Meetings

 Over the past several days, I have been somewhat busy with going to the vampires for a phlebotomy (when they take a pint of blood out) and virtually attending our monthly Dayton Rainbow Alliance Board meeting.   

The trip to see the infusion vampires was fairly uneventful and didn’t even hurt much this time. What hurt me worse was being called “sir” by one of the new women at the clinic. She quickly reversed her gendering to miss after noticing whom she was talking to. Other than that, not much happened as my veins were working well and the whole experience was done before I knew it. It’s too bad the blood can’t be put to a good use. They take it out when my iron level exceeds a certain point.

The meeting also went well. First of all, the person running it kept everything moving and the information coming. I have a very short attention span and get bored easily.

I did get a chance to bring up my upcoming Trans Ohio presentation on transgender aging issues. I wasn’t surprised when the whole idea  was well received and then again, no one really knew anyone who is transgender and living in assisted care. Or a nursing home. 

Now all I really have to do is lock down which format I will use to present it. The organizers at Trans Ohio would like me use the transgender/crossdresser support group Facebook Live platform, which now means I have to find out who to contact to do it.

No big deal.

Before I go, here is one of my fave photos taken a couple years ago at a Trans Ohio seminar with a statue of the Ohio State University mascot, Brutus Buckeye:

Semantics

 We received a comment from Connie on our Allies versus Accomplishes post:

“Although I understand the concept of being more than an ally, I just can’t use the word “accomplice” to define it. The word has such a negative connotation, and literally means a person who helps another commit a crime. I am a transgender woman, and being one is absolutely no crime!

I think that there are those who are sympathetic transgender allies, and others who are empathetic transgender allies. One can be sympathetic to the cause, but it requires empathy to really support a transgender individual. In my own life, I have encountered people who range from intolerant, to tolerant, to accepting, to sympathetic, to empathetic. There are fewer at each end of that range, and although I have successfully moved some up a notch, I have found it to be more difficult to convince the intolerant to be tolerant, and the sympathetic to be empathetic.

My own wife was intolerant of my feminine-self for quite some time, but that was my fault for not talking about it. She even went so far as to leave the Bible on the counter for me to see and read Deuteronomy 22:5 (the verse is about cross dressing, calling it an abomination – although it is actually about dressing in the garments of the other gender for illicit purposes, and is not necessarily an abomination in itself). Interesting, here, that my wife’s support for my cross dressing for illicit reasons would have made her an accomplice. Anyway, it took a few years for her to really become the empathetic ally she is today. Aside from other trans people I know, one of my daughters could be added to my list of empathetic allies (the other daughter is still struggling to get past acceptance to sympathetic).

I came out to an old friend a few years ago, and he seemed, at first, to be accepting of me as a trans woman. I remember so well that he used the words: “I don’t care” when I first told him. Over the following months, with him only seeing me in feminine appearance, I had to make countless corrections of his dead naming. I finally went to a lot of effort to explain to him how that was hurtful to me. Afterward, it wasn’t but a few minutes before he actually called me Connie – only to hem and haw and then “correct” himself by saying my dead name. When I told him he was right the first time, his answer was: “Whatever.” I then told him that the truth of it was in his first declaration of “I don’t care.” Even if I were to generously say that he was accepting, he was certainly not sympathetic. I cut all ties with him after that, anyway, with the full knowledge that he was incapable of ever really caring at all.

We should all be so lucky as to have many empathetic allies. I think that having many sympathetic ones would be enough. As such, we would have people around us who would, most likely, advocate for us. In fact, an advocate is more than just an ally, and is a much better word than accomplice.”

Freedom of Choice

Two important discussions came up last night in the transgender – cross dresser support group meeting I went to.  One of which involved the age old problem of “civilians” thinking trans people or cross dressers have a choice in choosing their gender lifestyle. Obviously, we don’t. We don’t wake up one day and think “Gee” this will be a great day to change my gender. Arguably one of the tougher things to do as a human being. Not to mention the havoc the change causes to family, friends and work. 

To make matters worse, very few of us are “naturals” and have to go through all kinds of contortions to help our exteriors match what our interiors are feeling. I know I am basically speaking to the choir here in Cyrsti’s Condo but if I am not, imagine waking up in the morning not knowing which gender you are.

