Hey! Are You Transgender?

 I don’t ever try to hide the fact I am transgender. Very rarely is it a potential issue. 

On the other hand, I don’t often out myself either. I am far from the dating scene of my past so it also isn’t a major deal. My heart goes out to younger transgender women and men who have to negotiate the dating world. Ironically, it seems the better you present, the more difficulty you may have. Even to the point of placing yourself in danger if you are “discovered” by an unsuspected suitor. 

Last night though, I found myself in a situation I don’t think I have ever found myself in. Back in the day, I was always surrounded by my cis women friends so I had never found myself in a situation with a man where I was outed. As an aside, I didn’t ever feel as if I presented well enough to confuse the public totally on what gender I really was. I always assumed everyone knew I was trans and I was satisfied with all of that as long as I was treated with respect. 

For some reason last night, I went against my basic rule and accepted a friend request from a man. The reasons were  he was in a group I was in with similar political leanings and he was local. If worst came to worst I could always mention my very territorial partner of nine years or just block him. 

I didn’t have to do either last night. Interestingly, his first comment was he was surprised to learn I was a woman. Obviously, he had not read my profile…yet. Because after I answered with I was fine with his surprise. He came right back with how cool it was when he found out I was transgender. Followed with how good my picture looked.

Fortunately, a simple thank you from me and he was gone. 

The whole deal brought back so many memories plus a realization I was fortunate to be in a relationship with a partner who accepts me for who I am.

The “Passing” Game

If you follow American professional football at all, you probably have heard of the frustrations over the years from the hapless Cincinnati Bengals. This year, once we drafted Joe Burrow our passing game dramatically improved until he suffered a major injury and is out for the remainder of the year. In other words, their “passing game” went away.

The same can happen to transgender women as they work their way through life. Early in my life, as a prolific cross dresser, I had various levels of success and failure when it came to my appearance. When I came out as a transgender woman in my sixties, I relied on any natural success I acquired cross dressing along with the changes brought along by hormone replacement therapy to mostly succeed at presenting as a transgender woman.  

Along the way, I received several comments on the passing post. Ironically, the last thing I wanted to do was try to fish for compliments on whether I passed or not. At this point in my life I am way past all of that. If I can’t get by in the world the way I am now, I never will.

As a change of pace in this post, I have decided to pass (no pun intended) along a couple comments.

The first is from Connie:

”  Gee, the way you started this post, I thought you were referring to a Hail Mary Pass. πŸ˜‰ Self-deprecation does not become you, sweety.
If one looks at passing as a last-ditch effort or a win/lose proposition, it rarely works out favorably. Desperation is more telling than one’s actual physical presentation. In continuing the football metaphor, I am a Seahawk fan who has learned that attempting to force a pass (as in a certain now-infamous Superbowl play) can lead to disaster. :-)”
If you don’t know, the Seahawks were basically on the goal line attempting to score the winning touchdown with time running out. They pulled a Bengals and tried a pass which was intercepted in the end zone as time ran out. No “passing privilege” for them!
And now, here is another comment from Emma Gray:
“I love your self-description of yourself: “a woman of transgender experience.” I use that a lot for myself too.
As for “passing”: I know it’s the common lingo and although I’ve tried I haven’t come up with an alternative. The thing is, I don’t care for that word because it implies that I’m like a secret agent, passing within society for something I am not. I thus worry that it could reinforce unsupportive cis people’s ignorance. Anyway…

I also like Rachell Brindell’s quote. I’ve wondered that myself, for me, but especially for trans children who are increasingly being raised with pubertal hormone treatment that supports their authentic gender. So, they won’t be identified as trans until and unless they disclose. I suppose there will always be post-pubertal transitioners so we won’t disappear per se.

Then again, it seems to me that gay people are not nearly as identifiable as they were in the 70s and 80s when they needed to establish pride, self-esteem, and community identification.

The worst situation IMHO is for non-binary (NB) people. My therapist is AFAB NB. Visibly feminine, they are consistently triggered by well-meaning people using the wrong pronouns and gender for them. And there’s nothing they can do. Should they where a sign? I certainly don’t think so as it brings the Nazi treatment of Jews to mind.

Anyway, being identified as a woman without qualifying adjectives is delightful isn’t it!”
It is indeed! I look at it as a payback for the years of harassment I went through! Thank you all.

My Cup Runneth Over

 Well, actually it doesn’t when it comes to my breasts. 

Following years of not really needing to wear a bra, I decided to try a few of the old bras I have saved from my “falsie” days to see how far I had progressed. The quick answer was, not as far as I had thought. 

To make a long story short, I could fill out a “C” cup bra but fell well short of a “D” cup. While I was slightly disappointed, I still decided to wear what remained of my “C” cup bras to get used to wearing bras.

So far, so good. The extra feeling of restriction hasn’t really bothered me as much as I thought it would. I guess I was finally going through a much delayed female rite of passage. A training bra undoubtedly is part of every young girl’s path through puberty and on to adulthood. Perhaps you noticed I didn’t say womanhood because not every girl makes it to be a fully socialized woman. In other words, the terms women and men are socially related in addition to being gender related. 

