I Tried it Once

Today I was surprised when a person who should have known better referred to me as he twice in the same conversation.

Finally, I took the next opportunity to throw in the chat I had tried the “he” part of life already and it almost killed me. For those you who don’t know, I tried to commit suicide after a particularly nasty bout with gender dysphoria.

As far as the guy went, he was taken aback and from then on he referred to me with an emphatic “she.”

At least I didn’t have to explain further what I meant

Transgender Privilege

The Cyrsti’s Condo post on the new Chanel transgender model Teddy Quinilivan brought on two great responses:

  • PaulaAugust 29, 2019 at 8:26 AM“What an excellent advocate, of course we can’t all look that good, but this is about so much more than clothes and looks. I am pleased and proud that so many trans women who have “passing privilege” are proudly coming out as being trans. I am sure that this helps normalise our existence.”
  • ConnieAugust 29, 2019 at 12:33 PM“Wow! I can understand her feelings, because being trans will probably always emote them. At the risk of sounding like a curmudgeon, though, she has no idea how much privilege she has in comparison to those of us who were struggling with our gender identity at her age – forty-some years ago. It’s not that I consider myself a hero, but those of us in our sixties and beyond, and who have taken the steps necessary to be living authentically, have paved the way somewhat, at least.

  • In just two generations, then, “coming out” is taking on a new meaning. Instead of it being a declaration of identifying as a trans woman – after establishing oneself as a man, it is now possible to be a trans woman who would have to declare herself as such – because most everyone thought her to be a woman all along. If I were her, I might think twice about making such a move, but then, I’m thinking from an old (trans) lady’s perspective.”
    • From another “old” transgender lady, I think it is great (as Paula does) that she (Teddy) had the courage to come out and be an advocate. Something which was so so missing in my generation.  Just looking at her and others of her generation who have come out, it’s hard to realize  the  distance we have come.  Just think of the availability now of hormone replacement therapy and even puberty hormone blockers.  A great example is Cincinnati Children Hospital which has a transgender program for anyone up till the age of 24.  I often wonder how it would have been not to have worked so hard (as Connie said) to establish myself as a man.
  • I guess maybe I have come out of this with a better, more complete knowledge of what gender is. It alone could be considered privilege.  

Different Strokes

Sometimes I wonder why I continue to be a regular at the one transgender – cross dresser (Cincinnati) group I go to. The easy answers are I enjoy it and think I have something to add.

The reason I think I have something to add is very simple…I have just survived longer than anyone else in the group. I get many “aha” moments when the occasional cross dresser will deny any advanced feelings about becoming a woman and then, in the next breath say she can’t wait to go somewhere and have men hit on her. I smile knowingly, remembering when I felt the same way. I thought when and if a man hit on me, it was a validation of my feminine self.

It’s a small example of what I hear and feel at the meetings. I am also fascinated by the cross section of socio-economic types who attend. In other words, how such a different cross section of people can come together for a couple hours to hopefully help each other.

My big input at the meeting last night was what I wrote about in Cyrsti’s Condo yesterday. I mentioned the benefit of getting into group situations outside of the LGBTQ community. It is a chance for you to be accepted as a person for a change…not a transgender person. An example is the one person who came to the meeting last night who is a member of two belly dancing groups. I know at least three readers who do the same thing. Paula over in the UK with her music groups, Mandy in all her travels and of course Connie who works a whole job as a woman. (And I know I missed many of you!)

The fact remains not everyone’s goal is to live full time as a woman, however , one should never say never. I am proof of that.

Sometimes I think I am a glutton for punishment. Last night I volunteered to run for the board of the group. However, someone else is too, so maybe they will be chosen instead of me. I am qualified from running years of board meetings with several civic organizations. So we will see.

In the meantime, I will continue to add in my comments and observations when I see fit and hope I don’t bore too many people!

All Nighter

As expected, Saturday was a long day. Liz sold her canning items successfully during the small festival we went to.  Best of all, it was a picture perfect almost early fall like day. Since I am still in my “fashion” medical boot, mobility was at a minimum. Acceptance of me as a transgender woman was not as a minimum though. Many of the people there I already knew, so in ways they probably didn’t understand, they paved the way for others to accept me too. 

The day passed fairly quickly and it was time to go a ghost hunt. We (Liz and I) are now members in good standing of the local “Cincinnati Ghost Hunters” group. Since we completed our second paranormal adventure. This one was quite a bit more tame intensity wise than the first one was but still interesting. I did have a fairly intense encounter with a spirit on a old church pew upstairs in the opera house. I was watching the reactions on a meter as I asked questions and was told later I should have taped the whole encounter. It  was a spur of the moment thing though, so I didn’t have a recorder as my cell phone was almost out of charge.

The whole evening was finished off with an impromptu classic rock music presentation by one of the event organizers. At that point I was able to try to shake off the effects of the mocha espresso drink I had been sipping and try to lay down in the car and sleep for a couple hours.  I do believe I did manage to get an hour and a half of sleep. 

I do know at this point of my life, it is tough to shake off the affects of having very little sleep and I spent most of Sunday dozing off. 

Regardless of how it happens, I can’t empathize the possible positive impact of joining various groups who are not particularly LGBTQ influenced. Along the way, I have been able to be accepted for the transgender person I am and at the same time show another group of people how easy it is to know a trans person.

It’s great to show people we are not really so much different than they are after all. Tonight I return to reality though and attend another transgender – crossdresser support group meeting.   

