Howling at the Moon

I still love Paula’s comment about how many of us novice transgender women go through an early phase when we could be referred to as “Howlers.” Referring of course to fashion mistakes which usually are related to trying to dress as a teen aged girl when we are much older. Connie then added “Growlers” (seen below) to the post in a comment.

Back in the day, I was guilty of abusing both. I cringe now when I think back of a few of the ridiculous outfits I managed to put together and then go out in public. Then, to add insult to injury, I would try to find “liquid courage” by drinking mega amounts of beer along with the occasional shot. 

Both of which I was recently reminded of when an old acquaintance of mine’s birthday showed up on Facebook. What happened was one of the venues I was going to I thought was safely out of my home town enough to hide my gender secret. In fact, it was a big sports bar and one of the first places I went to and began to establish my own feminine persona.   

I increasingly felt secure in going there until one day when I walked in, sat down and was immediately surprised by the person I knew so well. It turns out she was training to be a bartender there. For awhile she played it cool and never said anything so I wondered if she even knew, until one day she said “Don’t I know you?” Of course by then, it was too late to try to lie my way out of it and I said yes. 

Over the duration of time she worked there, I don’t believe she told any of the people who happened to overlap our circle of friends about our “secret.” From there, life went on and she graduated college, got married and moved away. 

My only regret is she had to witness the “Howler and Growler” period of my life as I started to explore living as a transgender woman. 

She lives many miles away now and it’s doubtful I will ever see her again anyhow but it’s just another part of my past which haunts me.

Song Bird?

This is an older experience I haven’t shared for awhile here in Cyrsti’s Condo. In fact it goes back to the 1990’s. 

In those days, I was spending my life divided between the two binary genders. Along the way, I managed to locate a couple small lesbian bars I liked to drink in. One disliked me totally, the other I was accepted in. 

On certain nights, the venue I was accepted in had karaoke. I don’t sing at all (except for a David Allan Coe song I knew.)  The song was/is “You Never Even Called Me By My Name but I digress. 

I was only vaguely aware it was karaoke night when I got there. I didn’t really care because of course singing was the last thing on my mind. 

I also remember I was wearing my blond wig with jeans, boots and some sort of tight top. Indirectly, I wanted to look nice for the other patrons. It turns out I did I guess! 

About half way into my second beer, a big butch lesbian comes up (in a cowboy hat no less) and demanded, not asked, if I would sing with her. Of course I tried to politely decline. Then I learned quickly I was going to choose the song and sing it with her. 

As I panicked, I thought there was only one song I knew and mentioned David Allan Coe to her, hoping she wouldn’t want to do it. No such luck though, she grabbed my hand and headed to the stage. Fortunately the lights were dim in the place and there weren’t many patrons there yet and I did the best I could to sing with her.

After we were done, she looked at me and said my voice was lower than hers and headed another direction. I took that as my time to escape. I paid the bartender who knew the truth about me and took off.

I never saw the butch lesbian in there again and wondered if she ever learned the truth about her duet partner that night so long ago. 

Transgender Acceptance

Sunday was a very busy day, with many different errands to run and people to see. 

It was a beautiful sunny fall day, perfect weather for leggings and my powder blue light sweater. Plus, for once in a very long time, I felt healthy with no aches or pains in my foot. Naturally, it made walking so much easier and I did a lot of it. 

Before we left, I had a chance to see CBS News Sunday Morning show on the television. One of the show’s features was a revisiting of a show five years ago with several transgender kids. It was very well done and I have added a link here if you haven’t seen it. I would check it quickly before it goes away. 

Then,we started the day by going to a large game/restaurant venue to pick up what turned out to be a very generous donation to this years Cincinnati Witches Ball. The place had just opened so there were very few people around to notice or be noticed.

