Un Masked

My Partner Liz, me, and trans friend Kathy

The transgender – cross dresser local group Liz and I are members of have decided to open the doors again to a rather aggressive social schedule. 

I think it is time to venture out if people have been vaccinated so I have no problem with doing it. 

Saturday is the first social get together in public, followed by an on line support group meeting on Monday and yet another public social next Thursday. 

With everyone being so tired of staying home for so long, more than likely all events will be well attended. 

The socials are a very good idea for experienced and novice transgender women of all kinds. Most importantly, the venues know we are coming and provide a safe space.  Very simply, it is a chance to get out in the public’s eye and try out fitting in in the feminine world. 

The best part is so far, everyone has not embarrassed the group by doing something decidedly ignorant. 

Even though we will not be attending Saturday nights social,  it’s a very good chance I will be at the other two. If you happen to be in the metro Cincinnati, Ohio area and need information, let me know. 

Billboard Material

Jari Jones is an actress, model, and LGBTQ+ advocate. Last year, she was one of nine models featured in an advertisement for Calvin Klein in New York City. The brand’s 2020 Pride campaign #PROUDINMYCALVINS, was a huge accomplishment. In an Instagram post she wrote, “It has been such an honor and pleasure to sit in my most authentic self and present imagery of a body that far to often has been demonized, harassed, made to feel ugly and unworthy and even killed.”

Summer Time

The area in and around Cincinnati, Ohio is well known for it’s historical connections in aiding runaway slaves during the Underground Railroad days preceding the Civil War.

In 2015, Liz and I toured the “Rankin House” near Ripley, Ohio east of Cincinnati when I was more mobile. The picture above was taken facing the Ohio River which flows downhill from the historic house. Known for it’s success in helping runaway slaves escape. 

Afterwards we crossed the Ohio on a small ferry boat and ate lunch in historic Augusta, Kentucky, the home of George Clooney. 

It was a relaxing day and one to remember because my transgender transition was still so new and scary as well as being exciting. The day went well, and no, we didn’t see George.  

More Queens

It turns out, my posts objecting to the domination of drag queens in more than a few of the LGBT Pride events elicited several wonderful comments on the three platforms I am writing on now (Blogger, WordPress and Medium).

Here is one from Michelle: 

” I have to say that you might be a bit wrong about the Queens doing nothing for the community. Connie is right about how most trans women just want to blend in but the Queens help to off set attention so that we can blend in without too much trouble. You have to remember that it was the Queens and gays of the Stonewall riots that brought the subject of trans into the open. That one incident helps so many find that they were not alone in the world.Yes, Queens are know for looking and acting over the top but one has to remember that they are like that because they are entertainers if nothing else. I also know that many of them don’t always dress or act outlandish all the time. Many try to wear “normal” everyday wear most of the time. Unfortunately many still end up wearing the heavy makeup to help hide the male flaws.


I remember when I first met a Queen in the Rittenhouse area of the city. She was both beautiful as well as sometimes outrageous. One thing that she did for me was to help me see what life was like for transgendered individuals back in the 60’s. She helped me understand the problems I might encounter through life, many were very accurate, even to this day.
I found a very informative unabridged version of a book chapter from “Trans bodies Trans selves”. It’s a bit long but well worth the read.
https://www.umass.edu/stonewall/sites/default/files/Infoforandabout/transpeople/genny_beemyn_transgender_history_in_the_united_states.pdf”


Thanks Michelle.

Remembering a Trans Icon

Candis Cayne

 From “Today”:

“Now, viewers can binge “Pose,” “Supergirl,” “Euphoria” or even “Star Trek: Discovery,” but when Candis Cayne sashayed onto the screen on ABC’s nighttime drama “Dirty Sexy Money” in 2007, she became the first openly transgender actor with a recurring role on a network television series.

On the show, she played the vixenous Carmelita Rainer, who was having an affair with handsome New York state attorney general Patrick Darling (Billy Baldwin), who was itching to get out from under the thumb of his billionaire father (Donald Sutherland).

“Dirty Sexy Money” only lasted one season but it broke ground in a number of ways: Cayne was a transgender woman playing a transgender character. And Carmelita wasn’t the butt of the joke — she was beautiful, and as deliciously devious as her co-stars.”

Send in the Clowns?

