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

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Conquering Dysphoria

 As I was previously writing about, my post Army years became an alcoholic blur along with a mad dash to attempt to out run my gender issues. As my authentic feminine self continued to push for acceptance, my male self took the usual way out. Act as macho as I could and keep changing jobs and places to live. I was trying desperately to outrun the truth. Along the way, I lived in such diverse places as the metro NYC area all the way to rural Southeastern Ohio along the Ohio River and West Virginia. 

All in all I managed to be successful in my career as a restaurant manager and salvage my marriage with more than a couple close calls as I was not telling the truth concerning where I was supposed to be and what I was supposed to be doing. It all started innocently enough when I started to volunteer to do the family grocery shopping. In fact, one of my best days occurred when a bagger in the grocery store was blatantly flirting with me.  It could have been because of the fashionable mini skirt I was wearing. By fashionable I mean many women during that era wore their mini with oversize sweaters and flats. However, the end result was just to embolden me do do more cross-dressed. 

Time moved on until I got caught by my wife and agreed to seek counseling from one of the only therapists who dealt with transvestites back in those days and she was far away in Columbus, Ohio. This was all before the transgender terminology or lifestyle became prevalent.

When the transgender terminology made it's way to me, it didn't take me long to suspect I indeed was trans. What took me longer was to do anything about it.

In the meantime, I was desperately still hanging on to the idea I could keep my feminine self in the closet. I ended up trying to live part time in both genders and it nearly killed me. After I failed active suicide attempt I shoved my girl self back into the closet for the final time. It wasn't so long after I did it, my wife of 25 years passed away. Which opened the door for me to transition.

Even though this seems like a blur to me and it is impossible to write about all the learning experiences I went through as I decided to cross the gender frontier, it was actually thirty years of my life. I am counting post military until I started hormone replacement therapy. 

HRT was an entire other story. 

One final question, did I finally conquer my gender dysphoria? Probably not. I will probably die with it even though I have been fortunate enough to live fulltime as a transgender woman for nearly a decade now. 

Saturday, June 12, 2021

I Wonder Where she Is?

 For some reason, I read someone else's post about coming out to a spouse or loved one concerning being transgender, or even a cross dresser. In my world, being accepted as a cross dresser was much easier than being accepted as transgender. 

In fact, the only cis woman of significance in my life who tried to parlay my cross dressing into anything remotely against me was my finance way back in my college days.  Instead of keeping my gender desires in the closet, I couldn't take it any longer and came out to her. After intense discussions she finally agreed to go with me to a motel room and help me with my transition. It worked for me at least and I marveled at the novice cross dresser who was looking back at me in the mirror. Of course, even way back then, I knew the buzz wouldn't last. I could take what she showed me, apply it to myself and learn more about my femininity.

All went fairly well, until it was time to graduate college and the draft board was eagerly awaiting my induction into the military. It was at this time she found another boyfriend and laid down the line to me. Either tell the Army I was gay and try to dodge the draft or we were done. 

I knew that would never work and we broke up not long before I was scheduled to report to Ft. Knox in Kentucky for winter time Army basic training. The more I tried to forget her, the more bitter I became. As I thought about her, the more I wanted to return one day in the future in a new car looking beautiful in a pretty dress. 

That day never came. I moved away and became involved with other women with various acceptance of my gender dysphoria. I always thought my first wife never cared that much and didn't  'understand the difference between being a cross dresser or transvestite back then as compared to being a transgender woman which was becoming well known. 

My second wife understood the difference well and never accepted it until the day she died and years later I came full circle with my partner Liz who fully accepted me as my feminine self. Even to the point of being instrumental in me fully coming out of  the closet  and transitioning into a full time transgender woman. 

As far as my fiancĂ© goes, if she transitioned into what her Mom became later in life, I may have gotten my revenge anyhow. 

If I cared :). 

Picture from New Years Eve (pre-covid) with Liz and I. 


Sunday, May 9, 2021

Mother's Day

 It's Mother's Day again. A time to take a moment to stop and remember the person who brought us into the world. 


During our formative years, our Mother's provided us with examples (intended or not) what a woman goes through in life. Some Mother's even were more supportive than others when it came to them sensing or learning of our gender desires to be a girl. 

