Stealth versus Invisibility

 I have re-written this post several times as I try to include all of you who are still living in your closets. Finally, I decided to go ahead and publish it because hopefully there will come a day when you too can live freely as your authentic selves. Now, here is the post:

I used to resent quite a few of the transgender women I knew who underwent gender realignment surgery then promptly went stealth. By “stealth” I mean  they went away to simply live their lives away from the remainder of the transgender community. Before you say the often irritated and jealous transgender community…I agree. In fact,  in many ways, I don’t blame them. 

Even so, to a large degree, there were very few trans women and men to follow.. No one to tell us it was perfectly OK to feel and act the way we do.  

Over the years, I have battled the urge to go stealth even though for the most part it has been available to me. Much of being able to go stealth has much to do  with my partner Liz as it does with me and any so called passing ability. Since I so rarely go anywhere without her, I am so very used to letting her lead the way with calling me the proper pronouns. 

Sometimes I wonder if being too invisible as a transgender woman once again is letting the community as a whole down. Or what the subject even means to the average transgender person just trying to get by.  

As I try my best not to be too in depth about the topic at hand, recently I had a chance to unfortunately witness yet another ugly episode of transgender infighting. To make a long story short, in the transgender – cross dresser support group I am in (or used to be), a disturbance erupted between two members basically concerning who was more trans than the other. 

Once again it seemed to me, the more things change over the years, the more they stay the same. I mean really, what does it mean if a person is more trans than another.

Maybe on the other hand, as a community we should protect the out and proud leaders we have gained such as Laverne Cox.   

The more out and proud trans people we have, the more chance we can defeat the evils of the stealth and the invisibility culture.  

Life

Looking ahead to the week I have coming up,  I began to think of my life as a whole. As I have mentioned before, I have two specifically female related medical procedures coming up. A mammogram and a bone density scan. Hopefully, I will have no issues. If I do with my breasts, I am sure my days of dealing with hormone replacement therapy are over.

But when you come right down to it, it’s all part of life. Since I have nearly reached seventy two years of age, it is easily to realize life is but a circle. For all the lows, there are highs. 

Some would argue transgender women and men add a unique struggle to their lives. Of course I am biased and would totally agree. Crossing the gender barrier is brutal for the greatest majority of transgender people. It’s not beyond life to throw you a curve ball. You have to start all over with a new life without your former family or even job.

It’s no wonder I receive so many comments praising me on my “bravery”. When I wasn’t brave at all, I was just doing what I had to do to survive my life after a suicide attempt. I will say though, life became much easier after I managed to match my external cross dressing desires with my internal feminine being. It turned out all those years of thinking I was a guy cross dressing as a woman, the opposite was true. I was a woman cross dressing as a man. My only regret was it took me so long to accept the truth.

As I enter the twi-light of my life, I know I am blessed to have had a couple women along the way who guided my life. Especially my second wife who once told me to “Be man enough to be a woman.” I wish I had been profound enough to say it as I was busily trying to destroy our relationship. Then there was my partner Liz who finally kicked me out of my closet.

Of course, one of the less profound things we humans do…is die. 

I just hope the funeral directors get my pronouns correct.

Loving a Transgender Person

“Sad Eyes” Image. Credit Cyrsti’s Condo

 So many transgender people, women and men have a difficult time finding love as their authentic selves. Why is that so?

I think the path we have to take to arrive where we are takes an enormous toll. Take my journey as an example. My wife of twenty five years accepted me being a cross dresser but drew the line at any suggestion of the transgender word. We fought tooth and nail primarily when I became moody due to my gender issues or dysphoria. Little did I know, life would intervene, she would pass away, leaving me so alone.

I was down on myself and had very much given up on finding anyone who would accept me the way I was. I know too I wasn’t alone, so many transgender women and trans men are fated to follow a similar path.

I am a believer in you have to love yourself before someone else can love you. During all the messy breakups due to transgender issues, both spouses come out deeply scarred. Then, when you add in the affects of certain social media sites and everything becomes worse. Too many “male admirers” seeking gratuitous attention. Too few seeking solid relationships. 

I went through all of that through a myriad of dating sites while all along I told the truth about me being transgender. At the same time, I was hanging out in straight sports bars as I went out to be alone. What happened was I was destined to meet two cis women (lesbians) who I became friends with. Primarily due to the fact I maintained my interest in sports as they did. 

Then there was Liz. Literally she picked me up off a dating site when she responded to one of my pictures saying I had sad eyes. Ten years later, we are still together. 

From all the sorrow and angst I see on certain social media sites, I was very fortunate. Once I learned to accept and love myself for what I was, I was able to accept the friendship and love from others.

Certainly, it is not easy to love a transgender person. So many are too touchy about their pasts to easily let love happen.

I do think though, more and more it is happening and I am no longer the exception to the rule.
 

Calling all Doctors

Seemingly this week, all my doctors have ganged up on me. 

Monday I actually had to go to an in person appointment with the person who is called my primary provider in the Veterans Administration. Similar to a civilian’s family doctor. Our visit was a fun filled half hour as she went over my blood work, examined me and set up two future feminine related exams. The first is my yearly mammogram which I don’t particularly like but I consider a rite of passage. The second turned out to be a bone density scan. Bless her heart, my primary said all women my age should have one. Ironically both have been scheduled within days of each other in a couple of weeks. 

Tuesday was my video visit with my therapist. This session seemed to go a little better overall but I can’t truthfully say I went into any very deep issues. I’m working on bringing more up to her but it is difficult for a person like me. 