A New Season

One of my favorite seasons of the year is the fall. Finally, our hot and humid temperatures start to subside and it’s almost time to pull the sweaters, leggings and boots out of the closet.Β 

As far as fashion goes, the changing of the seasons is always a great time to splurge a bit and update a wardrobe .As always, the fashionistas of the world are standing by to help us with color choices,

Since I receive the Fabulous After 40 fashion emails (free), I can always be assured of knowing a little about what’s going on in the fashion world.

Here’s an example: “Fall.s neutral colors include…”

Or, if you are like me, you are style challenged and need help putting it all together:

For more, go here and move on with new ideas concerning your fall wardrobe.

Another Busy Day

Saturday is going to be a test of my foot boot as it is going to be a busy day. I am just going to try to keep my walking to a minimum. 

Liz starts her day with a martial arts class. Including one on board breaking, which takes her to one o’clock, at which time we are supposed to set up at a Mother Earth vending event in which we raise money for the only homeless shelter in a nearby county. It is scheduled to run until eight at which time we tear down and get ready to drive forty five minutes south into Kentucky.

Roh’s Opera House

At ten, we are signed up to tour Rohs Opera House in Cynthiana. We will find out if the rumors of it being haunted are true. After our last haunted adventure turned out to be so intense, I highly doubt if this one will come up to those standards!

One way or another, Saturday is going to be another one of those busy days. I hope my “boot” doesn’t give me the boot! 

Up Close and Personal

All of a sudden, all my future appointments with the Veteran’s Administration are coming due. For those of you who possibly don’t know, I am a transgender vet and I get my health care through the VA. Plus, I am nearly 70 years old.

Let me see now if I can remember everything they (VA) want to do. Sometime next week I need to have my ankle X-rayed and go through a colonoscopy pre screening on the telephone. The people setting up the appointment had no sense of humor when I asked if I could go through the whole thing on the phone.Β 

Following all of that, the week of Labor Day, I have approximately four appointments. The first of which is a heart sonar test. Then I have three appointments up in Dayton, Ohio. One of which is in hematology blood work checkup and two mental health appointments. 

To add insult to possible injury, I am still waiting to hear from the pulmonary lab who want to schedule another test on my lungs.

Hopefully, after all of this, nothing will be wrong.

But at the least, I am having it checked.

Aura Revisited

Recently, I wrote a post here in Cyrsti’s Condo concerning being mis-gendered and possible being because of the “aura” I was presenting at the time.

Connie replied with this very interesting comment:

“I think that projecting one’s feminine aura is largely dependent on ignoring one’s dysphoria (Aura, Dysphoria, Ignore ya – there’s a song in there, somewhere, I believe). It’s not an easy thing to ignore, even after years of trying, and one little two-letter word is all it takes for it to raise its ugly head. When it does, though, we can learn to ignore the awful feeling it causes. 

I must say that, when dealing with medical professionals, I am more forgiving. I always tell them that I’m a woman, but I want them to treat my body as it is. I had a doctor, once, who was hesitant to do the always-enjoyable prostate exam because he was afraid that he might offend me (he was trying so hard to be politically correct). I finally asked him to do the procedure, and I told him that I didn’t want to end up a woman who had died from prostate cancer. Then, there are doctors who just have a terrible bedside manner in the first place, and they only look at your body – in which case, “he” is used as it applies to the XY body being considered.

Last weekend, my wife and I attended a garden party, at which we were entertained by a string quartet playing classical music. As a musician who was brought up more on Steppenwolf than Wolfgang (Mozart), I still like to show my appreciation for a performance, and I took the opportunity to do so by talking to the second violinist at intermission (which we old rockers call a break). At the same time, my wife was talking to the violinist’s husband, and the small-world-moment turned out to be that he was a high school classmate of my wife. I had known who he was in high school, but I don’t know that I had ever really talked with him. Later, the four of us got together and talked for a bit. I couldn’t believe that he used my dead name repeatedly, even though he did attempt to correct himself in a rather-confused manner. I finally told him that I had just been called that name more times in the last five minutes than I had been in the past five years. I think he finally got it, but he had already done the damage by stirring up some of my dysphoria. What I noticed about myself, though, was that the dysphoria had subsided almost as fast as it had come up. Even his wife’s slightly invasive questions about “when I knew” and “how my children and grandchildren are taking it” didn’t really faze me, either. Actually, I had been more intimidated by her being a trained professional classical musician, in comparison to my self-taught rocker status, during our earlier discussion (OMG, does this mean I have music dysphoria, too?)

Anyway, as much as I just want to be a woman, and to be seen as one, I can’t forget that most people will still describe me as a transgender woman. That’s the best I can expect. Even if I’m referred to with the correct pronouns and name in their presence, I have to assume that some people will refer to me as “he” when I’m not around. Especially when I may never encounter that person again, it’s not worth my energy to educate them, but it’s still worth my energy to ignore the dysphoria. Thank goodness, it takes less energy to do so these days.”

I know the last time being mis-gendered happened to me, it was from my female Doctor.  I went back in my mind and referenced what was going on  when it happened and came up with this…First of all I was surprised when I saw her and didn’t have a chance to put up any of my usual defenses. Perhaps I became a little too relaxed and was shocked when it happened. 

I do agree with Connie, a misplaced pronoun or dead name can wreak havoc with one’s gender dysphoria.