Amira

Different people celebrate going through the act of a sex realignment surgery in different ways. 

One of more dramatic celebrations recently came from  Blantyre’s Amira Nadeem who celebrated her first year as a woman by appearing naked on national television.

The 21-year-old starred in Channel 4’s dating show Naked Attraction tonight, where hopeful singletons choose a date from six people, based solely on the power of naked attraction.

Amira decided to show off the body she had longed for and said: “One night I was sitting watching TV eating chips and cheese, and it just came to me. I decided to go for it.

“After going through my sex-change operation, I felt proud and wanted to show myself to the world.

“I wanted to encourage more people like me who have been through what I’ve been through to come out and be themselves.”

Definitely, a dramatic way to do it!  

No Quitters

We received plenty of feedback here in Cyrsti’s Condo concerning our post called “Could You Quit?”

It’s always fun to let the readers do the writing:

  • joanna SantosSeptember 16, 2019 at 12:46 PMyou cannot quit being yourself which is why its unlikely you could only be yourself a few times a month. I know I couldn’t..
  • ConnieSeptember 16, 2019 at 2:57 PMThe transgender umbrella is large, and seems to be growing. Yes, the truth is that some of us just cannot live a compartmentalized life – being at different places on the gender spectrum as the situation or desire may dictate. The one thing we all have in common, I suppose, is that we all have a gender identity different from the binary norm that has one’s gender identity and assigned-at-birth gender in congruence. There’s something more to it than the intensity of dysphoria, but I believe that may well be a large factor. I know that my dysphoria could not be tempered through cross dressing alone. Cross dressing, for me, was a means toward an end, giving me the confidence and self awareness of who I really am – and needed to be every minute of every day. That doesn’t make me better than one who is satisfied to express their gender identity with more plasticity, whether that be through cross dressing, non-binary identification, or a drag act. It does, however, make me different.

    As someone once said, when you meet a trans person, you can only say that you’ve met just one trans person. Of course, the emphasis should be on person, and not trans. I think that most of us would prefer we be taken for who we are, and not what we are. I may have a personal moral objection to someone who is fetish-oriented and predatory, but I shouldn’t care whether they are also trans….except that my insecurities may cause me to be somewhat ashamed that I am under the same umbrella. What I think of such a person is really none of my business, though, and I can only do my best to show others who I am (a good person, I think, who happens to be trans). I can’t be worrying about others, especially having had lived most of my life worrying about how others would see me (as a trans woman). As my mom used to tell me, pick your friends, but leave your nose alone – unless you happen to have a long nose hair protruding from it – in which case you may make more friends if you removed it. 🙂
  • Shannyn ElysseSeptember 16, 2019 at 7:43 PMIt’s truly a fine line that we walk when we post our thoughts and feelings online. I don’t get much feedback on my little blog, https://shannyncomesalive.blogspot.com , so I often wonder why that is the case. Many people that run across it may not agree with me at all, or think I’m just boring, or whatever.

    I know what you mean about being thought of as looking down on someone who “just crossdresses”. I am still mostly in the closet, as are most of my online friends, who help keep me sane. And it’s so hard to know what the correct label is for ourselves, but the point is that labels only help to an extent. They can easily divide more than unite. I truly believe I’m a trans woman, but to others, maybe I’m not. Regardless, I’m just me. Intent in writing is so difficult to discern online. I’d always request someone ask me to clarify if they think I’m putting someone or something down, before reacting negatively. It’s a fine line.
  • FranGurlSeptember 16, 2019 at 11:08 PMQuit what? Presenting as a woman?…No way! Such a pretty lady!
  • Thanks to all for your comments!
Joanna Santos

Sunday-Sunday

This weekend has been a return to the abstract called normalcy. Liz and I went back to doing the usual routine on Saturday. 

Since The Ohio State Buckeyes played a noon game, the early part of our day was taking four hours to watch the Buckeyes take their football frustrations out on the Indiana Hoosiers. 

To make up for all the fun, this week we added a fun trip to our storage shed to look for a few much needed old documents. 

From there we went to a couple of stores with me still wearing my boot (for my fractured ankle) which I am very tired of. I am expecting a call from the VA to look at my ankle again this week.  

Through all of this, I marvel at the opportunity I have been given to live this transgender life I lead. Looking back, I remember the days when I felt intense pressure just walking into a store as my feminine self.

Now I worry about how my boot will affect how I walk.

Belated

For any number of reasons, I was too busy to post here at Cyrsti’s Condo yesterday. I hadn’t forgotten the importance of the day.

