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“Mom” Returns

Not my Mom, if she returned from the great beyond, it would be bigger news. This post is about meeting up with the woman who you might recall, harassed me a couple times about my hair. I made the comment at the time, she reminded me of how my Mom would have approached me.

Fortunately this time, I just had my trip to my hair dresser Friday, so visually I was ready for her.

When Liz and I arrived at the outside shelter house near a nearby lake, it didn’t take her long to approach me. To her credit, she was very positive about my hair which indeed made me feel better about our relationship.

Then, she asked could she tell me something and I thought now what?  She paused and said how proud she was of me for living the life I wanted to. I was taken totally off guard. Finally I managed to blurt out the truth…I appreciated her acceptance but my choice didn’t come out of bravery or anything like it. I literally didn’t have the chance to be brave, it was either change my life or lose it.

A day later as I look back on her comment though, I feel now as if I finally found a sense of peace with my long deceased Mom. Whose approval is what I really wanted.

Thanks to my new Mom, Monika.

Would You Give Birth?

This was a question which was posed by one of the many bloggers I follow.  The only difference was, it was supposed to be answered only by cis guys. I couldn’t let it go and jumped in with my answer as a transgender woman. 

Over the years, I have known or encountered many trans women who would consider giving birth as the ultimate feminine experience.  Others even crave the idea. 

Over the years my idea of pregnancy has changed. I suppose it goes all the way back to my days with my deceased wife when she was fond of calling me the “pretty, pretty princess.” Adding I didn’t have any real  idea of what life was like for a cis woman. Sadly, she was right.  The last thing I wanted to think of was what cis women had to think of (and do) when they bear children. I was too busy thinking how I looked as a woman was the most important part of my life. 

Politically also,  pregnancy is the point many cis women transphobes make that only real women can bear children The argument of course doesn’t hold water because many cis women are born sterile without the proper “equipment” to go through a pregnancy. Not to mention the countless cis women who don’t desire parenthood at all.

These days, possibly due to the effects of hormone replacement therapy my ideas on pregnancy have changed. Of course it is easy to say at my seventy years of age (plus) deep down I can sense I wouldn’t mind being pregnant. However, I don’t view the whole process as the ultimate pinnacle of my femininity. For some reason now, my body tells me now it wouldn’t be out of the question if it was medically possible. 

Possible or not, the whole pregnancy idea has become yet another question to ponder. These days I think I would/could give birth if it was possible.  

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. 

Another Transgender First

 Recently, Sapir Berman made history by coming out as Israel’s first transgender soccer official.

 Addressing her reasons for going public with her identity, Berman said that she did so “first of all for myself, for my soul, and then for my family, so they don’t see me suffering,” she related.

Congratulations!

The Time of Discovery

This week by chance, I have encountered not one but two individuals close to my age strongly considering following  seriously their feminine gender urges. Perhaps you noticed  I didn’t use the transgender word to describe either because they didn’t.  Both were so new in their explorations, I think they were involved in the brave new world of gender exploration, they didn’t know where they were on the journey. 

One discussion was involved with how my initial results went when I first started hormone replacement therapy. It seemed, the person had started some sort of hormones without a doctors guidance by obtaining non prescription meds. Of course I  passed along my usual warning concerning starting the HRT without medical guidance could be hazardous to one’s overall health. Secondly, she wanted to know how fast the effects of the hormones showed to the point of not being able to hide my gender changes any longer.

In my case, although everyone’s case is different, minimum dosages of estradiol and a testosterone blocker within six months produced effects which were hard to hide. My skin and face softened, my hair grew long enough for a pony tail and of course my budding breast growth was getting harder and harder to hide. There was a definite difference for me of having “man boobs” and the feminine set of breasts I was magically growing. To make a long story short, I was forced out of my male closet and into my authentic self faster than I ever imagined. At this time, after my wife passed away, I was living by myself and my two dogs didn’t care what I looked like. So, I didn’t have an  un-supporting  spouse to worry about. 

The second person, is local and seemed to be very impressed she had found a supporting group of individuals who are transgender, questioning or cross dressing folk. Ironically, she was drafted into the Army nearly the same time I was in 1971.  At the time, the problem of going into the Army seemed as if it would be the worst possible move as I tried to deal with my mis-understood gender dysphoria. Years later though, I still reap the benefits of my service by taking advantage of Veteran’s Administration health.

Overall, I was able to provide a positive look into what a transgender life can look like if certain factors come into line.  At least, that is my goal.

I’m very comfortable pointing out to people too, the whole gender transition process I went through was no walk in the park and I went through my share of doubts and dark days. 

The whole process of discovering my true self proved to be very  satisfying for me. The alternative of cross dressing and acting like a man would have led me to an early grave. 

Virtual Action

 Yesterday it seems I spent the day doing virtual meetups. 

