Saturday, March 18, 2023

Girl Talk

First Girl's Night Out. I am on the
bottom left. From the Jessie Hart

Every so often I reflect back on my first girl's nights outs.  Naturally before each event I was terrified. Here I was having the chance to enter a feminine only space I had previously only dreamed of. I was petrified of thinking what I would say to attempt to add in my input to all the conversations. What do women talk about when men are not invited to be around.

It turned out over the years I was fortunate to be invited to four girl's nights out. It turned out they were all unique in their own way.  

During the first one I learned women (as I suspected) were more apt to discuss, family and friends topics. No more relying on work and sports to get me by. I was lucky I had a supportive daughter I could talk about. Other than that, I had to sit back and be more of the observer rather than a real active participant. I didn't know several of the other women not shown in the picture and one didn't seem to care I was transgender while the other one did. I was a little surprised no one gently probed my reason of being there. It was probably because I was there with good friends such as my future wife Liz, Min and Kathy. 

Most likely the most exciting and scary girl's night out I was ever invited to came at the request of a couple servers at one of the venues I was a regular. One afternoon I was there and the servers came up to me and said they were planning a night out with a couple of other women and another nearby venue. As frightened as I was, how could I possibly turn such an invitation down. Since they were all young an attractive, I really had to try to step up my fashion game to fit in. I decided on wearing my favorite all black outfit. Wide legged pants and short sleeved top along with my long black wig. It turned out not to matter because all the other women, for the most part, were occupied by guys trying to pick them up and I was ignored. All in all, it worked out for the better.

Another girl's night out I was invited to was a Halloween party years ago. I had a fun time wearing my black tight legged leggings with boots and my big frizzy red wig. There was plenty of beer to be consumed and one woman even came up to me ad asked how I ever took care of all of that hair. It didn't  hurt that Kathy was there also and she was every bit as tall as me so I didn't have to feel self confident about being the tallest woman there. 

The one night out I missed through no fault of my own was a bachelorette party I was invited to, then it was cancelled. I knew the bride and her friends were a wild bunch so I was disappointed when it was cancelled. 

All of my "women only" events taught me I did have the confidence as a transgender woman to interact one on one with other women. I was correct in assuming when I subtracted sports and work from my conversation with others and added softer topics such as family and clothes I would be all right and I would be accepted into a new and exciting circle. Girl talk I discovered was fun. 

Friday, March 17, 2023

She Would Not say No


Image from Jazmin Quaynor 
on Unsplash

As my life progressed, I found my inner feminine self was certainly the dominate personality of the two binary genders I was forced to live. Seemingly, the male person I found myself trying to succeed at being was overall a dismal failure. I tried sports, auto mechanics and various other male dominated passions to no avail. The only real success I found was masking my inner feminine desires enough to keep the bullies off my back.

In the meantime, I suffered the usual gender problems others similar to me went through. Take sports for example. The long days on the football practice field were mixed in with watching the cheerleaders practice while I day dreamed about how much fun it would be to be one of them instead of yet another faceless defensive end. Finally I could take it no longer and quit the team. In many ways my "she" had won a major battle for supremacy. Of course, this was just one of many struggles to come in my life. There were the small ones such as simply slipping away in private and dressing like a girl. Which ultimately led to completing a transgender transition to a fulltime feminine life.

None of this was accomplished easily. First of all my inner "she" had to face the fact she was born into a very male body. When the very occasional feminine characteristic would creep in, my male self would try to battle back and squash it.  I think deep down all along he knew how the battle would go and he would lose. In the meantime my inner girl was growing into a woman  And the growth would require much more time and effort. All those days of simply admiring myself in a mirror just weren't enough.  More and more, she needed to get out and live.

The more she escaped, the more she wanted. Even when my wife and I came to an agreement I could spend time and money twice a week to get out and free my authentic self, it wasn't enough. Those were the days of trying to go behind her back and go out. The problem quickly became when I was living secretly more as my "she" than as my "he." The only real things which kept "he" grounded at all were my everyday macho work experiences which I was being paid very well to be successful at doing. Even with all the compromises to my life my "she" would not say no. She needed more and more freedom to express herself. Over all, the gender pressure on me nearly ended my life. I just couldn't take the pushing and shoving or ripping and tearing any longer, I needed desperately to find a way out. At that point I tried to kill myself with pills and alcohol and luckily failed. I think it was a compilation of both of my genders which caused the failure of the suicide attempt and ultimately the success of what happened later in my life.

