From Allies to Accomplices

 A transgender ally is a person who supports trans individuals and trans rights. Now a well known transgender activist wants to experience evolution from allies to accomplices. Her name is Geena Rocero (below) an award winning producer, model and trans rights activist. 

Let’s take my partner Liz for example of a person who is a transgender accomplice. Initially (9 years ago) she played a major role of finally shoving me totally out of a part time cross dresser life into a full time transgender existence. An accomplice who has helped me in the world in so many ways. For example, an ally will support pro-trans causes and candidates but may fall short in helping us with rest room issues and/or pronoun usage. In more cases than I can count Liz leads strangers on with my gender by calling me “she or her” So, if you are currently an ally and are looking for an easy way to do more, find out for sure what pronouns your friend wants to use. It can go so far in helping her cope with an existence in her/his chosen gender. If you are dealing with a masculine identifying transgender person. 

Also if you are an accomplice, you have to be prepared for setbacks. Unfortunately, most of the time, all you can do is lend a supportive ear. In my case, I am always prepared to fight my own battles when and if they arise. Ironically, Liz and I do quite a bit of hand holding in public, so I can never really be sure if a persons problem could be coming from us being lesbians and not in anyway because I am transgender. 

In conclusion, if you are an ally or an accomplice bless your heart! You are some of the kindest and most understanding people in the world and we need you! 

Is Pride Month Over?

It has been a very quiet month this year concerning Pride activities. In an usual year there are at least six “celebrations” in the Cincinnati-Dayton Ohio metro area. Due to the virus concerns this year, all were cancelled. Then of course, there are the continuing Black Lives Matter marches to consider.
Regardless of the lack of parades and parties, it should be time to stop and consider what Pride stands for anyhow. Many forget the original “Stonewall” riots a half century ago which started the whole LGBTQ movement and typically many of the gay and lesbian members of the community forget it was transgender women of color who were out front spearheading the movement. Once again, the transgender members were moved to the back of the line. 


Ironically, many trans people don’t seem to care. My theory is it is because many gay men and garish drag queens have essentially “hi-jacked” the experience. I felt if I saw one more drag queen leading a Pride parade, I was going to run and hide. After all, what did it mean to me.


Then things began to change (around here at least). Slowly but surely, I began to see more and more transgender people at Pride and even a trans woman as a parade leader a couple years ago. All of a sudden the whole process meant more to me. I even think my new board membership on a primarily gay and lesbian board was because they were seeking more transgender input.


The recent supreme court decision backing trans health care is yet another reason to be proud of who we are and proud of the legal organizations who support us.


Even if you are still in the closet, it is time for you to join the rest of us and feel good about who we are. Pride month is over but the feelings don’t have to be. 

The Reality of the Dress

When we are young novice cross dressers and/or transgender women, the power of the clothes and makeup is nearly everything we experience. For some of us the allure of the clothes began to fade early. I began to want to be the girl, not just look like one. 


I think the recent quarantine has heightened the differences in those who have to cross dress to reestablish who they are gender wise. If you use me for example, I always know who I am gender wise and would have to go out and buy men’s clothing if I even wanted to try to express any of what is left of my male self. I am making up for all the years when I questioned my gender continually.


So, while I don’t need the dresses, hose and heels to feel feminine, it is certainly fun on occasion to get dressed up like I did Saturday night when we went out to eat for the first time in nearly three months. Nothing wrong with any of that since all women get a chance to feel the same way during their lives too. It’s part of the fun of a being a girl. 


With my HRT induced body changes, I have found I have made it easier to find “fun” outfits in my wardrobe. If the stars and everything else align, I may even get my favorite summer “boho” outfit past Liz and get to wear it to a lesbian bar in the area. The outfit consists of a spaghetti strap tank top and my well frayed jeans I roll up to mid calf. I wear the whole thing with sandals of even flip flops. I love the feel of the top I wear with no bra…if Liz approves it. Once again I am experiencing extra fullness in my breasts with the increased dosage I am on and I can’t forget my hair which is growing rapidly again. 


The problem is the two lesbian bars we could go to are across the Ohio River in Kentucky which is just re-opening on a limited basis and Pride has been moved back until October. I love me some lesbians and hope it happens! In the meantime the reality of the dress (or the fantasy) may just have to wait.  

Memories

At my age and during this quarantine, I find myself trying to remember more of the “back in the day” memories of when I was living through my first days of actually trying to live in a feminine world. Today, I am wondering what in the world some of the people I encountered thought of me. For this post, two small lesbian bars I used to frequent are coming to mind. 


I have written here in Cyrsti’s Condo about both of the bars and how they were similar but yet different. One was more friendly and the other not so much since it was very much a lesbian biker style bar. I am sure the people I repeatedly saw in there went from a what the hell, to why does a person such as me even want to come in there to start with, to finally giving me a begrudging acceptance. In the end, I am sure they weren’t sorry to see me move on to other challenges. And, a challenge is just what it was. 


