Showing posts with label transvestite. Show all posts
Showing posts with label transvestite. Show all posts

Thursday, July 18, 2024

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 transgender, I have been fortunate to have seen and experienced dancing from both sides of the spectrum. Before I go any farther, I do need to say I am a terrible dancer. In fact, the only time I have tried to dance was when I was so intoxicated I could barely stand up. Sadly, there were recordings made of my dancing struggles.

Certainly, my struggles with dancing were with women . I still tried but since I was so shy, I had very few interactions with girls or women at all. No dancing for me outside of the lessons my Mom made me take. It made it worse as I was at the embarrassing age when many girls were taller than the boys. We learned such trendy dances way back then such as the Cha-Cha as I remember. The grand experiment failed and immediately, I tried to put the entire experience behind me.

Of course gender waltz's go way past just real live dances. Just one of the main ones is inter-gender communication. When the book came out called Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus and appeared on the book stands, I wondered where was I from? It took me years to figure it out. I was from neither. Regardless, it did not take a genius to figure out there are very big differences in the genders other than biological. It is the reason, men and women have such a difficult time understanding each other.

Interestingly, the differences between  the genders extend to what friends we choose. In my case, since I grew up with only other males in my neighborhood, early on all my friends were boys. However, as I grew older, the vast majority of my friends were with women and I had very few close male friends at all. I guess deep down, I was getting ready for my future. 

Recently, I read a post from another transgender woman how she vastly approved having men friends over women. Why? Because she didn't  really like the interaction with other women including the body language on how they crossed their legs  all the way down to how they were sitting. In addition, she didn't enjoy the feminine give and take very much. She much more preferred to talk to men. In my case, I waltzed in the opposite direction. I didn't like the reaction I was receiving from men when I talked to them as a transgender woman. So I resorted back to when I was a guy and was able to communicate the best I could with the women around me. It was all I could do to survive in a new gender world. 

None of my new dance was easy to do. Even though it felt more natural to me. With women, especially, I needed to try to judge what they were really trying to say to me, often in a round about way. Was a compliment really a compliment or merely an opening to try to find out something else about me. I learned the hard way how to dance in a new world not as a cross dresser but as a novice transgender woman. Who knows, maybe other women sensed my innocent approach and it helped me to be accepted. Until the newness of meeting a transgender woman wore off and life resumed. 

Outside of a few exceptions, I rarely had many interactions with men I sought out and was accepted into a world of women. I enjoyed my new dance so much and wanted it to go on forever and so far, without a few exceptions, it has. Maybe I was just trying too hard to dance the wrong way after all. 



Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Having it All as a Trans Girl

Archived image
after Beauty Salon. 

As we negotiate difficult gender journeys on the way to becoming our authentic selves as transgender women or trans men, we find it is tough to have it all in our lives.

Many times, as we give up much of the baggage we have accumulated in our old lives, we have to give up spouses, families and even employment. On the plus side, if we have the chance, we can build back better in our new lives. In fact, I was told once by a woman I knew, I had an unique situation. I was starting all over in life where as most other humans never have the chance to do. Before I could get there, I needed to do quite a bit of work.

Early on, I obsessed on my feminine appearance, wrongly thinking it was all I needed to do to make it in the world as a cross dresser or transgender woman. Seeing as how my wife was fond of calling me the pretty princess all the time and I knew nothing about being a woman. Now, I wish I would have listened closer to her. As it was, I did listen to the point where I really began to work overtime observing women to see what she meant and it was not enough. I still didn't understand and my male ego continued to get in my way when I happened to have a successful night out cross dressing. Like the evening I went to a transvestite mixer and was carded at the door to prove I was a guy and not a cis-woman. My defense was I had to know what a woman was if I had been mistaken for one the night before. Plus, somehow I held my gender dilemma against my wife because she would not help me,  As  I always mention, it seemed my wife and my male self ganged up on me to slow down my transition. Both had a losing stake in the process if I made it.

At any rate, I said to hell with them and set out to look behind the sacred feminine curtain to see if I could survive. Quickly, I learned not only could I survive but just possibly I could thrive as a transgender woman. In order to make my way behind the gender curtain, I needed to really learn the basics of communicating as a woman, mainly with other women. I found I had a curious audience of women wondering at the least what I was doing in their world and at the most, learning I was not any sort of a threat. For awhile, my life was moving fast and I was close to seeing what having it all might mean for this trans girl. It all became tantalizingly close. 

So close, I kept moving forward as fast as I could, especially when the forces which were holding me back began to weaken and disappear.  It became easier and easier to toss my old male baggage in the trash and acquire new feminine luggage, The turmoil I experienced at once was the toughest, saddest moment of my life coupled in with a few of the most exciting times I had ever experienced. 

Even with all of my changes I was going through as a transgender woman, I still didn't think I was ever on the edge of having it all. Life is just not built that way. Primarily with the help of a small group of very accepting women friends, I was able to come close and open gender doors which were previously closed to me. I was able to never look back at a male life I never really wanted.

Sunday, July 7, 2024

Trans Acceptance


Liz on Left, Daughter on Right.

Today, my wife Liz and I are heading north to Dayton, Ohio for a family birthday party. The party is for my youngest grandson and my daughter's father in law. 

The get together of my daughter's extended family has always been a different experience for me, as a man or a woman. Per norm, my visits as a man were ego driven with battles with my son in law in particular. They were nothing as compared with any other macho activities I faced with the family.

When I completed my male to female gender transition, I wondered how I would be accepted. If at all. It turned out as my daughter led the way, the rest of the family followed. As most of you regular readers know, my kid was wonderfully supportive from the very beginning. However, as her family expanded to three grandkids for me, what would they think of my gender issues. Spoiler alert, all three took my transition in stride and my oldest grandkid even came out as transgender before "they" left high school. They (chosen pronouns) were always leaning that way, so I was not really surprised.    

As time and events went by, my feminine self was still chosen to stand up in front of a temple and actively participate in one of the bar mitzfah ceremonies since my daughter converted over to the Jewish faith. Her decision led me to a whole other level of acceptance I never knew existed. From the Rabbi, to cousins I never knew before, I was accepted as an equal person. No one cared.