My Mom never/ever gave any sort of an idea she would be accepting at all of the idea her first born son wanting to become feminine at the least. I was strongly expected to follow in the patriarchal footsteps set up in our WWII era family. The problem was no matter how hard I tried to be a successful male, the more stress it caused me. 

I have written many times on how the first time I tried to come out to my Mom played out. It was after I was discharged from the Army and was enjoying the success of coming out to a close group of friends about being a "transvestite". For some reason I thought she would accept me too. It didn't work that way as she offered to pay for shock therapy to cure the "problem."  From that point forward, we never discussed my gender issues again the rest of her life. 

It took me years to overlook that night and understand our differences. 

These days, I have chosen to accept the positives of our relationship. I inherited her spirit in many ways. She wasn't shy and operated her life using very few filters. From her I learned almost anything was possible which aided me immensely as I embarked on a very difficult journey to complete my gender change. 

The day finally came when I decided to consider  possible names I would use when I went through the process of legally changing my legal gender markers. Initially I  chose my Mom's first name as my middle name as sort of a "got ya" moment. After a while though, as my thoughts about her began to change so did the reflections on using her name. 

So, Mom, I love you very much and thanks for the sacrifices you made to have me. She had gone through three still births before me and was ready to give up and adopt. Her persistence in many ways describes my life and I appreciate all you did. 

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Passing "Privilege"

  I know many of you follow Stana's Femulate Blog as I do. If you do, I am sure you saw the series of responses from readers to Stana's question concerning the time or times they have "passed" as a cis woman even though they were transgender or a cross dresser. I read the experiences with great interest but decided not to add my own oft repeated occasion when I went to a transvestite mixer and was nearly turned away for being a "real" woman. 

Ironically then I read a lengthy and in-depth insight into passing written by Phaylen Fairchild on "Medium". 

"Let’s call “Passing” what it really is: The desire to meet the standard of an external social gaze. The privilege of blending in with the rest of society as a “norm” rather than stand out as an “other.” I am not sure why no one has told these incredible people why standing out is far more powerful than falling into formation to satisfy the often unreasonable definitions of femininity and masculinity as if they have firm definitions… they don’t. I know many women with masculine traits, wide shoulders for example, arms with ample hair, some stand over six feet tall or are mistaken for a man on the telephone because their voice is not received as explicitly female. There are men with small waists, even proud busts that make small-breasted women jealous. Some have soft features or mannerisms that have been classified as traditionally feminine. That fact is, while masculinity and femininity are identifiable characteristics, they are not and never have been exclusive to men or women, transgender or not."

She goes on to say: 

" The demand we place on ourselves to satisfy the external gaze becomes nearly excessive, thus, self destructive. What does the perfect woman look like? How does she sound? The ideal man?"

You can follow this link to read more but in the meantime, I think Phaylen's next post should be based on "passing privileges'" which she seems to have from her picture above. 

I know in the all so brief fleeting moments when I have completely passed, I could only describe the time as wonderfully liberating. To the point in which I immediately wondered if it happened at all. 

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Back in the Bad Old Days

 Remember when the only time you saw a cross dresser or transvestite on the media was when they were up to no good. 

One of the primary examples I can think of is Christopher Morley. Perhaps you will remember him on Magnum PI  when he played a rogue British agent trying to assassinate a politician. One of his "disguises" was a policewoman. 

Ironically, I just saw the episode on the "Hallmark Channel" this morning. By total accident. 


Then in 1974 Morley played another evil character in the movie Freebie and the Bean. I remember vividly seeing the movie with a couple other friends and being totally surprised by Morley's transvestite presentation in the film. In fact, I tried to be careful not to act too mesmerized by the action. 



I guess you can say even then I wasn't very pleased about the negative presentations concerning "transvestites" back in those days. But, that was all there was except for the early talk shows such as Phil Donahue.  Check out this picture from 1991 of a transsexual on Donahue"



Unfortunately, as all of this played out I was in a severe battle with my own gender dysphoria and none of it provided much relief.
 

