Tennis Anyone?

This is another of my continuing series of posts revolving around chances I took cross dressing my way into becoming a transgender woman and living fulltime in a feminine world. 

In the restaurant/bar I used to manage, two cis women who I presumed were in their fifties, came in several days a week to enjoy a cocktail or two. During the warmer months they used to stop by after their tennis matches in their tennis outfits. Of course I was jealous of the fact I didn’t have an outfit to match theirs.

Around the point in time I am writing about, the stores I loved to shop in started to carry short thin ribbed flared dresses in larger sizes. Perfect to put together a tennis outfit. All I needed to do was find a white one. As luck would have it, I found one in my size. I then set out to complete my “outfit”. The problem I had was finding items and then hiding them from my wife. As luck would have it, we had a rarely visited other closet where I could hide an item. Often in plain sight. 

Now, back to the outfit. Finding a pair of white tennis shoes in my size actually proved to be fairly easy too. Now I had to figure out what to do about my legs. Even though I was able to shave my legs back then I added a pair of Leggs pantyhose and even added a pair of white thigh highs which didn’t exactly fit the idea of what a cis woman would wear with a tennis outfit but still added some pizzaz to the whole image. After all, I was reliving my non existent teen girl years I missed. 

I finished off the whole tennis image with my long straight blonde wig.

Let me add in here, I had rarely even touched a tennis racket in my life so I would be without one when I went out.  Once I was secure (the best I could) in my tennis woman outfit, I headed out to one of my favorite up scale malls. My wife was working that day so I had free time on my hands. Once I arrived at the mall, I was able to semi relax and feel the air on my legs and I found also I attracted quite a bit of attention from the older men who seemingly were there to supposedly walk but probably to look at women too. 

The whole situation was I equated being stared at as validation as a woman. I was  to learn later in life it was so wrong. There is a thin line between being classy and trashy when you are first cross dressing in public. I’m afraid I crossed the line into trashy in my early days of journeying into a feminine world. If my tennis outfit crossed into trashy I can’t tell you. It was so long ago.

My story is I was doing nothing different  than other cis women I had mentioned above. It was only another attempt to be just like them. 

Tennis was just an excuse.

As My Blog Gently Weeps…Again

Sadly, it’s time for remembering all our transgender sisters and brothers who have perished. For those of you who don’t know:

 Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is an annual observance on November 20 that honors the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.”Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence. I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transgender people — sometimes in the most brutal ways possible — it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice.”- Transgender Day of Remembrance founder Gwendolyn Ann Smith46 trans & gender non-conforming have been killed this year making it the deadliest since this started being tracked back in 2013. These are their names…Tyianna Alexander, Samuel Edmund Damián Valentín, Bianca “Muffin” Bankz, Dominique Jackson, Fifty Bandz, Alexus Braxton, Chyna Carrillo, Jeffrey “JJ” Bright, Jasmine Cannady, Jenna Franks, Diamond Kyree Sanders, Rayanna Pardo, Jaida Peterson, Dominique Lucious, Remy Fennell, Tiara Banks, Natalia Smut, Iris Santos, Tiffany Thomas, Keri Washington, Whispering Wind Bear Spirit, Sophie Vásquez, Danika “Danny” Henson, Serenity Hollis, Oliver “Ollie” Taylor, Thomas Hardin, Poe Black, EJ Boykin, Aidelen Evans, Taya Ashton, Shai Vanderpump, Tierramarie Lewis, Miss CoCo, Pooh Johnson, Disaya Monaee, Brianna Hamilton, Kiér Laprí Kartier, Mel Groves, Royal Poetical Starz, Zoella “Zoey” Rose Martinez, Jo Acker, Jessi Hart, Rikkey Outumuro, Marquiisha Lawrence, Jenny De Leon, Jahaira DeAlto.Each and every name read and recognized on the Trans Day of Remembrance represented a full, rich life that did not deserve to be cut short. The rhetoric and stigma aimed by anti-equality political leaders and public figures at transgender and non-binary people have led to an unprecedented level of horrific violence against our transgender community. We must fight for change. We must dismantle this stigma. We must bring this epidemic of violence to an end.#TransDayofRemembrance🏳️‍⚧

When Life Gives You Lipstick

When life gives you lipstick, wear it!