 Recently I wrote a post concerning my opposition to drag queens having too much of an impact of
various Pride celebrations and received this comment from Connie: 

“It would make for a pretty boring parade if the drag queens were replaced by trans women “just wanting to blend in.” Not that one group necessarily shows more pride than the other; just different ways of expressing it. Personally, I much prefer to exhibit my self-pride with a quiet confidence – but, then, I’m not trying to entertain anyone with it. I’m not saying that drag queens are clowns, but I think that they serve the same purpose in a pride parade that the clowns do in a more-traditional parade.
I’m sure that the TV news show file clips of drag queens, when referencing Pride, because it’s sensational. The real life of a trans woman or man is rarely newsworthy or sensational. Although, I must say, just being able to be myself feels quite sensational to me!”


To be sure, drag queens make for good television but again the whole spectacle takes away from my respect for the whole event.  
As far as your comment about transgender women just wanting to blend in goes, I would prefer to see any of the trans women or men who are making a difference in the overall community be spotlighted. Perhaps a few of the big corporations are contributing to the event would be made aware of the problems the transgender community faces. Instead of the brief support  given the LGBT community, it could be more of a yearly process. 


Clowns are fun for a day or two promoting their weekend drag shows but do nothing for the transgender community. 

Therapy Day

 Today was my virtual therapists visit. I have been very fortunate in that  I have been able to maintain my relationship with the same therapist over the years. After all, the Veteran’s Administration is known for turnover. My therapist initially was the same person who signed off on my beginning hormone replacement therapy and later provided me with the paperwork to complete changing my legal gender markers. 

Also, I make no secret to others that I am bi-polar and no, embarking on my often remarkable  transgender journey to change my life did not solve my overall depression and anxiety. With my therapist I was always able to explain one did not connect with the other and magically disappear.  Before I started my journey, I had experience with other therapists who kept trying to connect imaginary dots with me. So, during our sessions I am always very careful to compliment her for her help and input. 

Coming up next, next week is my appointment with my nurse practitioner who monitors all my meds and bloodwork. She is also very nice and does a great job…as long as my blood work comes back OK. 

Even though I have to make the lengthy drive north to the Dayton VA for my care, I rather do it for the continuity of care I receive. Rather than switch everything over to the local Cincinnati VA Hospital. 

Pride

Drag queens wearing red, orange, yellow and green are walking in the street at Montreal Pride.

 June is LGBTQ Pride Month. Of course (per norm) I watched the local morning news  and almost the first story I saw was promoting two of the local Pride activities coming up this weekend. This year, the biggest local event (Cincinnati) was again canceled due due pandemic considerations. Even still, the television station used old footage of drag queens’ in convertibles for the story. Which leads me to this:

One of my biggest problems with the various events is the number of drag queens which are featured. 

My dislike for all the attention drag queens garner goes all the way back to my earliest days of  coming out into a feminine world. A world I desperately wanted to succeed in. The mistake I made was going to male gay venues…places which were nearly impossible to exist in as a novice transgender woman. I ultimately learned  I could be accepted much more easily in straight venues.  At the same time, I began to grow bored of the same drag queens performing the same songs. 

All of this brings me back to Pride. My earliest trips to Prides were immersed in the usual garishly dressed queens followed close by by cross dressers teetering by in their high heels and tight dresses. Very little appealed to me. I will say though, as the years have gone by, I have noticed more and more transgender women and men enjoying the day. 

Interestingly, the Trans Ohio organizers who are hell bent to put on a virtual event of their own, have a whole other take on why Pride does not represent trans people as a whole. Their take is the money these big Pride events bring in.  The big corporations who are lining up as sponsors are spending money in the wrong areas to truly help the immensely needy segments of the LGBT community. Too much of the money goes to support the event itself or back to the cis male gay groups whole are already doing well in the financial areas.

At any rate, Liz and I can’t attend any of the regional Prides this year for several reasons and even though I don’t like the attention the queens get, I still like to “people watch” the rest of the crowd. 

Memorial Day

 Once again here in the United States, Memorial Day rolls around . Memorial Day is meant to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Most of you regulars know , I am a transgender veteran. A fortunate one in that I survived a very ugly, unpopular and destructive conflict known as the Vietnam War. I have friends who didn’t survive  or returned with psychical/mental scars which never healed. 

I always try to mention too, the inordinate amount of transgender veterans  who served in their closets while attempting to reclaim their masculine gender status. When I see the number of graves and crosses spotlighted in media news shows on Memorial Day, I wonder how many of them took their gender secrets with them to the grave. 

What really upsets me too are the number of people who see Memorial Day as just another day off to BBQ and not spend just a minute to remember those who served and lost their lives. 

Without them, we would all be lost.