Sunday, January 3, 2021

The Power of Passing

 I know many of you follow Stana's Femulate Blog as I do. If you do, I am sure you saw the series of responses from readers to Stana's question concerning the time or times they have "passed" as a cis woman even though they were transgender or a cross dresser. I read the experiences with great interest but decided not to add my own oft repeated occasion when I went to a transvestite mixer and was nearly turned away for being a "real" woman. 

Ironically then I read a lengthy and in-depth insight into passing written by Phaylen Fairchild on "Medium". 

"Let’s call “Passing” what it really is: The desire to meet the standard of an external social gaze. The privilege of blending in with the rest of society as a “norm” rather than stand out as an “other.” I am not sure why no one has told these incredible people why standing out is far more powerful than falling into formation to satisfy the often unreasonable definitions of femininity and masculinity as if they have firm definitions… they don’t. I know many women with masculine traits, wide shoulders for example, arms with ample hair, some stand over six feet tall or are mistaken for a man on the telephone because their voice is not received as explicitly female. There are men with small waists, even proud busts that make small-breasted women jealous. Some have soft features or mannerisms that have been classified as traditionally feminine. That fact is, while masculinity and femininity are identifiable characteristics, they are not and never have been exclusive to men or women, transgender or not."

She goes on to say: 

" The demand we place on ourselves to satisfy the external gaze becomes nearly excessive, thus, self destructive. What does the perfect woman look like? How does she sound? The ideal man?"

You can follow this link to read more but in the meantime, I think Phaylen's next post should be based on "passing privileges'" which she seems to have from her picture above. 

I know in the all so brief fleeting moments when I have completely passed, I could only describe the time as wonderfully liberating. To the point in which I immediately wondered if it happened at all. 

Once the Genie is Out of the Bottle

I used to equate the adventures I went through as I began my feminine lifestyle as sliding down a very slippery slope towards a very steep cliff. Later on, I began to think of it as letting the Genie out of the bottle.



A few experiences were very positive and reassuring such as being turned away at the door at a transvestite "mixer" because I was a real woman all the way to being laughed at and scorned in a couple different venues I frequented.  Through it all I had a tendency to resolve I was doing the best I could to cross a very difficult gender frontier. As a guy, I did my very best to cover up any feminine tendencies I had. Needless to say, once the Genie was released, the gender dysphoria was unbearable. 



The picture above is with two of my friends who made my journey smoother. They embraced who I was and never interacted with the old male me. You might say they saw the Genie appear and approved.

Even with their help, life was still difficult. I was still recoiling from the loss of my wife and other close friends. My business was gone too and the only reality I thought I could cling to was the fact I wanted to transform myself to a transgender woman. 

Very quickly I found I could and didn't want to go back.  

All of this occurred before I even met Liz which would have been approximately ten years ago. She too, fully embraced me as a woman and I started HRT. (Hormone Replacement Therapy) By this time, the genie was fully out of the bottle and there would be no turning back.











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Saturday, October 17, 2020

How the Army Made a Girl out of Me.

 As strange as it may seem, my three year stint in the Army, so long ago did wonders to further my goal of living as my authentic self. It turned out it just took me a while to get here.

First of all my forced enlistment was instrumental in ending a toxic relationship I was in with my first fiancé I was with in college. She knew I was a cross dresser and expected me to use it to stay out of the draft by saying I was gay. Obviously, I didn't.

Then there was basic training where everyone learned how to be an infantryman. Needless to say, there was no room to pursue the true source of my gender dysphoria, What it did do though was to make me mentally tough enough to realize sooner or later I could achieve almost any goal. After all, I was heading to what was deemed an impossible Army job as a radio/television broadcaster. I ended up serving on three continents  in three years.

During the process, as I have written many times, I met the woman who was to present me with the greatest gift of my life, my daughter Andrea. Even though she was to find out later on I was a cross dresser (or transvestite) back in those days, when I summoned up the courage to dress completely as a woman at a Halloween party we went to. I ended up admitting to her and two other friends later on my desire to dress as a woman. This was way back in the days in the Army before the "Don't ask, don't tell" LGBTQ so called protection policy. So I could have found myself in trouble if the wrong people found out my "secret". 

