It’s Mother’s Day again. A time to take a moment to stop and remember the person who brought us into the world.
During our formative years, our Mother’s provided us with examples (intended or not) what a woman goes through in life. Some Mother’s even were more supportive than others when it came to them sensing or learning of our gender desires to be a girl.
My Mom never/ever gave any sort of an idea she would be accepting at all of the idea her first born son wanting to become feminine at the least. I was strongly expected to follow in the patriarchal footsteps set up in our WWII era family. The problem was no matter how hard I tried to be a successful male, the more stress it caused me.
I have written many times on how the first time I tried to come out to my Mom played out. It was after I was discharged from the Army and was enjoying the success of coming out to a close group of friends about being a “transvestite”. For some reason I thought she would accept me too. It didn’t work that way as she offered to pay for shock therapy to cure the “problem.” From that point forward, we never discussed my gender issues again the rest of her life.
It took me years to overlook that night and understand our differences.
These days, I have chosen to accept the positives of our relationship. I inherited her spirit in many ways. She wasn’t shy and operated her life using very few filters. From her I learned almost anything was possible which aided me immensely as I embarked on a very difficult journey to complete my gender change.
The day finally came when I decided to consider possible names I would use when I went through the process of legally changing my legal gender markers. Initially I chose my Mom’s first name as my middle name as sort of a “got ya” moment. After a while though, as my thoughts about her began to change so did the reflections on using her name.
So, Mom, I love you very much and thanks for the sacrifices you made to have me. She had gone through three still births before me and was ready to give up and adopt. Her persistence in many ways describes my life and I appreciate all you did.
Recently I wrote a post here in Cyrsti’s Condo revolving around the concept women are definitely the high maintenance gender. Being the hard headed person I am, it took me years to learn exactly that. As my wife at the time kept referring to me as the “pretty, pretty princess” in my makeup heels and hose, no amount of feminine presentation could help me to understand exactly what she meant. It wasn’t until years later as I seriously started my Mtf gender transition did I understand.
Let’s check in with Michelle and her feelings on the subject:”I see that you, as well as so many of us have discovered, that being a woman requires many years of life lessons learned while growing up.
Females start very early in life learning so many skills, that men would never even think of, like communication, relationships, mannerisms and dealing with the trials and tribulations of dealing with the female body. It’s one thing to learn how to apply makeup and clothes styles but women don’t really get those lessons till early in their teens. Women start early learning that the somewhat care and feeding of their bodies will follow them throughout life.
Men on the other hand only deal with learning to (as my partner once put it) grunt, fart and learn how to somewhat intimidate the people they come in contact with. For women, life’s lessons are almost harder in the long run then men will ever know.
Women have to learn, starting very early, how to deal with so many aspects of their bodies and minds that can be both scary as well as rewarding. Men on the other side of the coin only have to learn only what puberty brings them. It’s more of a one shot deal for men. Women have to deal with it all their lives. “
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I have always thought cis women have precious little time to design their lives around their bodies. After all. girls go through puberty earlier than boys to face years of having babies and monthly periods before their bodies then go through menopause. Through it all, women face the lack of gender privilege which men take for granted.
It’s never easy making the journey from one gender to another. I am biased but I think it is one of the most difficult things a human can do.
Each of us has their own path they followed and fortunately I can share two ideas from Cyrsti’s Condo readers who successfully Mtf gender transitioned.
The first comes from Paula: “I believe we go through a concentrated growing up process, those of us who transition later in life miss out on a female adolescence, we don’t have benefit of either contemporaries or older women teaching us how to be women. we could observe from outside, we could watch but were never part of the sisterhood. In consequence we had a steep learning curve, I know I personally made many a teenage mistake, inappropriate hemlines, poor makeup, inappropriate personal interactions, all girls do the difference is I had to make these learning mistakes in my 50s! It can be a little embarrassing looking back on my early blog posts, the emphasis on clothes and makeup, all the photos but it is part of my process, part of my growing up, part of my history.”
The second comes from Connie: “I’ve long held the theory that many trans women express their femininity, at least early on in their trans lives, based on what the male side of themselves find attractive. I’m not referring to autogynephilia, as this attraction is not necessarily sexual in nature. It may have something to do with separating one’s female self from the male self, as well. That is, just as a trans woman may overcompensate to affect a more masculine facade while living in male-mode, she may overcompensate in her (idea of) femininity when in female-mode. That’s may seem like bouncing from one caricature to the other, and, for me, was just not sustainable.”
I too went through the separation phase of trying to please my former male self when it came to appearance. When I finally learned I should be dressing to blend and please other women, I finally was able to negotiate a feminine world much easier.