The other bar was much more mellow and accepting. In fact, one of the bartenders knew me as my male self too. I enjoyed the time I spent being able to drink a few beers and chat with the bartender. It was in this bar, I was forced to sing karaoke with a very butch lesbian in boots with a cowboy hat. I am sure, in the dark bar, in my jeans, boots and long blond hair I looked like the perfect conquest for a super butch. As my bartender friend smirked, indeed I did sing the only song I knew. To put it mildly, I can’t sing as a girl or a guy, so as soon as the song was over I bolted for the bar. Paid my tab and took off. I often wonder what “Cowboy” woman thought after I left and I never found out either. I never saw her again when I went back and nobody in the bar seemed to know who she was. Who knows? She may have changed my perspective on life :).

As time and life moved on, both of the bars closed and I was forced to find other places to entertain myself. 
Other places were not so difficult to find I learned. As most of you condo regulars know, I spent way too much time in the larger commercial chain bar/restaurants. It was way too easy to find a spot and become a regular. After all, I was very different, tipped well and minded my own business.

The only potential problems I ever ran into back in those days was using my rest room of choice and getting home before my wife did as she closed the big book store she managed. 
All in all, it was a crazy time in my life, mostly caused by my desire to chase my gender dysphoria. I learned quite a bit of positives and for the most part have forgotten most of the negatives. Isn’t that what old age is all about?

A Third Transition?

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.  

To Be or Not to Be

Don’t worry, this post won’t be influenced by Shakespeare and you are not back in high school literature class. In this case, the popular phrase involves coming out as stealth.

Wait? Can you come out as stealth? Isn’t that a “Catch 22?” It is but it isn’t. 

When and if you are in the position to live “stealth” as a transgender woman, should you do it? Remember “back in the day” stealth was the only way to go once you had gone through genital realignment surgery. You were expected to move away and start your life all over again. In many ways, the whole process ignored the basic premise that sex is between the legs and gender is between the ears. I am a prime example. While it is true I have been living full time as a woman for years now, I have no desire to have any invasive surgery. 

Now I find myself again  at the crossroads of going stealth…or not. It would actually be a fairly easy decision. The cross dresser – transgender support group I am loosely involved with is increasingly imploding. As a result of a high drama split up, we now have two similar but separate groups. The most recent example of the in fighting was the Thursday night social Liz and I went to. Before the split up we could expect approximately twelve to fifteen diverse individuals. Since the other group decided to have a social the same night, they had ten attendees while we had seven. 

So now I am encountering the same small group of people I actually have very little in common with. The only reason I started going was because of the chance to meet new and interesting people. Thursday night the most interesting person I met was a cis woman who was entranced with me enough to smile and say hello. Any number of factors could have been in play. Probably she knew I was trans and her and her feminine friend approved. Or they could have been lesbians too and saw Liz and I holding hands. Then again, maybe she was just laughing at me. Which didn’t seem to be the case.

The main force behind me not just saying to hell with it all, is my underlying desire to help anyone who needs it who may find themselves on the same path as me. Plus now I need to see how my upcoming meeting concerning LGBTQ aging issues goes. 

If the past is any indication, I probably will continue to not to be…stealth.

Song Bird?

This is an older experience I haven’t shared for awhile here in Cyrsti’s Condo. In fact it goes back to the 1990’s. 

In those days, I was spending my life divided between the two binary genders. Along the way, I managed to locate a couple small lesbian bars I liked to drink in. One disliked me totally, the other I was accepted in. 

On certain nights, the venue I was accepted in had karaoke. I don’t sing at all (except for a David Allan Coe song I knew.)  The song was/is “You Never Even Called Me By My Name but I digress. 

I was only vaguely aware it was karaoke night when I got there. I didn’t really care because of course singing was the last thing on my mind. 

I also remember I was wearing my blond wig with jeans, boots and some sort of tight top. Indirectly, I wanted to look nice for the other patrons. It turns out I did I guess! 

About half way into my second beer, a big butch lesbian comes up (in a cowboy hat no less) and demanded, not asked, if I would sing with her. Of course I tried to politely decline. Then I learned quickly I was going to choose the song and sing it with her. 

As I panicked, I thought there was only one song I knew and mentioned David Allan Coe to her, hoping she wouldn’t want to do it. No such luck though, she grabbed my hand and headed to the stage. Fortunately the lights were dim in the place and there weren’t many patrons there yet and I did the best I could to sing with her.

After we were done, she looked at me and said my voice was lower than hers and headed another direction. I took that as my time to escape. I paid the bartender who knew the truth about me and took off.

I never saw the butch lesbian in there again and wondered if she ever learned the truth about her duet partner that night so long ago. 

Staying up Late

Last night’s monthly dinner social with the transgender – cross dresser group we are part of came off as predicted…good food and over by nine. About that time, word started to spread about a Cincinnati Pride kick off party at a old restored theater. Since Liz had the day off Friday, we decided to go.

The crowd at the kick off party was predictable but fun. I am fairly sure I was one of the few transgender people in the venue. Most of the participants were gay men interspersed by lesbians and drag queens. In particular one drag king performer put on a sexy burlesque show which was dynamite.

To make a long story short, I drank too many beers and stayed out late but a good time was had by all.