closet. I found my entire being was being questioned and I felt more natural as a transgender woman. After the term was invented and I was able to read up on it on the internet. Through it all, I still couldn't see myself as a total candidate for gender surgery as I still had too much to lose as my male self. Those days were certainly no fun as I continued to explore my femininity while at the same time trying to maintain a life as a macho male. The gender ripping and tearing nearly killed me. Thankfully I was able to replace fun with satisfaction on the days I was able to go out in the world and live a life without problems as a transgender woman. 

I would point out to all the transphobes who say somehow the entire transgender lifestyle is lived with any sort of trying to achieve fun, they are sadly mistaken. But, lives can be lived to achieve a high level of satisfaction when a high level of inner femininity is reached and a wonderful new lifestyle is found. 

Saturday, January 7, 2023

A Brave New Transgender World

 One positive which came from yesterday's partial debacle during my Veterans Administration colonoscopy experience was finding out to take nothing for granted in my dealings with the world as a whole. As you may recall, for the first time in a very long time, I was mis-gendered at the VA. What made it especially frustrating is that I have gone through the trouble to change all my gender markers at the VA to female. One of my disclaimers is remarkably most all of my dealings recently as a transgender veteran have resulted in me being treated with respect including being being gendered correctly. 

My point is unfortunately around  every corner is a person in the world we as transgender women or trans men have to educate. Since in many ways we live outside the gender norms in society it is no surprise there are people who make no effort to understand or accept us. Sadly it seems there will always be. Plus with the advent of all the proposed new anti transgender laws, it will take us all to fight back and keep our rights. I would say anti LGBT laws but too many are directed to specific transgender people, I left the rest of the initials out.

On the other hand, once you have shaken your gender bonds, there is nothing better than experiencing your life as your authentic self. For me at least the whole process felt so natural. Even though the process of testosterone poisoning  hit me hard, I was still lucky enough to barely fit into a few feminine parameters such as size. Even though it was not easy to find women's shoes and clothes in my size it was far from impossible. Plus about that time was when stores began to stock larger sizes for women which unknowingly (maybe) included cross dressers and novice transgender women. As they say, timing is everything and the world seemed to be changing ever so slowly and slightly in it's understanding of gender dysphoric individuals. Even coming up with the new term to describe it called transgender. 

Just when we thought we were making advances, along came the transphobic person who would not accept us for who we are. At that point sometimes it was possible to educate the person to understand we trans folk aren't really much different than the rest of society. We had to overcome the years of talk shows and movies which depicted men who dressed as women as somehow being up to no good. Showing the public we were just ordinary people just trying to live their lives in their accepted gender. It's my opinion to this day, men don't trust us since we left the so called "brotherhood" and women were more likely to give us the benefit of the doubt since we were seeking to join their sisterhood. All of that entered my thinking when I was recently mis-gendered. Since I was, when I go back, I will be ready for them to the point of explaining who I am. Hopefully to prepare them for the next trans person which comes along. 

Photo courtesy of Mandy

Before I conclude this post, I would like to welcome "Mandy" of the "Me to Mandy" blog back to Google Blogger. You can find her also on my Blogroll. 

In the meantime, no matter where you are in your progression to a brave new transgender world be patient. Together we can make it. 

Sunday, October 30, 2022

The Greatest Insult

 Perhaps the biggest Halloween insult any transgender person has to endure is the comment of great costume when you are simply out being yourself. In the middle of all of the glowing posts (including mine) of Halloweens' past, what if you found yourself in the middle of a transphobes world wanting to destroy your world for no apparent reason. I'm writing this post indirectly for one reason and directly for another.