Now when we make the hour trip to the birthday party, I have nothing but good feelings. At the least, transgender acceptance as a person helps my gender euphoria, at it's best I get to see my trans grandchild again. Plus, I get to moderately dress up for my first wife who usually attends as she is the mother of my daughter. Recently she gave me a complement which literally left me speechless. She mentioned how good I looked and how far I had come along. Now I feel bad, I couldn't come back with anything else than a mumbled thank you. She went way back with me to the Army and she knew I was a cross dresser before we got married.

Since now I am close to the oldest person in the room, never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would ever become a matriarch.   

Thursday, May 30, 2024

The Quiet Trans Girl

Image from Linkedin on UnSplash.

Growing up, I lived under the double edged sword of not wanting to live in a male dominated world which was my family. So I did what I was taught to do, I internalized my thoughts and never mentioned them to anyone.  I became a very quiet trans girl until when I was in my early twenties and came out as a transvestite to a few very close friends. In the Army, of all places. 

In fact, internalizing my feminine desires became my main theme to my life. On many days, when my gender dysphoria was at it's highest, I had no idea how I was going to make it through another day in a male world. Somehow, without the help of anyone else I made it and continued to live a very quiet life with a few male dominated activities included to throw my gender doubters off the beaten track. Somehow I managed to join up with a small group of hell raisers who I stayed friends with through high school and the military.

Staying hidden in my closet had a negative effect when I first took my tentative steps in the world as a novice cross dresser / transgender woman. When I made my entrance into the real world away from gay bars and clothing stores where everyone could be accepted, I was petrified when someone attempted to communicate with me. What would I say and more importantly how would I say it. Nothing in my life had prepared me for what I was about to face. 

I began the process with simply trying to mimic the voice of the woman who was trying to talk to me, which seemed to work out fairly well until I needed to talk to a man. So I tried to do the next best thing and not talk at all. Not talking worked fairly well until I began to see people again. For the most part, I was easy to remember and more people than I care to mention wanted to know more about me. Particularly women, who in their own feminine way wanted to know why I wanted into their world. To further my communication success, I then decided to attend vocal classes at the Veteran's Administration in Dayton, Ohio. By doing so, I was able to learn the basic differences the male and female binary genders use to communicate in the world. The training went much farther than just the basics of vocal range and I learned a lot. 

Perhaps the biggest improvement I learned was I could now have the confidence to hold my own, one on one with another woman. I was no longer coming off as unfriendly or worse by not wanting to talk. I used to say I was going out to my favorite venues night after night to be alone but it was not true any longer as I was out to be social. 

Ironically, the better I became at being social with other women, the more I was kicked out of my old men's club which I had become so adept at surviving in. I learned quickly my male privilege of discussing topics of interest with other guys was a waste of my time when I was rejected for being a woman. Transgender or not. Like it or not, once again I had became the quiet trans girl. 

It wasn't until I began to build a new circle of women friends did I finally discover I didn't need a man's validation to be a person at all. I could stand on my own two feet and flourish in the world but it wasn't easy to get there. I had more failures than successes when I first started the communication process in the world as a transgender woman. The feminine nuances of non verbal communication women use initially was very difficult to learn. It did not take me long though to grasp when a friendly woman behind the bar was trying to tell me when a drunk guy was a huge red flag and I should vacate the premises.

More than anything else, my new communication skills brought the quiet trans girl out of her shell. When I moved in with Liz in Cincinnati, we began to go to "Meetup" social groups which helped immeasurably with my communication skills. Sure, probably, most of the others attending knew I was trans but I was different and even exotic to a few, so I stood out from the group. I needed to accept the fact and finally began to thrive on my reality.

I know my reality isn't for everyone and my journey could be different than all of yours. The main thing is we are all on the same journey at various points in our lives and can learn from each other. When we do, we can come out of our deep/dark gender closets and live a meaningful life. 

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Not the Only One

My Transgender Friend Racquel
from Texas

This is really an extension of yesterday's post. During the post I mentioned the times when I discovered there were actually others who shared my cross dressing dreams. In fact, they even had a label back in those days, we were called transvestites. 

In my post I even mentioned the "Transvestia" publication which I came to cherish so much. I was so amazed to see a nationwide network of like minded individuals. In a short period of time, I discovered a side group of sorts called the "Tri-Ess" organization for strictly heterosexual cross dressers who met in nearby Columbus, Ohio for socials or mixers. Columbus was only approximately a half hour from my home and I just had to check it out.

When I did, I was able to meet a smaller, diverse side group who had private parties in an exclusive Columbus location. As I became a part of this group, I really found how I was not the only one. The only issue I had was, deciding what exactly I was. I knew from experience I was much more serious about being a cross dresser than many of the others I met at the mixers. On the other hand, I still wasn't sure if I was as serious as a few of the transsexual women who were headed for gender realignment surgery. Or sex change as it was known back then. I still had too many huge gender decisions to make before I could ever make such a life changing choice. 

In the short term, I decided to align myself as close as I could with the transsexuals as I attempted to learn as much as I could about their lives. I only really knew two, so contact was very rare plus on most occasions my second wife was with me so I needed to be careful about how I acted. 

As the internet and social media came into play, the potential of knowing I was not the only one in the world with gender issues literally exploded. Along with the internet came a new understanding of the different layers of gender life. As I said in yesterday's post, the term transgender became increasingly known here in Ohio, which as always behind the East and West coasts. As I studied it, the more I was convinced transgender fit my status in life and I felt better for a short amount of time. I say a short period, because in no time at all, I was striving to be a better trans person and learn more and more about myself in the world.  

What I did learn was, even though I found others who shared my gender issues or even gender dysphoria, there were not many. In fact, before she moved to Texas, my friend Racquel was one of the few women in the LGBTQ world I stayed in contact with and Racquel often joined in with my lesbian friends when we partied. 

Recently, partially because of my mobility issues, my transgender outreach has been limited to my writing as well as virtual diversity meetings with the local Cincinnati Alzheimer's Association. As well as the occasional speaking engagement thanks to a friend in the trans community. When I am able to participate in an outreach, particularly to young people, I am able to see I am far from being the only one with gender issues and it feels good.  

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Earning Motherhood


Liz on left with me preparing to celebrate
Mother's Day with her son over a Margarita.
Photo by AJ Trumble.

To be clear, I never have asked for the honor of being called "Mother" from either one of my off springs. 