It turned out this experience in the Army set the way for me to work harder on my cross dressing feminine presentation and even to attempt to come out to my Mother. Which turned out to be a failure. Undeterred, I continued to stay in my closet and explore being a girl.

Throughout the middle of my life, regardless of what the Army taught me (or didn't), I became a more accomplished feminine person and increasingly wanted to try out my new found skills in the public's eye. It was about this time as I lost almost everything else in my life, I decided to take advantage of the Veteran's Administration medical benefits which would include access to hormone replacement therapy or HRT. It turned out, the meds resulted in a wonderful feminization process which continues to this day.

So you could say again, the Army was and is - is making a girl out of me. 

  

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Non Binary Fun

 These days I have seen the term "non binary" used in place of transgender in many instances. I find it interesting yet another term is finding it's way into the LGBTQ vocabulary. I'm sure many of you remember how prevalent the transvestite term was before transgender came along. 

I would imagine non binary maybe a more appropriate term to use with younger people who still might be on the gender fence. Would it replace androgyny as a major used term eventually? Or are we dealing in too many terms again in our culture. In which case who cares? I am sure especially the newer people dealing with gender change do. Imagine again having a very androgynous child who is still working their way through gender. In her/his case I think non binary works. 

I wonder too if the world will ever come to the point where acquaintances we transgender people run into over the years will ever come to think of us as non binary? My own personal example is the cis woman I met years ago in an art gallery who chose me for a woman's photo shoot which featured women of different backgrounds. Of all the people who lives I have crossed, I think she is the one who would embrace the non binary term.

Plus, since I have decided hormone replacement therapy would be as far as I will go to further my Mtf gender transition, maybe non binary describes me more accurately too. 

As a matter of fact though, I don't really care, I just wanted to try to write a fun post on the subject for all of you to consider.       

Friday, June 12, 2020

Another Man in my Life...Sort of.

As I was writing another chapter in my book called the "Men in my Life", I happened to remember this experience which happened years ago to my wife and I in a small tavern in Cleveland, Ohio. As I recall, we were just trying to waste a bit of time creatively (by having a drink) before we were going to a transvestite mixer that night. 

As we sat at the bar, a guy on a big Harley motorcycle rode up outside and ended up sitting next to the two of us at the bar. Fortunately (I thought) for me he took the seat next to my wife and began to talk to her. I was desperately shy and insecure about myself since I was so new to going out in public as a woman at all.  I also at that time hadn't absorbed much of the interaction of the genders' from the women's viewpoint.

As time went on, my wife and this guy were talking more and more and for a second I wondered what I could do if she decided to take off for a ride with this guy on his motorcycle. The answer was simple. I could do next to nothing except wait for her to come back. 

Probably, the worse part about the entire situation was both my wife and I knew she was totally in control of the whole thing. 

After leaving me to worry about what was going to happen for an appropriate amount of time, in her mind, she excused herself from the guy and we went on on way. 

From the whole experience I learned the hard way I needed to improve my feminine appearance quickly so I could compete more completely if a single guy ever approached my wife and I again. I wanted a fighting chance not to be ignored.  I learned too, the dynamic of wife and husband between my wife and I had probably changed forever. Especially when I was dressed as a woman, all of a sudden I was competition too. 

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Happy Mother's Day

Or should I say, "Happy parental unit day?" That's what my daughter calls me. 

This is my usual Mother's Day post. My mom was a 5'2" head strong dynamo of a person and not one I ever thought would be accepting of having a daughter instead of a son. My only "coming out" moment with her didn't come until I was well into my twenties and was just honorably discharged from the Army. One night when I was coming home after partying all night with my friends, I came home and found her waiting up for me. I was operating under the power of intoxication and somehow the topic came up (I don't remember how) and I told her I was a "transvestite." She didn't miss a beat and said she would pay for electrode shock therapy to help relieve myself of my "problem." I quickly told her, I didn't have a problem and no, she wasn't paying for anyone to hook me up to a wall socket. Ironically, that turned out to be the only time the subject was ever brought up again. She has since passed on many years ago. 

