Fall has Fallen

Old Denim Skirt Photo: Credit Cyrsti Hart

Finally it looks like what is called Indian Summer around here has come and gone. Indian summer describes the last gasp of summer like weather. It’s always been a pleasant time for me, as it’s the time I take to re-assess my fall wardrobe of light weight sweaters, leggings and even boots.

Early looks into my wardrobe tell me it’s time to do some shopping. Not only do I need some new key pieces, I need some new jeans in a smaller size. The diet is working plus my hips are continuing to change due to hormone replacement therapy. Since my very early days of transgender transition, I have never liked the idea of extensive shapewear, Relying totally on the what you see is what you get theory. For the most part I think it worked. Plus my favorite outfit was a long patterned top paired with a jean skirt. Since everyone told me I had good legs it made sense to show them off.

Even back then, I was doing dieting and managed to shed nearly fifty pounds from the 275 I weighed when I started to seriously transition,

All of this takes me back to my current dilemma of having a fall wardrobe deficit. Thanks to my cats claws, she has effectively ruined several pairs of leggings which I wear. Leggings fortunately, are a relatively inexpensive replacement item. After deeper inspection, I found I could use a couple more sweaters to wear. Since I am a big thrift store shopper, it may be time for another trip.

Seasonal wardrobe changes have always been fun for me. One of my favorite times to be a transgender woman. Being full time as long as I have been now just adds to the challenges.

Transgender Problem in Thailand

Nur Sajat Rated Xtra Press Conference

Thailand is considering whether to deport a transgender businesswoman who was convicted this month of illegal entry and is wanted in Malaysia for insulting Islam, a case that has put a spotlight on Malaysia’s approach to gender identity.

Cosmetics company owner Nur Sajat, (above) as she prefers to be known, fled from Malaysia this year. Thai police confirmed that Sajat was arrested this month and was found guilty by a court of illegal entry and subsequently released on bail.

In Malaysia, she faces up to three years in jail and or a fine for dressing as a woman at a religious event in 2018, which she pleaded not guilty to, according to news reports.

Transgender Talent

 Transgender Talent, the transgender owned and operated management and production company, is looking to help Hollywood get better at portraying transgender and nonbinary characters on screen with the launch of a new consulting arm.

The company, which represents talent including David Makes Man’s Jamie K. Brown and The Craft: Legacy’s Zoey Luna, has opened the consulting business to assist the entertainment industry’s drive to increase diversity and inclusion both in front of and behind the camera.

Run by Ann Thomas, (above) an activist, and second-generation transgender person who has worked on HLN series’ Transgender in America, the division is an expansion of its medical education division which educates and advises UCLA medical students on transgender patient care.

It’s a Material World

And, as Madonna would say, I am a material girl. Then again, don’t all of us have to be one way or another? Unless you are living off the grid and probably aren’t reading this at all. 

Picture after first hair appointment
Credit: Cyrsti Hart

Actually, I am a very basic transgender woman. Give me a comfortable pair of jeans or leggings, add a tank top and tennis shoes and I am happy and secure as the transgender woman I am. Ironically as basic as I am, I still dress more femininely than my partner Liz who is a cis gender woman. Meaning she was assigned female at birth.

Backtracking a bit, when I first began to explore the feminine world in public, I was much more materialistic. All my accessories such as jewelry, purses, shoes etc. were so much more important to me. All my attention to detail worked too when I was complimented on my appearance by other women. 

All went well until I really started to transition, aided by the effect of hormone replacement therapy. One of the first changes that happened was I was fortunate and my hair really started to grow. So much so that my daughter gifted me my first visit to her upscale hair salon as a birthday present after I had come out to her. The visit remains in my mind as one of the most exciting yet scary experiences of my life as I crossed the gender frontier. Having to walk the “gauntlet” of women who had nothing else to do but to watch and judge me was amazing pressure to say the least. 

I learned too, it was a material world when all of the sudden I was paying to have someone else take care of my hair. My old twenty dollar haircuts at a barber shop were long gone. Also when I was going out, I had to learn there was a back to my head also. All those years of wearing a wig had spoiled me. Of course I could simply turn the wig around on it’s stand and brush it out. 

Another of the main problems I faced as I MtF gender transitioned was the cost of trying to maintain two wardrobes. Along the way I was biased because shopping for the feminine side was so much more fun and satisfying. Once I settled into my feminine natural role and quit cross dressing as a guy, of course the costs went down.

I suppose it could be argued we all live in a material world. Transgender women may experience it all in such a unique way.
  

We Got Mail

 The first comes from “Georgette” and mentions coming out in the pre internet Dark Ages:

“Ah, The coming out in the “Dark Ages”,

Yes it was difficult but hasn’t it always been difficult now and back then,

For me enlisting in the Navy during the Viet Nam era really formed my lifetime career in electronics/computers, And because of my outing during that time it set into the motion of what/where/when I needed to do after the Navy,

I have some now call me brave and a pioneer of sorts, But really it was a do or die, If it didn’t all work out I had no “Plan B”, Not sure what would happen, One thing that it did for/to me was it made me grow a hard exterior emotionally, Oh sure all the pointing/ whispering/laughing at me hurt inside but I was determined because I saw a future where I could be the real me,

These are my only help for all the newer/younger ones now, You can live a happier life and hopefully a longer one as yourself,”

Yes it has always been difficult! Thanks for the comment!