I have a daughter of my own who means the world to me and a step son who I love very much. I met him when I met my wife Liz and was accepted into his world immediately with no questions asked. 

My daughter started the Mother's Day ball rolling last year when I received a small gift and a Happy Mother's Day for the first time from her. Truthfully, I was brought to tears by the thought. I was forever finished with Father's Day. 

I consider the title of Mother to be the ultimate compliment and as I said, not one I take lightly. I also think being referred to as Mother represents a total erasure of all the years of testosterone poisoning and an unwanted male life I went through. It means to me, my immediate family sees me as a full fledged trans woman. I even respected my own Mom enough to use her first name as my middle name when I legally changed it. Even though she never approved of my gender transition. Even to the point of being a relatively harmless cross dresser or transvestite. Back in those days, neither one of us knew the depth of gender issues. I considered Mom to be a product of her generation (WWII/Depression) and moved on after her death. 

Needless to say, most of my gender journey was never easy and represented many roadblocks along the way. I can only say, I never expected to arrive where I am today. Maybe I should come up with another book and call it "From the Mirror to the World...A Transgender Journey." 

We shall see.

Monday, May 6, 2024

It Has Never Been a Sprint


Image from Marcus
Spiske on UnSplash

A transgender life is never a sprint, it is a marathon. 

From the first time we slide on the hose and view ourselves in a mirror, we never believe the gender journey we have started would last as long as it did. Initially for me, I was on a very short term program when I would cross dress as a girl one day and live off the proverbial buzz until I could follow my dream and cross dress again. 

I wonder now if I had known the journey I followed would have so many bumps in the road and would have lasted so long would I have still done it. On the other hand, I was never a sprinter and a marathon was a closer match to my personality. Plus, there were milestones along the way which kept me going. Very early on, I knew I needed much more than just the feel of women's clothes to propel me forward. There just had to be more than just looking like a girl, I wanted to do more and be a girl. I knew the journey would be difficult and maybe impossible but I needed to keep trying. 

First of all, I needed to learn the basics of feminine appearance so I could safely explore the world as my new exciting self. With no help and very little money, I haunted the thrift stores trying different wardrobe items which were very inexpensive until I finally began to see improvement. My sprint during the time in my life when I was experimenting more and more was exhausting. The one thing which was evident to me was I was on my own. To win or lose was my passion but first I needed to see away around surviving a stint in the military where I could not express my feminine self. Fortunately, I could fall back on what my male self had taught me about internalizing my feelings. During my three years of military service, I managed to survive without cross dressing except for one notable Halloween party which led to me coming out to a few friends of mine as a transvestite. Included in the group of three was a woman who was to become my first wife and the mother of my only child. This brief sprint set the stage for me coming out to others in the future. 

For awhile, I was over confident about others accepting my authentic self until a conversation with my Mom brought me back down to earth. She soundly rejected me and I was off I pursuing my gender marathon again. Even with the set back, I had plenty of energy to move forward. Move forward I did, regardless of living with an unapproving wife. I needed to hide nearly all of what I was doing as I ran my next sprint. 

By this time, my sprints were becoming more defined as  I was increasingly discovering my dream of living a fulltime life as a transgender woman just could be a reality. Next up on my sprint were gender affirming hormones and making the decision to never look back where I had come from as a male and plan ahead a life as a transgender woman. 

The only constant I found on my gender marathon was change. Every time I thought I had it made in the process, something came along to disrupt my thinking. It could be as minor as being mis-gendered in the world or so much more now as I reach the twi-light of my life. Now making it to the finish line of my gender marathon in the best shape possible is my main goal.

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Opportunity Knocks


Civil War Cemetery image
from the Jessie Hart Archives

In my life I have found several really rare times where true opportunity actually knocked on my door. 

As I indicated, the situations were exceedingly rare and required split second decisions on how I was going to proceed. Possibly the first main one happened when I went with the "A" list trans women from the cross dresser - transgender mixer I was at in Cleveland. It was the night I gathered my courage, put on my big girl panties and was able to enjoy a professional makeover at the mixer. The result was I looked better than I ever had in my life and really wanted to claim my spot with the other impossibly feminine women in the room who were planning to continue the meeting with going to gay venues afterwards. At the second venue we went to, for the first time in my life as a woman I was approached by a good looking man who wanted to socialize. Since I was in a city I knew nothing about and with acquaintances who were about to call a taxi and leave, I decided to turn his advances down and leave. I often wonder what would have happened if I had stayed. What sort of opportunity if any, did I miss?

 Most likely, the second opportunity I did take advantage of was when suddenly I decided I had had enough of cross dressing and wanted to follow my gender instincts even further. It was the night I was determined to go out and blend in with a group of young professional women at an upscale bar/restaurant I had frequented several times as my male self. More than anything else, I wanted to see if I could blend in with the group as a transgender woman and enjoy myself. Perhaps what I remember most about the evening was how scared I was as I waited in the parking lot constantly checking my hair and makeup before I gathered the courage to go into the venue. As it turned out, opportunity did knock that night. I enjoyed myself after I could take a normal breath again and I knew my life as a casual cross dresser was gone forever. I needed new horizons to conquer as a novice transgender woman.

As I settled into attempting to find my way as a trans woman in the world, I tried to try different venues and situations to deal with. Some were successful, some were not. The ones which I can remember the most were the times I tested going to more or less red-neck country venues. I quickly discovered I wasn't welcome and moved on quickly but not before the cops were called on me a couple of times. No opportunity to succeed in those places for sure and I never went back.

Perhaps the biggest opportunity which came knocking at my door was when I had the chance to begin gender affirming hormones or HRT. At my age of sixty, I wanted to make sure I wasn't going to harm myself, so I took the proper precautions and sought out a doctor to prescribe the medications I had waited for so long. Fortunately for me my health proved not to be an issue and I was given minimum dosages to get me started. Seemingly, my body took to the hormones like I always should have been on them and new changes started almost immediately. In no time at all, I was moved up to a higher dosage and my new changes took over my body. So much so, I needed to move up my transition timetable when my hair started to take off and grow along with my softening skin and protruding breasts. 

Then, the most unexpected opportunity happened when I met my current wife Liz on line nearly fourteen years ago. At my age and transgender history, I was prepared to spend the rest of my life alone and especially never expected to ever be married again. Opportunity was telling me to never say never and here I am.