From there, we headed back across town to attend a memorial for a dear friend who passed recently. His sister was holding the memorial for his partner in a local tea/coffee shop. As Liz headed for the rest room, I was left to negotiate the ordering process. Since I am not really a tea drinker, I opted for a dark roast coffee and ordered Liz her tea. In the midst of a very busy venue, I received extra ordinarily good service I thought and most of it came because I am transgender. We were asked at least three times if everything was OK. 

Ironically, I am fairly sure I wasn’t the only trans person in the room. I was introduced to the “wife” of an obviously very gay man. I was impressed by how the trans woman could navigate the crowded surroundings in a pair of impossibly high heels. In fact, the shoes, combined with perfect makeup (to me) gave her away. Plus, she refused to make eye contact at all. 

Next, it was time to say our sad goodbyes and head to a very busy grocery store for our weekly shopping. Other than dodging mean old people in electric carts, the whole trip was very mundane. People aren’t there to notice anyone and the clerks are in “check out and get out” mode. 

Our next stop was a fun one. We had a Witches Ball committee meeting at the place we are having the ball next week…one of the bigger local micro breweries. They have a big party room we are renting. The meeting always gives me a chance to sample one or two of the brewery’s fall offerings. These days, two are about all I can handle! We were able to sit outside and conduct the meeting and figured out we were still missing a couple items for a gift basket we are setting up an auction for. So, it was time to leave the brewery, another very accepting place and head to a giant specialty beer store and purchase items for the basket. 

The beer store is attached to a huge grocery store, so again Liz and I had to walk a long way to even find the beer section. Find it we did and our day was almost over. 

As we made our way back home, I had a chance to reflect back on the day and how far I have come in the world as a transgender woman.    

Busy Day!

Yesterday turned out to be a much busier day than I expected. In fact, it turned out to one of those “Army” style days when you hurry up and wait much of the day.

The morning started with an always exciting trip to the DMV to get new tags for our new car. Well, it’s new to us! I didn’t think I would be needed, so I grabbed a seat to wait for Liz to wind her way through an insanely long line to get to a clerk. It turned out since my name was on the title too, I had to step up and be part of the process. All went well until the clerk asked how we described our relationship for the record. I said “Partner.” She glared at me and said “How long?” I glared back and said eight years and she seemed satisfied and went on to the next question. After an eternity, the whole fun filled process was over.

Next was Liz’s eye appointment. The only thing I can say, the place was air conditioned and had comfortable chairs. Soon we left and headed to one of the close neighborhood specialty food stores to look for produce. After squeezing the mango’s it was past time to head to the pharmacy because they close every day for a lunch break between 1:30 and two. Liz was offered some sort of a discount card for her prescription. That was the good news, the bad news was she had to call a number to get it. Of course by that time, the lunch break was upon us and we ended waiting the extra half hour to try to get the prescription filled. It all turned out to be for naught because the phone lines were closed till Monday.

All of the fooling around made us late for our next appointment.  We were supposed to pick up a friend and be at a restored Cincinnati church which has been made into a craft brewery and event center. We were checking it out for perhaps holding a future Witches Ball there. Also we were supposed to meet the disc jockey we were thinking of using this year. By the time we got there, we were a half hour late. Personally, I loved the place. It brought back fond memories of escaping a hot humid day in a cold bar drinking cold beer and relaxing. Although the meeting itself made it hard to relax, I was treated like any other person in the place.

The disc jockey was a trip. We as a group got some push back for using him because supposedly he was a neo nazi in his past. So, we wanted to meet him naturally, to hear his side of the story. Interestingly, Liz said if he avoids me, maybe he is a Nazi. Because they would be more apt to steer clear of a transgender person.

To make a long story short, I don’t think he is or was a Nazi and someone is just out to get to us through him. It’s sad because all the money raised goes to charity (homeless shelter) and we don’t make anything for what essentially is huge pain in the rear. I keep thinking this will be the last year.

After taking our friend home, we finally were able to stop at an Aldi Food Store and do some light shopping for a late dinner.

After all of that, we ran out of time and the day came to an end. Thank goodness.

Lesson learned? If and when you get a chance to live a full life as a transgender woman…never look back!