Hurry Up and Wait

 It’s very frustrating when a trip to visit the vampires to have my blood work done becomes such a big deal.

After all though, it was one of the very rare times I have been able to get out of the house these days. I was able to talk Liz into going with me as we had to head north to Dayton to let the vampires do their quick work.

It’s my own fault in that essentially I am stuck between two Veteran’s Administration hospitals. The first one in Dayton is about an hour and a half away but it is definitely more user friendly than the hospital here in Cincinnati. Plus, it might be my imagination but the Dayton VA seems to be more transgender friendly. 

Be that as it may, as we entered the hospital, we had to be checked in and asked the magical question, “What brings you here today.” I so badly wanted to say just to look around or we came just to enjoy the wonderful cafeteria food. Needless to say, I didn’t say that and we were allowed to continue our masked journey to where the blood laboratories were taken. 

Very quickly, we were done and making the trip back to Cincinnati.  Since I had fasted for the blood letting, we stated to look for a place to eat on the way back.

Along the way we found one of those infamous fast food strips along the interstate so we left the highway and began our search. Amidst the sprawl was a Popeyes Chicken restaurant. In the past I have eaten at a Popeyes several times but since there isn’t one close to our home, I had never tried one of their chicken sandwiches.  I loved my first spicy chicken sandwich and wondered why anyone would ever eat at the hate chicken place, Chick-fil-A.

All too soon after a couple more errands the big day out was over and it was back to covid seclusion to me.   Perhaps a light is coming at the end of the tunnel for me. Sunday in typical VA style I received a robo call from the Cincinnati asking me if I wanted a vaccine. When I pushed the proper number saying I did, the voice came on and told me no one was available to answer my request.

I just laughed and thought some things never change in the military…hurry up and wait.Β 

Update. Close to an hour later I received another call with a real person on the other end I am now scheduled for my first and second Covid shots at the Cincinnati VA.

Yay!

Non Binary Gender Discussion

 This comment on considering yourself “non binary” or not, comes from Connie:

“I know that I am not non-binary, and never have been. I have purposely lived toward either end of the gender spectrum for nearly seventy years, but never felt comfortable anywhere in-between. For those who are wanting to find comfort there, I can only imagine how difficult that might be. Of course, I absolutely know how difficult it has been for me to live as either a man or a woman, but I have always tried to be as unambiguous about it as I could be; people can usually conclude my gender by my presentation (whether they accept it, or not, is a different subject). To be non-binary in one’s gender (or genderless) identity, though, can only be made known to others by declaration.

Non-binary people don’t necessarily present themselves ambiguously or as androgynous. Some can be easily perceived by the average person as decidedly binary. As difficult as it may sometimes be for a binary trans person to project their true gender identity, non-binary people cannot rely on their presentation for others to see them as they see themselves to be. Mis-gendering must be a constant problem for those who see themselves as neither he/him/his or she/her/hers. They/them/theirs would have to be conveyed in some way other than physical presentation, anyway.

Somewhere between gender binary and gender non-binary, there are those who consider themselves to be bi-gender, or even pan-gender. Others may still be gender questioning. The only thing we can be sure about, then, comes from the adage: If you’ve met one trans person, you have met one trans person.”

Perhaps the difference comes with the younger generation. Several of the ones I have met recently have steered clear of the “transgender” label.  But as I said, a label is just a label. 

Non Binary Fun

 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.       

Another Transgender First

 I remember :back in the day” going to Pride carried with it a sense of frustration. Normally the first thing you saw was a group of garish drag queens waving from the back of a decorated truck or convertible. It was all well and good for them but had very little to do with me as a transgender woman. The “T” in LGBT Pride was definitely silent. I didn’t let any of that stop me though. I figured at the least I could represent a portion of the transgender community who were just trying to lead an authentic life while at the same time having fun.  

As time went on, more and more trans women and trans men began to attend Pride (at least here locally) and recently, a trans woman was selected to lead the Cincinnati Pride Parade. In a few other major locations, such as Los Angeles now the celebration has gone full circle as transgender woman Sharon-Franklin Brown (below) has been named president of the sizable operation.

We have come along way…with such a long way yet to go.

Changes

Over the years I have posted here in Cyrsti’s Condo concerning the changes which occurred with me as I transitioned from a cross dresser to a transgender woman. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I never believed I would ever become a full time trans woman. Needless to say, the further I went down the  Mtf gender transition path, the more diligent I became in protecting my civil rights and the more active I became in voting for those who did too. After all, it was more than my rights I was trying to protect, it was the lives of the future LGBTQ youth also. 

This year, Equality Ohio  has come through with a helpful scorecard which is a great guide on who to vote for. Maybe there will be one in your state too!

Social Distancing

As the new reality continues and even becomes more ingrained in our lives, social distancing has become one of the words of the day. Plus more and more of us who are fortunate enough to have our own hair, are beginning to think seeing our hair dresser is an essential activity. Especially for those who have to have their hair colored. Thanks to the insight years ago from my former stylist, we decided to let my hair revert back to it’s natural soft grey tones. So really, all I have to worry about is getting it trimmed and shaped once things get back to normal.
These days too, I notice the number of cis women commenting on their lack of hair maintenance and I understand. Following the first trip to an upscale hair salon my daughter gifted me when I first came out to her, I was hooked on going to a hair salon to be pampered and “touched up.” 
Unfortunately, over the years I tried hair shortcuts such as trying to color my own very long and thick hair. I managed to get in trouble by getting color all over the bathroom walls and towels as I learned the hard way how hard it was to remove the stains. Plus, I also became very adept at missing parts of my hair when I was coloring it. 
These days, the only thing I worry about with my hair is it becoming too long and unmanageable. However, with people maintaining a safe distance from me I will automatically look better. Perhaps like when they turn the lights down in a pub for happy hour. And I am not the only one! Let’s check in with Connie in Seattle:
“OK, the social distancing is already improving my looks. Ten feet might be even better, but viewing me from six feet away is much easier on others’ eyes than from two feet! πŸ™‚

The countless hours I spent working on and improving my looks during my self-induced isolation, over years of closeted cross dressing, should have been more than enough. The trouble is, though, it wasn’t until my fifties that I finally showed myself to the public. I am, by nature, a perfectionist, so I always have seen room for self-improvement. If I had the means to “turn back time,” as does Cher, maybe I could improve on what age has taken from my looks. Sitting in front of the mirror now, during this Covid-19 isolation, primping and adoring myself, is not going to cut it like it did those years ago. In fact, these days, doing so seems a rather silly thing for me to do. Unless I had a special occasion that warranted a glam look, I now just spend as little effort and time in order to make myself less-than-perfect – but still acceptable.

So far, I’m still allowed to work. In normal times, I work outside with hundreds of tourists all around me. This morning, I didn’t get any closer than twenty feet from one person, and only noticed a few others further away. I still put on some makeup, though, along with a do-rag scarf on my head and old jeans. It’s my Rosie the Riveter look – all the rage this Spring! :-)”
Sounds like fun :). Stay safe everyone.