I have a very hard head however and many times opportunity had to knock loudly to get my attention. Often because I was stuck with life changing conditions where I could lose everything. I tried to fall back on my inner self and hope for the best and finally I let her lead me the right direction. 

Monday, April 15, 2024

You got it...Now Live with It!


From the Archives, Club Diversity. Columbus 

For some unknown reason, I have been remembering more and more what my gender therapist told me so long ago, she couldn't do anything concerning me wanting to be a woman. Now I don't remember if she told me I could not do anything about it either. 

If she did and had I listened, I would have saved myself so much inner torment over the years from my gender dysphoria. At the time my male self was not even close to being ready to give up any claims to his life which at the time was becoming relatively successful. After all, he had worked long and hard to arrive at the point where he was. 

If I wanted to blame anyone but myself for not accepting my true authentic self, I would blame my home environment. I grew up in a very male dominated family. My Dad had two competitive brothers and his competitive personality filtered through to my brother and I. It seemed no one had girls in the family and if they did, they were second class citizens. How I existed was by keeping my true feminine desires a deep dark secret. I learned early the very male trait of internalizing any negative thoughts or ideas. The whole concept turned out to be very self destructive over the span of my life which included the years of being a very serious cross dresser or transvestite. The whole process nearly took my life before I finally figured out I had it, now I needed to live with it. 

All I wanted was the impossible. Give me back just a fraction of the time and effort I had wasted by trying against all odds to maintain any sort of a male life. The cruel and unusual punishment came in when the more I achieved as a guy, made it more difficult to give it all up. I had a spouse, family, friends and good job to suddenly consider. What would my daughter think? Not to mention my wife and brother. All of a sudden I needed to draw a line in my gender sand and decide which route in life I was going to take. 

Everything changed for me the night I finally decided I had put enough exploration as my feminine self to make the ultimate leap over the gender border. Needless to say, it was a huge weight off my shoulders. I had a chance to go back in life to a point where I was not so jaded by either gender and experience for myself what the future held for me. It was at this point friends jumped in and showed me the way I never thought possible. I found I had it all along. I was a transgender woman and now I had the rare opportunity to live with it. I discovered there was so much more I needed to learn when I entered the world as a trans woman. 

Plus it took a while for the overall excitement of transitioning into my dream life to wear off. Everything I did was new and different and even when I was not accepted, I learned from my mistakes and for a change, my inner stubborn streak served me well. I had it and now I was living with it. I guess if you are able to live long enough as I have, you have the opportunity to see life go full circle. I paid my dues as a guy and what he learned turned out to be beneficial in my new life as a woman.

Quoting the singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell song "Both Sides Now",  only when I was able to see the world from both sides of the binary genders, was I able to relax and enjoy my life. All along I had it and just missed out on the real possibilities of what I was missing. Living with being transgender was all that mattered.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

A Point of No Return


Image from the Jessie Hart

For nearly a half a century I considered myself a more or less serious cross dresser or transvestite. In addition, I considered the transvestite label little more than just that, a label which was appropriate just to  use around others. Even though I rarely told anyone else about my gender issues.

The only people I can remember telling would number under ten before I finally came out into the world as a novice transgender woman. The first people I ever trusted enough to share my biggest secret oddly enough were friends I had in the Army. My disclosure came after I risked what was left of my time in the Army by dressing totally as a woman for a Halloween party.  Following the party, several weeks later under the influence of great German beer, the subject of the party came up. Of course then, the conversation went to what our costumes were. 

When the subject turned to me and how good I looked, I gathered the courage and told the three others the night was not the first time I had cross dressed as a woman and in fact I was a transvestite. I ended up taking a major leap of faith telling them because I still had approximately six or seven months to go on my enlistment and conceivably I could have encountered problems if the gender information I disclosed got into the wrong hands. After making it so far towards an honorable discharge, I certainly did not want to destroy the time I had put in. Plus, what would I tell my friends and family at home when I arrived back there early. 

To make a long story short, nothing negative happened with telling my friends I was in reality a transvestite and the experience was very liberating. On the other hand, I was not going to tell the rest of the world my secret. Of importance is the fact one of the people I told that night turned out to be the mother of my child and future wife. So I did not have to worry about telling her once we became married. I see her to this day and we still get along. Sadly, the other two friends I told are now deceased and I lost track of them almost completely before they passed. 

All of this brings me to the next person I told which was my Mom. It happened one night shortly after I was discharged and I was living at home for a very short while. One night when I came home from partying with my friends she was waiting up for me just like back in my college days. Somehow the conversation turned to my life and what I was up to. Out of the clear blue sky I decided to tell her my deepest secret about being a transvestite. I was still feeling liberated from telling my friends in the Army and felt secure in telling her, betting she would never tell my Dad. Just about the time I was feeling good about including Mom in my world, she turned around and roundly rejected me. All she really did was offer to pay for psychiatric care to solve the problem. Very quickly I rejected her offer and said no one was going to, in essence, plug me into a socket for electro-shock therapy.  From then on until she died, the subject of my growing gender dysphoria was never brought up again. 

The last person I came out to when I was still in my gender closet was my second wife. I write extensively concerning our gender battles but the fact remains she supported me as a cross dresser until I began my transition into a transgender woman. In essence, over the span of our twenty five year marriage, we just grew apart until her untimely death. 

Once I reached the point of no return in my male to female gender transition. there was no point in worrying about telling anyone I was transgender. It was obvious to the public who interacted with me what I was and they were left to draw their own conclusion. All of a sudden, all the pressure was off of me. All I needed to do was to do my best to present to the public who I really was. Plus, I would be remiss if I did not mention the roles gender affirming hormones played in my experiences. I was so happy with the results I was experiencing, I never wanted to go back to a testosterone filled life. For once, a plan came together for me and the point of no return never had to be challenged. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Gender Euphoria

Image from Mohammed Nohassi 
on UnSplash.

During my circle of life which I am fortunate to still be living, there have been tines of intense gender euphoria. Those times seemed on occasion to correspond with  my severe bouts of gender dysphoria. 

Examples of euphoria came when I gathered the courage during a cross dresser-transvestite mixer I attended to have my makeup applied by a professional makeup person. He ended up working miracles on my face and I looked great (in my humble opinion) which was to be proven later that evening. What happened was I ended up tagging along with the "A" list cross dressers or transgender women in the group who always continued the party at an outside venue after the main mixer closed down. The first venue we went to was a large gay and lesbian dance club which I never really liked but I went anyhow. 