Photo Courtesy
Jessie Hart
First, the indirect reason. I have a transgender friend who on social media wrote on the torment of never having the freedom of being a cis woman able to exist in a world without transgender haters. The sad part is my friend who I met at the beginning of her journey from male to female, has blossomed into a very attractive woman. Her problem, similar to many of us, is we carry the effects of testosterone poisoning with us. No matter how much money you have, there is next to nothing you can do about your size. Even though I have managed to lose quite a bit of weight over the years of my transition, I am still big and have a thick torso. So I know completely where my friend is coming from. As far as dealing with unfeeling transphobes or people in general who open their mouths without thinking, I just try to stare them down and consider the ignorant source.

As a matter of fact, I had to deal with the very same situation yesterday at the funeral of a friend my wife Liz and I attended. About three quarters of the way through the service I noticed someone giggling behind us which I thought was incredibly wrong due to the circumstances all of the mourners were going through. Finally through the laughing I heard that's a man. Perhaps I was just hearing things but I assumed the comment was directed towards me. After the service I didn't have any other dealings with anyone I assumed to be the source of the problem, so we paid our respects and left. It was time to rest my sore back and watch The Ohio State Buckeyes play football. 

Plus, my days of partying are nearly over and I myself have never been to a venue on Halloween which didn't have a serious Halloween party in progress. So I didn't put myself in a position for any out of the way comments concerning my gender. Very early in the Halloween "costume" process (as well as life in general) I learned the comment about how I presented as a woman was I looked good in a dress, for a man. I always remember the heartbreak, to this day, of how much of life I had missed by not coming out earlier or even never ever having the chance to ever be a cis female. 

Finally I decided to do the best I could with what I had to work with. Surely, hormone replacement therapy helped quite a bit but on occasion I still wonder what it would have been like to grow up as a girl.

As far as the world goes, they can take their unfeeling insults and shove it.  

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

The French Girl

 

Photo from Jonathan Borba
on UnSplash

As October progresses it is time for yet another Halloween post. This one also happened several years (or decades) ago when I was desperately searching for my true gender identity. 

As Halloween approached, once again I was torn between wearing something trashy or toning it down several notches and trying to present as a cis woman out for a good time at the party. Earlier I had decided to go to one of the biggest parties in town at a nearby venue in a convention center. Further more I knew my first wife wouldn't want to go so I would be on my own. Which gave me more freedom in my decision of what to wear. 

Since I was perpetually short on funds, plus had a small wardrobe, I needed to be creative when coming up with a "costume". 

After quite a bit of thought and a little luck I happened upon a black beret at one of the big local box stores I shopped at. Quickly I became brave enough to try it on and amazingly it fit well. The price was right and I had discovered the beginning of a party outfit to wear. One which had a theme and wasn't too trashy. Ironically I was able to put together the "costume" from the beret down and go as a French woman (not a maid). 

Since I was partial to black as it minimized my size, I had plenty of the color in my small wardrobe to work with. I started with a leotard top, added a black short skirt I had, added black tights and my black flats and was happy with the result after I added my blond wig. Included in my make up. I made sure to highlight my lips with a red lipstick and I was ready to go  For once fairly confident in how I looked and eager to experience the feedback from others. 

Predictably, most of the other party goers were too wrapped up in their own times to notice me but I did have a few unwelcome pinches to my rear area. I wonder if they knew all they were feeling was foam rubber. After a while, this person in a full robe and mask comes up to me and abruptly says "I know who you are." I was shocked until he lifted his mask and explained. He said he knew me because we grew up together and I looked like my Mom. Of course once I saw him, I did know him from my time growing up. In fact he taught me how to drive his car when I was fourteen. 

For the longest time I didn't know how to react to being recognized.  Finally my ego told me to be flattered because literally I knew I had always looked similar to my Mom and that night someone else had seen it also. Following the "outing" the person involved and I went back to rarely seeing each other so the incident never had a chance to be revisited again. 

Perhaps I was lucky it was never revisited because I learned the person who I interacted with turned out to be a huge transphobe. So I am sure the conversation wouldn't have been cordial. But in the long run I learned who cares anyway.

As far as the party went, I had a wonderful time and enjoyed immensely how the evening went along. Sadly I would have to wait another year for a re-run.  