For years, I resented her reaction to my coming out declaration. Then, I began to consider her life as part of the "Greatest Generation." I realized her offer of help was just that. Help for a perceived problem she thought I had. No more and no less. 

When the time came to legally change my name, my daughter and I got together to come up with a name which would be easy for her three kids to respond to. At the same time, I began to think of family names which might work. Finally, I decided to honor my Mom by accepting her name as my middle name. 

Perhaps now, she would be more accepting of having a daughter instead of a son.

Happy "Parental Unit Day" to you all!

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. 

Monday, April 6, 2020

Keep Your Distance! Dammit

Here is Connie's latest experience at the grocery store:

"Gosh. Remember the old days, when nobody wanted to be within ten feet (let alone six) of a trans person*? *Transvestite, in those days.

I was at the grocery store this afternoon to pick up a few essential recipe items for next week's meals. I have always been an excellent shopper - excellent - excellent shopper. A Rainwoman shopper, if you will! :-) I know where everything is (supposed to be) in the stores where I shop, and I make out my lists so that all items are in the same order as the store isles are. I enjoy shopping, but I don't like to waste time wandering, back and forth, from one end of the store and back again. This has now become impossible to achieve, however - not if I'm to maintain social distancing, anyway.

I finally gave up waiting for a woman who was picking through the white mushrooms in the produce section. While I wanted some Criminis, they were right next to the white ones. I went ahead and picked up half-a-dozen other produce items, and, after I'd stood the mandatory six feet away from her, giving her the stink-eye for another few minutes, she finally had the five or six (I assume, best) white mushrooms in the whole bin. Of course, I wouldn't have waited at all, had she touched every one of the mushrooms I wanted. I don't know what the CDC has determined for the virus survival time on mushrooms, but I"m not about to take any chances these days.

So, with all my produce in the cart, I proceeded to the next isle. Who should I see at the far end of it, but the same woman. She was handling jars of pasta sauce this time. I'm not sure what she needed it for, because the shelves were empty of pasta. Perhaps she'd already horded enough pasta, though, but she just didn't think things through on that trip. Well, I suppose I could make my own pasta, but there wasn't any flour on the shelves, either. Fortunately, there was nobody behind me, so I turned around and made a hasty retreat to the next isle over. That's where I confronted the next crazy woman shopper.

I'm usually happy to see another woman who is taller than am I. I also appreciate a shopper who does not linger like the first woman. This woman's technique, however, was to park her cart in the middle of the aisle, and then run around, grabbing as much as she could hold in her big hands (her hands were as big as mine, too!), and dump everything in her parked cart...then back for more. Again, impossible to keep social distancing.

So, no trans woman should be concerned about being read, clocked, of judged for being trans in the grocery store these days. Everybody else in the store is too much into whatever it is that they're doing these days. I may give you the stink-eye if you don't know how to shop, though! 8-)"

You won't have to worry about me! I stay out of everyone's way. I am not so sure of Liz though :)


Monday, February 10, 2020

Body Image and the Trans Girl

As I continue to write bits and pieces in my book, the topic of body image keeps coming up. As referenced in yesterdays Cyrsti's Condo post, cis women often have the same problems with feeling secure in their own skins as we transgender women.

Through the years we have to struggle through the dazzling yet scary arrays of makeup and fashion to desperately try to find our spot on the world. The ancient stereotype of the cross dresser squeezed into a mini skirt and heels waltzing through a mall somewhere is my scariest vision and one I am afraid I tried too. Fortunately, there are no pictures :).

Then there is/was makeup to contend with. In the looking like a clown department, I was lucky I had quite a few chances to experiment when I was younger with makeup...even to the point of convincing my first fiance to apply it for me.  As far as my body image was concerned though, I didn't really have one, except an unrealistic view of how I thought I should look. Again and again, the wrong use of mini skirts did me no favors. I was over reacting to the rare occasions people saw me in a short skirt and saying I had good legs. The problem was I had no idea of how to properly showcase a feminine asset. In fact, I went the opposite direction.

In the 1970's I became enamored with the hippie boho look, complete with bell bottom jeans etc. So, I began to try to dress myself in those fashion directions (which I still like to this day). In fact, I used to get asked at the transvestite mixers I went to how I could not possibly wear a dress. During that time I was slowly beginning to discover my inner woman's body image I have today.