These days though, we are fortunate to be experiencing the rise of the acceptance of “gender fluid” individuals. people are being accepted for being a curious mixture of the two binary genders, plus at the least, claiming gender fluidity gives questioning trans people a niche to go to while they explore where they are going with their lives.

All in all, times are a changing as we begin to explore all the fascinating facets of life humans can explore.

The second discussion which came up last night (by me) was how we know we are making the correct life choice as we begin our transition. Some end at cross dressing, others go all the way through surgery and physically change their gender. Take me for example. My inner gender compass centered up when I started to live full time as a transgender woman. I don’t need to risk my body and have any surgeries. 

My message last night seemed to resonate with a new attendee who was just starting down their (my assigned pronouns) gender path. They were questioning when they would know which direction they were headed as a cross dresser or beyond. I simply told them to try to feel what your inner compass was telling you but harder yet try to follow it. 

I know it is easier said than done in most cases. 

Ladies

Today (Saturday) was typically martial arts day for Liz and an afternoon of running errands for both of us. 

Something must have gone right for me today since the closeted cross dresser was even semi civil to me. The hour class went by in a hurry and I caught up on my busy work on my phone. I am trying to connect a guy working on LGBT history in Dayton, Ohio with Columbus, Ohio trans historian J.M. Ellison to see if they have anything in common. In addition the guy in Dayton was asking if I have anything to add. I really don’t think I do because I didn’t actually live in Dayton (just close to it) and so really didn’t know much about the LGBT scene there.

The grocery store was predictably bland except for one possible other transgender woman I see there often. I was waiting at the bank for Liz to open a savings account and only was able to see her (the trans woman) at a distance. 

Seemingly, it took forever for the banking transaction to be completed, so I spent my time reading a Cincinnati Magazine detailing the booming local/world food scene. About the time I was getting very restless, Liz and the bank manager emerged and the manager (also a woman) said “You ladies have a good afternoon.” 

Her statement was enough to erase any restlessness and propelled me on to the rest of my afternoon. 

The day will continue on until tonight when we are invited again to dinner with a couple of our cross dresser acquaintances.It should be interesting, as always!

Fierce

Last night was the third Thursday monthly social for cross dressers and transgender women Liz and usually attend.

Liz and I at last years’ Cincinnati, Ohio Pride Celebration

At last nights’ get together, seemingly, everyone had a good time and even had a couple of trans men attend. The venue we go to is normally very empty except for our group and last night was no different. We even have the same server.

All went well until it was time to pay and Liz was handling the credit card receipt to our server. For some reason, the server proceeded to call me “he” twice in the same sentence…to Liz. I found out if there is one thing more dangerous than misgendering me to me, it’s doing it to Liz. In a split second, Liz fiercely set the server right. I was not a he! It all happened so fast I barely had a chance to comprehend what just happened.

I love her so much!

Changing subjects and going back to my endocrinologist visit a couple weeks ago, Connie had this to say:

 “I’m surprised that your endocrinologist didn’t tell you about laying off bananas while on Spiro. Bananas (with peanut butter) has been my favorite mid-morning snack since childhood. I can even have withdrawal symptoms if I don’t get my beloved banana boost. I’m sure that is why I took note of Spiro’s effect of a potential potassium build-up when I was researching it many years ago. I would sacrifice my daily banana, though, for the lessening of my testosterone, but my levels have gone down with age, anyway. 

Speaking of bananas, have you heard that Mike Pence is so homophobic that he eats them sideways? :-)”

In all fairness to my VA Endo Doc, she seems to be over worked and under paid and remembering back not so long ago, my Veteran’s Administration Medical Center didn’t even have an Endocrinologist at all. I really have had no problem with the care I have gotten at the VA but on occasion you have to remember you get what you pay for and be patient…or be the patient. 

Ironically, it was a transgender friend of mine who reminded me about bananas when I started on Spiro.  And yes I have heard that about Pence. Saturday night, we are meeting up with a cross dresser friend of ours who knows Pence’s brother over in nearby Indiana. It should make for an interesting dinner conversation!