Monday, September 19, 2022

Transgender Evolution

Photo courtesy
Jessie Hart

 I am biased but I continue to view the transgender experience as human evolution. I mean how else where you are forced to cross the binary gender divide to sample how the "other half" lives. Surely it is a difficult journey but at the end of it we all have a chance to build a new/different person. Often from scratch.

We have to go through many of the same issues cis women go through on their journey to become women. Keep in mind, being female does not guarantee you will ever achieve true womanhood. Similar to males becoming men. On our journey to finding our authentic gender selves we are capable of encountering as many toxic females as males. Sadly, we don't often possess the life tools to deal with them. In my own case, I tried my best to stay away from most all males. So I never had the chance to find out if they were toxic or not. It were the females who surprised me.

As life went by it seemed I attracted the attention of far more females than males. For the most part I was accepted into the feminine world without much of a problem. On the other hand, there were plenty of times I was made to jump out of the girls sandbox and regroup. For whatever reason I was rejected, especially in a few lesbian circles. Another example was when Liz and I were minding our own business at a lesbian Valentines party when a stray female forced her way into my world asking what my "real" name was. I don't know what problem she had with me me except she was a huge transphobe looking for trouble. After me basically ignoring her, she finally went away.

Even though I had my share of unpleasant encounters and I was sent home in tears, I knew deep down, it was all a learning experience.  No one ever said life was going to be easy and I found out the hard way how true it was when I made it out of my closet and into the world as a novice transgender woman. Seemingly, destiny was on my side when I had just enough pleasant or positive experiences to keep me moving forward. Such as the night at Fridays restaurant and bar when I made the conscious decision to try to go out and exist as a woman. Not just look like one. A huge mind shift for me as I was considering moving from being a cross dresser to seeing if I could exist in a feminine world. 

Naturally I evolved with my overall skills as I transitioned. Mainly I learned to blend in and communicate with other women successfully. 

Finally I arrived at a point where it didn't make any sense to continue in a male life I was miserable in and I made the final evolution into a full time transgender woman's life. My future wife Liz said it best to me. She pointed out how rare it was for a person to have a second chance at life so do it the best you can.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Do I Know You?

 On occasion, my interaction with Facebook continues to dismay and amaze. 

Last night it seemed all the "crazies" were out on FB...including me. Sometimes when I am bored I will sarcastically interact with someone just to see (or experience) the reaction I get. I was rewarded when I got someone's panties in a bunch simply by writing my disapproval of heavily filtered pictures. I was rewarded with a tirade which referred to me as being transphobic as well as other things. Not looking for a fight, I just let the whole matter slip away. 

This morning though, I was greeted with a totally different friend request.  It's very rare, I encounter any requests from my hometown. Not only did I receive one but the woman I received it from actually used to work for me in one of my restaurants I managed.

At my peak, I managed (or tried to) a staff of over seventy five front of the house servers, hostesses and bartenders in my busiest unit. As I looked at the picture and name, my rusty noggin slowly came to the realization the person sending me a friend request indeed was one of my former servers.  I knew this because of one of our mutual friends and the fact she was wearing a Pittsburgh Steelers jersey in one of her pictures.

Overall, the memories of this time of my life were very sad. It was during the period when I lost several dear friends and my wife to various diseases. Plus my gender dysphoria was running at an all time high as I explored if I wanted to, or could, live in a feminine world as a transgender woman. 

As I returned to reality, I was so happy to have lived through the "dark ages" of my life to get to the existence I have now.

To make a long story short, I accepted her friend request. It will be interesting now if or when I will hear back from her.  

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

De-Transition?

Every once in a while, I see a post concerning someone deciding to stop their gender transition and reverse it.  

While I would never consider it, I see the entire topic as an issue which can be seized upon by transphobes everywhere. After all the, the transphobes now have the chance to say they were right about suggesting attempting the daunting task of a human gender change was wrong to start with. 