Anyway you cut it, life is never fair for everyone. I’m biased but I think transgender women are dealt the most difficult hands in life. First of all, we have to do the difficult work of  figuring out who we are. Looking back I have written numerous times about all the mornings I woke up and immediately tried to figure out if I was a boy or a girl. What made matters worse was the fact this all happened before the internet and social media eras. Loneliness was extreme. I wasn’t old enough to understand all that was happening to me and there was no one to explain the meaning of being gender fluid.

In the meantime I did the best I could to survive. I even tried to “come out” to a friend in high school (a guy) and was roundly rejected. Looking back, I had a total girl crush on another friend which I never let on to. It seemed life had dealt me a hand I couldn’t win. 

Once I turned driving age though, I did get a small break.  On a couple occasions I was able to cross dress and sneak out of the house when my parents were away. I remember the trepidation I felt when I saw my reflection for the first time in a store’s shopping center window. On the other hand, I felt a bigger sense of accomplishment. Other than those extremely rare occasions, high school wasa continuation of my gender frustration. The only relief I felt were a couple of school events I went to which featured a couple of very presentable boys in drag. Needless to say I was very jealous. 

The biggest setback I thought was coming was being drafted into the military. Along with the obvious reasons to dislike my upcoming service was the fact that women didn’t have to worry at all about the military. Ironically this all turned out to be the time when life gave me a potential set back and I was able to turn it all around for the better. First of all I was given very little chance of  continuing my career as a radio disc jockey in the Army and I did just that in the American Forces Radio and Television Service. Then perhaps more importantly, I was able to finally come out of the closet toa few of my closest friends as a transvestite. Finally, the gift which kept on giving was meeting the woman who would turn out to be my first wife and birthed my beloved accepting daughter. 

Even with all those successes, I was still missing a huge gap in my life. Something was still wrong. Around this time life gave me the transgender term and the internet to research it. .All of a sudden I knew who I was. All those times I went to the transvestite mixers and didn’t quite fit in made sense.

It all left me with the huge “what if” questions. Life had given me the answer to my gender issues but also left me the choices to settle my problems. Was I going to take the chances to give up all my male privileges and live full time as a transgender woman. After years of experimentation and soul searching the answer became clear and I took the gender plunge. 

At this point life gave me options. When my wife passed away, she was my biggest naysayer, so tragedy turned to a bittersweet triumph. Around this time also, the Veterans Administration began offering Hormone Replacement Therapy which I could take advantage of at a very low cost and I was old enough I could take advantage of early Social Security retirement and not have to worry about coming out at work.

It turned out life was repaying me for all the years of  turmoil and stress it put me through. 

Zion Moreno

Zion Moreno

Transgender model/actress Zion Moreno is about to become a household name.:

Zión Moreno stars on the new Mexican Netflix series Control Z, which follows a group of high school students who unfortunately get their secrets spilled to the whole school by a mysterious internet hacker. 

One observant but “socially isolated” student, Sofia, attempts to find out who is behind her classmates’ secrets being leaked.

Be Man Enough

Photo Courtesy Cyrsti Hart

 Actually the whole comment turned out to be “Why don’t you be man enough to be a woman?”  The phrase was directed at me after another huge fight my second wife and I suffered. I don’t remember now what the exact reason for the fight was but I assume I was coming down after cross dressing and was becoming a less than pleasant person. 

I was certainly stuck in a rut and rather than asking for her help, I made myself miserable. When I did that, I made her miserable also. To make matters worse I think, she knew about my cross dressing urges before we became married. Over the years she witnessed my slow slide to becoming my authentic self and living full time as a transgender woman.

It wasn’t easy. Her Dad was an alcoholic and I was close to being one too. So she had to put up with that part of my toxic male personality. Why or how she stuck with me for all those years was a testament to our love and her strength. Indirectly my wanderlust due to trying to out run my gender desires led us to other adventures. For example, we moved to and lived in such diverse places as metro NYC all the way to a rustic house in the woods in rural Ohio above Marietta and the Ohio River. 

One of the pleasures of living just North of the city in New York was the Sundays we were able to take the train downtown and explore in a relatively mellow environment.  It was one of these trips along with another trigger moment which started the fight which led to the comment. 