Now on to Connie who commented on the “History” post: “

I can relate, except that I quite enjoyed being a defensive end. Taking on the block of a fullback or pulling guard on a sweep play, and then forcing the running back to go inside – only to be tackled by a linebacker or cornerback – was analogous to my life. It was a struggle, and took all my energy to deal with it, but nobody really noticed my efforts because the glory went to someone else. I never minded, though, because avoiding the spotlight was safe. Still, I could take quiet satisfaction in knowing I’d done a good job.

 Besides, it takes a lot of discipline and toughness to hold one’s ground like that, and the physicality of it all helped me to take out my frustrations in an acceptable manner. 

As far as the cheerleaders go, I remember them teasing me from the sidelines that the blackout under my eyes looked like my mascara was running. Little did they know that there were times, after a game, when I went home and applied my mascara flawlessly. ;-)”

Thanks Connie!

History

Pre Covid Picture. Credit Cyrsti Hart

Many transgender women and men resent their restrictive upbringing not living as their authentic selves. I prefer to think of it as far as I am concerned as the days of cross dressing as a guy. Even though for the most part I was successful, all too often, the whole effort was so very stressful. The entire time I had to hide my resentment. Back in those days (the 50’s and 60’s) there was simply no one to reach out to.

These days of course are different except for the fact some of the young transgender population don’t understand how a seemingly increase in older trans women and men coming out somehow is bogus. They don’t realize how difficult it was to come out in the “dark ages” of being transgender.

Then there is the
effect of testosterone poisoning. The infamous result of puberty often is too much for many of us to overcome. No matter how any hormones you take, there is nothing you can do about your size or bone structure.  On the positive side, many of us learn to dress ourselves to still accentuate the positive and survive the feminine world. 


One idea to look back on your male history is to look at what he did do for you. For some of us, he kept us safe from the bullies. He acted the hated macho role well and did enough to get by. He was able to somehow internalize the confusing feminine feelings. He didn’t want to be a defensive end on the football team. He wanted to be a cheerleader. 

For better or for worse, my history is one of survival. I went to proms and dated when I had to all the way to getting married and having a daughter. I even was forced into the military through the Vietnam draft so I could add it to my “male resume”‘  

Being a historian myself, I have embraced the positive aspects of  being forced to live a period of my life in a foreign gender. Through it all, I learned what it is to live both sides of the gender fence. 

History now tells me it is as difficult as it sounds.

Bond Girl

Caroline Cossey, also known as Tula, made headlines as the first transgender model to pose for Playboy magazine.

Prominent throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, Cossey worked with major fashion magazines and small brands, even appearing topless in denim ads. Her big break came with a cover spread for Playboy in 1981, which led to her role as an extra in James Bond’s film For Your Eyes Only.

After being outed by a British tabloid in 1991, she made a comeback by posing for Playboy again, this time in a solo spread that dubbed her a “beautiful woman who was born a boy.”

What’s in a Name

Photo courtesy of Cyrsti Hart

Often as we go through the stages of a transgender transition, our names go down a similar path.

It’s very interesting how we choose our feminine names. My example is my first name I used was Karen. She sat next to me in study hall in junior (middle) school. When I transferred to a much bigger school, I developed crushes on many more girls. Too many to “borrow” their names. 

It’s likely the biggest mistake with feminine names I made was when I first started to seriously come out of my closet. I made a habit of naming myself after a persona I created. For example, Roxy was much more flamboyant than Darcy. I learned the hard way all I was doing was confusing the people I met along the way. They were trying to call me by one name when I was attempting to use another. Fortunately I learned to dress to blend and settled in on one name. For awhile. Actually for a long while. 

Shortly before I began to write the blog (ten years ago) I changed my name to Cyrsti. It’s pronounced Cristy. I changed the spelling to reflect how a light is redirected when it goes through a crystal. I used the name for years and years until I came out as transgender to my daughter. She accepted me totally except for my name. She was concerned what the three grandkids would call me.

At that point in time, I went back to the name drawing board and came up with a solution. I would rename myself after family figures I looked up to and make it my legal name. I chose Jessie as my first name after my maternal grandfather and Jeanne as my middle name, from my Mom. The kids could just call me JJ.

Then I ran into problems with what I should do with the blog. By that time I already had millions of hits thanks to you all. So I decided to leave it alone and use Cyrsti as sort of a pen name. 

It would be easy if the story ended there but it didn’t. 

I write on several different platforms. Blogger, WordPress and Medium. I wish I could tell you all my posts are original to each platform but they are not. I just can’t generate that much content. So, Blogger and WordPress are under my Cyrsti pen name and Medium is under my legal name of JJ. 

So if you see me on other platforms, that’s the reason for the name confusion!