Even though I would never consider going back on the life path I have chosen, I can definitely understand why someone else would. As I was learning how to negotiate the feminine world, I found I had no real idea of how complex the process would be. I found out the hard way I would have to learn so much more. I thought once I achieved a certain level of feminine appearance, I had completed my Mtf Gender Transition. Little did I know I was just beginning. 

Heading down my new feminized path showed me how communication provided me the beginnings of a new relationship I would have to learn in the world. As I have written about many times, the first couple of times I was reduced to a second class citizen by men was very enlightening in a negative way. Had I not been so certain of where I wanted my path to take me, losing my male privileges would have been a great place to return to being a part time cross dresser. 

I was fortunate too in that I didn't have to deal with very many friends or family during a time when being transgender was very mis-understood. I was even able to retire so I didn't have to face a hostile work environment. My point is, I can understand how all that pressure could convince someone to de- transition.

Ironically, as I enter the final years of my life, I now face the possibility of being forced to back track down my gender path in an assisted living facility. That though is a topic for another blog post which includes a topic about life insurance. 

In the meantime, all the transphobes can go to hell.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Combatting Transphobia

 Recently, I was following the lives of some of the Facebook friends I actually know fairly well. 

One of which, I was fortunate to have met during the very beginning of her transgender transition. As with most of us, she has gone through the peaks and valleys of a Mtf gender transition.  She was obviously in a valley as she described a transphobic someone not in total acceptance of her being transgender and a woman for the rest of her life.

Here is what my partner Liz wrote: "Most people say things like this out of fear. They are either afraid of something that they know nothing about, or they are afraid of something they fear in themselves. When people react in anger towards others that they don't understand, it is usually because they fear something in themselves that they refuse to face. You are beautiful, and I am proud of you for finally living as your true self. 

Something that I tell Cyrsti all the time, is you have to realize how amazing you are. You have completely changed who you are! You have completely reinvented yourself into who you are in your heart and soul. How many people can do that? Very few! I am always so proud and in awe of all Transgender humans, people, because of your depth of heart and soul to live as your authentic selves. You are all very special, very magical beings. Those ignorant people could not even begin to understand how special you all are. None of those fools would have the courage or tenacity to completely transform themselves. They walk blindly through life not wanting to see the real world around them. Just think of how sad their lives must be. Believe in yourself! You are more beautiful and courageous than all of those ignorant idiots. Don't waste your time on them, they aren't worth it. Just believe in yourself and know how special you are! Hugs!" 

💜💜

💜I am so fortunate to have Liz in my life!

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Internalized Transphobia

 From Connie and indirectly Emma, we received this comment on the blog post "Saying Hello":

I think Emma hit on the main answer by referring to "Internalized Transphobia." Through our own insecurity, we can often project it on to others. When I first presented my feminine-self to the outside world, it was in association with a trans (mostly cross dresser) group. I quickly learned the rules of trans engagement, and one of the top rules was: Whenever two or more are gathered, the chances for being outed are exponentially increased. Especially when we are out by ourselves, as when shopping, we are often very much aware and self-conscious about being outed. As upsetting as it may be to out oneself (as by the sound of our voice, for example), it would be not-so-cool to press another trans person into a situation that could be upsetting to themselves.


I run across trans women quite frequently when I'm out and about. Even though I am so much more secure with myself than I used to be, even seeing another trans woman is a reminder of my own gender identity and dysphoria. If we should make eye contact, I normally just flash a friendly smile (now hidden behind my N-95 Covid mask, unfortunately), just as I would with anyone else. It's like being stopped at a four-way-stop intersection when the drivers aren't sure who was there first, and who should make the first move. Of course, there have also been instances where the other person made a concerted effort to avoid me by making a u-turn (something I've never experienced with a cis woman). Years ago, while I was doing a job making late-night deliveries in a small business district , I spotted a young trans woman at an ATM across the street . We were the only people around, and I guess my gaze was a bit obvious. She responded with an enthusiastic flip of the bird. Actually, my only thought was that of admiration for being out at such a young age, but she didn't know that. We were being influence by each of our internalized transphobias.