I saw this quote on a another blog I follow (Lifesfinewhine) and it started my thought processes on my gender transition. The other blog is written by a cis woman who was detailing how to feel better concerning her/your appearance.
The post brought back to me in a much clearer sense how all women (transgender or not) carry the social stigmas of how they look. A good example is my partner Liz who lost nearly one hundred pounds and still has a hard time escaping ideas of how she appears to the public. There have been several times when other people may be staring at me and she never notices and I am astounded.
I think much of my remaining paranoia with the public goes back decades ago when I was faking it to making it as a woman. Or, my old cross dressing days before I finally admitted to myself I felt so much more natural in a feminine world. I have detailed several times here in Cyrsti’s Condo the first night I decided to go out and try to exist as a woman and not someone who was dressing up to fool the world. There was a huge difference for me and I was terrified yet excited.
This is the point I always have to add my disclaimer…being a cross dresser is quite fine. It just wasn’t good enough for me. It was immensely difficult to do but I found myself more and more faking being a man in my life.
Then again, you have to do what you need to get by. Faking it or not.
These days I have seen the term “non binary” used in place of transgender in many instances. I find it interesting yet another term is finding it’s way into the LGBTQ vocabulary. I’m sure many of you remember how prevalent the transvestite term was before transgender came along.
I would imagine non binary maybe a more appropriate term to use with younger people who still might be on the gender fence. Would it replace androgyny as a major used term eventually? Or are we dealing in too many terms again in our culture. In which case who cares? I am sure especially the newer people dealing with gender change do. Imagine again having a very androgynous child who is still working their way through gender. In her/his case I think non binary works.
I wonder too if the world will ever come to the point where acquaintances we transgender people run into over the years will ever come to think of us as non binary? My own personal example is the cis woman I met years ago in an art gallery who chose me for a woman’s photo shoot which featured women of different backgrounds. Of all the people who lives I have crossed, I think she is the one who would embrace the non binary term.
Plus, since I have decided hormone replacement therapy would be as far as I will go to further my Mtf gender transition, maybe non binary describes me more accurately too.
As a matter of fact though, I don’t really care, I just wanted to try to write a fun post on the subject for all of you to consider.
It’s amazing under the quarantine for Covid 19 how fast the weeks come and go. It seems like yesterday when I was enjoying a frosty blended Margarita on the patio of our favorite restaurant. When it was last Saturday. Now it seems, the only trips outside the house I have are my walks in the morning and the occasional medical visit. Which are even rarer since I even see my therapist now on a VA televisit set up.
Next week, I have a virtual therapist appointment and the pre mentioned Mammogram to go to. In the meantime, I am still awaiting word on how my hormone tests went from my Endocrinologist. For some reason, in the past, the results have not been recorded on a VA on line site which contains all my personal records.
Just in case, I called the Endo doc’s nurse and told her I went to have the prescribed blood labs done and (by the way) I have been thrilled with the results so far. Even my partner Liz has commented she has noticed the changes going on. I wonder when the virus finally moves on, I will look back on this period of quarantine on the Cyrsti’s Condo blog and wonder just how this transgender woman found things to write about.
Since my Mtf gender transition has taken me past the predominant makeup and clothes topics, it has been tough.
I have written here in Cyrsti’s Condo how I believe I have transitioned twice in my gender journey. The most likely transition was from cross dresser to transgender. It took me over a decade to finally decide I could make the decision to live a full time feminine existence. For me, starting hormone replacement therapy sealed the decision. In a relatively short period of time, it became impossible to hide the changes in my body. I know too, others who have not needed hormonal assistance to make the transition.
Now I think there is a third gender transition on the journey, To be fair, like so many other ideas here in the Condo, I picked this up from a Tweet I read on one of my email feeds. The person was explaining how she had transitioned from what her previous male self had thought she would be all the way to what her feminine soul knew she was.
I thought, Wow! That was me, When I first began going out and exploring the world as a transgender woman, I spent way more time on worrying about how I looked rather than how I felt. In fact, if you go back to the earliest days of this blog, you will notice a definite difference in an underlying theme. Again, it was appearance over feelings. Of course, living full time did have a lasting impact on me. Having to plan a wardrobe out of only feminine clothes for days, weeks, months and years has taught me what I needed to transition from what my former male self thought would be appropriate to what my inner woman told me what I really was. For what it is worth, my partner predicted the very same thing would happen years ago when she asked me what kind of a woman would emerge.
Who emerged was a person who wouldn’t normally leave the house without some sort of makeup but wasn’t the extreme picky fashionista I used to be. In other words I could be described as a “lipstick lesbian” a little mixture of leftover butch with a touch of makeup.
The interesting part of all of this speculation is the fact I am still evolving in my journey when I think it is nearly over. Who knows, maybe there could be a fourth transition other than death. The ultimate one.