Showing posts with label womanhood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label womanhood. Show all posts

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Gender Expectations

 

Image from the 
Jessie  Hart
Archives

Early in my transition to a fulltime transgender woman, I thought my expectations would be relatively simple. 

My simplistic approach led me to believe achieving perfection in my knowledge of makeup and acquiring the feminine clothes would be all I would need to survive. Little did I know, when I went public with my cross dressing, I would encounter so many other issues to solve. 

Another problem I had was my cross dressing theory all  was wrong and directly backwards.  All along, I was a woman cross dressing my life away as a man, plus I had no idea how my new time as a transgender woman would put me so completely on a public stage with men and women. The time I spent trying to cross dress for my male self proved to be totally wasted for the most part. Those were the days of trying to dress sexy and failing miserably. 

As with any female who grows into womanhood (all don't), I needed to learn to play in the girls sandbox. As I came closer to perfecting my appearance the best I could, each time I thought I reached a milestone, I found there were many more to come to achieve my goals of living my own version of womanhood. Even though I may not be the prettiest girl in the room, I still could rely on other aspects of my personality to succeed. Similar to any other woman I had met in my life. Like my transgender friend Racquel told me I passed the public out of sheer willpower. I was just being the authentic me.

One part of the entire coming out process which really intimidated me was how I needed to present differently to each binary gender. As I always mention, men had the tendency to steer clear of me and women had a tendency in their own ways to challenge me. Communication in the world to survive became key to me. As far as men went, I think there were very few who were secure enough in their own masculinity to approach me. Plus, since early on I was usually alone, I would try my best to give the impression someone else was coming to join me. One of my favorite "props" was my cell phone. I used it to act as if a friend was on the way and I was saving a seat where ever I was. Then, when I did develop a small group of women friends, I did my best to blend in and not stand out of the crowd so to speak. 

Through it all, I can't write enough on how insecure I felt for years in public when I first came out into the world. When I couldn't wear my sunglasses to judge the public's reaction to me, I tried to perfect my peripheral vision to see the best I could if I was creating an impact by just being my authentic gender self. The whole process turned out to be a multi-layered experience. Similar to what my second wife told me about absorbing the life skills women need to survive. For years I was na├»ve and didn't understand what she meant since I had literally obsessed studying the world of women around me I so admired. I never considered all the ramifications of coming out as a transgender woman would mean. 

Once I did discover my truth, I did have others around me to assist in my journey. Together they all helped to make my expectations more realistic and achievable.      

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Forces of Nature

Image from the Jessie Hart
Archives

 As we go through life as transgender women or trans men, we just have to develop a hard shell of sorts to get us by.

Sadly, we often have to resort to hiding and sneaking around our family's back to at the least keep our gender dysphoria issues at bay. At least in my case, even though I wasn't proud of it, I spent hours or even days trying to figure out how I could do my cross dressing. Even to the point I wish I could get back just a portion of the creative energy I expended on dressing like a girl. Obviously, it is way too late now to worry over expended energy as the entire process made me stronger.

Little did I know, I would need all of the strength I could summon to make it through my upcoming long and twisted gender journey. Along the way, I needed to survive all the unkind external forces I would end up facing. Before I grasped the importance of learning how to cross dress my male body to blend into the world. Possibly the biggest lesson I needed to learn was cis-women ran the world I wanted to be a part of. Without the women's help and approval, there would be no way I would be allowed to play in their sandbox, as I like to refer to it as. 

To be a force of nature, I needed to learn to be a gentle force. In other words I needed to play off my gender differences. I could never try to claim my womanhood the same way my friends did but I could claim my right to admittance to being a woman because I had always felt deep down I had always felt feminine. All the way to the point I had always been a student of everything feminine. I paid my own dues in so many ways to finally pave my path to my trans womanhood. One of the most amazing parts of my journey came when I was chosen to be a part of a photo shoot here in Cincinnati which featured all sorts of different kinds of women. 

Being a force of nature is often a burden also. On occasion I think people expect too much from transgender women or trans men. For the same reason we are feared in some circles these days, other people want to hate on us as a community. Mainly because they don't understand our lifestyle. It is especially evident to me when it comes to certain politicians I have recently seen. Primarily when my "gay-dar" immediately went off when I saw the new Speaker of the House who has repeatedly issued homophobic comments. 