I might note here that I have met with Emma once. We had a pleasant happy hour meeting in a busy downtown lounge. Although I don't think either of us were too much under the influence of transphobia, I remember thinking to myself afterward that we could have talked a lot more about something other than being trans. Perhaps, we'll meet again some day, without the Covid masks - or the trans masks, either. ;-)"

I think too, so many transgender women or cross dressers are so desperately trying to "present" they don't want to be recognized and this results in "internalized transphobia " too.

Thanks for the thoughtful comment!

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Transphobia and the Trans Girl

This post is actually the second in a recent Internalized Transphobia post here in Cyrsti's Condo. Yesterday, we featured Calie's comment. Today, here is Connie's:

"Internalized transphobia is within the individual, but it can manifest itself within the transgender community, as well. Especially for those of us who started sensing our dysphorias during the social climate that existed over a half-century ago, there is a deep-seeded notion of guilt and shame associated with our gender identities. We may have started out thinking that we were the only one in the world who was trans (or whatever label we might have applied to ourselves at the time - for me, borderline insanity). No matter what measures we may have taken toward mitigation over the subsequent years, that notion never really goes away. We can change our appearances, our mannerisms, our voices, and/or our bodies, but we can't escape that notion of guilt and shame.

I can tamp down my guilt and shame through building my own confidence and self-esteem. I've even had a spiritual experience, wherein, I truly believe, it was God's voice that came to me - saying, "It's OK; You are OK." As much as I accept and believe that, however, I have, at times, asked God, "When are you going to let everyone else know it?"

Most cis people spend very little time thinking about their own genders, whereas a trans person can sometimes be obsessed by their own gender identity. I think that could be internalized transphobia, in itself. Through my own transition, I have become less aware of my gender identity. I am certainly more at peace with myself this way, but it is not without some effort that I can achieve it. My own vanity requires much of my effort, although I work on my appearance and presentation more as another vain woman would than I did when I cross dressed. Still, I am reminded in the shower every morning, and in the mirror when I get out, that there is more than just a trace of masculinity that needs to be made as less-evident as possible to others, as well as myself. That comes out of my internalized transphobia and dysphoria, I know, but it is usually easy enough to squelch through a well-developed denial - long enough for me to do the necessary cover-up. Doing so doesn't bring excitement, as it might have when I was switching gender presentations as the occasion demanded; it's the necessary evil of which I have come to expect.

When trans people interact, we often see ourselves in each other. Whether that is good or bad depends on many things, but a projection of internalized transphobia, or even the perception of it, can make things challenging. If nothing else, it is difficult to escape the idea of self-gender identity at all when one sees it in another. As much as I like to believe I am accepted as a woman - who happens to be trans - by society, in general, I can't get past the feeling of being no more than a trans woman when I am in the presence of another trans woman. The individuality and autonomy I have worked so hard to achieve seems to disappear, and I revert back to a time when my self-confidence was not-so-strong. I wind up comparing myself to her, and then have to remind myself that there is no right way to be trans. I'm no better, and I'm no worse - because we are all just individuals. I know that, but I allow those old feelings of guilt and shame to resurface (to one degree or another). It's just easier to avoid the problems by avoiding other trans women. Then, of course, there is the guilt-by-association factor, which may be real, but much more powerful through perception. I could tell many stories of how I wanted to make to make it clear that I was not the same as my trans friend, when we were out in public together. Sometimes, I actually did, and it may well be the reason I don't hear from them anymore."

I agree with the idea of seeing each other when we meet another transgender person. We are reminded of the journey we took and how the same journey affected the other person. Fairly or not, I am not judging another trans woman (or man) on their looks so much as their attitude. An example would be one of the two people I met years ago who went all the way through genital realignment surgery. One had a I'm better than you edge to her while the other was very nice to the point of not hanging out very much with the cool girl clique. In other words, she exuded a feminine class that some cis women just seem to have. My favorite point is all females don't necessarily transition into women. Cis or not. 

