Passing Thoughts

 Not long ago, I wrote a post on passing privileges. Ironically, recently I have seen another post or two regarding toxic feminism. As I did, I began to look back into my past for examples and I came up with several.

One of which was a pre teen birthday party I went to for my Grand-Daughter and a few of her friends years ago before I came out as transgender.  One of the invitee’s was obviously a little social butterfly who was off in her own little world. She seemed to be certain she was the best looking party girl at such a young age. I wondered then why she was even invited. 

Then of course were the groups of women I worked with and tried to manage. I learned early how passive aggression worked and how women formed groups of like minded people to get their way. As a manager, once I gained their trust, they tended to be very loyal. I was very successful at passing as a man.

Now it’s time to add in a Connie comment concerning the original post which dealt with blending in being a desired goal of “passing”:

” I do agree that, for me, “blending in” is not really my desired goal. I had always been pretty quiet and rather shy as a man, while my feminine side wants to be much more social and involved. I have often joked that all I really want is to be the most beautiful girl in the room – which is only a joke if I really think that I ever am. Still, I’d much rather shine than blend. I can’t make my feminine appearance be as good as Phaylen’s (highly filtered and possibly photo shopped) pic portrays, but I have learned that there is so much more to “passing” than the way I look. It’s much more about the self-confidence and living in truth. Although it took much longer than it should have, I finally realized that I belong and have every right to be anywhere I choose to be, as does anyone else.

I want to pass as a person (the person I really am) more than an illusion I may have created.”

(The “Phaylen” Connie is responding to is an LGBTQ activist and actress who does have passing privileges’ probably due in part to advanced makeup and photography techniques many of us don’t have access to. See below:)

More Connie: “I suppose that I have some “passing privilege” – at least, I have been told this many times. My dysphoria keeps me from recognizing this allegation, however. Beyond the primary, my secondary (male) sex characteristics add up to be a real challenge for me. Sure, there are cis women who are taller, or with broader shoulders, or with large hands, or with big heads and necks, etc. – but very few of them possess all of them together. Nevertheless, these are things that I do possess, and that I can never change. I have managed to change my attitude, though, and that has gone more toward achieving any passing privilege I have than has anything else.”

Perhaps my emphasis on blending in has to do with my intense interaction with other women over the years. Even though I had to act as if I were a man, I interacted as if I was a woman. My gender dysphoria has told me over the years I couldn’t be the best looking woman in the room and just being perceived as a woman in the room was good enough. 

Anything else will have to wait ntil my next life.

Dysphoria One…Zoom Nothing

 In the past couple of days I have had three Zoom meetings to attend. 

When the pandemic really began to spread of course, I had to learn all about Zoom. If you don’t know, it is an on line visual “meet up” with one or a group of people. Early on in the process, I learned the fear of facing myself on the computer screen for however long the session lasted. 

To put it mildly, the results sent my gender dysphoria into a death spiral. 

Over the years, I have been able to maintain a delicate balance on how my presentation is perceived versus how it is received in reality.

To be blunt, I thought I presented well during my meeting with my therapist and terrible in my second session. 

Look, I know my strong point is I am transgender and like so many of us (cis women too) will never reach the beauty plateau of someone such as Laverne Cox.(below)

I will have to save all of that for another lifetime. Over the years, I have been so fortunate to have met many people who have accepted my true self.

In the meantime, I will have to concentrate on the positives to keep my gender dysphoria at bay. 

Maybe then, I can put Zoom up on the scoreboard.  

Letting the Genie Out

I used to equate the adventures I went through as I began my feminine lifestyle as sliding down a very slippery slope towards a very steep cliff. Later on, I began to think of it as letting the Genie out of the bottle.

A few experiences were very positive and reassuring such as being turned away at the door at a transvestite “mixer” because I was a real woman all the way to being laughed at and scorned in a couple different venues I frequented.  Through it all I had a tendency to resolve I was doing the best I could to cross a very difficult gender frontier. As a guy, I did my very best to cover up any feminine tendencies I had. Needless to say, once the Genie was released, the gender dysphoria was unbearable. 

The picture above is with two of my friends who made my journey smoother. They embraced who I was and never interacted with the old male me. You might say they saw the Genie appear and approved.

Even with their help, life was still difficult. I was still recoiling from the loss of my wife and other close friends. My business was gone too and the only reality I thought I could cling to was the fact I wanted to transform myself to a transgender woman. 

Very quickly I found I could and didn’t want to go back.  

All of this occurred before I even met Liz which would have been approximately ten years ago. She too, fully embraced me as a woman and I started HRT. (Hormone Replacement Therapy) By this time, the genie was fully out of the bottle and there would be no turning back.