All in all, it takes every bit of knowledge we trans people have acquired to make it in a world hostile to us. In a climate where certain political parties and religions are trying to erase us, the fact remains we have always been here and always will. 

Rest assured, we are true transgender forces of nature. Trained to do our best to survive as a tribe and never go back. 

Friday, June 23, 2023

Gender Side Effects

 

Liz on Left from the 
Jessie Hart Archives

When a human being attempts to cross the gender frontier to live a life as their authentic selves, they naturally undergo many side effects. 

Perhaps the biggest side effect is just having to live as the gender you had always dreamed of living. Quickly you find the grass isn't always greener when you transition. My primary examples include when I suddenly lost a part of my intelligence when I started my life as a transgender woman and when I found out the hard way my personal security most certainly wasn't the same. The entire process most certainly was an eye opening experience. All of a sudden, I was more than the "pretty, pretty princess" my wife called me, I was discovering how a woman really lived. 

Other side effects came when I began to live more and more as my feminine self. Gender discoveries were coming fast and furious and were often as terrifying as they were exciting. My male self did not want to give up all the white male privileges he had won in the world. It seemed just the time he could have been situated to enjoy the positives of his labors, it was all taken away because he decided to live as a transgender woman. Side effects for my male self were all negative. 

When I was able to step back and view the entire gender trnasition experience as a whole, the biggest side effect was the entire process felt so natural. When I was having any of the self doubts concerning moving forward in my transition, deep down inside my feminine soul told me to just keep going and everything would be alright. I just needed to learn my own way how difficult the process would be. It seemed every layer of womanhood I learned would just be scratching the surface of what I needed to learn. How was I ever going to be able communicate with the world as my new self and would I ever be accepted to being able to play in the girl's sandbox as an equal. Just two of the burning questions I was facing day to day as I considered reaching for my dream.

Another huge side effect was the time it was taking me to move forward in the world. For every step forward I felt good about, the were two steps back I needed to worry about. Examples included, what was I going to do about a very non approving spouse and how could I ever live without the fairly high paying job I had worked so hard to obtain. As it turned out, biding my time while I learned more about what being a woman was all about turned out to be a good side effect because I was more prepared when the time came to actually begin my life as a full time transgender woman. By the time my transition fully happened, I don't think I had ever prepared better for anything in my life and I was in my early sixties at the time.

Now I can safely say, the final side effect for me was a positive experience. By transitioning I have been able to live out a lifetime dream and never looked back. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Basic Gender "Right" of Passage.

From IndiaWest, a true "right" of passage for a transgender Muslim woman:





clip
Maya Jafer, a transgender Muslim woman from South Asia, shares her story in the documentary, “Rites of Passage.” (Photos courtesy Jeff Roy)
 

"Growing up in India, the only person who knew Mohammed Jafer’s true identity was a Buddhist monk: “I see the woman in you,” he said, “and I want to call you Maya because I see a lot of love in you.”
But the 42-year-old — now Maya, who said the name means “love” —  from Tamil Nadu always knew she was a woman, even if virtually no one else did.
“I am a woman in a man’s body …” she said, referring to how she felt before she began her transition to physically become a woman. “I was trying to fix everything else, until I realized I have the option inside me.”
That’s the story a new documentary, called “Mohammed to Maya,” tells as it follows Maya, a male-to-female transgender individual, in a physical and spiritual journey into womanhood that pushes the limits of tradition.

Born into a tight-knit, orthodox Muslim family of naturopathic healers, Maya’s decision did not go over well. “They still see me as a man, and they still address me by my original name,” she said. “I have not seen my family in over five years.”
Maya began physically transitioning into a woman during her late thirties, and lived as a woman for two years before getting sexual reassignment surgery in Thailand because she couldn’t afford one in the U.S.
Maya, who herself has two doctorates in naturopathic medicine, including one from Bastyr University in Washington state, said her decision was not a frivolous one. “I didn’t just lose my mind coming to America,” she told India-West. “I would have committed suicide or done the transition to become a complete woman. I had no other way.”
Maya’s story is as much about her physical transition into womanhood as it was about her spiritual one."

Follow the "IndiaWest" link above for the complete story. It's just a little different than the usual transsexual story centering somewhat more on a spiritual basis.


Sink or Swim

Image from Trans Wellness Event.  Jessie Hart Archives.  Many times when I first entered the world as a new cross dresser or femininized mal...