I still rarely wear dresses or skirts. Relying instead on leggings and sweaters during the cold seasons and lightweight culottes with tank tops in the summer. I do have a couple maxi dresses for the hottest days.

The fun part is, women can be different and that is OK...to a point. The hard part still is getting to a point where your inner woman tells you what she wants to be.

These days though, there are getting to be numerous places one can go to for help with your body image. Take Ginger Burr's Total Image Consultants for example. Leann wrote in and said Ginger runs a very trans woman friendly business. Plus around here (Cincinnati) there are a couple of the big specialty makeup stores which are more than happy to help a novice with her makeup needs.

Look, I know the vast majority of us will always struggle with the testosterone poisoning we went through or still going through. On the other hand, options are becoming more accessible to help with your body image problems as you attempt to sync up your internal and external selves.

Friday, February 7, 2020

You Make a Terrible Woman

This post is very much a continuation of yesterday's Cyrsti's Condo post on trans woman intuition. We have quite the chance to develop an amazing gender intuition because we live on both sides of the gender frontier.

Years ago, when I was exploring jumping genders my deceased wife and I became embroiled in a huge fight over how much I wanted to cross dress. Basically, it wasn't how much I wanted to do it, it was where. Once I had started to venture out of the house, the more I wanted to. In fact, I was still on a huge ego roll from the night two women tried to keep me out of a transvestite mixer. They thought I was a "real" woman.

During the fight, my wife shot me down by telling me I would make a terrible woman. I told her how could that be after my encounter recently? She promptly told me my appearance was not what she was talking about and I had just made her point. Being a woman was indeed so much more than looking like one.

From that point on, I set out to find out what she was telling me. I did my best to develop my own idea of what women went through as they lived their lives. You might say I was learning my own version of trans woman intuition. It wasn't easy though as I had a strong male ego to work away from.

After all these years, I can't tell you I am where I want to be in life. To be more spiritual and intuitive may make me a more stereotypical feminine person but it also makes me a better human too.

I am far from getting to my goals. Then again when I arrive I probably will have crossed over to the other side.

Hopefully then, I won't be considered a "terrible woman,"


Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Welcome to Hell

As I continue my Cyrsti's Condo post from yesterday, the best place to pick up the story is when I was honorably discharged from the Army. All of the sudden I had this incredible sense of freedom.

As in all freedom's though, this one carried a price. It all started with the naive notion I could continue to come out to others as a transvestite (the common term for a cross dresser) in the mid 1970's. As I have written about several times, I was soundly rejected by my Mom and from there mostly headed back into my closet.

By "mostly" I meant, only my wife really knew anything about my cross dressing desires except for a few Halloween adventures when perhaps I looked a little too accomplished as a woman in front of a few of my friends. Amazingly though my normal macho exterior I worked so hard for carried the day.

As you can probably guess, the yearly Halloween adventure and dressing up at home behind closed doors wasn't nearly enough. The formula was fairly simple. The more I cross dressed the better I became at it and then I felt more and more natural which led to more gender confusion.
Virginia Prince 1940

About that time I learned of Virginia Prince and her Transvestia Magazine. I quickly learned I was not alone and I felt it was time to meet others like me. I also found there were mixers going on within driving distance of me.

As I attended the mixers, I learned quickly there were layers of different people. All the way from the cross dressers who were desperately trying to hold on to their masculinity by smoking big cigars in drag all the way to impossibly feminine figures.  This created yet another quandary for me. Where did I fit in?

I was far removed from most of the macho cross dressers but was curiously attracted to the fabulous feminine creatures. Of course at that time (and in many instances still do) I ended up in a middle niche I carved out for myself.

The problem this all created for me was it caused me more extreme gender dysphoria pressure. My answer was increasing my alcohol consumption, getting a divorce, losing a business and moving from Ohio to the New York City area. In other words, I was out of control...sort of. Out of the chaos came another marriage to a woman who knew of my cross dressing desires and who I was destined to be married to for twenty five years. She passed away quite unexpectedly from a heart attack at the age of 50.