I doubt it but I don’t expect much change in my breast development with my current increase in my Estradiol prescription. I am well aware, extra synthetic estrogen can only provide so much development.  Plus, during my years on hormone replacement therapy, I have always preferred to stay on the side of caution as far as my dosages went because of my age.

Besides, I really don’t have anyone to impress. My partner Liz is quite well endowed in the breast department so she doesn’t pay me much attention. Of course too, we are into the colder fall/winter season around here and we don’t go anywhere because of covid, no one else see’s me either. 

What I am hoping for is the hormones will develop me more over the next six months, so I can enjoy a more feminine figure this Spring and Summer. Since I am not into wearing any “shape wear” of any kind, what the public see’s is all me.

Perhaps my cup will run over with more than a cold cocktail when summer rolls around.

Do I “Pass?”

You have all seen my pictures and I am sure more than a couple of you have thought Cyrsti has a lot of courage to go out and live a feminine life looking like that. In fact, years ago, a transgender girlfriend of mine told me I passed out of sheer force. 

Along the way though I think I have taken most of the negatives and turned them into positives when it came to living the life I wanted to. In other words, a life as a woman of transgender experience. 

To accomplish my goal. I had to heavily rely on hormone replacement therapy. Relatively quickly my skin softened, I sprouted breasts and my emotions changed for the better. The world softened as my hair grew out faster than my hips and breasts. It all worked together to help my inner feminine self to sync with my outer appearance.

Plus, I can’t forget the powerful influences my partner Liz and daughter Andrea had on me. My daughter gave me a gift certificate to her hair salon/spa for my first hair styling which was terrifying yet exciting while Liz completely backed my Mtf transition saying she had never seen any male in me. 

Approximately the same time I was fortunate to find several cis women who happened to accept the authentic me. It all worked together to give me confidence to “pass” as me. All of a sudden, I didn’t care what others thought. I embraced my life and began to enjoy it. After all there weren’t that many “out” transgender women. 

As always, I have found another thought on the whole “passing process.” It comes fromΒ Rachell BrindellΒ Β and the “Empowered Trans Woman” site:

“By being visibly transgender and not hiding behind the ridiculous gender norms that have been pushed on us for decades I feel I can contribute more to both the LGBTQ community and the cis-normative community as well. After all, if we all passed, who would see us?”

For more follow the link above.

Where Were You Born?

On occasion I become humored when I read of someone who says they were “born into the wrong body.” 

I figure I didn’t have a real choice. I had no choice on my parents, where I was born or the gender I was assigned. No matter what I thought, those three “facts” were non negotiable. Of course, as I grew, I learned while the “Big Three” were non negotiable, they could be questioned and even changed. 

Like them or not, my parents will always be my parents. Sure, they had their faults but who doesn’t. As far as coming out to them, I tried to come out to my Mom. I was rejected and never tried again. I never tried to come out to my Dad. After all, I was doing my best to live a robust male life, so who cared?

I cared of course. As my gender dysphoria continued and began to take it’s own peculiar shape, I learned to suffer silently. Even though I think I came up with every possible question I could over why my gender issues were so prevalent, at no time did I come up with the idea I was born into the wrong body.

What I did come up with was I had a overwhelming desire to change the body I had. The more I was able to feminize it the better I would feel. I was fortunate in that the body I had was healthy enough to undertake hormone replacement therapy at a later age in my sixties. Thanks to HRT, I was able to learn the body which I was given was fluid enough to provide me a male foundation to play football and survive Army basic training all the way to presenting as a woman in public. 

So, I guess I can say, I wasn’t born in the wrong body. I took what I had and adapted. 

A Message from the “Cat Lady”

Recently I wrote a post here in Cyrsti’s Condo concerning the issue of men being afraid of women…trans or cis. And, received this comment from Michelle “The Crazy Cat Lady.”Β 

“OH NO IT’S the crazy lady again…LOL!!!!
You posed a question about trans women holding a position of supervision in any industry. The process would be almost impossible. Not only, would we have to fight against the males who look down at us as trying to steal their positions in life but cis-women that are fighting to climb that proverbial ladder to success.
Let’s get real, men are just scared little boys that want to control the playgrounds. They sit back on their collective butts and let others, mostly women, do the work. Women on the other hand are fighting to keep their foothold on that ladder and can be really mean fighters. I’ve learned first hand, just how catty and underhanded women can be.

We have to battle both sides, male and female, as well as (as you put it) the effects of testosterone poisoning, and for some of us, learning to cope with the effects of estrogen that all cis-women learn from birth to live with. Add on the effects of the religious right and the “Failed Steak Salesman’s” administration. It’s no wonder we have hot flashes, mood swings and fear getting into confrontations.

Yes, I heard that comment about not being able to bear children. I’ve heard it from both males and females. To the men I say “Men can’t handle pregnancy and all that comes with it”. And to the women, I would point out that our gender has that option. Many don’t want or can medically have children. Some that go through pregnancy are finding that like some of their male counterpoints, don’t want the children they bring into this world. One woman pointed out that she became pregnant because she thought it was expected of her as a female.