The first was with my therapist. We discussed, among other things, my recent dual bout with gender dysphoria coupled with bi-polar issues. As always, it was triggered by an off the wall instance. When I returned from the dentist to have impressions taken, it seemed I had left a bit of the residue on my face. Liz wanted to show me and held up her cell phone to provide video proof. When I saw myself, I immediately went into shock after I saw my image. All I saw was an old guy with very long hair and my gender dysphoria along with the accompanied despair set in. It took me several days to climb out of the mental funk I was in.

I am fortunate to have such a strong support system with my partner Liz. She helped me climb out of my ditch. She is so good, my therapist and I call her “Dr. Liz.” After a couple days, my depression started to lift and I used the time honored phrase “It is what is is” to accept my state of mind and move on. Whatever I have managed to use to feminize my male body will have to suffice. 

While I am on the subject, I was able to obtain my blood lab results from the weekend yesterday. The important results came back good. My iron was low, so I don’t have to go back up to the Dayton, Ohio VA  for a blood removal phlebotomy. They take a pint out to keep my iron levels in line. Also my hormone levels remained about the same. Slightly below level for a normal non pregnant cis woman. What that means is, it’s a possibility my endocrinologist will let me add another estradiol patch to our routine. We shall see.

Finally yesterday, I virtually attended the monthly Rainbow Elderly Alliance board meeting. Since I don’t have much coming up in the near future as far as webinars are concerned, I was relatively quiet. It was announced though we would be participating in the upcoming June Dayton, Ohio Pride celebration. It’s going to be a hybrid affair combining drive thru and actual events. Since I live an hour and fifteen minutes away, it’s tough for me to do much. Plus, depending on the planning, I may be going to the Cincinnati Pride this year. It’s the biggest in the area if it happens at all.

All of this amazes me. Before the pandemic I didn’t even know how to attend a virtual meeting at all. Now I have days which doing on line meetings is all I do.  

Kim Petras

 If it seems Kim Petras has been in the public eye forever, it’s because the transgender German entertainer started her Mtf gender transition at a very early age. Here is more from “Women’s Health.”:

“German singer and songwriter Kim Petras is the pop queen behind bops like “Heart to Break,” “Icy,” and “Broken Glass.” Oh, and she goes from dark and moody to bubblegum pink flawlessly. Ahead of the 2020 U.S. election, she worked with MTV, LogoTV, and Trans Lifeline on a campaign to provide grant money for trans people to update their IDs.”

She is 28 and released her first recording in 2011. 

Let’s be Careful Out There

This is actually a continuation of a post I wrote a couple days ago concerning losing one of our main male privileges’ when we transition to a feminine life. The privilege is personal security. It’s more or less a natural transition since so many cis women know of and have lived around male harassment their entire lives. 

Following the post, I received a couple of comments. The first is from Connie:

“You’re absolutely correct. We should never (short) skirt the issue of security. I’ve had my share of dicey moments, too. Fortunately, for both of us, we may have learned the hard way….but not the costly way. The closest to getting hurt I had was being sucker punched by a creep while I was stepping in to help some younger girls he was stalking late one night. I’ve reached the age where I’m not out late at night much; bedtime is 10:00 pm, usually. I also have slowed down, physically, so my confidence in being able to outrun an assailant has dropped considerably. I used to be a fast woman, but not a “fast” woman. Not that creepy men care what kind of woman I am, because they are just…uh…CREEPS. Watch out for them!”

Thanks for your unique perspective on a difficult problem.

The second comes from “Girlyboy”:

“Part of my own desire to transition is the desire to have the weakness you describe. Part of me wonders if that weakness that comes with a feminine body is not part of why society seems to hate trans MTF so much–that you would willingly give up power and physical strength must seem ludicrous to some…for me, feeling vulnerable is part of the goal.” 

Interesting comment. I think very early in my Mtf gender transition, I think I felt the same way because feeling vulnerable validated my femininity.  As I grew into my stronger transgender self, the potential violence all women are subjected to became more important to me and I began to be much more careful. 

When Nature Calls

Amanda not so long ago wrote into my email describing a few of her experiences using the women’s room when nature calls and she has to simply go to the bathroom.

She also asked for some of my experiences. First of all, I haven’t used a man’s restroom for over a decade now but my introduction into using the women’s room wasn’t an easy one. I have written before when I had the police called on me several times when all I was trying to do was relieve myself of excess beer. 

Looking back, realistically, I brought on most of the problems I had upon myself.  As I explored the feminine world in the early days, primarily I fell victim to ill fitting wigs which were poor fashion choices. Until I was able to grow my own hair, was I able to present more effectively as a woman. Which in turn enabled me to have my own female rest room “pass”. No pun intended.