During the evening, the group broke up even further and we went to a much smaller venue which I couldn't tell was gay or not. All I knew was I enjoyed the music better and the place had pinball games I could entertain myself with. In a case of timing wasn't everything, about the time the remaining "A" listers wanted to call a cab and leave, I was approached by a handsome man who wanted to buy me a drink and play pinball. It turned out to be one of the pivotal moments of my cross dressing life when I politely declined his invitation and left. I was then forever caught wondering what would have happened if I would have stayed. Primarily I didn't because I would have been stuck in a strange city which I had very little knowledge of with a man I didn't know. On the positive side, I was the only one in the group who was approached by any other patron at all. In that moment my gender euphoria reached one of it's peaks. Perhaps the best part of the experience were the advanced makeup tricks I was able to understand and remember later. 

Of course there were other moments of intense euphoria such as the night I needed to show my male drivers license to be admitted to another transvestite mixer I went to. The greeters at the door thought I just had to be a cis-gender woman. Sadly, with every success I had with these cross dressing experiments, there were the downsides also. Mainly because of my ego which still in many ways was dictated by my old male self. For lack of a better example, every up comes with a down and when I crashed over a gender euphoric high, I was not an easy person to live with. To make matters worse, my crash was so bad, I couldn't keep my mind on anything other than the next time I could cross dress and go out as my feminine self. None of which my second wife approved of. Looking back, I don't see now how our twenty five year relationship survived. 

Regardless of these few and far between gender euphoric moments, I can safely say gender dysphoria ruled my life. Starting with the days when I was a kid wondering if I was a boy or a girl and continuing into and with daily combat with my mirror. Again and again I suffered the gender torment of seeing feminine in the mirror one moment and masculine the next. It was during my darkest moments when I found I could indeed lead a life as a transgender woman that got me by in life, barely. 

By the time I had reached my sixties and had started HRT, I knew I would never have wished my life's journey on anyone else. Going behind the gender curtain and learning life from both sides of the binary gender spectrum had certainly taken a toll on me. On the other hand, the experiences I went through taught me to be a better human being. 

Balancing gender euphoria with massive gender dysphoria in life can be a daunting task and one which should not be taken lightly as it can effect a person's overall mental health. Gender is one of the deepest emotional issues a human can have. It can never be taken for granted it seems with a transgender woman or trans man, unlike a large portion of the rest of the population. Which could be a topic for a future blog post.  

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Controlling What you can Control


Image from the Jessie Hart Archives

Quite early during my adventures as a novice cross dresser, I found I had several variables I could not control.

One of the main ones was having privacy to admire myself in front of the full length mirror in our house's hallway. Even if my parents happened to be not at home, often I was stuck baby sitting my slightly younger brother who seemed to have the ability to be in the wrong spot at the wrong time. If he caught me cross dressed, I could certainly count on him to run and tell my parents. Which would then put me into all kinds of trouble. This was the 1950's and early sixties when cross dressing at all was a serious offense. I certainly did not want to face a therapist at such a young age when I had no control over the situation.

In those days, I was naïve and thought when I became older, I would have some sort of control over my gender destiny. Little did I know, my boundaries in life I called my closet would be very dark and confining for years or even decades to come. Finally, when I was honorably discharged from the Army, did I discover I wasn't all alone and there were others who wanted to cross dress as women. Better yet, they had transvestite parties or mixers which were close enough for me to attend. Which I did and discovered once again I had little or no control over my gender issues. In my haste to fit in with the group of men in dresses, I found I still didn't fit in easily. I didn't have the looks or attitude to fit in with the "A" listers or mean girls as I called them but then again, I didn't fit in with the other group who were busily smoking cigars and still acting macho. There had to be some sort of a middle point which to that point I had not discovered. 

It turned out, the label which fit me the closest had not really been invented yet. It was called transgender and once I was able to research what it meant, I felt I would fit right in. For once I felt as if I was gaining some sort of control. In reality I wasn't because when I came to the stage of my life when I began to explore the world from a feminine point of view, I again lost much of my control. Most of it came from how I was validating myself as a novice transgender woman. I was taking the easy path and thinking my control of the world came from my old male point of view. Beginning with fashion and makeup, I totally screwed up and didn't try to blend in with the other women in the world around me. The end result was, my validation came from them and gaining it gave me more control over my life as a transgender woman.

With age came the realization I could only change what I could and if someone else didn't like me for whatever reason, it was their problem, not mine. The freedom was wonderful and allowed me to do more and more with my feminine soul who had waited so long for her turn to live in the world. In a very short period of time, she proved herself to be a capable person in addition to being a survivor. In addition, she was much wiser in knowing what she could control, or not and left it alone. It all turned out to be the best move I could ever make.  

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Be Passionate

Image from Ian Schneider 
on UnSplash

When someone questions why I transitioned genders during my life, the main thing I want them to know my decision was not a choice. It was something I needed to do to save my own life. In that sense, I was selfish.

Perhaps, more importantly, the passion I needed to make it down my extremely bumpy, sometimes dark and gloomy gender path, I found I needed an extraordinary amount of inner fortitude to make it. More than I have ever used before in my life. In fact, I'm fond of pointing out, all I really wanted to be in life was a woman, not a doctor or lawyer. 

From that point forward, I knew I needed to follow a difficult path to achieve my feminine dream. To add insult to injury, I started from point zero with very few so called natural feminine appearances to help my cause. In other words, I had a long way to go to approximate looking like a girl and then later on as a woman. Plus, I needed to endure the onset of puberty and all the unwanted male changes testosterone poisoning was making to me. The whole process took an extra amount of passion to conquer by knowing deep down I was doing the right thing. Every time I suffered any sort of a set back, I needed to somehow pick myself up and get back in the game. Something I fought against doing in my male life. When anything bad happened to me, I knew I could run to my closet for a dress and makeup and everything would be all right. But what if I was already in a dress and makeup when the bad happened, what was next? 