2020 It is What it Was

 As we conclude the year 2020, it’s easy to remember all the negatives. Primarily all the lives which were affected by the virus. Either by death or lingering physical effects. 

Other negatives seemed to be extra tough on those of us who deal with gender dysphoria. All of a sudden we were forced back into our closets from a overabundance of fear. The only socially redeeming value was the mask we hid behind and the socially distanced space we were encouraged to keep helped us all to present more effectively to a questioning world. Even the most innocent dinners out I enjoyed so much turned into an increasingly scary experience. During the year, I learned the hard way how I relied on gender feedback from the public to justify my gender feelings.  

Through it all, there still were positives. One of which of course was Benedict Donald losing the election. Donnie it seemed was totally for taking all rights away from the transgender population, even to the point of erasing us. Hopefully we will see President Elect Biden reverse rumps terrible transgender military ban quickly. At the least, there is hope for the New Year. 

Then there is the vaccine. I know it is not an immediate cure all to the pandemic but again it is a positive place to start. 

Similar to so many others, I have put together a few New Years’ resolutions for 2021. Among other things I plan on returning to my meditation, writing more and trying to schedule at least one time a month when Liz and I can safely venture out of the house. In fact, we have already reserved two spots for a socially distanced paranormal adventure at a haunted opera house in Kentucky in January. After all, we don’t want to pass along the virus to the ghosts :).  

Most of all, I would like to say Thank You to all of you who stopped by Cyrsti’s Condo in 2020. Your input and visits make it all worthwhile.

Have a happy and productive 2021! Cheers!!!

Stuck in the Middle

Perhaps you remember the “Stealers Wheel” tune…Stuck in the Middle with You.”  It seems this could be an appropriate musical anthem to describe a transgender existence. 

Let’s take me for instance. This morning when I woke up, I took the time to look in the mirror and promptly said “Boo.” It then occurred to me how different my life has been as I tried for years (and failed) to walk the gender divide. As it turned out, all I was doing was misleading myself. I would have been better off to have followed my transgender leanings years or even decades before. I refused to follow what was natural gender wise for me causing great stress and many problems in my life. 

Now though, through the miracle of hormone replacement therapy and the support of people such as my partner Liz along with my daughter Andrea, I have achieved more in my life than I ever thought possible. For every morning when I say “Boo”, there are so many other mornings I am amazed by my breasts, the length of my hair and the softness of my skin. 

Even with all of the wonderful changes, it seems I am still stuck in the middle with myself. Perhaps thoughts such as these are what drive transgender women to “go all the way” and undergo genital realignment surgery. Which I have always rejected as an option for myself. I just can’t see such a major costly surgery being worth it at my age along with the committed relationship of nine years I am in. 

So I will most likely end my life as I started it. Stuck in the middle with me. 

Twizzler Therapy?

 Twizzler is a candy which as far as I know comes in licorice and strawberry flavors. Recently, where I live here in Cincinnati, Ohio Twizzler has been re-running a 2019 commercial which really hits home for me. In the commercial the spouse is driving and the guy is off deep in thought. Finally she asks him what is he thinking about. As he eats a Twizzler, he wonders if it is all right at his age to start skate boarding.

During a vacation my wife and I took one year, the same thing happened to me. The only difference was I had a much more serious problem to ponder. Could I ever become a transgender woman. My life at the time was in very good shape. My wife and I loved each other deeply and my job was riding a pinnacle of success. Yet, here I was lost in thought pondering my future. 

Perhaps the worst part about the whole thing was I don’t remember telling my wife what was really bothering me. I was still trying to out run my gender dysphoria which was slowly but surely tearing me apart. 

Sadly, my thoughts ruined much of the fun of the vacation. Maybe a Twizzler would have help

Honey I’m Home

This morning as I looked into the mirror, it occurred to me how mach I have changed and how much I haven’t. 
Of course, over the years I have been able to grow a respectable set of breasts and quite the head of hair which now extends to the middle of my back. My ability to have been able to have gone on hormone replacement therapy has provided me with all of this.

What it never did provide me was an overall peace of mind. To start with, let us go all the way back to my childhood. I have seen ideas over the years of when children determine their gender. The bottom line is the time can be variable but the result is the same. Or is it? My problem with the whole idea is what if I never definitively came up with what gender I wanted to be. The best I could ever come up with was the somewhat vague idea I really wanted to be a girl, even though I was firmly entrenched in a male world. 

My idea is now, the time of gender indecision I was going through was the beginning of my gender dysphoria. Which I still suffer from today. In fact, I did this morning. Somehow, someway I was still the questioning child in the mirror.
Perhaps I will never be home. I only desire is to not be mis gendered and dead named when I die. 