Also yesterday was one non doctor related meeting, a Dayton Ohio Elderly Rainbow Alliance Board Meeting. It was very short as there was little  to go over. However coming up in September there is a presentation coming up down here in Cincinnati which I am going to volunteer to help with. 

Today is my video appointment with my new hematologist. It should be interesting to see her ideas on my iron levels. I have a tendency to run higher levels of iron which can hurt me. If the levels are too high, I have to have a phlebotomy (blood draw) to bring it down. The results of my latest labs were within range so I expect the appointment to go well.

Also today, sometime we have to squeeze in an appointment to the grocery store. 

All of this leads me back to the idea I had when I first came out as a transgender woman. How would life be once I couldn’t go back to hiding in a man’s world. Definitely material for another blog post. 
 

Life on the Gender Fault Line

When I woke up this morning and headed to the bath room, of course I had to check myself out in the mirror to see if I was still alive. 

Even after all these years, the mirror experience can never be taken for granted. On certain mornings I see too much of my male self peaking through. Then on other days, I am pleased with seeing all my hair along with my breasts, soft skim and rounder face. All of which scream feminine. 

To make a long story short, I am living on a gender fault line. Another word for the gender dysphoria which has been part of me for as long as I can remember. 

I feel the tremors. Not as bad as when I was trying to live as both genders but still noticeable. I used to have the tremors so bad I could feel an explosion coming on if I didn’t cross dress into my authentic self  to relieve the pressure.

I would not wish my life on the gender fault line on anyone but then again the chance to experience both human binary genders has at times been electrifying yet terrifying.Β Β 

Changing Gender Gears

 Of course I am biased but I have always thought a human changing gender was one of the most difficult things to attempt. 

As far as I am concerned, as I began to become more serious about making the jump to a transgender feminine life, I began to practice feminine mannerisms when I thought others weren’t watching. I would go to big box stores during their down times just to practice my walk. 

Earliest known 
Picture
Circa 2012

Make up wasn’t such a problem for me as I had been applying it for literally decades before I seriously decided to transition. As I remember though, I had to remind myself to not overdo it. As I started to go out and live with women and be accepted, I had to learn to blend. 

Of course, all bets were off when I started hormone replacement therapy. Even though I started on a bare minimum dose, the changes began to be very unmistakable.  The obvious happened, I grew breasts and let my hair grow out. The surprise came when my skin softened and my face began subtle changes. All in all, I had planned a year before I had to put my male self in the closet. I ended up revising it to six months. 

As I look back to the whole experience, I was fortunate in that I found a small group of cis women to socialize with. I always say they taught me more about the feminine lifestyle than I could have ever learned on my own. But learn I did.

Putting my old guy self in the closet was one of the most satisfying things I have ever done. Overall though, changing gender gears was as terrifying as it was exciting. It was an experience I was born to do.
  

Jealousy

I could use the kinder and gentler “envious” word but I can’t. Yesterday I was just jealous. 

It was grocery shopping day and Liz and I went out to battle the heat and stock up on all the fruits and vegetables we needed for our new diet. 

As we started our journey down the produce isle, I couldn’t help but notice a woman in a short romper style print dress. I was entranced. The whole process took me back to all the old days of desiring so many cis women. Not sexually. I wanted to be them. To feel what they felt. 

As all the old feelings came flooding back to me, I told myself the usual. Even though I have achieved more than I ever thought I could in a transgender world, I will never in this lifetime achieve the body and look of the woman I was admiring. 

All too soon she went her separate way in the store, my dreams faded and the reality of the day set back in. 

Demons into Angels

 “Back in the day” when I was strongly considering making the big jump and starting to live as my authentic feminine transgender self, I considered the whole process as sliding down a slippery slope. One day, I would just go too far, make the leap and put my male self into the closet. The more I explored the world as a transgender woman, the more I wanted to. 

Looking back at the whole process now, I have a tendency to .look at it as an interaction between my personal angels and demons. I suppose it all goes back to when I was growing up and I considered my transgender leanings as being demons. 

Of course, finally all of the “demon” thoughts began to change. Rightfully so, my mean old male self became the demon to kept me out of the world for all those years. As my feminine self took over, she certainly wasn’t an angel. She partied hard and for the most part had a good time. Perhaps she was making up for lost time. 

Each of us are individuals trying to make our own journeys as pleasant as possible. 

The quicker you are able to turn your male demons into female angels the better your life will be. Each of us has to seek out our own path to do it. 

An Actual Transgender Widow

Connie (above) sent this comment in concerning her wife…a trans widow:Β 

“My wife is a trans widow. When asked how she’s been able to handle my transition, she’ll tell you that she had to, first, mourn the loss of the man she married. So did I, really. We’ve been married for 49 years, but it’s not the same marriage that we had for the first 40. I know, however, that it would have ended altogether had I continued with the deceit that accompanied and facilitated my cross dressing. I was lying to her and to myself, because I was never really a cross dresser. Even after I came to realize that fact, I continued to live a double life (unsuccessfully, for the most part) for a number of years.


Unlike your situation, my wife was far more receptive to my transitioning than she was to my cross dressing. I’m so much more accessible, both physically and emotionally, than I was when I was sneaking out to “get my girl on.” Furthermore, a night out led to my depression the next day. I would wake up the next morning still feeling every bit the woman I had been the night before, and I just couldn’t bear the thought of facing the day as a man anymore. My wife recognized this, and she decided that she’d rather have a happier woman in her life than a depressed husband. However, she will never waver from her declaration to me that she made in the beginning: “I am not a Lesbian!”.


As always, thanks for the comment! My wife used to say the same thing about being a lesbian. During one bitter fight, I was stupid enough to say she was protesting too much. She did not see the humor in it.