What was next, was the chance to do my life better as a cross dresser or novice transgender woman. Being a novice trans woman was such a change for me over cross dressing, it required a whole new passion and learning curve. So many times, I found myself completely in over my head with no clear way on how I was going to find my way out. Somehow I did and knew I was on the right path. To define it more precisely, when I was a cross dresser, I felt as if my main goal was to look good as a woman and when I perceived myself as transgender I needed to be a woman...move better as one and communicate better in the world.

None of the process was easy for me, some of it still isn't to this day. Changing fifty plus years of striving my best to live as a man was difficult to change. More importantly, when the changes did occur with extended girls' time out with my friends happened, I craved more and more time with them. For the first time in my life, my passion was paying off. I remember vividly a Pride I went to in Columbus, Ohio with Kim, Nikki and Liz when we visited many gay and straight venues. With my tolerance to alcohol, I was having a great time and never wanted the evening to end.

I think now, what my friends may have seen in me was my passion shining through and it may have rubbed off on them. At least I hope so. 

These days, I do my best to lead with a smile when I see the world and hope for the best.

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Making the Difficult Easier

Image from the
Jessie Hart archives.
I spent years and years admiring every aspect of how women and the girls around me conducted their lives. I was dazzled by how they moved and interacted with the world. 

On so many levels, I wished I could be just like them but for so many reasons I could not. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't shake the shackles of my pre-ordained male existence In order to survive in a male world, I needed to copy and succeed at being a guy. All of made the dramatic gender transition I was about to make later in life that much more difficult. 

As I moved from a cross dressing mirror into the real world, I discovered the feminine gender had so many other layers to their life's than I ever imagined. So much more than merely looking like a woman which turned out to be the way I could slightly open my closet door to the world. When I worked my way past the first layer of cis-gender women I faced in clothing stores and malls, then the hard work started. 

All of a sudden, I found myself in a position where I needed to communicate with the public as a novice transgender woman. In the past, my second wife had told me repeatedly in no uncertain terms I did not know anything about truly being a woman even though I was becoming fairly competent on looking like one. She was right and I didn't understand it. 

One vicious argument comes to mind from when we lived in the New York  City metro area and happened the day after I went to a transvestite mixer. What happened was, I needed to show my identification card showing I was really a male to even get in. For the next couple of days, I was on a massive ego trip which led to a big fight with my wife. It led to her comment I still vividly remember when she said I made a "terrible" woman. I could not believe she could say it after I had almost been refused admission to a cross dresser party for looking too much like a woman. When I told her my problem with what she said, she promptly told me, she wasn't referring to my appearance. From then on, I was determined to find out what she meant. It was difficult to do because my wife did not particularly care for my feminine side, so I was on my own.

It was only easier when years later I was able to break out of my old male bonds and be able to finally play in the girls sandbox. Along the way, I had learned the power of non-verbal communication between women as well as surviving the effects of passive aggression when I had to guard my back from smiling faces. When I did, my mental health improved along with my self confidence as a transgender woman. I came to realize (with help from my friends) while I could never be a cis-gender woman, I could be a proud transgender person. I achieved my womanhood through a different path but I made it. My presence in the group just made it more diverse and nobody questioned me about my past.  

In order to do it, I needed to reverse years and years of male life. Moving like a woman needed to become my primary goal since I was never going back. Also very difficult was how I was speaking to the world. I did my best to mimic the women around me and even took vocal lessons for awhile. Eventually all the work came together and I became confident in my abilities to survive in the feminine life I had always dreamed of. 

Friday, February 23, 2024

Mom Approved

Image from Kelly Sikkema
on UnSplash
Very few transgender women or trans men have the benefit of an approving Mother. I can't imagine my Mom ever providing me the fashion or the help to become the girl I strongly wanted to become. 

My parents were members of the "greatest generation" who went through the great depression and WWII. Both of those major events certainly shaped them into individuals who were strong on providing for a family and weak on emotional support. Which was exactly what I needed. My Dad's family was very male dominated and my brother and I were expected to follow in his footsteps. Wanting to be feminine at all did not fit in to the advance family plans my parents had for their eldest son. I was expected to grow up, go to college and marry into my social class or higher. Quickly I was discovering, I had different ideas.

Even though I was busy playing sports and working on other male activities. I can't say I excelled at any of them but I tried my best. One thing is for sure, I was on my own because there was no way I could ever bring up my true gender feelings to my parents. Especially my Mom, who often took the lead in raising my brother and I. So, I was solidly hidden away in my dark lonely closet until I could break out much later in life. 

Through it all, I still sought out my parents approval. My Dad was very difficult to out due because he was very much the stereotypical self made man. He built his own house and rose to a bank VP position with a high school diploma. He served in the Army Air Corps in WWII, so at least my military duty in many ways corresponded to his. My brother on the other hand thanks to a high draft number, never had to serve at all. It took until I was out of the Army for me to try to come out to my Mom. One night after drinking with my friends, she was waiting up for me (before I could move out into my own place) and I blurted out I was a transvestite. I don't know what kind of a reaction I thought I would get but it was anything but the negative one I received. She recoiled and immediately volunteered to pay for therapy which in those days was the approved method for dealing with gender dysphoria. I basically said go to hell and that was the last time it was it ever brought up to her. And I never came out to my Dad either before his death at the age of 86. 

It took my daughter to break the chain of family disapproval of transgender issues and help with our over all family mental health. Growing up, my oldest grandchild (a girl) kept showing signs to my daughter she was having issues with her gender. When she was mad at Mom, she would say things such as what if I liked girls instead of boys. Since all three of my grandkids knew I was transgender, threatening my daughter with gender issues was pointless. Now my eldest grandchild goes by the "they" pronouns, has a partner and goes to The Ohio State University. Needless to say, I am so proud of my daughter and her family. It shows how much can change in a generation or two in a family. 

Even though my Mom never approved of my feminine soul and I never had her input on my cross dressing desires, I understand now she was just a product of her generation. During her later years, she was a little difficult to deal with, so as I said, we never discussed my gender issues again. I wish now I would have given her the opportunity. 

To make up for it, I adopted her first name as my new legal middle name when I changed my gender markers years ago. It was the best I could do to bury any lingering resentment I may feel. Maybe somewhere now, I am Mom approved as the daughter she never had.   

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Sizing Up the Crowd


Image from Roberto 
Nickson on 

Recently, when I met friends at a local brew pub for brunch, I needed to walk the distance of what was called the "great hall" to meet the group.

