I “Doesn’t Know It”

As you have probably noticed, things have changed around here in Cyrsti’s Condo. The majority is because Google changed it’s basic blog platform which on my end of things caused my blog to be extremely slow loading. To hopefully help all of that I switched to a much simpler blog format. Along the way, you may notice other changes too. Hopefully they will be positive. In the meantime, lets get back to the subject of the day. The possibility and or terror of doing standup transgender comedy was the subject here of a recent post. Connie had this comment:

 “OK, I can get used to your new design, but how come your blog didn’t show on T Central today?” (I don’t know)
“In my early days of coming out – first to a trans group, and then to my wife – I began writing and performing trans-themed song parodies at trans events. The trans crowd seemed to be receptive to my poking fun at the foibles of having a feminine identity, and what we go through in order to express ourselves physically, mentally, and emotionally. I expanded my audience by appearing at gay bars, and my act worked well there, too. I was surprised to learn that even a general audience liked what I was doing, although I had to set things up before each song by talking as much as I ended up singing.

When I came out (came to terms?) with my wife, I told her what I had been doing. She came to one of my trans-group shows a couple of weeks later, but she wasn’t impressed. She wanted to know how I could make jokes about something as serious as what the two of us had been dealing with over the prior few weeks. I explained that my gender dysphoria was serious, but all of the things I have to do to live with it can be ridiculous. That’s the message I had to convey to a cis audience, but the LGBT crowd understood it without explanation. My wife accepted it, although she’s still upset that I ruined “Danny Boy” for her by making him a cross dresser.

I don’t think I could ever do straight-up stand up comedy. I’m too comfortable in my own genre, I guess. The important thing, though, is that I only make fun of some of the behaviors that we may exhibit, and not about the human beings we are.”
Thanks for the comment, I will have to try to look into T Central.

Some Like it Hot!

For those of you who may not know, “Some Like it Hot” is a 1959 classic film directed by Billy Wilder. The plot revolves two band members from gangster era Chicago who inadvertently witnessed a mob killing. The plot thickens when they had to flee Chicago for Florida as members of an all girl band. 

The movie stars Tony Curtis and Jack Lemon in drag along side a very sexy and glamorous Marilyn Monroe as the band’s singer. The movie moves quickly with many of the usual problematic happenings you would expect from two guys thrust into playing women to save their lives. Of course along the way, you are left to your own imagination on how the two obtained their feminine attire as well as other key activities. 

I clearly remember I was ten when this movie finally made it’s way to television. As the family watched it, I had to act like I was disinterested when exactly the opposite was true. 

Over the years, “Some Like it Hot” has obtained “classic” movie status and is definitively worth a view if you haven’t seen it. Especially the last scene which I won’t disclose. The Turner Classic Movie channel shows it every now and then, or maybe you can order it on demand someplace. But one way or another, it is wonderful fast moving comedy! 

Marilyn is fabulous, seen below with Tony Curtis and Jack Lemon.

Transgender Comedy?

Way “back in the day’ when I was doing personal appearances for the radio stations I worked for. (As a guy) I inadvertently stumbled into comedic situations. Normally it was a situation I didn’t want to find myself in.

However, there are more than a few transgender comics these days doing their best to entertain the public. One of which is “Alice Rose”. (below)

Here is a portion of her story:

” I  fell into standup comedy quite by accident in the summer of 2017, when the cafe I worked at began hosting a monthly comedy show. Inspired by this, I decided to write some material of my own for an upcoming open mic. Having only recently transitioned, I was still insecure about my appearance, and particularly my voice, so you can imagine how vulnerable I felt standing in front of strangers and speaking into a microphone for the first time. My insecurities came out in my material as well — nearly all of my jokes were self-deprecating, transphobic attacks on myself.

Imagine walking into a crowded sports bar, turning off the hockey game, and yelling, “I’m a woman with a penis. Does anyone have a problem with that?” Trust me, that is not a social experiment you want to conduct unless you’re dressed like a goalie. However, that was essentially what I was doing, sometimes three or four nights a week. And I was getting away with it because I had a secret weapon. I had the power to make people laugh, and while their guard was down I could tell them anything I wanted.