The problem with all of this was, slowly I was coming to grips with the fact I was probably more of a new term I was learning more about. Could it be I was transgender? 

Being transgender meant all kinds of potential problems and changes.

The pressure became so intense it led me to try to commit suicide.

More on that in my next post.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

It's All in a Name

Connie brought up an interesting point about responding, or not, to one's old "dead name."

"Your slight digression made me want to know more. At that time, you had two names. Today, you have a different one. How, then, do you respond, should someone call you by any one of them? I imagine that you would react differently, depending on which one was used. My dead name has become almost incognizant to me after adopting my new name many years ago.

If I hear someone in a crowded place say, "Connie," I will likely turn my head in recognition these days, but I no longer do that when my dead name is heard. Well, not until just a couple weeks ago, anyway. I was grocery shopping, and I heard a woman say, in a stern voice, "(Dead name), stop doing that!" I turned around to see a small boy holding a can of something from the bottom shelf, and Mom was standing right over him with a waving finger. It doesn't take a psychologist to tell me why I reacted to the sound of an irritated mother shouting (Dead name), but I can only laugh now about such a thing. 

Among many other things I did, as a kid, that would irritate my mother was my natural walk; placing most of my weight on the balls of my feet, rather than using a firm step on my heels. I did learn to affect a more-masculine walk, but my mother would always let me know when I had "regressed" to my natural one. Later, as an adult, I started shaping my eyebrows as much as I thought I could get away with, and every time mother saw me, she would say the same thing she said to me regarding my walk: (Dead name), stop doing that! Hmm, maybe I have Cowboy Nightmares and Cowgirl Dreams. :-)"

Sometimes I think I more than burnt out the name situation. Like so many other cross dressers and early transgender women, I chose the name of the cis women of the period I was in whom I admired the most. For example, my earliest feminine name was Karen. Because I used to sit close to a cis girl named Karen in middle school. Back in those days, I didn't understand why my crushes weren't really sexual ones but more out of admiration. I wanted so bad to be them.

Over the years, I have been a Darcy, a Roxy a Cyrsti (of course) and finally a Jessie which is my legal name now. Ironically, Cyrsti's Condo was so established by the time I chose my legal name, I decided to leave it alone. Jessie is actually a family name. 

As far as responding to my dead (male) name, I still catch myself turning around on the very rare occasions I hear it. I am more likely to fight responding when someone uses the "Sir" word when a stranger is using it with another person. Fortunately. more times than not they are directly not referring to me anyhow. 

Now on to my Mom:

My mother and I were much alike and thus never agreed on anything.  I was so focused on living a lie as a guy, I don't think walking was ever an issue. On the other hand, I con't imagine she never noticed my forays into her clothes and makeup. Either I covered it up better than I thought, or she ignored my cross dressing urges thinking it was a faze. 

When I came out to her when I was discharged from the Army as a transvestite, she offered to send me to electrode shock therapy. I told her she wasn't going to plug me into a wall socket and the subject was never brought up again. 

I guess I got the final revenge because I chose her name as my middle name.

Looking back on it now, I hope she would have considered it a honor of sorts. You see, it's all in a name.


Friday, October 25, 2019

Halloween Dreams

It amazes me after all these years I can still have so many vivid memories of my early Halloween experiences.

One of the earliest goes back to the 1980's when I lived near Yonkers, New York. I was working for a Wendy's franchisee then and one of my assistant managers invited me to a Halloween get together she was having. I saw it as the perfect opportunity to get out and live as a woman for a short period of time...if I could figure out how to do it.

Since my wife wasn't really into Halloween and knew why I was, it was fairly easy to convince her not to go. Plus, she was always against what she thought were my sleezy costumes. With her out of the way, I was free to costume myself anyway I pleased.

I picked out a short mini dress, heels and one of my fave wigs for the evening. If you remember, big hair was "in" in the 80's, so I fit right in. After freshly shaving my legs, applying my makeup, panty hose and getting dressed, it was time to go.

What I wasn't prepared for was how well I was going to fit right in.