More than likely, it will be the only time I will have a true understanding of why my life turned out the way it did. I will finally make it home. Until that time, it seems I will be stuck with me telling the mirror “No matter what you say mirror, all you see is me.”

Where the Hell is Mr. Hart?

As I wrote about before here in Cyrsti’s Condo, yesterday our auto repair service came to hook up their battery charger and start our second car which has been sitting for quite a while now. For any number of reasons, the experience wasn’t a good one. 

Maybe it was my fault since I did’t feel the need to dress up for the occasion. I wore my culottes, a tank top and only basic eye makeup with my lightly colored/flavored lip gloss. Somehow I thought my “natural” look would carry the day. To put it mildly, I was wrong. 

To start with we got off on the wrong foot when he called me and said he was waiting outside and called me “Mister Hart” on the phone. I told him then this was Ms. Hart and I was coming out to meet him. I thought all would be good because I have never had a problem with this company before. 
I don’t know what his problem was when called me sir without ever really looking at me. Maybe he didn’t want to deal with a woman at all. let alone a transgender woman. After he called me sir, I almost said did he want me to go back in the house and get Mr. Hart?

To make a long story short, I ignored his comment and he quickly started the car and went on his way.

By the time the day was over, I had managed to restore my feminine ego without any damage to my fragile gender dysphoria. So all was good. Regardless of the jerk.  

Masculinity and the Trans Woman Intuition

Recently I have been seeing again a few posts here and there about the effects of masculinity. After reading one of them, I began to think of my own up bringing. I have written many times here in Cyrsti’s Condo about the macho-centrist family I grew up in. Between my other brother, my Dad and I, I don’t know sometimes how my Mom made it. In our house, sports dominated along with a liberal amount of fishing and some hunting thrown in. We lived in a rural area and there were very few girls even in the neighborhood. 

During this time I had discovered the allure of feminine finery in my Mom’s closet and even tried it on when I had the rare chance to be alone. I even had a minimum income source to buy a few makeup items and clothes from my paper route and mowing grass. 

I often wonder if these were the formative years when I learned how I had to be as ultra masculine as possible to get by. Of course I was scared to death my Mom would discover my “secret.” I knew there would be no “understanding” of any desire to be a girl.

Overwhelmingly I hung out with a group of guys and girls were just the impossible dream. Impossible to figure out and even harder to date. For the longest time I considered I was taking the easy way out by creating my own girl. 

On the other hand, by nature, I was shy and sensitive. Not male traits in my family, so I hid them too. Through sports and cars I was able to effectively disguise my growing feminine desires and show the public a macho male outward persona.  

To put it mildly, it was hell trying to maintain such a life, plus by that time I had the Army to look forward to. It seemed my masculinity was never going to let me go. And, after years of gender dysphoric struggle, I finally gave up and tried to commit suicide. 

So masculinity was tough on me, even though I was able to live the lifestyle without many struggles. On the positive side , I still am easily able to judge a man’s reaction to many different scenarios. 

Call it trans woman intuition.  

Transgender Essence

This week I had an appointment with the doctor who prescribes my bi-polar medications. She is normally very pleasant, business like and the visit only lasts approximately 15 minutes.

On this day though, she had a student with her and I guess needed the extra time with me.  I am happy to say I haven’t had many problems with depression or anxiety lately. She surprised me when she brought up my Mtf gender dysphoria being a factor in feeling better. Undoubtedly I said it was.

Then she questioned dysphoria as being a part of the essence of being transgender. About this time, I noticed the student staring intently at me waiting for an answer. Sensing a time to educate two civilians, I used part of my time to explain my problems with gender dysphoria during my life. Quickly I decided  trying to reflect totally on the true essence of being transgender would have bored everyone in the room. Plus, the truth of the matter is all of our essences are different. An example would be, we have two new attendee’s in our support group who are just coming out of the closet. Just think of all the exciting yet terrifying times ahead for them. 

I also told her the experiences I have had recently with compliments on my hair. And how Thanksgiving for me was a time to step back and reflect on the good things in my life. 

Finally, I pointed out I haven’t had any extreme surgery and aside from my HRT hormone regimen, what you see of me is what you get. Even though it has literally been years since I have received any negative feedback from the public, I still have a tinge of paranoia in certain situations and probably will have till I die. 

In order to wrap this up as simply as I can, I feel the essence of being transgender is living with the knowledge of being on both sides of the gender fence. As my doctor said this week, undoubtedly I have seen a tremendous amount of living in my life. 

Over the years, recently I have come to appreciate it!