Because of my work back then, I was running a neighborhood style pub/restaurant and I actually was still home getting ready for work when it happened. I hurriedly finished and headed in. 

The whole day was extra eerie as we are within twenty miles of a major air force base and of course the base was under lock down.

At work, the day was extra busy as my quests were tuned into to any news they could get off of one of the five television screens, 

I’m sure it is a tragedy I will never forget exactly where I was and what I was doing. 

As a nation we should never forget either and stand forever… vigilant against outside threats. 

To Be or Not to Be

Recently here in Cyrsti’s Condo, we featured two young transgender women who decided to come out and be LGBTQ activists…if even it’s because they came out at all.  One was Teddy Quinlivan. Along the way, Connie wanted to clarify a comment she made:

“I didn’t write what I did because I disagreed with Ms. Quinilivan’s decision to come out as she did. In this age of cyber-information, though, it’s likely that someone else would have exposed her gender status eventually. My point was that much of what made it possible for her to even have that option was by those of us who had gone before her. Whether it was more difficult for us (baby boomers) than it was for her could be debated, but I was more interested in the evolution and history of it all. We, who are the old-timers now, also owe much to those who had gone before us.

For many women, cis or trans, fashion models represent the unrealistic, if not impossible. I agree with Paula that it is about so much more than clothes and looks, but, unfortunately, there are so many who develop feelings of inferiority – and even hopelessness – when they compare themselves to these models. We trans women often talk about how passing is not really important, but I think most of us would like to be able to do so. If I could, I believe I would do everything I could to keep my trans status a secret. As a child, I fantasized about moving away to a place where nobody knew me and live as a woman. By the time I got close enough to my eighteenth birthday, though, testosterone had done so much damage to my body that my dream seemed to be forever quashed. Had I thought that I needed to look as good as a model, however, I never would have considered it in the first place.

Anyway, those of us who are trans and not models (although I want to be a contestant on a new show, “America’s Next (Muffin) Top Model,” can still have an impact. Just being out in the world and living regular lives can make a big difference. I think it’s pretty obvious to most everybody I meet that I’m a trans woman, so I never bring up the subject. If someone else does, I do my best to educate them, but I always make it clear that I consider myself to be a woman, and trans is but one adjective of many others I wish to be used in reference to me. How about: loving, caring, friendly, good, or even bitchy (sometimes)?”



I agree. Unless you happen to be totally passable, you definitely are on the front lines of transgender acceptance/education. If you like it or not.  It’s one of the reasons I respect those who come out despite having a ton of passing privilege .

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. 

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.

Important Survey

“Hi! 

My name is Beatrice Rothbaum and I am a clinical psychology doctoral student at Adelphi University. I currently contribute to the Intersectional Development Lab at Adelphi University, directed by Chana Etengoff, Ph.D. Members of our research group identify as trans, queer, and cisgender. 

I am reaching out to you about participating in my research project titled “Trans Self-Efficacy and Well-Being.” The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between trans well-being and self-efficacy (an individual’s belief in their ability to achieve goals). This project additionally explores political activism and psychotherapy experiences.

This project is informed by my trans-positive clinical and advocacy work. In my work, I have learned that every trans story is important and I look forward to learning more about yours.

If you identify as trans, are at least 18 years old, and reside in the U.S.you are eligible to participate in this online survey! The survey may take an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes to complete.

Your participation and responses will remain confidential. Thank you for your trust.

If you are interested in participating or learning more about the study, please click here.

Adelphi University’s IRB has approved this research study and all responses will remain confidential. If you have any questions or concerns, you may contact me at beatricerothbaum@mail.adelphi.edu or my Co-PI/faculty adviser, Chana Etengoff, Ph.D., at cetengoff@adelphi.edu.  

I look forward to learning more about your views and experiences, “

Beatrice Rothbaum (she/her/hers) 

Clinical Psychology Doctoral Student 

Intersectional Development Lab

Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology

Adelphi University

Whatever!

Perhaps by now you have heard the Log Cabin repugs have come out (no pun intended) and voiced their support of resident rump. What upsets me is the stories I see which call the Cabiners a LGBT group.  Sure, and I don’t know this for sure, there may be privileged gay cis men in the group who don’t care about any LGBT rights other that they already have. But are they a majority?

What I don’t understand though, is why they would support an administration which is so actively trying to trying to take our rights away. How are they going to react when their legal same sex marriages come under attack. 