After I tried self harm, I decided it was because of the influence of my "she" side and decided on a purge of everything feminine I was doing.  Little did I know I was doing it for my wife who would only end up living approximately six more months. Once she passed away completely unexpectedly, there wasn't much standing in my way to completely transition. Something I had been working for since early in life. Still my male side fought back because "he" still brought tons of baggage to the table. For a few more years I still had a job to worry about before I could retire and I still had to tell what was left of my family and friends I was transgender. Nothing it seemed was going to be easy. I viewed the whole process as sliding down a very slippery slope towards a very steep cliff.

Once I finally made the decision to jump, I was in my early sixties and it was one of the best decisions I had ever made. Allowing my "she" to rule my life and have the chance to live out her own life removed much if not all of the gender tension I was feeling. The final night when "she" would not say no was one of the best moments of my life. It all felt so natural.  

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Trans Boomers


Without really trying to do so, I believe the blog has settled into having an older clientele, so to speak. Very rarely do I receive a comment from a younger transgender person or even a parent of a trans youth desiring to transition. By far the number of comments I receive come from other trans women of age. Meaning my age. I also have feedback from many other transgender veterans. Where ever the feedback comes from , I completely appreciate it. Here is my latest comment from a reader who prefers to keep her name private:

"When I look back, as I often do these days, I often feel that sense of regret for things done and things left undone. But, then I try to remind myself that my life has been remarkably good in comparison with the billions of sentient apes that have ever lived and is arguably better than most of the billions of humans who presently inhabit this planet. I do wish I had transitioned earlier and more gracefully, but imagine how many never had the chance at all."

Thanks for the comment! I like the parts about your life being arguably better than others who never stepped out of their comfort zone to live their dreams. Plus having the ability to have transitioned earlier with more grace really struck a chord.

I find the main things I have in common with other readers, is what we went through when we started to question our gender to begin with. The main problem we all had was the lack of internet communication with our peers. I remember distinctly the days when I communicated with other transvestites by writing letters, remember those? I believe my first experience with another "friend" on line was on an old "AOL" dial up chat room. All was proceeding past my expectations until my wife caught me one day. Then my brief experiences in chat rooms came to a halt. Until I could find a more secure way to do it.  Those were dark and lonely days in my closet but I was still desperate to get out and sample a more feminine world. 

It wasn't until I discovered Virginia Prince and Transvestia magazine, did I finally have a way to see there were actually others who shared the same desires as me. I was very excited when I learned the "Tri Ess" cross dresser organization  (which was somehow connected with Prince and/or Transvestia had regular meetings in my native Ohio. The first transvestite mixers I ever went to were a three hour drive away in a location up near Cleveland. Even better than that, I learned other organizations were planning get togethers in Columbus, Ohio which was only an hour away. I can't remember for certain now how many of the mixers I needed to attend before I began to feel more comfortable. I mostly was so dazzled to be around other people with similar gender pursuits to mine, I just came to view and judge the proceedings. 

The first thing I discovered was how layered the group really was. It seemed everybody quickly formed their own little cliques. Almost everything on the female stereotypical spectrum it seemed was there. And perhaps most dramatically, the rule that everyone had to be a heterosexual man was quickly thrown out the window. Too many people were disappearing behind closed motel doors to be totally innocent. Then there were the "mean girls" or the attendees who were often impossibly more feminine than the rest of the crowd and knew it.  I so wanted to look as good as them but without the attitude. The best part about knowing the mean girls was being able to go out with them and party after the mixer was supposedly over. That's where the true feminine action took place. Usually, a group went out to a large gay dance venue in downtown Columbus. Just being able to tag along and watch everyone else was my favorite part of the evening. Mainly because I was finally having the chance to live out my dream of living femininely. I felt I could never look as good as the mean girls but I could still enjoy myself.

Today I feel much has changed for the younger transgender population and that is mostly the reason for the "boomer" niche I find the blog to be in. These days (in at least many larger metropolitan areas) there are special LGBTQ organizations to reach out to. I can't imagine though the extra fear and even panic a younger person has these days when they consider coming out as transgender. I guess it proves no one gets a break, young or old, when it comes to being trans. 

I just wish as a trans boomer I could have helped provide a clearer and safer path for the younger generation today.