Once again I needed to make sure I was standing up as straight as I could, while throwing my shoulders back and faced the reality all transgender women face, was I going to be spotted as some sort of a gender impostor and even laughed at. I didn't and even though the brief walk felt as if it went on forever, I made it to our table without incident. At that point I thought I had it made, until the young server called me "sir". Which is another sad experience I have previously written about. 

For some reason, when I transitioned into a feminine transgender world, I didn't think the public would share the same fascination with studying other women as I did. I can't tell you how many times my old guy self aggravated my second wife (and others) by trying to sneak a peek at an attractive woman. For whatever reason, I couldn't explain to them I wasn't looking because I desired the woman, it was because I wanted to be the woman. At the time, I was having a difficult time wondering if I could ever achieve my dream of cross dressing out of my old unwanted male self. There were so many working parts of a woman to duplicate, the whole process seemed impossible. I needed to fashion my own hips, breasts and hair just to arrive at a point where I could put the entire feminine package into motion. 

It wasn't until I began to leave my dark and lonely gender closet behind and attend transvestite mixers did I begin to think I could succeed. Through the help of the mixers, I was able to judge how other cross dressers were successful with their presentations...or won't. I saw everything from men in beards and dresses, all the way to beautiful transgender women who were completely undetectable as former boys or men. As I sized up the crowd, I knew which direction I was headed. Most certainly I did not want to be with the bearded crowd and wondered to myself if the transsexual group was where I needed to be. Keep in mind, this was back before the transgender label was widely understood or used. What amazed me too was how intense the pressure was to size up the crowd and fit in to where you belonged. 

Little did I know, I was just beginning my trip out of the closet and into the world and I would need to obsess on my appearance until I gained the confidence to go forward as the person I was. Deep down I knew I would never be the prettiest woman in the room, I just wanted to be the trans woman at peace with herself. So when the crowd sized me up, they recognized who I truly was and it was good enough. I learned also, the greatest majority of the world didn't care about me anyhow and they were involved in their own little worlds. My second wife was always fond of telling me it always wasn't all about me when it came to my cross dressing and she was right. It was just the ones who did care who became the problem. As I made my way along my gender path, I was fortunate to dodge most of the haters and live my life without severe incidents.

I am a firm believer in the younger generation doesn't see gender as a threat and in the future sizing up a younger crowd will be less of a threat to transgender women and men everywhere. I, on the other hand, when I chose to live a life as the high maintenance gender chose to always be on the stage of life. 

Friday, February 9, 2024

You are Such a Girl

Boho Woman from Brooke
Cagle on UnSplash

Jen recently responded to my comment about walking in heels on stairs while being slightly intoxicated. 

Jen, who I have known for years happens to be a cis-gender woman and said she has never mastered the art of walking in heels. I have always appreciated knowing Jen because of her acceptance of me as my authentic transgender self from the first time we met. As far as me judging her for not wearing heels, it never happened. 

Perhaps, I quit judging women from their footwear came primarily because all of the women I socialized with were not the girly-girly types and never wore heels. At that time, I still could wear heels but decided not to because of adding to my height as a trans woman. All my friends were shorter than me and I did not want to tower over them. 

Being such a girl, did not reach all the way to wearing makeup and the feminine clothes I wore. In order to stand any sort of a chance to present well as a novice transgender woman or cross dresser, I needed to take advantage of all the benefits which makeup gave me. In fact, when my second wife was alive, she used to call me the "pretty, pretty princess" in response to all the time I took to apply my makeup. When she wore little to none. Obviously she didn't have to worry about the benefits of fashion to just exist in the world as a feminine person. 

As my life progressed and changed, my knowledge and application of makeup needed to also. While it was obvious I still needed to take advantage of cosmetics, the new pressure was on to look natural while I did it. In other words, to appear as if I wasn't trying too hard. I desperately needed to blend in with my group of cis-women friends who again did not wear any makeup at all. It was during this time in my life when I really began to step up my skin care routine. I made sure I was able to apply a good moisturizer after everytime I exfoliated or shaved. The entire process enabled me to use less foundation and achieve a more natural look. I was also given a positive head start on when I started gender affirming hormones (HRT) which naturally allowed my skin to soften and smooth out. 

Of course, my basic fashion sense came into play and I was given a head start by my feminine preferences in clothes. Growing up, I had always admired all girls, tomboys and all. They were the women who were able to show off their so called masculine side without anyone questioning their basic gender or sexuality. While I had to play the same old male game of never showing a softer side. I took it in stride the best I could and later on became a big fan of women in "Boho" fashion and bell bottom jeans, In fact, I loved them so much, I was harassed at several transvestite mixers I went to when I wore my pants. Comments were why don't you wear a dress because you can wear pants anytime were common. I politely told the other attendees to mind their own business and went on about my own. 

Wearing pants before my HRT hormonal days involved extra attention given to how my hips and rear appeared in woman's clothes. Similar to so many others, I resorted to using foam rubber inserts in my panty hose to give me the illusion of hips. Depending on the top I was wearing, I pulled off the illusion fairly well without having to resort to wearing restrictive undergarments such as girdles which to me took away much of the sensory pleasure I was feeling at the time. 

I guess you can say, compared to many of the other cross dressers or transgender women I knew at the time, I went rogue in my approach to being feminine. For whatever reason, I always admired the women who could take a tomboy look and work it into a fabulous fashion statement. 

I hope I provided Jen with a little feedback on the way I feel about her never wearing heels and how much I appreciate her (along with all you others) for reading and commenting on the blog. Thank you! 


Sunday, January 28, 2024

Running as Hard as I Can

Image from UnSplash

Throughout my life, I frenetically ran from one thing to another.

In theory I was never much of a runner and only ran  when I was forced to during times I was in the Army and/or played football. So running never came naturally to me. for some reason though, when I was discharged from the military was when I free to face the world again would I settle down or run again. My answer started to emerge. It didn't take long as  I remembered when I was discharged and was heading home to Ohio from Ft. Dix in New Jersey. Before I arrived home, I had the entire Pennsylvania Turnpike to drive. Before I did so,  I paused for a second to ponder what I was going to do with my life. Surprisingly, at that time gender played just a small part of my future. Perhaps I was saving my gender issues for the future. 