Other factors which helped me immensely were how I viewed and adapted myself to the new rest room etiquette I was being exposed to. I made sure I was neat and tidy as I took care of essential business even to the point of trying to duplicate the sound of women peeing in the toilet bowl as close as I could. Plus, just to make sure I was prepared years ago, I always carried a feminine hygiene product in my purse in case anyone asked to try me. 

The rest was relatively easy.  I had to learn to adjust my urges to the normally longer lines to the women’s restrooms. Plus I had to learn to make eye contact and not be afraid to converse with other women in line. 

Finally, I had to make sure I quickly checked my hair and makeup as I always washed my hands and quickly (or efficiently) left and returned to my seat. To this day though, I still retain the scars of my early experiences in the rest rooms. I always check to see if anyone is going out of their way to stare at me or even glare. 

I must say though, along the way, similar to the rest of the transgender journey I have chosen, I have been exposed to a number of humorous or even surprising rest room experiences. The most interesting one was at a Cincinnati Pride

Picture from Cincinnati Pride

event a couple summers ago when one of the few free standing restrooms available was half closed due to a hornet infestation.  All the men were forced to use the women’s room and the response was comical and classic as toilet paper was passed along the line. The most surprising experience I ever had was when I was at a concert one night and was waiting in the woman’s room line. Once I finally made it close enough to the room itself, I observed a woman swinging from one of the stalls trying to break the lock off the door. My ideas of women respecting their restroom more than men was forever shattered. 

Overall, I think attitudes over restroom usage have definitely lightened up. Plus the number of gender neutral restrooms have increased.

Thanks Amanda for the question. 

Hey Lady!

 Yesterday was my time to head north to the VA blood laboratory to have my bloodwork completed. I prefer to go on Saturdays for a couple of reasons. The main reason is I can talk my partner Liz into going with me and the second is there are very few other veterans there on Saturdays. 

When we arrived, per norm, Liz had to use the women’s room after the rather lengthy trip from Cincinnati to Dayton, Ohio. I didn’t have to go, so I stayed behind and simply leaned against the nearest wall.  Very soon, a lone figure in a wheel chair approached.  Due to my past experiences at the VA, I have a tendency to not speak to others until I am spoken to.  Yesterday was one of those days I was spoken to first. 

The amputee in the wheel chair looked at me and said loudly “Lady take a seat.” He then pointed to a group of unused wheel chair type devices next to me. I tried to politely decline several times until he finally left me alone. What seemed like an eternity, Liz finally returned and we headed for the laboratory. 

Predictably, I was second in line to be jabbed. And, jabbed I was over and over again since I had three doctors asking for blood samples. The most important one is the sample which checks my iron levels. If they are too high, I have to go to hematology for a phlebotomy which means the vampires extract a pint of blood. Second in importance is my endo hormone blood results. The levels determine  if and when my HRT meds stay the same or are increased, potentially. Finally, the third test goes to my med doc to determine if my other meds blood levels are correct. Seven vials of blood later, I was done and we were heading home. 

As we left the medical center, my new found acquaintance looked at me and didn’t say anything. I thought at the least, he didn’t mis-gender me. 

The trip home was uneventful.

On an unrelated topic, I found this picture of one of my earliest transgender girlfriends along with a mutual friend down in Dallas:

Security

Over the years here in Cyrsti’s Condo I have tried to make it a point to write about our security when we leave the comfort of male privilege and attempt the gender journey into the feminine world. I found out the hard way it is something to be taken very seriously. 

Older Redhaired Photo from Trans Ohio

As I have written before, my first real foray into possible feminine violence came at a party my deceased wife and I went to years ago in nearby Columbus, Ohio. For the evening, against my wife’s wishes, I wore a very short mini dress to the party. As much as I hated to admit it later, she was right. It turns out I was cornered in a hallway by a much bigger crossdresser “admirer”. It seemed to me before I knew it he had me stuck in a physical situation I couldn’t extract myself from. About the time he was seemingly going in for the kill, my wife appeared and diffused the situation. That was the good news, the bad news was she wouldn’t let me live it down my skirt was too short. This was many years ago. Way before the “me too” movement and other causes which focused on how women still shouldn’t suffer sexual abuse no matter what we wear. 

The bottom line for me was the realization all of a sudden I could be overcome by a bigger person and forced into a compromising sexual situation.

The second lesson I learned  could have involved more physical violence.  It was late one night on a downtown urban street in Dayton, Ohio. I was by myself leaving a gay venue when I was approached by two men. To make another long story short, I ended up being cornered again and was able to defuse the situation by giving them my last five dollars. Lesson learned, the next time I was there, I asked for a trans guy I knew if he would walk me to my car. Which he did. 

I learned the hard way why cis women live their lives living with a totally different awareness than men. It goes way past walking past the leering stares of men in a construction project to the prospect of losing so much more of your personal security.

It’s one of the most important aspects as you transition into a feminine world.