First of all, I felt as if I presented well enough to take the trip on the train as my feminine self. Either she felt I didn’t or wanted not to take the risk of being recognized as we left the house, I will never know because it never happened. 

Around that time too, I somehow (think of this being years ago) became a transvestite pen pal with another cross dresser. We used to send scented letters back and forth along with the occasional picture. Somehow I came up with a photo of me cross dressed standing over a stove cooking. Another of the problems my wife had with me though I was never a “domestic goddess” and didn’t overdo my share of the household duties. But the biggest problem she had was when she found a letter in the mail before I could get to it. Looking back at it, this was probably the first time I really had snuck around behind her back with my transvestite urges.

Of course the letter set off a huge fight. The problem with me fighting someone with words only was I didn’t know how to hold back the emotions and often went too far. Unfortunately this no holds barred way of dealing with an argument did no good at all. It was during one of these moments when she turned to me and said “Why don’t you be man enough to be a woman.” 

Naturally I was taken aback and ended up giving quite a bit of thought to what she said. 

The problem was I couldn’t or wouldn’t give up my male life. It was simply still too much a part of my existence. Plus, no matter how hard I had studied women my entire life, I didn’t feel I was ready yet to cross the gender frontier. I still had so much to learn plus I didn’t want to face the probability of giving up my financial life as well as family and friends. Little did I know, waiting probably caused me extra pain and suffering before I actually made the decision to transition in my early 60’s. 

It’s so sad my wife passed on years ago now, so she couldn’t see how I manned up and used my second chance at life to become a woman.  

Closets or Walls?

Source: Cyrsti Hart

 It was long ago it was when I first took the big steps and leaped into the feminine world as a full time transgender woman. To refer to it as only coming out of a closet was an over simplification.  It seems to me rather than coming out of a closet, I climbed enough walls to build a house. 

Of course, a closet is often small and dark and a house gives a person increased freedom to move around. When you are transgender, the house is never enough . The quest to being a woman is much more complex.

Examples? One of the biggest one I write about often is learning to look another cis woman in the eye and communicate. I learned quickly the subtle nuances of eye contact, vocal intonation and factors such as passive aggression. Lessons came fast and furious as I built the foundation to my authentic self. 

Even though as I built the foundation it felt natural, it was also terrifying. I was tearing down another house which contained the remnants of my male self. Over the years, I had worked so hard to cross dress and present as a macho male. I was successful. I gained a small family, a good job and all the trappings of a middle aged man. I was awarded the honorary title of “sir” whether I deserved it or not. I guess another example of impostor syndrome.

Now, lets get back to building a gender house. Obviously each wall involved quite a bit of work. Just moving from walking around and window shopping in malls evolved into interaction with clerks. From the shopping trips came having the courage to stop for lunch and attempt to order food and beverage. Looking back at the process now, it seems to have progressed fairly quickly. So quickly I decided for the first time to shed my inner image of being a cross dresser all the way to attempting to go to an upscale restaurant/ bar and interact as a woman. I will tell you jumping the wall was one of the most terrifying things I have done in my life. 

As I continued to build and expand my house, there always seemed to be the “what’s next” problem. I was hanging out at a couple lesbian bars about this time. One was extremely non inviting, the other the opposite. The only reason I can see now for building this room was a desperation to be accepted which I wasn’t in the male dominated gay venues where I lived. Very early on, I closed the drag queen room in my gender house. What’s next quickly became going to large cis gender venues to watch sports and drink beer.  With my career in similar venues, becoming accepted by the staff was fairly easy. Be nice and tip well was my way to getting my foot in the door. In one of my regular stops I was even invited and went on a girls night out with several of the servers. Even though I was scared to death, I ended up learning key lessons interacting with other women.

Finally I came to a point where my house was built as far as I could get it. I had provided myself a quality second existence which rivaled my cross dressing male life. The next major wall I had to escape involved the major step of starting HRT or hormone replacement therapy. The problem was my wife of twenty five years who I loved deeply was deeply against it. Her rational was she didn’t sign up to be with another woman. 

Then, in a prime example of life changing on a dime, I was destined to see the doors of my walls swing wide open and I could make the lifestyle moves I needed to do to fully transition and live in a feminine world. 