Possibly also, at the time, I was still basking in the glow of coming out as a transvestite or cross dresser to three of my closest friends in the Army. Included in the group was a woman who was also in the Army. We had worked out she would meet me following her discharge and we would decide what would come next in our relationship. After we decided to visit her parents in California from Ohio, we decided to get married and as I said, she was fully versed in my gender issues. At least to the point which I considered them to be. At the time, I considered myself a serious cross dresser and I had a long way to go to being transgender.

As time went by, I switched professions from being a commercial radio disc jockey to the restaurant industry which at the time was expanding rapidly. To support my new family (daughter), I needed to be able to make more money. During the same time, I wedged in buying a small bar with a friend which eventually became a fairly successful pizza and beer restaurant. To make matters worse, I was beginning to feel the gender pressures I would need somehow to learn to live with. Even though I managed to dress in drag on various Halloween parties I went to, the rest of the time, I lived in my dark lonely gender closet knowing the next day I would be back in my male drag. 

To make up for my issues, I tried to offset my thoughts by moving our home as well as switching jobs. In addition, when I could, I tried to participate in civic groups which gave back to the community. Anything it seemed to take my mind off my desire to be feminine. Along the way my second wife and I moved from our native Ohio to the New York City metro area and then back to a new very rural area of Ohio which bordered on West Virginia. In the space of a couple years we went from living in very upscale Westchester County, New York to living in a farmhouse near the Muskingum River in Ohio where we heated with wood and needed water trucked in during times of the year which were drier than others. I was running from my problems as fast as I could.

The end result was I finally had enough and I needed to face my problems head on. One lonely night, I realized I had experienced enough of living a transgender life, I wanted to live it full time. My old male self had lost the battle and my new life felt so natural. 

It turned out I was never very good at running to start with. 


Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Supporting Casts


Girls Night Out. I am on the Left.
From the Jessie Hart Archives

One aspect of my gender journey, I don't mention enough is the importance of the supporting cast I had around me to help me along.

They clearly helped me during the times of my life when I was down and almost out when it came to me going any farther as a transgender woman. A prime example was when I started gender affirming hormones and was wondering if it was the right move to make. By just being a part of my life and understanding what I was going through brought about a significant need for moral support. Another example was when I began having hot flashes and my women friends (cis-gender) just smiled and said welcome to their world. Which is exactly where I wanted to be. 

Over the years, there was only one woman who held my gender issues against me. She was my first fiancé who in the past, one time cross dressed me head to toe as a woman. The whole process turned out to be a bittersweet experience. For the first time in my life I had tried to share my deepest secret with another person and turned out to be less than impressed with the entire outcome. When she had finished with my makeup, I saw no real improvement over my efforts which ended any ideas I had that women had an edge over cross dressers when it came to makeup applications. So, the sweet part was limited and doomed to fail to begin with. The bitter part came later on when my fiancé broke up with me after I refused to say I was gay in order to not be drafted into the military during the Vietnam War. Lesson learned and I went back into my deep dark gender closet for years until I met my first wife. Even though she always knew I was a cross dresser or transvestite, she never made a big deal about it. 

Around that time of my life the biggest support I received ironically came from a man. A stranger who was doing makeovers at a cross dresser mixer I attended. I put on my big girl panties, removed all my makeup and let this stranger work his makeup magic on my face. When he was finished, I couldn't believe the transformation. Plus, I was actually able to understand and redo the makeup steps and repeat them. The entire process takes me to my experiences with my second wife. Similar to my first wife, she knew I was a transvestite from day one in our marriage and even supported an extent. Keep in mind, we were married for twenty five years and during this time, I was slowly transitioning more and more into the transgender woman I am today. Before my wife's untimely death, we had numerous fights over my desire to be a woman and begin gender affirming hormones. Her stance until the end was she didn't sign up to be with another woman. To make matters worse, I don't think she ever liked my inner feminine self and the two women battled continually.

After she passed on, it took me a few years for me to recover from the shock and get on with my life. One positive I carried with me was how affirming the presence of my feminine side turned out to be. As it turned out, destiny led me to other groups of women who essentially adopted me into their tribes and helped me to flourish. 

I can never say enough how much I learned from all our girls nights out together. Without all of them I can never imagine how much longer and which direction my transgender transition would have taken.  

Thursday, January 11, 2024



Coccinelle, early transsexual woman

As a long time transgender woman, I have seen my share of different labels coming and going over the years.

The first one was the declining use of the word transvestite. I remember the days when there were very much only two labels you could use to describe yourself,  If you cross dressed in the clothes of the opposite gender, you were a transvestite and if you desired a sex change (as it was known then) you were a transsexual. Over the years, the sex change terminology went through it's own changes, As I remember, the sex change became known as gender reassignment surgery. Then gender realignment surgery. All these labels lead to the same result. As most labels seem to do in the LGBTQA+ community.

While we are on the subject of the LGBTQA+ letters, the expansion of the letters themselves needs mentioning. As our community expanded and the knowledge of the overall gender spectrum expanded, more letters needed to be added to the initial LGBT letters. To include more people the abbreviation was expanded to include more than the initial, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. At that time the queer or questioning was included plus the "A" which stands for Asexual and/or Ally. I guess the plus just stands for any more possible additions in the future.

Way back when, transgender wasn't even a term at all and even though it is rumored Virginia Prince (transvestite pioneer) was the first to use the term, it's true history is murky.  The best history I could find is transgender (or it's shortened trans term) first appeared in the 1950's and 1960's. I only know I started to be aware of the term in the 1970's. The whole process meant so much to me because all of a sudden I had a term or label which applied to me since I knew I was much more than a cross dresser and not as much as a transsexual. The perfect fit for my gender questioning mind. So I adopted it as my own.

These days, labels seem to change as fast as the world around us. The word transgender sadly has been made infamous by all the political attacks' against it. In the same way, LGBTQ+ has been popularized also when associated with the unfortunate uproar over the trans situations. Yet another change has recently been updated also. Hormone replacement therapy or HRT is now known as gender affirming  hormones.   

Of course the bottom line is all these terms are nothing more than labels which often lead to confusion all the way to altercations. Especially in the transgender community when people start to think they are more trans than someone else. It all comes at a crucial time when we all have to stay together to present an unified front to the world.

Through it all, if you are into the increasingly complex world of labels, I hope you have found one which fits you. 

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 ...