Yes, you are so right that we of the trans nature have to fight hard to win our rightful place in the world. And on that merry note, I’ll retire to my couch, with a big cup of tea and snuggle up withΒ my cats.”

Thanks for the comment! I live with a self described “cat whisperer” and my daughter has a “gaggle” of cats. Being a dog person most of my life, it’s all still very new to have these spoiled cats hanging around πŸ™‚
Getting back to the subject at hand, I don’tΒ believeΒ we discussed the power of sexuality women have over men.Naturally enough, a man’s sex drive is basically a large part of his ego and a women’s is tied to a deep desire to feel wanted. I know I am trying to over simplify a complex subject. What is not over simplified is women have to take on theΒ responsibilityΒ of birthing and raising the children.Β 
Of course, since transgender women still are on the outside looking in as far as birthing children is concerned, couples are capable of adopting and trans men in relationships with trans women are having children too.Β 
When you look at all of this, it’s no wonder men are afraid of losing the power systems they have maintained over the years.Β 

Just My Imagination

To my surprise she told me my estradiol level had risen from the last time she prescribed me new patches from a low of “40” to “80” currently. 

Since I am very poor in asking relevant questions such as what should my levels be, I went to Google and received this answer:

“For transgender women, the Endocrine Society guidelines define the target range of estradiol as 100–200 pg/mL (367–734 pmol/L)1; as many providers in our practice do not titrate therapy when estradiol levels are above 90 pg/mL (330 pmol/L), the range of 90–200 pg/mL (330–734 pmol/L) was used to define effective”

So, I guess because of those levels, she prescribed me adding one more patch I add to my body twice a week. I am prescribed (by the VA) Alora 1 mg patches. Each of the patches contains 3.1 mg of estradiol which is released over a 3 to 4 day period. I am fortunate I guess in that I haven’t had any problems with the patches staying on. Because the next step would be me giving myself injections. I definitely have a problem with needles. 

Actually all these facts and figures are a way for me to understand the advanced gender transition I am going through. If the last time I received permission to increase my dosage is any indication, I can expect more changes again.

Of course the first time I added the extra patch, I imagined I felt an added fullness in my breasts and hip area. Realistically I know changes do occur over a period of time and not the first days. 

Plus I do know the risks of Hormone Replacement Therapy at my age. So does my Endo Doc I guess since wants to check my blood hormone levels in a month.

In the meantime, I will have to try to keep my imagination in check.  

Are Men Scared of Women?

 It’s easier to say why are men so scared of transgender women but it goes so far past all of that. 

To begin with, many men have a frail grasp on their sexuality. Trans women represent the idea to men they may be gay. Plus, since we have spent time on their side of the gender spectrum, we may know more of the so called “tricks” they pull. The farther I transitioned, the more I wondered if I was as transparent in my dealings with women as men were being with me. I found out quite early in my transition how to “dumb” myself down if I was talking about a sports topic with a man. 

Men have a much narrower social structure than women. While women are building their lives around children they have and a man they love, men are building their lives around power structures such as money, sports etc.  All too often, a woman is looked upon as an acquisition of sorts. She must look nice in a car or on the back of a motorcycle. Then in mid life, women can be cast aside for a “new model.”

Rather if it evident or not, men know women ultimately hold all the cards. Women have the children and potentially have the ability to live longer. Recently, more and more “glass” ceilings have been shattered. Including in previously male dominated areas such as sports. 

In baseball, the Marlins announcedΒ Kim NgΒ would be the first woman to lead a professional baseball team and more and more in football you are seeing female officials on the field. Then several years ago there wasΒ Patti Dawn Swansson, below,Β the Canadian sports writer who transitioned on the job in Winnipeg (Thanks Bobbi).Β 

Unfortunately, many men are violent humans as cis women learn early in life which effects transgender women as we transition. Shielding ourselves from violent men is a priority when it comes to losing a big part of your male privilege. It’s tragic when you consider all the trans lives which are lost each year due to senseless murders. Deep down, the men are threatened by the sexual control women, cis or transgender, have on them.

Finally, men at all levels of society have had to adjust to the push of women to succeed. Sowing the seeds of insecurity. With insecurity comes fear.  

Is Your Transition a Verb or a Noun?

As with so many of my thoughts, I encountered this idea from Riley Black another blogger/writer from the “Medium” on line magazine. Riley brought up the idea of a gender transition ceasing to be a verb and then becoming a noun. If you are similar to me, I had to think back to my high school English classes to figure out what Riley meant. 

Finally my noggin started to understand the gender process we all go through as we gender transition. Is it always a verb as we progress. Or do we obtain a level when transition levels off and becomes a noun?

I have been in my transition for a long time.  In fact, if you consider all the years I cross dressed, I have been on a transition path for over sixty years. You can put it nicely and say I just took a little longer to discover my true self or…I was just a slow learner. 

These days, I have a tendency to think my transition has plateaued out and I know now what is around the next corner. On the other hand, life has taught me to never take anything for granted. Plus now, at the age of 71, I would be remiss if I didn’t look ahead at the possible specter of spending time in an assisted living facility. 

It’s looking more and more my transition will always be a verb.