More on it later.

More Magic

Photo: Cyrsti Hart

Georgette wrote in and commented on my recent “Makeup Magic” post which delved into powerful memories of shopping for and trying to use my own makeup which I had saved up for from my meager allowance as well as my paper route money:

“I remember those days of going thru my mother’s dresser drawers, And wondering what some of it was for, My mother hardly ever used much makeup, I don’t know what they put in them but the red lipsticks didn’t easily wash off, I developed a habit of biting my lips to have an excuse of why they were reddish.

My first time buying something for myself was in the mid 60’s. My mother only wore stockings and so many of the other girls in my age were into some of the newer pattern pantyhose. That first store bought item of MINE. I had also gotten a plain pair of flats shoes. I was so happy and proud as they were mine and not borrowed from my mother. “

Thanks for the comment! As luck would have it, I was able to find a pair of women’s shoes which fit and I cherished them for as long as I could before sadly I outgrew them. 

I also distinctly remember having my own wig was the impossible dream and it would be years before I could do anything about it. In fact, there were several “impossible dreams” I conquered on my path along the gender divide which I will write about in another post.

Another First

Nevada Democrat Kimi Cole wants to become the country’s first openly transgender politician elected to a statewide office.

Cole, who chairs the Nevada Democratic Rural Caucus, announced plans to run for lieutenant governor in Nevada on Wednesday at an event in the state capital.

“I don’t want to make a big issue about my background as such,” Cole said Thursday in an interview with The Associated Press, noting the barrier-breaking potential of her candidacy. “We have really pressing issues in this country. To be able to assess them, address them and take care of them is going to take a lot of conscientious effort.”

Thank You

Thanks to all you veterans who served and especially those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. 

I know fellow transgender veterans Michelle and Georgette have commented of past posts here in Cyrsti’s Condo. Again, thanks for your service. 

The Carla Lewis t-shirt above sums my thoughts up perfectly. I believe she had to leave the Air Force when it became known she was transgender. 

Just imagine how many others similar circumstances happened to. Or, then again, how many alive and dead served in silence. 

All Quiet

 For once I am happy to write it’s all quiet on the gender front around here. It’s like I am some sort of vacation.

Yesterday I had my virtual therapist appointment and we talked about almost everything but my gender dysphoria. Rarely do I feel comfortable in my own skin, now it seems I have a brief respite from my gender dysphoria. Finally a chance to breathe deeply and recharge myself. 
Of course I have asked the question why now? I feel as if several factors are coming into play. The first of which is I feel good with the path my hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has taken me. My hips are continuing to develop as I have taken the torso mass down with the diet Liz and I are on. To refresh your memories, the diet is no joke as it cuts out all sugar and flour from our diet. Conservatively, I have taken off twenty five plus pounds. Liz and I are heading to my daughter’s in laws for Thanksgiving, so I am anxious to show off my developing feminine figure. My first wife will be there and she has become quite heavy so I want to show off for her. I shouldn’t be too evil though because the last time I saw her, she commented how good I was looking. 

As we all know, looks aren’t everything when it comes to gender dysphoria. As I told my therapist, I am feeling better because of my interaction with the public. The last time we went out to dinner, I had no problem communicating with the server and he didn’t seem to have any negative problems with me. Of course we don’t go out much anymore and most of the time we still wear a mask so the chances of interaction are slim. In a couple weeks I will be part of a group presenting to a master’s level sociology class at nearby Miami University of Ohio. So I will have the chance to really get out in public. 

The problem I have is waiting for the other shoe to drop. What I am referring to is waiting for my dysphoria to return. I have lived with it for most of my long life and it has become a part of me. Plus I have never been one to face life on it’s own terms without questioning what is around the next corner.

Perhaps also I am moving past gender dysphoria into some sort of impostor syndrome stage of my life. Deep down do I feel even though I may look/act the feminine role, have I earned the right to be here. To be clear, I have because I went through all the changes which cis women experience, Mine were just different. I have always felt women just didn’t become women because they were born into it. They had to grow and become women. Just like some boys actually become men. 

All in all, it’s too early to speculate if I have any impostor’s syndrome. In the meantime, I am going to try to enjoy my quiet period the best I can.