Thanks Connie for the comment.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

No I Can't Help

This comment comes from Calie and goes back to the recent post concerning internalized transphobia. It's a great comment and indirectly happened to me too:

"I assume we're talking transphobia within the trans community.

I helped a very close friend through her transition, from when she was a "he" to the completion of her many surgeries and well into her new life. Throughout her transition, she was very active in our local trans organization but all of that came to an end once she had fully transitioned and started a completely new life and job. She vowed to stay away from the trans community and has continued for many years now to have nothing to do with it. I sort of get that.

What just killed me and pretty much killed our friendship was a question I asked her when she had separated herself from the trans community. From my pre-teens, I have always felt I should transition. For many complicated reasons, I never did. There was a time, following her transition that I was very, very close to making the decision to go forward. I asked her if she would stand by me, as I did during her transition...going out with me, coaching me, helping me with mannerisms, voice, etc......all of the things I helped her with. With no hesitation at all, she said no. She felt that associating with someone who clearly would not pass, at least in the beginning, would result in her being clocked. OK, I get it, but I was deeply hurt and we now speak to each other perhaps once a year."

Thanks for the comment!  I imagine you were hurt! So sorry. 

I had a close acquaintance I saw on a fairly regular basis until she went through the genital realignment surgery. She was always very presentable as a cross dresser and/or a transvestite back in those days, so in many ways I considered her a muse. Even though she didn't indicate she wanted to break off all interaction with me after her operation, I assumed she would want too. After all I was a mere questioning cross dresser back in those days. Perhaps she would have had enough wisdom to tell me moving forward to GRS was not a matter of looks. It was a matter of how you felt. 

I am sorry now I assumed she never wanted to see me again. 

Friday, May 1, 2020

Internalized Transphobia?

Internalized trans phobia is often a difficult subject. In many cases I relate it to how we treat each other as a transgender person. As we all know, for whatever reason, it is not the best. Unfortunately, it seems the ravages of transition has left persons deeply flawed. Or they simply were before their changes took place. The only place anymore I interact with another transgender person is the occasional cross dresser - transgender meeting I now attend by Zoom. Or, through comments here on the blog. I do my best to remember why I started this blog. It was to provide any help I could to anybody.  I am so fortunate to be able to say, over the years I have received very few transphobic comments to respond to. My favorite continues to be someone who wrote in and told me I was just another old guy on hormones. 

Looking back on other instances of transphobia in my life came from the site where it turns out I met up with Connie and Marcia for the first time. There was a person who lived relatively close to me here in Southern Ohio who I thought might be interesting to know. My ideas came to a screeching halt when all I found she had to talk about was her former law practice and all the operations she had endured. Obviously, it was clear early I didn't meet her standards of being transgender. Even at a point when I was desperately trying to find my new self, it was obvious she wasn't the answer.  

For a more in depth look at how trans phobia can work within a person, let's take a look at how Connie perceives it:

"I know that I am retaining some internal transphobia. It is the reason that I am now working as an hourly employee instead of running my own business, as I did most of my working life. I know how difficult it is to grow a business, in the best of circumstances, but being rejected by a potential customer or client because of my "transness" would be stifling. I've had it happen to me once, and I am too afraid to put myself in that position again. Not closing the deal for any other reason, such as a high bid, can be hard enough to accept, but that's a reflection on my business skills - not on myself for who I am. Unfortunately, being a transgender woman is not on the list of "secrets to success for starting your small business." I have, pretty much, taken the route of going stealth (in the traditional sense; not as I see many people using it as a term simply for not coming out). I mainly just go quietly about my life, and I try to avoid putting myself into situations where my being trans has anything to do with what I'm doing. I see myself as a woman who happens to be trans, rather than a trans woman, which helps to keep my internalized transphobia at bay. Having nothing to do with the current virus lockdown, it's been a very long time since I've had a face-to-face meeting with another trans person. It's so difficult to not start a discussion about trans issues with another trans person, and I've often walked away from an encounter with another trans person asking myself why we didn't simply talk about something else - just as we would have with a cis person. Sure, it's what we have in common, but it's not the only thing. In fact, I remember having a discussion about that very thing with a trans woman! That, I think, is partly out of some transphobia. Even the time I spend reading and responding to blogs is partially a response to my own phobia. It's as though I need to defend myself or make some sort of explanation. I keep telling myself that what I write may be of help to someone else, though; maybe even right now (?)".