Perhaps too, maybe you have noticed I haven’t even mentioned the continued attacks on transgender rights. I guess we have no rights either with the Log Cabin Republicans.

Laverne Cox…standing.

On a brighter side, Laverne Cox maybe the first transgender actor to win an Emmy! From Out:

 “In 2014, Laverne Cox became the first transgender person to be nominated for a primetime acting Emmy for her work on Orange Is the New Black. Cox was not only the face of the transgender tipping point, she helped humanize trans folks through her dynamic performance as Sophia Burset. 

In the final season of Orange, which premiered this summer, Sophia was largely absent — something Cox said was mostly due to a scheduling issue — but did make a final, triumphant appearance as the new owner of her own salon (thanks to a prison settlement). While many of Orange Is the New Black’s characters had tragic endings, something the creators felt was necessary to illustrate the many ways the correctional system ruins lives rather than rehabilitating them, Sophia was one of the few who was gifted with a happy ending, something all too rare for trans women of color in the real world.”

For more, go here.

Gender Quiz

Yesterday, I went in for my pulmonary breathing test. 

I arrived early, checked in at the kiosk and pulled out my phone to pass the time. Nobody gave me a second look. 

As I sat there though, my regular Doctor appeared briefly and saw me. Since I wasn’t supposed to see her, I was surprised when she came over to talk. She is very nice and I enjoyed talking to her quite a bit until…she stuck the dreaded “he word” into the conversation. For the life of me, I don’t know why all of the sudden I am having such a miserable time being mis-gendered. 

I have examined how I go about my prep work before I go out and don’t think there is much of a difference. But why would someone call a person obviously wearing feminine clothes with breasts and wearing makeup a he?

I have always believed in the power of how a person projects their personal aura. Perhaps, with time, I have become more lackadaisical in public. I just assume most of the public accepts me as a feminine being.

Maybe I should spend more time channeling my inner female.

Then again, the great majority of people don’t understand what it does to a transgender person to be mis-gendered. I know it can really destroy or make my day when I have achieved the lofty “she” status in a conversation. 

One thing is for sure, the redneck woman glaring and staring at me on the way out didn’t care about pronouns. She was just all ugliness. 

Then again, you can’t educate everyone. 

Thanks!

Thanks to those of you who commented on my health issues.  The Doc’s are checking my breathing this coming Thursday and I am still awaiting an appointment for extensive heart tests. It’s a good thing I don’t feel any worse than I do…I guess!

Actually, I am being a whiner. Outside of an occasional pain from my ankle, I don’t feel bad at all. However I do know the risk HRT brings to a person in my age range and am ready to go through more tests. 

On top of all of that, I still have had a busy week. Yesterday was a combined party for my grand kids at my daughter’s mother in law’s.  It went well and the Mother in Law managed not to mis-gender me through the whole party. Perhaps it was because I had my transgender feminine batteries recharged Friday when I went to my hair stylist. Quite frankly, I was feeling quite ragged before she worked her wonders on my hair. After she was done, I felt refreshed and ready to face the world again. 

Monday night, I have another transgender-cross dresser support group meeting. Tuesday I have two appointments at the Dayton, Ohio Veterans Administration. The first, a visit with my hematology Doc and the second, my monthly therapist appointment.

Wednesday I have a tag a long appointment with Liz to one of her Doc’s. Which brings me back to Thursday and the breathing appointment. 

It’s a good thing I have a walking boot to protect my ankle!  I am supposed to get it  X-rayed again in two weeks.

One more thing…as I have mentioned before HRT and blood clots are nothing to play with. As Connie commented:

“I’m glad that you didn’t have a blood clot. Those things can be very dangerous and life-threatening. I know; I’ve had two of them. The doctors take no chances, and so off to the emergency center you go. My doctor must have decided that I was lying about not taking hormones, and so he ordered blood tests specifically for my hormone levels. That’s how I discovered that my testosterone/estrogen balance was very close to the average post-menopausal woman (whoopie!). Still, though, there was never any determined cause for the clots. Their only answer was to put me on blood thinners for the rest of my life, and HRT would, forevermore, be out of the question for me. When I got the first clot in my calf, my ankle and foot became so swollen that I thought my skin was going to burst open. 

Do you know how you broke your ankle? I don’t want to alarm you, but HRT can also cause one to lose bone density. You should have a test for that, as well. Osteoporosis may not kill you like a blood clot can, but it can sure affect your lifestyle.”

Ironically, the ankle problem could be a result of an old football injury. Plus, I was tested for Osteoporosis in the past. I’m sure they can do it again! Thanks!