Role Models

Recently, I wrote a short post here in Cyrsti’s Condo concerning a few of my influences growing up transgender. Since that time, both Michelle and Connie have commented. Coincidentally. both mentioned Flip Wilson’s cross dressing Geraldine, who I missed most of since the television show was on when I was serving in the Army. 
As I wrote, my list was short and Connie added to it here:

” I had no transgender role models, growing up. Even in adulthood, I looked to cis women for my inspiration – if not aspiration. Cross dressing as a means for comedic entertainment may have interested me, but I usually found it to be disappointingly not funny. Flip Wilson’s Geraldine might be the only exception. Movies such as “Some Like it Hot,” “Tootsie,” and “Mrs. Doubtfire” were about men who cross dressed for the purpose of deception, as was the TV show “Bosom Buddies.” I always thought that it was ridiculous that any of those characters were actually fooling all of the people around them, and, although I had a deep desire to be able to pass for many years, I did not want to pass with any ulterior motive; I wanted only to be seen as the woman I felt myself to be.

I remember so well the first time I saw a cross dresser in real life. I was fifteen, and had been expressing my femininity in private for about four years. I was waiting at a busy crosswalk in downtown Portland, and I was curious of the well-dressed young woman standing in front of me. I was asking myself, “Is she or isn’t she?” until the light changed and she walked on ahead of me. It was then that I noticed her matted leg hair beneath nylon stockings. To me, that was a total gross out. It was internalized transphobia decades before the term ever existed.

*The side story here is that I was downtown that day with a band mate, who was purchasing a wig to wear on stage when we performed (no long hair was allowed for boys in our high school in those days). The whole time I was in the wig shop, I was trying to figure out how I could use the excuse to get my own wig, too. I was looking at the feminine styles, though. Anyway, I commandeered his wig about a year later, and I fashioned it to fit my own style. At least I no longer had to “borrow” my mother’s wig.

I was vaguely aware of Christine Jorgensen in my youth. I was too young when she initially made headlines, and then had moved into a deep suppression before she began making the circuit as an entertainer. I had admiration for what she did, but I had no desire to become a novelty act. I can only imagine how she might have cried herself to sleep, having been forced to make a living by conducting what many must have thought to be a freak show. As a musician and singer, myself, I could see how it might have been a way to make lemonade from a lemon, but one has to find the sugar with which to sweeten it.

Remember the Maury Povich episodes of “He or She,” in which he had about a dozen people on stage, half of whom where cis and the other half some iteration from beneath the trans umbrella? Whether they were female impersonators, drag queens, cross dressers, or transitioned trans women, they all looked good enough to compete with the cis women on the stage. I used to record those shows on a VCR that I had hidden in a closet and had rigged up so as not to be discovered (the hidden cable wire is still there to this day). I was always so turned off by the concept of the show, but I would study it, when alone, just to see how I might accomplish what they had.

Throughout most of my life, I think that I can sum up my exposure to media influence by borrowing the Bugs Bunny line, “What’s up, Doc?” It always left me with more questions of myself than answers. As far as cartoon characters go, I relate more to Betty Boop…….or maybe Jessica Rabbit. :-)”

Thanks for the help!

Bugs Bunny

Recently, the cross dresser transgender group I am part of  asked a question concerning who were our non binary role models growing up. Perhaps not so surprisingly that “crazy wabbit”  Bugs Bunny showed up on the lists.

Growing up, the only major performer (other than Bugs) I can remember cross dressing many times was Milton Berle. Who I have added a picture with Bob Hope. (below) Of course, Berle always played his drag for laughs. 

Moving ahead, times changed dramatically as the so called ‘reality” talk shows became so popular on daytime television. Every so often transvestites and/or cross dressers would turn up trying to explain the world from their viewpoint. Depending on the show of course, many times the participants ended up being cast in an unkind light.

From there, the shows completely deteriorated into the Jerry Springer show and it’s abuse of the transgender community. 
All in all, I am sure you all can add in your own transgender influences, good or bad. 

The problem is, there were way too few to chose from.

Amiyah Scott

ATLANTA, GA – NOVEMBER 7: Amiyah Scott attends a screening and reception for Fox’s “Star” at Park Tavern on November 7, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Tonya Wise/Fox/PictureGroup) *** Please Use Credit from Credit Field *** (Newscom TagID: sipaphotossix593814.jpg) [Photo via Newscom]

Amiyah Scott is a transgender actress, model, and dancer. She is best known for her role as Cotton on the Fox drama Star.

Zion Moreno

Who is this transgender model?

She’s 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.

Zión is part of the LGBTQ+ community and reportedly transitioned at a young age. She initially started her career as a model and has since entered the world of acting. She previously appeared on TNT’s Claws.