Great point...thanks!

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Trans-Transphobia?

Even though it sounds like a contradiction in terms but in the transgender community you can definitely think transphobia is possible. It could come from two sources.

The first of which are left over male vestiges from a Mtf gender transition. Take Caitlynn Jenner for example. Knowing fair well the incoming Republican candidate was anti trans, she still supported him anyhow. She couldn't do away with all her previous male life, even if it meant protecting future transgender rights. Most certainly cis women support Republican ideas too but does their phobia's come from different places than men. Most people think women are the kinder and more gentle gender aren't always correct. I have known too many trans women who still can't leave their male past behind for any number of reasons. 

I think too, much of this relates to the "I'm more transer than thou" attitude, another reflection of latent transphobia. 

In our earliest cross dressing days, many of us (including me) fixate so totally on looking feminine, we do lose fact of what being feminine is all about. However, all the operations in the world, can't "teach" you how to be a cis woman. You have to live it, like they did. At this point, good old male competitiveness sets in. More operations and/or a nicer wardrobe make you more of a "woman" than the next trans woman.  Maybe the people who still advocate for going stealth to escape the community are right. 

Plus, it is exceedingly difficult to cross the gender frontier and it takes more than a little internal fortitude to do it. If you able to come through it unscathed as a human being, you have done well. As we all know too, there are so many different layers to being a cross dresser all the way to living full time as a transgender woman. I am one myself as I am relatively rare in the circles of people I know. I have been able to carve out a successful life living in a feminine world. Without the expense or pain of any operations. To each their own though, I have one dear friend who had her genital realignment surgery postponed at the last possible minute because of the Ohio Covid Virus restrictions on elective surgeries. Daily, I hope for the day she can finally realize her dream of have the gender confirming surgery. Like her, it is easy to get stuck in the complex layers of who we are. 

Before we know it, if we are not careful, we can become transphobic without even realizing it.  

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Caitlyn Jenner's Transgender Influence?

To be certain, Ms. Jenner's polarizing influence on the trans community has been well documented. But, how has she fared outside of the LGBTQ world?

I found a fairly decent post on the subject to share with all of you. It's written by Patrick Miller, an associate professor of political science at the University of Kansas. Here is an excerpt:

"The Politics of Being 'Cait': Caitlyn Jenner, Transphobia, and Parasocial Contact Effects on Transgender-Related Political Attitudes" appears in the current issue of American Politics Research.
"The entire question of celebrities in politics is vastly understudied," Miller said.
"Politicians seek their endorsement. Brands obviously pay them a lot of money to endorse their products. We have the sense that they're important but—especially in political science—we have not appreciated enough just how important they can be."
That importance is reflected in the opinions of Americans who followed Jenner when she revealed her transgender identity in 2015. Examining how age, partisanship and transphobia impacted engagement with the Jenner story, Miller found it shaped attitudes toward  in unexpected ways.
Caitlyn Jenner
"What's interesting about the Jenner case is the people who she seemed to influence are the older, more conservative type—those who probably became vested in her back when she was Bruce Jenner competing in the Olympics and appearing on Wheaties boxes," said Miller, who co-authored the article with KU's Don Haider-Markel along with Andrew Flores, Daniel Lewis, Barry Tadlock and Jami Taylor.
Conducted in 2015 shortly after Jenner came out, Miller's survey reveals that among the respondents who followed her story, those who were both older and more transphobic were less likely to see it as reflecting negative social trends compared to  who were equally anti-transgender. And this same group was more likely to support pro-transgender policies if they interpreted Jenner's story less negatively.
"She didn't appear to have any effect on the younger people who might have been more attuned to "Keeping Up with the Kardashians." So, in that sense, her audience seemed rather durable, despite her rebranding over time," he said."
Find more on this post here.