It turned out, the Halloween "party" she invited me to was actually a group of her girl friends who all were going to one of their local taverns to party. I was in heaven when I saw all these women dressed almost like I was. Initially they were in shock when they saw me and looked me over head to toe until my friend told them who I was. Then I was accepted.

The tavern was within walking distance of her house, so here we were all in our heels clicking along as we walked to the party. Again, I blended right in and felt great.

Once we arrived at the tavern, we proceeded to order drinks and the other women got up to dance. Unfortunately I have exactly no rhythm and kept my seat. Inwardly though, I was savoring every moment and even got asked to dance. Again, I politely declined.

All too quickly the evening had to end and I had to head back to my routine existence. However, the word spread through out my store how I had dressed for Halloween. Nothing much happened as I just said I always wanted to do it. Resulting in a few "yeah right" smiles.

Little did I know how long the memories of the evening would linger. It showed me how it would be to interact with women on their own level. If only for one evening. 

Friday, June 14, 2019

"Mo" Trans History

Just when I thought my old noggin remembered vividly almost all the transgender influences of my past, along comes two reminders from Cyrsti Condo readers jogging my memory on others. The first post is from Calie:

  1. "The woman who really hit me hard was Canary Conn. This had to be around 1978 and I saw her on a television talk show promoting her book. She was a pop singer, formerly known as Danny O'Connor. I did buy the book and read it twice. I was about the same age as her at the time. I knew what I was prior to that but Canary Conn made a profound impact on my life. I knew then that I had to transition but, for many reasons, never did. More info on Canary Conn here:
    http://queermusicheritage-theblog.blogspot.com/2013/02/danny-oconnor-became-canary-conn.html"
    And, from:
  2. "In 1963, I was a twelve-year-old, going it alone. I honestly don't remember learning about anything having to do with transvestism; nothing that really affected what I was feeling about myself and my gender identity. I think that I was actually a transphobe back then, but I was already adept at applying makeup while behind the locked bathroom door. I was, alternately, prideful at the young woman I saw in the mirror, and disgusted with myself for "giving in" to something for which I seemed unable to control. I really didn't want to know of others who were like me, because I never could see myself being like anyone else. In retrospect, I knew, even then, that I was not a cross dresser. What I wanted to be was a woman, but not just during those times when I could sneak into the bathroom to look like one. Aside from Christine Jorgensen, I hadn't heard of anyone who was even close to the way I felt about myself.

    It almost didn't matter what, or who, I knew about when I turned seventeen. It was then that I embarked on a successful suppression that lasted for another seventeen years. When I broke the mold, I was still going it alone. I went back to hiding behind locked doors, but with a family and a job, there was so much more to be hiding from. My thought was, why would I seek out a role model who would abandon their established life for the selfish endeavor of being who she was? Well, now that I'm another 17 plus 17 years older (68), I'm pretty lucky to still have my family while being the not-so-selfish woman I am. It was not by any prominent figure that got me here, but I did get here with a little help from my friends - you included, girlfriend!"
  3. Thanks sooo much!

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Transgender History

One never knows when simply being older than everyone else could be a positive.

One of the questions at last night's transgender - cross dresser support group meeting was what was your earliest remembrances of obtaining any information at all concerning your gender differences.

Being the oldest in the group, I was the only one to remember Virginia Prince , her  Transvestia Magazine and The Society for the Second Self... for male heterosexual cross dressers. The last issue was in 1979.

Over the years,  Virginia finally has began to receive the credit she deserved for being one of the pioneers of the cross dressing movement all the way to the beginnings of understanding the transgender movement. She came from a socially prominent family in Los Angeles and like so many of us struggled (and lost) a marriage because of her cross dressing. She began cross dressing when she went to a church Halloween party dressed as a woman and no one knew. So, again, many of us followed the same path as her.

I know I first obtained a copy of one her books "The Transvestite and His Wife" (1967) and immediately read it approximately three times. I also subscribed to "Transvestia" for awhile. Plus, my first dealings with other transvestites came from a Virginia Prince connected group in Cleveland, Ohio. So I owe a lot to her as a pioneer.

Virginia Prince
Virginia passed away in May of 2009. Follow the link above for more.