Monday, March 9, 2020

More Work Stories

In response to the Cyrsti's Condo "transphobia" work post concerning the mis-treatment of a transgender acquaintance of mine. You may recall she ran into an intensely hate filled interaction when she dropped off a couple skids of freight. She is a short haul truck driver. It turns out we have another former trucker who reads the blog and commented. Here is Michelle:

I can emphasize with your friend who had to endue an A""hole like that. I was a long haul driver and found that I had to very careful while on the road. Not only at the delivery points but at truck stops. Several times I was glad that I always fueled up before finding a spot for the night. For the most part, I stayed away from everyone but there were several times that ugliness reared it's head when eating or trying to get a shower. It was scary to say the least."

Thanks Michelle, glad you "survived!"

The other comment comes from Connie who works in her life as a full time transgender woman:

"I have taken a temporary job with the 2020 Census, which will begin in a couple of weeks. I worked the 2000 Census, as my old male self, so I have an idea of what the work will entail. I will be interviewing people who either could not, would not, or simply did not fill out their questionnaires, as required by law. Some of these people are reluctant to talk to a "government official," even in this sanctuary city of Seattle. I imagine that some of them may be reluctant to talk to a transgender woman, as well. I am expecting to experience some negative reactions, at any rate.

I am cognizant of the fact that, no matter how nice someone else may be to me, there are those who will turn around and tell someone else about the tr..ny they just met, after I've walked away. Even years before I ever went out in public, that was the best of scenarios I could imagine for myself; the thought of someone holding such disregard or hate for me was my paranoia. Laughing at me behind my back seemed to be worse than anything someone might say to my face. I really feel much the same way now, to tell the truth, but I have learned to put the thought out of my mind. Whether to my face or behind my back, however, I have to remember that what anybody else may think about me is none of my business. To be a confident, gracious, and friendly woman is my business, though, and that's the best I can do. As we've discussed many times, being out as a trams woman is not for the faint of heart. I have chosen to push my limits, rather than to allow my paranoia to hold me back and to play it safe.

I not only work for the US Census, I count just as much as anyone else! :-)"

Connie is a great example of how you can survive as a working transgender woman! 

Personally, I am so fortunate enough that I was able to scrape by and retire on my meager Social Security plus what ever vintage items I could sell. So I never had to worry about coming out to anyone on a job. Plus, every now and then there is a great story around here in Cincinnati about companies who are LGBTQ friendly such as Kroger and Fifth Third Bank versus ones who are not such as Western and Southern Insurance. Also Procter and Gamble is friendly to us too.Maybe a little information to influence your buying habits.

And finally, there is Mandy who ran into a problem when she went to pick up a prescription:

"Been there done that...had an incident a while back at the local pharmacy.
The male clerk took exception to my women's stirrup pants and blouse outfit, and made a Big F------ Deal out of it. I handled him tactfully and appropriately, but his only problem was that both a female peer (who was offended by his rant) and his female manager heard him. He was fired shortly thereafter, and I ended up with a nice gift card from the manager. Quick Karma Indeed.
Interesting thought about "wondering if he might have a few dresses in his closet!"
I am glad your hassle was resolved and he was fired! Thanks for sharing! 

The Gender Waltz

Image from Clarisse Meyer on UnSplash Since the beginning of time, the two binary genders have done a special dance with each other.  Being ...